Tag Archives: Japanese


10 Mar

Remember Heavy Rain? I didn’t play it, but from what I heard, it was a pretty dramatic game. There was some romance involved, am I right?

There aren’t too many games for the XBOX or the PS3 focusing their spotlight on romance, in-game, but “Catherine” dares to change this. You do not make your characters fall in love or have seks. Rather, you are trying to escape from your nightmares because you HAD AN AFFAIR AND NOW YOUR MISTAKE WON’T LEAVE YOU ALONE!

Do not be fooled by the cute girls and the pink background. Image via scorephoria.com

AKA: FATAL ATTRACTION MEETS THE CELL —  Choose your own adventure-style.

I am digging the style of the graphics–it is just me or does Vincent (the protagonist) remind you a LITTLE bit of Spike Spiegel? Whenever I see blonde pigtails I think Sailormoon. So we’ve got Spike Spiegel and slutty Usagi-chan in this raunchy video game.

Image via gamestop.com

Image via gamestop.com

But seriously, you play as Vincent, who meets the mysterious Catherine at a bar one night and perhaps has a little too much fun with her, despite the fact he has a long-term girlfriend, Katherine, to go home to. He is later plagued by nightmares in which his life is constantly at stake, and must “survive” each nightmare, as the lines between reality and the dreamworld blur. Not only do you have to battle and solve puzzles during the nightmares, you must eventually choose between Catherine and Katherine. Oh, and did I mention that random young men have been dying, while sleeping? Suddenly, Dan Gallagher’s life doesn’t seem so difficult.

The game was recently released in Japan (February 2011) and is slated for its North American release on July 26, 2011.

Oh, my gosh, you guys, remember Gackt?!!

26 Jan

Gackt is back.

But more specifically, I should say, his voice is back, and quite appropriately as one of the “Special Children” in Madhouse’s anime version of the American TV series “Supernatural”.

The “Supernatural” anime was first announced last year in June, debuted on and the first season will be available on DVD/Blu-Ray Feb. 23 in Japan. You can order the DVD online from Amazon Japan [region 2 though].

I was very surprised to hear of this news because usually it’s us Americans adapting something from Asia (re: Infernal Affairs, The Ring, The Grudge, etc…), and though we know that the Japanese are heavily influenced by American culture as well, this adaptation comes as big news especially since the American actors from the TV series will be dubbing in their own voices for the English dub. “Supernatural” creator Eric Kripke worked with Madhouse’s co-founder Masao Maruyama to devise the unique outline of the 22-episode 1st season. The episodes will feature new, original episodes highlighting the back story of the brothers, more emphasis on supporting characters from the TV series, and “remaking the best episodes” from the TV series, according to animenewsnetwork.com.

I’ve never watched “Supernatural” but I’m probably going to end up watching the anime series first.

The male leads in the anime were also drawn to resemble the actual actors, which I think is pretty damn cool–badass anime version of yourself? Can I have one too?

Sam & Dean of "Supernatural" the anime version. Image via WB Japan.

Here’s Kripke discussing the anime series at last year’s Comic-con…. where the fuck was I? Too busy shopping for figurines I think…

Official WB Japan “Supernatural” site

Super Full Screen Viewing Suggested

20 Jan

The Evangelion 2.0 movie, “You Can (Not) Advance” will premiere in the US on January 21 (tomorrow) in select theatres, and the “reboot” of this beloved series is leaving anime fans to debate whether or not this “improved” version of a classic is worth 2 hours of their life.

This is the second film of four in the “Rebuild of Evangelion” series, initiated in 2006, and while the film debuted in 2009 across the globe, I suppose there were licensing issues that delayed the North American release for 2 years.   (don’t we generally get everything LATER than everyone else? Like video capabilities on our cell phones? The Japanese had those in 2002…) Needless to say I’m pretty sure most of you have already downloaded this movie, so what’s the point?

Just some of our favorite anime ladies. Image via halcyonrealms.com.

Just some of our favorite anime ladies. Image via halcyonrealms.com.

My thoughts exactly–I never really understood why anyone would bother to view an anime movie on a large screen unless it was his/her first time viewing the movie, or his/her first foray into the magical (fantastical?) world of anime… until Anime Expo 2010. I tagged along with some of my friends to catch a screening of the second Gurren Lagann movie, “The Lights in the Sky are Stars” (Ragan-hen), and while I had previously only watched about 15 minutes of the anime series, I was hooked after seeing the movie. I was seated next to Yoko and Kamina cosplayers, crossing my legs as to accommodate all the Yokos’ guns tucked underneath the seats. Kamina’s seiyuu, Katsuyuki Konishi, introduced the movie, and as the crowd cheered and groaned collectively at key points in the movie, I could feel the energy in the atmosphere, something I couldn’t experience behind my 15″ computer screen at home. I guess it also helps that I was watching mecha action–I had watched a couple episodes of “Bamboo Blade” prior in other screening room, and there was a goddamn lot of cheering (myself included). I could only liken this experience to the time I went to see the “Grindhouse” (Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino) double-feature on opening night, packed crowd and all–everyone present for the same reason with escalating levels of excitement before and during the film. (That’s also why I enjoy going to live shows so much)

So don’t ask me if I’m in support of the Evangelion reboot, or against it… I’ll be at the Downtown Independent next weekend to relax and revel in some almost-full-scale mecha action.

