Anime Expo 2011

Today I went to Anime Expo hosted by the SPJA in Los Angeles, CA. This year marked the TENTH year in a row that I’ve attended the convention! (See some of my other posts about it.)

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Me at Anime Expo 2011!


For the past few years I’ve just been going to the exhibit hall and this year was not much different. I bought Final Fantasy Anthology, which contains Final Fantasy V & VI; Final Fantasy Chronicles; a Super Mario chess set; some stationary and of course, an official Anime Expo shirt! Overall I had a really good time, but it’s probably the last year I’ll go. I haven’t been as into anime/manga as I used to be; and plus, content is so much more accessible with the prevalence of the internet. And I don’t really relate to most of the attendees anymore, since I’m no longer a teenager! I had fun these last ten years, but I’m ready to hang up my hat, especially since moving to Riverside… it’s not such a close drive anymore!

My best friend and I at Anime Expo 2001.

Thanks for the memories, AX!

Click on the link to see more pictures from this years’ AX: Continue reading

Old Anime Watcher

I just finished watching Tenkuu no Escaflowne again, who knows how many times I’ve watched it now? It’s such a great series. I feel like my dad saying it, but seriously… do they even make them like that anymore?

My interest in anime has waned over the years. When I first started watching (about ten or so years ago), my favorite titles were Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon, Fushigi Yuugi, and other shoujo and bishounen titles. Back then, acquiring anime wasn’t so easy as it is now, and it seemed like I loved every title I came across. I remember driving forty minutes to see Mononoke Hime, and begging my mom to take my friend and I to see Escaflowne: The Movie.

Then I started getting into the classics; all of Hayao Miyazaki’s movies, Cowboy Bebop, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. I’ve watched quite a few titles, but it seems like it is harder for me to like new anime that I come across these days. I loved Azumanga Daioh!, Fruits Basket started good but the manga was better, same for Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou. Berserk freaked me out, Trigun made me laugh, so did Full Metal Panic! and its sequels, and Fullmetal Alchemist made me cry (I still haven’t gotten around to watching the remake). InuYasha dragged, as did its predecessor Ranma 1/2 (both based on manga from the same author).

Samurai Champloo revived my interest in the genre. It was a great series, but I wouldn’t have expected anything less from the creators of Cowboy Bebop. I started watching Naruto, but it keeps dragging on and on. One of the things I originally liked about anime was that the creators had a storyline in mind, they animated it, then ended it. It wasn’t like the American TV shows I was used to, that seemed to go on and on until the powers that be decided they were no longer profitable and ended the series unsatisfactorily. Naruto reminds me of that kind of mentality, so I’ve kind of given up on it.

If I watch anime these days, it tends to be movies, probably because they require less time to be invested in. Unlike when i was a teenager and in college, I don’t have hours and hours of free time anymore to watch anime in. I loved The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Gake no Ue no Ponyo. I’ve seen all of Miyazaki’s films and most of Studio Ghibli’s as well, I wish there were more for me to watch. It seems like those are the only ones I like any more.

Any suggestions for a jaded anime fan?

Hollywood, Amoeba Music, Scientology and Chicken and Waffles!

One great thing about living close to a big city is being able to easily visit the awesome stores they have there. Yesterday I drove to Hollywood with my sister, brother, and a few of his friends to hit up Amoeba Music. The place was completely awesome! They have a HUGE selection of new and used CDs and records, from a WIDE variety of genres and artists. And that’s just the first floor! The second floor has a pretty decent selection of new and used DVDs.

I dug in immediately, looking for CDs from my favorite artists that were hard to find at the places I usually buy CDs, like Target and Best Buy. I ended up finding several CDs from artists like The Magnetic Fields, Leonard Cohen, Meiko, Priscilla Ahn, Eric Hutchinson, and many, many more. I don’t know if you noticed, but it’s pretty hard to find a CD in stores if it was released more than 6-12 months ago, or it’s not on the Billboard charts. I know what you’re thinking, why not buy online? I do buy online; that’s why I already had Meiko’s album before I saw it at Amoeba. But sometimes the added taxes and shipping costs increase the cost of the CD above what I’m willing to pay. And Amoeba has a LOT of used CDs, which lowers the cost even more. I ended up walking away with The Magnetic Field’s The Wayard Bus/Distant Plastic Trees, Leonard Cohen’s Various Positions, and a tribute to Leonard Cohen, I’m Your Fan, which includes performances by The Pixies, REM, and Nick Cave, to name a few. I also got a couple of Miyazaki DVD’s I’ve been meaning to pick up, but haven’t because for some reason, they cost quite a bit more than regular DVDs. Anyway, they were Whisper of the Heart, which I rented on NetFlix recently and loved, and The Cat Returns, which I downloaded and watched quite a while ago.

