Thursday, July 30, 2009

Anime's Greatest Openings

Ahh, anime openings, a staple in the anime diet. Watching our favourite anime just wouldn't be the same without first getting things rolling with a minute and a half of watching characters dance or fight to some manufactured tune churned out by whatever musically untalented seiyuu turned singer is popular at the time.

Now despite that, we all still love these opening segments and rightly so; they're a fun, enjoyable little piece of fanservice before kicking into the show. Obviously we all have our personal favourites, and here are mine;

Black Lagoon - Red Faction

The Black Lagoon opening, a badass song for a badass anime. Despite the hilariously mangled engrish, this opening is a surprisingly apt descriptor of both the nihilistic pseudo-philosophy and the over the top action of Black Lagoon.

Cutey Honey - Cutey Honey Theme

It was exceedingly difficult choosing between Cutey Honey's opening and that of Mazinger Z, but since I didn't want Go Nagai to be everywhere in this post, one had to win out and it was Honey. Since the first Cutey Honey anime aired in 1973, this theme has been the definitive Cutey Honey song and has played as the opening for every iteration of Cutey Honey since.

Evangelion - Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis

Even though I'm not an Eva fan, I must admit, this is one of the definitive openings in anime. Pretty much any anime fan worth their salt knows the tune of Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis, and more then a few of them can sing the whole damn thing.

Kotetsushin Jeeg - Stormbringer

Wanna know a cool piece of trivia? Ever since I first saw Kotetsushin Jeeg, it's been my goal in life to make love with this song playing.

King Gainer - King Gainer Over!

Aside from having a massive ear worm of a song, this opening features dancing robots, what more could you possibly need?

And finally, last but definitely not least, the opening that is to me, the greatest anime opening of all time...

Shin Mazinger Shogeki Z-Hen - The Gardian

OH MY GOD. Never before have I seen a single opening so perfectly capture the very essence of super robots! From the hotblooded action to the manly determination, Shin Mazinger's 2nd opening is quite easily the grandaddy of super robot openings. What else would you expect from a song called 'The GARdian'?

Well then, these are my favourites. Now feel free to share yours!

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Real Life Moe-Blob

Regular readers of my blog will be familiar with my well documented hatred of moe. In fact, I rant about the evils of moe so regularly, I would presume some of you are getting a little bored reading about my crusade.

So I figured it's time to spice things up a little and throw a little twist into the story; I actually know a real life moe blob.

Obviously, I won't be sharing her real name, but for convenience, let's call her, "Rei", in honour of that Grand Mommy of Moeblobs, Rei Ayanami.

Anyway, despite being flesh and blood, Rei checks out most of the typical moe characteristics; she's clumsy, shy, a little airheaded at times, naive and about as innocent as a 20 year old could realistically be. Seriously, about the only thing missing is that she's not a tsundere.

And as I have mentioned in many, many posts about moe, I find none of her moe traits to be appealing in the least. Admittedly, I don't hate her the way I hate anime moeblobs, in fact, I consider her to be a very good friend.

But that might have something to do with the fact that she has a sweet rack.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Question for the Girls

Ok, so this post is gonna be a little different from my usual. Why? Because for once, instead of writing my opinions and telling you what to think, I'm going to do what I've never done before and actually give a crap about what you have to say!

Anyway, onto the topic; it doesn't really take a genius to notice that anime seems to be a very male dominated industry. Whilst there are obviously shoujo and josei titles out there, very rarely do they break out into mainstream acceptance. Ouran Host Club and some of the CLAMP work may have done very well with both male and female audiences, but they are a rarity, with most popular mainstream titles being originally targeted towards male audiences.

This I believe, is further compounded in Akihabara, the otaku promised land. I've been to Japan twice now, and both times I had spent a considerable number of days in Akiba, where I was surrounded by a nonstop montage of everything that could possibly appeal to a man, that being tits and giant robots (and also lolis and moe, but I refuse to acknowledge them).

Just like the anime industry, Akiba was very much a man's town. There were stores that catered to female audiences (I once accidentally bought a yaoi manga from one when I mistook the two characters on the cover for chicks), but they were few and generally off the main road. For the most part, all the largest and most visible stores generally catered to men and the women who enjoy big plastic tits.

Similarly, one of the most striking aspects of Akiba is the sheer gender imbalance of the place. It wouldn't be an exageration for me to say that I saw about one chick for every ten guys. Furthermore, most of the women I saw there were simply working either as store keepers or maid cosplayers who constantly try to sell you shit/prostitute themselves/annoy you.

