20 Years Ago Today , I watch anime for the first time ever and #Toonami first broadcast on Cartoon Network! My first ever anime I watched was Voltron and its looks amazing! It was the best night of my life! Over the 20 years as an otaku I’ve watched DBZ / Dragon Ball / One Piece / Pokemon / Digimon / Fairy Tail / Sonic / Huntik / Much More Awesome Anime! I started watching anime since I was 2 years old almost 3 and it’s changed my autism life over the years! Anime and Gaming is awesome! Also Twitch Gaming Streaming Site has helped my social skills for autism since 2012! My first anime convention was at Louisville KY at Pokecon in July 2013 and it was an blast! Next Month I’ll be attending my 10th anime convention at Shumatsucon in Columbus Ohio! I like to give thanks to my family , twitch , @Kintinue . @wgrates , Toonami Crew, and you for making my special needs life amazing! Here to the next 20 years to my otaku life! #HuntikOtaku20th
I made it my mission to cover every convention in my area. While I have a ways to go, I did mange to knock one more off the list. Today, I’ll report on J1-Con. J1-Con is an anime focused convention that take place in Philadelphia. It is run by J1 Studios; an online geek entertainment hub. After holding one day events for a few years, they were finally able to expand to two days. That expansion was what prompted me to finally check it out. Well, what really prompted me to check them out was their Facebook ad. It’s not the most sophisticated way to discover a convention but that proves advertisement does work.
I do have to object to some of the claims their advertisements have though. First, they claim to be Philadelphia’s number one anime convention. While it is true, it’s not as impressive at it sounds. By and large, anime conventions generally establish and respect each others’ territories. Larger cities may host multiple conventions due to having enough of population to support them. It’s like the local newspaper declaring a place has the best apple cider donuts in town. It’s easy to be the best in town if you’re the only one in the town! Secondly, J1 announced that they had the most fan panels ever that year. While they have surpassed a personal best, running only two panel rooms is unimpressive. While I do have objections when it comes to their marketing, we all know the real deal is the con itself.
J1-Con houses itself at 820 Spring Garden Street, which is also known as the Dome.The Dome is also home to such events as the Spring Garden Antique Vintage Flea Market and the Philadelphia Punk Rock Flea Market. It’s just few blocks north of Chinatown and easy reachable with Septa. If you prefer to drive, there’s on site parking for just ten dollars. I should note that the area around the Dome is rundown. While J1 does have security guarding the con, I wouldn’t dawdle in the area after dark.
What really sets the Dome back as a convention spot is that it’s basically a warehouse. For any convention, you want several separate rooms so that each event will have its own space. The Dome doesn’t have that. It’s one giant space not broken up at all. J1 can only have two panel room because that’s all they have space for. The site is ill suited for an anime con. On the bright side, there are five nearby pokestops and you get Koffing and Tangula there. J1 has taken steps to alleviate the issue by also using District N9NE to host its varied video game tournaments.
I don’t consider the Dome an ideal space for an anime con by most standards. I believe that J1’s choice of location is due more to lack of good options then ability to pick a place. My impression is that Philadelphia isn’t a good place for smaller cons. The Philadelphia Convention Center is great if you need a lot of space and have a lot of money but smaller conventions (and their smaller budgets) must find homes elsewhere. Zenkaikon said, “nope” and went west. Fillycon (short review of Fillycon: it’s a small but fun My Little Pony con) tried to find a good place and they’re gonna try again.
While J1-Con is iffy in a few departments they also do a lot right. I gotta talk about the food. Admittedly, food is a minor concern but I can’t enjoy a con if I’m hungry/thirsty. Being right next to Chinatown, several good restaurants were but a short walk away. But why leave the con area if the restaurants will go to you? Every water ice selling biker came out to sell their stuff. Local Establishment Tea-Do also set up shop to sell bubble tea, ramen, and other various Japanese foodstuffs. There was even a food truck. It’s wheely wheely good in fact! There were multiple places where you get onigiri at J1. Just try getting a rice ball at Otakon! What I really liked was that cans of soda and bottles of water were only one dollar each. It’s quite refreshing to not get gouged for drinks at a con.
