KIRKLAND & POINTE-CLAIRE KAIDASHI KIKOU
Today I went with my mother to the Wal-Mart in Kirkland, my first trip to the Kirkland Wal-Mart since they moved out of the old, now-demolished, Woolco building and into an original building on the site of the old Provigo supermarket, which closed when they opened the Loblaws across Saint Charles boulevard (same company). It was also my first trip to a Wal-Mart, period, in about two or three years. I'm someone who actually has a positive attitude about Wal-Mart in general, but they just don't have any Wal-Mart stores anywhere I usually go.
The main reason I visited that particular Wal-Mart was to see if they had an anime shelf like a lot of American Wal-Marts have now (and this is the same Wal-Mart, well, same but one football field to the east, that I found a handful of U.S. Manga Corps CD-ROMs at way back in 1996, when Central Park Media was experimenting with that format). Answer: nope... apart from the normal dub-only kiddy stuff you can find anywhere.
I browsed the cheap video and computer games shelf, but the only cheap Playstation games they had were total "floaters" and the only cheap Gameboy Advance game they had was fricking Dora the Explorer
. Nothing of interest to me in the DVD bargain bin, where the DVDs were so cheap (about $7 CDN) that I would have bught quite a lot of films I wouldn't normally care about enough to own. Then I browsed the Hot Wheels... some of the sets I would have loved to have when I was about seven; they can put a lot more small details into these things now. Back when I was a kid, the scenery in Hot Wheels sets was usually just stickers which peeled off very quckly considering that toy cars were crashing into these walls at high rates of speed. Now they paint the details on, it seems. I checked the large 1:18 scale Hot Wheels but they didn't have any Ferraris like the little F-355 I have
After that, I walked to the in-store McDonald's and had a medium Coke and medium fries. My mother, amazingly enough, figured that she'd find me there. Her reasoning? "Because it's there." But of course; say what you will about the quality of McDonald's food in general, their fries are divine.
I got two 3 packs of Fruit of the Looms underwear in assorted colours, and a new Crest Spinbrush toothbrush, since I had been using the one I have since 2001.
Our next stop: Chapters in Complexe Pointe-Claire. My mother was going to get some books for my brothers and father, since it's all their birthdays within this current two-week period (Nick's was July 30th, but he's in Mexico; dad's is August 9th and John's is August 10th). I did what I usually do in Chapters; check out Japanese manga comics translated into French and English. Nothing much for me in either language, but I was a bit horrified to see a girl who didn't look older than 10 years old reading Love Hina
, a dumb harem comic with a guy living in a dorm with a bunch of one-dimensional airheaded females meant to appeal to a wide range of fetishes, from Japanese lolita (Shinobu) to... umm... foreign lolita (Kaolla Su). It isn't exactly hardcore hentai pornography but it does contain some nudity, sexual innuendo, and adult situations (as one North Carolina sheffif's deputy discovered last March
). Not exactly innocent teenage stuff like Archie
and not something I'd let a 10 year old read. The selection of French manga was pretty good, as always, but they didn't have the third volume of Planetes
, which I would have gotten in English, but they didn't have it in English either. Also, they're finally publishing Masami Yuki's manga version of Patlabor
in French. Viz attempted to publish it in English in 1997, but aborted it because of poor sales of the individual issues (this was before Tokyopop figured out that most people would rather buy manga in trade paperback format than in monthly issues like American comics). I think the Patlabor
manga (as well as Rumiko Takahashi's original Urusei Yatsura
manga) would have sold much better as trade paperbacks, but Viz seems to have little interest in resuming publishing either title. I wanted to get the third volume, but all that's out of the Patlabor
manga in French are the first two volumes, which I already have in English.
I was hoping to get the yaoi Gravitation
manga in English, but most of the English manga section was the mediocre dreck which Tokyopop is flooding the market with (which I think will bring about the saturation point sooner rather than later); stuff that wouldn't have a chance to be licensed 5 years ago. (Yet Hitoshi Ashinano's Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou
, about the most beautiful manga I have ever read, remains unlicensed; where's the justice?)
After browsing around a bit more, my mother asked me to choose some cards for my brothers and father, but the store didn't have as wide a selection as a Carlton or Hallmark card store and a whole lot of the cards either featured primitive scribble drawings or boys wearing oversized glasses shot from ugly angles, but they did have some lovely cards with plush ornaments on the cover; I chose one for John with a ballet-dancing polar bear, since it reminded me of Tutu from Nintendo's Animal Crossing
, while my mother chose the other two that I will pretend I chose (I probably shouldn't admit that here, but they don't read this... at least none of them have asked me if I'm serious when I say I'm bisexual yet).
