Famous and popular video game music composer Nobuo Uematsu 植松伸夫 is set to work with London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, both regarded as world-class entities. Soundtrack enthusiasts would not be unfamiliar with these names, as they are often found on the labels of blockbuster Hollywood films.
The album, containing tracks from the ever-popular Final Fantasy series, is set to release in early 2015 under the name “Final Symphony”, published by X5 Music Group. The album will be seeing a broadcast exclusively before the official release on UK’s Classic FM, which you can tune into online here.
The official track list is not out yet, but according to the past concert series under the name “Final Symphony”, it should be safe to expect similar repertoire in the album, with tracks from Final Fantasy VI, VII and X, with exclusive arrangements by Masashi Hamauzu, Jonne Valtonen and Roger Wanamo.
I would definitely attempt to get my hands on this spectacular and resounding album when it releases, being a huge fan of Uematsu, LSO and Abbey Road Studios.
Immediately after AFA 2014, taking place at Jurong Regional Library is Culture Japan Night(CJ Night). Hosted by celebrity blogger and Director of Culture Japan, Danny Choo, CJ night is an event held yearly after AFA. This event is more of a gathering where you get a chance to learn a little more about the industry in Japan. More importantly, making new friends.
Having been following Danny’s blog since before the first AFA in 2008, I can say, he’s come a long way. From simply his blog color scheme being Orange that first caught my attention, to now a blog filled with many awesome information about Japan. In addition, he has been producing his very own line of dolls, the Smart Dolls. To be honest, I’d love to grab one of these dolls and bring them home during AFA. Though sadly, my wallet doesn’t agree with me.
Back to the event itself. It was a rather eye opening event. Not in terms of display, but the things Danny spoke about. Though lots of people brought their dolls and nendroids.
Even I brought Cherio with me.
A few quick highlights of what was mentioned at CJ night.
We start off with Danny giving us a brief, but rather detailed, summary of his life and progress of his business since the last CJ night in 2013.
One thing I really like about Danny, is how he tries to actually make friends with the crowd rather than just give a speech or talk.
He talked about how he had moved offices, about how some new members had join his team, some of the milestones and joys over the year. He also shared the hardships he had gone through as well as the risks he took to get to where he is today. To be honest, its really inspiring to hear him talk about how he made his passion into his career.
Some of the things he brought up during this year’s CJ night are also great news. Some not so great for my wallet XD.
First thing first, he’ll be going to various countries such as, but not only, Philippines for Toycon and Thailand for AFA Thailand. He would also be trying to get involved in fashion events as well. He also mentioned he will be back in Singapore in May for a huge popculture convention yet to be announced! Hurray!!
Mirai has also been doing government jobs as of late as well by appearing on travel maps for Japan and Malaysia. I really hope a Singapore version appears soon.
He’s also planning to grow his Smart Doll product line. Aiming to promote his Smart Doll as the next Global Brand Fashion Doll, such as Barbie, as well as going into the fashion industry. He’s also aiming to bring down production costs to bring down the retail prices! Cheers!
To top it up, he’s also looking at producing more apparels for not only the Smart Doll, but for humans as well. That’s right, both you and your doll can have matching clothes. He’s also thinking of producing other goods such as wallets ,waist pouches, shoes and spectacles.
Still in the making is the Smart Doll Guy. Though the final name for this series of male dolls is yet to be finalized, he announced that the first doll would be Eiji, a guy in the Mirai Millennium series.
He’s also hoping to produce character dolls for Yagami Light from Death Note and Snake from Metal Gear. I’m looking forward to these releases.
So how are we going to get our hands on these awesome stuff in the near future? Well, they’re gonna be up for grabs on a online store which is yet to be launched.
Well, that’s pretty most of the key highlights he mentioned. Though I have to say, his talks, aside from the large amount of good news, are actually very inspirational. Especially when he talks about how he got to where he is today. I’d strongly urge anyone who can take some time off to actually join the next CJ night.
