Anime Review – Claymore (クレイモア) First Impressions

Claymore

OP: “Raison D’être” by Nightmare
ED: “Danzai no Hana~Guilty Sky” by Riyu Kosaka

Story Overview (from Wikipedia because I have no free time for my own written summary):

The setting of Claymore’s story is a fictional world with medieval technology. Politically, it appears to consist of a large number of scattered, apparently independent, towns. In this world, humans coexist with creatures called Yoma sentient monsters that feed on human innards. The Yoma, being shape-changers, can take on human form and live in disguise amongst humans. By consuming the humans’ brains, Yoma can also absorb their memories, allowing them to disguise themselves as specific people without alerting any of their close friends or family.

A nameless and highly secretive organization has created an order of superhuman warriors to protect humans from the Yoma. These warriors have come to be popularly known as Claymores, after the immense claymores they wield. Villages being attacked by Yoma hire Claymores to kill the Yoma for a large fee.

Continue reading Anime Review – Claymore (クレイモア) First Impressions

Space Pirate? NO WAI!!

Rogue Galaxy

Rogue Galaxy is…genius! This game is amazing, I just couldn’t believe an RPG could be combined with real time combat so well. It feels like a hack and slash, but if you try to slam on that ‘X’ button then you’ll be dead before you reach the first boss. No joke, it happened to me on the game’s second battle. Sad, really.

Combat:

Okay, we’re jumping straight to the combat on this game. As I mentioned above, the combat is in real time. However, it’s still a random encounter. When a fight starts you get a giant flashing red ‘WARNING’ sign on your screen and when it goes away the enemies jump out of the ground. At this point you have to dispatch them with abilities, guns, arrows, swords, and flamethrowers. The weapons described above aren’t available to all the characters however, with the main character wielding a sword and handgun. In the game you have something sort of like a stamina bar that decreases when you attack, use an item, or use an ability. Once it runs out you have to run in circles like a little girl while it recharges. Or if you’re feeling skilled or just plain crazy, then you can block an enemy attack which instantaneously charges the bar to maximum power. This allows you to pull off a counter attack, no matter how much stamina you have left. The game also allows for jumping, carrying enemies, and throwing them around to amuse yourself. There’s so much more I could mention, but you’ll have to play for yourself to find out. Let’s just say one gun creates platforms on the enemies heads for you to jump on to damage them, and make use of jumping other than for attacking up high.

Story:
The story is definitely not the best out there, but honestly, not many RPG’s have very good stories anymore. In Rogue Galaxy a 17-year-old boy named Jaster is living a boring life hunting small monsters out in the desert for money. His home, the desert planet Rosa, is under control by one of two warring empires. He is tired of his monotonous life of living on an enslaved planet and one day, has his dreams fulfilled when he is mistaken for a famous monster hunter and is recruited to a crew of space pirates. Swords, space, and women. What more could you ask for in a game?

Pictures:

Jaster, the main character of the game.

Kisala, the only character you’ll ever care about, other than Jaster.

-xXStevenLeXx

Anime Review – Lucky☆Star/らき☆すた Episode 05

Episode 05 – “Sharpshooter” 名射手
I M NOT A PRIZE!
“Whoa there! I’m not a prize, miss!” (Psss… That was me. ;D)

So I see no difference in the show after the directior change. However, I will say that this was, out of the 5 episodes, the best. Not only did I love the MMORPG references in this episode (Konata? A tank? NO WAI! Loved how Nanako-sensei bothered her about doing her homework during the game), I loved the Yukata everyone was wearing during the festival in this episode. Lucky Channel began too early though… Or, at least, I felt it began too early within the episode. As much as I love Lucky Channel, I kind of wanted to see some more adaption of the 4-koma, y’know?

Aside from that, I loved the obvious Pocket Monsters reference (Getto daze~! / Gotta Catch em’ all~!) and Konata’s karoke of CHA-LA HEAD CHA-LA at the end of this episode. Aya Hirano sure idolizes Kageyama Hironobu. x3

Today’s ending…

Anime Review – Lucky☆Star/らき☆すた Episode 04

Episode 4 – “Motivation Issues” やる気の問題

Brigade armband, desho desho??

