When Addictions Collide

A little while back Peggle invaded the World of Warcraft. Now Warcraft has invaded the world of Peggle!…or something like that. For the uninitiated, Peggle is a game by PopCap, makers of the insanely popular Bejeweled, that feels like playing a Japanese pachinko machine. Already having multiple versions out, Blizzard and PopCap decided there was still room for another version.

If you haven’t tried out Peggle and you don’t mind having a little bit of WoW flavor to your casual puzzle game, go out and download the game. Before you know it, you’ll be alt-tabbing to get one more shot in during those anime ending sequences in no time. And PopCap if I can make one more suggestion going forward? I know that Bjork is the Peggle mascot and all, but can you make his power more than just something you’d find in Puzzle Bobble?


PopCap Games-Peggle World of Warcraft Edition

Bubblegum Crisis

The 80s were a simpler time. You had girls in mechanical suits...

From the Unwound archives. Way back in the days of my budding anime fandom, a dear friend of min pulled me aside and said he had something to show me. It was called ‘Bubblegum Crisis,’ and he was positive that I would enjoy it. Now, of course, I had my doubts as to the veracity of his claim. After all, it was kind of a ridiculously absurd name and did not really pique my interest all that much. In response, he simply told me to ignore the name and try not to judge an anime based on the title. I was too tired to put up much of a fight, and after work we ended up at his place and settled in for an afternoon of anime watching.

Yeah, I was taught a rather valuable lesson that day. Had I gone with my instincts of begging off, I would not be the same person I am today. I think, along with many other early titles I watched, Bubblegum Crisis is a staple of anime fandom. At least, it’s a staple of mine. I’m not talking about the remake from Pioneer/Geneon, either. I’m talking about the late 80s produced original, where you could tell it was all hand-drawn and not computer-assisted. along with classics like Urusei Yatsura, Macross, Yamato, Gatchaman, and many others, BGC is a must-see for any anime fan out there. It’s a common frame of reference, a point of contention between fans over what constitutes a bad dub, and if you haven’t seen it, you’re punched right out of the conversation, I guarantee you.

gaudy yet awesome outfits, ...

What’s BGC about? Four women battle against the out-of-control creations of the Genom corporation: one driven by revenge, one driven by boredom, one driven by excitement, and one driven by loyalty. Led by Miss Sylia Stingray, the Knight Sabers band together to crusade against the injustice of androids with too much power. Underground singer Priss Asagiri, Linna Yamazaki, and police data specialist Nene Romanova round out the group, wearing Stingray-designed hardsuits and kicking some serious Boomer ass through eight episodes of OVA goodness.

Can you sense my enthusiasm? Good.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this series. It delivers action, romance, drama, and a memorable soundtrack the likes of which has never been reproduced. Every character shows a level of depth that you really only got to see in much longer series. What a story like BGC, it would take a series such as Full Metal Panic or Gundam much more than eight episodes to provide you with a clear background, and even then it took Crash to really screw the pooch. Which in a sense was an additional three episodes to the story, but you see how perfect the eight was? It really didn’t even need the full eleven, right? See?

... and big hair.

Though… Crash had good music. What is it with all these series that are bad, but have kickass OSTs?

Not that BGC was any slouch in the OST department. Quite possibly the most recognizable set of vocal tracks in anime history belongs to this series, which includes the perennial Konya wa Hurricane and my personal favorite, Bye, Bye, My Crisis. The latter of which is just a fun song to chairdance to. Also, it took me forever to find the music in the pre-Complete Vocal Collection days. I could write a full review on the music, itself, so I’ll cut myself short here. The bottom line is, if you haven’t yet watched this series, then crawl out from underneath your rock and get thee hence!

Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu (1st Season)

Editor’s Note: From the Unwound archives. To celebrate Tanabata, we’re reliving our review for the first season of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu. Enjoy!

All other religions don't matter! Only Haruhi-ism matters.

I know I need to wait until we broadcast the first episode, but I don’t think I can properly contain my being almost completely enamored with Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu. I finished watching this fourteen-episode series just yesterday and all I can do is keep humming the ending theme, Hare Hare Yukai, which comes complete with a crazy dance sequence that many many people are trying to emulate on YouTube. Haruhi reminds me exactly what anime is all about, and that’s good all-around fun with a dab of drama and romance to it. This series literally has it all, from sports junkies to space opera fans and everything in between. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was skeptical beforehand, but when you hear from many many people about how awesome a series is, there’s something inside that tells you to believe them and I’m so glad I did!

Haruhi's loyal followers.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you’re probably in need of a torrent download. Head over to Animesuki and download the torrent right now, if you haven’t yet. Go ahead. I’ll wait. (Editor’s Note: DON’T download this anime; instead buy it at your local defunct video megastore or Amazon.)

Done? No, seriously… go and grab it.

Okay, now that you’re about to embark on this riproaringly funny journey, you need to understand that not since School Rumble have I been so completely enraptured by this series. You’ll rush to your nearest SOS Brigade branch and join up! Check with Negi Springfield on the forums, because I think he’s starting a chapter up as we speak. Hell, I think I might have to sign up, myself.

Normal time-traveler greeting.

The only problem I could even think of with the series is the fact that it’s a mere fourteen episodes! C’mon, folks… a series this good needs at least twenty-two to twenty-six installments so I’m not going crazy waiting for a second season (which rumor has it, is in the works). However, I think the beauty behind Haruhi was the order in which the episodes were broadcast. Instead of telling the story in a linear fashion, the episodes were shown out of order, starting with the eleventh and ending with the sixth. Therefore, if I wanted to, I could rewatch the whole thing in chronological order. For the new viewer, I would recommend experiencing it in the broadcast order first and then electing to do what I will be doing, which is spending more time with Haruhi in a new way. This makes the series rewatchable! And it’s like I have 28 episodes instead of just 14!

We’re Back From Vacation! (Sorta.)

You may not have noticed (nor cared), but it’s been quite dead these past few days. It was the 4th of July weekend and we all took a nice long break from writing about nonsense and stealing breaking news from other sites. (Though, I did break this news long before Kotaku did.)

In reality, we all have day jobs and we barely had the time and energy to write anything at all. Even though it’s summer for everyone else, the Unwound crew’s schedule feels like autumn. That doesn’t mean we’ve given up on the web site! We’re still going to deliver content to you, our faithful visitors, but please keep in mind that this is not our day job, though it would be cool if that were possible. (QQ)

Comic-Con 2009 Adds Big Anime Name to Guest List

What has been rumored for awhile now appears to be confirmed. The LA Times report Hayao Miyazaki is slated to appear at Comic Con 2009 to promote his newest film, Ponyo. Miyazaki’s previous films that had made it to the big screens in the US, Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, were both critically acclaimed but did poorly in the domestic box office, only taking in $10 million and $4.7 million respectively. Both have grossed over $200 million internationally.

It seems that Miyazaki is trying to combat this but not only appearing a major pop culture event, but also by casting many top names for the English adaptation. The voice talent features Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Cate Blanchett, Liam Nesson, Betty White, Lily Tomlin and Cloris Leachman. Will it be enough to make Ponyo a domestic hit after it has already grossed $182.1 million internationally?


Los Angeles Times