Geekscape podcasts, news, features Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:45:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 podcasts, news, features Geekscape no podcasts, news, features Geekscape TV-G Geekscape Reviews ‘Sailor Moon Crystal Act 2- Ami: Sailor Mercury’ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:27:46 +0000 My god, that felt like the longest wait I’ve ever had to endure. Yet, we’ve survived another two weeks, and the second episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is finally here! No longer on her own, Sailor Moon now has Sailor Mercury at her side! After watching the events of the episode play out again through the rebooted series, it was presented in a way that made the old story feel new again, while fleshing out Ami’s personality quite a bit, (or as much as 23 minutes would allow).

Episode 2 jumps right in to introducing Ms. Mizuno as a talented, genious level student who finds herself alienated by the rest of Juban Middle School for it. Her constant studying makes the rest of the school feel like she’s cold and stuck up, but as rumors spread, Usagi decides she will take the chance to befriend her, (if only for the hope that Ami’s smarts will rub off on her own awful grades). But their bonds run deeper than either of them realize, and once Ami’s genious level after school class begins having their energy drained by a new threat, it’s up to Sailor Moon to rescue her new friend… Or is it?

Moon fans of old will instantly notice how much stronger the character development moved in this episode compared to its mid 90′s counterpart. Between characterizing the newest Sailor Warrior, developing the friendship between Ami and Usagi, showing that there’s more than meets the eye to Usagi’s advisor, Luna, and making the enemies seem far more threatening than they used to, and it’s easy to tell that the production team wastes absolutely no time with what they’re given in Crystal.

Most importantly though, the episode made me feel, which is an impressive feat when watching TV at three in the morning. The innitially selfish intentions Usagi had for befriending Ami quickly fade away, especially during the arcade scene, making these polar opposites seem like they have a legitimate, fast forming friendship. Even during the fight at the end, though I know the story and how it plays out for the most part, I still felt a sense of urgency for Sailor Moon when it looked like she could have been killed, rather than staring at the clock waiting for Tuxedo Mask to save her. This surely has to do with the fact that she used more than just her tiara in the fight, leading to a failed supersonic cry. After being so used to a one and done super attack at the end, seeing a back and forth with a throwaway monster felt fantastic to watch.

Oh, and by the way, the best part? Tuxedo Mask DOESN’T save her, or at least he doesn’t directly stop the monster. He was only able to cut Sailor Moon out of her trap AFTER the newly discovered Sailor Mercury uses her Aqua Mist to distract the enemy. After a mostly faithful transformation sequence, Mercury hits the scene hard, complete with her own battle introduction. Just try watching this episode and claim that she’s useless in a fight. She saved the whole fight!

Yet, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the 3D animation used during the transformation sequences is still jarring, especially when it switches back to 2D, immediately highlighting the huge contrast between styles. Something about it just doesn’t fit. And while I’m happy that Sailor Mercury’s transformation isn’t almost a full minute, the show would benefit from speeding up Sailor Moon’s overly drawn out one.

Yet, that’s the only real complaint in an episode that accomplished so much in so little time. More humor was introduced in this episode, (especially with Usagi and Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask outside the school), the facial expressions were more varried, and we saw a variety of powers on display. And of course, we’re teased with Jaedite, the current antagonist, getting moe and more frustrated with the intervention of the Sailor Warriors, closing with a teaser of Rei/Sailor Mars, making the next two weeks even harder to bare. With the way the series is playing out so far, at least we know the wait will be well worth it.

Final Score: 4.75/5

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Harmonix Reveals Release Date And Pricing For ‘Dance Central: Spotlig Tue, 22 Jul 2014 01:52:57 +0000 Today, Harmonix has announced that Dance Central: Spotlight, the fourth game in the only series of Kinect games that actually work, will make its Xbox One debut on September 7th, along with a $9.99 price tag. In addition, the last five of the ten song playlist has also been unvieled, bringing a mix of club bangers and top 40 hits to the dance floor.

The playlist is as follows:

Avicii – “Wake Me Up”
Cher Lloyd – “I Wish”
David Guetta ft. Sia “Titanium”
Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz – “Talk Dirty”
Kid Ink ft. Chris Brown – “Show Me”
Lorde – “Royals”
OneRepublic – “Counting Stars”
Pharrell Williams – “Happy”
Rihanna – “Diamonds” ft. Justin Bieber – “#thatPOWER”

In addition, the following songs will be available for download when the game releases, with more on the way, (including DLC from past games, which will be available at no extra charge if you’ve purchased them in previous versions).

Capital Cities – “Safe and Sound”
Emeli Sandé – “Next To Me”
Icona Pop ft. Charli XCX – “I Love It”
Lana Del Rey – “Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix)”
The B-52’s – “Love Shack”d”

When Harmonix officially unvieled Dance Central: Spotlight back at E3, details were scarce. Aside from learning that it would be released digitally for Xbox One with half of the ten song playlist being revealed, there was little to go on as far as whether or not it would be worthy of our precious hard drive space. But now, at only $10 for ten songs, that sounds like an incredible deal to me!

