Sunday, October 10, 2010

Moe Day 2010

It's International Moe Day once again, and while I've been slacking off a bit on new anime viewing, I have managed to watch all of K-On!!, the recently concluded sequel to 2009's high-end moe musical school comedy, K-On! The transition between the two series was essentially invisible: designs, animation, music and voice acting all carried over seamlessly. Bandai Entertainment is in the process of bringing over the first series, with Blu-ray and DVD versions, and special editions available for each. I'm hoping we'll see an announcement for official K-On!! sometime soon.

Among new or upcoming moe shows, Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai (My Little Sister Can't Be this Cute; A.K.A. OreImo) seems to be the one to keep an eye on for the fall season. The premise--stylish and popular Kirino suddenly finds herself indebted to her painfully ordinary brother Kyousuke, when he discovers her secret otaku hobbies--seems awfully familiar, but the anime adaptation is easy on the eyes, and appears to be staying pretty classy in spite of a multitude of available failure modes. OreImo can be viewed as a legitimate stream from Anime News Network, and is ANN's first attempt at a simulcast.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Japan '08: Finale

It's taken quite a while to get through my Japan travelogue. I'm tempted to chalk up the delays to wistful feelings about the trip never truly ending until I finish writing about it, but the real fault is more plain laziness.

On the final day, my group left Hongou by taxi, with one of us riding in a second cab that was filled with luggage. From Tokyo Station we took the express train to Narita Airport. We touched down in Detroit half an hour before we left Narita. A couple of days later I came down with a bug undoubtedly picked up on the plane, which persisted for a week. It was the sickest I had been in years, a particularly awful combination of virus and jet lag that I couldn't shake because I was lying in bed all day. It was so bad, I literally lost all interest in moe anime, which was a strange and disturbing effect. Eventually, I recovered.

I'd like to get back to Japan, but it will probably be a year before I could be ready for another vacation like that. It's tricky to organize the time and the money, but even if it wasn't for practical concerns, I don't think I would enjoy traveling overseas on a regular basis. The trip was a huge amount of fun, but it also took a lot out of me, mentally and physically. Japan is about as foreign a place as a New Englander can visit (at least counting destinations with paved roads and indoor plumbing), and while it is invigorating to be forced out of behavioral ruts for a time, it also exacts a toll. Sooner or later, though, I will return.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

U-Con at UConn

There's a small anime/sci-fi/gaming convention going on in my neck of the woods this weekend: U-Con @ UConn. It's being put on by the good ol' University of Connecticut Japanese Animation Society, among other campus organizations. I stopped in briefly last night, and it looked like people were having fun; if you're in the area, stop in. It's free!