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Oh hey, kickstarted things…

Back in 2013, before I took a brief lengthy hiatus writing things here, I mentioned two very interesting Kickstarter campaigns. One was for the western release of the original Bubblegum Crisis OVA on Blu-ray and the other was for SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works, a fancy book dedicated to well, the Sega Mega Drive.

As you might know, not only did those successfully finish their fundraising, but also the actual products as well. Neato!
As I don’t have too much experience with crowd funding, and while I can see the same problem as everyone else, it does feel like a fresh way of doing things, and also a way to vote with your money to get what you want. When that works….that is.

If we tackle the book first, it’s a really cool book. It’s big, chunky and absolute eye candy if you have…feelings for Sega’s 16-bit system.
I regret to say I haven’t read the whole book yet, as in with the words, but I’ve looked through it multiple times and it’s just a matter of me finding time to properly wind down with this sleek read.

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With that, we’ll move on to the BGC Blu-ray which, unsurprisingly, is just delicious. I never owned the DVD release or had a high quality rip on my PC, so this was a real step up. No matter how much I love to have the show on LaserDisc, this is just better. Not the biggest fan of the multi colored subs, as they are rather too saturated, but there’s also non-colored subs available so it’s a non-problem really. Video and audio is, as expected, stellar. There are also some interesting extras, such as the Knight Sabers Holiday in Bali, which I can’t watch without cringing uncontrollably – but that might just be me.

Also getting access to a high quality scanned PDF version of BGC manga Grand Mal, among a few other things, is definitively a nice touch.

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Wrapping it up, I’m looking forward to whatever future projects might be next from the creators of both. Robert from AnimEigo seemed quite interested in maybe doing another kickstarter…
Here’s to hoping! /o/

The Crunchyroll Mystery Back (2013/2014 ver)

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This just showed up.
And I had almost completely forgotten about it.

This is something Crunchyroll called the “Mystery backpack” and sold on their homepage during last years “Cyber Monday”.
It was a pre-order so it arrived just now, roughly half a year later 😛

The box contained a Crunchyroll branded cap, T-shirt (comfy!) , note pad and the backpack. Pretty bare-bone stuff, but the price was also waaaay down that time.
Had I paid more, I’d perhaps be a bit let down in regards to the actual build quality, but as it stands it looks to be a good backup backpack. Really like the colors, my current one is a bit too much black.

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The Classy Loot of March 2014

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Welcome to this late March decidedly CLASSY loot extra post.
It’s the kind of post where we’re just all about staying classy.

And, you might ask, what exactly is this glorious little pile of stuff? I’m glad you asked!
The headphones are the Sony MDR-1R – which are just so, soo very comfortable. Although gets a tad warm after a while.
Still, for a closed can they feel really airy and I’m impressed by both the soundstage and instrument separation.
On the other hand, I don’t have that much in terms of headphone experience. Could do with just a bit more thumpy bass, though.

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Then we have the just released Ranma ½ TV Season 1 Blu-ray collection. It’s a new HD master, apparently. Viz posted comparisons on their youtube page, which did look a bit over-saturated but with nice details. I’m planning to check it out after finishing writing this, so we’ll see how the quality is.*
This box is nice anyhow, and I’ve always wanted to check out the TV-series.

*Update: Quality is actually really nice. Colors doesn’t seem overly saturated to me and there’s no horrible filtering going on. Maybe a bit on the grainy side on the other hand, but that’s really preferable instead of having it forcefully removed.

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Lastly there’s another Agent AIKa DVD.
…What? D:< RightStuf had a sale so I jumped on that. Picture quality is all right with good colors and decent details but it seems to be suffering a bit from compression. Oh, well. Still nice to have it on DVD as well….now to complete that LD collection… >_>

 

Stayclassy

The (still) early 2014 loot post

Err. Yeah.

A bit late as usual but here we are. Literary TONS of stuff to go through! Important to note is that, all this isn’t bought at the same time but rather, all the collected loot since last time I posted (and maybe even before that, in case of pre-orders and the like).
Where to start? Maybe with this PC-FX that finally made it’s way to me late november last year?

