‘Pokémon: The Origin’ Anime Special



I remember when I had to constantly try to correct people that the main character in Pokemon Red and Blue wasn’t Ash, but actually ‘Red’. Some guys at the Pokemon Company probably had the same problem as well, so now there’s a new special on the way that’ll shut people up… AND NO, THAT ISN’T GARY OAK IN THAT TRAILER.
From Serebii.net

During the Pokémon Game Show, it was announced that a brand new anime special will run to coincide with Pokémon XY. This anime is called Pokémon: The Origin, features Red & Green, is based directly on the games, and is to air on October 2nd as a special broadcast. The show features Red as he starts his journey and battles his rival Green, and the Gym Leader Brock.
Source:
http://www.serebii.net/index2.shtml

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Anime Expo 2013 with Ted Day 0-1


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Well being the only person on the NUR team on the west coast, I had to do this massive Con solo once again. Although there was much to see, the highlight for me were just the awesome cosplayers. So I’ll just do a photo blog of the characters I saw. Starting off I give you the world famous Filipina cosplayer Alodia Gosiengfiao.

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The convention didn’t start till today, but since I was smart enough to order my badge online I came in on Pre-reg day to get my tickets ahead of time. There were a few cosplayers (which didn’t make any sense since it was just for badge pickup) but I was surprised to see host of Culture Japan also known as tokyostormtrooper on youtube, Danny Choo. Oh and the last picture there, a fan wanted a picture with him so he just made a pimp decision and rode that car. Fully functional too mind you. Oh check him out here.

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American anime company Sentai Fimworks put out all the stops with their ad space, with a freakin’ tank! As you may recognize, it’s the tank from Girls und Panzer. If you wanna check out more of Sentai’s catalog well you know the drill.

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So my morning started pretty slow. There were delays in opening the exhibit hall and the ugliest Sweettooth(Twisted Metal, the new one) cosplay I’ve ever seen ( he was also shirtless and twice as big as me) almost ruined my day. Then I encountered several funny and awesome Attack on Titan cosplayers cosplaying as Wall Maria. There were a lot of walls like a lot. At least these two put some effort in and that second guy had an awesome mask to go with it.

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Speaking of Attack on Titan, there were so many people there who actually took the time to be as legit as possible with their AoT soldier cosplays. Although none of their “3D Manuever Gears” were anything close to this, gotta give these people props for looking real spiffy. For those of you not in the know, The first pic is of Mikasa Ackerman and the 3 guys below are just cannon(Titan) fodder. What? Everyone knows that if a character doesn’t have a name he gon’ die son!

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Like Dethklok aka the virtual band from Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse? Well here’s the Japanese/Anime versio: Detroit Metal City. Guy on the far left is frontman Johannes Krauser II alter ego of series protagonist Soichi Negishi. In his fake backstory, apparently he is so vile that he killed then raped his parents then raped Satan when he met him. So Satan kicked him out of Hell and now he’s a big wig Death Metal star in Japan. He’s so evil and powerful he impregnated Tokyo Tower. Trust me the anime is as ridiculous and hilarious as it sounds. The theme song is pretty badass actually. I am a terrorist straight outta Hell!

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Magi: Labyrinth of Magic fans were also abundant. There so many tiny girls cosplaying as Aladdin. Found the best of the bunch doh and he had company ala Kougyoku Ren. Diggin’ Aladdin’s wand…..That didn’t come out right….

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Possibly the only decent looking Bayonetta cosplay I saw today. Nice touch on the wig and all but can’t anyone cosplay her in mid-magic attack form? What? Indecent exposure you say? Thanks Obama.

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Making my onto the Manga Lounge, I was entranced by hearing the Princess of Hyrule, Zelda herself playing her sweet somber lullaby on her violin. Too bad she has to peddle for money. I mean if you think about it, her kingdom can’t even afford to send an army to get her every time she gets captured.

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Here we have a co-worker of the diligent Mgronald’s employee and the Dark Lord of Entei Isla Mao Sadao of Hataraku Mao-sama. I thought it was company policy to for employees to be clean shaven?

