Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas presents

Just a brief entry to list my X'mas presents: the Studio Ghibli movies Tonari No Totoro and Gake No Ue No Ponyo.

I'm a big fan of Ghibli movies, but for some reason their dvd releases in Spain have been troublesome (for example Totoro was released this month in dvd format for the first time).

When I was in Japan in 2007, I visited both their studio, located in Koganei, and their famous museum in Mitaka:

Ghibli Studio

Ghibli Museum

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fireball dvd + Drossel Gizmo ver. figma

Yesterday I received the Winter Package Limited Edition Fireball Dvd.

Actually, I first ordered it in the batch released in August, but since I made the pre-order when was still in Japan and for some odd reason was unable to change the shipping address to Spain, at the end the order was cancelled and I did the preorder of this version, that included another Drossel figma as an extra.

The contents: the outside box, the plain looking Figma box, the dvd and two leaflets.

My main reason of the purchase was the dvd and not the figure, that I find not so pretty and kinda out of character...

The sightseeing unit "Gizmo" is the continuous track propelled skiing equipment. Except the caterpillar part, the rest can't be removed.

Back side. The randoseru styled backpack is called "Zeeottaa" (ゼーオッター) that it's supposed to be German, but I'm unable to see the intended romanized spelling...

The head part is called head unit "Caspar", and both that and the googles can't be removed. The face cover is attached to the backpack.

All the accesories together. The yellow thing is a set of stickers intended to put in the red leg, but I'm not using it. Along the ski sticks, a pair of short ones are included. Both sets of sticks are called optic units "Iwerks".

Comparison of the size with the regular Figma Drossel.

The dvd itself is (as expected) very, very short. The 13 episodes are in total 23 minutes long, and the extras included are the 3 minutes long Making of Fireball, the '08 Tokyo Anime Fair trailer, a 20 seconds Tv comercial and a Disney Channel eyecatch featuring a magical girl styled Drossel.

Drossel making a magical girl transformation choreography. I made a gif from the scene first part here.

Unexpectedly, the Making of Fireball is made by the characters, so is not really a making of per se but an extra tongue in check episode.

Drossel explaining the hardships during the filming.

Screen test

Ah... and Merry Xmas to my readers!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Valkyria Chronicles

In PlayStation 3 there was only two games that I really wanted to play. One of them was Metal Gear Solid 4 and the other was Valkyria Chronicles.

My brother owns a PS3, but I didn't have a chance to play with it extensively because before my leave to Japan he was living on his own and had the PS3 with him, but now that he left the console in my house I have the chance to play with it.

He already had Metal Gear Solid 4, so at the beginning of November I purchased Valkyria Chronicles via eBay since is now discontinued.

Valkyria Chronicles was in my wishlist when was first released in Japan, because the character designer is Honjou Raita, most known only as RAITA from circle Zettai Shoujo.

RAITA's style is pretty characteristic. His most known trait is to draw extremely slender lolis (borderline anorexic), but he also draws stylized grown-up women with large breasts. He also likes to draw tanks, girls in uniform and hooded women.

Random image from his web.

Pretty much all of those traits were carried over to the game, and the watercolor style of the graphic engine fits perfectly with RAITA's style.

Selvaria and Alicia drawn by RAITA.

Is hard to expalin the gameplay without play it. Is turn-based, but you move the characters in real time and you can move them more than once during your turn.
You can control about 50 characters, and each of them is unique, each with his/her own special traits, likes and dislikes. Friends are foes are very likable characters.

Right now I'm almost over with the game (I'm missing to A rank some of the Hard skirmishes) and I can clearly say that is my favorite PS3 game by far, even surpassing MGS4. Is unfortunate that the overall sales of the game have been rather weak...

An anime was aired in spring (I didn't watched it so I can't give an opinion) and a sequel made for the PSP will be released in Japan next month, causing rage among the fans because the PSP is a step down compared with the PS3... It will be released in Europe, so is a compulsory purchase for me.

Omake: Miku with Alicia's outfit in Hatsune Miku -Project DIVA.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Kara no Kyoukai Satsujin Kousatsu (Go)

Just received the 7th and last movie of Kara No Kyoukai, Satsujin Kousatsu (Go).

After the somewhat toned down adaptation of Boukyaku Rokuon, is nice to see the end of the movies faithful to the original novel.

The beastly movements of Lio are remarkable.

Shirazumi Lio looking kinda Arcueid.

And I liked how displayed the relation between Mikiya and Shiki.

No, is not a kiss scene.

The last manners commercial:

Argh... from those I'm only missing the limited edition Nendoroid Saber...

There's only one problem that I found in the whole movie: a serious mistake in one scene (easily missable if you not pay attention):

There's something in this scene that not must be there...

Overall the movies were very enjoyable, and the only TYPE-MOON anime that is faithful to the original material.

-Now, what do you wish?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Saber & Shirou Figma by Max Factory

Saber casual clothes and Emiya Shirou casual clothes are the last Fate/stay night entries in the Figma line.

Shirou includes a normal and grinning faces, Kanshou and Bakuya swords, Archer's arm and Berserker's blade.

Posing with Kanshou and Bakuya.

And with Archer's arm. Since the arm is a bit stiff you can't really pose it as the Réalta Nua CG...

Saber includes a smiling face, an upset face and a meditating face, a bamboo sword, chopsticks and rice bowl and a sitting on her knees lower body part.

