Tag Archive | Unexpected find

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 120ยฝ 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 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

See you, people!

TokiMemo hidden musings

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Hello there, long time no see!

I was going to some loot posts but I didn’t, because of 100% pure lazyness and procrastination. In the end, all purchases sort of blurred together and I couldn’t be bothered, considering the amont of loot posts lately I felt like another one wasn’t really necessary right now…perhaps?

Anyway, today I want to talk games. Hidden gems, in fact, with hidden being the operative word here.
You see, sometime in late December last year I picked up Tokimeki Memorial for PC Engine – yup, the original. I really prefer the later Saturn version of this one but:
1) it is cheap.
2) it contains a PCE only unlockable.

Actually, to be fair, all different versions of TokiMemo seems to have some unlockables that aren’t available elsewhere, but I digress.

After putting it off for some months I sat down and gave it a spin. And, whelp, it feels decidedly more spartan than the Saturn version, or what I remember from it. Character sprites, while good and sharp, have some odd colors here and there (might be caused by the composite signal). Backdrops have certain digitized photo look to them which I’m not very fond off, and the “painted on detail” is…actually not detailed enough. ๐Ÿ˜›
And music? Music is…okay. I like the PCE sound but the game’s soundtrack isn’t all that to be honest. It’s fun hearing familiar tunes played back as they once were intended but really, later versions does it much better.
Lastly, I just can’t help but feel I’m having no real way of planning out the weeks in the game. It was a while since I last touched the Saturn version but I want to remember it being much better at visually indicating if a test was coming up or if I had a date on one day…or just showing anything really.

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But don’t get me wrong – the PCE version is still very much playable. And it’s still fun. In the beginning anyway, as TokiMemo can get pretty dreary after a while when you do the same thing all over again. But it mixes things up enough for it to keep it interesting. And it’s easy to forget just how much content there is in TokiMemo.

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My mission was simple. Unlock a specific mini game by being active in the computer club and playing close to three full years.
Okay…well…simple maybe isn’t the right word but it doesn’t sound that hard either. You just have to man up and play the game (almost) to completion.

However, I was off to a bad start as I wasn’t entirely sure about what I needed to do at first. Maybe it didn’t help I opted to continue from where I left off after my little test run instead of starting a new game either.

Anyway, after doing a double check in the instructions I quickly joined the computer club and began to slowly but surely raise those stats.
Speaking of which, this is a good time to try and win the heart of Yuina Himoo, the mad scentist girl, since you’ll be in the same club and all.

And, maybe you’re wondering, what is this PC Engine only little secret? It’s a mini game – “Force Gear“, a caravan styled horizontal shooter with some heavy vibes from other Konami titles. It’s not very long, the controls are a bit clunky, the end boss is hard but it’s quite fun and the music is nice. It’s quite charming actually, and it’s obvious that more work has gone into this game than you’d expect. HG101 wrote a little piece about it here.

So is it worth picking up TokiMemo just in order to play Force Gear? I’d say that depends on how much you like Tokimeki Memorial. There are alternative options for those not wanting
to do a full run through an old dating sim presented in moon runes – these options are either finding an ISO with Force Gear already unlocked or unlocking it with some kind of cheat device.

Well in the game, on the first culture festival I demonstrated some kind of love compatibility computer software. Compatibility with our blue haired genius is deemed to be “normal”.
MISSION STATUS: Could go better.

I spend the year trying to get her on a few dates, as well as raising more stats…and taking care of (read: dating) the girls that approached me because of said raised stats.
Christmas was spent alone as I wasn’t allowed entry to pretty boy Ijuin’s mansion. Appearance stats probably too low. How sad.

Second culture festival: Twinbee Returns unlocked. Shame it’s not a very great looking game. Also, I’m terrible at it. But it’s something at least. Situation with Himoo is good. She secretly has the hots for me. I think. Though she called the game I made stupid.
MISSION STATUS: Making progress.

Even after raising the good look-stats a bit, christmas was alone. Again. Ouch.

And then finally, the third culture festival! Will this be it? Will I unlock what I’ve been seeking?
No. Himoo performed a live hacking demonstration and took over a military satellite instead. I guess that’s something. Oh and she totally has the hots for me now.
Sometime here, the me in the game also said something about sending a game in for a competition. Huh. Oh well.
MISSION STATUS: Failed?

