Mnemosyne OVA episode 2 is out! Here’s a toast to more blood, gore and sex + yuri ^^;

Posted March 3, 2008 by Natsumi
Categories: anime

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Blood…Check. Gore…Check. Nudity…Check. Violence…Check.

Yuri…Check. Sex…Check.

Wow, Mnemosyne ep 2 certainly does not let up on all the elements seen in ep 1, and ups the ante even further by introducing more blood, more gore, and more nudity. Coupled with the additional sex scenes and blatant yuri, wow they are certainly pushing the barrier.

This anime kinda reminds me of Ninja Scroll in its execution…in the sense that blood and sex does not seem to be a problem.

In any case, ep 2 takes place 1 year later, and Rin and Maeno are investigating a case of a missing person. Apparently he has turned into a so-called “angel”, which is basically a winged beast. This happens when the mysterious floating stuff enters a male body. If it enters a female, they become immortal. Hence Rin has to stop this angel. However, the catch is that immortal females are weak to the charm of angels. =p

Along the way, we also find out that Mimi is immortal too, Maeno can see the mysterious floating stuff, and Rin can regenerate herself just fine even if she gets blown to smithereens (though it’s a nasty process of cuz). And for yuri fans, you not only have a kiss, there’s a bed scene too. And on top of that, there’s a maid outfit, lol.

Here’s some screenshots…

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What a packed episode. It’s starting to grow on me. Episode 3 can’t come sooner.

Suzumiya Haruhi Custom Nike Sneakers – The ultimate anime footwear ^^

Posted March 3, 2008 by Natsumi
Categories: Weird and Wacky

Tags: , , , , , , ,

There’s no lengths to what a Haruhi fan (with loads of spare change) would do. Just take a look at this…

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Isn’t it just coolness beyond cool. And totally anime-tastic at that. ^_^

This is actually a custom sneaker specially commissioned by a Haruhi fan who wanted something different. Thus, he got a custom sneaker artist to come up with this pair of Nike Dunks incorporating his favourite anime.

Not only does it look really cool, it’s the only one of its kind in the world. You can’t buy it. If I ever wanted something to represent my favorite anime, this would be quite near to it. It sure beats all the multitude of generic cospa items out there. =p

Here’s more pictures…

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Great shoes. Now I just need to convince myself to fork out the cash for my own… -_-;;

First look at Mnemosyne – Bloody, Edgy, Violent, Nudity Showpiece

Posted March 2, 2008 by Natsumi
Categories: anime

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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OVAs come and go, and rarely has a few managed to leave an impression on me. However, the latest 6 episode OVA by XEBEC and Genco titled Mnemosyne – Mnemosyne no Musume-tachi certainly left its bloody imprint in my mind.

Its story is nothing special. A mysterious and alluring female detective Asogi Rin (looking like a cross between Integra Hellsing Wingates and Yomiko Readman), runs a detective agency investigating strange and mysterious cases together with her assistant Mimi, an expert hacker who looks like a certain someone from Kiddy Grade, lol.

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And the plot in the first episode is also quite ordinary too. Rin picks up this clueless lad, whose displaced reality leads her to an organization that does illegal underground experiments on cloning. Think Parasite Eve meets Resident Evil. She gets caught, escapes and in the midst, manages to shut down the entire facility, killing most of the people in it.

However, what struck me about the show wasn’t its plot, but its copious amount of blood, nudity and gore.

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This has certainly the most amount of blood I have ever seen in a recent anime…since Shingurui I suppose. And the nudity is generous to say the least, not to mention all the other fanservice elements like shots of breasts and butts. One very good example is the part where Rin was captured.

They could have just thrown her into the cell, but instead, you have the female head honcho, looking like a sick ballerina, tying up Rin in a room. After some lip-locking, she then proceeds to adorn Rin’s body with multiple piercings.

I’m not sure of the purpose of the scene. Perhaps it’s just to show that she’s immortal, but a bullet to the head would do the job just fine too, but I’m certain the otakus out there would enjoy it. -_-||

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And the A-list cast helps too. With Notou Mamiko (Enma Ai) headlining the main character, and other big names like Kugimiya Rie (Shana), Ohara Sayaka (xxxHolic’s Yuuko), Rie Tanaka (Suigintou in Rozen Maiden), you know for sure the voice-acting is going to be top-notch. And it is.

