Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kamen Rider Double

Kamen Rider Decade is ending early this year. (I can't fathom it being because of a lack of popularity. It might just have been planned this way from the beginning.) Well, Japan has the answer for the Kamen Rider blues - with another Kamen Rider series beginning right after Decade ends.

The new Rider is Kamen Rider Double. (I don't know if "Kamen Rider W" is also correct) It's going to feature two people combining to become Double. That simple idea if just rife with possibilities.

So, anyway, here are some images of Kamen Rider Double.

This image is labeled as coming from www.modxtoy.com

This image is labeled as coming from www.modxtoy.com

This image is labeled as coming from www.modxtoy.com


I just watched Virtuality, which someone else in my family recorded on DVR. I wasn't that interested until I saw that Ronald D. Moore was the creator. As a die-hard Battlestar Galactica fan I decided I needed at least try the series. I was surprised by how much more complex and interesting the story was, beyond Virtual Reality gone wrong.

What I was most surprised about was the Captain's death in the first episode. Can you imagine the Next Generation if Picard upped and died on the first episode? That was a really unexpected twist. The story, up until that point, was a little hard to wrap my head around. But then, before I knew it, the story was BSG worthy, with a ship and crew ready to explode at a moment's notice. (That's very hard to do, convincingly have a series teetering on the edge, not go over the edge each week, and then convince you it's teetering again the following week. Very few shows do it well. Battlestar Galactica was one of those, in my opinion.)

There where only two things I took issue with. One was the reality show angle of the series. Not that isn't an interesting idea, but if you really tried that with a real 10 Year mission, then you might as well slit your wrists before it even begins. The other thing that bugged me were the gay duo cooks. I know TV is trying to make homosexuality more and more acceptable, but having such stereo-types on TV just isn't the way to go.

Anyway, it was a fantastic series opening. But, guess what... That's it! FOX didn't actual pick up the series, and instead ran this premiere pilot as a one-shot movie. Wow - FOX has actually done it! They have managed to find a way to cancel a series quicker than anyone ever imagined! Well done - a good day for evil indeed. (*Claps sarcastically*)

Humor aside, I can't fathom the kind of disappointment both the creators and fans must feel to see a potential pilot for a show air on TV and then, from the beginning, say that this is it. That wasn't even a TV-Movie, that was a sucker punch aimed viewers.

Seriously, if FOX even wonders why their ratings are dropping every year, this is the %^&#ing reason.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Norman Osborn and the Initiative

I read the latest issue of Avengers: Initiative #25, and boy is that book changing. Not the quality - it's been nothing but top-notch -- no, I'm talking about the Initiative as an organization in the Marvel Universe. Norman Osborn, being handed the keys to the kingdom, has dissolved SHIELD and replaced it with HAMMER. He's also inherited the Avengers - and also the Avengers: Initiative. He's replaced all the heroes of the Avengers with villains and killers, and is now doing much the same thing with the Initiative. The Hood, recent pain-in-the-butt to the New Avengers, has been put in charge of the group, and given a whole new base "Camp HAMMER" to train notorious villains to be Norman Osborn's personal super-army.

The regular Initiative crew isn't taking this change lying down, as former drill Sargent Gauntlet has joined the New Warriors to help take down this new villainous group.

I have to say I really, REALLY wasn't expecting this turn of events. We all knew Osborn was going to be a giant jerk, but, like Tigra expressed during the issue, you could expect the Initiative to still go on, and perhaps still do some good away from Norman Osborn's sphere of influence. The man can't be in all 50 States, right? Well, Orborn proved to be that giant jerk, and took no time screwing every good person left in the Initiative. Gauntlet was ordered to have his right arm removed, so Osborn could keep the alien device attached to his hand. And Tigra was given the ultimatum that she would be forced to have an abortion on her skrull-baby, so it could be properly dissected.

I really was not expecting this level of @&^! coming so soon and so quick. I mean, even with a pseudo-Avengers group, Norman Osborn has to save the world, at least to keep up appearances. He'd save a kitty cat from a tree so as to get the publicity, right? Totally for the wrong reasons, but the cat would still get saved, right? Nope - Norman Osborn even hates kitty cats, if this issue is any indication.

