Sweet, sweet nachos, tacos, and burritos for one week only
Tonight, Kellogg’s NYC will transform from its signature red into a Pop-Tarts blue space in preparation for a week-long pop-up as Pop-Tarts Cafe, starting tomorrow at 8 a.m. through Sunday —with a menu of tacos, burritos, pizza, cheesecake, milkshakes, and nachos, all made from the more than two-dozen flavors of the sweet toaster pastry.
The $9 nachos, for example, are Confetti Cupcake-flavored Pop-Tarts, cut into chips, drizzled with strawberry salsa, dolloped with frosting, sprinkles, and topped with a candle. “Looks like nachos, tastes like birthday,” says partner, Sandra Di Capua.
The six types of milkshakes seem to borrow a little inspiration from the baroque Black Tap creations. The hot fudge sundae milkshake is a blend of chocolate ice cream, milk, sprinkles, a whole fudge Pop-Tart, then another whole Pop-Tart is used as garnish in the whipped cream.
Kellogg’s NYC opened in July at 1600 Broadway, dedicated to bowls of cereal curated by Milk Bar chef Christina Tosi. The small restaurant, co-owned by Per Se alum Anthony Rudolf and Di Capua, seemed ridiculous — why would anyone pay $7.50 for a bowl of something that they can get a whole box of for less than $5? Yet because they do, it comes as no surprise that Pop-Tarts concoctions like tacos run for $9 and burritos average $12 each.
This isn’t the first Pop-Tarts pop-up in New York. The first had a more grandiose name, Pop-Tarts World Cafe, with a vast menu that included Pop-Tarts sushi, as well as machine that allowed visitors to make their own Pop-Tarts box with The Varietizer.
Reading the Boy Detectives (or the Detective Boys) by Edogawa Rampo (or Ranpo) is like picking up the American classics Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. Various people might have different reactions to hearing the name Nancy Drew, but we can probably all agree it conjures the idea of a bygone era. And yet these stories endure and are still childhood classics; the same is true of the Boy Detectives. Well-worn copies of the Boy Detectives books will always be found in Japanese libraries.
The Fiend with Twenty Faces is the first of the Boy Detectives stories and became a mega hit. The story cements not only the Boy Detectives, but also phantom thief Twenty Faces, and even the already known Detective Kogoro, as characters that would remain popular for generations.
“This time I have them for sure.” says the detective. This time will be different. Each time this thief has made law enforcement a laughing-stock by boldly send a letter to the victim in advance as if daring anyone to stop them. The phantom thief has gotten past the police several times but now they think they understand their criminal mind. The thief is part spy, part magician, and part strategist all blended together in a villainous package. Every precaution has been taken. The museum has been swept for surprises that may have been planted there. Every staff member and officer are known to the detective so no flimsy disguises can be used. And this time there is an unexpected trap in place to catch the thief unawares. Tonight will be different. Tonight justice will triumph.
If you have been reading manga and watching anime for more than a few years that story should be very familiar to you. The great battle between the phantom thief and the great detective has played out many times over the years in Japan media. The Lupin Gang vs. Inspector Zenigata. Detective Conan vs. the Kaito Kid. Cat’s Eye vs. Toshio Utsumi. Saint Tail vs. Asuka Jr. The list goes on but you see a pattern there. Each of those rivalries is a little different. One might add a romantic angle while another might sprinkle in a magical girl twist. How evil or benevolent the thief is can vary from story to story. Sometimes the thief and the detective are even forced to work together. But no matter the iteration they all have a common ancestor. They all trace their conflict back to the battle of Detective Kogoro and his Boy Detectives vs. the dastardly Twenty Faces.
The Fiend with Twenty Faces has become part of the very DNA of Japanese storytelling. While the concept of the Phantom Thief is older than the book it is clearly the story that took an idea that was somewhat popular in Japan and made it a part of the cultural lexicon. Any book that influential to detective fiction in Japan seems necessary reading to us on the Reverse Thieves so with decided to give this book a long overdue look.
The introduction in the book is nearly as interesting as the actual story. In it we learn much including how Edogawa Rampo gained mainstream success through these stories, how the stories changed due to censors, and how the series endured even through WWII.
