Reminder: Today is the last day the Neon Alley App will work on your PS3/Xbox 360

 

Read this if you need a refresher but yeah.

After today, your only choices to legally stream Anime will be Netflix, Crunchyroll and Hulu Plus. Listen: I just logged into my Hulu account for the first time in almost 6 years. I checked the available Anime and was floored: Not only does Hulu have nearly all of the Anime currently and formerly available on Netflix but they’ve got literally DOZENS more I’d only seen listed on iTunes/Xbox Live/Playstation Network.

And that catalog is going to more than double in size come tomorrow.

It was then that I remembered I also happen to have the Hulu Plus App on all of my game systems as well as my iPod and Android Phone. Not only that, the monthly sub for Hulu is actually $6 and not $10 like I originally thought, which was the same price as Neon Alley’s subscription. That’s $2 less than what Netflix charges. Add to that Hulu, like Crunchyroll has simulcast. It basically means new episodes become available right after it airs on TV.

Despite that, Netflix is still the Steaming King. Why? It’s movie library alone is bigger than everything Hulu has to offer combined.

Even so, I’m going to activate Hulu Plus on my account this Friday. I go where the Anime’s at plain and simple. That’s why I got Crunchyroll and Neon Alley earlier this year. I will cancel my premium service on Crunchyroll at the end of the week as well since I only really watch Naruto Shippuden on the CR anyway. I also prefer my Anime Dubbed so the decision should be obvious. The changeover will cut my monthly Streaming bill to $14 between Netflix and Hulu Plus.

This is just speaking for me of course.

If you prefer strictly Subbed, Crunchyroll alone is right up your alley. If you don’t mind Dubbed, just Hulu Plus or Netflix will keep your occupied for a while. If you want to catch up on the last 24 years’ worth of Anime, just Hulu Plus will do it.

The reason I’m getting both is because again, Netflix is the Streaming King where movies are concerned. I am also very curious to see what Netflix’s answer, if any to Neon Alley merging with Hulu may be.

 

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Dragonball Z Episodes are just $1 each on The Playstation Network

 

One of, if not the most iconic Anime series of the last 20 years can now be bought for next to nothing on The Playstation Network. Yes, the Anime series that has seen more video game adaptations than any other anime PERIOD can be bought at an astounding $1 per episode. It’s only available in Standard Definition but the fight scenes are uncut (ie. the fighters bleed blood, not sweat). Hercule is called Mr. Satan in the uncut versions of the Anime. Only in the video games and the version airing on TV is his name changed to Hercule since the TV series was very popular with the kids when it came to the U.S.

Let me back up a bit and provide some backstory for those who for whatever reason may not have heard of this Anime before. Dragonball Z, its predecessor Dragonball and its successor Dragonball GT follows the story of Son Goku (just Goku in the U.S.), a Saiyan who grew up on Earth and serves as its protector. Dragonball follows his adventures as a child. Bulma, Master Roshi, Krillin, Chi Chi and other memorable characters are introduced. Dragonball ends with Goku’s fights against the Red Ribbon Army, Master Roshi and Piccolo in The World Martial Arts Tournament on two separate occasions. Before I forget, the Anime is called Dragonball/Z/GT because of 7 mystical Dragonballs that, when collected will summon the Dragon Shenron who will then grand one wish a year. The wish can be anything the summoner desires from riches to bringing someone back from the dead.

 

Dragonball Z is what I like to call the main course. Of the three Dragonball series, Z is both the longest and the most well known. Due to the length of the Anime, Dragonball is broken up kinda like Bleach and Naruto into Sagas. They are as follows:

 

Saiyan:

  • The Vegeta Saga (Episodes 1~35; originally The Saiyan Conflict)

Frieza:

Cell:

Buu:

*Denotes this Saga is filler to buy time for either more episodes to be made or for the Manga to write the next Saga

 

…Yeah, that’s alot of episodes. The only Anime that are longer are Bleach and Naruto but in both cases, those Anime are still in progress. Naruto and Bleach both have over 300 Episodes so…yeah. Anyway, Dragonball Z also holds the record for the most movies for an Anime series at 14. Unlike in the U.S., movies based on Anime are used purely to promote the Anime and usually have no continuity with the series itself.