Decided to keep playing, with this being the last year and all.
And then, after the new years eve – the results for that earlier mentioned game competition is in. 3rd place? Can’t remember but surprise, surprise – screen goes black and Force Gear starts!
MISSION STATUS: COMPLETE. Almost.

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As you can see, it’s a bit of work to unlock this “hidden” feature. The only thing that remains at this point is to finish the game so that Force Gear will be playable straight from the omake menu in options.

And I did – even if a “bomb” did go off and lowered the relation level with the girls. BUT HOW DID IT EEENNNND?

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YEAH.

This felt quite good actually. Regardless how much I suck at Force Gear, I have been wanting to at least try it for quite some time. And, I mean, it’s a transforming mech sidescrolling shooting game with Gradius vibes in an overly fluffy pretty girl game…does it get any cooler than that? ๐Ÿ˜€

The โ€œI bought a lot of stuffโ€ Special (part 2)

It’s time to look at what hides deep within the pages of those Newtype issues!
Let’s get started with this little announcement I found where it says that “Sasamoto Yuuichi’s popular novel-series ‘ARIEL’ will get an anime adaption! The OVA is planned to be released this summer”.

Fun stuff to find, especially now that I own the LD release ๐Ÿ˜€ย  Really puts one’s possession in historical context…

Here’s some of the rest:

Upcoming is some fun stuff I didn’t want to get lost in the picture flood. First up, model sheets from…yup, Angel Cop! That’s not really something I expected..

Next up is some model sheets & concept drawings from the Patlabor TV-series:

Here’s some (very small) backdrops from Yawara! TV-series:

And what better to end this picture dump with than some super expensive and at the time high-end but now utterly obsolete hardware:
๐Ÿ˜€

Actually, I would love to get my hands on those players, as they are looking absolutely gorgeous and much sleeker than pretty much anything I see in stores nowadays… : /

…right, where did I put my time machine?

UppCon 2012


Phew.
Another UppCon comes and goes. Rumour has it this year’s was the last. If true, then it’s with mixed feelings I bid farewell to what was, if wikipedia is to be believed, the biggest nordic anime/manga-convention.
I have been attending UppCon with a couple friends since a few years back and during these years the con has switched locals what must be at least 3 times (though we missed the first move, I think). So it has grown considerably and in my eyes, become a bit too big for it’s own good in recent years. The price for entry tickets have skyrocketed, mostly thanks to increased costs of operation, but this (and maybe last year?) the 3-day pass also doubled as a ticket for the live performances on the main stage.

At the same time, it has been a pretty fun experience. Good things have been bought in the dealers area and since 2010 there were also an artist’s alley – something I’ve envied after hearing about conventions in the US. This was also the first year I could attend 2 days instead of only 1, which made the “big” day (Saturday) a slightly less hectic experience. This also allowed me to collect more swag, of course.
In the end, despite the increasing costs and crowd, good times have been had and I’m left to wonder what will replace it.

On to the l00t!

As has been proven in previous years, the con-run booth that specializes in selling what attendees bring with them is the most interesting place in the sellers area. Even I managed to get some stuff I didn’t need sold there.
It’s probably the most varied booth in terms on what’s on sale and it’s also possible to find some very good deals there. Also, games.

I picked up Ikuruga and a roughed up copy F-Zero GX for the Gamecube. Mega Man X: Maverick Hunter for PSP and lastly Paro Wars for the PS1.
That’s a good haul, I’d say! Speaking of which, I also found a loose PAL PS1 for a very low price. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with two of these but despite needing a little clean up, it works. It’s also an older revision than the one I already have, having both the serial and parallel ports on the backside, so that’s interesting I guess.

Speaking of games, I also found collectable figures based on Galaxy Fraulein Yuna, so naturally I had to buy one. The price was a bit above what I wanted to pay but the seller was really nice and offered me to find the figure I wanted.
After assembly, I have to say that Yuna’s build quality is a bit shoddy, at least compared to collectable figures from more contemporary series, but really, when was the last time you saw Galaxy Fraulein Yuna merchandise? Thought so.

In terms of more classical anime/manga-con loot I secured two DVDs, the 1st Cardcaptor Sakura movie and a Japanese release of Di Gi Charat Nyo! volume 1.
Along with this I picked up two manga books, a free compilation of manga-styled short stories by Swedish artists and volume 4 of Master Keaton, which I dug out of a cardboard box of cheaply priced, to me, mostly unknown Japanese manga. No, I don’t have the 3 preceding volumes ๐Ÿ˜› But my curiosity go the better of me and it was cheap. Speaking of cheap random pickups, I found this magazine called “CUT”. I guess it’s normally a movie/cinema-kind of magazine. This one had a Studio Ghibli feature (mostly interviews) so I thought that maybe could be interesting to flip through.

