Tag: One Piece

D’s Horizon: Episode 11 – First Impressions Last

Ok, this has been a longtime coming, I started writing it ages ago, but side tracked by all the big Marvel and DC news of recent, so here it is for this Fall Season…

So with the current climate of shows coming out I have to admit I haven’t been watching as much anime lately, which is kind of sad because there is some good shows this season… but on the flip side there is also some rubbish shows too! Keep in mind I am watching Gotham, AOS, Flash, Arrow and Constantine as well as anime shows. At any rate I have been sticking mostly to my favorite shows so the list is pretty small and now that Halo MCC is finally here, I won’t be picking up too many new shows in the near future unless something is totally outstandingly good! There is a couple I want to watch, fate night stay night is one that looks really good but I want to watch the first series before getting into it. I started watching Terraformars, but I have stopped because I am waiting for the uncensored versions (there is nothing I hate more than censorship) So with that in mind, here is what I am currently watching

One Piece

Sabo

Yes it goes without saying, the best and longest running anime? And we are finally seeing a lot more action, it took a while to build to this point but now that we are there, it is exciting to see the fights as the Straw Hats are beginning to engage head on with Doflamingo and his forces… oh and SABO is back!!! (even thou they still haven’t actually mentioned him by name yet)

Naruto

Minato and Naruto

With the news that the manga is finally coming to an end, the anime is also coming to the end (maybe) of the Ninja war against Madara, I am glad that there is an end point, after this war there isn’t much more they can do except of course for Naruto and Sasuke to sort out who will be Hokage but there is always only so much you can cram into a long story and Naruto’s story is definitely coming to an end. However the war has been pretty good mostly, seeing characters die and the nice reunion of Naruto and Minato has been pleasing.

SAO Season 2

SAO Season 2

So this has been a good run, slightly slower paced that the first season, but also have to bear in mind there isnt a huge amount of material for them to draw from, but what they have done with it has been enjoyable and it felt much better paced this time round

Log Horizon Season 2

Akatsuki

So after the messy first episode, it has settled down now and things are getting a little more interesting, it is good to see some of the raid battles as well as Akutski getting more screen time and looks like she might finally get trained to be more badass. Also story wise there is a lot going on with more and more creeping in so it looks like it will be another great season hopefully

Bahamut Genesis

Bahamut Genesis

So I play the ROB card game, so have been expecting the release of this for some time, and wasn’t disappointed, it is a really good anime, plenty of cross over from the card game for those who play it but done so that if doesn’t matter if you play the game or not, you will still know what is going on. Follows the story of a couple of bounty hunters and a demon who steals one of the stones that is keeping Bahamut prisoned. It is a little jumpy as the world is introduced but the lead characters are very interesting and the opening theme is dope!

Cross Ange

Cross Ange

Ok, this is a weird one, it is most definitely geared towards nerd fan boys who get their rocks off on anime girls, and the whole time it is boarder line, very borderline, but the premise of it isn’t that bad, I mean, gundams, dragons, magic, blood people dying, and then there is the skimpy outfits, girl on girl action and just a whole assortment of wtf moments. This really does take a lot of what people perceive as Japanese anime and just cram it all into a single show

Akame Ga Kill

Akame Ga Kill

Still loving this anime, it’s nice to know that not all the characters are safe at any point in time, while sure it has a lot of problems, overall I am still enjoying it and really like some of the characters and really want to see how it ends

Star Wars Rebels

Star Wars Rebels

I was a little annoyed they cut clone wars off when they did, it was at a rather interesting point, but the show was beginning to suffer thou it did have a solid few seasons and glad that they portrayed Anakin rather well, unlike in the dam movies where they made him a sniveling, whinny little bitch boy (but that’s another story) Anyways the first few episodes are really good, it seems to be set maybe a little bit before New Hope, and has a rather interesting story that I really want to see play out to its end, but I think it’s only a short series so that sucks. The cartoon renditions and even the video games of the Star Wars universe have been on point and the books following the movie series are just awesome! (still disapointed they didnt base the new movies on the Thrawn trilogy)

Avengers Assemble Season 2

Avengers Assemble Season 2

So season one ended with the Cabal being disbanded and Red Skull going cosmic, season 2 has introduced Thanos as the main villain which is interesting since he was missed out of the first series they did (which was pretty good) The first season was not a reboot as such but a different continuation and feels more similar in anime fashion to the Hulk and the agents of SMASH series. Anyways the first season was good so have high hopes for the second season

