CDJapan has these great little items on offer. Much in the vein of the Star Wars Lightsaber Chopsticks I mentioned a while back, these ones are based on the massive anime franchise Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Coming in their suited EVA colours, the chopsticks have the pilots entombed in the uppermost part of the chopstick and whilst they look pretty cool, I’m not sure how ‘usable’ they are… Either way, they are a must have for any serious collector of Evangelion memorabilia…
Mix some dire dialogue and some awful over acting and you get?
Actually you get an hour and a half of no-brainer enjoyment.
Note: May contain spoilers!
This low budget effort struggles to get off the ground plot-wise but succeeds in an opening sequence that has some of the best choreographed camera work I’ve seen just recently. This some pretty fair sword-play and some decent martial arts work and is capped off with the appearance of the protagonist Yoshie, the “Robo-Geisha” herself.
Unfortunately from then on it’s just a little bit too slow and would have benefited from a shorter ‘origin’ plot and got straight to the end battle… however, don’t let this put you off, there is still some storming CGI and a bit of blood and gore too, so it’s not all gone to pot. And, if you like your Japanese movies to be in the traditional vein (a la Godzilla), then the Robot Castle at the end should please you no end!
I have to admit, that the funniest and most deplorable part of this film was the butt-sword fight at the end.. I was in hysterics…
The film doesn’t pretend to be a work of art, it doesn’t try to be anything other than over-the-top fun, and it succeeds at that pretty well.
Just uploaded this to YouTube, thought you might like to take a gander.
This short film directed by Mamoru Oshii (Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell, Avalon, The Sky Crawlers) is taken from Shin-Onna Tachiguishi Retsuden (真女立喰師列伝?) is the sequel to Onna Tachiguishi-Retsuden consisting of six loosely connected short stories.
The Kentucky in the title has something to do with everyone’s favourite fried fowl… as does the lead characters handle of ‘KFC‘… I find the ending of this short both weird and cool … just can’t figure out why…
Assault Girl: Kentucky no Hinako is the forerunner to the recently released Assault Girls, also directed by Mamoru Oshii which is out on DVD on the 26th of June. Check out the trailer below.Trailer source: Nippon Cinema
After a short hiatus (2008 – EXPOSED), not counting the greatest hits Double CD released earlier this year, Boom Boom Satellites are back with a new studio album. In typical BBS style, the album is spattered with tracks that have powerful beats, powerful guitars and powerful vocals – this system hasn’t failed up until now – so why change it?
A great album with some awesome tracks, particularly good are: Drain, The Harder They Come, The Harder They Fall and Hounds. Other songs are melodic, moody and tingling with electricity. Thirteen tracks of genius from the Big Beat Duo.
This is massive. Not just the size, or the contents – but the scope… a huge selection of Gundam music for the masses and it’s available from the 24th of February at cdJapan.
Celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the anime series GUNDAM is this amazing CD box set, featuring a whopping 10 discs in the new high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players). Also included is a 260-page booklet.
It features all the OP and ED that you would want, including the latest ones from L’Arc~en~Ciel, The Brilliant Green, UVERworld, Tommy heavenly6, PUFFY and GACKT. Along with the classics from the 80’s… smashing stuff…
Looks like Takashi Miike is a busy boy again. This year sees the long awaited sequel to his 2004 Cult Classic ‘Zebraman‘.
It’s 2025 in Zebra City but our hero seems to have lost his memories… and his powers! The Zebra Queen has called martial law (Zebra Time) and is controlling the city, it’s down to Zebraman to regain control and save the day once again… if only he could get his powers back… Starring Shô Aikawa as the inimitable Zebraman with Abe Tsuyoshi, Inoue Masahiro, and Naka Risa as the Zebra Queen.
Also coming this year sees Miike’s Samurai Epic -13 Assassins. A group of hired Samurai are employed to assassinate a corrupt lord. More details to follow about this one, hopefully a trailer of sorts will appear soon…
The official release date for the Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl DVD is approaching. Pony Canyon are pushing it out on the 26th of this month and there’s a treat for those people who jump on it now as the first pressing comes with the OST included.
Valentine’s Day chocs arrive for high school student Jugon, Monami has made these tasty treats herself and they have a secret ingredient… the recipe for turning people into Vampires!! Jugon’s girlfriend Keiko, is not at all impressed by the other girls actions and follows them to the roof of the school to confront them. However, in a bizarre twist she falls to her death only to be reborn as Frankenstein Girl by her Mad Scientist Dad! Who will be victorious in the deadly battle that ensues?
