Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's like watching myself on Youtube.

A brief post, but I wanted to share this. It's my blog and I'll do whatever I want.

So a while ago, I posted about the Chozokei Damashii Gurren Lagann blind box figures and how completely amazing they are. I know I've also mentioned in the past that my friend McLovin is a writer for the awesome toy site, Tomopop.

Well today on twitter, he pointed me toward a video of his editor-in-chief opening up some of the boxes. It was basically exactly the same as my experience, and I thought I'd share because it was pretty fun for me to watch.

It's refreshing to see someone who reacts to Yoko the same way I do.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Good job on "Toy Story 3", Pixar.

So me and a handful of my friends went to see Toy Story 3 on Friday. I should preface this with the fact that when I heard about Toy Story 3, I was kind of annoyed with Pixar about it. I didn't see why a third Toy Story was needed, especially this long after the first two, when Pixar was putting out so many other wonderful films. It was frustrating for me, since I'm not a fan of animated sequels, and especally part three's, since they are notorious for being terrible.

But, guys, this time I was wrong.

Toy Story 3 was not only entertaining and funny, but heartwarming. This was a movie made for all of the kids who had grown up watching Toy Story and Toy Story 2. For all the kids who had been eight or nine or ten when Toy Stoy came out and are now in their twenties. For us, who may have forgotten the things we loved as a kid. It was nostalgic, and sweet, and I commend Pixar on carrying this franchise gracefully from part one to part three.

One really fun thing about going to see a Pixar film is the animated short shown before each feature. Some of my favorite things to come from Pixar are their animated shorts. I recently found a DVD full of these and plan to buy it in the near future but that is a blog post for another day. Back to the tpoic at hand.

The short shown before Toy Story 3 was called "Day & Night", and it blew me completely out of the water.

"Day & Night" blended 3D CGI animation with tradtional 2D style animation for a product that just stopped me dead in my tracks. Watching these two characters bounce back and forth, originally disliking each other and trying to claim superiority to learning to accept each other and enjoy what made them different. It was absolutely stunning.

As I mentioned, I originally met this film with a lot of hostility. After I began seeing trailers and was given a good idea of the plot I was a lot more recpetive to Toy Story 3, but I kept a heavy dose of skepticism about the whole thing. It looked good, but I wasn't ready to get myself over-excited just to be let down with the final product.

But Toy Story 3 met my challenge head on and did not disappoint. It held up to the quality of humor, story, and emotion that we have come to expect from Pixar. Some of the funniest moments, as usual came from Mr. Potato Head. I'm fairly certain "GET THE TORTILLA!" will be my social circle's rallying cry for years to come.

Surprisingly this movie also had it's fair share of nightmare fuel, present in "Big Baby" and "The Monkey". More so in the monkey, since we all screamed any time that thing showed up. That thing was completely horrifying, and all of us are likely to have nightmares about it for the rest of our lives. Ironically, I've never felt more like a little kid than I did during some of the scarier parts of this movie. And yes, there are some really terrifying moments in Toy Story 3. Now I'm not saying this isn't a kids movie. It clearly is. If you've got kids, show them the first two and then take them to this. They will love it. But expect some screams of terror, not just from them but also from yourself.

All of the plot twists in this movie are, really, incredibly obvious. Looking back on them, it's really easy to see everything coming. But when you're watching Toy Story 3, it's so easy to get caught up in the suspense of it all that you end up watching with blinders on. Even some of the most obvious things just come completely out of left field. You will spend the latter half of this movie on the edge of your seat.

And once that all passes, and you reach the last ten minutes or so of the movie, it becomes very apparent who this movie was actually made for...

This movie wasn't made for today's kids. They will all enjoy this movie thoroughly, but this is for all the 18 to 20-somethings who are Andy's age now. Who were kids when Toy Story first came out, many of whom have now had to part with beloved childhood toys. For young adults in tha age group that my friends and I populate. It was just a little something to remind us of when we were young, and of the things we loved.

All four of us; Suri, McLovin, Kyle, and myself, cried through the end of this movie. Now, we are all big toy nerds, so in the beginning we were all like "Why doesn't Andy just bring ALL of his toys to college?" since that's what we do. But I guess logically people that aren't total dorks like we are might want to not do that. The way Pixar chose to end Toy Story 3 was heartwarming, bittersweet, and wonderful. Even now, writing about it two days later, it is hard for me not to start crying again just thinking about it.

