Its been a long time since I’ve done a round-up, but here we are again with another anime season and with 3-4 weeks behind us, it’s time to sort through the good and bad. As usual, I won’t be covering sequels or spin-offs, though I am introducing ratings for each show from 1 to 5. For those who want a quick recommendation, go with Charlotte, Gakkou Gurashi, or Gate.
The Japanese have been influential on many fronts, and the one thing that seems to have taken the world by storm is anime. The diverse art form has been distributed via all media forms, extending fandom across the continents, especially in North America. Although the majority of Americans don’t tend to respond well to foreign films and TV, anime has successfully penetrated American entertainment and pop culture with the Dragon Ball franchise, Pokemon, Spirited Away, and a host of other Japanese-inspired cartoons. The worldwide phenomenon is now being revered in annual conventions, so if you’re an anime fan that would like to partake in some cosplay while checking out the latest trends in the industry, Las Vegas is the city to be at.
Over the past couple of decades, the gambling capital has diversified their image from solely being an entertainment for casino goers. The truth is that that millions of people still make the trip over to Sin City to experience the liveliness of the gaming floors, which Intercasino describes as having a festive and lively atmospheres that usually keep the patrons awake gaming for hours. But
with all the Las Vegas conventions that celebrate and reveal the innovations across the industries, the city adds a few more reasons why a Vegas trip is definitely worth the time and money for many people, including anime fans.
Below is an overview of anime conventions held in Las Vegas:
Originating in Baltimore, Maryland, Otakon is America’s largest East Asian pop culture expo which expanded to a new location last year. The Vegas convention is more intimate than the Baltimore event, but conveniently held in the Planet Hollywood Resort along the Strip, right in the middle of all the excitement. Otakon takes place around mid January.
LVL Up Expo
If you’re an avid gamer, you’ll love this exhibition. Held on May 30 and 31 this year, LVL Up Expo is an annual event that showcases the latest technology in anime video games. Using various gaming platforms, exhibitors interact with event participants with exciting competitions, such as the popular Pokemon All-Stars Gym Leader Challenge and PC/Console tournaments like Ultimate Street Fighter, Mario Kart, and Mortal Kombat.
This Labor Day weekend, Sabakon will open its doors to all ages at the Alexis Park Resort where attendees can express themselves artistically through costume and participate in lots of activities. They also have a Sabanetics Tech Show that allows you to play 3D virtual reality games as well as other interactive technology. The fun never stops at this convention.
Note: This is a guest post.
Its been a long time since I’ve done a figure review so today I bring you a figure I’ve been eyeing for a year, the Space Battleship Nadesico from my favourite anime, Martian Successor Nadesico. For those who haven’t heard of the anime before, it’s a popular sci-fi/romance/comedy from the mid-90’s. In the midst of a losing war between Earthlings and Jovians, Nergal Heavy Industries develops the ND-001 “Nadesico”, the first Nadesico-class battleship, in order to fight the Jovians and recover company assets from Mars. The Nadesico carries a team of Aestivalis (giant robot mechs) and is equipped with a gravity blast cannon.
Nearly 20 years after Martian Successor Nadesico first aired, Artspirits added the Nadesico battleship to its B.M.F (Battleship Mech Fun) line of figures. The figure was released in February 2015 at a MSRP of 12,800 yen. Unlike most gunpla, this is a pre-painted and pre-assembled figure. Although it is non-scale, at 23cm long, I estimate it’s about 1/1300.
After a long 2-year journey, I’m happy to announce that I have completed my MBA!
As you have probably noticed, Nopy’s Blog hasn’t been very active these last two years, mainly because the MBA program took up so much of my time. With school done and me moving back home this week, I’ll have plenty of time to catch up with the aniblogosphere and get Nopy’s Blog back up and running. Expect to see a makeover to the blog layout and some long overdue anime and figure reviews.
P.S. If anyone knows of a company in the anime industry that’s looking for a newly graduated MBA to help with business strategy or operations, please send them my way. I’m currently unemployed.
Zankyou no Terror, also known as Terror in Resonance, aired from July – September 2014. It’s a short 11-episode series from Aniplex, but I think it captures the 21st century like no other anime, making it a good watch. I haven’t seen an anime represent the problems of our world as well as Zankyou no Terror since Shin Sekai Yori. Some of the themes that the anime covers are: terrorism, information spread, a lost generation, and government actions. If you haven’t heard of Zankyou no Terror before, below is the official plot outline:
In an alternate version of the present, Tokyo has been decimated by a shocking terrorist attack, and the only hint to the identity of the culprit is a bizarre video uploaded to the internet. The police, baffled by this cryptic clue, are powerless to stop the paranoia spreading across the population.While the world searches for a criminal mastermind to blame for this tragedy, two mysterious children—children who shouldn’t even exist—masterfully carry out their heinous plan. Cursed to walk through this world with the names Nine and Twelve, the two combine to form “Sphinx,” a clandestine entity determine to wake the people from their slumber—and pull the trigger on this world.
