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Jd Banks:

Good opportunity for super fans!

Originally posted on The Official Schoolgirl Milky Crisis Blog:

10612807_10152983401630600_2142389238260967136_nHelen McCarthy and I are doing a Reddit AMA on 21st March 2015.

**Title of AMA**: We are Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy, the authors of The Anime Encyclopedia: A Century of Japanese Animation, out now from Stone Bridge Press.
**Date/Time (EST)**: 21st March 2015, 5pm-9pm EST

**Background/description of AMA subject**: Anime super-fans Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy, authors of the 1200-page, 1.1 million words of The Anime Encyclopedia: Revised 3rd Edition: A Century of Japanese Animation, will be answering questions about Japanese animation, comics, and fandom. Why does the world need an encyclopedia of anime? Is print dead? Why have they got such big eyes? What’s so wrong about Tenchi Muyo? What’s the worst anime ever? The best? the craziest? How much is too much? Is there a tentacle limit? Is there hope for the future? What is the flight velocity of an unladen swallow? All these questions, and…

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fat-hater-header

 

Reformed Fat Hater on Fat Characters in Manga

I used to hate and blame fat people for their heaviness. It’s their faults, I convinced myself. But after facing my own fat issues and reading about weight discrimination in all walks of life, I’ve changed my accusatory hate into something more productive: understanding. It’s been hard considering that I live in Japan, a country where the inaccurate BMI is still gold and sizes run all but large.

In reading a post on Tutus and Tiny Hats, I realized that this problem–making fat people the victims of a weighty situation–is ingrained not just in Japanese fashion. It’s something that even manga readers have to see in black and white: the fat characters in manga and their treatment by their thin counterparts.

fortherose

Two manga come to mind. The first title is Bara no Tame ni, or For the Rose, an unlicensed title in the shoujo category. Because of its quirky plot–a chubby homeless girl starts living with her half-siblings in her movie star mother’s home–For the Rose won the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1994. For me, this manga proves that a manga starring an overweight woman can be memorable. I read this 10 years ago, and I can still remember how unfair and judgmental everyone was being to Yuri, who only wants to find a home with her siblings. One thing I love about this manga was how the other characters changed around her, defending and protecting her for her, not her size. 

cousin-l0The second title is an unlicensed josei title called Cousin with a chubby girl as its main character. After Yuki graduates from high school, she meets Aoi, a carefree guy who decides to befriend her because he’s a fan of her actress cousin. Though Yuki is skeptical at first, thinking he’s a pervert, they become friends. In spite of its lackluster plot, I love Yuki and her realistic struggles with her weight and her place in the world. She faces hassles on her new job and with her new friends, but she keeps moving forward in life. What really surprised me was her family’s personality. When she decides to lose weight, her parents are reluctant at first because they “love her the way she is” (though her father adds, “I like chubbiness”). Her younger sister, on the other hand, gets on her case even more, but just as in Yuki-fashion, she is mostly labeled as an ignorable brat. I never thought of this kind of situation for a fat person. What if your family is resistant to you losing weight? What warms readers hearts about this manga is that Yuki has perseverance–and yes, she stumbles here and there–and the characters around her accept her for who she is, not the size on the tag.

I love these two manga, but as I said before, they’re unlicensed, meaning that they aren’t officially translated into English for the Western audience. I can think of other manga that have fat supporting characters, however, I’m looking at main characters. They come few and far between. This shows how Japanese comic artists stereotype fat people, usually making the defining traits for rotund characters like Choji Akimichi (Naruto), Gluttony (Fullmetal Alchemist), and Terumichi Nishida (Detroit Metal City) the same.

I don’t think fat people can be put into the same Giant Foodie Category just because they’re fat. Every person, whether they’re a size 22 or a size 2, has problems, and those problems lead people to different coping mechanisms. Some may be food addiction while others are alcoholism. Some may be one too many milkshakes, and others may be one too many sexapades. These things are just escapes from a larger issue that needs to be faced. I know for me to even start losing the weight I gained from life abroad and marriage, I had to look at my heart before my plate. If anything was going to change and stick, I had to tackle the problem(s). I’m not at my goal right now, but I am at a better place–and so are the numbers on my scales.

Now if only manga creators could find it in their hearts to make some super interesting fat characters, main or side, without using their fatness as the only defining trait.

 

This month, online manga and comic magazine, Inkblazers, shut down for good. I was a big fan of the series, “Only Human”, but just because the magazine is gone doesn’t mean these awesome comics have to disappear as well.

