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Saturday, October 30, 2004

Viz to Release Special Wolf's Rain Manga Box Set

First volume of popular manga series comes packaged in beautiful box set with collectible card – just in time for the holidays

San Francisco, CA, October 26, 2004 – VIZ, LLC, one of the leading publishers and distributors of manga and anime for North American audiences, has announced the release of a special box set for the new action manga series, WOLF’S RAIN. The new manga box set includes Volume 1 of a two volume Graphic Novel series and a collectible 3D lenticular card. Available exclusively at Borders and Waldenbooks stores nationwide beginning November 2004, the series is rated “T+” for Older Teens and has an MSRP of $14.99.

WOLF’S RAIN takes that struggle between humans and wolves to another level in an exciting manga story from Studio Bones and Keiko Nobumoto, the creators of the popular Cowboy Bebop and Escaflowne series. WOLF’S RAIN is set in a post apocalyptic future where humans and wolves find themselves at vengeful odds with each other. An old legend speaks of a hidden paradise on Earth – a Paradise that only a wolf can find. A pack of outcast wolves takes on human form and sets out to find Paradise. Each wolf is driven by their own personality and desires, but together they are pursued by relentless humans seeking to quench their own thirst for power. A difficult journey lies ahead with Paradise waiting to be found.

The new manga box set from VIZ holds all the suspense and melodrama that manga fans love. The complex, realistic characters and action-driven plot presents a compelling story to fans of the already popular 30-episode Wolf’s Rain anime series seen on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

“VIZ is pleased to partner with BGI to offer this special WOLF’S RAIN box set exclusively through its Borders and Waldenbooks stores,” states Liza Coppola, vice president of sales and marketing for VIZ. WOLF’S RAIN is an engaging and mature story that blends action, myth and reality and is a winning choice for manga and anime fans.”

About VIZ, LLC
Founded in 1986, VIZ is a multi-media entertainment company specializing in Japanese entertainment properties for U.S. audiences. VIZ offers an integrated product line including magazines, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks. Each month, VIZ publishes three magazines – ANIMERICA, ANIMERICA EXTRA and SHONEN JUMP; over 20 graphic novel titles, including ALICE 19TH, BOYS OVER FLOWERS, DRAGON BALL Z, FUSHIGI YŰGI, GUNDAM, INUYASHA, RANMA 1/2, and YU-GI-OH!; and distributes home video for BOYS OVER FLOWERS, HAMTARO, INUYASHA, POKéMON, PROJECT ARMS, and ZOIDS.
Based in San Francisco, VIZ is one of the top five comics publishers in the U.S. and a subsidiary of Shogakukan and Shueisha Inc., two of the top publishers in Japan. VIZ is the leading publisher of manga for English speaking audiences, serving a growing market of dedicated fans of all ages. Estimating a core audience of nearly 15 million fans, the company holds more than a 50% market share of Japanese comics in the U.S. With some of the most innovative products in the industry, VIZ has expanded its offerings to its loyal fans through web sites such as, www.shonenjump.com, and its corporate site, www.viz.com.

Contact VIZ, LLC at: 655 Bryant Street, San Francisco, CA 94107-1612; Phone: (415) 546-7073; Fax: (415) 546-7086; Web site: www.VIZ.com

Comments (3) | Permalink

New manga
well, all you guys told me to get "Inu-yasha" but sadly the first voulme was take'in. nothing elas to do, so i got bleach vol. 1 and 2. One thing that pissed me off that, some kid thikging he's all smart, i seen every anime and read every manga (really he said that to me) thought that he was better then me. When i grabed "Bleach 1" off the sheff, he started taking "hellsing" vols. 1-4. I grab bleach 2, then he took "shamein king"1 "one piece"2 "rave masters"11 and gundam. Then we walked closer too me, and when i tryed to grab "bleach 3" he took it. then he started smileing. I told him " what was that for? i seen me tring to get it, why did you take it" then he said "ha ha" so when i am walking away the kid said" i have all the anime and manga in t he world, i desvery bealh" ( yes he said bealh, not bleach) i am still walking away, so he says "fine i am going to watch all 289 episodes of "dragon ball Gt" (289, there is only 64 episodes.) so i walked away saying "do you ever shut up"

Ok now, i found this, list you are about to see, its all the shows aired or will be aired on Cartoon Network/Adult Swim.