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A bit yellowed but seems to work well 🙂 That is my complete, measly library of games for the thing on the left there. Team Innocent has seen the most action among those games (completed it).
Next up is what arrived after I went a bit nuts after the holidays:

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Decided to expand my meagre collection of import manga. I’m really liking Mikiyo Tsuda’s work so I picked up Day of the Revolution and the first volume of Princess Princess. I really want to get my hands on the english language release as well. Great stuff!
Also picked up another volume of the excellent Family Compo. And some other stuff, including an interesting assortment of music CDs & soundtracks. T-Square is always nice (fab Jazz Fusion) and I discovered Frankie Goes to Hollywood thanks to youtube.

Also got me the soundtrack for Under Siege which is simple, but atmospheric, another entry in the ever growing pile of all things Bubblegum Crisis, the soundtrack to the first Idol Defense Force Hummingbird OVA and some delightfully cheesy dance tracks with the MAKAI*STARs album. Also found a nice 1981-1987 collection CD from Japanese artist Toshiki Kadomatsu, whose stuff I’ve really gotten into as of late. It’s basically more delightful cheese.
THE GOOD STUFF!

Lastly I bought a copy of Manga Studio 5 – however I was stupid and imported it (and got hit by extra charges) when I could’ve saved money and bought it -with free shipping- from Amazon UK instead. >_<;
Aaaanyway, some welcome additions to the LD library also showed up. Good stuff too, maybe especially Gundam 0083.

Then began my latest collection craze – physical anime releases. It’s a bit embarrassing this but, I’ve always been more of a fansub guy. I did buy some anime DVDs but those were so crappy I grew very, very wary of official releases however stupid that may sound. But recently I’ve seen so many things I want to own on DVD/Blu-ray pop up for very decent prices so I basically just caved in.

I’ve actually always wanted to support the industry by buying physical anime releases but the box-sets I’ve seen have been a bit pricey and I’ve always been strapped for cash – not to mention me not really trusting the companies to do a decent job. But that’s a topic for another day!

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Pre-ordering that Hidamari Sketch blu-ray literary blew open the floodgates. More cool deals showed up, such as the sweet Doujin Work DVD/Manga combo by RightStuf (which is probably just the right amount of Hiroyuki) and being the self-declared fan of the original AIKa I am, how could I pass up AIKa R-16 for a super low price? I can hear your facepalm from where I sit but I don’t hate AIKa R-16. Now, AIKa Zero on the other hand….*shakes fist*

Keeping in line with the fan service, I also picked up Highschool DxD and it’s been surprisingly decent. Also picked up Summer Wars as well as the ever excellent Cowboy Bebop. I forgot to mention I had to secure two blu-ray players (region A & B) in order to enjoy all this, by the way. A great book store in Stockholm also had a sale where I picked up some neat things.
Thankfully, all this craziness is coming to an end. The last pile of things to look at is this:

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Last but not least, as they say. With this, another milestone has been achieved as my Bubblegum Crisis LaserDisc collection is now complete.
Then some cheap bishoujo-games for the Saturn showed up, along with Asuka 120½ Burning Fest. Limited and Langrisser for PC Engine. Also thrown in there is ToHeart 2 DX Plus for the PS3 which is, as far as I can tell, pretty much the perfect version of this game to own. Sure, the extra scenes from the X-rated PC release will most likely not be included, but those aren’t really important anyway.

And that’s it. Geeez, talk about hoarding.

New MiniDisc additions

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My little MiniDisc family has grown with another two members. Joining the collection is two popular Sony recorders.

Presenting the MZ-R50 and the MZ-R900:

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The R900 was, at the time, the player of choice for a friend of mine and the R50, in orange, was one of the very first units that really caught my eye when going to the list in the minidisc.org link he provided.

The MZ-R900 is pretty nice – I like the way I can set the bass. The menu also works well and I prefer the design of this remote to the newer one that came with my MZ-N10. It sounds great, but I haven’t done any serious comparisons with my other units. It came with a battery, but it lacks the charger so I’m running it with the battery cradle attached.

The R50 was bought untested but turned out to be working fine. Also came with a bunch of extras like a dozens of minidiscs and a bag, which alone would be worth the (great) price I paid. My only regret is that it’s the silver version and not the orange one. Nothing wrong with silver, but all my MD portables just happen to be silver units and a bit of color would look great there. And the R50 just looks so stunning in orange. Oh well.

