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Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin, to give it it’s full name, was the second on my list to watch from 2010’s summer season.

It’s pretty much what it says on the tin really, I am however lazy so here is what WIKIIII says

“The story revolves around Maya, the daughter of the former Headmaster of a private Japanese academy dedicated to the study of the occult who died in 1999, and a time traveling agent Uchida, a mysterious young man who travels back in time from 2012.”

Personally, I thought she was kinda hawt…maybe the black and white does it for me 0_0

OK so for content, not too shabby, not to shabby at all. The crawling possessed girl kinda freaked me out (baring in mind Scary Movie 4 made me wet myself), AND AND AND, some people have complained about how Maya hates the occult (while knowing tons about it), as her Dad neglected her for it, saying it’s really clichéd…which-yeah yeah I suppose it is. HOWEVER, I really liked the scene where they meet, and the situation is kinda explained (I don’t wanna spoil it all), but his angry reaction was done really well I thought.

The plot does have a deeper element to it though, the beginning of the episode shows people (presumably in the future) running from scary spirits, and talking of “last hopes”. And then, as seen above, at the end of the episode we see a naked guy-OH-sorry. He’s wearing swimming goggles…and he floats down in a ray of sun. A blog I read recently described it as rather Eden of the East-y, covering up his johnny ^^ And yeah, Maya looks amusingly shocked ^_^ Another hint was at the Academy admin. not being quite as they seem….

Soooo, I will be looking out for the second episode, and if you’re into the occult genre-I think you should too. It didn’t have enough SHAZAM to bring in people from outside the genre though (IMO), but maybe give it a try because the characters at least seem interesting.

Hell. I just wanna see more of Maya-thigh-high-black-socks kick ass with a chair again. Oh. Yeah.

High School of Pantsu.

Yesterday, I got hold of episode 1, High School of the Dead (HTOD). surprisingly, it was shown on the Anime Network on its release date, June 5th, but anyway, comment if you wanna know where I downloaded it.

The story follows one Takashi Komuro, 17 year old student who (while being upset about being dumped) sees a stranger at the school gates, bite into the P.E. teacher…and thus zombies ensue. The series is 13 episodes long, and will follow the few surviving students and an impossibly melon bussomed school nurse as they fight to survive the apocalypse! So, you’re basic zombie formula.

OK! LET ME GET THIS RANT OVER FOR YOU QUICKLY. What the feck is with the fanservice? Yeah yeah I’m a girl I obviously don’t like fanservice, I’ll tolerate the most obvious panty shot like the best of anime fans, but my sweet sugar of lyle it took a lot to sit through 25 minutes of this. As pointed out by several other blogs, when a zombie is biting through flesh, I wanna see the blood and gore thank you, not a one shot of barely-classes-as-a-rag-skirts tightening u so we can watch their squeaming crotch.

*cough* Rant over.

OK so in all fairness, it’s illustrated by occasional hentai artist Shouji Sato, so if you’re gonna brave this anime just know, you’re gonna be seeing a lot of boobs. And, I will add, very well animated boobs. I was definitely taken in by the art style, fluid and it works well with the zombie fight scenes. And the gore is, well as you’d want it. Gory. So thumbs up for that…


To give the episode due credit, I was interested in the story line! IKR??? What should just be a simple zombie storyline, was made a little more interesting by the 3 main characters, (well, one isn’t quite so main after the 20th~minute…) where Takashi actually gets spurned by CHILDHOOD GIRLFRIEND. Yes you read correctly! I was in awe. In fairness this love interest (Rei) is a bitch. And I’m not sure if I’ll like how the story develops…but, it’s interesting.

Lastly, I liked how the background characters reacted. As simple as that seems, the picture on the right for example, students stamping on others to get out, and then the short scene with two best friends running, one gets dragged (see panty shot above) and the other kicks away her hand to run off. Maybe I’m just evil, but I liked that. *snigger*


So. Not the most comprehensive review ever, but the 2010 summer season has kicked off and I wanna get the others watched :P Also look out (listen out?) for the iconic 28 Days Later song towards the end…It actually worked quite nicely.


Hetalia, Purikura!?!

Yep that’s right. Just heard there will be a Hetalia: Axis Powers Purikura booth in Animate, Japan! It’s for a limited time only so if you’re over there, and you like Hetalia (personally not a fan), here’s your info.

The Booth

http://www.animate.co.jp/special/hetalia_purikura/

Head over to the above site for more pictures.

