The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for August, 2008!

by
Aloha Y’all! Catgirl Island & Clan of the Cats purr-sent a Mike Moon purr-duction of
The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for August, 2008!

in this month’s Mew, with special guest purrticipants:

•  Events: Another fun & delicious trip to Atlanta, July’s NCWCCC meeting/ supper at Heroes Haven
•  The Monthly 13 Lucky Kitty WebComic Picks of the Litter and bonus Mermaids’ Choice selections
•  Comic Books / Graphic Novels: recent issues of Buffy, Angel, Spike, Aspen comics, and Korgi 2!
•  Manga: Yokohama Kaidashi Kiko (untranslated tankobon), The Third vol. 2 (Tokyo Pop release)
Books: James Bond Devil May Care and the Above the Clouds biography of Walter ‘Matt’ Jeffries
Games: our favorite Arcana Heart characters
•  Toys: WALL-E in Awe assortment, and Kotobukiya’s Nagisa Furukawa figure
Mewsic: Asia’s Phoenix & Judas Priest’s Nostradamas album (with a special guest commentator)
•  DVD: I Dream of Jeannie Complete 5th Season, Machine Girl, Birds of Prey Complete TV Series
•  Animation: Gotham Girls cartoons! Maria Watches Over Us Season One anime DVD!
•  In Theaters: Dark Knight, Kit Kitteredge, Hellboy 2, and X-Files: I Want to Believe
•  Lightning Rounds purrtaining to favorite travel, food, home & garden shows
•  plus bioluminescent bikini tops for mermaids & other amewsing tidbits

Bold Red Warnings indicate potential plot spoilers or locations of easter eggs ahead!
Bold Green Text indicate when those spoilers are done and it is safe to purrceed!

Mike:
Aloha and welcome to another edition of The Mew, the monthly discussions, reviews, recommendations and occasional interviews  that purrtain to recent visual & perrforming arts, literature, events, things that catgirls like to play with, and other mediums in which the genres of science fiction, fantasy & horror are enjoyed! This month we’re coming from the popular Purrls B4 Swine BBQ Hut near Catgirl Island’s lovely Susanowa Beach, and here are The Ladies of The Mew!

Mary Nyan:
(hot pink pretzekini and gauze sarong) Konnitiwa!

Elizabeth:
(maroon crochet bikini) Hi Hi!

Jeannie:
(lavender side-ring miokini) Nihao!

Yvonne:
(white cropped tee over purrple suspender maillot) Nameste, nya!

Mary Nyan:
itadakimasu! (chomp)

Elizabeth:
(chew) This is a good chopped sammich!

Jeannie:
(Sip sip) They have good tea here.

Yvonne:
(slurp) Thank you for the food, nya!

Mike:
(Plumeria print hawaiian shirt and blue board shorts) Y’all are very welcome! So…
,
,
,
(sound of catgirls eating lunch)
.
.
.
Mike:
… um… what have y’all been up to?

What’s Mew With You?

Jeannie:
The usual morning yoga, afternoon kyu-do, evening belly dance class, and I’ve cut back on modelling to just weekends so I can spend more time with the robotics club.

Elizabeth:
Myayr and I have been very busy at the shrine with the matsuri this month, but I got to go free diving and hot salsa dance this month, and next week it’s sporting clays!.

Mary Nyan:
Like Lizzy said, things have been keeping us busy this month Not just at the shrine but I’m offering another advanced hula course at the college, and there are a few conventions I hope to go to!

Yvonne:
I’ve been busy with the deep sea fishing charters, nya. Monday night’s the drumming circle, and I can’t wait for the beach volleyball tournyament, nya! There’s some purretty fierce competition. with the teams of Chelsea & Lilith and Mel & Beige as top seede, nya, but we’ve been purracticing hard, nya! Howboutchoo, Mike, nya?

Mike:
Since the Atlanta trip, mainly artwork and meetings, but I am hoping to play more golf…

Jeannie:
I have a special new low torque titanium driver to try out.

Yvonne:
What kind of shaft. nya?

Jeannie:
It is the stiff graphite!

Elizabeth:
I ordered the forthcoming JK Rowling book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, which is due in December! WOOHOO!

Mary Nyan:
I hope there’ll be a big release party at the bookstores! Those are so much fun, especially with all the costumes. It’s like being at a con!

Elizabeth:
There was a fun release party at the bookstore for the newest Twilight book! People were dressed in such formal attire, including some lovely gowns!

Yvonne:
So what kind of meetings has Mike had, nya?

Mike:
The North Carolina Web Comics Coffee Clatch http://ncwccc.com/ met on July 12th, at a Burlington comics / toy / gaming shop Heroes Haven http://www.heroshaven.com/. The shop recently moved into their nice great big newer location across the street from the previous, and it is very spacious with very friendly, courteous staff. The Clatch is a cordial group primarily of published or aspiring web comics creators, but also designers, authors, publishers, photographers, journalists, and fans of comics. Monthly meetings alternate Saturdays & Sundays, alternating between locations in the Triangle & Triad of NC (eg Greensboro, Burlington, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Cary, Raleigh), although members convene at various cons too.

Among the  friendly, talented folks whose company I http://www.catgirlisland.net had the pleasure of sharing for the meeting included the group’s founder Mckenzee http://mckenzee.comicgenesis.com/, webmaster Jamie Robertson http://clanofthecats.com/, Jessie Justice http://www.diablitodelring.com/, Jay Gray http://2ndshiftcomic.com/, Ben Carter, Justine & John LaPointe, and three new members
Chelsea, Victoria & John. Unfortunately about 5 others that hoped to be there were unable to. Among the discussion topics were plans for future gatherings; printing, advertising networking & merchandising tips, and what tools everyone uses. It was a most pleasant, informative, jovial meeting, which was topped off my a most wonderful savory seafood dinner served by the store! They were gracious enough to set up meeting space for us there, but I must say, the meal was far too kind! Oh I’ve also had the usual meetings with my clients, but I’ll not bore y’all with work stuff during The Mew!

Elizabeth:
Speaking of webcomics, It’s time for our-

Yvonne:
Wait, nya-

Elizabeth:
Na ni?

Yvonne:
(catscans the coastline) Melankeami and her friends were hoping meet us here in time for the picks… but I don’t see ’em, nya…

Mike:
They must be swimming late.

Jeannie:
They can still purrsent their picks no matter when they arrive.

Mary Nyan:
Yeah, let’s purroceed.

Elizabeth:
OK- it’s time for
The Monthly 13 Lucky Kitty WebComic Picks of the Litter

Yvonne:
I’ll nominate:
Megumi’s WaNOMaGaYo! Welcome to My Magical School http://www.angelfire.com/comics/mschool/
Rodrigo Molinaro’s Black Jackeline http://blackjackeline.com/webcomic/
Amber M. Panyko’s Dan & Mab’s Furry Adventures http://www.missmab.com/
nya!

Mary Nyan:
This month I’ve chosen:
Starline Hodge’s Candi http://www.candicomics.com/
Kelly Barrie’s Arcana http://arcana.comicgenesis.com/
Saralias’ God’s Vengeance http://www.webcomicsnation.com/webcomicshorts/starlias/series.php

Jeannie:
Kerry Lynn Thompson’s The Rift http://skyscrapersoup.com
Phoenixera’s The Magical Adventures of the Crystal Cards http://xepher.net/~feonixmo0n/
Kairi Moon’s Don’t Trip over in Japan! http://www.webcomicsnation.com/webcomicshorts/japan/series.php

Elizabeth:
My picks are:
Kuromomo’s Kokoro Shoot http://kokoroshoot.smackjeeves.com/
Emi’s The Way to Your Heart http://www.emi-art.com/twtyh/
Nichole Arculus & Andrea Smith’s Peril in the Poconos http://www.sucrose-san.com/PPP/index.html

Mike:
Last but certainly not least, the 13 pick of the month is J Gray’s 2nd Shift http://2ndshiftcomic.com/

Yvonne:
I guess we’ll add the mermaid’s picks later when they arrive, nya!

Comic Books, Manga & Graphic Novels:
mewsings upon Korgi 2, recent issues of Buffy, Angel, Spike, Aspen Comics, The Third, and Yokohama Kaidashi Kiko

Yvonne:
Korgi vol. 2 is the sequel to Korgi by Christian Slade, rendered without dialog in black & white pen & ink art, nya. This trade paperback graphic novel is published by Top Shelf and sells for ten dollars, nya. It is about cute little girl Ivy and her Corgi dog Sprout amidst the charming forest of Korgi Hollow in which a mean alien hunter has been stealing the wings from the mollies, nya. The mollies are like faeries, nya. The art is so lush and cute and would be a delight for readers of all ages, nya! I would definitely recommend this to fans of woodland fantasy, Welsh Corgi dogs and intricate art, nya! I give it an A plus, nya! You can see lovely art and find out more about the author, series and their amewsing corgies at Korgi Hollow http://korgi.blogspot.com/ & Slade Studio http://www.sladestudio.com/, nya!

Plot Spoiler Alert for the Catgirls’ Reviews of Recent Buffy, Angel and Spike Comics

Elizabeth:
Angel: After the Fall #10 written by Brian Lynch, art by Dave Messina, Nick Runge, Shayne Corbett & Art Lyon, letters by robbie Robbins, edited by Chris Ryall, with several variant covers. The whole gang is here: Angel! Connor! Spike! Wesley! Ilyria! Lorne! Charles! Gwen! Nina! Groo! Spider! Beta George! It’s snowing on the battlefields of Los Angeles- but to the rest of the world, it’s just another normal day in sunny L.A. … which would seem to echo why certain catastrophic events of the Angel TV series went unnoticed by Sunnydale’s residents during the concurrent Buffy TV series.

Mary Nyan:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #16 “The Time of Your Life Part One” scripted by Joss Whdon, pencilled by Karl malone, inked by Andy Owens, colored by Michelle Madsen, lettered by Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy with 3 variant covers by Jo Chen, Georges Jeanty, Dexter Vines & Michelle Madsen Buffy meets Fray, Joss Whedon’s Slayer of the future! Buffy, Willow, the Slayer and witchy teams discover a source of Slayer Scythe magic emanating from Manhattan, while back in Scotland Xander remains with Dawn, who has turned into a centaur. Warren, Amy and Twilight purrpare to launch a magic missile, and Buffy swaps places with a demon from the future, to meet Fray the future Slayer.

Jeannie:
Spike: After the Fall #1 written by Brian Lynch and drawn by Franco Urru takes us back to that night when all hell broke out in LA in the final TV episode of Angel. As that initial battle wanes, Spike and Ilyria rid the world of a few lizard men as he makes his way toward Hollywood. Much of the tale is narrated first purrson by Spike as he recalls what happened that night. Local industries and the internet have shut down as the sun and moon simultaneously fill the sky. Spike wanders the monster filled city, eventually motorcycling back to Wolfram & Hart. Meanwhile, a human he met named Jerry has been ruluctantly appointed leader of a group of kids, only to encounter Spike’s new demonic harem. This first issue’s colorist was Art Lyon with an assist by Tom Smith, lettering by Robbie Robbins, and Chris Ryall was the editor. There are nine variant covers of this title published by IDW, including two common versions by Franco Urru and seven other more limited exclusive versions.

