Monday, December 24, 2007

Fortune Arterial

You all remember Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro Na, right? Terrible anime, pretty game? Well, you may have heard that AugustSoft's new game, Fortune Arterial, comes out on January 25th. Stick with me for a moment and I'll show you all about it.

Yoakena was based upon one interesting, original girl and a bunch of other stock characters. This one is too, although instead of a moon princess moving into your house, we have a vampire transferring into the classroom next to yours in this prestigious institute. She keeps asking to drink your blood, and it's getting kind of creepy. So why are you actually starting to like her?

Well, it could be because she's Sendou Erika, a beautiful, graceful, superintelligent main character. She also looks to be pretty original for a vampire. She's not drywall or angsty or some combination of the two; she actually smiles, laughs a lot, is very curious and makes friends easily. Her voice samples are energetic and fun. I was worried a bit about August coasting off the vampire wave, but they're doing something new with it, so that's all right.

The first thing I noticed is that one of the characters looks like a loli Feena. Look up there. Sorry to disappoint you, but they did not actually recycle Feena. Her name is Tougi Shiro, and apparently she's a fourth-year in school, even though she looks about fourteen at the most. (Yes, I know that's not loli, but I said at the most.) She's shy, doesn't say much, and is part of the student council, along with her siscon older brother. So yeah, not Feena. She is cute, though.

The other characters are pretty standard, too. There's Kuze Kiriha, the lonely, ethereal drywall classmate, whom, if you didn't speak Japanese, you might think was the real vampire; Yuuki Haruna, the childhood friend who's been dying to confess to a "mystery person" (yeah right), and Yuuki Kanade, Haruna's doting older sister. The game also has a high percentage of male school friends: siscon student council guy, Erika's older brother (voiced by a foreigner named Kevin Spicy, but has decent pronunciation), and your rebellious slacker friend Tsukasa.

The CGs are on par with Yoakena's. Sample CGs are also a good indication of how good the game is; the fewer percentage are hentai, the better the game's story, and vice versa. Only three HCGs here, about the same as Yoakena had. Overall, looks good.

Yeah, thought you might be interested in that. I think the game looks pretty, myself. If they animate it, it needs to be better than Cabbage Love.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Kanon dub: Thoughts.

Yes, The Anime Network (ADV's privately-owned digital cable network, in case you didn't know) has put out a preview of Kanon, which will premiere on the 28th. (The first DVD comes out on New Year's.) The scene they use for the commercial, available on their site, is from the first episode; Nayuki goes grocery shopping and Yuuichi gets dragged off by Ayu. Naturally, I felt compelled to review it.

Good. And bad.

Good objectively, or at least as objective as I can get with something like Kanon. The actors are obviously professional, and they seem to understand their characters well enough. They've also taken new directions with their characters, instead of copying the Japanese versions. Anyone that watches the dubs (yes, I know that's not most of you) will have no problem with it.

But the bad thing is also, well, the new directions. I love Kanon 2006 and I've seen it a million times. I even liked the original Kanon, styrofoam snow and all. This whole time, just as the rational side of my brain was praising the voice actors, the rest of me was wailing and clawing at the screen. "Why doesn't Nayuki sound slow and sweet? Why isn't Yuuichi sarcastic enough? WHERE'S HORIE YUI?" Suffice to say, with a show that gets you as emotionally invested as Kanon, you get used to the original and don't like change.

Of course, getting exact copies of the original voice actors would not only be impossible but counterproductive, so says the rational side of my brain. Then there's the rabid fan side. Good as the dub is, this is not the show to choose when you want to convert an avid sub-watcher.

Now I want taiyaki. Or ice cream. Preferably not "jam".