Monday, October 12, 2009

The Masquerade by Sarah Chin

Hey guys!

My friend, Sarah Chin, has recently published her first novel, The Masquerade. The story is about two characters, Jordan and Matthew, and their adventures in a mysterious city, and they must reveal the truth about the city. Along the way, Jordan must uncover her own path in the story.

Click on the links below to learn more about the book:
The Masquerade by Sarah Chin

Excerpt from the book

Sunday, September 27, 2009

NY Anime Festival wrap-up.

Hello readers. I'm Pedro D., a new contributor to this here blog. I'll contribute here on occasion, usually on anime-related topics, but may open my own blog in the near future. Note that this post will be told from my point of view.

The third annual New York Anime Festival has come to a close, and it was a great year. My last NYAF was the first one, and this one topped that. Cosplayers arrived in wildly varying costumes ranging from half the cast of "Naruto", to a surprise appearance from Bumblebee from the "Transformers" live-action films. There were also vendors ranging from your manga & anime vendors, to vendors of gothic-lolita attire, to vendors of toys & weaponry. The Artist Alley showcased works of independent artists, be it original or derivative in nature. The World Cyber Games also held their National Finals here, featuring Gears of War 2, Virtua Fighter 5, Counter-Strike 1.6, and Warcraft III, amongst others. Of course, no anime convention is complete without the prerequisite maids, who held dance shows & contests, and dating games.

Day One started with the rush of otaku going into the vendors area to purchase varying items, most of which not sold in stores. Special Guest Yoshiyuki Tomino, creator (with Sunrise, Inc.) of the Gundam franchise, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, delivered his keynote speech, explaining the concept of the Gundam series. Funimation acquire the license to the "Initial D" series (First through Fourth Stages), and announced the English cast for the "Fullmetal Alchemist" remake, "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood", with Alphonse and Scar receiving new voice actors. The first day usually builds up to the second day, and Friday didn't disappoint.

Uncle Yo, otaku comedian extraordinaire, kicked off Day Two. His show was as hilarious as usual, with jokes that, in some cases, were even understood by anime neophytes, like the owner of this blog. Yo also had a bit of a surprise for the fans, when an attendee proposed to his girlfriend onstage. Funimation also premiered the English dub of "Soul Eater", which came out better than expected. Special Guest Yui Makino, of "Tsubasa Chronicle" fame, held a concert which I was unable to attend due to the Uncle Yo show taking place at the same time. The arrival of the aforementioned Bumblebee was what stunned the attendees. His arrival was so grand, NYAF volunteers and staff members had to clear enough space for him to move around. He was about 10-12 feet tall, and was actually able to go down to the convention space on the escalator. Bumblebee was, in my opinion, the highlight of the entire show. The day was hectic like usual, especially during the Cosplay Masquerade, hosted by Uncle Yo. Most of the skits were, for a lack of a better term, boring. However, one skit, involving L from "Death Note" and an ice cream sundae, was the funniest one. Yo was even involved with the skit, taking some of the sundae off of L's face with his finger, then licking it. Near the end, Bumblebee returned, dancing to Tomoyasu Hotei's "Battle Without Honor or Humanity" onstage, scaring Yo in the process. In honor of the Gundam anniversary, a Char Aznable cosplayer and a Zaku-II Gundam take over the stage.

The Final Day, like final days of many conventions, is the slow day, when the free stuff are gone and the vendors (rarely) discount their wares. Makino-san, like Tomino-san the day before, held a Q&A session for her fans, though I missed it because NYC public transportation is horrible on weekends. The Neo-Victorian fashion show was held at the Apple Kissa stage (Kissa - Japanese for cafe). Soul Eater chalk art was INCREDIBLE! Most of this day was spent snapping pictures of cosplayers dressed as varying characters.

All in all, I had a lot of fun attending all three days of the event. Special thanks to the owner of this blog for helping me attend the convention and write this piece, Peter Tatara for organizing this incredible event, Dr.Pepper/7Up for providing some of my ammo in the form of Venom energy drink, and Uncle Yo for providing all the laughs. I look forward to seeing all of you guys next year at the New York Anime Festival & New York Comic-Con on October 8-10, 2010. Pics to come shortly. Yeah, I know, shameless plugs there...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CosPlay Preview To NY Anime Fest 09 Part 1

Good ole Blogger how I've missed you so. Ok so I haven't missed you. I've been very slow to update this blog. I admit I lost interest in it. It happens. But now is time to get it going again. I've waited too long to finally put things back up on here so today starts the photography side of this blog. I've decided to make it into a photography story blog. CosPlay and other convention pictures, concert pictures, and more. So, without further ado, I bring you images of AnimeNext 08 and will have more from other conventions I've been too over the last 2 years. Enjoy! :)

Friday! The beginning of the costumes!

Saturday! The busiest of convention days!

Sunday! Time to close the convention and get ready for next year! But first, more costumes!

