Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas in 2010!

I know you'll probably read this late but I just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

This is an important time of year, where people take a moment to hopefully get past the consumer mania and remember family and loved ones. This is a time for couples, for children and for friends! Take a moment and remind someone you care about that they mean a lot to you and your happy to have them in your life. Far too often, we neglect to tell people how we feel about them because we think they already know.

From someone who struggled with severe depression for years: no, they don't know. They believe sometimes but until you make it clear, they don't know and they doubt. So tell your parents you love them or your spouse how glad you are they said yes or your children how special they are or just a random buddy that they can be pretty cool sometimes.

And remember that Santa isn't just a cute girl with blue hair who bring kids toys, she's also a symbol of humanity's collective ability to suppress the worst parts of ourselves to bring joy to others. Santa is a symbol of our ability to be selfless. Don't focus on the buying or the getting; the season is all about the giving.

Also, forget about that image of a jolly elderly gentleman as Santa. That guy retired a few years back to pursue his mining hobby more seriously (what, you didn't know that was where the coal came from?) His replacement is a lovely and refined young lady.



All last night, Santa went around the world at Mach 100, using her incredible lock picking skills to enter houses and leave gifts. Of course, she's got a lot of helpers too! Her army of elves!

Santa's elves worked for hours that became millenniums last night, just to bring joy the world. It was exhausting work!


Fortunately, good Otaku know to treat Santa's elves with kindness because Santa and her elves are wonderful and sweet!

Also, Santa has been known on occasion to, when sufficiently angered, unleash a horde of living nutcracker soldiers that marsh endlessly and fire armor piercing candy canes.

Some still live today who witnessed the Great North Pole Civil War wherein the previous Santa launched a dashing counter-offensive against an entire squadron of Reindeer equipped with heat-seeking eggnog rockets with just himself, 3 nutcracker soldiers and a ninja. (Needless to say, Santa won that fight but the mysterious Mr. X continues to battle to turn Christmas into X-mas! Fight him wherever you can!)

Santa fights to keep Christmas as more than just a day where the retail stores bask in the glorious profits that make it possible to keep millions employed and feeding their children. Santa fights to make sure everyone remembers Christmas is really about giving and bringing happiness and acceptance to all of humanity, regardless of religion or anything. Only a kind heart is needed to enjoy the special happiness of giving to make other's happy!

Though the getting can be pretty sweet too.


I got the first set of G-Gundam! Did you get anime too? If you did, please post about it!

If not, is there something you'd like to share about Christmas in 2010? A happy moment with someone important to you? A special gift? Please post if you want to.

Remember, the joy is in giving and spending time with those you love but most of all, it's in spreading the happiness inside you to all the good people of this world!



Thursday, December 2, 2010

MB to Fans: Kashimashi and Loveless Dubs Coming!


I haven't had much time to blog lately due to upcoming Law School finals (pray for me) and spending time with my family over Thanksgiving break (when I should have been studying for finals) but I've got to comment on this news! We'll have to wait until next year but here comes some English dub action for Loveless and Kashimashi!

You may recall I mentioned Sirabella's talk of a Loveless dub way back.


Wow, MB is really making an attempt lately. If only they weren't sucking so badly at actually getting the shows out. Hopefully, they'll start getting their act together soon because I'd like to own these. (Quality issues notwithstanding.)

I've actually been interested in Loveless since I came across the first episode on a Newtype-USA preview disc. The sub-only release annoyed the daylights out of me back then and still does. However, it will be nice to see it finally get a chance to shine in English. (Well, hopefully they don't screw up on the English dub.)

Loveless could do very well with an English dub. It's already sold well to hardcore fans and now it has a chance to draw in new fans. The series may get a second-wind from this.


Kashimashi was a show I actually watched about halfway through via fansubs. I liked it and hoped for a license, fully expecting an English dub to be had because I reasoned that the show was a good mix of successful genres and could easily reach beyond just the "oh, is that lesbian loving?" fanbase. Sadly, MB wasn't as confident about it as I was but I feel a small bit of satisfaction now. Guess sub and dub fans can both have what they want with this series now. We'll need something new to fight over.


Yeah, that should do until the next big battle comes along.

The manga kicks the anime's butt a bit but Kashimashi is pretty damn good in any format. Looking forward to this one!

Regardless of past feelings, this is great news once again for English dub fans!

So when does the other shoe drop?

Seriously, I know bad news is coming from somewhere so where and when?


Wow, maybe Fan Love is really winning the battle after all.


Well, after getting good news and staying up past my bed time, I have to go. Again, pray for my success on my Law School exams. (Or if you have no faith in a deity, please just wish me the best of luck. I can use all of that I can get!)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11 on Veterans' Day

Hello everyone! Due to finals prep and mental fatigue, I've been lax (again) at posting. Still, I think today's an important day so here's a quick post!

Today is November 11th, a very important day for anime fans. Obviously because it is day we honor the prestigious agent of MI6 (or the British Secret Intelligence Service if you prefer the proper terms) from Darker Than Black, November 11!

A remarkable contractor using the ability to freeze in battle, he-


November 11: Hold on there. I think you're missing something important.

Richard J.: Hmm? What are you talking about? Not second-hand smoke again.

November 11: Well it does have 680 to 823 nanograms of carcinogens but let's set that aside for a moment. Today is Veterans' Day, which is at least as important as honoring me.

Richard J.: You have a point. Let me try this again.


Today is November 11th, Veterans' Day! Today is a day used to honor military veterans, those who live and those who have fallen alike who have served this country and so many others as well. Originally, Veterans' Day was called Armistice Day and was meant to celebrate the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I and to honor the service of fallen military members who's efforts made that cessation of war possible.

President Woodrow Wilson first declared the federal holiday in 1919 and the 1926 Congress passed a resolution requesting President Calvin Coolidge issue another proclamation to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies. Congress enjoyed themselves so much, they passed an act in 1938 to make every November 11 a legal holiday "dedicated to the cause of world peace." (It went from clearly honoring soldiers to generically honoring world peace just before the world went crazy again. Perhaps they were being sarcastic?)

Fast forward to the year 1953 and a Kansas show store owner by name of Alfred King began a quest to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans. Well, after WWII it probably seemed unfair to only honor WWI vets. It likely was mostly due to having a son who fought in WWII but it was much more than a personal dream.

Proving that ordinary an citizen working toward a goal can accomplish great things, King sought to expand the day to all veterans both alive and fallen and his efforts in his home of Emporia, Kansas got the attention of the Emporia Chamber of Commerce. They took up his cause (in large part due to 90% of Emporia merchants honoring the day plus the Board of Education) and in 1953 Emporia became the first town in America to celebrate Veterans' Day. With the aid of local congressional Representative Ed Rees, a bill for the holiday made the rounds in Congress. On May 26, 1954, the bill was signed into law, on June 1st it was amended to change "Armistice" to Veterans (only politicians could have forgotten that was a big part of King's effort in the first place) and October 8th, President Dwight Eisenhower officially changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day. (Officially there is no apostrophe but the common grammatical inclination is to add one.)