 

Dragonball Z English dub titlesEdit

  1. Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone (1997) (Remastered/Re-released on May 27, 2008)
  2. Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest (1998) (Remastered/Re-released on May 27, 2008)
  3. Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might (1998) (Remastered/Re-released on September 16, 2008)
  4. Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug (2001) (Remastered/Re-released on September 16, 2008)

 

  1. Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge (2002) (Remastered/Re-released on November 11, 2008)
  2. Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler (2002) (Remastered/Re-released on November 11, 2008)

 

  1. Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13! (2003) (Remastered/Re-released on February 18, 2009)
  2. Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan (2003) (Remastered/Re-released on March 31, 2009)
  3. Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound (2004) (Remastered/Re-released on February 18, 2009)

 

  1. Dragon Ball Z: Broly – Second Coming (2005) (Remastered/Re-released on March 31, 2009)
  2. Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly (2005) (Remastered/Re-released on March 31, 2009)

 

  1. Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn (2006) (Remastered/Re-released on May 19, 2009)
  2. Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon (2006) (Remastered/Re-released on May 19, 2009)

 

  1. Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (2013)

 

I have broken up the movies based on where they would be placed in each Saga’s timeline. Both Cooler Movies would take place after the Namek Sagas. For those who don’t know, Cooler is Frieza’s brother and seeks revenge against Goku and Vegeta. In Super Andriod 13, Dr. Gero hid an android in a glacier and ordered one of his assistants to activate it should the other androids be destroyed. It’s not known if Cell was a prerequisite but it’s presumably not as the movie’s placement is before Cell challenges the Z Fighters. It’s interesting to note Goku’s first contact with Super Android 13 is censored in the U.S. In the original version, Super Android 13 grabs Goku and punches him in the crotch before slamming him into a wall of ice. In the edited versions (this includes the DVD releases which are supposed to be uncut, mind you) Super Android 13 grabs Goku, you see a flash and then Goku is slammed into a wall of ice.

Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan was so hugely popular in both the U.S. and Japan it got not one but TWO sequels. Those who watched the Namek Saga knows that among Saiyans, the ability to become a Super Saiyan (or Super Saiya-jin in Japan) is believed to be only possible for the most powerful Saiyans. Broly was literally born with this ability. He was so powerful at birth, King Vegeta (Vegeta’s father) tried to kill him moments before Frieza destroyed the Saiyan homeworld. Not even the destruction of the planet could kill the infant Broly, who grabbed his father and escaped to safety.

Years later, Broly faces off against Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Piccolo and Future Trunks. In the tough battle Goku barely manages to defeat Broly. Years later during the Saiyaman Saga, Broly returns (Broly: Second Coming). Goku’s dead at the time so Broly fights Gohan, Goten and Trunks. Goten and Trunks, who were collecting the Dragonballs at the beginning of the movie use its power to summon Goku’s power to help them defeat Broly. Broly is launched into the sun where he is destroyed forever, or so it seems. Yet he comes back for the third time in Bio Broly.

Anywho, Dragonball Z is easily the most prolific of the three Dragonall series. In addition to movies, there are several dozen video games based on the anime. My all-time favorite is Dragonball Z: Legacy of Goku II for the Game Boy Advance. The game spans The Trunks Saga to the Cell Games Saga with Cooler as a secret boss and Mr. Satan (Hercule) as an unlockable character after Goku dies. The followup game Buu’s Fury spans the World Tournament Saga to the Kid Buu Saga with Broly as a secret boss. The events of the movie Fusion Reborn are included in this game to explain how Goku finds Vegeta in the Underworld after he dies during the Majin Buu Saga in the game.

The most popular Dragonball Z games are the fighting games but as fans have been saying for the last decade, you can only do that so many times before folks get tired of it. The only Dragonball Z fighting games I’ve played are Budokai 1 and 2.

Overall, I give Dragonball Z a perfect 10. Despite the obvious fact the lead character Goku is a Mary Sue the memories are priceless.

For those who don’t know, a Mary Sue is generally a person in fiction that can solve any problem they’re faced with without too much effort on their part. It’s argued Goku’s personality should spare him from this label but the fact is, Goku defeats almost every single one of his opponents be sheer force of will. In both instances where he dies, he takes his opponent with him. As Vegeta notes when Goku becomes a Super Saiyan for the first time, he gained the ability to do transform without prior knowledge of it and by simply being overcome with rage during his fight with Frieza. The only fights he needed help to win were against Raditz (where he dies for the first time) and Kid Buu (Spirit Bomb) and no I’m not including the movies since they’re considered non-canon from the series.

