January 30, 2008

A boy and his flame dragons

recca no honou flame of reccaTitle: Recca no Honou (Flame of Recca)
Story & Art: Anzai Noboyuki
Volumes: 33
Genre: Shounen

Does anyone still remember Recca and his flame dragons? It was quite popular here in the Philippines when it was shown locally so I'm sure the Filipino readers would remember Recca and the other characters (with ugh...tagalized names).

But I'm not writing about the anime today. In the event that you have no clue as to what Recca no Honou is, it's about this high school kid who have always dreamt of being a ninja. Recca always gets into fights and openly declares that whoever beats him will be his master. He gives his services to Yanagi - a girl with healing powers - and swears to protect her. Which is where the story basically starts.

A tycoon, Mori, is after Yanagi because he wants to be immortal. A woman appears to Recca and Yanagi warning them about Mori's plans and we learn that Recca's from an ancient ninja clan called the Hokage and he was sent to the future in order to save his life.

The Hokage have a bunch of weapons that are really powerful. They were being collected by Mori so that he can have a strong army led by his son, Kurei. (And Kurei happens to be Recca's older brother.) Recca finds out that he can control several flame dragons that are living inside him. With this newfound power, plus a bunch of friends who have Hokage weapons with them too (Mikagami, Fuuko, Domon and Koganei), they enter this tournament arranged by Mori in order for him to acquire all Hokage weapons and Yanagi.

The Flame of Recca manga is drawn really well and I like the flow of the story. Unlike the anime which ends after the tournament, the manga's story continues further until Recca and the others faces the most diabolical of all Hokage weapons. Truths about Recca and Kurei are revealed which are pretty surprising. I like the fact that in the manga, Recca is given this antagonistic view into his past whereas in the anime, Recca's the hero and that's that.

I actually came to like Kurei more as I read into the story. The character development is superb - not only for Kurei, but for the others as well. Nothing is rushed and the story twists wonderfully. Along with the most evil Hokage instrument comes more powerful enemies for Recca. I like how the story ended too. It didn't leave me hanging...not one bit.

If you've seen Flame of Recca - the anime - read the manga as I'm sure the anime just left you really hanging. I mean, the anime ended with Recca winning but the antagonists are alive - or at the very least, no satisfactory ending has been given to them. So you really have to wonder if there's more to the story than what you watched. If you read this entire entry, you'll know that there is more! So do read it because I'm certain you won't regret spending all that time going through 33 volumes of manga ^^;

January 26, 2008

Samurai Battle!

We have a samurai battle today! Well more of a "face-off" actually and literally.

Featured in these set of pictures are [Fewture] Miyamoto Musashi and the [Yamato] Rurouni Kenshin (OVA Version) bunch - which includes Saito, Himura and Okita.

Who do you think will win??

(Click on the pictures to see them in a bigger resolution.)

[Fewture] Miyamoto Musashi, [Yamato] Rurouni Kenshin (OVA Version) samurai figures
[Fewture] Miyamoto Musashi, [Yamato] Rurouni Kenshin (OVA Version) samurai figures
[Fewture] Miyamoto Musashi, [Yamato] Rurouni Kenshin (OVA Version) samurai figures
[Fewture] Miyamoto Musashi, [Yamato] Rurouni Kenshin (OVA Version) samurai figures
[Fewture] Miyamoto Musashi, [Yamato] Rurouni Kenshin (OVA Version) samurai figures
[Fewture] Miyamoto Musashi, [Yamato] Rurouni Kenshin (OVA Version) samurai figures
[Fewture] Miyamoto Musashi, [Yamato] Rurouni Kenshin (OVA Version) samurai figures
[Fewture] Miyamoto Musashi, [Yamato] Rurouni Kenshin (OVA Version) samurai figures

January 25, 2008

Looking forward to this?

Here are some leaked screens of the upcoming live-action movie, Blood: The Last Vampire. I'm not really sure if I want to watch this, having been pretty disappointed with the movie. I didn't play the game so the movie is my only basis for the story. The fight scenes in the animated movie was really great though - the movements are fluid so I hope that they get to recreate that in the live-action.

