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Archive for the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category

Still Collecting

Friday, August 21st, 2015

packages

I still collect domestic anime DVD/BDs. The mailman just arrived.

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Lensman Publicity Image

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Lensman_Umetsu

This is a good example of why I love vintage anime magazines: rare promotional images like this Galactic Patrol Lensman publicity still drawn by Yasuomi Umetsu, who worked on the TV series as a key animator. This image appears in the July 1985 issue of My Anime Magazine

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Interesting Scene in Oi! Ryouma

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

While watching the first episode of the 1992 historical drama anime Oi! Ryouma, I was struck by a particular scene that occurred in the middle of the episode. As seven-year-old Sakamoto Ryouma is bullied and extorted by a pair of local boys, his sister Otome comes to his rescue. After beating up the two bullies, Otome orders Ryouma to use his privilege as a samurai and execute the boys for having insulted his and his sister’s honor, a historical samurai precept known as “Kiri-sute gomen.”

Historically “Kiri-sute gomen” was not performed very frequently, but it’s a concept seen equally rarely in anime, and practically never in association with heroic characters. In anime heroic samurai may execute villains, and villains may execute innocent commoners, but depictions of heroes executing commoners is practically unheard of because such depiction isn’t “heroic,” or romantic. Personally, I’m fascinated by the fact that this Japanese children’s program includes such a scene in which the older sister orders her little brother to “man up” by legally killing the bullies who have aggrieved him.

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Is It Just Me Or?

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

long titles

Over the past couple of days I’ve had a difficult time recollecting the titles of a few anime series, specifically:

Hagure Yuusha no Estetica
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
Marimo no Hana ~Saikyou Butouha Shougakusei Densetsu~
Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii
Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C3-bu

Now that I’m literally in middle-age, I wonder if my memory is starting to weaken or if an increasing number of anime titles are just getting longer and more convoluted lately. Or maybe this is a sign that there’s just too many new anime released every year if I can’t even recall the names of shows I watched just a year or two ago.

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June Power Up Box Unboxing

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Surprise subscription boxes are the best idea for geeks, otaku, and collectors since merchandise itself. Receiving wonderful new collectable toys, treats, and sometimes even collectable treats is supremely gratifying for fantasy aficionados. Combining the pleasure of gaining new goods with the anticipatory fun of surprise turns subscription boxes into Christmas gifts all year around. The June release of the Power Up Box has a monopoly on Guardians of the Galaxy goodness.

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Most Valuable English Language Manga?

Friday, June 19th, 2015

LWOC_Numbered_GN

Via some Ebay research I just realized yesterday that the hardcover Lone Wolf & Cub volume 1 manga is quite probably the most valuable of all English language manga by a very wide margin. Evidently hardcover copies of Dark Horse’s first graphic novel were a limited retailer incentive and now cost as much as $300. However, 230 copies were hand-numbered and autographed by Kazuo Koike on a bookplate featuring an exclusive illustration by Goseki Kojima. Those 230 numbered copies run $1,200 to $1,300 apiece. Mine is #98. I’ve owned it for 15 years and never realized how valuable it was.

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Locker Locations

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

POPS1

Ever notice that anime characters never have shoe lockers on the bottom row? It’s just not as graceful, stylish, or funny to see characters kneeling down to retrieve their shoes compared to reaching up. And without shoe lockers at head level, we wouldn’t get commonplace shots like this:

POPS2

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Small Curses

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

While digging around in my collection room today I discovered a set of 13 color Juuni Kokuki film comics that I didn’t even recollect owning. I’m aware that there are far more things that can be much worse to find in one’s house, so don’t take this as a serious complaint.

shelf

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Aquarion Evol Volume 2 Excels

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Aquarion Evol 2

While creator Shoujo Kawamori’s Aquarion Evol manga continues to exhibit its quirky defining characteristics, it’s with pleasure that I report that the manga’s second volume improves upon all of the weaknesses of the first book. Uneven pacing and tone, opaque narrative, and obscured battle choreography all plagued the introductory volume of the manga. All of those attributes are addressed and improved in the second book.

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It’s Over 9000!

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Typical people receive gifts on birthdays and Christmas day. Ambitious collector, however, dream of receiving wondrous boxes of joyful toys every day. Although that dream may still be a fantasy for most people, the prevalence of monthly surprise subscription boxes has brought the dream much closer to viability for most people than ever before. Monthly subscription boxes are now available in specializations of virtually every conceivable focus, including anime, comics, snack food, survival gear, beauty supplies, and even adult novelties. Relatively new kid on the block Power Up Box seeks to out-muscle rival “geek culture” subscription boxes like Loot Crate and Nerd Block, and its premium May release goes a long way toward overpowering its competition.

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First Bloody Angel Review

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Title

AnimeNation Forum member Old Hat has published his review of my light novel Bloody Angel. The review is spoiler-free and largely positive.

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What is Manga Adventure #1?

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Manga Adventure #1

Anybody know exactly what this is? It’s an American comic book published in 2002. Is it translated Japanese manga or American comic art? I just acquired a copy for a dollar, but since it’s still sealed in its original polybag, my fanatic collector instinct won’t permit me to cut the bag open to find out.

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Commendation for Cosplay Basics

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Cosplay_Basics_cover

Particularly since English-speaking fans began to recognize and adopt Japanese anime culture and since American comic culture permeated mainstream culture roughly in the early 2000s, the Japanese fascination with “costume play” has spread globally. Anime and comic book conventions in America are now hotspots for enthusiastic individuals to garb themselves in the elaborate costumes of fantasy and comic characters. The hobby has emerged with such passionate vehemence that it’s even spawned a cable television show. Recognizing the intense & widespread interest in this immersive, interactive facet of comic culture, One Peace Books has translated Cosplay Basics: A Beginners Guide to the Art of Costume Play (Hajimete Demo Anshin Cosplay Nyuumon). True to its title, the book is a thorough and informative walkthrough that introduces seemingly every aspect of “cosplay” to readers who are intrigued but inexperienced with the hobby.

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Analyzing Blade Runner part 1

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Basic RGB

Now that I’m consciously examining and studying Blade Runner to teach it as an example of literate film in my Composition II class I’m finding so much more sub-textual richness that I never noticed before. Actually, I haven’t even closely examined the second half of the movie yet because I’m not teaching the second hour of the film until next week.

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Turning Japanese

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Evidently I’ve got a natural bamboo grove starting to grow in my back yard.

bamboo

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