Crossing The GODS: Yu-Gi-Oh! Voice Actors Launch Original Illustrated Audio Drama

October 28, 2017 at 7:00 am | Posted in Other Stuff | 2 Comments

Crossing The G.O.D.S. logo from the teaser

If you’ve ever wanted to hear more of Dan Green (the voice of Yugi), Eric Stuart (the voice of Kaiba), and the many other Yu-Gi-Oh! voice actors that you remember from yesteryear, get ready because they’re coming back together for something new! At MCM London Comic Con yesterday, Dan and Eric announced that they are producing a new project — an original illustrated audio drama debuting in early 2018. Titled Crossing The G.O.D.S., the story will be an episodic web series starring Dan, Eric, and several more familiar actors from their circle of friends. It will be structured like an audio comic strip — panel-driven as if the viewer is reading a comic book, but with voice acting, music, and sound effects.

Crossing The G.O.D.S. is produced by Audramada Productions, a new company helmed by Dan, Eric, and Anthony Haden Salerno (the voice of Chazz Princeton). Dan is writing, directing, and illustrating the piece; Eric is working the audio post-production; and Anthony is composing the music and editing the video.

Check out a teaser on Audramada Productions’ website and follow the project on Facebook!

The announced cast of characters:

Crossing The G.O.D.S. cast of characters

Protective Soul Ailin: The Heart Behind the Card

October 27, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Konami, Other Stuff | 1 Comment

Protective Soul Ailin card artwork from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Tag Force 4, Japanese version

Of all the Yu-Gi-Oh! cards named after real people, Protective Soul Ailin probably has the most heartrending story behind it. Yesterday, Konami’s Leighton Kurashima shared a very personal story behind the card’s creation in 2005:

Thirteen years ago our son Ailin was born (just about this time) he passed away just over two hours later in our arms. It was a crushing life changing event for which I have little words, I immersed myself in work. The team made a Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG card for Ailin and presented it to me before the release of the upcoming booster set (CRV). I was speechless, people wonder why I do so much for Yu-Gi-Oh!, this is one of the reasons why.

Protective Soul Ailin is a card that has the ability to equip itself to another monster card, a powerful warrior named Indomitable Fighter Lei Lei. Normally, after Lei Lei attacks, he must change to defense position. But when Lei Lei is equipped with Ailin, he gets to stay in attack position, allowing him to keep fighting onward.

And who is Lei Lei?

…That’s the nickname of Leighton Kurashima.

(h/t Jason “MisprintPrince” Knapp)

Yu-Gi-Oh! Licensor ADK Set to be Acquired by U.S. Investment Firm Bain Capital

October 2, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Other Stuff | Leave a comment

Kaiba twirling his pen as he prepares to sign a check in episode 171

Asatsu-DK (ADK), the parent company of Yu-Gi-Oh! producer Nihon Ad Systems (NAS) and an owner of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, today announced its plans to be acquired by the Boston-based investment firm Bain Capital. Tokyo-based ADK is the third largest advertising agency in Japan. Although it is best known for its global ad business, ADK and its dozens of subsidiaries have their foot in numerous industries, including anime production. In addition to Yu-Gi-Oh!, the company is also involved with titles like Doraemon, Gundam, Pretty Cure, and One Piece.

Bain intends to purchase all of ADK’s shares in a deal worth about $1.35 billion. ADK’s largest shareholder, the U.K. advertising and PR agency WPP, owns nearly a quarter of the company and has said that the buyout undervalues ADK and that it may not sell its shares. Regardless, Bain will proceed with the transaction if it can acquire at least 50.1 percent of ADK.

(News from ADK, Reuters, Financial Times, h/t ANN)

Gagaga Cowboy Artist Recovers Stolen Yu-Gi-Oh! Card

September 1, 2017 at 6:00 am | Posted in Other Stuff, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 1 Comment

Gagaga Cowboy card artwork from YUGIOH.com
Image from yugioh.com

A Yu-Gi-Oh! card artist has reacquired a sentimental piece of artwork that was stolen from her in 2016. The victim, an artist and graphic designer who created the artwork of the popular Gagaga Cowboy Yu-Gi-Oh! card, had her Covina, California, apartment burglarized in October 2016, reports the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Among her stolen property was a framed Gagaga Cowboy card.