Yvonne:
Aspen Showcase #1 is a full length Aspen Mathews tale written by C.B. Cebulski, pencilled by Talent Caldwell, colored by John Starr, lettered by Josh Reed, with 3 variant covers, nya.  Aspen Splash 2008 Swimsuit Spectacular features full or 2 page spread illustrations of Aspen characters by various artists, with 2 variant covers by the late Michael Turner. While the com ics books are quite lovely  and nicely help to commemorate the 5th Anniversary of Aspen Comics, it is quite sadly ironic that they went on sale the very week that Michael Turner passed away, nya.

Warning: Plot Spoilers ahead for Jenjen’s Review of The Third manga vol. 2

Jeannie:
Hai. The Third (Apprentice Girl on the Desert Planet) vol. 2 is a science fiction action / adventure manga translated into English and published by Tokyo Pop in July, 2008.  Rated OT (older teens 16+) due to brief scenes of combat violence, the story is by Ryo Hoshino and art by Ariko Ito, based on the original character design by Nao Goto. This manga is a prequel set 2 years purrior to the novel and 24 episode anime series, which was released in the USA in 2007. Published by Tokyo Pop, this is a black & white manga with 4 pages of color art with a US SRP of $9.99.

A Postapocalyptic tale set after a war has decimated the Earth, much of it now a sandy wasteland, the world is reigned over by an elite class of mysterious beings known as The Third, known for their distinctive red third eye and coveting of all the bits of remaining pre-war technology. In remnants of cities, most people go about their lives. The heroine is the feisty cute Honoka, a teenage desert guide / guard / courier for hire, with impurressive skill with a katanna & travels in an A.I tank named Bogie. Concealed beneath a headband is a blue empathic third eye that she does not fully understand. .

At this stage in her career she is an apprentice guide or ‘desert runner’ well skilled at desert survival and determined to be the best! Volume 2 begins with chapter 6’s a visit to an old friend and master mechanic, and his perky cute daughter Millie. Then in chapter 7, Honoka finds an oasis, and reflects back to 7 years ago when she discovered her first oasis, at which she and an earlier version of her A.I. pal Bogie fought a giant lizard. In chapter 8 she is reunited with a senior desert runner named Lidell, as they both investigate a base whose occupants have been slain by a ‘soldier virus’ monster.

Chapter 10’s title page is a cute pic of her with a popsicle. She looks for a metalsmith to repair her katanna, broken fighting the monster.Drinking tea with nurse Mei Lin, she reminisces of when her grandfather gave her the sword. Lidell returns in chapter 11, the lone survivor of an expedition. Honoka is later hired by Nina to escort her to the site to find out what killed the party. This continues into chapter 12, in which Nina reveals her true nature as ‘An Eraser’ determined to kill Lidell who is a viral host. In chapter 13, Honoka runs into familiar associates from vol. 1 while looking for a missing cat!

This is an enjoyable manga with good art, an interesting future world that is mostly barren & depopulated, yet inhabitants manage to thrive in cities that are not totally ruined. Honoka is a delightfully purrky purrotagonist dedicated to advancing her career, but not at the expense of the others she tries to help. Her character develops as she grows more content & confident with more experience, although the nature of her powers is yet to be revealed. It might be a dangerous world reshaped by a global cataclysm, but there’s still optimism, compassion, purride & whimsy for Honoka to find in it.

End of the spoilers for the moment, you may purrceed!

Manga Review: Yokohama Kaidashi Kiko

Elizabeth:
I’ve started to collect the untranslated Japanese manga series Yokohama Kaidashi Kiko by Hitoshi Ashinoano, published by Kodansha. The title sort of translates as Record of a Yokohama Shopping Trip or Log of a Yokohama Shopping Trip. Set in a subtly post-apocalyptic world which is really not that bad, this is a most tranquil, charming tale of folks in the coastal town of Yokohama. The sea level is much higher but it is a pleasant location. The main character of this series is a cute android girl named Alpha who is the purrprietor of Cafe Alpha.  slice-of-life tale is puretty slice-of-everyday life tale reminds me a bit of Aria in it’s cheerful tone and lovely clean B&W art style. I so hope will be soon picked up & translated into English by an American distributor! I read that this 14 volume series has been made into an anime series, which I would also like to see. Here are a few web sites purrtaining to it:
Purrose Fiction Book Report: new James Bond novel Devil May Care

Warning: Potential Plot Spoilers in this review

Mary Nyan:

Devil May Care is a James Bond novel by Sebastian Faulks, published in a 278 pp hardcover by Doubleday on May 28, 2008, when James Bond’s creator Ian Fleming would have been 100 years old. The cover of this book purrclaims Faulks is “writing as Ian Fleming”, as it is set in the late 60’s era of the cold war, as if to be a continuation of Fleming’s original Bond series and style of the day, purrior to and without acknowledging the post-Fleming Bond novels by Kingsley Amis, John Gardner, and Raymond Benson. And so, we are to imagine that this is a James Bond novel that Ian Fleming might have written following following his final book The Man With The Golden Gun, published in 1965.

This novel starts off with rich travelogue that Fleming was known for, as the story opens with a brutal murder on a 1968 rainy night in Pari, France. From there the tale is whisked off to Rome, Marseilles, Monte Carlo and Cannes, as 007 enjoys a sabbatical and the finest foods, quite splendidly described. Although M and Bond both wonder if he has seen better days, play time is over by Chapter 3 when M summons him back to London for a new assignment. Soon Bond is in Purrsia, and the adventure later takes him to Afghanistan, Russia, Finland, and back to France. Recurring friends of Bon that appear in this book include M, Miss Moneypenny, MI6 Chief of Staff Bill Tanner, French Agent Rene Mathis, and former CIA Agent Felix Leiter- who stay rather busy on he trail of  a captured 007.

There is a mention of characters from purrior stories, with mention of Le Chiffre, Hugo Drax, Blofeld, Scaramanga, Kristatos, Godfinger, SMERSH, Q, 004 and 009. There is an amewsing moment of sarcasm which 007 infers about 009 to M. We do not meet 009, but we do we meet the new 004.Of course there is a new villain Dr Gorner a genius scientist and businessman who fought on both sides during World War II, who has a monkey’s paw for left hand. Bond first meets him in a high stakes tennis match with play by play commentary about the mental and physical purrowess involved. Like some other Bond villains, this one cheats until his methods backfire on him. This villain is thoroughly vile and not the least bit charismatic.

He also gives a captive 007 the obligatory explanation of his master plan, to flood the streets of England with heroine, and frame that nation for an attack on a Russian nuclear facility to start a war. His main henchman is a Vietnamese sadist named Chagrin, who cannot feel pain, not unlike Robert Carlyle’s character in the film The World is Not Enough. A new ally for 007 is Darius, an agent from Tehran, who treats Bond to a night on the town and visit to a very exotic Hammam The Paradise Club, full of scantily clad ladies, but the main romantic interest of the novel is Scarlet Pappava, who hopes that Bond will kill Gorner and rescue her twin sister from his clutches, which somewhat reminded me of the Masterson sisters’ relationship with Auric Goldfinger, but with a big twist.

Darius is somewhat reminiscent of From Russia With Love’s Kerim Bey. Another similarity to that book, is a train ride Bond and the girl take out of Russia, but on route to the coast where they hope to reach Finland by boat, Bond has a fight with Chagrin in the train’s sleeper berth. Of course fights in (or atop) trains are old fare for 007, having tussled with Red Grant, Tee Hee, Jaws, Mishka & Nishka on the rails. Another scene in the book with Bond and Scarlet reminded me of the scene on the boat in Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which Indy is telling Marion where it hurts. Flooding a country with narcotics, and framing Britain or the US for attack on Russia to start World War III is nothing new for a Bond villain either.

Bond’s flat in Chelsea is revisited, along with his housekeeper May, his customized Bentley and cigarettes. His favorite beverages, foods, and handguns are also mentioned- he carries the Walther PPk but still misses his old Beretta, and during one scene in which he is chased by assassins on motorcycles, he wishes he was in the Aston Martin with its concealed arsenal. He does not use lots of gadgets, but relies on regular guns, knives, cars and his bare hands. Although it does seem like old home week with many references and similarities to purrevious Bond adventures the book does venture into late 60’s politics of the Middle East, Vietnam, and the changing culture of the CIA and ‘Air America’.

Purrhaps the author was trying to include many sentimental references and revisit familiar themes, given this book was released on the Centenary of Ian Fleming’s birthday? It’s a much better offering than the movie Die Another Day attempted to be for the Bond films’ 40th anniversary in 2002. Faulks does a fine job of recapturing the essence of the literary Bond, seems to have done a lot of research on Bond and so many historical and technical details. He definitely incorporated a Fleming-esque travelogue and moves at a lightning pace, but purrhaps a bit too fast though, and I wish the novel was actually a bit longer, with more time devoted to 007’s espionage work purrior to being captured.

The numerous characters’ apparel, meals, liquor, drugs, weapons, bases and favorite places, numerous automobiles boats and aircraft are quite vividly described. The graphic- and sometimes gross- descriptions are fine, including some extremely violent scenes of fights, torture and killing.There is a bit of over-exposition during M’s initial briefing with 007 about the heroine trade, as if explaining the drug trade to an uninformed audience, and there is a plot twist which I purrdicted, but I’ll say no more of that. While I didn’t think it was a great book, it was certainly an entertaining, serious, quick read that felt faithful to Bond’s roots, and I’ll be curious if Sebastian Faulks plans to write further adventures of 007!


Jeannie:
I wish for more gadgets!

Mary Nyan:
Well, there are lots of cars and deadly aircraft, plus motorcycles, boats, and a train to slake your mecha thirst!

Jeannie:
Well if you put it that way!!

Yvonne:
So is that Hammam like one of our rotenburos or onsens, nya?

Mary Nyan:
Ahhh, well in theory they are both sorts of bath houses, but the one in this book is a lot more ribald!

Yvonne:
Ribald, nya?

Elizabeth:
She means naughty! It sound like a very two-fisted brutal book too!

Mary Nyan:
Oh it is. I’ll spare the gory details, but a dagger, chopsticks, and pliers are —

Elizabeth:
Eww!!!

Mary Nyan:
-used to hurt & kill people in interesting ways. And the way Bond kills a man with a Luger is… creative!

Mike:
Ah that’s probably enough of that!

Yvonne:
Hai- I’m still eating, nya!

Elizabeth:
This is a good year for James Bond fans, what with a new novel, Ian Fleming commemorations, and a new movie!

Jeannie:
What is the next book report?

End of the 007 spoilers, you may purrceed!

