October 15, 2016

Horror Movies from Japan - Pt. 2

Hello! I'm back this week with my thoughts on Corpse Party and As the Gods Will. First up, is Corpse Party!

It started out pretty dark as the lights were off in the haunted/abandoned school, but came back with some color. It really didn't seem so bad til I saw one of the evil beings murder someone...then I was scared and covering my eyes. Remember, I'm a scaredy cat that has to watch horror movies with the lights on. ^^;

Anyway, It was pretty close to the video game for the most part except that some characters were either replaced or missing from the script which I felt took away from the story. I also will NEVER EVER play Sachiko Ever After. Why? Because I don't want to risk being murdered by a vengeful spirit. 

One thing that I thought was weird was of the five spirits of Tenjin Elementary, one was more of a zombie than ghost. That made the movie 1000% more scary for me. ^^;

There's a post-credit scene, so watch to the end if you plan on seeing this. Japanese level of this movie is pretty advanced, so if you have been out of practice or a beginner, subtitles are your friend. 

If you love seeing guts and brains all over the place, this movie is right up your alley. You can watch the game play-through which is what I prefer over the movie.

For my second movie this week, I watched As the Gods Will, based on the manga of the same name, or Kami-sama no Iu Toori (神さまの言うとおり). 

It jumped straight into the action with the heads of high school students exploding in a "game" called Daruma ga Koronda. It seems to be played like Red Light, Green Light except if you're caught moving, off with your head. This is just the opening, too. Aside from Daruma-san, Maneki Neko and some Kokeshi show up to "play" with the students as well. 

I haven't read the manga yet, so I'm lost as to who one of the characters was. There were also quite a few flashbacks that cleared things up, but some things were still confusing. This was pretty awesome, but if I were in the same situation as the main characters, I'm sure I would have died. If you play these games without the death, they could actually be pretty fun.

The Japanese level in this movie is also advanced, so you'll need the subs if you aren't on that level. There's lots of blood and a psycho in this movie, but not as much guts as Corpse Party. I actually was able to watch this without hiding, though Daruma-san is pretty creepy.   

October 8, 2016

Horror Movies from Japan - Part 1

It's Halloween season, so that means horror movies! Or, in this case, Japanese horror movies! This week, I watched Keitai Kareshi and POV: A Cursed Film. 

Keitai Kareshi (Mobile Boyfriend) is about an app where girls can make their ideal boyfriend and exchange texts with him. The game is over when you reach 0% or 100% on the Love Meter. Doesn't sound so bad, right? What makes it scary is that if it's game over, the player dies. 

You can have your boyfriend taken by other girls if your love meter is too low which is pretty awesome as that could save your life.  

Another thing that makes it scary is the faces of the boyfriends. The're so creepy, I was pretty close to giving up on watching this. Trust me, they're more creepy than the opening music.  

Level of Japanese in this movie is beginner-intermediate, so it's easy to understand without the subtitles. If you want to see blood, there's not much of that in this movie. It may also put people off otome games or cause people to play them more depending on the person. CG in this is pretty bad, so some parts are more funny than scary. I'd say more, but I don't want to give away any of the good parts. ^x^

The second movie is called POV: A Cursed Film which is a bit like home video footage that's being recorded by the crew of the web show that the main characters are on. 

One of the girls is being haunted by the spirits of her old junior high, so they go there to try to get rid of them with the help of a psychic. Things are pretty much normal until dark when crazy things start to happen. If ghost hunting is your thing, I'd say give this movie a shot.

There's disclaimers at the beginning to scare viewers, but that's how most movies like this start out. Again, no blood in this movie. Subtitles are necessary, though they're not very good...the person who added them thought they would use numbers to replace letters and question marks, sometimes making the subs more scary than the ghosts.

Anyway, if you like these types of movies, it's pretty good. It does start out slow at first, but got chills later in the story. I think it would be scary to watch it in the dark, which is NOT what I did. Sorry, I'm a scaredy-cat. ^^;;

October 5, 2016

Thought Experiment: Tensai Shoujo Hero

That's right, it's "Tensai Shoujo Hero"!

