Monday, March 19, 2018

ALL-CON 2018

Last weekend was ALL-CON Weekend here in Dallas, TX.  This was my first time attending this convention where all fandoms are welcomed! 
This year the convention took place in the Renaissance Hotel (Previously the Intercontinental Hotel).

This convention was really interesting, lot's of activities that catered to many fandoms, anime, science fiction, star wars, ponies, cosplay, maid culture, burlesque, and more!  Some of my favorite activities were the craft room where you make a craft and keep it, the maid contest, and the Burlesque show was really entertaining too! Parking was a little bit of a hassle due to the small size of the parking lot. But other than that it was a fun time! Here are some fun pics!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Anime Review: Trigun

What if humanity lived in a desert planet modeled after the wild west with outlaws and guns and a hint of steampunk?
Milly and Meryl
Well that's the world you get in Trigun.  At first glance this anime seems like it may seem like the type of anime you would pass up, because what's so great about two insurance girls looking for an outlaw to assess his damages right?
This story actually goes in deeper though, just have a little patience.  All the episodes are actually quite enjoyable, there's only about 26 episodes too so its a pretty quick anime to binge through.

Vash and Wolfwood
Short synopsis goes like this, two damage insurance girls, Meryl and Milly,  are sent to go assess damages after an outlaw known as Vash the Stampede, the Humanoid Typhoon, he received this name after rumors had it that he alone destroyed an entire town. With this reputation Vash has a bounty on him of $$60 billion double dollars!  At first they can't believe that this klutzy type of a man is actually Vash, but as the series progresses they learn to accept who he is an grow fond of him. They also come to realize that he is not a bad guy after all, as he friends a gun wielding priest named Wolfwood whom they also come to know and love. 
But little do they know that Vash has an even deeper secret that no one knows about. A secret that dates back over 100 years ago in space, and who is this other man who looks just like he could be Vash's twin?!!!
You're going to want to stick around for all 26 episodes of this 90's classic anime.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Anime Review: Handa- Kun

Wanted to take some time to recommend a fun little anime about a student name Sei Handa who is a calligraphy prodigy, who feels like a total outcast.  Or is he?  
Even though Handa-Kun feels like a loser, hated by all his peers, its kind of all in his mind. In reality his peers see him as the most popular kid in school, he is adored by fans, feared by bullies, and regular guys just want to be him!  All the adoration, however, in Handa's point of view is just his schoolmates being bullies to him, mocking him.  
Quick example is when he received a love letter, he thought it was a challenge letter for a fight, because in his mind he is a loser and everyone hates him. What will happen with the poor girl who supposedly challenged Handa to a fight?!
You will not regret it, just watch the first episode its absolutely hilarious! 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Anime Review: Initial D

Wanted to Review an oldie but goodie, I am talking about the original Initial D anime series that came out in the late 90's and went to the early 2000's.

Back in 1998, before anyone even heard of The Fast and the Furious, Japan had a little gem of an anime called Initial D.
This anime was seriously awesome, packed with fast paced pumped up eurobeat music to get your blood moving throughout your body, as you watch the intense street race between the underdog new guy in his old school car and the fancy "experienced" drivers.   This anime was great for everyone, even if you knew nothing about cars, because as you have it, the main protagonist didn't know anything about cars at the start of the anime either!
Not only does this anime have great battles with street racing cars, but there's also great slice of life situations, and even some romance is thrown in because even street racers need a little romance.

Initial D anime arose in 1998 and went to fifth stage and final stage ended in 2014 with a compilation movie.  Other films include two extra stage special episodes focusing on other characters, 3 movies with the title of Legend 1, 2, and 3, and a live action movie featuring Taiwanese singer Jay Chou as the main protagonist Takumi Fujiwara.

The main story starts with Takumi Fujiwara and his friend Itsuki who are both high school seniors, Itsuki dreams of one day joining the Akina Speed Stars and becoming a street racer. While Takumi knows nothing about cars but works at a gas station alongside his buddies who are both petrol heads.
Little do his friends know that Takumi has been delivering tofu at night in his dads AE86 "Panda Trueno" for the past 5 years and Takumi is one hell of a driver on the downhill of Akina pass.  This is clearly shown as one night he is delivering tofu and encounters a street racer that Takumi effortlessly ends up passing.    The rest is history as Takumi joins the street racing ranks and becomes Akina's #1 downhill racer! This anime is one ride you will love to come along for.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Recovery of an MMO Junkie First Impression Review

A recent anime that is out on simulcast is Recovery of an MMO Junkie, the story of a 30 year old NEET named Moriko Morioka, who gave up on romance, job, and ordinary life to become a NEET by choice. She starts playing an MMO game called Fruits de Mer. She decides to play as a handsome guy in the game, keeping it a secret from all her online friends that she is really a 30 year old woman, in the game she meets a girl character named Lily and they become really good friends in the game.
One day Morioka stays up all night with Lily playing online, she catches a cold. In the morning as she is heading to the store she runs into a cute guy with glasses who knocks her down in his own haste. The gentleman takes her to the hospital and introduces himself as Yuta Sakurai, it seems there may be some chemistry between these two, more than they know.  You know where this anime is going with this right when this happens.

I initially wanted to just check out a couple of episodes just to check out something new but this is really good, I am hooked and I started watching all available episodes on Funimation, the series was just so good that I couldn't wait for the next episode so I found myself watching the subs on Crunchyroll, both are equally wonderful subbed or dubbed.

