Kicking off a year-long series on my favorite anime film.
Behind the scenes on the web show.
Hardcore behind the scenes making-of info.
This week: Inside the GANTZ premiere, film review, and more Adieu Galaxy Express!
All right then. The new issue of OTAKU USA magazine (March/April) is just on the verge of release, so here's the cover. Look for it on sale / going out to subscribers shortly. Meanwhile, we've begun work on what will be our third anniversary issue. So thanks for your continued support!
Hear ye! Hear ye! The long-awaited fruit of the most recent, and certainly most wall-shaking, collaboration between Otaku USA and Weekly Famitsu is on sale now! The 9/24 issue of Japan's venerable TV Game magazine offers readers a trip through "Otaku World Culture" via the results of the 2009 Foreign Otaku survey and special contributions from the OUSA staff. The Famitsu spin machine is promising a thorough look at the "rich and realistic" lives of Western otaku and gamers. And since YOU supplied the raw data, this epic celebration of international-brotherhood-and-understanding is very much yours to enjoy as well!
Ok. Here is the new cover of the new issue of OTAKU USA magazine (Sept-Oct 09). Should be on sale in a week or two, with subscribers getting them in their mitts around then as well.The fruits of a vast and shadowy conspiracy have paid off with a cover story on Evangelion 1.0, timed for the R1 release courtesy of FUNimation. New contributor Sean McCoy (he, of several Eva DVD audio commentaries) pens the main feature while Erin Finnegan, Matt Alt, and Gilles Poitras don plug suits for sidebar duty.
Ok, so here's the cover of the new issue of OTAKU USA. As you can see, we've really got our finger on the pulse of foreign fandom this time with a Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood cover feature and, as per usual, there's all sorts of wonderful J-pop weirdness lurking within as well.
Things I like about this issue: Patrick W. Galbraith (author of Kodansha International's new Otaku Encyclopedia) joins our crazy cast of contribs, Jason Thompson's interview with manga-ka Hitoshi Iwaaki (Parasyte) finally sees the light of day, and Daryl Surat makes all of our heads collectively explode at once with the sheer brute force of his lengthy tribute to the Fist of the North Star theatrical film.
What else? Zac Bentz pulls off a believe-it-or-not interview with Morning Musume's Ai Takahashi and Mike Dent defty duets with Hikaru Utada (perhaps you've heard of her) on a back page Q&A. Also fun: not-for-sissiesss manga excerpts from Broken Blade (CMX) and Takeru (Tokyopop) and an off the cuff tribute to Toei action classic Roaring Fire just because we're like that sometimes.
Look for it on sale at your local bookstore, news vendor, and cigar shoppe in about a week or so with loyal subscribers getting theirs very soon after. In the meantime, learn more about our humble publication our official website.
Freak out, freak out! OTAKU USA magazine has teamed up with Japan's #1 TV Game periodical Famitsu for the second time in our publishing history! And now, we want all foreign otaku to rise forth and fill out our "Foreign Otaku" survey below. The results will be published this summer in an issue of Weekly Famitsu, and (because we're big-hearted and foolish) we'll follow up on the Otaku USA website with appropriate post-game analysis.
In the meantime you might want to pick up issue 13 of OTAKU USA which is on sale, pow!, like now! You can get a peep at the contents at the link below (*spoilers*) Captain Harlock, 999, Street Fighter, Tokyo Gore Police, and stuff like that.
History will show that this is our 11th issue, and with our second year of publication on the event horizon, we demand to cash in on some of that sweet Dragonball Evolution loot with a cover story on the vastly underrated (no, really) Dragonball GT by Joseph Luster. Then it gets super hardcore – dare we say, “otaku” - as Daryl Surat has a conniption fit over Baccano!, Zac Bentz shakes down the Polysics for some Q&A, Mike Dent and August Ragone jump up and down over Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight, and actual Japanese people Tomohiro Machiyama and Yoshiki “Slasher” Takahashi join our nutty contribs for a staunch roundtable on MOE (perhaps you’ve heard of it)!
Among the heroes who made it happen: Matt Alt, Yunmao Ayakawa, Emily Balistrieri, Casey Brienza, Austell Callwood, J.L. Carrozza, Paul Thomas Chapman, Ed Chavez, Mike Dent, Caleb Dunaway, Trim Eldred, Erin Finnegan, Shaenon Garrity, Clarissa Graffeo, Heidi Kemps, Gilles Poitras, Dave Riley, Chris Schmitt, Mike Toole, Darius Washington, and wildarmsheero.
But in the end it was you that was born to pilot this mighty robot warrior. Now go forth...AND FIGHT!
