Category Archives: Music

Hatsune Miku Concert: Videos and Overview

UPDATE: The videos have been removed from Youtube following a copyright claim by Sega. We are trying to resolve the situation as soon as we can, as we believe we had the proper permissions and release to post the videos. In the meantime, please enjoy the photo gallery of the concert below:

It’s 8:30 on the 2nd of July 2011, and the Nokia Theater is jam packed.  Glow sticks illuminate the auditorium, as nearly 5000 fans eagerly await the American debut of Hatsune Miku,  Japan’s virtual pop-star phenomenon.  The lights dim, and the crowd erupts in a roar of applause as Miku appears to rise from under the stage and start to sing her hit song “The World Is Mine.”

Hatsune Miku isn’t real.  She is a fully computer generated creation from a collaboration of Yamaha, Crypton, and Sega.  Her body is projected onto the stage to a clear screen that gives the illusion she is standing there bouncing, bopping and belting out tunes.  While the effect isn’t perfect, it is a remarkable sight to see.  She is there standing on stage and singing her songs, we can see her, we can hear her… but simultaneously she isn’t there because she doesn’t exist, her voice and body completely computer generated.  It’s like some bizarre Schrödinger’s pop-star.

And while Miku may not properly exist, there no denying her appeal.  Backed by a live band consisting of guitarists, drummers, keyboardists and an entire string section, you forget the whole philosophical argument of a nonexistent pop-idol.  She may just be a hologram, but damn this girl has stage presence.  She has dance moves that would make the most seasoned pop star envious and she is able to sing a pitch not attainable by the human throat and yet still sound real.

The concert was an amazing achievement, and the fans adored every minute of it and when it was over begged for more.  Miku and her digital companions Rin, Len, and Luca, rocked the Nokia center that night.  If this keeps up, that won’t just be a song title, and the world will soon belong to Hatsune Miku.

Kalafina Panel Liveblog

Hikaru, Keiko, and Wakana: Kalafina


Closing up with their Geek Week tribute video. That’s it for this liveblog!


Also new streaming announcement: D-Frag! Air date TBD


New streaming simulcasts for winter: Noragami, Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha, and Maken-Ki! S2. The first one is Sunday at 8 AM.


Tomorrow’s Space Dandy premiere will have the dub ADR Director and Ian Sinclair, the English voice of Dandy. Looks like it will be the dub.


Space Dandy promo. I think we are hearing the OP here in this trailer….


Funi is doing the Evangelion 3.33 showings…it’s playing next weekend in LA. Might go.


“Ever get to the end of an anime and feel really sad? Don’t have to worry about it…” –MC on One Piece


Next: One Piece S5. Even the MC seems a little bit tired of One Piece…or at least announcing yet another release.


Looking at the remaster, what seems to have happened is that it looks a little bit cleaner (and blown up to 16;9). It doesn’t really change anything though. The Evangelion remaster though really did seem to make a difference…


Apparently DBZ is being re-released on BD as well. A remaster of a remaster?


The MC promises us “I Love Boobies” (Space Dandy) stickers tomorrow at the Funi booth…


Next: Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero. “From the studio behind Queen’s Blade.” of course.


Fairy Tail movie Phoenix Princess is next. Question: is this the series that’s going to pick up the slack from Naruto and Bleach when they are played out?


“Feel the Urge to Merge” LOL #AquarionEVOL #Funimation #otakonvegas


Aquarion EVOL is next. For some reason I never finished this either, even though I thought it was hilarious.


Next: Wolf Children. Been meaning to see this. Missed the theater screening of this… #Funimation #OtakonVegas


Next: One Piece Strong World. Apparently one of the few things they can even release on BD… #Funimation #OtakonVegas


Next: Binbogami ga! (Good Luck Girl) (Note none of these are new licenses.) #Funimation #OtakonVegas


Upcoming new release: Akira re-release on BD. Trailer. #Funimation #OtakonVegas


Preview of the #Funimation show. (Are these being echoed on Twitter?) #Funimation


They’re talking about the Elite Video Subscription. I was a former subscriber, and since the site has improved a lot… #Funimation


Came in a bit late, but it looks like there hasn’t been any major announcements yet. #OtakonVegas #Funimation


And that’s it!


The desire to create new things comes from childhood, when they see something genuinely affecting and creative, unimaginable things.


He admits that a lot of what he’s made probably shouldn’t be seen by kids :) but he does want them to see death, violence, and even to feel pain–not bland stuff. To grow up with creativity.


Q: how do you think anime has influenced Japanese culture?


I interject: it wouldn’t be like a Psycho Pass would it? I made him laugh!


If he had to choose one technology: since we have hackers writing viruses, malware, etc., which are “invisible,” it would be awesome to have tech to stop them before they happen.


Which technologies would you want to have for yourself as depicted in GitS? (He didn’t answer this one before.)


The story in Arise is something he always wanted to do. With this one, Shirow wrote the plot, but the script was written by a novelist, who has sold a lot of work.


Ishikawa has figures: Arise played on 20 screens for 2 weeks, but it earned 100 million dollars. Yes, dollars, not yen. GitS is still popular.


Q: some have believed that GitS is more popular in the West than in Japan. Is this your perception, and with Arise, was there a conscious decision to try to reach an international audience from the start?


The message he wants to convey is: if you don’t give up, your dream will come true.


Then again, Miyazaki’s latest movie this summer, he’s making one more aimed at adults–a romantic drama. (This is the one with Hideaki Anno as the main protagonist…)


Q: do you see anime moving forward as a medium into places like the Cannes Film Festival? (GitS: Innocence was the first anime film there.) A: People like Miyazaki are the main face of Japan’s animation to the world…and he thinks anime is for kids.


He talked to Shirow 5 years ago about what he calls a “pendulum psychology”: technology may advance, but humans go back and forth in their attitude about it. Like how watches still have dials even now.


Ishikawa really reminds me of Kenji Kamiyama (the last GitS director): he really likes to talk about ideas…for a long time…


A: It was Shirow who studied these things like crazy, with all the possiblities of the future. he took the ones that were the most plausible over the next 50 years.


Q: Do you think the technologies in GitS will become real one day, and which ones would you like to adopt for yourself?


They did anticipate some criticism, but that people would come around in time.


As an animator, he has the ability to change drawings, unlike many directors. And he changed a lot in Arise.


A: the feel of a show can really be influenced by the choice of director; this is the third director of the GitS franchise. This one is an animator.


Q: was the fan backlash to Arise a surprise, or something you anticipated?


He asks us a question: people in Japan didn’t seem as excited about Yamato 2199 as people in America? Why is that? (Folks from east and west coast respond that everyone who’s seen it has been blown away.)


There are still contractual hurdles in releasing Yamato 2199 in America.


Q&A now beginning. First question is about Yamato…


LOL—he compares current fans from the ones he remembered from 15 years ago. People are so much younger and not as “big” anymore…


Now he’s talking about Kick-Heart, which earned 0k from Kickstarter. It proves that people around the world love anime.


Now he’s explaining the basic plot of Arise: it’s Motoko in a position of suffering. Audience has more empathy for someone in that position.


A good example of how CG and 2d animation might have been combined well is The Iron Giant. Character-oriented story too.


Ishikawa: Hollywood isn’t making movies with people–you have cars, robots, etc as main characters. Proud of Japan’s legacy of 2d animation, with the detail in facial expressions.


Some of the inspiration was from the big Hollywood reboots of superhero franchises: Bryan Singer’s Batman movies, the new Spider Man, etc.


Arise takes place 2 years before the main GitS story, what Motoko was doing before Section 9.


Right now Ishikawa is still talking. We haven’t gotten to questions yet.


The desire was to make something completely new: new staff, new music, new voice actors, new director. The internet had a backlash…


There will be 4 episodes of GitS Arise, 50 minutes each.


Ishikawa met with Masamune Shirow (GitS creator) and they looked at shows like CSI, 24, and the fact that they were one hour eps…they wanted to do something of that length.


Yamato had been considered a “dead” project, and there was some doubts about its success. But “we proved them wrong.”


Ishikawa: Production IG’s four big projects are: #AttackOnTitan, Kuroko no Basket, the new Yamato 2199 series, and Ghost in Shell Arise.


And that’s it.


Q: What are some of the differences in the voice acting business now vs your mother’s time? A: in her mother’s day, voice acting was a single occupation–and there were fewer works, so more people watched the same things. Now there is so much anime so she has to try her best to keep up. She hopes her work will be loved for a long time.


Are any roles more difficult to play than others? Sumire was one of the most difficult characters. Hard to express her romantic emotions.


On her role in Yuyushiki. It was an “iyashikei” role with very realistic dialogue.


Will there be more Chihayafuru anime? She doesn’t know.


Apparently the guy who did Taichi in Chihayafuru was a real entertainer, “always on, never off.”


On HanaKana: impressed with the number of types of shoes (and what they represented) in her role in that movie. :)


Q: What was it like working on Kotonoha no Niwa with Makoto Shinkai and Kana Hanazawa? A: was already a fan of Shinkai’s work. It was a dream come true to play a role in his work. Shinkai had seen a lot of her work already, and he told her that her role was best!


Q: What was it like to play Ellie in the Japanese version of “The Last of Us”? A: she didn’t take age or race into account when playing the role.


Q: was it hard to learn all the history behind karuta cards? A: Her knowledge of karuta grew in tandem with her character’s.


Q: Would you like to be an actress in a live action film? A: Very interested in playing her role in Chihayafuru in live action…and Naruto.


Why did Han follow her mother into voice acting? She was immersed in it from an early age. Strange to hear her mom’s voice on TV and at home.


