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Japan must be summoning Shenron since they want to keep their world-class anime/manga series alive for all eternity.
A nonprofit organization called UNIJAPAN recently decided to award 50 million yen (which is about $636,000 in U.S. dollars) to the production of the upcoming Dragon Ball Z anime movie coming out on March 30, 2013. UNIJAPAN is an organization that strives to help promote the efforts of Japanese filmmakers in overseas ventures. Given the fact that Dragon Ball Z is extremely popular worldwide, this doesn’t come as a surprise that the movie would get a huge investment from the Japanese government. Though one has to wonder how much nostalgia is too much.
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If you’ve been checking my Facebook Fan Page and Twitter account, I posted up a couple of links to a 2-part survey that focused on manga readership in Japan and presented as “Manga habits of the Japanese” (Part I and Part II). Both provided some very enlightening details about the state of manga in Japan. While I wasn’t surprised by most of the responses, what intrigued me the most were the responses to questions about electronic manga found in Part II.
These are the three questions I am referring to:
However, there’s still some interest in an e-manga magazine subscription based on the following question.
What does this tell us? That Japanese manga publishers have conditioned folks of all ages over there that print manga is the norm? Now imagine if all the paper and ink factories all break down or get destroyed. Will that change folks’ minds over there, I wonder? Then again, e-books have only just started getting popular in Japan. Finally, if they actually bother to read the survey, does this please Japanese manga publishers to a certain degree regarding print? Some folks would argue that they are sticking too hard to an old-fashioned model. I seriously hope this doesn’t tell Japanese manga publishers to abandon any digital initiatives in Japan. Exorbitant print runs of One Piece aren’t going to last forever.
Although print is still dominant, at least there is some demand for electronic manga and Japanese publishers should use the e-manga portion of the survey for better understanding of those that wouldn’t mind getting electronic subscriptions. It’s an untapped market waiting to explode. A big concern that bothers me is how the low birth-rate of Japan will play a role in all of this. Mostly because technologically-savvy folks tend to be people in their teens to early 30s’ and no one’s getting any younger. Can we say that the future of online manga publishing just got even more interesting?
Though you gotta admit that the feeling of having an actual printed manga volume and magazine in your hands is a great one….
So, my fellow manga readers, is this good news or bad news?
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For those who’ve seen Gintama Episode 215 (or read Chapters 310-311, Volume 36 of the manga), you may have noticed that there was a little jab at the Tokyo Youth Ordinance Bill that went into full effect on July 1, 2011. What’s interesting was the commentary said by the character Takechi Henpeita.
“We oppose the Greater Edo Youth Ordinance Bill! Before you try to regulate free speech, you should learn to regulate your own heart! Pedophilia predates manga & anime! Is it not our goal to foster a culture of acceptance?!”
Although the character in question saying all this is a pedophile himself (or feminist as Takechi calls himself), it does make you wonder how power drives people to do things that they feel are right. This also is not the first time the mangaka, Hideaki Sorachi, has made a crack at the bill. He makes another reference to the bill being passed earlier this year in Chapter 337, Volume 39 of the manga. An English translation of the dialogue in that specific chapter can be read here.
It comes to show that even if you come into power with good intentions, chances are you can be swayed into doing things that are unpopular. Even though Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara made the bill, the Tokyo government could’ve prevented it from happening. But, they didn’t. There’s also the non-assertiveness that the Japanese culture tends to be fond of. As noted by John of the AnimeNation blog, Japanese people traditionally don’t like to say “No”. Another issue to address is how it is supposed to be alright to have real child pornography in Japan, but not animated/drawn depictions of child pornography. (Disgusting, right?)
I also believe that Sorachi’s commentary is not just a reflection of the issue of freedom of expression in manga/anime, but what’s happening around us. We have governments trying to ban Internet usage & ban streaming video on the Internet. People of power seem to fear what they don’t understand. Or are they afraid of regular folks gaining knowledge & possibly be smarter than them? Is it a play to protect their own interests per say?
You can argue the main issue lies with those who have reached a high status and are able to dictate things however they please. However, it’s more of the work environment. If the environment is insanely corrupt, then that person will be corrupted too because they will do what it takes to stay in a high position. This is possibly why people need to “regulate their hearts”. They have to face themselves & ponder what is it they really want.
