AMV of the Day: Otaku Paradise


It’s the 4th of July Weekend and one of the things I’ve gotten used to these past couple years is that it means Anime Expo has come around once more. While I don’t have the anime convention experience as pantsukudasai56 it is still a event that I’ve gotten used to attending once a year when possible.

The latest “AMV of the Day” arrives just in time for the largest North American anime convention held every 4th of July weekend in Los Angeles. Not to say that the other anime conventions around the country are nothing to sneeze at, but Anime Expo is a whole different animal that every otaku in North America needs to experience at least once in their life. It’s a video that comes courtesy by the very talented video editor who goes by the handle of BecauseImBored1.

A video that combines scenes from anime and real-life footage of cosplayers and anime con-goers into one timely video that celebrates the positive nature of the word “otaku”. It’s a word that has a negative reputation in Japan, but one that’s seen as a celebration of anime and Japanese pop-culture fandom worldwide. It’s a label taken on proudly.

“Otaku Paradise” has such a huge number of anime referenced yet barely scratches the surface of what “otaku” watches and follows year in and year out. I love the fact that the video intersperses these anime scenes with real-life people in cosplay of those very same anime characters. Not everyone cosplays, but every otaku appreciates and admires those who do. Yet, cosplayers and non-cosplayer otaku both have one thing in common and that is their acceptance of the label of “otaku”.

One thing this video made me do while I watched it for the first time and the many times since was put such a huge, happy smile on my face. It’s small consolation for having to miss this weekend’s Anime Expo 2014.

Anime: Another, Attack On Titan, Baccano!, Baka And Test – Summon The Beasts, Bakuman, Black Lagoon, CANAAN, Clannad, Code Geass – Lelouch Of The Rebellion, D.Gray-Man, DragonBall Z, Durarara!!, Fate/Stay Night, Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club, Fruits Basket, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Genshiken, Genshiken Nidaime, Haikyuu, Hellsing Ultimate, Howl’s Moving Castle, Idolmaster, K, K-ON!, Kampfer, Kanon, Kara No Kyoukai – The Garden Of Sinners, Kill La Kill, Kuroko’s Basketball, Kyoukai No Kanata, Kyousougiga, Little Witch Academia, Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, Lucky Star, Macross Frontier MUSIC CLIP Collection – Nyankuri, Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya, MM!, Munto, My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Ookami-San To Shichinin No Nakama-Tachi, Ore No Kanojo To Osananajimi Ga Shuraba Sugiru, Ouran High School Host Club, Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt, Persona 4: The Animation, Pokemon : White, Pokémon: Movie 2, Pokemon 2000, The Power Of One, Princess Jellyfish, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Romeo × Juliet, Sailor Moon, Sakura Trick, School Rumble, School Rumble 2, Shugo Chara!, Soul Eater, Soul Eater Not, Summer Wars, Super Smash Bros, Sword Art Online, Tales Of Xillia, Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann, Toradora!, Trigun, Uta No Prince Sama, Welcome To The NHK, Yu Yu Hakusho

Song: “Raging Fire” by Phillip Phillips

Creator: BecauseImBored1

Past AMVs of the Day

Highschool of the Dead: Episode 10 – First Impressions

We’re now heading towards the end of this first season of Madhouse’s anime adaptation of the zombie manga Highschool of the Dead. It is still up in the air whether this 13-episode initially produced will be the first season or just the first half of what will end up being the only season. If the latter is the case then the series just took a relaxing calm before the storm of what will be episode 11 thru to 13.

Episode 10 brings everyone in the group back together as Takashi Komuro and Busujima Saeko finally makes it back to the relative safety of the Takagi fortress-compound in the previous episode. This episode was actually pretty devoid of much of the fanservice which were prevalent in the last 5 previous episodes. The only nod to it’s ecchi side of the series was in the beginning where one might think Rei and Komuro might just end up going all the way (something that suspiciously might have already happened between Komuro and Saeko in the last episode), but alas it was not meant to be. It was just a medical intervention to help Rei heal up from being sorely bruised from the action of episode 8.

While within the Takagi compound we get to know more about the life of Saya and her relationship with her parents. To say that she has lived quite the privileged life would be an understatement. But while in other media the privileged children of rich and powerful parents end up being useless beyond being spoiled and entitled, Saya seems to have grown past being just a spoiled brat and into a child who has tried to live up to the perfection that are her parents. I mean her father is the lord of the manor in more ways than one as the Takagi-clan looks to have been the same clan in centuries past which ruled over the city during the Feudal-era of Japan. Takagi Souichiro and his wife Yuriko are quite formidable parents and we see where Saya gets both her beauty and coldly, logical brain.

