Anime Boston 2018 in the books, looking to return as a panelist next year!

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…After taking a two year hiatus, I am looking to make my return as a panelist one year sooner than I originally planned. The theme for Anime Boston 2019 being Shogun & Samurai is the clincher. I can’t pass up on the opportunity. I will debut all new panels as well.

Here’s what I have in mind:

 

  • The Real Warriors of Samurai (120 Minutes): A look at the video game series Samurai Warriors, the real people portrayed and lessons to be learned from Japan’s Warring States Period.
  • Christianity’s History in Japan (60 Minutes): Like most authoritorian governments today, the introduction of Christianity in Feudal Japan was met with fierce resistence and outlawed by Hideyoshi Toyotomi. The Underground Christians in Japan–later known as the Hidden Christians–would keep their faith a closely guarded secret until after World War II. Come and learn how that has effected renewed efforts to bring Christianity to The Land of the Rising Sun.
  • Of Swords and Hip Hop (60 Minutes): We take a look at the marriage of Hip Hop and Anime in Samurai Champloo.
  • Riding the Rails in Boston and Japan (90 Minutes): One of the many things Boston and Japan have in common is their shared reliance on their transit systems. Take a look at the similarities and differences with transit systems.
  • Remember The Name Kuroko (60 Minutes): Basketball’s exploding popularity in Japan is explored alongside the mega hit Anime Kuroko’s Basketball.

…And you know what? ALL of them could be slotted next year.

More so given I want do ALL of them in the same weekend and will barring the untimely death of my laptop.

 

 

 

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Anime Boston 2017 Day 1 Done: So much Anime!

…I’ve been home for about an hour now and man am I exhausted. LOL. I got to the Hynes around 11AM but decided to eat at a nearby restaurant before going inside. I went in the Boylston St. entrance just as the Dealer’s Room opened.

I walked out with the following Anime on DVD and Blu Ray:

  • Fruits Basket
  • Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
  • Cowboy Beebop
  • GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka
  • Angelic Layer
  • Michiko and Hatchin (Blu-Ray)
  • Attack on Titan Junion High*

* Got it on Sunday of the Convention

 

…It is the most Anime I have ever bought in one day physical or digital. I got a deal on all of them too. Oh and yes, I’ve seen all of them before either via Netflix (Fruits Basket and Angelic Layer), Toonami/Adult Swim (Michiko and Hatchin,  Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and Cowboy Beebop) or Crunchyroll (GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka). Speaking of, I also bought the Boruto movie digital via iTunes and no, I haven’t seen it before.

Oh, speaking of Boruto: Congoers can buy the first Volume of the Manga in the Dealer’s Room. What makes it a big deal: It doesn’t hit store shelves until May. I asked a friend of mine working one of the booths selling Manga and he told me the dealers apparently received advance shipments of Boruto were given permission to sell them at conventions ahead of the official release. I also bought Volumes 18 through 20 of Attack of Titan and the first four volumes of One Punch Man. I plan to buy the other 6 available volumes on Sunday when they will be discounted further than they currently are at my go-to vendor. Other than that and maybe getting a few more volumes of Persona 3 and Persona 4, I doubt I’ll start any new Manga series this weekend (LOL!).

One other thing before I forget: I got Attack on Titan and Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm for the PS4 yesterday. When I finish the main story of each game, I will post my review of them on this blog since they’re based on Anime.

 

 

I recently registered for Anime Boston 2017; Crunchyroll Subscription extended through May

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Just when I’d made peace with missing Anime Boston this year, I make enough cash to register for AB2017 ^_^

Coming up with the money wasn’t easy. While it is true I am still unemployed I’ve been doing odd jobs for the last few weeks. I made enough money to register for the convention last week. I registered online Monday afternoon. I had a bit of extra motivation to go to AB2017: Johnny Bosch Young will be one of the North American Guests this year.

Johnny Yong Bosch

…Yes, THAT one.

The same JBY who played Adam Park on Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (2nd Black Ranger in MMPR, Green Ranger in Zeo and 1st Green Ranger in Turbo). The same JBY who voiced Ichigo from Bleach, Yukio Okumora from Blue Exorcist, Lelouch vi Britannia from Code Geass and many other Anime and Video Game characters. He’s provided the English vocals to many iconic Anime characters over the last 15 years. Just look him up online for the full list of characters he is credited to.

