Author Archive for

15
Dec
10

Random Sketches 2010 December Part I

Cecily Cambell from The Sacred Blacksmith

Source: Unidentified but official looking artwork

As with all other works, click on image for the larger version.

More to come.

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02
Nov
10

Random Sketches Election Day Special

Today at Random Sketches, I draw the two main characters from Black Rock Shooter.

This particular character was based on a fan project of a re-imagined Hatsune Miku set in a completely unrelated world.

As reference, here’s what they actually look like.


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Source: Black Rock Shooter OVA

Character: Black Rock Shooter

Scene: She’s running towards the camera.

———-

Source: Black Rock Shooter

Character: Dead Master

Scene: Black Rock Shooter enters an open area where Dead Master is waiting.

Post-election results tomorrow.  Be there or be square.

31
Oct
10

The NeverEnding Story, Part IV: The Review of The NeverEnding Story, Part I

NOTE: The short title of this post is “The NeverEnding Story, Part IV” as in the sequel to the three movies.  Hence “The NeverEnding Story, Part IV” subtitled “The Review of  The NeverEnding Story, Part I” is a review of the original “The NeverEnding Story” movie.  However, due to licensing whatnots, you can, at best, consider this as a parody of a parody of a review of a parody of the movie that was not conceptualized as a parody when first viewed but was reviewed with the movie as a parody in mind.   Thank you.

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Prior to Transformers The Movie and G. I. Joe The Movie (1986 and 1987, respectively,) I was very much influenced by another movie called  The NeverEnding Story (1984) during the course of  my childhood.  Despite the fact that I was not aware of the movie’s existence until 10 years or so after it was initially screened in the theatres, the movie was and will always be timeless for me.  I recently rented a DVD version of the movie from the local library due to closures of all video/DVD rental establishments in the lower 48 states.  (I have yet to succumb to subscribing to anything with the word “net” in it.)

First of all, before popping in the DVD, I wanted to make sure that I was to prepared for a huge disappointment at how the movie has aged.  It was an 80’s movie after all.  If The NeverEnding Story had been a non-special-effects movie like The Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I might have thought differently.  However, there was the case of Back to the Future series which somehow endured the test of time even in this age of computer graphics and robot actors/actresses, i.e. R. Megan Fox.

So, my pathetic adventure started with the title screen with the ever grandiose and magnificent prelude of a theme song appropriately titled The Never Ending Story.  The NeverEnding Story, from my memory, had been one of few movies that actually have the theme song played at the beginning of the movie where the actual title of the movie is sung in the lyrics.  Forget what I just wrote, I just remembered Flash Gordon.  You remember that one?  The one that sounds like Queen’s Bicycle.  Anyhow, back to the subject at hand.

Engorged with a feminine voice drowning in a sea of synthesized staccato of acid gumdrops, the movie opens and displays its title over a thick flow of twilight haze, obviously left over from the writers and editors trying to figure out how to best enjoy the drugs still left over from the 70s.

Speaking of engorged, this is Morla.  Morla is a character in the movie that takes the form of a turtle that is more or less a large hill.  The screenshot here shows Morla speaking to the main character Atreyu holding unto a tree branch directly in front of Morla.  He is hardly visible but that’s not important.

Did I mention that this movie is actually rated PG?

That’s nothing to be excited about, I guess.  Above shows Atreyu and a random gnome checking something out with the “telescope” of some sort.

Nothing to be excited about, right?!?!?!

If you click on the image and you can see that those are 2 pairs of exposed nipples and breateses.  Yes, this movie was still rated PG!

After watching this scene, I felt rage bigger than the Statue of Liberty.  At least, HERS was covered.

After doing some research, I realized that this movie was actually based on a German novel from GERMANY written in GERMAN with the title of Die unendliche Geschichte. BUT!!! BUT!!! This is a review of a movie and not the next segment of my ongoing series of “What is Wrong with These Foreigners!?”

Going back to possible disappointments, I was utterly shocked at how well the special effects held out.  I expected Styrofoam rocks and badly sync’d puppetry but instead I was greeted with Styrofoam rocks that sounded like real rocks and puppets that far surpass Jar Jar Binks.  For an 80s movie, the special effects and especially sound effects were superb.  The NeverEnding Story is a classic example of solid cohesion between classic puppetry, green-screen, painted scenery, and forced perspective.  I’m surprised that I didn’t notice a single instance of stop motion animation.