(Some of these images are pretty large so open them one-by-one unless you're confident your computer can handle loading all the graphics.)

Blood: The Last Vampire live-action movie Blood: The Last Vampire live-action movie Blood: The Last Vampire live-action movie Blood: The Last Vampire live-action movie Blood: The Last Vampire live-action movie Blood: The Last Vampire live-action movie Blood: The Last Vampire live-action movie Blood: The Last Vampire live-action movie Blood: The Last Vampire live-action movie Blood: The Last Vampire live-action movie


January 22, 2008

A tribute to Japan's Honey Bunnies!

Bome Vol. 21 Honey Bunny Karen and RioFigure: Bome Vol. 21 Honey Bunny Karen & Rio
Size: 5" tall
Sculptor: Bome
Publisher: Kaiyodo

After quite a long wait, I finally got my hands on Bome Vol. 21 Honey Bunny Karen & Rio! The first time I saw this on our local toy store, I said to myself that I'll have them one day. And that day did come (thanks to someone from ZFC). Honey Bunny Karen and Rio come as a pair so it's quite a bargain even if they're both quite small.

They're both lovely, sexy figures that sit back-to-back for support. The base is covered with some sort of felt and is in two parts that are screwed together to form one base. Each part has one of the girls' names embossed on it.

The sculpt is really nice and Karen and Rio are both beautiful. Although I think Rio (short haired one) is prettier mainly because of how her face was done. Karen looks a bit surprised as compared to Rio's seductive look. I like Karen's hair more than Rio's though because it's more dynamic - flying in some places.

The clothes that they're wearing suits the "Honey Bunny" look - sexy outfits with matching bunny ears and tail. The glossiness of their stockings and gloves contrasts nicely to the color of their skin (which is matte, of course) so there's a bit more life to the paint on both Karen and Rio.

The only problem I have with the Honey Bunny figures is that I had quite a hard time making them sit properly. Karen's posed in a way that she's stretched along the base but her hands don't touch the base evenly so I still have to find the right adjustment for her hands to both lay flat on the base. Rio's pose is simpler (sitting with her knees pulled up) so there's not much trouble with her.

Overall, I'm so completely happy with my Honey Bunny Karen & Rio! I really recommend them to anyone who wants to get some sexy figures or for those who wants to try collecting the Bome figure series.

January 18, 2008

Totoro at the bus stop!

totoro statueSankai -- A 43-year-old man, who goes by the name of Yamamichi Yoshiyuki, erects a statue of the famous Hayao Miyazaki character Totoro of the My Neighbor Totoro fame.

The umbrella-carrying statue stands alone at a local bus stop.

The statue is made of boat cushioning, wood scraps and polystyrene. Totoro's purpose? "To improve the image of the area."

It's really cool because the woody background plus the bus stop makes it a picturesque scene taken right out of the anime.

What time will the Neko-Bus arrive?


January 17, 2008

How much would a real-life Gundam cost?

gundamEver wondered how much building a real-life Gundam would cost? I mean, if you're a Gundam - heck, if you're a mecha fan, I'm pretty sure you've dreamt of having your own life-size mecha to play with. Right?

Well, wonder no more!

On the Japanese SciencePortal site, there is an estimate as to how much it would cost to build an 18-meter (60 ft.) tall and 43.4-metric ton (100,000 lbs.) Morph-X Gundam:

For those who cannot understand Japanese (or for those who cannot read Japanese), Pink Tentacle was kind enough to translate the table:

Aluminum alloy (honeycomb) $1,800 43,875 $79,000,000
(+ Metal manufacturing/processing)

Main computer (IBM) $1,550,000 1 $1,550,000
Gas turbine engines (GE) $52,000,000 7 $364,000,000
Superconductive motors (IHI) $260,000 30 $7,800,000
Motor drivers $260,000 30 $7,800,000
Reducers $760,000 30 $22,800,000