Moving on, this will also be the first time since my 2nd year attending Anime Boston I will not be a panelist. As I announced last year at Anime Boston, I will be taking a break from running panels this year and probably next year at least.  Having had the privilage of running multiple panels at AB for five straight years, I have a greater appreciation for the work that goes into the convention each year. Believe it or not, my unemployment situation and registering for AB after the panel application deadline were both non-factors. I decided on this a year ago. I plan to just enjoy the convention this year and take my time.

I’m also really looking forward to not having to bring my laptop with me AT ALL this year, too: I bought a bluetooh keyboard for my iPad last week so…yeah. No need to bring my laptop this year! For those who are wondering, aside from the panels I used my laptop for internet use, charging my phone + 3DS (I have 2) + Vita (which I also have 2 of) + my iPad. I bought a portable battery two years ago. Since I commute two and from the con each day, That alone should cover all of my needs. Charging all my toys including the laptop takes at least an hour to 90 minutes. I’d have to find an outlet in the hallways o the Hynes each day to fully charge everything. I’ll have both my portable battery and my JBL Charge with me so I won’t be tethered to a wall ^_^

Last year was the first time I made the effort to watch Anime at AB since I had Crunchyroll Premium at the time. I plan to sample new anime this year, too. It certainly helps the viewing rooms are all Super Air Conditioned =O

Speaking of Crunchyroll…
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…When I got my 3-month sub last Fall, the first thing I did was get started catching up on Anime I started around this time last year. I finished Kuroko’s Basketball, Sailor Moon Crystal, Gate: And so the JSDF Fought, I Couldn’t Be a Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job (yes, that’s the name of an Anime LOL), Maoyu and Dr. Coto’s Clinic. I also got caught up with Naruto Shippuden, Twin Star Exorcists, Dragon Ball Super, Konosuba and Blue Exorcist.

Now that I will be able to enjoy Crunchyroll Premium through the rest of Winter, I can focus on other things. Had I known it was far cheaper to get a 3-month subscription ($20) vs. a 1-month sub ($10), I would have just done that years ago. In comparison, a 3-month WoW sub uis $41. So, yeah the choice was easy when I had to pick one to renew and one to stop. LOL.

When I’m not watching it on my Xbox or PS3, I watch Crunchyroll on my iPad or one of my Vitas on the go. I plan to watch some Anime when I got to pre-registration for AB2017 =O

 

Clannad: The “Holy Grail” of all Visual Novels. And I have drunk from it.

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Seven years, 10 months, 10 weeks and 10 Days to the moment I first watched the Anime on Netflix, I finally got my hands on the original medium where it all began, the Visual Novel in December.

For those who don’t know, a visual novel is basically an interactive audio/visual story. They’ve been around in the U.S. for about 30 years–The Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney games are a textbook example. You simply pick from a series of choices to move the story along. In short, Visual Novels have little to no actual gameplay.

The one thing I noticed about Clannad’s Visual Novel (henceforth VN for short) compared to the Anime version is the VN has more sexual innuendos and is a bit more lewd compared to the Anime. It’s definitelty not as approachable compared to its Anime counterpart for what a western audience might be used to. I also noticed that obviously, scenes that are trunicated or done differently in the Anime version you see more of in the VN. More on this in a bit.

As of this week I have seen the endings for Koumura, Miyazawa, Nagisa, Fuko, Kyou, Kotomi, Ryou, Mei and Sunohara. Like the Anime, those last two are together. If not for the Anime version, I doubt I would have known how to get Fuko, Kotomi and Miyazawa’s routes: You can easily miss all of them early on. Unlike the Anime version, Nagisa is not there for all of the routes: Like their episode on the Anime, she is not present for The Twins’ Route (which locks into one or the other based on certain choices).