My sister got a few CDs, the Hits of Erasure, ABBA Gold, and the Sex and the City Soundtrack. She joked as we were driving home, listening to her CDs, that she was turning my car into a gay club, haha. πŸ™‚

After Amoeba, we waited outside for the rest of the party to be done shopping and I noticed that we could see the Church of Scientology’s location on Hollywood Blvd from a distance. It kinda creeped me out. It creeped me out even further when one of the guys in the party mentioned that the Scientology created CCHR headquarters, or Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights, was down the street just a little ways and they wanted to visit it out of morbid curiosity because inside there is a “museum” on psychiatry. We were all curious, so we decided to check it out. Turns out the museum is called “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death” and the “museum” was every bit as creepy as it sounds. It felt like I was walking into the Museum of Tolerance, a Holocaust museum, also in Los Angeles. It had all these exhibits showing the history of psychiatry, including of course shock treatment and lobotomy. CCHR blames the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust on psychiatry. It also had an exhibit with pictures of different celebrities and little descriptions underneath the pictures blaming psychiatry for their deaths. There was also a section that showed statistics on psychiatrists; supposedly more psychiatrists than physicians commit suicide, get divorces, etc. They also showed a big wall with pictures of psychiatrists behind bars for being convicted of various crimes, ranging from a hit-and-run fatality to rape and sexual assault of patients. And of course, there was a room blaming psychiatry for the Columbine school shootings and various other school shootings. All in all, it was quite disturbing and I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. Chris and his friends were irritated and angry about the museum, quick to point out the flaws of logic in the exhibits, but Teresa and I just wanted to leave.

Afterward we walked to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles off of Gower and Sunset. It was so good! I was suspicious about the pairing of fried Chicken and waffles, but my suspicions were put to rest after that visit, haha.

Anyway, that was my Sunday and even with the scary Scientology excursion, it was really fun. I wish I had my camera. πŸ™‚

Anime Expo 2008

AX

Last weekend I attended Anime Expo 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. I have to say, it was a LOT better than last year from my limited exposure. This is my 8th year in a row attending (first time at LA Convention Center), and the location is a much better fit for the size that Anime Expo has grown to, which is around 45,000 people. The past couple of years I have only gone to the Exhibitor Halls, but even just walking through the convention this year I found the mood to be much more pleasant and jovial, where in years past walking through I could sense the frustration and unhappiness of the other attendees, many of whom paid $50 and above to be there all weekend dealing with the disorganization of the staff.

Last year there were lots of lines everywhere I looked, and this year I didn’t see any, even when I showed up Monday morning to the At-Con registration. I heard that the SPJA hired a professional staffing company to train their staff and volunteers this year. If they did, it showed. Everything felt a lot better organized and not so chaotic. Trying to cram 40,000 people into the Long Beach Convention Center last year was a big mistake; I think the SPJA finally realized that AX has outgrown that venue. And since the Shriners have booked up the Anaheim Convention Center for the forseeable future, I have a feeling the LACC may become AX’s permanent home. I thought it was a lot better than the ACC though, there are a lot more vendors in the Convention Center itself for food, etc, which the ACC doesn’t have and there aren’t too many eating facilities within walking distance of the ACC.

Anyway, that’s my opinion of the Convention. πŸ™‚ Usually I go to the convention to get my hands on random cute things that I probably could find online, but don’t want to pay tax and shipping for. I also go for the manga, usually targeting the “buy 4 get one free” or “$8 manga” offers that many booths have. Normally I avoid DVDs because they are easy to find at my local Fry’s or Best Buy, and the deals usually aren’t that great, but this year I spent most of my money on DVDs. The goods:

Ranma 1/2 DVD seasons 1,3 & 4 (we bought Season 2 at Best Buy recently, they didn’t have season 1)
Azumanga Daioh DVD Complete Series
Fruits Basket manga volumes 19 & 20
KareKano manga volumes 15-21 (which completes the series!! The ending was so touching and precious!)
3 boxes of Pocky (a con staple), 2 chocolate and one coconut flavor for Mike
1 “Jiji” plushie from Kiki’s Delivery Service
1 “Kodama” plushie from Princess Mononoke
1 “Kakashi” neckstrap from Naruto for Mike
1 “Kakashi” cell charm from Naruto for Mike
1 Naruto keychain for Mike
Domo-kun magnet sheet (6 on the sheet!)
1 Zodiac year of the Ox cell charm

I was pretty happy with my goods this year πŸ™‚ See you there next year!

I love long weekends!

Today I’m utilizing my extra day off to do a thorough cleaning of my room. I like to go through my closet every 6 months or so to get rid of things I no longer have any attachment to. Today I got rid of some old coloring books, old birthday cards, posters, and a New Kids on the Block doll. πŸ˜€

Does anyone want some old Sailor Moon dolls? XD

AX to Change Locations in 2008… again.

Ew, look at what ANN has to say:

At the Anime Expo 2007 closing ceremonies, AX’s chair, Joyce Lim, announced that Anime Expo 2008 will be held from Thursday, July 3 to Sunday, July 6 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This will be the second consecutive year that AX is changing locations.

Grooosss! This will be the first time that AX has not been within driving distance for me. I mean, I guess it’s still drivable, but it’s far less likely that I’ll be ok with driving an hour and a half there and back by myself. I’ve gone by myself the past two years, but it doesn’t take too long for me to get to Long Beach or Anaheim from my place. Hopefully I’ll know someone I can crash with in LA for a day or two. :

Manga and more Whining

I bought volumes 5-9 of Fruits Basket (Furuba) at AX and finished reading them in oh, 2 days. x.x I went online and found JustManga.com and bought volumes 10-13 of Furuba and 12 of KareKano (Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou). I would have ordered more Furuba, but those are the only ones out right now… vol 14 doesn’t come out until August. There are 20 volumes of Furuba in all, and the tokyopop site doesn’t give the release dates for the other volumes, boo. I’ll probably wait until they are all released to buy more. There are 21 volumes of Kare Kano, 20 of which have been released. Maybe I’ll switch to that for a while. But I’ll probably have to stop buying manga for a while, I need to pay for school fees at the end of the month, then books after that, and my sister’s bachelorette party to Las Vegas, and (more) school fees if I can’t get any grants or loans.

Happy Belated Birthday, America!

So on Tuesday was the 4th of July, but that wasn’t the best part of my weekend. First of all, Mike’s brother Greg got married and Mike and I were in the wedding. I don’t have any pictures (yet) but I do have some pictures of what my hair looked like:


Here is a profile view… TONS of curls.


You can see my makeup here, too. I also had some poofy kind of hair going in the front. Jessica Alba’s 2006 VMA Red Carpet look was my inspiration.


CURLS.

So that was Saturday. It was really fun, but also really hot and exhausting. I’m just glad it’s over πŸ™‚ The next day Mike and I spent time with his family, since they’re all from out of town. On Sunday night my neice, Amber had a baby! His name is Gregory Charles, he’s 5 lbs 1 oz and 16 inches long. He’s a tiny little thing, but the doctors think he’ll be OK. Then on Monday Mike had to work, but I went to ANIME EXPO with Vanessa, Maz and his girlfriend, Amber. Ahhh! Unfortunately, I’m not as into manga and anime and I used to be when I first started going, but I still really look forward to AX every year. This was my 6th year going (since 2001! I haven’t missed a year) and while we were there we got to meet some people from a (now defunt) forum that Vanessa and I used to frequent back in 2001-2002. We’ve all kept in touch and to finally meet them after all this time was amazing. Shout out to Jake, Ryan, Ricky (who likes to be called Cid :P), and Ian! Then that night Mike, Vanessa and I went and saw The Devil Wears Prada. It was good!
Then on Tuesday I cleaned my room and burned off some creative energy:


I recovered my bulletin board that I did in 6th grade. The tacs aren’t sticking in too well, but the anime/Disney pins at the bottom are doing just fine. I should have put less stars on the ribbons up top. There’s no room to stick anything in underneath the ribbon now x.x;; After Mike got off of work we went to his parents house and watched Last Holiday and fireworks. The movie was better. xD
Anyway, time for work, ttyl πŸ˜€

Lindsay Lohan as Sailor Moon??

This has to be one of the funniest things I’ve heard this year:

We suppose this could be considered our first legitimate completely unsubstantiated rumor that’ll probably turn out to be false scoop. We were recently passed on the information that a Japanese Magazine titled Animage, in their current issue, announced that Fox has acquired the rights to the popular anime series SAILOR MOON and is looking to Joss Whedon to presumably write and direct a live action film. Further, they’re hoping Miss Can’t Keep Her Genitals Inside Her Clothes herself Lindsay Lohan will star alongside Jennifer Garner (as the main villain) in an all non-Asian cast.

Sourceeeee

Sweet LORD I hope this is true!! It would be the funniest thing ever!! Can you imagine the Live Action Sailor Moon series — with LiLo in the lead?? Wait, you don’t have to… I’ve created an image for you:

Bwahahahahaha πŸ˜€