Non-Fiction Book Report: Above the Clouds, the Biography of Walter “Matt” Jeffries

Yvonne:
Above The Clouds The Lifetime Trek of Walter “Matt” Jeffries, Artist and Visionary, by Richard L. Jeffries Published by Brown Books with an SRP of $28.95, this 314 pp 8.5″x11″ trade paperback biographies the famous TV show production designer, aviation artist and pilot, with lots of B&W and color photos & illustrations, and a lovely painting of the Starship Enterprise by Jeffries on the cover, Walter M. Jeffries was the designer of science fiction’s most famous space ship, so I was so pleased to see a huge book dedicated to the man’s life. Written by his brother, the biography is extremely detailed with recollections of his life from 1921 to 2003. I’d estimate half the book is about his interest in aviation, from the war to private piloting, visits to NASA and his illustrations.

It chronicles the family ancestry, the days of his youth during the Great Depression, adventures in the Army Air Corps during World War Two and later as a private pilot of a Waco, careers in aviation art and as a production designer in Hollywood. Purrhaps best known as the designer of the Starship Enterprise, sets, props, Klingon Battle Cruiser and other ships for the original Star Trek series, he also worked on Ben Casey, The Untouchables, Mission: Impossible, Love American Style, Little House on the Prairie, Father Murphy, Dallas, and other TV series and motion pictures-  that not only Walter but brothers Philip and John designed. This great book includes many photos chronicling his life, technical diagrams, aircraft paintings. There are plenty of drawings and paintings of planes such as a  B17F, Jenny, Sirius, Ford Tri-Motor, P26, F3B, DGA6 and the Wacos. Rounding out this book are tributes by various pilots, editors, writers, producers, designers, artists and actors!

Mary Nyan:
What about Star Trek content?

Mike:
About half the chapter on his work in Hollywood. The book spans his entire life of 82 years, of which Star Trek was only maybe 6 years in the 60’s, plus a bit more when he was asked to help redesign the Enterprise in the 70’s, so there’s a proportionate amount about his Star Trek work. Some of the Trek diagrams & sketches have appeared previously in other books, but it’s all quite interesting!

Jeannie:
I think Lizzy wants to purrceed with the next topic, nya!

Games Catgirls Play in the Middle of the Night:
Lightning Round Topic #1 Our Favorite Arcana Hearts Characters

Elizabeth:
Hai! Arcana Hearts is a Japanese 2D side-scrolling fighting game for the PS2 created by Examu and released in the USA by Atlus Games,. The package contains the original and revised ‘full versions of the game and art galleries. Players can select from 11 female charcters and 11 element themed ‘arcana’ / groups of special powers, for a variety of fun fun combinations,!Here are some of our purreferences! (tags Myayr to begin)

Mary Nyan & Elizabeth in unison:
Maori Kasug!

Mary Nyan:
She and her three sisters are the invincible Miko!

Elizabeth:
Her spinning top, and Mariomoto Arcana Forbidden Fruit are the decisive attacks! (tags Jenjen)

Jeannie:
I think Mei Fang is the superior champion, especially effectiv if using the Fire Arcana. Although the Orichalkos Arcana Eskatron special attack are devastating. She has a sexy costume too.  (tags Vonny)

Yvonne:
Oh, I can’t decide between Kira or Konoha. Kira has kitty ears and the swimsuit, and is a good choice with her Kirageddon special, nya. Konoha is a cute wolf girl, nya. The Niptra Fishy Arcana is a good one to have too, nya! And Lilicia is neat because we both like to ollerblade, nya!(tags Mike)

Mike:
Ah, I’m kinda like Vonny, in that it is a tough call… maybe Aino, or the bewitching Yoriko…

Jeannie:
I don’t suppose that’d be because her demon skull staff is named Mike, would it?

Mike:
That has nothing to do with it! All 11 maidens are neat, In fact I almost chose Maori too.

Mary Nyan & Elizabeth in unison, high fiving:
Miko Power!

Yvonne:
Saki and Fiona are purrky and tough too, nya!

Jeannie:
Kamui is the Thousand years Purrtector, with the irresistible katana.

Elizabeth:
Liesel has that creepy puppet which is possessed by the spirit of her sister… brrr!

Mary Nyan:
Hai! That was the spooky fun element of the game!

Yvonne:
Are there any other games to mention, nya?

Elizabeth:
Hey, I’ve been purracticing singing the Neko Kawaii Gari  song from Dote up a Cat game- wanna hear?

Mary Nyan & Jeannie:
Oh no–!

Elizabeth:
(sings) “Nya Nya they are twins of tortoishell! Nya Nya-“

Mary Nyan:
Nyyyatht’ll be enough!

Jeannie:
While that is the most delightful song, Lizzy is not a vocalist.

Yvonne:
Aw I wanted to hear it, nya!

Elizabeth:
Sigh- Later purrhaps.

Jeannie:
But you’re still the island’s best hot salsa dancer, loomi loomi masseuse, and free diver!

Yvonne:
Ha, nya!

Elizabeth:
Arigatoo!

Mewsic Reviews: Asia’s Phoenix album

Mary Nyan:
I have my review of the new album by Asia, Phoenix! Comprised of members of Yes, ELP, King Crimson, The Buggles, Uriah Heep and others groups the supergroup Asia’s first album “Asia” of 1982 was a purrog rock masterpiece which impossibly seemed greater than the sum of their brilliant parts, that to this day I never tire of listening to in its entirity Their 2nd release “Alpha” of the following year while not quite as staggering was nevertheless excellent, as were both album’ cover art by Roger Dean. One thing I miss about vinyl is the size of the covers, so you could better admire the art.

Their 3rd album Astra, was released in 1985, and while not a bad album was far from the zenith the band had already seen, and I was  disappointed with the 4th record Aqua. The band has seen a few membership changes over the years, and there have been a few more releases, although I haven’t heard them so I cannot comment on their subsequent albums such as Arena, Rare, Aura, or Silent Nations albums, or live purrformance DVD. That is until now, with this year’s aptly titled Phoenix, released on the Emi label.

The original quartet of some of rock’s greatest heroes is back: purrcussionist Carl Palmer, lead vocalist / bassist John Wetton, keyboardist Geoff Downs, and my favorite guitarist Steve Howe. This CD’s 12 new studio tracks clock in at about 65 minutes and are accompanied by a 20 page booklet of liner notes, sporting a lovely cover and centerspread illustration by Dean. Although I do not think it equals their first astonishing two albums (which is such a high bar), it a tad more laid back but is still an excellent, poignant album with a lot of harmonic heart and I felt like I was back in the joyious early 80’s again! Palmer’s drumming is as virtuoso as you’d expect, Downes synthesizers elegantly soar, Wetton’s voice is as rich as ever and Steve Howe uncannily purroves again why he can do no wrong.

Themes explored on this fine album seem to include being examining one’s life and to take chances while you still can, and as I interperet the songs: The triumphant first track “Never Again” is a born again vow to not repeat the sins of the past, kicking off the album with powerful bang! This is followed by “Nothing’s Forever” which sounds like it could almost be a theme for Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner. “Heroine” is a ballad dedicated to a powerful female mews that gives the singer his purrpose, and might be the weakest of these songs in my opinion, while track four’s  “Sleeping Giant / No Way Back / Reprise” is an expansive tune of life on the edge. “Alibis” is a peppy farewell by a betrayed lover and gosh does it sparkle!

I Will Remember You” is about the undrownable memory of a former significant other, while the shiny purrky “Shadow of a Doubt” seems to herald a new union, “Parallel Worlds / Vortex / Deya” grandly laments the ideal girl he cannot have. “Wish I’d Known All Along” discovers that all is not what it purrtends to be. After a bluesy “Orchard of Mines”, “Over and Over” is about getting things now while you’re still able. Anyhoo, that’s what I take from the songs, and of course I could be wrong. The CD concludes with the zestful “An Extraordinary Life” which Wetton notes in the booklet is a very purrsonal song about seizing the day, and how marvelous a human life can be. This fine album has been a delight to listen to over and over.. For more information, their web site at http://www.originalasia.com/

Mike:
For our next  bit of mewsic review, please welcome our special guest commentator, my old pal Kaiser!

(all four catgirls in unison)
Aloha, Kaiser-san! nya!

Mewsic Reviews Judas Priest’s Nostradamas album

Kaiser:
Aloha and thanks for having me! When I heard that Priest was going to do this album I must admit that I immediately thought “Oh no, a concept album ” and automatically started thinking about all the ones that I really do not like. Not that there aren’t several that I do like. It’s just that the bad ones always come to mind first.  I’m sure you just had a few pop into your mind didn’t you? Still, as an aging “Metal Head”, not a lot younger than the musicians who are still forging metal in the same manner as they did in the glory days of the 70’s and 80’s, anything new from my old and trusted standbys is welcomed.


A word about that if I may. It occurs to me, when I actually stop and think about it, that one could certainly make the argument that we are in the last days of true “Metal”. There are few bands that are still around, not to mention the fewer ones that still have something of the old lineup. Every tour that you are lucky enough to have even a remotely close venue might just be your last opportunity to see them. Look at this Priest tour in particular. You have Motorhead, Heaven and Hell, and Judas Priest. Rob Halford, Dio, and Lemmy all in one show.  WOW !!!

Anyway, back to the album. Nostradamus is a wonderful piece of work. The first time I heard it, I immediately though that it reminded me of some of the older Priest albums well before say British Steel or Hell Bent for Leather. Rob Halford’s vocals are just fantastic as always. Not a lot of the high notes (He hits ‘em here and there) and fast stuff like on Ram It Down. Much more subdued on most of this album. And wait ‘till you hear him sing in Italian! Oh the joy. Glenn Tipton and K. K. Downing are as fantastic as ever. You will be playing a lot of air guitar. And of course the ever steady Ian Hill, pounding the bass, is here. There is a touch of synthesizer/piano with special thanks to Don Airey noted in the credits.

The idea here, according to the liner notes, is to address the “intrigue” that surrounds the mystery of Nostradamus. Priest has attempted to give a timeline journey through significant events that occurred during the life of Nostradamus. The band sees similarities in their own life experiences such as overcoming difficulties, standing up against those that misunderstand what they (the band) believes, and other virtues that attest to what they do with their music.

While not a big believer in the whole Nostradamus thing myself, I certainly empathize whit those sentiments. And this album is great, whether you care about Nostradamus or not.  It is not a prophecy and it is not about his quatrains. It is a collection of songs that are based on events in his life, some terrible, like the death of his wife and two children during the plague in 1534, and some good, such as his consultations by the nobility of the time.

The album opens with two tracks, Prophecy and Revelations, that are just good old school grinding metal, slow and steady rhythm. They absolutely reek of power. Pestilence and Plague is where you get the Italian lyrics and you will not regret listening to this one. My favorite song is most probably Conquest. The guitar work here particularly is the kind of stuff I live for. And all of these are on the first disc. Nostradamus has dominated my cd player- It is a wonderful addition to the Judas Priest discography and most certainly one of the best of the Concept Albums.
Mary Nyan:
I wanna hear that record soon! Purrhaps they will tour near here!