After that, we crossed Saint John's boulevard and went to Fairview Pointe-Claire shopping centre. We went to HMV to get a few DVDs. I saw that they actually had the first volume of Ghost in the Shell: Stand-Alone Complex
for only $19.99 CDN, which is an incredible price for a brand spanking new anime DVD (around $8 CDN below ADV or Central Park Media's disks). Too bad I don't care about Ghost in the Shell
. The other anime HMV Pointe-Claire had was mostly stuff teenage fanboys like... no Super GALS!
or even just Tenchi Muyo GXP
. After HMV... umm... I got two water purifiers for a Braun coffee filter while my mother got a couple of gift certificates at GAP, and then checked out Compucentre which is now CompuSmart... not nearly as many games as Compucentre used to have. Music World had the normal "meh" selection of anime. Then we left Fairview and went home via Provigo in Baie d'Urfé.
That's it. By the way, for people coming here looking for information on Pincourt Firemen's Day, always held on the second Saturday every August, it hasn't been cancelled, it's just on August 14th this year, because the first Saturday this month, today, wasn't until the 7th.
KIDS BECOME ADDICTED TO COURTNEY LOVE'S HEROINE!
I don't have an opinion on this one since I haven't read it yet, but, a year or so ago, Courtney Love
approached "saturation point"-provoking domestic English-translated manga distributor Tokyopop wanting them to do a comic on her ideas (mainly her lyrics, though I think there's some influence from the more pleasant and publishable parts of her life), and Tokyopop enlisted manga artist Ai Yazawa and musician and writer D.J. Milky to put her ideas on paper, and the result is Princess Ai
("Ai" being Japanese for "Love", as in "Courtney Love"... get it?), a comic about an amnesiac princess of some sort waking up in Tokyo and becoming a musician.
While there is a Nirvana reference in the form of a "Heart-shaped box", I doubt we'll be seeing any characters based directly on Kurt Cobain, or, even if there will be, at least not his life shortly prior to his suicide, and yes, I do indeed think that Kurt's shotgun blast death
was a suicide. I'm not one of those "Courtney killed Kurt" conspiracy theory wackos. I read plenty about the widow Courtney Love in many columns written by the late Montreal Gazette
columnist Nick Auf der Maur, who wrote frequently about Courtney and the other Hole band members up to his death in 1997, since his daughter, Melissa Auf der Maur, was, at the time, the bassist for Hole. She's a troubled woman and not particularly a good role model, but she's no murderer.
I wasn't sure if all that many people would care about this, but, apparently, this was the top-selling comic book in trade paperback format in North America for the week of July 25th
, so there is much greater interest for this in the manga sub-niche of the comic book fandom niche than I had anticipated, and I guess you have the Courtney Love fangirls cover the rest of the spread.
You can actually sample the first few pages online here
. Looks decent enough; I don't know why it's "unflipped" since it's mainly being done for an English-speaking market. "Unflipped" means that this comic is published in the Japanese orientation, right-to-left; most English-translated manga used to be "flipped", but, starting around 2000, a lot of the domestic manga translators started printing their paperbacks in the Japanese orientation, and Dark Horse is about the only remaining domestic manga publisher that still flips most of their titles. It takes a while to get used to reading comics (or "sequential art", for you uppity, pretentious, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund-supporting types) this way, but I had a four or five year head start on most people, since some French publishers like Kana and J'ai Lu had been publishing their manga translations unflipped since the mid-90s, and now even Glénat has followed suit. More aggravating is that the buttons at the top of the page are also Japanese orientation, so I keep on pressing "previous" when I mean to hit "next".
I'm only writing about this because I noticed this "Avenue" article in the National Post on Tuesday about Princess Ai
, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make a pun on "Courtney Love" and "heroin". :P
YOU'VE BECOME SOFT, OLD MAN. YOUR WORK AFTER PORCO ROSSO HAS ALL BEEN CONCEPTUALLY BANKRUPT!
Not that I'm a big fan of giving out links just for the sake of giving out links, at least not anymore, but I got this link
from the Miyazaki Mailing List, and it's an amusing parody comic of Hayao Miyazaki taking out both Hideaki Anno and Mamoru Oshii, Kill Bill
OTAKON- A LITTLE MORE INTERESTING FOR ME THAN ANIME EXPO, BARELY...
It's summer and I'm feeling lazy, so I didn't bother watching all that much of the Democratic National Convention last week since it's a foregone conclusion anyway, choosing to get the gist of it from Tom Brokaw, Rush Limbaugh, and The Daily Show
. I watched a couple of the lame quasi-reenctments with John F. Kerry ("The Frenchurian Candidate" as one of Rush's callers called him) reminding us all that he was in Vietnam, his military service and purple hearts being an interesting piece of esoteric arcana that somehow he hasn't talked about much until now (sarcasm). I did get a chuckle about how the balloons didn't fall. However, a convention nearer and dearer to my heart, Otakon
, the "Yuya Asou"* of American anime conventions, was held over the weekend in Baltimore, and there were a number of announcements; nothing too exciting, but I'm happy about a couple of things.
anime, which was semi-announced at Anime Expo in that Bang Zoom mentioned that they were dubbing it, but the distributor didn't announce it, has finally been announced, by Bandai, which meas that it will get a good quality release but it will cost $10 to $15 CDN per volume more than I'd pay for most anime DVDs these days ($25-30 CDN), which means I will probably buy it eventually, but it won't be an impulse purchase I grab the moment I see it on the shelf like I would for Super GALS!
