Friday, April 29, 2011

I hate End of Month Transitions

So, I work as an accountant, and every month we have to hustle and bustle to get all the zeros balanced out before we open the books on the new month, and wouldn't you know it; it seriously eats into my anime and manga time.

Now, I'm not opposed to just relaxing a little, but there is a huge part of me that just can't quite accept that I have to do something else besides watch my favorite shows.

Right now, I am backed up so far in my anime and manga, that I might as well be trying to dig my way out of a super-max prison with a spoon.

It's times like these, that happen every time, that I have to just sit back and relax and hope that this month will transition into the next as smoothly as possible, otherwise it will just be a massive stressful headache, and I'll be running for the painkiller.

I would have already had a few more reviews up on here, but when you have to hold down the job and the home and everything else in between it seems that things will inevitably suffer, and it just so happens to be my anime, and my manga.

I'm not all that upset, but every once in a while I do want to just rant about it a little. For those that were probably expecting a nice review or a topic on the fandom, it looks like I've hit my limit this month, and so aside from this brief scribble, I'll have to put my junk up for the month of May.

So as a farewell to the month of April, I leave you with this cute re-worked Trigun video with a nice audio sample from Team America: World Police.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Nichijou - Episode 01

While I wouldn't go so far as to say that nichijou is a typical school comedy anime, I wouldn't call it normal in the least. This show has nothing but random craziness written all over it from start to finish, and while it lacks any sort of plot; it certainly carries on in some big traditions that have come before it.

Based on the manga "Everyday Life" by Keiichi Arawi, and animated by Kyoto Animation, this new series from Japan is a blast back to the anime of absurdities and insanity.

If at first when you sit down to watch Nichijou and you find yourself harking back to some of the before-time anime titles like Pani Poni Dash or even Azumanga Daioh, then you are certainly headed in the right direction; take it a few more steps into the realms of the unreal, and you are getting hotter by the minute.

The story follows a hand full of students at the "Prefectual High School" through their average everyday lives, that are anything but average, or ordinary.

 The Oddity of Nichijou is not that just flat out odd occurrences happen, or that an android girl with a giant wind-up key in her back collides with a boy and a massive explosion erupts, never mind the fact that the eldest son of a farmer is seen arriving to school atop his goat; dressed as if he is the wealthiest and most up-tight of aristocracies.

Never mind any of that, and you'll soon begin to see the humorous appeal right away of this hair-brained comedy.

I'd like to tell you straight up that this is a show you can quite literally veg out to, but you won't need me to tell you that after the first 10 minutes; because chances are you will either have walked away with the same look on your face you had when you tried to sit through Lucky Star, or you'll be wishing that you already had the second and third episodes to watch.

The show has hilarious moments too, and while it won't do me any good naming the characters--I think it's best you figure them out for yourselves--you will certainly find them each to be astoundingly unique.

If you have survived the show long enough to get to the infamous wiener catching scene, then hopefully you will--like me--be rewarded with a huge side-splitting laugh that had me holding my stomach, and wondering how one squid shaped lunch object could stay aloft for such a long time without breaking the natural laws of gravity.

There are certainly dozens of tiny things to catch through out this first episode, and while like I said before the plot is pretty much gone with the proverbial wind; it at least does set up the fact that these passel of girls are on their first day of high school, and even though they don't really do anything spectacular--lest you count making it through the opening ceremony--it is at least consistent with all of the gags, and really doesn't leave you wondering where one funny moment left off, and why the next one has barged in.

Somethings however are just so mind altering random and freakishly bizarre that I have to wonder if the creator wasn't found face down beside a canister of gasoline, having sniffed himself stupid before going to work on some of this.

For example; the goat riding pretty-boy eldest son of the farmer family, is annoying, and obviously not just to me. One girl in particular has a method of dealing with his preppy wannabee ass by simply pulling some random firearm from her cartoon-style hammer-space and blowing him away like Dirty Harry.