Tsukasa = Akari Kamigishi from To Heart.
Yes, she’s going to make you cosplay. ~~

Konata’s tedency to procrastinate blossoms in this episode. Real suprise, huh? Actually… it’s just like me, actually. Wanna do homework… oh wait! I must go to the computer and play some MMORPGs first… Now then… Oh wait! My favorite show’s on… Okay, now… Oh wait! I must go to some internet forums for a bit. Okay now… wait, there’s nothing else to do. Oh well! Let’s just lay down and stare at the whole, I’ll get to it eventually.

I loved this episode. This episode was bursting with anime references, notably the obvious ones such as some TMoHS references and the To Heart reference. It’s Grade A+ really. The series is getting more and more laugh-inducing as each episode passes. That’s a good thing… right?

So I read Viz’s Shakugan no Shana light novel and manga today…

Sad Shana

So the light novel was still readable, the translation was hopefully and surely solid, and it was highly enjoyable to read the source material bound between real covers without looking in the dictionary every five minutes. The only problems are… the annoyingly large text don’t really care and the unneeded cropping of two of the illustrations.

English in-bed pictureJapanese in-bed picture
Thanks to Darrenm and GyroidFanatic from
AnimeOnDVD.com forums for the pics.

Fawk, I say. FAWK. I honestly see nothing to censor. Are Shana’s panties really that detailed and err… “arousing” for it to be kept in for a teenaged audience? I don’t even think that’s bad for little kids Or is it that Yuji is sleeping in bed with her? Either way, he’s still sleeping in bed with her. (:

I remember the days where Viz would keep in Goku’s wee-wee for all to see in their early editions of the Dragon Ball manga… they really went censorship crazy since then.

This is the only bull I care about. Aside from this and the large text, it’s all fine.

Manga Review – +Anima Vol. 2

Anima Vol. 2

Running Date: 2001 – 2005
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Mangaka: Natsumi Mukai

Story:
Shunned and branded as outcasts, the +Anima continue to search for their place in a perilous world… When Cooro is tricked into helping a nearby town, the +Anima must unite if they are to ever see their friend again. But after crossing paths with a new +Anima, will the bitter sting of betrayal tear this group apart?

Summary: (Chapter 6 – The Secret of Beehive Manor – Part 1):
The first chapter of this volume starts off with an introduction to the conflict. Lady Beena’s (she’s dressed like a bee, living near a village that raises beehives. Get it? Beena. Funny, huh?) son presumably turns into a beastly +Anima. Our heroes, Cooro, Husky, Senri, and Nana are on their marry way. Nana complains about how they’re always camping and that she wants to sleep in a bed for once. Cooro says that he likes camping and Husky adds by saying it doesn’t cost anything either. Continuing to piss Husky off, Nana says that she wants to go to Astaria, the biggest city in the country and because the king lives there. She tells Husky that she wants to marry into a wealthy family. Husky says that’s something a stupid girl would want.

Cooro notices the fragrant scent of the flowers on the trees. The gang then notices some wooden boxes in the road. Cooro opens one of them up and it turns out they were beehives! The bees chase Cooro, who used his wings to fly away, all the way to the roof of a house in an unknown village. Some men were suprised to see an +Anima.

After agreeing to take some honey to Lady Beena’s mansion due to him knocking down one of the beehives, we see some sort of person stalking him in the bushes along the way. The rest of the +Anima are looking for Cooro and run into the same men he met. Turns out that the only reason that they made Cooro deliver the honey is because they were scared that they might’ve got eaten by that “monster” that lived in the mansion. About a month ago, one of the villagers who was delivering honey to the beehive saw a monster. He told anoth villager, who then heard something most unnerving: “Gil… such bad manners.” The yound master… had became an +Anima. They figured it was okay for Cooro to go since he was an +Anima. But… Husky disagrees.

