fbpx

Uncategorized

We Interviewed Ali Raza Malik Our Digital Marketer!

We interviewed our digital marketer all about what he does with All Ages of Geek!

What is your job at All Ages of Geek?

 I am a digital marketer and my job is to plan and overlook all the marketing strategies that take place online and to make sure that every marketing campaign is run smoothly throughout. I report the performance of the digital marketing campaigns that occur. I am an SEO specialist as well which means that my job includes optimizing in order to ensure a good user experience and generate an encouraging audience. 

What would you tell someone who is interested in the work you do? 

Have a strong research background on your field and make sure that your communicating skills are up to the mark. This field is one that has a high scope in future. It might use some of your patience, but if you are determined to succeed and use all of your creative juices, then this field is definitely for you!

What are your plans and goals for 2021?

I already have a team of graphic designers, video editors, video animators, content writers and voice over artists. For the future, I plan on having a software house of my own in which I will be recruiting a full in-house team.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I am able to use my creativity and the business side of my skills both at the same time! It allows me come up with strategies that involve my creativity and thinking. Most importantly, I am in a field in which I am fully interested it, I know my work and am able to give my 100% every time

What are some benefits from working online?

My favorite question of them all! I am able to have a very flexible schedule, an environment that is according to my comfort levels and no distractions. I am always able to have the perfect work-life balance which allows me to do the work I love the most doing along with having the time to do my daily activities too.


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

Tatiana Stec is the Co-Founder and Creative Director at All Ages of Geek. You can follow her on Twitter @Tatiana_Stec

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.

Will We Ever See a One Punch Man Live Action Film?

by: Jason N. Mullen
Thumbnail Credit: @onepunchman_official

No stakes could be higher than when film producers announce plans to pursue a live-action adaptation of a beloved anime, and it is a subject fans are not shy to voice their opinions on. This is part of why it’s common to see rumors for live-action films to surface, only for plans to end up not panning out. Filmmakers also face the daunting task of capturing the anime’s art style, turning a series into a film, and paying homage to the original work — a toss-up between success and failure. One anime that faces the immense pressure of doing well in live-action is the beloved One Punch Man. The question is, with everything considered, will we ever get to see a live-action film?


Although it aired back in 2015, One Punch Man remains a very popular anime, not because it’s the best — arguably, there are better ones to watch. What really made it stand out was its combination of parody and action in one neat package. The elements of standard formula, goofiness, and unique execution make it a perfect candidate for a live-action film adaptation. And Sony Pictures decided to do just that, with Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner as the screenwriters and Arad Productions at the helm. This looks to be a promising collaboration considering the success of films like Venom and Jumanji: The Next Level. The film is still in its early stages, so while tentative release dates have been announced, the anime community is abuzz with excitement.

One of the details fans will want to get wind of is who will be cast as the titular character of the live-action remake. Casting beloved anime characters in other remakes has been met with some backlash in the past, so choosing just the right actors for the job is fundamental to the film’s success. Last year, internet user BossLogic made waves on Twitter after posting the concept art of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson cast as the main protagonist, Saitama — a fitting choice with his stature, bald head, and talent for delivering an entertaining performance.

BossLogic also added features on Kevin Hart to resemble Geron, a perfect pairing alongside The Rock. Hart is well known for his roles in the movie industry as he starred in films like Jumanji, The Upside, and the classic Scary Movie titles. However, Hart is arguably more known for his comedy. In fact, he is the best-paid comedian in the world and is estimated to have a net worth of around $200 million, which he has earned through his films, comedy tours, and playing poker. This jack of all trades playing Genos didn’t exactly resonate with fans, who were quick to provide suggestions of their own, including Lewis Tan. However, the most popular sentiment was to cast an unknown actor and let the chips fall where they may.

Whoever ends up being cast as the Saitama, Geron, and the other characters in One Punch Man remains to be seen — if the live-action film ever comes to fruition! All fans can do is wait in anticipation for the film and the anime’s third season. And if you haven’t gotten on the One Punch Man train just yet, check out this casual review and get ready to be charmed.

Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society

All Ages of Geek supports Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society and we want you to learn more about them:

“Rescuing an animal must create good karma – though this is not why we do it. To rescue an animal is to literally save a life – to change their fate or destiny. Saving a friendly animal from a harsh life outside, from a hoarding situation or from having litter after litter because they are not spayed … lives saved. If some good karma comes along with it – bonus!

