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.


Actors named for Orochimaru, Jiraiya and Kabuto named for 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


Club Nintendo to close this year

Frederick Linsmeyer • January 20, 2015 • Gaming

Nintendo is ending their Club Nintendo loyalty program this June after some six years of rewarding fans with game-themed items. Free to join, Club Nintendo let members earn coins based on game or console purchases to be redeemed for downloadable games, posters or figures of Nintendo-owned titles.

As part of the winding down, Nintendo is allowing Club Nintendo members in Canada and the United States collect additional coins until the end of March with an extended redemption period until the end of June 2015. Keep in mind that games released after January 20th, 2015 can not be registered for coins. During this time, new prizes and downloadable games will be made available, including Flipnote Studio 3D which will be free to download throughout the month of February.

Nintendo plans to unveil a new loyalty program in the near future.

Source: Nintendo

Wyland’s orca mural gone

Frederick Linsmeyer • January 15, 2015 • Local
Wyland's Orca Mural

The iconic Wyland Orca Mural at the north end of the Granville Street Bridge.

Robert Wyland’s beautiful mural of a pod of orcas plying the coastal waters is no longer greeting visitors driving into Vancouver’s downtown core off the Granville Street Bridge.

The massive work of art, completed in 1994, covered the entire south-western facing wall, save for the centre portion, of the Continental Hotel at the north end of the Granville Street Bridge. It was touched up in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Unfortunately, the structure hosting the painting is being torn down to make way for a new development.

There are nearly 100 of Wyland’s Whaling Wall murals around the world, featuring orcas, gray whales, humpback whales, and blue whales. Another of these works is that of a family of gray whales which is still visible in White Rock.

Sources: Global News, Wikipedia, Twitter


New Majora’s Mask themed Nintendo 3DS XL

Frederick Linsmeyer • January 14, 2015 • Gaming
Majora's Mask New Nintendo 3DS XL box art

Majora’s Mask New Nintendo 3DS XL box art

Nintendo is going all out for the upcoming release of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D. In addition to the limited edition Skull Kid collector’s minifigure, Nintendo has also unveiled the new and improved Nintendo 3DS XL hand-held console during a Nintendo Direct video this morning, including one emblazoned with the masks from the upcoming Zelda title.

The exclusive gold-coloured case sports a large Majora’s Mask surrounded by the four masks used by Link in-game — the Deku Mask, Goron Mask, Zora Mask and Fierce Deity Mask. Enhancements include an additional control stick, two shoulder buttons, improved facial tracking for stabilized 3D play and NFC capability to take advantage of amiibo figures. However, a power adapter is not being included with the console, although it is compatible with Nintendo 3DS, 2DS, 3DS XL, or DSi chargers. A normal version of the 3DS XL console will also be available for purchase.

Following the announcement of the Majora’s Mask Nintendo 3DS XL console, a number of retailers reported selling out of pre-orders for the handheld both online and in-store.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, along with the updated Nintendo 3DS XL console go on sale in North America Friday, February 13th, 2015.

New Nintendo 3DS XL console closed Majora's Mask New Nintendo 3DS XL console open

Source: Nintendo

British Columbia anime conventions for 2015

Frederick Linsmeyer • January 10, 2015 • Conventions

It’s time to dust your cosplay off, grab your friends and head on out to one of British Columbia’s conventions for 2015. If you love mecha, shoujo, lolita fashion, J-Pop, fan art or figures, you’re sure to find something at one of the events listed below.

  • Tsukino-Con – February 13th – 15th, 2015 at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC
    Tsukino-Con celebrates everything anime and manga related for fans on Vancouver Island in a fun and friendly environment.
  • Fan Expo Vancouver – April 3rd – 5th, 2015 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC
    Fan Expo Vancouver is an expanding event that brings everything to do with comics, anime, gaming, movie and pop culture into one action-packed long weekend.
  • Northwest Fan Fest – May 29th – 31st, 2015 at the Anvil Centre, New Westminster, BC
    A newcomer to the Lower Mainland convention scene, NorthWest Fan Fest aims to bring fans of pop culture together for three days of fun.
  • Anime Evolution – July 17th – 19th, 2015 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.
    As Vancouver’s oldest anime convention, Anime Evolution is returning on its own this year.
  • AniRevo – August 14th – 16th, 2015 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC
    AniRevo his quickly expanded to become Metro Vancouver’s largest Japanese pop culture festival with guests from North America and Asia, vendors, panels and more.

Uniqlo to open shop in Vancouver

Frederick Linsmeyer • January 9, 2015 • Local
Uniqlo Naruto t-shirt

Uniqlo x Naruto collaboration t-shirt

Uniqlo, the Japanese equivalent of clothing giants H&M and the Gap, is supposedly on its way to Vancouver.

According to Vancity Buzz, Uniqlo most likely will setup shop inside the new Nordstrom which is the former Eatons/Sears building in the downtown core. It’s possible that Nordstrom secured a franchise to open a store-within-a-store for their Pacific Centre location that is expected to be later this year.

The ready-to-wear retailer offers affordable fashions for men, women and children. Everything from warm outerwear to t-shirts, jeans, and socks.

Uniqlo already has a number of stores throughout Japan and China, with a presence on the east and west coasts of the United States.

Source: Vancity Buzz

Majora’s Mask 3DS to come with limited edition figure

Frederick Linsmeyer • January 6, 2015 • Gaming
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D Collector's Edition

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D Collector’s Edition with miniature Skull Kid figure.

Nintendo has unveiled a limited collector’s edition box of the forthcoming release of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D for the Nintendo 3DS handheld console to include a miniature Skull Kid figure.

A handful of retailers will have the limited edition figure and game for sale together at a suggested price of $49.99 and will be available the same day the game is released.

Posts on Twitter have highlighted how quickly retailers ran out of pre-orders of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D Collector’s Edition.

A remake of the original Nintendo 64 title, Majora’s Mask throws a young Link in the midst of a world in chaos — a descending moon threatens the land of Termina with destruction in three days.  Classic items and weapons join new tools to help Link overcome puzzles and tasks that are all intertwined into the lives of the residents.

A launch date for The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D has not been made available.

Source: Nintendo

Free transit for New Year’s Eve in Metro Vancouver

Frederick Linsmeyer • December 30, 2014 • Local
Ride SkyTrain for free New Year's Eve!

Ride SkyTrain for free New Year’s Eve!

For all those going out to celebrate the arrival of 2015, you can do so without having to pay for transit. TransLink is is letting you ride for free from 5:00 pm on December 31st, 2014 until 5:00 am on January 1st, 2015.

In addition to the free fares, SkyTrain service will be extended by an hour with the last Expo Line train leaving Waterfront at 2:16 am and the Last Canada Line train leaving Waterfront for YVR-Airport at 2:05 am and at 2:15 am for Richmond-Brighouse.

Buses will run on regular weekday schedules with additional service on select routes. Refer to TransLink’s 2014 New Year’s Eve schedule for further details.

SeaBus will have service extended by an hour with the last boat leaving Lonsdale Quay at 2:00 am and at 2:20 am from Waterfront.

West Coast Express trains will leave Waterfront at 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 4:20 pm, 5:30 pm and 6:20 pm.

All transit, with the exception of the West Coast Express (which will not be operating), will run on Sunday/holiday hours on January 1st, 2015.

Source: TransLink

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