“Academy” Award

August 18th, 2017 in Uncategorized by

As of late, I have been running into a lot of fighting academy shows, where people of varying degrees of talents and abilities are shipped off to this particular institute or that particular school to hone their fighting skills in that they may defend this country or do battle against other schools for honor and glory and toyamaki. It’s like being in “The Goblet of Fire” but without Cedric Diggory. (Hmmmm……….this intro sounds familiar). (more…)

The “Concrete” Jungle

July 30th, 2017 in Concrete Revolutio by

Now, understand that it is not a misspelling, but it is called “Concrete Revolutio” (“Konkurīto Reborutio: Chōjin Gensō”, “Concrete Revolutio: Superhuman Phantasmagoria”). I couldn’t find a genuine reason for that, aside that it will stick in your head.

It is year Apotheosis 41. Now, this was a bit of a problem in trying to determine what the ‘actual’ year was, but by doing a little research, I was able to puzzle out that it is the year 1967. OK, the fashions do kind of look like Carnaby Street and we do have a Beatles-like band lurking about, but it could also be the Disco Era, with that line of thinking and dress. The Showa Era did not exist and we are dating this from 1926, the last year of the Taisho Era. Earth is currently home to superhumans and paranormal phenomena of all kinds, from aliens and magical girls to ghosts and transforming robots. However, official knowledge of these beings is officially kept under wraps by the governments of the world. (more…)

“Dandelion” Wine

July 24th, 2017 in Anime by

This is a real change of pace royalty show. Most of the time, those of noble lineage and descent are overweening, preening prats who feel that the commoners aren’t much better than the animals that they tend and can be (and are) easily dismissed or fed to the royal animals.  However, “Castle Town Dandelion (“Jōkamachi no Danderaion”, “Dandelion of Jolamachi”) approaches this differently and has the regal family living as commoners…..more or less.

The story revolves around the Sakurada family, a family of nine super-powered siblings whose father is the king. The actions of the siblings are constantly being recorded and broadcast on TV, allowing the citizens to choose which one to elect as the next king. Yup, everything they do, and that is EVERYTHING they do, is open to public scrutiny. There are monitors all over the city, initially placed to offer protection to the Royal Family, but now, the citizenry can watch what goes on with all of them, as things are run not much differently than a mayoral election or even “Big Brother”. (more…)

“Sunshine” of Your Love

July 20th, 2017 in Uncategorized by

Hinata no Aoshigure review

It kind of bothers me that some offerings in anime are presented as ‘movies’, when they are an animated short subject or an untethered OVA. This one, “Hinata no Aoshigure” (“Rain in the Sunshine”) clocks in at 24 minutes (the length of many episodes), but does manage to do quite a lot. I just felt they could have taken out a few more minutes to make the poignancy better.

We are in the fourth grade (fourth grade romance? Really?) and up there, to the left, we have Hinata. He is very good at drawing and lives in a fantasy world, as he is also painfully shy. He falls in love with his classmate, Shigure (the giggly one); however, Hinata is not good at talking to people, so he keeps his feelings in his imagination and his drawings. He constructs these elaborate pictures and tries to work up the courage to tell her how he feels, but things always go wrong and it fizzles and flops. Well, more like crash and burn. Nine times out of ten, (more…)

Short Pull Series XI – Junior “Miss”

July 12th, 2017 in Short Pull Series by

The second season of “Miss Monochrome” has come and gone, and since they are brief episodes, it can get past you really quickly. However, the cohesion in this series got better for the next go-around. Originally Miss Monochrome (and she is a robot or android of some ilk) wanted to be an idol singer, trying to supplant Kikuko as Japan’s top idol, but since she doesn’t tour and doesn’t have an album, it’s really hard, when all her efforts are to get her seen and heard and adored, but they are not working and she is just another face at the local Kwik-E-Mart. The arrival of Yayoi Konno helps things along. She is a record promoter for a small label, but wants to help Monochrome succeed. They work towards the album and the big tour, even getting her idol back-up dancers, Caramel (that’s them up there rehearsing).

Now, all of these people still haven’t got a clue as to what the record industry is like and Yayoi is too over-zealous in getting things for Monochrome (she is just as ditzy as the other), but events and actions slowly come to fruition and as we close out the season, the concert in on the horizon….to be addressed in season three. I sometimes wish (more…)

AX 2017 Day 5: What To Think

July 7th, 2017 in Anime Expo 2017 by

Interstate 5 is a long piece of road. The US part is almost 1400 miles, from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. If we added the extra parts (when it crosses into Mexico, it becomes Mexican Federal Highway 1; for Canada, British Columbia Highway 99), that extends things another 1300 miles. Lots of time to think about things as the same scenery passes by.

