Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Travis Willingham: Friend or Foe?

I want you to take a long close look at the picture here of voice actor, Travis Willingham. I want you to notice the perfect three day stubble, the thick brown hair, and the eyes of a man that can see the inside parts of a woman's soul that you will never know.

I want you to look and behold the most despicable man that I know of, and will most likely never actually know.

A man, whose very name is capable of sending me into crazed fury, and a man that will haunt me for the rest of my life, and most likely into the beyond.

Now you as a fan of Travis Willingham are no doubt wondering; why all the Willingham hatred, right?

Well the answer is a complicated one, and it goes back for several years in my fandom. Though in all honesty, it goes back to just a few years ago when I met my fiance, and I discovered a dark and hidden secret that I never knew would grow into the cancerous festering malice that I now hold for one man.

Unlike most Otaku, or anime nerds, I've managed to do the near impossible; I've managed to snag and engage myself to an amazing woman, and fellow lover of anime and manga, as well as video games. It's a feat that few other nerds have been able to pull off, and I count my lucky stars on a continual basis because of it.

However, there were some things that came with the engagement, that I figured would work themselves out over time, and one of them was my unbridled, singular hatred for Travis Willingham.

There isn't really anything wrong with Travis, he seems like a nice guy, he's pretty popular, and hell, he even has his own girlfriend (Laura Bailey). So what's the problem then?

The problem is that aside from being everything I am not, aside from having a full head of hair, which I do not, and despite his fantastic complexion, his is the one name on the lips of my fiance that will send me into the deepest darkest pit of depression, and jealous rage I've ever known.

I figured my petty jealousy was just a Summer thing, and that I would grow out of it as time passed. Wrong!

See, the fact of the matter is, my fiance is a fan of English VAs, she has an omnibus of names and VA film history in her head, and can recall their most minute of roles in mere nanoseconds. And the one name that finds its way cycled over and over again unexpectedly to the top of the list is of course, Travis Willingham.

Most times, it's not so bad, and my male ego isn't threatened in the slightest. But there are other times, when Travis Willingham and the words "amazing", and "awesome" come into play that I begin plotting my evil schemes, and the super villain in me works its way to the surface. Despite the fact that those words are usually only associated with the voices he's performed, for some pretty amazing and awesome characters. It still doesn't really matter, I hear "Travis Willingham does an awesome job playing Roy Mustang." and my testosterone injected brain only hears, "Travis Willingham is so amazing blah blah blah... must say the name Travis Willingham... blah blah blah... Oooooh Travis." And you get the picture.

Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure that Travis Willingham isn't actually going to come knocking on my front door, and whisk my fiance away to parts unknown, and have rapturous passionate relations with her... I hope. But it's the idea that as a man, and as a fiance, the last thing I want to know is that there is any man out there that is "awesome" or "amazing". Even if he saved an entire orphanage with one hand, while ending world hunger with the other. Ya know?

Truth is, I don't actually know Travis Willingham enough to say if I like him or dislike him. He is a great voice actor, and he has done amazing work. But as a soon to be husband, I have to lay down the law here. As a man whose only course in life is survival of the fittest, I have to flex my manly muscles here, and putteth forth the smack!

I'm letting it be known Travis that you have your own woman. Keep your hands off of mine, or there will be no end to the amount of hurt your world will get. I will gladly stand in line at some convention for five hours for a signature, just to give you a death glare—I'll keep the signature for my fiance—and then smirk like a true rival. I'll willingly buy all your merchandise for my fiance, and then secretly stare at it in the middle of the night loathing it. I'll pass notes to Laura and tell her that you made a pass at Carrie Savage that one time at band camp... oh don't think, I won't ruin your life!

Travis Willingham... you have been warned.

FMA:B OVA Collection in May

You wanted it, and you got it! FUNimation Entertainment announced that May 22, 2012 the Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood OVA Collection will be available on DVD/BD combo pack, and not a moment too soon to be honest.

I have already seen the OVAs and I loved every moment of them, they make a great bookend to the series, and they give some real depth to the characters featured in them.

Unlike the OVA collection for the first series, this one isn't going to be a 30 minute DVD with some slapped together crap, and one actual OVA... this is the real deal.

Funimation, I cease fire for now. You did something right.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

WO Examines: Another

Every season there are several shows that for one reason or another, simply do not make the cut, and hard as I try to keep up with numerous shows, it's just impossible to make time in my work week, or other anime viewing to follow along after more than three or four running shows per season, and considering the selection of really good shows this time around, the competition was going to be fierce for my beloved time slots.

When I started hearing about this show some time back I was eager and expectant, as well as a bit apprehensive. I mean, I like a good supernatural thriller, but there were lines that I wasn't sure that I as a fan of the horror genre wanted to cross anymore in my fandom. Shows like Higurashi and Claymore, and even Shiki were some of the shows that left a real taste of blood in my mouth, and not in a really good and entertaining way either.

