Oh My God! It’s Too Cute!!!

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Ore Monogatari

Ore Monogatari (My Love Story), which is currently airing, has been the biggest surprise show of the spring season for me. In short: It is too cute for words! Now I am not normally one who seeks out, or gets excited about, cute shows/ things  but this show has won me over. It is a sweet love story that has characters with more depth than I initially expected, and it’s funny.

I love this this show and so do my boys. Right before we went to Anime Midwest I had the boys and their cousin and my older son’s best friend over. They all sat down to watch Ore Monogatari. I was shocked as my older son’s friend loves this show! She is a “Left For Dead”, black wearing, zombie loving, teenage girl: but she loves how cute Ore Monogatari is. Consider me dumbfounded.

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The story follows Takeo Gouda, a first year student in high school. Takeo is a big guy. I mean, huge. He is an athlete who is admired by other males for being a cool, strong, athletic, nice guy. Takeo is not popular with girls. He is a bit awkward. He stares, invades people’s space, and is not the “bishonen” (pretty boy) type (which his best friend, Suna is).

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One day on the train with his friend, Makoto Sunakawa (Suna), they spot a girl being groped by a stranger. Takeo stops the sexual assault and apprehends the perpetrator. The girl, Rinko Yamato (who is a student at a nearby girl’s school), is grateful for Takeo’s help. Yamato later finds where Takeo lives to bring him a cake that she made as thanks.

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Takeo really likes the cake.

And from there “My Love Story” begins.

Of course the love story is about Takeo and Yamato. And that is what sets the show apart. My older son was pointing out that it was refreshing to see someone who is the comic relief (and normally would be a supporting character) be the main love interest.

The love story between Takeo and Yamato is deeply sweet. It is slow in it’s development, it is sweet and genuine. The two adore each other and are self conscious about it which makes the show all the more enjoyable.

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Takeo is very traditional, conservative, and slow to act. He cares about her deeply and finds her very cute. He wants to make sure he acts honorable towards Yamato and treats her with respect. He is head over heels for her.

Yamato finds Takeo to be the coolest person ever. She wants to hold his hand, she bakes for him, wants to spend time with him, and watches everything Takeo does through rose colored glasses.

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This is how Yamato looks at Takeo.

Another aspect of the show that I enjoy is the friendship between Suna and Takeo. It is not glossed over. It is treated with respect. Suna is, unlike Takeo, popular with the girls. He is a pretty boy and girls swoon over him and want to date him. The thing is, Suna doesn’t want to date any of them. He has seen too many girls over time talking crap about Takeo behind his back and he doesn’t accept this: he is a loyal friend. Since they lived next to each other and their mothers were friends, Suna and Takeo grew up together. Their childhood friendship is shown at several points in the show.

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Attention Parents: Watch this show. There is no cursing, fan service, or difficult themes. In fact there are a few things are that are worthwhile lessons: Loyalty in friendship, respectful treatment of others, love that is sweet, the value of hard work, and to be yourself.

I can’t recommend this show enough. It is too damn cute! It is cute. It is funny. Give it a watch.

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Until next time…and don’t trip.

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A Couple of Sunshine Award Nominations!!

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I recently got two nominations for the Sunshine Award by Shay ( Anime Reviewer Girl) and Matthew  ( Matt-in-the-Hat). Thank you both very much, I really appreciate the kind thought of nominating my blog)

THE RULES:

If you have been nominated for The Sunshine Award and you choose to accept it, write a blog post about the Sunshine Award in which you:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.

2. Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate a few other bloggers.

4. Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you nominated.

5. Notify the bloggers on their blog.

6. Put the award button on your blog.

Matthew’s Questions

1. Which do you prefer better: Reading the manga first and then watching the anime, or do you watch the anime and then read the manga?

-I don’t really read much manga. However, I would probably want to watch the anime before reading the manga (I usually prefer to see a movie before I read the book).

2. Which anime series did you really dislike?

-None that I can think of…I didn’t care for how the second half of Guilty Crown ended up.

3. If you could spend one day with a voice actor, who would like to meet?

– That is hard to say…I have met a few American voice actors in passing at conventions and many of them seem to be really nice people. After speaking a little with Greg Ayres I can say he seems to be a really good person who cares about the fans and the anime fan community.

