robotech_master: (unicorn tree)
So, last night I finished watching the "new" Robotech movie, Robotech: Love, Live, Alive. (I quotate "new" for reasons that will become clear below the cut.) It was a nostalgic experience. I might just dig out Audacity and run off a one-off Space Station Liberty podcast to commemorate it, and excerpt some audio clips. But for now, I might as well set my thoughts down while they're still fresh.



Ready to take a spin down memory lane in a transforming motorcycle? )

So is it worth $12.86 for the 2-movie set at Amazon? On the one hand, there's not a lot new here. On the other, if you're wanting to show Shadow Chronicles to someone who's never seen Robotech before, or you're a completist, or don't have Shadow Chronicles yet, it's not a whole lot of money for at least something new, and it does help convince HG to put money toward making more new stuff. If nothing else, it's a cheap and easy way to get Shadow Chronicles on DVD.
robotech_master: (chop stamp)
Well, the American Animé Awards are just about to start, and I've got my streaming video player open on the ceremony room. Looks like it may be a few minutes late kicking off as it's now about five after.

It'll be interesting to see if Yuri Lowenthal or Tony Oliver, the two Robotech actors nominated for other roles, win in their categories (Best Actor and Best Actor in a Comedy, respectively).

For now, it's kind of amusing to watch the empty stage, with three big bongo drums on it, and the audience including a number of women dressed in brightly-colored outfits sitting in the front row. I think I read something about them in an article—ah yes, a number of well-known American animé voice actresses:
These “Babes of Animé” were featured in a glamour shoot on IGN.com andin Anime Insider magazine, and Saturday night they will be decked outin designs by Project Runway winner Chloe Dao, who will be on handduring the awards ceremony to present the award for Best PackageDesign.
Um, yeah. It's interesting hearing the muzak seem to get more and more frantic as time goes on without anything happening except people moving up and down the aisle getting seated. It does look like the audience is filling up, though. Maybe it won't be long before it kicks off after all.
robotech_master: (unicorn tree)
Someone on rec.arts.anime.misc pointed out an interesting-looking anime, called Catblue: Dynamite. The trailer can be viewed at the URL. It's entirely CGI with cel shading, and entirely in English. My curiosity piqued, I went looking for more information and found an interesting synopsis at AnimeNfo.com, but hit pay dirt with this Magnetic-Rose.net article.

The show is to be set in the 1970s, and director Higa Romanov is styling it in homage to Blaxploitation films such as the original Shaft. And he's also making it in English, for reasons that are never made entirely clear; perhaps it's just that the Japanese find English to be "kewl" like that. And something else you might note is that "Although the entire dialogue is English language, Romanov admits he can’t speak that much and the script was written in Japanese and then translated into English." And this results in something you can hear clearly from the trailer: bad voice-acting. When your cast is acting in a language you can't speak, you have no way of knowing whether they're acting well or not. This is a hallmark of English-language scenes in most anime, going all the way back to Project Ako or beyond.

On the other hand, the fight choreography is top-notch, and it's interesting (albeit a little unrealistic) to see a catgirl who wields a third gun or sword with her prehensile tail. Even more interesting is the fact that the 40-minute anime movie is going to be streamed for free on the Internet in December. I think I'll be watching that.
robotech_master: (unicorn-dancer)
Whilst ego-surfing, I came upon a couple of places that mentioned my commentary tracks. I was a bit surprised to find my Castle of Cagliostro commentary rated a glowing mention in Episode 40 of the Weekly Anime Review podcast, a review of the new Castle of Cagliostro DVD, though I suppose I shouldn't have been. It was kind of a freaky feeling to hear myself talked of in such glowing terms on the podcast of someone else, with which I didn't have anything to do. Wow. Anyway, go listen to the podcast, it's a good show and has stuff about me in it!

Also found an apologetically late link to the commentary in the Conversations on Ghibli blog. Nice to read that, and his other entries, to see that he's as upset as I am about their manglement of the DVD's opening titles.