For more about my travels through CosPlay check out some of my past posts:

With Anime Festivals Come Cosplay

CosPlay Month Continues

Fangirling Asian Media (F.A.M.) CosPlay @ AnimeNext

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Laziness Be Damned

It's been a while since I wrote on this blog. People have asked, "What happened to all the interviews you did and pictures you've taken?" My response has been one of pure laziness. "I just haven't felt like writing on it lately." But, it hasn't been lately. It's been months. Sure there are still posts on here from my beloved friend and blogging partner Linda Thai but not much from me at all. After a very long self-debate I think I have a solution to this worn out blog. My passion and career focus is photography and I've done plenty of it over the last 2-3 years. Much of it has been of Asian media topics. How would everyone feel if my blog turned into a photography blog? I think posting pictures with small stories about them would be good. You will get to see what goes on behind the stories you're reading about on other blogs. I'll have links to Linda Thai's blog for in depth coverage of conventions, book signings, and much more. Hope everyone enjoys this new route! :-D

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fabulous In Brooklyn: A New Blog

From one of my dear Brooklyn College friends comes Fabulous In Brooklyn

I know you're fabulous, you know you're fabulous, and Brooklyn is always fabulous. This blog is here to help you make the best of it! The research, advice, and gossip that you get (from the most qualified Brooklynite) will help you always stay ahead of the curve in navigating your way through the treacherous worlds of fashion, beauty, entertainment, nightlife, and dating. You know that Brooklynites define the "now" in our perpetually edgy ways. This is your secret link to our world.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kickoff Summer with the NY Comic Con at Dave and Buster's!

Summer is almost here and what better way to start it off than with food, booze, games and prizes! The New York Comic Con is taking over Dave and Buster's in Times Square (234 West 42nd Street New York, NY), Wednesday, May 20th from 5:30pm-9:30pm, and we'd love to see you there! The NYCC staff will be hanging out at the Dave and Buster's bar, and we want to chat with you about this week's comics, season finales, and the start of the summer movie season. It's a great time to be a geek, so let's clink some glasses and celebrate!

You won't want to miss out on all the night has to offer...

* Half Priced Drinks from 4:30pm-7:30pm
* Half Priced Games until Closing

Need more motivation than that? How about this... NYCC, Dave and Buster's, plus our friends at Midtown Comics, Marvel and DC are donating amazing prizes! Be there at 8pm for our Summer Kickoff Raffle for your chance to win:

* NY Comic Con Beach Pack
* Dave and Buster's Power Card
* DC Variant Comics
* $50 Midtown Comics Gift Card
* Marvel Variant Comics Signed by Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada

If you can't make it -- which you better have a good reason for -- don't worry because this is the first of many! The New York Comic Con will be holding happy hours at Dave and Buster's in Times Square once a month all summer long. Mark your calendars for our upcoming events June 10th, July 15th and August 19th!

See you next week!

Thank you to the New York Comic Con Happy Hour Sponsors!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Time For A Rebirth and Reworking

Greetings all!

As you can see, this blog has gone stagnant. Badly stagnant. Horribly, boring, useless stagnant. I hate it! I've had no real urge, or whatever word a thesaurus can spit out, to write! I have such a backlog of interviews and pictures to post from the past year and still haven't. Why?! :-/

Ok ok. I'm going to calm down and get going on this again. The first thing is to revamp a multiple part article I did a while ago and never wrote a conclusion to.

I will be pulling down my Death Note comparison pieces and rewording them so I can actually write a conclusion. So, count this as a preview!

Vigilantism with RIDE again! Just completed and making sense.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Numb3rs: Trouble in Chinatown

Just had to share it with you that this episode happen to broadcast 3 days before Chinese New Year, which is on the 26th of January on the western calendar. Nonetheless, I think it is cool (^_^) to have an episode set in Chinatown and with Chinese or even just Asian characters and actors! Even cooler is that they are speaking Chinese! Guess what? Kelly Hu is in this episode as an Immigration agent. Just a few links related to the episode.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Hsu-nami SECOND album!

The Hsu-nami

Featured on MTV Network & Beijing Summer Olympics 08!!

2nd Anticipated Album “The Four Noble Truths”

Release March 2008


Featured on MTV Iggy, mtv2 and mtvU, a division of MTV Networks available on more than 750 colleges and university campuses in the U.S. Fans can also get a glimpse of the show through MTV channels like MTV Korea, Japan, Asia and Australia.

The band was also featured in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Their music played at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Arena representing the China National Basketball Team’s Entrance Theme.

The Hsu-nami is a Progressive Rock instrumental band from New Jersey, United States. With a front Chinese instrument the Er-Hu (Chinese Violin). "The Hsu-nami" named after founder Jack Hsu, is known for virtuoso melodic Erhu, heavy guitar riffs and tasteful guitar solos in their music to add to the "progressive Asian soundscape" effect.

The first Erhu Prog Rock Group in the world. Their music features a high level of musicianship that fusion metal, psychedelic, prog rock to funk, incorporating the use of an amplified Erhu, a two-string bowed instrument that is often used in Chinese classical music and folk ensembles, takes the place of lead vocals.

From the band’s intense raw live shows, the music will stand the test of time because of it’s culture values and the highly unique sound. You just got to hear to believe it.

Just like the multi-platinum artist Vanessa Mae (the first ever violinist that fuse classical traditional violin with modern/rock/pop music.) Hsu-nami is the first ever Chinese Erhu focused band that fuses different style depth of the modern rock music.

Imagine the music of “12 girls band” from China (12 piece Chinese traditional orchestra playing modern/acoustic/pop music). But… adds the heavy Metallica, GNR influence guitars riffs and a lot more badass solos and breakdowns and makes you want to just rock out and head bang.

Note: Hsu-nami has been documented in a dissertation by music ethnology professor Wendy Hsu’s book recently focus on Hsu-nami reflecting the whole Chinese Culture America pop Culture and world politics.




Music From China & PRISM Quartet

Music From China & PRISM Quartet
A New World of Sound
New works for saxophone quartet and traditional Chinese instruments with
world premieres by Chen Yi, Zhou Long, Ming-Hsiu Yen, and Wang Guowei

Saturday, February 28, 2009 8:00pm
Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center
Goodman House
129 W. 67th Street
New York, NY 10023