Monday, 11 June 2012

It's almost summer already? When did that happen?

This blog was written by: Nii-san

Nee-chan and I made a bento the other day. It was glorious and definitely something we should do again. And take pictures of us making it. And then take pictures of us eating it. But nee-chan can do that, she has the camera and has the cooking talent. I can stir rice and cut vegetables in a reasonably amateurish manner.

But that's not why I'm here today. I thought I keep you abreast of what anime I've been watching this season and why I think they're great.

Moretsu Pirates
Marika Kato, Chiaki Kurihara and the crew of the pirate ship  Bentenmaru

Okay, so this series started back in the winter season and is a 26 episode series. Now, I won't lie and say I'm totally up to date. I'm slow-poking it with 'Bodacious Space Pirates' but hopefully I'll be up to date by the time the last episode airs.

This show is nothing but light hearted cute fun. One might look at the artwork and write it of as some sort of moeblob fan-service pile of drivel and to do that would be a HUGE mistake. Sure, I started watching the show for the legs and pleated skirts but after only a couple of episodes I found myself rooting for the main character, the pink haired Marika Kato.

Marika Kato, pirate captain, maid-cafe maid and high school girl
While the plot hook of hereditary captaincy might be a little flimsy, the show quickly does away with pretences and gets on with exploring the wonders of the setting. The characters are likeable and some of the ideas (such as pirates being entertainers for the super-rich on space cruises) while mildly silly are just so funny you don't care to nit-pick. 

I think it's worth pointing out the the voice actress for the supporting character Chiaki Kurihara, as seen in the first image with black hair and glasses (and zettai ryouiki) is none other than Hanazawa Kana who has voiced some of my favourite characters, from Kuroneko from OreImo, Kobato from Haganai to Kureha from Mayo Chiki. I tthink it's fair to say I could make an entire blog post just about her, she is that amazing!

Of note, the opening them is incredibly catchy

Accel World
We have the dorky male lead we can empathise with, and the sexy female lead we can oggle.

Sometimes I watch anime because I want crazy plot that only overworked Japanese guys could think of, sometimes I watch anime because I want to see cute girls doing cute things and sometimes I watch anime because I want to see action and lots of super power fighting. This is a case of (mostly) the latter.

The basic premise is that in a future setting where everybody has cybernetic brains there exists a program that accelerates your thoughts to the point that time seems to stop. One can then spend a long time analysing any given intense situation so as to not make any rash decisions. Useful no? The catch is (there's always a catch) that to do this you must spend points which can only be accumulated by fighting other users of the 'Brain Burst' program in a crazy avatar duel of special moves and flashy graphics.

That's pretty much it. Our hero strives to be the strongest Brain Burst user, along the way he must fight many opponents, most likely including the seven captains and other common shonen tropes. But he has his frineds to help him and the lovely Kuroyukihime who is the other reason to watch the show.

Kuroyukihime, with her amazing outfit!

This is another double season show, having as it does 24 episodes so hopefully we'll get some good plot twists and turns but more importantly, lots of strong opponents to fight. And defeat. Throw in some awkward teen romance comedy and you have a good bit of entertainment while you're eating your dinner.

Of note, the ending theme, -unfinished-, is a catchy euro-beat dance tune reminiscent of fripSide with most amusing Engrish lyrics.

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
The four main characters, or rather the two main characters, a bitch and  the annoying one.

Okay, so far I have been raving about the shows I'm watching because they are amazing. However, this one is slowing a little for me. So the basic premise of boy (Niiya) meets girl ghost (Yuuko) who can't remember how she died so he sets about to find out. With a couple of supporting characters in tow.
Now, I dont know if I've just been tired when watching this but it doesnt hold me the same way the above two anime do.

Either way, the main thing that keeps bringing me back towatch this show (other than the ethereal fan service) is the hilarious opening theme. More Engrish but this time with crazy metal blast beats everywhere and a chorus of 'Choir Jail' which makes no sense given the rest of the lyrics. I just....I don't even.....sigh.

Ibara, Chitanda, Oreki and Fukube

Some animation studios just love using their new programe to show off what fancy new techniques they can do. Hyouka is a prime example of this with KyoAni literally layering complex water ripple effects all over the opening sequence for no real reason other than to enlarge their ego's. Still, one can't complain, the animation is particularly lush.

