It's time for the Akiba Newsletter, November Edition! Let's talk about cool stuff happening, exciting stuff being released, and other general goings on, as well as reading and viewing recommendations from myself and Carolyn! Let's start with upcoming Magic: the Gathering events!
November Magic Events
All our regular weekly events will proceed into November, with Bargain Drafts for $10 on Tuesdays, $5 Standard on Wednesday and FNM draft for $15 on Friday, all events starting at 6pm. On Tuesday November 22nd we will have our monthly Flashback Draft, which this month will be Journey Into Nyx (so we will draft 1 Theros, 1 Born of the Gods, and 1 Journey). This is a pretty neat format, and there's always still the outside chance that one of us cracks a god pack! To celebrate the release of the new 2016 commander decks, on Saturday November 12th we will be having open Commander play all afternoon, along with fill and fire pods for $5 a person, with prizes for all participants (paid out in Kaladesh packs of course).
In addition we have some other really neat stuff happening in terms of organized play! Starting on Thursday November 3rd, and running until Saturday the 26th, we will be participating in WOTC's Kaladesh Test League! The full details will be available on the event page, but to summarize, each participant will build a 30 card deck from three boosters, and then participate in single game matches against other players. Each week, or after three consecutive losses, a player can buy another pack to add to their deck. Other than this, there are no scheduled matches or times to play, players can come in to play games in the league whenever they want, and at the end of the league prizes will be awarded based on league points (which will be awarded for wins and other league achievements). This will be a neat way for players with tough schedules or who are still tentative about more structured events, to get to crack some packs and play some limited!
Finally, starting with the last Saturday of the month (which is the 26th) we will be participating in ANOTHER pilot program, which WOTC is dubbing Standard showdown. These will be regular Standard swiss events, only in addition to regular prizes, there will be special booster packs for top placing players. These boosters have 3 cards in them, which might not seem like a lot, but each pack is guaranteed to contain:
That seems like a pretty sweet extra prize to me! I'm really excited about these events and hope we'll see lots of people turning out for Standard Showdown, which will start at 2pm on 11/26, 12/3, 12/10, and 12/17.
That about does it for MtG for November! I hope you are all as psyched as I am about the cool stuff going on! Onward to other events, anime viewings and new releases!
If you haven't heard from the Facebook, we recently got approved to run a Pokemon league! We're still getting the league in order (and waiting for those sweet, sweet promo cards to arrive!) but we are hoping to run Pokemon league days, with open play for both the card game and the video game, on Thursdays from 3:00-5:30pm, and on Sundays from 12:30-3:00pm. For those who are new to Pokemon leagues, open play essentially just means bring your game of choice and play with whoever is hanging around, and earn promos for showing up! Times/dates may change in the future depending on when people are interested, since we're still building our league, so if it's something you're interested in, stop by and let us know your thoughts!
As an added bonus to the Pokemon league, we will be stocking Pokemon cards! We should be getting the new "Evolutions" set in sometime soon, seeing as it was released early this month, but in the mean time we will be selling Fates Collide boosters for 3.99 a pack.
Anime Night Viewing Schedule:
11/12: Spirited Away
11/19: The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan
New Releases November:
This month we have a TON of new manga coming in, including some restocks for Yotsuba,One-Punch Man, as well as Gyo and Uzumaki. We also are getting in the latest volumes in a number of popular series, including Akame ga Kill!, Nichijou, Log Horizon, RE:Zero, Haikyu, One-Punch Man, and My Hero Academia! We'll also be stocking the FLCL Manga Omnibus, and the new 2-in-1 release of Kuroko no Basket. Later this month we'll be getting in Gatchaman Crowds: Insight (which is the second season of crowds) as well as the Prison School anime, and the first volumes of the Psycho Pass Kogami manga, and Gundam Thunderbolt manga.
Now that all that is out of the way, let's get to this month's recommendation corner!
