Christmas is just around the corner, and in Japan that means reservations for Christmas cakes are everywhere you look. While most western cultures probably associate fruit cakes with Christmas, Japan has popularized a light, usually white cake with strawberries and cream as a common Christmas eve treat. Now, Christmas cakes are so popular that they come in nearly every flavor imaginable, and every decoration imaginable, too! From Monster Hunter to Yowamushi Pedal, all kinds of nerdy fandoms are represented in Christmas cake form… And I’ve rounded up some of the best to share with you today.
Tag Archives: Monster Hunter
Chic Pixel Plus Episode 35 – Everything is Grey
Who’s excited about Monster Hunter X? We certainly are! We’re also excited about this episode’s Manga Book Club pick Moriawase Girls, which turns out to be just the right combination of creepy and cute. Meanwhile, Concrete Revolutio and The Perfect Insider make us scratch our heads, and things even get a little more philosophical as we recount the latest episodes of One Punch Man. And have you ever wondered what Japanese cop shows are like? Sarah’s got you covered there, too!
00:01:11 – Monster Hunter X
00:10:56 – Free manga by Inio Asano promotion at Ebook Japan
00:13:14 – Yoko Shimomura Game-Along
00:15:28 – Right Stuf holiday sale [Anne’s guide]
00:16:11 – Honoring Shigeru Mizuki
00:19:16 – Manga Book Club
00:44:52 – A Perfect Insider episodes 6-7
00:56:23 – Concrete Revolutio episodes 7-8
01:04:24 – One Punch Man episodes 7-8
01:12:06 – Nippon Neighborhood Watch
Opening ♫ – “Match Uri Shoujo” by Suiyoubi no Campanella
Closing ♫ – “Jeuno – Starlight Celebration” by Naoshi Mizuta
Sunday Spotlight: My Fair Hunter
The Japanese release date for Monster Hunter X is fast approaching, which means I am all about Monster Hunter right now! Over the next week or so I’m going to be celebrating all things Monster Hunter on my Twitter, Instagram, and this site, starting with my review of an amazing Yian Kut-Ku 3DS case I posted on Friday.
As such, this week’s spotlight highlights two of my favorite Monster Hunter players: Sarah and Roy of the My Fair Hunter podcast! Of course you probably already know how cool Sarah is as a co-host of Chic Pixel Plus, but if you’re a fellow Monster Hunter fan, I highly recommend checking out their fun show. Right now they’re playing through Monster Hunter 4U, and they always make sure to explain strategy and give tips for new players, making it a fun and informative for players of all skill levels.
You can watch My Fair Hunter video podcasts on YouTube, as well as follow them on Tumblr and Twitter. They also have a Patreon, which offers access to early access to videos, as well as a bunch of other goodies!
Poka Poka Airou Village DX and the adorable eCapcom tote bag
It goes without saying that the Monster Hunter X (pronounced “cross”) news is amazing and I’m beyond excited to play it when it debuts on 3DS this winter. The other Monster Hunter news that everyone is overlooking, however, is that we’re finally getting a new Monster Hunter Diaries: Poka Poka Airou Village game! Subtitled DX (for “deluxe”) and coming out for the Nintendo 3DS on September 10th, the game looks just as adorable as ever, and comes with a number of exciting new features.
If you don’t recognize the lazy egg yolk on top of that Felyne’s head, I highly recommend checking out Gudetama, one of my favorite new Sanrio characters. The fact that Monster Hunter Diaries: Poka Poka Airou Village DX announced this collaboration right off the bat is a testament to his immense popularity right now. Oh, and of course there will be a couple Nintendo of collaborations, as well!
Chic Pixel Plus Episode 23 – The Monster (Hunter) Mash
In honor of the impending English release of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for the 3DS, the first episode of Chic Pixel Plus of 2015 is dedicated to all things MH4U! I’m joined by my Team Derp hunting buddies Elliot “can’t get enough of this podcast” Gay and “if it’s not good, sell it in two days” Hasemo to discuss the ins and outs of our collective first serious Monster Hunter game.
But first, we touch on a few news items, including some recent Kickstarters of interest, as well as what else we’ve been playing/watching (Tales of Zestiria, Kuroko no Basuke, and more). Then, we delve into our histories with the Monster Hunter franchise, what weapons we use and why, favorite/not so favorite monsters, and answer some listener questions. If you’re on the edge of your seat waiting to play MH4U, this is the podcast for you!
*Be warned that there is some discussion of a new G rank monster (other new monsters are discussed, but nearly all have already been revealed in promotional materials), so if you don’t want to be spoiled in any way, skip over the portion where we start talking about some meanie called “Gogu.”
Opening ♫ – Wind of Departure (Professor Sakamoto Super 8bit Remix) – Monster Hunter Compilation Re:Mix Chiptune
Closing ♫ – BBQ Spit “Jyouzu ni yakemashita!” – Monster Hunter 4G
Chic Pixel Plus Episode 12 – Only a Little Insane
We’re all a little mad here on the Chic Pixel Plus podcast! In this more-than-a-little-late episode, I’m joined by dynamite duo Roy and Sarah of My Fair Hunter, Culty, and Asobee fame to chat all about their various creative endeavors along with the usual Japanese entertainment fare. In addition to discussing craft beers, Monster Hunter (how could we not?!), Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD, Persona, and the anime Silver Spoon, we manage to turn half the internet against us with our lack of interest in Vocaloids.
