Air Gear News

Air Gear is a franchise comprised of 2 anime series, 1 manga series
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Hey Vicers and welcome to another episode of Dunce Cap! This episode is a little old but since I am gone on vacation this week I am posting older material. Don't worry though as this episode covers FUNimation's Air Gear, which I watched via Netflix Instant Instant Watch. Enjoy and Comment Follow!

WARNING! This video contains explicit language. Also, this video is not edited in any way.

(Something is wrong, I'm sorry. You'll have to watch via YouTube. Follow the link that I post or just go to my YouTube page. (sotyfan16)) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b61gdcJoeTE

Want to guest-host an episode of Dunce Cap? Go here!

Please feel free to provide suggestions for an anime or manga for me to talk about and I will do my best to oblige. Also, if you are curious about anything discussed in this-or previous-episode(s) don't hesitate to ask me for more information/opinions.

Last episode: Random Series Thoughts

-Will McQuigg ( sotyfan16) is your everyday anime/manga enthusiast. You can also find him on Twitter ( bildo_88)

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While on summer break me and my younger brothers would watch a lot of Netflix when we were at home, eventually it became a ritual for one of us to pick something that caught our eye and we would watch as much as possible. We found a few gems in the anime section like Kaze No Stigma, Hell Girl, and Soul Eater (even though it was ruined by the ending). Everything was going great until it was my turn to pick and I saw something I wish I hadn't an anime called Air Gear. Now don't get me wrong the anime was amazing so amazing that it made me curious about the manga.  
As soon as I finished the anime I promptly went online to check out the manga and boy was I in for a treat art and action was and it was well written. I was eager to read it just to find out how the manga filled the only plot hole the anime had, before I go any further let me explain this plot hole. The main character's older sister comes home from touring and is angry to find out he is a rollerblader, but isn't angry that his three sisters rollerblade one of which is like 8 and the main character is 15-16. She explains to him that the girls are "special" that's why they can rollerblade and he can't so she forbids him and that's it.  

 After he slips and almost kills himself she goes to her paralyzed ex boyfriend and confides in him about how much she worries about him. That is my first problem with the manga if she is that worried about his safety why would she let her sisters skate?  Later we see a flashback showing that her bf isnt human and neither are her sister so I guess that's what she meant by "special". Plot hole sealed right? Wrong her bf is "special" and he still got paralyzed so what's to stop it from happening to her sisters especially the eight year old? Is it a special paralysis that only targets rollerbladers with the Y chromosome? Nope it was just someone who knew he was evil and wanted to stop him but couldn't finish the job.  

Which brings me to my what happened to simple rollerblading and the skates allow certain users to almost fly with them and eight of the very best the are what is known as "Kings" can use them to easily move around in Anti-Gravity.  I t is later revealed that there is a ninth king the "Sky King" is the top dog so everyone wants that title and it turns out the person closest to that title is the main character, and the last person who was supposed to get the title was the boyfriend so that's why she doesn't want to skate but wait. The main character showed that he utterly sucks in Anti-Gravity so why are they so sure he is the next "Sky King"? And how did she know he was that good when she chose not to teach him to skate four years ago if she never saw him skate and her boyfriend wasn't in a wheelchair yet?  
The next examples are all the way at the end (or what I think is the end of the manga) its just a sentence after the older sister and the sister that is the same age as the main character gets into a fight she says that the power that she taught her hurts the user just as much as the oponent and some of the moves are lethal. So she willingly taught her sister moves that could cause her to kill her self but she didn't want to teach her brother to lace up a pair of skates that makes no sense just like this bloody manga! 
  
If you read this thanks a lot if you liked/disliked/didn't care about this post comment I was thinking about making this into a series if people actually read this and comment my next post will be about Freezing . 
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Okay so I recently read the latest chapter of Air Gear and I am really freaking confused. I read it a few times and still don't get it can someone explain what's going on.
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It took me awhile to write and edit, but I have finally gotten my content all together and have wrapped up writing most of my experiences at this year's FanimeCon 2011 in San Jose, Califorina. In this first of two segments that highlights my four days of wandering around, taking photos, and interviewing people for this feature, I will discuss what I saw at FanimeCon cosplay-wise, from the basic cosplayers to the elaborate cosplays that left people standing there in amazement. In addition, I have two of the interviews that I conducted for this feature, as well as some cosplay photos that I took during my travels around the San Jose Convention Center over the four-day duration of FanimeCon. I hope that you enjoy reading this feature as much as I did writing about my experiences.

