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Friday, April 29, 2011

The Newest Acquisition From Funimation I Can't Write About At Examiner...

But I can certainly write about it here!

Yes, you are reading that right. The name of the film is "Big Tits Zombie."
Here's the UK Trailer for it. Not Safe For Work.

I would say this sounds almost like a rip-off of "Stripper Zombies," but I don't know if that film ever got picked up for Japanese distribution.  The look of the film from the trailer looks almost like an old 70s style grindhouse film.

Funimation just announced on their website and on Facebook that they acquired the rights to this one. The reaction so far on Facebook has been more along the lines of, "What the ****?" just based on the title (which was pretty much MY reaction), others getting a kick out of it.

It's coming out this Fall, so once it's up on Netflix you bet yoru sweet bippy there will be a review of this one.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Catch-Up Review: "Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt"

I had heard about "Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt" for the past few weeks from people referencing the show.  Because the names of the characters all reference some piece of underwear in some way, I thought that someone created a show with anthropomorphized underwear similar to what "Hetalia" did for countries.  My curiousity was further piqued when Funimation announced a few days before Anime Boston and on the day they launched their new beta site that they had picked it up.

So, of course, I had to check it out.

Reaction: Oh. My. Gosh.

If you have a demented, sick sense of humor, this is definitely the show for you.  Do you laugh at poop monsters?  This is your show.  Do you find "South Park" or "Drawn Together" funny in any way, shape or form?  Then this is definitely your show.

The basic plot goes like this -- Panty and Stocking Anarchy are fallen angels who are tasked to fight ghosts with the assistance of the priest Garterbelt.  Panty, the blonde who wants to live a superstar lifestyle, is obsessed with sex.  Stocking, the lolita goth and more responsible sister, is obsessed with sweets.  Garterbelt often gets mad at the sisters over their obsessions and the fact that they don't seem to care about their jobs.

The animation is very much influenced by American style of design, and actually uses several styles at different points.  When the angels transform, it's one style of animation. When the angels do different things, sometimes you don't know what kind of animation you're going to get (one episode had a scene done in South Park style).  And when the ghosts are defeated, it cuts to a live action papiere mache model getting blown up.

A lot of the situations involve Panty's obsession with sex, and the men's willingness to go along with it. This can get old after awhile, although I'm hoping that a second season won't focus so much on it.  In fact, a lot of the dialogue involves sex in some way or another, with different characters revealing different fetishes.

And the one thing I don't think I could really get used to -- the characters swearing in English.  That's right -- you'll be reading the subtitles, and all of a sudden you realize that what they are saying is VERY clearly in English and didn't really need to be subtitled.

Is the show funny?  It is if you have a dark sense of humor.  And it can get very, very dark at times with the humor.  It's definitely a show for adults.  There were times when I was watching the show that I couldn't believe what I was watching. But then it had some really funny parts in it.

You have been warned.

The show can currently be viewed on Crunchyroll.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: "Eden of the East: The King of Eden"

My Examiner review is here.

It's tough sometimes to expand on the Examiner site because they want us to not go too long with what we write.  But here I can go into a little more depth.

I've been a fan of "Eden of the East" since I watched it on Netflix a few weeks ago.  It's a great spy mystery/espionage/cultural commentary type of show that addresses several types of issues, including getting the audience to thinking about how they would improve their own nations.  It's a very universal theme.

On the animation -- very rarely do you see an anime that actually gets an American city right as far as locations and placement. They did an excellent job with not only drawing the landmarks the way they really look in New York City, but the signs are all also in English.  Gramatically correct English, too.

The end of the film definitely leaves you hanging and wanting more.  Not going to spoil it, but if you didn't know that there was a final film already out there you would be screaming at the screen, "That's IT?"

And I was disappointed that the "Air Communication" film was only available as a sub on the DVD.  Primarily because my stepkids, for the most part, won't watch subbed animes -- I wanted to at least give them a condensed version of the show so they could follow the film.

Overall, a definite pick it up title in the store if you're a fan of the show.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Anime Boston: The Aftermath

Well, technology was not working for me yesterday.  We weren't able to charge my phone overnight because we were charging four other phones, and one of the phones used the same charger as mine. And I had to use the phone as my GPS on the way down there -- the phone is weird in that it won't charge unless it's completely off, and I had it plugged into the car charger on the way down.

