Archive for February, 2010

“Plotkai!” ~ A Bleach Editorial

WARNING: THIS EDITORIAL CONTAINS SPOILERS ABOUT THE MOST RECENT CHAPTERS OF BLEACH. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED, DO NOT READ AHEAD! Also, remember this is an editorial and as such it contains many of my personal opinions. Finally, Bleach is a large, expansive series, so if I get any of my facts wrong, feel free to call me on it.

Ah, Bleach. It’s one of the ‘Big 3’ shounen anime out in Japan right now, and like the other two members of this little club, it gets a lot of flack. If you’ve read my blog on my top 10 anime of the decade, you know that I am quite the fan of Bleach despite this. However, I do agree with a lot of the criticism it gets, especially when it comes to the fact that Bleach‘s creator, Tite Kubo, loves to seemingly troll his fans by pulling some things that can (mildly) be described as ‘out of left field’.

Some Bleach fans refuse to admit that there is anything wrong with this show, however one of the great things you learn as an anime fan is the ability to be able to make fun of a show that you love. I can fully recognize that there are both good and bad things about Bleach, and although I do rant from time-to-time about Kubo’s trolling, I actually find the fan reactions hilarious and think that the trolling adds to the entertainment value of being a Bleach fan. So here I am, celebrating my favorite things that I hate about Bleach. Wow, that looks a lot crazier on the computer screen than it sounded in my head.

Here we go!

Sousuke Aizen, a.k.a. CAPTAIN GOD

LOLUMAD?

Ah, Aizen. This man started out as possibly one of the most brilliant villains I have ever seen in an anime. However, as time went on his moments of brilliance turned more into moments of plot convenience, and the more I thought about Aizen and his entire plan the more I realized it really doesn’t make sense in a lot of ways. However, there is one way to rationalize it: The Gotei 13 are just plain stupid. How so? Well, let’s look at the evolution of Aizen and his great plan step-by-step shall we?

The earliest point in the story that we have ever seen Aizen is during the Turn Back the Pendulum Arc, where we see him as Shinji’s lieutenant in the 5th Division. He seems like the nice, cheery guy we saw him as in the beginning of the series, however we are looking back on this with the knowledge that even this long ago (I believe it was about 110 years) Aizen was planning to betray Soul Society. When he first announced that he had been planning to do this for so long, I thought it was just incredibly epic that he pulled it off. However, as more of the story is revealed, it seems that Aizen was more lucky and less talented than he originally seemed.

Shinji right-out says to Aizen that he kept him at arms length because he knew Aizen was suspicious and he didn’t want Aizen to get to know Shinji too well or find out anything too sensitive about the inner-workings of Soul Society. Despite this, he seems to have never once thought it might be a good idea to do something like oh, I don’t know, maybe clue Yamamoto in that Aizen was suspicious? Just a thought.

Isane, the lieutenant of the 4th Division, says at one point that Aizen’s zanpakuto is water-based.This gives us the impression that Soul Society had no idea that Aizen’s true powers were that of general illusions. Even so, how could Soul Society not know what the powers of their lieutenants and captains are? We have very little indication that Shinji knew what Aizen’s powers were (and in fact Aizen says that keeping a distance from him allowed him to keep those powers from Shinji), but when Aizen became a captain, wouldn’t they have looked further into it? You would think that such an important and strict organization would make sure they knew clearly and for a fact what their higher-up’s powers were.

Now, to play devil’s advocate with myself, he could have just as easily used illusions to make them think that his zanpakuto did something else, but we have no proof that he did this other than the fact that it would make sense for Aizen to do such a thing. Then again, Kubo goes against a lot of things that make sense, so who knows? Either way, I digress.

So then the Vizards have been created thanks to Aizen, Urahara is framed for it, and Yoruichi goes with Urahara to the living world. Throughout several points in the series, we have seen Soul Society put quite a bit of trust in both Urahara and Yoruichi, so why didn’t either of them try to contact Yamamoto and tell him that they knew it was Aizen’s fault? I can understand them feeling that it wouldn’t do any good at first, but after so many years you’d think either Urahara, Yoruichi, or even one of the Vizards might have attempted to clue Soul Society in on their impending doom, especially since they all seemed rather aware that they were going to get pulled into the battle at some point.

