This upcoming July 4 weekend, there'll be fireworks and hot dogs galore across America. And if you're in Los Angeles, you'll be seeing those amidst a sea of Hatsune Miku wigs and people blaring J-pop from their phones at Anime Expo.
The largest anime con in America --- and easily one of the largest American cons period --- Anime Expo takes place from July 1-4 at the LA Convention Center. Like any good convention, there's a wealth of exclusives. Bluefin has announced its exclusives are Gundam model kits and products --- or "Gunpla" as some call it --- as well as two brand-new figurines of Super Saiyan Goku and Final Form Frieza.
Apologies to anyone in marketing who might be reading this, but video game ads don't usually do much to get me excited. I think the last one that really made an impact was the one for Saints Row IV where they misspelled the name of the game and then went back to correct it all while blaring dubstep, and showing you explosions, but even that wasn't exactly "memorable," you know?
Now imagine that you're heading over to the department store, thinking about picking up a new video game, and you round the corner to see Goku from Dragon Ball Zand Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece in the middle of a life-sized brawl that has shattered the street, snapped a lamppost and flipped a car. Well, if you're heading to the Shibuya Parco store in Tokyo, that's exactly what you'll see, as an awesome promo for the upcoming J-Stars Victory Vs. And it is awesome.
When Akira Toriyama first introduced Goku in the pages of Dragon Ball, things were simple: He was a monkey-tailed boy from the wilderness who was raised by a martial arts master who wore a magical ball that when you combined it with six others it summoned a dragon for a wish and there was a girl who wanted them and -- fine, fine, things weren't that simple. As time went on and Dragon Ball shifted from a wild adventure comedy to a more straightforward battle manga as Dragon Ball Z, things became even less simple. Goku's evil brother Raditz showed up on a mission to kill everything on Earth and revealed that he was among the last of a race of alien warriors called Saiyans. That meant Goku's biological folks were just some dead jerks. In the manga, that was pretty much the end of the story, but the explosive popularity of the anime adaptation led to a movie about his Saiyan dad, Bardock. So who was Goku's mom? The question's lingered for nearly 25 years... until now (potential spoilers below).
Try as most may to achieve the billowy bird hair sported by Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT stars, it's no cakewalk to train your 'do up to Saiyan -- to say nothing of Super Saiyan -- strength. Bandai Premium thinks it can help, however, with its official new Dragon Ball Z hair wax.
I haven't actually watched DragonBall Z since high school, but I'll admit that I still have a tiny soft spot for Akira Toriyama's long-running story of dudes shouting at and occasionally punching each other...
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