Tuesday, September 29, 2015


by Gaby
Myself and friends in our yukata

It is that time of year again, summer has officially ended and the fall festival season is here, time for Aki Matsuri! 

Shiba Inu
Aki matsuri
 秋祭 (あきまつり) 
autumn festival is a traditional Japanese fall festival where people thank the gods for a good harvest and pray for the well being of their family and community. They are celebrated throughout Japan after the rice harvest.  Now in modern times, and especially outside of Japan, we have these celebrations mostly as a tribute to Japanese culture, with some traditional Aki Matsuri festivities and others are just in general Japanese demonstrations for all who come enjoy the culture.  
lots of vendors
This year was pretty great, we went to the Dallas Japanese Association's celebration on Sunday 9/27 and had a pretty awesome time. 
I especially enjoyed the delicious Teppo's eel bowls, so good, I ended up having two helpings of the $9 bowls.  I ate a bit too much at the festival, enjoyed some Mr. Sushi's yakisoba, some ramune, and a melon soda from Shop Minoya.  

The festival started in the morning at 10am, I got there a bit past then but I hadn't had breakfast so went straight to the food.  Some of the performances on stage where so, so, while others more entertaining, but it was the usual, martial arts displays, dances, and
more vendors and games
songs.   I tried the chopstick challenge where I picked up an average of 25-28 crackers in about 30 seconds.  The most popular game was fishing for goldfish of course, where you had to fish a goldfish with a thin paper scoop. Our fellow anime blogger Jenny even won two prizes at the Teru Teru ball toss, which is a game that basically reminded us of beer pong, she won a little ghost creature that was totally adorable. Oh and we even saw a cosplayer!

There is another Aki Matsure Fall Festival celebration coming up in October in Fort Worth at the Botanical Gardens, its a lot prettier with it being in the gardens, but this one has the best food.
Yay for autumn! 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

#TBT: Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma/ Emma: A Victorian Romance

by Gaby

Today's throwback will be back to 2005 when a beautiful anime by the name of Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma, or Emma: A Victorian Romance was airing in Japan.
The story of Emma takes place in early 19th century London, a time when social status was
The Governess

everything and it meant how you were going to live your life. Emma is a young maid who was taken in by a retired governess, Kelly Stownar.  Although strict, the Governess actually cares deeply for all those in her life, especially Emma.

The tale in this anime starts when one day, William Jones comes over to pay a visit to his former Governess Kelly Stownar. William spots Emma and immediately takes a linking to her and begins to make more frequent visits to see his former teacher, when really he is hoping to see Emma.
Emma knows that he is from a higher class than she is, with him being the eldest son of a wealthy merchant rising into the gentry, there was no possible way.  But William keeps trying and goes as far as buying Emma presents until they finally begin a discreet courtship.

William keeps bumping into Emma
This anime is purely a beautiful romance about a love that society says cannot be. I recommend this one to anyone who loves Jane Austen type stories, Victorian romances, old fashioned courtships, and just a darn good love story.
You will see fun sights in this one like the Crystal Palace or old school inventions.  Definitively worth a shot. With 2 seasons both 12 episodes long its a good short watch.

Here is the Season 1 Opening so that you can get a feel for the show.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Jenny's Top 3 Anime

by Jenny

Everyone has their own preferences in anime. We all love our cheesy comedies, scary mysteries, and pervy ecchis. Gaby-chan was able to show all of her top three anime and now it is my turn. I am always intrigued to watch magical girls anime. But I've noticed that anime that leave a deep meaning tend to stay in my heart the longest. At least if I interpret something within the anime that is deep.