No complaints about this issue. In fact I'm quite excited for the next issue - but I wanted to express how shocked I was by, just, the pure evil depicted in the issue! We all know Norman Osborn is going to eventually fall from his new throne, but I'm now hoping it happens sooner, rather than later. I want my original Initiative back~!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kamen Rider Hibiki

Kamen Rider Hibiki

Here's my next look at the Kamen Riders of the past Decade, Hibiki. The powers of the Riders in this series are sound and music based. As you can see, two of the Riders use a guitar and trumpet as weapons. Hibiki himself uses Japanese Drums as his weapon.

This image is labeled as coming from www.thai-toku.com
(Warning Image is Big)

This image is labeled as coming from www.thai-toku.com
(Warning Image is Big)

This image is labeled as coming from www.modxtoy.com

This image is labeled as coming from www.modxtoy.com

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Problems with Fan Subbing Translations

I found a documentary detailing some of the problems with fan sub translations. As a fan of Super Sentai and Kamen Rider, and subbing being the only way for me to see those shows, I was pretty interested in the documentary. I took issue with some of it's conclusions, and wrote my two cents of the subject.

Anyway, you can find the post about it on the link below.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Supergirl's Underwear (?!?)

Newsarama put out an article about, of all things, Supergirl's shorts. It's basically explaining what everyone who has been reading Supergirl has noticed, they put spandex shorts under her skirt, finally pulling back from Paris Hilton territory and making Supergirl respectable looking.

I know, strange topic to be talking about - but it really strengthens the character. You just can't respect the character if the artist is trying to be funny and have a panty shot. It's not in good taste, and it detracts from the story. So I've been very happy with this change.

Here's a link to the artical

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kamen Rider Kuuga

I decided to post some images of the various Kamen Riders within the past Decade (since they are the only ones I know enough about ^_^) I'll start with Kuuga. Right now Kuuga is starring alongside Kamen Rider Decade - and looks to play a prominent role in the series. I'll be back with images for other Riders.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kamen Rider Ring Tones

I found this site http://www.zedge.net/ with free ring tones for your cell phone.

I got Kamen Rider Faiz's Henshin (transformation) as my ring tone. It sounds really cool since Faiz's powers are activated by a cell phone.

They have other Kamen Rider ring tones. Just type "Kamen Rider" in the search, and it will give you a list of the series they have.

Kamen Rider Decade Complete Form Update

I got two other images of Kamen Rider Decade's Complete Form. I'll add these to the original post as well. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kamen Rider Decade Complete Form

In the latest episode of Kamen Rider Decade, Tsukasa received an upgrade to his powers. His suit is now adorned with Cards representing all the powers of the other 9 Rider's. I have to admit, the costume is very visually jarring. His regular outfit was a nice streamlined design, invoking images of camera film, but without being an obvious gimmicky look. This new look makes Decade almost look like a walking advertisement. So it's truly going to take a while to get use to. I will admit, though, I didn't like Kamen Rider Kiva's Complete Form at first either, but then it turned out to be incredible. As long as Decade is still cool (which he is), the new look will do fine.

These new powers, so far, allow Tsukasa to summon one of the 9 Riders, and they mimic his movements and fight right alongside him.

I have to say, jarring costume aside - I am very excited about Kamen Rider Decade. He has now traveled to all the 9 worlds, and the now the question is what does he do now? Apparently there are more worlds to explore - and question of wether Decade is going to become the Destroyer of Worlds is always looming in the air.

This image is labeled as coming from www.modxtoy.com

Sunday, June 21, 2009

War of the Worlds - Problems with the Ending

Remember HG Well's classic story "War of the Worlds". I read it, and it was a striking concept at the time. The idea of aliens from another world, coming to attack us, was such a vivid and frightening concept that it has influenced so much of science fiction concerning life on other planets. Aliens are either coming in peace, or coming to kill us; No two ways about it. Something that still remains in science fiction to this day.