If you grew up watching Toy Story and Toy Story 2, go and give Toy Story 3 a shot. If you're nervous about being an adult in a children's movie, find a friend with younger siblings and go with them. But really, you shouldn't worry about appearances. You won't be the only non-kid there. There are plenty of people like me and my friends who will be there too.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The DBZ Principal Is In Effect

Okay guys. I haven't really rambled about this here at Rook takes Queen yet, so I'd better get the score settled on something.I am fully, 100% convinced that the real villain in Bleach is Aizen's mullet, and that this manga is actually all about hair. Kind of like "Bobobobobobobobobobobobobobobo" or whatever the hell you want to call that, except with less of a chance of stabbing yourself while reading it. I mean just look at Aizen, for each stage of his villany, he's gotten a progressivly smarmier mullet.

This week I just about had a heart attack because it seems to have gotten longer, which only means the evil destructive force of his mullet is becoming more powerful. But then my freind Gonsai pointed something out that I'm just going to laugh about forever...

Evil demon overlord by day, fabulous male supermodel by night. It all makes sense now. He is using his undercover work as Fabio to win public appeal so no one will care when he takes over the world and kills them all. Aizen, you clever bastard. Even Gin seems concerned lately. Fortunately we have a means to combat Aizen's diabolical mullet in the form of Shinji's bowl cut and Ichigo's rocker mullet.

The point is, it seems like every time a major character has a dramatic shift in power, their ridiculous haircut changes to an entirely different ridiculous haircut. I wouldn't be surprised if Rukia came home from Hueco Mundo with bankai and longer hair.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's like being the nerdiest fashion designer.

As you can see from RTQ's header, gijinka pokemon are sort of a guilty pleasure of mine. I totally fell in love with the idea of designing a look based on the endlessly different pokemon designs, though it wasn't until last halloween that I actually took a swing at it.

I'd had to throw a costume together at the last minute and found a pair of long white gloves that I didn't know I owned. That's when it hit me -- Gijinka Lugia. I had a white sweater, pants, scarf, and a blue tanktop. So I threw it all together, made some blue bows for Lugia's back and tail and got my blue wig from my Simon cosplay and put it all together.

It came out pretty nicely I think, and I enjoy running around pretending to be a Lugia since it's one of my favorite pokemon. I had told a friend about the costume, but didn't have pictures at the time, so I drew a picture for him. And then I ended up drawing a couple more just for fun... And then she sort of developed a life of her own.

I began planning a comic based around the plot of the second Pokemon movie, except more Lugia-centric. For a movie originally titled "Revelation Lugia", that movie did not have a whole lot of Lugia actually in it. But the longer I've kept her around, the more I've thought about her "storyline" from beginning to end and I think there's the potential for something more than that in there, specifically with the possible relationship between Lugia and Ho-Oh.

So I've been kind of working out plot and I think if I do a pokemon gijinka comic, I'd focus it post-movie and around the "feud" and estrangement between she and Ho-Oh. that way I could also include the other legendary birds AND the legendary dogs. Becuase they would all be incredibly fun to do designs for.

While Lugia and Ho-Oh are my favorites, I have taken a swing at Absol and Raichu.

Suri and I have a bit of an ongoing story about my Raichu and Absol, Amphy and Marsche, and they are kind of an item. Because it's cute. Marsche ended up looking kind of "90's Bishonen", but it only serves to emphasize the fact that he is a total dork. I've since hatched their egg, and need to come up with a good name for their Pichu, but what I'm really glad about is that I only had to draw Amphy pregnant once. That was way more difficult than I'd assumed it would be.

I'm part of The Gijinka Club (Which accpets gijinkas for all things, not just pokemon!) and Pokemon Gijinkas on DeviantART, and I've had fun submitting to both of those since I started this. Pokemon Gijinkas is still very small, so I've enjoyed that club a bit more, but both have been great to be a part of.

So if you're an artistically inclined pokemon fan, give it a shot. Even if you're not into pokemon, maybe try applying the concept to something else you're into. It's a fun way to stretch your creative muscles a bit. Especially since there's not really any rules.

You can take liberties and still give your gijinkas wings, tails, or animal ears if you want, or if you'd rather not you can find some other way around it. I like keeping my gijinkas as human as possible and turning their other apendages into articls of clothing or part of their hairstyle, or anything else I might be able to think of. (Like Lugia's scarf-tail, or Amphy's rat-tail haircut!)

