Saturday Morning Cartoon Nostalgia

Growing up in the 80's was great. I'd wake up early on a Saturday morning so that I can watch my favorite cartoons which airs 'til noon before the variety shows kick in.

I would have to say that cartoons in the 80's were very different from the ones shown these days. In those days, cartoons were all in English. It's not that I am against localized cartoons and anime but somehow, those cartoons taught me how to express myself in another language. Sesame Street is another influence but that's another story.

80's cartoons have moral lessons at the end of the show, such as in He-man, She-ra and Bionic Six where they teach kids everyday values and virtues. That's a rarity these days when cartoons and anime seem to be overblown toy commercials.

Sure they were campy, even the seemingly sensible ones like Thundercats and Centurions were downright camp (I've only just realized this when I reached my 20's) they make more sense and are much more coherent than today's cartoons and anime.

A week ago, I suddenly had the urge to post a sliver (actually the intro) of Inhumanoids, an 80's giant monster cartoon. The theme song just slipped through my mind so I decided to post it on my (social network) page. Before I knew it, a number of my friends, most of whom are about my age, satrted posting comments on how they miss cartoons like these. I posted another intro video, this time of The Visionaries, followed by a lot more. Suffice to say, my social network wall looked like it was a internet message forum filled with nostalgia.

Don't get me wrong, I watch and love recent stuff. Thing is, the good ones can be culled to only a handful.

It was fun reminiscing though. this goes to say that some things from the past are better than what we have now.

Oh, and the toys were better too in those days don't you agree?

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Danny Choo is an Otaku hero

You may or might not know Danny Choo yet, but he's a hero.

An otaku hero. Danny started out as an otaku wanting to live and breathe Japan much like most of us. He struggled and worked his way, never forgeting his otaku ways and bringing it whenever he goes. Eventually he rose up to the challenges presented to him and became CEO of his own multi-media company Mirai Inc. All with his otaku fancy still intact.

And now, with all his efforts, he brings to us his own TV show Culture Japan which aims to show the world how life and culture thives on the land of the rising sun.

So go on ahead, watch Culture Japan episode 0 and breathe all that otakuness courtesy of our good friend Danny C. full of his antics all the while dressed up in his trusty Stormtrooper armor.

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October's Coming...

..and Halloween's not far behind.

Perfect time for some good reads, in the form of Diliman and Trese.

Lemme tell you more of these gems: 

Gundam "Say What Now?"

Still at the subject of Gundam, here are a few memorable quotes spread around the series:

"Char!" - Amuro Rei (Mobile Suit Gundam)

"Amuro!" - Char Aznable, in response to Amuro shouting his name in his ear through the comms. (Mobile Suit Gundam)

"I am not a girl!" -Camille Vidan (Mobile Suit Z Gundam)

"The name's Judau Ashita, in case you didn't know" -Judau Ashita (Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam)

"I want to have a hamburger" -Bernard Wiseman, before being incinerated by the Alex's beam saber (Mobile Suit Gundam 0081: War in the Pocket)

"Aina!" -Shiro Amada, calling out to Aina (Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th Mobile Suit Team)

"Solomon, I have returned!" - Anavel Gato, while firing the GP02's nuke at the Battle of Solomon (Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory)

"Usso, to the right!" -Usso's Haro (Mobile Suit V Gundam)

"Shut up, Haro!" - Usso Evin, telling his Haro to shut up (Mobile Suit V Gundam)

"My fists, burning! Telling me to finish you now! Here I go! SHINING FINGER!" - Domon Kasshu, to anyone unlucky enough to face him (Mobile Fighter G Gundam)

"I will kill you" -Heero Yuy, to just about every person he meets (New Mobile Report Gundam Wing)

"Tifa, hold my hand!" -Garrod Ran, to Tifa (After War Gundam X)

"Whoa! Easy White Doll!" - Loran Cehack (Turn A Gundam)

"Kira is that you?" - Athrun Zala, upon his meeting with Kira Yamato (Mobile Suit Gundam SEED)

"Where's the mobile suit?" - Kira Yamato to Laccus, before receiving the Strike Freedom Gundam (Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny)

"I AM GUNDAM!" -Setsuna F. Seiei (Mobile Suit Gundam 00)

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In a Gundam series, more often than not...

It's just a few days more 'till the the Gundam 00 movie: A Wakening of the Traiblazer hits Japan theaters.

And with that the Garage celebrates Gundam 00 week when we'll be talking about everything Gundam!

So, let us start with this phrase; "In a Gundam series, more often than not...":
lead gundam: white, blue, red, yellow

1. ...the lead Gundam is colored white, blue, red and yellow.

2. ...the hero is a distraught teenager that stumbles upon the said Gundam. How convenient!

3. ...there's a race of enhanced humans running around the series: Newtypes, Coordinators, Innovators and the like.
a guy in a mask

4. colonization is involved somewhere in the plot.

5. ...there's a red mobile suit that's "3x times faster than a regular mobile suit!"

