Monday, November 26, 2012

Slow activity

I've been spending time on other projects so I have not posted much here recently.

However I have added a few titles to the recommended title lists, and I have a large number of titles to add in the future.

What I have added is:

For manga:

A Zoo in Winter by Taniguchi Jiro.

For prose:

ENMA the Immortal by Nakamura Fumi

Maohden by Kikuchi Hideyuki

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Boys who love BL

Volume 1 of the new Genshiken Second Season manga has been out for a few weeks. For me this means not only enjoying a fun manga but also learning more about contemporary fandom in Japan.

And I was not disappointed as in the first chapter we have an example of a new word to be added to the Anime Companion Supplement:

fudanshi (rotten man) 腐男子

Are you a straight male BL fan? Where you now have a term to describe yourself.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

To view and read

I have added some additional items to the recommended title pages.

For live action:

- Aragami: The Raging God of Battle
- Seven Samurai
- Shiranami Gonin Otoko

For Prose:

Several works by Kikuchi Hideyuki:
- Demon City Shinjuku: The Complete Edition
- Vampire Hunter D
- Wicked City
- Wind Named Amnesia / Invader Summer
- Yashakiden: The Demon Princess

and by Uchida Yasuo:

- The Togakushi Legend Murders

These titles range from sophisticated to pulp. The good stuff is found both in the high and low.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Getting around and destroying stuff

I've added some new entries to the Recommended Prose page.

 This time two practical books for travelers to Japan and two funs books for fans of space opera science fiction.

 The new entries are:

 Bilingual Atlas of KYOTO

 Bilingual Atlas of TOKYO Covering All 23 Wards

 The Great Adventure of the Dirty Pair by Takachiho Haruka

 The Dirty Pair Strikes Again by Takachiho Haruka

Check out their entries on the page for my descriptions. The two atlases are a must for travelers, the novels are fun, I've been re-reading them on my morning commute.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Adding to the recommendations

Just a short note this week.

I've been adding some new manga titles to my recommended lists.
Black Jack by Tezuka Osamu
MW by Tezuka Osamu

These are not new releases, I rarely do new releases for a couple of reasons, I've been slow to add things and I don't go with the latest hot-to-be-soon-forgotten titles.

I am working on new entries for the live action movie and the prose lists. Expect word on those within the week.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Changes and additions

I've been puttering on a few changes to my website Gilles' Service to Fans Page I removed some sections that were out of date and not likely to be updated and then tackled my recommended title pages. Before today I had three such pages, one for anime, one for manga, and one for live action movies.

What I have done is two things:

Each of the pages had a list of people and studios involved in production. This list was to help readers track favorite directors, writers and studios. As in some cases the same people are involved in different media you had to check each page separately to get information. So I created a new page Creators - Those Behind the Works I Recommend. Now you can go to the list and find if a movie, anime or manga has been based on one of their works, it works other ways too.

The second thing I did was create another new page for Recommended Prose Translated from Japanese and on Japan. This page will be both works translated from Japanese and books about things Japanese. At the moment it only lists the works of Edogawa Rampo that are available in English and my books. I list my books because of the requirement that authors be shameless in promoting their works.

All of this means I have to continue adding titles to the recommended pages to flesh them out and provide more options for people to consider.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Oshii's Virtual Worlds

I just added two new titles to my Recommended Japanese Live Action Cinema web page. These are both directed by Oshii Mamoru who is better known for his animation work.

These two stand out as among the best of his works, and interestingly enough both movies are, while Japanese productions, not in the Japanese language. These two movies are Avalon and its sequel of a sort Assault Girls.

 I had been meaning to add these for some time but was delaying as the Miramax release of Avalon has been out of print for years. Then I was happy to discover that the Japanese editions of Avalon all have English subtitles. In the entry for Avalon I link to CDJapan as I have found CDJapan's prices to be lower than most other sites for Japanese products.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Edo gangsters

Kabuki Meisakusen (Classic Selection): Shiranami Gonin Otoko Hamamatsuya kara Namerika Dobashi no Ba made / Kabuki

Sometime you just want to watch a classic. Not something high falutin', something well done but intended to be entertaining. Why not go for a classic. So I fixed my dinner and popped in the DVD for Shiranami Gonin Otoko. This has it, a complex con to get some cash from a merchant, deceptions within deceptions, a lost child found (two actually), a lost family treasure, thieves, a rooftop sword fight, great visuals and more than a few laughs.

