Sunday, October 21, 2012

Skylanders Giants Released!

Wow, the BIG day is here for the new GIANTS release.  I didn't bother to preorder as I kind of figured that they would have lots of stock on release day after the little "we're all sold out fiasco" that happened last Christmas.  I went down to the nearest Toys R Us with a hyper-excited youngster and found a 50 or 60 person line already there when the store opened this Sunday morning at 11 AM.  Lots of people in the line had preorders and some were only in the line to get the Toy R Us exclusive Skylanders.  Marketing works!
Tree Rex Giant on Portal of Power
The line went pretty quickly and people were chatting in line in a friendly manner about the different Skylanders figures or their trauma about not being able to get any last year.  Many parents were there getting the stuff for Christmas as they had such a hard time getting the stuff last time.  It was hard to tell if some people were getting it for the kids or if they were the BIG kid (and there is nothing wrong with that either!).  I was there as I do kind of like the game and I can play the kid card to boot!  This is a great little collectable game with the figures and a pretty fun and entertaining game to boot that you can play co-op.  The kids that were there were going nuts about the wait, which only lasted about 20 minutes or so.

The staff were friendly and they had all the checkouts in the electronics department working full tilt and had staff escort overflow to special outside tills to ring stuff through.  When we walked through the GIANT cardboard Skylanders gateway we snagged a PS3 starter without the portal that includes the giant life Skylander Tree Rex.  There were lots of expansion kits and extra figures kicking around in big bins.  There was no shortage of any figure and they could have easily satisfied twice the number of people in the line.  I picked up a whack of stuff that will be rationed out over the next month.
An initial assortment of the new Skylanders.
The new GIANTS are pretty cool and BIG.  In game, they take up a good chunk of the screen too.  Not all of the original Skylanders are making a comeback in this second game, but the ones that do get a very nice makeover.  All of the figures are fancier than the first time around and some even tempt me to re-buy a few of them as their poses, equipment, and bases are so much fancier.  Did I mention that the GIANTS now have glowing parts and eyes when they are on an active base in-game - with no extra batteries required?

The initial reviews of the game and my limited play so far indicates this is a good new expansion to the franchise and I look forward to playing through the game with the kids. A western Pokemon type hit at last and I see that the trading cards have finally arrived!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The New Hikari Centre in Shibuya Tokyo

Shibuya is one of the fashion and lifestyle centers of Tokyo for the young.  The new megaplex Shibuya Hikarie building adds to the many places to shop and be entertained in the area which already includes the iconic Shibuya 109 building.  More nifty architecture in Tokyo and I look forward to seeing the interior with its maze of escalators and big open spaces.
Shibuya Hikarie
This new building opened in April 2012 and replaces the older Shibuya Tokyo Bunka Kaikan building. It is located right next to the east end of the Shibuya train station with above and below ground approaches.  There are several fancy food floors in the basement, shopping on the lower floors, restaurants in the upper floors, and there is a 2000 person theater along with event and gallery space.  On top of all this are many floors of office spaces as the building is 34 stories high with 200 shops in the lower levels.  The focus of many of the shops are high-end food, lifestyle, beauty, and fashion from around the world. One interesting item about the mall are the restrooms from levels B3 to the 5th floor which are jazzed up rest areas called "Switch Rooms" Each Switch Room is designed differently with special functions including oxygen bars and massage chairs.

ShinQs is the brand name for this new entertainment city that is not just the younger crowd.  The building is supposed to bring a new and innovative combination of shopping, dining, entertainment and business to the Shibuya area.  The building itself has many large television displays, colorful lighting and animations, and is designed to be energy efficient for electrical and heating.
Front Atrium of Hikarie
There is a huge underground atrium that enters the building from the subway and some nifty lighting and circular LED bands that display animations too.

The eighth floor of the Hikarie Centre is the museum / display floor that is devoted to contemporary art and design.  The floor is divided up by art galleries and is not something you usually find in a mall. The design firm D&Department Project is a hub to all of this with a focus on products from around all of Japan. Their shops and galleries include a designer travel store, a museum, and café.  Another part of the floor is a exhibition space called Cube managed by Art Front Tokyo.  Also here is a workspace called Creative Lounge MOV  for artists, designers and other creative types to frequent.
Atrium Level
View towards Shibuya Crossing
Above this via escalator is a movie theatre and a massive atrium with observation deck where you can even see Shibuya Crossing if you peek around the corner of the buildings in front!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Tokyo List of Top 10 Lists To See, Eat, and Do

There are a ton of resources out there for visiting and seeing Tokyo.  I'm posting a list of top 10 lists with some category breakdowns to organize this.  I'm planning for a trip over there myself so I thought I would share everything I found interesting. This list was originally compiled in August of 2012 and last updated on October 12, 2012.

