A rogue group thankfully subbed Kaze no Yojimbo Episode 23. They mistakenly cropped off the tops and bottoms of the frame (the opening and closing credits are letterboxed, but the show itself is 4:3), but at least it got subbed. Two more episodes to go.
I got the first Kaze no Yojimbo DVD today. I've only given it a quick look thus far, but from what I've seen, it's pretty damn nice. First of all, M-Lock case. FUCKING AWESOME. Second, five episodes on the disc. Nice. Third, good looking cover art and a Stratos 4 insert. Yes.
For those of you unfamiliar with the show itself, Kaze no Yojimbo is a fairly serious tale about a drifter, Kodama George, who comes to the small town of Kimujuku in search of answers to mysteries from his past. In the course of events, he gets caught up in the local feud between the Ginzame and Tanokura groups, and ends up playing both factions against each other. As you probably guessed, it's based on Yojimbo, the classic Akira Kurosawa movie.
Caught in the struggle is Tanokura Miyuki, the daughter of the head of the Tanokura group. She features prominently in the opening credits, but there's actually much less whimsical interaction between Miyuki and George than the opening montage would lead one to believe.
Bandai has released its third region one Kaze no Yojimbo DVD. As with disc two, the third DVD contains four episodes, suggesting that Kaze no Yojimbo will be a six-disc series. I think they should have gone with a five-disc release, putting five episodes on each DVD like they did with the first disc.
Bandai may have hurt the potential sales of the later discs by dropping to four-episode discs, since the four episodes on the second DVD are arguably the weakest in the whole series. (For example, the casino episode, and the "treasure" episode.) I know many people lost patience with the series during that span and gave up on the show.
I imagine many casual DVD buyers might also lose interest with the series after disc two, and not buy the remaining DVDs, not knowing that the show really picks up around episode 13 or so. I think these consumers would be more likely to continue buying the DVDs if these early discs were better values.
The Kaze no Yojimbo trailer Bandai is putting on their other DVDs (currently available on the official website) is pretty good, though. However, the trailer downplays some of the show's real strengths (the plot and the intrigue) and overstates the action sequences (which really aren't particularly good).
P.S. Y'all should watch Kaze no Yojimbo, eh.
So, this sabbatical is going on a little longer than I planned. Everything is copacetic unless I run out of money, though.
In any case, I've started a little bit of anime-type catching up, but I've been avoiding anime blogs, message boards, and the IRC to avoid spoilers. Hey, what can I say, sometimes I don't give a damn about spoilers, sometimes I'm neurotically fastidious about avoiding them. Right now it's the latter.
[Update: I understand that this has nothing to do with Kaze no Yojimbo, but I don't care to fix it at this time.]
She may be weary.
Young girls they do get weary
Wearing that same old shabby dress.
And when she gets weary
Try a little tenderness.
It's not just sentimental.
She has her grief and care.
And a word that's soft and gentle
Makes it easier to bear.
All right, here goes: I never skip the opening and closing credits of any episode of anime I watch. That's right, I watch every single OP and ED of every single episode, even for episodes I've already seen before. The only time I skip an OP or ED is when the encode does not include them (as with many of these old ass Love Hina first-generation digisubs that I am sort of re-watching right now).
Nearly every single time I've made the admission, the response has been incredulous. Yes, I know it's a very simple matter to set up a hotkey that jumps the video ahead 90 seconds (plus, better containers and, you know, actual store-bought discs permit you to chapter skip), but I don't watch every OP and ED because I'm too lazy or ignorant to skip them. I watch them every time because I consider them part of the show.
And since I consider OPs and EDs part of the show, how much I like or dislike an OP or ED affects how much I like the show as a whole. Disliking the Lucky Star OP is one of the reasons I've never finished watching the series. I do find Lucky Star a little boring (and I straight-up dislike Lucky Channel), but I probably would have finished watching it by now if I really liked the OP instead. Likewise, I am grateful the Macademi Wasshoi OP is horrible, because it guaranteed I would find the series not just terrible, but completely unwatchable after the first episode.
However, since I consider OPs and EDs "part of the show," does this mean I consider OPs and EDs canon? Well, no, although I suspect there are times we would all like to think of scenes depicted within OPs and EDs as canonical. For example, Shimizu dancing in the rain during Major season four, or the Winry's-daily-life EDs from either of the Fullmetal Alchemist series. These sequences are reasonably plausibly canon—as much so as the Aa! Megami-sama TV "date" ED which we know from the manga is canon.
What about ones like the Kaze no Yojimbo OP? Depending on your point of view, it might be nice to think those events actually happened, and from a certain perspective I can see how it's at least plausible, but I think it's more likely the scenes are pure misdirection—perhaps to divert some attention from what the show is really about. Not that OPs and EDs can't include misdirection and still be canon. Princess Tutu, I'm looking in your direction....
So what is worse? That I never skip OPs and EDs or that I care about them? Surely it's not that strange, is it? On days like these, I'm probably lucky I leave comments disabled.