Minggu, 18 September 2011

Anime News 'Sound of the Sky'

Sound of the Sky


Sound of the Sky DVD

In a world that some say is dying due to ages of devastating wars, the physical and musical beauty of a female military trumpeter inspires young Kanata Sorami to eventually become a military bugler herself. Years later, during a supposedly-permanent cease fire between the nations of Helvetia and Rome, 15-year-old Private Kanata becomes the newest recruit in the five-member, all-female 1121st Platoon stationed at Clocktower Fortress near Seize, a town on Helvetia's border with a vast No Man's Land. Despite possessing perfect pitch, Kanata struggles at first to learn to play the bugle and trumpet properly but does better at integrating into everyday life with her platoon mates: 18-year-old Lieutenant Filicia, the very informal commanding officer; 17-year-old Sergeant Rio, an expert trumpeter who serves as a reluctant Big Sister to the younger members; 15-year-old Corporal Noël, a soft-spoken mechanical genius who concentrates on rebuilding the platoon's spider-like “old tech” tank; and 14-year-old Private Kureha, a serious-minded tsundere girl. All is not entirely calm and pleasant, however, for the grim specter of war still lurks in the background and Seize is, after all, the source of the legend of the tragic Flame Maidens – a legend which seems to fit the platoon members remarkably well.

Selasa, 13 September 2011

Anime news

Mardock Scramble: The First Compression



Mardock Scramble: The First Compression DVD

In the future, life has dumped Rune Balot, a 15-year-old prostitute and incest victim, at the bottom of the heap, leaving her searching for reasons to stay alive even though she is certain that she does not want to die. That conviction is her saving grace when her most recent sugar daddy, the psychopathic casino manager Shell, burns her alive as part of a mad scheme to make gemstones from the compressed ashes of his victims, as it allows former military tech researcher Dr. Easter to legally swoop in and rebuild her under the provision Mardock Scramble 09, which authorizes using otherwise-forbidden technology to preserve a victim's life – in other words, she comes back a cyborg, one unable to speak directly but able to manipulate electronics around her (and thus speak through them). With the help of Oeufcoque, a shape-changing “universal item” whose natural state is that of a talking, very intelligent golden mouse, Balot tries to piece together some meaning to her new life while Dr. Easter pushes forward a legal case against Shell. However, Shell has his own formidable right-hand man in the form of Boiled, who has no compunctions about resorting to drastic measures to end the case. For Balot, quickly learning to take advantage of her new fighting skills and partner soon becomes a matter of life and death.

