El Cid's Anime Rants

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Ushicon 2005

My my my. . . how my standards have fallen. I suppose it was only a matter of time till I came to grips with the bitter reality of my geekness. All it took was a little coaxing and a 50-point bonus bribe by Dr. Korpi.

This past Saturday and Sunday, I attended the annual Austin Anime fest, Ushicon with my chum Ramiro Torres. It was obviously our first con, but we went all out. We figured, what happens in Austin stays in Austin.

Random Nerds

Initially, I had set in my mind I wasn't going to dress up. I mean seriously, what kind of freak would dress up as a cartoon character and prance around in public. I sure as heck wouldn't. I used to feel so much better about myself after viewing photos of fans such as these:
Ladies and gents, this lady is actually a gent.

But when it came time to go, Ram and I where mysteriously smitten with Cosplay fever, suited up, and headed out. Ram was a Samurai, and I was Solid Snake. Holy crap.

Renaissance Austin Hotel
I swear, that walk from the car to the hotel entrance was the longest distance I've ever treaded. There we were, both naked and vulnerable to society's judgemental eye. Coincidently, there was a military ball going on in the same hotel. That made me even more ansy. To be ridiculed by the local layman was a worry, but those military type I feared would call us faggots, take us by force, strip us of our garments, and beat us with some cat-'o-nines. To my utter surprise, I heard more than one of them say they wished they could skip out of the ROTC ball and join us! As soon as we entered the lobby, all was well. All was at peace. We were one with the otaku.

I couldn't believe the energy of the place. All sorts of anti-socials were suddenly being very social (and it became very clear why they shouldn't be). People would randomly walk up to me, spew a cornball joke or random comment, and then run off. It was like one of those old-school RPG's where every character in the room only has one line to say to you and you're left like. . .WTF? Everywhere I saw, there were groups of nerds with different agendas. Some were starting a cult. Some were collecting garbage for a "trash ball". Some merely wanted some action. No joke. I saw a kid holding a sign that read "Will do anyting for a girlfriend." What was I doing here?????

FL CL !!!!

Yet the ambience was very comfortable regardless. I suppose it was accepted to accept it all. So I felt pretty comfortable. In fact, I got a bit of recognition for my costume. I remember walking into the role-playing room, and a group of gamers all freaked and hollered, "Oh man, it's Solid Snake!" and then gave me some weird hand signal. I just smiled and waved, but they were all expecting me to do something more in response to their hand gestures. I also had a few other random exclaimations thrown at me with "Solid Snake" and some more hand gestures, and to be totally honest, it felt great. On top of the jeers of approval I had several people ask for my picture. I felt like the epitome of cool. Yes, the epitome of cool at Ushicon! Go me.

My little brother David came with me the following day dressed as Viewtiful Joe, and I'm not exaggerated when I say he stole the show. For every comment I got, he got like 4. Even the staff security was blown away.

Henshin-a-go-go David!!

But I suppose I've held out long enough, dear blog-reader, as to what I actually looked like. So without further ado, behold.

Yes, folks. . .this is me.

Yes, 'tis I indeed. Turns out I wasn't the only Snake there either. However, I was the only one dressed as Snake from MGS part 1. (Yes, I know, 733t).

So anyway, that's enough for today. I'll post up some more pictures and stories later. G'night all.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Anime Flash Cartoon!

Kanzeni Marin Nitsuite - Presented by Flash Player

Hey Anime class, check out the above link!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

"Kaneda!!" "Tetsuo!!" *BIG EXPLOSION*

Well, this is my second viewing of the highly acclaimed Akira and I must say I liked it much more the second time around. It probably helps that I'm old enough to comprehend subtle plot elements and interpretations of what's going on. The last 15 minutes seemed like utter chaos when I saw this as a kid. Y'know the whole kids-discovering-genetic-memories-thus-evolving-into-psychic-gods-and-spawning-the-birth-of-a-new-universe thing didn't quite register the first time.

Oh, Kaneda! Oh, Kaneda!

Like Grave of Fireflies, this is a totally engrossing film. I couldn't understand why people actually left during the screening to use the restroom. Screw my bladder, this movie kicked arse.