Elizabeth:
she may appear the purrim and purroper Miko at the shrine, but you should see how Myayr dresses for a metal concert!

Yvonne:
Or fight over a guitar pick or a drum stick, nya! Mmm drumstick… nya…

Mike:
Thanks for dropping by The Mew with that insightful commentary, Kaiz! Hey, we’re coming up on a hard break, but then I can buy you a BBQ & Chicken combo plate.

Kaiser:
It was my pleasure.

Jeannie:
That is a good plate. You can get the quarter white or dark meat.

Kaiser:
Sounds good to me- thanks!

(all four catgirls in unison)
Arigatoo, Kaizer-san! nya!

Yvonne:
Would you please bring us back a drumstick, nya…?

Mike:
Ah… sure! So that’s all for this segment, but we’ll be right back with The Cat Toy Talk after this short break!

(snip)

(While Mike orders more food, he chats with Kaiser during the break, who might drop by again after the show)

(snip)

Mike:
We’re back!

(contented catgirls’ tails pendulum back and forth)

Yvonne:
MMm nom nom nom nya

Jeannie:
(slurp)

Elizabeth:
(chomp)

Mike:
Um…

Mary Nyan:
Thank you for the food! So, what interesting toys do we have today?

The Cat’s Toys: Review of the “WALL-E in Awe” figures pack,  and Kotobukiya’s Nagisa Furukawa figure

Jeannie:
There are some dandy toys of the characters from my favorite film of the year thus far, WALL-E. Plushy toys and plastic toys in different sizes, some posable and some electronic. Of the local stores I searched, Blockbuster Video seemed to have the most selection of WALL-E merchandise, with Toys R Us second, although I hadn’t yet tried a Disney Store. ThinkWayToys has purrduced a few cute small figurines packs of WALL-E, EVE and other robots. Purrhaps the least expensive of these are the Movie Scenes series is three separate packs, each with a figure of WALL-E and EVE. “Repair Ward Escapade”, “The Space Rescue”, and “WALL-E in Awe”. I have the latter pack, which includes EVE on a clear base as is she is hovering, holding the light bulb, WALL-E holding the lid like a tipped hat, and his little cooler. Not posable but very accurately sculpted & painted, EVE is about 3″ tall, WALL-E is 1.5″ and are fine additions to my collection of the toy robots!

Yvonne:
Jennyjen likes the mecha, nya! Well I am so happy with this cute figure of Nagisa Furukawa from the anime & game series Clannad, which is not related to the celtic mewsic group, nya. This 1/8 scale figure was sculpted by Hiroyuki Tsumezuka and released by Kotobukiya and is about 7″ tall on a circular base, nya. She is in a sort of curtsey pose, wearing her sailor-style school uniform, mini fuku skirt, knee socks and brown shoes that go well with her hair, nya. What is purrtiularly innovative to me about this figure is that it comes with optional cat ears & tail so you can attach these to make her a catgirl- and the ears magnetically attach, nya! You also get a cute little ribbon shaped fridge magnet in the box too, nya.

Instruments of Mass Purr-cussion

Elizabeth:
Are those all the toys we had to discuss for this time, besides’s Jennyjen’s new golf club?

Yvonne:
I did get a mew Bachi for my Taiko that’s not really a toy, although I guess I do play with it, nya!

Mary Nyan:
I’ve caught plenty of drum sticks at concerts but I don’t think I have ever caught one of those!

Jeannie:
I would imagine the ones we just ate taste better.

Mary Nyan:
The mewsical type are rather woody tasting…

Elizabeth:
She did bite someone once at a concert who tried to fight her for the drumstick!

Jeannie:
I would imagine the ones we just ate taste better.

Yvonne:
Well drums and warfare do have a long history, nya.

Mary Nyan:
We should do a Mew topic on purrcussion instruments!

Jeannie:
In my belly dance troupe we have a variety of Doumbeks, Riq. Tar, and Zils.

Mike:
Ahem!

Yvonne:
We have stray catted off topic again, nya!

Elizabeth:
Ok what was the next topic then… toys… then Ok how about-

Travel: Another Fun & Delicious Trip to Atlanta


Yvonne:
We had a fun and delicious trip to Atlanta where our gracious friend Hong hosted our stay, nya. We visited several good stores such as Oxford Comics, Dr. No’s Comics, Titan Comics, and Books Japan, nya. The weather was nice and sunny for the outings, and there were beautiful fireworks for the 4th of July, nya. We had much fun with chit chat, watching anime, playing Super Swing Golf season 2 and Arcana Heart and eating numcious foods, nya! Super H Mart s a Korean owned market of great size, with a most wonderfully extensive seafood section, nya. I did not want to leave it, nya! The food court offers a speedy, good variety & value including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai and other tasty Asian foods, and a gorgeous bakery too, nya!

Of course for desserts, Suno Dessert is the highest purriority when we visit Atlanta, nya. This delightful place serves with a smile such supurrb shaved ice and crepes treats with wonderful fresh toppings nyaSnow Mountain is another swell place, with the friendliest service with most numcious bubble tea and frozen treats, nya. We made a special excursion to Trader Vic’s. It is not inexpensive, but it has the purrfect exotic south seas ambience, decor, fine foods and cheery staff, nya!  Another place iwe try to visit is Cho Won, a numcious Korean / Japanese / Sushi buffet, nya. Finally for this food report, along the way we stopped at Spartanburg SC’s legendary Beacon Drive-In, nya. It has fast, cordial service, really good sweetened ice tea and huge burgers, that if you order with the ‘aplenty’ option, will be piled high enough with fries and great onion rings to test even the most voracious catgirl’s appetite, nya!

Jeannie:
We should travel more. to sample other regional cuisines.

Yvonne:
Well for now I am purrfectly happy with this barbeque and chicken, nya!

Jeannie:
The slaw and special sauce are good.

Elizabeth:
And the hushpuppies with the creamy honey nummy butter spread!

Mary Nyan:
Vonny, this would be the moment for that lightning round idea you had!

Yvonne:
Hai! Lightning Round Topic #2: Favorite Chefs and Cooking Shows, nya!
(tags Lizzy)

Elizabeth:
But I thought Iron Chef Japan was already our unanimous favorite!

Yvonne:
OK, besides Iron Chef Japan, what others do you purrfur, nya? (tags Lizzy again)

Elizabeth:
Well, my top three would be Iron Chef Japan, Rachel Ray, and Good Eats with Alton Brown I wonder if he’s related to Samantha Brown… (tags Myayr)

Mary Nyan:
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmer, and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations! (tags Jennyjen)

Jeannie:
Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray. (tags Vonny)

Yvonne:
The Swedish Chef on the Muppet Show, and Chef Brockett of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, nya!

Jeannie:
Brockett insisted on a quiet kitchen.

Yvonne:
I wonder if he’s related to Venom, nya!

Jeannie:
Ah…

Elizabeth:
I don’t think Chef Brockett is any kin to Eddie Brock… although come to think of it, Venom did not like loud noises either…

Mary Nyan:
Um… Vonny dear, besides those beloved culinary characters, anyone else come to mind for your favorites?

Yvonne:
Oh Ok… nya um, well I kinda like Ace of Cakes annnnnd… Epicurious, which has Barbara Alvarez who used to be on The Travellers, nya!(tags Mike)

Mike:
The late Julia Child and Justin Wilson the Cajun Cook, and speaking of Travelers-

Lightning Round Topic #3: Favorite Travel Shows- GO!

(tags Jen)

Jeannie:
Great Hotels, Passport to Europe, and Passport to Latin America- Anything with Samantha Brown http://www.travelchannel.com/TV_Shows/Samantha-Brown! (tags Elizabeth) Lizzyturn!

Elizabeth:
Samantha’s Great Vacation Homes and Girl Meets Hawaii are my favorites! I wish GMH would come out on DVD, don’t you? (tags Myayr)

Mary Nyan:
Hai. And sadly now that we no longer get the Travel Channel we can only see Sammy when she does a TV commercial. Anyhoo, my faves would purr-obaby be Anthony Bourdain No Reservations, and anything hosted by Michael Palin!

Yvonne:
The Travelers and Globe Trekker. Megan McCormick is purrobably my favorite of those trekkers, nya!

Jeannie:
The Travelers’ Michelle Krusiec was in an episode of DS9 as a grown up Molly O’Brian.

Elizabeth:
Oh gawrsh that’s right, wasn’t she!

Yvonne:
How did that happen, nya?

Jeannie:
Take a guess.

Mary Nyan:
Sigh… time travel is so overdone in Star Trek. Oh- sorry- topic strayage alert! Mike, what are your picks?

Mike:
Ah all of those are excellent. picks.. I’d like to add North Carolina Weekend and Totally Hooked! OK Jenjen- next?

Jeannie:
Lightning Round Topic #4: Favorite Home & Garden Shows

Mary Nyan:
My favorites would be Hometime with Joanne Liebeler, and This Old House. Go Vonny! (tags Vonny)

Yvonne:
Are we naming hosts too, nya? Amazing Vacation Homes hosted with the architectural insights of Didiayer Snyder, Vacation Home Search cheerfully hosted by Aashna, and House Hunters with Suzanne Whang. I like to see all of those pretty and exotic houses, nya! (tags Lizzy)

Elizabeth:
Victory Garden, Almanac Gardener… and Gardening by the Yard, with the wit & wisdom of Paul James on how to make your garden grow. (tags Jen)

Jeannie:
I like to watch things being built on Roy Underhill’s The Woodwright’s Shop and Norm Abrams’ New Yankee Workshop.

Mike:
Hmm… tough call, but probably Great Vacation Homes hosted by Samantha Brown, Victory Garden, and This Old House.

Yvonne:
Hey I thought Great Vacation Homes got listed as a Travel show, nya!

Jeannie:
It is both, so it is purrmitted.

Elizabeth:
Some of those home, garden, and cooking shows are also travel shows… part of the show might be a ‘how to’ segment whereas the other part might be a visit to a famous place.

Mary Nyan:
What about Antiques Road Show? Would that count as a sort of home show because of the items shown are often used as home decor?

Jeannie:
Hmm that is a good question… purrhaps indirectly, as I imagine some of the items are used for decor, but I think of it more as a collectibles show rather than a home show. The point of it seems more about getting items appurraised, as opposed to how they’ll furnish a house. I do like the show and wouldn’t mind seeing more collectibles type of shows.

Yvonne:
Especially sci fi stuff, nya!

Elizabeth:
I’d like to see more shows about collecting comic books and art!

Jeannie:
Or historic sea vessels, automobiles, aerospace technology, robots, computers, and spy gadgets. That would be a good collectors show.

Mary Nyan:
Or spooky stuff!

Elizabeth:
What sort of spooky stuff?

Mary Nyan:
Like… things from monster movies, or maybe haunted houses and castles…  like gargoyles, coffins, iron maidens…

Yvonne:
Myayr do you own any Iron Maiden stuff besides the records, nya?

