figma Link – A Link Between Worlds ver. Normal & DX Edition

The pre-order for this figure is going up today in Japan on Good Smiles site.  I am hard pressed not to want one of these figures.  Having reviewed the images that Max Factory and Good Smile have put up aren’t helping my self control issues.

Who’s looking to get one of these figures as well?  Sound off my fellow Link-ologists…ok, that may not have come out the way I wanted to say it.

S.H. Figuarts Super Mario World Mario

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About 8 months ago I sat down, in a room with a camera and attempted to record a review for Tamashii Nations, S.H. Figuarts Mario from Super Mario World.  As I sat amazed at how awesome I would be on YouTube and how my video would make thousands of views, I realized I couldn’t quite get my points across, because I was…….well, nervous.

As a part of revamping my Ryndur’d Reviews site, as well as continuing to grow our new home, Club-Otaku I am going over some of the old reviews and filling in the gaps as only I can!  Now, sit back and imagine your best Christopher Walken impression and enjoy the review.

11154977_352497231607254_3433043810032153400_oIn the ever so cold months of May-ish in the northern state of Texas, I was a young boy who found himself in a Barns and Nobles.  While there, I spotted a familiar face,  it’s not hard to recognize the face as I have seen it through out my days of turtle jumping, and non – princess rescuing  for 8 worlds.  You guessed it,  Luigi.  No wait, I mean Mario.  Tamashii Nations had taken our favorite pasta pounding, turtle tumbler addicted to shrooms and put him in a much more favorable figure form.  I am looking at you Nintendo.  -.-;

The box for the figure is bright and yellow,  the logo for Super Mario World is printed and Mario’s name is written in Japanese.  I picked up the figure and took it home so I could do a video review on how awesome it is!

Awesome may have been a stretch in some regards.  So, the figure comes with the following;

  • Mario – ofcourse
  • A Coin – nicely done in gold chrome.
  • A Stand for the Coin
  • A ? box
  • a Mushroom

That’s it.  Mario is short, roughly 4 and a half inches, maybe smaller.  He’s a hefty figure, don’t get me wrong.  I am ok with the idea that he’s short, it’s not like he was a tall person to begin with.   I will say this, the best thing going for the figure is that it’s sculpted really well.  I felt that if they didn’t get anything else right, then at least I have a decent Mario figure.

Now that said,  it is exactly what I got, a decent Mario figure.  I am not saying that because I don’t like it.  I am saying that because, of all the Tamashii figures I have bought, I felt that it didn’t quite meet up to the expectations I have always had.  Let me sum up with my cons;

  • no additional hands or faces/heads
  • limited movement/articulation
  • As a stand-alone figure, not much in the way of play-ability.
  • You have to purchase the diorama or additional characters to get the potential of this figure, or any of the Mario Figures.

That’s it,  sure it’s a good figure.  But even with the items you receive, you can’t DO much with it. You are dependent on getting the diorama sets to help fill out this character and bring out it’s potential.

11155061_352500661606911_119592652367044677_oGiven the 32 dollar price tag on the item, I would have like more to come with the figure that is usable; a stand, hands, something.  As it was, when I bought this figure, I set it aside and left it alone till I shelled out the bucks for the diorama sets.  After which, it became more fun to have at or around my desk.

11077332_352500434940267_1887544832300791070_oWith some of the diorama sets, you get an extra set of hands, and from there you can hold a turtle shell.  Which is nice!  Now,  the hands pop off pegs,  and the only type of hands you get are opened hands, that have a port in them so you can use a plastic stand to set up holding the turtle shell.  It takes a bit of getting used to to make it feel right.  Other then that,  now we are talking,  now I am playing with this figure and getting some enjoyment out of it.  Until I realized I had to buy another diorama set.

I don’t say that to be negative,  I say that because I need to build out the set.  Get some action going!  Yeah, make my own Mario World!  I have become as addicted to these things as Mario to his shrooms. I needed help.

11141736_352499711607006_6036421756835424895_o So I bought another set.    I am so ashamed.   But, hey I have my own Mario World.

Overall thoughts on this is that yes, it’s a good figure.  It is considered an entry level figure for Figuarts standards, in my opinion.  The problem is, it’s also a gateway figure.  You will want to purchase other figures, or sets to get the maximum amount of enjoyment from it.

With that, I have made my last drug reference and I tidy up this review with the following.  I would look for this figure at the cheapest possible price point.  Honestly, I feel that 32 dollars is a bit much, considering you have to purchase sets that can cost as much as that to play with it or to display it.  If you can find the figure in a cheap bundle on Ebay or Amazon, go for it.  If not.  It may not be the best time to get the figure just yet.

Garakowa: Restore the World

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So, I had a glimpse of this anime from Kahotan’s Blog around Christmas and I have to say that it really caught my eye.  I wasn’t sure about much regarding the series, other then it was being done by A-1 Productions, and Pony Canyon was involved.  Other then that, it was all I knew and I went on my way

So that leads me to this week. I had some down time, due to being sick and I was checking some stuff out on Crunchyroll, when I saw this series,  not putting it together with the fact I had just saw a PV on it last week.  So I open up the series, and watch the PV.  Well, 2 PVs, as they had the teaser and the main one.  I was completely taken over again.  The 2nd PV, actually had more to it, and that is what stuck with me the most.

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(left to right: Limo, Dorothy and Dual)

The story appears to follow 2 girls, as they find the third and help her on her way.

Dorothy is voiced by Sakura, Ayane dorothywho is known for voicing characters such as Mika from Psycho-Pass, Arisa from Love Live! and Nao from Charlotte.  I have watched Love Live! and I enjoy Ayane’s voice very much.  I will have to admit though, I haven’t seen the other 2 anime, though Charlotte’s on my list to watch this month.

Dorothy is one of 2 girls in “the Box of Knowledge” who fight to keep viruses at bay.  The Box as we are told is a gravity free space with numerous lights floating around and it is comprised of multiple people, worlds and times.  My understanding is that the viruses come in and try to destroy these things and Dorothy and Dual fight to keep them at bay and intact.

DualNext we have Dual, who is voice by Taneda, Risa. Risa is known for voicing characters like Kuan, from Utaharerumono (great series, btw).  She has also voice Queen  from No Game, No Life and Chika and Seine from Log Horizon Season 2.

Risa also performs the theme song “THREE, a bud of dreams” for the movie.   Dual is the the second of 2 girls fighting in “the Box of Knowledge”, against the viruses.  Between the 2 designs, I have to say that Dual has to be my favorite.  If only because I like the staff.   (Don’t look at me like that, I have liked character’s designs for less!)

As the PV suggests, the 2 girls are in the middle of fighting Viruses when they see out 3rd member of the group, who happens to be sleeping through it all.

limoRimu or Limu, depending on your preference. Rimu is voiced by Hanamori, Yumiri.  Between the other 2 voice Seiyuu, she has voiced less shows, but as we all know it’s not the list of the voices, but the voice that matters.  It’s my belief that Yumiri will be the break out voice for the movie.  Yumiri has voiced, Uri-Tan in  Etotama, as well as several supporting characters in different series.

Rimu is found buy the other 2 girls, asleep and being attacked by Viruses, when she wakes she tells them she must return to the flower patch.

With that said, we pretty much  know everything there is to know about the movie so far.  There are several shots of different timelines, structures and characters.  We see the girls in different activities and exploring,  whether it’s the world outside of the box or the different worlds and times in the box, I am not sure.

I am really looking forward to the movie,  I hope that Crunchyroll will be able to add more to not only what the movie has to offer, but I am hoping we see this become more of a series.  Only time will tell what will end up happening.  But you can be sure that I will be watching with great anticipation.

If you would like to check out the PV for the show – check out the link here to YouTube – https://youtu.be/MMEwcWOrYSA

 

Deluxe Spino Zord, or what I like to call Spino-dai-NO!

I had the chance to pick up Deluxe Spino Zord yesterday.  I wanted to put some thoughts to blog, as it were.  I will start off by first saying I do know, that Dino Charge is not Koryuger and my review of the figure is not based on a direct comparison to the original Tobaspino ( I should be so lucky).

From the beginning let me say, that if you have the T-Rex zord, from the series, either the Red (original) or the recently released Black version, then you have pretty much seen Spino Zord, with a few differences. Fist being the mouth, which is much longer then the T-Rex, mainly because it’s not a T-Rex, it’s a Spinosaurus. Although it has the same gimmick with the fins come up when the Dino batte81xOLlt71JL._SL1500_2ry is inserted.

Second, which you can see from the picture is the tail.  I am just going to say it, who thought that docking the tail of a Spinosaurus was a good idea?  It is my belief that it was done to help draw distinction between the T-Rex and the Spino Zord, but it comes off less impressive.  For my Spino Zord, because I have a spare T-Rex, I use that tail for my figure.  Which helps a lot.  As soon as I can upload my images, I will post them to this review.

81jp062CBpL._SL1500_The next major difference, and the one that may bug me the most, is the fins on the back.  I will make a comparison with the Tobaspino for this, because I think it does the Spino Zord a disservice.  They should have left the axe, and not put in the cannon.  I am not saying the cannon is a bad idea,  I think it is nice they added it to the Black T-Rex, but if I could have had one thing that resembled the Tobaspino from Kyoryuger, this would have been it.  I have no use for the spine unless I have it in it’s dino mode,  which isn’t going to be very often.  I am not a fan of just setting aside useless items from a zord.  Which is why I am not a fan of the tail they gave this zord.

They did give you 3 missiles, which is cool, in case……..you know, you lose 1.  The cannon gimmick is not on a spring, so when you launch the missile, it’s not going that far, so chances of losing it are slim, unless you just don’t care…….or are 3.  If you are 3, then what are you doing with this toy?  The age limit is very clear on the box, 4 and up!