(As an aside, now I'm most of the first page of Google search results whether I search on "cagliostro commentary" with quotation marks (i.e. as a specific phrase) or without (i.e. as two separate words found close together). Sweet!)

And I found a mention of my "Enter Marlene" commentary in this rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe thread about what franchises had worse continuities than Marvel's. I participated in the discussion, and subsequently gave one of the participants a headache with my recounting of just how snarled the various Transformers continuities are. Phear my continuitistical powerz. :)
robotech_master: (kimkitty)
Someone got a response back from Manga Video about the opening titles of Castle of Cagliostro being messed up.
"Don't blame us; it was like that when the production company sent it to us." )
So it's apparently another one of those cases of the original anime creator not giving a damn how their product looks outside of Japan, since they didn't make it with those damn gaijin in mind to begin with. No, far more important than maintaining the integrity of the original work is making sure that all the names are on it right at the beginning!

And that being the case, getting them to "fix" it is unlikely in the extreme.

Grumble.

Some folks on rec.arts.anime.misc have made noises about wanting to master a new burnable version of the DVD for themselves, using the Japanese audio, video, and English language (Macek) dub from the Japanese version, adding the English language (Manga) dub and subtitles from the American version, and my commentary track too. (I must admit I'm flattered.) I doubt it will happen (though there's nothing really preventing it; they'd just need to use the proper DVD editing software and have copies of both discs), but it's a nice pipe dream.
robotech_master: (unicorn-dancer)
As a follow-up to my last post, I'm amused to find that I'm now the top link if you type "Cagliostro commentary" into Google without quotation marks. I'm 7th if you put it in quotation marks—but all the results above it are references to my track.

Also, if anyone does want to purchase either one or both of the Manga Video R1 Cagliostro DVDs, now's the time to do it—RightStuf is running a sale on all Manga Video titles until August 27; use the coupon code supernatural to reduce the old Cagliostro to $11.99 and the new Spec-Ed to $14.99.
robotech_master: (kimkitty)
Well, I received my copy of the much-awaited Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro special-edition movie (or "Lupin the III" if you believe the cover) yesterday; looked it over and was more or less satisfied with it—it had a decent amount of extras and a very nice anamorphic transfer. And then someone asked a question about how the title card had been treated in the opening credits. I hadn't watched those yet, so I went back to the disc and loaded it up, prepared to watch the beautiful, dream-like opening credit sequence, one of my favorite parts of the movie, in anamorphic quality for the first time ever.

And then I watched in ever-growing horror as it became clear that I wasn't going to see that sequence after all. Manga Video replaced the animation, which was overlaid with the Japanese credits for director, producer, etc., with a series of clean stills from that sequence with English-language credits superimposed over them.

I'm left puzzled by why they felt the need to do this. Their old, non-anamorphic version keeps the original credits and just rolls English credits at the end. For that matter, the new DVD also rolls the English credits at the end. Why, then, mangle the movie like that?

Sigh. Anyway, I've updated my Cagliostro fan commentary track to take note of these new changes, and a couple other little things I discovered. For Windows computers, I advise using the ShareCrow player to watch it in sync with a DVD.

EDIT: If anyone does want to purchase either one or both of the Cagliostro DVDs, now's the time to do it—RightStuf is running a sale on all Manga Video titles until August 27; use the coupon code supernatural to reduce the old Cagliostro to $11.99 and the new Spec-Ed to $14.99.
robotech_master: (Default)
Hello, it's me again.

Falling out of the habit of writing in this thing is always a bother. I feel like there's no point in trying to begin chronicling my life again because I've missed out on chronicling so much of it over the last few months. And then I feel like it's going to be some kind of an obligation to write about my life every day when I don't even know for sure that anybody's going to want to read about it. But what the heck, figured I should give it another try. Not even sure where to begin.

The LJ isn't the only writing project that's been kind of neglected by me lately. I haven't written all that much in my essay journal lately, either. Or at least I hadn't up to about a week or so ago. Lately I've posted written versions of some of the segments I've done for a podcast.

