Re:Zero Starting Life In Another World [First Impressions]

So tell me if you’ve heard this: “Boy gets summoned to a different world. Boy gains a special power. Boy goes on a journey to save the world.” It’s a premise that’s used as much as there are stars in the skies and it doesn’t seem that it’ll start getting old anytime soon. The question that I really have to ask in this article is that is Re:Zero any different than its past predecessors? Well you’ll be in for a treat once you realize that it’s more than it seems.

Re:Zero’s story starts off with its protagonist stuck in a life or death situation choosing which brand of cup ramen he should have for dinner. After making the final decision he would ever make in that world, Subaru Natsuki is then summoned by a mysterious force into a world of fantasy. While having a hard time adjusting to the change in location, Subaru is assisted by a mesmerizing girl with silver hair. In return for her actions, Subaru insists on helping her find an object she lost, an endeavor which eventually leads them to an untimely ending. From there, the story begins yet again.

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Shingeki no Kabaneri (Review)

*Review contains slight spoilers*

In the age of Japan’s industrial revolution its citizens lie in fear of an ever-growing population of man-eating monsters called Kabane. The threats held by the Kabane not only lie in their ferocity and fearsome strength, but once bitten by them humans will turn into Kabanes themselves. Living with this fear, mankind has holed themselves into fortresses, living each day in fear of the monsters out their walls. The only thing that can get people from one fortress to another is the steam locomotive.

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Psycho Pass Game Localization For September

NIS America has just announced that the video game, Psycho Pass: Mandatory Happiness, will be released on September 13 in North America and September 16 for Europe. The video game will be releasing on the following ports: Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, and PC. 2 editions will be featured: standard and limited. The limited edition will feature an artbook, three pencil cases, a soundtrack CD, microfiber cloth, and a collectible box.

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Non Non Biyori Season 2 Air Date Announced

The flowers bloom, a gentle breeze blows softly in the countryside, and the sound of a poorly played recorder can be heard in the distance. If any of this makes sense to you, then you know that Non Non Biyori will soon make its returns with a second season! But the question is when? Well here’s your answer!

July 6!!!

WOW

In exactly two weeks (considering this article was published on June 22) Non Non Biyori: Repeat will be airing!

The official website for Non Non Biyori released the 3rd promotional video for the anime, which can be found below.

The cast and staff of the previous season will reprise their roles for :Repeat. nano.RIPE, known for her musical work in Hanasaku Iroha and Jinrui Wa Suitai Shimashita, will return to perform the opening theme of the series.

Characters from left to right: Hotaru, Renchon, Komari, Natsumi

Characters from left to right: Hotaru, Renchon, Komari, Natsumi

For those of you unfamiliar with Non Non Biyori, the series revolves around 4 children living in the quiet and peaceful countryside of Japan. Renchon, Hotaru, Natsumi, and Komari make the best out of their times in the countryside to show that fun can be found anywhere at anytime. If you’re in search of a slice of life to watch, I recommend this series for its 10/10 comfiness.

Crunchyroll streamed the first season in 2013, while Sentai Filmworks licensed and released the series on DVD and Bluray in January 2015. Chances are, both companies will take their dibs on season 2 as well.

Source: Anime News Network

Fate Stay Night: UBW Ep. 24 Impressions [Spoilers]

I haven’t done many anime impressions/reviews as of late, but I thought I’d write about this one episode in particular before all the hype in me dies down.

In the previous episode, Saber finished her long-awaited duel with Assassin, Rin pulled Shinji out of the Grail’s thick meaty grasp, and Shirou got blown away by an Ea blast that wasn’t even aimed at him. Sure, our main character got swatted away like a puny fly, but this is the climax! The episode where our “Hero of Justice” shines! The title of the episode is called “Unlimited Blade Works” for God’s sake! Unlimited Blade works in our Unlimited Blade Works episode in our Unlimited Blade Works anime adaptation of the Unlimited Blade Works route of the visual novel!

