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By NightingaleSilva On 14 Mar, 2014 At 11:49 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Tales of Real Otaku | With 0 Comments
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I remember my very first gaming console: A Sega Master System. I was about 8 years of age when I had received it. That right there was my gateway into the realm of gaming. My favorite games to play were ‘Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?’ and ‘Alex Kidd In Shinobi World’. From there, I got my very first NES and SNES. I was done for after that. Those two systems started what would become a life-long obsession for me. I got those two Nintendo systems when I was about 9 or 10…I’m almost 27 now, and I’m still obsessed with Nintendo, and it’s an obsession that I am proud of and will never quit obsessing over.

Mario Bros. was my first game, then there was The Legend of Zelda. That game is what created the gamer within me. The Legend of Zelda sparked a fire in me so fierce, I could hardly contain it. Still to this day I play the original Legend of Zelda for the NES and all of the ones that came after it. It was the story behind the game, the fantastical world of Hyrule, that drew me in deeper and deeper as the series carried on. Hands down, I can say that The Legend of Zelda is my all-time favorite game series.

As a little girl, you’d expect me to be playing with dolls and ponies. Instead, I was busy adventuring, saving the land of Hyrule, and defeating Mother Brain in Super Metroid. Gaming has molded me to be who I am today. Today, I have found passion in a career that is based around a world I love so dearly: Video Games. I am a gaming journalist for several websites, and as time goes by, I can only hope to branch out further into the world of gaming journalism. I am ambitious, and know that I will reach my goals one day!

So who am I you ask? Well, the name is Felisha, but I go by Nightingale . I am an avid gamer, cosplayer, anime enthusiast, artist, writer, blogger, sculptor, mother, and a wife. I have many responsibilities and many titles. But what is it that defines me as a gamer, anime enthusiast, and so forth? As I’ve mentioned previously in the beginning of this short novel, you see why I consider myself a gamer. I never out-grew gaming, and it never out-grew me.

Life-long Gamer Addict: 

Today, I own a Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, 3DS XL, and PSP Go. Not to mention the multitudes of emulators and roms on my smartphone. I will always be partial to Nintendo because that is what I grew up with and loved, but I love my many other consoles as well, and game on each and every one of them in my free time.

Part of my gamer set-up!

Part of my gamer set-up!

As a child, video games helped me escape a world I didn’t really care for at times, and helped me sink into a world where I felt I belonged, and where I was most happy. They hold a special place in my heart and always will till the very end.

Anime Enthusiast: 

I didn’t get into anime until much later on in life. I remember my first introduction to it being Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball. Later that moved on into Cowboy Bebop, Wolf’s Rain, Witch Hunter Robin, Fullmetal Alchemist, and so many others. Still to this day I watch anime…some of my favorites are Attack On Titan, Soul Eater, Hare+Guu, Elfen Lied, Spice & Wolf, Fruits Basket, Ouran High School Host Club, and Rosario+Vampire. I even read manga too! As it is just the comic version of all my favorite animes!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Current Anime/Manga Obsession: Attack On Titan

Current Anime/Manga Obsession: Attack On Titan

 Cosplayer In The Making: 

I have a long ways to go when it comes to cosplaying, with only a few under my sleeve. I think the most elaborate one I did was one of Midna, from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in her human form. I made everything by hand…I even hand painted all of the intricate designs on her cloak, her sleeves and on her skirt. It took me at least 3 months to complete it all. Someday, I’ll revamp it, making it better and more professional. My last cosplay was Saya Takagi from the anime High School of the Dead, the only thing I hand made from her costume was the pleated skirt…First project on a sewing machine, and I just had to go and make a pleated school girl skirt…

My human-form Midna Cosplay

My human-form Midna Cosplay

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My Saya Takagi Cosplay

Everyday Nightingale: 

Most days you will find me in my comfy pajamas, typing away on my computer while video game sound tracks play in the background, with my 3DS XL at my side. And while doing all of this, I also tend to my baby girl who is almost 2 years old while I’m missing her 5 year old sister who is away at kindergarten. Amidst all of that chaos, I add more fuel to the fire by working some days for my apartment complex, and babysitting three others kids about 4-5 days a week. Luckily, through it all, I have an equally geeky gamer of a husband to keep me somewhat sane through everything I do. I am a busy woman, and that at times gets in the way of my ‘otaku-ness’, but I’m still a super geeky otaku gamer at the end of each and every day!

