Pure, unadulterated geekery.
Everything from obscure cult films to our random thoughts on Toronto culture/events is what you'll find here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Random Manga Review #1: JJBA

I've wanted to do atleast one manga review for a while but never got around to doing so, and it seems I haven't posted much since I started this blog. Apparently consistency is not a strong suit for me. So this is what I'll be doing from time to time, I either choose a familiar manga I've read in the past or choose a random series outside of my average tastes (basically using the 'surprise me' button on OM) and write a review on it. For this one I've chosen Jojo's Bizarre Adventures. The title alone drew me in and the front cover art had me bedazzled. Not only that but the story turns out to be a bit more complex than I originally thought. At first the story and characters had me peg it for a "Fist of the North Star" kind of manga. But with its array of characters and the build up near the end of each chapter keeps you reading. Not only that but this story continues for seven series, each different but continuing from the last after a fashion. Each story centres around the Joestar family and truly odd circumstances that happen to there massive members. I'm serious about the massive statement, each fight scene there chest is the background and they seem to actually grow as the action peaks in the story. Now the plot might seem like its taken too far at times or the deus ex machina feel of certain charecters and plots. But thats essentially the best part of this manga since the writer makes it all work in the best possible way. Now this is more shounen level kind of reading, but its just boardering on seinen with some of its themes and take on its main villain. Think One Peice after Skypeia, things somehow got a bit more serious. So if you like stories like "Fist of the North Star" with an added quirkiness, the good kind, and a bit more depth than have a look at JJBA the next time your in search of something new.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Canadian & American Universities TOO Asian!?!?

Now before I start this, the title probably got your attention as it was meant to, just not in a positive way I assume. It's not meant to be racist or anything of that nature. This was the title used in an american debate amongst College's who saw a rising Asian population as something at least worth mentioning. It's also the title of two articles that got my attention (Maclean's & the Toronto Star). I'm not going to really agree to some of the points made in the Toronto Star, as it seemed they were implying Asian parents should calm down and stop pushing there kids to head towards engineering or to become a doctor. Now I don't necessarily agree that pushing kids for a better future is a bad thing, but pushing someone with the social development of a six year old and no talent in a given field is beyond horrible parenting. I would not like a depressed bent out of shape surgeon in the coming years who hates his job and his patients operating on me. At least in Macleans they leaned towards just informing people that this isn't so much an issue, but is being seen as one by universities and educators. Some universities are almost in denial in the high asian density of certain programs. In the states people of asian descent are having to do that much more than their white counterparts to enter colleges in some parts of the states.

Still though, this isn't so much an issue but something to look out for. Not demonizing one side or the other here. You can do that for practically any race; overly social but educationally un-prepared white people, black people with a astigmatism towards learning, the list goes on. The only thing that rang a worrisome bell in my head while reading the Maclean article was when it mentioned the numbers. Imagine a minority group of less than forty percent, taking up over eighty percent of a university. Specifically programs like engineering and the like. That is one demographic in the major fields in universities and colleges across both borders. Now its not that some of these students are only taking these courses for the sake of taking them with little invested interest, or the obvious racism that is already occurring towards these asian students (a little odd since they did work to get their), not even that some schools have already taken initiatives to lower these numbers. I'm not really sure whats bothering me about this article so much. Than again this happens when ever I read articles about minority groups with racist undertones (both over achieving asians and lazy white people), whether they were on purpose or not. And I'll end off on here before I finally cross a line.
But as a last note, and since this is my blog, I personally think this is a huge load of crap in many ways. We can't simply say one group is working to hard and chastise them for that. In a city that'll have the minorities becoming the majority soon, I can't imagine a better outcome. And if these students, as the Star implied, are failing in the universities screw 'em, it'll act as a wake up call and let them handle their own buisness. As for the disparity of white students having to face the overly competitive MINORITY asians in their schools, don't make me laugh.