The build quality feels pretty amazing, by the way. People have said it’s built like tank and I can only nod in agreement. Sure, for a portable, it’s a bit heavy (and large) but it sure feels good to touch.

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Speaking of robust MD recorders, sadly, the old MT832 I picked up in April last year just stopped reading the Table of Contents on discs the other day, giving an error message. Strange, as it felt just as sturdily built as the R50.

Luckily, the Sharp MD-DR77 I picked up from Yahoo Japan back in March is still working.
I’d say with this, my thirst for new MD units have been pretty much quenched. Although there are a couple of units out there I still want to play around with.

Oh, and as you can see I also picked up the classic KOSS PortaPro…cheap (well, sort of) and for the price well sounding.

Let’s end this post with just a bit more eye candy : )

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The Late Summer Video l00t Special

Here it is! The long awaited, much anticipate-…..err, look…if you can watch these with a straight face, good for you.

I can’t.
Even though I’m decidedly handsome.

I had lots of cool stuff piling up and I lucked out on some pretty fantastic artbooks. I thought that using my camera to film the stuff would be a fun idea, after all, I’ve been really wanting to try out this youtube channel-thing on my own after watching some really cool cats do their thing. Then comes that moment when reality sets in and you realize that, yes, that muffled, lisping banter is actually your own voice.

On 4 different occasions I’ve tried to film this only to end up disappointed with the result so this last time, I just said “f*ck it!” and threw it all into Adobe Premier for some basic editing.
However, Faginrs500’s video about stammering is still pretty encouraging, so hopefully things can improve if I just keep on doing it. We’ll see. I still want to get some proper game capture hardware, as well as a tripod.

Anyway, I shall not delay it any further, ta-da~~!

(I can totally see why people complain about youtube’s compression)
So, like I said, now that I have a channel I would really like to add some more proper content at some point. If I get ’round doing that, I’ll update here as well 🙂

See you, people!

Recent pickups 15/6 2013

Just shoving my face in here for a quick loot post.

Picked up more video processing hardware from a user on the System11 SHMUPS forums: a Vigatec Dune-F.

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In terms of 240p performance, it seems to be essentially the same as my Vigatec FX2+, but I have yet to see it act up like the FX2+ could do when games change resolution mid-game. It looses sync and the image starts jumping. A quick reset fixes that but it’s hardly ideal. So if this works out well, I’ll be mighty pleased just by that. It also seems like it’s quite competent in other areas as well, but I’ve yet to try any new systems with it since I haven’t got the adapter I need yet (and I picked up this thing just yesterday).

Also, some games have made their way into my post box.

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All nice ones. I may already have Ridge Racer 7 but it really feels more right playing RR6 using the 360 controller. Those triggers are great for racing games. The music’s also pretty great, well, some tracks are. Happy to own Gyakuten Saiban on DS, or as we know it, Ace Attorney. I have played most of the games in the series, but through less legal means (sadly) so to get a proper version feels great. I have made it through the Japanese version once before, it shall be interesting to see if I can do it again.

Speaking of JP versions, getting Rockman EXE 3/Mega Man Battle Network 3 has got me absolutely stoked. I have a bit of history with the first three MMBN games and anime series it spawned, so this was a very nice thing to pick up and I’ll be sure to give it a whirl. I actually picked up the second game last year, and I beat it (well, the story mode anyway) so hopefully I’ll be able to repeat that feat. I’m only used to play these games using an emulator, after all.

Snatcher for the PC Engine is another one that I look forward to getting into. I already own the Saturn version, but after comparing the two, I really wanted to play the PCE version instead. Stoked about that one as well, even though the case has got a few blemishes.
Wing Arms for the Saturn I haven’t tried yet but I’ve watched a bit of gameplay and it seemed like fun. Borderlands 2 I picked up to play through with a friend.

And that’s all I got for now. I am waiting for a big package to arrive but it’s going surface post so maybe just not yet.

Got me a new display: AOC i2757Fm

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Whoozah! Going bigger is the trend, aye? Actually, I have been eyeing this particular monitor for a couple of months now while I’ve been saving up. It’s a (relatively) low cost 27″ LED IPS monitor, based on one of LG’s offerings. Cutting quickly to the chase, is it any good? Yes. Yes, it is. It doesn’t feel overly plasticy (only slightly – but I’ve had worse), got a fair amount of connections (however no DVI, sadly) and I really like the aesthetics. Stand maybe is a bit wobbly, but it works. You can place it right on the table without the stand if you wish.

