Archive for the 'news' Category

Hiroshima Gets Maid Cafe for Newbies: Maypretty #2

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

The Hiroshima Financial Times reports the opening of a brand new branch of Hiroshima’s Maypretty maid cafe, this one for “novice otaku” (オタク初心者). Located near Hiroshima station, they claim to have toned down the overall otaku-ness of the place, opting for calm, white walls and regular music and soundtracks as opposed to the main Ootemachi branch’s pink palette and anime songs. The menu features maid cafe staples such as omelettes with ketchup drawings on them and oversized cokes. Their blog can be found here.

I guess trying to attract new blood is good and all, considering the recent maid cafe mass extinctions, but I’ll stick to Schatzkiste. Oh wait, they close in 10 days ;__; On the other hand, I’m going to Hiroshima on a school trip in a few weeks, this might call for some maidbloggin’!

via moeplus via 2nn.

News for 3/3/2009: Strike Witches Canned Bread Announced, Chaos;Head Maid Cafe Report

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

The title says it all, but:

Yunakiti covers the 2ch thread noting that Gonzo will be selling Strike Witches canned bread at the Tokyo Anime Fair, complete with a symbol patch. Collect all 11! Only 1500y a can, what a deal!!

Akibamap has a post detailing all the wonderful things you can see and buy at the Chaos;Head cafe event being held at Cure Maid Cafe until the 8th. I still really want to eat one of these, anyone want to come with?

Touhou 12 ~ Undefined Fantastic Object announced

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Master ZUN has taken a break from drinking to post some screenshots for his next game; you can see Reimu’s (nice) boat and some UFOs at his blog:

And it has playable Sanae!

A bad translation, with a guess at the name 東方星蓮船:
A Special Day, Touhou Project #12 Touhou Seirensen
Note: not actually special.

“Touhou Seirensen ~ Undefined Fantastic Object.”
Unlike the usual, I’ve made some pretty big balancing changes to the scoring system; it should be pretty challenging. I’ve paid close attention* to the difficulty level. It should be pretty easy on Easy(?).

The story is simply put:

“In the early spring of Gensokyo, everyone was talking about the treasure ship they saw fly through the sky. Thinking ‘that’s a good omen’, everyone went chasing after its shadow, looking to be the first to board the ship.”

It doesn’t have a very serious feeling.

With Sanae added, there are now three playable characters. Each of them choose one of two objectives and go chasing after the ship at top speed. The surprisingly non-serious objectives will… but anyway.

The release is planned for 2009 summer. The demo is planned for Reitaisai on March 8th. After you’re tired of the demo you can use it as a nabe stand. The demo will have three stages, as always. Actually the entire game will be “as always”, as always. No matter how old it gets, it still remembers the old days.

* or it could be “I’ve reduced…”, but that’s not likely…

edit: Apparently I can translate but can’t spell the English title.

Shin Mazinger site opens, title gets even longer

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

It’s now up to “Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z Hen on televison” and hopefully will stay that way. The bit of art on the website looks great, being 70s and modern while not being all 2000s and round-looking. There’s something wrong with Sayaka, though.

I noticed that all the voice actors were completely new people, except for one – the narrator Genda Tesshou, aka the narrator from Ippatsu Kikimusume and, apparently, Japanese Batman. Normally I’d be worried about that, but Imagawa does no wrong.

On a completely unrelated note I like this video.

Instant Manga Reviews: Nichijou 4, Mozuya-san 2, Moetan 3, Obaachan ga Shitai Kusai yo (Shintaro Kago), Itsumo no Hanashi (Akino Kondoh)

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Nichijou, arawi keiichi. Kadokawa/Shonen Ace/Comptiq. Vol 4 published 1/26/2009.


I’ve been following this one on the blog for a while, and while I really liked volumes 1 and 3, 2 wasn’t that hot and 4 isn’t as exceptional as 1/3, I have to say. keiichi still has absolute top notch gag manga chops (layout/framing/timing, etc), but a lot of the best material/neta were continuations of earlier gags like the Soccer Go club and the daifuku mascot mask. I also have to warn the sensitive that there is a “what’s the deal with the crazy size names at Starbucks” chapter in here, though keiichi’s ability to draw incredible character reactions paired with his sense of timing and tempo still made me laugh at a topic that is basically comic suicide in the states at this point. Longer stories really seem to be his forte, seeing as I don’t know if I’ve laughed at one of the professor/Nano 4koma strips yet. Still in my personal list of favorite gag manga, but maybe that’s because most of the rest of the list is Bonobono.

