Space Battleships In A Moe Universe

Yamato, the ancient namesake of Japan. It seems as if great renewal is the primary theme throughout the world at this particular time. Not only has Japan’s political power just recently shifted in a most dramatic fashion, but the public’s love of all things Uchu Senkan Yamato is quickly reaching phoenix levels in no small manner. All across the nets have been blurbs and shouts involving the long-awaited live action opus, starring none other than SMAP’s Takuya Kimura in the role of Susumu Kodai, as well as a bold looking new animated feature (Fukkatsu-hen), set for release this December.

The significance? When the series was brought stateside via Westchester Films in the late 70s under the name, Star Blazers, the show was one incredible gateway drug, turning this quiet kid into a ticking timebomb of addiction. The thought of going a week until the next Saturday morning fix was frightening, to downright depressing for a first-grader. Imagine my reaction to the show’s storyline, and the shock I felt when (gasp!) characters died! Characters dying in a cartoon? ARE YOU KIDDING? Needless to say, this was akin to a great awakening. Shows like this weren’t screwing around. And the rest, is..well you know.

Now that a long standing legal battle over creative rights is over, it seems that a long delayed Yamato renaissance is finally coming to pass, with an entirely new generation who may have at least been children at the time of the original 1974-75 series’ run at the helm. Thankfully, this happens while several of the original key staff are still with us. Things being how they are today, the pervading feeling seems to be one of longing. Longing for a time where men were men, collective faith was paramount, and sacrifice was potentially necessary to defend honor. It is the quintessential Space Opera, merging science fiction, westerns, mysteries, WWII naval epics, and hearty drama, establishing a wholly new kind of anime saga. It’s probably safe to say that next to the massive contributions that Osamu Tezuka & Go Nagai gave to the worlds of anime/manga, there were fewer creations as influential as Uchu Senkan Yamato.

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Shin Koihime Musou 1

koihimetai

It’s a new season and a new Koihime†Musou. The beginning glosses over the plot and jumps right into the action – a telling stylistic choice, because if you’re watching this for the plot, you probably tuned in to the wrong show.

Nods to the first season abound. The bandits even look identical to the three from the first season’s introduction of Kan-U. The character designs are the same, and the opening reuses footage from the first season in flashback form.

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NYAF Anime Blogger Roundtable

Things were rather hectic at the New York Anime Festival, but bloggers of all stripes made time for an important, self-referential summit.

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NarutakiRT served as MC, while representatives from About.com, Comics Worth Reading, Anime Vice, Anime Almanac, Ani-Gamers, Colony Drop, The Gaming Dungeon, Ogiuemaniax, Reverse Thieves, and Anime wa Bakuhatsu da! held forth. Ed from Vertical also showed up to inject an industry-side perspective.

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.

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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.

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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…

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