Tomo Neko Maid Cafe, Interview with Maid Rachael

Maid cafe popularity in my area (Southern California) has risen exponentially in the past decade, with the rise in popularity of butler cafes following suit. These trends tend to boom with every release of a maid/butler themed anime. I felt it was time to take a better look at maid cafes and see what the hubub is all about. Please note; traditionalists realize that 99.9% of everything done in America will have an American twist to it!

I had a chance to shoot Maid Rachael some questions after finding out a pop-up Maid/Butler cafe was in the works as the main theme of an event.

She's a 2D girl, living in a 3D world.

California, especially Los Angeles has a few decent maid cafes. What separates Tomo Neko Maid Cafe from other pop-up-events?

At Tomo Neko, we pride ourselves most in our uniqueness and creativity. Traditional maid cafes are generally light meals being served by cute girls. For Tomo Neko we’ve decided to add a fun twist to this by incorporating other elements of otaku and geek culture such as gaming, comedy, musical performances, and a few other surprises. We’ve really gone all out and expect customers will enjoy this unique experience – even if they’re already a cafe veteran.

When it comes to the maids and butlers, we’re also trying something a little different. Each one will be acting as a specific character with a unique personality, with outfits to match their individuality.

Kato is busy setting up the Sorry! board.


What made you want to get involved in a maid cafe? Was it difficult work putting this all together?

All of our staff members were just a group of friends first. Many of us recent college graduates. We all met as part of a local anime/manga fan group. At its start, the maid cafe idea was simply something to do for fun. Then the Japan disasters struck. That was when we realized that we could use our once informal event to help out. We got serious.

This is the first charity event we’ve ever organized! Which includes its own excitement and challenges. Many factors that appeared “easy” at first, very often proved themselves more complex and detailed over time. After completing one task, we’d discover 10 new ones yet to do. I don’t think any of us have slept much since March. ^_^;

All delays are to be blamed on Maid Saiyaka*

What would you like as an outcome for the maid cafe?
First, we want everyone to have fun and enjoy the atmosphere we’ll be creating. If customers feel as though they’ve been transported to a different world, one more elegant, charming, and exciting than our typical lives, then we’ll have succeeded.

Second, we would love the event to be a total success as a fundraiser so we can support Japan in their time of need as much as possible. And if we can raise awareness and aid for Japan while simultaneously introducing folk to some of their culture, all the better.

A portion of the proceeds are going to a Japan earthquake and tsunami relief fund…
Our charity of choice is the Yoshiki Foundation. More about them can be found here.

How do you think the damages Japan has faced has affected the Otaku community? How do you feel it’s affected you?

The otaku community has of course been deeply affected by this. There’s no way it couldn’t have been. For many of us, the fandom has changed our lives is such a positive way. I know it has for me. Through that, we have formed a connection to the country and its people. To hear that the place of origin that has given us such joy through their creations is now in a time of need:

Now is the time for us to give back.

As a maid, what are you favorite activities to engage in with your patrons?
What a tough question! There’ll be so many thing to do that day, from board games, to sharing the home-made cupcakes I’ll personally be baking.
If I had to choose… I’d say it’d be introducing the talent that I booked. You’re all in for a treat. From our; LA J-pop group the Ajuku Girls , anime con winning comedians
the mesmerizing sword wielding Geta Dance, originally created by Miyuki – there’s some amazing things to see. I can’t wait to show you.

Sugar cubes or honey?
Honey, of course. ^_~*

Special thanks to Maid Rachael for allowing me to pester her with questions. If anyone is interested in the Tomo Neko Maid Cafe, check out their website. If you are in the Southern California area over the weekend the event is being held on Sunday May 1st in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles at the Miyako Hotel.

April MMF: Ranma 1/2 Artbook – A Feast For a Fanboy’s Eyes

Everyone should have at least once in their lifetime encounter Ranma 1/2. It is after all the standard of many current harem type anime comedies. Rob of Panel Patter has been spending a year covering the series of Ranma, and now he is running a weekly Takahashi Rumiko feast on his blog. Even on my own blog, I have written about five other entries for the feast. But seeing that I have covered art books on this site. Here I go!

