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Geek Culture

Attack on Drip — A Refined Selection of Rohil’s Favorite Anime And Video Game Memes (Part 1) (May 2021)

These made All Ages of Geek producer and staff writer, Rohil, laugh (audibly).

Attack on Drip

Can’t express how many times I’ve opened my laptop to blaring post-hardcore.

Sports is my favorite genre of anime.

This made me uncomfortable.

Bernie Sanders is my favorite anime protagonist.

Incel The Hedgehog.

After confessing to my crush…

Genuinely the most wholesome crossover.

A modern classic.

ProZD gaming observations.

Sick of these discriminating-ass potion sellers. (An oldie.)

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Upcoming Game Announcement: V Rising

Greetings fellow gamers! Tracy Preston/CuriousCat-13 here with a special gaming news report. Earlier this week, Stunlock Studios (creators of the Battlerite games and Bloodline Champions) announced an upcoming game that you’ll be able to sink your teeth into later this year: V Rising

via IGN’s Youtube channel

While we don’t know everything about the story, this is the basic premise of the game: Centuries ago, man and vampire fought against each other in a brutal battle. Beaten and humiliated, the vampires hid away, where they suffered and starved in the darkness. Now, a vampire (the player) rises from their dust-covered coffin to take on the world and survive in an unforgiving world.

V Rising is an open-world survival game where you face not only the environment around you (i.e. the sun of daytime and vampire hunters) but other vampires. For those that aren’t familiar with the lore, vampires are extremely territorial, so you’re going to end up competing for resources as you build your own empire. While there is competition, there will also be plenty of unions as your friends and other players can choose to join your clan (which is part of your empire). Even though you can persuade every vampire, there are still plenty of humans that you can turn into vampires (just try to be discrete about it). 

While there hasn’t been a gameplay video (at the moment), the screenshots of the game are breathtaking. In all honesty, the concept and screenshots are enough to hook me in. Given that it’s coming out later this year, I hope that it comes out around October for the spooky season. I will say this though, currently, V Rising will be available on Steam for only Windows PC; if you’re a Mac user like myself, we can only wait and hope that a Mac version will be released sometime after. As for console gamers, who knows. Either way, I can’t wait to see what Stunlock Studios will have in store for us in this epic vampire talk. At the moment you can sign up to try out the beta the second it’s available here. For those that aren’t familiar with the term, a beta is basically the version of the game that isn’t complete (but almost is), so it’ll still have some weird bugs and glitches. Given how good the game looks right now (again from the screenshots), I can’t wait to see the completed version of V Rising in all of its gothic vampire glory. For more information on any upcoming updates, you can follow Stunlock Studio on their Twitter @StunlockStudios and the official V Rising Twitter page @VRisingGame.

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Tracy Preston is a contributing writer at All Age of Geek. You can follow her/him/them on Twitter @CuriousCat_13 and Instagram @curiouscat_13.

NEWS: What is DC FanDome and Why is It BACK?!

Okay, seriously. What the heck is this DC FanDome thing-y and why haven’t I heard one word about it? Yea I’ve been living in quara-limbo for what feels like the past century (it’s only been a year), but c’mon, I thought at the very least massive nerdom news such as this would trickle down to my depression lair. 

Chances are, the majority of you are already in the know about this event (heck, you probably attended the event last year didn’t you?). Well, go ahead then. Roll your eyes at me all you want, and then after that please skip the following background information and go to this year’s update at the bottom half of the article.

But for those of you like me, who’ve been mentally checked out since March 2020, let me explain a little background information about this “dome” and how you, too, can enter. 


In June of 2020, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Entertainment created the DC FanDome, a virtual event platform, to broadcast highlights of their upcoming projects across a multitude of media. It was first announced in response to the cancellation of San Diego Comic-con’s in person event due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Divided into two parts, the FanDome conventions featured pre recorded panels, interviews, sneak peaks and showings, all of which could be accessed for free by the public. The first half debuted on August 22, 2020 and its continuation shortly followed a few weeks later in early September. The virtual platform has since been used to stream the virtual premier of Wonder Woman 1984 in December 2020. 


DC FanDome was lauded for the high quality of its online experience. Similar to 2020’s virtual San Diego Comic Con, it featured pre-recorded content. DC FanDome’s presentation, however, set it leagues apart. Warner Media, the parent company of Warner Bros. and DC Comics, fully utilized the editing opportunities that a pre-recorded virtual presentation afforded them, and thoughtfully programmed the event into a well coordinated spectacle. 

The convention’s first part, titled “Hall of Heroes”, featured eight hours of content broadcast three times in a row back to back, making it a full 24 hr event. The programming consisted of sneak peaks and exclusive reveals of the newest and biggest titles to hit DC’s film and TV production, comic stands, game studios, etc. The convention’s second part, titled “Explore the Multiverse”, allowed fans to choose their own schedule from over 100 hours of on-demand content including screenings, panel sessions and interviews, and unseen content from the DC multiverse. 

