Monday, December 30, 2013

[anime] Little Busters: Refrain

Finally, Little Busters! Refrain is achieved as anime. OVA were announced. Little are the happy about it.

Little Busters! is originally a Visual Novel from KEY, the company that wrote Clannad, Air, Kanon, Rewrite and Angel Beats (in addition of other titles..).

Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Premieres in TV: December 29th


SISTER WIVES, winter premiere at 9pm on TLC

Attack on Titan (manga, vol. 1) by Hajime Isayama, translated and adapted by Sheldon Drzka, lettered by Steve Wands

Attack on Titan is a DYSTOPIAN FANTASY series. I got this volume via interlibrary loan.


Winter Break



Not quite sneezing but I didn't have an emoticon for coughing out a lung for the past few days. It was pretty terrible during exams, but man, I'm glad that nightmare is over. Three exams in three straight days is exhausting! But now, onto the fun stuff!

The Best TV Shows Ever: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

* This is guest post written by Klara Zalokar

Although placing an anime next to renowned TV series such as The Sopranos, Breaking Bad and The Wire may seem a little childish; this particular one shiningly stands out of the awesomeness that is the anime universe.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Random Thought (December 28, 2013 at 11:13PM)

Random Thought 568

Since Winter Anime Season 2014 is coming next week, I think it's the right time for me to reveal my picks this coming season. More than half of my picks are plainly based on my anticipation due to the fact that I am already familiar with their source material. The rest would be by thoroughly reading their synopsis and watching the PVs. Without further ado here is my potential but still tentative Winter 2014 watch list:

Friday, December 27, 2013

The 12 Days of Anime Day 11: Why Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was the Best Show I've EVER Seen

I haven't seen too many anime, but out of the ones I have seen, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is by far the best. I was hesitant to start watching it mainly out of spite (Josh nagged me on a biweekly basis to watch it and drove me crazy), but I am SO glad that I finally caved and agreed to watch it with him. There are a million reasons why this show is the best thing ever, but unfortunately I don't feel like writing a novel of praise so I'll limit it to the one element I thought was the most successful: character development. This version of FMA was also based on the manga, which I thought was a definite improvement on the "original" FMA anime.

Here's a quick synopsis of the show, courtesy of MyAnimeList, for those of you who haven't seen it yet:

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Comentario 4

Pens es al atoires.

* Eliminating thoikh funerary cannibalism. Funerary cannibalism is actually an idea I find intriguing, and apparently the fact many human populations are resistant to suggests it was once a widespread practice. But the thoikh (all of whom are psychometers) cannot abide to be in the same room with Foucaultian transgressivists, so having them practice any kind of cannibalism weakens the theme. Also cannibalism is over-played (e.g. the Bosmer in Elder Scrolls, although how they can still join Namira's cannibal-cult when for them it's the worship of an Aedra is never explained), which is kinda a freaky little fact about our pop-culture.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Getting Hype for Space Dandy

It's the day before Christmas, and all through the house - blah blah blah, whatever. I'm more looking forward to next year and the premiere of Space Dandy on Toonami! And what's not to love? It's directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, who also directed Cowboy Bebop, and animated by Studio Bones, who is behind such series as Soul Eater, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Wolf's Rain.

Space Dandy may be the second coming of Cowboy Bebop, but it has an aesthetic all its own. It's shiny and slick and there's robots and spaceships and animal sidekicks and so much fan service. So much fan service.

Let It Be For Kids

There's some great children's media being produced these days. Cartoons may have been pushed out of Saturday mornings, but Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney are still running new shows on television, and animated films regularly reap massive box office rewards. Heck, many of the biggest franchises these days are aimed at younger audiences, particularly in the fantasy-action genre. It's no wonder that many of these properties have attracted adult fans.

However, too often I've run across grown-up fans who try to justify watching "Adventure Time" or PIXAR movies by declaring that they're not really for kids. Many creators sneak in elements that only adults would pick up on and understand. Media has often been so rigidly segmented, that some viewers are convinced that anything that appeals to adults must be aimed at adults to some extent. However, there's a pretty big difference between something that appeals to grown-ups and something that is explicitly targeting them.

Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Favorites: TV Shows

So as 2013 comes to a close, I just wanted to share my top TV shows that I was completely obsessed it.The genres range from historical fiction, to science fiction thrillers. As the winter break comes along for most people, I think it would be a great time to catch up or start a new show either online or on Netflix of Hulu. And now, let the list begin!


1) Reign

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The best and worst concepts of life.


So, Lately i've been thinking about concepts, well, one in particular.

Friday, December 20, 2013

12 Days of Anime #6

For those who don't know, back when I worked at my last work-place, I realized I'm not watching enough anime, and that some shows I can only get through by watching one episode a day, rather than trying to marathon them, so for a couple of years during my lunch break I'd put on headphones and watch an episode as I ate my lunch. Also important to note, this was an open office environment.

Share this whenever you see someone doing the "duckface" un-ironically?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fullmetal Obsession

Remember how awhile ago when I did a post on my favorite animes? Definitely have a new favorite. Fullmetal Alchemist was a favorite to begin with, but for the past two days I've been watching Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood non stop. I'm already on season 3 (which is not normal). It's my new obsession, and it's much better than the original series. Brotherhood, from my understanding, is meant to follow the manga a lot more closely than the original series did.

If you've seen the original, then you know how it ends. I think everyone can agree that the ending was weird. I watched it a long time ago, so the major events and most of the story are lost to me, but I remember enough to see the similarities between the original and Brotherhood. I've never read the manga, so I can't talk about similarities and differences within Brotherhood when compared to it.

Blast Off into 2014 at the Same Time as Japan with Space Dandy on Animax Asia

Animax, Asia's first channel specializing in anime programming, is set to usher in 2014 with the brand new blockbuster anime TV series Space Dandy in January! As Animax's latest simulcast title, the fun, tongue-in-cheek and over-the-top show will debut across Asia as it airs in Japan!

Space Dandy is set to premiere on 5 January, airing on Sundays at 10pm (SG, MY, HK, PH, TW) / 9pm (JKT, TH) in a same-time-as-Japan simulcast, first and exclusively on Animax. In addition, Space Dandy will debut in India on the same day, at local primetime 10pm (IST) also on Animax.

Winter 2014 Anime Preview

Hey all, it's season preview time again - doesn't time fly!?Anyway this upcoming Winter season is surprisingly decent looking, which is a good thing since it's cold and I don't want to go outside.These days it feels like the quality shows are being more evenly spread out over the year, rather than being clustered into the Spring & Autumn seasons - those seasons are still bigger, but Summer & Winter are definitely much more packed now than they were in the past.Hopefully the trend continues!

