Friday, December 30, 2011

More Age Generation 2 Gunpla

All due out in February for 1,200 to 1,500Y.


This is the first variant of the AGE-2: the AGE-2 Double Bullet (1,500Y). I'm liking it a LOT more than either of the AGE-1's variants, and even a bit more than the regular AGE-2.

Gundam: The Origin Volume 04 Chapter 03 Notes

 And, finally! A mobile suit shows up!

...And it's a Zaku.
...And it's only there for 2 pages.

Well, we all know what's coming next, so I guess that's okay.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merch Medley VII

Got a number of nifty things to check out this time. Well, mostly gunpla--but, hey, gunpla's cool!

First up, a high-grade 1/144 Dorado, from Gundam Age. I'm not entirely certain, but I'm pretty sure this is the new "basic" grunt for the UE in the second-era of Gundam Age, and thus the main foe Flit and Yurin's son will be up against.

Death flags smeath flags.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gundam: The Origin Volume 04 Chapter 02 Posts

It's quite literally overflowing with "O__o" moments.


The Origin is filled with scenes like these. Really, it's crazy. And it's going to be animated!?!? I'll believe it when I see it. While from a narrative standpoint, it seems pretty pointless to adapt The Origin without doing a full-on remake approach (a full 50-episode TV series), I have a hard time imagining a TV series would have the necessary budget to properly animate the series. Of course, the longer on OVA, the more expensive and time-consuming it is (Unicorn's 6 episodes are taking 4 years!) so I imagine these are the same issues Bandai is struggling with, even now.*

Monday, December 26, 2011

HGUC K-Type Ball & Delta Gundam Unveiled

 First up, the HGUC Delta Gundam! (The "perfect" version of the Hyaku Shiki, fully trasnformable and all that. Makes the Zeta look like a pile of rubbish).


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Gundam: The Origin Volume 04 Chapter 01 Notes

Don't you just love the holiday season? You spend so much time thinking about gifts, looking for gifts, raging at Best Buy for marking up various items to 500% their retail value, finally buying the gifts--and then you think you're done, right? Time to relax, right?

WRONG.


Then you have to set aside 4 hours to wrap stuff--and mail stuff for those far-away folk--but then (GASP) you have no wrapping paper! And before you know it the whole day is gone. And by "you," I of course mean "me." It just seems less self-centered to speak in the second person.

Anyway, before I get on with that thing I alluded to earlier, there are a few things I need to make clear.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gundam Unicorn PS3 Priced & Dated

The PS3 Gundam Unicorn game will be released on 08. March 2012. The regular edition will sell for 40,50 yen, and the special edition will sell for 7,980 yen.


Those figures may not mean much to some of you, but they're pretty disappointing. Most full games sell closer to 8000 yen in Japan, with smaller, less complete offerings being priced closer to 5000 yen--like the Macross Frontier "demo" games that came bundled with the blu-ray editions of The False Songstress and Wings of Goodbye, respectively. This does not bode well for the amount of content in the game.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Huh.

I just realized something kind of cool.

Expect something nice before the end of the year.

Look forward to it.

1/60 M9 Gernsback Images

Got some (obscenely impressive) images of the upcoming M9 Gernback model kit courtesy of Hobbystock. You may want to set up a towel under your chin before looking at 'em... no lies, there's gonna be some drool.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

1/144 Gundam AGE-2 Unveiled

Finally--we can wrap our paltry minds around what this second suit will really look like.


Just by looking at the box art, you may be tempted to think, "great, another version of the Zeta transformation." Oddly enough, the AGE-2 has the first new transforming design since Gundam Wing (yeah, that's right--I don't count the LaGowe). Sure, it borrows a bit from the Kyrios, but all-round it looks to be one of the best balanced mobile armor modes we've seen since Zeta. (By which I mean it looks good and well-proportioned from every angle, not just one or two).

