Category Archives: manga

Delve into Japanese lesbian manga with new book “The Introduction to the World of Yuri”

New book introduces 140 titles from the yuri genre that explore the topic of lesbian love.

While a lot has been written about the “Boys’ Love” subgenre of male homosexual romance that’s often depicted in manga and anime, and even explored in a South Park episode, the corresponding subgenre of “Girls’ Love” is often left unexplored by comparison. Known as “Yuri”, which literally translates to “Lily”, this category of manga revolves around romantic and erotic female-female relationships, and is usually written for female readers. It’s unusual name can be traced back to the male chief editor of Barazoku (“The Clan of the Rose”), Japan’s first magazine geared towards gay men, who is believed to have first used the word “Yuri” to describe lesbian love in 1976, saying that if “Bara” or “Rose” was being used to describe his male gay clan of readers, the word “Lily” would be a fitting term for a corresponding female gay clan.

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While the yuri subgenre has a dedicated fanbase both in Japan and abroad, one Japanese publisher aims to demystify the genre for both avid readers and newcomers to the scene with a new book called Yuri no Sekai Nyuumon or The Introduction to the World of Yuri.

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The book introduces more than 140 works that belong to the yuri genre, along with manga recommendations from notable authors, and a feature that reveals the best book covers from yuri manga, as chosen by popular voice actress Izumi Kitta.

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There’s even an “event report” on a recent exhibition dedicated to works related to the topic of Girls’ Love in modern art and photography.

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Whether you’re an avid reader of yuri manga or looking to find out more about the subject, this 128-page book covers all the basics with a large collection of beautiful images.

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Published by Genkosha, The Introduction to the World of Yuri was recently released on 18 October, and retails for 1,500 yen each at bookstores around the country.

Rocketnews 24 edited by JWS

The best rivalries in manga as chosen by Japanese voters – Top 10 list

We got a lot of mail from folks telling me that they like this blog more for its info on manga and anime than topics like underwear and Ultraman….   If we weren’t a small business than all I’d like to do is writing about manga and anime…however..time and a noisy boss often forces me to choose the commercial road. But..I’m hearing you, my fellow otakus. Unfortunately  with little time on my hands I have to resort to the web and less on my own investigative skills…but if if I find a nice story deeming worth your interest than I’ll swallow my pride and share that piece of information….

They might be bad guys, but they’re not baaad guys.

Rivals: you love to hate them and hate to love them. The relationship between two opposing characters can really raise the emotion and heart in stories. You feel not only for the protagonist, but also for the antagonist because they’re both just trying to accomplish their own goals, albeit in a different fashion. Sometimes your rival is a complete jerk, but that’s because they’re hiding all their pain. Other times your rival helps you because you push each other to be the best that you can be. Here are the Top 10 rivalries as chosen by Japanese pollsters. (Beware! Slight spoilers ahead!)

10. Jimmy Kudo vs. Harley Hartwell (Case Closed)

The first pair on the list are dueling detectives that rely on each other to push their analytical skills to the extreme. Two of the four great young detectives, Jimmy and Harley often find themselves investigating gruesome mysteries with unbelievable outcomes.

9. Kenshin Himura vs. Hajime Saito (Rurouni Kenshin)

While Kenshin was haunted by his past, Hajime reveled in it. Their rivalry began before the series officially started when Kenshin was the “manslayer” and Hajime was a member of the Shinsengumi. During the series, their epic battles almost forces Kenshin to become a killer again, but he never crosses that line.

8. Kenshiro vs. Raoh (Fist of the North Star)

This mighty rivalry began when Kenshiro was chosen as the successor to the Hokuto Shinken and Raoh broke 1,800 years of tradition and refused to give up his power. Killing their master, Ryuken, made sure that Kenshiro would fight with a vengeance when the truth was eventually revealed.

7. Naruto Uzumaki vs. Sasuke Uchiha (Naruto)

Naruto and Sasuke each had what the other unknowingly wanted resulting in an intense rivalry that drove most of the story. Their battles also led to an extremely powerful friendship.

6. Light Yagami vs. L (Death Note)

Light and L played so many mind games that it was hard to figure out who to cheer for, but their match of wits will forever be remembered by Death Note fans.

5. Jimmy Kudo vs. Phantom Thief Kid (Case Closed)

One’s a thief, and the other is a detective, so naturally they are at odds. However, no matter how much the Phantom Thief steals, you can’t help cheer for him as he constantly outwits the police, but rarely Kudo.

4. Amuro Ray vs. Char Aznable (Mobile Suit Gundam)

What begins simply as warrior pride turns into a back and forth that tries to answer the question of the meaning of war and violence. These two mech pilots do their best to give their answer on the battlefield.