So take a swing at it if you're so inclined. You might find you like it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I Am A Woman Of Science

So this summer I've made the decision to put together a cosplay for Professor Araragi. It's a simple costume and I could get it togehter pretty cheaply. And it is a hell of a lot of fun. I now have all of the pieces, though I still need to actually assemble a few things and figure out how to get my wig to sit right.

We ordered the skirt off of eBay and I was really worried it wasn't going to work out, but it is actually totally perfect. It is EXACTLY the right green and it fits me really well. It's a little big, but it came with a little belt that I can wear that will make it sit right.

We got an inexpensive white t-shirt from K-mart, and some simple slip-on shoes from payless. then we hit up A.C. Moore to get things to alter the shoes and make the earrings. My ears aren't pierced so I have to get bases for clip-on earrings. I bought magnets but unfortunately it isn't working. I'd planned to just buy clip on bases but they didn't have any. But we'll see what happens.

The thing we're really trying to figure out right now is the wig. It didn't hold up very well over the course of the day. A wig cap should solve some of the problem (the only one I have is blue, so it's not useful for this wig), but there's still hte matter of getting her up-do right. Mom bought those Goody "Spin Pins" so she's going to let me try them, and if it works she's going to buy me a set so that I can use those.

The biggest truggle right now is actually playing the part of Araragi. Since she is new and the information we have on her is minimal, her personality is still a very elusive factor. I was sort of making it up, playing off personality details inferred from the one image we have of her and how I think a woman in her profession might act.

All of the photos from the shoot are available here. It was an incredibly fun time and I' like to give it another test run sometime in July before Otakon to make sure I've got things down right before I hit up Otakon with a costume that isn't ready.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Arrival of the RamenBox!

So, a week ago my mom and I placed an order from RamenBox.com. We put together a big 40-slot ramen box, placed the order, and waited. It arrived today just as I finished making some pasta for lunch, since for all the good comedic timing I tend to have, my practical timing is generally terrible. None the less, I was totally excited to have my big box of ramen finally in hand. After eating, I tore it open and this is what I found:

37 glorious packages of ramen (I had a few 2-slot items), 14 different types, all packed into two boxes. It's a truly beautiful thing. My lineup consists of the following:

- 3 Indomie Spicy Beef Ramen
- 3 KungFu Beef Ramen
- 4 Sappolo Ichiban Beef Ramen
- 4 Mama Pork Ramen
- 3 Indomie BBQ Chicken Ramen
- 2 Indomie chicken Curry Ramen
- 2 NongShim Spicy Chicken Ramen
- 4 Sapporo Ichiban Chowmein
- 3 NongShim Chapghetti
- 1 Paldo Bibim Men
- 1 Paldo Jja Jang Men
- 2 Vewong Peppered Beef Ramen
- 2 WuMu Garlic Sesame Oil Ramen
- 3 Indomie Fried Noodles

I've had a few of these before (like the Sapporo Ichiban beef and the NongShim Spicy chicken) since I have apretty diverse super market in my area, but I'm excited to try a bunch of new things. Especially some of the vegetarian options that I ordered.

Because the guys over at RamenBox.com are so cool, they also threw in a few sets of chopsticks, some chili sauce, and a pack of Tung-I Beef Flavored Instant Rice Noodles. These little extras and free noodles totally won me over, because I'm a sucker for extras. Way to snag yourselves a repeat customer guys.

So since I got a hold of something a little unexpected with my order, and I'm hungry, I'm going to write more about the Tung-I Beef Flavored Rice Noodles. I've never really done a food review so bear with me on this one.

So, prep on this is pretty standard fare. You've got your noodles, a pack of seasoning, and an oil packet. Three minutes in boiling water, and then add in the seasoning and eat. The rice noodles didn't absorb the seasoning very well, but they had a pretty nice texture to them. Even though the noodles didn't absorb it very well, the broth had a lot of flavor and held up to the texture of the noodles pretty well.

I'd definitely have it again, though next time I'd change a few things. I'd add the seasoning in at the beginning so the noodles could absorb it straight on, and I'd use a bit less water. I'dS also add that leftover steak in the fridge. Yum. Meat is always a good addition.

So all in all, if you like ramen, Ramenbox is a good deal! It'd probably cost you more to buy them all inidivitually, even if you factor in shipping. And it is run by some fantastic, friendly people, and when you order you might even get a little something extra! There's also their free slots program, where you can earn slots and eventually get a free box of ramen! So drop by and check it out. You most likely will not be disappointed. I know I wasn't.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On Cartoon Network airing live-action shows.

