Monday, December 31, 2007

Cosplay!!!


I though it was time to do a little snipit about cosplay, one of the best, if not the best part of conventions. I am currently doing two unknowns and one resonably common cosplay. Now before I go off telling you what to do, know this. I have only been to 1 day of a convention and that was in my home town Sea-town (Seattle). That was Sakuracon....9th year? I was going to go for there 10th aniversery but..the parents schedualed a trip over it...they didn't really now how serious it was yet. But I will be going this year for sure! Now my three costumes (one for each day of the three day con) are Miss Goldenweek (Aprilfools day in America) from OnePiece, Arale Norimaki from Akira Toriamas Slump, and the more known is Yuna (wedding gown) from Final Fantasy X .

Before and after shots


Miss Goldenweek came first and she was definatly the most painfull. Her construction was easy in terms of sewing difficulty but there was a LOT (and I mean a lot) of dyeing and painting. She only apears in a couple episodes in the series so reference pictures were hard to find. The worst part of the cosplay by far was the shoes and the stockings. The first picture to the left you can see my three attempts to get decent stockings for the costume. I spent sooo much time and money on stockings and paint. My first method was (the one to the right) where I just painted the stockings...but didn't use fabric paint *sigh*. The second method (left) was to tape the stockings and then paint them using a spray can of fabric paint, but the stockings are polyester and didn't want to dye/die. I FINALLY was walking through Display and Costume (local Halloween/Christmas/cosplay store) when I found these socks. AT LAST!!
The shoes were an issue too as I wanted to where my old converse (middle) but they were too small so I had to wear these hideous used-to-be-white shoes (right). I finally got these nice converse for Christmas! (Left)

My Yuna costume is going to be great as I have the worlds best Grandma doing all the sewing for me! I had to go get a decent pattern and pic out some (expensive) Satin (on sale) for the Bridal Gown. Yuna's going to turn out to be the most expensive costume due to the fact that she also has feathers everywhere, a bouquet (2 of them), a tiara, gloves, white shoes (4 bucks at Goodwill! haha), and earings.
Thanks to driftingheart.net for use of these reference pictures

As for Arale well...she is one of those characters that changes clothes a lot. Once you get the general sense of her style you just put something together. Essentials? Her hat, purple wig, and glasses!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sakuracon approches


I can't wait until Sakuracon! My friend has dreams about it, I...daydream about it...well about everything but anyway, we both discuss cosplay and other con activitys. SO! I enjoy checking the Sakuracon site for updates. But my computer seems to think that, (when there are only 80 something says left until the Great convention) there are 1337 or "LEET" days until Sakuracon...hehe


Edit: there are surrently 88 days until SC (sakuracon) and so it will be 86 days as of 2008. Also since I'm being techy heres a pic of this post.



Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas! One Piece Depression..no it's not about 4kids!

Today has been a blast! I got many goodies for Christmas, I am so blessed to have such amazing parents and other fabulously new material items. I got...hmmm..a new camera...it kicks $&% in so many ways and it kicks my old camera out of the stratosphere. It has ten times better focus, picture quality, battery life, video, and other features.

video

I'm sort of upset though because I was having fun with my camera and was using its amazing video settings. So I ended up making a video of me singing "Hikari E" the 3rd opening to One Piece. Then I went and decided to upload it to youtube. Now comes the bad news I made the video, uploaded the video, and then discovered I had recorded phone numbers on the video (I just set the camera down on the desk and the directory was open) so I had to remove the video. So it ended up that my first uploaded video on Youtube lasted for 5 minutes before being taken off again...*sigh*. It was a long day, and an amazing one at that. Must Sleep. Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Anime Piracy

Fan dubs...are they supporting or destroying the anime industry?

Justin Sevaki: Due to fandubs Anime is now worthless
Anime Genesis: Thats stupid. By saying this you make people think its okay to not pay for anime unlike most fans who watch the fandubs, like the anime, and go and buy it.

Me: I watch fan subs because I want to see the perticular anime...and usually that want is fueled by hype or mass fan attention its getting. Now I would never go and buy a movie I've never seen or a CD I've never heard. SO I would like to actually find a way to watch/preview that anime before I buy a $80+ boxset.

