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Toy Stores Where Have You Gone? (Article) - 10/16/2009 2:34:28 PM

When I was a kid, I remember going to a place called Child World. The store looked like a castle. By the time I was in Jr. High, they were gone.  Aside from Toys R Us, most of the time I just shop on the internet for the figures/dolls I want. I also make rather judicious use of Ebay for older toys. For my children, I use a combination of Target/Walmart/TRU (brick and morter) and Ebay/Amazon. It is sad to see all the toy stores like this, but no one can seemingly compete for long vs a discount bigbox type store.

Unspecified Title (Article) - 10/16/2009 1:14:36 PM

When I originally started watching this series, CPM had both sub and dub tapes at the same price point. While I am a fan of the JP cast, this English cast has several of my favorites. It came to a point where I was alternating purchases between the JP and English cast every few volumes.

Unspecified Title (Article) - 8/12/2009 9:50:26 PM

I loved Flag. I suppose the unique angle appealed to me the most ^_^

Unspecified Title (Article) - 7/22/2009 7:34:18 AM

The movie wasn't bad, it was good for what it was -an adaption of the books. There is a lot of story there that I suppose they couldn't fit into it, and I guess they decided to forego all the massive skipping they did in Order of the Phoenix and tried to create something a bit less patchy instead. I was rather please with how Draco Malfoy and Snape were portrayed, but really this was "The Half-blood Prince" and there should have been more of that in here. The fact that they totally cut out the ending scene was rather dissapointing as well. I suppose while I'm digging up other items, I should mention that I had rather been looking forward to the mini epic battle with the Death Eaters. :l  So on its own, it wasn't a bad movie at all -movies can't always be a word for word adaptation of the novel they are based on. It has left me with the overwhelming urge to re-read this particular novel though. 

The Anime Dilemma (Article) - 6/3/2009 10:58:16 AM

Anime is more than just 'big eyed and small mouthed school girl meets tentacle monster.' The "mature" titles make up only one genre in that which is Anime. Just as it would seem silly to judge all of North American cinema based on "Debbie does Dallas," so is it silly to view everything anime-related as pornogrophy. As others have stated, anime is simply a medium through which the story is communicated. It's certainly easier to have epic space battles and massive wars conducted via sheets of paper, computer monitors and pieces of plastic. Since it seems like you enjoy titles more Science Fiction based, I'll try to mostly stick to those.

One of my first introductions to Anime was via Robotech and Hello Kitty. Robotech was a washed-down, cut and paste version of three other series. The series it was most heavily based upon was "Macross." Macross is a space-epic that came out of the early 80's. The animation style still looks lovely today, and it was lovingly remastered by Animeigo a few years back. ADV currently owns the US license and they have released Animeigo's remastered video with an addition of their own -a decent English Dub. Another 'classic' is that of "Legend of the Galactic Heroes" which is basically an epic space opera spanning over a hundred episodes, movies and ovas.

If you are searching for some comedy thrown into your adventure, I'd highly recommend "The Slayers." The main lead is a firey sorcerous by the name of Lina Inverse. She mainly travels with an expert swordsman named Gourry and together they encounter all sorts of adventures. There are currently 4 seasons out. The most recent season was split up into two halfs and released in Japan in 2008/2009. There are also a few Movies and OVAs associated with this series, but they feature Lina with another companion of sorts by the name of Naga.