For now I’ll leave you with some shots I got during the CJ night.
Toho has announced the revival of Godzilla films! The previous film made by Toho was in 2004, titled Godzilla Final Wars. 12 years later in 2016, Toho will be doing a “made-in-Japan” Godzilla film once again! Maybe it was because of the success of the Hollywood adaptation of Godzilla, who knows.
The below is a translation from the announcement at Nikkei:
The new film will be made entirely by Toho. Currently Toho is selecting the staff and cast for the film, which is set to start filming in Summer 2015. Toho has not decided whether to use a costume or CG for Godzilla. Toho hopes to expand the spread of Godzilla before the release of the film. Firstly, they are going to make a 1:1 size Godzilla head on top of the Toho building set to open in April 2015. The head is going to be exactly positioned at 52m from the ground, which coincides with the height of the first Godzilla in its film in 1954. The head, as Toho claimed, will be a new significant landmark of Shinjuku!
Toho also expressed their pride at their first attempt at franchising the Godzilla franchise to America for the recent Godzilla film, which they claimed was a hit worldwide.
Godzilla also won the Guiness Award for the longest continuously used franchised film.
I can’t wait for the film to release! How about you?
UPDATE (12 Dec 2014): Koichi Kawakita, the SPFX Director of the Godzilla films, has passed away, update here.
Having attended AFA for the past 2 days, here’s a quick sneak peek of Anime Festival Asia 2014, or AFA 14, the biggest J-pop Culture Event in SEA. Actual review to come in the next following days. If you haven’t come down to AFA yet, tomorrow’s your last chance!
Mikaneko here with the latest updates on ARCC at AFA 2014. Happening right now at Suntec City is one of the biggest Pop culture conventions of the year.
Filled with tons of booths and stage happenings, there is no reason for you miss out this awesome event.
So back to the main update I have. ARCC. Kicking off at 2.15pm today, the competitors are all preparing for their big show on stage.
Check out those awesome props.
Make up is on the way as well.
Well, even with air-conditioning, its really warm here.
They’re also running their final checks on the stage.
I managed to get a chance to speak to some of the contestants just as they standby for the pre-judging.
First up, Team Myanmar, cosplaying from the hit anime series, Kill LA Kill.
Consisting of Akemi and Sue, they were the winners of 84 Comic Party and are now representing their country for ARCC.
Sue: We’re so excited for the competition.
Akemi: This isn’t the first time I’ve been overseas in this costume. I’m here hoping for a great experience.
Next up, Team Philippines, bringing to you, BTX. A truly classic series.
Louise together with Helios, have been through both Regional and National qualifiers before they are given the honor to represent their country.
Helios: We hope to give the audience a good show and hope that their fellow country supporters would enjoy it as well.
Following up is Team Malaysia, competing with Kingdom Hearts.
Selected through Comic Fiesta Mini, Yuan and Sky are now representing Malaysia here in Singapore.
Sky: We are really nervous and excited to be our favorite Characters!
We also have Team Indonesia here with the hot blooded Dragonball.
They were selected through the competition held in Indonesia, Mocha and Prince are here to give the audience a Blast.
Prince: We are Really excited and we are ready to give it our 100%.
Last but not least, We have our very own Team Singapore! Saiko and Min.
Saiko: I’m really nervous and excited. The stage the audience and Everything.
Min: I’m kind of nervous, but We’ll be OK.
Be prepared to catch all their awesome performance on stage right here at AFA 2014 at 2.15pm on the main stage.
Hi everyone, its been slightly past a week since the epic launch of ORAS. So I’m hoping by now you’ve caught most of the Pokémons in the game! (My own pokedex is far from completion TwT)
So now having spent hours in the Pokémon world, don’t you hope you can actually cuddle those cute Pokémons? Here’s some great news! Pokémon Center Merchandises are now up for grabs in Singapore! Best part, they’re delivered up to your door step. Well at least in Singapore >///<;
On top of it, theres FREE delivery when you spent above $40!
