Derrick Crow's blog

4:46 PM on 11.24.2012

New Doraemon movie gets theme song from Perfume!

It was announced at the end of techno-pop trio Perfume's 1st Asian Tour, where they finished up the 4-Country tour yesterday in Singapore, that the group will be singing and performing the theme song for the next Doraemon movie, Nobita no Himitsu no Dougu Hakubutsukan (Nobita's Secret Gadget Museum) and is slated for a March 9, 2013 release.

The song is called Mirai no Museum, which translates to The Museum of the Future.

Special thanks to a friend of mine on Facebook for the image. :)

Source of story

This is wonderful news, as this marks a huge leap for the trio into the popular and huge world of anime, a place never touched by the group before.

*A little history on Perfume:

Perfume is a techno-pop trio made up of 3 girls, Kashiyuka, A~chan and Nocchi. They are backed by the synth and future electro sounds of their composer and producer Yasutaka Nakata.

The group formed in 2000 for their Actors School in Hiroshima as a local pop idol group. It would be 5 years of local indie releases until they got discovered by Yasutaka Nakata who gave them their big break. The group got popular fast with their song Polyrhythm and immediately began releasing hit song after hit song under records label Tokuma Japan Communications.

In 2011, their song Polyrhythm was chosen as an insert into the movie Cars 2 as the film's director John Lasseter was a big fan of the girls. This gave them another push that they needed into the global market as they moved over to label Universal Music Japan and released their first global compilation album, Love the World.

As Perfume continues to grow bigger, let's hope their resonance will be felt through the airwaves and now the anime world for a long time to come. :)   read

2:29 PM on 10.24.2012

TARI TARI - Recommend/Final Impressions

Tari Tari is a freshly grown 2012 slice-of-life anime that features a spunky young ragtag team of moe characters who bash through the world of childhood into the responsibility-laced planet of adult decisions as they face the struggles of being told by the older generation that the mere dreams of the young are foolish and they should concede to the sad reality of doing what your told without review.

But they are getting a review, right now, as I recently stumbled upon this anime through suggestion and found it lying around on Hulu just ready to be viewed. And from episode 1 I was immediately hooked. Produced by P.A. Works and licensed for North American release by Sentai Filmworks, I can easily recommend this being added to your immediate wish list once it hits shelves.

Our illustrious cast of misfits.

The series is 13 episodes long and opens with one of our main characters, Konatsu Miyamoto, being kicked out of her Choral Club (its a Choir Club, but in this anime it is specifically called Choral Club) for having stage fright by her instructor/vice principal; even though Miyamoto so sorely loves to sing and dance. She then goes off to form her own Choir Club (and sometimes Badminton club) by roping in musical-savant-turned-hater-of-music Wakana Sakai, horse-loving archer Sawa Okita, former-Badminton Club leader Taichi Tanaka, and finally the ever-confused by Japanese culture foreigner from Germany, Atsuhiro "Wien" Maeda (Wein is his nickname for where he is from, Vienna in Germany; Wein is German for Vienna).

The series then focuses on these characters own personal lives tying into their life in the Choir Club; Miyamoto just wants to prove her self worth as a performer, Sakai is trying to move on after her mother passed away and has left this huge legacy of singing hanging over her daughters head; Sawa cant convince her father to let her go to Equestrian school (thats where you learn to become a horse jockey) and become the thing she wants to be the most; Tanaka is just trying to find his place while he awaits his next attempt to become a Badminton champion; and Wein is trying understand his new life in Japan and make wonderfully good memories.

The WestShopRangers are here to protect your curry!

The story actually has a nice pace to it, although I do wish it would have gone a little bit longer, it was still able to give each character the arcs they need to become compelling and to really care about them. The music is very beautiful and very fun jumping from orchestral to J-Pop to classical sounding; it never allows you to get bored. This is also very full of depressing moments where you just want to rip your eye balls out from the tears. You could a lot of work and care went into making this series special.

