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Oct 19

AniWeekly 10/19/2014: Lupin, Tezuka, & Nighmare Fuel


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ScarJo-st in the Shell. Remember that North American Ghost in the Shell adaptation? No? Awesome.

The film just got a lot more visibility with a report from Deadline. Apparently, Scarlett Johansson was offered $10 million for the role of Major Motoko Kusanagi. There’s no confirmation of whether she’s accepted the role yet, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we hear Johansson’s response before too long.

The Otaku Takeover? Really? You know, a lot has changed in the anime fandom over the years. We’ve changed hats, from a gang of misfits to a geeky-cool niche.

Gone are the days of living within Suncoast and those dusty corners of record shops. Instead, anime is everywhere, from Netflix, to Adult Swim. This transition has been a crazy, surreal ride, all said and done. Shooting Star Dreamer really captures that feeling of being there, when “anime” changed from being a dirty word to being a fun subculture.

A Discussion of Aesthetics. Digibro from My Sword is Unbelievably Dull dives into a great question: Why don’t we discuss aesthetics in anime critiques? Why is it overlooked when we break anime films down in reviews and commentary?

Buns in the oven? The latest meme to hit Japanese social media is the “pregnancy test reaction shot.” It’s silly, quirky, and just that right breed of weird that proves to be funny, rather than off-putting. One of our favorites is this one:

OMG @AnimeGuy94 you got Tomoko Pregnant!! #animepregnancy #watamote http://ift.tt/1wXKD9Y

— Sarah (@pupy212) October 18, 2014

Gotta Catch ‘em… OH DEAR GOD! Junji Ito, creator of nightmare fuel like Gyo and Uzumaki is working with Nintendo to create a series of Ghost Pokémon illustrations this month. Yes, they are horrifying. No, I wouldn’t sleep with the lights off for a while.

Junji Ito Pokemon 20141019 169x300 AniWeekly 10/19/2014: Lupin, Tezuka, & Nighmare Fuel

More Tezuka? Yes, please! Digital Manga announced that they’ll be starting a KickStarter drive for six Osamu Tezuka titles. The core goal will be to fund two titles: Three Eyed One and Rainbow Parakeet. The first stretch goal will be for Wonder Three and Alabaster. Two titles have yet to be announced, so we’re on pins and needles waiting for things to finally launch!

More Lupin III? Yea, Please! news is leaking out of Cannes’ MIPCOM trade show that a new Lupin  series will hit the air in 2015. The series, which is the first mainline series (Sorry, Fujiko!) to hit since Lupin III Part 3 in 1984. The new series will be set in the Italian Republic of San Marino and, as a first, will make its début in Italy before it hits Japanese airwaves. As another shock, Lupin will be ditching his trademark red and green blazers for a striking blue and black number.

Lupin III 2015 Key Art 20141019 150x150 AniWeekly 10/19/2014: Lupin, Tezuka, & Nighmare Fuel Lupin III 2015 Key Art 002 20141019 150x150 AniWeekly 10/19/2014: Lupin, Tezuka, & Nighmare Fuel

New Love Live! Single? New Love Live! Single. Nico, Nico, ni! To commemorate 3 million downloads of the Love Live! School Idol Festival mobile game, KLab announced that they would release a trio of singles made exclusively for the game. Each of the three singles will cover a different “group”, with the first hitting later this month.

The first single, Eien Friends, features the vocal talents of Honoka (Emi Nitta), Kotori (Aya Uchida), and Hanayo (Yurika Kubo), and will hit record stores on November 12. A preview for the album was posted online though the full single will include two songs and a mini-drama.

The second single, which hits stores on November 26, will feature Umi (Suzuko Mimori), Rin (Riho Iida), and Nozomi (Aina Kusuda). The third single will star Eli (Yoshino Nanjo), Maki (Pile), and Nico (Sora Tokui).

Did you miss me? Sexy, sassy witch Bayonetta makes her anime début in the west with Bayonetta: Bloody Fate. If our review  didn’t sell you, FUNimation has you covered. The company posted the first 9 minutes of the film online in dubbed format. For those wondering, Hellena Taylor returns to give the Umbran Witch her signature snark.

For those who want more Bayonetta action, Bayonetta 2 hits stores this Friday on Nintendo’s WiiU console.

