Monday, September 24, 2012

Aya Kanno's Otomen Coming to an End

Still haven't gotten any of my planned reviews done, but here's a news tidbit for you guys to chew on.

The shojo manga Otomen has been confirmed by the original author, Aya Kanno (via Twitter), to be ending it's six year run in November. The manga tells the story of Asuka Masamune, who is a true man's man on the outside but a lover of very feminine things on the inside, and his relationship with Ryo Miyakozuka, a girl who can't cook or sew to save her life but likes manly men, and Asuka's attempts to keep his true self hidden from her.

While it's not quite a 'must read' shojo title like Fruits Basket or Ouran High School Host Club, Otomen is still an enjoyable enough read from what I got to experience, so it's a little sad to see it ending, but all series have to end some time. It's better for it to call it quits at a good place too rather than run on endlessly, and while I can't say for certain as I'm really behind on this title, after running for six years, this manga's probably at that time.

Otomen is released by Viz in the United States, and the first 13 of 16 (so far) volumes are currently available.

Anime Matsuri 2013

For all you otaku types living in Texas, specifically, the Huntsville, Conroe and Woodlands area; don't forget to start marking your calendar for the 2013 Anime Matsuri convention to be held at the Marriott in The Woodlands, March 29-31.

Among some of the scheduled guest to appear is Kyle Hebert, Mike McFarland, Erin Fitzgerald, and Kelly Hu... among others.

Unfortunately, I totally missed my chance to go this year, due to a sudden case of marriage, and husbandry. But I'm not gonna let that stop me next year.

So if any of you nerds, and otaku are in the area and are planning to attend, you just might see me there.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Big 100k!

Magic Girls Assemble!
100,000 HITS!

It's been a long time in coming, but Western Otaku has finally reached its one hundred-thousandth hit early this morning, and were it not for this head-cold, I'd be doing cart-wheels around my house.

I can only say, thank you, thank you, thank you! It's because of the readers, the subscribers, and the followers that we been able to take our love of anime, manga, and almost all things J-Pop to the internet, and make waves in that vast sea of information, entertainment, and craziness.

In the two years we've been up and running, we've tried our hardest to maintain the philosophy of the American Otaku, and present our information, rants, reviews in an unashamed approach, to entertain, educate, and exacerbate our fellow fans.

It is our goal to continue to bring you more of this stuff, and as long as there are fans out there willing to read it, and make some comments, we'll keep shoveling it out.

From everyone here at WO, we thank you.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Anime Artisan - Mikami

In tribute of a pretty good classic manga series, and an anime series that reeks of retro... I'm talking of course about Ghost Sweeper Mikami.

It's about high brow professional exorcist Mikami, and her goon squad of assistants featuring a perv, and an actual ghost. C'mon, what could be more entertaining, or funny?

Anyway, feast your eyes on the lovely Mikami.

Friday, September 21, 2012

News & Stuff - 09/21/12

Well, there isn't that much in the way of news today, but I still wanted to make mention of a few things that might not be deserving of a full on post.

Well, A-1 Pictures is going to be releasing a new anime October 2nd, called From The New World" based on the suspense novel by YĆ«suke Kishi, and it's to be headed up by Masashi Ishihama (Read or Die), and takes place in the future... the far future, where people have telekinesis and stuff, and... I'm not sure why exactly it's going to be pimp, but because A-1 Pictures is making it, then it's got to be good. Well, I think so anyway, as they haven't let me down in the past several anime they've produced.

You can check out the 30 second promo for it below.

Another anime that is getting the promo treatment, is the shojo anime Say I Love You, and is looking like it might shape up to be a pretty interesting show.

Basically, it's the story of a 16 year old girl that hasn't had a boyfriend, or even a friend for that matter, and then one day accidentally injures the schools most popular boy, which makes the boy take notice of her, and begin a singular friendship with her.

I'm not sure how this is going to pan out, but skittish girls, popular boys, and high school drama could make for some good viewing.