“The Pokémon Center is a specialist store for Pokémon goods, and can be found in 8 locations
– Sapporo, Tohoku(Sendai), Tokyo, Tokyo-Bay(Chiba), Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka.
The wide range of original Pokémon Center goods are the most popular items found at the Pokémon Center. ”
– Quoted from Rakuten Singapore Website
So without further ado, lets check out some of the highlights of the merchandises available for grabs!
So first up, Plushies!
The Pokémon Center offers a premium spread of plushies. Ranging from really cute Fairies all the way to the awesome Mega Evolutions!
Not forgetting, there’s the large and huggable Diance up for adoption as well!
Well, if these are too big and space consuming for your liking, you have the options of small Pokémon Plushie Keychains, where you can hang them on your bag or phone and bring them out for your daily adventures!
You also have a wide range of handphone straps to choose from that will surely brighten up your life!
Well, if you’re looking for something really small and neat, there’s always the small handphone charms that you can grab as well. Personally, I think these charms make awesome pendants. You could always bring them to your neighborhood handicraft shop and get them stringed up with a necklace.
So now you have a quick preview of the merchandises, do visit Rakuten Singapore to grab your Pokémon needs!
Since Christmas is just round the corner, I do think these would make lovely gifts for Pokémon lovers out there.
So for those who haven’t gotten your copy of Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire (ORAS), go grab them now!
If you’re keen to know a little more about the game before buying, you can check out our overview of it here.
At the present moment, there’s a ton of freebies in the game itself up for grabs!
Lets have a look at whats happening and upcoming!!!
#1 Pokémon Special Demo
For those who have played the Demo version previously, don’t forget to transfer over your Mega Glalie or Mega Steelix (Depending on which region your 3DS is) and the other freebies over. Just note that they would be at level 40 and you would require the relevant gym badges to command them properly.
For those who haven’t played the demo, try hunting for demo codes still floating around, or you can obtain them by buying certain games such Pokémon Art academy or hope that someone still has some extra redemption codes stashed somewhere.
To find out more about the demo, you can check out our review here.
#2 Mystery Gift – Shiny Beldum
On going right now all the way till January 14, 2015, as long as you’ve got a copy of ORAS, you would be able to download a free Shiny Beldum through Mystery Gift via the Internet. Do note that this Shiny Beldum is holding a Metagrossite which will allow Metagross to Mega Evolve!
Just remember that the Shiny Beldum is considered a traded pokemon and you will require the relevant gym badges for it to obey you.
#3 EON Tickets
Last but not least, there is the EON Ticket. Depending on you version, you’ll be able to obtain either Latias or Latios through the story. The EON ticket would then allow you to obtain the other one that you couldn’t have obtained initially.
After you obtain the EON ticket, you would be required to bring it to Norman, your father in the game, whom will guide you on a cruise to the Southern Island. On the Island, either Latias or Latios will be waiting for you.
For our fellow Pokémon lovers in Singapore. Here’s the good news. Just keep a close watch on the Maxsoft Facebook page. They’ll be giving away copies of the EON tickets soon. Grab em while stock lasts.
Fret not if you didn’t get the EON ticket. Here’s some good news. When you streetpass a fellow ORAS player with the EON ticket, you get your own copy of it! So to increase your chances of getting your very own EON ticket if you miss the give away, do drop remember to drop by local community gatherings events as well as other Pokémon events that may be held in the near future(really hoping for more things like Pokémon Day).
So what are you waiting for? Grab your very own copy of Pokémon ORAS today!
Hey everyone, Mikaneko here with an Overview of Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire (ORAS). I currently own a Copy of Omega Ruby while Tsukineko has Alpha Sapphire.
Its been about a week since the official release of ORAS here in Singapore. You can read more about the release event itself here.