Though do not be alarmed folks, the bullet to the forehead, and the splatter of blood, and the dying fall must have just been for dramatic effect, since he seems to recover, and pick up his snootiness almost immediately.

I really am not sure what to make of this first episode of Nichijou, on some level I m glad it's so weird and strange, and on the other I'm a little scared it may take off and be a huge hit and then everything Japan makes will be a carbon copy of this title. Dear God, let's not forget how long they drove the contortionist black haired ghost girl thing into the ground after the movie Ringu!

All in all though, it was a pretty fun watch; I felt entertained--which is pretty much all I ever expect from my anime--and I didn't need to fondle myself to remove any residual afterglow from seeing a show sporting too many boobs and panties.

I feel pretty sure that for right now, there aren't that many shows that can make a show where the androids wind-up key is solely for launching her big toe either... so on that note, I really do look forward to seeing what sort of insanity and chaos this thing will manage to unleash on the nerds of the world.

Now then, if you'll excuse me, I have a Mocha Java Chiller in my freezer calling out to me, louder than the next Dragon box volume, so while I go nom on that, you can go watch this show, or do something constructive that only nerds know how to do.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Funimation Beta is "GO" for Launch!

Early in the afternoon on April 14th I happened upon my email, and noticed that FUNimation had sent me a little "something", and discovered it was my official invite to finally cast off the shackles of standard site service, and join the all new FUNimation Beta. Not only is it nearing the end of its beta testing phase, it is now ready to handle the load of full usage.

This is not just a forum/message board either, it is a full service social site featuring integrated digital streaming, with community functionality. Think Facebook meets Hulu and you are getting close.

The launch of the site took place just a day before the announcement that the old FUNimation message board will be closing its doors April 28th, and while many of the fans of the forum are disheartened to see the old playground go the way of the dinosaur, it certainly didn't stop them from jumping ship as soon as the doors of the Beta were swung wide open on Thursday.

There are still many glitches and minute bugs that are being worked out, and there is a section dedicated to reporting those to the site builders. In addition, members of the site can make suggestions and offer advice on features, and things they feel will give the community boards a better feel.

It has been promised by the administration there, that the FUNi-Beta forums would also feature more involvement from the moderator team, but since the doors were opened we are still wondering where to spot them at, and how to really tell them apart from the casual members.

It isn't everyday that a new social site opens its doors, and I for one and still reeling from the notion that I have to abandon my 3000+ post count at the old site in exchange for this newbie one.

The video streams are not much of an improvement, though navigating them seems a little better. For those with a weak internet connection, you will not be satisfied in the least with the speed of the viewing, and will encounter stall and stall while watching your One Piece clips.

For those nerds interested in taking a peek at what the minds at Flower Mound have been up to, you can check out the new social site here:

FUNimation Beta

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Where To Meet Otaku Girls

So I was checking out the statistics here on Western Otaku, and came across something very fascinating. It seems that there have been some pretty specific searches that have--against all odds--lead some visitors to this site.

One such search phrase was so overwhelmingly specific and so abundantly otaku, that I just couldn't resist writing an article about it. So who ever you were that entered in that search term, this blog post is for you!

So if one is a fellow male anime and manga nerd, or a hard-core otaku--I use that term loosely here--where, and how does one go about finding, or meeting a member of the opposite sex? The truth is that, it is not easy.

What I'm going to present here is a close look at the other "dark side of the otaku fandom".

Now then, lets assume that as a fan of anime and manga one automatically falls into something similar to the famous video gamer curse; that phenomenon that is rarely overcome in the life of the average gamer that mandates he will be single and mate-less for as long as said gamer is a gamer.

If we assume that being a member of the otaku fandom is similar, then we have to assume that as long as a fan of anime and manga is a fan, then it seems pretty clear from casual observations that the otaku will be single.

This is all speculation mind you, there is no absolute fact regarding whether or not a person will be stuck in the mode of a single existence for the rest of their life; but it won't be an easy road to romantic success.

The question: "Where To Meet Otaku Girls" is a tough one since it's multi-faceted and not something that one can simply point in a direction and say, "Why, right over there of course."

