By Jason S. Yadao
If you pay attention to Twitter feeds and spend a reasonable amount of time on the Internet as much as I do, you’ve no doubt heard of Kickstarter, the crowdsourced fundraising website that gives all sorts of projects, from magazines to chocolate bars, the chance to go from dream to reality with the help of people willing to invest a bit to make them happen.
Perhaps the largest notable effort to cross my otaku-blogging radar in recent months has been Digital Manga Publishing’s successful effort to raise $10,000 to reprint Swallowing the Earth by Osamu Tezuka. There was also the Sailor Moon live-action fan-made movie that technically broke a whole slew of copyrights but got funded anyway, which — coincidence of coincidences! — just got posted to YouTube. (I have yet to watch that myself. Somehow I get the sense that my 21 minutes would be better spent reading the manga or watching episodes from my treasure trove of long-out-of-print Sailor Moon DVDs. But if any of you should brave it and find it to actually be tolerable, please, let me know.)
Which brings us to KimonoKitsy Studios. If you’ve read this blog for a reasonable amount of time, you know KimonoKitsy is the nemu*nemu crew of Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga, bringing plush pup cuteness to the Internet thrice weekly since 2006. The fifth collection of nemu*nemu strips, Out of This World, was released earlier this year, and it’s a gorgeous book, with larger pages than the other four volumes and strips printed in glorious full color.
But larger pages and glorious full color cost money. Lots of money. Sure, it would be easy to take the route that more publishers are taking these days and go with digital editions exclusively, but Audra and Scott don’t want to do that. There are quite a few people still out there who still value words and pictures printed on sheets of dead trees, after all. That’s why they’re calling on readers and nemu*nemu fans alike to help them raise money to print next year’s as-yet-untitled sixth volume the same way. As of this writing, the nemu*nemu Kickstarter has raised $2,205 toward its $10,000 goal. Certainly nice, of course, but there’s still a ways to go.
There are bonuses for everyone who invests, too. For as little as $1, you can get a personal thank-you email from Anpan and Nemu, a digital desktop/wallpaper set and your name in the e-book edition of volume 6. The bonuses scale upward from there with higher investment levels, with the digital edition of the book, signed copies of the print edition, sketches, trading cards, and even original artwork getting tossed into the mix. You can see a complete list at the link I referenced in the last paragraph.
You have until Dec. 26. Get cracking, people. Every little bit helps.
Crafting craziness continues
Speaking of Audra and Scott, they’re taking the week off from craft fairs this week. It was a break already built in to their schedule, but it’s probably a good thing, since Audra’s been battling a cold since last weekend’s Islandwide Christmas Crafts & Food Expo. (Here’s hoping for your continued recovery, Audra!)
The idkwhat2wear crew will be out and about for the next few days, though, visiting the Holiday Craft and Gift Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Mililani Mauka Recreation Center 5 (95-1101 Ainamakua Drive) and Evening in Waipio from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Hawaii Okinawa Center (94-587 Ukee St.). Admission to both events is free. For more information, visit www.idkwhat2wear.com.
Word of one property going out of print and another going back into print emerged from the Sentai Filmworks camp this week. Going out of print — and somewhat in the “wow, that was actually still in print? I thought that died when ADV disappeared into some murky legal vortex!” department — is the original Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series, with its 24 episodes of old-school anime goodness and two episodes that have pretty much powered every single Evangelion remake and reimagining ever since. Will it ever return? There may be enough used copies floating around to make it unnecessary, but with Funimation already holding rights to the Rebuild of Evangelion movies, picking up and reissuing Eva TV — and on Blu-ray, perhaps? — is certainly a viable option.
Returning from licensing limbo, meanwhile, is Grave of the Fireflies, Isao Takahata’s incredibly sad tale of a teenage boy and his younger sister suffering in the ruins of a ravaged World War II-era Japan. Sentai Filmworks is the third label under which the film has been released; Central Park Media guided it through VHS and DVD incarnations, while ADV managed to bring it up for a quick breath of air before dragging it into that aforementioned legal vortex. Look for digital streaming this winter, with a remastered DVD release next year.
Finally, Aniplex USA announced today that it will be releasing the first 13 episodes of Fate/Zero in a Blu-ray box set that comes with the original soundtrack and a drama CD. Release date: March 7. Cost: $498.98 retail price, $369.98 online at Right Stuf — or, if you’re calculating, more than $1 for each of the 330 minutes of anime you’re getting with this set. Fate/Zero fans, your selling of rights to your first-born and vital organs to pay for a set that contains only the first half of the series begins … now.
Other assorted news & notes
A lot has happened in the two days or so that I’ve been writing this post, so let’s get right into the roundup:
- There’s something to be said about the long-term survival of the Pokemon film franchise, which has been reliably churning out regular installments ever since Pokemon: The First Movie — Mewtwo Strikes Back bowed in Japan in 1998 and the United States in 1999. (Holy cats, has it really been that long? I can still remember when getting a holofoil Mewtwo trading card for the Pokemon Trading Card Game with ticket purchase was a huge deal.) The franchise disappeared from U.S. theaters after Pokemon Heroes in 2003, but it’s making a comeback for a two-day run: You’ll get to see Pokemon the Movie: White — Victini and Zekrom on the big screen at Consolidated’s Ward, Mililani, Kapolei, Kahala and Pearlridge theaters on Saturday and Sunday. As a bonus (or maybe a drawback, depending of what kind of audience you prefer to see your movies with), all of the showtimes are skewed toward matinee screenings, the earliest at 10:30 a.m., the latest at 1:10 p.m. Saturday or 1:45 p.m. Sunday. Here are the showtimes for Saturday and the showtimes for Sunday.
- Condolences to voice actor Dan Green, best known as the voice of Yami Yugi in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, whose wife died Friday after giving birth to twins, a boy and a girl. Fans can find a place to share their condolences, as well as links to make donations to provide for the future care of the twins, at the Dan Green Guestbook.
- To end this post on a brighter note: Congratulations are in order for Rachael “Masakocha” Ing, December’s Featured Cosplay Photographer for the Month over at CosplayPhotographers.com. Rachael, as some of you who are up on your Cel Shaded history, may recall, was one of the first people I ever profiled in my first column in 2005 as a member of the art collective Monkey-AME who has since gone on to become a really good photographer in the San Francisco Bay area. There’s a lovely, lengthy profile and samples of her work posted here.