Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mazinkaiser SKL


Mazinkaiser SKL マジンカイザー SKL, also called Mazinkaiser Skull and currently romanized in the official website as Mazinkaizer SKL is a Japanese OVA series and the 11th Mazinger series ever made based on Go Nagai's original works.

The series will be released in an unconfirmed date in Winter 2010 and also has a planned novel adaptation to be serialized in ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Hobby Magazine and a manga adaptation currently being published in the mobile phone magazine Shu 2 Comic Gekkin.

Besides the fact I actually do have a fascination with skulls and this particular class of Mecha, as evidenced in this earlier blog, combine those two together and such information is actually quite exciting to me!

It would appear that the familiar space craft control area normally associated with the Mecha (at the top of its head unit) has been replaced with a skull, hence the title of the series. And this new version of Mazinkaiser seems to be a bit...darker and more wicked looking then its predecessors. This of course leads to a lot of speculation on my own part.

(click on the images to see them at full resolution...)



The weapons also look far more violent as well! Could this very well be, for all intents and purposes, a Dark Mazinkaiser?






As in the previous Mazinkasier Series, there seems to be a feminine Mecha as well...




And of course, the cast of characters who will be the pilots and operators of these massive robots!





This new project is billed as the return of the Mazinkaiser Anime Franchise, which is itself a spinoff from Go Nagai's classic super robot manga and anime series, Mazinger Z.

You can visit the Official Mazinkaiser SKL Website here. And if you can't read Japanese, your browser should offer to translate it for you.

Here is the trailer that they have for the new series:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Star Wars: The New Jedi Order


So…

I was talking to Betty about some very philosophical things (yeah…right) and the subject of Star Wars came up. I mentioned that the story of Luke, Han, and Leia actually continued beyond Episode VI in the form of George Lucas approved novels.

(Click on the images to see at the higher resolution.)








I really like these Japanese Covers because they show our heroes how much older and war weary they appear to be now, but they also give us a good glimpse of what their kids look like as well.

While not much on canon, (since these aren’t movies...and we shall not debate THAT here) I think it’s interesting to see what has happened to our cast of heroes following the events of “Return of the Jedi ” so I compiled a little summary here.

If Lucas ever get around to making the Sequel Trilogy, which will consist of Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, I have little doubt that he will actually use some of these characters, as many elements from other Star Wars Novels actually made their way into the Prequel Trilogy.

The Yuuzhan Vong War


One of the bigger events that occurred after the happenings that were depicted in “Return of the Jedi” was an extra-galactic alien invasion of a species that call themselves the Yuuzhan Vong.
These rather brutal people had been planning such an invasion for quite some time, but they knew they were no match for the forces of the Galactic Empire and actually had a fear of Emperor Palpatine himself. Once the Rebel Alliance defeated the Empire and the New Republic was established, that was when the Yuuzhan Vong decided to make their their savage move to establish a foothold in the galaxy.
It’s almost ironic that it was the death of the Emperor and the collapse of the Empire that caused this new problem to happen in the galaxy as it was those two very presences that kept  the Yuuzhan Vong in check. Throughout the series of the conflict, there were many that reminisced on the Galactic Civil War and actually thought to themselves that "they did not have it AS bad with the Emperor and Darth Vader and actually wished they were around to lend a hand..." 
This new conflict was not one of an internal conflict over economics and politics, but one of of survival to repel a hostile alien race.





Jacen Solo


Jacen is the first born son of Han and Leia Organa Solo and was one of the leading Jedi Knights who proved crucial in defeating the Yuuzhan Vong and protecting the galaxy during the Yuuzhan Vong War.
Jacen spent most of his early years as the target of various kidnapping plots and schemes against his famous parents. When he was thirteen, he and his twin sister Jaina began attending the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4, where their uncle Luke Skywalker taught them the ways of the Force. There he made several friends, among them the Hapan Princess Tenel Ka Djo, to whom he became strongly attracted. While training, he and his friends defeated numerous plots against the New Republic He and his younger brother Anakin were later apprenticed to Luke.




