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New Yen Press Licenses

Happy Friday the 13th! Hope you guys are enjoying it as much as I am because Yen Press has announced their new licenses! Some of which are literally making me jump out of my seat.

I’ll get the small bits out of the way first.

Yen Press has announced the latest volumes in the Kingdom Hearts manga series. They’ll be releasing volumes 4 and 5 of KH: 358/2 Days in late 2014. Kingdom Hearts 2 volume 3 will also be released in Winter 2014. The Kingdom Hearts manga series has always been on a slow run, but Yen Press might start picking up the pace especially when the release of Kingdom Hearts 3 is in sight.

Next is the release of a new series called Secret. The series follows the story of 6 youths who survived a tragic bus accident. All of them are called by their school’s therapist, but were met with the news that some of them are murderers. The murderers among the group have one week to repent for their sins, otherwise the evidence from their actions may be handed over to the authorities. This new psychological-thriller manga will be released in early 2015. Yen Press is also releasing the latest chapters on the same day as the Japanese release in their online anthology.

rootWA01_cover1moto

This news is slightly bigger than the previous two, especially since it’s about the Akame Ga Kill manga series being licensed! This manga series will also be getting an anime adaptation, as well as an announcement of a video game, in the future. Expect Yen Press to release the first volume in early 2015.Akame Ga Kill

These last two announcements are what really have me hyped!

First off is that the Sword Art Online: Progressive series is being licensed! Both the light novels and manga adaptation! If you were a fan of the Aincrad Arc and were disappointed that it ended too soon, this will be your cure! The Progressive series is a reboot of the series (though not an official one), starting all the way back with the beginning of the Aincrad Arc. The story is retold with slight differences and more in depth stories, differing from the short stories of the original. Sword Art Online: Progressive will be hitting stores sometime in 2015.

Surprisingly, Yen Press has also announced that they got the license for Zettai Naru Kodoku (Absolute Null Isolator). This series was released along with Sword Art Online, before Reki Kawahara made his official debut and back when both series were only web novels. The light novel series recently released in Japan. Yen Press has no given date as to when they will release the series in North America. Yen Press also announced on their Twitter that the series will get a hardcover release.

absolute solitude

Yen Press has finally heard and granted the wishes of its fans and have licensed the Kagerou Daze light novel and manga series!!! Despite how bad the anime has been lately, this news really is a refreshing one. The light novel is written by the official creator of Kagerou Project, Jin, with illustrations by co-creator, Shidu. The manga adaptation is illustrated by Mahiro Satou. If you want to know more about the series, check back on my previous article.

Yen Press might really become the next powerhouse in the otaku paperback industry. Light novels are a rarity in the North American venue, but following the success of series like Sword Art Online might better the chances of giving light novels a better image. What will they announce next? The Monogatari light novel series? It just doesn’t seem to be that far-fetched of an idea now.

Also for a heads up, Yen Press announced a while ago that they licensed the Certain Magical Index light novel series. So yay for that.

-Source: Yen Press

-Thanks for the tip about “Isolator”, Rage.

 

Do you guys remember the time Nature Valley, the granola bar company, started going anime all of sudden on their Twitter? I think they might even still be doing it now. Here’s some of their earlier Tweets for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about:

1  3

People started getting into the hype and began to create images like the one above. Of course 4chan and the /a/ community caught whiff of this and came up with their own concoctions. Their ingredients included two things: Nature Valley Granola Bars and Hentai.

13989108993171398913043382139891323111413989141760441398914824231139891223242813989146022721398914675925

 

Not a hentai, but still hilarious nonetheless.

Not hentai, but still hilarious nonetheless.

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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.

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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

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