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Monday, February 28, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: Minoru Kokobunji

Name: Minoru Kokobunji
Where You've Seen Him: Chobits
His Story: Minoru Kokobunji is a gifted 12 year old who has a harem of maid persecoms, but has special feelings towards persecom Yuzuki, whom he build in the likeness of his late sister. Minoru helps Hideki and Chii figure out whether Chii is one of the elusive Chobits.
Why He's So Memorable: He's not simply a one note character -- like Hideki and Chii, Minoru's character evolves over the course of the series.  In the beginning he warns HIdeki not to fall in love with her, but learns over time that his own brotherly feelings towards Yuzuki are not all that abnormal.

This is the end of the month long series, but not the end of the segment.  Did you feel like I left someone out?  Tell me about them! E-mail me at with the name of the character you feel is memorable, what show they are from, their story, and what makes them so memorable. Your character can be featured here!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: D

Name: D
Where You've Seen Him: Vampire Hunter D
His Story: In a post-apocalyptic world, D hunts vampires.  Being half human and half vampire, but belonging to neither world, D is perfectly suited to keeping the vampires in their place.
Why He's So Memorable: He has the same powers as the vampires (Nobles), which makes him particularly dangerous to them.  Plus his left hand has a symbiote in it that talks to him.

Tomorrow -- Our last character for February.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: Jet Black

Name: Jet Black
Where You've Seen Him: Cowboy Bebop
His Story: A former officer with the ISSP, got the nickname "Black Dog" because of his tenacity.  Now a bounty hunter and owner of the ship Bebop, he's now seeking justice on his own terms.
Why He Is Memorable: Not only his mysterious past with the ISSP, Jet is probably the closest thing to a "grown up" on the crew.  He has a cybernetic arm as a reminder of why you shouldn't rush into trouble without looking frst. Plus he's just pretty badass.

Tomorrow -- a vampire/human hybrid who hunts vampires. Not that one, the other one.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: Maka Albarn

Name: Maka Albarn
Where You've Seen Her: Soul Eater
Her Story: Maka is a meister in training at the Death Weapon Meister Academy (DWMA). Along with her "weapon" Soul, they collect keishan souls in an attempt to become meister and death scythe.
Why Her Character Is So Memorable: Maka has a determination and spirit throughout the series that can't be denied. But she also has an easygoing spirit that allows her to connect with other characters such as Crona in meaningful ways.

Tomorrow -- a partner with a past of his own.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: Ichigo Kurosaki

Name: Ichigo Kurosaki
Where You've Seen Him: Bleach
His Story: Ichigo, also known as "The Strawberry" because of his orange hair, can see spirits.  When Ichigo is approached by a Soul Reaper named Rukia who is too weak to capture a soul, he accidentally takes most of her Soul Reaping power to defeat it.  Now Ichigo has to be the Soul Reaper while Rukia lives as a human.
Why He's Memorable: Ichigo is a charcter that ends up growing his role as a Soul Reaper.  Although he could have been like a character in a hundred other stories out there about Shinigamis and Soul Reapers, Ichigo finds hisway around with his sense of humor and determination.

Tomorrow -- If you don't listen to her, she'll take your soul!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: Belldandy

Name: Belldandy
Where You've Seen Her: Oh My Goddess/Ah! My Goddess
Her Story: Belldandy was sent to Earth to answer the call of college student Keiichi Morisato, who unwittingly called the Goddess Hotline.  Thinking the whole thing was a gag, Keiichi wishes that Belldandy would stay with him forever, forcing Belldandy to do so.  Belldandy makes an attempt to make the best of her circumstances.
Why Is She Memorable? Most of the time she's the standard "magical girlfriend."  But she also has an independent streak and proves that she has her own mind.  She can do all kinds of very powerful magic when necessary, especially when she takes off her ear charm.
Trivia: Why the differences in titles? This was a change made when the show was brought to the United States. Author Kosuge Fujishima said that his intention was "Oh My Goddess," but didn't mind the change in title.

Tomorrow -- a teen who sees spirits becomes a reaper.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: Speed Racer

Name: Speed Racer/Go Mifune (Japan)
Where You've Seen Him: Speed Racer
His Story: Speed Racer wants to race, but his father forbids him from doing so.  He eventually goes on to race, however, and finds himself in a series of adventures, including racing against the mysterious Racer X.
Why He's So Memorable: Again, an early example of an anime becoming popular in both Japan and the United States, Speed Racer/Go Mifune values his family above all else. He gets into all kinds of adventures involving all types of criminals.  And he's a snazzy dresser.

