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.

 

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.

Miller out, Markstrom in

Frederick Linsmeyer • February 24, 2015 • Hockey
Ryan Miller before pre-game warm-up

Ryan Miller before pre-game warm-up in November 2014.

With goaltender Ryan Miller sidelined for a possible four to six weeks, the Vancouver Canucks have brought Jacob Markstrom up from the Utica Comets.

Miller suffered an injury to his right knee after fellow Canuck Jannik Hansen collided with him during the game against the New York Islanders on Sunday, February 22nd. Vancouver would go on to beat New York 4-0.

The 25-year old Markstrom has played 26 games going 17-7-2 with four shutouts during this season in the AHL. Markstrom, who hails from Gavle, Sweden joins fellow countryman Eddie Lack in net.

Sources: Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Sun

Early Spring in Stanley Park

Frederick Linsmeyer • February 21, 2015 • In Pictures
Beaver Lake Trail

The suns rays even reach the paths around Beaver Lake.

It doesn’t feel like winter down on the south-west coast of British Columbia. This past week has seen plenty of sun and some warm temperatures. Couple that with a weekend and everyone’s out enjoying the amazing weather for this time of year. That being said, any nice day will draw the crowds into Stanley Park to see what’s blooming or enjoying the warmth while walking in the sun along the sea wall.

There’s still plenty more days like this to come!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Flowers blooming Canada Goose Crocuses
Duck Turtle Buds

2015 Chinese New Year’s Parade

Frederick Linsmeyer • February 17, 2015 • Local
Dragon Dancers on Pender Street

Dragon Dancers on Pender Street

Celebrate the Year of the Ram with the 42nd annual Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade this Sunday, February 22nd, 2015. Filled with colourful costumes, dancers, musicians, performers, floats and dragons, it’s a fun way to revel in the many cultures that call Vancouver home.

The 1.3 km long procession will run through Vancouver’s historic Chinatown starting at 11:00 am PST. Leaving the Millennium Gate on Pender Street, the route flows east along Pender Street, then south onto Gore Street and then west on Keefer Street before ending at Abbott Street.

Further information and other events can be found on the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver web site.

The Chinese lunar calendar begins on Thursday, February 19th, 2015 as the Year of the Ram.

Sleeping Chespin plush

Frederick Linsmeyer • February 9, 2015 • The Otaku Culture
Sleeping Chespin

Someone’s tuckered after a long day of battling other Pokémon.

Earlier this year, Pokémon Center stores in Japan offered a new plush for sale — the three Pokémon X‘s and Y‘s starters – Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie, in an adorable sleeping pose. As Chespin is my favourite starter, I just couldn’t say no to him.

I didn’t purchase Chespin (or Harimaron, as he’s known in Japan) through a Pokémon Center location, but instead through Yahoo! Auctions Japan for ¥2,500 JPY, not including shipping. It seemed reasonable and didn’t include the hassle of trying to register and then seeing if they would ship overseas.

This delightful grass-type Pokémon is about 58 cm, or 22.8 inches, in height and comes very relaxed, with one paw sewn to his stomach in a sleeping pose. The mouth is stitched open in such a way that his tongue appears to protrude slightly. Don’t expect Chespin to sit up, unless he’s propped against something more sturdy; he’s been designed so that he lies down as the tail bends back so he can rest comfortably. The plush is well crafted, has no loose ends with solid and uniform stitching.

Sleeping Chespin's side Sleeping Chespin back
Chespin's left paw Chespin Pokémon Center tag

The Last: Naruto the Movie unlikely to be shown in Canada

Frederick Linsmeyer • January 31, 2015 • Anime
The Last: Naruto the Movie

The Last: Naruto the Movie poster.

While American Naruto fans will be able to enjoy the ninja’s latest film, The Last: Naruto the Movie, in theatres, it appears that Canadians will miss out.

In an email exchange with Eleven Arts, the film’s North American distributor explained that there are no plans for a theatrical release of The Last: Naruto the Movie north of the border. However, Eleven Arts did mention that if there was a demand for the film, their decision might change. A “Demand it” link on Eleven Arts’ web site allows visitors to petition the film be shown in a city of their choice. If enough requests are received, it’s possible The Last: Naruto the Movie will be shown in Canada.

The most recent Naruto movie to be screened in Canadian theatres was Road to Ninja – Naruto the Movie back in September 2014.

The Devil is a Part-Timer volume 1

Frederick Linsmeyer • January 27, 2015 • Manga
The Devil is a Part-Timer volume 1

The Devil is a Part-Timer volume 1

In a parallel universe, with the hero Emilia ready to defeat the Devil King, he instead grabs his general, fleeing through a portal that opens into Tokyo, Japan. As their magic powers have been depleted, Satan and Alsael hilariously try to integrate into human society while looking for a way to return to their world. Satan takes a job at a fast-food chain, beginning his quest to climb the management ladder while attempting to fit in with his co-workers.