This version of the art book has out of print for a while, you can still find used copies of it online. Actually around six years ago, I saw a copy of this in London, but didn’t think to pick it up until now. If you collect anime/manga art books you may have realized that many of them is quite costly since it is usually an imported product, but many American publishers of manga, has translated some artbook, so this is definitely a wallet saver. The Art of Ranma 1/2 has many quintessential images of the manga represented in this book.

Lets see the table content are pretty clear in what is the subject of this book.

  • Boys and Girls
  • Everybody Together
  • Everything in Martial Arts
  • Girls in Love
  • Relationship Chart
  • Rivalry Chart
  • Rumiko Takahashi Interview

So there you have it, a treat for any fan of this classic tale of Ranam 1/2. Definitely a favorite depiction of Ranma and cast is in China style clothing.

Shampoo is also a fan favorite, so there are many pleasing images of her. Although she was never my favorite, since of the entire female fiancees, with the exception of female Ranma, I have always been an Ukyou fan. Who is your favorite?

There’s a great deal of manga depiction of many supporting characters, especially in those fantastic group pictures. So for fans who are only familiar with the anime, there is the manga look of characters as well. This is a pure feast for the eyes of any Ranma 1/2 fans, and the comments that are written is in English, so definitely.

Anime Boston 2011: Recapping a Convention Experience

This is the hotel that connected to the convention center

Has it been nearly a week already? Since I said good bye to Boston? Well it was last weekend I made it to Boston, on my first solo Anime Diet press coverage for my first Anime Boston. Anime Boston seems to have a very robust number this year in terms of attendance in a final count of 19,136 people.

It was quite convenient to stay at the Sheraton, as pictured above, since the hotel connected directly to the Hynes Convention Center, where the convention was. (3 floors of it) There was also a very convenient food court. So this year armed with my Droid. I used The Conventionist as a schedule tracker, my iPad to take notes. I was pretty set. There was also the convention’s own Con Chowdah which is a blog of the convention. Also with Twitter and #animeboston, there was plenty of chatting.  Oh did I mention that one of the best things was how free and wi-fi friendly the Hynes was? Very convenient!

Unofficial news that are going around is that next year it is going to probably be even more epic around this time of the year. PAX East is going to be held the same weekend as Anime Boston, and FYI, PAX East is a gaming convention that has really huge numbers and gamers going for it. But that’s all next year for the East Coast and possibly West Coast people to think about.

So a recap to the posts I have done in regards to Anime Boston. There is also going to be some explanations to what photos I included on the Flickr page.

Music Monday: Putting the Focus on Music Acts at Anime Boston
Mari Iijima 2011’s Anime Boston Concert Set List
Anime Boston Fan Panals and just Recapping them….

Flickr Images
Cosplayers I saw.
Dollfie
Anime Boston Opening Ceremonies
Fan Panels
Taiko Drumming Workshop
Mari Iijima Concert
Giragamesh Concert

(My lens gave me more trouble than I thought it would, so apologies on not providing enough images.)

Picnisto Manifesto: Picnic anime and picnotherapy

Picnic. Nobody can imagine how much I’ve wanted that for a long time… What’s the best situation to mingle with girls? Picnic. How long I have dreamed of it… That’s what I always have on my mind whenever I fantasize myself chatting with girls. But picnically speaking, I never had any chance to have a picnic as a dude. What a miserable life… So, I’ve become an otaku with 2-D complex. But why am I idealizing picnic this much? Why picnic in the first place?

Picnoanalysis Of Picnicist

It was Trapp Family Story (1991), an anime adaptation of The Sound Of Music, that imprinted me with the idea of picnic. Since then, my mind has always been picnical. Yes, picnicality. In French, picnique. And my ethnicity is picnicity. In Spanish, picnicidad. So, it was an anime that made me yearn for picnic! My life time wish! Make my wish come true!

That’s why I really want to have a picnic, a cup of tea, sandwiches, snacks and cookies, having a little chat, spending idly at park with the beautiful nature. Sandwich, onigiri, and tea, all carried in one picnic basket. Yes, a picnic basket is the key! The most amazing eco kit!

And I want to sing a song together at picnic. Like Julie Andrews playing guitar singing Do Re Mi with Trapp kids in green pastures. Since then, I’ve always wanted to play guitar. Yes, just one acoustic guitar is perfect for picnic. Its portability, the best picnic instrument! Songs like Beatles’ Till There Was You, in sweet fragrant meadows... or Konoki Nannoki, one of the most renowned tree-hugger songs in Japan!

