Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Holy Crap look at this sexy Angel Cosplay


From Kotaku, this has to be the hottest cosplayer that has walked the planet.

Why Kotaku felt the need to only get ONE pic of her I'll never know.

Oh yeah she is Cosplaying as Angel from King of Fighters.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Android ODROID Vs. Wonderswan... FIGHT

The contenders:





The ODROID











The Wonderswan






Now if Bandai formed a deal with Google to release Wonderswan games on this thing I MIGHT considering eating my words and buying one.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sexy Game Gal: Leona Heidern

Sorry Mai, I fully intended to do a feature on you, but then I realized you have way too much attention already, and frankly, although you are hot, you aren't that interesting.

Don't get me wrong, I still love Mai and hope she gets put back into King of Fighters in further installments as she is actually a good character to play as, but really when it comes to KOF women, I do have a preference to play as Leona Heidern.

Like most adolescent boys, who came across Fatal Fury at some arcade and became instantly entranced by Mai's cutting edge, "bouncies", I almost always picked her as my character and have become quite good at using her. However, after I moved on to King of Fighters, and hung on to my Fatal Fury roots, only sticking with Mai and Terry, I learned that King of Fighters wasn't really meant for them.

As anyone who has actively played any of the KOF games knows, the creators try to build a story in arcs, like a TV show or book series. Because of this, even if it is silly and cliche at times, KOF has one of the most coherent and interesting stories in fighting games. But because the series has such a large cast, mostly pulled from other games, the developers are constantly battling against themselves. Fans have certain characters they want to use in every game, but the developers don't want to use those characters any more because they have nothing to do with the story arc they are trying to convey. The Fatal Fury team has a great story going along in their own franchise, but they play second fiddle to the KOF main crew. So while most fans of Fatal Fury move onto King of Fighters, if they want to enjoy the story mode in any facet they must leave their Fatal Fury team behind, as I have done in saying farewell to Mai.

So what does this have to do with Leona Heidern? Once you discard Mai as the main female lead, you have to look hard to see who the real female lead is. Honestly, I don't have a good answer as to who that might be, as KOF tends to be a sausage factory when it comes to the main storyline. Leona has been in the series since 96, the third game in the series, and is one of the few females to make the cut into the bare bones that is King of Fighters XII. I think that is more then enough to qualify her as the main lady of King of Fighters.

While she doesn't have Mai's skimpy outfit, or overall sex appeal, she is quite alluring. Her trademark getup was a military shirt cut to show her midriff, and green shorts. However, I think partly due to the overall lack of sexiness in KOF XII, they traded her military shirt for a tight fitting back tank top.

Her backstory is pretty dark, for when she was a child, she was taken over by her cursed blood and slaughtered everyone in her village. Because of this it left her isolated and perhaps a touch emo. But over the course of the games she has been able to come out of her shell thanks to her squad mates. Sadly, that blood curse reappears later and she tries to kill her two best buds, Ralph and Clark. But other then that she is a pretty easy going gal. Also she wears little bombs for earrings. Yeah I take it back, she is pretty frightening.

But Leona needs love too, and there is a severe lack of merchandise regarding this deadly beauty.

However, probably my #1 reason for wanting to pay tribute to this sexy merc:






She cosplays as Asuka in her spare time. (From KOF Maximum Impact 2)









Bonus pic! Leona's alt costume in KOF Maximum Impact 2

New .hack PSP game



I have a bitter-sweet relationship with .hack. Part of me loves the series with all my heart, the other part hates the way I've been tricked into buying cheaply made video games for full price.

Confused? So is my soul.

In one part, .hack is a genius exercise in synergy, having a story encompass many different forms of media, thus resulting in the consumer spending a ton of cash to get the "full experience". In the planning stages the creators produced memorable characters, and a beautiful, thoughtful, engaging storyline. However, the initial set of four games were 20 hour RPGs that were released over the course of one year, and you had to pay full price for. Basically they took one normal RPG and split it among four games that in the end you pay $200 for. While the games were good as far as action and story goes, the graphics lacked finesse, and they were so short they ended before you got into the meat of it. But I admit I wasn't held at gunpoint to play them, I was into the story and gameplay enough to sucker me into buying all four parts.

