Friday, April 23, 2010

The Big Review: School Days (Nice boat edition)

 <- The Exact opposite of what this series is about

Wow, that went by quickly. I think now would be the best time to write about this, since I’m still a bit shook up over the ending. Great ending, but most disturbing thing I’ve seen.

This starts out about the story of a boy, who falls in love with a girl, and gets help from his female classmate to hook up with said girl. He hits it off with her, and they are having a nice relationship.

Wait, something’s wrong here… The guy is in a happy stable relationship with the girl? Already? It’s only been three episodes… that’s weird… most series don’t get this far till at least half way through.

Well, actually, the first five episodes are the cutesy romantic comedy arc. At about the end of the fourth episode, the show shows its TRUE colors, as our lead character, Itou decides to pursue a relationship with his girlfriend, Katsura’s best friend, Saionji. After that point, things stop being so cutesy. This turns into a trail of betrayal, grief, and wonderful amounts of backstabbing. It’s ensickening, and if you wanted a cutesy harem, go somewhere else. If you want a morbid drama that doesn’t let go, watch this. Or better, tell your friend this is a cutesy shoujo, and that they should watch it with no idea what it’s about. It’ll be HILARIOUS.

Anyway, characters are okay; I never really got to care for them much. I kinda felt sorry for Katsura, and later Saionji. Itou winds up becoming a teenage Glen Quagmire (heh heh, Awright). Rest of the cast is kinda boring. None of them really do that much to the story. In essence, this is pretty much a three person show. This isn’t a problem, as you learn to love (and later hate) the characters as the series goes on.

Music is relatively solid throughout the series. The opening, however, only suits the series for about four episodes or so, because after that point, the series is no longer the sappy high school romance the opening is implying. Musical scores are nice and enhance the mood in this series quite well.

The best part of the series is the pacing. This one does not want you to watch just one episode. THAT would be forbidden with this series. Many anime decide to have an episode introduce a plot, have it climax toward the middle, and settle down towards the end. This one introduces a plot, plays around with it a bit and WHAM! Something happens that changes everything… and the credits roll, forcing you to watch the next episode. Half of the episodes end with something explosive happening, up to the last one, where it’s so explosive that there’s nowhere left to go.

The ending in this series is well… *shudders* I don’t want to talk about it really. It had tons of buildup, and everything came together in an emotionally intense climax. After the last episode was over, I kinda sat there slack-jawed for about 20 seconds, then my stomach started hurting, and I really wanted to think about something else. Not a happy ending, but a memorable ending. I had it spoiled for me, but seeing it actually happen was not something some spoilers could ruin. It was just awe inspiring.

The main purpose of this anime was obviously a deconstruction of the harem genre as a whole. Rather than some silly ending where everybody is happy for some reason, people actually get hurt by the main characters actions. In the end, you can’t even decide who to root for, due to all of the utter depravity of the situations. If you’re looking for something that decides to invert all of the usual romantic comedy rules, you should pick this up from Netflix (Sorry, DVD’s are kinda rare, so I can’t vouch for them much) or something. I can honestly recommend this series to anybody looking for something deliciously twisted, or just looking for a change of pace.
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Why won't my boyfriend stop looking at Hentai?

Previous letter:
Why does my girlfriend want me to be a Bishounen?

 Dear BryAnime,

I was hoping you’d have a solution to a problem I’ve been having with my boyfriend. He’s a great guy and all, but he won’t stop looking at weird anime porn. Lately he’s been looking at it so much that I feel unneeded around him.

For example, yesterday I tried to get him to come to bed with me, but he refused. I asked him why, and it was because he was playing some crazy game involving high school girls and tentacles. I asked him if he’d let me see what the game was like, but he told me “You wouldn’t get it.” I waited for him to finish, but it took him nearly three hours, and by that point, the mood was dead.

I checked out the game while he was at work. I couldn’t eat for the rest of the night. I couldn’t even look him in the eye for the rest of the week. The only way to describe it is “Lovecraftian.”

Looking at his library of porn games, I realize that he wasn’t always into this hardcore stuff. It looks like his desire for weird porn just gets worse and worse. I don’t actually have any idea why he does this. About a month ago, I tried buying one of those sailor style school uniforms, but it didn’t pull him away from the game for very long. Is it possible he’s grown fonder of fantasizing about sex than actually having it?