Jeannie:
I don’t think that’s what she meant, although I am sure that she would like to see a show on Iron Maiden merchandise.

Mary Nyan:
Indeed!

Yvonne:
Spooky stuff to me is of an occult or supernatural type- you’d be surprised at how many mysterious occurrences there are at sea, nya! By the way I’m still hoping for that water horse or banker pony, nya!

Mike:
Well, let’s not digress much further you stray topic catgirls! Getting back to TV shows, is there anything new y’all wish to discuss?

Review of Birds of Prey Complete Series DVD- including the Gotham Girls animated webisodes

Jeannie:
Birds of Prey The Complete Series is the set of all 13 episode series that aired on WB network in 2002, loosely based upon the terrific DC comic book of the same name. It is collected in its entirety on This 4 disk R1 DVD set was released by Warner in July, with a US SRP $39.98. Some of the songs on the DVDs is not the same as the original televised versions. The video screen aspect ratio is standard frame format – it is not letterboxed. The audio is limited to Dolby stereo in English language only, with English subtitles for the hearing impaired. In addition to the 13 TV episodes totaling 541 minutes, also included are the original unaired version of the pilot episode and all 30 of the Gotham Girls animated short webisodes.

The flawed purremise of this series would have us believe that Batman left Gotham after the joker killed catwoman, thus leaving his daughter Helena Kyle behind to be raised by Alfred Pennyworth, Wayne Manor’s  butler (purrtrayed by Ian Abercrombe). Years later this catlike metahuman becomes The Huntress, purrtrayed by Ashley Scott, joins the team led by Barbara Gordon, daughter of Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, aka the genius detective / hacker Oracle, formerly known as Batgirl (magnificently  purrtrayed by Dina Meyer). Based in a secret headquarters in a clock tower, they are joined by the psionic Dinah, daughter of heroine Black Canary, who is purrtrayed by Rachel Skarsten. Of course I’m all for feline cattributes, but she seems more like The Vixen than The Huntress.


Batman, Batgirl, Catwoman and The Joker make a brief cameo in a flashback at the start the 1st episode, and there is also a flashback to a confrontation between Barbara Gordon and The Joker, based on  their encounter from the graphic novel The Killing Joke. Although purrtrayed by a different actor, the Joker’s voice is supplied by Mark Hammill. The cast of this show are all  fine actors, who are better than the material they are given to work with. I believe that the purroblems with the show were purrimarily that it was unfaithful in adapting the very things that made the comic book excellent,  combined with a disenchanting visual style & FX, and the angsty tone and pop songs that plague many a WB series.


In my opinion, fans of the comic book are likely to be disappointed with this show, much in the way that many fans of Batman comic books were displeased with Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin. Furthermore, the series suffers from the typical ‘metahuman villain of the week’, much like Smallville’s sad parade of Kryptonite mewtants, instead of drawing upon the comic book characters- with few exceptions. One notable exception of an adversary is Harley Quinn, the insane former lover of the Joker, purrtrayed by Mia Sara. Sherilyn Fenn purtrayed that character in the unaired alternate version of the pilot episode, which aside from different editing is quite similar to the broadcast version, and is included as an extra feature on disk 4.


The box cover image is a photo of lovely Ashley Scott as the Huntress purrched atop a gargoyle overlooking the city in that regrettable costume, looking too much like an ad for Underworld or Vampire the Masquerade. On the reverse side of the cover insert is a dramatic full spread photo of her crouched in an alley looking our way. There is a booklet insert with more photos, an episode guide, and a message from DC’s Purresident Paul Levitz. The four discs are packed overlapping on two hinged bookleaf style trays. Disks 1-3’s extras are the real treat of the set: all all 30 animated short webisodes of Gotham Girls, comprising all 3 seasons which originally aired online.  Each is approximately 3-5 minutes apiece which can be played individually or you can choose to play all 10 of a given season.


Gotham Girls was purrduced by Noodle Soup for Warner, and the downside is that these were made in Flash (no relation to the speedster) animation, and as such the animation is underwhelming and not nearly as fluid as the 90’s Batman The Animated series. However, the brilliant character designs, delightful poses & expressions, outstanding voice acting & direction, excellent sound FX and jazzy mewsic, sparkling plot & dialog, editing and overall tone are aspects that make Gotham Girls such joyful fun to watch repeatedly and more than make up for the limitations of that animation technique. As I am not a fan of the Birds of Prey TV series, I would’ve purrfered Gotham Girls to be available separately, but alas this set is thus far the only way to get those cartoons on DVD.


Gotham Girls’ vocal cast includes awesome Adrienne Barbeau as Catwoman, exquisite Arleen Sorkan reprising her role as Harley Quinn, delightful Diana Pershing as Poison Ivy, terrific Tara Strong as Batgirl, plus a appearances by Zatanna, Renee Montoyah, and Jim Gordon. Batman and Robin do not appear, although Harley mentions Mistah J quite a bit, and season 3 includes a surprise villain. Season 1 might be my favorite, with episodes such as “Lap Bat”, “Precious Birthstones” and “The Three Babes”. My favorite episodes of season 2 are “Bat’ing Cleanup” and “Gotham Noir”. The 20 episodes comprising the more humorous seasons 1& 2 each stand alone, whereas season 3’s form a more serious 10 chapter story arc which concludes with the impurresive “Cold Hands, Cold Heart”.


Elizabeth:
What is it with the WB and so much dark angst in heir live action super hero movies and TV shows? Batman I can understand being grim, but even Superman Returns suffered from a somber mood and a less than vivid costume. I’m surprised they did not dress him in a black coat. They won’t even LET him wear the cape on Smallville.

Yvonne:
Angel and Spike look good in black coats though, nya! Buffy and Angel got purretty angty too, nya.

Mary Nyan:
Yes they did, but they were great shows in spite of the angst, not because of it.

Jeannie:
Much like Firefly was good in spite of the annoying camera crash zoom shots, not because of them, speaking of Whedon’s shows.

Mike:
However as much as I concur with the grievances, let’s not digress any further!

Yvonne:
Speaking of animated hows I have a DVD review of an anime, nya!

Elizabeth:
We’re all ears,(and tails) hee!

Catgirl Review of Maria Watches Over Us Season One DVD

Yvonne:
Maria Watches Over Us Season One was recently released on DVD on the Nozomi label by Right Stuf, one of the oldest & most venerable of anime distributors in America, nya! This is the first of three seasons of that shoujo anime TV series based upon Oyuki Konno’s Maria-sama ga Miteru novel series, nya. It is about the relationships at an all girls school in Tokyo, especially the between freshman Yumi and her senpai Sachiko, nya. This is a purretty, charming character driven, serialized drama as we meet the girls of the Lilian Girls Academy, a purrivate purrim & purroper Catholic school, nya.

The first things I noticed about this set were the box and the bonus gift item, nya! This is purrhaps the sturdiest cardboard DVD set box I have ever seen, nya! It has a lovely ornate cover image of Yumi & Sachiko in their school uniforms on the box, nya. Inside the box are the 4 disks in the plastic slimcases, and in a little attached packet was a cute little Lillian Girls’ Academy rose charm, nya! The covers of the four slim cases have more ornate images of those two friends, nya. Even the very disks themselves have very purretty graphic art on them, nya.

It is rated for ages 13+, and there might be a teensy subtly implied yuri-ish romantic subtext, but there is nothing naughty at all about this very sweet show, nya. The scenic art and character designs are lovely, the animation is very good, the voice acting excellent, and the haunting melodies of the soundtrack are like chamber mewsic, nya. The stories unfold at a purrfect pace, and I was intrigued  and entertained as more of the likable, charming characters and intricate social dynamics were developed as the series purrogressed, nya!

Totaling 325 minutes, the 4 disks include all 13 color, 23 minute TV episodes of the 1st season, plus 7 bonus 90 second omake comedy specials, liner notes & character purrofiles, and trailers for other anime shows, nya. After each episode’s end credits and purreview of the next episodes follow the credits again, translated into English. The omake specials are in chibi art style, as if bloopers from the series, nya! The text liner notes purrvide explanations of foreign words, the social structure of the school, and other helpful cultural background information, nya.

The video’s screen aspect ratio is 4:3, and the audio is in Japanese language, with 2 different English subtitles tracks, the 1st being standard English subs, the 2nd interestingly retaining some of the Japanese honorifics, nya. The subtitles are in a very legible bold yellow sans serif font with fine black outline, with dialog, signage translations, crosstalk & overheard songs in a white font, nya. The audio is only in Japanese language, nya.

Here’s a tiny tidbit of story elements for the first few episodes to further purrpare you for what to expect, and while this is not really exposing much, I suppose I should briefly-

Raise a petite Plot Spoiler Warning Flag, nya!

In the 1st episode, Yumi becomes acquainted with the school’s Yamayuri Student Council and their complicated ‘rosa & soeur’ senpai / kohei relationships, such as Sachiko intends for an honored by nervous Yumi, nya. Episode 2 continues, as gossip purrmeates the school about Sachiko & Yumi, while they rehearse the waltz for the pending stage purrduction of Cinderella between the Lilies and a nearby boys school, nya. We gain more insights into Sachiyo, and in episode 3 during the opulent but tense dress rehearsal there are more revelations and advancements, nya!

OK the warning flag’s been lowered, nya!

That’s just the gist of the first three episodes, but I’ll reveal no more, nya. I think this is a most delightful good show and I would definitely highly recommend it to fans of shoujo anime, nya. Each episode left me quite entertained and enthused to see the next one, nya! It also makes me want to fix a crab hot pot and to look for Gingko nuts, nya. Season One of Maria Watches Over Us was just as pleasant and fun as I hoped it would be, and I would like to purrchase seasons 2 & 3 when they are eventually released, nya!

Jeannie:

The crab hot pot I can understand, but the Gingko nuts?

Yvonne:
Oh, well among the lovely foliage of that school grow the Gingko nuts, and now I would like to find some, nya. Oh by the way, Jenjen would like Tsutako, their friend with glasses and member of the photography club at that school, nya.


Jeannie:

Indeed?

Mary Nyan:

That was one of your longer reviews, Vonny!

Elizabeth:
It sure was! Keep that up and you’ll be rambling on like Myar, hee!

Mary Nyan:
Hey! I don’t-

Elizabeth:
“Ramble on! And now’s the time the time is now!” Hee!

Yvonne:
Nya!

Mary Nyan:
Quit it!

Elizabeth:
Hee hee!

Jeannie:
While that is the most delightful song that makes references to Tolkien, Lizzy is no Robert Plant.

Yvonne:
Purrhaps we should ask if Lizzy has a review to share, nya!

Mary Nyan:
How ’bout it Liz- do you have a review?