Then a couple of years later they try the experiment again with .hack//GU. This time with only three parts, having each part be slightly longer, and greatly improved graphics and battle system.

Unfortunately I could never get into the main character. He was one of the biggest douchebag characters I've ever had the misfortune of playing. I don't understand why this is such a popular archetype in Japanese RPGs. I understand by the third game (which I never finished) he turned around and became a slightly nicer guy, but too little too late in my opinion. Character development should be a gradual thing, not a "His heart grew three sizes that day" type moment.

This says nothing for the anime series of .hack which I liked quite a bit (except for the one based on GU for the same reasons of the game). The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet especially which features Wincest.

That is another interesting thing the game tackles, strange love situations from online relationships. In .hack//SIGN you find out one of the characters playing as a guy is really a girl and she starts an offline affair with another female character who fell in love with her male avatar. And in the above mentioned Legend of the Twilight Bracelet, the main guy has the hots for his twin sisters avatar, so much that he ends up falling in love with her. Great stuff.

So this new PSP game which is 50% done lets you team up with ALL the previous .hack characters. The main character looks like a Digimon reject, but I'll probably give this game a spin like I have all the others. They've suckered me in again.

Gundam Stylus for the DS


Not much news so far out of TGS from what I can tell, sadly. The most interesting thing I've seen is this nifty Gundam Stylus for the DS, and I'm not even a big Gundam fan.

Source: Joystiq

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Microsoft Tablet Prototype Leaked.

In more Microsoft News, it looks like they have let slip a Proof of Concept design for a new Tablet device. It has two screen, a Camera, and uses a multi-touch and pen based input. It folds in half like a notebook when not in use. It reminds me of Penny's Computer Book, in fact I wouldn't be surprised if there is a child raised on Nickelodeon on the design team...



Source: Gizmodo

Zeta Gundam Opening Theme...



This opening theme was not included on the US DVD release because of a rights issue with the song. It is vastly superior. Though the US version wasn't bad, it used the same animation it just use an more Martial Instrumental Piece.

Gmail Sync Will Now Use EAS...

Finally I can check one more thing off list of reason not to get an iPhone. As a current Android users I was quickly spoiled with push Gmail, Google Contacts, and Google Calender. Google Sync is now compatible with Exchange Active Sync, which means any phone that has Exchange support will work: iPhone, BlackBerry, Symbian, some Android, and WinMo (of course). The biggest thing for me in this regard is contact sync. Now you can use Outlook to Maintain your Contacts, Sync the contacts with your phone with Desktop Sync, then have them sync up to Google Contacts via Google Sync.

Source: Engadget
Link: Google Mobile Sync

Monday, September 21, 2009

Who Says Gundam Modeling is a Childish Persuit...


A Japanese Denture Manufacturer has is now using Gundam Modeling as a key part of it's new hire screening process. Prospective "Teeth Sculptors." must construct and paint a Char's Speical Zaku II. I would assume the best model gets the job. In my mind this would go down like Iron Chef with a stunned silent crowd. The Chairman sitting on his throne surveying his subjects, and a really annoying announcer sticking his Mic in all of the competitors faces...

It's really too bad the Mother of the guy who burnt his house down didn't know about his sooner...

Source: ANN

Akibamerica is LIVE!


Hey, I've started up a new blog that focus's strictly on anime and Japanese games. My intent is to provide impressions as I progress through the series or game, and not just a blanket review of the entire series. Hopefully, it will relfect more of the actual ups and downs one experiences while playing a game or watching a show. The site is still in it's infancy, but hopefully it will grow into a beast.

http://www.akibamerica.com/

Here are some specific articles:

Gantz Impressions: 1, 2, and 3

Sakura Wars 3 Impressions Part 1

Muramasa Review

Fate/Stay Unlimited Codes Review

As you can see I just recently started the whole "Review while I watch" theme, but I plan to continue that format from here on out.

