31 December 2005  

  • Have been running around organising my holiday and trying to tidy things up at work. Hope you've all been enjoying the holiday season. Here's an e-card for you. (No need to click on anything.) See you next year ^_^/ 

18 December 2005  

  • Second update. Got my Air Gear 2006 calendar (together with other Air Gear stuff). The calendar is only 4 sheets (excluding the cover), but it's a "glow in the nite" calendar, so each sheet shows a different (generally more ecchi) image in the dark. But it needs to be very dark for you to see the image properly, and even then some parts can be a bit unclear.
  • Still very busy.
  • The last episode of Hana Yori Dango the live action dorama (in which Inoue Mao's acting has been great) has been broadcast. With that comes news that the DVD Box will be released on 10 March 2006. Catalogue number REDV-00381, price 19,950 yen (including tax). A 5 disc set, scheduled to include "dorama navigation" and production report etc. The box is also scheduled to include a photo book. Source: TBS' official website for the dorama. Amazon Japan has the item listed at a pre-order discount (as usual) and suggests that photo book is a first pressing limited edition item.
  • I'm very sorry to read that littleharlock has closed his website for the time being. A friendly, knowledgeable fan, who's not afraid to share his knowledge, especially when it comes to things Matsumoto Leiji. But I know exactly what he means about sparetime and backlogs, so I understand why he's felt the need to stop updating. But at least he'll continue taking part in the fan community.
  • On 10 December 2005 one of my sisters gave birth to a baby girl. Congratulations to her ^_^

14 December 2005  

  • Very busy.
  • I hear Air Gear (the manga by Oh! great) will be animated as a TV series in 2006. Source: Anime News Service. Had been wondering if this would happen... If I had to guess, I'd say Bandai in Japan may have a hand in this. Basically, because the two Air Gear T shirts on the way to me are sold through Bandai's Lalabit Market online store. Here's the Kogarasu-maru T shirt, and here's the Agito T shirt.
  • BTW, the limited edition of volume 12 of the Air Gear manga (with the Ringo Pinky:st. figure) is today available for order through Mangaoh Club. Limit of one copy per customer. Price 2,000 yen. To be released 16 December 2005.
  • Wai-Con 2005 came and went over the weekend. Anime convention in Western Australia. The organisers put on another good show, with attendance up on last year. I haven't come across one negative report. Congratulations to all involved.

7 December 2005  

  • Was finally able to access my website again today - computer problem (again). Not that I'm really have anything to update about - been too busy with work. Oh, I'm finally had leave approved (after a year of trying). Not sure exactly where I'll be going yet, but it'll include Hong Kong and South Korea :)
  • The only thing I can really say is that I have a cel gallery up now. I won't update it often since I rarely buy cels.

16 November 2005  

  • The limited edition version of volume 12 of Air Gear will come with a Pinky:st. Ringo figure. Source: Hoshino Bookshop. For more details, see my previous post.

11 November 2005  

  • Just when I thought work was easing, things got busy again.
  • Volume 12 of the manga Air Gear by Oh! great will be published by Kodansha on 16 December 2005. There'll be a limited edition version, price 2,000 yen (including tax). I don't know what bonus item(s) it'll come with. Regular edition will cost 410 yen including tax. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • If you visit the Air Gear link above, it'll take you to Kodansha's website for the manga. There you'll find a short Flash movie (fourth star from the left - not directly related to Air Gear), as well as a couple of games. The fifth star from the left is a puzzle game. Recreate the picture within the time set and you'll be rewarded with a wallpaper (for a limited time only). The third star from the right is a memory game. Eight pictures of Ikki will flash up on the screen. Remember the order of those pictures and you'll be given access to a different wallpaper. Finally the second star from the right gives you another three wallpapers to download.
  • Speaking of Ikki, I got my Air Gear jacket this week ^_^ A lot of zips ^_^;;

29 October 2005  

  • Forgot to mention yesterday that I got the special "for girls" cover for the Black Lagoon manga, a bonus item with the August 2005 issue of Monthly Sunday GX (where Black Lagoon is serialised). Here's the standard cover for volume 1, showing Levy/Levi/Revy. Here's the standard cover for volume 3, showing Balalaika, ex-Soviet military, now boss of the Russian mafia syndicate Hotel Moskva. Here's the special "for girls" cover ^_^

