Saturday, November 11, 2006

Zero no Tsukaima & Suzumiya Haruhi 2nd Seasons in Fall '07

Skulking about the animesuki forums, I came across this pretty tasty little rumour that there will be second seasons of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Zero no Tsukaima coming at you in Fall 2007. Meaning you'll get to continue your closed-space mishaps with Haruhi and see what Louise does as a Void Wizard. ^^ Sounds pretty good to me.

Details are very scarce, but here's a little Japanese excerpt from a webpage that mentions the rumours:

" >ハルヒ第二期がどんどん遠ざかっていくなあ. . .

ハルヒ第二期は、再来年予定だったのが、スケジュール前倒しになって、来年秋で確定だそうですよ。ちなみに 、ゼロの使い魔第二期も来年秋スタートで調整中らしい。

追記. 大きく取り上げたわけではないのに、ハルヒ二期の噂に対する反応が大きすぎて驚く。ちなみに情報元は、前に 新劇場版エヴァの速報を寄せてくれたのと同じ方からのタレコミです。"

Um, roughly I think it says that the 2nd season of Haruhi is not going to be anytime soon, but it'll most likely be in the fall of next year. Zero no Tsukaima is getting it's 2nd season in fall too. Something like that. Anyway, my kanji sucks ass. =D
Click
here to translate it yourself. ^^

Zero no Tsukaima/HaruhiMore adventures from everyone's favourite human, and the pink-haired Louise. Who can wait?

So, I guess the question is whether we'll be getting a half-assed 13/14 episode run from both Haruhi and Zero no Tsukaima (ZnT) or something more. While I think the animation studios will want to milk every cent out of the franchise, I do have a slight feeling we'll be getting more than 14 episodes with Haruhi this time. Expect 13 again from ZnT...just cause it's ZnT. Heh.

They're still rumours though. And until the studios themselves open their mouths, I'll stick with being 'excited while apprehensive'. ^^

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Animania

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Economic Insanity of Haruhi Suzumiya

Fans of Haruhi and her motley crew of aliens and humans, self-proclaimed members of the S.O.S Dan, and Harutards found a reason to rejoice and to weep a week and a half ago, when Max Factory announced their quite amazingly sculpted Suzumiya Haruhi PVC figure at a quite unbelievable price. The catch? ONLY 5000 units (since increased to 10000) of the hyperactive schoolgirl would be released. O.o

Now, before we get to the figure itself, one wonders what is going through the great minds at Max Factory. What would drive them to LIMIT (for now, at least) a figurine from one of recent times' most successful and contagious anime franchises? It's pretty well-known that Haruhi-ism is well and truly present among anime-watchers and otakus in Japan, most of Asia, and in the U.S, not to mention other parts of Europe I haven't heard about. Face it, I have seeds in my torrents from Chile and Ukraine...EVERYONE watches anime.

So, what part of economics preaches low supply when quantity demanded is way in the clouds? You don't sell less when you can sell more. ESPECIALLY when you can sell more AND up the price in the process. A projected price of 3990 Yen? When Ryougi Shiki is 5000 Yen, I'm sure people would buy Haruhi at 6000. =P The figure seems simple enough, not many frills like the recently released Ignis of Jingai Makyo. So, I don't think they're worried about her armband warping and changing shape.

Maybe they're holding it back so they can increase the price later? When desperate Haruhi fans turn into rabid, snarling maniacs, you never know what they'll pay to satisfy themselves. But that would just be simple insanity and commercial suicide, so to speak. Sure, they MAY get to sell their 2nd batch at a generally higher price, but what of their reputation? People would just hate them for doing it. Nah, even a dumbass would know this isn't a good plan.

So, what drives this somewhat inexplicable move from Max Factory in limiting the seemingly limitless (at least in PVC figure terms) profits just waiting to be plucked and stuffed into their pockets? Some other issue behind the scenes? Or just plain mental retardation? (spoken like a true fan that has not yet secured his own pre-order of the figure, lolz)

Anyway, here's what's causing all the 'ooh's, 'aah's, 'orz's and 'meh's on the internet. Suzumiya-san in all her glory.


Suzumiya Haruhi 1/8 scale PVC
From: Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu

Suzumiya Haruhi 1/8 PVC
Suzumiya Haruhi 1/8 PVC Suzumiya Haruhi 1/8 PVC Suzumiya Haruhi 1/8 PVC Suzumiya Haruhi 1/8 PVC Suzumiya Haruhi 1/8 PVC Suzumiya Haruhi 1/8 PVC

She's 1/8 scale as is the norm. And she's wearing her trademark school uniform, musch better than a bunny dress, in my opinion. Yup, she's got the S.O.S Leader armband, and she seems to have interchangeable hands, one for posing and the other for holding that little yellow horn. What can I say, it's a dream come true for me. And even people who don't like Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu would be hard-pressed in finding much fault with the figure.