But there has always been things about a good mystery thriller that has drawn me in, and one of the things that I hoped would happen with Another.

Luckily, after just one episode of Another, I was instantly hooked, and it quickly became the top tier of the shows I was going to follow this season as they're aired.

The plot of Another isn't all that complicated to start off with, and slowly gains its momentum as the show progresses, which is a good thing. I mean, we certainly wouldn't want a bunch of thrills and chills and spills within the first fifteen minutes now would we?

The story revolves around a now somewhat famous story in the town of Yomiyama, and the death of a middle school student from class 3-3 in 1972. According to the story, the girl died in an accident, and was later seen by a student in her class, and then eventually the teachers and faculty began behaving as if she were there, going so far as to set out a chair for her at the class graduation.

26 years later in 1998, the same class has now become the focal point of what seems to be a recurring curse, and by happenstance, Koichi Sakakibara transfers into the class admits a ton of whispers, rumors, and the growing story of the girl who died.

While going to the school, Koichi meets a girl named Mei, a strangely quiet and aloof classmate that wears a patch over her left eye, and seems to the audience to fit every description of either a ghost or a bringer of serious shit.

Now I have to make this clear right away. One thing this show has plenty of, is time. It takes its time building up the suspense, and it takes its time developing the story, in fact this is probably one of the best stories I've seen in an anime in a long time, simply for the way it is delivered.

Additionally, there isn't much in the way of out-right gore or violence in the first several episodes. In fact there isn't even really a death until somewhere around the 4th episode mark, and when it happens, you will be stunned, you will be disturbed, and you'll be glad for the use of dark lighting and shadows.

If you're only interested in this show for the guro aspect, so you can whack-off to people getting butchered, then sit the hell down, and find something else to do with your life. But if you are interested in seeing a new type of murder mystery, a thriller, a horror story dancing hand in hand with the unexplained, then grab some popcorn and gather round the TV set.

So far, as of this article, there has been 7 episodes aired, and I'm almost caught up to the broadcast. I'm hoping that the series maintains its fantastic sense of direction, and that it doesn't have too many gruesome deaths. I'm less about that these days. But anything is better than the children of Hinamizawa constantly going at it like a bunch of fucking loons. Seriously.

I recommend this series to anyone that loves a good mystery thriller, or a good classic horror story. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go find a pony figurine to huddle in the corner with, because I think Hey! Answerman's Brian Hanson, just found some of the stuff I wrote about him on the bathroom stall.

Bleach Anime Coming to a Close

In a hot piece of news today, it was announced that the Bleach anime series will be concluding its run on TV. The final episode is set to air on March 27, and its timeslot will be filled by an anime adaptation of the Naruto spinoff "Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth".

It was no secret that Bleach was losing its time slot to Rock Lee, but the complete cancellation of the series is quite shocking. Bleach has been slowly declining in popularity, and apparently has been eclipsed in rankings by the newer shonen series Toriko, but this cancellation makes me wonder if it was doing worse than I had originally imagined. After all, the manga itself was set to enter final story arc soon, so the anime adaptation would not have been too far behind.

The idea that Bleach may never receive a properly animated ending is frustrating as a fan, but there is a bit of hope. For a series as massive as Bleach, it's entirely possible that we may see the resurrection of the series with the cancellation of the manga.

So hit your messaging boards and anime groups, and get ready for some bitching. If you thought that fanboys were vocal about the filler beforehand, just wait until they learn they can blame the demise of the series on it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

News and Stuff: 001 - Apps, Twilight, Arrietty and Magica

Okay, so I'm gonna try to make some summaries of a few things that I came across this morning while looking for something interesting to post about, and there are a couple of things that don't deserve to have a whole post made about them, but they do probably deserve to have a mention, so I'm creating this News and Stuff section to lump sum some of the bits and pieces of things that I think you might want to know about.

First up, is the new FUNimation App that I've been hearing about, and while I know this isn't anything new for those of us that have a smartphone, or a tablet, this is just one more way that the folks at FUNi are milking their property a little more at a time.

I'm sure we are all familiar with the Crunchyroll app by now; and if you aren't then maybe you should read more of the internet. But like me, that has portable devices, mobile apps, and all that nice cool stuff, I am one of those people that fins it really bothersome to try and watch an episode of anime, or a show on my phone or tablet. Granted the tablet is easier to see, but mine is wi-fi only, and I'm not really sure I want to take a drive to McDonald's just to watch an episode of Devil May Cry.