Last up is two CDs I picked up. The Tackey & Tsubasa Best collection (say whatever you want, some tracks are pretty good) was offered for a really good price in the mentioned attendees booth while I picked up Mai Otome/Z-HiME Best Collection from a normal seller.
Sadly, that turned out to be a bootleg. Bummer. The label “Miya Records” caught my eye and after getting home and comparing it to a scan off the real thing, the cat was out of the bag. Upon further inspection, I found two other CDs I’ve had for a while with the same label. Quality seems pretty great tho’, so that’s a good thing I guess.

Returning to the topic of UppCon for a bit, there were loads of cosplayers if that’s your thing ๐Ÿ˜›
My camera didn’t really take that many good shots, especially not during the actual cosplay competition, but there’s always this site if you’re interested. I also believe some of the other performances and events will be uploaded to youtube.

I think this might be a fitting picture with to end this post and also say goodbye to UppCon.

Aozora Shoujotai: An otaku room study


While curiously absent from the cover illustrations, Isurugi Takuya, the male lead from from ้’็ฉบๅฐ‘ๅฅณ้šŠ (Aozora Shลjotai), also known as 801 T.T.S. Airbats, is a gigantic nerd (in a good way). He doesn’t go around spouting anime references like other people sharing his passion would do if this was any other series, instead the shelves in his room is filled to the brim with figures and toys.

The original manga ran from July 1991 – October 1992 in Shounen Monthly Captain and for the reader with a keen eye, provides an interesting glimpse into what shows were popular back then. Or at least what the author, Toshimitsu Shimizu, preferred.

Lovers of Bubblegum Crisis will have a riot as hardsuit-clad Priss is featured in almost every photo. Speaking of which, I also suspect Toshimitsu may be a fan of BGC episode 8, since Vision’s spider-like tank makes two appearances. A man after my own heart, this guy ๐Ÿ˜›

A robot from Armored Trooper Votoms also appears twice, as does King, the lion cub from Nadia: Secret of Blue Water though not Nadia herself, strangely enough.
Other interesting appearances are Rabby and Patty from Gallforce: First Story and Magical Taruruuto-kun, from the series with the same name.
For the lover of older anime there’s Maetel from Galaxy Express 999 and Tetsujin 28.
There’s silhouettes resembling Onyomiko (Kaku Rei) from Genji Tsuushin Agedama and Tekkaman Blade. Something that looks like a Sailor Moon figure is also in there as well as the Thunderbird 2. Even Totoro and the Moomins show up once.


In 1994 the series got an anime adaption and the reference hijinks continues, this time in color!

Hooo boy, there’s a lot in there. Obvious ones that I can tell right away is the Millennium Falcon, Ultraman, Sailor Jupiter, B-ko from Project A-ko, donning her battle suit, Gunbuster, Kinu Himuro from Ghost Sweeper Mikami, Nuku Nuku from All Purpose Cultural Catgirl Nuku Nuku (say that one fast three times) and even a not yet painted figure of Kagurazaka Yuna from Galaxy Fraulein Yuna. Evangelion also makes an appearance in the shape of a poster and somewhat more obscure is a figure of Cyomi from the (in)famous Viper-games by Sogna.

There’s even a lovingly reproduced brief homage to Namco’s Air Combat, the predecessor to the excellent Ace Combat game series.

Phew!
I think that was all I could catch, but there’s probably more in there. I love it when manga authors and anime studios show their love for other works in this way. It’s like a pop-quiz extravaganza for the viewer “in the know”, so to speak.

In other news, I’m still waiting to stuff to arrive. Bleh.

Recent Pickups 10/5 2012

So, I was thinking to myself, “Man, it’s already May now, you should start saving for the convention you will attend in June”. YEAH, THAT ALWAYS WORK DOESN’T IT?!
So, I stumbled over some stuff I had to get because I either wanted them badly and they were elusive or just a good deal.

