Monday, January 27, 2014

Purple Stars For Everyone!!!

Purple Star
Purple Star
Wouldn't you know it, I got me another of them Purple Stars.  It seems all those nice folks over at Squidoo must really like me.  I'm not sure what it is, but I got my third Purple Star for Understanding the Genres of Anime.  Click the link to check it out.

It's really a more detailed and pruned down post of the Anime vocabulary I posted on this site, called Making Sense Of an Anime List Of Vocabulary.

You see, I like many people didn't understand anime for a very long time, and I felt the need to discover what it was really about.  Along the way, I discovered that anime wasn't just one thing, it was a plethora of things, and once I identified the major genres of anime, I felt I needed to share my vast knowledge.  And there you have it--Purple Star!

This brings my total for Purple Stars up to THREE!  My other chosen articles are I Wish I Could Draw and My Art Gallery.  Click the links to view them.

If you're unaware of what Squidoo is, it's really a place for writers, like me and possible you, to find a voice, and let it be heard to as many people as possible, while making a little bit of money.  Squidoo is a highly visible unified blog that many people in all different areas of interest are using to build an online reputation.  Squidoo is much like any other blog, but it offers a more unified movement, so the strength of the voices of those that have written before can carry those new comers to find more readers than they otherwise would.  This is the real benefit to Squidoo.  So, if you have something to write about, and you think Squidoo might be for you, why not start a Squidoo account today.

Otherwise, if you'd like to take a look at some more of my work, please check out Boneworld on DeviantArt.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Angry Birds Love Anime, Maybe???

Angry (Love) Birds
Angry (Love) Birds
Photo Credit: Drawn By Me in Inkscape
Check it out!  So, there I was, trying to find the perfect thing to combine drawing and Valentine's Day, and nothing came to mind--I mean nothing, zilch.  But I didn't give up.  I scoured the interwebs, like a maniac, and all I came upon were love birds.  Now, love birds are fine, if you're normal, but not if you're me, so I kept going, until I finally had a brain fart.

The opposite of love birds, are Angry Birds!?!

And the idea was born.  I'd create an article on How To Create an Angry Birds Valentine's Day Card.  Isn't that sweet, a personalized love birds type card for your sweety, with Red Bird and Female Red Bird in an intimate snuggle.  Go on and click the link, if you want more details.  But, if you want Angry Birds, click their link instead.

Black Lagoon - Revy
Black Lagoon - Revy
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Joriel Jimenez
Toonami is quickly becoming my favorite thing ever.  If you don't know what that is, it's really a time slot on Adult Swim on Saturday nights, from 11:30PM to 6:00AM, and it's just loaded with some awesome anime.  I know it's late, but it's totally worth it, and you can just DVR it, and watch later.

The latest show is Space Dandy, and I've loved the episodes, so far.  It's incredibly creative.  But Toonami is already stating that in March, the lineup will be changing, yet again.  This time, Soul Eater (which I dislike), is being replaced by the show Black Lagoon.  Everything I've read about Black Lagoon includes the words bullets, blood and babes, along with adult action, so I'm pretty pumped for this.  It's due to start March 22, 2014.  So, it's still a couple months away, but coming up soon.  I believe there will be a few other changes to the lineup, as well, but this is the only show I'm aware of right now.

Vampire Hunter D
Vampire Hunter D
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Lord Ketchup
While we're on the topic of anime, I stumbled across a list of the Top 10 Horror Anime.  I don't know most of the titles on the list, but a few of them are doozies, like Death Note, Devil May Cry, Berserk and Blood+.  The movie in the number one spot is a great one, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.  And, if you click the link, you can stream an English dubbed version of the full movie from YouTube.  It's great!

Finally, I wanted to call some attention to a blog I occasionally follow, called Galaxy Zento.  It's written by a guy named David Wilde, who uses each post as another part in his fantasy universe story, which includes elements of fantasy, sci-fi and magic.  I believe he does his own art, and he's in talks with an agent for a novel consideration.

I don't keep completely up to date with his stories, but I read them when I have time.  One thing that stuck out for me, was his bio states he's an advocate for autism research, and after some digging, I discovered he himself is dealing with autism.  I was about to write that he is suffering from autism, but he's married, has four children, and is a writer, so I'm thinking he's overcoming it, instead of suffering from it.  Check out David Wilde's Google Plus, by clicking the link.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Remember Heavy Metal Magazine? It's Coming Back!!!