Picnic is also known to enhance beauty, evident from the movie, Picnic At Hanging Rock. Oh yes, this year is the 111th Valentine’s Day since Picnic at Hanging Rock (1900)! Yet, I didn’t get to enjoy a picnic date on Valentine’s Day, so it is the 111th Black Day for me instead!

Ahh, picnic, i.e., The Luncheon on the Grass! Instead of the lunatic on the grass! The 19th century’s picnograph! Picnoplasma! The 21th century’s picnograph is anime!

How relaxing and therapeutic…very iyashi-kei. Very mori-girl type. Picnic is indeed very eco.

Eco-date is essentially jitaku-date (house date or indoor date), but picnic is outdoor, so some argue that picnic isn’t compatible with eco-date. However, here is my counterargument:

Surely, picnic is completely an outdoor activity, which makes me to lie down in green pastures. The best siesta you can ever get! Psalm 23 is all about picnic! And the closing passage says, “I will dwell in the House of the Lord.” So, what is this “House”? In Greek, it is oikos, which is the original word for “eco”! Therefore, picnic is the epitome of eco! Yes, picnic date is the eco-date!

Study of picnic is picnics or picnocology . Its faith is picnicism or picnism. So, as a picnician, I can assure you that picnic provides picnical support. Actually Adam and Eve were having a picnic under the tree of knowledge, that’s how they gained picnosis. Picnic + gnosis (knowledge) = picnosis. Picnotized by the Serpent, the first recorded picnotist. And what venue did Jesus use to teach the Beatitudes? Picnic! Sermon on the Mount was in fact a group picnic! Thus, picnic is divine!

Ah, the pictures that Cheburashka enjoys a tea time with Mochida Kaori at picnic, a truly divine moment…, I am exactly this Cheburashka doll! My heart is as empty as Cheburashka! Like that garakuta robot from Clannad! Fill my heart with picnic! Picnic tea party!

Picnic is relaxing, such a cozy environment, so it gets comfortably drowsy, half-sleep. It’s nice to heal your body and soul from the stress of capitalism. Yes, cure this wretched otaku! Picnic is a good time to get lazy around the green. Don’t we all have the right to be lazy? Thus, picnotherapists strongly recommend that we best have a picnic date!

 

Anime Boston 2011: Fan Panels and just Recapping them…

Audience from Anime Intros and Endings

With conventions, other than social or main events, there’s always the fan panels that can be well attended or not as well attended. I happened to make it a point to attend as much panels that I know panelists from, since I believe they would have something interesting to say. Friday became a day of panel hopping as I had to leave a panel to cover to concert. At events such as a convention, things get scheduled to the point where people had to pick and choose between panels to attend.

Friday (Before you guys end up reading how I attended three panels hosted by Alex Leavitt, let’s just say that I am pretty interested by what he had covered from NYCC, so I ended with going to his entire Friday panel schedule.)

Fanthropologies

Fanthropologies: Participation in Anime Fandom – as an academic panel on the study of fan culture. This panel was by Alex Leavitt, Charles Dunbar, and Jennifer Fu. This was a very interesting panel to a pretty large and packed room. The panelists gave a very interesting discussion on academic/anthropological area on studying fan culture. What books to read…Who/What make it tick, and how Fandom can be considered a religious experience (annual trek, reverence for fans etc.)

Anime Intros and Endings

Anime Intro & Ending Themes: This was hosted by Alex Leavitt to a full house, as what the image above is like. Also the picture for this is my photo shot of Alex taking a picture of the audience. Since I am an immense fan of anime openings and endings. I definitely included this into my schedule of panels. With time constraints, Alex only showed samples. Some of the openings was also visually noisy with one side the actual anime, and on the same screen’s opposite side, there was a possible humorous clip playing alongside. I asked Alex about this afterward, and he did cite fair usage for not incurring copy infringement possibilities. Definitely many of the clips shown were of a classic variety as Alex discussed trends and similarities. There weren’t as much dubbed intros as I had imagined there would be, but seeing the Vision of Escaflowne opening definitely reminded me of when I started on my own road of appreciating anime intros and endings. While I never watched the anime, just hearing the anime opening was a good thing. Cutey Honey openings were always a cool thing to look at, same opening song – but variations as remakes were done.

