Posts Tagged ‘manga’
A new anime adaptation has been announced for manga series Happy Kappy. The shoujo series from Rino Mizuho (The Magic of Chocolate which has also been green lit for an anime) is about a young girl who enjoys animals and making fashion accessories (first and second toy clues received). While the girl named Suguri is out walking one day, she finds a rock that she thinks would look cute on a bracelet only to discover that it’s actually the 3 year old prince of Kapimeshia named Kappy. As usual no details are available regarding a release date or crew but I’ll keep everyone posted as they are revealed.
By now, most of you have heard about the case of Christopher Handley. Arrested in 2006, he was eventually charged with possessing manga that was deemed obscene and against societal norms. After the CBLDF got involved and a couple of charges were dropped, it looked like Handley might have been able to fight the charges but instead he pled guilty to the charges in May 2009 and began waiting for his sentencing hearing. Finally after months of waiting, the sentence has been passed down: six months in prison, three years of supervised release, five years probation (which will be served concurrently) and a $200 fine (which by the way, really? You don’t think fining him $200 on top his prison time was just being mean?). The supervised release will include psychological testing, a polygraph test and treatment which the prosecutor believes will help to identify just what kind of sexual deviant Handley actually is and what kinds of mental health issues he may have. On the plus side, he will not have to register as a sexual offender.
Since this story first broke many months ago, I’ve tried to follow the information as closely as possible. When the sentence was passed down late last week, I wanted to write an update but could never find the time to properly devote to the story. I know that I’m just a tiny blog in the cosmos of the internet but still, this is not a subject I could just write a short summary about and move on. Finally I was recently able to sit down and read the court documents relating to the case. While I couldn’t find the statement from the defense, I have read the prosecution’s sentencing recommendation cover to cover and now I’m completely removing my unbiased quasi journalist hat here. This is me ranting and taking a side.
From the very beginning, there has always been an annoying fog of obscurity around this case. With these documents finally being released to the public, a few things have finally become abundantly obvious. While it was nice to see that there was no interest in prosecuting moe (If a drawing did not clearly depict a minor, and could arguably be of a person 18 or older, the government gave the defendant the benefit of any doubt…a multitude of images in Mr. Handley’s collection that depicted the sexual abuse of quasi-human minors, with characteristics and features of real and mythological beings.); it’s easy to see why Handley might not have wanted to take this case to a full jury trial and why no one else may ever either: even if someone managed to walk out of a courtroom with a winning verdict, the cost of that victory could be high.
Reading the sentencing recommendation written by US Attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt, it is clear that Handley was being painted as a sick, sexual deviant who just needed a time, place and opportunity to be transformed into a child predator. To go to trial and face a jury of peers, Handley would have sat there and watched his character and name drug through the dirt. No matter what kind of witness line up or defense the CBLDF brought up, Handley would have to watch his personal life completely pulled apart.
Still, the sentence has passed and a precedent is now in place. When discussing this subject with others, a comment argument that I heard was that the case was largely someone being punished for reading a comic book. Quoting Klinefeldt once again…
“Some may argue that the crime at issue is not serious because no real children were involved. Such a viewpoint is short-sighted because it gives little weight to the nature of obscenity crimes, in general, and to the specific images involved in this case. A picture, proverbially, paints a thousand words, and there is no doubt that comic books, graphic novels, and works of manga and anime have a powerful ability to communicate through their use of dramatic imagery. Since the 1960s, the genre of comic books has been transformed from a target market of younger customers to a broad, word-wide market aimed at older, more mature consumers. The ground-breaking graphic novel, “Watchmen,” by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons was even named by Time magazine of one of its top 100 novels of the 20th century. The power of the illustrated story should not be short-changed.”
This was the first point made by the defense that had me bothered. For years, fans have wanted comics, manga, graphic novels, anime, etc to be given attention and respect as art. Well there we have it… only instead we’re getting lolicon manga compared to Watchmen. Fans can’t have it both ways but I have to ask, can you truly argue that Mikansei Seifuku Shōjo (Unfinished School Girl) and Watchmen can be compared in any fashion? Are the areas between critically praised works and the erotic material imported by Handley that much of a grey area that they can even be compared?
There are many things that are obscene about this case; in the eyes of some it starts with the evidence and ends with the defendant. In my eyes, the obscenity of this case and sentence extend much further than that. When I thought that the case was merely over owning manga that local officials had deemed ‘obscene’ I was angry. A man was being forced to answer for and defend his choice of entertainment; in this case it happened to be dirty manga with explicit themes. No person in this country should have to defend his choice of fictional material to others. No matter the idea or theme, you cannot pick and choose what you want others to be able to see in the privacy of their own homes.