The most abysmal thing was when he started referencing these things in bed. I just had to put my foot down and tell him I don’t find tentacles hot, and I don’t want to hear anything about tentacles in the bedroom.

Do you think there’s anything I can do to make him quit it? Is there any way to wipe some of those horrible images from my mind? And can I get him to quit mentioning tentacles? It freaks me out.

A neglected girlfriend

Dear Neglected Girlfriend,

It appear you have a hentai addict on your hands. I would normally suggest castrating him, but I can tell you might want him after you stop the porn problem. I suppose another idea is you could suggest some of your own fantasies to him. Try catching him off guard. Perhaps see if he’s into sado-masochism, and if not do it anyway. After all, I’m sure you want to hit him a few times. It would force him to adapt a new viewpoint on other people’s views.

Or, you could just dump icewater on his lap whenever you catch him. You’ll definitely get yelled at, but it’d be funny.


Get Featured in a fan letter! Email you're problems to, or post it in the comments section, and I just might respond to you!

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Next Letter: Why does my girlfriend enjoy crossdressing so much?

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Yaoi fangirls are evil
My Boyfriend is a Furry
Why Weeaboos Really Grind my gears
Project Profile: Shira Oka: Second Chances

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Anime in Focus: School Days Episode 2

All right, got to watching more of this series. So far it’s been mostly a fast paced cutesy romance, but my reliable sources tell my I’m going to be disgusted by how this ends. I’m exited personally.

This episode starts with Itou on a date with his dream girl Katsura. Like a proper idiot, he spends his time ignoring her and looking at magazines and playing video games in the arcade. He is then disappointed when he tries to kiss her and she is weirded out by it. Understandable really, because I seriously doubt girls like it when a guy ignores them to look at pictures of swimsuit models in a magazine.

Later at school, Saionji is having an awkard conversation about this, because he failed to kiss Katsura, but Saionji spontaneously kissed him at the end of the previous episode, She blows it off as nothing, but anybody can tell you that’s BULL ****. Itou’s an idiot though, so he believes her. Silly boy

After that Itou goes on a second date with Katsura (After a first date like that, she must really like him) On this date, they go to a  movie, and watch the obligatory movie that alludes to what is going on in the show. This date brings back memories of my dating experience with girls… The scene is right, you grab her by the hand and go in for a kiss and SMACK, you find out she isn’t that into you.

Things get awkward between the two of them, and Katsura ends up getting a motivationa speech from Saionji. Then…



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kick-Ass review

To get a general idea on the quality of this film, see the title.

This is a movie about a high schooler who decides that in the face of all of the injustice in society, he is going to become a super hero to stop it. This leads to him going to the internet purchasing a costume, and going out to fight injustice in the world….

This leads to a scene that appealed to the sadist in me, when he tries to stop a car jacking. Now then, this kid in a suit has had no combat experience and is taking on some thugs in New York. They beat the stuffing out of him and stab him, then run off when the cops come. Finally, somebody realizes that your average thug DOES know how to fight! Well, after that whole stabbing incident our hero still decides to keep getting himself in trouble.

This leads him to do something to impress a girl at his school. For some reason he decides that going to her heroin addicted boyfriend’s house to tell him to leave her alone. This goes about as well as his first super hero attempt, this time; however, he gets saved by a psychotic 13 year old and her daddy. At first you’d think a 13 year old girl being a super hero would be weird, but when you get to know here and you’re father, you start wondering whether or not child services should be called.

Strangely, this movie is like Watchmen, but it doesn’t take itself nearly as seriously. It’s quite interesting. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, as the violence levels are deliciously high. Also contains a lot of swearing. But mostly violence. Lots of delicious violence. The movie is lots of fun too. Although a lot of ridiculous stuff happens, the characters manage to be believable. Acting is good, as I never had any trouble believing the characters. The plot is ok, but the characters manage to move it forward nicely. There’s scenes that make you cringe, scenes that make you laugh, and scenes that’ll make you go “AWESOME.”

Definitely appeals to the person who loves watching wanton violence

You should see the movie, since it’s very exiting.