Jaina Solo


Jaina is the first born daughter of Han and Leia Organa Solo, and twin to her brother Jacen. She inherited her father's mechanical aptitude and her mother's Force Sensitivity, resulting in her eventual training at the Jedi Praxeum.
During her time there as a youth, she had many adventures, including helping to thwart the Second Imperium.
When the Yuuzhan Vong invaded the galaxy, Jaina joined the New Republic Military and distinguished herself as a Rogue Squadron Pilot. She was constantly on the front lines of battle during the Yuuzhan Vong War, earning the title of Sword of the Jedi from her uncle, Luke Skywalker, and becoming known as an avatar of the Trickster Goddess Yun-Harla to the Yuuzhan Vong. During the war, she also became romantically involved with fellow pilot Jagged Fel.





Anakin Solo


Anakin is the third child of Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo. As a child Anakin often feared succumbing to the allure of the dark side and becoming a Sith himself. At the age of eleven, he attended the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4, where he became fast friends with Tahiri Veila. Together, they enjoyed numerous adventures, which included freeing the imprisoned souls of Massassi Children.
Originally Anakin was to be named Han Solo Jr., but Leia decided to name the boy after after his maternal grandfather, Anakin Skywalker. Leia wanted to redeem her father's name, as she also thought she could overcome her fear of Darth Vader by seeing what her father could have been through her son.
Anakin was one of the pivotal figures in the Yuuzhan Vong War, participating in several of the major battles and developing effective tactics against the Yuuzhan Vong.





Ben Skywalker


Ben is the son of former Emperor's Hand and Jedi Master Mara Jade Skywalker and legendary Rebel Hero and Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker. Ben was born amidst the turmoil of the devastating Yuuzhan Vong War, where an extra-galactic species known as the Yuuzhan Vong invaded the galaxy, laying waste to dozens of planets. As both of his parents were Jedi, they were unable to spend time with him as they fought in the war, so Ben was taken care of by his Aunt and Uncle, former New Republic Chief of State Leia Organa Solo and ex-smuggler and Rebel General Han Solo. He was subsequently moved to the Shelter in the Maw, where many other young Jedi stayed. The Yuuzhan Vong were eventually repelled and a ceasefire was negotiated, but young Ben felt the pain of war through the Force, overwhelming him and causing him to close himself off from the Force for several years.

Of course, all that is really  just the tip of the proverbial ice asteroid. There's a lot more that happened to the characters during and especially after the Yuuzhan Vong War, but I thought I would just start with this little nibble of information first before presenting what I think would be overwhelming data and perhaps even sensory overload.

Until I decide to follow up on this entry, I will leave you with this little teaser of information that is comprised of four syllables:

Darth Caedus


Yep...there is another.

Poll: Which Car Looks More "Advanced"?

This is the kinda stuff I like talking about. Click the link below and vote your opinion!


Poll: Which Car Looks More "Advanced"?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gamera


As a child, super heroes were the big thing for me and my sibs. We didn’t actually get into Sci-Fi (with the advent of Star Wars) until much later on.

However…

I suppose that the English dubbed Japanese Movies and Series we liked that dealt with huge monsters and giant robots were actually a form of science fiction.

One such character was the large prehistoric creature known as Gamera. To this day, I still have a fondness for that one and I'm not sure exactly why. Perhaps it’s because he’s a turtle…and a super sized one at that, since I always did like dinosaurs. (And wanted a pet turtle also!) I also think it’s because Gamera was always shown as protecting innocents…especially children.

Also, I was (and still am) a HUGE fan of the Hulk as a child. Around when I started college, I also became very interested in Iron Man (gadget geek here…remember!) because of the technology aspect of the character. And I once took one of those “What Kind Of Super-Hero Are You?” Quizzes and got pegged as Iron Man. So…with all that in mind, in the world of Japanese Monster Movies, Iron Man would be the giant technological Mecha ( like my favorite Mazinkaiser ) while Gamera would be the brute strength and savage Hulk.

I knew there would be a connection back to the Super Heroes!

The origins of Gamera have changed a bit since the original movies from the 1960’s Era.

