From The Bizarre Ashes: Updates

10 Aug

Hello readers,

Once again I cannot express my regret enough that I have not been updating the blog. I have not had the drive to write. Even these next few posts might not be great as I am pushing through in order to write some more posts. From where I last left off at the beginning of April, we wrapped up the semester with the last few events:

1) A dodgeball tournament
2) Screening of Fooly Cooly
3) Cosplay Cafe II

I won’t really mention the dodgeball event as it didn’t make much of an impression. We didn’t raise a lot of money for Japan and the event wasn’t anything terribly special. The Fooly Cooly screening (all 6 episodes) replaced the Evangelion 2.22 movie screening which we felt was inappropriate to screen in the wake of the earthquakes in Japan. The Cosplay Cafe (a little misnamed admittedly as it is not much of a cafe and there was virtually no cosplay) was very nice and was one of my favorite events of the semester. It featured karaoke (if not a poor setup) where people sang songs ranging from video game favorites to Disney to Vocaloid (videos of which can be found on our Youtube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/BCAnimeManga, refreshments (cakes, cookies, coffee, tea, soda, etc) and a terrific performance from Karl “Uncle Yo” Custer. I am sorry but my memory is not terrific and I have forgotten a bit about some of these events. I remember being completely confused while watching FLCL at the screening (my first time watching it) and running around a lot for the Cosplay Cafe.

Everything else finished as per usual (more or less), we finished screening all of the Genshiken anime, and unfortunately were unable to finish screening Eden of the East due to time constraints. Our club elections also proceeded fine and there is a changing of the guard that I think I will elaborate more on at a later date (probably one of the earlier posts for the coming semester).

I will be writing more post(s) centered around my experience around Otakon.

So keep on reading. Until next time,

Your secretary president,

JojosOBJECTION

Seth Tobias Zeltzer

Me and Jenny from the Cosplay Cafe II after singing Magnet

From The Bizarre Ashes: Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy

3 Apr

Hello Readers,

A few hours ago I got home from day 2 of Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy. For those of you who have never heard of Distant Worlds, it is a touring group that includes composer Nobuo Uematsu and conductor Arnie Roth in addition to a decent sized orchestra that plays music from all the Final Fantasy games (okay over the course of the two days they did not play anything from Final Fantasy IV, but there is a song on one of the CD from Final Fantasy IV).

Skipping the more irrelevant stuff that happened on day 1, the story begins with me and a friend, Jenny, waiting for another friend, Chris (Camu) outside the Brooklyn Academy of Music. We got our tickets, got to our seats (in the orchestra section off the center aisle about 15 rows from the stage). From there we got a good view of not only the stage (and the musicians) but also the screen above the stage. The show began and Roth introduced Uematsu, who sat in the audience for most of the performance. Not going into too much detail the first day unfolded as such:

• FF VII: Prelude
• FFVIII: Liberi Fatali
• FFXI: Memoro de la Stono – Distant Worlds
• FF VII: J-E-N-O-V-A
• FF VIII: Fisherman’s Horizon
• the American premiere of FF XIV: Answers, featuring Susan Calloway
• FFX: To Zanarkand
• FFVI: Terra’s Theme
• FFXII: Kiss Me Goodbye with Susan Calloway
• FFV: Clash on the Big Bridge
• FFVII: Opening – Bombing Mission
• FFVIII: Don’t Be Afraid

Now bear in mind that I am positive that this is not the order of the songs as they were performed and the list itself is incomplete (for some reason it does not mention Man With the Machine Gun from Final Fantasy VIII, one of the songs fromFinal Fantasy XIV or the Chocobo music that was performed (the beginning was the Chocobo theme from Final Fantasy XIV which transitioned to Swing de Chocobo from Final Fantasy VI. The things that stick out in my mind from this day are the following:

1) The video from the Chocobo themes was cute (and thus funny). However the video somehow did not include clips of Chocobo riding from Final Fantasy IX was a disappointment (my personal Final Fantasy game is Final Fantasy IX).
2) The use of Terra’s Theme at the end was genius (an opportunity to present the credits in the video, an obvious nod to the opening of Final Fantasy VI
3) There were way too many Final Fantasy VIII songs for my liking. I have never even really seen much of Final Fantasy VIII and thus did not understand the video or the context of most of the music. However I love Man With the Machine Gun.
4) To Zanarkand really got to me. I teared up a bit during it.
5) There was no music from my favorite Final Fantasy game (again it is Final Fantasy IX) which was a slight disappointment.
6) The music from the online Final Fantasy games (Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV) were much more boring than the other songs. Although the video was very good and the music from Final Fantasy XIV was apparently the North American premiere of the songs (whether it was the Distant Worlds premiere or the premiere in general is unknown to me).
7) The encore (which was, unsurprisingly, One-Winged Angel) featured Nobuo Uematsu joining the chorus on stage.

