Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The History of Anime

The History of Anime
By Sabrina Murray
astro boy
The Beginning


In 1914, Japan's cartoonists first began to do experimentations on animated motion pictures. They were trying to create their own version of a cartoon. They wanted to have the Japanese ink style, but at the same time assimilate to technology. Kitayama Seitaro was the first to be successful with Momotaro in 1918. Chikara To Onna No Yononoka was also released by Seitaro before WWII in 1932. Seitaro could be called the father of anime. He not only created the first animation film successfully, but set up the road for future animation artists.

After WWII

kimba the white lion

After WWII in 1948, Toei was the first animation production company to be completely devoted to the animtaion entertainment in Japan. Soon to follow was the artist Osamu Tezuka, basically the Father of Manga. He is the creator of such works as Astro Boy, Buddha, Kimba the White Lion, and so many more classic anime favorites. He adapted his style from Dishney art, being a fan of the films himself. Later it would be disputed that Disney stole the story line of Kimba the White Lion (a whole story by itself!).

With companies and artists such as these, anime and manga were quickly to rise. Over the years, anime’s such as, Dragonball (Akira Toriyama), Gundam and other famous mecha series, Sailor Moon, Rurouni Kenshin, and so much more have put a place in our hearts. Miyazaki set a new level of animation when he came along with Ghibli Studios. When television became a hit over in Japan, anime became a daily program.

The 90s


It wasn't until the early 1990s that anime made its way to the U.S. Cartoon Network started with an anime block of Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z, Ronin Wariors, and Voltron. With WB showing Pokemon and Digimon, anime quickly made its way into the U.S. The children were especially excited to see this new type of animation. (Plus alot of the 90s kids were used to watching Power Rangers and anime just happen to be a cartoon substitute!)

While in the 90s and early 2000s, anime thrived. You could find it at almost any store in either a cute plush of your favorite character or GameBoy Color game at the gas station. It was expensive and you had to be a diehard fan to spend all your money on a DVD containing only three episodes.


code geass

But somewhere between the middle 2000s to recently, anime was pushed to the side. Most people seemed to stop caring when money was becoming too tight. While anime was a great to watch, and manga great to read, it was just too expensive to get a hold of at that time. The industry took a dive but came back with a kick.

Prices of anime DVDs and manga’s, has gone down tremendously. While the price range of manga is still around the same, the price of an anime box set is not so extravagant. To those people who sold it online, go out and buy it all back and to those who tucked it away for later, you need to start getting it back out! Anime has been coming back and with a kick this time around.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Final Fantasy: All the Bravest Review

Final Fantasy: All the Bravest
By Sabrina Murray
The Purpose:

The game Final Fantasy: All the Bravest takes a back seat with CG features. Final Fantasy: ATB has no story line or meaning to the game what so ever. The characters never develop as well. The point of Final Fantasy: ATB is to fight. The player goes from stage to stage fighting monsters and bosses from other Final Fantasy games. Some of the levels resemble that of other Final Fantasy games as well. The players gain experience and earn gil. Although there is no reason for the gil due to the fact that there are no gil-based shops in the game.

The Battle System:


The battle system in Final Fantasy: ATB is also laughable. It is nothing like the original Final Fantasy games. The player does not have the choice in which enemy they hit or which move they make. There is no order to the party at all and free to attack when their bar is filled. With the experience you gain, you can open up new party slots for your battle team. This will eventually create a huge party on the screen making things quite chaotic. In Final Fantasy: ATB you also gain weapons from battles as well.

The Cost:

The cost for this game is $3.99 for which you can buy for your iPad, iPod, or iPhone. They also take even more of your money by enticing you to buy characters from previous Final Fantasy games. They cost a dollar each and can add up to 35 new players. They come with their own powerful moves as well. Like the battle system, you don’t have a choice here either. It randomly picks you a premium character! Yes, randomly. They allow you to also purchase new levels of worlds to conquer.


The point of Final Fantasy: ATB is not for the fans, but the money. There are battles in here in which you need to purchase a regeneration hour glass making your characters regenerate quicker in battle so you can defeat the boss easier. If you don’t purchase them, then you will never win the battle it seems. Final Fantasy: ATB was made to get hard earned money out of Final Fantasy fans. While the nostalgia in Final Fantasy: ATB sounds awesome, it really is not worth the money.

Grade: 3/10

Monday, January 21, 2013

Why Watch Anime?

Why Should You Watch Anime?

why watch anime
Watching Anime can be an interesting and enjoyable thing to do. Anime has very different genres and plot lines to keep your attention. Finding a suitable anime to watch shouldn't be hard.

