More Square-Enix Geekiness

Mwa ha! First post at Scales since I’ve been in Japan!

So what shall I blog about?  Well, that which I didn’t go into detail over at Lucky Hill: My “pilgrimage” to see Sephiroth.  ^o^  Yeah, I’m THAT big of a geek.

So, Square-Enix has a store in Tokyo called the Square-Enix Character Goods Show Case. (You can click on “English” to the left on their page.)  I Google-mapped it before leaving for Japan, but it seemed kinda complicated.  I was confused about why it was giving me a long, funky looking walking route when the mass-transit route required that I get on a train and get off after one minute.  It did help, however, since I learned that I would be getting off at Hatsudai Station, I was able to use the much simpler Shinjuku area map all JET participants recieved. The store was a mere 15 minutes from the hotel!  It’s kinda tucked away, under an overpass, so it’s easy to miss.

I asked the clerk if it was alright to take pictures, and he said it was fine.  Now, the very realistic Sephiroth statue is actually in the floor (in the Premium Goods area, of course), so I couldn’t get a shot of the whole thing.  They also have the original Genesis outfit on the display, like the one GACKT wore in the video to “Redemption.”  Click the pictures for the full size!

Welcome to my Reunion...wait, I'm not Kadaj...

Welcome to my Reunion…wait, I’m not Kadaj…

This one's blurry, but you can see more of it.

This one's blurry, but you can see more of it.

"折れた翼を羽ばたかせ、全てを消してみせよう〜" ♪

"折れた翼を羽ばたかせ、全てを消してみせよう〜" ♪

Whew, that’s quite a bit of geeking out there. >P

In slightly related news, I bought an Arena 37 Special that featured GACKT for the poster. It is the second decoration I’ve bought for the apartment. (The first was one of those Japanese summer-not-quite-a-windchime thingies.  I’ll add pics when I take them.


Genesis and Sephiroth Fanart

I hope that title didn’t get any Genesis x Sephiroth fans too excited, since that’s not what this is. I’ve had these pieces on My Page over at Square-Enix Members for a while, and thought to leave them exclusive to that site but, there isn’t much Genesis fanart out there that I’ve seen…(ah! I should Google his name in katakana instead! Why didn’t it occur to me sooner?)

Anyway, click on the image for the full size, as these can be used as wallpapers. Not that too many people land on this blog, but just in case, please do NOT repost these anywhere, download them only for your personal enjoyment. And please, don’t crop my signature out (yes, I have seen people do that *so annoying*).

Here’s Genesis Rhapsodos. He’s holding a “dumb berry,” Banora’s second most important crop. ^o^ I think we’ve seen him with dumb apples and/or Loveless more than enough. I don’t know exactly what Genesis’ earring looks like, so instead I drew the PEERAGE from GACKT’s DARTS line of jewelry.

I don't know exactly what Genesis' earring looks like, so instead I drew the PEERAGE from GACKT's DARTS line of jewelry.

The object of every Red Leatherite's affections. Yes, I call them "Leatherites." The ones in SE Members' Red Leather at least.

And here’s Sephiroth (whose last name should be “Silverburg” ^o^). He’s wearing glasses because…it’s a long story, but it has a reason. The No. 2 pencil, on the other hand, was randomly chosen. I didn’t want to be cheap and avoid drawing both of Seph’s hands, and since I didn’t want both of them in his hair, I had to have his hand doing something. Thus, No. 2 pencil. Maybe it’s for back-to-school…? Did Sephiroth go to school? XD
The object of every member of Silver Elite's affections.  Maybe we could call them "Silver Elitists"? LOL!  Don't know if the chairwoman would approve.

The object of every member of Silver Elite's affections. Maybe we could call them "Silver Elitists"? LOL! Don't know if the chairwoman would approve. And I'm not talking about Hojo.

I’ll parody a DeviantArt page and give equipment specs! Involved in the creation of these pieces were:
  • An Office Max No. 2 pencil (maybe that’s where it came from, ha!)
  • Strathmore Sketchbook
  • Papermate Pen Eraser
  • HP Photosmart C4280
  • Photoshop Elements 2 (yes, 2. Four doesn’t have the sunflower.)
  • Wacom Intuos 3 tablet
  • And of course, an Intel iMac running OS 10.4.11

Okay, lemme stop, lol.

Final Fantasy Concerts Return to Detroit!

Yes! My hope came true! “Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy,” the latest FF concert, will come to Detroit on June 18th! I didn’t think they’d come through the D since they performed in Grand Rapids (and Uematsu was even at that one), but at the same time, I thought, they can’t diss the Detroit Symphony Orchestra by not coming here!

The DSO’s event page for this concert is found here.

For the Detroit page of the Distant Worlds site, click here.

I’m so excited! Waaa! ^___^

Get your tickets before Seph buys them all to scalp them!

Get your tickets before Seph buys them all to scalp them!

Sephiroth, Alucard, and Gackt’s Identity Crisis

Happy New Year, O World! May 2009 treat you better than 2008!

First Post of the New Year has got to be good, right? Enjoy this silly comic strip that I made!


\ ^0^ /

Ah, I crack myself up!

I suppose I should explain my somewhat convoluted bad joke, just in case anyone didn’t get it.

