Sunday, October 31, 2010

Review: Occult Academy (2010)

Occult Academy (2010) is a Japanese science fiction anime that takes place in contemporary Japan. It ccontains 13 episodes.

The plot centers around two characters, Maya Kumashiro and Fumiaki Uchida. Maya is the daughter of the deceased former headmaster of Waldstein Academy, which has been thrown into chaos after a series of paranormal events. Walstein Academy is the premier private institution for the study of paranormal disciplines. As a result, it is also known as the Occult Academy. In the future (2012), Fumiaki is a secret agent who travels back to the past (1999) to save the world from alien destruction. Their arrival has caused people to live underground (think of it as loosely based on The War of the Worlds). He must find the Nostradamus Key, which will prevent the apocalypse.

When Fumiaki arrives, he becomes a history teacher at the infamous Occult Academy. He meets Maya, who is the temporary headmaster and a skeptic of the paranormal. She originally had the intention to destroy the school. Fumiaki tells her that the school is ground zero for the apocalyptic event that will destroy the world. He has a specialized cell phone that will allow them to find the Nostradamus Key. This will lead to a more peaceful world in the future. They work together to not only find the truth behind Maya's father death, but also discover what is the cause of the growing paranormal activity in the city.

I enjoyed watching this short series. It was slow in the beginning, but it gradually grew on me when I finally understood the storyline. This is not your typical science fiction show with a surprising twist in the end. It also has comedic and romantic elements. Overall, it was good show that amused me. The creators were able to infuse both paranormal and science fiction into an innovative story. The OST music was also good. I highly recommend it.

I will update this post when the DVD becomes available.

This is the trailer for Occult Academy with English subtitles:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween 2010!

Happy Halloween! I know this year has been more low-key than previous years. I am busy juggling my job and my schoolwork. Nevertheless, I decorated my home with monsters, pumpkins and ghosts. I cannot forget about this special day!

AOL Radio Blog released their Halloween Music Top 100 List. I like this list because it includes scores from legendary movie thrillers, such as Nightmare on Elm Street or The Nightmare Before Christmas. If you are looking for some awesome music for personal pleasure or party planning at the last minute, I highly recommend browsing this link.

I will end this post with the Monster Mash song, by Bobby "Boris" Puckett! In 1962, it reached the number one spot on the Billboard Top Pop Singles chart.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Review: Highschool of the Dead (2010)

Highschool of the Dead (2010) is a graphic Japanese apocalyptic anime. The world is struck by a deadly pandemic: an infectious outbreak turns humans into zombies! A group of high school students in Japan are on a journey to find out what has happened in the world and how to survive in an unstable society. This series contain 12 episodes. Warning: This series is not suitable for children under the ages of 13.

The plot follows Takashi Komuro, a Japanese high school student, who survives the initial outbreak of the pandemic. Other classmates join him including a school nurse. In 48 hours, they face streets filled with horrific zombies, police barricades and loss of electronic communication. When they realize their situation is more dire than expected, they face additional threats, such as challenges to their own moral codes. It is a race for survival in a world that has suddenly collapsed.

I am generally not a major zombie fan, but gave this series a chance. The spread of the infection reminded me of Resident Evil (a movie series which I highly recommend, especially Afterlife). Although it was never revealed what was the source of the infection, it spread quickly across the globe. It happened so fast that not even the U.S. President could escape its wrath!

Overall, I thought there was too much fan service. Every camera angle was centered on accentuated female body parts. I thought the author could been more creative with the story line. The series ended too quickly where the audience does not know the fate of the students. I would probably have to read the manga for additional details. This is a good show to watch on a Friday evening but don't expect a lot of substance. It relies too much on graphic violence and fan service to carry the show.

This series is available for purchase on DVD.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Review: H20 - Just Add Water (2006-2010)

H20: Just Add Water (2006-2010) is an Australian fantasy television series about three teenage girls, who discover their lives are anything but normal: they have become mermaids! In addition, they have supernatural powers over water. To keep their new abilities a secret from people, they enlist the help of a close friend, who attempts to discover the secret behind their transformations. As a children's show, the girls also encounter different life challenges. The series spans three seasons and contains 78 episodes.

