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Spring has come! Flowers are blooming, the weather is getting warmer, and new anime series have arrived! This season I’ll be trying out a few First Impression Reviews, and I’ll be starting this off with my most anticipated series of the season: Mekakucity Actors.

MCA

Before I start this review, I must inform you, the readers, that I will be reviewing this series unbiasedly. I’m as much of a fan of Kagerou Project as the next. Believe me, I’ve even imported some stuff directly from Comiket in Japan for this series. However, you may find me saying some things that would sound very unlike a fan of this series.

What is Mekakucity Actors?

Mekakucity Actors is the anime adaptation of one of the hottest trending series in Japan known as Kagerou Project. Kagerou Project is a Vocaloid song series created by a multimedia artist by the name of Shizen no Teki P, also known as Jin. Look back on my past 2 articles to find out a bit more about the series:

The series follows the story of children who traveled through the phenomenon known as the Kagerou Days, and came into possession of eyes with special powers. Among these children is a girl who can erase her own presence/existence, a boy who can deceive others with his appearance, an indestructible cyborg, a mischievous AI, and a hikkikomori-NEET (who doesn’t have powers, but is essential to the story overall). Each character possesses a dark past, and the series follows their struggles in the present.

Shaft, the animation studio that animated Madoka Magica and Bakemonogatari, took up this series and announced it back in 2012. The series is directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, the person who directed the two aforementioned Shaft series. Jin himself wrote the script for the series and even composed the opening theme song. Jin’s partner and illustrator for Kagerou Project, Shidu, also took part in creating the visuals for the opening and ending themes.

What I Expected Before Watching: Super Special Awsome

So like I said before, I’m a huge fan of the series. When I heard that Kagerou Project was finally going to get an anime, I flipped out. I had high expectations for this series since I saw that Shaft would be animating it and the original creators would be taking part in making it as well. I adored Shaft’s series like Monogatari , Madoka Magica, and Nisekoi. I thought that they’d be the perfect people for the job and do this series justice. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

First Impression: It Could’ve Been Better

ene

No, really. This series could have been a LOT better. When I first saw the episode, I was too caught up in my initial fangirl mode to notice the faults. However, after watching it for a second time with a friend, I noticed the faults I neglected to see before.

What the Hell?! This is a Monogatari Rehash!

This is most definitely not a good thing. Akiyuki Shinbo tends to inject his own personal style and elements into almost all the series he directs. You’ll see his style be really prevalent in the Monogatari series, Madoka Magica, Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei, Sasami-san@Ganbaranai, and Nisekoi. I’d forgive Shinbo for doing this a little bit, but no. What the ACTUAL Hell. You can’t go and literally  turn this into another Bakemonogatari.

The way the backgrounds stood out more than the characters really irked me. In almost all of Shinbo’s series, the backgrounds are a lot more detailed than the characters themselves. Mekekucity Actors is no exception. For example:

booty roompier

How dare they re-use a scene from Bakemonogatari and use it in this anime?! I’m actually pretty livid about this. A lot of people mistook Shintaro as Araragi from Monogatari and I can’t blame them after seeing this scene.

arararagi

The head tilts. The freaking head tilts. You just couldn’t leave the head tilts out of this magnificent series could you?! Was that too much to ask for Shinbo?! Stop doing that! It’s bad for their necks!

It was fine the first two times, but now it’s getting old. What was interesting before is now just something really unoriginal. Well aside from this being exactly like Monogatari, there were still a couple of other stuff that bothered me as well.

Much “Quality”. Such Detail. Not Wow

Some of you may not be familiar with the way the term “Quality” is used in some parts of Otaku Fandom. It refers to those moments in animation where the detail is bad, and I don’t mean bad. I mean “crayon-colored bodies with a couple of lines that barely make out a face” bad. I’m obviously over exaggerating things, but the first episode was filled with lots of “quality” scenes. Like these:

qualityquality 2

Luckily, animation studios tend to fix scenes like these for the Bluray releases. It should be expected of Shaft to clear up the messes they made in the first episode.

Horrible Pacing

I’m not sure if I should blame this on Shaft or the original source material. I’ll admit that the KagePro series has a slow start, and Jinzou Enemy is clearly one of the reasons why. For almost half of the episode, you literally just see a NEET talking to his AI. For people unfamiliar with the KagePro series, I can bet that they found themselves bored to death because of this. The only redeeming quality that may have saved them from becoming too disinterested was the energetic and adorable Ene.