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Anime in Focus: Fate Stay Night Episode 2

<-Today's person who wants to stab you to death is... LANCER

Previous episode

Alright, I watched this about a week ago, but I got distracted by making the weekend into


And forgot to finish writing up in focus sections for Fate Stay Night.

This episode starts with another bit of exposition about the Holy Grail war, and then shows a bit of the relationship between the wizard Rin, and her Servant Archer. Archer doesn’t remember much about his previous life, such as his name, but he does remember how to fight. And that’s all that matters apparently.

We then cut in to find out that Shiro has a huge mysterious gash for some reason. Meanwhile, Rin and Archer are busy spying on the school to find other servants and masters. Apparantly one’s around somewhere.

Meanwhile at the Ranch, Shiro gets duped into cleaning lockers by an annoying guy in the sports team. This causes Shiro to be school later than he should be, which fortunately turns out fine….

… because he’s the main character. If it was you, you’d get stabbed and die. Outside of the school, Rin and Archer run into another servant wielding a lance. Lancer and Archer duke it out (for some reason, Archer uses a pair of shortswords as his main weapon) and wind up being seen by Shiro. Apparantly some clause in the Holy Grail war’s terms means that Shiro has to be executed for witnessing this fight, so Lancer stabs him in the heart.

Fortunately for Shiro, Rin finds him and happens to know raise dead, and happens to be carrying a diamond worth 10000 gp. This allows her to cast resurrection on him, which isn’t very helpful. He’s alive, but that lancer guy will definitely kill him if he finds out he’s alive

Well, Lancer winds up finding Shiro at his house, and threatening to finish the job, before this REALLY attractive chick in blue armor shows up…

Anyway, things appear to be heating up in this series, even though it looks like watching a dungeons and dragons game. They even admit to what classes each of the characters are.


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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Running a store on Ebay, and what not to do

Well, most people who know me know that I once ran an anime shop on eBay that shared a name with this website. I think it might be fun to talk about my experiences attempting to run a local anime corner store, despite failing miserable\y from it. Perhaps I could enlighten people on what kind of mistakes can be made, and how to carve their way to eBay fame if they feel that they have the hard-broiled determination it takes.

First and foremost, running a store on eBay isn’t easy. You are trying to fight a bunch of people attempting to do the same thing, who will undercut you, and somehow manage to get better prices than you. I do not actually know how some of these people were able to make their prices, but a LOT of eBay merchants manage to get their product to cost less than what wholesale shippers charge (Hey, if you’re looking to buy, eBay is great) Another issue is fighting the evil bootleggers that plague the website. They aren’t as active due to public awareness these days, but they still exist. These guys LOOK like their selling a 50$ boxset for 10$ but it’s really something I could make on my DVD burner. And if you’re trying to sell a DVD, that may cut into YOUR profits.

HOW TO DO IT: From my failure to PROPERLY run a local anime shop, I did learn some things that don’t work. REMEMBER! Making a living on eBay is a full time job. You can hear stories of people making millions selling from their attic, but that is BULL****. There is no way to make sustainable income from eBay without giving it 100%. I tried to run an eBay store alongside working a lot and going to school, and it just collapsed. Other people managed to get more fame than me, undercut me, then ruin my sales, leaving me with unsaleable product.

PUBLICITY: Yeah, to actually make you going to need to have people’s trust. To get trust, you need recognition and a lot of positive feedback. Now then, where does feedback come from? You need to do a lot of sales. And to get these sales up, you have to freaking promote your ass off. Like a blog, everybody you know and their mother NEEDS to know you have a store. You need to go to forums, listing sites, and anywhere you can. Not knowing about your store will become a crime in your book. As everybody around you knows you have a store, customers will have an easier time finding you. I believe this to be my largest failing, since I did not spend nearly as much time promoting as I should have.

GETTING PRODUCT: This one is difficult. Going to wholesale distributers like AAA Anime are a good start. Alas, it should be noted that distributors are only a good source for new stuff. Other than that, they are no good, because their prices don’t go down as fast as eBay’s demand. So only order what you know you can sell immediately, or you’re screwed. I suggest you give up on stuff after it’s a month old and mark it down. That’s just how eBay marketing works. After that period of time, you’re never getting full retail again (A real store might still be able to, but not on the internet.) Internet marketing is fast, and not keeping up will result in you getting left behind.

