Hey guys! Samurai Here! [MAN, it’s been a LONG time since I typed that!]
Yes, I know it’s been a couple months since I last updated. It seems as though the outside world has conspired to keep me away from my anime blogging duties, but today I throw up a rude gesture with my fingers to the outside world and give you guys an update on what’s going on and how I plan to proceed with my reviews and writings.
Okay, so first things first. I am alive…which should be a given seeing as how I’m actively writing to you guys right now…unless the zombie apocalypse has occurred and I’m currently a living-impaired individual; waiting on a group of hyper fan-serviced high school students to come along and take me out of my non-living misery.
Things outside the anime blogging universe has been rather busy. In short order, my job recently had a change of management and with that comes a drastic change in how our particular department works. This change includes a change in job duties and a change in work schedules. We have seven people on our team, and in terms of seniority [based on hiring date], I’m dead last, so my choice of schedule is pretty much whatever is left over. Think of me as the TK in the Digi-Destined group [pre-Kari] that is my team, without the weird hat or being voiced by Wendee Lee. My schedule pretty much cut my weekend in half, and gave me a whole crap load of new duties that are attention hogging and intricately detailed. Finding time to write is difficult at best and dang-near impossible at worse, which is a shame because I have a prodigious amount of ideas stuck in my head ready to write, and I’ve been watching quite a bit of anime in my off time that I would love to give thoughts on, but when I sit at the keyboard and try to type…nothing. Major suckage. It sucks even MORE when I see that people are still actually reading and commenting on older blog posts; like I’m letting them down. Hopefully, that’ll all change once things settle down job-wise, and I’ll be able to better organize my time between watching and reviewing anime here, but I ask that you PLEASE be patient with me if I go weeks without posting anything and know that I am ALWAYS thinking about “The Cajun Samurai” and keeping my mission of bringing a southern voice to the anime community.
With regards to anime, I have to say, that out of all the series I’ve watched since the last time I wrote a full-on reivew, I only came away satisfied with a little less than 1/2 of what I’ve watched. Shows like Silver Spoon, Space Brothers, Tonari no Seki-Kun, Natsume Book of Friends, One Week Friends, Noragami, and The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior have been some of the best I’ve seen in a long time, while shows like Golden Time, No-Rin, Seitokai Yakuindomo, Yowapeda, and Recently My Sister is Unusual all made me question my whole desire to ever watch anime again. It’s been quite a mix few months indeed, with regards to anime consumption.
With regards to my offline anime collection…well…remember the last time I did an update about new additions in my personal “Anime Bayou”? Well, by my calculations, I think I added round about 20 or so more DVD’s to that number since then, and since I haven’t given you guys a review in such a long time, I think I’ll do mini-reviews of all the new additions to my collection right now!
Big Windup! [Oofuri!]: Parts 1 & 2 – Yeah, I finally got around to buying these two. They were a good price at FYE, and the premise of the story really drew me in. I half expected to really get into the game of Baseball after finishing this one, but alas, that didn’t happen. Ironically I got more involved in FOOTBALL instead. Go figure. In any case, this is your typical Funimation two-part release that they’re starting to do more and more of which is pretty cool and easy on the budget. I just wish they weren’t so stingy with commentary tracks and other extras. Make it worth my wile, Funimation–MAKE me wanna buy your product!
Digimon: Digital Monsters: The Official First Season: Part 1 – It’s nostalgia on a disk. Plain and simple. For $12 at my local Best Buy, I was blessed with 21 episodes of the gateway anime that started it all. I talked about my buying the DVD’s in an earlier post so I won’t go into too much detail here, but I’ll say that the show looks crisp and clean on DVD, but I was SERIOUSLY disappointed that there were no extras…not even a clean open/close. And it’s dub-only; no subtitles, no Japanese audio or opening. Fail.
Deadman Wonderland: Limited Edition – Yeah. It was like $50 at Best Buy, but I had a gift card, so it wasn’t that bad, and I really did like the series during its Toonami run. I used this series as an example in an earlier post about buying legal anime, so again, I won’t go into too much detail, but I love that Funimation got less stingy with it’s releases. Deadman Wonderland is chock full of extras including commentary tracks and interviews with the English dub actors and director, so you know I had to grab it. I also love the hard-box that holds the two DVD cases inside. The artwork is amazing and it looks nice on the shelf. All in all, a good investment. Now if I can only get around to reviewing it…
School Rumble: First Semester: The Complete First Season: S.A.V.E Edition – Long name, longer series. Found this one on sale used at FYE. I watched this series through it’s completion a few years back, and I found it to be…okay. Not rolling on the ground funny, but still funny and warm all the same. The DVD release is pretty much your standard Funi-S.A.V.E Complete Collection faire–no extras, just the series and an OVA or two. I might give this one another peek eventually.
Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It, White! – A FYE acquisition again, on sale for a ridiculously low price, this one completes my Hetalia series collection and it’s pretty much what you would expect from Hetalia–comedy of the highest degree, amplified by it’s hilarious English dub. I heard there’s more Hetalia goodness coming down the pike including a gender-bent version of our main characters. This is gonna be interesting. Stay Tuned.
Digimon: Digital Monsters: The Official First Season: Volume 2 – This one was free; or to be proper, I WON it on the “Organization of Anti-Social Geniuses” blog in a contest about Digimon. Granted it took a fortnight to get here as I’m convinced Kami-nomi had it shipped VIA pack mule, I am grateful beyond measure for this addition to my collection. On a related note, my Brother in Christ and Blogging over at “Beneath the Tangles” won Digimon Season 2 Complete Collection in the same contest…for better or worse.
Digimon: Digital Monsters: The Official First Season: Volume 3 – Bought this one from…Wal-Mart! Yes, Walmart sells Digimon on the shelf now! I know, right? I was shocked to see it there on the shelf and I quickly plucked it up, leaving Season 2 part 3 on the shelf to suffer as it should. It’s been marked down to $9 now, so you have no excuse to try and pick it up!
Black Cat: S.A.V.E Complete Collection – My first anime purchase in our Nations Capital. See, most people buy t-shirts or commemorative flag pens or coins as souvenirs. Me? I buy anime. God Bless America indeed. I forgot how much I spent on it, but I don’t think it was any more than $20. Again, a stripped down version of the first release–no commentary or other extras. I watched this series some time back at the library, and I liked it, but I never finished it. Might have to correct that…that is if I don’t buy MORE anime on my trip this year back to DC.
Aria: The Natural: Part 2 – I know I mentioned this last year during my MechaCon writeup, but dawg gone it, I’m so happy that I found and bought this one when I did. Did I overpay? Meebe…but dawg gone it, you guys know how much I love, love, love, LOVE Aria, so no money is too much.
L/R: Licensed By Royalty: Mission File 3: Broken Angel – Another gratis giveaway, this one from MechaCon last year. It was a panel about the best dubbed shows of all time from an anime director. I wish I had gotten him to autograph it in hindsight, but ah well. I don’t plan on finishing collecting for this series. Not that it’s a BAD series, not at all. In fact, I rather LIKE this series. It’s just very rare. And after my excursion with finding the original Eureka Seven DVD’s, I’ve learned that some expeditions are best left unexploited.
Aria: The Origination – Finally, FINALLY…my search had come to an end. I had finally acquired the last of the Aria series at a price that does not threaten my ability to pay my truck note. I bought this jewel on Amazon, and when I got it, it was wrapped in “Right Stuff” wrapping. Go figure that one, but I ain’t complaining. I love these Aria box sets. You get a LOT for your money and it feels like quality.
Ai Yori Aoshi: The Complete Series – A Saved series from Geneon released by Funimation and bought by me from FYE for roundabouts $14 during one of their sales. No extras, but I don’t think there were any on the original release, so I think I can give it a pass there. This is a very nice romantic series–the ending is slightly lacking in my book, but it would get a passing grade for me.
Rumiko Takahashi Anthology – Vol. 1: Primal Needs – Another cheap FYE aquisition. A friend of mine won this DVD from MechaCon a few weeks earlier, and I saw a little of this series there and was intrigued. Imagine my shock when I went into FYE and saw this DVD sitting on the shelf. I quickly got it and watched the whole thing at home. It’s a very interesting series and I would love to see more, but again, it’s a rare one, so I’m not going to try too hard to get a hold of it. No extras as usual, but again, Geneon release.
Ouran High School Host Club: Complete Collection – For a few weeks last year, FYE was running an awesome sale on a lot of their Complete Collection DVD’s and one of those sets was Ouran. As you know, I reviewed this series a while back during our “Mignogna Month”, so I won’t get into too much detail here, but suffice it to say, the series was good enough for me to shell out coinage for it instead of checking it out yet again from the library or streaming it online. Thankfully, Funimation gave us all the extras that was on the first-release DVD’s including bloopers and commentary tracks. Good on ya, Funi!
