Friday, December 28, 2012

Additional Masterpiece Additions

Something Transformers to add for a change. With the new year upon us, Takara and Hasbro have been slowly adding more Masterpieces for us to put into the collections.

Toys R Us has added a couple with those being redesigned Optimus Prime with his trailer as well as Thundercracker, completing the original "Seeker" collection. Takara has done/is doing a bit more with adding Sideswipe, Soundwave with Laserbeak, Red Alert, Rumble and Ravage set, and Frenzy and Buzzsaw set.

Most of the Takara sets aren't out yet, but Red Alert is, which I just picked up. I also got the Toys R Us Thundercracker. Will work to get the others as I can. Stay tuned...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dance in the Vampire Bund

As I have said, I need to catch up on posts, so thought I would start with some of the more recent shows I watched, and work my way back. That is mostly because the more recently I watched them, the better I can remember the details to comment on. Some of the older shows will be hard to really give a good review on, but to be honest, that is probably a good thing, since those are some shows I really didn't like the most.

Ok, getting on to the review, Dance in the Vampire Bund. I bought this series as a complete set not too long ago from Amazon, who was having a Lightening deal on it. I admit I didn't know much about it, but reading up on it, the premise sounded interesting.

So I watched it all, and to be honest, I mostly thought it was pretty good. This is despite the fact I really felt this show was suppose to be longer and was cut down some. I really felt the main characters had a lot more to their stories that wasn't told. Fortunately, there was enough of each to work with and no obvious holes.

I also have to admit, I was kind of put off at first by the main character Mina, the vampire princess. She gets into situations with Akira, the other main character, in what can only be described as a bit on the provocative side. What is bad about that, is that she looks and usually acts like a little girl. That is just not my thing, and I had to work to get past it. In defense of this, is that she is actually hundreds of years old, and isn't a little girl, but just has that form. She does go into the show later in more normal adult situations, and it does get easier to see past the look she has. It was really difficult at first however.

Anyway, getting down to it, and not spoiling anything, the show mostly deals with vampires coming out into the human world, and how they deal with things. Both with humans, and also how things are handled internally among themselves. It also works to expand the relationship and its complexities of the two main characters. As I said, I did like it a lot, and was disappointed it wasn't a longer series. In letter grade terms, I give it a B+ to A-.

Dance in the Vampire Bund

Huge update to my G I Joe/Transformer collections

Ok, I lied.  I said I would start catching up on my post/reviews/etc a couple of weeks ago, and I haven't delivered.  I guess that is really because things got really crazy after I posted that.  We had a Halloween party that took a lot of my time decorating and planning for, and then having it, and then taking it all down.  Also, there were many other things like yard work, doing things with friends, still trying to finish ElderScrolls Oblivion, etc.  But the biggest thing has been a huge addition to my Transformer/G I Joe collections, mostly G I Joe.

A friend of mine has been telling me for a while now that he had some of those old toys from his childhood in his parents basement, and when he found them, he would let me take a look and maybe buy some stuff off him.  Well, that happened a week or so ago, and when I went over to take a look, he had a ton of stuff.  As I said, mostly G I Joe, but some Transformers as well.  It was too hard to figure it all out, so I decided to make him an offer for all of it, and he took it.

What was cool about it all is this friend is a couple of years younger than me.  In the case of the G I Joes I really collected played with them from 82 to 86.  When I jumped off to be a teenager, was the time he started getting them.  His were mostly 87-90.  There was obviously some overlap/duplicates, but for the most part, it really just picked up from where I left off, which was cool.  In regards to Transformers, I already had over half of what I got from him, but it was cool to get some duplicates of some such as Metroplex.  Now I can display them in both robot mode as well as vehicle mode.  The coolest new additions for my Transformers is a complete Punch/Counter-Punch as well as some Autobot cassettes.

The collection condition itself was a bit rough.  For one, there was no organization hardly at all for things.  It was all mixed up everywhere, with things that weren't G I Joe/Transformers, and also parts of vehicles and figures were just everywhere, and not really with what they all belonged to.  At his place, I spent as much time as I could sorting all of this out, and taking it home in one of those huge Rubbermaid type tubs.  I may have missed some things unfortunately, but I tried my best.

