Terra Formars – テラフォーマーズ

This post contains spoilers!!!

As promised, continuing on with my anime reviews, the next one up is Terra Formars.

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Wikipedia:

Terra Formars is a Japanese manga series written by Yū Sasuga and illustrated by Kenichi Tachibana.

Wikipedia Plot:
In an attempt to colonize Mars, 21st century scientists tasked with terraforming the planet seed it with a modified algae to absorb sunlight and purify the atmosphere, and cockroaches whose corpses spread the algae across the planet as they feed.

Five hundred years later, the first manned ship to Mars lands and its six crew members are attacked by giant mutated humanoid cockroaches with incredible physical strength, later labeled “Terraformars”; the crew is wiped out after sending a warning back to Earth. Decades later, a multinational expedition is sent to exterminate the mutated bugs and take control of the red planet only to be vanquished as well, except for two survivors who manage to return to Earth, one swearing to return and avenge their fallen companions. As a third expedition is assembled, questions are raised about the true origin of the Terraformars and their connection with a deadly virus afflicting mankind.

To fight the Terraformars’ strength and agility, members of the second and third expedition undergo genetic modification to inherit the characteristics of other organisms, only possible after having a special organ implanted with a 36% chance of surviving the surgery itself.

My Review:

I finished watching the Terra Formars series last month. I had actually started watching it then stopped and picked it back up again. It was a little slow to catch my attention but by the time the crew got to Mars’ orbit, sh*t got REAL and I was hooked.

Can I just say, the level of intelligence exhibited by the Terraformars was insane.

It is one thing to go some place where you know that the enemy you have to fight is strong. It’s quite another to find out they are not only strong but smart as fuk AND have been tipped off that you are coming.

The fact that the Terraformars were not only tipped off but were also given all of the expedition crews’ battle tactics, was not revealed until later on in the series.

So basically, for the first few episodes after they got to Mars each time the expedition crew had a run in with the Terraformas  and had to fight them, they got their butts whooped.

The fight scenes were awesome though and since each side has suped up abilities, it really added that X factor. I like that they explained what each of the Captains abilities were and from which Earth animal it was derived from.

The animation was visually appealing to me and very detailed as well. The story line was a little dry in the beginning but once the fighting started I didn’t care. I also liked the OST.

The series ends with the crew on Mars but seriously worn down and still fighting the Terraformars after sending out a rescue message to Earth for them to be picked up since their ship was destroyed. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the politicians and Army were still going back and forth on whether they were going to send a rescue team to Mars.

Typical government foolishness.

I am hoping that there is a Season 2. I mean, they can’t just leave them there, right???

This is definitely one of those anime where it’s so good that I would read the Manga. Especially if it looks like the anime is not being continued.

If anyone knows of an OVA or any other spin off related to this anime, please let me know.

Isha’s Anime Rating – A

Anime Review(s) – Coming Soon: Tokyo Ghoul 1 & 2

Psycho Pass – サイコパス 1 & 2

This post contains SPOILERS!!!!

Happy New Year Everyone! \ @ _ @ /

Let’s do this…First post of 2015!!

Over the past two weeks, I have been catching up on my Japanese Anime.The story lines, characters and quality of Anime still manages to amaze me, even after all these years of being a fan. This Anime caught my eye recently and then proceeded to blow me the fuk away.

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サイコパス – Psycho Pass 1 & 2

Wikipedia:

Gen Urobuchi is a Japanese writer for visual novels, light novels, and anime. He is known for his dark style, nihilistic themes, and tragic plot twists, earning him the fan nickname “Urobutcher.”

Wikipedia Summary: 

Psycho-Pass is set in 2113. The Sibyl System is actively measuring the populace’s mental states, personalities, and the probability that individuals will commit crimes, using a “cymatic scan” of the brain. The resulting assessment is called a Psycho-Pass (サイコパス Sa-i-ko-pa-su). When the probability of a person engaging in crimes measured by the Crime Coefficient index exceeds a certain level in an individual, he or she is pursued, apprehended, and killed if necessary.

My Review:

I’ve been meaning to watch サイコパス for a while. I had too many K dramas that I was watching and when I saw it had two parts, I felt like it was too much to try to fit in. Since the amount of K dramas I’m currently watching has decreased for now, I started watching and was able to finish. Part 1 and 2. Once I started, I was totally obsessed. Typical me.

The story line is pretty good. I don’t mind a futuristic theme, as long as it’s not so ridiculously over the top that it seems unbelievable. There is a nice balance in サイコパス. I don’t think I could handle actually living in the kind of setting that is portrayed in this Anime though. Having a main frame computer system pass judgement on whether I’m a criminal or not with one body scan and then say if I should be killed on the spot? My stress level would probably send my Psycho-Pass well over 300+ and anything over 299 is instant death. So…..Yeah.

