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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Land of Obscusion's Twelve Favorite Posts of 2011!! (& December 2010, too) Part 1

With the blog now starting it's third year of existence I figure long enough has passed that I can look back at the first year with some sense of minor nostalgia and take a look at what I had posted back during 2011, while also adding in December 2010, the first month of the blog where I posted like a madman who felt that tons of posts in each month was the best idea...  Boy was that a silly idea.

Anyway, what were my favorite posts in those first 13 months?  That is actually a pretty tough thing to say, and cutting it down to my usual twelve entries was really hard.  I had to bite the bullet and not include stuff like the Xevious CG movie "non-review", Salamander, Kochikame the Movie, the Enoki Films USA catalog look-at, and B't X, among many others.  That first year had a lot of favorites of mine, but I do feel that these twelve posts (or series of posts in three certain choices) are my absolute favorites from 2011 & December 2010.  As usual, there is no actual order to this list, but here are my favorite posts in those first thirteen months!


Blazing Transfer Student (April 5 , 2011)
"Moeru Faiyaaa!  Ta-Ta-Ka-E!"  This OV...  Sorry, I mean OLA is just so much fun to watch and absolutely funny & admirable.  Only Kazuhiko Shimamoto can create something that is both something you want to enjoy in an honest fashion yet be so willing to poke fun at at the same time; it's okay, the anime does the same thing.  To be honest, the only possible reason I can think of for GAINAX not including this two-episode production in their "WORKS" page is simply because the "brilliant" idea of the Original Laser Animation ended up bombing so badly.  Since Japanese businesses don't like to talk about horrifically bad business decisions I'm going to guess that GAINAX probably decided to just ignore Blazing Transfer Student's existence and hope no one will remember it.  Well, unfortunately for them, people do remember this little anime short, and it is amazing.

I now leave you with Kazuhiko Shimamoto destroying his own vocal chords screaming his heart out singing the very theme song he wrote, with Noriko Hidaka worrying over his health before giving up and encouraging him to kill his vocal chords.


Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy (July 7, 2011)
This review has a short little history behind it, and admittedly came about, in a sense, by "demand".  I had been keeping up with Viz's release of the Ultimate Muscle manga since they ended up only coming out once every six months, and the idea of reviewing it was in the back of my mind.  Once the last volume came out in July, though, I simply asked Jason Thompson on Twitter if he was going to cover UM on his ANN feature House of 1000 Manga, since he had covered other Viz manga shortly after their last volumes came out, like he did with Saint Seiya & JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.  Jason, though, replied with an admittance that he's not familiar-enough with UM to talk about it, followed by him asking me when I'll review it.  Well, when the man behind HoTM is asking you when you'll be reviewing a manga you might as well review it, right?  Anyway, this was a fun review to make and I do hope that I did Jason proud, because it's his "fault" for me doing my very first manga review for the blog.  By the by, nearly a year later Shaenon K. Garrity, the editor of Viz's release of UM, did end up doing a HoTM article for the manga on behalf of Jason, so the circle of life did get complete eventually.

Honestly, the VHS covers Japan got crushed our covers.

Next Senki Ehrgeiz (December 9, 2010)
It's the third post in a row for Ehrgeiz, so I bet your getting tired of it, aren't you?  Well, this review is honestly one of favorites from the first year-ish of the blog.  Earlier that year I had recorded my AnimeVillage.com-subbed VHS tapes for Ehrgeiz onto DVD, as well as the one dub tape Bandai did, and in doing so I had re-watched the entire show in one day, and I really enjoyed seeing it all in one day like that; in fact, I enjoyed more that when I first watched it.  I had originally bought the VHS tapes back in 2004 because I had seen a page for it on AnimeNfo with a overall score of 1.0/10, but it only had one vote and there was no explanation for the score.  I must admit I was interested simply because I had to know why that 1.0 score was there.  Upon seeing the show and really enjoying it, I didn't understand the score and today I don't give a damn about that anymore.  I really like Ehrgeiz and I think this review really showcased that.  The fact that it's my #2 most-viewed post on the blog gives me a real feeling that I have succeeded in giving this show a second chance to people who are willing to watch obscure anime.  The fact that, since this review, Ehrgeiz's sub tapes have been ripped and can now be downloaded if you know where to look hopefully can also help.  I still want to know what "Dream Jack" means, though.


