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

 

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Female Super Saiyan revealed to appear in “Universal Survival” Arc of Dragon Ball Super

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…20 years after Goku went gold for the first time at the end of the Frieza Saga in Dragonball Z, the first FEMALE Super Saiyan is now canon. For those of you who are watching Dragonball Super for the first time on Toonami, you probably only know about what I revealed in my previous blog post about the first two Arcs (Battle of Gods and Resurrection F). I’m going to talk about the Martial Arts Tournament between Universe 6 and 7, which contains major spoilers and takes place after the Resurrection F Arc.

After the events of Resurrection F, Goku and Vegeta are trainining with Whis on Beerus’ planet. While there they meet Beerus’ brother Champa, who is the God of Destruction for Universe 6, which is paired with Universe 7. There are 12 Universes and each are paired so that that sum of both numbers combined is 13 (1 and 12, 2 and 11 and so on).

Beerus and Champa don’t exactly get along. Since they’re both Gods of Destruction, if they were to actually fight both of their universes would be destroyed. That’s when Goku proposes Universes 6 and 7 have a martial arts tournament. The prize: The planet-sized Super Dragon Balls.Beerus used the wish to restore Universe 6’s Earth, which no longer existed. Had Universe 7 lost, Universe 7’s Earth would go to Universe 6.

Here is a picture of Universe 6’s team:

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Botamo, Frost, Hit, Cabba and Magetta of Universe 6.

 

Now here’s another picture of the so far unnamed Female Super Saiyan from Team 6:

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Thanks to this still, we know for sure she’s definitely from Universe 6: The male Saiyan Cabba goes Super Saiyan for the first time during the tournament while fighting Vegeta (which his help, actually). Frost, who is the same race as Frieza is revealed to be as bad as his Universe 6 equivalent after he cheated during the tournament. The Female Saiyan is presumably his replacement. She bears a striking resumblance to the non-canon Broly while transformed, who also has the same green-yellow aura. She is presumably Universe 6’s most powerful Saiyan. We’ll find out for sure when the Universal Survival Arc begins.

Speaking of: After the Future Trunks Arc, Goku hired Hit, who is the deadliest Assassin across all 12 Universes to kill him. He did it so Hit can fight him at full power (Hit wasn’t allowed to kill during the previous tournament). Presumably, the contract will be on hold during the tournament. As was revealed when they fought on Earth, Hit is alot more powerful than he let on during their previous battle.

Dragonball Super coming to Toonami

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If you are a fan of Dragonball and Dragonball Z, you’ve probably already seen DBS subbed. The English dub is coming to Toonami on New Year’s. I just finished watching the first 50 Episodes of Dragonball Super on Crunchyroll. If you’ve seen Dragoball Z: Battle of Gods and Dragonball Z: Resurrection F (both released in 2015), you can skip the first 27 episodes if you want: The first 27 episodes are basically an extended version of both movies.

Yeah, there’s exrtra scenes and dialogue but if you’ve already seen both movies, you know the plot of the first two arcs already. The only difference is in Battle of Gods Bulma’s party is at Capsule Corp. In DBS it’s on a cruise ship. The other difference is when Frieza blows up Earth, in the movie there is no cutout to the others as the planet blows up.

For those who don’t know, Dragonball Super is a whole new series that takes place after DBZ’s Buu Saga. It takes place in the span between Buu being defeated and Goku meeting Uub. The series’ legendary creator and artist Akira Toriyama is the one who made Dragonball Super. If you already saw the two movies and don’t want to see their retelling, watch starting with episode 28 on Crunchyroll.