So I've watched the first episode of Cartoon Network's new show "Unnatural History" about 3 times, since it's all they've been showing since Sunday. I like the premise for this show and I think it's really interesting. I'm glad they're finally airing some programs geared towards teens and young adults. But "Unnatural History" is part fo a growing trend of shows that I don't think should be on this channel -- Live-Action shows.

Now don't get me wrong. I have nothing against live-action shows. Some of my favorite programs are live-action; NCIS, Castle, Law & Order, Dancing With The Stars, the entire lineup on the Food Network... But I think when you call your channel "Cartoon Network", you should focus on... you know.. cartoons. I don't know why "Unnatural History" isn't animated. Cartoon Network is obviously aware that teens and young adults are watching their network, otherwise they wouldn't be airing this show at all.

But if teens and young adults are watching "Cartoon Network", aren't they looking for... cartoons? Now it's not that Cartoon Network isn't airing cartoons geared toward this demographic. "Ben 10" has grown and matured along with it's audience, and they've begun airing "Generator Rex" (which will get a write-up all it's own once I get caught up with it) and "Adventure Time", and there's the "Total Drama" series along with "Chowder" and "The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack". The last two are still kind of kid-oriented, but there is a lot of stuff for the older scene there too.

So why does Cartoon Network feel the need to air live action shows? I understand why shows like "Dude, What Would Happen?" and "Destroy Build Destroy" are live-action (though I question why Cartoon Network needs these shows at all). But "Unnatural History" doesn't need to be live action. If they got a good animation team (like the one that worked on Nick's "Avatar: The Last Airbender", which certainly didn't end up being "child-oriented") it could easily be done as an animated show.

My friend Armaina has recently started a blog that takes a closer look at animation . She's an incredibly intelligent lady, and she really knows what she's talking about. She mentioned in her first post on her blog that animation is looked down upon in the states and is regarded as a medium "for kids". while I do think this is starting to change a bit, I do agree that it hasn't changed enough, especially if Cartoon Network needs to air things that aren't even cartoons to try and net a bigger young adult audience.

They're planning to air another show that sounds.. almost exactly the same as "Unnatural History" in the near future. I'm hoping that these shows only last a season or two and then Cartoon Network will realize it's mistake. If they want to attract audiences my age, 20-somethigns who are interested in cartoons, they'll have to do it with cartoons.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Comics About Making Comics

So, a while ago, after reading a blog post about it by my friend Hilary, I started reading a manga currently running in Jump by the pair who brough us "Death Note", Ohba Tsugumi and Obata Takeshi -- I have been reading "Bakuman".

I'm not sure if I've brought this up, but I am a senior at SVA in Manhattan and my major is Cartooning. Drawing comics is pretty much a way of life for me. As such, I absolutly love comics about comics, and "Bakuman" is far and away my new favorite. To sum it up quickly, it's about two kids, Mashiro Moritaka and Takagi Akito who want to (and do!) write for Weekly Jump.

I am completely fascinated by this, by the ideas for stories that the characters come up with, and how they learn what they're good at, what they're not, and a look into how things work in Weekly Jump. They face problems like threats of cancelation, rivalries from other mangaka, and doing work they don't enjoy. But, like any heroes in shonen manga, they solve their problems with perserverance and manly determination. As they should.

And, like any shonen manga, there are the romantic interests, Azuki Miho and Kyoshi Kaya. These two are probably my favorite part of "Bakuman", even if the romantic plots play second fiddle to the main event of "OMG LETS MAKE MANGA!".

Miho has a dream of becoming a voice actor, and she and Mashiro have agreed that when Mashiro's manga is popular enough to get an anime, Miho will voice the lead female, and then they'll get married. They've also agreed not to see each other until then and only communicate by email. They've had to come in contact a few times, but the way they email back and forth is compeltely adorable.

And then there is Kaya and Takagi, who are my favorite thing about this series. Their relationship is vastly different from that of Miho and Mashiro. Kaya keeps herself around the boys all the time, wanting to have an active part in their dream. She and Takagi get togther somewhat by accident, but they form a close, absolutely hilarious and wonderful relatoionship.

One great, and simultaniousy disappointing thing is that I'll never get to read all of the series within "Bakuman". I would honestly love to read every single one of them. I honestly feel like I would read "Perfect Crime Club" and "Otters 11" forever if I was given the chance, and I could see myself having been very disappointed over the cancelation of "Detective Trap". And I can totally see "Crow" being a guilty pleasure of mine. Hopefully when we get the anime, maybe we'll get a "Kujibiki Unbalance"-esque spin off of one of them? If we did, I would hope it was for "Perfect Crime Club". Though I don't think we get a close enough look at any of the series-within-the-series to warrent a spin off.

