First and foremost, I must apologize profusely for my absence this week. I will leave it as such- pinched nerves are just about the most horrible experience I have ever had in my life. Needless to say, typing has not been a priority.
In any case, this big news is way on my radar. WB wants to do a Death Note American live action release- this could be a real boon (or bane) to the US anime fanbase. I consider this slightly different from my previous worries (see: Cowboy bebop, Full Metal Panic) in that 1) the story has easy & obvious US appeal and is largely do-able without being super cheesy and 2) the Japanese live action films are as cheesy as it comes so it’s not disgracing something new that I love. Death Note is such a great story; I would really love to see more kids into it (any excuse to talk about it at work!).
That’s all for now- my fingers are not yet fully functional and this is a total drag. On another note, I will be away starting next Wednesday so no posts for next week!
Okay, this would be much bigger news if this was a company like TokyoPop. But still, just like FUNimation I consider this a step in the right direction. Shogakukan (think Doraemon, Ranma, Yakitate!!! Japan) will be publishing offical manga translations online. Again, I’m definitley happy to hear this. For one, as a librarian this is a big help- it’s a step towards getting my collection person to actually budget for a new release title if she can read some of the volumes online beforehand. But the biggest thing for me is once again the ability to access those titles that will never see the US shores.
As if it’s not painfully obvious by now with my running dialogue about terrible miscasting of anime characters, I have a special distaste in the deepest cockles of my heart for the use of sub-rate caucasian actors and actresses playing inherently asian roles (okay, you can count Spike out because he’s not asian, but Keanu is going to suck big time anyway).
Well, here comes a bit of different news for once. For an upcoming live action adaptation of Ninja Scroll, the five members of Japanese idol band SMAP are being considered. I’ve seen several Japanese films where the members have acted (granted, as is noted in the article all five have not been in theatrical releases together before but I don’t see that as having much of an effect, especially stateside where no one but the super otaku has a damn clue who they are) and they are quite good at their roles. Moreover, I’m just ecstatic to hear that there is an actual consideration that an asian can accurately play an asian role. It’s not that it’s always a big deal, but in the case of something like Ninja Scroll or Avatar, the very fact that the characters *are* asian is a big part of the story.
This is not to say that the film adaptation won’t stink. I’m quite confident that it will- so confident, in fact, that if it even succeeds in the slightest I’ll consider it a success. In fact, I don’t see a live action adaptation of Ninja Scroll thriving over here at all which will be a bit depressing considering it’s one of those classics. But hey, there’s a little hope, right?
When I say I am an otaku, I mean that it all of it’s seedy, sweaty nerd forms (I kid, I kid). I’m a huge video game fan, and in particular I do my otaku best by absolutely loving many different Japanese game series. One of my all-time favorites is the Ace Attorney series, the latest addition of which just came out in Japan (Edgeworth based game, can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait!). For those out of the know——- man you are missing something great——- this is a series of point and click legal adventure games (though it’s a lot more like CSI in game form- you’re doing the investigating and the trials and the characters are incredibly indearing… you have to try it).
Last year, the first Ace Attorney casebook manga was released in NA (and I was lucky enough to score a copy at the New York Anime Festival). The volume was very true to the heart of the video game series, with all the characters we love and the humor we came to expect from any Ace Attorney installment. Well, the good news is that along with the release of the new game comes a weekly manga insallment! Shuukan Young Magazine will be publishing it starting in April, which (hopefully) means we’ll be seeing it stateside (though there is no official release date for the game in NA as of yet).
This is going to be the second big loss that my YA periodical collection has suffered this year. First EGM ceases publication (leaving me with a big hole to hopefully fill assuming we get refunded for the year- not a lot of neutral ground gaming mags) and now my ever-popular, always in circulation Anime Insider. In fact, Wizard has already unceremoniously pulled it from their website- so much for the listing on my guide to anime clubs. It’s not that it was entirely unexpected given the cuts that Wizard has been making recently. It’s just that they kind of owned the anime news mag market since the demise of Newtype. Yes, I get Shonen Jump, but that does not come close to filling the slot that Anime Insider served. Plus they had some of the greatest pictures to use for decoration by my manga rack once they were ready for discard! Grrrr. I hate seeing such a high use periodical go down in flames, but I guess the people just aren’t buying. I sincerely hope we get a refund for the balance of the year, but even if we do I don’t see many good replacements.
