Animanga Nation Lives … and will be back this November!

I can’t even begin the list the number of things that almost led to Animanga Nation closing its doors for good. Well, in a way it did since the main office that also houses our sister site, Comic Revolution, burned down during an August fire that destroyed a number of homes and buildings. The Animanga Nation offices lost everything during these fires so you can imagine the site has lost all of its resources.

Secondly, the publishing company that owns this site was going to make dramatic changes that would have killed this site and the editors have been fed up with the corporate suits that don’t know anything about the gaming scene and even less about anime and manga. It led to a vicious battle that had ALL of the Animanga Nation crew call it quits. So, in a way, August was the last month for Animanga Nation as we know it.

However, the corporate suits did not expect to see a pirate ship in the horizon and could not make the call-to-arms as said pirates climbed aboard to walk the suits off a plank and into the deep. That’s right, Captain Eden Zacarias and her band of anime and manga-loving merry crew of otaku pirates, have purchased this site from their very noses and kicked out the publishing company so we can do our own thing without somebody watching over us like a hawk. That means, myself and my crew call the shots to bring news, reviews and original content our own way.

Who am I? I am the young sister of the original Editor-in-Chief, Eduardo Zacarias, who did a great job with the site and has taken it as far as he could with a publishing company that stifled his creativity and the original content he had planned for it. I, like my older brother, am a writer and a massive gaming enthusiast. However, before being a gamer I have an background in anime and manga to the point that it rivals my brother’s love for Japan’s creative art form. I’m skilled in all things Ghost in the Shell with a Bachelor’s degree in One Piece. I love anime.

Of course, I am not alone as I bring a crew whose love for anime and manga rivals my own. It’s good to be among writers who share your love so I am blessed to have put together this team who is dedicated and ready to bring readers their viewpoints and original content as well. You will only find one familiar face among the review crew, Felicia Day, who had no contract so I picked her up. Other than that the crew is new so please allow me to introduce them.

Editor-in-Chief: Eden Zacarias – What is there else to say except for the fact that I believe in this site so much that I purchased it and want nothing more than to bring our love for anime and manga to Animanga Nation. Like most of my crew, I have spent time in Japan. I actually lived there for a few years so I not only know how to speak, read and write in Japanese but I can also cook a number of dishes too. Besides loving anime and manga, I love J-pop and J-rock. Looks A Lot Like: Talho from Eureka Seven.

Managing Editor: Felicia Day – Felicia may share the name of the cute redheaded nerd from “The Guild” and our Felicia is also a cute nerd by her own admission. She has a great fondess for Yaoi and, in an event in Tokyo she attended, was a guest speaker who was a big hit among fellow Yaoi fans who loved what she said about BL. She loves other anime as well like Eureka 7, Death Note and anything Gundam. Looks A Lot Like: Ringo from Air Gear.

Reviews Editor: Kylee Strutt – The Strutt family is no stranger to animation seeing as her brother, Micah, worked on a few original animated series for the now-gone Icebox.com. Just like him, Kylie grew up on a steady diet of Naruto, Dragon Ball Z and Blood+. Kylie has cosplayed as her favorite characters during the 2003 Tokyo Game Show when she went to Japan with her family and has gotten plenty of admirers because of it. She even spent two days working as a maid in a maid cafe in Akihabara! Oh yeah, she loves all things Japanese. Looks A Lot Like: Yoko from Gurren Lagann.

Reviewer: Emma Everton – You seen it a hundred times in anime. A beautiful blonde British girl living in Japan who joins the all-Japanese cast who battles for the attention and love of the main male character. This is Emma Everton who grew up in Japan being the daughter of an Army Captain who was stationed there. Emma discovered manga and anime on her first day living there when she was 8 and has grown up loving Evangelion and Case Closed. She spent her days in a manga cafe with all her friends who included a girl named Eden Zacarias. Looks A Lot Like: Lucy from Fairy Tail.

Reviewer: Sabine Monroe – Paris, France is a city filled with life and art and somehow Sabine found a dog-eared second volume of Naoki Urasawa’s Monster on a bus that somebody left behind. She was so absorbed by it that she missed her stop and ended up going directly to a rare book store to pick up the first volume until she became instantly hooked. Then came her love for anime and has become an official otaku because of it. Sabine loves romance fare like Ah! My Goddess, Maria Watches Over Us and Chobits. Looks A Lot Like: Rangiku from Bleach.

So that’s us and we will keep Animanga Nation alive and well bringing you news and reviews plus extras we have planned. So, coming in the end of November, we will be back. I promise you that we will not disappoint and are grateful to all of you who continue to visit the site.

