Oh no! Urgent update!

Oops. I mean, “Oh yes!” I know this is probably old news to you all, but it’s new news to me! BoA has debuted in America with her brand her single, “Eat You Up!” I watched the video and thought it was GREAT! She conquered two countries and it looks like she’s after more!

eatyouup_byboa

I’m happy to see that BoA is finally making a U.S. debut, and I’m surely gonna get that ’09 album. BoA’s voice is pretty unique and is sure to capture the attention of U.S. citizens (’cause it definitely caught mine!). Her image has changed somewhat for this debut, but it doesn’t matter, ’cause BoA is still totally gorgeous.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “BoA – Eat You Up (Asian Version)“, posted with vodpod


That’s the Version A video. There’s a Version B, but I feel that this one is so much more better. Enjoy!

1 comment Monday, November 10, 2008

Super Deluxe Review Special Version 2.9!

Hey, dudes and dudettes! Sorry I haven’t been updating recently. Life can get so frustrating sometimes, y’know? Anyway, on to my Super Deluxe Review Special Version 2.9! … Okay, so the name isn’t the greatest. Moving on. Let’s start off with some music, why don’t we?

OLIVIA

Wow, almost forgot how to insert a picture.

Anyway, I pretty much love all songs by OLIVIA. She’s half German-American, and half Japanese. She can hit high notes. Her voice is the voice of an angel. She’s fluent in English and Japanese. What’s there to not love?

Olivia Lufkin was born in the Okinawa Prefecture in 1979, as the daughter of a German-American man and a Ryukyuan woman. She only spent three years in Japan before moving to California. She traveled back and forth between the US and Japan before finally settling in Okinawa once more, where she was found by the director of the label Rising Productions. She signed to AVEX TRAX as part of the group D&D and eventually went solo.

She was moderately successful up until her big role: playing Reira from the anime and manga, NANA. There, she recorded several songs for the role. It’s even said that the creator of NANA, Ai Yazawa, said “It can only be her!” after hearing a few songs of Olivia’s.

Here are a few of my favorite songs by her:

  • Dekinai
  • Starless Night
  • Stars shining out
  • Sea me
  • SpidER Spins (Lost Lolli Mix)
  • Color Of Your Spoon
  • a little pain
  • Winter Sleep

Thelma Aoyama

Thelma Aoyama is also a mix-breed Japanese singer. She’s 25% Trinidadian and 75% Japanese. She was born in Nara, Japan, on October 27, 1987 (happy birthday!). She made her debut in 2007 with the single One Way, although it only charted #98 on the Oricon Charts. She’s collaborated with the rapper SoulJa several times, as well. She’s, perhaps, best known for the collaborations Koko ni Iru yo and Soba ni Iru ne. Soba ni Iru ne served as her second single, and, unlike her first single, it was #1 on the Oricon Charts. She followed up with Nando Mo, which was #6 on the charts.

Discussing more of her personal life now. She developed an interest in singing and dancing at young ages, resulting in taking vocal lessons and learning in international schools. When she was twelve, she moved to Los Angeles and lived there for two years before moving back to Japan in 2002. At the moment, Thelma is in college.

Favorite songs by Thelma:

  • One Way
  • Good Time
  • Koko ni Iru yo
  • Soba ni Iru ne
  • Yakusoku no Hi (collaboration with Dohzi-T)
  • My Dear Friend
  • Nando Mo

Hm… Well, that’s that. On to some anime!

Solty Rei

I haven’t exactly finished this anime yet, but I’ve watched enough episodes to know what it’s basically about.

The story revolves around a girl who is 100% robot, something unthought of in the new society. It is said that humans who are part robot can only be up to about 60% robot. How did the act of fake body parts come to life? Some time ago, there was an explosion. Many people were killed, and those who were injured in the blast were missing body parts. The answer? Replacements. Sure, they existed before the explosion, but they became a common trend after the disaster. Regardless, the story pretty much is about the mystery of a young, homeless girl with green hair and a knack for orange clothes who is a good daughter to the old man that adopted her, Roy.

I really love this series right now. It’s the perfect blend of heart-warming fun and plenty of crazy, butt-kicking action. I truly do recommend this to fans of every nature!

Ai Yori Aoshi

Yes, this is a harem anime. Yes, he’s surrounded by many females who just happen to look great. Yes, some of them even dig him. But this anime isn’t as average as you think.

