Monday, August 21, 2017

Anime Fest 2017

Anime Fest in Downtown Dallas is pretty much my favorite anime convention in the area. It's smaller than A-Kon, pretty laid back, and in the tallest hotel in the region, the Sheraton Dallas.
This fest was great as usual, with so much programming for Yuri on Ice fans, the autographs especially went a little nuts, with everyone trying to get some! Great screenings throughout the weekend, and of course plenty of cosplay as usual!
Here are a few fan-submitted pics as well as some of my own from my own phone.
Maybe you will spot you or someone you know, or get some ideas for a cosplay in the future!
Anime Fest has been scheduled for the same days next year! August 17-20th!  

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A-Kon 28 is THIS WEEK!

A-Kon 28 is this Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas!
I am so excited to go, I am part of a ParaPara dance group called EKS-D ParaPara, I may have to do a post about this in an upcoming blog, but this is going to be the firs time the whole group will be staying the weekend at the convention!  We'll have a whole weekend of programming and demos to do so its going to be great!

This is the first year that A-Kon will be at the Fort Worth Convention Center, not only that but the three surrounding hotels will also have programming, The Sheraton by the Water Gardens will be your J-Pop and video rooms it seems, the Omni will be the Gaming central, and the Hilton will be J-Fashion. I am excited as well for the giant dealers room in the Convention Center, the concerts in the Arena, and the panels and events in the rooms and ballrooms in the building.

I wanted to share a couple of videos to get the hype going some more so check it out below and hope to see you there!

Who remembers Foamy the Squirrel and A-Kon advice?

Pentagon Japan will be at A-Kon 28, check out their excitement!  It's their first time in America!

Check out the venues in Fort Worth!

A-Kon will also be presenting OxT also their first time in America!

Oh and I must do my own plug! This is my dance group's YouTube!
Check us out, we are EKS-D ParaPara!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Ayumi Hamasaki losing her hearing.

 You've probably heard of her or you may have heard her songs in an anime or a convention. Our dear Ayumi Hamasaki has announced on her blog, Team Ayu, that she is going deaf!
This is really devastating news for her and the fan community, as she has been an idol in Japan since the late 90's and has contributed with her music in several anime or movies.

According to her blog she felt dizzy and sick with vertigo before going on tour and often taking time to vomit in the restroom during rehearsal.

During the 200 Act I Tour, Ayu had caught a cold and an ear infection and instead of taking time to rest she didn't want to disappoint and kept on with the tour.  Unfortunately she lost hearing in her left ear by 2008 and since her right ear has been trying to compensate it is now weakening.
Even now, Ayu vows to keep performing, she is quoted saying "The stage is where I belong. It's the only place I really, truly exist. I don't know anything else."

Here a few clips of some anime where her music was used as one of the theme songs.

This is called "Pray" it is from Buddha 2: Tezuka Osamu no Buddha - Owarinaki Tabi

"Connected" is an OVA created completely for this song.  It';s set in a futuristic world where cities grow at an intense pace.

"Dearest," one of Ayumi Hamasaki's most well known songs due to it being the 3rd ending song for the popular series INUYASHA.

In  another return to INUYASHA, Ayumi Hamasaki's "No More Words" made its way on the big screen at the ending of the INUYASHA the movie Affections Touching Across Time.

Ayumi Hamasaki also lent her music to Capcom's Onimusha. Here is one of the songs, "Startin"

Friday, April 7, 2017

Kimi No Na Wa (Your Name)

Movie Review by Gaby

I love love love this movie so much!
If you are hesitating gong to go see it, don't hesitate, go! It's amazing, rollercoaster of emotions, no wonder it made it to #1 in Japan last year!
Makoto Shinkai's "Your Name" movie is a masterpiece, suspensful, and tugging at your heartstrings.

From the beginning you start really connecting with the characters, and the twist in the middle of the movie really keeps you on the edge of your seat.