The roundtable, and the event is over. Thanks for bearing with me! #SANA


McKeever: we have come a long way since the anti-Japan days of the early 1980s, and anime has played a role in that. #SANA


Positive: the response from the community to the tsunami/earthquake was overwhelming and generous. #SANA


Negative: a lot of American fans assume everyone in Japan likes anime. Which is certainly not the case. #SANA


Sullivan: she recalls Funis trouble with Dance in the Vampire Bund as an example of some shows that will always have trouble in US #SANA


Freedman: fandom is sometimes very locational. What’s popular in Akiba is actually quite specific. #SANA


I asked the panelists if there are things that appeal to American fandom vs Japanese otaku or even blog fandom…#SANA


McKeever: cons are places where all other differences between people about race, politics, sexual orientation etc fade away #SANA


Sullivan: another factor to the gender fluidity is that Christianity was never a heavy influence in Japanese culture. #SANA


Question about gender/sexuality in anime: yaoi sometimes arises in the absence of strong female characters in a story #SANA


I will ask a question soon about different types of anime and levels of popularity: especially moe anime vs other types. #SANA


McKeever: there is still a way to go with cultural acceptance of animation. Extended to comedy like Family Guy but not much more. #SANA


Condry: cultural differences are not always an obstacle. Did you think a foreign rap song could make it here? No. #SANA #gangnamstyle


Condry:…but not really for artistic reasons. It was because it would take 6 months to re-edit! #SANA


Condry: recalls a story about how one American exec tried to get Studio Ghibli to excise the bathtub scene in Totoro. he refused…#SANA


Roundtable: the dumbing down of American comics in the 50s led to dumbed down American cartoons too. Set expectations #SANA


Condry: the president of the MIT anime club calls piracy *Proselytization Commons*. LOL #SANA


Condry: anime filled a space that was missing in American media for a long time, animation for teens and adults. #SANA


Roundtable: the rise of science fiction, and interest in space in the Cold War, helped paved the way for SF anime. #SANA




Now the roundtable q&a starts on the central question: why is anime so popular in North America? #SANA


Yamaguchi: people who like anime will often begin to appreciate other aspects of Japanese culture too. Reinforces trust #SANA


Yamaguchi: hopes that the Japanese will have their eyes opened to who they are how they communicate to people in other nations #SANA





Roundtable starting, introduced by Tadahiko Yamaguchi from the Consulate. #SANA


The roundtable discussion will begin in about 5 minutes, and will be introduced by a member of the Japanese consulate. #SANA


Beck will be starting a new blog called Animation Scoop in a couple of weeks. There will be a prominent anime section/reviews. #SANA


Beck: Dreamworks only put out GitS2 and Millennium Actress so that there would be 5 Oscar nominations for animated film that year #SANA


Beck: the outlaw, the different aspect of anime is what appeals to Americans. There was something more real about it. #SANA


Beck: life mission is to show that animation is not just for kids. Put them in non-traditional places like art theaters. #SANA


Beck met Katsuhiro Otomo in 1989. #SANA



Beck met Katsuhiro Otomo in 1989. Later released more work by him (Neo-Tokyo compilation). #SANA



Apparently Sam Raimi wanted to be involved in the production of Akira in those days. Only known then for Evil Dead #SANA


The first execs who saw Akira in 1988 was turned off the moment they saw blood. The notion of cartoons = kids was hard to break. #SANA


The Japanese producers of Akira wanted an Oscar-winning director to direct the dub. They got one–a documentary director. #SANA


Beck: after the theatrical releases of Laputa and others, got Akira. He came up with the tagline, Neo-Tokyo is about to Explode #SANA


Beck along with Carl Macek start Streamline Pictures. First paid job: dubbing Totoro, then Kiki. It was for Japanese airlines. #SANA


Beck: the audience for anime by the 80s was through comic conventions and tape trading. Rare syndicated shows on TV. Truly underground #SANA


Beck: Warriors of the Wind (a cut up Nausicaa) was typical of Hollywood attitudes in the mid 1980s. #SANA #SMH


Beck met Osamu Tezuka in 1980 in NYC, and they ate sushi together and Tezuka gave him a tape. It was rejected by United Artists then. #SANA


Beck: in the 1970s you did not have video. He got mint condition 16mm print reels for the conventions instead. #SANA


Beck started watching anime in the 1960s. 8th Man made him go *holy shit.* Went to one of the first comic cons in the 1960s too. #SANA


Beck: Magic Boy was the first Japanese animated film distributed by an American company (MGM) in 1961. Astro Boy was 2 years later. #SANA



Next up: Jerry Beck, of Cartoon Brew. #SANA


McKeever: the Internet has reduced the power of distributors and content owners are now the kings. #SANA


McKeever: there needs to be more mainstream and less niche shows. And the quality of anime has to improve too. #SANA


McKeever: anime producers and distributors will need to rely more on merchandising to make up for lost DVD sales. #SANA


McKeever: a big problem too is that streaming doesn’t make money vs DVDs, and DVDs are in steep decline. #SANA


McKeever: the continued devaluing of the yen vs the dollar has made licensing anime a lot more expensive in the US. #SANA


McKeever: what anime needs is venture capital, enough money to take creative risks. Look at the 80s classics made during the boom. #SANA


McKeever: when animation in general expands, so does anime. #SANA


McKeever is now sharing stories about encounters with closet Robotech fans in Washington DC government and lobbying circles. #SANA




McKeever: you CAN make money in anime. Already gone very far in the past several decades. The market for animation for adults is big #SANA


McKeever is not concerned about the live action Robotech and Cowboy Bebop projects. He sees this as progress, in Hollywood. #SANA




McKeever: Animation in the 80s on the networks was relegated to Saturday morning only for kids. Robotech/Macross broke that mold. #SANA


McKeever: Robotech was the third highest rated program in LA in Nov 1985, and #1 in NYC in Feb 1986. At the time anime on TV was rare. #SANA


McKeever traces the birth of the US anime industry to the late 70s-early 80s, when a strong dollar made anime cheap to pick up #SANA


First up: Kevin McKeever, the marketing exec in charge of the Robotech franchise at Harmony Gold. #SANA


Lunchtime now. This concludes the morning session, and my computer needs recharging! See you for the afternoon. #SANA


Condry: Crypton licensing model and other fandom work show that people can have power despite corps, govts, copyright models #SANA


Condry: for non-profit use, there may be a nominal fee but not necc. For-profit does involve a license fee. #SANA


Condry: Crypton Future Media has set up 3 levels of licensing for using Miku. One is free non-commercial use. #SANA


Condry: AMVs, Vocaloid fandom shows fans will not wait for permission to start creating things #SANA


Condry: manga is particularly democratic as media because it is so inexpensive. Series rise and fall w/o marketing #SANA


Condry: another great case study is Gundam. Its toys did not sell so it was canceled early, but fans revive it singlehandedly #SANA


Condry: anime characters as platforms. Characters and world often come before story. Red Gardens plot made up as went along #SANA


Condry visited Gonzo during the making of Red Garden…this is the work environment. #SANA



Condry: success and value are not measured in fandom community the same way as in business. It is how much you give back #SANA


Condry: no one gets rich making anime. Shows a picture of a typical animator desk. #SANA



Condry was introduced to anime when his students recommended Samurai Champloo to him. Via BitTorrent. #SANA


This is Condry showing the folders used to produced Mamoru Hosodas Wolf Children. #SANA



Some stats: 60% of TV cartoon broadcasts are Japanese. B/yr for TV/DVD/theaters. Bu B worth of merchandise. #SANA


Media has shifted from mostly content to now a whole platform with lots of participation through communities, AMVs, fanfic, etc #SANA


Condry: few expected anime to be a big deal, culturally. The global rise of anime was a surprise to cultural elites. #SANA




Next up: Dr. Ian Condry, professor of Japanese Cultural Studies at MIT.


Sullivan: …whereas in Japan some of that kind of work can be seen as disrespectful. (ED: But then again, doujinshi?) #SANA


Sullivan: US anime fans like to feel a part of the show they like, which fuels the memes, parodies, AMVs, fanfics… #SANA


I saw this in Japan when I was in Akiba too. The industry in JP is still built on purchase of physical stuff.


Sullivan: DVDs/BDs are not going away from anime because of collector mentality, special editions. #SANA


Sullivan: a good example of anime as safe place for sexual exploration—Utena. A beautiful, influential show. #SANA


Bevins (ADR director): Americans and Japanese have different expectations for character voices hence different voice acting styles. #SANA


Sullivan: to all those who criticize anime as being violent and bad influence—look at the cons. Look at the community. #SANA


Fandom as family: when Sullivan started working at Funi she found her tribe. Tribe is a good word in my experience. #SANA


Personally, I would argue the process started earlier with the Simpsons, Family Guy, and others…


Sullivan: the rise of MLP and Adventure Time has also paved the way for more acceptance of mature themes in anime. #SANA


Sullivan: anime can be a safer place for younger people to explore sexuality and gender. #SANA


Sullivan: shift from solitary otaku to owning your freak: fandom coalescing into clubs, communities. #SANA


Bevins: because anime has something for everyone, anime should become more mainstream over time. Ease of access too. #SANA


Sullivan acknowledges Crunchyroll as having innovated first, and their move to legitimacy was a huge shift in industry #SANA


‘I love our fans. I love our fandom.’ -Sarah Sullivan #SANA




Now the Funimation reps, Christopher Bevins and Sarah Sullivan, are up. #SANA


A lot of people at University of Oregon take Japanese in order to scanlate and fansub. Some even use that as assignments. #SANA


Sullivan will be a presenter later, btw. #SANA


Sarah Sullivan (Funimation): the biggest difference between older and millennial fans is how willing they are to WAIT for anime. #SANA


Freedman likes to hold up a VHS tape and ask her 90s and later born students: what is this? Gets laughs. #SANA


The instant access of the Internet has changed both access to anime and participation in fandom drastically #SANA


So what makes anime so popular? Freedman: the participatory fandom, the coolness of niche, different storytelling. #SANA


This is somewhat deliberate: it emphasizes vulnerability rather than, say, harder aspects of Japanese culture. #SANA


So much of the soft power of anime and manga is in promoting the more kawaii side as opposed to other types. #SANA


Worth remembering: Japanese popular culture has been in America as long as Godzilla and Astro Boy. #SANA


How strange is it that Hello Kitty and Doraemon were chosen as “ambassadors”! Ambassadors are usually people. #SANA




First up: Dr. Alisa Freedman, Professor of Japanese Literature and Film, University of Oregon. #SANA


Looks like we are starting! #SANA


Still waiting. Sound has been going in and out. Looks like posting pics may be an issue with the liveblog plugin, will find workarounds. #SANA


Waiting for the event to begin. A surprisingly large crowd, given the weather outside… #SANA


The story seems to be that #tokyopop is starting over almost from scratch. Makes sense given how much business changed.


Q: any plans to rerelease manhwa? A: they lost the licenses from the main licensor. #tokyopop #animela


Viz is different because they are an arm of the Japanese publisher. Avoid translation costs. #tokyopop #animela


The hard part of being an indie publisher is capital–and the ability to weather the storm. #tokyopop #animela


Q: light novels? A: translation costs are enormous, more than manga! Chances are small. #animela #tokyopop


Q: anything else like America’s Greatest Otaku? A: timing was bad on its original release. Maybe if it gets sponsored. #tokyopop #animela


It’s funny because there are so few Hetalia fans in the audience. Everyone’s getting the trivia wrong! #animela #tokyopop


It’s trivia time now about Hetalia for prizes. There will be q&a next. #tokyopop #animela


Stu admits that OEL didn’t really sell. But feels many of the stories were great. #animela #tokyopop


Film and tv projects: perhaps adapt OEL manga since those are what they have rights to. #animela #tokyopop


Other projects: on demand merchandise via Cafepress. Designs swapped out regularly. #tokyopop #animela


Fans tell #tokyopop what might be licensible; then tell Japanese what looks promising. Use Kickstarter to gauge monetary interest. #animela


Potential with Kickstarter: avoids the problem of taking a risk before knowing what sales are. #tokyopop #animela


“Everybody is going through soul searching” in the industry because fewer stores, fewer sales. -Stu #animela #tokyopop


Daneilla (@tokyopopmanga): Will cancelled series be brought back? New series? Staff is small, licenses have to be (re)negotiated. #tokyopop #animela


Q: plans for working with Amazon Kindle? A: A few titles like Bizenghast are available. Only supported on the Fire and Fire HD now. #animela #tokyopop


Hetalia manga volumes 4 and 5 are under negotiation with Gentosha. They “are not known to be fast moving.” #tokyopop #animela


Hetalia vol 3 is released now with POD. The last book of Bizenghast too. #tokyopop #animela


Manga plans: print on demand via Rightstuf. Japanese licensors reluctant though. Closest to the publisher of Hetalia, Gentosha #animela #tokyopop


So in 2012, “the beginning of rebuilding #Tokyopop.” The website is now hosted by Nerdist Industries. #animela


Stu decided to go to northern Japan to volunteer with the tsunami recovery and made the documentary “Pray for Japan.” #animela #tokyopop


While Stu was in Japan to tell the Japanese publishers that he couldn’t publish anymore–the earthquake hit. #animela #tokyopop


Fact: technically, #tokyopop never went bankrupt. It became a virtual company. #animela


The end of Borders was the final blow for #tokyopop in its old configuration. Stu was left to clean up. #animela


Borders owed million in unpaid bills to #tokyopop. #animela


Plan was: get Japanese to license digital editions to TP. Then the bomb dropped: Borders died. #animela #tokyopop


Scanslation makes manga more accessible, true. You just can’t run a business on it. #animela #tokyopop


“We were shedding a lot of tears on that day,” Stu says. Plus scanslations played a role, no doubt. #animela


Why did #tokyopop shut down US operations? They once had 90 staff in LA…to about 35 after economic crisis. #animela


Mission has not changed fundamentally: bringing Asian pop culture to western audiences. #animela #tokyopop


Reminiscing about the start of TP as Mixx, first licensor of Sailor Moon manga. ALso I had no idea that TP brought Japanese pro wrestlers to E3.


Stu Levy introduces himself, calls himself an “old guy” :) #animela #tokyopop


Carlos Santos: all those feels about Kitchen Princess. The Madoka Magica of cooking manga! #sdcc


Underrated: Breathe Deeply (Doton Yamaaki). Love triangle about two guys and a sick girl. #sdcc #manga


Underrated: To All Corners of the World (Fumiyo Kouno). About childhood friends getting married at the end of WWII. #sdcc #manga


Chihayafuru (Yuki Suetsugu)…still unlicensed. Hey if the anime could make it, why not? #sdcc #manga


Boku wa Beatles (Tetsuo Fujii and Kaiji Kawaguchi), about two boys who travel back in time knowing Beatles songs before they’re out. #sdcc #manga


Sunny, by Taiyo Matsumoto. Still not licensed. #sdcc #manga


Osamu Tezuka’s Barbara. DMP has a Kickstarter campaign to publish this. Features bestiality, satanic rituals…carries explicit warning. #sdcc #manga


The Strange Tale of Panorama Island (Suehiro Maruo). Gorgeous artwork, anticipated for the last two years. #sdcc #manga


Thermae Romae comes out in November by Yen Press, btw. #sdcc #manga


Thermae Romae (Mari Yamazaki). YES the anime made me laugh so hard…#sdcc #manga


Most anticipated: Kitaro (Shigeru Mizuki), by Drawn and Quarterly in January 2013. #sdcc #manga


Most Anticipated Manga: Heart of Thomas (Moto Hagio). It was one of the seminal BL titles. #sdcc #manga


Alverson was especially irritated by the dog. That’s funny I thought he was the best part of the story. #sdcc #manga #kobato


Worst: Kobata (CLAMP): reading it is like being punched in the nose (Brigid Alverson). I did think the anime was boring…#sdcc #manga


Worst: My Girlfriend’s a Geek (Rize Shinba and Pentabu). About a guy who dates a yaoi/BL fangirl. @debaoki thinks the guy is pussywhipped! #sdcc #manga


The anime of Kore wa Zombie Desu-ka? was my dumb fun pick at the time. I guess this sort of thing doesn’t work in #manga? #sdcc


WORST list begins! Kore wa Zombie Desu-ka manga…Carlos Santo liked the anime, actually, but not the manga. #sdcc #manga


Saturn Apartments (Hisae Iwaoka). Idea is that there is a ring colony around a ruined earth. Story is about a window washer. #sdcc #manga


Dorohedoro (Q Hayashida). A violent fantasy. #sdcc #manga


20th Century Boys (Naoki Urasawa). I really need to read this. My next Viz app purchase #sdcc #manga


Best continuing manga for adults: A Bride’s Story (Kaoru Mori). Set in Central Asia in the middle ages. #sdcc #manga


Arisa (Natsumi Ando, creator of Kitchen Princess): a surprisingly dark and twisted story. #sdcc #manga


Next: Chi’s Sweet Home (Konami Kanata) which has been discussed for the past 3 years. I remember. #sdcc #manga


Next: Wandering Son (Takako Shimura). See our review here: #sdcc #manga


Carlos Santo: this is a manga that gives me all kinds of feels #crossgame #manga #sdcc


Next: Cross Game (Mitsuru Adachi). Still haven’t watched most of the anime though I loved episodes 1-2. #sdcc #manga


Apparently the manga and anime story diverges around volume 5. Recommended for fans of Fullmetal Alchemist. #sdcc #manga


Continuing manga for kids/teens: Blue Exorcist. Personally I was never into the anime. Is the #manga better? #sdcc


Tesoro and La Quinta Camera (Natsume Ono). Ono has struck me as being the closest #manga has to a literary writer. #sdcc


Drops of God, the wine manga. No surprise this is @debaoki’s pick, I’ve heard her rave about it a lot. Wish I could drink again… #sdcc #manga


Message to Adolf (originally just titled Adolf) by Tezuka. I read this years ago and was moved by it. #sdcc #manga


At this let me say once again: CELTY IS LOVE #durarara #sdcc #manga


Durarara!! manga (Ryohgo Narita, AKiyo Satoriigi, Suzuhito Yasuda). Wasn’t this an anime original? #sdcc #manga


Shaenon Gaerty: Anno’s artwork was shaky at first but so much better as she went along. #sdcc #manga


Best new manga for adults: Sakuran (Moyoco Anno of Hataraki Man; Hideaki Anno’s wife). A dark geisha story. #sdcc #manga


Mizuki is also the author of Ge Ge Ge Kitaro and Onwards to Our Noble Deaths, btw. #sdcc #manga


NoNonBa (Shigeru Mizuki). Mizuki only has one arm due to war injuries. And is still alive. #sdcc #manga


Next: Jiu-Jiu (Touya Tobina), though adults will probably hate it :) #sdcc #manga


Next: A Devil and Her Love Song (Miyoshi Tomori). #sdcc #manga


Next on the list: Tezuka’s Princess Knight, which is considered the first proper shoujo manga. #sdcc #manga


Sailor Moon is a title that older fans have come back to for strength and reassurance. #sdcc #manga


Uh oh, the Keynote presentation moved too far ahead, we saw some spoilers…:) #sdcc #manga


Well, it’s not really new of course. But it’s a new edition/translation. #sdcc #manga #sailormoon


Best new manga for kids/teens: Sailor Moon, of course! #sdcc #manga #sailormoon


End of conference. #sdcc #powerrangers


Favorite actors: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Meryl Streep, Daniel Day Lewis, Charlie Chaplin, Ed Norton #sdcc #powerrangers


One cast member stood on top of a porta potty with a bucket of water and dumped it on another when she walked in. #sdcc #powerrangers


If Rangers was an adult show, then they could release the bloopers uncut…#sdcc #powerrangers


Bloopers: everyone fell at least 3 times. Sneezing. Missing just one word in a close-up scene. #sdcc #powerrangers


Most of the stunt trainers were Japanese. Favorite things learned: how to ride a horse. Press person suggests a pickup line: hey baby I can be your knight! #sdcc #powerrangers


Favorite scene: the “munchies” scene with food all over the place. #sdcc #powerrangers


You are going to be a superhero for millions of kids around the world. #sdcc #powerrangers


Future advice for next cast: do not look back, make the characters your own. It’s like a family, treat like one #sdcc #powerrangers


Your favorite collectible? Squinkies (rubber, squeezable), megabots, Morphers, Samuraizer hand sanitizer #sdcc #powerrangers


The first two months were spent mostly trying to figure each other out. Delays due to script changes. #sdcc #powerrangers


Watched lots of the old Mighty Morphin series to help develop his character. Every character is shaped by the rest of the team. #sdcc #powerrangers


The entertainment industry is very hard to break into. No room for self-doubt. It is like training for a sport. #sdcc #powerrangers


Having to say goodbye to each other after 2 years of filming. PowerMorphicon is the last appearance. #sdcc #powerrangers


In fact with method acting the cast had to become real friends to show the friendship on the screen. #sdcc #powerrangers


It sounds like the cast had to live together in close quarters during filming and became very close friends. #sdcc #powerrangers


Apparently, Super Samurai is the first series to be shown in New Zealand since the original series. #sdcc #powerrangers


The show incidentally was filmed in New Zealand. Must be the new hot destination post LotR #sdcc #powerrangers


The cast has not met their Japanese counterparts. They were shown a few episodes. Everyone started from Ground Zero and made it their own. #sdcc #powerrangers


Power of Red Ranger helped one five year old in the Make-a-Wish foundation helped him get through his illness #sdcc #powerranger #aww


Show’s about showing kids that with teamwork you can do anything. #sdcc #powerrangers #aww


What does it mean to them to be part of the larger franchise’s legacy? All the cast grew up with it, often connecting with older actors from earlier in the series #sdcc #powerrangers


The character of Mike is getting more serious, though. #sdcc #powerrangers


A lot of the cast feels that over time their characters have gotten less serious. #sdcc #powerrangers


Panel over. Rushing to Power Rangers junket. later! #sdcc


Have recent events like the tsunami, bad economy in Japan affected reader interests? Maybe rom coms are popular because people need comfort #sdcc #manga


New crew members in One Piece? Not even in the Editor-in-Chief knows. Editor and mangaka decide together. #sdcc #manga #onepiece


The side furigana and kanji on the sides are sometimes very hard to translate/adapt. #sdcc #manga


Why so many romantic comedies as of late in SJ? Its what the readers want. #sdcc #manga


Manga is not art, but entertainment, must keep readers in mind -Kengo Monji. Controversial statement? #sdcc #manga


Hopefully, soon, there will be a global, simultaneous release of everything. But print should not die. #sdcc #manga


I don’t entirely agree, you can flip the iPad landscape and 2 page spreads work. #sdcc #manga


SJ Editor: Manga’s roots go back into the medieval era with illustrated scrolls, then into print. Maybe w/iPad 2 page spreads may be obsolete #sdcc #manga


The physical resemblance between the real Yoshida and the editor in the manga are uncanny. #sdcc #bakuman


Yoshida (editor of the manga): the portrayal of himself is only 70% accurate. 30% is more horrible than he really is! #sdcc #manga #bakuman


SJ Editor-in-Chief: basically plays himself in #Bakuman. #sdcc #manga


After Bakuman, many junior and high schoolers started to propose manga to SJ. More encouragement than discouragement. #sdcc #manga


At first the editor was afraid that Bakuman would be a gossipy, dishy behind-the-scenes about the industry. #sdcc #manga #bakuman


How did you decide to do a manga about your own department in Bakuman? Ohba thought of the idea while doing Death Note. #manga #sdcc


Obata: one of the nicest people in the manga industry. Always thinking of how to execute complex scenes. #sdcc #manga #deathnote #bakuman


Ohba-sensei (Death Note, Bakuman): in story meetings, he would always propose something out of the ordinary. #sdcc #manga


In Yu-Gi-Oh they have non-physical battles; it was a way to tell a battle manga w/o literal battles. #sdcc #manga


Members exclusives for SJ Alpha include creator interviews and videos, one-shots, meet up invites, Yu-Gi-Oh cards #sdcc #manga


3 reasons for Blue Exorcist popularity: Kato’s art, the main character’s identity, and side characters #sdcc #manga


SJ Editor: pay attention to the battle scenes in the upcoming Takama-ga-hara #sdcc #manga


They’re basically going to catch up with 2 chapters per issue of Blue Exorcist until August, when it’s 2 weeks behind Japan. #sdcc #manga #shonenjump


Also announcing: Blue Exorcist to be available on SJ Alpha, starting July 30th #sdcc #manga


Big announcement of new series: Takama-ga-hara, starting from July 23rd. #sdcc #manga


Basic rundown of SJ Alpha. Entries run two weeks after it runs in Japan. #sdcc #manga


Introducing everyone…first up is the editor-in-chief of Japan Weekly Shonen Jump. #sdcc #manga


Rome and I got some really nice seats…very close to the front. Should get some good pics. #sdcc #manga #shonenjump


The preview was very fluid and smooth. Lots of mass battle scenes. Tanaka leaving. #sdcc #berserk


Q&A done. Sneak preview of movie 2 now. Since part 1 was short (70 min), part 2 is longer (96 mins), part 3 is 126 mins #sdcc #berserk


All three parts of the film trilogy were done simultaneously. #sdcc #berserk


Zodd was the most difficult character to do. They drew his joint movements first and then re-render in 3d #sdcc #berserk


Western swords, unlike Japanese, are two-edged, and big swords are more like clubs or axes. #sdcc #berserk


They got an actual medieval fighting instructor and motion captured him to assist in battle animation. #sdcc #berserk


They, alas, had to cut out the scene where Guts and Griffith are splashing water at each other. I remember. #sdcc #berserk


Tanaka: I promise you the animation gets better in part 2 and part 3. #sdcc #berserk


Drawing characters, esp face and expression, was hard in 3D. Drew the faces first then attached to body. #berserk #sdcc


Fight choreography for Berserk was very new to Studio 4C. 2D and 3D mix. #sdcc #berserk


Loved portraying the friendship between Griffith and Guts. But of course. #sdcc #berserk


Decided to adapt vol 4-13 (Golden Age Arc), and ended up with 6 hours worth of storyboards. So it’s a film trilogy. #sdcc #berserk


Currently the third movie is in production in Japan. #sdcc #berserk


Manga author Kentaro Miura said: show it to me again! He then said: let’s do this. #berserk #sdcc


Tanaka: needed to figure out how to cut a human in half with a big long sworc in a 70 second pilot. #sdcc #berserk


I submitted a question about how #Berserk’s genre is less mainstream now, and if the film might rekindle interest #sdcc


Neon Alley is to be released on PS3. #neonalley #sdcc #viz


The first movie (The Egg of the King—yes that’s the title) will be released theatrically in the US. #sdcc #berserk


#Berserk 36 to be published by DarkHorse on Sept 19 2012. #sdcc


“It’s a love story between two men” #berserk #sdcc


An introduction to #Berserk. Manga sold 30m copies?! #sdcc


Studio 4C highlight reel: they definitely do a lot of Western adaptations and more experimental stuff. #sdcc #berserk


LOL< we are probably going to be on a Japanese DVD extra. I consent. :) #sdcc #berserk


Technical difficulties with the Powerpoint. Not starting yet. #sdcc #berserk


We are about to get started now. #sdcc #berserk


LOL, the first two winners of the iPad weren’t in the panel. :) #sdcc #jmanga #manga


Cheers for more Go Nagai titles, like Devilman and Mazinger. Bombard with emails if you want it! #sdcc #manga #jmanga


Any plans to finish unfinished Tokyopop titles? It’s in the publisher’s hands…Hakusensha is one not part of the JManga alliance. #sdcc #manga


Any word on getting Broccoli titles like Moyashimon? Email for more info. #sdcc #manga


Cheers to suggestion for an 18+ section. Response: not really part of JManga’s main mission. Email them if you want it! #sdcc #manga


Suggestion for better recommendation engine: “noted.” It’s being worked on. Also support for non-credit card users. #sdcc #manga #jmanga


Plans to add more historical/literary type manga. Golgo-13’s publisher apparently does a lot. #sdcc #manga #jmanga


Devilman mentioned again! Ge ge ge Kitaro too. These classic titles are hard to publish in US. #jmanga #manga #sdcc


Response: well, Viz is doing a good job with that already. But Viz is only US/Canada. #sdcc #jmanga #manga


So what’s JManga doing wrong? @debaoki: more popular (read: pirated) titles! Shounen and shoujo. #sdcc #jmanga #manga


Most surprising title for them: the manga about train bento boxes (Ekiben something…) #sdcc #jmanga #manga


Yuri has been ignored by most publishers, so Jmanga wanted to take advantage of the gap in market #sdcc #jmanga #manga


Admitted that initially the site was rushed to open and launch titles have been fixed since. #sdcc #jmanga #manga


According to @debaoki: “The translation quality has improved dramatically” since the start. #sdcc #jmanga #manga


JManga’s strengths: more open than most Japanese companies. Digital enables niche titles. #sdcc #jmanga #manga


Also will be releasing titles from Ichi Jinsha, yuri and BL titles I believe. Announcements ovre. #sdcc #jmanga #manga


No title announcements yet, but it will include some still being serialized in Japan. #sdcc #jmanga #manga


Will be releasing some Kodansha titles rescued from Del Rey and Tokyopop. Mistakes will be corrected. #sdcc #jmanga #manga


Judges include @debaoki, William Flanagan, Jake Tarbox, etc. Familiar faces :) #sdcc #jmanga #manga


Winner gets trip to Japan. Runners up can get iPads etc. Open to all worldwide. #sdcc #jmanga #manga


Two seinen and one shoujo title will be used as basis for contest. No typesetting required. #sdcc #jmanga #manga


JManga will work with Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs for a Manga Translation Battle contest. #sdcc #jmanga #manga


iOS and Android apps coming in October 2012! #sdcc #jmanga #manga


I just love there is a manga about an anesthesiologist, Anesthesiologist Hana. #sdcc #manga #jmanga


Yuru Yuri manga is coming out soon on JManga! #sdcc #manga #jmanga #yuruyuri


“Any fans of BL manga?” The cheers were not as loud as I expected. :) #sdcc #manga #jmanga


New titles: Peacemaker, Pippira Note, Sun-ken Rock. #sdcc #jmanga #manga


Heh, you call a special phone number to get prizes at designated times. #sdcc #jmanga #manga


Panel over. Whew. Thanks to all the RTs and follows and replies! #sdcc


Kodansha will NOT re-release Del Ray’s light novels holding, like Kara no Kyoukai. They are focused only on #manga. #sdcc


Kodansha spent the last 1.5 yrs stablishing the company. Things are only now getting stable to rescue Del Ray licenses #manga #sdcc


How did Borders’ bankruptcy affect them? not much. They were ready for them to implode as early as 2008. #sdcc #manga


It was Takeuchi who asked them to remove the Sailor Moon bonus comics, at the last minute. #sdcc #sailormoon #manga


‘There are some people on Twitter that are kind of mean’ —Kodansha rep on angry fans #sdcc #manga


Can’t answer question about balance between smooth language and accurate translation.  Fan thinks new version is more accurate overall tho #sdcc #sailormoon #manga


Any more new series on the Kodansha app? Later this month, Cage of Eden, Mardock Scramble, Ninja Girls coming. #sdcc #manga


They’ve only received 6 complaints total about the smudging though. Not a widespread problem according to editor. #sdcc #sailormoon #manga


Smudged volumes have been handled/replaced as far they know. Recommend returning to store. #sdcc #manga


Omnibus collections are only released after a bunch of volumes have come out. No earlier than 2014 for #sailormoon #sdcc #manga


License rescue of Devilman: no answer. #sdcc #manga #kodansha


Is the new translation of Love Hina different enough to warrant a reread? A: yes. :) #sdcc


Editor: I stand behind the choices we made. Fan: do you live your life nervously? #sailormoon #sdcc


Translator notes are basically included based on whether there’s room. Adding one page can add 16 pages to the folio. #sdcc #sailormoon


Editorial decisions on Sailor Moon translation questioned. “Spark ring/pressure ring” admitted as mistake. #sdcc #sailormoon


Negima apparently has a spin-off called Negiho, where an adult Negi teaches kindergarten girls. #sdcc #manga #whykenakamatsu


They’ll be releasing the last few volumes of Negima too. (Vol 38 in Apr 2013.) GiTS SAC too. #sdcc @manga


Awaiting some clarification about Kotono Mitsuishi. Apparently she blogged that she had the role? #sdcc #sailormoon


Battle Angel Alita: Last Order will be coming out this fall. Also Natsume Ono’s new work Danza. #sdcc #manga


Another release: Missions of Love (11/2012) by Ema Toyoma. #sdcc


Collector’s Edition manga will have color pages in the US releases. #sdcc #sailormoon


On new Sailor Moon artbook re-releases: no comment. #sdcc #sailormoon


Official clarification: actually, Mitsuishi said she would LIKE to be Usagi again. No cast yet. #breakingnews #sailormoon #sdcc


At Japan Expo a new Sailor Moon anime was announced. (Tidbit: Kotono Mitsuishi will be Usagi again.) #sdcc #sailormoon


Start with Sailor Moon, of course. Loud cheers. The bestselling manga in America. #sdcc


Raffle time. Sounds like panel’s over. #sdcc


Accel World: no word on dubs either. #sdcc


Will there be more Monster anime? There doesn’t appear to be any plans… #sdcc


Question: when is Lagrange S1 to be released on disc? Answer: no hard release date. Dub to be on Neon Alley. #sdcc


The scavanger hunt concept seems to be finally taking off at #sdcc this year. Seen several companies, Viz included, now do it.


Free ice cream at the One Piece food truck on Saturday at 3 PM!! (Free food at cons = vital) #sdcc


Like, “ok, time to name names. Who was Eiji based off of?” #bakuman #sdcc


Heh, some Shonen Jump Japan editors are coming to a panel on Saturday. Including the Bakuman one. I might have questions for him…  #sdcc


Huh, I don’t see a mention of the new Kenshin manga in the Shonen Jump Alpha announcement anymore. Is it done or was it a one off? #sdcc


Heh, Viz finally finished the Android app for Viz Manga. Today. #sdcc


Interesting, the loudest cheers from an otherwise quiet crowd is for Blue Exorcist… #sdcc


#SDCC exclusive! Street Fighter x Sanrio crossover. LOLWUT?


Sadamoto’s long-running, long-delayed Evangelion manga vol 13 is coming out. Is this the final one? Will he ever finish? #sdcc


‘Vampire Knight fans, get Jiu Jiu’ #manga #sdcc


Ooooh, the Nausicaa graphic novels are coming back into print for . Might actually get this. #sdcc #miyazaki


Ooh, I see, they are creating original graphic novels with Mameshiba characters. Weren’t they just a commercial mascot or something? #sdcc


Mameshiba video…man I remember the ads for it in certain fansubs. lol #sdcc


Lots of Berserk movie events tomorrow, with Studio 4C head Eiko Tanaka. Will try our best to cover it, with premiere of first film at 8:30 PM. #sdcc #berserk


I mean six dollars and 99 cents. The liveblog engine has a problem with dollar signs. Argh. #sdcc #neonalley


OK, this Neon Alley: they haven’t announced which console(s) it’ll be available on. Dub only, uncut, HD. .99/month. Dub version of CR? #sdcc #viz #anime


DVD release schedules for Naruto Shippuden, Pokemon, Inuyasha Final Act. #sdcc


Showing video teasers of their current anime on Hulu.


And we’re done. Time for pictures #sdcc #yayahan #cosplay


Sexy costumes are a great fitness motivator. “Nothing will get me on the treadmill faster!” #sdcc #yayahan #cosplay


A revealing costume often takes a lot of “engineering.” “There’s tape involved!” #yayahan #cosplay #sdcc


Double standard in female crossplay (generally ok) and male crossplay (not ok). At this point a Man Leia stands up. It’s convincing. #sdcc #yayahan #cosplay


To uninformed parents: your kids could be doing something way worse with their lives than making creative costumes. #sdcc #cosplay #yayahan


Handling trolls: “delete, ban, and move on.” AMEN SISTER #sdcc #yayahan #cosplay


Yaya’s mom on her cosplay: “showing too much cleavage!” #sdcc #yayahan #cosplay


She spends most of her money on cosplay…which is not surprising. #sdcc #yayahan #cosplay


Find a non-costumed friend to turn down photos, like a manager/agent. Or say: “The Justice League needs me!” #sdcc #cosplay #yayahan


Protip: don’t take photos when a cosplayer is on the phone, or eating. Especially mid-chew. #sdcc #cosplay #yayahan


If the costume is TOO convincing people seem to start forgetting you’re a human being #sdcc #cosplay #yayahan


“People on the Internet don’t read” —on critical comments on the Internet #sdcc #cosplay #yayahan


“We’re viewed as freaks already, let’s all be nice to each other.” #sdcc #cosplay #yayahan


Photoshoots have become increasingly important to the cosplay scene.


The Japanese journalist who popularized the term “cosplay” actually coined it after he went to a Star Trek con. #sdcc #cosplay #yayahan


Cosplayer vs Costumer: didn’t realize there was actually a separate term for Western property costuming fans. #sdcc #cosplay #yayahan


Fun tidbit: in Italy, most female cosplayers who are serious tend to be aspiring professional idols. #sdcc #cosplay #yayahan


On street preachers at nerd cons: “I think they secretly want to join in!” #sdcc #cosplay #yayahan


Cosplay helped Yaya become less shy and more confident. Taking audience stories. #sdcc


And we’ve started! Yaya is dressed as Wonder Woman. No flash photography,


The panel is now over. Thanks everyone, to my new followers and faves on Twitter! #SDCC


The police have very broad power to determine obscenity. The working criteria is showing genitals. No longer applies to text. #SDCC


There is no political dissent aspect of this censorship. It really is an issue about obscenity, and that definition can change. #SDCC


Japan comes from a civil, not common, law tradition. We can share similar ideas but have very different details. #SDCC


Japanese courts tend to be reluctant about overturning laws as unconstitutional, so that route is an uphill battle. #SDCC


That amendment in a way reveals the real intent of the law. The current law is a face-saving political compromise. #SDCC


The rejected amendment from June 2010 tried to create the “non-existent youth” class and also fund moral watchdog groups. #SDCC


“Sexual or pseudo-sexual acts that would be illegal in real life”—does that include two high school kids having sex? #SDCC


The big change with the Youth Ordinance law is that it names manga and anime specifically as potentially harmful material. #SDCC


The Youth Ordinance are local laws, and actually most prefectures have similar laws. #SDCC


Anime/manga don’t currently fall under the child porn law, but many want to change it. #SDCC


Three criteria: 1.) Violating the sexual sense of shame; 2.) Strongly titillating; 3.) “Decency” and “social convention” #SDCC


The famous pubic hair law is a directly result of Article 175.#SDCC


The obscenity law was essentially forced upon Japan by Western treaties during the Meiji period. #SDCC


Relevant laws: Article 175, Child Porn Law, the Youth Ordinance. Article 175 is the obscenity law. #SDCC


Censorship in Japan is legally defined ONLY as forbidding publication beforehand—not afterwards! #SDCC


Article 21 of the Japanese Constitution guarantees free speech and no censorship. But it’s interpreted narrowly. #SDCC


Takashi Yamaguchi, a lawyer from Tokyo: “Legal Backgrounds concerning ‘Censorship and Manga’ in Japan.” #SDCC


Japanese censorship is now an international issue, with the involvement of NGOs and other groups involved on the issue #SDCC


Part of it is b/c of a conflation between “virtual” and “real” child porn; the latter has real victims. #SDCC


Foreign pressure does play a role in these censorship efforts. There is a perception that Japan is a child porn haven for instance—but it’s not actually true. Less than 10% of such things are hosted in Japan. #SDCC


Nowhere else in the world than in Japan do women have so much agency in fiction and comics. #SDCC


Now with lots of overseas attention to Japanese pop culture, governments are looking at it. They didn’t much before. #SDCC


“Adult” material in US comics was always breaking ground—going against the Comics Code, etc. Not in Japan. #SDCC


We tend to think of preventive censorship; Japanese censors try to remove ideas that are already out there. #SDCC


The cultural context is vastly different and a different set of concerns, drive those kinds of decisions. #SDCC


Japanese artists and publishers are not necessarily going to fight censorship laws as much as Americans might assume. #SDCC


Next up: Dan Kanemitsu, on the disjunctions of perceptions of censorship in Japan vs America. #SDCC


Women aren’t necessarily uniformly in favor of the censorship laws. There’s a lot of erotica aimed at them too. #SDCC


And now a discussion about “ladies’ comics” and BL. Fujimoto insists—it’s made by women, for women, vs some American expectations. #SDCC


It might be possible that manga helps children distance themselves from the worse impulses via its depiction in manga. #SDCC


And yet, crime in Japan is much lower. Rape rates, for adults and minors, have gone down a lot since its peak in the 1960s, just as the self-censorship of manga ended. #SDCC


“There is no doubt that sex and violence plays a larger role in manga compared to other nations.” —Fujimoto #SDCC


Fujimoto: half of all manga produced, and more than half the revenue, is for manga intended for adults. (Not porn.) #SD


Fujimoto: In fact, it’s better to compare manga to films and novels in America, not comics. It’s much more mainstream. #SDCC


Yukari Fujimoto: the Japanese manga market is much larger and more diverse than the US comic book market—by 15 times. #SDCC


The original title of the panel was specifically about the Tokyo Youth Ordinance bill, which forbids the sale of 18+ manga to minors. #SDCC


Looks like it is over. See ya! #SDCC #yenpress


Now it’s the “swag portion of the evening.” Sounds like this panel may close early. #SDCC #yenpress


They are also working on being able to read YenPlus on the iPad in the app. #SDCC #yenpress


A few notes on “With The Light,” which is about raising an autistic child. #SDCC #yenpress


Q: Android version for the app? A: It’s the next step. iPad was first b/c of the size; then iPhone, since it’s similar to iPad. Android is next on the agenda. #SDCC #yenpress


Huh, a manga version of Gossip Girl? The new app will have a free preview chapter called “Psycho Killer.” #SDCC #yenpress


The app will have a CoverFlow-style cover browser. #SDCC #yenpress


Not Yenpress Plus, sorry. It’s their actual volumes. #SDCC #yenpress


iPhone/iPad app to be released for YenPress Plus in 24 hours! Yotsuba! and HotD will be out today. #SDCC #yenpress


Olimpos (Olympus) by Aki. Yes, based on Greek mythology. Yes, BL. #SDCC #yenpress


Also, Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? March 2012. #SDCC #yenpress


New releases: Durarara!! next January. IIRC though it was an anime original. #SDCC #yenpress


Apparently Anne Rice consented to do an Interview With the Vampire story graphically… #SDCC #yenpress


High School of the Dead omnibus coming out soon. #SDCC #yenpress


Early QA: looking any new light novel licenses? A: Not today.


There will be new licensing announcements today. But first some previously announced titles.


Introducing the panel members: Abby Blackman, Tania Biswas, and Kurt Hassler.


Panel should be starting any minute now.


Motoi Suzuk (Shueisha): there will be social networking integration in the website, and customizable homepages. Sounds similar to Crunchyroll.


Toshitaka Tanaka: Japan has many more bookstores than the US, even though it has only 1/3 the population. The market is different.


Panel’s over. That’s it!


Paull Starr: a translator has much more power with a novel than a manga. Bill Flanagan: in anime subtitle translation you have 2 lines of 32 characters each, and you gotta put a phrase or sentence in it.


Dialect is a love/hate thing. Mari says that she’s from Osaka, and even she thinks of Osaka-ben as being like a Southern drawl.


Stephen Paul: he got the chance to redo Azumanga Daioh for Yen Press. When it came to the Osaka character, the anime version had a Southern drawl, the manga has a Brooklyn accent…and that’s a problem. Paul invented something in between and wrote a long translator note…but then the editor wrote him back saying, “So this is in Southern style, right?” That’s how they ended up doing it, not Paul’s version.


Mari: in Naruto, there have been some differences in various terms. There are differences between the way the anime does it and the manga. It’s a huge spreadsheet…


Jonathan Tarball: I’ve never had a fight with a translator. As a rewriter I want to do as little translation as possible, in a way.


Bill Flanagan: whenever there is an offer, I say yes.


Jonathan: “you named a character what?


Paul Starr: sometimes it depends on how high up or influential you are as far as title selection requests.


Q: are there any titles that you wanted but didn’t get? A: Mari didn’t get Ranma 1/2, or Rin Ne.


Tarbox: sometimes thinks that it’s hard to read a manga in the original Japanese and do it justice in translation. Mari Morimoto is talking about “Cat’s Eye.”


Couldn’t catch most of the titles they’re talking about b/c of site slowness. Sorry.


Q: are there untranslated works out there that you, personally, would like to see translated? A: “There is an ocean of manga material, only a bucketful of which has made it into the American market” (Tarbox)


Jonathan Tarbox: Translating is sometimes like trying to explain Star Trek to your grandmother.


Stephen Paul: learning Japanese in college is very different from learning it to be able to read a manga comfortably. Learning to translate is in itself a different skill.


Paull Starr: if you have a lot of criticisms about translation, become a translator, which is an incredibly lucrative field! :)


Bill Flanagan: there is a range of what people, even purists, think are acceptable or unacceptable. Jonathan Tarbox: If you have four fanboys in a room you have five opinions.


Mari Morimoto: most people in this room are probably manga purists who want more literal translations. But that doesn’t always work with the flow. Viz’s mission is to also include non-fanatics and those who are new. No one pretends it’s a literal translation; difference between translation and adaptation.


Stephen Paul: Apparently Tokyopop hired an American comic writer to do the rewriting for Battle Royale and tried to “punch it up.”


Paul Starr: Changes are never made out of malice, but usually out of best intentions to present the creator in a good light. But fans sometimes have different expectations than translators.


Bill Flanagan: Negima went through a lot of translator turnover. There was a rewriter who wasn’t sensitive to fan needs and took creative license, combined with an editor who didn’t know how to stop it.


Q: For more colloquial translations, how do they make decisions to translate? A: Decisions are made by the translators. Problem is that editors aren’t necessarily bilingual now, so they have to trust translator decisions.


These people have definitely done some pretty cool manga and light novels: Haruhi, Spice and Wolf, the new Sailor Moon…


The panelists are doing their introductions now.


Panel’s over.


Fan: “Since so many X-Japan influences so many visual kei bands, which new bands do you admire?” Yoshiki: “What?” He then talks about Lee and McFarlane. (He didn’t seem to understand the question.)


“I like it when the guy who’s the boss is so involved in the project,” McFarlane says about Yoshiki’s involvement. The banter between McFarlane, Lee, and Yoshiki is really good.


Lee: “I never heard you talk so much!” Yoshiki: “It’s contagious.”


Fan: “Stan Lee, as a man to a man, I can say, I love you.” Stan Lee: “I accept that!”


Will Yoshiki incorporate the band members in to the comic book? “Yes, I think so….Our band has so much drama.”


Yoshiki thanks American fans for helping Japan in its time of need.


Yoshiki wanted the piece of music included in the comic to resemble Close Encounters of the Third Kind. A little gothic, etc. As to whether there will be more music for the comic books: “why not?”


What does Yoshiki hopes to express in the comic that he couldn’t do with music? “I don’t know,” he admits.


Yoshiki: “when I said ‘superhero,’ I wanted to be Spider Man…”


Yoshiki: “Can you make me a superhero?” he asked Stan Lee. “Only if you give me a cameo,” Lee replied.


Apparently Yoshiki gave Stan Lee a cameo in a music video, playing the role of the Devil. “And if you rearrange the letters of Satan, you can spell Stan!” Todd McFarlane says.


Stan Lee: “I hate these two men!” (Todd and Yoshiki) “I have people who are more talented than me!”


Panel’s being introduced now: Yoshiki, Stan Lee, Todd McFalane, etc.


Yay, we will be getting a free limited edition, music-playing copy of “Blood Red Dragon.” It’s a comic book, for those who don’t know…


Panel’s starting. They’re introducing everyone now.


They’re playing an ABC News clip about Yoshiki and X-Japan. A puff piece, basically.


The opening video is starting.


Waiting for the panel to begin. I hope my tethering battery lasts on this, mine is low…


Group photo competition now, rock paper scissors.



Eliminated first round. She had scissors, I had paper.



Giving away signed CDs. Looks like we will do rock paper scissors.



They just announced the signing is right afterwards at the NIS booth. Bad move, announcing it so publicly like that and if there’s no tickets or lottery. There’s going to be a stampede…



Q: What will you be working on the future? A: She wants to study more English and do more roles in it.



Q: What’s your favorite creatures from the Persona/Shin Megami Tensai series? A: “Monsters? Creatures?” There was a character with an eagle.



Celty was one of the most difficult to roles to play because the character doesn’t have a head. She has to reduce the tone of her voice so that it can be a low tone, which took lots of practice.



Q: Do a line from Celty in Durarara. In English, but in character? (Some groans from the audience.) A: “Sorry, I can only speak English when I want to order some hamburgers.”



She had a pretty harsh voice for Hit Girl there.



She asks us: how many of us have seen “Kickass”? She did the dub of Hit Girl there in Japanese! Now she demonstrates…



Q: You’ve done both mature roles (Celty, Maria), and cutesy ones (Puchiko—she goes “pew!” at the mention). Which one do you prefer? A: She really does enjoy both types. When she’s playing the more mature types of roles, it’s like talking with her coworkers. But when she’s playing kids, she can totally let go.



“Girls or Hideyoshis only!” for the next questioner.



Q: As Cammy in Street Fighter IV vs the upcoming SF vs Tekken, was there any difference between acting them? Also say “Spin Drive Smasher.” A: (Apparently not certain whether she will do it.)



Q: You worked with Kamiya-san, who’s a bit of a hentai. What’s it like working with him? A: I don’t really know if he’s really a hentai! Maybe he could be, but he is one of the most honest people in the industry. For groups like Zetsubou-sensei and Bakemonogatari, his faithfulness and honesty is striking. He is one of the few people who is as preparing as long as he does. Rare in the industry.



Konishi-san is really tall, and worked together on Letter Bee (Tegami Bachi). They were lovers in an earlier role. He’s a really nice and kind guy. She once went to the recording studio, and Konishi-san always prepared the script and leaves it on her chair ready.



And now Danny Choo gives it a shot…not as well. :) “I’ve got a secret desire to become a voice actress,” he admits, before correcting himself.

そして、ダニー・チューも試してみるのだが。。。微妙だった。「俺も実は密かに声優になりたかったんだせ。」と告白した。でも、本来ならvoice actorというところをvoice actressと言ってしまい、即座にvoice actorに言い直した。


Apparently, Miyuki’s the screeching baby in that show!



Ingrid from my anime club @animesouffle asks: “What was it like to work with Konishi-san in Beelzebub?”



Audience Q: What’s the difference btwn voicing for games vs anime, and biggest challenges? A: Recording for anime and games is completely different. Usually when one is recording for anime, you are all in the same room and see and feel each others’ expressions. But for games, it’s recording solo; you have to imagine the feelings of the other actors. Imagining punching or kicking sounds are challenging.

会場にいるファンからの質問 Q:ゲームとアニメの演技はどう違うのでしょうか?また何が一番のチャレンジですか?A:アニメとゲームの収録はとても違います。アニメの場合はみんなと同じ部屋で収録するので、一緒に演じている声優さんたちの表情をみながら、またやり取りの呼吸を感じ取りながら演じることができます。しかし、ゲームの場合は、たった一人で収録するので、他の声優さんたちとのやり取りを想像しながら演技しないといけません。また、キックやパンチの時の発声なども大変でしたね。


“I can choose one!” Miyuki exclaims as people raise their hands for questions.



Q: Any other seiyuu she’s enjoyed working with? A: Maaya Sakamoto (Nino in Arakawa). Sakamoto has been singing since 15 and had always listened to her music. She treats Sakamoto like a sempai, and can speak to her easily. During the recording of Arakawa she made sure she was always seen behind Sakamoto.

Q:他の声優で一緒に仕事していて楽しかった人はいますか?A:『荒川アンダー ザ ブリッジ』でニノを演じた坂本真綾さんですね。真綾さんは15歳のときから歌い続けて、私もずっと真綾さんの歌を聴いてきています。真綾さんは私の先輩みたいな存在で、なんでも話せる間柄で、いつも相談に載ってくれます。荒川の収録中に私は真綾さんの隣にいつもくっついてました。


Q: Which character do you identify with most? A: In Kimi ni Todoke. She plays Yano. She can really relate to that character, it gives her a “Cupid” feel.



Q: How do you prepare yourself for a voiceover role? A: She did a role in Gosick lately, and played the part of a mother who was giving birth. She went on Youtube to watch videos of mothers giving birth…



Q: Do you practice being Maria every day in front of the mirror? A: She’s not really sadistic, but when she’s around the other characters, she feels that she might talk to them in that way…



She now does a line from Arakawa: “Get down on the floor and say ‘I want to become a worm.'”



Q: Any lines or roles that have been profound? A: She’s done many roles, and it’s hard to find a single one. The one for Arakawa Under the Bridge was very special. It’s one of her most sadistic roles. She feels like she’s wearing pin (?) heels doing it.

Q:どのキャラ、もしくは台詞が心に一番深く残ってますか?A:今まで数々の役を演じてきましたから、探すのはちょっと難しいですね。でも、荒川アンダー ザ ブリッジのマリアはスペシャルでしたね。今までで最もSな役の一つでした。ピン・ヒールを履きながらやってる感じですね。(後ろにいた日本から来たオタクたちが「ぜひともお願いします!俺たちドMです!」と絶叫)


Q: What does it take to become an amazing voice actress? A: Rather than actual skills, when she’s standing in front of a mic, she has to imagine standing by the sea. She suggests that people go to the sea and feel what it’s like. It might help in gaining the feelings to get the role. Spending time with friends helps too.



Q: What was your big break? A: Usually in Japan, people who want to become a seiyuu have to go a school to learn to become one. However, when Miyuki was 13, she went to a normal school and auditioned for Di Gi Charat for a little sister role (Puchiko).



Q: Why did you decide to be a voice actress? A: In primary school, she used to read a lot of books. Reading them, she realized she could become another person, which is one reason why she became a voice actress.



Q: Where will she be traveling after the con? A: She likes going out to dinner.



She also visited a supermarket and bought chocolate and cream for one of her friends—hasn’t found time to get something for herself.



She spent 2 weeks in PA for a long vacation, and goes to NY to see some musicals. She also visited the Getty Center, had some trouble pronouncing it…(then again Danny Choo did too)



Q: where did you learn English? A: She did some home stay in Pennsylvania and at university too.



“Hey guys, konnichiwa! I woke up now. I couldn’t wait for this day, because it’s my dream to visit a convention abroad. I’m so glad to see your faces, guys! I’m going to enjoy this time with you, so enjoy with us, please. Thank you!”



Q: When did you arrive in LA? A: She left Japan on Wednesday, and went back in time and arrived on Wednesday. Awesome time traveling! She can speak a little English…..



Miyuki is dressed in a kimono. “Very nice indeed,” Choo says. “How long did you take to put it on.” Folks who are good at it can do it right away, but it took her 30 minutes.



What the heck? Danny Choo is the MC for the panel…



Sitting next to @Kylaran right now too. Rome and @Shinmaru are elsewhere. I gave him some of my trail mix.



Maybe I should use my literary creative writing skills to describe Sawashiro. :)



First, the bad news: no photo or video of Sawashiro, even for press. This liveblog will be as exact a transcript as possible to make up for the lack.



Hikaru: “I am very happy and didn’t expect this at all!”


Aha, it’s Hikaru’s bday tomorrow! We all sing happy birthday.


Hikaru: I was so surprised to see this many fans come to see us! Thank you for everything!


Keiko: this is the first time we can actually mingle with fans. This is overwhelming compared to Anime Boston. We are so happy and honored.


And it’s the end of the panel…the last word. Wakana: So many people came to see us! Thank you, come to our concert tomorrow!


My word, these are softball questions: “what’s the name of the producer who discovered them”? A guy with an orange lightstick got it….


Quiz: what anime uses their latest song, “Magia”? EVERY HAND in the room goes up. OMG, Madoka is going to be HUGE.


Now there is a quiz show, with prizes.


Correction: Hikaru loves string instruments, but personally she does play a little piano and drums.


Q: What are their favorite instruments? A: (Keiko): Guitar. Rock and roll! (Wakana): Flute. (Hikaru): “I touched a piano.”


Q: Inspiration for Black Butler 2 song? A (Hikaru, Keiko): for the costumes, Kajiura talked to the designers. They also looked at the storyboard of the anime.


Q: What are your hopes for the band going forward? A (Wakana): Performing more, around the world.


Hikaru: the Black Butler song. First time wearing long dress and long sleeves. Very inspirational, different.


Keiko: Magia. The costumes are strong, womanly, “hard,” and in-your-face.


Q: What was their favorite PV and the best costumes? A (Wakana): the first one, “Oblivious.” The costumes were all white; it’s her color.


Q: Do they have a favorite Kara no Kyoukai song? A: (Hikaru wrests microphone away from Keiko): They’re all inspirational, but she finds “Aria” more inspirational. She was so nervous that she started shaking when she sang it.


Q: Which song represents the way you look at the world? A (Keiko): We all treasure Kajiura-san’s songs. It’s hard to say which one is a favorite because each is so different. But the latest single, Magia, is very different…with Hikaru as the main vocalist, who didn’t do that before.


Q: Do you contribute the music in any way? A: Yuki Kajiura does it all. We stay true to her vision, that’s how we contribute.


Now it’s audience Q&A.


Q: What styles or brands do you like to dress in? A: No particular one, it depends on the song and its theme.


Q: anywhere specific they’d like to go in LA? Santa Monica Beach and Disney.


Wakana: excited to have a first West Coast concert! “Please come join us, I’m so excited.”


Kalafina is in! Apparently this is the second time at an anime convention.


Cheers for “Magia.” Looks like Madoka has a lot of traction already. #ax11


Looks like they can’t decide whether to turn off the lights or not during the video…


Video clip of Kalafina now showing.


No video, but photography yes. No surprise there. We will send someone to do Miyuki soon too.


Press is PACKED compared to Furukawa’s panel. Not surprised. They’re playing Kara no Kyoukai songs on the PA.


We’re inside now. Second row, directly in front of the microphones. Looks like we’ll have a very good shot.


OK, it seems press does have to clear the room. We will be back shortly


INFO: Furukawa’s autograph session is at Booth #1111 from 3-4 pm.


Whoa. He draws well…a really good sketch of Piccolo.


Answer: Ataru is so opposite of me, I can’t kiss a girl and grope another’s butt at the same time—but he just motioned it. Apparently he’s a devout Christian? “A decent human being wouldn’t do that…” :)


Our own Jeremy asks him the last question: “how did you get such a lecherous role like Ataru from Urusei Yatsura?”


I think I just saw the Kalafina entourage walk in the back door.


Furukawa is wrapping up now, the Kalafina panel liveblog will be here. Stay tuned! (Everything is running late; we’re going to send another staff member to Miyuki Sawashiro if it overlaps.)


Looks like just 5-10 minutes left. Kalafina is next!


Just did a Lupin III voice. And a sad voice.


Just did a Kaishiden voice from Gundam. Man, he’s so funny.


This guy does the best voices…so hilarious. We have some video of it.


This was a test of the new liveblog plugin, btw. It’ll be fully ready to go with the Kalafina panel.


His entire walk-in closet has become a figure storehouse. He has over 700.


Furukawa is about to talk about his hobby: figure collecting. He’s got a rather amazing amount.

Mix Speakers at Anime Next 2011

At a convention, there is an opportunity to explore new music, and Mix Speakers. Hearing from their MySpace page, they music seems J-poppish. But this groups is a visual kei rock group, so my impressions of them will be further cemented this weekend. They are known for their monster and fantasy look, so outside of the concert they’re having tonight, they are also having a photo shoot, of that I am quite curious about.  This is all at Anime NEXT 2011.

So expect more of my thoughts and snippets from my twitter, and the under the hashtag of #an2011.

Yoshiki at SiriusXM

In the midst of a truly busy week of about three conventions in real life, (not Anime conventions, but of Book/Publishing/Blogging conventions) I received an exclusive press invitation to Yoshiki being in New York to promote his monthly aired hour long Yoshiki Radio, that would be debuting May 27, 2011 on SiriusXM. Then on June 5, the show will be airing the first Sunday of each month at 9PM EST. The show will have Yoshiki choosing his samples of music, from various sources, inspirations, and there would also be anime music as well. (This is from the Press release, so I am possibly reiterating it for facts and clarity.

yoshiki meet and greet-2

When I arrived at Sirius XM’s Main Office, Yoshiki was recording for his radio show. Near the entrance was an open bar, and behind it were tables. Toward the window there were two-three LCD screens showing clips of Yoshiki’s appearances over the years. Since the screens were muted, there were the background music of piano/instrumental Forever Love.

yoshiki meet and greet-5

Waiting patiently, the area quickly filled up with invited media and fans. Finally the man everyone’s waiting for arrives!

yoshiki meet and greet smile-9

There was a press conference, where media was allowed to ask questions.. and silly me.. forgetting to bring along a voice recorder. However I was able to take notes, so here is what I got.

  • The reason why Yoshiki is doing this radio show, is because of a desire to be closer to fans. Fans have been a very big support to Yoshiki himself, and for X Japan.
  • Yoshiki will be coming back to New York Ciy after his Europe tour.
  • There was a request for X Japan to perform at larger venues like Madison Square Garden, and a question about X Japan touring with a U.S. star such as Lady Gaga. The possibilities are endless at this point, so Yoshiki will be seeing what can happen.
  • Last year’s North American tour gave a confidence to X Japan on touring to places outside Asia.
  • Yoshiki who has been taking more English lessons, has difficulty in pronouncing songs, and artists names.
  • Other than working on X Japan’s Europe Tour, he has been working on a Hello Kitty theme.

I was actually able to ask two questions to Yoshiki, one: the status of his Stan Lee collaboration, and two: how successful has his foundation has been for Japan Earthquake Relief, so these were his answers.

  • Issue 0 has been in the midst of being produced from the Stan Lee collaboration, where Yoshiki is portrayed as a hero.
  • Yoshiki Foundation has recently raised around $150 million in donations from fans and supporters.

The press conference ended, and fans were treated to listening to X Japan’s latest song, Scarlet Love Song, which is the theme song to Osama Tezuka’s Buddha movie, that is going to be released in Japanese movie theaters on May 28, 2011. (Waiting for the release of this theme song, has been a bit of a challenge for me, since listening to the sample has made me want to listen to the full version, so I was quite happy. Of course I also hope that Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha gets to be released here with subtitles, and their English album.)

yoshiki meet and greet-13

There was then a time of meeting a greeting. Chosen fans from Sirius Radio contest drawings were led in, and introduced to Yoshiki. Fans came from parts of the United States, and even from Japan. Yoshiki has a long reputation of being sweet and considerate toward his fans, so I believe I melted a bit. His right hand had recently been  injured, and wrapped up. He has had such a time writing and using his left hand. Of course I wish for his speedy recovery, and continued health.

So here at Anime Diet’s Flickr are images I took from the event.

Yoshiki will be heading back to the West coast, heading to FanimeCon 2011.

Music Monday: Putting the Focus on Music Acts at Anime Boston

Anime Boston's Mascots and there's a third one as well. Isn't this cool though?

I will be heading to Anime Boston this upcoming weekend, and their convention this year is on Music. So what better way to put a focus on a convention and their music guests? This is a listing of the Japanese or Japanese inspired acts that is playing this weekend.

Mari Iijima: the lovely voice of Lynn Minmay from the original Macross in the 1980’s. Sad to say that Macross was her only anime, but Iijima is still a fantastic voice. She is a very accomplished singer, still producing music, and who has entered her music for award consideration for the Grammy. She has settled into living in North America, and her website is here, where she blogs, and share news of her music.

Stereopony: a three member female band from Okinawa. If you are fans of Darker Than Black, Bleach or Tegami Bachi Reverse, then this is the fantastic group that had provided openings and endings for the anime. This is their second appearance in the United States, since they have previously appeared at Anime Next the previous year.

girugamesh: Fans of metal rock and visual kei, be ready to scream real loud! Anime Boston is girugamesh first American stop this year, as they have kicked off an East Coast City tour, with later concert dates planned in Philadelphia, Washington DC, and New York City. They have successfully performed at sold out venues in Europe, and Japan. This is not their first American appearance though.

Ten: As an alternative rock band, Ten has relocated to New York, but is a rock band, with an instrument you definitely thought can’t be used in a rock setting, a koto or a Japanese classical string instrument.

Odaiko  New England: If you are interested in taiko drumming, then this is the group to see. Though they are a regional band, the music and instrument they play is definitely infused with the Japanese spirit!

Music Monday: Ayako and Ryouko


I am not spamming you if I am actually going to write a post about these two female singers.  You can scan/skim/skip this paragraph though, since I need to do some background explanations first. Last month, Anime Diet last month got contacted by Mr. Eidi Kakuno of Eijing Production to comment and review about their singers. So here I am, definitely writing about music, since I really enjoy listening to Japanese pop music. This is the beginning of  a weekly column, so I am picking up Music Monday from a hash tag, so it is something like Manga Monday.

Ayako is a new 2011 produced artist, she was trained as a pianist from when she was five, and worked as a model. Her first single/song is named “Tanabata” and is avaliable on with a sample there.  On the cover of the single, Ayako is wearing a yukata, and a bit of a background on what Tanabata or 七夕is. This is definitely a Japanese Star festival, a Romeo & Juliet type story, for star crossed lovers. The Japanese celebrate by writing wishes on strips of paper, and hanging them on trees. Are there any anime you can think of that has the celebration of Tanabata in it? Personally I know this as the story of the Princess and the Cowherder.


Ryouko’s full name unlike the single name that Ayako has is, Ryouko Futaboshi. Similar to Ayako, she is also a trained pianist from four years old, and her first song/single is “Those Days” and is also avaliable on On the cover of this single is a picture of the sky, and just listening and looking at the cover, reminds me of a breezy school day feel, when you’re outside in a yard somewhere and looking upward to see wispy Cirrus type clouds. Am I getting too abstract for you? Well that’s how I feel listening to this song.

Now why do I keep on mentioning these two being trained pianist, because these two singles have the piano playing in the background, and both are quite delicate sounding singers. All I can think about to compare them to a Japanese amateur version of Chinese Faye Wong, Andrea Corr from The Corrs or even Icelandic bjork. These two singers don’t sound really raspy, but they are at the start of their careers, so there must be possibly a process of maturing. If the samples aren’t enough for you, then they are on Japanese iTunes, but as far as getting these songs legally, consider J-List for Japanese iTune card purchasing needs.

