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< Piro >

"@ AnimeEXPO 2011 :)"

Thursday - June 30, 2011

[Piro] - 13:38:19 - [link here]

Ok! Somehow, by some magic trick of things actually working out, we managed to get on our plane, get seating worked out, fly 4+ hours and arrive in LA safely for Anime Expo. I'm soooo glad were were able to get here a little early so i would have time to recouperate... the days leading up to the trip were pretty hectic. Been rattling around this morning trying to get my self straight on what i'll be doing, and the one thing i need to do is give some information on my main panel and also where you can probably find me at times during the show if you are gonna be here.

So, for starters, The Main Megatokyo Panel (listed as Fred Gallagher) is going to be on Sunday, July 3rd a 10am in LP1. If you are up and around and want to come see a fairly relaxed panel, please come on by. Jack and Sarah and maybe one or two other people i know will be there, it should be fun ^^;; Jack is the most entertaining part of my 'show' these days, and he's been training hard for his panel :P. Autograph sessions will be announced at the panel.

Most of the time, the best place to find me if you want to say hi or get a little sketch or have me sign something, you will be able to find me at my Artist Alley table A65.

There are three Megatokyo tshirts that will be available for sale at Anime Expo and you will find them at one of the official AX Store booths, i believe the one nearest the Artist Alley. I'll update for when i know specifically :)

I did an original pencil and colored pencil drawing for the Anime Expo Charity auction to benefit survivors of the Japan Quake, something i have been wanting to do since the quake happened. I believe it will be up for viewing somewhere in the auction area, i'll update when i have more specific info on it.

Other than that, i plan to sort of float around and attend a few panels and do a few activities here as i can, in particular i'm looking forward to going to the Miku concert on Saturday :) I plan to post about whats up at the show and report on stuff on my fredrin tumblr page, which will also post to the Megatokyo Facebook page and to my fredrin Twitter account, so if you want to follow what i'm up to live, keep an eye on one of those three. I'll be able to see responses and comments there as well if you want to contact me.

Ok! That should do it for now. Hope to see some of you if you are at Anime Expo, good to be here and see that my brain seems to have finally arrived.

< Kalium >

Watson-kun...

"Elementary"

Saturday - February 5, 2011

[Kalium] - 11:55:20 - [link here]

Hey, folks. Long time no see. So, a lot of things have happened. Have I mentioned that I moved to San Francisco? Probably not. Incidentally, this city is amazing and insane.

Moving on.

So, new season of anime means a new group of shows to talk about. As usual, they range from excellent to truly horrific. You're going to get some of each, friend.

First is Dragon Crisis. The basic setup is that you have a guy whose parents are treasure hunters. They're globe-trotting in search of magical artifacts, some of which are very powerful. The Lead Male is actually kind of pissed at his parents over this, as they're not the most attentive of parents. So when he winds up with one in his possession, he's a bit conflicted.

When said item turns out to be a girl, his internal conflict gets turned up to eleven. She's cute as a button, has imprinted upon him, and happens to be a dragon. Oh, and she's being hunted by a larger, more powerful dragon.

It's not a bad show. The relationship between Rose and what's-his-face is fun. The writing is kind of uninspired, but it's not intolerable. Worth watching if a shounen that doesn't involve ninjas is your thing.

Next is Fractale. The world of Fractale is... interesting. It's set in the far future, at a time where reality is incredibly heavily augmented by computer systems that are universally implanted into people. Pretty much everyone lives a nomadic life, terrified of losing their freedom by settling down. Clain is an odd duck, a guy who lives alone in an actual house and spends a lot of time studying "ancient" artifacts (think current computing systems). Then a strange woman shows up, being chased. He hides her, she gives him a brooch, and she leaves. An even stranger woman pops out of his computer.

It turns out that the overarching computer system that their world depends on - the Fractale system - is starting to collapse. The story of Fractale has gotten strange, but it's a very promising show so far. There's something about it that feels like an echo of a Ghibli work. Well worth watching.

Freezing is... very stereotypical in a lot of ways. Futuristic Japan under attack by aliens? Check. High school students pressed into service as weapons? Check. Generic traumatic pasts for characters? Check. Tsundere lead female? Check. Generic, bland, and earnest lead male? Check.

Seriously, this could be any one of a hundred or more shows. I remember when this was called "Gunparade March"... well, except for the semi-magical effects, but that's just a detail. This show isn't even visually remarkable. Drop it like a hot potato.

As if Freezing wasn't enough, there's another horribly stereotypical show this season. From some of the people who worked on Macross Frontier (and decided Ranka was a compelling character) comes Infinite Stratos.

Infinite Stratos is set in a world where gender politics have been neatly turned on their head. There is a small number of mecha in the world of substantial power that can only be piloted by women. And, you know, the hapless male lead. Who happens to be improbably good at everything he does (except comprehending women). From there it turns into about what you would expect from a harem/mecha hybrid. There's the Strict Older Sister, the Tsundere, two Childhood Friends (apparently a firesale a Stereotypes R Us), the Ditzy Teacher, and various generic mecha trappings.

Infinite Stratos is at best a guilty pleasure. The girls waste no time establishing a state of livelock surrounding Ichika (which I've come to call "cocklock") as each attempts and fails to acquire an exclusive lock but succeeds in locking resources required by other actors. Antics ensue.

Think of the exalted work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The imposing intellect of Sherlock and the Watson who kept him grounded. Now imagine that Sherlock is a little blonde girl (complete with bubble pipe) and Watson is an exchange student. Instead of being set in England, it's now set in a fictional small European nation. This is Gosick.

Once your vertigo settles, I can explain that this show is actually quite good. Victorique is harsh, brash, incisive, and blindingly bright, even if she likes her aura of mystery perhaps too much. She's forced to live cooped up at the top of a tower (cue Rapunzel jokes) and craves the news and stimulation that Watson (er, Kujo) brings her. Without him, she's bored out of her skull.

What does she like? Mysteries, mostly. Crimes, great and small (but preferably great) and criminals against which she can test her wit and Kujo's mettle. It doesn't take long for the two to land themselves in the middle of a murder mystery, which promptly leads to a larger and more complex murder mystery.

Despite how lightly I'm treating it, Gosick is really one of the better shows this season. It's well written and the interactions between Kujo and Victorique are pure genius.

When I was in high school I read that play written by Marlowe in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and pleasure. With that in mind, I come to the next show, Puella Magi Madoka Magica. In this show, two unsuspecting girls are thrown into a chaotic world where monsters prey on humanity and Puella Magi fight against them. The Puella Magi is a girl who runs the very real risk of losing her life in combat.

Our Mephistopheles is a cutsey little guy named Kyubey. He even offers Madoka a wish in exchange for her sou- er, becoming a Puella Magi. Every wish seems to come with a price, and it's implied that no wish really works out the way the girls would want it to. There are even a few implications that Kyubey is not really being entirely honest with the girls.

The show is actually a lot darker than it sounds. It is unquestionably one of the best shows this season, and it gets darker by the episode. Ah, Faust, be careful what bargains you strike!

So anyway. That's a few of this seasons' shows. Now I have to remember where I left my ticket for Kara no Kyoukai in the theater...

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