AMV of the Day: Otaku Paradise


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It’s the 4th of July Weekend and one of the things I’ve gotten used to these past couple years is that it means Anime Expo has come around once more. While I don’t have the anime convention experience as pantsukudasai56 it is still a event that I’ve gotten used to attending once a year when possible.

The latest “AMV of the Day” arrives just in time for the largest North American anime convention held every 4th of July weekend in Los Angeles. Not to say that the other anime conventions around the country are nothing to sneeze at, but Anime Expo is a whole different animal that every otaku in North America needs to experience at least once in their life. It’s a video that comes courtesy by the very talented video editor who goes by the handle of BecauseImBored1.

A video that combines scenes from anime and real-life footage of cosplayers and anime con-goers into one timely video that celebrates the positive nature of the word “otaku”. It’s a word that has a negative reputation in Japan, but one that’s seen as a celebration of anime and Japanese pop-culture fandom worldwide. It’s a label taken on proudly.

“Otaku Paradise” has such a huge number of anime referenced yet barely scratches the surface of what “otaku” watches and follows year in and year out. I love the fact that the video intersperses these anime scenes with real-life people in cosplay of those very same anime characters. Not everyone cosplays, but every otaku appreciates and admires those who do. Yet, cosplayers and non-cosplayer otaku both have one thing in common and that is their acceptance of the label of “otaku”.

One thing this video made me do while I watched it for the first time and the many times since was put such a huge, happy smile on my face. It’s small consolation for having to miss this weekend’s Anime Expo 2014.

Anime: Another, Attack On Titan, Baccano!, Baka And Test – Summon The Beasts, Bakuman, Black Lagoon, CANAAN, Clannad, Code Geass – Lelouch Of The Rebellion, D.Gray-Man, DragonBall Z, Durarara!!, Fate/Stay Night, Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club, Fruits Basket, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Genshiken, Genshiken Nidaime, Haikyuu, Hellsing Ultimate, Howl’s Moving Castle, Idolmaster, K, K-ON!, Kampfer, Kanon, Kara No Kyoukai – The Garden Of Sinners, Kill La Kill, Kuroko’s Basketball, Kyoukai No Kanata, Kyousougiga, Little Witch Academia, Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, Lucky Star, Macross Frontier MUSIC CLIP Collection – Nyankuri, Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya, MM!, Munto, My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Ookami-San To Shichinin No Nakama-Tachi, Ore No Kanojo To Osananajimi Ga Shuraba Sugiru, Ouran High School Host Club, Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt, Persona 4: The Animation, Pokemon : White, Pokémon: Movie 2, Pokemon 2000, The Power Of One, Princess Jellyfish, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Romeo × Juliet, Sailor Moon, Sakura Trick, School Rumble, School Rumble 2, Shugo Chara!, Soul Eater, Soul Eater Not, Summer Wars, Super Smash Bros, Sword Art Online, Tales Of Xillia, Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann, Toradora!, Trigun, Uta No Prince Sama, Welcome To The NHK, Yu Yu Hakusho

Song: “Raging Fire” by Phillip Phillips

Creator: BecauseImBored1

Past AMVs of the Day

Chopping The Log #2 Toradora part 1 premium edition


After the last set that I reviewed, I was glad to see that next on the list was a title I knew I was going to enjoy.  This release of Toradora memorable and special for a couple reasons.  First off, this was NIS America’s very first title that they released back in July of 2010 (yes, I’m just now getting to it, so now you know how bad my backlog is!).  July of 2010 is also the first time that site founder Arleigh and I attended Anime Expo together (but not the first time we met in person, that would be Anime Boston 2008).  It was my third Expo, but I believe it was his first.  NISA decided to really go all out and in order to promote this title the brought over two of the stars of the show, Yui Horie (Minori Kushieda) and Eri Kitamura (Ami Kawashima).  Getting to meet Yui Horie was a dream come true, so I’ll always remember this particular convention fondly.  And of course, they had their booth set up in the dealer’s room where they were selling this set, so when I saw it, the collector in me demanded that I pick it up.  These NISA sets are made with the collector in mind.  The giant artboxes definitely draw the eye to them, and although they’ll likely need special display space, it’s fully worth it if you are the collector type.

Toradora was a great choice for a newcomer in the market too.  From a star studded cast to nice visuals and an engaging story, there was no reason to expect anything but success from this.  I’ve seen sites list it as a comedy, and while that’s not wrong, it’s not entirely right either.  People that have watched a lot of anime might be familiar with the term “romcom” which is shorthand for romantic comedy.  That’s getting closer to the mark, but mixed in with the romance and the comedy is a good helping of drama too, so I dare say the proper term for this show is “draromcom”! 