AniWeekly 10/19/2014: Lupin, Tezuka, & Nighmare Fuel
Mike Ferreira


from AniWeekly 10/19/2014: Lupin, Tezuka, & Nighmare Fuel

Oct 18

M-O-N-S-T-E-R! Monster High Anime Promo Video Hits the Web


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Where student bodies lie!

Earlier this month, we reported that popular fashion doll franchise Monster High will receive an anime adaptation. The feature, which airs on October 22, will be the first made-for-Japan animation for the dolls to date.

The following roles are currently confirmed for the feature:

Since the announcement, there’s been little movement, overall. There was no real build-up or hype, and very little for potential viewers to go by outside of a piece of promotional artwork.

Monster High Japan 001 SM 20141018 M O N S T E R! Monster High Anime Promo Video Hits the Web

The announcement artwork for the Monster High anime feature.

On Thursday, Mattel Japan’s YouTube account uploaded the first real teaser for the special, which was basically a toy commercial. The 90-second promo video mixed shots of the dolls with short clips their animated adaptations. The final displayed lineup covered the bases for major characters, and consists of the following:

The biggest draw for the promo was the anime debut of Cleo, Ghoulia, Lagoona, Abbey, and Spectra. There were no plot details released, though devoted fans will probably be thrilled to see an Frankie, Clawdeen, and Draculaura grooving to the Japanese version of the Monster High Fright Song.

M-O-N-S-T-E-R! Monster High Anime Promo Video Hits the Web
Mike Ferreira


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Oct 17

Bayonetta: Bloody Fate


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Bayonetta Bloody Fate Boxart 20141017 213x300 Bayonetta: Bloody FateIn 2010, Sega and Platinum Games rocked the gaming world with the dazzling release of Bayonetta. The title, which hit XBox 360 and PlayStation, was a blistering action game, that received high praise for its tight controls, sharp visuals, and ever-escalating story that simply wasn’t content with reaching one climax.

What garnered the most attention, though, was the game’s titular character. Bayonetta wasn’t the typical, waify Final Fantasy girl, nor was she the gruff and grizzled space marine from games like Gears of War. Rather, she was a sharp-witted, confident woman whose arsenal knew no limits, and whose sheer sexuality became as effective of a weapon as her various firearms. Where other protagonists feared to go, she strutted with a cocksure attitude and a playful sense of humor that just couldn’t be silenced, whether she was talking to her closest allies or the agents of God himself.

Bayonetta, both the game and the character, won over the hearts of many, and developed a cult following that would make many feel envious. To capitalize on the digital diva’s success, Sega and Gonzo teamed up to produce Bayonetta: Bloody Fate, an animated film that seeks to capture the larger than life essence of Bayonetta herself

Did You Miss Me?

Bayonetta Bloody Fate 013 20141017 300x168 Bayonetta: Bloody FateBayonetta: Bloody Fate tells the tale of Bayonetta: an Umbran Witch, whose 500 year slumber left her with no memories of the past. With nowhere to turn to, and nobody to guide her, Bayonetta turns toward a life of hunting angels for fun and profit. Bayonetta’s hope, naturally, is that the angels that so relentlessly pursue her will eventually lead to the keys to her past.

Well, that, and it’s just so much fun!

After twenty long years, Bayonetta’s search finally bears fruit. In the city of Vigrid, the mysterious Father Balder of the Lumen Sages claims that he holds the key to the resurrection of great god Jubileus. With a goal in mind, the game is afoot. Bayonetta begins her long journey to Vigrid, with countless angels, and a mysterious silver-haired lady standing in the way of her goal. That isn’t to say she’ll be alone, though. Along the way, she’ll have to deal with a pesky investigative reporter named Luka, and a mysterious girl, who insists on calling her “mummy.”

For the most part, Bayonetta: Bloody Fate‘s plot is as straight-forward as can be. The main villain is made incredibly obvious from the get-go, and the few late-film plot twists are visible from miles away. There are no real surprises, and anything that needs to be told to the viewer is often done so while accompanied by explosions and roaring bombast.

Mind you, that’s not a bad thing.

The film’s simple plot works as an advantage, as it serves mostly to convey enough to drive Bayonetta and her companions from point A to point B. The delivery is solid, and the plot points are delivered consistently enough to keep viewers engaged. What’s particularly stunning, though, is the film’s ability to keep a break-neck pace, while maintaining a steady narrative. It’s a delicate balance, that the film really nails.

Nobody Said You Cold Touch!

