Monday, May 28, 2007

April Orders makes Me/May poorer

WARNING! this post is not safe for work.

Once again, after 3 months, another orgy arrives. I got the AJ order on Fri. but was too lazy to post. Anywho, I doubt I'll have much when August comes around, which is when the last and final volume of My:ZHiME Zwei is released. Also been starting to cut down on anime. Reason be, i've been saving to buy more cool useless car accessories (ie. shift knob, steering wheel, more lights and maybe a tach) and i'm probably getting a house w/ my girlfriend. One can only go so far w/ roomies.

So, stuff for this orgy is mostly the same old stuff you'd expect from me. The Hisayuki stuff contains My~ZHiME Zwei vol.3 Limited Edition, My-ZHiME Saga Ayane Hijyo Hen Novel and the Queen's Blade Anthology Comic. Also included is the Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex Ultimate Archives book, Vampire Graphic File artbook, and Happobi jin's Sweet Body artbook. I included some US stuff cuz I just got them last week. As you can see, I got Odin Sphere (been a while since i got an Eng. game) and Afro Samurai Director's Cut. Most pics are shitty quality as i forgot to adjust the focus, thus, the pics are smaller than the size i usually set them to.

I already made comments on Zwei 3 content, but i'll present some pics of the content. Included is two pages of the very thin booklet, you can see 'Yuna' & the 'Guard Keeper'. I also included the swimsuit page that is on the website. On the bottom right, they show Arika's puberty development ^^. As for the Blue Sky Sapphire Arika fig. Man, i couldn't figure (pun not intended) out how to stand her up w/ the poles and base orz. Thus, i'm leaving her in the box, but not before taking a pic ;). I'm sure Digi will have a blast w/ this one ^^, or will prolly also leave it in the box.

The second Ayane novel, isn't anything special really. There's less art in this novel compared to Kourin. The new art by Tachibana Seven can be found here. While the Hisayuki Ayane Meister coloured robe can be found here. It's much better to link scans than my crappy photos :P. There's another Hisayuki newly designec character named Sheena. I got lazy and didn't take a pic, but i will provide this one spoilerific pic from the novel.

The Queen's Blade Anthology comic isn't anything special, it's just like other comic anthologies where you got a bunch of artists drawing random comics of the charas. You do have a couple of the QB artists contributing lif F.S. All the comics are pretty ecchi stuff but never too explicit (all nips are covered). Like I said, i mainly got this book solely for the Hisayuki Reina and Lena cover ^_^;;. Here's a F.S. sample:

Familiar readers know that i'm a huge Capcom/Fighting game/Kinu Nishimura fan. Though Kinu never contributed much art to the Vampire/Darkstalkers series, that cover grabbed instantly when I first saw it months ago. Of all the past (& present) Capcom artists, she is tied for first as my fave. And who is the other Capcom artist that I hold in very high regards? Bengus (aka CRMK) obviously . I love his stuff and varied styles. Most of the artwork is done by him and Ikeno. The Vampire Graphic File contains a lot of art from the Vampire series, too bad it doesn't contain all of 'em. Every character has their own section that showcases the chara's artwork, game sketches, their moves, in game art, endings, early design sketches (most are waayy weird and different). There's a chronological timeline and a section for many Vampie/Darkstalkers paraphenilia. The book is almost 150 pages. The paper quality is decent but not as thick as a 'bristol board' kind. Here's some samples:

They also added the UDON Darkstalkers comic covers.

Too bad this isn't anything special for me as I own the comics. The Darkstalkers vol.1 TPB also contains all of the above artwork in a bigger and better quality. The Vampire Graphic File doesn't even have the Darkstalkers TPB cover drawn by Shinkiro. Thus, I present it to you as I got it 2 years ago. If you're a fan, u must get this.