We already know what it is that separates the sexes, but when it comes to nerds, the dividing line becomes way more refined. Since nerds usually only care about their nerdish habits more than they actually care about procreation of the species (well the girls at least, the guys are still horny, and likely to dry hump a dish-towel if it has a cute face drawn on it).

Otaku by habit are anti-sociable creatures, save for their meager anime clubs, and those few times a year when they brave the fjords of society and mingle with thousands of their kind at conventions--lost in the nameless sea of faces and such.

Some otaku are still in the shadow with regards to their fandom, and therefore are not likely to draw any unwanted attention to their habits, therefore don't go around shouting in a megaphone that they are an anime and manga nerd.

Then it's been my fortune to encounter several otaku girls that want nothing to do with otaku boys, and choose instead to fall into the loving embrace of a fellow female nerd. In fact, of the hand-full of female otaku that I actually know, more than half are lesbian. So the odds are greatly stacked against the male nerd looking for a relationship.

The biggest problem with a question about where to find otaku girls, is that most of the boys that are looking have two things monumentally against them right away. First, they are probably just out of their puberty years, and have raging hormones that their parents really need to try and better explain. And two, most likely because they are anime and manga nerds, they have a fucked up sense of what a girl is supposed to be like.

I'm gonna let you in on a secret here; anime girls are NOT ANYTHING like a real girl. Real girls probably won't call you Onii-chan, they will not want to make you your stinking lunch in a bento, they get hostile when you classify them, and they probably will not match anywhere near--and I mean within this galactic neighborhood near--to the image of that cute high school girl that you wank to every night.

As long as you--an otaku male--continue to objectify and classify the opposite sex, then you fail before you even start. Girls are not objects, they are not fetishes, they are not a nice ass in a short skirt, they are not a "B", a "C", or a "D" cup. They are not your fantasy, your wet-dreams, or a substitute for lonely night when your friends don't feel like playing World of Warcraft. Girls are flesh and blood free-thinking individuals, they will do any and everything contrary to what you imagine them to do, and they will do it with such a grace and finesse that you will be stunned into silence when you see it.

Now, chances are you imagine you are some sort of singular case here, that you are alone and no one else in the world could possibly have it as hard as you, and you are an idiot for thinking that. Really, you are a huge dynamic moron! Don't think that just because you got a little tingle in your testicles because of some hormones and you finally discovered that girls are a good thing, that you are by yourself in your affliction.

Every male goes through this, it's just life. But with life comes some maturity that you as a human being have to undergo first. See, chances are if you are under the age of 18 or 20, then you are not mentally ready for a relationship, since you are under the impression that a quick screw will cure your blues, and your balls. Little do you know, that those girls are already past that, and aren't looking for a sack of testicles and a engorged penis to fill their lives. They are looking for a man, a fellow companion, and a potential mate. Regardless of whether or not they are an otaku, a gamer nerd, or just a girl in class that always chews the end of her pencil.

Chances are if you are an otaku that is single, you are going to read this and think, "Horse-shit! It's impossible!" and you are 100% right. For you, it is impossible, because you are still looking at girls as an object of your unbridled lust, and as an outlet for your ejaculate. Hey, I'm not trying to rattle any cages, I'm giving this to you as straight as possible.

If you want to meet an otaku girl, then you first have to go where they go, you have to be open and available, you have to be willing to be their friend--even if it means you NEVER get to fuck their holes silly--and you have to stop thinking like a dumb-ass!

Some of you are probably children of the internet age, and think that you can find romance by means of the keyboard, and while you can... you have to be prepared for a longer road to acceptance, and commitment, a longer path to trust and love.

If you want to meet otaku girls, then get out of your house, go to the anime store, go to the arcade, go hang out with otaku friends, explore internet message boards, and be yourself. be their friend, be their confidant, and put your penis back in your pants long enough to understand that any sort of lasting relationship will NEVER EVER EVER crank up after just one private chat, or a voice chat, or a video chat.

