Category Archives: Figures and Models

Making Doujinshi in America

I was walking through the artist alley at Anime Expo this year with Tom and the thought kind of came to me: in the US we sell crap as it is in the Artist’s Alley–character merchandise labeled with our favorite ideas, like t-shirts with sarcastic or funny phrases on them. In this case it also doubles as a stylistic option given the artwork on your hat or pin or the print you hang in your bathroom wall. [I’m so hanging that pretty neat Miku print I got last year in my new bathroom.]

The whole thing is more along the lines of an arts and craft show than a maniacs-of-franchise swap-a-thon, the latter being the case of Comiket, where fans flock to pick up their doujinshi or whatever. From a copyright perspective the differences between American and Japanese fans explain the nature of copyright enforcement in this practical application of law between the same two countries. At the same time, it feels like the American artist alley wares fill in a gap in the consumer market: the lack of licensed merchandise and goods at the right price.

Except that isn’t even quite the case anymore. There are licensed merchandise for a lot of this stuff available in the US. It may be hard to find sometimes, and there may be smaller gaps (licensed “sarcastic t-shirts” are hard to find and really expensive when you do; always make me a tad bit sad when I see those Jlist shirts) that are not fulfilled, but merch presence is by and large there in some way. What’s a fan to do in this context as a producer of stuff to sell? The thought came to me about doujinshi, then, as what market segment it really fills.

I mean in some ways there were always American fans putting together these coterie magazine like EX or that new Colony Drop zine or Super Rat’s zine. There are plenty of examples littered across the past 20 years. Even now, I know some folks I work with on Jtor also are interested in making that kind of stuff. There’s a particular attraction to that publishing format. I think especially today in America, where e-readers and tablet computing are truly the order of the day, there’s a rich visual space now available that would really suit publishing for this kind of material. (Not to mention that for photogs there’s also something a nice print offers that your monitor is definitely missing.)

It just makes me wonder why people don’t flock to this format in the artist alley. I suppose, comparing workflows, it’s way less work and pressure to just make prints of random stuff you draw or make buttons or whatever. In Japan people bust balls (often together!) trying to put together their 16-page manga or whatever before the various deadlines for the various doujinshi events. It feels like the former is run like a lemonade stand and the latter is run like an actual project.

I’m not really here to minimize the contribution and hard work of artist alley types or lemonade sellers. I’ve bought my fair share of things from them, and some of those arts and craft stuff are well worth of our money and attention (in fact, I want to highlight that here). And we all know lemonade makes a delicious summertime drink. The artist alley concept is fine to have these vendors and artists participate, and for the most part the notion of artist alley as we know it works perfectly, and each con’s add a piece of the local flavor and culture to the overall convention experience. But culturally, the con artist alley is a creatively dead space, full of two types of things: people making a quick dollar on derivative copyrighted works and well-known trademarks, and artful people making cool art stuff. Sure, there are still some people doing their original stuff here and there, but I mean, I want my US counterpart of the doujinshi market to be able to provide an environment where a Tsukihime or a Nyoro~n Tsuruya-san will be able to thrive. But I just don’t see that being ever possible with the way things are.

Where is this happening? Where everything else is happening: the intarwebs.

The mode of consumption, I wager, has completely screwed the pooch in terms of where “content” buyers go to shop. People who buy crap at the artist alley at an anime con are shopping for some kind of image-based good. They want merch; they’re not as interested in content. By this I mean we’re after just ideas, icons and signals; not narratives. For that we go buy anime or manga, even web comics, forums and fanfiction. If we want a cute story about Cirno, for example, we can go read a Japanese doujinshi. And I imagine any American doing the same thing is likely going to publish it online anyways. It’s like, you can’t make it as an artist in the artist alley; you make it as an artist somewhere else, and you use the artist alley like a dealer’s room: sell crap.

With that in mind, I’ll cop a line from Makoto Shinkai’s Otakon press panel (my version w):

With the changes to animation and computer technology, how have things changed in the past 20 years as an artist?

Shinkai: Today the circumstnaces are better, the hardware is better, and there’s the internet to help distribute. There’s better software. The truth is what you want to express in your work is still the basis of that. When you are creating it on your own, the effort goes into making it look good. So today even when the circumstances are better, if the artist doesn’t understand that you need to express through from what you want to show, then things hasn’t really changed much.

