Saturday, August 31, 2013

A List of Things I Haven't Actually Watched (And Should Have)

I feel like I haven't been totally honest with you, dear readers. Oh sure, I sometimes overshare, and I've been very clear about what I like and don't like. Sometimes probably a little too clear. But I don't always fess up about the gaps in my pop culture knowledge. And that ends now.

So. Here is a list of things that I probably should have watched or read by now, but haven't. Either because I just didn't get around to it, or because I don't have four weeks of my life to spare, or I just don't want to even though I know it'll be good for me.

If You Watch This Anime Backwards...

So I've decided to discontinue doing episodic reviews every week for every episode. Rather I'll only be doing episodic review for episodes that really stood out to me (good or bad) and attempting to write editorials more often. This week's episode of Uchouten Kazoku was really quite good, but I don't have much to say about it other than the plot reveals. Silver Spoon I plan on reviewing both episodes six and seven in one go. Free kinda shot itself in the foot and I'll write another analytical sort of thing for Sunday Without Godwhen a few more episodes air.

But you know those "if you watch X it becomes Y" jokes? Well, I was bored and decided to compile a short list of some that came off the top of my head, crap or not.

Friday, August 30, 2013

My Top 5 Most Anticipated Anime of the Fall Season 2013


Okay, Okay, I know that school action has been done before, but we got to look at the ones producing it here. Trigger. Never heard of Trigger? Maybe you have heard of Hiroyuki Imaishi. He played a part in the creation of great anime such as FLCL, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and directed Gurren Lagann. Now you know why I am excited for this show. I hope it has all of the exaggerated, awesome action that Gurren Lagann has and maybe even more.

FWS Topics: Powered Armor


Armor of all types and materials has being worn in combat since nearly the dawn of organized warfare. From the Romans, to the Greeks, to the armies of Alexander of the Great, all the way to the Knights of Europe and the Samurai, all of these warriors donned armor of various designs. That changed when the gun gained dominance over the sword in the 17th/18th centuries, and armored plates could not be forge thick enough to counter the bullet. Today, our soldiers are protected from the trauma of the bullet by ceramic plates and tight woven fibers. While effective, it only protects a small portion of the soldiers' body. Science fiction has imagined that future soldiers will be protected from the horrors of future weapons via full-body armor that also increases the soldier's endurance and strength. This idea, transformed into one of the most iconic elements of battlefield technology in military science fiction, the powered armor suit, allowing one soldier to become many. After the idea of the this futuristic armor was established by E.E. Doc Smith and Robert Heinlein, Japanese Anime/Manga along with American video games/comic books would jump on the concept and expanding it that continues to this day. In my own life, the powered armor seems to have always been there, and became a key element in my first MSF novel Endangered Species. The concept that was laid down in the 1930's, is still going strong with the current release of Elysium that features powered exo-armor.

BTW, I think there is a rather good drinking game buried in the text here. Drink every time you read the words: Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein. or E.E. Doc Smith.

A Look Back At: Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion was written and directed Hideki Annon and produced by Gainax and Tatsunoko Productions.

Art or rather its enjoyment is subjective. While there are some universally loved things, there are few examples of pop art. In the end love for one thing can easily be matched by the hate that others will feel for it.

Top Thirty Anime Villans

Last year I made a list of my . I have now decided to do a list of my Top Thirty Anime Villains: the villains from Japanese animation whom I consider the best of the best. Before it starts, I'll mention the villains who were in the running but couldn't make it on, and why.

THE CONTENDERS: Prince Sincline from "Go-Lion", who, unlike his US counterpart Prince Lotor the royal dolt, was one of the earliest examples of a compelling villain in anime. He didn't make it on because he was ultimately overshadowed by all the competition in my favor. Naraku and Sesshomaru from "InuYasha": they were both excellent villains at first but then Naraku refused to die and just kept getting less and less impressive, while Sesshomaru became a bland anti-hero. Obviously, neither of them could make the cut. Orochimaru from "Naruto": what's funny is that he's actually a fairly average villain rather than a great one. Gaara was a better villain than he was! He really comes off as nothing more than Ninja Voldemort. He was only in the running because damn if he doesn't somehow have one of the coolest theme musics ever given to an anime villain. It's far more epic than he deserved! Sosuke Aizen from "Bleach": I'm sure you all know why he didn't make the list. When he first outed himself as the villain, he was hailed as one of the best manga/anime villains in years for it. But that praise was too soon, for he devolved into a bland, nonsensically written Villain Sue afterwards, and is now seen as one of the worst villains out there. Shameful of you, Tite Kubo. Shameful. And last there's Ladd Russo from "Baccanno!" While I really enjoy the character and he's one of the best things about that series, he just comes off as a dumb thug and supporting bad guy rather than a major villain. This list is for BIG villains only. So without further delay, here we go through the list!