Shelf Life

Last Friday I saw the Punchdrunk production of Macbeth, called "Sleep No More" and I've been obsessed with it ever since. It was like a videogame and theater and a haunted house rolled into one, but with all of my pet peeves of each removed. Sure, it was expensive (although less than a Broadway play), but I'd pay twice as much to have half as many audience members in my way while I chase actors up and down the stairs.
While I highly recommend "Sleep No More" and can't stop talking about it, I totally forgot all of the titles of the series I watched this week when my coworkers asked what I was reviewing. In two of the cases I couldn't recall the Japanese titles, but after only six days I utterly forgot I'd watched The Mystic Archives of Dantalian.
"Stream Worthy" is such a difficult rating because it's a binary choice. Dantalian lies somewhere in the middle of a range of recommendation. So far it isn't terrible enough to advise against, but it lacks the socks-knocking-off factor I look for in recommendable anime. This series is somehow connected to Gosick, which I've never watched. Sometime in early 20th century in Europe, blonde hottie Hugh Disward inherits a mansion from his bibliophile grandfather, complete with a giant library of some very rare mystical books and a non-human Goth-loli girl named Dalian. Disward can unlock Dalian's magical-girl-like powers when they fight monsters which relate to various mystical tomes (known as Phantom Books) that contain information man was never meant to know. The series references Borges "infinite library," which is super cool.
The show is mostly style-over-substance, complete with clothing design by Baby, the Stars Shine Bright. Gloomy backgrounds add to the mood, and the end credits look like a tribute to the Quay brothers, which certainly earns this show some style points. But how much you enjoy Dantalian might directly depend on your love of vintage clothes, old castles, and English tea service. My love for those things isn't exactly zero, but I also like to take my scones (or buns, in this case) with more story if you know what I mean.
The series gets bonus points for using "real" demons and magic systems with real research behind them. Texts appearing so far include the Epic of Gilgamesh, and, apparently, the Sefer Yetzirah, or Jewish "Book of Creation".
The show loses points for relying too heavily on anime tropes. I hesitate to call Dalian the "T" word based on past experience in our forums, but she is a bit too hot-cold in my humble opinion.
The early episodes are fairly self-contained, and episode three even has an A and B story like an American cartoon. Episode six opens up the universe a little by adding more characters. I'm curious to see where this is going, but my curiosity is mild.
For the most part, Dantalian is slow enough that I left the NicoNico comments on. The commentary wasn't nearly as verbose or as funny as the commentary on Uta no Prince-sama, but occasionally there is a good joke. The peanut gallery is clearly more enamored of the nearly-personality-free Dalian than I am.[TOP]
Somehow it proved to be a week of people inheriting magic items from their grandparents, as I also happened to watch some Natsume Yūjin-Chō.
Crunchyroll lists Natsume Yūjin-Chō as if it were an ongoing series, but according to our database, it's three separate series with different titles. I've been too intimated by the high episode count to start reviewing this show for Shelf Life, but pickings were slim this week so I thought I'd give it a try. Besides, the last time I was in Japan I picked up a gachapon toy of the cat character without even knowing what it was from. If "Stream Worthy" is a loose way of recommending something, I do recommend Natsume Yūjin-Chō; I recommend it to kids watching anime with their grandparents. I recommend it to people with long hospital stays who aren't allowed to get too excited. I'd recommend it to my mother, who likes stress-free entertainment.
High school kid Takashi Natsume has inherited the ability to see yokai, and more than that, he's inherited his grandmother's magic notebook filled with yokai names. Takashi could control a yokai army with the notebook, but instead he chooses to give back the yokai names one at a time because he's such a nice guy. This is a show about relinquishing power, and forgiveness, and kindness. (Perhaps it is the exact inverse of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan.) If it were a little more educational, it could be on PBS Kids.
That isn't to say there is no excitement in the show. Takashi's life is often in danger thanks to the yokai he encounters. He gets help from a cat he calls Nyanko-sensei, who is also a demon. Nyanko's grumblings about Takashi's adventures often come in the form of practical advice, as in "this is dangerous," or "you shouldn't help this guy." Takashi calmly ignores much of the advice to do the right thing and help out ungrateful yokai, even if it means endangering his own life. Nyanko may complain, but he acts as Takashi's bodyguard, frequently bailing him out at the last minute. Nothing ever gets too dire, and most of the episodes are stand-alone, so I began to count on Nyanko rescuing Takashi every time.
If this were a lower budget show with poor designs, it would be insufferable. Fortunately the lush backgrounds and delicately drawn characters pair well with a large cast of creatively designed yokai. It's easily a must-see show for yokai lovers. (Heh heh… yokai lovers.)
There are some interesting thematic currents under the surface. Takashi's grandmother, Reiko, was kind of a jerk. She messed up more than one yokai's life by taking its name, and Takashi is essentially going around cleaning up her messes. He's also motivated to feel closer to his grandmother this way. He lost his own parents at an early age he doesn't know much about Reiko. A show about feeling closer to your grandmother is a very sweet concept, so forgive me for rolling my eyes right now. (I'm reminded of this ancient Penny Arcade comic.)
I skipped ahead to episode 36 to see if any continuity kicked in. From the looks of it, episode 36 begins a very InuYasha-like arc (searching for lost shards) and involves more friend characters.
I can accept that there are TV series to help people unwind and relax, to calm down after a stressful day, but usually I'm looking for more adrenaline from television (I prefer strong coffee to chamomile tea). I accept that this is a decent series, but I just couldn't get excited about watching the next episode.

Selasa, 06 September 2011

Anime News : Brain Diving

Usually when a politician is caught in a scandal and needs to get out of the public eye for a while, he'll call a press conference and say that he's stepping down to spend more time with his family. What a cheesy excuse, right? Unfortunately, thanks to all the sleazy politicians out there, this excuse has been ruined for the rest of us.