In romanization that is, "Terrible-Strength Girl Hero"

There's no such thing in anime though. As Chansu says in his One Punch Man review, we kind of root against a hero who has everything easy and shows no effort to win. Though "One Punch Man" is more of a Millenial generation Shounen Hero because he's sarcastic about all of the enemies he beats by using no emotional attachment to them. The whole anime game is changing so...

There are already some old anime like Blood+, Birdy, Haruhi, FLCL, Evangelion, Gundam, and maybe Gintama where there are strong and terrifying female characters that kick ass and pose formidable threats to the main characters, if they are not already. That's how formidable they are in the anime world that there are so few of them starring in their own anime and in the ones that they only co-star they always manage to hurt the main character. If they didn't cartoonize those blows, the main character guy would usually sure die, such as Gintama or FLCL where Ginoki takes ninja knives to the head and FLCL where the boy takes guitars to the face so that he can finally transform again.

It's not a new thing out there. Maybe it causes guys and guy otaku some anxiety to want more anime like it but it shouldn't because they're anime and the real world is much different. It would cause thousands of tons of anxiety for a real life human man to undergo such anxiety! (LOL) So it's best that these kinds of themes are seen more in anime than in real life, right?

That's no cause for otaku to fear. We're already pretty nerdy people who deal with daily hassles already. For those of us who like shounen anime, we maybe already love the "Tensai Shoujo Hero"!

September 9, 2016

Album Review: Fire Bird - Miyavi

Miyavi's latest album Fire Bird was released on August 31! I decided to preview it on iTunes before buying so I could pick my favorites. I don't know why I was thinking it would be like his earlier albums (Gagaku, for example), so  I was caught off-guard when I heard the track samples. I didn't know what to think at first, so I waited a few days before listening again. I saw YouTube had the album posted by Universal Music, so I decided to listen to it that way so I could hear the full songs. It's still weird to hear this style from Miyavi, but I kinda like it. I didn't feel that his vocals were as strong as previous albums which is why I wasn't sure how I felt at first and why this isn't my favorite album by him, but I'm sure it will grow on me. 

I think my favorite track is "Afraid to Be Cool" though "She Don't Know How To Dance" is also a good one. :)

I plan on getting my favorite songs first and get the full album at a later time so I can get the track "Epic Swing" on iTunes. Curious about the full track list for Fire Bird? Here it is!

1: Another World
2: Fire Bird
3: Dim It (feat. Rosie Bones)
4: Raise Me Up
5: You Know It's Love
6: Afraid To Be Cool
7: She don't Know How To Dance
8: Steal the Sun
9: Long Nights
10: Hallelujah
11: Epic Swing

August 21, 2016

Anticipated New Anime Corner! "March Comes In Like a Lion"!

What are your top 20 favorite anime?! Would Eden of the East (Higashi no Eden) or Honey and Clover (Hachimitsu to Clover) be in that list? If so, you will be excited to her about this anticipated new anime by the mangaka of the above shows - March Comes in Like a Lion (Sangatsu no Lion)!

3-gatsu no Lion

Synopsis from TV Tropes :
Rei Kiriyama is a 17-year-old boy who recently started living alone, financed by his salary as a professional Shogi player. Despite his independence, however, he's yet to mature emotionally, and his problems continue to haunt him in his daily life. His relationship with his adoptive family is strained, and he has difficulties interacting with his fellow high school students. Meanwhile, his professional career has entered a slump. Burdened with the heavy expectations placed on him as the fifth to become pro in middle school, his wins and losses are fluctuating as his record and progression into the ranks begin to stagnate.
Acquainted with Rei are the three Kawamoto sisters: Akari, Hinata, and Momo. Unlike Rei, they live happily in their modest home, which they warmly welcome Rei into as if he were one of their own. Despite his reservations about becoming too close to the family, he frequently visits, interacting with them and receiving the kind of care and affection he never quite had while under his foster home.
This is the story of Rei's triumphs and failures, relationships new and old, and his growth as a person.

I don't know about you but I am very excited for this opportunity to see another Umino Chika masterpiece to be animated! The characters seem as charming and relateable as the ones in Honey and Clover. It may not be action-oriented like Eden of the East, but you are sure to have major feels while relating to Rei and his coming-of-age story!

Look forward to this gem coming Fall 2016 season! WKTK!