As far as I’m concerned, the Dance Central series is the best motion controlled title on any platform, and will finally give us a reason to want to use our shiny new Kinects when Spotlight arrives this fall. I’m just confused as to how I’m supposed to dance to Royals…

What songs are you hoping get added to the game? Any favorites you’re hoping make a return? Check out our hands on preview from E3 this year, and let us know how excited you are to show off your moves once again!

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Activision Announces The ‘Skylanders: Trap Team’ Dark Edition; Snatching Wallets In The Process! Tue, 22 Jul 2014 01:41:36 +0000 In a move that will likely surprise absolutely no one, Activision has announced that the upcoming Skylanders: Trap Team, the fourth game in the title that started the “toys come to life”, craze, will receive its very own limited edition.

Titled the “Dark Edition”, Trap Team seems to be following very closely in the footsteps of its predecessor, Swap Force. Each package contains Raider colored versions of the standard pack ins, which include Snap Shot and Food Fight in addition to a Life and Water trap. Coming exclusively to this version however, is this badass looking fire lion, (appropriately named Wildfire), and a black Kaos trap, designed to capture the longtime series antagonist. The package will retail for $99.99.

Collectors are sure to eat this up, and I know plenty of people who wouldn’t mind dropping the extra cash for the alternate colors and bonus figures. Having said that, I REALLY hope this trap isn’t the only way to capture Kaos. The ability to do so has been a big selling point after all. And it’s too bad that they didn’t decide on some other gimmick, since we already got Dark Spyro and Dark Eruptor from the 3DS versions and a Dark Edition of Swap Force. I mean, aren’t there any other ideas other than painting them black? I sense a Rolling Stones song in the distance…

There’s no word as to whether or not this version is a Toys R’ Us exclusive in the same manner the last limited edition was a GameStop exclusive, or if we’ll be able to purchase this from any retailer that we please. But with Disney Infinity brining in Marvel and Nintendo tying their Amiibos to Smash Bros, Skylanders will have more competition than ever when it comes to your toy buying dollar. Let’s hope the game continues to build on its much improved prequel to stay strong in the public eye. See, folks? Competition at its finest!

Do you plan on sticking with Trap Team this holiday, and if so, are you going with the Dark Edition? The Skylanders’ latest adventure will be available for every major platform when it releases in October.

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NIS America Announces Two New Anime Releases For 2014 Mon, 21 Jul 2014 03:50:54 +0000 During a weekend full of announcements, NIS America revealed their own anime releases hitting stores in 2014.

First, Hanasaku Iroha the Movie ~ HOME SWEET HOME ~ is coming in a premium edition box on October 14. Retailing at $49.99 , the package gets you the Blu-Ray film and an art book containing interviews with the staff behind the film.

From the press release:

About the movie:

In the days before the Bonbori Festival, Ohana’s friend Yuina comes to Kissuiso for training. While cleaning up after her, Ohana discovers a logbook kept by Beans from when her mother, Satsuki, was still a youth at Kissuisso. Through the logbook, Ohana catches a glimpse of her mother’s struggles, and realizes that maybe the two of them aren’t so different after all. Meanwhile, the rest of the inn staff are caught up in dealing with a blackout.

About the extras:

- Hardcover art book (full color, 32 pages) which provides a deeper viewing experience through scene-by-scene director commentary, staff member interviews, concept sketches, and setting illustrations.
- Original Japanese commercials

Second on the list is Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! Complete Second Season, also coming in a Premium Edition package on November 11th. Promising to pile on the charm in between saving the world, this 12 episode collection will also include its own art book at $59.99 MSRP.

Check out the synopsis from the press release:

About the show:
Mahiro has become accustomed to his protection detail of Nyaruko, Kuko, and Hasuta making his life interesting. Nyaruko starts scheming with Tamao to turn up the charm and sway Mahiro’s resolve, while Kuko reconsiders her own stance on love. Things get tricky as the gang deals with a monstrous monkey, an unexpected visitor from Kuko’s past, balancing love and duty, and of course, saving the world.

About the extras:

- Nyarlathotep-tested, alien-approved hardcover art book (full color, approx. 36 pages) with episode guide, character info, and gorgeous full color illustrations.
- Clean opening and endings, Japanese trailers

For more information on either series, visit and, and check back with Geekscape for more anime news, impressions and reviews!

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A Look Behind Weird Al’s “Lame Claim to Fame” Music Video Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:04:15 +0000 “Is it just me, or has Weird Al taken over the internet?” is the question everyone has been asking this week. The answer is a definite YES!

In fact Rolling Stone said, this visual onslaught appears to be working: Mandatory Fun is on pace to top the Billboard 200 for the first time in Yankovic’s career, as long as he can hold off Jason Mraz’s Yes! One thing’s for sure: According to Billboard, Mandatory Fun will definitely give “Weird Al” his best first week album sales since Neilsen SoundScan started keeping track in 1991.

