The Worst Valentine’s Day Ever!

Greetings, friends

I just want to say I’m real disappointed in humanity. After last night’s unofficial Valentine’s Day anime screening in my dorm lounge, I’m not sure if I can even face the world again. This was an event that was more humiliating than my break-up with Rebecca or that time I accidentally bought the edited DVD of Yu-Yu Hakusho. This was a night I will not soon forget.

I had high hopes for last night. I signed out the room, rigged up the 27’ TV, fired up the Insignia DVD player, set out the complementary ramen and was ready by 6:30 for the festivities to begin at 7:00. At first, nobody showed up. Students would pass by laughing at either my DBZ shirt, my weight problem or both. Finally, some fellow otaku attended. There were about five in total, but two of them started making out during the first anime and I had to ask them to leave for disrupting the showing. Other than the cup of ramen that was angrily thrown at me by the couple on the way out, the screening seemed to be going real well. That is, until 7:30.

It was at that time that a large group of people entered the room. I promptly informed them that this room was reserved for my anime screening. They said they knew and came to the room specifically for the event. I informed them that they could stay, but they must remain silent during the screening. It didn’t take long for them to start giggling and mocking everything on screen. As the night went on, they became more rowdy in their heckling. I’m sorry if you bakas can’t take the romance of Koi Kaze like mature adults, but some of us can. And I don’t appreciate you mocking those who came there specifically to watch anime by calling them ‘weeaboos’ and ‘forever alone’. I didn’t know any of these people or how just how they found out about my meeting (I posted the details in the newsletter), but they were not welcome.

Normally, at our official club, me and the other chairs would overpower jackals. But this unofficial screening was all of my own conception. There was no way I could successfully kick out all twelve of these hooligans. By the time Koi Kaze ended, all of the official club members were long gone and the twelve jokers remained. “What happened to the animoos,” they yelled. “The screening is over, go home,” I told them. At that point they were sent into a rage demanding more anime and trashing the room by launching the chairs and their Gatorade bottles at me. One of them successfully lodged their Physics book into the TV (which I am now responsible for). I tried to calm them down by telling them they could come up to my room to watch more anime. This announcement was met with a thunderous cheer as they hussled up to my room. This was my biggest mistake.

My room is very cramped and cannot hold twelve people, but they still forced themselves in. Several piles of anime and manga were knocked over and stepped on. They were growing restless. Fearing for my life at what they would do next, I quietly asked what anime they wanted to watch. One of them perked right up and said they had a burned DVD of some show called Boku no Pico. Normally I detest fansubs, but I didn’t want to argue with these people fearing they would kill me with how rowdy they were. Besides, I recieved several recommendations for this show so maybe it will be good.

It was not good at all. Boku no Pico is one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen. The character development was attrocious with no real build up to the sexual tension. I felt nothing for these characters on an emotional level. The voice acting was attrociously cast as it sounded like the boys were voiced by girls. The character designs were very uninspired. Worst of all, the story is all over the place and never really reaches a conclusion. Overall, it’s a very bland show. It’s also horrible for another reason which I’ve chosen to block from my selective memory.

After trashing my place, destroying several out-of-print anime DVDs I paid well over $100 each for, the crowd left. And what was I left with on Valentine’s Day? A trashed lounge which I must clean up, a broken spirit after watching a horrible anime I didn’t want to see and my collection of anime and manga in ruins. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Paul-sama, I’m sorry I bad mouthed you and the club. And I’m sorry I photoshopped your head on those yaoi pictures. I’ll make it up to you. I’ll make it up to the entire club. Alone, we are vulnerable, but together, the Society of Anime & Manga will triumph over the baka-gaijin. I recommend our first order of business next week is to find out who those horrible people were who trashed my room and get revenge. I’ll bet you a box of Pocky it was those jealous jerks from the Manga Anime Society.

-Keep on Rockin’ That Dragon

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Valentine’s Day? BLEH!

Salutations, otaku

This has been a rough week. As if the news of Viz changing their name to New People wasn’t bad enough, the Valentine’s Day Night for my anime club has been cancelled. No, it wasn’t because we didn’t rent out the TV and DVD player in time. And it isn’t because the Egyptian students are taking over the room to celebrate the successful protests (even though they are, we cancelled the meeting prior to this event). The Valentine’s Day meeting has been cancelled because apparently everybody considers it a holiday. Pfft!