So how do today’s independent artists accomplish this, at least in the context of the artist alley situation? To me the solution is obvious for an organizational body. Tap into the fan-creation communities (lots of places) and make a call for self-published works in the long format. Work with an online print company to organize some kind of infrastructure where you can do, for example, print on demand, bulk, negotiate on infrastructural burdens and prices for those things. Set a deadline for submissions, screen the submission and assists authors and creators with their work, and submit the end results to the print-on-demand service. Be the go-between for the printer and the artists. Set a fix date (like a week) where people can buy the doujinshi from the site at a discount and they will be all shipped together at the end of the period. Market the hell out of the online event during that time. Debut all those submissions at the start of the week and take them down after it is over. If you’re awesome, you can also make them purchasable via e-reader/tablet-friendly format.

  • Divorce the “con” culture from the nature of the creative endavor but still put it in context of the fandom; use the internet instead.
  • Reach the people who are already interested in these expressive forms of discourse by marketing to specific grottoes on the internet
  • Create value for POD/publisher by bundling eyeballs online and attach their brand to the effort
  • Create value for buyers and artists by bargaining collectively and sell in bulk, reduce shipping charges
  • Provide the middleman for technical help and billing, education and generally assist artists in online sales.

There are a myraid of technical challenges along the way, but the biggest question in my mind is what would people want to buy? Doujinshi as we know it? Doujinshi as it is in reality (ie., a lot of text-based things)? Music? Games? I see things like, say, Altogether fitting this idea closely. Translating a doujin game is a very different process flow than running a lemonade stand. But what else? I think people would buy photo books of figures. Even more people might buy your garden variety cartoon for adults, but that runs into some problems. Who would buy some home-grown Touhou doujinshi? Is this like the field of dreams, where if someone builds a cheap, accessible way to create, sell and buy doujinshi, people will come?

And again, to address my previous point about artist alley, in reality it isn’t the fault of anyone that our American artist alleys are like that; it is just much easier and natural to do a lemonade stand than to manage a project on the scale of a properly-made doujinshi. It’s also much easier to run something like a dealer’s room than to manage something like Comiket. So rather than to change a thing that works, maybe I’m just looking for something that’s not offered by that space.

Though, this isn’t a chicken-and-egg problem. Comiket and its kin can’t exist without doujinshi, and doujinshi cannot exist without passionate creators and fans. So at the core of it all are dedicated fans who want to semi-formally communicate with each other (and also less-dedicated fans) about the stuff they love. Maybe that is the true test of the nature of America’s fascination with Japanese pop culture from the lens of anime, manga and games. I have no doubts that these people exist, I just don’t know if they can be organized enough to build on top of the same feelings and emotions that drives them.

Figures: the Panel

If you have any feedback about what I’m writing below, please leave a comment. I am curious as to if this is a concept worth exploring in a panel format (at say, a convention). It’s not like I’m running a panel or anything (yet), but it always sort of sat somewhere in my mind after listening to a couple of them last year and the year before.

If I stole all of Happy Soda’s choice shots and put it on a nice slideshow and ran it for 30 minutes, would that make it an entertaining panel at a con?

  • Alternatively, if I stole some of Happy Soda’s choice figures and put it in a nice gallery (possible hands-on!), would that make it an entertaining panel at a con? How about both?
  • Would the slideshow go better with music?
  • If the slideshow played in the background for 30 minutes, in which during that period three dudes were talking about figures, would you pay attention to the dudes (probably not)? What do you think these dudes should be saying to catch your attention?

What kind of people would go to a figure panel? Collectors? Would-be-collectors? Random people who are wondering what is up? Photogs? Gunpla peeps? Toy people (in general)? People with a couple figures? People with a couple hundred of them?

  • How many different types of collectors are there? Would it be useful (I think so) to storyboard your common figure buyer/collector types?
  • Critiques of different types?
  • Why do we do it? Little plastic wimmens swimmins? Little plastic dudes dancing?

Is it more useful to describe how people “interact” in figure collecting? What are commonly the things to do? How do you find the right place to hang out on the internet, so to speak?

  • A list of links? Forums?
  • Blogs? Making one? Reading one?
  • and like?
  • How to spend your money, ie., follow all the figure news and PR? You don’t need help for that I’m sure.

Photography? Figure scene is vibrant with the photos of figures. They are the loudest.

  • Should we steal Super Rats too? Or at least, his blog posts?
  • Are there anyone else we should be ste–, er, learning from?

Buy & Sell? Do we need panel speak on those (I’m leaning towards yes)?

  • Domestic? Import? Price discrimination? Wholesale?
  • Proxy?
  • Used? Budget?

