Archive for the 'Anime' Category

Anime I’m watching now.

I finally buckled under and got a subscription to the Crunchyroll Streaming Anime Service. While I joined the site, I haven’t joined any of the online community, but I have read their forums in the past.

So here are some of the Anime shows that I’m watching on Crunchyroll at the moment…

1) Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse

This anime was recently added to the Crunchyroll Anime lineup this summer. I recently didn’t know any thing about this anime or it’s background, besides the anime pictures that I saw on sites like Sankaku Complex.
More info here at the show’s very own wiki page.
I have a subscription so I get the episode as soon as it is show in Japan. At first glance, it looks like the standard Giant-Robot-Fighting-Alien-Monsters-with-Cute-Sexy-Girls-in-Skintight-suits Anime.
I had also read that the show was based on a series of popular visual novels in Japan ( I think “Visual Novels” are similar to Japanee PC dating simulators or something. Most Japanese Anime seem to be only 12 episodes, unless they are popular, then they get a full season or more. “Total Eclipse” looks like it will be the latter. It’s an interesting series, the main characters in my opinion need work though, Character archtypes are just too cliched ( Generic “stoic” main character, tiny “Moe” character, extremely busty character,etc. )
I’m currently up to episode 16 – I’ll stick with it. Maybe it will get better..

2) Air Master
At first I thought this was manga artist Oh! great‘s ( of Tenjho Tenge fame ) anime adaptation of his old ” Air Gear ” manga . The shows’s animation style reminds me of the late 70′s / early 80′s kind of TV fighting anime ( ala Dragonball ).

One the surface, the show resembles the Ikki Tousen / Tenjho Tenge kind of high school fighting anime, even though the fight scenes take place off school grounds, like in alleyways. The main character, Maki is not very interesting or fleshed out character-wise, but on the plus side she is sort of a Panty Fighter ( if you’re into that sort of thing hehe ). Interestingly,that type of “fan service”, when shown, is not gratuitous. I think there are 27 episodes. I may or may continue to watch it, I’m on the fence about this anime. I’m currently up to episode 3.

3) Asobi ni Kuyo : Bombshells from the sky
( Aka “Cat Planet Cuties” )
Based on a series of Japanese light novels by Okina Kamino.
This is a pretty interesting series , using the cliche, sexy-alien-girl-staying-with-a-nerdy Japanese ( actually Okinawan ) guy storyline ( in addition to having two other sexy girls vying for his affections as well ). It looks ( at least on the surface ) like an updated version of Manga goddess Rumiko Takahashi ‘s Urusei Yatsura .
You can see them for free at Cruncyroll here, if you’re interested. Funimation released the American dubbed version, it was something like 56 dollars at the Best Buy electronic retail store, it contained both DVD and Blue-Ray discs, I should have bought it when I had the chance, but I just got the Crunchyroll subscription at the time, and I didn’t know at the time that the broadcast series on Cruncyroll was censored while the DVD / Blueray were uncensored…. Oh well..I guess I’ll get it eventually when I have the extra cash…
I think there are only twelve episodes in the anime, I’m up to episode 4. I’ll stick with this series. See where it goes…

4) Puella Magi Madoka Magica
A started to learn about this series sometime early last year, after seeing tons of pictures of one of the fan favorite characters Mami Tomoe. I also heard good things about this series, and was intrigued, even though I heard it was a “magical girls” show.
Update: I finished the series. I recommend it, the show is surprisingly pretty good – a dark twist on the whole “magical girl” – type show ( even though I think that the big bad witch ” Walpurgis ” orgin should have been logically different ( Sorry, can’t go into detail for those who haven’t seen this show – I don’t want to spoil things ). I’d definitely would buy the DVD’s ( if they weren’t so expensive ).

5) Nyorko – San: Another Crawling Chaos
Not really sure what’s going on with this series – I think it’s supposed to be about H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos Monster / Gods personified as cute “Moe” Characters or something. So far, I’m watching the five minute “flash” episodes now, the regular animated ones come later, I hope. I’ll continue to watch it, I guess. I’m currently Up to episode 5.

6) Angel Beats
Meh. I can’t get into this show for some reason. About this guy who is dead and has to fight this girl called ” Angel” or something. I do like the character designs though.
I’m up to episode 2. I May or may not continue to watch this show. Time will tell.

7) Bakemongatori

I’m Up to episode 7 or 8. it’s pretty good. Weird, and interesting. Supernatural Mystery type Anime. And with a sprinkling of Fanservice. I like the good character designs by Akio Watanabe . I think there is also a companion series called ” Nisemonagatori ” as well. I’ll definitely watch more episodes and see where it goes…

8 ) The World God Only Knows

This show is about a Video Dating Sim fanatic ( Otaku ) and the cute Demon Girl that he is “contacted” with to help capture the escaped souls of Hell that possesses cute schoolgirls. It’s ok show – nothing to really write home about. I’m up to episode 5 – And I may or may not continue to watch the rest of the series.

9) 11 eyes

Looks Interesting – strange-looking magic / supernatural Anime ( with “liberal” doses of fanservice, which I don’t mind at all hehe ). I’m currently up to episode 2. I’ll probably stick with this show as well..

