Friday, October 10, 2014

:anime: HardDoor's Seasonal Anime Preview 2014-15 Special:: noitaminA (Autumn, Winter)


The autumn season is upon us and so is the second leg of noitaminA's 10th anniversary celebration! For the fall season, the much-pushed and -anticipated Your lie in April (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso) and PSYCHO-PASS 2 will debut, with the former stretching into the winter season and Saenai heroine no sodate-kata. taking latter's slot then. With the number of returning favorites both on- and behind-the-screen, in addition to the amount of heavy-hitting new contributors and elevated profiles of these other anniversary projects to come, perhaps the best fit theme here would be "great expectations"…

Let's not waste any more time, here's noitaminA's upcoming slate for the autumn and winter 2014-15 seasons!!

(…But before we make haste,here's a friendly remember that all noitaminA series debuting throughout the duration of the block's anniversary will automatically be the "Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick" for their respective months (given that it a distro is available)!!)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

:anime: Free/Low Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: NANA


NANA

Official Sites: Japanese, English
Additional Links: NANA Franchise Official Site, ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video [Free {Streaming}]: Neon Alley, Hulu
Video [Pay {Download-to-Own}]: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Xbox Video

A funny thing happened on the way to coming up with September's (belatedly-posted) Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick. First, the original intended pick, Char's Counterattack--I discovered--was set to expire by the end of the month, not leaving a whole lot of time for anyone to really watch it. Then I turned to a few alternative picks I had in mind, only to find that I would rather save those particular ones for later time. With personal matters to attend to on top of that, I was in something of an extended bind.

In the midst of this, however, something dawned on me: "Have I ever showcased NANA?" Sure enough, nearly five years after doing these, I never, ever have. Well, that changes here, as one of the finest anime ever made is September's (retroactive) selection!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

:boxing: Quick Pick:: Mayweather vs Maidana II

Last time we were here for Mayweather-Maidana, I picked Floyd Mayweather, Jr. to win, not so much because his skill set or him being a better fighter, but because Marcos Maidana posed more questions than definitive answers as to whether he could truly upend the fighter with his own formidable toolset and skills. Their fateful May 3rd encounter developed those answers as the Argentine gave the American all he could handle with a smothering assault and making him fight less characteristically.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: God Mars


God Mars

Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Enrty
Video [Free]: Hulu


For July's Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick, I have decided to go a more obscure and old-school route, and at the end of that road is…God Mars!

Even as a huge, long-time mecha fan, I had never heard of "God Mars", much less knew that TMS Entertainment (Rose of Versailles, Lupin III, Akira, Itazura na Kiss, Yowamushi Pedal (Yowapedal)) ever made a mecha show (though I always wondered…). The 64-episode series centers on a young man named Takeru Myojin, whose strange dreams and hallucinations give way to the revelation that he is the son of a malicious emperor from another planet, sent as an infant (along with a giant robot) to destroy the planet Earth, whose expansion into space he saw as a threat.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

:boxing: Boxing Bits ::08.21.14:: Brook Shocks Porter, Big Knockout Boxing Debuts

In a battle of contrasting youths, an unknown beats a growing name, and a new boxing promotion tries to shake things up all in one night in this installment of "Boxing Bits"…

:Sat.08.16.14:

Kell Brook MD Shawn Porter

Prior to Saturday night, IBF Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter was one of the hottest up-and-coming commodities in boxing. His power, speed, and take-no-prisoners tenacity made him one of the more enjoyable combatants to watch, and his recent demolition of Paulie Malignaggi was sight, if not a very concerning one, to behold. His Aug. 16th bout against little-known English contender Kell Brook was seemingly another rung to climb over on his way to the top of the ladder.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

:boxing: Boxing Bits ::08.13.14:: Golovkin, Garcia Dominate, Rios-Chaves Unresolved, Jennings Unimpresses

Three weeks of boxing have gone by and a few big match-ups have come and gone. Let us look back (fondly and perhaps not…) in this new installment of Boxing Bits!!