The paint apps are good on the figure, I do happen to like the Navy-ish Blue.  The Silver paint stands out, though I feel the Yellow paint app, was a little bit of a let down.  It’s more Lemon Yellow, where as the Yellow plastic had a deeper hue to it.  Yes, I am nit picking.  It’s a review, what did you expect?

The other side of the figure has not paint apps on it,  which is why you will never see a professional shot of this figure facing right.  Pose left,   only left!  Since my figure is always in combined mode, with the larger tail on the back, I can let this slide.  Those of you who do not have the spare Tail, I am sorry.  Although, as an alternative,  you could take the tail, if yo uhave Ptera Zord connected to your T-Rex, and just attach it to the Spino Zord.  Maybe?

50307858_Alt02This takes us to the Combined Mode.  Now, again, I don’t have my images uploaded, so I want to apologize for the fact that some ya-hoo couldn’t take 5 minutes to watch a clip and figure out what the combine mode should look like before taking a photo of it.  That isn’t to say, that you couldn’t set up the figure to look like this……but, why would you?

In this image you see the tail that is included used as a “shoulder cannon” and the cannon mode for the back fin. See, dumb, huh?  I just don’t like it.   The shoulder cannon thing,  just shouldn’t be there, it only adds kibble to the figure, and detracts from it’s overall aesthetics. You can move the tail to the back, but as it doesn’t open like the normal tail does, it will still be clunky and one sided on the figure.

Speaking of aesthetics,  the zord, like all current zords come with ports for the zord builder.  2 on the legs,  1 on the tail section, and if you remove the Spino head and tail, you will have ports there.   I am not a fan of the zord ports.  I mean, I understand the play-ability factor, but I am not a fan of anything that clearly draws attention away from the main focus of a figure, for the sake of a gimmick.

The helm is nicer, I liked this version with a visor over the eyes.  It does add a pleasant change from the normal Helm and spikes on it.  The C resent Moon over the visor is my favorite part of the design.

Overall, I like the figure.  I have learned over the years, that to get a representation of something I want, I have to accept some sacrifices to get it.  No sound like the Kyoryuger version is fine.  Smaller in scale then the original, ok I will accept that.  Zord ports? Groan.  But hey, I have an almost exact replica of the toy released in Japan, right?

In the spirit of Otaku, I present this

Being Otaku is more then just about Anime or Manga, it’s about being a fan who is passionate – the same can be said for Star Trek.

A powerful argument for why fans should be allowed to continue work, at no profit. Big companies would be remiss to dismiss the fans, remember the biggest part of your paycheck comes from fans, not just the average consumer. Especially when it comes to properties like Star Trek or even Star Wars. CBS – don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

I am sharing a plea from my uncle, posted on his Facebook page.  If you have comments and want to participate in the discussion, I would encourage your thoughts and input!

A STAR TREK NERD’s PLEA! Sorry for my soapbox in advance.

I have to say something to all my geek friends out there. As long as any of you have known me – You know that I am a Star Trek fan through and through. No other show or movie has inspired my dreams or love of science fiction more than Star Trek. Even once in Vienna I made my wife sit through two hours in an old theatre to watch the Premiere of the recent Star Trek reboot instead of seeing Vienna at night – A fact she still reminds me of. I have no reason to be emberassed or hide my love of such great stories and dreams. I also know that Gene Roddenberry (the creator) invented ST on the premise of dreams, and realistically on the premise of making a living. Star Trek ownership has changed hands several times over the years and those stewards have made millions in TV licensing of the original series, development of new TV shows, and numerous movies and music developments.

Several years ago groups of fans – More passionate than I – began building their own sets, recruiting fan writers and Original series writers – to help them create great stories to keep their love of a show, and the dreams that come with them, alive. Several online shows began to emerge on the internet. Star Trek Phase 2 (now New Voyages), Star Trek Continues, Star Trek:Renegades, and Star Trek Axanar to name a few. As far as I can tell, the producers and leaders of these dreaming gangs did these works without interest of profit – They just wanted more stories and dreams and visions of tomorrow to absorb. Even James Doohan’s son (Scotty from the original series, is a key actor and participant in one of them.

I imagine most of the consumers who consumed these works gladly for free online (like myself) did so with the full intention of freeing their hard earned cash for the ‘for profit’ versions that the rightful owners intended to continue making. I’m not lying when I say – I will continue to consume each and every Star trek thing fed me (for profit or otherwise).

I am grateful to these people for providing stories, and more importantly, for providing continuing journeys without interest of profit. I don’t care how good or bad they are – they are feeding my dreams. And…..And….They are doing it without a lot of financial interest or intent to violate your ownership. The current copyright owners of Star Trek have decided these these stories and dreams should not be. Perhaps they feel it impedes their profit trajectory for their ‘for profit’ creations.

https://www.documentcloud.org/…/2660454-Startreklawsuit.html

I don’t begrudge the owners desire to make profit off of the properties. I will continue to pay them for those stories. But there is something endearing about the people who want more dreams in the meantime. More stories! People like James Cawley have worked without financial interest to provide stories and dreams. My understanding is that these fan creators carefully explored what they could and couldn’t do, and operate to rules that the owners laid out. None of them wanted to rob the owners. Believe me some of the written ‘Fan Fiction’ that is out there is more offensive than these productions. Are you going to pursue action against these folks too.