Terra Formars

Terraformars

Just finished with the 3rd episode of this and is starting to look good. The animation style is that raw desperation feel which by the looks of things is going to suit the show perfectly, thou how roaches can grow from like 5-10cm to being over 10ft tall in a span of 40 years and also genetically change to be smart is a bit of a stretch… but hey, its fiction 🙂 This feels like its going to be another brutal anime on the same level as the likes of Shingeki or Knights of Sidonia. Update: Waiting for uncensored versions to come out so it is on hold for now

World Trigger

The first episode was ok, you get a little bit of the history behind the story and a glimpse of whats going on, but at the moment its hard to get a feel of where it is going to go next, I have a feeling its going to be more story driven than action but that could change hopefully. Update: Dropped this like a bad habbit

Gundam Reconguista in G

gundam reconguista in g

At the moment the first episode barely kept me interested, the animation style is reminiscent of the older style of drawing which while is ok, just doesnt feel right to me when doing a gundam anime esp in this day and age. Luckily the second episode gets better so I will stay with this one for a little longer. Gundam wing for me was by far the best, thou I havent seen them all but most of them. People were excited for this because the hope was it would go back to being more serious (unlike build fighters, a straight child adaptations) and the first episode looks meh but it seems like it gets better – Update: It has hit the back burner but will try and watch it at some stage

And that is it, on the back burner I still want to watch Pyscho-pass season 2, Tokyo Ghoul, Parasyte and Gundam Recognista in G, which I will try to watch at some point but yeah, time time time…

Review: June, July & August

Ok so it has been a busy last few months, 3 trips overseas, various gigs as well as my usual ones so here is a quick recap of what I have been doing these last few months

June

12 weeks, Jager, DJ Blaze

Well June was a interesting month, I got to do some pretty cool things and also finished my 12 week challenge, 10kg lighter and back up to maybe 75% on the touch field

One Piece, DJ Blaze, Luffy, Law

– Spent my birthday and long weekend running around Japan buying as much stuff as I could! Harajuku for clothes and Akihabara for my anime obsession

DJ Blaze, Redbull, UMF Korea DJ Blaze, Redbull, UMF Korea

– Next weekend was UMF which I got to jam out in the redbull party jeep, pretty cool that I got to go to UMF, wasn’t the greatest of festivals but it is def one of the biggest in Korea and around the world… just a shame the line up was mud

DJ Blaze, Venue, Old Skool Hip Hop

– Spun at venue, nothing but old skool and a bit of a MJ tribute. Also it was a great crowd for early on so made the night even better

Well that was June, short but eventful.

July

July proved to be less busy, was back at venue again but the night ended up being a dud unfortunately. The main thing for July was taking on a new residence at King Club, however that ended up being short lived. Scroll to the bottom for that story…

DJ Blaze, DJ Comp, Busan

– I spent most of the time working on my BeFM set.

101, Taipei, DJ Blaze Kicks, DJ Blaze, Taipei

– I did take a trip to Taipei which was a lot of fun

DJ Blaze, JC, DJ and MC

– Met with Blossom Day which was a kick start to working with JC

DJ Blaze, Venue, TBT

– TBT at Venue with Pinnacle and Rich Ben, pitty it was a dud of a night

And that was July

August was a good month

DJ Blaze, BeFM 2013, Busan

– 2nd Place at BeFM with a trip down to Busan, rocking it out on Gwangali

Blaze, WDJ Festival, JC, DJ Korea

– Went to WDJ Festival with DJ Korea, jamming in the tent again, but to less fanfare than last year

Bar Fly Crew

– Started to do some proper work with JC, exciting times ahead working with her, but did have a fun night out at Bar Fly

DJ Blaze, Logic Pro

– Started on some other projects including learning to produce music

And some other random things I got up to in August…

Marine Ford

Went to the One Piece expo in Seoul, it was cool, mostly based around the Marine Ford Arc which was of course total epicness! (Full review in another post)

Baseball In Korea

Went to my first Baseball game in Korea

And that was August, simple but fun, Sept is halfway done but it is also turning out to be another great month, it’s already coming into Autumn and the end of the year is rapidly approaching… again…

