Shadocon in the Books, Matsuri on the Horizons.

Hey everybody, Zeke here. We had a great weekend at Shadocon 2012! After two amazing shows, we are all well tuckered out, especially myself, who caught a case of con crude.

But no matter! We are a week away from Thanksgiving and a month away from Holiday Matsuri and Christmas! Busy times, but we hope to have pics and videos up soon! So stay tuned!

-Zeke

Anime with the Monk: Black blood Brother, where art thou?

Welcome back, friends! After a small break for Shadocon II (which was AWESOME) and the Thanksgiving Holidays, I come back to you all with a new review on a series that some of you willbe sure to want to “sink your teeth” into. And, by this terrible pun you can probably guess we’re talking more vampires. But, not just ANY Vampires. We’re talking brothers! “Black Blood Brothers”, to be precise. The series (Originally a light novel series written by Kohei Azano and Illustrated by Yuuya Kusaka) follows the story of Brothers Jiro Mochizuki as he seeks out a sanctuary to raise and protect his younger brother, Kotaro, within. However, upon their journey to said safe haven, his brother manages to intangle them in a scuffle between Refugee vampires seeking a new home in the “special zone” and a supression team whom has been sent by the Coffin company to hunt down a dangerous threat to both man and Vampire that may be in their midst: A kowloon Child.

Kowloon Children are Vampires whom are both hated and despised by both side of the spectrum due to their terrible means of production. Unlike other vampires, simply being bitten by a Kowloon child transforms the victim into a Kowloon child. It doesn’t matter if they attack human or other vampires: All are converted by the bite… And, did I mention that the Kowloon suffer from a feral and insatiable bloodlust that never seems to be qualled? Ten years prior, Jiro fought alongside of the humans and other vampires to destroy this menace in a war that took place in their stronghold of Hong Kong, earning himself the nick-names such as “the Silver blade” and “kin killer”. The war was won, but there was much loss and a high cost to himself that was paid; brought about by the treason of a once dear friend.This eventually leads us and him down his path to seeking out safety for his brother and, ultimately, to the main story from their in which they find aid from characters such as the human “comprimiser” named Katsuragi Mimiko, the reincarnated dragon king Sei, and a much more.

It’s an interesting series that begins nearly each episode with the revelation of some scattered bit of Jiro’s past. It’s only by the end of the series that you suddenly get what the truth of Jiro’s intentions are and why it is that Kotaro is so important to him. But, the voice acting is pretty good and the story isn’t half bad at all. Truthfully, it’s not one of my all time favorites, but it’s well worth watching if you have the time or if you’re a vampire enthusist. Best part is light does damage and NO ONE sparkles!!! So, in short, I give this one a 7 out of 10. And, I recommend that you all go ahead and take a “bite” on into it. Well, till next time: I’m Miroku and I’ll be looking forward to catching you ALL at Holiday Matsuri, coming up on Dec. 16th through the 18th. Take care!

Anime with the Monk: A “Dance” worth watching

Greetings everyone! Welcome back to another “With the Monk” column with your host, Miroku! Last time, I reviewed a two part movie put together from a 6 part OVA. This time (in keeping with the season and the upcoming holiday) we are reviewing a 12 episode series that, though short, had excellent animation style and rather nice storyline though it draws a bit from a current pop culture obsession. Which one, you may ask? Why vampire romance stories, of course! Now then, before you go clicking the back button, let me just say that this paticular series entitled “Dance in the Vampire Bund” IS NOT one of those “twighlight-er” series. Vampires don’t sparkle and they can’t march about in the daylight WITHOUT any form of protection from the sun. Rather, it is the story of a seemingly average high school student named Akira Kaburagi. Somewhere near the age of 17, he suffers from a case of amnesia and can’t properly recall anything past a year and a half ago. He attends classes and is pretty good friends with everyone, even having a bit of a “sweetheart” relationship with his fellow classmate, Ms. Yuki Saegusa. Everything is normal in his world until the day that a strange young girl comes to his high school looking for him. Upon meeting with him, some of his memories flood back to him with a violent shock that nearly knocks him comatose. He realizes he knows her and recalls a promise he had made to her when they were both younger. It is here that he also learns that she is the princess of vampires who, the night before, had revealed herself and the existance of vampires to the world on a Japanese discussion show. She reveals to him her plans to create a Bund (a sort of coastal city) in which she wishes to invite all non-radical vampires to come and live there lives within without fear of discrimnation or danger of harm. She then reveals that Akira is one of her most trusted knights and asks him to join her, once more, in her efforts. Reluctantly, Akira agrees and joins the princess as her bodyguard and, through the process of protecting her, recovers more and more of his lost memories, rediscovering his ancient blood abilities as a member of the Earth Clan (Aka: Werewolves)…