28 October 2005  

  • Been a long time since my last update. Busy (as usual). The good news is that phase three of my work is over and I think the customer is fairly happy with things. At least there's been a good result to date. It would've been frustruting if I'd done all this work for a bad result. The bad news is that there's still a bit of work of do, and I just found out about a complication (ie more work) yesterday >_<
  • Apart from being busy, I've been having a whole range of computer problems for over a month or two. It doesn't help that I know nothing about computers. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. And because of work, I didn't have time to fix my computer. In the end I had to completely re-format my hard disc - and even that wasn't easy due to the errors on my computer.
  • I learned yesterday that a friend passed away last Thursday. A brain tumor, I think. A gentle soul who taught me a bit about compassion for other people. She'll be missed.
  • I've been out of touch with the news for about 18 months or more now. Don't know anything about any of the new anime shows or the new manga. If I start updating this page again, things I mention may not be news to anyone but myself ^_^;; Not sure when I'll start updating this page again, though, whether it's this year or next year. I'm hoping to take a holiday early next year. I've been trying to take leave since January this year but couldn't because of work. This time I'm planning to visit South Korea ^_^ (Europe's too expensive nowadays).
  • Despite being out of touch with anime and manga, I've heard that a Suzumiya Haruhi anime will be made however (see my previous post for some basic info on the novel). I'd been wondering whether that series may be adapted to anime, so I'll be interested to see how it turns out. As always, Animate is quick to start releasing the character goods. Cospa has some too. Unfortunately I haven't had time to get any further in the first novel... ^_^;;
  • Instead, I've been reading a bit more of the action manga Black Lagoon ("Baddest Motherfuckers in the Asian Sea"). Other old news is that that manga by Hiroe Rei will be adapted to anime as well. The role of Levy "the Two Hands" (stupid nickname) is perfect for Amanda Winn Lee, I think - what other manga do you know where one of the main characters says stuff like "Who the fuck are you? Mind your own fucking business, dickweed" or "Your breath sticks, fuck head" ^_^
  • Did you buy volume 3 of ABe Yoshitoshi's doujinshi script collection for the series Haibane Renmei? If so, there was a page omitted between pages 22 and 23. On his website you'll find the missing page, which you can download as a psd file (2.7Mb) or a jpeg file (119Kb). The script collection is in Japanese.
  • Have you bought volumes 1 or 2 of the Matsumoto Izumi Official Fanbooks? If so, you can find an errata (in Japanese, of course) for those volumes on the linked page.
  • Sadly the release of the game Unbalance Fighter Beta Version? (based on the fictional series Kujibiki Unbalance from the series Genshiken) has been put back to end of November 2005. This game is available to those bought all three R2 DVD box sets for Genshiken Unbalance and applied before the cutoff date. But here are a couple of development screeshots for the game. Can't wait to receive my copy ^_^
  • On the other hand, nice to see that artist Homare has released a doujinshi of his artwork: colour illustration book 01 "Beauty of Immorality", albeit it an adult doujinshi and only 20 pages long (and mainly of fighting game characters). Click on the (1)(2) on the above link for a couple of samples (featuring nudity) from the doujinshi. And check out the gallery on Homare's website for other (general audience) samples of his work.
  • This site would not be complete without a bit of Tenjou Tenge/Oh! great news and comment. I've got my copy of volume 3 of the R1 DVD of the TenTen anime. At episode 8, the translation contains an error which a number of people seem to make. Bunshichi says "The only things I can never win against in this world are shiitake and your tits." However, the translation changes "shiitake" to "shiitake mushrooms". This is a shiitake mushroom, which people prepare for cooking by cutting an X on the top. This is the teacher at Toudou Gakuen nicknamed "Shiitake", who has an X scar on his head. One is much tougher to win against than the other :P
  • One thing I've always had at the back of my mind is perhaps creating a page of all Oh! great works and related products. There's always been the Oh! great page on the Sa-i website maintained by YAS-san which focuses on the mangaka's works, but recently I've also found the Oh?great site by Gureta-san, which also features related goods. Neither is comprehensive, but together they cover a lot of ground.

