Anime Road Trip – Kino’s Journey VS Girls Last Tour

Kino's Journey, Kino no Tabi, Girls Last Tour, Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou

Since now we’re meeting two nights instead of one, we reviewed two similar but different animes, Kino’s Journey (Kino no Tabi) and Girls Last Tour (Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou).

Kino no Tabi has already had success as several movies, OVAs so why has it taken so long to come as an anime series? Kino has dystopian feel with each story being a parable or fable with a lesson. Girls Last Tour has apocalyptic view of a world destroyed by war.  Both series centers on two character dialogue; Kino with her motorcycle and Chito and Yuuri with track motorbike.

“This had a very familiar setup. You have the typical drifter-type character as the protagonist, wandering from place to place. This gives the general feel of a different culture/society each week, with each episode being an independent story.

The main character is not really revealed to us, which will likely happen gradually over the series. All in all, this felt more like a spaghetti western, with the quiet stranger. In that sense, it kind of reminded me of Vampire Hunter D (a personal favourite).”

Kino no Tabi – Braden

“I thought this was interesting.

The plot moves at a very slow pace, focusing mostly on the relationship between the two characters and giving the viewer the chance to see something of the world it is set in.

Since the pacing is so slow, and since not a lot is revealed, this may not be for everyone. The implication is it is post-apocalyptic, with the characters scavenging the ruins, but aside from that, we know very little. It seems to be set up with the intention of revealing more as time goes on.

All in all, I am curious to see where this goes.”

Girls Last Tour – Braden

Mostly both series are social commentaries. Kino’s Journey does vary in topic from episode to episode as Kino travels from country to country (aka city state).  Girls Last Tour wanders aimlessly through same scenario though later episodes are showing signs that there is some other survivors of undefined war.

“Not sure what to call this — it’s too involved to be a vignette, too subtle to be a parable, and has too much of a (pacifist) point to be a character study. It is short, though, and shows a delicate balance between melancholy and comedy relief.”

Girls Last Tour – Doug

“the return of an old friend. the only thing i dislike is that there’s all this traveling, but no destination. u could watch these episodes in any order.”

Kino’s Journey – humanbean

“short, cute, and nothing too serious. Would be interested to see where this series would go with the story.”

Girls Last Tour – Branden

Girl Last Tour looks worth following as well as Kino’s Journey.  I don’t know which would hold my interest more. Girls Last Tour has its own unique art style.  Let us know what you think.

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Manga Reading List – Shoukoku no Altair

Shoukoku no Altair manga

With the new summer season coming , it time to take a look at the new shows. Okay they’re not out yet so lets take a look at the manga that inspired summer season offerings.

Shoukoku no Altair

Mahmut is a young Pasha serving on the council of the Türkiye Stratocracy. The clouds of war are gathering over his country as the threat of the aggressive Empire looms large. With Türkiye’s council split between the warmongers and the pacifists, Mahmut begins his quest to keep the peace at any cost. As he finds himself drawn deeper and deeper in the politics of the ancient world, new enemies and allies surface. Who will prevail? What will Mahmut do if war proves to be inevitable?

Mahmut est un jeune Pacha desservant le conseil de la Stratocratie de Türkiye. Les nuages de guerre se rassemblent sur son pays alors que la menace de l’Empire agressif se développe. Avec le conseil de Türkiye divisé entre les belligérants et les pacifistes, Mahmut commence sa quête pour garder la paix à tout prix. À mesure qu’il se retrouve plus profond et plus profond dans la politique du monde antique, de nouveaux ennemis et alliés font surface. Qui prévaudra? Que fera Mahmut si la guerre s’avère inévitable?

from Manga Updates

Shoukoku no Altair - Pasha Sehir Khalil

First chapter is huge 66 page arc which does well to set the tone of the series. Characters are interestingly introduced with flair that doesn’t drag done the story. There is the classical pasha stereotype that we all associate with Arabian Tales with a twist. The old retiring pasha who is Mahmut’s mentor has a secret regret that ties them together.


Shoukoku no Altair - Golden Eagle MahmutHowever conspirator’s cunning is no match for Mahmut’s own deviousness as he quickly out tricks the tricksters and assassins with the flair of Sakamoto minus the glasses and school uniform.   The deed is exposed  and villains exposed and dealt with … right?  The end of the first chapter instead ends in a stalemate. This is only the opening salvo of a long line of attempts on Mahmut’s beloved country.

Shoukoku no Altair - Dancer Shara and MulmutThe second chapter opens up with love interest and a female protagonist, Shara.  She tries to make her moves on lead Mahmut.  I’ve already got this girl on my desirable “Waifu” list. Cute, mischievous, a little bold. She fits into the plot along with Mahmut’s childhood friend who ends up being accused of treason and declaring independence from Altair.  As troops amass to end the rebellion, Muhmut is determined to get there first to discover the truth behind this conspiracy before it ends in bloodshed.

However, our newly introduced strong willed heroine mysteriously joins Mahmut of her own accord.  She has her own reasons to save a friend in Hisar as well.