That unfortunately was just the start.  Once I had them home, I have started using my spare time and  the internet to identify all the parts and figures, and put everything back together.  Again, that isn't the end though, because most everything was very dirty (both from him playing with them during childhood outside alot it seems, as well as just sitting in dust/dirt for over 20 years) and needed a lot of maintenance.  I have had to take most everything apart as much as I could, and really wash it all down, dry it, and then put it all back together.  I have only done the maintenance on a few of the vehicles so far, but the most notable one is the Rolling Thunder, a huge missile carrier vehicle from 88.  I have also had to tear apart each of the action figures, throw all the parts in a bowl of soapy water, scrub them down real good, and then put them back together with new waste bands I bought some time ago.  Tedious work, but fun at the same time I guess.  Very time consuming for sure, and I have a ways to go until completion.  I will try to post updates of my collection with all of this, as well as maybe some photos, but as anyone who follows this blog knows, I suck at keeping up, so don't hold your breath....

Now I will try to do an anime review or two, as I know I am way behind on those.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Back to Anime Reviews

Okay, I admit it. I did what I said I wouldn't do, and fell off the boat on keeping up with my Anime reviews the last four months or so. I have two excuses I guess.

One was all the work we have been doing on our new house. We had a new roof put on, ripping off the deck, waterproofing the basement, and many other smaller projects. That really limits your free time, and when I have had it, I actually spent it on the things I actually enjoyed doing, and not really write about it.

The other reason is I kind of fell off the bandwagon because I watched a couple of series that I really didn't like, and it killed my enthusiasm with Anime. I watched a couple of better series afterwards that has slowly been bringing me back, but one series in particular was a real downer that dug me a big hole that I had a hard time climbing out of. I will wait and go into the actual review I will do to discuss it. I will try to do at least one review a day, if not more, until I am caught up. I have at least 5 to do I am sure. Here they come....

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Site/Collection updating Pt 2

The last couple of days I have updated the following Autobots including finally adding pictures for Jetfire and Kup:

Hot Rod

Stay tuned for more updates....

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fortress Maximus

I finally got it today, so I can now officially post it. I finally got the unreachable Transformer for me, Fortress Maximus. I have wanted him so badly over the many years I started working on my Generation 1 collection. With a little bit of luck, and saving I finally got one though I admit that as of this post, he is far from complete. I got him on eBay missing many parts, but as soon as I won the auction, I immediately started getting the parts that are missing that I could afford. I got some of the parts I ordered for him yesterday, before I even got him today. When I did get him today I added the parts I got, and will continue to do so as they come in, and my budget will allow me to purchase more. At this point, I have purchased all of the parts that make his main body complete, with the one exception being his radar dish. With any luck, I can get it in a few weeks, and then I will proceed to work on getting his other missing parts, namely his large rifles, and then new stickers for him, and finally the parts needed for gasket/grommet. As I said in my previous post, I am really working to get my collection pages current, so I really feel I can say with certainty that I should be keeping his page updated as I go. I will try to keep this blog updated as I proceed.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Site/Collection updating

Lately, I have realized that when I have been updating this site, it is unfortunately not with the most important parts, which is my actual Transformer collection. That is a shame really because it is suppose to be the focal point of my site, and has really been needing it from when I started it as a class project many years ago. That being the case, I am trying to rededicate myself to making my site better, primarily by cleaning up my collection pages so they are better formatted with pictures, have the correct pictures, have the pictures taken nicely from my collection instead of eBay pictures if there are pictures at all, and also update my personal descriptions, which in most cases out dated since I have added to many figures. I already took a lot of pictures last night and already updated the following Autobots:

Fortress Maximus

Stay tuned for more updates. They will take a while, but I do plan to really work on them and not let this fade away as in times past...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Added Technobots Strafe and Scattershot to complete Computron

This is a couple of months overdue for various reasons, but I finally got Strafe and Scattershot to complete the Computron portion of my collection.  I got both of them complete, and Scattershot even has his box.  I should have listed this months ago, but as I said..... 

Plus I am doing it now, because I anticipate the missing "crown jewel" of my collection coming next week.  I will definitely post when I get that guy (though I admit I already preemptively put a page up for him.... too excited......), so stay tuned.....

Monday, June 25, 2012

Anime deals!!

