E21 14-18: Winners never quit

E21 14

So, it’s another week of watching 5 episodes of Eyeshield 21. I’ll be a bit more brief with my reviews of each episode.

#14: Lots of people want to sign up for the team after Eyeshield 21’s amazing performance in the prior game, so they go through interviews to find out if they should be on the team. Hiruma tells his teammates (including Sena) to look for how they posture themselves when deciding whether they should be on offense or defense. Then Hiruma forces all the players to climb up Tokyo Tower with a bag of ice which must not melt before they reach the top. It’s hilarious, actually, and it also involves getting the team to not give up, so there’s a bit of growing as characters too. Rating: ***1/2

#15: This one is a riot. Hiruma wants Sena to gain more stamina, so he sends him out as Eyeshield 21 and then gets over the loudspeaker to make the entire school chase after him. If that’s not enough, Hiruma also gets the Chameleon team to chase after him. So Sena has absolutely everyone chasing after him, and then the Chameleons kidnap Mamori in an attempt to track down Eyeshield 21. Once they have Eyeshield 21, they force Sena to reveal himself to Mamori. Just when you think Sena’s cover is blown, Hiruma shows up and says “I am Eyeshield 21” and then the entire team shows up saying “I am Eyeshield 21” and they are all wearing the exact outfit of Eyeshield 21. It reminded me of that “I am Fenwick” commercial by Southwest Airlines. Mamori somehow falls for it, just as she fell for the idea that the reason Sena and Eyeshield 21 aren’t ever at the same place at once being because they must not like each other. There was no football in this episode, but that’s okay; it was hilarious. Rating: ****

#16: Kurita happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he’s right there when three guys knock down and destroy stuff at a mall. Kurita gets framed, and he doesn’t want to cost his team a chance at the Christmas Bowl, so he decides to quit the team. The team then goes out to clear his name, and they do so, but not before Kurita has a nightmare that his actions not only forfeit the Christmas Bowl but also turn him into a Godzilla-esque monster who gets missiles fired at him. Yes, it is as funny as it sounds. Rating: ***

#17: Hiruma gets the team to learn how to run routes by holding a barbecue. If they want any food, they’ve got to run the right route, where he will shoot the pieces of meat. Unfortunately, no one can run the right route, so the dog mascot eats all the food. Then the team runs into two players on an opposing team, who know how to run routes. Those players then take on the Ojo White Knights, where their route-running stakes them to a 20-7 halftime lead. Ojo ends up coming back to win 21-20, but Sena and “Monta Magic” learn the importance of route running. Rating: ***

#18: This episode was unfortunately very forgettable. The three slackers on the team quit, but eventually decide to come back to the team. I really lost interest in the middle of this one. Surprising, because the prior episodes had been so good. Oh well, one out of five isn’t too bad.

Correction: Episode 18 wasn’t that bad. I forgot about the utterly hilarious scene where the guy reads the fake text message off Hiruma’s phone and says “Ya-ha” in the most dull voice ever. That alone redeems this episode. Rating: **1/2

If you haven’t guessed yet, I really, really like Eyeshield 21. I now want to cosplay the titular character (in full football gear).

Colossalcon 2017 review

Colossalcon

How was my Colossalcon? Great, thanks for asking! And this one wasn’t spent as much waiting in lines as it was spent splashing around in the waterpark. That’s right, instead of waiting for any autographs or for a room for next year, I instead spent a lot of time in the waterpark, which was very enjoyable. I love to waterpark, especially at the Kalahari, which has a giant indoor waterpark which is very warm and thus doesn’t make you freeze your butt off. So I spent a ton of time waterparking, which meant less time at actual panels.

But that doesn’t mean the con was bad! No, the con had an awesome Dealer’s Room, a brilliant Artists’ Alley, a surprisingly robust Craft Fair, and the always amazing Flea Market. Those four things alone made the con great. Then you mix in the fun I had doing my two panels as well as a few good panels that I went to, and the con turns out to be fantastic, as it always is.

Let’s take a look at the panels I went to:

Thursday:

Unpopular Anime/Manga Appreciation: A mixed bag of sorts. What I liked about the panel is that it gave everyone the opportunity to come up to the front and share which shows they thought deserved recognition. However, it had a lot of problems. For one, the panelists seemed to do pretty much nothing except occasionally read word-for-word off their phones the descriptions of shows that they would google. Then when it came to choosing people to come up front, they only chose from one side of the room, and left my side of the room hanging out to dry. And finally, the entire panel devolved into chaos. It was a good concept, but very poor execution.