One thing I will give credit to DBS for so far is folks other than Goku are getting plot development:

  • After having saved the world from Majin Buu, Goku becomes a Radish Farmer (LOL!). Being a Saiyan, obviously he’d rather train than work but he IS married to Chi Chi.
  • Bulma plays a bigger role in the first two arcs and becomes fast friends with Whis and Beerus, which comes in handy when Frieza is rezzed. She plays a big role as Vegeta’s wife during the Champa Arc and the Black Goku Arc from what I’m seeing so far.
  • Piccolo takes another bullet for Gohan from Frieza, who hadn’t trailed since he married Videl. Seeing Piccolo die in front of him and then seeing the planet blow up inspires Gohan to start training again.
  • Goku and Mr. Satan (Hercule) have an unwritten rule of having Mr. Satan take the credit when Goku saves the world.
  • Vegeta gets ALOT of plot development going into Champa’s Arc. Fair warning: He will feel out of character compared to how he is throughout DBZ, especially around Goku and Bulma. In fact…actually, it’s better you find out for yourself!
  • By the way, Goku and Vegeta both gain a new form called Super Saiyan Blue. Goku becomes a Super Saiyan God (SSG) in Battle of Gods/Beerus Arc. Goku and Vegeta train with Whis and reach a level beyond SSG. That is SSB.
  • Despite being a baby, Pan shows off the ability to fly and even has superhuman strength.
  • Goku meets someone even Beerus fears at the end of the Champa Arc. The two hit it off and become besties.

By the way, the series is called Dragonall Super because of the planet-sized Dragon Balls introduced in the Champa Arc. Unlike Earth and Namek’s, the Super Dragon Balls have the power to grant any wish. That’s what Team Beerus is fighting for. If Team Champa wins, Champa gets Earth.

…Assuming the series airs from the beginning and only airs one episode a week, the U.S. won’t get to the Champa Arc until next September (A year has 52 weeks). If it’s two episodes a week–I think they will should that to quickly get through the Beerus and Freiza Arcs anyway–then we could get to the Champa Arc in May or June. I factored breaks for marathons and movies into both estimates. That’s also assuming the Anime has been dubbed up to that point.

Dragonball Super’s 72nd Episode just aired in Japan and on Crunchyroll last week. You can watch it with English subs on Crunchyroll like I am free of charge (no ads and in HD with a premium subscription).

Dragonball Super premieres January 7 at Midnight on Toonami. It is also the premiere of Dragonball Z Kai: The Final Saga, which covers the Underworld Tournament, Saiyaman, Babidi and Buu Sagas of DBZ. The final arc never aired in the U.S. before so…yeah.

 

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Best Romance, Best Romantic Scene and Best Couple of 2016!

Feliz Navidad!

It’s the holidays so you’ve got another set of award winners to look forward to ^_^

 

Best Romance: White Album

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Not gonna lie, I had to cheat to find the winner for this category. I also found out White Album was originally a Visual Novel and was apparently ported to the PS3 a while back. Anywho, I recently started watching White Album earlier this month. It’s a rustic, feel-good Anime set in the 1980s. This is the main reason I gave Best Romance to White Album is because of its potential. I’m actually still watching it on that note.

…This Concludes Best Romance of 2016. On to the next category:

Best Romantic Scene: Sailor Uranus kisses Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon Crystal)

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…It’s still considered one of the most controversial moments in Anime history 30 years later. Not just in the U.S. but in Japan at the time, too. Those who watched the original Sailor Moon dub 20 years ago will recall Haruka and Michuru referred to their relationship as “cousins”. They did that because of this moment. You literally have two girls sharing a passionate kiss. No way would the U.S. have been able to air the scene without that preface in advance (even though they did, they cut away so you don’t see this frame in the original dub).

That aside, Sailor Uranas is in short Bisexual. She maintains the appearance of a boy in public but is in fact a girl. Sailor Moon Crystal doesn’t dance around this subject. Michuru explains Haruka has both male and female characteristics. Haruka herself has no interest in going along with gender roles or assignments and loves both boys and girls. All that said, that is why this won Best Romantic Scene 2016.