Anime Genres

anime genre
If you are into a certain type of genre, you should watch the anime genre of it as well. It keeps things interesting and new. There is a type of anime out there for everyone, yes everyone. You can find an anime genre from western to romance or western romance. It depends on your genre type.

Anime Plots

watch anime
If you like to enjoy great plot lines and twists, anime holds alot of them. Every anime has a big twist or a huge plot line that may make you cry or get angry. If you watch anime for great plots, then be prepared for anything. In some anime, the bad guy wins while in some no one wins. The plot isn't winning or not, but to make you think. If you watch anime, then you will expand you brain and knowledge in many things.

Learning Japanese

anime classroom
If you are really into Japanese culture and wanted to ever learn the language, you should watch anime. If you watch anime in Japanese with English subtitles, then it will help you to learn. You can also learn about their culture and history of Japan if you watch certain animes. Watching an anime involving a samurai generally has alot of Japanese culture values and what not due to their samurai traditions.


anime band
The background music in animes are, for the majority, well thought out and very beautifully put together. The music is normally instrumental unless it is the opening or ending of the show. Normally a band will preform the opening or ending song while a composer will preform the rest.


sailor moon manga
If you like reading comics books, then you should pick up a manga. A manga is drawn in the anime style and has the same type of plot lines and genres. A manga is a great way to get into anime if you don't like to watch tv.

Why Watch Anime?

watching tv
There are a lot more various reasons as to why you should watch anime, but those are the main points. Watching anime is a bad thing. It is not just for kids but also for teenagers and adults. Even some seniors like to watch anime, it just captures everyone's attention. Take some time out to watch an anime, whether it is a series or just a movie. Give it a chance, you may be glad that you did!

What is Anime?

What Exactly is Anime?

anime question mark

Japanese Animation is exactly that, Japanese cartoons. So what makes it different from any other cartoon show?

Cartoons are more or less directed toward children these days. They keep children entertained and sometimes even teach them. Anime, a widely used abbreviation for japanese animation, is directed mostly towards adults (young or old). There are major differences between anime and cartoons for children.
anime samuraiSamurai Champloo
The first difference is japanese culture. Japanese culture plays a huge part in anime. Japan is more relaxed about things such as violence and nudity. An anime can be very violent and have very twisted plots. (ie. Gantz or Fate/Zero). Others though will have more sexual content (ie. Tenchi Muyo!). The culture of Japan is seen in every anime in one way or another. Japanese culture plays another huge part by the art style.

The art style, the second difference, of anime came from Disney (basically). Toei, the first production company for anime, was trying to create a style close to the popular Disney movies. They attempted to mix the art of Disney and the Japanese art style as well. Doing this led to the eventual creation of todays anime. (Toei produced Dragonball and Sailor Moon)
toei animation
The third difference in anime is the story. The way that anime lays out the story of the show or movie is laid out for an adult to understand. There are some animes out there made specifically for children. Most of them, though, are intended to be viewed by some one with a higher level of understanding than a child. Anime is very real and doesn't hide the truth about things. Japan's culture is much the same way. They don't hide death or anything of the such. Thus the plot in animes are much different than that of other countries animation.

But still, what is anime?

anime mad
Knowing why anime is different plays a part to that question. Anime is made for all different types of people. There are many genres in the anime form. The genres range from sci-fi to western and romance to horror. Anime is much like the movie industry in America, there is something out there for everyone.

Anime is not just something to sit and watch to enjoy. It makes you think about things that you wouldn't normally think about. It is daring you to think a different way. Anime makes your mind expand on many different levels, teaching you more about life. It makes you question reality or question a lifestyle.

If you are wanting to expand your mind and see something new, anime is the way to go. Watching anime can teach you something you may not know about yourself. If not, then just watch it for the fun of it! Some animes are just made to be funny and meant to relax you. Watching anime is not just for children though.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What is a Con?

What is an Anime Con?

If you are just getting into anime then you have heard people talk about conventions, cons, cosplay, and things along that nature. Anime conventions are very popular in the U.S.A. Many anime fans will go for the full three days getting a weekend pass. Anime conventions varies in cost and in size depending on the location of the convention.

Why Go to the Anime Convention?

Many people like to go and see the cool new things coming out, get good deals on things, or just to simply see the Q&A. Normally at anime cons they will show their new action figures or models that are going to be coming out in the near future. They will do screenings of new animes that have been anticipated. They will normally schedule shows and sometimes have a 24 hour 'theater.'