Once again, longtime readers know how much i love the GitS SAC series, and how much I love GitS SAC Kusanagi Motoko's design. Thus, it was a no brainer for me to get what could be the final GitS SAC guide/art book. The GitS SAC Ultimate Archives book is 1/4 artbook and 3/4 guide book. The paper quality is shit for the price you pay (3333 yen). It feels like shonen jump/telephone book paper. reinforcing that, is almost all the pages are black and white. Keep this in mind, that his book isn't released by Hobby Japan, which explains the difference in quality. The book is just over 200 pages and contains just about the same general info found from Hobby Japan's 3 GitS SAC books (2 of which i already covered). It contains the same old summaries (but w/ a few more details), production artwork (much less from the HJ books), pages of GitS swag and another interview w/ Kamiyama. What's good is that it compiles both seasons and the movie. I mainly got this book hoping to get a ton of promo art and clean versions of the DVD art, sadly i didn't get either. Well,i'm lying. There is a few promo art, but there's so little. What you do get is nice. Aside from that is the several pages of sketches taken directly from scenes in the anime. There's only around 4 pages for each series/movie. I wish there were more as they looked really cool. In the end, this book isn't really worth the money if you have the HJ books as there isn't much new to offer and the artwork is sparse. Then again, if you got all 3 HJ GitS SAC books, it prolly means you're a diehard GitS SAC fan like me and would buy this book regardless of it's expensive & shitty quality. Here's some samples:

I've been a longtime fan of Happobi jin works (my 2nd fave after Sano Toshihide). So imagine my hype when i found out that there was going to be an artbook featuring a ton of his past and new works. The Boin Best Selection artbook may be considered his first artbook, but I personally don't consider it. As awesome as that artbook is, it mostly featured CG art from the game. Though it did have a ton of promo art, guest art, cool design sketches and a nosebleeding poster, it's still just Boin (not a bad thing and i hope they do the same thing w/ Resort Boin).

The Sweet Body artbook kills Boin Selection w/ 127 pages of pure nosebleeding art. Yup, pure art and almost zero text. The book is split up into 3 sections. There's the original works which contains the bulk of the artworks. In this section, you mainly get artworks that Happo's done for Men's Young magazine as well as Mega Store. A bunch of promo art, artwork from his website and his doujin covers. The next section is Game works. Don't get too excited as it's mostly his old stuff from the '03 and '04. There's ZERO Boin & Resort Boin art here (or anywhere in this artbook). The art here isn't explicit but awesome nonetheless. The last section is the Other works which contains miscellaneous art like the Melty Blood pic. The paper quality of this artbook is high unlike GitS UA and VGF, as it's glossy and thick. This book is probably the highlight of the orgy.

NSFW samples:

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

3rd Zwei's the Charm

Most ppl wouldn't think so. There's already been bitching, moaning, whining, cursing about the serie's pace and especially the fanservicey beginning. Y'know what, whatev, these ppl just don't appreciate what ZHiME really was. Like I mentioned before, the OVAs are fanserivce (this time x10) and if they wanted to tell a more serious story, they would've made a longer series out of it. It's a mix of genres and all the OVA episodes have delivered on that by combining those genres into each and every episode. While this doesn't sound good for the gay serious ppl, then i say too bad. While, ep.3 begins w/ yummy fanservice fluff, 3/4 of the episode progresses the story a bit more and shows hints at the possible links w/ My-HiME (ie. fuuka gakuen, nagi library & book, kagutsuchi sword). As for the presentation of the show. Pretty much the same if you've read my previous comments about the first 2. Slightly better animation this time than the previous OVAs though. You can tell in the fanservice scenes and the action scenes. Music...nothing new again except for the ED song (which sucks BTW). The fight scenes in this episode is the best so far since it's solely one on one. Though the fight w/ Nao is short, it's still much longer than the other ones and there's more attacks. She puts up more a fight than all the previous stoned characters that we saw. This fight brings potential for a awesome end fight, but U just know that Sunrise won't deliver on that front and will have everyone gang up. I seriously need some Natsuki, Mai and Midori action here. It also sux cuz they weren't involved in the boobie scene. I guess it's safer to ruin the image of minor secondary characters ^^. I would've like a Ahn bearing it all, as she was my fave in that group (damn arika's hands), but Rosalie will have to do (2nd of the group). The above previews shots show some promise w/ Natsuki getting her ass kicked by fake Fumi (yay, only cuz she might get some action) and Mai fighting (another yay). But like all the previous episode previews, they don't mean jack shit and mostly likely will not be making it in for the last episode. Expect action, friendship, boobies (at least a bounce) and silliness to ensue in the last and final episode. The solicitation was posted almost a week ago (in which i first posted at the suki board). It won't be any longer like many hoped it would be, unless they change it later. Anyways, expect to see my ZHiME/Hisayuki orgy soon as well as some of the other stuff i decided to pick up.