Ai Yori Aoshi is about one guy who was apart of the Hanabishi family, until he fled from the place due to being mistreated, hurt, and practically alone. He met Aoi, a pretty girl with blue hair who almost always wears kimono, during his time there and they were set up to have an arranged marriage when time permitted them to. But when he left, he was banished from the family and was to never return, thus calling off the marriage and leaving Aoi all alone to suffer. Aoi spent her whole life sharpening her tools so that she could be the perfect wife for the man she loved, Hanabishi Kaoru! She left the family to find him, and there they face all the things you’d never think they would or could. It also includes all the cute moe scenes and fun ferret-chasing craziness!

Ai Yori Aoshi has become a favorite of mine. I simply love it!

Manga, anyone?

Gokinjo Monogatari (Neighborhood Story)

Gokinjo is looked at as a “prequel” to Paradise Kiss, even though the series itself lasted longer than ParaKiss. It includes several of the older characters from ParaKiss, such as Mikako and Tsutomu. The manga (and the anime) have not yet been released in America, but all we can do is hope since mangaka Ai Yazawa is starting to become popular here in the US!

Gokinjo Monogatari revolves around getting big in business, just like ParaKiss does. The only difference is that the story focuses mainly on Miwako’s older sister, Mikako, and Tsutomu. More important characters include their friends, Ayumi, Mariko, Yuusuke, Risa, Mai, Shintaro, and Jiro. They all work together to make their shop a success, and there’s even romance as Mikako and Tsutomu become closer and closer to each other.

I personally prefer Gokinjo over ParaKiss. I read it on OneManga. If I could, I’d buy it, but it’s not in English yet. Ai Yazawa is a genius!

Lovely Complex

Love Com is all about Risa and Outani. These two banana-mad teens just can’t keep away from each other! Risa is the tall and dorky girl in the class, while Outani is the short and cute boy of the class. Since they’re always arguing and yelling at each other, the class call them a comedy duo just because it’s too terribly funny! However, Risa’s feelings turn from annoyance to love, and she eventually tries to go after Outani, no matter what it takes (or how many rejections she’s facing)!

This manga is very charming and funny. I fell in love with it after reading one chapter, and have been obsessing ever since! Although the manga is being released in America, the anime hasn’t been licensed yet, so cross your fingers!

Fashion has been on my mind lately.

Cosplay Crazy!

This isn’t exactly covering the subject, just me ranting on cool cosplay I see. I’ve been meaning to go to a con and show off my geisha costume, which looks so realistic! Anyway, here goes nothing!

Yuki from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Mikuru from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Konata from Lucky Star

Kagami from Lucky Star

Rikku from Final Fantasy

Yuuki from Vampire Knight

Kaname, Yuuki, and Zero from Vampire Knight

Ichigo from Bleach

Rukia from Bleach

BLAST from NANA

L from Death Note

Yukari and George from Paradise Kiss

Naruto from Naruto

Gurren Lagann

Isn’t it awesome? I totally loved all that cosplay searching.

That’s all for now, folks! I don’t know when I’ll be posting next, but I hope this satisfied your crave.

Add a comment Monday, November 3, 2008

Songs I’ve listened to as of recent.

Well, it’s been two days, and even though I’m a little behind on schoolwork, I’m going to review again for you!

Yoo Seung Jun’s Shut Up!!

Recently, I listened to a song called Shut Up!! on a YouTube AMV (anime music video). I was addicted like crazy. Well, click play on the above, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s the AMV I watched.

Ha ha, I really love that song. The singer/rapper for the song is a guy who is from South Korea. He lived in the US for a while and was actually banned from returning to Korea until his step father died. Then he allowed back for the funeral.

Ayumi Lee’s Wrongful Meeting

I found this song when I was browsing on CrunchyRoll. It’s another Korean song, too. (I’ve really betrayed my Japanese blog, haven’t I?) I liked it live, it sounded pretty good. There’s no music video (that I’m aware of), but at least it’s popular enough to get YouTube videos, huh?

Anyway, the singer debuted in girl-group Sugar. They occasionally did Japanese songs, too. Ayumi fit in perfectly in that scene since she grew up and spent the majority of her life in Japan (despite being Korean).

