Sunday, May 29, 2011


Enjoy Your Freedom?  Thank a soldier!


From the AP.

here's less money this summer for hotel rooms, surfboards and bathing suits. It's all going into the gas tank.

High prices at the pump are putting a squeeze on the family budget as the traditional summer driving season begins. For every $10 the typical household earns before taxes, almost a full dollar now goes toward gas, a 40 percent bigger bite than normal.
Households spent an average of $369 on gas last month. In April 2009, they spent just $201. Families now spend more filling up than they spend on cars, clothes or recreation. Last year, they spent less on gasoline than each of those things.
Jeffrey Wayman of Cape Charles, Va., spent Friday riding his motorcycle to North Carolina's Outer Banks, a day trip with his wife. They decided to eat snacks in a gas station parking lot rather than buy lunch because rising fuel prices have eaten so much into their budget over the past year that they can't ride as frequently as they would like.
"We used to do it a lot more, but not as much now," he said. "You have to cut back when you have a $480 gas bill a month."
Alex Martinez, a senior at Arcadia High School outside Los Angeles, said his family's trips to San Francisco, which they usually take once or more a year, are on hold. As he stopped at a gas station to put $5 of fuel in his car — not much more than a gallon — he said the high prices are crimping social life for him and his friends.

 To help you grasp the numbers that means you would spend an extra $2,016 USD per year on gas. So what could you do with an extra $168 USD per month? What could you do with an extra $2,016 USD per year to spend?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

ROBOTECH 20th ANNIVERSARY SOUNDTRACK IS SOLD OUT IN THE ROBOTECH.COM STORE is reporting that Robotech 20th Anniversary Soundtrack has sold out in the store. This was the final production run of the popular soundtrack that was compiled in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the original Robotech television series.


The weekend of June 10-12 will be a bust one in the Robotech franchise as the Robotech Convention Tour will be at two conventions that weekend.

 Footage from the documentary and the animated project will be shown at both A-Kon and AnimeNext. You can find out how to register for the conventions at the links above.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Anime News Network is seeking to fill some job openings. Here is quick overview.

OpenX Expert

Anime News Network is seeking a PHP programmer familiar with customized OpenX environments.

News Intern

Anime News Network is seeking news interns for the Fall semester (Sept 1 to Dec 31, 2011) to work with ANN's news team and earn valuable on-the-job journalism experience with a professional publication.

BSD Guru Wanted

Do you know BSD like the back of your hand ? Can you optimize Apache webservers running on FreeBSD 6 in your sleep ?

If you are looking for a way to start a career in the Anime Industry these openings are a great start.  

Monday, May 23, 2011



Nan Desu Kan (NDK) is proud to announce the success of NDK's Rave2Save, a one-night-only fundraiser to benefit the Japanese Red Cross. The event raised a total of $13,440, which includes the dollar-for-dollar match by the Rocky Mountain Anime Association (RMAA), the parent nonprofit organization of NDK.
 The packed atrium at Nan Desu Kan
The 15th NDK is Sept. 9-11, 2011 at the sold-out Denver Marriott Tech Center. NDK will welcome back voice actors and fan favorites Todd Haberkorn, Patrick Seitz and Chris Cason, as well as Kevin McKeever, Steve Yun and Tommy Yune with the Robotech Convention Tour. “In 15 years, we've grown from a small festival held in a student union to becoming Colorado's largest convention,” said Amanda Liebermann, executive director. “The first round of people we're announcing this year have become part of NDK's heart and our family.”
The Robotech Convention Tour will make its annual stop in Denver with Creative Director Tommy Yune, Webmaster Steve Yun and Marketing Coordinator Kevin McKeever. Additional guest news, including Japanese guests, is forthcoming. NDK's venue, The Denver Marriott Tech Center, is already sold out for 2011. To help ensure the comfort of NDK attendees and the quality of the convention, NDK will be enforcing an attendance cap of 7,500 per day.

