Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Return of Shohan USA

For those that do not know, Western Otaku began its life as an off-shoot to Shohan USA; a community forum established in 2009 as a place for fan involvement in disscussing anime and manga. This blog was intended as a place where I could examine, indepth, the nuances of that medium, and offer a casual and entertaining look into the Western J-pop experience.

Sadly, Shohan USA began to suffer low hits and low member moral, and in late Spring of this year, was permenantly closed.

Do in part however to the overwhelming loyalty of some of its members, the forum was opened for limited use to only the members in mid June, and by the beginning of August, the traffic counts began to soar.

In a remarkable reversal, member posting began to once again climb, and the decision to reopen the forum was made.

Over the past week, staff members has revamped the entire layout of the message board, and have ensured that it not only runs smoother, but features many new additions to the already massive offerings for fans.

In an unprecedented turn, the staff has lifted the exclusion of guest posting, and has enabled a public chat presence on the forum. Members familiar with the site will notice the addition of expanded polls sections, as well as an all new anb modified Role Play area.

It goes without saying that Shohan USA has been greatly missed, and that its return is bigger and better than ever, as it will always remain this blog's bigger brother.

As a fan of anime and manga, you are encouraged to check it out, and join our community. We look forward to seeing you there!


Friday, August 12, 2011

15,000 Hits and Studio Ghibli!

First of all, it's been awesome that the blog has been getting continuous hits these days. I don't know what it is that keeps the readers coming back, what with my long absences and all, and I know it surely mustn't be for my witty a-hole remarks at times.

I am very pleased that we have survived so long, and have maintainted a relative high position as an Anime and Manga blog.

So thanks for the 15,000 hits, and I hope you keep coming back for more.
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The Borrower Arrietty

There isn't a whole lot I can say about The Borrower Arrietty without getting too in depth of the story; but what I can say, is that it was a very refreshing and delightful watch.

I really enjoyed the depth perception of the film, and the use of accurate size reference. The score is amazing, and though the characters have a rather familiar feel to them, you quickly get lost in the world of the Borrowers.

The story isn't overly convoluted like a lot of anime movies, and the location pretty much never changes once we arrive at the house where Sho gets taken to await his upcoming heart surgery.

While there, Sho discovers Arrietty and her father "borrowing" from the house, and it doesn't take long for Arrietty's father to believe themselves in great peril from not only the boy, but the rest of the humans in the house.

Concerned that they may be the last of the borrowers in the world, Arriety's family must come to terms with their own future; the future of their kind, and the possibility that they may have to abandon their home to venture further out into the huge world.

The animation is brilliantly intoxicating to look at, and while the character designs look a little familiar to us, you won't be disappointed at the film in the least.

I would recommend The Borrower Arrietty over many of the shows and films being produced lately, and I would be more than happy to have a sit down and watch this with my family.

This is one film that I will want my kids to see.