After watching the movie Watchmen I decided it’d be a good idea to read the graphic novel (which I commonly mistake with comic, but I’m wrong apparently.) The story is very powerful I must say, it is on a different level from my favorite manga titles (Gintama, Evangelion Angelic Days, Welcome to the NHK). Watchmen packs a punch with the threat of nuclear war, the outlawment of masked vigilantes, and the death of a fellow masked hero. All this outs a psychological “weight” on their characters and it is this that makes Watchmen interesting. The characters are realistic, the heroes don’t have any superpowers (Dr. Manhattan being an exception of course) these factors make them easy to relate too. All they ever wanted to do was help society by getting rid of criminals but things didn’t really turn out so rosy and romantic.

It is not a bad choice for anyone’s first foray into the world of American style comics. Coming from a Japanese comic mindset the first thing that struck me was the art style. To me it is not as “pretty”; but on the other hand the drawings are more realistic in the sense that they more accurately portray human characteristics. Of course I’m broadly generalizing manga here for easy of argument.

watchmen

The cover of the graphic novel.

The short story: READ WATCHMEN!

-katnipp

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Kote! Men! Doooo!

January 15, 2009

I am a noob at Kendo, I have only been doing Kendo for a few months but Ive started to pick it up pretty quick. Both my Sensei say that my basics are almost perfect having only practiced Kendo for a quarter. This is not uncommon, considering my environment. By practicing at UCI i have access to a Sensei who only teaches a small group of students (around 4-8 ) which means that errors are easily noticed and fixed, compared to a Dojo which contains much, much more students. Recently many of the kendoka who practice at UCI have told me that they have never seen so much skill in a beginner and wished that they were as good as me when they started doing Kendo years ago.

MEN!!!!

MEN!!

Those praises make me more confident in my Kendo, but i wont let it go completely to my head. I know that i still have a long way to go. I need to practice more waza in order to fight better during Shiai. I love Kendo it’s a sport that i can actually try my hardest to get better at. Hopefully i can get decent enough to beable to fight effectively in the competition at UCLA. LOL wish me luck.

-Xaten

No really it is tons of fun. These aren’t the cheap 10 dollar light sabers you had when you were 7 years old. Oh no, its durable plastic (VERY durable, wack it against  concrete the saber is fine). These things are a-w-e-s-o-m-e.

Here is a fine young lad with his light saber (Sorry for the webcam quality- he lacks a proper camera).

Here is a fine young lad with his light saber (Sorry for the webcam quality- he lacks a proper camera).

If you want to read more about them/order one go to this site here. These things are amazing amounts of fun. Get all your friends to get one and you can have light saber battles with each other! Also these can be great for cosplaying as your favorite Star Wars character if you’re into that. The only downside is the pain of getting hit with one of these ^^;

-katnipp

The 99cents store

January 12, 2009

Normally when one thinks of the 99cents store they think of a bunch of well…junk. But what I found there yesterday contradicts that notion (not sure if the VHS copy of Men in Black II counts…I thought that was pretty funny- I almost bought it).

Mikuru is a model for iPod covers.

Mikuru is a model for iPod covers.

The cover that costs 99cents is a Belkin! An actual well known-brand. Every nerd has to appreciate their electronics being protected from harm. If it is cheap to do so well damn that’s a pretty good deal. Another good thing about the 99cents store is the plastic containers for things like the over 9000 cords that any electronic product comes with/requires.

So all in all, I’d say going to your local 100yen shop, 99cents store, whatever currency cheap store is very well worth it because you never know what you could find.

-katnipp (formerly known as a gendo/neko/etc)

My Mahjong Journey

November 6, 2008

I remember in my days as a child I used to play a game called Mahjong. For those of you who don’t know, Mahjong is a game that was invented in China involving tiles and angry elderly Asian women. Well at least that’s how I remember Mahjong being like. When I played Mahjong it was with my relatives and they were always old, angry, and impatient. That’s why I was turned off for a long time and I thought that I would never play again, until now. I’ve found a new reason to play Mahjong and it’s called “Moeru Mahjong Moejong.” Instead of playing with old angry Asian ladies, however, I play against super cute anime girls. I think that’s a big step up. There’s only a couple of things that take away from this experience.

1) I completely forgot how to play Mahjong.

2) The Japanese rules seem completely different from the rules that I learned.

3) The game is entirely in Japanese.

But there is a bright side. It’s super, super moe!

Moejong Gameplay

Moejong Gameplay

My journey of Mahjong has barely begun. At some point I wish to learn how to properly play this game again using the Japanese rules. Wish me luck! I’ll pop in from time to time and report on my findings. Why? Because everyone loves moe and I like Mahjong.

Warm Regards,

DJ

Fallout 3

November 4, 2008

Fallout 3 Box Art

Fallout 3 Box Art

Recently i just finished playing Fallout 3. Instead of spending my time studying for the midterm I have to take tomorrow I spent most of the day exploring the world of Fallout 3. I’ve played the first 2 games a few years ago after learning about it on ctrl-alt-delete.

