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Sunday, 26 July 2009

Adaptations: East meets West!

I can see that I am getting quite a few Americans to my blog so I'll post this up for people who are into Marvel comics and Halo. I'm not particularly into either of those but I did like Spiderman when I was kid. Also to Canadians out there, your country has a catchy name. So catchy that I think that's the main reason why I hear so many Canada jokes on tv. Other than Canada I also like the words "Taco", "Tako", "Pangolin" and "Pastrami". There are a few more but those are the ones I can right remember right now.

Basically for those of you who do not follow the news of the anime world, Marvel has decided to make anime adaptations of several of its titles including X-men, Wolverine, Cable, Hulk and Iron Man. There were two more announced with Iron Man and Wolverine when I first heard about it sometime last year I think but I've forgotten what they were. These anime are slated to premier sometime next year as 12 episode shows done by Madhouse. Incidentally this isn't the first time Madhouse has made an anime adaptation of western entertainment as they have made a Stitch anime as well. And for reasons I do not understand my cousin missed the fact that Powerpuff Girls Z was an anime from japan so let's just make that clear. Also, several studios are making short clips of an anime version of Halo called Halo Legends like the way Gotham Knight was done.

This also applies to manga. I bet you guys aren't aware that there are manga versions of these comics and that the creator of Spiderman, Stan Lee, has actually worked with the creator of Shaman king to make a manga called Ultimo. Heck there's even a manga version of High School Musical and also a soon to be released Manhwa(Korean Manga) version of Twilight. God knows how much I loathe that story but it serves as too good of an example not to use. I do not look forward to whatever backlash that it will create on the internet but I am interested to see whether or not there will be lots of complaints about it being inferior to the books since Stephenie Meyer is actually overseeing the series before it gets released. To add to that, I just discovered that there's a light novel version that is getting bad reviews on the art style while looking for the link to the manwha's info. Apparently standard shoujo art clashes with a trashy romance stories, who knew?

On the flip side of this coin, Hollywood has been looking to adapt more and more of Japan's softpower export as Hollywood movies. They've done Speed Racer, Dragonball and Blood: The last vampire and are planning to make a movie of Cowboy Bebop, Old Boy and Fullmetal Panic. From what I understand they are still producing an english version of Death Note but the fan reaction has not been good. I myself liked the Speed Racer and Dragonball movies and I'm more than willing to give a chance and see Hollywood's take on these stories but their track record for adapting stuff hasn't been all that good. The fact that they're importing story ideas can only mean that they're running out of fresh ideas to use so it's rather obvious why most fans won't like seeing Hollywood grab hold of their favourite anime and turn them into potential trainwrecks. When it's the other way around though, people usually sing praises and wait with high expectations.

Following my logic, he reasons for this double standard concerning cross culture adaptations are:
  1. Anime adaptations of stories are expected to have high budgets when they're based off famous stuff but are normally given low budgets when anime are adapted into live-action movies. Keep in mind a low budget Hollywood movie (30M) still beats a high budget anime (0.5M) by a huge margin.
  2. The ratio of good to bad anime are roughly equal but the ratio of good to bad movies are favouring the bad.
  3. Anime has plenty of controlled variables that the staff are able to change as long as they have the budget for it while live-action movies are limited by the actors, physics and time constraints regardless of budget.
  4. Anime adaptations usually turn out good and exceed expectations but Hollywood adaptations will NEVER match up to the original no matter how much better it is in terms of storytelling. The Fandoms are severely tight-assed about that. Much more so than those newspaper critics(Trolls who get paid to troll) who like to slam popular stuff just to be different.
  5. Hollywood is known for milking cash cows but anime is still a struggling industry despite the rapid globalization in recent years.
That's about it for my thought on the matter so please enjoy these trailers of the anime adaptations of IronMan, Wolverine and Halo. And yeah, I don't get why Wolverine has long hair in the anime but Iron Man WILL be, to quote Danny from Hot Fuzz, "Off the Fu*kin' Chain!!".

Iron Man Anime PV

Wolverine Anime PV

Halo Legends Anime PV


Thursday, 23 July 2009

Figma Izumi Konata Winter Uniform Version Review

I’ve finally got my hands on the rare figma of Izumi Konata, the ever popular main character of Lucky Star. It’s usually sold out but I’m glad that I managed to pre-order the restock version as soon as I heard about it. Unfortunately, I wish I knew that there was a summer version coming out at the time though. Oh well, since it comes with her cousin’s head I can have the both of the out at the same time. Hopefully they’ll have fixed the problems I’ve found in this figma.

Kagami wishes to see you...

Konata came in a regularly sized figma box and cost me 2261 yen which is about 33 Brunei dollars, without shipping that is. As you can see on the box, this version of Konata was an early model which would explain why the material felt different. By different, I mean that it felt slightly dusty and hard like plaster instead of the smoothness of later figmas.

