Merry (late) Christmas/Holidays and a Happy New Year!
Well, it’s a little late time this time (as Christmas was a week ago) but finishing this thing up took me a little while. Oh well, here we are, another year gone and I of course realize I pretty much haven’t touched this place save for replying to some comments, which are of course always welcome.
Will that change in 2016? Hard to say.
How much time I spend on the blog seems to sort of reflect how much more time I spend in other places such as communitys/forums and Reddit, for example.
However I shall try to not abandon it completely like I did a lot of this year OTL
Anyway, happy season greetings again and I’ll see you guys next year!
Beep, beep! Christmas pic time!
Last post here was in spring…time really flies. And…err…sorry.
But I do have something I hope to write about here in the coming weeks so there’s that.
At any rate, Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!
I’m off! /o/
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?
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:
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!
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
Here’s the belated loot post I was talking about. This is stuff that I got during November and maybe very early December that I didn’t get round to post here.
First up is some game systems I’ve been after for quite some time. I mentioned this before but when I picked up my PCE DUO, I had originally been deciding between a Super Famicom or a Mega Drive. That purchase resulted in none of those, so I’ve been eyeing them again after that.
Sadly, I’ve had a bit of problem connecting them to my scaler, especially with the Mega Drive units. I do have an RGB scart for all systems but maybe I also need to invest in one of those syncstrike-devices? The MD with the “AV Intelligent Terminal – High Grade Multipurpose Use”-marking (love that!) was said to have some kind of audio trouble, so I managed to pick up another one to have just in case.
And software, of course! Nothing too expensive and mostly pretty common titles. Very happy to find a PC-FX game (Graduation II FX) for the price I got it for. See, I don’t have a PC-FX, but ever since I found out about the NEC game systems, I’ve been eyeing that one along with the normal PC Engine. Getting a PC-FX is not on the top of my priority list, but I hope to be able to pick one up sometime and when I do, I will have a game at the ready 🙂 Loving the big clamshell case!
Lastly, to the upper far left, an Eureka SeveN DVD/UMD combo pack…thing. It’s just the first DVD but it also comes with an UMD-disc…because…I don’t know why. All this comes in this big box thing which is surprisingly empty. It was bought used to most likely something is missing but…whatever. I’m not the biggest Eureka SeveN fan, actually. I mean, I DO really like it. But at the same time, I can’t see myself re-watching the whole thing any time soon and for everything that I like about the show, there are things that I don’t so…it’s a bit of a mixed bag for me.
And that’s that. I mentioned I had some other stuff on the way and everything save for one item has actually already turned up here so…just waiting for that last thing to get shipped. So stay tuned, if watching other people’s loot is your thing!
The room is coming along fine with the PC corner almost complete. But let’s take a break from that and look at some loot I picked up recently. Well, to be fair, most of this stuff is from late last month but I was waiting for a few more things to come in that sadly haven’t – so I’ll just put these up anyway.
This is mostly a Rakuten haul with a few additional things picked up from eBay. Actually, there have been quite a few anime LDs listed on eBay these past months.
So, what do we have here then? First up is a music CD: KANA, featuring artist Wada Kanako (和田加奈子). This one is from 1987 and I quite like it. Picked it up mainly because of this song:
If you’re interested in seeing what else tracks are on there, somebody actually made a dedicated page for it. I don’t completely agree with the opinions stated there (both #1 & #6 are now favourite tracks of mine) but it’s there, should you need it.
On eBay I also picked up the OVA soundtrack for Patlabor. Yes, my Patlabor collection is slowly growing. ❤
Also picked up three games, the original Ridge Racer, Densha de Go 2 and Gakuensai, which actually have a longer title that I won’t bother with 😛
Ridge Racer is, well, it’s riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidge raaaaaaceeeeeeeeer as they say. Managed to beat it last week or so, felt good but the hard PS1 d-pad made my thumb hurt. Haven’t tried out Densha de Go 2 yet but I have started out in Gakuensai. It’s a decent game for it’s genre and it contains actual gameplay – which means that it’s better than any modern visual novel-type game 😀
Another interesting game I picked up, which I’ve also wanted for quite some time, is The Game Paradise (or Game Tengoku) for the Saturn. It’s a pretty cool comedy/parody shooter, similar to Parodius in a way but scrolls vertical instead. The cool thing about this game is that this version comes complete with a VHS-tape featuring some anime OVA goodness. I knew it was a good idea to pick up that NTSC-compatible VHS-player a while back!
