things i watched at otakon #4

princess zelda cosplayerMy magical journey through Otakon continues…

New Anime for Older Fans:  This was one of the panels I attended and I just wanted to briefly touch on a few of the clips they showed us and other shows they recommended.  Although many of them weren’t technically new (I watched Nodame Cantible a few years ago and both Summer Wars and Sword of the Stranger came out in 2009) quite a few of them were “new to me” and almost all of them seemed interesting.  Of the clips they showed The Daily Lives of High School Boys was probably the biggest surprise.  The title is pretty literal.  The show appears to just follow around a few high school boys as they go about their business, talking about girls, playing with sticks, saying whatever comes into their heads.   It was completely  hilarious; I could not stop laughing.  I don’t know if this sort of humor is sustainable across an entire series but I am definitely going to give this one a longer look.  The next big surprise was Princess Jellyfish.  I think I’d dismissed this one solely based on the title (silly me) but the clip made it obvious  that there is more depth to it than the goofy title indicates.  It plays off the old trope of a man cross-dressing so he can live in a women-only apartment complex but this particular apartment complex is full of socially awkward otaku women.  One of the women knows he is a man  but keeps his secret.  It actually looks pretty intriguing and I will check it out.

I totally dug this panel because I left it with a big list of things to watch and I’m very excited about that.   Also because their definition of “older fan” seems to be mid-30s.  Hah!

Score:  W00t!

God of Cookerzombie cosplayery:  I’m a big fan of Stephen Chow’s movies.  He’s a funny guy and I like his send-ups of over the top kung fu action.  The God of Cookery is one of his older films and essentially has the same plot as Kung Fu Hustle, although centered around an Iron Chef-esque cooking show.  Chow plays a celebrity chef, the self-styled “God of Cookery” who’s both a massive jerk and completely ignorant about cooking.  His shady business partner and one of his mistreated apprentices humiliate him on live TV, he loses his show and his business empire, and is reduced to critiquing cheap noodle bowls from street vendors in the bad part of town.  While doing this, he manages to get into the middle of a war over which gang is going to sell what humorously named delicacy.  He saves the day by combining them into one even more humorously named delicacy.  His “Pissing Beef Balls” are a big hit, there is the potential for riches, and he begins to dream about getting his show and his title back.  Because this is a Steven Chow movie you can count on there being at least one damaged woman who he will make fun of until he has his own epiphany.  In this case it’s Turkey, a disfigured young woman who feeds him when he’s been beaten up and who he mocks throughout the movie until he learns who she really is and why she took him in.   You can also count on Chow to learn some bad-ass kung fu skills in time to save the day, in this case at a rigged cook-off complete with demons and kitchen gods dropping by.  As with Chow’s other films, I had the sense that something was a bit lost in translation humor-wise but if you like his previous works, you’ll like this one as well.  It goes on a bit longer than it should but otherwise it’s an enjoyable film.

Score:  Meh.

two cosplayers dancing at otakonBunny Drop:  In this anime Daikichi, a single man of about 30, goes home for his grandfather’s funeral and finds that his grandfather has left behind a six year old illegitimate daughter, Rin.  Her mother, apparently much younger than his grandfather, dropped her off and left.  His entire family is embarrassed by the girl and ignores her.   She is aware of their attitude and remains withdrawn and silent.  After the funeral the family discusses what to do with her and when one of them suggests an orphanage Daikichi becomes disgusted with their selfish behavior and decides to become Rin’s guardian.  I almost didn’t watch this one (another silly title) but I’m glad I did manage to see the first couple of episodes.   It looks sweet, both sad and funny, and even in the first episode had some fun with the fact that this silent little girl is the older man’s aunt.  I will definitely put this one on my watch list.   Sometimes you need something that doesn’t involve giant robots.

Score:  Meh.

ciel phantomhive cosplayerSteins;Gate:  This was probably the biggest anime I watched at Otakon this year.  It was the world premier of Funimation’s English language version and some of the voice actors attended the screening and answered questions during the break.   I’m not even sure where to begin with it.  It is one of those shows that messes around with time and since I only saw five episodes it’s hard to say what all was happening.  The main character is Rintaro, a guy who pretends to be a mad scientist.  Basically a hapless, lovable one, but still.  He and his colleagues in the Future Gadget Laboratory are trying to turn their microwave into a time machine but thus far have only managed to create some evil looking green gunk.  And then…stuff starts to happen.  He meets Kurisu (who he repeatedly calls Christine) at a science conference; she seems to know him.  He watches her die, then later sees  her alive but she seems to have no idea who he is.  A spaceship crashes into the building where the conference was.  He receives an email that hasn’t been sent yet.  He starts to search for a fabled internet poster who claimed to be a time traveler only to find that all references to him have disappeared.  CERN (SERN in the anime) gets involved when Rintaro discovers that the Large Hadron Collider is really a time machine and that attempts to send people into the past have resulted in piles of suspiciously familiar green gunk.  Rintaro, Kurisu, and the Future Gadget Laboratory team band together to hunt down an old BASIC-era PC.  They realize that their microwave time-machine really does work, they really can send text messages back to the past.  And then everything starts to fall apart.  CERN comes after them, there are hints that Kurisu is somehow dangerous, and things get all wibbly wobbly timey-wimey.

I really, really enjoyed this show and I can’t wait for it to be released so I can find out what happens.  I will also state for the record that the English voice cast did a superb job with this one.  I almost always watch anime in Japanese and admit to being a bit disappointed this screening was in English but I found absolutely no fault with the characterizations.

Score:  W00t!

That wraps up my Otakon experience for this year.  I’m already psyched for next year though.  See you there!

my little pony photo shoot at otakon

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~ by gun street girl on August 24, 2012.

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