Mozuya-san Gyakujou Suru, Shinofusa Rokurou. Kodansha/Afternoon. Vol 2 published 1/23/2009.

Volume 2 of this was pretty impressive for me since Shinofusa manages to take a pretty silly concept (tsundere as clinical disease) and actually make something other than cheap gags out of it. Volume 2 keeps the drama going strong as Kabashima tells Mozuya that he’s a masochist, which completely throws a wrench into Mozuya’s psychology of “I’m sick and hurt people when they’re nice to me -> people are still nice to me after i hurt them only because they know something’s wrong with me -> they’re looking down on me, thus i hate them more.” Of course, Mozuya also discovers someone she wants to feel bad for of her own, basically making a lot of the character interaction a look at the dynamics of the whole moe/amae thing. (has anyone talked about moe in relation to the concept of amae? I’d do it but I’m never writing a non-graded paper that has to do with psychoanalysis.) Of course there’s still some fanservice and even a weird reader stand-in Sexy Otaku Nurse character, but overall it’s shaping up to be a very interesting drama, kind of along the same thematic lines as NHK. Time to wait another 5 months for volume 3 :(

Moetan, illust. POP. Sansai Books. Vol 1 published 6/1/2006.
This was given to me as a birthday present from a fellow internet illuminatus who I met last semester, so I haven’t actually had the opportunity to read volumes 1 or 2, or watch the anime, so I’m not exactly an expert on lolicon English manuals. That said, this is a hilarious lolicon English manual. A little over half of the book is ostensibly an attempt to teach English to Japanese nerds through sentences and examples that they use in their daily lives! Thus, the example sentences are mostly nerd jokes (You said you don’t like crowds. But somehow you casually endure the crowd in Comiket. / She doesn’t recognize the existence of girls who dislike homosexuals.) and there are also some conversation examples, one that’s nothing but tsundere lines, and another that’s a conversation between an American and Japanese otaku in Japan. ( That’s the coolest thing ever! The maids out front of the station waiting to greet you! Let’s go into one of those places! Hey Sam, look at this picture of the dolphin! Is this also one of the “Moe”? Wow, Akihabara is really a cool place!), and so on. In between language examples is a story about Nijihara(虹原, o hoh hoh hoh) Inku’s attempts to bring her friend back from his secluded otaku world by shattering all of his silly nerd dreams and illusions by doing things such as showing him what the person who plays the cute female character in the dream-world MMO he’s addicted to really looks like, or calling the police on him for the books he’s selling at his dream-world Comiket shutter booth. (There’s a certain sense of hypocrisy in that one when you realize that POP illustrated this thing, but never mind that). Of course, the sentences all appear to be J->E translations, so I imagine that this would actually be more helpful as any sort of learning tool to an English speaker at an intermediate level of Japanese language experience than to a Japanese person trying to learn natural-sounding English. Either way, don’t take it so serious.

Obaachan ga Shitai Kusai Yo, Shintaro Kago. Kubo Shoten. Published 2/1/2009.
Cover (semi-nws)

I probably shouldn’t admit to buying Shintaro Kago comics since I am not writing for a blog called Same Hat!, nor do I read Vice, but I like living on the dangerous side. The volume is a collection of shorts by Kago, most of which were surprisingly non-pornographic. That is to say, there’s no real focus on sex, but, as in all good Kago stories, on pooping. To be honest, I was not aware that one could make so many poop jokes, some of which were laugh-out-loud funny. Of course, that probably says more about me than about this book, but I mean, these are really top-tier poop jokes that also reference old zombie movies, and classic rakugo skits while being painfully satirical of modern events. Beyond the Life is Poop and Die nihilism that’s fairly standard in Kago stories, there’s stories like one near the back of the volume, Mirai Eigyou-ki: Kinyuu Kaisha-Hen (Future Business Report: The Finance Industry) about investing in promising young criminals, who currently show signs of future criminal activity, which you can cash in on when they make it huge on the news media after committing terrible crimes! To be specific for this chapter, after running people over in a truck in Akiba and stabbing them! oh, wait. too soon, dude. :(

