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.
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!
Alright, first loot post in 2012!
There’s games, books, music and anime both in LD & Blu-ray. Yup, think we have all bases covered this time…
The How to draw Manga-books came from the same Amazon purchase as the collectors edition of REDLINE, since I wanted to reach the amount needed for free shipping. As far as how-to-books goes, they’re neither bad nor great. They feature some interesting inteviews but they don’t teach you any techniques besides “draw more” :p
And as for REDLINE, haven’t watched it yet. I’m thinking of watching it the first time with some friends for maximum effect.
Moving on then, to music! Let’s just get those Sailor Moon CDs out of the way first. One turned out to be some sort of drama cd, but giving it a quick listen,
Usagi’s voice is all I can hear. Upon closer inspection there are songs in there, they just start after 1 or 2 minutes of the characters talking. Weird that they didn’t separate the tracks. The full OP & ED is included though so it’s not that bad I suppose. As for the other one, it refuses to play. I’ve tried that disc in, basically, everything that I own that can play a CD and it just doesn’t work. Weirdest thing is, the CD looks pretty good too. No big fingerprints, hardly any scratches…but there seem to be some kind of…something just around the inner area. Maybe that’s it. I’ll need to see if I can clean it somehow.
Aside from Sailor Moon, there’s also two albums from Mariko Nagai, who I discovered late last year through youtube and the anime Yawara!. There’s mostly good early 90’s j-pop in there and some slower songs as well. Good stuff!
Lastly, there’s an album by the group Pink Sapphire. A “tv-sized” version of their song “P.S. I Love You” is played in the main menu of the first Galaxy Fraulein Yuna game, so that’s where I heard it. Sadly, it also has some kind of playback problem during the first track. Wonder what I can do about that…
1st OP for Yawara! The song is “Miracle Girl” by Mariko Nagai
“P.S. I Love You” by Pink Sapphire
On to the games, then. There’s Bomberman ’94 for the PCE (HuCards are totally rad), which needs no introduction since it’s well…Bomberman. Same goes for Daytona USA. Then there’s JetMoto, which I have fond memories of playing the PC-version I borrowed from a friend when I was younger. And finally there’s Racing Lagoon, which is this rather interesting tuning-racer mixed with a healthy dose of RPG-elements (complete with an over world mode and “enemies” that forces you into a quick battle should they hit you with their car), from Squaresoft, of all companies. Now, the character CG models haven’t aged well at all, the driving feels floaty and slightly off but the music is, for the most part so far, bloody fantastic. Oh, and then there’s Noël – Not Digital, because I could. I’m not very good at these kind of games (Noël 3 on the Saturn gave me a bad end, oops!) but I’m strangely attracted to them.
And with that we move on to the last group, the LaserDiscs. Last time there were 5 of them, this time it’s only 4 but all very good. With this I can add Idol Defense Force Hummingbird to the list of completed series, and Bubblegum Crisis, Birdy the Mighty & All Purpose Cultural Catgirl Nuku Nuku gets another one each.
Hummingbird is probably the only anime in my LD collection so far, with the possible exception of the Dirty Pair TV-series, that I haven’t watched in any shape, way or form before actually getting it. As a whole, it’s a pretty nice series, but the later two episodes, while trying to build up tension and be all serious-like (well, not really) wasn’t as enjoyable to me as the first two. Specifically, episode two is my favorite by a clear margin. It’s the most consistently animated, having lots of good key frames, introduces two new likeable characters and out of all four LDs is the only CAV one. Which is weird since both episode three & four clocks in about 30 minutes as well. Also, 3 & 4 has a different art direction where the girls doesn’t have the same colorful hair and the drawing style is slightly changed as well. Still, quite enjoyable for what’s it worth. : )
Also, yes, my bedsheets have an elephant-theme going on. You are now jealous.
Until next time.
I was thinking of writing a few lines about the new anime season but I’m waiting for episode 2 of the shows I’m following, so that’ll have to wait. Instead, I’m going to do a little shoot-out here with two versions of the same game; 銀河お嬢様伝説ユナ (Ginga Ojou-sama Densetsu Yuna) or Galaxy Fraulein Yuna. I’m going to issue a 56k warning here 😀
I don’t have any proof, but quite I’m confident that a great many gamers and anime-fans haven’t heard of this particular title before. And I don’t blame them. With the third and last game released for the PS1 in 1998 and a series of OVAs released around the same time, Kagurazaka Yuna is indeed an icon of times past. There is a compilation of the first two games + sought after spin-off Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire released for the PSP in Japan, 2008, but I’m not really counting that.
With artist Akitaka Mika at the helm, Galaxy Fraulein Yuna is a classic multimedia franchise, including everything you would expect; games, anime, CDs…the lot.
The plot revolves around the cute but somewhat ditzy 16-year old Kagurazaka Yuna, who just happened to win an intergalactic beauty contest (the Ginga Ojou-sama contest – hence the name) and with that suddenly became an idol, with all that entails. However, not only does she receive fame, but also the title of “Saviour of Light” and must do battle with evil forces – in this case, her rivals from said competition, who have had their hearts “stolen by darkness”.
And that’s the gist of it. Sounds corny to you? It is. But I think the game’s straightforwardness works in it’s favour.