Tokyo Tower   Flickr / Alexxis

About Tokyo in General
This is a great big city with fantastic diversity to see and do.  You could museum once every week for a year and not see all the museums.  You could eat your way through city and never finish finding the next best restaurant.  The city also seems to be the city of the future with its blend of tech, urbanism, and coolness.
 Game / Anime
Tokyo Food
Tokyo is a foodies paradise with excellent food from the cheap to expensive with 3 Michelin stars.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Square Enix Store, One Piece Store, and Thunderbirds Cafe

Seems like themed anime stores and cafes are popping up everywhere in Tokyo.  I was there in 2009 and there has been a ton of new stuff since so I'm heading back next year.  A holiday could be spent just visiting these stores and cafes to immerse yourself in your favourite anime series and related goods.  There is the Evangelion Store, Pokemon Store, Gundam Cafe, the Square Enix Store, the One Piece Store, etc.  Today, I'll cover three more places, two of which are new!
Square Enix Store in Shinjuku
This store was CLOSED as of November 25, 2012.  It used to be located where Square's OLD HQ was.  Square Enix has now opened a new cafe and store called Artnia that is still in the Shinjuku area.
Click here to go to my post on Artnia, the new Square Enix Store, which includes directions.

This old store has all the Square Enix merchandise you could shake a stick at and more!  Some of my favourite goods would be here as I love Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy.  There are cute DQ slime towers, Chocobo plushies, blue smile slimes, trading cards, all kinds of branded stationary, figurines from Final Fantasy, game soundtracks, Final Fantasy posters, etc.
Sephiroth FFVII  -  Chi (in Oz) / Flickr
As it is a themed store, there are statues of slimes, tons of figures, and posters everywhere.  The highlight on the second floor is a 1:1 scale statue of Sephiroth who is laying in a suspended animation chamber in embedded the floor (neat, but creepy).

Old Address below for history only.

SQUARE ENIX Hatsudai Bldg. 1st Floor
4-31-8 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku,Tokyo
03-5352-6402 (Japanese only)
JR Shinjuku Station South Exit, New South Exit - Turn right, 15 min walk.

Directions can be found on their website.

Official One Piece Store
The "Store straw ONE PIECE" opened on September 28, 2012.  It is on the 6th floor of the PARCO PART1 Shibuya Koen-dori in Shibuya.  The store has more than 10,000 One Piece related goods on sale with unique products than can only be found at the store too.  I'm not an avid fan of the series, but it is popular, and I'll probably pop in to have a look at it myself. 
Luffy  Figurine -  Halloween king captain ryno / Flickr
This concept store covers the anime series produced by Toei Animation and the manga that runs in Weekly Shonen Jump. There is a restaurant and many series related items are on display.  A life sized Luffy and many other replicas are on display.

PARCO Shibuya (6th floor PART1)
15-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 〒 150-8377
Official Site

Map below has the location of the One Piece Store and the Artnia the new Square Enix Store on it. Click on the link to expand.

View Shibuya Shinjuku Harajuku in a larger map

Thunderbirds Cafe
This cafe is based on the British puppet television series run in the late 1960s by Gerry Anderson.  The show has a bit of an older fan base and I still remember it fondly too!  I really like the look of the big green, Thunderbird 2, rescue vehicle.  It is a very retro cafe and they even still manufacture model kits and toys for it in Japan.

The Thunderbirds Cafe is located in Jimbocho, where R.O.D. is set with the used book stores! The cafe was created by Pasela, which has themed karaoke bars, and the Dragon Quest bar which I talked about here.  Entry is via doors disguised as foliage and you enter a foyer with a Thunderbird character and model.  There are many replica models of the various rescue vehicles used by the team embedded in the fake transport pods set into the wall (pods are carried by the Thunderbird 2 transport).  Clips from the Thunderbirds play in the background and the menu is varied, with dishes from around the world.