How can you ignore this cute face?

How can you ignore this cute face?

It should also be noted that Seto was in the hostage situation, while in the light novel and manga he was not. It goes to show how Shaft will be compressing the story as much as possible due to this being an eleven episode series. I’m not even sure if the series will end with Route 1′s ending or Route XX’s ending.

The Opening Was Nice

As said before, Jin composed the opening theme song himself. Maria from Garnidelia (who sang the 2nd Kill la Kill opening) also sang the vocals. I did find the detail of the visuals for the opening theme to be a little lacking, and some of it looked like a poor imitation of Shidu’s art style. Despite that, I did think that the opening may interest some viewers as to what may happen later on in the series. Maybe it’ll convince them that the rest of the episodes won’t be like the first. It was also a treat to hear another song by Jin though. I can’t wait to hear a Vocaloid version that’ll be sung by IA.

Final Verdict:

I really expected more out of this adaptation to be honest. I was really hyped because I love Kagerou Project. I love the characters and I love the story, but I feel like Shaft just shat all over them. It is only the first episode, so there’s not much I can say about the series as a whole so far. However, since I am a KagePro fan, this isn’t going to diminish my love for the series any less. I’m definitely going to enjoy Mekakucity Actors, but not as much as I initially hoped. If you feel a little disappointed as well from the hype, I recommend that you go listen to the songs. Maybe listening to Kagerou Days or Children Record might brighten your opinion of the series.

 

 

Office Endless, a production company in Japan, announced on April 12 that they will be creating a stage play adaptation of the hit mecha series created by Gainax, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. The play will be titled Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Engeki-hen.

Official Facebook header for the stage play

Official Facebook header for the stage play

Japanese actor and ex-member of Shazna (a visual kei band), IZAM, will be producing and scripting the play. Gainax will also be cooperating with the creation of the play, offering up new material that was never seen in the animated series.

The production committee is currently auditioning for men from ages 18-35 and women from ages 18-30. No acting experience is required.

It’s always refreshing to see new material to be put out for Gurren Lagann, especially when the series ended a few years ago. It’s especially interesting to see how they’ll be doing things for a stage play. Why? Well, how will they go about recreating a robot that can be as big as the freaking universe?!

ttgl

I’m sure they’ll find a way, but putting in an interesting twist like that would make the play 1000 times more interesting. The stage play will be taking place at the Zenrōsai Hall Space Zero theater (sounds sci-fi fancy) in Tokyo. The dates it’ll be available to watch will be October 22-26. How will Team Dai Gurren be piercing the Heavens this time around?

-Source: Anime News Network

I’m literally writing this hours before the premiere of episode 1 of Mekakucity Actors. Before the first episode releases, I’ll be going over two common misconceptions about the series.

1. This Series Is Not About Vocaloids

Mekakushi Dan

This is one of the most commonly seen misconceptions I’ve seen from people who are new to the franchise. Mekakucity Actors is based off a Vocaloid song series created Shizen no Teki P, more commonly known as Jin. The series is sung by a Vocaloid; however, the characters depicted in the series are NOT Vocaloids. Each song is an in-depth story based on the character or characters it’s focused on. For example, Toumei Answer is focused on Ayano and Shintaro, Imagination Forest is focused on Mary, Shounen Brave is focused on Seto, and Summertime Record is focused on the entire Mekakushi Dan (more of a focus on Konoha throughout some parts).

2. This Character Is Not Hatsune Miku

1396962590974I know, I know. The resemblance is very uncanny, but there is somewhat of a reason behind this. Despite IA being the poster girl/Vocaloid for the Kagerou Project series and singing almost all the songs in it, she was NOT the Vocaloid to sing the first song of the series, Jinzou Enemy. Can you guess which other Vocaloid was used? BINGO, it was Hatsune Miku. Ene’s character design was based off Hatsune Miku, hence the blue-themed attire and long twin tails.

I was actually going to write 3 misconceptions about the series, but the two above pretty much covers it all. If you’re still a bit confused about the whole thing, you can look back on to previous article about the series here.

