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September 2016
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Something to Do: Movies

At long last the James Patterson book Maximum Ride is coming out as the Maximum Ride Movie to a limited number of theaters on Wednesday. The latest Tim Burton project, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, is on the big screen in wide release on Friday, another one I have been looking forward to for a while.

Something to Watch: Discs

The fantasy/adventure Warcraft comes home this week for those who enjoyed it as much as I did. I can’t really speak for Cell, having missed it in the theaters, but it was based on the excellent Steven King book of the same name, so I have my hopes for it.

Anime has Chaika – The Coffin Princess Avenging Battle, which is a well done sword and sorcery warfare story. Maria the Virgin Witch is also about medieval magical warfare and how to stop it, with more adult themes. Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign has humanity on the edge of extinction, three guesses from what threat. The complete collection is a bit pricey, I will wait for a S.A.V.E. edition. The Labyrinth of Grisaia/Eden of Grisaia are two OVA series of about 5 episodes each that expand the story told in the original 13 episode anime series The Fruit of Grisaia. Mikagura School Suite: The Complete Series is another Magical Girls Combat School, this one oriented for the Yuri audience. The second half of Plastic Memories also becomes available this week, but I will wait for all 13 episodes to come out in a single box set before picking it up.

Rose Windows

From February of 2015, the band Rose Windows doing the christening of the new live studio at listener supported KEXP in Seattle. I think they broke up about 6 months after this recording, but they left three very interesting albums as their legacy.

Passengers trailer

Starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, Passengers will be out just in time for Christmas. On an interstellar colony ship, something went wrong and they came out of cryogenic suspension 90 years too early… or did they? Yes, I absolutely have to be in the theaters for this one!

Official Anime Pilgrimage tours

When Anime fans travel to a place where scenes from their favorite shows took place it is referred to as an anime pilgrimage, and enough people have been making those pilgrimages that all kind of cities have had their local economies seriously boosted across Japan. Enough so that a coalition has formed which includes Anime producer Kadokawa Corp., Anime/Manga magazine publisher Newtype, travel agency JTB Corp., Narita International Airport Corp. and Japan Airlines Co., with the goal of increasing that tourist business by catering directly to it. As their initial step, they have set up a web site for fans to log in and do a survey to vote for the sites they really want to visit at Anime Tourism 88, a reference to the 88 Temple Pilgrimage in Shikoku according to Otaku Magazine. Based on the results of the surveys they will be putting together packaged tours designed to bring tourists to a series of locations, including the more rural locations and smaller towns; most tourists to Japan tend to stay in the larger cities like Tokyo or Osaka. The organizations president is Yoshiyuki Tomino, best known for his Gundam series, but I am thinking what a hoot it would be to visit all my favorite places from the Ghibli Studios films. At the very least I would have to stop by the Ghibli Museum in West Tokyo at some point during my tour. They do bribe you with an Anime screen saver to fill out the survey, which doesn’t hurt.

Virtual Mars

It will be years before a manned Mars mission gets to happen, and all bets are off about which country might get there first. But starting this past Monday they cut the ribbon for the opening of new Destination: Mars exhibition at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It uses a mixed-reality presentation created by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to give you a fully immersive idea of what being on Mars would be like. They used all the images they received from the Curiosity rover to build the virtual environment, so you can’t get much closer to an authentic experience than that. They are using the Microsoft HoloLens™ mixed reality headset to deliver the experience, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin will be your holographic guide. For those who missed it, I posted about this last June, complete with a couple of videos demonstrating the process; nice to know it is finally available. I am adding this to the list of fun exhibitions I want to visit, and am thinking some time next year I should be able to make it. Perhaps I will see you there.

Sci-Fi by Real Scientists!

Humble Bundle is a great way to get some amazing deals on nerd-centric stuff and support charity at the same time. As an example, right at the moment their home page actually redirects you to their current Game Maker Bundle, with over $1,880 worth of software to let you create your own games and distribute them online, which you can pick up for less than $13. They don’t normally do that, but I think they got excited when even at such a low price they crossed the 2 million dollars in sales mark. That one is still going on for a day or two, but there is another deal you ought to check out: Sci-Fi by Real Scientists, with the charity being the Sci-Fi Givers Fund. That charity fund is one of several being run by the SFWA, and supports all the other funds, including the legal and health care funds, and their educational and grant system. If you are as addicted to reading as I am, this is an excellent way to help the independently employed authors (what, you never heard the expression “don’t quite your day job”?) keep doing what they are doing. The deal only runs for another week yet, until the morning of the 28th, and the e-books download to all the standard formats, so whatever computer or tablet you are running they will read just fine.

Something to Do: Movies

This week the 2014 remake of the French film classic La Belle et la Bête, AKA Beauty and the Beast will be available in American theaters. It has English subtitles for those who don’t speak the language although if you know the story you probably won’t need them. Also this week The Girl with All the Gifts is being released in the UK and at Fantastic Fest, going to wide release on October 11th.

Something to Watch: Discs

The only Western genre title I could find this week was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, a franchise I generally like better in comic/manga form. But I haven’t seen this one yet, I am hoping they finally live up to the promise of their original format.

Anime has Asterisk War Volume 1 which is sadly only the first half of season one of this series. I will be waiting until they release at least a full season, and preferably two, to a single box set before I pick it up. But it is an excellent story you should be watching online while waiting for a real release. Den-noh Coil 2 is the second season about the hidden secrets in the digitally augmented world beyond their VR headsets. With one of their number dead and virtual creatures that act as if they are alive, they only have so much time to unlock the mysteries surrounding them. Rozen Maiden: Zurückspulen has the Jun’s from two separate universes getting together to explore how having/not having the combat dolls in their lives changed how it all worked out. Finally, One Piece – Season 8 Voyage 3 brings episodes 481 through 492 of pirate goodness home.

MetaFive, Kimonos

I really enjoy Yukihiro Takahashi’s new project MetaFive, they are amazing. The band member who is their primary singer is Leo Imai, and he used to be with a band called the Kimonos. The first track is MetaFive’s Maisie’s Avenue, the second is the Kimonos Soundtrack To Murder, and the 3rd is Kimonos Almost Human.