web analytics
Apr 272016
 

Among the different musical artists that perform at conventions throughout Orlando, my most favorite is Geekapella. They are an acapella group that consists of at least ten singers. The group is hard to keep track of sometimes because each time I see Geekapella perform the members tend to change as well as the number of singers.

One thing will always remain consistent and that’s the music. The songs are entirely based on pop culture. They are very creative and also appropriate for conventions like Omni Expo, Holiday Matsuri, and Space Coast Nerdfest.

It wasn’t until recently at Space Coast Nerdfest 2016, when I found out that Geekapella was selling demos of their album, Geekapella: Legends of the Hidden Demo. The CD cover is a real nice design that resembles an 8-Bit video game.

Geekapella has many songs, but right now let’s just focus on the highlights in the album, starting with Batman Knows What You Did in the Dark. It was certainly different and catchier than most songs about the Dark Knight. At times I wonder if the meaning of the title insinuates that Batman is always watching you, even in your home.

Video games are another common subject that Geekapella sings about like in The Man Who Throws the Tetris Piece. It’s true that Tetris can be a tough game with random pieces coming down, not knowing who throws them down in the first place. That’s pretty interesting if you think about it.

I would also like to point out that of all the video game soundtracks I have heard, Tetris is among the unlikely choices to include. So that definitely shows creativity right there.

John Williams is the Man is a song about Star Wars, though I can’t help but notice that the melody is much like the theme from Indiana Jones.

Then we have Super. It’s basically a medley of theme songs from shows like Ghostbusters, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (80s version). That’s sure a great way to bring back the classics.

I certainly enjoyed this music group. They sure know how to set a mood when I attend a convention. Of course, you never know what Geekapella will perform next, whether it’s an old favorite or something brand new. They never cease to amaze me.

Jan 072015
 

Chrome Shelled Regios: The Complete Series (2009-2010) takes place in a post-apocalyptic Earth that’s overrun by giant monsters called contaminoids. Humanity’s only defenses are students from the Academy City of Zuellni, who participate in the military arts. They all have cool swords with DITE power, which are voice activated with the word, “Restoration”.

Of course these contaminoids are not easy to kill. No matter how much damage anyone dishes out, the contaminoids reassemble and they never stop attacking. What does it take to kill those beasts?

There are quite a few platoons at Zuellni, but the main focus is on the 17th platoon. Leading the team is Nina Antalk. She’s strong willed, but insecure when it comes to losing training competitions against other platoons.

I met Brina Palencia, who was the voice of Nina, at MegaCon 2012.

Other members include Harley the DITE mechanic, Sharnid the sharpshooter, and Felli who has psychokinesis.

With the 17th platoon one member short, they find a replacement, but an unlikely one. He is Layfon Alseif. Now Layfon was originally registered for general studies, but has amazing skill and strength worthy of military arts. Yet Layfon doesn’t want to join.

I had also met Todd Haberkorn, the voice of Leyfon, at MegaCon 2012.

However, Layfon is forced to because the safety of the city is a bigger priority, according to Kalian, who is head of the student counsel and Felli’s older brother. At least Nina has a complete platoon now.

Layfon tries to make the most of his situation. On top of that, Layfon has girl trouble. Like Tskune Aono from Rosario Vampire, several girls like him and he can’t focus on just one. It usually ends up with Felli kicking Layfon in the shin.

Another group of students often featured are Mifi an aspiring journalist and her two best friends, Naruki an aspiring police officer and Mayshen an aspiring baker.

I met Brittney Karbowski, the voice of Mifi, at Holiday Matsuri 2011.

Mayshen is shy, but takes a real liking to Layfon after he saves her life when she was caught in the crossfire of a student spat. Yes, she is one of the girls Layfon has to choose from.

Apparently, Layfon has a girlfriend that lives back in his hometown of Glendon. She is Leerin Marfes, who often writes to Layfon. For some odd reason, her good friend Synola is obsessed with grabbing Leerin’s chest. Now what’s up with that?

I met Colleen Clinkenbeard, who was the voice of Leerin, at MegaCon 2011.

This was a good Anime series with plenty of action and humor. It’s also interesting to know that many of the voice actors from XXXholic, Soul Eater, and Rosario Vampire, who I have met at quite a few different conventions, are featured on this show.

Other voice actors I have met from this series are Trina Nishimura at MegaCon 2011, who played 5th platoon member Shante Laite, Jamie Marchi, who was police officer Naruki Gelni (also at MegaCon 2011), and Kara Edwards at MetroCon 2011, who played Heaven’s Blade Wielder Cauntia Valmon Farnes.

 

Dec 192014
 

Christmas is almost here and just last weekend I attended Holiday Matsuri. It’s been a while since the last time I went and for the first time I didn’t get any autographs. That’s okay because there were some great events to see. Here are some of the highlights.

There was Geekapella, a singing group with very tight harmony. They sang about video games, Star Wars, and Harry Potter. There was even a song that was a cross between Batman and Fallout Boy called Fallout Bat. That’s pretty clever.

Another major highlight was a Q&A panel with George Lowe. He was funnier than ever as he talked about his time on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast along with other shows and disclaimers.

Sailor Scouts_resized

And of course, there was plenty of cosplay from Sailor Scouts to Disney princesses.

I certainly had a good time at this Anime convention. It was a great way to start the holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

Jul 232014
 

When it comes to Anime features that are based on video games, for a long time the only ones I was familiar with were based on the Street Fighter franchise. Well, a while back I found out about an Anime series based on a video game called The Tower of Druaga: Part One – The Aegis of Uruk (2008-2009).