All appearances aside, this show still manages to grab my attention. You would call it a mystery anime. All the small arcs are indeed mysteries to be solved but the nature of them is so everyday and ordinary it's actually quite refreshing. They are the sort of mysteries you or I might encounter in our everyday lives. It's those occasions where you think to yourself 'huh, wonder what the story behind that is?' We all have 'em and Hyouka makes that into an anime series. The dichotomy between the passive disinterested Oreki and the hyper curious Chitanda really pushes the show forward in a fairly comedic way.


In fact, its Chitanda Eru being curious that is the unstoppable force that compels the group to solve these otherwise mundane mysteries. This is another double season show that started this spring and will continue on through summer. It may not be super-fantastic but it's that easy pace that reminds me of why I enjoyed reading 'The Hardy Boys' detective novels as a child. And the eyes. The glowing eyes of the characters are mesmerising!

Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden
The power level of eyebrows in this show is definitely over 9000!

So, while there is a common thought that Naruto is a gateway anime of the worst kind, I've been watching the show for so long that I couldn't quit now even if I wanted to. I love it and recognise its faults but I still watch it. It's like original series of Star Trek. Something to watch while eating your dinner on Friday evening. And then this spin off came along. Rock Lee Super Deformed. It's chibi style, silly, doesn't take itself seriously and very very funny.

Each episode is a set of usually three, but can vary, short sketches often just based around some gag or other. Lee himself often instigates the trouble, Neji is the fall guy while TenTen plays an excellent straight guy. Might Guy just shows up and is generally weird to the professional level, something which Lee immediately wants to emulate. Many of the other characters show up in the series and it's always good to see your favourites appear. I for one can never get enough of Hinata.

There are no words to describe this scene

The comedy is very in style of the Japanese Manzai, and as such there is a lot of word play and irrelevant sketches just to throw up odd situations the characters can overreact to. Seeing Neji as a girl in several sketches is a mildly disturbing but not an altogether unpleasant experience.

Spring is nearly over

So, that's what I've been watching this season. There's always a backlog to chip away at as well and no doubt there will be some other shows from this season that will be talked about enough that I should probably check them out. I can't watch more than half a dozen series at any one time, otherwise I just lose what's going on in which show and that is just annoying

Let us know if you're watching anything that you like enough to recommend.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Oh God. We Suck!

This Blog was written by Chibi-chan:

Hey. It's been a while. A really, really looong while. I was going to blame it on my horrible team mates who are useless but I also know it's just as much my fault as theirs!!

Ok so... so far there are lots of things we haven't done that we said we would do. The reason for this is, we just never do it. I mean, we do it, we just forget to take pictures, videos and record it in any form. And to be honest, I'm not sure how much good it would do anyway.

Here's a note, Chris is no longer with us. I mean, he's still alive, but he's just not with us. I don't think he ever was... well, I hate to bitch about someone so I won't. He's just doing his own thing... haha.

Yesterday Ant and I had an interesting day. We woke up and decided we wanted to eat bacon sandwiches for breakfast... but there was a slight problem...

1) No bacon
2) No bread

How did we solve this??

1) We substituted bacon for beef that we had... we cut the beef into nice thin slices
2) We substituted the bread rice, egg, mint, onions and salt/pepper

Basically, instead of having bacon sandwiches, we made beef friend rice. It WAS nice...

And today we have both bacon and bread, so no worries!!!

Lots of love from Me! xxxx

Monday, 9 January 2012

Ramblings of a self-confessed otaku

This Blog was written by: Oni-chan

Okay, so I'm gonna write a little about what otaku based things have been occupying my time lately.

Since the new years I have wanted to give visual novels a try. I've seen plenty of anime where these things are played (Welcome to the NHK and OreImo spring to mind) and so wanted a go myself.

As of now, I've dabbled in 2 of these games: Monster Girl Quest and Katawa Shoujo.

Our companion, Alice, on the right and other supporting characters important enough to have a  voice actress

Monster girl quest is more of a striped down rpg (no pun intended), where there are numerous encounters with many monster girls along your (fairly linear) path. The unique point of this game being that all the enemy encounters are cute anthropomorphic girl versions of animals and fantastical creatures who have sexual-ised attacks. Should your HP ever drop to zero in a fight, the girl will usually rape you for a fairly long scene!

