Otakon 2018 – a con in review

The second year of Otakon in Washington, DC was a weekend filled with fun surprises. There were guests of all media from culture with the Shinto Priestess Kanawa Kuniko to Man-at-Arms, cosplayers Serena Dejesus to production with Square Enix Producer Kimura Yasutaka and Studio Trigger President Otsuka Masahiko. Highlighted guests were Conductors Arnie and Eric Roth for the Distant Worlds orchestra with the esteemed composer Uematsu Nobuo and a treat for us all: Cheritz developer, Sujin Ri with the Korean voice actors from the popular, Mystic Messenger mobile game. There was alot to take in, alot to reminiscence, creating a weekend we will not soon forget.

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AnimeNYC 2017 – a con in mini review

AnimeNYC hits Jacob Javits for the first time November 17 to 19. The convention center is no stranger to anime cons, the last time New York Anime Fest being there in 2011. Helmed by Crunchyroll, the event was even bigger then NYAF with participating studios including Pony Canyon, Funimation, Viz, NYAV Post and more. An industry con with a heart in the fandom with a plethora of guests from directors, producers, voice actors, cosplayers and singers. Anime Diva night kicked off the weekend on friday with classic singers, masquerade on Saturday and the highlight of sunday, two movie premieres, Gundam Thunderbolt: Bandit Flower along with the sold out Fullmetal Alchemist live action movie. Hit the link for photos and fun….
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Otakon 2014 – Yoshiki in Concert

Baltimore was the final leg of Yoshiki’s classical tour, a rare performance apart from X Japan. The concert opened with the Miracle video showcasing moments from X Japan concerts and clips from his classical tour. Truly, the video is a wonderful intro into the depth, the heart and the man that is Yoshiki. Scenes of high energy drumming with the band juxtaposed against melodies on the piano. At first glance, they may seem different, but truly, the music is connected as the same soul composed both. As Yoshiki mentioned in the press conference, the melodies came first and whether or not the lyrics are there, the meaning behind the piece will flow through. That is what everyone is waiting to experience. Yoshiki’s music in it’s purest form.
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Otaku Service Announcement: It’s a SALE, Dodi!

We got this email:

“My name is [redacted] and I’m the owner of Totally Manga, a retail comic store. In 09 we started the comic store concentrating only on manga. We had a fun few years but now were closing our doors and liquidating the last of our inventory. The most economic way for us to do that was to close up shop and liquidate online so we have set up the remaining titles we have on our website in a $5 close-out sale. We have 222 titles of Shonen, Shojo and Yaoi, all $5 a book, all brand new stock directly from the publishers or diamond distributers. I’d like to note we have mostly yaoi stock left because DMP/June/801/Doki Doki offered us a really great direct sales rate, so we were able to buy more from them than of other titles that go through a distributer. We also are running two specials in addition to the $5 a book. Buy 10+ books and get one free, and spend $100 get free shipping. Sale opens on June 22nd @ midnight.

“We’re hoping you can announce our sale on your website and socials. We have a page set up with ads as well, I’ll post the link below with our other info. We had a fun run, but it’s time to move on and while we will be maintaing a presence in the manga world with a future project, being a retailer has to be marked off that list. Please let me know if you have any questions. I know this could count as advertising and we don’t mind paying for ads, but as were closing we do have a very very sad limited budget for it so if you could spread the word to other manga fans about the sale we would appreciate it! Thanks for your time! :)”

So shop Totally Manga. You’ll be totally glad you did.

This has been an Otaku Service Announcement. (Are we nice or what?)

Book review: Once More Upon a Time

Once More Upon a Time
By Patrick Thomas and Diane Raetz
Publisher: Dark Quest, LLC
ISBN: 978-0-9826197-5-9
Review copy purchased by reviewer

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

This is a different kind of Mystic Investigators tale by my New York homeboy, Patrick Thomas, and his latest collaborator Diane Raetz. I’m more accustomed to reading about the exploits of Agent Karver, and his empathic partner Mandi Cobb, in the Department of Mystic Affairs. They’re both pros at dealing with practitioners of the Dark Arts, fairies and mystic beasts. But the protagonist of this novel is a young witch named Jillian Anderson, an agent of Templar Mason, once known as the Knights Templar. She’s new at this business, so new that her mistakes can cause serious repercussions for the people she’s trying to help.
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In Praise of Scan Girls

Yeah, I read a few scanlations, but I also buy the printed English version if it’s licensed and published, and if I just can’t stand it, I’ll even buy the Japanese version. No, I can’t read Japanese, but the pictures tell most of the story. And the scanlations often have a note urging readers to support the mangaka (creator) by buying whatever version of the work is commercially on sale. That’s no hardship for me because I love the feel of a book in my hands. But if there are only scanlations, then I will read the scanlations and hope I can eventually read it in book form.

In the course of reading these scanlations in undisclosed locations, I became aware of a most wonderful thing: communities of manga loving females devoting their time, talents, and energy to producing this work, and producing it well enough, for other likeminded, non-Japanese reading females. I became very impressed by the camaraderie and professionalism of these groups offering new members a chance improve their Japanese, editing, or visual editing skills. I’m not a joiner, but this is one club I’d love to be in if I had the time, talents or energy for it. The scan groups, as they call themselves, have often been the catalyst for getting certain Japanese works licensed and published in the U.S. In every case that I’ve seen that happen, the scan groups do the following things:
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Comic Con 2011: Sho Murase

Sho Murase has been working in animation as a freelance character designer and storyboarder for the past ten years. At this year’s Comic Con, she’s showing and selling her personal work. She was raised in Spain and went to art school in Canada. She’s been exhibiting at CCSD, APE and WonderCon for the past five years. I got a copy of her comic book, “Sheila,” volume 1.

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