But I'm kind of getting ahead of myself there. What have I been doing with myself lately? Well, in my spare time it's been largely City of Heroes/Villains, on and off. Though in the past few weeks it's been more off than on, as I got bored with CoH a bit and sought other things to do with my time. And I found them, in the form of the Robotech Remastered DVD set I got earlier this year, and the Genesis Climber Mospeada DVD set I bought lately. RightStuf.com had it (and Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross) for sale for $25 each—and bearing in mind that the list price of each of those sets is $80, needless to say I snapped them right up. (Even sent Mospeada sets as birthday gifts to my brothers, at that price.) So I watched episodes of Robotech and episodes of Mospeada in tandem, comparing the changes. It was an interesting experience, and it led to me getting back into Robotech fandom a bit more. Part of it I'd done already, of course, when I got together with Peter Walker and some other folks to do new revised material for the Robotech Reference Guide (I rewrote a lot of the personal weapons section, including coming up with expanded histories for the Owens (Wolff) SMG and Gallant rifle).

But I'd also happened upon a fellow Robotech fan who was doing his own podcast, RDF Underground. Originally I'd been moved to record a brief audio feedback to one of his editorials, about an inane fandom issue involving an Internet poll. Then I got to thinking: given my audio production experience in college and in putting together the Cagliostro commentary, I might be able to put together some actual interesting review segments for the thing. It would be a way of getting into podcasting without the obligation of putting a show together myself, or feeling bad about stopping if I got tired of it, since it isn't "my" podcast—and it would be a way of giving the podcaster some more content to cover given the dearth of Robotech news lately. (In fact, RDF Underground has, for as long as I've been listening to it, been a combined Robotech and Doctor Who podcast, featuring reviews of the new Doctor Who as it has. Lately he decided to make it a de facto combination topic podcast and started covering Doctor Who news as well.)

So I've done a few review segments for that, mostly of Mospeada stuff but also segments on Kamen Rider Faiz and Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles. Much of the stuff has or will make its way to my essay journal in one form or another, but only after it airs on the podcast. I didn't have anything in this week's episode, but I should have both an editorial and a Mospeada-vs-Robotech music review in next week's, assuming I get the latter finished on time.

Lately there's actually been some rather big news out of Robotech fandom, as the long-awaited Shadow Chronicles has, after a whole year of nothing, finally found a distributor. Funimation will be distributing it, and there's talk of DVD, TV, and theatrical releases. Maybe we'll even see it by the end of the year. I'm pretty excited, though this isn't really the venue to talk about that.

Speaking of my Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro mp3 commentary track, in the last few months I got bitten by the update bug and went back through it and rerecorded a bunch of segments and added a bunch of new stuff, too, filling up a lot of the "dead air" where I'd previously not had anything to say. Along the way I discovered that there's a new Windows DVD player app called Sharecrow that will automatically synchronize commentaries to episodes. Pretty slick. There's also a new site called Commentary Central where people can host or link their commentaries.

As for City of Heroes, like I said I've been kind of blasé about it lately. The funny thing is that part of it was that the character I was mainly playing at the time had gotten some nifty temporary powers that would expire in a certain amount of game time, and I wanted to save that game time along until I could do something special with it. As it happens, something special came along; this last weekend was a "double XP" weekend, where we were granted twice the normal amount of XP and the like on our characters. I took advantage of this to put a couple more levels on my level 41 Energy/Energy Brute; by then they just don't come all that fast anymore.

Though this was a bit complicated by the fact that I was also doing another Biokinetics study this weekend. Thankfully, the food was better than the last go-round; apparently they'd switched to a new caterer. It was the last weekend of a three-week study, and for the latter two of that I got to stay in the pristine new just-opened study facility. It was very nice, they had new widescreen HDTVs set up. Oddly enough, the DVD players that hooked to them were in a staff-only room, so the staff had to load or unload them, but the remote control would actually control them via the TV set. Wireless Internet, too, with a very very good connection. I'm definitely going to look forward to future studies there.

I guess that's about all I have to say for now. Future updates will hopefully be a bit shorter.

July 2017

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