Also I have no intention of leaving Zeonic Front, as I'll still be mostly posting random musings here. Thanks!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sexy Lightsaber Duel



I know this is a few months old, but I thought we would keep with the Star Wars theme for a couple of posts.

I suggest clicking on the video to get the full experience.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Superfan...


Clean, Crisp, and Modern

Source: Gizmodo

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Zune HD is Here.


I'm a bit of a Zune Fanboy. More accurately I'm a Zune Pass Fanboy. I think the Current Gen Players have great sound, and do their jobs as Music and Video Players very well. The newest Model, the Zune HD hit the market earlier this week.

The HD's Specs are pretty solid:
  • OLED Display
  • Multi-Touch Capacitive Touch-Screen
  • Nvidia Tegra Processor
  • HD Radio Tuner
  • 16gb or 32gb or Storage
To me this seems like a direct competitor to the iPod Touch, in reality the only thing the iPod has over the HD is the Application Support, hardware wise they are HD is either on top or they are even. There is indication from Microsoft that more in house Applications are on the way including 3D games. I'm guessing the reason Apple recast the Touch as a Gaming Device was partly because of what they saw coming down the pipe with Zune. With as powerful as it is, there is no doubt that it has the capability to be the de facto XBOX portable. The Tegra can run almost everything in the current Arcade Store, and probably could run most of the Legacy Xbox Games as well. We already know that the Zune Marketplace will be merging with the Xbox Live. Also in the works is Project "Pink" which is Microsoft's new phone platform and architecture specification for WinMo7. As part of WinMo 7 they have announced work on a new Unified Application Store for Windows Mobile devices. I'm guessing in the end all of these initiative will be merged and you'll end up with a single store, or at least a single repository, of compatible applications and games that will work between Zune, Xbox, WinMo, and Windows 7.

I intend to get an HD in the near future, I'll give my two cents when that time comes. In the meantime, here's a link to the Engadgets take

The final paragraph I think sums it up nicely:
So let's pretend for a moment that these players are exactly the same in every way except for how you get music on them. In that scenario, we think Microsoft's angle has some real advantages. Of course, these players are different -- you're still sacrificing a lot for that $15 subscription -- and even though the Zune HD is a tremendous media player with a lot of great features, we still don't think it competes 1:1 with a device like the touch. Still, it competes, and for Microsoft and the Zune brand, that's a major leap forward.

Kewpie Doll Anime Forthcomming!


One of the stranger phenomenons I saw in Japan was the obsession with the simple Kewpie doll. Now in the US the Kewpie is a creepy carnival prize of yesteryear.

Good Job Kid. You popped the Balloon, Here's a Kewpie Doll

But in Japan it is a Cult Phenomenon. According to ANN this is why:
Kewpie became a household name in Japan, thanks to Q.P. Corporation's omnipresent use of the character on its mayonnaise squeeze bottles. The anime project was announced at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday. The anime will retain the hand-drawn look of O'Neil's original illustrations.

In many of the anime and toy shops we went to there were entire wall dedicated to Kewpie doll. There was a Kewpie of every color and costume. It seemed the primary use of the Kewpie was as a phone charm, but there were keychain and fullsized kewpies as well. It was hard to pass up the Goku Kewpie I found at one store.

Who know if the show will be any good, I'm guessing not. But even so Good Job Japan, Here's a Kewpie Doll.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Aya Hirano to do Dragonball Z character song

And now it becomes apparent as to why she was hired to do Dende's voice.

Of course it is a "character song" which means she will sing the song Sean Penn-style (aka in character). So it will effectively be Dende's singing a cute song.

So to combat the inevitable imagery of Dende singing with Aya's voice I will post a picture of Aya in a bikini.

Source: ANN

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Survived Endless Eight...