“Are you saying that because he’s a +Anima… IT DOESN’T MATTER IF HE’S EATEN?!” The +Anima go to save Cooro. On their way, they meet the “stalker” that we saw earlier, but he gets away because Nana thought he was cute, that it was probably a villager who thought it was odd for +Anima to be traveling by the village, and she doesn’t want the villagers to dislike +Anima more than they do now.

Meanwhile, Cooro arrives at the Behive Manor and is greeted by Lady Beena. He is told to wait there… while Lady Beena tells her “son” that his dinner is ready.

Thoughts:

This volume was enjoyable, but it really wasn’t all that great. Esspecially since half of this volume were “extra” chapters consisting of a “parallel universe” that Natsumi Mukai did before the series was serialized. I enjoyed those chapters, but I felt that half of the quality was downgraded since half of the chapters had nothing to do and contribute to the main storyline of post-serialized series.

The story isn’t something to awe about, just the usual subject of being discriminated because of being different. Nothing to hate on just because it’s “usual” (See? This is the point Mukai-sensei was trying to get across!), they really pull it offf nicely without getting into it too seriously like all the other things that come across this subject.

I loved the artwork of this series. Everything was so crisp – a nice balance of cute, seriousness (when need-be) and detail (too bad I don’t have a scanner right now to show you how pretty the artwork is). Other than that… the series is average, really. But I could see why it was popular. The series ending at it’s tenth volume (presumably with an unfinished story, I think…) is a turn-off to keep reading though. But hey, it makes my selves look pretty.

Lucky☆Star Changes Directors After Episode 4

Lucky ☆ Star

Source: ANN

Kyoto Animation posted a notice on its website that it’s replacing director Yutaka Yamamoto (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Air, Kanon) with Yasuhiro Takemoto (Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu!, Full Metal Panice! Second Raid) for Lucky ☆ Star.

For some reason, I’m indifferent to this. Maybe the people who didn’t like Lucky ☆ Star after the first, second, third and forth time may start to like it better after this? I dunno.

Anime Review – Lucky☆Star / らき☆すた 03

Episode 3 – “All Kinds of Peopleいろいろな人たち

This calls for some passion!
Passion

Another episode of cuteness and conversations about stuff I’ve never really thought about that makes me squeal like a girl. Yes, I’ve been taken in by the gimmick. 😛

So… in order to have a higher chance of winning a drawing, you must enter a hundred entries? Wouldn’t the cost of the postcards be greater than the prize itself?

Some things just can’t be bought with money. I love your thinking Konata! Tell that to those creepy old people that take part in enjo kōsai in Japan.

Prize drawings ———> twins? o.O I love how this series abruptly changes topics.

Kooooooona-chan! *slap*
“Koooooooona-chan!”

Hmmm… If Kagami and Tsukasa were to be identical twins (and technically take on the hair style of Tsukasa)… then Kagami would be suprisingly cute. But who cares?

FANTASIES = NO

I love her cranky personality much better. Tsundere~

Hmmm… what would it really be like to find out you’re really one-egg twins when all this time you thought you were two-egg twins? I would be pretty shocked. Of course, I don’t see much of a difference between Kagami and Tsukasa’s looks besides how their eyes and hair are drawn (they’re related characters so they can’t be so different either!). What sets them apart is their personalities. Kagami is soooo tsundere~ and Tsukasa is laid back and adorable.

Cookies =D
“This talk about black and white cookies is making me hungry!”

Tsukasa and Kagami’s favorite colors >>>>> black and white cookies??? xD Konata wins.

NOOOO!!! It's a TRAP!!!
It’s a trap!

No air conditioning is a bummer. ):

It's raining, it's pouring
I used to like rainy days because baseball games would get cancelled and I get to watch my anime.”

‘m behind Konata all the way! Baseball games always stand in the way of me and my cute little moes! Just kidding. 😛 A reply that’s expected from Konata. I don’t mind because they postpone Pokemon episodes, and I want to see the fanbase (or, at least, the English fanbase) squiiiiiiiirm. *cough*

The conversation about what they would wear on their marriage was of no use to me, seeing as I don’t plan on wearing a skirt on my wedding… (keyword is PLANNING (:)… and I probably wouldn’t wear a kimono because I’d most likely will get married in America.