.hack//Legend Of The Twilight (TV)
.hack//SIGN (TV)
Akazukin Chacha (TV)
Astro Boy [2003] (TV) Beyblade (TV)
Blue Gender (TV)
Blue Submarine #6 (OAV) Cardcaptor Sakura (TV)
Case Closed (TV)
Cowboy Bebop (TV)
Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door (movie)
Cyborg 009 The Cyborg Soldier (TV)
Dai-Guard (TV)
Dragon Ball (TV)
Dragon Ball GT (TV)
Dragon Ball Z (TV)
Dragon Ball Z Movie 1 The Deadzone
Dragon Ball Z Movie 2: The World's Strongest
Dragon Ball Z Movie 3: The Tree of Might
Dragon Ball Z Movie 4: Lord Slug
Dragon Ball Z Movie 5: Cooler's Revenge
Dragon Ball Z Movie 6: Return of Cooler
Dragon Ball Z Special 1: Bardock, The Father of Goku
Dragon Ball Z Special 2: The History of Trunks
Duel Masters (TV)
Fullmetal Alchemist (TV)
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (TV)
Hamtaro (TV)
Hi Hi PuffyAmiYumi (U.S. TV) Immortal Grand Prix (TV)
Inu Yasha (TV)
Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time
Jubei-chan - Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch (TV)
Kagaku Ninja-Tai Gatchaman (TV)
Kikaider (OAV)
Kikaider (TV)
Lupin III: Part II (TV)
Martian Successor Nadesico (TV)
Medabots (TV)
Mobile Fighter G Gundam (TV) Mobile Suit Gundam (TV)
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (OAV)
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (OAV)
Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (movie) Mobile Suit Gundam Seed (TV) Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (TV) : Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz (OAV)
Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (movie)
Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (OAV)
Neon Genesis Evangelion (TV) Ninja Robots (TV)
Outlaw Star (TV)
Pecola (TV)
Pilot Candidate (TV)
Pokemon (TV)
Popolocrois Monogatari (TV)
Rave Master (TV)
Read or Die (OAV)
Reign: The Conqueror (TV)
Robotech (TV)
Ronin Warriors (TV)
Rurouni Kenshin (TV)
Sailor Moon (TV)
Sailor Moon R (TV)
Sailor Moon R Movie: Promise of the Rose
Sailor Moon S (TV)
Sailor Moon S Movie: Hearts in Ice
Sailor Moon Super S (TV)
Sailor Moon Super S Movie: Black Dream Hole
Saint Seiya (TV)
Scryed (TV)
SD Gundam Force (TV)
Speed Racer (TV)
Super Milk-chan (TV)
Tenchi in Tokyo (TV)
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki (OAV)
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OAV 2 Tenchi Muyo! The Night Before The Carnival (OAV)
Tenchi Universe (TV)
The Big O (TV)
Thundercats (U.S. TV)
Transformers: Armada (TV)
Transformers: Energon (TV)
Trigun (TV)
Voltron (TV)
Witch Hunter Robin (TV)
Wolf's Rain (TV)
Wolf's Rain (OAV)
Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files (TV)
Yu-Gi-Oh! (TV)
Zatch Bell (TV)
Zoids (TV)
Zoids/ZERO (TV)
Zoids: Fuzors (TV)

(Note that cartoon network Broadcaster and Co-Productioned the big o, and Broadcaster plus Productioned Sd Gumdam fouse, plus Hi Hi PuffyAmiYumi was Broadcasted, Distributored, Productioned by cartoon network)

Note 2: Shows like Eva and Robotech, were on Cartoon net work, on "big robot sunday"

Comments (7) | Permalink

Friday, October 29, 2004

Big and Small People
Oh man, i am tried of this pop ranking shit!!! every time i sign a person gb, from the top 20 ranking, they never even look at my site!!!! What are you guys too big and "in the spot light", and they allways have friends that are on top too. Also i am tried of people, kissing there asses just because there on top saying "your site is way better then mine" or "alsome site, i love it" i seen alot of shitty sites that people the above. Not all people are like this, Panda took the time too look at my site. i thank you for this!!
Comments (3) | Permalink

what, new manga should i get today? can someone help. oh, yeserday i got 5 hours of sleep. perrty good. well school was good today. anyway heres the manga i want, plz vote for the one i should get

