anime and games, art, media, music

Niconico Douga and how Japan’s Phenoms are born

The Japanese have a talent for creating awesome media and getting it in front of an audience. This article will explore a bit on how and why.

On this day in 2008, ryo from Supercell posted his song “Black Rock Shooter” named after the character created by Ryohei Fuke, better known as ‘Huke’. The song became a Vocaloid legend – a relatively rare achievement for videos on Niconico Douga, a Japanese video site.

https://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm3645817

Like ClariS – who went on to sing Connect for Madoka Magika – artists on Niconico Douga have a chance to be noticed by a big company and become music or artistic phenoms.

How? I’m not a big name producer, but having used Niconica Douga, I find it MUCH easier to discover popular music there than on Youtube, especially new stuff. If you’re looking for what’s popular in Japan, chances are you’ll see it on Niconico long before someone uploads it to Youtube. Side note: Niconico’s video player is also better that Youtube’s in my opinion, but unless you have premium membership, you aren’t allowed to play multiple songs at a time.

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anime and games, media, movies

Spirit of the Rain – Weathering With You Review

As if heaven itself knew I’d watch the film, the day I went to see the film, it was a downpour, and when the film ended, it had stopped raining. Quite the coincidence, eh?

Tenki no Ko (literally, “Weather Child”), known in English as “Weathering With You” (which, as you may note, “weathering” is a word rarely used in English these days) is a story about a “sunshine girl” and a boy who moves to Tokyo. The boy goes to work for a man and his niece who write a mystique sensationalist magazine that looks into astrology and anything weird that is said to be occurring around Tokyo – you know, the kinds of bogus-info-filled magazines you see in the checkout line at Walmart. The city experiences lots of rain, and most people around town would like it to stop. Contrary to what the previews suggest, it’s NOT a story about escaping a mafia.

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anime and games, art, books, media, tv

Introducing FLAT STUDIO

There’s a new animation studio making its debut this month on the animation scene. Named “FLAT STUDIO“, it’s run by none other than pixiv‘s famous artist “loundraw“.

The company was launched back in January when loundraw set up a website and declared he was recruiting. And according to the look on loundraw’s twitter page, he still is. He stated the company would be very open, and although now he has a bunch of people, you might still try your luck to get in the door.

loundraw as an artist has an impressive background – or should I say, prolific. He has quite the eye for light and shadow, which makes his works – now including animation – more fascinating. Critics are already saying he may be the next Makoto Shinkai.

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anime and games, art, comics and manga, media, tv, visual novels

Regarding the Funny Thing of Anthropomorphizing

(Featured image is 軍服 (Military Outfit) by 凪白みと)

Ever since ancient times (going back probably farther than even bear worship and the Egyptian god Anubis), people have put some kind of human attributes into non-human things. It’s easy to do. After all, we have a consciousness (which is in the soul),  personality, and character, leading to likes, interests, and traits that can be expressed through a body – ANY body. Pick a body or put eyes and a mouth on something – a planet, a tree, a potato chip bag – and you have a face.

Faces are quite critical in projecting our consciousness and human traits into something else. You could put arms and legs on a tree, but it wouldn’t seem human. But give in a face, and somehow we can affiliate with it.

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anime and games, media, software, tech news and opinions, tv

Animation Production in 3D – Part 1

Despite everything I said in my previous post, I am now going to write on a topic that would be of interest to people in Japan, and even more ironic, I’m going to type in on the computer because it’s one of those topics I can ramble on without being too picky about my words. See how that works? Alrighty, let’s get started.

The topic of today: The current and future technology that will be powering the production of animation as well as it’s effects on the overall quality of the said product. Since I am a technical kind of guy and this is my line of work, I’ll be giving you some fascinating insider details. (Hint, hint, that means a long blog post.)

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anime and games, media

Yonder comes a new game!

Yonder is a new game. I like to help indie devs, so today I thought I’d call out and comment on a new game set to hit the PS4 and Windows markets this July. Called “Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles”, it’s primarily an exploration and building game targeted it a casual audience: no fighting and very little “story”. For once, a game targeted at my kind of crowd – if I still played games, that is.

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anime and games, media, movies

君の名は Review

http://kirimimi.deviantart.com/art/Your-name-639314037
by Kirimimi

It’s time for a light-hearted article on this blog!

I went to go see Your Name in a theatre. I didn’t know you had such an interesting name. You may bow at any time – Japanese style, of course – but be sure to back away first so you don’t bump your computer monitor. Gee, I wish I could have a movie named after me… just kidding.

Like any award-winning movie, our hero and heroine repeat the title’s name over and over, supporting that typical time travel trope of only forgetting the most memorable part of your experience (if you’re good at remembering names, that is). Like many time travel stories, this romance separates our girl who leapt through time from her Satoru Fujinuma by a Stein’s gate. What a memorable trope.

The story is about a boy named Taki and a girl named Mitsuha who wake up and find themselves in each other’s bodies. As the story gradually progresses, they learn about each other through their interactions with friends and neighbors, find themselves in a desperate situation where they must work together, and by the end, they fulfill the much-anticipated happy ending and the audience isn’t walking away feeling like there are too many plot holes.

To summarize it in terms of genres: high-school, romance, drama, sci-fi, and eye-candy.

I’m going to start off with the story details and then eventually sing about the eye-candy.

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anime and games, media, movies

Critiquing the Wind Rises

Miyazaki directs a Zero. The film shoot revealed many deaths without showing one. And how many other cryptic ways of speaking about this movie can we utilize to describe this modern motion picture? A well-awarded (or nominated) documentary of many miserable failures? Yes, even that would be accurate. In this article, I briefly critique the Studio Ghibli film, The Wind Rises.

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