30: GANKUTSUOU (GANKUTSUOU: THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO) - This evil alien parasite is the living embodiment of hatred, spite, and the desire for vengeance. It's name translates to "master of the cave", signifying where Edmund Dantes discovered it, and it's been consuming his life and his being ever since. As the Count of Monte Cristo, Edmund does everything in the name of taking revenge on those who wronged him, and Gankutsuou feeds off of those vengeful feelings, in turn driving the Count to more insane and villainous behavior. It's a relationship where the evil entity thrives while the host suffers. Yet it's hard to shake off, because the wants of the host are too strong, and the alien is what fulfills them. It, combined with it's vampiric host, was a great villain.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Japan 2013: Of Mobile Suits and Fast Cars

As if geeking out at wasn't enough, we went out to search for more geekiness. Next up: . As we walked away from , we couldn't help but notice the abundance of cosplayers around the area. Karly and Ariel wanted to take pictures with them but the cosplayers seem too engrossed in their own world (having photo ops with the lovely tulips haha) so they let it slide.

Cosplayers love Odaiba too!

Miyazaki Recommends Anno for 'Nausica ' Sequel

The Latest Top Pop Culture News


Today's Random Tokusatsu: Gamera, Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Today's selection: Gamera, Guardian of the Universe (1995, dir. Shusuke Kaneko)

Subgenre: Kaiju

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pacific Rim

Let's get something out of the way real quick: I don't like anime. I like Japanese animation (quite a few of Studio Ghibli's efforts stand as some of my all-time favourite films, along with the works of Satoshi Kon and Katsuhiro Ohtomo), but that particular genre has always eluded me. I've given it a go here and there, but even growing up, I preferred playing Pokemon to watching it. I gave up on Dragon Ball Z after a character spent the length of three episodes charging an attack just to miss and start charging again. I know I may have just listed two of the most non-anime animes out there, but if anything, it should just illustrate how removed from this brand of entertainment I am. That said, there are tropes within the anime genre I like, such as gigantic human-controlled robots breaking shit. I also really like big monster movies. And nobody does big monster movies like Toho. I fucking love Godzilla, so much so I even thought the 1998 American production was unfairly treated. When I heard a movie was going to be made about big robots fighting bigger monsters and that Guillermo del Toro, one of my favourite directors, was at the helm, I was over the fucking moon. Guillermo del Toro could bring his unique visual direction and quirky sense of humour to a genre bloated with stale narratives and cookie-cutter personalities. Turns out he's just a huge fanboy when it comes to this shit, and he's gone and made the No Homers Club: a live-action Neon Genesis Evangelion for him when he was 12, the couple of buddies he has that feel the same way and nobody else. Well, on ya Guillermo, but this is probably why everyone went and saw Grown Ups 2 instead.

I'm tired of seeing iconic monuments be destroyed in long, gratuitous, almost pornographic sequences. One of the best things Pacific Rim does is respect your intelligence with its premise; it knows you've already seen the White House get stomped on fifteen times, so it skips it. The movie begins with a very lean montage explaining that monsters came out of nowhere, destroyed a bunch of stuff and we made robots to fight them back. We get very quick flashes of the world going up in flames, but the movie actually starts right in the thick of it. Perfect. The robots themselves are also kind of interesting. The gist of it is they require two people to operate due to the incredible psychological strain involved in using one. These two people are linked mentally; their memories overlap and collide, and by the end of the process they're essentially operating as one. The unique and interesting elements end there. So two brothers (the guy from Sons of Anarchy and someone you don't need to know the name of because he'll be dead in five minutes) are the pride and joy of the military oraganisation defending the world from the monsters, if it weren't for their recklessness and tendency to disobey orders. It gets one of them killed. The Green Street Hooligan retreats into industrial work while the world slowly starts losing the war with the beasties. He's called back into the game for one last job, one last stab at saving the world. I'm getting bored writing this.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Stella Women's Academy, High School Division Class C3: Episode 7

Stella Women's Academy, High School Division Class C3 is an anime series set at Stella Women's Academy, and focuses on a new student named Yura Yamato. Yura is a new freshman at the school, and she's a timid girl with a rather vivid imagination. Yura ends up joining the C3-Bu Club, which is a club at the school that plays "survival games" with air guns.