東京都千代田区神田神保町 1-21-5 
パセラリゾーツお茶の水店 B1F
〒 101-0051
1-21-5 Kanda Jinbo-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 
Ochanomizu B1F shop Pasela ResortsA 3 minute walk from exit A7 "Jimbocho station"  Head out of Jimbocho Station and go east along Yasakunidori street for a few minutes.  To your right, on a street in from the main road, you can see the Pasela Resort karaoke building along with a big blue Thunderbirds Cafe sign.
Official Site

Other Tokyo Anime / Otaku Highlights Worth Visiting

Cool Anime / Manga Themed Apps for iPad, iPod, iPhone 
After you get an IOS device, you have to have anime apps.  There are the more common apps such as Crunchy Roll for anime viewing (hundreds of anime series for free - but you have to ignore the membership prompts properly - also easier to use with an iPad than iPhone), VIZ Media for manga, and Yen Press for more manga.
Here are a few IOS apps on my iPad that that are more off the beaten path and have an anime / japanese pop culture type theme.  I'll update this page from time to time, but the majority of the updates are now continued on the More Cool Anime or Manga Apps page below!

My other app list pages:
Akihabara Guide By Prime Style Corporation
I would say this is a cute app with some decent information for someone visiting Akiba for the first time, but I think it needs more info. Also check out my blog post on Anime and Japanese Pop Culture Information here (there is some pretty cool stuff out there).  I made a map for my own trip to Akiba (shown below) and it has annotations of some of the hotspots to see that could supplement this guide.

View Akihabara Highlights in a larger map

(new October 2012) Manga Camera BySupersoft
This is an awesome little photo app that lets you take pictures and apply different manga filters to it to make your photo look like Manga!  I've tried it and it looks really good.  So far it is free and a top download in Japan too!

(new October 2012) Visit Japan With Hello Kitty By NEC Big Globe
This is a VR app where Hello Kitty will appear in your shots at various locations in Japan (need to be in Japan though).

WorkingMirai By Mirai Inc
This app is from Danny Choo and it is pretty basic, but pretty again with a picture of his mascot girl Mirai working. There is also a Mirai 3 app.

This is basically a Haruhi Suzumia Clock.  The other characters are also available.

(new August 2012) Moe-Tra
Girls in cute costumes help you with Japanese and say cute things.

(new August 2012) EriMoekko
This is a Moe guide to the  Hidaka area in Hokkaido.  You can even take photos and automatically superimpose the two cute girls into them!

Miku Miku Mobile By Masaki Kimura
A little dancing Hatsune Miku rendered in CG.

Mugen Pop Pop™ By Bandai America Inc.
Just like the little keychain toy that was popular. Pop the bubbles, every so often a random noise happens.

Edamame Touch By 965 Studios
Mindless, but fun for awhile app that lets you pop soybeans from their pod.  There is a free version with ads at this link.  Many different beans to collect.  Reminds me of the Bandai Edamame keychain toy or the Mameshiba (豆しば ? ) Japanese merchandise franchise created by Kim Sukwon.

Angry Break (Vending Machine Style) By Absolute Imagination LLC
Its about vending machines, but not the good ones in Japan.  Again, mindless fun and free.

Nendoroid Planet By GoodSmileCompany

This little app is one of my favourites as it is a disguised tower defence game for free that you play with the little Nendoroid figures. It has a gashapon mini-game and a collectors gallery where you view the Nendoroids you have collects. All in Japanese, but I've included a link to a guy who basically explains how it all works in English!

Imaginary Range By SQUARE ENIX Co. LTD.
This app is unusual as it is a cross between a comic book and a game.  Entertaining to try out if it is still free.

Evangelion vol.5 Puzzle Lite By APPLIYA
There are a whole series of these apps as you can tell from the title (it is the fifth app). The clock app is pretty cool too, but costs some $. This one is your basic sliding puzzle game, and it is Evangelion themed, so what are you waiting for?

Itadaki Donbei (Bon Appetit Donbei) By NISSIN FOOD PRODUCTS CO., LTD.

This is a promotional app for instant bowl noodles from Nissin. It is a little mini-game where you basically go through the steps of making a bowl of instant noodles. An easy registration (click agree to the privacy stuff) is now required.  All anime characters (especially geeky guys seem to live off this stuff).

Me So Ramen By Moxy Games

Time for more ramen based restaurant food prep games. You're now the ramen chef.

Ripples By vNovel Interactive

This is a short, but free, visual novel where you read a story that is PG-13.