Naikaku Kenryoku Hanzai Kyousei Torishimarikan Zaizen Jotaro (October 20, 2011)
Ah, this is the review that I thought would never happen, simply because I wasn't going to buy the bootleg DVD release just to finish watching the show with bad bootleg English subs.  Luckily, I saw that someone actually did rip the subs from the bootleg, so I was able to watch all of this show and review it.  And, boy, was this show a ton of fun to watch, with a highly-entertaining lead character and a serious, yet still light-hearted at times, story dealing with dirty business & politics.  Sure, there are over-the-top moments, but that just adds to the fun of the title.  I outright went against the grain with the general consensus of this title, though I did point out that pretty much every talk of this show went solely off of one episode, three at the most, with the AWO "review" being the only one at the time actually covering everything that had been subbed at the time of that podcast, which was six episodes.  But I still stand behind this review, and I still stand behind this show, because I do think that it deserves a fair shot now that the entire thing can be watched with English subs, as long as you know where to look....  And you skip the absolutely horrid first episode that has nothing to do with the rest of the show.


Platinumhugen Ordian (January 25, 2011)
Remember when I said that I could keep talking about Ordian forever at the end of the review?  That's because it is true, as there is a fair amount that I still didn't cover in this review.  There is just so much to Ordian that I have to admire it so much, as I do think that this is a Masami Obari production that has unfortunately become forgotten.  But, at the same time, even with the stuff that I didn't talk about the review still came out a really good read, and similar to Ehrgeiz this is another title that I can always get behind.  Where else can you get a mech anime that has two pretty different halves to them that features a bunch of Norse references, some Evangelion influences, random fanservice in the last episode, and crazy-awesome opening theme, and a mech that goes into another, larger mech that wields a giant spear?  Sure, you could name shows that have some of those elements, but only Ordian has all of them.

Really, where's my R1 DVD cover featuring this English logo?!  Come on!

Ring ni Kakero 1 [All of it] (December 2010, March 2011, June 2011, November 2011)
If there is one anime series that truly represents the spirit of The Land of Obscusion, it's Ring ni Kakero 1.  For something that is so obscure, underrated, underappreciated, underlooked, & underknown outside of Japan there sure is a fair amount of stuff to talk about in regards to it.  I've reviewed 36 episodes across four seasons, the pilot film that predated the first season, the sole video game based on it, a "Manga DVD" that also predates the first season, and I've even given an overview of the 24.5 chapters that the anime skipped over, for the most part, so that it can start at the main portion of the story.  In the smaller details, I've also mentioned the English dub that Ocean Studios did for some unknown (to me) portion of the anime, which featured Michael Coleman doing the voice for Ishimatsu, and I brought up the impact that the original Ring ni Kakero manga had on the manga industry, specifically that of the shonen mold.  In that first year-ish I essentially exhausted what there is to review; literally, all that would be left to review would be the Ring ni Kakero Image Album from the 80s, a vinyl record filled with songs based on the manga (I don't have it, and I don't want it); Ring ni Kakero 2, the sequel that stars the offspring of the original's leads (I would review it, but it's not translated into English & I only have 8 volumes out of 26); Kurumada Masami Nekkestu Taidan Densetsu/Masami Kurumada Hot-Blooded Conversation Legend Ring ni Kakero REAL, a series of conversations between Kurumada & MMA/wrestling pros, plus a RnK1 side-story manga short Kurumada made in 2006 (it's not translated into English, but the short was animated as the prologue of ep 1 of Ring ni Kakero 1: Shadow); and the multitude of Ring ni Kakero 1 pachislot & pachinko machines (I don't live in Japan, though I wouldn't mind playing one if I ever do visit Japan).  Man, that's a lot of stuff...  And to think that, if the newest pachislot machine is any indication, there might actually be a Season 5 of the anime in the near future.

I do like to think that I have helped make Ring ni Kakero 1 slightly more known via this blog and the coverage I have given it, and there is a slight indication that I may have.  Ever since I did my first RnK1 reviews back in December 2010 Seasons 3 & 4 (Shadow & Sekai Taikai-hen, respectively) ended up appearing on ANN's Encyclopedia list of the "Top 10 Most Underrated" animes, where they actually became #2 & #1, respectively, in the middle of this year.  Seeing that happen made me so happy, and the fact that the only stuff to top them have so far been titles that would be popular once they become more widely-available, like Children Who Chase Lost Voices, Wolf Children, & presently Madoka Magica Movie 1, combined with the fact that slowly, but surely, more people will watch S3 & S4 and rate them means that there seems to be a slightly larger appreciation for Ring ni Kakero 1.

And that's the end of Part 1 of my favorite posts of 2011 & December 2010.  Come back later this week when I cover Part 2...  And, yes, "that title" will be in Part 2, as I can't ignore a title that tortured me.

1 comment:

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