Bayonetta Bloody Fate 015 20141017 300x168 Bayonetta: Bloody FateVisually, Bayonetta: Bloody Fate is nothing short of remarkable. The gorgeous character designs are brought to life with an amazing use of color and shadow. Little details, like gilded accents on Bayonetta’s black costume, or the distinct red and blue pattern on Luka’s scarf really help the characters pop, and stand out from one another. The angels are gorgeously horrific, standing as hulking monstrosities that mash together the images of classical cherubic statues, and the monstrous visage of biblical demons.

Backgrounds are simply gorgeous, with bold colors and a fantastic pseudo-gothic atmosphere. The scenes are framed well, and make fantastic use of the various furnishings to add life to the world. The film animates well, with a generally gorgeous, silky smooth presentation throughout.

The real attraction, though, is the battle scenes. These bloody dances are an amazing blend of animation, sound, and music that really just define the experience. Every scene is meticulously planned, flawlessly executed, and simply over the top. The choreography is simply amazing, with wonderful pacing between combatants, and breathless close encounters.

The battles continue to build and feed off of one another, as the stakes continue to raise, and the settings grow more outlandish. Anywhere and anything is a potential battleground, be it a snowy mountain or the roof of a massive, rampaging dragon.

Welcome to my fantasy zone. Get ready!

Bayonetta Bloody Fate 022 20141017 300x168 Bayonetta: Bloody FateDespite the epic battles and fantastic settings, Bayonetta: Bloody Fate would be nothing without an interesting cast. And, much like Bayonetta herself, the various inhabitants of her world are simply larger than life. Whether it’s the rapturously driven Father Balder, the snarky demonic blacksmith Rodin, or the eternally driven Luka, every player seems to be brimming with personality. The chemistry between characters is wonderful, as they trade wisecracks and verbal blows with one another.

The film’s acting, in both the English and native Japanese, is simply brilliant. In both cases, the casting is spot-on, and the players really seem to pull themselves into their roles. That said, though, one cannot help but commend the English adaptation of the film, which assembled the vast majority the actors from the original game. For many, Hellena Taylor is Bayonetta. Her playful and flirty take on the Umbran witch was what endeared fans across the globe, so it was wonderful to see her make a return for the film. Likewise, Grey DeLisle (Jeanne), Dave Fennoy (Rodin), and Bayonetta: Bloody Fate (Luka) all return, offering performances that celebrate their return to the franchise.

Bayonetta: Bloody Fate is a rare video game adaptation that does things right. It keeps the important elements, while jettisoning the baggage that simply wouldn’t work in the context of a 90-minute film. It’s a feature that can be enjoyed by franchise fans and newcomers alike, while delivering the elements that created an army of rabid fans in 2010. It certainly won’t win awards, but Bayonetta: Bloody Fate is sure to provide a fun, exciting action flick that will satisfy both the devoted fans, and those just looking for a night of excitement and explosions.

Gallery

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Bayonetta: Bloody Fate
Mike Ferreira


from Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

Meme Shows Anime Characters’ Preganancy Test Reactions


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Anime Herald - We’ll talk nerdy to you.

It’s a girl! Or is it a boy…?

Either way, pregnancy brings out a wide range of emotions in parents-to-be. Some people get excited, while others are pensive about the countless new responsibilities on the horizon. Then, there’s that small percentage that freaks the hell out.

Website Hachima (via Kotaku) reports that a new meme started on the Japanese Twitterverse under the hashtag #妊娠検査薬コラ (“Pregnancy Test Photoshop”). And, the pictures are exactly as one would expect: they place various anime characters into that life-changing moment, when the test comes back.

It’s a simple meme, to be honest. All it requires is a character’s reaction shot, like this:

Pregnancy Example 001 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions

Combine that with a pregnancy test layer:

Pregnancy Example 002 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions

And voila! Instant internet meme fodder!

Pregnancy Example 003 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions

Since it popped up, the meme has spread across countless characters, and numerous situations that expand far beyond that original template. We’ve collected a number of our favorites below.

Is there a shot that we missed that you felt was worth a mention? Let us know in the comments!

