Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

Lupin III vs. Detective Conan – A Boring Combination

July 24, 2009 4 comments

It’s been a while since I updated. Life has been very demanding. I haven’t even watched any summer anime *whines* >A<. Anyway, there are also some plans of this blog merging with nihonwatch, which is owned by my good friend Selphie. We’re having some problems with the maintenance and updating of that site, so for now I’m still stalled here :D.

I’ve recently watched that long-awaited special: Lupin III vs. Detective Conan. It was shown last March 27, 2009, but the subs were released just a few days/weeks ago. I had been waiting for it since it was announced. Even my longing for Kaito Kid was expected to be quenched.

After watching, I kind of feel rather disappointed :(. The waiting was not worth it, in my opinion.

The title is misleading since the special is not really about Conan trying to catch Lupin. Instead, they worked together. The special is supposedly an original story apart from both series (see more of that below). The setting, aside from Tokyo, was a small country called Vespania. The royal family was in despair because of the death of their Queen and Crown Prince in an shooting accident while they were hunting. The next one in line to the throne was young Princess Mira (CV: Horie Yui) who, aside from looking entirely like Ran, doesn’t want to succeed the throne for reasons I did not really understand.

Princess Mira crossed paths with Mouri Ran (CV: Yamazaki Wakana) when she went to Japan as a special guest to a hotel opening. Seizing the opportunity, she ran away, leaving Ran with the princess clothes (don’t ask how it happened -_-). Keith Stinger (CV: Midorikawa Hikaru), Mira’s bodyguard and assistant, persuaded Ran to act as the princess and come with them to Vespania while waiting for the princess’ return. Mouri (Kamiya Akira) and Conan (Takayama Minami) of course wouldn’t take that sitting down. They followed Ran to Vespania and found out about the hunting incident. Thus began a series of investigations to unravel the truth about the queen’s and prince’s deaths.

At the far side of the story, Lupin (Kurita Kanichi) had set his sights on the Queen’s crown, which is the symbol of the country’s royal family. Apparently, he had tried to steal it once before and failed and now he’s back again. With him was his trusty friend Jigen (Kobayashi Kiyoshi) and Mine Fujiko (Masuyama Eiko), who had been just a bother for the whole special. Goemon (Inoue Makino) was there, too, for about 30 seconds.

And so, Conan and Lupin met in Vespania. Surprisingly, Jigen helped Conan find out the truth about the incident which is dun dun dun…actually a murder! Lupin was most of the time in hiding or whining about Fujiko because Zenigata was in the castle and he cannot actually go exploring.

After some confusing scene-tossing and random running, random discoveries and stuff which are all Fujiko’s or Mira’s faults, the crown has been stolen and Lupin found himself trapped in a locked safe. Also, the murder is solved, the criminal has been arrested and the princess came back without anyone getting angry with her even though she’s such a brat. The end.

No, really. That is just what happened aside from some random stuff.

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Ladies’ Training CD: Where Butlers Teach You Table Manners

April 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Lately, I’ve been stumbling upon the weirdest yet most amusing talk CDs. You might remember me talking about sheep-counting and diet CDs and you, just like me, might’ve wished that there were more surprises like them. Well, look no further. A few days ago, I got my hands on Shukujou Training CD ~Shitsuji ga Oshieru Seiyouryouri manner~ (淑女養成CD ~執事が教える西洋料理のマナー~).  I read it in English as “Training for Ladies ~Butlers’ Guide to Manners when Eating Western Food~”.

This Ladies’ Training CD is released by TEAM Entertainment for female listeners who have dreamt of becoming an aristocratic lady at one point in their lives. This CD, hosted by butlers, aims to help these ‘ojousama’ become the refined lady that they always wanted to be. These butlers, in six tracks, give tips and advice on how to behave during a Western-style party or dinner, from the moment of stepping off the car to the end of dinner. With the help of your loyal Stuart and Robert, you, my lady, will easily achieve those flawless table manners which will help you gain good impression as you expose yourself to high society XD;.

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Categories: 1, reviews, talk cd

Slim Naru SUPER DIET CD — Where Seiyuu Helps You Lose Weight

March 12, 2009 6 comments

I’ve mentioned in my Pankore CD review other odd talk/seiyuu CDs that Japan comes up with. One of these is the SUPER DIET CD produced by Honeybee, the same company that brought us Hitsuji de Oyasumi Series, also known as the sheep-counting CDs.

Slim Naru is a talk CD featuring the voices of Miyano Mamoru and Nakamura Yuuichi. This is, basically, a CD that will help girls who are trying to lose weight or are in the middle of dieting. It doesn’t only encourage the listener (YOU) to lose weight to ‘look better’ using the deeply seductive (and tsundere) voices of Mamo-chan and Nakamura, it also helps the listener with daily exercises with both seiyuu counting your stretches, push-ups and sit-ups for you.

In this CD, Miyano and Nakamura are both responsible persons who are concerned with your health. Mamo-chan is the gentle, kind guy who wants to help you become pretty while Nakamura is the tsundere guy who is a little snobbish but is willing to help you because he feels happy when you try your best (FIGHT-O!). In order to fully explain the wonderful dynamics of this CD as well as to help listeners utilize the CD as intended, I have to enumerate the tracks and what activity should be done in each.

