Arslan Senki gets second trailer

Second key visual
Second key visual

The official website for Arslan Senki or The Heroic Legend of Arslan has began streaming their second TV commercial for the anime few days ago. The anime will be an adaptation of Arakawa Hiromu’s (Full Metal Alchemist, Silver Spoon) manga of the same name, which was an adaptation of Tanaka Yoshiki’s original novel series. The novel has been adapted into anime before during the 90s so this version is pretty much considered a reboot of the novel.

The site has also released a new visual key for the upcoming series which is highly anticipated by fans thanks to mangaka’s name. Directed by Abe Noriyuki (Bleach, Yu Yu Hakusho) with composition of the series fell to Uezu Makoto who did Akame ga Kill! and key animation will be done by Ogiso Shingo (Anohana)

To recap what is the series all about – Arslan Senki or The Heroic Legend of Arslan  is a Japanese fantasy novel series written by Tanaka Yoshiki. Tanaka began writing the series in 1986, and the series saw it’s latest volume way back in 2008. There are currently 14 novels and one side story published so far. It was adapted into a manga by Nakamura Chisato in 1991, but the manga caught up to the novels in 1998 and goes for it’s very own original ending. In 2013, it received yet another manga reboot, this time illustrated by Arakawa Hiromu. The new manga is serialized in the Bessatsu Shounen Magazine. It was also developed into a short film and a 6 part unfinished OVA (only 4 parts were released).

The series will be gracing TVs in Spring 2015.

Via Official Site

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New trailer and key visual for Psycho-Pass the Movie is out

New key visual
New key visual

The official site for Psycho-Pass is now showing two new trailers and key visuals of the upcoming movie of the same name. Scheduled for 9 January 2016, the movie will be directed by Naoyoshi Tadayoshi who is the director of both seasons of the TV series. Gen Urobochi (Aldnoah Zero, Fate/Zero) is the screenplay and original writer who is working together with Makoto Fukami for this franchise. The character designer is Akira Amano (Katekayo Hitman Reborn!) and music composer is by Yugo Kanno (Psycho-Pass, Jojo Bizzare Adventure: Stardust Crusaders).

Production I.G will be responsible for the animation. On a sidenote, an Xbox One game based on the series is currently in development with the title Psycho Pass: Sentaku Naki Kōfuku (Psycho-Pass: Happiness Without Choice) . Reportedly, MAGES, the company who also did the visual novel game Steins; Gate is incorporating Kinect, Smartglass and iOS/Android mobile devices for fully immersive version of the game. There will also be two new game exclusive playable characters who will be the focus of the game’s narrative- Inspector Nadeshiko Kugatachi and Enforcer Takuma Tsurugi. No known date for the release of the game but it is expected somewhere in the near future.

Check out the demo video of the game shown at Tokyo Game Show 2014 below:

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Ghost in the Shell franchise, a collaboration between this movie and Ghost in the Shell: Arise also announced but no details emerging from this yet. Anyway, have a look at two trailers of the upcoming movie which heavily hints on the return of ex-Enforcer Ogami, the hero of Season One.

Via Psycho-Pass Official Site

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Knights of Sidonia is back for second season

Scan from magazine Afternoon
Scan from magazine Afternoon
Blame! announcement
Blame! announcement
3rd scan
3rd scan

The January 2015 issue of manga magazine Afternoon recently revealed that an anime adaptation of Knights of Sidonia is back for a compilation movie version in March 2015 and TV series on April 2015. This is the visual key for the movie here:

The visual key of the movie
The visual key of the movie

There is even a hint that Blame!, another work by Tsutomu Nihei will find its way into the production. It might make its way into episode 8 of the new season. However, it is currently unknown if it will be expanded into a full blown anime series or not. The new TV series will be titled Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki/War of the Ninth Planet, where the first 2 episodes will be revealed at a closed private function on 23 November 2014.

In short, the movie will be a recap of 12 episodes of TV series and includes a few new scenes and updated remastered audio for the theatrical version. No news about the casting or the staff for the second season yet. The trailers below is at first an announcement for new TV series and the rest is for the movie:

Via: Official Site & Otakomu
Image credit Otakomu

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Google is working on real time voice translation

The Google Translate
The Google Translate

Hot on the heels on Microsoft’s Skype announcement on simultaneous translation between Spanish and English speakers, Google has been working on real-time voice translations in its Google Translation app. If Google manages to pull this off, it means everyone with a mobile device will have access to real-time voice translations of 90 over languages thanks to the Google translation database. Mind boggling indeed.

According to the New York Times, Google is refining its Translate app to make it smarter – it would detect speech on the fly and translate it straightaway while its user only needs to operate his/her device during the process.

Despite Skype being the first service to provide the real time voice translation service, it is only limited to two languages, whereas Google’s project is more appealing with its potential 90 plus languages on offering.

The potential is tremendous – tourists will have an easier time to navigating in many locations with this nifty application, but some people are still worrying about the translation quality of the Google project, based on hilarious misfires on the current Google Translate right now.