Incidentally, from 1971 to 1978, Veterans' Day was not necessarily celebrated on November 11th. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved the day to the fourth Monday of October (okay, I think they got a little too removed from the history there) but it was moved back after the obvious retaliation for ignoring the historical relevance of the date. Unfortunately, after the change back businesses, schools and local governments have begun to ignore the holiday and by extension the service and sacrifices of millions of veterans, 24.9 million approximately, in the United States. (I didn't get the day off from class and no one mentioned the holiday. Sad panda.)


So, I hope you'll take a moment after reading this post to be grateful for the service of a veteran. War is a horrible thing and no honorable warrior longs for it but when times of trouble have risen, when the fates of free people have been placed upon the shoulders of a brave few, soldiers have done their duty and those veterans of wars and conflicts past deserve our respect and gratitude. I may have opened with a bit of light-heartedness but I must say that no one can question my belief that the men and women who've given so much for so little long ago earned the right to my respect and thanks. I hope you'll join me in saluting our veterans.

November 11: I may not be American but I can't disagree with your sentiment at all.


Richard J.: Well, that's it for this post at Blog of A Heretical Dub Lover. I know it wasn't very anime-centric but do consider buying and watching Darker Than Black for November 11 while you take a moment to honor our veterans!

November 11: Oh and for information on second-hand smoke, you might want to try government websites. Governments are always trustworthy after all.

Richard J.: Really?

November 11: I'm only kidding.

Richard J.: So long everyone and thanks for all the posts!


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sustain the Industry Video! First Vid EVER!

Okay, now that midterms are over (hurrah!) I'm back to hopefully entertain you here at Blog of a Heretical Dub Lover! I'll post several things to make up for the long drought but up first is my first forray into YouTube land!

Yes, I decided to make a Sustain the Industry video like I talked about before and try to get in on Robert's special deal before it was too late. I actually planned to do this a while back but, well, midterms, studying, activities and general malaise kept me from getting to it.

Better late than never, yes?

I'd love to hear your comments about this video. Do you think I did an okay job? What did you like or dislike? Did I go way over the top with Windows Movie Maker?

Well, short post is short. Let me know if you'd like to see more videos on this blog from me.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Kanokon Mess and K-On Dub Update

Hello blog followers, readers and my fellow borderline manic-depressives! Welcome to Blog of a Heretical Dub Lover, where one fools fights in a never ending struggle for truth, justice and the American dub way!

Or something.

Today the net brings up a new wrinkle in the land of English dubbed anime that I want to post about. Media Blasters let loose upon the Twitterverse the news that Kanokon will not be getting it's remaining two singles. This is further characterized as a positive decision. ANN's report here for a bit more detail and hopefully some important updates over time.

My big question of course is: What about the English dub?


There are a number of factors to consider obviously. First, MB was using a budget studio for the work, so that may factor into the ability to complete the English dub. However, the weak economy, depreciating value of the $$$ and of course the reality that MB doesn't have the sales figures of Funimation means that the English dub is in question.

The cost of producing an English dub has been averaged at around $7,500-$10,000 per episode. (Costs obviously can be higher or lower but these are the shorthand figures.) That would mean that it would cost at least an additional $60,000 for finishing Kanokon's English dub if the only episodes dubbed so far are the ones on volume 1. Plus an extra $15,000 for the OVA episodes.

John Sirabella of MB has commented on the ANN forum. This post is especially important and may hold the key to my query about the English dub. (However, it's a tad vague and quite clearly indicates that from here on out, we're probably going to see few if any English dubs from them.)

In fact, that post makes me think MB is going the sub-only boxset route from here on. Oh joy. Maybe they think that will help with this little venture?


Before anyone asks, I don't yet know exactly how this will affect my agreement with Zac/ANN to review Kanokon's further volumes. Hopefully, Zac'll let me hit the box set for them. (Assuming the English dub does continue. Otherwise, my ability to review would be slightly hampered.)

In other news, Bandai has given some more details of the K-On! dub, including that the songs will not get English versions.


To be honest, I was quite interested in the K-On! release before I read that article. Now it's singles (and I'd have to get the LE ones to be satisfied), that's 4 releases that we all know WILL BE DELAYED TOO MANY TIMES! Plus, with the English dub not planning to include English versions of the songs, the dub will hit a personal pet-peeve of mine.

When a character in an anime is singing, the English dub VA should be used for that scene in the English dub. Nothing is being taken away from the likely VERY TALENTED performance of the Japanese VA. Rather, we fans thereby gain a net benefit of +1 to Songs Performed in the series! Not to mention that it is jarring for me as an English dub preferring fan to hear the vocals shift from an English VA to the Japanese for the singing.

Now, I will say this: I can be quite reasonable on this issue. It's not like I'm now saying "screw K-On! I don't want it!"

Do no misunderstand me, I'm still interested in the series. However, now I'll be waiting until all the volumes are out (because I refuse to buy Bandai's delaying tactics as they come out) and I have to tolerate an annoyance.

If I'm lucky, the English VAs will be so close to the Japanese VAs in sound that the switch will be painless. Still, I can't help thinking that Bandai chose the English VAs, several of which can actually sing, solely for the purpose of a publicity stunt for convention concerts. (My opinions on this subject are my own and in no way should be attributed to the VA whose Twitter I just linked to. She is blameless here.)

Well, those are my opinions and rants for the day.

Tune in next time for videos, me asking your opinion on something important and, hopefully, something you'll find funny.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Anime Review: Bludgenoning Angel Dokuro-chan.

Anime Review # 007
Title: Bludgenoning Angel Dokuro-chan
Release Type: Complete Collection!


Warning, beyond this point I, Richard J., your faithful if ineffectual blog Navigator, cannot advise you to read if blood, angels or twisted and semi-crude humor bother you.

For everyone else, I have a few words about Bludgenoning Angel Dokuro-chan! From the Japanese company MediaWorks and the US company Media Blasters comes this twisted and brutal tale of one boy destined to create an inappropriate paradise on Earth and the violent yet adorable angel sent to deal with him. Based on the original novel by Masaki Okayu, who after watching this show I suspect wanders the streets at night with a bat, Dokuro-chan is a unique anime viewing experience.

The Plot Synopsis:

Bludgenoning Angel Dokuro-chan is a relatively short series dealing the the trials and tribulations of one Sakura Kusakabe. At first, his life seems okay. He chats with classmates, he walks with a girl he returns home to find another cute girl in a sexy state. Seems like a classic harem series and if not for the opening, you'd be forgiven for not expecting the extreme violence that comes next. What follows after a bloody death is a quick resurrection by Dokuro-chan, the murderous yet loving angel! Sakura's life rapidly goes down hill as his classmates begin to treat him like a pariah, get turned into animals or vanish without a trace. Violent and bloody death (then resurrection) becomes the constant in his life. Fortunately for him, he's either a severe masochist or the poster boy for Stockholm syndrome!

The series is a quick watch as each episode is half the length of a normal TV ep. The OVA series is included with the TV series but it's far too short. The focus is on twisted gags, parody, blood, subversion of expectations, angels that bludgeon, a sensitive salaryman, adorable designs and blood. The series is also about extreme violence and a theme song with images of blood, torture and death that will stick in your head for days.

Did I mention the blood?

The Packaging:

Bludgenoning Angel Dokuro-chan had a prior sub-only release from Media Blasters which was also a complete collection. Personally, I think this release has the superior look but let's just look at it on it's own.