3. Hanamichi Sakuragi vs. Kaede Rukawa (Slam Dunk)

Even though these two play for the same team, their rivalry is at the forefront of Slam Dunk. One is motivated to be better than the other, and one barely gives him the time of day. But without their passionate rivalry, their basketball, and the series, wouldn’t grow.

2. Goku vs. Vegeta (Dragon Ball Z)

The Prince of All Saiyans may have once tried to kill Goku and his friends, but since that time, they’ve had a spectacular rivalry that has kept Earth safe and ensured that the two of them were the strongest beings in the universe.

1. Lupin the Third vs. Koichi Zenigata (Lupin the Third)

The infamous thief needs a detective to chase after him. Much like Kudo and the Phantom Thief, Detective Zenigata spends most of his time trying to catch Lupin the Third. But as slippery as Lupin is, we highly doubt Zenigata will ever really be able to establish himself as Lupin’s equal.


Is your number one rivalry on the list? The original Japanese poll counted submissions in order to create a list of the Top 50 best rivalries. So if your favorite isn’t here, chances are it probably appears somewhere lower down. If you are interested, definitely check out the full list to see where your raging rivalry ranks.

Source: Goo Ranking

Rocketnews24 edited by JWS

Things that often happen in manga that don’t happen in real life

We’ve come to accept most of the oddities we see in manga and anime, but have you ever wondered just how much of it is, well, unrealistic?

Manga fans in Japan stopped and thought about just that. Manga fans and spectators from across the internet have gathered to create a list of “things that happen in manga that don’t happen in real life.” We’re sure at least some of these things will make you go, “Yes, that’s so untrue!” and hopefully make you laugh a little as well.

-High school students that live alone
Is this even legal? Okay, maybe you’ll have a classmate that lives alone very, very occasionally, but it doesn’t happen nearly as often as you see in manga.

-The authority of the student council
“I am the Class President and I run this school!” That doesn’t really happen. Students are usually focused on other things like sports, homework, or…other things.

Big ribbons on your head
This is an instance of an idea that looks really good on paper (literally), but not in reality. But, who knows — maybe it’ll eventually become a real fashion trend!

 

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Or balls in your hair..

-Naps on the school roof
Japanese schools are run with at least a little authority. If you’re taking a nap at school, it’s probably on your desk during class.

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Some schools actually introduced

-Good-for-nothing guys that are somehow popular with the ladies
Sorry, boys. The reverse also applies for the girls. I suppose this is one of those instances where manga is an outlet for wishful thinking.

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”lady killers”

-Good-looking punks whose faces still look beautiful no matter how many fights they get into
Come on, artists! You could at least give them a broken nose and we’d still find them attractive.

-Teacher: “Hello, this is our new student. Please get to know them. Oh, your seat? Just take that empty one over there.”
For the most part, Japanese schools have completely full classes. What’s more, class sizes are usually pretty large. If there’s an empty seat in your totally full classroom, you might want to be a little worried.

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Please sit down eh..

-Running with a piece of toast in your mouth, saying, “I’m late! I’m late!”
This is one of those iconic manga and anime moments that most of you probably know doesn’t happen already, but it’s still funny to think about.

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It doesn’t happen…or does it?

 

-Hitting someone so hard they fly into the sky
The most air you can get with a punch in real life is maybe one or two feet off the ground. Maybe. I’m no expert or anything.

These are just a few things that made the list. It just goes to show that while manga is a form of media that can offer some insight into some valuable aspects of Japanese culture, there are some things you should take with a grain of salt.

What totally unrealistic manga moments are your favorite? Let us know below!

Sources: Vipper

rocketnews24 edited by JWS

Coolest anime inspired socks ever!

Based on the image of the world of witch Ichihara Yuko, the wish-granting shop owner of the famous xxxHolic manga series come these lovely socks.

Ichihara Yuko the witch

These socks are designed to combine, wear them straight under a black miniskirt and they project a bit of a wild side of you, wear them with high heels and you become a vixen.

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Now wear them over some tights and and your whole image changes again…according to the colour of your tights…red tights will make you look prudish with a naughty flame burning deep inside you….

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The embroidery of a smoking pipe and butterflies are the subtle reminders that you’re a xxxHolic reader and love well written and beautifully illustrated manga/art.

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If you want to surprise your boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/wife, why not wear them beneath this camisole dress thingy

Or if you’re in a real witchy mood, why not put them under your spell once and forever with this lovely lingerie set

So this is how witches read..?

