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June 30, 2012

PSotD - Continued Story

Title: Continued Story
Artist: Hitomi Kuroishi
Year: 2008
Notes: Insert song for the anime Code Geass. This song was played at the end of season 2. The song is so light, sweet and gentle, it brings tears to my eyes.


DDL: From Gendou music (Requires account - it's easy to make one!)


And the live version

Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World + Byouki no Kuni: For You

Travelling alone is not easy and this anime really shows the harsh environments and the uncertainties of like in a believable way. Kino no Tabi is just one of those anime that explores the life of a traveller.

Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful WorldSynopsis:

Based on a hit light novel series by Keiichi Sigsawa, the philosophical Kino's Journey employs the time-honored motif of the road trip as a vehicle for self-discovery and universal truth. Deeply meditative and cooler than zero, the series follows the existential adventures of the apt marksman Kino along with talking motorcycle Hermes as they travel the world and learn much about themselves in the process. Imaginative, thought-provoking, and sometimes disturbing, Kino's journey is documented in an episodic style with an emphasis on atmosphere rather than action or plot, though still prevalent.

Review:

The anime's story is just about a girl named Kino travelling on a motorcycle through many different countries and experience the customs and getting to know the people there. How is that interesting you may ask? Well, it really depends on your point of view. If you are into deep storylines that involve heavy slice of life, adventure, and self-discovery, then this anime is for you. At first I found it quite boring to watch through, but some episodes had nice mysterious and action in them. The kind of action that the anime portray is not really your "shoot-em-up" action, but rather looking into the difficulties of being a traveller; from robbers to country conflicts, it is all there. In the end, would I say this was interesting? Yes and no.

The art uses an interesting colour scheme and texture as if it was being viewed from a book. At first this seemed a bit puzzling as the imagery had full of subtle lines. However the final episodes revealed some background information about why this was so. The character detail was rather plain and I really couldn;t stand the roundish faces most characters had.

Sound was decent but not that excellent. At first I thought Kino was a boy due to her melancholy mood and expressionless speech. After a few episodes it was revealed that Kino was actually a girl. That was surprising! The anime did not contain that many characters so voice acting was rather average. Theme songs were rather excellent and suited the theme really well.

Characters? What characters? Well, the anime mostly centered around Kino and her motorcycle, Hermes. Every other character was just a "passerby" that they happened to meet throughout their travels. As a result, there were no other characters that really stood out or captivated my attention for long. Did I like Kino? Not really. She was rather expressionless and pretty boring. I still don't know why a motorcycle can talk. This is still one mystery that will probably never be solved.

Overall, it was both interesting and boring at the same time. If you are not in it for the story then you definitely find this anime pretty boring. This anime is for those self-discovery individuals that just want to experience a different kind of storytelling. The anime mixes real-life equivalent events into a fictitious world and it also touches on some social issues that society faces today.

STORY: 5
For me, it was pretty boring to be honest. Some action was a nice change of pace but I really couldn't understand why Kino went on a journey in the first place.

ART: 6
It was puzzling at first as why the art was so, but towards the end it was finally revealed why that was so. Character details were rather plain and boring.

SOUND: 6
Kino's voice acting was just boring. Theme songs were decent and suited the anime pretty well.

CHARACTER: 6
Did I like Kino? Not really? There was no other recurring characters in the anime so they were easily forgotten.

ENJOYMENT: 6
The interesting part was that mostly each episode featured a different country that had its own set of customs and problems. Other than that, just watching Kino riding a motorcycle is pretty boring indeed.

OVERALL: 6
I don't know why people found this anime that interest to watch. Perhaps they were extremely bored or just wanted to discover themselves more. The anime was rather boring for me.

Mamoru Miyano, Chiwa Saito Lead 009 Re:Cyborg Cast

The official website for Kenji Kamiyama's 009 Re:Cyborg film revealed the film's main cast on Wednesday:
Sakiko Tamagawa as Cyborg 001: Ivan Whisky 

Daisuke Ono as Cyborg 002: Jet Link 


Chiwa Saito as Cyborg 003: Françoise Arnoul 


Toru Ohkawa as Cyborg 004: Albert Heinrich 


Teruyuki Tanzawa as Cyborg 005: Geronimo Jr. 


Tarou Masuoka as Cyborg 006: Chang Changku 


Hiroyuki Yoshino as Cyborg 007: Great Britain 


Noriaki Sugiyama as Cyborg 008: Pyunma 


Mamoru Miyano as Cyborg 009: Joe Shimamura 


009 Re:Cyborg, which is Kamiyama's first in full-3D animation, re-imagines Shotaro Ishinomori's classic science fiction manga Cyborg 009. Kamiyama's previous credits include Eden of the EastGhost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit.

In the original manga, the secret Black Ghost organization transforms nine unsuspecting humans into cyborgs. However, the nine cyborgs turn on their masters and protect the rest of humanity from Black Ghost's plans for world war.
The film will open in Japan on October 27, and it will also open simultaneously in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea.