Presenting my top 3:

1. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood follows the manga story line more accurately than its older counterpart. The alchemist brothers Edward and Alphonse are raised by only their mother after their father leaves them. During this time they developed a skill and interest in learning alchemy. When an illness causes their mother's death, the Elric brothers were cared for by Pinako and her granddaughter Winry. The brothers eventually travel with a woman Izumi Curtis to further develop their skills in alchemy. When they arrived back home they performed the taboo attempt of bringing someone to life, in this case their mother who had passed away. As a result, Edward loses his left leg; and in the successful attempt to bring back his brother's soul, he loses his right arm as well. Now Edward has automail prosthetics and Alphone's soul is trapped in a suit of armor. Ed and Al are now in search of the sorcerer's stone. To get more information, Ed became a dog of the military by becoming a State Alchemist. However, as they dive further into their quest, they find a government conspiracy involving the true nature of the stone and the homunculi that ensure that the truth is kept secret.

As I grew up I was able to watch the first season of the first Full Metal Alchemist from 2003. The manga series was available at my library and I assumed the anime would take that same path in the story line. When it did not, there was a bit of a shock. After considering the pros and cons of anime being a direct follow up of their previous material, I figured it was for the best. When this new series came out, I was eager to compare it to the manga. And the story line was just as amazing as the first anime if not better. There was definitely more focus on the corruption and war that took place in the manga. I feel that the stronger themes were hidden in this part of the series. As a result, Brotherhood became my favorite of the two versions. 

2. Blood Blockade Battlefront

The series is a supernatural action anime that centers around Hellsalem's Lot, previously known as New York City. As humans and monsters interact with each other in this mysterious place, it us up to Libra to make sure that everything is in check.

This series is still a bit new so I will avoid mentioning spoilers. I love how they use Leo as the main character in the series. He is the most normal out of all the Libra members which makes him the strangest being of them all. There is also a lack of a main protagonist so you can root for all of your favorite heroes. As fans watch the series they can see some backstory behind each character. My personal favorites are Klaus and Zapp. There is a lot to look forward to if you are a fan of Trigun, since the creator of this series also wrote about the famous outlaw. I personally am one of those fans and it was so much fun finding the Easter eggs throughout the series.

3. Black Butler

This anime is my personal guilty pleasure. The story revolves around Ciel Phantomhive, the owner of the Funtom company and head of the Phantomhive family name. Due to unknown circumstances, Ciel's parents were killed and he was kidnapped and tortured by a mysterious group. The demon known as Sebastian Michaelis offers to form a contract with Ciel and now serves him as his butler. Sebastian assists in Ciel's duties as a guard dog for queen Elizabeth and deals with unwanted criminals. Along with this, Sebastian will help Ciel find vengeance for the murder of his family. In exchange, Sebastian will be allowed to eat Ciel's soul and complete their contract.

Alright let's talk about the ending of season one. Ciel and Sebastian finally get all the answers they needed and have eventually found all of those involved with the organization. Angela/Ash tries to "cleanse" the world by bringing about Doomsday. Ciel orders Sebastian to kill the angel; he succeeds when he changes into his demon form and gains the upper hand with some outside help. After everything is resolved, Sebastian takes the weakened Ciel to secluded ruins down a river. Now that Sebastian completed his side of the contract Ciel would complete his by allowing his soul to be consumed by the demon. In my opinion the series should have followed the more Shakespearean ending. The possibility was even explored in an OVA episode. After Ciel's wish for revenge has been granted, he would ironically be at peace with his inner demons and be devoured by one as well. But then season two came along and ruined that possible ending. Oh well, Sebastian still is and will always be one hell of a butler.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

#TBT: Full Moon O Sagashite

By Gaby

For today's throwback Thursday anime, we are going back to 2002-2003 with Arina Tanemura's Full Moon O Sagashite.
Meet the Shinigami
This is a beautifully animated story about a 12 year old girl named Mitsuki whose dream is to become a famous singer so that one day she can re-unite with her beloved Eichi whom she met at an orphanage when she was little. The problem is that she has a tumor in  her throat and the only way to cure her is to have an evasive surgery that can leave her unable to sing.

