Thursday, 29 March 2012

MUSIC: Touhou

Lets talk about Touhou (or Toho if you prefer that spelling).


For starters, there are many MANY characters, all of which are female.

Bad Apple

Touhou is a Japanese game series created by ONE bloke.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touhou_Project
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Touhou_Project_characters

Touhou has many fans that have created songs and extended back story to the characters. In one of the games when your trying to defeat the character Cirno, there is a spot in easy mode where you will never be hit by her attacks. This led to her being called a baka, or idiot, by the fans. Zun, the creator of the Touhou games, created a manual in the next game which had a picture of the characters on a screen shot of the game. Each character was headed under a specific number. Cirno was headed under number 9, but instead of naming her, she was named 'baka' instead! ROFLOL. Hense why she is a ⑨

 

This next song is about Suwako. The tune is a remix of her level from the game.

This is Cirno's reply-

more videos:

For some reason there will never be an anime series. But this hasnt stopped the fans from trying-

And lastly, these videos should show you just how insane the fans are:

update with extra videos-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1sScNAhWZ8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAhE_jRfWbA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSpnw9FlbJA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdFpHdtafu8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOLrok6H6K0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTo6vm7WP60

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx76YPgZviE

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

REVIEW: Oh My Goddess!- Manga volume 23

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Keiichi and Megumi's Parents arc (part 1):

Megumi interrupts in on K1 working at Whirlwind, saying that Keima is coming. Keima turns out to be Megumi and Keiichi's father, who has a rather big issue of not being comfortable around any woman (apart from Megumi and his wife Takano). Its explained that in their household, Megumi and K1 refer to their parents by their 1st name.

Chihiro accidentally touches Keima, and he runs out the building, grabs his motor bike and drives off. Everyone else chases after him on their bikes, where its established just how fast he is. The only way to stop him is for K1 to shout "FATHER!", which makes Keima stop, get off his bike and punch K1 in the face, saying "don't call me FATHER!". lol.

In the next chapter, Keima has directions to go on ahead to the temple, where he 1st meets Segal, who challenges him thinking he is a trespasser. He does well defending himself against her, but her cry for help gets Banpei on the scene, who summons mini Banpei's to attack him.

Hiding for cover inside the house, Keima meets Skuld, Urd and Peorth, which is funny because he ends up sandwiched between all 3 girls with the mini Banpei's surrounding them.

Things calm down after the others arrive at the temple. Keima finds out that Belldandy and K1 are a couple, and so does Takano, who overhears and introduces herself not long afterwards.

Takano wants K1 to prove his love for Belldandy in a bike race against Keima, who K1 has never won against before. The race starts and it goes round the back mountain roads. This ends volume 23.

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I read this volume in one go. It was very easy to read and a nice relaxing story. I guess its about time the parents were introduced somehow, although the reason for having them turn up out the blue wasn't that convincing overall.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

REVIEW: Oh My Goddess!- Manga volume 22

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Everyone is having a chat in the temple regarding how to sort out Peorth. Its worth mentioning that Hild names the demon realms computer system as Nidhogg. Its also worth mentioning that she dumped The Almighty One, not the other way round. Wow. I knew their relationship was taboo to say the least, but somehow I thought he would be the one to enforce the rules and come round to ending their relationship, not the other way around.

K1 said something to stand up to Hild, so she 'kisses' a spell towards him. Belldandy 'kisses' a counter-curse spell before Hilds reaches K1. They collide in the air and ricochet around the room. They catch their spells (Belldandys is in the shape of a heart, Hilds is in the shape of a spade, like out of a pack of cards). Hild idly tosses hers away, only for it TO HIT GAN-CHAN!!!!!!! WHO TURNS HIM INTO A SPIDERY FROG!! ROFLOL XDDDD.

Hild shows off her powers outside by creating a magic circle program in seconds. Everyone sings a spell to lift Peorths curse, and she turns into an adult again.

The relationship between Urd and Hild seems an interesting one. Urd refuses to admit her love for her mother, saying that if she ever did, she would instantly become a demon. The others don't believe this to be true, but its very clear just how much she really does love her.

Hild finds Velsper in an alley, who was trying to keep away from her. She finds him and brings him back to the temple, where Belldandy finds out her pet cat can talk. she nearly questions why but doesn't. Hild wonders what to do with the cat, and lobs him to K1. K1 demands to know what curse she did to Velsper, but she says "just a teeny one, mostly harmless". She then disappears back through the clouds to the demon world.

