How to Watch Anime Cheaply in South Africa I briefly touched on where you might be able to buy anime. So in this post I would like to share what places I know of that sells anime and/or manga.
First off we have the well known AnimeWorx which is not only an online store but also have three brick and mortar stores where you can browse through the various products. The Randburg store is located at Entrance 2, Shop G21 Brightwater Commons, Randburg, Johannesburg. The Centurion branch can be found at Shop 45 Eldoraigne Shopping Centre, Centurion, Pretoria. And the Glenvista branch at Shop U22b Glenvista Shopping Centre, Biggersberg Road, Glenvista.
A few online only stores that sell both Anime and Manga are Loot, Kalahari and Takealot.
Another physical store that sells Anime goods are GadgetTime. They can be found at Shop LL098, Tygervalley Centre, Cape Town and Shop 90, Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Cape Town.
And lastly we have Reader's Den a well known store in Cape Town, that mostly focuses on comics. But they also sell manga. They can be found at Shop G10, Stadium on Main, Main Road, Claremont, Cape Town.
I'm probably missing a few stores. So this is where I ask for you to let me know in the comment section of any other stores that sell anime/manga or related goods. So that we can have a comprehensive list of all the places in South Africa.
Friday, 29 August 2014
Friday, 22 August 2014
Thursday, 21 August 2014
Synopsis and Plot
The series begins in U.C. 0001, at the very beginning of human space colonization, when a space colony called Laplace is destroyed during a ceremony hosted by the Federation's Prime Minister ushering in the Universal Century dating system. The main story takes place in UC 0096, sixteen years after the end of the One Year War, three years after the events of Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, and 27 years before Mobile Suit Gundam F91.
The story revolves around Banagher Links, a seemingly normal boy living and going to school in the space colonies. His life changes one day when he meets a girl named Audrey Burne, as the encounter brings him into contact with a new Gundam and its connections to an item called "Laplace's Box."
Even for newcomers to the Gundam franchise story elements in Gundam Unicorn are explained with enough detail to make them at home in the Universal Century metaverse. Story progression was also well paced and there were no obvious plot holes.
Sunrise did a fantastic job with the animation on Gundam Unicorn. There was no drop in quality throughout the OVA, with really high production values all round. The use of the traditional character design and artwork was something I really enjoyed, and actually kind of prefer over the design used in Gundam 00.
Audio wise Gundam Unicorn was an aural delight! I had the joy of watching Gundam Unicorn on Bluray with the full 5.1 audio soundtrack. Which really bumped the immersion levels up considerably. Each OVA also featured a different ending song which was a nice touch.
Sawano Hiroyuki of Attack on Titan and Aldnoah Zero fame did the soundtrack for Gundam Unicorn and once again he blew me away with his musical talents. The soundtrack for Gundam Unicorn really amps up the mood in the anime with it's use of orchestral scores.
Strong characters on both sides of a conflict will always be a Gundam strongpoint, and Gundam Unicorn didn't fail in this respect. From our protagonist Banagher Links a young student thrust into the conflict when he meets Audrey Burne, whose character name and design does feel a lot similar to a certain Audrey Hepburn. Banagher as a mecha anime protagonist is one of the better ones. He isn't overly emotional like other typical mecha pilots, and he does carve himself out as one of the more memorable pilots in the franchise.
Audrey Burne is the pseudonym used by Mineva Lao Zabi, the princess of Zeon. Even though she comes across as a strong noble princess, she hides a lonely girl starving for affection. She also had appearances in the Original mobile suit Gundam as well as Zeta Gundam.
Gundam Unicorn also features Full Frontal, the man known as the second coming of Char. He is a bit of an enigma throughout the series and the truth about him is only revealed later on. Though his ideologies are quite a bit different than that of the original Char.
In conclusion Gundam Unicorn is a welcome addition for any Gundam franchise fan. And also a good entry for people new to the main Gundam universe. A Combination of stunning visuals and audio. Added to a realistic cast with a compelling story line that keeps you wanting more. Makes for an unforgettable experience. The only possible downside to it as that some people might feel compelled to catch up on what happens before Unicorn. But in a franchise spanning over 35 years that is a daunting task to take on.
I give Gundam Unicorn an 8/10 and highly suggest any Gundam and Mecha fans to watch it.
