I know nobody gives a crap about my dumb sprite padding material, most especially because if you hadn't ever read my comic strips, there's about zero context, and you can't even read them anymore, except the sparse amount I put up on my DeviantArt gallery. The whole "storyline" bullshit? It's for me. It's basically just for me to work out story ideas I had that I never got to in my strips. Hopefully it provides some kind of atmosphere, regardless of context. But that aside, while I am committed to doing *less* of it in 2019, you'll still see it. It's not like I get any more or less views in videos that have it.
This year's Christmas episode, subtitled A Hastily Prepared Otaku Evolution Christmas, is well-named, because I didn't get the chance to do a lot of the wrap-around atmosphere-setting like in the past years. The best I could do was the usual zoom into Penguinopolis. But I did create a whole new background, a comfy, Christmas-tinged setting from which to anchor my sprite avatar between clips, and I'm deeply satisfied with how it turned out. Yeah, I probably could have gone through the trouble of animating the fire in the fireplace, but it's such a small detail (just pretend it was a fake fire, a light bulb shaped like a fire for the set... besides which, Penguinopolis probably wouldn't have chimneys) and if you're eagle-eyed, you'll notice how appropriate that painting is for the decor.
As the year starts to wind down, I wanted to do a quick and easy review, so that means covering the Takeshi Koike visual feast that is Redline!
So... yeah, that's all I need to say. It's fucking Redline, folks. Wacky Races to the nth degree.
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I thought I'd take on an anime comedy, which I don't normally review. This one, Azumanga Daioh is based on a four panel comic, so naturally it's very episodic even within individual episodes, adapting little jokes into larger pictures. In other words, the basic plot is kind of basic (mostly just high school girls and their daily lives). However, it's anime comfort food. It makes you feel warm and lightens your spirit for a bit, like a fresh oatmeal cookie. It also helps that English dub is reasonably good, not their best, but better than the average.
Though the Japanese version features Norio Wakamoto as a cat, so...
I'm going to start off this review by saying I don't know who exactly made this kit. I got this kit from Samuel Decal (I don't always buy third party kits, but when I do it's usually through him). He's referred to it as being from E-Model and Model Principle. The product itself says it's the result of a collaboration between Dimension Studio and Eastern Model. There's also "Kokoro Link" mentioned all over the place... based on context maybe that's something to do with this version of Ultraman specifically? I'm also unsure whether this is official or not. I've seen sites selling them as officially licensed, and there's copyright marks for Eiichi Shimizu, Tomohiro Shimoguchi, and Tsubaraya Productions all over the place... but that the same time this came out of China, the manual is in English and Chinese, and isn't one any of the 100% legit sites (eg HLJ, AmiAmi). Assuming it is unofficial, it's one hell of a nice original kit.
What I do know is that this a 1/6 scale Ultraman model based on the new Ultraman manga that came out a few years ago written by Eiichi Shimizu and drawn by Tomohiro Shimoguchi. There are two releases of this kit, apparently, one with plated chrome silver and red, and one lacks the coating. When I placed my pre-order way back when I went with the regular because I didn't know the quality of the coating and whether or not they were going to undergate the parts. Good news for anyone seeking the plated version, yes, pretty much everything is under-gated. It's not always perfect though. There will be visible nub marks but I feel like they did a lot of smart design to hide most of them. Quite a few of the undergated parts but up against connection pegs or are on curved surfaces so it's one of those "bring your hobby knife" builds. From a complexity standpoint, if you can handle that, you can handle this build.
So, yeah, Lupin III: The Fuma Conspiracy is a noteworthy feature. A single, long-formed OVA, basically a movie, it follows the Lupin gang's scramble to get to a family's hidden treasure before a group of ninjas do, all while Zenigata pursues them. Not very unlike your average Lupin feature in that regard, but very well constructed in terms of production values, settings, the chase scenes, and some of the action and comedy. I call it a spiritual successor to Castle of Cagliostro, because it shares a few of the same visual and emotional touchstones. Too bad the English dub is substandard, but I'll get into that at the end of the year. Just enjoy a short rundown and some highlights that illustrate why I think so highly of this title.
It's time again for my annual Halloween video! This time I took a page out of my first year's Halloween fare, Hellsing, with a review of Hellsing Ultimate, the 10-episode more-accurate-to-the-manga adaptation of Kouta Hirano's manga. It's big, it's loud, it's kind of silly, but it's oh so compelling, a monster mash with an operatic flair. So pour a bowl of mini Kit Kats, open a pumpkin beer, and let's watch an OP mega-vampire fight Nazis! Hey, if you're going to be a denizen of a undead horde, don't also be a bigot!
Ahhh... damn it. Action Channel Month is supposed to, you know, be in one month. September. But for some reason, this one took longer than usual. Well, it's not like I have enough of a following (or any) to dash expectations. If I do this again next year (though I may replace it with another kind of theme month), I'll try to get three videos done on time. I'm only doing a few more videos this year because of personal reasons, but I'll try my best.
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