Barring that, however, I can see how the rest of his plan went as well as it did. He eventually reveals that his real goal is to get the execution blade used on the Shinigami, which is why he kept posing as the Central 46 (whom he quietly killed off) and pushing Rukia’s execution forward. However, when Ichigo interferes, he reveals himself as a traitor and reveals that his real REAL goal is to get the hogyoku, a powerful item that Urahara had stored inside Rukia for safe-keeping so that he can get into the King’s Realm. He gets it and retreats to Hueco Mundo.

This is all well and good, but then things start to get even shakier. He keeps duping everyone into believing his goal is one thing when it’s really another, which is fine, but it gets to the point where even Gin looks more trustworthy than Aizen. It turns into a back-and-fourth game between him and Soul Society of ‘Well my real plan is this!’ ‘Well we knew that so we planned this!’ ‘Well I knew you would know so I planned this!’ Then when Aizen actually starts fighting, every fighting blow and strike made against him turns out to be an illusion, allowing him to take down some of the most powerful fighters Soul Society has in a matter of seconds.

It completely ruins any semblance of power balance between characters (although Kubo is guilty of this just about all the time in Bleach). He no longer comes off as a skilled, brilliant man and is now more like someone who is just damned lucky and is spamming his special abilities to try and cheese everyone else into their deaths. A good move for a villain, but I find myself nowadays rolling my eyes and going ‘sure, like that actually happened, it’s all just an illusion’.

To make the intelligence of Soul Society even more questionable, the captains and lieutenants keep throwing themselves at Aizen even though every other one of their comrades has fallen to the same mistake right in front of their eyes. Most of them don’t even try to use their bankai or any of their other personal skills or talents. It takes all of the awe at Aizen’s abilities out and just makes it seem like Kubo is favoring him by dumbing down everyone else.

However, the actions of Aizen are the cornerstone of Kubo’s trolling, and it never ceases to bring hilarious reactions out of the fans. It’s so bad, it’s almost good!

LOLNOBACKGROUNDS

Yep, and we’re going to do it while FLYING!

This one needs little explanation. There is nothing funnier than watching the fanboys flip out when Kubo draws another fighting scene of the Arrancars and Shinigami floating/flying in the air with no background to be seen. I have no idea why he does it, he may do it just to have less to draw so he can get the chapters out faster, but either way it produces great results.

Topsy-Turvy Shinji

You think that’s backwards? Wait until you see the rest of this series!

When Shinji finally reveals his bankai, it turns out his ability is to fool his opponent’s senses into thinking that everything is upside down and backwards. The fans were confused and thought it was a ridiculous power that was too close to Aizen’s powers.

However, looking back into the story shows that when Shinji transferred into Ichigo’s class at school, he wrote his name backwards on the chalkboard. When the teacher chided him for it, he said he was good at doing lots of stuff backwards. This scene was written years before Shinji revealed his zanpakuto’s ability.

Whether this was planned or whether Kubo just flipped through his old Shinji material to try and find inspiration for his zanpakuto is still a mystery.

When the White Moon Meets the Black Sun

And then CRAZY FANGIRLS rained down upon ENTIRE FANDOM.

At one point Kubo used a poem about a White Moon and a Black Sun on some Bleach data books, heavily alluding that Rukia was perhaps the ‘White Moon’ (her zanpakuto is white and her powers are all ice-based) and Ichigo was the ‘Black Sun’ (his zanpakuto is all black and his powers involve black energy blasts and the like). In case you can’t read the picture above, it says:

The Rain drags Black Sun down.
But the Rain dried by White Moon.

The moment that the Ichigo/Rukia fangirls read this, they went on a tirade, convinced that this whole poem was Kubo’s way of saying that he intended for Ichigo and Rukia to be hopelessly in love with each other. Fans of other pairings countered that the symbolism could be in just the sense of friendship and not necessarily romantic. Either way, it spawned a pairing war that is still going on to this very day.