One day Mitsuki is visited by two Shinigami, Takuto and Meroko, and they tell her that she only has one year left to live. This basically leaves Mitsuki with one year to fulfill her dream to become a singer. With the help of the Shinigami she sets out to audition to
First Transformation
become a singer.  Takuto, gives Mitsuki the ability to transform into a healthy tumor-less 16 year old girl so that she will be able to qualify for the audition, and low and  behold she blows everyone away and the launch of the new idol Full Moon arises.

This anime was a very inspiring piece of work.  A little girl who realizes her time is limited has an agenda full of dreams, and its beautiful that these Shinigami become friends with her and end up helping her every step of the way.
There were funny moments and some really sad and heartbreaking moments throughout the series. I am telling you, I cried on more than one occasion. But after the end of the 52 episodes you just wish you could have more!

What I enjoyed the most about this Anime was probably the amazing music, and the beautiful inspiring story.  The songs on this anime are legit songs by a group called Changin' My Life whose lead singer, Myco, voiced Mitsuki's character.
At the audition

I recommend this anime to anime who likes a story about making your dreams come true, singing idols, romance, and drama. 

Opening Songs:
1st  Opening: "I Love You" by The Scanty
2nd Opening: "Rock N' Roll Princes" by The Scanty

Ending Songs:
1st Ending: "New Future" by Changin' My Life
2nd Ending "Myself" by Changin' My Life
3rd Ending "Eternal Snow" by Changin' My Life
4th Ending "Love Chronicle" by Changin' My Life

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Gaby's Top 3 Anime

by Gaby

So every once in a while I have people come up to me and ask me what my favorite anime are and if I can give them some recommendations.
Well to be totally honest, everyone has a different taste in stuff.  Just because its Anime doesn't mean its all the same.  There are different genre within anime. just like all your other genres in movies and television.
In Anime they may go a little more in depth on the genres. For example there is Romance, Comedy, Action, Horror, etc.  But you also can go into your other genres that are common to anime such as Harem, Hentai, Yaoi, Mecha, Magical Girl, Historial, Ecchi, Shounen, and the list goes on.

Personally for my taste, I like RomCom (Romance Comedy), Slice of Life, Action, History, Supernatural, and Sci-Fi, with your occasional good Mecha.

Here is my Top 3 List.

1.  The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

This series can be classified as a few things. Slice of Life, Supernatural, sometimes even RomCom.  What I really like  about this series is the title character, Haruhi Suzumiya.  She is seriously something else. This anime is told in a first person perspective from I suppose is our protagonist, Kyon. Kyon is basically our narrator and his inner thoughts are what we hear throughout the anime.  How the series starts is Kyon on the first day of high school ends up sitting in front of a rather peculiar girl who happens to be into aliens, time travelers, and espers.  Well, one day he actually decides to talk to her and from then on she forces Kyon to form a club where she can basically do whatever she wants. She forces members to join and just random crazy stuff happens. Little does Haruhi know that aliens, time travelers, and espers, may be a lot closer to her than she thinks.

Anyway I really enjoy Haruhi's character because of her outgoing personality, she is just fun to watch and anything she comes up with just either spells disaster or hilarity.  There are elements of supernatural in this anime, plus it seems like Haruhi might have a little crush on one of the characters so that's probably why they also classify this as RomCom.

2. Inuyasha

 Inuyasha takes place in "Feudal Japan," so basically think top knots, samurai, and shrine maidens etc.  BUT...it  also takes place in present Japan.  Yes a little confusing you might say but not really... Feudal Japan and Present Japan are connected through a magical well (a hole in the ground where people used to get water from).   This Magical Well happens to be at the Higurashi Shrine where a girl named Kagome lives, one day as she was looking for her cat she gets dragged into the well by a demon and ends up in transported to Feudal Japan.  Here she encounters all sorts of new things, including demons, and half demon Inuyasha who was bound to a tree.  Her presence there awakens Inuyasha and this is basically how all the trouble started.  Kagome apparently has a magical jewel that gets shattered all over Japan and then she and Inuyasha start a journey to find all the shards before all the evil demons find them and do evil things.