August 20, 2016

Top 3 Anticipated (AND CONFIRMED) Sequels of All Time!

Welcome back, fellow Otaku! Have you ever finished a series, with a non-canon ending that diverges from the manga, or ending on the 20th chapter of what will seem to be 100s of volumes, and felt the sheer sadness of losing your weekly source of enjoyment? We feel your pain, so we grabbed the top 3 most anticipated sequels of all time to satiate your hunger pangs for anime goodness! Let's look toward the future, together!

Without further ado, here they are!

1. Blue Exorcist (SEASON TWO!)
Release Date: Estimated Summer 2017

The new Blue Exorcist (Ao no Exorcist)sequel (Kyoto Impure King Arc) will focus on the two brothers Rin and Yukio Okamura as they battles the spawn of Gehenna and Satan himself to keep the human world (Assiah) safe. Their goal this time? To keep the Impure King from being revived!

I am not the only one who is glad that Blue Exorcist is getting back to the manga plot. With the success of the story line, driven by shounen action and family bonds similar to Full Metal Alchemist, it is a no-brainer to bring the exorcist crew back to our TVs. Expect to see this demon-slaying series back sometime in 2017~!

2. My Hero Academia (SEASON TWO!)
Release Date: TBD

Who has not fallen in love with My Hero Academia (Boku no Hero Academia) earlier this year? If not, then you've missed the story of Izuku Midoriya and his foray into the world of Heores! He lives in a world where a large percent of the population is born with a "Quirk" which is basically a super power that evolves as kids age. Poor Izuku, who wished to be a hero more than anyone else, was not born with a "Quirk" and was devastated, until he was given a chance to reach Heroic levels and impress the greatest hero of all time, "All Might"

Season two was confirmed shortly after the series ended, and was met with overwhelming joy by fans of the series! While there is no news of the actual release date or season, we should keep our fingers crossed that it will be back sometime in 2017! PLUS ULTRA!

3. Attack on Titan (SEASON TWO!)
Release Date: Spring 2017

Sie sind das Essen und wir sind die Jäger!

Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) has taken the world by storm as a household name among anime fans, and even those who would normally watch anime have gotten a glimpse of the show. Everyone knows the premise - a world where freakish-looking giants who feed on human flesh have driven humanity  to hide behind giant walls for safety (*Trump approved!*). Eren Jaeger, a teen and resident of this world, has sworn to kill every last titan on earth to avenge his losses. But things soon get complicated as Eren himself is wrapped up in a plot much large than most titans...

Without spoiling much for those who have somehow survived this long without watching the show, Season 2 will kick off where they last left off, jumping into the voluminous manga chapters that have been coming nonstop since the anime finished back in 2013. Will humans finally gain salvation over their situation, or will the largest threat of the Colossal Titan bring us to our demise?! We can only find out in Spring 2017! (or reading the manga)


August 16, 2016

Anime Recommendations of Summer 2016!

Welcome to my Top 5 Recommended anime for Summer 2016! Hot days, long summers, and soul searching aside, I've based these 5 shows on the following criteria:
  • Character development and depth - Does this show give me the heebie jeebies at the sight of the protagonist's situations? Do characters outside of the protagonist develop and grow to contribute to a fantastic story?
  • Summer feeling - Not just warm weather, palm trees, and beach episodes, but also energetic characters, hype factor, and of course slice-of-life style relevance to the viewer's life come into play!
  • General enjoyability - Is "enjoyability" even a word? Regardless, we all watch anime to get different things out of it. Some watch for shounen excitement, others for moe anime girls. What makes a show enjoyable? Keep reading and find out!

Without further ado, here we go!

WARNING - Spoilers abound! I attempt to give you enough synopsis to understand the rating, but sometimes that means giving a little plot away. I would recommend reading if you have seen a PV and know the general synopsis of the show already!

1. RE:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
MAL Score 8.76

RE:Zero follows protagonist Natsuki Subaru on a "journey" in a fantasy world... sounds familiar, right? Is that not 50% of every new anime to come out in the past few years?! Well, it is different this time as our protagonist has literal plot armor. He cannot die, more accurately he has a curse he calls "Return By Death" which allows him to restart after death, at arbitrary save points in time along his journey.

