Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

GENRE: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
CREDITS: 2011 Hiroyuki Imaishi, Aniplex, GAINAX, Konami

Gurren Lagann DVDs
Gurren Lagann Art Books & Manga
Gurren Lagann Music
Gurren Lagann Toys
Posters Etc.
Everything Else
Cover Description:
In his sky-less cavern of a village Simon toils daily, drilling holes to expand his stifling little world until one day he makes an extraordinary discovery, a small glowing drill-bit and the man-sized mecha it activates. Before he can give it a second thought Simon is dragged into a plot to break through to the surface by the local gang leader Kamina, only to have the ceiling come crashing down on top of them under the weight of a giant monster! It somehow falls onto the boisterous Kamina and the cowardly Simon to defend their village but once they defeat the monster what awaits the duo on the surface world? Get ready for buxom babes, beastmen, and giant mecha as only GAINAX can provide them! BUST THROUGH THE HEAVENS WITH YOUR SOUL, GURREN LAGANN!

Who Knew That Drills Could Be So Cool?. >>> by Razaele (originally written and uploaded 11.21.2011 18.25)

I remember the first time I heard about this anime. A friend had recommended it to me, and while I do enjoy mecha-themed anime as much as next guy, the chibi mecha with the exposed brain featured on the front cover told me that this probably wouldn’t have been my cup of tea.
I had faith though, so I sat down, ordered some food from a well-known fast food establishment that features a creepy clown as its primary mascot, and prepared myself for some good ol’ fashioned giant robot action. The first three episodes were a pleasant surprise, as I found myself liking where the story was going. In typical Gainax fashion, the story features a young boy named Simon, who is suddenly forced to pilot the strange mecha featured in the picture above. Also in typical Gainax fashion, a well-endowed, scantily-clad young lady named Yoko joins in.

All this is pretty standard stuff, but the character who really got my attention was the loud-mouthed leader of the Gurren-Dan named Kamina. I swear this guy can inspire the pants off of anyone.

Then I hit episode 4, wherein the anime suddenly took a turn for the comedic. I was massively turned off by this as the first few episodes had me thinking that the anime was going to become an epic of immeasurable proportions. I mean come on, the first few seconds of the show featured a gigantic robot-battleship blasting away at masses of unknown enemies. Still, at the urging of my friend I trudged on. A few more episodes of light-hearted laughs later, the story punched me in the face with one of the most unexpected events that I have ever encountered in anime. The show had shifted gears so fast that I was left reeling in my seat. After that, I was completely hooked.

From episode 8 onwards, the show becomes a fast-paced adrenaline rush filled with copious amounts of passion, explosions, and testosterone. For the first time in my life, I found myself brought to tears (manly ones) because of sheer AWESOME and the occasional bit of drama.


The growth of the scope and proportion of the series boggles the mind as well, with an arms race that puts everything that I've encountered up to this point to shame. I don’t want to spoil anything about the anime, so let me just say that the space battle in the beginning of the show is nothing compared to what you’ll find near the ending.

And it’s not just the over-the-top action and manliness that made this anime to be what I deem as one of the best out there. The story that unfolds during the course of the series is top-notch, rife with character development and rich back stories. The story mainly focuses on Simon and his exploits, but if you pay close enough attention you’ll find that all the characters around him grow along with him.

Even the baddies that they encounter throughout the series were thoroughly researched and well-thought of. (Although seriously, don’t Google anything that concerns this anime until you finish it. The Internet is full of spoilers that will absolutely ruin your experience.) Their angle has a bit of science tied in with the Gurren Lagann mythos, but I highly recommend reading up on them.

The soundtrack is also a large part of the experience. Throughout the series, the big events are all accompanied by songs that set the tempo of the events, all of which made every moment perfect. The OST of this series remains as one of my absolute favorites mainly because the feelings conveyed by the show can be found in the songs as well.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is an adrenaline-pumping, tear-jerking show filled with soul. I cannot fully express with words what this anime made me feel, but I can safely say that after watching it, everything else that I have experienced afterwards pales in comparison. If you still think I’m exaggerating, you can look up the meaning of the title of the show. (Again, don’t Google anything about the show before finishing it. I mean it. You’ll thank me for it later.)