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To get straight to the point, I really enjoyed the episode. I’ve been a longtime fan of Type-Moon, and I loved what Ufotable did with the series. They brought in splendid animation that really breathed life to its visual novel predecessor, along with original content that fit right into the story. Albeit, I would have enjoyed seeing them animate the Fate route, but Unlimited Blade Works route is truly where Shirou’s true worth as a character shines. We’ve seen him go up against enemies he could never dream of defeating, facing the impossibility and hypocrisy of his dreams and ideals, and even fighting a buff, tanned, sexier version of himself. Even against all those odds, he still persists and grows to greater heights. Although this climax lived up to many people’s expectations, I feel like it fell a bit short to mine.

The Animation Was…Dodgy?

Ufotable is known for their high quality animation, and their adaptation of this series even earned the nickname of “Unlimited Budget Works”. While the name certainly fits for this beauty of a show, the same can’t be entirely said of season 2. Animation quality dropped down occasionally during certain episodes (mostly during the Caster hostage episodes), and it may be because most of the budget went to the first season. My main issues with the animation in this episode essentially arose from the Shirou vs Gilgamesh battle.

Ufotable prides themselves in their style of animation by using CGI and special effects to add a certain feel of realism to their shows. However, this works against Ufotable, because having shoddy-looking people fighting in a super-detailed field of swords makes for a really weird contrast. I also understand that in order to have a greater sense of motion in animation a portion of detail will have to be sacrificed, but the battle seemed 80% motion and 20% detail.

shoooom

“FWOOSH! Gudda gu f@st, Imma Sanic!”

But let’s not forget the laser-light show. Instead of shooting swords at each other, half the fight seemed like they were shooting laser beams. One of the reasons I liked the Ufotable adaptation is that they actually showed swords being shot, unlike Studio DEEN’s red laser beams.

swords spamHow did we go from this?

 To this?

Shirou Was a Badass

Aside from the fact that he brought out Unlimited Blade Works, the way he worked off of his strengths and weaknesses is what really made him cool in my eyes. Sure, his ability to create a world of swords seems cool and unstoppable at first, but it’s useless against almost any Servant. Thank God, Gilgamesh isn’t almost any Servant.

kinda not real
It takes a very small interval of time for Gilgamesh to launch his weapons, but it takes Shirou no time at all to launch his, since his weapons are already there. If Shirou so much as sees a weapon from the Gate of Babylon, he’ll cut them down immediately before they’re even fired. With this, Shirou doesn’t even give Gilgamesh the time to counter-attack. By realizing his strengths, Shirou wields them to the limit and defeats the King of Heroes.

"Fuck! That's the hand I masturbate with!"

“Looks like you’re getting wrecked, Boss.” “Shut the fuck up, Lion.”

I Wanted More Shirou vs Gilgamesh

This is the climax episode. It’s called Unlimited Blade Works. This is one of the most important episode in the series, yet we have the biggest fight interrupted by scenes with Rin and Saber. I’m not saying that those scenes weren’t important, but they really lessen the overall impact of the episode. I know this was how it exactly played out in the visual novel, but the fight felt very short because of it. It’s like someone taking away your lunch while you’re eating it, only for it to be given back 10 minutes later. I did like the scene with Saber fading away though. Goodbye waifu.

sorry

“Sorry, Shirou. I can’t let you have this episode all to yourself.”

Goodnight Sweet Prince

1434817510463

“Don’t worry, Tohsaka. I’ll try my best from now on too.”

The scene where Rin says goodbye to Archer was beautiful. What really captures the beauty of the scene were Archer’s reactions. The way he reacted towards Rin lamenting over his cruel fate, how he ruffled his hair up to get his old look back, and the way he smiled and gave Rin a very Shirou-like response. The track “New Dawn” gave the nostalgic feeling many fans of the visual novel adore. I give Ufotable an A+ for this scene’s adaptation. It literally brought me to tears (again).