This episode to me also shows us just how far Hirano Kohta has come from the geeky and shy introduction from the first couple episodes. We’ve seen him become quite the badass to help bookend Saeko in terms of pure zombie killing power. He’s been the most useful of the group not just in how expertly he handles the guns the group comes across, but in teaching others how to operate them. This new zombie apocalypse world has made Kohta useful in his eyes. So, when the demand by the “adults” at the Takagi compound for him to hand over the weapons he and his group brought with them his reaction was both understandable and quite saddening.

To survive the last couple days as a highschool student while adults around them died and became “Them” it’s jarring to Kohta and the rest of the group to suddenly be treated as children once more. While his tear-filled reaction to not wanting to go back to being a helpless otaku seemed overly dramatic it’s easy to sympathize with him. Thus, it was great to see not just for the group to have his back and support his decision to hold on to the weapons, but to see Saya do the same. The fact that she uses Kohta’s help in securing her safety a way to show her contempt for her parents for not trying to find a way to save her shows the rift between daughter and parents.

While this respite from the doom and gloom action of the previous 3-4 episodes was quite good, this partcular calm before the storm looks to be ending quite quickly as the sneak preview for the next episode show the return of Shido-san and his bus of cult followers. Plus, just when I thought Madhouse was going to cut the bus orgy scene from the manga it looks like they just kept it for the end of episode 10. Now all is right with the world.

Manga of the Day: Highschool of the Dead

Manga (Japanese comic books) has become a major form of entertainment for me. This wasn’t too surprising being that I have been a huge fan and reader of comic books both American and European. While my own collection of comic books have waned in the last decade my appetite for manga has increased in its place. I find them to be actually cheaper to buy and collect than American comics nowadays.

One of the current manga titles (unfortunately not licensed to be translated and sold in the US…yet) is the very popular zombie apocalypse title from Monthly Dragon Age (a monthly manga magazine similar to the Western comic magazine Heavy Metal). This zombie apocalypse manga is known quite appropriately as Highschool of the Dead. The series (was on hiatus for a little over a year, but has started up once more) was started in September 2006 by mangaka Daisuke Sato and Shouji Sato (the former doing writing duties while the latter the illustrations).

The manga takes the usual zombie conventions begun by George A. Romero and expanded by many others since and wraps it with a heavy dose of ecchi. For the uninitiated the Japanese term ecchi is commonly used for manga and anime which contains very sexualized (though not to mean full nudity and explicit sex) imagery and characterization. Let’s just say that the artists of manga and anime with ecchi themes will liberally use panty shots, huge bouncy breasts and scantily clad women in almost every other scene.

Highschool of the Dead can almost be the manga version of the cheesy Troma zombie films which combined horror with scantily-clad women running and bouncing every which way. While the manga is quite violent and gory the black and white illustrations keep it from becoming gratuitious. I can’t say the same for the boobs and panty shots. The fact that the manga is published through a manga magazine aimed at teenage boys and young adult males wasn’t an accident. The author and illustrator really know who their readers are and more than glad to give them what they want.

Some of the sample full-color pin-up illustrations should really emphasize my point.

News was made just recently that the manga was going to be adapted into an anime series. The anime was to make it’s premiere episode available to Japanese tv around early February of 2010. Here’s to hoping that the anime doesn’t abandon what made the manga series so popular. I am also hoping and confident that one of the licensing companies who brings over manga and anime to the US shores will do the same for Highschool of the Dead. Until that happens the only way to experience this series is to buy the original manga magazine issues each chapter of the series has shown up in and read it in Japanese. Or one can read unofficial scanlated versions (the last resort since it is not actually kosher to do so). If one was to settle on the latter then only one site really do the series justice with its translation and that is the site [XLG].

So, I highly recommend this manga. For those who will be interested enough to check it out I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I mean what’s not to like: zombies, guns, boobs and even more boobs.

Reference: Highschool of the Dead on Wikipedia

Anime Inducing Epileptic Bliss or Just Plain Epileptic Fit

While I started off in loving anime on the level I do now, I have to admit that it’s a form of entertainment that pretty much fights to dominate my time in addition to film, gaming and music. I’ve started on the path to try and attend as many anime conventions as humanly and, most importantly, financially possible. While attending Anime Boston 2008 I was introduced to a certain growing trend with anime fans and that’s the art of AMVs aka Anime Music Videos. It’s pretty much some enterprising and very talented individual taking a favorite song and then taking the appropriate scenes from their favorite anime and creating a music video out of it.

While a majority are quite amateurish and very awful there remains a small number of such profound awesomeness and bodacity that they rise to the top for all to marvel at. I saw one such example of awesome bodacity at Anime Boston 2008 and I believe it should’ve won “Best in Show” and not just “Best Editing.” For some anime fans who love these kind of stuff they’ve seen and continue to see this particular AMV, but I think it deserves to be seen by….in the words of Norman Stansfield….E-VERY-ONE!