Here is a shirt I designed for the true blue Haruhi fans who struggled through all eight episodes of the Endless Eight saga. Here is your reward.....


The shirt reads: I Survived Endless Eight... and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt.

You can pick yours up at my Cafe Press Site:

Lonecow Productions Cafe Press Page

Monday, September 7, 2009

Must See Anime: K-On!



Cruised through this entire series over the weekend.


Holy crap this show is about the cutest thing I have ever put my eyeballs on.

Excellent show, from the creators of Haruhi and Lucky Star. It basically takes those two shows mashes them up into a fine paste, makes cute cookies out of the paste, bakes for about 30 min and produces this delicious treat of a show.

EDIT: The above video is from the ending. I had the first episode up there but it got pulled.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Perfect Crossover...

Now that Disney has bought Marvel, I have thought of the perfect first crossover. Howard the Duck in the Duck-verse. Here's the setup:

Gyro's Shack, Duckburg...
Gyro Gearloose is working on a new invention. Ludwig von Drake had contacted him six months ago about a theory he had regarding a universe made of of multiple realities. In order to prove his theory he charged Gyro with building a prototype device that would allow them to create portals between realities, thus allowing the measurement of the realities on the other side of the portal. (I know that this plot-device is old-hat at this point, but honestly how else to you explain entities from different universes coming together? Super Science Portals, or Supernatural intervention.) Intrigued by the prospects, Gyro has been hard at work for months on the Prototype; obsessed to the point that his normal duties like maintaining Fenton's Gizmoduck suit, and upkeep on the money vault security system have lagged behind. He is nearing his first test of the device. The Prototype looks somewhat like a ray-gun, in fact much of the design is borrowed from a weapon lifted from the Kronkians that Launchpad and the Boys met some years ago. The plan is to cut a small hole in the space-time, and send a little robot through to see what was on the other side. He turns the machine on and cuts the hole. The moment the robot hits the portal it is disintegrated. Gyro thinks the experiment is a bust, and goes back the drawing board.

Meanwhile in New York City....
In a Dank apartment, in a seedy neighborhood in Manhattan resides Howard the Duck. He's going about his normal Tuesday night ritual, drinking rye and watching porn. As he's nodding off, he's jolted awake by a loud crack. He feels a rumbling, the empty beer can on the table next to him walks itself off the counter. He notices he's slowly moving backward. The only thought that enters his mind is..."Fuck, Not Again."

On a rooftop in St. Canard...
Darkwing Duck is standing on the ledge of inspecting the city below. This is his city. The sights and sounds invigorate him. He is her protector. He is the terror that flaps in the night. There's a loud explosion, Darkwing is knocked down. When the dust and feathers clear there is what looks like an easy chair, and a bedraggled traveler sitting there in dazed amazement


Howard's initial thought was, "I'm Home! This is New Quack City, Fuck me I'm home!!!!." His Jubilation is interrupted when out of nowhere..

Poof! Smoke.
Darkwing: I am the Terror that Flaps in the Night, I am the Fly in your Jelly Sandwich, I am Darkwing Duck!
Howard: Who the Fuck are you!
Darkwing: I just told you "I'm the Terror that Flaps....
(Interupting)Howard: I know I heard you, I'm not fucking deaf, where am?
Darkwing: St. Canard...
Howard: Shit!

Hilarity and awesomeness ensues... I could go on, but then I'm teetering on the ledge of fanfiction which I promised I'd never write.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

ANN Posts Some Speculation About What's Going On With ADV...

ANN posted an editorial speculating what is actually going on with ADV. Their Conclusion is that this is less about ADV and ADV's properties going away, it's more like a boon-doggle restructuring to rid themselves of some of ADV's Baggage.

ANN's View:
By now, everyone has read the news that ADV Films is "no longer." Unsurprisingly, the comment in various internet forums, including ANN's own, make it obvious that many people haven't read between the lines. Unfortunately ANN's editorial policy forbids us from pointing out the obvious conclusions in the news article itself (no editorializing is permitted in our news articles). Fortunately there are other vehicles with which we can address issues like these. Often times the ANN staff pop in to our forums to offer our insight on big news, but today I've decided to address the ADV story on the front page.

