April 23, 2010

Gundam Cafe

There's a report over at Gizmodo that Bandai has opened up a Gundam cafe in Akihabara.  It's filled with Gundam-related merchandise, everybody wears Gundam-inspired uniforms, etc etc etc...  Seems logical to me, I guess I'm more surprised that it took so long. 

Over at Fark's Geek tab, however, the masses are having fun with the whole concept, suggesting some other show-themed cafes... and some that you really don't want to see (the Grave of the Fireflies-based cafe, for example).

My favorite concept has to be the Ranma 1/2 Cafe.  Your dark-haired waiter takes your order and comes back a few minutes later as a hot (but damp) red-headed waitress, you don't want to order ANYTHING made with pork, there's a giant panda cooking in the kitchen, another waiter sometimes gets lost on the way to your table and winds up serving someone at a McDonalds in Belgrade, and so forth.

So I'm trying to think of others.  Maybe a Saikano cafe wouldn't go over very well... you go in happy, and come out wanting to slit your wrists.  A School Days cafe would pretty much have to be on a cruise liner, and do not wear any clothing you'd mind ruining.  Someone else suggested an Elfen Lied theme; come for the backrubs, but don't be surprised if there's a leg in your soup.  I'm surprised there isn't a Strike Witches cafe already (none of the waitresses would wear pants).  The Kanon cafe would carry nothing but jam, beef bowls and taiyaki.

Got any other ideas?

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:18 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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April 09, 2010

Nozomi Gets A Thumbs-Up!

Okay, I'm agog.  It's pretty clear that the people over at Nozomi/TRSI like the ARIA franchise, but they also appear to like the fans who like ARIA, too.  How do I know this?

The box set for ARIA the Origination has not only the OVA, ~Arietta~, and the DVD-only episode, Navigation 5.5, but it also has...

...the picture dramas.  Nozomi even licensed the picture dramas!  I had no idea those were going to be on the discs... and I've got an ear-to-ear grin because of it. 

THAT'S how I know Nozomi likes us. 

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:04 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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April 06, 2010

Creepy Girl, Oh My Little Creepy Girl*

The main female character in the Denpa Teki na Kanojo OVA is named Ame Ochibana.  She's a quiet, intelligent, and resourceful girl with an agile mind.  She also believes that she and the show's protagonist, Juu Juuzawa, were linked in a prior lifetime, he as a king, with her as his loyal subject.  She swears fealty to him early on in the show, which is set in current times.  Her vow to protect him from all who would harm him seems laughable on the face of it, as he's considered their school's main delinquent, with a talent for brawling.  He, of course, considers her a wacked-out stalker who has a penchant for breaking and entering, usually into his apartment... a creepy girl, if you will.

This being anime, of course there's more to it than that.  Ame is probably the most sane female character in this show... most of whom want to cause rather severe physical harm to Juu, and usually manage to do so.  Until Ame shows up, at which point things rapidly go south for those hurting Juu.  She's skilled with a taser, is able to talk logic rings around just about anyone, and even occasionally works in a maid cafe.  But with her almost expressionless manner of speech, her penchant for wearing her hair in front of her eyes, and her physical stillness (which is a silly way to describe an anime character, few of whom have much in the way of fidgets, I know... but the animators still manage to make her seem very still, even when she's in motion), she really does seem kinda creepy.  The occasional glimpse of her eyes that we get just make matters worse, for some reason.

But the most disturbing part of Ame's character is her voice.  It's quiet, breathy, mature but still that of a young girl... and almost, but not quite, sinister.  She very rarely puts emotion behind her words, which makes it even more creepy when she's talking to one of the really crazy girls in the show, the one who lives in a small, filthy, low-rent apartment with her dead mother and believes that if she "steals happiness points" from other people, her mother will come back to life.

It's Ame's voice that truly completes the character, and it's one that I knew I recognized, but couldn't immediately place.  It wasn't until about halfway through the first episode that I figured it out, at which point I was amazed... a character more opposite to Ame it would be difficult to find, in a show diametrically opposed to Denpa Teki na Kanojo.


Hard to believe.

*with apologies to Tom Servo.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:53 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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