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Manga News: Hobby Japan presents “Happy Fujoshi” nonfiction short comic collection

On October 1st Hobby Japan will be releasing a 144-page A5-size volume entitled Happy Fujoshi, a collection of nonfiction comics from 15 mangaka. “At last, a collection of authentic tales of the fujoshi lifestyle is introduced!”, says the ad copy. “We’ve appointed boys’ love and shoujo manga artists to bring you this assortment of happy love-love stories. The unbelievable daily lives of fujoshi will grab hold of your heart!” While I’ll be guarding to make sure my heart stays firmly where it belongs, I think I’ll be picking this up FOR SCIENCE (to further my ongoing fujoshi research project)… samples of the compiled manga can be found here and here. (no more)

Figure Review: Max Factory’s Nishimura Kinu collection Shiranui Mai PVC from King of Fighters (Fatal Fury)

We begin catching up on our figure review backlog today with a look at Max Factory’s Shiranui Mai, released last month just before Wonder Festival. Back in March I dubbed this kit the most anticipated bishoujo figure release of summer 2007, and while so many other nice kits have been released in the interim it’s hard to unequivocally maintain that claim, she’s certainly a strong candidate for a lot of “bests”.

Figure News: Clayz presents Beat Angel Escalayer, in PVC

Hobby Channel brings news today that a formerly event-limited T’s System Escalayer kit (from Alice Soft eroge [ERO] Beat Angel Escalayer) will be coming from Clayz in PVC form. The kit weighs in at 1/6 scale and 26 cm tall, but both price and release date are currently unknown. If it weren’t for the success and subsequent reissue announcement of Alter’s (superior?) version I wouldn’t have a clue as to why they were bringing this out now. Still, it’s good news for Escalayer fans – something to hold onto until the game’s spiritual successor is released later this year. (no more)

Protoculture News: the doujin crackdown continues

Word came in on Friday from the organizational committee of Sunshine Creation (one of the largest Japanese doujinshi conventions after Comiket) that beginning with the 37th iteration of the event on October 8th staff will be checking the contents of each new book to go on sale there. This has long been standard practice at Comiket and other smaller doujin conventions, but the fact that in their official statement announcing the change Sankuri is tying the decision directly to the recent doujin arrest and other stifling developments on the 2D free speech scene is alarming. The statement refers multiple times to the changing environment surrounding doujinshi and a shifting definition of obscenity – this is the canary in the mine shaft of democracy, and if Japanese artists and responsible adult consumers don’t start standing up for their rights soon they’ll wake up one day to find they don’t have any. Further discussion of the urgent state of free speech in Japan can be found in this recent HD editorial. A translation of the September 7th statement from the Sunshine Creation executive office is below:

Protoculture News: a limit to Japan’s love of the limited?

We’ve heard it as recently as Lucky Star episode 6: the conventional wisdom that explains why, in defiance of all logic and economic principle, items (otaku goods in particular) are produced in lots far below demand. It’s been my frustrating experience over the past four years to observe first-hand the madness involved in procuring said items from their original source (as opposed to obscenely marked-up auctions), a process inevitably involving arcane mail-order procedures (at best), long queues with no guarantee of the item being in stock when you get to the front (the status quo), or the sacrifice of a firstborn child (good thing it doesn’t have to be your own).