Momonga's Snow White By DICO Co., Ltd
This is an ebook app with anime style art for the Snow White fairy tale.  Cost is $4 so it is a little expensive for about 10 pages of art, but you might find it worthwhile if you are collector or have a small child.

LAWSON By sonicjam Inc.
Here is an app to tell you where to find your local Lawson Konbini and what products they are carrying. Wonder if Shinji in Evangelion also uses it - probably not as they use DAT tapes for music so no smart phones yet - but big robots. Big robots > smartphones (probably true). Lawson also has a number of other apps, including an Evangelion augmented reality app you can use in Hakone (where Tokyo 3 is located with the big lake) to see a giant Eva blended with the landscape. See the Natural Lawson app to see the "healthy choice" line for the corporation and their new stores.  With these apps from Lawson, you can see what they are selling in the stores for quick meals.

Hello Kitty 35th Anniversary By AITIA Corporation
This is a cute little app describing Hello Kitty, her friends, and was a 35th anniversary celebration app.

Also see my second Anime / Manga Apps page.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Science Fiction and Anime Connections (サイエンスフィクションとアニメの接続)

Classic Sci Fi Rocketship  Flickr / sandwichgirl
I read up on the history of anime as I'm fascinated by how popular it is and its impact on Japanese culture and the western world.  The Japanese cultural influence on anime, the things that make it uniquely Japanese, are also fascinating too.  Then you throw science fiction (SF or サイエンス·フィクション ) into the mix for some real fun.  Otherwise, anime would just be about everyday life (or maybe just high-school hijinks) or almost normal everyday life if it isn't just plain fantasy (based off medieval Japan or the Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons).
With science fiction, something that isn't unique to the western world, anime really opens up.  There has been much cross-fertilization between east and west for both ideas and themes and not just from science fiction. Ideas have bounced one way then the other way (to the benefit of the audience!).  I'm not going to trace the history of this, but you could write a pretty darn long book about it. Examples sharing ideas include:
  • Star Wars - C3PO and R2D2 were based on characters from the samurai move The Hidden Fortress. George Lucas was influenced by the Akira Kurosawa films.
  • The big eyed style of animation originated with Disney but it is a staple of manga and anime that was rediscovered by the west.
  • The movie Battle Beyond the Stars is based off of the Magnificent Seven, and even further back, The Seven Samurai. Then there was the anime SF remake Samurai 7.
  • Akira was influenced by Blade Runner, and Ghost in the Shell was influenced by both of these, and the Matrix probably looked at all of these movies.
  • William Gibson was quoted as saying "... Modern Japan simply was cyberpunk..."  Eastern reality here influenced the creation of western cyberpunk.
Having said all this, examples of SF in anime include robots like Astroboy, and Gigantor in the early days of anime.  Alien invasions, dystopian, cyberpunk and post-apocalyptic visions of the future are especially well represented in SF anime.  There are even futuristic science fiction with space colonies and even more robots in space such as the popular Gundam franchises.  There's a great deal to like about this facet of anime as it visually presents SF in a manner that still doesn't really get portrayed that well in Western SF movies and TV.

Also see 10 Visual Motifs that American SF Borrowed From Anime at IO9! 
and How Disney Created Manga at Escapist

In Japanese anime you have big robots or mecha (who doesn't like big robots?) but the worlds they operate in have the high-tech ideas that I like in them.  These are ideas such as space academies, orbital elevators, space colonies in the form of O'Neill Cylinders, etc.  Western SF shows such as the Star Trek franchises and Babylon 5 are really good but these tend to be the exceptions.

Space Elevator    Flickr / FlyingSinger
While the Gundam franchise had a lot to do with selling model kits the end product turned out pretty influential on Japanese mecha anime. Gundam had spaceships, space colonies, solar power satellites, orbital elevators, and more.  I've pretty much liked all of the Gundam series I've seen, especially the later Gundam Seed and Gundam 00 series which were reboots of the franchise.

I'm also writing military science fiction that tries to blend the best of both hard SF and anime mecha elements in my Exocrisis Blue series of stories.  You can head over to my author's blog over here if you are interested in stories about an alien invasion and high tech weapons including mechas called HARMs.  The stories are published as ebooks for the Amazon Kindle and have received good reviews and I hope you'll like them too.

There are many more wonderful SF anime and I'll list a bunch here along with some SF categories and western SF analogues. And it goes without say, this isn't an exhaustive or maybe even the best cataloged list.  Most of the anime have been released in North America at some point, and of course the books / movies are available over here as they are "western".  I haven't included Japanese science fiction novels in general as I don't know much about them, but would love to know more one day.

