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Bandai Namco sent out the following

 

GUNDAM Battle, an officially licensed Gundam action battle mobile game co-developed by Bandai Namco Shanghai and games developer and publisher KingNet, has completed Closed Beta testing in China. GUNDAM Battle will launch in China later this year for iOS and Android devices, with plans for release to western markets in 2018.

The highly successful Closed Beta attracted numerous Gundam fans who had been eagerly anticipating a real 3D action mobile game based on the beloved anime franchise. The second- and seven-day retention rates for GUNDAM Battle were 72.5-percent and 47-percent, respectively; impressive numbers that gained industry recognition for being notably higher than other similar games.
KingNet is a prominent Chinese games developer and publisher known for its extensive line-up of successful web and mobile games. The company is particularly adept at creating high-quality game products based on popular foreign and domestic IPs.
GUNDAM Battle Closed Beta Version Details
The Closed Beta version includes a selection of 21 Mobile Suits (MS) with matching pilot audio packs. The MS lineup includes popular suits from New Mobile Report Gundam Wing and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, but also includes MS from the extended UC Gundam universe including the famous Z Gundam from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and Gundam Ez8 from Gundam: The 08th MS Team.
  • MSZ-006 Z Gundam: The main fighting MS from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, GUNDAM Battle basically recreates every feature of this fan favorite. Classic weapons such as Beam Rifle, Beam Saber, and Hyper Mega Launcher are all included, but the in-game MS has been upgraded for more impact and to add diversity to the gameplay.
  • XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam ZERO: The Wing Gundam ZERO MS from New Mobile Report Gundam Wing features strong firepower and is exquisitely modeling with gorgeous smooth attack animation. This MS recreation is a real killer that perfectly combines art and power of Gundam.
  • ASW-G-08 Gundam Barbatos (4th Form): The Gundam Barbatos (4th Form) is from the recently completed anime, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. This MS utilizes a variety of martial arts attack styles in combination with physical weapons to deliver punishing damage. It’s the perfect MS for players who like to employ powerful melee attacks during battlefield combat.
The GUNDAM Battle beta version includes a Team Battle mode, in addition to its Story mode and Arena mode. Team Battle mode supports up to three players as they team up to challenge big bosses like BYG-ZAM or PSYCO GUNDAM. Different from the bosses from Story mode, the bosses in Team Battle mode possess much more powerful skills. Players can only challenge one boss each day in Team Battle mode.
Gundam is a truly beloved franchise that has endured for so long. Will any of you be checking this out?
Source: Bandai Namco PR
By OSkG_Pinto On 15 Jul, 2013 At 02:44 AM | Categorized As Reviews, Toys and Merchandise | With 0 Comments

No GravatarTitans

Is the prototype RX-178 Mk-II worth your money?

Witness this shiney blue Gundam.

As a huge Gundam fan I’ve been building Gundam model kits for ages, it’s actually my favorite hobby. I discovered Bandai’s Real Grade line of modelkits during my stay in Tokyo, but didn’t really bother to pick one of the kits up. My mission was obtaining Master Grade and Perfect Grade modelkits that were absent in my collection. After two years I’ve decided to pick up a couple of RG’s and put them to the test. This is part 2 of my RG  line reviews and It’s focused on the RX-178 Mk-II Titans.

The RX-178 Gundam Mk-II is an upgrade of the famous RX-78-2 Gundam that served in the One Year War.

Building a Titan

As with the Zaku II, I had a great time building this model. The advanced ms frame looks even better and I really didn’t even want to add any external armor. The frame features all sorts of sliding and bending mechanisms that we all love so much and make the RG line a perfect choice for beginning modelers that need an affordable alternative to a Master Grade or Perfect Grade kit.

The next step is snapping on all the different armor parts that come with the RX-178. I chose to build my blue Titan as  Unit 3. What I really dislike about the RX-178’s armor  is the fact that it isn’t colored in so much different colors as the Zaku II is. Adding the markings and some black and/or gray panel lining while really bring out the details on this kit. Without the extra two steps  it looks a bit bland if you ask me.

The RX-178 Mk-II Titans version is armed with a Bazooka, Machine Gun retractable shield and two Beam Sabers. The shield is the most impressive. It just looks great in different poses and the gold foil stickers really bring out the details of the shield.