I don't want to give away anything regarding the movie, I really suggest you see it if you haven't already.  But for a basic plot, Mitsuha is a girl in a little town in the country who wishes she was a "Tokyo Boy," and Taki is a city boy who juggles a busy school life, friends, and work. These two somehow keep finding each other in each others bodies, at first thinking its a dream, but then realizing that by some phenomenon it is really happening.  They leave each other notes every time they switch, hoping to one day eventually meet.
But why are they switching bodies? Pay attention because maybe the comet that we keep seeing on a television in the background has something to do with it...just maybe...

"Your Name" opens in select theaters today in the United States, I am telling you, you will not be dissapointed going to see it.

Another similar title to check out if you can't get enough of body switching would be Kokoro Connect, or if you have already seen this anime, then you will enjoy this movie so much.
I also recommend this movie if you like other type of paranormal romance movies like, Steins Gate, or the Melancholy (or Disappearance) of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Also you will love the music by the RADWIMPS if you like bands such as ONE OK ROCK, or Bump of Chicken, the opening and ending themes are by this band and the flow of the melody was beautiful with this movie.

I hope you enjoy this movie as much as I did!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Life and Times of an Anime Nerd

by Gaby

I  guess this post mostly goes out to the people who aren't part of the anime fandom/otaku/weeabo world.
I've had a couple people ask what kind of stuff people do who are into anime, they assume we just sit at home and watch cartoons or anime, but I decided to take a camera and go out and have a "Weeb" Weekend!

First of all it was a great weekend as there was a mini convention going on, the Mini A-Kon convention was taking place in Lewisville, so I put on some Pinkie Pie hair and headed on over to the con!
Met some fun people to hang out with, took a lunch break at a place that American Otaku people always love, the sushi bar! Not just any sushi bar, we went to Kula Revolving Sushi, its very authentic with the way its set up like modern Japanese revolving sushi places.  After a certain amount of plates that you insert into the collection slot, a prize pops out of a machine that is situated above the sushi belts.
Since we were in the area we stopped at a couple of Asian stores, Kinokuniya was having a grand opening so we were in luck and got to see some of the festivities!
We returned to the convention where they were holding a raffle, I ended up winning two Dragonball Z action figures!
The next day on Sunday, decided to go back to the Kinokuniya Bookstore grand opening where more anime themed festivities where happening that day.  Met a couple other friends there and had more sushi, watched the cosplay show, and looked at more cool books.
So yes, its not always about sitting at home watching anime, its about getting out, experiencing a new culture, and meeting new friends!

See the short video summary below!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Roundup 2017

I have collected a few cheesy and/or sweet anime Valentine cards for you to freely print out and give to your sweetheart on the day of love and friendship.
OK sure to the wrong company some of these may seen awkward but if its for your friends or sweetheart they are bound to get it!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Sailor Moon R Movie (2017)

Review by Gaby E.

The 2017 English Language Theatrical release of the Sailor Moon R Movie was definitively something pretty cool and nostalgic to me.
This is the original movie was released in Japan in 1993 and re-released on home video by Pioneer entertainment back in 2000.  This new re-dubbed, un-cut re-release was actually pretty darn good. 

They used the original Japanese songs which was a plus for me, maybe not so much for the people that enjoyed the dubbed version of "Moonlight Densetsu."  I thought the new voice acting was excellent, very well done, also beware, if you are used to the 90's version of the TV show where the characters go by their Americanized names, they fully go by their original Japanese names in this movie, as in Serena (Sailor Moon) is Usagi, and Darian (Tuxedo Mask) is Mamoru, so that you don't get lost.

The screening of the movie started out with an introductory interview video with the voice actors for Mamoru, Fiore (the villain), and Usagi.  Then after the interviews a short mini video about the Sailor
Scouts, basically an introductory type video of who each of the scouts was that you are going to see in the movie, this would be especially useful for people who were not familiar with the Sailor Moon franchise.

Once the interviews and shorts were done, the movie finally started and it was beautiful, the picture was so crisp and remastered beautifully for the big screen, it was surely nostalgic to see my 90's Sailor Moon animation in a theater. 