Yesterday, Covina police recovered the card and some of the victim’s other possessions after the victim had spotted the items for sale on the online marketplace OfferUp. The items were found in the Pomona, California, home of the victim’s former neighbor, who has been arrested on suspicion of burglary and receiving stolen property.

A police photograph of the recovered property published by the SGVT shows an oversized and regular-sized Gagaga Cowboy card together in a picture frame. The victim’s Gagaga Cowboy card is autographed by voice actor Steve Blum, who played a Yu-Gi-Oh! character, and is valued at $500, reports the SGVT.

But the true value of the card and its safe return to its creator is without a doubt immeasurable.

Update: Jonathan Moore of House O’ Champions has identified the victim as popular Yu-Gi-Oh! artist and former competitive duelist Amanda LaPalme. He notes that there has been some concern that someone in the Yu-Gi-Oh! community had specifically targeted LaPalme for whatever twisted reason, but that fortunately doesn’t seem to be true given the outcome of this case. Thank goodness she now has some closure.

The Seal of Orichalcos: Upper Deck’s Original Card Revealed

August 29, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Other Stuff, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment

Upper Deck's The Seal of Orichalcos, shot by asianyensation

Back in 2005 when Upper Deck still owned the distribution rights to the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, the company printed a real version of The Seal of Orichalcos. At the time, the card had only been seen in the anime without a genuine, printed, playable counterpart, so news about its creation was thrilling. The card was held only by Upper Deck’s Yu-Gi-Oh! judges and traveled to many Yu-Gi-Oh! events, like those held at Gen Con and San Diego Comic Con, and of course the National Championship. At these gatherings, duelists could participate in the “Duel the Master” event to face off against the judges, getting a taste of the formidable power of The Seal of Orichalcos.

It wasn’t until 2012 that the public could get their hands on their own official copy of The Seal of Orichalcos, but many always wondered what happened to Upper Deck’s special creation. Details about this card have since been lost to time, but as the legend goes, only fifteen copies of the card exist, all owned by Upper Deck employees. What does the card look like? And where did they all go?

Earlier this week, esteemed Yu-Gi-Oh! collector Anthony “asianyensation” Nguyen unveiled his latest and perhaps most stunning catch. Nguyen is now the owner of Upper Deck’s The Seal of Orichalcos and has documented his find on YouTube and Instagram! This card has not been seen anywhere since 2005! True to its anime roots, the card features a warning: “The soul of whichever Duelist loses this Duel is forfeit to the winner.”

Check out Nguyen’s Instagram account, asianyensation, to see more of the real-life Rare Hunter’s prized Yu-Gi-Oh! collection.

Loot Anime Offers Yu-Gi-Oh! Prizes in Mini Kaiju Crate

June 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Other Stuff, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Loot Anime's July 2017 Mini Kaiju Crate Yu-Gi-Oh! Prize Pack

Yu-Gi-Oh! has returned to Loot Anime! This month, all subscribers of the anime- and manga-themed mystery box service will be entered to win one of ten Mini Kaiju Crate prize packs featuring some sweet Yu-Gi-Oh! merchandise. Up for grabs are:

Everyone who signs up for Loot Anime by June 27 will be automatically registered to win.

Loot Anime previously partnered with 4K Media to include exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh! socks in one of last year’s crates. Could more Loot Anime Yu-Gi-Oh! merch be on the way?

Video Interview: Yu-Gi-Oh! Composers Álvarez, Sheinfeld on All Access

May 11, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Posted in English dubbed, Other Stuff, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Elik Álvarez and Freddy Sheinfeld in an interview on Film.Music.Media: All Access
Yu-Gi-Oh! composers Elik Álvarez (left) and Freddy Sheinfeld

Last week, Elik Álvarez and Freddy Sheinfeld, two members of the Yu-Gi-Oh! music composition team, appeared on All Access, a video series that features in-depth interviews with composers. The program is produced by Kaya Savas of Film.Music.Media, a website dedicated to the ins and outs of the film music industry.

Álvarez and Sheinfeld, both originally from Venezuela, talk about how they met in the United States and started their own company and how they dove into the world of composing for animations like Yu-Gi-Oh!, from the Pyramid of Light to The Dark Side of Dimensions and everything in between. Some of the topics they discuss include:

  • Their musical backgrounds and how they discovered film music.
  • How they define the sound of a show and their approaches to thematic writing.
  • What it’s like composing with each other and what happens when there’s a disagreement.
  • How their approach to composition differs when writing for narrative fictions and nature documentaries.
  • The aspects of a movie or show — whether the cinematography, script, characters, or story itself — that draw the first note out of them.
  • The negatives of the film composition industry, like the decay in appreciation of quality film music and the need for composers to follow popular trends.
  • The positives of the industry, like the influx of new directors, fresh content, opportunities to grow.

There are numerous funny and enlightening moments in this interview. Álvarez and Sheinfeld got a good laugh remembering when they first met in the U.S. at a conducting class. At the time, they didn’t realize that they were both from Venezuela. They only spoke to each other in English, each thinking that the other was Greek or German.

Álvarez explained how, when composing for Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s, they enjoyed going “really dark” with the scores because it was such a change in style for them compared to the previous series. Unfortunately for them, they never got anywhere with this new sound. After writing close to an entire episode, the producers asked them to dial it down a notch. It was “too Nine Inch Nails meets Yu-Gi-Oh!” laughed Sheinfeld.

A show’s sounds sometimes develop organically and in unexpected ways. Sheinfeld reminisced about writing Yu-Gi-Oh! GX’s rock-oriented score and how the music he submitted was really similar to the ones that he used to play with his college rock band. As luck would have it, the producers really liked this style, so writing for that show became like a jam session for him and his style was integrated with the sounds of the show.

Give this interview a listen to hear more great moments like these!

(h/t Freddy Sheinfeld)

Related posts:
Composer Elik Álvarez Talks Yu-Gi-Oh! Music
Yu-Gi-Oh! Composers Álvarez, Sheinfeld Talk The Dark Side of Dimensions
Yu-Gi-Oh! Composers Álvarez, Sheinfeld Interviewed on Soundtrack Alley Podcast

Yu-Gi-Oh! Composers Álvarez, Sheinfeld Interviewed on Soundtrack Alley Podcast

April 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Posted in English dubbed, Other Stuff, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 1 Comment
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Photos of Yu-Gi-Oh! composers Elik Álvarez and Freddy Sheinfeld
Yu-Gi-Oh! composers Elik Álvarez (left) and Freddy Sheinfeld

On Friday, Elik Álvarez and Freddy Sheinfeld, two members of a team of talented composers for the many Yu-Gi-Oh! series and movies, appeared on the most recent episode of Soundtrack Alley, a podcast that celebrates the love of movie soundtracks. In a 40-minute interview, the duo speak with podcast host Randy Williams about their work in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions and other recent projects. This post includes a few highlights from the interview.

Adding a New Flavor to an Old Favorite

Elik Álvarez and Freddy Sheinfeld are both composers originally from Venezuela who are now working out of Los Angeles. Their involvement in Yu-Gi-Oh! began with the first Yu-Gi-Oh! movie, Pyramid of Light, which led them to work on season 3 of the classic Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters series and, eventually, every season and spin-off since then. For Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, the pair tried to move away from the style of music seen in the TV series in an effort to make the score a little more cinematic, explained Álvarez.

“How [do you] make it more cinematic?” asked Álvarez. “Well, you just do. That’s what you do as a composer. You are able to switch gears when they need to.”

One of the things that the two composers really pressed for in The Dark Side of Dimensions was the inclusion of more choirs.

“That doesn’t mean we haven’t used choirs in the rest of the series, but not as much probably as we do in this one. We really pushed hard for that one,” Álvarez added. But the most challenging aspect of scoring wasn’t actually the composition process.