You never go into these things, thinking “I’m going to be miserable”. I enjoy coming to these events, potentially less for the offerings (I mean, I can get Pop! figures at Hot Topic) and more for the spectacle. Cosplay was scattered, in that there was no dramatic winner in things, but “Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid” was a narrow winner. Someone came as a Gundam and that was a feat in and of itself. How much time and effort did they invest in this? And think about the transportation logistics. The weather was amenable as it never got too hot, but the crowds were off the hook. (more…)

AX 2017 Day 4: Wrapping It Up

July 6th, 2017 in Anime Expo 2017 by

We have come to the final day and the schedule looks like it….if I can trust it. There are a ton of viewings of animes that seemed to be plopped out. They found a hole in the schedule and you should be grateful. There were some final panels, but since this is also a get-away day AND the Fourth of July, my mind is focused elsewhere. Besides, I don’t know how to handle “Boruto”. I know, you are thinking, ‘Could it be?” Yes. We are continuing the Naruto Saga, seeing things through the eyes of his son, Boruto. They have taken an interesting tack with it, but I still recall getting torched by ‘Naruto’ with tons of filler episodes, so there is reluctance on my part.

We were able to do an orderly egress from our domicile (I think we may have gotten up a wee earlier than the rest of the folks; there were some late showings of movies the night before) and moved things closer to the LACC for a shot at the Vendor’s Hall. The few people in the check-out line with me were doing the same maneuver, as there was a lot to do and a massive amount of walking from one spot to another, so the Vendor’s Hall was not given its due. (more…)

AX 2017 Day 3: Shoulda Woulda Coulda

July 4th, 2017 in Anime Expo 2017 by

One does not normally see unescorted wood on the streets of LA, but, there you are. I must be more tired than I thought, as I forgot a key element from yesterday, but it works in well with today.

I must have been really tired, as I was sawing my own wood and got out late with the family to a day of frustrations.

I was going to see both “Noragami” and season two start of “My Hero Academia”, but they were shifted away for “Kiznaiver”, which I already have seen. “Full Metal panic” was season one, which I have seen, but was told it would be season 4. I was able to get into the Warner Brothers Japan Anime Panel, but it was mostly letting us know that there would be a third season of “Food Wars!” No offense, dudes, but I already knew that. However, they had the funniest fake news report ever. It was trying to be serious about “Keijo!!!” which is a women’s only sport where they try to push other women off floating land masses, using only their boobs or butts. The man tried to make the Vacuum Butt Cannon sound very scientific and impressive, as it attains speeds of 1250 k/hr (A Jumbo Jet can ‘only’ do 900 k/hr). Hilarious and totally ridiculous. (more…)

AX 2017 Day 2: Strictly Ballroom

July 3rd, 2017 in Anime Expo 2017 by

A lot of the problems with yesterday’s crowds were exactly what I thought it was: since a lot of folks could only invest one day to the convention, that was the day. It was just a bummer it was also Day 1. Day 2 was a lot better for the venue, but not for the soul. I ran into something that I call ‘aggressive disinterest’. It began with my bus driver.

I found out that the drop-off location was changed from the slotted area in front to a new spot on Pico, between the buildings. When one of the riders complained about it, the driver was angry about the situation, but the person was just in the way, as if the diatribe was just another function of the job and he could have been easily yelling at a tree. Ditto for the security guards about the area. Something was going on and sidewalks were fenced off or stairwells were blocked. They have a job to do, that is that, but if you need some degree of yelling and screaming to make it more personal, here you go. (more…)

AX 2017 Day 1: Flipping Your Wig

July 2nd, 2017 in Anime Expo 2017 by

anime-expo-day-1

Although I was really tired after the long, arduous travel day, I did have one last thought before I drifted off to sleep: if I hit up some of the Day ¼ venues after midnight, could I have gotten in, as it is the ‘next day’? Too sleepy to find out. However, the real next day, I just could not get back to sleep, so I got up early. I explored the hotel to see that they had a bewildering variety of restaurants and snack shops, but I decided against that. I headed out instead to eat elsewhere.

It was an overcast day, but we are in LA. In my neck of the woods, a day like that is cold and cruel; here, it’s merely neutral, but I could get away with wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I wanted to get down early to check out the JW Marriott, as the AX is using it as an off-venue location for the larger showings and panels. I managed to take in a viewing of “Astro Boy”. This is the original anime that I saw when I was a wee sprout back in 1964, so it has been over half a century since I saw it last. And my original thoughts then were still valid now: it is a bad show all the way around. (more…)