DJ Blaze, Hi-C, King Club

So here goes with the King Club story

My hours at bar fly changed to the late shift, so it opened up a time for me to play somewhere else, I was going to look at a second residency after summer since I am usually busy during summer but King Club offered so I thought why not, they are under new ownership and have a new direction that wanted to go in so at first I was excited about working there, because honestly I never liked the place at all or the people that use to frequent it but the hope that it would change and the possibility of the place had me in… But as I began working there it was quickly apparent that any change was going to be slow if at all. The American soldiers still frequented the place, and they bring their own brand of bullshit with them (for the 4 weeks I was there, there was at least 1 fight each weekend…) as well as wanting to hear all the new shit that you can’t dance too. The music they (the boss etc) wanted me to play wasn’t the kind of music the crowd they want to attract want to hear (I even had the bouncer? stop me at the door and start going on about some shit with the music, I just gave him the yeah whatever, like I’m going to listen to you look and walked on by, I listen to the crowd and the boss, not you) and it was just becoming apparent that the direction they wanted to go in was pretty blurry. Also at Bar Fly, the boss asked me to switch back to my old time, so since they come first, had to talk to king club and see if could switch up the schedule, the problem is all of the DJs there have a second residency that is more important to them than king club so none of them can change, which was fine with me, I was the late comer to the party and also working there was really starting to become an annoyance rather than fun, not to say I didn’t have some fun there thou! The place has a lot of potential, always has, and has some good people working there but as is always the way, direction needs to be decisive, not blurry… and changing styles up between the military and Korean/expat scene… seriously there is a reason why I hate Itaewon and even more so hate those young American soldiers and all their bullshit. I avoid the place like the plague

D’s Horizon: Episode 8 – Falling from grace

So autumn (Fall) is almost upon us in the northen hemisphere and I have resorted to releasing my anime blog every 2 weeks for now, seems like a logical step since I have been busy with my DJ endeavours and the long holiday weekend is almost on us. That and I have fallen behind in a few animes except for my out right favourites so far

But the big news recently is that a lot of anime sites (esp download and torrent sites) are down due to DDos attacks, which rumor says seem to have originated from the Japanese government itself in their attempt to crack down on anime/manga piracy… still nothing confirmed thou but will be interesting to see what happens, however the episodes are still poping up on sites like KAT, Tokyo Toshokan and PB but for now  it seems that a lot of these sites have indeed fallen from grace…

ddos_attacks2

Akame Ga kill

Wow, at first I know people were a little off put by how the tone jumped around so rapidly, but by now I am sure people are use to it, it is still brutal and we have even seen that not every character is safe with 2 casualties already amongst the nightraid members (and not the ones I expected, thou I guess Baluat was a little obvious, cool that Tatsumi gets his Imperial arms thou) The last episode thou was a little weird at the end, why would he enter the tournament in the first place if he is meant to be an assassin, creating the obvious love interest for Lady Esdeath on the side too

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Mahouka

Still not eough on the action side of things but I am still looking forward to it every weekend, but the whole brother/sister thing that is going on is really, really weird and seems to make no sense without knowing any of their past which is annoying, but apart from that I am still enjoing the show and getting to see some ass kicking outside of the school tournament

Mahouka-

SAO2 – GGO

Well as expected this is still delivering at a slightly better pace than the first season and is making more sense at times than the first season which I am enjoying. There is less skipping forward and its interesting how it has all been tied in with Laughing Coffin too. Interested to see what happens next after the cliff hanger we were left with last episode, also, is death gun actually a part of the game or is he like a random ‘program’ that can come and go as he pleases?

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Naruto

Well, loving the reunion of team 7 and the 3 way deadlock, that was pretty mean, cool that the previous Hokage are out in force too, weird that Oroichmaru is actually helping them (not to mention Sasuke’s change of heart) But least the war is coming to its climax by the looks of it and there should at least be a mean showdown between Madara and Hashirama… hopefully

naruto

One Piece

I have to admit, while watching all these other anime bolt forward at a million miles an hour, OP is basically the opposite, but given its popularity and huge world, I am glad they have the luxury to take it slow and fill in the entire story without having to skip forward missing important things that other anime often have to do. The Riku kingdom and history of them and Doflamingo is pretty cool and learning how he manipulated them all. But its getting to the point where the inevitable showdown between everyone is coming very close and almost losing patience for it to hurry up and come! But at the same time I am glad it isnt rushing ahead

riku

I haven’t properly caught up on Agrevollen, Aldnoah Zero, Tokyo Esp and Tokyo Ghoul but will endeavour to do so in the following weeks

