Konosuba anime film comes to Canadian theatres November 2019

KONOSUBA -God's blessing on this wonderful world!- Legend of Crimson
KONOSUBA -God’s blessing on this wonderful world!- Legend of Crimson is coming to select Canadian theatres this November!

In it’s first event in Canada, Crunchyroll Movie Night is bringing the film KONOSUBA -God’s blessing on this wonderful world!- Legend of Crimson to select Cineplex locations on Monday, November 18th, 2019.

Shown in Japanese with English subtitles, Canadian fans will also be treated to an exclusive interview with Kazuma’s voice actor Jun Fukushima and Megumin’s voice actress Rie Takahashi.

Satou Kazuma loves to play video games, rarely venturing into the outside world, is hit by a truck. Reincarnated into a parallel world filled with familiar elements from MMORPG games, Kazuma teams up with water goddess Aqua, explosive wizard Megumin, and the disturbed knight Darkness to save Megumin’s home village from destruction. Together with Yunyun, Kazuma and his friends encounter their most dangerous foe yet. Kazuma, who’s lead a boring life so far, is in for the experience of a lifetime.

KONOSUBA -God’s blessing on this wonderful world!- Legend of Crimson originally screened in Japanese theatres on August 30th, 2019

Tickets are available for purchase online through Cineplex.com.

The problem with vintage anime shirts

Every once in a while, I find myself browsing eBay or Instagram and I find older Naruto shirts being classified as “vintage” despite some of what’s on sale being not even ten years old. Maybe I have a different expectation of what that word means, but seeing as how there’s so much misinformation on the Internet these days, I feel like I must shed some light on this topic.

When I see auctions for officially licensed North American Naruto shirts that are supposedly from 2002, I can’t help but laugh considering the shirt didn’t exist that far back. Yes, Naruto, the manga, was available in 2002, but the anime didn’t start airing in Japan until October 2002, and it wasn’t until September 2005 that the series was broadcast on North American television (who remembers the Americanized opening theme?). Viz Media, with Ripple Junction, started making the tops for 2005 and selling them through Viz Media’s online store and retailers like Hot Topic and FYE. So when you see the 2002 and 2007 dates on a shirt tag, it’s for the copyright dates of the Naruto and Naruto Shippuden anime series, not when the shirt was manufactured (the “MK” on the tag means Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto, and the “SP” is for Shippuden).  By 2010, the tags on the neckline were replaced with the logo and license details printed on the inside fabric to reduce costs; anything produced after that year doesn’t exactly fit into the vintage category.

Now, I’ve been buying anime-themed shirts for almost 15 years now and I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen the bootlegs, I’ve ordered shirts from Japan, I’ve stocked up at conventions. I have some of the first Naruto t-shirts that were released for sale — you can determine this by the earlier “Shonen Jump’s” versus the newer “Shonen Jump” wordmark over the Naruto logo. Just like many sneakerheads, I can point out differences and tell you from when that shirt initially went to market.

How much are you willing to pay for an anime tee from the mid-2000’s?

But I think the real gem was a vintage reseller on Instagram revealed a hoard of new, never worn, with the price tags on tees from Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, Bleach, InuYasha, One Piece, Yu Yu Hakusho and a few others. According to their Instagram story, the seller was going to drop the entire collection in the early morning and warned they would go quickly. So when they went up for grabs, I was astounded at the price — a handful started at $49.95 USD and went up, one clocking in at an astounding $149.95 USD (nearly $200 CAD after exchange). This was in August; it is now the end of October and some of those shirts are still waiting for a new home, still bearing hefty price tags. These shirts used to go for $17 USD a pop in the mid-2000’s, so you can see why I find the price beyond inflated.

Greed can get the best of us, and some see it as a way thinking they’ll get more than a few extra bucks from a hapless fan. Uniqlo shirts, originally from the Weekly Shonen Jump collaboration in 2018 and earlier this year, originally retailed at $14.90; you’ll be hard-pressed to find something from those lines under $30 USD or $40 USD today.

Not all resellers are greedy or dishonest. Many are nice people, who work hard to get things we may have missed out from back in the day. These are the respectable ones who are upfront with their prices and do their research into the articles they sell. For example, a good sneakerhead wouldn’t pass off a pair of 2010 retro Nike Air Jordan XI as originals from 1995; nor would a quality vintage reseller pass off a 2012 Naruto Shippuden shirt claiming it’s from 2002.