RISK FACTOR: Well, I failed at running ye local anime shop on eBay. That doesn’t mean you can’t run your own shop. There is a LOT of risk. Product doesn’t come from nowhere, so you’ll need a loan or investors. Then you have to be knowledgeable enough in the field to actually know what will sell. Knowledge of the internet is important so you can get the word out. Time is of the essence, because you should spend more time publicizing than actually managing your store (yes, publicity is THAT important.) This is a full time job we’re talking about. Willpower is important to. If you lack the hotblooded energy to punch through the crowd and have your store noticed, you might be able to get somewhere. But if you can’t give it your all, don’t even bother trying.

Yes, running an anime shop demands that you do things hotbloodedly, like Lord Kamina. Or maybe you should acquire reality altering powers like Haruhi. Alas, the biggest problem with online sales is that getting started and getting established.

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Also, if you’re interested in running a store on eBay, why not try doing some research the old fashioned way?

Anime in Focus: Arakawa under the Bridge Episode 1

Hey kids! Today’s 4/20! Do you know what that means!

Well, I was heading through the internet to find my next anime to watch. I had a target at one point, but on the path to my destination, I saw a screencap to this and decided it could wait. Destiny calls, you know.

After all, I notice that I don’t have much popping fresh stuff, so I pulled an impulse watch. This show is about a stuck up Japanese businessman named Kou Ichinomiya, who is incredibly focused on standing on his own and being independent. This becomes a problem when some teenagers steal his pants and hang them on a bridge, leaving him only the top half of his suit and boxers. Unfortunately for him, his ego complex prevents him from asking for help, so he decides to climb the bridge in an attempt to retrieve his pants.

Unfortunately for him, he falls off the bridge into the water, causing him to be saved by the local fisher lady/stoner named nino. Unfortunately for Kou, he feels indebted to her, and demands that he pay her back to satifisfy his complex. She says she doesn’t need a reward at first, but after a bit of badgering, she decides that for Kou to pay her back, he must become her boyfriend.

Kou’s ego complex forces him to comply, which results in him getting to know the… community she lives in. Apparently she lives in a community of freaks with delusions who live under a bridge in Japan. Kou decides that not living here would violate his honor, and decides to stay there, despite everybody being from Venus or convinced that they’re a sea monster. It’s pretty weird.

If you’re in the mood for something weird, you should probably check this out. It gets a few laughs, and will make you go wait… WHAT? a few times.

Since the series only exists in Japan right now, I suppose I'll give a shout out to the subtitle group who did this one, since it's the only way to see it anytime soon:


Coming sometime!

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Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns

Well, I did find something interesting while I was scouring my local library for comics to review. Despite making quite a few comments about how Japansese comics are better than American comics, I actually enjoy reading Green Lantern books quite a bit. The real key to enjoying American comics is not to look at them as a whole, which is a convulted mess, but to look at the individual story arcs as separate and unique.

Now then, we have a book from the Blackest Night story arc, which was being advertised quite frequently at comicon. This is the beginning of that arc, which appears to revolve around factions of lantern corps waging war. It goes beyond the green light of the lanterns and the fearsome yellow of Sinestro, and includes the raging red and the blue light of hope. I think it adds an interesting element to the DC universe, and gives the Green Lanterns some new allies and enemies.

This book starts with the Guardians creating a team known as the “Alpha Lanterns,” in order to work as internal affairs within the Green Lantern corps. The first trial they are to investigate is the case of Liara, a Lantern who executed a Sinestro corps member who was bragging about becoming a martyr for his cause (really, I think she might have done the corps a favor.) Sinestro who is currently being imprisoned by the Green Lanterns, is enjoying watching people squabble about the current issues, while prophesizing about a bigger threat.

A bit later, on the way to Sinestro’s execution, the Green Lanterns are ambushed by a squad from the Sinestro corps. Unfortunately, another faction appears in this battle, intent on killing both the Green Lanterns and the Sinestro corps. These guys are hardcore. The red rings they possess cause their organs to stop working and producing blood, and causes them to spit napalm while they try to kill enemies and drink their blood. They manage to take both corps by surprise, which allows for ANOTHER lantern corps, the blue lanterns to show up and save the green lanterns skins. This corps is run by an ex-guardian of the Green Lantern corps, and is generally a bunch of space hippies who spread hope throughout the universe. Their main representative, Saint Walker, attempt to convince Hal Jordan to join with them.

