Friday, December 18, 2009

Live-action movie updates (12/18/2009)

Massive live-action movie updates here. I was debating wether to post this all as one post or separate ones. I went with a massive post. Now lets start with the one I usually post updates about....

Battle Angel Alita

We finally have a serious update about the status of the Battle Angel Alita movie from James Cameron himself. So these aren't just rumors I've found, its the real deal! In several recent interviews about his newest film Avatar, a few have asked Cameron if he still plans to make a LA Battle Angel. Turns out Cameron is definitely still considering it, but it might be still sitting on the back burner for a while longer while he tackles a few other projects. However, Cameron is making it sound like everything is together and ready for when he finally wants to start working on the film. The script is done, the designs are set, the technology he developed and used while making Avatar he plans to use in Battle Angel as well. Sadly, it turns out that the rumored test footage might be just a rumor afteral, as Cameron stated he hasn't made any test footage yet.

More details, which include interviews with Cameron, can be found here and here.

I just wish Cameron will stop giving us a "maybe" and give us a little more definite answer, seeing how he's been making us all wait for over 5 years now.


Cowboy Bebop

Of course, Battle Angel isn't the only one i've been keeping track of (Its just that there's been more info on it than the other films that are in the works). Today after finally getting some solid info on Battle Angel, I decided to try checking some of the other film projects as well.

First up: Cowboy Bebop, and from what I gather it sounds quite promising too. Thankfully for all of us, they are definitely working together very closely with Sunrise, the original studio behind the Cowboy Bebop anime, as well as the original director Shinichiro Watanabe. Sunrise even has control over the script, and if they don't like it, the movie won't be made. As for the script itself, its currently going under a rewrite. Apparently it is said to be quite faithful to the anime, and as it is now it would cost half a billion dollars to make the movie. So the scriptwriter who is working on it (who is now a fan of the series too after working on this film) is rewriting it so it shouldn't cost as much to make.

Details here, here, and for newest updates in one place check here.

Keanu Reeves as Spike: one fan's vision.....hilarious, yet also very scary.


Death Note

Also in the works we have Death Note and Ghost in the Shell. I haven't heard much about these except announcements of what studios will be doing them and a couple of rumors for Death Note.

As for DN, Warner Brothers will be doing it. I was expecting DN to get the American LA treatment sometime, plus out of all of the mainstream anime and manga, it definitely is one of the better picks, as it won't heavily rely on CGI. Warner is expected, seeing how they did the Japanese live-action films as well which turned out okay. Rumor has it that the director working on this plans to turn this into a horror flick. If this is true that's one strike against this film already. Dedicated fans know that DN isn't a horror story, but rather more of a suspenseful thriller. A possible strike two the rumor about who will be playing the part of Light Yagami. Its said that it will be Zac Efron playing him, ya know, the starring guy from High School Musical?

Granted, he looks like Light, the perfect pretty boy that makes the girls swoon, but can he play the part of the psychotic, maniacal-laughing mass murderer? Answer: highly doubtful. Get outta here you wannabe actor, and give the role of Light to someone who can actually act. Plus, I don't want DN to turn into a Disney fest.

....Please shoot me.

The third strike will be who they end up casting for L. If the cast the wrong person, I will loose all hope for this film. (One person commented on how Johnny Depp should play him, thats not a bad idea actually....) But I think I already found the third strike (here). If this is real too then I have offically lost all hope in this and i'm grabbing my own Death Note and writing everybody's name down who was involved with this "movie". Man, leave it up to Hollywood to f**k up an already fine story. If this script is real then it will kill everything we all know and love about DN.

Ghost in the Shell

Then lets not forget Ghost in the Shell, honestly, I've only seen the first film from this series so far, so I can't say too much about this one (I only like getting into talking about series I'm more familiar with). I gonna say its quite pointless to do an American LA version as we already have one: The Matrix.

Okay, its not exactly the same, but the folks who worked on The Matrix said they where inspired by Ghost in the Shell when they where working on it, and it shows too. Anyways, supposedly Dreamworks is working on this one and plans to use a combination of live-action and CGI animation, Steven Spielberg even be directing it. I'm iffy on this one. The guy has made some great films and all, but I just don't see him doing a good job with this movie. Then again, I feel Ghost in the Shell shouldn't be getting the LA treatment at all, the original animated film is fine as is, and it still holds up well today, even if it was made back in 1995.

While there at it, if they are going to be doing a LA film with CGI animation, perhaps they should borrow Cameron's new technology he developed, I have a feeling there gonna need it.


Clover (by CLAMP)

Also in the news, Dark Horse is currently negotiating with Universal for a possible live-action film of CLAMP's manga series Clover. I have to ask: why Clover? I suppose it would be one of the better picks of the CLAMP library to turn into a live-action film, but if they do live-action, its going to be a very tricky film to make (not to mention expensive). For those who haven't read Clover, I find it best described as a poem in the form of a "comic". I quote that because its very unique and original from the average comic, whether it be Japanese or American. The placement of the artwork and panels is very stylized, so if they do make a movie, they are gonna need a director who uses a very artistic style, to recapture that stylized look. Then they are going to need to be quite heavy on the CGI to recreate the futuristic setting. So its going to be a movie that's quite dependent on visuals, as the visuals are what make Clover.

As for the plot to the story, but there isn't much to it, so it should be easy to condense the story into an 1 1/2 to 2 hour time frame, its the visuals that really matter. So I hope they get a good director for this, and not just any joe. I guess this is good news at the same time, seeing how somebody is attempting to make a LA film of a manga series that isn't a mainstream one. Hollywood should try and tackle more lesser known titles. This news bit also reminds me that Dark Horse is one of the few companies that distributes anime/manga that has connections in Hollywood (Hellboy and its sequel anyone?)

So Dark Horse: How about a live-action Hellsing and Trigun while you're at it, seeing how you have the rights to those manga series as well?

A page from Clover, you can see this isn't the average comic book where dealing with here...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bakuman gets an anime!

The newest manga series that's by the masterminds behind Death Note, Bakuman, is getting an anime. When I went and started reading the newest chapter, Chapter 66, I flipped with joy when I saw the announcement. (Scan of page below, translated in English)

Hell yeah! I know what i'm watching next fall. I figured Bakuman would get its own series eventually, I just wasn't expecting it this soon. Ohba and Obata waited until Death Note was nearing its end before they let Madhouse make an anime series out of it, so maybe Bakuman is nearing its end as well? Seems kinda early for the manga to be ending though, as these guys managed to churn out 103 chapters of Death Note, and before that Obata worked on Hikaru no Go, which had 191 chapters. Plus, i'm kinda worried that they might run out of material to work with, but they still have about a year before the anime, so that gives the manga time to put out more material. I just hope it doesn't end up with an anime invented ending, or have a ton of annoying filler episodes, which is what happens to 80% of all manga to anime adaptations.

It has also been announced that JC Staff will be behind the anime and will air on the NHK channel. I have mixed feelings about this. I really like JC Staff's artwork, but their adaptations are hit or miss. Azumanga Daioh and ToraDora! where fantastic, but they murdered Zero no Tsukaima with excessive fanservice and added in too many pointless filler episodes in the 2nd season of Shakugan no Shana. They also made those recent crappy filler "seasons" of Slayers of material that wasn't really in the novels, almost killing that series too. I guess it just comes down to the people who are working on the anime. Also, there is one positive side that this is being done by JC Staff. JC Staff, unlike most animation studios, when the source the anime adaptation is following isn't completed, they tend to continue the anime later when the original manga/novel has more material for them to work with. So theres less likely a chance of an anime invented ending if the manga isn't finished by the time the anime ends. I was really hoping Madhouse would get this series after doing such an awsome job with Death Note, but I guess they are too busy with some of the other projects they got going on.

