Fate/stay night Umbrella

With the onslaught of recent thunder storms we've been getting, you'll definitely need a good reliable umbrella. And while I've seen some pretty nifty ones like the awesome samurai sword that can even be worn over your shoulder, this one takes the cake. Or rather, this one takes the sword.

Movic presents a sword umbrella inspired from the series Fate/stay night. It's looks deceptively real - even when I first glanced at the picture, I couldn't tell it was an umbrella in it's closed form. The handle itself is quite detailed.

This Fate/stay night umbrella (with Avalon cover) will set you back 10,000 yen and is due out August 12th. Check out the official site (Japanese) for more views and details. [Source: Canned Dogs]


More Otakon 2010 Guest Announcements

Before you know it, Otakon 2010 will be here. On the American side joining Vic Mignogna and Maile Flanagan, are voice actress and producer Clarine Harp; voice actor Patrick Seitz; american actor, director, producer and writer Todd Haberkorn; and voice actress Amy Howard.

Check out their stats below:

Clarine Harp
This will be her first time attending. Clarine was first cast by FUNimation Entertainment in 2003 to give life to the character of Tweedledee in Kiddy Grade Since then, Clarine’s talents have been featured in a broad range of roles: Burst Angel, Akira Kurosawa's Samurai 7, Speed Grapher, Negima , Shin chan. Witchblade, and RIN ~Daughters of Mnemosyne~, Clarine can also be heard in El Cazador de la Bruja, Claymore, Jyu-Oh-Sei, Trinity Blood, Beck, Romeo x Juliet, Kaze no Stigma, Yu Yu Hakusho, Spiral, Fullmetal Alchemist, Case Closed, Evangelion 1.0, Hell Girl, Bamboo Blade, Aquarion, Desert Punk, Origin - Spirits of the Past, Mushi-Shi, Suzuka, Ouran High School Host Club, Ghost Hunt, Peach Girl, Sgt. Frog, One Piece, Save Me! Lollipop, Baki the Grappler and The Galaxy Railways. Out of the booth, Clarine spends her time producing DVDs for FUNimation, tending to her horde of rabbits and proudly spreading the gospel of sock knitting. She is also the inspiration behind the character Aubrey, a regular cast member on the popular web comic, Something Positive.

Patrick Seitz
This will be his second time attending. Patrick Seitz is a Los Angeles voiceover actor, script adapter and ADR director who has lent his efforts to over 100 anime and video game titles over the last few years—including Monster, the dub of which he feels exceedingly fortunate to have directed. With most of his resume occupying that odd point where zany, evil, and ethically ambiguous converge, Patrick’s roles include Grimmer in, Nekozawa in Ouran, Isshin Kurosaki in Bleach, George in Paradise Kiss, Hazel in Saiyuki Reload Gunlock, Dhaos in Tales of Phantasia, Raul in Ergo Proxy, Koshiro in Koi Kaze, Charles Beams in Eureka Seven, Lee Linho in ROD the TV, and Luke Valentine in Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate.

On the video game side of the ledger, you can hear him as Ragna the Bloodedge in BlazBlue, Scorpion and Deathstroke in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Arthas Menethil and Garrosh Hellscream in WoW: Wrath of the Lich King, Dracula in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, Judgment and The Dracula X Chronicles, Chopin in Eternal Sonata, and Radi Jaeger in Valkyria Chronicles. In addition to the voiceover work, Patrick has done script-adapting and/or ADR direction for Naruto, Blue Dragon, Honey & Clover, Hell Girl, Girls Bravo, Kamichu!, Tales of Phantasia, The Melody of Oblivion, Zegapain, Guardian of the Spirit and Rumiko Takahashi Anthology.