Despite the Boy Detectives being such a cultural institution, I felt going in they were the ones I knew the least about when compared to Detective Kogoro and Twenty Faces. But I was wrong! Kobayashi, the leader of the boys, is an absolute blueprint for Detective Conan. He is quite capable, ingenious, and even carries a set of gadgets around. Kobayashi takes on the cases of his mentor while he is out of town, and foils Twenty Faces. He does get himself kidnapped, but gets himself out handily. The other boys don’t play a huge role in this book, so it remains to be seen how the other kids in Detective Conan stack up.
While Twenty Faces is obviously inspired by Arsène Lupin, Twenty Faces possesses less of an image of a charming gentleman thief. He is a master of disguise, one of such caliber that it is basically magic, and a great actor who even takes on the role of detective Kogoro at one point. He adheres to a code of non-killing. But the “fiend” part of this book title comes from his penchant of kidnapping children with nary a thought. And from reading the introduction, this comes back in even greater force later.
As Kate mentioned the Kurodahan Press translation of the story starts off with an extremely useful preface that does a great deal to put the book in a better historical context. The first ten pages already got the gears in my head turning about this novel before I had read the opening paragraph of the story itself.
The first thought that popped into my head was how much censorship had shaped this book. Edogawa Rampo started his career as the author of shocking and perverse sexual stories. Some but not all of these were also detective stories. While they were popular and groundbreaking the winds of change in Japan had put him in a bit of a slump. Interestingly enough it was the far stricter conditions of writing a children’s novel that reinvigorated his muse.
All of this makes me reexamine the classic theory of why American comics became so dominated by superheroes for the longest time while Japanese comics have had so many flourishing genres over the years. The simple answer was that the Comics Code Authority in America created an environment that restricted all other genres but Japan dodged that bullet letting its range of storytelling be far broader for far longer. In the end, it is not that was utterly untrue it was more that was a simplification. Japan and America have both had its periods where children’s content was censored and repressed. The key difference is more what the reaction of the creators and consumers were to such restrictions.
There is a much longer conversation that would require much more research. But that is beyond this post. It was more something I wanted to point out jumping at me from the preface.
This preface also explains Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace. I wondered why they added so much odd and seemingly unnecessary perversion to the mystery stories of Edogawa Rampo. As it turns out they were merely trying to update the shocking and scandalous elements of his original stories while adapting his entire body of work for a modern age. The series is not any better for this but at least it put into context what they show was attempting. It also still does not explain why so many other series can’t adapt the stories of Edogawa Rampo into anything entertaining but one mystery at a time.
As for the story itself, the first thing I noticed was the narrator. It is a third-person omniscient narrator but not the mechanically detached version you’re used to. This narrator asks questions and provides commentary to the reader as if they were an audience. It seems much more like a stage performer or a street entertainer telling the story of the Boy Detectives and Twenty Faces than the more standard voiceless method of delivery.
The narrative the broken up into two distinct halves. The first half introduces the Fiend with Twenty Faces and has him face off against the boy detective Kobayashi while his mentor is overseas. The second half has Detective Kogoro finally face off against the master criminal who is attempting to steal a treasure trove of artwork from several sources to create his own personal museum.
Kobayashi is the origins of so many later boy detectives in Japanese fiction. At first, he is underestimated by the people who hire him but he quickly proves his worth with a mixture of disarming charm and raw genius. He also has a Batman-like toolkit of gadgets to help him be on even footing with older opponents. The influences of Kobayashi on Detective Conan are unmistakable. I also cracked up by the clear need to make the character as adult friendly as possible. The fact that all the Boy Detectives vow only to fight crime in ways that won’t interfere with their homework is almost delightfully hokey. It felt like how they forced PSA into 80’s cartoons.
When Detective Kogoro faces off against Twenty Faces the more traditional detective vs. phantom thief narrative takes hold. The fact that Twenty Face pretends to be Kogoro when he robs the fortified mansion is a trick that would be used by countless stories afterward. It makes a great middle of the story twist. It would feel a bit cheap as the final solution for anything other than a short story as it clearly breaks several rules of Knox’s Decalogue but it works in the middle of the story. It shows the skill of the thief before the final caper which can then have a more traditional finale.