21 July 2005  

  • Back in May it looked like my busy period might finish in around July, but then in late June, what I was told basically means I probably won't have time to properly devote to this site until September at the earliest... It's now been about a year since I stopped updating this site \^_^/ -_- It doesn't mean I've been flat out with work in the past few weeks, but I know I would've had to stop updating again, so I haven't bothered to try starting up yet. I haven't checked any Japanese news site for a year now...
  • In my free time, I've been falling back into my usual practice of starting to read books, then stopping for a year or three. I read half of The Da Vinci Code in a day a couple of years back. Now, I'll try to read some more. In the meantime, I've started (and then stopped) reading Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu (The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi by Tanigawa Nagaru, first in a series of novels about a high school girl looking for aliens, people from the future and espers), bits of the Crest of the Stars novels, the prologue to the first Kino no Tabi novel etc. Among my unfinished manga are the final volume of Koikaze and I'm still only up to volume 12 of Salad Days from a few years back. I started playing (and finished!) the Banner of the Stars computer game, but stopped playing before I could get to the end without taking numerous ship losses (did manage to rescue Lafiel, Jinto, Ekuryua and Spaurh though ^_^ ). On the other hand, I started and even finished Philip Pullman's "Dark Materials" trilogy.
  • BTW, for Sadamoto Yoshiyuki fans, two of his one-shot manga "Dirty Work" and "System of Romance" (art by Sadamoto, stories presumably by Takaha Mako) have been collected into the book "comic Shingenjitsu vol. 5". Those stories have never been published in a tankoubon before. Apart from miscellaneous manga, the book contains short (text) stories, essays, discussions and interviews. Published by Kadokawa Shoten last month, price 933 yen (excluding tax), this is a heavy book.
  • This time off updating this website hasn't stopped me shopping either ^_^ My collection of Tenjou Tenge goods grows. And I picked up last month's special edition release of volume 6 of the manga Genshiken, which comes with "doujinshi" with contributions by various mangaka. Described as a world first for a manga to be released coupled with a doujinshi :P

29 May 2005  

  • My life is a mix of backlogs at present. Still busy. And at this point I see myself being busy until the end of June at the least. Will try to re-start updating after that. But even then, I may not type up as much stuff as I used to...
  • In the meantime, I've updated my Seikai no Danshou - Jealousy page with the translation of one extra page which I did some time ago.

5 March 2005  

  • Volume 13 of the Tenjou Tenge manga will be released on 19 April 2005, price 530 yen including tax.

3 March 2005  

  • Volume 1 of Tenjou Tenge has been released in English \^_^/ It's been substantially edited >_< mainly in relation to artwork. For more details, see this thread on the AoD forums and this list of edits on ListerX.
  • Back to work...

28 February 2005  

  • Phase two of my work is over \^_^/ Now I just have to catch on all the rest of my work that has piled up over the last few weeks. Then I might start updating again (before I have to go to the country for most of April - extended from two to three weeks).
  • In the meantime, I don't know if this is news or not, but Gakken will be publishing an Urushihara Satoshi Illustration Collection "Phi" on 2 April 2005, price 2,310 yen (including tax). A4 size book with bonus large poster (new illustration). This book will contain sexy illustrations from "Front Innocent", "Ragnarok City", "Alpha" as well as new illustrations.

12 February 2005  

  • Merry Christmas, Happy (solar) New Year and Happy (lunar) New Year as well ^_^ Phase one of my workload is over. That was the hardest part. However, next is phase two - I'll still be busy for the next fortnight, so no updates for at least that period. Then a few weeks ago I was told that I'll be transferred out to the country for a couple of weeks in April. Anyway, in short, no real updates to this website until March 2005 now...

29 December 2004  

  • Okay, got a better feel for my workload now. At this point, I don't see myself getting back to updating this website properly until the middle or end of February 2005. See you in 60 :P
  • For now, lately I've been in the mood for things Seikai. Hopefully my Seikai mug will arrive today \^_^/  Plus, the fourth anime instalment of the Seikai series was announced recently, around the time that volume 4 of the Banner of the Stars novels was published eight days ago. I've started translating one of the Seikai short stories to try to improve my Japanese. Here's some of what I've done to date: Seikai no Danshou no danshou :P

