Friday, January 22

Wednesday, January 20

The story of Nishimata Aoi

She is famous for her work on Shuffle! series. Her works also featured in many eroge games and been active since 1994.

Her first well known moe project is Ugo Rice where her illustration is said to be key factor reviving the dead town of 16,000 people into a happening place with anime fans flocking there to buy the rice thanks to her illustration. From there, the ball starts rolling where now there is even battery laced with moe drawings. Some people credited her as the catalyst of this phenomenon. What amuses me the most is the watermelon moe edition by her.

Aoi Nishimata next notoriety is her selection as Japanese artist in Star Wars illustration project where a lots of people in Japan reacted pretty badly to the choice. Some of them are pretty scathing of her originality and lack of evolution.

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Tuesday, January 19

Disney's magic!

See the video for yourself. For some people it is cutting corners, for some it is called smart cost cutting. But it is interesting to compare.

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Senkou no Night Raid / 閃光のナイトレイド

"The story is set in Shanghai in 1931, when the Imperial Japanese Army has been dispatched to mainland China due to the relatively recent First Sino-Japanese War, Russo-Japanese War, and World War I. In this cosmopolitan city of intrigue, there is a special military spy organization called "Sakurai Kikan" that has since been buried in history."

Basically it is an espionage drama during interwar years (1919-1939) situated in what then cosmopolitan city of Shanghai. During that period, spies from various Great Powers came and doing intrigue (cloak and dagger stuff) against each other since China was a failed state with bountiful resources. Usually a favourite epoch/genre for many Chinese dramas from Hong Kong, it is rather unusual for anime to do a story from this era of this genre.

Now though question is how Imperial Japan will portrayed in the series. They are not nice bunch of people during those years in reality so I assume the anime will somewhat tone it down and make them the good guys who scheming against voracious Western Powers especially Russia. Or even the treatment of Chinese in the story going to matter or not.

Jun Matsumoto (Persona -trinity soul-) is the director with A-1 Pictures funding on this series. Shinsuke Onishi (The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye, New Getter Robo, 009-1) is supervising the scripts.Staff wise it looks pretty ok but what I wondering if it will be historically fair or not. But again, if Hollywood can make historically biased movies, I am not counting too much on Japanese anime to give it an even tone. Soon to be aired in 2010 spring.


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Tuesday, January 12

Chinese Macross? Astro Plan!


This is rich! Chinese animation now is coming up with mecha anime; Astro Plan.

It is heavily influenced by Gundam Seed to Macross. The hero even looked like the dude from Gundam Wing. Need I say more?

This habit never gets old. More pictures can be seen here. Have to say this though, they have technical skills and know how but they have to keep copying other people? I don't understand.

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Monday, January 11

Fate/Stay Night movie 2nd trailer

2nd trailer of the movie is up and we got to see more of Rin Tohsaka. Yeah baby!

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Saturday, January 9

InuBaka / いぬばか

For past 1 month I have been reading this manga slowly. My verdict so far?

Not bad.

The mangaka is obviously a big time dog lover, while the characters were quite generic in presentation; the dogs were given such lavish and detailed drawings. She is more interested in depicting earthly realism of people's relationship with mongrel pets, likes to pay attention to issues of adopting a dog as part of life in modern Japan. This is what escalates this seemingly dog centric manga into more interesting read since it focuses on the humans more instead of spending time on dog fetishism. The characters are alright but the male lead is kinda annoying to me though. He just rubs me in wrong way. Lupin, the heroine's dog is pretty funny though.

Sprinkled with occasional fan service (which is pretty mild for me) and off beat humor, the manga promises a slow but interesting read for casual fans, hardcore fans might find it a bit too mundane though. The mangaka did not mince words about mortality of pet dogs too unlike Hollywood's big taboo about depicting dead dog in the movies (I mean there is even a movie about dogs go to heaven made in Hollywood). That is what clinches this manga for me. The author did veer into more spiritual factor of the relationship which many dog owners will insist it did happen.

I would endorse this manga for casual readers, buy it or rent it. Hardcore, very specialized manga reader might give this a miss though.

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Monday, January 4

Katanagatari / 刀語

Animesuki forum has been buzzing excitedly about this upcoming series from creator of Bakemonogatari (Ishin Nishio). From this review, it does have a promising story with interesting hook and unique art style, but, my initial positive response is kinda dimmed when I don't see Shinbo or Shaft Studio here. Not helping when looking at the attached director (Motonaga Keitaro) is the dude who did few lemon series like boring Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka, overhyped School Days and horrid Amaenaideyo. In his defense however, he did direct some episodes of my top favourite space opera series, Seikai no Monshu and Senki. A relatively unknown studio WHITE FOX will be handling this series, their most recent release is Tears of Tiara TV. There are 12 light novel volumes out for Katanagatari with one spin off volume. So far from what I read or heard, this is not exactly his/her best work but this is just second hand opinion.

It has ambitious release schedule of 1 month per episode in OAV/OAD format with 20 expected total. One wonders if it is for quality control purposes or some new marketing idea to prevent pirating of the series. Or it could mean investors are confident this baby will make money. Afterall, it is kinda hard to miss Aniplex in the trailer.

Until then, it is remains to seen if this series able to give surprises like Bakemonogatari did in 2009.

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