Archive for June, 2011

Laura Bailey

If you’ve watched any anime, you’ve probably heard Laura Bailey. If you’ve watched a lot of anime, you’ve probably heard her multiple times and didn’t even know it. Most voice actors can be picked out from one voice to another. There’s always a distinct sound to an actor’s voice that makes you think “I know who that is. I’ve heard that voice before.” I’ve watched a number of anime, and I’ve never once done that with Laura Bailey. Her voice is so unique from one character to the next, even if she’s playing similar character styles.

She just happened into anime voice acting, which is insane because a lot of people have that as a goal and never make it. Born in 1981, from Mississippi, Laura actually went to college for acting and drama. Since breaking into the anime world, she’s done an extraordinarily long list of anime, video games, cartoons, and movies. In this post, I’m only going to point out characters that I’ve seen.

It kind of goes without saying that she does quite a few young girl characters, generally they’re high school students.

 

 

Hiromi, Moon Phase

Hiromi, Moon Phase

Laguna Blue, Monster High

Laguna Blue, Monster High

Kanako, Ouran Highschool Host Club

Kanako, Ouran Highschool Host Club

Maka Albarn, Soul Eater

Maka Albarn, Soul Eater

Tohru Honda, Fruits Basket

Tohru Honda, Fruits Basket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maka and Tohru are the main heroine’s of their respective anime. Of all the characters that I’ve heard her do, these two sound the most alike. Kanako is a one episode-side character, but she has a distinct voice all her own. As for Laguna Blue, she’s from an American cartoon called Monster High. This voice intrigues me the most out of her “high school student” cast. Somehow she manages an Australian accent and a very unique tone.

 

 

Jaina Proudmoore, World of Warcraft

Jaina Proudmoore, World of Warcraft

Lust, FMA

Lust, Full Metal Alchemist

Halibel, Bleach

Halibel, Bleach

Anko, Naruto

Anko Mitarashi, Naruto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s done a few young women voices too. These characters have a generally more “sexy” tone to their voices, but again, they’re all distinct and unique.

Shinnosuke, Shin Chan

Shinnosuke, Shin Chan

Trunks, DBZ

kid Trunks, Dragon Ball Z

If that wasn’t crazy enough, she can even do young boy voices. Though I’m not really a fan of Shin-chan, I was crazy impressed that his voice was the same one that was once Lust from Full Metal Alchemist. And as far as trunks goes, he has a little bit of gruffness in his voice that I didn’t think was possible for a woman voice actress.

My favorite part about Laura Bailey is that she has her own official website complete with a demo voice reel. If you really want your socks blown off, take a listen on lizardbee.com. Most voice actors don’t display they’re demo reel to the public. Also, check her site for her character list. You’ll also notice that she’s been known to do multiple characters in a show or video game, because her voices are that unique.

Is this the first time you guys have seen her range? Crazy isn’t it? C’mon guys, tell me why you like Laura Bailey!

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Breaking News!!

Posted: June 29, 2011 in random articles
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I’ve never been this excited… ever! My brother’s fiance is back home in Japan, and she sent me a link of a new comedy drama starting in July. OURAN HIGHSCHOOL HOST CLUB is going live action!!! Love it! I can’t watch the trailer, unfortunately. It won’t let me, because I’m not located in Japan. Kanashii!! But I am now following them on twitter, even if I have to use google translate to read it. Starting July 22nd, I’ll be stalking the internet for the English sub title version. So far the cast looks great, except that I wish Tamaki and Honey were more blonde.

Delinquent Cinderella

Delinquent Cinderella

no spoilers, just my hunches.

I happened upon a new manga this morning, and I was almost late for work from getting absorbed into it. Delinquent Cinderella, now 12 chapters long, is a Korean manga, and the names of the characters are a little hard to follow for me because of it. Despite that, the manga plays up a ton of mysterious back stories and hidden agendas. There’s also a GIGUNDO love triangle, and there’s no telling who will end up with who at this point.