Upon deeper inspection of those who do these works – they do so without financial gain. They do it because they love it. Why does that threaten the rightful owners so much that they would sue these passionate dreamers who want more than what the copyright owners provide because it is not in their rightful profit models to do so. Even George Lucas laughingly supported the comedic spoofers who made fun of Star wars at an annual contest of creative Star Wars Spoofs. Why, because he loved their dreams, and he realized it was in his franchises best interest to not stir the hornets nest of fans, but rather let their dreams take flight to fill the gaps of time until he was ready to create again. Even Disney/Marvel doesn’t step on fan fiction or humor deeply – why? Because it serves fans dreams and Disney’s financial potential.

This case agaInst the Axanar folks is well targeted and, on initial blush, an effort to shoot a shot across the bow of other non-profit creators. “WARNING! We’re making new properties, and we’re scared of your amateur dreaming! What if your version of Star Trek keeps us from making the maximum amount of profit.” Here’s my newsflash to the current property owners. “The one thing that will hurt your profit margins more, in my view, is filing suit against fans, non-profit producers, amateur actors and writers who work without pay, and original ST actors who volunteer time (without pay) to help tell great stories in the Star Trek universe. James Doohan’s son, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Lou Ferrigno, Nichelle Nichols, Tim Russ, Alan Ruck, and many other professional actors have volunteered their passion to these efforts. Even D.C. Fontana (original script writer) and David Gerrold (noted Star Trek Historian) have contributed and continue to help. Why ‘shoot’ passionate people who are not profiting from this property from living out their fantasies and dreams with great stories.

A far better strategy is to help them, nurture their dreams, and even profit yourselves with creative contracts to put their amazing creations out there as loving tributes. Filing for damages in the court of law is far less productive than supporting their works and recognizing their creations as wonderful in the court of public/fan opinion. If you don’t want anymore creations then deadline a stop date, and work with them to make them whole and productively stop the practice. As it appears right now – You have placed the seed of me not wanting to support you financially moving forward. James Cawley, somehow, obtained copies of the original set blueprints, bought and abandoned building, and rebuilt those sets to exacting detail. WHO DOES THAT?! People who want to rip you off Star Trek Owners?! Vic Mignona (Star Trek Continues) even garnered the praise of Gene’s son on his webiste claiming his stories should be considered ‘canon.’ His website statement: “Trek Continues, Inc. is a non-profit with Vic Mignogna at the helm. This production company is set to blaze trails across Federation space.” WHO SAYS THAT?! Greedy profit Mongers?! REALLY?! No, People who love the dreams that come from a vision created almost 52+ years ago. Shooting them in the visionary heart now will send a message I and many others will not appreciate – nor will we support financially with your future properties. I don’t care how good they are, or how bad they are!

CBS – if you want to maximize your profit don’t do this. If your truly worried – then negotiate the ounce of blood you need from these people who have to fundraise to tell stories in between times of your productions, and let them continue to be dreamers. George Lucas looked more than resentful in his veiled comments about Disney and Star Wars last week. Most fans I know who heard about those comments were gleeful that he sold out so that others could take dreams further than his creative desires and schedule allowed. Take a hint from that, and embrace these people who just want to tell great stories on the internet’s small screen, and find a way to be their partners not their enemies. These folks love this property so much they are investing life in it! Why can’t they share this with each other, and me? In the end, you are not just their enemies, you are becoming mine because you can’t see the long term profitability forest for the immediate ‘ that’s my property’ trees. Get a new vision, get a new strategy, work with these loving story tellers, and then continue to nurture these fans love of this wonderful storyline and property – I’ll pay you for that and I’ll watch your shows and advertisements for that. I hope that makes sense to someone who is in charge of this property, and the hourly rates they are paying a firm to execute this insanity. It has to be costly to pay lawyers to disillusion my dreams – at least I’m not paying for that – YOU ARE!

Macross Delta: Pre-Show in Review

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First off, Happy New Year.  Secondly, I was able to sit down this morning and watch the Macross Delta Pre-Show and here are some of my thoughts.  Scared  yet?  (in the voice of Yoda “You will be,  you…..will be.”

Ok,  So, we are 50 years into humans exploring space.  The series takes place roughly 8 years after Frontier’s story was told in the second movie.  At the beginning of the series, we cover a brief history to set the stage for the show.  We learn a little about Var Syndrome, in that it’s affecting people, but they are not sure how it is transmitted  and when it can affect a specific person or persons.  It’s know to cause the destabilization of the mind and push violent behaviors to the forefront.  We see this in an example of a man suffering from the Syndrome, blows himself up in front of a truck on a colony ship.