TOTAL: $724,310,000

It was noted that this Gundam however, can only walk. It can neither fly nor shoot missiles. The cost doesn't include labor or internal infrastructure:

IBM Blue Gene supercomputer - $1.5 Million
30 giant 400KW motors - $7.8 Million
7 Apache helicopter engines - $52 Million each

There's no real need for a real-life Gundam so it's pretty much impractical to spend so much money to build one. Unless of course you're some rich otaku tycoon who can't find anything else to spend your money on ^0^;

January 12, 2008

Do you remember your School Days?

school daysTitle: School Days
Episode: 12
Studio: TNK
Genre: Seinen

School Days is one of the controversial anime to date, having its final episode delayed from being aired on television. It was delayed because of violence that might be associated with a murder that happened the day before the final episode was to be released. Well... It definitely was disturbing...but we'll go to that later.

I can't really say that School Days is something memorable. For the most part, it's a guy who can't control his sexual urges and he goes around screwing every girl that he can while cheating on his girlfriend. I guess it's something that some people can relate to, whether they're the ones being cheated on or the ones cheating.

As I mentioned above with regards to the story, School Days isn't something that you should let kids watch, lest you want them to go down the wrong path. The artwork is pretty much normal too, nothing striking about it or anything. I mean, the way the characters are drawn isn't any different from other generic animation styles. Heck, I don't even find Itou handsome or anything.

What I really wondered about in School Days, even if it's just an anime, is how these bunch of high school kids act and think. I mean it's normal to like someone but how they dealt with situations, including the opposite sex, is something seriously wrong. But then again, that's just me ^^;

Overall, School Days is just some tragic, fan-service anime but there's nothing wrong with that because story evolves...somehow. There's a bit of drama, comedy, slice of life and all that in the story too, only it's not that balanced. The characters are okay in terms of development and anything beyond 12 episodes would make School Days hard to keep watching.

It's worth a try, if you haven't seen in yet. If you have, what can you say about School Days?

January 11, 2008

Nendoroid Kemeko

Nendoroid Kemeko PlusI just had to post this! This is probably one of the cutest Nendoroids that I've ever seen! Right? Right?

This figure is called Nendoroid Kemeko Plus by GSC. She's like 100mm tall and will come out on May this year. Kemeko is a character from the manga The Unknown Girlfriend (which will have its own anime series slated to air this year too).

Nendoroid Kemeko Plus -- Yay or Nay?

Nendoroid Kemeko Plus Nendoroid Kemeko Plus Nendoroid Kemeko Plus Nendoroid Kemeko PLus

January 10, 2008

Coeli's January Hauls

I don't have that many hauls for January, but then again, January isn't even halfway through! I'm not sure if I'll get another figure for this month as my recent purchase burned a hole on my wallet ^^; If I do buy more stuff this January, I'll probably try to find - and buy - more FYGK manga.

Anyway, here are my hauls (so far!!):

Kaiyodo Tenjou Tenge Maya Natsume and Aya Natsume[Kaiyodo] Tenjou Tenge Maya Natsume and Aya Natsume

Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden (Vol. 2)Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden (Vol. 2)

January 9, 2008

ef - A Tale of Memories

ef - a tale of memoriesTitle: ef - A Tale of Memories
Episodes: 12
Studio: Shaft
Genre: Seinen

I can honestly say that I liked ef - A Tale of Memories' animation than the story itself. From what I've learned about the anime, the story supposedly centers on three male protagonists: Hiro, Kyosuke and Renji. They each have their own love interests to pursue but they have to face many challenges just to be able to be with the girl they love. Ah and like Myself; Yourself, ef - A Tale of Memories is based on a visual novel entitled ef - A Fairy Tale for Two.

ef - A Tale of Memories' plot is easy enough to follow right? Wrong. First of all, Kyosuke, with the amount of parts he's given in the series, falls short on becoming a "main character" - he's more of a supporting character. Next, it seems as if the females of ef, Miyako, Kei and Chihiro, are the protagonists instead of the males. I'm not too sure if this was the intention of the director though.

