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Archive for August, 2010

Hir@gana Times

August 31, 2010 2 comments

Now I first noticed this Hir@gana Times on Jlist.com, but then I started to find it at NYC’s Kinokuniya, so where do you think I purchase it now? Mostly at Kinokuniya, since I can always run in, and occasionally find a copy there. It is pretty cheap to get, at about $7 to $8 an issue.

Contemplating on whether or not I should put a subscription for it. It has some interesting articles, but it is fun for a Japanese learner – who knows how to read hirgana and still want to know what exactly the articles are about. In Japanese and vice-versa. There are articles on Japanese living, places… ads and while mostly aimed for foreigners living in Japan with advertisements directed at them. There are interesting Japanese living articles.

Categories: Books Tags: ,

Yotsuba&! – throwing in Chi as well ^_^

August 30, 2010 5 comments

Since I skipped last month’s MMF with Paradise Kiss – coming back with August MMF. This time the book chosen is on Yotsuba&! from Yen Press, and other related blog posts will be hosted here.  I will be talking about a bit of Yotsuba and then going onto another title for general manga reading.

Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma is a slice of life story about a little girl who move into a new house – and this is about her discovery, as with her interactions with her single father and three next door neighbors. This is a manga that is aimed for people of all ages… and has had a history of being translated in the United States by two publishers, the now defunct ADV Press and then picked up by Yen Press.

As a frequent patron of the New York Public Library, they have two different copies of volume 1 of this title.  It is a popular title as it should – since it was created by the mangaka for Azumanga Daioh and with its interesting release history in the United States. Yotsuba&! has won awards, so it is a very good title to recommend for young readers.

So far, I have only read volume 1 and decided to stop and drop this title. Manga reading is always dependent on taste, and Yotsuba&! is a title I didn’t want to pursue, based on a personal reason of taste. For the more plot driven adult readers there’s Bunny Drop that is a better title, which is also carried by Yen Press.

But that is not the aim of this MMF at all so with aspect of mentioning – Yotsuba&! and another child-friendly title. I will bring my pick and love for what is an all about general age graphic novel for kids young and old.

Chi’s Sweet Home, by Konami Kanata released in the United States by Vertical Press.

There are currently seven volumes out in Japan, and currently at the time of this post written – two books in English. There’s two anime seasons, I believe, maybe one or two seasons that is available on Crunchy Roll.

Did I have to mention that as a feverent feline lover – that Chi’s protagonist is a kitten? The manga is about Chi’s adventures with Yohei, her young owner – and her discovery of the world from a growing cat’s perspective. She enjoys life, gets into trouble – but is a fantastic discover of the world around her. Very natural!

This is a fantastic series that is adult friendly as well. I love this series, since I am a cat owner and can find relevance with how my cat grew up as well. Plus Chi is all about cute as can be! Kids can find relevance with Yohei… so as with all manga reading – it is an enjoyable read! The other day I read a comic strip, about Yohei and Chi facing Kuro Neko, that I though was very impressive and cute. Used it on my mom to only have her, only to have her snap back – that’s she’s not an animal, and should kick the heck out of me…cues my sister break out in laughter.

The Japanese manga is easy reading for Japanese learners – as it is a manga with nothing but hirigana, for the cat sounds that Chi makes, but in the fact that things happen to her, so this little kitty is thinking. When I say there are seven manga so far in Japanese, that’s how much I collected of the Japanese one.

This is my 100% choice for kids to know, read and fall in love with, so definitely read Chi’s Sweet Home – no matter what!

Categories: Books, manga movable feast Tags:

Reading Manga for Cheap – and legally!

August 27, 2010 3 comments

Have I mentioned how much I love reading graphic novels? Well it is something I love to do – on a daily basics… that in spite of there being a Public Day of Reading Comics.. that I will be participating in on Saturday.