It’s actually a very well written animation, though it deviates a little from the original story by manga artist Nozomu Tamaki. There was SOME controversy with the series which was originally going to be edited for U.S. shores due to some suggestive themes in the series. However, Funimation released the 12 episode series in it’s entirety with no edits, which is just the way this monk likes to watch them. And the epsiodes with questionable material were few, with explainations and plot twists that work to make it make sense when you get to the later episodes. This series takes the best of modern monster lore (from authors like Anne Rice and Sherrilynn Kenyon) and spices them up in the best way the Japanese know how. So, with that being said, I would definately recommend giving this series a swing and watch/purchase the entire series. It’s defiantely a must have for anyone whom is a fan of vampires, werewolves, and the supernatural romance stories. And, as always, thank you for visiting us here at aniRAGE.com! Make sure to dropback by again to see what other series, movies, manga, or whatever else we have to show case for you, and we hope you had a Happy Halloween!

Spotlight Photo 11.03.11

Sorry for the delay! With a trip to EXPcon and Halloween I was a bit busy! Yes that means we’ll have new photos for you to enjoy! It’ll be a while longer, so thank you in advance for your patience. 

This week’s spotlight photo is a photo I took at EXPcon 2010.  These two girls were just chillin in the lobby and caught my eye.  Being my favorite female character of all time Tifa with her friend Aerith, listening to music, it was too epic of a shot not to get. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do!



Want to see your photo here on anirage.com? Catch us at Shadocon, November 11th-13th in Tampa, Florida! 

SLOTW – Hey that doesn’t look so scar-*insert blood curdling high pitched scream here*

For those in the dark (the deep, deep dark…), this coming weekend is Halloween!  With that, you’ll get annoying kids dressed up in tacky and bad looking costumes, knocking at your door for the expected candy treatment for going away.  Not to mention the constant sight of pumpkins that would be better suited for pie (and you know I love me some pie!).  Halloween should be reserved for scaring the crap out of those kids, and mutilating those pumkins for your own personal baking and consumption.  With that mindset in mind, I present to you some very scary (and very sweet….. now I want some damn pie!) links of the week!

When you get done with your trick or treating, you and your friends might decide to sit by a campfire or dark room with a flashlight and tell each other ghost stories.  While your stories might be cheesy and sometimes funny or dumb, you always had a good time.  But I’m not quite in the business of funny and stupid…… ok, maybe I am.  But for now, I’ve got a story for you that might trump all the stories you’ve heard as a kid.  It’s scary, blood curdling, and you can view it HERE.

If that didn’t quite elicit a blood curdling scream, you might be able to find something below.  If you want, you can chant along if you know the words…

If  you’ll excuse me, I need to grab a change of underwear, as well as some pants…. also I need a new chair…

~Kirby

Dashi game reviews: Dead Island as well as Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Hey Guys! It’s that time again, where I go into my massive stack of games that I have yet to touch. Thank you steam sales. And review some awesome titles! Today I will be reviewing two games that have released this year and have already beaten, Dead Island and Deus Ex: Human Revolution!

Dead Island was one of those games I saw the release trailer for at E3 and immediately got excited, a first person zombie romp kill fest through a island where you have got to survive?! Sign me up! And the months passed and I kept being antsy about it being released and finally.. It was out! So I fired up my rig and prepared for gleeful bliss of running around beating up zombies and being epic. What I got was…Borderlands with zombies.

