Coolest Thing Ever?

July 7th, 2015 by John

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June Power Up Box Unboxing

June 25th, 2015 by John

Surprise subscription boxes are the best idea for geeks, otaku, and collectors since merchandise itself. Receiving wonderful new collectable toys, treats, and sometimes even collectable treats is supremely gratifying for fantasy aficionados. Combining the pleasure of gaining new goods with the anticipatory fun of surprise turns subscription boxes into Christmas gifts all year around. The June release of the Power Up Box has a monopoly on Guardians of the Galaxy goodness.

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Most Valuable English Language Manga?

June 19th, 2015 by John

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Via some Ebay research I just realized yesterday that the hardcover Lone Wolf & Cub volume 1 manga is quite probably the most valuable of all English language manga by a very wide margin. Evidently hardcover copies of Dark Horse’s first graphic novel were a limited retailer incentive and now cost as much as $300. However, 230 copies were hand-numbered and autographed by Kazuo Koike on a bookplate featuring an exclusive illustration by Goseki Kojima. Those 230 numbered copies run $1,200 to $1,300 apiece. Mine is #98. I’ve owned it for 15 years and never realized how valuable it was.

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Locker Locations

June 16th, 2015 by John

POPS1

Ever notice that anime characters never have shoe lockers on the bottom row? It’s just not as graceful, stylish, or funny to see characters kneeling down to retrieve their shoes compared to reaching up. And without shoe lockers at head level, we wouldn’t get commonplace shots like this:

POPS2

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Small Curses

June 13th, 2015 by John

While digging around in my collection room today I discovered a set of 13 color Juuni Kokuki film comics that I didn’t even recollect owning. I’m aware that there are far more things that can be much worse to find in one’s house, so don’t take this as a serious complaint.

shelf

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Gamba Who?

June 12th, 2015 by John

The first trailer for studio Shirogumi’s full CG Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi (Gamba & Companions) movie has appeared online. The design and animation do look attractive, and I don’t know exactly how faithful this adaptation is to Atsuo Saito’s original novel, but anyone that’s watched any of Osamu Dezaki’s beloved 1975 anime TV series adaptation knows instantly that this isn’t the Gamba no Bouken that we remember. It’s not even close.


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A Few Moments at Metrocon

June 12th, 2015 by John

Metrocon 2015

Thanks to the friendly folks at St. Pete’s Anime Fix, I had an opportunity to roam this weekend’s Metrocon convention for a few hours yesterday on the first of its four days this year.

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Analyzing the Appeal of Yamajo

June 6th, 2015 by John

Yamajo Kiss

From its very first episode onward I’ve notice that the Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo franchise isn’t an ordinary school comedy. Earlier shows such as High School DxD and Rosario to Vampire have merged high school romantic comedy and supernatural elements, so in respect to genre “Yamajo” isn’t unique. But it’s tone is strikingly different from virtually every other anime. With an ongoing television series and two OADs so far, the series is undeniably popular among Japanese viewers. So I’ve begun to wonder if it’s precisely the story’s unique depiction of high school student relationships that sets the title apart and explains its swell of popularity.

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2015 Anime Research Survey Now Open

June 4th, 2015 by John

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The annual “Anime Research” academic poll is open once again. Scholars from Texas A&M University, Niagara County Community College, and Renison University College have collaborated to compose the survey. This year’s questions have been completely renewed to delve deeper into fans’ psychological and sociological engagement with anime and help answer questions raised by fans regarding the results of last year’s survey. The survey is anonymous and should take less than 30 min to complete. Participants are eligible to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Chances of winning are 1 in 200; winner selection will be confidential and not associated with survey responses. The poll will be open from today, June 4, until July 4, 2015.

The results of the 2014 survey are available on the Anime Research homepage.

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Little Witch Academia 2 Teaser Released

June 3rd, 2015 by John

Studio Trigger has just released the first trailer for its Kickstarter funded short film Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade. The sequel to the 2013 OVA will get a limited Japanese theatrical release in October after its initial distribution to its 7,938 Kickstarter backers.

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Aquarion Evol Volume 2 Excels

June 3rd, 2015 by John

Aquarion Evol 2

While creator Shoujo Kawamori’s Aquarion Evol manga continues to exhibit its quirky defining characteristics, it’s with pleasure that I report that the manga’s second volume improves upon all of the weaknesses of the first book. Uneven pacing and tone, opaque narrative, and obscured battle choreography all plagued the introductory volume of the manga. All of those attributes are addressed and improved in the second book.

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It’s Over 9000!

June 1st, 2015 by John

Typical people receive gifts on birthdays and Christmas day. Ambitious collector, however, dream of receiving wondrous boxes of joyful toys every day. Although that dream may still be a fantasy for most people, the prevalence of monthly surprise subscription boxes has brought the dream much closer to viability for most people than ever before. Monthly subscription boxes are now available in specializations of virtually every conceivable focus, including anime, comics, snack food, survival gear, beauty supplies, and even adult novelties. Relatively new kid on the block Power Up Box seeks to out-muscle rival “geek culture” subscription boxes like Loot Crate and Nerd Block, and its premium May release goes a long way toward overpowering its competition.

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I Must Be Getting Old

May 28th, 2015 by John

KonoSuba anime announcement

Kadokawa has announced that Natsume Akatsuki’s light novel series Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o! (Give Blessings to This Wonderful World!) will be getting an anime TV series adaptation. The story revolves around a goddess who says to a Japanese schoolboy, “I’ll take you to an alternate world. You may only bring one thing you like with you.” So the boy responds, “I’ll bring you.”

Among the 22 responses to the news on the Anime News Network forum, the title is compared to Sword Art Online, Gate, Nagi no Asukara, Shinsekai Yori, and D-Frag, yet none of the responses mention Ah! Megami-sama. My first reaction upon hearing the “KonoSuba” plot summary was, “schoolboy selects the goddess to stay with him'; that’s Ah! My Goddess being combined with the traditional Leda/Rayearth/No Game No Life “transported to an alternate world” trope.

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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.

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First Bloody Angel Review

May 13th, 2015 by John

Title

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

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