Month: May 2016

Fandom Of One: Obscure or Unknown Anime You Cherish

Snap Discussion is the weekly round table discussion on a topic relating to Japanese pop culture as selected by the almighty Snapodile. Each week the SnapThirty team will weigh in with their thoughts on that week’s topic all with the hopes of providing some interesting and perhaps even conflicting view points on the matter at hand. This week’s topic is Fandom Of One: Obscure or Unknown Anime You Cherish. For this topic we each looked at series that we cherish despite the fact that they are relatively unknown to the masses. Sometimes the greats can fall under the radar, here are some of our own personal experiences. Luke Halliday: This was more difficult of a topic then I had first imagined, the second I began scratching my brain for series that never really got the attention they truly deserved yet held a special place in my heart, many came to mind. Series like Crush Gear Turbo and Big O jumped into my mind immediately, both series I cherish still to this day. Crush Gear was …

Prepare To Take To The Streets Once Again With The Newly Announced Akiba’s Beat

It was in the year 2011 that the Japanese public first laid their eyes on the PlayStation Portable title Akiba’s Trip. This strange action title that relied heavily on a combat system based around stripping the clothes off of your enemies to submit them to the harsh rays of the sun took the country by storm, but due to it’s incredibly niche audience…this game was never released in the West. Jump to the year 2014; a follow up to the original game title Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed was released worldwide to the kind of reception that justified the original game never leaving the shores of Japan. Still, despite what many critics said about this game, it quickly became a cult classic. The game then got a re-release for the PlayStation 4, originally being on the PlayStation Vita, and it once again saw a resurgence, albeit a slight one. Acquire, the developers and Japanese publishers of the game, saw how popular this game series was in it’s home country and have now decided, in the …

Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War Of The Underworld – Review

Takashi Miike is arguably one of the most talented and successful Japanese film directors of all times, standing alongside greats like Sion Sono in the shadow of the legendary Akira Kurosawa. He has proven, time and time again, that he has essentially mastered the art of enthralling filmmaking, but more striking than that is his remarkable ability to adapt Video Games, Anime, and Manga of any kind into worthwhile films the likes of which there is no comparison, apart from perhaps Keishi Ohtomo’s Rurouni Kenshin live-action film trilogy, and Shusuke Kaneko’s 2006 Death Note film, all of which have been received incredibly well the world over. Between faithfully adapting Anime, Manga, and Video Games, Takashi Miike sticks to his filmmaking roots by writing and developing his own original concepts, unafraid to push the boundaries artistically, technologically, and creatively. One of his latest directorial masterpieces is the film Yakuza Apocalypse; an boggling cinematic experience written by Yoshitaka Yamaguchi who is a relatively new filmmaker who you may know was the driving force behind comedy film Samurai Cat, …

The Voice of the Crow Flies South – Hideo Ishikawa Announced as Guest for SMASH! 2016

Convention time draws ever nearer friendly friends, so it’s time to keep an ear to the ground and an eye on the sky as information starts a-flowin’ like some kind of detail sprouting river. Terrible similes aside, let’s talk about SMASH! for a little while shall we? Bringing anime and manga to Sydney in a show like format, this particular convention has made known one of the oh so special guests that will be appearing in this, the year 2016. Audiophiles and anime fans rejoice, ’cause Hideo Ishikawa is coming to town. With characters such as Itachi Uchiha, Jushiro Ukitake and Squall Leonhart rockin’ his voice, chances are you’ve probably heard Hideo Ishikawa sometime during your fictitious romps through pop culture. However, chances are somewhat slim that you’ve ever actually seen the man in person. Well, that could all change if you wander on over to SMASH!, you know, when it’s taking place. turn up beforehand and you might be a little disappointed. Nevertheless, this particular guest will very much be in attendance, a fact …

Walkin’ the Bushiroad Together – Madman Anime Festival 2016 Partner Announced

You’re an anime fan right? You like things that are related to said medium correct? Well then you’ve certainly heard about the upcoming Madman Anime Festival. however, what you may not know is that that particular festival is now partnered up with those loveable guys who bring card games to your very conventional doorstep…I mean, like, the doorstep of a convention, not your rather typical front door setup…moving on. As one might expect from a company focused on card games, Bushiroad will be bringing a card game tournament to the floor of the festival. More specifically, they will be bringing the Bushiroad World Championship 2016 Australia Regional Qualifier tournament to the floor. Whew, that one’s a mouthful isn’t it? Well do you know what else it is? A chance to show the country just how top tier your skills are in Cardfight!! Vanguard, Future Card Buddyfight and/or the two language versions of Weiss Schwarz (Japanese and English). Personally, I’d enter the Buddyfight portion, except my skills are terrible and there’s only so far a Dragon …

Fumihiko Sori Sheds More Light On Upcoming Fullmetal Alchemist Live-Action Film

We live in an odd age wherein which the Anime/Manga live-action film adaptation is something that appears quite a lot. Sure, It would have happened in the past a whole bunch as well, but I’m not living in the past, I’m living in the present, and soon I’ll be living in the future, but by that time I’ll just be calling it the present, and all I care about is that! While live-action films like Takashi Miike’s Ace Attorney and Keishi Ohtomo’s Rurouni Kenshin Trilogy are seen as some of the more faithful adaptation of their source material, the world seems to want to focus on the travesties like Dragon Ball: Evolution, and the duo of Attack On Titan live-action films. When it was announced that Fullmetal Alchemist was receiving it’s very own live-action adaptation, the internet exploded into an uproar the likes of which we havn’t seen since the last time a live-action adaptation was announced. Almost instantly, this film was written off as just another disappointment to add to the already long list …

