Now for my next review who this week is celebrating his 75th Birthday, he's cartoon royalty it's Bugs Bunny!
Bugs Bunny as a concept started in 1938 where a rabbit outwits Porky Pig in the cartoon short Porky's Hare Hunt. The concept was played around a bit until they came to the short Elmer's Candid Camera in 1940, which starred Elmer Fudd who was previously known as Egghead before hand and still going through several designs. From that short they settled on Bugs Bunny as a character with Tex Avery changing many characteristics to the ones we know today, with a voice a mix of a Brooklyn and Bronx accent along with trademark white gloves and personality of a Karmic Trickster. The cartoon was so successful that Bugs would not only become Warner Bros most successful show but also become the company mascot, in 1943 Bob Clampert would alter the design to the most recognized version that would last a whopping 67 years before a modern simpler design was used but the official Warner Bros mascot is still the iconic version. So how has he managed to remain such a great character?
Well Bugs Bunny says it best himself with this quote from Bob Clampert written in first person.
"Some people call me cocky and brash, but actually I am just self-assured. I'm nonchalant, imperturbable, contemplative. I play it cool, but I can get hot under the collar. And above all I'm a very 'aware' character. I'm well aware that I am appearing in an animated cartoon....And sometimes I chomp on my carrot for the same reason that a stand-up comic chomps on his cigar. It saves me from rushing from the last joke to the next one too fast. And I sometimes don't act, I react. And I always treat the contest with my pursuers as 'fun and games.' When momentarily I appear to be cornered or in dire danger and I scream, don't be consoined – it's actually a big put-on. Let's face it, Doc. I've read the script and I already know how it turns out."
That pretty much sums up Bugs Bunny, when minding his own business he's harmless, when he's dragged into a situation he fights back using the funniest way possible making a fool out of the ones who pursue him for food or simply get rid of him. Even now you can play a classic Bugs Bunny cartoon and you wouldn't believe it was from the 1940s. That's how you do timeless.
I have returned from hiatus after an incredible holiday and there is loads of stuff to upload and starting this run is Super Sonico!
First a lesson, Super Sonico is the official mascot of Nitroplus, a video game and software company specializing in visual novels; she was introduced at a music festival that Nitroplus sponsors, however Sonico is better seen as a fanservice idol whose figures, body pillows and well endowed mousepads make her a more mature alternative to Hatsune Miku, especially when you consider that Sonico is 18 years old and her music is more geared to J-Rock rather than synth pop, so what is this mascot doing in her own anime? Being herself in her day to day life.
Yeah that's pretty much 12 episodes of Super Sonico, a slice of life look at this busty idol.
Sonico is a University Student in Marine Biology, a part time Waitress in her Grandmother's restaurant, a part time Super Model with a demon masked manager and a Guitarist for her rock band First Astronomical Velocity; she's also slightly klutzy, seems to end up in fanservice clothes by force of nature, always wears headphones even in bed and showers, is a narcoleptic that needs four alarm clocks and five cats to wake up and the fact that she owns five cats qualifies her as a crazy cat lady, so why is she so much better than Hatsune Miku or even all the other idols Japan has animated over the past couple of decades?
Well Sonico is the most believable; the classic magical idol variation is nice and pure but is horribly boring and the reason why I don't review them much, while Hatsune Miku types are fun but seem too perfect and needs a good story to make said character interesting while the current idol shows have lots of idols in sparkly costumes but not much variation in personality; Sonico is better than all of those and is well backed up by a good dub voice as well. Everything she does is innocent, not always perfect, a lot of her faults are usually down to her busy lifestyle especially her sleeping problems, something I can relate heavily to and you can't help but love her for it.
The episodes are a mixed bag going from exceptional to down right terrible with no consistency, the best episodes are Sonico focused, the outright best episode is just Sonico traveling across Japan yet the worst ones tend to be the ones that go off genre with the weird zombie ship episode along with the stray cat episode with the downright worst episode being an annoying fake murder case.
There isn't much story to follow as even the last episode is just a 25 minute concert so you can take the episodes that are good and just watch them instead of the whole thing, but one thing that does shine the most is the 3D music videos at the end of each episode which are incredibly well made and as good as Vocaloid videos, which serves as Super Sonico's biggest selling point and going back to the best episode just being a tour of Japan, if Sonico just did those kinds of episodes it would be one of the best anime on TV, so there is room for a lot of great things in Super Sonico, you just need to look past the fan service to get there.
Final Verdict: Super Sonico is a great character to watch and the majority of the show is reliant on it making anything that takes away from that bad, stick to the Sonico focus episodes for best viewing, you won't lose much ignoring the bad episodes.