18 December 2004  

  • Yeah, still busy. If you're looking for anime and manga news, may I recommend littleharlock's newslog and, for Gundam and mecha news in particular, Gunota Headlines. Both are excellent sources of news. I won't be updating this page properly until some time next year. Not sure when - it depends on when work quietens down. After you look at littleharlock's newslog and Gunota Headlines, you might not want to visit my page anymore anyway ^_^;; If ever you see a discrepancy between what either of those two websites writes and what I write, trust the other website. Thanks ^_^
  • For now, just a bit of Tenjou Tenge news, both old and new:
    As rumoured earlier in the year, the TV anime will be followed by an OVA. The Tenjou Tenge Ultimate Fight DVD will be released 16 March 2005, catalogue number AVBA-22275, price 6,090 yen including tax. It'll follow on after the TV series and there's the suggestion on the Ultrajump website (where this news is taken from) that there'll be more than one volume.
    Prior to that will be released the Tenjou Tenge Special DVD, to be released 23 February 2005, catalogue number AVBA-22214, price 3,150 yen including tax, which will contain a digest version of the Past Arc, character promo videos etc.
    Three Tenjou Tenge Pinky:St. limited edition figures (figure set and booklet) will be released over three months. Each figure set will come with original face, original body, Toudou Gakuen uniform body, accessory and stand. Each booklet will include 8 postcards as well as discussion with Oh!great, previously unpublished roughs etc. Price for each set will be 1,470 yen including tax:
    27 April 2005 - Natsume Aya
      Street version body, Reiki and googles accessory. For the Aya version, this is a total of 10 parts which you can use to mix and match with your other Pinky Street figures: the face is comprised of 3 parts, the two bodies comprise a total of 5 parts and the accessories are another 2 parts.
    27 May 2005 - Natsume Maya
      Kimono version body, fan accessory.
    27 June 2005 - Isuzu Emi
      Gothic version body, 3 dagger accessory.
    Shueisha has a webpage up for the figures, including pics. See also this page on the Ultrajump website for a pic of the Aya uniform body.
    Source: Comic Toranoana.
  • Other stuff: my Yotsubato! volume 3 manga arrived \^_^/ as did my Genshiken volume 5 manga and Genshiken Official Book and Genshiken/Kujibiki Unbalance anime design works books and my Howl's Moving Castle movie program in Howl's Moving Castle plastic bag \^_^/ among other things. BTW, if you purchase the Genshiken anime DVD Box 1 from Toranoana, you get an illustration sheet and telephone card illustrated by mangaka Kio Shimoku. Plus those who purchase all three DVD Boxes of the Genshiken TV anime from Toranoana will be able to apply for some bonus good(s). If you're not aware, Toranoana is one of the companies making up the Genshiken anime production committee.

2 December 2004  

  • If you've been to Japan before, you'll be familiar with what the signs at their train stations look like. Here's one which has appeared at Akihabara station recently ^_^

    If you don't know, the manga/anime Genshiken is a story about a group of otaku and Akihabara is sort of "holy ground" for otaku. This sign at Akihabara station is an ad for the manga (volumes 1 to 5 now on sale from Kodansha). The word "otaku" appears where the name of the current station (Akihabara) would normally be. "Genshiken" (and the picture of the character Madarame) replaces the name of the next station down the track while "Kio Shimoku" (the name of the author) and the picture of Saki replace the name of the previous train station. If you happen to be at Akiba station, the sign can be seen on platform 3 (clockwise on the Yamanote circle line, heading for Tokyo), at about the midpoint of the train when it's at rest at the station. It's a backlit sign, hanging between the train lines facing platform 3. BTW, the arrow on the sign does point in the correct direction of the train travel. Thanks for Alphonse for taking the photo and giving me the details ^_^/
    For comparison purposes, here's what a normal station sign looks like:

    The train lines in Japan are colour coded, so the colour of the arrow (green in this bottom pic) changes with the train line. The Yamanote line is green IIRC, so arrow on the "Otaku" sign should have the same green colour as this Shinjuku sign, I think. Sorry, I stole this last pic from this page on LangMedia's website. Please don't sue me ^_^;;

28 November 2004  

  • New artbook by Taiwanese couple Chen Shu Fen and Ping Fan, titled "Sweet Days". To be published in Japan by Shogakukan Production on 10 December 2004, price 2,625 yen (including tax). AB size hardcover book, 112 full colour pages. Source: Manga no Mori.
  • Just as they released an exclusive Oh! great reproduction art collection, Manga no Mori is now releasing a Chen Shu Fen and Ping Fan reproduction art collection "Hitomi" exclusive to their store. To be released 10 December 2004, price 2,940 yen (including tax). A set of ten A4 size illustrations by the duo in a clear case and signed as well. As you can see from the sample linked, their artwork is gorgeous. The illustrations were originally used for the covers of Taiwanese novels but have been retouched for this art collection. Pre-orders receive a set of eight bookmarks.
  • Speaking of Chinese artists, another with a similar style to that of Chen Shu Fen and Ping Fan is De Zhen (presumably also Taiwanese). While I don't know anything about her (I only found out her name in the course of typing this up), De Zhen has created probably my favourite Rurouni Kenshin pic of all time. I don't like hosting pics of (presumably) copyrighted works, which is part of the reason why my website is so plain. It's also why the copy of the pic I've posted is small in size and is only black and white - the original illustration is in colour and was used for the Taiwanese version of a Rurouni Kenshin book.

