Nice Cover!

I’m an old metal geek.

I’m also a sucker for classic rock and prog music.

Anthrax was one of my faves from my teen years.

They have done a nice cover of Kansas’s “Carry On My Wayward Son”. Check it out!

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On The Importance of Conventions

This subject has been in the back of my mind for a while now. I originally started this draft as just a title over a year ago, but here it is again, ever present in my thinking. And that is on the importance of conventions.

We (my two boys, their cousin, and best friend) just attended our first (of 3) anime conventions this year, Anime Milwaukee, a month ago.

There are all the regular trappings of conventions: the merch room, artist alley, video and tabletop gaming, guest panels, and cosplayers. These things alone set it up for an interesting weekend to be sure…but I perceive there to be a greater impact.

I was reminded of this during the “LGBTQ+& Anime Cultures” panel. I attended this panel out of curiosity and as a dad of a gay teen I sometimes feel it important (for me) to get a deeper perspective into things that affect his world. It was presented by the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center. It was a good panel. But one of the most things I walked away from the panel was the message of inclusion and having a safe space where individuals, no matter how they identify, feel like they can be themselves.

(Visit their site and support them or organizations like them in your community. http://www.mkelgbt.org/ )

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 I made sure to thank them afterwords. As a dad it makes a great impression and means a lot to me. While my son has a supportive family and group of great friends, not all people do and many struggle with being accepted and loved by those around them. Panels like these are important and I appreciate them.

 It’s not the only place I have heard messages like this at a Con. Anime Midwest is the first place I encountered this. Voice actor and D.J., Greg Ayres has been doing his “It Gets Better- Con Edition” panel there (and at other Cons) for the past several years. Greg’s panels include much of the same message, but is expansive beyond the LGBTQ community, but to those who are different (in the many ways we can be). But the overarching message is to be good to one another, be accepting, one of inclusion.

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(Go see this panel and say hi to Greg!)

 And as I walked through Anime Milwaukee I reflected on this. I saw all spectrum’s of race, gender, sexuality, size, and age. I saw all levels of fandom, from casual to hardcore. Anime otakus and gamers. People had a place to unite.

 A community.

 It gives me hope.

 In a time when there is increasing division and the politics of hate is prevalent. Where cynical politicians and intolerant, angry people are trying to legitimize racism, sexism, and homophobia, there is something else.

 The Importance of a Convention.

 It is there to help you realize, not all people are like that. That you can have a diverse community. That you can, and should, celebrate and love those around you. That we are better than the hatred that streams through our media filters daily.

 Conventions give me hope…and I love that!!!

 Go to a con near you and get some hope. See something new. Celebrate that there are people different than you and know that this is okay.

 Then let that inspire you and take it outside the con. Give to your time or money to something that you care deeply about. Stop getting in fights on social media and spread love and inclusion where you can.

 Just some thoughts from dadwatchesanime…

 Some of people I saw at Anime Milwaukee.

Oh yeah, I met Vic Minogna. That was cool. I got a FMA Brotherhood scroll signed for the boys.

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Until next time: Happy Viewing!

In Defense of Yuri…On Ice

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People need to chill the hell out.

Mostly, overly excited weeaboos need to calm down.

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What I’m talking about is the fact that many seemed to be weirdly out of sorts because Yuri on Ice has won now two awards for the “Best Anime of the Year”. YOI has gotten this from Crunchyroll’s  first “Anime of the Year” awards and from the fan polls for “Animation of the Year” at the Tokyo Anime Award Festival.

Some fans are horribly put off by this. They believe Mob Psycho 100, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure,  or whatever they happen to like more deserves it more.

Maybe they are right in some respects, but are wrong in others.

I enjoyed YOI . I thought it was a well put together story. A good sports anime. It had a great soundtrack and it’s dub was good as well. It was emotionally engaging and had a sweet love story that was also part of the show. The animation was decent.

Was it the best??? Not necessarily. The animation wasn’t as clear and pristine as Sound! Euphonium.  It wasn’t as unique as Mob Psycho 100. Erased was more emotionally intense by far. But that isn’t what awards are always about.

Awards, a lot of the time, are more of a reflection of popularity and impact. Sorry kids: sometimes the popularity contests of high school seep out into the real world. Sad, but true. YOI had a large impact that brought it a huge amount of attention outside of it’s normal fan base, and (sorry…not sorry) that matters.

I am actually happy it won. For a few reasons:

1) I liked it. A lot. Nice show. Emotionally engaging. Great soundtrack. Overall enjoyable watch.

2) Yuri and Victor’s relationship was important. The very fact of the matter was that a same sex romantic relationship was portrayed in the show, not as the central purpose/ plot of the show, but rather as a matter of fact is huge. The relationship was there and presented as a normal thing. Not a struggle. Not something to be dissected and discussed at length. It normalized a same sex relationship and didn’t make it a big deal, which is a big deal to many people in the LGBTQ community and those who count themselves as an ally (myself included) to this community.

3) It brought more attention to anime. It got people excited about anime. When a show is a big deal and reaches beyond it’s fandom, it helps the industry as a whole. Some of my favorite shows are not big with the American anime community, but huge in Japan. The more attention a show gets, the more it will potentially legitimize the industry as a whole outside of Japan, which means more projects will get attention that you may end up liking (or like already).

 

I get why some people get in a stir, but overall this is just immature drama. I grew up liking stuff no one else liked. I loved Sci-fi and Heavy Metal. My stuff didn’t get the attention of the awards community. I got over it. So should you (if you are in a stir), it’s not worth being concerned about. Next year some other show will win: Some people will be happy, some will be pissed, the cycle will continue. Don’t sweat it, just watch more anime.

Dad lecture over.

