Smogsboard of recently watched anime

Warning: No pics – pics helped taking down our server too many times in the past 2 weeks!

Now, I’m sure I spelled something wrong in the title and therefore, nobody will find this one and read it. So, I’m just going to pretend that nobody reads this and just stop restraining myself. OK? Here we go:

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Bridging The Gap Special: Carl Macek (1951-2010)

Hard to explain, but I never imagined myself ever writing about this in my lifetime. And right now, it is as if an ever reliable star in the sky has suddenly burned out, changing the once reliable nightscape forever. When upon discovering the news of Carl Macek’s passing last night, the emotion passed through like a phantom. As if nothing was altogether different from the moment before, and yet the reaction came moments later upon it settling like the hull of a great ship hitting the ocean floor. One of the most revered and controversial figures in the history of fringe pop culture was in fact gone, and it meant a great deal more to me than I ever imagined it would. For me, it is hard to imagine a world without Macek, and the ever long trail of cultural high points he had provided my life with. Hard to imagine being as passionate about sequences of ink and paint on celluloid constructed by individuals from a faraway land without his torch to show us the possibilities.

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Makenai Play “Don’t Say Lazy” Live–For Us

And here’s our friends from Makenai, playing live at The Terrace in Pasadena–and dedicating their cover of “Don’t Say Lazy” just for us! They’re wonderful folks, go and check out their website at http://myspace.com/makenaiband!

You can also check out a studio recording of their cover here as well–over 3,000 downloads so far! Join the crowd.

Mike’s Spring 2010 Roundup 1: Arakawa Under the Bridge, K-ON!!, Angel Beats, and Kaichou wa Maid-sama

Taking aim at this season's shows

It’s that time of the year again–time for Mike to bring out some quick first impressions about the new season. What in the world is he thinking?

Continue reading Mike’s Spring 2010 Roundup 1: Arakawa Under the Bridge, K-ON!!, Angel Beats, and Kaichou wa Maid-sama

Ode To Black Day

Black Day comes again… Feb. 14th is Valentine’s Day, Mar. 14th is White Day, and Apr. 14th is Black Day. My fellow Otaku, let’s celebrate this day by eating Jajangmyeon at a Korean noodle shop. But first, let me present you this song “Otaku Bossa” to commemorate this bleak day.

またブラック・デーが来てしまった。。。2月14日はバレンタイン、3月14日はホワイト・デー、そして4月14日がブラック・デーです。オタクのみなさん、一緒に韓国麺料理店でチャジャンミョンを食べようではありませんか!でも、その前に、この曲「Otaku Bossa」でこのみじめな日を祝わせてください。

Lyrics below: (以下歌詞)

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Wintermuted’s a “Filthy, Shameful Spring!” Peek

Okay, so its time to spend a few moments out of my usual musings about anime’s past, and take a peek at some of this new season’s bigger television offerings. Based upon word-of-mouth, as well as the occasional read-up, these choices only nail a few that I’ve been picking out of the running. Again, most of these are based upon what I hoped would stand out among this season’s heap. So if I missed anything, it is either because it didn’t really give me reason to be curious, or it’s just those pesky time constraints again.

So let’s have at it, shall we?

Hoo, boy….

There’s something about Akiyuki Shinbo anime that just doesn’t connect with me. I have tried to absorb the works of whom many consider to be the savior of anime hipsters everywhere, only to give up in disappointment. This is unusual for me, as I’ve often been a large defender for directors who break a sweat, and do something new with the medium. And yet, there’s something to Shinbo’s arsenal of wild takes, cultural references, and constant monologuing that just neutralizes any molecule of enjoyment for me. Oh sure, Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei was a riot at times, but that was merely due to the source material’s razor sharp wit.

So when I think of Arakawa Under The Bridge, I can’t help but feel relieved that it isn’t nearly as obtuse as Bakemonogatari, but remains as distant as ever.