Episode seven begins with Sonora and Yura talking about illegally modded guns, which are guns that use high-pressure gas to make them more powerful. Apparently, someone was making these guns and selling them; while the seller was arrested, they managed to sell one of the guns to an unknown party.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Valvrave the Liberator (Season One)

It's been a minute since I watched a good space mecha anime. Perhaps my wanting to watch PACIFIC RIM and not being able to see it is what made me start watching VALVRAVE THE LIBERATOR or perhaps I was just killing more time between installments of ATTACK ON TITAN. Either way, I discovered a pretty good show. It's not perfect and not quite in the same league as MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM or NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, but it is a close cousin. At times an annoying imitating cousin, but mostly not so annoying or imitating. We start out with a bunch of school kids. Yeah, of course, we do. It isn't anime if there aren't school kids. And the school these kids go to just happens to be located on top of a secret lab that builds bigass robots called Valvraves. This school happens to be part of the JIOR territory too and JIOR is supposed to be neutral in the war that is being fought between Dorssia and ARUS. So why is JIOR building weapons? And under a school, no less! Watch to find out.

Our main character is Tokishima Haruto and he is just your average reasonably popular school kid. He likes his childhood friend Sashinami Shoko and he is about to confess to her (A love confession in the first episode of an anime? No freakin' way!) when Dorssia attacks the peaceful JIOR and really screws his plans up (Told ya!). Shoko is killed (or is she?) and Haruto decides that he wants to kill the Dorssia scum that killed her. But how? Well, as the lab below the school is being attacked by the terrorists, a dying scientist sends the Valvrave 1 up to surface level within convenient reach of Haruto and thus out of reach of said terrorists.

But there's something peculiar with this robot. It requests that you give up being human in order to pilot it. Haruto does so without knowing the possibly very dangerous side effects of his choice. Haruto becomes a hero though and he drives back the Dorssian forces as well as the ARUS forces trying to snare him in a political trap to steal the Valvrave.

Cosplayer Highlight #1: Erin Yang

I'm honored to have a lot of good friends who share the same love for cosplay, anime and manga. One of them is Erin Yang. We knew each other back in High School and College and we bonded over Harry Potter. I'm so proud of her and her cosplays. Here's an interview I had with her:


Sunday, August 25, 2013

10 Imagined Futures as Predicted by Anime

Last week I wrote a post about . That got me thinking about the future. And then that got me thinking about anime. A lot of anime gives us a glimpse of what the future might look like one day. Depending on the technology we develop and the choices we make, the future could end up being really cool, or even really scary. Which predicted anime futures are the most exciting? Dangerous? Realistic? Well I've collected 10 of my favorite predictions here, so get ready to embrace the (potential) future.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Crazy Theory Time

Take note of this man's appearance. This is an unnamed punk from Toaru Majutsu no Index. He is seen here making the mistake of trying to hit on Misaka Mikoto, a person who can electrocute you with a thought. Literally.

This is Lt. Aoba Shigeru, from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Note how they look INCREDIBLY SIMILAR.

Pacific Rim: My Summer Kaiju Mech Obsession


He may have a point.It's official.I've seen(2013) a second time.I've gone off the bloody rails.I'm getting the nerve up for a third run, but it's becoming increasingly unlikely.I'm also concerned people are going to start to get to know me at the theatre as the Pacific Rim guy.

Thoughts and Predictions On the Animusic Tournament

The first round of the has just begun - go vote if you haven't already -and already, I can feel the disappointment starting to pile up. Intellectually, I know only one song can win in the end and I am excited to see how the matches play out but it's hard to watch favorite songs, or even just well-liked songs, not do as well as one feels they should. Before moving onto my predictions I wanted to highlight these already fallen songs.

I really don't have room to complain - and that's why I'm not - over the number of songs that made it into the tournament from my nomination ballot. If we look at my ballot to see how they ranked

The Cosplay ID Game for Comic Festival in Genshiken Second Season (Episodes 4 and 5)

So Genshiken Second Season Episode 5 isn't terribly different from its corresponding chapters, and , so I won't be discussing much about the adaptation process this time around. I will say though that I'm glad the actors for Angela and Ohno can at least pronounce American R's.

The only changes are a ton of background cosplay that wasn't in the manga, and this imaginary shot of a seductive Angela.

ACF 1992: VIZ offering End of Summer Digital Manga Sale

BAKUMAN. (c) 2008 by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata/SHUEISHA Inc.