Gundam Unicorn PS3 Preview

A slew of new information has been released about the upcoming PS3 Gundam game based on the popular (and nearly complete!) Gundam Unicorn OVA series. Much of the information confirms earlier speculation on my part, and it looks like the final game will be a much better, bigger product than I expected.

EDIT: Promotional video added (check it out!)



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Megahouse Gundam Cosmo Fleet Act 7 Details

With Act 6 due out this month, we're already seeing information on MegaHouse's next entry in the (apparently) popular Cosmo Fleet series. Sure, the quality control may be spotty at best, but I'll be damned if I don't love these things--and Act 7 looks genuinely awesome.


I've always been very fond of the Albion (#1 White Base variant!) so it's great to see it getting re-released--particularly given how rare and expensive the older Cosmo Fleet figures have become.  And the extra generic Feddie and Zeke warships? Absolutely iconic. I'll be pre-ordering at least two sets of these babies as soon as HLJ puts the page up!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Details on Gundam Unicorn PS3 Game + 23 Screens

It would seem you can always count on Famitsu--at least when it comes to building up pre-release hype. In addition to 23 very spiffy looking screenshots of the game, Famitsu also treated us to some very cool lineart.


Take special note of that bottom MS--that beautiful white beast. Some of you may remember the "backstory" for the Sinanju. Much like the Gerbera Tetra in Stardust Memory, the Sinanju began its life as an Anaheim mobile suit--the precursor to the Unicorn itself. And this, my friends, is what it looked like.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Untitled Gundam Unicron Game Announced! (+First Batch of Screens)

With Gundam Extreme Versus due to be released next month, it would be silly to hope for the fine folks over at Bandai to announce another Gundam game, right?

Well, not this time. A new Gundam game--specifically a Gundam Unicorn game--has just been announced for the Playstation 3. It will cover the first three episodes of the OVA, and will include animated cut-scenes drawn from the OVA series. Players will be able to assume the roles of Marida Cruz, Full Frontal, and (of course) Unicorn's utterly incomprehensible protagonist, Banagher Links.

Check out the first batch of screens, fresh from Famitsu: looks pretty good (though, personally, I would have preferred a more cel-shaded look).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Yamato Valks & Gundam Age HG Kits

Looks like Yamato's Macross 7 line is ~finally~ moving past the VF-19. (About damned time, too). Well, in spurts. Check out the prototypes for their two next figures:

 Love that VF-17. Diamond Force! Well, actually I like the VF-171 (and especially the VF-171EX) better, but that'll never happen, what with Bandai owning the rights for Macross Frontier merchandise. Oh well. At $200, it's a still a priority for me to buy--but a very dim, hazy priority. Unless HLJ or AmiAmi runs a sale, of course.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Merch Medley VI

Another gundam-centry Merch Medley post... but first, a bit of boring blog-related news that I don't feel is interesting or important enough to warrant its own post.

1) For the moment, I've given up on the idea of posting my own pictures for reviews. My camera sucks, and I'm focused more on the written aspect myself. In order to post some of the reviews I've written up, I think I'll just post a few pictures from either Japanese/Chinese photoreviews, or photos released by manufacturers/retailers. Whenever I get the time, money and inclination for a new camera, I'll try and add some of my own images.

2) Regular updates!?!? I've been trying to update more regularly for a while now: I'm going to start doing mini-review posts for Gundam Age once it starts airing (IN TWO WEEKS!). While these posts may not be that interesting in and of themselves, I'm hoping they'll encourage me to post more, period.

3) Just got my Robot Damashii Wing Zero Custom in the mail yesterday. It. Is. Awesome. Easily one of the best RDs I've seen, even if the beam saber is kind of tiny. It also comes with a display stand, which is ALWAYS nice.

Anyway, on to the Merch Medley stuff. We start out with a bunch of images of the recently-releaced 1/144 scale high grade Gundam AGE-1.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Gundam AGE-2 and AGE-3 Designs Unveiled

Lineart of the Gundam AGE-2 and AGE-3 in their primary (or base) configurations have been unveiled. Check 'em out.

