October 29, 2008

Ikkitousen Great Guardians OVA 2

Continuing with the quest to see if they can out-ecchi the Dragon Destiny OVAs, the good (if somewhat pervy) folks at Studio ARMS have rolled out the second OVA for Ikkitousen Great Guardians

It's a high bar to try and clear... do they succeed where they failed the first time around?

Boy, it's good to be an otaku...
And who is our Sexy Cosplayer this time around?

The living dead girl herself!
Obviously, from here on out, everything should be considered NSFW.  Most of it really isn't, but better safe than sorry, neh?


more...

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October 17, 2008

SDB Likes ARIA.

To be honest, I wasn't sure he would.  I knew he'd appreciate the show, sure, but as he said, he doesn't "do well with 'lots of personality but nothing happens' kinds of shows".

Well, he just finished watching S1e13, and one could say he likes it:

"I will say this: this is one of the best things I've ever watched."

In the past, I've either suggested or he's gotten interested in a few shows based (at least in part) upon my recommendation: World of Narue and Jubei-Chan, and I waged a campaign to get him to watch Azumanga Daioh, and while he's liked them all (2.5 stars, 3.0 stars, and unrated due to fanboi interference), he's never been as... enthused about a series as this.

I'm pleased.  And relieved: I really wasn't sure he'd like the series, and said as much in one of his comment threads.

*phew*
I'd feel awful if he hated the show and it was my fault he bought it.  Shoulda had more faith in the Girls from Aqua.



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October 16, 2008

Good News From Nozomi!

Nozomi Entertainment shed some light on something suspected for some time: it's looking like they've got the entire ARIA license.

They just announced that the first half of the 26-episode series ARIA the Natural will be released on January 29th, 2009.  This coming fast on the heels of the release of the entire ARIA the Animation series just a few weeks ago should make every fan of ARIA click their heels with joy.

At least metaphorically.  It sure as heck made ME happy!

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October 08, 2008

ARIA: It's The Little Things That Count...

So I've watched ARIA season 1 ("The Animation") on DVD and it's just as good as I remembered it.  But tonight, I was rewatching the outstanding Episode 9 of season 3 ("The Origination"), when something struck me... something that made me smile and applaud (metaphorically, of course) the staff and writers of the series all over again.

Episode three of the first series is when we're first introduced to Alice, the Pair from Orange Planet.  She's something of a prodigy at the gondola, yet still in school.  In the episode, it's revealed that, in fact, she was featured in "Undine Magazine", what I figure is the People of Neo-Venezia. 

As Alice walks to school, she is approached by two admirers who'd like an autograph:

She turns them down, saying (in effect) "I haven't done anything yet."  A sensible attitude, but it kinda crushes the spirit of the two girls.

Jump now to episode 9 of season three.  Alice has just gone through her school's graduation ceremony, and is in the process of leaving the school grounds.  Before she does, however, she's approached...

...by the same two girls!  This time, one of them asks for a button off her jacket, and Alice agrees.

The first time I watched it, I thought it was nice, but I didn't catch the link back to the beginning of the show.  Now, though, I'm just impressed as all get-out by either the forethought put into ARIA, or the memories of the creative staff (whichever you'd prefer).

It's a little thing, but hugely important in showing the development of Alice's character over time...  and it's the little things that count.

(incidentally, the two screencaps show what can be done with a halfway decent budget, too...)

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October 04, 2008

In Praise of RACS

This past Tuesday, the ARIA Season 1 boxset was released and I, being a huge fan of the series, needed to order it.  There was no question of where I'd be heading to place the order: Robert's Anime Corner Store.  Huge selection of just about anything anime or manga related, decent prices, yadda yadda yadda.  Lots of on-line places have those things.

But here's where RACS is different: Customer Service.  After I placed the order, I gave them my Duck U. e-mail address... which makes sense, because I usually have packages shipped to the Bookstore (that's where I am during the day, after all).  The problem is, Duck U's IT department has upgraded their e-mail filters from "hungry" to "rapacious", and after 24 hours, I hadn't gotten the usual confirmation e-mails from RACS... they never even made it to my "junk folder", being killed before they reached my mailbox altogether.

So I e-mailed RACS' customer service (from my everyday e-mail addy) explaining the situation, how I gave the wrong e-mail address, never got the e-mails, blah blah blah.  A short time later, I get a response, and this is where RACS truly stands above all the other 'Brand X' websites out there:

Robert himself replied. 

The President of the company dealt with my problem, and took the time to say hi while he was doing so.  I know he's dropped by The Pond before, and I've even exchanged e-mails with him once (about 18 months ago), but still:  PRESIDENTS DON'T DO THAT!  At least, not unless the person is screaming to high heaven about lawsuits and so forth (which I wasn't), and even then, they're more likely to lawyer up. 

For that reason, if I need to order something, I will always go to RACS first.  If you're in the market for anime, you should too.  Thanks, Robert!

Besides... Noemi's cute.

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October 02, 2008

Random Anime Picture #27: A Crushing Putdown


-Toradora! ep01

I had absolutely no expectations for this show, but, for at least one episode, I was amused and entertained.  He's a nice guy with scary eyes, so everybody is afraid of him.  She is called the "Palmtop Tiger", because she's the ultimate tsundere.

Cue wacky hijinks.

I don't know why that putdown seems so effective to me, but...

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October 01, 2008

Ikkitousen Great Guardians OVA 1

So now we come to the most important part of Ikkitousen Great Guardians: the obligatory OVAs.  The question is, of course, how will they be able to top the OVAs for Ikkitousen Dragon Destiny?  They didn't quite hit "hentai" with those, but they couldn't come much closer.  Will they go completely bugnutty this time?  Let's find out!


Why am I thinking "Bergman" right now?
We start with most of the female cast gathered around a table... ooh!  Strip poker, maybe?  For this series, that'd be different, and sure would seem like it'd hold a lot of promise.

I suspect that I AM going to be "entertained".
Hakufu's mom as MC?  This bodes well... or ill, depending on your point of view.  But what is the "Battle Entertainment Club", and just what the heck does it do?

Why did the ice in my glass just melt?
Oh.  Oh my.  Better than strip poker.

more...

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