Friday, September 28, 2007

The Art of Yasushi Suzuki

With the release of Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Earth for Virtual Console in EU (and already released in JPN) today (where's the NA one dammit), I decided to do this little post on this item I got during the summer, The Art of Yasushi Suzuki artbook.

Before I begin, lemme just mention that I first played Sin and Punishment on my cousin's Nintendo 64. It was a very fun game that I love and dug, due to the fact that I enjoy most of Treasure's games anyways. A couple of years later, I played it on my computer in emulation form. Once again, I enjoyed replaying it, though graphically, it's pretty crappy nowadays, still fun though. One of the main features that grabbed me back then (in 2000/2001) was the artwork and character designs and that is when I was introduced to Yasushi Suzuki and became a fan of his artwork.

oh yeah! my subscription to Gamer's Republic had a cover feature on Sin and Punishment! Yes I'm hardcore I know! Note: the editor (Dave Halverson) of GR was the editor for Gamefan and currently Play Magazine, all these mags are kinda JPN fanboys as they cover anime and a lot of import games.

So the artbook is about 80+ pages in total, w/ about 70 pages of artwork. The rest consist of interviews, comment (by Dave surprising...not), mini bio and a thumbnail gallery of the art featured. The book retails for about $27 US or $32.50 CDN. That's the official price on the back of the book at the time (May 2007) With the CDN dollar being just about on par the American dollar, that price stamped on the back is useless and misguiding. The book can be purchased very cheap, it's currently selling for $17.70 at Amazon and even
(slightly) cheaper at for 16.99. I preordered mine when it was $12.00 CDN...sweeet.

Anyways, the artbook is the first of Yasushi Suzuki and it collects 10 years of his works. He specifically chose the artwork for this artbook. The book is being distributed by DrMaster Publications, which is an American company that publishes mostly manga & manhwa that they've acquired. What's also cool, is that DrMaster will be publishing Suzuki's first full-length manga, Purgatory Kabuki, hence this artbook. I'll have coverage on Purgatory Kabuki once I get it near the end of the year. So yeah, NA fans are lucky as it's an NA company releasing this stuff instead of the usual JPN companies. However, if JPN fans of Suzuki was interested, in this book, they can also buy, since the artbook contains JPN text for all interviews, comments and bio.

The books contains a lot of artwork I'm sure people are not familiar with. They include mostly novels, (mini) comics, card, original illustrations. There's only 2 Sin and Punishment artwork (as shown). The art featured the most would be Ikaruga. While I like Ikaruga's art, it's not my style (a lot of mech) and the character illustrations pales to his other works (but still good compared to other artists). Purgatory Kabuki, gets a page of chara designs, which is a nice preview I guess.

Personally, I don't think the book is worth the $27 dollars it retails for. I'd definitely say it's worth the $17 dollars. The book is very nice and very good quality. The art is sick and it's the only artbook of Yasushi Suzuki. Is it worth it? Hard to say, his style is an acquired taste.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Current Status: in a Lite Crisis

So yeah, I finally got my DS lite that I mentioned oh so many moons ago.

Now, I can finally play the few DS games I actually bought beforehand. Not only that, this DS lite is special. It's modded so I can play every single DS game. So yeah, I'll be playing ASH, DQ IV, etc in very short time. Currently replaying Gyakuten Saiban 3 (or PW Trials & Tribulation as once again the Eng version is included) as I've played it on the GBA years ago. It was also a deal, got the brand new DS lite + the mod = 160 bucks Canadian ^^. As you can see, I got Crisis Core FF VII for the PSP as well. I'm sure I mentioned that I'm somewhat of a FFVII fan, so it was no surprised that I imported this like i did w/ Dirge (what a waste, but the CG movies were nice). If there were added FFVIII and FFVI games (not remakes) you can count on me buying regardless of quality as they're my faves. FFVII ranks third in my FF list (IV is fourth if ppl are wondering).

Next post will be one of the items I didn't show in my "Summer treats" post. It will coincide w/ something special this week. Though it 'just' came out in JPN.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ultra Slim Fast

Over the weekend, I bought the Daxter silver PSP-2000/slim pack as well as component cables. I'm not gonna do a super comprehensive comparison as you can find it on so many sites now. I do have to say that it's pretty sweet like the DS lite, as the feel is very nice. It's crazy how much lighter it is and the directional buttons are a huge improvement. Fighting games are now actually more responsive, but still feels weird cuz I'm not playing on a stick. Hooking up to the HDTV was nice and easy. It was cool playing some games on the TV (though it doesn't fill up the entire TV screen) as it's progressive scan. Only thing I don't like is that my save files for certain games don't work on the PSP-2000 cuz those saves are only recognized by the original PSP. Thus, games that have online ranking (Tekken DR, DJ MAX 2) must be replayed on the Slim, to have everything unlocked. So, it's not really the PSP's fault. So if one of you haven't gotten a PSP yet and were thinking about it, I'd definitely recommend. If you already have one, it may be not be worth it unless you're into the TV output. As for homebrew...well that's another topic.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Summer Treats

Wanted to post this earlier. My fave chick has always been ♥Fujiko♥ undoubtedly, with Hibiki being second. If you don't know who the ladies are, then lemme tell ya: (l to r) Mikiri, Hibiki, Motoko and Fujiko<-♥. Anyways, here's some of the stuff that arrived during the summer while I was gone to Europe. It's all old stuff now. I have a few more items that I got but I'll give 'em a dedicated post. So here's the rundown of stuff. Masahiko Nakahira's Street Fighter Alpha vol.2 manga (released by UDON...hint hint ;)), Lives vol.2 (JPN), Change 123 vol.5 (JPN), Until Death Do Us Part vol.5 (JPN), High School of the Dead vol.2 (JPN), Ukigumo Momojinden vol.4 (JPN), Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Solid State Society Limited Edition (R1), Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: The Laughing Man (2-disc HK R3), Blue Dragon Complete Guide (CHN) and Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid vol.2-4 (R1).

Yeah, I got FMP:TSR late only cuz I seen it already and getting these volumes together (so late) cost me only about $15 (CDN) a piece. Watching it English and hearing Allison Keith (Melissa) trying to speak Cantonese is just as funny (and bad) hearing Neya Michiko. The English ADR director didn't even try to get the actors to pronounce it right. They simply copied the horrible (& funny) JPN seiyuus enunciations. So yeah, nothing really out of the blue in my swag as it's the same old items that I've continued to get. My GitS: SAC collecting seems to be done for now. I didn't even know that there's gonna be a R1 Laughing Man. Meh, the R3 costs much cheaper and is exact replica of the R2 w/ added Cantonese track, CHN & ENG subs. I won't be getting the Individual 11 'movie' cuz I didn't like the story as much and there's nothing added (as I saw it and had it on my computer a year ago). I'll have another post soon. An update on my Amazon Japan order: increased once again w/ the addition of My-HiME★DESTINY Prison Cast a couple of days ago ^^;. And yes I can't wait to get my hands on this...soon very soon.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I AM HiME/ZHiME/Hisayuki god

I'll make an actual noteworthy post later, but just want to show off the latest Hisayuki/My-HiME/My-Otome artwork from a couple of days ago. Above being from Hisayuki's site obviously and below is my much anticipated 舞-HiME&舞-乙HiME MY COLLECTION that I let y'all know about ;).