2008-05-31

Moetan (definitely not Motown!)

I haven't gone UFO catching for quite a while, mainly due to financial restraints, but if there is an item I know I can win cheaply that attracts my eye, I'll go for it. It didn't take much prompting to attempt to capture this goodie.

When you read this...


and see this...











or especially this...











you expect something in the order of otaku-awesomeness. Imagine my disappointment, when it did not contain a cute maid-figurine, but a bunch of cookies. Even worse, cookies with English lessons on them! What nerd actually goes into a Maid-cafe to learn English?







To make matters worse, the only treat of any merit were some pictures of cuties but again, recapping the very same lessons I just learned: eg, "What is the meaning of nerd?"








At least the answers have a real-life example. "Looking at you, I've begun to think that I'm not such a nerd after all!"

Click any picture to make it Comicbook Guy size...









Fortunately, I found a copy of the opening credits to what must be a Moetan-related anime. Enjoy...

2008-05-30

Are Ari! (There Be Ants!)

When I was in high school, I gave some thought to becoming an entomologist. I probably may have done so, if the subject didn't require so much studying & memorizing. One of my inspirations for this vocation, was the movie, THEM! It starred a magnificent Edmund Gwenn (Kris Kringle) who stole the show as the scientist and erstwhile prophet of doom, James Whitmore, James Arness & the lovely Joan Weldon, who only needed rescuing once and actually showed a lot of spunk in their battle against our freaky Formicidae friends.

It also had a terrific score by Bronislau Kaper, terrific special effects and cameos from future stars such as Leonard Nimoy (blink and you'll miss him, I did on this viewing, gotta watch it again), Richard Deacon (Mel Cooley) and Fess Parker as a kook before he donned a Coonskin cap as Daniel Boone.

As you may have guessed, I just finished watching the movie for the umpteenth time. I love this cover. "This city is under martial law until we annihilate THEM!" "Kill one and two take its place!"








Check out this cool model-ant that came with my double-feature DVD. (Tomorrow's movie, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.)


In Japan, it was released as 放射能X which means "Radiation-X", which is a pretty cool title considering it tells you nothing about the movie itself. By the way, the Japanese for ant is アリ or ari.







That particular link has a charming little haiku about our little friend:
Yuku e naki:
Ari no sumai ya!
Go-getsu ame
.
[Now the poor creature has nowhere to go!... Alas for the dwellings of the ants in this rain of the fifth month!]



Best use of giant ants: in 1984, the Cameron House, a respectable dive at the corner of Queen Street West & Cameron put 10 giant ants on the side of its building with a notice, "We are now accepting TENants"! I loved drinking in that place!

Also kudos to Van Morrison for taking this movie's title for his 60's band.

2008-05-28

Poignant Ponyo!

I can't wait for the release of the new Ghibli flick, but certainly not as much as this guy does. He posts tons of Ghibli stuff from YouTube and it's a good bet to watch it asap, before the studio yanks it off. One show my Canadian pals may want to check out is 赤毛のアン, better known as...Anne of Green Gables.



Come July 19th, I'll be waiting in line to see 崖の上のポニョ or Ponyo on a Cliff

Enjoy the theme song with this sneak preview:

2008-05-27

Send in the Clones.

Thanks to the fine folks at BoingBoing, I discovered a new flavour of awesome.



I especially like Tommy as Cyndi Lauper. Who's your favourite?

(For a real treat of Japanese bashing, be sure to read the comments on the above links.)

2008-05-25

Teeter-tottering.

A: Did you ever see Saw?
B: As a kid.
A: How could you see Saw as a kid? It only came out a few years ago.
B: When I was younger, I would seesaw.
A: Of course you'd be younger a few years ago but what I want to know is if you did see Saw?
B: Yes, didn't you ever seesaw?
A: That's what I'm asking you! But, yes, I did see Saw the other day.
B: Was it fun?
A: Was it fun? It was bloody!
B: Bloody? You must have done it wrong!
A: Done it wrong? How can you see Saw wrong?
B: Now, you're beginning to seesaw.
A: What do you mean, beginning to seesaw? I did see Saw the other day.
B: I know, you already told me. I used to seesaw too.
A: Saw II! Why would you see Saw II if you never did see Saw?
B: Wait a minute, I did seesaw.
A: Oh, so you did see Saw? And you also did see Saw II?
B: Well, I used to seesaw but I never did see Saw nor did I see Saw II?
A: Now, I'm getting confused. You did seesaw, but you never did see Saw?
B: That's right! Why exactly are you asking if I did seesaw for?
A: I didn't ask you if you did see Saw IV, I was interested if you ever did see Saw!
B: That's what I told you! I did seesaw when I was younger but, anyway, I can't talk to you any longer because there's a movie coming on. You might enjoy it with me. Did you ever see Saw?