It's also very unsettling, like other animes. The Japanese aren't as "happy-ending" oriented as we Westerners are. There's some shocking scenes of violence and sex that still hit hard despite being purely cartoon. It's funny though, because sometimes images like these seem more legit than live action performances.

But we ended class on a lighter note with Ranma 1/2. This is a cartoon I'd seen way back as a kid on the Spanish station. (Which by the way used to air a soccer anime!) This is a situational comedy of a young martial artist boy who will transform into a girl when doused with cold water. The possibilities here are endless. . .

I think she's wet.

And it was flat out funny! The timing was great. The situations were hilarious. The girls were hot. (Wow, look how low I've sunk already.) And speaking of which, it's my understanding that this is a children's cartoon. So what's the deal with all the boob shots?! I must be "culturally insensitive", but let's just say I was reminded that I am "heterosexually sensitive".

To sum up: Violence and sex with either an intriguing story or comedic situations. What more could you want?

Monday, January 17, 2005

"Totally Spies" Totally Fake

Alright, so I was flippin through my favorite channels, got to Cartoon Network, and this weird pseudo-anime looking cartoon was on. I then came to realize this was indeed NOT an anime, but merely a crappy imitation of what the Japanese have mastered long ago.

It just pissed me off seeing such shoddy animation trying to be like the most refined style of cartooning there is. It sucked so hard.

It's like eating a plate of egg beaters. Oh sure, they look like eggs. They have the consistency of them, but one bite is all it takes before you upchuck onto the omelet lady at Penland. You can just tell you're trying to be tricked into settling for less. GIVE ME CHOLESTEROL OR GIVE ME DEATH!!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Fuli Culi blew my brains out.

FLCL. Seriously, what is up with this cartoon.

Someone throw me a bone here.

I've only seen one episode, so perhaps I'm not entitled to judge this thing, but seriously just listen to my synopsis:

There's a young school boy and older highschool girl standing on a bridge. In the distance there's this hovering dome that's spewing out some strange white gas. This older girl is totally hitting on the younger kid, who has no idea how to handle this, and out of nowhere this freakish purple-headed girl (who doesn't know either of them) rides up on a moped screaming hurling an electric guitar that is cranked like a chainsaw. She smashes this guitar onto the boys head which then develops into this protruding banana shaped bump which later then spawns two robots which fight to the death . . .

You think I'm a acid junkie now don't you. You can't make this stuff up.

I suppose I need a little more exposure. Just one more hit won't hurt. I won't get addicted . . .really.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Grave of Fireflies

Well, this semester is off to a busy start. This only foreshadows how hellacious things are going to get when the tests start falling. But the beat goes on du-du-dum da-dum da-da. (Pardon my Slim Shadiness).

So we watched Grave of Fireflies in Anime class. I thought it was an excellently put together movie. It's visual style looked old-school anime. (Their eyes weren't exploding out of their heads.) And the level of detail (like most animes) was amazing. I personally don't know how the animators had the perseverence to do this. I would think it's much easier to have endurance when you're animating uber-bad Mecha or bodacious bouncy broads, but this feature length film didn't have any.

It was also the first movie I've seen that depicted a Japanese perspective on the war. And it wasn't an outright lash of revenge towards the U.S. either. It was a simple story of a boy and his sister. The U.S. remained faceless actually, in order to emphasize the story of the orphaned protagonist and his sister. It was a very involving story.

But as good as a it was at keeping my attention, I felt like it was nothing more than just a sad story of a boy and his sister. In other words, there was nothing too profound about it. Yeah, there was a war and people suffered. This is one story of that. Perhaps that's all they were going for.

Either way 4/5 stars.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Blog?? WTFark?!?!

Sweet mother of a sweaty penis. I can't believe I've just created a blog. I was always the guy who would shake his head in scorn when I heard of all those bloggers who would shamelessly post their personal filth for the world to see. How moronic of an idea was that! GOSH. . .idiots.

But lo, here I am. Starting a blog of my own. Not by choice mind you (whoever you are), this is actually for one of my classes at Baylor University. I signed up for an Anime seminar (which is a great breath of fresh air amongst my math and computer science classes) that requires me to rant about my "Anime activity."

So yeah, not only is it a blog *shudder*. . .it's a nerdy blog. Oh well, perhaps I may actually find it therapeutic. . .perhaps.