Right on to the preview then~!
Issue #25

December 8, 2013

North Republic Industries

Year End Manga and Anime thoughts 2013

2013 was a year in which the Manga "fandom". For me became less of a part of my life not in giving up or burn out but simply that I don't bother to interact with others online or in real life out of a simple choice to want to be left alone or avoid the more toxic aspects of fandom (trolls, crazy super fans, and creepy perverts). I also buy less part of this is cold hard economics and it's partially I simply don't want to be "locked in" to buying a series I'm only mildly interested in or ambivalent about. Thankfully with the growth of legal online streaming I'm able to watch more Anime for free. As far as thoughts on Anime in general with a few major exceptions (Kill La Kill and Gallie Dona come to mind), Anime releases are very much part of a franchise either being adaptations of a light novel, Manga, or Visual Novel or a continuation of a previous season. Some of these aren't bad but it speaks to the lack of original content and most of them feel like generic re-treads of the same tired concepts except instead of being heavily based around Moe it's mostly Fan Service (this was especially true of The Fall season). As far as what was good in Anime it's debatable as is any kind of art sure there are shows I'm watching that are entertaining but ultimately inconsequential, or leave no impact like Infinite Straitos 2 which is simply a generic harem series with some okay mecha design and action. All the girls simply end up being one note stereotypes or archetypes, while Outbreak Company which from how it was being marketed sounded awful ended up being a pleasant surprise able to juggle real emotion and the some times pander heavy fan service that seems to be what is thought to make money these days. I also have to say that Gingitsune goes down as one of the better series I've seen this year although I watched very little during the summer and spring was depressing due to having to slog through a number of creepy fetishistic harem and light novel derivative titles. As Gingitsune, takes a very Japanese concept a young girl whois the heir to her family's shrine and can see the spirit guardian of the shrine a large grumpy fox named Gin with a fondness for Tangerines and makes it a sweet relateble series about growing up and coming to terms with life while also running a winsome thread of spirituality through it punctuated with slapstick comedy and honest morals to various episodes. Also Non Non No Biyori the spiritual successor to Barasui's Strawberry Marshmallow (in my opinion) holds a special place in my heart for capturing the feel of a real Moe series instead of the multiplicity of series that feel like they where done by committee or made specially just to sell merchandising. Also being produced by Studio Silver Link helps as they are one of my favorite Anime production companies and the only reason I even finished Oniai. As far as thing that where bad or "worst of's" most of the things that where truly bad or uninteresting I dropped the long stalled Blaz Blue Anime was indecipherable after three episodes and did nothing to counter the almost universally low opinion Anime adaptations of fighting games have in Anime fandom. It looked nice but the story seemed to be only a mishmash of references to a series of games I doubt most of the western audience has played while also having parts of it feel like fan service to the fans of the games as several characters seemed to appear just to do their "special move" than disappear. Other low lights include the Madoka Magica Spinoff Manga series which made me think that the reason we haven't seen a lot of really bad "Madoka clone" series the way we did with Neon Genesis Evangelion is because Madoka Partners is doing a fine enough job destroying their own brand with inferior spin offs that have none of the deep philosophical concepts or well written characterization of the original TV series while I have no interest in the movies even if the third movie is completely original the TV ending works just fine for me. Also I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Oreimo in my worst of as this is the best recent example of a series's ending ruining what could have been a interesting concept along with a turgid second season of the Anime that left a lot of people feeling as if they'd been tricked. The second season of Genshiken could also be added to my worst of simply because it goes nowhere and replaces the original cast with a almost completely new cast of characters who all seem the same while the Mangaka becomes progressively more obsessed with one new character to expense of everyone else. My three picks for best New Manga meanwhile are idiosyncratic and obviously not going to be what everyone considers the best but it's my list so their and it's in no particular order from best to worst or anything. #1 Monster Musume by Okayado: This title is simply put a harem series with Monster Girls I think it's one of the best new series out because it's just a harem title it's not trying to be an action series and a harem series or any kind of harem plus anything it's simply the story of a put upon guy who ends up with a bunch of cute monster girls living in his house it's a simple concept but it works and never feels as if it's trying to be more than what it is. #2. Watamote: This is the manga for anyone who hated High School or is tired of series like Kimi No Todeki that paint an unrealistic saccharine picture of High School or alternatively make it like this epic angst riddled struggle like Devil and Her Love Song. Focused around the failures and self deluded antics of Tomoko Kuroki a girl who thinks that everyone else is the problem to her becoming popular. It's alternatively one of the funniest series currently in print and one of the most depressing due to the presentation of Tomoko being so honest and unafraid to present her as an often vindictive and judgmental but ultimately extremely lonely and teenager which I'm sure more than accounts for her extreme popularity online as the ultimate "Anti-Moe" character while also hitting too close to home for some having to drop the series because of that. #3 Helter Skelter Fashion Unfriendly: I did an entire review explaining why I liked this, simply put it's not something you see released much it's a dark jaundiced view of humanity and most Manga that get released is simply escapist entertainment this is a work that goes deep into the ugliest parts of human nature for being that against the current grain of cutesy consumerism that Japan tries to palm off as "Cool Japan." I can't praise this series enough. 