Everyday Otaku, Nightingale

Everyday Otaku, Nightingale

Whoever said you can’t do what you love for living was dead wrong! I do what I love everyday and make somewhat of a living off of it! I can only hope to continue using my Otaku Gamer wit to get me far in life, and make an awesome living for my two beautiful girls and my loving fellow-otaku of a husband. Peace, love, & Video Games! Nightingale, out!

By Isabel On 24 Feb, 2014 At 06:52 PM | Categorized As Animation, Comics/Manga, Reviews, ROG Fashion, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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I stumbled upon a little documentary while I roamed around Youtube and while it’s far from perfect I think it gives a balanced overview of otakus. It’s so well made in fact I think it’s the one documentary to show any questioning parents so they have a good understanding of our little subculture.

The piece True Otaku: The Documentary is an amateur documentary that explains the otaku fandom by going straight to the source, questioning regular fans and industry professionals in Otakon and Anime USA about many different topics related to the subject.

Looks like our old banner!

Looks like our old banner!

It explains the anime boom that occurred in the US and how it led to the surge in anime fans that created such large conventions, lolita fashion, fan groups, and cosplay. Granted, they focused too much on cosplay and not enough on anime and manga, nor popular otaku video games such as visual novels and the unbelievably popular shooter Touhou nor fighting games like Persona 4, and not even on collectors of anime merchandise, but it’s a good introductory film to any questioning individual and I believe if  everyone saw it they’d have more respect for the otaku community.

You can see the film for free on Youtube where it’s split into 3 parts: You can watch the first part here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdv0n5DUb4E and see the rest at leisure. Happy watching!

By Isabel On 2 Dec, 2013 At 06:40 AM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Toys and Merchandise, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments
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If you’re anything like me, you have bookmarks filled with every website imaginable, divided into categories like Cosplay, Figure Sellers, Video Game Importers, and etc. constantly checking them to see if there are some sweet deals to take advantage of. I realize not everyone is this incredibly cheap and many look forward to Black Friday and Cyber Monday to get their discounted goods without much hassle. However it can be easy to overlook places with good deals if one is not aware of them, and this is where I come in.

Epic Cosplay Wigs

There are many wig sellers 0n the Internet, but the wigs of this seller are high quality and can be styled with everything from hair spray to hot irons without getting damaged. With the code EPICFRIDAY you get 20% your order storewide. Cosplay Wigs USA has a similar promotion with 20% the entire order. This is where Epic Cosplay has the advantage, their code not only gives 20% off their regular priced products but when you buy wigs from their Red Hot Sale corner you get 50% off! The website also offers free shipping in the US no matter what you bought, which makes this the perfect opportunity for cosplayers to get the wigs they need.

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Some of the wigs on sale are a short black wig which can be used for many characters and a long medium blue wig perfect for a certain otaku from Lucky Star.

J-LIST/J-BOX

J-List Sale

J-LIST or its SFW version J-BOX is a reputable but somewhat expensive site. It’s interesting how I constantly find figures I know I can find for cheaper elsewhere while other times I find amazing deals. But this online retailer is far from just a figure website as it sells all kinds of products from Japan, such as bento, candy, and kimonos. It also sells otaku items such as body pillows, plushes, manga, and mousepads. Right now, most of their items will have 12% off their cost, and some items have been discounted up to 50% off. If you’re looking to treat yourself take advantage of this opportunity, you’ll have fun browsing through their selection of products and might even end up getting something you didn’t know you needed.

HobbyLink Japan

This is a great website for figure collectors and contains everything from anime figures, to military vehicle model kits, to action figures from tokusatsu shows. They’re having a Black Friday sale ending Monday at midnight on all their already discounted items, resulting in items with ridiculous discounts like 80% off. Their selection of items on sale is not very big, but with the prices they currently have it’s worth checking out.

Steam

Oh how can anybody forget Steam, but there are some people unaware of this wonderful company. Today is your lucky day if you didn’t know about them because it’s Autumn Sale 2013. Many games have been ridiculously discounted, some up to 80% off! This is the best sale on digital downloads going on, make sure to take advantage of it. Some discounted games include:

  • Far Cry 3
  • Portal 2
  • Bioshock Infinite

As well as many other big games and underrated indie titles.

