Monday, October 31, 2011

One Stormy Night Gets Anime

The Children's book One Stormy Night gets its anime debut, and surprisingly, it isn't a standard anime series fare. The proposed series will be entirely CG, and animated by Sparky Animation. The series is to be 52 11-minute episodes, and is to be helmed by Director Tetsuro Amino(Macross 7, Broken Blade). The anime will be co-produced by Duckbill Entertainment Inc., Baku Enterprise Inc., and Bandai Visual Co, as well as Sparky Animation, which is a CGI company located in Singapore.

The book, One Stormy Night has already been adapted into an animated film, before in 2005, and it received much acclaim. This however will be an extremely rare move to make an entire series however into CG, which is almost unprecedented.

The series is scheduled to premiere on TV Tokyo network in April of 2012.

The story of One Stormy Night is about a wolf and a goat that get caught in a storm and each take up refuge in the same run down shack. Because of the darkness, they neither one can make out the identity of the other, and since the wolf has caught a cold, does not smell the goat. The hours pass and the two pass their night in the shack talking about their favorite things, and each unaware that they are predator and prey, only getting small hints and clues as the night progresses, and brief flashes of lightning shed luminescence on their plight.

Madoka Magica Candidate for 32nd SF Awards

Rejoice fans of Magical Girl anime!

Among this year's contestants for Japan's Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Awards is none other than Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. An episode of the anime was selected as part of the SFWJ's dedication to honoring Japan's Fiction, criticism, cartoons, illustrations, video, and music. The award will decided in December, and you can read more about the other contestants and get some information about the SFWJ here --> SFWJ

Kill Me Baby! to Broadcast

The good news is that some interesting anime are scheduled to begin their broadcast in January of next year, the bad news is that we have to wait for it.

Kill Me Baby! is a new anime series that is based on the 4-panel comic, キルミーベイベー Kiru Mī Beibē written and illustrated by Kadzuho. The series follows the lives of school girls, an assassin, and her air-headed friend, and kunoichi.

The anime is produced by JC Staff, and it's unknown at this point how long it is slated to run.

Sailor Moon at #1 NY Times Spot

Well, it is certainly no surprise that the fans of Sailor Moon are happy about the return of the manga, in fact their overwhelming support of the first volume of the manga, published by Kodansha Comics, has placed the revived magical girl title firmly in the New York Times "Best Sellers" list for a 6th week, before that it held the number one spot in the manga category for three weeks in a row. Certainly it seems that the fans have spoken.

In addition, Kodansha announced in a press release on the 15th that:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fullmetal Alchemist VS Fullmetal Alchemist

About two years ago now, I was looking to expand upon some knowledge of anime, and stumbled upon the first re-package of Fullmetal Alchemist. It was a series that I had heard a lot about, and it had recently received a lot of accolades within the anime fandom as being quite possibly the greatest anime ever made.

I of course was skeptical, since that claim had been laid at the feet of several shows over the past decade, and though shows have a last-ability, few of them retain their looks over the years.

So I picked up that first season box set of FMA, and crammed the whole thing in about a week, maybe less. I was working pretty hard hours at the time, and I managed to cram about a disc of the show every day. Thankfully, I didn't have that long of a wait between the re-packaged release of season one, and that of season two. But when I bought it, I went ahead and got the FMA movie as well.

My initial reactions to FMA were amazing, and I can honestly say that it was a show that affected me greatly on several levels; both emotionally, and in the very pit of my fandom. I was moved many times.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Anime Expo 2012

Anime Contents Expo 2012 is now scheduled to take place in the Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Center Exhibition Hall 1, 2. The event which was cancelled this year after the March 11 earthquake, has been announced by the Anime Expo Executive Committee to be on schedule this year.

The event will be held March 31, 2012 (Sat) May 1 to 4 (Sun) 9:00 to 18:00.

It is reported that members of the Committee are grateful for the support of the fans, and wish to make this a great event for 2012.Exhibit recruitment will begin in early january, and tickets for the Expo go on sale in February.

Brave 10 Scheduled for Jan

The new anime Brave 10, finally has a tentative broadcast schedule. According to information, the new action anime, based on the manga of the same name, will begin airing on Animax in January 2012

For more information, or if you just want to look at the pretty pictures, you can check out the official Brave 10 page here --> Brave10

Midwest Anime Convention 2012

Midwest Anime Convention in Chicago has announced the dates and times of the 2012 convention for Lisle/Naperville, IL. to be held on July 6-8th 2012.

You can check out their page here --> Anime Midwest

Remember that early registration is a must for these things, and make sure that if you are in the area, that you support your local con!

Arrietty Official English Trailer

Well, the official trailer for The Borrower Arrietty has been released, and it's certainly an interesting version from the one that I watched just a few months ago. It seems that Disney, in an attempt to capture some audience attention has built up the action and adventure of the movie, and has included a few additional laughs and giggles in the trailer, that would imply a more spunky and comedic Arrietty than the one that we saw in the original version.

Also, it seems that the people at Disney have changed the name from "The Borrower Arrietty" to The Secret World of Arrietty... what the hell people, not to mention; is it just me, or is the voice for Sho a little on the deep side?

Sporting a New Theme

After a long time spent playing around with the layout and theme of Western Otaku, I've made a few changes that I think will work to everyone's benefit... and it's improved the look of the blog by at least a few double digit percentages.

