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Messages - InsaneDavid

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Good evening old schoolers!

Although the Old School Cosplay Gathering generally features anime and manga characters, pre-2001 video game cosplay is also always welcomed.  In the years since I began hosting duties we have always had at least a couple old school video game cosplayers.  For this week's OP I'm going with the opening of what has remained my favorite RPG since first playing it back in 1999.  When the original version of Grandia was released on the Saturn in 1997 it was considered to be the pinnacle of traditional RPGs on the system.  A PlayStation conversion followed, which was localized into English and released in 1999.  The series would spawn sequels and spinoffs but this first game in the series is far and away the best title of them in my opinion.  To be honest, aside from the original the only other Grandia game I liked was Grandia III and it wasn't without its problems.  Funny enough, playing a demo of Grandia that was included with an issue of Official US PlayStation Magazine was what got me to buy the game way back when.  Proof that sometimes a demo does lead to a sale.

Celebrating An Era - 1990's!  Grandia (1997)

Good evening old schoolers!

A random pick for this week that happens to be a very early title.  While Tetsuwan Atom / Astro Boy isn't the first anime series by any stretch, it was still massively influential and important - and surprisingly holds up as well today as when it was first created.

Celebrating An Era - 1960's!  Tetsuwan Atom (1963)

Good evening old schoolers!

Going over ground we've covered very early in the gathering thread but with the preview trailer for the live action Cowboy Bebop series being released, I figured we could do it again.  I've never been the biggest Cowboy Bebop fan - by that I mean I was never crazy into it the way so many others were / are but I do really like series.  If anything I think the live action series will be entertaining and if it isn't, it doesn't change what the anime was.  I mean, there was a French live action City Hunter movie released in 2019 that did the main characters justice and was fine, although it was gummed up with French slapstick comedy - which I've never been a fan of - but it wasn't terrible or anything, so who knows.

Celebrating An Era - 1990's!  Cowboy Bebop (1998)

Good late evening old schoolers!

I've actually been watching quite a bit of anime over the past few days and this week's OP is from one of them.  Cyber City Oedo 808 is a three episode OVA set in cyberpunk Japan of the year 2808.  Three criminals - Sengoku, Benten, and Gogl - are enlisted by the Cyber Police to complete assignments in exchange for a reduction in their sentences.  However with each of them serving terms of over 300 years, and each completed mission only removing a fraction of that time, the chances of any of them eventually going free are slim.  Each of them wears an exploding collar around their neck, controlled by their supervising officer, Chief Hasegawa.  Hasegawa sets a time limit for each assignment, with the collar exploding if it is not completed in the allotted time.  Additionally he can manually detonate a collar at any time and often changes the rules and parameters of an assignment on the fly.

The series is a futuristic take on the police practices of the Edo period of Japan, complete with each criminal being armed with a jitte both as a practical weapon and symbol.  It is beautifully animated, full of great action, interesting stories, and dynamic character designs.  It's also very short, with only three episodes that are each focused around one of the main characters as they complete assignments.  The whole thing is presented as if it is a small slice of a larger narrative but this is a one-take OVA, with no expanding anime series or manga.  Honestly it is done so well and is so interesting that it's kind of a shame there isn't more of it.  It was recently re-released on Blu-ray by the good people at Discotek Media, including both the US and UK English dubs in addition to the original Japanese with English subtitles.

If you like cyberpunk and the work of Yoshiaki Kawajiri (who also directed Wicked City, Demon City Shinjuku, Ninja Scroll, and much more) then this is either one you're familiar with or haven't seen in awhile.  Check it out again, outstanding opening song as well.

Celebrating An Era - 1990's!  Cyber City Oedo 808 (1990)

Good afternoon old schoolers!

Apologies for being away for a couple weeks, things have gotten busier than usual.  Everything's good however.  I'm officially moving the gathering updates back to our usual weekly posts as I remain optimistic that come Memorial Day Weekend 2022 we'll be having an in-person FanimeCon.  Although I have elected to personally skip conventions until 2022, they are starting to spin back up - even in downtown San Jose.  These are important, as they will set the precedent for how conventions will get rolling again and be planned out into the next year.  I know it can seem really discouraging that this isn't all behind us at this point, but we are so close to getting it under control - truly.  I hope you are all doing well.

For this week, an OP we've featured "this year" but it just seems appropriate with how things are.  At one point I planned it as a dirty trick for the tiebreaker round of our Vintage Anime - Name That Year panel, as visually the OP is mostly nothing but rolling flames until the very end.

Celebrating An Era - 1980's!  Area 88 (1985)

Good evening old schoolers!

Almost missed this week!  This time around, the opening from the fourth Cyber Formula series, Cyber Formula SAGA.  This one tends to be the favorite of many Cyber Formula fans and although I prefer Zero, SAGA does have a very interesting narrative about where the limits of a cyber system lie - which factors into the final series, Cyber Formula Sin.  The art design also took its biggest modernization jump in SAGA, which is again why I like the middle ground of the earlier Zero a bit more, but everyone is a lot older by this spot in the timeline.