After the show ended we made our way up to the top floor where the meet and greet would be held (this was available to those who purchased the orchestra VIP tickets). After standing on line for an hour we got to meet Uematsu and Roth, get their autographs and get a picture with them. I had my Final Fantasy IX Original Soundtrack signed. Jenny had her Final Fantasy Advent Children Soundtrack signed and Camu had his Final Fantasy VI Original Soundtrack signed. Afterwards we headed over to Dunkin’ Donuts for a little bit and went on our way.

The important part of day 2 started when Jenny arrived at my place with her friends, George, Andy and Ming, we got to the Brookyln Academy of Music. Today we immediately notice cosplayers (which I found quite surprising for an event like this). We saw:
1) At least 1 Cloud
2) A Vincent (who I actually know and met at New York Anime Festival/New York Comic Con this past October)
3) A Sazh
4) An Ultimecia
5) A Sephiroth
6) A Squall
7) Others (I am not entire sure of what I remember)

We got inside and took our seats, this time about 10 rows from the front of the balcony still just off the center aisle. I decided to buy both Distant Worlds CDs and the DVD (I would have bought the T-Shirt too but it appears that they sold out either during day 1 or earlier in day 2). The show began and the line up looked like this:
• FF VII: Aerith’s Theme
• FF V: Dear Friends
• FF IX: Vamo’ alla Flamenco
• FF VI: Opera “Maria and Draco”
• FF IX: A Place to Call Home – Melodies of Life, featuring Susan Calloway
• FFX: To Zanarkand
• FFVI: Terra’s Theme
• FFXII: Kiss Me Goodbye with Susan Calloway
• FFV: Clash on the Big Bridge
• FFVII: Opening – Bombing Mission
• FFVIII: Don’t Be Afraid

Once again the order is off and Man With the Machine Gun, the song that was repeated from Final Fantasy XIV and the Chocobo Theme (Final Fantasy XIV theme transition into Swing de Chocobo from Final Fantasy VI). What I remember from day 2 is:

1) The program was very similar to day 1. Not entirely a bad thing but a little more diversity would have been nice.
2) Melodies of Life was easily one of my favorites of both days.
3) Melodies of Life and Kiss Me Goodbye had me in tears (just a bit, which was strange because I didn’t tear up when Kiss Me Goodbye was played on day 1). The singer, Susan Calloway does a beautiful job singing these songs.
4) To Zanarkand did not make me tear up at all on day 2.
5) Vamo’ Alla Flamenco (which is the song I was looking forward to the most) disappointed me greatly. I don’t know if it was the fact that they brought in a solo guitarist to play with the orchestra but I was not very impressed with this version.
6) It was surprising to see 3 singers, sing in such an operatic way during Opera “Maria and Draco”. Very good though. Showing the conductor working in the game was very amusing to see on the screen.
7) The different song from Final Fantasy XIV was better on day 2 than the one on day 1 (there were 2 songs both days however one was repeated).
8 ) It was interesting to have the audience sing One-Winged Angel. There was no chorus present on day 2. They included the lyrics to the song on the video. Definitely a fun touch and a good way to end the show.
9) My hands and arms really hurt after 2 days on so much clapping.

Afterwards the five of us goofed around outside of BAM and took a few pictures. Once again we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts before heading our separate ways.

These 2 days have been some of the best I’ve had. Distant Worlds was great and I would definitely go again if they play someplace in or near NY. I think what I will remember most about this is not necessarily the music or the video accompaniment. It was the great moments I had with my friends. Everything from seeing cosplayers outside of BAM to having to physically hold down Jenny when it was announced that the audience would sing One-Winged Angel (this was the greatest extreme of my interactions with Jenny, usually I just had to remind her to calm down or tell her something to anger her off slightly). And of course I have to thank Uematsu and Roth for not only putting this together, but also taking the time to have the Meet and Greet. It was an honor and a pleasure to meet them and I hope I get the chance to do so again in the near future. I am fortunate to have walked away with merchandise, autographs, pictures and memories that I will cherish and will stay with me forever.