We get a brief run down of Walküre, a group of songstress that sing with “transdimension” voices and are under the protection of Delta Squadron.  Now I am going to stop here for a second.  My initial thought was that this is basically Fire Bomber and Emerald Squad,  The band had their own Valkyries and so did their accompanying protection detail.  My assumption came from this picture. deltamain01.png That is not the case as I will explain later.  Needless to say I was a little disappointed in that part.

With all that being said, we learn at the beginning of the show that there is a stowaway on board the colony ship, and the crew are busy trying to hunt them down.  We are then introduced to our first character of the series.

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Hayate Immelmann, age unknown but if I had to venture a guess, I would say around 16-18, given the ages of the other characters.  My first impression is that he is lazy or simply a slacker, as he is getting fired from his job, because he always has a reason to not work.  Which the foreman mentions is sad, because when he does work, he does a great job.  He receives his pay and is asked to finish out the day on a high note.   We then see him in his “heavy loader” type mecha listening to music as he moves crates of items from one section of the dock to the other.   As he moves across the dock, you can get a feel for how good of an operator he is, as he can make the Loader dance and jump across the dock.  Nothing yet to indicate that he will be part of Delta Squad, but if I have learned anything from Macross, it is that the one male protagonist that isn’t a pilot, will be and soon.  this leads us to our next character.

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Freyja Wion, age 14 and runaway.  She is the stowaway mentioned in the beginning of the series, she is running away from home to avoid a marriage, really?  She’s 14…..this isn’t Arkansas! I want to take this moment to say  I am sorry to anyone from Arkansas if that offended you. I mean, hey at least you aren’t Kentucky!  I would like to take another opportunity to apologize to the great people of Kentucky.  Ok, we’re getting off topic, back to the fun. It should be noted that Freyia is voiced by Minori Suzuki, who won the talent contest for a chance to be the new songstress for Delta, like Megumi Nakajima was for Frontier.

So, while Hayate is moving his cargo, Freyia can hear his music and starts to sing along ( she’s in a crate of some space apples!)  Hayate opens the crate and Freyia quickly apologizes asking not to be returned home.  She explains that she was being told to marry the farmer on her colony and didn’t want to, so in essence she packed up and ran away.  Her dream is to sing with Walküre, with whom she is supposed to have an audition for the following week.  As fate would have it, she’s on the wrong ship, and Hayate tells her that she probably didn’t have a chance of making the cut anyway.  Which upsets Frayia but before she could continue, she is discovered by a drone and has to run off.

In the next scene we see Frayia again, pushing her way through a crowd and remarking, “this is what they call a city”.  As she walks through the crowd she hears the voice of a young woman signing.   But before she could find out who it was, she’s discovered and has to run off again.

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Our songstress is Mikumo Guynemer, unknown age and not much is given on her past.  But as she walks around the town she’s undercover, with green hair, investigating the current issues with the Var Syndrome outbreaks.  As she is looking around, she’s speaking with the members of Delta Squadron and her own team regarding the outbreak.  Most team members are on different parts of the colony ship.  Because her history is shrouded, I wonder if it will be a topic covered in the series?  I guess time will tell.

We are introduced to two more members of  Walküre.

Our pink haired Makina Nakajima, which makes me wonder if this is a reference to Megumi Nakajima. As I mentioned above, won the voice talent contest for Macross Frontier and went on to play the character Ranka Lee. Makina is the teams resident Mechanic and is seen  enjoying the view of the new Zentradi Battle Pods.

Our green haired Reina Prowler serves as the teams resident hacker, at age 15 and is shown in a Valkyrie VF-31, in the back seat. She appears to be monitoring communications. She doesn’t show much emotion, or talk very often according to her bio.

The group is investigating the Vars outbreaks, citing that there had been 10 recently.  Their group appears to be under the leadership of Lady M.  Which doesn’t give us much more information then that, as we don’t see her, or an outline of her.  All we can do is speculate as to who she is.

Cutting back to our male protagonist, Hayate, he’s leaving work and still not happy with his last exchange with Frayia.  As he walks out of the office, he over hears some people talking about how the stowaway was caught.

We now see Frayia, surrounded by ship crew members, ordering her to give up and go back to where she came from.  She refuses, and we see a motor cycle come over the heads of the crew members, to land in front of her.  Hayate calls to her and tells her to get on and they speed away.  As they race by, we catch a glimpse of one of our Delta Squad members, who is intrigued by the incident.  But we will touch on that in just a moment.

Frayia and Hayate get away and she asks him why he would rescue her.  He replies “who knows”, which isn’t much of an answer and they go back to their previous discussion about her audition. He still tells her that she shouldn’t try and that he knows people that could help get her home.  Frayia refuses and tells Hayate that this is what she wants to do, it’s her life’s calling.  She then questions him if he had anything like that.  At this point we get some insight to Hayate, who believes that he has traveled to many places and he hasn’t found anything that would make him special, so why bother.