“This will be our first year with an attendance cap,” said Liebermann.
 The packed Robotech panel at Nan Desu Kan
“This decision was not made lightly, but we are determined to keep our small-convention feel despite our growth. An attendance cap will ensure NDK's quality for years to come.”
Information on the attendance cap and overflow hotels is available on
  A good trend in the convention world in the past few years  has been the rise of the fall conventions. Nan Desu Kan, New York Comic-Con and the Long Beach Comic-Con all take place in the fall and have really helped balance out the year or con goers.

It's tough for people to appreciate via the photos on Facebook but these shows are HUGE! They are often just packed with people wall to wall and its a good time of year to do con going. I enjoy conventions in the fall and Nan Desu Kan is a great one to go.


From the Detroit News. 

A week before Memorial Day and the start of the summer driving season, Metro Detroit motorists are paying less to fill up at the pump.
On Sunday, the average for a gallon of regular gasoline in Detroit was about $3.86, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
That's a drop from the $4.08 average a week earlier, and far from the highest price — $4.23 — recorded May 4.
The falling prices, which reflect a national trend, are a result of several factors — including crude oil prices and less unrest in the Middle East in recent weeks, said Nancy Cain, a spokeswoman for AAA Michigan.
"Right now all the forces are combining to help the prices become lower at the pump," Cain said Sunday.
Statewide, the average price for a gallon of gas on Sunday was as low as $3.78 in Traverse City and as high as $4.08 in Marquette, according to the fuel gauge report.
The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has dropped about 9 cents over the past two weeks.
A gallon of regular gasoline at about 2,500 filling stations nationwide averaged about $3.91, according to a survey by Trilby Lundberg, a California-based fuels analyst.
Prices fell last week as economic reports indicated the U.S. economic recovery is sputtering and fuel demand may decline.

This is welcome news just as we are about to hit the start of the summer convention season. While gas prices have a way to go to reach levels they were at in the beginning of the year  the prices are moving in the right direction.

Yet gas prices this high are still a problem.

Retailers are carefully watching their receipts this weekend amid signs that higher costs for raw materials and sluggish consumer spending may be hurting the recovery. 
The uncertain outlook has helped push stocks down nearly 300 points in three weeks, but with gasoline still close to $4 per gallon and food prices high as well, some merchants are doing very well indeed.

CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reports that for the tenth month in a row, consumers are opening their wallets. For example, at the "Fairway" grocery store in Manhattan, Manager Rick Garcia says shoppers are back.
"This is actually the business to be in, because everybody has to eat," Garcia said. 
While the grocery business is great for sellers right now with food prices up six to seven percent nationwide, shoppers like Jane Aschular say they have no choice but to spend more. Her bill was $40 dollars higher than usual.
"Prices have really jumped just in the last few weeks...we've been shopping here for ten years and I just know the prices of everything and they're noticeably different," Aschular said.
Roughly 70 percent of the U.S. economy is driven by consumer spending, but a closer look at the numbers reveals that, these days, people are spending more on what they have to buy - necessities like groceries and gasoline.
If you are spending more on necessities like groceries and gasoline you are going to have less to spend on leisure items. It's why high fuel and food prices can affect so much more than food or fuel.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

ANIME NEWS NETWORK HAS A MANGA REVIEWER POSITION has a job opening for a manga reviewer.

Anime News Network presently has an opening on the editorial staff for a freelance manga reviewer. We are searching for an experienced writer who is intimately familiar with and passionate about manga, someone who is open-minded enough to embrace everything the medium has to offer and provide a strong point of view and thoughtful analysis.
If you really want to get into this business it might be a good start. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Harmony Gold's Steve Yun will be at Anime Central in Chicago for a weekend full of Robotech news and fun anime panels! 

Steve will host the world famous Giant Robot Rumble and the Anime Girl Fight (these are panels that are quite fun) Also footage from the Robotech Documentary and the animated project will be shown at the Robotech panels.  

Monday, May 16, 2011



Crude oil prices were trading lower in early Monday trading, boding well for consumers praying for relief at the gas pump. But how quickly that relief comes is far from certain.

