sickVisionz (Level 24)

I'm realizing that I have NO CLUE about what's airing in Winter 2014 and no idea what to watch.
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I've been watching anime for a while but a few weeks ago I decided to get into collecting it straight from Japan.  It took a combination of 1) Ksatanagatari and Panty & Stocking ending and me feeling like I had to have them 2) the fact that over the past few years I've been catching up on purchasing most of the anime that I saw and said I'd own one day 3) and my realization that the type of shows I've been waiting to get licensed don't seem like they'll ever come out here given what shows do come out here and which ones are commercially successful.  After doing some research about mail forwarding services and making a spreadsheet the likes of which I haven't made since Finance 4000, I decided to take the plunge on my first order:

 I think I had as much fun making this as I did opening the first package that came
 I think I had as much fun making this as I did opening the first package that came

 
 

 School Days, vol 1 Limited Edition (DVD)
 School Days, vol 1 Limited Edition (DVD)


 Katanagatari, vol 4 (BD)
 Katanagatari, vol 4 (BD)


Katanagatari, vol 7 (BD)
Katanagatari, vol 7 (BD)



 Kurenai, vol 6 w/OVA (DVD)
 Kurenai, vol 6 w/OVA (DVD)
There's actually a book cover on the manga even though it's a paperback.  I've never seen that on a paperback before.

 Zettai Karen Children OVA (BD)
 Zettai Karen Children OVA (BD)
 

 All of em at once
 All of em at once

Most of my US releases didn't come with anything more than fliers for other shows so I was pretty impressed with all of the trinkets and extras they throw in the box.  The price is a bit much considering that none of these were less than $50 and none of them came with more than two episodes so I won't be purchasing any and every show that catches my interest, but I think I'll continue it for OVAs, my favorite episodes (I'm doing this for Katanagatari and P&S since I've got some hope that they'll be licensed) and shows that I'm tired of waiting for like Kaiba, Toshokan Sensou and Erin... although Erin being 51 episodes is probably going to be a wallet breaker.

 Overall collection, minus Shigofumi... those DVD box sized Katanagatari BDs stick out like a sore thumb. 
 Overall collection, minus Shigofumi... those DVD box sized Katanagatari BDs stick out like a sore thumb. 
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I watched this show on fansubs and really fell in love with the story, characters and visual style.  I had recently purchased a HDTV and this show was a real sight to behold.  When news of a US BD release hit, I was very excited about finally getting a chance to own it.  Last week I purchased it and it came in the mail yesterday and that's where things started going south for. 
 
 
 Casshern isn't afraid to throw thick lines at you
 Casshern isn't afraid to throw thick lines at you
The visual style of Casshern is pretty unique.  One thing that stands out immediately is the thickness of the outlines.  The image above is about as thing as any line gets in the series.  It's extremely noticeable and imo it's something intentionally done and I really loved what it does for the look of the show.  Now lets talk about Funimation's release.  

 ...?
 ...?
Look at those lines then look at the first picture and see if you can spot the difference.  For some reason, anything with a black edge has this weird black glow around it in Funi's release.  For another show where the lines are super thin, this may not be a noticeable issue, but for Casshern it effects every scene.  The jpeg compression on that image actually helps it some since everything seems kind of blurry so the glows fit in, but the actual BD is very sharp and crisp... except for the weirdo glowing edge issue. 
 
I don't know what happens or what they're doing but I've been extremely disappointed with every Funimation BD that I've purchased, with the lone exception being Evangelion... which might actually have issues that my fanboyness blinds me to.  Their Claymore BDs are mediocre upscales that only marginally improve on the image quality you get on a 480p stream from Hulu or Crunchyroll, FMA: Brotherhood doesn't look any better than the fansubs, and now Casshern actually looks worse than the fansubs.  I paid cold hard $$$ for this but at the end of the day I got a noticeably worse product than what fansubbers put out... and not worse because it lacks something stupid like bouncing letters during the OP/ED or profanity that was never actually there to begin with, but worse on a technical measure that's immediately apparent even if you only watch the BD for a few seconds. 
 
I don't know who's to blame, Funimation with bad image processing or JP companies not giving over quality masters, but I hope it eventually gets fixed and US BD releases look as good as their JP counterparts.
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For the past twelve days and continuing through the 13th, Right Stuf (TRSI) is having a pretty huge anime sale.  Today marks the 12th and final day of new deals and they're some great buys for anyone wanting to beef up their collection.  There's too many to list here (they added over seven deals each day) but a few standouts for me are: 

 
There are some pretty insane deals going on other titles and manga as well, which you can check out @ TRSI's 12 Days of Anime Sale.
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 Friday, Decemeber 10th marks the Japanese broadcast date for the final episode of Katanagatari.  It hardly feels like an entire year has passed, but all good things must come to an end.  It's been quite the adventure so far with plenty of twists and interesting characters along the way.  Up to this point, I can say that this is definitely one of my favorite anime and one that really hit everything out of the park.  Here's hoping for a great final episode an US blu-ray release!
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The only things I'm looking forward to are more Kurenai and Mitsudomoe.  There's a handful of others that I might view simply because of the studios involved, but those two are the only ones that grab me so far. 
 
Is it just me, or does it seem like somebody made a handful of Mad Lib templates and almost everything on this sheet can easily fit into the description of something else if you just changed a couple of verbs and proper nouns around?
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