Monday, 18 August 2014
Both the nVidia GTX750Ti and the AMD R7 260X below offer similar performance on the same graphical settings on games like Metro Last Light and Battlefield 4. The purpose of this post isn't to decide which is best, but rather to share what both options may cost you. What I like about the GTX750Ti is that it offers great performance for relatively low power consumption, so you don't need a Large PSU for it, which does help quite a bit as Power Supplies can be quite expensive. Possible options you could look at for the GTX750Ti are the MSI nVidia GeForce GTX750 Ti Twin Frozr OC, the EVGA GeForce GTX 750Ti FTW w/ACX Cooling and the Gigabyte Nvidia GTx 750Ti Oc Black Edition
AMD R7 260X
While the AMD R7 260X offers similar performace to the nVidia GTX750Ti it must be noted that it can be bought for a few hundred rand less than the GTX750Ti. Thought it does require a bit more power. Possible options for the AMD R7 260X are the Gigabyte AMD Radeon R7 260X and the Asus AMD Radeon R7 260X DirectCU II. It is also worth noting that Takealot has the Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 270 for under R2500.
Some other things to keep in mind is that both AMD and nVidia are planning to release new cards in the future, that may cause a price drop on the current cards. And there is always the option of buying a secondhand card from BidorBuy or Carbonite. PC International also sells Hardware Components at near wholesale pricing.
Friday, 15 August 2014
Monday, 11 August 2014
Join me as I take a journey back in time. And sharing the Top Anime from years past. This time we are looking at the shows from 2010. A Year which contained great shows like K-on!!, Strike Witches Season 2, Seitokai Yakuindomo and Ika Musume to name a few. Below I will list the top 5 anime from 2010.
Synopsis : The after-life world for youths having died in an unfair turn of events is centred around a large school campus...
Yuri, the leader of the Shinda Sekai Sensen (SSS), rebels against the god who destined her to have an unreasonable life. On the other hand, Tenshi nicknamed Angel, the chairperson of the student council for the world after death, harnesses supernatural powers against the SSS members.
What is this strange world in limbo, where no one ages or dies? Why do some students simply vanish? What role does the seemingly violent Angel play, and what are the SSS' goals? The recently deceased Otonashi Yuzuru is looking for the answers...
Genre: Action, Comedy, Contemporary Fantasy, Fantasy, Gunfights, Seinen, Tragedy
PV : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GQbdJb4rvE
Thoughts : I'm a fairly huge fan of Key Visual anime. like Clannad, Air TV, and Kanon. So I had high hopes for Angel Beats to begin with, And this show more than blew my expectations away. A Great cast of characters, really good animation by PA Works and the music was brilliant. Add all that to the hilarious comedy and some really sad scenes and you have a winner.
Synopsis : The legendary swordsmith Shikizaki Kiki made 1000 swords in his career. The more of these swords a state had, the greater the success in battle. When the Shogun emerged victorious, he collected 988 of the swords... but those were only the swordsmith's inferior practice pieces. For the final twelve swords were the pinnacle of his career. Each of them has powers so extraordinary, that one man wielding one of them could defeat a small army.
Shogunate strategist Togame has been ordered to recover all of them. She first hired a ninja... but the worth of the swords is so great the entire ninja clan defected the moment they recovered one. Then she hired a swordsman... though bound by honour, he felt he should keep the sword for himself.
Her last hope is Shichika, the seventh and last practitioner of the Kyotoryuu — the No Sword School. He and his sister live on an island cut off from civilization — so they have no need or use for money. His sword school does not use swords either — so he would not want the swords for himself.
So why should he help Togame?
"Because you will fall in love with me."
Genre : Action, Adventure, Angst, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Novel, Romance, Seinen, Swordplay, Tragedy
Thoughts : I'll be honest, initially I started watching Katanagatari with low expectations, as I was afraid it was just going to be another martial arts anime. I was wrong, so very wrong. And I'm glad I watched this. Katanagatari had some really awesome fighting scenes, interesting plot developments and character progression, and a HUGE twist at the end that left me feeling betrayed..but I still loved this show.
Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin
Synopsis : Around 10 years after World War II, a group of delinquents are sent to the Shounan Special Reform School. Upon arrival they meet Sakuragi Ryouta who becomes their guide to adulthood. Depending on each other to survive the brutal conditions at the facility they make a promise to one day all meet up on the outside.
Genre : Angst, Coming of Age, Delinquents, Manga, Seinen, Tragedy, Violence, World War II
PV : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SR-YFT2pW4 (This is an AMV as no Trailer could be found)
Thoughts : Rainbow is not for the faint hearted. This show is really dark and contains some really rough footage and content. Rainbow also has a great example of friendship in the dark times after the Second World War. It did a great job of describing the horrors of living in that time.
