Sunday, 25 March 2012

Been Watching: Catgirl Nuku-Nuku

 When slightly unhinged scientist Kyu Natsume works out exactly what his prototype android will be used for, he does a moonlight flit with the android chassis and his young son Ryunosuke.
 Company head - and Kyu's wife - Akiko Natsume does not take the news well and sends henchwomen Arisa and Kyouko to bring her husband, the stolen android and her son back. They decide to do this in a helicopter gunship (because they're idiots)  and in the crossfire mortally wound Ryuunosuke's newly acquired cat.  Kyu looks at the cat, looks at his currently brainless android, and thinks "Hmm..."
 And that's how Ryuunosuke ends up with a new big sister. A big sister who can throw treetrunks around and who has to be stopped from chasing mice. With Akiko hellbent on retrieving her son and her stolen hardware Atusko "NukuNuku" Natsume has her work cut out for her.  
To sum up the three episodes on this tape
1. Nuku Nuku goes to school and ends up fighting a helicopter gunship.
2. Nuku Nuku goes to the beach and ends up fighting a bloody great mechanical octopus.
3. Nuku Nuku visits the inlaws and ends up fighting a heavily armed Mech.
After Akira had introduced UK audiences to Anime the newly formed Manga Video began capitalising on the attention, releasing a string of titles that tended towards OTT violence and dubious sex. (In all a fairness, they also released daft comedies Project A-Ko and Dominion: Tank Police to significantly less media attention) Naturally the British press were appalled but having managed to convince young British men that "cartoons weren't just for kids" and racked up respectable sales figures in the process, Manga saw no reason to change the winning formula.
 Even so, from quite early on there were attempts to introduce the lighter and fluffier side of anime to British audiences and that's where Crusader Video made their one and only attempt at an anime dub.
  To the best of my knowledge it's the only dub ever to have featured a Scouse accent and on it's premiere at 1994's Aukcon I can remember it going down very well indeed.  Certainly Crusader video were doing a brisk business in Nuku Nuku t-shirts and posters.
  Unfortunately the video itself doesn't seem to have fared quite so well. The Manga video "tits n tentacles" crowd weren't interested and the Anime-UK reading hardcore fanbase might have been enthusiastic but there just wasn't enough of them. With one video to their name, Crusader disappeared into the same black hole that would eventually claim Animeigo, Kiseki and Western Connection, among others.
 So is the dub any good?
Honestly,  there is no way to describe it beyond "flawed"
 There's no attempt to match the lip movements up with the audio, to start with. None whatsoever.
 I'm sure I read somewhere that some UK dubs were notorious for having the actors see the script for the first time only when they were in the recording studio and I wouldn't be surprised. It does rather come across like a bunch of fans decided to have a go at dubbing.
 To give them credit, everybody concerned does try hard and it pays off more often than you'd expect giving the vid a certain goofy charm. I still think making one of the sidekicks a Liver Bird was a stroke of genius, by the way. She steals every scene she's in.  And the source material is entertaining regardless of whatever is going on on the audio track.
  If I have a major grip it would be:  Who the hell decided to replace the original opening music with what sounds like a pub covers band? The girls in question played live at Aukcon by the way - they were rubbish.  
 Check it out here:
 The rest can be found here:

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Warriors Of Steel Ride Out. The return of The Metal Project.

About time I got back to this, really. We have reached the letter "W" at long last. Let's see what that brings us:
Warfare - Collision/Rabid Metal (1984)
Honour to: WhoTendsTheFire

Warlock - Metal Tango
Honour to: djbados1

War Thrashed (Colombia)- Metal Attack
Honour to: BARTO1011

White Night  (Bel) - Heavy Metal Angel
(Bloody thing won't let me embed - sorry)
Honour to: SlauterXstroyes

White Pigs - Heavy Metal
Honour to: goodpeelings

Wild Dogs - Metal Fuel
 Honour to: SteelVsMetal
Wittnezz (Swi) -Heavy Metal (1990)
Honour to: wCwNeverDie

Witchtrap (Colombia) Metal War

Honour to: camsarrr

Wizard - True Metal
Honour to: kainofkay

 Wyvern (Sweden) - The Liquid and the Metal (2001)
Honour to: BaptizedinFire

That's it to be getting on with. See you next time for "X" and probably "Y" and "Z" as well.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Been reading: Clive Cussler - Crescent Dawn

327 AD - A Roman galley on an important mission is ambushed by pirates. With the crew dead or dying the galley limps away and it, and the precious cargo, is never seen again.
1916 - A German U-Boat watches in astonishment as a British cruiser explodes for no apparent reason.
Present day - While on a surveying assignment in the Eastern Mediterranean  Dirk Pitt and Al Giordano discover an Ottoman shipwreck and end up on a collision course with a crazed brother and sister bent on bringing terror to the Middle East. 

