Anime Diet + Lacoste LIVE: Wednesday May 29, 7-9 PM!

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We are proud to announce that on Wednesday, May 29, 7-9 PM, we will be taking part in Lacoste’s NYC launch party for their new Osamu Tezuka inspired clothing and shoe line! Gendomike will be giving a half hour talk about Tezuka, the history of anime and manga in America, and the influence it’s had on culture (including clothing and fashion).

We’re really excited about this, and we invite everyone to come, especially our East Coast and NYC fans! Again, this it’s Wednesday night, at Lacoste’s Soho Boutique on 541 Broadway, New York City:


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Tell everyone you know who might be interested to join the party! There will be snacks, food, and drink available.

More to come in the next couple of days! See you there.

Chihayafuru 2 Episode 20: Of the Autumn Rice Field

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Is it just me or is Kana-chan so much cuter drawn in Azumanga style? And shame on you Arata for that heinous remark regarding Sumire. On account of your amazingly adorable blush, I shall forgive you this time.

I really like Shinobu. Her ego barely fits through the door but her ability is wider. Her angry determination can only mean delightful fireworks in the near future.

One of the joys I had playing the violin involved the mandatory use of my left or non dominant hand. I had fears that my right would perform much better than the other so it pleased me to know that both of my hands function on par with each other. And it provided my only opportunity to put my left hand to use. My sentiments are not shared by those who elect to match their instrument to dominant hand such as Courtney from Me & This Army who plays with a left handed guitar.

It would be fascinating to learn the evolutionary reason in developing a particular side of the brain that leads to a dominance. Just like learning new languages, we are clearly capable of equal dexterity in both. Instead of training to take cards with certain fingers, Chihaya should have brought both hands into her repertoire.

There must be left handed karuta players though. Does it provide an advantage like baseball or tennis?

While they’re certainly karuta rivals, Taichi has to be referring to the love triangle. Given I have never had such a problem, I won’t pretend to give bad advice. That said, it’s depressing that we confine our love lives to such narrow paradigms. Threesome and polygamy are words for a good reason. And like one’s non dominant hand, if one has such inclinations, it’s fun to put them in action!

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Aku No Hana Episode 7

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That triumph. By which I mean, the triumph of women over men. Nakamura-san annuls the contract which should have caused Kasuga to scream in joy like MLM making skinship with Kana-chan a reality. Instead he is devastated. His expression, his defeated, no, relinquished spirit as he kneels pathetically on the classroom floor cements his submission of himself to her, man to woman.

Marx is certainly not wrong when he claimed that history is the struggle between the haves and the have nots but it may be even more accurate to say the same for women and men. Dating back to The Wife of Bath’s Tale, Chaucer made a case for female dominance centuries prior.

However, it’s not simply flowers we are seeing here. It’s flowers of evil. Women don’t have an innate desire to reign over men. They seek equality. The same cannot be applied to men given that those in power are often unable to recognize the privilege they hold. It’s an atrocity not unlike stealing a classmate’s gym uniform without conscious malicious intent. It just kind of happened right?

Well, it’s not cool.

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Of course, it’s not right to retaliate in kind as Nakamura does. At some point, enough is enough. Evil begets evil. The viewer never truly feels sorry for Kasuga. He deserves everything. We see Nakamura smiling and blushing. She’s in bliss with power and in that moment all seems right with the universe. Having never read the eponymous book, I believe it’s a cautionary tale.

It’s highly intriguing on how the rest will unfold. I had expected Kasuga’s confession at the end.

Chihayafuru 2 Episode 19: I Do Not Know Where This Love Will Take Me

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“Remember to breath,” Taichi thinks to himself, demonstrating more self control arguably than anyone else watching this week’s episode. And we are not even playing.

Of course, in true Chihayafuru teasing fashion, we do not know the outcome between the Hokuo and Akashi match. Chihaya’s status for the individual tournament is unclear. For the time being, none of that matters however.

Kana-chan’s display of love and respect for karuta astounds more than any English word can convey. At least rate, she’s going to steal my heart from Chihaya.

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I am impressed with Fujisaki’s coach’s admission of fault. She made a keen observation that I agree highly with. A quagmire of skilled players does not compute to teamwork. Skill is certainly necessary in any endeavor and its importance rises with the level of play. The trick lies in calculating the point of diminishing returns especially as a function of teamwork.

