Sanrio, the creators of Hello Kitty, and SEGA, the creators of the fastest hedgehog alive, have decided to collaborate on an exciting series of new limited edition characters. This partnership was made to complement SEGA’s much awaited grand reopening of the SEGA Tokyo Joyopolis on July 14, 2012.
SEGA stated this collaboration will be going worldwide next summer.
As a web designer, I find myself analyzing nearly every website that I visit. One of the anime websites I visit weekly is One Piece Official. Every Saturday around 7:30 pm PST, a new episode of One Piece is released with English subtitles. While I’m not particularly excited about the advertisements I’m subjected to, I have always appreciated the availability of episodes in their video gallery.
This past week, One Piece Official launched a brand new website. At first glimpse, I’m a little underwhelmed. After looking a little deeper, I’d have to agree with all of their decisions for the redesign…
Graphically, they definitely toned things down a bit. I can appreciate this decision based purely on bandwidth issues that I’m sure the previous design encountered, but you can’t ignore the fact that they’ve lost a substantial amount of theme as well. Analyzing a bit further, they created a new focus on social media and pleasing the typical uninformed viewer a lot better. This will surely spike some traffic for them in the meanwhile. In the long term, however, content is king and they are pretty slow on becoming a respected authority website as far as One Piece goes. Currently, I can depend on Wikia and Wikipedia to provide waaaay more interesting information about the series. Personally, I believe the creators and distributors of any piece of media should always be the leading authority and content provider.
In conclusion, I’d have to say that they created a more effective homepage, created a new awareness campaign for the already dominant anime series, but neglected to remain focused on what matters most: content. I’d have been a lot more impressed if they just focused on posting the 100 missing subtitled episodes to their video gallery and some more in-depth character profiles and Universe explanation – but that’s just me.
How do you feel about the new redesign?
FUNimation has posted another awesome dubbed sizzle reel for the Straw Hat Crew’s leader, Monkey D. Luffy. This video, which runs 2:40 long, is the perfect plot setup for such an epic anime series. It quickly breaks down the motivations, backstory and ambitions of “Mugiwara no Luffy” without any spoilers to the main storyline.
This being my first time actually listening the English dub voices from FUNi, I have to say Colleen Clinkenbeard did a fantastic job capturing the Luffy’s essence within her performance.
More Straw Hat 101 coming soon!
Spring 2012 brought in an incredible list of new anime. Many of which, there is only time to read about them when you’re hard at work on your own anime. However, Shirokuma Cafe (or Polar Bear’s Cafe) is something that has definitely caught my eye. Here’s the plot summary.
“Panda, part of generation cupcake, is prodded by his mother to get a job, but he just wants to eat bamboo. While avoiding his mother’s ire he happens upon a cafe run by Polar Bear, who just so happens to be looking for a part-time employee.”
As seen in the attached trailer, Shirokuma Cafe actually incorporates realistically drawn animals such as polar bears, ant eaters, penguins and many more into a fantasy world where they coexist on the same social level as humans. The humor in Shirokuma Cafe is largely based around the irony that animals don’t exist in this environment typically and the mishaps that result from such a plot device. It’s no action anime by any means, but the situational humor could definitely keep me interested. I enjoy a good corny laugh.
That said, I am definitely intrigued by the Shirokuma Cafe world. Currently, you can view episodes 1-10 on CrunchyRoll.com. Of course, if the commercials bother you, consider getting a free trial and going on an anime watching spree! Memberships at crunchy roll run $6.95 a month.
Be on the lookout for more reviews coming soon, as I plan on throwing a little spare time at this show and figuring out what it’s all about.
FUNimation just released a cool backstory sizzle reel featuring Straw Hat Crew’s 2nd in command, Roronoa Zoro. This video, dubbed in English, will inform the uninformed about the motivation and relationships of the 3-sword wielding bounty hunter from the beginning of the show. There is some relevant backstory from Season 1 explained in the video, but no large plot spoilers. Enjoy!
Each week, The NY Times takes its wonderful statistic database and compiles the top sellers for Manga sold in North America. Here’s the ranks for the for the week ending May 26, 2012.
- SAILOR MOON, VOL. 5, by Naoko Takeuchi.
- NARUTO, VOL. 56, by Masashi Kishimoto
- BLACK BUTLER, VOL. 9, by Yana Toboso
- DURARARA!!, VOL. 2, by Ryohgo Narita
- NARUTO, VOL. 55, by Masashi Kishimoto
- ONE PIECE, VOL. 62, by Eiichiro Oda
- DURARARA!!, VOL. 1, by Ryohgo Narita
- BLUE EXORCIST, VOL. 1, by Kazue Kato
- NEGIMA! MAGISTER NEGI MAGI, VOL. 34, by Ken Akamatsu
- POKEMON BLACK AND WHITE, VOL. 7
And you thought Sailor Moon and Pokemon were going to be dying fads years ago… shows how much you know. Unless, of course, you were one of the people that helped put them on the list in the first place. *Vegeta’s Voice* That would make you a… no, it’s not possible… could you be a SUPER SAIYAN?
Another exciting development for the One Piece: Pirate Warriors game. It’s scheduled for debut in North America in November 2012 and will be released exclusively on the Sony Playstation 3. Sorry Xbox and Wii owners, you’ll have to wait your turn! This is really one of the most exciting smash-em-up video game trailers I’ve seen based on an anime yet. Zoro and Brook’s melee attacks are literally to die for! Do you think this new installation will be a game-changer for anime video games?
Judge for yourself!
Picked up a delicious box of One Piece themed Glico Giant Chocolate Pocky recently. This collector’s item comes with an original board game that features all of the characters from the Straw Hat Crew as playing pieces: Zoro, Luffy, Nami, Sanji, Usopp, Robin, Chopper, Franky, and Brook.
Unfortunately, the entire board game is in Japanese. Our translators are on the case so that we can figure out how to play this darn game at the company picnic.