Via New York Times
Image credit Lowyat

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Samurai Warriors 4-II aka Sengoku Musou 4-II trailer is up

The warriors ready to fight
The warriors ready to fight

Koei Tecmo is following up on to Samurai Warriors 4 / Sengoku Musou 4 or known as  戦国無双4 with new game called the Samurai Warriors 4-II.

The game is scheduled for a 11 Febuary release in Japan for PS4, PS3 and PS Vita only.

Despite being the latest title of the franchise, it is not an actual sequel by itself. The developers explained that this game shows the story from “different perspective”. The developers also added one more warrior to the roster, Ii Naomasa the spearman clad in crimson red armour. With his addition, there are whopping 58 characters in the game now. A few stages were added too, Koshu, Osaka Castle, Honzugawa Gate, Oshy and Kuisegawa. The game’s Mosou Enbu story mode will be rebooted with a new story which is different from the previous title.

The Infinite Castle survival mode, which is absent from previous title is making a comeback in this one too. The game also promises to tweak or rebalance the Godspeed Action system, weapons, warhorse growth systems and new AI adjustments for the enemy military commander. The event scene backgrounds are in full 3D so players can rotate the camera now.

It is not known if the company intends to export it out of Japan or not as for now.

The TVCM

Source: Official Site

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Samsung shows off the new Galaxy A7

The rear design
The Gold A7
The Gold A7

Samsung has officially unveiled the Galaxy A7, the latest model in its Galaxy A series. With a quad-core CPU and thickness of 6.3mm, it is quite a formidable competitor in very crowded mid-class smartphone market.

“We strive to develop devices that appeal to a broad range of consumers and are ahead of the next big social trend,” said JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Communication at Samsung Electronics. “Combining both a stunning metallic design and a powerful performance, the Galaxy A7 is stylish while delivering the superior user experience.”

The Galaxy A7 will be available in two flavours – single SIM and dual SIM. The dual SIM version will have an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 CPU with four Cortex-A53 (1.5GHz) and four Cortex A53 (1GHz) cores. Its other sibling receives a Samsung Exynos 5430 octa-core CPU with four Cortex-A15(1.7GHz) and four Cortex-A7(1.3GHz) cores.

The specs in graphic detail
The specs in graphic detail

It will also come with a 5.5-inch 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED display, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage with supplementary support up to 64GB via microSD card, 2600mAh battery, LTE capability and Android KitKat 4.4. For the camera, the A7 whips out a 13MP rear camera with LED flash and a 5MP front camera. This model comes with some snazzy features for its camera such as Wide Selfie, Rear-Cam Selfie and Beauty Face just like most of the other models in the Galaxy A series. Another notable feature is the Private Mode, which Samsung claims it will add “an extra layer of security for important files and documents.”

SM-A700FSS_002_Back_Gold
The rear design

Samsung says that the A7 will be out in the market by Febuary 2015 but is keeping mum on the retail pricing.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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First Impressions: Absolute Duo (Winter 2015)

Key Visual Absolute Duo
Key Visual Absolute Duo

My first impressions of Absolute Duo hasn’t been a good one. I’m not even sure if I want to give it the three episode test now even. I might just check out the novel instead to see if the novel did it better than the anime, just to compare if it did as well as other adaptations like  Madan Ou Vanadis. In the case of Vanadis, the novel series is so much better than the anime so I blame it on the incompetence of the anime team in adapting the story from the books.

Now for Absolute Duo

In a nutshell it’s just too rushed, the characters are laughably corny and fight scenes are pure crap.

First off, viewers don’t even get a chance to grasp the world inside the anime, the introduction is way too rushed and before you can take a breath they’re headed right into a fight scene without much rhyme or reason. Of course, the whole thing starts with a new female student who appears to be your typical nice person but you’re only given a tiny glimpse of her character and personality before she’s literally given the shaft in less than 10 minutes of the first episode.

She gave me the impression that she plays a crucial role in the story and was supposed to act as a foil to the main protagonist and subsequently allow them to get a taste of the world through them. But the anime seems to have completely chucked this out the window in favour of simply shoving her into the viewer’s face without any regard to buildup.

If a storyteller wants the viewer to give a hoot about the story, buildup is very essential. This is where the personality, quirks and motivations of the character can take shape so the viewer can relate. Absolute Duo didn’t even bother with that. So when the characters are spouting lines that are supposed to be meaningful, I could barely be bothered because it devolves into something so dull and predictable you’ll probably just stick around for the eyecandy.

Now, this anime might still be able to save itself if they spend more time and detail in the fight scenes. Sadly, this is still not the case. Fast cuts and sloppy editing, no real framing to show what character(s) are doing in their fights and general laziness (or cost cutting) is very obvious and painful to watch. If ufotable can pull it off with Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works (2014) with superlative and dynamic fight scenes, I don’t see why they can’t here. To put it bluntly, the fighting animation is very sparse and economical.

Absolute_Duo_Char

Also, the music is mediocre, generic and forgettable. Music is very crucial in setting the mood for scenes but this is quite absent in the show.

