Thursday, October 22, 2009

OtaKrew hits some new shows on Monday Night Forum

So, the OtaKrew is getting around to watching some new shows at Monday Night Forum.

With the fansub pimp, Cyphr, and I being BIG fans of Fullmetal Alchemist, the new FMA show was an obvious pick-up for Forum. "FMA: Broherhood" is, basically, a retelling of the FMA story but this time around it follows the manga much more closely than the first FMA anime did. Sure, the first FMA followed the manga up until it caught up to (and passed) the manga. Then the series did what most anime put in similar circumstances will do, make up new storylines. Gotta say that I am really digging this one, though, as we finally get to see new characters Lin and Mai (two of my favorites). Cannot wait until we get introduced to Major General Armstrong. (le sigh)We are currently on season two of this series and the OtaKrew are pleased...If you have a chance at picking this up on a fansub, I suggest you check it out. You won't be disappointed.

Another long-awaited (for me, anyway) series is "Inu Yasha: The Final Act".
This anime is finishing up the story from manga number 36 through to the end of the story at manga 56. What is cool is that it picked up right were the first anime left off and, as someone who has been reading Inu Yasha religiously, I am very happy that what I have seen so far. Gotta love the fact that Sesshomaru is, currently, getting a lot of airtime as he has shown up in all three of the episodes that have been shown. Sadly, one of my favorite characters died in the second episode. Honestly, it brought a tear to my eye when I read first read it in the manga and I did get a little sniffy watching it on TV too.

And then there is "Tokyo Magnitude 8.0".
Wow. What a fantastic show this was. I say was because we have already seen all 11 episodes of this show and we (the OtaKrew) came away VERY impressed.
The setting is based on the prediction that Tokyo will be hit by a 7.0 magnitude (or higher) earthquake in the next 30 years. The story follows two young kids (Mirai and her little brother Yuki) who are caught up in an 8.0 magnatude earthquake in Tokyo and are trying to get back home.
Mirai and Yuki meet up with a young woman, Mari, who assists them in making their way through the devastated city.

Don't want to give anything away but, if any of us saw this show by ourselves, we would have cried like babies at the end. Think "Grave of the Fireflies" sad...

Anywho, after all this talk of sad (but good) anime, I need something to make me happy to finish off this post....I about my favorite WWE diva....



Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm addicted to Protoculture....

So, I decided to go down memory lane today and I pulled out my DVD of "Macross: Do You Remember Love?". Man, I forgot how much I absolutely LOVE that movie. It's, easily, one of my favorite anime movies of all time.
I remember when I first "discovered" the movie and how it really grabbed me with the music, designs (both mecha and characters) and the revamped storyline.

I really, really need to get an R2 version of the movie. As it is, I have a VHS copy of it and a really good fansub. Not to mention my..ahem..Hong Kong "imported" DVD.

For people who really know me, I am something of a collector. So, when it comes to my toy collection, I'm seriously thinking about selling anything and everything that isn't Macross/Robotech-related. I mean, really, I can't collect everything anymore and my love for Macross/Robotech is pretty strong.
I really love the Yamato Macross toy line. The picture above is of my beloved VF-11B from Macross Plus.
While I know that there are a lot of issues with this particular toy, I just really love the mecha, itself.

Just recently, I found out on the Macross World forums that Yamato is going to release the VF-11C from Macross 7. What an absolutely beautiful mech this is.My 11B is a 1/72 scale while the 11C is a 1/60 scale. I think that I am going to have to buy two of these.

Of course, there is the YF-19 that I covet as well.

Easily one of the most popular Valks in the Macross Universe. Right up there with the VF-1S (Skull Leader, baby!!!)

I really want one of these...

The above toys are something new from the good folks at Yamato, the GN-U Dou. This line is pretty much Yamato's answer to the Revoltechs. The only thing is that they are a little bit bigger but also a little bit more expensive than the Revoltechs.

When I go to cons, I frequent the dealer's room looking for Macross-related merchandise. So, along with the toys, I also keep an eye out for artbooks as I have a pretty sizable collection. The Macross artbooks that I have picked up over the years happen to be some of the best (and most difficult to find) artbooks that I own.

This artbook showcases the beautiful art from Haruhiko Mikimoto and happens to be one of my favorites.
The artbooks below, I found at Anime Wasabi in 2008. They had an AWESOME dealer's room that year but I was a little disappointed with the con as a whole this year, though. No new artbook purchases for me.