First we have a cover featuring Dokuro-chan with her Excaliblog in hand (surprisingly, it's a real weapon) with Sakura behind her and chibis everywhere against a backdrop of blood and darkness.



The back cover features a few choice screen caps, including one of Sakura reduced to chunky salsa and a smiling Dokuro-chan about to dish out some serious pain. A red skull with a halo serves as a creative and effective feature grid. It clearly says we've got an English dub now. And there is blood of course.


The cool skull design (did you know Dokuro-chan's name means "skull" in English?) appears on the disk, perfectly placed to create the look of a cyclops. Blood splatters are there too.

The Reasons It Rocks:

In case you failed to heed my warning and have made it this far despite not being a fan of bloody violence caused by angels, I think it's time I tell you, this series is all about the angelic wrath of the cutest sadist in recent anime history. Bludgenoning Angel Dokuro-chan derives considerable twisted humor from the brutal slayings and magical girl parody resurrection scenes of Sakura. Over-the-top blood and violence is a key part of what makes this show so much fun to watch. The sheer insanity and Sakura's reactions, ranging from irritated at having his head pulped to genuine moments of fear, make it all somehow funny.

The big improvement over Media Blasters's previous collected release is obviously the English dub. It features a cast your ear will probably recognize but I'm just going to talk about the two leads. Really, with a show this short and so much of the humor being based on Sakura and Dokuro-chan's interactions, you MUST like these performances to enjoy the series properly.

Fortunately, veteran VAs Johnny Yong Bosch portrays Sakura Kusakabe and Wendee Lee tackles Dokuro-chan with surprising perfection. Honestly, I never expected to hear Dokuro-chan's "Pipiru piru piru pipiru pi!" successfully translated into English!

Johnny Yong Bosch's take on Sakura is a departure from his numerous badass roles like Ichigo in Bleach or Zero in Code Geass. He doesn't even sound like Koizumi from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The voice he does for Sakura is somewhere in between and it's quite fitting and in line with the Japanese performance. It gives off a vibe of frightened child.

Then there's Wendee Lee's take on Dokuro-chan which convinces me that she can play anything. Honestly, she actually kinda creeped me out at times. She manages to capture Dokuro-chan's loving yet sadistic nature perfectly. The scene where she's trying to get Sakura to give her back her halo was just eerie thanks to her disturbingly perfect take on Dokuro-chan. Honestly, I think this might be some of her best work in terms of characterization.

Bludgenoning Angel Dokuro-chan features a warped world filled with odd characters and events that are so twisted, zany and out there that you will either love it or hate it. If you've ever found yourself complaining about anime being too repetitive or maybe you're just in the mood for something that proves that ANIME IS NOT FOR CHILDREN, then this is the series to watch. There just aren't many comedies that successfully use violence and gore but this series does it flawlessly.

Now for a counter analysis.

The Reasons It Sucks:

Make no mistake, Bludgenoning Angel Dokuro-chan is not a series for anyone who can't stand the sight of blood or is bothered by wanton acts of violence and cruelty. Frankly, there are times where if you take a moment and actually think about the events in a serious way, you'll get the chills. Dokuro-chan is an angel but she's rather closer to Lucifer than the typical ones you see in fiction.

Which leads me to another concern. Personally, I have strong religious views but I don't allow things that aren't intended to be taken seriously bother me at all. However, I could understand someone being potentially offended by the portrayal of angels and the idea of God sending assassins after people and such. Sure, it's all done for the sake of humor and to add to the insanity of the setting but I feel it should be mentioned here.

The last weakness is that the series is short and depending on your tastes in humor, might not have much re-watchability. Really, this is a love it or leave it series in my opinion. If you don't like the type of humor Bludgenoning Angel Dokuro-chan

Graded It For You:

If you like the kind of humor and madness Dokuro-chan has to offer, you will enjoy it intensely. If you like cute girls and don't mind blood and gore, you'll probably like it a lot. If you are remotely bothered by blood, violence or an angel that bludgenons, I think you should stay clear! Overall, I think this grade is most appropriate. . .


Here are the usual suspect retailers where you can order it: Robert's Anime Corner Store (remember, post a vid and get a $25 merchandise credit but only if you do it before the end of October!), The Right Stuf, and Best Buy are carrying it.

Pipiru piru piru pipiru pi!

Er, I mean bye-ni!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Summer Wars Cast and Inuyasha Final Act Re-Casts

Hey all of you English dub lovers out there! Richard J., blog navigator and blood-sucking lawyer in training, is here to talk about a few English dub news tidbits. You're probably aware of them but if not it's news to you and if so, hey, at least you get some giggles from watching some fool flounder about like a castaway adrift in a sea of pitch.

But enough about me, lets talk about the much-talked about Summer Wars!


First, you might recall the lengthy rumor mill about the license back before it became a certainty. (EVA Rebuild #2 was also involved in that rumor mill and thankfully was also grabbed up by Funimation!) Basically, the rumors came from a UK company about an English dub being worked on for Summer Wars by Funimation.

Well, now we see the fruits of that labor. From one blog to another, I think that cast looks pretty darn good. It's actually a fairly diverse group if you look at the whole thing. Several major veterans and several rising stars. Maxey Whitehead is building a rather quality resume with Funimation, having worked on two of their higher profile series, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Soul Eater. Clearly the people who complain about a lack of new and/or young talent in Texas need to perk up their ears a bit.

Summer Wars appears to be getting a high level of treatment, though I've heard about some rather serious glitches at a screening. Hopefully, those will get worked out but I believe that a screening is a far different creature than a final production release. Sometimes, one takes the draft version to a screening or a problem that appears to be related to production is actually caused by technical difficulties. In any event, we'll have the chance to learn the truth soon.

Best quote from the Funi blog quotes:
WarGames re-imagined as a Japanese ensemble family drama. And then animated. – John Gholson, writer for Cinematical
Assuming he meant this War Games, that's like telling me they took an old Mercedes (cool car) and refurbished it, added enough electronics to practically allow for space flight and then painted it like these otaku lovelies.

Yeah, that quote alone puts this one on my Top Buy list.

And yes, I'd totally drive that to work. Even if I were PoTUS.

Especially if I were PoTUS! (Air Force One with Nanoha on it? Pure concentrated awesome!)


On the Inuyasha: The Final Act front, we've got word of recasts starting on this page of AoD comments on Fairly reliable sources apparently. No outright confirmations from VIZ that I know of but hey, since when does VIZ really tell us anything?

As it stands, it is confirmed by the VAs themselves that Kelly Sheridan and Kirby Morrow are reprising their roles of demon hunter Sango and the lecherous monk Miroku respectively. ANN lists Jillian Michaels, Richard Ian Cox and Scott McNeil as reprising the roles of Shippo to fox demon, Inuyasha the loud warrior and Koga the wolf demon as well.

Confirmed recasts are Michael Dangerfield taking over the role of Sesshoumaru and Kira Tozer taking on the role of Kagome.


This of course screws around with two of my favorite ships but I think Dangerfield can handle the role given some of his previous work I've heard (take Johann Trinity and just deepen the voice a bit, add a pinch of aloof gruffness and bake to taste.)