 Clive Cussler has been one of my regular authors for years but of late he's been sticking to a formula and it shows.
Historical artefact gone missing - check
Dirk - or Kurt Austin, or the crew of the Oregon - stumbling onto a plot entirely by accident -check
Megalomaniac with money, a grandiose plan to fuck shit up and at least one psycho sidekick - check
Beautiful woman there to be overawed by Dirk/Dirk Jr/Kurt/whoever - check.
Epic set piece with a last minute save - check
Bad guys die messily - check
Lost thing is found, everybody parties -check
 This time round the baddies are Turkish siblings rather than the Chinese. Interestingly while Cussler's heroes are never overshadowed by their womenfolk, he has no problem with making the female half of a villain team the one who's more dangerous and that's the case here. Read into that what you will.
  There's a new gadget to play with, a decent car chase, the standard author cameo that's been a running joke for a while and a surprisingly subdued ending. 
 All things considered, this is a decent read and you cannot fault Clive Cussler (& son Dirk) when it comes to new setups. I'm beginning to wish, though, that he'd maybe shake things up a bit more.
 I'll finish with a simple observation: Having two characters with exactly the same name in a book is liable to get confusing. Any chance you could call one Dirk Pitt and one Dirk Pitt Jr from here on in?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Gratuitous pic of attractive woman: Chiaki Takahashi.

I have no idea what this young lady does for a living  - besides leaning against walls in her underwear.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Been Watching: Young Justice.

 Based - loosely, very loosely - on the DC comics series, Young Justice concerns the adventures of a group of teenage heroes.
 The very first episode opens with sidekicks Robin, Kid Flash, Speedy and Aqualad given clearance for the Justice League's HQ. This is good. Not as good as the membership they thought they were getting though. Realising that as far as the Justice League is conned they are just kids Speedy stomps off in disgust while Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad decide to form their own team and show their mentors that they can hack it.
 Over the course of the first series they are joined by Superboy ( teenaged clone of Superman with some issues), Miss Martian (Martian Manhunter's cute niece) Zatanna (younger than her usual portrayal) and archer Artemis (who also has a few issues) , with Red Tornado and Captain Marvel acting as den mothers and the rest of the League swinging by to offer advice/support as required.
 As it turns out, when you have a team of eager youngsters willing to get stuck in, you might as well use them and the new team becomes the Covert arm of the Justice League. 
 Does this mean their missions are easy ones?
Hell no.

There are several good US cartoons around at the moment: The Avengers, Thundercats and ..err...My Little Pony spring to mind and Young Justice is easily one of the better ones.
 DC have clearly given Young Justice some time and effort and it shows. The animation is some of the best tv work around at the moment, the voice-acting is up to the usual high standards and while each story is self-contained, there is plenty of ongoing development. There's one official romantic pairing, hints that another might not be beyond the bounds  of possibility, an intriguing story arc involving a mystery cabal and  the ongoing mystery as to who a couple of these young heroes really are.
 Darker than The Avengers, less animesque than Thundercats, Young Justice may not have inspired the fanaticism of My Little Pony but it is highly deserving of more love and if there isn't a second series I shall be most PISSED OFF. 

