Dubbing, Why I Think 100% Of Anime Do Not Need a Dub.

It is interesting how times change. About four years ago I was 100% in favor of dubbing all anime that came across the ocean. I like many people have a hard time reading subtitles and the dubs were always a great way to enjoy my anime. Over the last few years, watching the anime industry struggle, and many companies fail, my stance has changed to one of “Situational” dubbing.
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Tricon Review

On 22 March 2014 the Pittsburgh IPMS held their annual model competition, Tricon. At first glance at the name long time convention goers would question the “con” nomenclature used for nothing more than a competition, but as defined by Meriam-Webster as “a large meeting of people who come to a place for usually several days to talk about their shared work or other interests or to make decisions as a group.” This of course defines Tricon.

What brought me to the event were the hopes of seeing anime based models. This fell flat. The competition had a single Gundam, an Age-1 from Gundam Age.

The event was held at AW Beattie Center in Allison Park Pennsylvania and ran for one day. It was held in a single large classroom/meeting room of the facility. This room was split in half, with one half being the competition and the other being a vendor’s area. The event hosted a number of raffles, some free, some pay.

The event did something that I had not seen done at a model convention before, they had folding tables that were either about 4 foot tall or had very unique leg extenders on them. This raising of the kits on display eliminated the typical back and neck ache incurred with looking down at tables holding the kits. For anyone who has gone to an convention art show, general craft show, or other event displayed on traditional height 6 foot folding tables can completely understand how significant and positive this is.

The competition itself was very enjoyable to look at. The kits entered were incredibly done. The competition was “open judging” which is interesting as the judging of the kits were done based on their individual merit. Each kit had the potential of winning a bronze, silver, or gold medal and there were many of each medal in each of the eleven classes. The classes for the competition were:

  • SCI-FI
  • AUTOMOTIVE
  • FIGURES
  • REAL SPACE
  • SHIPS
  • DIORAMA
  • AIRCRAFT
  • MILITARY VEHICLES
  • MISCELLANEOUS*
  • RAILROAD*
  • DIORAMA*

The price for this convention was incredibly reasonable; $10 for an Adult to enter the competition with up to 3 kits, $1 for each additional kit, juniors were $4 with unlimited model entries, and it was $3 to walk in the door and look around, and vendors were $25 a 6′ table. The club also had food available for incredibly reasonable prices.

It was incredibly nice to see the junior category, and even nicer to see the winners of medals called up during the awards ceremony to receive their prize. This actually added to the atmosphere of the event. I looked at the actions taken with the juniors as a good way to include younger modelers and encourage them to participate in this and other events. Thus, the hobby will continue on and the event will survive and thrive in this digital age.

This brings about the short comings of this event. First, the website was lacking useful information. The link to the “For Contest Rules, directions to the show, and FAQ, download the contest flier,” links to a one sheet PDF that is very well laid out, but only shows most of the categories, prices, and an address to the event. I discovered the Miscellaneous, Railroad, and Diorama categories at the event. Also there were a significant number of “Sponsored Awards” that were not listed completely and were discovered at the event. As an outsider to the organization and the model competition scene this lack of rules made it impossible for me to give more specific details about the event. I was told the organization advertised with Facebook, fliered local hobby shops, and a comic/gaming store, as someone who does not frequent the comic/gaming store that they fliered at, and only visit the local hobby shops when I need something, I did not encounter advertisements for the event. If I did not know a member of the Three Rivers IPMS club, I would not have known when and where the event was.

The following is both a positive and a negative; the event is a dealer’s room and the competition. For a casual fan or someone not interested in competing this event is great as they can walk in, look around, and leave. For the price it is perfect! Now, as a negative, for the competitors, they are stuck in the room all day with little to do other than shop, make small talk with other modelers, wait for the frequent raffles, and the end of event award ceremony.

