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Dated 16 October 2006: Gift ~eternal rainbow~

Kirino Konosaka
Kirino Konosaka.

So there's a Da Capo III. Well, not exactly, but Gift ~eternal rainbow~ seems so much like Da Capo and D.C.S.S. ~Da Capo Second Season~ that it might as well be a third season. The character designs, setting, animation, and other basic elements are all very similiar.

For example:

  • Male Protagonist has the same voice actor in both shows.
  • Both Da Capo and Gift-ER feature non-blood-related sisters as the First Girl.
  • Kotori hat, Kotori hat.
  • Utamaru correlate in some little witch-hat-wearing bird thing (except the bird is much less friendly).

In all likelihood, Gift-ER probably sucks, too. I'll probably still watch it, though. Yes, I'll watch it so you don't have to. Plus it will fill the "lowbrow harem comedy" spot in my usual viewing line-up. Thank God that means I won't have to suffer past the first episode of Yoake Mae Yori Ruri Iro Na -Crescent Love- to meet that need, because that show got annoying fast.

Okay, the Gift basics:

  • It takes place in a town where magic is commonplace.
  • There's a not-quite-ROYGBIV rainbow that perpetually hovers over the town for no apparent reason.
  • Any couple in love can share their feelings to make a miracle happen. (No, that's really not a metaphor.)

The First Girl He Sees is an old childhood friend kohai. Hey, a two-for-one special. She's also the one with the Kotori hat.

Alas, she is not the REAL First Girl. The first episode of Gift actually opens with a flashback sequence where a much younger Male Protagonist bids farewell to Riko, some pink-haired girl.

Riko
Riko.

For those of you unfamiliar with the First Girl He Sees Principle, it basically dictates that in any harem comedy, the male lead will always end up with the very first girl he sees. This typically won't happen until the very end of the series, and the bulk of the show will be about the spineless guy vacillating among the myriad girls in the harem.

Naturally, the first First Girl, the one in the flashback, comes back from wherever the Hell she was to this magical town with the perpetual rainbow for wacky good times. Wacky good times like pulling your childhood friend into your bed first thing in the morning to give her a Dutch rub.

Haruhiko pulls Kirino into his bed.
And how.

Oh yeah, this show also has witch hats.

Chisa pulls an Ayu on Haruhiko.
Chisa pulls an Ayu on Haruhiko.

Comparisons to Da Capo are going to be unavoidable for the duration of Gift-ER's run, I suspect. So far the two shows are running fairly even. Gift ~eternal rainbow~ has the advantage of not having Nemu or Sakura in its cast, but it also doesn't have melodilicious OPs and EDs by CooRie.

Kirino Konosaka
Apologies to Kero-chan.

Oh, and for the Seifuku CHECK contingent, the school uniform features a mini corset along the top of the skirt.

Dated 24 January 2007: Gundam SEED Destiny Special Edition 4, Lunamaria CHECK

Lunamaria without her skirt.
Lunamaria without her skirt. Oh, and Kira in a ZAFT uniform for some reason.
And Meyrin needs to take Athrun to the mall again.
I think all his non-Orb clothes went down with the Minerva.

I somehow completely failed to notice that Lunamaria ditched her skirt in the final moments of the fourth Gundam SEED Destiny compliation movie until Zyl pointed it out.

This raises the question as to WHY?

  1. Hack job by Sunrise animators suffering from the Itis after too much free Pizza Hut caused genuine error.
  2. Wants to be taken seriously as a Gundam pilot. (Hey, it could happen.)
  3. Finally realized that all those elevators at PLANT are made of glass.

It was probably the first reason, but I can almost argue that it was the second reason since Lunamaria did get herself some non-trampy street clothes with phony FAITH logos on the lapels.

Lacus and Lunamaria
Lunamaria, this is a prime opportunity to start sucking up.

Clearly Lunamaria has Special Forces envy.

Dated 26 September 2007: The world is not ready for NAKED PINAFORE

With apologies to Kero-chan from Cardcaptor Sakura and Paiway from VanDread, it's time for another KARMABURN CHECK.

This installment of KARMABURN CHECK features another anime fashion staple that needs to become more popular in the real world: The PINAFORE.

Meido Tai
The Idolm@ster Xenoglossia Maid Troop revs Imber's engine.