 

Recomended Anime

Air Gear

So, I found this anime randomly after searching for some fan made anime music videos to use with my dj sets and I came across someone who had used Air Gear in a pretty decent video, so I decided to check out the anime itself, glad I did! The story follows a boy named Iki and is set in a world where technology has advanced enough to allow people to basically have high powered electric rollker skates/blades with enough torque and power to allow people to ride them at great speeds, up walls and jump great distances. Thus taking extreme sports to a whole other level and giving people ‘wings’ (a common theme during the story) The story revolves around Iki learning to ride these Air Treks (in what is like a futuristic version of aggressive skating, with crews/gangs, underground races etc etc) and as he forms his own team to ride and compete against other ‘Storm Riders’ and learns that he is the ‘chosen’ one. His sisters are also part of one of the legendary A-T gangs and as the story begins, he is quickly thrown into the world revolving around Air Treks. I liked this anime because its a little different to others having an extreme sport component to it, thou as it progresses it still follows your usual anime formula of the hero on his quest thrown in the deep end only to rise from adversity, meeting his fellows compatriots etc etc, coupled with your usual weird goings on and typical shower and bathroom scenes and awkward moments thrown in for good measure (because seriously, whats an anime with out the big brestead girl getting commented on in the shower scene) But apart from the usual quirks and weirdness that is Japanese anime, this is an enjoyable watch with some interesting characters and some even weirder abilities (Akito and Agito are hillarious at times, thou also extremely disturbing as well) Add all this together and you have an anime worth watching. Oh, and the English dub version is actually pretty good! One of the rare times they get it right (swearing and all too!) The only let down was that it finished just as it was getting good, however an OVA was released that was pretty good and follows on the story further in the future but again it was only short so it is left very open ended

air_gear_01

Animation 6/10 Its not that impressive but the characters are well drawn and have enough differences to make it ok

Characters 7/10 There are some interesting characters and some really well done interactions between some of them

Plot 5/10 Unfortunately the plot is nothing special, not to say it isnt good, its just not going to leave you going ‘god dam’

Overall 6/10 This is one of those watch if you have the time animes, it isnt mind blowing amazing but it is enjoyable enough to check it out and has a different concept than most animes but at the end of the day it does fundamentally follow the usual formula. Not on the A list of must watch, but on the B list of worth a watch

Throwback Character

Conan The Adventurer

Conan-character-greywolf-large-570x420Grey Wolf

Male

Wizard of Xanthus

Mostly magical based attacks but also physically strong and proficent in hand to hand combat

Use his staff as his outlet for his magical power, gets signifacntly upgraded with a star metal ‘Claw of Heaven’, also has his brother and sister were turned into wolves who also aid him

The serious type, wise but also similar to the others and can be quick tempered

 

Grey Wolf was my favourite character from this series, mainly because at the time I had a wizard obsession and he was a more bad ass wizard who not only could do magic but also hold his own in a fight.

The series itself, while old, was enjoyable, coming off the back of the successful movies, the cartoon show seemed to enjoy some success (basically any show that makes it to NZ had to have been somewhat successful at the time) The story flows different to the movies but still has a lot of the combat, thou obviously toned down for children. They made a nice little get around introducing the snake men and star metal that baneshes them from our dimension, basically allowing for combat but remvoing blood. Using the story line of the serpant set which was a main plot line in one of the movies and expanding on it more was a good move and made the cartoon feel really well thought out for what it was. The plot basically follows Conan as he is on a quest to reverse the spell placed on his family that turned them to stone, which ends up becoming a quest to put a stop to the Stigen forces and Set’s plans to invade their dimension. Along his quest he meets up with fellow heroes who aid him along the way. The good thing is that the other heroes come in and out of the series so its not always the same combination for each episode, allowing for some good cahracter interatctions. The other good thing was that the series had a definitive finale for the major plot line (which often wasnt the case for cartoons of the time) even thou some minor plots were left open ended, it was nice to be able to watch this from start to finish

D’s Horizon – Episode 2: The Journey Begins

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Welcome to this week in Anime with DJ Blaze, so first off lets get into the news (this will cover a few things since I need to catch up a little bit with what has been going on lately. But just note that some of them are a little old since I have been working on this for awhile now)