Links if your interested:


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Movie Pick: Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

'Brief Interviews with Hideous Men'. This movie is amazing, and I'm a hard person to please. In a brief summary its about a woman's quest to understand man in a post-feminist society, and perhaps to understand her own relationships with the men in her life. I know, sounds like a chick flick but this movie is an interesting view for both genders. Through this movie the main character acts as an interviewer but barely speaks in the film, appearing as an unknown observer trying to peek in to a man's mind. Which seems to be filled with sexual advances and conquests, false understanding of women, obsessive fetishes, shock value ideas, and so on. But going back to the film as a whole, it almost feels to mashed up to be good. Every scene is changing and becomes a story all on its own (and yes I know this was based on a collection of short stories), but it never loses its fluidity. Such as the scene that matches up all the talk up till then in to an argument about Victor Franco and how horrible experiences can still have a positive effect on a person. At least to me, you soon start watching just for those interviews. Her subjects become just as interesting to the viewer as it does to her. Each one is different, unique even, and contain their own varied history and personalities, but what I enjoyed most out of these characters were that they were truly believable. Well that's my take on this movie and I hope you do not watch this with your significant other, and enjoy.

Another reason to visit Japan...I guess.

Every now and then, I'll see something coming out of Japan I don't quite know how to react to. I'll usually go through a variety of facial expressions (first, the raising of the brow with the mouth slightly open; then the furrowing of the brow-the mouth is closed at this point-and finally, the blank stare) then shrug it off and go on to tell whoever is around to listen.

This of course, is one of those times.

I was on GaijinPot and found out about the latest tourist trap in Japan:

The people at Triumph Japan (yes, that Triumph, the people who make bras) have come up with a concept that's supposed to bring in more tourists into Japan. Basically, once you get off the plane in Japan, you'll be greeted by a girl in a navy bustier. But it's not just any girl in a bustier, this being Japan, there typically has to be some sort of creative technical innovation. You'll be greeted by a girl in a bustier that has buttons that say “Welcome to Japan!” in English, Chinese and Korean. There is also a picture of a popular tourist location on the midsection of the bustier-not that you'd notice that anyway.

It gets better (read: more awkward): the skirt that the model will be wearing also is designed to be lifted, and has a nifty little map with velcro landmarks to show you cities in Japan to visit, and what they're known for (+5 points for educational value).

The entire point of this concept is to bring in more tourists to Japan. I don't know what kind of tourists they're trying to attract, but I'm not sure they're really the type that the Japanese (or any country for that matter) Ministry of Tourism is pushing for.

As a commenter on GaijinPot said, this had to be thought up by a sexually repressed, middle aged salary man. Hopefully, this idea, if it actually goes through, won't backfire.

I will however, give these guys credit; the restaurants in the airport will probably have an increase in the sales for bowls of rice. (laughs)

The original article:


Sunday, November 7, 2010


If someone were to ask me to name some of my favorite foods, donuts would most certainly be on the list. So when I read about the Doughnut To-Go, I was entertained. It looked great, but not like something I would bother getting. Needless to say, when I went onto Strapya-World (one of my absolute favorite places to buy random, wonderful Japanese things) and saw that they had them for pre-order, I was ecstatic, and it immediately found it's place in my Strapya wish list.

If you haven't already heard about it, Doughnut To-Go is a handy little case that keeps a single donut fresh and warm. They are also microwavable (thus I presume they are also dishwasher safe)...and lockable. There are 2 holes on either side in which you can fit a standard padlock around. If you only lock one side, the case can be opened just enough to see the donut, but not fish it out effectively. They come in frog green, pony brown, puppy white and bunny pink (frog green and bunny pink being my personal favorites).

The only flaws with the design are:

  1. Since it has a little dip in the middle of both sides of the case, you can't put a jelly or boston creme donut in it without puncturing it
  2. If you only lock one side, it still opens enough that an evil person can poison your precious donut (note: I may be paranoid, but it is good to be aware of such possibilities)
This will be perfect for whenever I go to Tim Horton's and order a donut. I don't need to ask for a bag, I can just give them my handy-dandy Doughnut To-Go, and tell them to put it in that instead. It's perfection; a product that is both environmentally and appetite friendly.

However, seeing as this is a Japanese product, and is therefore, produced for the Japanese consumer with the dimensions of a Japanese donut in mind, I wonder if it can accommodate an American donut? Are Japanese donuts smaller? Or is donut sizing universal?

Either way, I will be purchasing this fine creation in the near future.

Scott Pilgrim and Other Source Based Movies (One Of Many Rants to Come)

I have just finished watching "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World"......Here is a sum of what I feel in the form of advice, if you've ever read the comic don't watch it, if you never knew this was a comic in the first place go ahead and enjoy yourself. Why would I say this? Because people that are un-aware of Scott Pilgrims origin, or other comic turned movie, wouldn't be sitting through a one and a half hour ‘ok’ movie almost sub-consciously comparing it to its predecessor the whole time. I’m not saying that such movies as Iron Man or Spiderman 1 were horrible. But take any long running series of any medium in to a one hour block buster and you've accomplished nothing but stripping it of what made it special in order to cater to the masses that are ignorant of what it once was.