The production values and animation is top notch and crisp as a whistle, really utilizing the technology we have today in the 21st century. Too often do I see anime that seems to cut corners on the animation and CGI just to get the product out, that it never feels as if they cared anything about it and just wanted to make a quick buck. In Tari Tari however, even the CGI blends flawlessly into working with the 2-D animation that even while watching I had trouble at times even telling CGI was used in the scene.

The voice cast her was top notch as well, as you never got the since of any voice sounding whiny, high-pitched or nasally. It all sounds natural within the context of the characters and how they act. Speaking of the characters, everyone is so smart in this and not in a genius kind of way but in a common sense kind of way. Some of them make mistakes, sure, but they learn and grow from those mistakes and they feel like genuine kids becoming adults. They are so fun too, reminding me so much of me and my friends when we hang out together.

Tanaka and Wein warm-up before Choir practice.

Theres really not much bad I can say for this series, if I had to though I would say for the large cast it did boast (including side characters), I wish it had been able to give everyone who really had a hand in the finale a chance to flesh out more. I think the Vice Principal needed this treatment the most; I dont completely buy her explanations for being a cold hearted woman for the first half of the series.

Overall though, I give Tari Tari 4 choir club members out of the mandatory 5.

So do yourself a favor, and go check it out right now before its cool.   read

12:52 AM on 10.17.2012

NGE What Keeps Me Coming Back

It was the early 2000s, and the impressionable young mind and anime fan such as me was staying up late to watch my favorite late night shows on Adult Swim when one night I was greeted with this:

That is one of the most catchy pop openings of any anime ever and it won my heart over before I got to the anime itself.


This is the story of the human race in 2015 after what is called the Second Impact hits the Earth and destroys majority of it, leaving the human race around the world scrambling for survival. In Tokyo-3, life has pretty much returned to normal except for the teensy feeling in the back of you head when you know an angel is about to destroy your home any second. What is an angel you ask?

What? Did you expect something outta the bible? THIS IS ANIME!!

What I love so much about this 26 episode (plus a movie re-telling of the ending, and 4 modern movies) and the reason it left such a big impact (get it?) on my life is that it was the first time I felt like I saw anime as being a really serious thing than what I was used to up to that point. Yes, I had seen Rurouni Kenshin, but that was a few years sooner even and I was younger and I was just thinking how awesome the fights were.

With NGE it was the time I was beginning to really comprehend story layers, characters and that there is a whole universe out there and it was ready to tear me apart. And so I ate up NGE like it was popcorn and soaked in all the blood it had to offer me. And trust me, it had a lot.

The series touched on the mind and heart of the human condition put under extreme conditions of home life, love life, growing up in a war torn world and being forced to grow up too fast at a young age. Tokyo-3 battled angels that came from the sky to destroy the Earth by using teenagers who were the only ones compatible to pilot the Evangelion units, giant robotic creatures with amazing stamina, speed and strength.

Shinji Ikari, the lead, suffered from neglect issues with his father, the trauma of losing his mother at an early age and being used by his father only as weapon for the Earth as he is always being place in some of the most dangerous situations.

Rei Ayanami, another of the 3 main pilots, was a loner who rarely ever showed emotion but sought being accepted by those around her she deemed better than her. When we found out she was merely a clone of Shinjis mother, that is when things hit the fan as Rei wondered if she still needed to exist in this world and if she could be anything other than a mirror into others lives.

Asuka Langley Soryu, the final of the three main leads, is really the one true Tsundere, she was beautiful but God help you if you so looked at her wrong. Asuka mainly suffered from not be loved enough as a child and being expected to be the best at whatever she accomplished. No one could be her equal, and it boiled over near the end when she just gave up after being bested by an angel in battle. She had so much weight on her shoulders growing up it simply became too much for her.

The series mostly centered around Shinji though, who many put under the bus rather quickly usually for being a wimpy character, but given Shinjis upbringing by his neglectful father, always having to move around and always feeling like he was worthless growing up it only comes natural that you would be left with a shell of human being who has great spirit hidden inside him but it is so deep seated he can only show what is left: self-pity.