The prices are of Super Groupies level, meaning not too high

xxxHOLiC × ERIMAKI SOX collaboration socks LONG socks xxxHOLiC

6,800 ¥

Ichihara Yuko model camisole dress underwear xxxHOLiC

8,500 ¥

Ichihara Yuko model lingerie set underwear xxxHOLiC

8,800 ¥ 

Let us know how we can help you!

Tomoko Hirano

SuperGroupies

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Neckties for the “otaku” businessman

Being an otaku in the corporate world isn’t always easy, strict fashion guidelines prevent you from expressing the real you. Sure you can wear some  anime printed underwear, but it’s not ..well how to say this….cheeky….it’s a bit cowardice like putting Coke in a Pepsi bottle during a Pepsi fan meeting.

Now though, you can hide in plain sight, looking quite dashing in a conservative way, but still wearing your heart on your sleeve, with these Girls&Panzer neckties.

Worn beneath a suit they look like ordinary striped ties….

When you take off your jacket they still won’t reveal a thing..no worries you still look like a “serious” corporate worker.

 

Then when you turn over your tie a smile spreads over your face…knowing that they can take the otaku out of the otaku world, but you can never take the otaku out of the otaku!

They come in two colors, the one above with Nishisumu Miho in blue and Akiyama Yukasato in green.

 

They are now up for pre-order(delivery in July) and the cheapest option (various sites are selling them) was the one we found here ¥ 4,860 at Gee!Store.

(dimensions width 7cm / stiletto width 4cm / total length 145cm  )

Serge Roso JWS

Japanwebshopping.com gets a Spring make-over.

It’s May, the flowers bloom, the birds lay eggs, the smell of fresh green grass tickles your prefrontal cortex….memories from  happy times are triggered and a feeling of nostalgia flows through your body. Life is good.  But May isn’t just a month of memories, it’s also a month of renewal, new wallpapers are chosen, Ikea is busier than ever and websites get a sunny make-over. Japanwebshopping has been sporting a very dark look, yeah we are freaks and we’re proud of it! Problem is that it was maybe a bit too otaku and scared away the casual shopper. We went to work and created a lighter and easier accessible site, while still holding on to our beloved black and gray (that we are great Yohji Yamamoto fans is something that goes without saying).

Let us know what you think about it, your opinion greatly matters to us.

japanwebshopping

Hirano JWS

 

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Madoka Magica heads to the beach with new line of anime-themed swimsuits

If you’re a magical girl, or just an anime fan, in need of some seaside R and R, this unique swimwear is for you.

On the surface, the hit anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica looks like a simple tale of good versus evil, but the surprisingly subversive series raises a number of difficult questions. “How different, really, is a seemingly heroic magical girl from a self-indulgent witch?” it asks. “Where do you draw the line between blind devotion and all-consuming desire?”

And now, Madoka Magica is presenting another blurred line, with a new line of swimsuits that look, at first glance, like casual roomwear.

▼ The swimsuits, pictured here, are a stark departure from the Madoka Magica lingerie sets, which look exactly like you’d expect underwear to.

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Anime fashion brand Super Groupies has partnered with the designers at MIIA to produce the bathing suits, and while the core cast of Madoka Magica consists of five magical girls, right now it’s only the two biggest stars who are represented, with one set for protagonist Madoka Kaname and the other for Homura Akemi.

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Super Groupies itself readily admits that the designs don’t immediately scream “swimwear,” but that’s completely deliberate. The company says that the non-revealing style makes the Madoka Magica swimsuits a great choice for people headed to beachside events or pool parties who want the option of going for a dip yet still having the coverage they desire for the lengthy amount of time they’ll be spending out of the water, too.

Both models feature the same cut and overall design, with a pattern featuring the magical girls’ soul gems and other shapes in a faux constellation motif. The three-piece sets include a top, shorts, and bikini bottom, all made of swimsuit material.

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While the Madoka Magica franchise loves to submerge itself in gray-area issues of morality, the swimsuits are much more colorful. Madoka’s is pink from top to bottom, while Homura’s two-shade design reflects the duality of the character’s emotional state and motivations.

▼ Or maybe navy and lavender just go well together.

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Both suits are priced at 15,000 yen (US$140), and include the illustrations seen here of their individual character wearing the outfit. Delivery is scheduled for early August.

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Jws

 

Source: Super Groupies

Rocketnews 24 edited by JWS

School girl action pose reference book.

Generally, artists work better when they have a frame of reference. This is why art classes begin by painting a bowl of fruit that’s actually in front of you. It’s a little harder though, when your drawing requirements include people posing in outrageous situations. While there are plenty of resources online that are available for budding artists, sometimes you need something a little more relevant to your muse, thematically.