One can only imagine how many incidents in the manga are based in some way on Ohba and Obata's own experiences, and how many characters are based on other mangaka they know. "Bakuman" updates weekly, and has started running in the english Shonen Jump magazine. Though if you don't have a subscription to that, you can find it as OneManga, MangaFox, and probably on other similar sites.

The anime, set to run 25 episodes, is starting this fall, so I'll probably take a swing at talking about that once it starts running. Though I'm really worried about a 25 episode run and what it will do as far as condensing the series. But it's a "wait and see" situation so that's what I'll have to do -- Wait and see.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Catching up on Pokemon news.

Okay, so while I let this blog idle, more and more new information about the two new versions of pokemon, Black and White, have been surfacing. I wasn't really interested at first, since it was all about the new mechanics and changes to the basic structure of the game. I didn't really care about any of that. Pokemon is pokemon is pokemon, y'know? But with some of the recent reveals, I've gotten a little more excited about the upcoming 5th generation of the franchise. So I'm going to start with the newer information and work my way back, beginning with what I am most excited about...


I am pretty psyched by this. This is the first time we've had a female professor, and she's pretty young, and she is GORGEOUS. The name that's been released is Professor Araragi. Who knows what we'll get in the way of a tree-themed American name for her. But she looks like she's energetic and ridiculous, and that her wackyness can be chalked up to being into CRAAAAZY SCIENCE instead of being old.

There's also been a handful of fresh new Gen V pokemon released and I have a variety of opinions on them all...

So first is "chiramii", the chinchilla pokemon. A normal type. It. Is. Adorable. I've loved chinchillas for a long time, since my best friend has raised several, and I'm glad to finally see a chinchilla pokemon in the lineup. If it eveolves, I hope it stays adorable.

To the right is "shimama", which is some kind of electric zebra. Awesome. Awesome. I hope it evolves into an even more badass electric zebra. If my party wasn't already electric saturated, I'd probably take him in. I may raise one anyway if he's common enough. Especially if he evolves into something awesome. i'm thinking kind of an electric Rapidash since he's rather ponyta-like.

And on the bottom is "meguroko", a dark-ground gator pokemon. He's also adorable. I'll lprobably catch one and just have it sit around since I don't keep ground types around, but he's still pretty cute. He's classified as a "desert crocodile", so I'm wondering what sort of area you'll end up having to go to in order to find him. That should be some fun news.

Now onto the group that I'm on the fence about...

First is "hihidaruma", the "blaze pokemon", obviously a fire type. I am assuming that since 'daruma' is in his name, and by his eyes, that he is based on daruma dolls. I adore darumas. And he looks like he'd be a second stage pokemon, which makes me hope that he evolves from a little rolly fire-breathign daruma. Because if he does, I will bring that thing into my party and never let it evolve because oh god that would be so cute. I have such a soft spot for darumas.

To the right is "munna", a psychic type... pig... thing. If it evolves into something kind of pretty, I can legitimize this, but otherwise I'm just not really into it. It's a pretty bland design and there's nothing really interesting or special about it. It's jsut a pink pig-shaped thing with some flowers on it's butt. I guess we'll see.

And then there is "mamepato", the baby pidgeon pokemon. It's your standard normal-flying type that we get every gen to replace pidgey. It's pretty cute even though It's basically a slightly altered starly. But he serves his purpose and maybe he'll have some cool variations in his evolutions.

And then there was this...

"Giaru". The gear pokemon. Steel type. The poor man's alt-type magnimite. and as it is, I hate magnimite. Though aside from diglett, I've never been fond of any of the "clump" pokemon. Let's sut move on before I get frustrated...

So here we have Reishiram (left) and Zekrom (right), Black and White's legendary pair. They're both dragon types, with Reishirom's secondary beign fire, and Zekrom's secondary being elecrtic. I'm glad to see the "big" legendaries (the version mascots, and larger bodied ones) going back to looking more organic. The past couple of generations, they've been looking a little robotic or mechanized for my taste. Not to say there weren't some I liked, but it's a direction that I'm glad this version took.

I'm a bit more partial to Reishiram, since I think he looks like (as I once described it) "Lugia after getting stuck inside a pillow", but I also do like Zekrom, and I think they're an interesting and very balanced pair. Though that should come as no surprise since they are the Yin and Yan pokemon.

Now it's time for me to get into stuff you already know about...

Like the Gen V starters. Tsutarja, the grass type, Pokabu, the fire type, and Mijumaru, the water type. I'm pretty okay with all of them, but like most people my preference is Tsutarja, or as the itnernet has come to call him, "Smugleaf". And if Nintendo doens't name him that officially, we will all be sorely disappointed, and will all just nickname him that anyway. It's how the fandom works. They should know that by now.

My real problem with Pokabu is that I could see his evolutions being HIDEOUS and that just doesn't fly with me, especially for a fire-type starter. Fire starters are supposed to be badass. Water starters are supposed to end up hideous.Grass types kind of come and go in whatever direction they want in their final stages. But I predict Tsutaraja turning into a badass.

Mijumaru is cute, and he'll probably turn into something pretty neat looking, but Tsutarja just has the best look, so he kind of turned me away from the little beaver-otter or whatever it is. It's still cute though. I don't care what anyone says.

And then we have the new player characters, Black, the male, and White, the female. I'm pretty indifferent to Black, since I'm a chick and rarely use them (though I used him in SoulSilver, but I covered my reasons for that already). But I am in love with White. It looks like the 80's threw up all over her. Which is kind of hilarious and great. Black seems fairly standard as far as the male protagonists go, but I'm curious to see how he fares in the way of personality.

Our player characters are a bit older this time, though I'm not sure by how much. And we have a new, once again wrist-mounted trainer tool, which I like. Even the pokedex got a hefty redesign:

Nintendo has said that Black and White are going to take the series in a very new direction, and a lot of the information that's surfaced has really pointed in that direction. I'm eagar to see where this new direction takes the franchise, and I hope it's somewhere good.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Nerds and Ramen Are Inseparable

Ramen is kind of a staple of my household. I like being able to make quick, easy meals for myself at any time of day since I have a ridiculously erratic eating schedule. I keep a couple boxes of pot-stickers and microwave rice pouches and things around, but there's nothing quite like a good bowl of ramen.

But as I'm sure many of you know, a girl can only eat so much Nissin Top Ramen before things start getting a little stale. Then one day, a friend of mine on LiveJournal mentioned something that caught my eye...


I made myself an account and kept the link sitting around in my favorites until I could get money to order a Ramenbox of my own. In the meantime my mom kept picking up packs of Nissin chicken flavor Top Ramen, which I've eaten maybe three bows of and wishing it was something more interesting.

The other day, on a grocery run, I mentioned Ramenbox to mom, and today I pulled up the site so she could check it out. I'd planned to go for a regular 20 slot box, but mom decided we should go for the large 40 slot box! I put one together and we ordered it this afternoon!

They ship via FedEx ground (Which I like, because we're a FedEx loyal family, due to my dad being a courier!) so it'll be here on Monday or Tuesday most likely and we are looking forward to the super cool ramen that we've ordered.

Ramenbox also has the friendliest people in the world on staff. They keep in touch with their customers via their twitter account, and from what I've seen if you have any kind of problem regarding your order they will do what they can to help you out.

Once my box gets here I'll be sure to do another post on all of the great things I packed it with, but in the meantime take a browse around the Ramenbox site. Setting up a box is easy, and is actually a whole lot of fun. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chozokei Damashii Gurren Lagann Figures

So this week my Chozokei Damashii Gurren Lagann figures came. I essentially bought a 10 pc. case of blind boxes, so there was no real guarantee I'd get the full set. Fortunately, I got very very lucky:

For those curious about my 10th box, it was an extra "Yomako-sensei", which I may end up selling unless I can find someone to trade her with for an extra Simon, since I'd love to have him doing both poses.

I'm going to start this with manliness, and work my way through, so let's take a good look at these, because I am completely enamored with these figures. So let's kick it off with the Kaminas...

I'm not sure why Kamina wasn't just given alternate arms like Simon, or there wasn't two Simons like there are two Kaminas. They are essentially the same sculpt, just given a different left arm -- one to hold his sword, and one to point dramatically at Simon. The pointing-Kamina has no sword.

His face is a little strange to me, but I am glad for a couple more Kamina figures for my collection. I still need to go back and get the one from the first blind box set. I do love pointing-Kamina though, because they specifically advertised being able to do this:

And this is exactly how they will be posed on my shelf forever, because the reuniting of Bros in the Multiverse Labrynth was the most amazing thing ever, especially in Lagann-hen. But that's a story for another blog post. But since we're here, let's segue into looking at Simon.

