Friday, July 24, 2009

Nan-Desu-What!? #1

And now for another department that I wanted to do. Here is the first installment of....


Never know what otaku are talking about? Nan-Desu-What!? may be the area for you. Let's get started~

/ 単行本
Pronounced: TAHN-Koh-Bohn
Def: A bound volume containing one or more chapters from a serialized manga.
Manga are usually run in anthology magazines like Shonen Jump or Betsucomi, with one or two chapters per issue. (These anthologies run many series at a time.) After a certain amount of time, the chapters that were run in the magazine are sold as tankobon, containing an amount of chapters that can add up to more than 100 pages.

The amount of chapters in a tankobon depends on what kind of magazine the manga ran in. For example, monthly magazines have longer chapters with about 5-chaptered tankobon, but weekly magazines can have about 10 chapters in one tankobon.
An incentive to buying tankobon are extra mini-comics and comments from the author. When the manga is run in a magazine, there are side-panels used for advertisements. These ads are removed for the tankobon and authors often use the space for commentary, sketches, or a smaller comic. (Examples where this is often used are Beauty Pop, Ouran High School Host Club, Death Note.)

In Japan, tankobon are sold with a booksleeve. It will have cover art, and include the name of the publisher, and the magazine it ran/runs in. When sold in the U.S., tankobon usually don't include all of the same- they are sold as paperbacks, and will not include the anthology magazine (the one exception I know of are the manga uner Viz Media's Shonen Jump label, whose manga all ran in the anthology of the same name). Some Original-English-language manga (Dramacon, Off☆Beat) are not run in magazines, and are sold direct-to-tankobon. Some also show no chapter breaks, even in an ongoing series. The English-language YEN+ serializes a few American-drawn manga (Svetlana Schmakova's Nightschoool, James Patterson/NaRae Lee's Maximum Ride) in their monthly magazine, selling tankobon the same way they do in Japan.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The ServUp! #1

Hey, TaiNo. I won't be here for two weeks starting Saturday. I'll be in Minnesota doing Japanese immersion camp. Whoohoo!! So, I thought I'd let you all in on my Anime Industry segment before I go. So ladies and gentlemen.... Taisaku no Fail Presents:

Serv-Up! banner

Welcome to The Serv-Up, serving you hot, fresh anime industry news since right now. Alrighty then, let's get the news going!

What the Hetalia!?
News on the popular Axis Powers

A popular Japanese-language webcomic was given an anime adaptation early this year. If it's just an indie comic, how good could it be? It's the story (or lack thereof) of the countries involved in the World Wars personified as mostly cute boys.... played for laughs. There you have it, folks: Axis Powers Hetalia. I have a few bits of news regarding this series.

It's official: Hetalia will have a second series after about 52 episodes. A word of note is that the episodes were officially aired online as webisodes that only last five minutes- including the 30-second ending theme. The second series too, will be aired online.

Of course, every popular series needs Character CDs. Character songs (also called Image Songs) are tunes that are played from a character's point of view, expressing their personality in song. These are usually released in CDs with very few tracks- one or two image songs, the karaoke versions for those songs, and maybe a mini-drama. The songs don't appear in the anime itself, and are sung by the character's voice actor. The first few character CDs that represent Italy, Germany, and Japan have been released (I'll put a tracklist at the bottom), and more recently, America's and France's versions of the theme song, "まるかいて地球" (Marukaite Chikyuu / Draw a Circle, the World) are out!

Hetalia Character CD #1- Italy (CV: Daisuke Namikawa)
1- "おをひとわかししよう♪ " (O-oyu wo Hito Wakashi Shiyou♪ / Let's Boil Hot Water♪)
2- "おいしいトマトの唄" (Oishii☆Tomato no Uta / DeliciousTomato Song)
3- ミニドラマ「俺たち兄弟だよ!」 (Mini Dorama 「Oretachi Kyodai Dayo!」 / Mini Drama 「We're Brothers, Y'know!」
4- "お湯をひとわかししよう♪~ヴェネチアーノ家出中ver.~"(O-oyu wo Hito Wakashi Shiyou♪~Venechiaano Iedechuu ver. / Let's Boil Hot Water♪~Veneciano Ran From Home version)
5-"おいしいトマトの唄~ロマーノ家出中ver.~" (Oishii☆Tomato no Uta~Romano Iedechuu ver./ DeliciousTomato Song~Romano Ran From Home version)