One of the better things that was done, was to improve the layout and look of the mobile version, and to do that required a complete revamp of the blog, but not to worry, these changes are probably for the best, and the old version had out lasted its usefulness in way that I cannot even describe to you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bleach: To 45

So now that the infiltration of the Soul Society is underway, and the team of valiant rescuers are scattered across the realm, the series seems to take a long meandering through the twists and turns of world. The Gotei 13 are called into action—that’s the 13 Court Guard Squads—to quell the invasion of the outsiders, and for the most of this set of 15 episodes that I am reviewing, perceive the band of heroes as nothing more than a vicious band of brigands.

It seems that a lot of time is spent on setting up the introductions for most of the Captains and Lieutenants of the various squads, and what better way to make one’s introduction than to pick a nasty fight.

Some of the most fearsome and also most loathsome Captains appear, and with them their various skills and abilities.

In amongst the chaos, the Soul Society isn’t without its own share of troubles, as it seems that Captain Aizen, a respected and well-loved member of the Soul Society has been murdered, and the investigation is focused in many different directions, but mostly pointing to the timely arrival of Ichigo and his companions.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Seasonal Surprises! and New Anime!

There haven't been that many shows I've been able to keep up with this recent season, and as such I've sort of fallen out of the loop on some of the good stuff, and what is the total garbage of the industry, as we all know there are equal amounts being produced everyday.

So over the past couple of weeks, I've sat down and combed over some of the most recent anime series that have really shone above some of the others, and have been a great viewing experience, and some that I think would be great recommendations for the fans.

Kamisama Dolls
One such anime that has stuck out to me has been the recent series Kamisama Dolls, not to be confused with all the recent kame named anime shows that are springing up left and right this season.

Kamisama Dolls is a show about a boy named Kyohei, that after leaving his village and and moving to Tokyo—and the events that had happened there—is on a date and discovers a bloody corpse in an elevator. When his sister Utao arrives with her kakashi, an ancient wooden god, and informs him that his friend Aki and his kakashi are the ones responsible for the death.

It's a series involving the supernatural and mysterious, and seems to be a somewhat under the radar anime that is being jostled in and around the other "Kami" named anime that are abounding.

Yuru Yuri
Another interesting anime this past season has been the comedy series Yuru Yuri. It's the story of a group of middle school girls that form the "Amusement" club, out of the remains of the former disbanded "Tea Ceremony" club, and spend the better part of their time looking for ways to be amused.

The main characters are funny, witty and there's more than enough comedy to keep one interested and coming back for more. Not to mention that it has very cute soft styled animation that seems to set out a tranquil vibe. Though the show sports of a lot of innuendo, and even some major yuri themes, it's still a pretty good watch.

Shinryaku!? Ika Musume
Shinryaku!? Ika Musume has hit the small screen again, and her "fish-out-of-water" antics are just as adoring and funny as ever. Her desire to conquer humanity is an unending drive, and it causes her more than her share of humorous adventures, and mishaps. In addition, Ika-chan has an amazing ability to adapt to most of her environment, and the "English" speaking episode is quite possibly the highlight of the season, so far.

There has been an English DVD of the First Season released, and though the series sports major puns and gags that are easily translatable in the Japanese, they fail majorly in both the dub, and the sub work for the releases. It's a major disappointment, that makes Ika-chan seem more annoying than cute and adorable, and everything that comes remotely close to having an "ika" sound in the original dialogue has been substituted for "Squid" and "Squiddy" style inserts. It's so terrible that it has me beside myself with anxiety and frustration at the assumptions of the industry, and were I to fork over the cash for it, would be something I would watch "RAW" and read the more accurate English script from a transposed fan-sub.

It has to be the gravest mishandling of a show's English release in America for the past five years.

Another great show that I've taken a keen interest in, is Working'!!, the follow-up season of a very enjoyable and satisfying anime produced by A-1 Pictures, and is chocked full of humor, random happenings, and all centered on the staff of Wagnaria, a Japanese family restaurant. I had some mixed feelings about the way the last season ended, and when I heard that there was to be a second season, I was a little relieved; hoping that there would be some more opportunity for some character relationship closure.

One thing the show isn't lacking, is characters... and while it can get a little repetitive seeing them every episode in the same setting, it is a rather refreshing anime, that takes us out of the norm of robots, and warfare, and civil disobedience in the face of an oppressive possible future.

One really refreshing anime that I never thought of myself as being a fan of, has been the new Gundam series by Sunrise. Oh, now I know what you're thinking... Giant robots, intergalactic warfare, humanity of the brink of annihilation, and you are right on all accounts. But what if there were a series that managed to combine more modern anime themes into the series, and then twist them on their ear?

Gundam AGE
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE is exactly the sort of anime that takes the average cliche elements of the Gundam franchise, and adds a little bit of difference to it. Not only does the series begin with our heroes as children, but has been reported to span three generations, which means that we will eventually watch humanity's struggle against the UE—the malevolent alien mecha entity—through the eyes of three different heroes.

The first episode is pretty standard fare; it sets up the scenario and establishes the that whole, plight of mankind thing, before diving into the school days of what would seem to have a more slice-of-life feel to it. In fact, if I didn't know any better, I swear that this was a slice-of-life, with Gundams! Very cool and interesting stuff. I look forward to more episodes, and I hope that if you are a hard-core anti-gundam fan, then you will give this one a shot.