10) Star Driver

This pretty weird Anime seems like a mix of ” Revolutionary Girl Utena ” and ” RahXephon “. This show also has the first time I’ve seen a “Magical Pretty Boy Transformation ” scene and err… what looks like a “Flamboyant” Giant Robot.I’m not sure what’s going on, the story is confusing , but I think I may continue to watch this show. I’m currently up to episode 2

11) Inu X Boku Secret Service

Meh… Supernatural Anime Girl with Mysterious pretty Demon Dog Boy Bodyguard. Saw this type of Anime before when it was called “Inuyasha” Watched up to episode 2. Not my cup of tea. Don’t know if I feel like watching any more…

12) ( Demon King Daimao )
Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Ma? ( “The Great Demon King in the Back Row”)

This Anime was based on a Japanese light novel series written by Shotaro Mizuki and illustrated by Souichi Ito. While it has the usual standard geeric “Anime Fantasy World” ( even though it seems to take place in the future ),It’s pretty interesting story and character wise. By the way, this show has LOTS of fanservice for those interested in that sort of thing… :)
The main female character, Junko Hattori tsundere character is also good on the eyes ( She is the one with the samurai sword in the following trailer ).
( You can tell that this show was *VERY* strongly influenced by the Harry Potter movies ).
I’ll also definitely keep watching this series. I’m sure I’ll like it!

Demon King Daimao Opening Trailer

Player 1

So that’s pretty much the Anime shows that I’m currently looking at now, doubtless I will add new titles soon…

Futurama in “anime style”

I’m a big Futurama fan, and I was super happy that Comedy Central channel brought it back from cancellation, and are making new episodes.

The upcoming 26th and final episode of the present sixth season called ” Reincarnation ” featured 3 different segments , with each having Futurama “reincarnated” in a different style of animation. One was animated in “a black-and-white Fleischer and Walter Lantz style”, the second segment was done in the style of a low-resolution video game, and the third segment, known as “Action Delivery Force”, drawn in the style of anime

I saw this preview clip on the Youtube channel, so I just had to post it here!

Action Delivery Force

Reincarnation ” is scheduled to premiere this coming September 11th….

( Update one year later ) So FOX blocked this video….Oh well, I’m sure one can find it somewhere on the internet…

Director Satoshi Kon Passes Away at 47

Animation Legend Satoshi Kon Passes Away at 47 of Cancer.

It was a total shock to me when I first read about it over at Warren Ellis’s Whitechapel Forum thread about it. I won’t do a very complex eulogy about his work, I’m sure that there will be many other blogs that will do a much better job than I coould ever do, but I will pay my respects to this great man by briefly reviewing his past works.

Roujin Z (1991) Animator

He worked on this as an animator. I never seen this anime, even though I heard about it when it first came out, being an Katsuhiro Otomo Project.

Memories ( Magnetic Rose ) (1995) Writer

The “Magnetic Rose” section of “Memories” is I think ,the best of the three shorts that made up the film. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend doing so!

Perfect Blue (1998) Director / Animator

First Satoshi Kon work I ever saw. I think I first watched this in a movie theater in Manhattan. Loved it!

Millennium Actress (2001) Writer/ Director / Animator

I don’t remember where I saw this, it may have been on cable a few years ago. Many parts of this film were slow going, but parts of it was really cool. I think one has to be a big fan of Japanese Film history and Japanese culture and history in general to really understand and appreciate this movie.

Tokyo Godfathers (2003) Writer/ Director / Animator

I admit, I haven’t gotten around to seeing this movie yet, which after today, I’m going to try to do as soon as I can..

Paranoia Agent (2004) Director

First saw this series when It was shown on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim Late Night Block a few years ago. Interesting series, I liked it, especially the last episode. I now want to try and get the DVD’s.

The last scene of the closing credits is creepy cool!

Paprika (2006) Writer/ Director

Another of his latest films that I haven’t seen yet. But I heard very good things about it these past years. I even heard that Paprika was the inspiration for Christopher Nolan’s Latest Movie, “Inception” ( and not 1984 movie, Dreamscape ).

Satoshi Kon was in the middle of production of his latest film Yume-Miru Kikai (The Dreaming Machine) at the time of his death, and it was expected to be released sometime in 2011, but at the moment, it’s fate is uncertain.

Satoshi Kon was a very talented and visionary animator. If there is such a thing as Anime Heaven, I hope he’s doing well there now.

Closing of Asahiya Bookstore

Late last month I got an e-mail from a friend that the Asahiya Bookstore is closing it’s one and only flagship store here in New York City , over between 5th ave and Madison.

October 1st was the first day of the Asahiya closeout sale, so I tried to buy as much as I could. I wanted to get some Japanese language books that I had my eye on for a few years, but they were all sold out, It seemed.