…This concludes Best Romantic Scene of 2016. On to the next category:

Best Couple: Shimon and Mayura (Twin Star Exorcists)

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Ah, the plot thickens. With so much going on in the current arc, kudos to the studio for not forgetting about Mayura. Originally, Mayora had feelings for Rokuro early on in the series. When Rokuro and Benio started getting close, Mayura knew she lost to Benio. Fortunately, there was another guy who happened to be available to pair with her: Shimon, one of the tweleve guardians. Hilarity ensues when Seigen picks up on how suddenly close Shimon and his daughter have become.

…Goes without saying Rokuro and Benio were the other couple I was considering but for the sake of being consistent, I decided not to put a runner up for any of these three categories. LOL. Don’t worry, they were considered for other categories.

This concludes Best Couple of 2016. On to the next category!

Next Up: Best Drama, Best Comedy, Best Anime Short and Best Team!

 

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Best Opening, Fight Scene and Weird Characters of 2016!

…We’re gonna kick this bad boy off with a BANG.

Best Opening: Twin Star Exorcists (Third Opening)

 

The song is titled Sync and is by the group LOL.

Combined with the animated footage, it sets the tone for the plot of the third arc of the Anime (which I won’t spoil here). It’s a nice fusion of pop and hip hop. The anime itself premiered earlier this year as well. You can watch it on Crunchyroll (still in progress).

Runner Up: One Punch Man

 

The Song is The Hero !! by The JAM Project

I know what you’re probably thinking: “How in the holy hell did Saitama NOT win this category?!”

The truth is this was in the running for Best AMV AND best Fight Sequence in addition to Best OP. I decided to give all three categories to others but I did want to give OPM some love off the bat. Besides, you WILL see Saitama mentioned for sure in at least one other category ^_^

…This concludes Best OP 2016. On to the next category:

 

Best Fight Scene: Hisoka vs. Kastro (Hunter x Hunter)
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I recently watched the 2-episode fight as it aired on Toonami. Without spoiling the outcome, Hisoka breaks down what happened after the fight while being treated for the injuries he sustained in the fight. I chose this fight as this year’s winner simply because of the buildup, how it ended and the explaination afterward.

I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll leave it at that.

Runner-Up: Naruto and Sasuke’s Final Fight (Naruto Shippuden)

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…If we didn’t already know the outcome thanks to Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 and The Last: Naruto The Movie this would have won Best Fight Scene 2016. The problem, of course is we already knew the fight was going to happen and it was going to end in a tie. Based on that, it didn’t feel right to award them Best Fight even though everything else was done right. The problem is even non-Naruto fans knew this was going to happen. LOL.

For those who don’t know, Sasuke challenges Naruto to one final battle after they seal away Kagura. The battle, which spans several episodes ends in a draw with Naruto and Sasuke losing an arm each (Tsunade uses the cells of the 1st Hokage to grow a new arm for both of them later).

…This concludes Best Fight Scenes of 2016. On to the next category:

Best Male Weird Character: Augus Mikazuki (Moble Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans)

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…While it goes without saying Mikazuki is one cool dude, he’s also a lose cannon. He’s got a 2-track mind: Fighting and Orga though he is working on socializing a bit more. He doesn’t hold much of an interest in anything outside those two areas. It’s very….WEIRD for the lead protagonist. That’s the best way I can think of putting it. LOL.

Runner Up: Tetsuya Kuroko (Kuroko’s Basketball)

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…Those who read my review of the anime knows I watched the whole series earlier this year. Kuroko’s quite the interesting basketball player. He uses his lack of presence to become invisible on the court. He’s become so good at it, he can literally hide in plain sight. LOL.

The main reason I did not give Kuroko the win in this category is because he will be mentioned in at least one other category.

 

Best Female Weird Character: Chidori (Ninja Girl and Samurai Master)

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The Anime is 5 minutes per episode yet there’s alot going on in each one. The anime is a satirical version of Nobunaga’s campaign. The story focuses on Chidori, a child ninja and her dedication to serving her naster, Nobunaga Oda. Chidori is very skilled despire her young age but she’s simple-minded and clueless outside that. This makes for some interesting interactions with basically everyone.