The team

Robin - Batman's quickwitted sidekick. Not the leader he wants to be but he's learning. Powers: None but he's nimble, skilled at hand to hand and good at hacking and planning
Aqualad - For the moment the team leader. The most levelheaded of the gang. Powers: Atlantean strength and toughness. Uses shaped fields of water to inflict thumpings.
Superboy - Clone of Superman. Doesn't have all the Man Of Steel's powers and maybe too hot tempered for his own good. Significantly less of a dick than he was initially though.
Kid Flash - Goofy speedster with hidden depths. Being good at science, for instance.
Zatanna - Magician. Newest member of the team and currently a bit overwhelmed by it all.
Artemis - Snarky archer with a few things she'd rather the rest of the team didn't know.
Miss Martian - Alien shapeshifter, telepath, psychokinetic. Innocent and likeable - but also has a few secrets.
Wolf - A big ass wolf Superboy made friends with on a mission and he kinda stuck around.
Sphere - A big metal ball...thing  that Superboy acquired during a mission.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Victims Of The Metal Future

Well that took a bit longer than I thought. Never mind. I'm back for the latest installment.
The letter this time is "V"

 Valhalla (Esp) - Born by Metal
Honour to: MetaIcrus

Vampirella-Slice of Metal (1986)
Honour to: THRILLAKILLA187

Vanadium (Italy) -Heavy Metal
Honour to: Vanadium90

Vanguard (Sweden) - Heavy Metal Paradise (1984)
Honour to: NWOBHM87

Vengeance (NLD)-Metal Days
Honour to: rumblephist

Vice Human-(Gr) - Heavy MEtal (1985)

Honour to: petrankaras

Vicious Aroma (Dnk) -Heavy Metal -1990
(Available evidence sugggests they aren't too serious)

Honour to: NWOBHM87

Victimizer - Hell Made Metal

Vortex - Thrash Metal Holocaust
Honour to: thrasherCy

Vulcano - Death Metal

A truly multinational selection, I'm sure you'll agree.
Enjoy the weekend and I'll see you next time for "W"

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Under The Blade- More Metal

Another collection of songs for your entertainment and education. Since we're now on "U" this might be a short post.
U.D.O - Heavy Metal Heaven (2009)

Ultimatum - Heart of Metal

Unholy - Bestial Metal
Honour to: fidelix45
Unleashed - Death Metal Victory (1997)
Honour to: CrazyMetalZombie

Untergang - Bubonik Black Metal

Honour to: Skatje666
Urgehal - Satanic Black Metal In Hell (2006)
Honour to: Haseroth

Ursus (Colombia) - Fuerza Metal
Honour to: Jotsinium

Usurper - Kill For Metal
Honour to: pariah106

I seem to have run out of songs. Or at least songs that are actually on Youtube.
I might have a bit more luck with "V"

Incidentally if you fancy a laugh, go have a look at Encyclopedia Metallium
It's a great reference site - I get a lot of source material from there - but there's no getting round the fact that some of the band/song titles are comedy gold.  
 Keep banging those heads and I shall see you next time.

Gratuitous Pic of Attractive Woman: June Palmer

June Palmer was a British glamour model during the 1960s. Most of the pics on the net are NSFW.
Here's one that isn't.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Thunder And Lightning, Very,Very Metal

T is for: Tankard and Toxic, Thunderbolts and Tanks, Trains and Titans and Thor and Teacakes. 
Some of which appear in this post. 

Tankard - Heavy Metal
(1984 Demo so sound quality not stellar)
Honour to: HacKfs

Thunderbolt - Metal Tide
Honour to: metallioum3 

Titan Steele - Metal (2007)
Toxic Holocaust - Metal Attack (2004)
Honour to: WhoTendsTheFire 

Touch Of Devil - Metal Power (1987)

Honour to: NWOBHM87
Trance - Heavy Metal Queen (1983)
Honour to: fitslikeaglove1

TSA _ Heavy Metal Swiat (1984)
(Polish, I think)
Honour to: rockarolla00
Turbo (Chile) - Metal
(The cassette cover does them no favours. Musically they're a lot beefier than you expect)
Two Cities - Here in the metal world
Honour to: SlauterXstroyes

Tyrant (Germany) Metal Rules (1985)
Honour to: aerogun18

That's it for today.
It doesn't look like I'l be able to go back to the daily posts anytime soon so see you whenever.  

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Been watching: Planet of the Dinosaurs.

The poster makes this film look infinitely cooler than it actually is.
  Deep in uncharted space a starship has a catastrophic reactor failure. Only one shuttle and a motley collection of crew and passengers  survive to crashland onto a convenient planet. 
 Unfortunately  the planet happens to be occupied. 
By Dinosaurs.