The game is honestly not that bad.. romping through the island destroying zombies with various weapons you find laying around, healing yourself by eating nothing but fruit and various energy drinks… I swear to god to just restore my health I had to slam down 5 of these energy drinks. And I swore I thought my main character was going to drop from a heart attack! But let’s describe the game in various categories, starting with the weaponry!

 You got a little bit of everything to kill with in this game, boat paddles and blunt objects, knives and sharp objects, sledgehammer and impact objects… and then you have various neat little weapons you can make in the game like molotovs, a grenade made out of deodorant cans or a jar of meat that when it explodes on the ground that attracts zombies. Ew. But some of them are kind of cool, like making a electrical machete that shocks zombies when you strike them, or a ripper that is like an electric buzz-saw strapped to a baseball bat that deals damage. I thought the game would have gotten so much easier when I found a pistol or a shotgun, but to my disappointment it was JUST like Borderlands, where even a head shot with a shotgun does not instantly drop the zombie, it takes 2-5 blasts to kill it! And there are various types of zombies that would bring down the hurt on you!

 The Story? Same storyline for all of them. You are hanging out at a party one night then it all goes to hell in a hand basket. Zombies, zombies everywhere! The only different bit is the beginning movie and intro to the game. Four characters to chose from (Angry Feminist ex-soldier woman, Ex Hong Kong police woman, Ex Rapper dude, and Ex football guy) all with different abilities, kinda like borderlands.

All in all I did enjoy this game. I had to take it in doses as there were moments of me just flat out quitting the game due to nerd rage from cheap kills by the zombies. But after taking a breather I just had to get back into the game to figure out what happens. If you bought it when it came out brand new, then it was a alright purchase. I am definitely going to wait till it goes on sale to pick it up and add it to my collection, as this is a game I’d like to own, to see the other remaining stories of the other 3 as well as the DLC to it.

 For my opinion I give it a 8.5 out of 10 as a good solid zombie romp.

 Now some people have never asked for this, but I’m going to give it. Here is my review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

I actually have played the first two games of Deus Ex and I did not have much love for the sequel. So when they announced they were going to do a third Deus Ex game I got excited, then freaked out in horror when it was announced that it was going to be ran by the Final Fantasy remaking company Square-Enix.

 The story follows Adam Jensen, security op for Sarif Industries, a top augmentation corporation where a suspected security alarm that triggers in the company. Adam gets sent down there and unfortunately gets attacked by a black-op’s team of augmented soldiers and almost dies, but what happens is that Adam survives through the medial technology of augmentation and begins a search to find out who attacked there building and what happened to the workers there in that location.

 As it was a prequel to the first game I really wondered how it would size up to sync with the first game, and honestly it did quite well all the way up to the ending. The story gripped me and I found myself staying up late at night to try to go through and beat this game. There are MULTIPLE AND COUNTLESS ways to go through the game, its incredible! Either through stealth, or running and gunning or by hacking into security systems to disable cameras and send security bots back at there own squads, this game was amazing and it had a solid nod to the first game as it is very cyberpunk like with all the locations.

 If you have to own a game in your collection and if you loved the Deus Ex Series, please pick this one up as it was quite a enjoyable game. On this one I had to give it 10/10 and there is still DLC being released for it as well! “The Missing Link” comes out in October and I cant wait to see how this mission goes!

 In conclusion after I’ve went through these two awesome titles I have been addicted to playing the 1.9 Pre-release version 3 they have out for Minecraft before its 2.0 release, as well as RAGE. I know that it is going to be a one of those games for me to review as iD software has not really released anything in quite a while. As well, I want to review the Batman Arkham series. I’m going to have to run through Arkham Asylum first before tackling Arkham City when that releases.

Till next time guys, thanks for reading my reviews!

Spotlight Photo 10.07.11

Can you believe it’s already October? I know I sure can’t! This week’s Spotlight Photo, I will honestly say confused me! Hence why I felt the need to take a picture at the time. Looking for this week’s photo I stumbled upon this one and had a great laugh from how silly Con goers can be. I hope you get a good laugh too!

Photo was taken at Metrocon 2010!


