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Kendo by Chris Mooney

by on August 13th, 2012 at 8:01 am, under Text

I used to practice kendo for quite a while, and one day decided to see what kind of books on kendo were on iBooks. I had no idea at the time that my minor curiosity would lead me to find the greatest tale ever written. This epic poem will make Romance of the Three Kingdoms look like baby’s first novel. I’m talking about Kendo by Chris Mooney, written in 2005. Kendo is currently $2.99 on iTunes, but there is a generous free sample available for download. I urge every single one of you reading this to download that sample and read it, but do not buy it. If you buy it, it may encourage Chris Mooney to write a sequel, which would be the best and worst thing to ever happen.

Meet Chris Mooney and Elliott.  Both are hard working American students in high school.  Both live normal lives like everyone else.  Ya, right.  After being accepted into one of the most prized private schools in Japan the two find themselves involved in an adventure that will rock the rest of their lives.  Not only are the two not your average students, they are both exceptional martial artists with powers passed down for centuries, powers that both shock and baffle their exchange familys daughter, Yui.  Add a little humor, a pinch of romance and a butt load of martial arts action and youve got one of the greatest martial arts epics of all time.

Reading the downloaded sample of this novel was an experience I will never forget. It was like having a fever dream while the Dragon Ball Z theme song blasted into my ears on repeat. The novel basically follows Grey Acumen and Emerald Templar, as they embark on a new life as students at a MARTIAL ARTS HIGH SCHOOL in Japan. Despite apparently being sponsored to come to Japan, go to school, and live with a host family, they just show up with no money or luggage. Their host family are kendo masters, including the young Yui, who seeks her equal in the world of kendo. Will she find her equal match/love interest in Chris!? I must know!  Here are some choice parts from the very first paragraph:

Chris had his Kendo stick and his fingerless gloves that were black in color. Elliot had his own Kendo stick and also his sunglasses, that was all. Elliot was dressed in black cargo pants, white shirt and a trench coat that looked like the one off of Matrix. Chris was dressed in a set of blue cargo pants with a brown dress shirt with long sleeves. On their feet were black boots and tennis shoes. Chris wore the boots and Elliot the shoes.

I feel like I bored a hole into Chris Mooney’s head and watched his greatest anime desires spill out onto the ground. I don’t know why he decided he needed to spend three sentences describing their Grey Acumen costumes, or why he seems to always capitalize “Kendo” and “Karate” like they were angry gods that must be honored at all times. I also don’t know why he based his entire character’s martial art around kendo, but didn’t take two minutes to look it up on Wikipedia and learn some of the terminology. Why even call it a kendo stick when you’re trying to emphasize their fencing abilities? Because shut up, that’s why. You wanna know what happened to the last punks that challenged Chris Mooney?

“You American?” The youth asked in broken English. Chris smiled even wider and nodded his head. He placed a foot in front of him and placed his back right foot two inches back from his shoulder. His toes were pointed forward from his body as he hunched down and now held the Kendo stick with both hands by the handle. Elliot stepped a few feet to Chris’ right and crossed his arms with a smile […] Chris then pushed with his left foot, which was still planted and finished the strike by following through with his movement. He stopped himself a yard away from the teen and stood up straight as the teen fell to his knees, dropping the sword which he’d been holding moments before. He held his ribs and was gasping for breath as he turned to look at Chris. Chris was still hold [sic] his Kendo stick with his right hand, his grin was still on his face.

“H-How… the….hell…????” The teen asked as Chris turned to look down on him.

“Simple, you lifted your left arm too much and I took advantage. Good night now.” Chris said as he planted both feet and hit the boy with his stick right across the right side of his face.

That would be you. You would have the Kendo stick sword blade planted into your face good night now, so you better watch your fuckin’ mouth. Only one person has managed to say anything but pure praise for Kendo and survived.

This has to be the weirdest book I’ve ever read – almost like anime in book form. Totally fanciful, unbelievable characters and no plot to speak of. The non-story just lurched from one fight scene to the next without any respite.

It was also full of bad English and typos, I was wondering if that was an ebook issue. Having said all that it was somehow strangely compelling. I actually finished reading it even though it was annoying, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Nothing like Chris Mooney’s other excellent books.

Other books? I couldn’t believe it, but a quick search for Chris Mooney’s website revealed an author of the same name. At first, I thought this was the same guy, now hoping to hide his shameful past with Kendo after moving on to gritty supernatural crime thrillers. Unfortunately, this is a different guy, though people seem to confuse him with the Kendo Chris Mooney quite a bit:

Why aren’t the books Kendo and the two nonfiction titles, The Republican War on Science and Storm World, listed on your website?

I didn’t write any of those books. Everything I’ve written is posted here on the website.

We may never see a sequel to Kendo, but at least we’ll always have the audiobook. Let’s listen to a sample:

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Excerpts from “How To Be An Anime Character”

by on April 30th, 2012 at 7:45 pm, under Text

Remember Clayton Overstreet’s “How To Be An Anime Character”? We first posted about it in October 2009.