Mekakucity Actors will be premiering today at 12:00 AM Japanese Standard Time. The series is licensed by Aniplex USA and will be streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu, Daisuki, and the Aniplex Channel. Crunchyroll will be releasing the episode at 1:30 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Last PV that premiered 2 days before the premiere:

The Blurays for Mekakucity Actors will be priced at around 3200 yen. Each Bluray volume will come with one episode and one single CD, meaning it will come with one song. The first volume will be releasing June 25.

The series will be premiering in a matter of hours. I’ll be spending my time listening to all the songs (on repeat) till then. I hope you guys will be enjoying this anime as much as I will.

Aniplex of America has recently announced that they will be importing the first Persona 3 movie, Spring of Birth, to North America.

The movie will be released in two editions, Collector’s and Standard. The Collector’s Edition will include:

Original Soundtrack CD (Including the theme song “More Than One Heart”by Yumi Kawamura)
Exclusive Box Art by Keisuke Watabe (Character Designer/Animation Director)
Newly Illustrated Cover Art
48-page Deluxe Booklet
10 Super P3 Stickers
4 Key Art Illustration Cards

The standard edition will include no bonuses.

The movie will only be released on Bluray. No announcements have been made about a DVD release.

Current cover of the movie.

Current cover of the movie.

Pre-orders will be available Monday (4/7), with the release date being May 20. The Collector’s Edition is labeled with a price of $79.98 and the Standard Edition with a price of $59.98. In all honesty, I think of those as reasonable prices for imports.

To be honest, I’ve always expected the Persona 3 movie to be released in North America. I always thought it was a matter of time, seeing how well the Persona franchise has been doing extremely well here. However, I never expected to see it this soon. I truly can’t wait for the day where I can Burn My Brea- WHOOPS, I mean Burn My Dread once again.

Source: Aniplex USA

Boy, it’s sure been a while since I’ve written anything on here. Well, I’m sure not a lot of people have missed me, but I do appreciate the people who did (though that might be like 2 people). After wading through so college and keeping up with work, I’ve seemed to have found myself a good place in life where I can finally get back to writing.

SO MY QUESTION TO YOU THE READER(S)!

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Is there anything you like about the blog? Are there things you don’t care for? What are some things I can do to make the site better? Do you have any suggestions on what would make you come to the site more often? Do you have any suggestions as to how I can save the little monkey men of the 5th dimension?

If there’s anything you want to say, please drop a comment below! Any words of anything will be useful, so I can keep you the readers entertained while you waste your time here in this shoddy hole I call a blog. Together, we can have… FUN.

thumbs up

Sh*t 4chan Does: Ghost Banri’d

Welcome to the latest column called Sh*t 4chan Does. In this column I’ll be posting the strange, hilarious, or disgusting shenanigans of 4chan. I’ll take it easy on you guys and make sure most of the stuff this comes from is from /a/, so don’t worry about a lot of NSFW content.

This week I’ll be getting into something I found a couple of weeks ago on /a/. This particular thread revolved on a character from Golden Time, a romantic-comedy that aired during the Fall 2013 anime season. The character that was the focus of this thread was Tada Banri, more specifically Ghost Banri.

Ghost Banri is an asshole. Whenever something bad happens, he’s either the cause of it or he just happens to be there. Look at the lovely shoops (didn’t misspell that) /a/ made. You can pretty much say people got Ghost Banri’d.

*WARNING. SPOILERS FOR MULTIPLE SERIES AHEAD*

7 5

10

I know that feel.

11

Speedbanri at your service.

2 3 4 6  8 9 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

^ HA ^19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28I bet this sick bastard must feel at home when on 4chan.

Sword Art Online Ripoff?

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted an article, but let me start back up with quite an interesting topic! The publishing label, HJ Bunko, has released a preview of one of their upcoming series that goes by the name of “VRMMOをカネの力で無双する”, which can loosely be translated to “I’ll Become Unbeatable in a VRMMO With the Power of Money”. The story is written by Blitz Kilva, and illustrations by Kuwashima Relm.

kannemuso_cover_fix

The story revolves around a new VRMMO gaining in popularity called Narrow Fantasy Online. However, that’s not what I’m hear to talk to you about today! First, let’s look at the cover.

Pretty nice design. The main theme revolves around money, so I see some dollar bills in the air and the words “The Money Rules” at the bottom right. Character designs look decent too, except I see a familiar face in the back. Kind of reminds of Kirito from Sword Art Online.