Zen can be considered a state of mind – particularly one that is calm. When we thought of the rescue process – going from a situation that is probably far from ideal to one of calmness and safety – the state of zen came to mind. That is the goal – to move animals into that calm state so that they can flourish and, in turn, find their forever homes.

Mission + Vision

“The mission of the Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society is to provide a safe and peaceful haven for homeless, abandoned or abused animals. We will help decrease the number of cats and dogs being destroyed in kill shelters through the work of our adoption, trap-neuter-return, and education programs.

The vision of the Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society is a world where every companion animal is respected, fed, warm, happy, and not in danger of being killed because it is temporarily homeless.

Karma Cat + Zen Dog vows to treat all persons with respect and consideration – regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, maternity, marital or family status, disability, age or national origin.

Our Story

Christie & Clarence 2010

Christie with Clarence, a 2010 rescue

In 2010, sisters Christie and Michelle Arlotta formed Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society; an organization that puts a positive light on animal rescue efforts. They knew that they wanted to change the fate of homeless, abandoned, or abused animals, while offering them a safe and peaceful haven during the transition.

Through the help of our leadership and animal care volunteers, board members, donations, and grants, we are able to operate our adoption, trap-neuter-return, and education programs to further our mission. We are a volunteer-run, New Jersey-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit with two locations: an adoption center in Milltown and a location within the PetSmart in North Brunswick. Every year, special events, including the annual spring gala Paws for Celebration, are held to celebrate the organization’s accomplishments as well as raise much-needed funds to continue saving precious lives.

We are not a religious organization and we mean no disrespect of any organization that identifies with the concept of karma or the study of zen.”

Volunteer Programs

MA_Karma

“We have several volunteer positions:Fosters, Socializers, Cleaners/Feeders, Adoption Counselors, Transport, Foster, Event and Fundraising,TNVR, Crafters, and general office.” Descriptions are attached. HERE:

How do people who are interested in adopting get in contact with you? What are the requirements? 

“Our adoptables are listed on Petfinder. Most folks that don’t know us that wanting to adopt find us there and complete an online application. We have an adoption center in Milltown that, until COVID, was open to the public. There are typically at least 5 cats in the center. we did have a presence at the PetSmart in North Brunswick. We backed out of having cats there with COVID but hold monthly adoption events. Some potential adopters hear about us for Social Media or other sources (we are on Magic 98.3 and have had interviews on Philly NBC channel 10). for them we get an application from our website, an email, or a call to our office. “

Adoption Stories!

Check out these amazing stories:

How to Support?

“We accept donations from food and supplies (Chewy wishlist) to stock. We sell merchandise and hold several events throughout the year.  Ways to support are on our website, https://karmacatzendog.org/support

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.

Interview With Darlene Jacobson!

Kat & Tat reached out to Darlene Jacobson, a well known author, to hear more about her writing journey!

1. What inspired you to become an author?

Thanks so much Tatiana and Katya for inviting me to your blog today. I am really excited to share my author experiences with your followers.

I’ve had a love of reading since I was a girl. I also loved making up stories in my head. As I’d gotten older, and had a few short stories published, I realized I wanted to try and write a novel. I made a couple attempts while my kids were younger and was able to write some horrible stories from beginning to end. So, I knew I could do it. But to do it well, I really needed to learn from those who wrote the kind of books I wanted to write. The books that resonated with me were the ones with kids who solved their own problems and tried to figure things out. 

The thing that also motivated me was the idea of leaving something lasting behind after I’m gone from this earth. To be able to pen a book that children will value and enjoy reading seemed like a way to immortality. Don’t we still treasure the books from authors of our own childhood who are no longer with us?

2. What are some advantages of being a KidLit author?

Being a kid lit author means I get to hang out with other authors who write some of the most amazing books! And, I get invited to classrooms to meet amazing kids who tell me how much they enjoyed my books. Getting thank you notes from kids is something I never expected and it always makes me smile. I realize how lucky I am to be able to do what I love and have it make a difference in a child’s life.

3. What are some disadvantages of being a KidLit author?

I can’t think of any disadvantages. Maybe just the fact that because of Covid, and remote learning, many classroom visits have been put on hold. I miss being with young people and look forward to sharing my books with them again. I’ve had a few virtual visits, but in person is something I miss.