Zilla Killer – Lost in Mistranslation Episode 66

Okay, so we all know that reboots are a bit of a sore topic for those who love the originals, that’s just a fact of life. However, seldom does a franchise bring back a failed characterisation in order to slam it into an Australian landmark and blow it up with laser beams. Farethewell Zilla, all the fish and Matthew Brodericks of the world couldn’t save you from Japan’s ire… -30-

RUMOUR: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders To Be Adapted Into A Live-Action Film

Let’s take a trip back in time, just for a moment, to the year 2012: Women-centric blog Cyzo Daily News reported on a rumour that saw Japanese Idol, Singer, Actor, and all around good looking guy Jun Matsumoto up for the role of Jotaro Kujo in the then-unconfirmed live-action film adaptation of Hirohiko Araki’s hit Manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders. This rumour didn’t necessarily gain any traction, with most JJBA-fans brushing it off as nothing more than how it was marketed; a rumour. Now let’s jump back to present day; it’s the year 2016, and this story revolving around the possible live-action Stardust Crusaders film has, once again, resurfaced. This time, much like the last, another actor has been highlighted as the possible number one candidate to take on the role of story crutch Jotaro Kujo, his name is Kento Yamazaki and, much like his predecessor, he is also known for being incredibly handsome…he’s also a pretty good actor, let’s not forget that. For the second time, this “news” has first been reported on Cyzo …

Total Recall – Ushio and Tora Episode 35 – Season’s Writings

As per the standard in shonen series, as well as any series that isn’t trying to make you leave with an overall feeling of dread and depression, a hero’s darkest moment always comes before their brightest. With Ushio having fallen in battle and the Beast Spear shattering into a whole bunch of tiny, sparkly pieces, things were not looking up for the forces of good. However, because of magic, emotions and all that fun stuff that makes the good guys good, Ushio and the spear that could, would and did persist through the ages are ready to take another swing at the horrifying amalgamation of evil that is currently razing Japan to the ground. Which is good…because of the whole razing Japan to the ground thing, that should really be stopped. Catching the tail end of Kirio’s tale of the Beast Spear, we are made aware that Mayuko, Mama Ushio, Jie Mei and that split in half mirror guy are up to speed with Tora’s past, saving Ushio a whole lot of time in the …

BabyMetal’s Metal Revolution

Hard rock infused with pop idol music isn’t exactly unheard of, but it’s never been done in the same way BabyMetal has done, as their brand of music has successfully stood out in an industry where nearly every music genre has become saturated with clones. For that reason alone BabyMetal deserves serious props for being a one of a kind Kawaii Metal band. Anyone listening to BabyMetal for the first time will most likely have been introduced to that one song, and I am of course talking about Gimme Chocolate!! There is certainly a shock value about it for sure, it’s a cutesy Pop Idol song with little kids backed by scary near-death metal music blaring in the background. Their synchronised dancing perfectly in synch with the relentless fury of the metal band. This particular song and music video has become the subject of far too many reaction videos on YouTube, with each reaction video being more annoying and unnatural than the last. That being said, Gimme Chocolate!! certainly succeeds at grabbing your attention, but it isn’t …

‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ Anime Reboot Announced for 20th Anniversary

Major news for fans of magical girl masterpiece Cardcaptor Sakura. It has been announced that as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the series, a brand new anime reboot has been green lit. No further information on the reboot was confirmed by Nakayoshi magazine, however one does have to ponder whether Madhouse studios will get to helm the project once again. Cardcaptor Sakura is a series that I personally hold very near and dear to my heart. Having watched it as a child, I was mad about Sakura, Kero and the Clow Cards. I am not really alone in feeling this way, the series has a special place in many Australian anime fans hearts with our own more faithful dubbed version airing in place of America’s butchered dub. Not only that but the series has garnered wild popularity across Asia and some parts of Europe and South America, making it a sure fire global phenomenon at the time. How will this new rebooted series shape up to the original is anyone’s guess, but I …

KARATE by BabyMetal is the Official Theme Song of NXT TakeOver: The End

I can’t believe I am typing this. Japanese kawai metal band, BabyMetal, is larger than life as it is, and they have silenced nay sayers and broken barriers in ways no one could have anticipated. I picked up their latest CD from JB Hi-Fi just the other day. There’s more I want to say, and believe or not I have a special article dedicated to BabyMetal in the works, but in the meantime here’s a piece of news that simply needs to be shared: A BabyMetal song is being used as the official theme for an American wrestling event, and it makes perfect sense. NXT TakeOver, which is the PPV series of WWE‘s NXT brand, has quickly become a must see event whenever it is held. So far there has yet to be a bad NXT TakeOver as each event has surpassed the last by leaps and bounds. We’ve written about NXT here at SnapThirty before, because after all, NXT is the only place where you can find three of the hottest Japanese wrestling stars: Hideo …

Capcom Reveals Mega Man’s Design For Upcoming Animated Series

It’s been quite a while since the last time we heard any type of news regarding this new Mega Man animated television series project, in fact, the last time we did hear from Capcom regarding it…it was to announce it’s existence, and that was quite some time ago. The series, to be written and spearheaded by Ben 10’s Man Of Action, was revealed only to then quickly fade into obscurity some time later resurfacing to reveal the very first visual from the series, and that time is now! Capcom, in conglomeration with Dentsu Entertainment USA and DHX Media, have revealed the design of the series’ protagonist Mega Man alongside some information about the series that, depending on who you are, may delight or infuriate you. This series, despite it’s title, will not be the same Mega Man you’ve known and loved since the 90s. The character you see above is not a robot called Rock that is made into Mega Man through excessive body augmentation for the sake of battling Doctor Wiley’s Robot Masters, he is …

