Eventing 2018

[Updated Feb. 9, Kawaii Kon is a go!]

This is a blog post that will keep track of the nerd events I’m attending in 2018. It will be updated over time to add/delete and update the status of the events I plan to attend or have attended. If you’re going to one of these, feel free to let me know ahead of time. You can find last year’s log post here.

In 2018 I think I’m just going to be kind of vague, since YOLO’ing the past 2 years has kind of caught up. There are some stuff I’d like to go and see/participate but a lot of maybes are really in play. Just going to throw them down as guidelines.

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PSA: Please Don’t Facebook Your Anison Live Bootleg Like a Pleb

Link here.

Here’s the problem. It’s besides the point that you are a “fansub group” and solicit money via Patreon or whatever. When you post a bootleg of Toyama Nao’s solo live publicly it stops being yours and it starts to become a problem. There are less KY ways to spread the love. If you are too KY to realize it, then you’re no better than Logan Paul, who doesn’t have a clue and post videos of dumb things that should not be posted.

It’s too 20th century to say this is a copyright issue. It is an image/ethics issue–a low quality audio bootleg is only going to please existing fans and not really make new ones, so it’s not effective outreach. Yeah, people will appreciate access to things they don’t have, but it’s not your place to give it publicly. I have a bunch of bootleg audio with pro equipment and I can tell you it’s rare that the audio will come out well enough that I am not ashamed enough to publicly share, let alone publish as a fansubber, especially because when you’re in Japan and you’re gonna likely have to hide the stuff when you record. It’s a different attitude and culture in Japan and don’t gaijin smash your way out of it…then put it on social media saying it’s a service you do for your viewers, just like that guy.

What is it good for? It’s like the photos you take on your trip through life–keep it to yourself to reminisce or share it with close ones when you hang out. Don’t let Facebook condition your Pavlov dog-brain and think you should or you are entitled to publicly share this stuff like food pics and selfies, because that’s not the right etiquette and it happens to be illegal. I don’t even care for the reputation damage–a live bootleg is way better than, say, a movie bootleg (LOL Indonesia etc).

Don’t be a pleb. And more importantly, don’t be that guy.

PS. This reminds me, gonna listen to my bootleg Kanno Yoko music now, been on a Kanno streak lately.


Million Random Thoughts, Million Live Thoughts

Just some thoughts in my head about Million Live recently. Some have been around for years, others prompted by ML4th, and some looking forward to the near future.

0 WELCOME HOME KOTOHA

I think in the next few months Million Live will undergo some cool hype and changes. One of which is the reunification of the theater trope as Kotoha returns with her CV to the project. The way they did it was just the right amount of pomp and circumstances, too. Dropping it without notice was a nice surprise when I logged into the game 2 minutes after midnight JST to check out the “autio-group by song” feature in Theater Days…

For those who don’t know what “Kotoha’s return” means, it refers to that in late 2016, the voice actress for Tanaka Kotoha of Million Live, Taneda Risa (Tane-chan or Seed-kun, as they were) took a hiatus from work due to health issues. She returned to the industry towards the end of last year, and during her absence obviously she wasn’t able to perform at any of the Million Live events or voice her characters. This lead to the launch of Theater Days without Kotoha and only today they have added her to the game. IIIRC, her first notable roles since her return has been Shoukaku and Zuikaku from Azurlane, and reprising her role in the Gochiusa movie. For more Million Baggage on Seed-kun, refer to Million Live 4th Anniversary day 3.

Kotoha’s return also means I’ve been spending too much time finishing up this post. So consider this preface a warning about the amount of time spent since I started writing this piece and the time I publish.

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Winter 2018 Anime Sampling

This winter, I’m still watching a lot of TV anime.

Yurucamp – Probably the kind of Kirara slice of cute girls doing cute things the world loves. This time it sticks to the namesake.

Overlord S2 – The lizards are great, and the cutest Tenchan character in recent memory.

Darling in the Franxx – I love the designs in the show, and it is like an older style of giant robot sf cartoon. Like before Star Driver was a thing. Maybe my tastes have changed to like their output more over the years. Maybe the Trigger influences are starting to show. I guess we’ll see.

Pop Team Epic – The dubbing kills. It’s the best thing about this show, other than packed with obscure references I don’t get in the first person. Which is kind of ironic I guess, because I think this is the kind of comedy that would only appeal GenXers who actually knows their stuff. If you see any Gen Xers who don’t like Pop Team Epic it’s because they’re just posers. Or not Japanese.

Violet Erryhogaarden – The show whose name I love make fun of. Sakuga aside this is just not working IMO. It feels too much like a 23-minute Animation Do commercial except it isn’t even advertising anything. Go back to making films IMO. I’ll give Violet Evergarden a try, despite not expecting it to be like the English Patient at all even.

Mitsuboshi colors – … I think I’ll dig it, just need to get into the mood? Already bought the LINE sticker pack so I guess I’m committed.

Yorimoi – You can gather 200k retweet and hitch a ride to Antarctica. Compared to getting those RTs, this anime about going to Antarctica is belabored. In a way this show is very well put together but the framing device is grating and the characters don’t work for me. The oddball chemistry is just odd, not charming. Say what you will for this cast, I think they could’ve changed a few of them to make it better overall.