2014: Titles I'm looking forward to and trends I want to see die #1. Title: Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Originally serialized in Young King Ours (home to Trigun and Hellsing at one time) is a post apocalyptic Sci-Fi story based around the crew of a Submarine who battles the invading alien forces known as the Fleet of Fog the secret to their victory being that their sub is a former fleet of fog ship. Also all the Fleet of Fog ships have AI called Mental Models that take the form cute girls. When I first heard about this series I was instantly intrigued having watched the Anime now I really can't wait until June as this series seems to have an engrossing Sci-Fi plot mixed with epic military battles and a smattering of cute girl fan service in short it's got something for everyone along with an art style that looks all it's own. #2. Title: Strike Witches: Strike Witches is one of my favorite series the Anime's first season was near perfect and the second season despite some filler and an over abundance of fan service in some parts carried the story on while also feeling like a good way to end it. The manga had never really been on my radar until Seven Seas announced they had licensed the first series. Than subsequently several other titles, it's a great way for me to become reacquainted with the girls of the 401st while also getting a chance to have more stories on this great Mecha Musume series also, I'll be particularly interested in seeing the art style and character design. #3. Title: Say "I Love You": Licensed by Kodansha from their older teen Shojo/Josei magazine Dessert and due out in Spring of 2014, I came across it from watching the Anime adaptation which had wildly different opinions on it some thinking it was great others thinking it was terrible. I came away from it convinced that I had to read the Manga of it as it felt like a Manga for young women or older teens who had a brain and could actually think instead of simply regurgitating tired plot ideas and tired character archetypes. I think this could be the first Shojo title outside of Sailor Moon that I've actually liked putout by Kodansha as Missions of Love became too squicky after four volumes and Tokyo Mew Mew felt like Cash Grab: The Manga. Trends I want To See Die: #1. "Rapey" Romance and Supernatural Romance Titles: I know in a objective sense titles like this won't go away because they continue to sell as the Manga equivalent to bad bodice ripper fiction and it wouldn't bother me that much except all that seems to come out or sell briskly now as far as Shojo Manga is this type of stuff. In which a heroine has a guy pressuring her to have sex with him for whatever contrived reason. Or she's forced into some kind of "pact" or sham marriage with him for an equally contrived reason, and it ultimately feels like the audience is supposed to find the heroine either a ridiculous cipher they can feel superior to or is supposed to find the prospect of potential ravishment "Exciting" only further testifying to how sexually broken we are as a society this side of The Fall. Again it's more the amount of this kind thing instead of the fact that any of it gets put out at all that bothers me and at least with the release of titles Voice Over Academy it seems to at least be slowing down a little. #2. Moral Crusader Syndrome: This is the trend of people feeling that in the need to protect other people's children or in over reaction to their own child getting a hold of a Manga title that might be age inappropriate or something they wouldn't want them to read. They than try and ban all Manga or Graphic Novels this seems to happen every six month to a year like clock work from the woman in Florida who claimed her son was traumatized by a copy of Gantz and had to go into therapy because of it. Or the mother who wanted to ban Death Note because she felt it was wrong for middle school aged children to read. Thankfully groups like The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund exist to stem the tide of ridiculous parentaly motivated book banning and we can chuckle a little at these examples . But there's also the much more serious problem of governmental censorship in Canada (a country where you can not only be prosecuted for having Manga but also for speaking out against Homosexuality so at least their equal opportunity tyrants). Along with movements in Japan to have Lolicon declared hate speech by certain sectors of the Feminist movement or child pornography by traditionalist conservatives. Along with recent prosecutions such as the Brandon X case and the Handly case from 2009, I can only hope that in time people with "cooler heads" will realize that reading Manga won't turn you into a sexual predator and that a drawing of child is not a child. Best Reissue: Dance In The Vampire Bund Omnibus: Dance In The Vampire Bund is a series I love it's a mixture of solid action sometimes insightful character writing and a alternatively lush and epic, and hard boiled writing style. With the omnibus reissues the series get an oversized edition collecting three volumes per omnibus fixing the cramped style that detracted from the detail in the original individual volumes. Making for a much more satisfying reading when the epic battles of the latter half start, while also giving more for your money with three volumes per omnibus so it's also economical as well. I'm still a little amazed this sells and has sold as well as it does. Given the content I've even gone so far as saying this is the title I'm 90% sure would send me to prison if it fell in the wrong hands. I still can't help but sing the praises of this series for all the good in it and the omnibus only show why it's such a big seller for Seven Seas. Honorable and Dishonorable Mentions: Dishonorable Mentions: K-On! High school and College: These where the sort of sequels that continued on from the original four volume series from the beginning they where fraught with controversy, from angry Otaku worrying about their Wifu haveing her "purity" sullied in the College series to the uninteresting bland antics in the high school series and the degraded art. In the end both series ended at one collected volume each and except for completeists was promptly forgotten by almost every one it was a cynical cash grab and had none of the charm of the original which it's self is quickly heading into obscurity. Dragon Ball Z Ocean Dub DVD re release: Simply this is a repackaging of an old dub for the chance to get the money of old DBZ fans with more money than common sense. Of course Funimation is going to put it out because it's a guaranteed way to make money but it's still kind of an insult to the intelligence of fans I feel. Attack On Titan: After I read the first two Twilight novels I made a solemn vow to myself that I wouldn't get sucked into something because of the hype for this reason I've not watched the Anime adaptation of Attack on Titan and having read the first two volumes of the Manga I found it the equivalent of a series like Death Note where it conflates violence and shock value with maturity. I honestly don't have much to say except this is a series I passed on and my reasons for passing on it still stand Honorable Mentions: Silver Spoon Season One: The latest work by Fullmetal Alchemist Mangaka Hiromu Arakawa is a simple story of a city boy who transfers to a High School in Hokkaido only to find out it's a agricultural school and that he'll be forced to do hard labor on top of having to deal with the ethical implications of farming as well as animal slaughter for food. The Manga has been extremely successful in Japan (I don't know why Viz still hasn't licensed it), the Anime captures a story full of heart, courage, and an overall sunny Shonen vibe that's odd for a series serialized in the often more cerebral Shonen Sunday. Chronicles of the Going Home Club: Yes it's a "cute girls doing cute things" series but it captures a more off kilter Otaku feel to the genre as opposed to the "forced Moe" of series like Good Job Club with the girls feeling like actual characters while also making over the top beyond the impossible physical comedy some found it shrill I found it hilarious in the over the top nature of it and skewering of tropes and conventions along with the winking self awareness of it.
Full Post