First up, there’s this Mitsubishi VHS deck I picked up very locally for a very low cost, along with a whole box of tapes. Which included Disney’s Peter Pan, which I’ve always wanted to watch in full since I had to go home that one time when I watched it at a friends party as a kid, so that’s something I guess.
No, the real reason I wanted this is because it can play NTSC tapes. Something I have no immediate need for but might have in the future. Just felt it would be really nice to have, considering the interests I have. For this player, which outputs in very nice quality I might add, I paid 250 SEK. Or about 36 dollars, if you want. That’s a steal, even if it isn’t a Super VHS.

Next up is some LaserDiscs. More Bubblegum Crisis, to be more precise. Gee, you would think I have this show completed soon. And you’d be almost right.
I found episode 2 & 3 on eBay for what I thought was good deal. They were auctions, but nobody had bid on them so I got lucky I guess ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of lucky, I’ve secured two, to me, elusive LaserDiscs I’ve wanted since I got my player in August last year. Bubblegum Crisis episode 7 (probably my favorite) and Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01 showed up on Rakuten. Naturally I had to buy them, but in hindsight I should’ve picked out some more stuff while I had my wallet open. The price to get these two through EMS was hardly ideal. I think, just for LDs alone, 5 or 6 seems to hit a sweet spot when balancing items costs versus shipping costs. Oh well, happy to finally own both of these~! ๐Ÿ™‚

Especially BGC 7, I have been looking for quite some while. Now I’m just missing ep. 4 & 6, which I think shouldn’t be so hard to track down.

Hopefully.

Book lootage 2012-03-25

Went a little shopping around on eBay for once – didn’t know you could find cool books like these on there for prices that doesn’t cost X amount of limbs or your eternal soul. Or both. Generally, I only buy electronics & the occasional game from eBay, and I know what things can cost there sometimes – the word “eBay gauging” wasn’t coined for nothing.

Man, taking photos of artbooks like these is a pain, some even needed a little bit of photoshopping afterwards to make them readable.

For the keen-eyed reader, there’s two MM-games in there as well: Rockman EXE 2 (Mega Man Battle Network 2) and Rockman DASH 2 (Mega Man Legends 2). I’ve played both of these before and the reason for getting them is a bit…weak, perhaps but why not. I’ve played through MMBN 2 a few times before using the excellent VisualBoyAdvance emulator, but I’ve felt a craving for the early MMBN-games again recently. So, I thought that I could try to play them “for real” this time, on real hardware & no save-states, and then in Japanese for kicks just to see how far I will get.
As for Rockman DASH 2…well, I already have it for PC and I’ve actually reached what I believe to be the final boss BUT, I’m sort of stuck. The controls are a bit wonky, the added mouse-support really can become problematic sometimes. Soo, maybe it will go better with the PS1-controller…not sure, but I’m happy to have it anyway.

Now for the good stuff~! They say a picture can convey a thousand words, and I can’t be arsed to write that many words. Picture spam imminent!

GALL FORCE MOOK*

The fighting gallant girls

GHOST IN THE SHELL OFFICIAL ART BOOK

3D action-shooting game for PlayStation

PATLABOR – Pulsation

Dragon Magazine Special**

Maybe, just maybe, this amount of photos is a bit overdoing it : |

* “Mook”, in this context, refers to a book styled and laid out similar to that of a magazine.
** While Wikipedia says that Dragon Magazine is a publication mainly for light-novels, they have released a number of artbooks as well. I have another one, featuring art from Michitaka Kikuchi (Silent Mรถbius, Borgman) and I’ve seen some for Slayers as well. The ones I have are very good, so keep a look out!

Some SEGA stuff

I recently got into my head that a VGA box or similar for the Dreamcast would be nice and quickly leaped to eBay and made a purchase. It arrived yesterday, from England in what..a week or less? That’s certainly impressive.

There’s a noticeable increase in image quality but sadly I also experience some sort of faint vertical lines on all displays I’ve tested this on, save for an old HP CRT. There seems to be quite a number of other people on the internet reporting the same issue, and with different boxes/cords to boot.

Not sure what to do really… I don’t know if a VGA cable of higher quality would solve it. One of the LCDs I tested it with stated that the image was 680×480 60hz but the older CRT said 59hz and that worked fine. Soo…maybe that has anything to with it? I don’t know…we’ll see if a solution pops up…

In related news, I found this while going through some stuff in my room:

I guess it came with my Mega Drive all those years ago…huh.

Oldschool l00t of excellence

(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:

ใ‚ญใ‚ฟโ”โ”โ”(ใ‚œโˆ€ใ‚œ)โ”โ”โ”!!!!!

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.

Fuck. Yes.

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.

The 80s says "hi!"

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