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New Amanchu! anime PV out

May 27, 2016

A new promotional video has been released to promote the upcoming anime adaption of Kozue Amano’s “あまんちゅ!” manga and it looks gorgeous.

When the first promotional video came out a while ago, was thrilled to see actual visuals for the “Amanchu!” anime, but this second promotional video really makes me excited as the anime promises to be a lovely, leisurely slice-of-life show much like “Aria”.

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The atmosphere, colour palette, animation style and voice acting all seem to be spot on, a perfect fit for Kozue Amano’s enchanting story featuring endearing, lovable characters.
Compared to the first video, the character design style seems to be somewhat closer to the original designs seen in the manga, especially the facial expressions looked more convincing.

My expectations are high considering this second promotional video showcased several key scenes from the manga in animated form, and they looked absolutely stunning.
Can hardly wait for the anime summer season to be here and bring us “Amanchu!”, which will no doubt be a more than worthy successor to the terrific slice-of-life titles of this season, “Flying Witch” and “Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge”.

Dollfie Dream snapshots: Yoko -1-

May 13, 2016

A few photos of Dollfie Dream Yoko, clad in a knit vest from CoolCat and blue jeans from TTYA. Took advantage of the zipper on the knit vest and Yoko having a Peach Pai aftermarket part installed to go for a more daring look.

Lighting for these photos is the same set up I use most often, direct sunlight from late afternoon/evening as the sun starts to set, filtered through some blinds or curtains for a more dynamic effect. Did process the raw captures in Adobe Lightroom and tweaked several settings for a better end result.

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Would like to upgrade Yoko’s original DDDy body with newer DDIII style arms, similarly to the upgrade performed quite some time ago on the DDII body that I still use for Ayuko. Although I do sometimes ponder if it would be a better approach to phase out that older DDII body and use its newer arms on Yoko instead.
Read more…

Sakamoto desu ga?

May 9, 2016

Cool! Cooler! Coolest! Based on the “坂本ですが?” manga by Sano Nami, “Sakamoto desu ga?” is a hilarious comedy centered on the daily life of high school student Sakamoto, who is beyond comparison the most stylish, brilliant and over-the-top main character seen in anime these recent years.

Although it is labeled as a slice-of-life genre series, “Sakamoto desu ga?” is more a quirky comedy like “Nichijou”, “Azumanga Daioh” or “Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou”. With his infallible skills that enable him to overcome any challenge with ease and master any situation with uncanny grace, Sakamoto appears to be as overpowered as Saitama from “One Punch Man”. Though obviously, Sakamoto is much more stylish than Saitama.

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Due to its setting, the show plays out its comedy using typical school anime plots and tropes, such as bullying, girls vying for the main character’s affections, delinquents and similar elements.
Of course, “Sakamoto desu ga?” puts its own spin on them to boast how spectacular Sakamoto really is, which results in comedy similar to the hilarious way that Saitama in “One Punch Man” overcomes each enemy with ridiculous ease. While these jokes in “Sakamoto desu ga?” never fail to make you laugh, their outcome is generally not unexpected or surprising.

The animation by studio Deen is quite good, though save for the fanservice-like shots of Sakamoto, it doesn’t come across as particularly excellent either. Perhaps that may be due to the fact this is a comedy, a genre where it is more challenging to have your main audience experience the visuals as stunning compared to action, mecha or science fiction anime.

If you enjoy absurd comedies like “Nichijou” or “Tonari no Seki-kun” then you should try out this show.
You can watch “Haven’t you heard? I’m Sakamoto” on Crunchyroll.

Kantoku Comic1☆10 doujin ‘Panty x Panty′

May 6, 2016

For the Comic1☆10 event held his past weekend, artist Kantoku from “Afterschool of the 5th Year” released a new doujin titled ‘Panty x Panty′.

Contrary to Kantoku’s ‘Tachiyomi Senyou′ volumes, this new ‘Panty x Panty’ book is more akin to the ‘Check x Check’ or ‘Check in Summer’ style books where the illustrations focus on a specific clothing style, fashion or theme. As the title suggests, this new doujin is all about underwear, although check patterns are never far off with this artist.