As introduced, Gamera is a titanic, fire-breathing prehistoric species of tortoise who fed on flames and was reawakened by an accidental atomic blast in the Arctic during an aerial assault by US Fighters on Soviet Bombers caught crossing into North American Airspace. Apparently, Gamera had appeared in the past as revealed in an ancient stone etching. Gamera was already capable of flight and breathing fire when he was reawakened.

Later, the origin was tweaked to make the theme much more along the ancient heroic lines by saying that Gamera was a bio-engineered Guardian of the Universe created by Atlantis with the purpose of defeating Gyaos, another ancient creation capable of killing all human life. The giant turtle is found floating adrift in the Pacific, encased in rock and mistaken for an atoll. Within the rock, investigators discover a large monolith explaining Gamera's purpose, as well as dozens of magatama, which allow a psychic link between Gamera and humans. In the third film of the new series, an undersea graveyard is found with many other Gamera fossils, suggesting Gamera was not the only member of his kind created. One character in the film refers to these fossils as "beta versions" of Gamera, possible failures in Atlantis' attempts to create the final version. Another scene provides Gamera with a link to Asian Folklore, with a character relating a story in which a giant tortoise is considered the Guardian of the North, with separate, rival creatures defending the East, West and South.

Although I have to admit that I have yet to see these newer, more modern features, the first Gamera movie I ever saw, and to this day is still my favorite one, is “Attack of the Monsters” in its US release, but called “Gamera vs. Guiron” in its original Japanese. I didn’t even realize it was the fifth movie of that series until many years later.



Here’s a plot summary of that story:

Two boys, Akio and Tom, spy in their telescope a spaceship that descends into a nearby field. With Akio's little sister in tow, they bicycle out the next day to investigate. The boys enter the spaceship and accidentally take off to an alien planet named Terra, while Tomoko is left behind, unable to convince any adults (except kindly but eccentric police officer Kondo) of the boys' misadventure. On Terra, the boys encounter two beautiful but sinister Terran Women and their monster Guiron, who battles Space Gyaos. Gamera eventually tracks the boys to Terra and destroys Guiron. The Terran women are defeated and Gamera takes Akio and Tom back to Earth.

I have to admit Guiron scared the crap out of me as a kid, especially since it looked like a large a butcher knife my parents used to cut meat with and that my sibs and I were ever forbidden from even looking at while in the kitchen.



Since the very first time watching that movie, there have been occasions that I was lucky enough to catch it on being broadcast on TV, but I recently found this movie online and went ahead and ordered the DVD. I am very much looking forward to seeing it on my HD TV.

I also went and ordered the Sci-Fi Revoltech Gamera action figure. That arrived today!




What’s cool is that you don’t have to actually open the box top to see inside, as it has a Velcro snap cover.



Here is a clearer view of what you see with the Velcro cover open:



I cannot even begin to describe how detailed Gamera is, but I shall try to do so with the following images:



There is lots of nice detailing on Gamera’s chest…



…and on its back!




I also really like how there is attention paid to the coloration of Gamera's eyes.



But besides the Gamera figure itself, the package comes with some really cool accessories.



They can be combined to display Gamera as flying…



Or spewing a flame blast...



…and to even have his fists open…or closed! (I am reminded of the Tamarian “Uzani, his army with fists open! Uzani, with fists closed! You MAY get a cookie IF you know what I am talking about…)



Gamera’s tail is also fully poseable. Again…great detailing here…



…and the same applies to its mouth as well!



Here is Gamera facing off against Gyaos. I really wish they made a Guiron figure along this scale!



In summary, the Sci-Fi Revoltech Gamera package is a very GEWD figure that I am totally glad that I purchased. It brings back some really nice child hood memories as well.

Packaged Dinosaur Meat

I have to admit...this is a really good advertising campaign for VitaFresh.




Watch the reactions of the people. 'Tis QUITE hillarious!



Lots of  kudos all around to their marketing department for coming up with this one!

This ALMOST...just ALMOST...makes me crave a nice rare Bronto Burger.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Introducing the all new BurgerMelt


Holy shit...ya gotta be kidding  me.