History? Did anyone collected anime figs in the 90s? Up to the PVC boom? Do you even care about what happened in the scene before 2007? Are you Patrick Macias?

Figure care? How to clean figures? How to put together a Detolf? Fight lean? Is this something obvious or worth talking about?

Help me out guys. If any of the questions I raised sounds interesting, or is something you’d like hear answered, let me know.

Joy of Mail Order, or How Figures Are the Worst

You know you are buying too much stuff when there’s a backlog of packages to be opened.

I almost miss the days when I would tackle something I get in the post with glee and anticipation. I say almost because I still do on occasion, depending on what I’m getting. I remember getting my N1 last year, that was like Christmas in March. I remember getting my Rakkyo box, but that was more me gawking at the amount of disrobing required to get to a few, simple plastic discs. It’s been a while since I had to do that. There were others but they were few.

The sad thing is, being an anime nerd and collector invariably meaning buying your own loot. It’s something that can’t be avoided, and in fact when you collect seriously, it is part of the art. For the truly serious, it’s gotten to a point where you talk to other collectors and buyers and do it like a MMORPG: via teamwork and/or by proxy. It’s complicated.

The issue I want to examine is how to recapture the same joy we all experience when it happens. It’s Christmas every month or every week, for some people, when they bulk ship from your favorite e-retailers here and abroad. Things like Amazon Prime are basically taking the joy out of shipping (and making it a seamless process). It can’t help but to feel that after a while, it just doesn’t matter anymore. #firstworldproblem indeed. And who should be interested? Those who wants to look at the bright side of life aside, probably retailers. And no, I’m not advocating you should buy each other loot, to somehow salvage this sorry situation. I’m talking more about making the buying experience a little less mercenary and a little more magical.

I collect DVD and Blu-ray Disc media: I buy to archive. It’s not a surprise that probably a good 1/3 of my collection is still shrinkwrapped. So when I get a package of something like that I systematically process it and store it somewhere. It’s only when I end up buying something I found particular attachments for, that I stop and smell the roses. Or maybe I should just slow down, make less money, consume less anime, or some such. But what I find overwhelmingly today is that most SKU from R1 publishers are these no-nonsense stuff, these budget super-econo-bargain sets. We all love a good bargain, but for the archiver they literally are just that: data on a disc. Of course, it didn’t help back in 2005 when there were some value-added incentives, like CDs (more data on a disc!) or T-shirts (worthless and kind of unremarkable, like cheap promo items) or flimsy cardboard crap (lol gondola). Sorry, but no.

The irony is Japan is awesome at making such purchases “value-added.” If you can import anime, why don’t you guys import this other paradigm at retail as well?

It feels entirely against some notion of old-timer otaku, the ones that best described by the likes of Satoshi Kon (RIP) when he talked about his younger days, how Japan, back then, is not a rich or affluent nation. Anime was something that happened once a week on TV, and for a school boy that’s going to be a short 25 minutes of joy to last through a whole week. In comparison we (of the 21st century) are living life in a very different way, yet it’s only in such a prosumer perspective that we can see how awkwardly out of line we are with how things used to be.

I want to savor the experience. Isn’t this something obvious? Why is almost nobody selling it? Or are we too accustomed of doing it ourselves for cheap? Sorry, but as much as people are good at it, it still falls short at a pro’s take. I guess that’s part of the problem too, right? That there are no pros working at this in the anime space, sans importing from Japan.

Granted, I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing–probably neither. But I think the way we approach this sort of consumption will have a drastic impact in the way we view the stuff we consume. It reminds me of Last Exile, the value of water, and the strange eats Lavie and Claus had a chance at towards the very end. Except it’s not so populist, just elitist. And maybe this is one place where we can see a clear democratizing effect of internet on media. For one, not only I can buy, without too much effort, special orders that were originally available to Japanese buyers, but even finding out about them in the first place is a big deal. We lose some, but we gain some too.

It’s easy to see it in the distribution of anime, but it’s harder to see it in other tracks of the same fandom. I am going to single out figures only because out of all the unopened stuff I own, those take up the most space, and have the most “value” to be opened, and yet I have the most of these packed and unopened… Still, the compulsion to buy figures never really ceases in correlation to accumulated number of figures. At worse it is a problem (again, #firstworldproblem) but that is an issue separate and usually unrelated to the desire to buy the latest pretty thing. I mean, a number of collectors buy figures that they don’t know about just on the merits of a figure’s design and craftsmanship. It’s like getting stone lions for my front doors, except these are nubile anime girls or giant robots (but small-sized) with colors of the rainbow.

