Merged with Blog 023 > Part 1.
At last, my latest photoshoot from yesterday and today, Dec 29th-30th! This time, improving upon my original October-12th HP-digicam photoshoot of my 7.5-inch 1/8-scale “Ohno & Saki in Cosplay” figures (from Genshiken), I decided to use a backdrop of arguably the most-famous landmark of anime/manga/otaku fan culture — the inverted-pyramidal Tokyo Big Sight convention center! Over two days, took a whopping total of 100 Canon photos, and managed to whittle it down to the best 70 shots. Damn, gonna need 3 posts!
my speed review: “DOUBLE WOW! Unexpectedly engaging and heartbreaking!”
yesterday, finished my LAST anime of the year “naruto” season 1 (of 9 so far!)… okay, now prior to starting this series, i’ve heard the mocking rants against it, and at first glance, i chuckled with the jokes… after all, naruto looked like just another loud-and-crazy teenaged boy on his quest to be the number one ninja, attracting anime fanboys and fangirls who seemed to be just as loud and crazy… but without having seen it, i figured why not, i’d see what everyone got so worked up about… and wow, was i surprised!!!… i admit, the first 5-10 minutes of each episode seems to be a repetitive rehash of the previous episode, but overlooking that, the eye-grabbing series is amazingly action-packed, cleverly choreographed, and unexpectedly tearful… revolving around the still loud-and-crazy yet complex Naruto, the quieter dark-haired ninja-genius Sasuke, and the book-smart pink-haired Sakura, these three rookie ninjas must learn to work as a team, endure unpredictably bloody missions, confront tragic deaths, and strive to advance to the next challenging level of their ongoing training, without tripping over each other… this is another comedic-yet-dramatic tale of friendship and personal dreams that’s worth checking out… 5 of 5 stars!
Azumanga Daioh | Image from Google Search
my speed review: “WOW! Crazy, cute, funny, but most of all, lovable!”
a couple of days ago, finally finished “azumanga daioh“!… a light-hearted yet heart-warming stroll with a half dozen girls as they follow their bumpy winding three-year path called yes, “high school”!… (the japanese school system is organized with three-year middle schools and three-year high schools)… from the 10-year-old pig-tailed genius Chiyo-chan to the slow-witted Osaka to the loud-mouthed Tomo-chan to the quiet star-athlete Sakaki-san, these central and wild array of supporting characters and animals are a laughing treat to watch as they talk about breast size, creepy teachers, summer vacations, looming exams, and the crazily logic-defyingly random schoolgirl thoughts that fly through their heads… while there was no level of tragedy to highlight the depth of their friendships, the series leaves one with a wide smile and a bright hope for their ongoing stroll through life… 4 of 5 stars!
hey, a late xmas present!… on tuesday, dec 26th, after dinner, drove to the post office to pick up my latest anime figure… “gothloli rei“!… in fact, here’s the preview that i wrote for LasVegasOtaku.org back on sept 24th…
Going All the Rei!
If you’re a figure collector, or even if you’re not, you’re probably tired of seeing the seemingly endless versions of Rei and Asuka from the classic anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. But that feeling may soon change!
Coming this November, a stunning new GothLoli Rei Ayanami will be available for your collecting pleasure. Sculpted by Suzu (Atomic-bom) and manufactured by Amie-Grand, this eye-catcher depicts a demurely kneeling Rei in a frilly white choker and top, as well as a leathery black skirt and stockings. At an impressively detailed 1/6 scale, Rei kneels at nearly 7-inches tall.
However, the sturdier polystone resin pushes her price to a blue-hair-raising $110-120 USD. Is she worth it? Well, if you’re a die-hard fan of Evangelion, GothLoli culture, or both — and can maybe skip meals for a few weeks — Rei might very well be!
Eureka Seven | Image from Google Search
my speed review: “DOUBLE WOW! Amazing epic action and complex emotion!”
lol, merry christmas again!… late last night, very early morning, finally finished the 50-episode epic drama “eureka seven“… for those who have already seen the classic “neon genesis evangelion” or melodic “rahxephon” giant-mecha series, the comparisons with “eureka seven” are many, but it also quite clearly stands on its own… boasting a hipper, trendier, flashier and more rebellious-youth-type identity, the enormous story paints both bright sunlit splashes and dark blood-streaked shadows… the more-than-a-dozen unique supporting characters create a wonderfully complex tapestry of pasts, pains, hopes, and dreams, while the young central protagonists Renton and Eureka figure out a way to find each other, find themselves, and find a common future… the animation is slick and sharp, the airboarding battles scenes are mesmerizing, the loss of memorable characters is tearfully tragic, and the soul-moving music climbs from sombre depths to dance-beating heights to awe-inspiring horizons… what started as a seemingly uncertain 3 or 4 stars developed into a resounding 5 of 5 stars!!! simply fantastic!