In April 2011, the author of the book himself found our post and commented on it. Now, almost exactly one year later, he came back to defend his case again. He posted some excerpts from his book in the comments of the old post, but we decided to give him the exposure of a brand new post at the top of our site. You’re welcome, Clayton. Don’t say we never did anything for you.

Note: We cleaned up the formatting of the second excerpt, because Clayton apparently writes his books in BBCode.

From the section on the Seven Anime Sins

God has rules. Anyone writing and drawing an anime probably thinks they are god. As such there are seven sins in anime that will get you killed and possibly sent to Hell. Don’t worry though, you can commit the actual seven sins and flip off Saint Peter himself and still get into Heaven in an anime. These are more along the lines of stupid stuff you should have known better than to do.

Repetitive Behavior
You’ve been dunking the same kid in the toilet since second grade. You and your friends always just sit around the classroom and talk about the same stuff. Nothing happens. Nothing changes.

What happens to me if I do this? Simple. Property damage. Loss of life. Or seriously bad luck. Something is going to come crashing into your little world whether you like it or not.

What can I do about it? Like when you’re being targeted by an assassin it’s best to vary your schedule. Go on a trip. Explore a cave or haunted house. Anything to break up the monotony. Otherwise it’ll come looking for you.

Being Ugly
Life isn’t fair even in anime. We aren’t talking about turning into some hideous monstrosity, or thinking that you’re too plain because you have brown hair and glasses. Have you ever seen Superman?
No, we’re talking about you having a flat broken nose, a forehead that practically covers your eyes (not a unibrow. Having one eyebrow works for some people), having bad teeth, zits, and eyeballs that are different sizes. Guess what? You’re not even qualified to be a head bad guy. You are either a friend or sidekick at best. It’s unfair we know, but the top guys are all incredibly good looking.

What happens to me if I do this? Let’s see. You’ll be beaten up (especially by girls), considered a pervert by every hot girl you meet, and mostly spend your days alone reading books on what it would be like if you were an anime character.

What can I do about it? Repent and thou shalt be spared! Understand that you are an ugly S.O.B. and do something about it. Claiming that you are pretty when everyone else says you aren’t or that beauty is on the inside will get you nowhere. Get plastic surgery, mutate yourself, make a deal with Satan… whatever it takes to make you into either someone gorgeous or a hideous slime-dripping mutant. Either way it’s better than just being plain old ugly and your chances of getting a date will improve.

Being Too Cute (Kawaii)
That’s right. If you’re too adorable people won’t like you much either. You’re sweet, charming, and kind to everyone! You’re tiny. You do everything you’re supposed to and even help out in the local soup kitchen. People are cruel. Otherwise the writer wouldn’t be feeding your neighbors to monsters or making it so that the main character has eight girlfriends that he never gets lucky with. The sooner you learn this the better.

What happens to me if I do this? For starters you could be regulated to cooking everyone’s meal for life to keep you out of the way, but most likely you’ll be kidnapped. Everyone likes you. That makes you the perfect bargaining chip.

What can I do about it? You’ll probably grow out of it by the time you hit fifteen. If you don’t then you can try making yourself less cute. Secretly sabotage anyone who likes the guy/girl you like. Play pranks. Hang out with the “wrong crowd” at school. If you’re a boy you can be a pervert. If you are a girl you can develop and explosively violent temper and a penchant for hitting perverted boys with hammers. Or just go for it. You’re too cute for the bad guy to be allowed to hurt you anyway.

Having Children
The star of a major anime cannot have kids. They cramp your style, take up all that money you need for mecha parts and sword polish, and they get into all those family secrets you’ve been trying to keep.

What happens if I do this? The kid either unleashes the horrible evil you’ve been trying to contain and becomes the hero or villain while you have to go off to work to pay for the property damage or they get kidnapped or engaged (sometimes to the same person/thing) and you have to deal with it. You have to train them or their kids, sacrifice your life to save theirs, or maybe they will turn on you and kill you. As an anime character you could conceivably live forever… unless you have kids.

What can I do about it? You could try to kill the kid. But if you are a good guy that usually isn’t an answer unless they are possessed by some unspeakable evil, which you probably can’t kill anyway. I suggest either abandoning your family or adopting the kid out. You can’t take the time to care for it/them like you should, so drop the little brats off at your nearest relative, your spouse, or orphanage and never talk to them again. That way, even if they think you are dead, you’ll get to show up again later and help them out in some cool way. In the meantime you get a good fifteen to twenty years where you don’t have to think twice about them while you are off having adventures. Besides, do you know how much it sucks sticking around a house where every hot member of the opposite sex wants your kid and not you?

Ignoring Advice
This is when you get told to train in martial arts for no reason, keep watch over a specific object and not ask questions, or just plain “Don’t go in there.” Whether it’s an old man, an ancient prophecy, or a creepy kid with glowing eyes, if someone asks you to do something do not just write them off. Give it some serious thought. However this is a minor sin and there’s not much point in listening to the advice anyway. You see if you do follow other people’s advice eventually you get a bit repetitive and we all know what happens then.

