Monday, October 29, 2012

Digimon: The Official First Season Review

Think back to the late 90's/early 2000's. If you were a young kid just getting into the anime fandom like I was, chances are you can remember one of the greatest fandom wars of all time – Pokemon V.S. Digimon. Both shows became instant hits with kids of all ages, and both are among the very few anime titles to actually have seeped even slightly into the mainstream. Sadly though, as time went on, and more and more shows were seeing slight and/or full DVD releases, only Pokemon continued to get major attention between the two, and Digimon became one of those shows that we all remembered fondly, but had no legal access to.

That time is over now. Rejoice, my fellow Digimon fans – our wish has finally been granted. After years of anticipation, and seeing our favorite franchise stagnate in the States, becoming a slow trickle of sub-par video game releases and only short television runs, New Video has stepped forward as our savior and released 'The Official First Season' of Digimon on DVD.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Art: Working!!

Ah, nothing like some more Halloween art, and nothing says treat like Poplar from Working!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mass Effect Teaser

Based on the popular best selling video game, and created by Production IG, the new joint effort film from BioWare and FUNimation is finally seeing a release date of December 28. Though I have to be honest, it's not something I think I'll be jumping over lines of waiting fans to get my hands on.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New Sailor Moon Figures

So in anticipation of the new anime series that is getting released next year, Bandai is releasing new figures of the sailor scouts.

A Brief Look At The Season

Well, it's time for a brief update on some of the new stuff I've been watching, and what all is going on in the world of yours truly, with regard to this new season.

So far this season is shaping up to be a heck of a good time, and I can't recall when I've been this excited about this many shows. At least not this many all at once.

Oh sure, in the past I've had a few that I would follow, but I think that this is an all time record for me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo Trailer

Ah yes, the new trailer teaser for the upcoming Evangelion 3.0 film. Enjoy... probbaly old news by now, but who cares.

On an aside, why the hell is it called You Can (Not) Redo? that's kind of odd, I mean what's next... You Are (Not) To Watch?

7 Deadly Sins Gets Green Light

The last time I saw characters from a show about the seven deadly sins, I was bombarded with imagery of the damned. I'm referring to Umineko of course. But these ladies look to be a little more like what we are thinking the sins should look like.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gokusen Art and other BAMF!

I felt like making another artist post, and thought about doing some Busou Shinki, but thanks to a challenge by Lucky Seven, I went with some Gokusen instead.

Here's some BAMF style art for your enjoyment.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Certain Scientific Railgun S to be Confirmed

According to some news that's going around, there is going to be some major announcement is to happen in the December issue of ASCII Media Works' Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh magazine on October 27.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Food Time Japan

Ah! There's nothing like a kick in the crotch, when it comes to my cheese flavored Doritoes™ brand chips. I mean, if this doesn't make me want to jump on a boat and sail on over to the land of the rising sun and score a bag, I don't know what will.

But then, I guess our snacks don't really need to make sense.

But I do have to wonder, if we as American Otaku only really like somethings because they come from Japan. I mean, seriously... would we really like Pocky or Ramune if we didn't see it in an anime, or know that it came from our favorite land?

Pocky is just a sweet animal cracker cookie stick with chocolate frosting. And Ramune is fruit soda. Not really all that great when you think about it, but hot damn, it's from Japan, and that makes it what... better?

I'm looking at this bag of Doritoes, and you know what... I bet if I ordered me a case of these nut busters, they'd taste just like any plain old bag of Doritoes I could find in the grocery aisle at Wal-Mart.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Kamisama no Inai Nichiyobi gets Anime Adaptation

So some interesting news that has been spreading all over the internet pretty quick, is that the light novels from, Kimihito Irie, are getting the anime treatement. And this is always good news.

To Love Ru Darkness Resumes

Guess it isn't new to most by now, but Anime Network has re-added To Love Ru: Darkness back to their streaming site, after removing it after the first episode.

There is still no word as to why, they pulled the show, or why they are putting it back up, but the fans will no doubt rejoice to know that it has returned.

According to the listings, episode one, will be available on Thursday at 11am, with episodes two, and three following on Friday and Saturday at the same times.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WO Examines: Sword Art Online (Arc 1)

When I first heard about Sword Art Online I'll admit that I was a bit suspicious. There just wasn't a whole lot of appeal for a show that featured an MMORPG setting, and one that seemed like a revamp of the whole, .hack//SIGN phenom that seemed to seethe from the fandom not that many years ago. But then stranger things have happened in the world of anime, and this is one of those stories you have to see to believe.