Wasteland exploration

Wasteland exploration

The game takes place 70 or so years after the end of the 2nd game and you take the role of a Vault Dweller who sets off into the wasteland to look for your your missing father. Even though the story is based off the Fallout series you dont need any background from the last two games to understand the story. Though some stuff like the FEV virus and G.E.C.K make their appearance in the game, it is explained fairly well by the characters and holotapes you will encounter while exploring the wasteland.

I PLAY YOUR FATHER!

I PLAY YOUR FATHER!

One of the coolest things about Fallout 3 is that Liam Neeson plays the voice of your father (Who the game creates to look just like your character) within the game. There is are many more famous voices within the game like Ron Perlman (Hellboy) who is the voice of the narrator of the fallout series, and Wes Johnson (Lucien LeChance, and Imperial Males in Oblivion) who plays Mr.Burke.

Power Armor

Power Armor

One of the drawbacks about this game is that it feels like a Oblivion Clone, just not as epic. Sure the combat is different, but a lot of the game mechanics are the same which is not entirely a bad thing, its just that Oblivion was more free roaming. Many of areas like the DC ruins are not accessible by just walking through the the city streets, and can only be reached by taking underground subway routes which lead you from one part of the city to another. Also the item system is not as expansive as i would like for it to be, there is a large number of different weapons but they wear away over time and maintence requires you to spend money or scavange for similar weapons to replace parts with.

The Vault Suit is the best armor in the game.

The Vault Suit is the best armor in the game.

Also there are no epic armor sets in the game that make exploring all the worth it. A few times I’ve spent hours exploring a vault only to uncover a holotape that explain’s the source of the vault’s demise. Also power armor sets like the Enclave and Brotherhood of steel seem useless and tend to hinder different points from S.P.E.C.I.A.L.S .

Even though Fallout 3 seems a lot like a Oblivion set in the future, it has enough different characteristics to set them apart. Fallout 3 is a great game and i would recommend it to everyone who felt like buying Oblivion but didn’t come around doing so. Though it has it’s drawback ill still be playing it for at least 4-6 hours a day.

-Xaten

Yesterday, i had to drop off my brother at John Wayne Airport in Orange County. It was routine, i got up to the front desk and told them he was an unaccompanied minor, and got my self a escort pass so i could see him off. The lady at the ticket counter gave my brother a seat on a earlier flight heading to Las Vegas because all planes coming in and out of Vegas were delayed due to construction and weather. I thought to myself “Nice, we got here early and now we can leave early.”

John Wayne Airport

After checking my brother into the flight, they immediately got two flight attendants and escorted him into the plane 10 minutes prior to the boarding time in which they announced. Due to the fact that i was escorting a unaccompanied minor i had to wait for the plane to be in the air before i was allowed to leave the airport terminal, so i busted out my trusty PSP and began to play some Bleach and Guitaroo Man Lives! It wasn’t till my PSP began to run out of batteries that i noticed that the only power outlets avalable to the public were four ports which sat on the floor with a big sign of a outlet port hovering over it. Which is completely inconvienent to everyone in the terminal who has in their possession of an electronic device that needs charging. (Which would be almost everyone) I went over to see if any of the ports were open and as luck would have it all four ports were taken up by four of the lamest people on earth. Two of them were a fat couple who were messing around with cheap generic dvd players and mp3 players (which were probably bought at target). There was a retarded man playing yellow version on a old gameboy color, the look on his face hints that he doesnt know what the fuck is going on, and the last person was his escort with her phone plugged in to the final port talking to whoever is on the other part of the line about her period. I just gave up and found a seat next to the counter and watch the passengers board the plane through the gate.

Guitaroo man!

Guitaroo man!

While playing Guitaroo man i hear the lady get on the terminal wide intercom and state that the flight has been cancelled to Vegas and is now just heading straight for Pheonix. “SHIT!” i said to myself as i had to litteraly run to the counter and tell them to get my brother off the plane before it began to taxi  onto the runway.  Then he got back to the airport and we waited 4 more hours for his next flight.

P.S i got bored and wrapped up this post early

-Xaten

Hello World!

November 3, 2008

Hello World! I am Gian, but you can call me Xaten. I am a healthy well rounded Nerd/Otaku. I live in Irvine, CA and is currently trying to survive my first year of college at UCI. I was born in Kauai, HI where i was greatly influenced by a culture which consisted mostly of Asian immigrants. I lived a carefree life, away from all the hardships of the world, living on a small little wet Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I still remember the day when i was first introduced to Anime. One of my childhood friends showed me a very popular cartoon show in Japan at the time Dragon Ball GT (Japanese dubbed no subtitles) on a public broadcast channel in Hawaii and i was addicted ever since. From there on out i went from Dragon Ball Z, to Sailor Moon, Gundam Wing, Big O, Trigun, and finnally Cowboy Bebop. I wasnt a big fan of anime at the time, just that as a child i really liked bloody fight scenes.