See you very very soon!
– Eden Zacarias
Editor-in-Chief

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Monthly Editorial – June 2012: Live from the E3 2012 Show

Summer means a lot of things for a lot of people but for us it will always mean swimming pools, ice cream, shaving Uncle Harry’s hairy back in the backyard and, of course, conventions. While I always look forward to the Anime Expo each year, summer also welcomes to the Los Angeles Convention Center one specifically geared towards gamers. That’s right, E3 2012 is here and, this being the last day of the show, I got a chance to join the kids at our little brother site, Game Revolver.

While the show seemed to have toned down just a tad, there was still much to see and I’ll give you gamers a full report on the Game Revolver site (http://gamerevolver.wordpress.com) soon. However, I’m happy to report that there are some titles that may interest anime and manga fans like a new Dragon Ball Z game for the Xbox 360 by Bandai Namco that makes good use of the Kinect hardware. That’s right, you’ll be able to pull off some awesome moves as Goku or any of the other characters from the series like Vegeta just to name a few.

Now you can “Ka-Me-Ha-Me-Ha!” without a controller!

Then Bandai Namco also displayed a playable demo of a new One Piece game that I had been dying to see in action since I heard about it from some Japanese friends. Now, One Piece: Kaizoku Musou comes to North America with an all-new adventure featuring Luffy and his crew and believe me when I say that it looked awesome.

There’s much more and I will bring you all the latest news on this front later this month along with game reviews for both these titles when they hit stores in 2012. Meanwhile, I’ll get back to running through the halls of E3 where I swear has gotten so loud that presentations now require headphones.

“I’m going to be king of the pirates … again!”

Also, Animanga Nation will be happy to be back in the same venue for Anime Expo 2012 that is already sounding like an amazing show this year. We’ll also be happy to get to meet favorite guests that include Monica Rial and Jamie Marchi who we absolutely love as well as a number of other amazing guests like Nobuhiko Okamoto who voices Rin from one of our favorite anime series, Blue Exorcist.

Anyway, I’ll get back to E3 where I’m currently sitting near gaming journalists who have been reduced to teenagers at the sight of so many awesome new games.

Much love to you all,

Eduardo Zacarias
Editor-in-Chief

Happy New Years 2012!

If anything, 2011 will be best remembered by all of us here at the offices of Animanga Nation as a huge success that has left all of us a bit surprised in the most pleasant way possible. Over the years we built up quite a following but 2011 brought us readers from as far as Brazil to South Africa and many more are keeping a close watch on Animanga Nation. We are overwhelmed by the number of positive responses we’ve obtained from European, Canadian and even Asian readers who enjoy the site.

This, of course, could not have been possible if it were not for the publishers and studios that have given us their support over the years. We are eternally grateful to all of you and there are simply no words that could appropriately sum up the gratitude we feel for said support. We look forward to another year being a part of your lives and to offer news and reviews of all titles we can come to expect from each one of you.

Speaking of things to expect, Animanga Nation plans on bringing readers more in 2012. We have big plans for the site as the new year has inspired all of us to give you more. We’ve listened to all of you and we plan to deliver. What these new features will include we will not say just yet but expect them to happen in the middle of 2012.

Thank you all for making Animanga Nation a success once again. We are honored by your kind words that make us want to work harder to bring you, the anime and manga fans, a site you could comfortably turn to for all your anime and manga news and reviews.

See you all in 2012!

Eduardo Zacarias
Editor-in-Chief

Monthly Editorial (Early Edition) – July 2011

Anime Expo 2011 is just a day away and, once again, Animanga Nation will be there to check out all the latest news and features this event always highlights. It’s also a great opportunity to meet our readers and we have met a great number of you who were encouraging and fun to hang out with during the event. If you see a small group of people with Animanga Nation t-shirts, please say hello to us. We love chatting with you guys.

This year’s event is a special one for Anime Expo since it’s their twentieth anniversary but also the event plans to honor and even help the continued relief efforts in Japan. I’m proud to say that anime and manga fans in North America and all over the world have given money and aid to Japan in its time of need after the devastating earthquake and tsunami. As I had said in an editorial, all of us here in this office have been lucky to have lived in Japan for short periods and have been touched by the county and its people that we love Japan just as much as we love the United States.

I was happy to spearhead our own efforts to send Japan money and much-needed care packages with the help our sister sites Comic Revolution and Game Revolver. I would like to thank my sister, Eden Zacarias, of Comic Revolution and Natalie Romano of Game Revolver for having helped me carry out our relief efforts. We would also like to thank all of you who have made donations and have given us words of encouragement to pass along to the people of Japan.

So if you happen to be in Los Angeles for this upcoming weekend, we’ll see you there and will be happy to bring you all the news from the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Eduardo Zacarias
Editor-in-Chief

We LOVE you Japan!