Upset face + bamboo sword.

Meditating face + extra lower body part

Itadakimasu Saber.

Tohsaka Rin Arcade Prize by Taito

Tohsaka Rin arcade prize by Taito was released at the end of November.

Like the previous Saber figure, the quality is low and the sculpt is on the ugly side...

... I don't have much to say. Compared with this, Sega arcade prizes seems top-notch quality.

Weiß Schwarz Fate/hollow ataraxia

At Amiami I purchased a box of Weiß Schwarz cards, a Fate/hollow ataraxia extra booster pack:

In the extra packs, a box contains 6 packs, and each pack contains 6 cards, two of them "parallel" (holographic).
Until now, normally the parallel cards had the same pictures of the regular ones, but this time almost all of them have different picture and/or text in the parallel version, so now you must get the 45 normal ones AND the 45 parallel ones to get a complete set.

I also purchased a Fate/stay night Trial Deck, since it was discontinued and just now was reprinted.

Out of the 50 card deck, there are 18 different types of cards and 2 specials not re-released in the booster pack.

Now I must buy a binder or something to display them...

Outside Japan (and perhaps Singapore) Weiß Schwarz is not very popular yet, so is pretty hard to buy individual cards online. I managed to complete the CANAAN Extra Pack set of cards via eBay, but there's only two sellers that sells individual cards, and mostly from Nanoha and Lucky Star...

If someone knows a shop that sells cards individually and send them internationally, or someone knows a buying-trading WS forum, please drop me a comment!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ryougi Shiki Nendoroid by Good Smile Company

Along with the Mandarake package, I also received another one from Hobby Link Japan with Ryougi Shiki Nendoroid by Good Smile Company.

Shiki is not really a "cute" type of character, so the nendoroid treatment is not so fitting... I don't like the Nendoroid line very much, and I strictly have TYPE-MOON characters only.

An angry eyed :3 face and cat ears are included, but feels a bit out of character even if it's based in the manga included in Mirai Fukuin.

In "feline" episode of Mirai Fukuin, Shiki temporarily takes care of a cat, and Ayaka compares the cat with Shiki, hence the neko mimi.

With killer eyes and knife in hand, for me is the most good looking display.

Friday, November 27, 2009

More doujinshi

Directly from Mandarake, I received a few doujinshi:

The first one is Amakudari, released in 2001 by circle Dedepoppo.
This circle was very focused in To Heart in the late 90's and early 00's and sadly now they almost do Final Fantasy XI only...
This circle is formed by two authors; Neriwasabi and Ebifly, but their styles are pretty similar. They also use the doujin circle name Jack-o'-lantern, but usually both circles act as one.

I really miss the times when they draw the To Heart girls, specially Serio...

Ianryokou Toujitsu No Yoru 2 is a doujinshi by circle Kamidake Onsen, a circle that is now known as Kajishima Onsen and is the personal circle of Kajishima Masaki, the maker of among others Tenchi Muyo! and Dual!
I bought it for a one page collaboration by Takeuchi Takashi:

Arcueid, Akiha and Kohaku dressed as Ryoko, Ayeka and Washu.

And Daisuki desu desu by circle King Revolver.
Features the lovely android Airi from Dream C Club. I said previously that now is the only Xbox game that I really want since IdolM@ster went multiplatform.

Airi is a cute mix between the To Heart maid robots and KOS-MOS from Xenosaga, so was an instant favorite of mine...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Yahoo! Auction winnings

Just received the stuff I have been winning in Yahoo! Auctions since I left Japan.

THE iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars for Nintendo DS.
I played just a bit, but it feels weird not play as the producer but as the idols... Also the graphics are good for a Nintendo DS game, but awful to be an Idolm@ster game...
The first edition release came with ViDaVo! magazine and a Weiß Schwarz promo card.

ViDaVo! is a 20 pages booklet that resembles an idol magazine, with stuff like interviews to the new characters Ai, Eri and Ryo and support messages from the original cast of iM@S...

Utagau Koto Wo Shiranai Hito, the first original doujinshi by Kikuta of circle King Revolver. He also have a nun fetish...

Valkyrie's Desire, a Selvaria (Valkyria Chronicles) fan-book by circle Kanten Jigen Ryuu and Kokushoku Suisei Teikoku. I bought it only for the collaboration by Kikuta.

And Shameimaru Amabunjou, the lastest work by Tsukiwani from Circle Nurumaya, this time featuring Aya, Inubashiri Momiji and Nitori from Touhou.

A clear folder, shitajiki and telephone card set drawn by Takeuchi Takashi for the Comiket 60 (held in 2001). The character is Qrowbet from his old doujinshi Valkyria 2.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Saber Puricon by Taki Corporation

And yet another Saber: Saber TFC Pretty Conscious Series by Taki Corporation.

Released on April, it was so bad that I knew that sooner or later it would be sold at bargain price, so I waited till now that is 50% discounted at HobbyLink Japan.

The face is ugly and the paint job is so plain that it seems more a preschool toy than a collector's item.

Neck, shoulders, elbows, knees and hair antenna can be moved, but you can't do any pose with them because they only rotates horizontally.

Comparison of the size with a nendoroid.

Taki Corporation is sadly known for their hideous figures (like this or this), so I hope they never again will try to release another TYPE-MOON figure...