 Personally, though both new designs appeal to me much more than the horridly uninspired AGE-1, I think they're a bit busy. I probably like the AGE-2 the best, due to it's relative simplicity, but I have a feeling I may prefer the AGE-3 in the end, depending one what the high-speed and armored variants look like.

At the very least, I think we can all agree that this is certainly Bandai's most creative attempt to shoehorn as many Gundams into a series as possible. It's certainly better than their previous approach (EVERYTHING IS GUNDAM!) but I'm a bit uncertain about how all of this will play out in the show. Thankfully, it starts up next month, so it won't be a long wait to find out.

(Images from CyberGundam)

Merch Medley V

The return of the Merch Medley posts!

First up: the "special" new Robot Damashii Unicorn Gundam.

I'm not sure what, exactly, makes it so much better than the previous Unicorn Destroy robot damashii, other than the fact that it includes ALL of the weapons this time around. Given how much the RD line loves re-packaging the same figures with only minor difference, I wouldn't count on their being any other difference.

Also: note the side profile of the figure circled. Robot Damashii Nu Gundam, anyone?

Next:  new images of Gundam Cosmo Fleet Act 6!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gundam Age CM3 Released

The third television for the upcoming Gundam anime series, Gundam Age, has been uploaded to Youtube--check out the 1080p version, if you can.



In case you've missed it, here is second promotional video, which was released a week or so ago. At 5 minutes, it shows  off a fair bit of (presumably) the first episode, giving us a good feel for the general tone and aesthetic of Gundam age.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chara Hobby 2011

A whole bunch of stuff was shown off at this month's Chara Hobby Show. Well, nothing too interesting to me, but see for yourself.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Versus Preview

Ever since the stunning debut of Mobile Suit Gundam Senki: Record U.C. 0081 on the Playstation 3 in 2009, Gundam fans have been anxiously awaiting the venerable franchise's next foray to current-generation gaming platforms. (Ignoring the Gundam Musou/Dynasty Warriors: Gundam games for obvious reasons).




Well, it would seem the wait is over. Surprising very few of us, Famitsu has unveiled "Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Versus" for the Playstation 3--a port of a Japanese arcade game that was released in September, 2010. Featuring an enormous roster of playable mobile suits, this is the first home-console release of a Versus game since Mobile Suit Gundam: Alliance vs ZAFT II+ back in 2006.

There is no word yet on whether or not the PS3 version of Extreme Versus will receive additional/special content (previous ports have gotten additional maps, mobile suits, and fairly elaborate story modes), but we DO know that players will be able to duel one another across the Playstation Network. The game is currently slated for release (only) in Japan this December, 2011.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Official Gundam Blog Survey Results Archive (126-150)

Well, it certainly took a while for me to get the more of these results translated, huh? Well, the problem was that I attempted to do everything at once--all 100-some-odd polls translated in one massive post. And what do you think happened? One accidental select-all ended up deleting the whole damned post. Thank god for the auto-save feature, without it, I wouldn't have had to re-do every single thing.

So I'm going back to my original plan of doing everything in increments of 25. For this block, we've got some interesting questions dealing with mobile suit design (that, personally, I found very disheartening) and music. Not surprisingly, Yoko Kanno won that one by a landslide.
#126: The MG Victory Gundam finally released! By the way, what was your favorite thing in Gundam Victory? (6,837 responses; 7.December.2009-13.December.2009)
  • 46.18% - Katejina-san
  • 18.05% - V2 Gundam's Wings of Light
  • 12.10% - Shrike-Team's mortality
  • 06.60% - Mass-Produced V-Gundams
  • 05.87% - "Mother."
  • 05.62% - Haro can do anything
  • 02.52% - Motorad Fleed
  • 01.97% - Lupe Shino's Temptation
  • 01.11% - Angel Halo

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Official Gundam Blog Survey Results Archive (101-125)

As I mentioned the day before yesterday, I've recently come across the Official Gundam Blog's weekly polls, and decided to get to work on translating everything. Well, here's the first batch of Gundam polls, from way back in 2009!


