30 August 2012

Special Announcement - Rurouni Kenshin Live Action Movie!!

***I have to take a minute to interrupt the regularly scheduled postings to make an annoying fangirl *squeee~~***
A whole lot of Samurai X yumminess~
Ahem, I'm better now.  While over at Topless Robot browsing through the anime posts, I discovered that Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X) is being made into a live-action movie.  (Here's the link to the post --->  Topless Robot- Rurouni Kenshin Movie)  And after watching the trailer, I'm dying to see the movie (which came out in Japan on 8/25).  Kenshin is totally hot and there are is a ton of samurai and sword-fighting action- need I say more?  But don't take my word for it, have a peek at the trailer and then take a look around the official website, るろうに剣心.

So are you with me??  Does this movie not look super awesome?  Anyone else have a fangirl *squee* moment??

Okay~  Now we can return to our regularly scheduled programming.  (I promise the maid cafe post is up next.  I won't get distracted by hot guys with swords anymore, I swear!!)

24 August 2012

2012 Taoyuan International Comic Exhibition

Courtesy of TRA News

This exhibition I found quite by accident. My husband (the non-otaku) was watching the evening news and a story came on about comic exhibitions in northern Taiwan.  I gasped and told him to freeze as he reached for the remote control.  With a sigh, he shook his head and muttered, “Oh, great. There she goes.”  Then as soon as I got the location and name of the place, I jumped online and did a quick search.  Practically jumping in my chair, I quickly sent the info to my fellow otome and we made plans to go!

At the Exhibition

Although there were actually two exhibitions in town, I headed out to the Taoyuan Exhibition because that’s where my friend lives and because there were more days left of that exhibition than the one in Taipei.  Not sure exactly what to expect, we had both brought extra money in the hopes of scoring some manga or collectibles of our favorite series. 
We entered into the exhibit hall (free admission!), eyes aglow, and were a bit disappointed to see a set-up that seemed more appropriate in a museum, with mecha action figures behind glass display cases and large art pieces hanging farther back.  Where were all the otakus and collectibles?  Well, as in turns out this comic exhibition did not focus on the more popular and mainstream manga after all.  Instead it was more of a showcase for local artists as well as little known international manga artists. 
Taiwanese Artist - Akru  Photo Source link
I browsed through the many cases of mecha action figures, but as robot figurines aren’t really my thing, I eventually made my way back to the art pieces.  Most of the art was quite good and I wouldn’t have minded a few of the pictures gracing my walls at home.  (Like this one, which was my favorite picture out of the whole exhibition-->)  It was also pretty interesting to see the art of local Taiwanese comic artists, and made me feel strangely patriotic (considering I only have an alien resident card in Taiwan. But what can I say, I’m proud of my 2nd home ^_^).  
      To really get the most out of the exhibition it probably would have been better to come on a Saturday.  Most of the events, like the music concert inspired by songs from anime soundtracks and the cosplay competition, sounded very cool, but alas . . . I work on Saturday (T-T).  Still, it was an enjoyable excursion spent with my fellow otome, and I did enjoy the art.  Sigh . . and I guess I did save a lot of money since there weren’t any collectibles.  That’s another positive . . . right?  Though I’m pretty sure next year, I will be sure to attend the Taipei Comic Exhibition instead. (Collectibles, here I come!)

Like Akru's art?  Feel free to visit this artist's blog:  http://akru.blog13.fc2.com/  (Quick heads up though -  it's all in Chinese!) 

*-*And next post will be all about the maid cafe ~ Fatimaid!  Stay tuned!    

21 August 2012

Anime Review - Guilty Crown

Title: Guilty Crown  
# of episodes: 22
Genre: shounen, mecha, science fiction

Story:  It’s the year 2039 and Japan is under martial law because of a traumatic incident that happened ten years ago, known as the ‘Lost Christmas’. Although no one knows exactly why it happened, during this event many people died from an alien virus and an international governing power, GHQ, stepped in to take control of Japan.
The story follows Shu Ouma, a high school student, who encounters an injured girl, Inori.  Before being taken captive by government agents, Inori asks Shu to take the genome she’s stolen to the leader of Funeral Parlor, a military resistant group that is working to overthrow the GHQ.  When the genome vial breaks and transforms Shu’s DNA, he suddenly has the power to turn people’s hearts into weapons and tools and becomes a key player in the fight to reclaim Japan.  