However, Satan and Alsael weren’t the only ones to travel through the portal, and Emilia encounters the two demons while commuting too and from work!

Volume 1 of The Devil is a Part-Timer will be available for purchase in March 2015.

Actors for Orochimaru, Jiraiya and Kabuto named in Naruto musical

Frederick Linsmeyer • January 25, 2015 • Anime, The Otaku Culture
Kabuto, Orochimaru and Jiraiya in Live Spectacle Naruto

Kabuto, Orochimaru and Jiraiya in as they appear in Live Spectacle Naruto.

The cast list for the upcoming Live Spectacle Naruto has been updated to include that of Orochimaru, Jiraiya and Kabuto. Yuumi Hiro will play Orochimaru, Yoshiaki Umegaki as Jiraiya and Kimura Tatsunari as Kabuto.

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

A roll-call of the characters making appearances onstage includes:

  • Naruto Uzumaki: Matsuoka Koudai
  • Sasuke Uchiha: Ryoji Sato
  • Sakura Haruno: Yui Ito
  • Gaara: Kenta Suga
  • Kakashi Hatake: Kimizawa Yuki
  • Third Hokage: Kazuhiro Hirakawa
  • Iruka Umino: Ichinose Hidekazu
  • Zabuza Momochi: Asahi Uchida
  • Haku: Miho Imamura
  • Ino Yamanaka: Iha Anju
  • Shikamaru Nara: Hattori Tsubasaki
  • Choji Akimichi: Kato Ryo
  • Kiba Inuzuka: Iiyama Yuta
  • Shino Aburame: Shinichiro Ueda
  • Hinata Hyuga: Shahi Takahashi
  • Orochimaru: Yuumi Hiro
  • Jiraiya: Yoshiaki Umegaki
  • Kabuto Yakushi: Kimura Tatsunari

Live Spectacle Naruto tickets starts on March 21st, 2015 and runs through April 5th, 2015. Tickets went on sale for purchase today at Lawson convenience stores, e+ and Pia.

Orochimaru in Live Spectacle Naruto Kabuto in Live Spectacle Naruto Jiraiya  in Live Spectacle Naruto

Source: Natalie

Attack on Titan and Evangelion attractions at Universal Studios Japan

Frederick Linsmeyer • January 22, 2015 • The Otaku Culture

Ever wanted to get your picture taken before being devoured by a titan? Or want to experience an angel attack first hand? Universal Studios Japan in Osaka has unveiled a number of new exhibits as part of Universal Cool Japan based on the Attack on Titan and Evangelion animated series.

The Attack on Titan The Real attraction includes statues of Eren and the female titan locked in battle, a massive titan head with mouth open where visitors can pose in the creature’s hands while park staff dressed in Survey Corps gear take photos, and food for sale in the form of rationed bread, soup and potatoes. Also making an appearance are the most realistic representations of Levi, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert as clonoids, brought to life using the most advanced technology available.

Evangelion The Real is a 4D is a sensory immersive performance designed to recreate the Eva units fighting off an angel with moving seats, wind, mist, and smells. After the battle, snacks can be purchased, including an angel curry bun, angel core dessert and a drink complete with the Spear of Longinus.

Of course, souvenirs are available for purchase including Eren’s key necklace, replica 3D manoeuvre gear bracelets, and hair clips modelled after an Eva pilot’s interface headset.

Additional attractions include Biohazard The Escape and Monster Hunter The Real. Universal Cool Japan runs January 23rd through May 10th, 2015.

Sources: Crunchyroll, Universal Studios Japan

CTA bids farewell to the 2400-series rail car

Frederick Linsmeyer • January 20, 2015 • Trains
2400-series Green Line train

A 2400-series Harlem-bound Green Line train crosses the Chicago River on the Lake Street bridge.

It’s the end of the line for the 2400-series rail cars as the Chicago Transit Authority upgrades its rail fleet. The CTA is holding one last ride for the 38 year old cars on Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 before they’re removed from service.

Inaugurated during the United States’ bicentennial in 1976, the cars were built by Boeing-Vertol and originally delivered in a patriotic red, white and blue colour scheme. For most of their life, the 2400-series served the Green and Purple lines, with a number dedicated as maintenance trains easily identified by their red and white striped horizontal markings. This class of rail car became the first to use sliding doors instead of the “blinker” doors, last used on the long gone 2200-series.

An eight-car farewell train will tour the Loop, Brown Line, North Side Red Line and South Side Green Line in their original 1976 livery. Visit the CTA web site for a schedule of the 2400-series final run.

Source: Chicago Transit Authority

 

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