When the series climaxes, our characters are forced to rethink their actions on society as they steered the fate of the Earth in their battles with the Angels, keeping secrets that could cost the whole of humanity, and coming to deal with their own personal faiths and beliefs of themselves; now that the war was over, it was finally time to see what it all was for.

Shinji is overwhelmed at first but after most introspective on his own part after battling with whether he even wanted to think about his life and future for the whole of the series, he was able to break through and overcome his insecurities. Growing into the person he was destined to be, someone who was aware of who he really was and could show it to the world.

Unfortunately, we were not told about what breakthroughs most everyone else had, and if memory serves correctly not everyone had a happy ending.

And that, is what I love about Neon Genesis Evangelion, and why it keeps me coming back.

-Kazekun   read

12:28 AM on 10.15.2012

My top 5 favorite anime:

As this is my first blog post, we'll make things a light read this time around with a list of my top 5 favorite anime and why:

1. Eureka Seven

Why: There are only good things I can say about this series, it's sophisticated, it takes its characters and story seriously, it delves deep into the hard-pressing questions of sci-fi, and it's a romantic story.

For one, I really like romantic stories about fighting for the love you believe in. And to see Renton grow, and Eureka grow, to become an adult and to become human... by the end of the series there's nothing else to do but cheer them on.

This is what I hold all romantic stories up to now. It is just so inspiring to see the lengths everyone in this anime goes to for the ones they cherish the most.

2. Paprika

Why: This is your brain on anime!

Because this is simply a pure joy to watch, it has become my favorite overall movie. Not just anime, but overall movie (a spot originally held by Flight Plan and Rudy) and I don't think anything will overtake this one, it is so layered that it takes multiple viewings of it just to understand all of it.

I am always catching new things when I watch it, and I feel like I did a good job of understanding its entirety the first time I watched it.

I love movies that pull you in and go, "Hey! Pay attention to me!" and this does it in spades. I like that it makes you think, instead of simply being a popcorn flick that lets you shut off your brain.
Too many films these days are arbitrary to doing just that, and although I am a proponent for enjoying a film or too and letting my mind just wander, the best movies to me are those that get me to think about whats going on.

3. Sailor Moon

Why: I am a big sucker for things being special, and this happened to end up being my very first anime ever.

I discovered it alongside Dragon Ball Z, Gundam, Tenchi Muyo, Rourouni Kenshin, Pokemon, Digimon, and Cardcaptor Sakura.

But this was the very first. And that keeps it sitting nicely in a very special place in my heart. This was such a fun series to watch as a kid, and still is today.

4. s-CRY-ed

Why: Well, around the time I started watching this, I was still only seeing long-running anime, this is one of the first short-running anime (at 26 episodes) that I had ever seen, it helped show me that anime could be short, sweet, and to the point without being so long-winded and drawing things out.

I instantly fell in love with the alter ability and had wished so hard I could have alter powers. The rivalry between Kazuma (or Kazekun as Kanami called him) & Ryuho was one to rival that of Vegeta and Goku from DBZ and definitely one of the most intense.

Seeing that final fight between them made perfect sense and the ending was even left open to interpretation, even though it was fairly obvious who won. I like that it was left open for possible continuation and would love to see a good sequel to this series.

5. Noein: To Your Other Self

Why: Okay... I have debated long and hard for ages about what my 5th favorite anime is. And for a long time I could not decide. But, after long amounts of thought I finally decided on Noein, because it was really good. It was high sci-fi mixed with romance, mixed with everyday Joes, mixed with inter-dimensional sea horses and the freaking Oroborialis!

True, the mix of CGI and 2-D animation wasn't perfect, but it hardly ever is. So you take what you can, and this series offered up inter-dimensional time travel, parallel worlds, a villain who was really freaking crazy and love story that literally branched beyond time and space.

My one REAL complaint about this series was the ending... it wrapped to fast in a single episode. It should have given itself more time to breath. Maybe defeat the villain in episode 23 and then use the final 24th episode to wrap everything up. That would have been better. Or perhaps even give it 2 more episodes, either would have benefited.

-Kazekun   read

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