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Gintama follows the comedic adventures of the "Odd Jobs Gin" during the late Edo period of feudal Japan, in an alternate universe where Japan has been conquered by space aliens known as the Amanto and the samurai have been oppressed and forced to lay down their arms. However, there was one man left with the spirit of the samurai…
Thus the story begins with our main character, Gintoki Sakata, as he is outnumbered and cornered by a pack of samurai warriors. In any other show, the main character would heroically square off against his opponents, letting out a primal roar before charging in and finishing off his enemies one-by-one, sending them all on a one-way ticket to hell.
But this isn't any other show.
Instead, in one of the least classy but most memorable character introductions I've ever seen, we're introduced to Gintoki by him turning tail and scampering home in order to... make it home in time to catch a TV show! And if you think the comedy and oddball antics stop there, you're in for a much bigger treat as the series goes on.
Gintoki is also the leader of the Yorozuya Gin-chan, or Odd Jobs Gin, which is a group that takes any odd job to pay the rent. And it’s only fitting that the Odd Jobs group is filled with other odd characters like Shinpachi Shimura and Kagura. Shinpachi is a stereotypical hopeless dreamer who looks up to Gintoki, desiring to learn the ways of the samurai. And Kagura, despite her wacky demeanor, is a member of the deadly Yato Clan of the Amanto.
If you haven't raised an eyebrow already then you've probably been watching too much Excel Saga or Shin-Chan for your own good. However, we can confidently assert that Gintama is simply shōnen at its best. It has all of the appeal of hit series like Bleach and Naruto — action, comedy, sci-fi, etc. — but with more kick. As weird as this all sounds, Gintama manages to blend all of these crazy themes in without having anything seem out of place. The amount of action and comedy will have shōnen fans alternately gripping their seats and rolling on the floor.
Gintama can be serious when it wants, and funny when it has to be. But as good as that sounds, this show will not appeal to anyone looking for the serious sci-fi appeal of Ghost in the Shell, or the grace of Kino's Journey, but it certainly can't hurt to give it a try. This really isn't a fault of anyone in particular, but Gintama is one show that could benefit from an English-dub if handled properly. In addition, as a long-running series with well over 100 episodes, there is a question of whether Gintama will be able to maintain its quality indefinitely or if it will fall victim to the filler hell well known to Naruto fans. Regardless, Gintama is an enjoyable experience and definitely worth stick along for the ride. This show has a wide audience appeal, it's great to watch on the side, and perfect to devote your time to. Crunchyroll has most episodes online for easy streaming, and a rather sizeable portion available for free to everyone so you definitely owe it to yourself to give it a chance!
With school coming to end and the advent of summer upon us, there’s really only one thing on our minds. That’s going to a place where in four days you can watch all the anime you want, find all the manga and DVDs for your collection, play tons of console and arcade games to your heart’s content, and take photos of a seemingly infinite amount of people dressed up as popular anime characters. If all this sounds very familiar to you, then chances are that you too are heading to one of the many anime conventions going on this summer!
For those of you who have never been to a con before, or are interested in going, we’re going to take a cross section of a typical con by examining FanimeCon 2009, which recently went down from May 22-25 at the San Jose Convention Center in California, and show you just how awesome these cons really are.
For those that are unfamiliar with FanimeCon, it is a convention that began 15 years ago as a humble gathering of several Bay Area anime clubs and has since then it has grown into the second largest anime convention in all of California, and the largest in Northern California with over 15,000 attendees. Like many of its convention counterparts, FanimeCon remains true to their “By the Fans, For the Fans” motto, providing access to all the luxuries a fan could want out of a con.
There are the video rooms where, if you are so inclined, you can just sit back and watch some fascinating anime that you may have never heard of, or absorb yourself in a back-to-back marathon of your favorite series. Whether you've missed any episodes and just want to catch up, or you just want to relax from all that walking, the video rooms provide a welcome respite from the frenetic pace of the rest of the con. Adjacent to the video rooms sits a large gaming hall that is populated with arcade cabinets and everything you'll need to get your game on with other fans. From DDR pads to racing seats, classic NES consoles to the most recent gaming release, and Magic: the Gathering to Duel Monsters, there's literally something for everyone.
And what would a convention be if you couldn’t get a lot of merchandise to mark the occasion? For that, attendees go to the ever-popular Dealer’s Room. For Fanime, and for any con, the Dealer’s Room is the place to buy everything from T-shirts to manga, and even replica weapons. Let’s just say, we spent way more than we had expected… but it was all worth it!