J1 also has good taste in selecting guests. The theme for 2016 was the 20th Anniversary of Pokemon so they got people from the show. There was Alyson Rosenfeld who plays both Bonnie and Nurse Joy and Eric Stuart who was Brock. He was also Seto Kaiba in Yu-Gi-Oh! These voice actors are solid picks for any con and shows that J1 know what they’re doing when selecting headliners. This being a small convention, you could get close and personal with them too. You could walk right up to them and tell them how great you think they are.
All the other bases were covered more or less. There were panels and a maid cafe but like I said, the venue wasn’t well suited for those activities so I ignored them. The video gaming section was good though. District N9NE hosted gaming tournaments before so it was smooth sailing. While I never got to try any myself, I did the feeling that everyone was generally having a good time. What really popped out at me was the cosplay. I wasn’t expecting too much because it’s a small con but the quality and quantity of the cosplayers was a lot higher then I expected. The cosplayers of J1-Con are just as good at as the people you see in the major cons.
Overall, J1-Con is a small but respectable convention. The amenities are not the most robust I ever seen but J1 does have the right idea and are leveling up as a reasonable rate. I wouldn’t book a hotel room for it but a day trip certainly isn’t out of the question. J1-Con is a contender and you should definably keep an eye on them. I plan on going again next year. I was only able to go on Sunday so I would like to further see what J1 has to offer. Follow them on their Facebook page because they post things of interest to the local otaku population as well as updates on their convention. They just recently posted that The Dome was sold and that J1-Con will have to find a new home as a result. I’m not sure where they’ll end up but I’m willing to go along for the ride. Are you?
The word is out in today’s Wall Street Journal that Crunchyroll has hit the big 1 million subscriber mark. And, as part of the celebration, a bold new direction for the brand has also been announced: Crunchyroll Expo! Read on for more details about this new 3-day convention experience coming to Santa Clara, CA later this year!
To quote from the official press release
Crunchyroll Expo will present three jam-packed days of anime, manga, games, cosplay, and more. Fans can expect everything they already love about Crunchyroll’s appearances at past conventions – unique exhibits, immersive activations, and access to massive crowds of Japanese and American guests. The event will also feature a host of special events, premieres, and interactive features focused around anime pop culture, the latest content coming out of Japan, and ways for fans to connect with each other to share their passion for anime. In addition to anime, Crunchyroll will bring together key partners, exhibitors, and influencers from the video game, manga, and cosplay worlds to keep fans excited and engaged the whole weekend.
Crunchyroll Expo will be held on August 25-27, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Fans are invited to sign up at www.crunchyrollexpo.com for more information, including when tickets go on sale. SEE YOU THERE!
Stay tuned to Crunchyroll News over the next few days for more big annoucements!
After 11 years online, Disney’s kid-friendly social network Club Penguin will shut down at the end of March, to be replaced by a new mobile-only version called Club Penguin Island. The site originally launched in 2005 before Disney bought it up two years later and devoted considerable resources towards making the platform a safe space for kids to play games and chat online. When it launches on March 29th, Club Penguin Island will carry over the same philosophy to a new standalone mobile with an updated look plus new features, games and quests to engage with.
Unfortunately for the tweens who have spent considerable time and energy building up their Club Penguin presence, players won’t be able to bring their memberships or their virtual items and property over to the new version, but Disney has opened up pre-registrations for Club Penguin Island so kids can go ahead and reserve their usernames before the app goes live. In the meantime, the site will be celebrating a “Waddle On” goodbye party starting on February 1st and current members can keep playing until Club Penguin sunsets on March 29th.