6. ...and the red MS is piloted by a masked guy (there are a few exceptions though)!

7. ...the main protagonist and his/her rival shout each others names when engaged in battle.

8. ...there's a weapon of mass destruction waiting to be used.

9. 'evil organization' is not necessarily evil.

10. ...there's a Haro somewhere!

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Con-goer's Mini Survival Guide

 pics taken at the Komikstrip convention  at UPLB January of 2010
Pop culture conventions and events are a dime a dozen these days. As a long time con-goer I'd like to share some pieces of advice for all of you who have yet to attend a con or event and for those who have attended a few but somehow 'didn't feel' the last con or event you've attended. Here we go:

1. Information is Ammunition - know everything about the convention or event that you are about to attend. When will it be, who's coming, what are the activities slated for the day, start time, admission fees and the like. Information is easy to get by these days, scour the internet for the blog or fan page of that event. Word of mouth also come into play, if you have friends in the know then lucky you.

Some notable conventions I attend include:

Komikon - Once an annual event, Komikon is now a bi-annual event where the country's premier indie komiks creators gather. It's the local version of Japan's Komiket. The 'summer' Komikon usually pops up around April to June while the 'winter' Komikon is on from October to November.

Toycon - Toycon is, you've guessed it, all about toys. Retailers from all over come to show their offerings to the public, with many of their goods sold at discounted prices. Highlights include toy customization contests, rare toy auctions and collections showcases.

New World's Alliance - formerly known as Sci-fi con, is a celebration of geek culture: role playing games sessions, SF film premiers, panel discussions abound. Thus far, the convention that feature little or no merchandise.
2. Know the lay of the land - It is important to know where the convention or event will be held. It doesn't hurt to ask if you don't know how to get there. It also pays to know key points when you get to the venue; knowledge of these key points like comfort rooms, ingress and egress points, food courts etc is very important.

Some common venues for conventions or events are:

Megamall - where their Megatrade Halls are situated. Pretty convenient as it is smack dab in the center of Manila. The Megatrade halls can accommodate a lot of people though that is also it's downside as more people translates to more heat thus the need for better air-conditioning.

U.P. Bahay ng Alumni - is also a great place to be since UP Diliman also offers some good scenery, perfect for breathers every now and then from the convention or event.

World Trade Center - also a good venue but may be difficult for some attendees to go to especially the ones from the provinces (like yours truly)

3. Money matters - in any convention or event, money is important and you should be prepared for it. Money can be broken down into transport, food, admission fees, merchandise and miscellaneous expenses. Plan ahead and project how much money you have to take with you. Be careful not to overspend.

4. Gear yourself up - that means bringing your camera, tickets, extra clothes, cell phone and other essentials. If you're going to a komiks convention then pack up your komiks and sketchpads (to be signed) in a plastic carry case.

A backpack is the luggage of choice in these situations. They can carry a lot of stuff and free up your hands once you get your loots and spoils which comes in handy when you're going to shake hands with the wonderful people in the con. The major downside of a backpack is that it tends to be bulky and unwieldy when you put too much inside.

5.Meet, greet and be proper - Etiquette. A lot of people forget about this one. It's OK to shake hands and chat with people inside the con. But following them around the venue and never letting him or her have any private moments will automatically label you as a stalker. Be mindful of each person's personal space and be aware of proper personal hygiene while you are at it.

6. Beware, thieves! - being inside a closed venue does not guarantee that people's stuff can't be stolen. Thieving and snatching  are commonplace in cons and events though you only need presence of mind in order not prevent these situations.
7. Patience, young grasshopper -  is key. Cons and events run for most of the day, with the activities spread around 1 or 2 hour intervals. A warning though: if you're a person that easily get bored then cons and events are not for you. But if you're a regular con-goer,it is wise to listen to activity announcements and take breaks or breathers to change your pace.

8.HAVE FUN - I can't stress this enough. Cons and events are mad to be enjoyable for all. Remember that you're the one to adjust to the con or event, not the other way around.

That's it and I hope all that I've brought in helps in your next con or event attendance.

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Turning British

Well then, that was after I've turned Japanese a long time ago.


I've predisposed myself to a couple of British TV (or telly) shows lately and all I can say is that "Why did these just occurred to me just recently?"

Doctor. Who. Two word, both English icons. As far as my stock knowledge (and the internets) serve me, Doctor Who is a long running sci-fi TV series dating back since the 60's. It features a nigh omnipotent alien simply known as 'The Doctor' traveling around space/time in his fashionable craft called the TARDIS (Yes, the same one Iv'e been working a model on for weeks now) dragging along a companion or two into fantastic adventures commonly involving some sort of crisis within the universe.

My earliest memories of the series were of it being aired on local TV within the afternoon cartoon slot. I remember watching around half a dozen episodes of it with Tom Baker as the Doctor back then. Since then I have not watched most of the series until a few weeks ago when I procured 4 seasons worth of the series on DVD. The modern series, as I was informed, started in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor, followed by David Tennant and Matt Smith as the 10th and 11th Doctor respectively .

