Monday, October 27, 2008

Daikon Stew... soup...

I'm trying a new recipe tonight with my daikon radish I purchased.
Sounds lovely and I had almost all of the ingredients (vegetable broth instead of bullion, I actually added a bit of beef bullion for more consistency anyway).

Check it out:

Rice Stew with Daikon (Daikon Zosui)

2 ½ cups cooked short-grain rice* (I used long, oh well)
¾ cup shiitake mushrooms*
1 ½ cups daikon (about a four-inch-long chunk), sliced as directed*
¼ cup carrots, sliced as directed*
5 cups vegetable stock (4 cups vegetable broth)
1 teaspoon salt* (or 1 ½ tablespoon beef bullion rather)
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce* (I used mushroom soy, m'mmm)

½ cup Wakame, soaked five minutes in cold water to cover, then chopped into one-inch long pieces (do discard soaking water)

Peel the daikon and carrot, and slice into two-inch-long by one-half-inch wide ribbons that are no more than one-eighth-inch thick. Thinly slice the shiitake mushrooms also. Heat the stock in a soup pan with the daikon and carrot, and cook until the vegetables have softened, around 10 minutes. Add the cooked rice, mushrooms and wakame, and bring to the boil again, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt and soy sauce. Eat hot. Partners well with Daikon Pickles. (Note: Be careful not to cook the rice too long; otherwise, it will end up the unappetizing consistency of glue. [LIES! I've never had that happen!])

Mmm, soup. Some people like raw daikon, but I don't. I used to love popping radishes until one day at a party I popped one too many in my mouth and they started burning my throat, thus ended my relationship with the little red and white taproot. Daikon are much the same. It's that same pungent, raddishy taste in the back of the mouth every time, even though daikon are less strong and are sweeter. But when boiling them in a soup, the radish taste diffuses in the soup and it becomes soft and picks up the flavors of the spices and seasonings used instead. I'm not sure what the directions mean by "ribbons" of daikon, but I plained, and diced them nicely.

The directions also call for seaweed (wakame), but I opted against. It somehow didn't feel included in this dish, like it were more or less an afterthought. It doesn't bode well with the savory aspects of the mushrooms, soft daikon, soft carrots, vegetable taste, etc. As an added bonus I put in some chili and garlic sauce in addition to my mushroom soy, but I can barely make out either.

Enjoy! Serves four, goes well with fish!

More at Moscow Food.
(Pictured: Nerima Daikon Brothers)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nintendo DSi (new DS with cameras) video

Pretty neat features!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Japanese TV: Pan-kun rides a Segway!

Fast learner!

HappY Birthday Empress Michiko!

I seem to have bad luck with Birthday Posts as of late...
so I guess I'll keep this short and brief.
Mainichi News reports the 74yrold Empress attributes her health to exercise and even joining in the Emperor's daily exercise regiment.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Editorial: Wisening up maybe?

Wisening. That's a word, right?

I suppose you could say that is what is happening. At a time after the anime boom of the Western world has begun to cool, anime staples like Geneon and NEWTYPE USA fizzled out of existence, it all might seem pretty scary for the anime consumer. But maybe, now, all is not so dire.

I have noticed a bit of a trend, as of recent, in the world of R1 anime releases, or North American compatible DVDs. Gurren Lagann, for example, destined to become one of the most popular series of the year, was expected to be loaded with extras, it would be expensive, it would be hyped like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was when it came over...
... And it was all wrong.
The DVD hit the shelf with as little hype as possible, no grand anime convention licensing reveal. The box, two discs, has nine episodes, offered subbed only, with just about nil extras. There is a special edition box set, actually, but that's beside the point. This standard set, only costs the price of what a usual release would cost, about $25 (all prices USD), and within three volumes, whereas a normal release would come out over five or six volumes for the same cost per volume (and sometimes more as you get closer to volumes number five and six, if typical).

The same thing is being done for the latest release of Ouran High. The first volume of the series will come thirteen episodes in two discs! The cost will be $45 to $50 when released, but that is what one would pay in a more traditional release for two discs of four or five episodes only.

We are now seeing a trend, I believe, where more DVDs, even the popular ones, will be released as such; bundled and reduced on cost! And that's where the wisening up comes in. Where anyone can buy a TV on DVD box set of, oh, twenty-six episodes for $30, it seems strange to pay the near equivalent for five of one anime series. Though costs are significantly lower, and more releases are being made than back in the day, I think it's a lot to ask in this day and age. And maybe this is where licensor, Bandai Entertainment, got it right in its Gurren Lagann release. They saved on the cost of voice actors by releasing subbed only discs, which turned the appeal from subbed/dubbed optioning to simply a lesser cost! Though it was a gamble, I don't think Bandai feared experimenting a little with this series, given its tremendous popularity (and that they would not have to hire voice actors for it either. By the way, they started doing iTunes downloads for this series too, just like I always wanted!).

I, myself, am always looking for a deal though. I never buy anime unless it's got some markdown. And typically at my local FYE, there will inevitably be a sale sooner or later. Aoi & Mutsuki, for example, I bought in a two disc set with all thirteen episodes for around $20, and while it is a more obscure series, I like it like that! Some of these less popular, and even, more campy series really ought to be lower in price, and placed together more than one disc at a time.

