Tuesday, March 30, 2010

:anime: Blacks and Head Shots in Anime (Part 3)

<--To Part 2 | To Part 4-->

(Note: As mentioned before, because these cases not only involve the death(s) of a particular character(s), but can also delve deep into a show's storyline, naturally spoilers will be involved. Also, most of the titles covered are either for older teen or mature audiences.)

Case #3

Title: Gungrave
[Official Site - English]

Character: Bear Walken

Episode: 23

Description: One of the top executives in the mafia group known as Millennion. An enforcer and absolutely loyal to its leader, Big Daddy, "The Family", and the "Code of Iron". Tall, solemn, imposing figure respected by everyone in the organization. Average black skin tone; Gray beard, black, short, swept-back hair. Always wears a pair of shades and a suit, except at home, where he is normally seen wearing a kimono in his Japanese-styled abode (follows a strict samurai-esque edict). Dotes heavily on his only daughter, who he raised alone after her mother (presumably of Japanese descent) died when she was younger.

Background: Brandon and Harry, the two central figures in the series, are street punks and childhood friends that find themselves in deep water after Harry crosses paths with the wrong people, including a rival gang and its leader's dangerous hitman brother. With three of their friends already dead, along with the uncle of a female friend of Brandon's, Maria, the two come close to losing their own lives until Bear appears to avenge the life of Maria's slain relative, who was an old friend of his boss, Big Daddy, that he had recently visited on his behalf. After the incident, Brandon and Harry go on an angry tear through the city and become one of its most feared forces. Harry, however, begins to feel restricted by its confines and wishes to expand elsewhere, leaving Brandon to take care of Maria.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

:anime: Blacks and Head Shots in Anime (Part 2)

<--To Part 1 | To Part 3-->

(Note: As noted in the first post, because these cases not only involve the death(s) of a particular character(s), but can also delve deep into a show's storyline, naturally spoilers will be involved. Also, most of the titles covered are either for older teen or mature audiences.)

Case #2

Title: Blood+
[Official Site - Japanese, English; Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Crackle, YouTube]

Character: James

Episode: 47

Description: One of Diva's Chevaliers, apparently her favorite. Rather generic-looking "black person" design: low-cut black hair, basic facial features and build. Noticeable, large pink lips.

Background: The heroine of the story, Saya, has reluctantly taken on the task of aiding the secret organization Red Shield in dispatching the world of Chiropterans--beastly, vampiric creatures that prey on humans. Part-Chiropteran herself, Saya is also in search of the twin sister, Diva, that she never knew. However, she is at the center of the atrocities and has loyal servants named "Chevaliers" to protect her. These individuals were once human, but after being given some of her blood, now possess the abilities of a Chiropteran: from super-strength and -speed and immortality, to the ability of turning into super-powerful versions of the creatures themselves (similarly, Saya's blood contains the same properties, as she has her own Chevalier, named Hagi). Among Diva's five protectors is the stoic, by-the-books James, a U.S. military officer who is fiercely devoted to the one they call "Mother", who she seems to care for him the most.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

:boxing: Duel in JerryDome:: Pacquiao vs Clottey

I'm still hard at work on the special Black History Month series that I just started this Wednesday, so pardon as I make this boxing preview brief and to the point:

P4P king Manny Pacquiao meets the tough Joshua Clottey inside Jerry Jones' massive shrine to sports, Cowboys Stadium, in Dallas tonight (home of my favorite football team ;) ). Since the Mayweather fight predictably fell apart and due to both the Pacman's camp still wanting to fight in March and to Jones failed desire to host the pre-failed PBF showdown, the replacement match-up is taking place in Texas. Clottey's not exactly Mayweather and thus the mainstream media does not care about it and they have instantly label him as a pushover of sorts, given his lack of name recognition.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

:anime: Blacks and Head Shots in Anime (Part 1)

This was originally slated to be posted in mid- to late-February for Black History Month, but the past Winter Olympics and fine-tuning pushed its start to March. Parts 2 and beyond will be published every other day.

I have been an avid fan of anime for nearly fifteen years and have watched some 370+ works along the way. As much as I have enjoyed it and so much of its stories and artistry all this time, I could not help but notice a very strange, if not disturbing, trend concerning the deaths of black (or at the very least, "dark-skinned") characters.

Friday, March 05, 2010

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Global Shinkai Day

Today marks the beginning of Global Shinkai Day, an online weekend festival celebrating the works of anime auteur Makoto Shinkai. The commemoration first started last year at this same time by fan site Cherry Blossoms Falling and Crunchyroll, who streamed his first three major works for free. It became a substantial hit and makes it return tonight at 5 PM PST (8 PM EST). Once again, they will be available for free viewing until 8 PM PST (8 PM EST) Sunday. All of the features will be available in Japanese with English subtitles, though a dubbed version of 5 centimeters per second will also be present. [Correction: Scratch that, the dub was initially present, but was taken off a few hours later without any given reason.]

HardDoor's Winter Olympic Wrap-Up! '10

"A funny thing happened on the way to the forum..."

I was beginning the special I had planned for February when I remembered all the sudden that the Olympics were starting soon. Being the massive Olympics fan that I am, any time spent watch television was spent watching the events in Vancouver, which admittedly interfered with my plans. Turning around to watch things happen while typing was a little taxing and took up time at first, but luckily I found a way to get my computer's TV tuner card to be read again and was able to watch and type on the same screen at the same time. Overall, everything is going quite well with it, but due to its length, it appears that I'll be changing its release format to be more multi-part than I initially thought...

The XXI Winter Olympiad in Vancouver started on a somber note with the passing of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili at the controversial Whistler Sliding Center, who died during a training run when he slid off the course dubbed "the fastest in the world" and collided with a steel pillar. Though the tragedy weighed on the minds of many, the Games became one of the best and most memorable in some time, both Winter and Summer--in spite of the fluctuating weather. And thus we begin the now-traditional post-Olympic review...