Why the Kamen Rider Gaim Toy Line is So Grape

November 16, 2015


Being a Kamen Rider fan for many years, I’m no stranger to the fact that the franchise is just one big toy commercial. However, to succeed in its endeavor to sell toys, both the show and the toys need to be good in their own right and play off each other’s strengths and unique characteristics. On top of that, in order to keep the long-time fans buying, innovations and improvements must be made to keep things fresh and updated.

In my opinion, the 2013/2014 Kamen Rider series, Kamen Rider Gaim, is a phenomenal show. Whether you love it or hate it, we can’t deny the fact that it took the series to new heights and took a concept as silly-sounding as Fruit Samurai and turned it into something serious, epic and mature – a series full of intrigue, twists and high-stakes that even non-Kamen Rider fans could enjoy. Hardly surprising, if you ask me, considering it was written by none other than Urobuchi Gen, famous for his other works including Saya no Uta, Psycho-Pass, Fate/Zero and Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Yes, that Urobuchi Gen.

However, I don’t think that the show’s success can solely account for the 390% increase in toy sales and a total revenue of 10 billion yen over the course of the series run. No. If you ask me, the toys had a part to play as well. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at various aspects of both the show and the toy line to see why it’s just so ingenious.

WARNING! There are spoilers for the show within this post! While there aren’t any plot spoilers, the various forms and abilities for a number of the Riders are discussed!

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Dynamic Change Shin Getter Robo Figure Photos!

November 1, 2015

Man, I just can’t get enough of this amazing figure! Even after my video review, I couldn’t stop playing around with it. Here are even more pictures I shot of the figure in each of the three modes!

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(Honors Thesis) Redefining and Recontextualizing Moe: A New Dimension to Sexualized Cuteness

October 27, 2015


After getting approval from my supervisor and head of department, I present to you my honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Japanese Studies at the National University of Singapore.

I decided upon the topic of moe for my research as it has been a very hot-button issue in anime fandom for quite some time. I hope my paper will give you a clearer understanding of the concept, why moe might be far more useful and essential to the otaku than you might have realized and why moe isn’t insidious and does not spell the death of anime. Also discussed are gender issues and virtual child pornography.


By adopting a cultural studies approach, this paper seeks to redefine and recontexualize moe. This paper argues that moe is used as a coping mechanism by the otaku to reclaim agency and remain connected in a more individualized society as opposed to a tool that legitimizes the subjugation of women in society and homogenizes anime. This is done through the possession of fictional characters via the creation of dôjinshi, attending events and going on pilgrimages to the real-life settings of their favorite manga and anime. In addition, because moe is an element of the kawaii art style, it is separate and distinct from the other elements of an anime, allowing creators to retain creative freedom while simultaneously catering to the otaku and appealing to a wider demographic. Instead of being exploited by producers, the kawaii art style facilitates the production of character merchandise that the otaku purchase and use to aid them in reclaiming agency and connecting with fictional characters and other otaku.

Continue to the full text after the jump. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to link to this post! (^o^)

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Super Robots are Cool

October 14, 2015


What is being an otaku about? It’s about the cool and the hot. Cool Robots and Hot Girls that is.

Hot. You get it? You see what I did there? Because hot is like to burn, which is moeru 燃える in Japanese, which is a homonym of moeru 萌える, to bud, which is where moe comes from? Yeah… I didn’t think so.

Anyway, here is a blog post featuring some random pictures I took of three different super robot figures that I bought over the past half-a-year that I never got round to posting. Namely, Gunbuster, GaoGaiGar and Aquarion. Enjoy.

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HeartCatch Precure! Novelization Chapter 1 – The Birth of Cure Moonlight

October 11, 2015


Ladies and gentlemen! I am finally finished with the translation of the very first chapter of the HeartCatch Precure! Novelization!

As a huge, huge fan of the HeartCatch Precure! series, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this novel when it was announced and I knew I just had to take a crack at translating it. I have to say that this was quite the experience for me. I have translated doujins, manga and fansubbed anime before, but this was the first time I’ve ever tried translating a novel. Also, I would have loved to have gotten this out faster, but this is a one-man project and I don’t have a digital copy to work with. So, please don’t be too harsh with me with regard to the formatting and stuff, because I know I still have a lot to learn. If you find any mistakes in grammar and stuff, don’t hesitate to inform me and I will update the document accordingly. For what it’s worth, I hope I did a good enough job. (^.^)

At this point in time, I’m not sure if I’ll be continuing with the next chapter as it ends on a great note (there are 5 chapters in total with end of the second chapter leading into the anime series). I guess I’ll wait for the responses or see if anyone else is going to pick it up. Do tell me how you enjoyed the story so far! I had a blast myself. It really allowed me to appreciate Yuri’s character in the main series so much more!

Be warned, as this first chapter is a prologue to the main series and revolves around Cure Moonlight, there will be spoilers for the show!

Click to read:

Chapter 1 – The Birth of Cure Moonlight

Edit 1: Changed Sabaak to Sabaaku.

Honors Thesis Submission – Dreams Do Come True

March 27, 2015


…and with that, I’ve come to the end of my University education. The years just flew by and I am still in shock at how fast it felt (in retrospect). People say that dreams don’t always come true and that sooner or later, you’ll have to face cold, hard and harsh reality.

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Actar’s Acquisitions – December 2014 and January 2015

February 18, 2015

December 14 1 Cropped

It’s 2015 and we can’t send our cars in for a hover conversion… Color me disappointed!

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