The location is the Gold Coast, Queensland. The three girls -- Emma Gilbert, Cleo Sertori and Rikki Chadwick -- become stranded on Mako Island when their boat stops working. They eventually stumbled upon a pool inside a dormant volcano. When they jump into the pool, a full moon appears overhead and magically transforms them. After becoming mermaids, their new lifestyles have some disadvantages: ten seconds after contact with water, they transform into mermaids. When Lewis McCartney discovers their secret, he promises to help them by unlocking the secrets behind Mako Island.

It is rare that I watch live mermaid shows. I stumbled upon this Australian TV series when I was conducting research on mermaids. Surprisingly, there are not many books, movies or shows about mermaids. Since I am becoming more open-minded to television dramas outside the United States, I could not pass up this opportunity. I watched a few episodes, and instantly became hooked. Due to popular demand, the show spanned three seasons. The primary audience is kids and teens.

I enjoyed this show. The special effects are great. The girls look like real mermaids. I kept watching because I wanted to see the girls in action underwater and they did not disappoint. Each episode followed a typical teen situation which got repetitive at times (then again, I am not a teen). However, I thought the third season was lacking suspense and drama. The first two seasons were much better.

Only two series with a total of 52 episodes were originally planned, but due to popular demand, a third series was filmed. Series one premiered in July 2006, followed by series two in September 2007. Series three first aired in the United Kingdom in October 2009, with the Australian premiere occurring in May 2010. The theme song is "No Ordinary Girl"

This series is available to buy on DVD. You can watch the trailer below:

Theme Music: "No Ordinary Girl"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

'Supernatural' Becomes an Animated Show

The hit American TV series will become an animated series by the creators of Death Note in Japan! Supernatural: The Animation will be released in February 2011. It will be on BluRay/DVD.

From Ningin:
Supernatural is currently an American television show in its sixth season on the CW. It follows the story of two brothers, Dean and Sam Winchester, who hunt the supernatural monsters that roam the Earth. The story is definitely one that is perfect for an anime adaptation, and after seeing this trailer, I am even more excited to watch it next year!

These special BluRay/DVD box-sets will feature remakes of the episodes that have already aired in the live-action, as well as brand new anime-only content. To the delight of many Supernatural fans, it’s also been revealed that Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki themselves will be dubbing a couple of the episodes in English!

I can't wait for a group to sub this series! You can watch the trailer below:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Music: "Fairies / Walking in the Air"

I found this lovely song, and it mesmerized me instantly. This is "Fairies" by the highly talented Chloe Agnew of Celtic Women. It is one of the most beautiful new age songs I have ever heard. This version reminds me of nature, travel, fantasy and time. It sounds innocent and peaceful. Click on the link below for the lyrics.

For those who desire a symphonic metal rock melody, this is the Nightwish (vocalist: Tarja Turunen) version:

Nightwish is also awesome and enchanting for its power.

Here are the lyrics:
We're walking in the air
We're floating in the moonlit sky
The people far below are sleeping as we fly

We're holding very tight
I'm rising in the midnight blue
And finding I can fly so high above with you

All across the world
The villages go by like dreams
The rivers and the hills, the forests and the streams

Children gaze, open mouthed
Taken by surprise
Nobody down below believes thier eyes

We're surfing in the air
we're swimming in the frozen sky
We're drifting over icy mountains floating by

Suddenly swooping low
On an ocean deep
Rousing up a mighty monster from his sleep

We're walking in the air
We're dancing in the midnight sky
And everyone who sees us greets us as we fly

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Novella: The Sookie Stackhouse Companion (2011)

In February 2011, Charlaine Harris will release a novella based on the popular Sookie Stackhouse novel series. Called The Sooke Stackhouse Companion, it will include everything you need to know about the series plus an exclusive interview with Alan Ball, the executive producer of the True Blood series on the HBO Channel. There will also be a fourth season, which will premiere in summer of 2011! More fantastic news!

According to the description, readers will:
• Tour Bon Temps, the small Louisiana town that Sookie calls home, and visit the houses of her Gran and her sometime vampire lover, Bill
• Prowl around the werewolf and were-panther communities
• Browse through her best friend Tara's dress shop
• Belly up to the bar in Merlotte's, where Sookie works
• Get must-have Bon Temps recipes-including Caroline Bellfleur's famous chocolate cheesecake
• Test themselves with trivia questions from the series

This sounds like an excellent edition for any collection. You can pre-order your copy on today!