Then theres still the fact that its airing on the NHK, the PBS channel of Japan, which also worries me. This is the same network that aired Cardcaptor Sakura, the Tsubasa Chronicle anime by Bee Train, and currently Kobato, which are all manga adaptations. From what i've noticed, all anime on this network gets watered down and censored so kids can watch it. Tsubasa Chronicle and Kobato mangas both included drinking, and material that isn't suitable for kids, these scenes where either removed, altered or shown in some way that would be apporprate for kids to view. Thankfully, Bakuman doesn't have any drinking from what I remember, or any sort of material that would be "offensive" (maybe just a few small bits, but nothing major really). What worries me is that they might dumb it down for kids. Bakuman gets really heavy into the details about the manga industry, and gets very detailed with the rest of the story as well. (Remember how detailed the story of Death Note was?Same thing here, just different story.) I won't be surprised if they cut back on some of the details (same thing happened with the Death Note anime), I just hope they don't cut out/alter too much.

Well, on that note, lets hope for the best and that this turns out alright.

"It's an anime adaptation of a manga drawn by two mangakas which is about two mangakas drawing a manga in the hopes of it getting made into an anime.

Brilliant." ~ Quote from user Haylias on the MAL forums.

Pretty much sums things up. It's gonna be interesting.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Open Web Awards

I should have maybe posted this sooner but I didn't make up my mind to do so until now.

Although I spend much of my time watching anime these days, I'll admit its not the only thing I watch. Theres a few online video series I enjoy as well that aren't animated nor talk about anime. In fact, 2 of the 3 I follow regularly are up for Best Video Web Series on Mashable's 2009 Open Web Awards: The Nostalgia Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd (the other I view regularly is Atop the Fourth Wall with Linkara). I already linked a few of the videos on my blog that are made by the Critic aka ThatGuyWithTheGlasses/Doug, but I can't help it, I just love the guy's work. The directing is good, the writing is top notch, he's a really great actor, his videos are even really funny and have me in tears most the time. Just overal quality work thats very entertaining. Of course, I take the time to check out other video series made by other people. If I find it fun and entertaining, even if I don't laugh much or know much about the subject matter being discussed, I'll keep watching.

Instead of going on about how awsome the guy is (I'll probably save that for a future post). I want to get to what I really want to talk about here, which is the web awards voting going on right now. Its currently down to the top 5 picks, and one of these top 5 is getting about half of the votes for Best Video Web Series. This series is called Internet Killed Television. I tried watching an episode of this series, and I can't help but question why this series keeps getting so many votes. Its nothing more than a young couple going around with a video camera recording everything they do in life. On top of that, I found it quite boring and nothing special about it. Its nothing more but a reality TV show for the web. It saddens me that a series like this just might win over quality scripted series like The Nostalgia Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd, as both Doug and James actually put alot of time and effort into what they do. There's hope though as the AVGN has a chance of winning this too. He has been getting the other half of the votes it seems. Hell, even the Critic and the guys who run the site is videos are featured on, are encouraging his fans to vote for the Nerd (when the Nerd is his rival), as they don't want IKT to win either. So yeah vote for the Nerd, even if you have never heard of him or don't like him, to show your appreciation for quality scripted videos. I would personally vote for the Critic as I've always liked his videos better (the humor AVGN's is too immature for me sometimes and has alot more swearing), but I would much rather see the Nerd win than Internet Killed Television.

For your enjoyment, heres a video from the AVGN series. In this video, the Nerd reviews various classic Nintendo accessories.

While you're voting, vote for Little Kuriboh's Youtube channel CardGamesFTW, he's up for funniest Youtube channel. Because we all know how much we all love his YuGiOh Abridged series (I do too admittedly, and I don't even care for YuGiOh, but LOVE the abridged series). For kicks i'll post his promotional video in this post too.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Gunnm/Battle Angel Alita live-action movie update (11/07/2009)

Word is now going around that Cameron has put together some test footage. Someone even claims to have seen it, and posted their comments about it on the internet. I quote:

”Imagine this for a second. A cyborg chick “the Angel of Death” taking out “a lot” of other part man, part machine type “people”…Now picture the “Angel of Death” looking like a child. a 14 year old. Now imagine this, this little girl goes through these guys like butter. Did you see the KICK-ASS trailer? Well imagine that girl via the Matrix via Ghost in the shell, via AI. “Remember the True Lies bathroom brawl?” Well take out Arnold, and “copy and paste” Bruce Lee on acid via the Terminator. as seen through the eyes of a sweet innocent 14 year old cyborg girl. And all of this done via the mind of James Cameron, Holy shit what is not to love? The lights flicker and shit hits the fan. Awesome stuff.”

Yep, totally sounds like something straight out of the manga series. ^^ Although, people are quite sceptical about this, and think that the footage doesn't even exist and that its all made up. So right now it remains nothing more than a rumor. The reason why people are in such disbelief is that Cameron has been quite busy working on Avatar, and hasn't had the time to work on any other films. Personally, I think while working on Avatar, he wanted to test out the equipment he had, to see if it was ready for what he had envisioned with his BL movie. Afteral, I remember reading somewhere that he plans to use the same technology he used while making Avatar for the BL movie (if he ever made it). So I really hope this rumor about the test footage is true, because this means we are one step closer to finally getting this movie! =D

Cameron is a fan alright,the proof is on his shirt...

Friday, October 16, 2009

......why Hollywood, why?

Like most other people my age or older/younger, at some point or another we all saw Tom and Jerry. Love or hate 'em, nobody can deny the fact they are the world's most lovable cat and mouse duo. I know this new is kinda old but I did not find out until recently. I found out the folks in Hollywood are making a live-action film of Tom and Jerry.


WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PEOPLE IN HOLLYWOOD ARE THINKING?!?! THE IDEA DOES NOT WORK! Seriously, Tom and Jerry is about nothing more than just an animated cat and mouse chasing each other all over the place. The idea to turn it into a film did not work before, and you're going to try it again?!? Plus, it does not help the fact that cartoons like Tom and Jerry just don't quite work in live action form. Alvin and the Chipmunks sucked, Garfield sucked, Underdog I never saw, but I know it sucked. 80% of all animation turned live-action sucks, so stop it Hollywood, please stop. If you're going to give us a live-action adaptation with a story thats actually good, thats fine. But if you're going to keep churing out garbage, raping beloved classics just for a quick buck, please, i'm begging you, stop it!

Should I also question why you are also making *another* live-action Scooby-Doo film for a direct-to-video realase when the first 2 wheren't all that grand either?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Funimation amazes me....

Wow, I'm totally caught off guard by this. I never expected the FMA OVAs to ever leave outside of Japan outside the internet, yet it happened. Funimation was actually able to get ahold of the OVAs for Fullmetal Alchemist and they put them on DVD. Whats even more impressive is that they supposedly got back the VA cast they used in the dub for this. However, what I don't get is why did Funi decide to sell them on a separate DVD? Wouldn't it been better if they released it as a special feature with the DVDs for the main series? I mean, theres only 4 OVAs in total (not counting the recap special) which only totals to 35 min running time. The longest of the OVAs being the State Alchemists VS The homunculi one, which was 10-11 min. All the other ones where 6 min or less. They should have released these as part of a box DVD set or something.

I think one of the following happened:

-By the time Funi was finally able to obtain the rights to release the OVAs, they finished putting the series and movie on DVD.

-Funi at first was not going to release them, but they changed their minds and decided to do it anyways.

-They where having issues with the Japanese folks who held the rights, and the only way they could release the OVAs is if they released it on a separate DVD too, just like the did in Japan.

I've already seen these, and I can tell you theres nothing special about them really. I don't plan on buying it either, theres other things i'd rather spend $15 on, even if it is FMA. I just thought it was interesting to note this. Seeing how short DVD specials like this almost never make it onto its own separate DVD outside of Japan.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gunnm/Battle Angel Alita live-action movie update (6/4/2009)

Boy, talk abut huge disappointment and even more waiting....

I knew James Cameron has been working on a film version of Gunnm/Battle Angel Alita for a long while now, but it wasn’t until this past year I finally gave in and decided to check it out. Afteral, if its being turned into a movie, it must be good, right? I’m so glad I read it! Even though it was pretty gory at times, it was such a great series and I really liked its story. After I read it I was very hyped to see the movie. Unfortunately, it sounds like Cameron will be putting this on the back burner for a while longer. He said after his current action film, Avatar (has nothing to do with that Nicktoon of the same name) he wants to work on a smaller project. I think another reason why hes putting it on hold is because hes still waiting for technology to advance a little further, as that's what he said in past interviews. Its understandable though, with a series like this, alot of CGI will be needed to recreate the futuristic setting, and especially Gally/Alita herself. I just hope he doesn’t wait too long too get this done, because i’m worried that the project will have to be scrapped years from now and all that hype was for none.

It is also unfortunate we can’t get a new anime adaptation while we wait. I hear Cameron has bought up all the rights for Battle Angel, including rights to the short OVA Madhouse made years back (not the manga version though), which prevents a new anime adaptation from happening. I think the reason why he also did this is that he knows that if a new anime is made, it will generate new interest in the series as well as lots of fans and people will end up comparing it to his movie. So he most likely wants to keep the series as unknown as possible for this reason. Its depressing knowing how hes monopolizing the rights like that and its unfair for those of us who want to see something come out of this series, whether it be a movie or anime series, especially if hes just sitting on the license like that. In today’s age of anime, theres been tons of manga being turned anime and old anime given new life. If Cameron didn’t have all the rights, i’m sure some animation studio would have picked it up by now and made a new Battle Angel anime. Maybe Madhouse would have tuned it into an actual series like what they did with X.

I know this is technically old news, but I didn’t find it out until recently. I guess only time will tell what will come of all this. At least I have the sequel to the manga, “Last Order” to keep me occupied for now.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood eps 1-4


It feels like I've been waiting ages for this....well, more realistically, I’ve been hoping for a remake of the anime the more and more I read the manga. I will admit, I did enjoy the first series, plus it was what got me into FMA afteral. However, when its compared to the manga, it’s pale in comparison. The characters are much more developed, the story makes better sense and is much better in quality, and has the perfect balance of comedy and drama. It is very well crafted and one of the best series I have ever read! So I had been longing for a remake, wanting to see this great series done justice properly. And it looks like I will be getting my wish (along with thousands of other fellow fans). I would have posted my thoughts on this sooner, but I wanted to wait for more eps to be released before I did that.

For starters, the opening theme is kick-ass, and the lyrics fit the series to a T, and its awesomeness is doubled just because YUI sings it. *YUI fan* The ED is pretty decent too, and I liked the style of animation that was used. As for the BGM, they decided to get a new composer for this series. I don’t mind this at all, in fact I kinda like the idea they decided to get someone new. I thought the soundtrack for the first series was quite fitting for FMA, which had a militaristic-feel and other times it sounded just like the kind of music you would find in an old black and white film. The main reason why i’m glad that they changed the composer, was that I felt that much of the soundtrack from the previous series would have been repeated in the remake if they had gotten the same composer, so it’s nice to hear something new. Plus I had high hopes for this guy, afteral, if Hiromu Arakawa herself liked the guy was was thrilled to have him work on the series, so that was a good sign. As for the new composer, I really like it so far from what i’ve heard, the tracks complement the scenes very well. I think i'm starting to like this soundtrack better than the first series, but I won't fully judge it just yet, not until the soundtrack CD is released. It still needs to undergo my “can-this-OST-stand-alone-from-the-animation?” test (being the OST lover that I am).

The well. I really liked the animation style from the first season, more-so than the artwork from the manga. So when I heard they would be designing the characters to look closer to the manga, I wasn’t all that thrilled. I think the idea to change the style was a smart move, that way at a glance you can see its different from the first series. As for the animation in the actual episodes, the widescreen, the effects, and everything where....*blink* WWWWOOOOOOOOW, its *definitely* a step up from the first TV series (I mean this in a good way). However, I still can’t get over the look of the characters at times, even after watching the first 4 episodes. The choice to use a yellow color for the outline of Edward's hair (along with many of the other characters) looks interesting, yet odd. Perhaps i'm still used to seeing his hair with a black outline like the first series? While I’m still on the topic of animation, here's an amusing thought. If you think about it, in the end, the FMA anime will have had 4 different animation styles (not counting OP/EDs). I mean, the first TV series, the movie, the OVAs, and now the 2nd series, had all used very different animation styles. Its odd how it turned out that way.

As for the voices, I’m so happy they got the same VAs for Ed and Al back. I can’t imagine anybody but Paku Romi playing Ed! (screw Vic, she ROCKS!!!) Unfortunately they couldn’t get the whole previous cast back, which I find a shame. Its strange hearing the voice of Urahara (from Bleach) coming out of Roy’s mouth. Then its really weird hearing new voices for many of the characters. Ah well, its still wonderful to hear Paku Romi and Rie Kugimiya provide Ed and Al's voices again. I’m still dying to hear the voices they will pick for the Xing characters and Armstrong’s older sister (these voices I am the most curious on at the moment), unfortunately we won’t be able to find out for long a while....

As for the story (which is the main reason for the remake in the first place) has been following the manga rather well so far. The first episode was invented for the anime, but all is forgiven, something needed to be done to show people that this is a new series. If they started out with Lior (just like in the manga/first FMA series) it would lead many to think "Hey! Its a repeat for the first series!". Even if it was an anime original, it was still a damn good episode (mostly due to the great special effects). Episodes 2-4 there based on the manga. I'm not too pleased with how quickly they went though the manga material presented in episodes 2 and 3 (Ed and Al's flashback and and Ed's confrontation with Cornello in Loir), and I kinda wished they did things differently. Even though I was somewhat disappointed by eps 2 and 3, mostly by the rushed pacing, they did an excellent job with episode 4. I was wondering how they would be handing the Tucker/Nina story, the first series did such a great job with it afteral. Thankfully I found the pacing was perfect in this episode, and they even managed to throw in just enough scenes with Nina and Alexander so that the viewers will feel sympathetic for them for when...*that*....happens. I was very pleased at how the whole episode was executed, and if I dare say, the best manga-to-anime episode yet. I have high hopes now for when they get later into the series and start to cover more material from the manga. Even though this is the best adapted episode so far, its still depressing as ever *sniff/cries* Much to my pleasure, they kept the scene where Scar kills Tucker!!! *throws confetti* God how I always hated Tucker, he's on my list of Top 10 anime characters I hate the most. It has always irked me how they kept him alive in the first series yet he died in the manga. I'm already loving the remake just for this alone.