25 November 2004  

  • My literal headaches are pretty much gone. My metaphorical headaches are growing. I was hoping work may quieten down by December, but this is appearing too optimistic. If I'm unlucky, it'll run into January, February, perhaps March. So at present my holiday early next year is on hold/looking unlikely -_-
  • The Fushigi no Umi no Nadia Genga Shuu (Key Animation Collection) Return of Nadia book will be released by GAiNAX on 29 December 2004, A4 size, 280 pages (24 in colour), price 2,940 yen (including tax). This book is similar to the ones which have been released for Eva, FLCL and Mahoromatic: ie pics of the key animation artwork which was used as the basis for the cels in animating the Nadia series. Again, as with at least the Eva books, this volume will be supervised by director Anno Hideaki and will have some focus on motion (ie don't expect every pic to be just large closeups of the characters etc).
  • Speaking of Nadia, it seems to me there's a bit of a common misconception that the series was going to be 26 episodes but that it was later expanded to 39 episodes at the behest of NHK due to the popularity of the show, thereby causing the dip in quality in the animation and storyline of the "Island" arc. As far as I'm aware, that's incorrect. My understanding is that the series was planned as a 39 episode series by NHK - the story structure for 39 episodes was in existence even before it was decided to title the series "Fushigi no Umi no Nadia" (at the time the working title was "20,000 Miles"). Although bear in mind that in animating the series, Anno and friends did make changes to storyline that NHK had originally developed.

13 November 2004  

  • Still busy. Plus, for the past week, I've been getting recurring headaches... -_-
  • A few CD singles being released:
    The Samurai Gun anime insert song "Zutto ... Issho" and the Tenjou Tenge anime ED "Makenai" will be on one CD single, sung by Chihara Minori (seiyuu for Natsume Aya in the Tenjou Tenge anime), to be released 13 January 2005, catalogue number AVCA-22197, price 1,260 yen (including tax). First pressing will come with a trading card, though I'm not sure for which anime (or both?) The CD single will also include a message from Chihara. Makenai appears on the Tenjou Tenge OST "Great Disc 1" in any event...
    Tenjou Tenge Chara Collection 1 Nagi Souichirou and Bob Makihara, to be released 19 January 2005, catalogue number AVCA-22200, price 1,890 yen (including tax), contains character song by Souichirou (and karaoke version), character song by Bob (and karaoke version) and the first part of a sound drama.
    Tenjou Tenge Chara Collection 2 Natsume Maya and Takayanagi Masataka, to be released 19 January 2005, catalogue number AVCA-22201, price 1,890 yen (including tax), contains character song by Maya (and karaoke version), character song by Masataka (and karaoke version) and the concluding part of the sound drama.
  • Now back to my headache... :(

6 November 2004  

  • Sorry, I spoke/wrote too soon with my previous update about re-starting updating this site ^_^;; Work at the moment is like being part of the mafia: every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in... -_- Will have to play it by ear to see whether I'll be able to make frequent updates. Plus, I'd better get some physical exercise back into my life ^_^ More at the end of the day hopefully...
  • While the live action movie "Tetsujin 28-go (Gigantor) International Version" had its premier screening in Tokyo on 16 October 2004, Newtype reports that the general theatrical screening will commence in the (northern) spring of 2005.
  • A$ has risen over the past few days against the yen \^_^/ Now buying 82.198 yen.
  • Got my remastered Gunbuster DVD set. Picture is clearer, but grainy, if you know what I mean. At least I've still got my LDs.
  • Also watched the live action Casshern movie. This was the first movie directed by Kiriya Kazuaki, who IIRC previously had directed music videos, and his past experience seemed to show in the movie, where certain scenes had bright colours, kinda surreal settings, stylised dramatic sequences, etc. An interesting fight scene in the middle, but this movie suffered from a lightweight storyline. Kiriya is also the husband of popstar Utada Hikaru (who sang the theme song for the movie). The DVD comes as a set of three digipaks housed in a box, which mirrors the pamphlet for the movie sold at cinemas - that was also three booklets in a box. The main feature has English subtitles.