The hero is Jil a young adventurer that’s intent on climbing to the top of the tower and defeating the evil god Druaga. Jil was once part of a group of climbers led by his older brother Neeba. Although Jil is strong willed and a skilled fighter, he’s a less experienced climber than the others are, which labels him to be completely worthless. So Jil is fired for it. Now that doesn’t sound fair, does it.

I met Todd Haberkorn, who voices Jil, at MegaCon 2012.

Of course that doesn’t stop Jil from chasing his goal, so he starts his own team of climbers. No one takes Jil seriously at first, but he does find some climbers to join him. It starts with Kaaya a mage who eventually becomes Jil’s love interest.

I met Trina Nishimura, who voices Kaaya, at MegaCon 2010.

Another team climber is Ahmey. Now she’s an excellent ally. I like her. Not only is Ahmey an experienced climber, she is also an amazing warrior lancer.

I met Brina Palencia, who voices Ahmey, at MegaCon 2012.

Then we have Melt. Sure he’s a complainer, which makes him funny, but don’t underestimate him. Melt can shoot lightning-based spells with rods that are used much like golf clubs. I like his style.

Coopa

 

Melt also has a young servant, Coopa, who carries everything for him. Coopa isn’t one to complain about that because she’s surprisingly strong.

The tower has many dangers and different new adventures on every level. Although Jil’s climber group is the main focus in this series, there are others trying to reach the top also. It’s mainly to obtain the blue crystal rod, which grants a wish to whoever gets it first. One of these other groups includes Neeba and his remaining climbers, Fatina the warrior magician and Utu the strong and hilarious knight. Occasionally, Neeba and Jil bump into each other at different levels of the tower, but no matter what, Neeba is never satisfied with his brother. What is with that guy?

I met Jamie Marchi, who voices Fatina, at MegaCon 2010.

Even the Royal Army of King Gilgamesh is involved. Leading that group is General Kelb. He tends to look down on Jil and his group, but he has his funny moments also.

Colleen Clinkenbeard, who I met at MegaCon 2010, voices the role of Kelb’s lieutenant Ethana.

In the second season, The Tower of Druaga: Part Two – The Sword of Uruk, a druid named Henaro joins Jil’s group. At first she appeared to be dragged into it, but proves to be a worthy ally with her crossbow that casts magic bolts to either fight enemies or help her companions. Where do you suppose she got that thing?

I met Brittany Karbowski, who voices Henaro, at Holiday Matsuri 2011.

This is quite a good series with action, adventure, and humor. One thing I really don’t understand is the opening title sequence. If Tower of Druaga is supposed to be an epic fantasy series, why are the characters featured in a real world setting? It’s very misleading and makes no sense.

Jul 062012
 

Master of Martial Hearts: The Complete Series (2008-2009) is an interesting title for an interesting five-episode series about a martial arts tournament where young women compete for the ultimate prize known as the Platonic Heart, which grants the winner a wish. High school student Aya Iseshima accidentally witnesses a match between young priestess Miko Kazuki and a flight attendant. Being a martial artist herself, Aya rescues Miko and befriends her. Unfortunately, it meant that Aya ends up entering the tournament against her will and the only way out is to win.

The people who organized the tournament never reveal themselves to the competitors, or give them any other information. They only communicate by text message. Opponents are always paired up randomly and matches can occur anywhere at anytime. To make matters worse, when fighters lose or withdraw, they’re sent to the dark realm with no trace of them left behind. After Miko disappears, Aya’s only desire is to find her.

Other competitors eventually reveal themselves. They turn out to be civil servants with creative fighting styles, starting with the flight attendant. She has a killer handbag and a scarf that shoots tiny spikes when used like a whip. The battles are so fierce that every strong blow causes the fighters’ clothes to rip to shreds. It’s certainly brutal if not embarrassing.

Colleen Clinkenbeard who I met at MegaCon 2011 is the voice of the flight attendant.

Aya defeats the flight attendant, but it only becomes more difficult, especially after Aya finds out that her next opponent is Miss Suma, her chemistry teacher. It’s hard to fight someone you know and respect. In addition to that, Miss Suma reveals her creative fighting style that involves chemical formulas.

Soon, more opponents come Aya’s way. Next she faces a mechanic with wrenches on strings that she uses like nunchuks. She was an interesting fighter. I’m surprised that her name was never revealed.

Aya eventually gets some decent answers about the Martial Hearts tournament, but not without having to confront the Daimonji sisters; Saki the geisha, Emi the nurse, and Yu a police officer with a handcuff whip.

Brittany Karbowski who I met at Holiday Matsuri 2011 is the voice of Yu Daimonji.

Now it’s the semifinals and Aya’s next opponent is Rin Hiroishi a young singing sensation. Don’t be fooled by her looks. Rin is more difficult than any of Aya’s other opponents so far, mainly because she draws her strength from her fans cheering her on. Rin actually sings while she fights, which leaves the impression that she doesn’t even break a sweat when she’s winning.

Aya makes the finals, but things get really strange when more secrets are revealed about the Martial Hearts tournament and who is involved, like in one of those “who can you trust” scenarios. On top of that, Aya’s final opponent is known simply as the Psychic. She can look into people’s hearts and predict every move they make. Now there’s a fighter with a cheating edge.

This was an exciting series that has gorgeous women and creative tournament action. I must admit that these ladies must go through a lot of clothes at the rate those fights go.