The retail price of gasoline continues to fall, though not very fast. The national average price of self-serve regular was down about a half-cent today, to $3.955 a gallon, according to the daily AAA Fuel Gauge Survey.
It peaked May 5 at $3.985 a gallon and has fallen a fraction of a cent nearly every day since.
While that is good news that oil is falling and the Federal Reserve QE2 is ending everyone has a question.

Where are the lower gas prices?

So, why haven't gas prices at the pump fallen faster? Because traders still have one more fear – the rising Mississippi River that threatens to flood refinery-rich Louisiana. A Maryland wholesale distributor cited the floods last week in justifying an overnight 25 cents a gallon hike in fuel prices, a move that triggered Attorneys General investigations in both Maryland and the District of Columbia.

If gas prices continue to fall at the current rate they will still be substantially higher than they were year ago when the summer convention season begins in mere weeks. Unlike 2008, when gas prices spiked to over $4 USD per gallon,  unemployment is substantially higher now than three years ago. It will be interesting to see if this has any impact on anime convention attendance.

Friday, May 13, 2011


According to ANN, Mospeada Composer, Joe Hisaishi will be holding several concerts for earth quake relief. 

Composer Joe Hisaishi will hold concerts in Tokyo, Osaka, Paris, and Beijing this June and July to benefit the reconstruction efforts after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) disaster. The concerts will feature Hisaishi's soundtrack work for Studio Ghibli, director Takeshi Kitano, and others, as performed by a 250-person orchestra and chorus. As the music is played, famous scenes from the films will be shown on a giant screen.


I've been trying to log into both The Reporter and BankofKev blogs snce 2 p.m. yesterday and was unable to due to blogger service issues. It also appears that one of the posts on The Reporter was eliminated when they "fixed" the problem.

This post is not even in my drafts so it appears it is gone forever.

UPDATE: The post has now been restored! YAY! 


The store is now reporting that.

Revoltech Macross VF-1A
Revoltech Macross VF-1J

Have sold out.  

Thursday, May 12, 2011

68% SAY ANIME SHOULD NOT BE RESTRAINED IN REGARDS TO EARTHQUAKE has a information regarding a interesting poll.

68.2% of the people surveyed in Tokyo's Kantō area in April say that anime programs should not exercise self-restraint in the aftermath of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake disaster (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai).
After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, many anime titles faced changes, edits, or preemptions due to disaster-related content. The Japanese call the tradition of exercising such self-restraint "jishuku." The affected anime included Precure All-Stars DX3 Mirai ni Todoke! Sekai o Tsunagu Niji-Iro no Hana, Oniichan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne—!!, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, the final episodes of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and most recently, Gyakkyō Burai Kaiji: Hakairoku-hen.
The full article has the breakdowns and is definitely worth a read.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Where are you Kev?

I'm really busy with work so no blogging for the time being. Do not panic as I will be back very soon.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


The RTUCN got a sneak peek at some of the first advance copies of the new in China. They have posted some images over on their Facebook page.


A complete set of vintage Robotech novels by Jack McKinney

Friday, May 6, 2011


Over the past few weeks I've been talking about how rising gas prices are squeezing disposable income. It's easy not to understand the relevance since often the posts have a bit of detachment to them (oil price rises to $100 USD per-barrel, gas up to $4 USD per gallon etc...) and its easy for some to lose the real world implications.

Enter the mighty Moe Lane from RedState and his post on this very subject. Some excerpts. 
This morning, I went out to fill up the gas tank of the car, and treat my kids to some fast-food breakfast. Nothing fancy: the car does not take premium gasoline, and we’re talking breakfast sandwiches and a hotcakes and sausage level of drive-through. Here are the receipts. 
See here for the gas receipt - Kev

Back in 2007 [a fillup of gas] would have cost me $37.08. And I can back up the numbers reasonably well:
  • Gas is easy; on January 08, 2007 the average price per gallon was $2.258*. I put in 13.292 gallons of gas into the car: that works out to $30.01. The cost this morning was $53.15 (77% increase). 
  • Tracking breakfast inflation is a little bit harder; fortunately, there’s something called the Big Mac Index, which tracks international prices of Big Macs in an attempt to get an idea of relative purchasing power of various currencies. But never mind that: the point is that the average price of an American Big Mac in 2007 was $3.22, and is $3.80 in 2011; at this level of analysis it seems more or less reasonable to assume that the 18% increase in four years is reflected across the menu. So that $8.34 meal in 2011 probably would have cost me about $7.07 in 2007 (which looks about right).
Moe then adds a key point.

