Thursday, December 25, 2008

Towards the North。

White Illumination

Did you know? On rare winter nights, it is said that special snow falls on cloudless nights. This is known as the diamond dust. If two people come together on the night of the diamond dust, it is said that their lives will be forever blessed.

Every year Sapporo holds an event at Odori Park called the White Illumination. This is where all the trees lining the walkway are lit with lights for the first time during the Winter.

One of my favorite games of all time is 北へ。It was one of the first Dreamcast titles available. I remember spending close to 300$ on an Import Dreamcast just to play this even though the launch of the North American console was very close. Over the lifespan of the system I think I ended up with five or six consoles in all. And that is how I started spending lots of money on my silly hobbies ;)
Oh, and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A few Touhou CDs arrived today

Ordered some items from Palette web and I picked up a couple music CDs also. The green CD at the top right is a bit older, but it is one of my favorites. I also like the Iosys wine CD and believe it or not the 100¥ ones are good too.

The LimeGreen audio CD in the DVD box on the left only has 5 audio tracks and costs more than the regular ones. Maybe because it is sold at event only? Anyway, it is decent but not too good. You can listen to some here. Having a DVD case with Flanders on it is pretty sexy though, maybe I will put something else inside? :love:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dreamtech not so dreamy?

Kohsaka Tamaki Black maid version

I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking Wave's figure quality is all over the place. Anything made of soft rubber seems to get the dreamtech stamp. But rest assured, our wonderful Kohsaka Tamaki is 100% pure dream.

What makes this figure so special you ask? For starters, most dreamtech figures are made with a soft plastic/rubber. It is ply-able and feels nice to the touch. In fact this figure has more than one kind of material built into it; I'll expand on that in a minute. Secondly, the paint is high quality. The legs and shoes have had a nice pearly gloss added to them. The hair might have been cast in red material, I'm not positive though.

As I said this figure was made of many kinds of materials this is what I mean.
Wave puts it, "Feels so good! Soft material!"
Literally. Her chest is made of special soft rubber. NOT that I would know, of course!

I forget what you call this style undergarments? You can see support detail added on the zettai ryouiki.

One thing you may have noticed is that this figure is quite large. It is marked at 1/6th scale, but it might be a bit bigger. Kinda doesn't match with the Kotobukiya kits, but it kinda does. This is the only draw back as placing her next to other figures makes her look too big.

Now for a little maid fan service from Konomi.

The black maid version of Tamaki is actually a limited edition. Cost me a crazy premium trying to find it but I know of a few places you can order it reasonably now if you are looking for one.

Final thoughts:
Yes, this figure is well worth the high retail price. If you are looking for a To Heart figure to buy (that is relatively display safe) this is the one you want. Pink is readily available at most shops and true to the game series. The black will cost you a tad bit more.
official Wave website

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Heart case?! Display case update

A month or two ago I posted about how great a value the IKEA detolf case was and purchased one to build. Well, I have not really had time to find the lighting system I had visioned, so I have been filling it with toys!

Someone told me before that I have a lot of To Heart 2 figures... Well, it's true. There are still more in a box :x
I have lots of Love Hina stuff too... Are people new to anime still discovering Love Hina?

Update, password for album is: toheart2
Be sure to click either of the pictures or here to see the whole album!

I think what I'll do about the lighting is just add 3 more lights and just flood the whole case! A good tip is to put the lights towards the front of the case. If the lights are in the back it will cast shadows on their heads and look dark in the front.

Oh, and in case I'm not back this week, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Have you heard of Nicomimi?

Most people know what nico douga is, but do you know what nicomimi is?

Nicomimi is a place for people to share music. Most of the nico douga video songs can be found here in MP3 format.

You can search by entering the nico douga video number "sm____" or by entering a key word or theme in the google search bar at the very top. Most searchs need to be in Japanese text but there are plenty of series that use English, such as, To Heart 2! I like to search for the numerous Touhou remixes.

Well what if I can't find the song I want on Nicomimi? I guess Potato can teach you the 'underhanded' method. First you will need to be able to download videos from Nico Douga or other flash video sites. Try downloadhelper, a firefox add on.

Next you will need to extract the music. An amazing program is called FLV_extract. Just open FLV_extract, drag and drop your FLV video into it, and wall-ah! All done! Now you can listen to Lucky Star Douga wherever you go!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Buy Two figures get one free!