Only Human Volume 1 Cover by sinlaire

For those of you looking for digital manga and comics, try out these former Inkblazers to their own websites.

Carciphona, by Shilin Huang

http://eepurl.com/bb8K9b

Era, by Wave

http://www.worldofera.com/

FaLLEN, by Ogawa Burukku

http://ogawaburukku.com/fallen/eng/main.html

http://eepurl.com/bcNwV1

Hell Kitchen, by DED

http://boywhofell.com/

Licensed Heroes, by Tiny Blue Dragon Studio, TriaElf9

http://eepurl.com/bb-rbz

Morning to Moon, by Lintwhite, Runcible

http://pink-noise.net/morning/mailing.html

MYth, by Zelda Wang

http://www.zeldacw.com/

http://www.zeldacw.com/port/mailing.html

Neon Glow, by AlkseeyaKC

http://neon.planetkalzy.com/

Neverend, by VanRah

http://tapastic.com/series/NeverenD

http://eepurl.com/bcznRz

No End, by noend

http://no-end.smackjeeves.com/

Not Quite There, by Jax Nguyen

http://nqtcomic.com/

OPHIR:Reload, by Aubrey Dagal and Aestus Gonzalo

https://www.facebook.com/ophir.manga

Polterguys, by Laurbits

https://tinyletter.com/laurbits

RPR – Rock’n’Punch Riders, by Daniele Rudoni

http://eepurl.com/bciEPD

Rumplestiltskin, by h0lyhandgrenade

http://rumplestiltskin.smackjeeves.com/

Semi, by Aka-Nezumi

http://tapastic.com/series/SEMI

Shamrock, by Ashikai

http://www.shamrockcomic.com/

Slash, by wadevesecha

http://tapastic.com/series/SLASH

Stray Dog, by VanRah

http://tapastic.com/series/Stray-Dog

http://eepurl.com/bcznRz

Fabled Kingdom, by Queenie Chan

http://queeniechan.us8.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=a555b97e3c417f87a80403f87&id=73ebfda9c8

The Wastelands, by Petitecreme

http://tapastic.com/series/wastelands

http://eepurl.com/bbZfD5

Todd Allison and the Petunia Violet, by Nozmo

http://petuniaviolet.com/

Vampire Fetish, by LOOM

http://vampirehunterjude.com/

http://eepurl.com/MG5Jz

Jd Banks:

Love sales!

Originally posted on Lesley's Musings... on Anime & Manga:

Right Stuf has announced that the site is having a sale on titles released by FUNimation Entertainment. Deals can be found on new releases and fan favorite titles, including Freezing: Vibration, Space Dandy, D-Frag!, Sankarea: Undying Love, and more.

From now through 11:59 p.m. CT, you can take 40% off the retail prices of all DVDs, Blu-ray discs and merchandise from FUNimation. This includes items that are pre-order, in stock, on order and special order.

Got Anime members can stack their discounts for even more savings. This means you have the potential to save up to 46% off the MSRP on DVDs, Blu-ray discs and merchandise from FUNimation.

Source: Right Stuf

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Jd Banks:

Love manga sales!

Originally posted on Lesley's Musings... on Anime & Manga:

Right Stuf has announced that the site is having a sale on titles from SuBLime, VIZ Media’s boys-love imprint. Included in the sale are Crimson Spell, Hide and Seek, Love Stage!!, His Favorite, and more.

From now through 11:59 p.m. CT on February 16, 2015, you can take 40% off the retail price of all manga from SuBLime. This includes items that are pre-order, in stock, on order and special order.

Got Anime members can stack discounts for even more savings. This means you have the potential to save up to 46% off all titles from SuBLime.

Please note: Almost all of the books in this sale are for adults only. Should you not be interested in this type of material, please do not view these items.

Source: Right Stuf

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howtogetojapan

“How do I get to Japan?”

Aside from stowing away in a friend’s suitcase for Tokyo, getting to Japan is easy. It depends on your desire. Do you want to work, play, study, or tour?

If you’re looking to play in Japan or tour the sights, you could do it the old-fashioned way and buy a plane ticket. You’ll be shelling out around $1,000 for a round-trip ticket–a definite hole in some shallow pockets. The other way to get to Japan is by joining your city’s sister cities program. “My city has a sister city?” Most cities, even the small ones, have a sister city in a different country. I came to Japan for nearly half the cost because the City of Chula Vista did a summer sister city exchange program in Odawara. If you go this route, you’ll be a representative, which means you’ll have some obligations to fulfill before seeing sights. As a representative, you’ll get to see places and things that you wouldn’t see if you were just a tourist.