Likewise, the online fandom, whilst counting many women amongst its ranks, seems geared primarily towards the male point of view. Online goliaths such as Danny Choo and others are almost invariably men, whereas sites such as Sankaku Complex take it one step further by exhibiting blatently anti-feminist views (I realize not all women are feminist, but it's 3am and I'm too tired to get into details).

Having observed Akihabara and popular anime fandom in general, it seems hard not to conclude that anime is primarily targeted towards men, with women as a subsidiary market. Yet, this doesn't appear to be case. In the anime blogosphere, there are many female bloggers; on my blogroll alone, Riiana, Koshiko, Duckie, Meimi, Coeli, Anna and Devon are but few of the seemingly many female fans. Similarly, anime conventions generally seem to have a pretty even mix of both genders.

So my question to you girls out there is, what's it like to be a female otaku? I'm going to go and a limb here and assume that most of you don't quite like animated tits as much as I do, so what's it about this strange little fandom that appeals to you?

As I've mentioned, anime and its fandom seems very much geared towards men, seeming at times almost hostile to women. Yet, here you are. Nonetheless, while we're all anime fans here, I'm presuming your experiences as female fans are vastly different from mine as a male fan, so please, feel free to share those experiences.

(Guys, feel free to post as well)

EDIT: I forgot to mention in my earlier, these anti-feminist views that seem embedded in anime fandom have become distinctly manifest during the recent rape game ban debacle. According to quite a few blogs I've read, feminist are now apparently the worst oppressors in the world. Kim Jong-Il be damned; these feminist and their inhumane beliefs of equal rights are the real villains.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vanguard Princess Review

So here's a little doozy I've found a couple days back; a doujin fighting game called Vanguard Princess, which seems to be taking the gaming otaku world by storm.

So what's Vanguard Princess? It's a free doujin fighting game, involving a bunch of moe stereotypes beating the shit out of each other. So why has it been gathering so much attention? Two reasons; the game is fantastically well made, and moe sells.

It is the year 2050. Moe, the once lucrative market has become overly saturated; profits have fallen to record low levels as the various moe subsets battle each other for the hearts, minds and wallets of the male otaku market.

Realizing that the continued competition would eventually destroy all involved, the various moe factions decided that they had to settle their differences in a new way, lest the self destructive war continue and consume all.

After lengthy considerations, it was finally decided that there would be a great tournament. Every moe faction would send their greatest champion as a representative, and they would engage each other in mortal combat. To the victor would go dominance of the moe market, and the sole dominion over the otaku market. And to the losers would go the ash heaps of history. Thus, the brave champions who would stake it all in the greatest fight of their lives would be known as...Vanguard Princesses.

Oh, and they also conscripted underage girls as personal servants. Because child labour is cheap.

The characters of Vanguard Princess can be divided into two camps; the Princesses, and the lolis. The princesses are the characters who you directly control and whom you beat the shit out of, whereas the lolis are the child labourers who aid your character through various attacks.


Kutuna Yui
Champion of Sword Moe, Yui represents the subset of moe that appeals to otaku who like little girls with huge weapons. Yui's father was a legendary sword master, who had wanted a son to teach his secret sword techniques to. Unfortunately, shortly after his first child Yui was born, he was involved in a nasty biking accident that left him impotent.

With no other choice but to treat his daughter Yui as a son, he trained her in the secret arts of the sword. Sadly, shortly before the Vanguard Princess tournament, Yui's father died of old age. Now all Yui has left of her father are his sword, the skills he taught her, and a confused gender identity.

Kutuna Haruka
Yui's adopted sister and Champion of Longhair Moe. After Mr. Kutuna's biking accident which left him impotent, he decided to adopt a girl to raise as a daughter, as he was now treating Yui as a son.

Coming across an orphen girl, he brought her home and named her Haruka, vowing to love her as if she were his own daughter.

This however became harder then he thought, as he found that he really didn't love Haruka all that much, and actually found her a little annoying.

After old man Kutuna's death, Haruka was scorned by receiving far less of the inheritance as compared to her sister Yui. She has thus entered the Vanguard Princess tournament to kill her sister and steal her share of the inheritance.

Champion of Loli Moe, Lilith is actually a 36 year old investment banker, who was tragically cursed with the body of a 10 year old. Her lack of bodily development has left Lilith bitter and angry, and the many shapely girls who populate the moe industry serves to further fuel her already blazing anger.

In her quest for a better body, Lilith has begun dabbling in mad science and has discovered a way to transplant her mind into the bodies of others. She has thus entered the Vanguard Princess tournament to find the most busty, curvaceous woman in the tournament, kill her, and claim her tits and ass for her own!

Luna Himeki
Champion of Nudity Moe. Luna is a public exhibitionist of legendary proportions. Tragically however, draconian Japanese law demands the censorship of genitalia, which obviously puts a damper on her nudist tendencies.