I am writing this entry to give a thought on what I believe is the right thing to do for consistently reading and supporting manga! Also give a shout out for other great reads online- from what I know is out there on this similar issue..

I am not going to lie, and say that I have never read scanalations. But there are some reasons on why I do such a thing, of which I am consistently trying to correct myself of. One reason I do so – is because the niche marke is so small for a type of manga, that I have enjoyed, that I have purchased the paperback copies in the end or in the end found alternatives for. I probably won’t talk about this as much on this site, but bara is a topic of bl-eroge that I do like read, and it doesn’t fit the standard of fujoshi, so I just follow other alternatives. Learning Japanese is an important thing. Otherwise it will not be fair for the author, and in the end prove worse for readers who want to read it in a language that can be understood.

Also I do know that in bookstores – the graphic novel section is usually being over run with teenagers, and that is such a pet peeve with me. Graphic novel in America are not cheap – with the translation costs, packing etc… but it is pretty rude to ruin a graphic novel that is for sale. So please take care on not reading in bookstores like you’re at home. It is pretty rude to a potential buyer.. and to block the aisle like that.

These points I am pointing out though, are my personal solutions for getting manga to read.

  1. Go to the public library and borrow, pillage, ravage, devour their shelves – if they have a graphic novel collection. I do.. and I usually am very very VERY grateful that New York City has three public library systems. Each library system has their own collection of graphic novels! If not – then inter-library loan for books. Go on World Cat (http://www.worldcat.org/) and see if a specific title is within your area. Consult with librarian on obtaining graphic novels. If the library is there- go and support it. I know libraries need money, but if you forget that they are there, then that is a waste of tax payer’s money. It is for free to the public! I see other libraries having issues with getting graphic novels, but there are some education worth in collecting graphic novels. Comics like Maus or American Born Chinese has won awards, and on September 25−October 2 (this year), there is such a thing known as Banned Book Weeks. So challenge your library – petition if you have the time for it..if your library is so conservative. I recently had an interesting conversation with Ryu Sheng on Twitter about where he lives…
  2. Manga NEXT or other relevant conventions – having the hobby or life of an otaku or manga reader not cheap at all.. but take advantage of conventions – because vendors in the dealers room has graphic novel for dirt cheap price. Normally I would haggle for prices, but with no tax.. and the practice of bundling – especially on Sunday – do you realize how much manga bargains is there! Plus Manga NEXT, a local sister convention to Anime NEXT in New Jersey, has been fantastic so far, since I have been to three or so conventions they have provide a manga library free for convention attendees!
  3. Take notice of manga for free as contest prizes on Twitter or publisher’s pages- that means know who the manga publishers are! There are lists on Twitter that users made, so there is a manga list on Twitter out there!
  4. Get together with friends to purchase or share graphic novels… did I ever mention how much I adore my friend’s bookshelves… she has the best bl-collection that is among my friend’s. Did I ever share a tidbit – on how an vendor once told me that bl-fan girls are loyal – since they will purchase armfuls and armfuls of graphic novels, well that’s how my friend is… ^_^
  5. Join a book reviewing group, with an emphasis on graphic novels.. I know for a fact that some blogs are on the move for consistently looking for reviewers. I have joined and worked on blogs that have graphic novel available. If not – then just research online – for manga reviewing groups there are currently – and see if you can or cannot get book for free. Also one thing – media mail is cheap – so I have been trying to do some exchanges with manga reviewers I have met online.
  6. Remember to read book reviews- so that even without seeing the preview, at least you know a future presentation perspective or so. There are countless book review sites or entries out there. Google it.
  7. Know that online there are manga previews or legal scanlations like what I have seen Viz has done with their ikki line, have I mention how much I love Kinyo’s Used Books or Saturn Apartments or Children of the Sea etc.. and they’re all free chapters! There are right now currently manga publishers also looking to get into the i-pod or e-book market….
  8. Know that bookstores, online or physical sites would have sales.. and a lot of it. Borders has buy 4 or 3 for 1 free books. Book Depository online has free shipping, along with some discount pricing to many places in the world. Amazon or other online retailers, has used books or books on sale. There has been a current trend of omnibus-ing which is collecting several volumes into one. While that is more expensive.. definitely know that you are getting money’s worth in it having three volumes or so volume for the price of one, rather than several volumes worth.

