Ni no Kuni (English title: The Another World), the Nintendo DS role-playing game collaboration between Level-5 (Dragon Quest VIII, Rogue Galaxy, Professor Layton and the Curious Village) and Studio Ghibli (My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) looks amazing. The game will also features extensive voice acting.
Below is a list of Japanese voice talent for Ni no Kuni:
While reading about Capcom’s upcoming Amaterasu phone strap, it struck me that most DS Lite and DSi owners in the US and Europe are probably unaware that the two small holes in the back of the DS near the cartridge slot can be used to attach cell phone charms or phone straps.
Here’s a photo of the back of an Onyx DS Lite with the two holes used for attaching cell phone charms and phone straps circled in red:
Here’s a photo of my an Onyx DS Lite with maneki neko (fortune cat) cell phone charm attached:
Very few brick and mortar stores in America sell cell phone charms or phone straps. I recommend the following stores for purchasing cell phone accessories online:
Strapya World specializes in cell phone accessories and has an extensive selection of cell phone charms and phone straps, including items based on popular anime and video game franchises like Hello Kitty, Final Fantasy, Death Note, My Neighbor Totoro, Dragon Ball, One Piece, and Sgt. Keroro.
Here are five example cell phone straps from Play-Asia:
As stated in previous posts, I like to watch anime series currently airing in Japan as soon as fansub groups subtitle and release episodes. On rare occasions, I let an awesome series slip through the cracks and return to it later by chance or recommendation. (Dennou Coil is the best example of this type of temporary oversight.)
The purpose of my preamble is to explain why it’s taken me this long to watch the second episode of Natsume Yuujinchou, which I did today. Here’s a short summary of the series as provided by Anime News Network:
Natsume Takashi has the ability to see spirits, which he has long kept secret. However, once he inherits a strange book that belonged to his deceased grandmother, Reiko, he discovers the reason why spirits surround him. Containing the names of these spirits, a binding contract was formed between the spirits and the owner of the book. Now, Natsume is determined to free the spirits and dissolve the contracts. With the help of a spirit cat, his days are filled trying to return the names to these spirits.
There are few subjects that hold my attention as powerfully as mythology and folklore, so chances were already good that I would watch and enjoy this series. Natsume Yuujinchou does not disappoint, basing its plot on themes found throughout Asian folklore. For example: Knowing a being’s true name gives a person power over that being. (On a side note, the same is true in Egyptian mythology, as explained in a myth where Isis tricks Re into revealing his secret name.)
I’m fascinated by animation. Ever since I saw Fantasia as a child, I understood that talented animators could create a new and fantastic world using their art. I developed a love for animated shorts when I watched The Animatrix, a collection of amazing animated short films based in the Matrix universe.
So when I heard that 15 of Japan’s top animators created 1-minute shorts for NHK, I had to see what they came up with.
My wife and I have been saying for years that we would gladly shell out a reasonable amount of cash for a box set of Mai-HiME. I’ve kept an eye out for a box set since I first watched the series in 2004 only to find, time and again, that the series was only available on separate DVDs. But I bring good news: A recent search on Amazon not only turned up a box set, but a box set at a reasonable price.
Anime industry, take note: People will glady pay $30-$60 for a box set of a solid 24- or 26-episode series; however, those same sane and reasonable people–people who have bills to pay, groceries to buy, and like to buy a game now and then–will NOT pay $130-$180 for a box set, even if it’s a box set of one of their favorite series.
I’m looking at you, Geneon/Pioneer. Not only did you price the box set of Read or Die TV over $120, you also discontinued the product!
Whenever my wife and I visit a major retail chain that sells anime, we make a point to visit the anime section and laugh at how absurdly expensive anime is. Why would any reasonable person wait 2-3 years for a series to be licensed and sold in the US and then pay $20 for a DVD containing 3-4 episodes when fansub groups sub episodes days (not years) after they air in Japan and offer more accurate translations than the official DVDs that follow a few years later? Judging by the quality of English dubs, I think it’s safe to say the money’s not going toward competitive wages for English voice casts.
There are several other series I would gladly by if they were sold as a boxed set and at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, it looks like I’ll still be waiting a long, long while until the next anime purchase.
On an unrelated note, how much would it cost to license Dennou Coil for US distribution? Seriously, why has this series not been picked up yet? It’s amazing.