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Author: Chag

Review: 1/8 Hatsune Miku

To many strangers, the lucrative Vocaloid scene in the Japanese internet community probably seems incomprehensible. To them, a sold-out concert of 25,000 featuring a virtual idol with a strange and often emotionless synthesized voice is nothing short of bizarre. To this puzzling fandom I can offer you with no clear explanation. Like various other memes, the Vocaloid 2 series – beginning with Hatsune Miku – just exploded onto the scene out of nowhere. Supported by a host of talented illustrators, musicians and composers, Hatsune Miku is not only a legitimate music idol with a portfolio of albums being sold, but also the icon of a vast wave of merchandising.

The company who tapped into the Vocaloid goldmine with the most success is undoubtedly Good Smile Company. The nendoroid and figma incarnations of Miku has flew off the shelves in its initial release and even its re-releases. Similarly, the 1/8 scale version of Miku was also met with considerable success from the meteoric Vocaloid hypewagon, and as I will argue in this review, it is a success well-deserved. Read more »

Review: HGUC Acguy

HGUC Acguy-001

The amphibious mobile suits from the original Mobile Suit Gundam series tend to be very hit-and-miss with modern audiences. Their round shapes, retro-looking limbs and melee claw weapons tend to alienate some and while appealing to others. Though I can’t honestly say that I’ve asked for a Gogg or Zock from my parents when I was little, I have warmed up to these rather oddball designs since.

Don’t underestimate the Acguy just because it looks funny – it can really mess you up.

The Acguy, along with Char’s Z’gok, are by far the most iconic of the amphibious mobile suit designs. Today, the Acguy holds a meme status amongst Gundam fans as the “moe” mech. This is due to its stubby limbs, its large hamburger-like head, and its signature fetal rest position. Dubbed as “love” by fans, the HGUC model has a good amount of expectations behind it. Does it live up to these expectations? For the most part, yes.
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Beginnings

If you asked my opinions on blogs in general one year prior, I probably would have made a reply somewhere along the lines of “frivolous barf-buckets of unwanted opinions and irrelevant rants”. Fortunately, personal experiences have intervened since then, and as I signed up on Blogger today, I possess a markedly different opinion. I now see the pleasure in sharing work one is passionate and proud of. I now see the benefit in regular exercises in writing. And I now see the potential and need of clear, informative reviews in English about certain items within my own interests.

Although this is still very much in the tentative stage, I intend to accomplish two things with this blog:
  1. To introduce my hobbies to the audience and offer helpful and concise information on the Japanese plamos, toys and figures within my possession via weekly reviews.
  2. To post news and links of other reviews that may be of interest to my intended audience on a daily basis. I plan to do this after producing around 4-5 reviews.
Whether or not I can actually follow my conviction, I am uncertain. But I end this post with positive conviction. Expect the first review to be posted this weekend.
Update (1/9/2010): Laughing at myself right now — daily updates? What was I thinking?
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