The idea that fan subs support the industry is debateable and both sides give convincing arguments. On one hand by bringing attention to the animes early by getting them to the states as soon as possible, "the hype is maintained" and the companys get DVDs (or Blueray now) out sooner and profits would go up.

Also in my early anime experience I was resonably against pirating anything...but then came limewire and fansubs and I was okay with watching a whole 26+ episode series, not paying for it, and moving on with my life. After all I didn't think it was too likely that I would bother watching a series more than once. But now I feel moraly oblagated now that I'm not smuthering my concience.

Plus humans are more likely then not to prefer having the physical manefestation of the anime...also I'm getting tired of crappy video quality (though downloads are usually better quality) and sitting in front of my computer...I'd much rather get the DVD, get in my bed, and get to watching me some anime! So either you get interested in the anime (thanks to fan dubs [or mainsteam anime/kid anime])and buy it when it comes out (early, thanks to fan dubs). Or watch the anime and not pay, robbing the industry and virtualy making the anime market "worth nothing".


Additional Blogger Opinion:"However I still disagree that it's Fansubs that have popularized anime. I've always felt it was the rise of fan favorite titles like DBZ and Pokemon with the younger kids that have caused such a big push for anime in the US. As people outgrew the "younger" anime they wanted something more adult causing anime distributers to to go crazy trying to accomadate them. It's just the natural evolution of fandom, as something becomes popular more competition takes place. I don't denie that Fansubs have made some titles more popular, but no more so than advertising hype, and reviews do." ~Emerje (blogger on anime news network boards).

To conclude I feel (as with most other things) that many factors are reponsible for anime growth, its move to America, and its profits for the big and small companys. I think that most people, if not some, were first introduced to anime as kids or were hooked on the early stuff (that we may or may not have even known at the time was anime). Then people went out and bought it and the industry flourished because the companys were forced to move there buns to satisfy initial demand of it. This is thanks to fan dubbing as it was broght to America earlier because of this and there for was given more publicity. Most of all I think its largly the want to jump on the bandwagon or the hype for anime. This of course is fueled by fandubs.

*Sigh* Just go buy the anime OKAY?? Stealing is bad. (I'm such a hypocrite :P)

By the way The Anime Blog has a recent post with some great statistics regarding anime sales...its definitly something to look at;

http://theanimeblog.com/2007/12/11/state-of-the-anime-industry-in-the-us-redux-and-geneon-epilogue/

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bento Mission Complete!

Boy was I decieved by the big Asian food store downtown! I was convinced I coulden't get a cute bento box for AT LEAST less than 10 bucks. I have been proven wrong multiple times now. Twice at the HT market and once at Daiso (the Japanese dollar store).

My first real bento (I'm prone to having faux japanese experiences) was from the HT Mart, a pink three tierd beauty that has been mentioned before (I think) in a previous post. It only cost me 8 dollars but isn't used too often as...pues..it's huge so its good for days when you are going to share with your friends. I've used it also for when I was doing a cooking project for class and I needed a cute container ( it held little mini spanakopitas [Greek]). Its not fancy but definatly gets noticed because of its size. Its sort of annoying to assemble though.

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My second bento box was from Daiso and it cost me 4 dollars. I really like that it has latches on its sides as many bentos fall apart REALLY easy and have no way to stay closed, this of course equals an easy mess. Some have a funky elastic band you can put around them but I LUVE the latches.
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I really loved this bento! It was just onigiri with furikage, pickled daikon, and some granny smith apples with caraway seeds. This bento is two layered but the top layer is just a little compartment for chopsticks which it came with (yay!) but I didn't need to use for this lunch.

My third bento is new and unused so I have no nummy picture for you but I do have this one...
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This is possibly the cutest bento box ever! Its a bowel shape for soups/currys/whatever and comes with an adorable little spoon! It covered head to tow with angelic and bunny inspired cuteness! This was $3.50.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Upcoming Updates

Look forward to reviews about the Air tv and Claymore animes. I have been reading Claymore and have heard of Air along with all of the hype a while back so I will get to finishing those and tell you all about it! Also need to watch Trigun and Re-watch Angelic Layer...or maybe I'll just read them this time... I felt like I should post sorry for wasting your time! *laughs and dances in chair*

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Venus Versus Virus

My First Anime Review! Well..its more of a blurb as I'm only comparing my opinion to what I read on The Anime Blog and other anime related blogs.

