Thursday, April 17, 2014

:anime: HardDoor's Seasonal Anime Preview 2014 Special:: noitaminA (Spring, Summer)

Nine years and three days ago, on April 14, 2005, Fuji TV launched their "noitaminA" anime block with the series, Honey & Clover. With the aim of breaking the trend of and expanding the demographic of anime programing beyond young and teen boys, noitaminA would become the birthplace of antithetical works of the likes of Paradise Kiss, Hataraki Man, and Ayakashi/Mononoke.

The great success of the Nodame Cantabile franchise (still its biggest to date), Moyashimon, Library War, and Eden of the East, as well as the notoriety of the block's quality and content helped fuel noitaminA's expansion to a one-hour format for its fifth anniversary. Since then, it has experienced its share of sleepers (Shiki, Black Rock Shooter (TV)), diamonds-in-the-rough (read: critically-praised, but poor-selling) (Hourou Musoko/Wandering Son, Princess Jellyfish/Kuragehime), high-profile flops (Fractale, GUILTY CROWN (sold decently, but not up the lofty expectations of its hype or as well-received), Samurai Flamenco), big hits (AnoHana, Bunny/Usagi Drop, PSYCHO-PASS), and even a live-action series (an second adaptation of the Moyashimon manga).

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Mystery Meat AniMe

*Hey, look! It's a Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick not at the end of a month!*

I have highlighted many anime for each month since Oct. 2009 and normally, I would list the anime's name in the title. But for craps-and-giggles' sake, I want to change the pace a little, so let's play that little game where you reach your hand in the bag and guess what the object is!!

The rules are simple: I'll give you a very vague description of the anime and the website(s) where it is listed at. The URL is simple enough that all you need to do is enter the anime's title (if you can guess it correctly…) at the end of the site's address (if you can guess that, too) to get to it (i.e. "", and make sure to use hyphens where/if there are spaces). And to be an extra pain-in-the-butt and even more in spirit of the game, everything is in "invisible text", so you'll have to highlight the text in order to see it. :D So, without further ado, click below and have some fun!

Monday, March 31, 2014

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Official Site: Japanese
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video: Hulu

With noitaminA celebrating their 10th anniversary, along with HardDoor's coverage of the block since 2011, I thought it was only natural to help commemorate the milestone by showcasing a 2009 title of theirs that has not only until last year been released in North America (nearly a year to the day, actually (Apr. 2, 2013)), but also has an uncanny hue to it due to events that would occur not long after. That series is Tokyo Magnitude 8.0.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

:anime: Anime Kibbles 'n' Bits ::03.29.14:: noitaminA 10th Anniversary, Gundam 35th Anniversary, and Macross 32nd Anniversary(?)!!

*rubs hands together* Lots of great anime goodness ahead, so put on a party hat and let's jump right in!


noitaminA Celebrates The Big 1-0!!

2015 marks the 10th anniversary of Fuji TV's lauded noitaminA block, and on Mar. 21st, the producers announced the slate of new works not just for summer, but for the whole year leading into it. Along with the previously-announced spring titles and the PSYCHO-PASS sequel, the list includes a mix of returning favorites, big names and studios, and big surprises…:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics Blog - The Final, Final Stretch!!

Alright, everyone, let us visit Sochi one last time for some Para-/Olympic goodness!!

Days 8-9--No Adjustment Required

--So this version of snowboard cross, in video game terms, is more like a speed or time trial than the outright race. All things considered, I guess that is reasonable. I imagine that in the next few years, you'll see something resembling the usual craziness…

--The current state of the sport reminds me of a lot of the Paralympic sports in earlier times. It's a little rough around the edges and touch-and-go, a handful of riders are clearly better than the rest of the field, and maybe it is not as exciting as the others, but give it some time to maturate and grow…

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics Blog - Days 2-7 (Or Days 2-7)

I can't think of better way to commemorate the 400th post of HardDoor than with a post that has absolutely nothing to do with either anime or boxing!! (Remember, this blog does have a little bit of randomness, or at, it is supposed to…)

To get serious for a moment, I cannot say I have been impressed by NBC's level of coverage for the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics. When I heard that they were going to be offering an "unprecedented" 52 hours, I balked at that and originally started about that and the lack of respect for the Paralympians in the previous entry. But, then I saw when the events were being broadcast and decided to relent before I watched how they were being offered. Six days in, and unfortunately, my biggest concerns still came true.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter (Para-)Olympics Blog - From One Beginning and End to Another Beginning and End

My, what a difference three weeks make…

With the Olympics, politics are not supposed to be front and center, but sports and the idealism of peace, unity, and cooperation are. For all of the security, political, social, and domestic concerns, for two and a half weeks, all was right in the little globe of a world. Athletes from many different nations and cultural backgrounds competed against and intermingled with one another with nary an issue or grand controversy, with everyone appearing to have enjoyed themselves. IOC president Thomas Bach has emphasised that the Olympics showed that, indeed, peace is a tangible thing and the Games are a prime example that that can very much be grasped.

But then, reality came knocking on the door.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Blog - The Final Stretch!!

**cue mad sprint for the finish line**

Day 16…15…No matter, it's the third-to-last day…

--The Canadian men's curling team play, scream, and work like you'd think they would with their physique. They throw rocks mega-hard, sweep the ice so hard, you'd think it would melt to the bottom, and yell hard enough to make drill sergeants blush. For their effort, I, thus, dub thee, "The Curling Curlers" (or "The Curling Canadian Curlers", for you nationalistic folk).

--Is there some kind of curling division in the Canadian Army?

Friday, February 28, 2014

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: La maison en petits cubes

La maison en petits cubes

Official Site: Japanese
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video: Crunchyroll (Subscribers only)

For a while, I had planned on spotlighting the 2009 Academy Award winner for Best Animated Short Film, La maison en petits cubes (Tsumiki no Ie), as this month's Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick, as the 2014 Academy Awards are this weekend. Unexpected, however, were the nominations of Hayao Miyazaki's final(?) film, The Wind Rises, and Shuhei Morita's Possessions for Best Animated Feature and Best Animated Short, respectively, which makes this selection all the more timely.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Blog - "On the Fifthteenth, or Fourteenth, Day of the Winter Olympics, Sochi Gave to Me…"

--Filip Flisar (Slovenia, ski cross) = epic mustache

--Didirk Bastian Juell (Norway) = epically big air

--The ladies' long program skate was no more short on surprises than the short program. Actually, it may have been even more so…to an extent.

--The night, though filled with very fine performances, was also bittersweet on some levels. The final outcome was both a surprise and not…