The activated rift gold Fullmetal Alchemist charcoal

The activatedFullmetal Alchemist charcoal one of the a lot of accustomed shows in the Activity Network's Developed Bathe bloc, and those active and entertained by the exploits of the brothers Elric are in for a treat. The added bold based on the anime alternation lurks on the abreast horizon, and FullmetalAlchemist 2: Curse of the Blood-soaked Elixir looks like it will activity both a solid adventitious arc and an affluence of transmuting action. We've played through the aboriginal few accommodation of the game, and we've been adequate the tweaks developer Racjin has fabricated to the series' formula

Ed and Al abide their seek for the Philosopher's Stone. Ed is still short, and he's still bad-tempered about it

Toy showcase: Medicom Fullmetal Alchemist

It's not often an anime series has me hooked. I'm the sort that stubbornly sticks to a few favourites, but Fullmetal Alchemist ranks among my them. The figures I have are a lot of fun too.

One thing I've learned by now is that high end figures of this sort come with plenty of alternate hands. This is great for creating all sorts of poses and the figures are well articulated for hours of fun. Of course, these are high end collectibles so make that hours of careful fun.



For those who want to cosplay in style, there is nothing better than investing in an accessory that won't break the bank and as Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the most popular anime series around.

2013: My Literary Journey

I look so ditzy in this picture.

At the beginning of this year I made myself a list of goals. I failed most of them. However, one of them was to take the Goodreads reading challenge, which is a feature on the aforementioned website where you challenge yourself to read a certain number of books in a year. I wasn't sure what number I should go with, as even though I own a great amount of books, I'm kind of a slow reader. My initial pick was 30 books, but at the last minute (being minutes ago) I changed it to 20, and realized I had actually already reached my goal! Is it an empty victory because I kind of rigged the system to fit my needs? No, because I still read 20 books, and just like on virtual pet sites, reading books increases your intelligence. Usually.

Top 10 Fire Users in Anime

This is a list of my top ten pyrokinetics in anime.This list will span over a number of anime and will not only include those who can control fire but those able to transform, generate, and absorb it.Please enjoy.

10.Rei Hino/Sailor Mars (Sailor Moon)

Top 10 Fire Users in Anime

This is a list of my top ten pyrokinetics in anime.This list will span over a number of anime and will not only include those who can control fire but those able to transform, generate, and absorb it.Please enjoy.

10.Rei Hino/Sailor Mars (Sailor Moon)


PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA/ is one of those rare, beautiful times where popular culture has found a way to transcend itself; it took something unique to its medium, and managed to give its usual audience exactly what they asked for while simultaneously undercutting the very idea of it all. Originally a 12 episode TV series that aired in 2011, written by noted nihilist Gen UROBUCHI, and directed by Studio Shaft's most valuable madman, Akiyuki SHINBOU. The final result was a stunning, even shocking reminder that you can deliver a near-perfect piece of entertainment that finds a way to give audiences exactly what they want, despite also never giving them what they expect, and even reveling in how absurd their taste really might be.