So the story takes place in a VRMMO and a character looks a lot like Kirito from Sword Art Online. Sounds a lot like a blatant rip-off, but let’s take a step back and look at the evidence

King Kirihito

King Kirihito

Kirito

Kirito

The first design shows “King Kirihito” from Virtual Money Rules (short version) and the second design shows “Kirito” from Sword Art Online. The resemblance is quite uncanny, and the fact that their names are so similar is quite… Surprising? Characters wearing clothes in all black and a trench coat are pretty common occurrences, right?

I don’t want to call this new series a blatant rip-off just yet. I’d at least like to take my time to read it, and see where the author goes with the story. After all, no one would actually publish a work with attributes so similar to an already published work, right? Maybe it’s a parody work? Right?!

I’ll Become Unbeatable in a VRMMO With the Power of Money will be released in Japan on March 1, 2014. Hopefully some light will be shed on this situation when the light novel is released.

-Source: Yaraon

Sword Art Online Season 2 Announced

Finally, finally, finally! The long awaited second season of Sword Art Online has been announced!

The news was announced during the Sword Art Online: Extra Special. The official Sword Art Online website has updated itself with the news of the new season. The new season is titled: “Phantom Bullet“. Check out the teaser below.

One day, Kikuouka Seijurou, a member of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Technology, requested a meeting with Kirigaya Kazuto (aka Kirito). A recent string of incidents have been occurring inside a virtual MMO where players die by the hands of an unknown player by the name of Death Gun. Kikuoka asks for the aid Kirito to enter the game where the incidents took place, and investigate who or what Death Gun is. The game Kirito enters is Gun Gale Online, the biggest virtual reality MMO shooter in the world. Within the game, he comes across a cool sniper user by the name of Sinon. Following a clue, Kirito enters the Bullet of Bullets Tournament with Sinon in order to get closer to the mystery of Death Gun.

sao 2

Key visual of SAO season 2. (Left: Sinon. Right: Kirito)

The new season has been announced for 2014, but a specific date has yet to be announced.

Look forward to the best arc (in my opinion) in the Sword Art Online series!

Source: Sword Art Online Official Website

Top 3 M2H Articles of 2013

I started this blog about 6 months ago, starting my journey to become an otaku journalist. How is it going now? Eh, not too bad. Still got lots to work on, but before this year ends, let’s look back at my top 3 articles with the most views!

#3: Kill la Kill Opening Song by Aoi Eir (971 total views)

aoi eir

Actually number three was the homepage, but that doesn’t count!!! So I’m assuming this got a lot of views because a lot of people were looking for the download for the actual song. Sorry to disappoint, but this was just an announcement. However; I do appreciate the traffic!

#2: Araki’s Return to Weekly Shonen Jump (1204 total views)

JOJOEverybody loves themselves some Jojo. I remember posting this on a Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure group on Facebook. Shout out to my JoBros!

#1: Lelouch’s Return To Code Geass? [SPOILERS] (5764 total views)

lelouch(Yeah, you better smile you sexy son of a bitch, cuz you’re number !)

Yeah, I swear to God. So many people must be obsessed with this guy even after the series ended years ago. Every day, this article ends up as the #1 article on the daily rankings. Not like it’s a bad thing, so I appreciate your unhealthy obsession with Lelouch.

Overall, total views on this site is 18,605. Not bad for the first 6 months right? Well thanks a lot for your support guys, and I’m looking forward to another great years with you guys!

See you next year bitches!

See you next year bitches!

New Fate/Stay Night Ufotable Teaser

Aniplex recently released a new teaser trailer for the ufotable adaptation of Fate/Stay Night. The trailer recaps the events of Fate/Zero, displays scenes from the opening videos of the PS Vita port of Realta Nua, and shows a bit of new animated content from ufotable.

In the December issue of COMPTIQ, there was an ad for Fate/Stay Night with these words underneath:
“On that day, a few miracles were waiting on the voyage that Fate/Stay Night departed on January 30, 2004. It’s been a decade since Fate/Stay Night left port. On January 30, 2014, the ocean on which the “Ark of Fate” rides on will move into an unknown world…”

Big news for the franchise will be released on January 30, 2014. Let’s forward to the renewal of Type-Moon’s greatest work!

1388157254976

-Source: Anime News Network

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