Gintama is perhaps the only Shonen Jump title that could be targeted heavily by Bill 156 because of its constant dirty humor. However, it represents something that some Japanese people do not have: courage. Think about it. The title is a play off the word “Kintama” (Japanese for “testicles”). Hell, the pronunciation even comes off as that to some people! Sorachi has the balls (no pun intended) to create a title that pokes fun at many things in Japanese culture & promotes a feeling that you don’t need government to dictate how you should live.
Let’s hope the rest of Japan follows up on Sorachi’s words towards the Tokyo government.
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Catherine Trailer: Catherine or Katherine?
Damn you, Atlus. Now I feel like I have to buy this game.
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Hey, girls like battles as much as boys do.
According to the “wonderful” site that is Sankaku Complex, more and more girls in Japan are interested in reading shonen manga than shoujo manga. This relates to what I discussed in an interview by Fanboy.com.
I spoke about how there are series like Katekyo Hitman Reborn! & Kuroshitsuji filled with very attractive-looking male characters. There’s also the fact that shonen manga seems to have a fair share of teenage characters that appeal to a wide audience. Another supposed reason for girls reading shonen manga are that they are less concerned about being feminine when compared to boys trying to be manly.
Though it could just come down to this: shonen plots are just plain better than shoujo plots. Most shoujo manga these days typically seems to be all the same: high school girls trying to date a guy they like & the emotional drama that ensues. Shonen plots can be pretty diverse compared to shoujo plots. At times, there may be TOO MUCH fighting in shonen manga, but they’re usually more exciting to most fans. Look at a series like BLEACH, which has a huge number of both male & female fans. Shoujo JUMP, here we come!
To female shonen readers, why do you read shonen manga?
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(Possibly the title that will dictate the future of SE. The E3 trailer can be viewed here.)
It is safe to say that the one video game third-party software company that is usually first mentioned among anime/manga fans is none other than Square Enix. The Final Fantasy series (and its respective spinoffs) has generated many sales, fans, and cosplay all over the world. The Dragon Quest series (from the Enix side) has also been well-received in Japan. However, things haven’t been so great as of late as their shares fell after reducing their operating profit estimate. After much criticism of Final Fantasy XIII and the questioning of the need for a FFXIII sequel, what can Square Enix do to gain the respect of those who’ve lost faith in the company as a whole?
Square has noted that they want to focus on three things: globalization, being more network-centric, and strengthening their own IPs.
However, there seems to be a divide being choosing to be a follower and choosing to be an innovator. Some fans have criticized Japanese game companies for not being “innovative for the Western audience” with their games, while some have argued that the Japanese game industry is being misunderstood and that they don’t need to change. Is Western influence running rampant all over Japanese game companies? Japanese gamers seem to prefer structured, linear worlds compared to the open-worlds of Western games. You can say video games here promote “self-expression”, while video games in Japan promote “self-escapism”.
With regards to Square Enix, perhaps they really need to look back into what makes role-playing games “role-playing games”. There is still a market for Japanese role-playing games & innovative games here in the United States. Also, gameplay is just as important as presentation. Keeping things simple is fine, but too simple with little incentives equals a bad game. All the old Japanese RPGS from Squaresoft & Enix were very well-received and focused more on gameplay than anything.
Perhaps we should blame today’s visual culture for so much focus on presentation. What do you guys think?
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I will be at the event assisting Samurai Beat Radio and also live-tweeting (if possible) as well. For those who are able to attend, stop on by and say hello.
Also, expect a look at “House of Five Leaves” later this week!
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Neurowear Creates “Necomimi” Ears That Pick Up Brainwaves.
This product makes me wonder why some anime/manga fans are fascinated by cat ears. The series that comes to my mind regarding cat ears is Yun Koga’s Loveless.
Cat ears are truly amazing, as they are able to show a cat’s state of mind. They are a significant indicator of how cats react towards certain stimuli. I do believe the appeal of cats to many people is that they tend to be somewhat unsociable creatures and prefer to be alone most of the time.
Do you think this product will sell well and be beneficial as a medical tool?
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