This is one of those film’s I harped on about when I was keeping the sight a little more up-to-date than I have been doing recently. Unfortunately this release looks as though it’s lacking an English subtitle track, it’s also single sided/single layered with a 2.0 soundtrack – I’m hoping for a better second pressing. However, if you can’t wait then cdJapan are offering this one for ¥4700, which is around the £30 mark. Pricey indeed…
Thee Michelle Gun Elephant[TMGE] were a Japanese Rock band that formed in 1991 but were most prolific from around 1993 after their self released album ‘Maximum! Maximum! Maximum!‘ up until their split in 2003.
The latter part of last year and for the early part of this year, the band’s history is being recaptured in various different ways that get any J-Rock fan’s juices flowing…
Released today in Japan is the latest offering from the Tokyo based SOIL&”PIMP”SESSIONS, the ‘Club-Jazz’ band that started out in 2003. Since then (and including today’s effort) they’ve released 6 albums:
cdJapan have they’re latest CD on offer for ¥2667, roughly about £18, which whilst is expensive compared to retail CD’s pretty much anywhere else on the planet – is still a worthwhile investment for the sounds of this massive band.
Follow the links above for the releases available at cdJapan.
cdJapan are offering a great deal on pre-orders for the latest offering from The Birthday – ‘Ai de Nuritsubuse’. Released on the 14th October this year, this album is available in a regular edition and a limited edition which includes a bonus DVD with promo videos and live footage.
Also available from cdJapan to pre-order is the ‘Rebuild of Evangelion Rei Ayanami with Entry Plug Interior’ figure. I’m into anything EVA related and I think this is one I’m going to snap up myself. Due for release: 2009/10/05, pre-order deadline: 2009/09/03.
Currently running in a ‘sort of’ season 2 incarnation, where in fact the 1st season is being re-run with new episodes placed in between the old ones, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya always pulls in the fans.
The story is about a young 17 year old girl, who upon enrolment at school announces to the class, “I have no interest in ordinary humans. If there are any aliens, beings from the future, or super-humans, come see me. That is all!”
Her classmate, Kyon, seems to be the only person able to make friends with her and together they form the SOS Brigade. Their mission: To uncover the mysteries of the world any way they can – which includes dressing their timid rookie recruit – Mikuru – up in a bunny girl costume to give out leaflets at the school gate!
When this anime first appeared back in 2006 I’ll admit I really enjoyed it. Strangely, not due to the storyline or ‘Fan Service’ but because the characters were so unreal and insane. This time around I’ve no compunction to watch the rerun episodes whilst waiting for the new ones to arrive.
One of the fun things about Anime Collectibles is that they come in all shapes and sizes. A favourite of mine is the Nendoroid figures.
Nendoroids are figurines made at a hugely disproportionate size. Ranging from about half the size of regular sized figures, they can be up 14cm in height. The standard characteristics of these figures is that they have an engorged but cute (kawaii) head, which can sometimes be interchangeable too.
With a CV like Miike Takashi’s, the last thing you’d expect is for him to be at the helm of a kids film. However, that’s exactly what he did this year and the ‘Yatterman‘ DVD is set for release on the 25th September. A previous ‘Superhero’ type film of Miike’s that did well was Zebraman and so maybe the progression to this type of project was on the cards. But when you consider the cult status of Yatterman within Japan, then probably the best known Cult Director should be in charge. Yatterman, an anime that originally aired from ’77 to ’79, the basic premiss of which is that a strange object known as the Skull Stone has been broken into pieces and scattered across the globe. Legend tells that when the Stone is put back together it is able to give the precise location of the largest gold deposit in the world. Because of this, a band of villains known as the Doronbo Gang, led by Doronjo, are on the hunt for the missing pieces so that they can achieve domination, but their quest for the stone is impeded by the two that call themselves ‘Yatterman‘, Gan-chan and Ai-chan.
In 2008 a remake of the anime began airing in Japan featuring the voice cast of the original series. Updated with a modern twist, the series still follows the same plot line but the stone is replaced by Skull Rings.
Whilst in Hong Kong I was in my absolute element trawling through the music and DVD stores. One of those stores – CD Warehouse – became a habitual visit due to it’s massive stock of all types of Asian music and film.
On one particular visit I was thrilled to find that I could pick up the BoA BEST&USA 2 in 1 box set which I’d meant to order online for some time.