Second Chancery: Pop Culture That Deserves a Second Look

Snap Discussion is the weekly round table discussion on a topic relating to Japanese pop culture as selected by the almighty Snapodile. Each week the SnapThirty team will weigh in with their thoughts on that week’s topic all with the hopes of providing some interesting and perhaps even conflicting view points on the matter at hand. This week’s topic is Second Chancery: Pop Culture That Deserves a Second Look. For this topic we each looked at instances where we originally rejected something in Japanese Pop Culture only to later come to appreciate it on a second go round. Sometimes things do deserve a second chance, here are some of our own personal experiences. Luke Halliday: My choice for series I am glad to have given a second chance is actually quite a more recent one, that being The Heroic Legend of Arslan also known as Arslan Senki. When I had first heard about the recent adaption of the legendary book series, I as excited to discover the involvement of Hiromu Arakawa of Fullmetal Alchemist fame. …

Psycho-Pass II: Complete Season Two – Review

Perhaps one of the most beloved science-fiction stories of our generation, Gen Urobuchi’s Psycho-Pass devastated audiences with it’s bleak vision of a technologically-flooded future ruled by a system that can determine the possibility of individuals committing crimes by reading their invisible brain waves. These individuals, be they criminally-minded or otherwise, are impartially judged by the Sibyl System, not focusing on age, race, background, or any of the issues we have found in modern times to sway the assessment of law enforcers in regard to individuals in their respective communities. It is a story, much like George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, that revolves around the issues which arise when a system of this kind is placed in a position to monitor masses of people on an individual basis. With realistic character development, and a mass of story layers to keep audiences interested, Psycho-Pass has been deemed an “instant classic“, being placed upon the same metaphorical shelf as films like Akira, and Anime series’ like Cowboy Bebop, and Fullmetal Alchemist as gateways into the medium. Unfortunately, for anything as …

Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel – PlayStation 4 Review

Anime and Manga has this certain social stigma that surrounds it: It’s seen as a format wherein which the strange, perverse, and incoherent way, that it is a medium for strange people that enjoy strange things. Those of us out there that have an educated view of the Japanese Pop Culture landscape know that this is the truth only for the minority, and that the general Anime/Manga audience finds themselves constantly looking for what is essentially the opposite of the stereotypical. I find it amusing that not many people outside of the now-booming Japanese pop culture fandom are aware of Visual Novels. Amusing not from a obnoxious standpoint, but simply because it is the Visual Novel platform that produces some of the most bizarre, offbeat, and outlandish storylines and characters, most of which, thanks to an odd level of popularity, are eventually adapted into Anime series’ which are enjoyed, to a decent extent, by those who only choose to stick to the animation-based medium. Marvelous, the video game development studio behind the Senran Kagura series of raunchy …

Fire Emblem: Fates – Why You Should Purchase All Paths

Intelligent Systems’ latest work of brilliance, Fire Emblem: Fates, has just been released across Australia and New Zealand, and fans living on the underside of the Earth could not be happier to finally get their hands on the game the rest of the world has been enjoying for quite some time now. Few retailers across our great country offered a special edition pack that featured both the Birthright and Conquest editions of the game accompanied by the third path Revelations, this limited edition pack was sold worldwide so chances are no matter where you’re reading from you’re well aware of this incredible release. I, being someone who mostly leaves things to the last minute, never pre-ordered the special edition triple pack, so upon the games release only a few days before the writing of this article I spent most of the morning ringing local retailers in the hopes that someone was silly enough NOT to pick up their pre-order copy. I am hopeful, if anything. Unfortunately I was unsuccessful in my quest, but this experience did …

Heart of Darkness – Ushio and Tora Episode 34 – Season’s Writings

Mystery is an alluring concept. If somethings exists in a form not entirely understood, people will endeavour to know the truth. Finally, after thirty four weeks, give or take a seasonal break, we have definitive answers as to the secrets that lie within our tiger striped deuteragonist. From Azafuse, to Nagatobimaru, we now know that our lovable tsundere yokai began life bearing neither of those names, rather, he was known as the Cursed Child and his name was Shagakusha. Okay, we’re finally here. The answer train has pulled into the station and we now know the horrible past that Tora was forced to endure. Having been born in what I assume is ancient Egypt, Shagakusha lived as a street urchin, scraping by through acts of thievery and violence. You see, on the day of his birth, a violent ball of energy feel to Earth and resulted in the deaths of all but baby Shagakusha. Naturally, it was the town’s consensus to shun him as a Cursed Child and turn their heads in the hope that he …

Multimedia Project Digimon Universe: Appli Monsters Revealed

It’s amazing to imagine that, in the palm of our hands, we each have the collected consciousness of the known world. Past and present both reside within these small mobile devices that each of us considers an absolute necessity to have in this day and age. Does it not fill you with awe as you look towards your iPhone or your Samsung or your Android and see it as a tool to aid in the constant expansion of your mind? Not only are there apps that allow you to access the World Wide Web, which in and of itself contains literally all known information, but there are ones that allow you to learn different languages, keep a record of your schedule, help you navigate to places unknown, predict the upcoming weather patterns; if there’s something you can conceive…there’s already an app for it, and it is a fact that is somehow both exciting and frightening! Bandai, Bandai Namco Entertainment, and Toei Animation have just revealed something wonderful; the next big step in the Digimon: Digital …

Tokyo Ghoul Volume Five – Review

Countless times in the past I’ve had conversations with other individuals regarding the vast difference between us humans and animals. For the longest time I felt as though I never had an educated-enough answer, or an intelligent-enough justification for my statement, but over the years I have come to understand certain small things about this interesting experience we call life that has allowed me to formulate answers to certain once-difficult questions that plagued me in my years as a young adult. What is a defining factor that truly separates humans from animals? One answer I feel as though I can accurately describe is an animal’s ability to assess situations and other animals within a split second, allowing them the opportunity to make break-neck decisions that could essentially mean the continuation of their life. Man kind does indeed feature a similar trait that, in more contemporary times, has been labelled “judging a book by it’s cover”, but I tend to believe it goes much deeper than that. It descends to an evolutionary level, the likes of …

Hideo Kojima Introduces The World To Company Mascot Ludens

Hideo Kojima is an eccentric man. This is something we all know. Another fact is that most of the bizarre men and women have something to offer in life, the likes of which we’ve most likely never seen before. Kojima’s Metal Gear series of highly popular video games revolutionised the world of console gaming as we know it today, and those games featured some a whole new level of ridiculousness. None the less, they were incredibly enjoyable, and worked wonders for the industry, allowing it to evolve in countless different ways. Now we’re all aware of the confusing war between Konami and Kojima that took place a fair while ago, so I’m not going to bother reiterating something everybody is very much aware of. Instead, I believe we must look towards the future, and it seems as though the truth of that future lies somewhere within Kojima Productions’ new company logo. Kojima Productions has today expanded on it’s already strange mythology by revealing a full-body render of it’s very own emblem. Named Ludens, this Halo-esque character …

Bandai Namco Entertainment Reveals Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2

You remember the last Dragon Ball Xenoverse video game, right? It was the one wherein which you were tasked with going back through the Dragon Ball timeline in order to alter events that had been altered by an evil force in an attempt to change history so that the good guys lost and the bad guys won. You were some sort of time cop that had to alter and altered past so that it was no longer altered. Yeah, you know which one I’m talking about. Well, as it turns out, you didn’t alter enough! Well done, rookie, you screwed up! I want your gun, your badge, and your time travelling device on my desk. NOW! We can’t have big mistakes like this flying around our time precinct, the mayor of time is already up my arse because of the whole Back To The Future debacle, and now I’ve got to deal with this?! Bandai Namco Entertainment recently featured a timer on a new website created specifically to house said timer which was counting down to …

Australian Retailer EB Games To Premiere The Legend Of Zelda Trading Card Game

Most big franchises have their own TCG: MegaMan, Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z, Yo-Kai Watch, each of these fan-favorite franchises has their very own collectable Trading Card Game. The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess did feature it’s own Trading Card Game, but unfortunately it’s run was only short-lived. Excitingly, especially for those of you out there who are fans of the video game series, there’s going to be a new The Legend Of Zelda Trading Card Game that will feature more than just the contents of a single game: Revealed through Australian retailer EB Games’ online store; The Legend Of Zelda TCG will hit shelves on the 30th of June and will be sold in three different booster designs; one portraying Link, the other portraying Zelda, and the third portraying Ganondorf. EB Games has also listed a special edition Trading Cards Value Box which will contain four random booster pack, one random decal/tattoo, a poster, and one of three random metallic pins. This Trading Card Game, which was first announced at the last New York Comic Con, …

Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma) Volume Ten – Review

Few characteristics make a Shonen Manga likeable. It is these same characteristics that also set the sub-genre apart from all others. For the most part, a Shonen story must feature a character cast of eccentric but relatable personalities, each one incomparable to the last. As a part of this “roster”, the protagonist will be left with the burden of having to carry the rest through the bulk of the series’ story. This is a Shonen staple, and a weight-baring facet that will never change. This isn’t always for the worst though, in fact, a story relying entirely on the metaphorical strength of it’s hero can often work out for the better, that is…if the Manga has a protagonist like Soma Yukihira. It’s the last quarterfinal match of the Fall Classic. Takumi Aldini, looking for another chance to challenge Soma, faces off against the smug-looking Subaru Mimasaka. What’s making him so confident? The truth—and the dish he prepares—sends the entire auditorium into an uproar! Let the shokugeki begin! – VIZ Media Food Wars! isn’t unlike it’s …

Busting Up Walls, Spinning On Poles – UPPERS’ New Previews Showoff Gameplay Mechanics

Have you ever felt lonely in a crowd? Well I know that feeling because, for me, it’s a constant. Why though? Is it because I cannot preserve worthwhile relationships with friends, family, or lovers? Is it because I feel as though I am the only individual left in this world full of carbon copies? Is it because I was stranded on a deserted island for a span of eight years and have still yet to get over my time there? No! That’s all wrong! Why would you even assume that! I feel utter loneliness because it seems as though I’m the only one really excited for Marvelous’ upcoming brawler title UPPERS. For a while there, it seemed as though this game was on the edge of being cancelled. From having new trailers released every couple of weeks, it went to not hearing about it for quite some time…and then the indefinite delay period came about. It was almost an utter tragedy for those of you out there like me who enjoy some juvenile delinquent action …

Yo-Kai Watch 2 Heads To North America This Semptember

When you co-run a website dedicated to Japanese Pop Culture, you tend to be somewhat ahead of the curve when it comes to localised releases of video games that have, for all intents and purposes, been released for quite some time. Prior to the first Yo-Kai Watch game being made available in the West, us here at SnapThirty were already very much into the game’s sequel which, thanks to Nintendo who released this information today, will be making it’s way to North America on the 30th of September with a yet undisclosed release elsewhere to come sometime after that.  Yo-Kai Watch 2 will hit local shores alongside the second Anime season which should, once again, air on Disney X D much like that of the prior season. Reminiscent of Pokemon, the sequel will come in two different versions; Boney Spirits, and Fleshy Souls. Each of the different versions will come with over one hundred new Yo-Kai to befriend, with certain Yo-Kai only being available on one of two of the different versions. Hasbro, already having …