Holding Velsper by the neck, K1 stares at the cat wondering what curse he's got. He then realizes that Velsper is in fact a she. The faces on Urd, Skuld and Peorth at this realization are priceless, but Belldandy then says that Velsper was always a girl. This is strange. It means that Hilds curse on Velsper was not a sex change, though Urd suggests that the curse might be handed down to Velspers kittens- "I can see the sign now, 'FREE KITTENS, FREE CURSES'". This ends the arc.

-----------------

Hild becomes very intrigued in the household during this arc, testing the goddesses wits and realizing just how special a human K1 really is. I don't consider her a bad person, even though she is queen of the demon realm. Both the goddesses and demons have the same job after all, ensuring a balance of good and evil in the universe(s?). Out of all the demons, no one should know this better than Hild. This is why I don't consider her a bad person.


I'm not too sure why Hild is talking about herself in third person. It doesn't sit right with me, unless she has split herself up into many many different copies (like in the next arc.)

-----------------

Chibi Mara and Chibi Hild arc (part 1?):

Because of her new found interest in the temple household, Hild decides to leave behind a copy of herself on Earth, which looks like a small child of around Skulds age. She has a small portion of her real body's power, but its still lv 1,000,000.

She decides to catch up and hang around Mara, who is happily playing arcade games in her abandoned game centre. Mara is not alone though, she has 3 new rat minions, who talk and act human, who are also sporting lab coats. Hild asks Mara about how their market share is doing, knowing full well she has been slacking around. Mara presents her new toy, the 'Goddess Catcher', a teapot that will trap anyone who kisses it. Hild 'fixes' it so that it appears to its victims as something cute enough to kiss.

They decide to chibi-fy themselves and leave the teapot outside the temple. Peorth, who is still hanging around, is the 1st victim. Then soon after its Skuld, Urd, Chihiro (who is also visiting), Velsper and K1. Interestingly, the kettle appears as Belldandy to both K1 and Velsper. This could indicate that Velsper is in love with Bell (even though he is now a female feline!).

Belldandy sees the kettle as a kettle, which makes sense because she loves tea culture. She takes it to the kitchen and washes it under a warm tap. This is the kettles weak spot and everyone is released.

Urd, Skuld and Peorth help to throw it outside into the sky, and whilst they bicker over who destroys it, Velsper fires a beam from her forehead which destroys the kettle/demon device, thing.

Chihiro wonders what the hell is going on, and has a worried look on her face when K1 says to her shes going to consider this all just a bad dream (with Skuld about to hit her her with her hammer, Urd holding a syringe, and Peorth emitting sleep inducing rose pollen.)

-----------------

I dont know what happened to him, but Senbei isn't around anymore. He seems to have been last seen towards the end of the Clone/demon Urd arc.

Dark Horse translated one of Maras words as PWNED! (and this is in 2005!) Which made me laugh.

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As a whole, this was a good volume. However I do think its time for another epic arc to happen. Velsper has become a really interesting character and it will be cool to see him/her in another storyline.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

REVIEW: Oh My Goddess!- Manga volume 21

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

A new arc starts here. Its about Peorth being stuck as a child.

Peorth arrives on Earth at the temple, wondering if the other goddesses can help her predicament of physically looking like a child (caused by events from the Velsper arc). She has her power back, and her angel is clearly in adult form, its just her own physical body that's the problem.

Belldandy asks why she is stuck as a child, but everyone cant tell her because Belldandy doesn't, and shouldn't know what went on during the Velsper arc.

Peorth explains how the only one who can cure her is the one who made her this way- Velsper himself.
Enter Velsper the cat (he hasn't had much of an appearance lately). The 3 goddesses do everything they can to help Peorth, but to no avail.

Peorth, Bell and K1 go to the beach to play. We learn how sad K1 is in not being able to be with Belldandy for HER whole life. Peorth says its fine, as he will live forever in Bell-chans heart. awww.

Unbelievable epicness of extreme proportions happen next, as Gan-chan makes his first appearance to the canon manga! OOOHHHHHH YYYEEEAAAHHHH!!!!!
Naturally he is experimented on, eating one of Urd's pills designed to be consumed by Peorth to make her older again. The rat grows spider like legs and scuttles off. I absolutely love Gan-chan and love how he was just idly in the room with the others like he belonged there! Brilliant!

