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01 Jan 14:11

Best Anime Characters of 2018

by sdshamshel


White Blood Cell 1146 (Cells at Work!)

I have been fascinated by the immune system ever since I could read. That’s why Cells at Work!, a manga and anime that anthropomorphizes the cells of the human body, feels like a dream come true. Among the many highly amusing characters, White Blood Cell 1146 is one of the centers of the series, and his actions and personality as the main representative of immune response is an endless source of education and comedy.

White Blood Cell is an absurd entity disguised as a straight-man. His sense of duty and his deep, serious voice present a no-nonsense character. However, when you see him literally biting into a virus as he stabs it repeatedly and then turns to cordially greet his good friend Red Blood Cell, it speaks to an individual who is me than meets the eye. In a way, White Blood Cell being the best is the result of his relationship with Red Blood Cell.


Aisaki Emiru (Hugtto! Precure)

I love Precure in general, and many of its characters among my favorites, but I’ve never seen myself in a Precure character as much as I have Aisaki Emiru. Her initial appearance as an overly cautious girl who over-prepares for the worst spoke directly to who I am, and my similar anxieties on a daily basis. I can’t exactly relate to the enormous wealth and secret electric guitar, but you can’t expect everything.

But it’s not just my similarities to Emiru that make me fond of her. Like all of the girls (and guys!) in Hugtto! Precure, there’s a strong sense of growth and maturation, even for someone as young as Emiru. She learns that friendship can take all forms, that holding back one’s emotions can be harmful, and that a heart which believes in change can make the world a better place. I’ll never forget Emiru’s words as she played guitar that first time: “The ‘nyeowr’ is the shout of your soul.”


Daidouji Tomoyo (Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card)

This year brought back to anime one of the best magical girl series ever—Cardcaptor Sakura—and with it the very greatest best friend in anime history. A now-teenaged Daidouji Tomoyo continues to support her beloved Kinomoto Sakura, but now with the power of a personal drone.

What makes Tomoyo great is that she wants the best for everyone she cares for. Wise beyond her years and always willing to dispense advice for her lovely oblivious friends, she’s the one you want in your corner every time.

Basically, I am extremely, extremely biased towards Tomoyo to the point that she unfairly destroys the field of best characters of the year, male or female or anything else. Thus, I’ve spun her off into her own category to make this year’s picks more fair in general.

Hail Tomoyo.

Final Thoughts

There’s one simple word that ties all of my 2018 winners together, including the titanic Tomoyo: friendship. Whether they’re discovering friendship for the first time or long-time believers in its power, all three truly embody the joys and strengths of being a true friend. It’s not just about selflessness, and it’s not just about companionship. There’s a real sense of trust and rapport that come from knowing that you have each other’s best interests at heart, and it lets them overcome just about anything.









10 Nov 19:11

Geek Reference Culture vs. Rap Reference Culture: A Personal and Meandering Comparison

by sdshamshel


Geek culture has a conflicted relationship with making references. It can be the lingua franca of geeks—reciting lines wholesale from Star Trek, Monty Python, The Simpsons, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and other nerd favorites has long been a way to identify like-minded individuals, especially when those interests might not have been considered popular in a schoolyard or office. But that same geek culture, once characterized by references to living in family basements, is now integrated into mainstream culture. It’s to the point that the distinction between hardcore and casual is blurred, inviting never-ending debates about whether that line truly exists, let alone where it might fall. The most successful sitcom ever is The Big Bang Theory, a show about a bunch of brainy dorks who hit every stereotype this side of Steve Urkel.

In this environment, reference humor in geek culture is now being criticized in popular culture as overly insular, perhaps even symptomatic of gate-keeping out women and certain ethnic groups. References are seen as a crutch, a way to siphon off the value and humor of others in absence of one’s own. Unfavorable reviews of the book Ready Player One may be justified in pointing out its misogynistic themes and awkward prose, but it’s also viewed as a prime example of reference subculture gone too far in its arrogance and alienation.

Yet, there’s another example of a once relatively small cultural movement that has established itself in mainstream culture, one that also thrives on references to itself in ways that can seem inaccessible to outsiders: rap and hip hop. In that respect, I find it fascinating that both geek and rap cultures share a lot of similarities. In addition to the heavy focus on references, they’re also grappling with the fact that while they have helped to provide voices to the voiceless, they’re also avenues for misogyny and racism to rear their ugly heads. Despite their stereotypes being virtual opposites of each other—the 98 lb. pasty white nerd living in soul-crushing suburbia vs. the hard-edged gangsta in the life-threatening inner city—there’s a good deal of resonance between the two, and that’s before taking into account the fact that nerd references actually do show up in rap on a regular basis. However, while the use of references in hip hop seems to elevate it in the eyes of the general public, it’s considered something of a strike against geek culture. The question is then, what causes this difference in perception?