So what is a pinafore, and how is it distinguished from an apron? Basically, a pinafore is different from an apron in that it is meant to be (more or less) a permanent part of an outfit, compared to an apron which is usually just worn while cooking or during NAKED APRON fantasies. Also, while an apron fastens with stringy ties, a pinafore has broad sections of cloth that wrap around one's back, usually tied into a bow. (Pedantic fashion mavens may argue here that pinafores are no more permanent than aprons and should really be pinned on instead of tied. Screw them.)

The best known pinafore these days is probably the one worn by Alice in the Disney movie Alice in Wonderland, although I don't recall if Alice originally had a pinafore in Lewis Carroll's books.

American McGee's Alice
American McGee's Alice.

There's also American McGee's Alice, although that Alice's pinfore is a little...different.

Dated 3 January 2008: PINAFORE CHECK

Sakura
Sakura.

Despite my rhetoric, I acknowledge that pinafores are unlikely to become popular as everyday wear absent an unexpected increase in the number of maids and/or magikal girls among the general public.

Dated 16 January 2008: Cowboy Bebop is the future of women's fashion

Judy
Judy > Julia.

I've uncovered the magic behind Judy's coat: It isn't just draped over her; it's actually form-fitted to her body. It's as if the coat has a built-in bra. You know what this means? It Goddamn means that this outfit is theoretically possible in real life! Someone invite the attention of some fashion designers to this entry so they can start churning out scalloped coat-bras for all the trendy beautiful women out there looking for The Next Hot Thing.

Kasumi
Kasumi.

Listen, okay? It worked a few years ago after my Hand Maid May CHECK when girls started wearing baseball jerseys together with mini-skirts all over Southern California, however briefly. There's no reason why warm-weather form-fitted coat-bras couldn't make it in L.A.

Dated 30 September 2009: Canaan's Tactical Purse CHECK

Canaan, Shem, and Hakko
Canaan's tactical purse.

It's been a while since the last CHECK. This installment features Canaan's tactical purse. I don't know exactly what she keeps in there—probably extra magazines and perhaps a cleaning kit—but Canaan's tactical purse is clearly built for war. I'm sure we'll find knockoffs at Brigade Quartermaster shortly.

Alphard, Maria, and Canaan
Turns out Maria is a real photographer. Who knew?

In related news, Canaan turned out to be quite better than its early episodes suggested. It's not a fantastic series by my reckoning, but it is much better than jaded anime fans give it credit for. Moreover, the production values throughout remained impeccable—notable nowadays since more studios and series seem financially strapped. I guess they had to keep the animation quality up because of the three compilation movies in the works. Speaking of which, I wonder if they will change anything, and if they will be better received.

Dated 15 November 2009: Bakemonogatari inspires clothing-related introspection

Shinobu
I don't know why a vampire would need a helmet and goggles.

In Bakemonogatari episode 13, Mayoi refers to enigmatic silent character Shinobu as the girl with goggles on her helmet. That got me thinking that it's generally accepted anime characters will have some defining quirk that prevents them from looking like every other anime character. E.g, Haruhi's hair band keeps her from looking like some random K-On! retard. How often does this occur in real life? Is there an article of clothing or piece of haberdashery that defines me? I suppose if I had to pick something, it would have to be either my houndstooth flannel shirt or my combat boots. I do have a rugby shirt exactly like the ones worn by that guy in Rizelmine, but I never wear it. [Update: Turns out I also have a rugby shirt exactly like the one in Summer Wars.]

Dated 2 February 2010: Nodame Cantabile: Finale CHECK

Nodame's umbrella
But it's not even raining.

Nodame Cantabile fans should remember Nodame's awesome piano bag from the first season. Although not quite as cool, today's KARMABURN CHECK admires Nodame's heart-print umbrella from the OP to Nodame Cantabile: Finale.

Nodame tears her clothes off
Nodame is such a slob.

As far as the show itself goes, Nodame 69 is essentially a continuation of Nodame Cantabile: Paris, so you should definitely watch the earlier seasons first before starting Finale. (This may seem like a no-brainer, but there is a tendency among some viewers to fixate on only the newest, shiniest thing possible.) I happen to think this latest Nodame installment is the best Winter 2010 show, aside from Cross Game and Kimi ni Todoke, both of which started earlier. This opinion may be skewed by my affection for the series as a whole, though. While some may lament the apparent lack of progress in the Nodame & Chiaki relationship, I'm pleased the story takes seriously Nodame's own ambitions and goals that are independent of Chiaki's involvement.