Evangelion 2.0 will be screening at the Downtown Independent from January 28-February 3rd. Get your tickets here!

Also, if you still have not watched the first movie, the Downtown Independent will be re-screening this movie on January 27.

Quarter of Silence… Golden, Golden Silence

28 Dec

Every time I visit my parents’ home, my sister is either doing one of three things: showering, sleeping or watching a Detective Conan movie. Not to say she is unproductive, but that’s just how my timing seems to work when I visit during the holidays. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m not very close with my sister even though we’re only three years apart. In an effort to “bond”, she usually asks me, “Have you seen the latest Detective Conan movie?” to which I usually don’t know how to respond because I actually only watched up to the 12th movie, and Detective Conan movies aren’t at the forefront of my brain. Needless to say, I do enjoy the movies very much and “Captured In Her Eyes” is one of the best movies I have seen in the history of my life.

I was actually in Japan this year during the release of the 14th Detective Conan movie (one is released every year) and was tempted to watch it while in Tokyo. Had to remind myself I was not in Japan to watch movies, though. Apparently my sister watched it and gave away a little spoiler, a spoiler juicy enough for me to encourage me to start following the storyline again.

The 14th movie, if you’ve been following along as my sister has been, was titled “The Lost Ship in the Sky” and reunited Conan with our favorite “villain” Kaitou Kid. The 15th movie, “Quarter of Silence”, celebrates the 15th anniversary of the series (wow… I am old…), and will be in theatres (in Japan) on April 16, 2011. Enjoy the trailer below:

As much as I love the Detective Conan series, I just don’t understand how time functions in Conan world. Do they solve mysteries everyday? Once a week? I mean.. if it’s been 15 years, shouldn’t Conan grow up to be Shinichi already and get back with Ran already? I wouldn’t mind a happy ending, that’s all I’m saying.


1 Nov

I try to watch a new anime every month or so just to keep up-to-date with everything–though I will admit that the new anime I test out usually does not have 100+ episodes. Shorter run series interest me more as I don’t have enough time set aside to hop onto the Naruto cruise.

A friend recently linked me to a new series released by GAINAX (yes, the studio behind Neon Genesis Evangelion) with the funky title, “Panty and Stocking with GarterBelt“. Glancing at the concept art, I thought this was a link to a PowerPuff Girls cartoon. I let the link sit on my Facebook for about a month, until I was reading about the series again on a forum. Also, with a title including 3 of a male’s favorite pieces of female clothing, how could I not be enticed to sneak a peek?

I had no idea what was going on in the first episode, but within the first 10 seconds after the opening sequence, I realized this show is most definitely not for kids. The show incorporates the same animation style as the PowerPuff Girls, including the addition of some tokusatsu styles, but the jokes and dialogue are very vulgar.

Panty and Stocking with Garter Belt

Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (not pictured). Image via animenation.net

We are introduced to our lead characters right away–Panty, a feisty, blonde sex-addict; and her sister, Stocking, a gothic lolita with an extreme sweet tooth. I really am not sure where to begin to describe this show. It has a bizarre “Sailor Moon-type” transformation sequence in which the two girls swing around on poles, Panty removing her panties and Stocking removing a single stocking. Panty’s panties (I am very tempted to turn this sentence into a tongue twister) turn into a pistol, Stocking’s stocking revealing itself to be a striped katana. Not much else is explained in the first episode (which is technically 2 episodes in one), besides the mention that these 2 are angels banished from Heaven, who need to battle restless spirits, called Ghosts, that possess various items within the civilian realm and wreck chaos on the city. They receive “coins” for every “spirit” they free, but they pretty much destroy their environment at the same time. I’m assuming that as soon as they collect enough coins they can pay their way back into Heaven… And by the way, Garter Belt is the Reverend who keeps the two in line. Yes, Reverend Garterbelt–the name itself just begging to be made into a creative Halloween costume for next year.

Despite all the very sexual dialogue and images, the show is so outrageous that I am enjoying it like I enjoyed Jersey Shore. Except that 5 minutes of this show would put the Jersey Shore kids to shame. I also happen to be quite fond of the music–not surprisingly the music is by Taku Takahashi of m-flo.

This clip below is NSFW–the “transformation” sequence I mentioned above.