But this is what I managed to get :

MahoKurohime vol.15

Majical Girls Rirical Strikers Visual Collection Top and Bottom ( Megami Magazine Special Selection )

How to draw Manga book

Nagasarete Airantō ( Cast Away…Airan Island )

Replicant Vol.35

WWII German Missle Graphic Action Series

Gothic Lolita Punk Brand Catalogue Magazine ( July and August )

and

Figure King Magazine ( A fantastic magazine for collectors of all kinds of toys, figures )

I spent a total of $104.67 that time – which , on my meager budget, was the maximum money for entertainment expenses for the rest of the month ( Or so I thought… )
But they were clearing out the store, and slashing prices. Alot of books I had put off getting in the past were now in my price range.
I then decided that I was going to make an effort to get to the store before it closed completely and for good by the end of the month.

I managed to return on the 27th…And the prices for most of the remaining books were reduced even futhrer..

On this trip, I got:

The Comic Artists Pose Book Vol. 1 ( Girl home poses ) Originally 2500 Yen, now $3.00.

Comickers Art Style ( ” Color Technique book Issued Semiannually Visual Supporter ” ) magazine, Issue # 2 – 5 ( origianlly 1800 yen, Closeout sale price, now $2.00 ) Quarterly.

Hisashi Hirai Illustration Works 2 ( ” hh2 ” ) Roman Album . He was the Chara Designer for Gundum Seed, I think. ( Originally 1905 Yen, before the sale, now $2.00! )

And Hiderou Horibe Colors Art Works 2 ( Originally 2480 Yen, now $3.00 ). He did art mostly for PC Hentai Games. I think that the first Art works book was called ” Yours “. I read that he is now unfortunately deceased…..He was a promising illustrator and character designer in the Japanese PC scene ( was mostly known for illustrating the covers of the adult oriented magazine PC Angel between 1993 and 2006 ), who died a tragic death of a heart attack at age 36 back in 2006.Too bad, he was a great artist… As one can tell from the image below from one of his previous Artworks books…


You can see a cache of his homepage here.

Anyway….Expenditure this trip :$ 19.58

Now, on my third and last trip was on the 29th. I bought:

8 mangas of Ikkitosen( aka “Battle Vixens: ).

10 mangas of Shikabane Hime ( “Corpse Princess” )

3 imangas of Gantz.

2 mangas of Tenjo Tenghe ( “Heaven and Earth” ).

Total expediture this last trip to Asahiya :$84.11 total.

I’ve been going to Asahiya Bookstore since 1993, when a friend took me there to get U-Jin manga. Back then, it was in a different location, just two blocks east of where it was now. It moved to the present location in 2003, I think it had a ten year lease or something.
Below is a picture of the site of the original store ( which once was home to the New York Savings Bank ), at 45th and Vanderbelt, across from Grand Central Station :


( You can still see the outline of the old Asahiya sign that was once there. )

And thus a passing of an age. The Japanese bookstore count in NYC is now down by one. A victim of these tough economic times…
Now it looks like I’ll have to make trips to Bookoff ( A famouse Japanese Used Bookstore ) and Kinokunya now……Both on or near 42ns street, and so they are pretty out of the way from my path home from work.
Oh well, I’ll probably be able save alot of money now ( I was often dropping about $60 average at Asahiya weekly! ).

Goodbye… Asahiya….I’ll miss you… : (

Original Poser Figure “Deco” and “Decoco”

Here is a free Poser Character called “Decoo” by a Japanese Poser Artist named Akatora at his site here.

It comes in two versions, a thin, regular version, and a more voluptuous model, as seen below…

There are clothes made for the Thin Version, but I have not found anything yet for the bombshell body version.
There is also a younger poser charcter that he has called “Decoco” located on that same page.

Now let’s start doing some Interesting stuff witth this WordPress blog!

Ok, I’ve had this WordPress blog for about ten months, and I really haven’t done anything with it.
But that is soon going to change – expect alot of interesting stuff here for 2009!
I’m going to try to add goodies here every day!

Here is a Trailer for the Anime Rahxephon. I haven’t really seen the series, I thought that it was a rip-off of Neon Genesis Evangelion

Rahxehon Trailer

It looks good – I ‘ll see if I can track down the DVD collection ( when I have the extra cash!

For the new year, I *really* want to do more artwork, ( which I barely attempted this year of 2008 ).
Especially using all the expensive 3-D software that I aquired this year – It’s not going to do anything by itself!

I downloaded DAZ Studio about six months ago, and I never really got around to learning how to use it – Same case with the other 3d rendering an animation program that I have – Poser. I instead amassed a pretty good sized 3d content library for use in those programs in the meantime.
I finally did my first render picture using the DAZ Studio application, in which I created the image by followed the instructions on the beginner’s section in DAZ instruction manual. I think it came out pretty well…..

I think it came out pretty good, composition – wise. I could figure out how to fix the problem with nipple “Poke Though” But you really can’t see it from this distance and angle. I know that many artist that do this sort of thing do post render fixing of the pictures in Photoshop or some other image manipulation software. I also think there is some sort of controversy on whether or not to perform post rendering on pictures. that one should do all the fixing of the pix within the 3d application, before doing the final render.
I like the way the picture came out. As soon as I learn how to add a back ground, and manipulate lights, It would most likely look even better!

Just the first of many many more!