... No comment...
Wow… she actually got owned.

I don’t really ask for help on video games unless I’m really stuck on someplace (*cough* multiple times on Zelda *cough*), because supporting Konata’s wise words, it would take a chunk of fun out of it for me. Now… will she actually do her homework… by herself?

Hmmm...
“Did you ever notice that detectives in anime and manga run into alot of murder cases?”

Do visual novels count? Because it reminds me of something I found on the internet…

...

… Did I just see a Cromartie High School reference?

Konata with a ponytail
Tsukasa with a ponytailKagami with a ponytail from behind
I love ponytails! So 萌え.

I don’t know if it was a certain… person that I know in real life that made me love ponytails… but I think I’m starting have a ponytail fetish. Taking these pics made me absolutely giddy.

Speaking of hair, I really never thought about how long Konata’s hair was. Damn.

RAWR
“Seeing people use them makes me angry.”

It’s true that collectors hardly ever touch stuff that they buy that relates to something they like. But even though being an avid fan of lots of things, I’ve always used merchandise that I bought one way or another. Maybe this is due to my hatred of my older half-brother not letting play with his Darth Maul action figure when I was little, and kept it in mint condition (even though the box was not so mint… dusty). I saw it as pointless because he eventually sold it (well… maybe not so pointless), which makes Konata angry too.

Today's topic... is Miyuki!
One of my most favorite parts of Lucky ☆ Star… Lucky Channel!

Akira’s not happy because Miyuki’s apparently a turn on. But don’t worry! Akira’s popular with the pedophiles!

Much better improvement over the last two episodes. This episode gave me much more laughs and smiles out of me than both of them put together, I’ll definately keep on watching. Heh… I liked how they somewhat acknowleged Aya Hirano as Konata singing the karoke of Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu!‘s OP in the ending credits… Switching her child-like voice to Aya-mode like that was a little wierd though (OMG HENSHIN??!!!!11).

Seiyuu > (Automatically) Voice Actors… why?

DATTEBAYO! JAPANESE IS MUSHIRO!!!

So of all the Japanese vs. English dubbed arguments… the seiyuu vs. English VAs aruments must involve the most hardcore “weaboos” showing their ignorancy among them.

As I’ve seen, some automatically label a seiyuu BETTER than their English counterpart… some even label them better without hearing the English voice first hand, and not even knowing anything about the seiyuu they’re talking about… automatically say they’re more “professional”. All I ask is… why? Is it because they’re… Japanese? That makes them automatically “professional”? Sure, there are quite a select handful of seiyuu that really are professional, but so are a select few of English voice actors. In every “Sub vs. Dub” topic I see on web forums, those same people always post “I like to watch anime subbed better because the Japanese voice actors are more professional”.

Now, just because it’s the original voice actor, and because it’s Japanese – these people always come to the conclusion that the original seiyuu are much more professional than English voice actors. Well sorry, but I believe that’s not true. As there are a handful of professional seiyuu, there are a handful of unprofessional ones also. Now, these seiyuu, like English voice actors, work hard to gain their profession and when they eventually get a role as a character, most of them – *GASP* are not really “OMFG AMAZING” material at all on their first try, despite them being somewhere near decent. English voice actors go through the same thing, and eventually (with hard work) become good at their profession, just like seiyuu. Yet despite this truth from the heart, these types of people love these newbie seiyuu more than newbie English voice actors. There is one factor that everyone must understand when comparing two voice talent (which are foreign to the other and vise-versa) – understanding. It’s very hard to comprehend the emotion of something that’s conveyed in a language you don’t understand, in this case – Japanese. With the different uses of onomatopoeia and different stereotypical tones and accents for characters that match the description, it’s really hard to just get it compared to languages you’re already used to. So, to the anime fans that know diddly-squat about Japanese, please be open-minded while comparing a Japanese seiyuu to their English equivalent. Because common sense tells us that you can’t easily decide if a seiyuu is professional or not (unless by popular belief, or if she’s Aya Hirano). You may like them better, but no conclusion of who’s more professional will ever be accurately portrayed through your mind. And hopefully, we all know that the voice actors over here, that dub and help us understand what our favorite characters are saying much more clearer, take voice acting just as seriously as the seiyuu over at Japan.