And typically this habit all started somewhere, probably with some not-so-nerdy-but-a-little-bit dude’s physical desktop (not the one on your PC) where you could put a UFO catcher thing here or a Nendoroid there, it’s kind of cool; like putting a work-friendly-sized photo of your wife (not waifu) on your desk. Then it just goes on from there. Sooner or later you might find yourself in this situation. And then from there it is truly a slippery slope to something like a top scorer on this site, unless common sense or your bank account stops you.

The value in this stuff is the aesthetics appreciation, and maybe for some interior decoration, on top of the usual achievements and ticks for collectors. So it behooves buyers to “consume” figures by digging into them. It’s a great “Christmas” effect item. And all of these reasons points contrary to the issue I’m having.

And I don’t know why. The only explanation I came up with is that the “savoring” thing I previously describes is the thing I buy figures for. And once you’ve got a lot of them lined up, you probably want to take it easy and slowly. You know, to savor the whole present-opening experience. It’s totally creepy, but it’s the only one that makes sense.

That, and I’m running out of display space so I would have to spend some time to make room first. I suppose there is no point reasoning with a man and his 8″ plastic little army of Sabers.

Konami Rinko PVC Notes, Notes on Character Designs

The other day I was thinking about shows to watch in the new season. Examining things by seeing what motivates me, basically.

It’s like going through the promo pics for Gold Saw PVC anime version and think that looks kind of like a busty version of BRS, except she looks like some psycho yandere. I probably wouldn’t buy it, despite how it looks meticulously crafted–in my mind meticulously craft kits are plenty, and the only problem with them is that they cost a lot of money, a thing I have limited amounts of. But hey, it’s GSC, they sell stuff to people who buy kits just because of how they look. And sadly the only thing Gold Saw has going for her, for me, is her chest area and the way that iconic BRS jacket looks on her.

That reminds me: every time I hear someone talking about “face” in the context of these little plastic girls I think of Snow Crash. Sure, the way the face is crafted is important in a 3D sculpt, but most anime faces are basically identical (cue the Aoi Nishimata joke image) and it’s pretty darn hard to add details to faces that isn’t

  • eyes
  • shape of mouth
  • size of nose

and still make it look like the original. It’s like if you move any of them a little you’ve basically changed the expression of the character, or even changed the character! I guess this is why Kotobukiya figures have that face all the time. And why Woody is awesome. And which is why Gold Saw is all about her namesake, her chains, her legs, her pretty nifty base, her cool jacket, and of course, that she has a large(r) bosom.

I guess this is why I’m not turned off by Rio – Rainbow Gate, to examine my motivations. Also I guess I’m not for a Snow Crash anime adaptation. Definitely not one with Nishimata’s designs.

Given all that you’d think I would be less enthusiastic about my latest purchase: Konami’s Rinko 1/8 PVC. Rinko is one of the three “girlfriend for the masses” and her appeal is partly based on her interchangeability in appearance and personality. Still, The Thing radiates quality, despite nowhere nearly as fancy as anything pooping out of Alter or GSC’s assembly line. She’s technically a video game character, so I’d compare her to my last game full-assembled figure, Alter’s Selvaria PVC. I’ve previously detailed how gaudy GSC’s  Selvaria was. In some ways it’s like if you stick Fate in a frilly military outfit and give her huge knockers, and instead of Bardiche she’s got a sword and shield and lance… Well, Rinko isn’t like that at all. She’s more like a Wave or Kotobukiya figure, where she stands in a semi-dynamic pose (in mid-motion) and there’s a lot of details, even if at a distance she looks like any other anime girl figure. In fact there’s so much details that I probably need a magnifying lens to get them all.

Rinko’s construction and paint job are not perfect, there are some blotches once you get close enough, but the flaws are within my tolerances. It’s not like copying a file; mass produced kits like this will have some flaws, especially given some of the paint job details… The biggest bone I have to pick is the way her eyes turned out. If you took a look at the MFC version of the review, the very first image is nearly a side-by-side shot along with the solicitation shot. Tell me that does not look the same…

Rinko comes with 5 different hair styles that you can put on her, a gym bag, and her mp3 player. The hair styles are:

  • semi-long with pink hairband
  • twin tails with short bangs
  • twin pigtails
  • melonhead
  • uneven long bangs, short in the back

I went with the pigtails for now, but I think all the hair choices have their charms, and each gives the figure a significantly different feel. It’s 3D proof of the Nishimata character design “theory” LOL.