The main character, Lee Nan Hui, is a badass high school student caught in a ton of family drama with stern grandmothers. She becomes a transplant to Seoul in the first chapter after the grandmother she lives with can no longer deal with her trouble making. Living under her rich other grandmother (her father’s mother) with her mom and brother, the family atmosphere is tense and … weird? Her brother, Un Ho, is the same age as her. Apparently, he hasn’t seen her since they were kids when she left to move in with her other grandmother. I have a guess at an adultery somewhere along the way. The father has not been shown at this point, and the only thing we do know about him is that he was born and raised in wealth. Her grandmother constantly chides her for her behavior, but she refuses to back down to her.

When I say this girl is a badass, I mean it. Lee’s first day in Seoul, she kicks the crap out of a couple of guys who were beating on someone. She meets Gong Meong, the student everyone respects and fears at the school. She starts to drive him nuts, because she ignores his demands to be respected. He’s the other character that’s seen in some of the other cover shots. Both of them are rough around the edges, so to speak.

The love triangle in this manga is borderline ridiculous, but I like how unpredictable it is. A guy introduced in the first chapter (I can’t remember his name) is shown as being deeply affectionate toward Lee Nan Hui. It’s obvious he cares for her, and he’s constantly making comments about waiting for her. But then there’s Gong Meong who gets under her skin. They seem to be set up as the main couple in the story line because much of it revolves around the pair of them, as well as the cover artwork. But, it’s a well known fact to all the characters that he’s been in love with Min Wa Ram, an exceedingly popular and gorgeous girl at the school. Unfortunately, even though she cares about Gong Meong, she’s in love with Baek Jae Ha, a family rival of his. He treats her like crap (even though he’s generally a much nicer guy than Gong), so it’s assumed he’s only dating her aggravate him. And he also seems to have his eye on Lee Nan Hui. Crazy, right? So there’s no telling who ends up with who.

It’s still early, so everyone’s intentions and personalities haven’t been fully displayed yet. And there’s a great deal of missing backstory, like Lee’s father and her same-aged brother. If I could pick at this point, I’d want Gong Meong with Min Wa Ram, and Lee with the guy from her old school in chapter one.

I’m curious to see how this all pans out and how Lee will eventually stick it to her hateful grandmother.

I believe that you are ninja too!

Posted: June 27, 2011 in pico
Tags: ,
the ninja outfit

the legendary ninja outfit, complete with my signature leopard heels 😀

So here’s the promised post on my tips for the Ninja quest line. There are five different areas that you’ll go through to get through the initial quest line before they become repeatable. I’m not going to sit here and explain the nitty gritty. Odds are, you already know most of this stuff, like the orange bar, the rice balls you can’t afford, and how to look into your backpack. You probably also know that you get an epic ninja suit if you collect all the Edo treasures. You probably don’t know that the suit makes you run like a character out of Naruto.

What I didn’t know when I finished the quest chain and started to do them as repeatable quests was that there are TWO different boxes. Yeah, that’s right, two. The plain box can drop any kind of common or uncommon item. The rares, which are the Makimono scrolls, only drop from the boxes with the red bows. These boxes can only be obtained if certain criteria are met in your completion of the quest.

I also didn’t know that certain items only drop in certain areas, but then there’s a large number of common items that drop anywhere. I am including a picture reference that I made to help with that. The gray dots are those common items.

Ooku Living Room

How: After accepting the quest from the green ninja, you move to the wooden perimeter area of the room. You will automatically start mopping the floor. Go from the top right corner, to the bottom corner, to the left corner and back again. Two plain boxes usually appear in any of the three corners when you mop through them.

Bow Box: To get the red bow box here, do you see the back wall with the doors? After you accept your quest from the ninja, start by going through the very back door in the top corner of the area. Then, you can start mopping, but stay behind that back area, behind the doors. When you finish, the red bow box will appear on the platform next to the flower vase.

Items: These are the red colored dots on the chart. You get the pipe set and the Water Makimono.

Dojo

How: To get into the dojo, you have to use the “bow” emote at the door to the left of the green curtain. Once you’re in, talk to the blue ninja. After accepting the quest, you have to run around until your blue bar fills up. A plain box will appear.