Celebrating An Era - 1990's!  Future GPX Cyber Formula SAGA (1996)

Good morning old schoolers!

Another week and another month already, crazy!  For this week, a series I don't personally care a ton for but I do like the concept and always like to see the amazing cosplay that it generates!  Perhaps the years playing the terrible Famicom games based on the series have tainted my enjoyment...

Celebrating An Era - 1980's!  Saint Seiya (1986)

Good afternoon old schoolers!

For this week, one I've already posted for this "year" of the gathering - but that was awhile ago and it's pretty appropriate at the moment.  A great series and an opening that looks more modern than the 1989 production would lead one to believe - at least it did so when it was featured at Vintage Anime - Name That Year last Fanime.

Celebrating An Era - 1980's!  Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl! (1989)

Good evening old schoolers!

Closing out the weekend with a true classic - a manga that began in 1964, had anime films in 1966 and 1967, and in 1968 an anime television adaptation that is this week's OP.  Over fifty years later and Cyborg 009 is still going strong.

Celebrating An Era - 1960's!  Cyborg 009 (1968)

Good evening old schoolers!

Over the next week or so I'm going to get the gathering thread / events page set back to a regular "for the next Fanime" state rather than the "until we can all be together again" as it has been since mid 2020.  Weekly OP / ED posts will continue, though they may be anytime Friday - Sunday rather than always on Friday.  It also means I can get back to promoting the gathering once more as there is a really good chance we'll all be at-con again next year.

For this week, how about an odd one?  Pilot Candidate / The Candidate for Goddess began as a 1997 manga that had an anime adaptation begin in 2000 while the manga was ongoing.  It only ran for 12 episodes and was abruptly discontinued.  An OVA series of a single episode followed but did little to complete the narrative, making this an anime adaptation that was more or less quickly abandoned, possibly do to poor ratings.  For whatever reason Cartoon Network thought licensing and airing the series was a good idea - incomplete as it was.  I swear, who signed off on this over something else?

Celebrating An Era - 2000!  Pilot Candidate (2000)

Good late evening old schoolers!

On this Independence Day, how about something explosive?

Celebrating An Era - 1980's!  Dragon Ball Z (1989)

Good evening old schoolers!

Apologies for being a couple days late for this week, things have been busier than usual!  This time around, an extremely popular series that I've been watching lately.

Celebrating An Era - 1980's!  Kimagure Orange Road (1987)

Good evening old schoolers!

I hope those in the Fanime area have been keeping cool over these past few days, as the temperatures have been roasting.  For this week's OP, an interesting one from a series that is finally getting an official English subtitled release shortly.  The story goes that when World Events Productions was planning out their Voltron project they wanted to combine three Japanese series to make one healthy syndication package.  The intention was to use Dairugger, Albegas, and Daltanious.  Due to a misunderstanding, asking for "the one with the lion," they were sent Golion in place of Daltanious.  After seeing the far more modern and slick Golion, the arrangement was made to acquire it for redevelopment and localization instead.  Golion became Lion Force Voltron / Voltron III, Dairugger became Vehicle Voltron / Voltron I, and Albegas was intended to be Voltron II but was dropped in favor of contracting additional US-centric episodes of Lion Force Voltron.  ...and well, Daltanious became little more than a footnote in the history of 1980's Americanized anime.  I still swear I saw a Daltanious VHS tape in a Suncoast in the early 2000's but have never been able to come up with any proof... oh well.

Celebrating An Era - 1970's!  Future Robo Daltanious (1979)

Good evening old schoolers!

Continuing on with an absolute classic, not much more can be said that has already been.  However, if you are only familiar with Dragon Ball Z or the more modern flavors of Dragon Ball, the early anime series is absolutely worth checking out.

Celebrating An Era - 1980's!  Dragon Ball (1986)

Good late evening old schoolers!

I'm considering this the first post on the way back to normalcy as now we're within one full year of the next convention cycle.  Outside of everything else in the world, the past two years (one without Fanime and one with the virtual convention that just wrapped up) have felt very different without an in-person FanimeCon.  Things continue to look up in this corner of the world, making the return in 2022 look more and more like a certainty.  With that, I'm going to continue to post every week right up until FanimeCon 2022, and dare I say maybe even start to promote the gathering again in the next few weeks.


Going with the Sailorstars opening this week.  Although it's probably my least favorite season of Sailor Moon, I really do like the opening sequences and the opening song.