Otaku USA LIVE: Manga, Anime and More—Otaku USA is America’s only totally awesome anime magazine! Talk about the future of manga, anime, idols, tokusatsu and Japanese video games with editor-in-chief Patrick Macias (Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno), manga editors Jason Thompson (Manga: The Complete Guide) and Ed Chavez (mangacast.net), writer/artists Shaenon Garrity (CLAMP in America) and Leia Weathington (The Legend of Bold Riley), and video game reviewers Emily Balistrieri and Heidi Kemps, AKA Zerochan. It’s half Q&A, half steel cage match, plus a massive manga / magazine giveaway! Saturday 11:00am-12:00pm, Room 232/234
ON SALE NOW! The OTAKU USA mafia invades the 12/19 issue of Japan's venerable TV Game magazine Weekly Famitsu. Our staff contributes lists of their all time favorite anime and games, while I ride point on an introduction to our magazine and general Gaijin Otaku 101.
On a semi-related note: the Jan/Feb 09 issue of OTAKU USA should be shipping soon and some big changes are ahoy. To wit: we are dropping the DVD, ditching the polybag, and lowering the price to $5.99. Subscribers get their remaining issues increased by 50%. Please consult the OTAKU USA FAQ for further clarification. Thank you!
Ok. Here’s the new issue of OTAKU USA, our 9th and
Vol. 2, No. 3 for those of you who can count like that. You know the drill:
should be on sale now, and subscribers should have them soon-ish. We've all been busy beavers grinding out the next one...
The killer contents are pretty much all right there on the cover, but here are some things I like about this one: The big old school Macross flashback with the contribs firing on all cylinders, Daryl Surat on Gundam 101, scans from various host club magazines, reviews of Golion and Dai Majin, a whole page on Super Robot Red Baron, pics of the hot chicks from Thee ’50s High Teens, fan letters from Malta and Danny Tanner, using “the war in space” on the cover.
The heroes who made it happen: Matt Alt, Brian Ashcraft,Yunmao Ayakawa, Emily Balistrieri, Zac Bentz, Casey Brienza, Austell Callwood, J.L. Carrozza, Paul Thomas Chapman, Ed Chavez, Mike Dent, Caleb Dunaway, Tim Eldred, Erin Finnegan, Shaenon Garrity, Clarissa Graffeo, Heidi Kemps. Gilles Poitras, August Ragone, Dave Riley, Daryl Surat, and Darius Washington.
We do it all for YOU!
This is just the official heads up that I WON'T be attending the New York Anime Fest this weekend. I know they have me as being there in the program and such, but it just 'aint happening. So there.
PERFECT MEMORY - The staff salutes the Macross saga...
Issue 9 (Jan/Feb)
Yeah. Ok. Shokotan blogged about me today.
...and then there was issue 8 of OTAKU USA magazine! Hey, this one is pretty good and should be hitting subscribers and stores near you starting next week. Big features on Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage, Overman King Gainer (with a “Kill ‘em all” Tomino sidebar), Paradise Kiss, Toward the Terra, and a huge fold-out poster for GaoGaiGar. And with Shippuden on the horizon, we're actually dropping the Naruto bomb again with Joseph Luster leading the charge of the light brigade. Oh yes.
Things I like about this issue: The Shokotan interview, the Sugizo interview, the Hideyuki Kikuchi interview, the old poster of Odin I dug up, letters demanding the return of Megaman NT Warrior, Mike Toole making his OUSA debut with a review of the New Fist of the North Star / Neo Tokyo Double Pack, the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya manga excerpt, exclusive art from Machine Girl, reviews of Rodan and War of the Gargantuas.
And of course pictures and writing about anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture in general by the likes of Matt Alt, Brian Ashcraft,Yunmao Ayakawa, Emily Balistrieri, Zac Bentz, Casey Brienza, Austell Callwood, J.L. Carrozza, Paul Thomas Chapman, Ed Chavez, Mike Dent, Caleb Dunaway, Tim Eldred, Erin Finnegan, Shaenon Garrity, Clarissa Graffeo, Heidi Kemps. Gilles Poitras, August Ragone, Dave Riley, Daryl Surat, and Darius Washington.
We do it all for you!
Excerpt from interview with Shoko Nakagawa, conducted by Patrick Macias July 4, 2008 at Anime Expo in Los Angeles. This is about 1/3rd of the entire interview and the full thing will run in issue 8 of OTAKU USA magazine on sale in late August / early September.
How do you personally define the word “otaku”?
The word otaku can cover so much territory. It’s so wide…Even though I can call myself an otaku, some people might say “no, you are not otaku enough.” Sometimes I wonder what divides the line between otaku and not-otaku. For people who don’t know anything about anime, I am an otaku. But even among otaku there are many different types of otaku, like people who like anime, manga, trains, or idols. It’s hard to reduce it all to just one word. The only thing I can say about otaku for sure is that they are the people who live greedily with passion for something.
What about the word “fan” and “maniac.” You hear these words a lot in place of the word “otaku” in Japan.
“Fan” is a little lighter than “otaku”. But “maniac” seems even more hardcore than “otaku”.
Is it fair to say that your own otaku taste leans towards the retro?
