Akiakane Attack on Titan Drawings – Also Envy Catwalk Is An Amazing Cover…

You know when you find an artist through a really odd chain of events? That’s how I found these awesome Attack on Titan drawings by Akiakane (Twitter/Deviant Art). I was listening to random Japanese music on YouTube and building up a playlist of stuff I liked so I could listen to later, and one song stuck with me so I looked into it.

The song is Envy Catwalk which is apparently from one of the Hatsune Miku vocaloid games:

I’ve since listened to the original and I still don’t get the hype behind Vocaloids but I do like Akiakane’s version. Apparently she is an “Utaite” which is a name for people who post cover’s of songs on a particular Japanese music website, she’s apparently dubbed “The Screaming Cinderella”. I’ve since listened to a few of her songs and some are really good, some aren’t – but you win some you lose some…

Any way, if you watch the videos of her songs, you’ll notice the graphic design is stunning this is the image for the above song, it reminds me of the artwork in Persona 4:

Turns out she’s an artist and she’s done a bunch of drawings of some of the characters from Attack on Titan, I thought you might like to see them:

Update: Well this is embarrassing, the video I posted above is A: Not by Akiakane and B: A 1 hour compilation of songs…

The song above is Reol’s verson:

Akiakane’s version is this one:

If I’m being honest, I prefer the Reol version…

Update 2: Evidently I hotlinked the images rather than uploading them. I’ve now uploaded them.

 

Sword Art Online – Season 1: Anime Review

The year is 2022 and a new virtual reality MMO has just been released called Sword Art Online, Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya is an introverted teenager who uses online games as a way of escaping from the real world. Only 10,000 copies of SOA and the accompanying “NERV” gear are sold, this includes the original 1000 beta testers of which Kirito was one.

Fiction set in an MMO isn’t exactly anything new, Piers Anthony did it with Killobyte in 1993, the .hack series of manga, anime and games (Which had you playing a single player game in which you were a person playing an MMO) did it extensively too, and there is even another current series called Log Horizon which plays with similar themes (I’ve not watched it but it’s on my to do list).

What sets Sword Art Online apart is that everyone is trapped in the game, all 10,000 players can’t log out, and if they die in game they die in real life.

It’s pretty dark, and a lot of the people playing the game unsurprisingly go a little nuts at the start. Although as time goes on they settle into the fact that this virtual world is their real world for now. A core group of skilled players fight on the front line trying to clear the 100th level of “The Tower” which upon completion will release all the players from the game. Other players set up shops, or just go fishing. The show explores what it might be like to live in an entirely virtual world and it does it fairly well.

The character progression is for the most part pretty good, the main two characters, Kirito and Asuna are quite strong, Asuna is even a “Strong Independent Woman“, although at times Kirito suffers from what I call Kakoii syndrome (Kakoii means cool in Japanese) where every female character he encounters falls madly in love with him.

That covers the first part of the show… This show could have, and possibly should have, ended on episode 14.

MINOR SPOILERS FOLLOW

Everything was tied up, the will they wont they sub plot resolved, the game is completed and the players are freed, except some aren’t and Kirito has to venture into another MMO called ALfheim Online to rescue Asuna from a rather convoluted conspiracy.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about what actually happens because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who plans on watching it, but the show goes from being dark to being creepy. And Asuna who was a strong female lead turns into a plot device and a bit of a wet blanket. That to be honest is the saddest thing about the 2nd season, Asuna goes from being a really good and empowered female character to the stereotypical “Princess in the Castle”.

Also while the first half of the season had the odd gratuitous tits/ass shot, the second half is rife with fan service the low point of which is a shower scene with convenient obscuring steam which is just unnecessary (The shower scene is unnecessary not the steam, the steam is very necessary) especially when you consider the character and their age, I know Japan seems to be desensitized to this kind of thing but there is a line…

The second half of the season is watchable,  but it’s like watching another lower quality anime from the first half, arguably I’d probably enjoy playing the ALfheim Online more thatn Sword Art Online, because it’s more detailed and you can fly! but that wasn’t what this anime was about, it wasn’t about playing an MMO it was about being stuck in an MMO in which your life was on the line. I went through a brief phase of playing World of Warcraft, and I’m fairly sure I spent more time running towards my corpse as a ghost to reincarnate than I spent fighting monsters. To think that the first time I died would actually have killed me is terrifying.