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Speaking of Dark Lord’s and demons, we got the Earth King Amaimon from Blue Exorcist. Originally he wanted to pose with the lollipop in his mouth, but then I heard him talking with his group of friends and to his surprise there was a hair on it. The kicker was that his friend said “looks pube-y.”

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All of that before led up to this. Delayed for about 30 minutes, when they finally cut the red ribbon that crowd stampeded their way into that exhibition hall. Unfortunately I didn’t get to take pictures of the people in the exhibit hall. Mainly because I ended up learning how to play Cardfight! Vanguard and Weiß Schwarz by collective card game company Bushiroad. Personally those card games have really weird rules that make Magic The Gathering look like Yugioh. Then I got corrected by a real MTG player and I quote “If you ever took up law, then that’s basically MTG.”

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These are just a bunch of people I found while scoping out the booths of the several American anime companies bringing anime here in the ol’ Red, White n’ Blue (Happy July 4th PST). First off we got The Blue Spirit from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Next we got the Eva-01 unit from Evangelion, that suit/cosplay was awesome. He made it so that whenever he talks the mouth of his mask moves and he had a built in speaker system. Following that up we have the plethora of Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic cosplayers piling up for a contest. And lastly we have Megumi Han a voice actress with a legacy and by that I mean she’s the daughter of Keiko Han. Keiko-san is most known for playing Luna and Queen Berryl of the original Sailor Moon anime. Megumi-tan on the other hand just recently got into the biz and has paved her way into the anime scene. Her most recent credits are as follows: Sumire Hanano of Chihayafuru 2Akko Kagari  from anime studio Trigger’s short film Little Witch Academia, Cheerilee of the Japanese dub of My Little Pony and her main role as Gon Freecss in the Hunter x Hunter  remake.

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Kara Zor-el. Me loves me some Supergirl….Hey wait a minute, she aint anime related?! Ah whatevs she’s still hot.

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Nearing sunset and getting tired I decided it was about time to leave. I had lotso fun sweating my ass off exploring the gigantic convention center right in the heart of downtown LA and taking pictures of cosplayers that I found to be cool. On my way out to the exit I met a guy who just keep yelling “Praise the Sun!” over and over again. On my way to the parking structure outside, I bumped into 2 good bestfriends Kakashi and Tobi. When I finally got outside, I saw the Eva-01 unit again. Looked like it “over heated” because after that shot he just burst out of that thing like a cake.

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To end this long ass photo blog, I give you my cosplay pick of the day: Chi from Chobits. Her friend Fionna from Adventure Time was pretty cute too. That’s all I got for now, stay tuned.

Spring Season Anime Impressions: Aku no Hana


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Yeesh! That’s all I could say after watching the first two episodes. Before anything, I have to talk about the animation style used in this anime adaptation based on the manga. Lurking the web I can tell that several fans of the manga are totally against the rotoscope animation utilized in this psychological and angst driven story. Actually I don’t think it’s the rotoscoping that’s the problem but actually the execution of it. Movies like Heavy Metal or Fire and Ice used rotoscoping beautifully, the attention to detail of each frame being carefully drawn out mimicking the exact performance of the live action actor. In Aku no Hana the animation quality seems a bit lack luster with a lot of skipped frames which sorta looks more like an amateur art school project. But I feel like it’s animated this way for a reason. The atmosphere of the anime that gives off a very off setting vibe mixed with these visuals that just make you feel uncomfortable was what the studio intended. Not only do the characters experience a form of disconnect from the life they live in but we the audience get to experience that first hand with both the animation and the overall creepiness one gets from watching this.

