Hey guys! I have been away busy with work, life and whatever else kept me away from doing blogs but now I'm back. Straying away from my biweekly releases (as I find I don't have nearly enough time to do posts that often) I plan on doing standalone reviews, unboxings and things of that nature.
As for the pictures, I was still learning my new camera (Sony NEX-6) so it wasn't very well taken but the future posts should improve quite a bit!
So without further adieu, here's the お菓子(okashi) from Kyoto!
Yes this nendoroid comes in a packaging reminiscent of the kind of box that traditional sweets like mochi might come in, especially when you're visiting Kyoto. The box is rather large and sturdy, unlike the normal boxes nendoroids come in.
The artwork underneath the paper sleeve!
Really makes me feel like they laid out the parts like Japanese confectionery.
And here she is! Miku! The traditional parasol and the tied buns make her so adorable. The kimono has snowflake decals all over and the hair pin really rounds out her outfit. One minor gripe is that she has to hold the parasol in one angle and direction, meaning you can't position it lower or switch it to the other side.
Only if I had some sakura petals to sprinkle...
As with many traditions, partaking of rice wine is common during certain Winter/Spring holidays. Miku can't hold her liquor as evident of her cute smile that tries to hide her discomfort. I could totally imagine as she takes a sip, coughs and tears well up from her inexperience. Unfortunately, the wine cup is glued to her hand so you can't get creative with the prop.
Here is Miku, sitting back with her pet, mochi bunny. Her twin-tails also have snowflakes and have a gradient color change. But since this is a nendo, the twin-tails are very long proportionally so it was difficult to have her sit and look manageable with this hairstyle. Another part of this package I didn't mention yet is the "stand." The black and red tray stand is like the kind you would get sweets and tea served on. It's elegant and adheres to the theme; same with the toothpick (yeah that wooden plank thing on Miku's right is a toothpick).
Here's the back of her hair with the tied swirly bun. Yeah, I'm no expert in women's hairstyles so I'm not sure what to call it.
And she also comes with a normal base! Not like she needs it though. Snow Miku can stand on her own, unlike many nendoroids. Another cool part is, since she's wearing a strawberry white kimono, the inner trims of her kimono are red. That was obvious but what else?! The inside of her white hood has strawberry seed decals to go with it!
REVIEW STATEMENT: So I won't give scores, but I'll end these reviews with a concluding statement, often ranging from "I recommend it" to "pass on it."
Good Smile Company's biggest cash cow is Miku. No surprise there. So they make a new Snow Miku every year. However, this 2013 Snow Miku stands above the rest as she's the first Snow Miku to break the general mold of the previous designs. The build quality is fantastic, parts fit as they are supposed to and the sculpt is meticulously detailed. There's a lot of props, great facial expressions and even an alternative hairstyle to round out the package.
I recommend this figure to anyone who loves Miku and kimonos. If you aren't a fan of either, this won't break your preference as the design is a bit "love it or hate it." All in all, this nendoroid #303 is a great add to your collection.
Much apologies, dear readers. I have been missing in action due to work but I am back now to restart my blog, renewed with vigor!
If perhaps you have read my previous blog post then you'll already be familiar; for newcomers, this blog series will be a biweekly ranking post talking about my opinion on the currently airing anime. This is different from before, where I ranked all of the anime I was watching (even older shows I happen to be watching) on the list but I think it'll be a bit more concise and to the point to make a ranking of the currently running shows.
Therefore, I've decided to do the final winter anime rankings. While some of the shows on the list will be shows that started in the all season, they happen to run through and end at winter, so I'll include them in the list. As for spoilers, I try very hard not to put anything revealing but I can't guarantee that so just for technicality, I'll tell you now it might have some spoilers.
** Spoiler Alert**
7. Shinsekai Yori
If someone were to ask me what was the worst anime, this would be it. Despite interesting parts and bits of the story and themes that run through the show, the anime is way too ambitious and fails to adhere all of its pieces together to complete a coherent concept, story and theme. Visually, it has the worst animation I've seen in the last five years. The characters look like they've been drawn without much care and the 3D animation is amateur at best. Probable explanation might be that A-1 Pictures was probably putting all their budget into SAO, but even then I don't find that an excuse.
The greatest flaw is that the story goes into details about the society's history but it's unnecessary detail that detracts from the actual plot. The show tries to do too much and pack needless elements. Gummy creatures that are supposedly libraries, ninjas, demons and fiends, telekinetic powers polluting the environment...and on. Because it could have been so much better as a simple story, I can't help but consider it the worst anime I've seen. The sheer disappointment is beyond expression.
Oh and did I mention that in two years time, everyone at the school becomes gay/lesbian? I find it odd how in such a short time everyone changes their sexual orientation. Well whatever. I blame the source material.
6. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT
A terrible show with an incredibly large fan base. This one's simple; there's no story. The story is about a club of people trying to make friends. Wait what? That's a premise. I sincerely hope you don't think a premise is a story. I'm sure the people who enjoy the show like the characters, their personalities and the episodic comical nature of the show. I was amused at some of the references they do cover such as "Yaranaika" but honestly, that's as far as the show goes.
I recommend watching a full-blown comedy anime instead. The most unacceptable part of this show? The "to be continued" ending. Speculation says that the animation studio is going to wait for the source material to produce at least four volumes before a third season arrives. But since the show is a complete waste of time, I'd rather have AIC Build work on some other anime -- something worth watching.
Again, the show is pointless. Especially since they're all pretty much friends. They just don't know it because they're stupid. At least some of them finally realized at the end.
For a while I thought Shaft pulled off something different and fresh. Boy was I wrong. The show starts of strong, consisting of interesting ideas about the powers of Amaterasu and how it's residing in a faceless man voiced by Otsuka Houchu. However the show clearly becomes a mess of bad directing, scripting writing and oh, how the animation starts to fall apart too. By the end, there's a mess of feces smeared everywhere.
The show never goes full serious even when the plot has turned solemn. Come on. Even the slew of talented voice actors in the show can't save bad directing and poor production. Shaft completely half-assed this and it's clearly evident.
Shaft gives you half of their world; it's made of crap.
4. Tamako Market
After an amazing show like Hyouka, I was ready to see KyoAni's anime original. The animation is fantastic; camera shakes and lens flares do a great job of livening up the shots. The characters move fluidly and the attention to detail is what makes KyoAni such a studio with a fan following. However, this show is garbage; I can clearly state that after having watched all of it. The bird is unnecessary "comic relief" and the main heroine is drier than seaweed (or laver) as a mochi brained airhead. If anything the interesting characters are Kanna, the true comic relief character. Saori is a shy girl who wants to be more openly friendly and Midori is the girl with a crush on her high school sweetheart. And lets not forget the man with the most personality; Mamedai -- Tamako's father.
I won't have any argument -- episode 9 was by far the most interesting episode with an emotionally felt story. Dai's love story, which only lasted five minutes of the episode had more soul than the rest of the season of Tamako Market. I've always jokingly said that he was the main character but honestly, he was.
3. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
Spice and Wolf meets Dragon Quest. A lot of people made the comparison but that's just disrespecting Spice and Wolf and Dragon Quest. This show is a shallow, dull imitation of the great works. If perhaps you think the source material is better, I tell you, the source material isn't an anime. And if an anime can't stand on its own without the audience already knowing the source material, then it's simply incomplete.
The romance that drives the story, Yuusha in particular, to join the Maou and becomes her loyal manservant (basically) is completely dried by the end. And it doesn't help that Maou was missing for half the season "busy" doing something else. What an excuse.
Unless you ecstatically enjoy politics and economics, the rest of the story is hollow and uninteresting. You're better off sleeping through this one.
I won't deny it. I'm a sucker for cyberpunk. It's often like a murder mystery/noire with a science fiction twist. Psycho-Pass creates an interesting setting of a society where a person's life is pretty much chosen for them based on their aptitude (think The Giver by Lois Lowry). The heroine however has the aptitude to choose her life -- and she decides to go into the Public Safety Bureau, which basically acts law enforcement. The rest of the premise is like Minority Report. Basically they can try to control future criminal activity by measuring people's tendency to commit crimes.
The animation is alright; 3D animation is great but the character designs are a personal dislike. Animation is decent and consistent throughout the season. One of the main downsides of this show is the main character: Akane. She's a boring character who does nothing to drive the plot, has a strong sense of morals that usually interferes with her detective work and lacks any amount of conviction. At least until episode 18 or so, then she turns into some robot who's great at scoping out murder scenes and deducing the criminal's next move. Oh and her morals completely disappear I guess, since she just accepts the society after finding out the truth. The show was fun but honestly, the story falls flat in the end with a loop ending, where basically at the end of the show, there's another newbie who joins the bureau and is in the exact place where she was at. So it's a "nothing happened" kind of ending.
1. Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
Shortcomings? None here. I thoroughly enjoyed this show. The animation was great, the OST was fitting and the voice acting was superb. The story is largely a romance comedy; Kidou Eita is trying to live a high school life without love but instead, gets tangled with a number of girls he meets. The character personalities and relationship dynamics really make this show interesting and the pacing is well done.
The writing is well thought out and captivating. The use of the characters names to reflect the four seasons is also a detail I didn't notice until near the end of the season. And unlike other shows of the same nature, Kidou Eita is a likable main protagonist who actually likes girls and doesn't mind telling them. Unlike all of those other male protagonists in romance anime who has no balls.
This show was the show to watch this past winter season. I've also started reading the light novel -- it was that enjoyable for me.
Thanks for reading! I will update in a week since I haven't posted in a while. And hopefully I'll have the anime goodies unboxing video up soon too.