Overman King Gainer is one such example. It's a very obscure series, with slower pacing and much confusion in the first few episodes. I never paid more than $6 for a volume between four or five episodes, except the last volume, number six, I paid $9. The series never had a big following, and it's taken all of this time for it to even give it a spread in this month's issue of Otaku USA since it's release in 2006. It is both underrated and a rather undesired buy. By coupling volumes one and two (and subsequently three and four, five and six) I believe that the series may have taken off better, because of the value aspect and, even if you didn't like the first four episodes in volume one that well, you're still stuck with volume two, which picks up in speed and answers some more questions.

So what's the cause of all these trends? Economic downturn? That soon-coming readjustment of the anime industry I so did not fear? Whatever the case, I'm not displeased. Let's hope this trend grows, for the rest of the upcoming new releases (and maybe even, gets a little cheaper yet).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Update: Just what is going on?

This post evolved out of an intro to an editorial I hope to launch tomorrow sometime.
For some reason the post got really long and the intro no longer matched what I intended the editorial to be about, so I hacked 'em apart, and here the first part is.
Just a recap of Japan news, actually.

At any rate... news is slow.

Nothing is going on in the anime blogosphere. And with this summer's showings it's no wonder why. Everything was the same tune from blog to blog. Same for this fall. Just a smattering of hits.
Nothing is going on in anime news in general. Things are looking repetative. The same news that occured last year is happening this year: which studio is closed, this director is the next Makoto Shinkai, new EVA movie, Goro is no Hayao, this popular anime gets an OVA, Aya Hirano, this popular OVA based on a manga gets a series, anime to live action adaptation, Aya Hirano...
It seems that the only news happening is coming from Japan, and it's not even anime related!
Why just within a month I can list all of the really important stories that I wasn't around to blog about! And believe me, Kami keeps me updated on the things I'm to busy to write about!

Let's see:
First, and most important, Japan elected a new Prime Minister, and it was my pick for office, Taro Aso! Yes, the manga guy. He was sworn in September 25.
Ichigo Suzuki, MLB all-star-or-soon-to-be-if-he-isn't, made a record 200-hit season, for the eighth straight season in a row, which occured on September 18. (Okay, not technically news from Japan, but whatever.)
Tomoji Tanabe, the worlds oldest man (named so after the death of a 138 year-old man this August!?) turned 113 on September 18.
Last week, an electronics company developed HAL 9000! But don't worry, they're only bio-boosted legs. See related post here.

Thank you, Kami. Once again you're a classy guy, with all of this news!

So, wherever I was going with this, tomorrow I should have the other half of my editorial completed. It's ready to read, I just need to put the finishing touches on it.

Secretly, I think bloggers on the site get a kick out of seeing me write a post over a week, save it to the post board, and publish it after it's sat practically completed for a couple of days, until I come back and rewrite it... Either way, here she is, er, part one!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Now They've Gone and Dubbed It

Goooood day, Ani-Pock! This is TL with news so horrid my puke is puking. Some of you may want to cover your eyes until you get to the Community Blog where life is joyful and Japanese names are pronounced correctly. Funimation has released a preview of their dubbed (coughmassacredcough) version of Ouran Host Club, and I have found clips from the first episode. The lag is unintentional, but it's not just your computer. Watch at your own risk. The only good part i can see is that they involved the voice actor of Edward Elric. But he pronounces the names just as badly...


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Miku Library

In sort of a relation to Purly's post:

Recently, I've been tipped off to a Miku sampler hosted at NicoNicoDouga. It's eighty minutes of sample songs sung by our VocaloID2 heroine. Click the pic!

I recall one or two of the art pieces for the songs looking a little sketchy, but it's okay. ~_o

The mp4 of this whole thing is gettable here.
Any of the songs in the video can be viewed in full from Nico by using the id tag (combination of numbers and letters) found on each song's art. More info when you click on the video link.

Seikan Hikou Surprise!

This is the song Seikan Hikou from Macross Frontier, it's the FULL dance version, performed by Hatsune Miku of Vocaloid 2. And as an added bonus, there's a link to a file with 200mb worth of Vocaloid MP3's! Can it get any better? :3


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Deal: Chobits Anime figurines six for $8.32 Free Shipping

That's about $1.38 per figurine! Free shipping!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Japanese TV: DOORS 2008 Special

Via "TBS aired its DOORS 2008 special, which consisted of a series of obstacle courses and challenges for celebrities. Here are a few clips from last night’s broadcast."

This is pretty awesome. Looks like people could get hurt on this. Also, the end is Donkey Kong in Real Life!

Japanese TV: Nearly Impossible Gameshow

Via "I believe the point of this Haneru no Tobira challenge was to swing onto a the conveyor belt, grab a flotation device, and then use the flotation device to grab a rope, which one could then use to swing onto the goal platform:"

Japanese TV: Bush is controlled by Aliens

Look in the left corner behind him.

Deal: Virtual Pea Pods only $3.40 for two, shipping free

Mugen Edamame - Endless Soybean Keychain

Check out how much fun they are having!

Lots more cool stuff here!! Continue browsing...

Archives: (Oldest) April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 December 2010 (Most Recent)