While we're on the topic of movies, I was rather impressed by this version of the classic routine.

A while ago, I posted another variation of the classic Abbott & Costello bit done by a couple of Animaniac characters. If you'd like to read along, this guy has printed the script. And that was ripped off of Harry Shearer, David Lander & Michael McKean in their days as The Credibility Gap and further ripped off from Tony Rosato & Eugene Levy of SCTV fame. As can be seen here...



It's time for shuteye, but before I retire, scroll down to the bottom of this link to see Johnny Carson's take on the sketch!
Georgia On My Mind.

Lupin the Third, star of anime & manga and written by the Monkey Punch gang, has been around for ages and he's back again in mini form hidden within cans of Georgia coffee. The following descriptions have been scammed from the Wiki page where you can always go to learn more.







ルパン三世 (Rupan-sansei or Arsène Lupin III) is the grandson of Arsène Lupin and is the world's most wanted thief.






石川 五ェ門 (Ishikawa Goemon, XIII) is the thirteenth generation of renegade samurai, beginning with the legendary figure Ishikawa Goemon (石川 五右衛門). He has a sword called Zantetsuken (斬鉄剣), meaning "iron-cutting sword", which can cut through almost anything.



次元 大介 (Daisuke Jigen) is Lupin's marksman. He can perform a 0.3-second quick-draw and shoots with amazing accuracy.






Inspector Zenigata (銭形警部 Zenigata-keibu), full name 銭形 幸一 (Zenigata Kōichi) is a police inspector who has made it his mission in life to arrest Lupin.





峰 不二子 (Mine Fujiko) is Lupin's love (or rather lust) interest. She is sometimes an associate in his schemes, sometimes a rival, knowing full well that his infatuation with her will mean that he will forgive her for double-crossing him at times.



Mobile phone users can always travel to this site to check out Lupin on the run.

Clicking around there will lead you to a theater page with lots more clicking to be done.

If you have a bit more spare time, you may want to try a game from Georgia. The fishing game is easy to figure out, but I can't figure out the other one. Good luck!

2008-05-24

In Stitches.

I'm listening to the Stanley Cup Penguins vs. Red Wings so I thought it'd be a good time to show off some Polar-Stitch characters. (Forgive me if I don't get the character's names right. I'm no expert...)

Here we have Stitch as an parka-wearing Inuit.








Stitch as a Polar Bear. I wonder if he'll show up on Lost.










My favourite is this zombie/hoodoo doll of Lilo's in a Seal outfit.










Stitch's girlfriend(?) as a light-blue Penguin.










Finally, we have Stitch as a dark-blue Penguin.










Since I'm talking about Penguins, here are the latest results of the Sendai Hockey Pool with the picked-players still remaining in play.

Mike's Picks:
D. Sydor (Pittsburgh) (I managed to choose an injured or benched player!)
TOTAL= 42

Andreas' Picks:
H. Zetterburg (Detroit)
TOTAL= 49*

Rob's Picks
M. Hossa (Pittsburgh)
TOTAL= 54*

Andy's Picks:
N. Lidstrom (Detroit)
S. Gonchar (Pittsburgh)
TOTAL= 64*
  
Alex's Picks:
S. Crosby (Pittsburgh)
B. Rafalski (Detroit)
TOTAL= 67
 
Dave's Picks:
H Zetterburg (Detroit)
E. Malkin (Pittsburgh)
TOTAL= 82!!!
This ignorant Brit must have some crystal balls to have been so precognitive!

Bring on the Cup!



In the past, I've shown a distaste for Penguins, but for the record, I'd like to see Sid the Kid get a Cup.

2008-05-18

Sour Lemons.

For the 80th anniversary of Kirin, they offered up a half-dozen characters of Tezuka Osamu attached to their Kirin Lemon Sports Drink. Not only are the little guys really cute, the Drink tastes pretty good too!


First up, we have good old 鉄腕アトム, Tetsuwan Atomu or better known as Astro Boy. Definitely my favourite of his creations, I'm a little worried about the live-action treatment he'll be getting soon.

But it'll never compare in awesomeness with this: (forgive the scratchy print, I only posts 'em, I don't make 'em.)