Want to see your photo here on anirage.com? Catch us at Shadocon, November 11th-13th in Tampa, Florida!

Movies with the Monk- Karas: The Prophecy & The Revelation

Hiddy Ho, guys! Your pal, Miroku, here. Finished mowing the lawn and decided to take a breather from the chores of the day, so I decided to hit Netflix up for some cool toonage to watch. As usual, I scrolled through the anime movie sections and discovered a little gem I’ve been meaning to see entitled: “Karas: The Prophecy”. I was debating it (due to mixed reviews I’ve heard) and decided to scroll on past to see what else was there, but then I saw that they also had the second film, “Karas: The Revelation”.  I knew it was a sign… a “revelation”, if you will, from the spirit world. I just HAD to see this “prophecy” for myself. After all, these two movies were produced by Tatsunoko Productions, which has been one of the long time companies that I recall from my childhood BEFORE I realized that those funny Gatchaman folks came from Japan (which Tatsunoko was responsible for producing). And, knowing that the movies had been produced in correlation of the celebration of their 40th year anniversary, I knew that I HAD to give them a watch. Besides, the title character is one of my favs to fight with in the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom arcade fighter. So, why not see what the story was all about?

Naturally, I watched the first movie, “The Prophecy”. Let me just say that the opening sequence of a dog fight between two supernatural jet fighter planes was cool enough. The fact that those same jets could shapeshift into armored warriors was EVEN MORE rockin! They really wanted to get you into this film from the get-go and I have to say I wasn’t displeased… Save for all the Japanese text that was going by untranslated (Note to self: use closed caption next time that happens). Anyways, from the opening sequence I knew that the movie was going to be great. And then, I waited… and waited… and waited some more. But the more I watched, the more I began to get confused on what, exactly, the story was all about. I mean, SURE the fight sequences that rained throughout the movie was cool, but they kinda jumped around a lot of places at first and then didn’t bother to explain to you who the main character was or what the deal was that he had superhuman powers. To that end, it really only introduced a lot of side characters that really didn’t have a lot to do with the story. An investigation here, random demon attacks, sequences of the main character doctoring demons and otherworldly specters, but then going out and killing others. By the time I got to the end, I really had more questions than answers for and I didn’t even really realize I was at the end until the cliffhanger hits you and … BAM! End credits…

If that had have been the end of it, I might be writing a REALLY SOUR review on this production. Thankfully, though, I knew I still had “The Revelation” to follow… And, I was REALLY praying that this “Revelation” would produce a plot and a point. Thankfully, Tatsunoko didn’t disappoint. They managed to sum EVERYTHING together with the second movie and produce a fairly conventional end to the tale of a young man who is chosen to receive super powers to defend the city against evil and injustice against both human and demon. Mind you, these movies weren’t bad nor were they badly written. However, I really can’t understand the justification of making these two movies. I did a little research and discovered that both films ACTUALLY started off as a six episode OVA (which explains a lot in my mind) that was then, combined, manufactured, and released as two movies. Honestly, it watched like I was in the midst of one LONG episode of a series which is the way these films should be watched.

So, in short, “Karas: The Prophecy” and “Karas: The Revelation” was a “GOOD SERIES” but, as a movies… I couldn’t see much re-watch value to them. But I would recommend watching them. Just, make sure you watch “The Prophecy” and then IMMEDIATELY watch “The Revelation”. Or, if you can only watch one, watch the second film as it will give you the actual details of the story AND it recaps a little from the other episodes so you won’t miss too much by not watching the first. Until next time, guys, this is Miroku saying, “Later!”

SLOTW – Holy Clearance, Batman!

Whether it’s replicas, actual props, or whatever fancies the collector, Hollywood memorabillia is a treasure trove and a hobby that’s long loved.  From swords, to movie devices, and sometimes whole set pieces for the maniacal and rich.  It’s a big business, and there’s always a collector for SOMETHING.  While props are special, it’s the functional props that garner the most attention.