Hip Hop’s Reference Culture

The spark for this essay came to me thanks to a book I recently read: Original Gangstas: Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and the Birth of West Coast Rap. Among other informative things for someone unknowledgeable about the subject like myself, one aspect it points out about west coast rap and hip hop is that it grew partly out of the rappers’ desire to make songs that spoke to their lived experiences, as opposed to what they were getting from New York City, where rap originated.

The key example the book gives of this desire to express west coast authenticity comes from a line in Eazy-E’s “Boyz-n-the-Hood”: Cruisin’ down the street in my ’64. Westhoff himself describes his youth, listening to this song and dreaming of riding a “Six-four” without knowing what that actually was. But to a certain audience, especially those who grew up in areas like Compton, Eazy-E was quite obviously talking about a 1964 Chevy Impala. Though more a way to speak to those on the streets, there was perhaps another inadvertent takeaway for those who weren’t familiar with this experience: “This is a west coast thing. You probably wouldn’t understand.”

Information like what “six-four” means might be taken for granted by those intimately familiar with rap and hip hop. But speaking personally, my relationship with these genres was, for the longest time, largely limited to memories of what my siblings would listen to. It’s why I found Original Gangstas so potent, as it helped give me perspective on things I only tangentially understood: the significance of Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” in popularizing the style known as G-Funk, the old differences between east coast and west coast styles, etc. As a relative outsider, I’ve long found that the propensity for rap to throw out references to culture without explanation, couch them in rhythm and lyrics, and use callbacks to other songs (whether in praise or as an insult) made it difficult for me (who grew up not terribly music-inclined in general) to make heads or tails of. I didn’t reject it as music I was supposed to “hate,” nor did I believe that “rap isn’t real music.” Rather, I felt that it was the popular kids’ music, and that it spoke of things I, as an out-of-shape Asian kid who couldn’t win a fight against a hamster, perhaps wasn’t “supposed” to be able to connect to.

That was the past, and I now feel more open and receptive to hip hop, thanks in part to David Brothers, who writes about the connection between geek culture and rap on a regular basis. Yet, I still feel that time away has affected me by stunting not just the potential knowledge of hip hop that’s in my head, but also the potential feeling of it in my heart and soul. With respect to this complicated sensation, one song I keep coming back to is Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’s “Empire State of Mind.” It’s about as famous and popular a rap song as it gets, but as someone who was born and raised in New York City, there are references in it I intrinsically understand and some that I had to look up. I know that going from Harlem to Tribeca is essentially traveling from the top to the bottom of Manhattan. I know that being so “Spike’d out I can trip a referee” is referring to Spike Lee’s propensity for getting front-row tickets to Knicks games while simultaneously talking up Jay-Z’s swagger. I had no clue what “paying Lebron” and “paying Dwyane Wade” meant, having next to no knowledge of drug culture, nor did I know that “BK” being from Texas is about Beyoncé, Jay-Z’s wife. Listening to the song feels somehow both deeply familiar and unusually foreign.

Contemplating “Empire State of Mind” relative to other rap songs, it makes me wonder if this is how many people feel similarly about nerd reference culture. If there’s enough to chew on, it becomes a relatable experience. If there isn’t, it might be downright alienating. “It’s a geek thing. You probably wouldn’t understand.” Whether by accident or by intent, this can transform into “You’re not supposed to understand.” But unlike west coast rap, which was originally tied to a certain region and its surrounding cultural and economic situation, the fuel for geek culture was all over the place. I was surprised to find out (thanks again to Original Gangstas) that a young Snoop Dogg and Warren G were in a group called Voltron Crew. (There’s also a video of Snoop Dogg reminiscing about playing with Voltron toys and pretending they could move.) Moreover, at a panel at New York Comic Con 2018, DMC (of Run-DMC) talked about how he was inspired to express through his rap the entertainment culture he saw: Godzilla, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff movies, etc. One gets the impression that geek culture was never truly rooted in those pasty white suburbs, and with each passing generation that image gets reclaimed and transformed.

Rap’s references don’t just end with talking about the streets or various aspects of pop culture, either. There’s also a tradition of calling back to previous rap songs, which rewards those fans and listeners who avidly follow the genre. Original Gangstas describes how “Hit ’em Up,” the infamous diss track that is just five minutes of venom directed at the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac makes numerous references to the enemy camp’s music, twisting them into dark parodies such that anyone who recognizes the originals can feel the vitriol hitting even harder. Notably, the line “Grab your dick if you love hip hop” from “Player’s Anthem” by Notorious B.I.G. and Junior Mafia becomes “Grab your glocks when you see Tupac.” You don’t need to know the specific references to pick up on the sheer anger Tupac has for Biggie, but it helps.