I also learned another valuable lesson -- "smart phones" use a lot of juice.

What I did get I will put up soon.  I just need some time to sort through what I have that I took pics of.

If you have pics you'd like to submit, let me know and I'll post them.

But overall, had a great time.  I don't think I'd want to try to do it all in one day again -- next year's plan is for the entire weekend. I found myself rushing from here and there just to get to panels.  The cell service in the building was a little spotty at times, so keeping track of the kids I had with me at times was a challenge.  But overall, the experience was great, and I can't wait to do it again next year.

Highlights -- Masquerade was great, and the Evangelion panel was a blast.  And if you weren't able to get into the "Kuroshitsuji" panel, you missed out -- what I saw of it, Jackie Grande did a great job with the information and organizing it. When I got there, there was a line starting at conference room 309 and ending at 301.

Next year, we're going to make a contingency plan in case of low coverage areas. And with being there over the three days instead of just one, I think I can take some time and just relax instead of feeling "rushed."

Friday, April 22, 2011

Anime Boston: Coverage Update

Well, I just got news from my husband that the only laptop I could take with me needs a new power adapter, and he asked if I could just run it off the battery only.

Unfortunately, for the best option on coverage I'm not going to be able to do that.  So, no posts while I'm at AB tomorrow.

Good news is that I will have my husband's Android phone on me, so I will be twittering from there.  You may have noticed the new little addition I put up on the site tonight -- "Twitterings from Anime Boston."  Although I won't be able to do full length posts, I will be tweeting while I'm there so you can follow along on the feed.  Ignore the current posts -- I also run the ConChrist blog which is more politically motivated, so those twits are related to my more political interests.

And also remember that I'm going to be posting videos at my You Tube channel throughout the day, as well.

Anime Boston Starts Today!

Starting today and ending Sunday, otakus all over New England will be meeting at the Hynes Convention Center to discuss important matters in relation to anime, mangas, J-pop, and other aspects of Japanese culture. Yippee!

I am going down with four teenagers first thing Saturday morning (yikes!).  The three middle schoolers will be dressed as Akatsuki ninjas, while my 16 year old stepson will be Sebastian from "Black Butler" in the peacoat.

So today, no reporting from the convention, unfortunately.  But expect some posts from the event starting tomorrow afternoon.  And I'm also going to be putting up some raw videos up on YouTube, as well, throughout the day.

So stay tuned!

Update: Here is the You Tube channel that I will be posting video to tomorrow.  There will be a finished package up there within the next week after I get all of it together, but at least you'll get an exclusive look at the video before it's edited.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Reviews: "The World God Only Knows" and "Blue Exorcist"

These are more like season previews than actual reviews, but out of the shows I've seen so far online that are premiering, I'm liking so far how this season is turning out.

Warning: There are some spoilers

Let's start with a show that some of you may already be familiar with from last season.

If you've never seen it...shame on you! It's a comedy that breaks the fourth wall on occasion and also makes fun of the cliches of dating simulation games.

"The World God Only Knows" tells the story of a dating sim otaku named Keima Katsuragi.  He prefers his dating sim women over the real ones in his school, even going by the name "King of Conquests."  He gets what he thinks is an invitation to join in another game, but instead finds himself paired up with a chibi demon named Elsie who tells him he has a task -- to capture loose souls from the hearts of girls by "conquering" them.  Problem is, Keima has never actually "conquered" a girl in real life.  But if he doesn't, both he and Elsie could lose their lives.  So now he's forced to rely on what he knows from dating simulators to figure out how to "conquer" the girls and capture the loose souls.

The first season of the show was a fun ride.  Season 2 has started, and is promising more of the same.  The first arc focuses on a female karate club captain (who is now the only member thanks to the rest of her club quitting two days after she took the position) who is trying to conquer her own personal demon -- she secretly likes cute things.

It's already starting some of the fun humor that the first season had -- the first episode set the tone where we get a recap of what the show is about, then Keima comes into the frame and asks the audience, "Didn't you watch season one?"

Keep an eye out this season.  It's now simulcasting on Crunchyroll.

Do we really need another shinigami-type show? Why, yes.  Yes, we do.

