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Akemashite Omedetou!

I couldn’t resist…

Happy New Year from everyone here at Heisei Democracy!

State of the Democracy

Happy new year, all!

By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that there hasn’t been much in the way of new content recently (understatement alert). A quick disclaimer: I am not Shingo. I have never been Shingo, and no matter how hard I try, I will never be Shingo.

Editor’s Desk: World of Lifecraft

For those who don’t want the burden of reading what is likely to become a long and rambling post, I’ll put the “too long; didn’t read” summary up front:

Comic Water is better than Purified Draenic Water, I cancelled my WoW account this morning and have begun the process of reassembling what life I had before mid-June.

For a bit of introspection on two months of lost time and a look ahead at the future of this site and its operator, feel free to read on:

Editor’s Desk: A/D/V and the ABA

Some HD readers may be aware that for the past few months a competition has been going on with the goal of providing recognition to meritorious anime blogs in a variety of categories. Setting aside the inevitable problems associated with classification of sites as “blogs” related to “anime” and then further arbitrarily dividing them based on content, for a first time effort the project seems to have gone off rather well and as of today has born fruit, with the winners being officially announced.

This post is not about them.

Editor’s Desk: The Pizza Frontier

When word came out that Pizza Hut Japan would be doing a time-limited cross promotion with Macross F, I knew that I had to get in on the action. I’d missed the Marimite crossover, I’d missed the Geass crossover, but I’d be damned if I was going to let a box adorned with Ranka and Sheryl pass un-greasespotted by pizza that was meant for my stomach! What follows is the tale of a surprisingly short journey to the final frontier – not of space, but of arterial blockage:

Editor’s Desk: HD site renewal in progress

This should be obvious if you’re viewing the site at our home base, but for those reading via a feed or aggregator somewhere, things are looking a little bit different around here today. We’ll be rolling out further features of the new site design over the coming days, but the bare bones are now in place – they’ll be tweaked as we find out just what works and just what doesn’t, but I think the new four-column layout is a change for the better. I’m excited to be moving into the new place and hope you are too – if there’s anything you’d like to see changed, added or removed, comments and questions are welcome! (no more)

Editor’s Desk: vacationing in Goltrock, be back soon (updated)

If you’ve been with HD since mid-’07 you may remember me ranting about Bullet Butlers prior to it coming out last summer. Well, I finally installed it earlier this week (in the process of working on a “2007 eroge year in review” post), and it took me by the scruff of the neck in the way that no game (or novel) has in a very long time, pulled me in, and refused to let me out until I finished. It’s a long game. I finally just got through one of the major story arcs, and am pausing to post this before diving back in – I expect to be finished with the whole thing by the end of the weekend, at which point an exhaustive review will be forthcoming. In the mean time please forgive the lack of updates while I indulge myself a bit longer… a YouTube embed of the Bullet Butlers OP can be found below:

Editor’s Desk: Doujin’s Commercial Evolution

Doujinshi have evolved incredibly since their emergence as amateur “literary coterie magazines” in the 1970s. What was once a near equivalent to the English term fanzine has now become, in many cases, a word that describes product distribution methods more than the nature of the product itself. Read on for a brief overview of the current doujin environment, followed by a look at a few specific cases at work in the brave new world of professional doujinshi.

Editor’s Desk: chronicling the erosion of 2D free speech

Whether you’re a fan of loli or kyonyuu, futanari or shota, twins or tentacles, figures, anime, manga, or doujinshi, increased public scrutiny in Japan is affecting the nature of your hobby – right now. What follows is a reckoning of events that while superficially disconnected combine to show the changing face of otaku media, a landscape less colorful and varied in its delights and perversions than it once was, and one that may never be the quite same again.

Editor’s Desk: doujinshi, obscenity, and Japan’s imperiled freedom of speech

In the light of the recent arrest of a doujin artist on obscenity charges we take a look back at the past five years in the history of free speech regulation and litigation vis a vis drawn pornography in Japan. We examine the current state of affairs and speculate as to the fate of the free speech right enshrined in article 13 of Japan’s constitution, one that now seems to rest on a very fragile footing indeed.