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Categories: 1, reviews, talk cd

[CD] Pankore/Pun-Colle: Female Seiyuu Punk Songs Renditions

March 4, 2009 2 comments

I have just recently gotten a copy of パンコレ -voice actresses’ legendary punk songs collection-. This is an album composed of six female seiyuu covering songs by punk rock bands. The seiyuu singers are Momoi Halko (Minazuki Chika/Ai Yori Aoshi, Maromi/Paranoia Agent, Maya/Ragnarok the animation), Ikezawa Haruna (Shimazu Yoshino/Maria-sama ga Miteru, Caimie/One Piece, Noriko/Gravitation), Shimizu Kaori (Tamura Hiyori/Lucky Star, Nijou Noriko/MariMite, Aneesha/Heroic Age), Kadowaki Mai (Shokatsuryou Koumei/Ikkitousen, Mimi Usa/Kodomo no Jikan, Hakase Satomi/Negima!), Goto Yuuko (Anya Alstreim/Code Geass, Hanazono Hikari/S.A., Kobushi Abiru/Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei), and Tanaka Rie (Bianchi/Katekyou Hitman Reborn!, Chii/Chobits, Lacus Clyne/Gundam Seed).

Even though they said ‘punk’ in the title, I’m more inclined to think ‘pink’. While listening to the album, I was both amused and mortified at the renditions, wondering if this album was really a great idea. But then again, I’ve seen worse like diet CDs and sheep-counting, so I just dutifully enjoyed the album and tried to give all the songs a chance.

Here is my track-by-track review of the album.

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Samurai Sentai Shinkenger Pilot – Not Your Average Sentai Series

February 17, 2009 25 comments

I am no sentai fan. The sentai series I’ve watched are merely a handful and mostly old school like Bioman, Maskman, Jetman, Fiveman and Turboranger (mainly because they’re aired in our local TV channels). I have sporadically watched Magiranger, Gekiranger and Go-onger enough to know the story and to establish my thoughts towards the series but not enough to give conclusive and informative review of the series. So, you can say that I have next to no knowledge of sentai jargon and aesthetics. Please take this review with a grain of salt and take into consideration that I’m no expert at this genre.

Samurai Sentai Shinkenger is the first sentai series that I have actually flailed and obsessed about. I admit, I’m biased towards the series because it stars Aiba Hiroki, one of my favorite actors. It also appealed to me because the ‘samurai’ concept sounds new to me. I think ninjas have been done before, but not samurais. Still, I was planning to drop it from my watch list if I don’t like it, since my watching schedule’s already pretty crowded. I guess it is a good thing (or bad for my watch schedule) that Shinkenger is spurting with traditional yet novel ideas that are quite different from the older series (Gekiranger, Go-onger, and the likes).

From here on will contain spoilers to the series, so consider yourself warned. There will also be considerable Shinken-lingo, but most of them will be explained.

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Hetalia’s Pilot Episode — Moving Crack

January 26, 2009 2 comments

Hetalia‘s first episode was finally made available for viewing and loyal fans did not waste any time streaming it off and seeing for themselves how good Hetalia would be if it’s moving. I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of Hetalia and the troubles it met after the announcement of its airing, but to those who are new to the whole Hetalia affairs (a rather steamy affair, indeed!), here is a little primer.

Axis Powers Hetalia started as a webcomic published in Himaruya Hidekaz’s blog. It’s immense popularity allowed it to be published as a manga and it earned even more followers. The series is set in World War timeline where the countries involved are represented by human characters. Each person!country’s personality is loosely based on the stereotype characteristics the original country has during WWII, according to Himaruya’s view. The word Hetalia itself is a play on words “hetare” (useless) and “Italia” to make a pun regarding Italy’s attitude during World War II.

Some readers regard the webcomic as cracky and almost satirical. Some, though, discover lesser known facts regarding WWII and some countries by reading between the lines and looking beyond the comedy. Because of certain issues, like the characterization of the countries and other historical facts, this series earned a lot of criticism. Some of the complaints and issues caused the upcoming anime to be pulled out of being aired in local television channels and was instead brought to the public through mobile download and streaming.

Anyway, back to my initial topic. The first episode of Hetalia has been streamed and it’s supposed to follow the published manga form (the main historical arc, if I’m not mistaken). There are over 40 countries mentioned in Hetalia, but only the few are recurring, most of them were those who took part in WWII.  Since I’ve been waiting for this to be available for viewing even more than I’ve been waiting for Gundam OO episode 16, here are some highlights of the five-minute pilot episode, including the cast of characters that were initially mention. I’m also thankful that there’s a Chibitalia insert! Really, an episode wouldn’t be complete without that adorable little boy…girl…boy…

Warning: IMAGE HEAVY, but crappy screencaps.

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[BL CD] Sentimental Garden Lover

October 7, 2008 Leave a comment



Author: Ogura Muku
Company: Momo and Grapes Company
Release Date: September 26, 2008
Catalog Number: BCJA-0098
Original Price: 3 000 yen
Listening difficulty: 1/5
H-factor: 0/10

Seiyuu Cast:
Kondou Takashi x Kamiya Hiroshi
Nakamura Yuichi x Kishio Daisuke

Fuji – Kondou Takashi
Hiro – Kamiya Hiroshi
Shima – Kishio Daisuke
Taki – Nakamura Yuichi
Shima (human) – Tachibana Shinnosuke

Whether you’re a human or a cat, I like you.

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Categories: 1, blcd, reviews