Fatherhood and videogames!

I’m writing this as I’m watching a documentary, “Video Games: The Movie”, and occasionally repositioning my new born son’s pacifier as he rocks to sleep in his Fisher-Price’s Cradle N’ Swing. As a geeky new father, who enjoys video games, comics, anime, etc, I wonder if I would pass my passion and love to my son but also realize a limit and have him enjoy other things as well, or will he be a completely different person and have a completely different passion from mine.

I know some people think I’d most likely give him a gaming console immediately or some sort of electronic devices but I feel that I’d want to hold off on any sort of personal electronic devices. Sure, I’ll probably have the most recent Nintendo gaming console for him (or probably moreso for me) but I don’t want him to go outside still attached to an electronic device such as a DS or a iphone/ipad.

While I had my first game console at a young age, (the Nintendo Entertainment System when I was five or six) I had a good few years without anything. Maybe an Atari, but I didn’t find that as engrossing… The first five years of my life, which at the time, felt forever, was filled with other things, exploring the world around me, playing outside, etc.

I had a very fun and active childhood and I wish for my son to partake in similar fashion. I felt I had a pretty healthy balance of play, interaction, and video games. Though, video games now are a bit more social, albeit virtually, I do fear that the time of having two people playing in the same room will disappear. Perhaps not though… because when we do play… at least we could be playing together.

Super Otaku Mode…

I’ve been watching WAAAAY too much anime lately. I really wanted to do a proper review of a few that I’ve seen… but I think since the start of the new year, I’ve watched… and in no particular order,

-Broken Blade… the movie series… not to be confused with the up coming anime…

– Pilot’s Love Song

-Recently my Sister is Unusual

-Witchcraft Works

-Golden Time

-Haganai

-Heaven’s Lost Property

-Log Horizon

-Hajime No Ippo

-Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren

-Kill La Kill

-Kyokai no Kanata

-Z Girls

-Crime Edge

-Strike the Blood

And currently I’m drudging through Amagami… though, I think it’s because I’m between seasons right now and waiting for some new series to catch my attention.

Usually, I watch them while they’re still new like Witch Craft Works, Log Horizon, Hakime No Ippo, and Chuunibyou… and then some I watched after they’ve already aired and kinda went through a binge…

As much as I enjoy binge watching, I find that when I’m watching an anime as it’s being released, I feel I grow a tighter bond with the characters because I have to wait a week or so till the next episode… when I binge watch a series… sometimes I feel the characters and story becomes a bit more forgettable.

That wasn’t the case with Golden Time, who’s author also wrote Tora Dora… I caught Golden Time that week it’s final episode was coming out and so I binge watched the whole 23 damn episodes in the course of two days… (even in doing so, I was still able to clean the house, do some laundry, and do some grocery shopping.)

Even still, I had to wait about one full day before I could catch the final episode and that tormented me a bit.

I wished I actually caught Golden Time when it first started showing so I could have spread it out and enjoyed it longer, though it was filled with so much romantic drama that that would have probably killed me. The grass is greener I suppose.

But in the past 3 months, I’ve watched nearly 15 different anime series and I’m not sure to be impressed or sadden by my geekiness…

What probably helped is that the first few months, my wife and I were trying to hide her pregnancy and we couldn’t announce it till March sooooo… in avoiding my friends, I guess I just filled up time with anime.

Also, I haven’t caught up with any of the second half of the Walking Dead so I might as well start watching that…

I also need to start blogging regularly… and I guess it wouldn’t hurt to perhaps redesign this page a bit…

Haganai

I’m going to start trying to do a review a week or so often… So let me start with my most recent finished Anime…

nofriends

Haganai
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

I’ll start off saying that one of my most favorite anime is Toradora… and while this shares many traits with Toradora, it seems to follow the typical Harem Anime clichés, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The story is about a young boy Kodaka, who is viewed as a delinquent because of his scary eyes and his blonde hair, which is due to him being half English and half Japanese. His mother, who was English, has passed away, so he refuses to dye his hair as it’s his only link to her. While he is perceived as a delinquent, he is anything but… and due to that misconception, he’s found to be very alone and friendless.

He finds similarity with Yozora, a quiet tsundere, who decides to create the Neighbors Club, to try to find and make friends. As the story progresses, more females are added to the rooster of the Neighbors Club; Sena, the rich, popular, and beautiful young girl, who longs for female friendship, Kobata, the pretty-boy that really is a pretty girl, and Rika, the horny genius.

As almost all Harem animes, the girls find something about Kodaka which creates a love triangle… love square… um… some sort of love geometric shape or another. But unlike most Harem anime, Kodaka seems to have a bit more of a personality and it seems that he has an inkling about their feelings but decides to try to ignore it.