Editor’s Desk: against the cult of personality

Sometimes a fellow needs to let off a little steam, and this post is it. What follows is a semi-coherent rant against what I see as a pox on today’s Japanese 2D culture: the blight of entertainers selling their personal attributes over the art they pretend to represent, and the following that such pretenders breed in their wake.

Editor’s Desk: Saturday in Akiba

I went down to Akihabara again this weekend, this time in pursuit of the guidebook for Wonder Festival 2007 Summer. Some pictures were taken along the way, presented below along with amusing anecdotes which you might like to read! Including: Nami SOS being molested by tentacles, Ruuuuuuuuuuu!, a creative use for Bust Emperors, Evangelion coffee, some very nice cosplay, and why you should never, ever carry a knife on you while you’re in Japan.

Editor’s Desk: Lost my Music

I went down to Akihabara over the weekend for the first time in almost three months. The purpose: to obtain a catalog for Comiket 72, to hang out with a couple of doujin pals, and to meet up with EvoSpace of Beast’s Lair and Akiba Channel. Despite the sweltering heat all three objectives met with success. Trip report follows, along with some belated notes on AX and some not so belated ones on Satsuriku no Jango:

Editor’s Desk: Pearls Before Swine? An opinion on the Gurren affair

The fifth episode of Gurren Lagann is about to air, but before it does I’d like to get my opinion on the whole mess out in the open. What it boils down to is this: we otaku are boorish and tasteless, Gainax is stupid and delusional, and none of this is very surprising (aside from the extent of Gainax’s cluelessness, but not of what you might think).

Editor’s Desk: Room(s) With a View

Shipon, Seiya, and Shingo (say that three times fast) represent today with a compiled glimpse into their various havens of otakudom. If you’ve been wondering what makes the minds behind this site tick, wonder no more…

Business Models in the Eroge Industry: An Informal Survey

HD presents an informal analysis of current business models in Japan’s oldest industry. Well, maybe not the oldest. and maybe they’re not models, per se. Or particularly current. All I really know is that the money leaving my wallet in exchange for these things has got to be going somewhere…

Editor’s Desk: The (C)lass Room, In Memoriam

When I moved to Isesaki in January for my new job I didn’t just leave a cluttered den of otaku filth behind – I left a memory. If you don’t want to find yourself looking for a new job as well I strongly advise against viewing this post at work…

Editor’s Desk: What’s in a Name?

In which Shingo lays bare the secrets behind the somewhat curious naming of this site. Just what exactly is a “Heisei democracy”?

Editor’s Desk: The Animating Principle

A response to comments on this post: is Japanese fan activity really just about the Fat Loot? HD combines a healthy dose of Genshiken with a few personal anecdotes to tackle the (anti)social world of Japanese otakudom.

Editor’s Desk: Back to Work

In which Shingo goes back to work, and HD goes back to regular updates.

Editor’s Desk: We’ve Arrived (and to prove it we’re here)

The new incarnation of Heisei Democracy is officially open for business! Various corners are still under construction, so mind the hanging I-beams and flailing traffic-conductor Excel as we take you on a quick tour of what the new site has to offer.

An Open Letter to Jun Hongo

In which HD takes issue with an article recently published in the News section of the Japan Times, under the title “Porn ‘anime’ boasts a big US beachhead”.

Akihabara: The Musical

A pictoral journey into the heart of Akiba in search of the elusive Moe Burger.

Akihabara Wars: The Maid-dom Menace

In which HD ponders the merits of meidoculture, delves a bit into Akiba history, and comes up gasping and sputtering for breath. Maids in Akihabara: can there be too much of a good thing?

Sunshine in the Rain

In which HD attends his first doujin event in several months, gets very wet, meets some people, applies to participate as a circle himself, picks up the second volume of Maritan’s drills (at a very girlish Toranoana), eats a Cinnabon, and gets home late. Why sleep when there is caffeine? *twitch* EDIT THIS POST HAS BEEN HIJACKED BY THE SOS-DAN. LAY DOWN YOUR WEAPONS AND NO ONE WILL GET HURT.

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