All posts by shika

Space Dandy = Mind Candy

The first episode of what looks to be the leading candidate for the butt of all anime jokes in 2014 has hit the airwaves. The most recent episode is available from Funimation’s website, as well you can catch the series in the USA on Adult Swim’s Toonami line up.

SpaceDandyIntro

Space Dandy is raunchy, colorful, comes with a discretionary label, has giant monsters, large explosions, and will probably be the bane of every woman sick and tired of female exploitation.

"Breastaurants."

“Breastaurants.”

Enjoy, you etchi otaku.

First person to come up with a decent drinking game based on Space Dandy that can be played at after-hours during con season gets a googly eyed frog that you will totally appreciate once you lose enough brain cells from watching this show.

Green Ranger and Uncanny X-Men not included in offer.

Green Ranger and Uncanny X-Men not included in offer.

Warning: this series inspires absurdity.

Ready to be pushed BEYOND THE BOUNDARY (境界の彼方)?

    Death escapes those who wish for it most. The worst comes when you know you are a monster of the most horrific form and yet cannot control yourself nor cease your own existence.

BeBoOP

Beyond the Boundary explores the similar nature which represents much in the western comic stylings involving lack of the ability to control powers while having to live with the consequences, with the adorable twist of anime kawaiiness.

Really just THAT adorable.

Really just THAT adorable.

Is that a suicide in the first scene? Kuriyama Mirai, a megganeko, has no plans for that as she couldn’t even if she wanted to. Oh, she wants to but cannot. Perhaps. Be ready for the bloodiest, sappiest, most sweet tale of friendship and bonding and stabbymcstabbing which starts with a sword through the gut of Kanbara Akihito, a megganekko fanatic. Don’t panic, he can’t die either. Perhaps.

Translated: Ikihito likes girls who wear glasses ala Mirai.

Translated: Ikihito likes girls who wear glasses ala Mirai.

In a world where humans intermingle with and can be born as spirit world warriors (typically genetic), and can crossbreed with youma (aka: “demons” or “spirits originating not of this realm”), the mixed breed Akihito faces each day as though it were just any other typical day. As a member of the literary club, Akihito hides away in the club room after school with his childhood writer friend, Nase until Mirai becomes obsessed with using him as a training tool.

Mirai with her ability to control her own deathly-to-others blood fears harming others, for she knows the pain which that causes, chose her target wisely. Akihito, as he’s half youma, is blessed with the ability to regenerate after being wounded among his many ferocious abilities and therefor makes a sensible practice opponent. Akihito is also quite congenial about the whole shebang so while still wishing Mirai would knock it off he handles himself towards her with compassion.

Compassion...rage... they are the same thing in animation and all monsterous relationships, no?

Compassion…rage… they are the same thing in animation and all monsterous relationships, no?

From that point onwards, the world within ~Beyond the Boundary~ begins to flip topsy turvy. Expect to turn corners that aren’t actually there, relish in the ferocious nature of beasts taking on the worst and often goofiest shapes offered from anime, and by all means ENJOY ALL THAT IS WONDERFUL WITH EPISODE 6; “Shocking Pink.”

Wow, talk about fanfare for the etchi.

Episode 6, as described within the episode.

Episode 6, as described within the episode.

Due to the short nature of the light novel series, I don’t expect this series to move into the lengthy realm of Fairy Tail or Gintama and though I have not yet watched the last episode (it’s better I write this before I do) I could easily see this series reaching far and vast into the fandom territory of those who enjoy a multitude of distinct and exclusive genre.

For the Ugly Polyp Who Dreams of Being a JELLYFISH PRINCESS

Jellyfish princess is a tale involving twists, turns, odd trysts, and a really peculiar love triangle. A strong theme of overcoming the past as well as overcoming escapism gently tugs at viewer’s heartstrings.

Meet Tsukimi, a young dreamer who sees the world in the terms of jelly fish. When young, her mother gave her the passion for cnidarians by taking her to aquariums, where they’d speak of dresses made of lace matching the flow of jellyfish tentacles as well as bravery in the face of loss.

Now meet Tsukimi’s house-mates; a group of “30-somethings” with a passion for varying geeky obsessions, all with a distaste for “the stylish” and all who despise men. Well, unless one counts their obsessions with boy-love manga. The “master” of the house is a boy-love manga artist who never leaves her room and is spoken to by the other house-mates sliding slips of paper under her door. She responds with written words of her own, and what she says goes.

The houses views can be expressed best by a decree that anyone seeking residency at “The Sisterhood’s” shared apartment must have “A life that has no use for men.”

One evening, while Tsukimi is gazing at a particular jellyfish she’s named Clara at a local pet store, she realizes the jellyfish (a moon jellyfish) put in the tank with her “Clara” (a spotted jellyfish) will end up killing Clara. Tsukimi attempts to overcome her fear of men (and everyone) in order to save Clara. Unfortunately she ends up rambling crazily to a handsome clerk who is trying to close up the shop for the night.

ENTER KURAKO!!!!! An extremely stylish and beautiful person who uses their swagger to get the clerk to give Tsukimi the spotted jellyfish. For some reason after meeting the Sisterhood, the stylish Kurako decides they really like the Sisterhood and that the Sisterhood needs a major change.