Now, there are some older shirts from the mid-to-late 1990’s that would come close to being vintage, those being from Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Gundam Wing, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Akira to name a few. Keys to look for are the fabric weight (90’s tees were printed on much thicker cotton than today), the design and age. Some fade quite nicely, but shouldn’t appear to bright and vibrant as if they were printed just yesterday; image cracking is also a big giveaway. And don’t be afraid to compare or do an image search online. Pictures are worth a thousand words.

So, if you’re out looking for an anime shirt and you see the word “vintage” in title, ask yourself: Is it really vintage? Chances are you’re spending extra cash that you shouldn’t. I’m just waiting for the day when the apparel that’s available now is going to skyrocket in price under the premise that it’s vintage (especially since the Primitive Skateboarding x Naruto Shippuden collection is dropping soon). Based on what people are selling online, that may not be too far off.

A trip around the world with Coca-Cola

World of Coca-Cola
Exterior of the World of Coca-Cola building.

I’ve been a fan of Coca-Cola for the longest time, and during my day trip into Atlanta, Georgia, we stopped at the World of Coca-Cola, an interactive exhibit that is all about the carbonated soft drink. Atlanta is where Dr. John Pemberton first crafted his concoction back in 1886, and it’s here that the company has its headquarters.

We arrived just before opening at 10:00 am EDT; while there was a large tour group waiting outside, we were able to purchase tickets quickly when it opened and made our way into the lobby. Inside the lobby, a group of ladies welcomed us and presented a complimentary mini can of Coke (classic, diet, or life) to enjoy before entering the loft.

Our Host at the World of Coca-Cola.
Our Host at the World of Coca-Cola.

The loft is a darkly-lit hall with ramps surrounded by all sorts of Coca-Cola memorabilia from around the world, many pieces originating from the turn of the 20th century. Here, our host was as effervescent as the drink itself, doling out trivia before escorting us into the theatre where we’d watch a brief film of various groups of people doing fun and exciting things to upbeat the song “On Top of the World” by the Imagine Dragons.

Upon completion of the film, we were free to explore the rest of the museum. In the main hall we could have our pictures taken with the drinks’s polar bear mascot, try and guess the formula of Coke in the vault or watch a much scaled down version of a bottling plant. The Milestones of Refreshment has on display even more artifacts from the history of Coke, including items from the Olympic games (of which the company is a sponsor). A number of the torches used were shown, sadly lacking the one from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

On the second floor, there is a 4D theatre and rooms with artwork from around the world, and a pop culture gallery. For those old enough to remember, Coca-Cola changed their formula in the 1980s to much backlash from the public. It was interesting to see newspaper articles and videos from news broadcasts featuring the negative response from Coke fans — usually, most companies try and hide their mistakes.

Of course, a trip to the World of Coca-Cola isn’t complete without visiting their tasting room. Here, five kiosks representing the five continents on which Coke is served (Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and Latin America) was were we could sample the many drinks from around the world. Some of the ones I tried were Inca Kola (Peru), Delaware Punch (Honduras), Thums Up (India), Vegita Beta (Japan), Sunfill (Djibouti), Bjäre (Sweden), Beverly (Italy) and probably a few more I’m forgetting. Rather than fill my cup (reusing the plastic cup was encouraged) to the brim each time, I only took a small amount from each of the kiosks so that I wouldn’t be loaded up on sugar for the rest of the day. And yes, the refills are unlimited. But if you must try one, definitely pour yourself a cup of Beverly.

And like any good attraction, the exit was through the gift store. Coke lovers, rejoice, this is your paradise. Commemorative glasses, bottles, plushes, apparel, sundries and accessories, all branded with the Coca-Cola logo.

Overall, it was a fun experience and learn a little more about Coke, and sample some of their products that we may never get to try (unless you travel or visit a specialty store that imports it).

The World of Coca-Cola is located at 121 Baker Street NW, across the street from the Centennial Olympic in downtown Atlanta. Hours vary by day and season, so check the web site for details. General admission to enter is $17.00 USD, though if you buy ahead online, you can save four dollars.

Nintendo sells 15 million Switch consoles in North America

Nintendo released statistics earlier this month, revealing that the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite have sold a combined 15 million units since the console’s first release in March 2017.

Internal data from Nintendo shows that sales have increased 20% through September 2019, and that it was the best selling gaming system for 10 months in row according to the NPD Group.

Some 14 Switch games have surpassed the one million sold mark, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate selling more than six million units each.

Titles from third-party developers and publishers are also marking these milestones, including Ubisoft’s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Mojang AB’s Minecraft, and Epic Game’s Fortnite.

In the United States, the Nintendo Switch retails for $299.99 USD, while the Nintendo Switch Lite, a more compact version, goes for $199.99 USD (that’s $399.99 CAD and $259.99 CAD in Canada, respectively).