Before we leave the games and move on to the always delicious laserdiscs, I just want to mention that I also did pick up more Yuna-related l00t – a proper poster this time. Sadly, it’s quite a bit bigger, or well, longer than I imagined it to be and thus will not fit within my 70x50cm frames. Hm…a problem, that. It still is a very nice poster tho’. Almost forgot to mention the You’re Under Arrest artbook as well. It’s very nice, especially if you, like me, is a big fan of the series.
Finally, we have the LDs. The loose one’s are Patlabor the Movie (great movie by the way) and a Ghibli double whammy with Porco Rosso (or Kurenai Buta here) and On Your Mark, the animated music video for a song with same name from artist’s Chage & Aska. Very cool gem, indeed. Not commonly found on DVD I hear (but does exist as a part of a collection) so that’s an interesting LD to own (and watch). I also got myself two boxes, Golden Boy & Agent AIKa. Both of these are well known for the fanservice elements, but are actually really good shows if you’re able to look past that (or enjoy it). Golden Boy actually was quite well-received last time I checked and it really sports some quality animation and background work that makes it worth checking out just for that alone.
The box contains all six episodes and looks like quite the premium item, it also weights a ton.
The Agent AIKa box on the other hand is incomplete as I only have 3 episodes total. The box was introduced together with the Special Trial episode, so you’d have somewhere to tuck the other discs you’ve probably accumulated at that point. I don’t know if Agent AIKa ever was sold as a complete set in stores. It is (in)famous for the panty-flashing it delivers with such glee, were it a person it would have a big dorky smile connecting both ears, throughout the entire series.
It still is a good show though, in it’s own right. It doesn’t reach the artistic & technical heights of Golden Boy but it’s not badly done in any way. Character design is good, background and animation well above what you can expect in this genre and it’s got an attention to detail that I appreciate. Also, the jazzy soundtrack is both fitting and quite good, and spans across 3 CDs – I don’t own it though. It’s probably my favorite Studio Fantasia work as I don’t think they have been able to match this yet, even though they have tried.
And with that, I’m off!
Yeah, took me a little while to sit down and watch it, considering I’ve been sitting on it a month or so.
I bought the thing based on a few screenshots and because it was generally very well received everywhere I went – So, to be brief, I liked it. The style, especially all the weird alien guys, did give me a hard time through the whole movie, though. What I’m trying to say is, characters looked good but there was just too much weird going on in there for me to swallow it all. But I’ve been known to be pretty critic when it comes to styles and such. :p
The action however, ooohooo yeah. That shit was off it’s tits. No, shit was tits and then there was some serious mind blowing going on.
My only complaint in that department is that I sort of whish JP’s car would’ve been more visually tricked out as well. I just didn’t find it that cool looking. Not compared to what the other racers brought to the table. But then again, I’m no big fan of muscle cars.
So in short, even though I’m unable to fully embrace all of it, I had a good time with REDLINE. It proves that the situation for modern anime isn’t so dire as it often seems. But then again I’m just such a critic! (:
This post was something I thought to myself I should do once I’d seen 2 episodes of each show I was interested in. That was what? 2 weeks ago? You’re probably already seen all of these now. Small wonder why my old animeblog didn’t go all that well…
Out of all shows that started this season, I only checked out three. I’ve also been following these three since. None is bad enough for me to stop watching but they aren’t exactly the most exciting things I’ve seen either. Though, some are still quite good. Enough of that, let’s give them a rough impression, one by one.
Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou
(Daily Lives of Highschool Boys)
I thought this was going to become my sleeper hit of the season. It wasn’t something I picked from those anime charts but rather something I seeked out after reading some other blog’s impressions, including ANN’s own winter 2012 coverage. It sounded like every other manga-based slice of life comedy and while I usually don’t mind that kind of thing, I was initially going to pass this one up.
Turns out people was surprised by it though, so I had to check it out and sure enough, episode 1 had me laughing as well. Even though I can’t say it was very original, it was the way it delivered that made it interesting and made it feel fresh. The second episode was just as fun, if not more. But sadly, the latest two episodes haven’t been reaching the same level as those before them, with jokes feeling strangely drawn out, forced or needlessly repeated. I really hope it picks up again though.
Visually, it’s nothing special at all. A quick google search suggests it being true to the source material but it really is a bland looking show. It’s pretty much the opposite of where KyoAni takes some cookie-cutter 4koma and totally maxes that shit out.
One last thing though, it feels good to hear Kyon…sorry, Sugita Tomozaki again, doing what he does best.
(Bodacious Space Pirates)
Classical ingredients space, sci-fi & girls are the order of the day in this modern pirating tale. Except there really haven’t been a whole lot of pirating going on so far. And that’s actually a good thing. The main character, Marika, lives a quite ordinary life and it would really feel jarring if they forced her down into the pirate outfit right away. The show manages to be interesting while having quite the laid back pacing and this is probably necessary in order to properly build upon Marika’s character (and everyone else’s) so that the situation hinted in the opening actually makes sense and doesn’t feel forced.
That said, there have been enough happenings every episode to keep things interesting. All negative things I can come up with lies with somewhat lacking, and sometimes quite odd, visual design and presentation. But that’s just what I think. However, the weapons are downright weird. What looks like an oversized sub machine-gun, using a proper magazine for ammo and all, actually acts like a laser cannon – with a ridiculously long charge time before firing (possibly for effect).
Visually, there is too much bland 3D graphics used and while the style is kinda nice, the overall look is still very generic.
But the story is interesting and I want to find out what happens next.
Ano Natsu de Matteru
Waiting in the Summer
This one, I was actually really looking forward to. Not sure since when but probably when I saw the promo art the first time. Then I became even more excited when I read that both the screenplay writer and character designer were involved in 2002’s Onegai Teacher.
This connection is so strong that AnoNatsu proves a bit difficult to judge. On it’s own, it’s a well made albeit sort of slow paced romance comedy, plagued by some less good design decisions – like, for example, the look of the main character :p The graphical style they went for feels a bit more like Ano Hana than Onegai but that’s probably because JC Staff is responsible for the animation. It’s really a good looking show, stylistic preferences aside.
When viewed as a part of the Onegai-series, however, I feel that both the setting and the characters aren’t as interesting, even though they are very much the same, technically. I don’t have easy access to either Onegai Teacher or Twins right now, and this might just be my nostalgia acting up but that’s how I feel about AnoNatsu.
Actually, I think the most magical thing for me with Onegai wasn’t so much the characters (certainly wasn’t Kei) but the location and they way it was presented. Both Onegai & AnoNatsu takes place in rural areas, with both Teacher & Twins using Lake Kizaki in Nagano as their backdrop. I like to think the fact that we get to know this place and it’s surroundings through a total of 26 episodes really helps explain why I don’t harbour the same feelings for the setting in AnoNatsu, even though it seems similar. Still, only 4 episodes in, we haven’t seen that much of it yet. Also, it would certainly not be too surprising should it too be based on another real location somewhere…
But returning to topic, so far, Ano Natsu feels like someone played it safe. It does take certain liberties such as a new (but similar) setting, new (but similar) characters and features a new (but similar) spin on the story from Onegai Teacher. Ultimately, Remon might be the new Ichigo but Ichika is not the new Mizuho ; )
And there we have it. Vague and non-helpful ramblings as per usual : )