Last but not least – this blog entry was in part inspired by several other blog entries that I have read. So these are other further readings.

All About Manga -Ten REALLY GOOD Ways to Buy and Not Steal Manga.

Libraries Are Not The Same as Manga Scanlation Sites: 4 Reasons Why Reading Manga From a Library Isn’t Piracy by Robin Brenner (Librarian of No Flying Tights)

Deb Aoki’s About.com – 13 Ways to Read Manga Without Going Broke

Categories: Personal

Creating Twitter background….

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

By no means is this a how to do tutorial.. I just decided to blog about it briefly to just say what my feelings are. It is very much like creating an icon, as size is definitely dictated by how much of the image you want to show, and not let the rest of the Twitter text take it over. I usually use Photoshop to create composite images. Then after using the Twitter images, I usually upload to my deviantart account. When I say I am not an artist, I guess these twitter backgrounds validate my account on DA.

Since I am an anime and a manga fan, my choice in background is as such. One of these days I would definitely like to try and create a working business background, but so far- doing these simple Twitter backgrounds – makes it fun for me to change my background ever so often. If I can probably use this energy to create very simplistic background – probably want to go back and take some courses on computer design.

Categories: Personal

Shitajiki.. shitajiki… pencil board… my new trading card collection..

August 21, 2010 2 comments

This is one of my favorite things to collect, in terms of really wanting to keep things for the long run. Pencil boards, in my eyes are gigantic trading cards really. I have lost my trading cards set somewhere in my home, so this is my new passion for collecting. It is also the best thing to get autographs, for one thing – it is light weight and, I doubt it is going to be inked away.

FYI – pencil boards/shitajiki are plastic boards that Japan has.. it is suppose to be used as a smooth surface when there is nothing between the paper, pencil and desk.

From the two trips I have made to Japan, let’s just say that my collection has grown exponentially. So I figure I’ll just do a listing of how many I have in my set so far.

I ordered a Gintama, Shugo Chara, One Piece yet as of August 20, 2010, this is what I physically have.

Total Collected: 91

10xShitajiki
One Piece – (1 rare, 1 autographed by Kappei Yamaguchi, 2 Dragon Ball Crossover)

6xShitajiki
Ranma 1/2
Yu Yu Hakusho

5xShitajiki
Sailor Moon

4xShitajiki
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Ah My Goddess
xxxHolic
City Hunter

3xShitajiki
Wish
Nausicaa of Valley of the Wind

2xShitajiki
You’re Under Arrest
Chobits (1 autographed by Rie Tanaka, 1 mini)
Clamp Su [Kobato, Tsubasa Chronicles] – 2 (1 autographed by Makino Yu)
Laputa
My Neighbor Totoro
Jigoku Shoujo (1 autographed by Mamiko Noto)
Slayers
Onegai Sensei (1 autographed by Kikuko Inoue)

1xShitajiki
Hunter x Hunter
Kiki Delivery Service
Porco Rosso
Angelic Layer
Clamp in Wonderland [Wish, X, Card Captor Sakura]
Hime-chan no Ribon
Gundum Wing
Sakura Wars
Tegami Bachi
Mameshiba
Fairy Tale
Genshiken
Karin
Nagasarete Airantou
Full Metal Panic
Noir
Kare Kano
Zombie Loan
Gundum Seed Destiny
Kuroshitsuji
Shikabane Hime
Tsukihime
Junjou Romantica
Mezzo Forte
Durarara
Natsume Yuujinchou
Japanese Hirigana/Katekana Chart

Categories: Personal

CD Review: City Hunter Sound Collection X and Y

August 17, 2010 2 comments

Recently I was staring at my lists of drafts, and a majority of those entries are things I began when I was in Japan. One of these years, need to finish writing about my Japan trip.. even a loot entry is eventually fine. Well Japan trip is going to be started after I finish ever going through all my images on Flickr. For my sporadic updates or not, probably people should count that as an abandoned entries or images right. But for me, those are memories I wish I had more motivation to finish through. But enough about blog/writing complaining.