Frayia scolds him and reminds him that with his kind of attitude it’s no wonder he doesn’t have anything.  You can’t just show up and expect something to be there that makes you special, you have to find what you love and build from there.  The moment her lecture ends, she falls off her perch and our first misunderstanding of the series happens.  (yay!)

Frayia falls on her back, and Hayate falls on top of her,  as he gets up, she struggles with the fact he’s on top of her.  At this point, the Delta Squad member that I mentioned before shows up.

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Mirage Farina Jenius, Jenius is in reference to Maximillian Jenius, the flying ace from the original Macross series.  Farina is Miria Jenius‘ middle name, it is implied that Mirage is their daughter.  At the very least, she is a distant relative.  As Mirage stumbles on our 2 fallen teens, she quickly believes that Hayate is attacking Frayia and attempts to arrest him.  He tries to plead his case, but she will not listen.  This prompts Frayia to blurt out she’s the stowaway everyone is looking for.   Mirage stops and apologies, telling Hayate he can report her for what she did if he wanted to.   Before they go too much further, we have a cut scene to 2 Zentradi soldiers talking and drinking, when they hear music.  The strange music seems to be affecting them.  We cut back to Mirage and the group and it appears that Frayia can hear the music, but it is not affecting her.

Mirage is alerted to a Vars attack, and she tells the other 2 to find shelter as the area will quickly become a battle ground.  She then leaves them.  Next we see the city under attack from Zentradi battle pods as the pilots were infected with the Vars Syndrome.   Hayate and Frayia are running to a shelter when they are knocked down by an explosion.  When they look up, they see Mikumo making her way to the battle field.

As Mikumo walks up, she says “Music is Mystic” and we are shown a Henshin sequence that is very much like Sailor Moon. After she changes into her performance gear, which is really all I guess  you can call that.  We see 4 Valkyries (VF-31) flying across the sky, they release drones from them and out of the first jet we see Reina.  “Music is Love”, and she changes, followed by “Music is Hope” and finally “Music is Life”.  At this point, we see their leader.

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Kaname Buccaneer, the 22 year old leader of  Walküre.  To be perfectly honest, I don’t know much about her yet, as I was so distracted by the Sailor Senshi reference I kinda just stopped and stared at the screen.

Now, mind you I don’t hate Sailor Moon, but we are talking about Macross here.  Come on!  Macross needs 3 things, music, jets and love triangles, that’s it.  Not AKB0048 and Sailor Moon with Jets!

That being said, I have to admit I stopped taking notes at this point to watch the battles.  So most of this is from memory.  The drones released at the beginning of the fight are hologram projectors that show dancers as the team sings, they are controlled by members of the singing group and can be used as shields to help protect the public.  Sort of like mini pin-point barriers that connect.  The girls can ride on the outside of the Valkyries and hold on to, what we will just call leashes, this doesn’t affect their positioning from what I can see, if the plan is in Jet, Bioroid or Guardian mode.

The Valkyrie VF-31s are from the last Macross game and similar in design to the VF-25.  I couldn’t make out too much of the head designs.  So far there is no indication of a Skull Squadron, though the leader of Delta has a Shinigami on the back of his Valkyrie.   As the girls sing their first song, SOS! Love Halation, the War the team quickly addresses the situation with the Zentradi.

After the battle with the Zentradi ends, a new force shows up, The Kingdom of the Wind.  They start their attack on the colony and the Delta team, and appear to have a strong advantage over the Delta team.   As the battle ensues, Frayia begins to feel a pull in to the battle and she begins to sing.

At this point we come to a closure of the episode.

We are told that the show will officially start in the Spring.  There will be more added to the first episode, and will show what happens when Frayia joins the Walküre team singing.   Overall it’s a good episode.  I think it’s setting up the characters nicely.  There should be some great development.  Minor nit picks with the Henshin sequences, it’s very much Sailor Moon meets Magical Girls.  But that being said, it won’t deter me from watching the rest of the series.  I give the show an overall A-, with everything said it really did leave me wanting more.

 


Image references

  1. “Macross Delta logo small” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Macross_Delta_logo_small.jpg#/media/File:Macross_Delta_logo_small.jpg
  2. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2015-12-31/macross-delta-tv-series-to-premiere-in-spring-with-lagrange-kaleido-star-composers/.97102

A year in review…..of sorts

So, today is December 31st and the last day of 2015.  I figured I could join in with everyone and kinda recap the year.  It’s been an interesting year that leads us to this day and while Club Otaku isn’t that old, the ideals and work behind Club Otaku has been nearly year long.  And what a year.

So, let’s kinda get through how we went from Point A, to Point Z and back to Point B, etc.

In February I started doing toy reviews on YouTube called Ryndur’d Reviews.  It was my first exposure to doing anything like toy reviews, focusing on my collection of Transformers, Star Wars and I had started doing some reviews with S.H. Figuarts figures.  By April, we launched our site and we worked hard, it has been a fulfilling and rewarding job for sure.