Before I get into more relevant stuff, I thought I should mention how I have had such great luck getting amazing deals on anime at lately. In years past, I would really get my anime on eBay or when it came to getting it online. While I still use those sites, I have really found Amazon to be my first stop, and is usually the place I get my anime, both used and new. RightStuff has unfortunately dropped to number 2 on my list, and I rarely use eBay now.

To show relevance to this, I will point out two great deals I have gotten in the past month. The most amazing is the complete Wild Arms series. I am not expecting it to be a top ranked series, but I love the games, and couldn't believe I got the complete 5 disk (22 episode) series with the collectors box for $2.89. Thats with free 2 day shipping as a prime member. $2.89........ I still can't believe it when I think about it. Another deal I got was Dokkoida - Complete Box Set with its box. It is a smaller 3 disk set with 12 episodes, but I paid only $9.72 with the same free shipping. Sure, that is not near the deal as Wild Arms, but that's still just a little over 3 dollars a disk. I cannot complain about that. I still remember when I first started getting anime on DVD when it started transitioning from VHS (yes, I am old). I was spending about $30 a disk. I am getting most complete series now for much less than that.....

I should also note that if the price difference isn't much, I would rather buy from RightStuff just because I think it is important to support them and keep them relevant compared to the giant monster that is Amazon. I still want to support the little guy when I can. Sometimes I even buy from both since Rightstuff sells on Amazon too, a lot of times for even less than on their own site.

Wild Arms Series

Girls Bravo

As I have said, I need to catch up on posts, so thought I would start back to my small anime reviews. I have finished 2 more anime series since my last post, so I will start back with my oldest. I watched and completed Girls Bravo about 3 weeks or so ago.

It was a series I had seen before, but didn't realize that until my recent purchase. I think I had watched it before on the Anime Network. As I have admitted before, I do like to mix in a bit of the harem sub-genre of anime in with my watchings. That being the case, I have to admit this series wasn't bad, but it really didn't impress me either. While I don't really care for the main protagonist has to be Mr Strong muscle man, or whatever, I don't like it when they are complete wimps either. I guess a normal everyday guy is what I like. The most recognizable example is probably someone like Tenchi. Anyway, getting back to it, I felt Yukinari was a bit of a whinny weakling and had a hard time rooting for him a lot of the time. There were a few times he stepped up and I enjoyed his character more, but in general, I wasn't real impressed. Not to get too self involved, but anyone who knows me knows I have always been a rather small guy compared to the average, but I don't really let that interrupt my day to day life. I just want the character to be someone more like that so I can identify more. That sounds self absorbed which is not my intention. I am sure most will know what I mean...

Anyway, as for the female cast, I am going to get into spoiler area here, so if you haven't watched it, and plan to, I would not read further. The show revolves around Miharu and Yukinari. I didn't find Miharu that great either. Sure, she has the cool distinction of being from Seiren and not causing Yukinaris weird girl allergy, but beyond that, she has no depth beyond her ability to never stop eating. The eating all of the bananas part was mildly funny, but overall I found her pretty shallow. The neighbor girl Kirie was much more interesting, and I really rooted for her more even though I knew with the show being what it is it wasn't possible.

Anyway, with all of that, it probably sounds like I hated the show. The truth is, I didn't. It had a lot of good/funny moments. I just wouldn't rank it really high on my list. It was entertaining though, and it was a fun distraction for the most part. I got it cheap, so no complaints. On a grading scale, I would probably give it a B- or maybe a C+.

Girls Bravo

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Finally finished collecting the G.I. Joe Marvel comic series

I thought I would share a small victory. Today I finally got G. I. Joe issue 155, which was the last issue of the old Marvel comic series that started back in the 80's when I was a kid. I have been working on this collection off and on over the years, and 30 years after it started, I have finally completed my collection.  Ironically, I looked at the date of the first issue, and it is June 1982, so it is just a coincidence but it is exactly 30 years...  I am behind on many other post, but I will try to catch up soon...  It's not like anyone is reading this anyway... :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tenjho Tenge

I finished Tenjho Tenge last Friday.  I was really disappointed with this show.  Primarily because none of the plot points were concluded or finished.  It really wasn't an ending at all.  Plus to be honest, there really wasn't one single character I liked.  It was all about each character kicking each others a$$, even if they really had no reason for it.  The two characters that came in at the beginning of the story were just bullies, and you were suppose to root for them.  I can't remember any of the character names as I write this, but the leaders sister is so in love with the main bully for no reason that makes since, instead of the one nice guy in the group who is stronger anyway.  This just wasn't a series for me I guess, so it gets a low C- from me.  The funny thing is, I had picked up the first disk and watched it first, and it had so much potential.  Just fell flat after that... I am glad I got such good deals on each disk in the series.