The Original Was Better: Anime That Didn’t Need a Reboot or Sequel

Snap Discussion is the weekly round table discussion on a topic relating to Japanese pop culture as selected by the almighty Snapodile. Each week the SnapThirty team will weigh in with their thoughts on that week’s topic all with the hopes of providing some interesting and perhaps even conflicting view points on the matter at hand. This week’s topic is The Original Was Better: Anime That Didn’t Need a Reboot or Sequel. For this topic we each looked at series that were better off ‘one and done’ rather than being remade or given the sequel treatment. After all, you don’t always strike gold twice and these are some times where anime should’ve known better.   Luke Halliday: There are a lot of cases where a fantastic anime series evolved into a ‘franchise’ when it probably shouldn’t have, but one that sits very fresh in my mind is none of than Eureka Seven, which holds a place in my heart as one of the all time best. Now if you have ever watched Eureka Seven you’d …

MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune vs Zombies – Review

According to the wonderful world of anime, high school is a magical time. Chock full of friendship, hardship and personal growth, actually going to class is a complete non-issue. Hell, if it weren’t for the fact that school buildings offer the best locations around to eat lunch and stare contemplatively into the expansive abyss of introspection, I don’t think anyone would even make the rushed, last minute run there. However, things begin to change once the inevitable, world concluding threat rears its ugly head. Aliens, demons, non-descript monsters, princesses, dimension hoppers, time travellers, different dimension hoppers…time travellers from a different time. You name it, it could throw your youth into shambles. That being said, what’s life without a little unexpected, unbelievable adventure? Real life, that’s what. So check your disbelief at the door and learn to embrace the insanity, you might not survive otherwise…or you just won’t have fun. You probably won’t die…sorry I lied. Neptunia. The series with more prefixes and syllable than you can throw a fictional dictionary at, a fictionary if you will. …

Rap is 4Kids – Lost in Mistranslation Episode 64

Yo hepcats, how’s it hanging? Are you digging those sweet rap beats being dropped before you settle in for a cool episode of 4Kids branded One Piece? No need to answer, because the answer is yes, obviously. But if that weren’t enough for y’all, how ’bout checkin’ out some of those dope new Pocket Monsters that just got dropped this week. They are most assuredly the jam. -30-

One More Time: Remembering Interstella 5555

I can’t explain exactly why I started doing this out of the blue, but lately I have been listening to a lot of Daft Punk‘s most popular album called Discovery… well not exactly. I’m not really listening to it per se, instead I have been watching its one of a kind visualisation called Interstella 555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. Daft Punk are a rather mysterious electronic pop duo, and while the genre of music isn’t really my cup of tea (I’m more of a hard rock guy) I couldn’t help but be mesmerised by this production. Discovery itself was a concept album and Daft Punk, along with the legendary Toei Animation studio, turned their album into an anime feature that is Interstella 555. Each song was transformed into an episode, sequentially and chronologically linked from first song to the last. Something like this had not been attempted before, and I don’t think it has ever been done again, which is why Interstella 555 is something worth remembering and revisiting. The visual production and story direction comes …

Hatred – Ushio and Tora Episode 33 – Season’s Writings

There is only so much something can bend before it breaks. Generally a statement used to refer to any number of inanimate objects, the phrase holds just as much truth when referring to people. Sure there are varying types of people, all with their own strengths and weaknesses, but there exists a breaking point for all. That one step too far. This week, we find Ushio’s. Pushed just that little bit extra, we come to see just what kind of torment and stress has been bubbling under the surface of our rash hero, what kind of pain lurks within a child forced to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders. It isn’t pretty… It was bound to happen. It had to happen. Given what we’ve seen during Ushio’s previous encounter with Hakumen no Mono, there is no way this fight could’ve begun without some strife. Personal strife I mean, I think we all expected some external negativity, what with Hakumen’s appetite for death and all. Jumping back into Mama Ushio’s protective sphere, we …

Akame Ga Kill! (Part One) – Review

Assassination. A term most commonly used for the clinical application of murder, for when a very specific target meets a very nondescript end. However, as illegal as this particular form of employment is, there exists an inherent allure in its mystery. Not to imply that anyone out their wishes to partake in said activity, merely that there are many fictional stories out there that delve into the darkness, that explain and attempt to understand it. After all, as evil as the world can be, each individual has a reason for what they do, a unique code that they follow to a personally logical conclusion. Thus, once said dogmas are known, we must all ask ourselves a question that has plagued morality since time immemorial; Can two wrongs make a right? Especially if said second wrong involves cursed swords, bestial transformations and a wicked set of armour. Welcome to the Capital, party people, centre of society and the most wonderful, amazing…hive of scum and villainy you’ve ever seen in your life. Okay, so mathematically speaking, a rather small …

Go GoLion! – Voltron Legendary Defender Full Trailer Revealed

It’s been a while now since we first heard about DreamWork’s reimagining of the old school series Voltron, during which time fans of the original have been  able to hypothesise how this new interpretation will hold up. Well, hypothesise no more (or at least less) as we now have definitive footage to showcase just what the heck this series is. And I kinda dig it. Having never seen the original, I honestly had no idea what to expect other than a big mech made up of five smaller, cat-like mechs. Which is pretty sweet. However, with the reveal of the main cast and the fact that Studio Mir, the animators behind The Legend of Korra, are helming the visuals, my interest is most certainly piqued. Not to mention that executive producers Joaquin Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery, along with writer Tim Hendrick, also worked together on said series and its predecessor The Last Airbender. So if you enjoyed the style of those series, Voltron may just be for you. Anywho, getting back to that whole main …