Even though this is a book introducing the Boy Detectives, the biggest star is certainly Twenty Faces. Seeing the origin of Twenty Faces was a fascinating look into what people have taken away from the character. Anime and manga definitely enjoy the character of Twenty Faces and many times have brought a lot more charm to him than the original story possesses.
There is something undeniably charming to me about these old mystery serials. Just as I love Nancy Drew, I can happily put the Boy Detectives on the shelf next to her.
In many ways, the later iterations of Twenty Faces is the character Edogawa Rampo wanted to write. The later versions of the character like in Man of Many Faces, The Daughter of Twenty Faces, the Kaitou Kid follow that love rouge archetype set by Arsène Lupin. You can even argue Lupin the Third is exactly the type of Twenty Faces Rampo would have written with no restraints on him. Lupin the Third is a dashing and lovable rouge with just enough perversion to be within Rampo’s wheelhouse.
I think it is also telling that so many of the later versions of Twenty Faces have gone onto to be the heroes of their own works. Much like Sherlock Holmes, it seems that Detective Kogoro’s DNA is very diffuse but direct in the characters he influences whereas Twenty Faces’ has become prevalent in an inverted fashion. The descendants of Twenty Faces refuse to play second fiddle to their detective rivals and steal the stage for themselves as the protagonist.
But perhaps this was for the best. This far more sanitized version of the character was able to connect with a younger audience and insert himself into the imagination of a generation that would go on to reuse, reinterpret, and reinvent the character in countless different ways. In a fashion, each of these characters has become a new mask of the original which is all too fitting a legacy of such a devious mastermind of disguise.
Filed under: Books/Novels/Light Novels, Mystery, Reviews Tagged: The Fiend with Twenty Faces
In both a A Silent Voice and To Your Eternity, Yoshitoki Oima explores emotion, and holds the readers’ emotions in her hands. She takes a deep look into the human soul. In her new series, To Your Eternity she brings to life a fantasy landscape rife with danger, sacrifice, and beauty.
A mysterious all-powerful being sends an orb known simply as “It” into the world to observe. It can take the form of anything first inhabiting a rock, then a dog, then a boy, then . . . so on. It is immortal and can heal any damage done to it though it may take a little time. As it moves through the world It begins to learn more about human language, emotion, and motivations.
March, a happy child who dreams of being a mother one day, and Parona, an ostracized young woman warrior, have become close in their village. But Parona is wary of the tribe’s beliefs. Things come to a head when March is carted off as the latest child sacrifice to their god. March, then Parona, encounter It while in the midst of trying to escape this fate.
In a brutal world of superstition, gods, and miracles It, March, and Parona become bound together. To Your Eternity explores what it means to truly be alive and to live.
“They way you live isn’t something given to you! It’s something you win for yourself!”
At only eleven chapters in, To Your Eternity is absolutely compelling. However, I’m finding it hard to predict what this story’s goal will be. Will It, March, and Parona be the story? Will everyone die and It move on to some here-to-unknown scenario? Will It continuously meet people, observe their stories, then travel onward? Any of these scenarios feel possible.
Filed under: Drama, Fantasy, Manga, Manga of the Month, Reviews Tagged: To Your Eternity
One of the best anime of 2016, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, has returned for the Winter 2017, and with it some of the finest voice acting in recent anime history. Given that rakugo performers are themselves supposed to be able to take on many roles while telling a story, it requires the seiyuu playing these characters to have a great deal of convincing range. Nowhere is this more evident than in the voice of Ishida Akira, who plays Yuurakutei Yakumo the Eighth.
Ishida Akira has been a major player in anime since the 1990s, with roles such as Xelloss from Slayers and Athrun Zala from Gundam SEED to his name. However, what made me realize the sheer skill Ishida possesses is an audio clip of him performing seven different people, male and female, of all ages. From a young girl to an elderly grandpa, he can do it all. So, when he first appeared in Rakugo Shinjuu as Yakumo, I expected great things—an expectation that was fulfilled in spades. There’s a clear distinction in season 1 between Yakumo’s younger self in the past, and his elderly demeanor in the present.