Bottom line: Try to go to Japan on someone else’s bill.

If you want to study in Japan, there are various programs to try. The first one to try is your own school. Many high schools and universities have a short-stay (two weeks to three months) exchange program or a long-stay (eight months to one year) exchange program. In universities with strong international programs, you could arrange to study for a year in a coordinating Japanese university paying the same tuition for your regular university. Aside from the universities, some places in Japan offer a chance for foreigners to come to Japan simply for studying manga techniques or the Japanese language. These programs, however, are usually limited space and short-stay programs, but they still give you a glimpse into Japanese culture. There are a few programs in schools intended for job placement in Japan, such as Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. You can also check out my post on manga classes offered to foreigners.

Bottom line: Use the easiest route first and learn some Japanese.

If you want to work in Japan, you’ll have to do one of two things: come to Japan and find work within three months or apply through a program in your home country and get the job before coming to Japan. The latter is easier to do because programs like the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (J.E.T. Programme) and the Interact Network provide some assistance in getting your visa and plane tickets and helping you settle into your new home in Japan. Coming directly to Japan and looking for work on a visitor’s permit is more stressful because of the time restrictions. If you arrive after April, you miss the hiring season, lowering the chances of finding a job. If you arrive between January and April, the chances of finding a job is higher since most work contracts end in April.

Bottom line: Apply before coming Japan or arrive before April for the hiring season.

If you want to “accomplish your dreams”, remember that dreams require work. Most young people want to be a manga artist. As Jamie Lano of Jamieism.com suggested, read Bakuman. It’s not as glamorous as most people might think, but if you’re willing to shed some sweat and tears–and maybe blood–you’ll find yourself gaining wholesome experiences.

Bottom line: Look before you leap, and work for your dreams.

頑張ってください!Good luck!

2015res

2015 Resolutions from a Japan Fan

Last year, I made some typical resolutions–losing weight, saving money, reading 50 books, and completing 33 art projects–and I met some of them. I lost 15 pounds after July’s knee injury (no exercise, too) and read 55 books in 2014. I unfortunately didn’t finish 33 art projects nor save money, so I felt a little disappointed in myself. Still, I’ve battled the horse through injuries, failures, and burn-outs, and I’ve found one thing to be tried and true: I’m going to do accomplish many goals before I leave Japan this year.

Read more manga. I really want to read old manga. I feel like old manga had more meaning. If you look at my reading list for last year, I started reading older or re-released manga including Barefoot Gen, 47 Rounin, Doraemon, Sazae-san, Children of the Sea, Gundam Wing, and Evangelion. The reason why I’m looking at older manga and classics is because the newer stuff isn’t cutting it. I also read Assassination Classroom, Crimson Empire, Devils and Realist, Sankarea, Ultimo, and Zero’s Familiar Chevalier. This latter group just rubs me the wrong way. Every plot device in manga is glaringly obvious, so much so, I just dropped them off my reading lists–or ranted about them on the Anime3000 and Manga Corner podcasts. If you have any good recommendations for me with atypical plots and characters, please contact me right away.

Do more art projects. So I didn’t do 33 art projects last year, but I’m set on doing it this year. I’ve set a goal for myself on Anime3000’s Manga Corner: to do a motion comic per podcast. I can do it. I just need to buckle down…and get a Mac. ( ̄◇ ̄;)

Wean myself off the internet. Yes, yes, it’s a weird resolution, but I sit in front of a computer maybe 8 to 10 hours a day. That’s too many hours sitting down.

Post more manga artist stuff. If you’re an aspiring manga or comic book artist, I’ve got the section for you. Last year, I posted “Online Communities for Aspiring Manga Creators“, “Manga Pens for Manga Artists Outside of Japan“, “Deals and Savings for Manga Artists“, and “Manga, Comic Book, and Graphic Novel Courses for Aspiring Creators“. Got something you’re always looking for as a manga artist? Let me know in the comments section, and I’ll compile a list of resources for you and other artists.

I hope I can accomplish this stuff in a year. I’ll be leaving Japan, my second home, in July or August after 5 years, and I’ll have to adjust to American culture again.  \(^▽^@)ノ

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