THE HEART

More like ‘I RAN OUT OF IDEAS’, amirite?

One of Kubo’s most notorious trolls was a chapter title page that consisted of a white background that simply had the words ‘THE HEART’ in black in the middle of it. Since this was published, fans have been trying to use ‘THE HEART’ as symbolism for many different things in Bleach.

Kubo doesn’t seem to be unaware of this. In the 2-page full-color spread revealing the results of the newest character poll (which was revealed around Valentine’s Day), the top winners are pictured together holding heart-shaped chocolates. This instance probably isn’t a Kubo troll, but the true meaning of ‘THE HEART’ is still keeping people guessing.

From Powerful Secret Weapon to Kitchen Safety Staple

No kitchen is safe without one!

Ever since Aizen talked about the most powerful kind of Arrancar called Vasto Lorde, fans have been theorizing over who could possibly be or could become one. When we were shown the creation of Wonderweiss, many people who knew Kubo’s trolling all too well began to suggest that the seemingly witless Wonderweiss was probably the Vasto Lorde. We have been waiting with baited breath to see what Wonderweiss can do, and the one time he actually jumped into a battle, he did some serious damage, which only made this theory seem stronger.

However, when Aizen finally faced off with Yamamoto, he revealed that he created Wonderweiss simply to negate Yamamoto’s fire powers. Basically, what we thought was going to be Aizen’s powerful trump card basically turned out to be a fire extinguisher.

In fact, this is not the only instance that Kubo has built up drama about a character and then let us down. Halibel, the one female Espada whom everyone was waiting to see throw some punches, had a barely touched-upon battle with Hitsugaya before Aizen came in and took her out in a single stroke.

Now these trolls are all well in fun, but Kubo has told us that there is plenty more Bleach to come. So this poses the questions, what trolls could Kubo come up with in the future? Well, I put my thoughts together along with some of my friends and we came up with a few fun ideas!

  • Everything was just a nightmare Hanatarou was having
  • At the end of the story, Orihime will undo everything and the story will go back to how it was in the beginning
  • Orihime brings Ulquiorra back to life and they stay together as lovers
  • Grimmjow is actually dead
  • Aizen was the King all along and just locked himself out of his own realm
  • Aizen was actually and Illusion. the real mastermind is Hinamori!

Feel free to leave comments with your own troll theories!

Thanks to Greg from the anime blog Reisen Goes to School by Bus for the idea for the name of this editorial!

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My Dicey Obsession

It was in college that I was first introduced to the world of table-top roleplaying. I quickly fell in love with it, but what really took me by surprise was how serious people took it, to the point where they collected all different colors and shapes of dice just to play these games.

However, I quickly fell into that obsession as well. Dice can be some of the most artfully crafted and gorgeous little pieces of creativity you can ever happen upon. To feed this obsession of mine, the wonderful folks over at Chessex keep coming to conventions over on the east coast, and I have never once been able to walk past their tables without buying at least one of these trinkets.

My collection is small and modest, but I plan on growing it quite a bit, and I have a rather eclectic collection of some dice you may not have even knew existed. It’s tough for me to get more because any dice that are any color other than the normal black and white can get quite pricey.

So, let’s take a look, shall we?


This is my dice bag. Yes, that is the Sunagakure symbol from Naruto. Yes, I got this bag in a special edition Naruto boxset. Don’t judge me, the first few seasons were actually GOOD!


OMG TWO BAGS? Yes, this bag I got from Chessex but it’s starting to overflow so I keep that bag in the Suna bag.


Here it is, my whole collection! Again, small and modest. Let’s take a closer look, shall we? (Warning: these shots are very artistic because, well, when I have my camera in my hand I can’t stop myself)


These are my official Vampire: The Masquerade dice. As you can see they are 10-sided and the 1 is represented by an ankh. These were officially released by White Wolf who make the Vampire roleplaying system to go with the game.