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So what will you buy with the insane savings you can get today?

By Isabel On 11 Nov, 2013 At 08:29 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
cromartiecrew

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The manga section, whether it’s at the book store, comic shop, library, or from a convention vendor, it could be described as big and confusing. You’ve got the big name manga series that all have equally huge anime behind them proudly displayed for the mass consumers (despite that I love the otaku community for its uniqueness I can’t deny its classification as a consumer base, and a  very profitable one at that). From that point on you see an avalanche of less popular manga featuring moe girls, generic romance mangas, and typical action infused junk that seem to be just  flashing sword trails clashing against one another. Looking upon this black and white confusion that screams for attention with every cover I’ve wondered what happened to drawing comics just for the sake of drawing comics. My love for the standard manga is often at odds with my desire for comics with their own distinct  style. It seems that Japan’s comic scene as a whole is artistically becoming stale to the point you can’t tell the difference between one mangaka and the next.

With that in mind I’ll talk today about a manga that just doesn’t give a damn about looking pretty or cool and tosses aside the “manga” mold to stay true as a great manga. I’m talking about none other than the extremely underrated and painfully obscure Cromartie High School series. Full name Forging Valiently Ahead!! Cromartie High School.

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I need to start with, holly damn, I LOVE this manga.

The story is about an intelligent and capable student (Takashi Kamiyama) who enrolled at Cromartie High School to stay with his only friend back in middle school, only to find himself alone because his friend was too stupid to pass the entrance exam an ape did. Hence he finds himself in this school full of “badasses” and accidentally becomes their leader. As the manga ensues, the story seems to become less and less about Takashi and more about the other members of the strange student body which include a robot called Mechazawa, some old guy that looks like Freddy Mercury, a gorilla, a badass who suffers from car sickness, and a rich guy with a purpose.

When you’re reading a manga from someone who doesn’t even know why he became a mangaka in the first place you never know what to expect. Cromartie High School is 100% comedy, and a perfect fit for anyone beginning to read manga without knowing about some in-jokes only experienced readers can get. Cromartie High School had an anime and live action movie made about it, but I absolutely urge everyone to read the manga first. The anime stopped at a certain point while the manga kept going, and I believe reading it first enriches the viewing experience. Below is a clip I believe perfectly captures the atmosphere of the series and definitely makes people want to see more.

“He’s a nice guy on the Internet.”

By Charles On 16 Oct, 2013 At 11:04 PM | Categorized As Conventions, Editorials, Featured, Reviews, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments
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Preface: I did not attend NYCC as a member of the press. I did not attend as a speaker, professional, general audience member, marvin, or artist. This editorial review is simply a reflection of my experiences over the weekend, and should be taken as such.

Oh what a difference three years makes.

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The Dork Knight Returns!

Yep, it has indeed been three years since I last attended New York Comic Con. Back then, there was still an Anime Festival attached to the annual spectacle that dominates a chunk of Western midtown, and while that population of otaku and cosplayers was segregated from the mass that was NYCC, it was still something. Then 2012 rolled around, the Anime Festival was shelved, and Comic Con transformed itself into a fully immersive (and massive) pop culture extravaganza. Particular emphasis need be laid on the “pop culture” part of this equation, because in the scant years since its inception, NYCC has gone from a comic convention into something closer resembling its San Diego cousin- television culture, video gaming, literature, comics, collectibles and anime, all wrapped into one gigantic package that is literally impossible to navigate, nor experience over the course of a single weekend. Believe me, I’ve tried.

To put things into perspective, the largest event I regularly attend- Baltimore’s Otakon- pulls in around 34,000 people, and packs the halls of the BCC to almost the choke point. The BCC is a rather large space, separated into two buildings and attached hotels, and still manages to hold the growing anime convention each year. New York Comic Con pulls in around 4-5 times as many attendees, into a space not much larger than the BCC, and completely devoid of mass transit access and affordable hotels. Try for a moment, then, to picture the size and scale of such an event, of the masses of people moving along painfully slowly, stopped 20131012_151752up by cosplay photographs and snaking lines on the floor itself, and you get a general idea of what a typical weekend experience is for an NYCC attendee. And, unlike Otakon, those throngs of people are there for the entire weekend- Sunday is just as packed as Thursday, Friday or Saturday, with the line for badge pickup extended out the door.