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According to Wikipedia Venus Versus Virus was originally a manga by Atsushi Suzumi that was made an anime that started airing in Japan in January of this year. The first English language volume for sale in North America was released in July. So its been out for a while, though it seems its been getting more publicity lately (maybe that's just me). I am blessed to have Comcast and therefore easy access to free (not really) anime previews and the like.

Plot: Viruses are naked to the human eye. So are the viruses in Venus Verses Virus, but these viruses are evil spirits or demons, not something that comes around during flu season. Enter the Venus Vangaurd. This group of people are capable of seeing these beings. Newly recruted Sumire is just an ordinary school girl who doesn't want to be part of it, but she holds a special power that might be the key to defeating the viruses.

Characters:
I felt it was hard to get to really know the characters as the first episode seemed to speed by. It takes something special to get the audience to connect with the characters from the get go. But from what I have heard you don't get much connection later in the series either. I did relate to some of the characters and find some of their traits appealing. What I really did like is that Sumire was scared of the viruses and didn't want to be a part of the Venus Vangaurd. I don't know If I liked or hated the fact that Lucia seemed "weak". It made it hard to look up to her as one of the main protagonists. At the same time her weaknesses make her seem more human and show reason for the need of Sumire and her "abilities".

Animation: I try to be nonbiast but I don't really like the Shojo style especially with the design of the viruses, its unconvincing, unoriginal, and"cheesy". It feels sort of simplistic. I don't know if I like it or not, I do like some of the colors and the design though (read below).

Design:
I like the Gothic Lolita style costume design of Venus Verses Virus. A pet peeve of mine is that a lot of movies and animes are so dark in design that is puts a strain on my eyes to see whats going on, but I think Venus Verses Virus pulls off a dark atmosphere without actually using really dark colors.

Dub/sub:
"Know from here on out that I am easy on dubs. I don't hate dubs because they are dubs. Japanese is just another language, it's no better or worse than English, and if you are totally unaware the English dubs are harder to do, due to the fact that the English language (or any other language other than Japanese) actors have to match the lips and fit into the time allotted all the while giving a convincing performance. "

But as for Venus Verses Virus I have to say the dubbing was not up to par. The crys/screams made me laugh...not a good thing. I don't know how old Lucia is supposed to be but she sounded at least 25. Sumires voice fit her age as well as the other minor characters, but the acting performance was mediocre.

I went back and watched the Japanese sub and it was a bit better but not much. Sumire's beserker mode is unbarable to listen to in both the sub and the dub.

Music:
Opening theme "Bravin' Bad Brew" by Riryka
Ending theme "Shijun no Zankoku" by Yousei Teikoku
I really like both the opening and ending songs, I especially like the ending song.
Summary: I wanted to like this and the first episode was okay but by the second I realized that bad voice acting plus not even scary villain's will always equal a corny anime (or a really bad horror movie, your pick) . You have to think of how you would feel if you were being chased by a monster, but it still just feels unconvincing, especially when its broad daylight, and no one notices you shooting a gun at an invisible enemy in the middle of a school... Its almost like going back in time to the really bad dialogue and animation of older animes. Some might like this but its best read in the maga form or avoided all together.


Rating: 2/5 !

Friday, November 23, 2007

Human Transmutation???

This is probably what it would look like If we tried...love the dark humor.

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Hope You Had A Happy Thanksgiving!

HT Market, Daiso, and my Bento Madness

I'm signifigantly frusterated with Blogspot because I can't put up videos or slideshows, I probably can't put up music either. I guess this blog shall forever rely on text and a plethora of pictures. And so the story goes...
When I learned they had closed down Larry's Market on Aurora I was dismayed. Then my dismay was quickly overcome with pure bliss when I learned that the store was to be replaced with an HT Market. So I go...and my observations are as such...Its incredibly inenxpensive. I got my first bento box there (a pink circular triple layer bento) for $5. The produce is "organic" in quality but it doesn't matter because I only get stuff I can't get at my overpriced QFC, like persimmons to make my Persimmon cookies.