Also check out here for this summers anime releases coming out this week and weekend! I will put up my recommendations next week

http://anichart.net/summer

Headlines

SAO2 Is almost here! Look on youtube for various shorts and ‘trailers’. Release for July 5th, can’t wait11

Hayao Miyazaki invited to join US film academy, the dude is a legend, directed some amazing movies and fully deserves it

Eng Dubs in the works for Devil Survivor and Majestic Prince with voice casts being named, both are good shows

New Yu-gi-oh movie in the works… I use to watch the first anime with Yugi and Kaiba etc but stopped after those… Wasn’t really that into it

New Sailor Moon Series to start in July, this will please a lot of old skool fan girls

Possible Powerpuff girls new season planned… I could never take that show seriously

Attack on Titan outsells One Piece for first time, season 2 release for anime still not confirmed yet, sounds like they are going to release a season 1 ‘recap’ first then bring out season 2…

Legend of Korra Book 3 debued June 27th, I know a lot of my friends having been digging on the Legend of Korra hard

DBZ Battle of the Gods to be released in the US August 5th, DBZ is one of the few Anime’s where I prefer the Eng voice cast over the Jap cast… Not very often that happens!

Gakkou Gurashi (another zombie apocalypse manga) is to get anime adaptation… Like we need more zombie shows…

Knights of Sidonia to get 2nd season scheduled for Nov 23rd, going to start watching the first season

Pacific Rim sequel confirmed with mention of a companion animated series also in the works… Wonder how this will go, didn’t they win? Guess not

Assasination Classroom to get Anime adaption and a live action film, the art work looks cool, but I wonder how a live action film will go

Ok, thats it for now, usually I’ll keep it to 2 or 3 headlines each week and talk a bit about them. Also next week and following weeks I will start giving updates and recommendations for the Fall Season Anime releases which is already looking dam exciting with the initial line-ups floating around with around 10 shows sparking my interest

Ok before I start doing a weekly recap of the shows I am watching, you need to be brought up to speed with where they are at (if your not already there) So here we go with the major two

One Piece (Dressrosa Arc)

Dressrosa_ArcThings are really heating up again in One Piece. The Straw Hats have entered the new world and are now in an alliance with Trafalgar Law and the Heart Pirates to eventually go after the Yonko. After leaving Punk Hazard, they have arrived in Dressarosa to take on Dol Flamingo and deal a blow to Kaido by destroying his smiles operation. At the moment Luffy is fighting in a tournament where the prize is the mera mera fruit (his brothers fruit) We have just seen a pretty epic fight with Luffy defeating Don Chinjao, our first real taste at how powerful he really has become as well as seeing two Conqueror Haki uses fight it out. Zoro and Franky have met up with the resistance as well as Robin and Usop and are set to rendezvous with each other. Sanji and Kin-emon are on their way there as well while Nami, Brook, Momonosuke and Chopper are in trouble aboard the Sunny. Dol flamingo has the advantage at the moment with the Straw Hats clearly on the defensive and Trafalgar Law is in trouble up against Dol Flamingo and the new Navy Admiral Issho (Fujitora) But it looks like the Straw Hats are about to start their counter attack

 

Naruto Shippuden – Ninja War

naruto_shippuuden_war_of_ninja_arc_by_jin_05-d5j7e83

We are finally back to the war after an extended back story which for once was actually good to watch (Naruto’s main problem is the excessive amount of fillers and repeated back stories) We finally got to see more about Kakashi’s days as ANBU, as well as Yamato’s back story and Obito’s too which really give you a better understanding of the characters. Back to the war and the ten tails has been let loose and the ninja forces have finally rallied to what looks like could be the final chapter to the war, we also have our first few big deaths, Neiji! That was a shock! Also Shikaku and Ino’s dad, all in one episode! Madara and obito seem to be in a solid position, so will be interesting to see how things develop further, but unfortunately it looks like we are back to more fillers with Sasuke and Orochimaru resurrecting the 4 previous Hokage so Sasuke can get some answers from them. Looks like we are about to find out more about Uchiha Madara and Hashirama Senju which could be interesting.

