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Author: Chag

Chag’s Anime North 2013 Adventure

(2013-05-25) Anime North 2013 Cosplay-4335

After taking a year off, I’m back at Anime North! After Otakon last year, I had my doubts on whether or not I’d attend AN again, but as luck would have it, I got into touch with Jenn and Suich from Poke the Merch and decided to give it a shot — I just can’t say no to meeting strangers from the internet! Read more »

Review: 1/8 Menma

If there is one personal quality that the figure collecting hobby develops, it’s patience. The journey from original source material, to the first prototype at an expo, to painted prototype, to pre-order, to delay(s) and finally to release usually is an absurdly long one. This often means by the time a figure appears of a anime I really enjoy, that anime has flown off the radar ages ago. Still, some series manage to endure the test of time, one of them being AnoHana from which Alter’s 1/8 Menma hails from.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai.(AnoHana for short) is a melodrama about a group of estranged childhood friends. Once known as the “Super Peace Busters”, the gang has since parted ways after Honma Meiko (nicknamed “Menma”) — one of its members — died in an accident when the group was out playing together. Yet several years after, Menma’s ghost would come to revisit Jinta, another member of the group and the protagonist of the story, thus beginning a journey to reconcile with the past not only for Jinta, but the rest of the Super Peace Busters as well.

The anime is good, but it’s one of those shows that I’m a little uncertain about after the fact. Looking back, it was very heavy-handed with its melodrama and I can easily see a lot of potential eye-roller moments. But I didn’t seem to mind — I marathoned the series in two sittings, and the floodgates on my face crumbled away to nothing by the end. Having emigrated to Canada at the age of eleven, I don’t even remember the names of my childhood friends from the motherland, so I may be especially susceptible to a story about the ultimately unbreakable bonds of such friends. In any case, I would recommend AnoHana to anyone, but especially if you’ve enjoyed melodramas like the KEY shows — if you could stomach the melodrama in Clannad, then AnoHana should be just the thing for you.

Anyways, back to the figure, which depicts a girl who isn’t dolled up and sexed out in any way — unthinkable, I know! I suppose that’s testament to how much I liked AnoHana, so let’s see if Alter’s Menma lives up to that. Read more »

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica: a Retrospective

Madoka Movie Poster

I got this gigantic movie poster for being one of the first people to pre-order tickers for the screening. Nifty ain’t it?

Earlier this month, the first two Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica movies finally came to the fine city of Toronto — at a theater right across from my flat, no less! The sold out theater looked like any anime convention in this part of the world: dressed up and disproportionally Asian. There was a festive air at the screenings, and if the Madoka movies ever do show up in a city near you I would whole-heartedly recommend attending for that bizzaro-world vibe alone.

If you are curious about actual movies, don’t be — these movies don’t really add anything new to the series. There are some new cuts here and there (most notably some spiffy transformation scenes), but they’re fairly inconsequential and most of them would go by unnoticed unless you’re comparing them side to side with the TV series like the nerd you probably are.

Rather, these movies simply a slightly dressed up version of the original series that retains the integrity of the storytelling, nothing more. If you’ve never watched the series before, you wouldn’t be missing much if you dived straight into the movies. The Gurren Lagann movies these are not.

However, the movies are a good occasion/excuse for fans of the series to revisit the story — a perfect way to reflect on the little SHAFT show that took the world by storm. It’s been a long while since I watched the series, and I’ve forgotten the a lot of Madoka‘s quirks. The first movie made me look down at my watch far too often, while the second movie warmed my heart enough to make me think twice before writing a tl;dr textual smackdown. So instead of a smackdown, this not-so-little post is a gentle putting down of Madoka — a retrospective on the series and a couple of the storytelling problems that irked me during my two-part re-visitation.

Needless to say, the following rant contains plenty of spoilers, so you have been warned. Read more »

Discovering Photography

Over the last few months, I’ve gone on a bit of a spending spree. With a new camera body, new lens, and a new bag to hold everything in, I found myself feeling slightly ridiculous at how much I’ve poured into this hobby of taking photos of plastic butts. I was itching to make more use out of the D7000’s advantages, and that itch drove me from my cozy man-cave and into the Canadian winter, where I rediscovered why I enjoy photography. Read more »

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