Anime-Planet, an anime recommendation database, recently announced an awesome partnership with Crunchyroll that integrates their video library into A-P’s anime listings. What’s even cooler about this is now your watching list will update automatically as you watch new episodes.
If you haven’t been using Anime-Planet, now is a good time to start. Unlike other anime recommendation services, A-P has a clean layout, a friendly user base, and is constantly introducing new features. Check it out, and visit my profile while you’re at it.
If you’re an anime fan, chances are you’ve at least thought about learning Japanese at some point. But as we all know, learning a new language can be tough – especially Japanese. On February 14 at 2:30, my good friend Steven D’Onofrio of Studio KuNu presents “How to Learn a New Language and Culture with Entertainment and the Arts”, which is sure to help out any anime fans that want to understand their hobby a bit more. Steven describes the panel as follows:
Learning a language can be quite frustrating and downright hard at times. One of the issues with learning a language like Japanese is the strict memorization format. What if a cute little cat could help you learn Japanese in a more fun, entertaining way? Join SAMURAI EIKO creator Steven D’Onofrio and his KuNu cats in an interactive Japanese lesson using fun games and animated shorts. By the time you leave the panel, you’ll be able to get around Tokyo no problem!
Check out Studio KuNu’s Facebook and Twitter pages for more information, updates, and lots of cats.
Want to hear some assholes’ opinions on the current season of anime? Then you should be looking in other places…
But if you want to hear the opinions of some very, um… refined individuals, you can listen to the latest episode of the Otaku in Review Podcast. Scott, Mike, Greg, and myself rant and rave about the latest and greatest (and some not so great) cartoons to come out of Japan. This time with 100% less on-air walkouts!
Click here to listen, click here to go to the original post, or click here to subscribe in iTunes.
Since I hate writing actual reviews, here’s a few quick paragraphs about a few of the shows I’ve been watching lately.
THING I WANT TO TALK ABOUT #1: AKB0048
Up until now, idol anime have generally been of little interest to me. My biggest problem with many of them is that they are often poorly animated and/or use weird-looking choppy CG. I understand that it’s extremely difficult and expensive to animate a bunch of idols dancing at the same time, but when you’re making a show that focuses on idols, you need to do just that, and you need to do it well. AKB0048 is the closest I’ve seen to an idol anime actually done well. While it still leaves a bit to be desired, it’s way better than some other idol shows I’ve seen, including The iDOLM@STER and Love Live!
AKB0048 takes place in a dystopian future where some evil government assholes have decided to ban all forms of entertainment. How the human race has managed to not collectively commit suicide by this point is beyond me. Nonetheless, there’s a group of idols called AKB0048, modeled after the real idol group AKB48, who performs these undercover guerilla concerts in protest, with hopes to bring entertainment back. The government always manages to find out about these concerts, though, and they send out the Destroy Entertainment Soldiers (DES) to capture the idols any chance they get. When these bad guys show up, AKB0048 retaliates by getting in mecha suits and fighting them off… all while the other members are busy singing and dancing. That’s kind of awesome.
The animation is decent, and while it’s clearly done with CG, it’s done well. No strange CG-choppiness in the animation – it’s mostly smooth in this show. The visuals are mostly pleasing, especially during some of the kickass battle/concert scenes. The songs the idols sing are catchy as can be, many of them being songs from real-group AKB48′s discography. The story is surprisingly quite good. There’s a whole lot more to the AKB0048 organization than what meets the eye, and throughout the two seasons of this series, more and more is gradually revealed, with some interesting twists along the way.
Thanks to Hazukari for recommending this show, even though he’s a poop.
As always as usual, I was a guest on the Otaku in Review Podcast, this time to talk about Otakon Vegas. You can listen right here, or go here for the original post. If you like what you hear, please subscribe in iTunes!
On January 3, 2014, almost 2,000 otaku traveled from all reaches of the nation to attend Otakon Vegas. The concept of Otakorp attempting a convention on the west coast certainly shocked fans when it was first announced, but many were curious about the idea. My friends and I were no exception. We were all curious to see how well an Otakon event near the west coast would turn out. Not only that, but it gave us an excuse to go to Las Vegas, which as we all know is the best place in the world (to lose all of your money).
Despite being much smaller than its parent convention in Baltimore, there was still much that Otakon Vegas had to offer. The Dealer’s Room was stocked with the usual anime merchandise ranging from figures to board games to DVDs and Blu-rays; the game room was packed with nerds competing against each other in fighting and rhythm games; the main events were full of hype and excitement; and the panels were interesting and informative.
The first two Madoka Magica movies are things that exist, and they have been released on Blu-ray. For you to own.
Now you might be saying “But Janai, they’re just a recap of the series.” And to that I say “IT’S MADOKA MAGICA DAMN IT plus they redid a bunch of scenes and made it prettier and oh my god it’s fantastic.”
So do yourself a favor and pick yourself up a copy. The movies are about 2 hours each and are a great summary of the TV series, especially if you don’t have time to watch the whole series. The limited edition comes with some cool stuff, like postcards, a soundtrack, and a bunch of other things I’ll never use but I love anyway.
The third movie is due out sometime this year and will be a sequel… somehow.
Here’s a link to buy the limited edition, or the less-wallet-damaging standard edition.