This is full 7-dice set that you would normally use for games such as Dungeons and Dragons. It contains a d4, a d6, a d8, a d10 that goes from 0 and then 2-9, a d10 that goes from 00 and then 20-90, a d12, and finally a d20. It covers just about any dice you’d need for a d20 roleplaying system like D&D.


These are two of my more unusual dice. On the left is my d30 (they even go as high as making d1000s people!!) and the one on the right is a d10 that goes from 0 and then 2-9, with another dice of the same type inside of it. It’s like rolling two dice at the same time!


Here is where my dice start getting really odd. On the left is a weighted cheat dice that leans towards 6’s, in the middle is a round dice that uses a small weight to settle on a definite number, and on the right is a d7. Yes, a 7-sided dice!


This is a pair of my favorite dice, they are orange (my favorite color) with sparkles inside. I probably use these the most.


Here are two pairs of some simple d6. One pair is red with gold swirls and the other is green with blue and gold swirls.


Here are some fun dice! On the left is a dice where the number 1 is represented by the rat of the Chinese zodiac, in the middle is a dice where the number 1 is represented by a message reading ‘Don’t Touch My Dice!, and the one on the right has the 1 represented by a Jolly Roger (skull and crossbones).


More fun dice! On the left is a dice where the number 1 is represented by a message saying ‘Aaagh!’, the middle has the number 1 represented by a picture of a screw with [‘d] next to it (get it? Screwed!), and the one on the right has the 1 represented by a message that says ‘Son of a Bitch!’. These are great for games where you DON’T want to roll a 1!

Here are some more shots of my dice from my DeviantART page. Check out the rest of my photography there! =D

(Note: These are supposed to be embedding codes but for some reason WordPress doesn’t feel like cooperating. I strongly encourage you to click on the links and see the shots, I am very proud of them and they are really fun pictures! Thanks!)

Devil’s Luck Above by *DaHaloChick on deviantART

One Of These Things… by *DaHaloChick on deviantART

Game Time by *DaHaloChick on deviantART

Game Time II by *DaHaloChick on deviantART

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Final Fantasy VIII ~ The “Squall’s Dead” Theory

WARNING: THIS BLOG WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR FINAL FANTASY VIII. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED, DO *NOT* READ AHEAD.

As I have expressed many times in my blog before, I am a huge fan of Japanese RPGs. In particular the Final Fantasy series has always been my favorite. Final Fantasy VII was the first JRPG I ever played, and it totally pulled me in and got me hooked. So when Final Fantasy VIII came about, I was elated to see what Squaresoft could come up with next.

Oh, how disappointed I was.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved Final Fantasy VIII, but it was…well…weird to say the least, even by JRPG standards. Not so much because of the gameplay (although the ‘drawing magic’ system was never used again, and probably for good reason), but because of the plot and the characters. Many of the twists and turns concerning the story came completely out of left field and left me wondering, ‘What sense does any of this make?’. Some of the things the game pulled were just illogical and made the game feel shaky, pulling you out of the depth of the story to wonder exactly what you had just seen and why they had to go there. For me, the answers to these questions went unanswered, until this morning.

While I was surfing around on the great wide Internet before work, I stumbled upon a website called “Squall’s Dead”. With a title like that, I couldn’t help but check it out, and what I found there amazed me and left an impression on me that few things ever have. Apparantly, Rahul Choudhury and Diedra Rater were also rather unsatisfied with the plot of Final Fantasy VIII, and wound up working together to come up with their own unique theory on what was really going on in this game.

While I urge you to check out the website for yourself, I will surmise what their theory is about for you here. Every one of us that played this game remembers the pivotal scene that closes out the first disc of the game where Squall and the gang attempt to assassinate Sorceress Edea and subsequently fail. As the climax to this scene, Edea creates a large shard of ice and hurls it at Squall, impaling him in the chest/shoulder and knocking him off of her parade float. When we see Squall again in disc 2, he is found in a jail cell and is quickly pulled out of there by Seifer, tied up, and tortured/interrogated via electric shocks. No mention is ever made of his injury or recovery throughout the rest of the game.