This week, author Neil Gaiman shared his thoughts on the case and why Handley and his collection deserved to be defended, “If you accept — and I do — that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don’t say or like or want said. The Law is a huge blunt weapon that does not and will not make distinctions between what you find acceptable and what you don’t. This is how the Law is made.”
The real obscenity is what you find when you go one step further however. While Handley was charged and tried for what he owned: he’s being punished for what he thought. Handley purchased these items and admitted that he enjoyed them for their sexual themes. Because he owned explicit materials and had thoughts relating to the themes within, he is being punished with prison time and psychological evaluation. Have we as a society, really grown so protective of ourselves that we going to punish another individual because we didn’t like the thoughts that went through his head?
It’s ridiculous to think that from here on out anyone who imports particularly explicit manga will be hunted and tried in public as deviant heathens. It is not ridiculous however to think that sometime down the road, this case will be referenced. Someone in this country is going to import something that someone else has found to be against what they decide is a ‘societal norm’, a DA with a chip on his shoulder and an election to win will make the case and a victory for the side of common sense will be that much harder to obtain.
There are too many times in life when the few start to speak over the many. In this case, well meaning but wrong individuals have decided for themselves that anyone who owns explicit art that someone else doesn’t like can be accused of being deviant and a danger to society. And that’s not where I want to live.
The point of the site is pretty straight forward; there are eight character types (boy, girl, scrapper [fighter], samurai, old man, butler, woman and osakan [coach]) and you can go through each one listening to/learning various Japanese phrases that are attributed to that character. For instance, with the boy or girl characters users can learn basic phrases such as greetings and how to say that you want to support someone in their upcoming battle. If you’re looking for something a bit tougher or dramatic, the scrapper or samurai character type will teach you how to say you want to fucking kill someone or call yourself ‘Blade of the Assassin’.
So obviously not everything on the site is going to provide you with Japanese you can use every day (unless you really do have a Japanese speaking person in your daily life that you wish to see destroyed… you don’t, right?) but the grammar and particle lessons might prove invaluable to more serious students. Right now there isn’t a lot to explore on the site besides the character phrases and love words but it seems like they’re moving quickly to get new features up like kanji drills and scene specific dialogue.
I’ve already added this site to my bookmarks mostly because I’d really like to see what kinds of character types they come up with next. How cool would it be to have a tsundere option? We could have a whole new generation of female (or perhaps confused male) anime fans who have learned how to speak tsundere Japanese… actually, wait I take that back. But how about just a few?
Normally I don’t report on manga but it is new Code Geass and I wanted to follow up on the earlier story. Now then, that wasn’t a very long wait for more details on new Code Geass now was it? New magazine scans have surfaced on 2ch which reveal the first new details on the new Code Geass project announced over the weekend. The new project will be a manga series titled ‘Renya of the Dark’, serialized in Shonen Ace magazine and featuring a brand new script writer, the director of the anime series, Goro Taniguchi. The story for the new series is a wide departure from what fans have known in the past. Taking place in the Edo Era, the hero of is a new character named Renya and starts after he and his friend meet C.C.
Alright so it’s not quite a new TV series which is what I was hoping for but it’s new Code Geass. One of the most popular stories of the last couple of years is returning with the TV director as the writer. I’m curious to know how they are going to work the story in a period setting but don’t mind going in to find out. Are we excited yet?
In the latest issue of Weekly Shonen Jump, it was announced that a new prequel chapter of the pirate shonen series One Piece will be published into a manga and turned into a limited edition anime. The manga chapter (Episode 0) will be published in the 51st issue of Weekly Shonen Jump while the first 1.5 million people who attend the movie next month will also receive a manga book with the chapter in it. The new prequel chapter shows the One Piece world as it did twenty years earlier and will highlight the battle between Gold Roger and Gold Lion Shiki.
As for the anime, only 3,000 copies are going to be made and distributed as part of a House Foods brand contest. As far as I can tell, the contest involves buying products from the House Foods company and sending in postcards with completed quiz answers before January 15th. As such, fans on this side of the Pacific are going to be sailing SOL on this one.
Then again, Viz Media is currently releasing the manga and Funimation is currently simulcasting the episodes while catching fans up on DVD. Perhaps fans will get to see this chapter released as a single OVA or attached to a future volume as an extra? Or fans might take their favorite pirate series to heart, sail over the Pacific and forcefully take on the 3,000 DVDs as cargo. It feels like a toss up to me at this point.
No actual details are going to be released until Monday in Weekly Shonen Jump but it has been revealed that a movie based on the manga Gintama will be produced. All that is currently known is that earlier this month, Warner Bros. Japan registered a site address which currently points back to their own site. The manga itself has been running since 2004 and follows a samurai named Gintoki in an age when samurai aren’t needed and oppressive aliens live the neighborhood forcing him to work odd jobs to make ends meet. This isn’t the first time Gintama has been animated having been adapted into an OVA in 2004 and a 189 episode TV series starting in 2006 by Sunrise (Crunchyroll currently has 179 episodes up with episode 180 scheduled to go up within a matter of hours).