It hasn't even been announced what platforms the new app is going to available for, and while I have no doubt, you iPhone bastards will get first dibs, I'm less inclined to have yet another app to junk up my mobile storage that I'll use once, say, "Oh that was cute." and never use it again.

~ ~ ~

It's official, the young girls of the world are frakked in the head. I have no idea why in the name of Bram Stoker's butt-hole, we'd have not only a series of craptastic novels that falsely depict vampires, but then go so far as to make it into a graphic novel. It just irks me.

For one, I will slap the living hell out of anyone that even dares to call this ilk manga, I swear I will. This is not manga. It's garbage, and the whole idea of having this piece of rubbish sit along side the greats of manga makes me want to puke.

I'm fine if you want to have a picture-book of Edward and Bella playing out a fantasy of bizarre undead love, but please for the love of Anne Rice... do it where it belongs.

Of course now that I've said that, Amazon has begun listing the sequel New Moon graphic novel series on the site, and I'm sure at least in their warehouse it isn't pretentiously sitting side by side with actual real manga, but is in a box of foam, waiting of an eager girl to order it, so she can imagine herself as the idiotic Bella. What really pisses me off, is that both volumes of the Twilight graphic novel went #1... number frakkin' ONE! I thought we were finally winding down on this garbage people... seriously.

Anyway... go, buy it... read it, and then choke on it.

~ ~ ~

Have you gone and seen The Borrower Arrietty yet? If not, then you better go find a theater near you that is showing it. According to the list, there were 1522 theaters that were going to show the Ghibli film, and already the film has become the 8th most successful anime film in the US ever released on the big screen.

The bad news is that while this is a great film, it has also been given a Hollywood dub, and with that all the subtle nuance changes that go along with it. not that it's bad for a film to be adapted for its intended regional viewing, but I for one am still having major fits over the idea that Amy Poehler and Will Arnett were cast in the English dub; which means that because I hate Poehler with a passion, I'll be dropping the dub, and the frakked up English title, for the original Japanese version, and the original, better sounding title.

Anyway, it's a great film, and despite the little irritations with my own personal preferences, I highly recommend it, and suggest it for you and your whole family.

~ ~ ~

You are probably going to think that I'm crazy, but just look at the picture and you'll see I'm not. I saved the best of this farce crap for last.

What you are looking at is of course, a Magica Madoka Mercedes Benz, that was actually offered for test drives at the 15th Japan Media Arts Festival in Tokyo. Straight up.

I love anime cars, and I would like to have something one day with an anime theme, but for the love of the anime gods, enough Madoka already! Every five minutes it's Madoka this, or Madoka that... I actually sort of want to scream every time I have to even write the name Madoka, and I've written it what a half dozen times already? That's a mental breakdown just waiting to happen.

Anyway, cool idea, bad choice of graphics, and yes, those are environmentally friendly Electric Cars, so all you tree hugging environmentalists (pussies), can sleep safer at night knowing that I'm just going out to buy disposable crap from the store, to just throw away after I use it once.

And that's all the time I have for today's report, and commentary.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sentai Licenses K-On!! (Season 2) and OVA

Oh now I know that you are all excited about this, and to be honest, so am I.

I figured that with the recent death of Bandai, that the future of any more K-On in North America was more or less bye-bye, but that is not the case.

Sentai Filmworks has announced that they have acquired the license for the complete second season, and the OVA.

What's even better than that, is that we will finally be getting a blu-ray release as well, and to put that proverbial cherry on top; Sentai is working with Bang Zoom on the dub.

So yeah, with any luck, you guys will get your cake—assuming that Yui doesn't eat it—and you'll have your frosting.

The complete set is scheduled for later this year, no date given just yet.

WO Reviews: Sengoku Basara Season 1

Sengoku Basara had been collecting dust on my shelf for over a year, and had been one of my least favorite purchases. Why did I buy a show based off of a fighting series that I have never played, or never had any intention of playing? With the release of Season 2, I decided to set aside the biases that I had developed, and actually give the show a watch. To say the least, I was quite surprised.

 Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings is a period anime based in the Sengoku period of Japanese history; a chaotic time in Japanese history during which power struggles dominated the country. The basic premise of the show reflects the chaotic nature of the time, as warlords battle over control of Japan, and against the “Devil King” Oda Nobunaga. As Nobunaga attempts to unify Japan underneath his rule, other warriors take up arms against him. Two of the warriors develop an intense rivalry that must deal with while trying to take the Devil King's head. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Anime Artisans: 007 - Divergence Girls

To celebrate the fact that I am currently watching Divergence Eve I figured I'd spin the Anime Artisan corner to my favor for a bit. Not that I don't do that every time anyway, cause I can, and you can't stop me. 