2 November 2004  

  • Feeling tired, but maybe more later...
  • Okay, I'm going to try updating stuff again. But I don't have time to go over news of the past three months. I'm basically just going to try to pick up things from here. In any event, I don't know what news there's been over the past three months. Again, I've been out of touch - if anything I write up here for the next few weeks or months is old news, you know why... And again I probably won't be putting in as many links as I might otherwise do...
  • Australian dollar was steady today, rising slightly in value to 81.135 Japanese yen.
  • DVD volume 1 of Kidou Senshi Gundam Seed Destiny will be released on 24 February 2004, catalogue number BCBA-2115, price 6,300 yen, containing four episodes. In total, there'll be 13 volumes. Source: Musicmarket.
  • Manga volume 5 of Peacemaker Kurogane (by Kurono Nanae) will be published by Mag Garden on 10 March 2005. There'll be a limited edition version available, price 1,600 yen (including tax), which comes with a Okita Soushi figure. Source: Mangaoh Club.

31 October 2004  

  • Updated. Minor updates to what I've written before...
  • Umm, you know how I said I wasn't going to update much until November...? ^_^;; Well, I was hoping my heavy workload would be over by the Friday just past. Unfortunately, it's not over yet, and I'm not sure when it'll continue until. I won't be as busy as I have been for the past couple of months, and I'm not sure how busy I'll be from now on. If I'm lucky, I may be able to start updating this site again shortly. If not, it may not be until December, if not January 2005, if not February 2005 ;_; Also, after all this work, I need a holiday... -_- Another friend is getting married, again in Singapore. Why do my friends like to get married in Singapore? In this case, neither my friend nor her fiance live in Singapore. They live in Sydney. Still, they've decided to get married in Singapore ^_^;; I hate having to wear formal clothes at any time; do you know how it feels wearing formal clothing in a hot and humid country like Singapore? -_- Oh well, still, it provides an opportunity to have a holiday ^_^ While I'm at it, I'll see if I can't slip in a side trip to Japan or South Korea or something ^_^ But I digress... the really heavy workload is over now (I took Friday evening, Saturday and most of today off \^_^/ ) but I'll still be busy for now, and then hopefully I'll be overseas in January, so I'm not sure when I'll be able to get back to updating this page properly. Sorry m(_ _)m
  • Due to work commitments, I haven't been keeping up with things anime and manga. Well, not much, anyway. I've tried to keep up with my purchases - no matter what, the shopping must continue ^_^;; The other pleasure I allowed myself was to attend a performance of Carmina Burana, the classical composition by Carl Orff, back in late July. Tickets went on sale last year, but since I could see my work getting heavy, I thought I'd leave the booking til later when I'd have a better idea of which day I might be free. In July I suddenly realised I hadn't booked a ticket yet - by then the three performances were all sold out ;_; Who'd think classical music performances would sell out? ;_; Then again, this was the first ever production featuring the combined talents of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Ballet and the West Australian Opera, as part of the centenary celebrations of His Majesty's Theatre in Western Australia - one of two last remaining "His Majesty's" Theatres in the world (the other being in Scotland, I believe). But as luck would have it, I was able to secure a cancelled booking for a seat \^_^/ And as luck would have it again, as I rushed to the theatre from work that night, I walked into the theatre minutes before the curtain rose and was able to snatch up the very last program booklet they had on sale \^_^/ Tough luck for the lady who walked in only seconds behind me :P There was a Noh performance in October, which also featured an introductory seminar on the Japanese artform, but unfortunately I was too busy with work to attend that one... ;_;
  • I got my first edition limited edition version of volume 4 of the manga Ibara no Ou (King of Thorn) by Iwahara Yuji, which comes with diorama featuring main character Kasumi. Also got my first edition limited edition version of the manga Ichigeki Sacchuu!! Hoihoi-san (Interceptor-doll Hoihoi-san) by Tanaka Kunihiko (of Ruin Explorers Fam and Ihrlie fame). The limited edition version came with different manga cover and 10 minute OVA DVD. Looks like the limited edition version sold out pretty quickly and is worth a bit more nowadays ^_^
  • Got my copy of Oh! great's manga volume Naked Star. It contains one new story but otherwise basically collects together almost all of Oh! great's miscellaneous works (whether for adult or general audiences) previously published in various places: his G^3 doujinshi volumes, Comic Rei-shiki magazine, Manga Hot Milk magazine, Monthly Shonen Ace magazine, Ultrajump Megamix volume 1. The only finished manga of his which I'm aware of which is not in this compilation is A+ (A Plus), which was published in an issue of Weekly Shonen Magazine in 2000. The G^3 volume 1 doujinshi also had a manga in an unfinished form.
  • On Tenjou Tenge: there was no chapter of the manga in the November 2004 issue of Ultrajump magazine (published in October) nor will there be a chapter in the December 2004 issue (published on 19 November 2004). However, the December 2004 issue will instead come with a TenTen pinup and rather than a chapter of the normal manga, it'll contain a "bangai hen" (ie something outside the normal TenTen story - eg it could be some TenTen side story, or TenTen parody or something). The Shueisha website for the manga has also updated with a wallpaper you can download, but you need to enter a password available in November 2004 issue of Ultrajump magazine, which I don't have yet ;_;
  • The December 2004 issue of Ultrajump magazine (to be published on 19 November 2004) will also come with an article on South Korean game creator/artist Kim Hyung Tae in the wake of the release in Japan of the game Magna Carta (for Playstation 2) on 11 November 2004. Furthmore, on 25 December 2004, enterbrain in Japan will publish the mook Kim Hyung Tae Gashuu (art collection) "Oxide 2x" (pronounced "Oxide 2 ecks" if you get my meaning), price 2,625 yen (including tax), 176 pages. Apparently it'll be like the original Korean book Oxide but with additional pages. B5 size, which doesn't seem that large if you ask me... If you like Kim's artwork, you can download three wallpapers from the official Japanese website for the Magna Carta game linked above by clicking on the "extra" button on that site, then the first button that appears thereafter. And if you buy the Magna Carta game for Playstation 2, looks like it'll come with a 44 page of illustrations and design works (while stocks last).
  • I picked up volume 8 of the Ikki Tousen manga by Shiozaki Yuji. His artwork gets better and better, though the characters often look too posed. I also thought I'd try out the much maligned English translated/adapted version "Battle Vixens" by TokyoPop, so I picked up volume 4. It sucketh mightily. That's not a translation - that's a disgrace. Here's a sample for comparison purposes:
    Ikki Tousen manga volume 4, original version (rough-ish translation by me)-
    Page 79, panel 3- Choushou: N-No, two years ago... there was an omen that a toushi would come to the Hyakkuhekitou lodged here and draw it out easily . The omen that troubled times would be visited upon this age...
    Panel 5- Ryomou: Master [or teacher], what's that strange ki?!
    Page 80, panel 1- Choushou: Ryomou, take this girl back to the house.
    Ryomou: B-But, Master.
    Battle Vixens manga volume 4, English adapted version-
    Page 93, panel 3- Choushou: Two years past... the omen... "Big of breast and small of brain, a toushi will come, the Hyakuhekitou to free." I thought they were yankin' my chain! Her?! This "Chrissy" in training?! Even her ki screams "bimbo!"
    Panel 5- Ryoumo: Master! I sense a disturbance in the force!
    Page 94 panel 1- Choushou: Take her inside. And never quote Star Wars to me again.
    Ryoumo: But... something comes...
    Well, you get the idea. I don't think I'll bother buying the rest of the English adaptation - reading it was sort of... annoying and unsatisfying. BTW, sorry, I'm not up to date with US vernacular: what's a "Chrissy"?
  • I watched Millennial Actress again recently (over a few occasions). Better than Tokyo Godfathers IMO. In fact, if I had to pick a favourite anime movie (I don't normally think about things like favourite series, favourite character, favourite song etc), it would have to be Millennial Actress. I've also got the Millennial Actress visual book which was released by Madhouse (who did the animation production). An excellent book of scenes from the movie (albeit small pics), background explanations, interviews, lineart etc. Two thirds of the text also has English translation, including an interesting interview with director Kon Satoshi. The book can be a bit hard to track down, but worth the effort IMO.
  • Got my copy of "robot" volume 1, edited by Murata Range. Cover illustration by Murata, first short manga is by Murata but it's only four pages long and has about seven words of text. The book is a nice A4 size and full colour. Haven't had time to read though it (except the seven words in Murata's manga ^_^ ) but I note that "robot" volume 2 will be released in January 2005.
  • Managed to get a copy of the Matsumoto Izumi Official Fanbook Volume 1 "Recurrence" which was released at Comic Market 66 (ie back in August). The contents are mainly comprised of a long interview with Matsumoto (who is of course the mangaka who created Kimagure Orange Road), illustrations including a few of Kasuga Kyosuke's mother and an early KOR manga in rough form featuring a Hiyama Kenji (originally planned as Hikaru's older brother and a rival for Kyosuke) and Akemi (Kyosuke's mother, who is alive in this early draft).
