Another cross-post from Neko Machi, because I’ve been really busy of late.
Nekomimi Days (ネコミミデイズ) is an obscure manga by Houki Kusano (草野ほうき) that I discovered on Amazon.co.jp and ordered from the local Kinokuniya. It’s a curious work in that it involves a rather strange genre fiction element, but more as a backdrop than a plot element. It takes place in a world where there’s a “cat-ear cold” going around. It’s like the common cold, except that people who catch it often grow cat ears. They can also acquire certain catlike traits, like an obsession with fish or susceptibility to catnip.
Hina Mochizuki (Hii-chan) is a normal girl who lives in an area where there are a lot of both cats and people with cat ears, including her best friend Yuzuko Asahina (Yuzu). The one thing that is a little unusual about Hina is that cats and people with cat ears are naturally drawn to her for some reason.
Hey there; I’m back. This review is cross-posted from Neko Machi, a weird little webcomic I do in collaboration with the very talented C. Ellis. Since Neko Machi is about a bunch of catgirls, I’ve started doing a series of posts reviewing other works featuring them.
Shoko Iwami’s Suzinari! is yet another of the 4-panel manga that Yen Press licensed from Houbunsha. With a catgirl right on the cover I couldn’t very well not pick it up, could I? It has two volumes total, and it winds up being short but sweet.
For those of you unfamiliar with Atarashi Games, they’re an independent publisher of tabletop role-playing games, best known for a psychic schoolgirl adventure game called “Panty Explosion.” PE can be kind of dark, but despite the title it’s not particularly pervy or anything. It’s earned them all kinds of extra attention, though the objections have been mainly from men (including a guy who punched one of the designers in the head) rather than women. They also put out Classroom Deathmatch, which is basically Battle Royale with the serial numbers filed off. In short, not unlike myself Jake Richmond and his associates are fans of various kinds of Japanese media and generally like messing with people.
That’s why Atarashi Games is probably the only RPG publisher that would hold a contest to design a Japanese-style school uniform for them to use with their games. I urge those of you who have some artistic inclination to consider entering, but the focus of this blog post is on school uniforms as a cultural phenomenon.
Jake Richmond is an artist, teacher, game designer, and generally has a number of pursuits that take priority over being an anime fan. Anime and related media can be surprisingly subtle in terms of the visual elements they use. For Panty Explosion, Jake mostly did a bunch of relatively generic pictures of Japanese high school girls, with an emphasis on sailor fuku style school uniforms and in a realistic style. It works, though it gives the impression that the art is based off of stills of old Japanese horror films.
Western RPGs in general seem to have a hard time really getting the “anime” look down. Steve Jackson Games got one of their staff artists to fake it for GURPS Mecha, while Guardians of Order hired a variety of fan artists, sometimes with mixed results. More recently, Green Ronin did a Mutants & Masterminds supplement called “Mecha & Manga.” Some art was very good, and some of it was kind of iffy, but even the really talented artists produced a lot of pieces that were highly derivative.
This is the first of a series of manga reviews by yours truly. I’ll be concentrating on off-the-wall stuff that I happen to like, and largely avoiding the really popular stuff that other people have already covered extensively elsewhere. I mostly buy my manga in the original Japanese (at the local Kinokuniya), and many of the titles I’ll be reviewing–including this first one–aren’t yet available in English.
Title: ヤンデレ彼女 (“Yandere Girlfriend”)
Mangaka: 忍 (Shinobi)
Publisher: Square Enix (GanGan Comics JOKER)
Price: ¥476 (US$7.55 at Kinokuniya U.S.A.)
Publication Date: August 22, 2009
Page Count: 144
Yandere Kanojo Cover
Yandere Kanojo is a gag manga with a very direct, straightforward style. It stars Reina Ryuuzaki and Manabu Tanaka. Reina is the leader of the female delinquents in her school, and Tanaka is a diligent but otherwise unremarkable student. “Yandere” normally refers to a girl who’s sick and twisted (from yanderu/病んでる) but has a flustered, lovestruck, sweet side (deredere/デレデレ). It’s a scarier variant of the tsundere thing that’s become so trendy. Yandere Kanojo doesn’t have a yandere character; instead, the “yan” in the title comes from Yankii (a female delinquent). Reina is this peculiar kind of “yandere,” a mean girl who can kick the crap out of anyone who crosses her path, but can be embarrassed and downright sweet when it comes to Tanaka.
My name is Ewen Cluney. (“Ewen” is pronounced like “Aaron” for reasons my parents have never adequately explained to me.) I’m a translator, gamer, and all-around anime fan and geek. When I decided I wanted to write reviews of the strange manga I’ve been reading, Guy and I agreed that Geekorner was a better fit than any of my own blogs, plus I already have too many of those. I’ll be posting up my first manga review pretty soon, but I wanted to start of with a self-introduction and a post about something hardly anyone else really knows about.
Hello gang, Guy here. Ewen will post on this blog now and then (basically when he feels like it, up to an entry a week – the first manga review is already written and waiting for publication!). Ewen and I go back several years, and what he doesn’t tell you is that he translates from Japanese to English, including having translated the Maid RPG, and official anime episodes. Ewen’s posts will also be posted under the “Ewen’s Corner” category. Treat him well!
My vices are frequently anime-related in general, though I don’t own too many figures on account of the ones I already have take up too much space. (Though I do have the sukimizu/nekomimi Nono Nekomiya figure.) Instead I’ve made commissioning art of my mascot character (or OC if you prefer), Kurumi, into a comparable financial sinkhole. I periodically commission artwork online (mainly through DeviantArt), and I usually take reference pictures of her with me to any convention I attend where there are lots of artists. (This year I got four at WonderCon and five at FanimeCon.) It’s probably kind of creepy to some people, but apart from its effect on my bank account I’m quite unrepentant about it.
This time around I want to write a bit about the custom plushies I’ve gotten.
Left to right, Octavia, Kurumi, and Maya, all by Squisherific.