Anime Blogging Life


      Well, an interesting thing happened on April 21, 2010, the Crystal Tokyo Anime Blog turned three years old. I know it’s a little late, but I just realized my blog had reached this point last night, so like a belated birthday gift I’ll be doing this little anniversary post.

      First of all, I’d like to thank all the readers of this blog, and all the readers that took the time to leave comments, even the negative ones, sometimes those are the most interesting ones. What I’m going to do with this post is to take a look back to the beginning then I’ll cover what you the readers have chosen as your favorite content (by your page views), and then I’ll go over the status and future of the blog.

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       Well, it’s time for a blog update. The past two weeks have been sheer hell, I came down with the seasonal flu and it kicked my ass. After finishing work I barely had the energy to watch any anime let alone keeping up with my episodic posts. So, now that I’m some what recovered I’ll be catching up with Kimi ni Todoke and all the back episodes of Yumeiro Patissiere. Well, these past two weeks have show me that at times being a solo episodic blogger sure can suck.

      Well, here we are, Valentine’s day, the day when our thoughts turn to love, or the possibility of love. If you have a precious loved one by all means enjoy the day with him or her, and if you don’t have a beloved, go find one, quickly.

       In Japan, Korea, and Taiwan they celebrate Valentine’s day differently from how we observe the day here in the west. For those fans new to anime and Japanese culture, on Valentine’s day only the girls give choko (chocolate)  to the boys/men. There are three types of choko gifts that the girls usually give, guri, tomo, and honmei. The first type is know as guri-choko (duty or obligation choko) and this type of choko doesn’t have to be handmade and it can be the generic store bought type, this type of Choko is given to almost all male coworkers and so forth.

        The second type of choko  that girls can give is called tomo-choko  (friendship choko), this type of gift is usually given between girlfriends, but can be given to close male friends.

        The last type of Valentine’s gift is called honmei-choko  (loved one or favored choko), the girls give this type of choko to their boyfriends, or guys they want to make their boyfriends, and this type of gift is usually handmade or very fancy store bought.

        If you think that this stops after high school you would be wrong because in the work environment this practice is viewed as an office popularity poll where the ladies can send messages to the men about how they feel they are being treated. If a man is considered an asshole he is given no gifts or very cheap gifts, sending a message to treat the women better. On the other hand, if a man is popular he is given fairly nice gifts by the OL (office ladies). Some women like to play games with men they don’t really like by giving a gift to the man that could be considered either a Guri-choko or a Honmei-choko,  confusing the man as to her intentions.

     Now you might asks what does the girl/woman get out of this? Well, thirty days later the boys/men must return the favor to the girls/women. This is called white day, because in the past, the return gift was usually marshmallows or white choko. Nowadays, boys/men can give any type of choko or cake in return. But, be advised, if you received a Honmei-choko gift and you want to say you’re interested in her, the return gift will be of equal or greater value, like 2-3x more costly. Now do you see why a lady might play games with a guy they don’t like, the return gift will hit him in the wallet.

       Now, if I lived in anime land, I would like to recieve honmei-choko from the following girls/women; Yui from K-On!, Kureha from Sora no Woto, Taiga from Toradora!, Kuroko from Railgun, and Beatrice from Umineko.

        Picking what girls I would like to get candy from was the easy part. So, now I’ll switch roles and decide what guys I would give choko to if I was a girl, and my choices are Ryuu from Kimi ni Todoke & Kanon from Umineko.

So, who would like to get honmei-choko from, and who would you give your honmei-choko?

       Well, here we are getting ready to say goodbye to 2009 and getting ready to welcome the birth of a new decade. For many people this year couldn’t end soon enough considering the shitty economy, so maybe it’s fitting that we closeout this year on the night of a Blue Moon.

      Regardless of how you feel about the past year, tonight is a night to be spent in the company of family and friends, so drink up and enjoy the night.

      But, above all, you should ring in the New Year with your significant other, and if you don’t have one just glance around the party and I’m sure you’ll spot a cute girl or cute guy in the same situation. Give-em a smile and say hello, and give into your naughty side for one night and ring in the New Year properly.

The naughty side wins.

       Whether or not your New Year’s Eve ends with a bang, or a drunken toast, or best of all, both, may you wake to the dawning of glorious new year, best wishes.

     Well, tis the season where all the good little boys & girls are rewarded with nice gifts for their good behavior; have you been naughty or nice this year?

       OK, now down to business, I haven’t dropped White Album, but I’ve decided to try something a little different for the last part of the second season. After falling several episodes behind due to work conflicts and the subbing schedule I’ve decide to stop doing episodic reviews and instead do a character by character study as soon as the series finishes. I think White Album is a trashy and naughty soap opera, and I love it.

        Also, I’ve decide to participate in the Twelve Moments of Anime 2009 project, so I’m currently working those posts. I’m also finishing up on my Best Anime of the Past Decade posts, and I’m also finalizing my Top 10 Anime of 2009 list. Because all this shit is going on, my episodic coverage might slow down so I’ve decided to do a Christmas 2009 anime stocking stuffers post each day featuring Christmas themed anime pictures, Christmas themed Asian Idols Pictures, and anything else that’s Christmas related that I think you might like.

      Well, this will be my first post covering a anime convention for my blog, I try to make a point out of attending at least one anime convention per year, but I’ve never covered one for my blog. Generally when I attend a anime convention it’s out of state, and I go there to drink and party with friends, no work. I had not originally intended to attend this local convention because I was scheduled to work on Saturday, but I ended up with the day off, so at the last minute I made a quick trip and was not disappointed.