This is one of the more puzzling pieces of the Final Fantasy VIII story, but these two brilliant individuals came up with a theory for it. Their take on this is that Squall actually did die when Edea skewered him, and that the rest of the game is a dream mixed with Squall’s mind hallucinating, culminating in the degradation of his sanity as he sinks into his inevitable death.

This website takes every odd and seemingly out-of-place plot points such as NORG, Rinoa’s quickly disappearing ‘love’ for Seifer, and the main characters completely forgetting they grew up in the same orphanage together and breaks them down, using them to support their theory that the story from disc 2 on is just a feverish dream of a man slowly falling into death. The most incredible part of the article is towards the end, where they break down the final moments of the game scene-by-scene and show the significance of them in the psyche of a man who is seeing the last of his life flash before his eyes, and by God, it’s believable. It’s completely plausible, although the creators admit themselves that there are several holes in their theories (such as their section on where the hell Moombas ever came from and the fact that we get Laguna flashbacks before Squall gets impaled) and that the creators most likely didn’t intend for the story to be interpreted this way because, quite frankly, if it was meant to be a dream they probably would have been a bit more obvious about it.

But damnit, I love this theory, and reading it makes me excited about the game all over again. It’s almost like looking at a whole new story; it completely refreshes everything about the game. Its even more intriguing to think that they did mean for it to be a dream and they just let you experience the rest of the game as if it were reality because to Squall, it was reality whether it was a hallucination or not. It brings a whole new depth to the idea of Final Fantasy VIII and it’s even tempting me to play it over again to see if I agree with this theory.

Either way, you should definitely check out this amazing theory here and let me know what you think! Also feel free to leave a comment on their website as well and share your thoughts and opinions on this unique theory.

Now I’m going to crawl into a corner and cry because FACELESS!SQUALL GIVES ME NIGHTMARES!!

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A Brand New Gig!

I am elated to announce that in addition to my work here at Chu*Blog I will now be writing manga reviews for my good friend Jon Ingoglia over at JanaiBlog!

Jon has been blogging for a while now and has been on several podcasts and is a strong force in the Twitter circle of anibloggers (follow him @JanaiBlog). I am honored and thrilled to have this opportunity!

Everyone should go check out Jon’s blog if you haven’t done so already. A link to his blog will be provided in the ~Quick Navigation~ page so that you can all enjoy my manga reviews.

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The Great RPG Debate: My Perspective

This post may contain some facts, but mostly my opinions.

I am proud to be a female gamer, and even more proud to say that the RPG genre is my favorite game genre of them all. Being an aspiring writer and fan of general literature, I appreciate well-developed characters and epic storylines. As a gamer, I appreciate well-developed gameplay and that triumphant feeling of accomplishing something after working so hard at it (anyone who has ever played an RPG knows that feeling of finally beating a boss after fighting it, losing, and then returning after hours of grinding. So, so satisfying). So it makes sense that I would take to RPGs as well as I have. However, the term ‘RPG’ has changed over the years.

When I think of an RPG, I think of what is known as a Japanese RPG, or JRPG. In the past several years, we have seen the advent of Western RPGs, or WRPGs, which include games such as Fable and the Elder Scrolls series. American game designers took some strong elements of JRPGs and applied them to their games in a way that completely split the genre.

Once again my good friend Jon over at JANAiBlog inspired me to speak out about this via his own recent blog on the topic. He specifically referenced an article from IGN that all but floored me when I read it. This article claims it has the top 10 ways to ‘fix’ JRPGs. In my opinion (although the article claims this is not its intention), this list should more appropriately be titled ‘Top 10 Ways to make JRPGs Just Like WRPGs’.

That, my friends, completely defeats the purpose. They are two completely separate things for a reason, and the 10 things this article claims needs to be ‘fixed’ are old-school trademarks of JRPGs and, in many instances, those trademarks are what makes them so much fun to play.