The Desire to Affirm Geek Identity, and the Hurdles Created in Consequence

Geek reference culture still carries a legacy of wanting to legitimize one’s own experiences, and in that respect it mirrors a lot of what rap and hip hop have done. However, where I find the key dissimilarities begin to manifest is in how attached the purveyors and fans of geekdom and rap get to their source materials. While plenty of creators allow their influences to show through in subtle ways—Steven Universe clearly has the DNA of Sailor Moon in it—the most visible parts of geekdom are those whose umbilical cords have never fully detached from the things they reference. Many of these works, while excellent in their own right, fall apart almost completely when divorced from their immediate contexts. The ones most absolutely dependent on showing off their callbacks, i.e. the Ready Player One‘s of the world, are too busy showing themselves as “nerdy” to build towards anything more. There’s a kind of clumsiness that makes people bristle.

In contrast, rap, even when one doesn’t get all of the in-jokes and shout-outs, still tend to convey enough meaning in other ways that those songs don’t live or die by the number of references contained within. But that might just be because referencing and remixing have been a part of hip hop since day one, before rappers even rose to prominence. In the earliest days, it was the DJs who commanded all the attention, and their craft is based in mixing together bits and pieces of various existing soundtracks. When Grandmaster Flash talks about getting rid of the “wack parts” to make a more enjoyable experience, he’s recalling making those old vinyls into his own. Incidentally, in this same video, he talks about the science of DJing being this incredibly geeky thing, but that he couldn’t express it as such back then because it wasn’t cool to be a geek. Hip hop has a legacy of creators not being afraid to take what’s out there and put it directly into a song, but also trying to transform them for their own unique purposes.

One point of convergence and then divergence is how nerd references get into rap and hip hop. Along this vein are two general categories: nerdy rapping and nerdcore rapping, i.e. songs with nerdy callbacks in them vs. songs where geek culture is the primary subject matter. Before I proceed, however, I want to make one thing clear: What I’m discussing is not a matter of talent of performer or quality of song; I have neither the musical expertise nor the familiarity with hip hop to cast that kind of high-and-mighty judgment. It would also be quite unfair to pit a small-time YouTuber against Snoop Dogg literally doing a song for Tekken and expect the former to live up to the latter in terms of raw ability and experience.

However, if we look beyond talent or quality and just at subject matter, nerdcore’s reputation (for better or worse) is that it’s hyper-focused on celebrating nerdiness. In contrast, nerdy rapping is about incorporating those geek references to make a point. MC Frontalot is not considered to be unskilled as a rapper, but “I’ll Form the Head” mainly requires the listener to be in on the joke—that it’s a parody of Voltron. On the other hand, when Soulja Boy raps, “Bitch I look like Goku,” he’s likening himself to the Dragon Ball protagonist to instantly communicate his power and confidence. Even if you don’t know who Goku is, the delivery tells you that it’s someone who’s a big deal. The same song (titled “Goku” of course) also references the 1964 Chevy Impala, as if to equate their cultural symbolism. It’s not a matter of “reality” vs. “fiction,” either. A lot of non-nerdy hip hop is about presenting fictionalized versions of oneself, such as Eminem’s Slim Shady.

A Crucial Difference?

One major disparity might be that while references in hip hop convey a sense of mutual understanding and experience to often self-aggrandize, traditional geek culture places much of its subcultural cache in the accumulation of nerdy knowledge—i.e. nerd cred. It’s one thing for Jay-Z to talk about how he “made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can,” or for Snoop Dogg to explain, “I got the Rolly [Rolex] on my arm and I’m pouring Chandon [an expensive sparkling wine].” It’s another to operate as Ready Player One does, and tie the hero’s success to his mastery of 80s pop culture. This even extends to how hip hop and geek cultures try to suss out “fake” fans. In hip hop, like with other forms of music, a lot of it has to do with taste. If you like Macklemore or Vanilla Ice, you’re supposedly not a “real” fan because you can’t handle the hard stuff. However, it’s not like hip hop fans expect everyone to have encyclopedic knowledge of rap. In contrast, when someone is accused of being a “fake geek” or a “fake geek girl,” it’s more to do with the idea that their kung-fu isn’t strong enough—that they lack the extensive study of trivia and information that’s long been expected of nerds. For hip hop and rap, references are the doorway. For geek culture, it can often feel like the destination, and as long as that reputation persists, there will always be a sense of impermeability between geek and non-geek cultures.