Al’s #8videos8days takeover of the internet started with “Tacky” Monday and continued with parodies like “Foil“, “Word Crimes” and “Handy“  BUT I have been waiting since last Summer for today’s video, “Lame Claim to Fame” to debut because my “lame claim to fame” is that my friend, Tim Thompson directed the video.

Tim has been a Weird Al fan since he was a kid, so he was more than excited to create a video for one if his favorite artists. It took him more than ten sets of ink cartridges, more than 1,000 cut-outs of Weird Al’s face, 30 pairs of scissors and one year to complete the stop animation video.

As some people have noticed in the comments section on YouTube and Weird Al’s Facebook page – there are A LOT of references in this video. Pretty appropriate for a man known for his parodies, don’t ya think? Well, I won’t spoil all of the references throughout the video, but here are some to take note of and that you may not have known otherwise:

The opening scene

1.)  Overall this is a stylistic reference to Food by Jan Svankmajer.

2.) The cow painting on the back wall was painted by MC Lars. Tim was able to do this video because Al was a fan of Lars’ “This Gigantic Robot Kills” video, which Tim directed. The two first met in elementary school and have been friends ever since. Tim asked him to paint the cow because he remembered Lars drawing it on papers while they were in class together and “moo”ing. Pretty perfect for a video that is influenced Southern Culture on the Skids and homage to his friend.

3.) A VHS copy of Johnny Dangerously is on the table, notable because Weird Al’s video “This is the Life ” was made for that movie.

4.) The two portraits on the wall are Steve Jay Al’s Bassist and Jim Kimo west his Guitarist. There have been a lot of people commenting on the video asking if it’s Neil Young – nope, its a band member! Tim wanted to make sure the entire band was highlighted in the video, so you’ll see all of them throughout the video.

The rest of the video

5.) [0:18] The cashier is actually the director, Tim Thompson.


6.) [0:19] Each of the food items are references to Weird Al’s music – do you know which songs? Also, that Bologna sat in Tim’s fridge for months.

7.) [1:04] bottom right-hand drawing is a personal drawing from MC Lars to Tim congratulating him on being able to work with Al, a childhood hero of both of theirs.

8.) [1:23] Redrum is a reference to The Shining and at [1:24] you can see the creepy twins appear for a half of a second with Al’s face.


9.) [1:54] Steven A.K.A. Al’s dentist appears to sneeze on Russel crow and light-saber battle him, he was also in MC Lars’ “Flow Like Poe” video

10.) [1:58]  The preview of suggested EweTube videos are actually some of Tim’s other videos including student work and Reel Big Fish’s “Don’t Stop Skankin’” – Bonus points if you can find the second video listed online.

11.) [2:05] Ten extra points if you can name all the people in the theater – 20 points if you can name the classic actors in the photos on the walls!


12.) [2:17] Yes, that is Dr. Demento, the man who first discovered Weird Al and apparently knows Kevin Bacon. No joke, I didn’t know who Dr. Demento was until I asked Tim and we listened to every Dr. Demento record in the house.

13.) [2:18] Reference to “This Gigantic Robot Kills” since that was the work that got Al’s attention.


14.) [2:39] KCPR – Reference to the college radio station where Al was a DJ and got the name “Weird Al”

15.) [3:39] My actual Lame Claim to Fame – I was animated into a Weird Al video.


More photos:

IMG_2093 IMG_2141 IMG_2226 IMG_2137 IMG_2109 IMG_2006 IMG_2092 ]]> 0
Sting Arrives In The WWE Courtesy Of ‘WWE 2K15′ Sun, 20 Jul 2014 18:15:41 +0000 If 2K wanted to send a message with their first fully developed wrestling title under their name, then message received.

For the first time in his long, storied career, Sting, the icon of WCW, (and TNA I guess…), will step foot in a WWE ring! Only in this case, it will be in the video game realm of WWE 2K15 in the form of pre order DLC.

Featuring both the early 90′s “surfer” Sting as well as the “Crow” Sting that would become his trademark look, the wrestling legend will join a roster featuring many of today’s biggest talent, such as cover boy, John Cena, Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt. Nearly any dream match you’ll ever want to put together can now be possible, even the long clamored for showdown between Sting and The Undertaker. Considering recent events, that might be the closest we’ll ever get to actually seeing the match play out!

But what makes this announcement more interesting is that after years of staunchly avoiding the WWE, this is the first official appearence he’s made for the company since becoming a free agent last year. Aside from an unannounced ten second clip about the Ultimate Warrior after his passing, (RIP), seeing new Sting content in anything related to Vince McMahon’s company is sure to excite wrestling fans both new and old. Besides, everyone who’s appeared before signing a contract in the past, (Brock Lesnar, Ultimate Warrior), have returned within that year. Can the same be said for Sting? Only time will tell, but I’m crossing my fingers.

Check out Sting’s reveal trailer below and let us know if this will sway your decision to step back into the ring. WWE 2K15 will release for both current and last gen consoles this fall!

