Friday, 31 July 2009

Shugo Chara!

Recently I was able to get the Malaysian DVD's of Shugo Chara! which has yet to be issued in the UK or US. The series centres around Amu Hinamori, a Elementary School pupil clash between her popular cool, spicy exterior loved by fellow students and her internal introverted personality. Amu's wish for a character re-birth as would be self leads to the discovery of three colourful eggs that hatch into her guardian characters, Ran, Miki, and Su.

The first discs (above) house all 51 episodes of series 1.
This story started off life as a manga following successful serialization in Japan and is currently being aired by TV Tokyo series one having aired from October 2007 and a second series Shugo Chara!! Doki— in October 2008.

The DVD of Series two Part one has the first 15 episodes from that series.

In essence the Guardian Characters aid Amu in discovering who she truly is and help fulfil Amu's dreams. Amu's life becomes much more complex as she struggles to deal with her "would-be" selves and the Seiyo Elementary's Guardians, who recruit Amu as the Joker to search for X Eggs and X Characters, which are the corrupted forms of peoples' dreams. Amu 'restores the eggs' to their original form neutralizing the harm the X Egg cause to all around them. Meanwhile, the Easter Company is extracting people's eggs in search of a special egg called the Embryo. The Embryo is believed to grant any wish to the one who possesses it. However, the process they use creates X Eggs and X Characters.

What I like about the story is the way in which it shows how peoples self image can be effected by these 'bad' eggs that started off life as pure but have become corrupted in their pursuit of self interest harming others that get in their way. Equally the story shows how through positive encouragement people can change becoming more pure in thought - practically spiritual in a away, putting others well being first. The first image is that of the series 1 DVD.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Aldo Nova

It was in 1982 that I first heard of this Montreal based artist through the hit singles Fantasy and Heart To Heart from his first album for Portrait/CBS. My CD is the 2004 Sony Legacy series remaster.
His was a mixture of blistering Heavy Metal coupled with catchy lyrics and the use of the synthesizer that make the sound as contemporary as A Flock of Seagulls back in the day.
He followed this up in 1983 with Subject - a futuristic album with instrumental links that featured Monkey On Your Back - a hard hitting anti heroin number (the video was strong for the day) and the guitar driven Hold Back The Night released in February 1984
The follow up Twitch from 1985 wasn't so good and he dropped out of music making for a while assisting other Canadian acts with lyrics.
I've always liked him - bought all the singles - and recently Wounded Bird (part of Sony Music) have re-issued Subject and Twitch on CD. The first two albums just fit onto a single MD at 80:36!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Hello Kitty

Okay, some of you know I have a soft spot for cute stuff but I felt like talking about Hello Kitty which is something of an obsession of mine but anyway here we go.

Hello Kitty is a fictional character first created by the tv program company Sanrio in 1974 and registered in 1976.
She has a pet cat called Charmmy Kitty that she was presented with by her parents.

Her friends are Cathy (a Rabbit), Fify (a Sheep), Tracy (a Racoon) and Joey (a Mouse).

Charmmy Kitty has more cat like features than Hello Kitty herself and was presented to her by her papa, George White, Mama, Mary White, her sister, Mimi, and her grandparents, Anthony and Margret White.

Hello Kitty is good at backing cookies, making pancakes for friends, Origami, shopping for friends, buying things and playing tennis. Her favourite food is Apple Pie made by her Mom.

Her hobbies include travelling, music, reading, making new friends (one of her favourite words is "Friendship") and having adventures .Sounds like me!

Several Hello Kitty animated series targeted towards young children have been produced. In the animated films made by Sanrio from 1977 to 1985, Hello Kitty has made cameo appearances in them.

The earliest Hello Kitty animated series known was the American-animated (co-produced with Japan) Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theatre, which aired throughout 1987. This show was broadcast in the United States on the Family Channel.

The Japanese anime series Hello Kitty and Friends aired on CBS tv in the States in 1991, and also ran onToon Disney. Kitty is depicted on the show as a little girl who lives with her mother, father, and twin sister Mimi, who is identical to Kitty but has different coloured clothes and wears her bow under the opposite ear. 13 episodes were produced, using animation produced as early as 1991.

The show Hello Kitty (and pals) have starred in at least one anime series of their own on Japanese tv. Hello Kitty's Paradise ran for 16 episodes between 1993 and 1994. This version was released in English in 2000. This version, like "Hello Kitty and Friends", also aired on Toon Disney.

Also Hello Kitty and friends appeared in Hello Kitty's Animation Theatre, which had Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters appearing in their versions of different fairy tales. Available in the U.S. From ADV Films (who also own the video/DVD rights to Hello Kitty and Friends & Hello Kitty's Paradise)

Since her introduction, Hello Kitty has grown in popularity around the world spurning much merchandizing that has been adopted by such personalities as Mariah Carey.

