Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am Black Lagoon(y)...

Well, with this being Thanksgiving and all, you tend to pause to think about the things that you are most thankful for. With this being a blog about my otakudom, I would like to pause to think about the things that I am thankful for as far as my otaku tendencies are concerned.

Hmmm...Lemme think...I know, I'm very thankful for the anime/manga Black Lagoon.

A long time ago (2006, actually) when we used to have two legitimate anime shops in our town, I came upon an ad while perusing some Japanese magazines. The ad that I saw had a hottie totting two guns while wearing some hotpants. Being a fanservice fanatic, I needed to find out more about this show. After doing some minor investigation, I found that the show was called “Black Lagoon”. I was inspired so I asked my fellow OtaKrew member, Cyphr, to find some fansubs of this series for me. After finding the show, Cyphr decided that it was something that the whole Krew needed to see. Needless to say, the show became a Monday Night Forum hit.

Basically, the show is about a salaryman named Okajima Rokuro who was kidnapped by some mercenaries while trying to deliver a disc for his company somewhere in the southeast Asian seas. He becomes a liability for his company so he is (for the most part) considered dead. Long story short, Rokuro is dubbed "Rock" by his captors whom he ends up saving then joining. The team consists of Dutch the Boss, Benny the Mechanic, Rock and Revy the Two Hand. (It was Revy who drew my attention in the aforementioned ad)

In the story, Rock and the crew deal with all sorts of crazy things including gun-toting maids, neo-nazis, Asian gangsters and other mercenaries.

Thankfully, we got a domestic release of the anime from the good folks at Geneon. The problem is that Geneon went through some...restructuring...over the past year. Thankfully, Funimation picked up the series and is currently releasing it in Geneon's place. Coolness...

Recently, Viz has begun releasing the Black Lagoon manga which is a total blast (just like the anime). While doing some research at Anime News Network (ANN), I found that the manga lasted 7 volumes and began in 2002. Currently, we are on volume 002 which I have just picked up. If any of you are into adventure stories with lots of gunfire, car chases, things blowing up, people being punched and a little fanservice (Revy IS fanservice), then you will LOVE both incarnations of this series.

Now, knowing me, you know that I LOVE toys...One toy that I am coveting right now is the Revoltech version of Revy.

Finding this toy is like finding gold as I haven't seen it in any of the stores that I frequent regularly. Sure, I have seen them on ebay for pretty reasonable prices but I like to check out my local stores first. One of the Krew, Card, found one early on and snatched it up with the quickness. Whenever I go over to his house, I salivate over his Revy-ness and am tempted to..borrow her.

As for real-life toys, here are a few pics of one of the best cosplayed Revys that I have seen...

Another thing that I look for are doujinshi...The Black Lagoon spoof "Pink Lagoon" from the Motchie Empire circle is something that I am currently looking for. When it comes to doujinshi being posted here, I will only post covers that don't have any nudity in them.

...I'm also thankful for vampire anime...
So, I decided to pull out some older anime the other day. As I am a big time fan of anything vampire-ish, I decided to break out NightWalker. This anime is quite the treat as it is very similar to one of my favorite TV shows, Forever Knight.
The story is about a vampire named Shido who, as a private detective, works with a female police officer named Matsunaga Yayoi. There is also the orphaned teen-ager, Yamazaki Riho, who works in his office and his imp, Guni. Together, they solve paranormal mysteries while keeping the streets safe at night. Initially, NightWalker was intended to be just a 4-part OVA but it got taken to TV for an additional 8 episodes. Right around episode 6 is where the store got darker but it led to a very satisfying end.

If you like supernatural stories with vampires and other monsters, I HIGHLY recommend "NightWalker" as a show to watch.

I'm also thankful for cosplayers.

taken at NDK2008 while kickin' it at the bar...

When I go to cons, I'm very excited about hitting the dealer's room, sitting in on panels, watching Anime Music Videos (AMV) and people watching. When people watching, what I am really looking for are what costumes people are wearing as I LOVE cosplay.

Since my birthday is right around Halloween, I would have costume parties for my birthday so I grew to love Halloween the most out of all of the holidays. So, it stands to reason that I would love cosplaying is well. I am an Ota-razzi as I take my camera with me to all cons so that I can get lots and lots of pictures of all of the cosplayers. I also look for Cosplay idols on the internet via or American Cosplay Paradise. Through these two websites, I have come upon several cosplayers who I look forward to seeing what they do next...

This is one of my favorite cosplayed Cutie Honeys ever. This is the cosplay idol TristenCitrine and this pic is from a 2008 photo shoot. I'm not sure if she has broken this outfit out at any cons yet but, as it is, this particular picture is currently the wallpaper on my cellphone.

More cosplayed Cutie Honey-ness from one of my myspace friends...pamelaNeko

This Hyper Cutie Honey was shown at Anime Expo 2008. Along with the Honey from TristenCitrine, this particular outfit is one of the best Honey's that I have ever seen.

As a fan of the X-Men, I was very impressed by this Dazzler from Dragon Con 2008. In my opinion, the classic, disco-balled Dazzler is the best version of all.

To finish off my Thanksgiving theme, I'm thankful for having pamelaNeko as a myspace friend and I look forward to seeing what she does next.


Friday, November 14, 2008

It's like finding gold...

Since I am so far behind, this post is going to be pretty short but sweet...

More scans from the November 2008 issue of Hobby Japan. This time, I'm featuring the specs on the VF-25S Messiah (Alto custom). This one is the main mech in Macross Frontier flown by the main character, Alto Saotome.

