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The Color of Toei

Taking a step back from the unsurprisingly controversial sentiment of the previous article, here’s something everyone can enjoy!

That’s a lie, but it is something that I doubt anyone will feel very strongly about (famous last words) although I am hoping that someone with a bit more expertise on the subject will be kind enough to chime in. Also, taking an unexpected foray into the realm of the 3D today, but bear with me. At least this one has pictures.

On The International Brotherhood of Otaku

Shokotan recently blogged in praise of a group of American cosplayers, saying that “Americans are really great at making weapons and stuff” and wondering “How can they carry all that stuff around??”. The cosplayers in question have certainly put their hours in, and the results are impressive (although it’d be nice if there were some pictures from a better angle) but what’s more interesting is the statement that follows. “I want to know more about the otaku of the world!” she exclaims “The Internet makes it easy to keep up with the latest productions in real time, so the number of otaku across the world is increasing rapidly”

Now, say what you will about Shokotan. Shingo doesn’t care for her, but I’d call myself a fan. Nonetheless, she raises a very interesting point, which happens to be something I think about quite frequently. In short, how is it that otaku in This Country and otaku in the Other Country can have so much in common, and work toward so many common goals, and yet still have so little contact with each other?

Princess Waltz

Princess Waltz

New Vocaloid Character Information: Megurine Luka

The latest information regarding the third vocaloid character has been released today. The new character is named “Megurine Luka” (I am working very hard not to call her “Luka Migraine”) and features the voice of Asakawa Yuu, probably best known for her role as Sakaki in Azumanga Daioh. I can’t expect her to become anything resembling the cultural phenomenon that is Hatsune Miku, but I must confess, I absolutely love this design:

Otaku Metaculture: Otaku no Video

Taking a step back in time today to take a look at what is arguably the grandfather of all otaku metaculture. Join us for the grandiose and yet ultimately very personal tale of otaku in the 1980s and beyond.

Kotobukiya Kannagi Series Vol. 3: Dog Girl Tsugumi

Hobby Channel has a preview up of the latest in Kotobukiya’s Kannagi series. Due out in April of 2009, this one is “Dog Girl” Tsugumi. There’s nothing wrong with the figure itself, although personally I am not the biggest Tsugumi fan, but it’s a bit irritating that Kotobukiya is bringing out these “theme” versions of […]

Real Life Origins of Kannagi’s Meido Kissa

I’ve been going back and forth on the issue of whether or not Kannagi, with its otaku-heavy supporting cast and frequent allusions to visual culture, can constitute proper otaku metaculture or not. Although it never becomes the focus of the series, it’s done with such reverence and genuine expertise that it’s difficult to ignore.

Regardless, there is a sequence in episode 6 that cannot go without comment. In it, the Kannagi gang visit a local meido kissa, which is very obviously modeled on my all-time favorite Akiba meido kissa, the Cafe Mai:Lish. The Kannagi animation team have really done a bang up job in this episode of recreating the Mai:Lish perfectly in 2D, down to the slightest detail. Have a look at some side-by-side comparisons.

2009: The Untranslatables

Thinking about the problems facing the transplantation of manga kissa to the new world, I got to thinking about the vast number of otaku cultural elements that are wildly successful in the Other Country, and simply do not exist anywhere else. Even in the relatively short time that I have been interested in anime and manga, the official releases seen in North America have seen an exponential increase in both quantity and quality. Things that it seemed would never get an official release even two or three years ago are now considered perfectly normal. It’s now possible to find genuine gachapon in all sorts of places, genuine manga anthologies are showing up in otherwise normal locations, and translated light novels are coming out almost every month.

However, at the risk of sounding ungrateful, we need to remember that an otaku’s work is never done. For all the progress that has been made, it is important to remember how much further we have to go. Certain things are still not suitable for release in gaijin-land, and no matter how badly we may want them, they probably never will be. I promise that I won’t make a habit of doing posts that are nothing but enumerated lists, since I think that pretty much every other blog on the tubes has got that style covered, but since it is the beginning of the year I would ask you to grant me this one indulgence. Without much further ado, I would like to present a list of ten things that will NEVER be officially released in English for a North American market. I would invite all those reading to please prove me wrong.

Akemashite Omedetou!

I couldn’t resist…

Happy New Year from everyone here at Heisei Democracy!

Oretachi Ni Tsubasa Wa Nai Countdown Begins

The official Navel site has started a countdown (or rather, a count-up) for the release of their new PC game, Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai ~Under the Innocent Sky

I haven’t heard much buzz about this, but I may just be out of the loop. It does look promising, but I’ve always been a sucker for a girl with feathers on her back. Does anyone have more information than I do?

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