These are the 2 I am up to date on, I will however start watching 4 more from scratch, the first is Fairy Tale, I have heard mixed reviews but it seems interesting and has been a round for awhile now. The second is Captain Earth, again I have heard good things and the show itself looks interesting. The next I have been watching and am up to date with but it is really good so I will start it again and review it weekly as well, its called Mahouka. The last is one I randomly missed is called Black Bullet but have read a couple of good reivews so will also check it out and start each review from episode 1 next week (Fairy tale thou I will review in groups of episodes since its been going for awhile)

Also with SAO2 coming out this week I will add that to the list as well and maybe a few more depending on how things go, but don’t worry, the recaps will be short and mostly my initial opinionated views on whats going on

Recommended Anime

Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)

If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend checking out this anime. The manga began in 2009 and has since garnered a lot of attention and with an anime series finally coming from it, it is fast becoming one of the most popular titles (even out selling one piece for the first time in 5 years) Not to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it but the story is dark, brutal and nothing short of a complete mind-f@$k at times, it is easy to see why it has become so popular. The plot follows a boy named Eren Yeager who lives in a world were humans are living behind huge walls protecting them from giant monsters known as Titans that suddenly appeared 100 years ago and pushed human kind to the brink of extinction. Titans are big, dumb, and hard to kill, feeding off humans and can regenerate if not killed properly. The past is a complete mystery, no one knows how the walls were made or where the Titans come from. Things are thrown into complete chaos from the get go as a new type of Titan suddenly emerges and breaches the wall. As the story progresses, you find yourself with more questions than answers, (The season 1 cliffhanger… my god!) lucky however that while season one was only 25 episodes long, there will be a season 2 (nothing worse than watching a good show and then having the ending left unfinished!) however the release date for season 2 is unclear and most likely will be in 2015. The characters are well thought out even if they do die as often as those in GOT, so you seriously don’t know who is safe and who isn’t. Also it really does touch on a lot of interesting political and ‘what would you do’ issues that really make you think as well as exploring the human psyche especially during times of complete desperation. Basically there is a reason why it has become so popular, so go watch it, now, seriously, your life will be better for it in a twisted way!

Shingeki

Animation – 9/10 Smooth and fluid and the style suits the show

Characters – 8/10 A few ‘weird’ characters but the main cast are well developed

Plot – 10/10 Can’t get much better than that

Overall 9.5/10 One of the best around

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throwback Character

Goose

Galaxy Rangers

Shane Gooseman

Age: ?? Male

Gentically Enginered Human

Healing and environmental body adaption/shapeshifting

Badass Hero type

Gooseman is one of the series 5 rangers and is part of a team lead by Zachary Foxx. He was genetically engineered as a super-trooper however he isn’t as mentally unstable like the others from the experiment. He can heal and his body can adapt to various environments and this ability is enhanced to a degree by his series 5 implant. His personality is heavily based on Clint Eastwood and it carries well throughout the show, which is why I liked him (got to love a badass cowboy)

The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers is an American animated Space Western television series combining sci-fi stories with traditional Wild West themes. Produced mainly in the US and most likely geared towards a western audience the animation itself was done by a Japanese studio. The story follows a team of rangers as they patrol the universe protecting outpost colonies against various threats, the main being the Crown Empire who also have captive Zachary Foxx’s wife, so the overriding story tends to follow his quest to track her down while still following your usual weekly story line.

The overall story was well written compared to the other shows of its time, which in a way worked against it since there was no toy tie in and the animation for itself was ahead of its time (in the western market at least) The show itself was probably a precursor to various modern shows thou there is a lot of speculation for and against this. Either way, Galaxy Rangers was an 80’s favourite and a worthwhile watch if your feeling nostalgic.

My Japan Excursion Pt.3 – Mugiwara

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Well since I am a bit of a One Piece fan I decided to give it it’s own section, thou it will be kind of short. Anyways, OP is one of the most popular running manga’s maybe of all time, and its been around for years, the manga consistently sells strongly and the anime itself is up to episode 650 ish and it is unlikely that it will slow down with many fans all over the world, so what better for any fan than to check out the Mugiwara store located in Shibuya

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The store is located on the top floor of Parco mall, it is easy enough to find if you have a map, the first time I went to japan I literally just stumbled upon it, lucky this time I knew where to go and it was actually my first point in call, since its pretty easy to get to from Shibuya station and from there its only a short walk across to Harajuku

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The store itself is really like any other fan store, it has some life size figures, theme music blaring and of course all your little bits and pieces related to OP, but mainly things like souvenirs, a few clothes, stickers, key chains, cups, posters and things of this nature, they have a few toys but not that many, if you want to find OP related toys and figures your actually better off going either online or to Akihabara (or a big name store) as this store is really geared more towards the souvenir side of things (thou you can find a couple of limited edition toys there)

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Anyways, it is still worth visiting, you will likely come away with something you like, prices seems reasonable enough and the location is good, there is also a few other stores related to anime in the same building too.

