The Daily Almanac: Damaged Goods

Kotaku writes a very lengthy and very fascinating article on how an event on the message board 4chan in 2006 gave birth to a very unusual amateur video game called Kawata Shojo, or “Disabled Girls.” The game is a Japanese-style visual novel about, you guessed it,  psychically disabled girls.

This article really surprised me because I haven’t stepped foot on 4chan in years. But I was active on the boards in 2006 and I vividly remember the night Damaged Goods began. I found myself fascinated with the poster’s highly detailed narrative. I didn’t believe a word of it, but still, I was hooked on the story. I couldn’t help but to think at the time that this was going to be the American version of Densha Otoko.

Well, it didn’t become the American version of Densha Otoko, and I thought the saga ended shortly thereafter. But apparently it still lives on after all these years in this video game, so be sure to check out the full story over at Kotaku.

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Daizenshuu EX broke the news today that FUNimation has acquired Dragon Ball Kai and will be releasing it in the “latter part of the upcoming fiscal year.” FUNimation later confirmed the announcement, adding that they would be renaming the series Dragon Ball Z Kai.

Kai is a remake of the original DBZ series that features (among other things) a faster paced storyline and HD video. FUNimation has openly expressed interest in the series since its debut last April. Although they have not released any additional information on the title as of yet, I believe it’s safe to assume we will be seeing a Blu-ray release.

FUNi is currently re-releasing the series in the collectible “Dragon Box” edition with vol. 2 coming out in two weeks. You can’t help but to imagine this announcement cutting into those sales.

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Jonathan Clements reposts an old Newtype article he wrote in 2004 on Keiko Tobe’s manga With the Light. Clement’s article does address a concern I brought up in my review of the series – Just how ignorant are the Japanese when it comes to mental disabilities? The answer is that they are not nearly as ignorant as they are portrayed in the comic.

Tobe passed away last week at the age of 52 due to an unspecified illness. With the Light was the first manga ever published by Yen Press in America, and they will be releasing the abrupt final volume this September. As you could see from my review, I love this manga dearly and it is very sad to see it have to end this way.

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FUNimation’s proposed social network,, is still coming, but it’s no longer going to be called Hmmm….

Also, I’ve been hearing from the grapevine that the website is being built on the Drupal content management system. Having tried to use Drupal for this blog in the past, I wish that team the best of luck in building that website. It sure ain’t easy to work with.

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Deb Aoki rounds up a list of the big names in the manga industry and their impressions of the iPad. I think the most interesting quote comes from Yaoi Press’s Yamila Abraham and how Apple already rejected her yaoi submission. Abraham is one of the most enthusiastic people in the industry seriously pushing the move to  digital manga, and if she can’t get on the iPad, how easy it will be for others?

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Chi’s Sweet Home volume 3 is now available for pre-sale on Amazon. No matter how cute it may look already, the picture up on Amazon is not going to be the final cover. Vertical has designed a far more complicated cover at the request of the artist herself, Kanata Konami. It’s still going through the approval process, so I can’t share the image with you yet. All I can tell you is that it’s quite interesting and nothing like the Japanese covers at all.

However, one cover I can show you is Vertical’s Fall 2010 catalog. Looking pretty hot, if you ask me.

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The Reverse Thieves take an in depth look at the use of screentones in OEL manga. I personally think that this is a huge problem with OEL. So many of these series are being done completely on computers, and the crisp lines and overuse of screentones takes away so much heart from the comic’s visual appeal. I found this to be very disheartening in the OEL manga I read more recently, The King of RPGs.

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Right Stuf is having a sale on CMX Manga titles this week. I recommend Stolen Hearts, Lizard Prince, and Densha Otoko. I’ll try to have my review of Stolen Hearts up by the end of the week, but take my word for it now that it’s worth picking up.

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Ponyo was NOT nominated for an Academy Award this year. At least the Academy could see past their Miyazaki goggles and notice that Ponyo was an awful movie.

I’m rooting for Fantastic Mr. Fox.

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Purple Sky posted photos of The J-Classical Industrial Nation show at Santos Party House in NYC last night. LA Weekly’s Liz Ohanesian also caught the show in the west coast last week. Sadly, I couldn’t make it this time, but I am seeing Japanese punk band Uzuhi at Don Hills this Friday. It should be a fun show, so make it out if you can!

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