Hetalia Character CD #2- Germany (CV: Hiroki Yasumoto)
1- "ゲルマン讃歌~俺はドイツ製~" (Geruman Sanka- Ore wa Doitsusei / German Praise- I'm Made in Germany)
2- Einsamkeit (Isolation)
3- ミニドラマ「ポスター作ったよ!」 (Mini Dorama 「Posutaa Tsukutta yo!」 / Mini Drama 「I Made a Poster!」)

Hetalia Character CD #3- Japan (CV: Hiroki Takahashi)

Cast Your Vote!
Funimation Needs YOU to vote for new shows

Funimation wants YOU to vote for anime! They plan to acquire many popular series, and Funimation is asking the masses for your feedback. Some include Kuroshitsuji: Dark Butler, Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei, Basquash!, K-On!, and Axis Powers Hetalia! The list goes on longer. Luckily, you can vote for as many series as you want!

VOTE!! YOUR OPINION IS IMPORTANT! Click here to take the survey,
or use the URL:

Let's feed the industry the food it needs: more anime.

Rapidfire News:
  • Kuroshitsuji manga is liscenced by Yen Press, now running in the YEN+ Magazine under the title Black Butler. The first bound volume will be released January 2010.
  • Hero Tales by Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist) is liscensed by Yen Press, now running in YEN+ Magazine.
  • Natsume Yuujin-cho by Yuki Midorikawa is licensed by Viz Media and scheduled to be released in January 2010 under the Shojo Beat label.
  • The final volume for Natsuki Takaya's Fruits Basket is a bestseller.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood opening song "Again" by YUI, makes the top 30 on the Oricon charts.

Stay tuned for a special report later on:
After Otakon! Feedback from attendees!

I hope to get back to you guys with some more news!!
Love you guuyyz~ Lotsa love,
~Artie Drawings

Saturday, July 18, 2009

First Impression Gurren Lagann

First Impressions
-Gurren Lagann

I watched the first three episodes of GL to give a pretty stable first impression of the series. And so far, IT LOOKS AWESOME!!!! The animation is smooth and very cool to look at, and the music is very, very top notch.

What surprised me most about GL is that the dub isn’t that bad, sure Simon sounds whiny, but he’s supposed to. And Kaminya’s voice in the dub is perfect. It fits who he is so well, in fact, I have to say that Kaminya is the main reason I watch this show (bust through the heavens with your drill) and the rest of the dubbing fits who the characters are.

P.S. Yoko is for fan service and big guns!

Anime/Manga Ranking System (Shonen)

Animation 8/10
Music 8.5/10
Dubbing 9/10
Action 8/10
Characters 9.5/10
Plot 7/10

Total score 8.3/10

(please note this is a first impression)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Short Review: Ranma One-Half

First, I'd like to say I love you guys and what you've done to the site. The new banner is aweso-... wait, where is it? The Giant Konata? Death The Kid? Haruhi? Hellooooo?

Oh whatever, the business card is... So-so. It's good if we're linking to other sites but nothing impressive as a banner.

I love you all all the same.

Hello I'm the WebcomiCritic, I do it because well... Somebody has to!

Ranma ½, known as an anime classic. A legend if you will. I interpret it as the only manga that is capable of perfectly synthesizing a Harem anime and a Reverse Harem anime. Only Rumiko Takahashi's patented Takahashi Couple technique could ever produce such a masterpiece. The Premise is simple, a Jerk With a Heart of Gold and a Tsundere (A Girl who really likes the guy, but covers it up with a beatdown) are in an arranged marriage. This, combined with their mean-spirited personalities means they'll never properly admit their feelings for each other because Ranma is too much of a jerk, and Akane, his betrothed, is trying too hard to hide it.

This unfortunately, leaves too huge of an opening for them. Guys and Girls from everywhere are have some bone to pick with Ranma be it marital or martial, and half of them end up falling in love with Akane, or each other. It's a complicated web and this review is based off of the first Twelve manga volumes. That's a lot.

What can I say about this manga? Rumiko Takahashi is either a frikkin' genius or a frikkin' sadist. She has created a long-running story, that involves a Martial artist and is Martial artist betrothed fighting people off so they can still be together and never admit it!

