Category Archives: 12 moments

12 Moments 10: #2

This entry is part of 12 Moments in Anime 2010.

#2 is Reasoner Sara Werec from the series Soukou no Str.A.In. (wiki), which I recapped in August 2010. When I wrote the review, I said I liked Ralph, Sara’s older brother, better. But in thinking of ideas for these 12 Moments, it was Sara who came to mind, not Ralph.

Sara Werec
Sara Werec piloting her STRAIN mech

I tend to like good guys gone bad and reformed bad guys (see my love for Angel, Knives, Chrno, Mitchell, the Plutonian and others). But when I was thinking about Str.A.In. months after watching it, the character brought to mind was Sara, not her brother. Not only did she have to deal with losing her brother, she basically had to deal with it completely by herself because she couldn’t tell anyone she was related to him (for fear of guilt by association).

Sara started her journey to follow him into space to see him again and she ended it by literally putting him down after he’d gone bad. That takes some serious character. I don’t know if I could’ve done it, for example. As I mentioned in my review in August, I understand why the story was about her and not Ralph; ultimately, she’s the more memorable of the two characters, even though I liked him more.

12 Moments 10: #3

This entry is part of 12 Moments in Anime 2010.

#3 is Chrno and Aion from the series Chrno Crusade (wiki). I wrote about the series in two posts: episodes 1-12 and episodes 13-24. Thinking about the series, I kept wanting there to be more between Aion and Chrno, and it was (sort of, kind of) hinted at, but nothing was ever set in stone, and then the series ended (with some finality, though I’m not going into it here since it’s definitely a spoiler).

Aion and Chrno
Aion holding Chrno by the neck.

Aion is a demon and the primary antagonist of the series, and a former compatriot of Chrno’s. Chrno, also a demon, is the main character‘s closest friend. She saved him from dying by contracting with him to use her life essence as his own, a pact that considerably shortens her lifespan. Chrno and Aion have a shadowy past, and that‘s what attracted me to them as a pair. In some ways, Chrno and Aion remind me of Angel and Angelus.

Badass Chrno
“I want to see your beauty, like when you killed a
100 million of our comrades in the Pandemonium.”
—Aion speaking to/about Chrno

Chrno Crusade was heart-wrenching and hilarious in turns and I probably watched the whole damn thing in less than a week. (I might’ve watched it even faster if I hadn’t had RL obligations.) Series with similarities: Trigun, Slayers, Trinity Blood, Fullmetal Alchemist.

12 Moments 10: #4

This entry is part of 12 Moments in Anime 2010.

#4 is my Yaoi-Con recap, part 2. (Also read part 1.) For the second part of the recap, I’m going to list, with a few explanations, the titles I picked up while I was at Yaoi-Con this year. I’ll include links to buy the manga yourself, if you’re so interested. (I don’t recommend getting them all at once, though, unless you’re having them shipped to you since I know from experience that lugging them around all at once is bad news.) Adamo Anthology

First level: Stuff I specifically went there to get
Crown Royale: A Boys’ Love Fairy Tale Anthology
Adamo Anthology
—both of which I discovered here and knew instantly I had to have them.

Steal Moon 1
—which I read online before it was licensed in the U.S. ^_^;;

Finder: Target in the Viewfinder and Cage in the Viewfinder
—both of which I read online and fell in love with the characters. Also, the mangaka was a guest at Yaoi-Con (though I didn’t bother standing in line for her autograph).

Second level: Stuff I was convinced to buy while I was there
Maiden Rose 1Junjo Romantica 1, Junjo Romantica 2, and Junjo Romantica 3
—I’ve seen the anime multiple times and figured it was about time I read the inspiration.

Yellow, Omnibus Edition 1 and Yellow, Omnibus Edition 2
—One of the yaoi classics, so I knew if I could get all of it at once, I should just go for it.

Incubus 1, Incubus 2, and Incubus 3
—I read volume 1 in the Manga Library and was furious that was the end… until I found volumes 2 and 3 in the Exhibit Hall!

Maiden Rose 1 and Maiden Rose 2
—I saw the OVA in the Video Room and went from there directly to the Exhibit Hall to find it because it was that good.