The way the ‘criminals’ are killed is absolutely horrifying. Bubbling up as if boiling internally then exploding into a bloody pile of goo. Yessss! Japanese Anime at it’s finest. NOT for the squeamish. I’ll say that right now. There is also a stun mode for ‘criminals’ whose Psycho-Pass are read under 299. Depending on where it hits you, you can be passed out for up to three days with possible paralysis during that time. Not bad, right?

One of the Enforcers in part 1, Shinya Kogami, is hot as hell. Seriously. Anime has the ability to make you totally fall for the guys/girls in the series. Or is that just me??? – _ – Hmmm. Any-hue. His cigarette smoking, sexy staring and gun blazing was SMT (So My Type)! I was bummed he wasn’t in part 2 but that story line was also interesting. Each episode of サイコパス is a continuation of the previous episode. You don’t have to watch Part 1 first, but I would highly recommend it.

I also LOVED their guns, the “Dominators”, that automatically level up in badass-ness, depending on your scan level. The way the gun would calmly announce in a friendly female voice that they are about to turn you into human soup was madness.

I’ve probably said this before but I would LOVE to sit down with the writer of an Anime, in this case Gen Urobuchi-sensei and be like, “HOW??? How did you think of all this?”

Isha’s Anime Rating –

Anime Review(s) – Coming Soon:  Terra Formars

My early ‘Year in Review’

Seeing as the holidays are right around the corner and knowing how people are so busy during this time, I decided to post my blog’s first ‘Year in Review’ early. ^.^

As I sit back and thing about everything I have done this year, I’d have to say that it has been fun. I’ve also gotten some bumps and bruises along the way, but that’s life right?

Travel

My travel log was super cool this year.

Going to Japan again, this time for my birthday, meant so much to me. Tokyo holds such a special place in my heart and I always feel like I’m home while I’m there.

When the tsunami hit Japan a few years ago, I remember standing in front of my tv crying and praying. Since then I’ve been there twice and knowing that I was almost unable to go at all, makes me treasure the island, the people and their culture even more each time I visit.

The Hello Kitty Convention in LA’s Little Tokyo was also another highlight for my travel log. I met a lot of awesome people there. It was nice to see that my HK induced craziness, was not mine alone. There.are.others. And they were there in droves. The convention sold out for all four days. I also got to finally see with my own two eyes, Yuko Yamaguchi-san, head designer for Hello Kitty over the last 30 years. When I think about all of the ill collaborations HK has done during that time, only two words come to my mind. Bow down.

Music

This is the first year that I have listened to 95% K pop music alone.

90% of that goes to BTS.

The other 5% goes to K pop songs that BTS listened or danced to.

The last 5% goes to American songs that BTS listened or danced to.

You see where I’m going with this right?

It was a BTS year for me. Between their new album ‘Dark and Wild’, the promotions for ‘Dark and Wild’, the various magazine spreads, the ridiculously cute Bangtan Bombs, their millions of tweets and everything else, BTS has successfully taken the spot as my number one group. I absolutely LOVE them. Every.single.member.

My feels were absolutely torn to shreds when BTS recently performed at the MAMAs in Hong Kong a few weeks ago. They didn’t win either of the two awards they were nominated for, but they stole the whole dam show with their off the hook performances. They SLAYED and I was so proud.

Food

I am a HUGE foodie. If the food is good, I.AM.THERE.

This past year, due to the location of my new job, I was able to explore a lot of new Asian restaurants. Thai, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and a few fusion spots. Cucumber water…who knew??? Hello Kitty Maki, yes please!!!

The only reason I am even able to barely fit into my clothes as I type this, is due to the amount of ungawdly walking I have to do on my way to and from work.

Relationships

Bhahaha!!!

Who has time for that?! Certainly not me. All my time has been split between the above categories plus work and family. How could I possibly fit anything else in? Eventually, I’ll settle down but for now, I am happy in my space.

So that’s my ‘Year in Review’.

Geeze. When I write it out, it doesn’t seem like much but really it was so…so much.

I hope that you all have an awesome rest of 2014 and a very safe and happy holiday season.

Thank you so much for stopping by to read, watch or comment on my crazy posts!

I see your clicks from all over the world and I appreciate every single one.  \@_@/

We’ll start this shit up again in 2015!!!

XOXO

-IshaB

Isha’s Adventures in Japan – Harajuku, Omotesando

Next stop Harajuku and Omotesando!

We were unable to make it to Harajuku on the Sunday after we arrived due to a rain storm so we went on a Monday instead. The reason I’d wanted to go on a Sunday is because that is THE day to be in Harajuku. Everyone is out and about. It is also the best time to see the girls that dress up in Lolita, Goth and various other cute but sometimes way over the top outfits.