Next up is ウランチャン, Uran-chan who showed up in issue 25 of his Manga as a "Strange Birthday Present". I don't know too much about her, but she is a real cutie.








This of course is Simba from the Lion King. Correct that, it's ジャングル大帝, Janguru Taitei, Jungle Emperor Kimba who was the obvious inspiration for Simba. Also called Leo, here he is in his more youthful cub days.

This song should bring a tear to your eyes:



It's ふしぎなメルモ Marvelous Melmo who I guess can change her age by eating coloured candy. I know absolutely nothing about this character but click on that link to get a bit of info.

Here is her opening theme song:



ユニコ or Uniko (unicorn, duh) is also fairly unknown to me but is certainly cute. When you go to that link, be sure to click on "Preview" for some gorgious artwork. No embedding allowed, but this should give you an idea of its cutsiness.





Last but not least is 三つ目がとおる (mitsu-me gato-oru) or Sharaku Hohsuke as the 3-eyed one. Cool SF fantasy of a high school boy with a 3rd eye.

Check this out for a cool opening song:



I wish Kirin had decided to do more characters, maybe for their 90th anniversary.

2008-05-15

Bombastic Baum.

May 15th is the 152nd birthday of L. Frank Baum, who we all know as the creator of the Oz series of books. There were several comic book adaptations, one of the best of which can be witnessed here. Japan has manga-nificently done a few of their own versions, one of which was scanned by yours truly. What else I discovered a while back is that there is another version of the book. I'm not going to scan the whole thing like I did last time, but I will show you the highlights. Compare them to that link, why don't you?

オズのまほうつかい (Ozu no Mahoutsuka) The top book is the previously scanned one, first published in 1986. The lower one is the subject of today's post and was written 13 years later.








In this parallel universe, ドロシーDorothy is freckled with red hair as opposed to rosy cheeks and auburn locks. おばあさん エム (obasan Emu or Aunt Em) & おじいさんヘンリー (ojisan Henri or Uncle Henry) are decades younger than their counterparts as well.



Our silver shoe bearing witch is a much older, dumpier version and there are NO Munchkins in this book.








When we first meet our かかし (Kakashi or Scarecrow) friend, he isn't being plagued by crows, but is still crucified.








Here he is displaying his lack of gray matter and looking more like Beaker than a Kakashi.









The ぼくも人 (Bokumo Hito or Tin Man) is looking a bit besotted but once oiled up is taller than his tin-twin.









Our Cowardly ライオン (Raion or Lion) is looking more leonine and fairly ferocious...









But soon reverts to his Dandy-lion ways.










In the other book, they need to cross a chasm, in this version it's a river.









Our Woodsman clears a forest to make a raft, whereas before he felled a tree to make a bridge. But in both versions, it was our Brainless Scarecrow who came up with a gameplan.







Coming across an ominous poppy field, Dorothy dozes off before being confronted by a spooky looking creature.







Their counterparts fought the chimera-like Kalibah, while this troop meets a ヤマネコ (Yama-neko or mountain-cat = puma) who is confronted by our newly brave Lion.







A close up of the felonious feline.











A nice shot of the エメラルドのみやこ (Emerarudo no Miyako or Emerald City) at the end of the yellow-brick road.









Once inside, they meet up with a fiery apparition commanding them to kill the まじょう (Majou or witch) in order to have their requests granted.






This particular witch is purple and looks more elvin in appearance than your stereotypical wart-nosed green majou.









The とぶサル (Tobu-saru or flying monkeys) have bat-wings instead of feathered ones and don't wear Robin Hood caps.








They swiftly capture Dorothy, the Lion and Toto.










Our Tin Man and Scarecrow are left the worse for wear with some lovely Xs for eyes.









A barefoot Dorothy makes a splash with our Witchie-poo who melts away soon after.









Our reunited quintet celebrate with a dance.










トト=Toto uncovers the Man Behind the Curtain who looks more like Ben Franklin than Tweedledum.









Scarecrow gets stuffed with a brain, Tin Man gets his heart and Lion finds his courage in a bottle.









A befuddled ex-wizard is stumped as to a method to send Dorothy home.









Our previously haggard witch from the beginning of the story appears young and beautiful, bearing a Starry S!









Dorothy bids farewell to her trio of companions...










And safely arrives home to an ecstatic Em & Henry.

I like this version much better. It's a little spookier and the characters look more realistic. One of these days, I'll treat you to Ozma of Oz!

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