The key factors that set DC FanDome’s convention far apart from other virtual conventions were its cohesive visuals and staging. Whereas conventions like San Diego Comiccon were streamed across multiple Youtube channels, all of the FanDome events were broadcast across in-house DC Comic specific portals. Not only did this guarantee smooth transitions and prevent potential video playback errors from copyright (which happened a few times to the San Diego ComicCon panels due to YouTube’s stringent copyright laws), it made the event feel structured and purposeful. It truly felt as if it was an other worldly portal teleporting you to the DC realm. 

DC took the feeling of uniqueness a step further by filming its content in a green-screen space constructed especially for occasion. Unlike the typical panel rooms one would see over many a Zoom call, the FanDome’s green screen capabilities allowed for guest streams to be projected side by side along the Dome walls, imitating an in-person interaction. The space helped the event appear much grander across the screen, reinforcing the feeling that this was something for audience members to get excited about. Spliced in between the convention’s most highly anticipated events were quirky sketches, speedy interviews and q&a’s, and tributes to the many years of the DC Universe. These spurts of stimulation broke up the monotony one would usually feel from attending never ending zoom calls and allowed the audience a moment of reprieve. Again, like everything else, these bites made the event feel specific, and much like extravagant commercials commissioned especially for the SuperBowl, it made DC’s online convention all the more a spectacle. 


As you can pretty much expect, the DC FanDome 2020 was an absolute smashing success, exceeding 22 million views across the globe, presented in nine different languages (Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish) across 220 countries and territories. Thanks to its overwhelming popularity, DC Comics has officially announced the event will come back for its second year, so y’all better mark your calendars for October 16, 2021!! 

via [YouTube]

AHHHHHH!!!

But wait. Before we all get too excited, what exactly is going to be revealed at this year’s convention?

…Well, it’s not exactly clear. DC is keeping it pretty hush, hush as of now to increase suspense and intrigue. Figures.

Buuuut… we do have some possible predictions thanks to the good ole rumor mill and past announcements. I’ve included a short list of possible titles of which we can potentially hope to see sneak peaks. 

Predicted titles of panels/teasers:

1. The Batman: Will Robert Pattinson finally get his day in the not-so-sunny sun? Jk. But actually can we get some long awaited panel action?

2. Sequels and Triquels: Wonderwoman 3 💪 and Aquaman 2 🧜‍♂️

3. New Titles: Blue Beetle, Cyborg, and Zatanna … holy heck am I excited for magical girl Zatanna!

4. The Flash: Finally! The film starring Ezra Miller we’ve all been waiting for?

5. The Green Lantern Corps: Hal Jordan AND John Stewart, babbbiiii!

6. Stargirl: It’s on the bubble for a season 3 renewal… 

7. More Arrowverse shows: who else besides our newest DC hero Naomi will gets an adaptation?

8. Batgirl: BABSSSS!!! ‘nuff said.

9. Animated goodies: Batman: The Long Halloween Part Two, YOUNG JUSTICE: Phantoms, Harley Quinn, etc.

10. The Other Batman (???): Idk y’all, but there be some rumors of two different Batmen moving forward. Is Affleck actually keeping the cowl? It may actually work if Pattinson’s Batman is going to exist in a stand alone universe anyway. Honestly, if you ask me, it sounds like baseless rumors, but who really knows at this point with the multiverse…


Now, as far as unannounced projects go… those we can only pray for the good DC gods to grace us.

If you are interested in keeping up to date with DC’s live announcements should check out the DC community here and sign up for their newsletter here.


Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Need coverage? Please send an email to allagesofhr@gmail.com.

T. Wu is a contributing writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow T. on Instagram @kata_the_clown.

IRL: A Graphic Novel About Economics and Video Games

Back in High School, I came across a graphic novel titled IN REAL LIFE and it was one of the best original stories I have ever read. You also did read the title of the article correctly….A graphic novel about video games and economics has been one of the best graphic novels I have ever read. I am here to tell you more about IN REAL LIFE!

Overview

The story follows Anda Bridge, a coding student. She learns about a game called Coarsegold, which is a massive multiplayer role-playing game (MMORPG), from a guest. The guest is the leader of a clan in Coarsegold. All of the players are females. As Anda plays more she becomes friends with another player named Sarge and discovers the world of gold farming.

That is all I can really say without going into too much into the plot itself. I love the writing by Cory Doctorow. Not one part of the writing feels forced or out of character. Every single line is perfect for each character. The art is done by Jen Wang. Every single character looks distinctive and the art is great to look at as well. The writing and art just work in tandem with each other creating these wonderful and colorful characters. I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed this book and I hope other readers enjoy it too. If you want to see economics and video games work hand in hand, check out IN REAL LIFE!


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G4 Returns With New Host Kassem G

On 19 April 2021, something miraculous occurred… an upload on the iconic O.G. Kassem G YouTube channel. Not just any upload, but an upload of the beloved Ask Kassem format.

Ask Kassem was a comedic interactive Q&A show, with host Kassem G thrown against a greenscreen of brilliantly janky animations, hitting its peak of popularity between 2010 and 2012. The brief return of the show features favorite, Director of Photography, John “Fucking” Na.