Like many cons, FanimeCon too has been blessed with guests of honor gracing the stage for some merchandise signing and Q&A. FanimeCon’s guests of honor has included Patricia Ja Lee (Jill Valentine of RE5 and former Pink Ranger), Rueben Langdon (Dante of Devil May Cry and Chris Redfield of RE5), Hiroyuki Yamaga (executive director of GAINAX) , and Momoi Halko (Japanese idol and “Queen of Akihabara”) along with many more industry pros that would make a fan’s head spin.
However, the big reason that anyone comes to an anime convention is for the cosplayers, and Fanime has this in spades. Cosplayers are the heart of any anime convention and can range from detailed costumes to handmade armor. They are what make any anime convention the experience that people will remember for years to come.
If you’ve never been to an anime convention before, then you owe it to yourself to save up your money and experience the magic for yourself. Fanime is but one of many conventions that fans can attend. Hopefully there will be a convention near you where you can share your passion for anime with lots of others fans just like you. Give it a shot, you won’t regret it!
The position of power carries a blessing-and-curse paradox that few can effortlessly handle. Oftentimes, this power blended with the human propensity for vice can lead to disastrous and tragic outcomes. As Lord Acton presciently stated in 1887, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." From CEOs to the President, from Prime Ministers to Royal families, no one is person is exempt from this rule. It has become the subject of many debates, TV specials and dramas — an art-imitating-life goldmine, if you will. But as responsible viewers, it is our duty to discern the difference between art and life.
This past week, we were pulled out of our brief immersion in the relaxing three-day weekend and given a reality check with the tragic loss of the former President of South Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, who had apparently committed suicide by jumping off of Owl Rock atop Mount Bonghwa. Reports claim that Roh did this as the “ultimate protest” of his innocence in the face of allegations of $18 million dollars of bribery and tax evasion against him, his family, and aides. Although it is not a surprise that yet another politician is accused of corruption, his choice of death shook the nation and his sins have somehow — rightly or wrongly — been exonerated by the media.
Although former President Roh’s death has spawned a multitude of political debates and dominated the front headlines as the latest political drama to sweep the world, there has also been a steady amount of drama elsewhere in the house of Korea.
One of the biggest dramas has been going on since 2005, when the death of Prince Hoeun, the apparent last prince of the House of Yi, has catalyzed an ongoing debate between 3 “pretenders” to the throne: Prince Chung, Prince Won and Princess Haewon.
Here, where the situation is less serious and morbid, the actual drama surrounding the next heir to the throne has become an entertaining one. In the spirit of verisimilitude, then, it is no surprise that another — this time fictional — drama about royal succession, Prince Hours, has captivated audiences.
This drama is modeled after monarchical rule in Korea. In the drama, the heir to the throne has died, sending the royal family scrambling to find the appropriate successor to the throne. The Queen secretly scours the city to reveal a man named Lee Hoo who, unaware of his royal blood, has been delivering Chinese food for a living. Without wasting any time, she ushers him into the palace to compete for the title of Crown Prince. Lee Hoo is pitted against Lee Jun who has garnered the most support from the royal family and is seen as most fit for the position. Now, the fight for the throne has begun, a stirring rivalry between two factions of the royal family. It is certainly a drama that should not be missed.
Kabuto plots to have Three Tails crush the Leaf ninja by sacrificing Yuukimaru’s power and life. Controlled by Yuukimaru, Three Tails’ awesome power is about to break free from the seal, when an unexpected ally saves Shizune’s sealing team.
Nikaidou-sensei asked the students to write an essay about "Your dream". Amu hasn't decided on her dream yet while Wakana has a dream of becoming like Nikaidou sensei. However, many problems surrounding a lack of self-confidence and that's when Lulu, and trouble, appears...
The fierce battle begins over the title of the Official Tsu Terakado fan club. Tosshi, Hijikata’s loser otaku personality created from a demonic sword, was once thought to have been defeated by Hijikata’s strong will, but in reality the personality still survives within him...
Word of the Day
The sound a rabbit makes while hopping. As pointed out earlier with the cat’s ニャ(nya), ぴょん(pyon) too has the same effect when used at the end of a sentence, making it sound cuter. Keep enjoying your anime, pyon!
Time of Eve Episode 3 - Koji & Rina frequent the café where humans and robots aren’t discriminated against. Expressing their feelings towards each other, we later learn that Koji is with Rina in order to understand his master more. Are these robots really keeping their masters in mind or is this café a way for them to break free and be human, even if only for a few hours?
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