I will be bundling these translations in groups of 25 to keep things more manageable for everyone involved, including myself. While most of this stuff is pretty much "fluff," I did find it a little interesting, so hopefully you can, too.

#101: Father's day is on June 21st.  Who is your favorite father in Gundam...? (6,338 responses; 15.June.2009-21.June.2009)
  • 35.12% - Oxygen Defficient (Tem Ray)
  • 23.95% - Bear of Russia (Sergei Smirnoff)
  • 23.43% - Lion of Orb (Uzumi Nara Atha)
  • 03.79% - Yarase wa Senzou! (Dozle Zabi)
  • 02.78% - Iron Mask (Carozzo Ronah/Fairchild?)
  • 02.67% - Jinn Generham (Uso Ebbing's father)
  • 02.63% - PLANT High Council Chairman (Patrick Zala)
  • 02.41% - Fled in a Rick Dias (Franklin Bidan)
  • 01.90% - Frozen Punishment (Raizo Kasshu)
  • 01.31% - Mr. Wong (Kamille's father figure?)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Official Gundam Blog: Survey #205 (Gundam Age)

I've recently become aware that the official Japanese Gundam Blog holds weekly polls. I thought to myself, hey, I should translate these! I'm currently working on translating all of the 200+ previous surveys, but in the meanwhile, let's look at the latest survey, dealing with the recent announcement of Mobile Suit Gundam Age.

#205: Mobile Suit Gundam Age has just been announced! Which aspect of this century-spanning story do you find the most interesting? (3,997 responses; 19. June 2011)
  • 49.06% - 100-year long story
  • 16.54% - Three generations of protagonists
  • 11.28% - Mysterious enemies, the "UE."
  • 10.38% - AGE Systems
  • 18.56% - AGE-1 Gundam
  • 02.13% - Garfan
  • 02.05% - Sparrow/Titus

Most of the surveys I've looked at so far tend to have between two to three times as many responses as this one. This could be indicative of a poor reception (i.e. fans aren't interested in any aspect of Gundam Age), a decrease of traffic to the official blog, or some other variable. Personally, I find the 100-year story and multi-generational concepts to both be very promising.

Translations of surveys 101-125 should be done today: will hope to get the other ~80 most recent surveys translated by this time next week. The site doesn't appear to host any of the older surveys (001-100), but I'm hoping to find them archived elsewhere.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3

I'm not ashamed to admit that, way back in 2007,  bought a Playstation 3 for $500 USD simply so I could download the demo for the first Dynasty Warriors Gundam spin-off title as soon as I could. With Turn A, Wing Zero, and ZZ, I could not resist. The console generation was still new, and there were precious few games on any platform worth a second glance, let alone a purchase, but I knew it would be worth it just to see my favorite mobile suits in glorious HD.

I'm also fairly certain I was chanting, "Turn A Turn! Turn A Turn!" for a while there after watching the first PV.

But times have changed. The Playstation 3 now has one of the best, most diverse libraries out of any gaming platform in the medium's short history, and there are now much better Gundam games to choose from than mere Musou spin-offs. And now, four years later, the Gundam Musou spin-off line isn't just the most successful line Gundam games sold outside of Japan--it's also the only line of Gundam games sold outside of Japan. But... is this latest entry any good?



Yes. And no.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Penny Auctions: The Flutteroo Scam

Way back when I started this blog I mentioned that I might occasionally delve into completely unrelated, random nonsense. Well, this particular post is about as far outside of my comfort zone as I'm ever going to go, and I'm probably never going to do another post like this ever, ever again. The topic?

Online scams.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's overdone. There's tons of shit out there about the literally millions of scams on the Internet. I've looked. It's actually a bit of a hobby of mine: when I see a scam, I don't just dismiss it--I research it. I try to figure out how, exactly it works. Typically that research only takes a few minutes and I'm able to move on with more important things, like spending hours with Google SketchUp crafting a rather poorly-designed 3D model of a Free Planets Alliance Battleship.