In his blog, Jon specifically spoke about the way towns are laid out in JRPGs versus the ‘open-world’ format that is so popular in WRPGs where the player can literally wander around everywhere without any map borders. While WRPGs have lots of houses, stores, and other things you would typically see in a town, JRPGs usually just have a weapons and/or armor shop, an item shop, a magic shop (if magic exists in the game), an inn, and maybe 2-3 houses filled with relevent side-characters, NPCs whose words can help flesh out the story and enrich the game experience, or are just chock full of goodies to steal. The IGN article referrs to this as a ‘static’ world and complains about the oddity of prices getting higher on items the farther you venture from your starting point.

What this article seems to fail to acknowledge is that those things are what make an RPG feel so satisfying. As you continue on the story, monsters get stronger, so they drop better items and more money, and so the items offered in those areas increase in quality, and so their price goes up. Is it unrealistic? Sure. I want to move down south some day, and I guarantee you that most places down south are cheaper than where I live in New York. Not every place you venture to in real life is going to offer better-quality stuff and higher prices. However, this slope of increasing difficulties and rewards is what makes you really feel like the game is evolving, and it shows that you are making progress. I know I’m doing well when my crappy dagger gets upgraded to a long sword and damn it, that’s the way I like it!

Given, the things mentioned on this list do seem ridiculous nowadays when back in the day they didn’t seem so weird, and I think there is a reason for that. A lot of focus on games, especially in America, has turned to realism. American gamers want to play a game that feels like they’re really there, like it could really be happening. The advent of things such as motion controllers is also indicative of this.

In the times we live in where the economy is crumbling and people are losing jobs, a lot of people are turning to video games as a form of escape and, in fact, I have seen several articles pop up in the past year or so claiming that video games are very good for dealing with these kinds of stress (This desire to ‘escape’ also bleeds into non-gamers, which led to the boom of casual gaming, but that is a whole other discussion, so I will digress on that point). I think it is largely because of this that a lot of those not-so-sensical JRPG clichés, like walking into a strangers house and taking his secret stash of potions, were disposed of and are now being seen as bad game design by some people and that just isn’t fair to say, if you ask me.

Sure, maybe someone wouldn’t be seen as a ‘hero’ if they survived their journey by using items they stole from strangers’ homes. Clearly towns don’t just consist of 3 homes, an inn, and a few stores. No, people don’t have genetically blue hair. So what?

Long story short, these JRPG cliches may seem stupid to some, but they make sense as far as gameplay is concerned, and they are part of the JRPG culture. It’s like being a fan of cheesy horror flicks; yes, some of the devices used are old and worn-out in some people’s opinions, but thats what makes the genre so great. They’re defining marks of what makes that genre what it is, and while everyone has a right to say they like or don’t like something, I get very irked when people equate their dislike of a game mechanic to poor gameplay or bad game design. That just isn’t right, it doesn’t always work that way. This article does acknowledge this to a point, but it still says that current JRPGs are bad for, and I will quote this:

conform[ing] to the standards that were acceptable on consoles that are now two or three generations old.

I think this is just horribly unfair. Take a look at an excerpt directly underneath the quote above:

Don’t be mistaken: we love JRPGs — we want them to do well. But when games on the PS3 and 360 are following Super Nintendo rules, something just has to change.

Does it have to change, really? The Castlevania series still produces 2-dimensional sidescrollers where you collect different items, fight the same kinds of monsters, and eventually kill Dracula in the end. Are you going to tell me they’re bad because they ‘conformed’ to the same formula that the series used on the NES? That is just blasphemy. In fact, in Castlevania‘s particular instance, I would say the opposite is true, because whenever the series attempted to deviate from this motif and tried to update the series by making a 3D game, it bombed. Hard.

I understand where this article was trying to come from, and it does raise one or two promising points (I would most certainly love to be able to save anywhere, but I also enjoyed the race of making it to the next save point before I had to go to bed, it’s a classic JRPG component) but I think that it either wasn’t thought through properly or just wasn’t executed correctly.