It should be mentioned that this game is only the first half really. Part 2 has just been released in Japan, but it may take some time for translation works to make it readable for the English speaking world.

The storyline is nothing special but it kept me entertained enouhg. Part of the fun of this game is just seeing what the next monster girl they have come up with looks like! For example, here is the bestiary entry for the snail girl!
The cute snail girl lifts the hem of her skirt to

Terrifying stuff! But do check it out. The translated works can be grabbed from the lovely people over at Fakku:

The second game I have been playing recently is Katawa Shoujo.

Lilly, Hanako, Rin, Emi, Misha and Shizune. 

This is an international fan project that has taken shape over 5 years. Inspired by the Japanese dating sim games, this has exactly the same feel. It's much less of a game than Monster Girl quest and much more of a story/novel. In it you read the text, enjoy the artwork and occasionally make simple choices that affect how the different girls view you. I've very nearly finished this game now (with only Lilly's route to do) and I have really enjoyed seeing the girls struggle through their lives with the help of your character, the arrhythmia stricken Hisao. The good endings make you feel warm inside, the bad endings make you feel like the scum of the earth!

Initially, some people might quickly jump to conclusions about this game, thinking it not very politically correct. However, the nature of the story lines means that it's invariably the girls emotional problems that define them, not their physical ones. Just like a regular dating sim girl.

I really recommend everyone pick up this game and at least have one playthrough. It shouldn't take more than 6 hours to complete one route, and while act 1 can be a bit confusing, one you 'have' a girl by the end of that, it becomes a lot simpler (Shizune's route from act 2 to act 4 only has 1 decision to make) and becomes a case of save at the choices. reload if you fail!

The game is available FREE to all who want it, just head to the developers website and download from one of the options!

Well, Im off to complete KS now. I hope you all have too by the time I get round to writing a second post!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

New news

This blog was written by: chibi-chan

I didn't want to write another blog before Ni-chan or oji did because I was worried it would only be me. However we haven't had the chance to meet up and both aren't very good at this stuff.

So firstly, we're very sorry it's been so long. Thank you to the whole two followers we have! We hope that this will increase next year...

Secondly: Merry Christmas and a happy New Years to everyone!
Did you get all the things you want?

I got the things I wanted - neopiko markers!!!

Some text books and paper and folders and blu-tak.

I'll post some pictures up sometime... >.<

Finally... please watch this space. I promise we shall do something good.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Happy (late) Thanks Giving!

This blog was written by: Chibi-chan

Hey everyone! Thanks giving was yesterday the other day and my other half explained to me what the holiday was all about. Apparently on this day the people of the states give thanks to everything good in their lives? Thankful for a harvest and other things too. There's a canadian thanks giving but i don't have any canadian friends (yet) so.... I think most people in the UK give thanks on Christmas, a sort of "all in one good bundle" of the year. Also apparently it's pretty big, and some people see it as a bigger family thing than Christmas. The thing about Christmas being a thankful time means you want to be with your family because you're thankful for them right? So that moves on and goes with this Thanks Giving thing yeah? I can  understand that.

Well I am thankful for my family, my friends, and most of the people of the world, because without you guys, I would be very lonely and sad! I'm super thankful to all the mangakas, comic artist/authors for writing stuff I can read. I'm thankful for Mills and Boons and charity shops that sell Mills and Boons cheaply for supplying me with trashy romance novels (they're one of my more guilty addictions). I also thank all the animals that have died to feed me meaty goodness. Finally thank you to my boyfriend who doesn't mind the fact I'm against PDA and like to pretend he doesn't exist a lot of the time. Ahaha, don't worry I lie, he's probably made up! (Just ask my friends...) But who needs love when you're an Otaku?! 

No. On a serious note. I'm going to do a review for Kimi wa Pet by Yayoi Ogawa. In english it's called "Tramps like us" and it's been translated into several languages (I know this because I wanted a copy in spanish...>.<)

Ok so the genre is Josei which means for older women, but don't be put off by the word "tramp" and the front covers of any of the volumes like I was when I was younger and more naive of the world. I guess it's probably a good thing I put off reading it for a while...