Kamiyama auditioned the voices by blindly listening to the tapes of over 200 candidates. 

Source: ANN

June 29, 2012

Ubuntu 12.10 Alpha 2 Released

The second milestone in the Ubuntu 12.10 development cycle has been made available for download.

Anyone expecting to find lots of changes to gasp in wonderment at will be disappointed, though there are a handful of updated packages – including Firefox, LibreOffice and Ubuntu One – bringing some minor features/UI changes.

The majority of changes in this milestone are underneath the hood.



Alpha releases are not recommended for installing unless you’re a developer, but are suitable for testing using live media or in virtual machines.


Google Currents and Drive updated

Google Currents

It seems Google's Android apps are getting major updated one after the other. This time is Google Currents and Google Drive.

In the case of Google Currents, the biggest change is that finally, it fits into the Android 4.x design guidelines. That pesky menu, it's up top where it ought to be. You might also notice, that it's got a new, less colorful logo too. The full changelog for Currents reads a little like this: 

  • User interface - updated to Android standards
  • Top navigation bar - auto hide, touch to show
  • Library/trending toggle - moved to navigation bar
  • Performance enhancements
  • Bug fixes

Google Drive also received an update. One of the biggest new features available in Drive on Android, is the ability to upload, and download, all file types to and from your Drive. Pretty much a standard requirement for cloud storage. The changelog for Drive reads as follows: 

  • Quickly find files that have been recently opened, edited or shared with you
  • Upload/Download all file types to/from your Google Drive
  • Selecting contacts to share with is easier
  • Faster navigation of folders when syncing in the background
  • Choose text alignment in the documents editor

The updates should already be available in your Play Store on your Android device. If you haven't updated then what are you waiting for?

Pokémon Black 2/White 2 Games Sell 1.619 Million


Enterbrain's Famitsu.com website reported that 1,618,621 units of Nintendo's Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2 games were purchased in their first weekend in Japan. Famitsu.com also reported that since release, 32,855,241 Nintendo DS units have sold (including DS Lite, DSi, DSi LL/XL) and 6,288,334 Nintendo 3DS units within Japan alone, as of June 17.

The companion games are set for a 3rd quarter release in North America and Europe under the titles Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2.

Nintendo streamed its second English trailer for the games on Thursday.

Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 are set two years after the first Pokémon Black & White games. They will introduce two new forms of legendary Pokémon (Black Kyurem and White Kyurem) and new characters. New locations have also been added to the land of Isshu (known as Unova in North America).

Source: ANN

PSotD - Like a Bird

Title: Like a Bird (Boku wa, Tori ni Naru)
Artist: Hitomi Kuroishi
Year: 2008
Notes: Insert song for the anime Code Geass.

"I wanted to reach out to you, but time did not allow it."

DDL: From Gendou music (Requires account - it's easy to make one!)

June 28, 2012

Google Chrome's Hatsune Miku Ad Also Wins Silver in Cannes Lions

Google Chrome Japan's commercial with the Vocaloid idol Hatsune Miku won another prize — the Silver Lion Award in the Branded Content & Entertainment Lions Shortlist for "best use or integration of user-generated content" — at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The awards honor "excellence in creative communications" in the advertising industry. The festival, the world's largest dedicated to advertising, ran in the French city of Cannes from June 17 to June 23 (roughly one month after the more famous Cannes Film Festival).

The ad also won the Bronze Lion in the Direct Lions Short List for Corporate Image & Information.

Source: ANN

PSotD - Shiawase Neiro

Title: Shiawase Neiro
Artist: ORANGE RANGE
Year: 2008
Notes: The first ending song for the second season of the anime Code Geass.
I'm continuing rewatching Code Geass. I really do have the hots for blonde guys like Gino and Schnizer. I totally forgot that Rolo had Geass power. キャアアー Rolo is so cute and loyal. I really like Lelouch's evil laughter.

I actually ship this paring. ;)
DDL: From keiichianimeforever.com 

Facebook changing our default email

Recent reports have stated that Facebook has started changing user's default email address to the social network's own provider. I thought this was a joke; until I checked my personal details. There it was. My default email changed to Facebook's "@facebook.com" email. I was pretty mad. Here is a quick video of the situation that we all Facebook users are in.

Google Play's 20 billion app downloads, 600k apps and games



Google has revealed that 400 million Android handsets were sold until this year’s Google I/O event, an impressive growth since last year when the company announced 100 million Android device sales at Google I/O 2011. Also worth mentioning is the fact that daily Android device activations have reached the 1 million units / day mark, or 12 units every second, compared to 400,000 units / day last year.

Maybe the most impressive numbers are related to Google Play, Google’s digital content store. While the company is still trailing behind Apple when it comes to total number of apps, tablet-ready apps and total number of downloads, it certainly looks like Google is on the right track.

