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Posts Tagged ‘Anime Boston’

Episode CXLV: An Axe Goes Hand In Hand

The Bastards’ two favorite steampunk kids drop by in an all-new episode!

This week guest stars Locke Valor and Adie of the Vagabonds catch up with the B3 crew about their recent adventures around the steampunk convention circuit. The semi-historical Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is reviewed, along with the demos for Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad. Finally a discussion arises about whether or not America is currently making Japan look bad in the animation realm.

Four score and seven years ago, it was Episode 145: An Axe Goes Hand In Hand.

Episode CXXXVI: You Don’t Drop The Soap. The Soap Drops You!

After spending last weekend at two conventions, the Bastards reconvene for an all-new episode.

This week King Baby Duck and Blueonic share their thoughts on PAX East 2012, and Anvil manages to find reasons why he had some sort of fun at Anime Boston. The week in sports is discussed, as are the demo version of Sniper Elite V2 and Fez.

It’s short, sweet, and will get you extra clean! It’s Episode 136: You Don’t Drop The Soap. The Soap Drops You!

Anvil’s (Not) Sports Asylum: Anime Boston 2012 Invasion

While the rest of the Bastards invaded PAX East with our friends from the Land of ESH, I took on this year’s Anime Boston at the Hynes Convention Center. While there I was joined by some of our friends like The Vagabonds, Saignement, and Shades Blackflame. Meeting up with these guys made the whole Con so much better, and we had a lot of fun just looking around and seeing all that there was to offer.

Friday morning I made my way by public transportation to the Hynes Convention Center site of Anime Boston 2012, arriving at about 7:45 am. I started looking for where to get my media pass, but found myself in a hallway of confusion. Most of the staff wasn’t sure exactly where to send me, so they would just point me to a room that they thought. After a while I finally got to where I needed to be, and got myself checked in. I grabbed my official Anime Boston guide that was filled with maps and tips, along with all the info that I needed for panels and shows.

I started to walk around the convention center and its three floors, and it started off real slow because different rooms opened at different times throughout the day. I spent most of my morning while I waited for everything to open walking around and looking at some of the great costumes that some of the people had made or were wearing in general. I was awestruck by some of these magnificent outfits and the time that was put into them. Some of my personal favorites came from the steampunk people because there’s just looked amazing. One of the guys had made wings/glider onto his costume, which truly impressed me. If you aren’t an anime fan the costumes are still worth the price of admission, but there is so much more that they had to offer.

The first part of my walking tour took me to Artist Alley. In Artist Alley everything there was handmade and I saw a lot of great things. This one lady took rubber duckies and old broken toys and put them together to look like zombie ducks, which were really cool. There were tons of pictures and jewlery that covered everything from anime to steampunk, even your own custom IDs from Archer and Resident Evil‘s Raccoon City Police. There was even a table that had these beautiful little hats and origami crane earrings. There is something for everyone looking for a souvenir in Artist Alley.

After leaving Artist Alley I made my way from the third floor to the first, which was were the dealer’s room was located. I made my way in and there was so much going on from companies showing off what they have to offer and dealers selling there products. The first people I got to talk to were the awesome people at FUNimation. They had a nice booth right near the entrance, and they were very welcoming. I spent about fifteen minutes talking to them about all they had to offer, but I had to move along so much to see and do and so little time. My next stop was with the people over at Crunchyroll, and I got a chance to chat with them and see what they had set up. They had an interactive area where if you stood in front of the screen people in other places could see and talk to you, which was really awesome. I then started to wander around and found this really cool shop that had handmade leather items from jackets and armbands and everything in-between.

I went into the second part of the dealer’s room and saw Harbinger Entertainment. They had a booth about their Live Action Role Playing Games, and to invite people down to try it out. While you were there you could hold there super light weapons and talk with the owner and people who take part in all the events. This was one booth that I had to bring Shades Blackflame to because that is right up his alley. After seeing everything that there was to offer, which can easily take you a couple hours (and that’s without stopping to look for items and DVDs). Some shops even sold some funny-looking wigs, which were good for a few laughs.

Anime Boston also had a ton of panels, so I figured I would sit in on a few. Unfortunately none of them were really anything I found worth staying for the whole thing. There was one panel/video viewing that I really wanted to attend (the Sgt. Frog panel), but I take public transportation and the panel ran too late for me to make it home so I couldn’t go. That is one of the complaints that I really had was that with a convention with things running real late, if you don’t live close or have a hotel room you’re not going to be able to go.

