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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

R&L Trigger: Episode 1 - Nintendo's golden sun

Nintendo really likes hitting us ever so often with a really good RPG. How does This gem from the Gameboy Advance days stack up? Hear what Ranz has to say about it.

R&L Trigger podcast #1 - Nintendo's Golden sun
Performed by Ranz
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pirates, Bodyslams and Deathmatches, Oh My!

There are quite a few games that are being released today.  Some are big name titles that might just be flying off the shelves.  Are you picking up a newly released game today?  Lets see what they are:

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - Ubisoft is at it again with another yearly release of Assassin's Creed.  Here you play as the Pirate and later Assassin Edward Kenway who happens to be the father of Haytham Kenway and the grandfather of Ratonhnhake:ton better known as Conner from Assassin's Creed 3.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Kids On The Slope: Moanin - A Quick Review

I think that it has been a while since I've taken some time to really relax and watch a good anime series. I'm serious. As the main anime writer on this blog, I feel like I've fallen short of living up to that "title". Rest assured though, I'm back in action once again. Yes...I'm pretty sure that has been said before and is extremely cliche, but bear with me. With that being said, I've figured that I'd just do a weekly blog about what i'm watching, thinking about, or other random stuff about anime.

I know that it's be a while since my Beck post. Great series by the way. I recommend checking it out. You may not know this, but I'm a huge fan of an anime with an amazing soundtrack. You can see this in my liking of Beck and a personal favorite, Cowboy Bebop.

Friday, October 25, 2013

OJN Episode 16 - Anime Clubs and MMOs

Anime clubs are really fun. In this episode we talk about our experience at an anime club. Do you play MMOs? We seem to get into our MMO experiences too.

OJN Podcast Episode #16 - Anime Clubs and MMOs
Performed by Draco and Ranz
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

A True Diamond: One of the best anime music covers that I have ever heard

Every so often, you will come by an anime with a soundtrack that becomes instantly as timeless and genius as the anime itself. Music is a big part of what makes a series appealing to me, so I sometimes find myself being wowed by a series with a soundtrack that can make me relieve the greatest moments of that anime over and over. One such series that did this with its music was Cowboy Bebop. If living in a world set in the future where space is like the wild west isn't enough, the jazz/blues/country inspired music that was featured in the series really brought it to life.

The music to this series was composed by Yoko Kanno. After having a hand in most of the music that touched me since I dove into anime, I have come to the conclusion that she is a musical genius. After forming the group "The Seatbelts" for Cowboy Bebop, I believe that the result was some of her best work. With multiple CDs containing the songs played in the series, Bebop clearly wins my vote for anime with the best soundtrack hands down. No lie...the Real Folk Blues changed my life!

After a bit of surfing the internet last night while looking for one particular song, "Diamonds" from the "Tank! The! Best!" album, I found this cover on youtube and was simply blown away. This is a cover of Diamonds, and in my opinion stands very tall next to the original. The singer performing it is Alissa Simmons and can be found here on her Youtube channel and Official site. The song is beautiful and her voice is the perfect complement to the lyrics and melody. It makes me stop and think back to that one day where I stumbled onto Bebop on Adult Swim. Life was never the same.

P.S. - Yes...I know this song was not in the series. That doesn't take away from its beauty.

Monday, October 21, 2013

OJN Discussion #3: Anime

Welcome to our third OJN Discussion
Draco, Yours Truly and Ranzignus will tell you a little about their anime backgrounds. Hope you enjoy.

What is your Favorite Anime?

Draco - It is a bit hard to pick an absolute favorite. There are many different anime series that are near and dear to me. Examples being Dragonball Z and most of the Gundam series. I think that I would have to say that Cowboy Bebop is the closest that I have to an absolute favorite. It carries so many different messages in it that became an important part of my life while growing up. Not to mention that the music from the show is unparalleled. This even inspired me to get into the technology field after seeing the hacking genius as displayed by Ed.

Yours Truly - I can't really name a personal favorite because it seems like there are a lot that I can pull from for various reasons, but there is one that does stick out to me as one of my top favorites, Samurai Champloo. From the very beginning that anime had me hooked. It had all of my favorite things in a story, compelling characters, an awesome plot, really good writing and an awesome atmosphere. It was also by far one of the best dubs that I've seen which tends to be rare. I can really watch that show over and over again and never get tired of it! It always feels like I'm with them on the adventure!

Ranzignus- With so many to chose from I can never tell what my favorite is one minute to the next, but if i had to pick at least one it would be “Magical shopping arcade abenobashi”. When I first saw this anime it was around the time comcast released the whole “on demand” menu, and it was kinda random that I even decided to watch it in the first place but well worth it. The whole premise of the show was something that my 13/14 year old mind would have thought of at the time. probably the main reason I like parody anime so freakin’ much to this day, its like the whole show (as zany and all over the place as it was) spoke to me. Its something that I could still go back and watch over and over.