Experts on Fan Controversy

Experts on Fan Controversy: Hosted by Alex Leavitt with expert panelists from – Chris Beveridge, Ed Chavez, Jennifer Fu , Clarissa Graffeo of AWO Podcast and Ada Palmer. This was an intelligent and well thought out panel, with comments on fan controversies such as the piracy issue, or the aspects of dub vs. subs. As soon as there would be video or audio from that panel, this part will be updated. I ended up leaving this panel early to rush over to Mari Iijima’s Concert.

Saturday

Satoshi Kon Panel

Remembering Satoshi Kon: With Daryl Surat of AWO Pdcast and Evan Minto of Ani Gamers, this was a panel on remembering the work history and inspirations for the late and great Satoshi Kon. I mentioned to Evan afterward how I didn’t understand the reference point of the dubbed Gundam joke. Overall this panel was a good one. Daryl did mention that because there were way too much to cover of Kon’s life, that they didn’t get into as much of discussing the fantastic music that Kon used. But I always found it to be an interesting point to see that he occasionally refers back to his past works, especially toward his last several movies. This panel mentions a point on the Dream Machine to never be completed, because even though there are notes that Kon left behind, the genius who is behind the movies is no longer here to complete it.

Superflat Panel

“What is Super-Flat”: Where Anime fits in Post-Modern Culture: Panelists were Sam Kusek and Eric Shorey of Damage->MP, and they had an interesting presentation on how society, culture, and art has become quite two-dimensional, where humans and objects had reached a point where it was not meant to be a reality anymore. Hello Kitty, or Haruki Murakami artwork examples were mentioned as examples of what post modernism artwork looks like.

Death Like Shinigami-111

Dead Like Us: Shinigami, Death Lore and Japanese Media: Hosted by Charles Dunbar, this was a full room where it became a standing room panel. Charles spent the time he had, explaining and talking about the background and folklore of different Shinigami or youkai, how media portrayed them, and what was Japanese death culture. He basically had to run through points pretty fast, but it was a pretty interesting 101 perspective on what is considered to be folklore and superstition for a culture.

Con Horror Stories: This followed straight after Dead Like Us, and was run by Eric Stehmer of toonzone.net and Charles Dunbar. Since there was once again no more room, somehow I found myself on the panelist side of things, looking down on the packed room. I did make a position on what possible con horror stories I had, but yes the more experienced ones on con horrors were the hosts, so this was an interesting turn of events. To avoid experiencing con horror is to know con survival.

Sunday

The Visions of Akira Kurosawa: I randomly found myself in this panel pretty early in the morning. In spite of how much I like Japanese entertainment, I never seen an Akira Kurosawa movie in its entirety, with the exception of Tora, Tora Tora (as what I researched later to also be a Kurosawa work). It seem like the audience in this panel was also on the same boat as I was. So the gist of this panel was to go and rent to see Rashomon and The Seven Samurai if possible.

Super Heros Panel

From East to West: the Superheroes of Japan & America: This was a panel that was run by Sam Kusek, Ken Haley, and Michael Ferreira. This panel introduced the audience to superheros in comics/anime or Sentai for both American and Japanese cultures. Eventually the panel quickly past, and Sam ended the panel with asking the audience to run to the front of the room, to ask questions, and gain give away gifts.

So it looks like I attended about eight and a half fan panels in three days. I definitely enjoyed attending these panels, and while they weren’t done by well known people, but they are done by panelists that enjoyed a specific aspect of anime, that would get their panels completed. I am sure if you have gone to anime conventions then this is just one of the many activities that you could have done.

I believe that after this entry, I may have one to two more entries about Anime Boston up my sleeve. Also do be sure to check out Anime Diet’s Flickr for more images from this convention.

Haruki Murakami

Analog Diaries V: The Social Network

Looking at the bulk of the stories I’ve been sharing on the pages of Diet via my Analog Diaries column, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a small shoutout to a period in my fandom that so few I speak with seem to mention, let alone talk about. It is something of a footnote in the anime and manga phenomenon that doesn’t get coverage in many places online, especially since the internet can be said to be the bomb that truly blew the fandom floodgates open. But before PCs were truly widespread, and bandwidth was reasonable, connieurs of J-culture had to resort to other means to gather information, and find friends around the world with commonalities such as these to chat up.

