Archive for the Category ◊ Merchandise ◊

Author:
• Monday, June 27th, 2016

New research indicates creativity is inversely proportional to viewer enjoyment. An article published by an undergraduate student has isolated the variables believed to be the cause of objective consumer satisfaction. To illustrate his point, he has dissected some of anime’s most popular titles from the past nine years, and what made them so successful despite being mediocre at best:

Monogatari Series

This product of Nishio Ishin’s masturbatory ejaculation has garnered a huge cult following despite its lack of humor or any semblance of a story. Its lead character, Araragi Koyomi, acts as the humble medium through whose eyes the viewers observe the events that unfold around the girls that make up his harem. To be accurate, the “story” (monogatari) is not about him, and never will be. The most accurate summation of the anime is that there are “cute girls doing things” which may or may not be important, depending on how much you actually care about the series.

Thanks to its use of brightly colored cue cards in lieu of traditional transitions between scenes, usually full of intermittent text that test our visual acuity, and the oddly erotic Popotan character designs, it is not hard to see Monogatari as a one-hit wonder that should have burned out as soon as people realized it is written by the “genius” behind Medaka Box. Yet this has yet to pass. Every new iteration of this series follows the same tiresome directing and fast-paced dialogue-heavy script, laden with esoteric references most of its fans have no way of understanding. Fortunately for the people who watch this anime for its “animation”, “creativity”, “humor” or “storytelling” there is at least one guarantee that accompanies this predictable refuse: oddly erotic Popotan fanservice.

Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai

I actually enjoyed this anime; and there was nothing groundbreaking or exciting about it. If anything, its success can mostly be attributed to its solid script, and the lack of anything new or exciting that could potentially have ruined it. The heroine, Kirino, was a flour tortilla wrapped around all that is wholesome and good about anime: lesbians, incest, hot loli sister, perverted girl gamer and short pants. Essentially nothing that exists in real life. Anime is widely believed to be a method of escapism, and nothing fits the mold quite like Oreimo for this purpose.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

This is an example of history repeating itself. During the magical girl boom of the late 90’s, people were looking for new ways to define their magical girl product and merchandise to stand out from those of their competitors. Like all anime with a target demographic of “preteen girls”, most of these series end up being watched by middle-aged men. However, it was not until the turn of the millennium that people started realizing the true potential for magical girls. In the wake of the international success of magical girl series such as Sailor Moon, Saint Tail, Wedding Peach, Fancy Lala, Cardcaptor Sakura, Ojamajo Doremi, Full Moon wo Sagashite, Futari wa Pretty Cure and Mermaid Melody Pichipichi Pitch; and the ensuing onslaught of pornographic doujinshi based on them flooding the market, big business realized it was time to get rid of that ignominious subterfuge of “shoujo” branding.

While parodies have existed for a while, such as Tonde Buurin and Nurse Witch Komugi-chan, nothing signified the death of the Magical Girl sub-genre more so than Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. This Seven Arcs production sported a technology-based magical system accompanied by over-the-top explosive magic and aerial battles. This was a turning point in magical girl anime, as it was no longer an option to keep things sparkly and clean. The next year, Futari wa Pretty Cure featured a magical duo actively engaged in fist to fist combat with their opponents. Moyoco Anno introduced her Sugar Sugar Rune, an innocent series about two childhood witch friends competing to win the hearts of boys, a strange narrative on society’s expectations of females. Notorious ecchi mangaka Peach-Pit soon entered with Shugo Chara!, filled with an unprecedented level of perverted jokes and fan service. It became evident the only logical course of action in the ever escalating world of magical girls was to have it explode at the apex like the festering super robot genre of the 90’s that preceded it: aka Evangelion.

This is where Urobuchi Gen stepped in with a series that he trolled on twitter would be a heartwarming series families could enjoy together… After episode three, he admitted he lied. But to anyone who grew up in the angst-filled 90’s, this series was nothing new, like the many reboots of the Batman franchise. There are many small reasons for Madoka’s success, including a generation of young fans that didn’t grow up in the 90’s, but I believe the primary reason for Madoka’s success is just a matter of timing. Madoka aired during the middle of a series of natural disasters in Japan including tsunamis and earthquakes, and any show that depicts scenes of destroyed cities is considered poor taste in the face of real life tragedies. Fortunately for studio SHAFT, misery does enjoy company, and the two month delay in airing only helped build up anticipation. It’s questionable whether Madoka would be so venerated had it followed through with its original airing time, which is to say the only evidence is the lack of evidence, but it is certainly an angle worth approaching.

Author:
• Monday, January 06th, 2014

http://saki-anime.com/

No need to provide pictures, because everyone’s favorite lesbian mahjong anime is back! This time with a real sequel.

I hate the manga, but I couldn’t wait these past five years for the sequel to never come out, so I ended up reading it. And after countless sleepless nights of prayers, this ended up on my doorstep.

Truth be told, I didn’t think it was possible to make a Saki sequel… The biggest obstacle being the sheer number of talents that would be required to give voice to each of those sweet nubile high school girls. Theoretically, one voice actress can do multiple characters, but this isn’t BlazBlue, the viewers would eventually catch on and there will be hell to pay. I didn’t know what to expect with this series, but the first episode boasts an all-star cast erasing all doubts that these people aren’t afraid to throw all their money into this disgusting garbage anime! i’m lovin’ it

Check it out:
Miyanaga Saki – Ueda Kana
Haramura Nodoka – Koshimizu Ami
Kataoka Yuuki – Kugimiya Rie
Takei Hisa – Shizuka Itou
Someya Mako – Shiraishi Ryouko
Suga Kyoutarou – Fukuyama Jun
Kosegawa Shiromi – Nagatsuma Juri
Aislinn Wishart – Mizuno Mariko (Who is this?)
Kakura Kurumi – Toyota Moe
Usuzawa Sae – Satou Rina
Anetai Toyone – Uchida Maaya
Kumakura Toshi – Morota Kaoru
Karijuu Tomoe – Akasaka Chinatsu
Usuzumi Hatsumi – Tsuji Ayumi
Iwato Kasumi – Ohara Sayaka
Atago Hiroe – Matsuda Satsumi
Atago Kinue – Nakatsu Mariko
Suehara Kyouko – Kotobuki Minako
Fukuji Mihoko – Horie Yui
Ikeda Kana – Morinaga Rika
Yoshitome Miharu – Kanzaki Chiro
Bundou Seika – Matayoshi Ai
Kubo Takako – Yamada Miho
Ryuumonbuchi Touka – Chihara Minori
Amae Koromo – Fukuhara Kaori
Hagiyoshi – Ono Daisuke
Kajiki Yumi – Kobayashi Yuu
Touyoko Momoko – Saitou Momoko
Kanbara Satomi – Kuwatani Natsuko
Senoo Kaori – Shintani Ryouko
Tsuyama Natsuki – Nanasawa Shin
Takakamo Shizuno – Yuuki Aoi
Atarashi Ako – Touyama Nao
Oohoshi Awai – Saitoh Chiwa
Tajihi Mayuko – Furuki Nozomi (Who the hell?)
Kokaji Sukoya – Gotou Saori
Fukuyo Kouko – Nonaka Ai
Pro Oonuma – Miyashita Eiji
Announcer – Koiwai Kotori
Live Coverage Announcer – Tasaka Hideki

And this is just the first fucking episode!!

Author:
• Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Are we dead yet? I can never be too sure.

Stoled

As most of the Interweb is aware, Japan is animating Nisekoi. I have to wonder why I care. It is just another lame and predictable romantic comedy from the pages of Shonen Jump that I would never recommend to anyone; but try as I might, the sappy gooey mess that I hide beneath my armor of glamorous gun-wielding babes, and tank-riding schoolgirls tends to find the cracks in my defenses from which to ooze out of. What results is a person much comparable in likeness to myself, secretly downloading the mild-mannered obscenity that is Nisekoi… What can I say, it’s true.

hanami

I absolutely loved Naoshi Komi’s previous work Double Arts, which was cancelled far too early. I was hoping Nisekoi would be a worthy successor, an original idea that could compete against its predecessor in terms of potential. Instead I got a graham cracker and a marshmallow. All the fat lonely slobs of the world latched onto this bait with its promise of promiscuous bath scenes and immoral slip-ups, making Nisekoi Naoshi Komi’s longest and most successful work to date. Good for him.

I was not spared from this underhanded trap, and as much as I pretend to hate s’mores, I brought with me my stash of Hershey’s. The rest is history: this manga fried my brain. How else can I explain my unmistakable joy with each chapter, as vanilla stench takes form in black and white on my monitor screen. At any rate, now that I am fully invested in this series, and now that it has stolen my money… what could possibly go wrong?

They decide to animate it.

Nisekoi wasn’t a very well thought-out series, and I am sure even a seasoned fan can admit that aside from its cute assortment of girls, the story barely has any legging to work with. For eighty-seven chapters the only thread tying the characters together was the protagonist’s unreliable assortment of memories which seems to change details with every flashback. I am a proponent of structure, and really frown upon this style of “make shit up on the go” writing. But I like the mangaka and forgave him every time I felt the sharp sting of pain run across the right bridge of my neck whenever I chose to ignore some glaring flaw in his plot.

All of this is irrelevant because the anime has already been greenlit. I really believe they should have let the series run its course for another year before moving forward on an anime, but as my opinion has very little effect in swaying the powers that be, I did the gracious thing and stepped aside. Now I’m here to promote this shit, and hopefully at some point in the future, someone will buy the manga. Like I did.

Author:
• Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

I’m back! Here to bring you the news topics that are relevant!

