Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Weiss Schwarz collection update 2

A very short entry. Today I received the last 3 Weiß Schwarz cards I ordered, plus the 27 that I received last week:

With this, my collection status is:

THE iDOLM@STER: Now I have all the promo cards. I'm still missing 12 SR cards.

Fate stay/night: Now I have all the promo cards besides the Chibi Rin promo card, that I have already ordered. Missing 3 triple rares and 3 SR.

Fate hollow/ataraxia: Now I have all the foil versions and all the promo cards. Completed!

Melty Blood: All the 100 from the booster and all the promo cards. Missing 3 SP and one SR.

For WS cards sales and trades, please visit this post!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

iDOLM@STER 2 clear

Just finished my first play-through of THE iDOLM@STER 2.

My unit after winning the IA Grand Prix.

The story sections are way too few. There are only 5 story related events with your group leader, only two festivals against Ryuugu Komachi team and Jupiter rival unit doesn't appear until very late in game, completely centered in Touma and forgetting the other two.

The event parts barely develops the characters. In the first game you need to do several communications to get enough memories to do the memory appeal in the auditions. This time it was completely changed; now the events raises the overall number of appeals you can do in the auditions, and those are automatically refilled. This makes the events less necessary and since the the gameplay is now focused in the auditions, the story part is now secondary and actually worse than the first game.

's story was a bit disappointing, mostly being Takane being flirted by a rich middle aged man. Her personality was changed a bit, too. She is unable to understand casual speak or foreign words, and easily gets offended due to this. I got the good ending but it wasn't as heartwarming as I expected... I hope the other girls have better stories.

Lovely swimsuit Takane.

Since until now I played the PSP version, I find the visuals incredible, and there are a pretty nice added things, like the girls able to send you pictures via the mobile phone.

Chihaya send me only 5 e-mails, and 3 of them had pictures attached (Takane send 37, and only 2 with pictures).

There's also the nice effect that now the girls wears winter and summer clothing, and changes the outfits pretty often for the events.

Takane in kimono! This sure is a future DLC.

And my status post game:
I managed to get the first position in the sales chart, but my hi-score was rather low and I ended with a B rank.

Now I'll begin my second play-through with Yukiho as the leader. Her new voice by Asakura Azumi is very similar to Hase Yurina's one, and only sounds weird in certain songs, like "Kosmos, Cosmos"

And for those curious, this is my Xbox gamertag:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


After a long struggle with myself, I purchased an Xbox 360 to play THE iDOLM@STER 2. I purchased it in the release date (late February) but received it today after a really long delay in customs.

The limited version of the game comes with a numbered ID card, 4 "photos" of the idols, 2 Weiss Schwarz cards and the download code for the song "Little Match Girl".

The Xbox bundle extra is a little box with a 8 GB USB memory with all the iM@S2 promo videos and a download code for iDOLM@STER: Live For You! that seems unavailable to download outside Japan T_T

And since I bought it at AmiAmi, the shop exclusive is a playing card set:
Too bad that all the suits have the same pictures...

It also includes paper money to play the game Yayoi no u'uh! Daifugou.

I'm only in week 3, producing Takane (leader), Yukiho and Chihaya:

At last I'm playing an HD iM@S game!

Don't expect new entries for at least a week...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fate Unlimited Blade Works guidebook and pamphlet

Two more items that I received in the last loot, and both related to the Unlimited Blade Works movie:

Gekijouban Fate/stay night UNLIMITED BLADE WORKS Koushiki Guidebook, released on February by Kadokawa Shoten, is the official guidebook for the movie. The other is the theatrical pamphlet sold at theaters while the movie was airing.

The Official guidebook begins with a gallery section:

Pictures used in magazines, using the re-designs for the anime by Ishihara Megumi (Club40).

Some of them were drawn exclusively for this book, like this one by Makita Yoshinobu.

A summary of the movie.

Characters profiles.

The only setting in this book are for the background, not the characters.

There are a quite extensive part with staff interviews:

Long interview with the voice actors Suwabe Jun'ichi (Archer) and Ueda Kana (Rin)...