Heavy Metal Magazine

Heavy Metal Magazine
Heavy Metal Magazine
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Rene Walter
I've been a fan of animation and comics for years.  In fact, many years.  And I can tell you, one of my all-time favorite animated films was Heavy Metal, the movie.  I just loved it, the wild art, the risque material, the epic battles, and the episodic nature of each of the stories woven around the Lok-Nar.  I've watched it probably two-dozen times.  I own the DVD, and I could watch it almost every night of the week, if I had time.

So, anyway, the movie is based upon a comic magazine, called Heavy Metal, which was based upon a French version, called Metal Hurlant.  Well, I just learned that Heavy Metal magazine sold, to relaunch as bigger brand.  Click the link to read all about it.

To me, this is very exciting news.  Heavy Metal magazine redefined art, and what was acceptable, and what was exceptional.  It was more a movement than a magazine, spawning two movies in its time, and launching the careers of some if the greatest film makers, and graphic artists there are in recent years.

Metal Hurlant Chronicles

Metal Hurlant Magazine
Metal Hurlant Magazine
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Alexis Ziritt
On top of the Heavy Metal news, has anyone every heard of Metal Hurlant Chronicles?  Well, it's a TV series on France, that was based upon the original French version of the magazine.  And it will soon be beginning its second season.

I can't even believe season one is over, because it still hasn't made its way to America, even though it was filmed in English, and has some big North American stars, like Michael Jai White, Joe Flanigan and Matt Mullins, also  including the likes of Rutger Hauer, Michelle Ryan and Kelly Brooke.

To read more about it, as well as see the trailer, check out the productions companies website, WE Productions.  Or, check out Metal Hurlant Chronicles on Facebook.

Game of Thrones

On top of all that, if you're a Game of Thrones fan, and why wouldn't you be, season four begins, on April 6, on HBO, and you can see the Game of Thrones Season 4 Trailer, here.  It looks like it's going to be another epic season.


Space Dandy
Space Dandy
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Danny Choo
Toonami's been busy as well, now three weeks into the latest season on Adult Swim.  The latest show, Space Dandy, has been absolutely amazing.  The colorful character, wild stories, precise animation and wonderful fan service, have been just about the best ever.  I can't wait each week to see the latest episode.  It really is entertaining, if you haven't already seen it.  To see some pics, check out Toonami on Tumblr or get into a discussion on Toonami's Reddit account.  Otherwise, check out the line up every Saturday night on adult swim between 11:30PM and 6:00AM.  I know it's late, but just DVR it, like me.  It's worth it.

Polypore, An Independent Film

I also wanted to give a heads up on an independent science fiction thriller, called Polypore that I just stumbled upon.  You can find out more about it on the Polypore homepage, as well as take a look at the trailer.  The home page and the trailer don't give away too much, other than that it's a science fiction thriller, with deep characters, with telepathy and teleportation, but it looks interesting none-the-less.  You can rent the entire film for $1.99.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Making Sense Of An Anime List Of Vocabulary

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Paul Evans
So, hey, I'm a huge anime freak, or otaku as many would say.  I've done a number of anime reviews on Squidoo, such as for the movies Redline, Fullmetal Alchemist, Trigun: Badlands Rumble and Summer Wars.

My latest article on Squidoo addresses something I've struggled with for some time concerning anime, and that's the terminology required to understand the genres.  My article on the subject on Squidoo, is called Understanding the Genres of Anime, and it tries to de-mystify some of the terms used to describe types of anime.  It was not a comprehensive list, and I'd like to rectify that here.

Below is a list of all anime terminology that I've come across, and at least a brief description of each.  Have a look, and let me know what you think in the comments.

Anime Car
Anime Car
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons Photo by tsukubajin