The episode serves as an even larger announcement for the return of another dearly missed entertainment property, G4tv, with Kassem G stepping in as a new host.

G4tv was a geek-culture channel for the early 2000s, possibly most known for its original programming Attack of the Show! and X-Play. G4tv made it to approximately 61,217,000 American households by 2013, unfortunately ending all operations the following year.

On 24 July 2020, the Twitter accounts of G4, Attack of the Show! and X-Play were reactivated to announce a revival of the network. Finally, in January of 2021, we got the G4 relaunch announcement trailer, featuring Gus Johnson as G4’s “stand-in CEO” and confirmation of returning hosts Adam Sessler and Kevin Pereira, Ovilee May, and Froskurinn. 

The channel has already posted videos with guest appearances from ProZD, The Completionist, and Ron Funches.

On 19 April 2021, Kassem G’s official host announcement video went live on the G4 YouTube channel, followed by a pinned comment with Kassem expressing his gratitude for the warm welcome, as well as his intentions as a host. 

“Thanks for the warm reception so far everyone! I’m a G4 fan first and foremost! I want to see a lot of the old G4 stuff I remember watching on television in the early 2000’s but also very excited to see and help make new content and shows that reflects how gaming and pop culture has changed over the last decade. I’m very thankful for the opportunity and will do my best not to let you down! Plus I’ve already been paid so there’s no backing out now!”

Kassem G is already all over the G4 channel, participating in live streams as well. His sardonic, spicey wit is a welcome addition to video game commentary — almost perfectly timed for the current games media landscape with many critical of games journalism and craving a more self-aware, non-gatekeepy ethos. 

G4 will bring back versions of Attack of the Show! and X-Play,  along with Gaming News, Let’s Plays, Community Live Streams, and the occasional sketch — all with a digital-first approach.

Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Need coverage? Please send an email to Allagesofhr@gmail.com

Rohil Aniruth is a producer and staff writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow him on Twitter @yorohil & see his portfolio at rohil.work

 

TOP FIVE: How to Turn Your Children into Weebs While Also Giving Them an Education (or 5 Edutainment Anime to Show Your Kids )

Dear The Millennial Weeb Generation,

The year is 2021 and long gone are the days when we had to hide our generic Naruto-nin headbands and plethora of body pillows. No longer do we feel pressured to sheepishly private a playlist of our favorite fan amvs, nor must we steal away from judgmental eyes to the school bathroom during lunch hour to read the latest issue of Shonen Jump. The continued globalization of pop culture over the last ten years has done wonders for us weeaboos. Anime has more and more become a commonplace leisure activity…it has become accepted and, dare I say, even prized and cherished in this new world order. No longer will we be so casually stereotyped as junk-eating freeloaders lurking in the dark of our mother’s basement. Gone are the dark days of our ostracization. We may now step into the light, openly in our multicolored wigs and gothic Lolita dresses. 

…Congratulations, fam. We have come a long way. We have made it to the promised land. 

All jokes aside, this wide acceptance of anime as an entertainment and art form by the general public has been years in the making, and it will only continue to grow exponentially with time. Chances are, by the time y’all younger millennials and teeny-bopper gen Z-ers finally have kids (or if you already have kids), they will have significantly more anime and or western cartoons heavily inspired by anime at their fingertips. The market is going to be oversaturated, yo! And not all of it will be good content. That’s why it is important we don’t forget the landmarks of our time. You can bet I’ll be showing my kids all the anime classics.

But also, I want my kids to have a proper education (it’ll makes me feel less guilty about letting my kids watch TV all day, ahaha). And so, without further ado: my current list (soon to be growing) and breakdown of the best edutainment anime classics to show your weeaboo children!


1. This one is a no brainer: Cells at Work!

Subject (aka Synopsis): “Inside the human body, roughly 37.2 trillion cells work energetically 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Fresh out of training, the cheerful and somewhat airheaded Sekkekkyuu AE3803 is ready to take on the ever-so-important task of transporting oxygen. As usual, Hakkekkyuu U-1146 is hard at work patrolling and eliminating foreign bacteria seeking to make the body their new lair. Elsewhere, little platelets are lining up for a new construction project.

Dealing with wounds and allergies, getting lost on the way to the lungs, and bickering with similar cell types, the daily lives of cells are always hectic as they work together to keep the body healthy![Description via myanimelist.net]

Report Card (aka My opinion): I mean, the name really just says it all. This is basically the anime version of Osmosis Jones, except rather than a buddy-cop vibe, its tone exudes that of a comedic slice of life. Our cast of characters consists of a crew of cells, all cleverly athropomophosized to look aesthetically pleasing AF. Seriously. Check out how cute this platelets are:

But this show isn’t just pleasing to the eyeballs. It’s also incredibly informative, presenting facts about the cells in our body in a way that is both entertaining and easily digestible. Every episode features a different scenario revolving around a conflict in the body — sometimes several at once. Each storyline represents an event that triggers the body’s autoregulated immune system. For instance, when it’s under attack from invading bacteria, the white blood cell and killer T cell characters arrive on the scene to exterminate them; or when outside forces like fever or heat stroke threatens the body’s homeostasis, the cells in charge of the sweat gland send sweat missiles into the air (an allusion to our bodies “sweating bullets”). In addition, the show’s narrator explains what is happening on a scientific level all throughout the action. This show really does do a fabulous job depicting the different cells’ functions!