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One trend I noticed is that Notou seems to develop a knack of voicing dark, internally turmoiled roles, and she does it here again. Though her trademark breathy voice is not really evident much here, as Rin sounded harder than usual for her, it’s still great. Her chemistry with Kugimiya Rie is very natural too, full playing upon their deeper relationship which was hinted in this first OVA. (Yuri alert =p)

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The animation was great too, Though some scenes look quite sparse, overall, the animation was clean, crisp and fluid. Here’s hoping they keep it that way for the rest of the 5 episodes to come.

However, there was one thing I disliked, and it was the opening. For a dark show like this, something along the lines of the Elfen Lied theme song would be just perfect. But what we have instead is some washed-up rock in Engrish, or whatever language it was. It was so garbled that I can’t make it out. I hope they change the song for the next opening, as it is awful.

Nonetheless and in spite of the bad opening, I did enjoy the edgy and understated stylishness of the first episode. If they manage to flesh out the story more, it could turn out to be great, and not just remembered for its blood and gore.

I will definitely be watching the second episode. In the meantime, if you’re undecided about Mnemosyne, here’s more pictures to whet your appetite. There are certainly worser animes out there than this.

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New Season of Slayers Announced! The return of Lina Inverse!

Posted February 28, 2008 by Natsumi
Categories: anime

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I thought I was seeing things when I saw the headline on ANN today.

“New Slayers Fantasy TV Anime Series in the Works”

But upon further reading, it’s true! And there is not only going to be one, but TWO new seasons of Slayers!! It’s confirmed, alright! *(^_^)/*

What is most definitely confirmed is there will be an anime-exclusive story, which is split across two seasons, and with the same director as the original anime. The official title and the cast have not been confirmed yet though, though J.C. Staff will be the studio animating it. *Awesome*

If you don’t know what Slayers is, you must be fairly new to anime. Because it is one of the greatest anime hits in the 90s, and was the series that propelled Hayashibara Megumi (She voices the main character Lina Inverse) to seiyuu lore.

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The story behind Slayers is very simple. It is set in a medieval type world, and chronicles the adventures of a sorceress named Lina Inverse, and her ragtag bunch of companions accompanying her on her journey.

Though she may be a powerful sorcercess, she has two favourites – eating and money. Doesn’t sound very glamourous does it, lol. And it may seem a bit crude by today’s standards, but if you can overlook the 90s animation, it is extremely funny, and Lina’s amusing short-temper, self-deprecating humour and wit makes the series an absolute ball to watch.

Lina’s charming in an oddly cool way, and I have been an ardent fan ever since the first time I saw this series…which spans 3 TV season, 5 movies, 2 OVAs, and a gazillion other merchandise. Two of my most treasured Slayers possession is this Slayers encyclopedia and a figure of Lina (with Chibi Gourry to boot) below. They’re so rare and took me so much trouble to secure. But the joy I have received from all the Slayers series is priceless.^^

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When talking about Slayers, one person cannot be ignored and she is none other than the seiyuu queen of the 90s, Megumi Hayashibara. Some of you may be familiar with her as the voice of Ayanami Rei in Evangelion, Faye in Cowboy Bebop or more recently in Paprika, but she shot to fame with her voice for Lina.

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No disrespect to Mitsuishi Kotono, Kikuko Inoue and the others, but Megumi-sama ruled the 90s, and in Slayers, her voice brings out Lina’s personality perfectly. Plus, she also sings the main bulk of all the Slayers songs, together with Masami Okui (Okui also sang the awesome op and ed for Utena).

I LOVE all the songs, and would listen to them endlessly. Here’s the charming opening of the first season with Megumi and Okui singing together, and gives a pretty good idea how the slayers anime is like.

And here’s the opening for season two. Great song again!

I believe I wouldn’t enjoy Slayers as much as I did without Megumi-sama in it (And they better get her to voice Lina again! -_-) . Till today, I am still a fan of hers, and hope I can meet her one day… She was the one that started my seiyuu craze too. ^^;

Anyway, I am so so so looking forward to this series! A quick glance at the future anime line-up for next season throws up nothing promising, but now I have something, finally, to be really excited about. At least with the original director, there’s a higher possibility that it’ll retain the quirky and irreverent charm that made it great. =)

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So my wishlist for things I want to see in the series:

– The return of the Dragon Slave!!! The signature spell of Lina and just too cool to be true. See youtube link below to view Lina casting the Dragon Slave. I used to memorize and recite the entire spell too, lol. You can recite it if you want too. 😉

– Extended appearance of Luna Inverse, the almightly older sister of Lina. There are only two things Lina is afraid of, slugs and Luna, and it’s just wacky and funny when Lina’s terrified.