The series started out on the PC Engine, with the first game released in 1992. It saw a re-relase (the one I have) with some additional content in 1995 and also a sequel. In 1996 the first game got a re-make on Saturn titled “Remix”. So, you’d imagine that the Saturn version is quite the upgrade from the, by then, 4 year old original version. After all, the Saturn is known as a 2D powerhouse and the large number of high quality adventure, visual novels & digital comics in it’s library certainly speaks in it’s favour.
But you’d be wrong. And in this comparison we will see why. Before we get to the screencaps, let’s compare the opening:
Now, I used Magic Engine (PCE) and SFF (Saturn) respectively in order to grab some screencaps, from the beginning to the first battle with jealous rival Kaede. I used emulation because I’ve got both systems hooked up to a CRT-screen at the moment and we all know how well that goes with photography. Right.
PC Engine-version (1992 – quite small so enlarge them in your browser or something)
While the Saturn version features anime-cutscenes in the more modern style the series adapted as it series went on, everything is a mess. Let’s be honest here, the Saturn never had any luck with FMVs (I blame bad codecs) and when they replaced the pixel art cutscenes with the handrawn ones, we’re well on our way to artefact central. Speaking of artefacts, around all character portraits, there’s this almost halo-like pixelation, or what looks like the result of a poor job with the magic wand tool in Photoshop. Not to mention that many character portraits are re-used from the PCE-version, and thus doesn’t match with the newer character design. Other casualties includes the backgrounds, which now looks like they were made in MS Paint – and I’m not joking. The map-screen, which is displayed when you change location in the PCE-version, is absent and so is almost the whole GUI. We’re left with a very bare bones interface with only a semi-transparent blue bar for text and character portraits.
While I appreciate that the game now runs in full screen, it all looks so amateurish. The battle system also gets an “upgrade”. What used to be merely a rock-paper-scissors kind of thing now also has 3 quickly changing stats (attack, shield & evade) which needs to be timed correctly for maximum effect. The idea itself is good but the result is lacklustre. It makes my eyes spin. Also, the grainy FMVs make their comeback during the battle.
In fact, the only thing that can actually be seen as an improvement in the Remix-version is bigger character illustrations and the sound, and even then it’s not a very big difference. Voices sound maybe a little less compressed and the music is no longer chip-generated, but whether that’s a good or bad thing is debatable. This time, it’s a bad thing because no one seemed to care enough about the music to really make it any better. The PCE version actually sounds a bit more distinctive.
If you think I’m hard on Galaxy Fraulein Yuna Remix, it’s because an improved version of a game released on 32-bit system, should not be inferior in almost every single way to the original version, released 4 years prior on what essentially is an 8-bit system. If they just had actually sat down and harnessed the power of the Saturn, it could’ve turned out a great remake.
Now, I do enjoy this particular franchise, and some day I should really pick up the third game for the PS1 or Saturn…and maybe the PC-FX version, should I manage to get my hands on one of those.
Omake content! (Season backdrops from the Saturn version’s calendar mode.)
And that’s that. See you next post!
I was thinking about saving some money for a while now. That didn’t happen. In my defense, things were pretty cheap :p
There’s a store in Stockholm called SuperMotaro and it’s a really, really nice place. As it would happen, me and a friend just happened to find ourselves at walking distance from said store, so I dragged him there.
The Saturn joystick is a bit roughed up (found in the “sales bin”) but only costed me 10 SEK. (!!)
As for the PCE games, I just wanted to try a HuCard-game and I’ve been this close to picking up Graduation before, but on the Saturn. So, yeah.
…and that’s about it. 🙂
(Warning: thumbs are a bit screwy thanks to me not resisting captions)
During the time when my old blog was getting ignored by me, I did get a way of income and that has naturally resulted in some loot. First up was something of an impulse buy where heart went before all reason:
And as a result of that, this:
Yes, I’ve started to collect Laserdiscs. I realize DVD might be better in many ways such cheaper per episode and generally less cumbersome but LOOK AT IT. IT’S SO AWESOME. I mean, it’s certainly not very economic to buy each episode loose as often seems to be the case with anime LDs but it really feels like you’re getting something for your money spent. High quality artwork on the front (and often back) of the big sleeve and then a gigantic disc that weighs quite more than you’d initially believe. And in all of LDs I have collected so far (not a very big collection but slightly bigger than pictured) there’s usually an insert of some kind, sometimes a folder, with interviews, comments and character/vehicle design/sketches.
Really cool stuff.
Some stuff that I bought together with the LDs also deserves special mention. Like, for starters, this B-Club Special Bubblegum Crisis artbook. I wasn’t expecting that to float around the interwebs for an affordable price, really happy to pick that up. My camera does suck though, apologies for that.
I also picked up the first artbook for another guilty pleasure of mine: Agent AIKa. Sadly, I didn’t take any special pictures of aside from the one above.
In the same batch, there were also two volumes of Namco Game Sound Express.
And last but not least additions to my game collection:
I also got Rockman Dash (Mega Man Legends) and Tokimeki Memorial 2, pictured in the loot above.
Phew! I believe that’s most of it. I don’t have any more pictures, anyway :p