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Dollfie Dream snapshots: Kyouko -2-

September 4, 2017

Just a quick photo of Dollfie Dream Kyouko taken earlier this summer using the light of the setting sun as it poured through the window blinds late in the evening. Have since removed those Venetian blinds during renovations so will need to look up clever alternatives to filter the sunlight when taking photos to get softer lighting or create more dynamic effects.

Purchased the white open shoulder ribbon shirt Kyouko is clad in from Nine9Style, while it does have a nice and breezy summer feeling to it thanks to its light fabric and design, am not that satisfied about the overall fit or its ribbons being sown on.

Kyouko

Would have preferred a version of this shirt made specifically to fit Dollie Dream, with real ribbons to tie. Still, do want to snap more photos of Kyouko in this outfit sometime soon considering she does look cute in it.

You can see more photos of my Dollfie Dream on Flickr.

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Dollfie Dream snapshots: Shizuko -5-

August 28, 2017

Due to allotting time to other activities, have unfortunately been neglecting my Dollfie Dream hobby and not taken many photos these past months. Still had this snapshot of Shizuko to process and upload though.

Taking advantage of the seamless surface of Volks’ one-piece torso, showcased Shizuko in the renowned virgin-killing sweater, which spawned plenty of thrilling fan art of anime, game and other characters clad in this epic garment, as well as Dollfie Dream owners showcasing their DD in doll-sized versions of the 童貞を殺すセーター.

Shizuko

Opted to process the original capture in black & white to enhance the feeling of stark contrast between the deep shadows versus the bright areas where the sun permeated through the blinds.

You can see more Dollfie Dream photography on my Flickr photostream.

Kantoku C92 doujin ‘Plaid & Nude′

August 14, 2017

For this year’s summer Comiket event, the doujin circle ‘Afterschool of the 5th Year’ from artist Kantoku published a new book titled ‘Plaid & Nude’.

As the title might suggest, this particular doujin features Kantoku’s mascot characters in more daring and enticing illustrations, similar to those seen in the C89 book ‘Underwear Party’ and the Comic1☆10 book ‘Panty x Panty’, although it does not contain explicit images like those in the C80 doujin ‘Check Ero Mixed’.

One of the best illustrations in ‘Plaid & Nude’ is beyond any doubt this rendering of Kurumi, very erotic yet still with a certain innocence to it.
Labelled as a ‘plaid and nude fetish book’, seems Kantoku indulged once more in creating thrilling art of his mascot characters in suggestive situations.
Read more…

Hunterson Magic Wallet

July 28, 2017
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After years of use, my wallet was looking the worse for wear, it was time to replace it. Being an older design black leather men’s wallet, it definitely was sturdy but its classic layout was not optimised for cards and through daily abuse it unfortunately became one of those bulky wallets filled to the brim with receipts, notes and the like.

While there’s plenty of fun, interesting and moderately priced anime themed wallets available online, their quality usually leaves to be desired and their layout is surprisingly not modern at all. Hence, opted to look for a well-designed, modern slim wallet instead.

Looked at several interesting candidates, including Bellroy’s slim sleeve, the Skagen by Nordstrom and Ögon’s aluminium card case, but I opted for the Hunterson Magic Wallet in black leather with RFID protection.

Granted, there are plenty of resellers to be found online that offer the magic wallet or other slim wallet designs at much cheaper prices, but build quality and durability are a legitimate concern with those priced-down products. Preferred to get the genuine article from Hunterson instead with real leather and tough straps that should last.

Tales of Berseria

July 24, 2017

Recently completed the main and major quest lines of “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” after having played its special edition on Playstation 4 for many hours since its release last October. Although I likely will revisit this excellent game for another run with a different character build and orientation, was keen on trying something else even though I usually tend to spend a year or more playing the same immersive game.

When the Playstation Store ran a special summer sale earlier this month featuring discounts on games created in Japan like “Nights of Azure” or “Star Ocean Integrity And Faithlessness”, took advantage of the opportunity to grab “Tales of Berseria” for Playstation 4 at half price.

Friends had recommended “Tales of Berseria” to me and it has been far too long since I played a good jrpg. Also, had quite enjoyed the two episodes featuring the “Tales of Berseria” cast that aired during the “Tales of Zestiria The X” anime which showcased one of the games earliest chapters.