Tsukuyomi Moon Phase | Image from Google Search
my speed review: “DOUBLE WOW! Both cat-eared cuteness and gothic drama!”
merry christmas!… last night, finished “tsukuyomi moon phase“… an amazingly fascinating tale revolving around a castle-bound blood-seeking girl name Hazuki and a young photographer named Kouhei… it was so intriguing to see how the cat-eared slapstick comedy intertwined with the enigmatically vampiric drama!… while the supporting characters are lovable, it is the unique interchange between the two central protagonists Hazuki and Kouhei, sometimes humorous, sometimes painful, and sometimes romantic, which sparks the story and sucks you into their world… but what sold me from the start, was the gothic atmosphere, the stylish visual composition (such as the hand-held-camera shake effect), and the dynamic range of music, all reminiscent of the eerie “Le Portrait de Petit Cossette”… plus a touch of that bonding comedy and smiling cuteness lacking in “Petit Cossette”… in a nutshell, 5 of 5 stars!
Saikano | Image from Google Search
yup, 55 in 2006!… from may-thru-december 2006, i’ve seen and rated 55 anime in 2006 so far (and may finish a couple more, lol)… after having seen others posting their “top tens” of the year, i figured why not?… for me, the most-important 5-star criteria is emotional power (can it move me to tears?), followed next by story complexity and character depth, then style, humor, music, uniqueness, and so on (not in any particular order)… also note that i only give a 4-star maximum to “half seasons”… SO, with that, here are my top 34 contenders for both “full seasons” (20-30+ episodes) and “half seasons” (10-15 episodes)… and across five self-defined categories (subject to change, lol)… impossible to choose winners!!!
Hey! My newest photoshoot taken today on Sunday, Dec 17th! In this case, I decided to go back and feature the first figure i ever ordered, way back in April 2006. That is, the first figure to grab me, strongly enough to own her: my 7-inch 1/8-scale “Saber in Gothic-Lolita Black” figure (the same “Saber” from Fate/Stay Night). So, to improve upon my original September-2006 photoshoot using my crappy HP digicam, today I used my Canon and a dark forest-fiery backdrop, took a total of 75 saved shots for 2 different poses (with and without skirt), and somehow narrowed it down to the best 50 shots…
Well, in one of Danny’s recent posts, he planned to experiment more with shooting figures indoors… I simply commented that I used a couple of desk lamps, the ceiling light, and my Canon EOS 350D‘s built-in flash, and my photos look great!… His reply: “xjaymanx, Some cool shots on your blog ^^ “
As I was checking my email at work, I found this new pre-order (for April 2007) in the latest issue of my “Hobby Search” email subscription… Since I liked “Rider” in the “Fate/Stay Night” anime series, the 1/6-scale “Rider” swimsuit figure definitely caught my eye!… But I don’t like her so much that I can’t wait for her to appear on the more-affordable “Twin Moons” American site… if she appears there at all…
Last night, guess what I got in the mail?… Yup, after just a week, my latest poseable “Lara Croft” figure… The 1/7-to-1/6-scale “Lara Croft in Area 51” figure (from the Tomb Raider III videogame)… Yet another to add to my growing “need to photograph” queue, lol!
Yukikaze | Image from Google Search
“Lonely lack of humor. But amazing aerial effects!”
once again, finished another series… above is my speed-review for “yukikaze“… a very solemn 5-episode story centered on Lt. Rei Fukai, the quiet pilot of the highly-advanced artificially-intelligent jet-fighter “yukikaze” (“snow wind” in japanese), set amidst an interplanetary war with an alien species… while the lonely central characters and noticeable lack of humor fails to give the drama that extra depth, the CGI dogfight sequences and aerial views are breathtaking… 3 of 5 stars.
Air Gear | Image from Google Search
“DOUBLE WOW! Addictive air battles! Skywardly inspiring!”
yup, as written in my Anime Viewing List, that’s my speed-review for “air gear“… just finished another teenage story of an unknown underdog who transforms, one battle after another, into a battered but determined champion… however, in this case, the story follows 15-year-old Ikki, not with martial arts or swords or giant mecha, but with high-tech Air Trecks (ATs), or highly-advanced air-borne versions of in-line skates… skillfully, the various metaphors of flying towards the sky and growing wings, with the powerful accompaniment of both street-style and orchestral music, creates an uniquely inspiring world… despite the wildly drawn scenes of humor (which would typically lower a series to 4 stars), there are several breathtaking flashbacks and moments of personal realizations which are deeply moving, sometimes almost to tears… and the ending… was simply… spectacular… 5 of 5 stars!
WOW! Amazing photoshoot from Tuesday, Dec 5th!!! This time, I present the 8 1/2-inch 1/7-to-1/6-scale “Lara Croft in Wetsuit” figure (from the Tomb Raider II videogame). I took a total of 70 saved shots for 2 different poses, and again, it was tough just to narrow it down to 40. The photoshoots just seem to get better and better. And so, without further ado, here are the photos…
whew, despite car-battery troubles all morning… picking up the new 1/7-scale gothic-lolita “Kanu” figure from the post office was a definite highlight of my day… here’s a product image, and just like “ignis” and “lara croft”, can’t wait to take real photos!