So recently I stopped in at Chapters to buy the last volume of Record of a Fallen Vampire and when I was looking through the rest of the fiction section and spotted some other stuff.
Now I haven't read through much of Future Diary yet but based on the Unscripted John did in March I decided to pick up the first two volumes* and it is pretty cool so far. As for the bottom item, I saw it standing out on the sci-fi section and remembered how much fun I had watching the cheesy B-movie film adapation late one night last year with some friends.
I was suprised at how much text was in the original novel though since when I watched Battle Royale I pictured something around maybe 300 pages or so. Now it's not really visible here but the novel is just slightly over 600 pages. What is really cool though is that about 20 of those pages are two interviews the first being with the director of the film on the night before it's Japanese release and the second an interview with the author Koushun Takami conducted by VIZ. (Who published this release of the book last year)
Oh and I stopped by HMV to pick up some new CDs. (and a couple old ones that I lost or just never bought) So if anyone is into music. Personally out of the six Crash Karma's (a super group made from musicians from some of the best Canadian alt-rock bands from the 90s to mid 2000s) recent debut album is my favourite.
*I've developed this pattern where if the first two volumes of a manga (or any graphic novel series really) or short novel series (less than 200 pages) that I'm interested in are out I'll buy both of them since usually by than they get the some of the more filler bits out of the way that are mainly there to just introduce the characters.
Last year was my first time to a convention so that in itself was cool. I went to Anime North and Fan Expo. (Yay for repping Canada) There is five distinct things I remembered that were really awesome.
First was on the Saturday at Anime North after the Quatre Koe Concert, (Four Voices Concert, Quatre being four in French and Koe being voice in Japanese) I randomly met someone in the lobby of the Doubletree who knew I was cosplaying as Snow Villiers and asked me if I wanted to hang with her friend who was cosplaying as Oerba Dia Vanille (both from FFXIII) and needless to say by the end of the con I ended up making friends with them as well as 3 other people with them that all came down from Ottawa.
The concert itself was another fond memory, (aside from Jessie Flower who did a bunch of Hannah Montana songs and some of her own poppy crap) I felt really bad for Mark Hildreth (Heero Yuy) at the end because after the Vic Mignogna fangirl squad left the room was probably around 20% capacity, which sucks because he has this really awesome soft rock mixed with funk sound. (check it out for yourself)
Speaking of music the next is from one of the afterparties (although they are on saturday night) at Fan Expo particularly the CNAnime`s (Fan Expo is a multi-genre convention that is kind of like Comic-Con but 40% of the size and in Canada) one, which was karaoke at a small bar on Front Street hosted by Derek Stephen Prince. To get it going on the second song he Rick Rolled everyone in the bar, while doing the best Rick Astley voice I`ve ever heard. (makes sense he`s a voice actor) He left at around 1am or so though. Sometime around the middle of the night one guy who brought his laptop got the bar owners to hook it up to the speaker system, so people sung some anime songs for awhile. The best part of the night however was meeting some awesome people and having some great drunken fun with a bunch of people doing karaoke. The night ended at around 3 when I convinced 13 of the 15 people (the only two sober people who were happy to just see us act like a bunch of fools) left to all come up to this tiny little platform with 2 mics for us all to belt out Detroit Rock City before we staggered out of the bar. Needless to say it was epic and even the one really serious bar owner couldn't help but laugh and smile.
Thankfully the next day started a little later in the morning so I was able to make it out early enough to go to three back to back Q&A panels from a bunch of voice actors. What was really cool was seeing just how different all the personalities are. First it was Aaron Dismuke, whose panel was like hearing what some teenager with an injection of ADD had to say about things and had kind of a mild humor to it. Following that up with Monica Rial, Colleen Clinkenbeard and Brina Palencia, which was more professional about things to do with the voice acting industry and like late night mixed with somewhat blue humor for the more off-topic questions. After this was Crispin Freeman, which was very professional but not unapproachable and to describe it I would say it was like a really interesting lecture focused on anime, voice acting, mythology and art except it was never boring at all and left me wanting to hear more about what he had to say. It was just fascinating seeing how all these different personalities chose to answer the questions the audience gave them.
Oh and the last awesome memory was getting the chance to meet and also get the autograph of the aformentioned voice actors as well as a few others between Anime North and Fan Expo along with exploring the Artists Alley in both places and seeing all of the cool stuff that people had created and buying some of it. One artist that particularly sticks out is Hyein Lee who was at Fan Expo selling a collaborative illustration anthology called CHAOS. The cool part is she originally was an engineer (now an illustrator obviously) and myself I'm doing my undergrad in Electrical Engineering currently so it was cool just talking about stuff like school and technical stuff like that. She also signed it complete with a stylized ERTW, [for those not in the know it stands for Engineers Rule The World] which was just an awesome geeky reference that probably not alot of people would know.
As for cons this year I hope to get to go to Anime North and Fan Expo again.
Weird title eh? It will make sense in a bit.
So after looking this over I realise most people will be TL:DR so to sum it up. EGM dying really really sucked, but led to me discovering GiantBomb and AnimeVice both of which are really awesome and EGM is being resurrected by the founder of the magazine, which is amazing.
So starting with one of the worst things I can think of that happened was the death of EGM. Now, while I hadn't been with it since it's inception over 20 years ago, I did read it ever since I was about 14 or the past 6 years, sometimes I would miss an issue. (I wasn't a subscriber but would buy it from the book store or grocery store) EGM and 1up were my first stop for anything and everything related to videogames and it was great, sure I didn't agree with what some of their reviewers or staff thought but that was cool since they all had their own kind of voice. I remember how great it was when the 1up show and later the various podcasts they had started up that gave you even more content each week of hearing about the staff's thoughts on mostly game related stuff. When I first saw the news of EGM dying I was devastated and slightly depressed for a few weeks because not only was the greatest videogame related magazine of all time dying but most of the staff was let go, thankfully they've all seemed to find a new source of employment with some still in editorial but most of them moving of to PR or a producer position or something similar at a developer. I mean 1up was still around but it just felt weird, eventually I got used to some of the newer personalities that mainly came out of necessity, (like having the art and production team starting to contribute reviews and a lot more freelance reporting) but there was something that was missing, part of that being the magazine was something actually physical, where if I wanted to go back later and read it I wouldn't have to worry if the link was too old and had been destroyed to make room for new content and getting to the next article was less tedious since I just had to turn the page to it instead of going through a volley of links.
I still frequent 1up but coupled with less free time now I just don't visit it as much anymore. Now to fill this void I started to diversify the videogame websites I went to. I even went back to IGN for a bit, which the last time I did was when I came across a Kingdom Hearts roleplay on the Kingdom Hearts board.
*Now to the good news*
Eventually this search led me to Giantbomb, having never heard of Gamespot except for the controversy with Kane and Lynch that led to Giantbomb eventually being created. After seeing a few episodes of the Endurance Run, I was finding myself going to the site quite a bit I loved Persona 4 and the commentary by Jeff and Vinny was hilarious. I found myself frequenting Giantbomb more and more and eventually some stray topic or mention of another site catering to anime/manga that is owned by the same company led me here and found that I was quickly enjoying this place to.
I never really followed anime/manga news much (I mean I'd go on animenewsnetwork and the like on occasion) mainly because I never really was that into it besides seeing Yu-Gi-Oh, DragonBall Z and the like on YTV at my friends house sometimes (I grew up with just analog TV meaning I only got Global Toronto, CBC Toronto, The New NX/A Channel London, CTV Toronto, TVO, and on Fox Detroit, WB Detroit and a station from Barrie on occasion [none of which would have anime on]) and thought it was cool but never was too interested in it. Later on my parents got satellite television like my friend and I found myself watching more anime on Teletoon and YTV and actually got into watching Naruto with my mom on Friday nights if I was still at home because nothing was happening that Friday night. After starting university however I found out about a club dedicated to mainly anime but manga and videogames somewhat as well. Hearing what other people said were cool I started diversifying what I've seen from just the shōnen series that were popular on YTV in particular. (although now a days I think they've all but stopped showing any anime unfortunately although I don't watch TV much anymore anyway)
So getting back to what I was talking about from that side story it was great to see a place where I could talk about anime/manga and related topics besides with my friends that are into it. And in other good news as well EGM is coming back after the original creator Steve Harris bought the rights and is planning to publish the first issue shortly.
To recieve a 12 (A+) average this semseter. That would be the most awesome gift of all. My cummulative average could use a boost. (Insert whinny engineering is hard if you want) Hopefully my elective "Storytelling in East Asian Religions" can pad some of the more rough stuff like "Electronics II and Probability and Random Processes[DO NOT LIKE]"
As for the more common kind of wants: Big Christmas dinner at my grandparents because I haven't seen any of the extended family since midsummer because a few people were sick back in October for Thanksgiving and the rest where busy finishing harvesting soy beans, (summer kind of sucked weatherwise so they were behind and super busy with sending it off to be turned into soy sauce or far more likely livestock feed since corn was coming right up after) Spice and Wolf Vol. 1 of the light novels (Chapters/Indigo website [a monopolistic chain of book stores in Canada, which is another rant] says December 15th so hopefully it isn't delayed) which I have actually yet to know anything but the genre, intro and they both sound like something I would enjoy, LP by Holy Fuck, (assuming their label is still printing copies I would have put Crash Karma's [new Canadian super group 3 of the members are from very successful Canadian rock bands during the 90s] debut album too but I think they're pushing it back until early spring 2010) Assassin’s Creed 2, um maybe some new strings for my guitar they could use it.