Grade Level (MPAA Rating): I give this show a PG rating. There are regular depictions of heavy combat in this show, e.g. white blood cells chopping down bacteria, but it’s honestly fineee. It’s meant to be comedic, not scary! So y’all are good to show this to your kids and future kids, people. Oh, but make sure you’re watching Cells at Work and not its weird cousin Cells at Work: CODE BLACK. That…that’s the much, much more violent spin-off…

2. Holy moly — Heaven’s Design Team?!

Subject: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He also sought after a wide variety of animals to populate the planet. However, he felt that it was too tiresome to think of new ideas within his criteria. To address this problem, God appointed an organization—the Heaven’s Design Team—to do the work instead!

Shimoda is a newly-hired angel who serves as the mediator between God and the design team. As he steps into his role, he witnesses his coworkers conceive interesting ideas for many unique life forms according to God’s desires. From giraffes and snakes to birds, anteaters, and everything in between, the possibilities for different animal species are endless!” [Description via myanimelist.net]

My Opinion: All right, y’all — I cannot express enough how much I love this little gem of a show. Seriously, I’ve already written an entire article dedicated to all the reasons why “You Need To Watch Heaven’s Design Team”. Now here I am, back again to shove this show down y’alls’ throats. All the reasons for watching Heaven’s Design Team go far beyond its educational value — read my previous piece to find out just why— but for the purposes of this list, I will stick strictly to its edutainment qualities.
This show can largely be summed up as a graphic design meets National Geographic gag comedy. The episodes follow the general formula of God assigning the designers an animal prompt and the designers scrambling to fulfill it. Through this process, we are able to see how the, often completely illogical seeming, combination of animal traits proposed by God actually comes to life — through SCIENCE! This anime presents in-depth explanations of the strange intricacies of animal biology by showing us the multiple stages of the design process. With every failed and successful prototype of a new animal, we discover how each feature (such as wings or horns or webbed feet) contributes to a species’ survival. We also learn, through the designers’ failed concepts, why certain features are less evolutionarily successful and why the actualization of certain mythological creatures, such as unicorns, just wouldn’t work! There’s also an informational section of the episode that provides real life pictures and more detailed introductions of the animals’ qualities. 

Grade Level: With a rating of G, general audiences are all welcome here. This is the perfect show to watch with your kids. The humor can be enjoyed by humans of all ages — which means your kids can easily understand what is going on and you can supervise without feeling trapped in a kiddy snoozefest! Have fun laughing at all the unexpected crazy traits of these animals, folks — it’s gonna be one w i l d ride. 😉

3. YEEHAW! Buckle up, Cowboy — it’s Golden Kamuy:

Subject: “In early 1900s Hokkaido after the Russo-Japanese war, Saichi Sugimoto tirelessly pans for gold. Nicknamed “Sugimoto the Immortal” for his death-defying acts in battle, the ex-soldier seeks fortune in order to fulfill a promise made to his best friend before he was killed in action: to support his family, especially his widow who needs treatment overseas for her deteriorating eyesight. One day, a drunken companion tells Sugimoto the tale of a man who murdered a group of Ainu and stole a fortune in gold. Before his arrest by the police, he hid the gold somewhere in Hokkaido. The only clue to its location is the coded map he tattooed on the bodies of his cellmates in exchange for a share of the treasure, should they manage to escape and find it.

Sugimoto does not think much of the tale until he discovers the drunken man’s corpse bearing the same tattoos described in the story. But before he can collect his thoughts, a grizzly bear—the cause of the man’s demise—approaches Sugimoto, intent on finishing her meal. He is saved by a young Ainu girl named Asirpa, whose father happened to be one of the murdered Ainu. With Asirpa’s hunting skills and Sugimoto’s survival instincts, the pair agree to join forces and find the hidden treasure—one to get back what was rightfully her people’s, and the other to fulfill his friend’s dying wish.” [Description via myanimelist.net ]

Report Card: This THE historical anime of all historical animes! The anime’s creator, Satoru Noda, does an amazing job of making his story historically accurate. Okay, so technically, this is a work of historical fiction, but it does feature characters based on real figures in Japanese history who play pretty big roles in the show’s plot. While education isn’t the anime’s main objective, its portrayal of Japan’s Meiji Era, the era it is set it, is incredibly informative. From the depictions of the character’s clothing, to the characters’ weapons, to the battlegrounds and other landmark locations, this show is seeped in the richness of its setting. It’s also a landmine of information regarding the Ainu, an ethnic minority group of Eastern Asia who are indigenous to northern Japan’s area of Hokkaido. Soda pays special attention to the Ainu, intricateily showing and explaining the people’s culture, such as their attires, their cooking and hunting methods, and their ancestral and marriage customs. While there are plenty of anime out there that celebrate the history of Japanese heritage as well as European heritage, it isn’t usual that we can engage with a story that centers around a minority group, much less one that is so culturally sensitive and expansive. It’s so invigorating getting to broaden your cultural knowledge while watching such a captivating story!