Many American celebrities have contributed to the character's popularity: Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Cameron Diaz, Heidi Klum, Steven Tyler, Christina Aguilera, Carmen Electra, Mandy Moore, Raven-Symoné, Miley Cyrus, Varla Jean Merman, as well as Paris and Nicky Hilton have all been spotted with Hello Kitty and Bobby Jack goods. Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton was also spotted with a Hello Kitty handbag while doing a video blog with Ross Mathews[1]. Perez Hilton was also seen wearing a Hello Kitty tie on Victoria Beckham's show 'Victoria Beckham: Coming to America'. Victoria commented on his 'fierce' tie. Singer Lisa Loeb, who is marketing the pink Hello Kitty guitar, has admitted to being a fan and has even dedicated a whole album in homage to Hello Kitty named Hello Lisa. 'Scene queens' like Jeffree Star, Audrey Kitching,and Hanna Beth can often be seen donning Hello Kitty apparel.

Well I adore Hello Kitty and have the current pencil case and pencils set amongst others as featured in the picture.

There is mountains of cool Kitty stuff out there, note books, diaries ring-binders for meetings.
The larger branches of Woolworths and Smiths stock some stuff but this is the best place I know is Dizzy Pink:
Welcome to Hello Kitty
The link tells you more about everything happening in the HK world.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

July Anime Round up

Okie dokey, another month a few more episodes make their way to your ever expanding DVD collection.

First up is this Volume Three of Slayers Next that originates from 1996.
In this we treated - if that's the right word - to our heroine Lina and Amelia in cute dresses singing what is supposed to be a spell to get the Claire Bible (a book of vital spells) back. This is a sight to behold as it's well beneath her dignity!
Ad we encounter twin sisters Mimi and Nene who also badly want the Claire Bible!
The gags continue a plenty - Gourrey dressed as a girl is something else! - the Island where everyone is meant to be a Shrine Maiden is revealed to have many cross dressed males, never mind Amelia's annoying Sword of Justice fixation that drives Lina wild.
It's just one fun filled episode after another.

At long last the concluding episodes of the rather enjoyable Ghost Hunt series are here!
It's the story of Mai Taiyama's psychic powers that leads her to join the Shibuya Psychic Research team lead by Kazuya "Naru" Shibuya.
What's good about this isn't just the mystery of the hunt for peoples departed souls that are affecting others but the character development over the episodes.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Compact fashion


This is a lovely compact by The Color Institute that I own.
You can get this Argos in the UK for under £ 10 making a great starter kit to which you can add to later on.

    Set comprises the following:

    64 eye shadow pressings.

    32 lip gloss pots.

    2 face powder pressings.

    6 powder/blusher pressings.

    1 bronzer.

    3 pressed powders.

    1 shimmer.

    1 blusher brush.

    1 face sponge.

    3 sponge applicators.

    2 lip liner pencils.

    2 eye liner pencils.

    1 black mascara.

    3 brushes.

Pencil Skirt

A staple of my more formal wear is the Pencil Skirt of which this from Top Shop is good example. It is a knee length pencil skirt with back zip fastening. 75% Polyester,23% Viscose,2% Elastane.Machine washable.
Worn with a classic plain blouse, belt and tights, it has that business like feel but at the same time approachable.


Here's something I spotted at Topshop that took my fancy
It's Heart Print play suit an unusual choice of the name for a garment that otherwise comes under the heading of Tunic I feel but still.
Team with tights and a necklace it would look smart.

Dateline June 1986: My first CD

To go with that Toshiba player I got this - the very first compact disc I ever bought - from Our Price (RIP).

It's the PolyGram pressed version with on barcode on the rear.
Btw disc number two was a UK Nimbus pressed Pet Shop Boys, Please

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Kiki's Delivery Service

At the instigation of a online friend from a forum I recently bought this title in the acclaimed Studio Ghibi collection.

Adapted by Hayao Miyazaki from the Japanese childrens book by Eiko Kadono, it is about Kiki - a thirteen-year-old witch, and daughter of a witch - who is eager to leave home and spend a year working away from home. Her only talent is flying on her broomstick, but she sets off with her black cat JiJi) and finds a big city by the sea that she decides to live in.

She makes a deal with the bread store owner to work for her board in store that soon transforms into a courier service delivering anything from pies to pets. In this activity she -a polite, cheerful if naive child - encounters the rudeness and spoilt behaviour of others especially of a girl of her own age.

She encounters a boy on a bicycle who becomes her friend but undergoes a crisis of confidence losing her ability to fly. Only by looking into herself can she regains her abilities saving the boy from a Zeppelin flight that goes disastrously wrong.

What I liked about was the attention to detail in the drawings coupled with the message of triumph over adversity it presents.