It's about time we got a figure of adult Simon. I could be mistaken, but i'm fairly certain this is the first one, and I'm really not sure why. In fact I think Yoko might be the only one who had post-skip adult fugures until now. Oh wait, there was the Figumate sets. We did have some adult Simon and Nia in those. Though this is still the first Gar-Simon, if memory serves.


I totally forgot to photograph his alternate pose, but it's just him standing with both arms down. So, uh, not that exciting? But he is a good looking figure. He's got a lot of nice detail and there's some really good shine on his coat, which I like. Unfortunately, as you can see they all have little plastic things to help them stand instead of being given actual bases (except Anti-Spiral Nia, who really needed it, and Nia who didn't need it at all.) They work pretty well for msot of the figures, except Simon. His fits a little awkwardly and even with it, he has a bad habit of falling over backward. thankfully, my shelf space is a little cramped, so he can lean on Anti-Spiral Nia a bit so that he doesn't fall.

I guess I'll stick the Yokos in the middle. As you all probably know, I'm not really a fan of Yoko. I kind of wish they'd stop stickig her in every single set. There are characters much more deserving of figures than her. Like Viral, or Adiane, or Rossiu. You know, people who actually contriubuted to the plot. But fan-service is fan-service and there's not much I can do about it.

For some reason, I couldn't get a good picture of Yoko in her teacher get-up. The camera consistantly decided to focus on something other than Yoko. Not that I really blame it. This is, I think, the second Yomako we've gotten, which isn't a high number if you take a look at all of the Yoko figures available. She's pretty okay, looking. It's a nice sculpt and a nice paint, and I guess she's not looking like a total skank in comparison to some of her other figures. Funny story about this one though...

When I was setting these up, my mom was in the room helping since she finds my nerdings amusing. So I pick it up and whine a bit about how there are too many Yoko figures, and my mom leans over to take a look, pauses, and then loudly proclaims "WHORE!" I start laughing and direct her to Space-Yoko...

Mom and I had a good laugh about how Yoko's kind of a skank and about how guns should not work in space. Space-Yoko's cleavage kind of bothers me, since it seems to be pushed up kind of awkwardly, but over all, again it's a nice sculpt and a nice paint. The one problem Ir eally have with her is that her rifle doesn't like staying in palce and if you move her at all it kind of slides around everywhere. I feel like her plastic "Base" should have extended out a little to have a slot to put the end of the rifle in to in order to prevent this.

I really enjoy the Laganns in this set. I'd totally forgotten about him since when AmiAmi finally got the preordrs in stock, he wasn't on the product image. So when I found the regular Lagann in my set, I got excited. Then I came across metalic Lagann and had a fit of giggles because I had no idea this was in the set. They both look fantastic, but metalic Lagann just has this extra charm of the metalic shine that makes him seem a little more real.

Now it's time to move on to why I was really excited about this set. I've saved the best for last. It's time for Nia and Anti-Spiral Nia.

If you remember the post I made back in February, I was excited over this set because this is the first time we've gotten an Anti-Spiral Nia figure, even though we were promised a Revoltech one years ago that never happened, much to my disappointment. But now we at least have this, and my friends can stop listening to me complain about how Anti-Spiral Nia has been completely ignored.

She is absolutely gorgeous. She has all of her markings, and is positioned to "float" just as she always did in the series. (Because gravity is for suckers.) The way her hair floats around her is a little unsettling for me, since it never actually separated up like that, but I can deal with it since it's painted so well and we finally have this figure at all. I also wish the pole that held her up was clear plastic like the bases instead of blue so it was a little less conspicuous. It was also kind of hard to get around her waist. But that's okay since it means it will hold her stably now that I've gotten it on her.

Regular Nia, even though she's kind of naked, is also fantastic.

This is probably the only really "adult" figure I have, due to Nia being naked. But even so, she's covering herself pretty well. I don't think my mom (who is the one who attached Nia's hair for me since I couldn't get it) even noticed she was naked. Or if she did, she at least didn't comment on it at all. Though given her reaction to Yoko, she probably would have. None the less, she's painted wonderfully, and it's nice to have something a little Simon/Nia related, even if it is pretty blatant fan service.

So I am really pleased with how these figures turned out and I'm glad to finally have them on my shelf to enjoy up close, instead of staring at pictures on the internet and waiting for them to arrive. If you're a TTGL fan and like collecting figures, I'd definitely recommend this set. AmiAmi has plenty in stock right now. Though if you get registered SAL shipping, your total is going to come out to around $75. Just thought I'd give you fair warning.