Runner Up: Maoyu (Maoyu)
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…For those who are wondering, he’s pointing at the fake horns she’s holding.Maoyu (Japanese for Demon King) almost won this category but didn’t because there is a method to her madness. Everything about her from the opening episode leaves you baffled. She clearly has both the skills and the willingness to advnacne human civilization in the name of peace. Despite being labeled the eneny of humanity, it turns out she doesn’t hate humans after all. In fact, she wants to champion peace between humans and demons. LOL.

 

…This concludes Best Weird Character 2016!

Next up: Best Romance, Best Romantic Scene and Best Couple!

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Aurabolt’s Best of Anime Picks 2016

I’ve done this with video games for the last few years so now I’ve decided to do it with Anime. I will be using some of the categories Crunchyroll is using for their Anime Awards.

Before I continue, here are the rules that I used when I put this together:

  1. Anime from Crunchyroll, Toonami or Anime I purchased (digital or physical) are eligable.
  2. Anime still in progress (last episode has not aired) is not eligable for Anime of the Year.
  3. Anime I saw at any time in 2016 is eligable for all categories even if it was originally released or started airing prior to 2016.
  4. Both Dubs and Subs are eligable for ALL categories.

…That’s it.

I took a look at Crunchyroll’s picks. I was bothered by the overlap even though I knew they were all basically industry picks. Their picks leave out other noteworthy anime from even being mentioned. It’s the same 4 to 5 Anime in every category.

REALLY? Not cool, man.

Yes, I am criticizing this year’s picks. If THAT’S the “best” CR can come up with this year, they’re even further out of touch with viewers than I’ve been hearing. Yeah, I get it’s just marketing but WAY more anime than the same 4 to 5 were released this year.

Here are the categories I decided to go with in no particular order:

  • Best Anime: Overall best Anime of 2016.
  • Best Action: Overall best Action Anime of 2016.
  • Best Romance: Overall best Romance Anime of 2016.
  • Best Drama: Overall best Drama Anime of 2016.
  • Best Comedy: Overall best Comedy Anime of 2016.
  • Best Fight Scene: Overall Best Fight Sequence.
  • Best Romantic Scene: Overall best PG-13 romantic sequence.
  • Best Tear-Jerker: Best “Bring a Box of Tissue” sequence.
  • Best Plot Twist: Best “Didn’t See That Coming” moment of 2016.
  • Best Hero: Overall Best Hero/Protagonist.
  • Best Villain: Overall Best Villain/Protagonist.
  • Best Weird Character (2): Because Wierd is good. LOL. A Male and Female character will get this.
  • Best Duo: Best overall non-romantic pair.
  • Best Couple: Best romantic pair.
  • Best Team: Best group of 3 or more.
  • Best Opening
  • Best Closing
  • Best English VA (2): Because dubs deserve love. A Male and Female VA will get this.
  • Best Anime Short: Overall Best Anime with a runtime of 14 minutes or less.
  • Best AMV: Overall Best Music Video with Anime footage.
  • Best Cosplay: Overall best Cosplay from an actual person.

…Those are the categories.

Over the course of next week, I will reveal the winners of each category as well as name the runners-up for most of them, too. I’m saving Best Anime, Best AMV and Best Closing for last.  I will try to reveal all of the winners by January 1 but am fine with going into the following week if need be.

The first categories will be revealed tomorrow evening!

Review: GATE: And So, the Defense Force Fought (Anime Version)

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Worlds collide in the Anime adaptation of GATE: And So, The Defense Force Fought (GATE for short). Originally a Manga, Gate was made into an anime last year. The series’ second season wrapped up earlier this year on Crunchyroll. Yours truly binge-watched all of both seasons in about a week’s time. After watching the first episode, I knew I wanted to see the rest of the series. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t a 13-episode series like so many other Anime on Crunchyroll with the potential to be a longer series. From what I’ve heard from others, a Season 3 may be in the works (!).