The other complaint that I had was that while the staff was friendly, most didn’t know where to send you for what you were looking for. (Some didn’t seem like they really wanted to help you, either.) I did meet one staffer Matt, who when I had a question he must’ve spent like 5-10 minutes helping me find out where I needed to go. His help got me to where I was going. On the second day the staffers were a lot better with the help, but Matt was helping everyone from the moment he walked in.

I am going to end this by saying that Anime Boston 2012 was a really good convention, and I really enjoyed myself. It wasn’t so much the convention that pulled me in but the people that were there. If you are a fan of anime — or just like one show — Anime Boston has something for you. So next year come on down and have a good time with some great people, and who knows? You might just see me there again.

Frickin’ Fridayz With Pandalicious: PAX EDITION

Things just got real…..Panda real

Panda and the gang are at PAX EAST- and here’s some of what happened when the three are left alone

Episode CXXXV: Con, The Wrath of Titan!

With PAX East and Anime Boston a couple days away the Bastards get their final gear together before embarking on their amazing journeys.

This week the B3 crew share what they are looking forward to at PAX East 2012 and Anime Boston 2012, and cross their fingers that they have their minds blown away by what will be happening. Anvil gives his weekly sports report, and the Bastards wonder why Wrath of the Titans was such a bore. Finally the demos for Zack Zero, Closure, and Wrecked Revenge Revisited are examined.

Grab your sword, and prepare to battle Kronos! It’s Episode 135: Con, The Wrath of Titan!


Jump Cut Productions Debuts Two New AMVs to Compete at AB2K12!

And ESH is getting a sneak peek

Every once in a while here on ESH, I talked about the AMV contest that occurres at Anime Boston. Even though I never participated, I still appreciated everything I got to experience. Sadly, I haven’t been back in years- but that doesn’t mean we can’t see what is going on.

With that said cue in Jump Cut Productions.

This isn’t the first time Jump Cut Productions has submitted their work for the AMV Contest, in 2009 we got ourselves a taste of what they had to offer–here’s that video.

This year, Jump Cut Productions has created two very distinct videos. They’ve given me the privilege to showcase them here. If you are going AB2K12- then need I say more. Jump Cut Productions needs some love! So do your part and cast your vote! The categories they are competing in are : Action and Comedy. You’ll be able to tell which AMV is for which category- trust me.

First I’ll share my personal favorite of the two. This one is called “Shut Up and Drive” It is an Rideback AMV. For those who don’t know much about Rideback then you haven’t been paying attention to me during some of my anime rants. I gave this anime some serious attention and this AMV should help you understand why.

Lastly, we have a Soul Eater AMV entitled “Professor Frankin Von Stein”. If the title doesn’t give you a clue as to why it’s funny–then you’ve all made me feel a tad bit older than I actually am. T.T

So What did you guys think? I will be sure to talk about these videos more in depth on the Land Of ESH Facebook fan page.

I have always been inwardly and outwardly jealous of people who master the art of editing, and then on top of that are able to manipulate anime this well. I envy them the way I envy sketch artists…all of you with your damn talent…Ugh don’t get me started. *cough*

Jump Cut Productions will be at AB2K12 for the whole event, so if you get the chance to meet them you definitely should and if you do- tell ’em Pandalicious said hi.

The Great Boston Nerd Schism of 2012

It has FINALLY happened; We are totally Frakked!

As many of you know, when ESH was born, I was the strong voice of anime. I have my opinions and by hook or by crook you were all gonna listen to me. I talked about the anime that I liked whether it was good, bad or just plain bizarre. It didn’t really matter. Some of you enjoyed my passion-filled rants, while others found me to be crass and a tad bit spoiler-ish.

-Both of which are true-

I shared my accounts at the biggest Anime convention that came close enough for me to attend: Anime Boston. This was my nirvana, my heaven, that special place just for me…and thousands of others just like me. People talked in memes or known stock anime quotes. Voice actors were sometimes close enough to touch. Pure Bliss in its most basic form. I know I must sound nostalgic here, and I am. Since it has been YEARS since I’ve returned to that much loved place.

In high school, I would talk to my two closest friends.(And yes, I had friends in high school and they weren’t imaginary.) I’d often tell them, that I would produce massive amounts of progeny and all of them would love anime just like their mother. Needless to say, I am now twenty-seven, not married or have any children. High school me would be SO pissed right now. However, now I find myself pondering if I still deep down feel that way, and the answer is no.