You yourself are your biggest set-back to finding happiness, and it's up to you to change your own world.

Before you leave this site after reading this, and if you've managed to read this far, then let me greatly encourage you. I speak from personal experience here when I say that time and patience are always on your side. The faster you try to make things happen, the slower time crawls on you, and when you take things slow; then more good things will happen.

How do I know these things?

Well, as a fellow gamer/anime/manga/film nerd... I know these things, because I've been engaged to my fiance for 4 months as of two days ago, and will be married in less than a year; and wouldn't you know it, can you believe it; she's just as much of an anime and manga and video gamer nerd as I am.

I have faith in you to be the best person you can be, and I have confidence that you can do more than just find a girl. If you are willing to work harder at making her happy--harder than finding all the volumes of an out of print manga--then you will be just fine.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Lotte no Omocha

So, the weekend happened; and wouldn't you know it, a new anime hit the broadcast.

Now this isn't just any new anime, it's none other than the new taste (forgive the pun) on everyone's tongue; Lotte no Omocha. The one that everyone has probably already heard about, or if you haven't then you will soon.

Chances are what you heard about this show is absolutely right, and for those of you that haven't heard anything about it, then chances are it will not be your thing; and if it is, then it's gonna be one of those titles, I really want to see the fans in the fandom explain their reasons for liking it.

Lotte no Omocha is the story of 10 year old succubus Princess Lotte that lives in the Creature Realm, and it is during this time in her life that she must engage in the first consumption of life-seed from a male in order to begin her path to succubus-hood. The complication arises from the fact that Princess Lotte has a major hatred of men and refuses to comply.

The second complication, is that life seed is obviously something that must be extracted from a male through "sucking", which when you take Succubus and add Life Seed the result is obviously male semen.

Thinking that she can outwit her instructor, and get around the act; she announces that if a human male can be found she will suck his life seed, and fulfill her role as a succubus, but since human males are the stuff of fairy tails in the Creature Realm, Lotte is certain that she can rest easy.

In an attempt to open the World Tree which has the power to bridge realms, Lotte's instructor Judith is lost through the portal, and enters the Realm of Men. While there, she encounters a boy and his little sister who is on his way to a job interview; seizing this opportunity, Judith informs the boy that she has a job for him which will pay 500,000 a month (not sure if that's monopoly money or bottle caps).

Meanwhile Lotte manages to Forest Gump her way through opening the World Tree and pull them back, with the boy falling into her unexpectedly waiting arms.

To be honest I've seen much worse, aside from the opening 8 minute bath scene with cleverly hidden body parts, and enough naked back-side to last me for the rest of the season; and despite the preamble that came with this show last week from a few hard-core naysayers, the show is paced pretty decently.

The biggest issue is the premise, which takes a huge quantum leaping hurdle to get over, but hey if the fans of some of the more modern anime this past season or two can handle some of what was broadcast, then this is practically nothing.

My biggest complaint is that this is an otaku perv's wet dream. As it does have a 10 year old for a lead, and the premise of giving head to a wayward guy. So there is that, but if you can get around the plot, get around the off-handed clearly alluded to semen references, then you might enjoy this on some small level.

I personally, haven't seen anything that has personally offended, or made my skin scrawl, aside from the blatant age of the character. But knowing these types of anime like I do, I find it hard that we are really going to see Princess Lotte on her knees at the end of this series giving a blow-job.

So there you have it, a first hand look at this somewhat controversial anime, and my thoughts on it. I hope I haven't spoiled too much for anyone, and I hope for those that want to watch it, it makes all your dreams come true.

No if you'll excuse me, I need to go get back to anime watching and manga reading.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Out of Coffee, So Early In The Morning!

People often ask me how I have time to juggle my busy work day, and my life as an anime aficionado; and my usual reply is that I just do what I can. Well... mostly.

The funny thing about being a thirty-something anime hobbyist, is that I get to blend the best of two worlds together. I get to work a full time job, hang with real people, and go on complete lunatic anime and manga spending sprees when the mood strikes me.