Anime Pregnancy 012 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 013 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 014 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 015 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 016 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 017 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 001 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 002 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 003 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 004 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 005 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 006 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 007 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 008 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 009 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 010 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions Anime Pregnancy 011 20141017 150x150 Meme Shows Anime Characters Preganancy Test Reactions

 

Meme Shows Anime Characters’ Preganancy Test Reactions
Mike Ferreira


from Meme Shows Anime Characters’ Preganancy Test Reactions

Resident Evil Manga to Hit Stores on 11/18/2014


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VIZ Media Horizontal Logo Color 300x58 Resident Evil Manga to Hit Stores on 11/18/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VIZ MEDIA UNLEASHES THE TERRIFYING RESIDENT EVIL MANGA SERIES AND OFFERS A SPECIAL FREE PREVIEW FOR HALLOWEEN COMICFEST 2014

Discover The Source Of The Outbreak Of The Deadly C-Virus In The Gritty Manga Prequel To CAPCOM’s Popular Resident Evil® 6 Game Property

Resident Evil Graphic Novel Cover 001 20141017 208x300 Resident Evil Manga to Hit Stores on 11/18/2014San Francisco, CA, October 16, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, gives gamers and action fans a special FREE sneak preview of its forthcoming RESIDENT EVIL: THE MARHAWA DESIRE manga (graphic novel) series as part of the company’s participation in 2014 Halloween ComicFest.

The terrifying 5-volume apocalyptic action thriller was created by Naoki Serizawa and serves as a prequel to the storyline of CAPCOM’s bestselling Resident Evil® 6game property. The manga series is rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers and will launch on November 18th under the VIZ Signature imprint. RESIDENT EVIL: THE MARHAWA DESIRE Vol. 1 will carry a print MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN.

Held each year, Halloween ComicFest is celebrated at scores of comic shops and retailers nationwide on the Saturday before Halloween. On this day, participating shops offer fans and visitors a special FREE Halloween ComicFest sampler filled with previews of scores of exciting upcoming titles. For additional information and a list of participating retailers, please visit: http://ift.tt/1lVXuqm.

The highly virulent C-virus became a global disaster, but where did the outbreak start? In the series’ opening volume, at the prestigious and elite Marhawa Academy in Singapore, a female student suffers a horrifying transformation. Called in to investigate, Professor Doug Wright and his nephew Ricky find themselves caught up in a deadly and growing tragedy. As things get rapidly out of hand, Chris Redfield and his team from the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance arrive on the scene, while behind it all a mysterious figure looms.

“Discover the sinister beginnings of the Resident Evil story in the first-ever manga series based on the smash hit game property,” says Michael Montesa, Editor. “Along with tracing the source of the deadly viral outbreak, the manga series also presents the debut of Piers Nivans, who appears in the Resident Evil 6 video game as Chris Redfield’s new partner. Readers will not want to miss a special advance preview of RESDIENT EVIL as part of Halloween ComicFest. Catch the full launch of this spine tingling new series from the VIZ Signature imprint next month!”

Since the landmark release of Resident Evil in 1996, the CAPCOM franchise has firmly established itself as a truly worldwide entertainment brand and mainstay of contemporary culture with a series of live action movies, CG anime, manga, novels and numerous merchandising lines. To date the Resident Evil series of videogames has achieved global sales of over 50 million units, while the live action movies starring Milla Jovovich have grossed in excess of $525 million dollars at the box office.

RESIDENT EVIL artist/author Naoki Serizawa is a multi-talented photographer and cinematographer as well as a manga artist and writer. His other series Saru Lock was developed into a TV drama in Japan in 2009.

For more information on RESIDENT EVIL: THE MARHAWA DESIRE or other manga and/or anime titles published by VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and ONE PIECE, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.

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Resident Evil Manga to Hit Stores on 11/18/2014
Mike Ferreira


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Attacks Full of Girl Power: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru


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Yuki Yuna Key Art 20141016 214x300 Attacks Full of Girl Power: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de AruMagical Girl shows tend to be a dime a dozen. Especially in recent years, though, we’ve seen somewhat of a resurgence in the genre, with titles like Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Sailor Moon Crystal, and DokiDoki! Precure. Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru  (Yuki Yuna Is A Hero) aims to be yet another title to endear itself to viewers in the ever-crowding lineup. With an interesting take on the old formula and a cast of genuinely likeable characters, it’s possible that the series could achieve this very goal.

Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru revolves around four girls who make up the Sanshu Middle School Hero Club. Yuna, Mimori, Fu, and Itsuki spend their free time volunteering, taking requests from the needy, and generally helping those who are in need. No task is too great, whether it’s putting on a puppet show about friendship for kindergarteners, or finding homes for needy kittens in the neighborhood.