Titan

RG Gimmicks

I was really skeptic about this new grade of Bandai modelkits before building the RG Zaku II,

The RX-178 comes with a set of tubing to give your modelkit an authentic mechanized look. The RX-178 also has a cockpit hatch that can be openend and feautures a little pilot seat, a gimmick that is usually reserved for MG and PG kits. Unfortunately Real Grade kits do not include a seated pilot figere, even though it would be really easy to customize the standing pilot figure that comes with all RG kits. As with the Zaku II and RG kits in general, get ready for lots of decals. The RX-178 Gundam Mk-II Titans version comes with a whopping 148 decals to add loads of detail to your already wonderful modelkit.

Thanks to the advanced ms frame, articulation is magnificent on the Real Grade models. Want your RX-178 to hold his bazooka over his shoulder? No problem!  The RX-178’s shield is articulated and can slide in and out to give it much more motion and pose ability. The shield can be pegged into either arm so that really increases the playability.

The one thing I don’t like about this kit are his vernier thrusters. They feel loose and at least one always falls of after the lightest touch. For some reason every RG model has a problem with a specific part that doesn’t always want to stay on. For the rest this kit is actually really sturdy and well designed.

 

Conclusion

I am slowly but surely falling in love with this line. The details, decals and colors are amazing on the Real Grade kits and I can’t wait to build more. If you like Zaku II’s you could also try out Char’s red version of the Zaku II. It has a couple of subtle differences and costs the same. Even though the RG models are a bit small compared to MG’s, they look great when you display them on a nice looking action base. What are you waiting for!? Go order one now and see for yourself.

Part 2 of my RG Excitement Embodied line reviews will focus on the Federation’s RX-178-2 Titans version, stay tuned!

By Charles On 23 Apr, 2013 At 07:58 PM | Categorized As Animation, Featured, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarAccording to Twitter, it’s always a good problem when an anime season has too many good shows. This logic is sound: I would rather spend my time choosing between awesome series than trying to find just ONE to hold my interest. In addition to keeping my occupied, it also adds just enough spice to long road trips, because now I’ve got a backlog to work on instead of just staring out the window.

Spring 2013 is one of those good seasons. Seriously, between apocalyptic battles between man and monster, giant robots, elder gods and something new from Gen Urobuchi, it was a challenge to find that one show to follow until summer. So I decided to follow four, with the potential for a fifth to come later. Hence, this will be part one of my Spring 2013 impressions, the second to come after I’ve fully caught up.

First Pick: Valvrave the Liberator

valvrave

I’ve had a really low opinion of giant robot shows for the past few years. While my “formative time” as an anime fan was spent watching a lot of Gundam, recently (since around the time Code Geass was airing) I discovered how little I cared about mecha as a genre. Gundam AGE didn’t strike a chord with me (or anyone, really…), and I would be hard-pressed to identify a single robot series that I found compelling or interesting. And then came Valvrave.

Off the bat, this show plays like Gundam Seed did a decade ago. Space colonies at war, hidden weapons of destruction, betrayal, espionage, schoolchildren, a stab at the Russians…the pilot was scene for scene a rehash of Seed (with a single nod to Destiny midway through), and yet did not come off as being “fake” in any way. It moved quickly, hooking me as a viewer and making me feel invested in a narrative that’s been done to death by every other mecha franchise since ever.

Valvrave-the-liberator-illustrationThen came the “obligatory” curve: the machine itself was either sentient, or some kind of channel for powers beyond the comprehension of man. Cue awesome neon lights, an ass-kicking, and an enemy army on the run. Okay, been there, but this is pretty flashy. What else you got? Pilot gets shot- repeatedly- but gets up and bites a his assailant. Okay, vampires? Unexpected, especially for a science fiction series? No, wait…not vampires…he BODY-SWAPPED with him? And now he can use all those “1337 ninja skillz” against his foes? What IS this show? I DO NOT CARE!

Valvrave, no matter how derivative it comes off at times, is fun, and even a bit refreshing. It drops hints slowly as to what the bigger picture is, so while fans can appreciate the nods to past mecha series, they can also look forward to twists and turns as the story progresses. As of the second episode, none of the characters are all that different from the “cookie cutter” mold established thirty years ago, but the influx of animation technologies and grandiose fight scenes help you forget its “roots.” I’m eager to see where this series goes in the end, but as long as it keeps up the bells, whistles and head-shots, I think I can live with the results. After all, Valvrave is also wicked fun, not bogged down in political jargon or complicated diplomatics. There’s a war, there’s a giant robot, let’s see where this goes. It adds up to being fun, which in the end is one of the major reasons for watching anime in the first place.