You would think this would lead to hilarious restarts and comical interludes. But that is further from the truth than you'd expect. RE:Zero has viewers on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens to Subaru next, how he will attempt to right the wrongs of each iteration of himself, and see the growth of all characters involved in the process. While this show is an ongoing series and only technically counts for Summer 2016, it is a must-watch for anime fans, will likely become as popular as household names like Suzumiya Haruhi, and has as much character development, heart-stopping moments, and endearing characters as any of the top anime out there.

Character Development: 5/5
Summer Feeling: 3/5
General Enjoyability: 5/5

MAL Score 7.28

Diving, diving, diving! And you thought Free! was the best swimming anime out there. Amanchu! is really an experience. If you don't get a "It's Summer!" feeling out of this show, I don't know what is wrong with you. 

Pikari, the show's resident optimist and driving force (or rather, "diving force") brings her classmate Futaba into the world of diving and with it comes a slice-of-life show lauded as one of the many showcased "golden age of slice-of-life" shows of the past few years! If you plan on watching it, please don't expect psychological depth, but its definitely worth a watch in the summer!

Character Development: 3/5
Summer Feeling: 6/5 !!
General Enjoyability: 4/5

MAL Score 8.56

You can get whatever you want from whomever you'd like to get it from. Right now. At least that's how things work at Totsuki Academy, the most elite cooking school in Japan, and possibly the world. And the means of getting what you want is through "Shokugeki" or a "Food War" as the dubs call it. Whoever wins an Iron Chef style competition can claim whatever they'd like from the loser. 

This is the world that our skilled Shounen protagonist Yukihira Soma lives in. Season 2 ramps things up in the Autumn Elections, and the episodes are fast-paced and rewarding. There isn't much of a summer feeling or even any character development here (what do you expect from a cooking shounen series) but the payoff per episode is definitely top tier!

Character Development: 2/5
Summer Feeling: 3/5
General Enjoyability: 5/5

MAL Score 7.46

Ever wanted to be a game designer?! Work at the game company of your dreams to help bring the sequel to your childhood game to life?! Well, that is the premise of New Game! - you get a peek into the life of Suzukaze Aoba in her 18th year of life, as a character designer for her favorite Game company, "Eagle Jump". This slice-of-life show has hints of "Working!!" and "K-On!" everywhere. This is a sure-to-please show for those who like to make, play, and watch cute girls make games!!

Character Development: 3/5
Summer Feeling: 3/5
General Enjoyability: 5/5

5. Orange
MAL Score 8.05

Have you ever written a letter to your past self? How about a diary? If you have, I bet 80% of those who have wrote about their love life. But how would you react if the letter told you that you will fall in love and lose that love in 10 years time? That would be the conflicting situation that Naho is in.

This romance / drama / shoujo anime speaks to our nostalgia for high school romance and has hints of supernatural in the form of Naho's future diary entries. While each episode is well directed, the going can get pretty slow so the enjoyability factor is low. Otherwise, I highly recommend this for fans of the genre!

Character Development:5/5
Summer Feeling: 4/5
General Enjoyability: 3/5


Welcome to
The Otaku Reviewers

This blog, "The Otaku Reviewers", was started in February of 2010 on this very same platform, Blogger. At first, it was a venture into the informational and informal world of comics, anime, video games, and Japanese culture. In other words, just a random blog.

Over time, the founder of the blog credited with the pseudonym "RPGhero" was joined by two fellow bloggers and friends with the names "Chansu" and "Deretsun". Together the three bloggers looked up interesting Japanese culture facts, recommended new anime, talked about their own "otaku" interests, and traveled across the United States to various anime conventions.

There have been off periods when the blog ceased production of content and there have been times when there would be dozens of blog posts per week. The schedule varies depending on the lives of the people behind the alias'. However the pattern is that we always get back into the game with even newer information about Japanese culture, anime, video games, and other nerdy hobbies.

The motto of our blog is:
"A cure for your apathy and an inspiration for your dreams. ...Applies to Otaku, anime fans, J-pop junkies, and the like"

The purpose is to blog about cool stuff related solely to anime and otaku stuff. There's no other reason we're doing this.

If you like our blog, please support us in however small a way that you would like. We appreciate our readers!

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