Original Post:
Well, looks like Sunrise has heard my bitching about some recent OVAs nowadays and finally given
乙HiME fans the TRUE and ULTIMATE FANSERVICE. ando from the suki forum has posted some caps of some glorious boobies w/ full nips intact (as well as Nao materializing). i haven't seen the episode yet but expect me to go ranting on this episode w/ my thoughts & impressions tomorrow. My AJ order that includes this just shipped, so if i'm lucky i should be getting the DVD on Fri, if not earlier.

so here's the NSFW 舞‐乙HiME Zwei nipples fanservice shot & here's the SFW Nao materializing scene.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Spice up your Life

Well, to any of my fellow Canadians, i hope you enjoyed the long weekend. For those who don't know, this weekend was Victoria Day weekend, therefore i didn't have to work today. Thus, i've been drinking like no tomorrow since Friday night. As much fun as I had, it wasn't purdy (having puked twice). Heh, might go to the hospital tomorrow to check my liver X( :P. Thankfully, my lady friend took care of me, but she wasn't too impressed. Of course, i'll make it up to her...heehee.

Anyways, I just want to leave my impressions with a recent anime dvd-screener i watched last week. And that anime movie is of course, Paprika. Some may know that the movie is getting a Stateside premiere this weekend. So, you can say that this post is to hype it up. The following will contain SPOILERS, so if you don't want your experience totally ruined, don't read any further.

"It's the greatest show time!"

When Paprika was first announced, i was definitely hyped to see. Being a movie buff and anime geek, i couldn't wait to get my eyeballs on Satoshi Kon's latest. Satoshi Kon is my undoubtedly my fave anime director, simply cuz his works fuck w/ your mind. I love movies that fuck w/ my mind and makes you think. Charlie Kaufman movies is a good example. I can't wait for his directorial debut w/ Synecdoche!! So, like most of Kon's works, you know what you're gonna get.

How geeky are you?

Like his works before (save Tokyo Godfathers), Paprika's story always mixes reality w/ fantasy and making the characters within move back and forth between them. While Paprika isn't so much of a mindfuck as the great Perfect Blue (which i consider to be still his greatest work), it's still good shit.

Perfect Blue = luv

As always, the production values are gorgeous, and mainstay Madhouse delivers in the animation department once again. While it's not the best 2D animated movie or tries to push the medium (it looks about on par w/ Tokyo Godfathers, a movie made 3 years prior to Paprika), it does the job. Though i did notice one or two recycled scenes...WTF.

Tokyo Godfathers = good, but meh on Kon standards

The voice actors do a splendid job as they're mostly well known seiyuus. Though the performance was great, they were not much of a challenge or what you didn't expect from most of the actors. There will be 4 of main actors that I want to note.

First, Megumi Hayashibara does performs her role of Paprika and Atsuko Chiba w/ ease. It won't be anything special for fans of her, but her voice is always a delight to listen to IMO. Her Atsuko was meh, simply cuz the character itself is sorta boring. It is when she's playing as Paprika, that'll make you love Hayashibara all over again.

Atsuko looks like boring OL looking anime chick, but underneath = hawt

She wants to come in you...say what?

Akio Otsuka as always, is a good choice for burly manly roles. Doesn't do what he hasn't done perform but gives you the essence of Konakawa almost perfectly. He always reminds me of Satoshi Kon in real life due to their appearances :P.

Where's Waldo?

It's been a while since i've seen an anime w/ Tohru Furuya and Paprika presents a nice, different role from what he usually plays. His character, Tokita is the cliched ugly-fat but nice guy. And his voice does make you want to root for him sometimes. Other than that, i'm still reminded of Amuro & Mamoru.