Hi All, Justin here! This month for anime recommendations I wanted to talk about Robotic;Notes, a show about building giant robots, and overcoming the forces of evil using the power of teamwork. Also about a little girl who only exists in AR, until she exists in real life. Robotics;Notes is a series set in a nowhere Japanese town on an island in the south, in a near future world where AR phones are ubiquitous, and robots are an everyday norm. The story focuses mostly on Kaito, a guy obsessed mostly with just playing a robot fighting game called Kill Ballad, and Akiho, his childhood friend who is obsessed with mecha anime (most notably the fictional Gunvarrel) and also with completing construction of the giant robot project started by her older sister. Much like Steins;Gate, this series has a main cast composed largely of otaku of various types, who over the course of the show become generally more functional, as the serious circumstances they are forced into require them to grow as individuals. I found the show really shines because it is a show about mecha enthusiasts that is FOR mecha enthusiasts. It manages to be about the experience of being a fan, but also to be in the end a traditional mecha series. It manages to capture the tropes of the genre in a way that seems genuine instead of pandering, and for me in an age where so much anime seems to just be laser focused on generating fan feelings rather than being made with real enthusiasm. Robotics;Notes is a fun series that also fits in real drama, so I definitely recommend it!
For manga this month I wanted to talk about Bakuman, although I'm sure anyone who knows me is probably sick to death of me blathering on about how great I think this series is. Created by the duo that brought us Death Note (and more recently Platinum End) Bakuman is an incredibly meta series published in Shonen Jump, about a duo writing/drawing manga in Shonen Jump. It is a series about writing unconventional shonen manga, that is itself an unconventional battle manga about becoming a successful manga-ka. Over the course of 20 volumes it spins a story filled with memorable and likable characters you really get attached to, while also giving a fascinating insight into the logic and mechanics behind how series like Bleach and Death Note were created. The authors don't give themselves a free pass on criticism either, and the series offers some really candid reflection into the shortcomings of their own previous works. As a follow up series it is spectacular, and this series has one of my all time favorite conclusions of any manga I've ever read. If you are interested in basically any of the above, you NEED to check out Bakuman.
And now for Carolyn's recommendations! This month's anime recommendation is a series that won't be seeing a video release until late December, but I think you should all get excited for it anyways. My Love Story!! is a romantic comedy featuring Takeo, a giant of a high schooler, and Rinko, your typical petite shoujo heroine. The two fall in love with each other and generally are awkward and hilarious about the whole affair. The general plot is more or less straight forward, which much of the gags being about how Takeo is a lumbering mountain of a man with the heart of a delicate little baby, and Yamato is a clueless ditz trying to be the ultimate moe blob waifu, but the series has a whole lot of charm and some genuinely hilarious moments that are a cut above the usual fare for romantic comedy anime. My Love Story!! is just an all around heart warming and charming anime, it's kind of the perfect anime fluff. It doesn't have to rely on emotional rollercoasters of heart ache and angst to keep you interested, just some funny gags and charming and genuinely likable characters, who despite their obvious tropes, feel very relatable.
Adding to this month's theme of "What happened after Death Note ended???" my monthly manga recommendation is definitely Platinum End. This just came out in English last month, so who knows where it will go, but it's off to a really great start! Think of it like a Death Note do-over, only instead of spooky death demons, it's murderous angels, and instead of a notebook that lets you kill people, it's arrows that make people fall in love with you and wings that let you teleport. Platinum End features a gloomy Mirai Kakehashi, who just can't stand living any more, so he throws himself off a building. Instead of dying, he's rescued by Nasse, a sort of guardian angel, who gives him magical arrows that make people fall in love with him and magical wings that allow him to travel at the speed of thought. But, oh yeah, maybe she didn't mention this at first, but now he's entered into a contest to the death with 12 other magically gifted humans, to fight for the chance to become the new God. Because the old one is retiring in 999 days and needs someone worthy to take his place. And of course, everyone entered into the contest is probably the least qualified for the God job. I'm just as excited for Platinum End as I was for Death Note all those years ago, it might currently be more of the same (but hopefully better), but it's been a decade and reading Platinum End has the same sort of thrill I experienced reading Death Note the first time around. If you were ever a fan of Death Note, I would definitely suggest picking up Platinum End, as it probably has a much better chance of being a more evenly paced series. And if Death Note is just something you missed out on when it was new, I might suggest diving right into Platinum End and experiencing it for the first time with the rest of us! As an exciting bonus: the Platinum End manga series features a really cool looking holographic cover!