The Godfather: Tezuka Osamu

7 Sep

Call me old school or call me late, but in my defense I was just a sucker for pretty art when I read manga in my high school days. That being said, yes, I did read a lot of CLAMP. As much as I still love CLAMP and they are my favorite mangaka, I eventually ventured off in search of more compelling stories (sorry, CLAMP!!) and started reading the endless journey that is Detective Conan. I read a few smaller titles afterwards, including Hana Yori Dango (this was before the whole Meteor Garden/F4 explosion), which is one of my all-time favorites even though I usually don’t read shoujo manga. I was so caught up with reading the NEW titles, in a way, ignoring the classic goodies.

I was at Kinokuniya in Little Tokyo one day, browsing their manga section, when a title that would ordinarily not capture my interest, did–“Buddha” by Tezuka Osamu. Maybe it was my innate desire to learn more about my parents’ religion (I go to the temple sometimes but I’m not really Buddhist) and my culture that prompted me to pick up this title. I tend to read action/sci-fi/horror/mystery/comedy manga, and I shouldn’t have doubted that Buddha wouldn’t have those elements. I finished the first volume within the hour, and I now own all 8 volumes and tried to force my friends to read it. I don’t like to admit this, but I got teary-eyed upon the conclusion. I remember watching “Little Buddha” as a kid, but besides the fact Keanu Reeves was in it, a distinct memory of it doesn’t resound in my mind. Tezuka’s “Buddha”, however, was so much easier to connect to. Sure, some of the events in the manga were fictional, but Siddhartha wasn’t a perfect person–and that was made clear throughout. The magic of Tezuka’s story-telling (I later realized) is that he makes his characters completely real–the characteristics that Siddhartha embodied can be found in maybe one of your best friends. There were characters you hated, characters you grew to love, and characters you cherised–the most important thing was that you cared about all the characters. It is a rarity in manga for all the characters to have fascinating arcs, and especially for the reader to emotionally invest in so many of them.

Part of the Menace's manga collection

If I really like a series I'll buy the entire set...most of which is usually then loaned out/forced to other friends to read. Case in point: SCOTT PILGRIM.

After “Buddha”, I read “MW”, which was a very, very twisted thriller involving poisonous gases and a dose of homosexuality. There was a dash of American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman in our main antagonist, who I wasn’t sure if I felt sorry for or absolutely despised. At times I felt bad for him, other times I just wanted him to die a gruesome death for all his sins. The story had me questioning who the true villain was at the very end, and I wondered why this story hadn’t been turned into a movie yet, it was one of the most captivating I had ever read.

“MW” and “Buddha”, 2 completely different bodies of work, both set decades, or centuries in the past, echoing modern social and political themes. Osamu never loses the connection to reality with his fascinating and seemingly unreal stories (I sure hope MW is 100% fictional, it is absolutely horrific). His characters are unforgettable, and most of the stories ARE character-driven, unlike a lot of manga today, which tries to hook its readers with a “unique” story idea, but leaves readers feeling empty with its underdeveloped characters.

I just picked up “Ode to Kirihito” the other day, which is still sitting on my nightstand, but this story revolves around a weird disease that turns people into beastly dogs. Can’t wait to start reading.

Ode to Kirihito

I should get on this shit.

T-Pain Hates the Weak

29 Aug

Since MegaWoman blogged about how she always names her player(s) “PENIS”, I thought I should also share my video game character naming preferences. Please excuse the sheisty quality of these photos.

I for some reason enjoy naming my villains “T-Pain“. I don’t have a personal vendetta towards the guy. But for a while, wasn’t it better to have T-Pain in a bit of everything? So I’d like to inject that idea into my video games.

Pokemon SoulSilver

T-Pain is my angry, red-haired rival in Pokemon SoulSilver

When it comes to my own character name, my character is always called “menace“. Oh. That’s my blog profile name too. This nickname came about at my previous job, where nobody could pronounce my name correctly, hence calling me “Dennis”, which turned into “Dennis the Menace”, which then, through a series of coworkers too lazy for names with more than 3 syllables, became, “The Menace”. For a while I even had my own jingle, “Dennis~ the MEH~nace~”. (Um, just use your imagination or something…) After that it just kind of stuck. Because my previous nickname was “Mushroom”. That doesn’t sound threatening at all, in any way, and I’m not sure that many people even like mushrooms.

My closest friends know that I listen to a lot of kpop (Korean pop music), and I have a fetish for extremely pretty Asian boys, most of which are probably prettier than me. So why not integrate my kpop boys into my games? After all, it’s my fantasy world, right? Here’s a screenshot from my Dragon Quest IX game. You can see that I named my priest “Taemin“, who, in my books, is the barely-legal lead dancer from the kpop group SHINee. I even gave him awesome hair like Taemin has IRL. And look, he even has slanted eyes and wears vibrant clothing! It’s too bad my priest is the weakest link in my party.

Taemin of SHINee

Taemin of SHINee, image via http://demenkorea.blogspot.com

Dragon Quest IX - Priest Custom Character

My priest, TAEMIN! Mwahaha...

What are your game naming preferences? Leave a comment, we’d love to hear them!

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