Itsumo no Hanashi, Akino Kondoh. Seirinkogeisha. Published 9/25/2008.
I really should do a longer article on this since there’s a lot of blog buzz about the upcoming Ax anthology, which I believe Kondoh is doing the cover art for, but I really need to get to doing my homework, sorry! I first became interested in Kondoh after getting hooked on Nicovideo classic Densha Kamo Shirenai a while back (look at how low that sm number is!), but didn’t give Kondoh’s other works a whole lot more thought until this magically appeared in front of my face when I was looking around at Taco Che over the holidays. Itsumo no Hanashi is a collection of shorts from about the last decade by Kondoh, which range from somewhat light-hearted slice of life-ish stories about getting letters from old classmates (Itsumo no Hanashi) to seemingly drug-induced dream stories about talking to your legs and furniture (Kotatsu no Mawari de). Kondoh’s style is whimsical yet mysterious, but at the same time her art can get intensely unsettling and destabilizing. In terms of storytelling and overall effect, Kondoh reminds me a lot of Nekojiru at her best, using a very accessible style to get at some normally unaccessible feelings. Looking forward very much to getting her other collection as well as the English version of Ax (more info here, also here) once I get it through my head that buying one 1300y volume of absolutely beautiful manga is better than buying 13 volumes of fist of the north star at Book-Off. Well okay, maybe they’re about tied, but I ought to keep a good balance.

Weekly Linkdumping

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

in whatever order my firefox tabs are in! also pwi so forgive any spelling mistakes

A bunch of Japan bloggers also started writing about Comic LO, but I guess I won’t talk about that much here since I don’t want to get arrested or anything. Actually, at the very least, I’ll mention that they apparently managed to cut down P2P piracy by Appealing to the good nature of its buyers, asking them kindly in the afterword to cut it out. Treating your customers like normal people, what a bizarre way to do business. (Perhaps they should change their slogan to Yes! Lolita No! Download ww) Also, I’ll probably make a post in the near future about at least a few of the many things I’ve been buying and not reading in the past few weeks, once I get some of this homework out of the way. Spoilers: Gelatin wasn’t as good as I had hoped :(

Fate/Zero Tribute Arts Gallery Event Opens in Toranoana Honten

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

More info for people who can make it to Akiba this week: Toranoana Honten is running a Fate/Zero Tribute Arts gallery exhibit until the 8th up on the event space floor (6f), and they’re even selling some event-limited swag there, like the limited edition Rough Material book that was only sold at C75 that I waited in line for two hours for. Assholes. The first round of illustrations is up until the third, then the second round up until the eighth. Wish I could make it :(

AkibaOS has pictures.

Comiket Special 5 info up

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Mito city, 3/21/2010. Let’s reviving city with comic and good spirit!

In other news, Kodansha needs to stop pricing light novels in the BOX line at 1600 yen if they expect their customers to buy their books and still manage to eat on a daily basis.

also, while this post is still (relatively) fresh, Nichijo vol 4 is coming out on the 26th! Hopefully it’ll be more like volume 3 than volume 2!

End of Year News Snippets: Tanaka Romeo x Toradora, C75 Attendance, New Toranoana Touhou Soft Vinyl Figure Previews

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

I’ll take pictures of my many-man-yen haul from c75 if I can figure out how to get pictures onto the computer I’m using while away from my normal laptop, but until then here are some neat things that I saw on one rss feed or another (actually, i think these were all from katoyuu):

According to the new Dengeki Daioh, Tanaka Romeo (Cross Channel, Yume Miru Kusuri, etc) is going to be writing a story for the extra booklet add-on for Toradora manga vol 2. Out on 1/27, mark your calendars!

Second, Mainichi reports that attendance for all 3 days of comiket hit 510,000 this year, up 10,000 from last winter. I blame Touhou. I saw the number 150,000 for day 1 attendance somewhere and this article says 190,000 for day 3, so I guess that means 170,000 for day 2, unless my math is really just that bad.

Finally, akibahobby has some promo pictures of the rest of the Touhou soft vinyl figure set from Toranoana up. They were showing these off at their industry booth and they look pretty sweet, I might have to break my promise once again to not buy figures that aren’t Yotsuba&!-related.

Type-Moon DVD sales numbers

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

According to this unsourced thread that I will still unconditionally believe, Tsukihime sold almost 20,000 copies for volume 1, then dropped to about 15,000 a disc. F/SN stayed pretty steady at around 25,000 a disc, and the KnK movies so far have been breaking 75,000 a piece total. This Aniplex press release says they’ve shipped out 400,000 discs for the first four movies, and that 183,000 tickets have been sold, grossing around 2 million yen. Not bad when you consider it’s only showing on what, 10 screens?