FanimeCon 2014 Haul & Thoughts

FanimeCon 2014

This year’s Fanime was a livelier experience than usual, mostly because half of the convention center wasn’t destroyed under construction for once and also because this year was the con’s 20th anniversary. The line to pick up badges went abnormally fast this year – going by almost instantly. We got kind of screwed because we picked up our badges at the Clockwork Alchemy line, which is usually the faster line, but got delayed for a few hours this year in comparison to the Fanime line (the line wasn’t long, but it took a while for the registration to actually start up). Nevertheless, we still got our badges faster than usual so we actually got to do things during Day Zero, so it was all cool.

There weren’t many bad things that happened this year. I met some pretty cool people, there were so many awesome cosplayers, and I had loads of fun with my friends this year. I became completely drunk at the hotel during the last night, which was pretty much the highlight strangely enough (I have never gotten that drunk before). You’d think the highlight would be having a ramen dinner at Ramen Tenma with friggin’ LilyPichu (a friend of Mr. Lex), but I don’t really give two shits about League of Legends and barely watch her channel, so.

So, let’s go over the things I bought at Fanime this year (which isn’t much compared to last year – Cardcaptor Sakura drained my wallet) and also the token weird experience.

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Cardcaptor Sakura Blu-Ray Collection’s English dub

I used the Money card

NO. REGRETS.

So, I finally decided on which online retailer to pre-order my Cardcaptor Sakura Blu-Ray collection from: RightStuf. NISA had a nice poster, but I decided to forgo chipping away another 20 bucks on their pre-order deal, since I have a bunch of posters laying around in storage without frames to put them up.

I know I said I didn’t care about watching the English dub that will be included in this new set (again, no one is Sakura besides Sakura Tange, plebs), but I’m genuinely curious about it. At first I thought they were doing a redub, but then I remembered that it’s NISA. One of the companies that brings us Japanese anime in sweet, affordable ways – and English dubs are expensive. Reading the description, the English dub track is described as a monaural track. See, if they were really redubbing the series, the audio wouldn’t be so outdated, indicating that the dub that will be included on the set already exists.

The first thought that came to mind was, “Oh my god, they’re not gonna include… the Cardcaptors dub, are they?” Which wouldn’t make sense. Most people who are willing to shell out over $200 for this set wouldn’t want to see that monstrosity. Plus, it’s only a partial “dub”, less than half of the scenes would have English audio that doesn’t go with what’s being shown on screen – the rest will be silence.

But then I remembered… there was one dub, one very obscure dub, that was actually faithful to CLAMP’s original animated tale and was in English  – the Asian dub presented by the Hong Kong-based studio Omni Productions that aired on Animax Asia some time ago! The voices in that dub were meh to me (for English dubs, I preferred the Media Blasters dub of Cardcaptor Sakura the Movie: The Sealed Card – that’s the dub I most accept as an English version of Cardcaptor Sakura), but considering how god awful Nelvana’s dub of the series was, I would have appreciated it if that was our dub instead. Anyways, here’s a short voice clip of Animax!Sakura:

[audio:http://theotakuspot.animeblogger.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Animax-Sakura-Introduction.mp3]

The pronunciation of “Sakura” and “Tomoeda” irks the living hell out of me, but the voice is overall more easy to take than Sakura Avalon’s valley girl voice (that sounded way too old to be Sakura anyway), especially since she’s in-character and not being brash and rude like her Nelvana counterpart. Despite preferring a redub with the Media Blasters cast, I think many fans of English dubs will appreciate NISA adding the Omni dub as a bonus. Not as a total weeb, but as a Cardcaptor Sakura fan, I’ll always recommend the remastered Japanese audio first and foremost though.

Americanization is stupid, especially if it’s for kids

Ships only eat jelly-filled doughnuts

Image Credit: 芹野いつき from Pixiv

Americanization in imported media should have been a practice that we’ve abandoned long ago. Sure, we get stubborn folks like Capcom who insist on relocating series like Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney) from Japan to Los Angeles and digging a deeper hole for themselves as the series progresses, but for the most part nowadays, especially in anime, you hardly see downright stupid crap like calling onigiri “jelly-filled doughnuts” as if western children have no idea what a ball of rice is (hint: ‘MURICANS HAVE RICE FIELDS TOO)… right?