Koizumi Loves Ramen – Good for the ramen trivia. Just waiting to see how many spots I’ve been that they will visit in the show? The best thing so far is how real the food combinations and process is. We need like, practical details. A bit like the Tantan gyoza hotpot from Yurucamp, except it’s more likely that the info presented in Koizumi-san to be useful to those of us who get to go to Japan.

Citrus – It’s terrible in the ways I expected, so it’s rather fun. I’m enjoying the pretty lame drama, admittedly, mainly because the characters are fun. I really like Yukiyo in this. If not for the recent event in Theater Days I’d say this is one of her best performances yet.

Slow Start – It’s OK I guess. Have enough healing power to keep going. Believe it or not that one little gag about sister juice helped me keep going, until the episode where the main character shares her institutional trauma with her flat neighbor. That episode was legit interesting and worthwhile.

Kokkoku – I guess it’s different. I like the character designs (natch).

Card Captor Sakura – It’s got the right stuff going I guess, tho this Shaoran ship is a tad thick. Hisakawa going nuts as Kero has been the highlight so far.

Takunomi – Promising, but the mass market drinks is a little bit too thick. “Soul food” shows aplenty this season, so the only standout about Takunomi is the seiyuu cast and cute, young adults who can drink legally…

Grancrest – It seems okay if they keep this pace, which leaves little time to do anything else other breaking your neck (as in, neck-breaking pace)? I don’t mind if the series have these characters who are unyieldingly aggressive at executing their agenda as long as the charm is there.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens – Something different I guess, and not terrible. The first two episodes make a compelling introduction.

Death march – LOL this is bad, but okay I’ll keep with it. A lot of small-font overlay text in this show that are actually a bit important. It’s hard to read so I don’t bother, but there’s a Let’s-Play quality to this adaptation which makes it different than most.

Maerchen Maedchen – LOL this is also kind of bad, but the main chara is attractive in a weird way I wonder why… Oh, because the main chara is just like Yuriko from Million Live. A bit like how Ichigo in Darlifra is also like Yuriko from Million Live (iincho version).

Toji no Miko – Could be a lot worse, so far it’s OK? Cute girls with swords is an OK schtick. The real winner in this show is the fugitive gambit, and it works quite well. Better than Haifuri, LOL.

KoiAme – Really solid show. Sakugabooru does a decent job spelling out the directional approach, which is relatively rare for them, LOL. Usually sakuga bros talk about sakuga and not so much the cinematography stuff. No opinion on the 45yo being chased by a 17yo, other than it doesn’t really bother me.

Beatless – I should watch this show. More people should watch this show. But I guess it’s not great for the jaded, seasonal thin-slicing crowd. I did watch two episodes, and I would watch more if it was easy.

Others:

Gd Mens – They are okay I guess. It takes a bit for the humor to really come out and for the chemistry to gel so I’ll give it time.

In conclusion, this season I’m observing one other objective identifier to qualify how good a show is at keeping my attention: how long it takes for me to remember the names of the main cast after a few days since last viewing. Other than this new metric, there has been “which ones do I watch first after a trip overseas” and “which ones do I want to watch the most,” which are probably equally effective as a metric as any.


Laid-back Camp Reminds Me of Pickup Truck Culture

The first two episodes of Yurucamp (how do people feel about using △ and romanji LOL) remind me of what some people do with their pickup trucks on weekends in America. Instead of a high school girl biking up a mountain and camping, enjoying the outdoors, the typical “Heartland America” use case is maybe a small family or some bros up in the wilderness and enjoying the outdoors on their boat or something. I think this recent ad is a good summary.

What’s neat to me in Laid-Back Camp is the low-fi, high-tech nature of the form of camping demonstrated. It’s like, they can only bike to a local campground, so all the gear has to fit on a bike. The gear can’t be too heavy because they’re biking up a mountain. The tent is something that can be setup by one person. Since the camper is just solo, all the stuff she rides with was small and work with just one person. (Relevant but aside, camping at a managed campground is great because you get water and a restroom, which is way better than hauling your drinking water and taking a spade with you every time you go take a dump. It’s a cute-girl-does-cute-things compromise in the anime but it’s a worthy one in real life too.)

With a car or pickup, you can carry a lot more, heavier/bulkier things to camp. These low-budget, low-quality collapsable chairs with drink holder, for example, will be fine on a pickup truck but it would weight as much as half of the gear we see Rin carries with her in the first two episodes. I’m amused and jealous of her collapsible, low-height table; I’d like to have one?

The nature of these niche solo-camp gear is also a bit feeding into pickup truck culture. Since it’s a multi-billion dollar industry in the US alone, a lot of market research and consumer research go into selling pickup trucks (and SUVs, too, more and more). It means there are news and other literature about exactly why car brands sell pickups equipped in these sort of ways, with different trims and Texas-specific models. It’s like if you shop for tents for solo campers, there are all kinds. The one Hanamori Yumiri used in the promo video is a light-weight one good for newbies, and it’s inexpensive. However it is very basic and lack some key features. The ones in the anime are not.

It’s like, I spent maybe $100 in portable chairs last year (to sit during various forms of buppan and queues at cons or what not), trying out two different types. Considerations include weight, height, max load, portability, and is it on Amazon Prime. Now that I think I found a decent compromise, I’d totally bring that to camping.