Fiore kidnapping Mamoru
This story is mostly about Mamoru (Tuxedo Mask), we find out a little about his childhod and past, how he lost his parents, and befriended an alien-ish kid name Fiore.  Mamoru gave Fiore a flower as a child, and Fiore promised he would return to earth with flowers for Mamoru, years later Fiore does return with a flower, but its a very destructive flower, and its up to the Sailor Scouts to save the world from this destructive flower before everyone life energy is sucked out.

Typical Sailor Moon plot, Tuxedo Mask gets kidnapped, girls try to save him, they have struggles, while looking fabulous and kicking some alien butt in high heels! Gotta love this chicks!  This is a must see if you were a 90's Sailor Moon kid, nostalgia for sure!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Winter Cosplay for the Cold Cosplayer.

by Gaby

Now that the weather outside is becoming more frightful. There are still plenty of cold weather conventions to head to, but what are some good cosplay that are good for the cold weather? I am going to aim this towards female cosplay since they always seem to be lacking in the coverage department in most cases. When I looked on forums at what people had suggested for winter cosplay, most of the answer were guy characters, like Edward Elric, his outfit is nice because he wears a big red jacket, so does Vash the Stampede, or a bunch of other male characters that wear jackets and long sleeves, that's gonna be a lot, I mean like most of the male school uniforms are usually long sleeves, while girls freeze their booties off in skirts...yes they wear leggings I know... lets cut to the chase and list off some cold weather friendly female cosplay!

So ladies and gentleman here are some female cosplay outfits that are great for the winter season!

TOP 5 Winter Female Cosplay

5.) Vocaloid Christmas Outfits! 

Probably not the warmest thing, but 'tis the season!  The guy Christmas outfits are of course going to be warmer because they are pants and a jacket. But ladies do not fear, Miku has this cute little cape that covers her shoulders, in other versions she also has arm sleeves, but I prefer the cape, coupled with some long sleeves and leggings underneath the outfit and you may be able to keep the cold winter chill off your back decently.

4.) Long Sleeves Cardcaptor Sakura 

 Cardcaptor Sakura has many adorable outfits, there is bound to be one that you can add sleeves to for a warmer look, or something like the above, the red long sleeves dress with black leggings. Not too bad for a chilly day!

3.) Rukia from Bleach

This cosplay can probably work in all seasons. Very simple really, the secret is layering.  Wear as many layers as you need to, to stay warm under this cosplay. The black robes will do a good job at masking whatever layers you got going on underneath.  Plus the tabi socks will keep your toes warmer than a cosplay with no socks at all.

2.) Anna from Frozen

When her sister froze over the land, Anna got very cold, its a good thing she was able to get her hands on some winter clothes! Like this stylish cape and some nice warm boots that kept her warm.  Very good choice when it looks like you might see some flurries.

1.) Katara from Avatar the Last Airbender

Katara also has an outfit for both warm and cold seasons, for the cold season, that blue jacket with the white puffy lining looks like it could keep someone mighty warm even during a blizzard! So if you are planning on being a cosplayer in the snow, this is probably the one you should go with.

Friday, November 11, 2016

American Made, Otaku Embraced Top 5!

by Gaby

Being that today is an American holiday, Veteran's Day, I decided to give kudos to some American "anime" type shows or movies that are very popular around the general anime community!
Take a break from some Japan shows today and embrace American shows like the ones below!
These are just a few, there are many others but here is a quick top 5.  I based my list off of what I  have seen popular at anime conventions, cosplay, panels, and people talking about these series.

Top 5 American Made,
Otaku Embraced

5. Adventure Time
Take a look at the characters in the image above and tell me how many times you have seen these being cosplayed at cons?  A lot! The Adventure Time series on Cartoon Network gained a huge ray of fans especially the con goers.  Very simplistic cosplay also made it really easy to cosplay these characters.  Inspired by D&D, Adventure time was sure to be a hit with the nerd/otaku community, and it sure was!