Later on everyone in the room apart from Belldandy are sitting together at a loss of what to do, when out the blue Velsper the cat starts talking!
It turns out he cursed himself before he was reincarnated, so that he could remember himself before the change. whilst explaining that he still has his powers, he jumps on Gan-chan, who is still scuttling about the floor with spidery legs XD

Peorth demands him to change her back, but he says he cant. He says the only one who can change Peorth back is Hild, the CEO of the demon realm, the most powerful demon, and who turns out to be Urds mother. Urd phones her up and she comes down to earth almost immediately. Being the demon that she is, Hild will only change Peorth back if she can reclaim Urd to the demon realm, of which Urd refuses.

-----------------

Peorth talks in much heavier French than in earlier volumes, which is annoying. I didn't learn french so i have absolutely no idea what shes talking about. The French language was relaxed somewhat in her 1st appearance back in around volume 11 or 12, So I'm kinda expecting the french to be relaxed in later volumes again (if she turns up again that is).

This volume felt like a VERY quick read. Each volume will start to be fewer and fewer pages, which wont be good. I do however think that the way the panels flow is very much like a storyboard. so in affect it reads more like your actually watching it on TV. This is a good thing ^_^

Saturday, 17 March 2012

REVIEW: Oh My Goddess!- Manga volume 20

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

The Sora Hasegawa arc starts in volumes 19, and finishes here in volume 20.

Sora refuses to accept her new role as Director of the Motor club. Chihiro, the founding member of the club, gets involved (its a slow week at Whirlwind). Sora may successfully refuse her position as Director only if she wins a race against the current director, K1. Fate (or rather the universe, as Belldandy puts it) has it in store for her to take over, but she suffers from lack of self confidence again, hence her refusal. She reveals that every time throughout her life where she has become director of a club, the club quickly disbands not long afterwards. She loves the Motor Club and doesn't want to see it die. Belldandy practices on the go kart with Sora, and Sora quickly manages to overcome her problems. Eventually the race between Sora and K1 starts.

Otaki and Tamiya turn up, as check points. The race continues indoors because they are short cuts across campus. Sora drives through a Womans changing room. K1 doesn't want to follow. Urd and Skuld turns up. Urd kisses K1 on the lips, and forces him to swallow a potion (its a real proper kiss though), whilst Skuld works on the go kart. Under the control of the potion, k1 goes though the womans changing room and follows Sora outside. K1, under the influence of the drug, flies off the side of a hill and crashes in a pile of garbage. After getting up and carrying on, the kart starts to break apart, and K1 passes out.

Bell turns up, and its implied that she kisses him with a spell that neutralizes Urds potion. K1 (as well as the readers apparently? I've never seen this Belldandy 'kiss' mentioned by other fans?) hasn't got a clue about how Belldandy brought him back to normal. He quickly fixes his broken kart to a moving skateboard type motor, and goes off to catch up to Sora. he catches up, but she wins by a nose.

Having won the race, Sora decides to be the director after all, with the idea that she can delegate management tasks to other members of the club, ensuring it stays alive and active.

Otaki, Tamiya and Chihiro are found handing out flyers for the new range of go karts that are for sale. I would say these karts are Den-chan and Dai-chan's project at whatever garage they are now working for (maybe their own company?). The reason I say this is because in volume 19, Chihiro bought a pair after seeing an advert for it. So helping to sell the karts with Otaki and Tamiya suggests they are ones who made them and are selling them.

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This volume sadly is the last of the thick volumes (which starts the trend in volume 15). It also sadly marks the end of the beautiful artwork. From here Fujishima tries to tweak the character designs to make them look younger and as lolicon as he can make them.

I used to think of this series as one where you could drop in during the beginning of any arc without much life changing stuff ever having happened to them to make it matter so much. This isn't the case so much any more. I would say this is well inside the 2nd era of the series- One in which K1's completely left NIT (bar having to learn German as a second language in order to graduate). Otaki and Tamiya are GONE, save for the occasional cameo like in these chapters. K1 and Bell work at Whirlwind, Chihiros garage. I love it. Its fresh and opens up ideas such like this arc, where Sora has to accept her fate as the head of the Motor Club.
TBH the only ones who haven't changed are Urd and Skuld. So naturally their mini arc at the end of the volume was a throwback to the days of the 1st era of the series. This arc also finally explained why they dont just buy another TV if they are always getting in each others hair over control of it. Its because they like to fight over petty every day things.