Friday:

Anime ‘n Chill: Sit Back and Relax: A good panel describing series that are calmer and less about action. The panelist came out and said, “this panel may bore you but that’s the point.” And it didn’t bore me. It made a whole lot of sense.

Nintendo History 101: Too much chaos. There were people in the room who just started randomly clapping really loudly, and the panelists were being talked over by people in the audience. We left this one early.

The Re:Zero Panel: I give myself a 9/10 for my performance at this panel (I never give myself a 10/10). I had enough material to fill the hour, I entertained and engaged the audience, people laughed at the jokes, people clapped for me at the end, and the highlight had to have been the fierce competition at the Re:Zero bracket. This was about as fun as doing a panel could possibly be.

Iron Cosplay: A friend of mine ran this panel, and it was very good. The only trouble was that the costumes were being made in the front where no one could see them except if you were in that front row. This problem was resolved in the “other” such panel that came on Saturday.

Budget Cosplay Method: This was a good concept, but the panelist didn’t want to do any PowerPoint, so it ended up just being a dialogue between the panelist and attendees. It didn’t really have enough structure.

Saturday:

See You Space Cowboy – A Bebop Retrospective: A good panel on Cowboy Bebop, but one attendee ruined it for me. The panelists bring up the touchy subject of a terrorist attack in an episode of the show, and the audience member in front of us starts talking about a joke about Gundams flying into the World Trade Center and how that’s okay because his anthropology professor says so. Sorry, pal, 9/11 jokes will never be funny. 3,000 people died and many more were injured and had loved ones lost. I don’t care if you’re an anthropology major. There is nothing funny about 9/11.

20 Minute Cosplay Creation Challenge: After walking out of the previous panel thanks to the 9/11 joke, we went to a much better panel where four teams worked together with a giant bunch of costume supplies to make a costume in 20 minutes. This panel was so much fun, and it resolved the problem of the other panel by having the 4 teams in different parts of the room so that all the audience could see. In addition, anyone in the room could participate. This was probably the best panel of the weekend.

Hetalia: Ask a Nation: Typical Ask a Nation goofiness here. Since people weren’t talking into the microphones, you couldn’t hear a thing from the back of the room. Ask a Nation panels need to die. If you want to do a Hetalia panel, either do something else (like game shows) or do a serious history panel.

A Mystic Adventure: A Cardcaptor Sakura Panel: My second panel, in which I give myself a 7/10. I didn’t have enough material to fill the hour, and that’s on me. Fortunately, I did make a couple friends after the panel, and I think that’s well worth the embarrassment.

So, what did I buy? Well, it’s a long list, so look out:

DVDs/Blu-rays:

  • Tenchi Universe
  • Tenchi in Tokyo
  • Kill la Kill volume 4
  • Sailor Moon Crystal volume 1
  • Hetalia: The Beautiful World
  • Hetalia: The World Twinkle
  • K:ON: Season 2
  • Princess Mononoke
  • Fairy Tail Season 1
  • Sister Princess
  • One Piece season 2 volume 1 (random Flea Market purchase)
  • Baka and Test season 1
  • Samurai Champloo
  • Wolf Children

Also:

  • Leafa figure
  • Haruhi Suzumiya figure
  • Ryoko Asakura figure
  • Homura Akemi figure
  • Kurapika figure
  • Kurapika button
  • Homura & Kyubey art
  • Bowser, Koopa Troopa & Mushroom plastic art
  • 2 Re:Zero bags, plus a Re:Zero shirt and pillow
  • The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga
  • Suzuka manga
  • The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya art book & manga
  • Cardcaptor Sakura CD
  • Mio Akiyama CD
  • Sailor Moon poster
  • Tsumugi from K-On figure
  • Haruhi Suzumiya keychain

And a partridge in a pear tree.

Overall, another awesome Colossalcon, and the only two problems with Colossalcon are such: it’s so packed compared to how it was five years ago, when it was cozy and more magical, and it’s been so good for so long that it’s hard to rank it high. In any case, Colossalcon is still the king of the Midwest/Northeast. Good luck trying to knock it off its perch. This con is perfect.