Conclusion:

I loved the episode. Easily my favorite out of all the episodes. My only qualm is that the animation quality could’ve been a lot better. Other than that, it had everything I wanted. “EMIYA” playing in the background, a high-paced fight with swords on swords, Gilgamesh being beaten like a boy beating his meat for the first time, and the heartfelt goodbye we were all waiting for. This series will be very missed. Let’s all look forward to the epilogue, shall we?

 

Pre-Momocon Survival Guide Part 2: Food and Conveniences

MomoCon__

So there you are, at the convention walking for hours on an empty stomach. That just won’t do, but where can you find food that’s close and at an affordable price? Don’t worry, Bulgogi-오빠 will aid you on your quest for food. Click here for Part 1 of the survival guide: Transportation.

Now, for this article I will be giving you recommendations and tips for nearby and affordable eateries. I won’t cover too many fancy (expensive) restaurants, but I’ll name a couple later on in the article.

CNN Center

This is our first location on our food quest. The CNN Center is the location of one of the world’s most prominent news networks, and the only reason for that is because of it’s great food court. Okay so I lied, it’s not because of the food court, but it’s still a really great place to eat because of all the different restaurants it has. You’ll find familiar fast food restaurants like Arby’s, Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell, Subway, and Moes. I’m also aware that many of you need your fix of coffee throughout the day, so you may be happy to know that they also have a Starbucks. Click here for a full list of restaurants.

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It’s against my policy to eat anything expensive during conventions, but I do make exceptions for delicious restaurants, such as Burger-Fi. It’s a bit on the costly side, with burgers priced from $7-$10 and meals even adding up to $15-18. This fast food restaurant boasts delicious burgers with their “all natural” angus beef. The burgers are a little small, but the thickness of the meat is more than enough to fill you up. The onion rings are pretty big and freshly fried to a crisp, making a great side item. However, one of the things I like most about this restaurant are the different seasonings they can put on your french fries, like Cajun, Salt and Vinegar, and Parmesan and Herb. As I said before, this place is somewhat expensive, but I would highly recommend it if you want good quality fast food. Click here for the full menu.

Centennial Olympic Park (nearby locations)

Centennial Olympic Park is a 4 minute walk down the road from the Georgia World Congress Center. You can find a few fast food restaurants, bars, cafes, and high end restaurants, but as I said before, I’ll be going over the more affordable locations.

wafflehouseAcross the street from the park, near the Ferris wheel, you can find a Waffle House. Waffle House is open 24/7, and they serve delicious meals at fair prices. Just getting a Triple Hashbrown can fill you up and cost around $3.

 

If you go across the street from the Omni and take a left down the road with the Metro Atlanta Chamber on you’re right, take the first right and you’ll find the Embassy Suites on your left. Follow the road where it turns left, and you’ll find restaurants such as Kwan’s Deli, Subway, Great American Cookies, and Baja Fresh.

food food food

Kwan’s Deli is a restaurant that specializes in Korean food, but also serves American dishes. One thing I MUST point out is that they serve bulgogi (marinated Korean beef)! Yeah, that’s all I have to say.
Baja Fresh is a Tex-Mex restaurant with a focus on burritos and tacos. Each meal comes with chips and they have their own self serve salsa stand. Both restaurants will have meals up to $8-$10.

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Peachtree Center

This location may be familiar for people who have attended Momocon in the past. The Peachtree Center is a shopping mall located underground. I can’t say much for the shops, but if it’s food you’re looking for, this place has a lot to offer. The best way to get there is to go out of Centennial Olympic Park and head straight down Andrew Young Blvd NE. You’ll be walking past the Waffle House. Keep heading down that road, and eventually you’ll see the Peachtree Center on your left. You won’t miss it.

peachtree

At the center you’ll find fast food restaurants like Checkers, Dairy Queen, Chick-Fil-A, Subway, and Moes. Outside the center, you’ll find restaurants like the Hard Rock Cafe and Hooters. If you go out the entrance near the Checkers, you’ll see a Starbucks across the street.