So basically, about 10 limited edition purikura booths in and around Animate stores. Those listed were….

Sendai                                  Nihonbashi

Akihabara                            Miyazaki

Kyoto                                    Takamatsu

Utsunomiya                        Sasebo

Niigata

Hakodate

Kokura

Fujisawa


It will be 500yen for a go :) Hope there’s one near you!

Summer Season 2010

So. Been a while since my last post, but was getting excited about the summer season of anime!!

I was personally disappointed with Spring, for one I wasn’t happy about the 3rd season of Hetalia. Yet more incessant slapstick crap with characters as formulaic and boring as the last. *cough* I do quite like England though. The continuations were welcome, xxxHolic Rou, Darker than Black and the lovely K-ON for example.

ANYWAY. First things first, SENGOKU BASARA! That is, the second season. Based on a game, nice little anime about the Warring States period in Japan, and the politics between clans, oh and the simple matter of a mad Demon King. Awesome. Please check out the opening, hilarious, and brill song *long live Abingdon Boys School* CLICKIE HERE!

There’s Kuroshitsuji 2, which I’m sure many of you will be excited by, though…well I might just give it a miss. I’ve never liked the whole fan-girling over a very typical male sexual tension relationship that isn’t really there, and don’t forget to put the main male character in a dress. Can’t complain too much, I enjoyed the first season simply for the Victorian setting-they used some really interesting folk tales and historical context.

Shiki looks pretty cool, nice art work and a mysterious sounding story. Def. check out if you like recurring incidents in small towns. :)

Strike Witches 2. Save me bloody now. My mate adores this series, but SERIOUSLY?  14 year old girls….knickers showing, with mech attached to the legs? Sorry for being a stickler, but no matter how good a story line I’ve always found it really hard to look past stuff like that.

High School of the Dead—-HA! Brilliant! Just read the description. Can’t wait :) Seems the Manga was a hit too.

Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin and Nurarihyon no Mago look interesting, I’m a big fan of occult and folk story anime.

Anyway enough bore from me. Check em out, and tell me, which are you looking forward to??

Tokyo Tops!

Going back to Tokyo this June, WOOOOOOOOOOOO, so to celebrate, here’s a collection of top places to visit in Tokyo, by myself and friends. Some, you will have heard of, some (hopefully) you will have not….any suggestions, please comment!!


Ameyoko, Ueno

1. Ueno

Although best known for it’s fabulous park, Ueno is quite the lively place. It’s nice to get away from the typical sky scraper, crazy lifestyle Tokyo is so famous for, and personally, Ueno always feels like I’m actually living in the city.

Pictured left is Ameyoko, a FANTASTIC little area that I recommend to everyone. It’s one of the few true markets left in Tokyo, where you can find anything and everything.

There’s also a zoo, a motocyle district and my personal fav, Tokyo National Museum.

The building is MAGNIFICENT. Anyway. Visit. Pls. :)

Nakano Broadway

2. Nakano Broadway and the Ghibli Museum

OK, I kinda cheated and put these two together. Mainly because everyone I know, does them in the same day. They’re both really close to each other, and anime related!!

If you’re taking Children to Tokyo (good luck :) ) Ghibli Museum is a definite, also if you love the wonderful films they produce, or even if you’re just interested in seeing a different side to the Tokyo Anime scene. Ghibli Museum -it’s suprisingly cheap but you do need to buy well in advance. Do check it out.
Nakano Broadway is a slightly underrated anime or just shopping destination! But all my friends love it. It’s got several Mandarake shops, and stocks cosplay items and some fantastic (and rare) retro goods. Check it out here.


Akihabara Main street

3. Akihabara (The obvious choice!)

The mecca of all things anime/electronic/cosplay/manga/crazy stuff. If you haven’t heard of it…well OK you might not be into Anime. Anyways. Constantly evolving, there’s now a new J-list shop and finally a proper Mandarake. If you come out of the Akiba (short for Akihabara), Electric Town exit off the metro, you’ll bump straight into the wonderful Kotobukiya shop. Don’t forget to visit that Samurai Maid Café.

There’s also the hundreds of electrical goods shops, from cameras to computers to speakers shaped like Lego bricks. With plenty of duty free shops-just take your passport!

Myself and friends at-Kaminarimon Gate

4. Asakusa

This June I’m lucky enough to be staying in a lovely Ryokan (traditional Japanese Inn) near the beautiful Asakusa. Considered a must see destination by pretty much all tourists, this is a fantastic introduction to an “old Japan” that is still very much important to the every-day Japanese.
Google Images for all you lazy people out there. The Buddhist temple is fantastic, with a walkway of trees and lovely little (if slightly overpriced) stalls that are perfect for souvenirs. Oh, and a great Totoro shop on the corner :) A lot of people don’t realise that there’s a whole other area to the temple too, (search for asakusa maps, or get one at the temple), with koi ponds and then it leads onto an old-style theme park and fantastic side roads.

I’ve been EVERY time I go, that’s how much I love it.

Takeshita Dori

5. Harajuku

A definite. I refuse to believe you have seen Tokyo if you don’t go here. Go. Infact, go now. Now. WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE!?!?!

The area best known for it’s fashion, and if you visit on a Sunday afternoon (definitely the best time, though not the only), you’ll be treated to a crazy amount of people in even crazier clothes. See this book for some brilliant photos of Harajuku fashion. It’s a truly vibrant, mad place. With everything from vintage to Lolita to punk to trendy, there will definitely be a shop for your tastes. OH and I found an awesome school uniform shop off on one of the side roads :)

Make sure you continue all the way down the main road, and out onto where H&M is. There’s a brilliant caramel café that’s well known -Hanabatake Bokujo Cafe where the Caramel milk is divine, as well as suprisingly cheap second hand shops. Though obviously, beware of how small Japanese sizes are.

ALSO-nearby is Meiji Jingu shrine (awesomely beautiful and a lovely chance to get away from the hustle and bussle).

Hamarikyu tea

6.  Hamarikyu Gardens

For more detail, see the Tokyo Parks site , but this has become my favourite place in Tokyo. If travelling from Asakusa to Odaiba, or you want to get to Odaiba, the boats stop at Hamarikyu and use this as a great way to hop from place to place. Although I could easily spend a day in this beautiful, edo style garden, a few hours could easily do you. There is an admission charge, but it wasn’t expensive.

Most people hate the tea and sweets you get from the tea ceremony, and so avoid it, but the tea house at the centre of these gardens serve a lovely (not too bitter) tea with wagashi (trad. sweets) along with an ENGLISH explanation of what to do. Also, there’s a nice lil pier-type-area to look over the ponds. It’s only 500 yen, DO IT!

Shibuya Crossing

7. Shibuya

A complete contrast to Hamarikyu, Shibuya is another obvious stop-off on everyone’s Tokyo Travel list! Or atleast, it should be.

The crossing is very famous, and is unbelievable during early evenings, where just thousands of people can cross in the space of SECONDS (well maybe not seconds)……..and there’s a good view point higher up in Shibuya Station.

There’s also the well-known Hachiko statue where people meet up, read the story behind it here . I think it’s now a Hollywood-Richard Gere film!

Urrrm oh, brilliant 900000 storey (or summat) building with CDs, DVDs, Manga, and at the very top is my favourite magazine store. Check it oouutt.

Yoyogi Park


8. Yoyogi Park

Although close to Harajuku and the Meiji shrine, this large park certainly deserves it’s own mention. Especially on Sundays, Yoyogi is a fantastic, eccentric and wonderful place to visit, with people busking, dancing, singing and just generally doing whatever they want to. Friends tell me the live performances have dried up recently-since Japan introduced licensing-but it’s still got the atmosphere.

I actually first heard about it for it’s large homeless camps, but they are quiet and you don’t tend to find any problems.

The people here are really friendly, and friends say they always end up having a chat with someone random. Oh, I also remember there being dog runs, which is rare in Tokyo, dogs are usually not allowed off the leash.

Eeerm, OK not much to say about the park, but do give it a visit if you want a slow walk for a few hours, absorbing the lively feeling.

Odaiba

9. Odaiba

Everyone I know says they love Odaiba, and it has become quite a popular tourist destination. I would recommend getting the boat there, because you get to see the wonderful Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Bay, although there are other ways to get there!

Museums, theme parks, entertainment and shopping-this place literally has everything! The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation is wroth a visit if you enjoy all things modern, and you can find the famous robot ‘Asimo’. Don’t forgot Oedo Onsen Monogatari, I’ve never managed to visit but it has great reviews, especially if it’s your first time in a hot spring.

FOR MORE- check out JapanGuide for better detail than I can give here.