Bow Box: For this, you need to run continuously without stopping at all, making sure your cape doesn’t touch the ground. The easiest way to do this is to click corner to corner. Click the next corner when you are about halfway to the previously clicked corner so that there’s no stopping. Your character will simply change paths.

Items: These are the green colored dots on the chart. You get the coin set and the Wind Makimono.

Roof

How: Once it’s opened to you, there will be an orange arrow on the tower behind the guys yelling stuff about fire. Once you’re up there, you have to make your way across to the white flags on the other side and back again. Once you reach the platform, a box will appear near you on the roof. The great part of this quest is that you don’t use any energy unless you fall, so it can be easily repeated over and over.

Bow Box: This one’s tough and it took me forever to comb through research and techniques to figure this one out. What I do know is that there is a set pattern that stays for a certain period of time. There is no “one pattern fits all” here. Once you figure out the pattern, repeat it, repeat it, repeat it. It may take you a few tries to get it, but once you do, you’re golden. Sometimes, you might run into someone up there running the pattern. If you see them go by a few times without falling, PAY ATTENTION. Copy their moves. Get across the roof and back without falling, and you’ll be rewarded with a bow box. Remember that you have to get back onto the platform before the box will appear.

Items: These are the yellow colored dots on the chart. You get the inrou (lacquered medicine box) set and the Fire Makimono.

Back Alley

How: This one’s easy enough. Once you get the quest from the green ninja, you have to make it across to the guy dressed in white at the other end. When the swordsmen and lamp carriers get near to you, press the giant orange “use” button above you in order to cover yourself and hide from them. The cover wears off after about 10 seconds, so if they stop near you to look around, press it again to recover before it wears off. If they catch you, it’s back to square one. Some tips here. You can walk along the rock edge, and a plain box will appear on the boat most of the time. You can also take a rest on the dock if you need it. If you notice that a bunch fo guys are coming in your lane, and there’s no one in the other, you can go through the green fence to the other side.

Bow Box: Don’t get caught and the box is yours. Simple.

Items: These are the purple colored dots on the chart. You get the tegata (sumo wrestler autograph) set and the Earth Makimono.

River Side

How: This is another simple one. Talk to the red ninja, and once you have the quest, start at the first dock. When you have a clear opening, click on lily pads to jump on them. Your character will only jump to lily pads that are next to the one you’re on. Jump quickly if your lily pad begins to fade, or you’ll fall in and have to start over. Watch out for forming lily pads that turn into flowers, as you can’t jump to those. Once you get to a dock, you usually get a plain box.

Bow Box: Don’t fall in.

The great thing about this quest is that the old guy next the the red ninja has a repeatable quest in conjunction with her. If you complete the quest 10 times, he’ll give you a set of 4 lily pad chairs. If you’re willing enough, you can earn more than one set. Just don’t forget to talk to him before you fly out of there after finishing or it won’t count!
Unfortunately, they took him out as of July. Epic sadness, I know!

Items: These are the blue colored dots on the chart. You get the daruma set and the Sky Makimono.

Here’s one final tip.

If you get all the rare Makimonos, and you need common items, you don’t have to complete the quests. You only need to do the quest long enough to get your box. Then, you can leave and come back and start the quest over again. The last item I needed was the silver pipe from the Ooku Living Room. It took me several days to figure out that I could just get the box, leave, comeback, and start over. I accepted the quest, went to the top right corner, mopped down about an inch, and the plain box would appear. After I openend it, I went home and back again. Rinse and repeat. I was able to open a large number of boxes in a shorter period of time without sucking down all of my energy.

Let the questing begin!

Dance, ninja, dance!

Posted: June 27, 2011 in pico
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My brother’s fiance, Mayumi, who happens to be from Japan, got me addicted to this game called Pico (pico.ameba.net). Pico is the English version of the Japanese game Piggu, which I watched her play. In turn, I got my twin sister addicted to the game as well.