Alrighty then it’s plot stuff time! Aku no Hana is a doozy of story, it follows the life of Takao Kasuga. He’s somewhat of a bookworm spending a lot of his middle school life reading books in class. He doesn’t read typical middle schooler books but rather reads literature based on the Symbolist movement, particularly Charles Baudelaire and his book Les fleur du mal(The Flowers of Evil) which is where the story got its name from. Now I’m not big into literature nor am I familiar with the Symbolist movement, but the gist of both stories is that they try to embrace the dark side of humanity. This isn’t however some kiddy Tim Burton-esque interpretation of dark themes but rather just a blatant demonstration of the darkness that resides in all of us. Moving back to the plot, Takao being heavily influenced by the decadent works Baudelaire, he is placed in a usually comical situation. He stumbles upon his crush’s P.E. uniform one day after school while he was alone looking for something he left in their classroom. Since every story needs a conflict,a starting point and a relevant motive to the plot to instigate such behavior Takao ends up taking home the uniform. Mentioned earlier, these types of situations in anime are usually comical in nature but this story takes a more dark approach to a somewhat juvenile mistake. So not only is he conflicted with taking the uniform but he also gets caught by one his classmates, the strange Sawa Nakamura. To put it bluntly she’s an anarchist. She hates authority and doesn’t mind blackmailing Takao into doing her bidding. So far that’s all that has happened, Takao gets caught by Nakamura and then the two of them form a contract. And if you’re a fan of a particular anime, you would know that forming a contract with someone is usually a bad idea.

*SPOILER ALERT* 

Well to wrap things up, I’ll just tell you all what happens at the end of the 2nd episode. So after forming a contract together, Nakamura orders Takao to meet her after school in the school library. The conversation before hand was that Nakamura was going to help Takao apologize to his crush Nanako Saeki for taking her uniform, you know in order to clear up his conscience or something. So what ends up happening, not only does Nakamura and Takao show up but so does Saeki. Apparently Nakamura went and told Saeki that Takao had something to say to her. Just like a deer in headlights Takao freezes up and is unable to speak. To make him feel more uncomfortable, Nakamura ends up shoving him towards Saeki where he ends up bumping his head into her chest. The episode ends with Saeki walking away in shame.

*SPOILER END*

The story builds up really slowly and in retrospect is uneventful at the start. But after reading the manga immediately after watching the first two episodes, I gotta tell yah, you’re in for quite a clusterfuck of things to come. Mentioned earlier I talked about the creepy atmosphere evident in each episode, the creepiness factor is amplified at the end of each episode thanks to the ending theme.

On a side note:

What is the darkest themed anime you’ve ever encountered? I know there are a lot of anime that sensationalize themes like gore and the like. I’ve yet to encounter an anime that goes into the depths human psyche in a very human way. Most of them approach it metaphorically but here in Aku no Hana its more of a first hand approach. ’til next time my few readers.

Spring Season Anime First Impressions: Devil Survivor 2: The Animation


this-scene-was-retardedWell the Spring Anime season just started and boy is the lineup… well it’s a lineup. To start the season here on NUR and to keep in lieu with all things gaming, I give you Devil Survivor 2: The Animation. So this is the anime adaptation of the 2011 3DS game in the Shin Megami Tensei series. I personally haven’t played the game so I’m going into this show with no expectations. Thankfully enough the first episode was awesome and is now apart of my personal “to watch list.” Anyway, I may have not played this particular game in the series but I have played Persona 3 and the Megaten MMO and all of those games share similar cyber punk and demon summoning themes. The weird thing about the show for me was that I felt like I watching a darker version of Digimon and/or Pokemon. Yeah I know it’s really lame to compare shows just because of certain similarities but the Digimon vibe was strong in this show.

Now those of you who have played the game already know the overall plot, but for those of you not in the know or need a refresher well here’s a few things to note. This time around the protagonist is given a name, Hibiki Kuze. So you have Hibiki, his friend Daichi Shijima and their classmate Io Nitta get into a disaster that pretty much shuts down the whole of Tokyo. Before the event that pretty much trashes Japan, Hibiki is introduced to a website called Nicaea by Daichi. Nicaea is a website that’s popular among teens because of their “death face” videos. Videos that show how either you or your friends die. So it just so happens that Hibiki, Daichi and Io were waiting for a train in the subway then receive an update from Nicaea on their phones showing that they were about to die from a train getting derailed which oddly enough happens and they seemingly die. But they’re given a second chance at life as the Nicaea app on their phones ask them if they want to live. Choosing “yes” they manage to climb out of the rubble of the train crash somewhat unscathed. Just as they were to collect themselves, one of the train crash victim’s phone begins to emit an ominous light which summons a demon. They end up getting saved by  similar demons summoned from Io and Daichi’s phones, turns out that they have a new app installed on their phones for the sole purpose of summoning these “demons.” So that’s the gist of the first episode, I mean there’s more to it so why not check it out for yourself? If you don’t mind waiting a week for a new episode without having to pay for a membership, you could totally check it out on Crunchy Roll.