If I had another hobby of photographing dioramas of anime girls I’d find Rinko’s bag pretty useful. It’s got a large strap so it probably can go on most figures easily, and it’s by far the most detailed thing that came in Rinko’s box. The only strike against it is that the bag is customized with Rinko’s chibi mascot, so it may look odd if you use it on another character. (Each of the 3 Konami Love Plus PVC figs has its bag with a respective custom mascot on it, so you will get the raccoon with Nene and the rabbit with Manaka.) The strap is soft vinyl, so it doesn’t slack as if it was rope. It looks better this way, although it might be more perilous to stretch or bend it than if it was an actual strap.

The only real problem with this kit, albeit a temporary one, is Rinko’s mp3 player. It’s just this dinky PVC loop with a mp3-player-looking rectangle attached lousily at one end. And it’s real small and not adjustable. The way to put it on her, as far as I can tell, is to remove her hair and carefully force it down her head. Rinko’s upper body is constructed so the head and the neck are one piece with the torso; you can’t remove it like most PVC sculpts in which the head is made up of 2 pieces sandwiching the neck joint. However once you install the PMP on Rinko you are all set, so it’s not a big deal. It’s just one thing that can go horribly wrong if you aren’t dexterous enough to force the loop down her head and get caught on her ears or something.

Ears, hmm, it’s not often you see ears on bishoujo figures, at least if they aren’t elves or some such. Well, the mp3 player is optional really; Rinko looks just fine without it.

The reason why Konami went with an unorthodox build with Rinko’s head (and presumably Manaka and Nene as well), I presume, is to facilitate swapping out her hair. In the packaging, the hair pieces come in a separate plastic “tray” with a matching thin cover. It looks like temporary storage but it is pretty easy to keep the hair in that thing. Each set of hair has a front and a back piece, and they are unfortunately not interchangeable (as in you can’t use one hair style’s front piece with another hair style’s back piece). That would have made this very cool, but you run the risk of not being able to remember which piece went with which hair, and it probably would limit the amount of details each hairdo contains (if not the hairdos themselves). Once you remove Rinko’s hair, you see this D-shape thing with a O-shape lock inside, at the back of her head. Each of the back hair pieces has a matching D- and O-shape  connector, so it’s easy to reassemble…sort of. Some of the longer hair styles can get in the way of Rinko’s ears or shoulder, so there’s like an angle in which you have to insert the back piece so it locks in right. For the short ones, it’s easy. The back hair pieces each also has its unique connector to the maching front piece, so you can play LEGO/Tetris/blocks with the front piece and put it all together.

In Tsukiboard/MFC style I will actually use number ranking for this review–

Sculpting: It’s well-scuplted, but it falls short of evoking a strong feeling. Rinko’s lines and features are faithfully reproduced in this sculpt, and it expresses her identity well. Probably an 8.5 or 9 for something very true to origin, artisan, but not excellent.

Painting: I’d give it 9.5 if I could, but let’s roll back to 9 just to reflect that despite the very detail paint job, the eyes, the mp3 player and a few minor flaws make this not a perfect 10.

Posing: Solid 9. It manages to be more exciting than an average Kotobukiya kit (which is kind of the measuring stick I use) and it doesn’t go overboard despite being a motion shot. There are a lot of good angles for this kit. If there’s a complaint, it’s that her skirt is too short; to some that might be a plus, since her butt does play that peak-a-boo thing with the super-short/lifted skirt, in an adorable way. Almost perfect stuff.

Base: It’s a simple plastic disc shaped in the iconic Love Plus shape. What is worth noting is that it also has the Love Plus logo pattern pressed on it. Probably just an 8. Rinko stands on it with one foot down, two pegs secures her action pose. It’s possible that it may lean, but it seems sturdy at this time and there’s no way to tell right now if it can.

Packaging: The packaging is simple. All the parts are well secured and are safe. As described the hair pieces come in a separate plastic mold tray thing, and it’s stored behind the cardboard backdrop inside the box. Nothing really special but it gets the job done. 8.

Enjoyment: Considering she’s my steady now for over a year, I have to give it a 10, right? She’s gonna kick me in the shins otherwise. ;) Do you play Love Plus? I think in the age where figure collectors don’t know the origin of their kits in and out like they used to back way back, how you feel about Rinko will be the only thing that matters when it comes to enjoyment. As objectively as I can to speak for people who don’t know her, it’s probably not worth the hassle, because these are exclusive Konami kits and they can be annoying to fetch. However if you like the designs or the illustrations, you probably won’t be too disappointed with Rinko. The hair customization is actually unique for a kit like this, and overall it is a quality product. It’s just not worth the hell and high water one might need to go through to obtain it. But if you find this in a bargain situation, please don’t hesitate to pick it up. It’s not often to find something that is rather classy and still visually pleasing, at least for a tomboyish character.