These discs, region free by the way, are not cheap by US standards but not bad if you remember what foreign films used to cost. In this case it is a kabuki play, something you may be able to get a chance to see live in the US every decade or so if you can get to the few cities where a showing may be taking place, and if they are not sold out. CD Japan has the best prices I have seen online for these. Click on the picture to be taken to the DVD I am referring to. BTW while it does not have subtitles it does have a good voice over that allows you to watch the program and understand what is going on.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Spooky stuff to chill out to

Yesterday I walked into the Cartoon Art Museum store in San Francisco, it is just down the street from where I work so I often go there.

While wandering about looking at their manga and Japanese culture section I spotted a new book I have eagerly awaited for some time. Yurei Attack! The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide

This the latest of the "Attack" books by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt, the other two books in the series, Yokai Attack and Ninja Attack, are also out in new all color expanded editions from Tuttle. Do keep an eye out for these rather than getting the older Kodansha International editions.

Delighted with such fun spooky stuff I read part of the book on the commute home which put me in the mood for a good Edo Period ghost story movie. So when I got home I fixed dinner and sat down to watch Haunted Lantern [Otsuyu - Kaidan botan dourou]. It was a perfect choice, BTW Haunted Lantern is out of print and the link I have to it here is for a great price.

So sit yourself down, turn the rest of the lights in the house off, and enjoy a good book, perhaps followed by a movie.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Yet More Dirty

A couple of weeks ago another package from Right Stuf was in my mailbox. This time a review copy of the Dirty Pair Flash Complete Collection.

Now Flash may be the least popular of the Dirty Pair series. Partly this is due to the character designs being unpopular with many fans, Kei's spiky hair for example. However the stories are still Dirty Pair. This is especially so with the first two discs, there are three discs in this case with 16 episodes in all. Each of the first two discs is a separate story and they have the feel of the earlier Dirty Pair movies and TV series. The weakest is the third disc which is a series of unconnected stories that are filled with various tropes common in the 1990s when the series was made, for newer fans these may be fine but fans who have been around for more than a few years may find the stories trite. However the final episode goes back to classic Dirty Pair mayhem with a vengeance complete with power suits and high end weapons.

If you are a Dirty Pair fan this is probably one you want to watch, and likely add to your collection.

The release date is set for July 10.

Monday, June 4, 2012

More Dirty Pair

When I got back from FanimeCon 2012 there was a nice little package in my mailbox. The Dirt Pair Features DVD collection from Nozomi Entertainment
The case is the size of a regular DVD case but it actually contains three discs with the Project Eden, Affair of Nolandia & Flight 005 Conspiracy features. These are classic Dirty Pair. If you like science fiction, especially action oriented space opera this is a set you will want to see. The Dirty Pair stories have long been favorites of anime fans outside Japan. They even were often referenced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series well before any of the original works wewre available in English.

If you are new to the Dirty Pair stories these three features are a good place to begin. If you decide you want more you can then go on to the original stories which have been published in English by Dark Horse as well as the OVA and TV series also available from Nozomi Entertainment.

All of these works are available from the Right Stuf site.

Disclaimer: The generous folks at Nozomi sent me the set even tho' they know I don't usually do reviews.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Two Post Day with 2 Ns

Wow, two posts in a day.

I have added two new entries to the Anime Companion Supplement. Both start with the letter N.

nikaisen (two time battle) 二回戦

Nurarihyon 滑瓢 or ぬらりひょん

That's it for now. Enjoy.

Fanime 2012 recovery

Fanime 2012 was great. I even went into fanboy mode and got Kia Asamiya's autograph in my copy of the 1993 Studio Tron book. Yamaga-san showed me a dojinshi Carl Horn made for him, it was impressive.

My panels did well, the turnout was so high they had to turn people away from the Japanese Sex Trade in Anime and Manga presentation. For that reason I'm likely to repeat it with updates next year.

For those of you who approached me with requests that I put the information from that panel online it already is.

All of the topics I covered are (or will soon be) in the Anime Companion Supplement, specifically under the following index headings:




Sunday, May 20, 2012

My FanimeCon 2012 schedule

Here's my current itinerary of panels and events for FanimeCon 2012.

This is subject to change so check the schedules at the information desks in the convention center for revisions.


 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Stage Zero: Opening Ceremonies

 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM, Panels 2: The Japanese Sex Trade in Anime and Manga


 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM, Saint Claire Atrium: Yamaga Party (Meet the Guests)

 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Panels 2: Anime (and Manga) for Parents (and other Grownups)


 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Panels 1: Universal Gundam vs Other Gundam

 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Fairmont Regency: Autograph session


 Approximately 3:00 PM, TBD: Closing Ceremonies

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Watching one thing leads to reading another thing

I've been busy with too many projects. Currently I'm trying to reduce the number down to one major one which I expect will take up a great deal of my time for the next year.

In the meanwhile I am of course still watching anime reading manga.

Just started watching Princess Jellyfish, I know I'm going to like this one.

The Mayaya character's obsession inspired me to dig out a book I have not read in over 25 years. In fact I bought it in Cartesian Books, a store that had just opened in Berkeley, and since that time the owner aged and eventually retired. The book? The Romance of the Three Kingdoms in the C. H. Brewitt Taylor translation. Cartesian Books had just opened a few days before I discovered it, I walked in, the owner said "are you looking for anything in particular?" I replied "yes a complete translation of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms", he then reached over his shoulder and pulled the two volumes off the shelf behind him and handed them to me. I became a regular customer.

I now know what I'll be (re)reading on my morning commute.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

High school fighten'

I have added another title to my live action recommended list.

I've been bad and will try to add new items at a faster pace.

This time I bring you a title that has been a sleeper and is worthy of a larger audience.

Crows Zero
Director: Miike Takashi
Screenplay: Mutô Shôgo
Based on a work by: Takahashi Hiroshi
This is a prequel to the famous Crows manga about boys attending Suzuran, a tough high school where status depends on fists. The film is actually a complex one with unique characters and varied motivations. No one has ever taken control of Suzuran and transfer student Takiya Genji is determined to do so. From a solitary new student to building alliances he gains more power to challenge Serizawa Tamao and his team. Complex characters, fun lines "Don't dis the poor", great music and action. I often say that the Crows stories could be recast as a story with samurai vying for power. It just happens to be sent in a working class area of metropolitan Tokyo.
Order Crows Zero on DVD from The Right Stuf
Order Crows Zero on Blu-ray from The Right Stuf

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Soapy gals

This week I actually have three entries. All related to the same type of sex trade business and their female staff.

I also discovered some edits in the Japanese editions of Maison Ikkoku from before and after the introduction of the term soaplands into the language.

The entries are:

sōpu-jō (soap jō, soap girl) ソープ嬢

torukoburo (Turkish bath house) トルコ風呂 or トルコぶろ

toruko-jō (Turkish girl) トルコ嬢

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A breezy yōkai

This entry takes me back to adding more yōkai entries. This one from the island of Shikoku.

muchi [yōkai] 鞭

I plan to do many more due to the large number of significant yōkai in the Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan manga. If you have not checked out this manga I highly recommend it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What is that kinky thing?

Japanese-English Guide to Sex, Kink and Naughtiness
By Nate Jensen 2009
181 pages, black and white illustrations

Writings dealing with Japanese sexuality fall into three broad categories:

1. Academic writings

2. Informative general writings

3. The author knows not of what he writes.

This book is in category 2. Basically this is a dictionary of sexual words and terms that are used in Japan. Until this book came out there were no good single English sources for this information, one had to dig through a variety of works to find a few words.

The organization of entries is simple, in alphabetical order by the Japanese terms. Each entry is Romanized followed by the kana and kanji for the term. Handy indexes exist for the English equivalent terms and the words in Japanese. The illustrations that are used are simple and to the point.

The range of topics covered is broad. I have only been able to find a couple of terms that are not included and discovered far more that I did not know. Given that most popular writing on sexuality in Japan tends to be a mixture of misconceptions, cheap fantasy and weird stuff the writer pulled out of their (or someone else's) ass this book is a rare gem in a pile of dung.

If you are a translator or just casually interested this work will likely prove useful. This book would fit nicely on the shelf next to Peter Constantine's Japan's Sex Trade or Joan Sinclair's Pink Box: Inside Japan's Sex Clubs.

I'd like to thank John C. Watson for informing me of this work. It was far below my radar and I doubt I would have found it otherwise.

Monday, January 2, 2012

First of the year

Happy New Year. May this one be a good one for all of us.

I have the first Anime Companion Supplement entry for the year.

I start 2012 with the Hannya shingyō (Heart Sutra) 般若心經

Last year was a slow one for the supplement. Other projects forced me to slow down to only one entry per week and the lasts few months had less. The total for the year was 45 new entries/. That does not seem like much but each entry can take some time to write and then it has to be added to the web site with all the proper tagging and links. It can take hours for the harder entries.

In 2012 I will probably produce even less as I have to give priority to other projects.

However please feel free to make requests for other entries, or any other feedback on this and other projects.