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Until next time: Happy Viewing!

 

Hey…Wait…What?

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Heybot

So a few weeks back my boys were over for the weekend. I had stolen the PS3 controller from my younger son and was looking for something other than the Hunter x Hunter marathon he was planning (he has been watching it, but I haven’t).

I started the first episode of Tigermask (as a bit of a joke), had a laugh, but quickly gave it up. Then I decided to (also as a joke on him) play an episode of Heybot.

My first impressions were one of mystified amusement. My son was repeatedly laughing and asking: “What the hell is going on.”

First impressions are sometimes on the nose.

We got over halfway through the first episode, then decided his older brother needed to watch it as well. So we called him in and restarted the episode. His reaction was much the same. “It’s as if someone did a bunch of cocaine and hallucinogens and then decided to make a show” was his description.

I wasn’t going to argue this.

Heybot is, I guess, a show aimed at a younger audience. The show takes place on the fictional island of Nejigajima and follows the Prince of this island and his robot (Heybot). They collect screws to use to compete in battles to tell the best joke. The island is all about these screws. The  Prince is creepily obsessed with screws. No, really. He creeps out other characters with his obsession.

The humor is fast paced, often juvenile, random, and occasionally clever. They do like to mess about with anime tropes on a regular basis. Not in a subtle way mind you. The humor does work. Often in a very confused what-the-hell sort of way, but it does get a chuckle.

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  The animation is nothing to write home about. It’s kid’s show style of animation. It is not bad for what it is and fits the format well.

Attention Parents: Mostly the show is harmless. There is some sexual suggestiveness in parts and bad body humor.

Would I recommend this show?

Maybe? My son now likes it (or at least watches it for the weird factor). I have gotten laughs out of it. Give it a try if you want to watch an off-beat, random show.

Until next time: Happy Viewing!

 

 

It’s Convention Time!

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It’s that time of year again for me and the boys.

Anime Milwaukee is the first con of the year for us. I’ll be taking my two boys, their cousin, and my older son’s best friend. Myself and 4 teens in one room (*shudder*), pray for me.

Anime Milwaukee is the largest Anime Con in Wisconsin. Attracting 9000+ attendees. It is held at The Hyatt Regency and Wisconsin Center, February 17-19.

It usually is a pretty fun time and has a fair amount good guests.

This year the line up includes the following voice actors:

  

VIC MIGNOGNA        IAN SINCLAIR

  

LAURA BAILEY       MAX MITTELMAN

  

LAURA POST            ZACH AGUILAR

  

ERICA MENDEZ     ERICA LINDBECK

Among several others.

There are other fashion, artists, and cosplay guests as well.

Also con favorites:

SAMURAI DAN AND JILLIAN

Who are an absolute blast to see. If you get a chance, go to one of their panels.

It should be a fun time.

Pictures in a couple of weeks!

 

30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 30!!!

An Anime You Wished Never Ended and Continued On

Whew! Finally day 30.

I kept up with it.

Now I have a couple of choices that I would’ve like to see have another season, but go on indefinitely? No..

So, I will mention two that come to mind where I would’ve liked to see another season.

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior (Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou )

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I really enjoyed this show. Good animation. Like-able characters. Good comedy. Sweet story line.  There is more content, but perhaps not enough for another season. It is a simple, light romance of a show. It is not going to grip you with intensity, it is just a fun, easy to watch show…and I like those!

World Conquest Zvezda Plot ( Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda)

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I loved the random, oddness of this show. It had an interesting premise: Following the “evil” organization that was trying to take over the world and their battles with the “good” guys. It kind of blurred the lines of who was actually “good” and “evil”. The costuming was ridiculous and amusing and seeing what was going on behind the scenes in every day life of this group was a fun watch. I would’ve liked to see where it could have gone.

 Well This was my final post for the “30 Day Anime Challenge”: Thank you for reading!

30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 29

Anime You Wished Was Real

Oh Damn! I almost forgot to do this today!

Anime I wished was real?

I don’t really have any. I like them for the escapism.

But I will pick one for good, arbitrary reasons.

Sgt. Frog

 

I like the idea of an incompetently led platoon of frog space aliens living in Tokyo, screwing up attempts to take over the world, and buying up all the Gundum  models. I’d be happy if that was happening under everyone’s noses. That, and I’d like to think Paul Moriyama and his huge mustache really exist.

Until next…yadda yadda yadda….

30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 28

Favorite Quote From Any Anime Character

I have heard a lot of great quotes. Many life affirming, inspirational,  and heartfelt. My pick is none of those.

The one I chose, I chose because it made me laugh at the obscurity of the joke. That’s why I love it.

The winner goes to :

Tomoko Kuroki (WataMote: No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Unpopular! )

I love it!

 Until next time: Happy viewing!

30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 27

Most Badass Scene From Any Anime Character

 

What???

Hmmm….

Okay.

I really like this scene. I haven’t finished this series and need to come back to it sometime. This scene is pretty bad-ass though.

Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO)

Watch it to the end. It’s pretty cool.

Until next time: Happy Viewing!

 

30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 26

Best Anime Fight

Reigen vs. Claw

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I love this fight scene because of it’s bemused, matter-of-fact nature. Reigen has come to get his student back (Mob) from the Claw organization and is thrust into the middle of an epic battle. Mob finally gives in to trust Reigen and lets go of feeling like he has to be the person to fight. As a result of Mob’s decision, Mob transfers his power,unknowingly, to Reigen. Reigen (with new found power) walks around in a confident manner, deflecting everyone in Claw’s attacks with ease and mild amusement. By the end of the fight he ends up chiding Claw and telling them to grow up. This was a brilliant scene and probably my favorite fight.

Until next time: Happy viewing!