What happens with skill if we take time to infinity? Teamwork? Will both increase indefinitely? It would be an incredibly groovy feat to derive an equation to determine these variables because this is as much art as it is mathematics. Somehow, I get the feeling that skill is much more finite than teamwork. The synergy of the latter holds limitless possibilities. Afterall, Mizusawa was not favored to win.

Sometimes skill and teamwork are still not enough. I don’t remember if it was Macross or Lupin that said, “For some of us, luck is a skill.” I do remember the Dean of the school claiming that luck is the one thing he always hoped to have more than anything else. It makes sense. For those of us that play poker, we have all experienced the frustration and disbelief even though we made the correct play.

Skill, teamwork and luck. The triforce of karuta!

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Bridging The Gap BULLETIN: The Anime Sols Experiment

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After what seemed like years since the anime streaming market reached something of a cooling point, the week was aglow with news that there was more than one bold newcomer aboard, ready to challenge the current model in ways few others have yet to venture. As recently mentioned, the Daisuki concept and site represents a bold shift in how anime is ready to be considered and marketed to fans overseas with plenty of recent and even perhaps new series. So when folks at Yomiuri (and the help of some unexpected sources) begin working with many long-heralded anime studios in what is a most ambitious move, it might be best to take heed. Anime Sols has indeed arrived, and by way of a Kickstarter-like streaming model, could be the godsend many fans (young and elder) have been longing for.

Initial rumblings regarding this concept were made a little over a year ago, when Sam Pinansky made an appearance on the Anime News Network’s ANNCast, where he leaked a few tiny details regarding an unprecedented effort on the part of several celebrated anime studios to bring die-hard favorites streaming to the world. By the use of dedicated pledges from fans all over, the vision is to fund a prospective dvd release for each featured series in box sets of 13 episodes, each with their own unique monetary goal. Pinansky has since reappeared on ANNCast as well as AWO this last week with some fun results. Well worth the listen!

For more details as to how it all works..

Having just begun earlier this week, the Anime Sols website is already host to several classic titles long elusive to American fans, including Black Jack TV, Ninja Senshi Tobikage, Yatterman, New Yatterman, Aoi Blink & Creamy Mami!

And more updates are under way.

Not going to water any of this down, I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity for fans to step up. There are worlds of goodness that stateside anime lovers have yet to truly explore, and this is a terrific way to fall in love with a cherished medium all over again.

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Daisuki, a Studio-Backed Anime Streaming Service: First Look and Interview

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A new entrant into the legal international anime streaming scene has arrived—Daisuki. What makes Daisuki unique is that it enjoys the direct backing and co-production of several major Japanese animation studios, namely Aniplex, Sunrise, Toei Animation, TMS, and NAS. (In this it is similar to an analogous service launched by several major Japanese manga publishers, the now defunct J-Manga.) Launch titles include Madoka Magica, Lupin III, Gundam Seed, Prince of Tennis, and One Piece, and they have also posted a survey to help decide which titles to add next. Besides streaming anime for free, they also have plans to develop merchandise available for purchase, with a launch giveaway campaign to start.

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As of now, the streaming works smoothly and ad-free, and for Madoka it uses the same Aniplex translation and video as seen already on Crunchyroll. User registration—which is not required to watch—had some hiccups, but according to the official Twitter, the matter is being addressed. (For the record, I got my confirmation email within 10 minutes, so it’s probably already resolved.)

Interview

We got a chance to ask Eri Maruyama, Daisuki’s International Business Development representative, some questions about the service, its goals, and how it sees itself in a field that already has legal services like Crunchyroll and Funimation.

AD: Describe the genesis of the Daisuki idea—how did the decision to form this group to distribute anime digitally in America directly come about?

Maruyama: It was a kind of natural development since each of the companies started to think the same thing: one legal platform from Japan directed at overseas fans to provide their content. By the way, DAISUKI will be available world wide.

AD: Is there a monthly fee or is it pay per download? What are the proposed rates?

Maruyama: DAISUKI.net is a streaming service. Basically you can watch all Animes for free, some premium content will be fee-based.