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There is one place I did miss on my trip there and that’s Nakano Broadway, which in hindsight is a place I really should have gone to, it has tons of second hand anime stores in there as well as plenty of shops selling new stuff. But reading around it seems they don’t have much new exclusive stuff but if your looking for my retro stuff this is the place to go.

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Well that’s it for my Tokyo excursion, pretty short I know, but hey, Tokyo is a big ass place and there are many different places where you will find all sorts of things, even when you have a good idea of where to go, there is always that random floor of some shopping mall that will have stuff you didn’t even know about, or that small side street store with boxes full of figures, if your short on time, hit up the places I have mentioned (and also maybe a jump store, they usually have anime related stuff too and are pretty common) but if you have more time… well good luck!

 

Ps. I had to borrow some photos from google since I didn’t end up taking many myself

My Japan Excursion Pt.2 – Akihabara

Akihabara is like every anime fans dream come true, what was once an electronic district is now arguably the central hub for most anime and manga related products in Japan and it still has a heap of electrics to buy from as well

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The area of Akihabara stretch’s along from the station to the Main Street that has several blocks of stores and side streets filled with shops as well as a few malls, expo center and basically just a heap of stores lined up next to each other that span upwards on multiple floors

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Arcade style game stores
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A few maids

 

The area itself is relatively easy to navigate, all the streets are straight lines and everything is pretty close together, but the shops themselves are pretty small with a lot of stuff jam packed into them.

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A typical store

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There are a few different types of stores that tend to get repeated over and over yet each one does have different things and often varying prices too compared to the other similar shops, while others will tend to specialize slightly in a certain product. There are the cheap electrical product stores selling pcs, camera, phones etc usually tax or duty free, there are the card stores, second hand stores, new toy stores, random toy stores, electrical parts stores, lighting stores, game stores and of course maid cafes!

 

Card Store
Card Store
2nd Hand Store
2nd Hand Store

Two things to note, firstly, One Piece is EVERYWHERE, almost every store you can find a One Piece toy, secondly and most annoyingly, there is little to no organization in most stores with the exception of the big brand stores. You will often find shops have stuff just randomly placed everywhere, some will have it slightly sectioned out but in reality trying to find specific things can be a very time consuming process, some stores (esp the second hand and smaller toy stores) just have everything jam packed into display cases or boxes randomly (least it appears random) so trying to find that one gem of an item can require extensive sifting thru a lot of stuff! Now for some people this can be fun, but be warned, it is time consuming, I didn’t cover the whole area, missed maybe a block or two worth of side street shops and skipped a lot of stores too and still managed to burn thru 4 hours, in the end giving up because I was carrying around too much stuff and the shops are very small. If you are looking at buying a few things, bring a big backpack!

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I did decide to go to a maid cafe, I have always seen the girls around dressed up trying to entice people to come in, also it has become quite a popular activity and is worth doing at least once. They are basically a theme cafe where you go in, they treat you like a master, you can order really cutesy food, get things decorated, interact and play games with the maids and have a good laugh at them and at yourself for going along with some of the ridiculous things (going moi moi cue to envoke I think its a love spell on your food is the less tame of the options) The girls all seem light hearted and I guess it will have its ups and downs like any service job, it is prob even more difficult at times having to keep up appearances but then again Japanese sales people always seem to have a really bubbly/cheesy personality so maybe they enjoy it. For me it felt kind of awkward, trying not to laugh at some of the sillier things and also at some of the people who actually looked socially awkward trying to interact with the girls, thou this is probably a good way for them to break their bubble a bit, it was still interesting to just observe, could probably conduct a good psyc test there! I would also recommend going with a friend, alone is ok but still…

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I didn’t get a chance to see it but there is a J-pop group known as AKB48 who performs in Akihabara I think everyday and is probably worth checking out as they are quite well known and even have their own café. Korakuen hall is also nearby as well as a Gundam cafe. Akihabara is really a place you can either whip thru quickly just to say you have been there, or spend hours sifting thru all the goods there looking for that one thing special from your childhood or that one toy from your favourite anime. I am sure there are more rare items floating around there, but finding them is a whole other story

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