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If you’re looking for affordable meals with lots of food, I recommend Bistro7, Malibu Wings, and Yami Yami. Both are priced at about $6 and offer a 1 entree, 2 sides meal. One place you may be interested in is Cafe Momo, which is pretty much a buffet that charges you by the weight of the food you purchase. If you ever hunger for sushi, I would give Yami Yami and Cafe Momo a look-see.

If you’re not looking for a meal and just need a snack or drink, you’ll be happy to know that there is a CVS in the shopping center. Very convenient for light meals and other con necessities. It’s located right across the Subway, and there’s also an entrance above ground.

Conclusion of the journey and etc.

That concludes our food quest of downtown Atlanta, but there are still a few more places I want to give a quick mention. If you go around Midtown (which you can easily get to with MARTA), you’ll find a nearby bakery called Sweet Hut. Sweet Hut is a bakery with a wide variety of Asian pastries and sweets. They have sausage bread, black squid ink bread with bacon inside, red bean buns, strawberry cream puffs, caramel-custard pudding, mousse cakes, and many more Asian oriented dishes. The bakery also serves boba (bubble tea) and smoothies, both of which are very delicious. In my opinion, this is one of the best bakeries in Georgia and is very worth the short trip. They’re open from 8AM and close from 12AM-1AM. I recommend coming here at least once during the entire con.

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If you don’t mind the extra drive (30 minutes-1 hour down I-85N), I also recommend the Pleasant Hill area in Duluth. You’ll find many Asian restaurants such as Iron Age (all you can eat Korean BBQ), Cafe Top Cloud (Asian cafe with ice cream waffles), and Raku Ramen. Drive an extra 20 minutes to Suwanee and you’ll find Umaidos, which is the best ramen restaurant you’ll ever find in Georgia. If you go to Raku or Umaidos, I’d recommend the Takoyaki (battered squid balls).

The next portion of the guide will be the final addition, and I’ll be informing you on safety around the downtown area/con and Dos and Don’ts at a con. Momocon is soon approaching, and always keep in mind to have fun!

 

Pre-Momocon Survival Guide Part 1: Transportation

MomoCon__

Momocon is just in a couple of days, and I already know most of you guys are in shambles about the whole thing. My cosplays aren’t finished! I need to finish watching/reading/playing this series before I leave! Who framed Roger Rabbit?! Well, I can assist you with 1 out of those 3 statements, but instead I’ll be giving you a rundown on things that may assist you during the con. Some of you may especially need it if you’re coming from out of state. People that live in Georgia may need assistance too since Momocon has moved their venue from the Hilton and Marriott Marquis to the Georgia World Congress Center.

How Do I Get To the Con?

Now this is especially important, for how can we attend the con if we’re not at the con itself? If you’re getting there by car, I won’t be able to be of much assistance since you’re probably smart enough to use a GPS, but if it helps I usually take I-85 South and get off the interstate at Exit 249C. Once you make it through the exit, you’ll make a right at the first light and head down the road and see the Coca-Cola Museum, Georgia Aquarium, and CNN Center on your left. Go towards that direction. If you’re coming from I-85 North, take Exit 295D and go up the curved road and take a right at the fork. Drive down Spring Street NW, and keep going straight where it will then become Spring Techwood RD.  At the end of the road you’ll find yourself in front of Centennial Olympic Park. If you find yourself lost in that general area, use the giant Ferris wheel as your guidepost, because that’s mainly the area you’re supposed to be around.

Another form of transportation that is very essential around the downtown Atlanta area is MARTA, Georgia’s very own metro train service. This transportation can be very essential to those that are coming from long distances and people staying in lodgings outside the convention area. Each trip costs $2.50. If you make a round trip, the total cost will be $5. If you’re going to be using MARTA all 4 days, you can get a $19 4-day pass that will allow you as many rides as you want in those 4 days. You can look at MARTA’s fares here. (Thanks for the tip Gwen!)

new_marta_rail_map

If you’re going along the Blue or Green line, you’ll easily be able to get to the convention center. Along those 2 lines, there is a stop specifically for the Georgia World Congress Center. It’s one stop West of Five Points station. If you’re going by the Red or Gold line, that’s fine too. If you reach Peachtree Center, the train intercoms will mention to get off for The World of Coke, Georgia Aquarium, and Georgia World Congress Center, but it would be better transfer at Five Points station so it’ll save you the long walk and the possibility of getting lost while walking. It’s literally up the stairs, and a right at the corner.