Toys Logic Website click here
If you have not heard, Toys logic is having a sale, buy two in stock items, get a third item of equal or lesser value for free! Items must be in stock, pre-order items do not qualify. You must check out normally and submit processing for all three items, however, the lowest priced item will be credited back to you. Sale ends tomorrow!

This is what I bought:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Youtube using a new Widescreen Format

WS video
official info
Not sure if it's just a beta, but the new format is nice. If your old videos were in decent quality they appear to be preserved so you do not have to upload them again. No more of that yucky zoom, bleh!
I hear this is a response to be more competitive with Hulu and NicoDouga perhaps? Either way, anything widescreen instantly warrants my attention :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nintendo hacks Animal Crossing

Sort of.

In the recent game City Folk for Wii, Nintendo included a nice feature where you can adjust time on the fly. This is great, especially for me, since I have better things to do on my holidays then to log into Animal Crossing and marathon four hours straight.

However, one thing they neglected to compensate for was the online disparity. We all know the online play is pretty sad and many of us were offended with Nintendo's friend code garbage. There is no real 'City' in City folk. But what if one person was able to 'exist' at a point in time where goods are commonly available and someone else 'online' is able to coexist at the point where those same goods have become scarce and are being purchased for quadruple the original cost? Like Tom Nook says, it's all about the turnip prices, am I right?
picture from flickr

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tissue Princess

One of the great things about streaming video websites is the ability to share your talents with others. If you have not heard, one such beautiful phenomenon is our beloved Tissue Princess.

Something else that's really popular is taking all the videos posted and combining them into one. I like this one here:
Mix Video

Pic of Tissue princess taken from Konachan, original can be found on pixiv
Tissue princess videos originally on nico video

Friday, November 21, 2008

Really good Coffee

Yep, really good coffee.

I myself am not a daily coffee drinker. I tend to sleep 8hours daily so when I wake up I don't need a pep-start. I like my drinks sweet, so it's more like having a little coffee in my milk.

Normally, I detest bitter tastes; however, this coffee is 'different.' Starbucks, Seattle, Cafe du Monde, they all kind of taste like plain coffee to me. That's not a bad thing. But with illy, after having a cup, I said, "Wow, that's some good coffee."

Of course, Nagato prefers a nice dark roast. You should be able to find it in most higher end grocery stores. World Market should have it for sure. Now don't get too excited! This coffee comes at a price. A roughly fifteen dollar price. Is it worth it? You should definitely try it at least once. Remember, if you plan to use a regular drip brewer, you want the ground, not the whole beans. Also, take care not to grab the green 'decaffinated' can if you need your caffeine.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Do you approve when the voice cast changes from game to anime?

Voice casts change for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes they are legitimate. In Honey and Clover, a male voice actor was injured in an accident so a stand-in worked on a few episodes while he recovered. But sometimes I believe voice actor's change for more 'dubious' reasons. I'm sure DaCapo fans know what I'm talking about. Whether it's ethical or not, adding the name "Yui Horie" to the cast will undoubtedly increase sales. Not that she would actually appear in a visual novel, mind you.

I personally prefer to keep the same cast for the game and the anime. Please don't misunderstand, I support and approve of voice actress' who refuse to do any type of explicit adult recordings, but I also strongly feel that if someone else did accept the terms of the original character that they also should have the first offer to continue to represent that character.

It's just a minor role, but the voice actor for Kohno Taka-Aki is different in Another Days than the one who has been recording the TV series for more than a year now. Why the change? Does anyone know? This is actually a 'reverse' of what this topic is about since we are going from anime back to game, but the principal is the same.

Only Ikuno's path is voiced. What I find really amusing is that when you first start, an option pops up right away "Would you like to enter your name?" and does not automatically give you the option to play as Kohno. It feels like they are telling you, "This guy is a fake!" w...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Did you know Kotobukiya makes Glasses?

Yuma Tonami

When I first saw this figure earlier this summer I did not like it. "Why do they always give Yuma weird poses?" I thought. But then I saw this...

The maid version of Yuma came with glasses?! Why didn't any of the official box pictures state this?! Well, as it turns out, she does not come with the glasses but you can purchase them separately.
The glasses come in two color packages; silver or black. You can order the black ones here.

Jyoji Resource took these pictures over the summer. When I glanced over them I did not really pay attention. Apparently he added the glasses himself. They are made by Kotobukiya and come at great prices.
They should fit on most any 1/6 or 1/8 figure, just slide them in between the hair cast and the side of the face. Be sure to check Jyoji's page for some very 'nice' pics!