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Meet The Leaders Of ‘Pokemon Alpha Ruby and Omega Sapphire’ Or Become One Yourself! Sun, 20 Jul 2014 17:00:51 +0000 We’ve been treated with a steady stream of Pokemon Alpha Ruby and Omega Sapphire news since the game was innitially announced, but not quite as much as the latest trailer shows off, giving us a glimpse of the many features the game will bring back from the Hoenn region.

Showing off the changes made to the eight gyms we’ll get the chance to revisit, many of the locations, (as well as the leaders themselves), have received huge overhauls since their last appearance on the Game Boy Advance, (which is the expectation when moving to a 3D engine). But OR and AS look to take it a step further, allowing you to challenge countless gym leaders, or even become one yourself, thanks to the revamped Secret Base feature.

Longtime Pokemon players will remember Secret Bases; locations on the map where you can create a small home for yourself in caves or trees. Their biggest draw however, was that your base would be sent to the last person you traded or battled with, allowing other trainers to visit your base and battle you again via CPU for EXP points. Now, the customization promises to be much deeper, allowing you to design your base like a Pokemon gym. By scanning custom QR codes, players from all around the world will be able to solve your gym puzzle and battle your toughest team.

And if these reveals, (including cosplaying Pikachu), weren’t enough, the trailers end revealed Mega Metagross! While not much of a surprise, considering Metagross was the champion’s signature Pokemon in the originals, it was still great to see it confirmed. Now more floaty and with a Metang attached to its bottom, Mega Metagross is said to gain a small boost to all of its stats in addition to a huge speed boost, which was its biggest weakness in the past. On top of gaining the Tough Claws ability, and what’s left is a monster that’s even more powerful than before… And that’s saying a lot considering Metagross was already considered one of the best in the game as is.

What do you think of Mega Metagross and how long do you think it will take to get banned? How will you dress your Pikachu up? And what kind of gym will you create when the game hits stores on November 21st?

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Marie Is Coming To ‘Persona 4 Arena Ultimax’ As Paid DLC Sun, 20 Jul 2014 16:00:34 +0000 Following in the footsteps of the recently announced Adachi DLC, (which will be available for free during the first week of availability), it was revealed that Marie will be the next character added to Persona 4 Arena Ultimax as paid, post launch content.

As a character who was specifically added for Persona 4 Golden, the Vita remake of the PS2 RPG that started this increased interest in the franchise, Marie brings many of the abilities to the fighting game arena that were last seen in her character specific story arc. Now with her own Persona, it’s looking like her abilities will be a mix of what Golden players would expect combined with a ton of new tools revolving around weather that she’s never before displayed. Now, if we can only get the Persona 3 protagonist in on the mix, and I’d say we have all of our bases covered!

Between the Persona 4 Golden anime, the original Golden Vita game and this upcoming DLC, it looks like a good time to be a Marie fanatic. What’s even more telling though, is that in the original Persona 4 Arena title, there was no character DLC. Now, we have two before the game is even out. And I doubt this is the end of it, either. As always, I welcome new characters, but I’m not too happy with these characters being sold separately despite them appearing to be, at least mostly, finished at this point. Oh, the woes of being a fight fan.

Marie has yet to be confirmed for a release outside of Japan, but based on how things went with Adachi, I’d fully expect a formal announcement in the coming weeks. Will you be downloading her after Ultimax launches? And who else would you like to see make it in the final roster?

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Anime Expo 2014: The ‘Sailor Moon’ Cast Is Reunited At The 90′s Dub Panel! Sun, 20 Jul 2014 15:25:58 +0000 If you’re into anime and you’re as old as I am, you probably were introduced to it by one of three shows. For me, Sailor Moon was the first series that really engrossed me while showing me that the show was more than just an early morning cartoon that aired before school. It’s overarching story, developing characters, deeper themes that went beyond what I was used to from American shows at the time, and its use of a unique type of super hero made sure that I was glued to the screen whenever that iconic song came on.

Now, years later, I’m more familiar with the name Usagi than I am Serena. I know the Sailor Scouts, (Warriors, or Senshi if you want to weeb it up), were killed, and not captured by the Doom and Gloom Girls. And I know that Rini/Chibiusa pulled a gun on Sailor Moon when they first met. Yet, despite the differences between the original dub and the original source material, DiC’s Sailor Moon will always have a special place for me, which is why it was absolutely amazing to see members of the original English cast back together again.

Out of the many activities taking place during Sailor Moon Day at Anime Expo, few were as exciting as seeing the actors many of us grew up with reminiscing on their time as the voices of these iconic characters, including how the characters shaped them in their everyday lives, when they realized the impact this show had, and a story about how Sailor Jupiter saved a house from a threatening raccoon!

Hearing the actors call out lines from the old show took me back to 1995. Take this chance to feel like a kid again and check out the panel in the videos below, then take it to the comments and tell us what your favorite parts were!