As TechCrunch reports, Club Penguin’s web traffic has been on the decline since it peaked around 12 million users in 2013. As of last month, the site was down to about 5.5 million monthly visitors and the launch of Club Penguin Island hopes to recapture some of that audience while bringing the next class of elementary schoolers online. The market for kids’ spaces is also much more crowded than it was back in 2005, and Disney will be competing directly with services like Lego’s Lego Life social network, also aimed at that under-13 demographic.
Conflicting words and events establish ACCA’s air of mystery!
We’re reaching the end of the Winter premieres and the past week has been one of many first impressions. New anime have a short 20 minutes to impress their viewers or possibly lose them forever. Animation, humor, and fanservice are common tools used in the first episode to impress and engage a potential audience and nailing a particular mood is, in itself, an art form. Things are considerably harder for ACCA, which looks to be telling a dialogue-heavy story of political intrigue. To sell a mystery, the events of the first episode have to hint at secrets which capture the curiosity of the audience. ACCA has a definite visual charm working for it, but the true strength of its first episode was in creating a sense of uncertainty with incongruity between word and action.
ACCA opens with Jean receiving news that the Inspection Department will be shut down. The nation of Dowa is in the midst of an unprecedented period of peace and the Inspection Department, originally created to root out a potential coup d’etat, is now considered a relic of a bygone era. The final decision seems to be made as the result of something as mundane as a budgetary concern, ACCA simply can’t justify the cost. Although disheartened, even the members of the department themselves see the move as a long time in coming. Their preoccupation with the department’s daily 10 o’clock snack indicates they don’t have much of real importance to worry about. Jean himself agrees with this assessment, commenting that the department could do more harm than good by preventing the district branches from developing their own unique identities.
Yet what we’re hearing isn’t what we see. A rash of arsons have been occurring within the central city and suddenly the Five Chiefs seem paranoid regarding the possibility of an approaching end to their peaceful times. After Jean uncovers corruption within his own department, which might only further motivate his superiors to close them down, the Five Chiefs instead reverse their decision and ramp up his inspection schedule by 400%. Lilium comments that if something were to happen to their time of peace, the inspection department might be the first to know. It becomes apparent that something is brewing beneath the calm surface of ACCA and they believe Jean may be able to act as an early warning yet Grossular, who was so willing to change his assessment of the Inspection Department, also orders that Jean’s activities be monitored.
Jean’s treatment in itself is a curiosity. The one potential insight we receive into his inscrutable character is that he dislikes working for the inspection department. In addition to its irrelevance, he claims that he has a distaste for work which requires him to distrust his subordinates. This is supported by the fact that he has, on numerous occasions, requested a transfer out of the department. Despite his apparent unhappiness with his position, he appears to be exceedingly good at his job. Multiple rejected transfer requests a small reveal about the positions poor pay might indicate that fed rumors that the upper brass has something against Jean to sideline him into a doomed department.
Again, reality seems to disagree with the characters perceptions. Upon a chance encounter with two of the Five Chiefs, who not only recognized Jean by sight but treated him in a particularly casual manner, bumming a cigarette off of him and engaging him in shop talk about their private meetings. Contrasting with the official sweating through his uniform at the sight of member of the Five Chiefs, Jean greets them with similar nonchalance. While his reputation as a cigarette peddler may precede him and serve the purpose of getting people to engage with him in just that manner, it seems more likely that he has more friends among the brass than enemies. If anything, it’s those beneath him who resent him for his inexplicable wealth and familiarity with the leadership.
If all these strange contradictions are beginning to raise some questions, then ACCA is setting the right tone. Rail has an interesting line near the end of the first episode “Rumors about people you don’t like are easy to come by.” There several possible interpretations for this quote, either claiming there’s always information out there that paints someone in whatever shade you’re predisposed to viewing them is one or, in absences of rumors, anyone so inclined can easily create some. The next time we see Rail, he pockets Jean’s misplaced lighter and comments on how unusual it is to carry around something that can start a fire in this day and age. Whether you believe he suspects Jean or plans to frame him may just reveal his meaning, but its relevance to story is clear. Both the information you have and even how you interpret it can be unreliable.