Tomorrow -- A goddess on Earth

Monday, February 21, 2011

Memorable Anime Characters: Chii

Name: Chii
Wher You've Seen Her: Chobits
Her Story: Chii is a persecom -- a human shaped personal computer. She was found by ronin student Hideki in the trash one night. But what Hideki doesn't realize is that Chii has secrets of her own that even she isn't aware of.
Why Is She Memorable? Look at her -- she's just so adorable!  Also, watching Chii try to figure out the real world while at the same time unaware of her own abilities as well as discovering whether Hideki is her "someone just for her" is just a great story.

Tomorrow -- A classic 60s anime character that's recently had a live action film made form his story.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Memorable Anime Character Two-fer!

Because of some issues with my laptop yesterday and my attendance at Queen City Kamikaze, I wasn't able to post yesterday's memorable anime character.  So I'm doubling up with yesterday and today's characters.

Name: Excel Excel
Where You've Seen Her: Excel Saga
Her Story: Excel is one of the most energetic members of the group ACROSS. Maybe a little TOO energetic for the taste of her boss, Il Palazzo, whom she has a huge crush on.
Why She's So Memorable: Excel is not the brightest character, but she's a hard worker.  Her tendency towards overexuberance not only makes her character one of the most energetic in anime, but also one of the more memorable ones.
Trivia: Jessica Calvello was the original English voice actress up until episode 13, where she blew her voice out and was replaced by Larissa Wolcott. When you compare the earlier episodes to the later ones you do notice a slight difference in the voices.

Name: Nami
Where You've Seen Her: One Piece
Her Story: Nami is one of the great thiefs, and the navigator for the Straw Hat Pirates.  After her mother was killed, she worked to collect the money needed to free her village, only to have the pirate she made the deal with double cross her.
What Makes Her Memorable: She's the smartest of the Straw Hat Pirates, yet the bossiest. she knows how to use her looks to get what she wants and needs.  Her backstory makes her sympathetic, and her development over time has opened the character up a lot.

Tomorrow -- a computer teaches us how to be human.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Queen City Kamikaze: Final Thoughts

Queen City Kamikaze: Pictures!

Well, because I don't have a way to adjust the size of my pictures, I'm going to post the pictures that I took from Queen City Kamikaze here.

More to come as I resize the photos.

Queen City Kamikaze: Update

Queen City Kamikaze: Anime Dating Game

This was amusing.

If you've never attended Anime Dating Game, this is what happens.  The host of the show picks out one contestant from the audience to be the bachelor/bachelorette.  They take the person to the back of the room, pick three more people, and then bring out the bachelor/bacheorette from the audience.

The lighting was off in the auditorium, so unfortunately I'm not going to be able to present the video.  And right now the connection here is a little dicey with uploading, so I will try later or upload them after the event.

But here's a rundown of the rounds:

Round 1: Bachelorette: Domo-kun

Her Suitors: Naruto, The Wonder Chef from Tales of Symphonia, and Death the Kid

Winner: Death the Kid

Amusing line: When asked what he would take with him in a zombie apocalypse, Naruto replied, "Shotgun, ray gun, and my fist."

Round 2: Bachelor: Cloud

His Suitors: Penelope from hamtaro, Kairi from Kingdom Hearts, and Patty from Soul Eater

Winner: Patty

Amusing moments: the hate for host Pain from Kairi; when Cloud called the Bachelorettes "Bachelors," Kairi responded, "Did you just call me a dude?"; Patty's regular answer of "Breaking your freaking neck," which prompted one audience member to respond, "You're going to need a neck brace for the first date!"

Round 3: The Yaoi Round

Bachelor: Honey from Ouran High School Host Club

Suitors: Axel, Anonymous (4chan), Josh (who likes to "Kill zombies.")

Winner: Axel

Amusing Moments: once the "fangirls" of the audience started screaming for a yaoi round, the phrase "And let the fan fiction begin" became a common saying throughout the round; Anonymous' rendition of the TroLoLo song

More to come...

Queen City Kamikaze:Weather!

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Akira" Live Action Film Getting Rewrite

Anime News Network is reporting that writer Steve Kloves, whose written most of the Harry Potter films as well as The Wonder Boys and The Fabulous Baker Boys, has been signed on to polish up the script for the live action version of Akira that currently doesn't have a release date but has been talked bout for what seems like forever.

It looks like it's going to get out of development hell, guys.

