Utada Around the World

From Utada Net.com // News

New Single “Dirty Desire” and New Tour in Early 2010

Ray’s Take: Any real fans out there? I’ve listened to maybe one of her albums in the past but to me, J-pop singers all sound pretty much similar to one another. They have similar voice range even. Of course I’d love to hear any comments on this because I can’t exactly tell singers apart sometimes. In any case, for Eva fans who just want to hear some good J-pop, it seems like she will be touring 10 cities in US.

Believing and Striving.

Bubblegum Crisis - Art Pack

Hi all. Seeing this title, if you actually read this far, I congratulate you. After all, why bother reading someone’s effort pouring out his heart? At the same time, I’m elated to see all the interaction we have on the site – praises and criticisms, loves and hates, positives and negatives. All that means we have people reading, getting up and responding. That’s what we thirst for, really – interacting with y’all and knowing that, positive or negative, we’re being read. After all, why bother leaving the comment section open if we didn’t want to hear what you have to say?

I can be such an ass sometimes and a loser at other times; I get angry and reactive easily toward comments I don’t like; I’ve been know to respond in unkindly matter and not just taking it in. But that’s me; I take all your comments seriously and I answer each one with one comment field, not bunched together in the same reply. Maybe I am an idiot; maybe I take it all too seriously. In today’s world, nobody takes those things seriously; I mean, there is real life and there is the net; only teen people sometimes gets quite serious about it and yell back and forth.

However, sometimes I still feel as if though it mattered, no matter what the rest of the world thinks. When called, I still stand up sometimes and answer as the fool, receiving all the mockeries and jeers and  blush. Does it mean I care? Who knows? But sometimes, even though it’s once in a blue moon, I’d do something special, and someone says in the comment section:

You’ve made my day.

Heh. You know I made that into a sentence on its own because I did it on purpose to demonstrate a point. But yes, that tend to make me feel really good.

Even though, in my sometimes very humble and other times very proud opinion, I’m just a loser not too different from trekkies and other nerds wishing that someone out there  would understand and agree with their views on a certain article.  After all, like them, I’m just another nerd with a different title – “Otaku”, and feeling oddly proud of it.

It’s the fact that even if I were the only person in the entire world that’s listening to “Lost Type Rival” on Bubblegum Crisis CD right now, I’d still enjoy it and wishing that I were in 80”s Japan. Even if I were the biggest idiot in the world for liking what I like, I’d still like it.

(Yes, I’ve been drinking and it’s 12:56 AM in Taipei.)

Hulu Hoop – 2nd Rotation – Ghost Hunt

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‘Twas a dark and stormy night.  The room felt vaguely humid as I sat upon my chair pondering and clawing at my hair, trying hopelessly to find a speckle of inspiration to fill the void of white paper trussed into my typewriter.  The clock on the wall chimed three times shattering the stagnant silence that had been festering in the room.  I cursed under my breath when came a knock, three times, at the door…   “Who is it?” I called out in vague annoyance.  No answer.  I picked myself up trying to put aside frustration and answered the door.  There was nothing behind it, only air…

Oooooooooooo, spooky spooky…

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Continue reading Hulu Hoop – 2nd Rotation – Ghost Hunt

Kimi ni Todoke: Or, Why I Cheer for Sawako

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You are a self-doubting, introverted, and scary-looking high school student. Deep down you are a kind and considerate person, but because you are awkward, people think you’re strange and naturally avoid you. You long to be liked by others–anyone, really, though the most popular and attractive member of the opposite sex would be nice. But because you know it’s impossible, you sigh in resignation every time they call you names. It’s all right. You got used to it a long time ago. It’s not going to change anyway, so why get worked up about it?

Was this you in high school, in part or in whole? It was me to a large degree. (Even little kids at one point called me, quote, “creepy.”) It was also Sawako Kuronuma, in Kimi no Todoke (Reaching You)–and then, with the smile of one special boy and everything that followed, Sawako’s (along with almost every shy, lonely introvert’s) dreams started to come true.

How could this not be a joy to watch?

Continue reading Kimi ni Todoke: Or, Why I Cheer for Sawako

Hulu Hoop – 1st Rotation – One Piece Season 1

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It comes as no surprise to any Otaku that anime has found itself a nice cozy spot in the internet sunbeam, to stretch out, expand and stream.  When sites like Crunchyroll started streaming subtitled anime for people, it was only a matter of time before the TV networks sidled up and pushed their way into the sunbeam to catch some rays of their own.

By now you have all heard about Hulu, with its catchy celebrity alien ads and such, but you may not know that Hulu also streams anime.  They actually have a nice collection of programs, including a few new shows such as Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood.   Some of the shows can be watched in 480p, and give you a choice to either A: Watch the show with three short 15 to 30 second commercials interspersed or B: watch a long three minute commercial (Where you can use that time to make a sandwich or use the toilet.  Why would you actually sit there and watch a three minute commercial?) prior to starting your episode with no interruptions during the viewing.  Some programs even give you the option of watching it either subbed or dubbed depending on your preference.