So what makes it different from most Harem animes, as I stated it’s Kodaka’s personality and slightly elaborated back story. He feels a bit more fleshed out, atleast to me. The girls seems to have a bit more of a mix mash of clichés, where Rika would usually have been the silent reserved type, is actually a bit of the opposite, where she is quite crude and assertive.

As I stated though, Haganai doesn’t entirely break away from the usual formula, where there is no other male protagonist, except for Sena’s father. It does have the childhood friend, the forced fiancée, and various types of girls and fan service.

Overall, it’s a pretty good anime and fun. I actually finished it off in about 4 days, watching both seasons and even though the last season ended in a cliff hanger, it leaves hope for a season 3.

Where to Watch Haganai?
Funimation
or
Hulu

Koco’s Pub

Koco’s Pub
4301 Harford Rd
Baltimore, MD 21214

(410) 426-3519
http://www.kocospub.com/

My friend Lynna had told us about Koco’s Pub having the best crab cakes in Maryland. Crab cake is a delicious thing, but trying to find a good crab cake is a bit like a hit or miss and so a lot of times, I feel safer not ordering it, knowing that it’s usually going to be a fairly small portion and could be mostly breading or filler.

Koco’s Pub’s crab cakes is nothing like that and it’s not just the best crab cake in Maryland, it was the best crab cake EVER.

Lynna took my wife and me, along with several other friends there to try said crab cake. I went on Saturday, March 23, 2013, at about 7 PM. Lynna had the foresight to get us reservations. The décor had a bit of a tropical theme, I recall a mural of a parrot on the wall outside. The inside lighting was a bit dim but cozy. The place was highly packed. I’m not sure if that’s a common thing, but I would defiantly consider making reservations if you could. Funny thing is though, when I came into the restaurant, it didn’t seem like a place that would take reservation, so the fact that they do, is a plus. During my stay there, I did see a large party come, maybe about 7 or 8, unreserved, and the estimated wait was too long. We also had a party of 7 which Lynna reserved the day before. As soon as we walked in, they already had our table ready and we sat immediately.

For our appetizer, Lynna ordered the baby back ribs and Buffalo wings. Now, those aren’t on the appetizer menu, they’re actually a regular course but Lynna insisted we order those as appetizers. The Buffalo wings were okay, nothing to write home about, but the ribs were really sweet and juicy, with the meat falling off the bone.

But on to the main course, the crab cake…

It was delicious.

Let me elaborate a bit more though. If there was any breading, I didn’t notice. It was mostly if not all crab and mayo, packed and baked into a soft ball size cake. The crabmeat was huge as well and was a nice mix between savory and sweet.  The crab cake platter came with a choice of salad or fries. The girls obviously chose salad and the guys chose the fries. The girls did eat from said guys’ fries… but whatever. But I digress… the crab cake is awesome and I felt it was priced really well.  It’s market price but when we ordered, it was about 25 dollars per platter, which in my opinion is a really good price. I’ve had far lesser crab cakes for 30 plus dollars and felt that even though it mostly comes in a pair, they’re filled with more filling and usually the size of a golf ball, which even if I get 2, one soft ball size crab cake is still more.

Overall, Koco’s Pub is a place I defiantly want to try again. One negative thing about it is that their crab cakes are so awesome; I doubt I’ll ever really try anything else on their menu, which is a shame as they do have filet mignon. I do feel that Koco’s is tragically low key, especially for having such awesome crab cakes.  I would have expected that Travel Channel or Food Network would have picked up on it but it is a bit far from the Inner Harbor.  I’m not too familiar with the area but it’s not near the usual foot traffic location like Fell’s Point or Inner Harbor but it’s defiantly worth the drive out.

KocospubI apologize, the only picture I have is from my instagram….

Shanghai Kiss

I haven’t updated this in a while so I figured I’ll start trying to update regularly.

I got a chance to watch Shanghai Kiss with my wife a few weeks ago and it’s a fairly good movie.

Just to summarize it, it’s about a struggling Asian American actor trying to make his way in Hollywood. He meets a “young” girl who idolizes him but he keeps at a distance for legal reasons. He still tries to date around but seems to cry whenever he gets laid, possible about feeling bad for the “young girl”. When his grandmother dies and leaves him her house to sell, he has to go back to Shanghai but ends up keeping the house and meets another lady.

I’m trying not to spoil the story for anyone but to be honest, all the other characters seems a bit flat and 2 dimensional. But that isn’t the point of the story, I think the deeper message is about how Asian Americans seem to have a dual identity. We’re Asian Americans, but in Asia, we’re just Americans, and in America, we’re just Asians. Not exactly the best of both worlds here.

Overall, I was fairly pleased with the story. It was an interesting insight on what it means to be Asian American. As a love story, it’s kind of one sided and I kept on thinking how much of a bad guy he would be if the story was told from another point of view. But if I analyze it that way, I think I’d be missing the major point.

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