Most of you who know me are aware that I like a good rare, bloody steak...and a burger the same way, but even *I* think that this is a heart attack waiting to happen.

According the product's description, it is...
This is the BurgerMelt to end all BurgerMelts. We place a thick and juicy 100% Black Angus Big Beef Burger between two whole grilled cheese sandwiches, complete with lettuce, tomato and mayo. You'll have to taste it to believe it.

What? No bacon?? Seriously?

I have to admit though...the place that sells that product looks "friendly" enough (I made a punny!) sorta like a Ma and Pa Country Family Dining sorta feel.

What? You don't believe me? Well...click here to see for yourself.

Even if I was tempted to try this monster burger, the establishment that spawned this creation is way out of my stomping grounds.




However...YOU may *not* be so lucky! Take a looky looky to see if there is one of these joints in your neck of the woods by clicking here!

HAH! And to think KFC got flak for their latest creation!

And LOOK...THAT has bacon!



You can read all about that here!

Hmm...now that I think about it, I have YET to try that one.

Scott Pilgrim Avatar Creator

Yeppers...'tis ME!

Click on the image to see it larger!


You can create your very own here!

Direct link to my image is here!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mazinkaiser



When I was a child, I had no idea what Anime was, but I liked it none the less. To me, they were just “other cartoons” such as Speed Racer, Prince Planet, and G-Force that came on around the more familiar programs such as Woody Woodpecker, Popeye, and Marvel Superheroes line up of what was scheduled for afternoon television.

I had no idea they were Japanese Anime that was not only dubbed but edited as well for content.

The same thing went for a number of live action English dubbed Japanese shows such as Ultraman, Spectreman and The Space Giants. My siblings and I were fans of those Giant Robots...along with Giant Monsters such as Godzilla and Gamera.

It's no wonder that one of my FAVORITE Christmas Gifts (so much so that I am still remembering it after all these years) was the Mazinga Action Figure from the Shogun Warriors line.







Now...over 30 years later, I recently saw that Mazinga is back...and improved! And with a new variation on his old name: Mazinkaiser!








It's like the 21st Century Update of my old 1970's Era Figure!

I did some research after learning about this new figure, and saw that there is a Mazinger as well, that came after my old Mazinga but before this new Mazinkaiser. And in between, there were variations called Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger. This Class of Mecha has been around for quite some time apparently!



I later learned that this figure was made from a Anime Series of the same name:
Mazinkaiser マジンカイザー, is an anime OVA series, inspired by Go Nagai's Mazinger Series. The OVA follows Kouji Kabuto, Tetsuya Tsurugi and the rest of the "Mazinger Team" as they fight against Dr. Hell's Mechanical Beasts.

An army of machines, led by Baron Ashura, defeats Kouji's Mazinger Z and Tetsuya's Great Mazinger. In the aftermath, Kouji stumbles upon a forgotten laboratory. Inside, he finds Mazinkaiser, the most powerful robot ever built. The series chronicles Kouji's experience with the machine as he copes with Kaiser's power while defeating Dr. Hell's forces.

The OVA's design is inspired by the original Mazinger Z manga from 1972, rather than Toei Animation's TV series. Mazinkaiser emulates Go Nagai's character designs and its operatic plot is supported by a "tongue-in-cheek" cynicism in regards to the gratuitous sex and violence.

There are Seven Episodes in this series, including one "movie" that will be released as a complete set on September 24th of this year. I'm not entirely sure if it will have English Subtitles though, but I will look into getting that DVD collection.

You can learn more about the series by clicking here.

Online though, I found some of "those places" *AHEM* that you can watch various episodes of this series.

Ya know...for sampling purposes, of course.

I managed to...erms, "borrow" one complete episode because and display it here for your viewing pleasure. Its NOT subtitled in English though, but you can still enjoy the visuals, and actually read along of you know a little Spanish.

This is Mazinkaiser Episode 4. Enjoy!




Watch Mazinkaiser OVA 4 "El plan para rescatar a sayaka" Sub Spanish in Animation