Waii’s ตกหลุมรัก

Haha, now we’re getting into urban Thai music. This is one catchy tune, parodying on one of Beethoven’s pieces. At first, the language was quite… weird to me. But now I really love her music! It’s very unique compared to other urban artists.

Sorry that I don’t have an western title and I used symbols. It’s pretty tough finding her music.

Hyori Lee’s U-Go-Girl

That’s a live performance of the song. Hyori Lee paired up with another girl. I think it’s pretty good.

It’s also Hyori’s comeback single. Her sales weren’t going so good before, so now she’s doing a different type of hip hop. It’s much more original now, even though I loved her old music!

It’s in Korean.

Thelma Aoyama’s ONE WAY

She’s a goddess on the vocals. She’s also a newbie in the music industry, debuting back in 2007. What does that mean? She’s definitely got natural talent. I love this song, along with her other song “GOOD TIME” on the same single. I love listening to this song in the car!

Psst, does anyone know if she was born in America? Or Canada? Or something? Her English is flawless!

Chieko Kawabe’s Mermaid (Mama made)

Haha, for one reason or another, Chie’s my favorite singer. I’m in love with her music, and recently, I’m in love with this song. It’s so… catchy and yet, slow. It’s addicting. I just love it!

Chie’s French and Japanese (although she may not really look it). She’s also a model and actress, starring in the Sailor Moon musicals as Sailor Mercury and being casted in the live-action Sailor Moon series as Naru.

Dohzi-T ft. Thelma Aoyama – Yaku Soku no Hi

I heard this one browsing YouTube’s profile for Universal Music Japan. I fell in love with the song; it’s so beautiful, and I swore I knew the chorus’s voice from somewhere — Thelma Aoyama! That made me even happier. I really have no information on the artist. They’re pretty unwell-known, so I couldn’t even look on Wikipedia. However, after flying all over the internet and translating what seemed like a thousand Japanese pages, I found a download! Yay!

And that concludes today’s post. I hope you guys found your newest favorite song or at least something you like.

Rina-chan, out!

1 comment Friday, September 12, 2008
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Manga Review Special!

Just recently, I’ve read and finished several manga. I decided to do a report on them, since I’ve been having a special interest in Ai Yazawa’s manga lately.

Paradise Kiss

This manga follows the crazy happenings of Yukari, a book-worm-turned-model. With stunning looks and her height, she was a natural for the modeling world. However, I’m here to tell you how she got to that.

While roaming the streets with school (or the library) in mind, she stumbles upon Arashi and Isabella. The two are from a budding fashion line called Paradise Kiss. When Arashi sees her, he becomes determined to make her the model for their senior show at Yazawa Gakuen (a school for young, talented artists). At first, she thinks the idea is crazy, but she eventually gives in and becomes their model. Thus begins her life of fashion and beauty, with her new friends (and her lover George, whom she seems to be having problems with). Will life be lived happily for young Yukari, or will she become a sad and lonely mannequin…?

Characters

Yukari

Yukari is the heroine of the story, a high school student who is tired of the meaningless and repetitive life that has been forced upon her by her uptight mother. She eventually models for Paradise Kiss after being “kidnapped” by Isabella and whisked away to Paradise Kiss’ “atelier”. She is often referred to, inexplicably, as “Caroline” by Miwako.
Yukari begins the series as a pretty faced, yet rather unattractive in personality, high school senior that studies dutifully for university entrance exams. When she meets the ParaKiss crew, she begins to discover new depth to her personality and life. Her passionate and sometimes destructive relationship with George is key to this self-discovery. Yukari is competitive, quick to blame others, and desperately wants to experience more; George often points out the flaws in her personality, but admits that he finds them alluring, claiming that she was “born into this world to drive him crazy.”

George Koizumi (Jouji Koizumi)

George is an eccentric, handsome, and extremely charismatic student of Yazagaku who has extraordinary talent with a gift for fashion design, haute couture in particular. Despite his cold demeanor, he has extravagant ideas on everything, most of which are not accepted by the general public. He wants Yukari to become an independent woman, as well as a girl that will take responsibility for her own mistakes. He considers himself bisexual, or as he says, “an equal opportunity lover”. His appearance is loosely based on Brian Slade of Velvet Goldmine, and several references to the film are made by him in the manga. He has distinctive blue hair and eyes, making Yukari humorously question if he is an alien. George can come off as cold and manipulative–Arashi warns Yukari that he is “not a man that will make a woman happy”–but he deeply cares for Yukari. George is the one to steal Yukari’s virginity, even mocking her for it during sex. The lifestyle that he lives is top-notch; he lives in a loft apartment and drives a vintage Jaguar, but because his mother was merely a mistress, he rarely sees his father. Regardless, his mother dryly complains that he looks and acts just like him.