They are banking heavily on the moe* factor of the main female leads to hook the audience; a tactic which is riding on very thin ice. The heroine is given a little bit more attention but in the end, she ends like another typical female in anime trope. She reminds me somewhat of Rei Ayanami (NGE) but updated with current sensibilities and moe factor so fans can dote on her instead.

However, it does get tiring really fast because there is only so much you can pull with this factor alone. In the end, story and the cast of characters is what will ultimately glue the narrative together and get viewers to stay for the next episode.

Otherwise, it’s just a waste of time which not helped by the fact the anime is full of list of predictable girls fitting in a harem setting- big boobs but shy, hotheaded lolita, the refined girl next door and so on. Unsurprisingly the hero is a complete bore despite attempts to give depth to him by the anime due to a lack of buildup and development which is crucial for first episode.

Once this series is over, it would likely be replaced by another generic anime in next season. No one will remember this show by middle of this year.

* – Moe is a Japanese term used in connection with manga or anime to describe something precious, usually (but not always) the ideal of youthful and innocent femininity (Google).

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New details on Ghost in the Shell Arise movie emerge

Happy 25th, Birthday Ghost in the Shell!
Happy 25th, Birthday Ghost in the Shell!

On the 25th anniversary of Ghost in the Shell franchise, a new TV series based on the Arise movies was announced their official site not too far back. The series is scheduled for a Spring 2015 release but we do not know if it will be a new original series or simply a broadcast of the OVA/OADs.

Besides that, the Ghost in the Shell movie is coming out in this Summer with the title – Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie. In terms of the timeline, it is set after the conclusion of 4th Arise movie. A mysterious, yet known collaboration with the upcoming Psycho-Pass movie was also announced.

Check out the film key visual below:

The key visual for the movie
The key visual for the movie

The director of the movie will be Kazuya Nomura (Robotics:Notes, Sengoku Basara Season Two), screenplay is still written by Tou Ubakata, with music composition by Cornelius (Ghost in the Shell: Arise, Appleseed: Ex Machina) and Production I.G. as the animation studio. The Chief Director and Anime Character Designer will be Kazuchika Kise (Ghost in the Shell: Arise, Tansuwarashi).

Most of the cast from Arise will be back to reprise their roles, most notably Maaya Sakamoto (Kara no Kyokai) as the Major, Kenchirou Matsuda as Batou and veteran Miyuki Sawashiro as Logicoma, ancestors of much beloved Tachikoma from Stand Alone Complex series.

We can barely wait.

Source: Official site

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Channing Tatum is waging his bet as Gambit

Can you see the Gambit in Tatum?

Gambit, the Cajun card-slinging mutant famous in X-Men universe is getting his own movie, starring Channing Tatum (GI Joe) in a new announcement by Fox Studios. We’re guessing the movie will hit on the 7th of October 2016 via actor’s Twitter that allegedly said “How do you say October 7, 2016 in Cajun?”

X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner already confirmed Channing Tatum’s involvement in the spin off movie way back in May 2014. The star is confirmed to be playing Gambit, famous for his gambling habits and special powers over kinetic energy.

In an E! Online article, the producer gushes, “Well, you know, he’s a rogue—Channing—he’s a rascal, just like Remy LeBeau [Gambit’s real name],” she continues “And he can handle the action—we all know that! And he’s got a really good heart.

He’ll be great for Gambit,” she said. “And he’s a Southerner, too! He’s not from New Orleans, but he is a Southerner and he understands that world.

Gambit appeared for the first time in cinema in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) portrayed by Taylor Kitsch.

Via E! Online
Image credit: Comicbookmovie

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Assassin’s Creed movie is on

The actor and the character
The actor and the character

It is on! Micheal Fassbender’s Assassin’s Creed movie is scheduled to hit cinemas on 21 December 2016. What’s more, there is a possibility that Tony Stark himself, aka Robert Downey Jr might appear in the movie not as cameo but as one of the important characters in the Assassin’s Creed flick. According to IGN he will reportedly be portraying Leonardo da Vinci, the famous Italian Renaissance Era inventor.

In a nutshell,  Fassbender will be Desmond Miles, who is a seemingly normal bartender but is kidnapped by a sinister corporation to be inserted into a hi-tech machine called “The Animus”. The machine allows its user to relive their ancestor’s lives via DNA memory, which in this case the company wants to use him to retrieve information on “powerful and dangerous artifacts.”

Fassbender said the Assassin’s Creed film will be respectful of the game but the same time, the actor also pointed out that “we also want to bring new elements to it and perhaps our own vision of things that already exist in the game.

Sadly the source for IGN’s report, MoviePlot has already been taken down which brings some doubts to whether or not Robert Downey Jr will actually appear in the video game based movie or not. So at this point, take it with a pinch of salt.

Nevertheless, fans of the game might be looking forward to the movie in 2016 especially with the movie sporting said actor is definitely icing on the cake.

Source: CinemaBlend

Image credit: Kdramastars

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