It appears that my three fellow chairs of the club all have plans. Paul-sama is taking his girlfriend to some dumb Adam Sandler romance, Taku-chan is having a romantic dinner with her lesbian girlfriend at Green Mill and Loganaka has a meeting with some woman he met on craigslist. Oh, sorry, guys. I guess trying to get into women’s underwear is more important than the Society of Anime & Manga. Sometimes I wonder if they even like anime anymore. I know for a fact that Paul-sama’s gf hates anime. She attended club once and I heard her utter the words ‘I hate these Korean cartoons’. I appreciate Paul-sama not bringing her to club anymore, but sooner or later, he’s going to have to drop that ignorant hussy.

We were going to have an awesome Valentine’s Day line-up for that night. Love Hina, His & Her Circumstances, Wallflower, Koi Kaze; all of them perfect for this Hallmark holiday. But, no, the chairs have better things to do then manage the second most popular anime club on the UofM campus. Taku-chan suggested that I run that night by myself, but she obviously doesn’t understand the work it takes as she is only incharge of DVDs and snacks. Every meeting is a team effort. Paul-sama rents the room, Taku-chan provides the DVDs/snacks, Loganaka rents out the TV/DVD player and I host the club by introducing each anime. This is not a one-man production. Every chair is important and a successful meeting cannot be pulled off with only one of us.

And, yeah, I’ll admit it. I’m the only chair without a girlfriend. So what? Just because I’m single doesn’t mean that my opinions don’t matter. Besides, I’m not ready for a new relationship yet. Not after what I went through with Rebecca. But you know what? I didn’t cancel our Valentine’s Day showing to go out on a date with her. I knew my duties were to the club and Rebecca understood this. She was the perfect woman. Short, skinny, blonde, good bust and we had very similar interests. We both loved Dragonball Z, Ghost in the Shell, Excel Saga and Ranma 1/2. She looked real hot in her cosplay of Ritsuko from Evangelion. I dated her for five years and was planning on asking for her hand in marriage at last year’s Anime Detour. But she had to be a dumb bitch and argue with me. I don’t know if I’ll ever find someone like her again.

Oh, sure, I’ve tried looking. I met a sweet otaku on PlentyofFish.com and she was very nice. She liked all the same anime I did, she had great smile and she was very fluent in Japanese. Except she just happened to be a furry which I strongly dislike. Then there was that one girl I met at the bus stop who seemed to like me. I took her out to dinner at McDonald’s and even splurged on buying her a manga of Fruits Basket. After all that, she had the nerve to charge me money to kiss her and something she called a half-and-half. That’s the last time I even consider dating a black girl. And I’ll spare you the drama that went on between the FUNimation rep and I.

But you know what? Forget all that! I’ll have my own anime showing on Valentine’s Day. That’s right, people. It’s an unofficial anime showing and it’s going on in my dorm. I’ll be showing the anime we were originally going to screen at club in the dorm lounge. Too late to change your mind, Paul-sama, I’ve already checked out the room from the RA. If anybody wants to bring snacks you are more than welcome as I’m afraid all I can spare are five cups of noodles. It will be held at the west side dorms across the bridge February 14th at 7pm (I’ll post all the information in the newsletter). Afterwords, you can come up to my room for some more anime. I only have a 15′ screen and my room is kind of packed with all my DVDs/manga so we may have to squeeze together. Hope you guys can make it.

-Keep on Rockin’ That Dragon

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Anime Club Charter

Konnichiwa, all

Our anime club on the UofM campus is once again facing the hardships of maintaining a proper anime club. I’d just like to clarify to all those newbs and lurkers that we are NOT the Manga Anime Society; we are the Society of Anime & Manga or SA&M. Currently, our website is down because A) Joomla 1.5 is being an ass not doing what we tell it to do and B) we haven’t been able to raise enough money to keep paying for the domain. Anyway, just wanted to clarify that we are in the Carlson Building, NOT the Moos Tower, as there was some confusion last night.

The main reason I wrote this entry was because of a fight that broke out last night. Apparently two members were got into a heated Yu-Gi-Oh duel to settle an arguement about which series of Slayers was the best. However, unlike a typical game of Yu-Gi-Oh, whenever a monster attacked, the opponent slashed the other’s wrist with the card when they dealt direct damage. This escalated into them throwing the cards at each other and hitting several people in the eye. I, myself, was hit with an Ancient Elf and Time Wizard. Both members have been banned from the club.

Not surpising, these two were newbs to the club and didn’t even read our charter which is clearly taped to the door at every meeting. Since our website is down, I’d like to take this opportunity of using my friend’s blog to post the charter for the Society of Anime & Manga in case of any newcomers.