Their club’s name takes on a totally new meaning one day, when everything just seems to stand still. With a flash of light, the girls are sent to a mysterious realm, between our world and that of the malevolent Vertex race. To do so, they must enlist the power of fairies and magic cell phone apps to become magical warriors of justice.

You read that right, magic cell phone apps. Because the key to Earth’s salvation is free and ad-supported on the Google Play store.

Silly cell phone idea aside, the show itself is solid. At this early point, episodes are delivered in a “monster of the week” format, with a clean divide between character development and magical battles.

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Togo: Fixing websites, like a boss

The first half of each episode focuses on the girls’ actions in the real world, and focuses on dealing with everyday problems. These sections are generally light-hearted in nature, and see the main characters dealing cracking jokes, working on club activities, and generally just being normal middle school student.

The second half, as one would expect, is where things get real. It’s these sections that see the heroines warped to the land between worlds, to deal with the big baddies of the week. The girls transform into their magical forms, and engage in intense combat, as they try to destroy the Vertices and protect humanity for yet another day.

Generally, the format works well. The team seems to have a strong understanding of how much time they’re given, and use it to build the two sections into one strong final product. The daytime scenes are paced well, and include enough humor and charm to really let the viewer endear himself to the characters. THe character interactions are wonderfully handled, as players exhibit a strong chemistry with one another. The jokes, while often predictable, are delivered with a fantastic sense of timing, leading to a generally natural feeling in the show itself. there’s a sense of spontaneity to the gags, that really helps the show as a whole.

Yuki Yuna 012 20141015 300x168 Attacks Full of Girl Power: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru

That… can’t be good.

When the gloves come off and battle begins, the series seems to push all of the right buttons. Fights are choreographed well, with a fantastic back and forth between the girls and the monsters, that really shows off the fact that these are amateurs, thrown into a desperate situation. They’ll screw things up and run for cover. They’ll freeze in fear, and find themselves at a loss for what to do. At the same time, though, it never feels as if one side is overpowered, and the inevitable finales are always incredibly satisfying. During the battles, the characters (especially Fu) yell out cheesy one liners like “Take my attack that’s full of girl power!” that are just so goofy, but still incredibly fun nonetheless.

Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru‘s character designs are well done, with the major players being instantly recognizable among the sea of grey school uniforms. Their battle forms, which revolve around different types of flowers, are eye catching, with nice touches that really bring out the nature of the character’s signature blossom. Monsters are deceptively fearsome, with a simple overall aesthetic that hides sinister details. The show’s backgrounds are handled well, with colorful settings that really stand out to the viewer. The “between worlds” backgrounds are particularly gorgeous, with a lot of surrealist imagery and use of an almost water-colored style to give the realm an otherworldly feel.

If there were one complaint, it would be that main character Yuki bears a striking similarity to Madoka Kaname, from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. This is but a minor tweak, though, among a generally strong presentation.

At this early stage, Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru shows a lot of promise. The characters are endearing, and the plot generally handles itself well. While there are a few plot eccentricities (like the magic phone app), these quirks are easily overlooked in the greater scheme of things. If the series can continue along its current trajectory, then there’s a strong chance of it finishing on a truly satisfying note.

Gallery

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Attacks Full of Girl Power: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru
Mike Ferreira


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Oct 16

In The Name of the Moon, Let’s Cook… With Sailor Moon Aprons!


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In August, Bandai Japan offered Sailor Moon chance to command their kitchen with the power of the Moon, with Sailor Moon themed aprons. The aprons, which were based on the titular heroine’s costume, retailed for 6,480 yen (about $60.89 USD).

It looks like the other Sailor Guardians are joining the merchandising fun, since Bandai announced that they’re taking reservations for the remaining Inner Senshi.

Sailor Moon Aprons 001 20141016 In The Name of the Moon, Lets Cook... With Sailor Moon Aprons!

Aprons designed after the battle costumes for Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Venus, Sailor Jupiter, and Sailor Chibi Moon will be released in December, with a retail price of 6,480 yen (tax included).

Now, you can look like a Sailor Guardian while battling the menace of, er… an unruly omelette? I’m not sure where I was going with this one…

Anyway! More images of the aprons are below.