I hope that I will enjoy the rest of April as much as I have enjoyed the first 2 days. April should be filled with great events and moments. If I had to mention 2 things they would be:

1) Our screening of Evangelion 2.22 near the end of the month (sorry I cannot remember what day; although details should come later).
2) We plan on venturing to Queens College and participate in their Game Day event (I do not know what they are calling it).

So keep on reading. Until next time,

Your secretary,

JojosOBJECTION

Seth Tobias Zeltzer

From left to right: Conductor Arnie Roth, myself holding my freshly autographed Final Fantasy IX Original Soundtrack and Composer Nobuo Uematsu.

Man over 1,500 words. I have no idea how that happened.

From The Bizarre Ashes: Play it For Japan Video Game Night

25 Mar

Hello Readers,

Yesterday was our club’s first charitable event. As I mentioned we converted our video game night (all that changed was the inclusion of a donation jar) and it was a success. We were able to raise (assuming I did the math correctly) a little over $250 and had well over 50 people sign in on the attendance sheet.

I got to the event a little late (I got out of class at 6:30). I immediately changed into my Phoenix Wright costume and I wore it through the night. We started off the night (with four TVs) playing Marvel vs Capcom 3 on the big TV, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Street Fighter 4 on the 2 smaller TVs and Blazblue on the monitor that Ed brought. At probably around 7:30 or 8:00 we had some visitors. There was someone from PJ POP and, true to their word, a handful of students from the Queens College Sci-Fi Anime club showed up. We collected names of people who wanted to compete in the Marvel vs Capcom 3 tournament and managed to scrounge up 23 names and drew up the brackets. Before the tournament started Ed, Gabe (President of the Sci-Fi club) and myself said a few words. Now I don’t remember the brackets nor what happened in most of the however Ed was recording video the entire time. The bits I do remember are from Jonathan M (Queens College) and Fei L’s (Brooklyn College) comeback victories that had the audience on the edge of their seats, the constant matches between the club members and that the within the top 3, 2 were from Queens College. In the end it was Jonathan M. who emerged triumphant. After the tournament I made a quick announcement as did Marcos (President of Queens College Sci-Fi Anime club, we got a terrific group shot and all went back to our club room. We talked a bit more and then went our separate ways.

This was a terrific event. We had fun, were able to raise money for charity and had a great time. On behalf of my club I would like to thank those who showed up, those who donated, those who brought either consoles, controllers or games, those who competed. I would especially like to thank Marcos and everyone else with him from Queens College for showing up. I would also like to congratulate Jonathan M. for crushing most of his competition and winning our event. It was very amusing to watch someone from outside Brooklyn College destroy most of my friends.

This was one of our most successful events and I am thrilled to have been a part of it. Hopefully our Play for Japan Dodgeball Tournament will be such a success. One last thing, I would like to personally thank Queens College Sci-Fi Anime club because without them I likely would not have had the initiative to write this post.

So until next time,

Your Secretary,

JojosOBJECTION

Seth Tobias Zeltzer

Group shot with those who were still in attendance after the tournament ended. Thanks to Fei for taking the pictures.

From The Bizarre Ashes: Event Updates

19 Mar

Hello readers,

First let me apologize for this long hiatus (I can’t believe it has been nearly three months since I have made a post so expect a post that will summarize the semester), this semester has been a bit rough and I haven’t been able to find the initiative to write anything (and I still don’t really so excuse the lackluster effort on this post).

Anyway the events that are going to encompass the rest of the semester (Video Game tournament, Dodgeball tournament, Eva 2.22 screening and the cosplay cafe) will now be charitable functions. As you likely know Japan has been struck by several terrible earthquakes that have caused tsunamis and nuclear issues and as such we will be enforcing a suggested donation at all of our events this semester. I believe we will be asking for $5, but give whatever you can. So please join us at our events and contribute something. No matter how trite it sounds, every little bit helps.

So until next time,

Your Secretary,

JojosOBJECTION

Seth Tobias Zeltzer

From The Bizarre Ashes: Evangelion 2.0

31 Dec

Hello Readers,

It has been a while since I’ve had a topic to post about, I was a bit afraid that I wouldn’t have much to talk about during the intersession. The club has received news that a theater in Manhattan is showing Evangelion 2.0. I am sorry that I cannot provide much information as I was not provided with much information myself. What I do know of is the where and when which is as follows:

New York Release
Starts from 1/21(Fri)
*: you can watch 1.0 prior to the opening of 2.0 for 2days 1/19 & 1/20
Big Cinemas Manhattan

http://us.bigcinemas.com/cinemas.asp?cid=1009

239 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022
Tel: 212-371-6683


The promotional poster for the movie.