I'm old enough to have been through nearly the entirety of the gaming industry and back in my day, we learned our skills through the arcades.
Weston Grand Pier, nearest arcade to my location in the UK
To bring Arcades into the 21st Century, I have compiled an Achievement List, equaling to 1000G in the same style as X-Box. I'll also list my score at the end, so lets take a look. Bold are ones I've achieved.
50G - Complete an Arcade Game on one coin
50G - Tilt a Pinball Machine by Overclocking the Score
20G - Top an Arcade Leaderboard
40G - Complete the Hard Race Course on a Driving Game
15G - Play an Arcade Cabinet Older than you
20G - Win a Claw Game
20G - Win a Multiplayer Game
10G - Earn £10/$10 on a Coin Pusher
15G - Earn £15/$15 on Slots
30G - Win a Pinball Tournament
40G - Complete an Arcade Shooter
10G - Complete a song on Dance Dance Revolution
40G - Complete a song on Dance Dance Revolution on the Hardest Difficulty
25G - Play a Hundred different Arcade Titles
15G - Win at Air Hockey
10G - Play a Shooting Gallery
10G - Play a Punching Machine
10G - Play Basketball Hoops
10G - Play Skee Ball
30G - Play Pachinko
10G - Won enough tickets for a decent Prize
20G - Play Kentucky Derby
5G - Spent £100/$100 on Arcade Games
15G - Play five Namco Games
15G - Play five Taito Games
15G - Play five Midway Games
15G - Play five Sega Games
15G - Play five Atari Games
20G - Played an Arcade Game using a Trackball
15G - Played a Gottlieb Pinball Machine
15G - Played a Williams Pinball Machine
20G - Played Joust
20G - Played Asteroids
20G - Played Centipede
20G - Played Tetris
20G - Played Defender
20G - Played Donkey Kong
20G - Played Pacman
20G - Played Galaga
20G - Played Space Invaders
20G - Played Pole Position
10G - Played Virtua Fighter
10G - Played Outrun (Classic)
10G - Played Space Harrier
10G - Played Super Hang-On
10G - Played Tumble Pop
10G - Played Puzzle Bobble
10G - Played Afterburner
10G - Played Sega Rally
10G - Played Daytona USA
10G - Played Time Crisis
10G - Played House of the Dead
10G - Played Final Fight
10G - Played Street Fighter II
10G - Played Simpsons Arcade
10G - Played X-Men Arcade
10G - Played Alpine Ski
10G - Played Table Stick Hockey
Update: 1st Expansion Pack Achievements
10G - Played Gauntlet
20G - Played a TriForce Arcade Game (Namco - Sega - Nintendo)
10G - Played a Free-to-Play Game
30G - Completed a Co-op Shooter
10G - Played Whack-A-Mole
20G - Won a Race using a Photo of Yourself on any Photo Arcade Feature
50G - Scored a 1000 Points on Pac-Man Multi Puck Air Hockey
My Score: 920G
Take the Arcade challenge and see how you match up.
It has been brought to my attention that this series is going to be remade or at least the creator is thinking about it.
From the interviews I've read online, there's a lot that can go wrong with a remake of a show like the Raccoons but there are ways that it can go right, so this tribute list will examine the Do's and Don't's of remakes for this show and examples of others that got it right or wrong.
Don't Rely on CGI as a First Choice
The most popular cartoons at the moment don't actually use it and even returning franchises like Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry have managed to avoid it but shows like Garfield have a hard time grabbing an audience when that went to CGI because it lacks the slapstick that the original show had, only a non dialogue cartoon like Wil.E Coyote & Road Runner can pull this off successfully.
Do Keep the Formula that Made the Original Famous
It's not difficult to keep formulas for cartoons, heck if Scooby Doo can keep going with their formula then what's to say other cartoons can't. The Raccoons wouldn't work without the insert songs or it's main theme.
Don't Rely too much on Modern Technology
If you remade something that today hasn't aged well then you probably should leave it alone, Jem and the Holograms made the fatal mistake of jumping on the social media bandwagon to plug their live action reboot movie, which has turned a cheesy yet charming 80s cartoon into another horrific Nickelodeon style live action tween movie.
Do Pick a Vocal Cast that can Bring back the Characters Properly
A sad reality about cartoons is that while they live as long as they're remembered, their voice actors won't, they are still human and will have to depart this world eventually; a sad truth particularly with Raccoons is most of their main voice cast have passed away. To better explain what I mean. Mickey Mouse has had 10 Voice Actors since his creation and no one has ever questioned the quality of his voice, so voice acting isn't an issue.