By June, I realized I wanted to start my own store, so I started laying down the frame work to open my own online store that sold the items I was reviewing.  So between June and our opening date in August, we laid out the framework to open From Hobbies to Heroes.  We have enjoyed great success with the store, most of our sales were done through EBay, which we are good with.  I believe that as long as we are able to fulfill the needs of our customers it shouldn’t matter which outlet we use.

We had our shares of downs with the ups though.  We found that a shopping cart for the website was difficult to get set up, with out having to pay in to more “extras”.  I found it was a lot like buying an EA game.  Sure you buy the product, but to play the product, you have a series of micro transactions that will bankrupt you faster then the Federal Government.

We are still working hard to keep From Hobbies to Heroes (FH2H) up and running, we expect to do more in the New Year.  As part of helping FH2H, is how Club Otaku came about.  Something I am very proud of, which was just started at the end of November, but we have huge plans for in 2016.

One of the things we have to look forward to is our Subscription service.  Where we will be offering a monthly subscription providing Figma and S.H. Figuarts figures on a monthly basis.  Each subscription box will have extras, to help round out the experience.  We are currently working hard to figure out what more we want to do and add with the box.  You can choose to only have Figma releases, or S.H. Figuarts or chose options to switch between the 2.

We have run a few polls on our Twitter page to help peak some interests in what you would like to see in the subscription and we will continue to do so as we  move forward.  Keep an eye out for our next polls and let your voice be heard!

With that said, it gives a glimpse of what Club Otaku has for the new year, but let’s also cover what we should expect to see from FH2H and Ryndur’d Reviews.  In the new year we should be posting more products on our store site,  we hope to have our Shopping Cart issue addressed so we can process orders more efficiently.  We will also be doing more YouTube reviews, be on the look out for that.  We may not keep them  under the Ryndur’d Reviews, and just start putting them under our Club Otaku branding.   We have finalized our YouTube Channel under the Club Otaku name, so be on the look out, we will be posting the videos as updates to the site as well as other reviews, thoughts and randomness.

If there is something you guys want to see, let me know.  I welcome anything you wish to add to help grow our community.  I definitely want to thank all of you who read this, because you are the reason I do what I do.

Happy New Year!

Review for The Asterisk War – so far.

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On October 13th, Crunchyroll with Aniplex started airing the first episode of, The Asterisk War. I actually didn’t become aware of this anime till just a week or so ago. When I was looking for something new to watch on Crunchyroll. Even though I knew about it, I held off for a little bit longer and actually started the series just after Christmas, while laid up with gout.   I have only watched 3 episodes, so far so my current thoughts on the series will only reflect on what I have seen and what research I have done to help me write my review.

I am not sure if this is just a one shot review, or if I will come back and write synopsis of a few episodes at a time, only time and interest will tell.

The series started off first as a Light Novel, written by Yuu Miyazaki. To date, I haven’t found any other works by this author. According to Wiki (I know, a reputable source), the sorry also involved illustrations by Miyazaki as well however I couldn’t find anything definitive via google, as it was either bringing up Yuu Watase’s art or Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli’s art. Which was still a win, considering I like both artists work.   Yen Press licensed the novels for release in North America as well as the Manga adaption.

When I found out that Aniplex licensed the anime, I was particularly excited. I have long found that the series they produce have been pretty good quality. Imagine my further excitement when I found out that A-1 Pictures was the animation studio putting out the series. A-1 Pictures of course is responsible for some of the best series out right now, including Fairy Tail, Sword Art Online I and II as well as some other shows.   The only thing that may have crossed my mind with Aniplex and not so much in a negative way, because I like these artists, is that they were probably going to use LiSA or Aoi Eir, which they have used pretty heavily in some shows openings/closings. Again, I don’t dislike their work and own a few albums from each artist that stay on my regular rotation for music. My concern came because of Aniplex push of these 2 artists specifically that it took away from their work and making me feel like they were just another property to exploit. That kind of sounded bad, but it wasn’t meant to be.

With all that said, I guess it’s time to start covering the show, as far as what I have seen to date.

The first episode of the series is called “Witch of the resplendent Flames” which is a reference to the female lead in the show, Julis-Alexia von Riessfelt, voiced by Ai Kakuma. The show starts off like many other, setting up a premise for the story, with a narrator to explain what the concept of the story and give the watcher some understanding of the students who have inherent powers, used by a Corporate Government, to bring about shifts of power and fame for the group who wins their tournament.

After the brief introduction, we are shown our first character of the show the male protagonist (hehe, I used the word protagonist in a sentence), Ayato Amagiri. He is seen walking to school, when he noticed a handkerchief falling from the sky. He heard a female voice crying out due to the loss of the item, and in true heroic fashion he used his powers to jump up to the opened window in an attempt to return the lost item. Pretty heroic, huh? Yeah I thought so too. Once up to the window, we get our first glimpse of our female lead, Julis-Alexia von Riessfelt, we’ll just call her Julis for short. In true fan service action we are also “treated” to gratuitous shots of our female lead in her undergarments. This is because, and I am not really sure how this happened, but she lost her handkerchief while getting dressed…….what?