My first brush with folks who traded tapes, zines, and materials from Japan was through the friend of a relative who had once stationed in and around Okinawa. As it turns out, since his travelling back and forth from Japan had begun to slow, it became common for this guy to have a network of pals willing to share the wealth via parcels, and classic postal service methods. There was a romance to this as it was clear that it took effort to really make these friendships last. And what would come from a lot of this would not only be some truly cool buddies from all over, care packages of stuff would often land, granting him access to things I would not see anywhere for years. This person’s room was awash in pin-up art, figures, and videocassettes, and it was something that would likely leave a burn mark within for a very long time.

Flash forward to roughly the mid-90s, and I am essentially in the California desert, many miles from anything resembling hobby shops, let alone convention venues. Access was almost completely nonexistent, save for the occasional run-in with your local geeks at the local Suncoast, and buddies. And our pally from the service had long since vanished, so it was pretty much time to either pack it in, or doggedly keep seeking out others with similar passions. When it came to learning anything about such a medium such as this, about the best ways to do so would be to save up, head out toward the Los Angeles area to forage the popular haunts, and naturally, talk to folks who really knew what was up, the elder fans. However, as in anything geek, there were many times where it felt like the only way into such a world was to “know the code”, perhaps a secret handshake, or perhaps even a little blood sharing to just get a glimpse at something else made by Miyazaki, Oshii, or even Dezaki. The walls keeping the average, passtionate fan were many if you knew noone. Simply put, if you didn’t know anyone, anime fandom was near to impossible…

…Or so I thought…

Soon after anime on VHS was beginning to gather ground, and the ADVs, Central Parks, AnimEigos, and others of the world were beginning to see an upsurge of younger fandom, I had the good fortune to spark up a conversation with someone while chatting up a mutual admiration, the manga collective CLAMP. And that’s pretty much all it took to be introduced to an already long-established world network of not only shoujo manga & anime lovers, but an entire living, breathing faction of fans with a love of the written word, as well as a humongous DIY spirit. I was introduced to the world of Friendship Books, and pen-pal circles.

For those unfamiliar; pen pal circles are as they sound, and yet offered an interesting way to get to know others without the interference, and often static that an instantaneous internet can at times elicit. To begin, one would select a fictional moniker; a name for yourself that could either be original, or naturally be that of a favorite character. (we seeing the seeds yet?) And to spread awareness of your profile to those looking for new pals to write, one would create what was known as a Friendship Book.

Apologies for this not being the best example. More in storage.


As you can see, Friendship Books cold be made out of anything from construction, to washi, to standard line stock. These books would start with a page, often decorated with an anime/manga image, and a brief opener, describing the kinds of shows you liked along with one’s mailing address. The page complete, the book could then be sent to other pen pals, and sent randomly around to other pals until the book was completed front to back, at which time the book was sent back to its author. And to see where it went was often interesting, and even moreso, was to see the creativity expressed by those placing their profiles into it. It was a fascinating process that could become messy quite quickly should one not send a few out with every replied letter. Many would even come back from as far away as Japan, or even Germany.

But the friendships that formed out of this curious move were often very cordial, and fun. Especially when con season returned. One of the more notable events each year was to be able to meet some of these fellow writers, which naturally had its highs and lows.

In all this was a truly interesting time as it was also more possible than ever to hear about current shows, as well as swap tapes of series that either hadn’t been licensed for US distribution, or even favorites that the american market would never even consider. The fansub community was still in relative infancy, so it was also a peak time for the empowered few to take their Japanese skills, and shell out free cassettes featuring anime that for better or worse helped pave the path for how anime fandom was going to burst in the near future. I would even argue that prior to the internet’s massive impact on the anime industry as a whole (rise AND fall) , it was really up to a significant, and yet largely silent subculture within subcultures. It was how I was able to first begin reading Ginga Tetsudo 999 in Japanese, as well as see shows like Escaflowne, Gundam Wing, Wedding Peach, and many others before the companies began paying real attention. And the prime motivator for all of those I met throughout this time period was less about what one had, but rather who they could share their love of all of this with. There was no malevolence, or selfishness involved, it was merely enthusiasm.