Have you ever wondered what would happen if say, The Roman Empire’s Military fought the United States’ Military? PFFT! Of course not! The praetorians would get wiped out before they could get a good look at our infantry! Obviously, the Roman Empire would have no chance against 21st-century warfare. They’d be so laughably outclassed in EVERY way you couldn’t call it a “battle”, let alone a “war”. That’s just main plot of Gate in a nutshell. Yet it surprisingly works.

In the year 20XX (clearly present-day), a Gate connecting to another world suddenly opens in Ginza in Tokyo, Japan. A medieval army with knights, monsters and wyverns emerges from the gate and starts killing people. The JSDF (Japanese Special Defense Force) mobilizes and repels the mysterious invaders. In a bid to learn about the enemy force that emerged from the Gate, the Japanese Government sends the JSDF through the gate to the world of Falmart, which is prettymuch a Fantasy version of the 7th century–with Magic, Monsters, Dragons, Elves and so on–and thr home of the Empire, the enemy army that invaded Japan.

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The JSDF establishes a base at Alnus Hill where the Gate appeared on Falmart. The Empire sends its armies to Alnus Hill but as you can probably guess, they’re wiped out before they can even reach the JSDF’s defenses. LOL. Much of the story focuses on Second Lieutenant Youji Itami, who happened to be present during the attack on Ginza. Put in Charge of Recon Team 3, Itami’s Unit ventures deep into enemy territory with a 3-car convoy. He meets the Mage Lelei, the Demigo Rory and the Forest Elf Tuka on his travels and even encounters a Fire Dragon, which his unit describes as “A Flying Tank”.

Itami is forced to fight the Fire Dragon head-on in the second season to help Tuka accept the death of her father, who died protecting her when the Fire Dragon attacked their village. In the first season, a mutual interest brings the JSDF and the Empire’s Princess Pina Co Lada (pun clearly intended, LOL!) to the town of Italica. The two armies put their differences aside to defend the town from an army of bandit soldiers. The JSDF sends air support that easily lays waste to the bandit army.

After bearing witness to the overwhelming power of 21st century warfare up close and later visiting Japan, Pina realizes the futility in fighting the JSDF and works with the Imperial Senate to seek peace with Japan. The Emperor reluctantly agrees to allow peace talks with Japan but then things get complicated when the crown prince, Zorzal seizes control of the Empire and consolidates power. The JSDF is pulled into the power struggle when the pro-peace faction turns to them for help.

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The second season ends with the JSDF successsfully pulling off a daring rescue mission to save Pina from Zorzal along with the Emperor, who’d been poisoned. The Emperor then names Pina his successor and Empress. The first order of business: Taking care of Zorzal and uniting the Empire, which shouldn’t be too hard with the JSDF on her side!

It goes without saying the JSDF could have easily wiped out the Empire from the beginning but our view of politics and the 7th century’s view of politics are different. Sure, the JSDF understand their point of view and way of life but there was more to be gained by not repeating certain mistakes from human history (aka just wiping out the Empire, which they could’ve done a few times over without trying.

Plus. the concept in and of itself is pretty facinating. The idea has been done before but not to this extent. I feel like GATE is more groundbreaking than most even realize yet. It is for that reason I give GATE: And So, the Defense Force Fought a 10/10. There are certainly more than enough lose ends to warrant a Season 3 of the Anime. The Civil War’s the big one. In addition to that there’s also the unfinished business with Roroy’s sister. There’s also more of Falmart we’ve yet to even see.

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…Like I did with Attack on Titan, I plan to read the Manga where the Anime left off. If you wanna watch the Anime, it’s on Crunchyroll.

I also plan to write some Fan Fiction based on it. That goes without saying ^_^

Shortly after I posted this, I stumbled upon some websites that were talking about the political subtext and the overt pro-JSDF propaganda embedded in this series. In short, GATE is a controversal Anime in Japan and by extension (South) Korea. I’ll speak more to this and a few other Anime controversial in Japan in a separate post.

 

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