Once leaving the Yamanote line Harajuku station, we went out the Omotesando exit, since KiddyLand was our first destination. A note for those of you who may be traveling to Japan…If you are supposed to take a certain exit to leave a train station, take that exit only! I learned the hard way on my first trip to Japan last year after just exiting the stations where ever. You will end up where ever and no where close to where you wanted to go. Even if it takes a few extra minutes, look for your correct exit.

Omotesando is another very popular shopping area in Tokyo for tourists and the younger natives. It has a similar set up to Akihabara in the way that you can walk down one side and then cross over and walk back up the other. Many people were also there taking pictures or just hanging out and people watching.

KiddyLand was as awesome and overwhelming as I remembered it. It was packed with people of course. Each floor is themed, not a surprise right? It has a Snoopy Town, Hello Kitty, Lego, LINE and a lots of others thrown in. It is so sweet and and cute, your teeth and eyes are burning by the time you leave the store. It was surprising how many guys were in there. Some were even by themselves. I guess they are used to all of the super kawaii-ness that comes with living in Japan. Or maybe they were just passing through to go to the Lego floor. – _ –  I did well this time. I managed to leave KiddyLand without having to auction off my plane tickets home.

We then went to a ramen shop that I’d also been to on my last visit, that I had been DYING to go back to. It is very traditional looking. The name is written in Kanji that I don’t know…sorry but I can tell you it is on a small side street after the Swarovski store. In that same side street, TGIFridays is directly across from it. It’s hard to miss. It has a sliding wooden door with a narrow wooden table and stools that borders the middle area where the cooks are making the food. Sort of like what you see in Naruto but a little bigger. Just like I remembered, it didn’t disappoint. I was absolutely comatose when we left.

From there we bee lined over to Takeshita Street aka Takeshita-dori which is a street for pedestrians only and is lined with shops, restaurants, etc on both sides. It is interesting to see how everyone automatically walks down the left side and then come back up on the right side. It’s almost like a people highway. Don’t stop, just take the exit (store) you want and get off.

I wasn’t really there for the clothing stores, I was on the hunt for a cafe. I absolutely love how many cafes Japan has that just sell desserts. The desserts not only look but also taste fantastic. It’s always nice to duck into one after a hard day of shopping. ~ _ ~ We ended up finding a really nice one and got some tiramisu, ice coffee and a coke. It was super yummy and a  tasty way to end our day.

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Isha’s Adventures in Japan – Akihabara

My next stop in Japan was Akihabara.

Akihabara, also known as Electric Town, was said to be originally known as a hot spot for buying electronics. Now it is also an awesome place to find all things Anime and Manga. The performance theatre for AKB48, a SUPER popular J Pop group, is also located here.

After leaving the Yamanote line train station, we followed the crowd to the main street and just walked down one side until the crowd and good stores thinned out. Then we crossed and walked back up the other side. It sounds like something that wouldn’t take long but there were so many fun stores, arcades and places to eat along the way, it literally took hours.

We stumbled across 2 places that I had seen online but that I wasn’t really looking for. The Gachapon store and Pasela Resorts.

Gachapon is basically the deluxe ‘Gucci’ version of the American 25 cent vending machines. It is called Gachapon based on the noise the ball makes as it falls out of the machine. The price of each one ranges from 100 to 200 yen, which is $1 to $2 US dollars. It may seem like a lot but the items in these machines are not your average, by any means.

Thank goodness I can read Katakana or I may have walked right past the side street the store was on. It had a good amount of people in it. Foreigners and also natives of Japan. It was hard to snap pics without someone in the background. It had wall to wall Gachapon machines. Everyone had their change in their hands, happily moving from one machine to the next. The machines have themes, so you can pick the theme that you liked, then hope you get the character based on that particular theme that you wanted. I counted five differently themed Hello Kitty machines, a LINE character machine, two Rilakkuma machines and then there were also various other anime etc (each show had it’s own one).

I ended up with 10 balls as my total count when I left. Everything was so CUTE! I got cell phone charms, a coin purse, a small Rilakkuma cell phone sized purse (yes…a purse), a Hello Kitty miniature fan and assorted charms to hang on my handbags. Handbag charms in Japan are a HUGE craze. It is not uncommon to see girls and women on the street with teddy tears etc hanging from their bags. This is also true with cell phone charms.

Pasela Resort’s concept is hotel themed in appearance but it’s actually place you can go for karaoke and is also well known for it’s honey toast. I walked right past it at first , then did a double take when I saw their food and honey toast display in the window. Food displays are also huge in Japan. It’s a good concept. Many places I ate at were because I could see exactly what the food would look like and the amount that would be served before I went into the restaurant.