Why do I dislike Sailorstars so much?  Ah... for a number of reasons - namely retconning the anime ending of Sailor Moon S, having "hero" characters who are completely worthless, and lacking any kind of character arc outside of a couple really well written episodes centering on Haruka and Michiru.  A lot of this has to do with trying to curve the manga back into the anime plots, which by this time had gone off in completely different directions, resulting in this kind of strange third chronology that doesn't really adapt the manga nor follow the anime it's supposed to cap.  In my mind Sailorstars always got a free pass for all of that due to its erroneously perceived adult and serious nature that supposedly prevented it from being adapted into English for the longest time.  A lot of its notoriety in the United States stems from it being perceived as this mythical final season of Sailor Moon that you couldn't watch - at least in my opinion.

Celebrating An Era - 1990's!  Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Sailorstars (1996)

Good morning old schoolers!

Well here we are, what would have been Fanime Friday for 2021 (and still is for Virtual FanimeCon).  I cannot emphasize enough how much I wish we were all going to be meeting up together on this evening for what is my favorite Fanime tradition.  This gathering truly is what got me into cosplay, first in 2014, and is a large part of what brought me back into anime fandom completely after returning to conventions in 2012.  All of you who attend, who have such varied interests in anime and cosplay characters, who inspire me to look into the series and movies and manga you cosplay from (which although all from before 2001, seems vast and ever expanding), to see your construction and design techniques for costumes where you may be the only person at the entire convention cosplaying as that character - are a part of what brought me back into the convention fandom as well.

Please take care of yourselves, enjoy the virtual Fanime weekend if you are participating, and I hope to see you all in one year's time.

For this week's OP I'm going with a film special that took a bunch of "usual suspect" Tezuka Productions characters and mixed them up together in different roles and circumstances - a bit like the convention scene as of late.  Marine Express was a television movie commissioned for an annual 24-hour charity special.  In addition to having been shown at Fanime in years previous, it also makes an appearance in the outstanding Game Boy Advance game Astro Boy: Omega Factor, which itself is an amazing love letter to Osamu Tezuka fans.

Celebrating An Era - 1970's!  Undersea Super Train: Marine Express (1979)

What a long strange trip it has been, ah?  Previous post at the end of February 2020 was nothing but clear skies on the horizon for the 2020 convention, excitement and anticipation with a note that more information was on the way.  A couple weeks later everything changed and Santa Clara County shelter-in-place began and the pandemic was well upon us.

So here we are, a week away from Memorial Day Weekend a year later.  Things are looking up around here, and we commend FanimeCon for hosting a virtual convention this year, adding value for attendees who registered for 2020, and also providing some of the events that bring us all together at the end of May every year.

As this panel is largely dependent on audience participation, specifically timed presentation slides with a live competition, and lots of multimedia and discussion - we have opted to postpone until the in-person convention resumes in 2022.

With that said, I hope everyone is doing well and that virtual Fanime 2021 runs smoothly.  And of course I hope to see you all in a panel room on Saturday morning at FanimeCon 2022 to share our love of vintage anime.

Good evening old schoolers!

Any other year and this would be the big run-up weekend of posts and promotion, styling wigs, giving cosplay its final fittings and pressings, getting panels rehearsed one last time, sorting out business cards and badge ribbons, and everything else that the week before FanimeCon entails for many of us.  However we know this year's Fanime is different than any that has come before, even 2020's full postponement.  With that said, it's awesome to see so many people excited about the virtual 2021 events and coming together to begin to plan fan events and gatherings for 2022 already.  This week's OP is a true classic, beautifully animated with a rousing yet relaxing opening theme.

Celebrating An Era - 1960's!  Jungle Taitei (1965)

I do plan on at least checking out Virtual Fanime. If it can fill at least some of the void of not having an in-person con, then that's good enough for me.

Then we can all finally return in Fanime 2022! ^^

Same here!

Good evening old schoolers!

Mixing it up a bit with a Saturday post for this week.  I hope everyone is doing alright.  I want to again commend FanimeCon for attempting to ADD value to 2020 registrants with the virtual event for 2021, rather than saying "well we're just going to roll it over for another year."  Sure, virtual cons are inherently imperfect and limited but if the last year has taught me anything it is that you have to approach most things with an element of flexibility.  That all said, I am so looking forward to 2022 and hoping that momentum builds up to it, rather than fades away.

For this evening, I'm going with a really chill, urban opening.  Boogiepop Phantom is a bit of an odd series to go into cold - but it also sort of works out as the best way to get into it.  Technically it is a standalone series meant to follow the first and sixth (which serves as a prequel to the series) Boogiepop light novels.  The idea was the live action film adaptation of the original light novel would be released with the anime following shortly after, making it easier to get into.  However the film wasn't released in Japan until after the series concluded.  What I still can't wrap my head around is how this aired on limited basic cable in the USA, on TechTV of all places.  Either way, it's a short series - only 12 episodes - and if it piques your interest, there's a whole lot more to check out with English translations of the first six light novels, the manga, the live action film, and the follow up anime series that is an adaptation of the original light novel.

Celebrating An Era - 2000! Boogiepop Phantom (2000)

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