Sumire Iwaya the main character and our unconventional heroine is a smart and successful career woman who has just broken up with her boyfriend of 5 years because he cheated on her due to feeling inferior. Her co-workers although admire her keep a distance and she has quite a cold reputation. On her way home she stumbles into Takeshi Gouda who is sleeping a cardboard box. Long story short she takes him home, makes him her pet and calls him Momo after her childhood pet dog. So accommodation + food in exchange for unconditional love and loyalty? This doesn't sound like it's gonna work! Well Momo let's her vent out her stress and depression from work by being a pet (there's nothing sexual in their relationship, it's a sweeter story than that)
Well Sumire get's together with her college crush who has the three highs! He's the "perfect" boyfriend..! But she can't seem to send Momo away and the fun ensues as she tries desperately to make sure everything in her life works out...? 

I have laughed, cried and gotten pretty flustered over this manga. It's a rather original story concept, and has a feel-good style mostly. I love the art, and it's one of the biggest "Josei" factor. Sometimes I get bored of the overly screen-tone ways of shoujo, but Yayoi Ogawa's simplistic line suits the speed of the story. 

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who's a little more mature than a 10 year old girl, wants to read a good romance that isn't completely soppy and has a bit of realism (despite the whole human-pet thing) and basically thinks manga is just a bunch of girls with huge eyes. Although the girls do have rather large eyes. It's good...that's all that matters!

Next review will be "My girlfriend is an Otaku!" (I think that's what it's called) because it gives hope to all otakus that there is love out there. 

That or maybe I'll get a cardboard box and hope someone wants a pet in exchange for food? 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Thought Bubble Part 2 *less cosplayers more stuff*

This blog was written by: Chibi-Chan

Now that I have satisfied you with the cosplay pictures, I can get onto telling you about some of the other amazing stuffs we did.

Here's a quick list of amazing things stuffs we did.

1) Met some big name artists/authors
2) Met some independent artist/authors
3) Got some coolio sketches done from a mix of the both
4) Met some just awesome people....
5)Buy lunch at tesco
6) Buy stuff
7) Watch roller girls
8) Walk around enjoying the awesome
9) Go to after party
10) Dance to the A- team
11) Come back Sunday and repeat mostly up to no.8

But here's a picture of my own personal favourite purchase... a really cute (but called scary) Panda mask made by this cute girl at a cool stall. I wanted her other masks too much didn't have enough money, what with spending it on apparently nothing...? Yeah, I don't know how it happened but all my money flew away and I'm not quite sure where. Next year I am going to have to save up before going...gah! Sensible saving idea?! That'll never stick...

See isn't it cute? So Kawaii? No? Fine. Have more roller girls.

Thought Bubble Part 1 *mostly cosplay pictures*

This blog is written by: Chibi-chan

Ok so even though world domination started on Sunday, non of us have gotten round to posting anything of interest. This is because: 

1) Oji-san is probably still hungover
2) Oni-chan hasn't figured out blogging/logging in to stuff
3) I've been busy with coursework

However I think that all of this is unacceptable, and for all our wonderful followers (if there are any, and if not, for the ones who haven't realised it yet) I am doing it now. The first thing I will do will appease you with a picture of roller girls.

Can't hate us now can you? Look at them, all pretty and sexy and on wheels! Just remember, these girls are part of the roller derby and can probably beat you in a fight... Which I personally think is a major plus... Teehee!

Next I was going to tell you about my day, but I don't want to be boring. Instead here is a picture of me cosplaying Nana Osaki on the Saturday... only one person recognised it though... :(

Now here are some pictures of all the people who did much better cosplays than me....! There are some really amazing people at comic-conventions..!

See that?! You gots the Doctor, Harry Potter, that snake dude from Naruto that isn't Orochimaru, Harley Quinn, Emma Frost and the anti-hero trio. What more do you want?!

What?! You want spider girl? FINE. HAVE SPIDER GIRL.

What? You want Harley Quinn in her Arkham Asylum costume?! 

Are you happy now? You totally forgot I cosplayed Nana Osaki didn't you? You don't care I wore contacts for a straight 10 hours (risking my own life for YOUR entertainment) because you know why? Because you want Spidergirl and Harley Quinn to get it on....

See? We only have your best interests in mind..!