It is with a sad heart that I write this in the wake of such a devastating natural disaster that has hit a country we here at Animanga Nation loves so much. All of us here in this very office have visited Japan more than once and only three of us have made it our home for a number of  years before we returned to the States.

I am one of those lucky three who have lived in Japan for 6 years with my sister, Eden (who is Editor-in-Chief of our sister site, Comic Revolution) as Army brats that have gone from living in Okinawa and a year later living in Shibuya. Our own Ai Kano was born in Narita and Brenda Gregson lived in Akihabara for 5 years and worked – believe it or not – in a maid cafe. No kidding, we seen the pictures and she occasionally experiences strange flashbacks … which explains why she sometimes says  “Welcome home, Master!” when I enter the office.

The point is Japan is a big part of our lives as it is for all of you who turn to this site for news and reviews for manga and anime. Each anime collection and every manga series contains the creative spirit and heart of Japan. It is because of this respect and love that we send our prayers, love and hope to the people of Japan and Sendai. We are also sending donations to the Red Cross.

We hope that you will all find it in your heart to offer a prayer and donations to your local Red Cross or a favorite organization that will bring relief efforts to the affected areas. Like all natural disasters, donations of blood or money are always needed and what a better way to show your love to this wonderful country by sending your donations?

We love you, Japan, and will keep praying for you and sending whatever aid we can from our side.

Warmest wishes,

Eduardo Zacarias
Editor-in-Chief

Greetings from AX 2010: Monthly Editorial (Part 2)

I went to a samurai fight and a convention broke out.

Clive Owen here from the floor of the Los Angeles Convention Center. It was a very busy day for all of us and while we are a bit under staffed (Ai Kano, Brenda Gregson and Sophie Stevens decided to become panelists themselves in a seperate event) we managed to check out a few juicy items we will be sharing with you.

First, however, a comment and them some thanks. I am so in love and angry with the musical group AKB48. Each one is more cute than the next and what’s not to love about these talented ladies who look good doing what they do. However, I am angry with them for thinking our Editor-in-Chief is – and I quote one of them (sorry for not knowing her by name) – “really cute.” Below is a picture of them during their signing session when we both got to meet them.

What? You have go to be kidding me! He wasn’t voted Most Attractive in Middle School or Most Likely to Marry Half the Girls in Class in High School. The guy looks like Lord Aizen from Bleach. Is that what’s “really cute” in Japan? Ok, getting a hold of myself and wiping away the tears.

You are probably already tired of hearing this but I’ll say it anyway. We do run into fellow Animanga Nation readers. Mainly because we all wear t-shirts with the name of our site and we are always touched when we hear all the nice things you all have to say about us at the event. We are not kidding when we get offered hugs and words of encouragement. They mean a lot to us so if you see us out there please do not hesitate to stop us and say hello.

During one of my breaks, I did get a chance to see a show because I begged and pleaded to go see May’n and Megumi Nakajima. May’n was chosen as the singing voice for Sheryl Nome from one of my favorite anime shows, Macross Frontier. Here’s a pic of May’n.

Ok, time to get back in there so we will certainly get back with more coverage as well as more pictures.

– Clive Owen

Greetings from AX 2010: Monthly Editorial

Once again, it’s that certain time of the year where Los Angeles gets a lot more livelier than normal and even more so in the direction of the Los Angeles Convention Center where anime fans from all over congregate and unite as one to show appreciation for one of Japan’s many cultural wonders.

No matter how many times I go I am sincerely overwhelmed by number of anime and manga fans showing their love for their favorite characters and titles.  There was a lot of love for Soul Eater this year. Last year we ran into a lot of Gurren Lagann characters (which is cool) but it was great to see a number of Maka, Soul and even Liz and Pattys out there.

Sure I love the fact that there were a number of great guests of honor and I even got to shake hands with Black Lagoon manga-ka Rei Hiroe who is just about the coolest manga-ka you could meet. It’s no wonder Black Lagoon is just too damn cool. The real, treat, however, comes in meeting Animanga Nation readers and I got to meet and even eat lunch with a large group. Thank you, Clara, for that awesome keychain. Thank you, Wendy, for that even more awesome hug. By the way, Wendy was the best Gaara out there.

Oh, I was even invited to the AKB48 concert. If you don’t know who they are you are missing out on one of the best all-female musical acts in Japan. These girls are so big that they have their own exclusive theater in Akihabara. They’re also super cute. I’m a big fan now. By the way, the picture above isn’t a camera fluke. They became a blur when they were spinning like that.

Well, I’ll get back out there with Clive Owen and Faith McAdams running around out there as well. Hopefully, we’ll bring you more news and AX 2010 exclusives.

– Eduardo Zacarias
Editor-in-Chief