Shoukoku no Altair - Strong willed female protagonist Shara

Okay I’m hooked on this series. The political intrigue, hot dancing girl, young smart protagonist, the evil plotting foreign minister all wrapped in Arabian setting. I’m set to see how the anime adaptation plays out this coming July.

Shoukoku no Altair  – Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Historical

Published by Kodansha Comics Online. Seriously you’ll be wishing for the hard copy of this one.

No infringement is intended and this article is purely for informational purposes. The images of the series are for indicative purposes only.  Aucune infraction vise et cet article est purement à titre informatif. Les images de la série sont à titre indicatif seulement.


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The Chill of the North – A look at This Year’s Anime North

Union Person Weston station

Union Pearson Express station in Weston

Even last month, about 3000 unsold weekend passes for Anime North.  The chill of PC Leadership Convention right next door to Anime North is definitely being felt. Whither it’s competition for hotel, restaurant space; Anime North pushed the local businesses resources to the breaking point anyway.  With national media, candidates, supporters, protesters, what-ever, this year’s Anime North will no doubt put local area past the breaking point.

The bright side is with the national media there, it’s a chance for the awesome cosplayers that hasn’t gotten any press to shine on the national and maybe international stage.

Add to the mix, shutdown to the main subway line to Anime North, it doesn’t get any better… if not worse.  Or does it?  One thing a local of Weston pointed out to me is the Union Pearson Express line has a stop in Weston and right on the road that supplies the TTC bus directly Anime North. For about $5.65, you can by pass the subway and most of the traffic to AN in less than 20 minutes.

True this all makes this year’s Anime North a ‘challenge’ but after last year’s 30 degree weather and lugging 25 pounds of gear; I’ve have been fast tracking upgrading my gear to lighter and better. I purchased a PC tablet to replaced the full size laptop from last year.

Video wise, I’ve trying out using two Sony Action Cams doesn’t really work as well as proper camcorder. They have a VERY short focal length and I would have to practically place on stage to be any use for Masquerade.  I’ve been trying to find a replacement for my old DV camcorder with no luck.  Not only do I have to change format but also add several batteries for recording up to 3 hours.

I’ve upgraded my iPhone to 32 gig model.  I don’t want to be caught having to erase something in the middle of anything happening.  The hard part comes down the final days before Anime North packing my gear and clothes to bare minimal needed. In theory, I could be posting photos couple of times a day.  In practice, it could prove challenging at best.  I’ve been slowly building towards this year’s Anime North with each event I covered along the way.  It was 5 years since I had been to Anime North. It’s going to take more than just a year to catch up technically to cover AN as I should.  I even been trying to find a ‘travel vest’ which can hold all this new lighter gear without a backpack. I don’t want to use vests used by airgun because of the look.  I’m still a long way yet.

At least last year’s purchase of t-Shirts with Anime London logo was a smart move.  As I wear them now at every con.  I might also might have to pack a lunch and some drinks as everything within miles of Metro Congress Center will be packed with people.

See you in a few weeks… and good luck.

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On the road again … Toronto ComiCon


Last minute work schedule uncertainty and unable to find accomendations at the last minute, meant another one day excursion again to Toronto ComiCon.  Might you going all out 24 hours is exillerating but after over 2 decades of covering cons, I just can’t go on vapours like I use to.  3:45am departure means little sleep before hand. Packing light enough is always a challenge.  As more practice for Anime North I’m trying to carry about the same amount of gear or better in less space and weight. I’m down to three cameras,  one still and two Sony Action Cams a single tripod, selfie stick (aka mono pod) and Gorilla Grip camera mount. The laptop is replaced by a PC tablet. 25 pounds of gear reduce to about a third  of carried during last year’s Anime North.  I’m still not where I want to be with a SD camcorder to replace the now bulky out of date DV camcorder I have now.   Plus I’m still on the look out for gadget vest to hold it all so I can forgo the backpack.

So I’m in for another 9 hours of go Go GO!!! at Toronto ComiCon. Stay tune on all (social media) channels for coverage. Who knows, even I might find something more that I just have to have for upcoming cons.



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Return to Michener Institute … Anime Shogatsu

Anime Shogatsu 2017

It’s been almost 20 years since I was last at Michener Institute for an anime con.  The one SO long ago was my first anime con, Anime North 2.  Lots has changed.  I hardy recognized the area let alone the building that begat Anime North.  It seems fitting that 19 years later I be attending that another number 2 event at the very place that started it all.

Anime Shogatsu is billed as a Japanese New Years event.   New Years in Japan is coming of age in Japan.  Oddly those who celebrated their 20th birthday come of age at New Years.  Being this is my 20th year of being involved with anime in one way or another, it is a coming of age.  Many of the animes we grew up with are hitting anniversaries themselves.

Unlike with AN so long ago, I’ve come a long way from taking limited pictures with film. In the end, I had nearly 400 photos and videos on my camera and 3 cameras recording the masquerade. I had positive  feedback for webVR I showed to people. A few things didn’t go as planned but each con I learn a little more to make the next better.