As I mentioned twice now, there is a followup series in Dragonball GT. It takes place 12 years after the end of Dragonball Z. It opens with Emperor Pilaf (remember him?) using the Dragonballs to turn Goku into a kid. Goku, Trunks and Gohan’s teenage daughter Pan travel to other worlds to collect the Dragonballs they will need to change him back into an adult.  Since Earth’s Dragonballs can only oe used once a year, they leave to find the Dragonballs of another world instead. Sometime after being turned back to normal, Goku and Vegeta reach the iconic Super Saiyan 4. In true Mary Sue fashion, Goku goes on to literally become a God.

Four major characters are born between the end of Dragonball and the beginning of GT: Gohan, Goten, Trunks and Pan. Pan is introduced in the second to last episode of Dragonball Z but her power is used to help Goku become a Super Saiyan God before she’s born in the 14th movie. There are also two versions of Trunks: The one that comes from an alternate future during and the present one, both born to Vegeta and Bulma. Goten is born shortly after the Cell games which would mean Chi Chi became pregnant shortly before Goku died for the second time. Looking at Gohan when he’s introduced at the beginning of Dragonball Z, it’s hard to believe he would one day defeat Perfect Cell, become a Superhero and give Goku a grandchild. Out of all the characters introduced Gohan has shown the most growth in Dragonball Z.

I have my favorite moments from Dragonball Z and it’s for that reason I’ve never watched a single episode of GT ^_^

 

Recap: Clannad: The Place Where Wishes Come True

THIS is the reason I changed my mind and decided to do this panel for the 4th year in a row next year:

It’s Nagisa Furukawa from Clannad!

I finalized an exclusive deal with the young lady behind the cosplay earlier this week. She will be joining me every year I do this panel at Anime Boston from now on. That said, let’s get to how my third straight outing of Clannad: A Wonderful Life went.

For the first time in two years, I played video clips during the panel. Unlike last time I didn’t play a whole episode and instead played a few clips from a few episodes. I played part of the episode with Ushio’s birth but not the birth scene itself. I later played the episode where Tomoya’s grandmother tells him about his father and mother during his trip with Ushio.

Much of the same folks who came last year and the year before came this year too but there were some new faces in the crowd as well. There were cosplayers from both Clannad and Angel Beats in the audience as well. The cosplay groups hung around for a photoshoot (WOOT!) and I snapped a couple. As I said to some of my coworkers this week, I’m getting an actual digital camera for next year. Even though my Vita has the best rendering for pictures I think it would be best if I just used a real camera for taking pictures of people. I took some pictures but their faces come out fuzzy at normal size. Never again!

Anyway, towards the end the subject of what it means to be a family came up. As Tomoyo so eloquently puts it in the Anime, family doesn’t necessarily have to be your actual family. The last 25 years in particular has seen what could be considered a family redefined on so many levels. In Tomoyo and Yukine’s cases, their families were the friends they spent much of their time with. Next year, I’m going to narrow the focus a bit.

Speaking of looking ahead to next year, this panel will return of course. I will also be requesting 90 minutes, which will mark the first time I’m extending the panel after keeping it an hour the first three times. I didn’t do it this year but next year I’m bringing back an extra theme in addition to the usual Anime discussion itself.

Since I know some of the congoers who were there also follow this blog and/or my Facebook page, here’s a big hint as to what next year’s theme will be:

If you need a bit of clarity, this should help:

Got it now?

Next year’s theme will be about pregnancy and children. Despite it being hardwired into human biology, it is almost universally referred to worldwide as The Miracle of Life.

For those looking forward to next year’s panel (pending approval of course), here’s your homework assignment depending on where you are in life or may be by the time AB2015 happens.