The word "Deconstruction" is a dangerous one to throw around these days, with TV Tropes being able to get all up in your grill about what does and doesn't technically qualify as such, but if Watchmen was a deconstruction of costumed comic book vigilantes, if A Song of Ice and Fire was a deconstruction of impervious heroism in a fictionalized version of Medieval Europe, and if Cabin in the Woods was a deconstruction of the insatiable need for an audience to watch young people die for their own amusement, I think it's safe to call Madoka Magica a deconstruction of the Magical Girl subgenre, one which - alongside piloting giant transforming robots, being surrounded by a harem of partially-clothed beautiful women, and adolescents traveling the world without parental supervision, homework, or part time jobs to partake in fully legal dog fights with total strangers - has remained mostly, if not quite exclusively, within the domain of Japanese animation. For once, comparisons tothe 90s equally popular and upsetting Neon Genesis Evangelion and its brutal, self loathing vivisection of its own anime-infused genre are completely valid, perhaps even unavoidable... but unlike Shinji Ikari's journey of grotesque and traumatic self-discovery, Madoka Kaname's adventure never gets quite so far up its own ass that it ever stops being a show about the thing it was going out of its way to tear down in the first place.

(Update) it was the color of your hair

Long time no update. Things have been a bit hectic for me, particularly with my laptop getting stolen from my house on 11/27 which had a lot of my screencaps I was going to share eventually. Luckily it was only a small portion that I had left only on my laptop with the rest on my external HD. Here's a list of series that will be delayed because I have to do them again. Still adjusting to my new laptop, too.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The 12 Days of Christmas

I'll be the first to admit that the real reason I enjoy music from anime as much as I do is mostly because of it's use in anime. That's not a bad thing in my book. Realistically speaking, it's hard far an average person to develop a connection with music spoken in a completely foreign language. I'd love to actually be able to understand all the anime songs I listen to, beyond just the Engrish ones; but, if 3 years of high school Spanish taught me anything, it's that I'm very bad at learning second languages.

On rare occasions a spontaneous connection is possible. It might happen once or twice in an anime season (though not for this Fall 2013 season); I fall in love with a song the very first time I hear it, long before it becomes intertwined with the anime itself.

Top 100 Characters in Anime

It's about that time.As you all know I am an anime fanatic.I think anime expresses some of the most creative and innovative characters and stories that can be overly exaggerated at times but highly entertaining.It is only natural that I find characters whom I find interesting.

This is my list of a hundred characters in anime.Note: this list will not reflect completely from my top ten of a certain anime and that this list will not be in any specific order.This list may be updated, changed, or add to in the future.

Top 100 Characters in Anime

It's about that time.As you all know I am an anime fanatic.I think anime expresses some of the most creative and innovative characters and stories that can be overly exaggerated at times but highly entertaining.It is only natural that I find characters whom I find interesting.

This is my list of a hundred characters in anime.Note: this list will not reflect completely from my top ten of a certain anime and that this list will not be in any specific order.This list may be updated, changed, or add to in the future.

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Summer Wars

During the month of December this year, Cartoon Network's revived Toonami block has been broadcasting a different anime movie each week for their Month of Movies, the first being the critically-acclaimed , based on a manga series of the same name. Following Akira is another, similarly acclaimed feature, this one being a movie originally released in 2009 titled Summer Wars, the subject of this review. While I had not heard of this movie before, an ad I saw for it while watching Akira made the premise sound intriguing, so I became more interested in watching it, even after having already recorded it. While it is certainly a much different type of movie than Akira, I ended up actually liking Summer Wars, even though it has a few issues regarding the use of technology.

In the future, online communication has advanced to the point where a service called OZ was created, which handles nearly everything in everyday life. Kenji Koiso (Michael Sinterniklaas) and his friend Takashi Sakuma (Todd Haberkorn) are a couple of students who work part-time jobs as OZ moderators. As the two guys are working, a friend of theirs, a girl named Natsuki Shinohara (Brina Palencia), walks in and, while initially jealous of their jobs, wants to invite one of them on a trip to celebrate the 90th birthday of her great-grandmother; Kenji ends up being the one to go. On the way over there, Kenji, when asked, reveals that he almost represented Japan in a math competition, which surprises Natsuki. Once the two arrive at their destination, Natsuki lies to her great-grandmother, Sakae Jinnouchi (Pam Dougherty), that she and Kenji are in a relationship, which is something Kenji is forced to go along with. That night, after meeting the rest of Natsuki's family that showed up, Kenji receives an e-mail through OZ, revealed to be a long string of numbers. Unaware of its purpose, Kenji cracks the code, getting a foreboding response from the sender. The next day, OZ has been hacked and malfunctioning, putting the entire world at risk. Realizing what he had just done and the news branding him as a criminal, Kenji must now figure out who was behind hacking OZ and put a stop to it before things get really out of hand.

The plot of Summer Wars is actually really interesting. The film has a handful of sub-plots that nicely feed into each other without one taking up too much focus, all of them neatly coming together in the end. While there is a fake-romance angle present in the movie, a lot of the OZ plot can get really suspenseful, especially towards the end. The story also moves along at a fairly decent pace, with a good amount of character development given to the main cast, including some to many members of Natsuki's family. There is plenty of drama to go around in this story without making the atmosphere thick with it, but that doesn't mean the movie doesn't know when to lighten up, and at times a given scene can become very funny to help soften the mood. Overall, the story has a more light-hearted atmosphere than plenty of other animated movies, Akira included.

Something About Anime

Popular Anime in one

A good picture that summarizes anime is pretty hard to find without stepping on "landmines". It seriously took a long time to find a picture as good as this. Anyways, this post is about anime so what am I doing talking about pictures? I'm going to write how I discovered anime in the first place.

A Colorful Subject

For a long time now, the newest Disney film "Frozen" (which is an outstandingly brilliant animated movie, BTW) has created controversy over it's main cast pictured above. Namely that the four human characters are all very, very white. Social Justice Warriors of all kind all cried out "White privilege! Racial discrimination! No representation for People Of Color!" Of course, it's been pointed out that this is fairy tale based on a Danish story by Hans Christen Anderson, set in a Scandinavian area where the people there are typically...well, white. Now that the movie has come out and proven to be a phenomenal success both critically and domestically, the SJWs of course cannot stand to see the thing they'd hated on for so long doing so well: as if racism and white supremacy was being rewarded. So now they continue their claims of racism by pointing out that the people at the start of the film are clearly based on the Sami culture, the Sami being non-white folks. And yet they, particularly Kristoff (the guy next to the reindeer), are white in the movie. They claimed this was misrepresenting the Sami or outright stealing their culture to give to white characters. Now I would counter this claim with - people, Arendelle is a fictional kingdom. These people are not the Sami, even if their culture was loosely inspired by them. The fact is, Disney chose to make them look white. They didn't need to be, but they are. So I say we just let them look white and enjoy the damn movie.

Now this brings me to a bigger issue - while I don't get all the mass hysterical clamoring for "POC (People Of Color) representation" in things, I don't get the overuse of POC as a positive term, and I've begun to think "The Princess And The Frog" might have spoiled some people when it comes to race representation in Disney movies....I am fine with people of different races, ethnicity, cultures, and skin color than me, I loathe racism, I love diversity, and I am all for representation of many different kinds of people as possible if it can be done in a work. BUT really, a big rule about characters and characterization in stories that I believe in is that at the end of the day...we shouldn't give a crap about race. If racism and race issues are big themes in a story, then it's okay to really address the subject. But if not, then the focus should remain purely on the character's character. On what's inside this character, not outside. On who they are, not what they are and what race they belong to. A truly good character transcends race and gender and is just a strong character, period. That's why I find all the riot over "POC representation" in some story to be silly. Would there be a problem with changing Kristoff from white to dark skinned? Not at all.But the big question is: what about his actual character would that fix? What would changing his race do for his story and characterization and role in the plot? Absolutely nothing. And that's the point I'm trying to make. If he's a good enough character, it's not damaging that he be made not white, but at the same time it's equally not damaging that he IS white. The audience's focus should still be on the characters words and actions that come from who he is inside. That's how you can identify a solid character.

Need elaboration? Then let me discuss characters with whom it don't matter if they're black or white: