Comic Con Video Diary – Day 1: Starring Stan Lee and Samuel L. Jackson

Well, tiredness, bad Internet connections in San Diego, and life got a little in the way–but here’s the Day 1 video diary for this year’s Comic Con! Days 2 and 3 should be ready tomorrow. This episode is notable for having some big names in the video, namely Stan Lee and Samuel L. Jackson for Afro Samurai! (Which IS a real anime–it was conceived and written by a Japanese person, Takashi Okazaki, and animated by Gonzo. Plus, I reviewed the first episode long ago.) Comic Con, in general, has much more liberal film and photography rules–this sort of thing would not be possible for equivalent Japanese guests at AX or at Comic Con either (witness our lack of footage for Tite Kubo).

Incidentally–Paul screened this before I published this so hopefully, no hard feelings. :) He was a really cool guy to hang out with.

Days 2 and 3 will feature a lot more of the usual fan interviews. But this is the celebrity footage edition. Only from Anime Diet. :)

Moe Denpa forever!

From ANB

(From the Diet 3 Daily is more like it!)

Japan appoints Moe/Denpa/Otaku ambassador to the world.

Today, in the Japaense DIET, the 偽Prime Minister Taro Aso announces that because he loved Moe so much and the cute seiyuu women singing Denpa songs are so wonderful that he couldn’t get the songs out of his head, he decided to appoint Noto Mamiko and the girls at Mosaic.Wave as Japan’s ambassador to the world.

The rumor has it that Japan is reviving its ’80’s experiment of using electrowaves to manipulate people’s minds to make them into ultra samurai soldiers that will only obey the dark zombie emperor Meiji Oda Nobunaga, in order to take over the world once again, to success where they failed in the 1940’s military intervention and 1980’s economic intervention.

Our reporter is risking her life and her eligibility for Gundam piloting license to bring this scoop.

We have discovered that Kotoko is actually a figure head in the underground lab producing denpa songs in order to recruit Otakus all over the world to take over the governments of the major economic powers of the world in order to bring resources to the Dark Imperial Japanese Government.

More details are forth coming. We at the Diet 3 has already moved into Denpa song resistant shelters for good…

Ray’s take: Yes! Songs that may remotely qualify for Dadaism! Saigo!!!!

Denpa Music Infection! I’ve fallen victim! Banzai! Dadada art?

Wow, Mosaic (OP of KyouranKazokuNikki)…

Wow, OP of Kamen no Maid Guy…

Wow, ED of Penguin Musume…

Wow, OP of Lucky Star!!!

I must confess, I simply love these “songs” that don’t make any sense AT ALL…

Having cute Japanese women singing in cute voices and saying things that don’t make any sense at all simply rocks for me…

I actually don’t care much for Caramelldansen, but these other anime-related Denpa songs simply rules my brainwave…

Sanjo danjo youjo konjo (?), jojojojojojojojo hojo mojo jojo(?) Wow…

I think it’s one of Otaku escapist thing and I could go into a long-assed discussion of why some Otaku would love it, but…

Find a sample of Mosaic.Wav and you may understand…The power of brain washing songs…Master…Master…Master…! Kill, I mean, moe…moe…(think drooling zombies in Resident Evil = Ray Hu)…

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to try to get my melted brain back…Somehow…

(You’ve been infected with the Denpa disease as soon as you clicked the link, didn’t you know…XD ?)

P.S. How about the sense of Dadaism? Or is that even there at all? Oh, and that Volkswagen commercial rocked…Da da da….da da da…?

P.S. Can this be turned into a Dada discussion? Does this article even makes sense in a Dada sort of way?

Today’s “Olds” commentary (harhar); Charlie’s Angel X the Force X SLJ

From ANN

Lucy Liu, Mark Hamill Join Afro Samurai: Resurrection (Updated)

Lucy Liu (Charlie’s Angels, Kill Bill) and Mark Hamill (Star Wars) have joined the cast of Afro Samurai: Resurrection

Ray’s take: The reason it’s not news and the title for this commentary is not even remotely funny is because I haven’t found anything interesting in the news to write about! In any event, so Mark Hamill gets another roles somewhere! Finally! The Force has come to his rescue and it’s time to hit on an Angel rather than your own sister! Yuck that’s gross. Anyway, I guess the word “resurrection” is great to use to Ninja and Samurai anime because it simply sounds good…

If you’re a Lucy Liu fan (most Asian’s I know aren’t), well..

Man, my commentary sucked ass. MOVING ON…

Comic Con: Tite Kubo (Bleach) Panel Liveblog

No video or photos were allowed. I guess this is the way Japanese guests are usually handled–it’s like AX. Starting in about 5 minutes.

1:15 PM – Kubo has entered the stage in sunglasses. Looks like a pop star or something.

1:16 PM – Kubo presented with an award from Comic Con Int’l. From the cheers I can tell the audience just got much younger than from the preceding Transformers panel.

1:19 PM – 10 kids from Japan are here, Shounen Jump essay winners. Also, we will be getting limited edition posters as we leave.

1:20 PM – “I am very glad to see you all, thank you very much” –Kubo

1:22 PM – Kubo thinks this is “immensely huge” compared to Japanese events. First impressions of being in America: he had to get his passport for this. Strong sunlight makes everything colorful here.

1:25 PM – Has Kubo done any drawing in his time here? (He has to produce 19 pages a week, after all.) He actually worked ahead of time so he could home here. Not a procrastinator (unlike me).

1:26 PM – Footage of his workspace. World exclusive. There are desks for his assistants as well, a big screen TV. Pictures of his chairs and metal suitcase he bought to come ovr here. A miniature TV just as decoration. A rare Bleach watch. Oddly enough, Bobobobo in some background art; he had asked a sketch/autograph exchange. The man has a vast CD collection, too (1200-1300 on a shelf; others stacked up). Picture of a kitchen, which is clean because they never cook!

1:32 PM – Upstairs: Kubo’s actual work area. Footage of him working with a ton of markers next to him. He’s coloring. HIs work chair was chosen based on design and he drew Aizen’s chair like it. Handing manuscripts and fan letters to his editor.

1:35 PM – Video portion over. Now questions from audience.

1:35 PMWhat inspired him to become a manga artist? Decided when he was in elementary school. He became interested in architecture and design after he had already become a manga artist.

1:37 PM Inspriation for Bleach: inspired by the image of Soul Reapers in kimonos. Wanted to draw something no one had seen before.

1:38 PM – Kubo puts character, not plot, first.

1:39 PM – What inspired him to put Spanish/Mexican culture in Bleach? Nothing intentional with the character Chad. However, he just sensed he had a Mexican heritage. Someone in audience shouts “Viva La Raza!”

1:40 PMWhere does he come up with the opening drawings? He puts characters in clothes he can’t get.

1:40 PMAdvice for aspiring manga artists: Seems stumped…”believe in your talent.” Do something you yourself must enjoy; otherwise it’s dishonest to charge someone for your story.

1:42 PMHow did Quincy and its name come about (JEREMY’S QUESTION!): “I created Uryu to be Ichigo’s rival character, so, for that, I put him in white clothing.” He uses arrows because it’s long range, and it will be difficult for Ichigo to fight him. The Quincys’ name is from his five point star; in Japan this is a symbol. If you call every archer a “Quincy Archer” it sounds like a person’s name, so he liked it.

1:45 PMHow do you draw action scenes? Plays rock music in his head as he draws it. He pauses the action and try to swing around in 3D mentally to find the best angle.

1:46 PMWhen did he realize he had such a big fanbase in the US? Yesterday!

1:47 PM – Pancha Diaz, Viz editor asks: What part of the process does he enjoy the most? When thinking of the story, if it’s something he’s been waiting to do for a while, he enjoys it very much. Usually has a scene rundown of things to draw in his head. Connecting scenes are a bit harder. Inking is also enjoyable for him.

1:49 PM – Pancha Diaz again: How long between drawing and publication? Between 2-3 weeks. Diaz, by contrast notes, has to do 6 months in advance.

1:50 PMWill there be an Isshin backstory? Yes! He knew from the start he was a Soul Reaper.

1:51 PM – Three minutes left. Is the Kon doll inspired by something from his childhood? Wanted to create something fake looking, where you put random things together–like a sewing line in the middle of the face. Backstory: a father bought a cheap stuffed animal for his child, and the child threw it away because it was ugly–that’s why he is on the street.

1:54 PMIdea for Hell Butterflies: Looked up in a dictionary for word that goes well with “Soul Reaper.” It is a kind of butterfly that is another name for a real butterfly species. Prefers to fly in the dark, and it fits well with the Soul Reapers. End of panel.

Comic Con: Viz Industry Panel Liveblog

3:06 PM – Introduction, sweepstakes introduction

3:08 PM – Information about Bleach Day and the screening of Bleach movie, Kubo appearances. I will be going to the afternoon signing at 3:30-4:30 PM.

3:10 PMSlam Dunk related events. Apparently Greg Oden, NBA star, will be helping promote it.

3:12 PM – Info about the Portfolio Review; Viz is making a venture into original comics publications. All kinds welcome, not necessarily manga-style. First to appear in their magazine Shojo Beat.

3:15 PM – Anime news: Blue Dragon, Vol 1 release (Sept. 16, 2008). Followed by a technical glitch. (Nothing new here for industry panels I’ve seen….)

3:18 PM – Naruto Movie 2, released July 29, 2008. To include the Japanese movie program booklet. (They should do that for all movies.)

3:19 PM – Naruto Movie 3, November 11th.

3:20 PM – Bleach Movie, Oct 14th.

3:20 PM – Buso Renkin Box Set, Vol. 2

3:21 PM – InuYasha Season 6 Box Set

3:21 PM – Hunter x Hunter, Vol. 1 (Dec 2008)

3:22 PM – Death Note Box Set Vol. 1 (episodes 1-20; Nov 18). Will include fancy box.

3:23 PM – Moving on to manga news. Shounen Jump 5th anniversary collector’s edition of Issue 1 (American).

3:24 PM – Shounen Jump Box Sets. We covered much of this info in the Viz Panel at AX 2008. New Info: Kubo brought some exclusive HD footage of his office and his home. :)

3:25 PM – Pokemon kids’ releases.

3:27 PM – Naruto “chapter books” (ie prose for children). This is a format created for the American audience.

3:27 PM – Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time manga. To be released in October.

3:28 PM – Spring 09 releases: BakeGyamon, Happy Happy Clover, Dinosaur Hour!, Leave it to PET! (a recycling adventure)

3:30 PM – Shojo Beat announcements: Fushigi Yugi 3-in-1 volume, Hot Gimmick 3-in-1, Heaven’s Will (Jan 2009), Magic Touch–a manga about massage (Jan 12 09), Otomen (notice the pun?, Jan 12 09–the guy IS straight though), Honey Hunt (Mar 16, 2009)

3:33 PM – Viz has permission to show Vampire Knight clips–but they have NOT licensed it.

3:34 PM – Rumiko Takahashi’s One Pound Gospel

3:34 PM – Black Lagoon manga (Aug 2008)

3:35 PM – Gestalt, Jun 2009. Sexy elves! Sexy, sexy elves

3:36 PM – Dogs, Volume 0. Dystopian. Apr 2009. Guns, swords, and action

3:36 PM – Ikigami (Death Paper): May 2009. Interesting premise.

3:37 PM – Viz Signature line: for more “sophisticated” type of stories. My guess is that this is aimed at adults and a bit more literary? Example: Real, by Takehiko Inoue (Slam Dunk). Also Vagabond by the same author.

3:40 PM – Inoue’s artbooks

3:41 PMSolanin, by Asano Inio. Contemporary fiction. Oishinbo, the food manga that explains Japanese food.

3:44 PM20th Century Boys clip/preview. To be released in Feb 2009. “Rock and roll realism.”

3:48 PM – Another Naoki Urusawa project, Pluto, based on Tezuka’s Astro Boy. A reimagining of a story by Tezuka in Astro Boy.

3:51 PM – Only time for ONE question, from a manga newbie, about the lag time between publishing in Japan and publishing in the US. Usual answer: translation issues, distribution issues.

3:53 PM – End.

Nogisak Haruka no Himitsu ep 03 – this is what everyone wants to hear:

She's just another Shinji
She's just another Shinji

“Even if everyone in the world becomes my enemy, I’ll be by your side.”

As a self-appointed “Otaku” westerner, it’s so very easy to think that this is something fascinating and interesting hobby that people can try to accept (I guess unless you’re in high school – but chances are the bullies like DBZ as much as you do). However, in Japan, having this hobby is a completely different story.

Continue reading Nogisak Haruka no Himitsu ep 03 – this is what everyone wants to hear:

Slayer Revolution ep 04 – Does anyone remeber Amelia being so annoying?

I remember she was much less of an obstruction. But now she’s definitely getting on my nerves.

Justice? Fuck that. Understanding? Fuck that. Protecting the forest (thus being an environmentalist) FUCK THAT.

In addition to an annoying magical animal that’s not in a bishojo anime (if it were a bishojo anime I can understand having one), now we have an annoying “defender of justice”.

I just realized it was funny back in the ’90s when she first started doing that, practically making fun of Sailor Moon-style series, but it’s 2008 and it has now become annoying to me.

To her credit, she gets the stupid animal with 2 huge fists working with her, but the result is the plot being dragged on further (yeah, yeah, I know, I know), and not enough exaggeration that we know and love happens.

Again, something isn’t quite working for me. I can see the writers trying to take everyone’s personality a few notches higher, but for some reason, that makes Amelia super annoying.

– Like, destroy the damned forest already (it’s not the real life hence fuck the environmental damage)!

– Like, let Zegadis stab that little critter already (I’m sure the writers can think of something to save it anyway)!

– Like, let Lina use Dragonslave and beat the crap outta team Amelia and criiter already (hey, I got sick of this plot already)!

However, more of the fun chaos ensues and the seiyuu do a great job as usual. It’s a decent addition to the Slayers legacy but somehow, it hasn’t been that fun in my book. Ganbatte! Megumi-sama tachi!