AD: Some of the titles proposed, such as Madoka Magica and One Piece, are already available through legal streaming from Crunchyroll. Does this mean that CR or other legal streaming services that current carry Daisuke-hosted titles will lose their streaming license? Does Daisuke see itself as competing with those services?

Maruyama: No, they may continue their service. The streaming rights at DAISUKI are non-exclusive rights since our main purpose is not to get exclusive users for DAISUKI but to provide legal material. So, as long as fans are watching anime on other legal sites, that’s absolutely ok. We don’t see us in a direct competition with other sites. Rather would we wish to fight effectively together against piracy.

AD: What advantages will Daisuke bring to fans that they cannot get from other legal services? (For instance, since there is direct studio backing, will they all be immediate simulcasts without delays?)

Maruyama: We are planning to simulcast series. Moreover we are able (thanks to the direct connection to the studios and companies) to provide exclusive footage like making-of material or video messages of creators, voice actors and so on.

AD: With the goods/merchandising arm of Daisuki, is the plan primarily just to import related merchandise from Japan, or to also perhaps create overseas-unique items for sale as well?

Maruyama: we are still in the planning phase, but there will be definitely some exclusive items only available at the DAISUKI web-store.

AD: Recently an analogous digital distribution channel begun by several large Japanese manga publishers, J-Manga, folded. How does Daisuki intend to ensure the growth and success of the venture in an industry that is going through many transitions and challenges today?

Maruyama: It was a pity that J-Manga had to close down. The battle against piracy is indeed hard. At DAISUKI you can watch most of the content for free. We believe that overseas fans would pick the legal option if the conditions are the same. Hopefully, they will like DAISUKI and our service.

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Aku No Hana Episode 5 – 6

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The Paper: I want to open this episode’s discussion by going back to something you mentioned last week. You asked “how come clothing fetishism is widely denounced?” which you actually answered yourself in the preceding sentence! An unhealthy level of such a fetish erases the person wearing said clothing. Would you agree that seems to be the intent of Nakamura-san here?

The beauty of a buruma fetish or any others lies in communication. Nakamura-san is only able to pervert Kasuga due to his failure to confess to Saeki-san. In other words, by discussing fetishes, a perverted act tranforms into one of respect, consent and trust. Not to mention your favorite skinship.

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Likewise, a kiss is not a perverted act. In fact, it’s a very natural and healthy desire. Alas, Kasuga fails to see Saeki-san as a lover, a person. She’s a Goddess, an object of worship. And probably a host of other things you will illustrate lovingly below. Because as we all know, you’re pure like driven snow:

MLM: LOL. Nakamura-san would say to me, “I guess kimo-ota like you really has no other way to live but as kimo-ota.

Yes, I think after seeing episode 6, yes, basically agree with The Paper‘s proposal, it seems to me that Nakamura-san’s intention is to bring down Kasuga’s goddess figure, telling Kasuga that Saiki wants to have sex with him. But I didn’t know Kasuga was such shojo-chuu (virgin-mania) that he thought Saeki never thinks about sex. That Saeki is not a sexual being. That is the first time I knew he was a virgin worshiper. What kind of shunamitism is that? I mean, isn’t sex the purpose of dating? To get laid? Is romance without sex possible? He wants to have “Platonic relationship,” but I think Kasuga should read Platonic Sex instead of Flower Of Evil. Platonic Sex was a novel written by Ai Iijima, the most famous ex-porn actress from Japan.

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I really can’t picture myself that the fact that a dream girl wants to have sex is shocking to him. I mean most guys would think that would be a paradise. A girl wants your body, how awesome is that? She fancies you! How envious. How riajuu he is! There is nothing more awesome than that, but that is shocking to him. I don’t get it. He never watched porn before? While only 2D girls, such as Love Plus girls, tell me that they want me, otaku life…(sigh)

Why does his ideal woman have to be virgin without libido? Holiness? So, sexual desire is evil? But isn’t love motivated by libido? Without libido, how can you get attracted to girls? Saeki obviously wants him, but he denies Saeki’s libido. And he also denies his own libido, despite his crime, kunka kunka buruma without Saeki’s consent. That’s like saying I want her but I don’t want her.

