Monday, April 27, 2015

2015 Japanese Spring Festival and Tea Ceremony

So on Sunday April 26, 2015, I had the pleasure of attending the Japanese Spring Festival at the Fort Worth Japanese Gardens.  It was a great experience for those who want to experience a slice of Japanese culture, right here in Texas.  They had booths of all kinds, origami, hair clips, traditional festival games, kanji writing, fish painting, bonsai tree sales, and great demonstrations!

Also myself and some of my groupmates even got to be part of the traditional Tea Ceremony. It was a really good experience.

Here are pictures and captions of our fun adventure at the Japanese Gardens.

The first thing we do at the ceremony is have a sweet before we have the tea to offset the bitterness of the tea. Above: the sweet is being offered to the person next to you before you have the sweet yourself.
We all have a piece of sweet ready to eat while the hostess makes the tea.
Making the tea for the guests
Above: Holding the tea with our right hand, pick it up, rotate the cup and drink, if you enjoy the tea, a compliment is paid to the tea maker.  After the tea has been consumed, we examined our tea cup and thanked the host for the delicious tea.

The Iaido, Jodo, Karate The Dojo, Denton, TX show us their swordsmanship
The Iaido, Jodo, Karate The Dojo, Denton, TX, shows us the art of Jodo
The Iaido, Jodo, Karate The Dojo, Denton, TX, demonstrate Karate
The Sakura Dance Group performs a traditional dance with fans
The Sakura Dance Group and friends dance a festival dance in a circle

The Zen Garden

the lovely scenery at the gardens

Beautiful scenery of the tea house

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gaby's Review: Inari KonKon

Inari KonKon, or Inari Konkon, Koi Iroha, aired in Japan from January 2014 to March 2014 in Japan, and I recently watched it. It's only ten episodes so its worth a look.
Its really cute, I am really into the cute high school romcom type of genre so this is definitively one that I am enjoying.
The story centers around a girl Inari, she has a crush on Tanbabashi Kouji. One day as she was late to class for helping a young fox pup, then she ends up embarrassing Tanbabashi in gym class, she doesn't think her day will get any better.  However, the deity Ukanomitama-no-kami, gives her an amazing ability as a thank you for saving the pup.  Inari now has the power to transform into any person she wants to.
Will this power help her be able to confess to Tanbabashi?  Will she be able to handle such great power? Because with great power comes great responsibility.

Here are a few screenshots from the show.
Inari with the deity Ukanomitama-no-kami

Inari's pose to transform, she connects her fingers and makes a heart.

Inari's older brother Touka with the deity Ukanomitama-no-kami

Inari walking next to her crush Tanbabashi-Kun during the opening credits

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Gaby's First Impression on: The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan

Haruhi and Nagato pass each other in the street
So for this review I'll be telling you about the new spinoff of the Haruhi Suzumiya series, the Disappearance of Nagato Yuki.
Now I am a  huge Haruhi Suzumiya fan, so I was very excited to know that there is a new spinoff that just started airing on April 3rd, 2015 in Japan. 
So far the first two episodes have aired and here is my take on it so far...

The series centers around Nagato in an alternate universe, not like the original Haurhi series that told the story through Kyon's point of view, this one is just your average narrator narrative, high school romcom.
I have nothing against Nagato, but honestly she was not a favorite character of mine, she was what I always referred to as the boring shy girl, but others just thought she was cute, however after the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, where Nagato was a shy type in an alternate universe, her character got a little more feeling.
Now because this story is mostly about Nagato having a crush on Kyon, I am a little bit...uhm...urked by this since I am a huge Haruhi and Kyon shipper.
However, the series does do a really good job of portraying her character as rather adorable hopelessly in love shy girl who is too nervous to tell her crush she likes him.

Nagato and Haruhi do have a past connection in this alternate universe that is revealed in episode two...see the small spoiler picture below...

 All in all this series seems to be all right, I rather prefer Kyon's character in the original series than in this one, he seems to be way too soft in this one but I am still going to hang on for hopefully more character development, although I'll probably follow the series all the way seeing as I'm such a huge Haruhi franchise fan. 
I am excited for the 3rd episode because it is titled "Haruhi Suzumiya" so I am hoping we get to see more and more of her too throughout the series.

In conclusion I do recommend for anyone who absolutely loved the Haruhi Suzumiya series, and if you haven't seen the Haruhi Suzumiya series, this is actually starting look like a good series all on its own too, since its in an alternate universe than that of the original Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, it might be able to stand out on its own providing there are no random plot twists that relate to the original series.

Opening Song:
"Fure Fure Mirai" (フレ降レミライ; "Hooray Falling Future") by Kitakō Bungeibu Joshikai

Closing Song:
"Arigatō, Daisuki" (ありがとう、だいすき; "Thank You, I Love You") by Minori Chihara

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Gaby's Anime Review: D-Frag!

All Right so D-Frag just finished airing in Japan in March.

Last night I had the pleasure of being able to go to the dub screening of the first four episodes of D-Frag as dubbed by the Funimation voice actors.

I honestly didn't know what to expect I hadn't seen D-Frag before and all I heard was that it was a high school every other anime it seems.

D-Frag is about Kenji Kazama, a not so popular "delinquent" type,  basically being forced to join a club called "The Game Creation Club." Where four zany girls basically make games and force him to do crazy things.  Hilarity further ensues when another club also claims to be the Game Creation Club and tries to get Kenji Kazama to drop the club.  The Battle of club presidents between Roka the cute "Moe" yet "dark" president of one of the Game Creation Clubs and Takao the big breasted girl who claims that her club is the real Game Creation Club.

With other hilarious characters, like the student body president Chitose Karasuyama the "Earth Type" of the Game Creation club, and Ataru Kawahara, Kenji's friend from childhood who seems to like pain a little more than a normal person should, this anime is sure to have you laughing.

Hilarious scenes to note.  The battle in front of the girls locker room window, delinquents playing a board game about space porn magazines, and some cross dressing hilarity.

The two rival Game Creation Clubs

#D-Frag #D-Fragment #Anime #PLEASEAnime #GameCreationClub #AnimeReview

Monday, April 13, 2015

Scarborough Renaissance Faire!

So the time is here when Scarborough Renaissance Faire in Waxahachie, TX is upon us for the Months of April and May you too can experience some medieval festivities!

I'll be going with a group on May 2nd, feel free to meet up and say hi to us during the festival, we don't bite!

Looking forward to all the delicious noms, horses, gypsies, knights, and awesomeness.

Check out our meetup group on facebook events here or just say hi if you see a bunch of Otaku just hanging out! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hanami 2015

Hi All, its Gaby with a little springtime factoid!
Spring is blooming everywhere! And here at PLEASE! Anime headquarters in Dallas, Texas we have cherry blossoms!!!
Yes, recently we got to celebrate the awesome Hanami practice, the centuries old practice of having a picnic under the Sakura (Cherry blossoms).
Hanami has gotten so big now that the Japanese have a type of weather forecast for the blooming of the Sakura. The blossoming begins in Okinawa at the beginning of the year and typically reaches Kyoto and Tokyo at the end of March or early April.
Sakura have been used as a symbol of Japan since early days, even as propaganda during war times to symbolize "Japanese Spirit", the government would encourage that during war souls that were lost were reincarnated as these flowers.
Oh and did you know they are edible? Yes! They can be used in a variety of culinary dishes.

Here are a few shots I took of Hanami in Dallas.

With my parasol in front of the Sakura

The lovely trees blooming in the distance
Closeup of the blossoms