Opening ♫ – Monster Hunter Tri Main Theme
Closing ♫ – Levan Polkka – Hatsune Miku
Sarah’s comic – https://gumroad.com/l/rayoflight2013
Thanks to Sailor Moon, I’m now obsessed with figurines
Way back in May, I preordered my first figurine. Sure, I’ve picked up the odd gatchapon or two over the years, and even had a sort stint where I bought a number of Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy Play-Arts figures back in high school (I believe I wound up with Vincent, Sephiroth, and Axel but ended up selling them when I moved to Australia), but this was the first time I’d been so interested in getting my hands on a figurine that I preordered it. Now that my S.H Figuarts Sailor Moon is finally safe in my grubby hands, I think it’s safe to say that I’m officially a converted figure lover.*
I won’t take just any figurines, though. I believe the reason I could never get into the “scene” before (if you can even call it that) was because I assumed all Japanese anime/video game figures were $100+ affairs that were lovingly sculpted and painted but end up doing nothing more than sitting in the same position on people’s shelves for all eternity. Imagine my surprise when I gradually found out that there were many equally nice (from my not-very-discerning perspective) figurines available at a fraction of the cost (between $30-$50) that were actually posable and came with accessories! Now here was my true calling.
Even still, I couldn’t allow myself to go out and buy just any figurines. Thus, I proposed a very strict rule: I would only buy figures of characters from my absolute favorite series, and only if they were characters I actually had a personal emotional investment in. So, when it came down to it, there weren’t ever really that many figurines that met my criteria. That is… until now.
I have to say, there is something surprisingly satisfying about being able to take my very own Sailor Moon figurine and put her in almost every iconic pose from the series imaginable. The S.H Figuarts Sailor Moon may appeal to the little girl who liked to reenact epic dinosaur battles with her plastic toys inside me (I was never really one for dolls), but it certainly doesn’t feel like a cheap child’s toy! It comes with a number of different faces and hands, making it really fun to try all sorts of different setups. Unfortunately, the one nitpick I have is that her hair is quite hard to pull off when going to change faces, and I’m always worried I’ll break something or nick the paint, but I imagine it would be hard to make it more durable while still keeping it cheap and maintaining the posing options.
Also, I’ll readily admit that I’m not really all that creative when it comes to attempting to put my beloved Sailor Moon figure in new poses. Whenever I open the box to take out a new hand or go to adjust her legs into a different position, I’m sudden zapped of all my creative vision and ultimately end up just putting her in one of the generic poses found on the back of the box. I’m happy enough with that, but hopefully I’ll shake this “figure block” soon so I can start creating some neat new scenes with her! I’m constantly amazed by how creative and fun the photos fans post on the internet are. I guess for now I’ll just stick with this cute generic peace sign pose:
Now, this wouldn’t be a post about how I’m newly obsessed with figurines if I didn’t go into detail about what I’m currently drooling over. With Sailor Moon acting as a “gateway drug” of sorts, I’ve now amassed quite the purchase history and wishlist…
Who wouldn’t want an adorable Shizue/Isabelle figurine to keep them on task? This Nendoroid took the internet by storm after it was announced, and though I hesitated to preorder it, I decided to bite the bullet and order one of myself now that it’s officially released. One of the big reasons I went for this and not, say, some other Animal Crossing: New Leaf merchandise is because, well, a lot of it is actually rather creepy… (it’s the mouths, I tell you!) I really hope they don’t release a Brewster Nendoroid, because that’d probably be the end of me.
The only thing that’s kept me from preordering one of these Digimon Adventures figurines is the fact that it looks like only their faces are interchangeable. My wallet’s thanking whoever designed them for not making them fully posable…
Now this gorgeous Monster Hunter 4 Nendoroid has two things going for it: 1. the girl is wearing Lagombi armor, which is all kinds of adorable (not to mention Lagombis are basically mean oversized rabbits) and 2. she comes with a Felyne. I suppose it’s pretty obvious that I’ve already preordered it! The only thing I wish is that it came with a smiling face, rather than the upset face in the corner and the weird open-mouthed wonder face featured in the other two shots. Oh, and a BBQ spit accessory, but I guess I can’t have everything…
Finally, the impending new Sailor Moon anime means that I’ll probably find myself dying to buy figures like the ones above for months to come. Unlike the Nendoroids or the S.H Figuarts Sailor Moon, however, they are not posable or alterable in any way, which means I should be able to resist adding them to my collection. Each character comes in two variations and boxes give no indication as to what figure you’ll be getting, so it could potentially be quite the money sink trying to get the one you want! I’ll need to be very careful in protecting my wallet if this figure obsession persists…
*I’m using “figure” and “figurine” interchangeably because I’m not really sure what the difference is!