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 Post subject: I's
PostPosted: September 13th, 2009, 7:36 pm 
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I saw the OVA of I's yesterday evening and I must say I still cannot comprehend what I have actually seen. Does it make more sense once you've seen the original series? I'm gonna do that soon, too... the reason why I watched the second OVA first was because the format of I's Pure is incompatible with my DVD player, so I skipped forward.

The only important characters are Ichitaka, Yôsuke, Iori, and Itsuki.
Ichitaka, Yôsuke, and Itsuki are childhood friends who made a promise to meet again after ten years at a certain shrine when they were kids. That time has now come and Itsuki has returned from her stay in the US to honor the promise without telling anyone.
Yôsuke does remember the promise and is on his way to the spot on his motorcycle. I have no idea why he is being accompanied by three screwball bikers who are eager to have a little fun with the girl that Yôsuke was talking about and whose relationship to Yôsuke remains a mystery. They're just there, and when Yôsuke tries to get away from them, realizing their intentions, they chase and kill him. Whyever. Itsuki witnesses the scene, so they would have to remove her as well.

Ichitaka is also in the area although he has no clear idea why. Looks like he's riding his bike to get in shape.
Iori, Ichitaka's love interest, is also around due to a photo shoot. There's talk about her transforming from a model to an actress amongst side characters, but as it looks from my perspective they're just shooting a gravure video. That's not acting, but maybe Japanese have a different view on such things.
After the shoot Iori and Ichitaka meet at the lake around which the story is spinning. In the center of the lake there's a small summit with a shrine on it next to the top branches of a huge tree that roots in the ground under water. Modern legends have it that if a couple visits the small shrine island their love will blossom, so Iori asks Ichitaka to take her there by boat.

Just as they arrive Itsuki is about to be caught by the mad bikers on the road around the lake whose comments leave no doubt that they intend to do more than just kill her. Within a brief moment Ichitaka crosses half the lake in his boat to defend his childhood friend. Other friends arrive to save the day, but Itsuki is taken away by the boss biker, while it starts raining. Ichitaka gives chase using forest paths that he knows from his childhood days and saves the girl.
But due to the rainfalls the water level of the lake has risen dramatically and Iori is in trouble.
Why she keeps calling out to Ichitaka instead of just swimming to the shore I do not know. Yes, it does rain hard, but there's no strong winds or high waves... a damsel in distress, a concept at its worst best.
Since the boat is gone Ichitaka ponders how to get to the sinking island. At this point he receives help from the ghost of Yôsuke who reminds him of a secret underground path that ends at the foot of the hill upon which the shrine is located. Just as Iori is about to drown the hero appears on the scene and rescues her, keeping them afloat with a basketball he buried at the site ten years earlier.

Is this weird shit or what?
The story totally sucks and I have to wonder what kind of dope the writer smoked when he thought this up. Apparitions, die hard basketballs, hard to believe coincidents, and hard to explain story elements. On top of it all you have a violent sexual atmosphere that goes as far as you can go without crossing the Hentai border. The ghost of the killed friend appearing (without Ichitaka and Itsuki really knowing he's a ghost) is just too far-fetched to pass, how can a buried basketball survive inflated for ten years, including several years under water, and why does Itsuki return without calling first to make sure she and her friends have a good time? Would anyone of you fly around half the globe only hoping that two of your friends would remember an appointment you agreed on when you were seven or eight yeras old? I guess not.
I cannot help thinking this was all quite stupid.

But there's something really good about the show. It's the only point but it stands out like a lighthouse at the seashore: I's has real killer character designs. Maybe it's just me but I think these female designs are so sexy they seem like made for Hentai Dôjinshi (like Momonga Club by infamous Hayashibara Hikari).

Katsura Masakazu, the original creator of I's, DNA2, and Video Girl Ai amongst other works, is known for his sexy designs and is also known for bringing his female protagonists in sexually dire situations that include near-rapes, but he's always outside the boundaries of real Hentai. It seems like he knows well how far he can go arousing this kind of suspense with his audience and where to stop. At the same time this creates sexual desires of sorts towards the female characters which further the sales of Dôjinshi. Of course many original works have unintentionally spawned Hentai spin-offs, but a product like Yotsuba! is totally innocent in itself, something I dare not claim for I's.

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 Post subject: Re: I's
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2009, 10:10 am 
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42137, you need to read the manga!! hah, I know you won't! The OVA is not an adaptation of the manga, but a side story in a parallel universe to the original.
I did like the OVA, although as you pointed, it makes not much sense, specially if you haven't read the manga, and have no background on the characters. :D

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 Post subject: Re: I's
PostPosted: October 5th, 2009, 8:33 am 
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wolfwood wrote:
it makes not much sense, specially if you haven't read the manga, and have no background on the characters. :D

These are all highly stereotyped characters - what is there to know about them that distinguishes them from other characters of their respective type?
If there's anything unusual or enlightening to say about the Manga please go ahead.
You might take the time and open a new thread in the Manga section. :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: I's
PostPosted: June 19th, 2010, 12:00 pm 
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42317 wrote:
wolfwood wrote:
it makes not much sense, specially if you haven't read the manga, and have no background on the characters. :D

These are all highly stereotyped characters - what is there to know about them that distinguishes them from other characters of their respective type?
If there's anything unusual or enlightening to say about the Manga please go ahead.
You might take the time and open a new thread in the Manga section. :whistle:

Haha, yea it took me a few months to read your reply... :sweat: Sorry about that.
Yea, the thing here is the manga actually has a good storyline, while the OVA you mentioned does not fit with or follows in any way the original storyline.
As for the characters been stereotyped, well I can't really disagree, there is an average guy falling for the cute girl in the class, the other girl (a western looking one), a few friends to fill in the comic relief and fan service.
I'll post a short review in the manga section later on...

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