04 Nov 11:39

Grilled Eel Specialist Debuts in Midtown on Friday

by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
Unagi-Ya Hachibei

Plus, Heartland Brewery departs Port Authority — and more intel

A restaurant all about unagi is coming to Midtown

This Friday, Japanese restaurant Unagi-Ya Hachibei will open at 238 East 53rd St. near Second Avenue, serving a menu entirely focused on grilled freshwater eel. At dinner, it comes as part of a small set for $55, served over rice with sauce, salad, a clear soup, and pickles. The large set for $75 also comes with eel liver. The restaurant will seat 40 in its black-walled, red-accented space with a wood counter and tables. Only 100 orders can be filled at lunch due to eel conservation efforts.

Other openings, coming attractions, and closings

A new Indian-inspired fast-casual spot called Manchi opened in Midtown at 224 West 35th St., serving the rice and lentils dish kitchari as well as various customizable bowls and wraps. Signage has also gone up on the Upper East Side for a new Indian restaurant named Bombay Chowk. Meanwhile, brewpub Heartland Brewery’s Port Authority location will close by the end of the year.

A new brunch in town

Starting Sunday, November 4, the historic West Village speakeasy Chumley’s will serve Sunday brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. In September, the restaurant tapped Milk Bar alum Heather Pelletier as the new chef. The brunch menu will include an English muffin pizza, a labneh and lox crepe with caper hollandaise and “everything” spice, and a pancake with creme anglaise and a poached pear. There will also be a selection of toasts that intentionally does not include avocado toast.

Cider tasting comes to Bedford Cheese Shop

It’s cider season, and the cider brand Cider in Love is hosting a tasting at Bedford Cheese Shop’s Manhattan location at 67 Irving Pl. on Tuesday, November 6. Tickets are available now and cost $10, which includes tastes of several ciders from four different producers as well as paired bites like cheese and dumplings.

28 Oct 15:38

Devilman Crybaby Director Masaaki Yuasa Unveils New Anime Film 'Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara'

Romantic comedy between female surfer, fireman to open early next summer
27 Oct 16:12

#Inktober Day 18: #BarnOwl 🦉 Why are owls so cute? ...

#Inktober Day 18: #BarnOwl 🦉 Why are owls so cute? #inktober2018 #illustration #bird #owl

24 Oct 22:34

17 Big Animated Movies Coming To U.S. Theaters In 2019

by Ian Failes

If you thought 2018 was a big year for animated features, just wait until 2019.

The post 17 Big Animated Movies Coming To U.S. Theaters In 2019 appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

24 Oct 21:04

16 Exceptional Izakaya in NYC

by Diana Hubbell

From barebones drinking dens to perfectly charred yakitori, these places prove Japanophiles here never had it so good

The word izakaya comes from sake-ya, or “sake house,” which gives a clear indication of the origin of these establishments. The izakaya that began cropping up around Japan during the Edo period were essentially taverns serving salty, fatty, umami-laden food designed to encourage patrons to drink more. In its purest form, an izakaya is still precisely that, but chefs in Tokyo have been putting their own contemporary spin on the genre for years. As New York’s relationship with Japanese cuisine has grown more nuanced, ambitious restaurants specializing in yakitori, refined cocktails, curry, and everything in between have flourished. The following places still pour plenty of booze, but also serve everything from perfectly charred chicken skewers to hearty rice bowls perfect as late-night grub.

24 Oct 21:01

Nashville-Style Hot Chicken Destination Peaches HotHouse Heads to Fort Greene

by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
Peaches Hothouse

But say goodbye to barbecue restaurant Smoke Joint

Hot chicken will soon replace barbecue in Fort Greene. Craig Samuel and Ben Grossman shuttered their 12-year-old neighborhood barbecue spot the Smoke Joint and plan to open a new outpost of their Bed-Stuy fried chicken destination Peaches HotHouse in its stead, the New York Times reports.

Opening seven years before Hometown Bar-B-Que hit the scene, the Smoke Joint was at the forefront of barbecue restaurants that combine traditional Southern smoked meats with NYC-specific flavors and dishes, as with its house-smoked hot dog. According to the Times, Samuel and Grossman, who have taken on Smoke Joint cook Damian Laverty-McDowell as a new partner, plan to relocate the barbecue restaurant to the Catskills next spring. The Times cites an over-saturation of barbecue in Brooklyn as Samuel and Grossman’s motivation for closing the restaurant.

Meanwhile, the space at 87 South Elliott Pl., between Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street will flip into a new Peaches HotHouse. The original Bed-Stuy location is one of the few restaurants in NYC serving up Nashville-style hot chicken and has been wildly popular since it opened in 2010. According to the official website, the Fort Greene addition will similarly serve an all-day menu of hot chicken and Southern sides.

The team also runs Peaches Shrimp & Crab in Clinton Hill and popular brunch spot Peaches in Stuyvesant Heights. Eater has reached out for more information about the switch-up.

