Difficulties with copyrights.

When I was posting news I didn’t know that I shouldn’t have copied the whole thing. Yes, I did post a link to the reference every time, but Mike told me that wasn’t enough – I needed to quote parts of the news and not copying the whole news. Now I did add my own commentaries to the news, so I still did original work. I do apologize for not knowing how to properly do this on the internet. I just assumed that on the internet, because I have properly referenced it back to the website, I’m OK.

However, it seems like even the best of us can get this blasted copyright thing wrong sometimes. Check out this post on AWX forums: http://www.awx.co.za/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?90890

It was brought to my attention that this gentleman here (I assume he’s a guy) probably learned from some bad examples and also posted this piece of news about the “GAINAX Auctions Lance Of Longinus Replica” from Anime News Service, but without posting the link back to the source.

Scroll down a little bit, and we can see that another gentleman “r3v3n4nT” (I assumed another guy) posted something but he remembered to post the source on his entry, and he even quoted the person whose words become the source. I could be wrong but I think this is a good example of what to do when posting news and quoting people on the net.

I just want to talk about it a little bit and give an apology for my mistake. I will be changing these posts to the right way within the next few days (technically I’m still taking a short break and I’m kinda swamped with work anyway). But thanks for bring this issue to my attention, guys. Deeply appreciated.

Makoto Shinkai Makes a Commercial

No, it’s not the ef–a tale of memories OP. It’s an actual commercial, for the Shinano Mainichi Shimbun newspaper. It’s only 15 seconds, it’s got everything you expect from Shinkai–dappled light, terrifically fluid animation, soppy piano music. You can watch it here, though you will need Quicktime. (Source: Anime News Service.)

Mike’s Take: I think this is the first Makoto Shinkai production that isn’t about childhood friends separating and feeling really, really angsty about it.

For more directors making weird commercials, check out the soap commercials Ingmar Bergman made in the 1950s.

Hey, Anno-san: the Country of Children Made You #1.

From Anime News Network:

The first of four Evangelion science fiction movie remakes, Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone, opened to packed houses to take #1 on the top ten chart for this past weekend’s box office in Japan. The distributor Nikkatsu announced that 236,158 people spent 280 million yen (about US$2.4 million) at 84 theaters to watch it, the only new film in the top ten. This was one of the rare times that a film opened in less than 100 theaters at first place.

Mike’s Take: fansubs, please. I want to see if marriage, stability, anti-depressants, and a continuing disdain for his fellow countrymen has made any difference in his storytelling skills. It’s pretty astonishing that you can go to the top of the box office on so few screens. You’re a lucky man, Mr. Anno.

Oh, so THAT’S what they were on!

From the Anime News Network:

Toshiaki Takemoto, the 39-year-old author who wrote the novel inspiration for the Kamikaze Girls manga and live-action film under the pen-name Novala Takemoto, was arrested in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward for violating Japan’s Cannabis Control Law on Monday. An affidavit stated that Takemoto allegedly “began smoking cannabis overseas out of curiosity. [He] also carried it back to Japan.”

And this is not just any slacker longhair hippie. He’s in touch with his feminine side!

His writings on girls’ interests and fashion led to his self-description as a man with “the charisma of otome (young ladies).” He published his first novel, Missin’ in 2000, and an essay collection entitled Soleilnuit: For Becoming a Proper Young Lady in 2001.

He is also well known for his goth loli works.

Mike’s Take: you know, after watching FLCL, Dragon Half, and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, one does begin to wonder what kind of drugs those guys were on. Weed? Pfft. That’s for weaklings. The guys who created Dragon Half got arrested for coke. The boys at Gainax must have had some good LSD while making FLCL. And who knows what Satoshi Kon’s smoking!

Somebody needs to play Dark Side of the Moon and The End of Evangelion together.

8,151 people served, with many more hopefully satisfied in some way…

[Note: this is not the usual biting sarcastic me, so if you think you won’t be interested please change the station.]

I’m rather surprised and happy how many folks have come to our site and perhaps enjoyed some of the contents. Now before you say: “Oh shit, he’s going to give a weepy touchy-feely speech!” Let me just say that even being the Ma-Oh (Demon King) of Cynicism, I cannot help but thank people for actually reading my stuff and downloading the ringtones and wall papers I made. I’m not surprised if you enjoyed Mike’s and recently, Fred’s articles, because these guys can write, especially Mike.

One time, one of my best friends since high school had to go to the dentist, and he was on a lot of painkillers for some time, and he wrote a very touching email about how much he appreciates all his friends. He of course regretted writing it after the drugs wore off (if he were a girl he’d be a perfect tsundere). But you know, that’s how I feel right now (yes, I’ve been drinking).

For however infinitely little it’s probably worth to you guys (and otaku) and ladies (and female otaku), I’m touched and I appreciate everyone of you visiting, even if some by pure accident. Many of you good folks will probably never read this entry, and many more of you will probably say: “He’s just trying for the sympathetic angle. That’s just disgusting.” But I just wanna say, without your support we’d high tailed it outta here long ago and we’d say: “Fuck it, we don’t give a shit any more.”

I do apologize if you’ve heard that speech a trillion times before and have gotten sick and tired of it long ago. But I appreciate all your readings and comments and votes and downloads, and whatever else anyway.

I’m probably not going to post much for a few days (sorry, even I get a little burned out) but do not fear, I’ll be back soon (I’ll definitely post about Claymore and probably El Cazador before I resume my rest). After all, I do feel like I want to help make some people laugh or at least think.

Even if all I can do is tell a cheesy joke, write a silly comments or two, or do my best to write a decent review that doesn’t bomb and fall into pure sarcasm and cynicism.

