Interurban car 1207

A look back at the interurbans

Even though the Downtown Historic Railway is out-of-service, you can still experience the heritage interurbans online. Browse through pictures and brush-up on the routes these versatile rail cars took on their journeys through the Lower Mainland.

Anime Conventions

What is an anime convention?

Curious about what goes on at an anime convention? Ever wondered why people wear costumes to these events? Where can I find one that’s nearest to me? It’s my first time, what do I need to bring? Answers to these questions and more can be found in the all about anime conventions and the convention checklist articles.

Welcome to Vancouver

A quick look at Vancouver

Perhaps you know the story behind Vancouver’s founding. How about the salty snack that ran for the mayor’s office? Or the only time that one of the city’s early hockey teams won the Stanley Cup? Read all about them and more in the Quick Facts of Vancouver.


Naruto’s son, Sasuke’s daughter to star in new manga

Frederick Linsmeyer • March 30, 2015 • Manga

Even though the Naruto manga has finished, Masashi Kishimoto is still busy. This time, he’s working on the follow-up series Naruto Spinoff: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring Month which is due out in the April 27 edition of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Not much is known about the new series which centers around Naruto’s son Boruto and Sasuke’s daughter Sarada. Artwork posted to the Internet give insight into character design of Naruto, Boruto and Sarada.

Kishimoto wrapped up the 15-year run of Naruto on November 15, 2014.

Boruto will also get to star in his own movie this coming August, aptly titled Boruto: Naruto the Movie.

Adult Naruto Uzumaki Boruto Uzumaki and Sarada Uchiha

Source: Comic Book Resources

Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions to tour North America, Australia

Frederick Linsmeyer • March 27, 2015 • Gaming
Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions

Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions celebrates music spanning more than a decade from the popular Nintendo franchise.

Pokémon now joins the ranks of having its vast library of music performed live in concert. Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions brings the best of the popular video game series in orchestrated arrangements coordinated to video from the franchise.

The concerts will tour Canada, the United States, Mexico and Australia this year, followed by Europe in 2016. Additional cities and dates are possible.

So far, the confirmed list for Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions includes:

  • May 1st, 2015 8:00 pm at the Joseph Meyerhoff Hall in Baltimore, MD
  • June 6th, 2015 8:00 pm at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY
  • June 12th, 2015 8:00 pm at the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, OH
  • June 13th, 2015 8:00 pm at the Blossom Music Center in Cleveland, OH
  • June 14th, 2015 8:00 pm at the Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY
  • June 19th, 2015 8:00 pm at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, WI
  • June 20th, 2015 8:00 pm at the Chicago Theatre in Chicago, IL
  • July 9th, 2015 8:00 pm at the Embarcadero Marina Park South in San Diego, CA
  • July 11th, 2015 8:00 pm at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, CA
  • July 12th, 2015 8:00 pm at the City National Civic in San Jose, CA
  • July 18th, 2015 8:30 pm at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, VA
  • July 22nd, 2015 8:00 pm at the Orpheum in Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • July 25th, 2015 7:30 pm at the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in Houston, TX
  • July 26th, 2015 2:30 pm at the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in Houston, TX
  • August 20th, 2015 8:00 pm at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ
  • August 22nd, 2015 8:00 pm at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston, MA
  • August 28th, 2015 8:00 pm at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, ON, Canada
  • August 30th, 2015 8:00 pm at the Place Des Arts in Montreal, QB, Canada
  • September 11th, 2015 8:00 pm at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, MI
  • September 12th, 2015 7:30 pm at the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre in Indianapolis, IN
  • September 15th, 2015 7:30 pm at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA
  • September 17th, 2015 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, OR
  • October 23rd, 2015 8:00 pm at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico
  • October 25th, 2015 8:00 pm at the Monterrey Arena in Monterrey, Mexico
  • November 20th, 2015 8:00 pm at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • November 21st, 2015 2:00 pm at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • December 3rd, 2015 7:30 pm at the Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL
  • December 4th, 2015 8:00 pm at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, FL
  • January 24th, 2016 2:35 pm at the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts in Pittsburgh, PA
  • February 5th, 2016 8:00 pm at the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, MI

Tickets go on sale Saturday, March 28th, 2015. Visit the Pokémon web site for further details and links to purchase tickets.

Source: Pokémon

Forging the Hylian Shield

Frederick Linsmeyer • March 24, 2015 • Gaming, Videos

You can find replicas of Hylian shields at anime and gaming conventions or online specialty retailers. Man at Arms, part of the AWE(me) YouTube channel that crafts fictional items out of real steel, has taken on the challenge of recreating the Hylian shield. They’ve made the Master Sword first, now it’s Link’s iconic shield from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time to take the stage.

While their methods probably aren’t the same as those used by a medieval blacksmith, it’s still amazing to watch them document the process, the tools and materials from start to finish nonetheless. Don’t mistake this shield as a cheap prop — Man at Arms puts their creations to the test to show their strength.

Sakura Days Japan Festival returns for 2015

Frederick Linsmeyer • March 23, 2015 • Local
Sakura Days Japan Fair celebrates the arrival of spring!

Sakura Days Japan Fair celebrates the arrival of spring!

Even though spring arrived early, you can still celebrate it among the budding trees and flowers at the Sakura Days Japan Festival in the beautiful VanDusen Botanical Gardens. Held over the weekend of April 11th and 12th, it’s a great way to indulge in Japanese culture in the gardens.

Take part in a tea ceremony, learn the art of origami, master flower arrangement with ikebana or hone your haiku skills. Or just browse the blossoms budding on the trees in the gardens. There’s plenty of activities to for the whole family to experience.

Tickets can be purchased in advance online for a discount through the Sakura Days Japan Festival web site, or at the door on the days of the event.