In this first of two sets, we get the first 13 episodes of the show, plus two bonus shorts.  This set is largely setting things up with comedy and light drama for the more involved romance and heavier drama to come in later episodes.  So, we have our main protagonist, Ryuji, who is always mistaken for a delinquent because of his looks, and our other protagonist, Taiga (played to perfection by the legendary Rie Kugimiya), who looks like an adorable little doll but is actually short tempered and vicious, to the point that her nickname is the Palmtop Tiger, referring to her small stature and vicious nature.  Through a series of misunderstandings and other events, they come to find out that Ryuji has a crush on Taiga’s friend Minori, and Taiga has a crush on Ryuji’s friend Yusaku.  They decide to team up to help each other confess to their crushes, but while neither of them wants to admit to it, over the course of these 13 episodes it becomes apparent that they are falling for each other.  It’s pretty standard fare, but the execution of it is done extrememly well so it doesn’t feel old and tired like it very well could have.  Having a character like Ami come along to play an antagonistic role helps get the story moving, and provides a good bit of the comedy in this set.  And while this is lighter on the drama than future episodes, the last few start to build it up with Taiga’s deadbeat dad making an appearance. 

From a story and character standpoint, I think this show is in the upper tier, but this set does suffer from a few production problems.  This was NISA’s very first release as I mentioned before, and they definitely had some growing pains.  Once in awhile there are some spots where the video transfer was a little rough, resulting in some jagged images or blurred lines.  This seems to be most noticeable when the camera pans across a room where there is a lot going on.  I’m not a big technophile, so I don’t go through it frame by frame trying to find any sort of imperfection, but from those that do (seriously, how is that even enjoyable?) it’s said that there are several instances where it seemed like frames were overlapped on each other, hence the blur.  For those of us who are just watching on regular HDTVs without big fancy blu ray players beyond a PS3, while you will probably notice a couple janky areas, but nothing that will ruin the enjoyment of the set.

All in all, this is a show that I could easily have written an Anime You Should Be Watching column on, and only didn’t because I’m generally lazy.  If you can find this set, and you’re a collector, I say snap it up.  NISA has released a standard set, that doesn’t come in the fancy box with the nice hardbound episode guide, and this premium set is sold out at the distribution level, so it may not be possible to find it at a sane price anymore.

Also, I wanted to add, don’t let the fact that I’ve written 2 colums in 3 days fool you.  I don’t intend to be nearly as prolific as Lisa Marie is, and it’s completely dependent upon me finishing something from my backlog.  I have plenty of material to choose from, but some sets might take me a few days to finish, or I might take a break from watching anything for awhile.  But with my beloved New England Patriots out of the playoffs now, and me having very little interest in other sports, I should find myself with a lot more free time so who knows?  Maybe I can put a dent in this backlog after all.  Current backlog count: 847 discs.

AMV of the Day: A Thousand Years (Clannad/Toradora!)


Clannad

I came across this AMV while browsing youtube and quite bored. I know the song comes from that Twilight thingamabob so I think this latest “AMV of the Day” will pull a tear or two from my co-founder Lisa Marie.

The latest chosen AMV is called “A Thousand Years” and it’s from YouTube user 93RokuStepperZ. It’s a simple romance-themed video that pretty much takes two of the most romantic and sappiest romance anime of the last couple years and melds it with the ballad by Christina Perri for that long-running sparkly vampire and his girlfriend series.

There’s no super bells and whistles in how the video was made. It’s just a well-edited AMV that focuses on the two couple from the two series. There’s Toyomi and Nagisa from Clannad and Clannad: After Story (BAWWWWWWWW) and then there’s Ryuuji and Taiga from Toradora.

Toradora

One thing we won’t find in this AMV would be vampires, werewolves or any of that sort. Just moe anime and a tsundere shorty.

Anime: Clannad, Clannad: After Story, Toradora!

Song: “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri

Creator: 93RokuStepperZ

Past AMVs of the Day

AMV of the Day: Everytime We Touch (Toradora!)


The latest “AMV of the Day” is another in a long line of videos using one of the more popular anime series of the past couple years. Toradora! is one of those romantic/comedy slice-of-life anime that always tugs at the heart strings. It’s no different with this anime as we see with the series’ two main characters in the tiny Aisaka Taiga and Takasu Ryuuji.

This time around it’s a straight up ballad of a video from the point of view of Taiga as she contemplates her true feelings for Ryuuji during the holidays. AMV creator HiddenFlowerDesi picked a very appropriate song to convey Taiga’s feelings with the song “Everytime We Touch” by the German Eurodance group Cascada. Instead of using the more upbeat version of the song the Yanou’s Candlelight mix of the song was used to better use the slower tempo to fit the video and also to put the focus on group singer Natalie Horler’s evocative singing.

Anime: Toradora!