Where typically providing so little information regarding the intentions of the protagonist in the first episode could be considered a narrative weakness, ACCA’s atmosphere of uncertainty turns it into an asset. By presenting us with conflicting information, ACCA provides us with room to theorize and lets our own biases do the rest. Whatever we’re inclined to believe, we may seek out evidence to support. Even something so innocuous as providing catalogues to the heads of isolated departments may be considered with new scrutiny. Throw in a secret meeting at the end with a promise of a coup d’etat and the embers of speculation are already glowing.
Every April the sakuras fall and the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphiahosts the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival. I’ve been covering that for years but this year I’m gonna to do something different! There’s more then one sakura celebration in the Mid Atlantic region. The Japan-America Society of Washington D.C. hosts the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival; and this year I’m covering that.
Due to the short-lived nature of the sakura season, these two events find themselves crammed into the same weekend. The Matsuri is held on Saturday while the Blossom Festival hosts Sakura Sunday. While both share the goal of celebrating Japanese culture, each have their own take on it that varies them enough to render then nonidentical. It’s basically like how Sword Art Online and Log Horizon relate to each other.
The most obvious difference is that Sakura Sunday is in Philadelphia while the Matsuri is in Washington D.C. I’m a Septa ride away from Philadelphia but D.C. is a bit of a trip for me. I would have to drive there, which wouldn’t be too bad until I had to enter D.C. proper. Luckily, you can park in the Greenbelt stop and take the Metro the rest of the way.
I emerged from the subway station and made my way to the Matsuri. I tried to explore it but quickly became worn down. The journey to get there no doubtingly has taken its toll on me. It was quite difficult to get a second wind due to how oppressively hot it was. The weather itself wasn’t that bad but the location made it unbearable.
The Matsuri was being held in a giant parking lot under construction! That’s not exactly a sakura festival friendly environment if you ask me. I heard that the area was supposed to be transformed into a nice park by the date of the festival but construction delays prevented that. The concrete attracted heat like Hetalia attacted yaoi fangirls. Attempting to hydrate proved futile as both the price and the temperature of purchasable beverages proved too high for me. It was expected but still unpleasant.
I was a second away from writing off this whole trip when I heard a familiar sound; I heard J-Rock. Pulse pounding, stylized, kinetic J-Rock. The Matsuri had at least five different bands spread across over three different stages. If you wanted, you could have spend the whole day just enjoying live Japanese pop music. It was like being given a large assortment of random sushi. It’s hard to describe the individual pieces but it was all good.
One group I can remember is the Poku Poku Boys. What made them standout is the addition of jazz to their sound. I like them so much I brought one of their CDs. It was okay but the sound engineering was weak and some instruments were missing. Did they record it the night before just to have something to sell during the festival? After inspecting the CD; it turns out that’s exactly what it was. I should have gotten an actual CD that had actual art on it. Buyer beware I guess.
Another band I noticed is c. Their a local band whom I never paid mind to. However, they were killing it that day. Like, really killing it. I was shocked by how much I was enjoying their show. The fact that it still sticks in my memory four moths afterwords (curse you backlog!) is certainly proof of that. I really should make more of an effort to go see them at cons.
Thanks to the bardic boost (and plenty of cheap drinks at a nearby CVS) I was able to actually explore the Matsuri festival. My guts tells me the whole festival is about the same size as Otakon’s dealers hall. While there were stalls there selling plushies and merchandise, there was also many other things the average Otaku won’t find at a con.
One things I was lucky enough to bump into was JUMP; as in Japan U.S. Military Program and not Shonen Jump. I can only imagine the confusion that can create. It’s basically an alumni association for military/government people who were/are stationed in Japan. Further poking reveals that JUMP is apart of the Sasakwasa Peace Foundation USA. Sasakwasa is a non-profit dedicated to strengthening US-Japanese ties. Further research is required to fully understand this.