So kick off this inaugural (and hopefully reoccurring) article, I chose a show I was extremely happy to see on the site, One Piece.

Continue reading Hulu Hoop – 1st Rotation – One Piece Season 1

A Certain Scientific Railgun 04 – the curse of the undressing Otaku

Just about everything is turning out quite different from the manga.

It’s a pleasant surprise though, because it’s a different type of fun. We’re not abruptly introduced to Mikoto’s arch enemy/love interest Toma,  instead, a little bit of intrigue is thrown in and we start to wonder a little about the so-called Academy City Urban Legends. But of course, the main reason for talking about that in this episode is to introduce two important people – love interest (no it’s not a spoiler), and that strange researcher Kiyama Harumi, played by Major Kusanagi I mean Tanaka Atsuko.

Like I said, so far I like the changes in character dynamics and how there are increased interactions and that we’re not suddenly introduced to an important character. The characters play off each other, which adds a wonderful energy flow through the show. It’s funnier and quirkier and even more charming than the manga.

This introduction is like an ambush; for those of you who doesn’t know the story or hasn’t read the manga or the novel, I believe it will be a wonderful surprise later.

You know, I like Kiyama Harumi already, I mean what a sensible woman (lol), if it’s too damned hot, just take off your blouse! You’re wearing a bra anyway! And if your skirt is soiled, just take it off! You’re wearing pantyhose and pantsu anyway! Fuck, why does it make perfect sense to me? XD

Tanaka Atsuko is a wonderful seiyuu; she can play sexy, serious, tough, sarcastic, silly, out-of-it…Just about anything. She will be fun to watch. Kuroko is damn funny and it’s priceless comedy gold when she shakes Uiharu like a madwoman.

All in all, good stuff abound.

Queen’s Blade s2 05 – less tits, more plots

It is with much regret that I must report that Queen’s Blade s2’s T&A count is way down compared with last season.

It is also with much regret that I must report that when plots are going, tits aren’t showing. Or at least very little of them shows.

…So what? I’m actually enjoying the show nonetheless! I like seeing women on screen better than seeing men. Feel my stroking powerrrrr!
Thank God there are almost no male characters in this wonderfully girl-powered show. The only recurring characters are Cat-Staff, who’s quite funny, and Reina’ Dad, who practically never has a face.

The fight between Cattleya and Airi begs the question: does the Queen has something against Cattleya and hubby? What is it then? It’s obvious that Aledra is trying to kill two birds with one stone, or in this case, two chicks with one stone gaze (har har). What ends up is a touching scene of Lana fighting and distracting the queen and inevitably helping Airi, who turns out to have a soft spot after all.

They go back to Menace’s “lair” and she utters fan service cooing voice and gets an oil message. In last season, we never got to see her breasts much (not enough), and this time, still no bare boob messages and pinching the nipples and all that…Oh my, this article is now rated NC-17 for suggestive language.

Menace teases Airi and of course she is embarrassed. We get to see Airi’s cute side.

Reina? Oh, since Cattleya is gone, Ymir decides to take Reina’s sword up to notches unknown. Ymir realizes that Cattleya and hubby’s forging skills, which she termed, curiously, “Alchemist” skills, is superior than hers. However, she realizes that she has a way to add her own skills to it. So Reina gets the traditional hero’s power up item. I wonder if the sword will be Excalibur (see Fate Stay Night Anime)?

Surprisingly good action and actually intriguing plots for a show like this. But of course, I watched it for T&A, and inevitably, with more plots, there is less T&A.

Onto the next episode – Irma VS Risty.

Risty’s outfit looks better but I still think she’s an odd choice for that plot line.

What do you think is going to power Gundam Fight?

Steam? Don’t make me laugh. See the graph/illustration below from gigazine.jp

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Japan: 9650.

Don’t you get it? Then go see Gundam V. If Japan wanted, they could make some – maybe not a lot, but some. Hell, I want them to power the RX-78 “Dummy” with it! Didn’t you  know? In about a few hundred years, they will make Gunbuster based on nuclear power! Space Monsters beware! The Japanese is here! Inazumaaaaaaaa Kick! Solar powered reaction drive in  Gundam 00? What do you think solar power is based on?

Lol XD. Moving on…

Bridging The Gap’s “Oh, The Horror!”Halloween Countdown!

Growing up in the latter half of the 70s horror movie boom which included such high profile works such as The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn Of The Dead, Halloween, and others, my childhood was well-versed in the art of nightmare weaving before the onset of slashers reduced the format into scant numbers, and dopey kill counting. So it was especially important that in the latter years that I searched for scares that matched those that affected me so strongly in my younger years. Thankfully, through the video age, it became easy to see that there were others throughout the world who felt similarly. Who knew that the art of scary was more than being hacked apart by a zombified goalie, or a wisecracking bundle of foam latex. They knew that horror could run deeper than that. And appropriately, Japan has often had a well attuned frequency between the natural and supernatural worlds, making it an ideal place to explore the blackest corners of the human mind.