That’s been one of the main reasons I’ve skipped NYCC for so long. Unlike the other conventions I attend, there is little actual community at the con- most of the weekend is akin to a fight for proverbial survival against the masses. Panels? Not a chance, as I’m not willing to sit in a line for 45 minutes only to be turned away. Autographs? Also slim, since shelling out upwards of $70 for a signed photo offends my “Queens Sensibilities” (not to mention digs into my food budget). What my weekend ultimately boils down to is a few scattered cosplay shots, some chatting with vendors and artists, and catching up with old friends I only see at Comic Con. It’s not that I’m not motivated to do more, it’s just time, space, willpower, and logistics make doing anything beyond “going with the flow” into an impossibility when you have X hours to attempt Y activities. It takes a special sort of masochism to navigate those halls midday, and for this man, the rewards aren’t worth the undertaking.

20131012_192410Now as critical as this sounds, don’t take it to mean that prospective attendees should balk at going. NYCC is a behemoth, one of the few cons that actually thrive from this mass of stimuli and competing events. The size of the con is its greatest asset, since it forces attendees to prioritize, focus on what is truly important to them, and allows plenty of “wiggle room” for those without a clue of what to do. There is something for everyone at NYCC, provided that everyone chooses to dig through a tome of a program guide in search of the exact panels and screenings that everyone wants to see. It teaches humility, as rooms fill and chances at freebies dry up. And it offers the neophyte congoer a glimpse into the wide world of fandom, which can far exceed anyone’s estimates. Comic Con manages through sheer size the same type of fandom convergence that other cons only hint it, placing it on display and offering options for the individual to select from. Every fan should go at least once, just to share in the experience, and question their own place within the fandom community.

As a fandom experience, though, its far from perfect. Every year has its issues, and this year is no exception. Most glaring of these “flaws” was the placement of the Artist Alley: the last time I attended NYCC, the Alley was opposite the show floor, with wide aisles and a good selection of artists. One simply needed to cross past the massive pavilions for comic publishers and media companies to find those die-hard illustrators showcasing wares. This year, the Alley was relocated to Javits North, a still-growing addition to the convention center that more resembles an airplane hangar than a showroom. In its former place was yet another space for shops, small presses, the gigantic Intel Booth, and some artists. Navigating that space was just as brutal as the rest of the floor, but since it was still separated by the media expositions, it could take twice as long to get from one end of the floor to the other. The Alley itself was perfectly solid- professional illustrators and their amateur colleagues shared table space, signed books and prints, and took commissions from enthusiastic attendees. But its location- segregated from the rest of the show- reminded me a bit too much of the 2010 “Anime Ghetto,” where artists and craftspeople of the otaku persuasion were kept away from the “serious artists” (as one of them put it) up stairs. One can only wonder if those same “serious artists” had similar feelings this year…though not likely, given the large foot traffic that was a constant presence in Javits North (took me a full 25 minutes to get there on Saturday Afternoon).

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Image taken Sunday…afternoon.

Autographs were also in their own special section, removed from the show floor, though that was undoubtedly for logistical purposes, as the higher profile guests had their own snakes, which would have wreaked havoc upstairs on the show floor, which already had its own line issues when vendors decided to bring in talent to sign at their tables. (One point of dismay on my part- I never once saw a line for professional wrestling legends Sergeant Slaughter or Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase. Has this country forgotten those legends of yesteryear?)

As with previous NYCCs, the roving vendors had their own section, which was more clustered around the exhibits, which took up a good deal of floor space right as one entered. And those exhibitors pulled out all the stops to grab attention: Bandai had a veritable museum of new/soon to be released products, from Saiyan scanners to a Comic Con exclusive model from the anime series Valvrave. South Park built a replica of Main Street, complete with crashed alien saucer. Daisuki.net had a weekend long viewing party that easily outdrew Funimation, and the Intel booth…well, let’s just say it was one of the few places with open space, owing to its sheer mass and revolving programming. Had I not been a Comic Con veteran, I likely would have gone into overload just staring at the booths and flashing lights.