Soul Eater: The Complete Series – This one came from Best Buy for about $40, and it was $40 well spent. I bought this one not too long before the show completed it’s run on Toonami, and I do not regret that purchase…even though I had Part 1 on my shelf at home. OtakuAndrain, my brother in arms, has already reviewed the series, so take a look at his write up. The DVD itself is still awesome and still has all the extras that are in the individual “Part” releases.
Case Closed [Detective Conan]: Season One & Two: S.A.V.E Complete Collection – What possessed me to start collecting for this series, which at last count is well over 400 episodes long, I have no idea. Maybe it was the price that was so attractive. FYE was running another sale that was about $14 per season, and I though that maybe now would be a good time to start collecting the series. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the sale went off before I got TOO purchase happy and I settled on just the first two seasons.
Summer Wars – A great, happy movie that ran on Toonami with a not-so-great price of $20 at FYE. Pretty much, this movie is what the Digimon movie, “Our War Game”, should’ve been. It’s beautifully animated and tells a Miyazaki-inspired story. Not too many extras, sadly, but it’s still a great movie that you can’t pass up.
Sands Of Destruction: The Complete Series – This one was purchased at FYE during their Ani-mania sale, and so far…meh. I’m dissapointed in both the DVD and the series. Granted I didn’t finish it so maybe it’ll get better, but I’ve gone through about 1/2 the series, and so far…meh. I bought it on a recommendation from a girl in FYE, and since it was about $12, I figured “Why not?” and took the plunge…into ice cold water. I’ll give it another try later, but I’m still disappointed in the DVD release.
RWBY: Volume 1 – RWBY is an odd little series–it’s anime LIKE…but it’s NOT an anime. It’s a series, but it’s only about 7 minutes per episode? Wha? In any case, I heard about this series in bits and pieces and figured that I would give it a shot. It was only about $9 at Walmart, but it’s worth SO much more! Not only is the actual series really good, but there are actual extras like commentary tracks for EVERY episode. [EVERY Episode! Hear that, Funimation–COMMENTARY TRACKS FOR EVERY EPISODE AS THE ACTORS WATCH THE EPISODE!! Not just “Interview Style” commentaries!]
The Irresponsible Captain Tylor: Litebox – This was yet another FYE sale grab and I bought it only because I remember OtakuAndrain talking about this series a while back. It’s an oldie, but a goodie, and it has quite a few extras, but sadly no commentary tracks. Ah well. I haven’t finished watching the whole thing, but so far, I’m impressed!
Eureka Seven Parts 1 & 2 – Finally…FINALLY…the complete collection of one of THE greatest anime series OF ALL TIME is now on my anime shelf. After searching up and down on website after website trying to find the illusive Vol. 11 for less than $300, Funimation decides to make my job a helluva lot easier by re-releasing the series on DVD and BluRay and Walmart decides to make my wallet a helluva lot happier by selling Parts 1 & 2 for $16 bucks a piece! I won’t go into details about the series just yet, but what I WILL do is give my scores now, because I already know how this one will be graded:
Story Breakdown – 25/25
Characters – 25/25
Animation – 12.5/12.5
Music – 12.5/12.5
Performance and Production – 25/25
Final Score – 100/100 = 100% – (A)
Now all that’s left to do is write up the review to justify these scores. That’ll be the hard part. Funimation did a prodigiously awesome job keeping all the original extras on the DVDs like commentary tracks and English Voice Actor interviews [Everyone looks so dawg gone young, by the way…]. Where they dropped the ball, in my opinion, was the DVD menus. I know, it’s small, but it’s the little things that matter. The DVD menu’s for Eureka Seven are BORING as compared to the original Bandai releases which featured an animated menu background with stirring music. Funimation’s release just has a blue background with the text and soft harp music in the background…yawn. You can do better than that, Funi.
Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers – I bought this one separately from FYE cause it was on sale. I had watched it once before a few years back, and I can honestly say that I am just as confused now as I was then. This movie is the Death and Rebirth of the Eureka Seven universe, and I do not say that as a compliment. I’ll get into more when I get around to reviewing it, but suffice it to say that much head scratching, face palming, and shoulder shrugging took place watching this movie.
And so, that’s it for my anime collection updates. As you can see, the last few months that I haven’t been working have been anime filled, and I hope that I’ll eventually get things back in order and get back to work writing about the medium that I love. Until next time!