But seeing new things are not the only reason to go. Sometimes some people will have a booth set up for their store trying to get some new comers. You can get great deals on anime merchandise. You can also find some rare things at certain conventions. People may be selling custom made anime costumes or weapons.

The panel is sometimes the most waited for part. It is a chance for the fans to talk directly to people who are involved in an anime business. It may be a set of cast from an anime, the artist of a certain manga, or the musician. It is a great time to learn about new things coming out later in the year.
Some people go to dress up. This is called costume play or cosplay. They go to anime conventions to either enter costume competitions or just to simply dress up and watch others reactions. This is where alot of the custom made costumes and weapons go, to people who like to cosplay. It is always fun to get a group of people to go do something, but to dress up as an anime cast is pretty cool. Especially if you are in the right setting. It is fun to see how people will put a cosplay outfit together.

cloud cosplay
You can also get information on anime video games or just regular video games coming out. Alot of people will to one for that reason alone. They may have a certain debut of a video game there, getting a different source of traffic. An anime convention is a great place for an anime artist to pick up some good deals on art supplies as well. There are a small few who will save their money for that section alone. I know I would!

Anime conventions are really great to go to, especially if you have an artistic side to get out. You can pick up some really good deals on some things and see the new animes coming out. Conversing with other anime lovers is another great reason to come. You may not have a lot of people who like anime around you.

Look up and see when an anime is coming near to you and go have fun. You do not have to go for the full weekend, but you may end up doing it anyways! Make sure you don't spend all your money though and look for the sweet deals as well.

Should Kids Watch Anime

Should Kids Watch Anime?
By Sabrina Murray
Sailor Moon
This is a question that many parents ask. I know my parents questioned it when I started to watch anime. Parents, you don't have to worry though. Anime is just another form of a cartoon. Yes some cartoons are geared towards teenagers, just as some are for adults.

When you question letting your child watch anime, just remember this, Looney Tunes started out as geared towards adults. They would show them before showing clips of the war or a movie that was in the theater. These Looney Tunes would include fighting in WWII or even Hitler himself. There was even a Disney cartoon called "Education for Death" or "The Story of One of 'Hitler's Children.'"
Back then those cartoons were considered evil for children to watch. They were to violent or to sexual. Now kids watch them starting at a young age. I know I watched them when I was younger.

Yes, some animes are geared towards adults. These are ones your kids should not watch. Just remember, if Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network (excluding adult swim) are not showing the anime on their stations, it might be to much for a younger child to watch. Animes that are normally shown on these stations are Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, Avatar, Yu-Gi-Oh!, any Miyazaki Ghibli film, Rurouni Kenshin, Any Gundam, Digimon, Pokemon, etc.

miyazaki film
Films of Miyazaki and Ghibli

Adult Swim is another chapter of Cartoon Network. This is more of a teen watching program. Animes that are geared towards teens are Naruto, Bleach, Inuyasha, Cowboy Bebop, Yu-Yu-Hakusho, Full Metal Alchemist, etc. These are fine for teenagers to watch, but they do have censored if your younger child is pushing for the anime.


Then there are the ones that are clearly for adults. These may not even be sexually explicit. They may be to violent or messed up for some one who is not mentally prepared for them. Some children are mature to watch these, but still be advised.

Screenshot: Fate Zero

Then there is Hentai. This, parents, are animes that are basically porn. Your kids should not be watching this at all. If your child says something about this, then you should look into the anime.

Don't just assume anime is bad just because you heard one was very explicit. Look into the subject a little. Your kid will appreciate it. My parents sat down and watched one with me, just to see what it was about. After that, they were fine with me watching them. Believe it or not, animes do teach your kids certain things, either through history, scientifically, or just learning Japanese. They can be educational. Watching another cultures films allows your child to become more diverse. Anime is just that, another cultures film.

In anime, they don't always have happy endings. The thing about anime is, they don't hide the true nature of a human's life. There are characters who die. There are characters who turn evil. In animes, the bad guy can win. In Japanese anime, they also tend to be a little sexual. The female characters will have features that are sometimes a bit exxaggerated. Japan is a country that is just more relaxed on subjects such as violence and nudity.

Let your children watch anime, just make sure they are watching the right kind.

Anime Ratings:
All ages - A/E (USA G)
10 and up - Y/10+ (USA PG)
Teens 13 and up - T/13+ (USA PG-13)
Older Teens 16 and up - OT/16+ (USA R)
Adult Content - M/18+ (USA NC-17)

Monday, January 14, 2013

More Anime Terms!

