Tsugumomo – 01 (First Impressions)

The Gist: One day, Kagami Kazuya’s sakura-patterned obi, given to him by his late mother, takes the form of a blue-haired girl named Kiriha revealing she is a tsukumogami.

After saving him from an attacking amasogi, Kiriha assigns Kazuya as her “servant” and shares his living space, remaining as inseparable as they were when she was a mere inanimate obi.

Roll Credits…

Even with a rather poor translation, I don’t think I missed much nuance here. Kazuya is defined by his utter lack of distinguishing features or personality traits—other than carrying around an obi and smelling it all the time, which would be kinda sweet, I guess, if it wasn’t also a bit weird.

Along with his one-note “class-rep” character, and his one-note big sister/guardian, there isn’t much depth to be found here, only reminders of shows past (and half-hours wasted on said shows).

We end up seeing many sides of Kiriha, and to her credit, between her superior, imperious attitude, propensity for making messes, and love of pudding, she also has Kazuya’s back (both out in the world and in the bath) and seems to mean well as a companion/protector.

But rather than working in her favor, these myriad sides only served to paint a muddled picture of who and what she is, beyond an once-inanimate object given (pretty) human form. Also, if you’re going to have blue hair and red eyes, you best come correct.

Throw in bland-as-paste Kazuya and a not particularly great-looking production (aside from one okay action scene) and there’s not quite enough here to encourage me to continue.

19 Blue-Haired Characters of Fall ’14


1. Aoi Rui

Ai Tenchi Muyo! – Statuesque, curvy, and shy, if Yuki is the brains of the Science Club and Beni’s the brawn, than Rui’s the beauty. She also typcially dons big brown boots and eats a lot, but doesn’t seem to have any particular skills.


2. Acura Tooru

Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle – While his sister sports green hair and blue eyes, Tooru has the opposite. He also has a somewhat tiresome will-they-won’t-they-they-won’t relationship with Chaika, which hasn’t gone anywhere since they kissed last season (though that was technically a kiss of life).


3. Amira (Demon Form)

Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis – While in human form, Amira has that cotton candy pink hair, but in demon mode she glows a bright, icy blue. Her moves in said mode are so quick and elaborate that still images are hard to come by.


4. Asada “Sinon” Shino (ALO)

Sword Art Online II – Sinon was relegated to side character in the past Excaliber arc. Like Silica, she chose to be a member of the Cait Sith race, but is armed with a bow rather than a dagger, in keeping with her GGO background.


5. Chris

Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo – One part of Captain Zola’s harem which also included Hilda and Roselie, Chris and Roselie now comprise Hilda’s harem. As such, the three are pretty much of one mind on all things, including teasing/hazing Ange. She sports a steel blue hair which stylishly covers one eye.


6. Esdeath

Akame ga Kill! – Esdeath is one tough cookie, but the immensely powerful, sadistic pale ice blue-haired general still has a soft side, which Tatsumi brings out without fail. I’ve always liked that about her, but the show has made it pretty clear she won’t be joining the rebellion any time soon.


7-8. Hakubi Ryouko & Masaki Sasami Jurai

Ai Tenchi Muyo! – Two-thirds of Tenchi’s household harem, Ryouko and Sasami are highly protective and devoted to the teacher-in-training. It’s also implied they’re not human, but who and what they really are and what their story is isn’t covered in this iteration of the franchise.


9. Lancer

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works We’ve only seen Lancer in what the industry dubs “blue-filter night”, so the guy may just have shiny black hair, but most GIS results on the guy bring up someone with a dark blue hair, so he’s on this list.


10. Matou Shinji

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works At this point in UBW, all we know about Shinji is that he’s rough with his kind, gentle sister, is as a result a bit of an ass, and is voiced by Mr. Despair himself. The rest will have to wait for a Shinji-centric episode.


11. Mikuni

Orenchi no Furo Jijou – Mikuni isn’t just blue-haired, he’s blue, period. Because he’s a jellyfish. He also looks like a woman.


12. Mizuno Ami, AKA Sailor Mercury

Sailor Moon Crystal Perhaps the most well-known and venerable character on this list, Ami is a bookish girl whom Usagi eventually wrests from her shell and befriends, then her powers as a Sailor Guardian manifest.


13. Noel

Sora no Method’s resident wish-alien-fairy-mascot thingy, Noel follows Nonoka and the others around a lot, and is closely related to the saucer, if not a manifestation of the saucer itself. When Nonoka brings the friends together, she’s able to manipulate the surface of the saucer to project fireworks, which is neat.


14. Pazuzu

Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis – Pazuzu is a demon and Azazel’s strong right arm. Still, the blue-haired brute finds that going up against the teamwork of Favaro and Kaisar isn’t something to be undertaken lightly; the humans manage to escape with Amira.


15. Raphael

Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis – Like Gabriel, Raphael is some kind of fancypants angel, but we really haven’t seen nor heard much of anything from her yet. Still, she definitely has blue hair, so here she is.


16. Susanoo

Susanoo is another massively-powerful character in Akame ga Kill!, but he’s not a human, but rather Najenda’s Imperial Arms. Belying his ability to wreak havoc and destruction upon his foes on a vast scale, the guy’s also an anal retentive.


17. Ureshino Sayumi

Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai While she may be button-cute, Sayumi the cafeteria girl is an extremely shrewd businesswoman, who doesn’t offer information on the legendary Shepherd without something in return – in her case, having the library club hand out flyers in cosplay.


18. Wave

Akame ga Kill! – Perhaps the most well-adjusted member of he Jaegers, Wave seems like a perfectly decent guy; a Bizarro Tatsumi who has no business being on a team of heartless killers. Still, a Jaeger he is, and what with his big-bro attitude towards Kurome, a Jaeger he is likely to remain.


19. Yuuki Asuna (ALO)

Sword Art Online II – Like Sinon in the latest arc, Asuna has had criminally little to do since being rescued from Mr. SuperEvil by Kirito in the first ALO arc. But she returns to ALO despite her horrible coma experience, this time with blue hair.

Shiki 21.5

After watching numerous seasons of Buffy and True Blood, I feel I entered Shiki with a little more sympathy for vampires as people than the typical person. Especially during the last extra episode (#20.5, reviews here), I noted there was virtually no way I could root for the ordinary humans, whose savage, sadistic, predatory behavior was no better than the worst vampires. Sure, they’d been taken to the edge of desperation, and their loved ones were being killed, but I didn’t care. Tying up Nao and the others to burn in the dawn is not appropriate behavior for any decent being in my books.

Anywho, this episode does things a little differently, essentially giving us an abridge re-telling of the entire series and its five months of horror, almost entirely from the perspective of a new character, Maede Motoko, a devoted mother of two with Sonic the Hedgehog hair! Aaaand I’m sympathizing with the humans again! Seriously, to say Motoko had a rough half-year is an epic understatement. Her family is taken by her one at a time, starting with her father-in-law and husband. When her daughter becomes pallid and eventually dies, she kills her horrid mother-in-law. When her son shows the symptoms, she sits in a bathtub with him until he dies and decomposes.

Finally, she goes to the top of a hill and starts the fire that eventually envelops the village and requires all the survivors to evacuate, having descended totally into madness. Her transformation from cheerful mother to smelly ranting lunatic is extremely rapid and disconcerting. Shiki proves yet again it is not for the faint-hearted. The episodes final moments – in which she is consumed by the flames, grinning from ear to ear – just gave me flat-out c h i l l s, something Shiki does a lot. It was also nice to hear the quirky, eclectic soundtrack once more.

Rating: 3.5