For classic anime fans, they should know this title. City Hunter, which is a series that was popular during the latter part of the 80’s and early 90’s. Jackie Chan and  Michael Chow did Hong Kong live live action remakes of this title. I also know that South Korea brought the rights for producing this work, although not sure if the project began or not.

I was able to pick up Sound Collection X and Y during my trip. Sound Collection Y- I found in BookOff was what set it off, and Sound Collection X is something I ordered from Amazon.co.jp, and it got to me pretty fast. I have seen these cds in NYC Kinokuniya a long while ago, I lost the opportunity to purchase them, so you can say I snatched them up when I was in Japan.

Sound Collection are both are two-disc cds editions. There are some duplicates if you ever picked up any of City Hunter’s cds/soundtracks. But I found as a collector, that these two cds actually summed up the music of the anime series pretty well.

Sound Collection X has all the openings and endings of all of the anime, and movies vocals. Listening to this soundtrack reminds me of  a similar feel in older music, a majority of the tracks had a action beat to them. Like Angel Night~天使のいる場所~(PSY-S). Some are pretty tracks, no other words to describe it. The lyrics are quite pretty. A majority of them are also great listening music. I really like ~MORE MORE しあわせ(荻野目洋子) which was the theme for Million Dollar Conspiracy. They are also pretty dated, since the music at the 80’s to 90’s was pretty techno-ish. SUPER GIRL(岡村靖幸) or ~SMILE & SMILE(AURA) or ~STILL LOVE HER(失われた風景)(TM Network) fit into that category.

Sound Collection Y, has a majority of the insertion tracks. There are instrumentals, English vocals. My favorite would have to be Nina, since it was part of the.357 Magnum movie, which was my first encounter with this series.

I still have to collect Sound Collection Z, which is a drama cd. I will leave you with a youtube clip of Nina to listen to.

Categories: CD's Tags: ,

Otakon 2010 Summary/Recap

August 6, 2010 2 comments

This year I was at Otakon as press for Anime Diet, and I have to say this is the first that I have used all my powers as press to even did what I did this year. Is it a person give up of attending press panels, when there are fan panels. Probably, but what my comprehension was of this convention, and any other convention – is that there must be an agenda to keep. So this year was an interest in attending Japanese music guests events. I have been at Otakon for a couple of years now, and my interest have changed slightly with each year that I have been attending Otakon. I have always attended as much Japanese guest appearances as much as possible though.

There are way too many things to try and plan for, and with Anime Diet being only a few people this year on the East coast. There’s only so much I can do, so I mostly ran around, and saw some friends that I did.

Was only able to plan to attend one fan panel on Friday,and did some several 18+ panels at night, which I wasn’t as impressed with.Didn’t get to see Welcome to Space Show premiere, so found myself at odds with attending press conference on Sunday. Attended the major concerts – Yoshida Brothers, HMK, and then sat thru Masquerade to listen to a fantastic – only two song performance by Yoshiki and Sugizo

Mostly on Saturday, I attended four press conferences.. If I did meet people, then I met people.

On Saturday night, hung out with some friends, in their hotel room. Then on Sunday made it to Dealers Room and not Artist Alley… bummer.. I might have missed the chance of seeing one of my favorite fan artists as well.

I got a some graphic novels, some video games, and an autograph from Yoshida Brothers.

Next con I will be going for is NYCC/NYAF.

Categories: Otakon Tags: ,
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