24 Oct 21:00

McDonald’s Set to Unleash Breakfast Sandwiches With ‘3 Times the Meat’

by Nikita Richardson

Breakfast has become an unlikely battleground in the fast-food world, and with the stakes getting ever higher, McDonald’s is planning on dropping an A-bomb.

Business Insider got ahold of internal documents that reveal that the fast-food giant will soon introduce three gut-busting menu items that have been dubbed Triple...More »

14 Oct 16:47

Here Are All 88 Ice-Cream Flavors From the Brand-new Morgenstern’s

by Chris Crowley

Nick Morgenstern is opening the ice-cream shop of his dreams. For the last nine years, the pastry chef and restaurateur has been largely (if not solely) fixated on making the perfect scoop. He ran a cart outside the Fort Greene restaurant General Greene before leaving it and opening a series...More »

14 Oct 16:46

Manhattan Now Has a $40 All-You-Can-Eat Korean Barbecue Restaurant

by James Park
Let’s Meat uses a cast iron lid for grilling

Let’s Meat pivoted to being AYCE and offers less ubiquitous cuts of meat

Manhattan’s newest Korean barbecue restaurant is going all-in on all-you-can eat — an effort to break the stigma of bad buffet dining with Korean traditions and an expansive menu of lesser-known cuts.

Let’s Meat, the first all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurant in Manhattan, opened over the summer at 307 Fifth Ave. between East 31st and East 32nd streets, offering more than 30 different choices at $40.

It’s a surprising addition: Even though Los Angeles has an abundance of AYCE Korean barbecue options, New York has been fairly devoid of them due to high rents and cost of operations, especially near Koreatown, where big money funded chains tend to dominate. Plus, in the last year, several more ambitious Korean barbecue restaurants have opened in the area, including SamWon Garden and Yoon Haeundae Galbi, while big players like Baekjeong and Jongro BBQ still regularly have long waits.

Initially, Let’s Meat was not going to be AYCE, according to manager Hue Lee. But the team behind the restaurant became curious that why AYCE had not been possible in New York even though they’ve been popular for years in Korea and Los Angeles, he says. “It’s a thin profit margin, but we realized that it can be done and profitable if it’s played right,” he says.

Let’s Meat Korean barbecue Moon B./Foursquare

Like with many AYCE spots, Let’s Meat has ground rules: First, it’s required to have all-you-can-eat; diners can’t order a la carte. Leftover meat cannot be taken to-go, and there is a maximum of 100-minute dining time. During the given time span, diners can order an unlimited amount of meat within the first 70 minutes, and the rest of the time is used to grill the meat and eat.

In practice, the rules are not enforced with an iron fist, says Annika Lee, the assistant manager at Let’s Meat. Most tables stay around two hours. “We don’t heavily enforce these rules, but we make sure to explain these rules to our customers since most of them are not familiar with the all-you-can-eat concept,” she says.

The menu is divided into two different options, original and premium. The original option, priced at $32.99, includes 27 items — 17 proteins, including tofu, six side dishes, and four vegetables, while the premium option, priced at $38.99, includes 11 items — four side dishes and seven proteins, including seafood, in addition to all 27 items from the original. Side dishes include appetizers like tteokbokki, spicy rice cake, pa-jeon, scallion pancake, and a couple stews and rice. Korean ramyun and naengmyun, cold noodle with beef broth, are also available for an additional $5 or less.

Diners can order an unlimited amount of meat in the first hour or so

What’s different about Let’s Meat is that it goes hard on less ubiquitous cuts of meat. The list ranges from traditional options like samgyupsal, pork belly, to hard-to-find cuts like gopchang, small beef intestine, and dwaeji ggupdaegi, pork skin. There are also seafood options like spicy squid, shrimp, and jjuggumi, short arm octopus, which is commonly found in barbecue restaurants in Korea but is less common in New York.

And Let’s Meat also uses a different grilling system than other places in town. Here, each table is stocked with sot ttukkeong, the lid of the traditional Korean cast iron gamasot, a tool used in Korean cooking mostly in the countrysides. Some Korean barbecue places in NYC use a cast iron pan, but Let’s Meat is the first restaurant to use sot ttukkeong to grill — both a symbolic and practical move. Shaped like a big disk with a handle, the sot ttukkeong works like heavy cast iron, and when used, meat receives a deeply-charred and crispy crust on meat that can’t be replicated on any other grills.

Let’s Meat Korean barbecue Let’s Meat [Official]
Meat is grilled on a sot ttukkeong, a cast iron lid of a traditional Korean cast iron tool

A sot ttukkeong represents a part of Korean tradition that’s often forgotten. This heavy, cast-iron lid, used since the Stone Age in Korean history, was essential to make rice or boil water. It represents a slower, different time in the country that often gets ignored in the fast-paced, high-technology version of Korea that exists now. Sot ttukkeong cooking has now become a special dining experience that many Koreans seek out because of the nostalgia factor, especially for older generations, since only a few people who live in countrysides cook with gamasot and a sot ttukkeong.