20131013_114935I didn’t really get to do much over the weekend. Anime panels were thin, and filled up quickly, so I elected to avoid them. As I also have become immune to vendor rooms, I also spent very little money (just at GEN Manga and IFC, on Sunday, when the prices dropped). And since I did not have a press pass for the event, I volunteered my services to a friend’s booth for Saturday and Sunday. I’ve worked as a vendor more than a few times (it’s how I got into NYAF 09), and I’ve found that sitting in that one space is actually one of the better ways to experience the con- you have water, food, a place to sit, and generally get to see the same people as a roving reporter would, just without the claustrophobia. You also get a keen sense of the community at large- what are they spending on, what are they enthusiastic about, who are they cosplaying, et al. This weekend, the “big winners” were Berserk (everyone wanted Gattsu figures), Attack on Titan, soft earmuffs, and Ocarinas, only because I was sitting across from a vendor selling them, and listening to the same 10 songs ALL WEEKEND. And “con babies”- I saw a lot of new parents with costumed children in tow, which made me feel as fuzzy as the scarves I was selling them.

Like I started this review-torial with, I haven’t been to NYCC in three years, so seeing the growth and expansion of this convention into a dominating pop culture event was a point of pride and humility. That said, I also left feeling worn out, exhausted, and a little empty. Some of that was definitely due to working all weekend, but some of that was also the “transient” nature of the con itself- I’ve come to expect a certain amount of community and interaction at conventions I attend. I didn’t find it at NYCC. And that definitely soured some of my experience. But that is coming from a longtime convention veteran, who has already been to 14 other cons this year. For the first-timer, or the inexperienced newb, NYCC likely has a much different feel. Like I said, everyone needs to go at least once to discover where that feeling leads them.

[Gallery] Comic Con After Dark: Images from Sunday night…because not everyone gets to see the con being broken down.

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By SarahTheRebel On 1 Jul, 2013 At 02:35 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, News | With 0 Comments
Manga guide dark horse

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This summer, Dark Horse Comics is publishing CBLDF Presents Manga: Introduction, Challenges, and Best Practices, an authoritative yet accessible handbook designed to help librarians, educators, and parents navigate the vast and popular field of manga. Prepared by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the freedom to read, CBLDF Presents Manga provides what you really need to know about manga from those who really know about it! The book will premiere at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 27–July 2, and at Anime Expo in Los Angeles, July 4–7.

librarian guide to manga

Made possible with a grant from the Gaiman Foundation, CBLDF Presents Manga is a handbook designed to provide a concise and informed overview of manga—its history, genres, and issues. This educational work delves into the history of manga, its major demographic divisions, its most significant creators, and the challenges it has sometimes faced in North America.

What sets this book apart from other manga guides is its expert panel of writers, including not only scholars of the medium, but veterans of the manga industry itself—professionals who have worked from both the North American and Japanese sides of manga in publishing, editing, review, and library services. Edited by Melinda Beasi of Manga Bookshelf, CBLDF Presents Manga is written by Manga Bookshelf columnist Sean Gaffney, Ed Chavez of Vertical, Erica Friedman of Yuricon and ALC Publishing, Shaenon Garrity of Viz Media and Otaku USA, and Robin Brenner and Katherine Dacey of School Library Journal.

CBLDF Presents Manga: Introduction, Challenges, and Best Practices will be on sale in comic shops everywhere December 4.

I would love to see more books like this so we can continue to fight the blind hatred/misunderstanding of manga as well as help parents make smart book choices for their kids.

About Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers. CBLDF provides legal referrals, representation, advice, assistance, and education in furtherance of these goals.

By Charles On 3 May, 2013 At 01:52 AM | Categorized As Animation, Comics/Manga, Editorials, Featured, Old School Otaku, Reviews | With 0 Comments
gto_cast

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Everyone has a favorite teacher; that dedicated, funny, sympathetic role model who helped shape your formative years and provided comfort from the often callous and vicious world of school angst and the pitfalls of growing up. Think about that person for a moment, and what made them great. Picture them in your mind, hear the memory of their voice in your ears. Got a clear image of them? Good.

I bet your mental image looks nothing like this:

Eikichi_OnizukaThis man is Eikichi Onizuka, age 22, virgin, and for a class full of misfits and “social rejects,” he was that favorite teacher, the man who challenged and taught them all about the “real world.” How? By just being himself, and teaching them how NOT to act.

Great Teacher Onizuka was one of those “unlikely anime,” the type that is completely devoid of fantastic elements, lolicons, twenty minute power-ups and skimpy clothing, but still manages to pull the viewer in and keep them interested. Rather than deal with otherworldly enemies threatening human existence, it focused more on the trials and tribulations of being a high school student, which at times could be just as chaotic, and just as terrifying. It lacked “good guys” and “villains,” eschewing instead for a whole lot of gray-shaded cast members who were as petty as they were devoted to their jobs. In short, GTO (as it was so fondly referred to) was a sort of “dirty shonen” slice of life series, more concerned with its world and residents than impressing its reader base.

And that was not a bad thing at all.

A lot of that appeal centered around the aforementioned Onizuka, himself a social misfit more concerned with sex and violence than educating the youth of Japan. A former biker gang leader, he somehow managed to leave the “thug life” behind, enroll in a “5th rate college” and graduate with a degree in…something. You never really find out how studious he was, nor where his “academic” inclinations actually lie, given his preoccupation with porn, fighting and “keeping it real.” But next thing you see, he’s trying to find gainful employment, and failing miserably. Blame his bleached hair, his “yakuza tendencies” or the constant mountain of arrogance that he’s the proud king of, but poor Onizuka can’t seem to catch a break.

gtoAll that changes the day he meets, then loses, the “girl of his dreams:” a spunky high school student whom the future Great Teacher is absolutely positive he will finally lose his virginity to. And just as they’re about to do the deed, she literally jumps out a window and into the arms of another man. Who does he lose this wellspring of sexual energy to? Her high school teacher, a dumpy, bespectacled man with a sour face and apparently all the pull in the world. On that day, he swears to become the best teacher in Japan. Why? To get laid.

Let’s put aside the blatantly horrendous motivation for this decision, and focus on Onizuka for a moment. What does he have to offer his students? Forget about the three “R’s,” as Onizuka can barely read himself. Valuable lessons on life? Does one really want to accept the words of a “reformed” biker and generally viewed “lowlife?” Common sense? Not at all, since he’s doing this for the worst reason possible. For all intents and purposes, this man should never be anywhere near children, let alone given the task of teaching them. And yet, that’s exactly what he does.

Finally scoring a job at a prestigious private academy, Onizuka is immediately given the worst class in the school, made up of people either just like him, or well on their way to becoming just like him. Wannabe gang-bangers, unmotivated geniuses, promiscuous girls, awkward kids, and all manner of students who just don’t fit in. These are the students destined to fall through the cracks of the educational system, that the rest of the faculty have given up on, but can’t simply expel because their tuition checks have already been deposited. So, shunted off to the side and ignored, they plod through one ineffective teacher after another, until Eikichi ends up at their door one day, the latest in a long line of schmucks suckered into teaching the class. The “Great Teacher” brings in bluster in the door with him, trailing arrogance like a proud bridal train, ready to talk some “sense” into these students. How do they take to this new teacher, so completely “different” from any they have ever encountered before?

As far as they’re concerned, Onizuka isn’t any different from the others, except maybe that he’s dumber than any one of them, and starving for respect and attention. And they hate him.

Great-Teacher-Onizuka-3Why? Because they can see right through him. They know he’s not a teacher. They know he only cares about having fun. From his “tough guy” facade to his horrible sense of humor, this is a man worthy of only their contempt, which they heap on him in droves. hell, the only reason he’s even in this class is because they’ve driven off every single other teacher assigned to them, and the administrators hope that they will do the same to Onizuka.