Konata comes with the following:

1 Figma Stand
6 pairs of hands
1 XD face
1 Normal face

Specialised hands

Kagami's : Konata's : Miku's

I noticed that Konata did not come with hands to hold up stuff like my other figmas have. Instead, they gave me a pair of Karate Chop hands, a pair of three fingers up hands and a pair of cupped of hands with one holding a chocolate coronet. I suppose that would have been very disappointing if you didn’t have other figmas with such hands but for me it was a nice change since this meant I had new stuff for making scenes. The faces are both very well done this time around since they retain their Konata-ness in figma form. Just wish Konata had her eyes at an angle for the normal face since they don’t really let me take good pictures of her side.

Undefeated of the East, North, South, West and Center!!

As for articulation, I find that it has limited range for the arms. It doesn’t seem to use the same kind of shoulders joints as the rest of my figmas do since I need to move the arms to the sides first before I can move it from the front to open arms at the side. The legs move okay and the figma is surprisingly easy to balance despite the hair being really heavy. When you hook her up to the stand you have to take of this extra piece of hair that was provided to cover the hole so you actually move her body rather than her head when you adjust the pose. I don’t really get WHY they provided the hair piece, my other figmas have holes clearly visible on them and I don’t mind but this piece of hair looks really out of place on her. The long hair also means I can’t put Fate’s cape on her either. Also, for some reason the left hand slot is so incredibly tight that I have to push them in really hard to attach it properly. It’s not easy to pull them out either so I have a justified concern about breaking the hand while trying to change it.

It's like she's just about to glomp you

She's holding Domo but it also looks like she's riding on him too

Customary for all my new figmas

Very faithful to the anime designs

Now onto the main drawbacks about this figma. The biggest one is that Konata’s fringe part is too loose. It’ll fall off if I let accidently move it too quickly. It seems that it can easily be fixed if I just made for it by putting clay or letting PVC glue dry shrink the gap but I haven’t tried that yet since I don’t have either of those at home. Then there’s the slot for the figma stand, the stand barely fits into it. I have to twist it into the slot and it still doesn’t go in all the way. When I take it out, the stand’s peg looks like it’s been grinded halfway. Once again, arms’ articulation is limited by the shoulder joints and also by Konata’s hair if you’re trying to point them backwards.


Konata! (Faces are exchangeable btw)

Glomping Time!

Dere Dere!

Tsun Tsun!

Perfect Tsukkomi and Boke Pair!

However, the overall value of this figma is very high. With all the different hands and the character’s personality, you have a lot good photos waiting to happen. Considering that she’s an otaku, she fits well in ANY anime related merchandise so it’ll blend right in with all types of collections. Hopefully they’ll release an Anime Tenchou Figma sometime in the future, I need more LOL characters for my collection.

Konata: Shimapan?

Kagami: Not so fast!
Konata: No fast enough!

Konata: Plan B!

Domo: Domo?

Kagami: You again!?



*Domo has been slain... for now*

Konata: Kagami is my Waifu!!
Kagami: Yeah yeah.

This picture down here is an ad for the summer uniform version of Konata. Highlights for this version are 2 faces from the cosplay version, 1 blank face, 1 shopping bag, a new pair of thumbs up hands and her cousin Yutaka's head. I am looking forward to this new add-on to my collection.

Will be 2261 yen at Hobbysearch

This post ends right after the following bonus pictures. Also, I’ve changed my list of upcoming gundams to a list of items I wish to add to my collection – I’m too lazy to keep updating it.

Saber vs. Gaddesa

Been missing my 00-Raiser

I finally found the right pic of THE pose!
Not sure why David John takes pics of his figma with his food but I was eating this while taking these pictures but might as well while I get the chance.

I'll see you next month


And finally a translation for proof of pairing:


Right Title: Surprise Attack!

Panel 1
Misao: Tch. Liar. Just tell me…
Kagami: How stubborn

Panel 2
Misao: Ohh? Hiiragi, could it be that you’re on a diet again?
Small text: (Can’t read the subtext, too blurry)

Panel 3
Kagami: H-Hyaaaa!!

Panel 4
Kagami: So-sorry. It really shocked me

Left Title: Predictable Behaviour

Panel 1
Konata: Kagamii! Is it true you’re on a diet!?
Small text: Tsukasa said so
Kagami: Yo… Don’t shout it out!
Small text:(Author’s handwriting is too small to read)

Panel 2
Konata: Let’s have look. I wonder how much you’ve put on?

Panel 3
Kagami: I’m still not sure if I should do it or not though… Just one time. Do I need to train?
Konata: Kagami sure is brutal

Panel 4
Misao: Ayano… Is this also a discrepancy communication…
Small text: It’s not discrimination?
Ayano: There there
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