Tag Archives: english

An Abundance of Goodies for Early 2012!

23 Feb

明けましておめでとうございます!Happy New Year! I realize I’m a little bit late on that. To put a long story short, I’ve been really busy since October 2011 and some of my hobbies have been set aside for more important matters. Nothing bad, though, because I now have a job helping to localize manga for Digital Manga Publishing. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and it’s a lot of work! That, coinciding with the holidays, caused me to sorely neglect my blog entries. In fact, I have a couple of books I photographed ages ago that I simply haven’t written reviews for yet. I hope you’re willing to forgive me, because in the meantime, I want to tell you about a lot of really cool stuff coming out this year!

Udon Releases Pixiv Almanac Vol. 1

Getting on to the fun stuff, in what is pretty much the best news ever of all time, Udon Entertainment has announced that they’re releasing the very first domestic book from Pixiv! It’s titled Pixiv Alamanac Volume 1, and the projected release date is April 11, 2012. The book will retail at $39.99, but of course you can pre-order off of Amazon for the significantly lower price of $25.24. (That price is subject to change, but with the pre-order price guarantee, you’ll get it for whatever the cheapest price is before release.)

Pixiv Alamanac Cover

Pixiv Almanac Vol. 1

How many artist profile images to you recognize on the cover? Sayori, Nardack, Cuteg and quite a few other popular names make their appearance!

Udon’s track record with imported Japanese artbooks is pretty rad at this point, as they’ve released high quality English-language editions of a lot of other great books lately, including but not limited to Ar Tonelico Visual Book, Shigenori Soejima Artworks, Tony’s Artworks from Shining World, the incredible Okami Official Complete Works and even the Atelier Series: Official Chronicle. Udon’s done a fabulous job localizing every one of these books and I fully expect them to do just as well with our first Pixiv artbook. Kudos!

Otome Time! Aksys Releases Hakuoki in the United States

In other unbearably awesome news for the U.S., Aksys Games has released 薄桜鬼 “Hakuoki – Demon of the Fleeting Blossom” in English, just in time for Valentine’s Day. An otome game coming to the United States is BIG news. I’m hoping this bodes well for the future of visual novels in the U.S., because I really enjoy them. I believe it’s a misconception that Americans just can’t appreciate visual novels the way Japanese do, and I’m grateful for every company that gives them a chance here on a “major” platform such as the PSP.

Hakuoki

Hakuoki Limited Edition

To sweeten the deal, there’s a limited edition of Hakuoki that comes with a little artbook and a soundtrack CD. (I picked up this one, because I’m sucker for that kind of packaged deal.) If you have any passing interest in visual novels and you own a PSP, definitely give “Hakuoki” a try. So far, there’s nothing about it that leads me to think that only females can enjoy it (although otome games are certainly marketed towards a female audience.) The game has a rich story, along with great dialogue and fantastic artwork by Kazuki Yone. You can get the Limited Edition with artbook & CD here, and the regular edition is available here.

Fantastic New Figures at Winter Wonder Festival 2012

An event that PVC figure collectors very much look forward to is Wonder Festival, the Winter version of which was just held on February 12th, 2012.  For a huge review of what was showcased at the most recent WonFes, I recommend hopping over to Neko Magic’s Wonder Showcase, where you can oogle at the abundance of upcoming figures, organized by the companies that manufacture them.

Snow Miku Nendoroid 2012

Snow Miku 2012 - Photo from Mika-tan's Blog

One thing I always look forward to is the release of a new Snow Miku Nendoroid. Each year, a slightly different Snow Miku is designed with different parts or accessories, along with another fun novelty item. 2011’s Snow Miku came with an ice cube tray for making Miku-shaped ice cubes. She also went from being a regular Nendoroid in 2010, to a Super-Movable type Nendoroid in 2011. The Snow Miku Nendoroid for 2012 comes wearing a fluffy coat and a light up stage. For full details and lots of great pics, check out Mika-tan’s blog entry on this special new Nendoroid!

Momohime

Momohime by Alter

While I could write a novel on all of the WonFes figures I’m currently drooling over, I just want to point out that the incredibly popular Momohime figure by Alter is going to be re-released this year, along with a brand new 1/8 scale release of the busty fox-lady Kongiku from Oboro Muramasa! This figure is very highly sought after, and while she’ll have a higher retail price this time around, I’m sure this re-release will be anticipated by a lot of collectors. While I don’t plan to buy her for myself personally, she’s one of a very small number of figures my boyfriend reaaaally wants, so I will be helping to make sure he gets her this time around!

At last, a new Tinkle artbook that everyone can get their hands on!

The last item I want to mention is the brand new artbook by Tinkle, which will be released in March 2012. In following the trend of their first two artbook titles (Tsukiyono Chakai and Byakuya Chakai), the third book is titled 密夜茶会 or “Mitsuya Chakai”. The first Tinkle artbook has long been out of print and the second was purely a doujinshi release, so a wide release of a new book of Tinkle’s illustrations is sure to be a hit.

Tinkle

Tinkle Illustrations 3 - Mitsuya Chakai

The book can be reserved now at Amazon Japan or Toranoana, for the retail price of 3,990円. (About 49.89 USD) Expect to pay a lot along with the shipping or deputy fees in order to get this book, but be aware that if it’s anything like it’s predecessors, every penny will be worth it. Tinkle’s 2nd artbook (Byakuya Chakai) remains one of the most worthy (and expensive) additions to my collection to this day.

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Pixiv Becoming Alarmingly English-Friendly

2 Jun

For quite awhile I’ve wondered how the folks at pixiv feel about English users on their site. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels a bit a bit nervous when attempting to blend in to a largely Japanese community. The good news is that we can now safely say English speakers are being welcomed to pixiv.

It started a few months back when pixiv gradually began to introduce an English-language interface for the website. As time goes on, there are more and more translations implemented which will make it much easier for an English speaker to use pixiv. There’s still quite a bit left untranslated, but the important things like the bookmark button and interface for submitting artwork are now available in English. Understandably, I think the top priority has been to make it easier for foreign artists to submit their works with ease. Pixiv has submissions from artists all around the world, but in the past the submissions have been limited by those who can utilize it’s Japanese-only interface.

The artwork submission section has the most complete translation thus far.

In addition to the implementation of a translated UI, many were happy to discover that Pixiv started up another Twitter account in English, which is located at pixiv_en. In addition to the usual ranking updates, it’s also the perfect place to get in touch with a pixiv staff member.

pixiv encyclopedia

Quite possibly the most interesting and fun of the new English pixiv community is the encyclopedia, which is essentially a wiki that aims to explain every possible term, meme and pop culture reference that influences the artwork which the denizens of pixiv upload. This can include anything from anime titles to bizarre phrases to infamous otaku terms like 絶対領域 (zettai ryouki). It’s a really outstanding way to figure out the meaning of seemingly nonsensical or obscure image tags and the fact that it aids you in your ability to understand the community lingo will make you feel a little more like you’re part of the “in” crowd.

I’ve gotta say I’m pleased as punch at these additions, especially the new Twitter account and the dictionary (I try to stick with a Japanese pixiv interface to aid me in immersion-based language learning) and I hope that they continue to add more. I don’t particularly want to see pixiv turn into another deviantART, but I’m not sure that is even possible because of the sheer amount of convoluted bloat that dA has accumulated. Pixiv is far more simplistic and streamlined and I have a feeling that, by design, it is going to stay that way regardless of any influence the English-speaking art world may have on it.

Thank you, pixiv, for welcoming us English speakers to your website. We promise to behave.

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