Aside from mere visual and aural aspects, the movie did contain a very important moral message.  Without really spoiling a 25 year old movie and to put it as succinctly as possible, the movie sums up what is still true to this day, that one must always keep imagination and hope alive.

29
Oct
10

Random Sketches 2010-10

Before the month is over, here are some drawings left over from the month of October.

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Source: Code Geass

Character: Nunnaly Lamperouge

Scene: From the final episode of season 2.  This is my most favorite scene from the anime because of my hatred for Ledouche.

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Source: Bakemonogatari

Character: Hitagi Senjougahara

Scene: She is sitting on the right rear passenger seat of a moving sedan in the middle of the night.  From episode 12.

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Source: Strike Witches

Character: Hanna-Justina Marseille

Scene: She has just arrived and is introduced to the Strike Witches squadron.  The scene is supposed to exude her sense of superiority and self importance.  From episode 10 of season 2.

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Source: Spice and Wolf

Character: Horo (or Holo, the official spelling)

Scene: From a random wallpaper that I believe was based on an official artwork.

05
Oct
10

Obscure Anime Series That You Haven’t Seen (and Won’t See): Part III

Have you ever heard of Neon Genesis Evangelion? FLCL? Nadia: Secret of Blue Water? Gurren Lagann?  (Note: All 27 episodes of Gurren Lagann is currrently available on Hulu)

I’m sure you haven’t.  The above mentioned anime series are some of the MOST obscure anime EVER created.

And who in the world of anime is behind this obscurity?  None other than Gainax!

Have you ever heard of them?!  I haven’t… that is until now.  Turns out back when Gainax people were still amateurs (quite literally so,) they did this.  When this animation short was played in Daicon IV, I’m guessing many eyes were aghast with shame and embarrassment at the poor quality of such amateurish project.  Can you believe it?  This was before they started getting paid for doing so.  Such shameless candor these guys showed.  Such blasphemous and heinous act of doodling if it can even be called that.

Folks, it turns out Gainax was not finished with their meddlesome act of desecrating the anime culture.

Their newest release comes in a Pandora’s box ready to unleash its wrath at unsuspecting audience and non-audience alike.

Of course, I am acting as the opener of the box but I shall take no blame.

Panty & Stockings with Garterbelt is a new anime series produced by Gainax.

As the name implies this show is about Panty & Stockings with Garterbelt.

Since I will not be spoiling any plot I will get to the point.

Panty and Stockings are two angels who were rejected from heaven and thus must gather (I’m not making this up) H-coins to re-enter the celestial bastion.  Garterbelt, as far as I could gather, is a priest of some sort.  I am guessing that since he lives in a church and we all know only priests live in churches.

Here is what I think Panty and Stockings look like, respectively.

Left: Panty, Right: Stockings

Garterbelt has a dark complexion and sports a giant afro.

You are probably wondering what this show is about.  Aside from what I have mentioned (about coins and such.)  I cannot tell you what this show is about.  I can, however, tell you that this show is a cross between Powerpuff Girls and one of those avant-garde cartoons from Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim segment.

As the title implies, it contains some “graphic elements” as shown below.

From Panty's "transformation" scene

Since this show is available on Crunchyroll, an anime streaming site, you should all check it out.

Despite me poking fun at Gainax, this one’s another looker as expected.

Up next, I draw an actual human figure. . . depicted as a 4 sided polygon.

29
Sep
10

What’s Wrong with These Foreigners?! – Part I

So there I was prancing about in the Inter Web, which we all know, is a series of tubes transported by large dump trucks dumping God knows what to God knows where.  Thanks to the late former Senator Stevens, I now know my way around the Web like the backs of my hairy fists.  And here I was I run into something that I found to be extremely disturbing in that 4th dimensional sense.

Did you know that Windows 7 was marketed in Japan using an anthropomorphic Windows 7 character?  I mean what is wrong with these foreigners?!  Here in the good old New World, we like our Windows completely sanitized and devoid of any humanoid depictions of such inhuman product as the Windows Operating System courtesy of the Microsoft Corporation which is definitely not funding this particular article nor contributing anything to my barren pockets.

