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June 21, 2012

Google Chrome's Hatsune Miku Ad Wins Bronze in Cannes Lions

Google Chrome Japan's commercial featuring the Vocaloid idol Hatsune Miku has won the Bronze Lion Award in the Direct Lions category of 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, is running in the French city of Cannes from June 17 to June 23 (roughly one month after the more famous Cannes Film Festival). 


The ad for Google's web browser features the livetune song "Tell Your World" with Hatsune Miku and also shows footage from Mikunopolis in Los Angeles, the July 2 concert at Anime Expo.

Source: ANN

Custom Themes on Gmail (Finally)



I totally love Gmail. I use it everyday. It is always open in my Google Chrome browser. Whether I am on my desktop, on my laptop, or on my phone; Gmail is always there. It's like a love story. Anyhow, Gmail packs many great features and is totally customizable to how you like your email to be sorted. Recent years have shown us great advantages and new innovations that we today take for granted in Gmail. However despite many ongoing changes to features and with the recent UI change, Gmails' themes have been quite lacking in the aesthetic department. Only given a handful of themes, users have to make use of what little they had to please their email browsing experience.

With the announcement a couple of days ago, Google has finally provided us with the option of making our Gmail "our own" as to speak. You can now use photos from Google+ and Picasa as your background image inside Gmail. I have been wanted this day to happen and it finally has!

First thing I will do is probably use a Hatsune Miku picture as my background! Well, if you are a Gmail user like me, why are you even still reading this? You should be changing your background right at this moment! If you are not a Gmail user then you are truly missing out (not just themes but many other cool features that Gmail has to offer).

Anime Review: Seto no Hanayome + OVA

Seto no Hanayome is an interesting concept linking romantic comedy with mermaids. How can this anime be interesting? In many ways possible. The review also includes the short sequel, Seto no Hanayome OVA.

Seto no HanayomeSynopsis:

Michishio Nagasumi's life couldn't be anymore normal. In an odd twist of events, during his summer vacation he ends up almost drowning in the sea. Luckily, the cute mermaid Seto San appears to save him. However, San is from a yakuza mermaid family and according to their law, if a human is to catch sight of a mermaid, either he or the mermaid must die. The only other way is for Nagasumi to be taken in as a family member, marrying San. In attempts to save both of their lives, Nagasumi asks for San's hand in marriage. Nagasumi's summer vacation reaped more then what he would expect, as he must now protect San from others finding her secret out.

It is now the third year of school, San and Luna's dads are still being over protective. All the while Nagasumi has his hands full trying to keep everyone around him under control and rescuing damsels in distress.

Review:

Stop. If you not a romantic comedy person or a total romcom fan then this anime will probably not suit your tastes. This being classified as strictly romantic comedy is an overstatement. I would consider this more of a action romantic parody comedy anime with many surprising and hilarious moments. Strictly speaking, there is little "mushy" love in this anime rather more of "chivalry" so to speak. We see here an ordinary guy, Nagasumi, being saved by a mermaid called Seto San. This seems to be a good start right? Or not. It turns out the mermaid's family is a mermaid "yakuza" gang and is any humans find out about the mermaids, they will have to die. So to avoid this nasty ending, Nagasumi has no choice but to marry Seto San. This of course creates many problems and we see the daily lives of these two bring quite eventful indeed. Not only does Nagasumi have to protect Seto San's secret, he also have to discover his own feelings for her and those of her relatives that seem to want to get in his way. Slowly, but surely, we see those two develop intimate and real feelings for each other. It's pretty much the highway from there; the ending is what you would except from a typical romcom anime.

The art was well detailed and the characters all looked rather unique with their own personalities reflected from their character representations. Just looking at Seto San and you will instantly conclude that she is a nice and understanding girl. Looking at her dad just tells you he is the"boss" around the place. Pretty much all the characters' personalities are guessable from their art styles. This of course does not totally present their feelings and emotions but it helps with character development.

The sound tracks were quite memorable and enjoyable to listen to. The opening song was especially a ballad that suited the anime really well. The voice acting for the characters were also well presented. They all had unique voices only identifiable to their respective characters. The dialogue was rather humorous and memorable from the over dramatic one-liners that the characters tend to repeat. Not once was I dull fro the interchange of communication between the characters.

Speaking of characters, you will instantly fall for the naive Seto San. She is your typical cute girl that is kind and warm-hearted. Luna Edomae is rather the complete opposite, more of a reverse tsundere type. She appears cute outside but she has a bad attitude towards Nagasumi and Seto San. Who can forget Masa, the loyal servant of Seto San's father; he tends to have many retrospective moments and dialogue. He is also quite the cool, calm, and collected guy. Honourable mention to Mawari Zenigata as she cannot stop trying to investigate the existence of mermaids and of the various random events that always happen to Nagisawa. There are also plenty of other characters which also add to the enjoyment of this anime.

Overall, I would say that I really enjoyed this anime from start to finish. I was glad this was not your typical romantic comedy anime as that would have been less entertaining to watch. The welcome addition of some action and chivalry made the anime that much more hilarious to watch. Seto no Hanayome is definitely for those who want a good laugh mixed in with some randomness and romance.

STORY: 7
The story was quite engaging and entertaining. Some unexplainable random stuff happens but its all part of the fun.

ART: 7
Characters were unique and well detailed. Backgrounds and sceneries were in high detail.

SOUND: 8
Voice acting was superb and the theme songs were appropriate.

CHARACTER: 8
I never once got bored of any of the characters; they all had some sort of unique charm on them that makes them memorable.

ENJOYMENT: 9
From a generic start to a random finish. It was one rollercoaster ride.

OVERALL: 8
It was funny, cute, and contained plenty of random moments that are enjoyable.

PSotD - Yume no Ukifune

Title: Yume no Ukifune
Artist: Aika Yoshioka
Year: 2011
Notes: Opening song for the anime Hakuouki: Sekkaroku.

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