  The one thing everybody agrees on is that the dinosaurs are done quite well. Or at least done well by late 1970s low-budget standards. 
  And this is low-budget.  They certainly didn't spend more than they had to on the actors, most of whom are terrible. Available evidence suggests that the producers recruited people who couldn't get work in porn. That would certainly explain the natty facial sported by almost every single male character.   The one exception - the guy who looks like a beefed up Doug McClure and acts like a tranked up Doug McClure -  loses his shirt as soon as our heroes make planetfall and never manages to find it again. 
 Ah, but is there fanservice from the ladies? 
Sort of. 
The token blonde strips down to her underwear to go for a swim and quickly and fatally discovers why this is a bad idea on a world populated by large carnivorous reptiles.
There's also a random outbreak of drunken gogo dancing later on. The young lady concerned then  makes the tactical error of running the wrong way when a T. Rex pops up in the next scene. And I mean pops up.  Something the size of an elephant manages to sidle up to within spitting distance of a snogging couple before one of them notices.
D'you think the producers are trying to tell us something? 
In the interests of gender equality, the prize for "Biggest retard" goes to the obnoxious rich-boy who has spent the entire film being a spoilt, whiney prick. He stumbles across a clutch of melon sized eggs and overjoyed by the prospect of a decent omelette begins loudly calling for the mother to pop back and say hi. Obviously eggs that big mean a frigging huge chicken, right? 
 He's on a planet that has dinosaurs on it. 
 Dinosaurs lay eggs.
It never occurs to him that maybe he really doesn't want to meet the mother after all.
  Note the big-ass spikey horn. Guess who ends up getting a really close look at it?

  Can you imagine a cross between "Starcrash" and "One Million BC"?  Except with less budget, no name actors whatsoever and some quite impressive facial hair. There's also a soundtrack that entirely consists of somebody doodling on a Mini Moog.
 See that poster up at the top of the page? If the film was even a quarter as entertaining as the poster promised, it would be a decent way to kill a couple of hours. As it is, fast forward through the bits that don't have dinosaurs and maybe play a game of "Which 70s Arena Rock Band Does Each Character Belong In" 
A short taster, if you're interested.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Seek and Destroy

 Today's letter is "S" and since I'm writing this on a Sunday, let's start with -

Japanese nutters Sabbat - Black Metal Volcano
Honour to: pagancelt

Sacred Steel - Metal is War (2000)
Honour to: petrankaras

Scratch-(Sweden)- Metal Breaker (1985)
Honour to: NWOBHM87

Severe Warning - Death To False Metal (1987)
(Demo track)
Honour to: SlauterXstroyes

Sign of the Jackal - Heavy Metal Demons
Honour to: J3r3m0 

Skull Fist - Heavier Than Metal
Honour to:jackieslaughter 

Stainless Steel - Molten Metal (1987)
Honour to: aerogun18

Steeler - Heavy Metal Century (1984)
Honour to: metalnurse1984

Stone Soldier - Invincible Metal (1988)
Honour to: NWOBHM87

Stormwarrior - Metal Legacy
Honour to: Matacativ09

That took a bit longer to do than I originally planned but I got there in the end.
More of the same tomorrow.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Quoth The Raven "Metal Forevermore"

I managed to find precisely one "Metal" song on Youtube by a band starting with Q. It's quite an important one though. This is the song that kickstarted the glory days of US commercial Metal.

Quiet Riot - Metal Health (1982)
Honour to: FreakHorror1201

So let's go straight into "R"

R.U.S.T (Cyprus) - Metal Child
Honour to: RustCyprus

Railway - Heavy Metal Fever (1984)
Honour to: aerogun18

Razor - High Speed Metal (1986)
Honour to: AAC902

Reincarnate - Metal In Disguise (1982)
Honour to: NWOBHM87

Revenge (Colombia) - Metal Warriors
Honour to: Hobbit85BB

Riot - Heavy Metal Machine
Honour to: fairus1349

Ritual Carnage - Metal Forces
Honour to: stormtrooper81

Rommel -(Japan) -Black To The Metal (1988)
(Apparently a lot of Japanese bands from this period used the swastika purely for shock effect. Silly, silly people)
Honour to: WCwNeverDie

Running Wild - Metal Till Death (1984)
(Live Bootleg)
Honour to: TheThrashZone

That's it for today. See you tomorrow.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Hello again.

I'll finally rebuilt my archive and my "To post" list so hopefully I can get back on track over the weekend.
 Youtube can still huff a dong though.
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