Another thing that I didn't enjoy about ef's plot is that Renji and Chihiro's "story" made me think that they're better off having their own series. Apart from the fact that Kei and Chihiro are twins, there's no other relation between the love triangle of Hiro, Miyako and Kei (with Kyosuke loving Kei on the sidelines), and Chihiro and Renji's relationship.

Both sub-plots seem to happen at the same time, simultaneously, but each episode would focus more on one sub-plot, giving little time for the other. I didn't like the discontinuity of each episode in terms of merging both storylines together. It probably would have really been better if they focused on just one sub-plot for the series. If they wanted a dark tone to the series, they should've focused on Renji and Chihiro. Bittersweet melancholy? Miyako and Hiro. Unreciprocated feelings? Kyosuke and Kei.

Oh and another confusing thing about ef is that there are two extra characters there: Yu and Yuko. Yu seems to be Chihiro's guardian but it wasn't shown how he came to be Chihiro's guardian. Yuko on the other hand, looks like a nun and keeps appearing throughout the series sporadically. She comes and give advices to the six main characters then disappears quickly. Maybe they're really characters of the visual novel but I wished they were introduced more.

The only saving grace of ef - A Tale of Memories is that the animation is really something else. It's full of artsy shots that sometimes I find myself just watching ef for the sake of the animation (more than the story). It's practically a new approach in animating (based on what I can compare it with). I'm not a film critic, so I can't really name what kind of techniques they used in animating ef.

Anyway, ef - A Tale of Memories is good if you appreciate great animation, the different storylines mentioned above or you want something...new? I think the story would be greatly understood if you played the game first, otherwise, you'd be asking who Yu and Yuko are too! >v<

January 8, 2008

Ultimate Collector's Room?

Ever wondered how an ultimate collector's room looks like?

These images are of collector Brett Martin's room. Taking a close look, one would notice that his collection are centered around video game-based toys like Final Fantasy, Super Mario Bros., Kirby, PacMan, Crash Bandicoot and Mega Man.

I think it's really great to see a collection centered around a specific theme (like video games, mecha, women, etc.). I wonder when I can expand my collection to this size...

brett martin toy collection
brett martin toy collection
brett martin toy collection
Want to see more of Brett Martin's collection? Click here.

Talk about Myself; Yourself

myself; yourselfTitle: Myself; Yourself
Episodes: 13
Studio: Dogakobo
Genre: Seinen

I just finished watching Myself; Yourself earlier today because I couldn't sleep. Well a bit of info, Myself; Yourself (anime) is based on Myself; Yourself - a visual novel for PS2. It doesn't have that much graphic violence nor nudity but the theme isn't for kids since various scenes reference to suicide and adultery. The verdict? The series was nice but the ending was disappointing. I really looked forward to watching Myself; Yourself because the storyline was awesome:

Sana goes back to his hometown after a few years and gets together with his old friends. There's Nanaka who plays the violin really well, the twins Shuri and Shuu and Aoi whose cooking is superb. Unfortunately, Sana comes home to find that things have changed, especially with Nanaka.

The story goes on to the characters re-discovering their friendship while experiencing troubles along the way. We learn more about what transpired during Sana's absence and a couple of girls are introduced - a young girl whom I saw as a filler to the story's plot and another high schooler whose presence significantly added to the storyline.

Myself; Yourself is a good anime up until the 12th episode. At the 13th, the final episode, I felt that the whole thing was rushed. It could've went on for another episode or two, but noooo. They just had to end it at the 13th episode. It was really disappointing.

So what made Myself; Yourself's final episode disappointing? Let's see... The first 20 minutes was, in my opinion, the climax of the series. (Sure, the revelation of Nanaka's past was pretty climactic too, but I think the development of Sana and Nanaka's relationship is pretty much the main focus of the anime.) Then when Sana finally says a few breath-taking words... SPOILERS!

White screen flash! Then you'll read: Ten Years Later. So like, what happened to the time when Sana and Nanaka were talking up to the "ten years later" part? If you don't think that's rushed at all...I want to know how you define "rushed". Seriously. End of spoiler...