The show that made you into an Anime lover:

D - Another hard one. Technically, I’ve been watching anime all my life with shows like Voltron, Thundercats, Sailor Moon and etc coming on TV. I just didn't know these series were from Japan. If I were to overlook those, the show that really got me into anime (once I knew it was anime) was probably Neon Genesis: Evangelion. This series had so much going on. It had depth that I was not used to watching on American TV. Unfortunately, I was watching it back in the days of VHS rentals from my local video store, so I was never able to finish.

YT - Again, another question that is hard to answer. Since I was watching anime before I knew what anime was it's hard to say which anime really got me into it lol. To be fair though, around the time I started to know what anime was, at least the kid stuff, there was a more mature anime that got me into the "good stuff" of anime, that anime was Inuyasha. It seems so strange that now I'm not really into Inuyasha, at least the later seasons *sigh* but when adult swim started to show it for the first time it totally blew my mind.

It was the first anime I watched that showed blood and a lot of it, it was something I never seen at that point in my life and I was in my early teens. I was so hooked by the first episode and the story to follow that it's good to say I wanted more of that in my life and adult swim dished it up for a few good years. By far Inuyasha was the "gateway drug" into what I called the real world of anime, the stuff you didn't see on Saturday morning cartoons!

R - I think we have all been watching anime one way or another even though we didnt even know it. I guess though the two anime that made me a believer were “Dragon ball z” and “Sailor moon”. Of course i mention two at once because they come on back-to-back on weekday mornings before school waaaaaay back when. The later title,like most people my age,are not afraid to admit to liking that show in the first place.Never did I think that those early mornings watchings were a gateway to bigger and better anime out there and would turn out to be a genre of some of the best programming from another country.

Favorite Anime Character/Character you most identify yourself with:

D - Narrowing this down, I would say that there is a tie between Spike and Ed from Cowboy Bebop, and Goku from Dragonball Z. I tend to like characters that either demonstrate some amazing qualities that I admire, or continuously overcome extreme adversity. This can be seen in how calm, cool, and collected Spike always was in Cowboy Bebop. He believe in flowing like water. This is something that I’ve always tried to adapt to my life….many times I fail to do so though lol. Goku was always looking to get better in martial arts. His life was dedicated to training and always getting stronger. Through him, I learned perseverance. Life in DBZ looked tough. There was always some kind of galactic being coming to Earth or threatening the universe in some way. They were always super strong and Goku and crew always stood between them and the Earth/universe being annihilated. When the chips were down and everything looked like there would be no chance of success, Goku always pushed through and somehow would come out on top…..or died in the process lol.

YT - This one is pretty easy because surprisingly I don't really identify with a lot of anime characters, so this answer goes to Amu from Shugo Chara! I LOVE this show, it definitely fought a spot in the personal favorites but it was a bit too recent compared to some older favorites.

Amu is someone I can really relate to and was one of the reasons why I loved the anime so much. Amu is basically what you call a "cool kid" in her school, kind of standoffish, aloof and detached from everyone around her, not to mention her punk fashion sense to help her standout. However, on the inside she wants to be a more honest, girly and a friendly person but has no clue how to do that when people expects her to be a certain way. That is when she get guardian characters to help her become her true self and yadda yadda.

I can relate to this because I too felt that I projected myself in a certain way and felt totally different inside. Trying to keep up with a certain expectation while trying to figure out how to be more honest with yourself and oters is a lot of baggage. Actually seeing her become her "true self" throughout the plot was one of the most inspiring aspects of the show and one of the reasons why I'm a die hard fan. It's hard to find an anime character I feel that I can resonate with so I really treasure the show being forth a character I can see myself in.

R - Kinda  a hard question for me really,but I guess if i had to chose anyone it would be unsurprisingly Viewtiful joe. Now when i think of his character its like if I was put in his shoes i think i would react in some of the same fashion that he does. Hes just as nonchalant and go with the flow about everything which i see myself doing all the time. Even with the trouble that he always seems to be in Joe is always in a “it will work itself out” mindset, but if push came to shove he got his ass in gear and came out on top. Honestly hes a really relatable lead character...makes me wish others enjoyed the show as much as i

OJN Crew

Thursday, October 3, 2013

May J - Be Mine

It has been a while since I last wrote something on the blog. I thought that I would break my silence with some music.

This song is from May J. I was first introduced to her music a few years back while browsing through my local public broadcasting station's new digital channel. They were streaming from NHK world. It was honestly quite a treat to see something that was dedicated to Japanese culture be shown on a local station. The even sweeter treat was that they had a weekly music show called J-Mello that showcased loads of Japanese music.

This was my introduction May J. I think that her upbeat personality on the show really made me want to continue watching more of it. It was fun to see how she would interact with all of the guests on the show.

Later on, I realized that this amazing host of J-mello was actually a talented singer as well. Score! I quickly went to youtube to see if I could find any of her music, and I sure enough did. This is one of my favorites by her. She has an amazing voice, and her music style greatly compliments it. Take a look at the video below to hear what I'm talking about. I now present to you, "Be Mine" by May J.