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Watch The Premiere Episode Of The Bandito Brothers’ ‘Chop Shop’ Sat, 19 Jul 2014 07:17:53 +0000 Briefly: There’s some crazy talent attached to this one!

Chop Shop centers on Porter (John Bregar), a car thief recently released from a five year stint in prison, who finds himself struggling to rekindle a relationship with his former girlfriend Sofia (Ana Ayora) and their five-year old son he hardly knows. Porter soon reconnects with his old partner in crime Caine (Rene Moran), who’s volatile and aggressive nature puts him at odds against Porter’s new life. Torn between family and friendships, Porter faces the most difficult decision of his life and realizes that to change his future he might have to relive his past.

The excellent 22-minute long premiere episode of the Machinima series hit the web earlier today. The series is six-episodes long, and a new chapter will release each Friday.

Elliott Lester (Blitz) directs the Bandito Brothers (Act Of Valor) and Joshua Weinstock produced series, alongside writers Josh Baizer and Marshall Johnson (Mortal Kombat: Legacy).  Series stars John Bregar (Being HumanKick Ass 2The Mentalist), Rene Moran (ShamelessLie to MeSwitched at Birth), Ana Ayora (Marley & MeCastle), and acclaimed actor Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment DayThe SopranosThe X-FilesTrue Blood).

From releases like Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist to Mortal Kombat: Legacy and now Chop Shop, I can’t wait to see what’s next from these guys! Take a look at the first episode of Chop Shop below, and let us know what you think!

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Crowdfund This: Hero Chest Sat, 19 Jul 2014 07:02:44 +0000 This is very cool.

Subscription box services are all the rage right now, and Hero Chest sounds like a phenomenal option for comic book fans. If I didn’t reside in Canada, I’d definitely be subscribing to this one.

In their own words, “Hero Chest will be a curated subscription box that brings the comic shop experience to your doorstep each month. Our curators’ selections will be guided by years of comic experience and a passion for high quality comics. We want to send you titles you might not see featured in your local store or might have slipped under your radar. Most of all, we want to send you cool stuff to read! (And toys.)”


As a guy who only makes it into my LCS to pick up my pull list every month or two, I know that there’s a lot of cool stuff that I’m missing. Hero Chest could be a great way to expand my comic book horizons.

Each Hero Chest is set to contain:

- A recently released Trade Paperback (compilation of 6-10ish comic issues, usually of a single story arc in one place)
- 3 current comic books (issues) selected specifically for their quality of art and storytelling, significance and potential interestingness
- Monthly curation notes on the titles chosen for the box
- Fun surprises like t-shirts, stickers, toys, and collectibles
- And Kickstarter rewards include shipping and handling!

A beta box was put together and sent out to a few lucky Kickstarter backers, which Hero Chest has broken down on their official blog.


The Hero Chest Kickstarter campaign is a great way to get early access to what is sure to be a highly-successful product. Backers can receive access to three exclusive boxes, pick up year-long subscriptions (even for a friend), grab exclusive t-shirts, and much more.

You can head to the Kickstarter page or the official Hero Chest website for more info, and be sure to let us know if you’ll be backing this one!

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J-POP SUMMIT Fashion Programming Fri, 18 Jul 2014 23:26:31 +0000 The fashion of J-pop is almost as important as the music and, as such, there will be plenty of kawaii (cute) and sugoi (cool) booths and programming at J-POP SUMMIT this weekend in San Francisco!

Fashion Programming

Festival-goers and fashionistas will not want to miss the return of a variety of “KAWAii!!” themed fashion shows,contests and live performances showcasing edgy new sides of Japanese pop style along with autograph and meet-and-greet opportunities with several of the J-Pop fashion world’s fastest rising stars.


This year’s KAWAii!! events are supported by Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco and presented as the first collaboration with MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON, a new initiative developed by ASOBISYSTEM, a prominent entertainment company based in Harajuku, Tokyo, to promote a wider range of Japanese pop culture on an even bigger, more global level.


Fashion Programming highlights appearances by several of Harajuku’s iconic models and designers including Ayumi Seto, Misa Kimura, Una and Akira. Several of these models will join others from Bay Area to showcase a colorful debut summer collection from Ayumi Seto’s fashion line, “Aymmy in the batty girls.” Many of the same outfits featured in the show will be available to purchase at KAWAii!! Pop-Up Store located inside the NEW PEOPLE building.


The action carries over the Pagoda Main Stage in Peace Plaza where fans are invited to catch solo live sets from Akira, a popular model and singer, as well as Una is a charismatic plenty of danceable groove to J-POP SUMMIT for special concert performances not to be missed!


More fashion programming information at:

 Ayumi Seto
Misa Kimura
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J-POP SUMMIT Music Line-up Fri, 18 Jul 2014 23:08:12 +0000 Music is what J-POP SUMMIT is all about! Come out to Japantown for the free event and check out some exciting Japanese pop and rock acts!