Until he starts saving them, one student at a time. Whether it’s giving them a reason to live, putting their problems into perspective, telling them to get over themselves (often with associated punches, kicks and getting his own ass handed to him), helping them get “revenge” on those who wronged them, teaching them to stand up for themselves or just not take any s**t from “the man,” the Great Teacher imparts whatever wisdom and street smarts he can, while often taking lumps and plenty of attitude along the way. It’s like the School of Hard Knocks, 90210-style.

gto1His tenacity eventually overcomes even the most stubborn (or stuck up) of the students he encounters, and by year’s end, he manages to reform the worst class at the academy into something resembling a productive learning unit, while teaching even some of his “colleagues” the value of knowing themselves…or at least giving them lessons in self-extracting their heads from their own asses. A little humility goes a long way, and while Onizuka might not know the meaning of the word, he sure can impart its value on others.

That tenacity is the key to GTO’s appeal. Knowing from the outset that Eikichi Onizuka is an “eternal f**k-up who just doesn’t give a s**t” lends him a certain humanity that drives the story. You know he’s going to fail, yet you cheer for him anyway. When he occasionally succeeds, you celebrate with him. When he gets caught with his pants down (literally, on more than a few occasions), you feel for him, but also realize that it’s only going to make him more careful in the future. His crass manners have a certain charm to them, you root for him to find the “right girl,” and when he finally gets the better of his naysayers, you want to clap him on the back and buy him a drink.

Onizuka is the ultimate underdog. And like most underdogs, you want to see him win, regardless of whether its against “corrupt” educators, “conniving” students, or even his own shortcomings. You want Eikichi Onizuka to win. And I guess in that regard, he already has.

Gratuitous shot of...well, everything.

Gratuitous shot of…well, everything.

You can consumer GTO in a number of ways: the 1997-2002 manga, while out of print, is excellent. The 1999 anime is a faithful adaptation of the manga, and easier to track down. The 1998 J-Drama (with 99 sequel film) is a bit short on the plot, but the actor who plays Onizuka is phenomenal. Or you can look for the 2012 reboot. Honestly, it doesn’t matter: any version of GTO is worth consuming. Honestly, how many properties can say that these days? There is also a prequel manga “GTO: The Early Years,” and sequel”14 Days in Shonan,” both available now from Vertical Publishing.

 

By Akodo On 28 Mar, 2013 At 06:39 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments
Brave 10

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Brave 10 Vol 1Brave 10, an ongoing manga series published by Media Factory and written and created by Shimotsuki Kairi that focuses on the year before the battle of Sekigahara, which would thus end the Sengoku period in Japan, leaving Tokugawa Ieyasu, as Shogun. The main focus of the series is on Iga ninja, Kirigakure Saizo and Izumo Priestess, Isanami. The story mainly revolves around those two, and their growing friendship and love, more so on Isanami’s part, but it also showcases Sanada Yukimura growing what would be called in history, Sanada’s Ten Braves. All thought to be ten elite ninja bodyguards, always ready to protect Yukimura’s life.

 The original run was title Brave 10 under in Comic Flapper, but after June 2011, it was moved to Monthly Comic Gene and re-titled Brave 10 S, where it continues now. The genre is more so a comical, historical action. Giving into the over-the-topness of Shinobi, and the various ninja skills they possess, from controlling the elements, substitution jutsu, and even controlling fake creatures from far off places, than the heat of the battle. As I said before, the story mainly follows Saizo and Isanami, and after events happen that Ieyasu attacked the Temple for a certain reason, which is later revealed. Afterwards, a weird friendship was struck up with the two as she asked him to escort her to Ueda Castle, and to Sanada Yukimura. So the story uses historical references and other historical figures throughout this time period. The main villain is focused around Ieyasu, as well as, Hattori Hanzo and all his ninja glory with a group of four others, impressive ninja at his command. The manga does contain rather saucy moments, like Isanami not wearing much clothing when she is awakened by Saizo randomly seeing her on his futon. Or a bathing in the waterfall, Anastasia, and being completely bare chest and ass.

