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Panda Review: Kuroko No Basket Season 3 Premiere

By: Von Jared Omo

Kuroko3I’m a fan of basketball. Wait. Let me re-phrase that. I’m a HUGE basketball fan. Hence, why Kuroko No Basket is getting much love today (Yes, I know the OG basketball anime SLAM DUNK is more of a fan favorite, but I’m enjoying Kuroko!). So, want to hear what I have to say about it’s Season 3 Premiere? OF COURSE, YOU DO!

Right off the bat, the episode begins with a quick flashback with the last basketball game between Seirin and Yosen High with the last scene depicting Kuroko blocking Atsushi Murasakibara (as seen above). The episode then transitions to what happens post-game with Seirin High being interviewed by interviewers who work for basketball magazine company.

Scene then switches to the Seirin Team walking down the hallway and Kuroko stops Taiga. As you may remember in last season, Kuroko was tasked by Taiga to throw away the ring and chain that symbolized the brotherhood between Taiga and Tatsuya Himuro, however, Kuroko gives Taiga the whole spiel about being able to be opponents and brothers at the same time which then causes Taiga to run like a chicken with its head cut off in search of Tatsuya.

The scene switches to outside the arena where Alex is talking to Tatsuya about losing the game to Taiga and Seirin. Just then, some douchebag by the name of Shogo Haizaki appears out of no where and begins to hit on Alex. Tatsuya, being the guy that he is, decides to step in and stop the nonsense and protect his former coach. Little does Tatsuya know that Shogo is a HUGE DOUCHEBAG and begins to initiate a street fight.

Kuroko3(1)Shogo (in red) giving a swift kick to Tatsuya.
Told you Shogo is a douche!

I’m not going to spoil the rest for you guys! So, if you want to know what happens during and after the fight scene, you’re going to have to watch it yourself! I’m excited to see how this season goes and if Seirin can take the Winter Cup!!

Panda Review: Tokyo Ghoul Season 2 Premiere!

By: Von Jared Omo

WHOO! There’s nothing more stimulating than finding out that one of my favorite animes from last season just premiered their new season this year! And yes, I’m talking about Tokyo Ghoul Season 2! If you’re reading this and you haven’t watched the episode yet, I’ll try to be as spoiler free as possible and not ruin anything for you. But I’m going to tell you right now that it’s going to be damn, right HARD! Let’s do this!

TokyoGhoulS2The episode starts off where the last one ended, which Kaneki walking out of his torture room (after doing some damage on Jason) and slapping on his ever-so-creey Ghoul Mask. We see his descent into his infamous Ghoul identity, known as the Centipede. Right off the bat, you can tell this season is going to be dark and gloomy (more so than the last season) and up the ante a bit as well. And that’s pretty much all I can tell you about the good stuff I experienced (in my opinion) with the Season 2 Premiere without spoiling anything for you guys!

I did find, however, some things that bothered me and bummed me out a bit from watching this episode. First off, the OP theme (“Munō” (無能; Incompetence) by österreich) isn’t as catchy and didn’t portray the same energy the first OP Theme had (I miss the whole “O Shiete, O Shiete yo” part in the beginning). I am an avid anime music lover, and although I found this new OP Theme to be very somber and soft to the ears, the OP scene does go along with the song and after watching and listening to it a couple of times, I can only feel and believe that it is a foreshadowing of things to come and I do have my hopes up that things will pick up in the next 2 or 3 episodes.

Secondly, the fight scene I wanted to see SO BADLY was watered down. Yes, I’m talking about the fight between Kaneki and Touka’s brother, Ayato aka BLACK RABBIT. Let’s just say, I didn’t get to see Kaneki beat the sh*t out of Ayato and give him 103 broken bones.

I have high hopes for Season 2 of Tokyo Ghoul (aka Tokyo Ghoul Root A). Will it follow the manga as closely as possible for the upcoming episodes? There’s only one way to find out and that’s only by watching the anime!

Convention Coverage: Stan Lee’s COMIKAZE 2014!

By: Von Jared Omo
Pictures by: Ron Estevez

AvengersComikaze

 

WHOO! This weekend was a blast up in LA for Stan Lee’s COMIKAZE 2014! The convention is ever growing and this year was no exception to the increase of attendants this past weekend. Let me break it down for you on how it went for me and my experience this year!

COSPLAY
CylonComikaze

The cosplay at this year’s Comikaze up the ante a bit and it seemed like everyone who cosplayed brought their A game like they did last year. However, this year showcased more dynamic and complex cosplays from comic books, such as one person sporting Groot that was to scale from the movie/comics (at least, I think it was seeing that the pieces of the cosplay had to be carried by other people), and cosplays NOT from comic books, like Slenderman (which the cosplay required stilts to actually make him a to scale Slenderman). Cosplays influenced by the manga/anime industry were present as well, although, I did not see much Attack on Titan as much as I did last year. But, it does make sense seeing that this convention was more about comic books despite Crunchyroll being present with their booth and live streaming. Nonetheless, the cosplay never ceases to amaze me and did not disappoint!