On the Genius side, Takahashi nearly invented Martial Arts and Crafts. She has been able to turn any hobby, technique, or anything, into a form of martial arts. Don't Believe me? Tell that to the chapters about martial arts Gymnastics, martial arts Tea Ceremonies, martial arts Watermelon racing, martial arts Deliveries, martial arts ice skating, and martial arts cooking. I wish I was making this up so I could make money off such genius, but I'm not.

Next, She perfectly masters the elements of any Harem/Reverse Harem anime involving a lot of misunderstandings and idiots who can't be bothered to listen to an explanation. I'll admit, that second part is kinda stupid. Akane is so self-absorbed and so anti-Ranma she won' even listen to him tell the truth? Weak.

Additionally, the story is funny, the plots are ridiculous, but it makes sense within the show's internal logic. Obviously, Most of it revolves around Ranma and Akane Being a Stud/Studette and Studette. The Art is simple and cute and very old-age/80s anime. Heck, she may be perfect example of 80s manga style along with Akira Toriyama.

And then there are the characters, but I'll say this first: Takahashi broke the mold with harem stereotypes by throwing in a completely original characters instead of the usual mix you'd find in a harem anime. Okay, maybe you see a few that are normal, but they were original at the time! I mean look at them, Kuno the arrogant samurai guy who can't decide on a girl, a crazy cheating ballet girl, a forgettable stalker, an amazon with a commitment and her grandmother, a a dude who was really a lady that cooks, a lady that was really a dude who hides in stuff, an ancient pervert who can beat everybody, and oh so much more! It's insane. This is madness


But among all the characters, I'd have to say next to Ranma, I like Ryouga. I'll admit, I'm not a huge fan of some of his flaws like his blatant stupidity in certain situations and and the fact he wants to kill Ranma over such petty things, he's a pretty cool guy and a hard worker. He's nearly the perfect foil of Ranma in effect. What's more, He's totally honorable. He would do anything to protect Akane and couldn't bring himself to touch Ranma when Ranma lost his strength. Though sometimes, Ryouga's stupidity can be too much. For example: Ryouga finally tracks down where he lives (His horrible sense of direction I don't consider to be stupidity. The manga proves it's genetic.) to find notes made by his parents a forever agio. And As he has Akane over, Ranma comes to spoil their fun by turning into a girl and disguising himself... as Ryouga's sister! A Sister He does not have! Ryouga's logic is that He having a sister that he didn't know about was perfectibility logical becuase he's away from home for impossible lengths of time (Really terrible sense of direction). I can understand the logic, it almost makes sense, even for Ranma One-Half, and yet... He should be able to recognize Ranma! He's seen him as a girl before! And don't get me started on when Ranma and his amazon stalker, Shampoo, were disguising themselves cupids... By Only wearing different dresses and hairstyles. It's that kind of stupidity that makes Ryouga less likeable.

And while we're on the on the subject of negative things, time for me to get to what stinks about Ranma One-Half. Please don't kill me, Florence...

First of all, Killing. Everybody is trying to kill Ranma. And I mean, seriously murder him! I mean these are 15-17 year olds we're talking about literally trying to kill each other, no joke! Don't believe me? Kuno's sword is real. The stalker seriously thinks he can kill Ranma with voodoo dolls. Kuno's evil sister has hidden weapons like maces, spiked clubs, poison and shuriken. And Don't get me started on Ryouga's superstrength (Okay, I will get started. Have you ever busted down a wall with one hit your head to see if you were dreaming, and not feel it? Didn't think so.). Shampoo's granny using a shark as a weapon was taking it a bazillion steps too far. Does japan simply not have murder laws? Do the Japanese and Chinese raise sociopaths? Whatever it is, it's freaking creepy!

Next... Ranma. Not his character, his situation. I think Rumiko Takahashi is a sadist for this reason. To start off, the Japanese, unlike the western world, is big on this honor thing. Really big. Like dishonoring yourself or anybody else is a terrible terrible thing. Here's the proper definition to give you a better idea:

The best translation for this term would be "Reciprocity". On is a virtue that requires the individual to acknowledge and repay debts he owes, including debts of honor. A source of I Owe You My Life situations.


Can be interpreted as "Piety". If one owes a debt (including a debt of honor) but cannot repay it, Gimu encourages the debtor to show allegience to the debt-holder in lieu of true payment.