Anyway, I remembered watching the 2005 remake with Tom Cruise. Let me say this off the bat - I don't like Tom Cruise. He's simply weird, even by Hollywood standards, and as a person who has to take prescription medication daily I found his views on medication to be offensive. Yet he wasn't bad in this movie. The movie, on average, was pretty good. The aliens retained their off-putting and weird nature, and iconic imagery like the Tri-Pod walkers remained. It wasn't the best remake, but it was decent.

What I didn't like about that movie, though, was it's ending. Here's a spoiler for anyone who doesn't want to know: The aliens die off because of germs on our planet. That's the original ending of the book as well - and back then it was another genius and fantastic concept - that Earth's simplest forms of life could defeat such horrible invaders.

Now, while I liked that ending, I didn't think it worked for a movie in 2005. By today's standards, the aliens dying of germs is simply bad planning on their part. I suppose another concept could have been developed to defeat the aliens. Alan Moore's "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" had a splendid ending to their second volume, which depicted the aliens invading Earth. They used germ warfare, attacking the aliens with the plague - and then had the cover story of normal germs doing this, to hide the fact they possessed biological weapons.

I suppose any ending other than the original one would have been untrue to the source material - but it really does strike me as shotty planning to not prepare for an alien atmosphere and possible contamination by germs.

Here's a trailer of the 2005 movie

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My First Cell Phone

I got my very first cell phone. I've been included on my family's family plan, so it won't cost that much. But boy is this a challenge for me. I've never entirely liked cell phones - mainly because I find myself confused on how to use it correctly. I know cell phones are akin to breathing these days for some people - but I'm just a cell-phone illiterate. But I'm learning.

I got Sony Ericsson, colored red. My sisters says I'm copying her, because both she and my mother have the green and pink versions. But these versions where really the most prominently displayed phones - and it seemed the most basic.

I was very excited to find out it can essentially be used as an iPod, putting music on it. But I really need to get a memory stick to make that work. I can so far only fit two songs, if I'm lucky, onto it.

My phone also came with a surprise - 50 Free Song downloads from www.emusic.com. This turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. See, I'm not very into normal music. I'm never sure what I like, only being able to say wether I like a song after I've heard it. I know very little about bands, artists, anything.

So, anyway, I ended up looking in the Soundtrack Section, as I know which movie music I like. But jezz - there are so many fake albums, with sound-a-like Disney songs, and remade Star Wars themes. I don't want generic brands of music - I want the actual music, from the actual movies.

I finally decided on getting Japanese music. I only know about Japanese music through Anime TV series - so my knowledge of it is also limited. But I know what I like - and usually I like Japanese music. Well, emusic.com does have some Japanese songs - but you really have to search through their grouped-together section of "Asian". There weren't many, but I did find some songs by artists like Mikuni Shimokawa, Minami Kizuki, and LM.C (no, I don't know who any of them are) but the music I previewed sounded pretty good. But it's still hard to get all my free music's worth - as there are not that many Japanese Songs on the site. I ended up actually getting two Kabuki plays, both 20 Minutes long. I doubt I'll listen to them all the time, but it seemed interesting enough - and I really, really wanted to get my use out of these free songs. I found it so hard searching for this type of music, that I doubt I'd ever come back unless it was free again.

Anyway - here is a cute Cell Phone video using Lucky Star.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Daily Show vs Joe Scarborough

Why is it that I see more journalistic integrity on the Daily Show, than I do from real news. This feud between Jon Stewart and Joe Scarborough, over Starbucks Coffee sponsorship, is a prime example.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Playing Infamous

I've been really caught up playing Infamous on the PS3. I managed to get the money for it, and boy was it worth it. The game is extremely diverse, challenging, and complex. The storyline has a lot of anti government concepts, like how the media say the government is helping the city, when in reality it's been left to die. There is also a lot of conspiracy angles, as this group Sons of Liberty, are trying to develop people with super powers. You face a lot of challenging opponents - with each new area of the city saved brings more and more powerful bad guys.

It's an incredible trip. I just finished restoring power to the third island of the city - with the finale boss quickly approaching. So far it's been incredibly compelling, both from the gameplay and the storyline.