A little more background for the Doctor if you may: the Doctor belongs to a race of aliens known as Time Lords which are long lived beings possessing super science.They are at  war with another race called the Daleks (a race of mutants whose bodies are encased in a tank-like vehicle) and in the far future fought what was known as the 'Time War' when none of the Daleks survived and all of the Time Lords died save the Doctor survived.  And with that, the Doctor travels by his lonely self thru space/time in hopes to avert the said war.

Part if the reason why the Doctor changes appearance is that Time Lords have the ability to regenerate, hence he escapes death at the cost of a change in appearance and personality. in Dortor Who lore, a Time Lord can only regenerate 13 times and thus far he is at his 11th incarnation raising questions as to whether the series would be after the 13th incarnation.

Next is Sherlock by BBC. Not to be confused from the Robert Downey Jr. flick by the way. Yes the Sherlock Holmes beloved by Britannia albeit with a modern twist. A really modern twist as Sherlock is presented as a present day bloke facing present day mysteries. And of course, Watson is never far behind if Sherlock is around, presented as an ex-military doctor with no o place to go.

The stories and situations that the new Sherlock and Watson face are still based on the classics but given present day elements. Sherlock and Watson both keep blogs, they text each other and bear London traffic like everyone else making the partners totally relatable to present viewers.

I'm totally hooked on these two series at the moment. Mainly because both stimulate and sometimes stimulate the intellect as compared to other TV series. And they are good breaks from my usual anime fare, though it does not mean it diminishes my otaku sense in any way.

Why don't you try them out?
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Otaku,Then and Now Part 4: My 10 Anime Influences

I've made a personal list of the 10 anime shows that influenced me most. Here they are:

1. Super Dimensional Fortress Macross - the show that opened my eyes to anime. When I was a kid in the 80's all I knew were American afternoon cartoons. That is  before Macross aired, and since then I was hooked into it. I was more into the mecha but was charmed by the space drama nonetheless.It was all fine for me and I'd get goosebumps whenever there's a fight scene accompanied by Minmei's music. This show alone is the reason why I'm so into anime up until today.(Note though: please do not confuse Macross with Robotech.Though Robotech contains parts of Macross, IT IS NOT MACROSS. I could gladly point out the differences, by request).

2. Mobile Suit Gundam - The classic one where Amuro and Char blurted out each other's name while fighting in their 'suits to no end. I was kind of a late bloomer for this, having watched the movie edition in college first, before Animax aired the TV series in its entirety. Gundam for me, is a vision of the future and many of us otaku might feel the same way as I do about the series. After that there was no turning back, since then I've watched almost all Gundam series shown.

3.Magic Knight Rayearth - MKR introduced mo to CLAMP, at that time I didn't know that they were mainly work on shojo manga. But I never cared as MKR has almost everything for everybody: a nice plot, magic, a catchy theme song cool characters and of course mecha that's every bit as lovable for girls and boys alike.

4. Yu yu Hakusho - Which kid in the early '90's didn't love Yu Yu Hakusho(known locally as 'Ghost Fighter')? Funny story: my buddies and I knew Yu Yu as a SEGA Megadrive game first rather than an anime. In my opinion Yu yu was more gratifying than Dragonball, in that Yu yu's protagonist Yuusuke is much more relatable.

5.Ninja Scroll - I was reluctant to watch this at first given the level of violence and other mature content in it. But going through teen angst with all that identity crisis going on, Ninja Scroll actually felt just what I am looking for: something that is perfectly otaku and out of this world. Well for the mundanes I bet.

6. Ranma 1/2 - I have to confess, if the word 'Ranmatard' existed way back in the '90's then I would have been one of them. I was a teenager and having all these raging hormones inside of me and Ranma put all those at ease with its healthy dose of innuendo and comedy. And know what? I still love the series, I'm extremely ecstatic when I found out that after 16 years, they made a new OVA for it. Hooray.

7. Ghost in the Shell - was the one that pounded some fine anime taste into me. Before GITS, I was content in anime having good art and a good enough plot. GITS (aside from Akira) showed me that anime can be dark, gritty and avante garde all at the same time.

8. Aim for the top! Gunbuster - The anime which showed me that science, space drama, epic plot twists and bouncy boobies can work together.

9.Bubblegum Crisis - the 80's was all about cyberpunk and at that time I was really into Ridley Scott's Aliens and Blade Runner. BGC was one of Japan's answer to all that, heightening my cyberpunk fanaticism and teaching me that burly men aren't the only ones that can wear powered armor.

10. Neon Genesis Evangelion - What's will all the mecha anime in this list? Evangelion is the reason why. A lot of Mecha shows were a run-of-the-mill, enemy -for-the-week fare before Evangelion changed all that. I can't really describe it as a robot show, it's more of a surreal experience that started out from a seemingly mundane premise. I have never looked at another mecha anime the same way again after watching Evangelion.

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