"Neon Genesis Evangelion" is also another series that could be deemed a 'classic.' It is quite possibly the most popular and widely discussed Mecha show I've ever encountered. When it first came out in the mid 90's a lot of people felt like it "was like a breath of fresh air." Its about a lonely average boy named Shinji who is one day summoned by his father. Not because his father loves and wants his company, but because he has need of him. Much to his dismay, he is one of the few people capable of being accepted as a pilot for a giant robot/mech. These giant robots are just about the only things capable of fending off strange invaders and protect their city. From there, it starts to dive into a larger plot with several religious overtones. The animations is good, and the story sucks in the viewers almost right from the get go.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is a fantastic series. I admit, when I first watched the original movie back in the late 90's, I was hard put to see what the attraction was. Perhaps it was discomfort given the opening scene. Years later, when a friend said they were positive that I would enjoy SAC, I wondered if they were really right. I had "matured" a bit as an anime viewer in some ways, and had became more open. I watched an episode on Adult Swim, and found myself intrigued. The english Voice actors were all very well cast. The animation style was superb and utilized some CG in the intro to the first season. The music was composed by Yoko Kanno who is rather prolific.

Another "Newish" series that is rather good is "Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo." As the name suggests, it is based upon "The Count of Monte Cristo," but with a twist. The animation is gorgeous, but it does take some getting used to.

While not Science Fiction, "Samurai Seven" takes "The Seven Samurai" (which the Magnificent Seven was based upon) and throws in Mechs. At first, it might seem like an odd way of telling that story, but in very little time the series lures the viewer in.

Fate/Stay Night is all about a young man named Emiya Shirou. He was adopted by the man he calls father after being left an orphan due to the events (burning of a rather large area of the city / ward) that occurred 10 years in the past. Shirou's biggest dream is to become a champion of Justice. He has a unique talent for what he calls "reinforcement" which he does by "tracing" an object. Tracing in this case is where he is able to analyse the structure of said object and then determining a way to strengthen said structure. This technique is something that he is able to do because he has latent magical abilities. His adoptive father before him was also a magician. This series falls under the Shonen/Drama catagories as well as Supernatural.

Other series and movies that also have good plot, enjoyable music, and wonderful animation are: Last Exile, Spirited Away and Fullmetal Alchemist.

I glazed over the whole "Shoujo"(girl) and "Mahou Shoujo" (magical girl aka "Sailor Moon" type series) genres because I was unsure of if they would appeal to you. The typical hallmarks and attraction of these are that they are heavy on the drama and plot. The character interactment, plot, animation style and even the music all play a crucial role to the success of the show. Two of arguably the most well loved titles in the "Mahou Shoujo" genre are that of "Sailor Moon" and "Cardcaptor Sakura." Ironically, these two have also fallen to the heavy hand of US television censorship in the past as well. In Sailormoon's case, the series suffered from removal of entire episodes from the first 2 seasons. Ultimately, when you get down right to it, most people fall in love with these shows because of epic story telling. A sense that you just stepped into this Huge universe and that there is so much to show. Great music lends to the development of the scene, adding a sense of danger/intenseness when needed. I've heard of grown men crying when watching the end of "Nurse Angel Ririka SOS." They had developed such a connection with the heroine, they became emotionally involved at the end.



As for a "Horror" type title, "Hell Girl" should fit the bill quite nicely. :)

DVD Shopping Bag: Great Pumpkin Issues (Article) - 9/23/2008 1:54:07 PM

I always viewed it as a way of showing others how the shoe feels on the other foot. Normally some of these actions wouldn't be seen as being really bad on their own. However when you see them through the eyes of the person that is experiencing it, it all feels a bit more poignant. It helps little kids understand how their actions are effecting others. It shows other kids who are bullied not to give up and keep trying, that they aren't alone. I read once (forward in one of the Charlie Brown books) that Charlie Brown is based on him. Perhaps he was drawing from experiences from his own childhood. Have you ever read any of the older strips when the main characters were all a lot younger?

Toy Maniac: Star Wars, Nothing But Star Wars (Article) - 9/11/2008 4:11:11 PM

The one thing I always wanted was the Jabba the Hutt playset. Alas, for numerous reasons I couldn't have it. *sniff* Fast forward some 20 years later and now it's my son with the Star Wars bug. He's been pretty happy with his Galactic Hero action figures, but this year he's mentioned that he'd like to have some of the bigger figures as well. :D


Date Joined: July 13, 2008