Figures Japan

Your Face On A Maid Figure In 3 Minutes!


This falls in the somewhat bizarre and cool category that Japan usually has a monopoly on. Apparently there’s a store in Akihabara called “Don Quixote” that will put your face on a little maid figurine. You just need to bring a photo of yourself.

The process takes 3 minutes, and the total cost is 880 yen (like, $7.20). It’s called “Pri-Q” though I’m not quite sure what that stands for…

The end result is both cute and scary looking. I think they enlarge the eyes to make you look more like an anime character:


It looks like they have other “bodies” as well if being a maid isn’t your thing. I wonder if they take mail orders. I wouldn’t mind having my face printed on, I dunno, a ninja figure!? Now that’s what I call real ultimate power.

Via Anime News Service and MaidBlog

Manga Review

Buddha Vol. 2: The Four Encounters – Manga Review


It’s been way too long since I read the first volume of Buddha by Osamu Tezuka. I really liked it, but it sorta fell to the wayside when pitted versus aliens, time travelers and espers… I’ve been feeling pretty thoughtful lately, so I figured I’d take the Buddha Vol. 2 off the shelf and read it already!

Manga Review

Welcome To The NHK Vol. 1: Manga Review


I sorta stopped watching the NHK Ni Youkoso anime a while back. I think I should probably start up again, considering the anime is finished… That didn’t keep me from reading the first volume of Welcome To The NHK: the manga! The manga is rated 18+, so it must be more entertaining than the anime, right?


YALSA’s 2007 Great Graphic Novels For Teens List Has Manga!


I was checking out MangaBlog and they had a post about the Young Adult Library Services Association’s list of recommended graphic novels for teens. MangaBlog filtered out all of the non-manga, and here’s what they got:

Dramacon, by Svetlana Chmakova
Inverloch, vol. 1, by Sarah Ellerton
Sorcerers and Secretaries, vol. 1, by Amy Kim Ganter
Psy-Comm, vol. 1, by Jason Henderson and Tony Salvaggio
Death Note, vols. 1-3, by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
Off*Beat, vol. 1, by Jen Lee Quick
Chocolat, vols. 1-3, by Ji-Sang Shin and Geo
Monster, vol. 1, by Naoki Urasawa
Nana, vols. 1-2, by Ai Yazawa
Antique Bakery, vols. 2-4, by Fumi Yoshinaga
Cantarella, vol. 1, by You Higuri

I immediately noticed the ratio of non-Japanese manga to Japanese manga was strangely high. 6 of the 11 picks are either American made “manga” or Korean manhwa. The Japanese manga that were picked included Death Note, Nana, and Monster, which are totally popular in Japan.

I suppose that in the context of this being a list from the American Library Association, more American titles would be picked. After all, DC Comics had 9 titles on the list. It’s a step in the right direction to even include some manga, but it seems like the list is definitely catering to the American writers; the ratio of American to Japanese manga released in the United States is very low.

I suppose that I can’t really comment on the quality of American manga since I haven’t read any before. I have seen a few of the previews in Tokyopop’s free Manga sampler. What I saw seemed derivative at best. But maybe I’m just being a manga snob…

Also, I think it’s funny that Antique Bakery had volumes 2-4 on the list. What the heck happened in volume 1 that made it unsuitable for the list? Apparently this manga is very BL, so I can take a few guesses…

Manga Review

Kamui Vol. 5 – Manga Review


The last volume of Kamui was pretty much one giant flashback. In Kamui volume 5, we finally get to see how Atsuma is doing after being stabbed in the back by Sumire. Plus fights and smooches!


More Funimation Anime Licenses: Aquarion, Shuffle, Tsubasa Chronicle, and Itsudatte My Santa

So Funimation went ultra berserk today, announcing three licenses in addition to the one that it announced yesterday.

I’m not too excited about Aquarion, because I’ve never really heard of it before. Plus mechs? Blegh. It’s supposed to “hit the streets” in Fall 2007. At least one person is excited about this.