Todd Haberkorn
This is also Todd's appearance at Otakon. Haberkorn received his BFA in acting from Southern Methodist University and works professionally primarily in Texas and surrounding states as an actor, director, producer, and writer. As far as shows go, catch Todd's voice as lead roles in Sgt. Frog as Keroro, Suzuka as Yamato, Ghost Hunt as Naru, Claymore as Raki, Holic as Wataknuki, D. Gray Man as Allen Walker, Sands of Destruction as Kyrie, Soul Eater as Death the Kid, and will undoubtedly play more lead roles in the future. Among his supporting roles are Itsuki in Shuffle, Ichimoruken in Hell Girl, Firo in Baccano!, Kono in Darker Than Black, Hikaru in Ouran High School Host Club and Khoza in One Piece. When not doing voicework, Todd is a producer with his company, Out of the Office Productions. He also produces a weekly podcast with Leah Clark called Popcast Weekly (popcastweekly.com). Todd Haberkorn is currently a proud member of the anime community and continues to be its humble servant by way of English dubbing. Todd is represented by The Horne Agency.

Amy Howard Wilson
This is her third appearance at Otakon and her first since 2000. Born in 1955, Amy hails from Detroit, and was "bit by the acting bug" at the age of 15. A proud graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1975, Amy worked as a receptionist in a casting/talent payment agency; as a sales rep for a jingle composer; and in 1979, she was a contestant and winner on the “$20,000 Pyramid”. She has starred in the highly popular series “Star Blazers” as the role of Nova, as well as appearing in an episode of “The Irresponsible Captain Tylor OVA” as the voice of Miranda.

Otakon 2010 will be held July 30 – August 1 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland.


God of War Art Exhibition

Prepare to feast your eyes on the beautiful and exquisite artwork of God of War. If you are a fan of the video game series, then you know the stunning art , the dirt and blood and awesomeness of God of War.

This Saturday night, May 29th, the Gnomon Gallery will open its gates of Olympus for "The Art of God of War III." The opening reception will run from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Showcasing the dark brutal world of ancient Greece, this exhibit features the imaginative concept paintings and impressive 3D assets created for the hit Playstation 3 video game, God of War III, and provides an opportunity to meet the artists that make the world of Kratos come alive.
Artists include:
  • Cecil Kim
  • Andy Park
  • Jung Ho Park
  • Izzy
  • Patrick Murphy
  • Erik San Juan
  • Kevin Anderson
  • Katon Callaway
  • Tyler Breon
  • Peter Tumminello
  • Chris Sutton
  • Nate Stephens
  • Timo Pihlajamaki
  • Bryan Koszoru
  • Sukru Gilman
  • John Dobbie
  • Lewis Walden
  • Robert Taube
  • Ryan Peterson
  • Paul Coda
  • Shane Estanislao
  • Wade Mulhern
  • Mike Altamirano
  • John Palamarchuk
For more information, be sure to check out the gallery's site.

If you are fortunate enough to be in the Hollywood area, you won't want to miss this. (I'm really getting tired of these east coast woes...if anyone is going, please let me know. I'd love to get your insights and pictures).


Steins;Gate Kurisu Makise Kotobukiya Figure

My latest favorite title is Steins;Gate. It's great, and I've been disappointed to see that the title isn't widely known. It's tough finding the manga/visual novel and I've been anxiously waiting for the PC release of the game (initially released for the Xbox 360 back in October 2009). In the midst of writing my review of Steins;Gate and promoting this title, I came across a beautiful figure of the main heroine, Kurisu Makise.

As you will read soon enough, visually, Steins;Gate is stunning and I am happy to see that this figure does it justice. My eyes immediately jump and swoon over that spectacular base. This figure alone culminates what Kotobukiya can do. In 1/8 scale, Kurisu is perfectly represented down to the very last details of her clothing and to those mysterious eyes.

Retailed at 7,800 yen, preorders are now available at Hobby Search. Watch for Kurisu this September.


X JAPAN film World Premiere at Anime Central

With speculations surfacing this week - now confirmed, the infamous Yoshiki (from X JAPAN) will be making a video chat appearance at this weekend's Anime Central Rosemont, IL.

On Saturday, May 15th, during Anime Central's Masquerade intermission, the world premiere of the film "YOSHIKI history through X JAPAN" will be showcased and as an added bonus, Yoshiki himself will personally introduce the film via video chat. You'll want to make sure you arrive early for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

JAPAN will appear at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago from August 6 to August 8.