But how good could an American version of the film be?  Back when it was announced that it was going to be released this year, Happy Harry did this video showing one way the film could get "Americanized:"

I honestly hope they don't take the American public for idiots on this one.  The anime is a classic -- a bad live action adaptation would just ruin that.

Memorable Anime Chracter: Kyo Sohma

Name: Kyo Sohma
Where You've Seen Him: Fruits Basket
His Story: Kyo is the cat of the family. Literally.  His fmily is undera curse where if they are touched or hugged by a member of the opposite sex they turn into one of the animals of the Chinese zodiac.  However, Kyo's animal isn't an official member of the zodiac, so that makes him a little irritated.
Why He Is Memorable: Kyo is always itching for a fight with his cousin Yuki ("the rat"). He's a good fighter, but can't seem to beat him.  Over the course of the series, Kyo is influenced by Tohru and slowly strts to become a better person through knowing her.

Tomorrow -- a chick who's too eager to please her boss.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

This Weekend: Queen City Kamikaze

I'll be at Queen City Kamikaze this Saturday in Manchester, NH, reporting for both here and The Examiner.  You'll be seeing more live blogging here during the event, but the Examiner site will have a series of stories that I plan on writing on the different events going on there.

Expect plenty of pictures here and at Examiner, where I'll be setting up a slide show.  If you see someone with a laptop frequently being approached by four different teenagers at any point in time, feel free to say "hi!"

Memorable Anime Character: Naruto Uzumaki

Name: Naruto Uzumaki
Where You've Seen Him: Naruto/ Naruto Shippuden
His Story: Naruto is a ninja who is a member of the Konohagakure village, but has been kicked out because the spirit of the Nine-Tailed Fox is trapped within his body.  Because of this Naruto makes it his goal to be the leader of the village.
Why He's So Memorable: Despite his fate, Naruto stil maintains a cheery attitude.  He makes friends very easily, and has lots of friends in other villages.  He is especially close to his team, called Team 7, and sees them as a family. He also acts very child-like.  But he can still kick some butt.
What's the Difference Between The Two Shows? In "Naruto," the character is younger, about 12. "Naruto Shippuden" takes place when Naruto is about 15.

Tomorrow -- a cat is left out in the cold.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Memorable Anime Characters: L Lawliet

Name: L Lawliet (better known as simply L)
Where You've Seen Him: Death Note
His Story: An orphan of mixed heritage, L is considered one of the greatest detectives in the world. He takes on the Kira case as a challenge.
Why He Is So Memorable: Looking at him, he doesn't look like a great detective. He is constantly eating sweets.  He crouches on chairs, never sits in them.  He holds everything as if it were delicate and about to break in his hands.  But L holds a mind that is absolutely brilliant.  But he also has some moral ambiguity to him, just like Kira.
Trivia (Spoiler): In the manga and the anime, L dies when Light (Kira) tricks the shinigami Ren into writing his name down to "protect" Misa. For the Japanese live action film, although Light still manages to convince Ren into writing L's name in his Death Note, but L beats them to the punch by writing his own name into a Death Note, making Ren's null and void. With this conclusion, although L still dies, it avoided the inclusion of Near and Mello that were controversial at the time.

Tomorrow -- the hero from Leaf Village

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: Monkey D. Luffy

Name: Monkey D. Luffy (Luffy)
Where You Have Seen Him: One Piece
His Story: Luffy is a pirate, but not how we typically think of pirates.  He is after the ultimate treasure, the mythical One Piece, so he can become the King of the Pirates.
What Makes Him Memorable: As a kid, Luffy accidentaly ate the Gummi-Gummi fruit, a devil fruit that gives its consumer special abilities.  Because of this, he has a body that is like rubber and can reach anywhere he wants to, and he's surprisingly strong.  However, because of this he also can't swim.  Luffy has an appetite that doesn't quit. And he often doesn't think when he enters into adventures.  But he always manages to pull his way through anything, especially with the help of his friends.