I thought Shuffle! was an interesting choice. Can hentai game conversions do well in America? I don’t know if I’ve heard of one h-game conversion that’s been popular (or even released) in the US off the top of my head… Shuffle! is set for a Summer 2007 release.

I guess that with the somewhat high popularity of CLAMP, Tsubasa Chronicles is an okay license. The only CLAMP anime I’ve watched more than one episode of was Chobits. I thought Tsubasa Chronicles was boring, but maybe that’s because I wasn’t familiar with all of the characters. Tsubasa Chronicles is being released very soon: May 22nd, 2007.

EDIT: I guess Tsubasa Chronicles had already been licensed, and today they were just putting a street date on it. Whoops.

Finally (for now), Itsudatte My Santa is probably the weirdest license in this whole Kick Off thing. I reviewed this a while back when it was fansubbed. I guess with the popularity of Love Hina, people might be interested in My Santa. But the OVA was so incredibly weird and schizophrenic… I mean, seriously, who has a beach episode in a Christmas special? My Santa is scheduled for a Fall 2007 release.

With three licenses being announced today, you’d figure Funimation has something big up their sleeves for tomorrow…


Hare Hare Yukai – Full Animation Version!

Garten over at Memento posted one of the DVD extras on the last Haruhi Suzumiya disc. It’s a full version of the Hare Hare Yukai ED dance!

I figured I’d go ahead and reencode it as a flash video thing. It’s not quite as pretty, but good for people who don’t want to deal with rapidshare and whatnot.

The new version sports new moves instead of the lame arm thing that Tsuruya et alia do. I actually kinda liked that move… I did like the weird frantic flailing that Haruhi does at the very beginning. The whole Mikuru walking thing seemed out of place, though.

I’m sure otaku around the world will be practicing the new official dance moves so they can make fools of themselves impress ladies at the cons.

Oh, and by “full,” I meant, full anime TV size ED. Now, an entire 3:37 of this would be awesome.

Manga Review

The World of Narue (Narue no Sekai) Vol. 1 – Manga Review


I remember watching The World of Narue the anime back when I knew it as “Narue no Sekai.” It was pretty awesome, and I remember that the OP by CooRie was tight. I just got a chance to check out the manga that was published by CPM to go along with the anime. It’s a good thing I can’t remember much about the anime, or the story might’ve been spoiled…


Funimation 2007 Kickoff Anime Licensing Extravaganaza! Ragnaraok + Suzuka


Apparently, Funimation has gone into some kind of anime licensing frenzy. They’re announcing a new anime license every day this week! So far they announced Ragnarok the Animation on Monday and Suzuka today.

As most people know, Ragnarok is that one online RPG that got turned into an anime. I think I saw the first episode (during a black out, when there was nothing else to do!) and it was really boring. I might have tried Ragnarok online (the game) for like 10 minutes. I don’t even remember. Ragnarok has a manga too, apparently. It looks kinda ugly though… So yeah, I’m not too excited about this one.

Suzuka is that one anime about the pole vaulter! This is one of the few anime series that I have watched to the end. The manga‘s been licensed by Del Rey for quite some time now, too. While the anime was sort of stupid, and the animation was pretty horrible, I couldn’t help but be interested in the whole love triangle thing. I wonder how Funimation is going to market this anime… Towards fans of anime pole vaulting romance? Also, the OP was pretty awesome. SUTAATO RAIN!

I’ll probably be giving commentary on the next few licenses this week, too. That is, unless the Wii doesn’t suck me in completely…


The Winter 2007 Anime Raw Viewing Index


For this Winter 2007 season, I watched all of the anime that I wrote impressions on in raw format. That is, I watched anime without the subtitles. For some, I was completely fine, and for others I had no idea what was going on. I like to think that my Japanese is pretty good. I did earn a minor in it, at least! Mainly I have issues with vocabulary; grammar doesn’t confuse me for the most part.

I thought I’d go through each of the Winter 2007 anime that I’ve watched so far to do a “raw viewing index” on them. I’ll describe how easy or difficult it is to understand each anime without subtitles. I figure other people who might be at the same level might want to know which anime is easy to watch without the aid of subs: