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Archive for June 2010

In news that surprises no one in particular, Shaft’s screwball comedy Arakawa Under the Bridge is heading for another 13-episode run in the near future. There are two reasons that this isn’t much of a surprise: one, Arakawa was one of the few truly watchable shows of this forgettable anime season. Two, the current 13 episodes of the anime have only covered about half of the manga material that’s been released.

So, in the spirit of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Shaft has made sure that there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that they’ll be animating more Arakawa soon. Heck, the last episode of the current season ended by introducing new characters, which is as sure a sign as any that they’re ready and raring to go for more <s>free money</s> screwball comedy goodness.

I’m totally okay with this announcement, as I’ve been reading the manga lately and really, REALLY like the anime character designs better than the original work. I’m all for a decent comedy that doesn’t look like a punch in the face.

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In the United States vs. Ghana match tomorrow, the United States team is going up against famed Ligue 1 striker Asamoah Gyan. Ghana’s national team is also nicknamed the Black Stars.

In my mind, this means that the US game plan is simple.

Gaia, Ortega, and Mash!

Ghana's midfield in action

– Ghana will most likely play an attacking 4-3-3 formation, with Gaia, Ortega, and Mash ready to counter any of Landon Donovan’s efforts. However, it will be easy for him to pierce the midfield defense because their tactics will always be the same: the three Black Stars will line up and first try to tackle him, then try to shoot him with a bazooka, then try to tackle him again. Should the referee not issue an instant red card for bringing beam swords and bazookas onto the field, Donovan can easily defeat this maneuver by jumping on Gaia’s head and continuing his run.

– Should Gyan manage to ambush Tim “RX-78” Howard, the US keeper will not be in any trouble. Howard’s spaceborn birthright allows him to thwart all of Gyan’s attacks with ease, and even with bruised ribs, one arm, and no head sensors, Tim will be able to punch the ball out of goal.

Soko da!

Tim Howard performs an amazing one-handed save

With those two basic tenets in mind, US victory should be assured unless the Titans panic and start gassing people, that’s an automatic red card.

This can only end well. Right?

Remember, kids, don't stick it in the crazy.

Famed middle school murder manga Mirai Nikki (Future Diary) is getting an OVA, and publisher Kadokawa has given us a one-minute trailer over on YouTube. As you might expect for a show based on the heartwarming story of a middle school boy, his axe murderer stalker girlfriend, and the people they have to murder to survive and have a wish granted, it’s a bit crazy and creepy.

Just the way you like it, right? Check out the trailer after the jump.

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Taiyouken!

Solar Flare!

Landon Donovan and Krillin: separated at birth? I have come to believe that it is the awesome power of the US soccer star’s forehead that gives him an advantage over his opponents, blinding them with the reflected rays of the sun.

Go USA!

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Today’s target for Tuesday Tunes is the talented Kuribayashi Minami, who was recently announced as yet another guest at Anime Expo by MangaGamer. She rose to fame as the voice of Haruka in the (in)famous visual novel Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (also known as Rumbling Hearts in the States), and purely through the power of her voice she’s become  a star in the anisong world. More on her career, and more great songs from her, after the jump.

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Thanks, age-soft.

"Pr...Pretty average. But... well done."

The World Cup is a fascinating time to study Japan, because they approach the event with all the tentative enthusiasm of a lifelong Cubs fan. The Samurai Blue aren’t bad at all – though the two own goals during the World Cup friendlies made me doubt that for a while – but going toe to toe with the Brazilian, Spanish, and Italian teams on the world stage can really teach a nation about humility.

I remember tales of school children crying themselves to sleep after Australia’s 3-1 comeback win over Japan back in 2006, and the Japanese community has been very cautiously optimistic about this year’s Cup finals. Even after the team’s 1-0 upset over Cameroon this year, the Japanese fan base is trying to curb their enthusiasm with limited success. See above for an example of this, translated into terms that otaku can understand: tsundere. It’s so appropriate an analogy for the oft-burned fans that I adore it. Thanks, Age Soft (Muv-Luv, KimiNozo).

And, just because I can: Argentina’s legendary Diego Maradona turned into a girl, via EBBA on Pixiv.

Diego Maradona, eat your heart out.

I think more people would watch soccer if Maradona looked like this.

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The theme song for the Japanese 25th anniversary of Disney on Ice is Korean pop star BoA’s funk-heavy dance tune “Woo Weekend.” The above video really reminds me of the pop videos that you see during the commercial breaks on the Disney channel, which is kind of a career throwback for BoA after her more mature, club-oriented American album. I heard a lot of that last album around here – it made it big in the San Francisco club circuit, and because of that, BoA performed at last year’s Pride parade.

That’s not really why I find this song notable, though. I find it notable because it’s a Japanese Disney song written by a good friend of mine, Yoko. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Disney fan or a BoA fan or Avex fan or whatever – I strongly believe that you should pick up this single because Yoko’s awesome. Click past the jump for proof.

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