In the Macross-verse, you know someone is the main character when their mech has the red/black combo (ala Hikaru Ichigo).
This is the only one that is available right now on various hobby sites. Unfortunately, I have yet to find it at my local hobby shop.

Some more of the new manga that I picked up recently at Roger's.

I'm a big fan of both the anime and the manga of Fullmetal Alchemist. It is the manga for FMA, however, that I believe is the stuff that all other manga should aspire to be. It's a really neat read all around as I like Manga-ka Hiromu Arakawa's style. Both in story telling and in art.

Interestingly enough, this is one of those manga that got animated before it ended it's run. In fact, the anime came and went (last episode was shown on Cartoon Network back in 2006) and we are still getting more manga to this day. The story is getting more and more interesting as suppoting characters continue to die and more secrets are revealed. Having said that, I just finished reading volume 17... In this volume, the Elric brothers are still at Fort Briggs when it is attacked by the homunculus, Sloth. We get a little history lesson thrown in for good measure and my new anime crush, Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong gets major page time...whoo hoo...

The thing that does suck about this manga is the wait that I now have to endure for the next volume after the brutal cliffhanger I was left with. (Way to keep us wanting more)

If they had only waited to animate what we are seeing now in the manga...I would be a happy otaku...

Being the fan of vampires that I am, the manga to Hellsing continues to keep me interested.

I'm like many otaku who thought that the Hellsing OVA was very good. Sure, the ending was a little light (ie: rushed/weak) but overall the show was very entertaining. Then the good folks at Dark Horse Manga gave us the original manga uncut. Suddenly, we saw that there were other stories that didn't get a sniff in the OVA. Stories like the vampire nazis or the continued growth of Seras Victoria or how Integra became the leader of the Hellsing Organization or what would happen in a fight between Alucard and Walter "The Angel of Death".
In volume 9, we get to see Alucard and Walter finally face off in a brawl that you just knew was bound to happen someday.

Two words: "Kick" "Ass"
If you are like me and you liked the Hellsing OVA, you need to get..this..Manga!!!

Taa Dah!!!! I told you it would be short..but sweet..


Monday, November 10, 2008

Bring on the Macross toys already....

So, I went to my local (legit) anime shop (Gimme Anime) just the other day to pick up items in my hold slot. I hadn't been there in a while so there was quite a bit to look over. Along with my manga was the latest Hobby Japan. Now, I'm kind of on the fence about getting this magazine every month because it costs quite a bit and I am currently cutting out all of the unnecessary collectibles that I get from week to week. I was this close to having the Hobby Japan put back when I saw the cover.... OMG!!! It's Macross Frontier!!!

Being the Macross Maniac that I am, I looked through the magazine and saw quite a few pages covering my addiction. Needless to say, this magazine was snatched up with the quickness. Currently, I'm in the process of scanning all of the Macross-specific pages so I will post them bit by bit. But, first, here is some info/pics of the VF-25S Messiah (Ozma custom) that I'm truly ga-ga over....

Looks like this is a model from Bandai which is a company that I love. Mainly because of the fact that they tend to make snap-fit models and I have gotten extremely lazy over the years. I absolutely hate using glue when making models. (Yeah, I know...models are supposed to be made with glue)

Looking at these pages, I already know that I don't have anywhere near the patience needed to make my models look like this one does...Man, these model makers sure have my utmost respect when it comes to all of the detail that they put into these things...
One of the OtaKrew, Indaglow, is someone who could pull this off. He has a loft in his house where he goes to put his kits together. He takes a LOOONG time making models but they turn out extremely well.

We finally finished Gurren Lagann at Anime Forum, recently. As I expected, everyone was pleased with what they saw. Sure, the story gets a little serious for a while (It's to be expected when you kill off a MAIN character) but it picks back up near the end. As for the ending, you actually get one.

p.s Simon is the MAN!!!

Birthday goodies for this year included the starter box set for Claymore. Indaglow hooked me up with that one. Of course, now that means that I am going to have to pick this one up as it is being released. Damn. Initially, I thought about just getting it when it came out in a boxset later on.
I love the anime for Claymore but I really LOVE the manga. I just finished reading volume 13 just the other day and I really liked the backstory on Riful.

Teresa kicks ass...until she (sob) died....

Hooray for Gold Digger pushing 100 in it's All-Color format...I've been collecting this comic for a very long time. ...since before it went all-color.
During that time, I've been impressed with Fred Perry's growth over those years. It has, however, grown increasingly more difficult to find any of the Antarctic Press stuff. So, I had Card add all of my AP items to his hold slot at Mile High Comics. Unfortunately, my issue #99 of GD came with some kind of sticker on the cover. Huh??? I don't like that at all. So, it looks like I am going to have to go look for the issue myself.
Le sigh...

One of the manga that I picked up this week from Roger at GA (Gimme Anime) was Air Gear vol. 10. The manag-ka, Oh! Great, used to draw "H". So when you look at this manga, you can see why he (we will assume that Oh! Great is a man) was so successful as an "H" artist. His women are second to none and he is a little...pervy.
Basically, "Ikki's Air Trek team has just won the biggest match of its career against evil rivals Behemoth. The victory has made Ikki and his crew major celebrities in the extreme skating world. But stardom has its price: Now legions of teams are challenging Ikki's riders in order to steal their crown. With the team's best rider, Agito, in the hospital, can Ikki keep his team on top?"

This manga has its moments as sometimes I find myself saying, "Why am I reading this manga, again?" but then something happens in the manga that reminds me of how fun this title can be. The rollercoaster can be annoying at times but, in the end, the story always come through.
Yay!!! We have a Simca sighting....