Grade Level: I’m gonna say PG-13, recommending Teens and up to be safe (or recommended parental guidance). This ain’t the anime for the younglings. There’s some adult humor (aka gratuitous usage of the word ‘penis’), depictions of violence, as well as discussions of physical torture, such as skinning (which is pretty dang important to the plot, so it’s not like you can avoid it). Buuuut, it’s still an awesome story with awesome characters. If your kid isn’t easily perturbed, then this one is a go! Better yet, adults should watch it with them and get edu-ma-cated. 

4. Here’s a throwback for sure…Hetalia Axis Powers:

Subject: “What if nations were people? What traits would they have? What would this mean for historical events?

Hetalia Axis Powers takes these questions and runs with them, personifying countries into characters. The show takes a comedic and light approach to politics and historical events while educating the viewer.

Taking place primarily during the events of World War I and World War II, the story focuses on the Axis Powers and occasionally throws the spotlight onto the tumultuous relationship between the Allied Forces. The Axis Powers feature the titular character North Italy, who is clumsy, carefree and loves pasta; Germany, who is very serious but easily flustered; and Japan, who is stoic but has bizarre interests.

Based on Hidekaz Himaruya’s widely popular webcomic turned print manga, Hetalia Axis Powers is a historical comedy that pokes lightly at culture, examines the relationships between nations and breathes fun into history.” [Description via myanimelist.net]

Report Card: Wow. It’s been a while since anyone has mentioned this show. In part, it’s because it came out a whole freaking decade ago. As for the other reason…well, the general public has criticized its humor for aging poorly. This is in part due to its culturally stereotypical portrayals of each personified country and its depiction of LGBTQ+ characters. So why is this title still on my list of recommended edutainment if it’s been facing all this retrospective backlash, you might ask? Before I go into that, it’s important that we get something straight regarding the accusations hurled against this anime. First of all, this show. Is. A. Satire! Every country is personified in an oversimplistic and stereotypical manner because to poke fun at World War II politics. The countries are larger than life; they aren’t supposed to be realistic, nor are they supposed to be representative of their peoples. The characters are over exaggerated to highlight the childishly convoluted relations between countries. It’s a spoof comedy about world politics! It’s not meant to be taken seriously! No one country gets special treatment. They are ALL caricatures on purpose, because caricatures are funny and satirical. As for the show’s depiction of queerness, a majority of the characters are either queer or coded as such. Sure, one could argue all day that using queer characters in a weird spoof comedy is a case of problematic humor. However, that once again misses the show’s intention: to satirically portray the relations of countries in the context of WWII (in addition to other historical events). The character’s queerness is largely incidental to the humor and the show. The slapstick comedy is funny because it is bawdy, sarcastic, and inconceivable, not because the characters are queer. Additionally, there are plenty of poignant moments between characters. It’s not always one big joke. The queer characters who are in love are portrayed to genuinely care for each other. The show may be comedic in tone, but it doesn’t mean that all the relationships are a farce.
Ok. Long rant aside, let me be startlingly clear: I didn’t learn a single thing from this show. That being said, however, Hetalia is still the sole reason I was able to pass middle school history. Look, this anime is not incredibly informative. As I previously stated, it is meant to be a spoof. However, while watching this show in addition to studying for my world history classes, my memory for historical events greatly improved. By picturing the personified countries in my head, I was able to remember which countries had roles in each world event much more easily. Sometimes, there would be an episode that tied directly into what that I was learning about! My recall ability was aided even more through humor. Pro tip: laughter and fun times helps retention. Huh. Who knew?

Grade Level: Teen and up recommended due to humor and hijinks. If you read my rant, well… you get it. The humor can be quite raunchy at times and if you’re young and don’t know any better, the satirical stereotypes could be misconstrued.

5. Growing up is hard…Koe no Katachi:

Subject: “As a wild youth, elementary school student Shouya Ishida sought to beat boredom in the cruelest ways. When the deaf Shouko Nishimiya transfers into his class, Shouya and the rest of his class thoughtlessly bully her for fun. However, when her mother notifies the school, he is singled out and blamed for everything done to her. With Shouko transferring out of the school, Shouya is left at the mercy of his classmates. He is heartlessly ostracized all throughout elementary and middle school, while teachers turn a blind eye.

Now in his third year of high school, Shouya is still plagued by his wrongdoings as a young boy. Sincerely regretting his past actions, he sets out on a journey of redemption: to meet Shouko once more and make amends.