:Sat.07:26:14:

Bryant Jennings SD Mike Perez

For two top-ranked heavyweights, Jennings and Perez fought as decently as one might expect from the division this day. In the larger context of history and as potential opponents for Wladamir Klitschko, there was little to be inspired by and even less to be fearful of by the longtime kingpin. The bout primarily consisted of both men lumbering around and throwing punches. There was nothing notable or standout about the affair. Neither asserted themselves as a frontrunner. Neither created any sort of compelling case not only as contenders, but as worthwhile heavy draws.

There was little distinction between the two, beyond Jennings getting the slight better of the exchanges. He may have set himself up for a chance to contend for the heavyweight championship, but if Bryant and Mike Perez represent the future of the division--one so lackluster, yet still so sorrily tied to the public's subconscious as the marquee and measuring stick of the sport--then the future is not looking any brighter…


Thursday, July 17, 2014

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: PSYCHO-PASS: Extended Edition


PSYCHO-PASS: Extended Edition

Official Sites: Japanese, English
Additional Links: HD noitaminA Preview Entry (original series)
Video [Free]: FUNimation.com (New eps.: subscribers-only first week, everyone else one week later), Hulu (new eps. one week later)

File this under "surprise", but in my wait for Terror of Resonance to be posted onto Hulu, I happened upon the special extended edition of the PSYCHO-PASS, instead! Titled, of course, as PSYCHO-PASS: Extended Edition, this version of the hit anime series consolidates the original 22, half-hour-long episodes to 11, hour-long episodes with all-new additional footage. It focuses on the  efforts of a law-enforcement group that uses weapons capable of ascertaining a person's true nature and the troublesome relationship between "Inspectors" and their "Enforcer" partners--individuals marked as "potential criminals" by the devices.

I never heard about FUNimation intending to stream this series, nor did I bother giving it an entry in the spring/summer noitaminA preview, given its format. Despite all of this, I am adding this to this month's already-hefty list of Free/Low-Cost Anime Picks because of noitaminA's 10th anniversary and each of the block's anime automatically counting as Picks when they debut for the year. Not to mention, a lot of people like the series, as well, so here is something for them to look forward to. New episodes of the series are available first at FUNimation.com (under the "Special [#]" subheaders) and a week later at Hulu, in Japanese with English subtitles.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

:boxing: Quick Pick:: Canelo vs Lara

When viewing Canelo-Lara at first blush, it is not quite as easy to automatically pick a clear winner. When delving more into the figures and data, it is not any clearer. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez has the dogged tenacity, that explosive, ever-pressuring fight style, the speed, and power, but Erislandy Lara is far better skilled and the technician, more experienced and poised, and--while not up to Canelo's level--possesses a good amount of speed and pop. Many of those traits could give one man that vital edge over the other, but a few oddities are also present.

Friday, July 11, 2014

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month Friendly Reminder:: Terror in Resonance

While both Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal have been selected as July's "Free/Low-Cost Anime Picks", Shinichiro Watanabe's Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror) was actually already slated-in as this month's Pick, as well! As part of HD's commemoration of noitaminA's 10th anniversary, all TV anime from the block will become their respective month's Pick(s) when they debut during the year. And so, the terrorism anime is technically the first Pick of the month, despite being the third mentioned and debuting after SMC did…

…But I digress. You can read the show preview here and check out the series at FUNimation.com, which debuted just yesterday, but is currently available to the site's subscribers only. As is typical with other FUNi simulcasts, it is likely to appear on Hulu and possibly YouTube, at no cost, next week. And lastly, it is in Japanese with English subtitles.


[UPDATE (07.17.14)]: Now updated with Hulu link.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal


Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal

Official Sites: Japanese, English, Viz Media
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video (Free {Streaming}): Hulu, Crunchyroll, Niconico (Free first two weeks per new episode, Pay afterwards), Neon Alley

…Since Sailor Moon is being selected as a Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick, why not choose the all-new adapatation, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, too?!