“There is a Korean idiomatic phrase, ‘sharing a meal with a gamasot,’ which roughly translates as ‘living under the same roof,’” Lee says. “By having introduced a sot ttukeeong cooking to our customers, I want them to feel like they are a part of our family and to experience a piece of Korean tradition.”

Considering a meal at most Korean barbecue restaurants in New York can easily skew over $100, the price point at Let’s Meat is insanely low. At Jongro BBQ, a pork platter, which includes three different cuts of pork is priced at $59.99, portioned to serve around two to three people, and it’s the cheapest option for a set menu. Let’s Meat offers 24 different cuts of protein — pork, beef, seafood, and even tofu — and ten different side dishes to complement the meat for under $40.

Meat, of course, is expensive. The price for Korean barbecue is often decided by the market cost, and depending on the purveyor’s availability and accessibility, many restaurants often change prices regularly to keep buying the meat from the same purveyor, often due to convenience.

Let’s Meat takes a different approach, though. The restaurant keeps costs down by spending more time on finding purveyors, Lee says; they set the price first, then seek a supplier that will be able to provide the same quality of meat with within their budget, says Mr. Lee.

But Lee also says that they’re betting on making profits by not just charging for the meat but by gaining repeat diners who feel satisfied with the service and value. “When customers see that they are getting more than what they pay, they are mostly like to come back to try more,” he says.

Let’s Meat is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and until 3 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

14 Oct 16:46

‘Shark Tank’-Backed Lobster Roll Chain Lands in NYC This Month

by Carla Vianna

Cousins Maine Lobster started as a food truck and quickly expanded following a $55,000 investment from Barbara Corcoran

A popular lobster roll chain from LA is making its way to NYC. Cousins Maine Lobster — known for its Shark Tank appearance — plans to open an outpost in Kips Bay later this month.

The fast-casual seafood restaurant backed by cousins Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac, who are originally from Maine, began as a food truck in California six years ago, but a $55,000 investment from Barbara Corcoran on Shark Tank led to a robust nationwide expansion. Opening at 77 Lexington Ave. on October 27, the franchise location marks the seafood shop’s sixth brick-and-mortar outpost in the U.S., although dozens of food trucks exist across 21 cities. Besides the shop, a food truck will also roll through NYC next year, the cousins tell Eater.

The NYC location of Cousins Maine Lobster will fit nearly 40 diners and will also have a retail store, where they can purchase lobster cakes, crab cakes, and lobster meat by the pound, as well as a lobster mac and cheese.

Its menu bears some ties to the West Coast, Tselikis says, with a lobster taco and quesadilla representing the “California flair.” Aside from the signature rolls, the restaurant offers additional variations of Maine lobster in a grilled cheese sandwich, or with a side of tater tots. The menu goes beyond lobster with items like a chicken sandwich, fried clams, and fish and chips.

The cousins have traditionally targeted markets where lobster rolls aren’t a commodity like Sacramento, Raleigh, and Nashville, aiming to promote the traditional Maine dish beyond the Northeast region. They have also expanded globally to Taiwan. It was met with long lines when it opened in Charlotte earlier this year, and its L.A. trucks garner a lengthy wait, too.

But New York has its fair share of lobster roll destinations. Luke’s Lobster has more than a dozen locations here, and Red Hook Lobster Pound has several outposts, as well. Lomac says he sees this move the company’s first dive into a big U.S. city that’s considered a major food mecca.

The cousins hope that their broader seafood menu besides lobster rolls will help set them apart, they say. And the new location makes sense, Lomac says, considering the founders’ Northeast upbringing laid the foundation for the restaurant. Cousins Maine Lobster was created to celebrate Maine, and the fresh, steaming-hot lobster they remember eating as children, they say.

Cousins Maine Lobster opens October 27, and most items will be priced between $15 and $17. It will be open everyday starting 11 a.m.

30 Sep 15:52

Preview of “The Wes Anderson Collection: Isle of...

Preview of “The Wes Anderson Collection: Isle of Dogs” artbook, available this tuesday.
( Amazon USA / France / UK / Canada / Japan )

30 Sep 15:51

Coke Eyes Pot

by Chris Crowley

The weed market is white hot. Coca-Cola, maker of the soda that used to have cocaine in it, is looking into pot-enhanced beverages as sales have flattened. Bloomberg reports that the company is particularly interested in CBD, the anxiety-reducing compound that has become a trendy wellness ingredient. Could this...More »

30 Sep 15:49

Dunkin’ Donuts Is Losing the ‘Donuts,’ Keeping the Doughnuts

by Chris Crowley

Norms keep eroding, and the America we all knew continues to disappear. Dunkin’ Donuts has officially declared that come January it will be known only as Dunkin’ (not the artist formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts). The 12,500-location international chain will then conduct a campaign to erase history, removing “Donuts”...More »

30 Sep 15:39

Disney Bows To Pressure, Reanimates Princess Tiana In ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’

by Amid Amidi

Responding to public pressure on social media, Walt Disney Animation Studios is reanimating the scenes of Princess Tiana that appear in "Ralph Breaks the Internet."