Miwako

A student of Yazagaku who works with George to run their own brand, Paradise Kiss. She is the younger sister of the Happy Berry brand’s creator/president, Mikako Kouda, who is the protagonist in Ai Yazawa‘s Gokinjo Monogatari work. She is exceptionally sweet and cute. Miwako tends to act in a rather childlike manner, both in her Lolita style dress and unique vocabulary. She owns a cat named Josefine. At the end of the manga, Yukari and Hiroyuki talk about Miwako, who is married with Arashi and they have a daughter named Erica, who looks more like him.

Arashi

Arashi is a student of Yazagaku with a taste for punk style, piercings, and alternative music. He is Miwako’s boyfriend, they have both known each other–along with Hiroyuki Tokumori–from childhood. Miwako later reveals that she “chose” Arashi over Hiroyuki when the three of them began high school. Even though Arashi has a generally cynical, sometimes abrasive personality, he does care deeply about those around him. When the members of ParaKiss engage in outrageous behavior, Arashi is usually the voice of reason. He is the son of a musician, Kanzaki Risa, who is a good friend of Mikako Kouda.

Isabella (Daisuke Yamamoto)

Isabella is the mother figure to the members of ParaKiss. This tall Yazagaku student is the epitome of high class and femininity. Isabella inspired George’s very first dress during childhood, and often had the habit of taking every piece of clothing that he finished. Isabella encourages Yukari when she needs it the most, whether it be regarding George or her abandoned studies. Notably, Isabella is actually a crossdresser, and she is mortified when anyone refers to her as ‘Daisuke’, her birth name.

Hiroyuki Tokumori

The picture isn’t the best, sorry! Only one I could find in color.

Yukari’s classmate, an intelligent and handsome young man who happens to be the object of Yukari’s affections at the beginning of the story. Hiroyuki was once in love with Miwako, but Arashi forbade her from seeing him. He eventually falls for Yukari, who foolishly assumed that he’d never date a girl like her.

Here’s a few more ParaKiss pictures!!

Moving on to my next review, this will be the last for this post.

Kagen no Tsuki

Mizuki Mochizuki is a high school student that one day meets a man by the name Adam. In the two weeks they are together, she falls in love with him, and the day he is to leave, she decides to follow him. Bringing her passport and a bag, she crosses one of Shibuya’s many streets, on a red light, to follow after him. Only, when her ex-boyfriend calls out her name, she turns around, in the middle of the street, to see him running after her. While standing there, she is hit by a car.

Some time later, a girl named Hotaru, who has lost her cat, mistakes a stray as her own. The cat wanders into an abandoned home, and she squeezes through the bars to follow after the cat. When realizing that the cat isn’t hers, she decides to leave, but is drawn in by a beautiful melody. She makes her way to where the sound is coming from, and discovers a girl playing a piano. After telling her friends about the girl, they all leave to check out the scene. When they go there, they cannot see the girl, but knows she is real when Hotaru hands her a notebook, and she takes it from Hotaru’s hands. They have no idea who this girl is, but they are determined to find out just who she is and why she is there. The rest of the story follows their discoveries of the ghost they call Eve.

It’s nearly impossible to find any pictures of the characters of this manga. It was hard enough to find the one up above. It’s not so well-known, and the title was never picked up for American audiences. I’ll post some info on the characters now!

Mizuki Mochizuki

A 17-year-old student that fell in love with the mysterious Adam. She is hit by a car and is put into a coma. Her spirit is then taken over by Eve (or, Sayaka) and when she wakes up, she doesn’t remember anyone, including Adam, Eve, and the children that helped her.

Hotaru Shiraishi

A girl that lost her cat. She stumbles upon Eve one day as she was searching for her cat, and after talking to her, vows to help her out of the house that entraps her. She is helped by three other friends from her school and is the only one who can see and communicate to Eve.