All in all Sword Art Online is a pretty good anime series, the first half of the season is amazing the 2nd half is okay. There is a second season in production, and the manga apparently covers another two MMOs, I will probably watch it in the hopes that it goes back to being as good as the first half of season one, but I’m not entirely sure how they can do that.

You can watch Sword Art Online on CrunchyRoll or buy it on Amazon

Neon Genesis Evangelion Themed DSLR

Pentax parades Evangelionflavored Q10s
EVA-1 Shinji Ikari

 

It’s not often I get talk about both anime and photography, Pentax are releasing an Evangelion themed Q10 DSLR in April, sadly it’s Japan only and they are only making 1,500 of each model so the chances of getting your grubby mitts on one is fairly low. But you can dream.

It’s going to clock in at 59,800 Yen ($660 or a little over £400)  for that that you get a 12.4 megapixel, mirrorless interchangable lens camera which can also shoot video in fill HD.

It’s apparently not just going to come in the above EVA-1 colour palette but will be available in the other EVA models as well.

TYPE00: Ray
EVA-00 Rei Ayanami
TYPE02: Asuka
EVA-02 Asuka Langley

Japanese Turn UK Into Cute Anime Girl

original (3)

 

Apparently a discussion thread on a Japanese website lead to them designing an anthropomorphic version of the UK as a cute anime/manga girl. There are a bunch of other designs inspired by this on this page, I’ve collated some of my favourites including the thought process behind transforming the UK in the gallery below.

Via Kotaku

Honda’s ASIMO Has Come Along By Leaps And Bounds Can Now Do Both Among Other Things

I remember when ASIMO had trouble walking, now he can do all kinds of stuff. Its not long before he goes rogue and starts killing people.
Then our only hope will be a group of four hot women who will dress up in powered suits of armour to fight the robot menace.

Images via Fat Otaku sadly not mechanized, but it’s a step in the right direction… In case you are wondering how people make these things here is a video:

You can also look a a Flickr Gallery of the same project. I think I might watch Bubblegum Crisis tonight…

How JRPG Character Design Has Changed Over the Years

I think this probably applies to how the definition of whats cool in Anime and video games has changed over the past 15 or so years. Male lead characters these days are disheveled, broody, and effeminate exuding a why am I doing this rather than a I can do this attitude.

This from the company that wrote a character who could suplex a train!

Via Reddit

Japanese SDF Recruitment Posters

Apparently in Japan they advertise for recruits to the Special Defense Force (Japan aren’t allowed to have a military due to a clause that was added to their constitution after WWII) using manga. Look at how cute that girl is, she is missing her boyfriend who is away helping people for his country. The above image is from the 2012 campaign below are the 2011 and 2010 posters.

Via RocketNews24

 

Evangellion Clothing!

Are you fanatical about a 16 year old anime series about giant robots religion and philosophy that made absolutely no sense? Well you’ll be interested to know that you can wear your fanaticism to show the whole world how much you want to be Shinji, Asuka or Rei!  With the above cute Eva-1 Hoodie with obligitory cat ears you can even get the other Eva models too! Or you could look at some of the the other examples below. The Site is in Japanese but you can us Google translate to make sense of it.

Above Eva pilot suit dress, below Eva-1 biker Jacket.

Via Eva Store

Anime Nouveau

I stumbled onto this image by artist =saiyagina (The same person who did the image I posted earlier today about the couple on a bridge) on some random Tumblr blog which I’ve since accidentally closed the window to 🙁 This lead me to find out there is a Book collecting a bunch of anime nouveau images by other artists called Parallele unfortunately the page for it on Deviant art is in Itallian and I can’t find any more info on it… Here is a single image with some of  the images in the book (I can’t read Italian but I surmise that there are 68 full colour pages from the text): Continue reading “Anime Nouveau”