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I don't know about their seafood but I know they have great meat cuts and an amazingly large selections of frozen seafood. While HT Mart is to Uwagimaya in the way that a store like Safeway is to QFC in terms of atmosphere, it is still a lot closer to my house. Uwagimaya also trumps HT market in the fact that is has a lot more selection, the produce is nicer, they have crazy good candy, they have a food court, and a bookstore. Sorry HT Mart.

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On to Takoyaki. Wanting to mak it and then that want was rekindled by watching a takoyaki videos on youtube. Oh my word I should go see if they have premade takoyaki at HT Market!*freaks out for a good 5 seconds* I was denied my takoyaki pan at Daiso and I already know they don't sell them at the HT Mart...though it wouldent hurt to look again. I could by a Abelskiver pan or a "puffy pancake" pan but they cost around $30, besides the lady at Daiso said I could get one for like 3-6 dollars though they were sold out when I went there.

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Speaking of Daiso, my mom told me of the new store, Daiso, at the Alderwood mall. It's virtually a Japanese dollar store, or to be more acurate a Japanese $1.50 store. I was so looking forward to going and when I did I wasn't dissapointed. I was dissapointed that I spent $20 but I did buy a lot. Yay for bentos!

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

My world has been turned upside down...

Okay so the japanese arn't exactly new to the inovative idea that they could take these popular anime series and make them into live action whatever; movies, musicals, etcetra. They have been doing this for a while now. Some early examples are Sailor Moon and Power Rangers. More recent are Bleach and Naruto live action musicals. Then came the amazing news. A live action Speed Racer Movie! Now this news isn't too new. I still can't find a trailer but the press confrence can be found on youtube, veoh, and other video websites.

Then today I heard the most Ultimate news! Even better then Speed Racer (some may dissagree)....wait for it....The Live Action Dragon Ball Z Movie! This is NEW news (and I'm very proud of it) and shooting is said to start later in November. Honestly I will probably wait for it to come out on DVD so I can trash the movie with my friends without ruining the movie going experience for other people. As stated by many a person before, movies like Speed Racer and Transformers can easily be made into live action movies because they are about cars and robot...cars. But DBZ is people...fighting. I already know it willl stink but that won't stop me from enjoying it!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Series by Series

I've been noticing a strange pattern lately in animes...back in the day of Dragon ball the episode list was 153 then Dragon ball Z; 276 episodes.
On the other end off the spectrum but still close in series and Sailor Moon episodes ranged 200 episodes.
Inuyasha, 167, and newer is Naruto which is 220 episodes and still going with its "new"(to us in the U.S) Shippuden Series.

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But then again not all anime series have such a high number of episodes to either the veiwers relief or disapointment. I have noticed a trend. 26, no not 23 but 26 all these animes have been running to only 26 episodes. Examples? Ouran School Host Club, Cowboy Bebop, and Trigun.

The shortest? Of what I have seen is Pretear which was only 13 episodes.

I have also heard of puni puni poemi at 2 episodes and Angel Sanctuary at 3 episodes.

Some Timeline links

http://www.lum-chan.com/info/time-line.html

http://www.rightstuf.com/rssite/main/animeResources/usHistory/part1/

http://www.rightstuf.com/rssite/main/animeResources/globalHistory/part1/

http://www.willempen.org/anime-timeline/

Beowulf vs.Final Fantasy X

So the new Beowulf movie for 2007 is due in theaters soon...conveniently enough we just read Beowulf in my British Literature class and we did a project on it. Being the weird anime loving artist I am I did a comparison of Beowulf to the Final Fantasy X video game. My friend helped me with the painting. I used a blend of cheap watercolors and some of my moms expensive waterbased paints.

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Here are the links to close up shots

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g182/javakat343/Picture238.jpg

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g182/javakat343/Picture237.jpg

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g182/javakat343/Picture233.jpg

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g182/javakat343/Picture232.jpg

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g182/javakat343/Picture231.jpg

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g182/javakat343/Picture230.jpg