Koe no Katachi tells the heartwarming tale of Shouya’s reunion with Shouko and his honest attempts to redeem himself, all while being continually haunted by the shadows of his past.” [Description via by myanimelist.net]

Report Card: Ok, so its technically not a show, it’s an animated film. It’s also not your typical edutainment title, but I swear I can explain! This story is mainly a character study of Shouya and Shoko as well as an exploration of their relationships. While this film doesn’t necessarily teach your typical school subject matter, there’s so much we can extrapolate from their journeys and apply to our own lives. This is especially true and important for children or teens coming of age. The film deals heavily with the relatable subject matter of bullying, showing characters on all sides of the situation. I’m willing to bet that all of us, at some point in our childhood, have witnessed or experienced some type of bullying, whether we were the frightened bystander, the helpless victim, or the misguided aggressor. It’s a realistic and nuanced portrayal of the lasting repercussions of bullying that can carry long past childhood, some of which can be rather dark such as depression and suicidal thoughts. Despite the discussion of heavy topics, this movie ultimately sends a message of hope for emotional healing and forgiveness. It reminds us that people can change if they genuinely work at it. It’s also just a general lesson to actively combat bullying when you see it happening — in a way that also doesn’t destroy the bully’s life, of course! Think of this film as investment in your child’s interpersonal skills. I guarantee it will remind them to treat people with kindness and be more conscientious of other’s feelings. I mean, what more could you want for your kid as you send them off to school?

P.S. I also recommend reading the manga it’s based off. It’s a short read of seven total volumes total. Some details are more fleshed out, there’s an epilogue, and I feel like story is really well suited to the pacing of comic panels.

Grade Level: This show does deal with some heavy topics, but it is a coming of age story and extremely relevant to a kid’s school life. That being said, I will rate this a hard PG to soft PG-13 with an additional trigger warning. I also suggest you watch this with your kid (or at least be on standby), so you can provide emotional support if anything triggers them.

All righty, that’s it for this time, folks! Make sure to follow for my next roundup of edutainment anime 🙂


Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Need coverage? Please send an email to allagesofhr@gmail.com.

T. Wu is a contributing writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow T. on Instagram @kata_the_clown.

An Interview with The Judgmental Critter

For those who may not know you, who is The Judgmental Critter?

I am a reviewer on YouTube! My passion is to critique animated shows and RWBY is usually the show I like to discuss the most!

Why do you enjoy discussing RWBY?

I don’t know what it is, but I absolutely love the show. I think the world is fun, the characters are unique and enjoyable! I just found myself constantly thinking about the story progression and the evolution of the characters and the story. So I got to the point where I thought “what if I start trying to better articulate my thoughts about the show?”

What is some parts of creating your videos that an ordinary viewer may not think about?

Definitely the editing. I don’t think most people realize how much effort it takes to edit a video together. I can have a little picture float across the screen with a silly sound effect to go with it, and people won’t realize that could take me up to an hour to do. Editors really are unsung hero’s.

Looking at your videos, you redesigned Blake. What character in RWBY do you think has the best design and why?

Ah! It’s so hard to narrow down! But I’m going to say Jaune has the best design. It conveys important aspects of his character. The regular jeans and hoodies awkwardly bunched up underneath the blocky, mismatched colors of his white armor tells us loud and clear that this set of armor wasn’t made for him. It’s his grandfathers’ hand-me-downs along with his sword and shield. But the really fun part about his design is how he evolves to fit his armor better over the years! He slowly starts to get better fitting clothes, his armor gets redesigned to be a bit more stylish. It portrays his character growth amazingly watching his design develop to show how he’s grown as a huntsman.

What would you tell someone who wanted advice in creating their own videos?

Don’t be discouraged by having cheaper equipment! I see a lot of people asking creators “what editing software do you use?” Or “what mic do you use?” It’s important to remember you don’t NEED those expensive fancy things to make videos. I still use MS paint and Gimp to make my videos because they’re free! You don’t need to try and mimic what other people are doing, you can make great content with whatever you can get!

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Late Night Gaming Discoveries: Crowsworn

Greetings fellow gamers. Tracy Preston/CuriousCat-13 here with a special gaming news update. Coming soon to Kickstarter is an upcoming indie game (games developed by small teams that aren’t financially or technically supported by big gaming companies) in the works: Crowsworn. Developed by Mongoose Rodeo, Crowsworn is set in a beautiful, gothic environment with plenty of action and difficulty to keep even the most skilled of gamers on their toes. Inspired by beloved games such as  Hollow Knight, Devil May Cry, and Bloodborne, Crowsworn is one game that you don’t want to miss out on. 

The studio also has a video showing gameplay, and I’ve gotta say….this game is gorgeous. While I’ve never played Hollow Knight, I can tell that the visuals were inspired by the game (as previously stated). As for what type of game it will be, Crowsworn is without a doubt going to play a lot like a Souls game. For those that aren’t familiar with this analogy, the Souls games (i.e Dark Souls, Demon Souls, Bloodborne) are video games with a high difficulty rank and are skilled at punishing players when their character dies. Basically, you collect specific material (like souls) that help boost your character’s skills and if your character dies in battle…well, you lose those materials and have to go all the way back to where they fell and re-collect them. There are numerous times where that can get frustrating and players have to step away to cool off. However, when you get to a certain point and defeat that enemy that kept giving you trouble, the rewards are all the more satisfying. Long story short, Crowsworn is going to have plenty of those moments that will make gamers go through those familiar scenarios. The combat system looks incredibly smooth and reminds me of the Devil May Cry games (hence the inspiration from the series). There also appear to be skill trees for different weapons and play styles, which could lead to some epic boss fights. 