Alien Invasion
This category is much like the Dystopia category.  Most Japanese anime seem to happen after the invasion which causes a massive apocalypse so I'm going to put them in the post apocalypse grouping. For example, Neon Genesis Evangelion will be classified under post apocalypse.
  • East -> Strike Witches - an alternate WWII with moe anthropomorphizations of military airplanes fighting against the Neuroi.  You have to like some moe to enjoy this with the first season having much less fan service than the second season (I didn't like season two as much at all). 
  • East -> Sky Girls - Invaded by space organisms called the WORM and girls in skimpy outfits pilot mechs to fight them.
  • East -> Stratos IV - Girls and Boys fly fighters to intercept meteors from space, or are they just meteors?
  • East ->  Gunparade March.  Giant mechs verses poisonous bugs.
  • East -> Could I fit Godzilla movies in here? There are space monsters at least.
  • West -> The Day the Earth Stood Still - even though they came in peace and it was our fault.
  • West -> War of the Worlds - the classic novel by H.G. Wells! The 50's movie was good too.
  • West -> Battle L.A. - thought this was pretty good.
  • West -> Independence Day Movie - big mothership.
  • West -> Footfall Novel - we get beat bad but make a comeback!
  • West -> The High Crusade Novel - aliens meet knights
  • West -> Worldwar Series of Novels - what if the aliens attacked during World War II?
  • West -> Looking Glass Novel Series (legally free download at 5th Imperium) Support these authors!
  • West -> Posleen War Novel Series (legally free download at 5th Imperium) Support these authors!
Space Opera / Epic Galactic Empire
  • East -> Crest of Stars / Banner of Stars
  • East -> Heroic Age
  • East -> Toward the Terra 
  • East -> Gunbuster
  • East -> Gurren Lagaan. Kind of starts out post-apocalyptic after an alien invasion then turns into over the top space opera with big mechs.
  • West -> Space Above and Beyond
  • West -> Star Wars Franchise
  • West -> The Fifth Element 
  • West -> Forbidden Planet
  • West -> Earthclan Novels - we uplifted the primates and dolphins.
  • West -> Foundation Trilogy
  • West -> The Lost Fleet Novels
  • West -> Honor Harrington Novels (legally free download at 5th Imperium) Support these authors!
  • West -> Night's Dawn Trilogy and Commonwealth Saga (this one even has space trains!)
  • West -> The Stars At War Novels (legally free download at 5th Imperium) Support these authors!
  • West -> Star Trek Franchise, Original Trek, STNG, Voyager, DS9
  • West -> Stargate Movie, Stargate SG-1 TV Series.
  • West -> Andromeda
  • West -> Firefly
  • West -> Farscape
  • West -> Babylon 5
  • West -> Jack Vance world building novels in The Alastor Cluster Series, Taschai Planet of Adventure, Dying Earth, The Demon Princes.
 Mecha Action (Near Future and Far Future)
  • East -> Flag - U.N. Peacekeeping Mecha
  • East -> Full Metal Panic - my favourite near future battle mecha show - more like Gundams with the ARX-7 Arbalest. Go Mithril!
  • East -> Gasaraki - battle mechs
  • East -> Code Geass - Britannia has conquered most of the world and Japan is a subjugated Area 11.  Heavy use of mechas called Knightmare Frames (nice name as English royalty is still around).
  • East -> Macross - we find alien technology and use it.  JPOP start with Lin Min Mei
  • East -> Patlabor - construction, police, and battle mecha
  • East -> Rideback - transforming motorcycles.
  • East -> Bubblegum Crisis - powered battle suits (much like the Starship Troopers novel)
  • West -> Aliens - Powerloader
  • West -> Bolo novels - These are big cybernetic tanks that can attack orbital targets. Some are even called "continental siege units." The Ogre games probably had some inspiration from this source.
  • West -> Avatar - Powersuit or Amp Suit
  • West -> District 9- Alien Mech
  • West -> Robocop - ED109
  • West -> Saturn 5 - Bad Robot
  • West -> Stealth - Robot Fighter
Space Academy
  • East -> Stellvia - I like this space academy the best.
  • East -> Infinite Ryvius - lost in space on a big ship
  • West -> Space Academy Series
  • West -> Starship Troopers - boot camp and mobile infantry power armour
  • West -> Ender's Game - battle school
  • West -> Tunnel in the Sky - survival game
Post Apocalyptic
The Japanese stuff seems to involve a lot of mecha. Zombie and other undead apocalypses not allowed here.