In my ‘I’m-finally-gonna-eat-honey-toast’ bliss, I’d totally forgotten about the karaoke and was a little confused when the girl at the front desk gave me a leather envelope that had my ‘room’ number in it. We took the elevator to the 7th floor. There were many rooms and when I found 705 and opened the door, I was in shock. It was hella nice! Leather sectional seat, tv, sound system, AC, air purifier for smokers, chandelier, microphone etc. It was fully loaded. You could also place your food order through the tv or on the room phone.

The room was ‘free’ for an hour. Over that, I would’ve had to pay extra besides the cost of the food so we just had lunch and honey toast of course! The honey toast was good but not something I’d want to eat all the time. It was huge and would’ve been wasted if I had to eat it alone. There’s no way I could have finished it by myself.

I’ve ‘seen’ Akihabara in many different anime so I felt like I’d been there before. Japanese anime tends to use real locations of places in Japan in their illustrations. However, seeing it in person as opposed to animations of it was incredible. It is another place I would definitely recommend to anyone traveling to Tokyo.

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Isha’s Adventures in Japan – Tower Records, Shibuya

Though I made the very lofty promise before I left to blog while I was in Japan, I have still returned home with only one post to show for myself. In my sorry defense, I was usually totally wiped out by 7:30-ish pm JT (Japan Time) and could barely keep my eyes open, much less type.

So, to make it up to my lovely readers, I am going to do a series of posts called Isha’s Adventures in Japan. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did partaking in them.

This first one is about Tower Records in Shibuya. Usually one store is not enough to get a post out of me but this Tower Records was incredible.

The walk there was approximately 10 minutes from my hotel, but it felt more like 25 minutes in the Japan summer heat. It was in the 90’s the entire time I was there, except for one day. 0 _ 0

The store is massive! I could actually see the Tower Records sign on the top of their building from my hotel room in the day and at night.

While waiting to cross the street to get to the main entrance, there is a huge screen at almost ground level that was showing all of the latest artist and group promotions, including One Ok Rock’s new song The Beginning featured in the new movie Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, both of which were released while I was in Tokyo.

Yes, I bought a copy of their cd and yes, I saw the movie. Both were bad ass. Kekeke. Check out the movie trailer here with English subs and One Ok Rock’s official MV for The Beginning here.

There are approximately 8 floors total. I say approximately because I spent the most time on the K pop floor droolzing at all the cute boys and in the Rilakkuma x Tower Records Cafe stuffing my face.

For those of you who do not know about the cuteness that is Rilakkuma, check out the pics below. When a store in Japan says that they are doing a theme, they do a dam THEME. Rilakkuma was EVERYWHERE. Not just as wall posters but the food, drink coasters, glasses, EVERYTHING was  Rilakkuma. Plus there were Rilakkuma plushies all over the cafe. At each table, on the counters and there was a enormous life sized fat one by the cafe entrance. When you are near the exit of the cafe where you have to pay, there is a Rilakkuma shop, just in case you still wanted something else Rilakkuma to take home. I bought the coffee mug…..

There is an indoors smoking room in Tower Records on the 2nd floor outside of the Cafe, that is complete with sliding glass doors that open up like the space shuttle with one touch of your finger tip, AC, super shiny hardwood floors and high power ceiling vents to suck out the smoke. It was so clean, I would’n’t have even known it was a smoking room if it weren’t for the English sign on the glass. When you leave the room, the smoke does not leave with you. For someone like me who smokes, this was a total hidden gem inside the  treasure chest that is Tower Records. Especially since you cannot just light up a cig any where you want in Japan. We’ll talk about that another time.

The basement level of Tower Records Shibuya is reserved for their Super promotions. This area is usually blocked off to the public unless one of those promotions is ongoing. I’d just missed the BTS – Bangtan Boys promo by a few days, which I was totally bummed about, but saw all of the pictures online and it was something else. Pictures (big and small), cut outs for fan selcas, a monitor for video play back of BTS videos, more pictures, even more pictures….I could see why they block it off because it probably took forever to set it all up then take it back down.

In between each floor there are also more life sized cut outs of various artists, usually autographed. On the K pop floor, I took a picture with the group Vixx. More for my friend back home to see them than for me. I also bought some music magazines, which were top notch in terms of quality and size. Most of the magazines I’ve seen in Japan are an inch or more wider or longer than American magazines. They also usually have something extra in them. Like a poster, hand fan, stickers, face cloth etc that are based on the featured artist, actor or group in that edition.

There is also a t shirt vending machine, gachapon machines and a lot of other miscellaneous little displays scattered through out the store that caught my eye. The Tower Records theme merchandise was pretty cute too. Their slogan, No Music No Life, was all over the place.

I was in Tower Records for a few hours easy. It was well worth the walk in the Sahara Desert like heat. I definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Japan that stays in Tokyo.

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