If you’re lost while walking in the downtown area and see a blue cable car running through the streets, TAKE IT. If you find one of those cable cars, it means that you’ve found the Atlanta Streetcar. The Atlanta Streetcar is a free rail service that takes you through the streets of downtown Atlanta to nearby locations. If you take it, go until you reach Centennial Olympic Park. It’s free, takes you directly to the general area you’re supposed to be, and it saves lots of walking.

Parking

Now this is one subject that’s always going to rustle someone’s jimmies. Since Momocon has always been around the downtown area, parking has always been a hassle. It’s hard to navigate to a parking area, most areas are already full, and the biggest pain is that parking costs money and most of the time it’s not cheap. Even though the venue has changed, these 3 facts haven’t, but I can help alleviate some of your worries by pointing out some parking areas that are cheap and not too far from the con. However, these are parking spots that I found 3 days before the con, so the prices may be subject to change during the days of the con.

The best spots you’ll probably find near the convention are the ones near Centennial Olympic Park. The most notable ones are the parking garages for the park and the CNN center. The parking garage for the CNN center will cost $10 daily. The price is pretty fair and will stay consistent throughout the con. The Centennial Olympic Park garage also costs $10, BUT if you get in before 8:30AM, you only have to pay $5. Around the park area, mainly around the Ferris wheel, you’ll find other parking areas/garages that also cost $5. On weekdays, their Early Bird specials can even go as low as $3. Notable $5 areas would be the Tabernacle Parking lot, Keenan Law parking lot, and some of the Spring Street parking lots.
I’ll mark some of the locations below with stars. Red being $10 and blue being $3-$5. Black means $20+. Click on the image to go directly to the interactive map.

map of parking

One thing I do advise people to do is to never use valet parking at the hotels, especially near the Omni. Some hotels will charge you over $20 a day, and the Omni hotel will charge you $30. It’s not worth the money, so park around the areas outside the hotels. They’re in walking distance of the convention and they’re a lot cheaper. The only benefits of getting valet parking at a hotel is that you have security and peace of mind knowing that your car is safe, and the fact that you’re guaranteed a parking spot. Only do this if you don’t care about the cost at all. Also, be advised to not park too far from the general Centennial Olympic Park/convention area. One night during Momocon 2015, a friend of mine parked at a parking venue that was quite a distance away from the convention and had his car broken into. Just a reminder to show that the downtown area is safer when closer to the convention.

Uber and Lyft

These are transportation options that I forgot to include last year since I wasn’t very familiar with both services, but Uber and Lyft are both very viable forms of transportation in the downtown area. If you don’t know what they are, both are driving services that are very similar to taxis. A key feature that they both possess is that you’re able to request a driver in your vicinity to pick you up by using their respective apps. After you request a suitable driver, you wait at your appointed pick-up location to meet them. Most of the time they will call your phone to confirm that they have arrived or ask where you are. Their pricing is also similar to taxis, with base and additional charges from mileage/time, but the price is generally a lot cheaper. Forms of payment that they accept are credit/debit cards and Paypal.
I would really recommend Uber and Lyft if you’re 2+ miles away from the convention. Also, first time users are generally given free credit from both services when signing up. So you may have enough for a few free rides that weekend.
Links to both of their promos and websites: Uber/Lyft

That’s about all the advice I can give you so far when it comes to transportation, but if you think I might have missed some stuff or you have a question you want to ask, please leave a comment below.

Here’s a link to Part 2 of the Survival Guide for Food and Conveniences