I want to take a moment to talk about the music in the game’s soundtrack? In the forty-two-second long gameplay video Mongoose Rodeo shared on YouTube, the music (that I can only assume is part of the game’s soundtrack) is gorgeous and fits perfectly with the overall theme. Right at the beginning, the song starts with a beautiful guitar strum. While it sounds like your typical, basic acoustic guitar strum, the scene that it plays in just works so perfectly and it keeps on blending so well with the rest of the gameplay video. As the song continues to play, the rest of the instrumentals add to the tone and overall environment of the game, turning it into an elegant dance. I don’t know if this is the main theme or a boss battle theme, but all I know is that the soundtrack is going to be amazing and even worthy of a gaming award nomination. 

While, to my knowledge, the synopsis hasn’t been fully revealed, the video has shown enough to give some type of hint. Our main character is possibly some kind of plague doctor demon slayer, or something else. The only thing we know is, something big happened that brought the world into a dark era where there isn’t a place that is truly safe from the creatures of the underworld. For whatever reason, our character is tasked with fighting these monsters or demons and finding answers to a possible cure to the current ongoing situation. Whatever the reason and situation, Crowsworn is going to be a dark, epic tale full of mysteries and danger. Even though there isn’t any knowledge about which gaming systems it’ll be one, I can see it as an amazing Nintendo Switch and PC game.

via Mongoose Rodeo’s YouTube channel

While the Kickstarter hasn’t officially started, you can still follow it so that you can be notified about any updates. For those that are interested, you can click on the link right HERE


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Tracy Preston is a contributing writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow her/him/them on Twitter @CuriousCat_13 and Instagram @curiouscat_13

Anime Movie Trailer: Beauty of Mamoru Hosada’s BELLE Lives Up to Its Name

The Belle of the Ball

Buckle up animation geeks, creative genius Momoru Hosada’s next film Ryu to Sobakasu no Hime (“The Dragon and the Freckled Princess”), or simply Belle, is just around the corner! First announced in December 2020, Hosada’s Studio Chizu has officially set its to release to July of 2021.

Belle marks Hosada’s ninth project and follows the protagonist Suzu as she traverses between reality and a virtual world called ‘U’. Suzu is a 17-year old high school girl who lives with her father in the rural town of Kochi as Japan’s countryside population continues to decrease. Seeking comfort and direction after the loss of her mother, Suzu finds and enters an online world called ‘U’, where she becomes her avatar “Belle,” a famous singer in this alternate reality. As Belle increasingly becomes the center of attention, a mysterious and infamous dragon-like creature appears before her. Amidst the ever blurring boundaries between reality and the virtual, the two of them must embark upon a courageous journey of challenges, discovering love, friendship, and perhaps who they truly are along the way.

via [ YouTube]

Mamoru Hosada and His Belle

Hosada’s previous work, Mirai, which premiered internationally at the Cannes’ Directors Fortnight in 2018, garnered an overwhelmingly successful reception and was nominated for both the Golden Globes and Academy Awards. The film went on to win the 46th annual Annie Award for “Best Animation of the Year.” 

Hosada is not by any means new to this degree of positive reception. His worldwide recognition had been amassing long before the success of Mirai, winning over many an animation fan’s hearts and staunch support with his prolific storytelling. The most notable of his past work includes The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Children, and The Boy and the Beast. Known for their deeply emotional and thought-provoking narratives, Hosoda’s stories have a penchant for drawing extraordinary experiences from seemingly ordinary characters living worlds touched by hints of fantasy. From the first looks of Belle, it certainly looks like Director Hosada aims to continue that trend.


In his official statement released by Studio Chizu, Hodsada said “BELLE is the movie that I have always wanted to create, and I am only able to make this film a reality because of the culmination of my past works. I explore romance, action, and suspense on the one hand, and deeper themes such as life and death on the other. I expect this to be a big entertainment spectacle.

“I have directed films in the past, exploring the implications of the Internet and how our younger generations will transform the world with their own amusement. At the same time, the Internet has a more negative side to it, where people slander others without a second thought, filling it with misinformation. In spite of this, I believe that it is marvel that will expand the possibilities of humanity. I wanted to depict this massive shift in our relationship with the Internet in a way that would pave a path towards our future.

“The unprecedented events of last year have accelerated the paradigm shift in our online interactions with one another, be it the workplace or our personal lives. As this era continues to change, unbound from the shackles of yesterday’s common sense, capturing this global phenomenon felt like an inevitability.

“Yet, the things that we must cherish, largely remain the same. Legacies we have inherited from generations past will continue to exist and adapt to the new age and new tools that will now shape it. This shift is more apparent than it has ever been because of the era in which we currently live.