If I had to nitpick, which I will do, it’s that I can’t seem to get the colors to look as good….or rather, as “deep” as they look on my Eizo Foris F2332, which also is a LED IPS display, although smaller with “only” 23 inches. I’ve been using that as my main display since probably last summer and I’ve really been rather fond of it, so naturally, I can’t help but to compare the two.

Especially when gaming or watching movies have I seen the Eizo come out slightly on top with a more detailed image, and with a white balance that somehow feels more white, more neutral, while the AOC, with my current settings at least, have this ever so slightly warm tint. Now, if I didn’t have the Eizo to compare to I would be perfectly satisfied. But I’m no expert, and I don’t have any of that fancy calibration equipment, so I don’t know if my Eizo displays the most “correct” colors, only that I slightly prefer it. It’s also worth mentioning that it lacks VESA mounting features, which may be a deal breaker to some.

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Also please note that this is a 1080p display, and does not, like some of the other 27″ offerings out there, go up to WQHD resolutions (2560 x 1440). This can be both a blessing and a curse. Since I have my Xbox 360 and PS3 living in the PC corner, having a 1080p monitor is perfect. And I think 1080p is totally a-OK for computing as well. For now, at least.

Now that both my PC monitors works in 1080p, I can game on whichever one I want and doing something else on the other – thanks to a cheap HDMI switcher and HDMI splitter solution like this:

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Enjoying some blue skies in Just Cause 2

Oh and please ignore the mess which is my cabling. I’ll get to it…

…eventually.

The early “2013 belated loot & pickup” post

Hi everyone.

Haven’t been much activity around, for which I apologize but…I bet all three of you are used to that by now.
I have been picking things up left to right this past month(s) but maybe one of the most important things I just got must be this:

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The Sony NEX-C3, which will be replacing my ageing Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50 as preferred camera of choice from here on out. The NEX-C3 can also film in 720p so maybe, just maybe, we will get some use out of that for youtube or something. I would very much like to, but I have the refined speech capabilities of a submerged otter.

Now for the rest of the loot.

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There’s a lot of fun stuff in here, but since I’m short on time, let me just highlight the really cool things. First off, new Minidisc player/recorder. It’s one that I’ve been wanting for quite some time. It’s very cool. It would be even cooler if I had some proper 4-pole headphones to make full use of the good sound tho’.
The other, for me, big pickup in there is Bulk Slash for the Saturn. Been wanting this game almost as long as I’ve had the system itself. Properly hyped to give that a spin later.
Moving on, Patlabor OVA LD box. MMmm….what can I say. Patlabor is a really cool show, you ought to check that out if you haven’t. I actually bought another version of this (called the Early Days box) on eBay in summer but it never turned up, sadly. So I was able to pick up another one through Yahoo Auctions. Very classy stuff.

While on the subject of anime, you maybe also noticed the Aika artbook to the left there…yes. Hrm…I still think AIKa is pretty bloody good, for a fanservice show. 99% of the known internet WILL disagree with me but to be honest, there is tons of fanservice shows that are so, so, so much worse. AIKa actually sports some really decent animation values not to mention good character & mechanical design – which is why it’s fun to have the artbooks. This is the second artbook, as I picked up the first one in what might be one of my first posts on this very blog.

Before I have to run, I’d just also like to mention the Dexule ARIEL soundtrack which, not only have the music on a disc, but also comes with a mini novel of sorts and a mini artbook. Very nice stuff. I got the LDs a while back and the soundstrack’s really nice and…not very common on eBay, so another Yahoo find then.

And now I own 3 PC-FX games without owning a console to play them on. Hmm.

And that’s it!
Actually it isn’t. But that’s most of it. There’s a few other bits & bobs that I maybe will make a separate post for, but this will be all for now.

The SHMJ sweet l00t post

OR “How I destroyed my wallet”.

Well. It’s here. After being stuck in some kind of weird shipping limbo, the last package and missing piece has now arrived.
I believe I’ve learned a very important lesson through this whole ordeal, and I will talk about this shortly however, showing off the l00t first might be a good idea.

