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SMASH! Survival Guide Pt. 1

July 26, 2010, by , posted in Blog

(Or how to have a smashing time at SMASH!)

Its that time of year again. We’re in convention season and coming up quickly is SMASH!, which is less than two weeks away. SMASH! has always been our favourite convention and this year it looks to be just as good, especially with the sleuth of Evangelion guests. This year SMASH! has changed venue for the first time, leaving the round Roundhouse and migrating to the halls of Town Hall, giving it a bigger venue at a convenient location in the city (it was always a pain to go to the Roundhouse). Having been to many, many conventions in the past, we decided to offer our advice on how to make the most of this year’s SMASH!:

Its winter and it can get a tad chilly in the city, particularly in the morning or if there’s a bit of a breeze. So if you’re going to be waking up and braving the lines at the start of the convention, be sure to dress to keep warm. With that said, conventions at Town Hall have a habit of getting real hot and stuffy real quick (and that’s not the good kind of hot and stuffy). Its also a good idea to wear your comfy shoes rather than your fancy shoes, because you’ll be walking around and standing much of the day.

If you’re a cosplayer, it might be an idea to bring another set of normal clothes to change into, especially if your costume is a bit revealing or a uncomfortable. We suggest you bring loose clothing too. And also so you don’t look like weird walking around the city.

Town Hall in all its glory.

Town Hall can be a bit of a maze to those who haven’t been before, so its best to take a look at the map before hand. Similarly, time tends to warp and distort while in a convention, so it pays to know when the panels/events you want to go to are on. The map and the schedule are now both available at the SMASH! website, so you’ll have no excuse for not knowing that the Shoujo/BL Panel is in the Panel Room (which is out back on the main floor) at 4pm…not that I’m planning on going to that…

Expect them.

Just don’t expect it to be between guys.

In the hustle and bustle of a convention, with all the running down hallways, avoiding screaming fangirls and fighting back the hordes to get to a stall to buy that kawaii or moe figurine, you can sometimes forget to slow down for a little and take it all in. So when you have a few minutes to spare, grab a seat, take a look at what stuff you’ve bought or the pictures you taken or just take in that wonderful atmosphere of a convention.

We do like it when people say hi. We’re not all bad people. Really.

When the convention starts to die down (like during cosplay comp or toward the end of the day), the anime clubs are always around chatting away. And sometimes we get really bored. And that’s when the weird stuff happens. Really weird stuff, even for an anime convention.

Check back later for the next installment!

Music Monday

, by , posted in Music

Music Monday has been around for a fair few weeks, but now it’s time to shake things up a little. Besides anime, there are a few other things that manage to catch our attention, those being TF2 and of course, JB, and it’s about time we paid tribute to both of them!

Introducing Heavy Bieber and slap-chopping rap sensation Scoutacris! Previously known for their outstanding work in infomercials, lady killer (KABOOM!) Heavy Bieber and Scoutacris have joined like forces of nature to create a hit single you won’t be wanting to put down. The video producer has specially selected sound clips from our favourite stars and masterfully mixed them so that the flow and beat stay true to the original tune of Baby.

If HB and Scouta were to win a crazy Grammy, then developers Valve would be high up on their thank-you list. I’m sure that none of this would have been possible without the constant support and hard work that Valve have put in over the years.

So now that our history and culture lesson is over, I’m sure you’re all dying to stick in your earphones and blast some Bieber. Last one alive, lock the door!


July 18, 2010, by , posted in Music

BLACK LAGOON IS BACK!!!!! and who isn’t excited for one of the best anime ever to be created. So for today we have the new op for the ova series. well it isn’t really new just a remix of the old song  still damn awesome.

To be honest this series caught me by surprise as i found no information to it being released this season and unfortunately it does seem to be 1 episode a month. Here the focus is on Roberta the terminator maid instead of Revy but don’t worry there will still be plenty of Revy in it cause lets face it, It ain’t no Black Lagoon without Revy.

With that said hopefully it will lead to a full series of season 3 :D. So sit back relax and enjoy more bloodshed to come from the Black Lagoon company.

Music Monday

July 12, 2010, by , posted in Music

To celebrate the conclusion of Full Metal Alchemist, today’s Music Monday is the final opening song from the series.

Brotherhood is the second anime release based on the manga, Full Metal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa and produced by the studio Bones. The original plot mesmerized many in the anime and manga community and grew in fan-base over many years since its publish and release. However, the original Full Metal Alchemist anime deviated from the manga’s storyline and left many of the loyal fans unsatisfied. As Hiromu Arakawa announced that the FMA manga was to be finished Brotherhood was released to follow the manga loyally right until the final chapter.

Out of the 64 episodes produced and aired, I found this opening song a great scene setter. The tone of the song builds to such great emotion and escalates the eagerness viewers already had from cliffhanging episodes beforehand.

Naruto #500

July 10, 2010, by , posted in Blog

Naruto’s upto its 500th chapter. Geez…that’s a long time. So before I get all nostalgic about Naruto and how far its come in the last 10 or so years, I’d like to take a look at chapter 500 and why it was good.

This chapter, like the last few previous to it, is set within Naruto’s inner self. For some reason, Naruto’s inner self is just a blank white area, which isn’t very visually appealing. Similarly, the chapter is very discourse heavy and unfortunately doesn’t give the art enough room to really show off. This means that the art is very dependent on Kishimoto’s composition of frames and he does this by focusing on Naruto and Kushina’s faces.

I particularly like the way he draws Kushina’s face, showing a range of emotion throughout this chapter. He makes you care about a character that’s only been around for 3 chapters and you get a real sense of her personality in this chapter.

But why is Naruto good again? Because its getting back to characters we care about. The characters of Naruto have always been its strength. Over the last few arcs, the series has introduced too many new characters and ignoring the plethora of characters that we grew to love pre-time skip. Even though we’ve know very little about Kushina and Minato, they’re so ingrained into what Naruto is and it just works. And now Kishimoto’s taking it back to the start, back to the Nine-Tails and hopefully answering more questions than he raises.