Synopsis : The romantic comedy centres on the student council head named Ayuzawa Misaki, who despises the mostly male, slovenly population at her school, which was once an all-boys school. However, Misaki's quite handsome schoolmate, Usui Takumi, just discovered her secret — that she works after school at a maid cafe.
Genre : Comedy, High School, Love Polygon, Maid, Manga, Romance, Shoujo, Sudden Girlfriend Appearance
Thoughts : I love shows with strong female leads, Kaichou wa Maid-sama! was no exception. This show is a must see for any comedy fan and could also be a good entry for newcomers to the shoujo genre.
Nodame Cantabile: Finale
Synopsis : The musical love-story continues between Noda Megumi, the talented yet distracted (almost childish) piano player, and Chiaki Shinichi, the prodigious, always focused on advancing forward, orchesta conductor. How love will finally find its way for these two. Will it be able to surpass the challenges ahead or will it die prematurely. Paris, the city of light, is the more accurate place to find out how this "love musical" will reach its finale.
Genre : Josei, Manga, Music, Romance
PV : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gW3Z3X4pyV8 (Opening as no PV was found)
Thoughts : The third and final season to the much loved Nodame Cantabile. If you love romance, comedy, classical music and great story telling in general. I highly suggest watching this from First Season to Last. You will thank me for it.
That concludes my List of Top Anime From 2010. Which shows from that year did you enjoy? Have You seen any of the shows listed here? I would love to hear your thoughts!
If you are interested on my Choices for the Years 2013, 2012 and 2011. Just click on any of those years to see them!
Wednesday, 6 August 2014
On my previous Gaming on a Budget Blog Post. I talked about Where to Start gaming with a tight budget. With tips on what to look out for and where to find some great deals. In this post I want to show you some Valid Value for Money options when it comes to Gaming Mice.
The Mouse is one of the most important aspects of PC gaming. And in many games can possibly make the difference between winning and losing. I still believe that the Logitech MX518 was one of the greatest gaming mice ever made. So if you find one for sale secondhand in good condition. Grab it in a heartbeat!
This post is not going to be a review of the products, but more just an indication of deals out there. I'm going to use South African websites but all these products should also be available on Amazon or eBay so if you are outside South African borders check out those two links!
Zalman ZM-M350 Combo
I first heard of Zalman back in early 2000s when I got into Overclocking, as they made some really awesome air cooling products back then. Zalman has since then spread into a wider range of products and with the Zalman ZM-M350 Combo, not only do you get a 4 button 2000dpi Optical Gaming Mouse. But also a ZM-MP500 Gaming Mouse Pad. And the best part? I found it for sale at well Under the R200 price tag so it's great value. You can find it at BidorBuy and Raru. You can also check out the Zalman M401R Gaming Mouse and the Zalman GM3 Laser Gaming Mouse.
Corsair Raptor LM3
So there you go, you don't need to spend in excess of R750 for a Gaming Mouse, but the more expensive mice usually have the higher price tag for a reason. If you know of any other Gaming Mouse bargains out there or have used any of these Gaming Mice before. Let me know in the comment section below!
Monday, 4 August 2014
Japanese Government is cracking down on Anime and Manga Piracy sites. A Lot of Anime fans that use Fansubs as their sole source of Anime, mostly due to no cost. Are worried about where they will their Anime Fix from in future. Below is a short list of ways to watch Anime in a legal and fairly inexpensive manner. And these are viable options for South Africans too.
If you have a fair amount of bandwidth or an uncapped broadband service. You can stream your anime from a fair bit of websites, though a lot of streaming services have regional limitations so I didn't include them. Sites where you can find fresh new anime to stream are Crunchyroll and DAISUKI. VIKI also allows anime streaming, among the other content on their like Korean Drama's etc. but it's mostly older titles on their. These streaming sites have both free and premium accounts each with their own advantages. The Premium acounts are fairly inexpensive though.
Believe it or not but there is a good chance that your local Video Rental shop has some Anime in their catalog. Usually when I'm on holiday I sometimes browse through the local Video Rental shop and find some surprising stuff. Granted a lot of it is older shows. But let's be honest their is a ton of good classic anime out there.