With the popularity of Macross Frontier, all kinds of things have come out in the last year or so that are Macross-y. One of those things is the "Macross Ace" magazine.
This magazine is pretty darn cool as it is brought to us by the good folks at Kadokawa and it specializes in Macross-related manga, light novels, music, games and toys. (Right up my alley!!!) One of the things that I am looking forward to is the "Super Dimension Fortress MACROSS- The First" manga being serialized inside. It is, basically, a retelling of the original Macross story done up with art from the amazing Mikimoto. This cover is of issue 002 which came out in June. The third issue comes out in November.

Gotta start getting this mag!!!

Let's do some cosplayin'

You know I love cosplay, right? What's better than a little Macross-themed cosplay...

What this world needs more of is....Minmay cosplay....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Does it really have to end???

So, with NDK09 having come and gone, I am reminded of two MAJOR rules that I have concerning my con.
1. ALWAYS get a room at the con hotel. For whatever reason this year, I didn't keep my hotel reservation and I deeply regret the decision. Having the ability to come and go as I please is the main reason to have a room in the first place. Me going home between 2am and 6am only to come back for a 10am panel is ridiculous. Never again.
2. ALWAYS take the week post-NDK as a vacation. I always tend to find myself feeling down (the post-con blues) following the convention. It usually starts immediately following closing ceremonies while I am walking to my car as my mind will go over the events of the weekend and I will get sad. That's why I like to have the week after NDK off so that I don't have to worry

As has become the custom for OtaKrew over the past three years, we rolled up to the Denver Tech Center (DTC) Marriott on Thursday. We do this so that we can let our hair downand kick it with the con guests before the craziness starts. Think of it as the calm before the storm. The bar happens to be our meeting place so, it was pretty neat when they asked us to come up with some names for some con-specific drinks. There was a red drink (Asuka Meltdown), blue (Perfect Blue), Pink (Honey Flash), Green (Jupiter Thunderclap) and orange (Orange Road). My personal favs were the Jupiter Thunderclap and the Honey Flash.

On Friday, the Dealer's Room was the place to be and it was PACKED!!! I did find the Revoltech Yoko from Gurren Lagann that I was looking for. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything from Queen's Blade that I liked. Later on that evening, we went to a panel presented by Roger from Gimme Anime (buffalostyle's official anime store) called "Old Time Anime". It was excellent as usual since Roger always shows something that I have never seen before. The only bad thing was that I missed two other panels that I was interested in going to,"The Death of the Anime Industry" and "Anime Girl Fight" presented by Steve Yun from Gold. As we were poised to see the "Mystery Anime Theater" coming up next, we were asked to leave the room and get in line with the masses that had gathered while we were inside watching Roger's panel. I can see where they were going with this but it was kind of unfair since many of the people in the room left. I guess that I could have stayed if I really wanted to (I'm sure Roger would have let us stay) but, we decided to go to the bar for some more late-night...celebrating.Saturday started out pretty early for me as the plan was the see the "30 Years of Gundam" panel. It was a hard choice for me as we also had an NDK premiere of the "Case Closed 3" movie. In the end, I guess I was meant to see the movie as the panel was at standing room capacity in no time. No prob. Case Closed, here I come....and it was VERY good!!! Next up came the "Robotech: Past, Present and Future" panel presented by Tommy Yune (with an assist from Steve Yun). It was a blast!!! Got my first look at the Masterpiece Collection (MPC) Beta Fighter. Let me just say that I...AM...IN...LOVE!!! (I seem to fall in love with mecha alot, eh?)
Looks like I am going to have to pick up more of the MPC's afterall (from, of course). We were set to go to the Robot Rumble (Steve's awesome panel/gameshow)
again but, karaoke (and our good friend, Chris) came calling. It was a blast as I got to be a judge this year. Didn't leave until 5:30am. (Again, I will definately have a room from now on)

The last day of con started with me nursing a slight....hangover.. as I made it to the "Robotech Free for all". A couple of people were wondering where we were the previous evening as we said we would make the "Rumble". Once they saw how I looked and when I said the words "karaoke" and "judging", they understood. Both Tommy Yune and Steve Yun were a joy to be around and it was good to see the local Robotech-ites again.

Honestly, we need to do a better job of keeping in touch. Seeing Zormaster's toys (and Collector's panel) was a lot of fun for me. While I do own quite a bit of Robotech merchandise, my collection is nowhere NEAR Zormaster's level.