To my surprise, season 2 turns out to show off Ishida’s chops even better. In this sequel, Yakumo is even older, and Ishida actually goes as far as to modify his performance to further show the passing of time. Often, I find that voice actors will have an “elderly voice,” but will not necessarily make the distinction between someone in his 60s versus someone in his 70s, for example. Ishida, however, does just that. His voice in season 1 had the weight of many years in it, but by season 2 it’s slower, deeper, and just a bit less coherent, as if that weight has finally started dragging his body down.
What’s even more impressive is when he performs privately for Yotarou (a.k.a. the new Sukeroku). Here, despite the strain it puts on him, Yakumo gives an extremely lively rakugo show. Pay attention to Ishida’s acting here, as he’s not just changing his voice to play younger characters as you would expect from any other professional voice actor. Instead, Ishida purposely plays a man in the twilight of his life imitating younger people as he performs. His enunciation is much clearer when he’s “on-stage,” but nevertheless has that characteristic elderly drawl. When he finishes and appears completely exhausted, and his voice reverts to “normal.”
Ishida’s performance is just one aspect of why Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu is amazing, but it gives the series as a whole such a powerful presence. It’s great to see the guy in a role where he can really show the full extent of his talent.
1st poster and new stills for “Lu no Uta” animated feature film by Masaaki Yuasa (Mind Game, Tatami Galaxy, Ping Pong)
European animated feature films projects selected for Cartoon Movie 2017 (professional festival) :
- “Princess Dragon” by Anthony Roux & Jean-Jacques Denis - Ankama Animations (France)
- “Panique Organique” (Organic Panic) by Pierre Volto & Marion Montaigne - Je suis bien content (France)
- “Le Voyage du Prince” (The Prince’s Journey) by Jean-François Laguionie - Blue Spirit Productions (France)
- “The Nazis, my Father and Me” by Remy Schaepman - Folivari (France)
- “Miss Saturne” by Jérôme Combe & Barbara Israël - Prima Linea Productions (France), Artemis Productions (Belgium), Fortiche Production (France)
- “Unicorn Wars” by Alberto Vazquez - Uniko (Spain), Abano Productions (Spain), Autour de Minuit (France), Schmuby Productions (France)
- “Icarus” by Carlo Vogele (ex Pixar) - Iris Productions (Luxembourg), Iris Films (Belgium), Rezo Productions (France)
- “FLEE” by Johan Poher Rasmussen - Sun Creature Studio (Denmark), Final Cut For Real (Denmark), Vivement Lundi! (France)
- “The Siren” by Sepideh Farsi - Les Films d'Ici (France), Lunanime (Belgium)
- “Super Vinamotor” by Stéphanie Lansaque & François Leroy - Je suis bien content (France)
Time to gear up and drive the weasels out of Toad Hall #WindInTheWillows
Orlando, Florida residents want the Walt Disney Company to "Let Trump Go."
The post “Let Trump Go”: Orlando Residents Launch Campaign Calling on Disney To Leave Trump Council appeared first on Cartoon Brew.
MAKERS is excited to introduce its first podcast that premiered at The 2017 MAKERS Conference.
The MAKERS Podcast features stories of women who've shaped our history and women who will re-shape our future. Hear insights and inspiration from female leaders in politics, media, tech, sports, activism, and beyond. Hosted by MAKERS' Amanda McCall, the podcast is available to download in the Apple Store. Listen to it on Google Play Music.
Stay tuned as we continue to roll out new episodes weekly beginning at the end of February.
Click here for the raw RSS feed.
In 2013, I came across a shoujo manga called 3D Kanojo by Nanami Mao, Although I had some initial misgivings based on the title alone (it means “3D girlfriend”), the series ended up becoming one of my favorite manga. It recently finished just last year, so I’d like to give my overall thoughts about this excellent work.
The idea of a socially awkward young man winning the affections of the beautiful girl has long been a popular trope. America has seen Revenge of the Nerds, Beauty and the Geek, and the hyper-popular The Big Bang Theory. Japan has been home to Densha Otoko, and numerous manga and anime premised around this idea such as The World God Only Knows and Love Hina. Within these works are three recurring ideas: the nerd as underdog, the nerd as the nice guy vs. the jerks, and the notion that nerds carry hidden charms buried deep inside shells of social awkwardness.
One difference between the stereotypical image of the American “geek” and the Japanese “otaku” is that while the geek guy worships at the altar of characters who are live actors (e.g. Princess Leia), otaku go for the “2D girls” of anime, manga, and games. Reality, where actual “3D girls” reside, is thought to be a frightening realm that can eat otaku alive. So, with a title like 3D Kanojo, I had wondered if this might be one of those wish fulfillment fantasies where an otaku boy gets the girl just by being nice without any real substance, while the girl ends up as some kind of virginal ideal, a typical “2D girl come to life” scenario. Fortunately, within one chapter 3D Kanojo defies those assumptions, and shows itself to be a robust, considerate, and even progressive approach to this idea.
When the series begins, Hikari Tsutsui is an otaku who is unable to handle social interaction outside of talking to his only friend, a fellow hardcore fan. His ideal girl is a magical girl from an anime. One day at school, he sees one of his classmates, the beautiful Igarashi Iroha, being accosted by a guy angry at Igarashi for cheating on him. When the guy tries to hit her, Tsutsui jumps in to defend Iagarashi.. only to get his ass kicked because he’s a wimp with no physical ability.
At first glance, this is ground already traveled by stories like Densha Otoko and Back to the Future—a chivalrous act by a geek shows the strength of his heart, and makes the girl fall in love with him. However, with 3D Kanojo, the relationship even at the early stages possesses a lot more depth. Many times, the girls in these stories only appear to be very sexually active but are actually secretly virgins, giving them a sense of idealized purity. Not so with Iroha, who freely admits that she was two-timing the guys she was with. Rather than shunning her for being a “slut,” Tsutsui accepts her for who she is, especially once the two of them spend more time together and are able to open up to each other more readily. What’s important isn’t that she’s had others in the past, but how they feel about each other now. And as the series continues, it becomes clear that their love for each other burns red-hot.
It isn’t all roses, of course. Romantic rivals show up for both character, such as an otaku girl and a handsome guy (it’s a shoujo manga, after all). Igarashi’s sexual experience isn’t a deal breaker, but it’s intimidating for a guy who, up to that point, didn’t even talk to girls other than his own mother. Tsutsui’s constantly questioning whether or not he’s good enough for her, but it’s important to note that she’s doing the same just as often. In spite of how different they are on the surface and even in many elements of their personalities, there’s a mutual longing for understanding.
While I thought highly of the series very early on, there is a particular chapter that solidified my opinion that 3D Kanojo is a great series. Most of the time, the story is told from Tsutsui’s perspective, but in one chapter it’s Igarashi’s head we’re in. Through her, we see her relationship history. As an extremely attractive girl, she’s had numerous suitors, but the apparent issue is that all of them only paid attention to her appearance. In this way, her looks became a curse. At one point, she had even tried to open up to a boyfriend, only for the guy to treat it as basically, “There, there. Okay, now that I’ve comforted you, are you gonna put out?”
Here, it becomes plainly obvious what Igarashi saw in Tsutui. He isn’t just generally “nice” and “considerate,” he connects and empathizes with her on the level both of them desire. While occupy different strata of the high school hierarchy, both of them are familiar with being unfairly judged by their looks, and their ability to see what is truly inside each other is what draws them closer and closer.
Ultimately, even as the series goes through some fairly well-worn shoujo manga plot developments, the sheer robustness of this core relationship, as well as a solid cast of supporting characters, keeps the series from feeling old-hat. I felt a genuine desire to cheer on Tsutsui and Igarashi, not because they were “supposed” to be together as the main couple, but that everything they had been through together showed why they should be as one.
The last thing I’d like to mention is that 3D Kanojo technically isn’t the real title. That’s how it’s written out, but due to quirks in how the Japanese written language is used, it’s actually supposed to be pronounced “Real Girl.” In retrospect, the two titles fit this series perfectly. While Igarashi comes across at first as the mysterious girlfriend of the “3D realm,” her “realness,” both in the sense of her lived human experience and her candor, are what foster her romance with Tsutsui.
‘Zootopia’ Wins 6 Annie Awards, Including Best Animated Feature (Complete List of Winners & Analysis)
Watch the Annie Awards live on Cartoon Brew tonight.
The post ‘Zootopia’ Wins 6 Annie Awards, Including Best Animated Feature (Complete List of Winners & Analysis) appeared first on Cartoon Brew.