The post Disney Bows To Pressure, Reanimates Princess Tiana In ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

29 Sep 15:46

Skrillex, Hikaru Utada Collaborate on Kingdom Hearts III Game's Opening Song



"Face My Fears" opening song ships on January 18 ahead of game
23 Sep 16:38

Netflix Inks Deal With Shion Takeuchi, First Woman To Get Overall Animation Deal At Netflix

by Amid Amidi

This deal, as far as we know, is Netflix's first publicly announced overall animation deal with a woman creator.

The post Netflix Inks Deal With Shion Takeuchi, First Woman To Get Overall Animation Deal At Netflix appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

16 Sep 22:35

Henry Selick Looks Back On 25 Years Of ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’

by Ian Failes

With a new Blu-Ray release of the film debuting today, director Henry Selick shares stories behind the making of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" on its 25th anniversary.

The post Henry Selick Looks Back On 25 Years Of ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

28 Jul 17:09

Record of Lodoss War OVA Rewatch Podcast: Replay #07

by reversethieves

Many a 90s anime fan cut their teeth on the Record of Lodoss War OVA. This classic high-fantasy series is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the novel and has recently gotten a Blu-ray release.

Join us whether you are re-experiencing or checking out the world of Lodoss for the first time, as we delve deep into each episode with the following sections . . .

  • Welcome to Lodoss Island: A summary of what happened in the episode.
  • Leveling Up: A look into the growth of the characters and players.
  • Sword World Supplements: A discussion of fantasy tropes and role-playing elements.
  • Dungeon Master’s Guide: A comparison of the anime to the book.
  • Revelations from Kardis: Our favorite parts and final thoughts.


22 Jul 20:13

SDCC’18: Saying Goodbye to Adventure Time

by Beat Staff
By Daniel Lodge Adventure Time is ending this fall.  After 10 seasons of mind bending adventures, psychedelic dungeons, complex character development, and deep world building, Adventure Time will have finally come to a close.  The Beat had a chance to sit down with Executive Producer Adam Muto, and voice talents John DiMaggio (Jake), Jeremy Shada […]
15 Jul 12:59

Voice Actors Threatening To Call Strike Over Streaming Services Like Netflix and Amazon

by Amid Amidi

After a year of failed negotiations with entertainment producers, animation voice actors could call a strike.

The post Voice Actors Threatening To Call Strike Over Streaming Services Like Netflix and Amazon appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

15 Jul 12:59

Animation Workers Set To Receive $170 Million Payout From Wage-Theft Lawsuit

by Amid Amidi

After more than a year of waiting, animation workers will soon receive the first payment from the $170 million settlement they won from various animation studios.

The post Animation Workers Set To Receive $170 Million Payout From Wage-Theft Lawsuit appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

01 Jul 19:37

Record of Lodoss War OVA Rewatch Podcast: Replay #03

by reversethieves

Many a 90s anime fan cut their teeth on the Record of Lodoss War OVA. This classic high-fantasy series is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the novel and has recently gotten a Blu-ray release.

Join us whether you are re-experiencing or checking out the world of Lodoss for the first time, as we delve deep into each episode with the following sections . . .

  • Welcome to Lodoss Island: A summary of what happened in the episode.
  • Leveling Up: A look into the growth of the characters and players.
  • Sword World Supplements: A discussion of fantasy tropes and role-playing elements.
  • Dungeon Master’s Guide: A comparison of the anime to the book.
  • Revelations from Kardis: Our favorite parts and final thoughts.


25 Jun 21:52

The Speakeasy #102: AnimeNEXT and Tokyo

by reversethieves

Al discusses his time at AnimeNEXT and Kate recounts her journey to Tokyo.

Song: “Don’t Say Goodbye” by Kaori Sawada from Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin

Food for Thought: What anime are you looking forward to in the summer season?


Other AnimeNEXT 2018 Coverage:
AnimeNEXT 2018: General Impressions
AnimeNEXT 2018: Panels

24 Jun 12:05

Record of Lodoss War OVA Rewatch Podcast: Replay #02

by reversethieves

Many a 90s anime fan cut their teeth on the Record of Lodoss War OVA. This classic high-fantasy series is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the novel and has recently gotten a Blu-ray release.