Valvrave-the-Liberator-01-20Valvrave gets an A, for awesome. And there’s a post-credit scene in episode 1.

Second Pick: Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)

titan 2Last summer I watched a series where humanity was in a state of decline and “otherworldly” beings were now the masters of Earth. This season that theme comes back, but it’s no longer cute little faeries creating bread from rubber, megalomaniacal skinless chickens, and yaoi criticism. Attack on Titan is a dark, moody show that depicts mankind not just in decline, but on the defensive against a powerful, predatory foe eager to devour us all. How does it feel being knocked down a peg on the food chain?

The plot establishes itself quickly: in the face of monstrous, androgynous beings called “Eotena” (who are deliciously creepy thanks to wide grins, sharp teeth and an utter lack of both clothing and genitalia), mankind has withdrawn behind massive walls built to keep our dwindling population safe from being eaten off the face of the planet. These walls, and the people living behind them, have stood for a century without breech, a fact which leaves some of the residents more complacent about our standing in the world. A young boy dreams of a future where he (and the rest of humanity) can rise up and strike down their tormentors, and establish a new world outside the walls, where men are no longer “livestock,” but the true masters of nature.

Then the destruction comes. Confronted with an Eotena far larger and stronger than any encountered before, the walls are breached, and mankind once again becomes cattle to be devoured by their gigantic foes. Attack on Titan weaves together a powerful message of survival, politics, ambition, and annihilation, as the resources and resourcefulness of humanity as a species must contend with forces beyond our control, and capability to fight. The Eotena are mindless killing machines with no thought other than acquiring prey. The soldiers lack courage needed to fight against them, or find themselves hopelessly outmatched. Bravery and food are both in short supply, enough to spur on suicide missions against an unbeatable foe, mostly in the name of “population control.”

titan 3

Lunch time…

This is a very dismal series. Recalling imagery from “War of the Worlds,” “Berserk,” and “Gojira,” it depicts civilization on the brink on collapse. Heroes are born, but are powerless to institute change. Like its kaiju-cousins, its better to run, hide, and survive than fight back, but where is the honor in that? Is it even possible to be honorable when life as you know it is coming to an end? (Or, as one character puts it: you lack the strength to save the world. I lack the courage.) What must you do to survive? These are themes explored in just the first two episodes, with promises of secret powers and weapons to come later.

Attack on Titan also receives an A, for allegory and adult themes.

By Charles On 17 May, 2012 At 06:10 PM | Categorized As Animation, Editorials, Featured, Old School Otaku, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarModern day fans of anime take a lot of things for granted. Like access. While today it’s a simple matter to just log online and visit sites like Hulu and Crunchyroll to sate a fix for some animated goodness, back in the day it was a bit harder. Especially when television was the main outlet of consumption, and you were at the mercy of whatever Toonami or the *shudder* FoxBox decided to air. And doubly so if you were a fan of a particular genre of anime.

Back in the late 90s, this was the case for the budding mecha fan I was becoming. I knew of Gundam Wing, and through that a bit of the Gundam franchise, but I was blissfully ignorant of the rest of the wide world of giant robots, heroes and damsels, and wars to end all wars. So it made sense that I would be drawn to Wing for its military overtones, interesting characters and flashy battle sequences. And when I was done with Wing, I had few options save to watch it again.

And then I discovered Escaflowne. While casually flipping through Saturday morning cartoons, trying to find something to watch for the next hour or two, I landed on Fox of all channels and caught the openings minutes of something with giant robots, knights, dragons and some girl caught in the middle. That was all I really needed to get hooked.

Vision of Escaflowne was the second mecha series I ever watched, and from the outset I knew it would bare minimal resemblance to Gundam Wing. No clusters of pretty-boy pilots (but more than a few bishounen badasses), no politically savvy young heroines or eccentric scientists with axes to grind and mountains of invulnerable metal to work with. Oppressive regimes were there, but they’re part of every mecha franchise when you think about it. And the suit designs, a mix of old medieval armor with some modern edges, were close enough to angels and shinigami for me to appreciate them. But that was about as close to the mecha I was used to as it got.

Escaflowne is rather unique in its interpretation and storytelling, preferring to take only minimal science fiction elements while weaving a complex world that would feel more at home in an old Squaresoft game, or someone’s low-tech Dungeons and Dragons campaign. While mobile suits exist, they are few and far between on the mystic moon of  Gaea, and those that do exist outside of the powerfully advanced Zaibach Empire are prized above any other weapon. And make no mistake, these suits, called Guymelefs, are little more than fancy suits or armor used exclusively for combat…at least when the series begins.