  • East -> Aquarion.  Hero that has a sensitive nose and mecha that combine for different abilities.
  • East -> Appleseed.  Shirow's techie future universe (dystopian and post-apocalyptic).
  • East -> Argentosoma.  What is it that is strange about our mechs?
  • East -> Blue Gender - invaded by bugs.
  • East -> Blue Submarine No. 6
  • East -> Fafner.  People said this was an Evangelion clone, but it was pretty good.
  • East -> Final Fantasy The Spirits Within.  Sad movie with amazing CG for the time, but I didn't mind it unlike many reviewers.
  • East -> Freedom - set on a lunar colony to start.
  • East -> Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Rebuild of Evangelion Movies.  This is my favourite giant mecha series with giant alien monsters to fight around Tokyo III.  How many times does Tokyo have to get destroyed?
  • East -> Rahxephon. Probably my next favourite apocalypse mecha show after Evangelion.  Great art, Tokyo Jupiter, and mecha designs make this show better than most.  The movie version was quite good too with a nice spin on the original series, which is unusual.
  • East -> Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Miyazaki
  • East -> Origin: Spirits of the Past - happens way after the collapse.
  • East -> Zegapain - quantum computers are involved and along with mecha. The concept behind this series was pretty good - almost original.
  • East -> Tideline Blue
  • East -> Disaster movies. E.g. Japan Sinks!
  • West -> Disaster movies.  E.g. Deep Impact, Armageddon, Meteor, 2012
  • West -> Damnation Alley Movie / Book
  • West -> Mad Max, The Road Warrior
  • West -> The Ember Novels - juvenile fiction, but I really liked the first book. I liked the movie too.
  • West -> Emergence Novel
  • West -> The Postman Novel.  The movie was kind a bleah, kind of like Waterworld which was more fun and campy.
  • West -> Empire of the East Novel
  • West -> Lucifer's Hammer Novel
  • West -> Terminator Salvation
  • West -> Shiva Descending Novel. Memorable scene where they launch a Saturn V while the maddened doomsday cult horde overruns the NASA perimeter to try and stop it.
  • West -> Malevil - after the war.
  • West -> Fall of Northgap (Pelbar Cycle) - long after the war.
  • West -> Mad Max Movies
  • West -> Terminator Movies (pre and post I guess).
  • West -> Vault of the Ages Novel
  • West -> Wall-E Movie
  • West -> Role-Playing Games - Twilight 2000, Gamma World, The Morrow Project
  • West -> Lots and lots of bad movies / books.  Lots of good ones too.
This is a tough category for anime.  Most of the anime that have attributes in this category I would lump under post apocalyptic as many of the dystopias start after the great 'pocalyps!
  • East -> Appleseed Movies - great CG animation and future world.
  • East -> Battle Angel Alita - famous, but I haven't seen it.
  • East -> Battle Royal - Japanese teens are randomly chosen to battle to the death as a lesson.
  • East -> Bubblegum Crisis - great powered armour suits, rock and roll and a big bad corporation.
  • East -> Burst Angel - girls, guns, mecha and a big bad corporation.
  • East -> Dominion Tank Police - pre-Ghost in the Shell hijinks for Shirow.
  • East -> Ergo Proxy
  • East -> Ghost in the Shell - more cyberpunk / Neuromancer / Snow Crash than dystopia though. One of my big favourites, and the anime series are excellent too.
  • East -> Technolyze
  • West -> The Hunger Games (Running Man type scenario)
  • West -> The Windup Girl - biotech gone ridiculously bad.
  • West -> Bladerunner
  • West -> 1984 - novel and movie
  • West -> Brave New World 
  • West -> Gattaca - I think I worked here once...
  • West -> Logan's Run - "Run Runner!"
  • West -> Matrix - our world is fake we are all being farmed for power.
  • West -> We
Space Future
  • East -> Cowboy Bebop - this series is just really good.
  • East -> Geneshaft - genetic engineering and a society mostly composed of women.
  • East -> Gundam Franchise. I like Gundam Seed and Gundam 00 the best!
  • East -> Kiddy Grade - terrible title, but some good solid SF fun with spaceships, mechas, and earth to space launch catapults.
  • East -> Macross  Plus (and the Macross Frontier series) More wonderful JPOP and great transforming mecha / fighters.
  • East -> Planetes - a realistic space anime where you are cleaning up orbital trash
  • East -> Robotech.