As it happened, I stumbled upon SAO as part of an effort to bring some much needed life back to the Shohan USA message boards, and a member there posted about the show.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween Art

Time to continue our Halloween picture stuff, and what better way than to show off some spooky girls who are probably best known for not wearing much, if anything. But meh, it's Halloween, time to be creepy.

Of course no Halloween would be complete without some FMA to spice it up...

Daww... doesn't Envy look so cute in the kitty outfit? And of course, Lust as a witch, is just too adorable.

Wolf Children Find Home At FUNimation

So according to the latest buzz, the new film from director Mamoru Hosoda,Wolf Children Ame and Yuki has been licensed by North American anime distributor, FUNimation entertainment.

The news was announced at a panel, during the New York ComiCon, marking the second film from Hosoda that the anime conglomerate has secured. Granted, they did a hell of a job with the dub and the casting for Hosoda's previous film, Summer Wars, but the announcement has me a little uneasy.

FUNimation entertainment has a notorious habit of putting great effort into properties that they know will sell well, and have lots of acclaim, but with a near sleeper hit like Wolf Children, it has me worried that if the film were to not succeed here in the States, if FUNi would give it a sub-par dub, or wait for three years to get it a release.

While the film is hugely popular internationally, its 51 Million since its opening in July, isn't a convincing argument.

Guess we'll wait and see what becomes of it, once the FUNi Dream Team get their talents behind it.

Anyway, here's a look at one of the many trailers for the film that are circulating around. I'm looking forward to this one.

Watanabe/Bones New Project?

According to some gossip generated around the Net's water-cooler, Studio Bones—you know, those guys that are responsible for the hit anime shows: Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Soul Eater, and Fullmetal Alchemist—are possible in the works with a new anime series from legendary director Shinichiro Watanabe (Bebop, Champloo).

Nothing concrete has made its way past this bit of gossip, but you can be sure that the fans would be eager to see another adventure helmed by Watanabe, along with a collaboration with Bones.

There is some part of the gossip that suggests it will be a space adventure comedy, but then, that may be wishful thinking on the fan's part.

Either way, I'd be thrilled to see something new, and with Bones on board, that is just Otaku frosting on the cake.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oreimo & A-1 Pictures

Oreimo Season 2 is getting handled by a new animation studio, and it's no one I would have figured on either.

Apparently, Oreimo's second season is being produced by A-1 Pictures; you know those masterminds behind such great anime as, Sora no Woto, Fairy Tail, Sword Art Online and Magi ~ The Labyrinth of Magic.

I'm somewhat curious about this switching of studios, as it tells me two things. One, is that the show will most likely be more focused on the drama, and less on the innuendo, since I've never really seen an A-1 show with lots of panties and naked ass. And two, it shows that maybe the direction of the show could be turning toward the more mature otaku out there.

It's just a hypothesis, but meh, on either way.

Which Type of Otaku Are You?

It's been a while since I sat down and wrote out an article, and while I've had several different thoughts about several different things that I could have written about, I figured we could use a little introspective every once in a while.

Now, before I dive in and start pointing fingers at the lot of us, or start formulating "labels" for everybody, I want to make it clear from the get-go, that I am no exception to any rule. I am not above or better than anyone, and I make no qualms about my status as a fan of anime, or being an Otaku for that matter.

Now then, the question is, "Which type of Otaku are you?"

(not in any particular order by the way, I just like numbering things)

Type 1: The Carefree

Well, in truth I imagine when people think of the word "Otaku", they automatically imagine a somewhat overweight dude sporting a weeks growth of stubble, or a half-assed goatee. Maybe a scraggly ponytail, glasses, and an expression that betrays the probability that at any moment, he may begin drooling uncontrollably.

If this is your interpretation of an Otaku, then sadly you are not far off the mark, at least by the East's definition of the word. And to be quite honest, I have encountered a few of those types myself. I'm unsure if it's a simple absence of reality, or a total immersion in the sub-culture, but the first type of Otaku on this list, the Carefree Otaku, is no doubt the most predominant that we may have encountered, or may have even become in the early days of the arrival of the anime phenomenon to Western shores.

The Carefree Otaku is no different than the rest of us fans, except for the fact that they are more or less a nerd that has embraced their nerd-dom to the neglect of their public appearance, possibly their hygiene, and most certainly their lifestyle. Granted, like many nerds that gather and accumulate the items of their nerdy interest, the Carefree Otaku will most likely have stacks and stacks of manga, comics, and VHS and DVDs of their favorite shows crammed into their dwelling, damn near making it impossible to navigate their living space, except to turn and walk sideways down the narrow trails amongst the clutter.