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Speaking of the twins: It took me two days to correctly get Kyou’s ending. Although I had the Anime episode as a reference, there was a choice that wasn’t referenced in the Anime that ended up playing a huge role in determining if you got Kyou’s ending or not: A necklace. Buy the first one, Amethyst (Ryou wanted the second one, Tanzite) and accept Kyou’s offer to kiss her.  You should also choose to jump out when you see a certain kissing scene about to happen. Those should lock you into Kyou’s ending. For Ryou’s, pick the Tanzite necklace and turn down Kyou’s offer to kiss her.

You definitely need to befriend Nagisa to get locked into Kotomi, Misae and Fuko’s Routes. Be careful, though: Nagisa is the canon pairing after all. I got Fuko’s ending by agreeing to help her but declining to move into her house while picking all of the Fuko interactions. For Kotomi, you need to avoid meeting Fuko at all and see Kotomi’s first 3 interactions. Upon seeing the third one, you will be on her Route.

I’m struggling a bit more than I expected in getting Misae and Tomoyo’s Routes. In the case of Tomoyo’s I kept ending up going for someone else’s route instead. With Misae’s, I’m trying to figure out how far into Tomoyo and Nagisa’s choices I should go to get Misae’s route as well. I figure Miase’s is similar to Kotomi’s: You could still not get the ending if you don’t pick the right choices along the way.

…According to the credits, The After Story Route IS in the game. Presumably you will need to have seen everyone’s endings first. It is also worth mentioning in the Manga adaptation, the storyline follows the VN’s version of Nagisa’s Route, not the anime version’s. It goes without saying I rate the VN a 10/10. If you loved the anime, you owe it to yourself to play the Visual Novel where it all began. It will give you a deeper appreciation for the cast as well.

Note that the Steam version is $50 but if you consider yourself a fan, it’s well worth the price tag plus you can download it on multiple computers of course. The audio is Japanese while the text is in English. When I did my Clannad panel this year, a lucky member of the audience got to try the VN during the panel. For just about everyone in the audience who watched, it was their first time seeing the VN at all =O

 

Clannad: The Place Where Wished Come True CONFIRMED for AB2016!

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I meant to announce this when I woke up this morning.

Clannad: The Place Where Wishes Come True

Day: Sunday, March 27

Time: 1:00PM to 2:30PM (90 Minutes)

Room: 306

 

It’s a done deal. I will be doing this panel for the 5th and final year in a row. It took 5 years for me to FINALLY do what I wished I could do 4 years ago and have actual gameplay footage during the panel ^_^

I have decided to retire this panel after this year mainly because if I am back for AB2017 next year, I’m taking a break from running panels. That and should I decide to apply to do panels at AB2018, they’ll be 60 minutes max. If my Pokemon Panel is approved, it will be 2 hours long. Having done it last year, I know it will be a marathon and have mentally prepared myself to do it when it is officially approved XD

Clannd though…it’s timeless. I am in the process of finding someone who can record this whole thing like year’s. Even so, it’s probably a better idea to just come see it in person!

Clannad Visual Novel to be released on Steam November 23 [Update 11-21-2015]

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…The hype is real!

I knew it was coming because of the kickstarter program launched last summer. The ambitious project designed to localized Clannad for North America was fully funded within a month’s time with almost $250,000 raised. We now know that will be coming to Steam Monday, November 23–that’s next Monday. The price tag not yet been announced but anyone who considers themselves a Clannad fan will buy it no matter the price =O

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For those who’ve only seen the Anime, the Visual Novel is what it is based on. Unofficial fan translations have long existed but this is the first time the Clannad Visual Novel has been officially released in North America. Although Nagisa is the canon girl Tomoya makes his girlfriend and later his wife the Anime touched on the others: Tomoyo, Kyou, Ryou and to a lesser extent Kotomi. Tomoyo actually got a spinoff Visual Novel titled Tomoyo After where she and Tomoya start living together after High School. Not sure if Tomoyo After will be included but it would be awesome if it is even if it’s as DLC Content.

On a related note, I submitted my application for the Anime Boston panel Clannad: The Place Where Wishes Come True tonight. I am excited though it looks like I will be doing the panel solo this year: All of my copanelists from last year will be at the con though they have made other plans for the weekend. It’s all good. Plans change and I have alot of fun things planned ^_^

 

Update 11/21/2015:

It looks like the price tag will be $50. When news of the game’s price was released, the internet rage was loud and in full force: Gamers and Clannad fans alike are furious the 11 year old Visual Novel is being sold on Steam for $50, which they consider “overpriced”. This despite the fact most console games sell for $50 or $60 on average, contain less content AND have DLC Content.