I started Girls Bravo this week, but I already have seen it and didn't remember I guess.  Must have watched it on one of the anime networks on cable.  In my cue now is Dai Guard, Haibane-Renmei, Ikki Tousen, , and still Witchblade, along with some more Tenchi, or Shuffle.

Tenjho Tenge

Friday, April 13, 2012

Heat Guy J

Heat Guy J... To be honest, I didn't really like the show much after the first disk or so, but enjoyed it for the most part by the end. First, the art work. This is not my first exposure to anime with this style, but it is the same as usual. I hate the facial/head animations a lot, but usually get used to it by the end of the show. I just find the pronounced nose, lips, etc to look extremely weird, almost clownish. In the opposite end of this spectrum, I find the detailing of the background scenes amazing. As I said, by midway through the series, I get used to it all, and am able to enjoy the show itself for the most part.

Getting into the story/characters itself, I liked it. I liked all of the characters though I thought where a lot of where the story went to be fairly predictable. I also thought it a little strange that so many enemies were all friends in the end. All in all, a solid B+ for me.

Now I am deciding what to watch next and whether I start a new series today (Friday), or mess around and wait until Monday. In my cue is Girls Bravo, Tenjho Tenge, and still Witchblade, along with some more Tenchi, or Shuffle.

Heat Guy J

Saturday, March 24, 2012

School Rumble

Ok, the last anime for me to review today, which will finally get me caught up since I finished Second Semester yesterday (watched the first some time ago). I really won't have much to say here about this show, because it really isn't very deep. It is very fun though, and I did really enjoy it, even though I can't say I am happy with the ending. That is mostly because they have unfortunately canceled doing a Third Semester even though it was written. Anyway, this show is really on the silly side, but it was a fun change of pace after some of the more serious shows I have been watching lately. I did really root for Harima the main character though, even though I don't understand the infatuation with Tenma that he has. I really thought the two other girls he really should have had interest in (Eri and Yakumo, which he comically refers to as "Rich Girl" and "Tenmas Sister") were much better and it is obvious they have interest in him. I guess if he does go after one of the others, it would probably end the series though...

Oh well, not sure I will ever see how this plays out, though I am considering maybe buying the Manga books where this show left off, (looks to be around issue 13 I think), and maybe actually reading the conclusion, though that seems a daunting task with all the other reading and things I am backlogged on... Now before Monday I am deciding what to watch next. In my que is Heat Guy J, Witchblade, some more Tenchi, or Shuffle which I am trying to remember if I have already seen or not... Recently ordered Girls Bravo on the cheap too, so it is jumping in there as well.

School Rumble Second Semester


Ok, good news! I hated Full Metal Panic, but I followed that with Gungrave, which I liked a lot. I really liked the main character Brandon and his intricate story with Maria, Big Daddy and of course Harry MacDowell. I loved seeing how the story unwound in the past, and to see the definitive conclusion to all at the end. I hate to keep bringing up FMP, but this was an exact opposite in regards to character development, and I really grew to develop feelings and emotions for the characters in the show. Even the bad guys.... There was moments of happiness when something good happened as well as that feeling of sadness/disappointment when something bad did. The whole crime/mafia aspect of the show was also a fun diversion from the normal anime fare...

I did really like this series, and consider it one of the better ones I have seen. There are some other series I have that might beat it to the top of my list, but this show would definitely make it very high. A++ from me!

Gungrave Series

Full Metal Panic

I had decided to leave a small review with each series I watch lately, but I have either been lazy or busy and hadn't really done that. Now that I work from home, I usually get in a couple of episodes a day at lunch time, which means I finish a normal length series every couple of weeks give or take a few days. I am three series behind on my reviews, so I am starting with the oldest I completed and moving up to the new, which means I am starting with Full Metal Panic.