Eve

When Mizuki is in a coma, Eve takes her over and becomes an alternate identity. Eve was in deep amnesia, not remembering anything but a foreigner named Adam. She is in love with him, and he is her only concern. She doesn’t even know who she, herself, is.

Adam Lang

An English singer that is the lead of the now-broken up band Evil Eye. He has blond hair and blue eyes, and is the only person whom Eve can remember. He was in love with a girl named Sayaka and is aware that Mizuki is her reincarnation. He is, partially, the reason Mizuki is ran over.

Sae Kayama

One of Hotaru’s best friends. She is the first person Hotaru introduces to Eve, but Eve is invisible to her. She is, at first, scared of what Hotaru tells her about Eve, but eventually decides to help Hotaru find out who Eve is. She has a crush on Miura.

Tetsu Sugisaki

He is the son of the doctor that took care of Hotaru while she was in a coma. He is usually referred to as a monkey by Hotaru and the others, and has a crush on Hotaru. Hotaru accepts and returns these feelings, as well. He helps Hotaru find Eve’s identity.

Masaki Miura

The son of a famous actor. He is Tetsu’s best friend, and is crushed on by Sae. His parents are divorced, and he basically lives alone with the help of his father’s money, who is always away on business. He usually seemed passive and uncaring, but he truly wanted to help Eve find her identity, and so he helps the others. He usually has the best plans.

Tomoki Anzai

Mizuki’s ex-boyfriend and lover, he cheated on and betrayed her with her best friend. When she finds out, she leaves him and becomes extremely lost and lonely. He was truly sorry and wanted to prove so, but before he could, she is hit by a car. He is the last to see her.

Sayaka Kamijou

Adam’s girlfriend and lover. She always tagged along on shows and was the princess of Evil Eye, despite how sickly she was. She eventually dies from her sickness in her late teens, not too long before she was to turn twenty. When this happens, Adam joins her in a suicide. Sayaka doesn’t rest easy, sad that she leaves her lover behind, so she lives on in another’s body.

I really enjoyed both of these manga. They’re both quite interesting, with Kagen no Tsuki being the more mysterious one. I suggest you try reading them. I read Kagen no Tsuki (since it isn’t in English) on OneManga.Com. Try reading either of them anytime you like!

Thanks, Rina-chan out!!

Add a comment Wednesday, September 10, 2008
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Yazawa Fashion.

Mangaka (manga artist) Yazawa Ai is one fashionable lady, and it shows, especially in her famous manga NANA and Paradise Kiss. Most of her characters a punk-fashioned, with cool little chains and gorgeous hairstyles. She also pays very great attention to every detail, and it counts. I’ll show you several Paradise Kiss pictures of her fashionable characters.

Miwako (a definite lolicon and is part of the fashion line Paradise Kiss)

Yukari (an upcoming fashion model and main character of the series

Arashi and Miwako (both are of the Paradise Kiss fashion line)

George and Yukari (George is the head honcho of Paradise Kiss and Yukari’s a former-prep-student-gone-model)

As you can see, all of these characters are quite fashionable (as is suspected of a manga all about how a girl wants to free herself of the boring lie of a person she was, and begins modeling after finding the inspiration of some weird, but very nice [and sometimes mean] fashion designers of Paradise Kiss). Most of the characters are pretty unique (no, actually, none of them are too alike). And I just started reading this manga, I love it!

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I’m going to show some examples of several fashionable NANA characters.

Nana O. (lead vocalist of the rock band BLAST) and Nana K. (housewife of Trapnest’s head)

Nana Komatsu (nicknamed Hachi or Hachikou — a pun on her behavior, she acts like a lost and clingy puppy, just like the real Hachikou — check my history post)

Nana Osaki (Just goes by the name Nana)

BLAST (Nobu, Nana, Yasu, Shin)

Nana Osaki and Ren Honjo (Ren is the guitarist of Trapnest and former bassist of BLAST)

Now that I’ve shown you the anime version, I think it’s time to show you the cosplay (or live action) version of some of her characters.

These next two pictures are of Nana Osaki (from NANA)

This is Nana Komatsu (from NANA)

Chou cosplaying as Yukari (from Paradise Kiss)

Arashi (from Paradise Kiss)

Wow, so cool! The mangaka behind the stories, though, was born in 1967, meaning she’s about 41. Despite getting “up there,” this is her. The only picture I could even find.