Anyways, even though they are going though the manga material featured in the first series rather quickly, I bet ya the animators are just as itching to get to the new material not featured in the first series as much as I am. They couldn't just skip the manga material that was in the first series, its needed in the story later on (much of it anyways, some of it can be simply glossed over real quick like Loir and Youswell).

Ah yes, one last thing before I get to mention it: the eye catch, I hate it, its annoying as hell >_< ....why oh, why do we need someone to say "FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST" *head/desk* I hope Funimation will do us a favor and when they release the DVDs here in the states, they will edit out the guy saying that. Speaking of which...i’m glad they gave this remake of Fullmetal Alchemist an actual name. I didn’t like how the Japanese refer to this series as “Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Fullmetal Alchemist” seems kinda repetitive, and then some folks where calling it “Fullmetal Alchemist 2”. I thought the latter title was a bad idea, it was giving people the wrong impression thinking its somekind of sequel to the first series when its not. Thankfully Funimation gave it a better name that won’t confuse people as much “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”. I think the “Brotherhood” part would fit the first series much better, but at least we have a way to differ the two series now. Knowing the international community, I bet they will follow Funimation and use the same title for this series as well in international releases.

On that note *holds up can of Sunkist soda* here's to hoping that this new FMA series will capture the greatness of the manga and that it will blow the first series out of the water.

If you're curious, I plan to compare this FMA series to he manga (first FMA series too) on my website. I started working on it already, I just need to get off my lazy butt and work on it some more....I'll post a link when i finally get it going.

Thoughts on: Black Lagoon

These past few weeks, instead of watching only one series at a time like I normally do, i've been juggling several different series and watching them all at once (not counting the series currently airing in Japan where I have to wait for eps weekly). In between these series, I was craving for an action series where I didn't have to wait every week for a new episode. I was thinking about trying to watch Soul Eater again, but I didn't like the idea of getting involved with a 51 ep long series just yet, I was hoping to stick to shorter series for now until school gets out. Then I was talking to this one guy and he mentioned Black Lagoon. It was then when it hit me, it was an action series, 24 episodes (broken into two seasons), plus I had been wanting to check it out for some time as well. So it was the perfect choice...

What made me want to pick this series up in the first place was that I heard it had gotten inspiration from Cowboy Bebop, and some folks even said it had somewhat of a CB-like flair to it. Upon hearing this, and loving Cowboy Bebop, I had to see it for myself. It turns out people where right, it may not be an exact carbon copy of the classic series, I was never expecting that, but it does have the same feel. Its like Cowboy Bebop in our present era reality without the kickass soundtrack, without the artistic look, and mostly focuses on the explosive action scenes, gunfights, and even decides to try and go its own way.

Other than the CB similarities, its still a great series. What I liked about it was how realistic the stories where (minus the badass main female lead going around and shooting everybody up), and many of the eps where short 2-3 ep mini arcs. Then, of course, the action scenes where awsome and very well done! One great example is the chase scene in ep 9 where the folks of the Black Lagoon company where trying to get away from the terminator maid. (Yes, a maid with unlimited weapons who's tough to beat, going around and shooting people, don't ya just love anime?) It was incredibly well-animated and it has got to be one of the best car cases i've ever seen in anime! (Perhaps i'm simply still just hyped after seeing this ep not too long ago?) I also find it amusing that here I was just commenting on how realistic this series was, then here I go talking about the terminator maid (don't worry she's not a robot, she's human, an ex-soldier to be exact,, but she sure is alot like the terminator). Ah well, this series still has a pretty realistic feel to it.

Another interesting factor is that the whole series has a very American feel to it. Like an action Hollywood film in animated form. Complete with numerous references to American associated events, people, places, etc. In one episode, one of the characters pulled out a pack of American named-brand cigarettes (it was "Natural American Spirit" don't remember if it actually read that in the series.....and no I don't smoke, but my parents do and they drag me along when they buy their cigarettes, so I know this brand is real because I saw it). It was quite nice watching a series like this, because I felt very at home watching it. Which is a nice change from all these series that usually take place in Japan and/or have characters with a very (or somewhat) Japanese-like lifestyle. The opening is also in "Engrish" as well. Its pretty damn cool and addictive, despite the fact that the singer barely knows any English yet she's trying to sing in English. The awsome techno beat and great images makes up for that.

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest) Black Lagoon wins me over with a 9 for its action awesomeness. Its not a masterpiece like Cowboy Bebop, but I definitely enjoyed watching it. Madhouse did an excellent job with this one, and they still have yet to disappoint me (okay, so the storylines in the Battle Angel Alita OVA and X movie sucked, but the animation was kick ass in both, plus they're both older anime so you can't expect too much).

As i'm typing this, I have only seen the first season and I have just now started watching the 2nd season. Perhaps I will type up my thoughts on it later after I view it.....

Thoughts on: Shigofumi

I walked into this series hoping to find a similar air of mystery much like what xxxHolic had (one of the reasons why I like that series so much). Disappointingly, I felt only the first two episodes had that feel I was hoping for. Even though this series didn't turn out what I was expecting, I still enjoyed watching it.

Basically in a nutshell, Shigofumi is based on a series of light novels. It is about a mail carrier named Fumika who delivers letters to people from people who had died. When the series starts off, its very episodic. Usually the episode goes we see somebody and eventually Fumika delivers a letter to this random somebody. Of course, its not that basic, honest. That somebody has a story to tell, and some of those stories happen to be more interesting than others. Some of these stories made me stop and think for a moment. As the series progresses we learn more about Fumika, like who she is, where she comes from. Who has a very unusual back story (as well as parents who are insane).

I really liked how this series was written, they even managed to throw in a few surprises as well. Not the best series I have ever seen, nor do I plan to watch it again anytime soon, but it is definitely worth a viewing, at least once. It reminds us just how fragile we are and that everything can change in one moment. The only thing that I really hated about this series was the opening, it’s a song by Ali Project. Its not very often I find a music artist who can truly get on my nerves, and Ali Project is one of them. There’s just something about the sound of their music that just rubs me the wrong way. Well, I will admit though, I did like the opening song they did for Noir, it’s the only song by them that I have heard I have actually somewhat liked so far.

Overall, on a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest) Shigofumi has impressed me enough to give it a 9. If you haven’t seen it yet and you're the type of person who likes a dark series with a mystery behind it, check this series out.

I want to say more about this series, but there's just some series where I feel like saying a lot while others I’m just at a loss for words to express my thoughts on it.

(And yes, I couldn’t resist adding the quote to the pic above...)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thoughts on: Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai (aka Munto TV)

Well, KyoAnimation has done it again. Instead of giving people what they really want (Haruhi Suzumiya season 2) they decide to tackle a different project, but this time they got downright lazy. This time they decided to continue their OVA series they started years back, Munto, or as they really call it.....(er, do I really have to retype that ridiculously long title?)

What I liked about this series was that KyoAnimation decided to try their hand at something original this time, instead of visual novels, novels and 4 panel comics. I also decided to check it out after seeing the first OVA, and I really enjoyed watching it. However, after viewing this series, it had some major problems.