  • The Genshiken TV anime has started \^_^/ From what I've heard, the anime seems to pretty much follow the manga. I hope they include the chapter from volume 4 of the manga where Kanako (the Genshiken's resident cosplayer) falls sick and non-otaku Saki has to fill in for her - that's a great scene ^_^ I've seen one episode of the anime. One thing which struck me was the backgrounds - they're done by Studio Easter (sp?). Easter has fast become my favourite animation production company for backgrounds (based on its work for Genshiken and R.O.D - The TV -) - their backgrounds are exquisite. Too bad I can't find a website for the company... Anyway, back to Genshiken: volume 5 of the manga by Kio Shimoku will be published by Kodansha on 22 November 2004 (price 530 yen including tax). First edition will come with a bookmark. As with volume 4, there are four different types of bookmark, so you have to buy multiple copies if you want to collect all the bookmarks -_- Also on 22 November 2004 Kodansha will publish the "Genshiken Official Book", price 980 yen (including tax). BTW, I note that the Genshiken manga has been licensed by Del Rey for publication in English starting April 2005. In the Genshiken manga Kujibiki Unbalance (KujiAn) is a manga that all the club members read. In the Genshiken anime, KujiAn is an anime that all the club members watch. A KujiAn anime has been created as well. Mainly it just appears in the Genshiken anime as the show which the characters watch, like Gekigangar 3 appears in the Nadesico anime. However, three KujiAn episodes have been animated (1, 21 - a digest episode - and 25 - effectively the final episode of the series) and will be released as OVAs - apparently only available by buying the three DVD box sets for Genshiken (as opposed to the individual DVD volumes). I'm not going to set out the release details for the DVDs, by now you get that info elsewhere. I got my copy of the December 2004 issue of Afternoon magazine (published 25 October 2004), which came with a bonus DVD containing the first half of episode 1 of the Genshiken anime, the first half of episode 1 of the Kujibiki Unbalance OVA (albeit with advertising text scrolling across the bottom of the screen) and a couple of trailers for Shinkai Makoto's upcoming anime Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Bassho "The place promised in our early days" (which has been licensed in the US by ADV Films). Oh yeah, back on 22, 23 and 24 October 2004 there was the Tokyo International Entertainment Market 2004 convention. A friend picked up the Genshiken and KujiAn design works collections for me there \^_^/
  • To matters Shirow Masamune. His final booklet poster was enclosed with issue number 20 of Uppers magazine (published in early October IIRC). The following issue 21 (published a week or two back) was the final issue of Uppers magazine, which has stopped publication after about six and half years. Details about the release of the Galgrease artbooks are still unclear.
  • Got a copy of the Kawamoto Toshihiro Cowboy Bebop Illustrations ~ The Wind ~ artbook, which was published about a week ago. ISBN 4-7973-2781-2, price 2,800 yen (excluding tax), from Softbank Publishing. A thick book but actually only 144 pages (the paper must be thick). Even so, it's packed with 276 rough sketches and finished works, mostly finished works. Art from the TV series, movie and a few for the game as well. Furthermore all text in this book is bilingual Japanese and English (except for two pages of interviews). If you want Cowboy Bebop artwork, this is the book to get. Kawamoto was of course the character designer for the series.
  • Got issue number 1 (October 2004, published on 10 September 2004) of the new magazine Pash! which describes itself as dealing with "cute characters, hobbies, goodies, animation films and more! A brand-new subculture magazine for *adult women only*". Not too different from other magazines, but in this case the target market is adult women. For example, main features in this issue are Full Metal Alchemist and Gundam Seed Destiny and the magazine covers the usual stuff like anime, games (including boys' love games), interviews with seiyuu, stage events (eg Prince of Tennis etc), upcoming movies (including live action), music (fandom related and otherwise), DVDs, books, manga, toys. In addition, there are sections on "Cute Guys on TV" (live action doramas), live action TV shows and dolls.
  • There's other stuff which I've bought and news which I've come across in the past three months or so that I've been away from this website, but I can't remember it at present ^_^;;


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