Live Music

J-POP SUMMIT attendees are invited to catch some of the hottest Japanese pop and rock acts in a series of FREE afternoon concert sets on the Pagoda Main Stage in Japantown’s Peace Plaza as well as at a special FREE open-air live concert, J-POP LIVE AT UNION SQUARE,” in city’s downtown Union Square on the evening of Saturday, July 19th beginning at 6:30pm.


Music headliners scheduled to perform this year include the U.S. concert debut of famed pop music superstar Tomomi Itano, as well as the popular idol group Tokyo Girls’ Style, which also makes its first-ever U.S. appearance at J-POP SUMMIT. Others set to perform include the amazing beat box vocal skills of DAICHI, a special musical performance by Harajuku fashion model/singer Una, Japanese pop singer Kylee, the U.S. debut of the kimono cosplay idol duo YANAKIKU, and the hard rocking sounds of J-rock bands Pinky Doodle Poodle, and the all-girl punk rock trio, The Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass.


Full details on the J-POP LIVE AT UNION SQUARE concert are available at:


Also catch May’n at Slims for a special solo show on Sunday as the closing event of the Festival, on Sunday, July 20th. Details at:

Tomomi Itano
Tokyo Girls’ Style
Pinky Doodle Poodle
The Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass
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J-POP SUMMIT Guests Of Honor Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:59:15 +0000 Check out the stellar guests of honor line-up for J-POP SUMMIT!

Guests of Honor


The J-POP SUMMIT is proud to welcome several special Guests of Honor for 2014 including pop stars Tomomi Itano (former AKB48), Tokyo Girls’ Style, and May’n, Harajuku fashion models/designers Ayumi Seto, Una, Misa Kimura and Akira, the amazing beat boxer DAICHI, along with artist KEI, who created the iconic character design for the world’s first virtual pop singer Hatsune Miku. The J-POP SUMMIT also joins with the 2014 Japan Film Festival of San Francisco to present Japanese actor Yûki Furukawa (“Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo”) and film director Mitsutoshi Tanaka (“Ask This of Rikyu”) as special Guests of Honor.


Fans and attendees can look forward to appearances by all of the Guests of Honor across a variety of events throughout the weekend. Additionally, several will participate in special meet & greet opportunities as well as audience Q&As, exclusive signings and photograph opportunities.


More information at:

Tomomi Itano
Tokyo Girls’ Style
Ayumi Seto
KEI (creator of Hatsune Miku)
Mitsutoshi Tanaka
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Food And Sake At J-POP SUMMIT Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:30:28 +0000 While getting your fill of J-pop music at J-POP SUMMIT, you can also fill your tummy with tasty Japanese food and beverages! I am definitely excited about this because I love Japanese food and sake. Yum!


POP Gourmet Food, RAMEN STREET & Sake Tasting Attractions

The POP GOURMET Food Festival returns for its second consecutive year to present new expanded attractions including Sake Tasting, RAMEN Street, and a Japanese Beverage and Bites & Snacks Area, along with an array of the Bay Area’s most unique mobile eateries and food trucks.


RAMEN Street is a brand new attraction presented for the very first time at J-POP SUMMIT and will give attendees an appetizing look at Japan’s favorite food. RAMEN Street is organized and co-presented in cooperation with the Ramen Yokocho Association.


Those of legal age are also invited to sample an assortment of some of the world’s preeminent sake brands in a special Sake Tasting Area. Festival sponsor Takara Sake USA will offer a variety of sake and anchor a prominent “J POP” booth in Beverage Area promote its popular sparkling cocktail Takara Can Chu-hi “J POP” as well as present Takara’s Official “J POP” Ambassador, the amazing 23-year-old Japanese human beat-box, DAICHI, in a series of special in-booth performances.


More information at:



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J-POP SUMMIT And Japan Film Festival In SF This Weekend! Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:21:17 +0000 J-POP SUMMIT is happening in conjunction with the opening weekend of the 2014 Japan Film Festival of San Francisco. The film festival opens Saturday, July 19th and runs through Sunday, July 27th with screenings taking place at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema (located at 1746 Post St.). Read on to learn about some of the awesome films screening this weekend!

J-POP SUMMIT Festival film premieres include the inspiring anime omnibus SHORT PEACE, and J-POP Splash! 2014, a music video collection presented by the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, featuring the hottest J-Pop artists, along with TOKYO SHORT SHORTS: A New Generation Of 5 Short Films which takes place in Tokyo and other parts of Japan and was directed by a innovative new generation of young filmmakers.


J-Pop fans and film-goers will also not want to miss the very special U.S. theatrical premiere of COUNT FIVE TO DREAM OF YOU and KOTODAMA: SPIRITUAL CURSE. Both films star the members of Tokyo Girls’ Style in leading roles. The group will host a special audience Q&A immediately following the film screenings.


Also don’t miss special in-person appearances by JFFSF Guests of Honor actor Yuki Furukawa, who will help mark the U.S. theatrical premiere of his new short film, “wo ai ni” in TOKYO, and director Mitsutoshi Tanaka who appears to celebrate the Bay Area premiere of his newest work, Ask This of Rikyu. Both films will screen at NEW PEOPLE Cinema during J-POP SUMMIT.