The company announced that it currently has over 600,000 apps and games in Google Play, almost as many as Apple, which has over 650,000 apps in the App Store. But Google did not reveal how many of those apps have been customized for tablet use – Apple has over 225,000 apps customized for the iPad. Moving forward, Android users have downloaded over 20 billion apps to date, or 1,5 billion apps per month, compared to Apple’s 30 billion app downloads.

Will Google Play ever catch up to Apple's ongoing rampage of app downloads? Perhaps that seems a bit distant right now to be a reality. As Android'd system grows more and more into other devices, more developers will be jumping to the platform and creating apps for the Android crowd.

[via Android Authority]

Google+ for Android new update


With Google I/O coming up, many new changes to many of Google's products will be expected. One such change already in place is the new update to Google+ on the Android platform. Since the introduction of Google+ on Android, there has been many changes since then. For this new update, the app now officially supports tablets. This would be really useful for many tablet owners as they probably have been using the smartphone version of the app.

In addition, the new update brings in 'Events with Party Mode'. I am guessing you can now create and join events as well as inviting your friends from multiple circles. This feature is already available on Facebook, but it is nice to see more 'social' features being implemented into Google+.

One major change that everyone would notice is the complete design overhaul. The user interface has been dramatically updated and changed from a dark colour scheme to a bright one. You will instantly notice that to filter circles there is now a button at the top. Also, there is now a handy manual refresh button located on the top-right of the app. The notification system has also been integrated to the menu and the icons now have colour.

Lastly, the app has also improved circle management. It now displays 'Suggested people' so you can easily add others with  single press of the button. You can also create circles and move people around much more efficiently.

All these major/minor changes are included with this new update. Get it now on the Play Store!

June 27, 2012

Anime Review: Persona: Trinity Soul

If you have played any of the Persona games then don't watch this anime. If you haven't, then you might enjoy this anime to an extent. By no means is the anime related to the games and people have have played the games will find the anime disappointing.

Persona: Trinity SoulSynopsis:

The stage is Ayanagi City, a city near the Japan Sea. It is a futuristic city that was built to carry out the recovery from the calamity caused by the "Apathy Syndrome" ten years previous. High school student Shin Kanzato with his little brother Jun, meet with their elder brother Ryō, who is the chief of the Ayanagi City Police, again after ten years. At that time, a series of strange incidents happen in Ayanagi City such as the crew of a submarine that suddenly disappears while in their submarine, or a spiritless symptom which disturbs the world after ten years, or the case of the inside out corpse where a student took on a cruel appearance. Ryō tracks down the organization behind the string of incidents, and having become involved in the incidents, Shin awakens the "Persona".

Review:

As I mentioned in the blurb above, if you have played any of the Persona games then you fill definitely find this anime boring and disappointing. I personally have not played the Persona games so I fared better in enjoying the anime. I have read many review online from people who have played the game and they all agreed to one thing; that the anime has so much less action and mostly all dialogue from start to finish- which is true for most episodes. The story is rather confusing to begin with and it was still confusing in the end. I pretty much made no sense of the ending so I was utterly disappointed. Let me "try" to summarise the story in a few sentences. So the story is set in Ayanagi City where there have been many cases of missing and dead people. The circumstances involving these cases are quite strange indeed; people missing from boats in the middle of the sea and inside-out corpse. All these strange incidents were caused by "Personas"; which are basically a "soul" form of a human. These forms look quite like mechs and they also battle it out quite aggressively. Somehow, all that is happening in the present was triggered by a huge event 10 years earlier due to some research in the human mind and such. It is all quite technical and confusing. Most conversations you will probably have no idea what they are talking about. One thing that is majorly confusing are the "whale feathers" and the girl in the red dress. What are these "whale feathers" and why does this girl keep popping up randomly. Nothing gets answered and I am still confused even after watching the ending.

The art was actually quite well done. The characters all looked nice and had good detail and expressions on them. The rare fight scenes was invigorating and quite spectacular. There were plenty of special effects to keep you entertained. If you cannot follow the story or you are completely lost then just focus on the visuals.

Voice acting was perfect and suited the characters really well. It look some time to get used to Jun's voice acting because he had a female voice actor. Towards the end, I finally found out why that was so. Not to spoil anyone watching this anime, I won't say anything. Other characters were well presentation of their respective personalties from the tones of their voices to their social interactions. Theme songs were also catchy and enjoyable to listen to.

There were some connections I had to the characters even if I did not understood them fully. There were plenty of characters throughout the anime and most of them do not even get a proper introduction. They just simply "appear" in the anime, do a few things, and just disappear afterwards. For the main characters, there are plenty of character development and soul-searching moments which I glad the anime did reveal. As for everyone else (including the girl in the red dress), I have no idea who they actually were and where they came from. Don't try to bother learning each and every character, it will make you even more confused than before.