  1. Kodomo or kodomomuke - Means child or childlike.  This is anime directed at children.  Typically young children under 10.  Examples are Hello Kitty, Pokeman or Sonic X.
  2. Chibi - A Japanese term for a diminutive person, but in anime it means super deformed or SD.  It typically depicts children with small bodies and huge heads for a comical effect.  They are meant to be cute and more easily demonstrate extreme emotions.  This is not a commonly used genre on its own, but frequently used to emphasize an emotion in a short instance in another genre of anime, such as Avatar: The Last Airbender, Ninja Turtles or several others.  Some that use this exclusively are, SD Gundam Force, Hanamaru Kindergarten and Lucky Star.
  3. Kawaii - The word means lovable, cute or adorable.  This is specifically a character that has been created solely for cuteness, such as Hello Kitty, Pikachu or Teletubbies.  These shows are usually geared towards the youngest of crowds, such as kodomo, although there are a few exceptions.
  4. Shoujo or Shojo - This means girl, as in a female minor from 10-18.  It is a show surrounding young girls, and there doings.  It is very popular in Japan, and in fact the most popular of all anime genres.  Some of the more popular include Sailor Moon, School Life and Maid Sama.  Some common themes include relationships with boys, interactions with girls on a popularity level and school.
  5. Shoujo-ai - The literal Japanese, shoujo means girl, and ai means love.  This is an anime that centers around lesbian relationships of usually younger girls.  This specific genre doesn't show any nudity or anything explicit, but instead focuses on the relationship aspect of female attraction.  It isn't por.nographic, but instead it's lesbian romance.  Some examples are Blue Drop, Kampfer and Simoun
  6. Shounen - The literal translation is few years, but the word has become synonymous with male minors, such as Shoujo is for female minors, this is its male counterpart.  As these are for younger men, typically teens, common themes include action, adventure and sports.  Sometimes they include things like school and romance, but only included among a more major action oriented story.  Just like Shouju, this is more a demographic than a genre, so it can actually have many different themes.  It just needs to be aimed at young men.  Some examples are Naruto, Bleach and Attack On Titan.
  7. Shounen-ai - This is a boy on boy romance story, that typically includes younger men.  These types of stories do not include any explicit scenes, but are more focused on romance, and a great deal of kissing.  Some examples of this are Sukisho, Princess Princess and Gakuen Heaven.
  8. Seinen - This is typically seen as meaning mature.  Manga and anime that specifically targets young adult males around the ages of 18 to 25 are seinen titles. The stories in seinen works appeal to university students and those in the working world. Typically the story lines deal with the issues of adulthood.  These are considered adult movies, but not por.nography.  There may be some immorality, extreme violence and language, among some possible other things.  Some examples include Monster, Berserk and Cowboy Bebop.
  9. Josei - Literally means woman. It targets women 18-30.  This is the female equivalent to seinen. Unlike shoujo the romance is more realistic and less idealized. The storytelling is more mature.  Some examples include Honey and Clover, Nana and Paradise Kiss.
  10. Bishojo or Bishoujo - In Japanese, this means beautiful young girl.  It's not a genre or a demographic, but actually a character type.  It is an indication that there is a pretty girl, or more than likely, many pretty girls in this anime.  It's used in nearly all young adult anime, and it doesn't imply anything other than just that there will be pretty girls, along with others that maybe aren't so much.  It's a character type used in many different genres and for many different demographics, such as Shoujo and Shounen.
  11. Bishonen or Bishounen - This is a Japanese term that means beautiful young boy, or in a better term, a pretty boy.  It's more or less an attractive young male.  This is a character type in many anime series and movies, and the characters are used in many different ways.  There can be homosexual implications to it, but not always.  These types of character usually appeal to young women, and are easily used for subjects of attraction.  Think of the boy bands in America and England, and this is kind of the same philosophy.
  12. Mecha - The word mecha comes from a shortened version of the English word mechanical, and it's used to describe a genre of science fiction that focuses on human controlled machinery and robots.  Some examples are the Gundam series, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Eureka Seven.
  13. hikikomori - This isn't a genre at all, and in fact just means literally "pulling inward, being confined."  It's a term in Japan that would mean a recluse, and is typically the assignment of a key character in an anime to help add some suspense.  It can be used in any types of movie or series, and really can't be assigned much specifically.  Some examples of anime that have these types of characters are, Welcome to the N.H.K, Rozen Maiden and Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei.
  14. shinigami - This means death god or death spirit, and in fiction it has come to mean the Grim Reaper.  It's actually from ancient Japanese religious references, which call on a god like being to bring on death.  It's developed over time, much like the grim reaper or devil or many other ideas like this.  This being has become fairly common in certain types of anime.  Not necessarily any specific genre, but as a key character or force.  Some examples are Death Note, Black Butler and Soul Eater.
  15. Ecchi - This is anime that is typically considered a bit on the "dirty" or erotic side.  There's no actual sexually explicit scenes, but there are innuendos, some mild nudity and scantily glad men and women.  Another term for this is fan service, which indicates, these will be certain characters dressed provocatively for fans to get a better view.  Some examples of this are Queens Blade, Samurai Bride and High School of the Dead.
  16. Hentai - This is anime por.n.  These are sparse story lines with full nudity and sexually explicit scenes.  An example is Tsugou no Yoi Sexfriend? or some manga displayed on Prime Hentai.
  17. Yaoi - This is homoerotic stories about men in love for female audiences.  These movies have explicit sex between two males, but this is a genre written by women and geared towards women to watch.  
  18. Bara - These are homoerotic stories about men in love for homosexual male audiences.  As opposed to Yaoi, these are much more realistic tales, and will include things such as a slice of life to help the realism come through.
  19. Yuri - This can also be called wasei-eigo, and it means something along the lines of girls' love.  It deals with lesbian love affairs, and depicts explicit girl on girl scenes of an erotic nature.  The types of stories can span many different genres as well as demographics.  Some are geared towards women and others are geared towards men.
  20. Lolicon - These are stories surrounding a sexual attraction to under-aged girls.
  21. Shotacon - These are stories surrounding a sexual attraction to under-aged boys.
  22. Doujinshi - This is fan made manga.
  23. otaku - This is a Japanese word that indicates a person with a certain obsession.  But it has lost its negative connotations, and now is more of a proclamation made by many anime fans to insist they are crazy for anime due to its insane popularity.  
  24. seiyu or seiyuu - This is the word used to indicate a Japanese voice actor, which is fairly prominent, since Japan produces more than 60% of the animations in the world.  These are highly trained voice actors, who's talents are extensibly used in all manor of media.  Many of the most popular have developed adoring fan followings.
Anime Girl Eyes
Anime Girl Eyes
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Danny Choo
For some more details on this, check out these resources:

