Wednesday, February 29, 2012

:random: And Now, For Something Totally Different…

Since its inception in 2006, I have been covering anime and boxing here at HardDoor. But, since 2009, I've been planning…something different. Aside from the previews, reviews, and analysis, I also like to do some free writing and off-kilter stuff, and I've been looking to do something experimental and out-of-the-ordinary: a little bit commentary, kind of like a blog, along the lines fiction--altogether, something meant to be a fun little diversion.

That's basically the gist behind the start of "Black Pearl Cove", the "official blog" of the Pérola Negra Pirotas (or "Black Pearl Pirates"--named after a song, not the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies). It chronicles the life and adventures of a group of space pirates flying under the "Space Communism Charter". Of course, this is all for craps-and-giggles and a quick read (and what better day to start it than on a day that can only be commemorated once every four years?), so for the most part, there won't be any in-depth articles or thoughts like here. I'll also somehow be shoehorning wrestling and political commentary (something I originally thought to do here) into it, but I'm largely taking a loose approach to everything (and the look is subject to change).

To current readers of HardDoor: don't worry, Black Pearl Cove is not a replacement of HD, certainly not the end, and nor will it be impeding on its "time share". HardDoor comes first and foremost--BPC's more of a side-project (and a breezy one at that). I won't be discussing anime or boxing there, but if you like light, comedic fiction revolving around (supposedly commie) space pirates, and (likely in-character) takes on wrestling and politics, Black Pearl Cove might be to your liking…


:anime: First Impression:: Nisemonogatari Ep. 5

<--Nisemonogatari, Ep. 4 | To Nisemonogatari, Ep. 6-->

Nisemonogatari, Ep. 5 - "Karen Bee, Part 5"
[Crunchyroll] [Crackle] [Hulu]

After the previous so-so bath episode, Nisemonogatari revved up once again as delved deeper into its storyline…

As such…

--After a lot of stalling tactics from Tsukihi, she finally tells Koyomi about what happened to Karen. She tried to confront Kaiki at his place of business to kick his butt, but the nonchalantly unrepentant con-man showed no remorse or fear of her, only offering to go away for a large sum of money. He then picked apart her sense of justice with a twisting of words and morals before ending their conversation with a "gift" in the form of a "bee". With a simple poke to the head, Karen fell to the ground in a state of catatonic shock as Kaiki left a few departing words and departed with all the money in her wallet ("payment" for their talk).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

:anime: First Impression:: Nisemonogatari Ep. 4

<--To Nisemonogatari, Ep. 3 | To Nisemonogatari, Ep. 5-->

Nisemonogatari, Ep. 4 - "Karen Bee, Part 4"
[Crunchyroll] [Crackle] [Hulu]

I think it's safe to say that after this episode, there is absolutely no chance of this show ever airing on Adult Swim, or let alone anywhere else on American television…


--Back at home, Koyomi tries, in vain, to get his sisters to spill on what has happened to Karen, but Tsubasa intervenes before he loses his cool. Back in his room, she let's him know that she has been assisting the girls in getting to the bottom on the charms. This isn't something Koyomi is too keen on and it reminds him of Meme's concern over her being too smart for her own good. Though she was unable to be around to help Karen confront the apparent source, she says that the "ill-omened" man's name was Kaiki Deshuu…

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: The Two Faces of Akitaroh Daichi

Director: Akitaroh Daichi
Official Site: Main Site
Additional Links: ANN Entry


Official Site: Japanese
Additional Links: ANN EntryMAL Entry
Video [Free]: Crunchyroll

Now and Then, Here and There

Official Site: Japanese
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Enrty
Video [Free]: YouTube, Hulu, Manga.comAnime News Network

Director Akitaroh Daichi is known by most as a purveyor of wacky, out-there comedies. Be it the crazy inner works of the animation business in Animation Runner Kuromi, the weird family dynamics of Fruits Basket, or the completely-in-another-universe stylings of Gag Manga Biyori, he is someone who seems to truly revel in the realm of absurdity and humor. And the latest series of his, Poyopoyo, is the subject of this month's "Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month". Well, co-subject,that is…

While this bizarre slice-of-life entry of a cutesy, roli-poli cat and his adopted family is certain to tickle many funny bones, especially those who count themselves among Daichi's fans, there is one title of his that is anything but humorous…

Monday, February 13, 2012

:anime: Nice Box…:: Madoka Magica LE 1 Pics!

The first volume of Puella Magi Madoka Magica comes out tomorrow in a limited edition BD/DVD combo set and regular edition DVD and BD, but with pre-orders having shipped out last week, some have been able to get there's a little soon. I was one of those people, so I decided to do something a little different and post a few pictures of the loaded set and all of the swag that came with it on HardDoor's Facebook page! In actuality, I've been planning to do something like this for a while for a major or special release, and since my new cell phone has a camera, I now had a means of doing so. The quality's not the greatest, but they're there to give you an overall gist of what everything looks like.

Overall, I really liked the set and the high-quality job Aniplex USA put into every aspect of it. Even the paper and print job is of a high quality, with the images and type coming out very clear. The discs themselves were very well done, and even featured the original Japanese menus. The Blu-ray's colors were eye-popping in their vibrancy and the shading was great as well and the DVD was impressive in its sound and visual quality, especially since I was expecting it to get piecemeal treatment (it basically mirrors the BD version). I'm glad to see the amount of effort that was placed into the release and it has me anticipating the next two boxes even more now.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Journey to the (So-Called) End of the World: From 2011 to 2012…

(NOTE: This was originally done and aimed to be posted in January, but Nisemonogatari and other circumstances have led to it being posted now. However, this turned out to be a blessing-in-disguise given the upheaval in the R1 anime industry: Bandai Ent.'s downsizing, Media Blaster's own downsizing and subsequent production issues, the potential nuclear winter that could be wrought by FUNimation and (Neo)-ADV Films lawsuit battle, and the rise of NIS America and Discotek in the wake of BEI's quasi-demise. So parts of this post had to be edited and altered a bit, but I still retained the "new year outlook" format of it and the predictions already made, In particular to the anime predictions, though I added a few more titles since January that have yet to air, I did not add any titles that are airing right now that I didn't add before, nor did I change their prediction category (see "Moretsu Space Pirates"), which would've been pretty cheap of me. ^^;; )

Thursday, February 09, 2012

:anime: Moonlightin':: @ TeddyChanTastical! - "Anime Highlight: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time"

With Valentine's Day in mind, I was recently asked to do a guest post on anime at TeddyChanTastical!, a really neat and insightful blog covering the going-on's of the Asian Pop scene. For it, I did a special review of the modern classic, The Girl Though Leapt Through Time, a fine title for both romance lovers and those new to anime (and don't worry, it's safe for guys, too). Check it and her site out at the link below!

TeddyChanTastical! - "Anime Highlight: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time"