Overall, it was an enjoyable yet totally confusing anime. The story sometimes did not continue where it had left off previously which was pretty annoying as most episodes ended with a climax. The characters and their Personas did not get a proper explanation and there is just too much sci-fi lingo that doesn't even make sense. If you can overlook at overall story and just try to grasp the situation, then you may enjoy the anime for its pretty cool action and stunning visual affects. To be honest though, it is pretty hard to explain or recommend this anime to anyone who isn't a Persona fan. I certainly wasn't and I got hopelessly lost.

STORY: 4
I got lost. End of story. No really, the story was not messy- it just lacked a lot of clear answers.

ART: 9
For a sci-fi anime, the art detail and battle animations were really good. The characters also looked nice and detailed.

SOUND: 7
Theme songs were rather catchy and voice acting was perfect. Nothing to really complain here.

CHARACTER: 6
Too many random characters that I felt did not have a relation to the story or to each other. Little character development ruined the story.

ENJOYMENT: 6
I only watched the rest of the episodes because nearly episode had a climatic ending which did not pick up where it left off in the next episode. I had mixed feelings overall.

OVERALL: 6
There were plenty of "huh", "what", and "that was random" moments throughout the anime. Was it as bad as Chaos;Head? Probably not. At least this one had a proper story even though it left out a lot of information.

PSotD - Mosaic Kakera

Title: Mosaic Kakera
Artist: SunSet Swish
Year: 2007
Notes: The second ending song for the first season of the anime Code Geass.
I've been rewatching Code Geass and Suzaku's character has been growing on me. Initially, I didn't like Suzaku because of his arrogant personality but I've recently realised how cute he is.
I've also noticed that in addition to my big addiction to characters with (long) white hair, I have a huge fetish for meganes (characters that wears glasses). I was smiling when Guilford came onto the scene.
I really like the main melody of this song, it's very simple and catchy.


DDL: From keiichianimeforever.com  


June 26, 2012

Anime Review (v.P): Brave10

I was very excited when I first saw the preview for this anime. A samurai story full of bishies definitely catches my eye. Further, a lot of the famous male seiyuus participated in this production. However, after reading many negative reviews regarding this anime, I got pretty downhearted. After spending less than 6 hours watching it, I believe that this anime isn't as bad as how other people portray it.

If you ignore the lack of storyline, character development, background music and rushed ending, and focus on the wonderful quality of the artwork, character designs (costumes and weapons) and, of course, the bijins, then it's not too arduous to watch pretty men (and women) battle after battle after battle (yes, for the full 12 episodes, it's all battles).

Synopsis(from myanimelist.net)

A young ninja named Saizo Kirigakure is trying to find meaning and direction in his life when he encounters Isanami, who is fleeing from assassins. He manages to save her life, and she then asks him to act as her bodyguard until she reaches her destination. When they arrive in the protected territory of Sanada, Saizo falls into a meeting with Sasuke Sarutobi, leader of the famed ninja group. Sanada has gathered these bold and talented ninjas together in order to bring an end to Japan's era of war. Meanwhile, Isanami's mysterious hidden power comes to light.


Review:

[STORY]

The story is absurdly simple.  The main female lead (Isanami) has something which everyone desires. The main male protagonist (Saizou) fights to protect her and along the way gathers comrades to achieve this goal.

This anime starts with a battle and ends with a battle. For every episode, it's just ongoing fighting right up to the very end. Albeit the lack of storyline, they included quite a few decent comedy relief sketches. I started getting into the flow of this series around episode 6 (halfway through). The climax occurs in episode 9, where they attempt to explain the mysteries in the story. I must say that the explanations are rather stupid, but this is fantasy so I'm not going to get too picky with it. The ending was so terrible that I had to give myself 3 facepalms. In the end, none of my questions were answered, and only more flaws issues were raised.

One thing that puzzles me is what exactly is Saizou fighting for? He's not fighting for pride, like in most shounen themes. The story never explained why Saizou agreed to protect Isanami, nor did it reveal when and why Saizou and Isanami became friends.
So, what's the point in all this fighting? Who cares. As long as I get my dose of good looking characters showing off their skills then I'm satisfied. Right? It somehow gives me the feel of the later Bleach (Aizen/Arrancar Arc). There's so much fighting that you forget the reason of fighting. The problem with this anime was that they never explained in the beginning why they had to fight. I guess because this is a story about a bunch of warriors, ninjas, samurais and assassins set in the Sengoku period (fighting period) of Japan, it's understood that fighting is necessary, and that it is the inherent and central theme of the anime.
Rating: 3

[ART] 

You could tell that the producers dished out a lot of money to the art department. The character designs (costumes and weapons) were very creative. Furthermore, the backgrounds were extremely detailed (for a 12 episode anime). The special effects looked really cool.
Rating: 9

[SOUND]

Wait-! What background music? Did I go deaf? The producers must've cut all the funding to the sound department after giving their all to the arts. Nevertheless, I loved the opening and ending songs.
Rating: 4

[CHARACTER]

As far as character designs goes I really enjoyed the costumes, weapons and fighting abilities. Sadly, there were no character developments whatsoever. It just keeps introducing character after character in each episode, without giving details about their backgrounds. It's even worse than Bleach or Code Geass (Season 1). They don't explain how these characters tie in with our main protagonists. They don't show the growth of everyone's relationships. It feels like everyone can become buddies after battling against each other. Ridiculous!