What happens if I do this? The mystical object or creature you were supposed to guard may fall into the enemy’s hands resulting in countless deaths. It is best just to guard the thing and use it as villain bait than to have to get it back later. The bad guy needs it to do any real damage anyway. It is also easier to fight the unnamable evil if you already have your fighting moves down when it shows up. If you follow the advice someone else enters the tomb and unlocks the door that should have remained shut and you’ll get to say, “Wasn’t me!”

What can I do about it? Once you’ve ignored the advice, when something bad happens you can try to make up for it. Get whatever escaped back in the hole or on your side. Take up the family business and fight the monsters. Have a kid. Then when he is fifteen it’ll be his problem and you can get a job in a nice safe office building or demon-proof Shinto shrine somewhere far away and leave them with grandpa to train.

Being a Loner
You can’t make it on your own. If you are a bad guy you need faceless minions and trusted lieutenants to send after the good guy before they fight you. If you are a good guy you need someone to drag your unconscious body out of the line of fire when you lose your second or third fight. The more people or things you have on your side the longer you live. I’m not saying that you have to hang out with them or even be polite. You just need some help.

What happens if I do this? At worst you die. Painfully and quickly and mostly for being a total know it all jerk. At best you end up the butt of every joke when you show up and the edges of roofs collapse below you or you fall into a hole that you’re sure wasn’t there before.

What can I do about it? Keep an eye out for groups of good looking kids or one person about your age who happen to hang out in the same area those new superheroes with the exact same features have been sighted in (you know, those punks who have been “getting in your way” when you are trying to save the world? If these kids wore those tiny masks you could almost swear they were the same people.) Strike up a conversation. Offer them five bucks to pay for lunch. Or when you see those completely unrelated superheroes with the same builds and hair color in the costumes fighting monsters, wait until one gets in over their head and save them.
The best part? The hottest female character will be yours. The worst part? She’s probably not even your type, but now you’re stuck with her.

From the section describing the lay-out of the average anime high school

Bathrooms – Complete privacy from the opposite sex…. Ha! Just kidding! The locks? They don’t work. Privacy? Forget about it. Showering, bathing, using the toilet, washing your hands, smoking, or making out with someone…  you have no privacy, least of all in the bathroom. Where people can’t follow you the camera will. At least once a week someone who should not be there will walk in through the wrong door, need to use a toilet when all the rest are  full, or flat out appear out of thin air. Get used to it and be glad you left the creepy old guy back at your house.

The Basement – It’s best to avoid the school’s basement. Whether because it’s the perfect place for a horror scene, leads to a maze that spreads for miles underground in every direction, or because you may run into the janitor  who still laments his failure to train electric mice to cockfight. If you have to go down there take the smart kid who can spend the time before something bad happens fixing the boiler so it won’t keep breaking down every week or  who can figure out what the weird machines and ancient artifacts are about.

The Dorms – Since the only person waiting at home is a creepy old guy or your suspiciously sexy mother, it’s probably best to move out as soon as possible. Which is why despite the year round uniforms and strict rules, many kids would rather live on campus than not. Especially since this way they never have to cross the Courtyard.

Be sure you want to live here before you move in. Living in a boarding school means you may develop a strange accent completely different from your friends and family.

Check out his book at, but do yourself and everyone else a favor and don’t buy it.

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“How To Be An Anime Character” by Clayton Overstreet

by on October 4th, 2009 at 11:39 pm, under Text


Do you have questions about anime? How do you tell you’re an anime character? Fighting your enemies (good or evil) and defeating them. Living your life in the anime universe. Relationships and surviving them The science of anime Also contains sections on why evil does a body good. Stalking: The most popular sport in anime. How to be a hero or a villain. Dating, raising children, and personality traits of various anime characters. Why Censoreship and Editing are horrible STDs that must be wiped out! Nothing is left out! If you enjoy anime/manga, write/drawn manga, cosplay, or just want to know what the heck your kids are talking about you need this book! A must have for anime fans, manga artists, and cosply enthusiasts. Now includes rules for anime’s most popular sport!

Clayton took it upon himself to to review his own book.

(5 stars) Anime Humor at it’s finest, January 23, 2009
By Clayton Overstreet
Since it’s my book I figure I’ll review it. I spent years studying all the rules and anime and spent much money doing it… okay basically I was watching anime and decided to write a book. But still. It contains as many of the rules of anime that I could come up with> Descriptions on everything from strange sceientific differences between the anime worlds to descriptions of the school grounds. Plus it includes and original short story.

Check out his product page here for further information and some more balanced reviews.

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Youtube Review: The Manga Bible

by on July 21st, 2009 at 5:08 am, under Video

This is like my bible. And i have seriously, in the past, accidentally pick up and read through yaoi series and proceed to quickly put them back on the shelf and run away to watch every die hard movie.

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