Amuro Ray, Newtype

Last one is Kouichi Yamadera. Every role this guy delivers in spades. His role of Osanai is probably the best in the movie cuz it's so varied and all the expressions he had to make. His girly scream is fucking funny and awesome.

Togusa lost the mullet

The music. AWESOME. Having listened to it constantly back in Nov/Dec. it's another great one from Hirasawa Susumu. Though, it does contain some of his usual style, you can't help but to be captivated by his music and especially his very recognizable voice. Though all his music and vocals sound similar to most of his works ('cept for Orgun, which was a bit too slow), Paprika's music and vocals sound most similar to Millenium Actress as it contains that fast paced, techno but slightly hauntish tune, if you get my drift. Either way, i luv it.

Sennen Joyu revisited

While the content of Paprika is good, it certaintly wasn't Kon's best effort at bringing Tsutsui Yasutaka's (Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo) story to life. First, I must say that once again, the opening credits is awesome and really hypes you up to see the movie as "Nigeru Mono" is played in the background. It is so cleverly presented that one who enjoys films and animation will appreciate it to a very high degree. Though Paprika brings the return of Kon's style of mixing reality and fantasy, it felt a little forced and incoherent at some points. The seesaw of reality and fantasy didn't flow as well as it did w/ Perfect Blue and especially Millenium Actress (which did a superb job as it was very heavy w/ that style). The ethics of invading one's dream or the justification of invading one's dream sounded a little dumb and confusing (The DC Mini device is fucked up). I felt it tried to be smart w/ it's reasoning when it didn't need to be. Rather than sounding smart, it came off kind of stupid. The best moments for me was the character development of Konakawa. His character is the most interesting as it brings a level of depth you'd see in most dramas. The others are a snore, and some would probably even hate Atsuko. The ending was good but not perfect. I loved the resolve of Konakawa and the final scene w/ him buying a movie ticket but the announcement of Atsuko changing her name to Tokita felt a little too forced to make it happy or Hollywood-ish. Though you know they end up together, their chemistry wasn't that great. While Atsuko realized her love for Tokita, he never really expressed it in the same manner. Even though it was indicated that he liked her, it was shown as if he liked her as a sister or respected her as colleague and friend. it was a simple fondness for her. Nothing truly deeper than that.

hmm...deja vu, still Luckee kee

Of his 4 movies, this one is considered his weakest IMO. Some would probably say that Tokyo Godfathers was his weakest, well it was until Paprika. Though TG didn't offer his usual style of fuckness, it did offer good characters and a fun adventure. Perfect Blue and Sennen Joyu offered a kickass story, style and awesome characters and remains the pinnacle of his movie works. Paprika, however fails to fall short on all those accounts. Though Paprika is by no means bad, I just hope his 5th movie will be good enough to surpass one his previous works accoring to my rankings. As it currently stands on my record, PB = Best (1st movie), SJ/MA = 2nd (2nd movie), TG = 3rd place (3rd movie) and now Paprika.
So, it's going downhill right now. Anyways, Is Paprika worth your money to see and buy? I'd say a hearty yes, if you're a Kon fan or not, you'll simply enjoy this movie despite his meh plot and weirdness. You'll also love the music. The DVD (SE)/BD comes out this week in JPN. It's been rumoured that the French DVD (which comes out June 20) contains Eng. subtitles. However, it's not fully confirmed, so don't go making preorders yet. The French also get a Super-Box edition that contains a box (not as good looking as the JPN one), 760 page booklet and all the same goodies as the Japanese Special Edition. The French SE costs 49,99 euro. So if it is indeed confirmed that the french dvds contain english subs, then you're better off getting that to save some cash. The French BR also comes out on 20th of June. As for NA, it's fall time for us and who knows if we'll get the same treatment. We probably will after being treated w/ a Steamboy Gift set and a much later FFVII Advent Children LE Collector's Set.

Mermaid vs. Monkey King...who'd win?

The obligatory Kon fanservice for most of his works:

I toldja she's hawt underneath, though i think she's cold now

why is there fanservice? just pervy nature of JPN i guess :P. Here's some more fanservicey pics but this time all links are NOT SAFE FOR WORK: 1, 2 and a 3.

Enjoy Paprika ;).