The first being (and why I say they where lazy this time) is the fact that they recycled the first 2 OVAs they made back in 2003/2005. That's right, the first 3 eps where the first OVA, then eps 4-6 where supposedly the 2nd one. And instead of a third OVA, they decide to turn it into an actual TV series. Boy, talk about lazy. As a result, the animation style changes 3 times throughout the series. I saw the first OVA about a month ago, so I skipped the first 3 eps (I really didn’t want to watch it again with it still being fresh in my head). So I can’t say what exact changes where made between the original the first eps of this series. Although, I heard some scenes where added and that they enhanced some of the special effects (and got new voice talent too, and redubbed it). I even found a actual comparison someone had made between the two versions for the animation (be warned, the folks at this site like to post hentai material).
>>See it here<<

I also think that reusing the OVAs was a bad move on KyoAni’s part though...

The OVAs never really took the time to explain things properly, resulting in plot holes. By adding the exact same OVAs into this series, they carried over these plot holes. I think it would had been best if they just simply reanimated the OVAs, this way they could had fixed the problems with the storyline from the OVAs, and it would flow more smoothly instead of being a jarring mess like it was. Much of the time I felt like the animators where all like “Plot holes? What plot holes?...ooooo, look at the pretty animation we just drew in these new episodes! Look! Look!”

And yes, in terms of gorgeous animation (outside the fact that the OVAs they reused where dated) KyoAni delivered yet again. At the same time, those bastards pull another one of their lame marketing tricks and eps 10-12 is actually going to be a movie that they will be showing in theaters. Smooth move KyoAni, another way to milk money from your adoring fans I see...ah well, I still plan to watch it. Seeing how the series ended at an odd number of 9 eps and things still haven’t been resolved quite yet.

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest) I give it a 7. For that fact that its a series that looks pretty yet has a plot that's alot like swiss cheese. Overall, I really liked this series and its ideas, they had alot of potential. Yet I feel they totally blew it with the way the executed the story. I think this whole series was nothing more than a marketing move to make more money, because KyoAni knows that they can sell anything now at this point, as long as their name is attached to it....

Now with this series out of the way, will we be seeing another season of Haruhi now KyoAni? *poke*

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thoughts on: Slayers Evolution-R

Well, I just finished watching Evolution-R not too long ago, yet why do I have the incredible urge to punch somebody right now? Perhaps its because this “season” of Slayers annoyed me just as much as the second season of Tsubasa Chronicle did....Okay, maybe it wasn’t THAT bad (considering how the second season of Tsubasa was udder trash), but it was still pretty bad.

From what I was hearing around the net, both Revolution and Evolution-R where not in the original novels that the Slayers series was based on. Hell I heard even Try wasn’t in the novels and was invented for the anime. Even though these episodes where filler, there is a big difference between them. When they where still working on the first 3 Slayers series 10 years ago back in 1995-1997, the novels where still being published at the time. Supposedly the first 2 seasons are based on the first 8 novels. I don’t know the whole story, but I bet JC Staff made Try to allow Hajime Kanzaka time to finish the novels, or it was a marketing ploy to make additional episodes to make more money from the series, or perhaps both. Even though these episodes where filler, I thought they maintained the quality that made Slayers so great in the first place (plus, they had the same writing staff as the first 2 seasons). Now here it is 10 years later and they finally decide to give us more Slayers. Knowing Hollywood and their sequels they make many years later, and how the sequels are poorer in quality compared to the first film, I had low expectations for Slayers. I knew it would be impossible for these new seasons to be just as good as the first 3, but I had my hopes up that JC Staff would still be able to give us something decent to watch.

Revolution I thought was okay for the most part, I thought they managed to recapture the feel of the first Slayers series pretty well. The writing was still pretty shabby and had its flaws, but it was expected for a 10 year hiatus. Although, now i’m beginning to think that my hype for new Slayers episodes at the time made me overlook any possible flaws which would be like the ones I saw in Evolution-R. As for Evolution-R, what really irked me the most was the inconsistent writing. I don’t know if its because its been a while sense I saw the first 3 seasons of Slayers, but the writing in Evolution-R sucked. Characters seemed to act out of character sometimes, the original plot they thought of seemed awkwardly executed, there was times where things did not make sense at all, Naga from the Slayers movies showed up then just disappeared (and her soul had been transfered to a suit of armor *cough* Fullmetal Alchemist *cough*), and the ending was predictable and it made me want to take a hammer to someone’s head for their lack of creativity.The whole series started off okay, but it seemed like the more it continued the worse it got, and it did not help how some of the characters kept changing attitudes on a whim. And the ending to the whole mess...*face palm*

SPOILER FOR THE END OF EVOLUTION-R AHEAD (be warned, this ending pissed me off BIG time, and I’m still pissed about it right now...then again, this whole “season” bugged me, but the ending was the kicker)

***I mean seriously?!? Its obvious that if they would try to resurrect Rezo that that demon dude Shabranigdu (sp?) could come back to life. I realised that this would happen about little over half-way though the series. Then what irked me the most about the ending was the fact that Lina casted the Giga Slave spell AGAIN, so he could beat the guy AGAIN, just like in the first season. Like WTFASDFHGJKKGHFDDGHJGJHGJK!?!?!??! Are the writers really that UNCREATIVE!?!?! Christ!!!! Instead of all these stupid, poorly written episodes with this S**** of an ending, why couldn’t they give us something that was in the novels!! I mean, THERE ARE STILL 7 NOVELS THAT CAN BE ADAPTED INTO ANIME FORM FOR GOD SAKE!!! SO STOP GIVING US S*** LIKE THIS JC STAFF AND GET ON WITH IT!!! AND YOU BETTER DO THE SAME GOD-DAMM THING FOR ZERO NO TSUKAIMA WHILE YOU'RE AT IT! THAT SERIES HAS GONE DOWN THE TUBE TOO THANKS TO YOU!!!!***

Sorry, had to unleash my rage there...I’m still pretty peeved about that ending. As stated, I was expecting “bad” with these new episodes of Slayers, and that's what I got. I’ll give JC Staff another shot though, perhaps the whole point of Revolution/Evolution-R was to get people into Slayers again before they get back into the actual novel material, which I really hope that was the case here. If they don’t and they decide to give us more money-making garbage like Revolution/Evolution-R i’m going to mail them a bomb as my expression on how they have officially killed such a great classic anime series with their love for profit.....

Overal, 1-10 (10 being highest) Slayers Evolution-R at the moment deserves a 4 just for pissing me off.
And Slayers Revolution, because its the first half of this "season" and because i'm pissed off still, I will doc points from it. So instead of a 7, it deserves a 5 just for being part of the crap-fest

Monday, April 13, 2009

Manga Update 4-13-09: Fullmetal Alchemist and D.Gray-man

WARNING: The following post contains possible spoilers for the recent chapters of FMA and DGM, you have been warned.

Thoughts on Fullmetal Alchemist chapters 93-94: God damn! Arakawa, you never fail to amaze me with the way you know how to tell a story! Sadly, it definitely feels like the series is drawing to a close, so I better enjoy it while I can. Especially if its been announced that the manga for FMA will be ending around 100 chapters. There's a few things I would love to comment on, however, I’m just gonna focus on the highlight of these chapters: Roy VS Envy. So now Roy knows Envy was the one who killed Hughes, and boy oh boy, Roy is not holding back one bit. He was totally kicking Envy’s ass! Its about damn time Envy got a good beating, he deserved it after all he as done. But then just right before Roy could finish him off, Ed and Scar appear and stop him because they think his act of vengeance had gone too far. As great as it was seeing Roy beat the tar out of Envy, Roy was getting a bit carried away there with his moment of revenge. I’m curious to see what will happen next, sadly i’ll have to wait for a whole month to find out....along whith everything else thats happening....*sigh*

One final thing before I move on, mind if I quote this rather humorous line from one moment from chap 94? When the military folks in Central where fighting against the guys from Mt. Briggs...