1. We accept members of all race and religions. Japanese strongly preferred though.
2. A minimum of 2 hours of anime will be shown at each meeting.
3. All anime shown must be in Japanese with English Subtitles. English is a last resort and if it is horribly dubbed, it will be removed.
4. No bootlegs or fansubs. Anybody caught with them will be handed over to the proper authorities.
5. No discussion of anime download sites. Again, you will be dealt with through the proper legal channels.
6. No hentai. Keep it clean, folks.
7. No erotic manga shall be brought in either. Ecchi is okay as long as it’s PG-13.
8. No trolling of any kind. This includes slanderous comments, repetition of 4chan memes and making anime suggestion that you know will make people mad.
9. No heckling the screen during serious anime. The only time your laughter is acceptable is during comedy series like Cromartie High School.
10. Keep the room clean. Don’t leave crumbs, spill drinks, throw drinks or puke on the floor. We have to clean it up.
11. Members of the Manga Anime Society are not allowed into our club to avoid redundancy.
12. No consumption of alcohol, drugs or cigarettes during meetings. We had to kick a lot of people out of club for doing this when we screened Paranoia Agent.
13. No fighting PERIOD. This includes fist fights, pistol fights, brass-knuckle fights, slapping, scratching or gambling. And now Yu-Gi-Oh duels as well.
14. No making-out during screenings. It’s gross, you guys. Nobody wants to see that.
15. No adult language. If you have to slur, do it in Japanese.
16. No racial remarks. Whitey and cracker is acceptable.
17. No age descrimination in the membership process. If you are under the age of 18, however, we need a signed note from your parents.
18. Founding members and chairmen have total authority over the club. Anything we say goes, no excuses. This includes suggesting events and show suggestions which, while still voted upon, can be vetoed by us.
19. No bullying of any kind is tolerated. Club members caught bullying, including cyber-bullying, will be banned.
20. Be safe. We are not convered under any insurance so if you hurt yourself trying to re-enact Gurren Laggan it’s your own fault.
21. Membership fees MUST be payed on time. If not, you will not be able to take part in events without paying for them and will have to wait until our next collection date to pay again.
22. Refreshments are a privilage, not a right.
23. We are not reponsible for any lost items during club meetings. If you don’t want your laptop stolen, keep a better eye on it.
24. Once a member has signed in to a meeting, they must stay for the entire meeting or their membership is revoked. We can’t have people leaving just because their favorite show isn’t on next.
25. Be respectful. Keep this a positive and comfortable club for everyone.

I hope this clears up any confusion. Also, we are still going with our pre-1990’s ban so, please, no old anime suggestions. See you next week at club. And please don’t show up early before I do like last time. The marketing workshop class was very disturbed by those of you sitting in on them.

-Keep on Rockin’ That Dragon

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Sunday Funnies 2/6/2011

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Of Comic Books and Anime

Don't go to the Barnes & Noble in Minnetonka. They are complete a-holes there.

Ohayo, brothers and sisters

My source for manga is slowly dwindling. As I mentioned in a previous blog, Borders is slowly going out of business. Despite my attempts to poor all the cash I had into the stores, it seems as though Borders is on it’s way out the door. They were my only source for all my manga needs. As I’ve stated before, I can’t go into Barnes & Noble because I’ve been banned from the Minnetonka and Maple Grove locations and I believe they told the Minneapolis location about me as well. Doesn’t matter, anyway, as I dislike everything about their store. I can’t order online either because my mailbox is broken and the last time a package for me was left for me to pickup in the lobby it was covered in honey and macaroni for some reason.

I am left with only one option for purchasing manga locally: comic book shops. The only time I had ever been in a comic book shop was for Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments when I was a child. This would be my first venture into one in years. I was extremely nervous as my Asperger’s often makes me shy and awkward when confronted with change. But if I wanted my manga, I knew I had to be brave. I approached the store with windows completely covered in posters for X-Men, Batman and Fantastic Four posters which for some reason had a 3 on them (I’m guessing it’s a prequel before they were all assembled). I felt like Prince Ashitaka walking into the valley of the gods. I knew I’d be seen as an outcast in this kingdom.

A picture from inside the belly of the comic book beast.

It didn’t take long for a few customers to sense my otaku-ness as several stared at me upon entering. Looks like I picked the wrong day to wear my RahXephon T-shirt. They were all discussing various comic book characters and TV shows I’d never heard of, but I could sense their eyes on me. I went up to the counter and quietly asked the clerk which part of the store had manga for sale. Unfortunately, I said it too quietely and had to say it louder which drew more attention to me than I wanted. The clerk pointed to the back section and gave me an odd look. I quickly dashed out of his site and into the manga section.

Their selection was abysmal. There was a limited selection, out-of-order categorization, incomplete sets and they smashed it in with the kid’s comics. How embaressing. Imagine my shock when I found Trinity Blood next to some crayon-scribbled title called Tiny Titans. Not to mention I had to deal with some 10-year-old punk who kept ranting to me about how great Naruto is (amateurs). Thankfully, they had the latest volumes I needed for my collection. I grabbed them quickly and waited in line to get out of this place.

Honestly, can anybody not look at that face and think of yaoi?

As I waited in line, something caught my eye. There was a DVD on a shelf called Superman/Batman Public Enemies. I noticed something odd about character designs; they were very…anime-like. And next to it was another DVD called Superman/Batman Apocalypse. I looked at the screenshots on the back and it looked A LOT like an anime. I swear, it looked like they were inspired by several yaoi manga artists. This was very interesting. I had to know more about it. So, on a whim, I purchased Superman/Batman Apocalypse with my manga. Besides, it was marked down from $20 to $6.

I felt giddy to have purchased such a thing. It was new and exciting. I rushed to my dorm and popped it in my TruTech player. And I have to admit, for looking like an anime that’s not actually an anime, it was pretty good. I understand now why so many comic book fans like these kinds of movies: it’s because they are heavily influenced by anime. There is a scene in Apocalypse where Superman clearly employs the art Hokuto no Ken on this Darkside character. Normally, I’d be insulted that an American company was stealing anime traits. But I see this more as a tribute to anime’s greatness. I mean, could you blame the artists for wanting to replicate something as cool as Fist of the North Star or FAKE?

Notice the nose on Superman. Total anime homage.

I later went back to the comic book shop and purchased Superman/Batman Public Enemies. Not quite as good as Apocalypse, but still enjoyable. Which is why I’ve decided to start embracing more of the comic book culture. Sure, I’ve mocked you people before in the past for you ridiculous caped heroes, but after Apocalypse, I’m a changed man. I see now that comic book artists are not blind to how awesome anime really is as I found several books at the shop in a similar style. If anything, American comic book artists envy the visual flair of anime. I’m not all the way on board with comic books quite yet, but if there are more in the style of Superman/Batman Apocalypse, I’ll be making more trips to comic book shops in the future. Now if only they had a better manga section…

-Keep on Rockin’ That Dragon

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The Ice Age is Here

Ohayo, ladies and gentlemen

If you live in the midwest like I do, you’ve probably been hit by this record-breaking blizzard. Thankfully, Minneosta was not hit, but we are still facing horrible conditions. It is currently -2F outside with a windchill of -10F and I’m freezing. Not because I had to walk classes as they are cancelled, but because there is a large hole in my dorm window right now. And I don’t mean like a tiny, pea-sized hole. I’m talking a hole the size of my fist.

How did it get there? Apparently some hater on the street did not approve of my Gurren Lagann wallscroll and chucked a rock at my window, resulting in a large hole and a ruined wallscroll. In addition, a bunch of snow was let in from the hole severely damaging several books of manga. Due to the weather, the repair man can’t get out to repair my window until tomorrow. I’ve done my best to seal up the hole with my towels and Chipotle wrappers, but the cold is still coming in. I’m past the point of worrying about keeping my piles of anime DVDs and manga undamaged. I am now more worried about my general health. I’m out of shape, overweight and this cold is killing me.

I’m doing everything I can to keep warm. Currently I am wearing four sweaters, three layers of pants, four socks on each foot, two gloves for each hand and three scarves. I’ve turned up the thermostat to ‘high heat’, but because my campus is trying to ‘go green’ they’ve cut back on gas so the highest it’ll go is 40 degrees (which ofcourse is being sucked out the window quickly). There is a space heater in my room, but I quickly learned that setting it on high for three hours causes it to burst into flames. My only means of heat at the moment is from my e-Machine and it’s monitor which doesn’t provide much warmth. Even my ramen is cold and I put it in the microwave for 15 minutes! It should’ve been boiling by then!