But the other day I heard about a rather new online scam called Flutteroo, and to my surprise, there wasn't really ANYTHING on the Internet I could find to learn how, exactly, the scam operated.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Robot Damashii Magella Attack Tank! Oh, yeah, and that "other" new Gundam anime....

Yes, that anime. If you haven't heard already, the manga series, "Gundam: The Origin" is being adapted into an anime! More on that at the bottom--first, some sexy Okawara tank.

 Holy crap!

Check this thing out:


Friday, June 17, 2011

A Short Vision

I spoke with my father recently, and he told me about a strange memory from his childhood. As a young boy, around the age of 4 or 5, he was watching the Ed Sullivan Show. He did not remember whether or not his parents were in the room with him or not. At one point in the broadcast, Mr. Sullivan said, quite innocently,  "I’m gonna tell you if you have youngsters in the living room tell them not to be alarmed at this ‘cause it’s a fantasy, the whole thing is animated…."

Naturally, my father stayed to watch. Wouldn't you?

What he saw, he never forgot. Melting faces. Death. Dark and grisly scenes entirely out of place on the family-friend Ed Sullivan Show. Being too young to really follow the vague plot of the film, my father remembered only the imagery--and it stayed with him for years. Decades. It faded into the dim reaches of his mind becoming increasingly surreal and alien with each passing year. Had he really seen such a thing, my father wondered, or had it all been simply a dream? A nightmare?

It wasn't. It was real--and this is it:



The film, titled "A Short Vision," was created by Peter Foldes and his wife, Joan, shortly after the first detonation of a hydrogen bomb by the United States in 1952. Graphically, this short cartoon holds up remarkably well for being more than a half-century old. Thematically, it is dark; it is scary. This cruel depiction of atomic Armageddon aired on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1954--a mere three years before the Soviets launched Sputnik. To my father, Sputnik (already an object of terror in those Cold War years) became even more menacing. Sputnik and the strange object from "A Short Vision" became one and the same: a terror in the skies, ready to rain death and fire and destruction upon everyone and everything that ever was.

You can see why the brief film, witnessed only once in childhood, had such a profound and lasting impact on my father's mind.

Today, the fear of nuclear annihilation is far less prevalent than it was in the 1950s. We've become accustomed to the existence of nuclear weapons, and no longer fear them--all the more so with the collapse of the Soviet Union robbing the west of a cruel villain figure around which all of our nuclear fear could gather. This short cartoon, therefore, ought to be far less terrifying today than it was when my father saw it, so many years ago. That atmosphere of terror is long dead. Yet I find myself cold upon watching it. The fear may be gone, but the threat of nuclear devastation will always be with us. And today, that threat is far, far greater than it has ever been before. It's only a matter of time before someone, somewhere decides to use nuclear weaponry to further his or her ambitions, or because he or she feels a responsibility to do so. It has already happened twice, after all. With each new blast and each passing year, our fear will wane. Unless something is done, I fear that short vision may prove to be truly prophetic.

___
You can read more about the history of the "A Short Vision" cartoon at knol.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gundam Age Gunpla & Toy Extravaganza

Got a whole mess of Gundam Age model kit and toy images to sort through. Gotta say, as uninspired as the designs may be, they probably translate better into "beginner gunpla" than anything from 00, or even the CE series'.

First up: the 1/48 scale Mega-Size AGE-1 Gundam. (Release date and price not yet determined, but you can count on the price, at least, being around 12,000 yen or so).


Monday, June 13, 2011

Gundam Age Preview

The next animated series in the venerable Gundam franchise was officially unveiled today, so let's take a look at it, shall we? I've translated information from the official site below, with my personal impressions of the series at the very bottom. First up, the first PV advertisement:



Story
Several hundred years have passed since mankind first began to colonize outer space. The perpetual wars for dominance on the planet's surface are ended, and humanity embraced a new, peaceful era.