Literally translated, the title means Heaven-Piercing Crimson Face. Holy crap.
Why aren’t you watching Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann yet? Go!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

UP-AME (Monogatari) Fair 2011

This post is more than a month late. Hehe.

The perpetually anticipated UP-AME Fair for 2011 was held at the World Trade Center last November 12, 2011 and I volunteered to not only be a media partner (and I obviously have been remiss in my duties in that aspect) but also as a speaker. Under the Anino Games Inc. banner, we also bought some sponsorship space. Yes, I know, this is one of the local anime industry's biggest event of the year. Hence the active participation.

The thing about UP-AME's fairs is that it's also one I usually dread going to, mostly because past experience has led me to think that it will be disorganized or that students cannot handle the volume of visitors that usually come their way. After all, they do this annually to celebrate AME's anniversary and not because they do PR events for a living.

This year, I was in for a complete surprise. The crowd control went pretty well (considering the volume of traffic coming in and out of the tent), the ushers were systematic, garbage maintenance could use some work but it was at least manageable and I actually had fun. Plus, I learned a lot from some of the workshops and that's always a good thing. So whatever it is this batch of UP-AME members did, I hope they continue to do it in the years to come. I think the World Trade Center tent was just the right size for an event of this magnitude.

Anyway, here are some key photos of Monogatari. You can view more photos on my FB page.

This is our booth. It comes with two pretty watchers, Vana and Nikka.

If you ever go hungry, you can always grab some P15 onigiri at the UP AME snack booth.

What is an anime fair without costumes?

This is for those who like 'em cutesy stuff.

Some toys for sale.

Beautiful blades.

I love this entrance.

Great job on the plants that lined the entrance. Tita May's work. =^.^=


Nikka checking out the headgears.

People dancing.

Akitani-san's kimono's.

Artists working on what they do best.


Some kendo demonstrations.

Toys on display at the workshop area.

Cutie kid in a costume. She posed by our booth.

That's me preparing for my topic.

Which was about how to turn your anime-gaming hobby into a career.

Akitani-san and her kimekomi art.

It looks easy enough...

But looks can be deceiving. Nikka works on her kimekomi.

Almost done.

It really ain't complete without cosplayers.

Have your fortunes told.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

On winning at the Philippine Blog Awards 2011

2011 began with the Otaku Fridge winning at the 12th Philippine WEB Awards (PWA) and it ends with the Otaku Fridge bagging Best Gaming Blog (National Level) at the Philippine BLOG Awards (PBA). I honestly was rooting for my other site, Sarimanok.PH, which also made it into the National Finals so I was not prepared to do a speech for this one. Why do I always mangle these things?? ^^;;

I thanked our readers, but I neglected to thank our contributors. One of them, username Voldemort, also won an award yesterday evening. Well, let's rectify it here, where it will go on record for as long as this site lives. Hehe. Thank you! Thank you!

I'm just happy because next year, the Otaku Fridge will be celebrating its 15th anniversary and I keep remembering how it started waaaaaay back during the GeoCities days. And the screening for this year, according to our host, was the most rigorous since hundreds of blogs had to go through so many processes. So yeah, she had it right when she said that all finalists are to be considered "hard core". Another thing to be happy about is the fact that I discovered quite a few blogs that I'd really love to visit. (Especially I am Fickle Cattle. I swear, working in a testosterone filled game development company has considerably nerfed my gaydar. I thought he was straight when he came up onstage.)

Anyway, here are some photos of the event, which was held at the Carlos P. Romulo Hall of RCBC Tower. You can view more photos at my Facebook page.

The stage.

Posing with my Sarimanok.PH co-author, Cris Dumlao.
The site made it into the finals (National Level) but we bowed to Sining Factory for the Arts & Culture category.

All winners:
Me on the left. My friends Lia of Geek Girl Manila and Kel (a.k.a. Voldemort) of It's True! It's True!
Kel, incidentally, was also the voice-over. He thought he wouldn't win because he was hosting.

Posing with other winners on stage.

Most of us.

And this is the trophy.
I should buy a properly labeled stand for it before friends ask me why I have a "kalabaw" on my desk.

Truth be told, my year had been quite rough (and was TOTALLY BAD for my self-esteem, which went on an all-time low). It's quite ironic because 2011 started out quite well for. But this is a great year-ender, telling me that life is still good after all. =^.^=

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