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.

 

Symphony of the Goddesses Master Quest delights Vancouver Zelda fans

Good things come in threes, including The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses – Master Quest which returned for a third time to Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre Friday night. Following the naming convention used in the series to identify a new adventure, this four-movement concert includes new songs with the unforgettable arrangements from previous performances. Packed full with fans of all ages, this musical experience brought the adventures and memories of the popular Legend of Zelda gaming franchise to life.

Cosplayers masquerading as their favourite Zelda characters in the theatre lobby.

Cosplayers masquerading as their favourite Zelda characters in the theatre lobby.

Prior to the doors opening, the audience, some in costume, crowded the theatre’s lobby. As in previous years, tour merchandise was available for purchase; a new shirt featuring the Skullkid and poster from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask along with music books for guitar and piano. I dropped the $35 for the t-shirt/poster combo, because why not?

An announcement indicated the doors to the theatre itself had opened and that it was time to be seated. The seats I’d purchased through Ticketmaster were in the dress circle and close to the west wall. What I didn’t expect was that we would have a clear view of the stage and screen; I’d half expected an obstructed view with the angle of the walls.

Opening with a montage of over 25 years of Zelda games, conductor Amy Andersson led the orchestra in recreating the world of Hyrule, with a little help from the giant screen flashing footage from the series. Following the overture, executive producer Jason Michael Paul appeared on stage to introduce a special video message from Nintendo’s own Shigeru Miyamoto, the mastermind behind the Legend of Zelda series. Speaking in Japanese with English subtitles, Miyamoto divulged some of the background behind the series’ legendary soundtrack.

Then it was into Gerudo Valley theme from Ocarina of Time with it’s upbeat and catchy tempo. Immediately after, we were treated to a medley of boss music: Mini-Boss and Dinosaur Boss Battles from Ocarina of Time, Molgera from The Wind Waker, Fraaz from Spirit Tracks, and Fyrus from Twilight Princess. It was beautiful to hear these adrenaline-raising scores!

With the opening notes of the Majora’s Mask introduction, the audience let loose with cheers and clapping. A popular title considering it’s recent re-release on the Nintendo 3DS, we enjoyed excerpts of the Clock Town theme, Majora’s Wrath, and Oath to Order songs. A quick transition took us into another handheld game: A Link Between Worlds with a composition of melodies of overworld.

The orchestra has returned to the stage following the intermission.

The orchestra has returned to the stage following the intermission.

After another brief word, this time from director Eiji Aonuma, it was back to Ocarina of Time, beginning with a classic — the creation of Hyrule by the hands of the goddesses Din, Nayru and Farore. An array of songs followed, including the opening title sequence, Zelda’s theme, Hyrule Field, Lost Woods, Sheik’s theme, and the climactic battles between Ganondorf and Ganon.

Thunderous applause filled the auditorium as the waves of the Great Sea lapped at the giant screen above the orchestra announcing The Wind Waker. As with the previous movement, compositions of many of the game’s vast musical library, notably the Great Sea, Outset Island, Tetra’s theme, Hyrule Castle and Ganondorf Battle. It brought back so many memories when I first played the game over a decade ago.

Once everyone returned to their seats and the houselights dimmed signalling the end of the intermission, the orchestra refreshed the fans with a beautiful rendition of the fairy’s fountain theme. Composer Koji Kondo appeared on screen to address the audience on his work for the franchise. As the screen faded out, the opening to Twilight Princess began to the delight of the crowd. A selection performed included Midna’s theme, Hyrule Field, Ganondorf Battle and Midna’s departure.

The final movement returned to a classic: A Link to the Past. Chills ran down my spine as Link raced to save Princess Zelda in the depths of Hyrule Castle. With Zelda’s theme, Agahnim Battle, the amazing Dark World overture, Ganon Battle and a Legend of Zelda medley that made for a memorable selection.

The orchestra revisited Majora’s Mask with the Song of Healing, Termina Field, Deku Palace, Song of Time and a reprise of Clock Town. Andersson then walked from the stage twice with the audience on their feet cheering, but returned to lead two encores; the first with Dragon Roost Island from The Wind Waker and then Ballad of the Goddesses from Skyward Sword.

For a third tour, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses – Master Quest did not disappoint, bringing new songs in with ones performed on previous tours. It’s a great mix of what brings the Legend of Zelda series to life — the heartwarming motifs of a particular character, to an exotic jingle welcoming you to an unexplored portion of the map, and aggressive battle theme to draw you closer to the fight. The orchestra and chorus really do bring the music from this amazing series to life. If The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses – Master Quest is in your town, be sure to grab some tickets and friends for a magical evening!

Photos from Anime Central

Thousands of people flocked to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center for the 18th Anime Central in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont. Three days of amazing cosplay overflowed onto the streets; with so much amazing outfits, it was hard to capture them all. For the ones I was able to take pictures of, you can find on Gallery. Enjoy!

A delivery for you, from the Postman! Tidus is ready to use his overdrive! Team spirit with players from Seirin and Yosen.
Benders, unite! King Kazma is ready for battle! The Iwatobi Swim Club is full of spirit!

Photos around Horseshoe Bay

The waters around West Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay are never quiet. With a busy BC Ferries terminal, marinas filled with pleasure craft, and the wildlife that call this harbour home, there’s always something going on.