Tozer I'm not so sure about. Of course, Moneca Stori's voice for Kagome was always a bit of an acquired taste for many with some liking her work from the get go, others growing into it and others still being quite unhappy about her work. Me personally, I always liked her voice work on the show though I could never really figure out exactly why. (I know that sounds odd but I felt that there were flaws in the performance but I liked the performance in part because of them.)

For some non-anime performances of Kira Tozer, check here. Go here for some clips. This might be her first anime role.

So the question is, what about the last few major players? Will they be re-cast or reprised? VIZ isn't exactly a font of fan communication lately (or ever) so we've just got to keep our fingers crossed, our ears open and our teeth brushed.

So what are your thoughts on all of this? Are you excited about these English dubs? Are you apathetic? Will you donate money to me? (What if I post videos?)

Well, that's it for this blog posting. Stay tuned for more of my pointless posting!



Sunday, September 19, 2010

Need a Replacement Photo Host.

Hey everyone! Richard J. here to navigate the blogosphere with all the care of a drunken Congressman a stimulus bender! Viva la spending other people's money!

After having a second issue with Photobucket, I've decided that I really should just avoid the irritation of dealing with them getting worked up over content. So, for the sake of ease of use on this blog for future reviewing or posting about anime that might be a tad ecchi, I need a new place to host photos so I won't have to deal with images being removed for violating idiotic terms of use!


Really, even drawings are a problem? What the heck is this world coming to?

Anyway, if I'm going to be able to show the cover for the DVD of Kanokon volume 1, I've got to get different account.

So can anyone help me out here? Let me know if you have any good suggestions!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Anime Review: Kanokon (ANN Ver.)

Anime Review # 006
Title: Kanokon
Release Type: Singles

Since I thought some of you might like to see it despite it not making it to ANN, here's the final draft version of my Kanokon review. Although it wasn't used due to senior reviewer deciding to review Kanokon after all, you wonderful people get a chance to read it anyway! (Excuse the lack of linkies.)

Kanokon Volume 1 Review:

Synopsis: Kota is an ordinary high school student, with the looks of a little boy, who happens to learn his school’s secret. Yōkai are amongst his classmates! Fortunately for Kota, they’re mostly friendly. Unfortunately for Kota, two of them are a little too friendly. Chizuru is in love with Kota but new student Nozomu wants him too. Both are willing to “express” their affection in every way possible and poor Kota’s protests just can’t deter these girls from trying to get out of their clothes and into his pants. And for at least one of the girls, that includes a little spiritual possession.


Take one sexually-aggressive fox girl yōkai, one quietly lascivious wolf girl yōkai and one semi-perverted but self-conscious high school boy and you’ve got zany trouble in the sex-comedy outing that is Kanokon. Based on a series of light novels licensed but never released by Seven Seas, Kanokon the anime is a series that wants to tell a simple story about a love triangle. It skips the drama and moves on to the ecchi fun but also seems to want to skip out on exploring part of its own premise.

Kanokon’s first episode is somewhat bland and has poor transitions between flashback moments and the present day scenes. Little information is provided that the viewer wouldn’t already know just from a trailer or reading the synopsis on the DVD case. Kota Oyamada is a high school student with the nickname “King of Eros” and the subject of Chizuru Minamoto’s sexual advances. If she isn’t trying to strip him, she’s hanging all over him or tempting him in a completely unsubtle manner. Kota’s unwillingness to more strenuously protest Chizuru’s advances might be more acceptable to his classmates if they knew she was a yōkai fox with supernatural powers. Unfortunately, Kota is the only one in on the masquerade and Chizuru has no concept of decorum or personal space. Naturally, her nymphomaniac actions drive much of the shows humor.

Adding to the madness is the arrival of Nozomu Ezomori. After a brief meeting that manages to show that Kota really is a nice guy and also a bit genre savy, Nozomu stakes out a corner in Kanokon’s central love triangle. She’s a quiet yōkai wolf girl and while there are a few mentions of her supernatural power being potentially greater than Chizuru’s, neither girl seems interested in a magical battle. The two high school girls compete for Kota’s affections with bad cooking and sexually provocative advances. Their dueling escapades can be very funny to watch, especially their childish bickering, but there is a lack of depth. The girls’ reasons for falling for Kota are largely unexplained, even by the standards of the average harem anime. Kota himself thinks it may have more to with his smell than his personality.


Depending on the viewer’s mood, Kanokon will either be a cotton-candy romp of fanservice fun or a bland pudding of disinterest. Simply put, in these initial four episodes there is little beyond pure zany sex-comedy silliness. Certainly this can be enjoyable and fulfilling but not if the anime fan watching was hoping for a spectacular or emotional yōkai battle. At least in these episodes, the fact that the two girls competing for Kota’s affections are supernatural beings seems a minor detail at best. The supernatural aspect is primarily to add to the fetish fuel content, as in the “toad oil” scene or when Chizuru possesses Kota. Episode 4 “Can’t Take It Off’ is really the only time in this volume that any sort of magic power is even necessary to resolve the plot. Several of the yōkai showoff their abilities, albeit only in ways that trigger more fanservice, and all of the girls get a chance to indulge a few more fetishes via cosplay. The episode is quite ridiculous and fun, easily the major contender for best episode on this disc.

Kanokon’s strength is that it truly enjoys being an ecchi sex-comedy, with Chizuru representing the sex maniac character type in a rather lovable manner. At the same time, it’s easy to wish the anime staff had chosen to focus a bit more on the supernatural elements or at least put a tad more emotion into the series. The first episode, dull as it is, provides some subtext that suggests that Chizuru falling for Kota may be because he is the first person not to reject her completely upon finding out she’s not human. The first volume of Kanokon will have the right audience laughing at the wild sexual antics of the “King of Eros” Kota and his two co-queens. All of the characters are likable and appealing visually, though lacking in depth.


Media Blasters’ release of Kanokon under their Anime Works label may contribute to a negative fan reaction from even the right audience though. Arvintel Media was tapped by Media Blasters for the English dub, producing a language track that while serviceable has highly detrimental flaws. In terms of translation and casting, Kanokon has a decent English dub. The use of the term yōkai wins points and most scenes flow well in English. Dorothy Elias-Fahn’s Chizuru mixes sexy and cute, managing to be quite likable in the role with a more adult quality than the Japanese. She also expresses a pleasant duality of voice when speaking to Kota versus other characters. It’s clear the actress enjoyed herself. Mona Marshall feels somewhat off as Kota and a few scenes, mainly in the first episode, feel uneven. While not a bad performance, it is less than expected. Rounding out the triangle of affections is May Kao as Nozomu. Her character’s first appearance is a bit weak but she builds on it. Her best line deliveries are when Nozomu is insulting Chizuru, though that’s not to disparage her other scenes. May is a surprise gem, with greater vocal presence than her Japanese counterpart.