Anime Terms 2
By Sabrina Murray

Ecchi: This is a show that has very sexual conversations but no nudity.

Harem: Normally a guy is shown a lot of affection from different females in the show.

Ah! My Goddess
Shojo: A Manga that is aimed toward the female fans.

Shonen: A manga aimed toward male fans.

Magical Girl: An anime in which a female character is lead and has magical powers. Mostly Humorous.

sailor moon
Sailor Moon
Yaoi: An anime showing a male-male relationship.

Yuri: An anime showing a female-female relationship.

Anime Terms for new people

Anime Terms
By Sabrina Murray

Anime: Short for animation, normally only used with Japanese animation.

Japanamation: Another term for anime.

OVA: A shorter version of an anime or a special.

Manga: A term used for Japanese comics.

manga pic
Angel Sanctuary
Tankobon: The Manga version of an OVA. Normally called graphic novels.

Doujinshi: Mangas that were drawn by a fan.

Fanart: Artwork drawn by a fan of a certain anime.

At by Sabrina Murray
Fanfic: Stories or mangas written by a fan.

Fansub: An anime that was subtitled or dubbed by a fan of the anime for others to watch. This is normally done when an anime is just released in Japan.

Cosplay: This is a term used for people who 'costume play.' This is very popular thing to do in the anime community. It is a way to dress up and have fun while meeting other fans as well.

Otaku: These are die hard fans.

Hentai: An adult form of anime. These are normally sexually explicit or very violent.

Mecha: A term used in an anime that involves robots or mechanical things. Its meaning is robot anime.


What is an OVA?

What is an OVA?

OVA is the abbreviation for 'Original Video Animation.' Normally in the anime world, an OVA is telling a story of a longer anime series. The series Magic Knight Rayearth is a good example of this. The tv series ran for two seasons. The OVA is a short retelling of the tv series season one.

Types of OVA's

mkr ova
Sometimes an OVA is telling a short story that happened somewhere along the lines of the anime tv series. A good example of this is Tenchi Muyo. There are a lot of OVA (or special movies) that lay somewhere in the original series.

Tenchi Muyo is also an example of animes that started out as an OVATenchi Muyo started as an OVA and later became a long running series with different seasons. Sometimes the company just wants to test the anime to see if people will like it or not. They won't waste as much money making an OVA rather than a long running series that might get cancelled.

tenchi muyo ova
OVA's get a much higher budget than a tv series. Therefore the animation is a lot better and they can develop their characters more in depth. They are allowed to play around the story more than they would on a tv series. These OVAs tend to offer a more in detailed plot of the characters. They can either provide a closer to the anime series or satisfy your curiosity and tell you how the story began.

History of the OVA

In the early 1980s, the VCR became an object in almost every Japanese house. The demand of anime began to rise and direct-to-video VHS' were bought everywhere in Japan. They were mostly buying OVAs. The OVAs were the most easiest to quickly get out onto VHS for the customers. The first 'official' anime to be released as an OVA was Dallos in 1983.

dallos ova
In the 1990s, though, Japan's economy began to fall. The OVAs began to vanish little by little. The tv series also took a hit during this time being only 13 episodes long, rather than the normal 26 episodes long. In the early 2000s and on, the OVAs made a come back. Now the OVA is in demand again.

Subtitled vs. Dubbed Anime

Subtitles vs. Dubbing
I use to be a purist when it came to watching foreign films. I could only watch anime if it was in its original Japanese form. This was until I saw Cowboy Bebop. The dubbing done in that anime brought me faith to the dubbing industry. There are many greatly dubbed animes, but there are many bad ones as well. Even though there are good ones out there, though, there is a side of the anime fans that only like subtitles.

Those who prefer Subtitles
Purists tend to want to watch the anime in its true Japanese form. They are die hard fans and refuse to watch an English dubbing of the anime. They believe that when they began dubbing into a different langauge, some of the jokes or original script is changed. They use jokes that the people in that country would understand thus messing with the original script. The joke is lost and the following statements are meddled with.
It is not just the script that changes, but the ideas in the show change as well. A good example of this is Sailor Moon. In the original Sailor Moon series, Sailor Neptune (or Michuru) and Sailor Uranus (or Haruka) are a couple. When Sailor Moon aired in the U.S.A., their relationship changed into being cousins. Another good example is in Dragonball, DBZ, and DBGT. In the original Japanese version, there are alot of perverted situations, especially with Bulma. When it aired in the U.S.A., all the perveted jokes and situations were taken out or replaced with another conversational topic.