Tickets and additional information at:


TOKYO SHORT SHORTS: A New Generation Of 5 Short Films
Ask This of Rikyu


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Kari’s Anime Corner: First Impressions of ‘Kill la Kill’ Fri, 18 Jul 2014 20:38:06 +0000 One of the popular cosplays at Anime Expo this year was Ryuko Matoi of Kill la Kill. There was a special panel/screening at the convention as well. Many of my friends have been fans of the show for quite some time and I finally decided to check it out. Let me just say, it is not my cup of tea.

Kill la Kill is about a girl, Ryuko, who shows up at Honnouji Academy looking for her father’s murderer. The only clue she has is a giant half scissor. This school and town are insane. Satsuki Kiryuin (otherwise known as Lady Satsuki) is the student council president who runs the school and town with absolute control. Students live in neighborhoods based on their academic status. Then there is extreme violence that is not only tolerated, but is expected. Is Ryuko’s father’s murderer at the school? What is Lady Satsuki hiding?


Another strange part of this show are the outfits. Early on, Ryuko learns some of the students have uniforms that are like super suits. She tries to fight a student who has on one such uniform and is pummeled. After retreating, she comes across a mysterious and violently animated sailor uniform which also happens to be a super suit. Where did it come from? How does it work? Why does it have to be so naked?! The show does a good job of being self aware by having Ryuko question the size/look of the outfit. She is obviously uncomfortable about the lack of coverage. Remember I said this was a popular cosplay? Yep. There were many ladies and even some guys wearing Ryuko’s outfit (or even some Lady Satsuki’s outfit). The show is packed with fan service. Even the opening sequence has boobs flopping around for no real reason. Other characters are aware of the indecent exposure and the writing is pretty funny with everyone’s commentary.




My main complaint with the show is the style of animation. I personally think it is ugly with its sketchy lines and jerky movement. Though the stills seem to look surprisingly good. The show is produced by Trigger (this is their first original TV program) and I thoroughly enjoyed their previous project, Little Witch Academia (short film). I am biased because I tend to prefer the more pretty Shoujo style art. The more saturated colors and cleaner lines are more pleasing to watch.


The show is written and directed by the same team that did Gurren Laggan, which is an excellent series. Though the art is somewhat similar, I feel Kill la Kill is just not as engaging as Gurren Laggan. After 4 episodes of Kill la Kill, I am far from hooked but I might continue to see what all the fuss is about. There are many hints at deeper storylines within the first few episodes but not enough concrete substance for me to care about the characters, who seem very one dimensional at this point.

I cannot deny it is a popular show and the people who like it do LOVE it, but so far I am not won over yet. If the animation does not bother you and you like fighting shows, then you might want to check out Kill la Kill.

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Stitch and Tinkerbell Are Coming To ‘Disney Infinity 2.0′… With A Few Surprises! Fri, 18 Jul 2014 20:16:22 +0000 Disney Interactive has released a new Disney Infinity 2.0 trailer, showing off their two newest character reveals, (which means two more figures we’ll have to throw money at). After teasing Stitch last week, the adorably destructive alien is joined by Peter Pan‘s Tinkerbell, both of which will be able to work their magic in the Toy Box mode of the game.

While two new Disney based additions to the roster are definitely welcomed, the bigger news might be the new vehicles and environments hinted at in the trailer. A Gravity Falls theme? Darkwing Duck’s Ratcatcher motorcycle complete with side car? It begs the question… What else will 2.0 have in store for us when it releases? Either way, it looks like the game is looking to include properties spanning generations to reach the young and the young at heart.

Considering that many people were concerned over a potential lack of Disney with the obvious focus on Marvel, these additions on top of the previously revealed Maleficent and Merida figures ease those concerns a little bit. Even still, we’re yet to see any Disney themed Play Sets, so we won’t know if we’ll be able to take these new characters into their own campaigns until later. With that said, these figures and items are seemingly great additions, especially when you consider Stitch’s blasters and Stitch’s surfboard, (complete with Stitch on the nose), were in the first game, making his inclusion overdue. What if Stitch rides the surfboard though? Stitchception!?

Which characters, items and themes do you want to see make it in? Does seeing The Ratcatcher in a new game hit that nostalgia bone? And who else wants to see some Rescue Rangers content next? Tell us what you want to play with when Disney Infinity releases this fall!

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‘The Conjuring’ Spinoff ‘Annabelle’ Gets Its First Trailer! Fri, 18 Jul 2014 02:28:46 +0000 Briefly: Well this certainly puts yesterday’s horror trailer to shame.

The October 3rd release and spinoff to 2013′s fabulous horror flick The Conjuring, takes us (further) back in time and into the history of the film’s terrifying titular doll.

The film is directed by John Leonetti, and stars Annabelle Wallis, Alfre Woodard, Eric Laden, and plenty of others. A synopsis is yet to be released, but Annabelle definitely marks one of the creepiest horror trailers I’ve seen in some time.