I'm not that different from your average anime and manga enthusiast, except that I probably do way less whining and crying about my place in the world. I've run out of excuses, and don't really care if the other nerds don't like what I watch. In fact, I try to keep my distance from those so-called-fans, that just hide behind their arrogant attitudes.

I sometimes envy the younger fans of anime, and sometimes it is hard to not be just a little resentful over how they can laze away their days just cramming as much anime and manga as they want, and assuming that because they cram mass quantities, or memorize the voice actors in every title imaginable that I honestly give a flipping shit. Big whoop! So they know who voiced what character in Cutey Honey, my life is now complete. (that's sarcasm in case you missed it)

Right now, it's about 3:20am and I have to get up for work in 3 1/2 hours. Well, it probably helped that I had a nap earlier in the evening, but still, it really blows that I suddenly got a case of insomnia, and will probably spend my Friday work day feeling like warmed over death.

I was wanting to write a bit about some of the new manga that I'd been reading; but sadly, I haven't really been reading anything all that new; except for maybe Gate 7 and Cardcaptor Sakura, but then CCS isn't new, and the first one only has 3 chapters out so far, and there isn't enough of it available to know if it's going to be any good or not.

I did flip through my new copy of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-Chan, and thought to myself how vastly different it was from the mini-mini-episodes that got produced for the internet. It also looks like something a grade-school student doodled. But I was told by a fellow nerd that "That was the point!". I can still feel that invisible finger being poked in my chest with each word.

I really want to get finished with what I'm reading now, so I can move on to some other stuff. It seems like my manga reading has backed up on me as bad as my anime watching has. I have right now 28 volumes of manga that I have yet to crack the cover on. Well, it could be worse. I could have an overwhelming addiction to buying the junk, and plop down a Hamilton every time I walk into a book store.

Well, it's almost time to try and get some sleep, I just looked at the clock.

Damn! 3:32am.

I'm gonna need some strong coffee in the morning if I expect to make it through.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bleach: The First Fifteen

It isn't much of a secret that I have been somewhat of an anti-popularity person, I rarely give in to the hype of a series; and I usually have only two methods of appreciating some form of anime or manga. One is to let the hype run its course, and the other is to catch the train ahead of the mayhem.

Bleach is really no exception to that rule, which also falls somewhere in the personal category of "never start something you can't finish". Recently though, that has seemed to change.

For several years I've avoided such big names in the anime industry as Bleach, Naruto or One Piece simply from concern that the company that holds the license would fail to release all available episodes, and I as a devoted fan would be distraught and hate-filled. However, this past year I had a brush with the strands of fate, and ended up watching the first couple of episodes of Bleach and found myself thoroughly entertained.

At first, the idea of ever starting a series several hundred episodes in length and still going strong on Japanese television, wasn't something that I was all that keen on doing; and the fact that it was listed around the anime industry as one of "The Big Three" was even worse. It would mean that its fans would be more than the typical hellions that frequented the anime and manga message boards and blogs, and who often made the other fans of anime, regret that they shared a common bond of interest in the world of anime.

Fortunately for me however, I did take a small plunge, when I was hosting an anime theme week for an internet forum; and Bleach had been selected as the series.

I watched two episodes and instantly enjoyed what I had seen, well enjoyed it enough that I went right out the next day and bought the complete first season.

The set has literally sat on my shelf un-opened for over a year and a half, along with more than a dozen other shows that I just simply have not gotten the opportunity to watch yet. So at the start of this month, I found myself between some season sets, and anime shows; and since I'd almost stuffed myself to the gills on Moe and Comedy and Magical Girl titles, I thought a little action was what the doctor ordered.

Turns out I was right. A little action and adventure was all that I needed, and now that I have successfully watched through the first season, I'm going to offer my own take on the franchise, and review the series 15 episodes at a time.

Hey, I'd love to do an episode by episode review; but holy crap, what do you people think my fingers are made of...steel? I'd be reduced to a babbling idiot by the time I tried to review every single episode, sheesh!