Lastly, do take a skim over at the MFC version of this review for some more tidbits. Like the TL;DR version. And pics.

Year in Review: N-Listing

My tribute to the 12 days of Christmas blog thing. See M3 for more details. As usual I will do a list of 12 things, each thing being a list of 12 items. Some are counted down, some are counted up, others are unnumbered.

I’m a little late this year, only because of my blog being down. It’s surprisingly annoying that you can’t look back to what you’ve written.

1. Best simulcasts – The true first year of simulcast for the whole duration,  yeah?

  1. OreImo – for breaking street – you can’t get more zero day than negative. And it’s not some kind of boring show nobody watches (sorry TogaInu). Heroman actually gets the record for the earliest leaks, but let’s keep that hush-hush ;)
  2. Kuragehime – For not only being another goal in Funi’s big win in simulcast this year, Hulu actually places the ads during proper ad breaks!
  3. House of Five Leaves – Taking it easy.
  4. Shiki – Taking it less easy.
  5. Tatami Galaxy – Lower only because Funi isn’t streaming the bonus episodes. All four (2-5) are really kinda tied because the Funi x Fuji thing is pretty awesome.
  6. Sora no Woto – Anime no Chikara – flagship title, good stuff, and like Durarara we even got the OAV episodes! Also, nice HQ feed.
  7. Sora no Otoshimono – The seiyuu video CR made Hayamin & company do hands down wins. And also, it’s kind of a show that is prone to spoiling, so the speedy simulcasting is appreciated.
  8. Panty Stocking w/ Garterbelt – So cash. In fact thanks for all the Gainax pickups. Even including Hanamaru Kindergarten.
  9. High School of the Dead – TAN’s “simulcasts” are well timed now, even if it’s horribly managed (like, how the hell do you cancel crap?) and half the time it doesn’t even work for me.
  10. Occult Academy – Anime no Chikara – Fun little show that is retro just right.
  11. Giant Killing – this sort of anime works best for simulcast, that weekly sauce makes those cliffhangers feel just right. Also, World Cup synergy almost.
  12. Basically any show that aired within 24 hours of Japan o/ Down with “simulcasts” that are a week behind srsly.

2. Anime with CHIKARA, in no particular order. I don’t even know what this means.

  1. Panty Stocking and Garterbelt
  2. Heroman
  3. Qwaser
  4. Yosuga no Sora
  5. Strike Witches 2
  6. Occult Academy
  7. Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
  8. Mai Mai Miracle
  9. Chu-Bra
  10. Sora no Woto
  11. K-ON!!
  12. Star Driver

3. Sex jokes, no order:

  1. Training with Hinako has an Android app?
  2. Yosuga no Sora ED – Sora’s deep throat shot, and that whole joke.
  3. Star Driver – Kissing with glass without glass is just a kiss?
  4. Amagami’s instructor play – because it is actually funny.
  5. Fate /stay night: Unlimited Blade Works – Dolphins.
  6. BakaTest’s Hideyoshi – Going to the bath house, gets own gendered changing room.
  7. Panty & Stocking episode 3b – Probably the one segment that signaled to me that the series worth sticking around for.
  8. Chikyubi (the hamster from Mitsudomoe) – It’s a running joke, all right. It’s got little legs this big!
  9. Seikon no Qwaser – the tsurupettan Song
  10. Shino Amakusa – Seitokai Yakuindomo’s lead character is generally pretty funny once you get caught up with her pace.
  11. B Gata H Kei – The entire show is a sex joke
  12. Koe de Oshigoto – Oh MAKO lol and the entire show is also a sex joke

4. Scenes from 2010 anime that I remember, no order:

  1. Gundam UC episode 1: Floating out into the fiery inferno, Banager’s dad smiles.
  2. Cross Game: The final confession
  3. Seikon no Qwaser: Boob fountain (which one?)
  4. K-ON!!: Lycopene…
  5. Eden of the East: The King of Eden: Walking around @ Angelika Film Center in NY.
  6. Asobi ni Ikuyo: Manami and Aoi’s skinny bike chase
  7. MM!!: Mio’s episode one batter-up maid debut
  8. Panty & Stocking: the car “chase” scene in episode 6
  9. Macross Frontier: Nyan^2 Clips: Northern Cross is… woah damn.
  10. Working!!: NEW ITEM
  11. Yosuga no Sora: He just keeps on going.
  12. Bakatest and Mayoi Neko Overrun: The spats/bloomer feud.