Álvarez continued: “What is difficult is to have people who oversee the music — the music producer, the producers, the writers, whoever is listening to the score — this movie is a little bit different because even people in Japan were listening to this, people in Konami, I believe. So the difficult part is to convince them, ‘Listen, let’s try to do something different.’ They are so used to listening to a certain style of music. To propose something new takes time and persuasion and things like that. But to switch gears, in my opinion, is something that comes very natural to us.”

Sheinfeld noted that the their experience with Yu-Gi-Oh! has come full circle. The pair began with Duel Monsters, which had a certain style of music. They then moved on to other series, each with their own unique sound; GX was a little more rock-oriented and 5D’s had electronic industrial elements. Now, after more than ten years, they’ve returned to the original Yu-Gi-Oh! and needed to approach it with a fresh perspective.

“We kind of came back to some of the original ideas as far as the themes that we needed to use because those are characters that everybody knows,” said Sheinfeld. “But at the same time, we wanted to do, like Elik said, something fresh, something more cinematic. And somehow, the way it worked, to sound a little bit more cinematic was actually going a little bit old school.

“It’s funny because in the original Yu-Gi-Oh!, if you listen to the music, there’s a lot of electronics going on. A lot of electronic percussion, a lot of techno stuff combined with an orchestra. But [for The Dark Side of Dimensions], we were a little bit more pure. We tried to avoid that just a little bit just to sound a little bit more modern, which is weird but it kind of worked that way. A lot of those sounds [in the original Yu-Gi-Oh!] now sound a little bit dated if we use it, so to sound fresh, we avoided it as much as we could. We were for a more traditional sound. You know, still mixing some of the modern electronic sounds that we use these days to still have that modern feel. But overall, it was a little bit more traditional orchestration approach to this film.”

Getting the Style Just Right

Both Álvarez and Sheinfeld gave a lot of credit to Mike Brady, 4K Media’s music producer, who offers them lots of freedom to compose to picture. Brady doesn’t give the composers a temp track — a sample piece of filler music that editors and producers use to set the mood of a scene.

“We just get plain animation with dialog and rough sound effects and sometimes rough dialog, and we just write music to it,” explained Álvarez. “So that’s a very, very important point I want to make. We’re pretty lucky with this because temp tracks sometimes could be a big help, sometimes they don’t. So one thing for this is we don’t get any temp tracks. He just sends us picture with dialog, and that’s it. There is no music there. So we really create from scratch.”

“I think the producer, Mike, is very good at what he does,” Sheinfeld said. “Like Elik says, he doesn’t give a temp track, but he has a very specific idea of how the show works. It took a long time to understand it but now it’s a matter of trying to understand what is important, what you need to accomplish with the music, and on the other side, what you can add to it as far as being creative. So it’s always that balance. You want to make it work and you also want to make it as cool as possible. There’s a lot of work involved. As far as making things work, it’s funny because it’s even though it’s an animation, I think the level of thought that goes behind each detail is much more deeper than a lot of the dramatic films that I’ve done in the past.”

After working on Yu-Gi-Oh! for more than ten years, Álvarez and Sheinfeld have a good feel for what the producers are looking for and what style of music works well in the anime.

“We understand the language pretty well of these types of animations,” said Álvarez. “I gotta tell you, it’s very, very complex. It’s very complex. Sometimes, on TV, you don’t really listen that much to the music. There is a lot of dialog. They don’t mix the music that loud. But it’s very complex what we do over here, and it took us quite a few years just to nail down the style and not to be afraid.”

And getting the style just right really is the key, since the music dictates so much of how characters and scenes are perceived by the viewers.

“As Freddy said, each of the characters over there, they have their own personality and we need to make sure that people can understand that,” Álvarez said. He elaborated on this point using Kaiba as an example, explaining that when composing for this character, Brady emphasized not to treat Kaiba as a bad, evil guy but also not as a good, heroic guy.

“These characters are complex. And you know, people don’t realize that,” stated Álvarez. “And again, when you see it on TV, and there is a lot of dialog going on all the time. But we’re behind that trying to make sure that people don’t perceive Kaiba as an evil guy because he’s not. So how do you make that balance?”