Source: Nintendo

Nephrus design update

How Nephrus looks on a Google Pixel 2 XL phone.
How Nephrus looks on a Google Pixel 2 XL phone.

If you haven’t already noticed, the layout of Nephrus has changed and for the better. The previous design was a decade old, inflexible and was cumbersome on mobile devices.

This new theme is much sleeker, easier to use and looks better on phones and tablets so that anyone can view Nephrus from anywhere and on practically anything.

There’s still some tweaks and adjustments to be made, and if anything appears broken, please leave some feedback so we can fix it.

Scare up some anime this Halloween with Crunchyroll

With Halloween just over a week away, the team at Crunchyroll has compiled a list of the creepiest and scariest anime to get you in the spirit. Be ready ready for a night full of frights with these spooky series.

Parasyte -the maxim-
They arrived in silence and darkness, descending from the skies with a hunger for human flesh. Parasites – alien creatures who must invade and take control of a human host to survive – have come to Earth. No one knows their secret except high school student, Shinichi Izumi, who’s right hand has been invaded by an alien parasite. Shinichi and Migi, the parasite in his hand, begrudgingly form a friendship and find themselves caught in the middle of a war between humans and parasites.

Angels of Death
When Rachel wakes up in the basement of an unfamiliar building, she finds herself lost all her memory. As Rachel tries to get clear of the basement, she runs into Zack, a scythe-carrying serial killer wrapped from head to toe in bandages. “Kill me, kill me please…” “I will do it, but only if you help me to get out of this building.” The bizarre promise brings these two together and somehow makes them an irreplaceable partner to each other. Where are they? Why are they trapped? And what is the destiny they have been looking for? The journey of death and life starts…

Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories
Yamishibai is a picture-story style of animation whose motif is surrounded and based on the rumors, and urban legends throughout the history of Japan.

Junji Ito Collection
The works of one of the most famous Japanese horror manga artists, Junji Ito, finally gets animated! This will be an omnibus animation where each episode will star different protagonists such as the famous Tomie, Soichi, and Fuchi!

ZOMBIE LAND SAGA
A typical morning. The usual music. Their normal lives. The peace these seven girls experience will suddenly be destroyed. By the living dead… zombies. A reality that they never wanted a part of, an amazing and terrifying zombie world. They all share one wish: “We want to live.” These girls will struggle through this saga, in order to achieve a miracle. MAPPA, Avex Pictures, and Cygames team up to bring you a juicy, 100% original anime. A timeless shocker for all audiences, a brand new style of zombie anime, will soon rise.

Calamity of a Zombie Girl
On a university campus where most students are out for summer vacation, five students sneak into the library storage to look for treasure. What they find are two sets of female antique mummies from Italy. One of the members, Sayaka rips open one of the mummies and takes out a stone, empowering the mummies to have super strength and eternal life. Having stolen their “stone of life”, the two mummies awaken and ferociously attempt to retrieve what was once theirs. The only way for the students to escape this situation is to find a way to kill the zombie girls… but will they be able to survive?

Beautiful Bones -Sakurako’s Investigation-
The story centers around high school student Shotaro Tatewaki and the beautiful Sakurako Kujo, who loves beautiful bones. Due to the nature of her interests, the two of them are involved in all kinds of incidents involving bones.

THE PERFECT INSIDER
Based on the award-winning novel Subete ga F ni Naru by Hiroshi Mori, The Perfect Insider finds Sohei Saikawa, a member of the Saikawa Research Lab, and Moe Nishinosono, the daughter of his mentor, on vacation when they discover a corpse. The two then work together to solve the mysteries of what becomes a serial murder case.

The Lost Village
30 young men and women who came together on a shady bus tour. The tour’s destination: an illusive, possibly nonexistent village called Nanakimura. In Nanakimura, one can lead a utopian existence, free of the world’s obstacles … or so it was rumored, like an urban legend. “In despair over the real world … wanting to escape the tedious daily life … wanting to restart your life from scratch…” The bus headed deep into the mountains, carrying 30 people each harboring their own expectations and wounds in their hearts…

The World YAMIZUKAN
The World Yamizukan is a collection of the various aspects of darkness that exist in our world including UFOs, UMAs, curses, ancient civilizations, ESP, ghost encounters, mysteries, parallel worlds, and urban legends, whether they are fact or fiction. We will present this world in a picture card story type animation. The art will have a Showa-era retro feel, similar to the occult specials that were printed in color in manga magazines and mystery books that were in the libraries of elementary schools.

Primitive Skateboarding announces Naruto Shippuden collaboration

Primitive Skateboarding revealed they are working on a Naruto Shippuden product line according to a post on Instagram.