To put this in even more basic terms: it costs me 60% more to fill up my tank and get ‘cheap’ fast food today than it did [in 2007] And if you’re wondering why if inflation is this bad, then it’s not being trumpeted across the sky in letters of fire, it’s because ‘core inflation’ - inflation that does not take into account food and energy prices - isn’t increasing as drastically. Which is… great, except that the problem is that food and energy prices are skyrocketing.
Moe's post vividly illustrates how skyrocketing food and energy prices take away purchasing power. In late 2006 if you had $60 dollars in your pocket and filled up your car and went to breakfast you would have about $30 left over.

Think of what you could buy with that $30 dollars. (I'm sure there are many things you would like to buy with $30 USD)

In 2011 that 30 dollars is going towards purchasing the the same items you were buying at far cheaper prices a mere 5 years ago. There has been no increase of quality of those items, its still the same as it was 5 years ago...expect for the price. Now if your paycheck rose 60% it really does not effect you but is that really happening?

In other words skyrocketing food and energy prices have robbed you of discretionary income. Discretionary income that is also taken out of the economy since this is happening to everyone. Entertainment (anime, movies, games, toys etc...) is discretionary spending and is not immune to inflationary pressures like this.

We will have to see if this type of inflation affects the big summer amine conventions since most fans have to drive to attend them. 

A quick note: I have done some editing to Moe's post since he is doing this make a larger political point. I've edited out the politics since that is not the point of my post here on The Reporter. ( IF you want to see the political point please head over to RedState to see where he goes with it.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011


From Reuters.

Oil plunged more than 8 percent on Thursday, heading for the third biggest daily drop in dollar terms on record, as concerns about economic growth and monetary tightening spurred a sell-off in commodities. 
U.S. crude tumbled below $100 a barrel in heavy trading volume after weak economic data from Europe and the United States fed concerns that have battered commodities all week. German industrial orders fell unexpectedly in March while U.S. weekly jobless claims hit eight-month highs.
World stocks fell and the 19-commodity Reuters-Jefferies CRB index swooned more than 4.5 percent, heading for its biggest weekly decline since December 2008.
While declining oil prices are a good thing do not expect gas prices to drop right away. There would have to to sustained decline in the price of oil for that to happen.


The Robotech Facebook Page announced today that the Zentraedi Light Artillery Battlepod by Toynami will be shipping in June 2011. Zentraedi Light Artillery Battlepod is made of a sturdy vinyl and stands about 10 inches tall, compatible with the 1/100 scale of the VF-1 transformable action figures!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


From Reuters

The dollar fell to a fresh three-year low on Wednesday and the euro briefly rose above $1.49 as weaker-than-expected U.S. employment data convinced investors that U.S. interest rates would remain low this year.

The yen also hit a six-week high against the dollar after data showed the pace of growth in the dominant U.S. services sector also slowed unexpectedly in April, another sign the U.S. economy may be hitting a soft patch.
As for the WHY the Dollar continues to slide. 

The decline is no surprise: It's the anticipated result of the Federal Reserve printing lots of dollars (increase the supply, decrease the price) in its effort to resuscitate U.S. economic growth. And, because money flows toward higher yields, it's the inevitable result of the European Central Bank's eagerness to raise interest rates faster than the Fed.
In case you are wondering "Federal Reserve printing lots of dollars (increase the supply, decrease the price) in its effort to resuscitate U.S. economic growth"is what Quantitative Easing is. (Long time readers may remember that I pointed this all out to last month)

I pointed out yesterday that the USD/JPY exchange rate is a key dynamic to the anime industry in both the U.S. and Japan. (Read Robotech Art 3 for a great example of what I'm taking about) If the dollar continues to fall and the Yen strengthens  it makes anime more expensive (the shows themselves or their merchandising) to acquire for both companies and consumers.