Just pick all the ones that apply to you:

  • If you have adult children (18+), be prepared to share a story or two about raising them. Grandchild/Nephew/Niece is ok as are Stepchildren and adopted children.
  • If you have teenage children (13-17), be prepared to share your experiences thus far with the same alternatives as above if it applies to you.
  • If you have young children (0-12), be prepared to share your experiences thus far with the same alternatives as above if it applies to you.
  • If you are expecting and an adult (18+), be prepared to share your hopes, dreams and fears as you prepare for the birth of your new arrival. This applies weather the new addition is by pregnancy or adoption.
  • If you are expecting and a teen (13-17), you can chose to talk about your hopes, dreams and fears as toy prepare for the birth of your new arrival.
  • If you have lost a child regardless of their age when they died, you can chose to talk about your experience dealing with the loss of a child.
  • If you are the parent of a child with an intellectual or cognitive disorder or disability (Dyslexia, Autism, Down Syndrome, etc.), you can chose to talk about your experiences raising your extraordinary child.
  • If you know you are adopted and feel comfortable, you can talk about your life experience and how knowing you were adopted may or may not have shaped your life.

Again, just pick the ones that apply to you. If none of them do, interview someone who is expecting or recently had a baby to get their story. Trust me, this is going to make alot of sense come next year =D

…That’s all I got.

Thanks again to those who came out this year. I look forward to seeing you again next year!

My Manga collection will get a little bigger tomorrow

 

I rechecked the schedule for Sunday and I will have two very small windows at which to make my Manga purchases. One is right when the Dealers’ Room opens and the other is between my panels. As of this writing I still don’t know if the $96.50 I’m expecting has been deposited into my bank account yet but even if it doesn’t I have the $75 I earned last night =O

If I get the money from my PayPal account today or tomorrow I will buy an Anime Box set in addition to some Manga volumes. If now I’ll just get Manga. Here are some of the Manga series and volumes I’m looking at:

  • Attack on Titan Vols. 9 to 11, Junior High School and Before the Fall: Junior High School is a satirical take of the smash hit. Before the Fall is a prequel to the main series and presumably explains how the Human/Titan Hybrids came to be. The Anime series ends after Anna the Female Titan is dealt with, which is Volume 8 of the Manga. The series continues in Volume 9. I assume there will be a Season 2 of the Anime once enough volumes have been written.
  • Blue Exorcist Vols. 1 & 2: When I start a new Manga series I always get the first two. The Anime recently premiered on Toonami.
  • Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Vols. 1 &2: Same as the above but it currently airs on Neon Alley and Hulu Plus.

That’s basically it. If I get the money I will also get a new volume or two from the following series:

  • Bleach
  • Naruto
  • Ouran High School Host Club
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Spice & Wolf
  • Rosario + Vampire
  • Oh! My Goddess!

Of course, this rides on weather the money I’m expecting arrives today or tomorrow. As for what Anime Box sets I’m looking at, here’s what I’m looking at:

  • Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Season 1
  • Kids on the Slope
  • Angel Beats
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • Ponyo
  • Spice & Wolf Blu-Ray/DVD Combo
  • This Ugly Yet Beautiful World
  • Pokemon: Indigo League (83 Episodes!)

 

…Mind you, I’d probably only have enough money to get one of the Box sets. The price range is $35-5 for them all. Personally I’m leaning toward Kids on the Slope and Angel Beats, which are both 13 episodes long.  I know I can get Kiki’s Delivery Service and Ponyo easy enough at a Best Buy. Ditto for Spice & Wolf. I know I’ll have to buy Nura: Rise of the Yokai CLan, This Ugly Yet Beautiful World and Pokemon: Indigo League from Amazon.

Since AB 2011, I’ve always made sure to buy two Anime sets at the con. I got Ouran High School Host Club yesterday. One of the above listed titles will be the second =D

 

 

Clannad: The Place Where Wishes Come True returns to Anime Boston for the third year in a row

It’s at the point now where folks have come to expect to see this panel at Anime Boston.

For the third year in a row, it makes its triumphant return.

Clannad: The Place Where Wishes Come True will be this Sunday in room 206 and starts at 10:30AM.

Considering this will by my third year in a row doing this panel, it will be one for the ages!

Court Records: Ace Attorney confirmed for Anime Boston 2014!

It’s back!

Court Records: Ace Attorney will be on Sunday, March 22 at 12:30PM in room Panel C at the Hynes Convention Center!

Last night, Anime Boston’s head of Panels and Programming said there were 318 panel submissions this year, which is the most applications the con has ever gotten to date in ome year. He did say everyone will know if their panels were approved or not for sure within a day or two.