So, there ya go. A vocabulary list of terms used to identify anime.  I'll try to keep it updated periodically, but this should be enough to get started.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments below.
Fan Service Swimsuit Girls
Fan Service Swimsuit Girls
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Manuel Siordia

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bring in 2014 With Anime and Indie Films Online

Trigun -- Vash the Stampede
Vash the Stampede
Flickr Creative Commons Photo by *Yu7yU*
Welcome to 2014, yo!  I'm rocketing through the air as we speak in my auto driven flying car, ordering up some stuff on Amazon with my wi-fi connected brain, and just hoping your having as much fun in this futuristic utopian world, as I am.  Oh wait, none of those things have happened, yet.  I'm sitting in front of my slow antiquated computer, typing with my over-used fingers, and wishing you a wonderful New Year.

Anime Reviews

Anyway, Toonami finished up its month of movies with the amazing Trigun: Badlands Rumble.  Over at Squidoo, I wrote a review, so go on ahead and check out Old West Has Nothing On Badlands Rumble.  Starting next week, Toonami will have their regular schedule of shows, including the all new Space Dandy.  The new schedule begins at  Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 11:30PM, and you can check it out on Toonami's website.

You can find my other anime reviews on Squidoo, right here:
Summer Wars, Dorothy Can't Hack This OZ
Fullmetal Bringing Back the Brothers
Buckle-Up For the Redline Review

Indie Films Online

The indie film industry online is booming.  It seems that more and more great films are coming alive all the time.  I've previously noted the existence of Black Flag TV, which is an independent TV station, broadcasting horror movies online.  Now, I've come a cross a couple more, of note.

Porcelain Presence is a wild indie film studio working on an intense and suspenseful film concerning a porcelain doll in an average British neighborhood.  It appears things get out of hand, but things are not always what they seem.  If you like, check out the trailer for the movie on YouTube.  It'll send a chill down your back.

ZOMB! the Movie is an independent zombie flick.  It sounds pretty interesting concerning a tongue-in-cheek health awareness documentary on the threat of the zombie virus.  It's a crowd funded film, and you can get more details on that on the website if you'd like to help support the film.  They're offering some perks for any assistance.

Anime Streaming

I've come across a couple of sites that are great for streaming anime, if you're interested.  Go ahead and check them both out.

  • Really good stream, and a great selection--all at no cost, just a sign up.
  • The selection here isn't as great, but the stream is excellent for no cost.  However, there is a premium membership that, I assume, will give you access to more.

As always, you can check out my latest work on my DeviantArt page, or my Zazzle Store.  You can check out my latest t-shirt, KEEP CALM and LEARN TO DRAW.