Originally released back in March, the set consists of a compilation CD ~Japan Best~ & DVD ~Japan Best Music Video~ and CD ~USA Début Album [BoA] and DVD ~Music Video & Special Contents~
Her long awaited arrival on the western music scene happened late last year and her single ‘Eat You Up‘ featured on the January ’09 Edition of the Mainstream Club Disc for DJ’s in the US. The single was very successful online, despite a distinct lack of promotion. The single hit number one in the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart Breakout Club Play and officially made its début the following week on the chart at number 42, peaking at number 8.
CD/DVD Track list:
【CD ～JAPAN BEST～】 ※AVCD-23830～1/B～C, AVCD-23832～3
UNIVERSE feat. Crystal Kay&VERBAL（m-flo）
DO THE MOTION
七色の明日 ～brand new beat～
メリクリ ～BEST&USA Version～
KEY OF HEART
make a secret
LOSE YOUR MIND feat. Yutaka Furukawa from DOPING PANDA
Believe in LOVE feat. BoA（Acoustic Version）
VALENTI ～BEST&USA Version～
【DVD ～JAPAN BEST MUSIC VIDEO～】 ※AVCD-23830～1/B～Cのみ
DO THE MOTION
make a secret
七色の明日 ～brand new beat～
KEY OF HEART
LOSE YOUR MIND feat. Yutaka Furukawa from DOPING PANDA
be with you
永遠 ~Dance Edit Version~
■ Bonus Contents （初回のみ）
【CD ～USA DEBUT ALBUM ＜BoA＞～】 ※AVCD-23830～1/B～C, AVCD-23832～3
Mamoru Oshii’s awesome adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s Ghost In The Shell get’s a reboot just about in time for Christmas.
This newest incarnation of the benchmark anime is being released on Blue Ray (standard and limited edition) and on DVD, and will look even better than it did back in 1995, which leaves my anime buds doing that tingly thing…
The project, overseen by Oshii himself, has had so many ‘upgrades’ that it has earned the extended title moniker of ‘2.0‘.
This version has new CG scenes and the audio has been completely remastered at Skywalker Sound. The original voice cast have made a new dub of the film too making this version considerably different from the original, and if you splash out the extra you can prove this yourself as the special edition box has the original version included enabling you to compare them. It also comes with a making of disc, a newly recorded audio CD and a ‘deluxe’ booklet.
Unfortunately The LoLyfe doesn’t own a Blue Ray player, so before I put this down on my Christmas list I should put a PS3 down first … anybody ..?
Katakura Suzume’s (Ueno Juri) husband leaves Japan to work in Europe. The only thing he asks of her is to look after his turtle.
Miki Satoshi’s (In The Pool) 2005 movie centres around the utter boredom of a quirky, clumsy woman who can’t seem to find any sort of good luck, even in the simplest of ventures such as having a perm. On top of that she’s convinced that she is completely invisible as the people around her don’t seem to acknowledge her existence.
Her only excitement for the day consists of her own personal challenge to run up 100 steps in the shortest amount of time possible.
One day, whilst doing exactly this, and finding herself diving for cover as a hundred or so red apples descend upon her, she happens upon a thumbnail-sized recruitment poster for becoming a spy attached to a railing. With her apparent ‘invisibility’ a plus point, she decides to apply for the position and is quickly immersed in a strange world of weird espionage training, including how to order food from a menu so that the waitress doesn’t remember who ordered it when she brings it to the table.
The good thing about becoming a spy is the pay. She is given 5 million yen, which she promptly puts in her fridge to look at every now and then, whilst giving a cackle of a laugh that is one of the highlights of the film.
Her new bosses in the Spy Business, introduce her to the rest of the spies located in the small town. Surprisingly, it turns out that she knows each and every one of them from the Tofu seller to the Ramen store owner.
As I posted earlier this month, this DVD is finally getting a UK release on February 23rd, 2009 and will be available at all decent retailers. If you can’t wait the few months until then and want to own the R2J version, you can order it below.
This particular DVD has been sitting in my pile of ‘To Watch’ flicks for quite a while. I can’t say why I didn’t view it earlier than now, in some ways I wish I had but at the same time I think I would have watched it again by now anyway. It delivers on every level, which is difficult to do nowadays. The bizarreness of it all lends itself to a fantastical world where anything can happen to an everyday person. The lead roles punch out of the screen and bring together a warmth and excitement from beginning to end. An all around fun, quirky film with some endearing touches that leave you with a smile on your face.
Kame wa Igai to Hayaku Oyogu (Turtles are Surprisingly Fast Swimmers) is available at cdJapan or Yesasia: