Tag Archives: anime

The NekoCon Diaries 2018: 2017 FLASHBACK – Swag Review and Grab Bag Unboxing

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In my effort to try and get back into the swing of things before Live Free or NekoCon, I’ve pulled out this post I started on over a year ago and am presenting it here; mostly so that the absurd amount of money I spent on this crap didn’t go entirely to waste.  The reason why this one didn’t go up despite me finishing most of it is that I always set these up to be the last one of my convention recaps but I always write them first.  When I get back, it’s just easier for me to get the table ready, get the lights, and go through all this stuff right then and there instead of postponing it and hoping I’ll ever be in a better mood to get it done.  Also, I do want to point out that one of the manga I bought has a hate symbol on it that I have “tastefully” edited out, so just be aware of that before we go any further.  And with that, everything going forward (excluding a brief wrap up at the end) was more or less written a year ago, so enjoy!

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MANGA GALORE!!

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The NekoCon Diaries 2018: Pre-Convention Thoughts and what happened to The NekoCon Diaries 2017!

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We are just a week away from the start of NekoCon 21 which is my fourth NekoCon and will therefore be referred to as Live Free or NekoCon; and if I go next year it will be A Good Day to NekoCon. It’s the one convention I go to every year to recap for the site, except… I didn’t write anything about last year’s con, i.e. NekoCon with a Vengeance. It’s not like I didn’t have any material as I had two notebooks full of details (they’re around here somewhere!) and I even got a few quotes from some of the panelists that go a bit more in depth with the topic that they were discussing! So what happened? Where are these BRILLIANT pieces that should have been written!? Well… nothing really happened. Despite how much effort I expended taking those notes and getting information (I even had an hour long meltdown when I lost the damn notebooks), I just couldn’t bring myself to put it all together and post it to the site. I guess there are a few reasons for that. I had already been there twice and despite the panels being different and a few improvements here and there, it still felt very much the same the third time around. Maybe people want a certain sense of continuity from year to year or maybe me being a socially awkward SOB in a sea of strangers meant I couldn’t truly appreciate what was there, but in the end it felt very much like a trip to a mall or something along those lines that I’ve been to before rather than a yearly celebration with like-minded people. Maybe to a certain extent I’ve just drifted away from “fandom” in general; especially when it comes to anime which is the primary subculture on display there. Aside from nostalgia bait like Dragon Ball Super or Sailor Moon Crystal, nothing has caught my eye or felt like an evolution away from the worst aspects of the genre; i.e. more video game adaptations, more shows with increasingly esoteric naming schemes and comic book levels of confusing continuity, and an adherence to gendered stereotypes that have been set in the hardest stone imaginable. Heck, the last non-nineties anime I fell in love with was Princess Jellyfish and that was eight years ago! I’m sure stuff like One Punch Man and Little Witch Academia are just fine (not Fate though, which is terrible), but I just find that my interests have drifted elsewhere whether it’s western animation (have you seen that Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse show!?) or just movies over twelve episode story arcs. At some point I should probably just stump up the money to go to one of those fancy film festivals, and I’m certainly gonna try looking at other fan conventions in 2019, but for now I’m still committed to NekoCon as well as to my DUTY as it were to cover the convention to the best of my abilities. Will it be better this year? Well it certainly helps that I’m AWARE of my ambivalence now instead of being blindsided by utter apathy once the dang thing is over and I can also now be more proactive in finding ways to report on the convention that will hold my interest all the way through. However, there are other factors specific to this year that are undercutting my efforts to stay optimistic. On a personal level, I’ve had a few setbacks this month as well as a nasty cold that’s persisted for about two weeks now; neither of which are really things are all that serious but have still drained me a fair bit and are leaving me not in the best headspace with just one week left to go. On top of that, the convention itself has made some decisions this year that have left me less than enthused with the programming compared to previous years. One of the things that I look forward to each year (and seems to be a major draw for many others) is THE GAME ROOM where they have consoles set up on side and an assortment of arcade machines on the other. This year however, they’ve announced that the arcade section was going to be replaced by… pachinko and slot machines.

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Super Recaps: Dragon Ball Super Episode 5 (Showdown on King Kai’s World! Goku vs. Beerus the Destroyer!)

Dragon Ball Super and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Toei Animation and licensed by Funimation

We’re back with another episode of Everybody Fears Beerus, and while this one may not be filler… it’s not all that interesting either.  Oh sure, it’s the first big punch up we’ve gotten in the series, but we already saw it like five years ago.  Well who knows!  Maybe I’m being unfair and they’ll do something interesting with it instead of just needlessly recreate it almost scene for scene!  Toei not cheap enough to do that… right?  Okay they probably are, but maybe they’ll throw in a bit of Vegeta and Bulma to make up for it!  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins where the last one left off; namely with King Kai shitting bricks over Lord Beerus landing on his planet and hoping that Goku can keep his head down long enough for the God of Destruction to lose interest and be on his way.  That’s either a great deal of optimism on King Kai’s part or more likely a desperate prayer out of desperation that the guy can for ONCE in his life listen to someone else when they tell him to stay out of it.  Credit where it’s due; Goku DOES manage to maintain a modicum of self-control by staying out of sight, but considering that Beerus can sense power levels… yeah, it was kinda pointless to try and hide behind a brick wall.  Goku comes out and tries to be affable, but King Kai is not impressed and starts to… “correct” his behavior.

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Seriously, can I get a show where it’s just King Kai trying to teach Goku some manners?  They could call it My Fair Saiyan!!  That, or The Taming of the Goku.

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Super Recaps: Dragon Ball Super Episode 4 (Bid for the Dragon Balls! Pilaf and Crew’s Impossible Mission!)

Dragon Ball Super and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Toei Animation and licensed by Funimation

We’re back with another episode of Bulma’s Birthday Blowout, and… yeah, I’m not gonna beat around the bush on this one.  We’re in straight up filler mode and not the fun kind like watching Vegeta eat a giant octopus.  Sure we get little snippets of Goku training on King Kai’s planet and Vegeta being awesome, but for the majority of the episode we’re dealing with Goten, Kid Trunks, and The Pilaf Gang doing pointless shenanigans while we wait for Beerus to make it to King Kai’s planet.  Ugh… even Yamcha would be more interesting to follow, but I guess we have to  follow what happened in Battle of the Gods… even the uninteresting parts.  Oh well.  Let’s get started…

The episode begins with Beerus and Whis who remind us that they’re on their way to King Kai’s planet and that it’s going to take some time to get there, but at least they manage to have some funny banter back and forth before they leave the episode completely.  Come to think of it, one of the best aspects of this show so far has been the dub which manages to stay pretty sharp and even somewhat self-aware for those who’ve been following the series since the beginning.  Now not all of the dialogue hits as is the case with pretty much any dub (except Yu Yu Hakusho and I will FIGHT YOU on that!), but for something that has all the hallmarks of a cheap cash grab to milk the fans of the franchise (the weak animation, the fact that we’re picking up RIGHT after DBZ ends, the constant fan service) I think they’re managing to at least get the character interactions right.  Speaking of which, we get even more of the Sean Schemmel Comedy Hour as King Kai has notices Beerus’s B-line straight for his planet and is bemoaning his lot in life while Goku stays as oblivious as ever.

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“Boy, King Kai!  It’s not often that I see you shitting bricks like this.  Did YOU forget it was Bulma’s birthday too?”

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The NekoCon Diaries 2016: Swag Review and Grab Bag Unboxing

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You know we can’t end a discussion about a convention without talking about all the stuff I got!  It’s TRADITIONAL to brag about your level of disposable income to whoever cares to listen!  I made sure to save up a lot more money this year, not only to have more flexibility in what I could do during the trip, but also to make this part of my convention recap all the more interesting.  No need to thank me!  Just enjoy reading about it below!!

Now I ended up focusing most of my budget on grab bags this year rather than anything specific (other than some overpriced snacks), but I did grab these LEGO knock-offs at a pretty damn good price which is hard to find at a convention.  Plus, the poster was free!

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Once again, my love for Sailor Jupiter shines through as she is the only Sailor Scout I picked up.  The remaining scouts were there to purchase, but even at a decent price of twelve dollars each, I didn’t want to spend THAT much for a complete set.  The Hatsune Miku one was all the way at fifteen dollars, but then everything with her does come at a premium price.  It’s like an anime law or something.  I did pick up some manga too, and it just so happened that the same vendor was there with the same deal as last year (10 for $40), but the selection this time around was not as good as most of it is still books from Seven Seas which doesn’t license a lot of books that I like and I already grabbed most of the stuff I wanted last year.  Still, there are a few gems here and I also grabbed one from at another table for $3.50 when they cut prices in half on the last day.

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Super Recaps: Dragon Ball Super Episode 3 (Where Does the Dream Pick Up? Find the Super Saiyan God!)

Dragon Ball Super and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Toei Animation and licensed by Funimation

We back with another episode of Dragon Ball: The Next Generation.  Wait, didn’t they already do that with A Hero’s Legacy?  Anyway, the last episode managed to get a lot of point from me for giving us a decent side story with Vegeta and his family, but it started to turn for me once we started focusing again on Beerus and what we KNOW he’s gonna end up doing in just a few episodes.  Sure, if you HAVEN’T seen the two movies that came out already then it might be a bit more interesting to watch the guy wreck shit across the galaxy, but I can’t bring myself to care about that half as much as I care about watching Vegeta awkwardly trying to be a decent father.  So does this episode give us more character moments that reveal or expand upon what we already know about our heroes, or will this instead focus on keeping the plot train running as it heads towards a conclusion we’re all already aware of?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Lord douchebag… I mean Lord Beerus, on his way back to his Space Palace; all the while trying to remember what it was he saw in the dream he had in the last episode.  Spoiler Alert: It’s Goku.  Also, this marks the point in the series where I start to notice those heavily criticized animation shortcuts this show seems to be famous for, and… yeah.  Whenever they go for medium shots of the characters, the detailing takes a HUGE nosedive and it makes the whole production look cheap which PARTICULARLY sucks considering how good the original shows looked.  Now this kind of streamlined approach to the detailing can work for LONG shots (you don’t want something small to have too many lines), but at this distance it’s incredibly noticeable.

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What happened to Beerus’s thumb!?

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The NekoCon Diaries 2016: Anime, Feminism, and You!

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So there were a few more panels this year that I didn’t talk about in my earlier pieces, and the reason why is that they covered topics that I wanted to go into with a bit more depth and nuance than I did with the others.  We’ll cover VocAmerica next time, but for now I think it’s time we had a talk about sexism in anime.  Now keep in mind that this is all my own recollections and interpretations of what was discussed at these panels, and my opinion should not be taken in isolation.  There are PLENTY of people who talk about these subjects with much more authority and eloquence than I could possibly muster.  Let’s get started!!

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