...Sugiyama Noriaki (Shirou) and Kawasumi Ayako (Saber)

A summary of the TV episodes.

A short list of Fate related merchandise.

And a message from TYPE-MOON with an exclusive picture by Takeuchi Takashi.

Theatrical pamphlets are always available for anime movies. Those are sold at the theaters in the first weeks of the movie airing and usually features thumbnails, summaries, character profiles, interviews and a ton of merchandise advertising . This one is not an exception, is a short 30-pages pamphlet with nothing really outstanding.

Several pages are a collage of screen shots from the movie.

Characters profiles.

It also features short interviews with Nasu, Yamaguchi Yuuji (director) and the voice actors Sugiyama, Kawasumi, Ueda and Suwabe and a small glossary of terms.

The theatrical pamphlets are not really worth the purchase, so are more a memento than anything else. The only thing that I made me purchase it is that the first print contained an exclusive Weiss Schwarz promo card, and like the Dream Symphony cd's, is easier and cheaper purchase the item than included the card than purchase the single card.

"Always graceful" Rin

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mahou Tsukai no Hako C79 set

More merchandise released at Comic Market 79, this time the Mahou Tsukai no Hako C79 set.

The set consist in an exclusive paper bag, a box (since "hako" means box, all the Mahou Tsukai no Hako sets were "boxed"), a calendar, a booklet and the main dish: a Nendoroid Puchi set.

The Nendoroid Petit versions of Hibiki, Keitan-san and Chikagi.

The small booklet. Hibiki and Chikagi are quite sexy there...

It includes an explanation of how the Nendoroids were done.

A small manga by Oomori Hayashi, that is serializing HibiChika Time.

Guest illustrations by CHAN×CO and Haizumi Natsuki (circle Chabashira Kikaku). I never mentioned before, but the blond girl that tags along with Hibiki and Chikagi from time to time is called Sunao, a classmate pretty obsessed with Chikagi.

The pictures of the calendar were originally exclusive contents made by guest artists for the Mahou Tsukai no Hako website for mobile phones. Some of the pics already appeared in the C78 set and the C77 set.

February entry by Oomori Hayashi.

May entry by Robina.

December entry by Higurashi Ryuji. His ability to mimic Takeuchi's style is still awesome.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kara no Kyoukai: Satsujin Kousatsu (Go) E-conte Shuu & Genga Shuu

After the Touhoku earthquake and tsunami I lost the will to update the blog. This entry was scheduled for the Friday 11th, but I postponed it in the last minute because I found very frivolous to speak casually about Japan subculture when a catastrophe like that shocked the country. Today I'm resuming the activity, and I'm publishing the entry as was supposed to appear.

Today is the turn of the 7th Kara No Kyoukai movie E-conte Shuu & Genga Shuu.

Kara no Kyoukai Satsujin Kousatsu (Go) E-conte Shuu is the storyboard for the movie. Since the movie is quite long, the storyboard is pretty thick, like the one for Mujun Rasen movie.

Beginning of the fight between young Shiki and Araya.

Meeting of Shiki and Kokutou at the end of the movie.

Kara no Kyoukai Satsujin Kousatsu (Go) Gengashuu, again like the gengashuu for Mujun Rasen, was also released in two volumes. Like usual, consist in a selection of key illustrations and a and a flip-book part.

Nude Shiki! Is the shower scene without the steam...

Kokutou and Touko.

The ending sequence.

Flip-book scene of angry Azaka taking off the coat.

Shiki against the hoodlums.

The "wet scene" of Lio. Without color, Shiki and Lio really seems the same person...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fate/stay night and Prisma Illya Manga

I updated my TYPE-MOON manga collection purchasing all the volumes that I was still missing at Hobby Link Japan. Sadly, only Fate/stay night and Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei! are available.

The volumes 11 to 14 of Fate/stay night by Nishiwaki Datto covers the battle against Berserker. As I said over and over, this is the TYPE-MOON manga that I dislike the most.