  • East -> Space Battleship Yamato.  This could fall under post apocalyptic too, but most of it happens in space.
  • East -> Starship Operators.  This was like a really solid piece of SF anime that I quite like.  It is like a spaceship on spaceship duel with different weapon systems each episode.
  • East -> Xenosaga- from the videogame.
  • East -> Yukikaze Novel and Anime - combating aliens on their turf with advanced fighter aircraft
  • West -> 2001 A Space Odyssey - Open the pod bay doors HAL...
  • West -> Space 1999.  Still like the Eagle Transporters and the HAWK fighters.
  • West -> Earth II TV series - colonization of an alien world.
  • West -> Rendevous With Rama
  • West -> The Songs of Distant Earth
  • West -> The Mote in Gods Eye
  • West -> Gateway Novels
  • West -> Integral Trees
  • West -> Ringworld Novels
  • West -> Another ringworld with HALO and Master Chief. Fall of the Reach was awesome!
  • West -> Thousands of books more... too many to count. I'm sure there are plenty of Japanese novels too, but I haven't read them.
  • East -> Aria Anime/Manga - its a wonderful life on a terraformed Mars (love this series - no violence whatsoever) 
  • East -> Martian Successor Nadesico
  • East -> Mars Daybreak
  • East -> Zone of Enders.  Idolo had some awesome mecha combat scenes.
  • West -> Doom Movie - shudder... not sure I should include this. However, there was a paperback novel called DOOM Knee-Deep in the Dead that I found very entertaining and true to the original games.
  • West -> Red Planet Movie
  • West -> Total Recall Movie
  • West -> Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars Novels
  • West -> I should be able to name more, but a Google search indicates I actually haven't read too many Mars novels - more short stories.
  • East -> Steamboy
  • East -> Sakura Wars
  • West -> Anubis Gates Novel
  • West -> Morlock Night Novel
  • West -> The Difference Engine Novel
  • West -> 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
Time Travel
  • East -> The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
  • East -> Returner - actually live action, but one of the better movies out there.
  • East -> Zipang- send a modern Japanese Aegis Missile Destroyer back in time to the WWII Pacific Theater.
  • West ->  Terminator I &II.
  • West -> Back to the Future
  • West -> The Time Machine - the novel and all of the Time Machine movies (at least 2 I think - the 50's one is better).
  • West -> The Final Countdown - send a nuclear aircraft carrier back in time to the WWII Pacific Theater.
  • West -> Timerider. Low budget, but really well done time travel western.
  • West -> Anything with Dr. Who. Tom Baker was my favourite doctor.  Jelly Baby?
  • West -> Way too many other movies and books.
Lost Colony World or Ship / This is Earth?
  • East -> Code Geass - definitely an alternate Earth where Japan has been conquered by Britannia.
  • East -> Eureka 7 - I'll let you figure this out - kind of a spoiler if you haven't seen it.
  • East -> Last Exile - I'll let you figure this out - kind of a spoiler if you haven't seen it.
  • East -> Samurai 7- the city is a big crashed ship.
  • East -> Scrapped Princess - I actually really like this series.  Again, I'll let you figure this out as it is a bit of a spoiler.
  • East -> Xam'd - alternate Earth I think, but I could be wrong.
  • West -> Planet of the Apes - "You blew it up!"
  • West -> Starlost
  • West -> Hull Zero Three Novel
Giant Robot
This genre is usually over the top crazy.  Pilots announce their attacks like a Hong Kong Kung Fu movie.

  • East -> Astroboy - little robo?
  • East -> Mazinger / Mazinkaiser
  • East -> Giant Robo
  • East -> Gunbuster
  • East -> Gurren Lagaan
  • West -> Iron Giant - at least we got one good one.

I like anime, but the end of the day, for technology driven SF there is only one place to go - novels by British and American writers who basically invented and own the genre (think Ringworld, A Fire Upon the Deep, Starship Troopers or Foundation).  No other media gives the richness of ideas and narrative like that.  While there are important Japanese writers in the genre, I think media domination belongs to the west, just like Hollywood dominates the movies for now.

Other Six Favourite Anime Posts
I've also written some mecha anime inspired SF. It has received some good reviews. Visit here if you are interested.  I could always use some community support from anime fans!