Gudam seed
Rouin Kenshin
DN angle
Rave masters
Ramma 1/2
or any other manga

Comments (7) | Permalink

Thursday, October 28, 2004

stepping in the fan art ring
ok, as you read, i am starting to draw some pictures. i will put them on Devart then Mo.com. look for my art soon. i like too ask, if you dont like my artwork that i am making, dont vote for it at all. my first art will be for "castlevallnin" its of leon, and the whole group. well, ima tell you more, on saturday.

Comments (0) | Permalink

   still so... sleppy
well i thank all of you who told me to "get some rest" but i couldnt. i was running errions all day. yes, i had to go to book store, get six heavy books, walk a few miles, and give them to my friend. i got the wrong book so i had to do the same agin. when i came home, it was 11:40, so i couldn't get in my house. well i am so tried, i am not going to finis the story. (i got three hours of sleep today, and still a shit-load of home work)
Comments (2) | Permalink

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

i am so tried today. i got about 2 hours of sleep, and whent to school late (aging) so the teacher Chewed me out. so after being "On the lam" with the teacher, i had to do some hard work, (that the teacher didnt explan) while taking care of 32 kiddergraders. I couldn't go to gym today because i had to clean the classroom, and the teacher told me to grade a test we took. We got more homework aging, because the kids keep yelling "this is easy, give us more!!" so i have alot of homework. I could be yelling "HE GOT MORE F**KING HOMEWORK" but, thats the road of life, being mad wont do anything.
Comments (5) | Permalink

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


give kid more *HUGS*

Get hugs of your own

now, all my friends should give me one hug because i am sad (i AM NOT sad i just want hugs)

Comments (1) | Permalink

go[red] socks
OMG!! i am so happy that there are more redsocks fans then me. Even Adam likes them. ( http://www.myotaku.com/users/Adam )

so, for all those red socks fan i made this!

Ball- $5
Two Tickes 2 a BallBall game-$75
Redsocks beating the yenkeeys in yenkeeys stumde- priceless

Comments (2) | Permalink

At 10 a.m. last Saturday, the moment the doors of the Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district were opened, a small scrum of people rushed in, headed straight to the escalators and then up to the fifth floor.

There they stood in line for two full hours. Then, at noon, a woman with long, reddish-brown-dyed hair and wearing a leopard-print cap, a dragon-emblazoned black bomber jacket and matching black pants, sauntered incongruously into the pastel-colored Sanrio Co. store.

That woman was Yuko Yamaguchi, a designer at Sanrio who is almost single-handedly responsible for turning Japan's favorite feline mascot character, Hello Kitty, into a household name the world over.

There to sign autographs in the build-up to Hello Kitty's 30th birthday on Nov. 1, Yamaguchi sat down at a black table, took out her black pen -- and started drawing a picture of Hello Kitty on a Hello Kitty soft toy handed to her for the first of the day's limited number of 40 signings.

The woman who handed her toy to the designer was a mother accompanying a schoolboy. Yamaguchi addressed it -- as requested -- "To Yuka-chan." It was the mother, not the boy, who wanted her autograph.

In fact, except for a few schoolgirls, almost all those waiting in line were women in their 30s or 40s, or even older. Most asked Yamaguchi to write their own names, not their children's or grandchildren's.

Of all the department-store chains, Mitsukoshi is known for its more mature -- and affluent -- clientele. But with Hello Kitty now set to enter her fourth decade, an ever-growing portion of her fans today are adults like those seen at the store. And it's thanks to their spending power whenever they see something they want -- whether it's bags, stationery, chairs or soft toys -- that in fiscal 2003 Tokyo-based Sanrio grossed a mighty 103.9 billion yen in revenue.