Where the English dub for Kanokon fails is in technical merits. While initially doing a decent job, the third and fourth episodes have severe and highly noticeable errors. Episode three features a moment of silence where the English audio cuts out during Chizuru’s bath and episode four has Kota speaking as if in a bad Godzilla film dub in one scene. Given that Media Blasters has elected to only produce English dubs for select title, it would behoove the company to place a greater emphasis on quality if they intend to skimp on quantity. Arvintel’s work on this dub initially shows promise but someone clearly dropped the ball twice. Japanese dub fans have a clear advantage with this release. Ayako Kawasumi’s Chizuru has slightly more emotion but an overly cutesy tone. Mamiko Noto’s Kota has greater consistency and vocal presence. The brothers of the female leads sound especially better in the Japanese dub, having greater vocal presence and line delivery. Miyū Takeuchi however feels a bit lifeless as Nozumu.

This volume has minimal extras: a clean opening and closing. The opening theme “Phospher" by Ui Miyazaki is sprightly but has better visuals than lyrics, showing the cast of characters in action with several fun images of the secondary characters reacting to the viewer. The closing theme “Koi no Honoo” Yui Sakakibara is stronger. Although the visuals are lacking without the credit text, the song gives a warm emotional feeling. The music is catchy with lyrics that provide more intimacy than the episode content so far. As of now, the themes are the only extras but John Sirabella of Media Blasters is looking into acquiring a series of video omakes.

Overall, the first volume of Kanokon is an average sex-comedy fanservice title. While there is a possibility the content will become more complex as the series continues, if the viewer isn’t interested by now, this is probably the wrong show to watch. For those who enjoy the silly and sexy antics, Kanokon is still more of a guilty pleasure than a top tier favorite due to the lack of depth.



Overall (dub) : C-
Overall (sub) : B+
Story : C+
Animation : C
Art : B
Music : B-

+: The cosplay episode is crazy fun, the characters are surprisingly likable, fetish fuel.

-: First episode is dull, virtually nothing to offer beyond sexual humor in these episodes, the English dub has serious production flaws and some miscasts.

So that's my ANN review of Kanokon! It may read as a bit more critical than normal but I really just could not see this as more than a guilty pleasure anime. Some guilty pleasure anime have more going for them: a sweet romantic angle, great action or just more depth than the average in terms of story-telling. Kanokon, while very funny to me, is just plain not going to appeal to a whole lot of people. Even some fans of ecchi comedy are going to be turned off by it.

Still, I enjoyed it despite the technical problems with the English dub. Really, if not for the fact the problems were relatively brief, I'd have dropped my grade even further. And to think, I said positive things abotu the studio before discovering those mistakes! (I'd seen the first ep streamed and it seemed fine so I somewhat assumed basic competency. Oops.)

Anyway, my score via catgirls would be:


I laughed but I had to endure the first episode's extreme weakness first and I only really started enjoying it in eps 3 & 4. First volumes like this are generally pretty weak but this was surprisingly so.


Blog Update: My Time Management Skills Suck!

Hello everyone! Despite how it may have seemed, I am actually alive and kicking. I just have the worst time management skills of all time. My ability to to schedule and to keep a schedule is terrible.

Here I am at law school and half the time I don't even do all my reading and such for class because I can't seem to make myself keep to a schedule. Sadly, this is a life long problem and it will probably never improve. Well, maybe I'll get better when I join the military. A JAG officer probably needs to be disciplined right?

Anyway, today I make a vow to you my followers (and I'm grateful to all of you new followers!) and that vow is that I will try to maintain at least a 2-3 blog posts per month average from here on out. I'm actually a bit disgusted with myself for letting this blog lay fallow for so long. So I'm going to try and get my act together from here on out.

Now, lets talk about something cool that's going on in the anime fandom world!

Robert Brown of the Anime Corner Store, to promote the recent fan movement to "Sustain the Industry," is offering a $25 merchandise coupon for customers who put up their vids and show they bought from RACS. Details here.

Can I just say, I admire the person who came up with this idea of promoting the industry. It's a true act of positive effort to improve the rather bad situation anime fandom is in. (And the more gets sold, the easier it is to justify the costs of an English dub!)


If any of you have bought from RACS recently or plan to buy from them in the near future, you might want to take advantage of this. (Who knows what videos might show up.)

By the way, a minor update since I'd previously mentioned I'd be writing a review for Kanokon for ANN and for the stream of Strike Witches season 2. Theron Martin decided he did want to review the first volume and he has obvious seniority, so my review got rejected. (Sad panda.) However, I'll be writing reviews for the next volumes when they finally get out. In the case of Strike Witches season 2's streaming, as it turns out I can't review both that and the DVD release. So, in order to be able to review the English dub for season 2 as well as season 1, I've opted to wait.

In the near future, I'm going to try and find out about some other series I'd like to review that are coming out soon. (Hopefully, Zac will be receptive.)

Last thing, on a personal note, my family's income has dropped significantly and things are tight. Still, we've got a little discretionary funds so I'm still able to buy anime/manga on occasion. I've just got to keep my electrical bill low, not have cable/satelite and take advantage of every damn coupon I can. I can't even eat out more than about once a month. Basically, if we could just sell some property so we're not being strangled by the taxes (they doubled when the economy tanked, thanks very much government leeches!) and at the right price, we might actually be okay even with no one really working right now.

Anyway, law school isn't quite as hard as people made it out the be (or I'm not working as hard as I should) and I'm feeling surprisingly good about my life right now. Not great, since I have no real social life but okay.

All things considered, just being alive is something worth grateful for right now.



Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Embarrased About Being Gone So Long.

Richard J. has returned, now with 3 times the stain fighting power!

After a whole lot of soul-searching and talking with my family, plus a bit of number-crunching, I've decided that my life is still worth living (more or less) and that my plans for the future can still work out. Although things will likely be much harder unless the real-estate market picks up.

Still, I feel like I've got to move on with my life and stop letting myself be held down by my family's issues. I can't fix them and they aren't something I should have to take responsibility for.

So I'm back. I feel a little embarrassed and nervous about how long I've been away from this blog but I hope you'll once again join me.


My next post will be made from the city of Macon in the state of Georgia, one of the 50 great United States. I'll be attending law school starting next week (mandatory orientation) so I don't know exactly what my posting schedule will be.

However, you can rest assured I will post. I've decided to live my life as well as I can from here on out. I intend to get my legal education, join the military as a JAG officer and then stay in until I qualify for full benefits. (Hopefully as a full Colonel or a General. Quite possible for a JAG officer.)

In between, I hope to implement certain plans involving anime and money that would likely never make me a dime but would make some people happy. My plans require both money and legal paperwork plus a slight faith in fandom. Who knows if I can ever take the initiative and make my desires a reality but no one profits from never trying. (Okay, some people do, but I don't want to be a serf to the federal government.)

In the next few weeks, I'm going to learn whether or not I'm really cut out for the legal profession. Hopefully, I'll make some friends and enjoy my 3 years of legal learning. Otherwise, hey, I can always cash in my chips and try another table. I don't really care what I do as long as I do something that gets me the future I desire.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On Break To Be Miserable.

I hate to do this but I need to take a short break, a few days, to try and improve my mood. Unfortunately, today my family got pretty much the worst news possible short of people dying.

Basically, the main income earner of my family will soon be completely out of work and possibly in prison. What for? Essentially, for taking on a client that turned out to be a con-artist and trying to collection on a debt while doing it. Got to love our "justice" system.

Well, things are very bad right now and my family is going to lose a lot. We're desperately trying to see what property we have that can be sold and if there are any other resources we can tap. In other words, we're about to drop a few rungs on the taxable income ladder.