Anime isn't a hot seller, especially in South Africa, so a lot of times you might just be surprised by what you can find in those bargain bins at DVD/CD stores. Online stores like Takealot and Kalahari also sometimes have big sales on DVD's I've been able to get quite a few bargains that way. Other places where you might also be able to find Anime is on BidorBuy as people sell New and Secondhand items on there. If you are looking for more Online Shopping links be sure to check out my Sidebar on the Right of this page. There is also a link to the Anime section of Amazon on the bottom of this page.
This is just a quick list of ways to get your Anime Fix legally. Lastly there is one or two Anime that are being shown on local television stations, notably on SABC 2 they air Naruto and apparently will soon start showing One Piece as well. Hope this list helps you in some way. Please share if you have other Legal ways of watching Anime in the comment section below!
Sunday, 3 August 2014
With the rumours of Studio Ghibli Closing down being cleared up as just them taking a "pause". I think it's time to take a Quick Look at the Most Memorable Studio Ghibli Movies. Many of us grew up with these movies, and hopefully many more people will still enjoy them for years to come. The Majority of the Movies listed below all had a deeper underlying message that is sometimes missed in the Anime of today.
1. Spirited Away
Synopsis : For the 10-year-old Chihiro and her family, a mysterious tunnel and haunted town located in everyday Japan lead to the Land of Spirits, inhabited by gods and monsters and ruled by the greedy witch Yubaaba. Chihiro's parents are transformed into pigs; to rescue them, she must surrender her name and serve in this world. Luckily she finds friends and allies, including the handsome but mysterious boy Haku. Initially sulky and listless, Chihiro (or Sen, as she is now called) finds inner strength and establishes an identity in this strange world. But can she win back her name and return home?
Genre : Fantasy, Magic, Mina, Parallel Universe
PV : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6az9wGfeSgM
Thoughts : Spirited Away was arguably One of Studio Ghibli's Greatest Movies ever made in their long existance. A touching Coming of Age tale filled with the typical Ghibli fantasy adventure story telling they were known for.
2. Princess Mononoke
Synopsis : While fighting to save his village from the attack of a demon-god Ashitaka comes in contact with it and is inflicted with a deadly curse. In his search for a cure he is forced to leave his village forever and journey to the forest inhabited by animal gods. There he finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and a village led by lady Eboshi.
Genre : Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Mina, Samurai
Thoughts : When I first watched Princess Mononoke I was a bit freaked out. But this was at a very young age. I later watched it again and finally I could appreciate it for the masterpiece it was.
3. Kiki`s Delivery Service
Synopsis : Kiki is thirteen years old, right at the age when a young witch in training is supposed to travel to another city and strike out for herself. It is a real test of responsibility and independence, and if Kiki can handle it for a year, she will be ready to undergo the rest of her education.
So, with only a little money, her pet cat/confidante Jiji, and her mother's broom, Kiki makes her way to a big city by the sea, where witches have not been seen for years and the demand for them is not exactly significant. Being resourceful, Kiki starts the kind of business most suitable for a witch who can fly on a broom: an airborne package delivery service. As her fledgling business becomes more and more successful, she meets various friends who each teach her about independence, inspiration, and what to do on days when both seem to vanish.
Genre : Adventure, Comedy, Coming of Age, Daily Life, Fantasy, Magic, Mina, Novel, Romance
Thoughts : I fell in love with this movie after watching it for the first time about 10 years ago. And I never get tired of watching it over and over again. If you haven't seen this heartwarming movie yet. Watch it!
4. Howl`s Moving Castle
Genre : Air Force, Demons, Fantasy, Magic, Mina, Novel, Romance
PV : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UibodUGoL4M
Thoughts : A Ghibli Movies list wouldn't be complete withough Howl's Moving Castle, a magical story of a seemingly normal girl being swept up in something far bigger than herself. A Hit even with non-anime lovers.
5. Grave of the Fireflies
Genre : Angst, Historical, Mina, Novel, Tragedy, Violence, World War II
PV : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxv9ghINEhs
Thoughts : Not for the Weak of Heart, Grave of the Fireflies is easily one of the most Depressing Anime Movies out there. And it did a great job of bringing the feelings of despair and utter sadness caused by War to the viewer. If there was a bucketlist of Sad Things To Watch this would be right up there with the best of them.
And that concludes my list of the Most Memorable Studio Ghibli Movies. I've seen almost all the Ghibli movies out there. I'm still missing a few, namely The Wind Rises and their final release. I for one am sad to see this great studio closing down. The last time the Anime Industry had such a big loss was with the death of Satoshi Kon in 2010. What Ghibli movies were your favourites?
