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Con Report: San Japan 8-Bit | San Antonio, TX
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Con Report: San Japan: 8-Bit
Where: The Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center/Grand Hyatt Hotel,
San Antonio, Texas
When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 31st through August 2nd, 2015

As I reported last year, I’m a bit of a strange duck when it comes to anime conventions. I’ve never been into the panels or cosplay competitions, although I have a lot of respect for the people who put so much time and effort into their outfits, and in traveling the convention circuit. I especially had respect for the cosplayers and guests who were in San Antonio, braving the 99° late July and early August heat at San Japan: 8-bit, at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center. I’m always looking for two things at an anime convention: The overall feel of the con, and of course, the opportunity to sit back in a room with a bunch of fellow otaku and soak up some anime. I’m happy to say that this con didn’t disappoint.

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Anime Review: Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
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Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
Original creator: Shun Saeki (art), Yuto Tsukuda (story)
Directed by: Yoshitomo Yonetari
Character Design by: Tomoyuki Shitaya
Produced by: J.C. Staff, Showgate
Voice cast: Minami Takahashi, Risa Taneda, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Takahiro Sakurai
Air dates: Fridays at 2:25 p.m. CDT on Crunchyroll

Food and sex. People have an endless fascination all over the world with both, and why not? They’re inextricably linked with our most basic drives, survival and procreation. The late Japanese director Juzo Itami poked fun at both in his landmark comedy, Tampopo, and who, of course, hasn’t seen 9 ½ Weeks? Now think of those themes in a fighting high school anime setting, and you’re ready for Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma. Actually, I may be overstating the case a little on the sex aspect of the show, but I got your attention, didn’t I?

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Anime Review: Comical Psychosomatic Medicine
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Comical Psychosomatic Medicine
Original creator: So, Yu Yuki
Directed by: Hirofumi Ogura
Character Design by: Miki Ishino
Produced by: PONY CANYON Inc.
Voice cast: Shinichiro Miki, Yurika Endo, Kenichi Ogata, Maaya Uchida, Yoko Hikasa
Air dates: Thursdays at 4pm CDT on Crunchyroll

Educational. Informative. Funny as hell. What? Yes, you read that correctly. Educational television was never like this. Comical Psychosomatic Medicine, or Anime de Wakaru Shinryonaika, is a joyous romp through the world of mental disorders, from erectile dysfunction and voyeurism to panic attacks and anxiety disorder. At the Yuu Mental Clinic, psychologist Ryou Shinnai and staff nurse Asuna Kangoshi tackle a variety of mental disorders. Asuna generally plays comic foil to Dr. Shinnai’s attempts to explain the various maladies, and of course, things get out of hand with puns on terms such as “cognitive impairment” (Asuna pictures her grandfather surrounded by girls trying to get him to admit he’s the father of their children) and “rem sleep” (Asuna imagines “harem sleep” with her granddad dreaming about being surrounded by a harem of girls).

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Anime Review: I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying
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I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying: 2nd Thread
Original creator: Cool-Kyo Shinja (manga published by Ichijinsha)
Directed by: Shinpei Nagai
Character Design by: Ryuichi Baba
Produced by: Seven
Voice cast: Kenichi Suzumura, Yukari Tamura, Daisuke Tonosaki, Kaori Shimizu, Rie Kugimiya, Ryoko Shintani, Sayaka Horino, Toshifumi Sakai.
Air dates: Thursdays 1:30 pm CDT on Crunchyroll

It’s not always easy being an otaku, a cosplayer, or even just a fan, especially when dealing with friends, neighbors, loved ones, and society in general. Opinions among the ani-muggles can run the gamut from “immature” to “perverted” and everything seemingly negative in between. What are two people to do when they have almost nothing – at least at first glance – in common?

That’s a question that the series I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying, or Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai ken, tackles with self-referencing gusto.

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Anime Review: Nisekoi – False Love
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Nisekoi – False Love
Original creator: Naoshi Komi
Directed by: Akiyuku Shinbo, Naoyuki Tatsuwa
Character Design by: Nobuhiro Sugiyama
Produced by: Aniplex, Mainichi Broadcasting System, SHAFT
Voice cast: Kana Hanazawa, Kouki Ouchiyama, Nao Toyama, Kana Asumi, Mikako Komatsu, Takehito Koyasu, Yumi Uchiyama, Yuuki Kaji.
Air dates: Season 1 currently streaming on Crunchyroll
2nd season scheduled to start in Japan in April

How old were you when you were first in love? What promises did you make to the one you loved, and what value are they now? What is the nature of true love? Is it something wholly spontaneous, or can it be born of long association and bonds of mutual friendship and respect, even among seemingly implacable foes, or over long spans of time and space? When is love true, and when is it false? If more than one person can lay claim to it, which one holds the real key to your heart?

These are questions that poets, writers, and artists of every stripe have wrestled with ever since humans could first communicate, and often, our delving reveals more questions than answers. In the series Nisekoi – False Love, based on the manga by original creator Naoshi Komi, those questions get a new lease on life.

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