Sailor Moon Aprons 003 20141016 150x150 In The Name of the Moon, Lets Cook... With Sailor Moon Aprons! Sailor Moon Aprons 004 20141016 150x150 In The Name of the Moon, Lets Cook... With Sailor Moon Aprons! Sailor Moon Aprons 005 20141016 150x150 In The Name of the Moon, Lets Cook... With Sailor Moon Aprons! Sailor Moon Aprons 006 20141016 150x150 In The Name of the Moon, Lets Cook... With Sailor Moon Aprons! Sailor Moon Aprons 007 20141016 150x150 In The Name of the Moon, Lets Cook... With Sailor Moon Aprons! Sailor Moon Aprons 002 20141016 150x150 In The Name of the Moon, Lets Cook... With Sailor Moon Aprons!

The original Sailor Moon apron is still for sale, as well, though it’s currently out of stock via the Bandai website.

Sailor Moon Aprons 012 20141016 150x150 In The Name of the Moon, Lets Cook... With Sailor Moon Aprons! Sailor Moon Aprons 013 20141016 150x150 In The Name of the Moon, Lets Cook... With Sailor Moon Aprons! Sailor Moon Aprons 008 20141016 150x150 In The Name of the Moon, Lets Cook... With Sailor Moon Aprons! Sailor Moon Aprons 009 20141016 150x150 In The Name of the Moon, Lets Cook... With Sailor Moon Aprons! Sailor Moon Aprons 010 20141016 150x150 In The Name of the Moon, Lets Cook... With Sailor Moon Aprons! Sailor Moon Aprons 011 20141016 150x150 In The Name of the Moon, Lets Cook... With Sailor Moon Aprons!

In The Name of the Moon, Let’s Cook… With Sailor Moon Aprons!
Mike Ferreira


from In The Name of the Moon, Let’s Cook… With Sailor Moon Aprons!

Oct 15

Watch the K-On Actresses Perform Fuwa Fuwa Time


Anime Herald
Anime Herald - We’ll talk nerdy to you.

Sometimes, one has to just take a step back and really marvel at the dedication an actor can devote to a role. They spend days, weeks, even months in some cases getting into a character’s head, with the hope of bringing him to life.

At times, this can lead to some truly impressive feats.

The voice actresses who played the leads in K-On! played a series of shows across Japan. And, while much of the show consisted of Monkees-ish singing along to false playing, the group did learn a couple of songs, including popular Ho-kago Tea Time single Fuwa Fuwa Time.

While learning one or two songs isn’t difficult, to be able to do so consistently well, in front of such a large crowd, is a feat in itself. So, definitely, kudos to the actresses for their devotion toward the musical arts on this one!

Watch the K-On Actresses Perform Fuwa Fuwa Time
Mike Ferreira


from Watch the K-On Actresses Perform Fuwa Fuwa Time

Tu tu ru! Steins;Gate Short Promotes IBM’S Cognitive Computing


Anime Herald
Anime Herald - We’ll talk nerdy to you.

If you haven’t heard of Steins;Gate at this point, then you’ve probably been living under a rock. The popular visual novel, wihch became a fan-favorite anime series in 2011, has been on the “must see” lists for countless fans since it started airing. Its memorable cast, brilliant writing, and intelligent take on time travel have been the subject of high praise among fans and onlookers alike.

Today, fans can get one more chance to visit Okabe Rintaro’s Future Gadget Laboratory… well, kind of.

A short, produced with the cooperation of IBM, sees the crew interacting with a Cognitive Computer named Oopa as they try to tackle the seemingly black art of cooking.

Translation of dialogue (via Anime News Network):

