Monday, January 26, 2009


Episode six of Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou (1998-10-02 to 1999-03-26) features a very catchy song that only recently I bothered to look up information about. S.O.S. is a hit single from 1976 sung by a duo called Pink Lady. During this spectacularly simple and creative Kare Kano scene, the song starts to play and Miyazawa is aware of that. To illustrate that the music is in her head, her colors are replaced by a fast paced music sheet moving upwards. Then her face covers the entire screen and the letters "S O S" keep quickly shifting from right to left in her mouth. I absolutely love these ideas that only work in animation. When I watched it for the first time (about ten years ago), I didn't know katakana. It's written ピンク・レディー (Pinku Redi) on the text of the last image below.

What's interesting is that an animation called Alice SOS was airing in the same year (1998-04-06 to 1999-01-28). Both shows were produced by J.C. Staff and had the same person as a sound director in Alice SOS and sound producer in Kare Kano; Toru Nakano. What a surprise when not long ago I watched the opening animation of Alice SOS for the first time.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Another coworker of mine. She's probably one of the most sympathetic persons I have ever met in my life. Jyoudai-san went some time ago to Hawaii, so I thought I could draw something about it. In the beginning I thought it should be a poster with text, but changed my mind later. Normally I'd say I was just lazy, however this time the problem is that I don't handle fonts well. Whenever I worked with Daniel, he would manage the fonts and the general structure. To be honest, I think most fonts looks the same. I bet that if he wanted, Daniel could make this poster look good with text. Unfortunately he's too busy. Maybe someday he might want to use this commercially. Who knows?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Top o Nerae! (Gunbuster)

Lately I've been re-watching Japanese animations from the 80's with abundant female cast members on primary roles. Dirty Pair, Gall Force, Project A-Ko, and Gunbuster. They probably reflect who was the primary demographic target during the 80's. They also demonstrate the contrasting difference of who is today's audience.

The 1988 Top o Nerae! stands to me as one of the landmarks of what anime meant back in the day. Science fiction tales told in the most fun possible way. If you get annoyed in things like "no way a robot could do that" then you better stick to documentaries and the daily news. One of the things I love the most about the medium is how it can bend the rules and still seem... coherent. Knowing how much you can bend the rules is the true talent of a storyteller.

The design of the aliens is incredibly detailed in Top o Nerae! It must have been murderous to animate them. I wonder what was the source of inspiration for their ingenious layout.

Below are some images from episode five of Gunbuster. Really cool posters. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Uchuu Senkan Yamato (1974), and... Van Halem! I knew that Hideaki Anno, director of Gunbuster, had worked in Nausicaa as key animator because Hayao Miyazaki had seen his work in Daicon 4, but I had absolutely no idea that Noriko Hikada, voice of Noriko Takaya (main character of Gunbuster who can be seen in the images below), was the voice of Satsuki Kusakabe, the older sister in My Neighbor Totoro.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dirty Pair: Project E.D.E.N.

While searching for Kei and Yuri in the 1987 movie, Mughi has several images displayed on his screen.

Some are of Crusher Joe, a title by the same original creator, Haruka Takachino.

Sci-fi FTW.

Initial design attempts of Kei and Yuri?

I have absolutely no idea to what these images refer to. Maybe the last one could be an initial design concept of Major Tanya from "The Final Weapon: Ash" Crusher Joe OVA. The problem is that the image above looks too young when compared to Tanya as seen below.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Gall Force

Thanks to Gerald from the Anime World Order podcast for reviewing this animation. I had seen one of the Gall Force flicks a long time ago, but I'm still not sure which. I recently watched Gall Force 1, 2, and 3 and just wanted to create a post to upload the picture below, taken from Gall Force 2: Destruction, which I couldn't find online. It is mentioned on wikipedia along with other curious references from staff members who worked in other titles. Part of the staff who worked on the second Gall Force OVA also worked on Bubblegum Crisis. Both titles produced by AIC.

From Wikipedia:
"In Gall Force 2: Destruction there's a quick promotional shot for Bubblegum Crisis in the form of a poster on a soldier's wall, with Priss in her rock star get-up. The word 'Crisis' can be seen written in Solanoid on the poster."

Below is an image of Priss in Bubblegum Crisis (1987). I stole it from the Anime World Order's post on Bubblegum Crisis.

Of all names that worked on the two OVAs, the one that really caught my eye was the amazing key animator Shinya Ohira.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Tokimeki Tonight

An "inspired" plot I encountered in the Anime News Network encyclopedia: The main character, Ranze, is a junior high girl with troubles: her father is a vampire and her mother is a werewolf. Ranze has yet to manifest her supernatural powers, and her parents are beginning to get worried she might be normal. So begins the fantasy romantic comedy story.

Friday, January 02, 2009

World of Warcraft

For one year and a half I was a druid, a hunter, and a mage. It was a lot of fun, but on November 2007 I just had to quit. Is it addicting as everyone says it is? Yes. It is insanely fun and it is a phenomenon that is setting the standards for the future of online gaming. I'm fascinated by the whole culture that spawns around it. The comic strips and the videos are probably the best examples. The second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, has recently been released. I was mildly tempted to play it, but the reminder of why I left kept me at bay. The three main reasons for my retirement from Azeroth: the grind, the farming, and the drama. Enough is enough. WoW feels a bit like soccer to me. I enjoy watching every now and then, but play? Naaah.

WoW is probably the closest thing to drug addiction I've ever experienced. Sometimes I do reminisce about it. Forces me to keep reminding myself why I left. Watching videos of the really good players helps to keep me exiled. I was an average player. Average healer, below the average dps. Watching extremely skilled players humbles me and shows how much dedication you need to really take the most out of each class. Faxmonkey (mage), laintime (warrior), Vurtne (mage), DrakeDog (warlock), and Dysphoria (hunter) pushed the game to the limit. My all time favorite videos are The World of Roguecraft series. Set to show how one class was unequally leveled compared to the others back when the level cap was still at 60, Mute (warlock) proved without a shadow of a doubt the unfair advantage possessed by rogues.

My main character, a female tauren resto druid, seen at Outland.

This was the interface back in 2007 with a few mods I installed.

I had achieved a respectable level with my druid by being able to get the advanced travel form shortly after it was implemented in the game. Made me proud :)

My alt. A female blood elf survival (+800 agility at level 70) hunter and her trusted pet, Wolfie. I also had a mage, but I didn't level her up. Advanced gaming makes it practical to keep at least one character in a big city to do trade and bank functions for the other characters.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

Just to start the year with a drawing. Twins whom I work with. Miki and Mae are the ones who introduced me to Bump of Chicken, a standard-but-cool Japanese rock band. Both are big fans.