What We Know About Persona 5’s Three New Female Characters

About a week ago, ATLUS held a live-streaming event wherein which they played the first new Persona 5 trailer in quite some time. This new trailer, as one would imagine, came packed with a bunch of stuff that no-one (bar those who’ve worked on the game) has ever seen before, including three new characters, one of which who has already been titled “fan favorite”. These new ladies came and went with barely any explanation nor introduction, but it is only now that the latest issue of Famitsu magazine has been released that we are actually given some information on just who these girls are. While there isn’t really that much to delve into at this point in time, what the magazine has divulged is enough to get hearts racing, with the Persona-loving audience full well knowing that there’s much more to learn about these characters as the game nears it’s release. Futaba Sakura: This young lady is one you surely already know about. She was the new character revealed in the latest trailer that had, …

World Trigger Volume Nine – Review

Shonen Jump is a publication I feel as though I’ll follow until the very day I die. Despite the fact that Shueisha’s weekly issues are directed at young adults with a proclivity for action and friendship, I believe that the themes of Friendship, Effort, and Victory are three that can be appreciated by the young and old alike. Thanks to new Manga series’ like My Hero Academia, and Twin Star Exorcists – two contemporary Manga I feel as though stand above the rest – Shonen Jump is heading into a new era that, while nowhere near as ground-breaking as the Golden Age, will breath new life into the publication. One of the new Manga I feel as though stands with the likes of those I mentioned above is the one currently being reviewed; World Trigger. It is a series that started off it’s run in quite a weak position, with very few readers finding it as enjoyable as some of the others that begun alongside it, but regardless of that it has stuck to the …

Dawn of a New Era – Pokemon Sun and Moon Starters Revealed

It’s the night of Nintendo Direct, you’re sitting in front of your computer screen, twiddling your thumbs until that fateful moment when the words Sun and Moon splash across your screen. Sure you’ve seen those words before, but not like this. No, this time they have to do with Pokemon, with the franchise you’ve probably been following since before you knew what an anime was. But alas, information is scarce, so you take to the world wide web in hopes of learning more, anything you can get your hands on. You search and you search and just when you think you’ve stumbled upon an all new Pokemon, your hopes are dashed by one simple term; fake. We’ve all been there, all though for even the briefest of seconds that one person’s fan art was true, that it was the window into a whole new world of Pokemon when it was really some random person testing their Ken Sugimori homage style. Quite frankly, it sucks. but fear no longer fellow Trainers, for the day of revelation …

Terra Formars Volume Ten – Review

Mars is a planet 225 million kilometers away from Earth, and that is at it’s closest. It’s a planet so far away that it would take between 150 and 300 full days to reach it’s surface. Matt Damon was recently marooned on the red planet, and the mission was so arduous that it took a Childish Gambino to get him home to us. The point I’m trying to make is that Mars is quite a long way from Earth, and yet not even those currently inhabiting it cant seem to escape from the child-like politics on Earth. Terra Formars’ latest arc is one that revolves around China’s heel turn as they attempt to seize control of the mission so as to return to Earth the sole survivors accompanied by what would be the only source of research data from the exhibition. Having said data in the palm of their hands, being the only country in the world with it, would make China the superpower they have always wanted to be, so their Annex soldiers will …

Tokyo ESP: Complete Series – Review

The human brain is something unlike anything else in this world. Compared to that of a super computer but far more powerful, the cluster of flesh and cells we call the “Brain” has the ornate ability to control ever facet of the human body, large or small. From the feeling at your fingertips, to the beating of your heart, the brain is in charge of it all. It is single-handedly the most important feature of the body, and it has allowed us the opportunity to grow and evolve as the centuries have passed. It is also, still to this day, the subject of much investigation thanks solely to that of it’s mystery. For as much as we do know about the brain, there’s also much that we have yet to discover, and considering that it is the organ that has authority over the entire body, it both scares and excites those in charge of it’s exploration. For those of us out there, like myself, who enjoy indulging in the more whimsical side of reality; the …

We are Strangers of Sword City

Hello there, Stranger! Welcome to Sword City! Here at Snap Thirty we left no stone unturned in our coverage for Stranger of Sword City, the latest in the line of dungeon role playing shenanigans. This game is exactly what we’ve come to expect from the genre: pretty pictures and brutal enemies to battle. First and foremost, you definitely want to read our full review of the PlayStation Vita version. The Vita version was released digitally in AUS/NZ thanks to BandaiNamco. Next up, did you know that this game is also on the Xbox One but not on the PlayStation 4!? Stranger things have happened in the video game business. But it gets crazier… this game was on the Xbox 360 first! You can learn more about Xbox’s steamy relationship with Stranger of Sword City in our special piece covering the Xbox One version. Do you want to try your luck at winning a copy of this Vita RPG for yourself? Then check out our awesome giveaway! Last but not least… chime in on the Stranger of Sword City thread over at the …

Import Duty – Stranger of Sword City (Xbox One)

Stranger of Sword City is a first person dungeon crawler JRPG in similar vein to the countless other old school JRPGs that have really started to make their way out of their native country of Japan. Handheld platforms, the 3DS and Vita, have a growing library of these titles. Stranger of Sword City has made its way to Australia and all over the world as a Vita release, and for all intents and purposes most would feel like it was hand-crafted specifically as a another addition to Vita’s dungeon crawling RPG line-up. But as it turns out, Stranger of Sword City didn’t quite start out as a Vita game, let alone a game for a Japanese system, it in fact began as an Xbox 360 game of all things. Stranger of Sword City was released in limited quantities for the Xbox 360 in Japan only, which would shock most people considering Microsoft systems are commercial failures in the Land of the Rising Sun. The artwork and packaging was a thing of beauty, and I was …