She’s pretty fashionable, if you ask me. I like her lipstick. Her hair style suits her, too.

Thanks for reading! I know I haven’t been posting as much lately and that might make you sad. But, look! I finally gave you another fashion issue! Aren’t you happy?

Rina-chan, out! Peace!!

Oh my gosh, I’m wearing pigtail braids. *_*

3 comments Monday, September 8, 2008
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Foxxi misQ Review.

Foxxi misQ is a Japanese hip-hop/R&B group. Here’s a picture of them for you:

They’re basically the Destiny Child of Japan. They were picked out and put together to create an Asian version of DC. They all competed on NTV’s Uta Star audition and were the final cut. Face 2 fAKE formed the group, and they all worked several months before debut to become fit. They’re also the poster girls for Skechers Japan.

As of right now, they have one album (GLOSS) and six singles, all released since 2006. While their sales aren’t top notch right now, only hope and new material can boost it. We’ll have to see what’s in store for “Tha F.Q. Style.” According to their website, in November, a seventh single will be released. Also, this month, on the 24th, there will be another release. Due to the language barrier (and a horrible translator), I’m confused as to whether there will be a new album or not, although it mentions one. I guess I’ll have to wait it out and see.

I recommend songs:

  • A-L-I-V-E
  • X B F
  • I like it
  • Tha F.Q’s Style

The meaning behind the name:

Foxxi is “Foxy!” and misQ is “misc” or “miscellanious”.

There is no lead singer and they rotate between leaders with each song.

Everyone gets the spotlight.

Members:

YU-A

YU-A was born on May 29, 1986 in Hokkaido, Japan. She did apparatus gymnastics and performed in public.She also aimed to be a professional in dancing and singing, she started taking lessons.

YU-A is the one that goes by her own pace and time.

DEM

DEM was born on December 23, 1984 in Osaka, Japan. She sang and played the classical piano during middle school and went to a music dancing school, taking vocal lessons. She was fascinated by street performances and club stage events.

She is the “simple” and “innocent” one of the group.

CHiE

CHiE was born on November 17, 1984 in the Saitama Prefecture and Spain. At the age of six, she began playing the piano and at the age of fourteen, she was in a park in France, creating original music on a guitar. At the age of sixteen, she was active in mainly Tokyo with jazz bands and had chorus vocal experience in lives. She is still affected by jazz today.

She is the “cool” one of the group.

Here are a few more pictures for your fan needs, and make sure to check them out — whether it’s YouTube, their website, or just a random playlist. Just make sure you listen to them!

1 comment Sunday, September 7, 2008
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American-Japanese Cultured Mags.

When I say American-Japanese, I mean, seriously, Japanese-cultured mags in America. I’ll introduce some really good ones!

Shojo Beat (under Viz Media)

On the cover, we have NANA’s Nana (Hachi) Komatsu.

Shojo Beat focuses on, well, shoujo (girls’ manga) titles. It is a line under the main branch, Viz Media, and brings shoujo titles to America for us to read. Many of their popular titles are NANA, Sand Chronicles, Vampire Knight, Honey And Clover, and Absolute Boyfriend. There are many, many other titles, and those are just a few. As of right now, Haruka, Honey And Clover, Honey Hunt, Crimson Hero, Vampire Knight, and Sand Chronicles are all serialized in the magazine. This month, there were two previews — one chapter of We Were There (Bokura ga Ita) and one chapter of Captive Hearts. I’m currently subscribed to this mag (it’s much cheaper!).

The price for the mag is $5.99 each, but if you subscribe, it’s only about $30 a year (and $2.50 an issue). It is published monthly, usually over 300 pages-filled. It includes music, letters to the mag, horoscope, fashion and tips, and any other girly thing you’d find in a shoujo mag.

Shonen Jump

The cover is, obviousl, Naruto.

Shonen Jump is also under the Viz Media label. It is an American version of Japan’s Shonen Jump Weekly. It obviously focuses on shonen (manga targeted at boys) and is probably one of the most popular manga mags of America. Some popular titles are Bleach, Naruto, YuYu Hakusho, and Hikaru no Go. They are all serialized in the magazine, along with One Piece, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, and Slam Dunk. There are over 300 pages in this magazine, and sometimes, it nears or surpasses 400.