Rin lives with his twin brother Yukio and Father Fujimoto, the man he's called Dad for as long as he could remember.  In this first episode, Yukio is about to go to the Blue Cross Academy to study, while Rin is facing a possibility of going from job to job and not being able to do anything with his life.  That changes when he saves a little girl from a demon in a grocery store, and when he discovers that he has powers he never heard of, Fujimoto finally tells him the truth -- he's the son of the Devil.

From the preview for next week, I'm assuming that we discover Rin makes the decision to be an exorcist himself. Or else the title would be just silly.

The show actually has some good things going for it.  It has some great effects animation, the writing is sharp, and you really get into it.  I plan to keep watching.

The show is currently simulcasting on Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Anime News Network.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

One Week Until Anime Boston...

Updated Schedule Below

And I did the deed last night...dyed my hair blonde for the week.

Here are some pictures that I took of myself in the full Julia Silverstein costume.

I think I might have to find a way to adjust the top a little more when I put it on the day of...just a LITTLE more cleavage than I really want to show in this shot.

I should probably iron a few things before going anywhere.
I'm going to be there on Saturday, and am planning a few special surprises in the coverage of the convention.  So keep on the lookout on this site.

In the meantime, expect to see me attending these panels:

11:00am -- Kuroshitsuji, Demons, Shinigami and Horror -- Oh My!
12:00pm -- Last half of the Funimation Sneak Peek Panel
4:30pm -- Autograph session for the English voice cast of Evangelion 2.0 -- I'll be taking pictures
5:00pm -- The Dark Side of Pokemon (time was changed)
7:00pm -- Bad Anime, Bad!

Feel free to say "Hi!" when you see me.  I don't bite.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tokyopop To Close North American Publishing Division

Anime News Network is reporting that the North American division of Tokyopop is closing their offices, but continuing their film division and their operations in Europe.

Current manga titles that may go out of print (so pick them up now, unless they go to another publisher) include classics such as "Fruits Basket," "Great Teacher Onizuka," the ".hack" series, "Love Hina," and "Sgt. Frog."

This is kind of disappointing, although the manga and anime worlds have been going into a bit of a decline for awhile. So it's not a shock.  But it's disappointing, so hopefully another publisher will pick up these titles for republication.  I know that Dark Horse has started picking up certain manga titles for "omnibus editions" (three volumes at a time put together) so hopefully more publishers will follow the lead to preserve these titles.

Hulu Reviews: "Tiger and Bunny" and "Toriko"

This is not the "Tiger and Bunny" we are talking about...   
Heh.  I had to use this was one of the first results you get when you look up "Tiger and Bunny" images.

Now this is what we are talking about....

Despite the unusual title, it's refreshing to see an original anime come out of Japan that wasn't based on a manga or light novel or another source.

So you're probably wondering what this is about.  Well, it looks like it could be a mecha show, but it's actually a superhero show. Well, more like a parody of a superhero show. And reality shows.  And corporate sponsorship. It's got heart, and some goofy stuff.  But it's one to watch.

In the world of "Tiger and Bunny," 45 years prior, the NEXT started emerging -- people with various superpowers. The most popular of these NEXT, all sponsored by different corporations, are competing on a reality show for the title of "King of the Heroes." The story follows Kotetsu Kobaragi, known as "Wild Tiger," who has a super strength power that only lasts for five minutes, and seems to cause more destruction than he does saving lives.  After the corporation he's sponsoring gets bought out, he not only gets a new suit but also a new partner -- the younger Barnaby Brooks, Jr., who also happens to have the same power that he does, but also has a lot of arrogance.  Neither one wants a new partner, but are forced together by the corporation, so now they have to learn to deal with it.

Now, as I noted in my review on, the idea of superheroes being sponsored by corporations is not a new concept.  If you've ever seen the film "Mystery Men," you know that they touched on the idea with Captain Amazing (the ever wonderful Greg Kinnear) under risk of losing his sponsorships because there hadn't been a major supervillain attacking the city in a long time. But in "Tiger and Bunny," they take the concept to a new level, with each superhero working for a different corporation, which is emblazoned on their costume somewhere.

