The Confessions of Aya Hirano

Editorial comment


Here I was hoping Aya was on the road to normalizing her career, but that notion seems to be in my dreams. In reality, her career is becoming a large looming uncontrollable nightmare. Her recent revelations about her love life have caused quite a stir among her fans, creating lots of unnecessary and ultimately harmful drama. How Aya is coping with this is something we’d all like to know.

More after the jump. Continue reading

K-ON! Dub Cast Announced

More news about Bandai’s upcoming K-ON! release! They’ve announced that the show’s English language dub will be handled by Bang Zoom! Entertainment, the studio responsible for dubbing both The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Lucky Star. The role of Yui will be played by the prolific Stephanie Sheh, who played Mikuru in Haruhi and Akira in Lucky Star. Mio will be voiced by Cristina Vee, most famous for her fandubs of various anime songs on YouTube. Here is her rendition of Super Driver:

I must say, I’m a bit conflicted about these choices. Stephanie Sheh is an experienced voice actress, but her take on Mikuru was too high and squeaky for my liking. On the other hand, she did a GREAT job as Akira, so I honestly have no idea whether she’ll be good as Yui. As for Cristina Vee… she has an awesome singing voice, but little anime voice-acting experience. Is she really up to the challenge of playing Mio, K-ON!’s most popular character? Also, does this mean she’ll be dubbing K-ON!’s music into English?

More importantly, who will they get to dub Ritsu?

The Four Laws of Moe

Is this moe's true form?

This is a refined and expanded version of an editorial I originally wrote for Japanator. The original can be found here.

It seems one of the biggest problems in the ongoing moe debate is the lack of any concrete definition for the term “moe.” This has lead to all sorts of argument among otaku; some believe the term can be applied to any female character the viewer considers cute, while others argue it should be strictly limited to its original Japanese definition. Personally, I think the truth lies in between these two extremes. After all, language is defined by its usage, not by the opinions of a few crazed fanboys or some dusty old dictionary. Therefore, based on my own observations and research, I have created the Four Laws of Moe. I believe these laws lay out, in clear and concise detail, the exact parameters of moe and what traits a character must exhibit in order to be considered as such. Of course, these laws are merely a reflection of my own opinion; feel free to improve upon them, argue against them or even construct your own alternative theory. Whatever the case, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

Read more after the break!

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Haruhi’s Blu-ray Appearance Doesn’t Come Cheap

As reported by Sankaku Complex [NSFW], pre-orders for the October 22 release of the complete Haruhi TV series on Blu-ray have recently gone up on Amazon Japan. With all twenty-eight episodes of Haruhi in high-definition, extra content and English subtitles, it may seem like this is the release fans are waiting for.

But then there’s the price: 30,000 yen (or $338 USD). For eight Blu-ray discs.

The Project Haruhi staff has talked about Japan’s absurd pricing structure multiple times, but it bears repeating. What the heck are they thinking? Here’s a short list of other stuff you could buy from Amazon Japan for that amount of money:

Okay, you probably get my point.

What makes this frustrating is the actual release is great. It’s something I might like to own, and I’m not even that big of a Haruhi fan. The price, however, kills it for me. The even crazier thing is that, compared to the price of the DVD release of Endless Eight, this Blu-ray release is actually a bargain. Collecting the single-volume release of Endless Eight on DVD would cost the equivalent of $288 USD.

So, now the question is: how many people will actually buy the Blu-ray series? And if it sells poorly, will Kadokawa interpret this as disinterest in the Haruhi franchise instead of a rebellion against outlandish pricing?

Figma Fever: Young Haruhi by Max Factory

Have you always wanted that diorama of both young and older version of Haruhi kicking Kyon’s ass? Well, wait no more! Max Factory has added to their Figma lineup by releasing a younger version of Haruhi Suzumiya for your enjoyment. In case you didn’t already know, this loli-Haruhi is from the Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody arc, one of the more pivotal episodes in the the second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. More after the jump.

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K-ON! is licensed by Bandai

Are they laughing with Bandai… or at them?

I’m still in shock.