Anime Insider: Best Anime Ever

With the arrival of Guillermo del Toro's PACIFIC RIM (2013) and its aspirations to pay homage to the world of anime and kaiju, while delivering a wholly original film of his own, there's no better time to step back and offer up some anime-related material worthy of your precious time, but probably only if you're open to animation.

For those looking into what the best anime has to offer maybe this short list will give you some ideas. This is THE SCI-FI FANATIC's edited take of the BEST 108 ANIME EVER as extracted from the now defunct ANIME INSIDER #11.I'll offer some brief assessments.

Akibahara Electric Town


What do you think of when you hear the word "Japan"? Is it sushi? Samurai? Karate?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Maid-sama's Anime

Anime I have watched;

* Wolf's Rain

Once read can (not) be unread :P

This is an early morning post,which is quite rare for me.Lately I have become a night being.Well that is what happens when you are a college student during the winter/summer vacation

Last week of course there were many anime that I have watched.But the I will just give short reviews of four of them that were the best.Those were:Neon genesis evangelion,Puella magi Madoka magica,Mangirl(no it's nothing perverted) and Denpa teki na kanojo.

Anime Insider: 50 Best Anime Series

As I slowly get myself back on track I thought I'd deliver one more anime post for those looking to educate themselves on some of the best options out there within the genre.

Unfortunately, this is yet another odd, random list from ANIME INSIDER #18 (2005).I'm not exactly sure what the operating variables were in their selection process for the 50 BEST ANIME SERIES. For me personally a series denotes something with continuity or more than one. So, why would some full-length feature films make their list and not others?It's a completely bizarre assembly of the best and certainly defies logic, but I thought I would give that list to you in the event you were looking for a starting point on films or series despite the ANIME INSIDER's complete disregard for the English language while I strategize on more robust future posts. I've edited the list to try and note this Sci-Fi Fanatic's highlights.This is a small complement to the previous ANIME INSIDER BEST ANIME EVER post .

Hot Off the Press

This week's highlights, with commentary from the NFNT gang:


Tenchi Muyo: War on Geminar [Review]

Time for yet another anime review. I've been running behind on these, so I'm going to try and catch up.

Yeah, that was about the same reaction I had!

Space Pirate Captain Harlock

Before I actually get into the review, let me just briefly explain what Captain Harlock is for those who aren't really that big into anime. Captain Harlock was first put onto the screen in 1978 and has been one of the more important pieces of Sci-Fi anime ever since. The good Captain was the first anime character to ever win the Anime Grand Prix for favorite character, as well as being place fourth in Mania Entertainments "10 Most Iconic Anime Heroes."

The 1978 show and character would later go on to influence many many future Sci-Fi anime's such as Gundam Wing, Martian Successor Nadesco, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. While I wrote in the last review that this would be a more than a 1 post review, I won't be doing that. Explanation as to why is down at the bottom for those interested. Anyway, on with the review!

Miyazaki to Evangelion Creator: Make a NausicaSequel

Okay, so, don't freak out, but it seems that HAYAO MIYAZAKI just gave HIDEAKI ANNO permission to go ahead and make that Nausicaof the Valley of the Wind sequel he's been bugging him about for years.

Superficially, one might not see a lot of elements in common between Nausicaof the Valley of the Wind and Anno's magnum opus Neon Genesis Evangelion, but they both pretty heavily feature horrifying, giant humanoid automatons created by but barely under control of mere humans, and an apocalypse that isn't really the end of the universejust an ongoing change that the human race can't reverse and may not be able to adapt to. According to Anime News Network, Anno himself was partially inspired by the God Warriors of Nausica to create his uncanny Evas. And according to a recent interview, he's been bugging Hayao Miyazaki about making a sequel for years.

Top 5 Thursday: Top 5 Main Characters

Top 5 Thursday is a meme that I create to make lists of things involving tv and movies. I would love for anyone that sees this post to make list of their own whether it's in the comment section or on their own blog.

This week's topic is main characters because I often find that the main characters in most series aren't usually my favorite so I get really happy whenever I love a main character a lot.

1. TOHRU HONDA(FRUITS BASKET): Tohru is a character that I love because of the kindness that she extends to everyone and I love that she accepts everyone as they are. She always seems to be able to try and see things from other people's point of view which enables her to give pretty good advice on a situation without even really trying. I love that while she has her own pain she always seems to put other people first and I love that she learned through out the series that she should let herself worry about her own wants and needs sometimes. I just overall really love Tohru's positive attitude.