Join us whether you are re-experiencing or checking out the world of Lodoss for the first time, as we delve deep into each episode with the following sections . . .

  • Welcome to Lodoss Island: A summary of what happened in the episode.
  • Leveling Up: A look into the growth of the characters and players.
  • Sword World Supplements: A discussion of fantasy tropes and role-playing elements.
  • Dungeon Master’s Guide: A comparison of the anime to the book.
  • Revelations from Kardis: Our favorite parts and final thoughts.


17 Jun 16:11

A New Haven for Stretchy Middle Eastern Ice Cream Has Landed in Williamsburg

by Chris Crowley

Middle Eastern booza (and its Turkish counterpart dondurma) is the showboat of the ice cream world. It has the flexibility of Gumby, a dessert you can stretch, bend, and do acrobatic things with. Salep, ground-up orchid tuber, and mastic, a piney plant resin, give it elasticasticity, and also do wonders in...More »

17 Jun 16:10

Report: Apple Is Getting Into Feature Animation, Possibly With Cartoon Saloon

by Amid Amidi

Gamechanger: Apple, the world's most valuable company, wants to start producing feature animation.

The post Report: Apple Is Getting Into Feature Animation, Possibly With Cartoon Saloon appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

14 Jun 00:30

Record of Lodoss War OVA Rewatch Podcast: Replay #01

by reversethieves

Many a 90s anime fan cut their teeth on the Record of Lodoss War OVA. This classic high-fantasy series is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the novel and has recently gotten a Blu-ray release.

Join us whether you are re-experiencing or checking out the world of Lodoss for the first time, as we delve deep into each episode with the following sections . . .

  • Welcome to Lodoss Island: A summary of what happened in the episode.
  • Leveling Up: A look into the growth of the characters and players.
  • Sword World Supplements: A discussion of fantasy tropes and role-playing elements.
  • Dungeon Master’s Guide: A comparison of the anime to the book.
  • Revelations from Kardis: Our favorite parts and final thoughts.


03 Jun 14:47

HBO’s “Remixed” Watchmen TV Adaptation Will Be Set in the Present

by Stubby the Rocket

Watchmen TV adaptation remix contemporary Damon Lindelof Dr. Manhattan Mars

Damon Lindelof, showrunner for HBO’s forthcoming TV adaptation of Watchmen, recently posted a five-page open letter to fans of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ 1986 graphic novel. The letter, posted on the Lost and The Leftovers creator’s Instagram, provided both an update on the series’ development and reassurance that this would not be a straight adaptation but would rather “remix” the source material. The Old and New Testament were mentioned as well, but suffice to say, this will be an entirely original story—and it will be contemporary.

In a little homage to Dr. Manhattan’s origin story in the novel, Lindelof jumps around in time—explaining his particular connection to the book through his late father, himself a big fan; and how he has been considering an adaptation since shortly after Zack Snyder’s 2009 movie adaptation opened in theaters. He acknowledges Moore’s wish that Watchmen not be adapted and addresses why he decided to do so despite this, citing his own fandom as well as the diverse perspectives of the writers room he has assembled for this project. What he builds to is the “creative intentions” of himself and the other writers involved:

We have no desire to “adapt” the twelve issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created thirty years ago. Those issues are sacred ground and they will not be retread nor recreated nor reproduced nor rebooted.

They will, however, be remixed. Because the bass lines in those familiar tracks are just too good and we’d be fools not to sample them. Those original twelve issues are our Old Testament. When the New Testament came along, it did not erase what came before it. Creation. The Garden of Eden. Abraham and Isaac. The Flood. It all happened. And so it will be with Watchmen. The Comedian died. Dan and Laurie fell in love. Ozymandias saved the world and Dr. Manhattan left it just after blowing Rorschach to pieces in the bitter cold of Antarctica.

To be clear. Watchmen is canon.

[…] But we are not making a “sequel” either. This story will be set in the world its creators painstakingly built… but in the tradition of the work that inspired it, this new story must be original. It has to vibrate with the seismic unpredictability of its own tectonic plates. It must ask new questions and explore the world through a fresh lens. Most importantly, it must be contemporary.

[…] The tone will be fresh and nasty and electric and absurd. Many describe Watchmen as “dark,” but I’ve always loved its humor—worshipping at the altar of the genre whilst simultaneously trolling it. As such…

Some of the characters will be unknown. New faces. New masks to cover them. We also intend to revisit the past century of Costumed Adventuring through a surprising, yet familiar set of eyes… and it is here where we’ll be taking our greatest risks.

You can read the letter in its entirety here, and share your thoughts on another Watchmen adaptation in the comments.

In terms of opening credits, it’ll be tough to top this:

However, absolutely no “Hallelujah.”