Monday, June 2, 2014

Manga - Reading Suggestions

Who doesn't like to read comics, and especially, the Japanese equivalent that is manga? But with thousands of genres and titles, it is quite confusing to know what genres will appeal us, and what titles to start reading, especially if we are just beginning to discover this fascinating medium.

One thing you must know, manga is not "comic books for kids", and there are genres that will cover every group age, gender and social group.

So, what manga should you read?

Well, lets start with the genres and a few suggestions of titles:

Redikomi or Josei, from the Japanese "Lady Comic". Sometimes referred to as Josei (female).This genre is aimed from late teenage girls to adult, going beyond the idealized romance of Shojo, with a more realistic take on modern Japanese women's relationships. I recommend: "Midnight Secretary", "Gokusen" and "Honey and Clover".

Seinen (young man) is the male counterpart of Redikomi/Josei. Genres are relatively the same as Shonen, except that they are darker and more somber. My recommendations: "Bastard!!", "Berserk" ad "Basilisk".

Shojo or Shoujo (literally "girl") is a manga aimed at younger females up to the age 18. A focus on romance and relationships from a teenage girl point of view. Recommendations: "Ceres Celestial Legend", "Fushigi Yuugi" and "Love Celeb".

Shonen or Shounen (It translates literally as "boy"), the male counterpart of shojo, centering on adventure, action and Martial Arts genres. Manga recommendations: "Bleach", "Naruto" and "Full Metal Alchemist".

Yuri or Shojo-ai is based on female/female romantic relationships strong, graphically portrayed themes. Shojo-ai translates literally as "Girl-love". Yuri translates literally as "Lily". In Japan, the term GL (Girl Love) is also used. Recommended readings: "Strawberry Panic", "Free Soul" and "Love My Life".

Shonen-ai / Yaoi, the male equivalent of Shojo-ai/. Shonen-ai translates as "Boy-love" BL (Boy Love). Less graphic than Yuri. Recommended readings: "Count Cain - GodChild", "Boys Next Door" and "Just Around the Corner".

Hentai: this manga is sexually hardcore manga. Hentai is Japanese for "perverted" or "perversion" (adult content). Recommendations: "Step Up Love Story", "Maid in Heaven" and "Sexy Magical Girl".

The next step is to actually go find these titles. But with busy schedules and limited resources, especially when we just want to test the waters, going to the actual manga store can be challenging. That is why reading manga online can be a good alternative.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Comic Book Prices

Comic books are one of the cheapest forms of magazines to buy. Many of these comic books you probably read through the years while you were growing up, however Marvel comics has released new comics as well as superheroes for you to enjoy.

If you are looking for comic book prices for all your books, then one of the best places to get such a list would be Wizard Magazine which you can buy for a reasonable price and you will get to learn more on comic books and how much they are worth now. Wizard also has an online magazine and they also post the latest comic to be released and when it will hit the shelves. Since comic books also has a cult following, then it is important for you to know how much a certain book will cost and which store will have the magazine nearest to you, so you get to buy the comic book before other people rush in and get it and you find that a copy of the comic is already sold out which is bad especially if it is the limited kind.

There are other comic pricing guides that are available in the market today such as Overstreet and Standard Catalog of Comic Books. These comic guides provide you with the kind of information you need like where to get the rare and valuable comics and where you can get first issue comics as well as the back issue ones as well. The comic guides also document how much you can get if you decided to sell your book from the new to the old and rare kind. You can also look for a comic book appraiser to get book pricing.

Monday, May 19, 2014

How To Create Ball Jointed Dolls

The popularity of Ball Jointed Dolls (BJD) or also known as Asian Ball Jointed Dolls (ABJD) has prompted a lot of custom doll collectors to start their own designs and masterpieces. The theme for most of these BJD creations is that it verges on the modern scenarios. These Ball Jointed dolls are mostly inspired by Asian anime creations since it first started as craze in Japan, China, and South Korea. Thus, most features of the modern BJD are akin to the faces of anime and manga comics' characters. But the history of Ball Jointed dolls dates back in the late 19th century in Western Europe in when the dolls were made of bisque.

The reincarnation of the Ball Jointed dolls was observed in 1972 when the Blythe doll was launched. These dopey-eyed dolls perhaps fostered the emergence of the modern Ball Jointed dolls that we see today. Along this resurrection, hobbyists and doll enthusiasts have found this technique to be versatile and flexible when it comes to the movement and pose they want for their creation. Due to this demand, most doll shops right now are catering to this need and most Ball Jointed supplies are available at online stores that have mushroomed.

Doll supplies include synthetic mohair wigs, shoes, clothes, doll body joints and parts (ex. feet, arms, head, eyes, and limbs), fairy wings, paints, airbrush, and sealants. There are also other paint materials that are available to make the dolls more lifelike. The doll's body parts can also very as it depends on the size of the doll that will be created. The materials for these parts are usually vinyl or synthetic polyurethane resin which can be premade or molded for custom orders.