Just look at Constantine the movie, Keanu Reeve's makes Constantine seem like someone I'd enjoy hanging out with, a gruff but misunderstood fellow who, at the end, fights for what’s good. His comic counterpart on the other hand, I would sooner beat the ever loving crap out of and ask his best mate why he's still with someone who could easily be the single reason why his life sucks even more that it already does. Most source related movies are usually no where near as good as the source there ripping off. I'm sure there are some that prove this wrong, but over all there all a disappointment in some way. Source based films are now expected to be failures, the proof of this is that cringing knee jerk reaction people get whenever I mention The Warriors is going to be re-made and Akira is soon to be a live action movie. Even worse than basing a movie off of a best selling novel and known comics, is past movies. Re-makes are rarely good, there’s Toy Story 3 and then there’s Punisher: Warzone. Now, I like Disturbia which was said to be strongly based on Rear View Window, but their isn't a Hitchcock fan out their who'd say Disturbia was better.

Which is a major problem, rarely do I see a remake trying to be better than the original. I don’t expect much from Hollywood anymore but, as most geeks, when I hear JLA the movie I get a little excited than I get small flashbacks of Dragonball Evolution and Punisher. In short, if your more of a main stream blockbuster movie goer, go ahead and indulge. But if your like me and enjoy The Warriors and Akira as they were, save the 11.50 and do what I do, sneak in for the first five minutes and ask for a refund.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Venture Brothers Season FINALE! !SPOILER ALERT!

Its a Sunday evening at home. My remote on one hand and a coke in the other. What's missing? A new episode of the Venture Brothers that's what. I found out only recently that their next episode won't be airing till the end of November. But, on the plus side it'll be an hour long. Which should be quite a site, as any fan of Venture Brothers knows the team never fails. Their latest episode, 'Silent Partners', had Billy lose his virginity and brought back "The Guild of Collegiate Investors" who are apparently a front for the Guild. I'm not sure if this is the final season and their next episode will be their last. But if it is, its been more than just a great show. This show literally has everything a cartoon should employ at least once, and they (Doc Hammer and the rest) make it work. Bad ass action hero, a homage to the golden oldies, cliches abound (shrunken submarine in to Venture was priceless), actual character development (not just one heart to heart moment and they move on), plots that get you tangled up in the story and lives of the characters, and cryptic references thrown in for good taste. If this is truly the last episode, all I can say is that this is truly a show to be enjoyed by everyone, and to be watched over and over and over again.      (I'm also hoping to see Hunter in a real fight)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Geeks Becoming Main Stream

Nothing new to most of you. But to those who haven't been aware of it for the past few years, think back at least two three years and recall all the television and movies you've enjoyed. Now narrow that train of thought to how geeks are being portrayed. And finally compare that to, oh say, just twelve or even twenty years ago. The two best examples I can muster up would be the song "when geeks will rule the world" from 'Scratch & Burn', and most notably 'The Big Bang Theory' (I ain't touching Glee after the whole GQ magazine ordeal). Now some may get a little prissy about every one joining in on their once exclusive sub-culture. But hell it always happens, eventually the cool kids want to know whats up with all the other so called un-cool kids. There is an economic aspect no doubt, a sub-culture with no real look (besides the stink of vintage comics and models) almost squandering as much money on comics and gundam models as norms  spend on clothes. But it would never have picked up if there wasn't some interest generated, even if its a little poser-ish. But as I said it always happens it's only a matter of time. Think back to rebels, goths, and to other mainly music inspired movements. And now its the geeks turn. I once asked someone when does a sub-culture become main stream, and its still the best answer I got. "When others outside of that culture realize their there own unique group and eventually label them, after that it'll follow a cycle in which it soon turns to what its against and loses its originality". He also said that sub-cultures as small as these don't usually survive after massive growth or for long periods of time. But for those hard core geeks, don't worry, geeks will eventually become a mediocre group once again (freckled face or not) in some basement having a game tournament with a stack of comics before them as they breath in the musty recycled air surrounded by a cement castle discussing obscure comic characters and their what if scenarios. And good luck to you all.