The Carefree Otaku is not exactly what one would call a poster-child for the anime community, but do not be fooled by their ramblings and rantings, for in their collective sum they have bought, and purchased and cried and raved for some of the better eras of past anime and manga to see license on the US soil.

Type 2: The Hyperbole

Lots of times in our anime encounters, we will meet with a fellow Otaku that is so overly enthusiastic about their fandom that it seems they have taken some sort of pop-culture injection, or are eating some weird form of wheat cereal fortified with "nerd".

These are the fans that go above and beyond in their eccentricities, and grab and grab merchandise as fast as they can, not because they really like that half naked PVC of one of the Queen's Blade characters; but because they just have to take their fandom to excess.

This is what I like to refer to as the Hyperbole Otaku. The fan that is so extreme, they get phisically ill if and when a show gets canceled or dropped, cries when a favorite manga has ended, and sustains themselves on high-speed flashy and loud conversations.

It's been my observation that a great many of these classes of Otaku are usually the ones that auto-brand themselves with the label of Otaku, and are also devout to the dubbing industry. Moving from one supreme favorite anime to the next in rapid-fire succession, and helping to keep the trend of titles in the public light.

If it isn't Hyperbole worthy, then it's usually obscure by other standards. Titles like, Soul Eater, Panty & Stocking w/Garterbelt and Index/Railgun are among the types of shows that have seen a huge amount of awareness generated at the hands of this class of otaku.

Additionally, the Hyperbole Otaku is also a master Cosplayer, and can be seen at conventions sporting the guises of characters such as Haruhi Suzumiya, Vash the Stampede, and or Sora from Kingdom Hearts.

Type 3: The Hidden

I've read a lot of topics over the years about Otaku, and Otaku-ism, and one thing that I always encounter are those fans of anime and manga that are repressed by their peers to the point of maintaining their fandom in a secret part of their life.

Either through opinion, or family disapproval, the Hidden Otaku is one that I both admire and offer sympathy.

We've all been there at one point or another; buying our anime and manga in secret, away from the watchful eyes of parents or family and friends. Keeping it hidden under beds, under floor boards in closets, and in the bottom box under other boxes. Posters that we can't display, and games we can't play... ah yes, the life of a Hidden Otaku is wrought with paranoia and fear. But therein is the heart of a true devout fan of anime and manga, and like other subjugated individuals over the centuries has managed to remain a fan of that which is dear to their hearts, despite the setbacks, and the trials.

Given enough time, however, the Hidden Otaku will find a time and place to come out of the shadows, and be the publicly viewed fan they were always meant to be, but often it requires several years to accomplish.

Type 4: The Persnickety

In every fandom, and in all groups of individuals, there is the one fan that is pious to the point of absurdity. That one fan whose tastes are so refined by the years of chewing on their favorite past-time that they seem above almost all forms of it, and hold only a few select instances of it, in unobtainable precedence.

Such is the behavior of the Persnickety Otaku.

Often times an elitist of monumental proportions, these extra-select few debutantes of the anime movement are the self-proclaimed keepers of the code of good anime titles, and shun almost all but the most excellent; deeming anything with cliché and stereotypical plots to be beneath their noble palette.

Many times, the Persnickety is a purist that will only either watch fan-subbed anime, believing that it's superior to anime translated by a paid professional of the industry with a masters degree in Japanese, or will stubbornly watch it in its raw un-subbed state, to achieve maximum immersion.

The persnickety has little patience with the industry, little regard for other fans, and keeps newer initiates at bay, by means of their air of pomp and self-imposed refinement.

Type 5: The Professional

Sometimes in the course of the fandom, there comes an otaku whose existence is so intertwined with that of their otaku-ism, that it's become seamlessly blended in between work, family, friends, and hobby.

The extra-special otaku, who maintains a vast working knowledge of all things anime, and still expertly functions in society without being debilitated or handicapped by their otaku lifestyle.

The Professional Otaku is one whose goal in life is a harmonous balance of anime and career, and uses each to counterpoint and balance the other. Wearing casual-corporate, and often having a high paying job, and public or community involvment, this otaku is the master of anime, and real life. Able to wear the face of the entire fandom, and still maintain the much needed detachment of social interaction with others.

While not overly vocal about the industry, these giants of anime pop-culture in America are the back-bone of all things anime and fan-based, lending their wisdom and money to the companies that provide, and the fans that demand. It is these fans that are not easily swayed by anime DVD cancellations, or ignorant disputes about sub translation; choosing instead to walk a path of indifference about the lower forms of the fandom, and stepping in only every so often to put the Persnicketies in their rightful place.