– Naga the serpent makes a special appearance. I’m not sure why the OVAs weren’t as popular as the animes, but I thought Naga was a excellent foil for Lina. Their chemistry was great (when they were working together), and if she made like a guest appearance, it would be just fantastic.

– More Lina, more Lina, more Lina!!! Anything is good, her training days in the magic school, etc etc…

Bring it on! ^o^

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Kodomo no Jikan – Loli gone too far?

Posted February 27, 2008 by Natsumi
Categories: Weird and Wacky

Tags: , , ,

Loli has never been as blatant as Kodomo no Jikan. Seriously. Take a look at this if you’re unconvinced.

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WTF!?

I count myself as a fairly open-minded person.

Hentai is fine, yuri is alrite, yaoi doesn’t bother me, and loli (or rori in Japanese) is awfully innocent, sweet and cute when done correctly.

Think Ichigo Mashimaro.

But Kodomo no Jikan is in a league of its own. There isn’t any reason to animate it, they could have left the manga (it was based on the original manga) as it is – a fun, though subversive piece of work. Manga-wise, Kodomo no Jikan is just a tiny insignificant drop in the sea of eroge out there.

But with it being animated, as with most shows, it has shot into the limelight (as anime adaptations of obscure usually does).

However, in this instance, it seems like Kodomo no Jikan is not the underground, subversive manga that it was, and has now become a full-fledged loli symbol. When you think of loli, it pops to mind. and eeky loli at that.

And with the range of merchandise surrounding it, some as distasteful (in my personal opinion) as the mousepad above (which cost a whopping SGD78 too), it seems to suggest that there is a market for such items. Frankly, it’s disturbing to me.

I’m not the paragon of virtue advocating clean, sanitized anime (I do enjoy Ikkitousen), but Kodomo no Jikan is pure exploitation.

It’s animes like this that give anime an absolutely bad name, further propagating the stereotype of otakus being weirdos.

I seriously wish they will can it. It’s not entertainment anymore.

But as with such things, the opposite could happen and there’ll be a season 2.

I can’t imagine the merchandise.

The Cute, The Yummy and The Creative – Anime Bento

Posted February 25, 2008 by Natsumi
Categories: Weird and Wacky

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If you have ever lived in Japan for a short period, or watched any anime that features high-school life, the concept of Bento (or lunchboxes) would not be foreign at all.

And the bento is not simply a throw-away lunch pack, but contains some of the most creative food artistry I have ever seen.

Case in point, this Totoro Bento looks gorgeous, and absolutely yummylicious. (And it took the poor mother 2 hours to put together)

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Awesome, isn’t it. This just take the cake for the most beautiful and realistic anime bento.

And if you want more pictures of anime bento, the Japanese anime magazine Animage occasionally features an anime bento based on a major anime of the season.

Some of them are really wild and creative and I’ll scan in some to show you guys for sure.

In the meantime, if anyone you have attempted to make any anime bento, do share the results with me. 🙂

Fate/Stay Night ~ Saber and Irisviel pack by Alter from Wonderfest ’07 + Cute Nendoroid!!

Posted February 24, 2008 by Natsumi
Categories: Figures

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While casually browsing online for anime figures today, I saw this:

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OMG! I want it!

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It just looks cool, period. And Irisviel is gorgeous as well.

So imagine when I found out it was a limited edition item from Wonderfest 07, with only 5000 sets produced…

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I was seriously kicking myself for living under a rock the past year…

It’s probably going to cost a bomb now. I can only blame myself for not noticing this sooner . >_<

My wallet’s gonna bleed again, but it would definitely make a really nice addition to another Fate/Stay Night Saber figure I’m planning on purchasing.

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This is a really cool Fate/Zero figure (thankfully not a limited run edition) by Max Factory featuring Saber in yet another black tuxedo, looking mightily suave and spiffy.*^^*

While I’m at it, maybe I’ll try snagging the exclusive Wonderfest 07 Saber Nendoroid as well.

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It definitely looks way better than the other mass markets Saber nendoroids. ^^

There are always two sides of a coin, and this is most definitely one of the *Ugliest* Saber figures I have ever seen.

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Yuck. Where is her charm??

And not to end this unpleasantly, here’s a Fate Stay Night Set that is 100% candy. The whole gang, at the beach, no less. :p

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And lastly, this…

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would be a delectable Saber figure too. 😉 *Hint Hint, Alter*