This will be my last Brain Diving column, but I'm not going to say that I plan to stop writing in order to spend more time with my family even though that is more or less the truth. To be completely honest, the schedule of keeping up with the column just hasn't been meshing with the other things I have to do in my life. In addition to my day job and my family, I'm also supposed to be working on a Ph.D. dissertation on anime and globalization, which I really need to finish up this semester. Plus, I have a number of ideas for some big projects that I'll get to one of these days once I have unlocked the achievement of becoming Doctor Ruh. Most importantly, though, this should free up some more time for me to spend making really bad puns on Twitter. So don't worry, I'll still be around, and Zac has kindly left the door open for me to return to the column some day when things are a little less hectic.

I've been weighing a bunch of different ideas for what I would cover in my final column. There are quite a number of books that I wanted to have a chance to discuss, but I thought I'd go out on a recent release that's quite fun – the Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive recently put out by Udon Entertainment. Another factor influencing my decision is that by making the book the subject of one of my columns, I can justify the money I spent on it.

For those of you who need an introduction to the series, Valkyria Chronicles was a video game originally released by Sega in 2008 for the PlayStation 3. Set in an alternative world designed to be reminiscent of Europe in the 1930s (called, oddly enough, Europa), Valkyria Chronicles told the story of a group of militia fighters who banded together to save their beloved homeland of the Principality of Gallia. The Europan continent had been suffering from the large scale conflict between the two major powers of the Atlantic Federation and the East Europan Imperial Alliance, but Gallia had been a neutral territory. However, discovery of new deposits of ragnite (a mysterious, naturally occurring mineral that in the game can both heal injuries and power tanks) in Gallia leads to the an invasion by the Imperial Alliance, and the country's peaceful inhabitants must take up arms and fight back.

I'll admit that in the lead-up to the game's release in Japan, I didn't really give it much attention until I read that Mamoru Oshii had compared it to Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaa. That seemed very intriguing, and was enough to get me to look it up. What I saw was very impressive – I quite liked the intentionally retro look of the game, the setting, and its character designs. A few glimpses were enough to turn me into a Valkyria Chronicles fan even before I played the game. Although, I must confess, I still have yet to play it. This isn't from a lack of desire, but rather from a lack of a PS3. I just haven't gotten around to getting one, so of course I haven't been able to check it out even after nearly three years.

Luckily, there have since been other ways of experiencing the Valkyria Chronicles universe (only one of which has been officially brought over into English, though). Valkyria Chronicles II, a sequel to the original game, came out for the PSP in 2010. Luckily, being the proud owner of a PSP, I have been able to play this one. There is also a third game in the series that came out for the PSP earlier this year; however, from what I've heard about the PSP being a “dead” platform over here (unlike in Japan) its chances of getting an English language release seem dim. I certainly hope that's wrong, although if it does get a translation it will be a pleasant surprise. As with most large Japanese properties these days, you can find Valkyria Chronicles in a bunch of other media as well, including anime and manga. Most notably, there was a 26-episode TV anime series based on the first game that came out in 2009 as well as a series of OAVs based on the third game that came out earlier this year. Unfortunately, none of the anime or manga has been officially released in English.

Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku Chibi

Minggu, 04 September 2011

Vocaloid go Fishing !!!

Vocaloid fishing on the river bank to capture the song.

Anime News

Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

Click here to view larger image

Click here to view larger image
  • Rated : 13UP
  • Genre : Action / Comedy
  • Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack
  • Length : 164 min
  • Language : English, Japanese
  • Subtitles : English
  • Region : 1
  • Widescreen
Ten days before Christmas, it seemed like another ordinary day for the SOS Brigade; Haruhi came up with another one of her crazy ideas to hold a Christmas party in the club room. But then things got weirder from there...
The next day Kyon woke up to a world in which Haruhi didn't exist and no one besides him had any memory of her. How can someone like Haruhi Suzumiya, who's supposed to be center of the universe, just vanish?

Sabtu, 03 September 2011

Anime News

Higurashi: When They Cry

GN 14 - Eye Opening 4

Higurashi: When They Cry GN 14
Shion is gone. She has been consumed by the Sonozaki Demon, and as she continues her murderous rampage in Satoshi's name, she feels that she is no longer human. Manipulating Mion's friends and her own family, Shion leaves a trail of blood and death in her wake. But what will happen when she remembers that she was once a girl in love with a boy? Is there any hope for her soul?