So over the past week, during whatever free time I can squeeze out, I’ve been traveling the lands and seas of the Hoenn Region. I did play the original Ruby almost 10 years ago back in primary school on the Gameboy Advance. Through the Decade, Pokémon has come a long way and is now presenting to us our childhood in 3D and more with this epic remake.
I’m in no way comparing the remake to the original graphics. I mean, its 10 years worth of technological advancement. However, overall the graphics and pretty neat. Most of the battle graphics and system seems to be brought over from X and Y. However, I’d say there’s a vast improvement in the graphics for cut scenes in the game, both in the dynamic sequences and character animation.
One of the cut scenes that I think is really well done is the opening sequence. They started it off by using the original scene in first release. After which, it transited into that screen being on the Pokénav console and later flaunted the graphics from then on.
In addition, the Cut scenes for Groudon and Rayquaza is breath taking. It makes it much more impactful rather than Groudon walks up to you or you simply talk to Groudon who is sitting there waiting for you to talk to it.
Graphics for the moves for the Legendary moves are also astounding, Especially the Rayquaza’s Dragon Ascent.
There’s also a large roster of Mega Evolutions introduced in ORAS as well. Not forgetting the Primal Evolutions as well.
The Layouts for the towns are still very similar to X and Y, but I think they did an awesome job with improving the graphics for the scenery though.
Gameplay and Content
Gameplay wise, aside from a completely upgraded story from the Original Ruby and Sapphire, ORAS is relatively similar to X and Y. Some of the notable upgrades include a new Pokénav with enables you to identify Pokémons in the moving bushes. In addition, you occasionally tell what is the Pokemon’s First move, which makes it easier to identify Pokemons with rare moves. On top of that, once you have caught a regular wild Pokémon from the bush, you can search out identical species by using the Pokénav. On top of it, it also includes updates of happenings in-game as well as super-training and Poke-amie.
Something I really enjoy is the Pokémon Beauty Contest. Though the flow of the contests remain the same, the graphics and effects made it a lot more impressive.
Whats more fascinating about the Beauty Contest now, is not only you have a special outfit for contest, Pikachu has multiple outfits! Each outfit gives Pikachu a special move with a different appeal type for the beauty contest.
To top it up, they even added a proper plot to the beauty contest portion of the game.
In the later part of the game, you can also ride on Latias or Latios and fly around Hoenn. This new function is really awesome and the scenery is truly breathtaking.
In additions, there’s a wide variety of legendary and starter Pokémons that you can obtain in this game, even without going for events or getting DLCs.
Disappointments, well, there’s two for me. Unlike X and Y, there was a no changing of outfits and hair for the characters except during the beauty contest and during certain scenes only. Secondly, its a bit of a let down that most of the cut scenes does not use the 3D function the 3DS is armed with. Well aside from that, the game is truly awesome!
Overall, this is definitely a game you shouldn’t miss. With quite a lot of content in the game itself, its takes quite a substantial amount of time and effort to clear the game. To top it up, this game is also made compatible with X and Y, which makes trading and battling between the versions absolutely convenient.
Even if you haven’t played the previous Pokémon games, I’m pretty sure ORAS will leave you in awe.
Hurry down to your friendly neighborhood store and grab a copy of the game! This is one investment you won’t regret.
So why should you grab your game now? How about waiting a little more?
I wouldn’t suggest it, because you’re gonna miss out quite a bit of exclusive in-game freebies if you’re getting your copy late.
Today Neko no Gensou brings to you an exclusive interview with AFA Regional Cosplay Championship (ARCC) 2014 Singapore Representatives!
ARCC is held annually at Anime Festival Asia. It is one of Asia’s most renown Cosplay competition. During this year’s International Cosplay Day Singapore (ICDS), the best craftsmanship team was invited by the AFA committee to represent Singapore in the ARCC this year.