Anyway, enjoy a look back at a time when Loli wasn't an anime element, and the pervy fans wanted to see actual boobs! imagine that!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WO Reviews: Koihime Muso

No one ever said that saving the world with moe characters and cuteness were going to be easy. And for those of you that are uninterested in a frilly adorable moe version of The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, then you should pass this on by. But for those of you that want a reinterpretation of the classic tale, then step right up, and meet your beautiful dynasty warriors!

First of all, the anime adaption of Koihime Muso is very different from its original visual novel foundations, and though each form uses the same characters, their story and adventures branch off greatly when seen separately.

The Anime though is what I want to talk about, and though I'm sure there are many fans of the more adult oriented visual novel, the anime seems to hit a better vein of entertainment for pushing humor and adventure in a style that is reminiscent of the older anime shows we cut our otaku teeth on.

One of the best things to remember about Koihime Muso early on, is that it is simply a show about girls. Straight up. I'm not going to sugar coat this for you, I'm not going to leave you with some strange misconceptions; this is a show about all kinds of girls, in every shape and size, and fashion of garment, or lack there-of.

What makes this an interesting watch right away, is that underneath all the boob flashing, and the innuendo, and the girl on girl groping that occasionally happens, this is a show that has a lot of heart, and thought put into it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day: 2012

To all of you that are with your special someone, or are giving chocolates or love to another, then I'd like to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day, on behalf of the folks here at Western Otaku.

Love You Lani! - D

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Strike Witches Movie: Official Trailer

More goodness comes our way as we finally get to see some film footage for the new Strike Witches Movie that is scheduled to air this March 17th.

The rumor mill, and the fan-gossip columns are working overtime to generate their buzz on the new character Shizuka Hattori in the upcoming motion picture.

I myself am wondering how if and when we North American fans will get our hands on this, and whether or not the folks at FUNimation will scramble up a greasy wall to dry-hump the license (and then not do anything with it for about two or three years), and make an announcement.

My experience, is typically that, if a license were in the works for this film, it would have been jumped at already... so this one may be either a late catch, or not at all.

Anyway, to see the trailer, just click the thingy below.

Merch Alert: Fullmetal Alchemist Revoltechs

Here's a peek at the upcoming Fullmetal Alchemist figures from the Revoltech line, due to hit shelves sometime in March. The duo is looking quite good, especially compared to the previous attempts at Fullmetal Alchemist figures.

Keep an eye out over the next few months, as we hope to be able to review both of these revoltechs.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Negima Manga To End

Well, it's official. The never-ending manga from Ken Akamatsu is finally ending, and according to a report by ANN, the Weekly Shonen Magazine announced that the manga series was coming to a close after just three more chapters.

Akamatsu is reported to be taking a two issue hiatus to prepare for the final chapters so the series will resume in the 13th issue, and conclude after that.

I for one am ready to do cartwheels upon hearing this news. I think aside from Oda, Akamatsu is the only other mangaka that has all but lost his mind with taking his own franchise to the moon and back. I agree it breaks all sorts of molds and manages to present a lot of content, but the ending result of Negima, is nothing like what it started out as, and the series has gone so long, with so many turns and twists, and arcs that last massively long periods of time, I feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.

I give Akamatsu credit for being able to give a harem comedy such a last-ability, but I remove some of those credits for confounding me too many times.

Either way, I will no doubt be listening to the anime nerds as they cry themselves to sleep at night for the next several months. But oh well, this too must pass.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bleach Manga in Last Arc

The years tenth issue of Weekly Shonen Jump announced that the popular hit manga Bleach by Tite Kubo was about to enter its final arc, which means that the fans and readers will finally have a glimpse of that long awaited ending that they have so been craving for after more than 10 years.

I for one, am still struggling to catch up on the anime and the manga, and from the looks of it, ten years worth of material is gonna take a bit of doing.

I can only hope that it's an ending the fans are going to enjoy, and one that wont have them screaming too much in frustration, 'cause, I'd hate to have to make fun of you all in an article later on.


More Delays from FUNi

Well, boy and girls, and strange creatures from the otaku land of crazy... sorry I've been AFK for so long, I've been trying to get some personal life stuff taken care of.

Anyway... you probably aren't interested in any of that, so I'll just get to the bit of interesting stuff I caught wind of this morning.

Apparently, in addition to having poor foresight at the Dragon Ball Z franchise, and what with all the cancellations, FUNimation has announced more delays for their anime.

Fairy Tail Part 4 and Heaven's Lost Property have been pushed back on their release dates, and are expected to be released March 20 (Fairy Tail), and April 17 (Heaven's Lost Property).

Guess they are gonna blame this one on the fans too.

Well, we'll just wait and see. As troubling a times as this year has began with, I really don't see it getting much worse... unless everyone in Japan suddenly pulls their licenses from the American Douchery.