Wishing to enter politics in order to repeal this law, Luna has decided that the best way to run for public office is to appeal to otaku voters. She therefore plans to win the Vanguard Princess tournament to increase her public profile, and thus take her first step towards her ultimate goal of becoming Prime Minister of Japan.

Mirumati Kurumi
Champion of Schoolgirl Moe, Kurumi is the obscenely rich, only daughter of a Japanese business tycoon. Whilst she is not a trained fighter, her affluence has allowed her to hire many loli child labourers, who do the fighting for her.

Needing new household staff to clean her newly built holiday home in the Maldives, Kurumi has entered the Vanguard Princess tournament to find some strong commoners who could handle the long work hours and minimum wage.

Mitonoya Saki
Champion of Yamato Nadesico Moe, Saki was raised in a very traditional household which emphasized the need for women to be loyal, wise, humble and to never question the patriarchal power structure.

Unhappy with the increasing acceptance of non traditional family structure, career women and the independent female lifestyle, Saki has defied the wishes of her father (seemingly unaware of the irony) to enter the Vanguard Princess tournament to beat some sense into these girls and remind them that a woman's place is at home, particularly the kitchen.

Hioh Kaeda
Champion of Glasses Moe, Kaeda was also the former Goddess of Fanservice until Luna shamelessly stole the title from her with her skanky outfit.

Scorned and bitter that she would lose to such a tasteless tart, Kaeda has entered the Vanguard Princess tournament to teach that little slut a lesson in classy fanservice!

Natalia Glinka
Champion of Mecha Musume Moe, Natalia's is a sad tale. A Russian tourist, Natalia had flown to Tokyo for a well deserved holiday. However, tragedy occured when she lost her passport in Narita Airport.

Fearing that she might be trapped in a foreign country, she searched high and low for her missing passport. Eventually, airport personnel discovered the missing Russian passport...but poor Natalia's trials were just beginning.

The airport officials decided it'd be funny to watch a silly gaijin do stuff for their amusement, and thus offered to return a passport on one condition; she must win the Vanguard Princess tournament. Alone in a foreign land, Natalia thus sets off to beat up a bunch of people she doesn't even know, just to find a way back home.

Oh, and the reality tv show about her battles will be airing at 7.30pm every Friday, starting this week.

Hasumi Eri
Champion of Fitness Moe, Eri was formerly a body building nut by the name of Erik. Sadly, Erik's overuse of steroids eventually caused him to develop breasts.

The irreversible physical changes in Eri(k)'s body caused him such great psychological trauma that every time he looks at a woman, the association threatens to break his now fragile grip on sanity.

He has thus entered the Vanguard Princess tournament as the first step in his plan to kill every woman in Japan, so that he will never again have to suffer the constant visage of the female body which he has now essentially confined himself to.

Ikuse Ayane
Champion of Miko Moe, Ayane is a modern day crusader. Angered at the increasing materialism in modern society, Ayane believes that the heathens need to have a little faith beaten into them.

Entering the Vanguard Princess tournament, Ayane plans to spread the message of God's love through violence. Sprinkled with love. But mainly violence. And torture.


The witch/painter loli. Uses unorthodox, unblockeble attacks. If you like her, you're a pedophile.

The mecha musume loli. Uses powerful but slow long ranged attacks. If you like her, you're a pedophile.

The plain loli. Uses a variety of versatile attacks. If you like her, you're a pedophile.

The maid loli. Uses powerful, close range attacks. If you like her, you're a pedophile.

Look, I'm no expert on fighting games, so I can really say much. But according to fighting game enthusiasts I know, it's reminiscent of traditional 2D fighters like Street Fighter 2. Anyways, here are some videos for you to judge for yourself:

Vanguard Princess is an exceedingly well made doujin game with a little for everyone. For the fighting game enthusiasts, it's got enough depth to be a challenging technical fighter. For the casual gamer, it's a fun, entertaining experience. For the moe fans, it's got every moe archetype you could possibly imagine. And for the pedophiles, it's got the lolis. And best of all, it's free!


The most recent version (1.01 as of this writing) of Vanguard Princess can be downloaded here
Pictures taken from the Vanguard Princess wiki and the creator's blog.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ever bought a figure just because its rare?

So yeah, ever bought a really rare figure only to later realize that you don't really care for the character, and merely bought it because of it's rarity?

Well, I just did.

Everyone, meet figma Hatsune Miku.

By the way, meet Gurren, who I bought at the same time.

Guess who I like better?

And for anyone curious, here are the songs that Miku and Gurren sing, respectively:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Anime is Unrealistic

Anime is not like real life, and real life is not like anime. This is the sad yet inescapable truth we all live with. And so, with this theme in mind, I'd like to share with you a tragic little story.