And, to the anime fans that just frikken hate English voice actors… Sorry that they’re speaking in your native language, really.

Even otaku have to show some decency…

Anime Review – ハヤテのごとく Hayate no Gotoku! / Hayate The Combat Butler! 02

Episode 02 ~ “A New Start with Nagi Sanzenin’s Mansion” 三千院ナギの屋敷と、新たなる旅立ち

Stupid, Un-Comprehensive Summary:

Don't EVER punch Mr. Santa Claus
“Remember… you punched me in the last episode!”

Hayate is found sleeping in the clouds as he sees Santa Claus. Santa asks if he’s done with with life. Hayate says Santa saying thatas if he is dead… Santa says he is dead. Hayate shrugs it off and says he doesn’t care because he doesn’t have any family to grieve for him and no house. A kidnapper trying to act as if he was a tragic hero? Santa says even though it was in his mind, he punched Santa in the last episode. And even though he never succeeded, what he was trying to do was criminal. Hayate starts to beg for forgiveness.

Continue reading Anime Review – ハヤテのごとく Hayate no Gotoku! / Hayate The Combat Butler! 02

Anime Review – らき☆すた/Lucky ☆ Star – 01 – 02

Lucky Star

OP: “Motteke! Sailor Fuku” by Aya Hirano, Emiri Katou, Kaori Fukuhara & Aya Endo
Ending lol

Aya... err... Konata running

“Why aren’t you in any sports teams, Kona-chan? You’re so athletic!”
“…I’ll miss my prime time anime.”

Eh, I’ve seen some pretty harsh reviews on Lucky ☆ Star on some other anime blogs. But to tell you the truth, I don’t think it’s that bad. Sure, the first two episodes weren’t exactly exciting or anything amazing. My opinion is that only strong otaku, such as myself (not that I’m obsessed or anything…), or people with a strong love for cute characters (… Such as myself…) should watch this anime.

Actually, I think that the reason why Lucky ☆ Star seems to get some backlash by some anime fans because Kyoto Animation is being too faithful to the 4-koma, and too faithful with some of their anime adaptions in general. I’d really like to see alot of differences between the anime and the 4-koma in this case (maybe the series expanding on the 4-Koma strips? Like expanding some of them into a whole 25 minutes? That would be hard though. :3)… it would surely be a different feeling from the other series produced by KyoAni. Another reason would be the hype it put out due to some joke scanlations of the 4-Koma… leading to the disappointed to the anime fans that the series isn’t what they’d thought it be. But meh, I like it just the way it is currently. Cute characters, sort of funny, something to pass the time, and giving me new outlooks on life… and the opening is really catchy (motte ike saigo ni wara chau no wa atashi no hazu~! ^^ Oh god… I’m turning into a weaboo :<).

So...
Which side IS the head?

“Which side is the head of a chocolate cornet? A burning question that has riddled me since the begining of time this very minute…”

lol Adult games

“lawl The otaku has been cornered.”

It's an idol!

“OH NOEZ! It’s a provoked loli! Run for the hills!”

Anime Review – ながされて藍蘭島 / Nagasarete Airantou (Trying to catch up…)

I have a life too, ya’ know. 🙁

Nagasarete Airantou

OP: “Days” by Yui Horie
ED: “Say Cheese” by Yui Horie

Yes, you heard it here. It’s a harem. Nagasarete isn’t really unique, but it’s a fun little harem to say the least. The characters seem likeable enough and its “WTF” moments, even though not extremely funny, is funny and entertaining enough to amuse me. Ayane’s voice is, however, annoying enough to make me want to slam my face onto my screen. It being a romance anime seems to add on to the flavor for me as well. It doesn’t win any awards, but who says something has to be “OMFG SUPAA AWESOME” for you to enjoy it? As I said, it’s a fun series and I will definately blog it (after episode three, that is).