In fact, this past year when Windows 7 was released in Japan, a “special” Windows 7 was available ONLY IN JAPAN with the addition of themes and sounds of a character named Nanami Madobe.  Apparently, and I only know this because someone told me so, “nana” in Japanese means seven!  And of course, this particular character had a voice to go with it too.  The voice actress behind this abomination was none other than Nana Mizuki, supposedly popular voice actress and an accomplished singer, so I hear.  Did you notice the “nana” in her name too?  I was gasping for air with all this conspiracy whirling about me and by these extremely foreign acts by a bunch of foreigners in their foreign land with their strange foreign customs.

Here is a witness depiction of this abomination.

Nanami Madobe. The cat is probably included in the foreign version of Windows 7.

I was more than relieved when I convinced myself that because almost a year had passed since the abomination’s birth, there would be little to no effect to the rest of the cultured and decent worlds.  UNTIL… I found out about THIS!

Microsoft Corporation’s rival to the Adobe Flash software has a glitzy ring to it, so called Silverlight.  You may have noticed, if you are an owner of a Windows installed computer, that Silverlight loves updating itself almost as much as your outdated antivirus software telling you that you will lose your job and family if you do not renew subscription right now.  In fact the only reason I recognized the name was because it happened to be updating itself as we speak.

Okay, back to the subject.  My rage begins here.  So a bunch of foreigners in Taiwan apparently thought it appropriate to create an anthromorphic Silverlight to market it.  I mean, “what?!”  After finally closing my eyes to the the plights of Windows 7 in Japan I see screams of character marketing in another Asian nation.  The profanity that this implies is devastating.  So, instead of relying on the extremely vague and what appears to me like a deformed mobius strip, Microsoft in Taiwan opted for a 2D depiction of a harlot codenamed Hikaru prostituting herself to the general masses to bring tainted market share from the Adobe Flash users.

Harlot depicted below.

Hikaru. Note: Above depiction was constructed during an extreme rage and thus the placement of the head is unintentional.

So, the question lingers… What’s wrong with these foreigners?!  The answer to which, if I were able to answer it, I feel is best left and perhaps buried in a pile of mud to be preserved as fossilized remains to be dug up by some future denizen a million years from now to learn from our foreigners’ erring ways.

29
Sep
10

Obscure Anime Series That You Haven’t Seen (and Won’t See): Part II

Here is another article on an anime series that most of you may have never heard of.

Kaichou wa Maid-sama! (会長はメイド様!) Wikipedia link is here.

This one is based on a shoujo manga, which is mainly geared toward the female audience.

The title is loosely translated as “The President is a Maid.”  Unfortunately, I was turned off by this loose translation as I was expecting a cross-dressing middle aged corporate business man prancing about as a protagonist.

However, I realized such chauvinistic generalization would not fit this humble writer, so I decided to give this anime a try.

After watching the first 2 minutes of the first episode, I realized that I had grossly mistranslated the title.  The “president” was actually referring to “president of the school council” and not a corporate “president” which would use the same 2 kanji in Japanese, Kaichou (会長).

The premise of the anime as with the original manga from which it is based is that the president of the school council (the female protagonist) has an after school job where she works as a server at a maid cafe, which would be quite an embarrassment in real life.  For those that are not familiar with some of the lesser forms of Japanese culture, and by lesser I mean “sub” as in subculture.  A maid cafe is an atypical cafe establishment where the servers (typically female) are dressed in what we in the West would call French maid outfit and address their customers as “master” or Go-shu-jin-sama (ご主人様.)

The main protagonist of the series looks something like this.

Misaki Ayuazawa. Note: The subject depicted above may differ in appearance to the actual subject.

Her not-quite-beau and male adonis plays the love interest which we all know will end up with the heroine anyway.

He looks something like this.

Takumi Usui. Note: This subject depicted above also may differ in appearance to the actual subject.

To prevent myself from spoiling the plot for those of you who may amuse themselves by learning more about this series but also to prevent myself from spewing gibberish and to post these sketches with some sort of relevence I will end the article here.

But I assure you my benevolent readers, this show is quite interesting.