I will not mass produce hordes of my genetic makeup for the sole purpose of perpetuating my own habits and hobbies. That’s what my clone is for. I kid. Most people would say I’ve “aged out” This is a term that many will associate with deviant behavior such as juvenile delinquency, multiple levels of petty larceny etc. Some would just say I am a snob. Those are my choices: Old or Snob.

This year something that I was internally speculating occurred, so I felt it necessary to talk about it. Anime Boston 2012 is happening at the exact same time as PAX EAST 2012. That is right: the exact same weekend. AB2K12 has been around since 2003 giving it a tenure of 9 years, nearly a decade. So if I were them, I would feel strong enough to take on any newcomers. I think they underestimated the power of gaming nerds.

Anime Boston may be feeling their herd thinning as many are making the switch to the new shiny toy in the box: PAX EAST. They’ve made preparations to offer shuttles between to two venues to give patrons the option to do both instead of making a cut throat decision, but it is felt by some that that could be an underlying pitfall waiting to be exposed.

We are finally witnessing a “Nerd Schism” and I’m intrigued to see who the victor of it will be. it may shape the course of the nerd history as we know it.

So What do you guys think? Do you think I may have a point or that I’m just as nutty as I was back in 2006? I want to hear your thoughts so bring ’em on!

Two-On-One: girugamesh

(from left-to-right: Satoshi, Nii, Shuu and Яyo)

With huge assistance from Melissa Castor (and additional help from Lydia Michalitsianos) from Jrock Revolution King Baby Duck presents a special interview with visual kei masters girugamesh.

In the interviews band members Satoshi, Nii, Shuu and Яyo reveal candidly about their past and origins, and share their thoughts on the overall outlook of visual kei music in Japan and the rest of the world. Plus find out which band member you should never give fireworks to, who they would like to tour with in the near-future and the work behind their recent charity single “Pray.” Of course no music-related interview would not be complete without a trip to Three Album Island!

It’s all right here in another episode of Two-On-One: girugamesh. (Jrock Revolution’s transcript can be found here.)

Special thanks to girugamesh, their management, Anime Boston, Mari Morimoto and Melissa & Lydia from Jrock Revolution for making this episode happen!

Episode XCV: Leave It To Steampunk

The Bastards welcome a couple guests, who in return bring them into their world.

This week Anvil & Mr. Cuse give their weekly sports report, including their feelings on the playoff losses of both the Celtics and Bruins. Then special guests Locke and Adie of The Vagabonds take the B3 crew on a strange trip through the world of steampunk. Hear their thoughts regarding the recent International Steampunk City in Waltham, a semi-review of Sucker Punch (with spoilers!) and various other films, games and TV series that feature steampunk predominantly, and give their thoughts on why steampunk isn’t “the new goth.”

It’s all right here in Episode 95: Leave It To Steampunk; a tuition-free, lesson-filled show that will give you the 411 on one hell of a genre!

The Videocast:

Brina Palencia: Of Frogs, Wolves and Butlers

Brina Palencia is considered to be one of the more talented dub voice actresses in North America. Her work in such English adaptations as Sgt. Frog, School Rumble, Black Butler and Spice & Wolf to name has been considered by fans and critics alike as some of the best anime voice work in recent memory. This past Friday myself and a few other members of the press at Anime Boston had the chance to take part in a private Q&A panel with Palencia, where she revealed much about her work behind the mic and within the control booth.

Brina’s love for voice acting began as a small child, where she dreamed of working in the animation world.

“I was always obsessed with cartoons, as any little kid was” said Palencia. “I even found a journal entry from my seventh grade English class asking about where we see ourselves in ten years, and I was like ‘I wanna voice cartoons.'”

It wasn’t until she started directing other voice actors where she became more aware of her career choice.

“I specifically learned a lot from Luci Christian and Monica Rial,” said Palencia, “and especially Colleen Clinkenbeard. She was my producer when I started directing, and she basically led me by the hand and sort of taught me the ways of the world. I owe a lot to her. As far as the acting portion goes, most actors draw from their own personal experiences, and then equate that to whatever’s happening to their character.”

