Friday, June 18, 2010

April-June edition of the "related articles in the media"

Here's the batch of articles to show up in the media from April through June, regarding anime, manga and related stuff.

Generic New News

Japan Times

Darling is a Foreigner

Gundam cafe opens in Akihabara

Japan Zines

Doraemon to make 3-D debut at Expo

Review of an audio tape tour (1890 yen for the book and CD, 1260 yen for just the MP3 audio file download) of Akihabara. Fine for people that don't really like Akihabara (and are willing to put up with Galbraith narrating the tape). If you really want a tour guide for Akiba, go to Akibanana, one of the "walk-with-a-maid" companies, or stop at Takarada (the gift shop just west of the JR Akihabara station, which also offers tours). I wouldn't bother with this audio tour, myself.
Take a guided tour of 'Akiba-land'

Daily Yomiuri

Manga relates abduction of Megumi Yokota

The world of Doraemon comes to life

Review of Black Blizzard By Yoshihiro Tatsumi

CoFesta's dream of world peace--through 'kawaii'

The doe-eyed world of Makoto Takahashi

Anime production knows no borders

Thermae Romae review

Gundam Cafe offers new Akihabara base



“Boys in skirts”

Prince of Tennis: The Musical

The Pop Life section of the Met was written by Patrick Galbraith for about 1 year. Love him or hate him (I consistently fell into the latter category) Patty could be counted on to write (badly) about life and activities in Akihabara, and stuff regarding anime, manga and video games. On the other hand, a number of readers had complained at one point of exactly that - too much anime, manga and Akiba showing up in the Met, and Pop Life in specific. Looks like times have changed. Some of the recent Pop Life articles (which used to run every other week, but is now about once a month) have been written by Jamie Lano, and have absolutely zero interest for me. But, some of the artwork accompanying the Japanese Trekkie article raised a red flag (foreigner attempting to copy something outside their skill set) to the point where I finally decided to google her. Jamie's lived in Japan for 5 years, and has worked for a while in one of the studios doing the Prince of Tennis manga. Ironically enough, one of the interviews with her last year for Japan Today was written by Patty. Her manga-like work does nothing for me, but it is a major achievement, being accepted in a manga studio, so I guess she's doing something right. I'll just have to be patient, and see if she ever writes anything in Pop Life worth reading.

Helen McCarthy's "Art of Tezuka Osamu" book



Mr Alchemy said...

The idea of an article about zines in Japan makes absolutely no sense to me. The article only mentions it very briefly in a single paragraph, but the world of self published dōjinshi is much bigger than the zine scene of any other country in the world. Dōjinshi are zines! It is extremely biased, practically describing dōjinshi as nothing more than glorified fanfiction. Even if the majority of dōjinshi could be classified as such, the percentage of completely original artistic works and story lines would still be on par with the entire output of the zine communities in other countries. I'm an avid supporter of self publishers here in the UK and have become personal friends with several local zine artists/writers, so I am in no way bashing the scene. I just feel the article is very misleading. What it considers the 'zine' community in Japan is made up of nothing more than a handful of expats and a bunch of young Japanese hipsters. My conclusion is that Japanese 'zines' should be considered a subcategory of the much larger dōjinshi community, and what distinguishes it are a few traits and influences from Western self publishing. Now I'm done with my rant, I think I'll try to track down some dōjinshi online, starting with Orga{ni}sm and then Sun Dogs.

TSOTE said...

That's the thing about most western reporters covering Japanese subculture - they've got no understanding of what they're writing about, so they either come off as superficial, insulting or condescending. I try to avoid making too much commentary here when I include the links, to allow the reader to draw their own conclusions, but I will make exceptions (such as with anything printed in the Metropolis).

Mr Alchemy said...

That review of Black Blizzard just confirmed what I already knew. I’m a big fan of Yoshihiro Tatsumi and have everything else that has been published in English by him. (Have you seen the English editions of his work? You should really check them out if you get the chance, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were of higher quality than the Japanese releases.) If I have the spare cash and happen to be in a buying mood, I’ll get it simply because I’m a fan. But it would have been nice if D&Q used their publishing resources to bring us more Imiri Sakabashira, or maybe something fresh from one of the other hundreds of mangaka who deserve English exposure.

As far as anime production being influenced by cross-Pacific relations, I’ve seen this developing for some time. I had the chance to watch Heroman episode 1 recently and the animation is pretty slick, higher quality than what American TV audiences are generally used to. It should be a big hit when it airs in the States. The article really should have mentioned Michael Arias to, and I can’t believe the writer made such an obvious error like calling the director of Transformers Michael ‘Bell’.

That Helen McCarthy Tezuka book is really worth getting if you haven’t already. It comes with a documentary on DVD showing Tezuka’s work practices and takes you inside his manga studio (a cramped apartment). There is some really rare fly-on-the-wall footage showing him at work and his creative process (the only time he ever granted any camera crew such access to himself while working – a real privilege, kind of like that rare behind-the-scenes footage of Kubrick directing). I’m considering ripping the whole thing and uploading it onto youtube.

TSOTE said...

I haven't read Yoshihiro Tatsumi yet. There's probably used copies of his works in Mandarake, but I haven't come across anything of his in the regular manga shops. I'll have to check. One note - The Japan Times ran a review of Black Blizzard also.

You should start up a letter writing campaign to help get D&Q to carry other manga artists. It's the only way for them to know what readers want.

I've been told about the Tezuka book by other sources, too. Just haven't gotten that far. Been too busy with the Garo stuff. Maybe at some point I'll switch back over to Tezuka and the rest of the Tokiwa Sou Heroes again.