The newest (far as I know) Castlevania game (Castlevania: Judgement for the Wii) features an Alucard that looks remarkably like Sephiroth. It’s not too bad in Takeshi Obata’s (!!) illustration, but in-game…see for yourself!

So that explains the first two dudes. The third guy is Gackt. In case you don’t know, Gackt is a Japanese rock star, among other things. When he was in the band Malice Mizer, they had a song called “月下の夜想曲” (gekka no yasoukyoku), which was also the Japanese title of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Then when Gackt went solo, in the video for his song “Mizérable” he looked like he was cosplaying Alucard. Years later, the cover of his album Diabolos really couldn’t be more explicitly Sephiroth fanart. When I saw the Sephiroth-like Alucard, I thought, “Oh, no, what’s Gackt to do now?!?” But he’s currently revisiting his Rebirth era Nazi Frankenstein-Android character, so no worries for him. Thus, my silly joke.

If nothing else it was a pretty picture, no? ^_^

I do wonder why they chose to make Alucard a platinum blond considering how gorgeous he looks with dark hair. Genya Arikado, anyone? I also wonder why Ayami Kojima hasn’t been the illustrator for the past several Castlevania releases. Is she tired of drawing beautiful men surrounded by rotting corpses and all manner of demonic beasties? Come to think of it, it’s only been the games released on Nintendo systems that don’t have her art. Maybe Nintendo thinks she’s too explicit for their systems? No, wait, Kojima did illustrate Aria of Sorrow, which is why it was so strange to me that she didn’t do Dawn of Sorrow.


Final Fantasy concerts return to Michigan!

In late July of 2005, I got to go to what has so far been the most exhilarating concert I’ve been to (as a member of the audience): Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy. Hearing this music that I’ve come to love as the soundtrack of many hours of virtual adventures played live, by the grand Detroit Symphony Orchestra, in beautiful Orchestra Hall, was incredible. When they played One-Winged Angel as an encore, and the audience finally lost the restraint it had been exhibiting and started wooing and clapping fiercely, man! Brings a tear to me eye and a smile to me soul!

July of 2006 brought PLAY! A Video Game Symphony to Detroit. I didn’t enjoy it as much because it included music from some games I’m not really familiar with, and since the audience consisted of many different fandoms the feeling in the seats wasn’t as electric. Indeed, I recall someone scoffing at one of the selections from Final Fantasy. On the other hand, three composers–Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts II), Hitoshi Sakimoto (Stella Deus), and Michael Salvatori (HALO)–came to Detroit and some fans got to meet them, and it was hilarious to hear the DSO play the Super Mario Bros. Medley.

After those two, there’d been a drought of video game concerts in Michigan, and I began to give up on the hope of ever seeing another FF concert, much less one for Michiru Yamane’s work from Castlevania (cross your fingers with me, please!). But finally, there’s news of a new concert series! Currently, the only Michigan performance is slated for April, 2009.

The new FF themed concert series is called Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy. So far the set list doesn’t look much different from that of Dear Friends, but I’d go see it anyway…if it were a bit less far away. Alas, so far the only Michigan performance is all the way out in Grand Rapids. And–get this–Mr. Nobuo Uematsu himself will be there! Those lucky Grand Rapidian bastards! So far only the Grand Rapids and Denver stops are confirmed future performances, and I have hope that a Detroit stop will be added. After all, the tickets will be a guaranteed sell, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is all that and a bag of cellos!

You can find the series’ official site here.

It’s time to play, “What are they saying?!”

I love Final Fantasy VII. One of the reasons was because the game introduced me to the band My Bloody Valentine, whose legendary album Loveless is the namesake of the play referenced in both FFVII and Crisis Core. I know that this is a reference to MBV because, if you watch FFVII’s opening cinematic carefully, you’ll see that above where it says LOVELESS, it actually says “My Bloody Valentine”, written vertically. I was curious to see what the programmers where having fun with, so I Googled–er, used whatever search engine it was back then–the name.

Now, I was merely 9 years old when Loveless originally came out. When I came to find them, the album was already ten years old, and the main website that I got my info from went offline shortly after I’d discovered it. So imagine my surprise when I come to find out they actually made music videos for some of their songs! Seeing “Only Shallow” on YouTube, and hearing some lyrics clearly and differently than what I hear when I’m playing the CD, I figured it was time to play: “What are they saying?!”

If you don’t already know, MBV’s lyrics are at about the same volume as the distortion and trembling guitars, on top of being sung as if in a dream. In short: hard to decipher on many songs. As far as I know, and from what I’d found on the internet years ago but can’t find now, MBV never released their lyrics, so if you’re a new fan to the band and it’s history, don’t take the lyrics as posted on various lyrics sites as having any authority other than “this is what Bob heard”. While not knowing all of what they’re saying doesn’t take away from the listening experience, it sure is fun to speculate! If you don’t know the song, watch the video first before reading my version of “Only Shallow”!

Seen it? Okay, here’s what I hear:

Sleep, like a pillow
Go up there
When she walked in anywhere
Slow as a rhythm
Touch her there
When she walked in someway

Sleep like a mellow
Subject there
Feel like you could throttle her
Sleep, only shallow
Fields lie spread
Soft bright red silk everywhere

Sleep by the willow
Touch her there
When she walked down anywhere
Move in the mirror
She’s not there
When she walked in somewhere