Just as Marvel’s Freeform Cloak and Dagger is starting to unfurl, so too are Marvel’s Hulu Runaways ready to hit the pavement. The full cast for the new series has been announced, along with their familiar comic designations.
Image announces 11 “Women’s History” variant editions for March – with 100% of proceeds to go to Planned Parenthood
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo proposed a constitutional amendment on Monday codifying Roe v. Wade into the New York State Constitution.
In the press release issued by the New York government, Cuomo stated that the amendment "would enshrine that state shall protect the rights established by Roe v. Wade regardless of what happens at the federal level."
The announcement was made at the "I Stand with Planned Parenthood" rally and Family Planning Advocates' Day of Action.
"Our rights are under attack in Washington and as they seek to limit women's rights, we in New York seek to protect them," Gov. Cuomo said. "As they pull on women's rights, we're going to push back on women's rights."
Draped in a pink scarf and standing behind a pink podium, he continued:
"We're going to protect the women's right to choose in the state of New York and let's put it on the ballot and let's let the people decide because this is still a democracy and New Yorkers want to protect a women's right to choose."
Gov. Cuomo is adding this amendment to a series of previous actions dubbed "New York's Promise to Women: Ever Upward."
Over the last two years he has made a lasting impact, signing the "Enough is Enough Act," that prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace regardless of the size of the employer. He has also worked to end pregnancy discrimination and established the longest and most comprehensive paid family leave program in the nation. He also raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Now he's taking responsibility and action to secure reproductive health for women, with plans involving providing coverage for all contraceptive drugs and devices regardless of the future of the Affordable Care act as well as provided coverage for abortion service.
In the forty years since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, it has been upheld stating that the United States Constitution protects the right of a woman to choose to terminate her pregnancy prior to fetal viability or throughout pregnancy when it is necessary to preserve her life or health.
"We will not allow the progress of the women's movement to be stopped, and we must seize this opportunity to bring the state and the nation forward and stand up for women's health. Make no mistake, we will always protect the right to choose in New York," Gov. Cuomo said.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
New York City writer Ashley C. Ford hated knowing that thousands of school children — saddled with unpaid lunch accounts — were being offered embarrassing substitute meals in their school cafeterias. Wanting to make a difference, Ford took to Twitter, imploring her 66,000 followers to take action.
"A cool thing you can do today is try to find out which of your local schools have kids with overdue lunch accounts and pay them off," she wrote in a Tweet posted in early December of last year.
According to the Associated Press, Ford's tweet had a major impact: She inspired hundreds of people to raise thousands of dollars. In fact, an online campaign raised nearly $100,000 for lunch debt in Minneapolis and $28,000 in St. Paul's schools, the AP reports, while efforts in Topeka, Kansas, paid off $6,000 in debt and a movement in Bellevue, Washington, erased $2,000 in unpaid lunch dues.
As the AP noted, children from low-income families can qualify for free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunch. Some of these families, however, still struggle to pay the cost of reduced-price school meals, which can lead to their children's lunch accounts being overdrawn (other instances of lunch debt can come from families who may not realize they qualify for discounted meals and fail to fill out necessary paperwork, or from parents who can afford to pay for meals but forget to put money in their children's prepaid accounts).
Though most schools allow students to "run a tab" for a fixed number of meals, others will offer students an alternative lunch option, which can consist of just a cold cheese sandwich and a carton of milk.
One woman, Jill Draper, who worked to collect money for schools in Kingston, New York, told the AP she was moved to take action because Ford's tweet made it seem easy.
"It seemed like a really easy way to make a positive difference locally," Draper said. "It's amazing how one tweet became this crazy movement." And that's exactly what Ford wanted.
"I sincerely just wanted to think of something really easy that people could do to make a difference locally," Ford told the AP. "It was just one idea; another school might need help with uniforms or tutoring. The point was to do something that helps people in your community."
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Photo Credit: Courtesy of Facebook
Bodegas are de facto community centers in New York, and yesterday’s citywide shutdown of more than 1,000 delis, grocers, and other small businesses was a humble but powerful reminder that the Trump administration’s new immigration policies have affected large swaths of New Yorkers. As word of the shutdown...More »
This series sounds amazing.