Flashback Friday #1: October Edition

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First, let’s make things clear: I used to collect Megami magazines.

The first time was merely out of curiosity. Back then, there were hardly any Japanese periodicals available in my country that could interest me; but seeing that my local comic book store stocked at least one of these copies a month, it seemed like a fun enough incentive, if only to supplement my then burgeoning grasp of the Japanese language. Of course, I had no idea that this magazine title was decidedly more “raunchy” than other members of its cohort, like Newtype Magazine for example. Still, there was some excitement to be had — albeit at a premium — to flip through its pages full of titillating anime goodness.

It goes without saying that this was quite a while back. I could only afford so much, and perhaps the only time I really splurged on buying as many of these magazines as I could was whenever I visited the venerable Mecca of Anime and Manga itself (Akihabara, in case you were wondering), and really, could you blame me? These things sold for up to four times its cost after importation if I bought it in my home country, so splurging on them whenever I was in Japan was a no-brainer.

So here, I’d like to look back at some of the older publications I have dating back 8 years to see just what exactly was going on in the colorful world of animu land. Perhaps some of these shows were the very thing that got you into anime in the first place? Let’s see what was going around in the October 2010 issue of Megami Magazine.

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[Editorial] Stepping out of the Anime Closet

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Midday at a coffee shop. Two hours into the most boring transcription on viral uncoating and mechanisms of anti-retroviral drug resistance in HIV (as if it couldn’t be any more boring than that) and I was desiring a break. Anything to breathe some color into the monochromatic cloud that had seeped its way into the establishment like a dense thicket of smoke from some unknown source. I had recently updated my copy of The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage for the on-going event, so I figured it a great opportunity to let out some steam through some furiously timed button mashing. In goes the headphone jack into the audio jack of my cellphone and on goes the game, only for me to realize that the jack wasn’t all the way in. And to my horror, the opening fanfare blared out of the built-in speakers at full blast:

AIDORU-MASUTAA-SHINDERERAA-GAAAARUZU-STAAARAITO-SUTEEJI!!!

The shrill tone of teenage girls shouting full blown Engrish resonated from my spot in the center of the cafe, and all eyes were on me. The monochromatic haze was replaced with an even heavier hue of red, and my face was flush and salmon. I tried not to seem fazed — nonchalant almost — to the point that I acted just as offended as anyone else in the room (although in retrospect, I never did look at anyone’s reaction — I just assumed they were offended in some way). And just like that, my break came to an abrupt end as I decided to clear out the jumbled color space of the now red-heavy cafe back to a stale monochromatic grey. Continue reading

Wataru Uekusa: The Existential Crisis and Anime

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Remember how I promised I’d bring out more editorials? Well, here’s me keeping that promise.

I’ve always wanted to do a series revolving around the actual creators behind the content we enjoy, and so for these next few editorials, I’ll talk about Japanese artists — illustrators, writers, directors — and the type of influences they bring into the works they create.

For this editorial, I’ll be talking about Wataru Uekusa, a relatively low-profile artist as far as anime is concerned, but a well-known illustrator who possesses a very unique art style that combines deceptively juvenile characters with violently surreal artistic flourishes. So sit back and relax as we explore more about the colorfully chaotic world of Wataru Uekusa.

(NB: this article has a preamble, but future articles will simply head straight into the topic.) Continue reading