Stranger of Sword City – Review (Vita)

Say what you want about the Vita’s presence (or lack thereof) in the current video game market but there is no denying that it is a treasure trove of unique games that you really won’t find anywhere else. When it all comes down to it, the Vita specialises in three genres: Visual Novels, Rhythm Games, and Japanese RPGS. If you’re into any or all of these genres, then the Vita was simply made for you. While there is usually very little in the way of physical releases, the Vita has simply embraced digital distribution for the better as many titles that would have been impossible to release and distribute physically can now easily make their way to the PlayStation store with minimum costs and fuss. Everyone wins really, small publishers can get games on the digital store without having to worry about retailers, and gamers get easy access to a larger library games they wouldn’t see on store shelves. When it comes to niche Japanese games in the aforementioned genres, digital distribution on the Vita is …

Your Wish, Their Command – Capcom Reveals Protoman Helmet Replica

In July of 2015, Capcom revealed to the world that they had opened up pre-orders for the item fans of Megaman have been waiting on all their lives; a full-scale replica helmet of the Blue Bomber himself. This expensive piece of merchandise was comfortably wearable, it was greatly detailed, and certain features would light up, making this the perfect replica of our hero’s helmet. Well, since then, the helmet has been released across the world, being put up for sale on Capcom’s official site, as well as in stores such as Australia’s own Zing; pop culture merchandise retailer. It’s price tag in the triple digits, nobody thought the helmet would sell as well as it did. So well, in fact, that Capcom had absolutely no choice but to begin working on a secondary replica helmet, this time one based on that of the original mentally-independent android; Protoman. It’s not often that Capcom will listen to the words of their audience, but seeing as the Megaman replica helmet made so much money, it was an easy …

Surface Tension – Ushio and Tora Episode 32 – Season’s Writings

Since the name Hakumen no Mono first passed ominously through our ears, a storm has been brewing, the likes of which the world has seen only in a forgotten history. Nevertheless, doom seeps ever closer as the forces of good lie in chaos, consumed by fear and infighting whilst evil plots. It will not be fun. However, as we are all too aware, there is a calm before any storm. Sure it won’t lessen the impact of what is to follow, but respite must be taken wherever it is available, lest it be too late. With the deep sea a callin’ and an overall lack of viable options, we begin our journey this week with Ushio and the faux-hostage crew of the Undine making a bee line straight for the most evil creature in all of existence. Laying eyes on the demonic fox-bird that plagues all our nightmares once more, Ushio is made all too aware that Hakumen no Mono is, like, really, really big…and scary…also evil. Though this has all been obvious since the get …

Stella Glow – Review

The JRPG genre comes in many shapes and sizes. It is a genre as rich with history as any and doesn’t seem to be losing any steam with age. The Nintendo 3DS has been home to quite a number of JRPGs and Stella Glow is one of the latest to join the ranks. Taking nods from popular franchises such as Disgaea and Fire Emblem, Stella Glow utilizes a strategy RPG style mixed with a rich story set in a high fantasy world of witchcraft. While it may not be as complex a title as those it takes inspiration from, Stella Glow proves to be a solid strategic JRPG title that sticks to the basics rather than breaking new ground. Following amnesiac Alto, Stella Glow is set within a world where music no longer exists due supposed calamities that songs have and may continue to cause. After his adoptive family is affected by an evil witch’s song of destruction, Alto sets out on a quest to save his adoptive mother and bring the witch who caused …

Persona 5’s Fourth Promotional Video Reminds Us Why We’re So Excited For It’s Release

There aren’t many things in life that compel me to get out of bed of a morning. Right now there’s one main thing that gives me the energy to go about my day, and it’s basically anything that has to do with ATLUS. Not my family, nor my friends, can instil within me the motivation to do anything productive with my days on Earth…but a new promotional video for ATLUS’ upcoming groundbreaker RPG Persona 5, now THAT’S worth getting up for! As many of you may already know; ATLUS recently held a live-streaming event wherein which they revealed a slew of new details regarding the highly-anticipated Persona 5. Not only was the world delivered a brand-new promotional video that introduces us to a couple new main characters and a whole bunch of unseen gameplay footage, but we also now have a solid release date for the game in Japan which is the 15th of September. Hopefully we’ll soon hear word of a localisation date, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. The West will be left …

Level-5 CEO teases new Inazuma Eleven game

  Remember Inazuma Eleven? That game series about kids playing soccer, alien invasions, time travel, dinosaur footballers and straight up attempted murder? Well Level-5 Games CEO Akihiro Hino has put out a couple tweets hinting at the potential return of the franchise that served as the company’s flag ship property for many years until they thought up a game about a kid with a watch that lets him see monsters. The series proved so popular in Japan it spawned countless anime series, manga adaptations and even box office blockbusters such as Inazuma Eleven the Movie: The Invasion of the Strongest Army of Ogres. The series has acheived a small success outside of Japan breaking big into the European market and also finding success in Australia and South America. As for the hints of a new installment in the Inazuma Eleven franchise, Hino comments that should a game be made it will take the series back to basics and not feature things such as time travel instead focusing on the hotblooded battle of soccer. Hino also …