Text on sign: Future Gadget Laboratory
Mayuri: Tutturu! Hey hey, listen! Right now, Mayushi and Kurisu…
Kurisu: Are going to make fried chicken.
Okabe & Daru: Huh!? Wh… What did you say…!?
Okabe: Don’t! If you do that, this lab will fall into the depths of Hell!
Daru: I’m in firm agreement!
Kurisu: You’re acting way over the top.
Mayuri: It’s OK. Today, we have a super special secret tool to use.
Okabe: A secret tool? Could it be…!?
Kurisu: It’s not the anime-like tool you’re imagining. It’s this!
Oopa: Hello! I’m Oopa! To be more specific, I’m a cognitive computer within this terminal!
Okabe: Cogni…? Wait, so you’re saying that you’ll get help from this thing?
Oopa: Yes! I’ll support them. I’ll intricately give instructions on ingredients, cooking method, and other things.
Daru: They’ll be oK this way, right?
Okabe: Fine. I’ll believe. Oopa! No, cognitive doll! Show me you can help Mayuri and Kurisu make a perfect dish!
Kurisu: Why are you acting so high and mighty?
Mayuri: Well… That’s just Okarin.
Oopa: First, I will show the recipe for the fried chicken.
Kurisu: Chicken thighs, flour, and potato starch.
Mayuri: Then for flavor, sake and soy sauce.
Okabe: So… What is this?
Oopa: Beef, chocolate, apricot puree, flour, eggs, banana, and others.
Okabe: This is completely different from fried chicken!
Daru: This is just sad…
Mayuri: We didn’t have the correct ingredients in the lab…
Okabe: Then why didn’t you go buy them!?
Kurisu: But it sure is weird… There’s no potato starch, but there’s a rare ingredient like apricot puree… Who was it who- Huh!? Hashida!?
Daru: I figured that I might get a girlfriend and we’d cook at the lab.
Kurisu: Leaving Hashida’s delusions aside, no matter what kind of logic you use, it’s probably impossible to make fried chicken with these ingredients…
Okabe: Just go buy ingredients.
Oopa: Well then, let’s think about what we can make with these ingredients.
Mayuri: Wow! You can do that!?
Oopa: Leave it to me!
Mayuri: It’s done!
Kurisu: It’s complete!
Okabe: Wh… What is this…?
Oopa: Chocolate buritos!
Daru: It doesn’t look bad.
Mayuri: Right? Okarin, Daru, take a taste test.
Okabe: Hmph… Fine. You all worked so hard. I’ll resolve myself. Daru, please go ahead first.
Daru: Wha-!? You said all that, and you’re just going to push it on me!?
Okabe: You just said it didn’t look bad!!
Mayuri: Okarin… If you act like you hate it so much, Mayushi gets sad…
Okabe: …Fine! It’ll be OK if I eat it, right!? …It’s good.
Kurisu: Well that was obvious. You got too freaked out.
Okabe: It appears I’m seeing- No, tasting an illusion. Yes, this is the possibility of technology…
Kurisu: You aren’t honest with your feelings.
Mayuri: And it’s all thanks to Oopa.
Okabe: This is so good.

The video, which was first hosted at IBM’s Mugendai (Infinity) website, is apparently the first of four, though release dates on the rest of the series aren’t listed. Hopefully, the wait isn’t too long, since more Steins;Gate is always a good thing.

Tu tu ru! Steins;Gate Short Promotes IBM’S Cognitive Computing
Mike Ferreira


from Tu tu ru! Steins;Gate Short Promotes IBM’S Cognitive Computing

Denki-Gai: Not Toranoana, Not Very Good


Anime Herald
Anime Herald - We’ll talk nerdy to you.

Denki Gai Key Art 20141014 200x300 Denki Gai: Not Toranoana, Not Very GoodWith every anime season, the selection of shows runs the gamut from good to bad. And, of course, there are a few titles that are just plain ugly. and, while they don’t necessarily show their true colours in the first episode, things quickly become apparent as the series progresses.

Denki-Gai is a perfect example of this.

Denki-Gai, Pony Can USA’s début release, is a slice of life comedy set in a doujinshi shop known as “Umanohone.” Basically, the store is an obvious homage to Akihabara’s famous Toranoana, and features familiar sights and setups to its real-life counterpart.

So clever.

Anyway, much like Wagnaria!!, the series revolves around the various quirky individuals that work the store. Each has a nickname, from the soft-spoken Sommelier, who can recommend the perfect manga to anybody, to Sensei, who produces doujinshi under a cult-famous pen-name. Each is a hardcore fan of some genre or another, and they all work together to deal with the various challenges that a doujin shop faces, from dealing with surprise inspections, to scouring Comiket for the latest merchandise.

On the surface, it’s not a bad idea. The characters, while basic, seem like they could be somewhat interesting, and the “subculture hot spot” setting could be fodder for countless clever, biting, or witty jokes that could hit right in the feels.

Sadly, this doesn’t happen. Instead, the series dives straight into the most convenient plots imaginable, and just remains in the gutter of mediocrity. The first episode is split into two stories: “Love & Eros For All” and “The Nightmare Before Carnaval.”

Denki Gai 010 20141015 300x168 Denki Gai: Not Toranoana, Not Very Good“Love & Eros for All” sees the shop receive a surprise visit from a government agent, who checks the store to ensure that all stock complies with existing regulations. After a mild chastising over a pair of titles, the employees find her attending a “sommelier party”, in which Sommelier selects the perfect adult books for all who attend. She’s outed by Hiotan, and proudly proclaims that she likes adult manga, as all adults should on some level.