Take a look at the trailer below, and let us know what you think!

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SDCC 2014: Nintendo Announces Biggest Comic Con Presence Ever! Fri, 18 Jul 2014 02:04:55 +0000 Briefly: Another event that I really regret not attending at last year’s San Diego Comic Con was the Nintendo Gaming Lounge at the Marriot Marquis. Had I gone, I would have had the awesome opportunity to play games like Mario Kart 8 long before they came out, and also had a chance to win some great swag (like that limited edition Pikmin 3 shirt that I still think about).

I can’t wait to check things out this time around. Nintendo just announced their biggest presence ever for this year’s Comic Con, and it sounds like it’ll be an absolute blast. Here are the details:

Visitors will be able to enjoy hands-on time with Super Smash Bros. for both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, as well as additional upcoming 2014 games like Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 2 and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Add to this an exciting multiday stream of live game-play challenges on the Nintendo Twitch channel and a host of other fun activities, and you have Nintendo’s biggest presence at Comic-Con ever.


“Nintendo fans are going to have a great time with what we have planned for San Diego Comic-Con this year, whether they are attending the event or watching at home from across the country,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “From first hands-on opportunities to tournaments and a fun live stream, we want to make sure that everyone has a great time experiencing Nintendo at the show.”


Nintendo’s hub at San Diego Comic-Con will be located at the Nintendo Gaming Lounge on the first floor of the Marriott Marquis & Marina hotel, an area open to the general public, so even fans who don’t have a Comic-Con badge can get in on the fun. The playable games scheduled to appear include:


Nintendo 3DS


Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS from Nintendo
Pokémon Art Academy from Nintendo
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney from Nintendo
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal from SEGA
Shovel Knight from Yacht Club Games (Nintendo eShop)
Siesta Fiesta from Mojo Bones Ltd. (Nintendo eShop)

Wii U


Super Smash Bros. for Wii U from Nintendo
Hyrule Warriors from Nintendo
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker from Nintendo
Yoshi’s Woolly World from Nintendo
Mario Kart 8 from Nintendo
Bayonetta 2 from Nintendo
Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric from SEGA
Just Dance 2015 from Ubisoft
Skylanders Trap Team from Activision
Shovel Knight from Yacht Club Games (Nintendo eShop)
1001 Spikes from Nicalis (Nintendo eShop)
Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition from DrinkBox Studios (Nintendo eShop)


Visitors to the Nintendo Gaming Lounge will also be able to view a display of amiibo, figures modeled after Nintendo characters that will interact with compatible Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games. A special area themed after Tomodachi Life will also be available, where visitors can recharge their minds, bodies and Nintendo 3DS systems. In addition to the Nintendo Gaming Lounge, Nintendo will have a booth at the San Diego Convention Center dedicated entirely to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS.


On July 25 and July 26, Nintendo will stream Nintendo Challenge Live, a stage show hosted from the Nintendo Gaming Lounge that features intense tournament competition and awesome game-play challenges from some of the hottest upcoming games on Nintendo platforms. Fans can open their browsers to to catch all of the action and stick around for hours to soak in all the festivities.


Nintendo will be hosting its first-ever tournament for the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS game. Tournament slots are limited for the one-day event, and fans will be able to sign up the day of the event on a first-come, first-served basis. The full tournament will be streamed at The tournament will be conducted using the E3 version of the game. This version represents a game still in development and may not represent the final quality and balance of the game, which launches on Oct. 3.


Mario Kart 8 is already one of the best-selling Wii U games of all time, and the love for the game and franchise will be well-represented at Comic-Con. Racers who visit the Nintendo Gaming Lounge will be able to compete in local Mario Kart 8 competitions. The bracket-style competitions will pit 32 players against each other. The winner of each local competition will then be invited to take on racers around the world using the online tournament feature of Mario Kart 8. Players at home can join the online tournaments with a chance to face off against the local champions. The online tournament codes and schedule will be announced via Nintendo’s social media channels in the future.


Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8 aren’t the only franchises with unique activities at Comic-Con. Bayonetta fans will want to make sure they mark their calendars for a screening of the new animated film Bayonetta: Bloody Fate from FUNimation Entertainment. The stylized animated movie follows the powerful witch Bayonetta as she battles the forces of heaven to regain her memory. The feature film will screen Friday, July 25, at 9:35 p.m. PT in Marriott Hall Room 4 at the Marriott Marquis & Marina hotel. (A San Diego Comic-Con badge is required for entry.)


The Nintendo Gaming Lounge is located in the San Diego Ballroom on the first floor of the Marriott Marquis & Marina hotel at 333 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA, 92101. The Nintendo Gaming Lounge will be open to the public from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. PT Thursday, July 24, to Saturday, July 26, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. PT Sunday, July 27. The Nintendo booth (No. 235) is located at the San Diego Convention Center at 111 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA, 92101.

Will we be seeing you there?

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