The characters in "Tiger and Bunny" are fairly likeable.  You kind of feel bad for Kobaragi, especially when they get more into his home life -- he has a daughter who doesn't know that he's a superhero, and he just wants to do the right thing, but just can't seem to get there after so many years as a superhero. Barnaby, or "Bunny" as Kobaragi calls him in the second episode ("Because you hop around like a bunny and you've got bunny ears!"), we have a sense he has a dark past, which I'm sure we'll get more detail on in further episodes.

The animation is very much an American style -- you probably couldn't tell the difference between this show and any action animation for kids out there now.  And it works in the show's favor -- very well done CGI, and some great character designs.

If you haven't started watching this one yet, you can catch it on Hulu or Anime News Network. Episodes are posted on Saturdays.

The first episode of "Toriko" went up on FUNImation's website as well as Hulu last night after being announced earlier this week that the rights were acquired for the streaming from Toei Animation.

My impression based on the first episode? It's...goofy.

Nothing wrong with goofy. But I might have to watch a few more episodes before I make a final impression on the show.

I'm only vaguely familiar with the manga it's based on -- I've seen chapters featured in "Shonen Jump" on occassion (which reminds me -- I still have two back issues I have to catch up with). For those who aren't familiar with it, Toriko is a Gourmet Hunter -- he hunts down the best of gourmet ingredients in order to create his ultimate Full Course Meal.  In this first episode, he's hired to hunt down the gararagator for a gourmet party, but might have gotten in over his head.

The show is typical of a lot of shonen shows -- lots of action, and lots of jokes.  The premise opens itself up to that -- the idea of a muscle bound "Gourmet Hunter" is goofy (there's that word again).  And it doesn't take itself seriously in that regard.

What the first episode did was get me to want to watch more of it.  Which I intend to do -- along with a lot of the other anime I have on my list....sigh.  But at least I can watch at a different pace.

Episodes of "Toriko" are simulcast on Thursdays at 6pm PDT.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Weekend Project: The Akatsuki Cloak

This weekend was a time for me to get another Anime Boston project done.  And I think I might have set myself up for this one because now my stepdaughter's friends want me to do stuff for THEM ,as well, before we go down.

This was the weekend project: The Akatsuki cloak for my stepdaughter Rachel.

I had decided not to do the dimensional paint on it when I realized the clouds didn't really need to be outlined, and it would have added to the cost of the project.

I worked on the clouds first, which you can find the details on in a previous post.

Instead of using a pattern, I did it a way that I saw at a few sites where one wasn't required.

1) Measure from the shoulder to mid-shin, and add 2 inches. Cut the black and red fabric at that length, then sew the two pieces together at the sides only.  Sew only at the sides and turn inside out.

2) Measure from one side of the collarbone to the other, then add an inch.  Cut this hole on the middle of the piece you just sewed.  You will probably want to sew the neckline at this point to reinforce it..

3) Using your wearer as a mannequin, measure from the edge of the fabric to the tip of the fingers.  Add 2 inches.  Then measure around the wrist to where you want the sleeve cuff to hang, and add an inch. Have your mannequin take off the cloak.

4) Cut the lining and sleeve and sew together on the short edges.  Sew with black side facing on the middle of the fabric piece on either side.

5) Have your mannequin put the cloak on again, and pin together the sides and sleeves.  Sew and turn around.

6) Cut down the middle of the front. of the cloak.  Baste lining and outside together.

7) Measure from the nose to the collar on the wearer, and add an inch. Cut a rectangular piece from both outside and lining as long as the collar and as high as the nose to collar measurement, adding an inch.

8) Place the fabric on fusible interfacing, using an iron on medium heat to fuse the interfacing to the fabric.  Cut from the interfacing.

9) Sew the two pieces right sides facing each other, interfacing facing out, along the top only.  Turn inside out and iron. Sew on to collar area.

10) Doing a reverse hem facing out, fold over on the outside about a 1/4 inch, then fold over another 1/4 inch, then pin.  Sew with red thread.

11) Hem the bottom about an inch, then sew.

12) Iron on the clouds in the placement in the previous post, then sew around the edges to keep from curling.

13) Wash, dry, and you're done!

If I ever have to make this cloak again I'm going to try it with a pattern next time, because I think I actually found it harder doing it without one.