Review: AKB48: Kamikyokutachi

akb48

In Japan there is J-pop and then there is J-pop! And one of the biggest groups to exist in Japan is AKB48. This is a girl group made up of 48, yes, 48 members in three teams, Team A, K and B. They have a great presence in Akihabara in the Don Quixote building in downtown Chuo Dori where they do regular concerts and signings. Formed in 2005 by super producer, Yasushi Akimoto and releasing their first single in 2006, AKB48 have steadily and consistently been building their fanbase around the world by the thousands as well as currently holding the world record for most members in one group! They have already released over 10 albums ranging from studio to stage albums with each one selling extremely well and charting with great success on the Japanese Oricon music charts.

One of these albums is Kamikyokutachi, which translates loosely as Goddess Tracks, is a compilation of their greatest hits previously released on other albums as well as two previously unreleased singles. There are some absolute corkers in here with tunes that will have you tapping your foot and nodding your head to the beat. Now keep in mind that J-pop, just like anime, isn’t for everyone but if you’re a J-pop Otaku, then you simply must have some AKB48 in your collection and this cd is a great place to start.

AKB48From my personal collection, Harajuku March 2010

Dripping in sugary sweetness, the high pitched voices are immediately infectious and catchy and will make anyone an instant fan eager to keep track after track coming. I dare anyone to skip past any of the tracks on this album as they are all massive chart toppers in their own right. Particularly worth mentioning are “River”, “Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara”, “Baby! Baby! Baby! Baby!”, “10nen Zakura” and Iiwake Maybe. But to be completely honest, on my very first listen through, I didn’t feel the need to skip any tracks and loved them all but I do like my J-pop very sweet and not so mature. I’ve included a You Tube clip of “River” just below just to give you an idea of what to expect. This cd, as most Japanese releases, also comes with a DVD disc which has three of their songs performed in a studio with multiple camera angles on offer which offers more than one viewing just to make sure you can appreciate all of their dance steps.This album also went to the top of the Oricon charts so you’re in great company by buying this and adding it to your music library.

Will AKB48 be for everyone? Maybe not but give the clip below a go and if you like it, maybe give their You Tube channel a look so you know what to expect and then when you’re ready head straight to Otaku Fuel and snap up this slice of J-pop goodness that will remind you why one of the things that Japan is known for, is their quirky and infectious anime sounding tunes.

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Review: Churuya-San Anime T-Shirt – Nyoro~n

Churuya-San Anime T-Shirt – Nyoro~n
large_15777_nyoron_CHURUYAsanOtaku t-shirts are a great way to show your true colours to the rest of the world and this t-shirt featuring Churuya-san from The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzuimya is no exception. Great cotton t that fits nicely and lets the air flow keeping you cool when wearing it. A gorgeous single manga style frame adorns this t shirt featuring Churuya-san uttering her famous phrase, “Nyoro~n” while the graphic itself has been printed with a thicker style of ink so the design should survive quite a few gentle washes before any signs of fading rear their ugly head. Well, that would the thinking behind it anyways 🙂 The artwork itself is very cutesy and Churuya-san looks great with the wide eyed innocence that’s all too familiar and kawaii with very colourful and bright colours on her hair and school uniform. The quality and finish of the graphic is actually quite rough and not as smooth as some other t’s on the market but I’m attributing that to the thickness of the ink used. Only time will tell but all in all, a great t-shirt with a simple but effective graphic that will suit any fan and any wardrobe. Snap it up today from Otaku Fuel.

Review: Rei Ayanami Deformation Maniac Figure Collection DX

large_17318_reifigureNeon Genesis Evangelion broke new ground as an anime and has amassed a huge cult following since it first aired and now you can join the many Otakus around the world that have embraced Evangelion as the true classic that it is with this Rei Ayanami figure. Hailing from the Deformation Maniac Figure Collection by Banpresto, this delightful figure stands 6″ tall complete with a stand that you can plug her into for easy displaying in any room. The base is a hexagonal shape, see through in design with some circuit art etched into the base stand itself. The figure features a huge bobble head that sits nicely atop the body of Rei wearing her ever popular plug suit from EVA00. Really awesome work on the colours with no discernible colour bleeding or fading. They’ve done a fantastic job of essentially shrinking her down to size but yet keeping a good deal of detail on the suit. The pose itself is very cute and childlike as she’s holding her arms back with her chest sticking out, very cool. Her head is a real show stopper with her big red eyes, excellent paint work on the eyes showing off the shine to them, little button nose and barely open mouth conveying a sense of innocence and fragility that Rei brought to the series. Her hair is a beautiful shade of blue with a tie at the back and the synonymous transmitter plugs at the the top of her head. To be completely honest, the only thing I can find fault with, and this is being really picky, is that I had some difficulty in attaching the figure to the stand itself as the plugs in her feet didn’t want to quite match up with the holes in the base. But that’s just pulling hairs really as this figure is quite striking, unique and a must for Evangelion and figure collector fans. Pick it up today from Otaku Fuel.
This review also published on Japandaman Dailies.

Review: Cheshire Cat Bus (Men’s) T-shirt

large_15770_catBUSfaceStudio Ghibli has long been regarded as the Disney of the East and now one of their most lovable characters can be yours in the form of the Cheshire Cat Bus from My Neighbour Totoro. This is one of those t-shirts that has reached cult status with a lot of Otakus wearing them at conventions and any kind of fan meet ups! Great quality cotton not flimsy with the graphic taking up pretty much the whole front of the t-shirt. That cheesy, big grin that the Cat is known for is instantly recognisabe and the large teeth along with the huge yellow eyes, nose and ears make this one, a must have. The t-shirt comes in a very neutral light brown/tan colour so you know it’s going to go well with anything in your collection. The graphic itself doesn’t feel too rough nor does it feel thick like some other tops do but this only makes it feel lighter not less durable if anything. Great material, awesome artwork with nice colours and a very popular J-Pop culture character on the front, nothing else needs to be said. Pick yours up today from Otaku Fuel.

Reworking the blog pt. 3

Ok…so all posts, past and current, have been categorised and tagged which should be evident when you’re reading the posts, also on the front page you should now see a menu which is actually the categories that  kept from the over 100 that were there in the first place…wayyyyy to many 🙂 I’ve decided to rename the blog and include V2.0 as in a sense it is a reboot. The theme may or may not be the permanent one but for now it’ll stay. I really like some of the Premium themes but being premium, they are not free 😦 So hoping you all like it, any feedback good or bad is always welcome and as always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Reworking the blog part. 2

So the back of house update continues…I think I have the categories I want but I think I still may have too many. I’ve begun using tags in the same way as I was using categories. So a few category menus and then the tags branch out under them to fine tune the blog posts, making them easier to search for the reader and on wordpress.com. I’m also trying out a new theme, on display right now, where the categories appear as menus. Do you think I have too many and should cut down or is it just right and I’m being over analytical? Either way thanks for stopping by and for your opinions!!

Reworking the blog :)

I’ve decided to do some work on the blog in the background and play around with the tag feature as all I’ve been using is categories which is getting too clunky and hard to manage. This shouldn’t affect any of the readers but if things start looking a bit funny, that’s the reason why. I’m hoping that by using tags alongside categories, it’ll make things easier to search for and better for SEO purposes as well. I may even try out a new theme or two for a different feel.

Thanks for your patience! 🙂