So, historical samurai comedy is getting a movie. Yay?
It has been confirmed by many sources that mangaka and original creator of the popular Crayon Shin-chan series has died in what appears to be a tragic hiking accident. On September 11th, 51 year old Usui Usui told his family that he was taking a hiking trip into the mountains located in Gunma prefecture, more specifically Mount Arafune. After not hearing any updates from Usui, his family filed a missing person report with the police with no leads coming forward beyond a last known cell phone signal in the town of Karuizawa.
Over the weekend, a hiker in the mountains reported seeing an unidentifiable body lying at the bottom of the Tomoiwa cliff. A day later, the body was airlifted to a nearby hospital where it was confirmed though dental records to be Usui. His personal effects, including his backpack and cell phone were located about 50 meters away from the body. The cause of death is being listed as a collapsed lung and other injuries sustained during the fall. During the news conference following the announcement, it was revealed that the final picture in Usui’s camera was the bottom of the cliff taken from an overhead vantage point leading authorities to believe the artist fell while taking the pictures.
The publisher of Crayon Shin-chan, Futabasha, expressed their deep condolences to the family and stated that the fate of the series had yet to be determined. The series will continue until at least the December issue as the artist had submitted two new chapters shortly before his untimely death but the fate of the manga and anime series beyond that had yet to be determined.
Even if you are not a fan of Crayon Shin-chan, this is a very sad and tragic loss to the manga and anime community. Fans around the world shared their grief upon the announcement and I also would like to extend my condolences to Usui’s family, friends and fans.
Normally I don’t report on what’s happening in the manga world but I’m making an exception in this case because it is kind of cool. Being a fan in America can suck sometimes… such as knowing that there are certain figures within the anime world at large that you’ll just never get to ask that burning question. That one question that you’re just dying to get the answer to, we all have at least one. Luckily for some of you if your one burning question happens to be for uber successful mangaka Rumiko Takahashi, Viz wants to help.
Until 3pm Pacific (6pm Eastern) today, Viz Media is taking interview questions from readers for Takahashi. The questions that are about her latest manga series, RIN-NE, get priority but if yours is interesting enough it might get asked anyway.
You ever hear the phrase “you can’t take it with you after you’re gone”? And yes while it’s true that you can’t take your anime with you after you depart this world for that big Akihabara in the sky (or whatever shining glowy place you think you go to) you can at least stay otaku right up until the end with a manga style will and testament kit. And why not? You can use manga to learn damn near anything else, why not learn how to tie up your deathly affairs with it too?
In the 2,415¥ ($25) kit from Kokuyo, buyers will receive everything they need to take care of their final wishes and figure out how to distribute their assets. Not sure how to get through all the legal jargon and distribute things fairly? Well, the guide includes manga strips giving examples for young couples with kids, older couples with adult children or seniors using a hyper active old man as the teacher character. What do you know? There is something that is best left unhandled by a cute moe idol.
It’s not even 11am here on the west coast and there have already been four anime announced. Today is going to be an interesting little day. That’s not what you care about though so let’s get right down to the announcements. Three manga titles were revealed as having been green lit for anime adaptations this morning with official announcements to come in the coming month. The first two to be revealed via retailer solicitations are the dark ‘Deadman Wonderland’ and the boys love series ‘Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru’(Betrayal Knows My Name).
The first title follows a middle school boy living in Tokyo after a major earthquake. Framed for the murder of his friends, he is sent to a special prison where people get to watch the prisoners fight each other with plenty of more traditional anime themes along the way. So, Escape from New York meets Running Man meets anime?
Uragiri follows the story of a boy who was found abandoned and adopted by a family. Additionally he was born with the ability to feel what others feel just by touching them which has caused problems for him in the past. Things change for him when a man who claims to be his other brother appears in his life.
The third manga title to be released for a new adaptation is ecchi title ‘Yuria 100 Shiki’ which technically should remain in the rumor column for now. Sankaku Complex reported this morning that the manga would be getting a new adaptation but noted the vague wording on the announcement. Intentionally vague, the announcement doesn’t really specify what form the adaptation will be in so keep checking back for updates as they come in.
Finally, an official website has been launched (via ANN) for the upcoming TV special ‘Aoi no Hitomi no Onna no Ko no Ohanashi’ (The Story of the Blue Eyed Girl) which takes place in WWII Japan. With disdain for the allied forces alive and well in the southern prefecture of Kochi, a girl with blue eyes that she got from her American father is teased horribly but the town is rocked even more as more war news starts filtering in. The special will be produced by Shin-Ei Animation who are best known for Doraemon and premiere on August 13th.