Officer- “It's not like they have tank!” *tank appears* “They even brought a -ARGH!!” *bam!*

Just brilliant! XDDD

Thoughts on D.Gray-man chapters 179-184: Its great to see Katsura Hoshino out of the hospital and getting back to working on DGM again. I would have read these newer chapters sooner but I got distracted by Captain Tylor, ToraDora, One Piece and my hype over the new FMA anime. (Which is a good thing, because it allowed chapters to build up, and I like reading multiple chapters at once.) Now that I have, I shall comment. =D
To start on, I still can’t get used to this new art style that Katsura is using, I really miss the old look of the art. It just feels awkward and the panels feel oddly placed. It doesn’t help the fact that I haven’t read DGM sense Nov, so there was a few times where I found myself sitting there scratching my head trying to figure out what was happening. I would also complain about how the series seems to have taken a dive story-wise, but thankfully it looks like its starting to get back on track. I say this because after the Noah’s Ark arc and the appearance of the first level 4 Akuma, the writing just didn’t seem as good. Sure the arc where everyone at the Black Order turned into zombies was funny as hell, but after the epic-ness that happened before it, its just pale in comparison. Thankfully, as stated, as of chapters 183 and 184, it feels like the story is starting to pick up again. Its also about damn time we get more development on Allen being the 14th Noah (I was wondering when the story was going to get back to that) There was even one moment when Allen woke up and he actually looked like the 14th! This isn’t a good sign, it looks like Allen is turning into the Noah (just as I thought would happen many chapters ago). The plot thickens.... *dun dun DUN!* (lots of other stuff happened too, but like FMA, I only covered the main highlight of the chapters)

Man I would love to say more, but I decided to only make this just a quick, fly-by post (there's other stuff I want to do right now at this moment). I’ll try and comment more next time...

Oh and, coming soon: a post on my thoughts on the new FMA anime so far! ^^

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


New preview for the new Fullmetal Alchemist anime is out!!! 5 more days before it airs folks, ONLY 5 MORE FIGGIN DAYS!!!! *insert fangirl excitement here*

EDIT: More awsomeness, it looks like YUI will be doing the opening, this makes me happy. I love YUI! <3

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thoughts on: Irresponsible Captain Tylor

To sum up this whole review, I will say this: GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!

What? You're still here? You wish to know why I say this? Okay then, I will tell you....

My first encounter with this series was sometime late October. I went up to NAU (Northern Arizona University) in Flagstaff because my friend's anime club was having a Halloween party that night and she said I could come. Later that evening, I went and spent the night in the dorm room where my friend and her friend where staying at. We watched a few different anime series, and one series my friend's friend suggested we try watching a particular series. It was series that both my friend and I had never heard of before, it was Irresponsible Captain Tylor. Although it was only the first episode, I was very amused by it, and decided I would try watching the rest of the series when I got back home. When I got back home, I found a torrent for the whole series. Yet when the torrent finally finished, I did not watch it just yet. Mostly because for the next few months I didn't feel like watching anime. Plus, I didn't want to get deeply involved with watching a series either, and I had a hunch I would get hooked if I tried watching this series again. Then when my spring break was during its final days, I wanted to try watching a series that I could marathon, so I tried this series again. Turns out my hunch was right, I was indeed immediately hooked.

Based on a series of light novels by Hitoshi Yoshioka. In a distant, highly technological future, Tylor, the title character, is a mysterious young man without a real purpose in life, a state of mind that is very hard to determine, and a knack for accidentally getting out of near-death situations with a childishly cavalier attitude. He sometimes does not even seem to realize when he is in danger, which is actually an asset to him on many occasions. Tylor stumbles his way into the space navy, and soon gains command of a destroyer, to the astonishment of his lieutenant, Yamamoto. It turns out, much to Yamamoto's dismay, that this ship is considered the dumping grounds of the military, and contains all the sorts of characters that should probably not even be let near a paintball gun, let alone a spaceship (Yamamoto and Yuriko Star seem to be the only recruits aboard who are both serious and sane). However, thanks to Tylor's eccentric leadership, these misfits eventually become the collective saviors of humanity. (I stole this summery from Wikipedia, and I added a minor edit, hope you don't mind...)

I love Tylor, he's definitely the highlight of the whole series (and one of my new favorite characters). As the title says, this guy is totally irresponsible. He is definitely not your average captain, and its impossible to tell if the guy is an idiot or a genius. While much of the time he acts like he's not right in the head, every now and then he does something that makes you wonder if the guy is more intelligent than he lets on. Personally, I think the guy just happens to view the world from a different perspective from everybody else. A kind of perspective where others would think the guy is a total fool. If you would like to know a modern day anime equivalent to this guy, it would be Luffy from One Piece. They are both not your average captains of their ships, and their personalities are somewhat similar too. Although, I think Tylor's way of thinking a much bigger mystery than Luffy's. As for Tylor, whether he is a genius or not, his luck is absolutely incredible! Without really having to do anything at all, he miraculously escapes death numerous times, not to mention that he became a captain as a result of sheer dumb luck as well.

I was surprised to see the music for this series was done by Kawai Kenji. I liked the soundtrack he put together for the Fate/Stay Night anime and the soundtrack for the live-action Death Note movies wasn't half-bad either. As for the music he put together for Captain Tylor, I didn't find the soundtrack outstanding or anything, but I felt it complemented the series very well. Oddly, I found it a bit more memorable than the opening and ending themes used in the series. Perhaps its because I have only viewed the openings and endings only a few times and skipped the rest? What was an even bigger shocker was the director for this series was Koichi Mashimo. Which happens to be the same guy who bastardized CLAMP's epic, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Just how is it that this guy did such a fantastic job with Captain Tylor, yet totally screw over Tsubasa?!!? Just how is it possible?! *sigh* Nobody's perfect I guess. While i'm at it i'll point out that this guy also directed .hack//SIGN and many of its spin-offs, Noir, as well as a few others.

I find it a shame at how little-known this series is. I know it was made back it 1993, and as a result older series like these are bound to be overlooked in favor of newer ones. But its disappointing knowing how people rave on about series like Naruto, Bleach, Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, etc., while this series gets ignored. Even older series like Evangelion, Slayers, Ranma 1/2, Escaflowne and Magic Knight Rayearth get more attention than this series does. Heck, even Record of Lodoss War seams to get more attention, and many modern-day anime fans don't know that series either. It's quite sad indeed. I really hate to see this series become lost in the sands of time, it deserves to stand along side these other great series. Without a doubt, this is definitely one of the most underrated series I have never seen.

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest), Irresponsible Captain Tylor at the moment wins my heart with a 10. It will probably drop down to a 9 later, after when my hype for the series goes away, but for now it deserves a 10 because that's how much I enjoyed this series. Its a great Sci-fi series that is absolutely hilarious most of the time, and later the series gets a bit more serious. Overall, its a fantastic, well-crafted series that you can't help but love.

I also found out Rightstuf is going to be rereleasing this series remastered on a discount DVD set this June. Perhaps i'll try saving my pennies, and if I can find it within my price range ($35 or less) perhaps I will grab a copy (and I am tempted to try tracking down the original novels as well...)

One Piece - 300+ manga chapters so far and lovin’ it!

