In today’s update: as per the title, pictures and explanations thereof surrounding last night’s jaunt into Akihabara. Haruhi fans will want to check this out, as will those interested in the G.J? artbook and/or Queen’s Blade. Today’s post is work-safe, barely. If your office is in your basement.

First things first, the SOS-dan represents with a look at the exploding Haruhi mania currently whipping the doujinsphere into a frenzy:

sunshine creation 32 catalog cover

Sunshine Creation 32: The Catalogue

Haruhi represents 1

Haruhi represents 2

Haruhi represents 3

advertisement for Haruhi-only doujin event Suzumiya Haruhi no Saiten, November 3rd 2006

advertisement for Haruhi-only doujin event Kitataka Matsuri (Hokukousai?), September 17th 2006

advertisement for Haruhi-only doujin event Konai to Shikei Dakara (“death sentence if you don’t come”), July 16th 2006

Keep in mind that the Haruhi circle cuts were submitted for publication in this catalogue before the anime launched, possibly indicating an early groundswell of enthusiasm at the mere knowledge of its pending production. I expect future events (especially those post-Comiket 70 in August) will see an exponentially larger Haruhi presence.

Next up: Queen’s Blade volumes 5 (Tomoe) and 6 (Ekidona).

tomoe cover

tomoe inside

ekidona cover

ekidona inside

Slapdash review: from Tomoe’s initial design I was expecting her poses to be more stiff and uninspired, but they’re surprisingly sexy in a more refined (slightly more clothed) way. Definitely a winner for the miko fans. Ekidona is bouncing all over the place, which I tend to like, but some of her poses verge on extreme silliness (especially in the facial expressions), a potential minus for some. At 1,500 yen each for full color and hardcover goodness I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend both. (What is Queen’s Blade? See the comments section here.)

Next, G.J? pulls a fast one with the phantom release (unmentioned on their website beyond a brief aside) of All About G.J?, the long-awaited artbook rumored to be in the wings for almost a year now.

all about G.J? cover

all about G.J? inside

the only two-page spread in the book fit to print in a work-safe post

Slapdash review: The good: 194 A4-size full-color pages, printed on very thick, high-quality paper, includes a two-sided foldout poster with Sano Toshihide art that I haven’t seen before, and full information and images from G.J?’s first three games (Akibakei Kanojo, Futago no Bousei Honno, and Ane to Boin) including production images and promotional art. The neutral: sticker price of 3,200 yen, includes only sketchy material for their latter two titles (Shichinin no Online Gamers and Tsuma to Mama to Boin). The bad: while I would always like to see full inclusion for all prior titles instead of the skimpy treatment for the last two, I can understand their desire to hold off and milk them for a second volume (which I will buy as gladly as I picked up this one, sucker that I am). The only real complaint I have is that at this price point they would have been better served to lower the paper quality and go for a hardbound book – the floppy cover really feels at odds with the otherwise high production quality of the volume. Still, a no-brainer for fans of G.J? or Sano’s art in general.

Finally, a glimpse of the future as Toranoana’s Akiba-based empire begins to expand, painting the district orange:

TORANOANATRON

I, for one, welcome our new tiger-tailed overlords. As long as they keep giving away extra crap with releases that I don’t really need, and putting out sexy figures.