Greek Otaku Radio 1st Anniversary Party

Posted in Errata, Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2014 by speedxgrapher

Here we are again and time for another post, this time an event announcement (wow, haven’t done one of these in forever). You know, with the advent of social media, smartphones and what-have-you, posting this sort of event on a blog seems kind of a moot point to me. However, all these events are usually posted in Greek, seeing as they take place in Greece and I thought that one such as this, the one year celebratory landmark of a Greek, online otaku radio station, deserved to have a mention in English.

Greek Otaku Radio 1st Anniversary Party.

Greek Otaku Radio 1st Anniversary Party.

So then, on February 15th, 2014, the event will take place in Ostria Café (corner of 65, Themostokleous St and 6, Oikonomou St., Exarcheia). It all kicks off at 17:00 and will probably go on into the wee hours after midnight (at least, I assume it will). There’s plenty to see and do, from contests, lotteries, to cosplays and boardgames, among other things. There will be Japanese music, both from the decks as well as live, Greek adaptations of anime openings by MusicPrincessGR and Nikubitsa (I’ve listened to one’s asaptation of the Sword Art Online Opening, “Crossing Field” and it was not half bad).

The guys and gals of Greek Otaku Radio went as far as to make a video announcement for this event, which you can enjoy below, along with a few lines fot he aforementioned anime adaptations:

I’m even considering swinging by to check out the action, although that largely depends on how busy I’ll be with work. In any event, Happy Birthday Greek Otaku Radio!

Cheerio,

Speedgrapher

Oni Market #30: Nobunaga Za Fuuru

Posted in Oni Market with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2014 by speedxgrapher

Three years later, the 30th installment of Oni Market. You might recall that, in my last post, I was wondering whether I should revive this blog, posting in it on a more regular basis. I am still wondering. However, the occasion of stumbling upon this new anime gave me reason for yet another post, since the jury is still out on whether I want to do a detailed review of it (likely, upon its completion). Given the abundance of review blogs in English out there, I usually do these reviews in Greek and post them on COMICDOM. Since this anime has only aired two episodes so far, I find it better to comment and speculate from over here.

Nobunaga Za Fuuru

The title, Nobunaga Za Fuuru, translates into “Nobunaga the Fool” with a 100% accuracy, since “Za Fuuru” is katakana for “The Fool”, as “Za Peipaa” was “The Paper”, Yomiko Readman’s code name in Read or Die (for those who remember that great series). Now, not much can be said of the story, since the anime is still building towards it, but much can be said of the setting, which is created using historical knowledge and anime tropes. Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but we’ll get to that later.

Nobunaga Za Fuuru - Da Vinci

The anime assumes a universe different than ours (and yet not foreign to it), where East and West are two different “stars” (essentially, a binary planetary system). The Star of the West has a more technological, European feel to it, where medieval arthurian monarchy meets sci-fi, whereas the Star of the East is basically feudal Japan (more accurately near the end of the Sengoku Jidai) with a bit of a technological twist, used (so far) exclusively in the making of Giant War Armors (i.e. rather crude mecha).

The anime uses prominent historical and mythological figures from a number of eras, especially in the governing body of the Star of the West. Arthur is King (a strange, robed figure with a soft voice) and his council includes (among others, to be named further on, I assume) Generals Gaius Julius Caesar (whose adjutant and confidant is Brutus), Hannibal and Gupta (this one likely based on the historical Maharaja Sri Gupta of India, of around 240-280 AD).

Nobunaga Za Fuuru - Hideyoshi

On the other hand, the protagonist of the series is Oda Nobunaga, often called “The Fool”, accompanied by his two closest friends, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Akechi Mitsuhide.  As the historical Hideyoshi was often called “Kozaru” (“little monkey”) by his Lord, Oda Nobunaga, so is this one often called “Saru” (“monkey”) and in an interesting twist along the line of literary connections, portrayed as and styled after Son Goku the Monkey King of the Chinese epic, Saiyuki Monogatari (NOT as he is depicted in Dragonball).

Initially the anime follows Jeanne Kaguya d’Arc, a peasant girl who hears voices, much like the historical Jeanne and is asked by Leonardo da Vinci to accompany him on a journey to the Star of the East, “where she may find her destiny”. Taken there by Captain Magellan (captain of a star-ship, of course and confusingly pronounced “Mazeran”, which makes me wonder whether it foreshadows something to do with the historical Cardinal Mazarin, but that may be pushing it). Da Vinci is a fun, odd and extremely suspect character, who I foresee will play a major part at some turning point. So far, he is responsible for building and stealing to the East with the latest Giant War Armor, as well as Jeanne, whom he took along “as a bodyguard”.

Another interesting factor is that these incarnations of the historical figures seem to have dreams and visions of their alternative timelines, as well as each other. Jeanne has a recurring dream of being burned at the stake, while Nobunaga sees his friend, Mitsuhide, betraying him again and again (as it happened in our universe, at the Battle of Yamazaki), though he pays no mind.

Nobunaga Za Fuuru - Jeanne

So far, the whole plot relies on coincidence, destiny and necessity, so there is not much to comment on. However, I currently enjoy the building blocks of the setting and I do not mind. What I am not crazy about, is the fact that, with all this thought process behind, the creators went and used the easy, overplayed trope of “huge boobs”, which Jeanne is “blessed” with and completely self-conscious about. Not that I have anything against huge boobs in general but they just don’t gel with the character; furthermore, the comedic effect they offer is weak.

Nobunaga Za Fuuru - Tarot Star

On a final note, the anime, produced by Satelight, is part of a larger franchise which includes a stage play by Avex Live Creative and signed by anime legend Shouji Kawamori (Macross, Ulysse 31, Vision of Escaflowne among MANY others). It seems interestingly and complexly thought out, though the end result remains to be seen.

Give it a try and tell me what you think,

Speedgrapher

Greek Cosplay Wishes 2013

Posted in Errata, Events with tags , , , , , , , on December 29, 2013 by speedxgrapher

It has been literally years since I last posted anything here. There were a few ideas, still less time and procrastination of epic proportions. Recently (that is to say, over the last year, or even two years), the concentrated efforts of Cassiel, an otaku I consider among “The Old Guard”, based in Greece’s Katerini and Salonika, have prompted me to reexamine a scene I left under considerably bad terms (those who know, know – for the rest, let us just say I could crunch a sopa opera book series out of the events of that time).

At any rate, repeated contact with new (and some seasoned) cosplayers over the course of Comicdom Con, meeting the great people behind Greek Otaku Radio, as well as the aforementioned activities and some discussions with Cassiel, I am considering whether there is a point in reviving this blog. The jury’s still out yet, but as a token of respect for Cass’s work, I will share with you a video he made, encompassing wishes for the coming year from cosplayers and people involved in the scene in other ways.

If you watch it all the way through, you will also see me, in a photo from much happier times (The Maid Cafe at the Athens Mall fnac in 2009 – the fnac has since become a Public, but in the photos you can also see Cassiel cosplaying as one of our shared favorite characters, Captain Harlock), accompanied with a text I sent for the video, since I could not get a camera to record my message in time. Now, all the video is in Greek, but you still get to see many cosplays and much Christmas  lunacy.

It has been a hard year (hard 3-4 years, come to think of it) for most people in Greece. Let us hope this year treats us better and sees this rotten government fall.

Peace,

Speedgrapher

%d bloggers like this: