Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fanime 2008, a small report

Fanime Con 2008 was fun. The staff always do a great job. This year things were even better. The program book and events guide were so clearly laid out that it was easy for people to find out what was happening. In fact the attendance in my panels was higher than it had been in years.

I did three panels:

Japanese Culture in Anime and Manga:
I used half of an episode of Maison Ikkoku to illustrate Japanese cultural elements. After watching the segment we viewed it again pausing whenever a new element came up. One observant fellow pointed out that Kyoko's mother exited via the left door of Maison Ikkoku, something I had not noted before.

Anime for Parents:
This is usually a discussion between me and those attending the event. Some good questions, each time I do this it is different. This year it was cooler as Jonathan Osborne sat in one it and had some good comments.

Older Titles for Newer Fans:
This was done by both me and Jonathan Osborne. There were some technical problems so we had to start late and rush things a little. We introduced and showed clips from 8 anime likely to be not known by newer fans. Our criteria was simple, the title had to be currently available and worthy of recommending to any fan. We covered (in this order): Bubblegum Crisis (the original OVA series), Dirty Pair (a clip from one of the OVA), The City Hunter Movie, Otaku no Video, Maison Ikkoku, They Were Eleven, Gundam 0080, and Macross Plus. When our time ran out Jonathan had to go to his next panel and almost all of us moved across the hall to an empty room and had a discussion of the titles.

I actually got to watch some anime this year, just the tail end of a Detective Conan feature and a, unreleased in the US, Lupin III feature which I had not seen before. What I really enjoyed were the first two episodes of Gurren Lagan, I had to leave for a panel so I could not see episode three. My sister and her best friend were with me and greatly enjoyed the show.

I gave Yamaga-san a copy of The Best of Xero autographed by Dick and Pat Lupoff. Xero is a famous fanzine which won a Hugo award in 1963. Takeda Yasuhiro was there and he and Yamaga-san seemed to be enjoying looking through the book.

All in all a busy con, I ate tons of food and rested as I was fighting off a slight cold. Even so I lost 5 pounds, anime convention going as a diet works rather well. I bought a couple of Fujiko figures (you can never have too much Fujiko) and a tasteful figure of the major from Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex.

I'm looking forward to next year.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Words and strings

I spent the weekend at Fanime Con 2008. Lots of fun, had great turnouts for my panels. However being away from home and busy delayed the update a couple of days.

So here you are:

imikotoba (taboo words and expressions) 忌詞

kotodama (spirit in words) 言霊

tonkori (Ainu stringed instrument) トンコリ

Special thanks to Aje RavenStar who sent me an email regarding kotodama which led to that entry and the entry for imikotoba.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fanime 2008

I'm getting ready to head out to FanimeCon 2008 tomorrow morning.

I'm delighted to again be a guest.

This year I am again doing the popular Anime for Parents panel, a presentation on Japanese Culture in Anime and Manga as well as a new panel Older Titles for Newer Fans with the delightful Jonathan Osborne. I may also crash some other panels or put my input from the rows of the audience.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rory Root 1958-2008

Rory Root the founder of the Comic Relief bookshop in Berkeley has passed away.

Rory was a pioneer in promoting graphic novels to libraries and participant in the GNLIB-L list for librarians interested in graphic novels and anime. His store was the first to win an Eisner Award which it richly deserved.

I first met Rory in the late 1970s when I was an impoverished grad student who would drop by the comic shop on Telegraph Avenue to browse through their Japanese import texts. Rory was a lowly staff member who was always ready to make recommendations and learn from the knowledge of the customers.

For years after that shop closed Rory would talk about opening his own store, it even became a subject to tease him about. When Comic Relief opened up many of us visited the store on that day. I was entering just as the store cat, a small black kitten at the time, was making a dash to the door being followed by Rory who was yelling "Get back here!". I scooped up the kitten. turned it over and while my hand was being playfully mauled and chewed congratulated Rory on the store.

For years I would visit after work and one day while in the store with a friend I was bored as he and Rory were having a long conversation when I spotted issue 3 of Akira in the old colorized comic book release. I bought that issue and the two previous ones which actually was my first comic book purchase since 1970. It was also my first manga purchase and since that date Comic Relief has continued to extract funds in exchange for wonderful books.

I urge anyone who is visiting Berkeley to head downtown and see the store that Rory built.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Okinawa yum yum

This week I have a treat for fans of Samurai Champloo and Blood+.

Foods from Okinawa seen or cited in those titles.

champurû チャンプルー

kōrēgūsu (Korean pepper) 高麗胡椒 or コーレーグース

Okinawa soba 沖縄そば

I also have a favor to ask of folks. I am testing the use of macrons on the site. Please look at the May 17 entry on the Anime Companion Supplement New Entries page and let me know if the characters are not displaying properly.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ku, ku & street

This past week was a rough one. The beginning of the term is always extra busy in the Library but other projects jumped out at us as well.

So on to the entries. This week I go on Tokyo overload and add a famous Harajuku avenue as well as two more ku.

Looking over my notes only two of the ku of Tokyo; Katsushika-ku and Ota-ku, lack entries. These have not shown up in any of the US released anime or manga I have taken notes on. If you know of occurrences of these two ku in titles released in English please let me know.

This week I added:




Sunday, May 4, 2008