Fire Soul

official series art by Kazuko Tadano

Rei may not have won me over in the same way that Mako and Ami have, but there really aren’t any characters in the main cast of Sailor Moon that I don’t like. (Yes, including ChibiUsa. Though I haven’t seen Sailor Stars at all yet to consider the new characters in that series.)

Anyway, this has always been one of my favorite pictures of Rei, who of course is also Sailor Mars. She’s a shrine priestess with spiritual powers, and while not quite as potentially dangerous as Makoto when not transformed, she can still sense evil spirits and use talismans to ward them off in her everyday life.

[ Anime A to Z ] ~N~ Naegino Sora

Sora’s dream is to join the Kaleido Stage theatrical circus (think Cirque du Soleil), so she travels from her home in Japan to the United States to try out, only to show up late for the audition, dashing her dreams before she even gets started. She does manage to get a second chance, though, and soon finds out that making it in the entertainment business isn’t as easy as she thought it would be.

Sora is a fun lead for Kaleido Star, which is a great series from Junichi Sato. She is very easygoing and likeable, and as is the case for many Sato lead characters, has her own quirky mannerisms to add to her personality.

Tower of the Stars

It’s been so long since I last played Chrono Cross that I don’t even remember what scene this is from in the game, but this great piece of BGM reminds me of a certain episode of Haibane-Renmei. (If you’ve seen that series, you know the one.) The ominous chords and tolling bell give this piece so much atmosphere.

[ Anime A to Z ] ~M~ “Moonlight Legend”

Does this even need an introduction? “Moonlight Legend” is, of course, the opening theme song to the legendary Sailor Moon series, and it’s a great bit of ’90s nostalgia.

This song has been a part of my anime fandom since the very earliest days, though I first heard DiC’s rewritten english dubbed version… “Fighting evil by moonlight”, anyone?

[ Song of the Week ] Cibo Matto – “Sci-Fi Wasabi”

from the album Stereo★Type A (1999)

Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori are two Japanese women based in New York City who had a band and made genre-defying music. Part Shibuya-kei, part trip-hop, but no one box can contain their unique style. This is one of my favorite songs of theirs, mostly for its random brilliance, but also because they name-drop Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies is one of Studio Ghibli’s finest achievements. Despite its esteemed place in cinema history – animated or otherwise – it can be a very difficult film to watch.

Setting the tone for this beautiful film is an equally beautiful score by Michio Mamiya. If you are familiar with the film, the main theme “Fireflies” will transport you back to the film’s world and all the feelings that go along with it. Hope and tragedy go hand in hand, and this music captures it perfectly.


[ Anime A to Z ] ~L~ A Little Snow Fairy Sugar

A Little Snow Fairy Sugar is a series about a girl, her piano, and the apprentice snow fairy who she meets by chance one day. And waffos.

Saga Bergman is a girl growing up in a historic European town (based on Rothenburg, Germany). She lost her mother when she was young, so she lives with her grandmother. Her mother was a famous piano player, but there is no room for the piano at her house, so it remains on display in the local music store, where every once in a while Saga is allowed to play it.

One day, Saga meets an apprentice fairy in the town, which is a surprise since most humans can’t see fairies. Fairies control the weather, by the way, and Sugar is learning to make snow. After the two meet, it begins a growing process for both of them. Sugar is a very cute series, without being too, well… sugary, and it has a nice story backing it up. The soundtrack is also some of Shinkichi Mitsumune’s finest work this side of Utena, with great piano pieces to set the mood.

…and waffos are delicious.