In episode 21 of K-ON!, the girls try out a variety of different hairstyles in preparation for their class photos. One commenter, Don Kangol Jones, mentioned that he thought this was a subtle commentary on how a character’s design and, by extension, personality is defined by their hairstyle. This got me thinking about past anime and manga where characters have changed their hair. One example that stuck in my mind was the final volume of A.I. Love You, where Cynthia trimmed her long locks into a bob cut that, frankly, didn’t suit her at all. Although her personality technically stayed the same, she just seemed like an entirely different person based on appearance alone. I think Don hit the nail on the head; hairstyle is the most important aspect of any anime character’s design.
So, what kind of anime hairstyle do you like best? And what type of personality do you think that hairstyle suits? Do the twintails make the tsundere, and do all tomboys sport short haircuts? Should an elegant bushido girl wear a ponytail, or let her flowing tresses fly free? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. Vote in the poll below, and leave your opinion in the comment section!
What's your favorite hairstyle on a sexy anime girl?
In case you’re unfamiliar, Black Rock Shooter was originally a character designed by the Japanese artist Huke, which the band Supercell adapted into a wildly popular Hatsune Miku music video. The video itself doesn’t feature much plot; it’s just the titular protagonist travelling around a post-apocalyptic world, looking all emo and angsty. That means when Yutaka Yamamoto and Studio Ordet decided to make a full-length original video animation from this concept for their first independent project, they had their work cut out for them. Not only did they have to prove their little startup studio could produce quality anime, they had to create an entire universe and mythology for Black Rock Shooter from scratch.
So, did they succeed? Did Studio Ordet prove it could hold its own against the older, larger and better-funded anime studios? Sadly, no. This OVA was a disappointment on nearly every level. It’s a pity, since there’s a really interesting concept here. Unfortunately, it was dragged down by poor animation, badly paced storytelling and low production values.
The rumors are true! Sega, the makers of the wildy popular PSP rhythm game Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA, are turning their musical talents towards making a K-ON! game. Check out the trailer below!
Like its Vocaloid-themed predecessor, K-ON! After School Live!! is basically a rhythm game set to the music of the hit anime. You can play as any of the five Houkago Tea Time band members, either solo or with up to four other friends. (Dibs on Ritsu!) The game is slated for a September 30th release in Japan, and priced at ¥6090 or approximately $68 USD. Sadly, there’s little chance of it being licensed in the English-speaking world, so us stateside K-ON! fans will have to import it.
This news is certainly exciting, but I’m still holding out hope for a DS K-ON! game. In my opinion, Nintendo’s handheld system is more suited to rhythm-based musical gameplay. Plus, just think of the possibilities with the touchscreen…
Hideo Kojima has revealed that his upcoming game Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker will employ the Vocaloid software, which is most famous for it’s role in creating Hatsune Miku. Apparently, Vocaloid will be used to create weapons that can sing and scream. Although more seasoned Metal Gear fans are unfazed by this bizarre announcement, my reaction can be summarized as follows:
Meanwhile, Kojima is engaging in his usual hyperbole while promoting MGS: Peace Walker. Most recently, he claimed that “I haven’t announced this yet, but there’s another feature in [Peace Walker] that will surprise people, to the point where they’ll want to go out and buy a PSP right now!” Hmm, given that the PS3 didn’t make me want to get a second job, I view that claim as rather dubious.
Just a short post to convey my general feelings of happiness on this day. After a 3 week wait (not a long time by any standards but still arduous for moi) YesAsia has just notified me that my Vocoloid Kagami Figma has been shipped. She is on her way. My Kagami idol in vocoloid cosplay (not of her will if you remember, watch the Lucky Star OVA if you don’t) has become very popular and as such there is a bit of demand. Nevertheless, the wait is over and hopefully she will be here in a few days.
On another note, a good friend of mine came across the Lucky Star-Macross figures on Ebay, the shock of which nearly killed him. The entire set can be bought for US$330, figures, plushies and all. Anyone willing to cough up that kind of money?
Hatsune Miku, Japan’s most popular virtual idol, will be making her first international “appearance” in concert at the Singapore Anime Festival Asia 2009. The act, known as Hatsune Miku LIVE! Performance, will use a projection screen to create a giant image of the Vocaloid singing and dancing. This same technique was used earlier this year in the Animelo Summer Live 2009 Re:bridge concert in Saitama, Japan, where it wooed 25,000 screaming fans. Hopefully, the reaction in Signapore will be just as enthusiastic.
Additionally, the main voice cast from K-On! will also be at AFA09. However, instead of singing, they will be dubbing a scene from the show live and taking pre-submitted questions. I’m don’t know why they’re hesitant to appear in concert, but I’m sure there’s a reason…
Danny Choo the dancing stormtrooper was recently spotted at Google Chrome’s one-year birthday bash, posing with the Google Girls and plugging Good Smile’s latest figurines. I guess he figured if he couldn’t join the K-On! band, he’d try for the next best thing… hanging around with 3D girls instead of 2D ones. You’re one lucky stormtrooper, Mr. Choo.
Have you ever heard of the uncanny valley theory? It states the following:
As a robot is made more humanlike in its appearance and motion, the emotional response from a human being to the robot will become increasingly positive and empathic, until a point is reached beyond which the response quickly becomes that of strong repulsion. However, as the appearance and motion continue to become more distinguishable from a human being, the emotional response becomes positive once more and approaches human-to-human empathy levels. —Wikipedia
Basically, the idea is that we tend to find things that too closely resemble humans, but are clearly not, repulsive. So, for example, a stuffed animal or anime moe girl, due to their stylization, would be considered cute and likeable. A zombie or dollfie, however, would not.
A group of Japanese scientists with the YAMAHA corporation recently debuted their HRP-4C Miimu robot, and decided to dress her up like Hatsune Miku and have her ‘dance’. The result, visible in the video below, falls squarely in the lowest part of the uncanny valley.
Google Chrome’s theme feature recently went live, and among the dozens of themes offered are some interesting otaku-related choices.
These Chrome themes join dozens of others available on Google’s website, including such geek-oriented choices as Super Monkey Ball, Ratchet and Clank and Bayonetta. It seems like the folks at Google are just as big of nerds as we are!
These themes can be activated simply by visiting the theme page in Chrome and clicking on the “Apply theme” button. Here are the relevant links.
The first trailer for the Hatsune Miku / Studio Ordet collaboration Black Rock Shooter has been posted on YouTube… and it looks AWESOME.
As you may recall from one of our previous posts, Black Rock Shooter is an anime project being developed by Yutaka Yamamoto’s Studio Ordet, and is based on the popular Hatsune Miku song of the same name. It is currently slated for a Spring 2010 release. The project will be directed by Shinobu Yoshioka, an episode director from Haruhi, Lucky Star and Kannagi, as well as one of the many Kyoto Animation employees who left the company in 2007 and joined Ordet.