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I've recently graduated high school. I don't feel particularly any different because the following Monday, I went (and am currently still) in a summer chemistry course at a community college. However, I'm quite happy to not have six classes in one day. I'm looking forward to the college life quite frankly. High school had its moments but I'm awaiting better adventures in college.

Other than that, my life has been great. Nothing major has happened and I'm quite content in relaxing this summer. This general chemistry course is not difficult but I'm not surprised.

I don't really like any of my graduation solo pictures so you can just take a gander at my new hair cut with that tiny pic of me in graduation attire:

New hair cut
New hair cut

Cosplaying Choices

Since I have a bit more free time, I'm contemplating what cosplay I should work on next. There are a couple of ones I've thought up though I'm still not sure which one I'd want to choose. And here is my list...

Tsumugi from K-On!
Outfit: either the school uniform or the ED outfit
I was thinking Mio first but I've seen too many Mio cosplayers at cons/photos and I rarely see the other characters so I'm thinking Mugi. I also have fairly large eyebrows that I don't want to pluck so I thought she'd be perfect (well Mugi's eyebrows look cuter but that's beside the point). I would love to get (or make) a keytar hahaha. There is almost no love for the keytar. I've only watched episode 6 (from the point of posting this blog) so I may change my mind but so far Mugi is the one I wanna cosplay as.

Sakura from Tsubasa Chronicles
Outfit:  her original one or the chess one or... her bajillion other ones.
As much as I would rather cosplay as Fai/Fye/Fay (too many iterations of his name exists), I don't think I would be able to pull it off. And frankly, Sakura's outfits look a lot cuter. Sakura isn't my favorite character from the series but she's quite adorable in most of her outfits.

Yoko from Gurren Lagann
Outfit: the one with the thigh high boots and motor jacket thing. (I dub it... motojacket. :])
Hmm... well I already cosplayed as the original one so I might as well just buy thigh high boots and make a jacket and I'd be done... but I've tried to look for material for that jacket and it's difficult to find. And I have no idea how to add the designs on her jacket without making it look like poo.

Neliel from Bleach
Outfit: the white Espada one
She's quite adorable as a kid but I'd rather cosplay her adult form. And that green outfit of hers has no shoes and I like my cosplays to have shoes... I like green and I've wanted to buy a green wig in the longest time... which brings me to my next choice...

Rydia from Final Fantasy IV
Outfit: the latest DS release one
One of my favorite FF games is IV (the other being VI) and I've always considered Rydia as a choice to cosplay as. The only problem is she has the weirdest boots ever and I have no idea how I would do that. If I end up cosplaying as her, it'd be the recent DS outfit since the Amano one has funky hair...

Super duper minor choice edit that I totally forgot: I've also thought up of Grell or Madam Red from Kuroshitsuji but ehh. Those are just minor choices. They aren't high on my cosplay list so they don't get a mini entry here.

So I pose my question to you readers out there... which cosplay do you think I should work on (and why if possible)? I'm still undecided despite having this list so I thought I should just ask for others' opinions. =]
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wow.  So, let me first say I've been on AV for quite a while, checkin out news and all sorts of interesting tidbits.  Our hosts seem fun and rather for the cause, which is Otaku-ism, is it not?  So now I will introduce myself.  Hi, I'm nabe-sama, and I'm a japan-holic.  In further posts when I've more time and focus to do so, I will list more pertinent information.  Until then, it's nice to be here!
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Most definitely THE AVATAR! :P

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A sub-Type of water bending which Katara chickened out from this tech, IT alows you to also manipulate the human body via circulation puppetry.

Pretty Cool
Pretty Cool
If you have seen Speed Grapher then you know what that dude (Suitengu) is fully capable of, and with Blood-bending anything related to that is possible XD

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I think i'd rather leave the bending and be buddies with Sokka and be sarcastic all the time. xD

However i guess i would like to be "The Boulder!" :P
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[or, thoughts on "Queen's Blade" and related shows.]

I was going to write this upon finishing the summary (if you can call it that) of the last episode of Queen's Brade/Blade. But first, I was sorta kinda drunk. Second, the "review" button for the series does not appear to be functioning. And I will be damned if I have to write a review of each individual episode.

So how will I sum it up? It is a step above Ikkitousen (or "Battle Vixens" if you saw the manga on US bookstore shelves).