Before going forward though, I must make it absolutely clear that most of the following is informed speculation. So don't quote me on Wikipedia or anywhere else as a factual source.

First, a bit of history for those that aren't familiar with the story to date. Back in early 2006 A.D.Vision, Inc., the parent company of ADV Films, entered into a partnership with Sojitz Corp of Japan. In return for a small cash infusion (a couple million dollars) and various business services, Sojitz acquired an approximately 20% equity stake in A.D. Vision, while John Ledford, ADV's founder and CEO, maintained control of the remaining 80%. As a part of this arrangement, Sojitz, along with a few Japanese partners, set up ARM Corp, a licensing entity that would acquire North American rights for anime that ADV Films would release.

At first it seemed like a marriage made in heaven. Sojitz brought to ADV a ton of resources and connections in Japan. Unfortunately it quickly became evident that ADV's management style and Sojitz' were so incompatible that they would not be able to continue working together. After about 1-year they ended the relationship, and in the process ADV lost the rights to distribute virtually all the titles that had been acquired during that 1 year, as those titles were actually licensed to ARM Corp and not ADV. One thing that didn't change is that Sojitz continued to own 20% of A.D.Vision, Inc. This is a big problem because it's very, very hard for a corporation with a major hostile shareholder to acquire financing or investment.

Unsurprisingly, ADV sought to protect itself and new investors from this environment. In 2008, A.D. Vision announced a new partnership with Switchblade Films and Sentai Filmworks. Both companies would act as licensing partners that would acquire titles and contract the localization, sales and marketing to A.D. Vision and it's subsidiaries. Although the actual ownership of these two firms has never been fully disclosed, it's worth noting that the person on record for them is none other than John R. Ledford II (I've heard that Switchblade Films is someone else's baby though).

Today, several new companies have emerged, and these companies have acquired a large number of A.D. Vision's assets. AEsir Holdings has acquired “a subordinated interest in selected programming from ADV's film library together with other intellectual property.” What I've been told is that they've acquired all the “ADV Films assets.” Meanwhile, Valkyrie Media Partners, LLC has acquired Anime Network Inc. from A.D. Vision, and SXION 23, LLC , or "Section23 Films," has assumed “account servicing and distribution operations in connection with the library acquired by AEsir.” Finally, Seraphim Studios, LLC acquired Amusement Park Media from A.D. Vision.

It may be important to note that the press release doesn't state anything about the titles owned by Switchblade FIlms or Sentai Filmworks. These include all the recent additions to ADV's catalog such as Appleseed, Clannad and Ghost Hound.

What does this mean? (this is where I speculate) It means that AEsir Holdings owns most of ADV Films' former catalog, and that Section23 Films will handle marketing and sales of said catalog. I'm willing to bet that Section23 will also handle marketing and sales for Sentai and Switchblade, or AEsir may make a separate announcement where it acquires some titles from those companies. Amusement Park Media will continue to produce the English versions of all these titles.

So here are the two big questions. Who are these companies, and what will happen to ADV Films?

SXION 23, LLC, Valkyrie Media Partners, and Seraphim Studios, LLC are all recently registered Texas corporations with Griffin D. Vance, ADV's former SVP Business & Legal Affairs, as the person on record. This doesn't mean that Vance owns these corporations, he merely registered them on behalf of third parties. Given Vance's former employment with A.D. Vision, it's safe to assume that parties formerly involved with A.D. Vision are behind the new companies (we already know that various employees from ADV have been hired by SXION 23), possibly John Ledford , possibly others. AEsir is registered as a subsidiary of Net Master Hosting, LLC, a company we are otherwise unfamiliar with.