The 90 second promo/OP song is below.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nakaimo (My Little Sister Is Among Them) - 13th Ep

Well, this just in a few days after I write up a small review-ish sort of thing on it, but anyway... apparently the thirteenth episode of My Little Sister Is Among Them is going to be packed and bundled with a volume of the manga after the show has ended its broadcast... which means—I guess—that the final episode isn't going to be the final episode after all, and that like Oreimo they are going to go with an additional ending or better ending...

All I know is that Oreimo had me wanting to punch someone for all those false ends. I sure hope to hell we don't have to endure that this time around with this show.

But then, I'm liking this show way more than I did Oreimo and that's all that really matters. So I could stand another twenty episodes, as long as it means more panties and boobs... er... um. Yeah.

Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney

Okay, okay... lets not start the stampeding just yet. I know that I usually don't post things about video games, but then again, I can pretty much do what I want, since I run this... so take that!

Anyway, here is a look at the new Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney, and if you are a fan, then hot-damn, you're gonna probably go into some fits of jubilation or something after seeing this.

I mean, seriously, I'm not really a fan of Layton or Ace Attorney, and this has me wanting to special order a copy from Japan. Unfortunately, this isn't getting released until November 29, so there is a bit of wait... and I have heard nothing about it getting a North American release, so for now we'll just have to bide our time.

To Love Ru: Darkness Promo

Everyone I'm sure is on pins and needles about this new series, since it was announced a while back, and while I sure am excited to get a peek at this, I have to admit that I still haven't watched, Motto-To Love Ru, which of course makes me a bad fan right?

Anyway, enough about me and my lack of anime... Enjoy the teaser.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What I'm Watching

Unlike most times I've written stuff about watching anime, it seems that aside from making mention of what I'm watching at that particular time, I fail to actually talk about what I'm currently watching.

So today I'm going to take a moment and show you all the current list of shows I'm trekking through.

Of the anime streaming in Japan:

Sword Art Online
My Little Sister Is Among Them
Yuru Yuri II

What I'm watching on DVD/BD:

Spice & Wolf 2
Cutey Honey (1973)
Yu Yu Hakusho
Tenchi Muyo OVA 3
Sailor Moon -Season 1
Steel Angel Kurumi

So, there you have it. A look at what I'm currently watching, and why I get so damn grouchy when people try to give me more.

Monday, September 17, 2012

WO Examines: "My Sister Is Among Them"

So what do you do, when you are the sole heir of a large corporate empire, and you are sent away to a private school to find the girl that will one day be your bride?

Well, surprisingly the last thing you would want to be concerned about is accidentally mistaking your unknown long lost step sister for her.

And this is where we find our story's main character Shogo, as he worries his way through school life attempting to uncover the identity of his sister, and keep himself from falling too into trouble with the girls that have suddenly come out of the wood-work to cling and fawn over him.

Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru is similar to a lot of the "sister" themed anime out there, and at first, it seems that it's just a rehash of sorts. But after episode one, it's clear the real key point of this story is, and the real hook to it, is the mystery surrounding the unidentifiable "Imouto".

Sure the show has plenty of boobs, and panties, and nudity, and I'd love to sugar-coat that into some sort of reasoning, but I just can't. It's a perv's paradise. But one thing this isn't... is nasty. While the girls are all but throwing themselves at Shogo, there is still this sense of self-respect and charm that comes from the poor chap, and even though he has to endure a lot of hardship with his future relationships, he isn't the stereotypical victim of the series either. in fact for a guy in a modern harem, he has it pretty good, and I think he knows it.

The series seems to go from one girl to the next as it explores in miniature arc form, the pro or con, or probability of her being the mysterious Little Sister. And in turn, we get to know each of the main girls of the show, and learn a little about them, in relation to the main character.

As the series progresses, things get more and more steamy, and for a show that seems to know where the lines are drawn, it manages to push every one of them almost to the point of breaking, but as a viewer we are just riveted to the screen, watching all the awesome with bated breath.

As of this posting, there have only been ten episodes aired in Japan, of Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru, and this last arc could prove to make or break our beloved main hero.

