Conveyor Sushi & Japanese Social Pragmatism

May 17th, 2015 by John

Japan, and Tokyo in particular, has developed a unique, and by American standards, odd, tremendously advanced social and technological culture of enabling millions of tightly packed humans to live and interact with the least amount of potentially embarrassing, stress-inducing, or confusing human interaction possible. While American society traditionally appreciates and values warm, personal service, Japanese culture has evolved to elevate polite and formal pragmatism that excludes as much interpersonal interaction among strangers as humanly possible. Patrons can dine in a crowded restaurant and be surrounded by evidence of social life yet can enter the restaurant, order and consume a complete meal, pay, and depart without ever having to interact with a single human being or even speak a single word out loud. The restaurant’s design even allows employees to work efficiently without having to extensively interact with their co-workers. It’s a carefully and precisely designed and manufactured routine daily experience that allows for maximum urban efficiency with zero stress caused by having to communicate with or interact with other people.


First Bloody Angel Review

May 13th, 2015 by John


AnimeNation Forum member Old Hat has published his review of my light novel Bloody Angel. The review is spoiler-free and largely positive.


Dragon Ball Z: Fukkatsu no F Mini Review

May 9th, 2015 by John

A friend living in Tokyo sent me this brief review of the latest Dragon Ball Z movie:

I went out today and saw the Dragonball Z Revival of F film. Received a wrapped copy of the script as a present. Probably won’t open it. Saw previews for Ultron, The Beast and the Boy, Tensai Bakabon and a teaser for a new Ghost in the Shell film. Happily, the film shows the most intense fighting in DBZ put to film to date. Unfortunately, the pacing and the dramatic tension of the film are off, so the middle of the film is the most exciting whereas the climax doesn’t have the natural impact it should. A couple of choices seem quite odd – there’s a big tie-in to the story with the Galaxy Patrolman Jaco, which has never been animated before; Trunks and Goten are absent entirely; and Beerus and Freeza have to know each other because of the previous film’s retcon. There are also strange gaps in the plot such as Freeza’s off-screen training and Pilaf and co. meeting Freeza’s lackeys, which seem to scream “deleted scenes kept for Blu-Ray release.” Still, there are some nice little touches to this film, like Krillin being a police officer with hair and having One Piece‘s theme song as his ringtone (Tanaka Mayumi is the seiyuu for both Krillin and Luffy), Piccolo uneasily rocking Pan’s crib, and Vegeta not wanting to teleport to Earth with Goku because that means he’ll have to hold hands with him. Whereas Battle of Gods could have been a stand-alone DBZ revival, the somewhat unsatisfying F film feels like DBZ can’t end like this, there has got to be another film…. It looks like there may not be another film yet, but at least we’re getting a new DB TV series called “Dragonball Super.” The last DB TV series with original content was GT almost 20 years ago.


What is Manga Adventure #1?

May 1st, 2015 by John

Manga Adventure #1

Anybody know exactly what this is? It’s an American comic book published in 2002. Is it translated Japanese manga or American comic art? I just acquired a copy for a dollar, but since it’s still sealed in its original polybag, my fanatic collector instinct won’t permit me to cut the bag open to find out.


Another Side of Rei

April 30th, 2015 by John

I figured that some of you out there might appreciate this rare alternate continuity image of stylin’ Rei from Hokuto no Ken taken from the April 1986 issue of My Anime magazine.



Commendation for Cosplay Basics

April 27th, 2015 by John


Particularly since English-speaking fans began to recognize and adopt Japanese anime culture and since American comic culture permeated mainstream culture roughly in the early 2000s, the Japanese fascination with “costume play” has spread globally. Anime and comic book conventions in America are now hotspots for enthusiastic individuals to garb themselves in the elaborate costumes of fantasy and comic characters. The hobby has emerged with such passionate vehemence that it’s even spawned a cable television show. Recognizing the intense & widespread interest in this immersive, interactive facet of comic culture, One Peace Books has translated Cosplay Basics: A Beginners Guide to the Art of Costume Play (Hajimete Demo Anshin Cosplay Nyuumon). True to its title, the book is a thorough and informative walkthrough that introduces seemingly every aspect of “cosplay” to readers who are intrigued but inexperienced with the hobby.

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Analyzing Blade Runner part 1

April 24th, 2015 by John

Basic RGB

Now that I’m consciously examining and studying Blade Runner to teach it as an example of literate film in my Composition II class I’m finding so much more sub-textual richness that I never noticed before. Actually, I haven’t even closely examined the second half of the movie yet because I’m not teaching the second hour of the film until next week.

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Turning Japanese

April 22nd, 2015 by John

Evidently I’ve got a natural bamboo grove starting to grow in my back yard.



Latest Acquisition

April 20th, 2015 by John

Last weekend I stopped by Anime Fix in St. Petersburg and couldn’t resist purchasing this.

Kill Me Baby figure


Accolade for Aquarion Evol

April 15th, 2015 by John


Creator Shoujo Kawamori’s original fantasy/sci-fi/giant robot anime series Genesis of Aquarion premiered in 2005, slowly developing into a cult hit. Seven years later the sequel series, Aquarion Evol, premiered simultaneously in anime and manga formats. Kawamori wrote and directed the television anime and also penned the manga adaptation capably illustrated by artist Aogiri. While the manga series is due to conclude in Japan this June, the series has just made its official English language debut courtesy of One Peace Books.

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So Close & So Far

April 12th, 2015 by John

Buddyfight 100

I’ve managed to watch the first episode of all 50 new anime TV series that have premiered this season so far with the single exception of Future Card Buddyfight 100. I can’t find an original Japanese language copy of the first episode anywhere. All ten uploads of the first episode on Youtube are English dubbed, including three of them that are falsely titled “English subbed.” Call me “purist” or “elitist” if you like; I’d rather skip watching the first episode than resort to watching it dubbed in English.


Derivative Season Already?

April 5th, 2015 by John

I wonder if the current season of new TV anime represents a new rotation in generational demographic or just current anime being highly redundant.

The first episode of Re-Kan seems practically like a reverse clone of Kotoura-san. Sougeki no Soma appears to be an updated version of Yakitate Japan that focuses on dinner cuisine instead of pastries. Omakase Miracle Cat Dan looks and feels an awful lot like a non-crude sibling to Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku. Denpa Kyoushi is GTO for otaku.


Bloody Angel Sample Online

April 2nd, 2015 by John


I’ve made the first scene of my original light novel Bloody Angel available for public reading online. I’m hoping that a few more people will consider this prologue scene intriguing enough to volunteer to read & review the entire novel. If you’re interested in reviewing the complete, as yet unpublished/unreleased manuscript, please contact me.


Coluboccoro Kickstarter Campaign is Live

April 1st, 2015 by John

Despite my belief that Santa Company turned out to be a highly compromised work, Coluboccoro still looks promising enough that I committed to a $100 donation.


What Anime Means To Me: Warriors of the Wind

March 27th, 2015 by John


Renting a VHS copy of New World Pictures’ Warriors of the Wind from Euwing Video on 9th Avenue and watching it twice before returning it the next day.