I’ve always enjoyed the Batman movies (save for one.  *COUGHGEORGECLOONEYSUCKSCOUGH*), and was ALWAYS fascinated by the complexity with the design and the functions of the Batmobile.  From wondering how the engine worked, to how he got the little gadgets into the car, It’s always been a dream of mine to sit in the driver’s seat and take it for a spin!  Well my dream has been half realized.

Yes you’re not seeing things, it’s a replica of the batmobile!  Best of all, it’s drivable, turbine powered, and COMPLETELY STREET LEGAL!  Now why did I say my dreams were half realized?  Cause on the plus side, the owners of this replica, Putsch Racing, is selling the car on Ebay!  On the down side (and it’s a huge downer for me), it’s on sale for $620,000.  While I’ll never be able to afford to drive it, it’s pretty damn amazing that a working replica can be made available to a serious collector with a lot of cash to spare!  Here’s the original article here.

 

Now for something a bit more awesome.  If you’re a cosplayer, you’ve no doubt ran into some awesome cosplayers that look great, get all sorts of attention, but have you run into anything like this?

Shiney!

The man behind this little project, Anthony Le, told Popular Science how he built this version of the War Machine costume in time for the premiere of Iron Man 2.  Having been a huge fan of Iron Man since he was a kid, Le wanted to show his fandom when he heard about the production of the first Iron Man  movie in 2008.  The War Machine suit Le built features a motorized spinning gatling gun barrel, LED eyes, and a faceplate that opens up with a small servo motor!  Now once you install the Repulsor motors and make the gun shoot, come to me and we’ll talk financing!

~Kirby

 

Kirby Goes to the Movies! – 30 Minutes or Less

*puts on the Gene Shallot tie* Greetings, fellow movie goers!  It’s Kirby with a movie review for everyone!  For my first movie review, I wanted to pick a movie that was comedic, yet potentially ridiculous at the same time!  And also something that was currently out!  So the obvious choice turned out to be “30 Minutes or Less.”

 

The basic plot of the movie revolves around 1) Nick, a pizza delivery driver who has trouble keeping the “30 minutes or less” policy of the pizza restaurant, and 2) Dwayne, a deliquent who lives under his father’s domineering shadow.  Travis hatches a plan to kill his father, requiring $100,000 to hire the assassin to do the job.  And in order to attain the money, Dwayne and his friend Travis both hatch a plan to kidnap someone to do the dirty work for them.  Ordering a pizza, Nick ends up getting kidnapped and has a bomb strapped to his chest, being forced to rob a bank in order to save his live, involving his friend Chet in the process.

Here’s the summary of my thoughts on Plot, Impact, Dialogue, and Overall Attitude towards the film!

Plot –  2 / 5 – The plot overall was somewhat predictable throughout most of the film, however, there were some moments (though far and few in between) that stood out, such as the bank robbery scene, and the last few moments of the movie.  The plot for this movie seemed to try too hard to be a comedy movie with a plot point as dark as robbery by force.

Impact – 4 / 5  – The movie didn’t have everything going against it!  The acting in the movie was superb, in my opinion.  The overall emotional connection to the characters was wonderful, and the actors did give it their all for the movie!  Plus points go out to Aziz Ansari (Chet) and Jesse Eisenberg (Nick) for standout performance.

Dialogue – 2 / 5 – This movie suffers from a couple of things.  While the jokes are there in the movie, they are far in between.  What we kinda got instead was plot exposition, filler, with jokes inserted in between.  While I do understand the darkness of the movie in it of itself, comedy movies need jokes and funny dialogue.  Most jokes were unfunny toilet humor and low brow comedy bits, with a few really good one-liners mixed in.

Overall Attitude – 2/5 –  While the acting from all the characters in the movie was superb and wonderful, it doesn’t save it from it’s bad writing and less than stellar humor points.  It seemed to be trying too much to be funny.   Not to say that the movie wasn’t funny, it just wasn’t funny enough to do well.  I can honestly say that I left the movie theater with a neutral outlook on the movie, and it still keeps the impression.

I have to give this movie a 2.5 out of 5 rating.

Movie: 30 Minutes or Less
Run Time: 1 hour, 23 minutes.
Rating: R

Till next time!

~Kirby