Don't Dramatically Change Character Designs or Change their Gender just Because Some Network Told you so
My biggest complaint about the remake of Thunderbirds and what I'm reading about the Danger Mouse remake as well is the dramatic change in certain characters. When you make a character for any TV show it should remain in that form for it's existence. Art Direction for characters is subjective and reasonable but turning a character who was previously male into female like Lieutenant Green in Captain Scarlet or changing an iconic looking character into something unrecognizable like turning Yogi Bear into an early 90s teenager is not right.
Do Fix the bits that were Broken with the Original
Fans are easily narked off about changes to their precious cartoons but there are some things that everyone will agree with. Try telling me these ideas were bad?
Thundercats Remake: Snarf doesn't talk.
Modern Scooby Doo: Scrappy Doo doesn't exist in Canon.
My Little Pony: It's not Generation 3.
Small examples but you can see my point.
Don't Let a New Character Take the Lead
Optimus Prime should always lead the Transformers not Bumblebee. Scooby Doo is called Scooby Doo not the lets watch an awkward relationship between Fred and Daphne Show. Tom & Jerry is about a cat and mouse fighting each other, not a supporting player to a character that no one cares about. You can see where I'm going with this, no more needs to be said.
Do Pay Tributes to the Original Source Material
You'll be doing yourself and your original fans so many favors that you'll quickly forget that it's a remake.
Don't Insult the Fans of the Original by Creating a New Product from the Old
Jem and the Holograms example again, there's nothing in that live action film that has anything whatsoever to do with the original, it shouldn't even be allowed the tagline Holograms. Micheal Bay Ninja Turtles and All Female Ghostbusters springs to mind as well.
Do Keep the Iconic Theme Songs, if you can't, Make a New Iconic Theme Song
Fans will always identify a cartoon by it's iconic theme and keeping the theme song is essential for that, if it cannot be done due to copyright or some rubbish like that, then make something that does the same job.
Don't Ever, Ever Remake Anything that Hasn't had enough Spotlight to Justify a Return
The Kickstarter trend is notorious for this in bringing back something that hasn't seen the light of day for years and then some clever sod decides it should come back and actually remakes it which I guess is the story surrounding the Rainbow Brite reboot. I'm not sure how much in demand the Raccoons is in it's native Canada, I imagine a certain Canadian I know can answer that for me but for other examples like Rainbow Brite and Jem and the Holograms, there are so few people wanting those shows back that in actually doing it you've pretty much tripped before you've started. It's also not a good idea to remake something that hasn't been relevant for 20 years, five years is the longest any cartoon should wait for a reboot, it's still relevant and will be more accepted as some of the fans are still around and you have more options to tweak it. Wait too long and your stuck with a current Generation who'll spend more time asking their parents why they are so interested in their cartoons or why your so angry at something your kid clearly enjoys, or my favorite one, telling off your kid for liking a new version of a cartoon you enjoyed. Yes that really happens.
So you probably have some clear understanding of why the Raccoons reboot doesn't work and why certain other shows do or don't work.
OVA is a strange system, you are essentially putting a lot of effort into a creation that may not get a full series by the end of it. There have been shows that have been criminally dropped that deserved more while there are others that you just look at and say "Yeah that really sucked" but you also get the unexplainable like today's review Jungle De Ikou.
Natsumi Rokudo is a normal student until she receives a gift from her father when he returned from New Guinea. This statue that she receives is the prison of the demon Ongo; to combat the possibility of evil, a tribal man named Ahem bestows a necklace and a creepy dance that allows Natsumi to transform into the fertility goddess Mii which is described perfectly by another character as the "sleaziest transformation I've ever seen" and they are hundred percent correct as Mii's form is incredibly well endowed and very skimpy.
Now there are two ways of reviewing this series.
1. The comedy at least pokes fun at itself and knows how ridiculous the plot is and how absurd Natsumi's form is.
Or 2. This is incredibly uncomfortable to watch.
I review this under the number 1 slot because it is just a comedy, it does poke fun at itself and at the very least it knows how bad it is. Now it's nothing new for anime to change a young girl into an adult as it was common practice to do that in old shoujo shows but at least their transformations featured as little discomfort as possible for the person transforming, when Natsumi goes through with the sequence she looks as though she's going through puberty and that's why I can see the point of view of the number 2 argument.
Dub is okay, nothing special.
Final Verdict: While it's obvious that it's supposed to be a comedy and an ecchi anime, you may not laugh that much nor would you think that breasts that size really suit the ecchiness of current shows. It's nothing more than a budget DVD release so at the very least it's cheap.