Song: “Everytime We Touch” by Cascada

Creator: HiddenFlowerDesi

Past AMVs of the Day

AMV of the Day: I Heart Tsundere


This past weekend saw fellow site writer pantsukudasai56 attending this year’s Anime Boston 2012 convention. While I was unable to attend (I’ll be at Anime Expo 2012 this summer…hooray!) he was still able to give me some of the festivities during the expo. One thing he did mention was that the class of AMV’s during the expo wasn’t anything to write home about. This was a shame since one of the things I like about anime conventions are the creative videos AMV people come up with to put up during the conventions AMV contests.

While trying to find which AMVs did win the contest at this year’s Anime Boston I came across a couple that weren’t put into contention, but I thought one of them was a great AMV nonetheless. That video becomes the latest entry in the “AMV of the Day” column.

The anime music video in question is called “I Heart Tsundere” and it’s by tehninjarox who also made one of the best Puella Magi Madoka Magica AMV’s last year with “Mahou Shoujo Requiem”This latest amv from tehninjarox takes on the theme of the well-beloved anime/manga personality class of tsundere (def. is a Japanese character development process that describes a person who is initially cold and even hostile towards another person before gradually showing their warm side over time.). The video even uses what I could only think of as the perfect song to describe a tsundere: Katy Perry’s song “Hot and Cold”.

Scenes from many anime series were used to make up this video and all of them show great instances of what a tsundere character does to earn such a title and the hell they put their potential love interest through. The one recent anime with a character who perfectly exemplifies a tsundere character opens up the video and that’s Taiga from Toradora! and the target of her “affections” in Ryuji. One doesn’t have to even like Katy Perry to see just how this video is all about fun the tsundere way.

Here’s hoping that tehninjarox decides to create an AMV sequel video but of the polar opposite of the tsundere: the dreaded and must avoid at all cost yandere.

Anime: Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, Toradora, Mayo Chiki, C3, Evangelion 2.22, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Ore no Imouto, A Certain Scientific Railgun, A Certain Magical Index, MM!, The World God Only Knows, Zero No Tsukaima.

Song: “Hot and Cold” by Katy Perry

Creator: tehninjarox

AMV of the Day: Just the Way You Are


A brief break from the day-to-day posts of horror reviews and such brings us the latest “AMV of the Day”. This particular AMV is unique in that it’s the type people in the hobby call an MEP as in Multi-Editor Project. This video uses one song but has several different editors taking section and editing in their chosen anime scenes. All these different editors must bring in their section in as smooth as transition as possible.

This first MEP is “Just the Way You Are” and uses the Bruno Mars of the same title. The video has ten different anime from which the 11 editors ended up using to fill up the length of the Mars track. The editing tricks weren’t too complex in this video and that’s probably due to having so many people involved in creating it, but the quick editing and some of the scene transitions were done well enough that the scenes chosen worked well hand-in-hand with Bruno Mar’s cheerfully romantic lyrics.

For an MEP this particular AMV is actually quite short. Most AMVs of this kind tend to run 10 to 20 minutes long as the different editors don’t just edit in their chosen anime scenes, but also must edit in their chosen song as well. These type of AMVs usually will have 3-5 songs mixed in together. For now, I think I’ll start with this short and simple kind.

Anime: Toradora!, Fullmetal Alchemist, Angelic Layer, Kobato, Skip Beat, Ef, Card Captors Sakura, Tsubasa Chronicles, Vampire Knight, Naruto

Music: “Just the Way You Are” – Bruno Mars

Creators: MikuruNyuAMV, xChibiUchiha, xsakuralimited, KobatoCLAMP, ChroniclesLuz, OoxAmandy15xoO, Xiizhel, ApologeticWinterMoon, SAKIPUNKI, PotterGirl1995 & lokapormusik

AMV of the Day: Toradora! Rough Love (Grow A Pear)


So, finally back from a near week of anime and manga festivities at this year’s Anime Boston. One of the things I’ve enjoyed while attending these anime conventions have been the creative AMV’s which come out during the the event’s AMV contests. This year the crop of AMVs which won the different categories were very unique and inventive. One such AMV which seem to think outside the box was in the Best Romance category. This AMV combined the Ke$ha song, “Grow A Pear”, with the romantic comedy anime series Toradora! with an end result that was quite funny and charming.

The video took the give-and-take and very hostile early relationship between the two main characters in the series, Taiga and Ryuji. The song matches up pretty well with these early scenes of tsudere hostility from Taiga towards Ryuji but it does finally build-up towards the inevitable admittance from both characters of their true feelings for each other. This video had won the Best Romance category and could easily have won the Best Comedy category as well, but with the quality of romance AMVs being quite lacking during this year’s Anime Boston it wasn’t a surprise that this particular AMV won.

Song: Grow A Pear – Ke$ha

Anime: Toradora!

Creator: l33tmeatwad