Why do I enjoy this show? Well because I used to watch it when I was in school and it brings back good times.  But also this series is great on its own, an epic adventure, where characters grow on you, friendship grows strong, and even some bad guys become good guys, I just like stories like that. Plus the romantic tension and love triangles in the story are hilarious.   Plenty of laughs, lots of adventure, you are always for a ride with Inuyasha.  I would classify this as Adventure with some Historical but not really because its a fictional history, and supernatural on the account of demons and jewel super powers.

3. School Rumble 

This show is really random but seriously hilarious and then you realize there really is a story line and you start liking the show even more.  Yep that's how it was for me. So it starts out with the first day of school as a lot of  High School Romance Comedies do. This is how it was explained to me when I first got into this series. Harima likes Tenma, but Tenma likes Karasuma, but Karasuma likes...uhm...food?  Yeah that's basically how it is.  Huge love triangle is the main driving force between this anime.  Harima is a delinquent  but he wants to be good for the sake of Tenma, the girl he rescued one day in middle school from some mean thugs. Tenma is your average dorky girl who has a crush on stoic Karasuma who is really plain looking and doesn't seem to have an interest in much.  The first few episodes are really random mostly about crazy things that these characters do to try to get the attention of their crush, its seriously hilarious.  But as the series continues, feelings get a little more complicated. we start seeing that the characters are actually developing, Harima has a dream of being a manga artist, Tenma really is love struck, her sister wants to get over being shy, and her friends also become involved in romantic feelings of their own.
I would most definitively classify this one as a romance comedy for sure.

Why I like this series, well its mostly because of that, the series starts off as a hilarious show that seems random, but as you get to know the characters you realize there is more, and it hooks you in and you end up really liking the characters.   I didn't expect to like this series as much as I did, but It really was great.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

#TBT Aishiteruze Baby!

By Gaby

Today for a #TBT Throwback Thursday, I'm gonna tell you a little bit about a series from 2004 called Aishiteruze Baby.
Yuzuyu is just so adorable!
 Original Run from April to October of 2004, Aishiteruze Baby is a series that revolves around a high school guy named Kippei Katakura.
Kippei, though a friendly guy, is also slightly a playboy type, where he flirts with the ladies, a bit more than the average high schooler. One day an aunt basically abandons her child Yuzuyu Sakashita at Kippei's home and he is basically told to watch after her and take care of Yuzuyu. Soon Kippei becomes a pretty good guardian and stops his flirty ways with the ladies.

Yes there is romance in this anime...

I love a good slice of life type of anime, I especially love some good romance. 

There is a girl in Kippei's class named Kokoro Tokunaga, at first she doesn't like him because he is a playboy but once she sees him be a guardian to Yuzuyu she warms up to him, and she also relates to Yuzuyu some since Kokoro lost her mother at a young age.

I definitively recommend this sentimental, beautiful slice of life, romance anime.   It is beautiful, heartwarming, and just leaves you with feels.

Opening Song:  "Sunny Side Up" by Yo Hitoto

Ending Song: "Nennensaisai Japanese Kanji available" by Yo Hitoto

Monday, September 7, 2015

Anime Fest 2015 Aftermath

by Gaby

A Tina fan and I
Anime Fest this year was pretty good as usual.  It has actually become my favorite convention that I've attended so far, there is great organization by the staff and the panel variety is great with a huge array of voice over panels, artists panels, and a good amount of workshops.

On Day , 1 Friday Sept 4th, I arrived in the morning with a lot of energy, mostly there was a lot of cosplay viewing and taking pictures of people with their fresh cosplay ready for the con. I wore my Tina Belcher from Bob's Burger's outfit as you see in the previous blog post, I got some pretty good feedback on it actually. 
The first panels didn't begin until around 1pm so there was mostly cosplay and people watching.   In my opinion Friday and early Saturday would be the best times for taking pictures because people tend to wear their cosplays more on those days. Because they are excited to show them off and they are fresh off the press, not been stained or messed up or have fallen apart yet.