Me, Alicia, and Mayumi

Me, Alicia, and Mayumi

It’s a great little game. You go around and give people “props” which gives them currency called “gummi’s.” Everything is in real time, you can talk to random people in a variety of sets or parks. You get a house that you can decorate, and you can buy blocks to create stairs and new floors. The only downside that I see is that a great deal of stuff takes “gold” which you have to buy using real money. To make up for that, there are tokens you can earn if you log in every day for 2 weeks, or randomly in Gotch machines. These tokens can be used on most items that you can’t pay for with gummis. Aside from that, you can live a pretty cushy life in Pico if you know how to farm for other people’s props and where to go to get fabulous stuff.

Here’s my routine to get maximum gummis from props and rings. Pick a park. I usually go for the Japanese park, because it’s usually crowded and it’s Japanese, of course. Pick an empty spot on a bench. Know a dance move? Throw it out there every minute or so while you’re sitting. It will catch people’s attention. In between dance moves, props everyone else in the room. Then you wait. I usually go about 15 props before I change rooms. Not everyone is going to props you.

To increase your chances of being propped, here’s a couple of tips:

  • Stand still. It’s hard to click on a moving target.
  • Don’t ask to be propped. Reverse psychology here. If you’re begging, some people make it a point to not props.
  • Prop everyone. Not everyone is going to do this in every room, but most generally repay a props on them.

Then after you’ve managed your cap (you won’t get anymore gummis after 30 props), I go through my list of people who props’d me, and I ring all of their houses. About half of them generally return the ring on my house. You cap out on rings at 20.

My character, Odoriko-chan

My character, Odoriko-chan, dancing the Japanese bonfire dance

Other ways to make gummis:

  • See food in people’s houses when you ring? Eat it! You can make up to 200 gummis a day just by eating food. Buying it yourself and eating it defeats the purpose. If you have friends in your room, share food in your inventory, and they’ll most likely be willing to do the same. It’s also a great way to make friends.
  • Change your clothes. Or just hit the closet button and the save button, and you’ll earn another 50 gummis.
  • Play games. There’s four games to choose from: Pirate Rock, Paper, Scissors, Math Challenge, Reversi, and Card Match. When you play with friends, it’s pretty fun. Playing with strangers is pretty frustrating, especially when they always leave after you kick their butt once.
  • Earn gummis to get your gummi bar to 500 and 1000. You get extra gummis to hit those marks. Star challenges and daily scratch don’t count towards it.
  • Do the star challenges. There’s a blue book in the top, right corner. Click on it and peruse. See if there’s anything you can work on.

One of the best things to do to get decent items is to play the Gotcha machines. Most sets that you can “travel” to have a Gotch machine you can play. I usually play the one in Nakamise St. (the Japanese Gotcha machine) or the one in Riverside Suzhou (the Chinese one). They are 100 gummis per play, but they can be worth it. Generally you’ll rack up a fair bit of food to share, but you also get special blocks, items, and clothes that you can’t buy at any of the stores. You also have the chance of randomly getting tokens, which is really spiffy.

the ninja outfit

the legendary ninja outfit, complete with my signature leopard heels 😀

There are some places that you can travel that will open up quest chains for people. The Edo area Ninja quests are by far the most popular. They are repeatable quests in which you collect a full set of Edo era treasures to get yourself an awesome ninja suit. I just got mine, literally right before I wrote this post.

At first, if you don’t know what you’re doing or what to look for, the ninja quests can be really confusing and hard to do. After some research and my own experience, I was able to uncover some truths. But, I’ll save all my ninja skills for a later post.

All in all, Pico is a great place to play. My favorite part is meeting people from all over the world. My twin sis, Mayumi, and I have met a guy from Japan who’s English isn’t so great. My Japanese is abysmal, and so is my sister’s, but having Mayumi helps bridge the language gap a bit. On days when Mayumi isn’t there to help us, Alicia and I resort to her Japanese dictionary and my skills with Google Translate. It’s fun, because we’re all trying to communicate. Most of the time we communicate by leaving each other food and balloons in each other’s rooms.

Happy Pico-ing everyone!

I’m seeing red.