Meet Latooni Subota.

She's 14 years old, a gothic lolita and giant robot pilot. Cool, calculated and unemotional, Latooni is as big a real robot pilot as you're going to get. In fact, she's pretty much Rei Ayanami as a goth loli.

Now meet Ryusei Date.

Ryusei here is a rash, hotblooded, incurable super robot otaku and winner of Latooni's girlish heart.

So you might be asking, what exactly is so unrealistic about this? Well, nothing so far. Young, unrequited love is very much a norm of day to day life.

However, this is where fantasy deviates from reality. As we all know, Ryusei is a massive super robot otaku. In fact, he's pretty much me as an anime character. Latooni however is firmly entrenched in the real robot camp. And yet, in spite of this great barrier , look at how crazily hotblooded Latooni is willing to get just to win his love:

And despite Latooni's efforts which would impress even Kamina, Ryusei completely fails to take notice of her!

Ryusei, what the hell???

And this dear readers, is where anime completely divorces itself from reality. Ladies, don't let Ryusei discourage you. If any of you plan on getting me to notice your unrequited love; become a hotblooded mecha pilot. I'll marry you on the spot.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Incest - Why I hate it and why it should be legal

Whilst I am most definitely an ardent fan, anime culture is nevertheless rife with many weird and wacky things that will forever befuddle and disgusts me, such as moe, tentacle rape and loli. Another source of disgust, and the topic of today's post, is incest.

For reasons I will never understand, there is a buttload of incest, either implied or outright in many anime and manga that I otherwise enjoy. And in response, I must ask -as I do so often-;

WTF Japan?

There are like what, thousands of people that we will meet throughout our lifetime, and none of them are more attractive then our kid sister!? What the hell?? And while I'm on that note, why is the vast majority of incest (or at least, incestuous desire) that I see, between an older male and his underage sister?

Seriously Japan, that's just messed up. Not only can the dude find no one outside his own family, but he's a pedophile as well??? Is everyone in your country restrained with steel chains everytime their in the vicinity of their siblings!?

And so I must once again ask, as I ever do in vain, please please please come up with a fetish that's actually hot. You screwed up with mecha musume, you screwed up with rape, you screwed up with moe and you screwed up with incest. You have hundreds of mangaka and anime directors in your country! Surely but one amongst them can finally come up with a fetish that won't make me feel like punching myself!

That said however, I believe this is now as good a time as any to segue to the other point I wanted to make regarding this lovely topic.

Whilst I am frankly disgusted with the fetishisisation of incest in anime, I do strongly believe that the criminalization of incestuous relationships between consenting adults is wrong.

Before you read further, you should know two things;

a) I am writing this argument from a legal perspective. I can't give a rat's ass about the morality of the issue, what irks me is that the current laws regarding incest are unfair from a legal standpoint.

b) The law I reference is Australian law, particularly in the state of New South Wales. The law in your country may or may not be similar.

As of this writing, incest is illegal in New South Wales, pursuant to s78A of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The statute currently states:

78A Incest

(1) Any person who has sexual intercourse with a close family member who is of or above the age of 16 years is liable to imprisonment for 8 years.
(2) For the purposes of this section, a "close family member" is a parent, son, daughter, sibling (including a half-brother or half-sister), grandparent or grandchild, being such a family member from birth.
So why exactly is this unfair? Because the rationale for this law is inconsistent with other forms of sexual offense laws in Australia. Summarised, the reasoning for s78A comes in two forms; incest is inherently immoral, and incestuous sex produces babies who suffer a higher chance of physical or mental retardation.

In regards to the immorality argument; it is not the role of government to be our moral guardian and to legislate accordingly. Whilst morality is deeply rooted in our legal system, acts are made illegal not because they are 'immoral', but because the act causes actual harm or loss to either the person doing the act, or to another person.

Incest however, as long as it is consensual, causes neither harm nor loss to any of the participating parties.

The second argument, completely fails to rationalize s78A in any conceivable way. s78A as it stands, outlaws the act of incestuous sex, not the results of the act. Put simply, if I were to bang my hypothetical sister, we'd be criminals, regardless of whether a child is borne.

Furthermore, the logical conclusion of the retarded child argument should lead to the outlawing of sex for anyone suffering from retardation, diseases or other negative traits that can be genetically inherited by their children. This is obviously not the case and rightly so. Similarly, incestuous couples should not be held to the double standard of this argument.

In conclusion, there is no reasonable argument as to why incest should be illegal. It is an unfair law that is bigoted and condescending, and should be repealed with all due haste.

This of course doesn't change the fact that I feel like kicking someone in the face everytime I see incest in my anime.