Fanservice FTW Blog You can call it smochi if you wanna


Top 10 Anime Openings of the 1980s

Nothing quite says fluff piece like the tried and true "Top 10" list. The "Top 10" list combines the pointless regurgitation of common knowledge with a ranking system. This helps to not only extol the author's perceived intellect, but to attempt to create a small sense of controversy to promote talk of the publisher of the aforementioned list. That said, I have compiled a list of what I view to be the best anime OPs to grace the 80s.

The first few titles that will be covered are the bastards among this list. Yes, these first few contenders are the honorable mentions, though the term is not used in the strictest sense. These titles all would have easily made the list, had it not been for one small problem: none of these are actually openings. These all take the form of insert songs or ending themes, and were thus ineligible (under my arbitrary stipulation) for the coveted and few ranked positions.


Sengoku BASARA Samurai Heroes: Brian Crecente, I’m Calling You Out.

Edit: surprisingly quick responses from Crecente himself prompted a few changes.

Normally I open doors for women, eat all of my dinner and respect my elders. I've got no problems with authority or people that are simply above me for no other apparent reason than experience and effort, and I respect those people for those very reasons. That said, I also have no problem with making sure credit is given where credit is due, and believe in having decent games represented fairly and professionally.

For that reason, I should--no, I must--raise issue with Brian Crecente's coverage of Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes. It's completely underwhelming and has given Kotaku's readership a terrible impression of the upcoming game. My issues are not completely trivial, nor am I just needlessly hating on Crecente, nor Kotaku for publicity, click-through traffic or just to whine. I realize that the business of journalism is a business: money gets passed around, favors are pulled, and so on. While I will not make any presumptions as to whether or not that is even remotely relevant to Kotaku's coverage of Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes, I believe that games should be represented fairly when they deserve to be, especially on one of the most trusted and most widely-read outlets for video game journalism on the internet.

Basara 1

I've drawn my sword, good sir! Well, okay, one of them.


The Taming of the Tsundere: Japan’s Fascination with Obstinate Women

I was asked in my Literary Criticism class to come up with a comparison of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew with some (read: ANY) form of pop culture. That was their first mistake. The following is copy from the 12 pages of references to anime bullshit Shakespeare could have always done without. I may or may not believe any of this, but hey, do what you gotta do.


Animu Review: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood


When I heard that Fullmetal Alchemist was going to be an anime, I was excited that a completely new and original show was going to be aired. In reality, if you watched the previous Fullmetal Alchemist you will be quite surprised with Brotherhood.


Re-Blogging: Interview with Yamamoto Yutaka

Otaku in Japan

A Japanese Otaku with his prized posession: the hug pillow.

I just happened to stumble upon this story and thought I'd share. Akira, this particular blog entry's author, has taken a printed interview with ex-Kyoani staff member Yamamoto Yutaka and added a bit of commentary of his own to highlight some of the more significant points Yamamoto makes.


Sengoku BASARA, or “The Western Market That Could Have Been”

This is the Great Nippon Spirit.

This is the Great Nippon Spirit.

Many of you anime fans who like to keep current with Japan's anime seasons have probably heard of -- or have been watching -- Sengoku Basara. The show just recently ended its first season, with a second season announced by Production I.G. Studios themselves. The entire cast of characters has a rabid Japanese fanbase, primarily female -- a strange paradox, given that the anime is very blatantly a shounen battle series. The original video game franchise has grown from the first game, Sengoku Basara, to a straight-up sequel, a Guilty Gear-esque 2D fighter developed by ArcSys and Sammy, a PSP brawler that quickly took first place in software sales on its release; and a third title in the works for 2010. The anime brought with it a number of incredible product placement opportunities, from cellphone straps and character novelties to a Pizza Hut endorsement, a special rice label deal, a half-dozen different character-specific flavors of energy drink, and, oh, a stage play. Outside of Japan, however, Sengoku Basara (known to the rest of the world as Devil Kings) has almost never been heard of. What happened?


Demon’s Souls Gets Release Date, Deluxe Edition

Over the weekend, Atlus took the liberty of announcing October 6th as the release date for the highly-anticipated PS3 action RPG Demon's Souls.  They've also revealed a Deluxe Edition of the game, which includes a 150-page strategy guide and an artistic slipcover for the game case for only $10 more.  In addition, pre-orders of both the regular and deluxe editions of the game will be rewarded with an artbook.

Already known in Japan for its difficulty, Demon's Souls boasts several interesting online features, including four-player co-op, a hint leaving system, and the ability to enter another's game as a boss, which is not only awesome, but also gives the game a fair amount of competitive replay value, something rare in many RPGs.

Atlus spoils Demon's Souls for PLAYSTATION 3 [Atlus USA Forums]


Hybrids Are Quiet. Too Quiet.

Shh!  What was that?   ... the wind.

One of the oft-touted features of electric cars is their silent operation, which reduces noise pollution in large cities.  But Japan's MLIT has recently suggested that hybrids' lack of noise may pose a threat to blind pedestrians, as well as drivers who can't use a mirror.  A ministry panel has suggested that automakers such as Toyota incorporate noise-making devices into their hybrid lines.  This is bound to please car companies, who have, doubtless, been looking for a way to negate the efficiency gained from the electric motor.   The addition of a noise maker would also present an opportunity for automakers to sell custom sounds for hybrids, such as train and horse effects.  One wonders why the option isn't already available, potentially profitable as it is.

Japan Mulls Making Hybrid Cars Louder [New York Times]


Japanese Gyaru Finds A Foothold in the UK

It seems that teens and twenty-somethings in London have recently discovered the ancient Japanese manba fashion trend.