But guys, it's totally worth it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

This post is about 75% inappropriate. But that's never stopped me before.

So, the BP Oil Spill has been going on for over a month now. It's one of the most terrible natural disasters of all time. It's something that's going to take years, if not decades, to set right.

BP has been downplaying the incident as much as possible, trying to make themselves look good and keep their cash-flow going. They've made plenty of idiotic statements on the subject and enacted measures that haven't done a thing. Worst of all, they refused to take responsibility for the problem.

But this all could have been prevented by a single action two years ago.

If only we had elected this man president, the whole disaster int he Gulf Coast could have been avoided.

After all, who knows drills better than him? He wouldn't allow for unsafe drilling practices, and he'd probably head up all drilling endeavors himself. I headed up his campaign back in 2008, using drilling as his platform. Unfortunately, he didn't make it into the White House.

And look what came from it.

If he was in office, it's entirely likely this wouldn't have happened. But if it had, he would have solved it by now by doing the following to the oil spill:

And then after that he'd probably do it to the BP executives. And manliness would solve everything, as it rightly should.

But sadly, this is impossible since he has no legislative power. But that doesn't mean manly spirit won't be effective. But since Simon isn't around to lead us, we have to right this on our own.

There's some great do's and don'ts as to how you can help. If you look around there are plenty of places to donate in order to help out. The National Wildlife Federation is helping affected wildlife, and the Environmental Defense Fund also needs help. Or you could buy a "BP Cares" t-shirt to give a helping hand to the Gulf Restoration Network.

And if you can't afford to donate (because, let's face it, some of us are pretty broke) there are plenty of protests to get involved with to show that you want this fixed and for BP to take responsibility.

So make up for not electing the one man who could have prevented this, and help get the problem solved.

My new hobby is stepping on girls' cell phones.

"Durarara!!" was a series that I had pretty much no interest in until about a week ago. One of my friends came back from college and she, Mclovin, Suri, and I decided to go hang out. We hit a few bookstores and comic shops before grabbing some food and heading back to her place. And then she and McLovin started talking about "Durarara!!" and decided we should watch some of it when we got back.

Now, my friends know me. Explaining the plot of a series is not a good way to get me interested in something. In fact, it often makes me care less. That's what happened with Haruhi and Soul Eater. They have learned the trick of picking one or two things about the series that might interest me, and telling me about those. And as far as this went, theypicked the two best examples they could -- a headless woman on a motorcycle and a guy in a bartender's uniform.

And let me tell you, Celty and Shizuo quickly became two of my favorite characters in this series.

But to be honest, and this rarely happens, I am in love with every single member of this cast without exception. (Some much more than others. Celty and shinra are my favorites. But we all know I'm a total sap.) All of the characters are quirky and strange and really well thought out. The way one segment of plot moves into the next is great, and I love how even incidental characters always come back. Because we all know how much I love incidental characters. Other favorites are Walker and Erika, the ridiculous otaku pair (who refference other series frequently, and sometimes break the 4th wall), Simon the crazy black russian guy, and of course Izaya. Everyone loves a good villain after all.

The first arc of plot is my favorite, probably because it had a lot of Celty, but I also just absolutely adored the way it ended. I was still watching with my friends at that point and the four of us just errupted in excited noises and laughter and it was just beautiful. I was alone watching most of the second plot arc, but it was really just as awesome. I'm not quie as fond of how things are progressing right now but I'm hoping it will turn around again.

"Durarara!!" is this amazing blend of serious, dark, hilarious, and lighthearted, and it comes together in a way that I wasn't totally sure was possible. though all of us stand by the fact that this series is, essentially, "4chan: The Anime", but really that only makes it better.

It's got a 24 episode run, so we've only got a few left before it's over. I'm tempted to postpone watching 21, wait for the last few episodes, and then marathon the whole series.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Getting A Semi-Fresh Start

Well the blog's gotten itself a new name and a fresh coat of paint. I'm rather liking it as it is now, so it'll likely stick. For those curious, the pair up on the header are the gijinka Ho-Oh and Lugia that have taken over my sketchbook lately. They're pretty much the nerdy-est thing I've ever done so I figured it was appropriate.

I've written up a post on "Bakuman", and I'm going to try and get some others written up ASAP so I can get back to posting regularly here. In the mean time, I saw this (blogging related) today and thought it was cute. I've been listening to it over and over. I don't know the source song because I detest Miley Cyrus, but I like the vocalist he got to sing it and it's just a really funny, cute video.