One of many awesome, elaborate cosplays that I came across at FanimeCon 2011 xD
One of many awesome, elaborate cosplays that I came across at FanimeCon 2011 xD

Introduction

This year, I was able to make the pilgrimage from my hometown of Chico, California down to San Jose for FanimeCon 2011, which ran from Thursday, May 27th until Monday, May 30th at the San Jose Convention Center in downtown San Jose. From the moment I first reached the Convention Center at roughly 11:30 AM Friday morning until I got on the 12:50 PM AMTRAK train back to Sacramento on Monday, I was amazed and thrilled to be surrounded by roughly 15,000 or more fellow anime/manga fans doing what they do best: partaking in four days of Con madness. I was surrounded by a horde of people, ranging from photographers to cosplayers to members of the media and everything in between as FanimeCon 2011 officially got underway at 2:00 PM Friday with the Opening Ceremonies. Armed with my 2009 Canon Rebel XSi D-SLR camera, a pair of 18-55mm and 55-250mm lenses, and two 8GB memory cards that could hold 1,350 images apiece, I set forth into the masses and began my 4-day adventure at FanimeCon 2011, taking cosplay images, conducting interviews, and helping my new friend (and fellow photographer) Sam Lau with his photoshoots outside of the Convention Center with dozens of cosplayers.

Two of the many Black Butler-related cosplays seen at FanimeCon 2011 (Grell and Ciel)
Two of the many Black Butler-related cosplays seen at FanimeCon 2011 (Grell and Ciel)

Cosplay at FanimeCon: From the Basic to the Amazing!

When I attended the opening day of FanimeCon 2010 last year (from 8 AM until 2:30 PM), I managed to walk around the Convention Center taking images of various cosplayers that were making the rounds of the area before I had to leave. This year, I decided to employ the same strategy that I had used for the 6 hours of the previous year, by making constant loops of the 1st floor, 2nd floor, and outside of the Convention Center, taking images of any cosplay that captured my attention or was worthy of being captured with my camera. This year, I began to notice after several hours that there were a ton of VOCALOID, One Piece, Black Butler, and various Final Fantasy cosplays (ranging from FFV all the way to FFXIII) at FanimeCon to behold, and they seemed to be the most popular series/franchises to cosplay as this year. I lost count of how many different cosplays from different series that I came across, but I am quite sure that it was quite a high number in the end. Some of the best cosplays that I came across were from the VOCALOID, Eureka 7, One Piece, Black Butler, Final Fantasy, Puella Magi Madoka★Magica, Code Geass, Street Fighter, Rozen Maiden, and other franchises that I could not name (not familiar with them)

One of the many cosplayers participating in a photoshoot (Cosplaying as Luka Megurine of the VOCALOID franchise)
One of the many cosplayers participating in a photoshoot (Cosplaying as Luka Megurine of the VOCALOID franchise)

In addition, the types of cosplay that I came across at FanimeCon were quite amazing, from the basic cosplays that new cosplayers or low-budget cosplayers donned for convention all the way to the elaborate, high budget cosplays that had photographers swarming them like flies, all trying to capture images of their amazing cosplay from whatever series/franchise it was from. There were dozens of scheduled cosplayer gatherings being held at FanimeCon, which allowed for a large number of cosplayers dressed as the characters of their favorite franchises to participate in mass photoshoots and to interact with each other under the leadership of the leader of their gathering. I managed to attend 5 gatherings (VOCALOID, Pokemon, K-ON!, Valve, and Black Butler) at FanimeCon this year, taking image of the large number of cosplayers that participated in each of their respective gatherings. One of the people that I managed to interview for my feature was the leader of the VOCALOID gathering that was held on Friday at 5:30 PM, and our brief interview is as follows:

Here is Chirstina, cosplaying as Hatsune Miku and leader of the VOCALOID gathering at FanimeCon 2011.
Here is Chirstina, cosplaying as Hatsune Miku and leader of the VOCALOID gathering at FanimeCon 2011.