The art of the manga, definitely portrays, the high speed action of the ninja attacks, and assaults. Even when action isn’t the main focus of the story, the scenes, of them talking or gathering information from Yukimura, or Isanami giving Saizo a rude awakening in the morning, it’s quite crisp. The emotion portrayed by the characters is clear, and you know what going on, at least facially and from the bubbles. And such, characters like Rokuro, has a large following, and is considered a manho, said by fellow writer, here on the site, and that he is a beautiful ninja, and doesn’t need underwear. Isabel, I had to mention this! As you go, you can tell the artists get more comfortable with the drawing, they become even crisper, and more entertaining. As I mentioned before, the series is still continuing, but I can say when they release volumes or chapters, since they are slightly sporadic. Additionally, they also have a 12 episode anime, which can be seen on crunchyroll; with English subs. Hope you all enjoy this manga and anime as much as I do.tumblr_lzr88v8Utd1rpkkofo1_500

By otakuman5000 On 16 Dec, 2012 At 10:07 PM | Categorized As Animation, Comics/Manga, Featured, News, News, Previews | With 0 Comments
Dragon-Ball-Z-Battle-of-Gods

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Dbzmovie2013promo

When I saw that there was a new DBZ movie in the works and it was being written and directed by series creator Akira Toriyama for 2013 I lost my mind. The movie is entitled Battle of the Gods and it will be released on March 30 2013 in Japan only with Toei Company Ltd and 20th Century Fox, the US release has yet to be announced and the plot is as follows.

“The events of Battle of Gods takes place several years after the titanic battle with Majin Buu, which determined the fate of the entire universe. Bills, the God of Destruction who is tasked with maintaining some sort of balance in the universe, awakens from a long slumber. Hearing rumors that a Saiyan defeated Frieza, Bills tracks down this warrior: Goku. Ecstatic over the new challenge, Goku ignores King Kai’s advice and battles Bills, but he is overwhelmed and defeated. Bills leaves, but his eerie remark of “Is there nobody on Earth more worthy to destroy…?” lingers on. Goku and his allies must aim to stop the God of Destruction before all is lost. A mysterious character named Wiss also appears in the film”

Visit the films website here

By otakuman5000 On 8 Aug, 2012 At 03:44 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, News, TableTop Gaming, Toys and Merchandise | With 0 Comments
Yu-Gi-Oh!_TCG_new_logo

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Konami has heard the outcry from the fans to balance the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game for all, which is now the world’s most popular and highest selling card game worldwide as of 2012. So that means new sets and new special products. These will give duelists the chance to get some the rarest and most expensive cards in this current format of the game before the September ban-list. Konami has many new releases for both The Trading Card Game or TCG in America and EU; as well as the OCG or Original Card Game in Japan, and all other territories not out side of the the USA/EU. There are so many new products that we cannot put it all in one post. This will be part one of our Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG and OCG news coverage for the remainder of 2012 and into 2013.

Last Week Konami Released Yu-Gi-Oh! Hidden Arsenal 6 Omega XYZ which brought fourth the remaining Vylon Monsters (Light Machine type Monsters) that had yet to be released in America as well as more support for Laval, Gem-Knight, Steelswarm, Gishki, and Gusto monsters.

Next week on August 14th, the first wave of the 2012 tins will be released and will come with 4 promo cards, the featured card of the tin, three packs of the Photon Shockwave booster packs, and two Galactic Overload booster packs.

Heroic Champion – Excalibur Collectible Tin

Heroic Champion – Excalibur (Secret Rare)
Blizzard Princess (Super Rare)
Evolzar Laggia (Super Rare)
Wind-Up Rabbit (Super Rare)
Wind-Up Zenmaines (Super Rare)

Evolzar Dolkka Collectible Tin[

Evolzar Dolkka (Secret Rare)
Genex Neutron (Super Rare)
Scrap Dragon (Super Rare)
Dark Highlander (Super Rare)
Wind-Up Zenmaines (Super Rare)

The second wave of the Yu-Gi-Oh! collector tins release October 30, 2012 with one pack of Photon Shockwave, two packs of Order of Chaos, and two packs of Galactic Overlord.  The four promo cards will be revealed at a later date.
Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis Collectible Tin

Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo Collectible Tin

This newly announced tin for the Spell-caster Monster called the Prophecy Destroyer took everyone in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG circuit by storm, as this is a separate tin from Konami’s usual four tins per year line up. It will feature the card along with 1 Photon Shockwave booster Pack. two Order of Chaos boosters, one Photon Shockwave booster, and two Galactic Overlord boosters, however little is known about the monster as of yet.  There will also be the four promos that will accompany him in this tin.

Prophecy Destroyer Collectible Tin

Stay Tuned to Real Otaku Gamer for more Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game and Orignal Card Game New in part two our Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG/OCG News Blowout.

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