I don’t know if I’ll make it through this winter the way the things are now. I am currently huddled in the glow of my computer, wrapped in several blankets and still feel cold. My hands are starting to go numb and I lost feeling in my toes an hour ago. Why don’t I just go somewhere warm to hang out for the rest of the day? Because all the students are huddled by the heater in the lounge for short 30-second bursts of heat every 20 minutes. None of the other students in the dorm like me either so I can’t hang out in their rooms where it is slightly warmer. I do not want to venture outside either as I saw an old man collapse from the cold in the middle of the street. The EMTs just arrived now to take him in.

I will try to do my best to keep warm today and into the night. I plan on wrapping myself up with every blanket, towel and cloth in my room to bury myself in a warm cocoon. Hopefully, I’ll live to see another day and won’t freeze to death. I just have to keep repeating to myself that there is only two more months until Anime Detour. By then Minnesota will have surely thawed out and I’ll be plenty warmed by the body heat of the rave. Ah, good times. Can’t wait for April.

-Keep on Rockin’ That Dragon

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Sorry, I Just Don’t Like Older Anime

Bubblegum Crisis, 1980's

Konnichiwa, chaps

I have a confession to make. Though I have often defended the anime of old in the past, I’m afraid I can no longer carry the torch. This may shock you, but I no longer care for any anime produced before the 1990’s. It was not an easy desicion nor one I made on a knee-jerk reaction. But I have made up my mind and my mind is set. How I came to this conclusion was not very pretty.

It started out like a normal anime club meeting. We would replay AMV Hell, rollcall was taken in Japanese and any anime news was brought to the floor. We usually reserve a slot inbetween for a random DVD to drawn from a bucket hat to be shown. I don’t know how, but somebody slipped in Gigantor, the 1960’s adaptation of Tetsujin 28. When it was drawn from the hat, the founders of the club, which included me, were not sure what to make of this. However, we did recognize it as an anime and allowed the DVD to be played. Little did we know that was our biggest mistake.

Gigantor, 1960's

Gigantor has not aged well. It’s bad enough that it is in black-and-white, but the animation was horrible. Gigantor was either static with motion lines or a blur most of the time. I could hardly tell what was going on in the fight scenes. The character designs were awful looking too rounded with overly simplistic designs. Even worse, the show is so dated that it’s racist and geographically inaccurate. There is a scene where Gigantor flies to Australia to kill indians with cowboys. Geez, was everybody that ignorant in the 1960’s.

At first the response of the club was that of laughter at how terribly dated aspects of Gigantor were. However, that novelty soon grew tired and fits of giggling turned into fits of booing. We eventually had to stop the screening when somebody threw a Mountain Dew at the screen (which we have to pay for now). After the lights were brought up, I and the other founders demanded to know who put Gigantor in the hat. A portly 28-year-old student in a striped shirt raised his hand. We asked him why he felt compelled to recommend this to our anime club. He thought we would ‘dig’ the ‘old school’ stuff. He was then booed further by the crowd as this was seen as an act of trolling.

Lupin the Third, 1970's

That student is now on probation membership with our anime club meaning he can no longer make show suggestions, bring up news and must pay a $2 entry fee for Giant Robot Night. I hate to do this to him, but he went against the rules of the charter regarding trolling and we don’t want others to feel insulted when they attend our club. To avoid having this incident again, we decided to revoke the random DVD slot and replace it with Princess Tutu. We’ve also issued a new rule which many consider controversal: no anime may be suggested for viewing that was made before 1990.

Yes, before you accuse me of being biased, I shall admit it myself: I do not like older anime. But it’s not like we haven’t tried screening older anime before. We tried Macross and people didn’t like the songs. We tried Lupin the Third, but people were angered by the character designs. We even had a marathon for Bubblegum Crisis which started off with a big crowd, but everyone left when they found out it wasn’t the remake, Tokyo 2040. The facts are in and the club doesn’t like old anime. And, honestly, I agree with their standing.

Dirty Pair, 1980's

Call me part of a generational disconnect, but that is how I feel. There are just certain shows I cannot watch with the same value of entertainment other’s view. Not even the early Miyazaki stuff can turn me around. But, who knows, maybe one day I’ll turn a corner and find some joy in shows like Sherlock Hound and Doremon. But for the sake of the club to keep current and increase membership (as well as maintain our regulars), anime before the 1990’s is not allowed. Which, I’m sorry to disappoint those who still want the show in the block, but Dirty Pair has to be removed. It’ll be replaced with Kaliedo Star, which I assure you is just as good.

-Keep on Rockin’ That Dragon

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