Release? February 2007 for the 1st batch (of 10000). And a tentative April for more? There had better be more...*readying ESPer powers to blast Max Factory out of the closed space they're lost in*. ^^

Manufacturer: Max Factory
Release Date: February 2007
Price:
3990 Yen

>>> Toyzlog

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Orchid Seed's Fantabulous Masane

Well, someone up there must have something against me using my computer. Just days after I get back my internet connection and my PC (running pretty well again, I should say), I get hit by a bucketload of malware/trojan crap. The one day I decided to turn off all my spyware protection/firewalls because my P2P was having some trouble...=S Needless to say, clearing it out was one heck of a job. Even after 2 days of scanning, cleaning and what have you, I still ended up with a crazy-acting dwwin.exe which alerted me of errors everytime I did something related to the internet. Curse it. Anyway, I managed to solve all that now, and I'm actually pretty relieved. After all, my 70+GB of anime in my CPU's harddisk couldn't be accessed for a few days due to the errors...and 70GB is alot of time and money. ^^

Then my day got better when I saw that there were finally (saw this pretty late, I guess, sue me) pictures of the Masane Amaha first seen at Wanfesu '06. And I must say IMHO that it's the best so far.

Masane Amaha 1/6 scale PVC
Witchblade
From:
Witchblade

GDH and Kotobukiya have fought valiantly, but it is the last man standing that counts. And Orchid Seed has definitely done what they can to make sure that THEY have the last laugh. I mean, look at the figure. Aside from the fact that she's no Ignis or Belldandy, this one had me at hello. Koto's version had shiny hair and I didn't particularly like the nail-like protrusion coming from the GDH version' err...nether regions.

Masane Amaha 1/6 PVC
Masane Amaha 1/6 PVC Masane Amaha 1/6 PVC Masane Amaha 1/6 PVC Masane Amaha 1/6 PVC Masane Amaha 1/6 PVC

Her Witchblade-transformed hair is wonderfully dynamic giving the figure a feeling well-suited to the anime. I guess her face is a little too 'pretty' considering her character. And I do admit I've never really liked Masane in the anime, drunk mom goes monster isn't exactly the best role-model in the world, lol. But come on...the 15cm blade itself (removable if you can't fit it in your display ^^) sells itself. A 40cm PVC figure is either a blessing or one hell of a curse. Find a place for it, or dig a hole in your wall, then use the Koto and GDH versions as paperweights, cause Masane's coming one more time, and the third time looks the charm. Slated for March 2007...freakin' long time to go.

Manufacturer: Orchid Seed (
Good Smile Company release)
Release Date: March 2007
Price:
6800 Yen

>>> Toyzlog

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Monday, October 30, 2006

'Passion' - Anime & Game Music Concert by Eminence

Eminence is a somewhat new-age, contemporary orchestra comprising of around 60 odd wonderfully talented musicians. And Eminence is bringing this performance of anime and game (mostly console games) music to the lucky otakus and game fanatics of Sydney (16th Dec 06), Melbourne (9th Dec 06) and Singapore.

PassionThe 'Passion' Promotional Poster. (Details etc.)

Excerpt taken from Eminence Online:

"Performing in Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore, ‘Passion’ is a concert series which combines talented musicians with powerful and evocative music from some of Japan’s most loved anime and video games. Performed by a small ensemble, consisting of violins, percussion, guitar and piano, ‘Passion’ will feature the unique and innovative arrangements of memorable themes from games such as Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Tsubasa Chronicle, Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII, Xenosaga, Haibane Renmei, Shadow of the Colossus, Super Mario Bros., .hack//Liminality and many more.

On top of the great selection of anime and games, we will also be performing selected classics from Walt Disney features.

For over 3 years, Eminence has listened to the greatly appreciated opinions of the community with ‘passion’, bringing together many of these ideas into a series which is specifically designed to cater for everyone. We believe that this concert will be a testament to the amazing talent of the musicians involved and will show Eminence’s ‘Passion’ for quality.

In order for the audience members to receive the maximum experience, Eminence has collaborated with and consulted the composers of the performed pieces themselves, and has received invaluable advice on the performance setlist.Hitoshi Sakimoto

We are quite fortunate to play music hand-chosen by the composers and freshly arranged with an impressionistic, interpretative touch. Through talks with composers, as well as extensive research through many of Japan's video game and anime scores, we hope to give each attendee an experience which they will not forget.

To add even more excitement and wonderment, well-known video game composer Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono series, Xenogears) will not only be attending as a guest of honour, but will also be playing the bouzouki on a select number of tracks. Also to be in attendence at the Sydney show, will be Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy Tactics).
Yasunori Mitsuda
All attendees will have the chance to meet these composers at a special meet and greet session free of charge!"

Sounds pretty cool, and it's a pity I probably won't be attending the concert. What I would give to meet Yasunori and Hitoshi-san in person. =( But for all those who can, then get ready for it and try to get your tickets as soon as possible. ^^

For more information, go here.