The final volume of the first of Higurashi: When They Cry's answer arcs is a heart-wrenching, gut-churning compilation of images that will remain burned into your eyes long after the final page is turned. As promised, Ryukishi07 does answer the central questions posed in the companion “Cotton Drifting Arc” (volumes three and four of the greater series), but not the main mystery behind the entire series of Hinamizawa murders. We have a few more pieces of the puzzle, but the true answer is still waiting ahead.
Previously in the “Eye-Opening Arc” we have gotten to know Mion's younger twin sister Shion as she escaped from school, met, and fell in love with Satoshi Hojo, who later vanished, presumed to have murdered his abusive aunt. Shion believed that her family had him killed and set about enacting her revenge on her grandmother and sister. Now, as she descends further into madness, she decides that the other two powerful families, the Kimiyoshi and Furude clans, are also to blame, as well as Satoshi's sister Satoko. When Rika Furude attacks her – where volume 13 left off – Shion turns the tables and begins a vicious rampage that will carry through to the book's end. Rika's death is a foregone conclusion by this point, as series readers will have noticed that most “question” arcs involve her demise, but the way that it is carried out is powerful. Houjyou's art, still at its finest when depicting the frightening or the grotesque, takes on the flavor of traditional Japanese horror this time, with snake-necked women and reptilian eyes being the order of the day. Several scenes in the Rika sequence also call to mind the “slit-mouthed woman” of Japanese urban horror, and those familiar with that legend will recall that she kills you, no matter how you answer her questions.
Houjyou's comfort level with depicting scenes of torture, specifically of little girls, makes this volume more gruesome than previous entries in the series, including earlier volumes in this arc. This is not a book to read over dinner or before bed, and a few of the torture scenes will be too graphic for some readers. While it is not, perhaps, deserving of an “M” rating, it certainly lives up to the “OT” one, and even if you have been comfortable with the level of gore in the series so far, this may make you uncomfortable. Going into it aware of what's ahead will be helpful for younger or squeamish readers. Houjyou is capable of making nightmares live on the page.
The majority of the volume takes place in Shion's head, and several scenes are exact reflections of those we saw from Keiichi's point of view during the “Cotton Drifting” part of the story. Watching Shion manipulate Keiichi for the sake of revenge on Mion is fascinating, and readers may want to have volume four available for comparison purposes, especially if you're actively trying to solve the central mystery. Rena, interestingly enough, is largely absent from the book, indicating that Shion does not deem her a threat or worthy of notice. What role this will play in the ultimate resolution of the Hinamizawa mystery is uncertain.
Several very important revelations are made here. They cannot be mentioned in the review as that would be giving far too much away, but suffice it to say that various pieces of information that were not in the anime are given, making this a sound investment even for those who have already watched this arc. (New, unlicensed territory will begin with series volume 19.) While it is probably best to read the manga from the beginning, it is possible to pick it up at any point if you have watched the anime, and those waiting for new material not covered by that adaptation of the games would be fine starting with this volume. That is absolutely not true for people entirely new to the franchise, who really need to start at the beginning of one version or other.
With the conclusion of the Eye-Opening Arc, Ryukishi07 brings us some answers, though not to the most important questions. As more pieces of the puzzle are put into place, the larger picture becomes just a little bit clearer. While there is a definite ending, it is far from a happy one, and you may be left feeling just a little bit empty as you hold the detritus of wasted lives, nearly weightless, in your hands.


all Character Vocaloid.

Jumat, 02 September 2011

Vocaloid Series Pullip Dolls

Vocaloid Series Pullip Dolls – Preorders now open

Filed under: Hatsune Miku,Merchandise — Written by Vegetarian on Thursday, January 13th, 2011 @ 11:19 pm

J-List has opened pre-orders for the upcoming series of Vocaloid Pullip dolls.
Pullips are collectable dolls, developed in Korea and marketed through JUN. They are known for their oversized heads, creating their trademark super-deformed apperance. The dolls are highly flexible and customizable and will therefore satisfy any Otaku or doll collector with perfect poses for your photo shootings.
These dolls will be released in April 2011 and will retail at $180 each.
The first batch includes Hatsune Miku and the Kagamine Twins:
These are strictly limited, so make sure you grab yours while the limited stock lasts.

Miku Hatsune

Vocaloid Chibi

Hatsune Miku innocent

Miku Hatsune

Miku Hatsune under the tree at sunset.

YAWN =A= ( don't be bored to see my blog :D )

YAWN  =A= ( don't be bored to see my blog :D )