You can check out more pics at Akiba Blog and alter color version at Akiba Hobby.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The fun of Translation

When asked what is a translation, many people would probably reply that it is converting words from one language to another. Although this is fundamentally correct, the true beauty of translation lies not within the words, but is held deep inside the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that those words try to convey.

And that, friends, is where the fun comes in! Most anime fans I have talked to seem to think that accuracy in translations is most important. Of course, we do not want to put words in the original author's mouth, but by aiming solely to translate word for word, the accuracy of those original thoughts behind the words begins to become skewed. By 'localizing' a translation into a different culture, you can better convey those feelings the author originally intended to portray.

Just for fun, I take this idea one step further and try to harmonize a song to a specific anime character. It's a little more complicated with matching voices and personalities, but it's quite fun when you have the time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

IKEA! Let's build a cabinet!

Five years ago, if someone would have said, "Let's go to IKEA!" I would have laughed. It is not that I did not like home improvement and decor, but I had always felt that IKEA was just toy furniture and needed to be assembled similar to a plastic model kit.

Now that over half of my furniture comes from IKEA it doesn't seem so funny anymore. So what would an Otaku~ish person find interesting at IKEA? Bookcases and display cases obviously!
Work in progress
I just recently purchased this case and am currently playing with different light set-ups

To make your own case, this is what you will need:
  • Furniture lighting, Grundtal 3 pack (I am using nickel-plated)
  • 3M Double-sided mounting tape, usually used for things like mirrors (you can use screws to mount the lights, but when you want to rearrange them it will leave holes)
  • Mini-clippable spotlights (sadly, I have not found ones I like yet, IKEA does offer a few book case lights, but I don't like them, I will be trying some over the next few weeks)
Remember, lights get hot! Be sure not to cover up their air vent holes and don't put them too close to your figures! To be safe, don't leave the lights on when you are not viewing the case. Always keep figures out of direct sunlight! To help hide electrical cords you can buy plastic shrink wrap tubing, I believe at IKEA it is called Montera.

No, this is not my whole collection. Hopefully, over the next few weeks I'll get the lighting squared away and post pics of the complete case. Please post any suggestions on lighting or background displays! I still have not decided if I should just leave the back of the case clear or to cover it up.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Shugo Chara episode 56 review

The power behind the throne.

The long anticipated return of the former Queen has finally arrived. But just as you guessed, there is only one spot to fill so fate has dealt her cards.

Yet, life goes on.

So what if the girl you fantasized about once in a while turned out to be a boy? Naw, you are probably still straight. Maybe a little confused, but that's Ok.

The truth hurts.

Tell one small white lie and the next comes right along. But where would the fun be in stopping here? I did not forsee the Jack and the Queen facing off from the start with a charade battle, but there is loads of potential for fun ahead.

What do I think about group Character transformations? There must be an anime convention nearby. Shugo Chara doki does have some interesting stories underneath but the show has been watered-down to your random enemy of the week that getting through all the dilution makes it pretty tough to swallow. Stick with the comic book. However, you can bet I'll peek at all the future Nadeshiko episodes as they come around ;)
Will a Rima and Nagihiko pairing surface? At the very least, maybe some slapping action will come about!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Can you tell what's going on here?

I'm sure all the big To Heart 2 fans will see it right away. Yes! We have Megane-Ko and Pettan-Ko! It's a shame that the original sculpt of Yuma did not come with glasses. The original production was quite a long time ago and accessories were not really economical at the time I guess. Or maybe the artist was not a Yuma fan; I sure hope not! These glasses belong to Charu, btw. Do you consider Ikuno Pettan? Or you prefer to think of her as Tsun-dere?

If you have not heard, right now is having a big sale. A few nice To Heart 2 figures are on sale for under 20$ USD. Notably, Yochi and Charu. You can also pick up the maid version of Manaka for about 35$. HLJ and Hobby Search are also having a figure sale. I was able to pick up a Sasara along with Shiro from Fortune Arterial. They should arrive sometime next week.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Even coarse tea has flavor when freshly brewed~

'Bancha mo debana'

Thus' is my favorite phrase to say in Japanese. Indeed, it deserves much time to ponder and reflect upon over a warm cup of tea. I translate it as, "Even plain girls grow up beautiful."

According to WWWJDIC, "Even a homely girl looks beautiful at the peak of her youth." Literally, it would read: coarse tea also brews freshly.