The Professional Otaku is the one to take his/her wealth of anime, knowledge and money, and either found a company, or start a business with anime as its theme. The pioneers of the industry are key to the future of the industry, the fandom and are often the least likely to be readily identified by their peers, due to their ability to blend in to humanity.

Type 6: The Encyclopedic

If you've thought you've encountered one, then chances are you have not. The encyclopedic otaku is one that will make their presence known with a river's torrent of vast anime and manga knowledge. Their brain is a veritable living database of names of voice actors, authors, mangaka, illustrators, and concept artists.

Like the hyperbole, the encyclopedic otaku is frenetic about their fandom, but usually with regard to their memorization of names, titles, and cast. Capable of leveling another fan's self-esteem with one sentence, the encyclopedic knows no limitations to the amount of superfluous information about anime and manga they can amass.

While they are less imposing than the hyperbole, and the persnickety, they do often come in very handy as singular go-to guides for chronological viewing orders, cross-reference checks, and production time-lines.

Type 7: The Legendary

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

WO First Look: Magi ~ The Labyrinth of Magic

There are almost too many new shows to keep up with this season, and while I'm doing everything I can to at least give each of them a first look, some of them (a lot of them) are going to be on my viewing list. Of course, this means potentially placing a lot of my regular shows on hold, you know those ones on DVD that are constantly being held back in favor of newer awesome of the moment shows?

Okay, so enough about my back-logged anime crisis; I'm so sure you are all interested in hearing about that.

What I do want to talk about is the new show, Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic; a show that just started airing in Japan, and one that I've been almost beside myself in sheer fan-gasmic anticipation, and with good reason.

It's the new show from A-1 Pictures, and it's quite literally awe-inspiring from the opening frame, to the closing credits.

Magi, is a show about Aladdin (no not the Disney Aladdin), and while it doesn't follow the actual plot-line of the original story, it manages to put a fascinating and amazing new story to this masterpiece adventure.

By now, those of you that are interested in the series may have read the synopsis of it from a few places, and while the summaries do a good job of conveying the basic outline of the show, it's a far cry from what you'll actually see when you sit down to give this a spin.

Taking place in Arabia, the setting and location made me instantly think of the landscape and arid country in the Fullmetal Alchemist series, and even the build-up of the characters, the fledgling adventure set-up and the premise, dive deep into what is sure to be a hugely rich and rewarding journey.

This adventure of 1000 Arabian Nights follows young boy Aladdin, as he is out on a journey to find Djinn Vessels, which are magical items that possess within them the Djinn spirits, or as you may have guessed, Genies.

On his journey, and right at the beginning of the first episode, he encounters Alibaba; a merchant and the two find themselves quickly in trouble, thanks in part to Aladdin's naivete at the world around him, and the adventure quickly begins.

No muss, no fuss... this is a straight-up beautiful piece of story-telling that is engrossing and leaves you wanting to see episode two before you even finish seeing the first one.

Aladdin, in his boyish wonder and simple pure-hearted sense of right and wrong is reminiscent of such characters as, Kid Goku, and Torhu Honda; and while there are some definite moments of absolute hilarity, like FMA, the show manages to not allow itself to get bogged down by its own slap-stick.

There is more I'd like to say, and more I'd like to potentially spoil you on, but if adventure, magic, and a far off Arabian quest is your thing, then you will not be disappointed by this first installment of what I consider to the the superior show this new Fall season.

I plan on writing a comprehensive review once it's concluded, provided I can restrain myself from coming back to this before then.

Until then, I highly highly recommend this, and look forward to hearing some feedback in the comment section, if you have any thoughts on this breathtaking new series.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Anime Pics - Fairy Tail

Time for some awesome images, and since I've been thinking about Fairy Tail lately, I thought it would be cool to include some art and images from the series.


Okay, now somebody's in for some hurt for this one.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

To Love Ru Darkness Gets Yoinked

Wow, it's been a massively busy week, but now that I've gotten my weekend off, and I can relax with some well deserved coffee, and some solid "me" time, I thought I would catch all of you up on what's been happening in the world of anime and manga, and whatever else.

So apparently, it was reported by the online news communities that, To Love Ru: Darkness was pulled from The Anime Network after having only posted and streamed its first episode; the site for To Love Ru: Darkness has also been removed from TAN's main website, and no reason for the removal has been given.

There are those in the anime nerdy circles that speculate the causes to range from censorship reasons, to possible leaking of the episode, similar to past incidences with anime series such as One Piece, and Oreimo.

If I had to pick a reason, I'd say it was due to last minute licensing issues, but then, stranger things have happened in anime. Guess, I'll have to wait and see what's come of what before I get my briefs in a bunch.