Let's start out with a quick recap of Ikkitousen for the sake of comparison: The story there was about big breasted girls (and a few dudes) who were the reincarnated aspects of legendary warriors/nations from the whole Romance of the Three Kingdoms tale, with a clothes-ripping rate that I thought couldn't be beat until I saw QB. I call this franchise "self-hating hentai." Why? Because on one hand it wanted to be a shonen action manga with some school stuff on the side, and on the other hand someone wanted a child-sized R3K story. But someone else wanted sexy, big-breasted girls so that they could sell it to horny teenagers and older otaku. Unfortunately, the fight between these forces was never quite resolved, and so anyone who saw the anime/manga ended up getting the worst of all sides: a series that gave liberal amounts of fighting and all the nudity it could get without showing actual nipples, crotch or any sexual acts. As a friend of mine wrote after dragging himself through the first season (without any alcohol, God help him): "Next time? Decide if you want grimdark, hentai, or romantic high school comedy with combat. Don't try all three. Because it just doesn't f**king work."

Going into Queen's Blade, we can say that there were two forces at work here: The side that wanted to sell toys/gamebooks/dolls/figures and wanted a show with a vague plot to tie them all together, and the side that didn't think it would sell unless the main characters were all sexy, big-breasted woman (with the exception of a couple characters for the lolicons out there). In this case, the latter side mostly won out (although there was reportedly an alternate "censored" version aired on some Japanese channels), and unlike Ikkitousen they didn't seem too confused about their goal: Show off the characters with as much cleavage and sex as possible so you can sell the toys, but not so much that it gets classified as "hentai" and shoved into a dark room somewhere. I think that's what made this show a little more watchable for me than Ikkitousen: it didn't try to hide the fact that it was all about the T&A, and that the paper-thin plot about a grand tournament was just an excuse to parade it on display.

But enough bitching about the meta stuff, how did the actual show pan out? Pretty much exactly how I expected. It was a long parade of fanservice, only interrupted by the occasional fight scene or dialogue sequence where Claudette got angry about something. The only character in my opinion that showed anything more than one-dimension in this show was the warrior-miko Tomoe, who actually tried her best not to fall in with the fanservice-y aspects of the show, though the writers dealt with that little discrepancy in the second half of the series. This thing would've been written off as a piece of crap if not for the "acid-shooting boobies" of the demonic bunnygirl, which was probably a first for a genre where you think you've seen everything that could be done to animated women. It's probably for that reason that any of us took note of the show. That act alone in the first episode probably set an unreasonably high bar of innovation in the hentai-ish aspects of the show that they couldn't match (except the tit-biting snake lady came pretty close), but they did manage to satisfy at least one fetish per episode.

So if you want my recommendation, go ahead and watch this show if you want some cheap hentai-thing to watch or if you're interested in a drinking game (take one shot every time someone's clothes get ripped, and two shots when a fetish gets invoked though knowing TV Tropes' version of Rule 36 you'll probably die of alcohol poisoning shortly after). Watch it if you really, really want to know the backstory of those characters in the books and figurines that you might have bought. But trust me, you're better off spending your time on a better series, like Seikon no Qwaser. At least in that series, they offer some hard science along with the fanservice/borderline-hentai content. You think acid-shooting boobies are bad? Wait until you see masochistic twin girls who secrete the element of Mercury.

But on related note, whatever happened to the GI Joe version of selling toys? Y'know, the kind where you have an incompetent team of superheroes versus an even dumber team of villains who use the very same vehicles and characters that kids could buy on shelves and man-children could laugh at before smuggling them out of the Toys R Us? I'm assuming they still have those kinds of shows in Japan, right? Otherwise, Power Rangers would've ended and there would only be 150 Pokemon. Perhaps that's the same reason that Power Rangers keeps getting syndicated, Queen's Blade is going to run another season, and Pokemon/Digimon/Beyblade/[Generic Toy Monster Show] will never f**king end.
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Here I am again, writing about anime characters appearing on "best X" lists. I generally dislike the general concept of list stories, especially if individual items are broken up into their own "slideshow" pages (such as UGO and Forbes) but I feel like I should mention whenever anime/manga characters make appearances in such features.

Matt Atchitchy of Rotten Tomatoes ran a Total Recall column about the 50 best movie robots in commemoration with the release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in theaters and Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell) placed 12th, ahead of Maria from Metropolis but behind Tom Servo & Crow T. Robot from Mystery Science Theater 3000. His blurb about her:
In our opinion, Trinity from The Matrix owes more than a little bit to Major Kusanagi. They both wear tight clothes and they both are willing to jump through the windows of office towers.
The other list I want to mention is Penthouse's "Vixens of Fiction" feature. Though this one doesn't seem to be intentionally ranked like RT's was, Motoko appears at #27 while Faye Valentine (Cowboy Bebop) shows up a little later at #29.
From her oversize breasts to her long legs, this deeply intelligent beauty in Ghost in the Shell has the best cybernetic body we’ve seen. She’s also very well-armed. 