The other day I was rewatching The Garden of Words and noticed something significant that I left out of my original post. As with every viewer, I can only analyze a story from my existing beliefs, understandings, and knowledge. That said, it is difficult at times to observe, interpret, and understand everything from a Japanese viewpoint when I was raised in Canada and taught western culture and literature. Therefore, I hope that this addendum will help others who grew up in a similar environment as me to better appreciate the beauty of The Garden of Words.
It’s good to be able to have time to go to another anime convention. After missing the big 20th anniversary of Animethon last year, I was happy to be able to attend this year.
If you haven’t seen my previous posts on Animethon, here are some quick facts:
- It’s a 3-day convention held annually in Edmonton, Alberta.
- It’s the oldest anime convention in Canada that’s still going.
- It’s the largest anime convention in Western Canada.
One of the nice things about Animethon is that it’s probably the most over-looked anime convention by big companies, making it large while still maintaining a close-knit community feel. I think it’s largely due to Edmonton’s lack of global recognition compared to Calgary and Vancouver, but that’s not a discussion for this blog.
Happy Birthday, Nopy’s Blog!
Its been exactly six years since the day I started Nopy’s Blog and that means its time to look back on another year on the interwebs. Unlike previous years, there has been little activity on here. In fact, if you scroll down the front page, you’ll see that my 5 year anniversary post is still there, which says a lot.
Unfortunately, real life has me in a stranglehold. I thought the summer break from school would give me some free time, but schoolwork still haunts me and I don’t think I’ve left work before or at quitting time since I started. Oh how I miss the days when I just had to worry about putting in 40 hours a week and which figure to order next.
In terms of blog traffic, Nopy’s Blog is far from its height when it received 1500 views per day. Last year it was averaging 500, and now it’s down to around 350. I feel like one of those old bloggers that keeps talking about making more updates, but then eventually disappears from the internet and is completely forgotten. Well, hopefully that doesn’t happen, especially considering I scheduled my classes this upcoming semester so that I have 4-day and 3-day weekends.
In other news, I got myself a little anniversary present, which you can see above. It’s a Sailor Moon Star Locket, which was sold by Bandai in the mid-90’s. What’s special about this locket is that it plays music when you open it, just like the one Sailor Moon has. While the original price for one of these was around $10, they now go for $400-$600 depending on the condition. While not as expensive as my Sailor Moon Gold Card, it’s still not something you just buy on a whim.
As far as I know, there are the following releases: Japan (1992), Korea (1995), and Europe (1992/1995). The Japanese ones say “Bandai 1992 Made in Japan” on the back, the Korean ones say “Bandai Asia 1995″, and the European ones say “Bandai 199x Made in China”. The one I have is the 1995 Korean release. There’s also a special pink version of the locket, which is worth somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000.
Anyways, people have been telling me that the second year of the MBA program is easier than the first so fingers crossed that this post won’t still be on the front page next year and I’ll have time to review all the backlogged goodies I have.
It has been a month since the summer season started so it’s time to do another round-up. With one exception, I’m only providing commentary on the new series (a whopping 27 this time), which excludes sequels, remakes, spin-offs, etc. If you aren’t familiar with my round-ups, this is where I offer my initial thoughts on new anime based on the first 1-5 episodes, followed by my recommendation and whether I thought it was worth watching.
On to the next speed-post, we have Megami Magazine Volume 161, issued back in October 2013. Some of you may be asking, “but Nopy, where’s volume 159 and 160?” Well, due to a little mix-up and me moving to Toronto, I didn’t realize that I hadn’t gotten 159 and 160 until a few months later. By that point, both volumes were already sold out so there’s nothing I can do about it now.
Back to volume 161 though, the cover features the two lolis of the Monogatari series: Mayoi and Shinobu. It’s a refreshing change from the usual sexy covers that Megami Magazine usually employs, and it’s a treat for Monogatari fans. As with the previous Megami post, this will be shorter in order to give me time to catch up with my backlog. Posters will have the titles of the anime they’re from underneath, followed with a brief overview of all of them at the very end.