Boom Boom Satellites in New York x2

With NYCC just past, I certainly didn’t expect to see a Japanese group that I missed out from that hectic weekend. So I was quite interested to learn on Twitter, and from @MangaTherapy, that Boom Boom Satellites was going to be playing at Bowery Poetry Club, at around 11pm-ish no less, part of the CMJ Music Festival.

They are credited with contributing music to CGI Animated films of Appleseed, Vexille. Their music is also featured in Dark Knight.  Their only anime song credit currently is the opening for Xam’d: Lost Memories.

So off I went, as a regular Japanese music lover. Of course what cinch it for me, was for a $10 cover fee, I got to see this great Japanese Techno rock band. I was not at all familiar with their music, other than briefly sampling their music. Yet it was fun to see them in person. I did tweet, and have some really not so great pictures to share, courtesy of my cell phone.

MangaTherapy is a fantastic aid for this one, since I already knew labeled himself as a fanboy for BBS. There were plenty of fans boys for this band. Unfortunate thing was that there were no encore for the evening. But with what MangaTherapy told me, it is a fantastic experience to see them live.

Supposed set list.

I took a picture of the supposed set list, but as you can see from the actual set list, BBS did derive from this photo’s image.

During the show, there was a light show, that of course it was rave feeling, but even with that, the beats and rhythm were definitely beat bopping. Fans did get into it. Lots of mixing and programing was used, to drive up the sound, and make the sound unique. This performance were considered better than the Irving Plaza one, in the fact that it was more intimate, and less people.

Boom Boom Sattellites

Set list of for this set:

Back On My Feet
Moment I Count
What Goes Around Comes Around
Dig The New Breed
Easy Action
Kick It Out
Dress Like An Angel

Got some more pictures on Flickr, so check that out. ^_^

X Japan 2010 Concert Recap with some tangents

Venue in lights!

Everyone who reads this blog, should know about X Japan, after all they are trying to make it big in the United States, as they are enormous in Asia. X Japan has one song that was taken as an movie anime theme, “Forever Love” is  CLAMP’s 1996 movie version of X. In fact they are as I like to call, Japanese ‘KISS’ since they are the band credited with popularizing the wave of Visual Kei.

From, Sugizo and Yoshiki’s appearance at Otakon, to them officially debuting at this past summer’s Chicago Lollapalooza. X Japan launched a North American Tour, that had them going from the West Coast, to Canada to Chicago and finally at their last stop in New York on October 10, 2010 at the Roseland Ballroom.

The previous night on October 11, 2010 was also VAMPS 2nd New York concert, where I saw Hyde of La Arc En Ciel for the very first time in concert. FYI, VAMPS is a new band that Hyde is part of, so there was unfortunately no anime song as of yet covered by VAMPS, but I am still as impressed as I was with Hyde. I am guessing if anyone seen my rapid Tweeting, you can see what I was thinking more of… mostly on the various reactions I saw of Hyde. Also there was really cool guitar swinging and head swinging action by K.A.Z.

I was not as familiar with VAMPS music as I was with X Japan’s music, so I really can’t comment on it per se. One thing I can comment on, was how there was actual space to move and breath at Saturday’s concert. But fast forward to the next night.. it was a completely different story all together….

Weekly Biz - Japanese News Paper Scan  - Weekend Concerts
NYCC/NYAF 2010 Weekend's Top Acts

Both concerts were on the Saturday and Sunday of  NYAF/NYCC 2010. This was a concert filled weekend, that probably had music fans like me gasping out “why oh god why.” Mainly, because I was also  also attending the NYAF/NYCC as well. GendoMike, and some other friends can attest to the stress I was feeling last weekend. Prior to the convention, I had already given up going to go see VAMPS in concert, since I knew what a very packed weekend the convention promised to be. But at the very last minute, I was notified that I won concert tickets to see VAMPS. I was at my wits end, thinking about what to do. So I was even contemplating on skipping VAMPS, until a friend pulled me aside and told me to definitely go. I went and certainly enjoyed myself. Hyde was fantastic to look at in person.

Just so many music opportunities to either hit or miss this past weekend. Starcreator, and other friends I know were at Irving Plaza watching Puffy Ami Yumi, Boom Boom Satellites and other acts that were part of the Far East to East Showcase.

Back… back to X Japan Concert though!!!! This is a highly memorable concert experience. Once I heard that they were going to come to New York, for a concert, I literally had my eyes set on news of when to purchase tickets were available. I do believe the venue was sold out. From my cousin’s experiences to the band’s first stop in California, and the continual live tweeting/blog reports from I was definitely ready to be as what Yoshiki said, “X-ed!”

New York City is definitely a city of many events, and opportunities. However, other than seiyuu, mangaka, or Japanese singers appearances, there is rare opportunity for me to enjoy seeing an actual Japanese concert appearances. To have two rock concert experiences of this nature is like mana from heavens above.

Now back to Saturday night… first thing I got to say, was that right after I came out from the VAMPS concert. I saw the line for the X Japan concert, and learned that some hardcore X Japan fans were waiting since Thursday, which was around the time I picked up my badge for NYCC/NYAF. I quickly took a very short video of the line on Saturday, and uploaded it on Youtube. A friend of mine in Tokyo, told me that her friends were already waiting on line, so I knew some line tidbits. The line was filled with fans of several nationalities, as I tweeted I heard Spanish, Chinese, English, Korean.

By the time Sunday rolled around, the line eventually went to wrap around the city block twice. On that time.. I was walking to the line with another friend at 5:52pm, and we were waiting on the line at 6:04pm. Thankfully at that time, I was only on the second corner slightly, so I was waiting mostly on Broadway, and West 53rd. The Ballroom is on West 52nd. Yoshiki as my other concert going friend told me, loved his fans, so he treated fans to hot chocolate and pizza!

During the concert,I stood on the stage left, and was eventually pushed over to around stage center of the room, there were at least probably 7-8 people that stood before me though. Let me say that for a majority of the concert, I really really hated taller people. They blocked all great views of the stage, so I definitely was watching parts of the concert from between the shoulders of many. Still the excitement of just being in the same room as X Japan!  I can remember how I heard music, the excitement and energy of the crowd.. and how my arms and legs were so sore from when the concert started to the end.I didn’t even realize that Yoshiki threw himself off the stage, for a bit of crowd surfing until my friend told me after the concert.

It was all quite scary for some parts, for the crush of people was quite immense and overwhelming. At moments I felt very claustrophobic.  I have never experienced a mosh pit like this, parts of it felt like a  living roller coaster, trying to keep my balance and not fall. There were times of not being able to breath or even be able to move – due to how much people were crammed in one space. Everyone was fighting to get to the front, I actually saw someone faint, and later I read that people who fainted were brought over to the side. When there was a pause between songs or the crush was particularly overwhelming I heard Japanese fans asking if everyone were all right.

I definitely saw people around me filming the concert with their cameras. I was sadly mistaken when I mention I’ll try to actively tweet, or take much pictures, since the crush of people was that extreme. I feared for my main camera, but I still had my Droid camera, which was running out of battery. I did get some decent cell phone shots though.

At some points during the concert, I noticed that Toshi was trying to prompt the crowd to sing lyrics after him, but I believe everyone was a bit too excited. I definitely knew that I cried when “Endless Rain” was sung, since it is my favorite X Japan song. There was a lot of fans who sang the chorus:

Endless rain, fall on my heart 心の傷い
Let me forget all of the hate, all of the sadness

One really memorable fact, on 10-10-10 was vocalist, Toshi’s 45th birthday, so prior to the show, fans on line were asked to throw confetti, onto the stage and sing “Happy Birthday.” The area where I was, was literally peppered with confetti.

X Japan members are also like a a lot of rock groups, drinking, and spraying water into the overheated crowds. I was ecstatic when I caught the maybe first or second bottle to be thrown off the stage by Toshi. The bottle came flying , I held my hand up, and just caught it. When I told GendoMike about what I caught, he happened to mentioned about another incident with a bottle of water, in this case it was Chihara Minori’s bottle of water. But unlike that incident, that bottle of water is a souvenir on my bookshelf.

Toshi's Bottle
I will never drain/drink or pour you! You contain salaiva DNA! Lucky Catch!

I definitely knew I lost my voice, I had limited speaking from the VAMPS concert the night before, it was further gone when it was the X Japan concert. I can’t imagine how many time I definitely shouted, either lyrics, “X”  or “WE Are X.” As I also mention arms and legs were so very sore, just how many times I threw up my arms?

Still the memories of this concert will remain. I am actually waiting for the new CD that will be out next year. There are some talk on the net, not confirmed about X Japan having a Europe Tour, a second North America Concert Tour, and South America Tour. All this is quite exciting. One last note, actually pretty sad I wasn’t able to get a Concert T-Shirt.. now I can only be on the search for someone/somewhere to sell it. Also if you what to see more pictures from this concert, be sure to check out Anime Diet’s Flickr page.

X Japan’s New York Set List
Rusty Nail
Silent Jealousy
-Violin and piano interlude-
Happy Birthday
Born to Be Free
-Drum Solo-
Endless Rain

Art of Life
Forever Love (end recording)

May’N Live Concert at Anime Expo 2010–Video Excerpt

May’N in Concert (Excerpt) – Anime Expo 2010 from Anime Diet on Vimeo.

May’N did a concert at Anime Expo 2010 this year, along with Megumi Nakajima and special guest Yoko Kanno. Here’s a ten minute excerpt from the beginning of the concert, with just May’N. She sings “Universal Bunny” and “May’N Space” here!

See our exclusive interview with May’N, as well as a full written review of the concert too!

Holy Queen’s Blade T&A Batman!

For those of us real men that crave some real feminine action (if you didn’t know this already) –
Queen’s Blade Second Season Due Soon

Krauser III’s Take: The demon king has arisen and so has his schlong! The King Kong of schlongs aches and waits impatiently for those bitches to deliver their flesh to my doorsteps! Just you wait! I shall come to new highs and Tokyo Tower won’t be the only thing getting the candy rain!

Ray’s Take: Go to T&A! Go to T&A! Go to T&A! Go to T&A!  T&A no Tamashii yo…YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! My teeth guitar won’t stop this time!

Negishi’s Take: courageous young women with agenda and motives behind their actions in the process of saving the world or dominating for their own pleasure; smart, intelligent battles and complex emotions swirling to form a tight bond among their bodies…I mean hearts and souls, not to mention fabulous fashion sense (all they need is a cup of apple tea). Highly recommended!

Krauser III’s Take 2: YES! Highly recommended for your wang! Use without discretion!

AX Idol 2008 Sings Basilisk OP

This is the full video of Pamela Moss of Makenai band singing her winning AX Idol entry, “Kouga Ninpouchou” (the OP of Basilisk). I think she does a great job here. Check out more works by her band, Makenai, at their Myspace profile–they do some great covers of other anime theme songs as well.