The minimalist image included the Primitive Skateboarding and Naruto Shippuden logos, but with no information. Primitive recently worked on a collaboration with designs from Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball series.

No release date or other information was provided.

Editor’s Note: This was a pre-sale event, with more items returning on November 1st, 2019

Source: Instagram

Novel follow up to Bleach scheduled for Summer 2020

While the manga and anime series for Tite Kubo’s Bleach ended rather hastily, there is some good news. There’s an official novel which continues after the series conclusion, but it was only available in Japan.

Viz Media revealed they have acquired the rights to Can’t Fear Your Own World at New York Comic Con 2019 earlier in October. This novelisation is scheduled to hit bookstore shelves in the summer of 2020 in North America.

A tweet posted to Viz Media’s Twitter account shows the cover artwork for volume one of Can’t Fear Your Own World. Written by Ryohogo Narita with artwork by Tite Kubo, the story is based around Shuhei Hisagi, the sub-lieutenant of the ninth division in the Soul Society.

Can’t Fear Your Own World was published in Japan over three volumes since 2016.

Sources: Comicbook.com, Twitter

UBC Apple Festival returns October 19-20, 2019

Grimes Golden
A bag of Grimes Golden apples at the UBC Apple Festival.

Take a bite into fall with the UBC Apple Festival this October! On Saturday, October 19th and Sunday, October 20th, 2019, between the hours of 11:00 am and 4:00 pm PDT, you can sink your teeth into everything apple related at the UBC Botanical Gardens on the west side of the university campus.

Some 40 types of new and heritage BC-grown apples are lined up, along with pears, and individual apple trees for purchase. A list cultivars for this year is available online, including Arlet, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Karmijn de Sonnaville, Melrose, Nicola, Salish (a personal favourite), Topaz and Winesap.

Admission is $5 (cash only), or free for those aged 12 and under, which gets you access to the event and the botanical gardens. There is no parking at the gardens, but shuttle buses will run every 15 minutes between the Botanical Gardens and the West Parkade and the Fraser River Parkade on campus.

For more information, visit the UBC Botanical Garden web site.

Dress accordingly for the weather and remember your reusable bags and boxes.

Crunchyroll shares streaming data for August, September 2019

Top 20 Titles on Crunchyroll for August-September, 2019
Top 20 Titles on Crunchyroll for August-September, 2019

Crunchyroll is publishing some of its viewership data from the months of August and September 2019. The anime streaming service has over 50 million registered users and 30 million followers through its social media channels.

Serving more than 200 countries, Crunchyroll shared the top streaming countries per subscriber for this time period. These include:

  1. Uruguay
  2. Romania
  3. Italy
  4. India
  5. Colombia
  6. Portugal
  7. Peru
  8. Dominican Republic
  9. Philippines
  10. El Salvador

Worldwide, Crunchyroll users spends roughly 85 minutes a day watching anime; below are the top 20 series, listed alphabetically.

  • Attack on Titan
  • Black Clover
  • Bleach
  • BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
  • DR. STONE
  • Dragon Ball Super
  • Fairy Tail
  • Fire Force
  • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
  • Hunter x Hunter
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
  • Isekai Cheat Magician
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
  • My Hero Academia
  • Naruto
  • Naruto Shippuden
  • One Piece
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

For Canada, the top ten titles streamed are listed alphabetically.

  • Black Clover
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
  • DR. STONE
  • Hunter x Hunter
  • Fairy Tail
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
  • My Hero Academia
  • Naruto Shippuden
  • One Piece

For the United Kingdom, the top ten titles streamed are listed alphabetically.

  • Attack on Titan
  • Black Clover
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
  • DR. STONE
  • Hunter x Hunter
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
  • My Hero Academia
  • Naruto
  • Naruto Shippuden

For Mexico, the top ten titles streamed are listed alphabetically.

  • Attack on Titan
  • Black Clover
  • BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
  • DR. STONE
  • Hunter x Hunter
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
  • My Hero Academia
  • Naruto Shippuden
  • One Piece

For Brazil, the top ten titles streamed are listed alphabetically.

  • Attack on Titan
  • Black Clover
  • BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
  • DR. STONE
  • Hunter x Hunter
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
  • My Hero Academia
  • Naruto Shippuden
  • One Piece

For Russia, the top ten titles streamed are listed alphabetically.

  • Black Clover
  • BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS
  • DR. STONE
  • Fairy Tail
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
  • Mob Psycho 100
  • Naruto Shippuden
  • One-Punch Man
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero

Source: Crunchyroll