Sort of…

Within the past month I have endangered the lives of several people including mine, with my precarious driving. Yesterday, I nearly drove two vehicles off the highway by cutting them off abruptly. A week ago, I snuck between two semi’s while traveling more than thirty-five miles over the speed limit. On the local roads which run outside my house, I came within inches of ending the day early for a few kids playing with their tricycles. In the parking lots of supermarkets I have launched my car nearly five feet into the air by leaping off speed bumps like a ramp.

What could have caused my absolute disregard for self-preservation? What momentous event has triggered the reaper to follow in the wake of my excursions through concrete and asphalt?  The only thing that’s changed is that I started listening to Vocaloid again. One song in particular from my past invokes such need for speed, on such an unfathomable level, I can not physically quell it with my silly five-speed Volkswagen. The song in question is of course Little Wings by Caz.

To elaborate, this song was the official theme for the GOODSMILE Racing group and their souped out Miku-Decal Embossed Porsche back in 2010. To win this honor, it had to compete against nearly fifty other entries (Or was that five? I don’t remember.) and was used in one promotional video that I can’t seem to find — and possibly may not actually exist — anywhere on the Interweb.

The important matter is that whenever I hear this song, I am driven to kill myself behind the wheel of my car. The next time I disappear from this blog, that may very well be the reason.

Speaking of recovery, or lack thereof, I proudly admit that I took a year and a half weaning myself off of Hatsune Miku. I have not spent a single dime on that turquoise-haired goblin. I hope to keep it this way. more…

Author:
• Monday, January 07th, 2013

Wait, so someone told me there was indeed a North American BD release of Kara no Kyoukai. It was back in 2011, and I don’t remember being deployed during that time, so I guess I just plain missed it. That sucks, especially since I had the money for it.

My only question… If it sold out so quickly, why does no one I know own a copy?

This must have been a very limited release.

Author:
• Friday, July 20th, 2012

I was aware of this growing problem for the past two years, but it really hit home for me the moment I went on Amazon to see if any companies managed to license Nanoha THE MOVIE, and release it on BluRay for a reasonable price. I typed “nanoha” in the search query and was blasted in the face with the most atrocious of filth:

Not only are the old Funimation prints of the first two series being sold for nearly 240$, but the only version of the Nanoha movie available for order is the Japanese edition. I understand it comes with “English” subtitles, but now I have to pay extra for importing fees. I could not believe my eyes, so I went to Rightstuf to see just how dilapidated the anime market had become. With the exception of a few titles from Sentai Filmworks, there was hardly any anime that I had considered worth buying available for a reasonable price.

The only anime that caught my eyes from among the shallow cesspool of bullshit, was Fate/Zero published by ANIPLEX. So without thinking, I added it to my shopping cart, in hopes that there might still be redemption for the American market… and gasped at the price. The box set for Fate/Zero turned out to be $370.00 for the first thirteen episodes! I can not remember anyone ever having to pay so much for anime outside of Japan. I asked around online, and it seemed this was the official “English” release… so I punched in my credit card number while rather piqued. All these neat little extras that come with the bundle are great ideas; but releasing only in Japan and charging dirty foreigners extra on importing fees to circumvent money lost through third party distributors is just dirty.

I have dealt with ANIPLEX before, when I made my decision to purchase the Puella Magi Madoka Magica series a while back. The Madoka Magica series was broken into three limited edition sets each going for around 70-80 dollars. The reasoning for the steep price, was due to the BD/DVD combo, Original Soundtrack, illustrated post cards, the cheap non-corrugated box it came in and the fact that I am stupid enough to fall for it. Why release BluRay at all? I understand that I am getting my money’s worth in paying this ridiculously large sum, because these BluRay/DVD combos are not the run-of-the-mill cheap American mastering that I begrudgingly dished out 18-30 dollars per disc to purchase back in the old days. However, most anime watchers are not bright enough to notice a significant drop in quality to cartoons, and I find it ridiculous that there are bluray releases of televised anime series in the first place. I am more understanding of animated full-length movies warranting a bluray release. Once again, only a good handful of people would be able to notice the difference in the first place. But at some point, someone has to point out: it’s just anime.

So while this may sound blasphemous, and wholly counterproductive to the progression of anime in the United States of America:

Mr. Big Publishers, please retrogress the quality of anime, and start releasing them in small clunky DVD compilations encased in cheap plastic for the standard low-wage American audience. This is for the sake of the anime community.

Oh, but they’re not the only sinners. The rest of you better stop streaming anime, get a job and start buying shit. Otherwise, the fate of anime in the United States is doomed. All the best anime will never make it to American shores, and the price will only drop once the company that released them goes bankrupt and disappears. Or in the case of Nanoha (Geneon), cost you $240…

From what did manage to jump the Pacific onto American soil, despite the constant sabotage by you fucking pirates, here are some of the more “decent” titles you may consider buying:

Angel Beats
AnoHana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Eden of the East
Highschool of the Dead
Infinite Stratos
Occult Academy
Arakawa Under the Bridge
Baccano!
Star Driver
Squid Girl
The World God Only Knows
Princess Jellyfish

There are still so many titles I have yet to see make it to America…