. And it's supposed to be good, but not quite as good as the manga, since it focuses on the love/hate relationship between Hachimaki and Tanabe and pushes the rest of the ensemble cast to supporting characters.
Also, Ultra Maniac
, the shoujo
cartoon that is roughly like Marmalade Boy
characters mixed up in the magical world vs. "Muggle" world duality of Harry Potter
, has been announced by Geneon (formerly Pioneer Animation), the other company that overcharges for DVDs in Canada, so this will probably be something on my "would be nice to have, but..." list. I discussed Ultra Maniac, which I thought would make an excellent anime title for Tokyopop, here
The other thing I'm vaguely happy about, but this is no priority for me, is that the Star Ocean EX anime
, based on Enix's Star Ocean: The Second Story
RPG (role-playing game, for those of you in Rio Linda) for the PlayStation One, the one with space-faring human Claude C. Kenni and healing alien Rena Lanford as the protagonists, has also been announced by Geneon. I actually liked the game it's based on better than any of the PlayStation Final Fantasy
games, even if the simple graphics were much less extravagant (the backgrounds were lovely, though), and the few episodes I saw, in terrible, terrible RealVideo format, were astonishingly close to the game in terms of story. Even through the crappy RealVideo, I could tell that the animation quality was only average, but that's no big deal. One thing about this series that is a bit notorious is that it was meant to go around 52 episodes or so, but it wasn't too popular, so only the first 26 episodes were animated, covering only about the first disk of the game, so I don't think they ever get to the other planet. All I ask with the dubbing is that, if the reporter fighter character Chisato Madison appears, they have to use the lines you heard over and over in the game at the end of fights: "And that's how the monsters ceased to exist!" and "I wonder who the MVP is?"
By the way, I got to the final boss in Star Ocean 2
but I never beat him/it/them (been a while)... just too damn difficult. I liked how the battles was just a frenzy of non-turn-based button mashing. The best part of the game was all the side stuff you could do... making items out of other items with varying success depending on your skills, betting on the bunny race, cooking in a videogame version of Iron Chef
, and trying to manipulate the relationships between characters in your party through conversations and gifts and such. I even got Claude to go on a date with Ashton Anchors, a dragonslayer whose bad luck got him curse with two comic relief dragons attached to his shoulders, though it wasn't a romantic date, just a conversation date with a tiny bit of gay innuendo from the shop owner who doesn't understand what's going on. Anyway, that has nothng to do with the convention.
fan Mayukh was happy when I told him that Da Capo
, some sort of romantic drama series set at some sort of magical academy with some comic relief based on a hentai game (with the sexual elements expurgated). Actually, the Japanese licensor, King Records, announced that it had been licensed
, but the licensee remains unknown. (AnimeNfo review
; episode reviews
; more episode reviews, but in reverse order (if you catch my drift)
.) Also, the romantic series KoiKaze
has been licensed by Geneon; KoiKaze
is very controversial for a reason.. oh... how should I put it? Ah, just read this thread at F*ckin' Otaku
: "Koikaze: Underage Sister-Fucking, Co-produced by GENEON USA!"
. Yep, the Japanese even have a word for incest anime: Sis-con (for "sister complex"). Here's some episode reviews.
I thought this was the weekend that someone, probably FUNimation, would announce Naruto
, the inevitable successor to Dragonball Z
with the semi-mainstream, medium-level popularity Japanese martial arts battle cartoon market (mostly junior high and high school kids), but, alas, the question as to who has it is still up in the air, leading to more futile message board speculation to annoy me and Arxane
(though Anime News Network
editor Christopher Macdonald, who seems to know who won the bidding war, has let it slip on the ANN board (currently mostly down) that the winner is NOT 4Kids Entertainment Inc.).
Also, I have a tiny bit of inside information from a very reliable source I won't divulge about something else that has been licensed which I thought would be announced this weekend, but, nope, I still have to wait to talk about it (and that's really goddamned frustrating, almost to the point where I'm regretting asking this person about something). I can't mention the series, licensor, or even the target audience, and I won't even drop any hints. All I can say is that it wouldn't be as big an announcement as Naruto
, but it would still be an announcement that would please a fair number of people.
That's it... you know, I was originally only planning on writing a couple of lines? Really!
Arxane also has a similar reaction to Otakon.
*Yuya Asou is a weak joke for "second place", only mildly amusing for those people who have read Mihona Fujii's GALS! manga or have seen the Super GALS! anime.