"Duty". Much more complicated than the Western concept of duty, Giri requires the individual to execute and balance his obligations as the highest function of an honorable life.

Usually translated as "Compassion". Ninjo requires empathy with others, and recognizes that all people are one, beneath the surface differences that karma imposes.

Mostly because of his lazy, greedy, idiot dad, Genma, Ranma has a lot of On, Giri, and Gimu on him. we find in the west find it funny because it's just silly good natured fun that to us, seem like petty debts. To the Japanese, it's funny because a million overlapping duties and honors Ranma has to fulfill that's it's either laugh or cry. Ranma's life isn't a comedy, it' a tragedy of proportions we cannot possibly fathom. And Ranma is one of the most honorable guys in the story. This means that he can't choose any one person without putting a huge dishonor on himself and a whole lot of other people that will result in probably centuries of blood feuds. You gotta laugh, or face the gravity of the situation and mourn Ranma's situation. Throw in the fact that Ranma's rivals/fiancees exploit his great honor to their advantage and the story gets sadder and sadder.

So, that bit of depressing news aside, what can I say about Ranma One-Half? This amazing,a great manga classic. And it writes very well. And I find it weird that I went through this entire thing without properly explaining that Ranma is cursed to turn into a girl every time he's splashed with cold water and turns back in hot. This makes the plots even more zany because of people who are in love with his girl side. Why would I bother? The story is that good that this important part of the plot seems insignificant. There's just so much going on.

It's the perfect story until you get to the more depressing bits about honor and stuff and you see that the story is much deeper than a zany uber-harem martial arts anime that confuses shounen with shojo. Depressing...

"I Am a Man!"-- repeated by Ryouga several times in a chapter number I froget.

-Read or Die You Uneducated Buffoons,
The WebcomiCritic

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Biz Card!

We have a business card!
(This is only version one.)
I made this yesterday to help advertise for the club. Oh, Mousa is gone for a while (you all don't know how happy I am for that...) so I'm taking over a little, sided with Ed and Florence. I'm making some posters too! Wish me luck! ^_^

Oh, I never did my intro. Hello! I'm Artie Drawings. I review manga and some anime, and I also analyze the ups and downs of the Japanese media licensing industry. I am a part of a manga duo called SHOCK: Shoujo Revolution, made up of me and my best friend. She writes, I do the art!

My favorite manga at the moment are Loveless, Beauty Pop and Shugo Chara, my favorite anime are Axis Powers Hetalia and Natsume Yuujin-cho. Other than being an anime fan, I am a Lolita and a memer of my schools colorguard.

Manga I Plan To Review (Blue indicates it is an originally English language manga, Red indicates unliscenced in the US):
After School Nightmare
Figure 17
Shugo Chara
Hell Girl
Camera Camera Camera
Azumanga Daioh
Hana Yori Dango: Boys Over Flowers
Beauty Pop
Kamikaze Girls
LoveCom: Lovely Complex
Gurren Lagaan
La Corda D'Oro

Be With You
Zombie Powder

Comic Party
Sweet & Sensitive
Let's Stay Together Forever
Honey + Clover
Love For Dessert
Uchi ni Oideyo.
Hatsune Mix!
Peach Fuzz
To-LOVE-Ru ~Trouble~
Card Captor Sakura
With the Light~ Raising an Autistic Child
Confidencial Confessions

Anime I Plan To Review:
Axis Powers Hetalia
Ouran High School Host Club
Descendants of Darkness
Petshop of Horrors
The Pico OVAs (Boku no Pico, Pico to Chico, Pico X CoCo X Chico)
Elfen Lied

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
Natsume Yuujin-cho
Majin Tantei Nugami Neuro
Gakuen Heaven
Kyo Kara Maoh!
Sayonara Zetsubo-Sensei
Suki na Mono wa Suki Dakara Shouganai!! (Sukiso!!)
Kaze to Ki no Uta

Special Articles I Want to do:

Manga for Any Occasion
Anime Con Survival Tips
Cosplay Advisory
Defining "Moe"
Genre "How-To's"
Meme List
Current Events From an Annoyingly Genki Perspective
AnimEducate (A video series)

Haaa~ I wanted to arrane my thoughts. =w=
Thanks for checking out Taisaku no Fail!!