Tomorrow -- a detective as morally ambiguous as the killer he's chasing.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

From the Wikipedia entry on Valentine's Day:

In Japan, Morozoff Ltd. introduced the holiday for the first time in 1936, when it ran an advertisement aimed at foreigners. Later in 1953 it began promoting the giving of heart-shaped chocolates; other Japanese confectionery companies followed suit thereafter. In 1958 the Isetan department store ran a "Valentine sale". Further campaigns during the 1960s popularized the custom.[54][55]
The custom that only women give chocolates to men appears to have originated from the typo of a chocolate-company executive during the initial campaigns.[56] In particular, office ladies give chocolate to their co-workers. Unlike western countries, gifts such as greeting cards,[56] candies, flowers, or dinner dates[52] are uncommon, and most of the activity about the gifts is about giving the right amount of chocolate to each person.[56] Japanese chocolate companies make half their annual sales during this time of the year.[56]
Many women feel obliged to give chocolates to all male co-workers, except when the 14th falls on a Sunday, a holiday. This is known as giri-choko (義理チョコ), from giri ("obligation") and choko, ("chocolate"), with unpopular co-workers receiving only "ultra-obligatory" chō-giri choko cheap chocolate. This contrasts with honmei-choko (本命チョコ, Favorite chocolate); chocolate given to a loved one. Friends, especially girls, may exchange chocolate referred to as tomo-choko (友チョコ); from tomo meaning "friend".[57]
In the 1980s the Japanese National Confectionery Industry Association launched a successful campaign to make March 14 a "reply day", where men are expected to return the favour to those who gave them chocolates on Valentine's Day, calling it White Day for the color of the chocolates being offered. A previous failed attempt to popularize this celebration had been done by a marshmallow manufacturer who wanted men to return marshmallows to women.[54][55]
Men are expected to return gifts that are at least two or three times more valuable than the gifts received in Valentine's Day. Not returning the gift is perceived as the men placing himself in a position of superiority, even if excuses are given. Returning a present of equal value is considered as a way to say that you are cutting the relationship. Originally only chocolate was given, but now the gifts of jewelry, accessories, clothing and lingerie are usual. According to the official website of White Day, the color white was chosen because it's the color of purity, evoking "pure, sweet teen love", and because it's also the color of sugar. The initial name was "Ai ni Kotaeru White Day" (Answer Love on White Day).[54][55]
In Japan, the romantic "date night" associated to Valentine's Day is celebrated in Christmas Eve.[58]
Amazing how some things get lost in translation between Japan and the United States sometimes.

Hubby and I already did our Valentine's Day dinner last night since we weren't going to be able to do it tonight (he has class).  If you're going to the 99 restaurant, I highly recommend the Cupid's Combo.

Memorable Anime Character: Tamaki Suou

Name: Tamaki Suou
Where You've Seen Him: Ouran High School Host Club
His Story: Tamaki is the half Japanese/half French leader of the Ouran High School Host Club at Ouran Academy. Despite his home life, Tamaki has a very sunny disposition. But he also can act annoying around others in his position as leader, causing no amount of grief for other members of the club.
Why He Is So Memorable: Tamaki has a way with people.  Most of the time, his focus is on himself.  But he has his moments where his thoughts do turn to thinking about others.  He's endlessly fascinated with the "commoner" lifestyle and even adapts certain aspects of it into his life after meeting Haruhi, such as instant coffee.  He has a way of charming those around him.

Tomorrow -- The future King of the Pirates.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: Gigantor

Name: Gigantor
Where You've Seen Him: Gigantor, also known as Tetsujin 28-go
His Story: Originally designed as a weapon, Gigantor was reprogrammed for peace.  He's controlled by Jimmy Sparks, and can all kinds of neato things like fly and punch things really, really good.
Why He's Memorable: Gigantor is the first mecha character, providing a model for every other mecha show out there.  Everything from Mobile Suit Gundam to Robotech to Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Tomorrow -- the "Princely" type.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Memorable Anime Chracter: Konata Izumi

Name: Konata Izumi
Where You've Seen Her: Lucky Star
Her Story: She's a typical high schooler in Japan.  Well, maybe not that typical -- she's an intelligent girl who is more interested in her manga, anime and video game interests than her studies.
Why She's Memorable: Because she's somewhat representative of what most people think of when it comes to being an "otaku."  Although in her case she also plays games that her friends would find "distasteful" such as adult dating sims.  She really loves her lifestyle and doesn't care what her friends think of it, even encouraging them to get involved.  And she's loyal to her family, despite their proclivities.

Tomorrow -- The very first mecha.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: Haruhi Suzumiya

Name: Haruhi Suzumiya
Where You've Seen Her: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Her Story: Haruhi Suzumiya is bored by life in general. She starts the SOS Brigade in hopes of tracking down espers, time travelers and aliens, unaware that they were already in her ranks.  She is also unaware of the fact that she has the power to control her surroundings.
Why She Is Memorable: Haruhi has a lot of energy, and is very controlling.  She has her softer side that peeks out on occassion.  She can be very manipulative in order to get what she wants. She's a hard character to like, but despite these qualities somehow you do. The only person who seems to be able to keep an eye on her and reign her in when she starts to go too far is non-supernatural SOS Brigade member Kyon.