The second story, “The Nightmare Before Carnival” focuses on Sensei, who is busy working on a manga title for the upcoming Comiket. Unfortunately for her, the deadline for printing is one day away, and it looks like she won’t finish! To get things ready for printing, Hiotan and Umi volunteer to lend a hand as Sensei works overnight. That shouldn’t be hard, right?

These are the plots in their entirety. They are, quite literally, stock situations that have been done dozens of times before in far stronger titles. What’s particularly sad, though, is the fact that even with bland scenarios, the show could have succeeded in some form, if the characters and writing were halfway decent.

Denki-Gai‘s characters are, at this point, a collection of boring stereotypes that fail to really do anything interesting. They’re check boxes on a list, who seem to exist to fill some quota that every slice of life show has. Hiotan is the trademark naive girl, who freaks out over anything remotely provocative. Sensei is the token creative who has huge dreams, but turns out to be a gigantic baby about everything when the going gets tough. Fu-Girl is the creepy pseudo-loli, who’s barely legal but is built like an eight-year-old (to quote Drawn Together, “I just taste eight!”). And so on, and so forth. But they work in a manga store, so they’re automagically quirky and fun!

Pardon me while I gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon.

The writing is similarly shallow, with little effort made to really build the characters or their relationships with one another. Sure, they go to a family restaurant, or work together to finish that big work for Comiket, but there’s little reference otherwise. They just exist to work together, and suddenly do random crap because they’re such good friends that they don’t even associate outside of work.

The show’s jokes tend to scrape the bottom of the barrel, in many cases. They’re predictable to a fault, and the setups are delivered so far in advance, so as to avoid startling the viewer with something that could actually be funny.

Denki Gai This Is Awful 20141014 Denki Gai: Not Toranoana, Not Very Good

They said it, not me.

Visually, there really aren’t many complaints to be had. The animation is decent and the character designs themselves are attractive. The overall look is charming, and the bright backgrounds really pop.

In most cases, I’d say that a show like Denki-Gai is a generally middling show, and be done with it. The first episode really didn’t reach for the stars, but it wasn’t offensively bad in any regard. It just wasn’t very good, either.

Unfortunately, episode 2 aired, which really changes the game. Specifically, the episode revolves around a competition between doujin shops, in which the final prize is 10,000 yen. The events, though, are basically perverted takes on popular festival games. The bread (pan) race becomes the panty race, in which contestants must grab a pair of silk panties with their mouths as they dash for the finish line. The ball rolling event becomes the gold ball (kin-tama) rolling event, where contestants basically roll gigantic testicles (kin-tama) down the street. The ever-popular egg race becomes the waifu race, where participants run with a figure of their most beloved 2-D fantasy girl cradled in a ladle, and so on.

Denki Gai 018 20141015 300x168 Denki Gai: Not Toranoana, Not Very GoodThe entire episode just takes a swan dive into the realms of base pandering. The jokes go from hokey to creepy, as the characters try to cram in every damn ball-fondling joke, panty gag, and 2D fetish quip possible. And, really, the jokes aren’t even funny. They’re the equivalent of that creepy otaku in the anime club proclaiming that he wants to sleep with Hatsune Miku whenever a vocaloid video plays. There’s nothing to laugh at, only a lot that will make most viewers cringe and pray that things end quickly in this train wreck of an episode.

Jabs at the minority otaku subculture have been done, and done far better this season in I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying. Hell, 1990s OVA Golden Boy proved that even creepy humor can be legitimately funny, if handled correctly. And, to be honest, Denki-Gai didn’t have to be so blunt, or so blatantly creepy to be funny. The show proves time and time again, though, that it’s just incapable of being any less subtle than a screeching siren. and continues to fumble the ball as it makes clumsy attempts at perverted humor.

Denki-Gai is shaping up to be a regrettable flop, from these early impressions. The show’s hollow-shell characters and unfunny humor will ensure that most fans look elsewhere for their slice of life comedy fix. At the same time, episode 2’s turn to the realms of absolute creeper-dom ensure that the show never escapes a tiny niche of devoted fans who will continue to insist that it’s funny until it’s just forgotten and abandoned, like so many other titles that failed to live up to their potential.

Gallery

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Denki-Gai: Not Toranoana, Not Very Good
Mike Ferreira


from Denki-Gai: Not Toranoana, Not Very Good