The cured resin results to a smooth skin like texture that is also akin to porcelain yet it is less brittle. The only problem with polyurethane is that it may turn yellow over time especially when exposed to heat or the UV rays. Hobbyists who want to verge on unique customized designs, they can use clay molds to form parts that are not available at the stores. Most of these custom designed parts are used by hobbyists who are into robot figures, vampire characters, and other fantasy and fictional characters.

There are several instructional videos and articles available online on how to paint and string Ball Jointed dolls during the assembly process. Other intricate details involve the process of placing mohair synthetic wigs and the setting of glass eyes. For would-be enthusiasts who like to start their own creation, check online clubs and forums which will provide better inputs on how to start crafting custom Ball Jointed dolls.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Online Japan Travel Brochure - 5 Things To Look For

A trip to Japan is the dream travel destination for countless people worldwide. It takes a certain type of person who wants to travel to Japan. Any given person's interest in Japan usually comes about for one or more of the following three reasons:

  • the person has long held an interest in Japan from a pop-cultural perspective, including topics such as modern Japanese cinema, fashion, video games, anime (animated cartoons), or manga (comics)
  • they have an interest in Japan from a traditional and linguistic perspective, including art, literature, religion and the language
  • they have business ties to Japan or want to develop them

Despite the actual reasons for your own initial interest in Japan, it is likely that the more you study this unique country the more your interest has grown. The country holds a certain fascination for many Westerners due to its tremendous modern-era business success, its unique cultural traditions, and its strong influence on the world of modern popular culture.

If you are planning a trip to Japan, you are going to want to get better informed about your trip. Here are 5 things to look for in an online Japan travel brochure:

1. Updated frequently:

There is a lot of information available online about Japan. Make sure you choose a travel brochure that contains recently-updated information. While some information - such as details about ancient temples, museums and other cultural centers - does not change much, information about modern attractions, hotels and restaurants changes quite regularly.

2. Written by those who have lived and traveled in Japan:

Find a Japan travel brochure that was created by somebody who has actually lived in Japan (preferably in more than one place) and who has traveled extensively throughout the country. There is no substitute for experience when it comes to writing good travel information.

3. Created by a native speaker of English:

Find a website that was created by a person who speaks English as their native language. Slight nuances in the way your Japan travel information is written (if written by a non-native speaker) can lead to big errors or misunderstandings as you plan your big trip.

4. Covers a wide range of details and tips:

Look for a brochure that can supply you with a wealth of information about many topics, including Japanese food, popular attractions, airfare rates, and visa & customs information. You will need to have a good base of knowledge in each of these areas if you are to plan a successful trip.

5. Helps save you money by giving you tips on planning your trip well:

You will also benefit from finding an online travel brochure about Japan that does not just read like an encyclopedia. Instead, it is helpful to actually find information written from the perspective of somebody who is trying to make your trip as successful, fun and inexpensive as possible.

While planning your upcoming trip to Japan, be sure to find online travel information that meets each of these 5 criteria.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Everything You Wanted to Know About Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog was originally a game character and hero in many games created by Sega for the Sega Genesis. Artist Naoto Oshima, designer Hirokazu Yasuhara and programmer Yuji Naka are credited with the creation of Sonic, the blue anthropomorphic hedgehog, who can run faster than the speed of sound. That is one of the major factors of the games, in case you didn't know.

Sonic was created when the time came for Sega to get a new mascot, as Alex Kidd, a monkey boy with over-sized ears, was getting a little old. At first, Sonic, or "Mr. Needlemouse", as he was known in concept stage, wasn't the only character to be considered as the new mascot, but obviously he won out.

He had competition for the mascot position from the likes of Mighty the Armadillo and Ristar, which you probably haven't heard of, which shows just how much more popular Sonic became than those games. The color of Sonic was chosen to coincide with Sega's cobalt blue logo.

Upon the first inception of Sonic, a team comprised of fifteen people worked on it, with the soundtrack being composed by Masato Nakamura from the band Dreams Come True. In a joint venture, Sega went on to sponsor one of the band's tours. In return for this, Sega was allowed to paint Sonic on the band's bus, and hand out flyers and other promotional media before concerts, as well as play game footage on the stage before concerts.

Throughout the years, Sonic has remained the same character, but has a different look and feel to him depending on the designers and artists on the "Sonic Team", as they call themselves, at the time. Sonic's original presentation, designed by Ohshima, was very short, childlike, had short quills, and had a round body. Artwork using Ohshima's design was drawn by Akira Wantabe and was used on the package artwork for Sonic the Hedgehog.

Many games following this original game also used similar designs. Starting with Sonic Adventure in 1998, Sonic was redesigned by Yuji Uekawa and now appeared as a taller hedgehog with longer legs and a less spherical body, longer and more drooping spikes, and green-colored eyes. More, but less noticeable changes to Sonic's design have been made in many of the following games.

Spin-off media such as cartoons, flash games, and the like all use the basic designs that were used by the "Sonic Team" designers, but they also have their own unique look and feel to them.