Dullindau: This guy would make a therapist crazy rich.

The delicate balance of nations on the mystic moon becomes threatened when the Zaibachs, borrowing a page from pretty much every other “big mecha baddie” on record, decide to conquer the entirety of Gaea. And, fitting the notion that they alone deserve to rule, they have the best suits, the most ruthless pilots and the biggest military, easily crushing the other nations and forcing pledges of fealty from defeated rulers. Anyone currently watching Game of Thrones could appreciate the ruthlessness of the Zaibachs, draw parallels between the subtle politics of betrayal and honor, and throw support behind the hopelessly outmatched kingdoms of Gaea as one by one they are overwhelmed and subjugated.

At the same time, Escaflowne draws heavily from mysticism and magic, presenting an interesting blend of old world Tibetan mythology with the divining tools of the Tarot. On Gaea, card readings have power, even influencing the outcome of events, and revealing the nature of upcoming conflicts. Honor and duty are put into stark contrast as plot developments introduce new characters, explain relationships of older characters, and force hard decisions to be made, often with only a vague notion of the consequences.

At the middle of this milieu is the stranded Hitomi, a resident of Earth, pulled into Gaea when a dragon attacks her school. Hitomi has visions, knows the cards well, and serves as the linchpin holding the fragmented resistance forces together. As an outsider, she sees and experiences things the residents of Gaea take for granted, and offers as much help as any “mundane” human can, powerless as she is in the face of warring kingdoms, political subterfuge and matters of the heart. While not the sole “human” member of the cast, much of what the viewer sees and understands comes through Hitomi’s eyes- she has to struggle to accept a world far different from her own, while trying her hardest not to stand out, despite being the stranger in the room. Her need to balance conflicting emotions while still remaining as level-headed as possible is something any viewer can relate to, and in turn grants her more sympathy than an Asuke or a Relena. She is both the odd-girl-out and the every-girl, occupying two very different, yet challenging positions at the same time.

Knights become dragons, heroes fight and die, and kingdoms rise and fall as the series veers off from the usual tropes and ventures into high fantasy and adventure, while still maintaining a swift pace that easily suits marathoning episodes. And then it ends, leaving the viewer with a mix of emotion and satisfaction, and a yearning for more. Vision of Escaflowne is an interesting entry into the giant robot genre, to say the least, because it chooses to eschew those tropes and embrace new ideas. While this might seem more commonplace in the modern arena of anime series, at the time this was still largely untested water, especially when licensing the show for US audiences. And, despite some of the heavy criticism leveled at Fox for “butchering” the content and producing a “questionable” dub, the show holds up remarkable well 15 years after its first airing- something many other series of its time have trouble doing.

So if you are ever in the market for something old-school, with 90s animation, an interesting narrative and plenty of action, Vision of Escaflowne is a worthy choice. You will not be disappointed.

Oh, there's also a cat girl in this show…no idea why, really. A lot of late 90s anime had them for some reason.

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 28 Apr, 2012 At 01:48 AM | Categorized As Animation, News | With 0 Comments
Luffy as a kid with different shirts

No GravatarHello everyone, here at ROG we’re all into many things. So I’ve decided to dedicate a weekly report on all things figures for fellow collectors like me. Check back every Friday to stay updated on newly released action figures. Including more obscure and cheap ones.

One Piece World Collectable Pre-Painted PVC Figure word

I have a feeling I’ll see those cute little guys sold in conventions soon. Just LOOK AT THEM!

Luffy as a kid with different shirts

That's right, a whole army of little Luffys.

Ace as a kid wearing many shirts

And you can't forget the recently popular character!

They’re the type of small figurines commonly seen around in conventions. They’re roughly around 75mm tall, and come in boxes that show what shirt they’re wearing. Each with a different background. Making it easy to know what you’re getting so you can collect them all! All these figures look the same, but they are made so with a purpose in mind. The goal was to make figures that focused less on the characters themselves and more on what they’re wearing. The clothes themselves are not random, however. Fans voted on which T-Shirt designs brought out the personality of each character.

Maker: Banpresto: Most common online price (per figure): $12.90

Gundam 1/100 Scale Model Kit: Unicorn Gundam (MG)

You can never forget about the Gundams!

