Ok, so...I was interviewed by thenicholeharvey for the Tezuka: Marvel of Manga blog. We ate Vietnamese and rambled on about UHF channels, Terrence McKenna, and how Tezuka “wrote the genetic code for all this stuff, and gauged the velocity at which manga moves with a cinematic rush as compared to American comics.”
After that, you can start lining up for the Tezuka: Marvel of Manga exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco , June 2 – Sept. 9. I peeped in through some of the tinted windows during the set-up and it looks appropriately hardcore.
OTAKU USA #2 (on sale in Aug) will feature an interview with Steven Spielberg by Tomohiro Machiyama. Topics include Transformers, Miyazaki, and why only people in Osaka managed to tear own a Tripod in War of the Worlds.
This just in: I'll be lugging at least 10 copies of the fresh-off-the-printer issue 1 of OTAKU USA down to today's FanimeCon.
Lucky people who make it to the end of my speech entitled (*spoilers*) "Eating with Little Sticks: Lacan's Displaced Phallus and Tenchi Muyo!" will be eligible to take one home. Also, I'll be showing some very scary maid cafe videos and rambling about the number 109 as per usual. See you there at 5pm.
Japan Society is back at Fanimecon! This year we are proud to be hosting an hour with otaku researcher extraordinaire Patrick Macias, co-author of "Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide to Neo-Tokyo" and "Japanese School Girl Inferno."
Join Patrick at 5 pm Saturday, May 26 at FanimeCon in San Jose. Preceded at 4 pm by "Survival Japanese" with Society President & reformed manga translator Dana Lewis--essential Nihongo to get you from Narita Nyukan to Akiba, Komiket and beyond!
In anticipation of all insights into the upcoming Tezuka: The Marvel of Manga show at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (June 2– September 9, 2007) here’s something from the vaults…a report on Tezuka’s 1980 trip to the USA. It comes from the Japanese Fantasy Film Society newsletter, a boldly typed and Xeroxed-relic of analog USA otaku-ism.
Here is my robot report on Akihabara and video arcades, as seen on episode 25 of NHK World's TOKYO EYE. For some reason, this one feels about as weird as the one with the maids even though it really shouldn't. Also starring the Kondo Robots, the Gundam P.O.D., and a really old crunky arcade in Ebisu...
Pedro Edogawa passes by the 109 year old HUB near Kichijoji station, catching a whiff of one-of-those-deep-fried-somethings only now just reaching it’s peak from inside. It rests on a plate whose oily green leafs reflected in a lattice of beer, clutched in the palm of English teacher and New Best Friend From India. The former doesn’t mingle with the locals. The latter couldn’t if he wanted to. The palpable desperation is all quicksilver on the breeze outside until a steam cloud from Bubuka ramen from around the corner overtakes it.
Former sight of Gerotan Invasion epicenter. Now for crowded week-slide passengers who make for the JR trains above. A sad battalion of cattle-bright (androgynous, long loose-limbed garments, common to the Taishomei jidai) stand outside the Game Center, holding signs advertising “Musei” in punishment for compulsively posting fake personal ads to the Tokyo2 Classifieds. Ten of them, maybe nine. No eye contact this time.
Music leaks out a little bit whenever the doors do their dull automatic business: “My Boyfriend is a Baby Animal” the new single by Yuka Yuka (with her post-plastic surgery puppet eyes). Pedro recognizes the mistimed chord progression for what it is, a thinly disguised rewrite of the old Blue Noah theme. But the Honda-act has outlawed all ヲタク criticism, so he keeps it to himself for now.
He scans the crowd. An absolute absence of ass. Too much makeup applied too well. Ghosts to him now since the end of the jyu-pun senso. But a delirious dream of white girl gripped him last night and he can’t remember what they were doing there. A long road trip across America maybe: security checkpoints, paper plates, and tin foil wrappers. Someone there was kind to him in a giant library containing all the things ever written (he looked for his own name, couldn’t find it) and a repository of dusty laser discs that gave you nasty paper cuts if you handled them the wrong way.
And then standing by the Bayside in a Fuji-TV moment. Reverse angle goodbye and then cutaway to kendo practice. Flashback to last week’s episode and then a montage of a typical day in the office. Dramas are free now, but non-optional. And they arrive without warning.
Pedro Edogawa makes for home, monitored by silver little satellite. The initials under his Lonlon bento (never seen) read G.O.D.
Hats off (along with other articles to clothing) to Steve Harrison, who found the following item on Yahoo! Auctions Japan: a pair of circa ’79 Space Cruiser Yamato hot pants…I mean short pants suitable for wearing while waving goodbye to Godzilla, Gamera, or indeed the crew of the Yamato as they give up their mortal lives for the ultimate sacrifice: mass merchandising.
"But seriously, it's seem like being as 'Japanese' as possible is the new American teenage rebellion. Being a 'J-nerd' allows you to dress like a maniac, talk and act like a maniac, and piss your parents off 'till no end because it's shit that they just don't understand. Punk rock, mohawks and skateboards are incredibly tame compared to watching Hentai, dressing like you're constantly on your way to a renaissance festival, and practicing dance routines to awful J-pop."
Audio interview about everything, with a big focus on OTAKU USA magazine (issue #1 of which just shipped to the printers the other day), over at the Right Stuf International's ANIME TODAY podcast. Link here.
Shocking! The real picture of hell! I’ve been asked by Synpase / Panik House to write the liner notes for their upcoming DVD release of the legendary banned-in-Japan Teruo Ishii film Edogawa Ranpo Zenshu: Kyofu Kikei Ningen [aka Horror Of The Malformed Men]. The disc will be released in the US on August 28th. In the meantime, here’s the trailer - in exciting bootleg vision - to get you all ero-guro with anticipation.