(Although the character goods manufacturer/distributor would not reveal the exact percentage of its total sales directly linked to Hello Kitty, it did state that Hello Kitty merchandise constantly accounts for nearly 40 percent of takings at its 1,470 retail outlets in Japan -- and an even higher percentage of its revenues from licensing deals to allow motifs to be used on other makers' products. In addition, Hello Kitty pretty much dominates Sanrio's earnings from overseas.)

"The fans of Kitty, when I first started drawing her in 1980, were around 10 years old," Yamaguchi said before the autograph session. "Today, the average age of core Hello Kitty fans, I think, is about 34."

A look into the character's history provides a clue on how a feline with such a no-frills design -- three dots (for eyes and a nose), six whiskers, a ribbon and no mouth -- has turned into an international icon.

It surely wasn't a smooth rise to stardom. When Yamaguchi became Hello Kitty's third designer in 1980, the cat's popularity was waning after its initial boom in the mid-1970s. Though still among the top-selling characters in Japan, Hello Kitty was no longer the cat's whiskers.

Also, unlike most other leading merchandise characters such as Doraemon, Micky Mouse, Pokemon and Sailor Moon, Hello Kitty has no roots in cartoon or animation. In the case of those other characters, merchandise is often sold using a marketing technique called "media mix" -- meaning that consumers are exposed to the characters via games, movies, TV and videos before related products go on sale.

Sanrio, in contrast, has traditionally relied on "word of mouth" advertising, giving all the information about its products only at its retail outlets. At Sanrio, whose core business is creating characters in order to sell related goods, any character that sells well for more than a year is considered a hit, and most of its back-catalog of nearly 450 characters have long disappeared into obscurity. Its colorful Goropikadon range of "thundercloud" characters, for example, sold "explosively" in the early 1980s, as one Sanrio official put it, "only to drop out of view a couple of years later."

So back in 1980, when Hello Kitty was 6 years old, she was already considered a success just for having survived in the market. By then, though, girls were getting tired of her, because there were few variations in her clothes, poses or colors.

Desperate for ideas to revamp the feline's image, Yamaguchi took to the streets. She stormed into Sanrio outlets across the nation, signing autographs at storefronts, uninvited. At first, store managers shunned her, worrying she would get in the way of their sales activities.

"I was allowed to hold sessions only outside, so when it rained, I had to carry an umbrella myself," she recalled. "And there were those customers who said they didn't need my autographs. I was just like one of those people giving out packs of tissues on the streets."

But Yamaguchi wasn't just out there for the kudos of signing her name -- she was actually busy gathering intelligence, too, sniffing out what Hello Kitty fans liked or didn't like about the character.

Into the black to synchronize with social trends
The results of the designer's research were soon evident in a series of Hello Kitty makeovers, though she said she often had to battle fixed thinking within her own company to ring the changes. For example, in 1986 when she created a new Kitty variation featuring only her face, some senior Sanrio officials were enraged that she had "beheaded" the character.
Then in 1987, when black-and-white fashions were all the rage, she created a new line of Hello Kitty products in which black featured prominently. For Hello Kitty, that was a major turning point, as it was the first time the character started to synchronize with social trends -- and the first time Sanrio broadened its Hello Kitty target buyers from elementary-school girls to teenagers and even to adults.

The inspiration for this, Yamaguchi said, came from a letter she received from a high-school girl, who said her friends mocked her for being "childish" because she liked Hello Kitty stuff. The girl wanted her to create products that even people her age could carry around.

Similarly, it was an encounter with another fan that gave Yamaguchi the idea of launching "area-specific" novelties, through which Hello Kitty has been morphed into everything from peaches to an aji fish (cut-open and dried saurel) and a shiny black onsen tamago (hot-spring-boiled egg).

All that started when, around 10 years ago, one of the then burgeoning ranks of kogyaru high-school gals with long brown hair and "loose socks" came to see Yamaguchi at a Sanrio event in Shibuya and asked if Kitty could be turned into a bee.

"At first, I was like, 'Huh?' " Yamaguchi recalled. "I asked her why, and she said, 'Isn't it kawaii (cute)?' I drew a bee Kitty just for a try, then I thought, 'Hmm . . . this might actually be cute.' "

Innovations like that, and the constant development of new product ideas, have ensured that Sanrio's feline star has continued to shine brightly in the nation's highly competitive character-goods industry: As a moneymaker, Hello Kitty was ranked second only to Walt Disney's Winnie the Pooh in 2003, according to Tokyo-based character-business consulting firm Character Databank, Ltd.