Keep an eye on our cosplay page for Anime Shogatsu and hopefully I’ll be back next year.

Posted in Anime Shogatsu, cosplay, Events, photography, Social MEdia, Virtual Reality | Comments

2017 – A New Year … we hope

Japan NYE 2017

It goes without saying 2016 was a year we all won’t miss. I doubt 2017 will be any better but we can hope. This year we saw a large departure of celebrities in 2016.  A trend I doubt we’ll see ease in 2017.  We’re not losing an aging actor or musician… we’re losing a generation of trailblazers who pioneered a new medium. As heartbreaking as it is, it is no different than those who faced similar loses in 2016 with the exception they weren’t famous.

“We’re not losing an aging actor or musician… we’re losing a generation of trailblazers who pioneered a new medium.”

Some new shows and new seasons to shows that were popular are returning. 2017 is looking good in that direction. So what is in store for this site and anime in general for 2017?

Return to the cons

In 2016, I manage to get to many conventions and 2017 will be no different. I was hoping to go to Otakuthon in Montreal but work scheduling trashed my plans. I spent the weekend at Anime North last year.  2017 doesn’t look good with PC leadership convention being held RIGHT beside Anime North. I worry that trouble makers from the states trying to highjack the convention but worry more of having some narrow minded politicians near so many youth.  We can ignore them but anime fans are hard to ignore with the costumes.

I have been investing in smaller more portable gear to take and edit on the fly pictures and video.  Dragging 30 pounds of gear in 30 degree weather was brutal three days at Anime North. Testing Sony Action cams to record events like masquerade with 3 cameras. It will only be the case of trying out the new gear but I will need to find a lighter replacement for my camcorder.

What is in store for the website?

I’ve been hanging out with game devs regularly and looking into ways to use gaming as a means of story telling. In particular, VR (Virtual Reality) is a possibility with Mozzilla’s A-Frame engine. Nothing definite but I’m looking into it.

Forums or Chat Rooms?

With a new server, the real possibility of the return of forums or something new, chat rooms.  If I go with either one, it will require people to use some social media account to login.  There will be NO user registrations. It’s to protect against trolls and spammers.  What do you think?  Is forums dated?

What ever the future holds we will keep on … keep the faith … don’t let the news drag you down!  If anything…

“If 2017 is going to be AWESOME than it’s because you, the fans, made it AWESOME!”

Happy New Year fandom!!!

Posted in anime, Site Updates | Comments

Winter is Coming – New Season New Shows

Winter season 2016-2017

Snow is on the ground and the new season of shows from Japan will be starting. With a new season of Blue Exorcist. With the wiki and the website on a new server and issues with short URL finally fixed, we’re good to go, right? Well, not all things work out. The latest wiki doesn’t work with the aging Facebook plugin so all the Facebook markup has to be removed. While that’s being edited out, going in it’s placed is bilingual descriptions of the page will slowly be updated via Google Translate.  Not the best translation but enough for brute force needed to get it done.

So here’s looking at a new year…

Posted in anime, manga, Review, Site Updates, Wiki | Comments

Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show photos are UP!

You figure for a show that was just a dealer’s room with no guests and only 6 hours long that it would be boring. Right? Wrong. I ended taking over 420 pictures plus some test footage with my second Sony Action Cam and a selfie stick to get some over the head and timelapse video. Still it was tiring and lots of walking.  Thanks to all I met at the show. Already we’re seeing a spike in new follows on Facebook and Instagram.  Galleries are already up on the website, Facebook to follow.

Fan Days Holiday Show galleries

Con report to come maybe midweek… being Christmas and all. Have a GREAT holiday folks.

Posted in cosplay, Events, Facebook, Fan Expo, Instagram, Social MEdia | Comments

Toronto Fan Days – A Return to a Seasonal Favourite

Early morning bus ride with time to kill but any time in Toronto is a breath of fresh air in spite of whatever the pollution index is.  Light snow fall only a hint here in T.O.  Time for cheer and testing new tech for events in the New Year.  Also the site is on a new server so there is bugs but a short 6 hour event will help hash out those bugs for the coming year.

Still hunting for a tech vest to hold my camera gear and tablet as oppose to bulky backpack.  Hard given my size but worth while once I find one.  Stay tuned for posts and gallery of photos from this year’s holiday event in Toronto ComiCon section.


Posted in cosplay, Events, Fan Expo | Comments

Giant Fate Grand Order anime figure maybe the largest yet.

Zakuzaku911 reports giant anime figure of Wickerman from Fate / Grand Order now stands in Tokushima Awaodori Airport in Matsushige, Tokushima, Japan.


The Wicker Man is part of a huge display at the airport including banners promoting various projects including The Moving Pictures Festival Vol. 17 event.

The display is part of  “Machi ? Asobi vol.17” at Tokushima from September 24 to  October 10, 2016.

Original article … Zakuzaku911

Photos by @nandakaomo



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