To be honest, at first, I was hesitant on checking out One Piece for the longest time. Knowing that the series had 300+ anime episodes and around 500+ manga chapters was quite intimidating. It didn’t help the fact that the pictures that I saw of it didn’t appeal to me, and lead me to misbelieve that it was just some dumb, goofy overrated series. Like the kind of series that just wouldn’t appeal to my tastes. Then within the past year I was pestered by my friend Natti for the longest time to check this series out (although it was no where near the level that she kept bugging me to check out D.Gray-man). She kept going on about how good it was and kept saying something like “Don’t let the artwork fool you!”, but even after what she said, I was still hesitant on checking it out. Few months later, I had read all the copies that my local library had to offer for InuYasha. While I was standing there trying to figure out what series I should tackle next, I gave in and checked out their copies of One Piece. I did this mostly so I could get my friend to stop bugging me about it, plus, when it comes to a series like this, I’m much more willing to sit down and read its manga counterpart than watch the anime. So what do I think of the series? Well, the fact that I have now completed over 300 chapters in a short time (roughly 3 months) obviously means something, and I’m still going! I read all 19 volumes my library had, and I’m now reading the scans. This has got to be one of the most enjoyable series I have ever read!

I’m having a lot more fun reading this series than I ever did watching/reading InuYasha. One of the reasons why I’m enjoying this is the shear amount of thought and creativity put into this series, its unbelievable! Just how does Eichiro Oda do it?! Here I have been admiring Kubo Title for a while now for the same similar thing. I was impressed at how he came up with an endless amount of characters, a unique look for each one, abilities, weapons, and even a back story for each character in both Bleach and Zombie Powder. Not to mention, I love the fight scenes and how they where executed from both series. Yet Echiro here, good lord, its like Kubo Title’s creativity x5! You never know what this guy is going to think of next. From the enemies our heroes will encounter, to the places they visit, the new friends they meet, even something like what kind of crazy stunt Luffy will try and pull next. What I also find interesting is that many of the islands/groups of people/pirates they meet all seam to have some kind of theme going on. Then there's also the characters, I really like the characters from One Piece (especially Luffy and the rest of his crew). Heck, I even find the bad guys amusing to watch. They all have their own unique character designs and personalities. So its all one fun unpredictable thrill ride. (Ah well, I still like Kubo Title’s style, and it appears we both have the same views when it comes to music. Perhaps I shall comment on this in a future post?)

Overall, I’m enjoying this series A LOT more than I thought I ever would. I even feel tempted to check out the anime, although I’m going to continue the manga first, seeing how I’m already on a roll with that. Maybe i'll comment again later once I reach the 600 chapter mark or start the anime....

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Thoughts on: Coraline

I have been quite disappointed in Hollywood in recent years. Apparently they believe that nobody is interested in traditionally animated films anymore and many are only producing poorly written CGI comedies that usually make fun of well-known material from other sources. So when I heard that Coraline was made by the same people who made Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride, and was going to be using traditional stop-motion animation, I knew I had to see it in theaters while I still can. So if I had to spend $5+ on a movie ticket just to show my love for traditional non-CGI animation, so be it. Plus, I kept hearing the movie was quite good, another reason why I wanted to see it. So when they where finally showing the movie at the local theater in town, I went and saw it on the final day it was playing (and my mom went and saw it with me).

It was quite nice seeing an animated film that wasn't a fully CGI one on the big screen again (last traditionally animated film I saw on the big screen was Atlantis: the Lost Empire by Disney, I think). The animation in Coraline is terrific and really well done! It was really great (creepy) eye-candy. Some parts of the film where done on the computer though, but they blended in so nicely with the animation it was quite difficult to tell the difference at times. I envy the folks who got to see this movie in 3D or at the IMAX screens, I bet it was really something to see. Then again, even though I went to a regular screening, it was still amazing visual-wise.

The story was decent too, much better than many of the animated films these days. It wasn't anything like Madagascar or the later Shrek movies where they where made just for laughs. There was a real plot in Coraline, and it wasn't bad either. I heard Coraline was based off of a British children's novel and It actually won an award a while back. I won't get into describing the plot, knowing how one can easily look that up on a site like Wikipedia. Lets just say it bears a slight similarity to Alice in Wonderland and rehashes the age-old quote "Be careful what you wish for". As well as, you should never trust someone who says that they are your real parents and have buttons for eyes.

Now even though the visuals where great, and the story was good, this is one animated film that I wouldn't recommend letting the really young 'lil kiddies see (under age 6). Its downright creepy at times and its bound to give them nightmares. It should be alright for older kids though, afteral, I grew up during an era where they made animated films like this regularly, and other people my age who saw these films back then turned out fine today.

If you love traditional animation like this as much as I do, please don't download it off the internet and actually view it the legal way by seeing this movie in theaters if you still can. If not, then at least rent the DVD or check it out when it comes to pay-per-view. By doing this it shows Hollywood that there is still interest in films like these. I thought this movie was worth the $5 bucks I spent.

One a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest), I give Coraline a good solid 8.

On a final note, I give you Chester the Bum (aka ThatGuyWithTheGlasses) and his review for Coraline....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Comical - an excellent alternative to reading comics on your computer

I said it before and I will say it again: I HATE reading manga on a computer. I like the feel of having the actual book in my hand rather than staring a a bright glowing screen. Although, as much as I hate reading manga on a computer, I still do it anyways. Usually I do it when there's a series I really want to read and can’t find it elsewhere, or to continue reading a series that I have started. When I first started reading manga on my computer, I did a very painstaking process of clicking each picture file open one by one. Then half a year ago when I got Adobe Photoshop CS2, Adobe Bridge came along with it. So I used Bridge for reading manga, and when I went and read something on my Windows laptop, I used Image Viewer. Then after doing a bit of searching around, hoping to find a better alternative, and I have found it. And the answer is a program called Comical....

I’m sure there's an even better program out there, but for Mac users like myself, our options are pretty slim to the kinds of programs we can use. So Comical is like a blessing for Mac users. Adobe Bridge is still a good program to use for reading manga, don’t get me wrong, but it has 2-3 major problems. The first being that to my knowledge, its a program that you have to pay for (although, I lucked out big time and got it free thanks to my cousin). Another big problem is that you can only view one page at a time, so when it comes to 2 page spreads, its quite annoying seeing it broke up as 2 separate images (that's if the person who made the file did not put the images together). Then my biggest gripe was you cannot zoom into a picture. So when i’m reading a series that has small font, I have to put my nose to the screen and squint to try and read it. It doesn’t help the fact that the text isn’t 100% clear either and is somewhat pixelated, making it even more difficult to read. Overall, the program is designed for viewing pictures, not for reading a bunch of comic-like files.

Comical is designed for the comic readers. Although it seams to be designed with left-to-right printed comic books in mind, but it works pretty well for Japanese manga too. The people who made the program also have an option where you can change the format so it could be either read from left-to-right or right-to-left. Its preset at left-to-right, so to read manga, just switch it. To read the files, you just have the file as a .rar, .zip, .cbr-type file, open it and read it that way. With Bridge I had to unzip the file before I could read it, so this makes things nice. What I like most about the program is that you can customize the settings to however you like. You can set it to one page view or 2 page (like a book), rotate pages, and adjust what level you wish to view the file at (have it zoomed in or not). When you have it set to 2 pages, when you click the double arrow, it moves ahead 2 picture files, like you have just turned the page to the next. Then there is even a full screen mode and you can view it that way too. Well, Bridge had a fullscreen view as well, which I kinda liked better, but Comical can do 2 pages at once. Then again, I don’t really use fullscreen mode anyways, I still thought I should point that fun detail out. I really like this program, its perhaps the closest thing I have found so far that resembles reading the actual book. I actually enjoy reading manga on my desktop Mac again. I liked this program so much, I even loaded it onto my Windows laptop, it totally beats Windows Picture Viewer, which I was using before on there. It’s a great lil program overall, highly recommended. (Although, I think this program still works best for comics that are read from left-to-right.) Oh, and the best part is that its free, and nothing can top the awesomeness of something that is free! ;)

Heres the link to the site if you want to check it out.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A 85% complete listing of all the cartoons i've ever seen...