5. Episodes from 2010 that I remember, no order:

  1. Strike Witches 2 6: The rocket episode
  2. Panty & Stocking 13: Bitches, and more bitches, and a pair of legs.
  3. Hidamari Sketch *** 12: Tomato jamboree
  4. Seikon no Qwaser 13: What a recap episode.
  5. Mayoi Neko Overrun 6: The music video episode. Yes, I remember it better than ep 4!
  6. K-ON!! 20: The last school festival. It was such a high.
  7. SoreMachi 12: The day that Hotori died, bye bye Miss American Pie?
  8. OreImo 11: Most of the jokes were pretty solid, which is unusual. Even the dad joke.
  9. Angel Beats 3: Iwasawa was a big impact. Sold me a CD. Heck, Angel Beats 10: Yui-nyan! Sold me a CD too! LOL. Oh what is this with dead music people.
  10. Gundam UC 1: It’s just so pretty.
  11. The World God Only Knows 4: Take me down to minori city where the music’s by Tenmon and the girls are pretty~
  12. Katanagatari 12: Great conclusion for something totally Nisioisin-y.

6. Things that can’t be something else:

  1. My MM can’t be this fanservice-free
  2. My foot fetishism can’t be this pervasive
  3. My little sister’s anime’s title can’t be this verbose
  4. My Love Plus habit can’t be this expensive
  5. My camel militants can’t be this racist
  6. My blog hosting can’t be this cheap
  7. My AsoIku can’t be this furry
  8. My Prime Minister can’t be this good at mahjong
  9. My Azunyan can’t go all the way in Saimoe
  10. My Bisei Tokei apps can’t be iOS only
  11. My Aniki can’t be this hedgehoggy
  12. My Selvaria figure can’t be this expensive

7. AX 2010 moments:

12. Listening to gabber at the Nokia Plaza was surreal. It’s like being in Akiba.
11. Seeing Konishi cosplay Aniki was pretty boss.
10. Kitaeri’s panel, a lot of fun. Plus High Jumper.
9. Clover Brewed Coffee is p. good if you are a junkie like myself. They even have Kona that weekend, if you like Kona (I’m so-so on it).
8. Spotting Kenji Kamiyama scouting terrain. Totally expecting to see LACC/Nokia theater/Staple Center complex in his next work now.
7. Nabeshin being, well, Nabeshin.
6. Manga Gamer guests, plus High Jumper. CooRie and Kuribayashi, huh.
5. Yoko Kanno reprises their MacF/Tanabata routine at May’n and Mamegu’s live. Also it’s as MacF as it can get in America. Damn you Harmony Gold.
4. Alexd’s “luck and chance” sketch GET
3. The “No Photo” sign story
2. Group pic with KitaEri
1. Being in on the joke on Horie as collaborators with Morita and Asakawa.

8. Things I did to celebrate Satoshi Kon’s memories

12. Make a pun.
11. Whine on it on the internet.
10. Buy a copy of New York Times. Ugh buying newspaper ugh.
9. Realizing some (somewhat) famous guy who died actually matters to me.
8. Realizing my autograph from him will skyrocket in value!
7. Looking for copies of his stuff that I don’t have, like that lush LE box for Millennium Actress.
6. Stare longingly at his storyboards.
5. Learn more about the man after he has passed, from others who also knew him.
4. Follow the going-ons of his last words and its ripple, like that Farewell Project thing.
3. Read his final blog post.
2. Rewatch his movies, or at least clips from it.
1. Feel better about it after getting all sad from the news of his passing.