I don’t subscribe, which is silly, because I buy it every month. Included in this magazine, there are usually game cards in the trade card game section, as well as covers on games, Japanese language and culture, mangaka (manga artists) interviews, news on anime and manga, and much more. The price is the same for Shojo Beat ($5.99).

Anime Insider

That’s the guy from Final Fantasy VII.

This is, personally, one of my most favorite magazines, period. I love this magazine. Although it doesn’t have as many pages as Shojo Beat and Shonen Jump, it has plenty of content. It goes over Japanese culture completely, barely ever missing a spot. It includes tons of reviews on manga and anime, even dramas, music, language, and even places in Japan that just catch your eye. There’s a segment in every issue called JPN101, which teachers you many phrases and words. There’s even a “fan service” picture, showing a girl and a guy that you just can’t help but stare at, as well as a VS. segment, where they describe what would happen if two people, from two different series, go head to head and fight. It’s usually very funny. There’s so much more in the magazine, it’s a must-have for any anime/manga lover as well as for anyone interested in Japanese culture.

The price for this mag is $4.99. Here’s the website for you:

http://www.wizarduniverse.com/anime.html

That’s all for now, folks. If you want to know about another other manga-themed or anime-themed magazines, here’s a list for you:

  • Newtype USA (was done after February, but there’s still backordering)
  • Otaku USA
  • PiQ (didn’t last too long, but backordering for this one too would work)
  • Protoculture Addicts
  • Naruto Collector
  • Future Anime

Thanks for reading! I hope I informed you of something new or got you into the latest and greatest!

Rina-chan, out!

Add a comment Friday, September 5, 2008
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Recently Viewed Anime.

I’m going to talk about anime I’ve recently viewed.

BECK

It’s not as popular as it should be. Really. BECK is about a boy, Yukio (known as Koyuki by nickname), who meets a guy (Ryuusuke) who is in a band. NO! Not a romance! Not even close. The first thing Ryuusuke pretty much tells him to do is get lost. Yup. In the end, Koyuki takes up guitar and starts to get really good. He joins BECK, and together, they make music more magical together than any other band out there. Even if by chance, they get sufficiently popular in such a short time… Oh. Sorry. It’s a really good anime, I loved it. I loved the soundtrack. The characters are real, not fake at all. If something bad happens, someone either stands up to make it right or the problem isn’t fixed. No, the day isn’t saved by some chance. This is the true life of a rock star, isn’t it?

Rumbling Hearts

Rumbling Hearts is a romance. Yes, a romance. I actually just finished this one today, and I enjoyed it very much. Most of the time, I screamed at the characters. For a romance/shoujo, this one was pretty good. Nothing rosey or fake, this one had real pain. Real sadness. And you were lucky if you got a happy ending.

It focuses around a group of friends, mainly Mitsuki, Takayuki, and Haruka (although Akane played a major part and so did Shinji). Life is grand for them; they’re happy, enjoying the last years of high school, hanging out, sitting on hills. Until… the accident happened. Haruka and Takayuki had a date. Nothing major, just a date. On the way there, he saw Mitsuki, and, after hearing it was her birthday, took time out to buy her a gift. He knew Haruka would understand. Only, when he gets there, he discovers that a car went off the road and hit her as she was waiting. She was left in a coma. This deeply affected him, and everyone around him. He eventually moves on (after being depressed and in a daze for a year) thanks to Mitsuki, and they fall in love. Only, when Haruka wakes up (after three years), he feels that he owes it so much to her that he visits her everyday, and even cheats on Mitsuki. The story basically follows the pain that everyone goes through — from Akane’s younger-sister complex of lying to her older sister (since Haruka thinks no time has passed), to Mitsuki’s boss going through a divorce. Even though the show is full of sadness (and sometimes laughs), it eventually ends up at a happy ending (not due to chance, just due to characters making choices).

Love Hina

Even though the anime is practically ancient and super popular, I never watched it. Just recently (several days ago), I finished the anime and found myself to really like it.

It’s about a guy that makes a promise to a little girl fifteen years ago that they’ll get into Tokyo U (one of Japan’s most prestigious univerisities) and be together. Only, the little girl moves away and Keitaro forgets her name. He goes on, studying for the exams every year (and failing miserably most of the time) with only the memory of her and the promise in mind. He eventually ends up at Hinata Hotsprings, by the request of his grandmother, and becomes the manager. It’s an all-girl apartment and hotspring. This story follows his life of girls, girls, and more girls, and maybe two or three guys, and how they all pick on him but still become attached to him.