ShadowKnight508: So, what got you into cosplaying at FanimeCon?

Christina: Just going to the convention and seeing the cosplays and like "That looks like fun!" *laughs*

ShadowKnight508: So, what got you into cosplaying as VOCALOID?

Christina: Um, I dunno...I just love Miku, she's a great character. Um, I'm not really sure...she is just like my favorite, so....*laughs*

ShadowKnight508: So, what was your budget and what was the effort needed for your cosplay?

Christina: Um...budget was about...I wanna say around $200+. Um, it was originally about...maybe I think $75 for the wig and like $80 for the cosplay itself plus shipping, so and then I added on props later, so that total is around $50 or so.

ShadowKnight508: Thanks for participating, Christina! Enjoy the rest of your Con!

Working with Sam Lau (Cosplay.com)

Around 2 PM on Friday afternoon at FanimeCon 2011, I came across a Sucker Punch photoshoot that featured a Babydoll and other cosplays from the film. As one of the cosplayers posed with a rifle on a bike, the wind began to swirl quite strongly, sending one of the reflector screens that one photographer had set up flying. I grabbed onto it and put it back in place, holding it still until he was finished. After the shoot was over, he introduced himself to me as Sam Lau, a photographer from Toronto, Canada who was attending FanimeCon 2011 to take images for his profile on Cosplay.com. I decided that he was a neat guy to hang around with, so I asked if I could become his assistant/partner for the day. He agreed, and from that point on, I was assisting him with his photoshoots for the remaining three days of the convention. We took many images as a team, with me assisting him in his shots by holding/angling the light reflecting screen or holding the screen with a Pocket Wizard-enabled flash for additional lighting. While he packed up after he had finished, I would take my quick shots of the subject and then proceed off with Sam to find the next cosplayer to shoot. We spent the most time with a Sailor Mercury cosplayer (Sailor Moon), taking her images at the fountains at the Cesar Chavez Memorial Park and in the one fancy area of the hotel that Sam was staying at.

His images (which turned out much better, due to his impressive Nikon camera and incredible lenses), can be found on Cosplay.com under Baron Karza, his profile name.

Over the 4 days we worked together, we took images of at least 60 different cosplayers, most of which had some stunning outfits or amazing props to go with their cosplay. Below are some of the many cosplay photos that I took at FanimeCon 2011 this year. The rest (meaning the other 150 or so) can be found on my DeviantArt profile (which will be linked down below the images):

Overall, my experience at FanimeCon 2011 was a great one, for spending almost four days engulfed by all things anime/manga with over 15,000 people is nothing short of epic. I took roughly 500 images at FanimeCon, with around 280 of them turning out to be the best of the bunch, so those 280 or so are being uploaded onto my DeviantArt account (around 70% of them are loaded up as we speak). In part two of my feature on my trip to FanimeCon 2011, I will post the other three interviews that I managed to conduct, more cosplay images, photos from several of the gatherings, my Con pass, the FanimeCon 2011 guidebook, and show the band of religious protestors that show up and heckled the con attendees (which led to some funny moments with cosplayers mocking them, horsing around them until the cops showed up, and ended with a Jesus cosplayer walking in front of their group, arms spread wide and looking towards the heavens as the crowds cheered him on).

ShadowKnight's DeviantArt Profile: http://www.shadowknight508.deviantart.com

*ShadowKnight508 is a frequent user of AnimeVice, with almost 24,000 Wiki points worth of work to his name and many blogs to his credit. You can find him watching anime, taking photos, gaming, or working on the Honey Blonde/Maid Bride wiki pages.*

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Most people who know me know I’m as much a Broadway junkie as well as I am an anime junkie, as the reference to Billy Elliot in one of my initial posts may have suggested. I come from a family of Broadway fanatics who travel to New York City every other year to check out new shows. However, I’d like to point out that I am in no way an expert on Japan’s musical theater culture, so If I make any errors, I encourage people to please feel free to correct me.