Gundam figures

Still manly even with inappropriately placed stand!

It’s sort of impossible to not have accurate mecha models come out as awesomely, especially with the makers of this one.

Maker: Bandai: Most common online price: $59.90

Dog Days Figure: Figma Millhiore F. Biscotti

I don’t know about Dog Days, but it hasn’t prevented me from falling in love with this beauty.

Twirling figure

Singing pose with microphone

As a Figma she’s completely pose-able, with an articulate stand, three different faces, two sets of ears, and a microphone. She’s quite lovely and reasonably priced for her quality.

Makers: Max Factory: Most common online price (cheaper prices available): $45.95

By Charles On 25 Oct, 2011 At 08:24 PM | Categorized As Animation, Editorials, Featured, Tales of Real Otaku | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThis editorial is the second of a two-part series. The first half was published on October 17th, and can be found here.

6: Durarara and Baccano!- Because these two shows are essentially the same. Drrr/B! managed to do for me the same thing FMA did back in 2007- they taught me how to have fun again. Much like the earlier series broke me from a glut of heavy mecha series, Drrr showed me that large casts can in fact be a good thing. And B! managed to include a cast so colorful that it was impossible to ignore any of them. But most important of all, these two series were shows I devoured, and devoured quickly. It’s rare these days that I can marathon episodes of anything, but B! took me just 2 days and a long train ride to chain through, and left me wanting more long after it was done.

Now these two series are far from flawless. Both have anticlimactic endings. Both lose track of what they want to say at times. And both jump around relentlessly during the narration, to the point where you can skip an episode and not even realize it until three down the line. But these are small prices to pay for shows with incredible entertainment potential, that will linger with you long after the last episode ends. And make you beg for a second season.

7: Death Note/Hell Girl/Bleach- Wow look, another multiple series entry. Three this time. Well, actually, these chosen three could have been joined by so many more. Because I’m not referencing these shows in particular, but what they all have in common. Aside from good storytelling and suspense. They all have shinigami.

Ai Enma

Shinigami are something of a passion of mine. One of my oldest, and most potent, interests lies in ghosts, monsters, death and the supernatural. So when I got the idea last year to do a panel on Death Gods, it was these series that I turned to first, alongside Gundam Wing, Princess Mononoke and others to look into the phenomenon of the shinigami in Japanese media. Eighteen months, and some 1000 attendees, later the panel , “Dead Like Us,” is one of my most recognized and requested at conventions, and the one that has allowed me to research and lecture on something wholly my own. More than any other recent series or game, the shinigami-based anime have given me the chance to give back to the medium in ways that I never had considered when I started my work back in 2009. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

8:  The films of Hayao Miyazaki- I’m sure a bunch of my readers were wondering when I was going to get around to Miyazaki-sama. Much like the shinigami in the previous entry, I owe a lot to him, in terms of enjoyment, awareness and furthering my own reputation as a lecturer and academic. Unlike the shinigami, Miyazaki has also had a profound impact on my life through the films themselves.

I discovered Miyazaki-sama through Princess Mononoke, way back in 2000, when I found a VHS copy of the dub at Coconuts (remember them?) for $6.99, and recalling the name from an anime club meeting. I watched the film maybe 4 or 5 times that weekend, I could not look away. It was little surprise then, that when Spirited Away came out the following year, I of course made time to venture to the only movie theatre in Queens showing it just to see it. Or that I changed my weekend plans when I found out Howl’s Moving Castle was showing near where I was going to be that night.

Miyazaki-sama speaks to me through his films. Unlike any other anime I have seen (with the possible exception of Usagi Drop), his films have caused me to look at my life and examine who I really am inside. Unlike any other anime, his are the films I watch the most, and share the most. Miyazaki-sama has a gift with storytelling and crafting that is nearly unmatched in the industry. There is little wonder, then, that he is so respected and loved by so many. Watching just one of his films can uplift the spirit and add to the experience of life. Sound a bit pretentious, or idealized? Possibly, but only if you have never seen a Miyazaki film before. Watch just one, and you will understand.

9: Eden of the East and Summer Wars- Seeing a trend here: this list is a lot more than just ten anime. Which, I suppose, is fitting, seeing how hard it would be to distill over a decade of fandom into just ten series or movies.