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The cover illustration of these two green eyed cuties is quite lovely, wonder if they are sisters, twins?
Might Kantoku add them as new mascot characters next to Kurumi, Shizuku and the others?
Read more…

Tony’s Innocent Fairy Freesia arrives

May 4, 2016

Already have the lovely “Peace Keeper” Daisy and “Fairy Garden” Annabel figures in my humble collection, hence when Kotobuikya announced “Innocent Fairy” Freesia as the newest figure in their Tony’s Heroine Collection line-up just couldn’t resist.

This time though, decided not to order Freesia at KotoEU, Kotobukiya’s online store for direct sales to European customers, due to hefty custom fees that accompany EMS shipping. Placed an order at Hobby Search instead as they offered SAL shipping, such parcels aren’t often detained by customs compared to those shipped with EMS, and was lucky to have a beneficial Yen to Euro conversion.

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Like Daisy and Annabel, Freesia is a terrific product crafted by Kotobukiya and an excellent adaptation of Tony Taka’s original art into figure form. I especially adore how each of the three fairies has a distinct color scheme and aura.

While Freesia seems to be a bit smaller overall than Dasiy and Annabel, she’s nearly as tall and her butterfly wings are roughly the same size, this makes it challenging to display her in a Detolf case alongside Daisy and Annabel without the figures in the back being hidden from sight. Will look into acquiring a transparent base to elevate the fairies posed in the rear.

Computer hardware upgrades & replacements

May 2, 2016

Took advantage of the yearly sale at computer hardware store Tones to indulge myself and purchase a few new parts, including a Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD and an additional 8GB kit of Corsair DDR3 memory.

Although I have been running the operating system and applications from an SSD for years, this Samsung 1TB SSD will replace the Samsung HD103UJ model 1TB 7200rpm drive that stores core data including my documents, music and raw photo files. Combined with settings optimization and the additional memory, am hoping storing the raw photo captures on this SSD will help improve performance in Adobe Lightroom.

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Noticed these past weeks that the cooling fans in my Antec P182 computer case began to exhibit annoying grinding noises when spinning up, so decided to acquire new Scythe Slip Stream models to replace the worn out Antec fans. Am rather keen on having a quiet computer, hence it was logical to opt for a brand like Noctua or Scythe who are known for their high-performance, silent cooling fans.

Removing the original case fans and installing these new Scythe fans was straightforward and near effortless. Even with the main components still installed, could easily access the fans to replace them. Although an older design, the Antec P182 computer case really is worth every penny I spent on it nearly a decade ago as it remains rock solid, its build quality is superb.

After tinkering with the hardware, took the opportunity to perform a clean installation of Microsoft Windows 10 as well to complete the ‘spring cleaning’.

Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge

April 29, 2016

Adapting the “田中くんはいつもけだるげ” manga by Uda Nozomi into anime, “Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge” is a lovely comedy that could be labeled as the ultimate ‘leisurely’ slice-of-life anime.

While there are plenty of terrific slice-of-life anime like “Aria” or this season’s “Flying Witch” that boast a leisurely pace and soothing atmosphere, “Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge” takes it a step further. It isn’t merely because the show’s protagonist Tanaka is so listless and always dozing off, but each episode makes you feel as if you’ve just taken a soothing, relaxing nap.

Silver Links’ work on “Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge” boasts an excellent combination of subdued, low contrast colors, and the studio perfectly balances the pace of each episode so it feels leisurely and relaxed, yet the show never comes across as boring, uneventful or too slow.
The comedy is handled similarly well, especially Miyano’s cute shenanigans and Echizen’s silly facial expressions are adorable, yet it is never the sort of slapstick comedy that makes you roar with laughter.

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Also noteworthy about the animation by studio Silver Links in “Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge” is the background artwork, specifically the architectural and interior design of the school building. A contemporary styling with lots of natural-looking materials and colors, make this look like a modern office space with plenty of open space and light, instead of the classic, plain Japanese school design usually seen in anime.

Originally omitted it from my to watch list for this spring season as the plot synopsis did sound like it would be the slice-of-life anime that I personally enjoy, am nonetheless glad I did pick up “Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge” after all as it is the type of lighthearted, soothing slice-of-life show that I adore.

Recommend this show to all fans of slice-of-life anime. Am certain that together with “Flying Witch” it will be one of the season's sleeper hits.
You can watch “Tanaka-kun is Always Listless” on Crunchyroll.

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