Tomorrow -- an otaku character that we can identify with.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Tomie Unlimited" Trailer Released

If you're familiar with Japanese horror, then you're probably familiar with the series of "Tomie" films.  The story, created by Junji Ito, is a series of stories involving a teenaged girl named Tomie, who seems to embody lust and every single emotion involved. Her goal is to invade the person's life until they give in to their own self destructive impulses.

The series has had 8 films, with the last one, "Tomie Vs. Tomie," being released in 2007.  She's basically become the Japanese version of Jason Vorhees.

Well, a new "Tomie" film is going to be released in May, and the trailer has been released.  It's in Japanese, but you can get a decent idea of what's going on in it. Warning: NSFW due to a brief decapitation featured.

I will admit the first one was pretty good.  I haven't seen the others, but I don't know how much longer they can possibly keep this series of movies going.

Memorable anime Character: San

Name: San (also goes by "Wolf Girl" and "Princess Mononoke")
Where You've Seen Her: Princess Mononoke
Her Story: Raised by wolves, San helps her family to protect the woods around Iron Town.
Why Is She Memorable? San cares for those she helps to defend. She also falls in love with Ashitaka, a boy with a fatal curse on him. When it comes down to making a choice, San chooses her family over the human world.

Tomorrow -- a popular tale of a girl who doesn't realize her influence on the world around her.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: Chihiro

Name: Chihiro
Where She Can Be Seen:  Spirited Away
Her Story:  Chihiro and her parents are moving to a new town, much to Chihiro's disappointment.  They encounter what they think is an old fair when they get lost.  Her parents, not realizing they are eating spirit food at one booth, gourge themselves and turn into pigs, leaving Chihiro to navigate her new surroundings on her own.  She encounters the bath house, and finds herself working there as a contracted slave, and given a  new identity (Sen).
Why Is She Memorable? When the story starts, Chihiro starts out as the typical 10 year old girl with 10 year old problems.  She's whiny about having to move, and is just upset about the whole thing.  After her and her parents unwittingly find themselves in a spirit realm, Chihiro has to figure out how to get herself out of the predicament that she finds herself in. Over the course of the story, she learns that she has to grow up and find her path.

Tomorrow -- A Princess of the forest.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: Il Palazzo

Name: Il Palazzo
Where You've Seen Him:  Excel Saga
His Story: This world is corrupt!  At least according to Il Palazzo, the leader of ACROSS, which consists of him, his overly energetic employee Excel Excel, space princess Hyatt, and their emergency food supply Menchi. His goal - to take over the world. However, he wants to start small and take over F city in F prefecture first.
What Makes Him Memorable? His lack of patience for Excel in every episode provides a running gag where he's constantly promoting her co-workers to positions over her, despite the fact that she's been there the longest.  Another running gag is the fact that, despite his orders to take over the world, he really doesn't have much to do, and is seen pursuing ordinary pursuits such as video games and guitar playing.  In the grand scheme of things, he's a huge character with grand plans who needs better empoyees at his disposal.
Trivia: Although the anime strays from the manga in a lot of aspects (mostly due to the fact that there are aspects of the manga that couldn't go on television), they seem to like to reference it.  In a Christmas episode, Il Palazzo starts to go on a possibly anti Christianity rant, but Excel stops him, reminding him of the controversy when it was published in the manga.

Tomorrow -- a young girl loses and regains her identity in a critically acclaimed Miyazaki film.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: Spike Spiegel

Name: Spike Spiegel
Where You've Seen Him: Cowboy Bebop
His Story: Spike is a "cowboy" -- a futuristic bounty hunter who is trying to make a living in a future society that's surrounded by crime and corruption. Spike hides a checkered past with a crime syndicate and a femme fatale that he's still very much in love with.
What Makes Him Memorable? Well, other than the fact that in the English dub he's voiced by Steven Blum (the computer TOM in the Toonami bumpers on Cartoon Network, Hiroyasu Ueda in Chobits, among others), Spike just exudes cool in every aspect imaginable.  He knows Jeet Kune Do, can handle a firearm with ease, snappy dresser, and can handle himself in a fight pretty well.  He and his partner Jet Black don't make much money from bounty hunting, usually because of unforseen circumstances involving their bounties.  But they still manage to at least get the bad guys in the end.
Trivia: You can still see Cowboy Bebop on Cartoon Network, despite the show's limited run of 26 episodes. 

Tomorrow: Haaaaaaaaaail our next character!