Bridging The Gap: An Intro!

Hey all!

Just giving a quick shout of thanks to Gendomike & the AD crew for allowing me to share thoughts and memories with all of you. Now this will be the first of hopefully many journeys through the looking glass, where the face of early US anime fandom melds minds with that of today’s loyal armies. When not tapping away in the labs of my own personal art & geek site, I may also chime in with thoughts on current & older titles, trends, habits and soforth, once or twice a month. The time outside of this is spent continuing my film studies, as well as composing music for the little movies inside my head. Long and short, this’ll serve as a little oasis from the unrelenting clusterfudge I have so enthusiastically created for myself.

So, in order to make this workable, first, a quick dip into the past. I grew up not only surrounded by the golf courses & gaudily placed palm trees of the California desert, but with a very rarified affliction; a very early love for anime, live-action tokutatsu series, and of course the weekly Kaijyu-fests that tv could only provide throughout the late 70s and early 80s in hilariously dubbed form. The near blackout of US tv anime in the late 80s eventually led to the burgeoning of anime on VHS. ( remember, the only alternative to this were cruddy, third gen tapes found at your local Star Trek convention-no joke.) I am what many anime historians consider a 2nd wave fan (the first being the Mach Go-Go-Go! & Tetsuwan Atomu in america phase). I can vividly remember the day my brother sneaked a copy of Urotsukidoji into my virgin VCR.(!!!) And as crazy-old that makes me sound, it’s been a bizarre yet exciting ride. It’s strange to express just how much has changed. Whether collecting videos, figures, and art books, or eventually helping within the US industry, there’s always been something to keep the admiration strong. And to think that all of this came due to a small, but stalwart cadre of geeky low-techs, believing that something special was indeed coming from the east.

So it’s time to dust off the old flashlight, it’s exploration time….First post coming very soon!

YukiOkita

Tokyo Game Show – No, Not The Kind You Win Money By Eating Worms

The Japan Times Online had an interesting article regarding the attendance and  aftermath reaction of this year’s Tokyo Game Show (TGS).  I’ll let you guys familiarize yourselves with the article before I share my thoughts on it.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nc20090930a1.html

All done?  Cool.

So basically the article points out that attendance dropped by almost 10 thousand people from last years show.  Additionally, the article describes there were no big announcements, no console reveals, or surprise “mega” game disclosures, which in some people’s eyes means it was a “lackluster” show.

Simply, there were no announcements because everything had already been announced at previous trade shows (such as E3), and those products aren’t out yet, such as Project Natal or that Sony motion wand thingy.  And most of the big game companies either have their name game already revealed, planned and dated such as with FFXIII, or they had a game already come out earlier this year, making it a little to soon to announce the next sequel in the chain, such as with the Metal Gear franchise.  Still for a big trade shows like TGS, the big guns would usually have an ace hidden up their sleeve to surprise everyone right?  So why not this year?

Because of the attendance drop and the lack of new products, some people like Mega Man creator Kenji Inafune, made statements to the extent that “The Japanese game industry is dead.”   Is this true?   Personally I don’t think so.  I don’t think that any of this is surprising during a world wide recession.  Less expendable cash means less people able to attend trade shows.  The recession may even play a factor in why some of the big products and games (that are still a looooooong ways from being finished) were announced earlier this year instead of holding off till TGS in late September.  They needed to reassure the stockholders by showing them early in a tough year, “Hey! Look at this spiffy new toy we are working on!  It’s going to make you a mint!”

On the first TGS public day this year, attendance was 62,138 people.  62,138 bodies squeezed together and stepping on each other’s feet in a crowded convention hall!  That’s nothing to sneeze at (and probably a bit painfully to boot).  E3 this year only hosted about 41,000 people.  So is the Japanese game industry dead?   I don’t think so.  It’s just a bad year.  If attendance drops that much again next year, then I think we have something to worry about.

- DC

Endless Eight Movie?!

From ANN -

Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya Film Announced for 2010

an announcement of a Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya film in the spring of 2010.

Ray’s Take: I gotta say, I’ve lost my faith in Haruhism after the stunt KyoAni pulled, especially after the the former director of Haruhi apologized and KyoAni just shook off all responsibilities. Artistic trial is one thing, torture and trolling is another. Fans are people; they’re not slaves to be abused. Wake up, please.

Let’s hope the movie doesn’t repeat any sequence for too long…

AKB48 in NYC: Idolmaster Cosplay

Steam rose off the city streets as we partook of a Takoyaki stand a few blocks away from Webster Hall.

“It was a lot like Idolmaster,” fellow anime journalist Omo noted, drawing a parallel to the infamous Japanese game.

“Idolmaster cosplay,” I shot back.

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

AKB48, an Akihabara-based idol group, had their US debut at Webster Hall following the New York Anime Festival. While initial enthusiasm for their preview performance was great, the Sunday evening show time coupled with the location – across the city from the convention – thinned the crowd of con attendees considerably. Not to be deterred, AKB48 had cleverly rallied a separate fan base of non-conventiongoers, and a large throng of overwhelmingly middle-aged men clutched email printouts rather than tickets in line.

Continue reading

Don’t you know Sci-Fi often predicts the future?

From Ascii.jp via ANN -

Robot Sings, Youtube Piano – seeing music of the future at CEATEC

Through iPhone application Request, one can make HRP-4C Robot sing Hatsune Miku songs.