I watched Eden of the East and Summer Wars over the spring this year, and the thing they share in common, is they blew my mind. Not just enjoyable or entertaining, but literally mind-blowing. Summer Wars had the same effect on me as Mononoke did a decade earlier, making my jaw drop open and forcing repeated watchings over the weekend. Eden was the latter half of the long train rides to and from Anime Mid Atlantic back in June. Both made me think while they were busy rewriting my idea of what anime was. Both got me excited to be a fan and viewer again. Both left me wanting more.

This is what a mind**** looks like.

I suppose what separates these two from other, similar entires into this list (read: Drrr/B!, FMA) is the emotional connections they formed. The other series taught me how to have fun. These two made me think while I was having fun. They others were very open to marathoning. So were these, but I kept noticing more and more things, and making long lists of notes of other things to look into. The others made me laugh. These made me say “Wow!” And that, in the end, is worth mentioning. Because a lot of series are fun. Precious few make you say “wow.”

10: Gundam Seed- This was the Gundam that changed Gundam for me. Prior to Seed, I had a love for Wing and it’s military-rebellion storyline. I thought G was quirky with it’s take on tournament fighting. War in the Pocket made me cry. And 0083 had some beautiful suit designs, but was over too fast. Then came Seed, and a whole new world opened up to me.

Seed rewrote what Gundam should be, at least from my point of view. Beautiful suit designs, interesting characters, and a story that was close enough to the UC to nostalgic, but different enough to still be compelling. Seed brought Gundam into the 21st century, and set the bar for what could be accomplished in a Gundam series. Dual narratives, counterplots, intrigue and self-discovery- these were what Seed set out to do, and did wonderfully. And while the series (and its sequel, Seed Destiny) left a sour taste in the mouths of some veteran fans, it brought new fans into the series with its flash and flare. I doubt I would be the Gundam fan I am now if not for Seed.

This is my list. What’s yours?

By Charles On 1 Nov, 2010 At 08:02 PM | Categorized As Featured, Tales of Real Otaku | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI can specifically remember the first time I ever saw an anime, and knew what it was. I had watched Voltron as a child, knew it was awesome, but had no idea what I was seeing was actually Japanese. I remember television commercials for “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and “My Neighbor Totoro,” and thinking they looked rather odd, but again, no idea they would eventually become such a huge part of my life.

My First Steps

No, my first real “anime” moment came in 1998, when I first saw “Dragonball Z: The Dead Zone” movie. It has just been released on DVD and VHS with an “all-new translation.” Well, I didn’t see that one. Rather, my friend at the time gave me a copy of his direct-to-Chinatown bootleg of the original, and I was hooked. I remember watching that tape over a dozen times in the span of a week, then going out and blowing a ton of cash on the “Ani-Mayhem: Dragonball Z” card game, along with a few exorbitantly priced anime VHS tapes from the Virgin Megastore.

Anime for me was sort of a trickle that became a deluge. For the first few years, I had to satisfy myself with old copies of MIXX-zine for my manga needs, Cartoon Network (and wicked early mornings) for my DBZ fix, and relying on others to get me shows. It all changed in college when a good friend gave me two things that would forever chart my destiny: Rurouni Kenshin, and the location of the anime shop on Canal St. For the first time I had seen an anime that wasn’t DBZ, and my mind was blown. I remember finding the NY location for Kinokuniya one day, finding the Kenshin comics, and buying up about $100 worth (along with some expensive game music soundtracks), and a solid Japanese dictionary so I could translate them. Anime was still expensive at the time, so I made do…until the same friend showed me the hole-in-the-wall where he got his tapes from. Another quick $100 later and I had all of Gundam Wing, Magic Knights Rayearth and an even bigger craving for more.

These days I’ve gone from desperately seeking more to almost drowning under the weight of what I own, but haven’t seen. Looking back on the past 10 years of my life, I see more and more distinctly how my devotion to fandom has changed, and how, at east for me, fandom isn’t directed at just one series or just one medium, but at the experience of being a fan. Be it my early obsessions with Power Rangers and Ghost Writer, my years as a die-hard Trekkie, the glorious summers I spent watching the classic Star Wars movies while building decks for the CCG, my delves into the worlds of Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons, or my more modern pursuits of anime, manga, J-culture and gaming (and my desire to study it as much as possible), for me fandom was always that friend I had that I might have taken for granted, but who stuck by me when I needed help, and opened me up to worlds I never knew existed. And for that, I am glad.

My name is Charles, I am the “Anime Anthropologist” and I am an otaku/gamer/writer/philosopher/academic/scholar…but above all, I am a fan.

Welcome to my world.