ACEN: Days 2&3

A night of poor sleep and breakfast (tip: bring as much of your own food as possible. You will save money which is a good thing at a con) we headed out to see a panel.

The first panel of the day was of interest to me: “Parents Guide to Anime”.  This panel was presented by Mr. David Rothman who is author of a book of the same name as the panel. He was a knowledgeable presenter who guide d the audience through a background in anime, it’s influences that western (American audiences) may find objectionable, and how to screen for things as a parent. He had a scholarly approach, but it was also very evident that he is a fan as well. It was an enjoyable and interesting panel. I had spoken to him the day before and I will be reviewing his book at a later date.


After that it was time to wander and go to the merchandise room.

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Of course there were cosplayers of all sorts.

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Like from Devil is a Part-Timer.

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Dragons from  Yona of the Dawn.

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Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.

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Eruka and Blair from Soul Eater.

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And of course Soul and Maka.

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Mayoi Hachikuji from Bakemonogatari.

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No convention would be complete with out Deadpools.

My younger son and I decided we were going to go out for lunch at Mitsuwa Market, but on our way back to the hotel to get the car we did see these guys.


Mitsuwa Market is a Japanese supermarket chain that have a few locations throughout the USA. Each features a food court with several restaurants featuring Japanese foods.

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We had planned on going there for their ever popular ramen, but decided on something different. We instead opted to go to the place serving rice bowls. My son got Katsudon and I opted for the garlic pork rice bowl. The wait was long…very long…probably 1 1/2 hours to order and get our food. It was good though. Very tasty!

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And for desert from Releaf: Chocolate for him and a Matcha Parfait for me.


After the long break we returned to the con to see The Funimation Industry panel followed by the Noragami dub premiere with a voice actor panel after featuring Micah Solusod, Bryn Apprill, and Alexis Tipton. It was a good dub and the voice actors were amusing.

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We encountered a few characters before and after our panels of course.

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Edward Elric from Full Metal Alchemist.

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These two from Kancolle (I did not envy them trying to maneuver through the crowds).

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La Muerte from Book of Life.

It was a long day and we headed back to the hotel to get some rest before a short day at the con on Sunday and a long drive home.

Sunday we hit the merch room one last time, watched part of a Anime Tearjerker panel and saw the Samurai Dan panel/ performance. If you get a chance: go see Samurai Dan and Jillian, they are a lot of fun.

We checked out of the hotel and headed home. Tired, but happy with a really enjoyable weekend.

I could put another picture up…

I have a few more…

maybe just one…


Why not Zoidberg?


ACEN 2015: Day 1

What  a long and entertaining weekend it has been.

This was my first trip to Anime Central, the largest and longest running (I believe) anime convention in the Midwest United States. It is held in Chicago at The Hyatt Regency O’hare and Donald Stephens Convention Center. It runs Friday- Sunday and attracts somewhere around 30,000 attendees. Guests this year included Scandal (band from Japan), fashion designers Akira and Mika Takeuchi, various DJs from Japan who performed at the raves, and American voice actors: Cherami Leigh, Micah Solusod, and Bryn Apprill. This is just a sampling: there were many more.

I took my boys and one of their friends down to the convention. This was our first year going. We headed out early and arrived at the convention by 10am. My younger son and I wandered one direction, the other two went off on their own.

We first watched the opening ceremonies where all the guests were introduced.

After that we went to watch the “One Hour Gundam Rant”panel and the left part way through for the “Meet Cherami Leigh” panel. That was a fun time, she was an entertaining, engaging, and friendly guest. She voices”Asuna”in Sword Art Online, “Lucy” in Fairy Tail, “Lizzie” in Black Butler, “Patty” in Soul Eater, and (the pressing reason for my son) “Natsumi” from Sgt Frog.

He even got a picture with her, along with the autograph on his head piece. She loved it!


After that we headed to the merch room and saw the dizzying array of vendors and artists who were there selling everything anime related.

On our way we ran into a few things…


Like a roaming pack of Skelators.


A yuri bear (Yuri Kuma Arashi) and her super hero friend.

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Koro- Sensei from Assassination Classroom.

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Nudist Beach and Ryuko from Kill La Kill.

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And Elizabeth from Gintama.