UNIQLO was easy to understand. Not easy to pronounce but easy to understand. It’s a Japanese clothing brand. I think they’re one of those high tier type things but I’m not sure. Good thing they got stores in the U.S. I do have to check them out one of these days. As well as NHK. I knew that there’s a NHK channel on Japanese T.V. What I didn’t know is that there’s an NHK smartphone app as well an online stream. NHK had a big booth as the event which even included a giant Domo statue! I couldn’t really look at it since it attracted quite the crowd.
What I described is really just scratching the surface though. The Central Japan Railway Company, the governor of Tokyo, and Chef Rika from NHK’s “Dining with the Chef” were also in attendance. There was a lot of stuff to check out that I didn’t get the chance to. I saw a sake pavilion too but I didn’t partake because I had to drive that day.
There were a few food that I just had to try though. Most of us don’t get to try Taijaki everyday. To save you the google search, Taijaki is a fish shaped pastry (usually) filled with a sweet red bean paste. It’s easy to hold, nice to look at, and tasty to eat. I also got a bag of Himemaru, or Japanese Rice Crackers. They’re basically rice cakes, but with flavor added to them.
Soon enough, it was time to wrap things out. Kaori Comedy came on to finish the day. She kept to the low hanging fruits of making fun of Justin Bieber and Dragon Ball Z and drew some chuckles from the crowd. Though I imagined she had to keep things simple because comedy doesn’t always translate well from one language to another. I bet she’ll be funnier on her Youtube channel.
I also bet that I won’t be returning to the Sakura Matsuri. Not because it’s bad; it’s just too far away for me to day trip. Seriously, I was out for two days afterwords. If going to Washington D.C. isn’t a huge hassle for you, I strongly recommend going. Anime con regulars will be able to plunge deeper into Japanese culture. J-music fans can rock out all day and discover some new bands. And people looking for something new can definitely find it here; and that’s a big plus in my book.
Are you going to Youmacon this year? Don’t forget to check out table top gaming section! We got the people who run it to stop on by and tell you about all the fun you have!
How To Stalk Youmacon’s Tabletop:
Valley View came in with a goal and were determined to reach that goal from the very beginning of the game, eventually beating Waverly 34-0.
The Spartans came off with some big plays in the first quarter. Six minutes into the first quarter, Valley View lit up the scoreboard, following it with a second touchdown in the first quarter when Collin Genslinger ran the ball 60 yards to goal followed by a pack of Tigers and scored with only seconds remaining in the first.
The Waverly Tigers have brought a tough game all season, but their most talented players couldn’t break through a team of Spartans and couldn’t stop the Genslinger led domination.
The Tigers held harder in the second quarter but still couldn’t stop Genslinger from breaking through with 20 seconds in the second, ending the first half Valley View 27, Waverly 0.
The Tigers started the second quarter with a significant gap to close, but the Spartans weren’t going to let that happen. Genslinger would take his touchdowns yard but yard if necessary, but he wasn’t being stopped. A running clock started with five minutes remaining in the third quarter and a score of 34-0. The Tiger packed stands started to empty and frustrated fans said they just couldn’t watch the brutal loss any longer.
With Tigers disappointment and frustrated a loss fumble ended in a brawl as a fight ensued between a Tiger and Spartan. Both teams started to rush the field as the announcer warned everyone to stay off the field. The fist fight ended with a personal foul for both teams and a player being ejected from each. It was a very physical game from on out with the Spartans getting a 15 yard penalty for excessive roughness and less than two minutes remaining in the game.
Still, the Waverly Tigers had an awesome season with a lot to be proud of. There’s no shame in losing in the playoffs against a powerful competitor.
Tiger Coach Chris Crabtree confirmed that this is the first time Waverly has been to the playoffs since 2007, almost 10 years. He stressed how happy his team is just to have made it into postseason games.
“They have a great football program up there in Germantown, Valley View. Unfortunately, they were the better team,” Crabtree stated after the game. “I’m just proud of all we’ve accomplished. Hats off to our seniors, who came out and gave it all they had all season. They have nothing to hang their heads about.”