What I can't hold back from is, of course, the fact that all of the characters are bijins! I can't decide a favourite. I love them all, both heroes and villains. Even the female characters. My favour may lean towards Rokuro because he reminds me of Saito Hajime from Hakuouki with his right eye covered by his lovely dark purple/blue hair which is tied back in a pony tail.
Rating: 5

[ENJOYMENT]

If you ignore the fact that there's no interesting (or even meaningful) storyline nor character development, and you purely enjoy watching bijins in action, then this anime series is endurable.
Rating: 6.5

[OVERALL] 

Otaku haven. Plenty of hot/sexy men (and women) wielding awesome weapons, showing off their power by fighting each other. Your visual senses will be doused in their flashy costumes covered in blood and sweat, while your aural senses will be drowned in the resonating voices of your well-known and loved seiyuus.
Rating: 7

PSotD - Just a Game

Title: Just a Game
Artist/Composer: Gumi/ takamatt
Year: 2010
Notes: I've been on a Vocaloid hiatus for a month because I was getting tired of the "electronic" voices. I think now is a good time to rekindle my passion for Vocaloids as very soon there will be releases of some very good albums that I've had my eyes on.
This song gets your toes tapping with a (latin) tango/Jazz style of music. I've not had much contact with Gumi's voice but I do like her deep and dark timbre.


DDL: MikuDB


June 25, 2012

Anime Chart Summer 2012 (Japan)

While searching for the song Danshi Koukousei to Shounen Jidai from the Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou Original Soundtrack (sadly I still can't find a youtube clip of it; this track is an arrangement of Pachelbel's canon), I came across this site which lists the animes to be aired during Summer 2012 in Japan, that is during June, July and August. This site also gives short preview trailers of each upcoming anime, so be sure to check them out! 

Which of these animes will be on your 'to watch list'?

Download for larger view.

Some of the animes have already started airing, but the ones which I am anticipating are:
  • Sword Art Online
  • Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere (Need to watch season 1)
  • Hakuouki Reimeiroku
  • Oda Nobuna no Yabou
  • Arcana Famiglia
  • Hagure Yuusha no Estetica
  • Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
  • Aruvu Rezuru: Kikai Jikake no Yousei-tachi
  • Blood-C: The Last Dark
  • Code Geass: Nunnally in Wonderland

Samsung Galaxy SIII and the 10 mil magic number

Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
MORE PICTURESIt comes as no surprise that Samsung has become the world's top mobile phone maker. With the rapid ccle release of its flagship Galaxy branded phones, it has taken the world by storm and really giving Apple's iPhone a run for their money.

Since the release of the Samsung Galaxy SIII a month ago, it is expected that sales will reach the 10 million magic mark by the end of July. With such a huge demand for the smartphone, Samsung is struggling to keep up with such a demand due to component shortages. It's a good thing and a bad thing.

The Samsung Galaxy SIII packs some awesome new features that only the latest high-end Android smartphones have such as a big 4.8-inch screen, eye-recognition technology, enhanced voice command functions similar to iPhone's Siri. The device also features NFC technology that allows sharing of heavy multimedia content among Galaxy SIII users.

Samsung overtook the long standing Nokia as the world's biggest mobile-phone maker in 2011 and is currently competing with Apple for the top smartphone maker position. It's a do or die world out there and so both parties are vamping up the competition with the iPhone 5 and Galaxy Note 2 later this year. Samsung aims to double its smartphone sales this year to nearly 200 million devices.

Anime Review: Terra e...

Based on the movie in 1980 of the same name, Terra e... the anime series brings back some nostalgia and some new ideas and concepts of a greater storyline and more information between the conflict of humans and Mus.

Terra e...Synopsis:

In the future, humans are living on colonized planets and are controlled in every aspect of their life by a system of computers. Evolution has resulted in the birth of people with extraordinary powers. This new race is called Mu. Hated and feared by the humans, the Mu dream of a place to live in peace: Earth - a mystical far away planet - for humanity had to leave their home long ago as pollution and destruction increased and made it impossible to stay there any longer.

Jomy is a boy excitedly awaiting his birthday, the day he will enter the world of adults. Yet he knows nothing about the unknown powers sleeping in him and the shared dream of returning to Earth one day.