Sanrio's ceaseless pursuit of cuteness has also sparked fascination all over the world, so much so that even celebrities like Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears have reportedly been seen toting Hello Kitty paraphernalia. However, interest in the character, especially among adults outside of Japan, may also be tinged with a sense of playful satire.

New York Times journalist Ken Belson, who coauthored a book on Hello Kitty with Brian Bremner, BusinessWeek's Asia economics editor, said he regarded Hello Kitty as a "joke" before learning that Sanrio was a serious and successful business enterprise. The translated version of the book, which delves into the history of Japan's "cuteness culture," was published by Toyo Keizai Inc. in June.

"There seems to be a lack of irony at Sanrio," Belson said over the phone from New York. "I don't want to sound unkind, but they don't seem to have a sense of humor about Hello Kitty. They are really serious about it, because it's their business. . . . But I think that what has happened is, a lot of people outside Sanrio see her as kind of a joke. They portray her with a sense of kitsch."

The cultural gap -- that Sanrio, with its teams of besuited marketing and sales pros, is seriously pitching something perceived by many people abroad as being mere kids' stuff -- was subtly evident at this summer's "Kitty Ex.," an exhibition of Hello Kitty-related artworks to commemorate the character's 30th anniversary. For the event, in which the company was peripherally involved, 64 prominent artists from Japan and abroad had been asked to create work inspired by Hello Kitty. In the name of art, some exhibitors got away with depictions that in any other context would likely have got them in legal hot water in an industry known for its stringent product-image control.

Visitors seemed taken aback by some objets d'art, which included American fashion designer Jeremy Scott's "Hello De Milo" featuring a replica of "Venus de Milo" with its head replaced by Hello Kitty, and French design duo M/M (PARIS)'s picture of three peeled apples stacked up, with a graphic image of a ribbon attached on top. Sanrio claims that Kitty's weight is that of three apples.

"I think children would be turned off," Eiko Yamashita, a 40-year-old visitor to the Osaka show, said. "If you take Kitty this far . . . I can only call it futuristic," she added, observing a Hello Kitty UFO at her foot.

Still, Yo Kato of Digital Hollywood Entertainment Corp., who planned "Kitty Ex.," was positive that the event helped boost recognition of the character and gave it a new lease of life.

"Japanese artists come from [a culture] in which Kitty has always been considered cute," Kato said. "The works of non-Japanese artists, on the other hand, tend to be un-cute, and sort of 'cool' and avant-garde because they learned about Kitty as adults."

Nonetheless, Kashiwa Sato, an art director who came up with the "Kitty Ex." title and logo, said that he feels Kitty has an "indestructible" quality about her. "No matter how much you beat up Kitty, she retains a presence," he said.

The void she represents -- reflected in the lack of a Hello Kitty plot or story line -- might be one reason why she can withstand so many off-the-wall, even satirical, manipulations.

While there is obviously some truth in the criticism that the allure of Hello Kitty -- and the cuteness she promotes -- is driven by consumerism, it has a positive side as well, observed Nobuyoshi Kurita, professor of sociology at Musashi University in Tokyo.

"The culture in Japan of taking delight in cuteness has dimensions that go far beyond infantilism or immaturity," he said, adding that characters from traditional fables such as "Momotaro" have long soothed people's minds.

"When people call character goods 'kawaii,' they are not just admiring the products, but they are also releasing a 'signal' through which they are trying to connect with others," Kurita argued.

"Kawaii is a magic word, which can lighten up the air," he said.

But can such intangible feelings transcend national boundaries along with the product? Kurita is betting they can.

"The culture of a family watching TV together in a living room never existed in Japan until TV sets were imported from America," he said.

"The culture of people projecting themselves into characters, which is unique to Japan, might be ephemeral, but it is certainly there -- and it's taking root in mature economies like America's.

"Soon, adults will get drawn into this culture, although I don't know if it will be Hello Kitty or some other character that will play that role."

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