(Please don’t ask me about this tomorrow, I’m pretty sure I won’t remember that I wrote anything today anyway…)

Good day (or good night here in Taiwan) folks! And enjoy your stay!

Are Original Anime More Creative?

A recent “Ask John” column at Animenation.net posed the question whether “original” anime–meaning anime that isn’t based on a previously published manga, novel, or light novel–is inherently better. John answered in the negative, and I have to agree. Storytelling skill is storytelling skill, no matter where it comes from or whether it’s borrowed from somewhere else. But it does bring up some interesting issues about the creative process which are worth thinking about.

Continue reading Are Original Anime More Creative?

Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai 9: Banding Together

Preach it, brother!

A lot of fans have said that this is the best arc of all in the entire Higurashi cycle, and the way it’s going so far, I’m starting to believe them. Compared to the previous arcs, it’s definitely the most different, the only one that isn’t suffused with despair (and thus the one with the highest degree of tension–for once there is genuine question about the outcome of the story). I’m really pleased with the way the writers are now starting to give us payoff for all the arcs we’ve watched previously.

Of course, given the title of the arc is “Massacre”…maybe it really will be for naught after all.

Continue reading Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai 9: Banding Together

The Million Ayanami Rei Fan March

How many Ayanami Rei fans do you think there are in Japan? Out of those, how many would you say seem to worship her as a subconscious goddess? Try at least 1,000,000. From ComiPress, via MAL forum poster ReverseHarem:

Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Japan Economic Times), one of the most respected economics newspaper in Japan, recently published a column from an otaku who claims (without source) that in Japan over 1 million men are obsessed with Neon Genesis Evangelion’s Rei Ayanami.

The ComiPress article contains a translation of the otaku’s column. (The original Japanese is here.) Highlights:

I believe there are at least one million men in Japan who love Rei Ayanami. She is an icy, quiet, unemotional 14 years old girl. This bandaged Goddess is an icon of Japanese anime. She has a decisive mind inside her fragile appearance….

I heard from an anime figurine expert that most of the collectors of Rei are in their 30’s and early 40’s. Virtual worlds created by anime and the internet have a mysterious power that appeals to a deep corner of our minds.

During the days when Rei “descended to Earth,” Japan was in the middle of a recession, and most people were caught in a mental depression. Sympathy for this wounded, quiet, decisive robot pilot came from such times. The anime figurines were an icon of a “subconscious religion.” Now the Japanese economy has been restored, but have people’s minds been restored?

Mike’s Comment: congratulations, otaku! You just beat the merely 500,000 people who listed “Jedi” as their religion in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand! Now all you have to do is find the millions who are Haruhiists and then you can really start spreading fun and excitement into the world. (Rei is a rather depressing goddess compared to Haruhi, if you ask me. Even Anno prefers Asuka!)

More seriously: in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, icons are meant to be “windows into heaven,” a means to look through the picture to what it represents. The same is true of statues and crosses in Roman Catholicism. The otaku asks an interesting question: just what is it that an otaku sees beyond the plasmo? What is so comforting about it, and does it mean that the mental damage from the “lost decade” of the 1990s is far from over? She seems to have a symbolic quality beyond herself, perhaps externalizing the interior damage many people continue to feel. It makes me think of the Atlantic article where Anno was interviewed, specifically about Rei too.

Maybe Eva really is the definitive portrait of the Japanese psyche in the 1990s after all. And that it’s no accident that the remake movie is called “You are Not Alone.”

Our Lady of Sorrows?

Zero no Tsukaima Futatsuki no Kishi 1-8: Catching Up, Feeling Guilty, and Loving It

You better not get your hopes up, Louise.

One night, after editing one of our recent podcasts, I couldn’t sleep. Someone from my anime club had told me about Crunchyroll.com and I was randomly browsing through it and I happened to come across the second season of Zero no Tsukaima (Futatsuki no Kishi). I watched episode 1. I didn’t stop until I got to episode 5, the latest one released then. It was 6 AM by then.

Continue reading Zero no Tsukaima Futatsuki no Kishi 1-8: Catching Up, Feeling Guilty, and Loving It

Maid Cafe at this year’s New York Anime Festival

From Anime Corporation News

The New York Anime Festival, being held December 7-9 this year, is planning on featuring a maid cafe as part of their food venue. Professional chefs will be preparing the menu and the con is currently looking for loli outfit sporting volunteers, further information can be obtained from Peter Tatara.

Ray’s take: I thought we already have French Maids here in USA! It’s called porno actresses…I mean special service agents. XD

Well, you know, since professional chefs will be preparing the menu, it just shows that people up there sure take their anime seriously. Good deal.

At least they have a kid playing a kid…

From Anime News Service

Negima! Drama Lead Selected

13 year old actress Kashiwa Yukina will play the roll of nine and three quarters-year-old child prodigy, mage and teacher Negi Springfield in the forthcoming TV Tokyo Live Action drama Maho Sensei Negima! Parallel. The news came out during a production symposium held in Tokyo September 1st.

Ray’s take: Oh please, don’t do that on the keyboard! She’s 13 for God’s sake!

Can regular folks appreciate Goku’s hairdo? I guess we’ll find out!

From Anime News Service

Live Action Dragonball To Shoot In Montreal

Toonzone Forums have referenced a new article in yesterday’s Montreal Gazette which states 20th Century Fox is expected to shoot the live action DBZ film in the Quebec, Canada city along with 2 other “big-budget movies” over the next year;

Ray’s take: They sure can make anything into a film these days. I hope they don’t make 50 sequels of this one and the fight scenes don’t drag on for hours while some secondary cast members chat about nothing. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to piss my pants laughing thinking about the dude who’s going to sport that super seiyan Goku hair do…

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