Review:

The story is set in a far future where the Earth has been destroyed by humans due to result of war and pollution. As a result, the humans have abandoned their home planet and have resided in other planets. To have total control of society and to restrict the freedom of people's will so that such a event won't happen again. the SD System was created. This system controlled the human society subtly and all who do not obey will be eradicated. Many experiments were made to create the "perfect" human and so the Mu are basically failed experiments of the system. The Mu contain large amounts of psychic powers that allows them to read the minds of people as well as communicating via telepathy. As a result of such abnormal powers, the Mu are hated and feared by the humans and so an all out war begins between the humans and the Mu. The Mu on the other hand are on a mission to return to Earth (which is their promised land) so that they can live in harmony with or without human hindrance. The story is pretty generic when explain in a broad view, but the in-depth explanations and the conflicts between humans and Mu make this a pretty interesting story to watch. The anime also reveals some truths about the personalties of human; such as greed, corruption, and selfishness.

The art was a mixed bag. There was some pretty awesome space battles and some one-on-one action; but the background scenery for space travel looked a bit too "fake". It just seems like a black background with white dots than an actual representation of space. It felt too "2D" than "3D" if you get what I mean. Other than that. the environments of the planets and inside the spaceships were pretty decently illustrated. I guess the inside of all spaceships look the same. Characters had limited detail and they took a little while to get used to, due to there large eyes and pale skin. Other than that, everything else was fine.

Music was not an issue here. The theme songs were rather memorable and were appropriate to the anime. The ending song was somewhat relevant and had a "spacey" feel to it. Voice acting was average from everyone. I did not find them particularly interesting or captivating but just plain boring. The lack of emotions in dialogue for some scenes really ruined the mood.. Some of the characters had constant mood swings for ranging from fear to complete rage.

Speaking of characters, I did not find a particular character I liked. It seems that the character's relationships and associations with each other seem to constantly "chop and change" so to speak. Somehow, all the characters seemed to know each other but suddenly they get split apart and they don't meet for a few year later. Oh and I forgot, this anime seems to like to jump forward in time. It starts of with the main characters at the age of 14 and by the end they are perhaps 26 or older. I completely lost track of time and the anime did not provide titles that indicated that time as passed. You seem to have to guess how many years have passed from the dialogue. Anyway, there were too may characters and little development. I did not feel any connection with them at all.

Overall, it was an interesting storyline to an extent. It touches on society's moral regarding the difference between the humans and the Mu and it also explains the consequences of destroying the Earth. The art was decent and there were some nice battle scenes. Music was pretty average and voice acting was plain. There was limited character development since there were too many characters throughout the anime. As a result, there was no real connection to any of them. Terra e... is probably best suited for space adventure sci-fi fans which have plenty of time to kill.

STORY: 6
The story was generic in many ways. There was some interesting plot twists but there was too many gaps in the story to fully comprehend what is happening.

ART: 7
Some nice battle animations and sceneries. Characters had limited detail though and that made the anime lack substance.

SOUND: 7
Voice acting quality was rather plain and boring. Music and theme songs were pretty average as well.

CHARACTER: 6
Too many characters and too little explanations! I felt no connections with any of them.

ENJOYMENT: 7
So the sci-fi jargon and spaceships were interesting; everything was a bit plain.

OVERALL: 7
I can't say that I totally enjoyed this anime; there were some engaging moments and some boring ones. It really depends if you are into space sci-fi or not.

PSotD - Koyoi, Tsuki ga Miezu tomo

Title:  Koyoi, Tsuki ga Miezu tomo (今宵、月が見えずとも)
Artist: Porno Graffitti
Album: 今宵、月が見えずとも
Year: 2008
Notes: The ending song for the anime movie Bleach: Fade to Black.
This is the third animated film adaptation of the popular manga and anime series Bleach
It's a very catchy rock song. Porno Graffitti's vocalist has strong and sharp articulations.


DDL: From Gendou music (Requires account - it's easy to make one!)

Live version.

June 24, 2012

PSotD - Chiranai Hana

Title: Chiranai Hana (散らない花)
Artist: Aika Yoshioka
Year: 2010
Notes: Opening song for the DS game Hakuouki: Shinsengumi Kitan.
For some reason which I haven't figured yet, I really like her voice and style of music.
I'm only about 5% of the way into the game. It's a real struggle to play because this is a Visual Novel and I don't know the Japanese language. I make do with trying to guess the meaning of the dialogues with my mediocre Chinese knowledge and basic Japanese knowledge.
I promise I'll write up an anime review of Hakuouki very soon, because it's my #2 favourite anime.



DDL: 

Facebook Adds Comment Editing

Facebook LogoGoogle+ had it at the very beginning and it's something we have taken granted for. After using Facebook occasionally just to check what's going on in life, I have always wanted comment editing on posts. Sometimes you just post comments that later you realise contains full of grammatical or spelling errors, or embarrassing gaffe.

Facebook finally comes to realise the pain that results from these errors and now allows you to edit your comments on the social network.