I've also been enjoying the developing level of powers Cole gains as your progress through the game. The final ability is my favorite - that of the Thunder Strike, where you can summon down thunder from the sky to destroy everything in your path.

Here's a video from www.gametrailers.com showing a montage of all the powers Cole can use.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Goode Family - Gutterball

Tonight my sister and I sat down to watch our new favorite show "The Goode Family". The episode "Into the Wild" showed the family trying to get pets adopted. This... creature, named Gutterball, was left with them and adopted by the Goode Family's Grandfather.

I cannot express how funny this creature was. I was sent into utter hysterics and the sheer genius of this disgusting cartoon creature. Each frame of animation proved to make this already terrifyingly ugly creature that more disgusting. From the hair balls with skin attached, to the green mucus he's constantly emitting, this thing simply cracked me up to no end.

Eventually it was discovered that this is not a cat, but rather a creature called a Tri-Vulg. The minute I heard that I simply HAD to find out whether such an abomination really existed. Nope, sadly it doesn't look like it. And I have to say I was quite disappointed with the Internet searches even trying to find an image of this creature. I know it only premiered tonight - but barely anyone was even asking about it. Well, here's some pictures of Gutterball.

Gutterball is simply my most favorite pet ever on TV. The level of grossness is only outweighed by the eventual cuteness that you see in it's beady little eyes. The grand father was able to keep Gutterball at his apartment, so Gutterball won't be a weekly attraction (the excellent humor of the show is enough) but he might show up again.

You Tube Focus

I wanted to put up a post about a youtube site I really enjoy. It's by a person by the handle of age36II, and he puts up these great stop-motion videos displaying Japanese toys. He provides really great music to go along with the figures - and shows all the features each toy has. I in fact found it very useful when considering wether to buy Super Sentai figures.

Here's his address

And here is the latest video, displaying Kamen Rider Decade Hibiki figure. I also included a videos of Mecha Godzilla and Godmars that age35II did. Even if you don't buy Japanese toys, it's really fun to see the kind of stuff Japan gets.

Kamen Rider Decade Hibiki

Mecha Godzilla

I don't actually know about this particular Anime, but if this toy is any indication is probably rocks.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nintendo E3 2009

I saw Nintendo's conference at E3. I have to say I was very disappointed. I'm not one of those people who has been particularly angry about Nintendo's lack of support for hardcore gamers, but I also honestly haven't been playing my Wii very much either.

So I was hoping Nintendo might change that and bring out some of their key franchises, like Zelda. They had Super Mario - but, really, I'm not that terribly wowed by another Super Mario Galaxy game. Not saying I don't like what I see, but I was expecting something a lot more new and revolutionary - instead of another Galaxy game with just more levels and more Yoshi. And, trust me, this is coming from a guy who was completely in love with the first Mario Galaxy game. I thought it was like all the fun of childhood wrapped up into a single game. It was spectacular. But did we really need to wait so many years (until 2010) to just get a re-tread of the same thing?

They also had New Super Mario Brothers Wii - which is like the DS game of the same name, but with four players. Sort of like combining Super Mario Brothers with Super Smash Brothers. While that's all great for a party game - I'm simply not looking for party games. All this interconnectivity just aggravates me - as I doubt everyone is having Wii parties every night to play together. It just doesn't look that impressive.

The big thing Nintendo did have to show was Metroid: Other M, which is Metroid game developed by Team Ninja. I'm note entirely sure how I feel about this yet. It looks fun, but I'm sort of put off by the focus on narrative of the game, which seems to be showing Samus in her non-space adventuring world. So we're going to actually see the kind of world Samus comes from. That's nice, but it sort of takes away from the isolating space adventure the Metroid series is famous for. We always got little glimpses of what Samsus' larger world is like - but it was generally not entirely explored upon, which I felt gave it a more powerful mystique. Showing the Metroid Universe as a whole - might just turn in into an average Sci-fi universe, instead of the terrifying space adventure we've experienced on distant and deserted planets.

Bottom line about Nintendo at this year's E3 -- They are still aspousing philosophy as gaming. That's note really encouraging.

Here are some videos from www.gametrailers.com showing the stuff I talked about.

Super Mario Galaxy 2