It might have been slow, but in that came a sense of build-up. Of anticipation. Even if the show was so-so, there was something of an in-the bunker vibe that came from this kind of community that made every new major show something of an event. When was the last real time we’ve experienced this?

Long before I had a net connection, and a station to type from, it was all about pens, paper, glue, and a lot of motivation(oh, and stamps).

And it is something that I at times only wish to see more of as it has the world’s fans scramble for some kind of sense of community that feels lost at the moment. And perhaps this was all because of it’s rarity. Lack of access can do amazing things when one thinks about it. Perhaps it is here that answers exist. Of course there is no going back. But one can at least hope for the kind of long form love fans have for their interests, all in the name of finding others with the same affliction. Not in the name of a cure, but in the name of understanding.

 

Understanding via creation. Isn’t that what much of this is all about?

Anime Boston 2011: Mari Iijima Concert Set List

Yesterday was the official Friday of Anime Boston, and Mari Iijima was a Friday guest, alongside other things I happen to see and do at this convention. Check out my twitter if you’re curious. But as this moment, I have time to update Mari’s concert set list. She was great to share it. Since I have a special interest in Mari as a guest, she was the guest I attended a majority of panels for yesterday. During the convention, I made a request to her guest relation for her set list, so I was definitely please to see that Mari had also uploaded it to her facebook, so if there are people getting into her music, definitely check her out. Mari keeps contact with her fans via facebook, and her website.

Mari Iijima is a trained pianist, who is a singer/songwriter. Early on her music career, she was chosen among thousands to play Lynn Minmay for the original Macross in the 1980s.  Here is her set list from the concert:

Echo
Oh England My Lionheart (Kate Bush Cover)
Swim
Broken Computer
Goodbye My Love (New Song)
*Do You Remember Love
Twinkles
Unrequited
Stop Crying Your Heart Out (Oasis Cover)

*During all her appearances at the convention, Mari was a very personal, gracious, and frank singer, who created memories for those who saw her on this side of the coast. During the concert, Mari either stood or played on a piano and  kept up a steady stream of conversation for her feelings about these songs. She did mention before performing, Do You Remember Love, that there is difficulty on singing this particular song that is a continuing fan favorite. So her performance of this was sung with participation from the audience, and her rendition of the song this time around was definitely different. Definitely was a performance to not miss.

The Puella Magi Contract Memorial Wall: Your Wishes, Reprinted

Examples of the victims we are honoring.

Three weeks ago, Anime Diet was seized by Kyubey in a hostile takeover, in order to drive innocent girls to make Puella Magi contracts.  We all know the tragic consequences of these devilish deals and it was only through great effort and struggle that the site was restored to normal.

And now that all is once again right with the world, we wish to honor all the fallen souls by listing the best wishes that were made. They reflect the hopes and dreams of people, the aspirations that would cause someone to give everything up. We must remember them.

Some entries describe the wishes of many people:

world peace  —anonymous

And others were, well, just strange.

I want to become a famous poodle. ^_^ —Bob Smith

Please turn all men with a mole on their back into lizards! —animemiz

Another wanted objects of value.

i want lots of money to buy lots of figurines :D  —silk hat

And others were motivated by love (names withheld in first entry to protect the innocent):

To make my long time childhood friend and crush forcibly take me away from my current boy friend.

Homura Akemi as my new assistant. —The Doctor

There were some surprising, familiar names who wished for very specific fates.

I wish I could fucking murder that asshole Kira Yamato. —Shinn Asuka

I wish my head wouldn’t hurt so much when I use my eyes... —Shiki Tohno

I wish Rin were more healthy.Len Kagamine

Others seemed well aware of the risks and were perhaps more in tune with reality than we thought.

To not turn into a witch and keep my soul in my body. —Lisa Simpson

And, finally, wishes we can all easily agree upon. Especially the last one.

I wish for a speedy and somewhat uplifting ending to Puella Magi Madoka Magica. —Michael is Low on Hit Points

I wish this page to receive no more visits. :p —Abril Pinero

The last wish has already come true. No more contracts will ever be made.

Thank you to all the souls who gave their lives for good and for their contributions! A final debriefing (ie, a review of Madoka Magica) will commence tomorrow.