I need a few days to sort myself out. I'm trying not to be completely depressed or outraged because depression and rage are pretty useless in a situation like this. Right now, I've got a lot on my plate. I'm entering law school soon on nothing but loans and moving away from home again, I've got to try and figure out how to pay those loans off once I graduate (military service seems like a good idea right now) and frankly I'm just exhausted. I've tried to keep myself busy here and otherwise but I'm just tired.

One of the very few bright spots in my life right now is that Zac over at ANN accepted my offer to write reviews for Kanokon and he also offered me the chance to review the stream of Strike Witches season 2 after a few more episodes air. So, at the very least, I may have a small bit of income from that.


I feel very blessed and lucky to be able to write for a professional website like ANN but I also want to keep doing this blog. Tomorrow I'm going to be going to where my future law school is to try and determine how to move my stuff to where I'll be staying. It's going to be a long but hopefully a happy day. Maybe I'll feel like posting more on Hetalia: Axis Powers tomorrow night! (By the way, today was France and they picked the awesome J. Michael Tatum to voice him. He's great.)

I just hope I'll feel a bit better sooner rather than later. I've been clinically depressed in the past and I don't want to go back there.

This experience has taught me a valuable lesson though. Possessions are nice but in the end, it's the people you really need. Even if my family loses everything and becomes homeless (very possible, we were almost there once before) I hope that I can keep that truth close to my heart.

Bye for now my followers and friends. I will try to pull myself together soon.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hetalia's England Revealed: Scott Freeman.

Cavort with a unicorn while listening to the clip here!


Another day, another English dub update from Funimation regarding Hetalia: Axis Powers! Today it is England and I am late, due to worry over family problems and sheer ill feeling.

I'm still not as knowledgeable about this series as some so remember to take any opinions I give with a grain of salt! (Indian sea salt naturally.)

No Hetalia World Buffet today, just a great clip for inducing laughter.

So lets dig into some strange English cuisine and talk about Scott Freeman, the English VA chosen to voice England! First, let me say that although he's done a fair bit of work, I've never really noticed him before. Where have they been hiding this guy? An excellent accent that gives off an English professor sort of feel. (I was worried they might got for something a bit too Cockney.)

Scott Freeman's England comes across as very friendly and fun. This clip is so far my favorite as it is just plain hysterical in my opinion. There's just something about listening to a nation that sounds so normal and professorial suddenly start practically melting into a moe fit as mystical creatures appear. It doesn't look like Scott Freeman's had any major roles before England and my only question is why. He handled this clip wonderfully.

I like how this clip references the considerable depth and scale of English folklore. There are so many fascinating creatures of myth that were first talked about in England, or perhaps when speaking of such things we should use the more fanciful name of Albion for the nation? It's just so much fun to see a series make that cultural trait a major part of the character. For some odd reason, this bit of history is frequently ignored in favor of English characters being depicted as somehow snobbishly above such beliefs.

The clip also manages to make a quick reference to England's historical habit of fighting with people a lot. Colonial expansion was at one point a very major part of England's foreign policy. It would in fact be fair to say that it was the sum of their foreign policy for a time, leading to both unfortunate tragedies and wonderful boons. (The birth of America is a boon in my mind, regardless of what some delusional pundits will say.) Of course, England had plenty of problems at home too with internal disputes and such but they've kept going. England's had a rather colorful history and it's interesting to see the nation depicted here in a light-hearted way. I very much enjoyed it.

The accent choice was very fitting, very acceptable. Very English. My opinion is that once again Funimation has tapped a name we haven't really heard much of before to shine like a newly discovered jewel. Two thumbs up!

Now, tell me what you think of followers of mine! Did you like Scott Freeman's England? Did you like seeing legendary creatures? Did you like the brief moment with another nation? Did you comment yet?

After this week, my family's very unfortunate problems will be resolved one way or the other (pray for our salvation please) so hopefully I'll be in a better emotional state soon. That way, I can blog more and in a more timely fashion. I'm trying to stay calm and sane but really I just want to go lie down and sleep for a month or maybe just cry for a while. I can't though because I'm supposed to be the strong one.

Sorry to mix a personal message in with this Hetalia: Axis Powers English dub commentary but I'm just a bit worn out. I just hope things will turn out well for my family as if things go badly, it's going to be very bad. Like "oh look, we have no steady income and we're having to sell everything to pay our taxes and bills" kind of bad.


England does not approve of cruelty to pixies.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Hetalia's China Revealed: Clarine Harp.

Immortal link to this news.

Following my tradition of commentary on Funimation's casting choices for the English dub of Hetalia: Axis Powers, it is time to blog about Clarine Harp, the pick to play China!

As always, I'm a newb when it comes to Hetalia, so my analysis could easily be very flawed.

Once again, an episode of Hetalia World Buffet was included with this news update from Funimation. Feel free to chow down on Chinese food with Clarine and Char! In case you just want to skip that though, here's some release info about series extras:

Episode 2 Commentary (Italy & Germany) “The Flower Apron,”
Episode 9 Commentary (U.S.A. & Russia) “The Cold War,”
Episode 12 Commentary (France & U.K.) “Nice Dover,”
Episode 16 Commentary (Japan & China) “Far East Brothers,”
“The Hidden History Hidden Within Hetalia” Historical notes,
Show Comments by Director Bob Shirahata,
Director Bob Shirahata’s Ending Sequence Comments,
Textless Closing,

Not a whole lot of info here besides the (parial?) list of extras for Hetalia. A little fun in a restaurant, a little silliness and a little more with two lovely ladies of Funimation!

Now, I'll express my opinion on China's new English VA, Clarine Harp's portrayal so far. First, I feel that the accent here works very well. It's not too thick and it conveys a sense of aged wisdom. There's something subtly playful about it. I like this vocal characterization very much.

Also, if they hadn't told me who was doing it, I would not have believed it. Seriously, what the heck did Clarine Harp do to sound like that? She sounds like a guy! She totally does. I mean, damn.

Moving along, this choice of first look scene is very appropriate, conveying a feeling of long-suffering that culminates in a bit of humor. This is in keeping with the depth of history that modern China carries. Although from what I've read the living nation is a modest 4000, well, lets just say that China goes back a long way. It makes sense he'd be a bit relaxed about things. Heck, he's been dealing with people forever, considering that fossils of Peking Man found in the country may date back as far as 780,000 years ago, when fire was the new big thing. Modern China's turn to the authoritarian side isn't too far from the historical suffering brought on by the numerous battles and struggles that have led to it either, giving a feeling of stability out of the chaos.

In other words, China's very old and has been through a whole lot, but he keeps trying. It makes a certain degree of sense that they picked Clarine Harp to voice him, given her extensive body of work as both a VA and as a DVD producer. Here, she shows off an impressive skill at sounding like a man. I honestly can't remember any voice like this one from her before. I usually think about how she sounds in roles like Jody "Blue-Eyes" Hayward in El Cazador De La Bruja or Sei in Burst Angel. A sexy yet deep voice that makes me think of chocolate. This voice by Clarine is new to me.

Her performance here is not merely without defect in my opinion but also something surprisingly new. I've heard Clarine in numerous roles and own many of the anime she's done work on both in front of the microphone and in the production side of things. This is fascinating new ground for me.