So, if you used the wrong form of "their" or spelled your friend's name wrong on a comment that sparked an otherwise interesting discussion among friends, just edit the mistake and keep the conversation going. For those who might change the entire meaning of their comment, thereby making subsequent comments look nonsensical, users will be able to click to see the unedited version.

The feature is currently being rolled out to all Facebook accounts.

June 23, 2012

Anime Review: Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

Continuing the story from Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, this movie introduces a few new characters into the mix as well as building up the previous cast. Once again, the war against the Angels are slowly building up to a major climax.

Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) AdvanceSynopsis:

In the earliest battles against the monstrous Angels, young Eva pilots Shinji and Rei were forced to carry humanity’s hopes on their shoulders. Now, with the deadly onslaught of the Angels escalating and the apocalyptic Third Impact looming, Shinji and Rei find their burden shared by two new Eva pilots, the fiery Asuka and the mysterious Mari. Maneuvering their enormous Eva machines into combat, the four young souls fight desperately to save mankind from the heavens — but will they be able to save themselves?

Review:

Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance is the sequel to the previous film and is loosely based on the TV series of similar name. The story pretty much continues from the last with Shinji becoming more and more determined to pilot the Evas with a solid reason to do so. After a major accident, two new characters are introduced as Eva pilots that will be assisting in the operation. They are Asuka (the tsundere-type girl with an attitude) and the mysterious Mari which we know nothing about. As more and more Angels appear, more destruction is swept across the city. As a result, the Evas and the Angels are locked into heavy combat which leads to some casualties. Shinji, emotionally affected by these incidents becomes determined to wipe out the Angels and protect his friends and family from harm. The story was more action-packed and more emotional than previously. Lots of fan service here for those who just love the fighting.

The art was imaginative and intriguing once again. The characters all looked great and the new additions were all lively. The battles were once again intense and extravagant saturated with special effects and quick action shots. It is all about the fan service here- and it delivers quite well. Graphics and lighting were a speciality here and is just simply captivating to look at.

Even with the addition of characters, voice acting was improved slightly with the addition of the lively Asuka. She just simply makes my day. The constant tsundere-like conversations between Asuka and Shinji is simply priceless. The other new characters involved were rather good as well and suited their roles really well. Theme songs were somewhat typical of your sci-fi genre so there is nothing extravagant or special to mention here.

The characters were the same as before. The introduction of new characters made the story more interesting to absorb and also allows further development and improvement of the plot as well as character relations. My favourite character would probably be Asuka the tsundere-type. She pretty much makes the story more alive" and "energetic" with her constant verbal abuse to Shinji. Mari is also a newcomer but she has limited screen time. I still don't exactly know what her role is and what's her background but I am sure she will make a big appearance in the third movie.

Overall, I found this sequel more intense and satisfying than the last. Fan service has definitely improved here with the addition of more intense battles, complicated scenarios, and the introduction of competition. It is all here once again to entertain you from the prequel. Once again, if you are into sci-fi and mechas than the  Evangelion movies will suffice.

STORY: 8
More engaging and interest to watch. Less dialogue and more action and emotional events.

ART: 8
Stunningly well animated once again. The characters and backgrounds all look nice and detailed.

SOUND: 8
Theme songs were rather typical sci-fi style. Voice acting has been improved slightly with the addition of new characters.

CHARACTER: 8
New characters are always a good thing although some remain mysterious.

ENJOYMENT: 8
Was a excellent sequel to the first movie. More fan service present here!

OVERALL: 8
With the ending as a climax, I can't wait for the third movie!

PSotD - Moonlight

Title: Moonlight
Artist: Miyano Mamoru
Year: 2011
Notes: Track 2 from Miyano's single Orpheus.
I really like this catchy pop tune.


DDL: Here. 

June 22, 2012

Nintendo 3DS XL. Really.



My first reaction: you got to be kidding me!? How is this a "portable" console? Well, it seems like Nintendo just loves making things bigger or making them lighter with little change at all. With that business strategy firmly implanted in their minds, Nintendo has just announced a larger version of its 3DS console which is called the 3DS XL not surprisingly. Compared with its predecessor, the 3DS packs 90 percent larger screens, and a body that's 46 percent larger (measuring 93 x 156 x 22mm). The new console also features a longer battery life, being able to run from 3.5 to 6 hours on 3DS software and 6.5 to 10 hours when running 2D games.

Available in white, red and black, as well as silver and black color variants, the new 3DS XL will retail at US$235 in Japan on July 28, while gamers in the US will to purchase blue and red variants on 19 August at US$200. Not sure about the release date of other regions at the moment.

My advice: if you want portability, don't buy the 3DS XL.