Hal refuses, and instead attempts to get back to executing Sinestro, who has been captured by the red lanterns. Interestingly, the red lanterns seem to want Hal to join them too…

Overall, this is a pretty interesting arc, where a lot of stuff happens, and builds up for more stuff to happen. I will probably look into more of this blackest night stuff if I manage to get my hands on it.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Local Artists: JokersBri

Well, it’s time to write a feature on another artist in my area, Joker's Bri
This artist does a large variety in stuff, usually in alternating phases. Sometimes she does realistic stuff, sometimes really cartoony stuff, and other times abstract stuff. Other interests include performing bases, and recently, she’s been practicing using a writing tablet (it’s a thingy that translates penstrokes into paint or photoshop). Let’s start by exhibition some of her work, shall we!

Let’s start with one of her newer items, the cover picture on her deviant art page:

Sort of a preview for a book… thingy she’s been writing about the afterlife and demons. It shows a bit of promise. This image showcases her use of the tablet, in order to create pictures that are just ripe to be photoshopped in order to create a better recreation of what you envision a picture looking like. I like the weird colors and weird effect that the characters have, which gives a sense of ennui to the viewer.

Next up is one of her older works, a sketch of the joker from the Dark Knight. This one is black and white, and demonstrates her ability to do realistic work:

This one just looks kinda cool.

On the other end of the scale, we have this picture here:

This one was made when she was in a phase revolving around drawing comics about fruit. I can’t remember exactly why she chose to have a rabid car attacking an amorphic lemon, and I’m not even sure if she remembers why. This phase created comics containing wacky shenanigans about lemons and oranges. It was very cute.

This one is an older picture that she did for my birthday:

This one is a picture of Lenneth from Valkyrie Profile dressed as Kos Mos from Xenosaga. It pretty much just wins just on concept points.

And finally, she’ll probably kill me for posting this one. This is a promotional for a book she was writing but doesn’t wanna hear about again:

I think it looks kinda cool. It was some book about vampires in Antartica or something along those lines.

Lets see, overall JokerBri does a large variety of works, although she’ll be mad at me if I don’t’ mention her writing hobby. She mainly wants to be known for the writing samples she posts on Deviantart, but I have an easier time critiquing and focusing on pictures. Alas, if you want to see her writing, just go on over to her deviant art page. As for me, I must convince Saddleback’s mysterious master artist to get a Deviant Art so I can do a section on him.

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Anime in Focus: Fate Stay Night Episode 1

Hello again readers, I’ve had a new anime club meeting, and hence a new batch of episodes to review. Well, sort of. We watched the first four episodes of Fate/Stay Night then everybody bailed to study because it’s getting to the end of the semester. So I’m going to watch some more stuff on my own to review so I don’t just post four straight reviews for the same anime. Won’t hurt me at least.

Anyway, on to the actual segment. This is the mandatory exposition episode. My friend who’d seen the series said we can skip it, but after seeing the first four eps, I can say he’s full of BULL****. Although not much happens, this episode sets up the characters and the general premise of the story. It starts with out a couple of warriors fighting and causing an explosion in some village. Unsurprisingly, the only survivor is the main character, Shiro.

After that, we learn about something called the “Holy Grail War, ” where a lot of people are fighting over something. Probably the Holy Grail. Then we’re transported to modern day, ten years later. Here we learn that Shiro has some strange power that makes him a really good mechanic. Also, we see a wizard summoning up an ancient warrior to do her bidding in this “Holy Grail war”

Lesse, not much happens in this episode… apparently there’s a” gas leak” (Why is all alien activity covered by gas leaks?) and some people being murdered with a bladed weapon. The main character seems to think it’s not going to affect him, but he’s definitely wrong. The main ends up walking past a creepy little girl, after a flashback about his father, and a few rants about the main character’s idealism. Also, the main character keeps having an image of a sword appear in his head.

Series looks good actually, I’m pretty exited to see everybody duke it out.


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