Teamwork, Inspirations, Future Projects, and More

Elik Álvarez and Freddy Sheinfeld discussed several more topics with Randy Williams, including how they have honed their skills from working together, how they met fellow Yu-Gi-Oh! composer Joel Douek, what types of film music they enjoy, and what some of their future project include. It’s a smart and enlightening interview, so give it a listen! Be sure to listen all the way to the end because they share a few of their full-length pieces from Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions and other works.

Related posts:
Composer Elik Álvarez Talks Yu-Gi-Oh! Music
Yu-Gi-Oh! Composers Álvarez, Sheinfeld Talk The Dark Side of Dimensions

Yu-Gi-Oh! Animate Cafe Gets New Menu Items

March 2, 2017 at 8:00 am | Posted in Japanese, Other Stuff, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Today, Animate’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Cafes are swapping out some of their food and drinks for a few brand-new tasty eats. Check out these concoctions that are being added to the menu!

Shrimp, sweet red bean, and rice ball dishes at the Yu-Gi-Oh! Animate Cafe

“Red Dorm’s Fake Fried Shrimp” – Breaded shrimp cutlets, tartar sauce, adzuki bean wafer

“Very Sweet Red Bean Soup Noodles” – Red bean soup, udon, grilled rice cake, printed adzuki bean wafer, pine-shaped cookies

“Yuma’s Duel Meal ~With ‘Numbers’~” – Round rice ball, fried mackerel marinated in spiced vinegar (“namban-zuke”), pickled radish, pickled eggplant and cucumber

Hell Kaiser Ryo Marufuji's rice flour dumplings and Ryo Shark Kamishiro's pancake at the Yu-Gi-Oh! Animate Cafe

“Hell Kaiser’s Five Strikes (‘Go-Ren-Da’) Rice Flour Dumplings” – Powdered green tea ice cream, corn flakes, vanilla ice cream, brown sugar gelatin, rice flour dumplings, powdered green tea pancake, molasses, whipped cream, silver leaf

“Shark’s Magic Combo! Aqua Jet Pancake” – Fluffy Japanese pancake, whipped cream, adzuki bean wafer, shark cookie, foam, blue syrup, cocoa powder, margarine, maple syrup (the text on the pancake says “Irattokuruze!” which is localized as “That really ticks me off!”)

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Clear Mind drink with glowing ice cube at the Yu-Gi-Oh! Animate Cafe

“A New Drink! Over Top Clear Mind!” – Ginger ale, star-shaped pineapples, light-up ice cubes (not edible)

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Smile World drink and wafer designs at the Yu-Gi-Oh! Animate Cafe

“Make People Smile by Dueling…! Smile World Soft Drink” – Blue syrup, white grape soda, colored tapioca, whipped cream, four different printed adzuki bean wafers

Sora Shiunin's hot milk, corn soup, and Kuriboh latte at the Yu-Gi-Oh! Animate Cafe

“Come Forth! Death-Toy Scissors Hot Milk!” – Hot milk, white chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, lollipop

“Can☆Corn Soup” – Cream of corn soup, star-shaped carrots, printed adzuki bean wafer

“Reverse Card Open! Latte of Summoning Kuriboh!” – Cappuccino, three different cocoa powder designs

The new menu items will be available from now until the end of the cafe’s run on March 29.

(News from Animate Cafe Ikebukuro’s Twitter @animatecafe_ike)

Previously:
Yu-Gi-Oh! Animate Cafe

Crunchyroll Now on Amazon Fire TV

February 23, 2017 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Other Stuff | Leave a comment
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Joey freaking out when he answers the phone in episode 56

Crunchyroll announced today that its newest update to the Crunchyroll Amazon app includes support for a long-requested device — Amazon Fire TV! Furthermore, support has also returned for Fire tablets, many of which haven’t been able to run the app for months on end now due to Amazon’s security updates.

The CR app is free to download and offers both Premium and free ad-supported viewing experiences. Now you can watch all of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series and other great anime in even more places. Hooray!

(News from Crunchyroll.)

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