At Otakon, no one was announcing any exciting licenses, but Media Blasters took some time at their Yuri and Yaoi panel to talk about their upcoming release of Maka-Maka. I spoke with Frank Pannone about it earlier, and he commented that they are reproducing it exactly, with the fold-out poster, the double cover…right down to the metallic inks used. He was very excited about how good it’s going to look and so am I. :-)
mara reports some bad news for UK fans of Kurau Phantom Memory, as ADV has said that they are not going to be releasing the last two DVDs, volumes 5 and 6, to the UK. They suggest picking up the R1 versions instead. It’s another sign of how the anime market is crontracting pretty tightly. Personally, I wonder if they would have done better with Kurau had there not been such a huge time lag between its appearance on Japanese TV (and therefore bittorrents worldwide) and the time it finally came out on DVD about some years later.
I don’t remember ever mentioning this before, but my friend Komatsu-san reminded me recently that Futari ha PreCure (aka Pretty Cure) is being released by Toei as a directly downloadable anime. With much of the same staff as Sailor Moon, there’s a very similar Monster of the Day construction and a similar sense of Yuri subtext in pretty much every season so far. PreCure episodes are available for download at $1.99/ep, so no excuses about not having any money for that. lol
Snatches of Yuri
I haven’t had a lot of time to scan my Japanese sources for the up and coming, but Jennifer D. wants me to tell you about an older comic called Stray Crayons about two women who hit rock bottom in their lives and find each other. Jennifer warns us that Volume 1 ends in a bad place and no Volume 2 has been printed. I’m just passing that warning on, so you don’t come running back to me screaming. lol
Not Yuri, but relavant to our interests. Mari sent me this today and I wanted to pass it along to you, from Time Out magazine this week:
Time Out New York / Issue 672 : Aug 13-19, 2008
A new expo brings all things Japan to New York.
By Alyssa Pinsker
A new expo brings all things Japan to New York. By Alyssa Pinsker
Hot on the heels of the Brooklyn Museum’s enormously popular “© MURAKAMI” show and Haruki Murakami’s latest page-turner, Felissimo Design House [10 West 56th] is hosting an 11-week exhibition to celebrate Japan’s rich culture. The event will feature work by more than 70 of the country’s edgiest designers, but don’t show up in full cosplay attire-in other words, leave the Sailor Moon outfit at home.
“The cosplay, Lolita stuff makes me sick to my stomach,” says the normally reserved Haruko Smith, director of the Kobe-based lifestyle-products company, about the kawaii, Harajuku Girls image Westerners have of the Land of the Rising Sun. “Kawaii actually just means ‘nice’ or ‘cool.’” The exposition is named “Japan C,” as in “cool, cute, clever and creative,” and beginning Saturday 16, more than 1,000 everyday items will be on display and for purchase.
Each week will feature a new aspect, beginning with jiba (“tradition”) and then touching on home, fashion, food, stationery, beauty and pop culture in the following weeks. The featured products include skin creams made from fermented rice, collectible cell-phone straps, robots and the doughnut-shaped perfumed humidifiers of Naoto Fukasawa (whose work has inspired Apple’s design team). Other highlights include bubble packaging that emits both “sexy” and “fart” noises when popped; key-chain designers who make little robots from recycled computers; and a $200,000 Swarovski-crystal dress. “Now that Japan’s come more into its own, it can fuse with the West toward more of a synergy,” says Smith.
Other events include a breakfast hosted by Naomi Moriyama, the author of Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat (October 8); a “Sake 101” lecture (October 23); and a scholarly discussion on the concept of kawaii in pop culture (September 29). In addition, there will be family-day events, tours, receptions and screenings, and an auction to benefit the New York Restoration Project. With her penchant for alliteration, Smith adds, “You can touch, try and taste. We should have called it Japan T.”
From Murakami to Hello Kitty, sushi to sake bars, and anime to video games, Japan’s influence has become more and more visible in arts, design, food, style, and popular culture. But there is so much more to discover-as Japan C, a groundbreaking showcase of all things Japanese, will prove. Beginning August 16 until November 1, this unprecedented 11-week festival of contemporary Japanese culture will take over the historic Felissimo Design House in midtown Manhattan. Spanning home and fashion accessories to gadgets, food, beauty and pop-culture products, Japan C will be part design exhibition, part bazaar, part trade fair, highlighting over 70 diverse Japanese firms who will be presenting and demonstrating their wares.
The goal is simple: to inspire visitors, including buyers, manufacturers, distributors and the general public, with the latest developments from Japan, while introducing the best of Japan to the American market. Discover the benefits of skin creams made from fermented rice by leading sake makers, or join the Japanese fad for collectible ‘keitai’ cell phone straps. Featuring robots of every shape, size and color, alongside all manner of zakka knickknacks, everything from kawaii anime characters, fine stationery and contemporary furniture to high-tech rice cookers promising the perfect bowl of rice, Japan C will represent all that Japan is today: Cool, Cute, Clever and Creative.
For more information visit www.japan-c.com
I just loved how cosplay and Goth-Loli makes him “sick to his stomach.” lol
The bottom line is that the huge influx of Japanese art and culture that is filling the corners of New York City continues…..
Oh, and for those of you who like cosplay – today is cosplay day at the mid-town Kinokuniya in NYC. lol
I’ll see if I can scan some of my Japanese sources and let you know what’s coming up for the next report!