Sorry it isn’t the longest post, but with school (and exhausting yard work), I found myself lucky enough to even post today. Thanks, once again, for reading, and Rina-chan’s out!

Add a comment Wednesday, September 3, 2008
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Japanese 101: Learning Japanese Slowly V.7

My seventh installment! This time around, we’re focusing on game talk.

  • Bideo geemu — Arcade game
  • Danmaku — A type of scrolling shooter game
  • Gamen — Screen (the monitor the game is being played on or the in-game display)
  • Genteiban — Limited edition version of a game. Usually comes with extra goodies.
  • Hatsubaihi — The day a game goes on sale.
  • Kakutou — Fighting games
  • Keitai geemu — Portable games (cell phones; PSP; DS)
  • Kusogee — Poor-quality games
  • Ren’ai — Love-sim games
  • Shuutingu — Shooting games of all types
  • Yo-gee — Western-developed games, like Grand Theft Auto

Well, that’s it for now! Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately, folks. I just haven’t had the time/energy to do so. But Rina-chan’s glad you’re all keeping updated…!

Rina-chan, out.

Hehe.

Add a comment Sunday, August 31, 2008
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Japanese Artists.

This article will be about, literally, artists. I’ll discuss their art and give you several examples.

Kusukusu

Whoops, what a priceless expression.

Anyway, onto the story now. Kusukusu is probably most known for his work with games, like Dear My Friend. They’re typically h-games (hentai games; basically, porn) revolving around several girls and one guy. Of course, put one typical horny teenager with a bunch of cute girls, having several… happenings (such as the one above), and you’ve got yourself a hentai party.

Okay. Moving on, Kusukusu’s art usually has this… era around it. You can notice his art anywhere, as long as you pay attention. It’s usually bright but soft, and he often uses blond characters. He uses many details, from the ruffles on a girl’s skirt to the cherry blossoms or the market surrounding her. His art is very clever too; notice how her skirt happened to fly up, but because she was holding food, she couldn’t sweep down to it and pull it back down. She could only stand there, surprised and embarrassed.

Here are some more pictures of his art; I have to say, I am a fan of it.

Swing wingS

Wow, isn’t that a pretty picture? I love how this artist does his colors.

Swing wingS is, as far as I know, not really known for being with anything. Actually, I think it’s just a guy who does pictures for fun and then does CG. Still, the art is (especially more recently) very breath-taking.

Swing wingS also took a hatius back in ’06, and didn’t return until ’08, with just one new picture to show for. That’s actually my reason for suspecting that he’s just an artist-for-fun and nothing more. I really admire his art though. It’s gorgeous.

His pictures are really easy to spot. They’re almost always really bright, with a neon-color tint to it. I’m not sure how to classify the color; it’s kind of in a world all its own. I’ll just show you by picture!

Naru Nanao

If you look at anime pictures frequently, I’m sure you’ll recognize that picture. It’s super-popular.

Naru’s work is really pretty. She’s not affiliated with any one company, but usually does do designs for multiple video games. She’s most known for her work for three heroines on Da Capo’s visual novel. She has also helped with several other visual novels, including one of the Canvas 2 games.

It’s also easy to determine Naru’s art, as she has a special way with eyes. Her character’s eyes are unique and, she usually does ecchi (not exactly hentai, but is somewhat perverted) work. Here’s a few examples of her work:

Collaboration with Noizi Ito

Naru’s girl is on the left.

Tony Taka

Tony Taka is a super-popular Japanese artist. He’s best known for his ecchi/hentai pictures, and, as I’ve seen many say, he has the work of a god. Well, actually, whenever I see anime pictures of his posted on websites, it’s revealed that he has a wide fan base and, so far, I’ve seen not one person who says he’s not a good artist.

Tony Taka’s work is very unique–instead of the huge, round eyes, he uses small and simple ones. Most of the girls he draws are attractive and fit. They have somewhat-small heads (for anime, at least) and the colors are very simplistic. I’ll post several examples for you.

That’s it for now! I’ll post something else in just a bit, though. Stay tuned!

1 comment Saturday, August 30, 2008
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