Recently Palencia has taken the role of Rei Ayanami in the Evangelion movie remakes, a role that was originally done in English by Amanda-Winn Lee in the TV series. Intimidation wasn’t in the air when she first took the part, but it wasn’t until her casting was announced when it really hit her.

“I really didn’t find out how rabid and numerous the fans were until they had announced my character,” said Palencia. “Suddenly, BAM! Everything blew up in my email, Facebook and MySpace. Doing the second movie was a lot more intimidating than the first one because doing the first one I was totally clueless. However because the first one was so well-received I didn’t feel so terrified going into the second one.” In regards to when word got out that she replaced Lee for the role, she was surprised by the good feedback she had received. “It was almost all congratulatory, but I did have some people write something like, ‘Congrats, it’s one of my favorite parts. Don’t screw it up!’ Now that it’s come out I’ve yet to see anyone come up to me and yell ‘You ruined everything!!!’ It’s all been very kind and acceptive.”

When comparing working in either anime or video games, Palencia revealed that it’s a whole lot easier doing the latter, especially when you don’t need to match the mouth movements in games like you do in dubbing video games.

“However,” Palencia began, “it can be a little more difficult because you have no idea what the animation’s going to be like, and when you see it you feel like you wanna go back to redo it.” Her favorite character she’s played in a video game is Mad Moxxi from Borderlands “especially because I never get to play sexy characters.”

Her work with Twisted Pixel has also featured some her favorite roles, including Gerda from Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley.

“That script was probably one of the funniest scripts that I’ve ever worked on in my life,” said Palencia enthusiastically. “It’s funny because whenever you go for voice work in video games they ask you to improv the comedic stuff to make it more funny. I remember when recording for Comic Jumper they had asked me to do that, and I just thought ‘What you had written down was way funnier than anything I could come up with!’ I tried not to veer too much from it because it was already so good.”

In Black Butler Palencia was cast as Ciel Phantomhive, one of the two main protagonists of the show. Since the series took place in London the American voice actors had to don the proper accents to their characters. I asked Palencia bluntly if it was hard to try and not Dick Van Dyke the role, and responded with a loud chuckle.

“It’s hard to not Dick Van Dyke it, since you have to try and be that bad,” smiled Palencia. “I did do a lot of research for it, and watched Jane Austen films two hours beforehand to try and repeat every line I heard so as to warm up my mouth. I was more nervous playing [Ciel] than any other character I’ve ever played because that was the first time I’ve ever tried to do a legit accent on. I went to a convention in the UK I was certain that they were gonna throw rocks at me when I got there, so at every panel I would make fun of myself and my ‘terrible accent,’ and no one would laugh when I said it. In fact some people pulled me to the side and said ‘Actually, your accent’s quite good.’ So I’m like ‘Yeah! In your face, American fans who think my accent sucks! I’m sure the Brits know best!'”

One of anime’s biggest surprise hits these past few years was Spice & Wolf, a series that focused on a traveling merchant named Lawrence and a wolf deity named Holo that he befriends on his journey. I told Palencia how the show has a strong Shakespearean vibe throughout, and asked if she felt the same way about it while recording it.

“It did have a more classical feel to it,” said Palencia. “For me I based Holo off of Katherine Hepburn, and while reading my lines I would practice my best Hepburn impression, and then let that color the way Holo spoke. It is a very unique show, and I’m shocked about the amount of people who like it because it’s basically two people talking about economics in every episode. There’s more to it, of course. It’d be a really cool two-person [stage] show.”

Click here to listen to Brina Palencia recite her favorite Sgt. Frog quote!

Out of all the roles Palencia’s played, no character has made me smile more than Tamama from Sgt. Frog, whose dub is perhaps one of the funniest and most well-done out there. With it fitting many references Americans can understand without retracting the original plotline in each episode the series puts itself eye-to-eye with the likes of The Simpsons and Family Guy. In the most straightforward way I could think of I asked her how it felt to beat Seth MacFarlane at his own game.

“That’s a pretty big compliment,” Palencia said in a surprised manner. “It feels pretty good. Jamie Marci was pretty much the head writer on that show, and she’s probably the funniest girl I know, and one of the funniest writers at FUNimation. We were really lucky to have her write in all that stuff.”

Palencia is currently the host of GameStop TV, which can be seen in every store across the country. In regards to what kinds of games she plays she tends to stick with the more indie-based styled video games. There is, however, one upcoming title that she can’t wait to try.