4. What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an author?

Read a lot of books in the genre you want to write. Study the craft of writing by taking workshops, going to conferences, and sharing your writing with critique partners. Write something everyday if you can, even if it’s only a paragraph. The only way to get better at writing is to do it. Be prepared to accept criticism and rejection and learn from it. One thing I’ve learned, editors want good manuscripts that they can turn into good books. They aren’t rejecting you to be mean. Keep writing to improve your craft and stay with it. I was rejected by 36 agents before I got a call from Liza Flessig offering representation for my first novel WHEELS OF CHANGE. If I had given up after ten or even twenty, I wouldn’t be talking to you today.

5. Tell us about your books.

Both WHEELS OF CHANGE (WOC –  Creston) and WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY (WISHES – Creston) are historical middle grade novels. 

The first one, (WOC) which you’ve read Katya, takes place in 1908 Washington DC during the last months of Theodore Roosevelt’s Administration. It deals with the sweeping social and industrial changes that are on the horizon and threaten Emily and her carriage maker father’s way of life. Racial intolerance, women’s suffrage, factory mechanization, are things the family must come to terms as well as deciding which changes are worth fighting for.

My recent novel, WISHES, is written in verse and set in the summer of 1964. Jack’s dad is MIA in Vietnam, and he, his sister Katy, and their mom are spending the summer with his dad’s family. Jack would rather be home moping and missing his dad than pretending to be happy with his grandparents. Until he meets a girl named Jill, who is trying to escape her bully of a brother.  They hang out together, along with Katy, and catch a fish named Fred. A fish who grants wishes.  A fish that could be the answer to Jack’s problem.  But when Jill makes a wish of her own, things don’t turn out the way they expect because every wish has a consequence.

6. What are you currently working on?

I am working on another noble in verse. It was such a joy writing WISHES in that format, I wanted to try another novel that way.

7. Plans for 2021?

It’s kind of hard to make any plans that involve author visits and the like while we are all still in the midst of Covid restrictions. I hope that by the fall, I’ll be able to go back to visiting classrooms, attending book fairs, and having in-person events with other authors.

Find more HERE

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.

Let’s Watch Golden Kamuy S1 E3

So we’re moving onto S1E3 of Golden Kamuy today. 

Reminder that I am not trying to speak authoritatively on this group. I am just trying to convey what I have learned through studying firsthand and academic accounts through a century of materials.

This is also not a beat-by-beat retelling of each episode. These are just my evolving thoughts as I watch.

Okay the beginning of this episode is very, very cute and outlines the difference between cultural misunderstandings. (Episode timestamp 0:52) Ashiripa doesn’t understand what Miso is because she’s never encountered it. She’s so off-put by something she sees as gross. Then berates him from saying thankful words on what she considers poop. It’s just a nice little comedy moment. Is it a sign this episode’s gonna be a little lighter? We’ll see.

I really do like the fact they’re going into the Ainu beliefs about the bear so much. It’s the premier deity they have. It represents Kimun (or Kim-un) Kamuy, or the god of the mountains. The iyomante (or iyomande or iomande… There’s no agreed-upon Latin orthography for Ainu) or bear-sending ceremony was the most important of all Ainu festivals. It was basically where a bear cub would be raised for about two years, then sacrificed in a highly ritual way. Here is a video of it from the 1930s, taken by Dr. Neil Godorn Munro. It’s low quality but it is an interesting insight. I wouldn’t really call it graphic. Yes, the bear is killed, but compared to some of the stuff in today’s movies and such, it really isn’t much. Obviously, just viewer discretion is advised if you’re sensitive to killing animals.

Oh hello, wolf. I have a feeling that may be her father… As far as I’ve read, the Ainu didn’t have the belief in reincarnation of souls as protectors like that. Or maybe it’s an embodiment of a god? I’m not entirely sure what that wolf is supposed to be…

[Episode timestamp 7:39)

Oh dang, I wonder if Sugimoto deliberately led them to that little cave. Then again he may have just recognised the signs. 

I’m not really surprised the bear came out and attacked… YA DUN SHOT AT IT. 

WAIT IS THAT WOLF HERS OR SOMETHING? Or is it something to say at the wolf to make it act a certain way? At the very least he’s friendly toward her. (Episode stamp 9:54)

Oh no they have a little bear cub… That’s so cute… (Something horrible is going to happen to it, isn’t it?)