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Libido is holy and sacred, so fetishism is holy. The object of libido is holy, so sexual Saeki is the Goddess, thus, her buruma is holy, which indeed brought a miracle to Kasuga, that he can now date his ideal girl! So, magic actually worked. It’s more magical than a maid addressing you as Master. And I must admit that Saeki with buruma on is just amazing. I can eat three bowls of steamed rice with that! So, I would say if you want to date your dream girl, get her buruma, if impossible, then her jersey (school tracksuit)!

Yes, jersey is also irresistible. I remember during our school trip to Kyoto, girls were wearing jerseys, and these protruding oppai were guys’ night talk at hotel. Oh yes, Kana-chan’s jersey, that’s what I want! A legal way to get indirect skinship is just ask her, “Can I borrow your jersey for a moment? I forgot to bring mine today.” That’s how you wear your crush’s jersey, achieving oneness with her indirectly, inhaling sweet smell of her perfume by taking deep breath. Then, you can say, “I’ll wash it and give it back to you tomorrow.” Then, you can bring it home without any problem. So, jersey would be a great alternative. Yes, jersey fetish, more viable than buruma fetish! “Can I borrow your buruma?” would freak a girl out, so jersey is more acceptable, so you don’t need to steal, don’t need to suffer from a guilty conscience. Also, no space for Nakamura to enslave you! Oh yes, feminazis already abolished buruma from Japanese schools, so there wouldn’t be any Nakamura-san in Japan.

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Persona moment.

Yes, discussing fetishes would lead to accept pervertedness, or maybe not, depends on how strict a society is, especially here is rampant with religious fundamentalism. That prevents people from talking about it. Merely asking “What kind of fetish do you have?” would get us into trouble, we would get punished for that. I hope people will be more open to paraphilia and sexual orientations. This ongoing argument at the Supreme Court is part of that. If gay rights people win this case, then a society will become more tolerant on paraphilia, eventually a buruma fetish will be acceptable, and Kasuga can smell Saeki’s buruma all day long as he pleases, not to be afraid of being exposed as a buruma fetish, but be able to be proud of his own sexuality. We don’t need to be underground Mahou-Tsukai (magician), hidden from public in the catacombe to perform magic on buruma for our stairway to heaven. Oh yes, we no longer have buruma in the first place, so I’ll say revive buruma! Sukumizu, jersey, buruma or shimapan, fetishism is a human right!

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Chihayafuru 2 Episode 18: My Fear is That You Will Forget

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Arata isn’t even trying and he’s still oozing sex simply by squatting outside the tournament doors. That’s the key to being truly sexy. It’s never forced. It just is. I am upset we got to view Shinobu’s pantsu but never Arata’s underwear. Sexist. Anyways.

This week will be a public service announcement on introversion. I am too lazy to look it up now but at the time of publication, the most popular article written on The Atlantic was one explaining introverts. Extroverts and society in general seem to have great difficulty in understanding their counterpart.

The state of being alone does not equate loneliness. The latter mostly stems from an inability to connect with others and partly from a lack of stimulation. I love being alone. I am a fierce introvert. I much prefer my own company over others. This is why I would attend cons with friends but rarely hang out with them throughout the duration.

There are definitely instances where I can’t stand to be around others but it’s usually an inclination to observe, reflect, introspect. An extrovert shouldn’t take that personally.

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Introverts are not shy. I have spent hours standing next to the busiest intersection at Otakon asking passing cosplayers for photos. I do not make small talk and consider it a waste of time. I strive for more intimate conversations. Introverts keep a small but intense circle of friends. The choice of conjunction there is tellingly curious. Extroversion is the dominant, default state.

While one isn’t necessary healthier or better than the other, demands of life and progress tend to require collaboration. That said, introverts would outlast on an island =P

Playing against those better certainly helps but lacking the magical logic of MLM, I fail to comprehend how one may improve in karuta from isolation. We got a glimpse of Shinobu’s childhood in which she is matched against older karuta players in an effort to keep her alone, almost to the point of alienation.

This sheds some light on some of her actions meant as comic relief such as sneezing on someone else’s sleeve and wearing unconventional pantsu and not seeing the merits of team karuta. It’s troublesome. Introversion is perfectly healthy. Alienation is not.

Let’s hope Mizusawa takes three wins and demonstrate to Shinobu that team work is a lot of fun and rewarding as well.

For MLM
For MLM