I highly recommend this anime if you like a good slice of life, romance, or if you like online gaming worlds.  I especially recommend it if you can relate, being a grown up Otaku who likes to play games online.  This anime shows that even if you give up on everyone around you, sure you can make a life online but in Morioka's case, the real world ends up intertwining with the fantasy game which makes for a juicy anime where you end up wanting to root for the main characters to get together!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Back from Anime North Texas 2017!

Finally back from Anime North Texas, and I gotta say despite the location change this convention turned out really great!
Cosplay of the Anime North Texas mascot.
This year the convention took place at the Sheraton DFW in Irving, TX.  I love Sheraton hotels and my expectations where high and they were certainly achived, Sheraton staff is always courteous and professional and that's what I love
about them.
Registration lines for ANT went pretty fast and that is always a plus, especially since the registration area was in the lobby area of the hotel and there was not very much room, but like I said it went by fast so it did not create a problem.

Panel Room 1 and the Maid Cafe where next to each other right next to a hallway that created a bit of a traffic jam when people were lining up to get to the panels, the issue was quickly fixed by Saturday by designating areas to line up, smart move. Panel Room 2 and 3 where upstairs in the second floor, unfortunately to get up there, the only way was through the elevator. This did create a lot of congestion unfortunately, due to there not being a main set of stairs to get the the mezzanine level of the hotel. There was a good line organization with con volunteers patrolling the elevator to make sure they did not go over capacity, but this did create a long line at the elevators which caused delays for people trying to rush up to the second floor in a timely manner.   Maybe next year the issue could be fixed by putting the other panel rooms downstairs perhaps? It seemed this year there was another event going on at the same time as the convention so not all the downstairs conference room areas where available so that is understandable.

Well honestly in my opinion, the ANT website and social media did a fair job warning everyone that there was limited parking. But unfortunately for people that are not from around here, I don't think they made the effort to even look for offsite parking.
What I thought was really cool though was when I saw the Freedom Park valet people coming in and parking cars on Saturday, I hope next year maybe this could happen again.  Or maybe a shuttle service can be provided for offsite parking elsewhere?  I managed to find parking at he hotel by planning ahead and arriving early, the one day that I did arrive late was on Sunday, and I was able to find parking at the Esters Business center about a block away, it seems like the business offices over there are closed on weekends so the entire parking lot was pretty much empty except for the other con-goers who parked there as well.   I've noticed conventions in Irving, TX, always seem to be short on parking, so it's probably something to think about for anyone planning to go next year if they stay at the same hotel, carpool, uber, or plan to park offsite because those 400 parking spots are gone fast!

 Main Events were well done, I was able to see the opening ceremonies, a couple of concerts, the cosplay contest, and the closing ceremonies. Unfortunately some of these events did get full so again anyone planning to attend cosplay contest and closing ceremonies plan ahead to be at the designated line up area because it fills up fast.

Video of the cosplay contest is coming soon so be sure to check back here for updates!

Food availability at the convention was as expected.  The closest off-site venue to eat was Denny's which is open 24 hours so that is definitively a great place to have nearby, especially since the food trucks did not stay at the hotel late. Althought the selection of food trucks was a great choice! My personal favorite is the Nami Truck, and I have now become a fan of the Bobbadiction truck, thanks to their sponsorship and the availability of their drinks at the Maid Cafe, they certainly have new clientele, that place is delicious!
Speaking of Maid Cafe, this was a great place to grab a bowl of Ramen and make some new friends! Maid Cafe needs to be on your list of things to check out at Anime North Texas if it isn't already! 
The hotel also had a variety of foods available at their bar, snack bar, and the hotel restaurant.

Dealers and Vendors area was well set up, it looks like there were a lot more dealers and vendors this year than previously so that is always good to see.

Overall the convention went great! I have nothing but positive memories from my experience at ANT2017, extra points for, all the great karaoke panels, amazing Maid Cafe, superb cosplayers, the availability of a Denny's near the hotel, and the wonderful staff of the convention and the Sheraton itself.  If you didn't get to go this year, definitively plan on going next year because this convention just keeps getting better!

Here are a few pictures I took of the event, cosplayers, and general atmosphere.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fall is here!

But con season is not over yet! With the autumn we now have a chance to enjoy fun Japanese Festivals and even more conventions, and now without the scorching hot Texas weather. Yup it's looking like its finally going to get a bit more chill so that is good news!

Here are a few events we're looking forward to here in the DFW area!

Coming up at the end of the month is Nightmare Nights! With the new My Little Pony movie that just came out in theaters, this one is bound to be a huge hit with local bronies in the area. Unforunately this will be the last Nightmare Nights in DFW until someone else is able to take over the planning. The current convention heads are moving away and will not be able to organize this event again until other convention planners are able to take this over.  Check out more info and registration information about Nightmare nights here at their website!

The Fort Worth Botanic Gardens has been holding a Japanese festival twice a year every year for quite a number of years actually! It is held in their own Japanese Gardens, where you will see and maybe even take part in the traditional tea ceremony, watch live performances of music, martial arts, and dancing! A great place to wear your yukata and take pretty pictures in the Japanese Garden. Check out the website for more information.


The Otsukimi Moon Viewing Festival was originally scheduled for October's full moon but due to bad weather conditions this event has been re-scheduled to Saturday November 4th, still planned to be at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas. Check it out, there will be Japanese Bentos, performances, origami, and more!

Anime North Texas has been growing in numbers for a couple of years now, still a newer convention but it has plenty to offer and the best maid cafe experience for any convention in the area that I have experienced.   This year it is going to be in the Irving Sheraton DFW hotel in mid November.  Check out their website for more information and to pre-register!