On a side note:

If you could have an app on your phone that could let you summon anything, what you would summon? I know what I’d summon:

Girls-Generation-10_1920x1200What? A guy can dream.

 

Mid-season Anime Recap with Ted: Senyuu


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With Japan creating various shows and anime year round, it’s amazing that they still haven’t run out of flak. In this week’s anime recap I give you Senyuu, a seemingly generic story of “The Chosen One” sent out to destroy “The Demon King” and rid the world of evil. But Senyuu doesn’t follow the norms of such a genre, mostly since it’s a comedy and the fact that it is a micro series with a runtime of about 5 minutes per episode. A quickie rundown of Senyuu: it’s a hilarious anime that pokes fun at various anime tropes, memes and even at itself. It’s an anime that you can definitely set aside time for if you live a busy life.

Each episode of Senyuu so far starts off with a very generic narrative overview of the world, that being a portal to the demon world opened up somewhere in the human world and the king of the human world sends out “The Hero” to save the world. And that’s as far as the generic feel of the anime goes. Everything else in it is either a parody of something else. For instance, Alba’s (the MC aka main character) partner Solider is a blatant parody amalgamation of Cloud and Vincent from Final Fantasy VII. Soldier rather than be helpful to Alba tries his best to make Alba’s life suck, he’s not evil or anything it’s just fun to mess with the guy (then again he did stab him one time). The core of the comedy in this anime stems from all the parodies, absurdness and abuse that Soldier puts Alba through. I can’t really say much else without spoiling it since it’s a really short series. So if you got 5 minutes and need a laugh look up Senyuu.

On a side note:

Another thing to note about this season is the theme of the hero vs the demon king. Either very coincidental or planned from the start it’s nice to know that every season seems to have a central theme. Last year’s/season’s theme was reality vs  virtual/imaginary world with major forerunners Sword Art Online and Chunibyo headlining that period. What do you think? Do you think companies in general just release certain types of animes unbeknownst to each other or is it a coordinated plan?

‘Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!’ Anime Announced


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Everyone’s favorite awkward girl (known as Spaghetti-tan in some circles) is getting her own anime series! Announced in it’s third manga volume, ‘Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!‘ (No Matter How You Think About It, It’s Your Fault I’m Not Popular) is green lit for TV.

A synopsis from Anime News Network: The slice-of-life gag comedy centers around Tomoko Kuroki, a girl who thought she would be popular when she went to high school. However, she was in for a rude awakening, for cruel reality is not like the otome games (romance games for female players) she played.

No word on when it will air or which animation studios with be animating it.
Source: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-12-20/watashi-ga-motenai-no-wa-dou-kangaete-mo-omaera-ga-warui-manga-gets-anime

DEVIL SURVIVOR 2 the ANIMATION Announced


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Well, this is some news that caught me off guard. Another Shin Megami Tensei spin-off is getting an anime. This time, it’s Devil Survivor 2. Here’s a synopsis for the game: “The setting of Devil Survivor 2 spans the whole country of Japan. It tells the story of Japanese high school students who received an email from a website foretelling deaths. Mysterious creatures invade the country, and the students enter a pact, enabling them to summon demons. The plot may unfold differently depending on the player’s actions.”

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I personally haven’t got the chance to play the game yet, even though I do own a copy of it. I did get half the endings for Devil Survivor Overclocked, which I thoroughly enjoyed. So now would be a good time to start up DeSu2.
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You can check out http://ds2a.jp/ for some preview clips of the anime. You can also check out http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2012/12/07/142/ for some more images (warning: it’s all in Japanese).