SPACING

Don’t let the pictures fool you! You may be thinking to yourself “Hmm…it doesn’t look as crowded as Comic-Con/Anime Expo, therefore, it must not be that fun.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! It was packed! But, there was still space for people to get around and breathe and (do I dare say it? Hell, I’m going to say it) you can actually WALK AT A DECENT PACE around the hall compared to walking like a zombie at San Diego Comic-Con (there, I said it! Hate me if you will, but you cannot deny it! Walking the exhibit hall at SDCC is a pain in the ass!). One of the best parts about Comikaze is the Hot Topic stage located center and rear of the the exhibit hall with the black carpet (yes, BLACK CARPET) leading from the entrance of the exhibit hall towards the stage. The two big screens on each side of the stage made it easy for the attendees to see what panel was going on and which actors/actresses were on stage during the panel. This is what makes Comikaze so unique and so easy to navigate through and makes the experience all the more refreshing compared to other conventions.

Not to mention they have an old school arcade located at one end of the exhibit hall

GUESTS/EVENTS

I enjoyed the guests they had this year! Including the original Black and Blue Ranger and James Hong! Not to mention the Mad TV Cast Reunion and the celebration of Stan Lee’s birthday which all took place on the Hot Topic Stage! It was awesome seeing the guests at their tables signing autographs as well as the panels taking place throughout the day. It felt like I couldn’t miss a thing. To be honest, you could spend the whole day in the exhibit hall and enjoy both panels and the exhibit hall without having to sacrifice time and energy waiting in line (unless there’s a specific panel you’re looking forward to that requires it’s own room). This Comikaze was truly one to remember and I am certainly looking forward to next year’s Comikaze!

[Comikaze is held every year during the last weekend of October/first weekend of November at the Los Angeles Convention Center. ]

For more pics and coverage of Comikaze, visit Ron Estevez’s Flickr page right here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rone/sets/72157646813858243/

EVANGELION 3.0 MAY BE SHOWING AT A THEATER NEAR YOU THIS JANUARY 2014!

By: Von Jared Omo

evangelion_3_0

HERE WE GO! Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo is starting to show up on the big screens all across America, but only in certain theaters. SO…here’s the theater list! Below is a link that will direct you to a list of states and cities along with the names of theaters in those cities that are playing EVA 3.0. along with their showtimes and ticket prices. So, what are you waiting for!?!?! Click on the link below and score some tickets to see this awesome anime!

PLUS! Be on the lookout for our review of the OVA once we’re done watching it here in San Diego! There’s a showing tomorrow night and we’re going to see it! I suggest you all do the same!!!!

Click here to see the theater list! –> http://www.elevenarts.net/evangelion3.theater.html

Good luck and enjoy the show!

LONG BEACH COMIC-CON IS COMING NOVEMBER 23 & 24!

By: Von Jared Omo

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My, my…how time seems to fly by, huh? With Stan Lee’s Comikaze now done, we can look forward to our next comic convention adventure, which is LONG BEACH COMIC-CON! It’s in its 5th anniversary show this year and it has definitely grown. I attended LBCC on it’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year and with each year, it seems that more exhibitors come and set up shop for the two days of epic convention status. It’s definitely smaller than your usual comic convention. If you attended Comikaze a few weeks ago and thought it was small, you can expect LBCC to be just a tad bit smaller…which is good because it only leaves more room for the convention to grow!

So, what can you expect this year at LBCC? Let’s start with the guest list, and I sure do hope you have some idea of who they are!
– BATT
– Ryan Benjamin
– Phil Bourassa
– Eric Calderone
– Carlos D’Anda
– Kevin Eastman
– Joel Gomez
– Lance Henriksen
– Thomas Jane
– Herb Jefferson Jr.
– Jessica LG
– David Mack
– Amy Nicoletto
– Rob Paulsen
– Vampy Bit Me

And that’s just to name a few! If you’re still interested in checking out the guest list, CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE FULL GUEST LIST! and as for the exhibitors, you can check them out by BY CLICKING HERE TO SEE THE LIST OF EXHIBITORS! Gee…I don’t know if I made that more blatantly obvious than I had to!

As for ticket pricing, it’s $25 for a Saturday pass, $20 for a Sunday pass, and $40 for a 2-day pass, which saves you $5. It’s not much, but you can probably use that $5 to buy an overpriced soda pop or 2 at the convention! They are also selling a few deluxe packages that range from $70 – $375 which give you a package filled with exclusive items only being given out at LBCC, however, you get what you pay for…meaning the more expensive the package, the better the exclusives, capiche? Some packages even include hanging out with Joe Rubinstein and attending an Inking Seminar. Pretty neato, huh? Anyway, if you want to get more details on ticket and exclusive package pricing, CLICK HERE FOR TICKET AND PACKAGING PRICING! Seriously, I am making this way too easy for you to get to that website and check out all the info you need to know. SO…what are you waiting for?! GET TO CLICKING AND BUY A TICKET ALREADY!

See you guys at Long Beach Comic-Con!

Teaser Trailer Released for INITIAL D: FINAL STAGE!

By: Von Jared Omo

Ahhh…this is going to be bittersweet. I do love the Initial D anime and I’d hate to see it come to an end. And like how it affected some of its viewers, it did impact the way I took care of my car and how I drove it. Who didn’t fantasize driving his or her car the way Takumi drives his AE86? Seriously?! Anyway, here’s the trailer! Enjoy. It’s set for a August 2014 release! Feel free to click on the link below the video to visit the website! BTW, would you like a little fun fact? The cars/animation in the trailer are HAND DRAWN. Yes, ladies and gentlemen. It looks like Initial D is going out with a bang! I hope they hand draw all the racing animations!!!

Source: http://initiald-movie.com/