In conclusion I will say that this event, for the price of being a walk in attendee is a good bargain. You see numerous high quality art pieces and can meet the artist and learn from them, if they are willing to share. As a competitor the price seems reasonable to me, especially as this is probably the only game (there is a competition that is automobile kits only) in town and open judging makes it possible to win something. The vendor’s table prices, for any sort of convention, were insanely low priced. While the attendance and market is small, the price makes it very easy for any vendor of model kits, supplies, and related items to turn a profit for the event. I would love to see more publicity to the general public in other locations that allow fliering and maybe other activities at the event, but that is me. I was told by a source that the organization does not want the event to grow beyond its current scope, list of activities, or length. The reality is that everyone there was having a good time and the atmosphere showed.

Driving with Tiger and Bunny, Professor Layton, ToQger, and Import Gaming

Jeanie, Prager, Chris, and Z are joined by Sara where they review the Tiger and Bunny: The Rising movie. They then talk about the new Super Sentai ToQger. Moving on Sara leads a review of the latest installment in the Professor Layton franchise.
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300: Rise of an Empire

When I first heard about this film, my first thought was, “Didn’t everyone die at the end of the first movie?” The answer to that was a resounding “yes.” So, going into this film, I was confused on how they would make a sequel.
After seeing the film, I can say that this is not a sequel, but the original 300 film is a part of this film. The events of 300 actually take place concurrently with a portion of 300: Rise of an Empire. That being said, this film’s story is very ambitious. It is the tale of Themistocles of Athens (played by Sullivan Stapleton) and his rise as a warrior, then his leading the Greeks against the naval armada of Xerxes (played by Rodrigo Santoro) commanded by Artemisia (played by Eva Green).
The movie is dark and bloody. The colors are very subdued, with the exception of the Athenian Blue cape of Themistocles which is bright and vibrant. The dark of the movie at times detracts from the detailed visuals of the ships, costumes, and sets; much the way the rain and dark steals from Pacific Rim. The grey of the movie is overwhelming. It is at times feels like watching video game cut scenes. The big difference is that you don’t control the action but are a passive voyeur looking at the carnage around you.
Carnage is just the right word for this film. There is death, death, destruction, and more death in this film. The movie is plot, tactics, then action, action, and more action. I think the first thing people need to understand is that this is based on a Frank Miller comic. Like everything I have seen based on his work it is nonstop gratuitous violence. The story is there, but hiding behind fight scene after fight scene.
The acting in this movie is acceptable. As a high point Eva Green does a great job portraying a psychotic vengeful military leader bent on the destruction of Greece. Her backstory gives insight as to what set in motion the events of the original 300 film. Sullivan Stapleton does an acceptable job as Themistocles. His delivery of lines is what you would expect from a comic book blood bath.
A high point of this film is that for the ladies who aren’t into the blood and guts, there are a lot of buff, topless men running around flexing their muscles. For the men there is a gratuitous nude/sex scene between Eva Green and Sullivan Stapleton where Ms. Green shows off her very nice breasts.
The 3D use in this movie is actually fun. Director Noam Murro makes excellent use of the 3D gimmick by using it to have weapons, blood, and ships come off the screen into the audience’s world. This, while a gimmick, adds to the enjoyment of the film and reminds the user that this is a comic book adventure.
In conclusion, this movie is not for everyone. This movie is targeted at a very specific audience. If you want to see an over the top action movie with a simple plot, a lot of eye candy, lots of fighting, and are willing to turn your mind off and eat some popcorn and enjoy the spectacle, then this is an absolute must. If the previous does not apply to you, then it is probably best you skip 300: Rise of an Empire.

Cruising with Zipcon, Miyazaki’s Issues with Anime, Danball Senki, Kikader, and Twitch plays Pokemon

The crew is joined by Eric Murray who comes with coverage of the first Zipcon. They then look at the new reboot of the classic Tokusatsu Kikaider. Moving forward they look at the news that Dentsu USA has partnered with Nicktoons to bring LBX (Danball Senki) to the United States. With that they talk about Hayao Miyazaki’s comments that the problem with the anime industry is that it is full of Otaku Wrapping things up we drive past “Twitch Plays Pokémon” and discuss the wonders of it.

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