Members of the team are Saiko and Min Lauren. Both of them have been cosplaying for a couple of years now, the ARCC is their first major competition yet. Below you can view more of their awesome cosplays.
I managed to get and interview with them despite their packed schedule and rushing their preparations for the big day! They’re a really lively and fun duo making the interview session really fun and hillarious.
So lets find out more about what they have to say!
QN: Could you tell use a little more about yourselves and how did you all meet?
Saiko: I actually met because Min was a customer for prop commission.
Min: She helped me do the Alice Vorpal Blade and that’s how we got to know each other and soon got rather close.
QN: How did both of you get to know and start cosplay?
Saiko: I started cosplaying in December 2006. EOY was the first event I attended. I actually found out of the event 3 days before the event. So when I saw this event, I decided to dress up for the event. So I cosplayed Misa from Deathnote and actually took part in a Deathnote Cosplay competition. That was my first cosplay and my first competition.
Min: I started in 2010, through a friend. He introduced me to the world of cosplay. I kind of like to join the scene after a while. Hell Girl was my first cosplay, and it was actually quite bad.
QN: Whats the most enjoyable part about cosplaying?
Saiko: I like crafting more actually. Sometimes I actually feel awkward when I am in costume. I prefer masked cosplays where my face is covered. Masks give me more courage! *giggles*
Min: I actually enjoy being my favorite character as well as the costume making process.
QN: Do you make your own costumes?
Saiko: Yes, most of them. I started out buying though, but now I do my own.
Min: Not all, but I’m starting to make my own costume. The ARCC costume would probably my first costume I made on my own from scratch.
QN: What’s your favorite kind of cosplay?
Saiko: Horror Genre. Everyday’s Halloween~
Min: Mostly crazy characters. Ranging from mentally deranged characters to the psychotic ones.
QN: So far, which is your favorite cosplay that you have done so far?
Saiko: Bubble Head Nurse from Silent Hill, because we go round scaring people for fun.
Min: Toph Beifong from Air bender. I’ll be having a proper photoshoot for it soon!
QN: Any memorable experience you had with while to cosplaying or making your costume?
Saiko: Last year wanted to join GE3 competition as Flesh Maiden Alice. However I started working on it too last minute. On the morning on the event I was still working on the costume. When I realized it was impossible to finish on time, I threw it one side and cried. It took me some time before I got back to finishing it and eventually wore it for Cosfest and ICDS.
Min: The first time I put my contact lens into my eyes. It was painful. When I first wore it, I thought is was all fine. A moment later, it burns!
QN: How did the two of you end up deciding to join the ICDS competition?
Saiko: Actually it was pretty much a roll over from GE3
QN: So how did you feel when you were invited to represent Singapore in ARCC?
Saiko: WTF are you serious. You bluffing me right?
Min: OMG Really? Ok whatever, lets join!
QN: What are your thoughts on the competition itself?
Min: Stress, Mostly stress.
Min: Calls Saiko for help but she never answers her phone.
(Saiko was giving Min a Death glare for a moment there. >.>)
QN: How’s the preparations ongoing?
Min: Good question.
Saiko: For us to know and for you to find out. We would rather not comment too much on this now.
(Rest assured fellow Singaporeans, I’ve seen their progress and its going good. :3)
QN: So what should we be looking forward to see at ARCC?
Min: Saiko Prominent skills in crafting. Saiko Go!
Saiko: Lights! And a fight you have never seen before!
Both: We going to be the very best that no one ever was. (And the song continues)
QN: Anything else you would wish to mention?
Saiko: We are very nice. We are very nice people and we won’t eat you.
Min: Please come support Team Singapore!
That would wrap up our interview with Saiko and Min! Lets wish them all the best at the ARCC Competition!
Team Singapore FIGHT ON!
If you would like to catch them in action on stage, don’t forget to drop by AFA 2014 this year from 5-7 December at the Suntec City Convention Centre!