  
  
 
  A bronze statue of Oscar and Andre on Hana no michi (Flower Avenue) in Takarazuka, Hyōgo. (Wikipedia)
 A bronze statue of Oscar and Andre on Hana no michi (Flower Avenue) in Takarazuka, Hyōgo. (Wikipedia)
While discussing the New Code Geass Project in the February 2010 issue of Newtype, Code Geass producer Yoshitaka Kawaguchi mentioned in passing that he and director Goro Taniguchi would be interested in adapting Code Geass as a stage musical. It’s far from a definite thing, but it wouldn’t be a new concept. Anime-themed musicals have been around as far back as 1974, when Takarazuka Revue, a group of all-female acting troupes, made a name for themselves with their adaption of Rose of Versailles.  The troupe has since done multiple different adaptations of Rose of Versailles and continues to perform it today. The actresses are split into five troupes depending on their style and skills: Flower Troupe performs big budget, operatic shows, Moon Troupe does modern musicals and dramas, Snow Troupe specializes in traditional Japanese dance and opera, Star Troupe is known for having actresses who play strong otokoyaku (male) roles, and Cosmos Troupe is more experimental. Each troupe has done at least two adaptations of Rose of Versailles. The video below is from a 1989 Snow Troupe performance focusing on the relationship between Oscar and Andre, with Andre as the lead.
  
  

Other manga adaptations by Takarazuka Revue have included Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack and Phoenix. Last year, the troupe came out with an adapatdation of Phoenix Wright.
  
   
Osamu Tezuka, who grew up in Takarazuka, inspired Princess Knight off of elements from Takarazuka Revue plays he’d seen, and Princess Knight later went on to inspire other series with females in traditionally male roles, such as Rose of Versailles and Revolutionary Girl Utena. Sakura Wars was heavily inspired by Takarazuka Revue, and the Zuka club in Ouran High School Host Club is a loose parody of the troupe. A 1997 stage production of Revolutionary Girl Utena, “Comedie Musicale Utena la fillette révolutionnaire,” featured a Takarazuka-style cast.
  
   
   Flyer from the 2004 Musical (Wikipedia)
   Flyer from the 2004 Musical (Wikipedia)
Better known in the West is the Sailor Moon musicals, more popularly known as Sera Myu. The musicals spanned 12 years and three “stages” used to define the central casts and themes of the show at that time. You probably won’t ever see it on Broadway or the West End, but there are amateur productions floating around the West.


The performance below features second stage actress Miyuki Kanbe as Sailor Moon. Kanbe died of heart failure in 2008.
  
   
The number of anime-themed musicals have increased in the past decade, with three Hunter x Hunter musicals from 2000 to 2002, several Princes of Tennis musicals from 2003 to 2007, an ongoing series of Bleach musicals that began in 2005, and a one-shot Air Gear musical in January 2007.
  
    
    
    
   
So what’s the chance on any of these shows getting the Broadway treatment? Right now I’d say slim to none, but animation isn’t foreign to Broadway and comics aren’t far off. Shows like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and even Shrek have been phenomenal hits. An adaptation of The Addams Family based more on the original comics from The New Yorker than anything in the TV series, cartoon or movies will be making its Broadway premiere in March. Julie Taymor, the creative mind behind The Lion King musical, is currently working on getting Spider-Man to the stage. So, who knows?


Until that day comes, please enjoy this commercial for the short-lived Pokemon Live!
  
   
Takeshi Kaga, who played Soichiro Yagami in the Death Note live action movies, but is probably better known for playing Chairman Kaga on Iron Chef, got his start playing Jesus in the original Japanese production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Just thought I’d throw that out there.
 
True story. When I was little I totally believed Chairman Kaga and the backstory on Kitchen Stadium preceding every episode of Iron Chef was real. I can see more ludicrous things that a bazillionaire would spend his money on then a televised kitchen auditorium where competitors compete against professional chefs of varying areas of expertise to cook a mystery meal for a panel of judges in front of a live studio audience. Allez cuisine!
 
The Japan Girl
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Manga

Well i thought i would do a blog about all the stuff im finding interesting so ye
1. Berserk - I love this series with all my heart
2. One Piece - I'm a late comer but still really enjoying it, only read up to volume 6 tho
3. Gantz - Gory and action packed, what else do you need
4. Bleach - Nothing new here
5. Air Gear - Ummm ye

Anime

1. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
2. Black Lagoon
3. Naruto
4. Cowboy Beebop
5. Neon Genesis Evangelion
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