I realize that this post turned into more of a rant/review of the article itself, but I think this also pretty much covers my general feelings on the JPRG/WRPG debate, which is simply this: They’re both different animals, trying to compare them is fruitless, and the modern inventions of the WRPG do not make JRPGs bad.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Final Fantasy VI to go play.

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Dragonball Kai Comes to America!

As I logged on to my Twitter today, I saw a tweet from FUNimation simply saying ‘The answer is yes. More info coming soon.’ The answer to what? All of my hopes and dreams?

Well, sort of!

Mere minutes after that tweet, FUNimation released a press release titled ‘The Answer is Yes’. The only contents of the press release was a glorious Dragonball Kai logo. Finally, FUNimation has licensed Dragonball Kai.

The Dragonball series is very near and dear to my heart, both as an anime fan and in a personal way. Dragonball Z was the first anime I watched after I discovered what ‘anime’ really was. It was something I always looked forward to watching, so much so that when a particularly exciting episode was on, my brother and I would bargain with our parents to be able to eat our dinners in the living room so we could watch while we ate, since it always came on during dinner time. The next day in school, I would be in a circle with all of my friends talking about the previous night’s episode. It wasn’t just a show for me, it was an event. So you can imagine how excited I am that not only will I be able to relive some of those memories, but a new generation of anime fans will be exposed to the Dragonball series for the first time as well. However, this is a very exciting thing not only for Dragonball fans, but for anime fans everywhere.

Dragonball is a very beloved series in America, and I am hoping (though not holding my breath) that this will mean FUNi will put in the time and money to dub it, which will hopefully inspire people to actually go out and buy the boxsets. This of course will pump more money into FUNi and the anime industry and will hopefully make things a little brighter for us all. I see this not only as something I am personally excited about, but as something that can be great for the anime industry as well. It’s not going to single-handedly save the industry of course, but every little bit helps.

I hope that all of you Dragonball fans out there will check Kai out (if you haven’t already) whether they decide to dub it or not, and I hope you will pick up a copy of it for yourself as well. I have only seen the first two episodes of it myself, but I am dieing to see the rest, and I may just do so by picking up the boxset when it is eventually released here in America.

Until then, I will be anxiously awaiting more information on how FUNi plans to handle bringing Dragonball Kai over to America, and you can be sure I’ll be blogging about it as well.

Amendment (2/14/10) ~ FUNimation gave us fans a wonderful Valentine’s Day present at Katsucon 16 by announcing that the first Dragonball Kai box set will be released May 18th, 2010!

They also released the cast list (yes, it’s getting dubbed!), which is identical to the original release save for five parts:

Gohan ~ Colleen Clinkenbeard
Bulma ~ Monica Rial
Narrator ~ Doc Morgan
Chiaotzu and Puar ~ Brina Palencia

I am both happy and sad about this development. While I am delighted to see they were able to keep so much of the original cast while adding great voices like Colleen and Monica, I am saddened to see that Kyle Hebert will not be reprising his role as the narrator. Still, I have no doubts that the dub will be high-quality. There is no reason for you guys to not go out and nab this boxset!

Amendment (3/9/10)
I saw this a few weeks ago, but forgot to mention it here! Kyle Hebert himself (You can follow him on Twitter @kylehebert) addressed the issue of him not returning as narrator for Dragonball Kai!

He explained that the creators and teams that work on the Dragonball franchise like to view each show as its own incarnation, and to go with that theme they decided to choose a new narrator to make Kai stand out even more as its own project. Thanks for clearing that up for us, Kyle!

Amendment (3/11/10)
AnimeNewsNetwork reported today that Nickelodeon will be airing Dragonball Kai on their Nicktoons programming block.

I for one am not happy with this. For those who are fans of Invader Zim, you know how horribly Nickelodeon butchered it, even to the point where several fans are convinced that Nick bought the show without realizing it wasn’t meant for kids and then proceeded to hack it to pieces anyway to make it appropriate for children. I can only imagine how badly Dragonball Kai is going to be censored. Only time will tell, but I can only forsee bad things coming from this.

Nickelodeon, feel free to make me eat my words. Please. I beg you.

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