Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Fall 2011 shows that are worse than “The Sacred Blacksmith”

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Shakugan no Shana III > Maji de Watashi no Koi ni Shinasai > Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon > Mashiroiro Symphony

Shana may actually have the worst script of the four, but at least it’s classically bad. The horrifying creature in Mashiroiro ensured it the lowest spot.

Speaking of horrifying creatures, I can’t seem to remember what the point of that scene in Fate/zero was.

Mildly interesting administrative notice

Monday, January 17th, 2011

I changed the title of the blog. Never really liked that one anyway.

In between the not posting, I managed to pick myself up and go to Japan, where all the authors of this blog attended Comiket 79 and made sure not to stand in the Nanoha line. More about this soon, assuming all my mail gets back to me.

P.S.: Don’t stand in the 07th Expansion line.

Mildly interesting sideblog notice

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Out of admiration for http://dump.colonydrop.com/ (a fine RSS feed of pictures of robots), I have created the following tumblr: http://img.2chan.us/

However, they have self-respect and I have no self-respect, so instead the theme turned out to be “vaguely related images I think are mindblowing”. If you’re lucky you’ll get some of the jokes sometimes!

Haruhi-chan episode 1 review

Friday, February 13th, 2009

this is not what i wanted at all kadokawa!!!!!!!!!!!!!

guess they’re too busy putting the final touches on Haruhi s2!

(但し、団長の気まぐれにより、配信日時、更新日時はコロコロ変わる可能性があります。ご容赦下さい)

Manga Reviews: Boku no Shokibo na Seikatsu, Yumewatari no Pulcinella, Fushigi no Kuni no Ringohime, JC.COM (all vols 1, some reviews may be instant)

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

In my futile attempts to get myself to post blog entries more often, I tend to leave manga sitting on my computer desk or on the floor below my desk until I either do one of my massive twice-a-semester room cleanings or one of my twice-a-semester manga reviews. Okay, maybe more like once a semester.

Boku no Shoukibo na Seikatsu (僕の小規模な生活), by Fukumitsu Shigeyuki (福満しげゆき). Vol 1 published 12/21/2007. Kodansha/Morning.
51xdkagvial
Boku no… is a semi-autobiographical story of a man struggling to break into the manga industry. It was also one of the most depressing things I read last semester. The story starts with the main character trying to balance making enough money through part-time jobs to supplement his wife’s pay in order to survive with his hopes of becoming a professional manga-ka. Throughout the course of the volume’s 25 chapters, he somehow manages to work his way from being rejected by eromanga publishers to getting serialized in a major (guess which one it is!). This, of course does not stop him from losing sleep in chapter after chapter over his various arguments with his wife (who gradually gains weight over the course of the volume–she seems to be a fan of the idea of comfort food) over small things which generally end with her getting violent, his social slip-ups, his thin finances, his fragile position as a professional manga-ka, and life in general being rough. We follow the main character around to his various meetings with editors and industry folks, his attempts to start a band with a friend, and basically every part of his often-miserable, but slowly proceeding life.

This is actually somewhat of a continuation of Boku no Shokibo na Shippai, which ran in AX (ps buy this when it comes out), and we actually see some of the process behind Shippai being created in this volume. What struck me most about this manga is how much I actually cared about the main character’s life. I felt miserable when he felt miserable, and I shared in his (often small) successes, but always carefully. The look at the interaction between him and his editors was also great to read from the position of someone interested in how the industry works, and I’m definitely going to pick up volume 2 whenever I get around to going to a real bookstore.

Yumewatari no Pulcinella (夢渡りのプルチネッラ), by Oiwa Kendi (大岩ケンヂ). Vol 1 published 8/26/2008. Kadokawa/Shonen Ace
200805000034
You know, I need to study for a quiz tomorrow so all I’m going to say about this is that if Oiwa Kendi illustrating NHK and Goth made you think he was unable to whip up a boilerplate school romance/fantasy story (boy in boring school life goes into mystery inner-soul dream world and meets cute girl and sexy girl who vie for his attention while with their help he goes into other peoples inner-soul dream worlds and fixes their problems, etc etc etc) when he’s all on his own, you are sorely mistaken. I am one of these sorely mistaken individuals, especially sore since I had the exact same reaction after buying both 99 Happy Soul AND Mahiru no Yojimbo. Maybe this time I’ll learn?

Fushigi no Kuni no Ringo-hime (腐しぎの国のリンゴ姫), Katoh Mayumi (加藤マユミ). Vol 1 published 4/20/2008. Akita Shoten/Young Champion.
7andy_07198418
Rin is the top OL (office lady) at her company, jealously looked up to by the other women at the company on the track to marrying the soon to be rich alpha-male salaryman at her company. She also happens to be a fujoshi crazy about “Salaryman Ojisama”, and succeeds in keeping the two worlds separate from each other until a new girl shows up at the office, amusingly enough nicknamed “Moemoe”. Moemoe knows Rin from her junior high days of being a fat Salapri-obsessed fujoshi, and leverages this blackmail into a number of amusing yet now-stock situations like making her dress up like a street idol and have dudes wotagei to her songs, and of course going to a doujin event. If you had to know, there are also jokes about her only knowing about sex through extensive knowledge of yaoi and apparently Chobits.

I’m kind of conflicted about this manga – on one hand it did keep me reading for the most part, and got a few good laughs out of me. On the other hand, if you didn’t particularly like Mouou Shoujo Otaku-kei because it was a little too geared towards guys (I mean it ran in High and they run Kojika), you will probably have an aneurysm if you read this. I mean, it runs in a magazine with “Young” in its title. In other words, lots of breasts, and enough fujoshi stereotyping and borderline misogyny to even give me pause. I mean hell, at one point there is what is very close to one of those “girl gets raped, but you know she was asking for it” kinds of scenes. I might end up buying volume 2 hoping that it’ll manage to turn around, as it certainly could play off what’s been established in volume 1 to create a story that would allow the liberal arts major inside of me to recommend this, but until then approach with caution, I guess, especially if you haven’t bothered reading 801-chan or Mousou Shoujo yet or something.

JC.COM (Serial, Shueisha, 12/19/2008).
978-4-08-782196-3
I saw a little of hype over this one here and there, and figured that I’d pick it up since I assumed that Range Murata cover and niche-sized anthology would mean that it’d be up my alley. Again, Japan has fooled me. This is mostly my fault, as I didn’t bother to actually read most of the hype beyond headlines, and so I didn’t notice the “From the artist of Highschool of the Dead” and the “From the creator of Chocotto Sister” and the “boobs from some guy who did a few series for CoroCoro”. So yeah, mostly girls or women in various states of undress and lots of fightin’ action. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with that, and these all seem like perfectly competent series, it’s just that I had something a little more…pretentious in mind when I dropped over 800y on under 200 tankobon-sized pages with Murata drawing his signature young girls for the cover (amusingly titled The Muses of Range Murata). Oh well, there’s always Gelatin coming out next month, I’ll be prepared for the absolutely exquisite filth in that one.

Comic Market 75 Day 1 Report

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Did Comiket really end just a week ago? It all seems so far away and dreamlike, except it’s one of those bad horror story dreams where you wake up and you’re out like 700 bucks and there’s a pile of doujin right next to your pillow. Also, a crystal skull.

I decided to take day 1 of Comiket relatively easy, since all I really wanted was the Type-Moon set from industry (really long line), things here and there from Toranoana (how long could it be??), and some stuff from schatzkiste, who managed to grab a small booth, and then stuff from some smaller booths down in the pits of the lower floors, like the booth that was selling the Daicon 7 opening movie, a guy that was purporting to sell a book with viewership numbers for tv anime from 1990-2004, a guy with a book about “politics within 00′s japanese otaku culture”, and some genre circles as well as a fair bit of stuff for friends such as my co-author on this here blog. In this case, “taking it easy” meant taking the 6:00 monorail from Shimbashi, which means arriving at the event at 6:30ish.

Unfortunately, I am incapable of not having something go wrong at a day of comiket. For those who haven’t been before, you can save your place in the line to get in the event (the event starts at 10am) once you get there and sit down, until 8:45, when they lock the line down and make everyone stand up. Normally I spend the whole time from whenever I arrive until 8:45 sitting down, listening to podcasts, and wondering what the hell I’m doing in Odaiba, but this time I made the very unwise choice to use the bathroom without a friend in the line. I left to the bathroom at 7:50, thinking that I’d have plenty of time to make it back. I left the bathroom at 8:40, after a line that rivaled a lot of shutter circle lines, only to find that basically everyone had already stood up, rendering me totally unable to find my spot, which I had tried to mark with my bag with my lunch and my hall maps inside. I tried to grab a spot in line roughly 30-50 feet behind where I thought I was, hoping to find my bag as everyone marched in, but I had no such luck, and I probably made a bunch of people think I was cutting in line in the process. oops.

Mapless, hungry, and frustrated, I sat in front of the Big Sight, watched the sun rise from behind the Washington Hotel, and tried not to lose too much body heat until the line finally started moving at around 10:25. This was actually the first time I’ve gone to a big industry line, since I normally either skip out on day 1, or just go at around 10 and browse kooky genre booths (A-Team x Night Rider yaoi, etc), so I was fairly surprised to see a special sign telling me that in order to line up for Type-Moon, I needed to leave the big crowd going into the event hall and follow the smaller trickle moving in the direction of the sign. This trickle lead me from the fourth floor of the Big Sight back down the opposite side of the building, away from the Big Sight by about 100 meters, through a parking lot, and then back into another queue that was vaguely near the building. I was fairly surprised to find that the line moved relatively quickly, and I managed to climb back up the Big Sight and finally get into the building to buy my 11,500 yen set of goodies by around 11:30.

Now, when I was browsing the Type-Moon website during pre-event planning, I wasn’t planning on buying everything that was on sale, specifically the Shiki “moe-moe bathtowel”, for reasons that I hopefully do not have to explain. However, after having a pretty miserable day so far (my ipod had also run out of batteries while in the T-M line, so no more AWO, no more Marxy vs Patrick Macias, no more Ira Glass, just the sound of a hundred thousand nerds buying porn), once I got shoved inside and suddenly found myself in front of a cash register, I just said “one of everything” and threw a ton of money at the lady behind the booth. So that’s why I have this “moe-moe bathtowel”.


The set: Bag, Neck Warmer, All-Around Type Moon 2, Clear Poster Set, Moe-Moe Bathtowel

The set: Bag, Neck Warmer, Concept, Clear Poster Set, Moe-Moe Bathtowel. Humping Dog not included.


Concept is an illustration book full of concept and promo art used throughout T-M’s years as an industry vendor, starting from C65, Winter 2003. 130 pages of color illustrations that act as a tribute to T-M’s own successes as well as the holiest of nerd battlegrounds, Comiket.


Concept front cover

Concept front cover

Concept back cover

Concept back cover

poor quality sample page

poor quality sample page

part the second

part the second


The other goodies are pretty self explanatory, the neck warmer is a neck warmer bearing the AATM2 logo seen here, and the moe-moe bathtowel is a moe-moe bathtowel with a moe-moe picture of Shiki that you can see on the same page. There’s also a clear poster collection of tall, thin clear posters, all packaged in a neat box. There are 22 posters in all, illustrated by a bunch of different artists. Some I would not mind putting up somewhere, others, well,


Clear Poster Set box

Clear Poster Set box

HELLO, LADIES

HELLO, LADIES


To tell you the truth, I’m still wondering how Naasu, Takeuchi, and co. managed to extract that much money from me, but it probably has something to do with the fact that I still haven’t played Tsukihime or F/SN. At least I didn’t pay the 20,000 that second-hand retailers are charging!

I then proceeded to Toranoana’s booth, as it was the second of the three booths that I knew how to find, since it was directly down the hall from T-M. As an industry hall virgin, I was going by the advice of 西-4 vets and they said that Toranoana wouldn’t have that bad of a line.

Turns out they were wrong, since I ended up spending about a half hour longer in the Tora line than I spent in the T-M line, since they happened to be doing a Touhou New Year’s set and a Touhou calendar, and anything Touhou sells infinite copies. I was there for the Fate/Zero Tribute Arts limited edition box, so I wasn’t terribly heartbroken when they announced that all the Touhou stuff had sold out, especially since it meant that over half of the line cleared out. Fate/Zero Tribute Arts, as the name suggests, is a collection of outside artists doing Fate/Zero art. I mostly decided to buy this book when I found out that huke was contributing, and because I’m one of those people who will go from “considering a purchase, i guess” to “will line up for 2 hours to buy” if you dangle the word “limited edition” in front of me. The LE came with a slipcase and a 40-page black and white sketchbook (Rough Material), if you were wondering.


front view of set

front view of set

back

back

LE sketchbook pages

LE sketchbook pages

2

2


Akibablog has a bunch of good pictures of the book, for those interested. On an amusing side note, Toranoana apparently sold out of their entire stock of Touhou and Fate/Zero goods on day 1, which seems kind of unusual (and possibly fan-enraging) for a large booth to do, but what do i know.

Dead tired, I shoved my way to Schatzkiste’s little industry booth and bought their cd-roms and 4-koma collection. For those not in the know, Schatzkiste is the best maid cafe. They’re also closing in 2 months. ;_;

schatzkiste cds, 4koma

schatzkiste cds, 4koma


Meido-cho smiled and let out a little laugh when she saw me at the booth, basically making my day.

After that, I got the hell out of the Big Sight, and like any sensible person would do, went to Akiba for reasons I don’t quite remember and ended up going to Go Go Curry and Try Amusement Tower with a friend and not buying anything while in Akiba. Went to sleep at 8, since the fight starts for real on day 2.

Sony Releasing supercell

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

I’m sure a lot of you out there on the information superhighway have been thinking, “boy, I’d love to get the supercell album but the used prices are just killer!!”, right? I mean, it’s not like any of you folks would think of downloading it… right?

Either way, you no longer have to worry about annoying doujin supply and demand dynamics, cause supercell’s getting his/(their) first album released by Sony! The deluxe package comes with a dvd, so you can have a real dvd pressing of the Black Rock Shooter PV! You nerds better have your wallets out on 3/4/2009!

A few movies for the uninitiated:
Black Rock Shooter
melt

quote of the day

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Since you replied to this, I feel compelled to respond. I used to be the Executive Editor of Newtype USA and feel strongly about this.

No, Otaku USA is not a “good pub.” It’s a magazine that stole its ideas, format, look, “USA” suffix, DVD and layout from Newtype USA and banked largely on consumer confusion at the newsstand to sell issues (which got even easier when NTUSA went away, lucky for you guys). You proceeded to trumpet how unbiased a magazine it was while often having large news items/features promoting books the magazine’s editors and contributors had written. And you printed columns on vinyl toys written by a guy who makes a living selling those same toys and often spent lots of real estate promoting his own merchandise. Unbiased? Hardly. Finally, for a magazine that claims to be for only the “hardcore” fans Otaku USA has spent its last 3 recent months peddling only mainstream titles like Naruto, Bleach and Dragon Ball Z on its cover–apparently in a vaguely Beckett Anime-style attempt to sell issues. What’s on your next cover, InuYasha? One Piece? Oh, maybe Bleach again?

Let’s call a spade a spade. Otaku USA was conceived from the beginning as a Newtype USA copycat and will always be a poorly executed, amateurish dupe in my eyes. (Despite having the opportunity to do something original or fill the void left by Animerica’s departure.) My only regret is that ADV’s ill-advised business “tactics” in late 2007 caused Kadokawa to pull the Newtype license before Otaku USA fell back into the porta-potty from whence it came. Hopefully though, as your pool of anime advertisers shrinks and costs of paper/postage and that free DVD go up, you’re circling the bowl. Since you feel the need to advertise the mere existence of your magazine in a PiQ topic, maybe that time is near. I can only hope.

Sure I’m bitter. But when someone attempts to copy your act so completely like the way OUSA did (badly, thankfully–but it may have fooled some) I think I’m entitled.

Now, I don’t know much about this whole magazine thing, but isn’t the writing quality more important than having “USA” in the name? I guess not when all your articles were translated from Japanese anyway.

new years eve 2007 vs new years 2008

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

12/31/07:

  • long lines (though shingo has my eternal gratitude for helping me bypass the worst one)
  • neko miko reimu
  • pornography

1/1/08:

  • long lines
  • rl mikos
  • takoyaki

    I’m still debating which one wins out. Pictures of my ~$400 spent (wasted) at comiket possibly to follow, depending on whether or not Yodobashi has decent camera prices and will take my amex.

correction and addendum to “c73 day one”

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

addendum: I will not be going to day 2 of c73, my legs hurt too much and I’ll end up spending a lot of money on doujins that I won’t read. there are a few circles that I regret missing (keroro rozen maiden crossover, these guys, but I want to be in good shape for tomorrow.

correction: the maritan card I got only says “FUCK’IN NEW YEAR.” I guess it’s up to you to make it a happy one.