My overall opinion right now is we just hit the jackpot! I mean, this casting choice is inspired. Good work Funimation!

Now it is your turn to tell me something. Do you want more of this accent? Do you fear China's space-based weapons program? Do you wish for a taste of that fortune cookie? Do you plan to post a comment?


It's a trap! (Although, would it be so bad to fall for him?)


Friday, July 9, 2010

Hetalia's Japan Revealed: Christopher Bevins.

Elegantly click here to explore this truth.


Continuing my probably pointless coverage of Hetalia: Axis Power's English dub cast reveals as Funi does them, despite some already knowing via other clips, Richard J. here to blog. Today's VA of choice, Christopher Bevins!

Blah blah, haven't seen enough Hetalia to be considered an expert. Yadda yadda, just my opinions. Jibber jabber, anime is awesome.

New from previous posts here is the inclusion of a Hetalia World Buffet episode, a short video exploring the creative process behind the English dub and other production-related issues. It's a little silly in spots but it is interesting, with packaging mock-ups, talk about graphic designs with Diana Zaky, the discovery of an extras disc (what will be on that?), convention freebies and the chibi-explosion bandanna. Plus Japanese food. Yummy!

A fun little video but the sound was kind of wonky in places.

Now, lets talk about Japan's characterization in the clip, though very briefly as I think having a cursory knowledge of Japanese culture and history is a responsibility of any anime fan. Personally I thought the accent was very under-played, meaning they didn't make him sound like he's spouting engrish at all turns. (I admit to being worried about that.) At the same time, it's a bit too subtle I think. At least in that clip, I could barely tell there was an accent. It sounds so natural that you almost don't notice it.

Then again, that may be a result of the quiet and elegant tone of voice as much as from intent. Fitting for a nation that is a thinker. Japan's scientific advancements aren't limited to anime you know. Of course, Japan has baggage like most other nations too, especially ones that went through an imperialist phase. Like many nations that have gone through such a phase, Japan would very much like to move on and put the past in the past. The stain on the nation's honor isn't easy to clean.

Providing Japan's English dub voice is Christopher Bevins, an actor, ADR director and script and line producer. The man has a gift for disappearing into his roles. In one series, he can be a brash hothead, in another a smooth talker who oozes sophistication. While it's not fair to say that actors who lack a large vocal range are poorer actors, it does make them easier to identify. Christopher Bevins is a chameleon.

Listen to Apollo in Aquarion, then Dr. Schneider in El Cazador De La Bruja and then Kanone in Spiral. Go ahead, I'll wait. They don't sound hardly anything alike. Same guy, this guy and now he's going to bring Japan to English dub life. Groovy.

Still, I'm not sure quite yet about this performance. The VA's talent is undeniable but that accent was a little too modest for my ears, I expected something a little thicker. Perhaps it's just the clip itself, which is largely poking fun at Japan's love of cute while also saying "hey, we rock technology" or maybe I was just expecting the wrong thing. This accent is very simple, very natural, so it feels much less comedic. The scene is very early in the Axis' relationships and Japan is very subdued early on. I want to hear more before I really decide.

I'm neutral on this pick for now. I'll be back for more soon to talk about Hetalia: Axis Powers! (And if Funimation will stop for a while so I don't have to make more than one post a day, I'll have reviews!)

Tell me your views my followers. Am I wrong about the accent? Does Japan automatically get a pass because anime rocks? Thumbs up or thumbs down on the Hetalia World Buffet? Post it notes.


To chibi or not to chibi, that is the question.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hetalia's Germany Revealed: Patrick Seitz.

Efficiently click here for a short vid and article.


It's been a bad day for me but a good day for Hetalia: Axis Powers fans I think! Richard J. here to post incredible legible content about Patrick Seitz, the VA chosen to give Germany a chance.

Once again, I've watched little of Hetalia, so remember that my opinions are largely based on first impressions and my personal biases. Also from a little first hand experience as I have actually been overseas. Actually, I spent a while in Germany. (No, not like that! Get your heads out of the gutters!)

First, let's talk about the clip and the character. The accent choice for Germany is, thankfully, not the extreme stereotypical "where are your papers" sort of voice we've heard countless times in movies featuring Nazis. In fact, my God, they even hint at Germany's bitterness in this clip at being constantly reminded of that part of his life.

Unlike many portrayals of Germany in movies and TV, this series actually seems to want to recognize that Germany is not inherently EVIL. Quite the surprise considering Hollywood still loves to poke the nation in the eye with that one. Godwin's Law isn't actually written in stone but quite a few people forget that the nation which is today almost synonymous with a mustachioed corporal, has actually historically suffered quite a bit from wars. The aftermath of the last big one wasn't exactly good for them. I feel that Germany in Hetalia represents in part the will of the German people to strive to do what they can for their nation, even if they personally disagree with it.

Germany's a bit of woobie if you ask me.

Now about Patrick Seitz, I must say several things. First, I consider him to be one of the finest male English VAs around. If you doubt his talent, I command you to watch Koi Kaze. Second, I think he has the right voice for this role, a mix of strength and softness, giving him the ability to seem very stern yet capable of being very likable. The German people are actually rather nice. Third, I am increasingly happy to see people like Patrick Seitz working on Funimation dubs, as he has previously worked primarily in California. (You know, that state we hardly get any anime English dubs out of anymore but they used to produce some of the finest.)

We're lucky to have him as Germany. Patrick Seitz is multi-talented, having written numerous ADR scripts and adaptions as well. I really and honestly can praise him all day but I think I've posted enough.

The portrayal so far fits the nation well I think, feeling very accurate with the take charge attitude, the list of rules (Germans do as a society seem to like order) and of course the salute joke. That joke works so well. With an English dub, I can even follow what he's saying now in that scene!

I'm quite happy with this choice for VA and liked the accent very much.

What say you blog followers? Was that accent suitable to you? Do you like being ordered around by Germany? Interested in having a few beers with him? Post your post-able comments!


Too manly.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hetalia's Russia Revealed: Jerry Jewell.

Click here for the vid and short article.


Richard J. here to talk about Russia's VA, Jerry Jewell and how I feel about him and his character.

Let me begin by reminding everyone that I have seen very little of Hetalia: Axis Powers but I'm increasingly of the opinion that it is crazy fun.

Basically, I love the accent. It's just so. . . osmotic Russian. It reminds me of the old Cold War era movies, the accent helping to emphasize the slightly crazy communist evil. This take on Russia, at least from that clip, seems to be going for the quietly Yandere madness of a barely restrained madman.

I love it. Russia has a bit of a history of conquest as well as generally unpleasant events happening to its people. Add in the brutal Russian winter and you can really understand why the personification of Russia might be just a tad dark inside.

Now for his VA, I dig Jerry Jewell. He's great and I feel a bit of Barry The Chopper in this clip. At the same time, I think his overall performance might be more like Tony in Blue Gender. At first your like "oh, he seems nice" and then the sanity leaves and the vicious madness descends. Delicious.
Jerry Jewell's a great choice if you ask me, which you probably didn't.

Jerry Jewell's talent isn't used enough if you ask me. He's got the ability to play crazy in a truly breathtaking manner and yet he can also produce a nice voice and feel to a character that makes you feel like you know someone just like him. Rarely has he gotten a chance to show off that range in one character. Picking him for Russia is inspired casting.