“I hope you can enjoy our world that is now evolving at the speed of light while savoring those things that really matter to us, in this film.”


Studio Chizu has assembled an impressive team of Japanese and international creatives for crafting Belle’s stunning visuals. Among the long list of creatives working alongside Dir. Hosada is Jin Kim, the artist who designed characters in some of Disney’s most iconic features such as Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Tangled. Both artists have greatly admired each other’s work for a long time from afar — and it’s no wonder why! They have great taste; each artist’s respective style is stunning.  Belle marks the first of, hopefully, many more collaborations to come. Another creative who joined the project is Eric Wong, a visionary architect-designer from Britain, who constructed the 3D landscape of ‘U’, conceptualizing from Hosada’s original design. Ross Stewart and Tomm Moore, big-time animators of the Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon, are involved as well. They are known for creating The Secret of the Knells, the Oscar-nominated feature Song of the Sea, and this year’s Oscar nominee Wolfwalkers. For anyone who has seen any of the aforementioned movies, you will know that their animation style is distinctly enchanting and incredibly different from Hosada’s. It is incredibly exciting to imagine how this will all mix together. An international collaboration of this scale makes Japanese animation history as the first of its kind. The amalgamation of all these different styles, I can imagine, could dramatically alter the course of Japanese animation to come!

My Thoughts On the Trailer:

First off, I cannot express how excited I am for this movie to drop. The trailer is absolutely stunning with its visuals — from its color palette to the mixture of 3D and 2D animation, to the shifting of art styles as we move between realities. It gives us a glimpse of how each creators’ distinctive style will look meshed together.

The contrast between Suzu and Belle is striking and translates well to the screen, creating a rift between how one wishes to appear and how one actually appears to the world. While Suzu and her classmates in the real world largely reflect Hosada’s more simple design, Belle shines with Jin Kim’s iconic Disney flair. Suzu looks like your average girl with brown eyes, brown hair falling below chin length, and light freckles dusting her face. Belle, on the other hand, is ethereal: her eyes are unrealistically huge and crystal blue, her luscious pink hair flows down to her legs, and even her freckles form the most beautiful and intricate patterns on her face. She truly looks like a princess.

The world in which the two exist are drastically different too. We see glimpses of the idyllic countryside as Suzu ambles through her rural town: clear waters sparkling under the setting sun, to the monolithic clouds floating against the devastatingly blue skies, to the sweeping empty fields passing outside a moving train. The natural landscapes are dense and full of vibrant detail, a stark contrast to the landscape of ‘U’. Virtual reality looks to be composed of block-like skyscrapers resembling the green and gold chips one would see inside a computer’s motherboard. While it seems to be full of geometric complexity, the world simultaneously feels hollow as well. It looks one-dimensional in comparison to the vivid images of the countryside. It is interesting to see the juxtaposition between Hosada’s simpler-looking Suzu living in a more intricate-looking world, and Jin Kim’s extravagantly detailed Belle existing in a more empty looking world. I’m excited to see how Hosoda synthesizes these visual elements throughout the movie in relation to the plot and more importantly the film’s theme.

What captured my attention the most, however, was the song featured in the extended trailer. With Belle set to be a famous singer of ‘U’, I’m willing to bet that the music will play a big role in the film. The trailer’s evocative song paired with its astounding visuals was genuinely enough to move me to tears — even without a clue of what was going on! If the music in the trailer is reflective of the soundtrack to come, then I’ll be prepared to cry at multiple points throughout this movie!


Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Need coverage? Please send an email to allagesofhr@gmail.com.

T. Wu is a contributing writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow T. on Instagram @kata_the_clown.

Primaris orks ?! New ork models possibly happening?

In recent times, many of us have been painfully aware of how It often seems like Games Workshop likes to focuses most of their attention on the human factions of Warhammer 40k while the Xeno armies are seemingly given no love. However, that might just be changing, because today we were all presented with a new ork model, not long following the last two beast snaga ork models. However, its not just Orks, Drukhari have also been given some love lately and let’s not forget what a treat it was for Necron players during Indominus.

New Ork Snagga Boy 2

With these three new releases not to mention the trailer on the Warhammer youtube channel, I for one am fully convinced we will now be entering a time (hopefully not a small one) where us Xeno players finally get some love. For those who know, I myself am a huge ork fan, and when I saw the look of these new models I knew it was heading in a direction I was ready to roll with. One of the biggest issues of ork models of the past was how strange their waste line is, it had such a strong arch. Now however the torso seems much more upright, which also will give models the ability to be more unique in how they angle their Orks. They are described to be bigger than regular boys but not bigger than nobz, Is this Pimaris Orks !?

So what’s for the future? Well, I think much like space marines, orks will be getting a much-needed facelift, maybe even a codex update. The future is exciting, and if GW can make these new changes more accessible and consumer-friendly to us, then the future seems very bright for Xeno players, especially the WAAAAAGH!!!


Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Need coverage? Please send an email to Allagesofhr@gmail.com Sean Velasquez is a staff writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow him on Twitter @dvel21 & seanvoxpopuli on instagram

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