 

Steins;Gate – Episode 1&2

A mad scientist who really seems absolutely bonkers, Rintarō Okabe talks to seemingly nobody on his cell phone, accuses doctors at seminars of plagiarism to later be told the seminar never happened, claims everyone who gives him even a slight cross-eye glance must be an “agent,” his texts somehow end up sent to the past, comes across a woman stabbed to death who only moments ago claimed she had seen him 15 minutes prior when he had been wooing some adorable costume making cohort of his with a metal dog keychain thing and then and then OMGOODNESS HE MICROWAVES BANANAS AND MAKES THE CUTE GIRL EAT THEM THIS GUY IS TOTALLY INSANE!!!!111!!!

Or is he?

The end of the episode made me super glad that I had waited until the next episode was released because wow, I’ve never clicked “WATCH NEXT EPISODE!” faster. (Lies… I totally have.)

This is going to be a mindtrip of a series. If it is not, don’t blame me, blame the first episode for being so promising!

“Prologue of the Beginning and End” : the title of the episode leads me to believe that the beginning of the series will somehow appear at the end. (Never ending loop.) If anyone is a fan of the Artemis Fowl series, they’ll know what I mean by bringing the correlation up.

Traps make for the best toys.

The second episode, “Paranoia of Time Leaps” clears up expands upon a few the asynchronicities from the previous episode. There is also a trap. A really random trap. While I do love traps, I’m hoping there is a point to having some hot chic man person who gives advice and exorcises fake demons from hands.

The main peculiarity presented during “Paranoia of Time Leaps” is the absolution of John Titor’s work concerning time travel. The man’s work was there for the first episode, he was sure something special. Special enough to cause Rintaro to yell at some doctor about plagiarism which causes him later to get pwned by a zombie alive-and-well genius during a lecture. Who is John Titor? Perhaps a friend of John Galt. John Titor, counter to all past knowledge, never had anything to do with the year 2000. Cryptically, he claims he “never will.”

Not a trap? Just be a genius.

Introductions of main characters are given by throwing out odd paradoxical psuedo-philosophical verbiage while Rintaro documents his “experiments” as well others are introduced during simple interactions.

Bananas play another important role in this episode.
THEY CAN BE TRANSPORTED!!!!

In a disturbing manner.
Back to where they were, attached to the bunch only slimy. Interesting…
The time-traveling, transporter, whatever it will turn out to be microwave needs a bit of work.

*taps toes impatiently for the next episode*

author note: am being purposefully more confusing than usual. It’s more fun to figure things out for yourself with Steins;Gate. Outside-of-box-thinkers rejoice! You may be the only ones to know what is happening! Along with anyone who has played the (supposedly decent) game.

Music Monday: Putting the Focus on Music Acts at Anime Boston

Anime Boston's Mascots and there's a third one as well. Isn't this cool though?

I will be heading to Anime Boston this upcoming weekend, and their convention this year is on Music. So what better way to put a focus on a convention and their music guests? This is a listing of the Japanese or Japanese inspired acts that is playing this weekend.

Mari Iijima: the lovely voice of Lynn Minmay from the original Macross in the 1980’s. Sad to say that Macross was her only anime, but Iijima is still a fantastic voice. She is a very accomplished singer, still producing music, and who has entered her music for award consideration for the Grammy. She has settled into living in North America, and her website is here, where she blogs, and share news of her music.

Stereopony: a three member female band from Okinawa. If you are fans of Darker Than Black, Bleach or Tegami Bachi Reverse, then this is the fantastic group that had provided openings and endings for the anime. This is their second appearance in the United States, since they have previously appeared at Anime Next the previous year.

girugamesh: Fans of metal rock and visual kei, be ready to scream real loud! Anime Boston is girugamesh first American stop this year, as they have kicked off an East Coast City tour, with later concert dates planned in Philadelphia, Washington DC, and New York City. They have successfully performed at sold out venues in Europe, and Japan. This is not their first American appearance though.

Ten: As an alternative rock band, Ten has relocated to New York, but is a rock band, with an instrument you definitely thought can’t be used in a rock setting, a koto or a Japanese classical string instrument.

Odaiko  New England: If you are interested in taiko drumming, then this is the group to see. Though they are a regional band, the music and instrument they play is definitely infused with the Japanese spirit!