Hot pants have gone out of style, sadly, but this curvy bounty hunter in Cowboy Bebop sports bright yellow ones most of the time, and oozes sex—and sarcasm. That ain’t no crime.
Both are among my favorite female characters from anime/manga but even if they weren't, I don't think I'd mind their appearances in either list. Other comments about the Penthouse list are I had forgotten that Maleficent was the villain in Disney's version of Sleeping Beauty and I'd never heard of Brenda Starr before since the comic strip doesn't run in the local papers.

P.S. Since the last four lists I've linked to have been about women, I should try to find at least one about dudes, "hunks", or male characters in general for a sense of gender equality or some similar ideal!
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  Need I say more?

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This blog is taking break for the next few weeks. The events of the past month is too much even for the Anon of the Internet to bare. Its time for the Anon to go back to the things that makes him human. The world has seen the dirt and utter detritus of a nation whose great statements have fallen by the way side, by the evil governments, the media that has already capliculated these same governments, and has taken away those that refuse to let the world push them down to roles and styles that were thrown away by these same elite.

These are the times that test men's souls. Let God handle what is God, and let man not try to play God. Man's perfidy beautifully told in the great works of Tesuka. We as a civilization is destined to die a slow painful death with no respite, no remorse, nor joy. Man has taken away his own divinity for 30 pieces of Lucre. We will breed ourselves to nothingness and nothingness we shall return. We are Political Prisoners, waiting to be sent to jail for the wrong comic book and are you shocked when other countries want to protect their culture? Racism never had a better advocate. 

The world is enough without us. The only Prayer i have left from my damned soul is this.

To these four who have passed from the sight of human misery,

May God Protect Them and Keep Them.
May God Above Give them the grace they have always desired
May the Lord, the great and terrible King, have the light shine upon these souls,
and finally place them in His Forever-lasting, Perfect and Neverending Peace.

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Well at 9 pm UK time I will be off to see blood, So what do you think this film is going to be like? I will be writing a review when I get back and Im hoping that it will be a good one! Lets put Dragon Ball behind us and hope that the this is going to be good.
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I'm getting better at this video blogging thing. Still pretty fun for me.


Extra thoughts:

-Baku's boyfriend stats have increased 20X; I came home yesterday, and there was Romeo X Juliet (first half of season) on DVD
 sitting on the table. :)
-Other Anime watched worth mentioning with brief comments:
   -2nd episode of Tsubasa Shunraiki - much better than the first. More action, questions answered, but then more are posed and you're still left thinking "WTF"
   -XXXholic (s. 1 & 2, plus OVAs)- Made of awesome sauce! Really cool with tie in to superstition and folklore. Still trying to make sense of half of the stuff Yuko says.
  For some reason, this show doesn't bother my critical eye that much except for when I'm trying to connect it with Tsubasa. I don't find myself overanalyzing it. :)
  -Finished Kuroshitsuji. Such a badass show! Think Addams Family crossed with Scooby Doo (although the "dog" comes in late, doesn't talk, and isn't in every episode).   
  Starts out seeming like a dark comedy, but turns into a big, complicated mystery. Add in angels and demons, the apocalypse of sorts, and 19th c. Victorian clothing & social
  moirees and BAM! you've got yourself a fantastic gothic horror that is true credit to the genre!

Mmmm...going to get back to some anime viewing and wiki business. No work tomorrow!

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(Crossposted from NikoScream)

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the latest in Michael Bay’s foray into the multi-million-dollar toy commercials that are the Transformers movies. Returning are stars Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky and Megan Fox as Mikaela Banes, as well as Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving reprising their voices as Optimus Prime and Megatron respectively. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is essentially better than 2007’s Transformers. Bay manages to turn everything up a notch, which unfortunately includes some of the weaknesses of the first movie.

This movie takes place two years after the first one. The Autobots have entered into a deal of asylum with the U.S. government and work with it to take down rogue Decepticons. However, the higher ups in the government are a bit weary and suspect of the Autobots, believing them to be the reason for Decepticon attacks. Meanwhile, Sam is off to college and hopefully a normal life. That doesn’t work too well with the information of the All Spark downloaded into his head.

Cue Decepticons hunting him down and Autobots fighting to protect him. Throw in scantily-clad hot girls, slow motion and explosions, stir with a Bad Boys 2 poster and you have a Michael Bay film whether you like it or not.

Probably the best part of the film is the greater concentration on the Transformers. Decepticons other than Megatron actually get real dialog this time. Starscream, who got screwed in the last movie with no real lines or character, is as cowardly yet power hungry as usual, not to mention he actually talks. Soundwave (with his original voice from Frank Welker) forgoes his traditional boom box form for a satellite, yet it actually works for him. While he doesn’t fight himself, Soundwave does launch out Rampage, who does keep true to his jaguar-like form.

As for the Autobots, they’re here in full force as well. Optimus Prime is as awesome as he should be. Probably the top three fights in the movie are his, and he’s good in them. It’s no wonder why he’s the leader of the Autobots when he takes on Megatron, Starscream and other Decepticons all on his own. Not to mention Peter Cullen continues to deliver that iconic and awe-inspiring voice of his.

While Ironhide and Ratchet don’t get as much screen time as in the first movie, we do get introduced to plenty of new Autobots who followed Optimus’ message at the end of movie one. Sideswipe is a new Chevy Corvette Stingray concept, which works for a sleek design in both vehicle and robot modes. Then there’s the Arcee team, a trio of female motorcycle Autobots lead by Arcee. There’s also Jetfire, portrayed as an elderly Transformer with an SR-71 Blackbird jet mode. To ease some worries about Jetfire, while he has a cane that actually is integrated into his transformation, he does use it as a weapon. That’s probably what its real purpose is, while Jetfire uses it as a cane due to malfunctioning legs.

The film also does well to include more aspects of Transformers mythos. Energon exists, as does a certain Matrix of Leadership, oddly lacking finger grips though. We also have the existence of other Primes in the past, showing that the Prime name is a name of leadership.

The plot is fairly cohesive, more so than the first one. There are no real out-of-place subplots, and everything ties into the main story. Still, a good deal of the scenes could have been shorter, as the movie really does not need its two and a half hours of running time.

Going in that direction though, one of the things that should have been cut down is the comic relief. The comedy gets old quick in my opinion. While Sam’s parents (Kevin Dunn and Julie White) comedic character development and Agent Simmons (John Turturro) wardrobe malfunction is bearable, there are a few more relief characters than necessary.

First we have Leo (Ramón Rodríguez), Sam’s know-it-all college roommate with a penchant for whining and complaining and who just happens to run a conspiracy website featuring robotic aliens (What a coincidence on Sam’s part). He doesn’t feel like he adds anything to the film. However, he one thing well, and that’s making Sam far more likeable in contrast.

Then we have Skids and Mudflap, two annoying Autobot twins. As established in the first movie that the Autobots learn about Earth from the internet, these two must have went to the most ghetto website imaginable. They talk with street-thug accents. Neither is particularly bright. Skids even has gold-and-silver-plated buckteeth. Anyone who found Jazz offensive in the first movie will have a field day with these two. I just found them annoying and hardly redeeming. Heck, even Wheelie is more likeable.

Similar to the first film and despite more focus on Transformers, this film still has too much concentration on the humans. The similarities to a teen romance drama are still strong, especially at Sam’s college with rowdy frat boys and compromising situations with girls who are not Sam’s girlfriend Mikaela. While I wish there is less, it’s still fairly concentrated in just the first half and is left alone as the plot progresses.

The final battle does concentrate more on the human soldiers fighting. However, given that the Transformers get the focus in the several fights spread throughout the movie, and that the soldiers are supposed to be working with the Autobots as equals, it does only seem fair and forgivable.

One final problem the film has is keeping track of Transformers. There are a lot of Decepticons, most of which aren’t distinguishable. It’s sad having to rely on the toys to tell us who’s who. Also, we have the Constructicons, and they do form Devastator, yet there are Constructicons fighting while Devastator fights elsewhere.

Speaking of Devastator, yes he has testicles, and yes that scene is ridiculous and unnecessary.

Overall, it’s a decent movie. The best way to recommend this is if you liked the 2007 Transformers, you’ll love this. It is a better movie. However, if you hated the 2007 film, be it from too much people, too stupid comedy, distaste of designs or just too much Bay-ness, you won’t hate this as much but you still probably won’t like it. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and so did some of my more old-school Transformer fan friends, so you might too.

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And maybe home video too

I have to agreee- no one's figured out how to make money off the internet, and it's something that can just cannibalizes sales and profits from dvd releases.
Here's hopeing Chris' doom forseeing proves wrong, and anime companies keep releasing dvd's here.....
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