Since I had some time to spare waiting for my ferry to Vancouver Island, I thought I’d wander down to the docks near Sewell’s Marina and see if I could catch some of the action with my camera.

Seal The Queen of Surrey (left) and Queen of Capilano (right) docked at Horseshoe Bay The Queen of Oak Bay's car deck is revealed
Goslings! Mini-tug helping guide a barge between the marina and ferry terminal A colourful house welcomes visitors at the entrance to Horseshoe Bay.

The Misadventures of Tron Bonne now in PlayStation Store

The Misadventures of Tron Bonne

The Misadventures of Tron Bonne is going for $5.99 in the PlayStation Store!

A little-known title in the Mega Man series is back! The Misadventures of Tron Bonne is now available for an affordable $5.99 through the North American PlayStation Store for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable and PS Vita.

The Misadventures of Tron Bonne centres on Tron Bonne, the villainess of the 3D Mega Man Legends series. Working to help pay off her brother Teasel Bonne’s debt over the purchase of their airship, Tron calls upon her Servbots, the little Lego-esque robots that cater to their owner’s whims, to complete the quests and mini-games. Interacting with the Servbots increase their skills and communication in Tron’s journey to obtain money and save her brother. The games themselves are a mixture of puzzle, adventure and action sequences designed keep players on their toes.

The spin-off title from diverges from the Mega Man Legends series that was originally available on the PlayStation back in 2000.

Sources: Capcom, PlayStation Store

Digimon Adventure tri. teaser released

More information on the upcoming Digimon Adventure tri. series has been revealed, including a trailer, updated cast announcement and release date.

Voice cast for the teenagers are:

  • Natsuki Hanae as Taichi Yagami
  • Suzuko Mimori as Sora Takenouchi
  • Yoshimasa Hosoya as Yamato Ishida
  • Mutsumi Tamura as Koushiro Izumi
  • Hitomi Yoshida as Mimi Tachikawa
  • Junya Ikeda as Jo Kido
  • Junya Enoki as Takeru Takaishi
  • M・A・O as Hikari Yagami

Cast for the Digimon themselves include:

  • 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

This sequel to the original Digimon Adventure is split into a six-part theatrical release scheduled for November 21st, 2015.

Source: Crunchyroll

EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival 2015

Make way for the pasta train!

Make way for the pasta train!

With the sun poking its head out on the weekend, much of the city was indoors exploring the culinary world at the 13th annual EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival at BC Place. The floor of the stadium was transformed from May 1st through 3rd into a maze of booths and demonstrations of delicious and decadent creations: artisan chocolates, premium chefs knives, aromatic cheeses, craft beers, and oh so much more. Read the rest of this article…

Free Comic Book Day 2015 this coming Saturday

Did you know that you can pick up a comic book for free on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015? Free Comic Book Day occurs on the first Saturday of May where participating comic stores let fans pick up an eligible book for free.

This year, there’s some manga sidling up close to classics like The Avengers and Captain Canuck. There’s also spin-offs from popular televised series including Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons and Doctor Who.

  • Pokémon by Hidenori Kusaka from Perfect Square.
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki and Yu-Gi-Oh! by Kazuki Takahashi from Viz Media.
  • Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama from Kodansha Comics.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog and Mega Man Worlds Unite by Ian Flynn, Gary Martin and Evan Stanley from Archie Comic Publications.

For a complete list of available titles and participating store locations, visit the Free Comic Book Day web site.

Helping those affected by the earthquake in Nepal

The earthquake that struck Nepal and portions of India, China and Bangladesh on Saturday, April 25th, 2015 has killed thousands and left countless more homeless and in need of support.

There are ways you can help; both the Canadian Red Cross and American Red Cross, along with Doctors Without Borders in Canada and the United States, and UNICEF are accepting donations to provide assistance to those affected the most by this disaster.

Blue Exorcist volume 13

Blue Exorcist volume 13

Blue Exorcist volume 13

The Illuminati’s Professor Gedoin is one to be feared. Upon discovering that Izumo’s mother Tamamo had been subjected to his cruel experiments, the Exwires learn that now Izumo herself has been kidnapped. It’s up to Rin, Yukio, Shiemi, Suguro and Konekomaru to visit Izumo’s hometown of Inari to free her from the professor’s clutches. Will the Exwires find Izumo in time to save her from the same fate as her mother?

Volume 13 of the Blue Exorcist manga by Kazue Kato will be available for purchase on June 2nd, 2015.

Kakashi finally unmasked

Kakashi's face!

After 15 years, Kakashi is unmasked!

One of the Naruto manga series’ long-running mysteries has finally been revealed. Patrons who attended Tokyo’s Naruto Art Exhibition were able to see the full face of Kakashi Hatake, but only if they bought a copy of Official Guestbook Shinden Fū no Sho.

Anime News Network stopped by the exhibition on its opening day and purchased the book, uploading an image of ninja’s face to their site for all to see.

Kakashi never fully uncovered his face during the series, only pulling down part of the covering to reveal his sharingan whenever necessary.

The Naruto Art Exhibition is open April 25th through June 28th before moving to Osaka from July 18th through September 27th. Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto has provided new artwork to accompany models and other displays that delve further into his popular comic.

Source: Anime News Network

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