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Okama Day=Hideyoshi Day オカマの日=秀吉の日

Barack H. Okama. バラク・H・オカマ。

This Easter, April 4th, is Okama Day in Japan. March 3rd is Girl’s Day, and May 5th is Boy’s Day. Thus, in between April 4th is Okama Day. Indeed, this is the day for Hideyoshi! Hideyoshi cosplayers will be celebrating all over the world! That is Henjo-nyoshi. I’m hoping that Obama will cross-dress and address to the nation as Barack H. Okama. What a coincidence that MLK’s RIP day and Okama Day are on the same day! Truly historic! Civil rights, equality for Otaku! Happy Easter!

今年の復活祭、4月4日は日本でオカマの日でありんす。3月3日はひな祭り、5月5日はこどもの日、そしてその中間たる4月4日がオカマの日となりんす。そう、秀吉の日なのじゃ。世界中の秀吉コスプレイヤーは祝ってるんじゃの〜!それぞ変成女子。オバマが「バラク・H・オカマ」として女装して国民に演説してくれることを願ってるんじゃがの〜。キング牧師の命日とオカマの日が同じ日というのはなんたる偶然か。本当に歴史的じゃ!公民権、オタクに平等を!ハッピー・イースター!

B Gata H Kei: the Fifteen Year Old Virgin

Is virginity a character flaw?

Traditionally in Japan young girls were assumed to be maidens, to the point where the terms were at times used interchangeably. Perhaps in today’s sex-positive, metropolitan world, it’s assumed that youngsters of both genders will fool around.

In that light, B gata H kei appears to be something of a deconstruction of high schoolers’ attitudes towards sex. The details strain credulity (aiming for 100 casual sex partners in high school? Really?) but the overall idea that impressionable and insecure teens feel obligated to put on airs is dead on. It’s interesting that so much of the main character’s insecurities rest on the gross physical details of her anatomy, but what better symbol for the teenaged preoccupation with sex?

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Obama Declares it Legal to Marry 2D Fictional Characters in the US

WASHINGTON – In a surprise move today, US President Barack Obama issued an official Executive Order that from henceforth it is now legal for individuals in the United States of America to marry fictional 2D characters.

“We have seen progress my friends, and it has come from the east,” Obama said, citing recent advances in Asia where the marriage of humans and fictional characters has already begun. “I have heard the plea from our people in the otaku community, and no longer will the United States of America discriminate against our two-dimensional citizens.  Animericans will now have the same rights and privileges to marry whomever they choose.”

Animericans, short for Animated-Americans, are simply fictional cartoon characters.  While not technically alive by any means, American otaku citizens have been fighting tooth and nail for the right to marry their two dimensional love interests since they saw it was becoming all the rage across the Pacific.

“Today, I believe the President has made great strides in bringing human Americans and Animericans closer together. In more ways than one,” said Animerican activist Ron Nerdageek, head of the Marriage Otaku Equality league.  He then held up a picture of his Animerican girlfriend Misato Katsuragi, drawn winking and flashing a victory sign to the camera.  “I’m so glad we can finally marry!” her word balloon declared.

This lovely couple aren’t the only ones excited about the new presidential mandate.  Already hundreds of otakus have been lining up outside courthouses, some dressed in tuxedos carrying drawings of cute anime girls in wedding dresses.  “Real women never paid any attention to me,” said an anonymous otaku as he waited in line with a cardboard cutout of his bride to be. “But Haruka has always been there for me.  This is a proud day for both of us.”

This move has brought harsh criticism from certain members of Congress who are staunchly against the idea of marriage to cartoons.  “This is absolutely ridiculous,” decried 569th district representative and Anti-Animerican Party member Gus Mcdoodledonnel. “They aren’t real!  Grow up you losers!”

Nevertheless, as it stands right now, people are free to marry the fictional character of their choice.

So if you will please excuse me I have a date with Motoko Kusanagi and Wonder Woman I need to get ready for.