John Evans' Blog

Tag: anime

NY Anime Festival, Friday

by on Sep.26, 2008, under Uncategorized

Day 1 of the New York Anime Festival 2008 today. Some highlights (or lowlights):

Negima OAV: It was the “Golden Week tropical island” story. Argh, I really dislike dubs. And there was some Adaptation Decay. But, you know, still kinda fun.

Loveless: This was an anime aimed at bishounen love fans, also featuring mysterious magical battles. I don’t really mind the borderline-yaoi, but the story was just developing so slowly.

Marie-sama ga Miteru: This one for the lily fans. The all-girl intrigue and subtle maneuvering was kinda cool. Certainly more “story density” than Loveless.

mc chris: The sound system was low and the audience was sometimes befuddled, but he was tirelessly upbeat and energetic, making for a really fun show.

Samurai Beat Radio: This was a radio show taping an episode here, talking about the history of Japanese popular music. They played the very first Japanese song to hit #1 on Billboard, way back in 1963…yes, “Sukiyaki”. I felt rather pleased with myself for knowing about that (I heard about it from Peter Payne’s J-List email). And they played a bunch of other interesting songs too, most of which I didn’t recognize. And they had “Falsies on Heat” guest-appearing, who spoke only Japanese. Interesting.

The Akihabara Stage: This was a stage in a big hall where people would dance or tumble or put on lightsaber shows. Sometimes unscheduled!

The Dealers’ Room: All sorts of wild stuff here. Quick highlights: A guy selling “Danger: Pedobear” T-shirts. A guy selling Doki Doki Majo Shunpan 2 (in some sort of premium box that was $100). Voltaire.

A bunch of girls with signs saying “Free Hugs”. I did not get any.

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MIT in Anime!

by on Dec.18, 2007, under Uncategorized

As compiled by the MIT Anime Club, MIT in Anime!

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by on Dec.09, 2007, under Uncategorized

I’m going into NYC with my family to hang out for a bit and also visit various conventions in the Javits Center.

(“ACROSS is a convention center in Fukuoka–it’s like a US secret organization naming themselves ‘JAVITS’.” –Excel Saga manga notes)

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Random Thoughts

by on Jun.15, 2007, under Uncategorized

Being a game designer/developer, I write in second person a lot.

If I see one more anime, manga or game with a brother and sister who “aren’t related by blood”, I’m going to scream.

Does anyone else really dislike the taste of mace? It seems somehow rancid to me.

What is the one game available on both XBox Live Arcade and the Wii Virtual Console?

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Why the Japanese Hate Sequels

by on Aug.07, 2006, under Uncategorized

Okay, okay, the Japanese don’t necessarily hate sequels; that was mere hyperbole. But it seems sometimes like they don’t entirely grasp the concept. Look at Legend of Zelda Wind Waker vs. the previous Zelda games. Look at Dark Cloud vs. Dark Cloud 2. Heck, look at all the various Final Fantasy games!

However, I’ve come across things in recent researches that may shed new light on this tendency. It all goes back to Osamu Tezuka, the “Father of Manga” or even “God of Manga”. A prolific pioneer, he published hundreds of different manga in many different genres. Along the way he came up with an interesting idea called the Star System.

For those who might not want to read the whole article, I’ll summarize. Reportedly, Tezuka was inspired by the film industry, who were promoting actors and actresses as “stars” over and above simply promoting their roles in specific movies. This is, of course, the standard way of doing things nowadays in Hollywood…Tezuka took it in a slightly different direction. He reused characters from manga to manga, but in different roles. One of the most famous characters is Shunsaku Ban, a portly, middle-aged man with a large walrus-like moustache. In Astro Boy he sometimes plays Astro’s teacher, but in most works (such as the manga and film Metropolis) he plays a detective.

Of course, I say “he plays” but the character really has no existence outside the manga…Or does he? Tezuka imbued his characters with such life that I do not doubt he believed they had independent existences…perhaps only within his own mind, but independent even so. So the conceit of seeing these characters as “actors” playing recurrent roles became a natural one. It draws a curious layer of metatextuality over Tezuka’s oeuvre.

And perhaps the “Star System” influenced over Japanese creators. Anyone who’s run into the various versions of the Tenchi Muyo canon would no doubt find it simple to think of “Tenchi” as an actor appearing in several different “Tenchi-ish” works.

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