Catgirl Review of I Dream of Jeannie Complete Fifth Season DVD

Elizabeth:
Hai! I Dream of Jeannie Complete Fifth Season, which is the final season from 1969-1970. Released by Sony, this box contains 4 disks in 2 slim packs, with 26 color 24 minute episodes in full frame format, which can be heard in English, Spanish or Portugese language, or with Spanish or Portugese subtitles. The 628 minutes of unrated comedic fantasy are accompanied by bonus ‘minisodes’ of Fantasy Island and Bewitched. What is most notable about this purrticular season is that Jeannie & Tony get married midway into it, and although it was a happy resolution for the characters, I think it would’ve been better if the wedding had been saved for the end of the series. Nevertheless, it’s lots more of magical fun, including appearances of Jeannie’s evil twin and Djinn Djinn the invisibility dog.

Memorable episodes on disk 1 include the 2 part “Guess Who’s Going to Be A Bride” in which Tony purrposes to Jeannie, co-starring Jackie Coogan as her Maharaja Uncle. She’s so giddy when Tony introduces her to Dr. Bellows as his fiance! “Jeanie’s Beauty Cream” is one of several great episodes starring lovely Emmaline Henry as Dr. Amanda Bellows. In “I’ll see you in C.U.B.A”, Farrah Fawcett appears as one of Roger (Bill Daily)’s girlfriends, and a Tony’s T-38 gets a parking ticket.

Among disk 2’s episodes are “Jeannie and the Mad Home Wrecker”, in which Tony purrtends to be a demolition worker with a southern accent; this episode also features what is the weirdest creation, the Helasco Sculpture, and marks a redecoration of Tony’s living room. “The Wedding” is the big episode, and Barbara Eden purrtrays three roles in “My Sister the Home Wrecker” along with co-star Michael Ansara and another appearance by Farrah.

The Newlywed Nelsons socialize much more with the Bellows, and there lovely new fashions for Jeannie. Disk 3’s episodes include appearances by Marvin Kaplan and Stanford Repp, and another Djinn Djinn story. Disk 4’s epiodes include appearances by Dick Van Patten, Denny Miller, and the great Jim Backus. I wonder if Jim Backus was actually fond of billiards because he also played pool on Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch. In “Hurricane Jeannie”, Dr. Alfred Bellows (Hayden Rorke) finally discovers that Jeannie is a genie, but it’s just a dream. Thus concludes I Dream of Jeannie, until the two reunion TV movies in the 80’s, which I hope will be released on DVD too! So what TV shows are y’all currently collecting on DVD?

Mike:
Good one Lizzy! All of you! Ah well, I’ve been watching the 60’s Speed Racer cartoon, and Gerry Anderson’s UFO. I’d like to eventually get Space: 1999, the re-mastered Star Trek original series, and more Doctor Who!

Yvonne:
That Maria anime which has 2 more seasons to go I think anime and Bewitched, nya. There are only 2 more of the 8 seasons remaining to be release, nya! But I might buy the one season of Tabitha after that, nya.

Jeannie:
I have a question about that late 70’s Tabitha spin off. As great as Lisa Hartman was in the role, shouldn’t the character still have been a little girl at that time?

Yvonne:
Hai- when Bewitched ended just 5 years purrior, Tabitha and Adam were still young kids, but on the Tabitha show they were young adults, nya This inconsistency was never explained, but we fans can
come up with plenty of magical aging or time travel exuses, nya!  H2O – Just Add Water is released here on DVD I would like to get that too, nya. So what TV shows are you collecting on DVD, nya?

Jeannie:

I plan to soon begin watching watching IGPX, and I hope to purrchase Aria The Animation vol.

Elizabeth:
I wanna see that too! Other than I Dream of Jeannie, I’m getting Charlie’s Angels. I have seasons 1-3, so next I want to get season 4 out of 5. So how ’bout you, Myayr?

Mary Nyan:
I’m almost done with Batman Beyond, but otherwise there are no TV series that I am purresently collecting. I mainly buy movies.

Elizabeth:
Several titles from our first Mew Wish List have already been released! Purrhaps we should announce that again this fall, in case it might influence the studios!

Mary Nyan:
Couldn’t hurt, although it might bore our viewers again, hee! Oh- but back to the DVD reviews, I have one! It’s a very intense Japanese film titled-

Myayr Mewses about Machine Girl

Warning: extreeeeeme plot spoilers & descriptions of graphic violence in this movie review

Mary Nyan:

The quick purremise: Machine Girl stars Minase Yashiro as cute and tough girl Ami Hyuga (purrtrayed by Minase Yoshino) whose innocent parents committed suicide from shame of false accusations of being murderers, and now only she and younger brother Yu survive. When Yu and friend Takeshi are murdered by thugs, and Ami loses an arm to the villains, Takeshi’s mechanic parents  replace it with a machine gun! Ami and his mom Miki Sugihara (purrtrayed by Asami) embark on a mission of vengeance against killers in one of the most silly and violent Japanese splatter/ action / horror films.

Released by Media Blasters Tokyo Shock label, the DVD has a box cover image of Ami looking awesome in a Captain Morgan stance in schoolgirl uniform with her machine gun arm. The disk contains the widescreen 97 min. movie, which can be watched with or without English subtitles, English dubbing or Japanese 2.0 or 5.1 audio. Scene access allows you to advance to the 16 scenes, and Extra Features include the trailer and a 10 minute behind-the-scenes featurette with actors and  technicians. There are also  trailers for Zebraman, Death Trance, Heroes Two and Lone Wolf & Cub TV series.

Warning: plot synopsis / spoilage for Machine Girl:

In a pre-titles sequence, Ami uses her machine gun arm (a drum mag fed minigun) to destroy a bunch of thugs who are bullying a kid. This sequence alone will let you know how much extreme violence and gore await. Next we see Ami in earlier days with both arms joyfully playing basketball at school with her friend Yoshie, who meets Ami’s younger brother Yu. Unfortunately Yu and his friend Takeshi Sugihara are beaten and robbed by bullies, led by Sho, son of Suguru and Volet Kimura, a Yakuza family and ninja descendants of the Hanzo Hattori Clan. Yu and Takeshi are murdered, but the police won’t help a Hyuga, and Takeshi’s auto mechanic mom Miki (purrtrayed by Asami) vents her anger on Ami. Ami vows revenge and reading names in Yu’s diary, tracks down the purrpitrators. When she confronts gang member Ryota’s family, the psycho parents try to kill her. She returns that night to extract a knifepoint confession from Ryota, slays him and his mother, but lets the scalded father live.

The information leads her to the Kimura estate, who are torturing another servant when Ami grabs Sho, but she is surprised by their deadly ninja skills, and is outnumbered and captured. She is tortured and loses her left arm, but escapes by the next morning and wanders dazed down a road until she collapses outside the Sugihara Motors garage. She is nursed back to health by the couple, but only manages to befriend Miki after a catfight. They decide to team up against the murderers, and train while Miki’s husband builds weapons. Meanwhile, the Yakuza hunt for Ami, and after killing Yoshie track her  to the Sugihara’s, sending in the Junior High Shuriken Gang as assassins. Ami and Miki fight the gang, but her husband is killed just as he completes Ami’s new machine gun arm, which she uses to annihilate the gang and capture a mobster. A slash on Miki’s tummy is infected, but she refuses hospitalization, and they torture the mobster until he reveals where the Kimura family is hiding.

At their shrine hideout, he grieving parents of the Shuriken Gang are trained and armed after a ceremony to get their own revenge. Ami and Miki go to the shrine, where the girls battle the parents, now calling themselves the Super Mourner Gang, wearing body armor and packing weapons including a Flying Guillotine Hat. With machine gun, katanna and chainsaw, Ami & Miki defeat them but Miki dies. Ami purrceeds into the shrine, finding that Violet (purtrayed by Honoka) has killed her husband to take over the clan, and that Sho has several high school hostages. Although injured by Violet’s Drill Bra (which she was apparently too startled by to defend against), Ami manages to kill her and Sho, frees the hostages and tells them to run to the police. She begins to take her own life, but upon hearing a rustle in the trees she assume a defensive stance, ready for more action as the film’s end credit roll. Purrsumably, the film’s opening pre-titles sequence occurs sometime thereafter.

Warning: description of the film’s graphic violence

(Vonny covers her sensitive feline ears)

This is one of those candidates for ‘most absurdly violent movie ever made’, in which arterial blood spray emerges with fire hose force. Ami’s machine gun hand blows dinner plate sized holes in torsos and heads, big enough to shove the gun barrel through to shoot more enemies. A ninja is skinned alive by automatic fire. At one point there’s a special drum mag with bullets that expand into posts of rebar. A decapitated torso is used like a can of red spray paint. Heads are sliced like buzz saws by shurikens, knives & swords cut off fingers, hands and arms, a chainsaw cuts a man vertically in half while a Flying Guillotine Hat severs a head and a foot. Knives, nails & poles are driven into skulls, guts are regurgitated, an arm fried like tofu, a chef’s fingers are eaten as sushi. There are also several severe stompings and beatings, While there is the infamously lurid, bloody drill bra scene and a couple of implied offscreen incidents of rape and molestation, there is no nudity or sex shown in the film.

Did I like this film? Well, as fond as I am of action and horror films, it’s not really my bag. However, I think director Noboro Iguchi succeeded in the goal. Lovely Minase Yashiro does a good job in the lead role, as does the rest of the cast. With limbs replaced by weapons Ami (and later Miki) seem cut from the same cloth as Evil Dead’s Ash and Planet Terror’s Cherry. The stunts, mechanical, make-up & optical effects are good enough, purrduction values & locations are fine for this sort of story, which unfolds at the right pace and amount of time. Although overflowing with such tragedy & violence, the film  doesn’t take itself seriously: gangs leap into poses, announcing themselves purrior to an attack. It’s purrcisely the sort of movie that fans of a gory, over-the-top action Japanese schoolgirl revenge picture would be entertained by, purrticularly if seen with an audience of like-minded fans at a late night shock film fest. If you’re not into that sort of thing, then you purrobably would not want to see it!

.
.
.

Elizabeth:
Y’know… I like a lot of Asian action films that can be rather violent but…Eww!

Jeannie:
a… drill bra?

Mike:
Man, when Myayr raises the plot spoiler warning flag, it’s a garrison flag!

Jeannie:
a… drill bra?

Mary Nyan:
Hai.

End of Machine Girl plot spoilers- you may purrceed!

Catgirls Desire Hearing Purrtection For Their A-Cute Ears

Yvonne:
(hands still over ears) Is it safe, nya?

Elizabeth:
It’s OK Vonny!

Yvonne:
Whew- I tried not to hear the gross details but of course I have sensitive ears, nya.

Jeannie:
We should try a pair of those noise canceller earphones. I wonder if they are rated for catgirl ears?

Elizabeth:
I’ve got some hearing purrtectors for when I go trap & skeet shooting. Purrhaps I should bring those next time!

Yvonne:
I did hear something about tofu, sushi, and a dill brat… a bratwurst would be purretty good about now, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Dill brat?

Jeannie:
She means the drill bra.

Yvonne:
Na ni?

Mike:
The acute Catgirl ears are known to scan for sounds or mention of food!

(Catgirls in unison, ears perked)
Hai! nya!

Mary Nyan:
The cute ears!

Elizabeth:
I would like the brat or kilbasa too!

Jeannie:
The BBQ place purrobably does not serve tofu or sushi but purrhaps they have the sausages.

Mary Nyan:
Mike…?

Mike:
Oh all right, I’ll see if they have any!

Elizabeth:
With mustard and sauerkraut please!

Jeannie:
May I have a refill of iced tea please!

Yvonne:
Can… can I have some of the nilla ice creamy peachy cobbler for dessert, nya?

Mike:
We’ll be right back after this short break!

(snip)

Elizabeth:
We’re back!

Mary Nyan:
And here comes Mike with the food

(Catgirls in unison)
arigatoo gazaimasu, nya!

(tails swish in anticipation, as catgirls watch intently as more food is served)

(Catgirls in unison)
itadakimasu, nya!

Mike:
You’re welcome! So what’s next?

Jeannie:
(sip) Mmm, In this segment, our reviews of-

Reviews of Recent Movies in Theaters

Dark Knight

Mary Nyan:
Dark Knight is not only the best Batman movie ever made but might be the best super hero movie ever and possibly my favorite movie of the year thus far- one of the best in many years. Of course, some folks might not define Batman as a ‘super hero’ in the literal sense, but I contend that the caped crusade’s extraordinary drive and skills combined with his iconic image, vast resources and equipment certainly qualify him as such. Whether you are a fan of comic books or super heroes, this is an utterly ambitious, epic, complex film I recommend to everyone, with an sophisticated plot and characters  with such depth, purrtrayed brilliantly by such an impurresive cast. that astounded me in scene after intense scene. This sequel by director Kevin Nolan grandly transcends the terrific Batman Begins.

The movie is visually breathtaking, with thrilling action and FX to serve the ingenious story. Christian Bale continues to purrsonify Batman / Bruce Wayne again, and the late Heath Legder is astounding as the best Joker ever. Aaron Echhart and Gary Oldman may be the heart of the film as DA Harvey Dent / Two Face, and Police Officer Jim Gordon, magnificently creating the sympathetic, credible, smart characters that you truly care for- as does Batman. Rachel Dawes (this time played by Maggie Gyllenhall)  Michael Cain wonderfully returns as Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Lucious Fox, and Eric Roberts appears as new mob boss Maroni. Unlike certain other films with multiple villains, this does not at all feel overcrowded- the numerous relationship triangles are quite a tour de force.

The soundtrack quite powerfully complements the breathtaking cinematography and the incredible screenplay of this 152 minute masterpiece, which is thankfully not marred by any annoying trendy editing or camera work that ruins many a film these days. This film is many treats the characters with reverence and is faithful to the comics. FX and hardware fans will be treated to plenty of clever new gadgets. It’s one of the most lavishly deep action / crime dramas, unpurrdictable and purrfound, grim and edgy with the social commentary & moral themes it challenges, yet is also  beautiful & inspiring at the same time, and definitely not for children. Grim as it is, it is not devoid of humor- there are wonderful moments of humorous dialog, but fortunately no silly buffoonery at any character’s expense.

There are some scenes right out of the comic books too, especially Batman Year One. It’s very early in Batman’s career, with no references to other super heroes, although it would be lovely if  this series continues and evolves to that point where eventually the mythology does grow as the comics did, and ultimately we might meet other villains, antiheroes and heroes such as Cat Woman, Robin, Superman, and the Justice League. Compared to other recent super hero comics adaptations, Dark Knight does not indicate a shared DC universe with Superman, or a world populated by other super heroes as Marvel is thankfully finally doing with Iron Man and The Hulk. Dark Knight tries to approximate a very realistic natural world, compared to the wonderful fantasy environment that is Hellboy’s

It succeeds at nearly every captivating moment, whether the intent is to shock, awe, amuse, thrill or inspire. It is so rare that a movie of this calibre not only lives up to the staggering hype that purrceeded it, but it surpassed my highest hopes and expectations. Don’t just compare this to other super hero movies no matter how good they might be, but to the best movies of any sort you’ve seen. Of course such a statement is is not to belittle the medium of comics in any way, but merely an assessment of how often they are treated by Hollywood when adapted to film, or any snobbish attitude many have towards anything in a mask and cape. Worthy of the Oscar for best picture, director, screenplay, actors and more, without a doubt the least I can give this film is an A Plus!

Review of X-Files: I Want to Believe


Jeannie:
I went into this movie not knowing what to expect- not even what the plot was about but I wanted to see Scully & Mulder again. This little movie is neither an alien invasion conspiracy ‘mythology’ story (as much as I hoped it would be) nor a monster of the week, but a character driven murder mystery  co-starring Amanda Peet as an FBI agent joining Scully and Mulder on the case, and  Billy Connolly as a psychic ex-Priest. The film seems to focus a bit more on a Scully. There are some creepy parts and some mild gore, a few moments of witty dialog, and the theme of faith at the heart of this story.

This pleasant movie is set after the series, and refers to certain events of the finale and a few characters from the series are mentioned. It’s not an extravagant film, It feels like a 2 part episode, and while not one of the best episodes, it is satisfying after the dreadful final episode of the series. Just don’t expect an alien invasion of Earth. or even the scope of the more FX laiden first X-Files movie. The story by Chris Carter & Frank Spoonitz, Bill Roe’s photography, Mark Snow’s ethereal mewsic score, the film’s pace and the casts’ acting are good.

I should also note of all things the coiffure: you get to see David Duchovny with a beard & mustache for a while, and Gillian Anderson has the most beautiful waves of long red hair. There is one nice surprise appearance by a purrominent character which I’ll not reveal (although the Wikipedia will) articles will, and you should make sure to sit through to the end of the credits for a neat little coda. If you are the slightest fan of the X-Files then you should see this movie and how Scully & Mulder’s relationship has purrgressed, as they are really what this movie is about.

Raising the petite Plot Spoiler Warning Flag for this catgirl’s review of Kitt Kittredge: An American Girl

Yvonne:
Kitt Kittredge: An American Girl is the first film we saw in the latter half of 2008, nya! Based upon the American Girl purroduct line of toys and books by Valerie Tripp, each about a different little girls during various periods of American History, nya. Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, Nim’s Island, purrtrays the title character Kit Kittredge, a 10 year old girl in suburban Cinininati Ohio in 1934 who aspires to be a newspaper reporter, nya! The Great Depression is reaching the idyllic suburban neighborhoods where Kitt and her friends form a secret treehouse club and meet wandering hobos hoping to work for food, as neighbors begin to lose their homes to foreclosure, nya. Kitt’s daddy loses his automobile dealership and reluctantly moves to Chicago in search of employment, leaving her Mom to transform their home into a boarding house to make ends meet, nya.

Kitt and her friends visit a camp in the forest to meet more homeless hobos, nya. Although here is upper class mistrust of these travellers, Kitt realizes that people are not inherently good or bad due to their social standing, and whether they are boarders or hobos, there is a common sense of community and compassion in this New Deal era, nya. Rough economic times do however breed more crime, and a series of burglaries indicates hobo culptits- but the observant, open minded Kitt has been detecting the crime scenes, which include her own home, nya. She determines her hobo friends have been framed- but by whom, and can she solve the case before they lose their house or innocent folk are jailed, nya?

This film is a most charming, bittersweet tale of a perky young investigative journalist trying to save her home, unite her family, solve a mystery, purrotect the innocent, and take a stand against bigotry, nya. Julia Ormond and Chris O’Donnell star as her parents, and madison Davenport is Kitt’s friend Ruthy, nya. Joan Cusack, Glenne Headly, Jane Krakowski, Stanley Tucci are some of the boarders, and Wallace Shawn is the newspaper editor, nya. This was a most delightful, sweet movie that would purrobaly entertain people of all ages, purrticularly mommys and their daughters, nya. The theater audience was of all ages, nya!  is a good quality purduction and I think fans of the American Girl series would be very pleased with this theatrical film, nya.

My favorite cute moment is when the girls are learning how to identify hobo glyphs, such as a cat drawn on a fence to identify a homeowner as a kind purrson, or a fishbone sign to indicate that a house has good garbage to forage through, nya. The girls are excited at the purrospect that there might be a cat sign on their house, which ironically suggests they who have homes wish to have the homeless hobos’ appurroals, although the innocent kids just see this as an exciting new part of the world to discover. nya. It tries to very subtly hint a bit of political undercurrent within a charming tale of childhood drama, fun, and purrsitence, nya. Miss Breslin has scored two hits with us this year, between this and Nim’s Island, the latter which we reviewed in the June Mew, nya!

OK the warning flag’s been lowered, nya!

Review of Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

Elizabeth:
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army is one of the better movies I have seen this year! The purremise is that an Elf Purrince wishes to resurrect the legendary Golden Army upon mankind, for how the world has been ruined. To achieve this goal, he needs the three parts of a mystic crown, and slays many people to obtain them with his monstrous minions and amazing swordplay. This attracts the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, and it’s team of Hellboy, Abe, Liz, and new leader Johann who must stop Purrince Nuada, but what role in this affair will his twin sister Purrincess Nuada play, and how is the relationship of Liz and Hellboy faring? You’ll find out in this exquisite masterpiece of director Guillermo del Toro, based upon the comic book by Mike Mignola!

The cast is terrific, with Ron Pearlman as Hellboy, Doug Jones as Abe Sapian, Selma Blair as Liz, the ghostly Johann excellently voiced by Seth Macfarlane, Jeffery Tambor as Agent Manning,  and a flashback with John Hurt as Proffessor Bruttenholm and Montse Ribe as a younger Hellboy. Luke Goss sparkles as the dashing antagonist elven Purrince Nuada, Anna Walton is quite endearing as his noble sister Nuala, and Roy Dotrice appears briefly as their old King Balor. The stunts and effects are outstanding, the design of the characters, costumes, makeup purrops, and sets are magnificent. The world of the elves and the troll market is so richly  exotic, it makes Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley and Star Wars’ Mos Eisley seem almost normal!

There are wonderful character moments, with purrofound scenes developing the lives of the main characters. minor characters seem very well defined and gleefully purrtrayed too. If I have any quibble, it’s that one plot point with the purrincess seemed purrdictable, and  I wish the movie were longer to relished even more of the BPRD and those things that go bump in the night. Del Toro is an amazing visionary, directing such a brilliant cast benefiting from a great screenplay by del toro & Mignola, brought to the screen by an astounding crew of artisans and technicians, to the tune of a Danny Elfman score and Barry Manilow song. As fond as I was of the first Hellboy film, I think this one is even better, and also does a fine job of retaining the look and spirit of the comic book. I give this movie an A!

Mary Nyan:
(chomp) I purrdict you’ll see many of the BPRD agents and those royal Elf characters cosplayed for cons and Halloween!

