At the 1988 Necronomicon fantasy convention, I was awed by a dealer who had $15 home-made VHS tapes of untranslated Japanese anime. The table was just covered by row after row of black videocassettes with printed white spine labels. He had episodes of an anime series called “SPT Layzner,” a show that I had never heard of at the time.
On the evening of March 19, 1994, Dave E. showed me the “Double X” music video. The short clip was my first exposure to the music of X Japan. Dave specified that Rintaro had directed the anime PV. Prior to that evening I’d never consciously realized that paying attention to the ovure of particular directors might help me narrow down specific anime that I might enjoy.
In the early 90s a friend loaned me his VHS recordings of the early episodes of the St. Seiya TV series. The tapes were recorded in EP (six-hour mode), and the video quality was so poor that occasionally the screen would simply turn neon blue because the VCR couldn’t read the data on the magnetic tape.
At a Necronomicon fantasy convention in the late 1990s or very early 2000s I thought I was very lucky because one of the guys in the movie room watching the Crusher Joe movie (untranslated) had a Japanese girlfriend with him who was quietly explaining what was going on. I attentively listened-in on her explanations.
33-year-old CG animator Monty Oum, creator of the RWBY web-animation series, passed away yesterday afternoon at 4:34 PM. Ten days ago Monty suffered a severe allergic reaction during a simple medical procedure that left him in a coma. Monty is survived by his wife Sheena, his father Mony, his brothers Woody, Sey, Chivy and Neat, and his sisters Thea and Theary, as well as a countless number of fans and friends.
AnimeNation extends our sincere condolences.
One Peace Books’ second omnibus collection of creator Takashi Ikeda’s Whispered Words contains the middle three books of the nine-volume story. In these chapters the two high-school girl friends Sumika Murasame & Ushio Kazama stumblingly become more conscious of their mutual love for each other, yet both girls hesitate to reveal their true feelings while seemingly everyone else around them already recognizes their informal coupling. The book also illustrates more of Sumika & Ushio first days as friends, wraps up Masaki Akemiya’s cross-dressing sub-plot, introduces a pair of new supporting characters, and concludes with a bonus side-story and an unrelated high-school romance story. The strengths of the original volume continue in the second collection, but some of the weaknesses of the first third of the story also become more pronounced in the second collection.
Digital Manga just launched its new Kickstarter campaign seeking 29K to translate & publish the two-volume Tezuka manga mini-series Alabaster. I have a tough time envisioning how licensing, translating, and publishing only two books can possibly cost $29,200. It’s significantly more than the Kickstarter amounts required to publish DMP’s previous two-volume Tezuka manga titles Ludwig B, Captain Ken, and Triton. Furthermore, I’m even more reluctant to contribute to such a substantial publication cost when the initial supporters actually pay 38% more than full SRP to acquire print copies of the two books, and then, after initial supporters have shouldered the entire cost of getting the books to market, DMP can proceed to collect profit from the ongoing sales of the books. Part of me wants to say, “Approach the publishing effort the way any traditional publisher would. Fund it yourself, and I’ll buy it when you release it.” Then again, likely the only way this manga is ever going to see official English language publication is if obsessive fans aggressively volunteer to pay more than cover price to get these two books printed.
I’ve contributed healthily to DMP’s Triton, Unico, Atomcat, and Captain Ken publishing drives. Since Alabaster is a title that I’m actually interested in, I may decide to allow my enthusiasm to overrule my rational skepticism and contribute toward this project too.