With only days remaining until the veil between worlds fades yet again , it felt appropriate to go ahead and share a few horror favorites from the hallowed vaults. And since there’s no real shortage of great works, I’ll be making picks from both the manga and anime worlds. And besides, nothing suggests the creeping approach of winter better than a good, scary story to read at bedtime.

Keep in mind that these are merely my opinion, and am quite aware of the vastness of great horror works available. Just sharing ones I’d love to see more folks embrace over time.

So let’s get into it, shall we?

the prophetess, Hinoto
the prophetess, Hinoto

Continue reading Bridging The Gap’s “Oh, The Horror!”Halloween Countdown!

Nyan Koi! – I can haz curseburger?

To be absolutely honest, none of the shows in this fall season’s lineup have resonated a real “Must Watch” vibe with me.  It’s a little odd because I’m not picky with my anime, I’ll watch a bit of everything.  My tastes cross many genres and titles, but some of my specific weaknesses are for moe comedies.  The kind with a bit of sexy fan-service and a likeable/funny protagonist who is can’t seem to catch a break (e.g. shows like Dears, Girls Bravo, and Karin.).  This season there seem to be a couple of those, but the brief plot outlines I read didn’t seem to differentiate these new ones from the hundreds of other shows that have come before…  Still, I can’t call myself an otaku if I’m not watching something new each season.  The union will tear up my membership card.  So in the interest of holding on to my geek cred, the first show I watched was Nyan Koi!

I picked Nyan Koi! for a few reasons.  It seemed to meet the criteria stated above, the animation style looked good from the preview, and the plot seemed… different.  It revolves around a high-schooler named Junpei Kōsaka, who accidental defaces a sacred cat shrine and is cursed by a cat spirit.  Now able to hear what cat’s are saying, he must help out 100 cat’s in need.  If he doesn’t the curse will get progressively worse until Junpei himself turns into a cat, which will cause his death because he is allergic to cats and will asphyxiate due to his own fur.  His first assignment is to stop a girl who causes “great misery” to a certain group cats, and this girl just happens to be his oblivious naive classmate, Kaede Mizuno, whom he has a crush on.

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Usually, I have a pretty good idea if I will stick with a show devotedly to the last drop just by my impressions of the first episode.  Nyan Koi‘s first episode did not grab me.  It was typical, vanilla, same ole same ole, nothing to set it apart aside from it’s goofy plot.    Even the opening theme song felt like I had heard it somewhere before, sounding eerily similar to Haruhi Suzumiya’s opening during certain parts of the tune.  The animation was good and there were a few humorous bits involving what cats think or the priest of the cat shrine, but it wasn’t enough to save the episode entirely.  I was disappointed enough I almost didn’t watch episode two, but luckily I did because it was a much welcome improvement over the first.   Not the least of which was the introduction of Kanako Sumiyoshi, Junpei’s tomboy childhood friend turned foe who added some much needed spice to the somewhat bland show.  It was also much funnier than the first episode and I caught myself eagerly anticipating a resolution of the antagonistic relationship between Junpei and Kanako.  The second episode hooked me.

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Overall, I worry that Nyan Koi! may get overly repetitive (cough, Rosario + Vampire, cough) with the cat requests, but I am going to stick around and watch a few more episodes to see how things play out before I pass judgment on that.  I just hope future episodes are more like the second episode and not the first.

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Episode 1 Grade – C

Episode 2 Grade – B+

- DC

Vote for Rierie!

Vote for your favorite seiyuu here

I found out about this year’s voting and I’m rather excited – because I got to write Tanaka Rie‘s name down! Last year, all the fujoshi and girls came out in full force and voted for Fukuyama Jun and he won. He is a good seiyuu but I’m a guy so I don’t care to vote for guys.

I love Rierie. Just listen to her voice! To hear singing! To her acting! How can one not love her? She’s even hot! Or pretty hot. Not to mention gutsy in trying to take the chikan to the authorities. And I have her autograph on the Suigintou cover of Rozen Maiden! Rierie Banzai!

Here’s what you do:

1. Write down your email at the site.

2. Write down Tanaka Rie, or Rie Tanaka…OK, I meant your favorite female or male seiyuu’s name. They only select one person for the award.

3. Write down her name followed by a list of her roles in the comments section (I put down four roles).

4. That’s it!

Simple, eh? So if you have balls and would like to vote for someone with a wide range of voice acting skills, write down Tanaka Rie for Overseas Fans Choice Award!

Let’s make a difference! XD

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田中理惠

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