Furthermore, as the dollar weakens it forces upward pressure on oil prices which adds to the cost of manufacturing goods. That includes anime merchandise (check out what most anime merchandise is made of/from). Also, the weakening dollar forces gas prices to go up and that robs consumers in general and anime fans in particular of thier purchasing power.


Today the store announced that the digital remaster of all 36 episodes of  SDF: Macross is now on sale in the Robotech store. Get the entire remastered subtitle-only release plus an updated slipcase for only $49.99 for a limited time!

These DVD's have gotten great reviews for their quality and whenever they popup on sale they sell out VERY fast. (The last time these were on sale were at AnimeExpo in 2007) So if you are thinking of purchasing the highest quality DVD's of SDF: Macross available this is your best chance. 


ROBOTECH REMASTERED DVD SET BLOWOUT! announced today that Harmony Gold has recently acquired some stock of Robotech Remastered DVD sets and they are blowing them out of the store at huge discounts! The prices are  $19.99 for individual volumes or $74.99 for the entire set! 

The DVD's are not the Protocutlure Collection and contain no extras they are simply remastered sets of the episodes only. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


From the Washington Post. 

The U.S. government has pulled out all the stops to try to get the economy back on track following the Great Recession: It is running a huge budget deficit, the financial sector has been bailed out, and the Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates ultra-low.
But these very efforts to get the economy going again create risks of their own. One of the biggest is that the value of the dollar could decline in ways that are abrupt and disruptive.

The dollar has already been drifting gradually downward as a result of large U.S. trade and budget deficits and the growing economic might of the rest of the world. It is down 36 percent against six other major currencies over the past decade — and was down even more before the 2008 financial crisis prompted fearful investors to plow money into dollars.
The downward trend is likely to continue over the years as the other economies continue to catch up with the United States. The risk now is that large U.S. budget deficits, a lack of political consensus over how to reduce them and the Fed’s low interest rate policies will transform the slow decline into a precipitous fall.
“There is an ongoing very gradual diversification away from the dollar,” said Barry Eichengreen, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley and author of “Exorbitant Privilege,” about the unique role of the dollar in the world economy. “That movement could be very significantly hastened if foreigners grow concerned about deficits as far as they eye can see and the pressure the Fed will feel not to normalize the level of interest rates, resulting in inflation.”
Remember the US Dollar / Japanese Yen exchange rate is one of the key dynamics that impact the anime industry in both the U.S. and Japan. When Robotech first came on the air in 1985 $1 USD = Y240 JPY now in 2011 1 USD = Y81 range in other words the dollar has lost 2/3 of its value. If the dollar continues to decline at this rate it forces the cost of acquiring anime (be it shows or merchandise) to go up.


Funimation is releasing a Trigun animated movie to theaters in the Summer of 2011. As I was reading the article there was this tidbit.

Plans for an animated Trigun feature film date back as far as 2005, when MADHOUSE's Masao Maruyama told a U.K. anime magazine that his studio was working on the film. However, the movie did not come to fruition until its spring 2010 release in Japan.
Things like this take time.

Also I am firm believer that the more anime that is shown via theatrical screenings the better off everyone in the industry will be.

Monday, May 2, 2011


From the Financial Times of London.

The dollar was enjoying its first rally in nine trading days on Monday, bolstered by the the perceived blow to global terrorism from the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
However, its bounce quickly ebbed after the latest US manufacturing data showed that growth in output had slowed slightly from strong levels, but that export orders hit economic cycle highs as the weak dollar made pricing more competitive.
“This shows how difficult it is for the dollar to get a sustained lift until the data starts to significantly pull forward US rate expectations,” said Alan Ruskin at Deutsche Bank.
The U.S. Dollar appears stuck in a decline and its going to take alot more for it to regain its strength its lost in the past 18 months.

Sunday, May 1, 2011



The US dollar rose against the euro and the yen on reports that President Barack Obama will shortly announce the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, nearly 10 years after the September 11 attacks.
The dollar rose against the euro, which fetched 1.4764 dollars from 1.4864 in earlier trade. It fetched 81.66 yen from 81.19 earlier.