The real Triple H performing イカれちまったぜ！！ live. Someone please give Himari’s voice actress more work.
Go vote for Himari!
Wonder Festival Winter 2012 Most Wanted List
If you’re into figure collecting then chances are you spent a good chunk of this past weekend glued to your computer, checking for the latest updates from this Winter’s Wonder Festival. The semi-annual event brings together the top Japanese figure makers to show off their latest offerings, making the wallets of collectors everywhere shudder in anticipation. Now that the dust has settled a bit, I thought I’d share some of my favorites.
Best In Show (in no particular order)
While it seems like these have been around FOREVER at least it’s good to see they’re still in the works. What’s not so good is the potential price for these relatively small, poseable figures. Still, it’s two iconic characters (three if you count both Cantis) that I’d love to add to my collection, we’ll have to see how they turn out.
Luka has been teased for awhile now but finally seeing her painted… wow. Dos abs! Plus it’s a nice change of pace from the sea of Miku figures, including Miku’s own Tony Taka version.
I personally thought GSC’s Madoka line was a little dull but this might make up for it. Even without paint this figure looks stunning. Keep your eyes open for pre-orders, I’m sure this is going to be a super popular Figure of the Year contender.
My love/hate relationship with the Guilty Crown anime may still stand, but there’s no question this figure of Inori is gorgeous. I especially love that they used her look from the original Redjuice illustrations, it gives it a much more unique feel compared to your usual anime figures.
This is one ambitious looking figure. I am no fan of Infinite Stratos but I do love the character designs and wouldn’t be opposed to getting a nice figure from the series. I shudder to think how much this one is going to cost so I don’t plan on ordering, but it sure is pretty to look at.
Things I Can Actually Afford and Might Buy
Nodoka may not be the most exciting of the K-ON! girls but she’s always been my favorite character design from the series. If she ends up priced around the Alter Ui release I just might pick her up.
This figure leaves me with an intriguing dilemma - I already have the figma preordered, but now I’m wondering if I should save my money and go for the full scale figure. I’m sure it will look fantastic once it’s painted, the big issue will be the price. Also, the figma includes all three penguins, so that’s tough to ignore.
We may be on the brink of Persona overload but I don’t mind a little more if it means we’re getting figmas and nendoroids. So far only Yukiko and Chie have been announced, but I suspect we’ll be seeing more of the cast soon. I’m inclined to pick up the figmas over the nendos in this case, we’ll see how it goes.
GSC really stepped up their game this WonderFest, covering practically every anime this season and then some. I’m loving Marika from Bodacious Space Pirates but the real story for me is Nichijou nendos. Seriously, out of all the beautiful figures I’ve mentioned that is the single thing I’ve been wanting most since the show aired. Guaranteed buy on my part.
Quite a few Haganai figures have been trickling in, and understandably so with such great character designs. GSC has their own standard Yozora on the way but personally I like this one more. I’ve stated several times I love girls with short haircuts, add in a potentially reasonable price and I just may have to pick this one up.
Well that’s what I’m looking at for the upcoming year or so in figures. Can’t wait to see what they’ll have ready for us at Summer WonderFest, but in the meantime anything catch your attention? Anything stand out that I missed? Let’s hear it.
So for those who might not know, the songs performed by Triple H in Penguindrum (“Rock Over Japan”, the EDs in the second half) are actually covers. But rather than choose to update tunes from a similar-themed pop group, the original songs actually come from an old Japanese rock band called A.R.B. It’s the kind of music I’d imagine Ikuhara would be into, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised to find out they’re pretty cool. This particular video for “Tomashii Kogashite” is my personal favorite and ends up being covered as the eighth ED for the series. The quality is terrible but hey, punk rock!
I found some awesome Penguindrum art and put together some desktop-size images for everyone’s wallpapering pleasure. Pick your favorite, or put them on rotate like I’m doing.
Impressed!! Mawaru Penguindrum 24 FINAL
Let’s Share the Fruit of Fate.
In the year or so I’ve been attempting to write about anime, I don’t think anything has prepared me to write about the Penguindrum finale. Filled with conceptual imagery and surprisingly huge amounts of raw emotion, I feel like I’m dealing with art on a higher level than I’ve ever attempted to tackle in words. It’s true that’s how the show has always been from the start, but having it drip fed to you for six months then poured out all over you in 25 minutes is a tough experience to describe. The final third of the episode in particular (from the moment Ringo steps onto the train) is an emotional audio/visual tour de force and a fitting conclusion to a fantastic series.
Of course the criticism that will always hang over any artistically challenging series like Penguindrum is that a lot of details are left unexplained. I could easily come up with a lengthy list of questions that never quite get answered. I could probably spend hours and hours poring over every line of dialogue and every unexplained image trying to figure out exactly what happened. But is any of that necessary? Debating whether or not the imagery in Penguindrum is meant to be dissected literally is missing the point; the important thing is it makes you feel exactly the way that Ikuhara wants you to. Unfortunately that means many people will go on to misinterpret Penguindrum’s methods as nonsense, but I never felt there was a moment that didn’t make sense from an emotional standpoint.
I feel like I could ramble on and on about Penguindrum and I may write more about it in the future. There’s certainly a lot left to be said about the themes of love, family and fate. But for now all I can do is highly recommend watching and judging for yourself. Just make sure you keep your mind open, don’t ask too many questions, and let it take you where it wants to take you. If you buy into their style of storytelling you’ll find yourself enjoying one of the best anime of the past few years.
Impressed!! Mawaru Penguindrum 23
The New Breed of Sibling Rivalry.
With Penguindrum unraveling all kinds of mysteries and speeding towards the conclusion, I don’t have too much to say about this episode other than 1. the opening scene with Sanetoshi and Momoka was a great reveal and 2. go watch it! I will mention I went back and watched the first two episodes to get a little perspective on how far we’ve come along. It’s pretty incredible how much tension exists between Kanba and Sho right from the opening scene. On first viewing it just seems like two brothers giving each other a hard time, but knowing what we know now, wow, completely different experience.
Needless to say, I’m incredibly excited for the finale. So I’ve put together my final set of predictions, a list of things we could see in the last episode and their odds of actually happening. Place your bets!
- 1:1 The Penguindrum is an actual object
- 2:1 Kanba and Sho resolve their differences
- 5:1 the Penguins finally do something useful
- 8:1 Momoka is temporarily resurrected
- 12:1 Sho and Ringo are awkwardly implied as a couple
- 15:1 Kanba dies trying to redeem himself
- 20:1 Himari rejoins Triple H
- 30:1 Ringo dies casting the Diary spell from memory
- 45:1 Yuri and/or Masako appear out of nowhere to hold off some minions
- 50:1 Himari dies for real
- 75:1 Kanba and Himari are even more awkwardly implied as a couple
- 80:1 Sho dies “paying for the family sins”
- 150:1 Sanetoshi actually succeeds, teaching us all a valuable lesson
- 800:1 Unicorns
- 1,000:1 The ending sucks