That’s pretty much it, I hope my next post will be more thorough and in depth.

Your Secretary,

JojosOBJECTION

Seth Tobias Zeltzer

From The Bizarre Ashes: End of Year Party

10 Dec

Hello Readers,

The second annual BCAM End of Year Party has come and gone and the event was amazing. There was something for just about everyone: there was food and beverages, desserts, card games (Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic), video games (Super Street Fighter 4 and BlazBlue), music (courtesy of our very good friend Julian aka DJ cariño), dancing to said music and if nothing else just people to hang out with.

I spent most of my time moving back and forth across the room doing a few things:
1) Cleaning up
2) Taking pictures for not only myself but also Ed the club president
3) Getting people to sign the attendance sheet (in which we amassed approximately 60 names!)

As I spent my time going back and forth across the room, I was able to see first hand, how much fun people were having. I was great to see people relaxing and having fun (especially since Finals begin shortly). Even though I was constantly busy making sure the party was going smoothly I still managed to have a great time. I think I was very happy to see everyone enjoying themselves.

Unfortunately there were some unfortunate turn of events. Mostly this was that we planned on doing Karaoke, but as we didn’t get a mic with the setup and no one asked we just didn’t do it. It is a shame but fortunately that didn’t really hinder the party at all.

Easily my favorite part of the night was Ed’s speech to everyone. He expressed his appreciation towards not only the other executive members (which includes myself, Jenny the VP and Justin the treasurer) but also towards everyone who showed up and truly helped make this party the success that it was. I really was embarrassed when Ed said such nice things about me and had me speak to the crowd (Justin and Jenny had done the same before me). It was a very surreal moment for me (as I don’t really like public speaking all that much; and I was met with a hail of OBJECTION!‘s and HOLD IT!‘s when I mentioned cosplaying). I am very happy to know that I am doing a good job and I feel a great sense of accomplishment in seeing the party come to fruition.

So lastly I would like to offer my own thanks to Ed, Jenny and Justin for doing so much work for this party and for putting up with me. Thanks to everyone who attended and made the party great and finally I want to thank Julian for entertaining us for the four or so hours that the party lasted, you truly did a great job.

All I can say (and I am quite sure I can speak for the other executive members when I say this) is thank you to everyone who has showed up to not only this party but has contributed to something during the semester. It has been a wild ride; from NYAF/NYCC to the less than spectacular Halloween Party to the Thanksgiving, GMB Video Game and End of Year parties.

I would like to take this opportunity before I end to wish everyone good luck on their finals/projects, the happiest of holidays and a very happy, healthy and safe new year.

Until next time; rising up from the bizarre ashes,

Your appreciative secretary,

JojosOBJECTION

Seth Tobias Zeltzer

Ed, Justin, Jenny and myself

And as a little bonus

TCD Group Shot!
If you don’t understand this don’t worry too much, it’s a bit of an inside joke.

From The Bizarre Ashes: Thanksgiving Event Report and Future Events

28 Nov

Hello Readers,

So the Thanksgiving Screening Special has come and gone. The event was very good. It started with the showing of Miku 39′s Giving Day. Afterward the movie Sword of the Stranger was screened. The movie was very good. There was blood galore and an interesting storyline. If you missed the event I would still recommend picking up the DVD and watching the movie. The only possible negative (which didn’t affect me) was the stilted Chinese (or at least I believe this was the issue with some friends who understand Chinese).

There is the look back, looking towards the future we have two events scheduled. First is a Video Game event. I am sorry but I can’t remember much of the details right now. All I can recall is that it should be on the 2nd of December and I believe there is going to be a fee to play and a separate fee in order to compete in a tournament. I am sorry for the sketchy details, I will try to remember to update the blog in time for the event.

Looking even further into the future, we have our End of the Year Party. I am not sure of any details really, all I can think of is that it will be on the 9th of December.

So expect some future posts or at least an update here regarding the future events.

Until next time; rising up from the bizarre ashes,

Your secretary,

JojosOBJECTION

Seth Tobias Zeltzer

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