After that we took a break back at the hotel room for a bit (which the two older ones had decided to do as well).

My younger son then decided he wanted to get in some “Magic The Gathering” card playing time, so we wandered down to the game room.


He played a sound tech who had some down time and got beaten both times, but to be fair the guy had a really good deck.

While he was playing I spotted a cosplayer from Kancolle across the hall.

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Turned out to be a cross player, but that is to be expected at cons.

After that everyone was pretty tired. We ordered a deep dish pizza from Giordanos, had dinner and called it a day.

Oh…I cosplayed too. Who?

Steins Gate’s “Mr. Braun” of course…


Well…If he had less muscles and was a ginger…

Day 2 coming soon.

Watching Steins Gate With My Son: Episode 2

AKA: The “but he’s a guy.” episode.

We got to episode 2 sooner than I had expected. I am in the middle of moving and so I didn’t think this was going to be an option for a couple of weeks.

However, the move went fast and my couch and t.v. was already set up so my boys both decided that they wanted to spend the night. After watching episode 4 of the new Nisekoi season I popped on the blu ray of Steins Gate. First, I have to say: I watched Steins Gate the first time through Hulu on my Kindle Fire which was fine, but watching it on a big screen with a blu ray= Awesome!

This episode Okabe has found that Makise is not dead and goes to her lecture at the university. Her lecture establishes a couple of things well: She is smart, smarter than Okabe, she is a bit of a smart ass, and that Okabe doesn’t like having his delusions challenged.


Episode 2 also serves as a vehicle to introduce most all of the other characters. Yuugo Tennouji , owner of the CRT repair shop and Okabe’s landlord, was already introduced in episode 1. He, Yuugo,goes on to hire 18 year old, Suzuha Amane as a part time worker in the repair shop. Okabe runs into Moeka Kiryu on the street after she takes a photo of him with her phone. Okabe also goes to visit Mayuri at her part time job at the maid cafe and we are introduced to Faris Nyannyan (Rumiho Akiha) who is part owner and the most popular maid there (who is very good at indulging Okabe’s delusions). And lastly we are introduced to Ruka Urushibara, a friend of Mayuri’s that generates this wonderful scene:

This might be the only thing people would find objectionable in this episode, but even that is pushing it.

Overall the episode went over well and I didn’t cringe at any moments. The draw back to watching with both boys is the inevitable sibling rivalry and personality differences that crop up. My younger son has a habit of interjecting what he thinks is going to happen next. While I tell him to just watch, his brother is not as patient yelling:”Shut up! No one wants to hear your commentary!” ….Brothers.

Until next time: El Psy Congroo!



Nyan, nyan, nyan….


Watching Steins Gate With My Son: Episode 1


This is my new experiment. I decided I will see how it goes to watch Steins Gate with my 11 year old son.

I tried to remember how much violence, blood, nudity or adult themes it had and came to the conclusion (perhaps wrongly) that he could handle it. Yes, it does have several deaths (or a death several times), a few off color jokes, and some high concepts. Nevertheless, I decided to go forward with the experiment.

He hung out with me before bed and we watched the first episode on my kindle  laying in bed. He was pretty excited to do this knowing that Steins Gate is a favorite of mine and that I am planning on cosplaying as Yuugo Tennouji (aka Mr. Braun) later this month for Anime Central (albeit a much more ginger bearded Mr Braun). So this was quality father/ son bonding time.

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Overall, episode 1 went well. There is what is probably the bloodiest scene of the series with the dead body of Makise Kurisu.


And then there is the floppy banana scene….

Now this scene isn’t inherently horrible for him to see, it’s just I know what will follow. So I say to him: “be cool about this and don’t go repeating this all over the place”. He didn’t do that, but he did go down the hall after the episode to his older brother saying: “What that guy said in episode 1 was just wrong! Remember? It was so wrong!” *facepalm*


A couple things that struck me in the re-watch. How Okabe’s bravado  and conspiracy delusions masks his general social awkwardness was one thing. The other was  his caring nature, especially towards Mayuri. He even gave her the metal oopa (he didn’t know how much it was worth however).

So, first episode: Not bad. Blood. Questionable banana phrase. Not too much harm done.

I am in the middle of a move, so I’ll see when I can watch with him again.

Have a good week.