Sonic's debut came in 1991 with the release of the platform game Sonic the Hedgehog, which is also referred to as Sonic 1, for the Sega Genesis. This game also featured Sonic's nemesis, Dr. Robotnik, who was renamed Dr. Eggman after a while. Next in the long line of Sonic games, came Sonic 2, which introduced Sonic's Super Sonic form and his soon to be signature Spin Dash. Sonic's sidekick, the lovable character known as Tails, was also introduced in this game. Sonic 2 was released in 1992. A year later, came Sonic CD, which introduced Amy Rose, Sonic's girlfriend, and Metal Sonic, Sonic's future counterpart.

This installment of the Sonic series involved Sonic traveling through time in order to save the world. Both Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and its sequel Sonic & Knuckles, were both released the following year in 1994. In Sonic 3, Sonic and Tails once again had to fight the evil Dr. Robotnik, and in Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic had to battle against Knuckles the Echidna, who had been tricked by Dr. Robotnik into fighting Sonic in the first place.

Next came many minor games which seem to foretell the end of the Sonic era, with releases such as Sonic Chaos, Sonic Triple Trouble, Sonic Blast, and Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure. Next, though, the "Sonic Team" got back in the saddle and produced another major Sonic game, this one being Sonic Adventure, which was release in 1998.

This is the first game that had a full voice over for Sonic, and was also the first time in the western releases that Dr. Robotnik was called Dr. Eggman. The next game didn't come until 2001, and it was Sonic Adventure 2. In Sonic Adventure 2, you play as Sonic who has been mistaken for a new military enemy called Shadow, who incidentally, does look a lot like Sonic, except for the color. It's probably because the fact that they are both hedgehogs, but I could be wrong, though.

After this game, Sonic made his move to the Nintendo handheld devices with the releases of Sonic Advance in 2001, and Sonic Advance 2 in 2002. After this, game Sonic Heroes for the Game Cube, which had Sonic, Shadow, Tails, and other characters teaming up to fight against a new Metal Sonic, whom has betrayed his master. After Sonic Heroes, we see the little blue hedgehog return the Game Boys with the releases of Sonic Advance 3 in 2004, and Sonic Rush in 2005. 2006 found Sonic in the underwater city of Soleanna, where he has to rescue Princess Elise from Dr. Eggman while avoiding Silver the Hedgehog, his newest nemesis.

In the next year, we got another installment of Sonic in Game Boy with Sonic Rush Adventure, we also got a more of an RPG look at Sonic with Sonic and the Secret Rings, where he helped a ring genie to collect the seven world rings and defeat the evil Erazor Djinn.

Sonic has also been made into many television series. Four out of five of these series have been released in the USA. The series names were Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, which featured lessons for kids, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Underground, and Sonic X. In the first two series, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, and Sonic the Hedgehog, Jaleel White was the voice of Sonic. He has also appeared many times in the printed media front, as well as the visual media front. Sonic's first appearance was in a promo comic in Disney Adventures magazine.

This comic showed the origins of the entire Sonic saga, and also shockingly revealed that Sonic originally was brown. Many British publications including Stay Sonic, and Sonic the Comic were based on this idea that Sonic was originally brown. Archie Comics produced the American comics of Sonic, Sonic the Hedgehog, which started in 1993, and Sonic X, which started more recently in 2005, both of which are still running today, and both are also based on their TV show counterparts.

The Sonic the Hedgehog series is the second longest running licensed comic series in the history of American comic books to Marvel's Conan. Two comic books in France have also been published; they were called Sonic Adventures, and Sonic manga has also been released in Japan. Apart from traditional print, and visual media, Sonic has also been featured in loads of flash games, ranging from re-makes of the 2D plat former style, to RPGs, and everything in around and in between.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Anime - Why Endeavour in Such a Collection?

Anime stands to be the perfect way in order to showcase the inner personality of an individual in order to develop a perfect match with their chosen or selected partners. If you are possessed with a desire to attend a cosplay party then you are supposed to visit such social gatherings in your perfect costume so that it becomes easy for you to cope up with the atmosphere of such gatherings. The demand for anime cosplay costumes has gained its significance rapidly as the trend to attend such parties has earned its completion. Such costumes are emphasized with the trend as is followed for to manufacture fashion garments. Such garments enable you to enhance your personality and as a result of which the overall image of the character earns its furnishing. If you are thinking to attend cosplay parties then you are supposed to visit such places with proper outfit in order to match yourself with such atmosphere. Online sites are of great implication because you are able to derive detailed information associated with the concept of such costumes which are suitable for cosplay parties.

The concepts of anime are accompanied with full action and props and as a result of using such strategical measures you are able to internalize the character you are selecting. There are innumerable varieties available in the market and one of the biggest Japanese anime is also named that is influenced by comical features. The characters are associated with unique infrastructure that includes big eyes, stretched limbs and major hair and the facial expressions are worthy to be mentioned as it generates laughter. Such formats are invented in many video games, commercial, digital designs, television, etc.

The evolution of such comic phenomenon actually originated in Japan which has been influenced by the comic character named manga and soon after its introduction the character became popular and as a result the concept gained its implication and value eventually. If you want to make your own anime collection then you are supposed to visit sites that offer for such intrigues and facilities so that you can derive ultimate fun and excitement.