Among those seniors is Drew Harris; however, next season The Tigers will hang on to some great players including Drew Kritzwiser.
Though the night brought a bitter loss for the Tigers, Waverly fans are celebrating a season unlike any they’ve seen in years.
Holy Cow! Let’s Celebrate the 2016 World Series Chicago Cubs: Mayor Emanuel Announces Details for Parade and Rally to Celebrate Team’s Storied Season
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City of Chicago will celebrate the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs at a celebration rally in Grant Park on Friday, November 4, at noon, preceded by a downtown parade beginning at 11 am.
“The City of Chicago could not be more proud of the Cubs, and we are going to throw them – and their fans – a celebration worthy of the history the team made last night,” said Mayor Emanuel. “2016 is the year for the Cubs and the generations of fans who have been waiting to the fly the World Series W. Go Cubs go!”
The official parade route will start at approximately 11 a.m., leaving Wrigley at approximately 10 a.m., and will travel along Michigan Avenue between Oak St. and Ohio St. and then along Columbus Dr. between Monroe St. and Balbo Ave. Fans who want to catch the downtown parade are encouraged to see them along this route.
Fans are encouraged to view the parade at the following locations:
- Addison from Sheffield to Pine Grove
- North Michigan Avenue from Oak St. to Ohio St.
- Columbus Dr. from Monroe St. to Balbo Ave.
- There will be zero tolerance for drinking on the public way.
A Celebration Rally will take place at Lower Hutchinson Field in Grant Park at approximately noon, when the motorcade arrives in Grant Park. The team will be joined by American Airlines, the presenting sponsor who is providing financial support for the day’s activities, and other Cubs Legacy Partners.
The rally is free and open to the public. All attendees must pass through security screening at entrances at Michigan Ave. and Jackson Blvd. and at Michigan Ave. and Congress Pkwy.
Closed water bottles will be allowed into the rally and food vendors will be on site.
IMPACTED STREET CLOSURES
The public should expect street closures surrounding the parade route starting as early as Friday at 4 am.
Officials are encouraging fans to use public transportation.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will offer additional service to customers traveling into the Loop on Friday Monday. Riders are advised to allow plenty of travel time due to street closures, traffic congestion and reroutes. CTA’s Red and Blue subway lines and Brown, Green, Pink and Orange elevated lines are the best option for Cubs fans heading downtown for the parade and rally.
Additional service will be provided on all eight rail lines following the morning rush period through midday. CTA buses will be detoured in the downtown area during the parade and as a result of street closures for the rally. Detailed service information is available at www.transitchicago.com.
To speed travel and reduce lines, customers are encouraged to buy fare cards in advance with sufficient value or to add enough value to their existing Ventra cards for their return trips later in the day.
Metra will use all available resources to add extra train service and capacity. Trains are expected to reach capacity on all lines and delays are expected. Metra is offering a one-day $5 unlimited ride ticket for tomorrow’s celebration and encouraging all passengers to purchase it in advance. Beginning this afternoon, the ticket will be for sale from ticket agents at all ticket windows, including all downtown and outlying stations, and through the Ventra App, available for download in the App Store and Google Play.
Media seeking credentials to the celebration rally should send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s That Time Again! It’s
@Youmacon Weekend For @918thefan with @kananetwork / @Bobby_Henshin/ and the Crew will be calling all weekend! The Anime Radio Station will be back at Youmacon for the fifth straight year! That is an awesome time for 91.8 The Fan and Jackie Florian! Man I wish I was going to Youmacon but I have to stay home and do some stuff this weekend here in Lucasville Ohio! 5 Straight Years To Youmacon For 91.8 The Fan! WOW! That Legendary There! I will be posting pictures for fun from my house and keep you updated throughout the weekend! We’re excited to have @KieranStrange join us for Guests Don’t Know Jack(box) this year @Youmacon via @918thefan! Make Sure To Stop By Their Booth and Say Hi To The 91.8 The Fan Crew at Youmacon in Detroit MI