There’s a secret that Tsukimi forces Kurako to keep in order to avoid DOOOM for them both, and that is that;

Kurako is a (really pretty) man.
Kuranosuke-ep1-male

Kurako’s mother was a famous performer who his father cheated on his wife with. This became a tragedy for Kurako’s brother, who caught his father with someone not his mother and ended up getting a cross-dressing brother out of the deal.

The side characters of Jellyfish princess are often just as fun as the main. Everyone is extremely quirky, in a very endearing way which adds an element of connection for viewers. If you can’t relate to a main character, then you can to a side or you know someone who is JUST LIKE someone. There’s an Otaku of every sort; one who loves trains and transportation, one who loves ancient warriors, one who adores old men, one who is obsessed with dressing dolls and making kimono.

On a personal level, as someone who often spends more time reading science magazines than fashion tabloids, I have to say; I love this anime. I think every woman wants to feel beautiful even if they don’t want to be seen as such. The strong themes of loss and desire have left me wanting more of this series.

The ending feels almost incomplete, which is the only real downside to the series. There are moments of tenderness, times of trouble, and plenty of sheer quackery to engage viewers who wish for a break from the popular blood and gore and smash and bash animes that seem to be coming out by the truckload.

Awkward author’s note: this post’s first draft (not much was changed) was written 3 years ago. It’s taken that long for me to realize; it’s okay to be a bit awkward and to enjoy whatever it is you enjoy. Even if the enjoyment stems from a very goofy anime that somehow I’ve found a personal connection with, it’s okay to let it be known. Usually.

Wondercon 2012: Where’s the Pocky?

Please :3

Wondercon; for everyone who is a fan of everything. If you enjoy anime, the only thing you really get to experience while at the con is watching anime. The theater rooms are non-stop (during con hours), showcasing the first episode of some great series. That’s wonderful! Except I’m able to watch anime on my own, away from a convention, any time.

Thanks to Wondercon, I've found a new cooking based anime to obsess over: Muteki Kanban Musume :D

(Vampire Knight, Galaxy Angels, Dirty Pair, Aira, The World God Only Knows, just to name a few from Wondercon’s vast anime scehdule).

I don’t come to cons to watch anime with a group of people. I’m glad for the viewing rooms as I enjoy the quick jaunts to breathe for a moment away from the hundreds of Black Cat cosplayers crowding the convention halls, undoubtedly thrilled that Marv Wolfman is an honored guest over the weekend. (I’m excited too! Albeit not being directly a Japanese cultural phenom; there is no denying the influence Wolfman’s body of work is on a global scale.)

There’s some trouble finding the otaku fandom at Wondercon. There are some who enjoy anime, a few who may be obsessed though if there are they must hiding in the viewing rooms. I do beg of you; please quickly exit and come play with me! I’ll be the lost looking weeaboo trying to find anyone in cosplay or industry representative I recognize from my personal favorite fandom: Anime.

This Would Make My Con

I did have a lovely chat with a developer, Jason, from Martin Hash’s Animation Master concerning how Hash’s software is or could be used by those within the anime and manga field to streamline the production of image heavy animations. If nothing else, the program looks fun and yes, a lot can be done with it for those on the production front, but Jason’s quip about the difference between Anime Expo and Wondercon was far more interesting to me: “people at Wondercon seem to shower a lot more.”

Until I find some anime cosplay gals for the readers of Anime Diet to ogle or someone to interview that I’m able to relate to J-culture (don’t turn your nose up yet, there are a few scheduled events that look promising!) please enjoy these viking/barbarians/creatures who attacked me so kindly in the halls of the con:


Tomo Neko Maid Cafe; The Experience


On May 1, 2011 Tomo Neko Maid Cafe held an event in which proceeds went to the Yoshiki Foundation. Luckily for me I got to experience the event first-hand. Lucky for you, though you may have missed this event, the Cafe is always planning something.

What you missed:

At maid cafes black cats and opening umbrellas indoors is a good thing.


Maid Rachael met me at the door and ushered me into a front row seat just before the musical act, the Ajuku Girls began their set.
Ajuku Girls

Half the audience had to be resuscitated after dying* from the cuteness.


After the happy pop dancing and singing put the audience into a pleasant mood I was seated and introduced to my butler, Megaman X AND some super-awesome cat people who I’d be drinking tea with.
Butler Megaman X and the Cat People
Several butlers and maids came to the table to play card games, let me hug emo-chu, and of course to bring out delicious refreshments inbetween activities.

Chu went emo from the devastation his homeland has faced.


There was also origami to attempt.

Performances by comedians Anton Torez, Matt Johnson, and “G” were an absolute riot while the beauty of Miyuki’s Geta dance took everyone’s breath away.

During a slight intermission while raffle tickets were drawn and prizes rewarded many tried their hands at the gaming station (Marvel vs. Capcom and Smash Brothers) to win pictures with their favorite maid and/or butlers.
Several more performances from staff (Madam X sang while D Boy did a bit of comedy) kept the energy up though the most surprising was the Time Warp performed by just about everyone at the closing ceremony.

It was a great event from a wonderful Cafe for a good cause that left guests feeling as though they really were transported to a 2D world.

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.

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.