Tina Tsai, Ph.D. is a writer, teacher, and founder of The Literacy Guild LLC. She and her students write and publish their work. Her debut teen kung fu romance novel The Legend of Phoenix Mountain is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Bamboo Blade is basically a sports anime. Sports anime are ones that focus on a sport or activity through which a main protagonist, with a cohort of friends providing plenty of back stories to explore, works on improving in that sport over time with lots of drama and conflict to make things interesting. Generally, I tend to like these types of anime because they get pretty technical about the sport or activity the story revolves [...] Continue »
Psycho-Pass is an anime that is very reminiscent of the movie Minority Report. The story revolves around a new Inspector Akane who has to learn to work with Enforcers in a society where people are sorted by their Crime Coefficient, a number that determines how likely a person is to commit a crime. Inspectors are law enforcement officials who have low Crime Coefficients whereas Enforcers are law enforcement with high Crime Coefficients. Basically, Enforcers are [...] Continue »
I admit, there was a time when I was tempted to walk into a kendo dojo and ask if they taught Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu (Flying Heavenly Govern Sword-Style). Sounds impressive right? Except that it’s a fictional sword art. That’s right. Fake. But I loved watching the anime Rurouni Kenshin so much that, much like the universe of Star Trek, it was real enough to me. Exciting news for all the fans out there like me is [...] Continue »
Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) stories are pretty common, but of course, not all of them are done well. A Certain Scientific Railgun is done pretty well. Masaka Mikoto is a young girl who goes to school in Academy City where 80% of the population are students trying to gain or develop different types of ESPER powers. Some can control fire, others can teleport, and there are mind readers and telekinetics to boot. Mikoto is an [...] Continue »
I grew up LOVING taiko drums. I remember trips with my family to festivals in LA’s Little Tokyo in the summers to watch taiko groups performing. My dad had taiko albums playing on our stereos at home all the time, and when he wasn’t playing them, I would borrow them so that I could listen to them on my own. So when my friends the band Random Ninjas started up as a rock band integrating [...] Continue »
So if you name your movie “CHINK“, someone’s bound to get upset right? And more likely than not, it’s going to be someone from the Asian American community. It wasn’t surprising, then for me to find out that Stanley Young, Quentin Lee, and our very own 8Asians Koji Steven Sakai, producers of the film, received a letter from the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC) protesting the title of their movie CHINK. As seen on [...] Continue »
Thank you Japanese anime land for yet another story based on a really weird premise that somehow still works. The Devil is a Part-timer is basically about a demon lord named Satan, of course, who wreaks havoc while conquering the world of Ente Isla. However, a hero fights back against him and his minions of demons, and Satan is defeated and must retreat to…yep, you guessed it, our world. Specifically Tokyo, Japan. Stripped of his [...] Continue »
I love playing Halo. So I really had a load of fun watching the webseries Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. Aside from giggling like a school girl every time the Warthog drove by (that’s my Halo ride) and screaming “Duel wield!” every time they found a weapon on the ground, I calmed down enough here and there to notice that there was an Asian American character Junjie Chen (Osric Chau) among the cadet soldiers in [...] Continue »
With May being Asian Pacific American heritage month, there are plenty of Asian American heroes to celebrate. But the majority of Americans may have overlooked the Asian American activism of one very prominent American hero–Mark Twain. Lauded as the father of American literature, few know that one of Twain’s first written, rejected, and finally published articles was a satiric criticism of the poor treatment of Chinese Americans in the 1800s, “Disgraceful Persecution of a Boy”, [...] Continue »
Have you been to Manzanar? If not, go. Go soon. It is worth the trip on so many levels. I had the good fortune and opportunity to visit Manzanar National Historic Monument this past spring. First, the ride there.
Lucy Liu recently discussed racism in Hollywood, the problem with not being American enough and not being Asian enough–the classic paradoxical existence every Asian American lives in. She’s tired of being the emotionless Asian girl or the Asian girl that kicks your butt. But her role in “Elementary“, a contemporary re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes in New York, throws a sizable wrench in the Asian female stereotypes by casting her as Dr. Joan Watson. What’s cool [...] Continue »
Tai Chi Zero and Tai Chi Hero are basically two halves of the same film. Zero came out in the U.S. last fall, and Hero just came out a couple weeks ago. These movies had kung fu, steam punk, and a video game rpg-like quality to it. It had so much promise to be a really awesome fusion of some really cool elements. The first half, Tai Chi Zero, seemed to start out okay. The [...] Continue »