Will he find his sister? Will he find a bride? Will he prove to be successful enough to claim his father's empire?

We'll just have to wait two more weeks to see.

For all you that are turned off by nudity, then avoid this. It has more nudity that almost any show I've seen outside of a hentai, and that's being generous. But the plot is delicious, and alluring. Sometimes endearing, and sometimes slap-my-knee hilarious.

A must watch, for anyone that loves the harem genre, and doesn't mind some T & A.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Gundam Art

Did someone say, "G Gundam."? If not, it doesn't matter... here's an interesting picture to go all retro over.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hi10P: A New Hype In Anime

As a supporter of anime and the North American industry here, it's not that often that I get to touch upon some topics that relate almost exclusively to the Fan-Sub community, and when I do, I usually end up throwing them a mediocre bone or two, or griping about all the illegal downloading.

Today, what I thought I might do, is write up a little something that has been gnawing on my mind for the past few months, and with its proliferation on the rise, I felt that now was the time to confront this newest scourge, or gift from the anime spirits.

What I'm talking about is of course, Hi10P or for those of you less versed in the tech-speak; 10-Bit encoded anime.

So what is it?

Well, if you are a fan of anime, and you have downloaded an episode of that new fan-subbed series that is currently airing in Japan, then there is a strong chance that you have came across the words "Hi10" or "10-Bit" or even the oft misleading, "10P" in the description of that episode, courtesy of the sub-group's encoder person.

The difference between it and what you are probably used to getting, is that what you are used to getting, is 8-Bit encoded files. This new 10-Bit process, reduces the amount of "banding" in the image, and supposedly for less file size, you get a much sharper, and richer image.

Sounds great, yeah?

Well, the issue that is cropping up from one end of the internet to the other, is the fact that it's NOT a universal standard, in fact it's still in its infancy, and fan-sub groups are diving head first into this new format,and taking little consideration as to what the fans are capable of using to view these files.

At the present, most of the files when played back on the standard media players will get a screen loaded with bad pixels, and the notorious "greening" effect throughout, unless of course you are lucky enough to have the perfectly attenuated and tweaked software that will properly render the video image.

And most fans that complain and gripe about the new wonderful 10 bit jobs happening to their anime, are met with ridicule and harassment from the fan-sub groups that are performing this service, and the result is a hodge-podge of total crap.

It's not the fans' fault that the of all the current software, only CCCP is capable of rendering the files, and it sure as hell isn't their fault that the fan-sub groups have made this switch for the overall "good" of the anime community.

The way I see it, the fans never asked for the files to be improved. Sure it looks great, but only a magnifying glass will actually point out the differences between screen-shots in a file that is rendered in 720p, or 1080, and if you can spot those differences, then you are truly worthy of the "has nothing better to do with their life" award.

The bottom line, is that as a whole, the 10-Bit fad is still in its uncertain phase, and I'm sure, that with enough hardware acceleration and some leaps and bounds by the industry, we'll get to a place where we can view this new nuisance with ease. But that day hasn't happened yet.

But rest assured, there are still plenty of groups out there that are not as easily swayed by the glitter and glamor of resplendent quality, and will still make their subs available in the good ol tried and true 8-bit encodes.

God help us the next time the community decides to help us further.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bandai Entertainment Ends

It's not only official, we now have a date.

According to a few sources, namely ANN and RACS, Bandai Entertainment is no longer going to accept any new orders as of November 15, and will make its final shipment on November 30.

According to information in a letter to Robert Brown (RACS), Bandai is "discontinuing its home video publishing and distribution business effective March 1, 2013."

So while it's sad that this is happening, it's not as if we haven't been expecting this for the better part of two years now.

I remember thinking that when they did their stint of Subbed only titles, that Bandai was starting on its downward spiral, and sure enough, it's about to crash.

The saddest thing now, is that fans are going to try to cash in on their demise by over-inflating the price of their discontinued stock, which will do nothing for either the titles, the economy or the industry.

I'm relatively glad that I have almost all the Bandai anime titles that I want.