Anyway, I started Bleach much the same way I started Dragon Ball, and that was with an attitude that I was not going to be taking it all that serious. I mean there were enough fans out there that already took some of these shows seriously enough for everyone; and I for one didn't feel like getting that "in bed" with a show.

One of the things that attracted me right away to Bleach was the mixture of humor and action; also one of the things that I feel as a viewer will keep a show from taking itself too seriously, and even-though there are times almost any show will have a bit of comedy, it does at least off-set the sheer overwhelming action with a little absurdity.

The concept of the show was one that sort of always had me a little on the confused side, until I actually sat down to watch it; and then found it somewhat easier to follow. Which unlike a lot of the shows, that I've seen is definitely a good thing. Some shows start off so buried under the weight of what they are about to do, that you feel an urge to push and shove.

I would like to think that Bleach is more or less the story of Ichigo--our main protagonist--and the trials he faces on his road to destiny. I said I'd like to think this, but after the first four episodes, it becomes abundantly clear that Tite Kubo the creator had something far more engrossing planned, as characters begin making appearances left and right.

I've always felt that "less is more" in a lot of instances, and there are times when I'll be the first to say that isn't always the best thing. The fact that a lot of characters begin showing up, even secondary characters is a real good thing.

So, like I said, the concept of Bleach, for those that don't know, is the story of high school student Ichigo, who has the ability to see spirits, encounters by chance one day a Soul Reaper named Rukia.

As a Soul Reaper, Rukia is tasked with sending wayward souls on to the afterlife of the Soul Society, and protecting them against other Souls that have gone bad and turned into soul devourers called Hollows.

It's while attempting to prevent such a creature from harming his family, that Ichigo acquires Rukia's Soul Energy and takes on the role of Substitute Soul Reaper, and begins rather reluctantly at first to take on Assignments.

Rukia on the other hand, has weakened herself to practically nothing, as Ichigo took a little more of her power than she obviously was expecting; and now has to life on Earth amongst humans--enter some high school angst.

For pretty much the entire first 15 episodes, things are more or less building up to a major arc, all that has happened to this point is just a few small two or three episode arcs, but nothing that takes the series into the about-face that comes later on.

For all her time that she has spent on earth, and for committing the sin of giving her powers to another, Rukia is in deep trouble with the Soul Society, and faces the harshest penalty known to exist.

However, from what we know of Rukia, she is pretty stubborn, and while this impending doom is right around the corner, it doesn't stop her from continuing on with what she is doing, with little to no regard for herself.

For the first 15 episodes, I learned rather quickly how I was going to best appreciate the show, and which characters were going to be my likables, my favorites, or those that I wish would trip and hang themselves by their shirt collar. But all in all, I am not disappointed in Bleach as a whole anyway.

Some small things do grind on my nerves, most importantly, the airheaded Otohime, and at times Kon. The ending songs are not my style, and I just skip those. The DVDs that Viz released seem somewhat poor in quality, but after a bit you don't seem to notice, unless you are just one of those anal types that loves to pick and poke at everything with a little flaw; and that's just sad.

Bleach could definitely stand to use some better pacing at the start, and the episodes are too damn short. Just when you are good and well in an episode it ends, and episodes that are 22 minutes long are a crime against the fan-base when all others are average 25.

By the beginning of the next 15 episodes, I have become nice and hooked in the show, and I find it a nice refreshing breath of air that those fans of Bleach don't argue over the petty things in the show, just their hatred of filler, and in all honesty; I just don't understand their fear of filler, and why it get's on their nerves so bad. I mean, if the manga wasn't around they would never know and probably be happy little dorks; but hey, if they want to stroke out at 25 from all the yelling about filler, then that's not my problem.

I'd love to think that Viz will finish releasing Bleach, but I've watched a few too many shows get some steam and then diminish quickly. Though I do think that airing on Cartoon Network has been a definite help for this show.

For now, I'm gonna grab me some goodies, and get to watching some more, and hopefully get another review out soon, while it is still fresh in my memory.