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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Anime Review: Zero no Tsukaima

Title: Zero's Familiar / Zero no Tsukaima / ゼロの使い魔
Anime Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Harem, Romance
Date of Airing: 2nd July 2006
Date Concluded: 24th September 2006
No. of Episodes: 13
No. of Episodes Watched: 13

"Pink haired Potter?"

Well, I must say that exams and a confounded PC do not make for a particularly generous setting for anime watching/downloading or blogging. The latter of which I very much regret...my blog's kinda grown on me, so it's an injustice that it has to lie dormant for so long. =( After around 3 weeks of getting the final 5 episodes of Zero no Tsukaima (henceforth ZnT), I've finally managed to finish the damn series. Pathetic? Hell yeah! ;)

So, here's my review on it. I've decided to change the format of the review and make it slightly more ordered and concise (I hope) for the purposes of:
i) Easier reading
ii) Less yapping from me = less typing ^^
So, read on!

Plot Synopsis:
Well, you could probably get this on ANN or AniDB, but it's required for a review, okay? =P So, we have Louise Francoise de la Valliere of Tristein Magic Academy (or Hogwarts if you so please), or better known as Louise the Zero, so named due to her lack of successes in casting any sort of magic spell. The students at the academy have a familiar summoning ceremony which she must attend. At the ritual, lo and behold, Louise manages to defy the odds and summon a familiar. Only her familiar turns out to be Hiraga Saito, normal teenage boy from Japan. He's stuck here, and she's stuck with him, so it begins.

Zero no TsukaimaLouise the Zero, and aptly named too.

Setting/Story:
At first glance, just like I mentioned some time ago in first impressions, the setting of the anime appears to be very much a rip-off of Harry Potter's famed Hogwarts. 2nd and 3rd glances don't do much to change my view, so yes, it is somewhat a Harry Potter rip-off, but not in a bad way. The world is always blindingly colourful (Louise's pink hair included) and makes for pleasant viewing throughout the 13 episode series. The story is pretty much the synopsis, except that Saito finds that he's pretty attractive to a few girls in school, making it a little harem-y. He's also trying to find a way back to Japan, which he does, in a way. There are a few twists, but I don't think the producers ever meant it to exercise your brain.
Score: 6/10

Characters:
Saito's your stereotypical, likeable Japanese boy, voiced by Hino Satoshi who also did Yuuji in Shakugan no Shana (SnS). And Louise is rather cute, discounting all her temper flares and her 'dog-treatment' of Saito. Hmm...actually that's rather cute too. Her seiyuu is Kugimiya Rie, who was Shana in SnS. See what I'm getting at? The problem with me was that I've seen SnS, so watching the pair of Saito and Louise in ZnT was like watching brighter, more colourful versions of Yuuji and Shana in SnS. You see, SnS is a pretty nice show, with a rather dark story etc. etc. (if you haven't watched it, go see for yourself), so their very similar portrayal of the characters in both shows (Shana & Louise get angry alot/Yuuji & Saito are innocently dumb alot) kinda detracted from the experience for me. That's not to say they did a bad job, on the contrary, in fact. Just try not to watch the 2 animes too closely together. The rest of the cast, from Henrietta to Kirche are all what you would expect from an anime of this sort, but they play their parts well enough. I paticularly liked watching Guiche squirm in the face of Montmorency or any slightly threatening situation, lol. Stale roles, with a rather entertaining execution keeps things interesting.
Score: 7/10

Zero no TsukaimaShana with pink hair...deja vu.

Zero no TsukaimaSaito and Guiche.

Animation:
Animation is very nice. Though if colours and happy thoughts aren't your cup of tea, then this may disappoint. Think Negima and not Trinity Blood/Blood+. Overall, I thought the animation pretty much suited the show perfectly.
Score: 7/10

Music:
As with most animes, the opening and ending songs are catchy tunes sung by women with dog-whistle octaves in their vocal range. Okay, I'm kidding. But, the songs are nothing to shout about and I really didn't like Kugimiya Rie's execution of the end song 'The Real Feeling'. Cringe-inducing. Music in the show is in the same department as the animation, happy and colourful.
Score: 5/10

Zero no TsukaimaMetal polish does wonders on rust.

Verdict:
Harem, love, and some heroics in Hogwarts Academy, Nagoya, Japan. Lol. This was like ordering a huge burger and not being able to finish it. The show started out really well to me, but around the 3/4 mark, the plot just became a bit tired, and you can really see what's going to happen next. But, it's still a burger I managed to munch down.

Zero no TsukaimaPrincess Henrietta, dressed to kill, literally.

Worth Your Time?
Well, if you're the "I download all anime, new or old!" kind of person, then why even read this? If you're not though, then yes, it's worth your time and bandwidth (or money if you want). However, I wouldn't recommend it to people who only watch Gundam, Naruto, Bleach and nothing else. ^^

Overall Score:

If You Liked This, You May Like:
Love Hina, Tonagura!, Inukami!, REC

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