The lights of Ikebukuro

10. Ikebukuro

This June will be my first visit, hence it not being very high on the list-I’m going on information from everyone else! This mini article is a good describition of the area- CLICKIE . Sunshine 60 is one of the best places to get a view of Tokyo (I always found the Tokyo Tower uninspiring for it’s price) and it has an aquarium, the department stores are varied and very different to our own, it has a massive car showroom of funky mobiles,  oh and a musical instruments museum!!

My friends all say Ikebukuro was one of their favourite places, it’s not as horridly busy as Shibuya, but it has a more friendly, medium-city-like feel. If you’ve seen Durarara, you’ll get what I mean. There’s always something mad to find here, just go and explore.

EDIT: I completely forgot about the Animate here! It’s a massive 9 story building with some great merch and the usual manga/anime collection. I recently heard Ikebukuro described as the female Akihabara, so have a look around :)

Other places of note: Roppongi, Kamakura (short day trip from Tokyo), Omotesando Hills, Ochanomizu (for guitars!!) Jinbocho (used books), Tokyo Metropolitan Building, Tokyo Tower.

Hope this helps, any questions on places to visit within these places, just comment. I’m certainly not the law on all things Tokyo, but I enjoy the city and hope to help in any way!

xxxHolic Rou

EDIT: People are still getting onto this article looking for download sites, SO

WWW.ANIME-ACCESS.COM

WWW.ANIMETAKE.COM

I get most my anime from there, and I know anime-access have xxxHolic Rou, so you can find it there x

* Hyperventilates  *

It’s here. Finally. After being postponed (originally meant to come with Volume16) xxxHolic Rou, the OAD (Original Animation DVD) will be released in Japan along with Volume 17 of the manga. 23rd April.

So. Excite.

I’m not sure where I’ll be able to watch it, but I usually watch things in RAW, then later subbed, at Anilinkz.

Here’s the ending song…with random screenshots. It’s so sad :(

Here’s Kodansha’s official site, with lovely screenshots and the official trailer…CLICK MEH.

Official Site

It’s a little scary seeing Watanuki in such outfits, but I won’t ruin it all for you if you haven’t read the manga. Do watch the anime though!!

If you don’t know the story….I’m sure I can enlighten you —————————->

My favourite character is, of course, Mokona. Although Yuuko comes in at a close second.

Mokona Madoki

Sake guzzling, and all round funny guy, I spit on all those who prefer white-I’m so boring all I do is eat apples-white mokona.

*sorry*

Anyway. Watch it.

.Shibuya Psychic Research.

KYAAAAAAAA <3 Just finished the 25 marvellous episodes that make up Ghost Hunt. I started watching it when it first came out, but I’m a complete scaredy-cat and couldn’t watch it alone ;-;

Anyway! I finally watched it all (today :D), and hell-fire I’ve got myself attached to a couple again!

Gosh that looks uncomfy...

Siigh <3 Mai Taniyama, and Kazuya Shibuya (or Naru, short for Narcissist!). Everyone loves them….although personally I’m also a fan of hilarious Yasuhara-san.

Aaw!

I don’t get it. Why do I always fall for the twatty ‘cool’ proud cold rude guys? Well either way, it’s rare I genuinely like a main female character. THEY SO ANNOYING. Snotty, beautiful, fancied by all the guys, and usually a bit thick. But Mai gets the balance, not to mention the fact she’s very down-to-earth about what a knob-sack Naru can be, it’s quite refreshing.

If you’ve not seen the anime, it’s about a young girl (Mai), who accidently breaks the camera, and in the process injures the assistant, to Shibuya Psychic Research, a company investigating her school for paranormal disturbances. So, to pay it off, and act as assistant, the young company director (Naru), takes her on for help on cases. There’s a host of other characters that join them, one of my favourites being Australian Catholic Priest “John Brown” :P Although it’s a Shoujou, it is actually quite creepy at times…

0_o Steady on girl!

All the images I’ve used are screen shots from episode…22? In one of Mai’s sorta-psychic-dreams. Unfortunately it doesn’t actually happen ;-; I’ve heard rumours of a Season 2, June 18th, but it seems that’s not true :(

SO, for the sake of revision, I will buy the manga while in Japan this June :P

FAN GIRL RANT OVER.

My First Cosplay~

I first cosplayed some years ago now, back in….gosh….2006. For the MCM Midlands Expo, I bought the top, then made the rest, for a Suigintou cosplay.

Emo shot xD

Suigintou is the ‘baddy’ character from Rozen Maiden….an anime series I actually thought was as boring as it’s main character, a dirty little-black-haired-nasty-to-his-sister-knob called Jun….(sorry fans). BUT Suigintou really caught my imagination, and was a nice addition to a sea of…well…dolls. It is a shame…the idea behind the anime is quite cool… ANYWAY!!!!