4. Steven Universe
 Another popular choice for Otaku has been Steven Universe! Emmy Award nominated and cititically aclaimed for its design, music, voice acting, characterization and its sci-fi world building, its easy to see why Steven Universe has gained a huge fandom. Plus cosplaying the main character on here is not that hard. 

3. Avatar the Last Airbender
Primetime Emmy Award winner, as well as critically aclaimed by audiences and critics.  The Last Airbender became one of Nickelodeon's most popular shows in the mid 2000s, even spawning a sequel series, Legend of Korra.  Avatar the Last Airbender was so popular that it even had a live action move...but lets not talk about that one.  Getting back to the Nickelodeon show, ask any Otaku and they can most certainly vouch for this show, I haven't met a con-goer who hasn't at least heard of this show.

2. Teen Titans
Oh my dear Teen Titans, I am talking about the original Teen Titans no the butchered mess that's currently on TV.  Glen Murakami's Teen Titans, based on the DC Comics characters, was a huge hit on Cartoon Network when it aired back in 2003-2006, and people still embrace this show dearly. With a lot of anime-esque scenarios, themes, and Puffy Ami Yumi doing the main Teen Titans theme song, this series spoke to many American anime fans all over the states. Great cosplay was popping up everywhere and it even got people to become a fan of DC comics, heck it got me into super heroes in general!

1. Disney
Of course I can't leave out America's most beloved  cartoons since our grandparents! Disney of course! Whether its Disney Princesses, Disney Heroes, or the newest Disney movie cosplay, there is always some form of Disney that American Otaku love.  Don't forget its Disney's original animation that isnspired a lot of what anime is today, with the big eyes and the expression on the characters. We love Disney for everything that it is!
Want to learn more about how Walt Disney influenced anime? Check out this great article here.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fall Back into Otaku Culture!

by Gaby

Happy November everyone! I must apologize for my long absence since Anime Fest, I got really busy after that, took a bit of a breather and then BAM! I ended up in the emergency room with appendicitis right as I was about to move to a new city. Finally getting my life back into my normal Otaku life, and I am getting ready for Anime North Texas this month!

In preparation for ANT 2016 and the ANT Maid Cafe, I've been in a very kawaii dance mood! So I am going to do a top 5 countdown of the most popular Maid Cafe Kawaii Dances that are usually seen at a lot of the convention maid cafes. Of course like most of these dances are maid popular by the Vocaloid movement, so have you seen these dances? How about learning them? Try! its fun!
without further ado here is...

My Top 5 
Most Popular Maid Cafe Kawaii Dances! 

5. Hello How Are You? 

Super cute sounding, sounds like a sleepy girl waking up to a new day, and that's basically what it is.  It's a cute melody with words that basically ask many little questions that make you am I really, is everything ok? Can we expect more? 

4.  Nekomimi Switch 

A song about eating sweets and looking cute and dancing while wearing cat ears (Nekomimi) while its supposedly really hot outside and it makes you pant. LOL I love how these songs are just about cute things sometimes!

3. Viva Happy! 

A Hatsune Miku video that is very popular is Viva Happy and its got a great beat and very vibrant steps.   If you think the world is unfair and things have you feeling down, just remember Que Sera Sera and Viva Happy!

2. Mune Mune Kyun

I honestly didn't know how I could pick between 1 and 2 because they are both so popular of dances.  It just seems like maid cafes love dancing to songs about your heart going "kyun." Because "Kyun" is just so darn kawaii! The Dance itself is super upbeat and it makes you want to learn it right alongside them.

1. Happi Happi Morningu

I think Happi Happi Morningu is probably the most popular since it is basically about a maid waking up her master and just being a maid wishing the master well , making a special menu for master and just being the perfect maid! Heck I would love to wake up to a maid wishing me to have a happy morning with my breakfast ready and everything kawaii. ^0^  Perfect Service!

There you have some awesome Maid Cafe Dances! There are of course many more, perhaps I'll make another post of other cute kawaii dances in the future. Do let me know if you have other suggestions in the comments here or on Facebook or Twitter @PleaseAnime.