Made a few dozen hours of progress into the game already, am enjoying it so far and it has positively impressed me. Velvet is an intriguing main character and a welcome departure from the usual, superficial too-good-to-be-true male protagonist often used in such games. Also, the interaction between Velvet and Eleanor over Laphicet has been hilarious.

Plus, it is nice to play another game where not everything is overly simplified into good or evil, but instead characters their choices, positions and actions are a complex range of shades of grey, although it does not achieve the level of how a gem like “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” worked with this.

After two open world games, it did feel somewhat odd though to go back to a typical jrpg play style and map navigation. The cutscenes and dialogue animations though are superbly animated by studio ufotable, making them feel much more immersive and enthralling than in engine generated cutscenes.

Centaur no Nayami

July 17, 2017

Was looking forward to “Centaur no Nayami”, the anime adaptation of the “セントールの悩み” manga by Murayama Kei as it brought some refreshing elements to the monster girl genre that is mostly known for harem, ecchi or other fanservice oriented franchises.

On the surface “Centaur no Nayami” might look like your average slice-of-life story in a school setting but instead of humans, all characters are centaurs, mermaids, demons, angels or other hybrids. Throw in some comedy, a bit of yuri fanservice and that would be already sufficient for your decent average anime, luckily “Centaur no Nayami” delivers more than that.

Using its core premise and daily life setting, “Centaur no Nayami” surprises by injecting sociological and political elements, making the audience reflect on our own society. In the original manga, this does lead to a jarring contrast between the lighthearted slice-of-life chapters and those few more serious chapters. Sometimes it felt as if you were reading a different manga altogether.

Considering the opening sequence suggests the anime is a bubbly slice-of-life show about cute monster girls, was quite glad to discover they did include the sociological and political commentary from the manga. The first episode cleverly uses a classroom lesson scene to explain the story’s background and world setting in a simple way, while at the same time making poignant observations about the world these characters live in.

The original art in the manga is fairly simple, a style with clear lines and little clutter, was curious if they could elevate this franchise to a higher level by delivering excellent animation and richly detailed characters and backgrounds or by using exciting visuals. Unfortunately, the animation is rather average overall, although I must specify some key scenes are surprisingly well done, for instance centaur Himeno’s galloping seems spot on.

Those of you who are looking for an average slice-of-life series with cute girls doing cute things, then you’ll likely enjoy “Centaur No Nayami”. If you are looking for a show featuring more interesting themes, I still do recommend you give this anime a try as it may offer enough things to surprise you.

You can watch “Centaur No Nayami” as “A Centaur’s Life” on Crunchyroll.

New Game!!

July 14, 2017

The “ニューゲーム”four-panel manga by Tokunou Shoutarou already spawned a first anime adaptation that aired last year, this workplace slice-of-life comedy is back for a second season with “New Game!!”.

A year has passed since Aoba joined game developer Eagle Jump, the company has just released their latest game, Aoba has gotten more familiar with her quirky colleagues and working society. What new silly shenanigans will the girls be up to next?

The first episode of this second season made fans feel right at home, it had all the typical elements that make “New Game!!” such an enjoyable anime and features some scenes that paralleled with the opening episode of the first season.

While overall its characters are fairly default, the comedy is classic and the series offers little besides excellent workplace comedy and a typical but refreshingly idyllic slice-of-life world of cute girls having fun doing everyday things, “New Game!!” is nonetheless a solid show that offers viewers exactly what it promises, cute and fun entertainment.

In contrast to the manga, the anime did not show male characters at Eagle Jump, not in its supporting cast nor in the background mob characters, which was pointed out by viewers when the first season aired. Was pleasantly surprised when the opening episode of the second season featured Aoba openly questioning this absence of male coworkers, leading not only to some classic humour at Rin’s expense, but it was a nice tongue-in-cheek statement.

Sure, you could lament that the shoujo-ai is little besides fanservice and suggestive bait to reel in more viewers, but for this type of anime, that approach of suggestion, superficial and innocent fun without committing to any specific direction does work.

Do appreciate how “New Game!!” is one of those series that properly realises what it’s about and what it’s trying to achieve, which is simply to show viewers cute girls doing fun things as they go about their daily lives in an idealised workplace. This makes the anime much more entertaining thanks to it being grounded in its own reality of being mindless, innocent and fluffy fun with plenty of shoujo-ai.

Can’t wait for the next episode!
You can watch “New Game!!” on Crunchyroll.