Last updated January 02, 2005.

January 19, 2004:

I'm not proud of it, but I bought the two remaining DVDs of Ai Yori Aoshi. (I.e., the second and fourth discs.) Shut up. They were on sale. I mean like half price! Oh, God, what have I done?

Fuck, this means I'm going to have to find the box now. Goddammit, I should have known this would happen.

January 21, 2004:

So, I've started watching disc two of Ai Yori Aoshi, which I bought for some inexplicable reason. Damn, these episodes really do suck.

I still can't believe I bought the entire series on DVD, especially seeing as how something like 40% of the episodes are crap. Yeah, yeah, they were on sale for greatly reduced prices, and there is some satisfaction in having a complete set of DVDs (albeit sans box... for now, anyway), but I acknowledge that these are very poor excuses.

No, I think it has become abundantly clear that I need to enlist someone else to spend my money for me, as I clearly cannot be trusted with it myself.

February 01, 2004:

In some more bandwidth-killing news, I present the following new dual-monitor wallpapers featuring Sakuraba Aoi from Ai Yori Aoshi:

Aoi 3200x1200 dual-monitor wallpaper
Aoi 3200x1200 dual-monitor wallpaper. 1 MB.

Aoi 2560x1024 dual-monitor wallpaper
Aoi 2560x1024 dual-monitor wallpaper. 1 MB.

The 2560x1024 version isn't as clean as the 3200x1200 one because I realized that I suck at implementing Smart Blur, etc., and just decided it was taking too long and that I didn't care anymore.

The source image comes from a two-page Geneon adverstisement found in the January 2004 issue of Animage magazine.

March 01, 2004:

Issue number 46 of Megami includes a poster of Aoi from Ai Yori Aoshi slumming it full-on in a schoolgirl uniform.

Megami 46 scan of Aoi in a schoolgirl uniform
Scan of Aoi in a school uniform from Megami 46. 1360x2000. 967KB.

In other news, the first Enishi R1 DVD comes out in July.

June 28, 2004:

Aoi Army, assemble.

Aoi sitting in the shade
Ai Yori Aoshi 1600x1200 wallpaper

I scanned this picture from some calendar that came with from some anime magazine some months ago. 1600x1200, 366KB.

July 08, 2004:

Volume Four of the Tokyopop-published Ai Yori Aoshi manga has been out for a little while. Overall, it is a solid volume. Not surprisingly, it also contains a few "the manga is better than the anime" moments. This is not much of a stretch, since most of the anime isn't very good—just oddly captivating (to me, anyway).

Volume Four
Ai Yori Aoshi Volume Four

Thus far, the manga has been tracking the anime (well, vice versa, since the manga came out first), with relatively minor changes. The most significant difference being that Aoi is just slightly more self-assured and a bit less single-minded in her love for Kaoru.

However, Volume Four of the manga clears up a few things from the anime's first and second season that always bothered me. It turns out that the trip to the cabin depicted in Enishi (with the King game, and Aoi and Kaoru alone in the onsen, separated by the divider, and Taeko's wacky driving) originally took place immediately after Mayu's introduction.

This has a few effects:

  1. It makes Mayu a more credible rival than in the anime.
  2. It strengthens the "red thread of destiny" angle in their somewhat serendipitous reunion and in her string of luck during the King game.
  3. It explains why Mayu is still acting just as immature as she did in the anime's first season; the story originally took place shortly after she turned 16, not one or two years later as in Enishi.
  4. It explains why Aoi was so reluctant to cough up the name of her first love during the King game. Her obstinance seems a bit out of place in Enishi, but is understandable in the context of the manga.

Really, I don't know why they chose to skip this story during the first season. It really makes a lot more sense in that context. Plus, it originally takes place before Chika's introduction, so you don't have to deal with her antics.

This trip originally also coincided with the first-season story involving Kaoru's treasured key. The bit about the key is downplayed considerably in the manga, and is one of the reasons why I think it makes Aoi less single-minded about Kaoru—she hasn't been keeping a deathgrip on the key for the last 15 years.

Plus there's nudity in the manga.

Oh, and Kaoru is a bit more assertive. He actually takes a hint and kisses Aoi without her standing there puckering for five minutes first. Amazing.

 August 05, 19104:

The Ai Yori Aoshi ~ Enishi ~ box is pretty nice. The DVD case itself has a reversible cover. It looks like this is going to be a three-DVD series.

Ai Yori Aoshi ~ Enishi ~ DVD and box
Ai Yori Aoshi ~ Enishi ~ DVD and box

Just giving it a once-over, the DVD's quality looks to be as good as you'd expect from Geneon-Pioneer.

Ai Yori Aoshi ~ Enishi ~ DVD, box, and figure
Ai Yori Aoshi ~ Enishi ~ DVD, box, and figure

The Christmas Special comes as an extra on the first disc. I was also pleased to discover a preview for Dokkoida!? among the extras.

Aoi figure
Aoi figure

The box also comes with a small Aoi figure. It appears each of the next two discs will come with two figures to eventually round out the cast. Looks like there's a separate ferret figure too.