Okay, so Myself; Yourself is a decent story. I just hate how it ended so abruptly, without any warning at all. The animation is good, the flow of the story is good and there's enough character development throughout the story. Another thing, there aren't that much fillers (except for the part where that kid is introduced - but it's forgivable ^0^).

If you don't mind the lousy ending, you actually might want to try watching Myself; Yourself. The plot is intriguing and the music througout the series is nicely composed. If you've seen Myself; Yourself, do give your thoughts about it ~.~

January 4, 2008

Two More Top 10 lists for 2007

naruto mangaSo we know the Top 10 Anime of 2007. It's just the first week of January (and barely out of it) so I figured, why not post the Top 10 Manga and Top 10 Anime Movies of 2007, right? Right.

For the Top 10 Manga of 2007, the results were compiled by the Japanese Book of the Year Action Committee of Oricon from top manga retail stores (and their sales from 01-01-07 until 12-10-07).

1. One Piece (Vol. 46)
2. NANA (Vol. 18)
3. Nodame Cantabile (Vol. 17)
4. Naruto (Vol. 37)
5. Fullmetal Alchemist (Vol. 17)
6. Hunter X Hunter (Vol. 24)
7. Bleach (Vol. 28)
8. D-Gray Man (Vol. 10)
9. Katekyo Hitman Reborn! (Vol. 13)
10. Gintama (Vol. 17)

So that's it for the top 10 manga titles (and volumes) for 2007.

evangelion: 1.0 you are [not] aloneThe Top 10 Anime Movies of 2007 are based on the total gross sales in the US alone, so I'm not really sure if you'll agree to what the list says.

1. Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl: Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkrai
2. Doraemon: Nobita no Shin Makai Daibōken - Shichinin no Mahōtsukai
3. Detective Conan: Jolly Roger in the Deep Azure
4. Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone
5. Crayon Shin-chan: Arashi wo Yobu Utau Ketsu dake Bakudan!
6. Naruto Shippūden
7. One Piece: Episode of Alabaster - Sabaku no Ojou to Kaizoku Tachi
8. Yes! Precure 5: Kagami no Kuni no Miracle Daibōken!
9. Chou Gekijouban Keroro Gunso 2: Shinkai no Princess de Arimasu!
10. Mushiking/Oshare Majo Love and Berry: Shiawase no Mahou

Makes me wonder what will top 2008's list for best manga, anime and movie. There seems to be a lot of nice titles to look out for this year, don't you agree? ^v~


January 3, 2008

Welcome to the jungle (^ 0 ^)

guitar hero 3 slashTitle: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Developer: Neversoft, Budcat Creations
Platform: PlayStation 2
Release: 2007

So I just finished setting up a band and going through (and winning) the career mode of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. My verdict? Well the boss battles with Tom Morello, Slash and Lou the Devil were absolutely cool but I liked Guitar Hero II better, song-wise.

Sure, the graphics are better, stages are harder, there are more songs, more guitars and finishes, more outfits and themes...but Guitar Hero III wasn't all that big as I expected it to be. Well one thing that I liked was Midori, an addition to the playable characters that were revived from GH2 - her outfits (and themes) are super kawaii.

Okay so the added features aren't so bad too. Like the Battle and the Co-Op Career modes (both Multiplayers, of course). I like the Battle a lot and I had fun with all those double notes, difficulty ups, whammies and cut strings. This battle is the same one as what you have to do with Morello, Slash and Lou.

There's also a bit of animation at the start of each stage in the setlist. It's pretty simple though, so don't expect much. And speaking of the setlist, the songs are different for the solo career and the co-op career, so make sure you find someone to play co-op career with to see the other playlist. Ah and the gauges look different this time around and there's a counter for note streaks.

Overall? I think GH2 rocks better song-wise (as I mentioned earlier), but when when it comes to added features, the visuals and all those other extras, I think GH3 still tops its predecessors.

Tell me what you think about Guitar Hero III :3