As the festival takes place in the outdoors, bring appropriate attire as it may be raining. Parking is limited, so save the hassle and take transit (either the #017 bus, or walk from the Oakridge-41st Avenue Canada Line Station west along 41st Avenue, and then north along Oak Street) to reach VanDusen Botanical Gardens.

Attack on Titan movie trailer and cast

Frederick Linsmeyer • March 21, 2015 • Anime, Videos

Two live-action Attack on Titan movies are being released this year, with their dates included in a trailer uploaded this past Friday. The first movie will be released on August 1st, 2015, followed by the second on September 19th, 2015.

According to the director Shinji Higuchi, the movies will combine existing characters from Hajime Isayama’s manga series with new characters and villains.

Cast includes

  • Haruma Miura as Eren
  • Kiko Mizuhara as Mikasa
  • Kanata Hongo as Armin
  • Hiroki Hasegawa as Shikishima
  • Takahiro Miura as Jean
  • Nanami Sakuraba as Sasha
  • Satoru Matsuo as Sannagi
  • Shu Watanabe as Fukushi
  • Ayame Misaki as Hiana
  • Pierre Taki as Souda
  • Satomi Ishihara as Hanje
  • Rina Takeda as Lil
  • Jun Kunimura as Kubal

Attack on Titan follows the last of humanity living behind massive walls to defend against the human-eating titans. The manga series has grown in popularity including spin off stories, anime and a section of a theme park in Japan.

Sources: Anime News Network, Attack on Titans Movie

Cast update with Digimon Adventure tri. poster

Frederick Linsmeyer • March 14, 2015 • Anime
Digimon Adventure tri. cast update

A promotional image including voice cast and musical artists for Digimon Adventure tri.

More details pertaining to the upcoming Digimon Adventure tri. anime have been posted to the official Digimon Adventure web site. In addition to the cast of the Digimon themselves, Kouji Wada returns to perform the song “Butter-Fly” while Ayumi Miyazaki returns to perform “Brave Heart”.

The updated cast list mentions:

  • Chika Sakamoto as Agumon
  • Mayumi Yamaguchi as Gabumon
  • Katori Shigematsu as Piyomon
  • Junko Takeuchi as Gomamon
  • Kinoko Yamada as Palmon
  • Miwa Matsumoto as Patamon
  • Takahiro Sakurai as Tentomon
  • Yuka Tokumitsu as Tailmon

Digimon Adventure tri. reunites the children, now grown up, with their Digimon from the first Digimon Adventure as part of the series’ 15th anniversary in a new artistic style. Digimon Adventure was originally broadcast in 1999 and has spanned multiple spin-offs over the years.

Sources: Crunchyroll, Twitter

Portion of street to be renamed for Pat Quinn

Frederick Linsmeyer • March 8, 2015 • Local

Following the passing of Pat Quinn in November 2014, the City of Vancouver has agreed to rename a section of Abbott Street that runs north-south on the east side of Rogers Arena for the former player, coach, general manager and president of the Vancouver Canucks.

Fans wanted to remember Quinn for all the hard work he put in for the hockey team by suggesting his name be honoured as a street outside of the arena. Vancouver city council approved the motion on Wednesday to name the 700 block of Abbott Street after Quinn.

A ceremony will be held later on this month to unveil the new street name.

Source: CBC News

Baertschi, Conacher join Vancouver

Frederick Linsmeyer • March 3, 2015 • Hockey

With the 2015 trade deadline come and gone, the Vancouver Canucks have added two new forwards to their roster. Sven Baertschi, joins from the Calgary Flames in return for a second round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Cory Conacher comes over from the New York Islanders in a swap with Dustin Jeffrey. General Manager Jim Benning held a briefing Monday to welcome the two to Vancouver.

Baertschi, who hails from Bern, Switzerland, made 15 appearances this season with the Flames racking up four assists for four points, along with six penalty minutes. Picked 13th in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames, Baertschi has played in 66 NHL games with the team.

Conacher, from Burlington, Ontario, also played in 15 games this season with the Islanders, scoring one goal with two assists for three points and 14 penalty minutes. Conacher played previously for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres before signing as a free agent with the New York Islanders on July 1st, 2014.

Sources: Vancouver Canucks [1, 2]

New FLOW song for Naruto musical

Frederick Linsmeyer • March 2, 2015 • Anime, The Otaku Culture
FLOW talks to fans at Anime Central in 2011.

FLOW talks to fans at Anime Central in 2011.

Japanese rock band FLOW announced through their Facebook page that a new song called “Hikari Oikakete” has been recorded for the upcoming Live Spectacle Naruto musical.

The song itself will be released on March 21st, 2015 when the musical opens in Tokyo, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore as well as being available for purchase through iTunes.

A number of FLOW’s songs have been used as opening themes for the Naruto anime, including “GO!!!”, “Re:member”, and “Sign”.

Live Spectacle Naruto is a live retelling of the first 27 books of the Naruto manga series through music, dance and action sequences.

Source: Facebook

Still no Kingdom Hearts III launch date

Frederick Linsmeyer • February 24, 2015 • Gaming

Following the announcement of Kingdom Hearts III, there has been a lot of speculation as to when the Disney and Square Enix title would be ready.

In an interview between Square Enix executive Shinji Hashimoto and IGN last September, there was the thought that the game could launch as early as 2015. Designer Tetsuya Nomura has been involved with both Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III, but considering that both are highly anticipated titles, Square Enix is going to pull out all the stops to ensure they are perfect before release.

However, that didn’t stop online giant Amazon from posting a tentative release date of December 31st, 2015 on their Kingdom Hearts III product page. It’s possible someone in Amazon’s merchandising team knows something the rest of us don’t.

Kingdom Hearts III will be available on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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