Information was taken from Anidb.net
Friday, 1 August 2014
Join me as I take a journey back in time. And sharing the Top Anime from years past. This time we are looking at the shows from 2011, a Year I found to be quite great for Anime in general with some really outstanding Anime
that came out! If you are interested in my Top Anime Picks from 2012 and 2013 I will provide Links at the end.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
Synopsis : Having a loving family, close friends, experiencing times of joy and times of sadness. These are the things that make up an ordinary life.
Kaname Madoka is a normal 2nd year middle-schoolgirl who lives such an ordinary life. Until, that is, a strange encounter occurs. She does not know if this encounter is coincidence, or the vagaries of fate, but two things are certain...
This is the moment when her destiny changes...
This is the start of a new magical girl story!
PV : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CTHwEZK2JA
Thoughts : Ah Madoka, A Shaft Masterpiece that changed the Mahou Shoujo Genre completely. What starts off as a seemingly happy show turns out to be very very Dark indeed. A Must watch for Any Anime Fan.
Tiger & Bunny
Synopsis : The city of Sternbild is home to many people of different races, backgrounds, and those who are called Next. Next are people who possess special powers. They are the superheroes who protect peace within the city.
These heroes all have a corporate sponsor whose logo is displayed upon their backs. As they overcome disasters and save people, they improve the image of their sponsors. In addition, they earn Hero Points which determines their ranking on the popular Hero TV programme. The Hero with the most points gains the title of King of Heroes.
One of these Heroes is Wild Tiger (Kaburagi T. Kotetsu), a hotheaded veteran with a strong sense of justice. One day, he is suddenly partnered-off with newbie Barnaby Brooks Jr..
Thoughts : I'll be honest, this show came out at a time when I was disillusioned with Super Hero content in general, I blame mostly the Marvel Anime attempts for that. With that in mind, Tiger & Bunny revitalized the genre for me. A really great show filled with action, humour and feels.
Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai
Synopsis : Once, there was a group of close childhood friends. However, by the time they entered high school, they had grown apart from each other. These are:
Jin-tan — The hikikomori.
Anaru — She just wants to hang out with her girlfriends.
Yukiatsu and Tsuruko — These two are proper school-going students.
Poppo — Rather than enter high school, he had opted to do some travelling.
Menma — The one unchanging constant of the group.
One day, Menma meets Jin-tan and asks him to fulfil her wish. For this, these widely separated companions gather once more.
Thoughts : Ano Hana was one of the Most Emotional Anime I've seen in 2011, a year filled with Feels Anime. A touching Coming of Age tale of a group of friends trying to live their lives years after the ill-fated incident. Be sure to have tissues nearby when watching this one.
Synopsis : The story centres around the lives of three siblings, Takakura Kanba, Takakura Shouma and their terminally ill sister Takakura Himari. Himari passes away after going out on a trip with her brothers. She was however, miraculously saved by a spirit thriving in a penguin-shaped hat. In return for her extended life, the twins must search for an item known as the Penguin Drum with the aid of three penguins which are visible only to the siblings.
Thougths : The closest show to Mawaru Penguindrum in most respects would be Revolutionary Girl Utena, with it's mix of conspiracy, comedy and outright weirdness at times. And yet it all ends up making sense and makes for quite an enjoyable experience.
Synopsis : The 16-year-old Matsumae Ohana, a normal girl has hopes and dreams for the future like most girls her age. But one day reality catches up to her when she is left in the care of her estranged grandmother, following her mother's elopement with her boyfriend. After travelling to the countryside Ohana is forced to adapt to the new environment and begins working at a her grandmother's Taisho period styled hot spring inn, Kissuisou. Initially at odds with her grandmother, co-workers and customers she decides to use her circumstances as an opportunity to change herself for the better and to make amends with her deteriorating relationship with the Kissuisou staff for a more positive future.
Thoughts : It's not hard to see why Hanasaku Iroha was one of my favourite Anime from 2011. Great Characters all around, a brilliant telling of a Coming of Age tale of a Young Girl and the struggles. Brilliant animation and Art. Add some sweet music and you have a Must Watch show.
There you have it. The Top Anime from 2011 I believe everyone should see. Have you seen any of the shows on the list? Do you agree or would you rather see another title up there? Let me know in the comment section below!
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