So what happens to ADV Films? This may be the end of ADV Films as a label, or possibly, if the ADV Films trademark was among the “intellectual property” that AEsir Holdings acquired from A.D.Vision, Inc., Aesir may continue to use the long established an well respected ADV Films brand. I know it certainly is what I would do. That said, I was told that today's press release would be the last press release ever from ADV Films.

So really, what was announced today? While the details will come out in the next few days, it's pretty obvious that it's not much more than a corporate restructuring that moves intellectual assets away from a dysfunctional corporate entity that has credit problems and hostile shareholders.

P.S., Long live / R.I.P. Animation Dubbing Vision, whatever the case may be.

Update: Corrected date of ADV/Sojitz deal, it was previously listed as having occurred in 2007. Thank you to John C.Watson for pointing this out.


Source: ANN

SCANDAL - Space Ranger


When I was in Japan last year I saw these girls playing on a video billboard. I thought I would never figure out who they were, but fate dealt me a good hand when I was looking through my pictures of Japan and saw that their name was on the picture I took.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ADV: Good Night Sweet Prince


Well that is it for ADV. It's been a long time coming but the signs have been there for a while. ADV was always my favorite anime localization house so it is sad to see them go. Good luck to all the staff and voice actors on future endeavors. My dreams of working there myself are gone now as well.

Also, I guess this means back to square one on the live action Eva film.

Source: ANN

The Gundam Statue is Being Disassembled.


Number 5 wouldn't be happy, luckily this piece of Fantastical Military Equipment doesn't have a soul.

We all knew this day would come. It is still undetermined at this point what will happen to the Statue after it has been removed from its Odiaba home. I'm guessing it will find a home in either the Bandai Museum, standing on the roof would be awesome, or in Fuji-Q Highland, the theme park at the base of Mt. Fuji, which currently houses a 1:1 RX-78 laying on it's back. If Tokyo, by some miracle does get the 2016 Olympics then it should be moved right in the middle of the Olympic Village for the whole world to see.

If you want to watch this sad event it is being steamed live on Ustream.com

Source: ANN

Han Solo Adventures

A fan project from an indie developer named Stacy Davidson is attempting to do what LucasArts never did, make a Han Solo SCUMM Adventure game.

Let me just take my hat off and say, "You are doing God's work." I wish this project the best of luck.

The game is a prequel of Han Solo's individual story before episode IV and will also be released in separate Episodes like the new Monkey Island games.

Some people are saying Lucas's lawyers will kill this before it gets off the ground, but I don't think so, as long as they don't charge money for it.

Say what you will about Lucas but he has ALWAYS supported fan created works based off his property, as long as it isn't for monetary gain.

However, LucasArts should go one step further and just hire this guy and put him on staff and release these games on XBLA, WiiWare and iPhone on a regular basis. These games would sell hand over fist.

Check out the site at: hansoloadventures.com

Marvel HIRE Don Rosa!

Don Rosa is the genius writer/artist who took over from the legendary Carl Barks on the Disney Duck comics, including Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck.

The brilliance of Don Rosa, was that he was able to take Bark's great individual stories and weave them into a tight mythology that fleshed out the entire "Duck" and "McDuck" families. If you haven't read Rosa's, "The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck", you are missing out on one of the greatest comic stories of our generation.

The problem was, Disney wasn't paying him nearly enough where he could have a decent lifestyle, and was vastly underpaid compared to other people in his field. That compiled with serious eye-sight complications forced him to retire.

Well now Marvel is owned by Disney, and if they are allowed to operate as a seperate entity as they claim, yet still have access to Disney properties, then they need to bring back the Duck comics, under the Marvel banner, and put Rosa on as creative director. If he can't see like he used to, he can still tell people his ideas, as I'm sure he has plenty. Put the Ducks back on the map in a big way Marvel.

This could be a Disney synergy dream. Picture this: A Marvel branded comic, with Marvel artists doing a Scrooge McDuck story penned by Don Rosa, THEN have PIXAR make a movie based on the Graphic Novel, with a toy empire to boot.

Scrooge McDuck himself wouldn't pass on such a perfect money making opportunity.