Archive for the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category

Thoughts on Whispered Words volume 1

Monday, January 5th, 2015

volume 1

Approaching Takashi Ikeda’s lesbian-tinged romantic comedy manga Whispered Words (Sasameki Koto) is a bit of a challenge because objective review of the series is difficult to separate from a natural American predisposition. Any popular culture media in America that treats homosexual relationships sympathetically without being pornographic practically automatically earns some respect and praise. So Whispered Words almost receives automatic credit just for approaching female homosexuality in a positive light. However, a rational, objective examination of the series reveals that the first English translated omnibus volume from One Peace Books is enjoyable nearly in spite of itself. The manga feels as though author Ikeda has a strong foundational concept but struggles to find a precise focus for the story’s tone and attitude.

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Shout-out to Dave!

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Dave from Tampa recognized me as “John from AnimeNation” today while browsing the anime section at the New Port Richie MovieStop store. We had a pleasant conversation about anime.

Then I bought a used BD/DVD copy of Fairy Tail volume 7 and a $6 (after discount) used copy of Pioneer’s old Bastard! DVD.

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Reboot or Rewriting Yatterman History?

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

On the heels of the success of Tatsunoko’s reboot of its 1972 Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman franchise as Gatchaman Crowds, the studio is evidently now producing a reboot of its 1977 Yatterman franchise as “Yoru no Yatterman.” Criticizing the show before it airs may be unfair, and I’ll concede that I don’t know yet exactly how the reboot will develop. But the advance promotion bothers me a bit because it feels like an attempt to whitewash and rewrite the established Yatterman concept and history. Gatchaman Crowds certainly rewrote continuity, but at least it remained faithful to the core concept and thematic focus of the Gatchaman franchise. I’m not certain that Yoru no Yatterman is doing the same.

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Salute to Stones of Power

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

stones_of_power

Among the numerous amateur-created Japanese manga published within the 16 original issues of GEN Manga, Azumi Isora’s “Stones of Power” was debatably the most polished and professional. In fact, the refined and engaging story is actually superior to many commercially published professional manga. The collected Stones of Power is an excellent self-contained book and an intriguing introduction to characters and scenarios that demand new stories.

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Wrapping Up Raqiya

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Raqiya_5

Masao Yajima & Boichi’s cataclysmic manga tale of clashing religious beliefs upon the advent of a teen girl’s manifestation of godlike powers comes to a compelling and satisfying, although not entirely expected, conclusion in volume 5. The ending that readers get is gigantic in scope and awesome in spectacle, and also entirely predicated on story developments that have occurred earlier in the narrative; however, the climax still manages to sidestep a predictable and expected denouement, for better or worse.

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Exploring Raqiya Volume 4

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Raqiya_4

The penultimate volume of Masao Yajima & Boichi’s epic anarchic fantasy Raqiya: The New Book of Revelation revolves around violent conflict on both interpersonal and global scales. The divisions are distinct, intense, and harsh, and the book spends little time allowing the reader any respite.

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Return to Raqiya

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Raqiya_vol3

The first two volumes of author Masao Yajima & illustrator Boichi’s five-volume manga series Raqiya are brooding, enigmatic suspense with interludes of horror and intense violence, all steeped deeply in ancient Christian dogma. The third volume begins to accelerate the pace while subtly introducing new concepts to the narrative.

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New Acquisition

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Hibari_cel

Stopped by the local Anime Fix store in St. Petersburg yesterday and spotted this production cel with genga of Hibari Hanakoganei from Akihabara Dennou Gumi. The $30 pricetag seemed very reasonable to me. I seem to be one of the few existing people that actually likes Akihabara Cyber Team.

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Ninja Slay Me

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Don’t know what the hell studio Trigger is trying to do with the Ninja Slayer anime. The trailer suggests that the studio is trying to adapt the novels as a bad retro action anime. The logo at 3 seconds in is reminiscent of anime like Microman and even Aku Daisakusen Srungle. The two halves of the mask that slide into frame at 12 seconds, the purple-haired gal at 29 seconds – her exceptionally angled face and uneven hair, even the 4:3 framing and the coloring all shout “80s anime.” It’s like deliberate throwback to anime like Tobikage and Ninja Ryukenden, but, for God knows why, the animation is stiffly mechanical and the color exaggerated in a way that suggests that Trigger is trying to create Shockwave Flash animation without actually using Flash. Perhaps the studio realizes that the novels are kind of trashy and are trying to evoke the same sort of ridiculous vibe with the animation.

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Obscure Object of Uncertain Desire

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Cesar Boy no Bouken

In 1998 Shinagawa, Tokyo-based real estate company Cesar Corporation decided to contract Toei Animation to create an OVA starring Cesar Corporation’s mascot character, the cowboy-hat-wearing bear Cesar Boy. The 45-minute-long OVA that resulted of the collaboration, Time Ranger Cesar Boy no Bouken: Roma Teikoku Hen, doesn’t look very unusual, but just under the surface is one of the most odd and unusual talking animal anime that Japan has ever produced.

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Farewell to 2000

Monday, December 1st, 2014

I’ve finally decided to discard the remainder of my VHS fansub collection. I’m pretty certain that everything I still have is now available on commercial disc or digital format. And I could use the recovered storage space. This image represents about 25% of my remaining VHS fansubs.

VHS_dump

I’m making an exception and keeping this one, however, for nostalgic historical significance.

Kodocha_Barney

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Things You Learn from Watching Anime

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Denki-gai_no_Honya-san_episode_5

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Cheers for Kamen

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

One of the highlights of the first ten issues of Gen Manga, published from June 2011 through April 2012, was author Mihara Gunya’s epic fantasy manga Kamen (“Mask”). The epic scale battle story captivated readers until its abrupt cliffhanger “to be continued” ending in Gen Manga issue 10. Now, thankfully, readers can revisit and read more of the intriguing action tale thanks to the publication of the series’ first two collected volumes.

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From One Close Shave to Another

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Not to be outdone, another friend cleaned out his room and gave me this.

Lupin_razor

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Nadia Genga

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

genga01

Here’s a look at the selection of Secret of Blue Water production sketches that my local friend Chris M. donated to me.

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