Those who prefer dubbing
The purists are not the only one with a side though. The other side, or the side for dubbing, also has some very good point of views. They will argue that it is easier to watch it in their language so they understand it better. They believe that focusing on the subtitles instead of on the anime, you do not see everything that goes on.

Those who don't care
Some people like to do other things while they are watching an anime and just want to listen in English. Normally, they don't care if the script changes a little, as long as the main story does not change. There are anime fans who just want to watch the anime, they don't care what language they watch it in though. They also tend to prefer dubbing because they watch teh anime in a large group. Trying to read the subtitles while your friend is getting up is really hard.

What are you?
If you are just starting out with anime, it is best to start with animes in the your language. This way you can focus on the beauty of the artwork as well. When you feel omfortable enough with anime just jump into the subtitles. Make sure you can watch them in dubbing as well though, just in case. I used to be a purist, like I said, but I can still never bring myself to watch a bad dubbing job. Cowboy Bebop's English dubbing was phenominal! The characters sounded like they looked, and even got the lip syncing just right. There are good Dubbed animes out there, you just have to find them. I do prefer to watch Subtitled more, just because it helps me with my Japanese!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Play Arts Kai Spike and Vicious

spike and vicious
These two highly articulated action figures are the top of the line! They both have fully fuctioning arms and legs. They can be put into any position (basically) and have inter-changeable arms and accessories. Both of these Cowboy Bebop anime action figures are very well built figures. They are sturdy and can stand on their own easily.
Spike Spiegel
spike spiegel action figure
This figure stands 9 7/8" tall.
He comes with his handgun.
He comes with a total of five hands. Two for each side and another right hand to hold his gun.
cowboy bebop ssaf
spike spiegel acf
vicious seaf
This figure stands 9 7/8"
He comes with his sword and pet bird.
He has a total of four hands, two for each side, and another left wing for his bird.
vicious hands
Both of these figures are vrey well put together. They are made with every detail the character has through sculpting and the paint job. You can create any signature move these Cowboy Bebop characters have in the posters. Having a complete set of all the figures would complete this ultimate collection that Play Arts Kai would create. This is definately a set of collectables I want! 10/10

Buy these at
Direct links:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Anime Lego Review

I thought that doing some reviews on anime inspired projects would be a change up. We are looking at anime inpsired lego's today. Some of them are pretty cool and dead on to the characters! They know how to build with their lego's!

Akira by Flickr user SPARKART!
akira lego
This is a very excellent lego remake to start with. Everyone knows the iconic Akira poster. This looks like a very easy anime lego to set up. I'm sure it was a lot harder to put together though. This lego remake of the anime Akira is dead on to the original picture. Fans everywhere are enjoying it, I'm sure! 10/10

Gundam Heavyarms by Evil-Cozmo
gundam heavyarms lego
This looks like it was a very tough one to put together. A lot of time and planning went into this. This is an anime lego remake of the gundam heavyarms from Gundam Wing. The sword on the right arm is an excellent touch and really makes this a beauty! 9/10

Cowboy Bebop Swordfish by Vansize32
swordfish lego
This is definately my favorite out of the bunch! This is so delicately made. It is detailed to even the cockpit. Having a spike lego figure to go with this one would make it perfect! They should definately mass produce these! 10/10

by Jgzipper5
pokemon lego

by Filip Johannes Felberg
pokemon lego lot
Both of these sets were greatly done. The top one was made a lot better though (probably spent more time) as the bottom picture is made more cutely. The pokemon lego lot is cutely done because of how they were made. They were made to be all one size and very cleverly put together. Top 8/10 Bottom 8/10

kiki lego
This was a very cute aime to start with and now this lego set makes it even more adorable. The fact that a lego person was not used to make this, makes it even more awesome. This is a very well put together anime lego set! 9/10

DBZ Characters
dbz lego
I like how they made alot of the characters and not just the main characters. The hair looks as though it would the hardest part to accomplish. Not a lot of legos come like that anyways. Having these as a lego set would be pretty awesome I would say! 9/10

While the human characters may look a little odd, the creatures in the background make up for it. This is a very well put together set. 8/10

Vegeta by
vegeta lego
I put this one here because I thought it actually looked quite well. This looks like it was made with nothing but original legos. The 'shoes' on the bottom make the whole outfit. The hair at the top is very odd looking indeed, but that is the only way to get hair like that with out making some of your own. 8/10