I think it’s unfortunate the game’s official North American release has been tainted by the “controversy” over its pricing: All of the people complaining about the price are not only not Clannad fans but never contributed to the Kickstarter Campaign. Like I said when I first posted this, if you consider yourself a fan of Clannad and want this VN, you’ll buy it regardless of the cost. That said, I’ve decided to wait until next next month to buy it in case there is a sale. You never know with Steam XD

 

I am now Registered for Anime Boston 2016!

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I registered online a short time ago. It’s now official. I will be at Anime Boston 2016. Aside from that, being a panelist and possibly being unemployed during that time, nothing else is certain for me between now and then. This will be the first time I will be going to the convention without spending money to cover expenses.

I will create a Go Fund Me page sometime next month to collect donations. The goal is to raise $3,000. That would cover 4 days and 3 nights in a nearby hotel (Thursday to Sunday), transportation, meals, prizes for some of my panels and spending money. Said hotel would be within walking distance of the convention, likely the Midtown Hotel or the Sheraton. Anime Boston has become my vacation every year. I tried to get a hotel room the year before but that ended up not working out for various reasons (LOL). I am also looking to secure a hotel room by the end of January ahead of the big rush in February.

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Moving on, I want to repeat the following panel will definitely be back at AB2016:

  • Clannad: The Place Where Wishes Come True (90 Minutes): Pretty obvious. This will be my 6th year doing it and my 4th year doing it with my usual team of Copanelists. Like I said at AB2015. I will keep doing the panel as long as I am physically able and the con allows it. The panel will also be made to match the theme as well.
  • Pokemon: 20 Years Later 2.0 (120 Minutes): Due to technical difficulties I ended up cutting half of what I had planned for the panel. I will be bringing it back as promised. If I get donations, there will definitely be another copy of Pokemon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire being offered as prizes and yes, there will be Pokemon giveaways for those who bring their 3DS Pokemon games.

That’s it for returning panels. They’ll be easy, fun and are guaranteed to pack the room. The following will be new but relate to the convention’s theme:

  • Persona 4: Dancing up a Sweat (45 Minutes): I’ve actually been developing a Physical Education curriculum using select songs from the soundtrack of the video game Persona 4: Dancing All Night. I’ve been developing it for the school where I worked but since I am transitioning out of working in the classroom, I now have more time to modify it for the convention. The whole thing will be about 30 minutes but I will request 45 minutes so that I will have time for Q&A.
  • School Rumble: Past and Present (60 Minutes): I will play the entire Field Day event from the Anime series (Dubbed), which will take up about half of the panel. The of the time will be spent talking about how much the practice of Field Day has chanced over time.
  • Baseball: Made in America, Played in Japan (30 Minutes): America’s favorite past time is Japan’s national sport. I will talk about the history of baseball in Japan and touch on some Anime that feature the sport as well. If things work out, there may have a special presentation.

That’s it so far. I’m not gonna be lazy this time around and focus more on substance and less on style. Like last year, I only expect two, maybe three panels to be slotted. Several panels that made the cut last year had no business being slotted and many panels that should have been slotted were left out.

While yes, I get it Panels and Programming has to balance old and new content, I also think new panelists should be required to provide a sample of what they have planned to give Panels and Programming an idea of weather they want to slot it or not. Don’t think they’d use the idea for the sake of being fair to the process but that’s my 2-cents. Many longtime congoers were disappointed by the number of old favorites that didn’t make the cut this time around. While it’s easy attribute that to there being a new Panels and Programming head, it’s also true some folks couldn’t make the con this year for one reason or another.

I am also planning on looking into getting some musical talent to perform at my Baseball panel. I have two possible sets of talent, one of which is a family member. The other is a high-porfile band from Boston. Not naming said band as I have some things to look into. Plus I don’t want to give folks the wrong idea.

 

Stay tuned.