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We’ve found the perfect reference book for manga artists drawing action sequences featuring school girl heroines. It’s written and compiled by action coordinator and action director Isao Karasawa, who’s responsible for titles such as Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial, Thermae Romae, and Sailor Suit and Machine Gun: Graduation.

This book features a collection of action poses by female models in high school sailor uniforms and blazers as they deal with violent situations in at least three different chapters which include brawling, flying and gun play. You won’t be limited to just girls in school uniforms though, as there are reference photos of the models in swimsuits posing in the same action shots. With less clothing, you’ll be able to see the structures of the muscles and the lines of the body…so it’s easier to draw them.

▼ Bring on the poses!

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▼ They’re still friends, even with that powerful kick to the neck.

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▼ Focus on the way the muscles move!

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▼ Jumping over someone with a gun in hand is an important pose to master.

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▼ Two high schoolers with swords, just like everyday life.

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Published by Genkosha, Freeze Framed Action Pose Shots 01: The Compilation of Female High School Students (瞬 撮アクションポーズ01 女子高生アクション編) can be found in Japanese bookstores for 2,484 yen (US$22.90).

Leave the footwork to us and we will send you a copy of this book.

Source: Artist Database
Images: Amazon JP

Rocketnews24 edited by JWS

New super flexible doll might be your best substitute for a real-life model

For most artists, drawing something when you have nothing to look at or be inspired by can be tough, but a company called Phicen created  “seamless bendable figures“, to give you that much needed inspiration. Their line-up feature either a fully poseable 1:6-scale ripped guy or busty gal. While neither figure may be especially realistic when you compare their proportions to your average Jane or Joe, they bend at 26 different points and provide a super-realistic look at how muscles, skin, and shadowing look at an almost endless number of angles—ideal for anime and manga artists!

▼ This is practically Lupin’s Fujiko in bendable form, but with “woman secret parts”.

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▼ And a male version for all you artists out there that might need a guy with a prefect six-pack for a reference as you draw the next big shonen manga thriller. (“man secret parts” not included, or possibly sold separately? :O)

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Depending on where you buy them from, each figure costs upwards 12,210 yen for the female and 14,800 yen for the man, but we’re sure that’s still much cheaper than hiring a real-life model for reference or multiple pose packs from Manga no Shiryo.net.

Members of the Japanese art community who have bought the figures seem rather pleased with their purchases, too:

“I went out and bought the Phicen doll everyone’s been talking about to use as a reference. Although it can’t be posed in every single way possible, it’s a lot more flexible than I thought it would be.”

“This seamless figure really is more flexible than you’d imagine it would be. I bought the male figure, but now I’m thinking about getting the female version.”

Of course, even if you’re not a serious artist, we imagine either would provide hours of fun at work as an office toy/decoration.

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Shonen Jump + now taking manga submissions from Japan and abroad in new contest..win $8,200!

 

The publisher of Shonen Jump + is teaming with digital distributor MediBang to hold an amateur manga submission contest. Those who make the cut will see their manga on the virtual pages of the magazine!

Ever thought your genius story idea about a bagel that becomes sentient and does anime-style battle with other pastries for breakfast domination had some real legs, but couldn’t quite get your foot in the door with a publisher? Well, now’s your chance to submit your manga idea to someone that’ll actually give it the chance it deserves.

Shonen Jump publisher Shueisha and digital manga distributor MediBang have teamed to hold a contest beginning this month to choose some amateur manga stories to turn into full-fledged entries in Shonen Jump’s digital cousin, Shonen Jump +.

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According to MediBang, Japanese manga publishers have recently had trouble finding new manga talent, partially because the language barrier has blocked potential non-Japanese creators from getting their works seen in Japan. With the ongoing contest, Shueisha and MediBang hope to change this by offering to localize any foreign works that make the cut into Japanese using Shueisha’s team of professional translators.

Foreign creators hoping to enter the contest are encouraged to use MediBang’s “Medi Paint” digital comics drawing program to draw up a one-shot manga story under 50 pages in length. Then it’s as simple as adding the tag “Jump+ Manga Contest” and your work will automatically be forwarded to the contest’s board of judges.

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Apparently, just two stories will be chosen for publication, with prize money for the first, second and third-place winners set at 1 million yen (US$8,200), 300,000 yen, and 100,000 yen respectively. Additionally, even entrants that don’t make the cut may receive feedback from Shueisha and MediBang if the judges feel the work is strong enough to warrant it, meaning you can add a bagel-on-cronut romance subplot to your story and come back for another crack at the contest next year.

Entries are being accepted until March 17, 2016. Click here for more details.

Source: Internet Watch
Images: Official Website

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