Overall a nice volume, and a nice long arc.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Spice and Wolf- novel 1

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Before reading this book I was initially worried that I would be imagining the story with real life visuals, you know, like every other novel you've ever read in your life. Somehow it was very easy to imagine everything in anime. the use of images inside the book really help to put the visuals in for all major characters, which is a big help, but then their actions, and Horo's mannerisms here seemed to read as an anime too. it was very easy acclimatising to it.

The story was much the same as the 1st episodes of the anime, but with a few things changed round. Its important to realise that this novel series is the absolute original story. So its the anime's fault for twisting the minor points of the storyline.

Because it was a novel, which is usually a slower pace and more descriptive than a TV series arc, somehow the storyline (regarding the collection of depreciating silver coins) seemed to make more sense. Either that or I wasn't concentrating too well on the anime at the time.

The pictures in the book helped, but they are far from 100% canon. one picture towards the end of the book shows Horo in her full wolf form. In the picture, Lawrence is shown to be standing up, and Horos wheat pouch is shown to be around her wolf forms neck. this is wrong. Before changing form, Horo gave the wheat pouch to a stricken Lawrence who was lying on the ground in pain and pretty much on deaths door. Besides, there is no way the pouch cord would stretch around her wolf forms neck. Thats just being ridiculous.

One thing that did kinda weird me out slightly was Horos skirt. Her entire outfit- including the skirt, was originally bought by Lawrence as his formal best outfit. Im not being funny but even without the skirt (trousers are worn under the skirt) it looks feminine. Including it would make him appear to be in drag? (ish?). Maybe we readers are suppose to consider the skirt as something akin to a Scottish kilt? Yeah maybe, but im not buying it somehow. Anyhow it looks very nice on Horo so there :p

The budding romance in this series is slow to start out, but very very real somehow. Lawrence and Horo could most probably be my favourite anime couple.

Oh, one last thing, its totally fine to call her Horo or Holo. BUT, every time I read 'Holo' here in the book i'm actually reading 'hollow', which is wrong. By calling her 'Horo' it phonetically sounds closer to her Japanese name, which I guess is pronounced 'hogh-rogh'. Meh I guess to the non Japanese language enthusiast her name pronounced as 'hollow' would kinda sound more feminine. Whatever.

I rate this book (and the series so far) a whopping 10-10. RECOMMENDED!

GO BUY IT NOW.

DDDDOOOOOO ITTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!

P.S. Chronologically, the next story to read before diving into volume 2 is 'The Red of the Apple, the Blue of the Sky' from volume 7 (click here for the link).

Lawrence (the spice) and Horo (the wolf)

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Review: Guilty Crown episode 20

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Gai is being a dick and proposing to kill all humans on Christmas eve (Oh here we go, another Lost Christmas hu?). Shu is somehow in a room with other people and nobody is punching him senseless. The past is finally explained, and its bloody complicated-

Things all started off with Shu's father and his best friend. These two guys are researchers. They studied the Genomic Resonance Theory, which is something to do with natural selection and evolution.

Shu's father starts shagging some bird from the medical school and she falls pregnant with Mana, anyway they marry and move away.
Its now 5 years later and a meteorite falls on an island, found by Mana. It causes a genomic resonance reaction, which Mana got tied too somehow when she got pricked by it on her finger. The virus spreads across her body.
The two researchers find out the virus is only caused by 'genomic resonance', which is I think is caused by Mana herself. How? Its not explained.

Some boy called Yu turns up in a lab coat, who calls himself an envoy of Daath (da fuck!?) and tells the two researchers that they are screwed, along with the rest of the nation (and then the world?). He calls Mana the new 'Eve', and says that the fourth apocalypse will select those for the next evolution in life, but only once Mana is matured.
During this time, Mana chooses her unborn sibling to be her 'Adam'. Shu is born, and Manas/Shus mother dies in childbirth (from the virus).

The boy called Yu is cloned out of disgust from the best friend at the thought that both Mana and Shu share the same gene pool which will go on to repopulated the earth once everyone else is dead. (Who the fuck is this Yu bloke?!)

These clones are bred to withstand the virus. Anyway, Gai turns out to be one of them, and goes on to be the only successful living clone left, as all the other sucked and died from the virus.

Gai escapes the facility and jumps into the ocean, only to wash up on a beach where Mana and Shu are playing (THATS IT! I'm going home! wheres my coat and hat!?)