This is a long a long one, so lean back & get comfortable.
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A box appears! I wonder what’s inside….?

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Ta-daah! Actually, there’s a hint of things to come somewhere in there…

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Taking a closer look at the stuff:

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There’s some really cool stuff in there, especially among the books & LDs. Being able to own both the Ten Little Gall Force OVA as well as Scramble Wars is maybe can be considered a personal milestone for my LD collection. Not sure if they’re actually rare or anything but, it’s something I don’t see very often that I’ve felt would be very cool to actually own, instead of just having them downloaded. Ten Little Gall Force is a sort of bonus episode thing for the original Gall Force OVA-series, in which the now super deformed cast play out some key events from the show as actors were it a live action production. Scramble Wars is a sort of Wacky Racers styled romp which features a lot of characters from popular older shows at the time. The main focus lies on the Gall Force & Bubblegum Crisis cast however.
Getting Burn Up! is cool as well. Not because it’s all that great, but it’s one of the things I watched when I was getting into “oldschool” anime. So, yeah, it’s more of a personal thing.
And last but not least, the Macross-movie. I need to find some time to sit down and watch this sucker again. Absolutely stoked to own it tho’. It’s a beautiful box.

Also picked up some very nice artbooks. Being a big fan of Kenichi Sonoda’s older artworks, I find this “Gallant” artbook to be very cool. Aside from a few original illustrations, it’s mostly Gall Force stuff in here to, both character artwork and mechanical designs – very cool. Also very happy with the Dirty Pair Flash artbook and that book by artist Akitaka Mika, from Galaxy Angel fame, which is filled to the brim with so called “MS Girls”-illustrations. That is to say, illustrations of different Gundam robots depicted as girls, all this done in a very 80s style. Been wanting a real copy of this for some time.

I could talk about the games & music CDs as well but let’s move on to package nr. 2…

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WHAT IS IIIIT?

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BAM!

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Sharp X68000 Ace HD. Pure pr0n. This sucker’s big & heavy, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t one of the coolest looking computers of all time. OF ALL TIME.
Came with a SCSI card installed, which is…cool, I guess? 😀 I really have no clue about these things.
At this point, I should probably also mention that this unit was sold as mostly untested, except that it powered on, and I have no real idea how well it actually works. After confirming that yes, it does indeed power on, I tempted fate by inserting those “Detana!! Twinbee” floppies and it shut down, refusing to power on again.
Disk 1 is still in there ;_;

Ah, well, actually, the power supply is notorious for failing on these units, at least on the twin tower models, so I was sort of expecting that to happen at some point anyway. I spent a bit of yesterday to open this sucker up (it’s only 3 screws per side, but those side panels are some truly tricky bastards). So in less than 24 hours of me receiving it, it ended up like this:

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^ Removed the power supply ^

Ah…well, I’ll look at this like a project of sorts and hopefully will be able to get this bad boy up and running again. Or at least just enough to spit out that Twinbee floppy. 😛
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And now for the serious bit:
I paid through the nose for this. For the items and for the shipping.
So here’s a little piece of advice for anyone wanting to go wild on Yahoo Auctions using Shopping Mall Japan or similar proxy services. Get what you need and get out.
Don’t buy a lot of stuff just because it’s “cheap” – because it isn’t going to be, in the end. Sure, it may just cost 500yen but then it will have to get shipped twice and usually putting down a bid costs a little bit in itself. SMJ takes about $6 if I remember correctly.

In short: it all adds up, and then, if you’re impatient like me and don’t want to wait 3 months or risk shipping all that cool stuff without insurance the shipping charges will hit you like a fist.
Not saying there’s anything wrong with SMJ and the like, but…one should be careful and think things through.

However, the most devastating realization is probably this. I bought a lot of stuff that isn’t especially rare at all – they just happened to be sooo much cheaper then I’ve seen them for on eBay it was almost hilarious. Like, I couldn’t let these awesome deals pass me by, right? Turns out, I probably didn’t save anything at all. Actually it might’ve been cheaper to just get them off eBay.

So…uh, there we have it. I’ll be more careful next time.
Aaand, this might sound stupid after all this but I actually have another piece of hardware coming in, unrelated to this purchase, so that’ll hopefully show up in the coming weeks. See you when that happens. 😀