9. Reasons why I can’t pick a favorite character in 2010, no order

  1. Amagami SS sunk my omnibus – I like all the arcs, can’t choose… Alternatively, Amagami SS’s Tsukasa route was totally crap! – It’s Kaori Nazuka’s last shot at 3-peat!
  2. Runner up: Noloty from Bantorra is a great character, except she’s just a side character and doesn’t get much love from the series, in more than one ways.
  3. Way too many sequels – It’s hard to like what you didn’t like the year before.
  4. Way too many Kana Hanazawa roles – They are all kinda alike! And I like too many of them for my own good!
  5. Love Plus: hearing Saori Hayami’s moe voice confuses me with Manaka flags – Manaka is a no-no for me.
  6. Runner up: Teresa from Qwaser just didn’t get enough development to qualify.
  7. Runner up: All of K-ON cast, but I love you equally (which is honestly not that much).
  8. Runner up: Shoko from BakaTest, but she hasn’t had enough time to flesh it out. Also, too many other people’s waifu.
  9. Runner up: All those endless pleasure sticks.
  10. Runner up: Mii from Railgun, but she doesn’t have enough dimensions to her character.
  11. Runner up: Rin Tohsaka, because it’s not like Mii a more refreshing cool take by the same Kana Ueda. Also, dolphins? Really? (Wait is this supposedly in the sex joke category?)
  12. I usually pick my stuff from serious shows, and when the shounen romance pieces this year let me down, I had nowhere to go.

10. 12 OP from this year, no order

  1. K-ON!! OP2 – Mainly because it is probably the best out of all of K-ON’s. S1 OP still is kinda special too… well.
  2. Kuragehime OP – I don’t think much needs to be said.
  3. B Gata H Kei OP – Still a very nicely choreographed and catchy thing
  4. Mayoi Neko Overrun OP – It’s like a mind attack with a strong audio component
  5. SoreMachi OP – As smooth as SHAFT gets.
  6. Arakawa UB OP – Season 2 OP was disappointing compared to season 1’s, but that’s not saying much when it’s this good. Sayo Yamamoto, right?
  7. Angel Beats OP – Lia actually delivers something worthwhile here. Visually moving too.
  8. AsoIku OP – Pretty standard stuff, but I like the song.
  9. World God Only Knows OP – The full version is pretty interesting, but overall it is simple yet sophisticated in the way Eden of the East OP was.
  10. Big Windup S2 OP – I like it for the song. Animation was hauling ballz too!
  11. Dance in the Vampire Bund OP – for the shock in nekkid loli dance and the song is pretty good too!
  12. Star Driver OP – I like it for the use in whiplashing the viewer, but also for seeing something kind of pretentious but also kind of mesmerizing.

11. ED from this year, no order, because I’m out of ideas for lists

  1. Durarara ED1 – Pretty catchy and visually interesting. Kind of reminds me of Persona Trinity Soul ED.
  2. Amagami ED4 – Yukana has this super ero voice power, I cannot resist.
  3. K-ON!! ED2 – Yeah, yeah.
  4. Tatami Galaxy ED – My favorite of the year, easily.
  5. Qwaser ED2 – I like this song more than ED1, but the visuals in ED1 is more cohesive. (Not to be confused with this)
  6. Yosuga no Sora ED (second one) – It’s hilarious and visually exciting.
  7. MM ED – It’s the psychological attack version of Mayoi Neko Overrun OP. Except now with Aso Natsuko.
  8. Hidamari Sketch *** ED – Really like the concept and how the music works with it.
  9. Hanamaru Kindergarten EDsI guess I can just fill this list out with them. I recommend #2 and 7.
  10. K-ON!! ED1 – Cake Fairy is probably one of the best music video on TV in anime.
  11. Bakemonogatari ED (final) – I like this composite version the best for some reason.
  12. Angel Beats ED – It’s actually a nice song. The ED itself is more a joke that is subtle than anything. How about that Aoi Tada…

12. 3D and miscellaneous things I probably should mention, no order

  1. Hiyocchi is good-natured and FUNNY!!!
  2. Cosplay Girl gets you what you think you will get
  3. My random seiyuu soup…and now
  4. It’s totally cool to see that slick WoW addict and his compatriots at Otakon this year. I should pick up Kikuta’s Touhou album, shouldn’t I. Also, they still haven’t give up that CD single they promised back in August. That’s pretty egregious.
  5. Kamiyama’s trip at AnimeNext made that con worth it alone.
  6. K-ON Live BD is a good time, can’t wait for the next one.
  7. Sphere joins Shukufuku no Campanella in 3D TV land. Wasn’t some May’n show also done that way…
  8. First time I did karaoke during a con. In the normal way and not the weird American way. Need to happen more often.
  9. B156 and Dan Kanemitsu’s bone.
  10. Figures are serious business, but when you run a figure panel make sure you get a ton of super rat’s shots and just slideshow them.
  11. Almost done figuring out the illumination “problem” with UOs and renewable glowsticks and battery-powered stuff. I’m going to have to test drive these suckers this year, but so far I’m impressed with the one I have.
  12. minorigate is at an end. Oh God the memories flooding back.

And that’s a wrap folks, see you in 2011!