Man, if this is the case, I’d better get packing.
Librarians buy Rock Band and video themselves using it for YouTube. You’re seriously going to tell me that this warrants an investigation for wasting tax payer money??? These people have 1) obviously never been in a library and 2) obviously have never looked at what libraries in other states are doing. A huge portion of my job involves programming for teenagers. Gaming, when you look at the lifespan of the equipment versus the number of uses, is one of the most cost effective solutions to get people (especially tweens and teens) into the library and keep them entertained.
A full Rock Band set costs about $100, throw an extra guitar in there you’re getting up to $130-150. Okay, lets go full tilt and say you needed the game system to go with it- the game is out on all systems so go with the cheapest model of Xbox (okay, I don’t advocate for anyone to buy the Arcade instead of the slightly better model, but that is a discussion for another day) or the Wii (then you get WiiSports but have to get another remote for the other guitar). Lets say you’re even pushing $350 dollars now, oh no! Oh wait, I’m going to use this system again and again for gaming programs, staff development (we always have bonding sessions off the clock), non-gaming specific programs (anime club, teen advisory board, summer reading party) for years. I’m going to take care of the equipment so the likelihood of it breaking is low. My kids are going to bring in their own games for us to use on game day, like they always do. Say that we even only use this equipment 7 times a year (the number of game days I held last year) for 5 years. 35 events. That’s about 10 dollars an event. How many events can I host that cheap- and no less bring the kids to the library in droves?
Idiots- this investigation is going to run them way more than $350.
Right Stuf’s Stuf for Clubs program is one of my favorites because they are so active and one of the few remaining programs that supports anime clubs for libraries with speedy viewing permissions and screeners. This year, they’ve launched their “Year of the Otaku” program- basically celebrating Otaku year round. They’re currently accepting entries for their first contest (“What Kind of an Otaku Are You?”)- There will be one grand prize ($100.00 gift certificate for anything in our online store) and four runner-up prizes ($25.00 gift certificates). Be sure to pass the word on to all your little Otaku club members!
Direct contest link
“Iowa man, Christopher Handley, faces a possible 20 year prison sentence when he goes to trial this week over his possession of “obscene” manga. Handley had received a package of manga that he’d ordered from Japan in May 2006. The Postal Inspector intercepted the package and deemed its contents to be objectionable.”
I wasn’t aware of this specific case, but I have heard of similar happenings. This one is definitely the biggest case, however, and I do hope that logic prevails. As any purveyor of manga can easily inform you, the majority of the comics out there contain young characters. High school students are the frequent main characters in even seinen and josei storylines. And of course, as we all know, there is a lot of ecchi and hentai out there, some with the most bizarre storylines in the world. I have read some strange, strange mangas in my day. But you know what it isn’t? Actual pornography. There’s a big difference between a drawing of an act and an actual act. And I know that I’m going to hear a chorus of “if they’re looking at it in a drawing they’re going to act on it someday” but that’s just such a crock! You can’t generalize that way. What if this gentleman really loved the study of manga? Moreover, is the rate of offenses in Japan so high because of it’s publication? Not last time I checked.
To me, it is both scary and amusing. I’m currently reading Ouran High School Host Club, a shojo with more yaoi in one place than I’ve ever dealt with before (granted yaoi is not my thing and I don’t actively seek it out). It is in my YA section as well as every other one in the system. Amongst other things, it features a pair of male twins who most definitely flirt and act like they’re in love with each other- it’s a wonderful double taboo that makes you feel awkward all over (moreso because it feels so natural- it’s done so well! *shudder*). Oh, and they’re underage, natch. Guess all of us fans should be arrested for daring to lay our eyes on such filth!
Seriously though, I’m against all forms of censorship, and this is over the top. I’ve read some pretty graphic and horrible books with rape, murder, and all sorts of other illegal and ilicit stuff in it- why are graphic novels being treated any differently?