For Lunch a friend and I walked to a place called Tanoshii Ramen in Deep Ellum, only a 20 minute walk but it was way worth it!
Around 5:30  I went to the Ani-Idol auditions where I auditioned to sing. I was very nervous since last year I competed and placed Third in the traditional singing competition, this year I was told I had to compete in the Advanced competition.  So I sang "I Am" the 2nd opening of InuYasha.
The other panel I went to was a 'how to' panel put on my Vitamin H a pair of professional panelists showing people how to do a panel.  It was quite informative actually.
The Friday night dance was so, so, and I didn't stay for long.

Me as Bulma
On Day 2, Saturday Sept 5th.  Woke up to have breakfast at the Plaza of the Americas where I successfully managed to spill milk all over my MLP shirt, very sad times. Anyway on Saturday I decided to wear my DragonBall Bulma outfit because I had advanced to the second round of Ani-Idol and I wanted to use my cosplay as my visual prop to sing the song. "Romantic Ageru
Yo" the original ending to the DragonBall series.  I mostly hung out with friends until my performance at 3:30 of Ani-Idol.  There were some real good performers on stage, so good in fact that I did not make the cut for the 3rd round.
Saturday DJ
After Ani-Idol I helped demonstrate with the Eks-D ParaPara Workshop, where participants learned a couple of popular ParaPara dances.  The workshop ran a bit long but after I basically rushed to the Semi-Formal Ball.
Rilakkuma and I
The Ball was great! The music was actually pretty decent, and the atmosphere was lovely.  I actually ended dancing with some people trying to save a friend and just used the opportunity for networking.
After the Ball I went to the Healthy Otaku panel where they discussed ways to
stay healthy and in shape in order to feel great and look great in cosplay and all year round! I wanted to go to Hot Dad's of Anime but I was so hungry from running around that I had to take a dinner break. I went to the dance Saturday night as well but someone was flailing too much and I got smacked so I left before I got hit again.

Kristen McGuire and Morgan Berry
On Day 3, Sunday Sept 6th. I woke up late but managed to get down to Voice Over Idol where Grant George and Jessica Gee-George judged contestants on their ability to interpret scripts. It was very interesting actually. I was going to cosplay my Luffy/Bulma outfit but I had a wardrobe malfunction and decided to just re-do Tina Belcher.
What I noticed here is that on Friday, I had a load of people stop me to take a picture, and on Sunday..yeah not so much.  I think people where already tired of taking cosplay pictures by Sunday, and people are already starting to get worn out.
The Voice Actor Roulette was completely filled up so I did not manage to go to that panel, but I did make it to the Breaking Into Voice Acting panel with Kristen McGuire and Morgan Berry. They discussed their experiences about how they got into voice acting and gave people advice on how they could also get into the voice acting industry. It was very honest and they were great ladies to speak with.
After this myself and Jenny checked out the Panda Werk Dance Workshop, we saw some pretty intense Kpop dance moves.  They really should have made more room or had more room in the panel because it was very crowded.
My friends wanted to watch Rocky Horror Picture Show, so we had our own private viewing in our hotel room and that was pretty fun, I had actually never seen it so I enjoyed.
The dance on Sunday was probably the best one in my opinion, the music was recognizable and it wasn't overcrowded to where you were afraid to get smacked by someone.  We even got hit on, but of course I used it as a networking opportunity, hehehe.   Then Jenny and I went to the arcade and hung
out there until they closed. Managed to wow a couple of people with my mad Dance Dance Revolution skills.

Day 4, Monday Sept 7th.  Basically the cleanup day, bought anything that needed to be bought at the Dealers Room, did a final walk through, checked out of the hotel and then stopped at Daiso Japan on the way home.

Good Con was good.

I look forward to another great Anime Fest next year

Enjoy my gallery of pictures below.