As you can imagine, misunderstandings ensue, but not before our heroine asks for Ayato to turn around so she can finish dressing, then once things are put away, uses her hot headed temper to display her magic abilities in an effort to punish our would be hero/peeping tom. This also gives the story a good time to explain the dueling system for the show, as it relates to the different schools involved. Julis challenges Ayato, who reluctantly accepts. Not having dueled, Ayato displays great battle prowess in avoiding Julis’ attacks, and eventually he unleashes his own attack, only to save Julis from the damage it would cause. At least that I what I thought, in the next episode, we find out that he was also saving her from an attack from people outside of the duel who were interfering.

By this time we are introduced to the Student Council President Claudia Enfield, voiced by Nao Toyama. She comes in a voids the battle and quickly takes our hero to her office under the guise of finishing his transfer papers. It is at this point you begin to pick up that this is a classic Harem Anime. We have our angry at the world girl in Julis, who will probably be the one to fall in love with Ayato as the series progresses and our overly flirtatious “big-boobed” character in Claudia who will serve to undermined Julis in her journey to fall in love with Ayato, only to show Julis that she had feelings for him all along. But as I am only 2 or 3 episodes in, we’ll have to wait and see if I am right.

Claudia’s role in the first episode is to discuss the weapons that they use, called Lux. We find out that to use specific Lux you have to undergo specific testing to ensure that you can use the items. After the discussion, Claudia hugs Ayato and mentions that she is glad they found each other, which leads you to believe she knows something about him that he will undoubtedly have forgotten. When questioned about what she said, Claudia brushes it off and we move on to the class introduction.

Yep, you guessed it, Julis and Ayato are in the same class, and even better he sits in the only open desk in the class room, next to her. She is vocal about it, especially after the way their duel ended earlier that morning. By the end of class, she tells Ayato that regardless of her feelings, because he saved her she is indebted to him for one favor and leaves. We are introduced now to Eishiro Yabuki, voiced by Yuma Uchida, who is conveniently Ayato’s roommate at the boy’s dorm on campus and appears to be Ayato’s default best friend and secondary character. He gives Ayato backstory on Julis, explaining that she is a Princess from a true commonwealth family in Europe and tries to give Ayato a better understanding of her crankiness or superior attitude.

As Eishiro and Ayato walk through campus, we see Julis being verbally assaulted by Lester MacPhail, ranked 9 in the school, and who used to be ranked 5, till Julis took his spot. Lester is still upset that Julis beat him, not once, but three times and has since refused to duel him again because she believes that it would be useless and that her win is inevitable. Ayato and Eishiro watch the exchange from the bushes off to the side, and as Julis continues to verbally fend off Lester, he questions her reason for fighting. This of course angers Julis and we are shown an example of her power with flames wrapped around her, which also reveals why she is called the “Witch of the Resplendent Flames”.

The show ends with this realization. And we get our first glimpse of the opening animation and song. The song is performed by Flying Dog, called Brand New World. I like the song a lot, I haven’t heard of anything from this group before, so I am glad they are using someone new. I feel like the song complements the spirit of the story.

Overall I give the first episode of the anime a solid A-. Mostly because I feel that some things were only there for the sake of fan service. I mean, I expect that, however I feel that the scene with Julis in her underwear was only there to make sure we capture her to our hearts as the show’s hottie, so that when we realize that she’s pretty hard-nosed, we can go back and think about how we were giving a glimpse of her in a vulnerable state. It is my belief that it could have been cut from the show and allow us more time to understand Julis before such a thing happens. I mean, even in Sword Art Online, we knew that Asuna was a hard ass, but was also a softy without needing a glimpse of her unmentionables with in the first 2 episodes.

Anywho, this was a lot longer than I anticipated, so I will end my review with Episode 1. Let me know what you think, if you would like more synopsis reviews of the other episodes please let me know. If you think I missed the mark on what the show is about, tell me that too. I will post links at the bottom to the opening and ending for the show for your review. I recommend checking them out!

 

Opening

Ending

Updates for the week of 12/14/2015

We have had a few updates to share with you this week. First comes from Good Smile, they updated their shipping dates for December and January. you can check out the new dates by clicking the link here.

We have a lot of Figma Knights of Sidonia figures coming out.  I am excited to see these hit the market and get my hands on them.

Kamen Rider Ghost hits its 10th episode and all the Eyecons are gathered up.  What happens next?  Well, check out the preview for the upcoming episode – Here.

With that being said, the news is out that we will see Ghost’s mid-season power up and see Kamen Rider Necrom make their debut in the winter movie.  I am looking forward to seeing the power up for Ghost and what is Necrom’s goal, especially since all 15 hero eyecons have been found?

To get some early shots of Kamen Rider Necrom, check out Ukiyaseed’s blog here.  As always, thanks to Ukiya for the scans as well as The Ghouly News Tumblr