In 2001 I moved from Hawaii to California. By then i grew out of anime, to me it was childish to watch cartoons at the time and i just concentrated on playing video games. When i was only in middle school my stepdad introduced me to a video game that had forever changed my life. Counter-Strike, i still remember playing CS on a 56k dial up connection on a server (Which name i cant remember.) that all of my stepdad’s family played on. I joined their clan which was called {NsZ} (No Skillz) and we shot up the server all day constantly playing de_dust and cs_militia. Eventually we moved on to another server  after the other server went down. It was called BLOODSTAR, and by then i had a 256k cable connection and gained a decent amount of skill which put me in the top of the list majority of the time. I remember asking a girl out on that same server, her name was FFXRiku2002 and we played CS together as boyfriend and girlfriend in a psuedo online relationship, it was fun though i have to admit but the moment i got bored i just ignored her being the complete jackass i am. (This wasnt the last time I would hurt a girls feelings by ignoring her) CS took up most of my life, especially when i took it to a competitive level in CAL. I gained lifelong friends in CS that i have never met in real life and a reaction time that rival’s a fly.

By my Sophomore year in high school I watched something on Cartoon Network that intrigued me, Naruto. The blonde haired ninja that wanted to make a name for himself got me into Anime once again. But it was still just a little boy’s love for cool violence in cartoons. It wasnt til I was randomly reading manga in Borders that i turned into the Otaku i am today. While randomly searching through the manga section i came across a manga that changed my life. Onegai Sensei, i remember reading the small graphic novel and being pulled into the universe as i wanted to see the romance of a alien and a highschool grow. I remember not being able to finish manga so i went home and searched it up on google and finding the link to the anime on youtube. I watched episode 1 – 12 in a few hours and then moved on to Onegai Twins within the same day. It was off the same person’s youtube account that i found a anime of pure win. Haruhi Suzumiya no Yuutsu! (I skipped the first episode because i thought the youtube poster posted something else by accident) In that same Month i watched a total of 36 different anime, going for at least 3 different shows a day. I would stay up til 4 in the morning on a school day watching anime or playing a ero-game which at the time i recently discovered after watching AIR. Within 3 years i became a full-fledged Otaku, and watching my grades plummet as I was also addicted to WoW. ( Which i played in the background while watching anime) Eventually i learned how to manage everything in my life, anime is still a big part of my life but I cant spend the amount of time i used to just watching Anime. Now i have to go to kendo, study, play Fallout 3, play Dead Space, go to the Light Saber club meetings, and oh yeah talk to my Girlfriend who is also addicted to anime.

I love anime, its a part of my life.

-Xaten

Otakusanpi ni yokuso.

October 28, 2008

Anime this shiny substance from Japan. It hits you how addicted you are when you stay up until 2am to finish Air TV and then look around for a Misuzu wallpaper instead of studying for a biology test. Oh but how innocently it starts out. But before you know it you’re drooling in the middle of the dealer’s floor over a Saber figurine.

True stories all of them. But that’s the life an anime otaku- anime. We think about anime, our rooms (cars, cellphones, laptops, etc) reflect our hobby. Yes I call it a hobby because it is- and it does eat up considerable amounts of time and effort. We may seem lame to the naked eye but to each other we can hold amazing amounts of respect.

Anyways that aside, welcome to our blog. Enjoy the otaku threesome 😀

-commander, neko, gendo, blonde otaku etc

I’m one of the writers of this blog. You can call me DJ. If you ask if I’m a manga nerd or if I consider myself to be an otaku, I would say that I do and I don’t. I’m a beginner. You could say I’m the outer layer of an onion, the peel of the banana, the tip of the iceberg. I spent a lot of money on manga, but not enough money. I know a lot about manga, but not enough. So what does that make me? Well when I end up thinking about it, I find that it’s very confusing. In the eyes of the true “in-deep” otaku I’m just a casual reader, but in the eyes of the “normals” I’m already a nerd and perhaps even a weeabo. I used to find that to be quite frustrating. I used to think that either I go one way or I go the other. Having a paltry 195 volumes of manga on my shelves I knew that I had to reach at least 1,000 before I can call myself a true manga fanatic. But you know what? Somehow I’ve grown passed that. Someone in my heart of hearts I’ve come to accept that I’m a casual manga fan.

“I like what I like and I can like that much because I like it.”

That’s the phrase that I’m riding on these days. I like buying manga, but I also like eating normal meals. I love the smell of freshly printed manga on my shelves but I also like being able to wear warm clothes for the winter. I can spend $400 on manga, but mind you I’ll spend $1,000 on school and other utilities. And why the hell not? We’re in a new age. The nerd is coming out on top and there is a new layer coming about; they are the ones who do like what they like and are devoted to it, but are still maintaining some form of sanity or maybe even social normalcy. Otaku and nerds don’t need to be social outcast and freaks. Hell I even know of a rather attractive girl, although this is very rare don’t get me wrong, who is quite into anime and manga. Embrace the new age and fuck off the normals. Read your “Bleach” vol. 24 and still get laid. You can do it! We all can! This is a new shining era of nerdom and otakuism and our deities are smiling on us. Lo! We are approaching our golden age!

Warm Regards, DJ