So, seeing how much fun that I packed into a four day convention, can you understand how I experience post-con sadness? While some of the Krew have written off the con due to it's size and the overabundance of younger fans, I still enjoy my time there. In fact, I look forward to being a part of NDK for years to come.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Say it isn't so ADV...

So, it's official...ADV Films (as we know it) went out of business last week. And with it's demise, the domestic anime industry is entering into a new era.

Just think, it was just the late 90's early 2000's when ADV was THE bigshot in the industry. There was ADV, Pioneer, VIZ, Funimation, Central Park Media and Bandai (nee: Anime Village). During that time, we saw anime grow in popularity as it got a foothold in our living rooms thanks to Cartoon Network and their anime friendly programming. The Toonami block introduced many kids (young and old) to shows like Dragonball Z, Gundam Wing and Rurouni Kenshin. Anime fandom also got another shot in the arm thanks to CN's Adult Swim block on Saturday nights. This is when we got the motherload of anime shows like Inu Yasha, Gundam, Witch Hunter Robin, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Code Geass and many more.

My personal introduction to true otaku-dom was brought about by Evangelion as it was the first anime series that I ever bought as it was being released.

I remember discovering Eva as it was suggested to me by an employee at my favorite comic shop in Boulder, "Time Warp". I got into it fairly early on in ADV's distibution when it was being released on VHS and I couldn't wait to pick it up at my local Suncoast Video every two months or so. Buying an anime TV series turned out to be the gateway drug to otaku-dom for me and it was all ADV's fault.
Another thing that ADV did that helped foster my geek tendencies was the release and re-release of their shows.

Through each re-packaging of Eva, I was there picking up the new merchandise. I guess you could say that ADV made a lot of money off of people like me.

The next big thing that ADV did was release one of my favorite shows of all time, Robotech, on DVD.

Robotech was one of those shows that I got hooked on a long time ago and, as a fan, I have both ADV and Cartoon Network to thank for it's rebirth.
Of course, as they did with Eva, ADV also released Robotech mutiple times. Along with the initial DVD release, we got clamshell versions, remastered versions and "The Protoculture Collection".

And I was there for every one...
When ADV announced that they were going to release a dubbed version of Macross (featuring Mari Iijima reprising her role as Minmei), I had no choice but to pick that up as well.

Throughout their history, ADV continued to release and re-release it's titles over and over. Case in point, the Original Dirty Pair.
And you can't forget Bubblegum Crisis 2040....
Sure, there were other titles that ADV picked up that I loved.

Azumanga Daioh

Sakura Taisen (Wars)

and Elfen Lied to name a FEW...

However, the love given to older series was apparent when ADV released Gatchaman.

The dub for this show was CLASSIC/FANTASTIC as they would use words that fit the time that the show was made in.

Phrases like, "Can you dig it" and "Right On" were heard many times during the dub. Honestly, you could tell they had a good time making this one and it really made the show for me.

So, a company that was in tune with it's customer's needs as fans and collectors? What went wrong?

ADV's partnership with the Sojitz Corporation (a Japanese investor who helped them acquire new titles) went south early last year and they began to struggle afterwards. The fact that ADV over-reached with attempts at distributing manga (ADV Manga), magazines (Newtype USA), having their own television network (Anime Network) along with licensing everything under the sun led to the split hurting more than it probably should have. Sure, there was a stop-gap in signing a deal with Sentai Filmworks earlier this year but that only delayed the inevitable.

It's sad, really, as ADV is a company that all anime fans kind of grew up with. Couple this with the end of Geneon/Pioneer a few years ago and we are looking at an industry in flux. It seems as though anime is moving away from the mainstream that it flirted with in the early to mid 2000's and going back to it's niche status of the early 90's.

Is this such a bad thing?

With the Cartoon Network scaling back on the amount of anime that it is showing in favor of in-house shows like "Superjail", "Mighty Boosh" and "Squidbillies", we will see if the otaku borne from CN will stick around.

With that said, I'm heading out to NDK. We keep breaking attendance records every year and I'm curious to see what they have in store for us this year.

(photo courtesy
With this year being the 30th anniversary of Gundam, there will be a panel for it. I'm just hoping that it doesn't conflict with the Robotech Tour panels. I don't want to have to choose between the two.
LOL, Ranka Gundam...

Here's to cosplayers and being a card-carrying member of the Otarazzi. Hopefully there is some good Macross Frontier cosplay and, of course, a Cutie Honey or two.

A round of drinks for everyone!!!