Unfortunately, I am starting on a bad note, because to be honest, I really did not like this series that much at all. Sure it has a good premise, and I liked the animation and all, but I really disliked both of the main characters, Sousuke Sagara and Kaname Chidori. Ok, I can dismiss for a good while realism when watching anime, because if you can't you will obviously never enjoy it. While that may be the case, I expect a certain level of realism about the characters interactions and emotions. These two main characters did not provide that for me, especially Sousuke. Yes, I understand he lived a hard life and was sheltered from normal everyday activity and interactions, but at the same time, I felt he was experiencing these throughout the show, but never seemed to learn from them. I really thought that some point he would start acting a little more normal and it just never happened. He was just strange and never changed, which he has motivation to do so with his feelings toward Kaname. Speaking of Kaname, I really didn't like her either. She seems to be popular in the show for no apparent reason, and I really thought she was too aloof because of it.

I could keep going on, but I think I will cut it short at that. I know there were sequels made, and if the price is right, maybe I will give those a go at some point to see if it can redeem itself, but I have to say I am in no hurry. So far this has been the most disappointing anime I have watched in a long time. It probably also doesn't help that I watched it after Fate/Stay, which is one of my favorites. I also feel bad because my wife bought this Blu-ray for me as a Christmas present. She doesn't buy me anime much, and it would not be good for her to know I didn't like it. It wasn't her fault since I asked for it, but I wish I hadn't gotten it this way. Oh well.....

Full Metal Panic Series

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fate/Stay Night... One of my favorites!

Well, I had my eye on this series for a really long time and had a feeling I would really like it. Well, I finally decided to go on the hunt and purchase this series a few weeks ago and finally got it all after hunting down the different disk from various sources on Amazon and eBay.

Well, I can happily say now that I am glad I did. I loved this show, and it now ranks in probably my top 5 favorite anime series! It was really great! I thought it was deep without being overly complicated, and I also liked pretty much all of the main characters a lot. I thought that the main character ShirĊ was a good mix of not being too strong, confident, cooky, etc but at the same time wasn't too much of a nerd, geek, pervert, pansy, etc. Sabre was cool and complex. She was believable in being a strong, determined character that I also liked a lot. Rin was actually my favorite female character, and I liked how they handled her as well. In the interest of not spoiling the plot for anyone who hasn't watched it, I sort of wished that certain character interactions at the end would have been different, but the door was left open I think for you to take things the way you wanted it to go in your mind afterwards.

Anyway, a great show. Its too bad that it appears to be in publishing limbo right now because of company changes/mergers and all of that. Each disk I went through a lot to find reasonably priced, and while I was able to buy most in new condition, I had to get a couple used. I was glad to grab the complete series and box though. I finished all 24 episodes in less than 5 days, and really wanted more to be honest. I admit I have also been watching Full Metal Panic! at the same time as this, and while I have always heard good things about it, and I admit I like it to a certain degree too, it just doesn't compare. I have been fine just watching a couple of episodes a day of the latter series, while like I said, I can't get enough of Fate/Stay. Also, I have been leaving it alone since I got it due to the backlog of other games, but watching this made me break into my Fate/Extra LE PSP game (yes, not the same story, but very interesting none the less). Ok, I am rambling on so I will stop. Below is a picture of the Rin Tohsaka Revoltech model figure I got. It and the DVD box set will sit on my desk for a while I am sure!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Finished Big O

I started this series years ago, but things came up and never finished series 1 and didn't even start 2. That changed now and I just finished both. It was a really good series though I admit there were times I either felt I was watching the same episode over and over, or was a little lost in some of the plot points. Overall it was very good though, and I figured most everything out for the most part. I really enjoyed the Gotham like Paradigm city, and really liked all of the main characters. Even ones I didn't like at first like Dorothy really grew on me as it progressed. I wouldn't say its a favorite, but it was a very good and recommended series to watch. I liked it enough that I only had series 1 when I started it, but made sure to order and get in series 2 before I was finished with one to keep the story going. I didn't want to wait for it to continue. Next up is Fate/Stay Night which I already started and Full Metal Panic...

Big O Series