Jeannie:
And Batman and Iron Man related costumes. Hmm I wonder if there’ll be any special ‘bat’ theme, or gold & red armor by the 501st Stormtrooper folks?

Yvonne:
(gulp) StarkTroopers, nya!

Elizabeth:
Purrobably numerous Ahsoka Tanoor and Asaji Ventress costume sightings  this year too. Hopefully we’ll have seen the new Clone Wars movie and have a review of that in next month’s Mew!

Yvonne:
Mermaids, nya!

Mike:
More mermaid costumes this year? Hmm Well, the new Little Mermaid video is due out but…

Yvonne:
No no- lookit, nya!
(points toward the shoreline, sees mermaids waving from the shallows)

Jeannie:
There- they’re here!

Their Cups Gloweth Over

(catgirls scamper to the shore to greet their mermaid friends, who have brought the pet manatee with them)

Mary Nyan:
Hi guys!

Kianalani:
Aloha! I hope we’re not too late for the pick!

Melanakeami:
I had a last minute delivery from the restaurant to make so we were swimming late.

Jeannie:
So how are things we haven’t seen you since C.A.T. – C.I.A.O!*


*purronounced “cat chow”, the Charitable Annual Tournament of Catgirl Island Aquatic Orienteering


Melanakeami:
Fine! I just got off work, but we’re gonna help Dess with her surf patrol when her shift starts, so we can’t stay too long!

Yvonne:
That’s Ok but we’re almost done, nya!

Elizabeth:
Where’d Mike go?

Jeannie:
I think he wanted to chat with Kaiser one more time before he left.

Mary Nyan:
(pats Avanaru-ru, their manatee) Say, can he eat slaw?

Lourdessaluorno:
I dunno if the mayo in it would agree with him…

Mary Nyan:
Well I’ll go back to the hut and see if they will sell me a head of fresh cabbage! And I’ll bring us back a jug of iced tea!

Mermaids in unison:
arigatoo gozaimasu!

(Mary Nyan scampers to the  BBQ hut, where Mike and Kaiser are briefly chatting)

Nyssa:
Hear that ru-ru-chan? You’re gonna get fed!

Yvonne:
Y‘all need to do a whole Mew with us sometime, nya!

Kianalani:
Maybe next month!

Elizabeth:
OK we’ll send you an email when we meet to purrpare for the next session.

Yvonne:
Purrhaps we could do the next Mew from Sheila May’s, nya!**

Melanakeami:
Sugoi!!! I’ll ask the manager if we can reserve a big table.


**Sheila May’s is the underwater restaurant with the best seafood in town.
For its location not far from the shore of Susanowa Beach where this Mew
comes from, see the Catgirl Island map at http://catgirlisland.net/about.html

Elizabeth:
By the way, I just love your Jellies!***

Nyssa:
hee I just got ’em!


***Jellies, short for Jellycups, are the latest mermaid fashion trend,
of bikini tops made from specially purrpared  jellyfish bells


Kianalani:
They are hard to find- they keep selling out!

Melanakeami:
Even then you still have to find the size that fits- the bigger ones are hardest to find.

Elizabeth:
Oh I’ve seen them go for outrageous auction sums too!

Lourdessaluorno
And beware of the cheap knock offs!

Yvonne:
How can you tell them apart, nya?

Jeannie:
The genuine jellies will have the bioluminescent purrotien.

Yvonne:
nya ni?

Nyssa:
The stuff that makes ’em glow!

Oh OK! I have seen lots of glowing sea life but I did not know the purrocess.

Kianalani:
Is that the same in fireflies? I can tell you all about glowing sea organisms but haven’t studied the land ones yet.

Jeannie:
That’s more of a luciferin chemical.

Melanakeami:
What about foxfire- what’s that?

Jeannie:
That’s purrduced by certain fungi.

Lourdessaluorno
Is that how the faeries glow?

Jeannie:
No, that’s magic.

Yvonne:
Here come Myayr and Mike!

Under The Tea

(Mary Nyan returns with a fresh cabbage for the search-and-rescue manatee)

Lourdessaluorno:
Look ruru-chan- here comes your treat! Thanks Myayr!

Mary Nyan:
You’re welcome. He works hard to patrol the beach too! Here’s the tea!

(mermaids in unison)
Thanks Myayr!

(The mermaids drink the sweetened iced tea as the manatee nibbles the leafy food)

Mike:
Hi girls, I understand y’all wanted to contribute to the web comic picks?

(mermaids in unison)
Hi Mike!

Nyssa:
Hai! What do we do?

Elizabeth:
Typically the four of us mention three web comics, and Mike finishes with the 13th pick!

Nyssa:
Well here is our list, so, if I pick these three… Lani you take those, Dessy takes those three, and then Melana…

Yvonne:
One of you could pick four of ’em, nya! Or you could let Mike have the last pick kike we do, nya.

Lourdessaluorno:
Well then let’s do that, Mike will you take the last pick?

Mike:
I’d be honored!

Mary Nyan:
Looks like this month there’ll be 26 webcomics picks of the litter!

Jeannie:
It is the Summer Special.

The Mermaids’ Bonus 13 WebComic Picks

Nyssa:
Ok I’ll start with
Purgatory Tower http://www.drunkduck.com/Purgatory_Tower/
Clipped Wings http://clippedwings.keenspace.com/
and http://okutaws.deviantart.com/

Kianalani:
My three are
Yamara http://www.yamara.com/
Yu+ Me http://yume.rosalarian.com/
and Target http://target.keenspace.com/
Your turn Dessy!

Lourdessaluorno:
Thanks Lani!
Farlight Saga Ethos http://www.drunkduck.com/Ethos/
Yellow Moon http://yellowmoon.keenspace.com/
and Android http://www.webcomicsnation.com/webcomicshorts/android/series.php

Melanakeami:
Mist of Tyme http://mistoftyme.keenspace.com/
Craving Control http://www.drunkduck.com/Craving_Control/
and Cursed Wings http://cursedwings.cjb.net/
Take it Mike!

Mike:
Last but not least on the mermaids’ picks for the month is
Keiron White’s art gallery with the White Shadow comic http://www.funkyalien.vze.com/
Thanks girls!

(Catgirls & Mermaids applaud with clapping hands and polite fin smacks)

Mary Nyan:
See that was easy huh?

(The mermaids)
Yay!

(The Catgirls whisper a plan amongst themselves)

(The inquisitive mermaids)
?

Elizabeth:
And now y’all are ready for a
SURPRISE AMBUSH BONUS LIGHTNING ROUND NUMBER 5!

(The off-guard mermaids)
?

Elizabeth:
–And the topic is… Favorite Bioluminescent Organism- GO! (tags Lani)

Kianalani:
Oh, my absolute favorite is the Aequorea Victoria, or Crystal Jelly Fish! (tags Dessy)

Lourdessaluorno:
I like those Giant Hatchet Fishies! (tags Keami)

Melanakeami:
Anglers, with their cute deely-boppers! (tags Nyssy)

Nyssa:
The Yummy Krill appetizer at Sheila May’s! (tags Myayr)

Mary Nyan:
I will nominate the eerie Ghost Fungus! It is neat to see in the woods at night. (tags Vonny)

Yvonne:
I was gonna say Glow Worms, but I would like to sample the krill, nya! (tags Jenjen)

Kianalani:
The Color Changing Calamari tastes excellent too!

Jeannie:
There are too many magnificent Cnidaria to pick just one. (tags Lizzy)

Elizabeth:
Lightnin’ Bugs! (tags Mike)

Mike:
Upon careful consideration, I have to say the Festive Faerie Fire of our lovely local Fae!

(everyone else in unison)
That’s true, nya!

Jeannie:
If our Mewers at home would like to learn more about the exotic beauty of bioluminescent organisms or mysterious light phenomenon, we recommend these sites:
The Bioluminescent Web Page http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/~biolum/
The article on bioluminescence at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioluminescence
and The Earth’s Anomalous Light Forms http://inamidst.com/lights/

AsPURRations for Fall & Winter Cinema

Mike:
We’re hoping to see The new Mummy movie, Clone Wars, Tropic Thunder and Babylon AD… what other movies are y’all looking forward to?

Jeannie:
Three animated feature films are of purrticular interest to me: Igor, Bolt, and Roadside Romeo. I still need to see Kung Fu Panda.

Yvonne:
I wanna see Bolt too, nya! and another doggy movie Marley & Me ,and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, nya!

Kianalani:
Me? Oh- oh I want to see Harry Potter, too! And Fanboys sounds fun too!

Lourdessaluorno:
FANboys? It’s not FINboys? Aww… ! I also want to see Harry Potter. Oh – and Twilight! I wonder if it’ll be anything like Buffy & Angel?

Melanakeami:
Definitely Twilight, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Nights in Rodanthe, which was filmed not far from here!

Elizabeth:
I have not seen Hancock yet, and others I’m looking forward to most are Quantum of Solace, The Punisher: War Zone, and The Spirit! How ’boutchoo Nyss?

Nyssa:
Hmm… I’ll say… Quantum of Solace, what was that one oh yes- Burn after Reading, The Brothers Bloom and Body of Lies!

Mary Nyan:
I want to see Quarantine, and hopefuily sometime this year they’ll release Resident Evil: Degeneration, and The Haunted World of El Superbeasto! Mike?

Mike:
Probably the new Bond movie, Harry Potter, and Nights in Rodanthe!

Lourdessaluorno:
You’re sure it’s It’s not FINboys?

Kianalani:
Hai. But I bet you’d still like it!

Yvonne:
I want swim, nya!

Elizabeth:
We were purretty much finished any way…

Nyssa:
C’mon in the water’s fine!

Melanakeami:
If you’re not doing anything after the show maybe you could hang out with us on our beach patrol shift!

Jeannie:
I have a few hours before the bellydance class.

Mike:
OK, but let’s do the ‘baibai’ first!

(Catgirls in unison)
Hai!

Mary Nyan:

Y’all can join in if you like!

(Mermaids in unison)
Sugoi!

The Cat Lady Sings…

Kianalani:
Oh I get to start? Well that’ll wrap it up for another edition of The Mew! Hee!

Elizabeth:
Next month, more of our mewsual reviews, discussions, recommendations ‘n stuff-

Jeannie:
– hopefully including reviews of more July and August releases!

Nyssa:
Oh my turn? Ah, If you have polite & sincere responses to the discussion- feel free to post them!

Melanakeami:
Just please make sure your brief remarks stay on-topic and are not spam!

Mary Nyan:
Of course it’s fine to disagree with our opinions, purr-vided you’re not just trying to start a flame!

Lourdessaluorno:
Everyone remember to turn off your cell phone and not to talk during a movie in a theater–

Yvonne:
And that means no text message, or lighting it up like a flashlight during a movie, either! It’s rude, nya!

Mike:
Thanks for visiting, folks!

(all four catgirls in unison):
BAI BAI! nya!

Next month on The Mew: bikinis, mermaids, and jumbo shrimp! Be there… aloha.



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