The Tyrant Falls in Love 1
—by one of the mangaka guests at the convention.

In These Words ch. 1 and In These Words ch. 2
Cruel To Be Kind
—all signed by the artist without my even asking! I picked these up because they’re simultaneously in English and Chinese; very unique!

Third level: Stuff that just looked cool and I took a chance
UtahimeGorgeous Carat 1 and Gorgeous Carat 2
Endless Rain
Freefall Romance
Antique Bakery 3
—I got all the above for less than $4 each; I donated Antique Bakery after I realized it was volume 3 and not volume 1. I don’t really have time to invest on finding 1 and 2 unless they fall into my lap, you know?

Ludwig II 1
—which I got because I haven’t seen much military-themed yaoi (Maiden Rose the notable exception); though I admit I haven’t really been looking until now. Now to pick up volume 2!

Utahime: The Songstress
—actually not a yaoi (gasp! getting a manga without boys’ love in it at a boys’ love convention? heaven forbid!), but I got it anyway because I liked the premise.

12 Moments 10: #5

This entry is part of 12 Moments in Anime 2010.

#5 is my Yaoi-Con recap, part 1. I thought that I should finally cover my favorite anime and manga weekend of the 2010 year by writing about Yaoi-Con on New Years Day! (What better way to start the new year, right?) Anyway, it was such a great trip (and I have so many pictures!) that I’m splitting into two days.

I took a ton of pictures, but since I’m not even close to anything remotely resembling a photographer, most of what’s developed is either blurry, awkward, or both. (Thank gods for digital film, though!) And, I always felt anxious asking people for their photographs (even though most were cosplaying for that very reason) so I have mostly panning shots and photos of cosplayers posing for other cameras. -_- /sigh

BUT! What’s done is done, and I do have some decent pictures from my first Yaoi-Con, which also happened to be the tenth anniversary. Below are a few I really like (click for larger); or you can see all the good ones here, including the ones below.

A Duo Maxwell cosplayer (easily my favorite cosplayer the entire weekend) and
the Yaoi-Con 2010 banner, unveiled at Opening Ceremonies

Duo Maxwell cosplayer Yaoi-Con banner

“Gay relationships in ancient Japan” Panel and
Cosplayers outside the Grand Peninsula Ballroom

Gay relationships in ancient Japan (panel) Cosplayers outside the Ballroom

One shot of Artists’ Alley and
Cosplayers as Sailors Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Moon, and Neptune from Sailor Moon

Artists' Alley Sailor Moon cosplayers

(Just a part of) the Manga Library and
America singing the National Anthem at Closing Ceremonies

Manga Library America singing the National Anthem

Read about the rest of my trip in part 2 tomorrow!

12 Moments 10: #6

This entry is part of 12 Moments in Anime 2010. Yesterday’s post put me squarely in the “I’m halfway done!” camp for this year’s 12 Moments in Anime. Hopefully you’ll enjoy these entries as well, just in time for the Epiphany.

#6 is over-the-top fanservice in anime. If you’ve ever seen Aquarion (wiki) or Strike Witches (wiki), then you know what I’m talking about. I had the (dis)pleasure of seeing the first few episodes of both Aquarion and Strike Witches this year at Anime Expo. They were both… well… I guess a nice way of putting it would be “interesting”.

AquarionI watched Aquarion dubbed into English and couldn’t believe what I was hearing/seeing. I thought to myself, “There’s no way it could be this… obvious… in Japanese. It must be crappy dubbing.” So, I made a note to go back to the screening room and watch the same episodes again in the original language and subtitled in English. I did, and…. it was still ridiculous. It’s really sad, too, because the Aquarion opening and the basic premise show a lot of promise. But it’s just ruined because I can’t take it seriously every time they combine their mechs. I mean, ugh… I couldn’t get through a single episode without glancing around uncomfortably, wondering if anyone else had the same problem I did. (They did.)

Strike WitchesStrike Witches is a lot more blatant in its pure, over-the-top fanservice. First (and most obviously), none of the main characters wear pants. Seriously. I understand not wearing pants while they’re fighting because of their power leg flying thingies, but never wearing pants ever?? Really? That picture to the right? That’s what they regularly wear during the show. No pants. Seriously. It’s like the women in the Strike Witches universe don’t even own pants. And I don’t mean they always wear skirts or something; if that were true, it’d be old-fashioned, but at least I could take them seriously. But no, they don’t wear any lower clothing except underwear and, on occasion, stockings. WTF? (Don’t believe me? Watch the Strike Witches opening.)

12 Moments 10: #7

12 Moments 10: #7

This entry is part of 12 Moments in Anime 2010.

#7 is anime-inspired webcomics that I read. And/or manga-inspired, too, since the two mediums are so related. I read a few webcomics (though not many; suggestions are welcome), some of which are written in English and drawn in Japanese-style. (For more lengthy thoughts on “original English language” manga, click here.)

One: SNAFU
I actually read SNAFU for Grim Tales and Invader Zim, but this artist actually does a bunch of other series, too. I’m not sure how he keeps up with them all. Though, I do know that the “Grim Tales” storyline has ended (much to my chagrin).

Two: Four King Hell
Four King Hell is a fan-comic based on the Sailor Moon metaverse. My sister poked me early this year until I finally caved and started reading it and… it’s actually pretty good. The artist also has a formspring account where you can ask comic-related questions, though I do recommend having a basic understanding of Sailor Moon before you try to read (and understand) any of the comic itself, since the formspring account isn’t really for Sailor Moon 101 type inquiries.

Three: Fangs and Strawberries
I tend to read webcomics in large clumps and then completely forget about them for a long time and then find them online again and read the newest updates in large clumps and… etc. etc. Fangs and Strawberries is about a kid who finds a kid vampire in his bedroom one evening. Honestly, the story hasn’t really begun yet (even though it’s already in the third chapter), so far as I can tell, but it looks promising, so I’m going to keep tabs on it just in case.

Four: Crowfeathers
I really, really, really liked Crowfeathers, but it hasn’t been updated in… well, maybe almost a year? Or more than a year? I’m not sure. It’s a comic set in the Old West and focuses on primarily Native American characters and their dealings with White townsfolk. There’s some fantasy/fable elements in there, and it was just really good (well, I liked it, at least), but then the artist couldn’t figure out where the story was going and shelved the whole thing pending further research/study/writing/whatever. It hasn’t been updated since. /sadface

Five: Oglaf
Oglaf is not for the young reader. Extremely adult content (heterosexual and otherwise), so consider yourself warned. For serious: the first set of strips is called “cumsprite” for the reason you think it is. Updates Sundays. Many of the strips are only vaguely related to each other (ie: they’re set in the same world during the same time period but use different characters and situations), and most have very little backstory and go for laughs over extended plotline.

Six: Starfighter
OMG I love this series. I bought the first chapter as soon as it was published and met the artist (albeit very briefly) at Yaoi-Con this year. I understand art and story takes time, but I want the comic to update more frequently anyway! Note: Starfighter contains graphic nudity and sex between men (in space! Seriously, it’s a yaoi sci-fi—awesome, right?). If that’s not your thing, this comic probably isn’t your thing.

12 Moments 10: #8

This entry is part of 12 Moments in Anime 2010.

#8 is the epic ending of Gurren Lagann at Anime Expo this year. I’ve seen all of the series, but Expo was showing the movies (one and two) which I’d never seen but for which the storyline is roughly the same. There are some notable differences, but I actually only watched the end of the second one, so I’m not in a position to comment on the deviations from the original series.

Simon and Kamina

Anyway, I knew enough of the story to understand what was going on when I walked into the theater in the convention center looking for me brother. It was madness. Since Johnny and his friends were all the way in the back and everyone was screaming and yelling at the screen because of the sheer awesomeness that was happening, it was impossible to hear anything, let alone my brother right next to me trying to explain what was going on.

I eventually figured out it was the epic ending battle, which—in the series—takes two entire episodes to complete (plus a denouement at the end, of course). I wish I’d gotten a picture of the room—or maybe videoed it so that I could better explain the rising action in that room that night. It was amazing. It was like attending a concert where you’re favorite band headlines and you have front row seats and you turn around and everyone behind you is just as excited and hyped as you are—and you’re not disappointed.

Amazing. And almost totally un-re-creatable.