Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tokyo Ghoul: Review

Tokyo Ghoul :re has just been released today!  The 3rd season to Japan's hit series Tokyo Ghoul.
I recently caught up to Tokyo Ghoul and honestly I didn't think I would be into this series but as it turns out I got quite into it that I ended up binge watching it!
Here is a quick review synopsis so you can hopefully get into it too and start watching the new season!

Ken Kaneki is an average university guy who likes to chat it up with his friend Hide, the anime starts with them at a cafe called Anteiku where Kaneki reveals that he has a crush on a girl that likes to frequent the place.  He finally gets the guts to ask her out and they arrange to go on a date.
His date,  who goes by the name Rize, seems to have a lot in common with Kaneki as they are both book worms, towards the end of the date she reveals that she is scared to walk home because Ghouls have been attacking near where she lives so she asks Kaneki to walk her home.
Little does Kaneki know that Rize is a Ghoul and is after him.  Sure enough she lures him into an alleyway and starts to take a bite out of him, however Rize is not able to eat her prey because some construction beams fall on her and crush her to death. 
Kaneki is taken to the hospital where he nearly escapes death when the doctor decides to take the organs from deceased Rize and transplant them on Kaneki in order to save him. 
Of course you can only guess what happens...yup this transplant has turned Kaneki into a Ghoul.

Kaneki's life takes a huge turn, he denies he is a Ghoul at first, but human food doesn't taste good to Ghoul's because Ghoul's feed on human flesh.  with Kaneki's hunger getting worse he has no choice but to look for food.  As much as he doesn't want to he runs into an alleyway where another Ghoul is eating, and unfortunately he runs into more Ghouls.  But lucky to him he ends up finding a soon to be ally in Touka who stays in an apartment above Anteiku. 
We learn that Anteiku is actually a safe place for Ghoul's who are just trying to survive and are not what we would refer to as evil.

I'll leave the review here, trust me it gets good, Kaneki adjusting to his life as a Ghoul, discovering powers he didn't know he had, and joining in on the Ghoul turf war.
Like I said I really enjoyed it, found myself binging through this, and I can't wait to start the new series! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

In This Corner of the World: REVIEW

If you are in the mood for a good historical drama anime this is a good one to check out as long as you don't mind crying your eyes out once you grow attached to the characters.

This movie is set up around the young life of a girl named Suzu before, during, and right up until the end of World War 2 in Hiroshima and nearby Kure, Japan.

Some may think this may be a movie like Grave of the Fireflies, yes it takes place around the same time, but this movie offers a completely different perspective .

The movie starts with young Suzu as a child running an errand because her brother is sick. She and another boy nearly get kidnapped by some monster man but they are able to evade capture. The story moves ahead to Suzu in school, we learn about some of her friends and her family. The movie takes another fast forward to when a boy she doesn't even know asks for her hand in marriage. She ends up getting married to him and moving in with his family away from Hiroshima to Kure, which is basically a naval base town with battleships in the harbor and constant air raids.

Suzu slowly learns the ways of being a young wife in war times, picking up food rations, and figuring out ways to make them last for a family of 4, which soon becomes a family of 6 when sister in law Keiko and her young daughter Harumi come to live with them. At first it seems like Keiko doesn't like Suzu but we learn she is just harsh because she has had a very tough life.

I don't want to go much further into the story but I highly recommend this one for the history buffs out there, anyone who likes Japanese culture, and if you want to enjoy a good rollercoaster of emotions in an anime. The art animation style is beautiful, the music is soothing, and the story will tug at your heart strings.   This movie is actually available on Netflix in the U.S. as of March 15, 2018.

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.