Hyatt Youmacon 2009

      Youmacon is held at the Dearborn, Michigan Hyatt hotel (next year it will be held at the Detroit Renaissance Center) a very nice and clean facility with plenty of free parking surrounding the location.  Even though I arrived at the convention fairly late (1PM), my walk from the parking lot to the hotel entrance was less than 5 minutes.

entrance to youmacon 2009

      Once inside the hotel, I hit up the registration line, which moved very quickly taking me less than 10 minutes to fill-out my registration card and pay my $25 dollars admission fee. Once I got my bearings straight I headed off to the artist alley to take a look around at the offerings. While I did see a lot of interesting original artwork, one thing that really struck me was the shear number of vendors selling cat ear hats, but the funniest things I saw was a vendor selling a “how to glomp” t-shirt right next to a “no glomping allowed” t-shirt.

a shot of the artist room

artist room Youmacon 2009

      After finishing up with the artist room my next stop was the dealer/vendor room which featured a decent variety of anime DVDs, manga, J-pop music CDs, cosplay items, anime & manga models, anime & manga t-shirts, and Japanese food & snacks. One thing that I’ve noticed over years is the rise in the spending power of the female anime and manga fans; I’ve never seen such a high percentage of female cosplay items and yaoi stuff for sale. I’m really glad that Youmacon is moving to a larger facility next year because the dealer room was more crowded and cramped than many conventions I’ve attended that boast 2-3x the amount of attendees.

a shot of the dealer/vendor room

dealer-vendor room Youmacon 2009

     After finishing up in the vendors’ room, I stopped by the AMV room to watch a few videos and found the room packed with fans giving the room a very lively feel to it. Then I decided to head towards the cosplay and gaming area but first stopping to listen to a little live music at a lounge area.

a shot of the lounge area

lounge area Youmacon 2009

      After a short break, I made my way to the gaming and cosplay area, but I didn’t manage to get any pics of the gaming area because they had a no packages allowed rule, and I wasn’t leaving my purchases outside the door. The cosplay photo-shoot area was well stocked with a wide variety of characters from Final Fantasy, Trigun, Sailor Moon, FMA, Inu Yasha, Lucky Star, K-On!, Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, Haruchi, plus many many others. By far the most popular cosplay outfits for girls seemed to be some version of Haruhi, followed closely by Sailor Moon, and then some form of a custom Japanese schoolgirl outfit or custom Lolita outfit. For the guys it seemed like the most popular outfit was of the Naruto variety followed closely by an assortment of Bleach outfits. Since I got to the cosplay area late the best spots for pictures were already taken and I wasn’t going to smash my way through a bunch of kids to get the pics, but I think I’ll return on Sunday with the intention of getting some good cosplay pics.

a couple of shots of some interesting cosplay outfits

Al from FMA

grim reapers

     Once I decided it was time to head home, a custom Naruto motorcycle display near the main entrance caught my eye, and I just had to stop and gawk.

Custom Naruto Motorcycle 001

     After admiring this fine demonstration of love for a anime series I chatted with Rob Pasque, the bike’s owner. Rob told me that his custom Honda VTX-1800 Naruto bike features custom paint, wheels, seats, pipes, and many other custom features, and his bike took two years to build from conception to completion with a cost of around $65,000 USD. I think I’ll stop back on Sunday to get a few more pics of the bike, and Rob has promised to send me some additional pics of his bike.

a few additional pics of the bike

Custom Naruto Bike 002Custom Naruto Bike 003

Naruto Bike Information

     Once I got back home it was time for me to check out the spoils acquired at the convention, and in the spirit of Remembering Love I traded in my old VHS fansubs of  the original Macross series for a set of Macross DVDs. So, next week I’ll begin my journey through the entire Macross universe, and I hopefully finish before the end of the year.

Macross DVD1Macross DVD2

      Well, I plan on returning to Youmacon 2009 on Sunday to get some better cosplay pics and do a little more looking around. Then I’ll give some final thoughts on the convention, and share some insights on how I think modern fandom has mostly changed for the better. If anyone has any specific requests for cosplay pics please leave a comment tonight, and I’ll see what I can do. 

The fall anime season.

       Well, as the beginning of the fall anime season approaches, it’s time to give some thought to what series I should cover. I’m pretty certain that I’ll cover White Album II, and Winter Sonata. Letter Bee, and Kaidan Restaurant look very interesting. I’d like to cover Kimi ni Todoke (Reaching You) but I have this strange feeling that this series will win the most over blogged award, and I really don’t think that having fifty bloggers instead of fifty-one covering the series would hurt the anime community.

       I would like to know if any of my readers have any suggestions for any of the new series they’d like to see me blog in an episodic manner. Click on the graphic at the bottom of the post to see a list and description of the fall anime shows. 

Continuing projects, show droppage, and my blogroll.

        I’m going to continue working on covering all of the Candy Candy anime episodes, and I’ll also keeping doing my Japanese Idols posts, and my Weekly Anime Motivational Poster posts (many of the idol pics and motivational posters get downloaded several thousand times). I’m also thinking of adding another classic shojo anime series as a long term blogging project.

       I going to drop my episodic coverage of Emily of New Moon, while I loved this series, I just fell too far behind, and I see no point in continuing. I’m also dropping my episodic coverage of Umineko no Naku Koro ni, while I really love and enjoy this anime, covering the series in a episodic manner seems to suck all the joy out of watching the show, for a detailed review of the series read the Anime History Blog (he does a much better job covering the series than I ever did).

       When I started my blogroll, I linked to a few blogs that I really enjoyed reading, but the time has come to say goodbye to several of my former favorite blogs. I really can’t justify keeping links to blogs where the anime posting level has fallen to a post every 3-6 months, so goodbye Cinnamon Ass, Hop Step Jump, Lolitron, Memories are like the Wind, and Picture Perfect Paranoia.

Fall 2009 Anime Season Chart.

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