You know I said that originally there were two researchers, Shu's father and his best friend? Well the best friends little sister turns up and starts shagging Shu and Manas father, a widower who has just lost his wife for fuck sake!
She becomes Shu's and Mana's adopted mother.

Ok so just before Lost Christmas, the best friend is fed up of being his best friend and shoots Shus father dead. Not surprising really. This may be what triggers Mana into causing Lost Christmas, and going all apocalyptic on everyone. As she does this, she scatters parts of herself into the public. These parts were later called 'voids'. all voids needed to be collected to resurrect Mana (into Inori).

Plot hole alert! How the fuck is every void going to be collected before Manas Resurrection? Remember, Voldemort she can only rise again once all the horcruxes voids are collected.

As we know, when Lost Christmas happens, Shu forgets his memory of Mana trying to kill herself from the virus inside her. Gai, who also witnessed the event, went on to fight as a rebel against the government who held back secrets regarding the virus? I'm sorry something is wrong with this analogy, especially because back in the present day he ends up being all high and mighty when the virus takes over his mind (?) (much like it did with Mana?) (Am I along the right tracks here?). Talking of Mana, in the present day, somehow she ends up alive and tries to force her way into the body of Inori (a clone of Mana).
Why the fuck is Inori a clone of Mana again? Surly they would want to destroy the alien virus, not do everything in their power to ensure the total eradication of the human race?

OK this is bollocks. back in the present day, just before Shu goes off to save the planet once more, he tries to shake hands with one of his friends who only a few episodes back couldn't give a fuck about under his dictatorship.

"No fucking way do I want to shake the cold hand of a fucking dictator scum!
You don't give a shit about me! Fuck off and die already!!"


This is shit. No amount of convoluted back story will hide the gaping plot holes.

The only cool thing about this show is the opening and ending themes. That's it.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Oh My Goddess! It's 2012 at last!

I remember waiting patiently back in 2003 for OMG! to be re-released in the original right-left reading format. At the time it was the new industry standard and thought it best to wait. I had to wait a few years, but it was worth it. As well as reading the new re-released volumes for the first time, I started collecting volumes 21+ without reading them. I don't know how many dedicated fans there are out there that did the same, but somehow I overcame the temptation to read ahead. Back then I had worked out that the catch up would hit in 2012. It seemed like a long way off, but nevertheless here we are! As I sit here typing this, I see my collection now spans all 40 volumes! I also notice something special, and that's how the colored spines from volumes 18-20 start blending in with the white spines that start from volume 21! Its a nice touch! :D

Here we are at last- all 40 volumes of Oh My Goddess!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Viral Video: Pokémon the Abridged Series Episode 24

It might not be as cool as previous episodes, but at least Pokémon the Abridged Series episode 24 is finally out.

video

Find the previous episodes here:
http://boxofdanger.com/shows/pokemon-the-abridged-series/

I miss The Mighty Butterfree :(

Monday, 5 March 2012

Viral Video: Harry Potter and the Teenage Rebel

BWAHAHA I love the Pistol Shrimps! its a shame they dont have many subscriptions.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Viral Video: Rémi Gaillard- Foot Elevator

ooh how I love Remi's skits! This must be the 1st time though where the victim laughs the same as the audience! Classic!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Review: Guilty Crown episode 19

*SPOILERS AHEAD*



Shu gets his powers back from some red looking stone his mother was carrying around. Gai is all like "Im uber king now!", and now that Shu's got his powers back, he's like FUCK YEAH SEAKING! and goes off being all high and mighty cool innit.



Meh this series sucks. Shu's personality is like a yo yo. No consistency. Everyone is dropping like flies and the main baddie doesn't even give a shit about his death in this episode. This series is trying too hard to be too much, and its really not working.

FUCK YEAH SHUKING!

Music: Nice Guys by YTF

A friend introduced me to YTF videos last summer, and member Nigahiga is one of the most popular guys on You Tube. Their song 'Nice Guys' is brilliant, so here it is-



They may claim it stands for 'Yesterday Today Forever', but it really means 'You Tube Family' (or Friends, cant remember).

Thursday, 1 March 2012

THE HOBBIT: Production vblogs

Part 6 was released today, so heres a good opportunity to list all of them together!

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5


Part 6


I loved every second of all these videos, and I'm not even a major fan of the franchise. These video blogs bring an excellent insight to the production, logistics and sheer love that goes into film making, and then there is the breathtaking shots of beautiful New Zealand. Purely magical.