Despite their financial woes, Bandai Entertainment has just announced at Anime Expo that they’ve acquired the rights to K-ON!‘s first season. There’s no word yet if it will be dubbed or released on Blu-ray. Bandai also announced a series of live-action K-ON! marketing videos similar to the ASOS Brigade series for Haruhi. For these, they’ve cast Christina Vee as Mio, Karri Shirou as Yui, “Kix” as Tsumugi and “Briana” as Ritsu.

Hang on a second… Christina Vee as MIO? She’s got a great singing voice, but their personalities couldn’t be more different. This is going to be most interesting…

I think it’s likely that Bandai will give K-ON! a dub, probably recycling many of the cast members from the Haruhi and Lucky Star dubs. However, in my opinion, their English version of “God Knows” was ear-splittingly painful, especially when compared to the original Japanese song. Given how music-oriented K-ON! is, I’m hoping they can track down some voice actors who can actually sing. Of course, I’d also be perfectly happy with a sub-only release.

Oh, and Bandai? If you try to pull the same “no Japanese audio track” crap that you did with Kurokami, I’m not buying it. Period.

[Via ANN]

Haruhi Season 2 DVD Details Revealed

Image unrelated but awesome.

How much would you pay for Endless Eight?

Bandai has just released detailed information about The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Season 2 DVD boxset.This release will contain 14 episodes, both dubbed and subbed. Also included are various special features such as “location scouting videos”, “Behind The Scenes of Aya Hirano’s Music Video”, “Endless Eight Prologue”,  and a “special event video”, as well as CD tracks for “Super Driver” and “Tomare.” Oh, and don’t forget the exciting “interactive menus!” Oh boy!

And the best part: this all-frills boxset can be yours for the low, low price of $64.98!

Wait a minute… sixty-five dollars? Bandai wants to charge me sixty-five dollars for fourteen episodes of Haruhi? Worse, eight of those are the same friggin’ episode! GO TO HELL, BANDAI!

Sorry, I know I shouldn’t be so pissed. After all, the Japanese had to pay over five times as much for their Season 2 DVDs. Still, charging sixty-five bucks for less than six hours of anime seems a bit extreme, especially when the anime industry (not to mention the entire economy) is in a state of decline.

So, yeah… I think I’ll wait for the Anime Legends boxset. How about you, dear readers? Are you willing to dish out the big bucks for Haruhi S2? Let us know in the poll below, then discuss the issue further in our forums!

Will you buy the upcoming Haruhi S2 boxset?

  • Yes! I don't mind paying $65. (32%, 45 Votes)
  • Yes, but I'll wait for a bargain price... perhaps at RightStuf. (23%, 32 Votes)
  • I think I'll wait for a cheaper boxset. (18%, 26 Votes)
  • Screw Bandai! I'm sticking with my fansubs. (13%, 19 Votes)
  • No, I'm not planning to buy it. (8%, 11 Votes)
  • I'm still not sure. (6%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 142

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Bandai Announces English “Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya” DVD Release

That’s right, True Believers! Bandai has released an English-subtitled trailer for The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya which promises the film will be “Coming soon to DVD.”

Mikuru looks great in that skimpy Santa outfit! *drool*

The DVD will come with both subtitles and a dub. However, if you just can’t wait to see Disappearance, it’s showing for one night only on June 24th at the Laemmel Sunset 5 cinema in Los Angles.

While you’re here, why not check out a sneak preview of the latest Ghibli film The Borrower Arrietty?

Excelsior!

Yen Press Licenses Haruhi-chan Manga

Right on the heels of Bandai’s Haruhi-chan anime license announcement, Yen Press has revealed (via an unlisted YouTube video featuring the ASOS brigade) that they will be releasing the Haruhi-chan manga starting on October 26th.

Yen Press is also planning to release the K-ON! manga this winter. Don’t forget, you can watch all the Haruhi series for free on Crunchyroll, as well as win a special Haruhi virtual badge.

Bandai licenses Haruhi-chan and Churuya-san

Christina Vee and the ASOS Brigade have just announced a new Haruhi license by Bandai.

Wow, the acting in that was worse than usual. Could you tell they were reading from cue cards?

Anyhoo, it seems we’ll be getting Haruhi-chan and Churuya-san on DVD starting this summer, complete with a Bang Zoom dub using the same voice actors as the main Haruhi series. Of course, if you can’t wait that long for your next hit of Haruhi, you can always head on over to Crunchyroll and watch both shows for free.

[Via ANN]