Shirou and the "dragon sex" scene.

Stereotypical nude encounter in the bathroom.

Fate/Kaleid Liner Prism☆Illya 2wei! by Hiroyama Hiroshi is the sequel of the previous Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya manga. It was released over a year ago and right now the volume 3 is on sale, but only the first volume is available at HLJ.

Illya and Kuro first encounter.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

iDOLM@STER Dream Symphony

I received two large shipments, too large to take a single shoot of the complete loot, so I'll review the contents right away.

Among the things that I purchased, there are the 4 singles for THE iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars NDS game, the Dream Symphony series. One is for the main theme "HELLO!", and the other 3 are focused on each idol: Mizutani Eri (Hanazawa Kana), Akizuki Ryo (Sanpei Yuuko) and Hidaka Ai (Tomatsu Haruka).

To tell the truth, I bought those only for the Weiss Schwarz promo cards, because weirdly enough it was more expensive to buy each card alone than buy the CD with the card included:

Dream Symphony 00 contains the m@ster version (i.e. extended version) of "HELLO!" sung by the trio and "Happeace", plus the karaoke versions of them. "HELLO!" is a pretty nice song and the main theme in iM@S DS. "Happeace" is good, but forgettable.

Dream Symphony 01 - Precog is Eri's single. Contains the m@ster version of "Precog", "Crossword" and the m@ster versions of "Mahou wo Kakete", "Omoide wo Arigatou" and "HELLO!" sung only by Eri, plus the karaoke version of "Precog" and "Crossword" and a drama bonus track. "Precog" was the last song in Eri scenario and is really good. In the other hand, "Crossword" is a rather mediocre song.

Dream Symphony 02 - Dazzling World is Ryo's single. Contains the m@ster version of "Dazzling World", "Himitsu no Sangoshou" and the m@ster versions of "Agent Yoru wo Yuku", "shinny smile" and "HELLO!" Ryo solo, plus the karaoke versions of "Dazzling World" and "Himitsu no Sangoshou" and a drama bonus track. Again, "Dazzling World" was the last song in Ryo's story and is also very good. "Himitsu no Sangoshou" is also good, so out of the 4 cd's this is the best.

Dream Symphony 03 - Alive is Ai's single. Contains the m@ster version of "ALIVE", "Hanamaru" and the m@ster versions of "Watashi wa Idol", "GO MY WAY!!" and her solo version of "HELLO!", plus the karaoke versions of "ALIVE" and "Hanamaru" and a drama bonus track. Story-wise "ALIVE" was the hit song of Hidaka Mai (Ai's mother) and her last song. Is a slow ballad, that I personally hate (except for a few exceptions, I don't like iM@S slow songs). "Hanamaru" is a bit better, but I don't like Ai's hyperactive voice when singing it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Canaan Official Fanbook

Canaan Official Fanbook was also released in February '10 by Ichijinsha.

Is mostly a compilation of pictures and a episode digest, but is the only easily available artbook for CANAAN, and considering there's no word for the movies announced, this may be the last piece of merchandise related to that anime (not counting the ongoing manga).

The gallery section is quite extensive, and covers most of the pictures that appeared on magazines and advertisements.

This time there are works by Takeuchi in the gallery. In terms of fidelity to the original Takeuchi's designs, CANAAN is the closest from all the TYPE-MOON anime adaptations.

Even the fan-service pictures are somewhat in-character.

The pictures used to promote and model the 1/8 Canaan and the 1/8 Alphard figures by Good Smile Company.

Setting material for the anime. The ones on the upper left are the ones used in the bonus chapter of 428 ~Fuusa Sareta Shibuya De~.

Summary for each episode...

...with special "pick-up moments" for the key scenes. Poor Liang Qi...

Opening with the storyboard.

And finally some interview with the cast. In the photo, Sawashiro Miyuki (voice of Canaan) and Nanjou Yoshino (Maria).

And Sakamoto Maaya (Alphard seiyuu).

The other side of the cover features Alphard as well.