But that peace soon crumbled into despair.

A.G. 101 -- The 101st year of the Advanced Generation calendar.
An unknown enemy, designated UE, attacks and destroys the space colony Angel, suddenly and without warning. This brutal attack becomes known as "Angel Sunset," and marks the beginning of humanity's suffering.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gundam Memories: Tatakai no Kioku Preview

Let's take a look at "Gundam Memories: Tatakai no Kioku," the latest Gundam game, due to be released next week. This title will be released on the Playstation Portable in Japan on June 23, 2011.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gundam Age - First Details Emerge


 Details have begun to surface of an ambitious new gundam project, including a new anime series, manga, and games. Titled "Gundam Age," the project will be officially unveiled in two days, on the 13th of June. Early details were leaked by the Japanese magazine Coro Coro Comics (scans below). Here's what we know so far:

Akiba Hobby Show Preview

Some nice stuff from the Akiba Hobby show. Images from the Tamashii Nation and Bandai showrooms. (Including pics of those Tamashii Nation exlusive strike packs for the Robot Damashii Strike Gundam I mentioned last time).



Friday, June 10, 2011

Merch Medley IV

After a long absence, we return with another Friday Medley. Not a whole lot to report--just some nice Gundam stuff for fellow Robot Damashii aficionados.

First up: new promotional images for the upcoming 1/100 Scale Master Grade Epyon!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Merch Medley III


A fair bit of gunpla news, which is always nice: it's not great (still no Victory kits) but... nice nonetheless. Also some new images of my favorite figure line, the Robot Damashii series, which is always good to see. Anyway, let's get this show started.


EDIT:
There will NOT be a medley post this week (edit made 5. March 2011). No special reason for it, just that there hasn't been any news this week I found particularly interesting. HLJ is running some nice sales at the moment, however, so why not check 'em out?

(And by the way, I've updated the previous posting to include the high-resolution versions of the videos). 

Contents
  • HGUC Dreissen & Jegan
  • MG 00-Raiser
  • MG Shenlong Gundam
  • RG Aile Strike Gundam
  • Robot Damashii Fafner
  • Robot Damashii Wing Zero Custom
  • S.H. Figuarts Kazuma
  • VF-25 Messiah 1/100 Model
  • WF2011 Megahouse Booth

Friday, February 18, 2011

Gundam Unicorn Episode 3: First 8 Minutes

It's that time again: the third episode of the Gundam Unicorn OVA is right around the corner, and we've got several minutes of early footage here and now to give us a little taste of what to expect this April.



This episode will cover the Sleeve's attack on the Neo Zeon Resource Satellite Palau (home base of the Sleeves) and the recapture of the Unicorn Gundam, and will also follow up on (B Storyline) Liddy and Audrey as they go to Earth. The episode is set to include an epic battle between the Unicorn and Kshatriya, as well as the first combat sortie of the Delta Plus.

Of particular note, the computer-generated transofrmation sequence (from Unicorn-mode to DESTROY-mode and back) has been given a... "complete make-over." Here's hoping they're able to more seamlessly integrate the transformation sequence into the animation.

Well, not that I'm really sold that it's ever possible to seamlessly incorporate mahou-shoujo style transformation sequences into anything... but still.

Merch Medley II

Let's get this show started.

Yeah, it's out.
Contents
  • Akihabara Photo Report
  • AOU-2011 Banpresto Exhibit Photo Report
  • High Grade 1/144 Extreme Gundam Release
  • Mega Size MS-06 Zaku II Release
  • Megahouse Lord of Lords Ryu Knight
  • Catherine!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Merch Medley I

As mentioned earlier, I've decided to simply clump all of the hobby image preview stuff into one giant post each week--that's what this is. For the time being, I've chosen to call this (hopefully regular) feature the "Friday Preview Medley."


Each post will be organized like this, with image previews separated into categories of varying size, with a table-of-contents type link at the bottom of each post. Hopefully, this will make navigating these massive posts as easy and painless as possible. Seems simple enough, right? Let's go!