What I most like though is the sheer guts with taking the plunge and going for the accents. In our currrent polically correct environment, it's refreshing to see a company say "screw the whiners, we're making it awesome." I imagine America's VA will be a bit silly no matter what though.

Anyway, the accents aren't poorly applied in this scene, suggesting they'll be the sort of "people will get what this accent is but they won't laugh because it sounds silly" sort of accents. That scene sounded just fine to my ear and I found the transition to creepy very smooth. (Admittedly, I've never been to Russia but France sounded less accent-heavy than some French I've met.)

I personally think this is a great first listen and a perfect VA choice!

What do you think? Accents working for you? Do you want to invade France? Join Russia for a few glasses of water? Let me know what you think!


So creepy and yet so bishonen.


Hetalia English Cast News + Con Leftovers

Anime Expo has ended. Yet it shall live on in our hearts forever!

Welcome to Blog of a Heretical Dub Lover, I'm your semi-sane host Richard J., here to talk about what I didn't talk about before. First though, lets chat about Hetalia: Axis Powers!

While many were sleeping, Funimation's Char, cosplayer and brandmanager for Hetalia, put up a post the company blog giving us a whole lot of English dub cast information! Here's a list for those who despise videos with the passion of a hot blooded mecha pilot!

Lithuania: Josh Grelle
Estonia: Mike McFarland
Latvia: Ryan Reynolds
Romano: Ian Sinclair
Spain: Dave Trosko
Greece: Vic Mignogna
Liechtenstein: Cherami Leigh
Switzerland: John Burgmeier
Poland: Ryan Bijan
Ukraine: Lydia Mackay
Belarus: Monica Rial
Holy Roman Empire: Chris Cason
Chibitalia: Brina Palencia
Rome: Christopher R. Sabat
Austria: Chuck Huber
Hungary: Luci Christian
Sealand: Maxey Whitehead

They're also planning to announce Russia, China, Japan, England, France, America, Germany, and Italy's VAs one nation a day with special video clips of the English dub for each. Plus, some nations will get extra behind-the-scenes material, where the English dub's creative brains are picked. Perhaps they'll answer the question burning now in the heart of so many Hetalia fans: "is pasta really the key to world peace?"

ANN's article makes mention of the unusual path to us that Hetalia has taken as controversy drove it from a TV showing and onto the Internet, where it's popularity got it additional seasons. I have to wonder how much money the creators saved by not showing it on TV. It's well known that many anime that air on TV in Japan do so because the air time was bought by the production committee for the anime or other producers. Generally speaking, the networks in Japan don't actually pay for anime to air so it costs money to put the show on TV. One wonders if direct to Internet showings would actually save money and allow for higher production values or more episodes.

Anyway, make sure the check out Funimation's sneak peeks at the Hetalia English dub!

Now, let's talk Anime Expo con leftovers! I didn't comment on every piece of news that came out of AX (though I mentioned the stuff I thought was epic enough) so here's a bit of extra on some of the items I didn't discuss.

First, let me once again thank Cliff a.k.a. ExcelGenerations on's AoD forum, who attended the con and helped provide some first hand news! (And no, I didn't bribe him to do it, he's just that cool.)

Okay, on to the con leftovers! Om nom readers, om nom.

One of the few new licenses to come out from AX without any word or rumor of an English dub came from, I'm sure you could have guessed it without thinking, Nozomi/Right Stuf. That series was So Ra No Wo To.

It's okay that there's no English dub though, Nozomi knows what anime fans want! And that's to save money! Thanks Nozomi for helping me to save my money by putting out a product I won't buy. I can use that money to buy more anime with an English dub or pay my ever increasing taxes.

Or I could just turn around and after skipping So Ra No Wo To buy a likely far better series, the beloved masterpiece of social commentary, surrealism and sheer crazy awesome that is Revolutionary Girl Utena! (Which has an old but uniquely capable English dub.) Remastered and to be re-released by Nozomi, Utena is a series that many were waiting for a license rescue on. It's about time this one was gotten. (Ten dollars says it outsells any of their new licenses.)

You know, I think a problem of the anime industry in R1 isn't that people don't want to buy anime, it's that fans sometimes take a long time to find out what anime they want to buy. By the time enough people have bought something, the company has already declared it a failure.

It's sad that Nozomi continues to do only sub-only or license rescues for their new releases. Apparently that's just the way they're going to be forever. (Well this fan doesn't want sub-only so screw you guys.)

Now for some Cliff's Notes, paraphrasing and my opinion mixed in for spice.

A Media Blasters rep spoke about the sales ratio for hybrid anime releases (those with English and Japanese dubs) vs. sub-only ones. According to him, hybrid releases bring in more money but they cost more upfront to do. The company wants to approach niche shows carefully by subbing first. While this makes sense to me, I feel it also hinders the sales potential of the shows. Especially as they've admitted to underestimated several series' potential but they may go back and dub more, depending on how things go. This is in line with other things they've said, which I mentioned in a previous blog.

Also, hentai sells real good and buyers have expressed a desire for an English dub, leading to many adult releases getting English language tracks while regular releases suffered. Perhaps this explains some of Media Blasters recent and very ecchi licenses?

The representative was also a bit dismissive of purist type sub-elite, describing some in a most unflattering fashion according to Cliff. Specifically, he referred to some such posters on the Anime on DVD forum. (Gee, wonder who he could have been referring to.)

It's not surprising to me that they don't have a very good opinion of these elitists. This is the same group that says they don't buy R1 releases, they don't think anime should cost money and that fansub groups are superior to the R1 companies.

Here's a direct quote from Cliff about the Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan special edition release that features an English dub:
BTW Bludgeoning Angle Dokuro Chan is FULL OF WIN! 10/10 must buy! My brother friends and I were up all night laughing our asses off. It' selling like crazy at the Media Blasters booth. I thanked them so damn much.
I think those first two sentences would have looked nice on a DVD case. It also sold a lot of units, remaining in stock only because they brought many copies with them.

Clannad is selling strong too, with one worker saying that they are regularly selling out of the complete collection (you know, the one with the new English dub) and that it did eventually sell out at the con, as did Black Lagoon and Baccano. Cliff's not so sure about some of the other series being sold there though, specifically he thinks Eyeshield's sales were soft. (The curse of sports anime.)

That curse didn't hit Bamboo Blade though as from what was said at the con, it sold very well. A cheap license that sold well, if only we could see a future complete collection release with new extras. (Please Funimation? Please?)

Cliff also informed me that the Hetalia English dub's accents sound pretty damn cool. Sales were very strong for the "con exclusive" My Bride is a Mermaid release, which sold out very quickly. Order your copy today from Robert's Anime Corner Store, or Right "You No Get English Dub" Stuf and sleep with the fishes.

Mmm, Masa.


Cliff had an update on a long awaited title:
Oh Edo Rocket! Will be released on Nov 20th. Funi said it had alot of production delays which caused it's long overdue release. BTW it looks really funny!

So things are looking up on many fronts and down on a few. Anime Expo was great this year for English dub fans and for attendees.

Well that's it for me. I'll post again later this week, probably a review next.