Here is my favorite figma and my favorite revoltech (Moyashimon revoltech is not out yet :eyespin:)
I know the picture is a little blurry, sorry about that. First time trying to get the light to bounce off the moon onto the figure but in the end it didn't work out.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Figma Headache

Finally decided to bite the bullet and order Fate Testarossa (or Fate T. Harlaown for you dedicated fans) at an inflated price. The price was not too bad at 35$ actually. With shipping it came out just over 40$. Ordered this figure off of which is rare for me to do as I only order books and CDs from them usually.

Anyway, the package arrived in 3 days time and I was all smiles until I heard, *clink* *clink* inside the box. Oh-no, please not something wrong, I have not even opened the box yet! (all figma boxes *clink* as they contain individual parts :eyespin:)

Sadly, when I looked inside, Fate was in two halves, seperated at the torso. Either this was a problem at the factory or Elvis Presley was driving the mail truck since there had to have been a whole-lot-a-shaking going on. Upon closer inspection there seems to have been a manufacturing problem with the I-joint assembly that holds the upper body to the pelvic area. I tried to press it in hard, but it still pops out. It seems the inside of the Pelvis was not machined round enough so the I-joint does not seat properly inside. I could dremel it out but that might make the figure loose which is a far worse scenario.

In the end, I pressed it in as hard as I could without damaging the legs and it seems to hold well enough. As long as I do not bend her body section there are no problems, but it does limit the pose-ability, and should we as consumers have to 'settle' for defects in brand new goods? This is the 3rd figma I own and all three of them have had some 'issue' in regards to the quality of manufacturing. I am very grateful that Max Factory tries to keep their prices very low with great craftsmanship, however, if the original quality is not reaching the consumers then that is a bigger issue than saving a few dollars.

After applying the fingernail varnish like Anonymous suggested, it works good enough. This is only a temporary fix as fingernail varnish is made to come off after time. This is good since it does not damage the figure. The figure is able to hold its pose as long as needed, but it did come loose once I began moving the joint around. I applied a new coat and everything is all better. A more permanent solution might be model varnish, but I am not brave enough to try that.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Domo-kun at Target stores!

If you have not been to Target recently then most likely you have not heard about the Domo-kun campaign! For the current season you can now buy Domo-kun goods varying from candy to dolls at most Target stores at great prices. Anyone who has imported Domo-kun goods over the past few years knows how much of a premium most companies charge. Target is selling the small plushies for slightly over 7$ USD and you can even get little candy bags like these for just over 4$! It's definitely something fun to look into if you plan to give some candy to your friends. Don't forget to pick up the Domo-kun vampire teeth sweets!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dai Mahou Touge!

Dai Mahou Touge!

A new figure is coming out by Wave scheduled for a spring release next year. It just happens to be none other than, Punie, from Dai Mahou Touge!

The show was released as an OVA set sometime back in 2006. Why did they just recently decide on a figure? who knows.

If you are not familiar with the series, it's about a princess who has come to earth to train for her role as the new queen. What the surprise is, how one becomes the queen. The series is a very violent comedy. There is nothing obscene but sometimes there can be blood and broken bones. If you have seen Dokuro-chan this is along the same lines. Punie's catch phrase? "Because submission is a Princess' way..."

This figure is modeled after the official art work, and I like that. Coincidentally, the series is scheduled to be released in North America very soon through Media Blasters. Th official name has been changed to Magical Witch Punie-Chan.

More figure information
DVD information

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tokimeki Memorial Bargain!

Tokimeki Memorial is one of the first console dating sims that was released wayy back, maybe 15 years ago, on the PC engine also know as the turbo graphx 16 CD in NA.

Last year another rendition of the series was released in anime form. The show has a decent story with good animation quality. But is it worth buying? Well, not since it is only R2 DVD in Japan without english subtitles atm. However, I came across a good deal recently for the series.

Right now on Ebay you can pick up volumes 1-8 special editions for the low price of 10$ each.

That is a steal considering they each sold for around 65$ originally. There are 9 volumes in all so you will have to fork over a bit more for the last box in the series.

Why would you want to buy the Japanese release you ask? Well, the chances of the show being released in NA is a bit low right now. Besides, the boxes are very pretty and great to add to any fans collection.


Hello! This is Potato! Welcome to my blog!

Ya~h, so why are you making a blog, you ask? No particular reason other than to blog with everyone else! Anything I find interesting we can post it here! Let's a go-go!