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.

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).

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.

"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.

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 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 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

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