Yeah, exactly. I don’t sleep at all. When I come home – which is late already – my own otaku time begins. I hold my cat, I draw manga, do cosplay, play games, watch anime, and do something on my computer all at the same time. Around dawn, I start thinking about natsukashii (nostalgic) stuff and I feel happy. I don’t really know why, but yeah, a lot of the stuff I like is from the ‘80s to the mid-‘90s or older.
Do you think it’s just nostalgia on your part, or do you think there really was something special about that era of anime?
That’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about. I wonder why I think that older otaku stuff is better than current stuff…Maybe I just got older, or maybe those works like Dragon Ball and Slayers really were better. I could probably talk about this for five hours more with you…
Many American otaku tend to be only interested in the new stuff...
I agree with you. It is the same in Japan. Otaku teenagers don’t know anything about old anime so I feel like I have to passionately inform them about the previous generation of anime and manga. But today, there’s a lot of homage to older anime in shows like Gurren Lagaan and Macross Frontier, so maybe if you start there, it’s easier for new fans to enjoy retro stuff. And when you find out about the roots of something you like, you get a certain satisfaction. So it’s another way to enjoy anime.
Another thing about your taste is that you seem to like really macho stuff…
Yeah, basically, I like macho stories about guys who injured and have to fight. My hero is Vegeta from Dragon Ball or Trunks, so that’s my favorite style. I get really excited to see any character like Trunks who has silver hair. My fantasy is to tease them and annoy them until they go crazy.
How about more typically shojo stuff?
I like the kinds of stories where a girl goes to a mysterious new world where there are lots of guys and she is the only girl, just like Fushigi Yugi. I usually fantasize that I’m really popular with them and everyone asks me out. The current example would be Ouran High School Host Club. Ouran is great because you can fantasize about many different guys about you.
It seems like the number of female otaku have really increased over the last few years both in Japan and in the US.
I feel like the Internet has something to do with that. Just speaking from my own experience, before I even acknowledged myself as an otaku, I didn’t have any female friends I could share my interests with. But eventually, using the PC, I was able to find other girls who had the same interests as me. Maybe there were always female otaku, but they only began to become visible on the Internet. Some members of my fan club are coming to my concert tomorrow, and about half of them are doing cosplay. I’m really happy to have female fans.
Don’t you think that you might have had some sort of impact on the number of female otaku?
No, I’m just one of them, but to be honest, I do get many letters that begin “because of you…” and I feel really happy to hear that. After I came out and said that I was an otaku, my life became more enjoyable. I can’t live without my hobby; it’s the source of my energy. So I feel like we are living in a time where girls can be proud to be otaku.
Do you think that recent events in Akihabara will have any significant impact on otaku culture? (On June 8, 2008, seven people died and 10 others were injured after a man hit pedestrians with a truck and then stabbed people in Akihabara)
What happened in Akiba was a very sad incident. If a criminal is found to be a fan of a particular anime, then people will bash that anime. But the crime is the person’s responsibility, not the anime. Anime is not evil. The person’s behavior was evil. One interesting phenomenon is that anime theme songs are getting higher and higher rankings on the J-pop charts, sometimes reaching the number 1 or 2 spot. So I feel like anime is very strong and powerful right now. At this current moment, Akihabara may be a place where people are scared to go, but the anime industry is still strong and people’s feeling for anime hasn’t changed. So maybe that event will not have much influence on otaku culture.
Ok. Here’s the new issue of OTAKU USA magazine (Intimate confession time: I’m the editor in chief, is that a conflict of interest?). You know the rules: it should be on sale in an actual store where you actually buy magazines starting now, with the US post office doing their part by delivering them to subscribers as well. Some of you may even have seen this issue being waved around at Anime Expo! I know we’ll take our cracks for supposed "otaku sell out" use of Full Metal Alchemist on the cover, but we’ll be laughing all the way to the bank so we can’t actually hear you. Kidding on both counts, of course, and now it’s time to talk turkey.
What’s Inside: Pictures and writing about anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture in general by the likes of Matt Alt, Yunmao Ayakawa, Emily Balistrieri, Zac Bentz, Casey Brienza, Austell Callwood, J.L. Carrozza, Paul Thomas Chapman, Ed Chavez, Mike Dent, Caleb Dunaway, Tim Eldred, Erin Finnegan, Shaenon Garrity, Clarissa Graffeo, Heidi Kemps. Gilles Poitras, August Ragone, Dave Riley, Daryl Surat, and Darius Washington!
Things that I like about this issue:
Sidebar on the history of Japanese superheroes in America. The Stan Lee interview. The Koichi Ohata interview. Daryl Surat delivering the definitive FMA article of our times. Manga excerpts of both Black Jack and Black Lagoon. Bandai’s Soul of Chogokin super robot toys. Nihon Maid Association seminars. The fact that it marks our first year of publishing. The subhead: “TV game brawling at the mouth of madness”.
Now to make you another issue!