“I’m really excited about L.A. Noire!” exclaimed Palencia. “That’s groundbreaking that it made it into Tribeca Film Festival. We did a spot on it for GameStop recently, and I was reading the script mid-sentence and exclaimed ‘OH MY GOD, REALLY?!!’ That’s the thing that’s going to give video games more street cred and legit because it will really help with voice actors. A lot of people don’t see voice actors as real voice actors, which is bullshit. It’s really cool that something like that has made it into a respected film festival, and I can’t wait to see what they do with it.”

Later on this year Palencia will be reprising her roles as Tamama, Ciel and Holo in their respected shows, and she is eager to be playing them again.

“It’s really awesome,” said Palencia. “Those three are some of my favorite characters that I’ve voiced. It’s sad when you get really attached to a character, and then [the series] just stops. It’s really fun to return, and I hope to return to [One Piece character] Chopper soon.” She hadn’t heard news of Shin-Chan returning — along with the final two episodes of School Rumble — though hoped it happens in the future. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Season 3 of Shin-Chan was announced at Anime Boston this past weekend by FUNimation.]

Regarding Shin-Chan I was surprised at what had gotten into the show, considering that it’s originally a kids show in Japan. Palencia assured us, however, that just about everything in the English scripts was okayed by the Japanese producers.

“They actually have to approve the scripts, so they know what’s going on,” said Palencia. “Everything you see was stamped and approved by them. I know there were things that they had to change before we had to record, but I don’t know much. I do know that they didn’t like any religious references, but that’s the only thing I could remember. It didn’t seem like they were all fazed by it.”

In March of 2010 I had the privilege of seeing the New England premiere of Summer Wars at M.I.T., where its director Mamoru Hosoda was in attendance. I had the chance to ask him about his thoughts on how recent anime tends to be more focused on fan-service than actual plot, and decided to do the same for Palencia.

“I don’t know if it’s an issue with the actual production companies,” said Palencia. “I think it’s more of an issue with the fans. The reason why they’re making this panty-service crap because people buy it and like it. I’ve voiced in a lot of that crap, so I can’t really judge, but it’s not good. You can argue that it has some sweet stories, and some of them really do. It’s just totally debunked by all the panty and titty shots. It’s silly; I’ll give it that, but it’s ridiculous that more stories like Summer Wars aren’t getting told. There are the stories, and there is the talent to do that, but if no one is going to buy it then they’re not gonna make it. So it just comes down to the fans and having better taste, to be honest. There are some of us out there that prefer to watch stuff like Summer Wars and One Piece and Evangelion that have better storylines and story arc that are in depth and character-driven. Unfortunately we’re starting to be in the minority, and I personally don’t understand it. I would totally voice on it and get the paycheck, but I rather never have to watch [fan-service] stuff.

“[Fan-service] makes it harder for [anime] to get mainstream, because when people think of it they think of fan-service. They think of panty shots and bouncy boobs, and it gives [anime] this stigma against something that’s actually a very beautiful art form and can tell amazing stories if you let it. I can’t really answer that, I have no idea and I hope it’s remedied soon.”

Besides all her work in anime Palencia has a few projects that will be bringing her away from the microphone and pushing her forward into a video camera.

“I am working on a film with Chuck Huber,” said Palencia, “and a lot of other voice actors are in it, as well. It’s called Arbor Day, and it’s a musical essentially. I get to use my Honduran accent in it, which I’m excited about because I’m half-Honduran, which essentially came about from years of making fun of my father. We’ve made a trailer, but we haven’t finished filming it. We still have a couple weeks of filming to do. There is a web series that I finished that I’m in for a very short while, and it’s called Throwing Stones. Right now we’re in the process of trying to get a second season of the show, which would be awesome because if there is a second season then I’ll have a much bigger part.

“There’s another film that I was cast in that we’ll probably be starting work on in the fall called Archaic Redemption, and it’s based on the Necroville portion of Second Life. There’s a whole section of the world called CoLA, and it’s made up of vampires and zombies and monsters and stuff like that, and humans try to coexist with them. I’m one of the zombies, but it’s not a ‘brainless’ zombie. We still want to eat your brains, but we’re intelligent. It’s like how vampires are portrayed, only my body’s rotting.”

With all of these projects in the world of anime, video games and movies lined up it appears that the next couple years will be pretty good to Brina Palencia, and she seems just as excited taking part in all of these roles as we are excited to see them.