Take A Look At The Cancelled ‘Akira’ Game for Sega Genesis

Ever wondered if there was a planned Sega Genesis video game adaptation of iconic anime film Akira that never quite made it to shelves? Well if you were one of those who did wonder something so obscure yet specific, then you are in luck because footage has leaked of a cancelled Akira game for the Sega Genesis. The footage that has made its way online comes from a grainy recording of gameplay dating back to 1994’s Consumer Electronics Show event (CES). While the footage showcases the Sega Genesis version of Akira, there was also plans for a Super Nintendo and Game Gear version as well. Unfortunately all plans were cancelled after several development staff left the project leaving it to be neglected and ultimately cancelled indefinitely. Have a gander at the Sega Genesis version in the video below. The game looks like it involved a lot of motorcycle riding and not a lot else but hey it was an Akira game! Let us know what you think in the comments section below. Source: Hardcore Gaming …

Samurai Flamenco Part 1 – Review

In the last few years there has been a rise in anime and manga based around the idea of heroes and villains. Be it series like Tiger and Bunny or recent examples such as My Hero Academia and One Punch Man, the popularity of superhero anime has definitely seen a resurgence. One series that has definitely made some strides as part of that resurgence but ultimately fell under the radar was Samurai Flamenco, a deconstruction of the superhero genre that while wildly engaging, simply doesn’t know when it has gone too far. Samurai Flamenco may very well be one of the most interesting takes on the superhero genre in some time but it also features one of the worst series derailing plot twists in modern anime. Following Hazama Matayoshi, the titular hero Samurai Flamenco, a rookie idol on the verge of breaking out into the big time. At night he partakes in the extra curricular activity of being the super hero Samurai Flamenco. He takes on petty crimes such as littering and umbrella theft, vowing …

Deep Wounds – Ushio and Tora Episode 31 – Season’s Writings

No matter what you do, there is always someone who will take it the wrong way. Be it because of a misinterpretation or a simple clash of ideals, it is impossible to convey your intentions to all. Unfortunately, in the world of Ushio and Tora, such ideology is usually the precursor to some kind of fight, probably one involving lightning. This being the case, former ally, turned minion of Hakumen, Nagare decides to bring all of his opinions and pent up rage crashing down right on the back of Ushio’s skull. Now Ushio is okay, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that Nagare probably won’t be leaving unscathed…if he leaves at all. So, remember that whole thing where the military got tricked by Hakumen no Mono and are planning to straight up bomb the ocean? Yeah, that’s still happening. Of course, when Ushio decides to visit their battleship and inform them of how dumb their plan is, they immediately believe him to be a minion of Hakumen and throw him…into a break room. …

GIVEAWAY: Stranger Of Sword City – PlayStation Vita

Every once in a while, us here at SnapThirty like to say thank you to all of you out there who continuously support the site by reading our articles, watching our videos, listening to our podcasts, and interacting with us on all forms of social media. Often, simply saying thank you is just not enough, so it is at times like this when we take the opportunity to give back to the SnapThirty community, whilst at the same time try to add to our extensive family! Our good friends at Bandai Namco Entertainment, in conjunction with NISA Europe, have given us a single digital copy of the newly-released Japanese Role-Playing Game, The Stranger Of Sword City, to give away to one of you lucky readers out there, and the way to enter is so dang easy! Before you jump in and enter, you first want to know about the game right? Of course you do, and who better to explain it than the publishers themselves, NISA Europe: About the story: Your flight crashes after passing …

Hands-On With Grand Kingdom – PlayStation 4 Closed Beta

Something I have always admired about the Japanese Video Game industry is it’s potential for change. Unlike that of the Western market, Japanese developers will take extreme risks with their video games in an attempt to revolutionise not only specific ways a genre can be handled, but the industry as a whole. These risks are ones that Western developers simply cannot take without first deeply contemplating the almost infinite number of outcomes, most of which negative. This is one of the few reasons behind the world’s odd view of Japan. The country, and it’s media, seems overtly strange, and I believe it is because of this creative freedom. There are no limitations on what they can develop, which mostly results in odd dating simulators that involve creatures NOT human, but from time to time a video game comes along that works as a catalyst for great change. Grand Kingdom is a Japanese alternative Role-Playing Game developed by the wondrous Spike Chunsoft that takes the highly popular genre and reconstructs it in ways I don’t believe I’ve …

Inafune Delivers – Mighty No. 9 To Launch Worldwide This June Without Further Delay

It has almost been three years since Keji Inafune announced the much-anticipated platformer Mighty No.9, and after indefinite delay periods we thought would never change, it has finally been announced to be getting a worldwide release a month from now in June. It has been revealed that Comcept have officially completed development of the game, and that it will be released across Asia and North America on the 21st of June, with the rest of the world to receive it on the 24th. Though it has been quite some time, and the hype train has slowed to an almost complete stop, many fans are glad that Keiji Inafune and his dedicated team have taken the time to polish the game as much as they possibly could have, as well as making it available on almost every console currently in circulation. Comcept have put a great deal of their time and effort into making Mighty No. 9 the worthwhile successor to that of Inafune’s original Blue Bomber Megaman. To announce that the game will soon be …

Sailor Moon R (Season Two) Part One – Review

When a series gains critical mass and becomes unimaginably popular with viewers the world over, chances are that it’s going to continue indefinitely regardless of story limitations or anything else that would, in any other case, cease it’s production. We’ve seen this countless times before with Shonen Jump series’ like Dragon Ball, Naruto, and Bleach, but it is not an issue that only effects series’ directed at young boys. Psycho-Pass was treated to this unfortunate elongating treatment, as well as Durarara!!, and many others. While the series’ continuation past the point of worthwhile storytelling does not take away from one’s enjoyment of it’s original run, it does do wonders in sullying the name what was originally seen as something great. Though, it depends on who you are, as many things do. For someone like myself, I enjoy to see something end on a high, rather than it continue only to fall into an odd mediocre obscurity, but others simply enjoy the idea that their favorite Anime, Manga, or Video Game is continuing. Sailor Moon is one …