Ray’s Take: God damn it! That’s their first step of taking over! Instead of working under the disguise of a military program, they pretend to be stupid virtual idols and fembots! At the beginning of the last century, flying and going into space used to be Sci-Fi (not Syfy) elements. Look how far that has gone! Don’t you know? Remember in Macross Plus, Sharon Apple ended up taking over SDF rebuild? Man oh man nobody ever listens…

Lol. XD

I actually hope Chobit and Multi caliber girl robots are possible…

Adventures in Blogosphere: Episode 1, The Phantom Conciseness

spike

Greetings, my friends! We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friends; future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown, the mysterious, the unexplainable; that is why you are here…

Hmm… No, that won’t do…

Friends!  Romans! Countrymen!   Lend me your… (Wait a minute, this is an anime website)… Ahem…  Friends! Geeks!  Otaku!  Lend me your Easy Japanese Translation Books!

No, no, no…

Continue reading

Anti-manga official seeks to deny libraries funding

An article in today’s Del Marva Now describes Wicomico, Maryland County Councilman Joe Holloway as disturbed by the humorous sexual content in Dragonball Z books available at local school libraries.

“The drawings and story lines are disgusting,” Holloway said of the book.

Official image courtesy of Wicomico County Council.

While on the surface this would appear to be a classic tale – a public official finds something against public morality, and squelches it – looking a little deeper raises questions about the purity of Mr. Holloway’s outrage.

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kimi ni todoke 01 – It’s nice, really.

My impression on Mamiko Noto’s voice is breathy and sexy, not scary. Apparently that’s not how many Japanese people think. She’s the person voicing Kuronuma Sawako, a girl with an apparence too much like the ghost Sadako from the Ring, a Japanese horror movie that I do not recommend watching at 12 AM at night on a large television – but it does make a great date movie that way (yeah, what do I know about that). A trivia – Once Mamiko sang a Japanese children song at some event, and people thought her voice was way too chilling like a hateful woman spirit making a curse!

The animation reminds me of Honey and Clover and even the story itself has a little bit of that atmosphere. Everyone is likable and you can’t help feel pretty good just watching the show. It is shojo so the guys do stand out. Obviously, Kazehaya, the guy who falls in love with our resident Sadako (no, that’s not a spoiler, it’s an obvious conclusion), is the nicest and kindest among them all. He’s known to wanting to help anyone in the class who is disenfranchised.

The usual shojo smiles and glittering and flowers are added for decoration but not obnoxiously so. There is shojo humor when people run away from Sawako even though she’s just trying to say hi, or say “please use it”. I say this is a nice show because it portrays the Japanese High School as a place with good girls. Even the girls that gossips behind Sawako’s back don’t say anything truly nasty. Nobody picks on her in her face or bullies her in anyway, perhaps because she’s rumored to see ghosts and make people sick. But she’s just a very nice gal who desperately needs a hair cut.

Thanks to Kazehaya, Sawako can speak up loudly and explain herself better by the end of the episode and the two clear up some air. So what will happen next?

Everything flows smoothly and nothing drags on. It’s no Honey and Clover but it’s appealing. I won’t be writing about this one because I’m no shojo fan despite the fact I have been seduced to the power of shojo side recently watching a little bit of H&C recently. If you want more coverage, ask Mike # 1 to do it.

Additional notes: the title text and the OP eye catcher made me think of Shaft and I went, uh-oh. But it’s animated by Studio I.G.!

The manga that the show is based on received an award, so for any women interested in how the anime turns out, there you go.


Thinking about Fall 09.

This was my dream last nightThis would be a meeting at Anime Diet if I were a loliThis was the 7th time out of 8 that we ended the world

I’ll be reviewing:

Nyankoi

Seitokai no Ichizon AKA The Records of the Hekiyō Academy Student Council’s Activities (生徒会の一存 or Hekiyō Gakuen Seito-kaigi Jiroku)

Asura Cryin’ S2

To go the reviews directly click Continue Reading.

I actually did watch some more first episodes but just didn’t want to dive specifically into any of them – for now. It is way too early to tell if this season isn’t as good as the summer season but that’s my feeling regardless. I was so impressed by everything I’ve watched, major hits or small surprises, during the summer season that I’m currently biased against the fall season.

Another reason for my bias is because I liked all the styles of the shows that I watched in the summer, save maybe one or two. But so far, the fall season shows have styles that probably cater to other folks, and that is perfectly fine.

Wait, I forgot Queen’s Blade! As opposed to Scientific Railgun, which is already a good show but lacking in solid fan service (please do no wear shorts underneath a short skirt), Queen’s Blade has a story and some plots as well as character motivations in a quasi-realistic female-dominated-world setting and I explained why some of the things aren’t merely impossible fan services but may happen in real life. Then again, Queen’s Blade is a phenomenon and to me and Mike #2 and countless other fans whose possible faps praises are heard around the world, it is exceptional for many, many, many large to gargratuan assets that it has to offer. It’s honest and not anywhere-near-bashful assets is often quite pleasing (licensed blu ray, please)! Onto the rest of fall shows:

Continue reading

Sir Sid and Sir Johnny are coming to get you BL lovers!

From Saishin Anime Jōhō via ANN -

The date for the release of the 2-Volume OVA for Sex Pistols manga has been decided

Gorgeous limited as well as normal editions will be on sale.

Original character “Hoikushi” will appear (CV Yusa Koji).

Ray’s Take: Uh…Well, it’s called “Love Pistols” in the US…Um…Is that like Ai Shafts? Or Grand Swords? Or Mister Rods? Oh I got one -Speartus Longinus…

Moving on…

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