These photos were taken January 2010….’cause it was snowing!! AND I LOVE SNOW. SNOW SNOW SNOW :)

I did however, manage to fall over just before this shot…and I was SO COLD I thought my butt was gonna turn to ice.

My Nanny helped me make the wings, and I made the petticoat for underneath, as well as socks, and added the exciting white sleeves. I’m crap at sewing, and can’t afford ready made ones….so for May Expo I will likely cosplay with something I already have. :) Comments and advice would be appreciated!!

Chu <3

Purikura, or Purinto Kurabu, is the Japanese photo booth craze where you take lots of photos with

Friend Fun!

friends, then you can decorate the pictures!

It’s so much fun, and I experienced it first in Shibuya, Tokyo. Luckily I had Japanese people with me, so they could translate the instructions!


But where can you do it in Britain? Well there was a little shop in the Birmingham Pallasades, but my favourite place is in China Town, London!

Most people only know about the small Chinese machine downstairs, but I only recently found out that going up the escalator takes you to a whole beautiful new world :)

Japanese Machines, slightly more expensive…

BUT WITH MONKEY BARS.

Family Fun

So, you wanna go to the Mecca of all things anime…eh?? Well I’d certainly recommend a visit :) And along with said recommendation, here’s a small list of things I think you should keep in mind….courtesy of someone who’s been a fair few times :D

    Tokyo Tower

  1. If visiting a city with a subway/metro, print off some maps BEFORE you go. Myself and several friends have found that grabbing them while there…is not easy.
  2. Don’t expect people to speak English!! Most Japanese probably can, but it’s very rare they don’t leg it at the first sight of an approaching foreigner…(This tip was reinforced by my Mother!)
  3. On the above note, do try to learn some phrases before you going. Not only do they appreciate it, but it will help you. Anything from simple words like “Water”, to “Where do you keep the eroge?”.
  4. Why not make a fairly detailed itinerary? I mean, don’t be anal about it, but having an idea of what you wanna do will make things a lil easier, give some structure and you’re more likely to get to do everything you wanna do.
  5. Always overestimate how many money to take. Not by much, but by adding £50 to my food allowance I managed not to starve on the last 2 days >_>; It’s better to be prepared!
  6. On the subject of money, DO NOT rely on Traveller’s Cheques, ATMs or Cards. Pretty much everyone will tell you this…banks and ATMs are few and far between, and credit cards tend to only be excepted at major international restaurants or hotels. Japan is very much a cash society.
  7. Think carefully about clothing…which season are you going in?
  8. TRY all the food! Even if it looks…well…proper gross. I still have nightmares about the “Swirl of Doom” and “Sweaty Muffin”.

    Meal in Kyoto

  9. Before you go, see if you can walk to different places, don’t just rely on public transport. I was surprised how close many destinations are in Tokyo, saves you that 200円 that’ll buy you an extra manga…
  10. Chuo Dori, Akihabara and Takeshita Dori, Harajuku are prime examples of why you should take the side roads. Check them out certainly, but you’ll find similar shops at much cheaper prices with a lil wanderin’.
  11. Don’t be too surprised if you get stared at…especially by babies…or if you’re tall!
  12. You CAN eat cheaply!! Try the local Ramen bar, or even the hot food from the convenience stores. Eating doesn’t have to cost a bomb…and most places will have pictures/plastic models of the food, so no worries if there isn’t any English.
  13. Why not try an Onsen? Or Sento (public bath houses). It’s a little scary at first. My mate’s first time, involved walking in on a naked little Japanese guy doing squats. This Onsen in Odaiba, Tokyo is a nice intro. for foreigners.
  14. Why not explore, get a bit lost? Loads of travel blogs advise just sitting on the Yamanote Line train in Tokyo, for 160円, will take through temples, grave yards, high-rise buildings and neon lights. The metro in Tokyo is certainly never far away, and walking down that road might take you somewhere maagiicaall :D
  15. My most important point. Try and make friends before you go!! Try the forums on Japan Guide, where you can ‘advertise’ for travel buddies, or someone willing you show you around their part of Japan. Obviously, be careful, but you will have a truly unique trip.

Some lovely gals I met in Kyoto

This is by no means a complete list of tips, but it will get you started! Also, most of these apply to all travel! This June will see my 4th trip over there, but if you have any more, let me know!

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