(Episode Timestamp 11:04)

Oh my GOD Ashiripa PLEASE. (12:06)

Oh going to her kotan (village)? Neat!

The opening shot of the village may seem a bit confusing to those not in the know on Ainu culture. What’s being seen here are the skulls of animals along with what are called inau (pronounced “ee-now” roughly, also written inaw, inao, and probably others). 

(12:40)

Inau are sticks carved in certain ways for certain kamuy. There are a lot of different ones, each which serve their own unique purposes. Large clusters of them were placed in many different areas, again, for different reasons. However, one thing that was always present for a traditional Ainu home was what was called a nusa. Nusa is just the word for a gathering of inau. Each house had a sacred window that faced the east to the rising sun. There were several clusters of nusa at the sacred window in a prescribed way. 

(insert image from Creed and Cult)

Another thing from a scene a couple of minutes later is related to inau.

(14:29) 

Those are called inau-kike which are shavings from inau, put up, once again, for ritual reasons. Again, the reasonings are numerous. If any of this piques your interest, go read Ainu Creed and Cult yourself. It’s for free download on the Internet Archive.

Oh the point about naming is actually a good one. Ashiripa explains it well, but I thought I’d bring it up anyway. 

Oh, there Ashiripa explains more about the bear-sending ceremony. She also goes into a good explanation of kamuy in general. 

Interesting about her name. “An Ainu girl for a new era,” huh? My guess is her father was seeing the writing on the wall with the decades of forced assimilation going on at that point… He probably wanted her to be able to adapt to the change of life as the Japanese slowly took them over. Chiri Yukie could see it herself in 1912 (link to article 1). Of course, that was a little while after this particular anime is set but still. 

Well that ends my commentary for the episode! I was a little bit lighter than the last two for sure. Still had bits of plot sprinkled in though. 

Interview with Artist @drawsgood

1. What inspired you to start making art?

I was a big fan of video games as a kid, and would spend hours copying the illustrations that were included inside the little instruction manual that came with most Nintendo games! I also loved Image comics, and began drawing my own superheroes.

Image

2. Favorite thing about being an artist?

I love being able to express an idea that’s in my head and translate it to an image that others view and hopefully enjoy. I also really enjoy talking to other artists about their techniques and what works for them, how they avoid or deal with art blocks, and what inspires them.

3. Advice for new artists?

Just keep drawing! And draw things that you enjoy and make you happy! If you can harness that feeling of joy you had as a kid drawing goofy doodles, and incorporate it in to your everyday art making, you’ll be a much happier artist and won’t feel so frustrated. Also, dig in to those fundamentals! Knowing the basics is the first step to becoming a solid artist!

Image

4. Plans for 2021!

I hope to spin up a few more personal projects this year, although I’m already filling up my freelance schedule with quite a few awesome projects!


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

Tatiana Stec is the Co-Founder and Creative Director at All Ages of Geek. You can follow him @Tatiana_Stec on Twitter

An Interview with Artist @WandererKami

I had the honor of interviewing the amazing artist @WandererKami about their artistic journey!

What inspired you to start making art?

I think a lot of things all collect together in my memory, but I do have a really clear one of watching The Lion King 2 obsessively, pausing the VHS every two seconds, and stamping a piece of paper over the screen so I could trace the lions. So Disney was a huge inspiration initially! I also loved writing stories, and it only felt natural to make illustrations to go with them. The early days of DeviantArt helped a lot to encourage my art too, and where I discovered what furries were!

Favorite thing about being an artist?

The pleasure of everything coming together for a piece is a great feeling, the rare times the picture in your head and what you create actually match up. I always go back to pieces like that fondly!

Advice for new artists?

Try your best not to be too self-critical. Nothing kills wanting to make art faster than being overly judgemental towards your own art. You start to associate creating with negative emotions rather than positive ones and that’s when everything kinda falls apart… So when you start out it’s good to focus on the bits and things you did that came out right or went well, or just taking happiness in the fact you created something at all!

Plans for 2021!

I hope to start a Masters in Illustration that leads into 2021, i’d also love to try creating a graphic novel, it’s one of those things where i’m always meaning to try it! socials are: Twitter- @WandererKami Instagram- @etc_artwork


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

Tatiana Stec is the Co-Founder and Creative Director at All Ages of Geek. You can follow him @Tatiana_Stec on Twitter