Final Fantasy XII – What Love Story?

Raise your hand if you liked the love story in Final Fantasy X. Don’t be shy, I won’t make fun of you.

Now, if you didn’t like it, then you’ll be excited to know that this next installment in the series (not counting the online game, FF XI) has a much darker, political story. In this game, it’s not about stabbing the man who stole your woman, it’s about stabbing a man who took away your homeland’s freedom.

Of course, nobody like spoilers, so I’ll be talking about the gameplay instead. Continue reading Final Fantasy XII – What Love Story?

New Staff

I have just been appointed a position on the blog, so the next time you see a post that has nothing to do with anything Japanese, then you can expect it to have been made by me.

The current blog owner apparently can’t keep up with the scourge of all things American, so that’s why I now have a hobby. (Mikoto Edit: stfu nub. :<)

xXStevenLexX

Edit : I still don’t approve of the borderline hentai quiz. >.<

Mikoto’s “Don’ts” on AMVs

1. Music that has nothing to do with the AMV at hand
This should not even be explained. No one wants to watch an AMV that’s, for example, about Flonne from Disgaea yet has “Rewrite” as the song from Fullmetal Alchemist.

2. Distracting Subtitles – Piracy Alert
Using scenes from fansubs for your AMVs shows unprofessionalism and unrelated to the quality of the AMV: shows how cheap you are by not buying the DVDs of the series you made the AMV about if it’s a license release (mainly targeted toward mainstream titles such as Naruto, Pokemon, etc.). The subtitles are also very, very disracting, esspecially when there are clips from an opening played together with the AMV’s song, the subtitles being very out of place (making it look very tacky) and colorful karoke typesetting makes it very hard to concentrate on the video at hand.

To put it short: Subtitles in AMVs suck, even if the AMV’s good when putting that aside. Raws or DVD rips, please.

3. Two or more themes in an AMV
I’ve seen happen alot in AMVs focusing on shippings and pairings. They focus on at least two anime pairings in one AMV. Now, it’s not bad, it’s just not fair to the people who don’t really like one or more of the multiple pairings in your AMV. And it’s also very annoying to see, for example, scenes of “Edward Elric x Winry” one minute, than “Kyon x Itsuki” the next, and alternating. It’s like wanting to read a book about apples yet getting random information on oranges every five pages.

Stick to at least one theme for more efficency please. Only do it when you could actually pull it off, thanks.

4. At least 5 minutes a scene, please – or else GTFO of Windows Movie Maker
Constantly alternating between scenes at an accelerated rate is annoying. Unless you’re trying to what the TMoHS opening does at 0:41, don’t switch between scenes like that. It hurts the eyes.

5. If you’re going to use pirated video rips, at least don’t use HK subs. Which is more distracting
Nuff’ said.

6. Use one piece of music please
We don’t need clones of the song montages of the dub Pokemon movie endings, thank you very much.

7. Original titles are better than just naming it after the song you’re using
Using original titles made by yourself for your AMVs instead of naming it after the song you’re using in the background or naming it (Insert series/character name) AMV is better, in my opinion. It shows your creativity, as well as showing your creativity as an AMV maker in the actual AMV. If the title’s crappy, than who cares, at least you tried your best naming it unlike the other lazy bums that name it after the background music.

Looks like CuberType just released a sequel to their Haruhi-style Gyakuten Saiban doujin game…? 涼宮ハルヒの逆転2+1

Holy crap, I just noticed:

Turnabout Court Haruhi 2+1?

Mikuru and YukiHaruhi

Tsuruya Itsuki

Objection! Emiri... o_o
(Emiri with a whip….? o___o)

× Asian ramblings about anime, manga, and other Japanese stuff ×