Unfortunately for today, the practice of shielding our children from other cultures still persists in some anime aimed at the kodomoshounen crowd that we manage to bring over here, though thankfully it’s a lot less than what we got several years ago. We have the unfortunate 4Kids titles (we can never, ever talk sense into old guys who think they know what kids like), and some other titles sprinkled here and there by companies that really don’t have much respect for anime as a cultural form of foreign animation, other than as a marketing vehicle towards kids. It was worse back during the 90s and early 2000s, when my (and many others’) beloved Cardcaptor Sakura got chopped up into the putrid Cardcaptors.

You’d think Doraemon, a very iconic JAPANESE anime/manga that gained popularity all over the world as such, would be able to remain Japanese when it’s finally able to make its way to the United States and be able to escape that sort of xenophobic treatment. Haha, yeah. right.

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Uguu Review! Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star-

Hoshizora no Memoria

Pray to become starry sky tomorrow…

So finally, after about 50 years, here’s another write-up of a visual novel (I fully admit that I’m absolutely damedame). The title of the day is Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star-, a moege/charage by Favorite and one that is available with a fan-translation (by Staircase Subs).

I have to say that the art is simply gorgeous. The delicious illustrations are, of course, drawn by Shida Kazuhiro. He’s really good at drawing absolutely heart-melting loli characters and cute females in general, and honestly provides one of the strongest aspects that Favorite brand visual novels have going for them.

Also, beware. There will be major spoilers (even if I don’t go too deep into them and mostly just share my thoughts).

Continue reading Uguu Review! Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star-

MIKOTO’S FANGASM METER BROKE, PLEASE FIX HIM OR DON’T

YES THERE IS A GOD

SHE LIVES, SHE LIVES!

BERSERKER Mikoto NISA, THANK YOU! YOU RESCUED MY PRECIOUS CARDCAPTOR SAKURA FROM THE VOID. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU FOREVER, MARRY ME.

I FORGIVE YOU FOR ANY BAD TRANSLATIONS YOU’VE DONE IN THE PAST. HELL, WHAT THE HAY? THEY DON’T EXIST ANYMORE. MY MONEY IS ALL YOURS, HONEY!

bsdhbjadb Holy crap, dat Blu-Ray. Dat box. Dat art book. Dat poster. There’s even a new English dub, which I don’t really give two shits about because only Sakura Tange can be Sakura you PLEBS, but damn are they putting some tender-loving care into this release. Tender-loving care that this series deserved long ago by western anime companies. Sure, Geneon put some commendable efforts into their subbed releases of the TV series and English dub of the second movie, but they still acknowledged the existence of that diarrhea stain Cardcraptors and didn’t go through the effort of redubbing the entire series like what Broppon Ichi is doing right now.

THANK YOU, BASED NISA GODS.

[long pause]

Mikoto I’m okay now. Back to being a rationale, level-headed member of society.

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BERSERKER MikotoUNTIL I BUY THAT PREMIUM BLU-RAY SET, THAT IS.

BLU-RAY MUDDAFUKKAASSSS

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Mikoto Update: In other news, I’ve been having a blast this quarter, guys. School is actually pretty fun now that I’m focusing on my major, and I’ve been playing Studio Ghibli/Level-5’s Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for the PS3, which I’ll do a review on soon. I know I said I’d post final impressions about Kill la Kill (not gonna be a 100% positive one – just a warning), along with the newer season’s anime like No Game No Life, and rest assured that those will come. I’ve been watching a ton of anime as of late and will be making a bunch of posts these coming months. Also, Fanime 20014 is just around the corner, and I’m honestly pumped up for the most weeb month of my life.

Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star- (visual novel) write-up will be up in the next day or two, so look forward to that.