Life-Size Evangelion Bust Built Near Foot of Mt. Fuji

Japan's Fuji-Q HighLand amusement park, located near the foot of Mt. Fuji, has announced on Wednesday that it will open a new pavilion called "Evangelion: World - Life-Size EVA-01 Construction Project" on July 23. The pavilion will house the world's first life-size recreation of the scene where the Evangelion anime's main character Shinji Ikari encounters the Eva-01 unit for the first time. The recreation will have a mockup of the Evangelion unit from the bust up.

The pavilion will also have a life-size cockpit of an Evangelion unit (from where visitors can pay to have their photos taken), a life-size figure of the character Kaworu Nagisa, a video corner, a museum, a studio gallery for taking photographs, and a shop.

I don't know about you, but this is something I've always just dreamt of. I would love the privilege to see the life-size EVA-01 bust and replay Shinji's first encounter in my head. And the thought of even being next to a life-size cockpit has me giddy. Bring on the LCL!! With the wonderful monument-sized Gundams making several appearances, it's wonderful news to see that my favorite "robot" is getting the spotlight.

Check out the official website here. [Source: ANN]


UT x MGS: Peace Walker! Hideo Kojima @ UNIQLO in NY

KOJIMA ALERT! HIDEO KOJIMA ALERT! Must - get - to - NYC - June 11th . . .

The worlds of gaming and fashion collide as Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. announced a partnership with Japanese clothing retailer UNIQLO Co., Ltd. to produce an exclusive collection of limited edition t-shirts inspired by the upcoming game METAL GEAR SOLID: PEACE WALKER for the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system. This line is the latest from UNIQLO USA’s UT Project (UT is short for UNIQLO t-shirt), which consists of limited edition collections of t-shirts designed by renowned artists, designers, photographers, and musicians created to allow people to express themselves through fashion and wear what they love. The two companies had previously collaborated with a collection of METAL GEAR SOLID 4: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS t-shirts just prior to that game’s release in 2008.

“Our partnership with UNIQLO Co., Ltd. to create a limited edition t-shirt line for the highly anticipated upcoming release of METAL GEAR SOLID: PEACE WALKER will give fans and fashionistas the opportunity to showcase their adoration of the iconic Metal Gear franchise,” said Shinji Hirano, President of Konami Digital Entertainment Inc. “As a follow up to the 2008 limited edition t-shirt collaboration with the company for METAL GEAR SOLID 4: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS, we suspect the 2010 limited edition line will be a coveted and celebrated style, which is another reason why we are so thrilled to collaborate with them.”

The collection will feature 10 exclusive t-shirt designs displaying images and themes from the upcoming game, and will be available in all UNIQLO USA stores and online starting on June 11th, 2010. Each t-shirt will also come with a special code that, when entered, will give fans access to both the same t-shirt of purchase as well as a soldier in the game. With the new line, fans will once again be able to show their METAL GEAR SOLID love as they anxiously await the latest release in the best-selling franchise!

To celebrate the launch of this collection, Mr. Hideo Kojima – the man behind the highly-acclaimed METAL GEAR SOLID series – will be greeting fans and signing autographs at the UNIQLO USA’s Global Flagship store in New York City on June 11, 2010 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. Additionally, UNIQLO will be giving away prizes such as a Sony PSP entertainment pack bundle, collector’s edition software, copies of the Artbook, and coversheets of the game.

Check out NTT's site for more information.


Tokyopop to Tour U.S. for "America's Greatest Otaku"

The North American manga publisher Tokyopop will be touring the U.S. this summer (from July 1 through the end of August) to promote the company and film a reality show called "America's Greatest Otaku," in which Tokyopop CEO Stu Levy, Associate Producer Daisuke Kinouchi, and six interns will "search America for the #1 otaku."

According to Publishers Weekly, the Tokyopop Tour is "best described as the otaku version of MTV’s reality show, Road Rules. In this case a group of six otaku (or super fans of Japanese pop culture) will travel across the country in a bus with Tokyopop founder, CEO and COO Stuart Levy. The tour will stop at manga and anime conventions across the country and footage of the visits will be broadcast online." In the interview, Levy describes the Tokyopop Tour as "actually two things with one united purpose. It is an outreach program and also a reality show called 'America's Greatest Otaku.' It's purpose is to meet fans nationwide. "

The official Tokyopop Tour site can be found here. [Source: ANN and Publisher's Weekly]