[via CNET]

Hatsune Miku Project Diva F's New Song Intro Video Posted

Sega began streaming a new song introduction video for the Hatsune Miku Project Diva F musical rhythm game on Thursday. The seven-minute video highlights eight songs from the PlayStation Vita game, including "Odds & Ends" by supercell's Ryo.
Hatsune Miku Project Diva F is the finalized name for the title Sega codenamed as "Next Hatsune Miku Project Diva" until last month. The game will feature an AR mode that uses the PS Vita's camera to superimpose Hatsune Miku in the real world.
Sony will release a PlayStation Vita Hatsune Miku Limited Edition in Crystal White as a bundle with the game on August 30. Regular editions of the game will also ship on the same day. The PS Vita Card version will cost 7,329 yen (about US$92), and the downloadable version will cost 6,600 yen (US$83).
Source: ANN
Pumpkin: All of my favourites songs! Ryo's new song ODDS&ENDS sounds really cool and so does 8#Prince's Weekender Girl. Ah I wish I had a PSP.

PSotD - Izayoi Namida

Title: Izayoi Namida
Artist: Aika Yoshioka
Year: 2010
Notes: Opening song for the anime Hakuouki: Shinsengumi Kitan (Season 1).
One of my all time favourite animes! There is news of a third season coming out in Summer (Japan) 2012. I can't wait! More bishies thank you.

Okita Souji - so handsome *A*
DDL: From Gendou music (Requires account - it's easy to make one!)



Anime Review: Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone

Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone is your typical action, mecha, sci-fi anime featuring a boy suddenly plunged into a world of war against creatures called Angels. For a generic storyline, the action is quite good and the emotions felt are real indeed.

Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) AloneSynopsis:

After the second impact, all that remains of Japan is Tokyo-3, a city that's being attacked by giant creatures that seek to eradicate the human kind, called Angels. After not seeing his father for more than eight years, Shinji Ikari receives a phone call in which he is told to urgently come to the NERV Headquarters, an organization that deals with the destruction of the Angels through the use of giant mechs called Evas. Shinji's objective is to pilot the Eva Unit 01 while teaming up with the Eva Unit 00 pilot, Ayanami Rei.

Review:

If you have watched other popular mecha sci-fi anime such as Gundam, Bokurano or Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann then you will find the storyline rather generic and predictable. Basically the film starts off with a average boy named Shinji Ikari. He is your typical average guy that noone really takes notice off. One day he is suddenly summoned by his father and is told to pilot an Eva after a sudden attack from the Angels occurred. Of course, he is rather relunctant and heisitant at first but then he dradually overcomes his fear and takes on the challenge. With many doubts of his own capability and his willpower to do as he is told; Ikari slowly accepts the truth and the heavy responsibility he is given. The story is quite predictable and the way that the Angels are dealt with reminds me of Bokurano; that is that the "cores" of these creatures have to be destroyed in order for them to be completely shut down. Anyway, even though the story was generic, the emotional outbursts from the characters really made the anime enjoyable to watch.

The art and animation was simply stunning from the Angels to the Evas. The characters all looked great and had looked stereotypical of their personalties. The Angels and Evas were simply imaginative and all had their unique look and style. Backgrounds and sceneries were also beautifully illustrated in various ways. One scene had a bright sunset with light and shadowing cast upon the city. It is evident that a lot of work has been put into improving and detailing the graphics in the film.

Sound quality was not bad and voice acting was pretty normal for these bunch of characters. Rather, their voices weren't too noticeably unique or different to your typical mecha sci-fi anime. Perhaps I have watched too many sci-fi anime now and can;t really tell the difference between the character's voices. Anyhow, the theme songs were quite suitable and they had a nice ring to them.

Time to talk about the characters more in detail. As you probably would have guessed by now, Ikari is your typical average nobody that randomly ends up in the worst situations possible. Somehow he manages to overcome his emotional problems and determines to follow his will. At first, he has some low self-esteem and some self-pitying moments; but he gets better towards to end of the series. Some people may feel some anger or hatred towards that kind of attitude, but that is what develops a strong character in an anime. Someone that has enough willpower to change their attitude and view of the world around him. I found that I could understand Ikari's feelings of pity in many of the scenes throughout the anime. As for the other characters, I will not mention much about them here; but they all contribute in helping Ikari with his problems.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the adrenaline, emotional struggles, and the outbursts or energy that this film has to offer. Even though this film is a remake of the original Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series, it has its own reconstruction of the story; which was nice. I personally have not watched the original series so I can't really make a judgement here whether the films are better than the TV series but I really did enjoy the film from start to finish.

STORY: 7
So the story was rather linear and generic but the action scenes and dramatic moments were engaging.

ART: 8
The Angels, Evas, and the characters all looked great! Sceneries were well detailed and nice use of lighting in the film.

SOUND: 7
Voice acting was rather well done but seems a bit bland compared to other mecha sci-fi anime.

CHARACTER: 8
I kind of liked the main character and I did come to understand his feelings a bit. The other characters were also memorable and likeable.

ENJOYMENT: 8
Apart from the linear storyline, the action scenes were well made and was entertaining!

OVERALL: 8
This film could be said as more of a fan service than a serious mecha sci-fi film, so expect to see some cute characters and huge unbelievable battles.