Shay’s Questions

1. Is there an anime you wish didn’t exist?

Not that I can think of since they are works of fiction…

2. What anime character do you think would be your rival?

None? Anyone too serious for their own good I would guess.

3. If you could have any superpower what would it be?

To sparkle in the most manly way possible like Major Alex Louis Armstrong.

4. What is your favorite movie?

That’s hard… Highlander, Better Off Dead, Big Trouble in Little China, and UHF are all up there. Anime movies: Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke.

5. Dub or Sub?

Depends on which I start watching first. I am not strictly in one camp or the other.

6. Read or write?

Read

7. Who is your current anime crush?

None really, but I creep out my boys for fun by saying Kongou (Kancolle) is my waifu.

8. What is your favorite Dessert?

I have really been enjoying matcha mochi ice cream lately.

My Questions

1. Why did you start to watch anime?

2. What keeps you watching?

3. What else do you do to keep yourself happy, healthy, sane?

Nominations

 Many of you have been nominated lately and so I won’t be offended if you don’t answer.

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Arria Cross

The Otaku Judge

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Anime Midwest 2015: 3 Teens, 1 Pre-teen, and a Tired Dad

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Anime Midwest has come and gone. I am tired, but really happy. It was a blast and is my favorite Con so far. I packed up my two sons, their cousin, and my older son’s friend (my best friend’s daughter) and headed out early for Chicago. A nice option from the con: this year they started mailing badges for pre-registered attendees. However, I forgot to click the box for my boys to get their badges mailed so we had to pick theirs up at the con. Since we got there early, there was no line: no problem. We checked into the Hyatt Regency O’hare, got our badges, and brought all our stuff in to get ready for the con. The first panels, merch room, and other events began at 12 noon. My younger son and I went to see the opening ceremonies and the teens went their own way. It was a packed weekend and I had a hard time figuring out how to divide it all up to explain it, so here I go.

Panels and Guests

  As I said earlier, the first panel that we attended was the opening ceremonies. This is where the convention staff do a little intro and introduce the many guests in attendance. It was running a little behind so we did not see the entire thing.

 We left to see the “Meet Billy West” panel. Billy West is the voice actor known for Futurama (playing Phillip J. Fry, Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, Dr. John Zoidberg, and Zapp Brannigan), Ren and Stimpy, and a host of other roles. A great speaker and seemed to be a genuinely humble guy who really enjoyed talking with the audience. If you ever have the chance, go and see him.

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 We also caught the tail end of “Meet David Matangra”. He has a much larger catalog of anime credits than I was aware of but some of his more notable roles are: Bertolt on Attack on Titan, Daichi on Say I Love You, and Tomoya in Clannad. We only were able to hear about the last 10 minutes of his panel where he was talking about theater and some upcoming work he was doing. One thing you find is that a lot of the American voice actors have a background in theater.

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 Most of the other panels we caught were on Saturday.

 We started off with “Reviewing 101”. This was an interesting panel, but more focused on  You Tube style reviews. It was put on by a person who was a My Little Pony reviewer (among other things). It was informative anyways and a good slow way to start out the day.

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 We also caught part of the “Meet Caitlynn French” panel. I found out from that she has serious nerd cred being not only a anime fan, but a video game player, and table top gamer. She was recently announced as the voice for Shiro in No Game No Life (which she was very excited about). My son’s main reason for wanting to meet her was for her roles in AKB0048 (Suzuko) and Girls und Panzer (Hana). She is also a pre-school teacher in her non-voice acting life. My son spoke to her briefly after the panel and she was very cool to him.

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 The highlight panels for me on Saturday were the Greg Ayres panels: “Why “Your Fandom Sucks” and “It Gets Better- Anime Con Edition”.

   “Why Your Fandom Sucks” is a panel on how fans can go off the rails, take their fandom a little too seriously, and how this can ruin things for others. Greg told horror stories of where fans did dumb things, outrageous things, and sometimes downright hurtful things all kind of tied to their various fandoms. It is a panel well worth attending if you have a chance. Greg is a good storyteller and the over-arching message of the panel is a good one: Be a good fan, don’t be a jerk, make a supportive community of fans, and that as long as you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else there is not really a “wrong way” to be a fan. As a parent I can get behind this kind of message and find it to be important.

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 “It Gets Better- Anime Con Edition” is based off the “It Gets Better” project which was started in response to a series to teen suicides where kids were being bullied for being (or perceived as being) gay. Greg hosts this panel to talk about bullying of LGBT teens and bullying in the fan community as well. Being the parent of an openly gay teen, this is another panel I truly appreciate.

  The only other panel attended that weekend by my younger son and I was the “Boxers or Briefs- Multi Guest Q&A” on Sunday morning. This was a rapid fire Q & A panel where any silly question was asked. Many of the guests were recovering from heavy partying the night before and it got pretty raunchy. Oh well…I knew there would be some questionable parenting moments at the con. I have come to accept this will happen.. he did find the repeated answer of “three dicks” to be hilarious (best in context I guess) as any 11 year old would. Guests : John Swasey, Caitlynn French, Greg Ayres, Chris Rager, David Matranga, Joel McDonald, Chuck Huber, Sonny Strait, Spike Spencer, Chris Cason, Blake Shepard, DC Douglas, and Eric Stuart.

 There were many other panels I would have loved to seen, but only so much time in a weekend to see it all.

Concerts

 Anime Midwest really shined in the amount of musical guests they have…really quite a great line up of acts. I saw more than I planned on seeing (which was great) and wish I would’ve seen more.

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 We wandered on this performance on the mini stage off of the Con Sweet ( a place for con-goers to get free rice, ramen, and soda). The duo does songs inspired by anime and video games. They had a lively acoustic set which was pretty enjoyable.

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Brentalfloss

 A comedian and musician who has a popular You Tube channel where he does video game music “With Lyrics” put on an entertaining performance. We ended up in this show thinking we were coming to the end of the Mega Ran and K-Murdock concert so we could be early for Steam Powered Giraffe, but everything was behind schedule so we saw most of Brentalfloss’s set. He was very fun and my son liked the “Mad Libs” song he did (a largely inappropriate version of “Let it Go”).

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Mega Ran and K-Murdock

 After Brentalfloss these guys came out and..damn! I am thrilled I got to see them! I had no prior experience with Mega Ran, but he was awesome live. He is considered to be the best known video-game influenced musical artist out there and is licensed by CAPCOM as their official rap/ hip hop artist. They ended their set with YT Cracker coming up on stage with them: it was awesome! I have gotten a couple of his recordings since the con and really like his stuff. Check him out!

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Steam Powered Giraffe

 We saw them last year and had to go see them  again. The steam punk inspired robots putting on their show that is both music and comedic performance. They put on an excellent, entertaining show and are well worth a watch. My boys and myself were all looking forward to seeing them again.

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Raves

 There were Rave dances on both Friday and Saturday nights. The teens attended the rave on Saturday until around 1:00 am and I checked it out a little as well. While I don’t really dance to rave music, I could appreciate anyways. I like what I saw of Greg Ayres set more than the first and my older so liked his more as well. The downside of curfew for teens: they happened to leave right before $1000.oo in small bills was thrown into the audience. They weren’t happy to hear they missed that.

The Cosplays

 There are always so many great cosplays, so many that I don’t know, and I always mean to take more pictures, but never seem to get enough.

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 Holy Madoka! There were  a lot of Puella Magi Madoka Magica cosplays at this con. I got so many pictures since my son was stopping everyone to take his own pictures of them. I have thought it would be hilarious/ disturbing if I cosplayed as Mami Tomoe sometime, but not shaving my beard and walking with an exaggerated “man” walk while complaining about the other magical girls and about getting older…

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 Metalocalypse

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Zapp Brannigan cross-play and a minion.

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 Not sure who they all are, but video game related I think. They all did great jobs on their costumes.

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Nudist Beach (Kill La Kill) and Mekakucity Actors                                  IMG_3569  IMG_3566

Clannad (Tomoyo and Tomoya) and Full Metal Alchemist (Lust and Greed)   IMG_3561 IMG_3562IMG_3558

 Danmachi (Hestia),  Ouran High School Host Club (Tamaki), Dragon Ball  (Master Roshi) IMG_3565  IMG_3557

Nisekoi (Chitoge and Onodera), A Spiderman, No Face, Winry Rockbell (FMA), and Stein (Soul Eater).

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A few more pictures I took. A Jon Snow, some colorful people, and “Kawaii-Vader”.

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 It wouldn’t be a con without a couple of furries…

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 My favorite photo I took. A cross-play of Death The Kid (Soul Eater)

The kids

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 My son finally got Chuck Huber to autograph the headpiece for his Kululu cosplay, which was awesome.

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 Lesson: Never leave a horse mask unattended..

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 A ramen lunch at Mitsuwa is always a good idea.

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 Exhausted kids on the way home means a job well done.

 It was a good weekend.

It’s Convention Time Again!!!

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Anime Midwest: July 3-5

It’s time to pack up the kids and go to another convention! This time I am taking my 2 boys, their cousin, and a friend all to Anime Midwest in Chicago this coming weekend. 3 teens and a pre-teen. When I tell most people this, they shudder. However, the 3 teens will probably ditch me for most of the time and so it will just be me and my younger son.

We attended this one last year and really enjoyed it and I have been looking forward to this con more than any this year. There is a ton to do: concerts, panels, gaming, raves, a maid cafe, and much more.

Check the website for full details:

http://www.animemidwest.com/

Highlights for me:

Steam Powered Giraffe

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A truly enjoyable steam punk inspired musical act that are a lot of fun!

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Greg Ayres

Voice actor ( Clannad, Ouran High School Host Club, Deadman Wonderland, Free! Eternal Summer), DJ, and Project Beck. I saw Greg’s “Why Your Fandom Sucks” panel and really enjoyed it due to it’s (despite the misleading title) message of inclusion and trying to maintain a supportive community of fans. As a dad I can get behind this message.

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Chuck Huber

A voice actor known for roles in: Full Metal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Black Butler, One Piece, and most importantly, Sgt Frog. As some of you may have read before, my younger son is a Sgt Frog fan and cosplays as Kululu. Chuck Huber was the voice of Kululu and so he (my son) wants his head piece autographed badly.

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David Matranga

A voice actor who has been in several shows including Attack on Titan, but more importantly for me: Clannad. My first real show that drew me into anime. I’d be interested to see a panel with him.

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Billy West

The voice of several characters on Futurama including the role model for all men: Zapp Brannigan. Also known for tons of other American voice work ( Jimmy Neutron, Ren and Stimpy). ” Brannigan’s Law is like Brannigan’s love, hard and fast.”

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Samurai Dan & Lady Gillian

They know martial arts. They teach you a few things. They are hilarious. Enough said.

There is so much more going on, many more talented voice actors and other interesting guests attending. Check out the website to see all of what they have to offer. I will post some updates about the convention sometime after.

-Most images are from the Anime Midwest website. I do not own them.

A Lolita Goddess and a Well Meaning Hero

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Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Also known as “DanMachi’ or “Familia Myth”, this anime has been both a light novel and manga before it was picked up by J.C. Staff for adaptation.

Set in the world Orario, adventurers set out for fame, money, and glory to a dungeon where they gain experience fighting monsters and other kinds of beasts. The adventurers are set up in “familias” which are led by gods (who have made the choice to live among humans at a loss of their divine powers). The gods in the show are taken from all sorts of mythologies: Greek, Roman, Norse, and Hindu.

The story follows Bell Cranel, a young (and new) adventurer, who is the only member of the Hestia familia. Bell is an earnest kid who just wants to be the best adventurer he can be and to become a hero one day. Hestia (named for the Greek Goddess of the hearth) is a low level goddess who is portrayed as a big chested “loli”.

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She is very protective of Bel and tries her best to support her only family member, but she can be a little too clingy/ possessive when it comes to Bel.

In a nutshell the show is largely an adventure based  show (that has a few harem elements) that is largely modeled after Dungeons and Dragons or an MMO, with gods manipulating things in the background.

I liked the show, although it was not a stand out for me this season. The animation was done well and many times it reminded me a little of Sword Art Online. Although my older son pointed out that this may be because both Kirito and Bell are both voiced by Matsouka, Yoshitsugu. The story is decent and I think if it continues, has the potential to become more interesting as you see what the gods are up to behind the scenes.

It also has a decent OP:

Attention Parents: There is fan-service in this one. Big, bouncy, anime chests and some skimpy outfits is the most regular offender in the show. There is also a nude scene at one point. Monsters are getting killed so there is some blood as well. If any of these things offend you: you have been warned.

This was a good show, not great (in my opinion), but worth a watch if you’re looking for something to do.

That’s all I got.

Remember kids: Brush your teeth!

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