Posted: June 17, 2011 in glasses
Tags: ,
“Megane Danshi″
part 7: Akane

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

Akane

Akane

So here’s my first megane danshi who is solely in manga (for now): Akane from Soul Eater Not!. Soul Eater Not! is strictly a manga at the present time and is only up to chapter 7. That’s great news if you’re looking to get into a new manga, especially if you liked Soul Eater. Soul Eater Not! is a semi-spin-off of Soul Eater. It takes place in the same universe; in fact, it’s pretty much a prequel. The story revolves around a different heroine and some of her freshman classmates before the events of Soul Eater. But anyway, back to Akane.

He was introduced in the first chapter, and he comes across as a very gifted student who will end up in the advanced class in no time. He strikes the reader as intelligent, advanced in his fighting style, and quintessentially “cool.”

Usually, it takes time for the backstory of a particular character to unfold. For instance, Naruto Uzumaki’s backstory wasn’t revealed until 400 episodes in (and that’s pretty extreme). But for Akane, chapter 6 had his story unfold for the most part, and it also catapults him to the main forefront, whereas before, he was only a prominent side character.

Akane's Star Clan Eyes

Akane's eyes behind his glasses

No surname has been given for Akane yet, but like the heroine, Tsugumi, he is Japanese. He was practically raised in a dojo, learning forms of judo meant for fighting and not sport. He reveals that he doesn’t even need glasses, but he wears them to hide his star shaped pupils, marking him as one of the Star Clan. For those of you who’ve read or watched Soul Eater, you know that Black Star was the last of the Star Clan bandits who went around using their powers to murder and pillage whole towns. Akane is a member of the Star Clan that didn’t go rogue.

Akane is a meister (weapon master) and has a weapon partner named Clay. At the end of chapter 6, he appears to be offering to partner with the heroine, Tsugumi. I guess we’ll find out when chapter 7 is released. I can’t wait!

Now to interrupt with a random train of thought. I find it weird that the name Akane is actually a girl’s name, meaning a brilliant shade of red (hence the post title). Could that be a tie in with his character? Are his eyes actually red? And as he’s a Star Clan member like Black Star, is he perhaps Red Star? Anyway, back to the original program.

Akane

Because another picture of Akane is a good idea.

If you were to combine Soul Eater’s Death the Kid and Ouran’s Kyoya Ootori (both of whom I have posts on and really like), you get Akane. Like Kyoya, Akane is intelligent and extremely formal in nature. He calls people solely by their surnames, speaks politely (even to enemies), wears a suit and tie, and sits with perfect posture. Like Death the Kid, he shares a similar style of clothing and was raised to fight to protect people. Akane has stated that he is attending the DWMA academy to learn how to use his abilities for good.

Despite his desire to do good, his intelligence, and his formal presence, I cant help but wonder if he might have an ulterior motive. He has a weapon partner, and then suddenly offers that partnership to Tsugumi after she makes it known to him that she is too much of a coward for the advanced class. He offers the partnership with a promise to protect her, and though they know each other, they aren’t that close.

I wonder if he sees something in her that she (or us) aren’t aware of yet. I could venture a stab at vengeance on the rogue part of his clan, but they’re all gone. Speaking of which, I wonder how he and Black Star will get along. After all, Black Star wears his marking, uncovered, on his upper arm.

If he’s a good guy through and through, that’s cool. If he’s got a darker side behind his good side, even better. If he turns out to be a super evil jerk face, then he can take his place next to Aizen and Kabuto on my heartbreaking wall of shame.

I love this manga, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out, and how Akane fits into it all.

Kanashii!!

Posted: June 10, 2011 in my life

That means “sad” in Japanese. The reason for that: I cracked the screen on my laptop a week ago, my computer that I do ALL of my design work, blogging, writing, and job hunting on. So my entries will be at a stand-still for at least another week. 😦 All of my material and photos were on there, and since I’m using computers that are not my own, I can’t get them.

In the coming days/weeks after I get my laptop back, I hope to have Clannad finished, start some entries on Voice Actors who I admire (starting with Vic Mignona and Todd Haberkorn, following with Luci Christian, Laura Bailey, and Greg Ayres), and some more Megane Danshi: Kabuto Yakushi (Naruto) and Akane (Soul Eater Not!).

So, sit tight and watch for the new posts!

Thanks!

-Felicia, aka Fifi the Ninja