A while back during my last obsession resurrection phase about 2 months ago, (which is an event that happens when every once and a while during my life, an old obsession of mine comes back), and the last phase rekindled my love for animation from outside Japan. During that time, I sat down and made a complete listing of every single cartoon and animated film I viewed throughout my entire life (check out my anime list if you want a complete listing of anime i’ve seen). Why did I do this? I was curious mostly, after having a list on for anime, I put together my own personal list just for cartoons (which I'm now reposting here just to help get this blog rollin). I knew I had seen alot of cartoons during my childhood years, I had a very dull childhood afteral. Being an only child, growing up in the middle of nowhere, having very few friends, and with my mom working during the day and my dad worked at night. He was usually asleep in his chair or watching his football or NASCAR. So basically all there was for me to do was either play by myself, play on the computer or watch TV all day. Sure it was lonely sometimes, but I enjoyed being in my own little world much of the time. So I watched every single cartoon that aired on TV back in the early 90’s from (mostly around 1993-1997-ish), didn’t matter watch station it came on, or if I loved it or hated it, I watched it anyways. So whatever show you can name that aired then, old or new, there's a 90% chance I've seen it. Like the old Hanna Barbara cartoons from the 60s-70s that aired on Cartoon Network back then, the classic Nicktoons, the old Disney Afternoon cartoons, even the shows that aired on saturday morning on CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX and WB. Oddly enough, even I still remember most of them (I seem to have such a keen memory for this sort of thing apparently). So I have always loved animation, its just that in recent years my interests have moved away from cartoons and onto anime. Now let the list began, I have the series categorized by how frequently I watched them back then....

TV series

Was an obsession at some point - Darkwing Duck, Bonkers, 101 Dalmatians the Series, Rocko’s Modern Life, The Angry Beavers, Catdog, Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, Road Rovers, various Loony Tunes and Tom and Jerry shorts, Care Bears, Underdog, Rainbow Brite, Garfield and Friends, Hong Kong Phooey, 2 Stupid Dogs

Frequently viewed (and liked) - Ducktales, Goof Troop, Quack Pack, Timon and Pumbaa, Marsupilami, House of Mouse/Mickey Mouse Works, The Schnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show, The Wuzzles, Hey Arnold, Kablam!, Wild Thornberries, My Life as a Teenage Robot, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, Pinky and the Brain, Tazmania, Freakazoid, Eek the cat, Stickin Around, Gumby, Peanuts TV series, Top Cat, Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls, SWAT Kats, Pound Puppies, My Little Pony, Bump in the Night, What a mess, Princess Gwenevere and the jewel riders, Muppet babies

Casually viewed - Talespin, Gummi Bears, Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, Little Mermaid TV series, Aladdin TV series, Pepper Ann, Recess, Rugrats, Oh yeah! Cartoons, Farily Odd Parents, Little Bear, Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, Maisy, Histeria!, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Bobby’s World, Space Goofs, Casper the TV series (new one), Yogi Bear, The Jetsons, Johnny Quest (both original and part of remakes), The Smurfs, Richie Rich, Snorks, The Flintstones, Flintstone Kids, Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel show, Birdman, Fantastic Four, Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Joise and the Pussy Cats, Hair Bear Bunch, Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McDraw, Scooby Doo, A pup named Scooby Doo, Space Ghost, Godzillia the series (70s one), The Addams Family (newer one), What-a-cartoon show, Johnny Bravo, Oh Canada, Rocky and Bulwinkle, Droopy, Woody Woodpecker show (the one that was on TV during early 90’s in the morn.), George of the Jungle (original version), Magic School Bus, Happily Ever After, Hello Kitty the series (the one that aired on Toon Disney), Adventures of Sonic the hedgehog, Mr. Bean the animated series, Dennis the Menace the series, Inspector Gadget, Captian Planet, Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, Beetlejuice the TV series, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Father of the Pride

Only saw a few episodes - Hercules TV series, The Emperor’s New School, Life with Louie, Wizard of Oz the series

Hated/didn’t care for, but watched it anyways when nothing else was on - Mighty Ducks, Gargoyles, The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, PB&J Otter, Doug, Ren and Stimpy, AHH! Real Monsters, Spongebob Squarepants, Adventures of Tin Tin, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Jabberjaw, Cow and Chicken

Animated Movies

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, 101 Dalmatians, 101 Dalmatians 2: Patch’s London Adventure, Fantasia, Fantasia 2000, The Aristocats, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Cinderella 3, Sleeping Beauty, Fox and the Hound, Robin Hood, Alice in Wonderland, Little Mermaid, Little Mermaid 2, Aladdin, Aladdin: Return of Jafar, Aladdin and the King of thieves, Lion King, Lion King 2, Lady and the Tramp, Lady and the Tramp 2, The Rescuers, The Rescuers: Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, The Three Caballeros, Peter Pan, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, The Sword in the Stone
Pochahantas, Pochahantas 2: Journey to a new world, The Jungle Book, Dumbo, Tarzan, Home on the Range, Brother Bear, Recess: the movie, Chicken Litte, Atlantis the lost emprie, Dinosaur, The Great Mouse Dectective, Ducktales: the Movie, Emperor’s New Groove, Oliver and Company, A Goofy Movie, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, The Incredibles, Meet the Robinsons, A Bug’s Life, Monster’s Inc, Finding Nemo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ice Age, Ice Age 2, Robots, Flushed Away, Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek 3, Madagascar, Happy Feet, Shark Tale, The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Joseph: King of Dreams, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Chicken Run, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Antz, Swan Princess, Secret of Nimth, Rock-a-doodle, Anastasia, Troll in Central Park, Furngully, Land Before Time 1-7, An American Tail, An American Tail 2, Pebble and the Penguin, Felix the Cat: the movie, Tom and Jerry the movie, Rugrats the Movie, Rugrats in Paris, Hey Arnold the Movie, Wild Thornberries the movie, Jimmy Neutron the Movie, Gay Purr-ee, Powerpuff Girls: the movie, Race for your life Carlie Brown, Balto, Garfield gets Real

....this list is only 85% complete too, this is all that I remember (with the help of Wikipedia of course). Theres still lots of movies I remember seeing, just can’t remember the name of them. Then again, i'm surprised I manage to remember this much in the first place! Also maybe one of these days someone will make a My Cartoon List site (like My Anime List)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Da blog begins...

After much thought I decided to start a blog. I wanted to do a commentary video series on a variety of animated media (or just simply anime and manga), but I didn't feel like having to put up with my piece of **** video camera. (Note to Mac users: NEVER buy Aiptek products!) It also doesn't help the fact that lately in recent months I can't get myself to sit down long enough to edit a video (it also doesn't help the fact that I have a very bad habit of jumping around to different projects, and usually never complete what I start). So for now I'll post my comments here whenever the mood strikes.

At the same time, I'm also working on a website . There you will find detailed comparisons of anime and its manga counterpart, as well as a bunch of other things. So check it out!