Contents 
  • Winter Hobby 2011 Photo Report
  • Winter Hobby 2011 Right Stuff Booth
  • Winter Hobby 2011 Banpresto Booth
  • Winter Hobby 2011 Megahouse Booth
  • Bandai 1/35 U.C. Hard Graph FF-X7 Core Fighter Preview
  • Macross Frontier 1/100 YF-29 Fighter Model Kit Preview
  • Muv-Luv Revoltech Figure Preview
  • Robot Damashii Wing Zero Custom Preview
  • Zone of the Enders: - Jehuty Revoltech Preview
These posts are going to be rather unwieldy due to their size, and I haven't yet figured out how to do page breaks beyond the basic "jump" you see here. If you'd rather not browse through the whole post en masse, use the search function of your web browser to hop from one section to another--that's why I made a "table of contents," after all.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Of Updates and Amazon

First up: Amazon. We've got some glorious, glorious news. Some of you out there may be aware of this, but Shouji Gatou's absurdly awesome Full Metal Panic series ended last August--and it was one hell of an ending. Fan-translations of the novels exist, but are of varying quality--the later volumes practically unreadable.

It is therefore with great exuberance that I pass on some nice news: after a hiatus of several years, Tokyopop has resumed publication of the novels in English! Volume 4 released just days ago--buy it now on Amazon!


There had been rumors of Tokyopop resuming FMP publication for about a year now, along with Ecole du Ciel. Ecole du Ciel's ninth volume, however, was officially announced, and up on Amazon for months before release. Full Metal Panic's fourth volume, conversely, was up on Amazon for about 3 days, then removed. And Tokyopop itself was unwilling to shed any light on the series' fate (and it wasn't for want of asking, I assure you).

So that's Amazon: on to the Update part. My few regular visitors... thanks for showing up. I know there haven't been many posts lately--here's why: Honestly, I haven't seen much news on the merchandise front that's interested me. I've also been fairly ill. That sucks, I know. Doing the whole hobby-news-as-it-happens thing is also a bit tedious, and there are many other sites that do it better. So I'm going to start reworking things here. And adding actual content, of course. Reviews and stuff.

First up, merchandise previews will be contained to a single post every week (on the same day, perhaps) and instead of focusing on everything, they will contain just a summary or selection of of things I, personally, find really cool. I like a whole lot of stuff, so it's possible these posts may be too large to be practical. We'll see. Like I said earlier, there really hasn't been much newsworthy stuff lately.

Next up, the promised reviews: I've got more toys and models, and no reviews for 'em. I'm gonna start by posting a few of my older reviews, sans-pictures, and maybe some new ones, equally devoid of pictures. Why? I'm still having a damned hard time getting my digital camera to take a picture that isn't super-blurry.

Almost done with my list here... I'd like to start writing some essays. That stupid little blurb last week about Gamestop partially qualifies. I'll also be broadening the topics I write about here--I've been aching to spread the word about how awesome Cross Game is and how everyone should buy the first two books now that the greatest mangaka of all time is finally seeing some love on this side of the Pacific. And, of course, talk about other books I love--know about Tom Holland's Rubicon? It's utterly fantastic.

Finally, I've got a handful of FAQs I'd like to try to incorporate into the blog, to see if I can format them somehow in a manner that is more reader-friendly. Specifically, I'm talking about Gundam Battle Universe (PSP) and Gundam Senki: Record UC 0081 (PS3). Possibly Another Century's Episode R (PS3), but ACE games are just so awful I probably won't bother.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Evils of Gamestop

A month without a post? Let's say this blog is still in the beta-testing phase. I'll let ya' know when we go gold.

Gamers seem to have a... very tenuous understanding of industry economics. While many of us understand clearly why Gamestop is bad, and why purchasing pre-owned games is an act that, by itself, may be doing more to destroy (or at least drain the life out of) the gaming industry. But many of us do not: this is for them.