Story – The first two episodes really drew me in with an amazing fight scene involving mecha and huge swords (yeah, I like big swords and I cannot lie), and it only got better from there (~Episode 11!!!)The series takes quite a few unexpected twists and turns in the second half, after episode thirteen, and while the action was a bit slow at times, there was more emotion and character development and the themes explored really made you think: absolute power corrupting absolutely, blind obedience to a higher authority, and the disturbing qualities of mob mentality.  I know it made me stop and think- what would I do if I had incredible power over others?

Characters  The series really keeps you guessing about the relationships between a lot of the main characters, and there are quite a few surprising revelations (well, I was surprised anyway).  It took me a while to warm up to Shu’s character, but I really loved him in the second half when you started to really feel the pressure he was under, how it affected him, and how much it humanized his character. 
I never truly cared too much for Inori (I just felt she was . . .blah), but I loved the side character, Hare Menjou. She was so sweet and made me cry.  That’s a win in my book.

Ayase and Tsugumi
Giant Robots and Awesome Weapons – The mecha battles were pretty awesome, as were the mecha pilots on both the good and bad sides (although I thought Daryl Yan seemed to destroy a lot of robots . . .and for such a supposedly talented pilot! The female mecha pilot, Ayase, and the hacker girl, Tsugumi, were especially cool~  And the sword that was Inori’s heart somewhat made up for her stoic character (It would have been cooler if she had wielded the sword though . . .)

Soundtrack   The music was absolutely wonderful!!  My favorite songs were:  “My Dearest” by supercell (the first opening), Departures ~Anata ni Okuru Ai noUta~” by EGOIST (the first ending - click the link for the youtube video), and "Release My Soul" by Aimee Blackschleger (the song in episode 22).

The epic scene in episode 11 – Just watch and you will understand why.

Possible Pitfalls:

Inori – One of the artists on Deviantart.com commented that although Guilty Crown is a good series, it would have been nice if Inori hadn’t been such a wimp at times and I must admit I have to agree.  She broke into GHQ and stole that vial, but then she was constantly needing Shu to rescue her?  Sigh . . .  And just when she started to get kind of cool at the end . . . Double sigh. . .

Mature Content – The second half of the series (after episode 12, I believe) tends to take a darker turn and does become more violent, but it isn’t too bad. So this is just more of a heads up if animated blood isn’t your thing.  Oh, and there are subtle hints of incest as well (think Game of Thrones sort of incest).  But like I said, the second half does get darker.  So ye be warned!

Overall, I thought the series was really great!  The action scenes were good, but there was enough emotion and romance to satisfy my hopeless romantic side too.  Shu became such a likeable character and I admit, I was crying at the ending. (But I’m a big sap, so there ya go)  And since the positives definitely outweigh the possible pitfalls, I’m giving this series 4 out of 5 firecrackers~  So if you have some extra time, go watch it and then youtube the very awesome soundtrack!

Next week, I’m going to post either about my second maid café adventure in Taipei with a very good otome friend or our trip to a comic exhibition.  So until then, ja ne!    

17 August 2012

Updates and a Baby Otaku!!

That is exactly what my hubby looks like too~ heh heh~
Aiyo~~  Sumimasen!!  It has been soooo long since my lost post.  I have my excuses ready though!  It turns out that my husband and I are expecting a little otaku in December!!  (Well, I know the baby's going to be an otaku, but my husband's convinced the baby will be normal like him.  To that I say, "Ha!"  He underestimates the power of anime and manga!)

Isn't that the cutest onesie ever??
And after three months of morning sickness and then two months of eating to make up for the morning sickness, I am now ready to get back to my anime/manga reviews and shopping for baby otaku clothes.  So coming up next week I will post my review of the anime Guilty Crown and its very wonderful soundtrack.  So until Wednesday . . . mata ne