A guide to visiting Free!’s Iwatobi (Iwami, Tottori)

July 19, 2014 |  by  |  1 Comment

Chillin' in Uradome!

When I planned my trip to Japan last April, I had one non-negotiable location.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t a fujoshi spree in Ikebukuro. Nor was it even paying homage to Akihabara.

There was one thing that I really wanted to do in Japan — I wanted to see Haru, Nagisa, Makoto, Rei, and Rin’s hometown, Iwatobi. I honestly love beaches and I loved the scenery I saw in Free. I thought, if I’d visit the place, I’d get to appreciate the boys’ life a little more.

If I visited Iwatobi, my fujoshi life for this year would be complete. Maybe.

Hence, I turned to Japanese websites and found out that Iwatobi was based on Iwami, a coastal town in Tottori! I couldn’t resist the temptation and researched all things Iwami.

With season 2 happening, I hope this post inspires you to visit this awesome town! 

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Fujojocast #6 – Shipping wars, doujin scanlations, and the IP blocking mess we’re in

July 3, 2014 |  by  |  2 Comments

free

Perhaps this is the first “breaking news” podcast I’ve done. Not that this is completely breaking news but it, nonetheless, an interesting development in things that we do in fandom.

Last week, there was a bit of a stir when it was made public that a particular scanlation group has said that they’re blocking Japanese IPs so that publishers and doujin creators can’t access their works. Clearly, this doesn’t sound right on all angles but in this podcast, Nellie, who works for Crunchyroll and is an editor genre fiction, discusses with me the complex story that arises from this decision of said scanlation group as well as discussing the complexities we face as fans of Japanese animation and manga.

Some of the things we definitely discussed is the protective attitudes and measures of artists and with regards to the fan works which goes on both ends (Western fandom side and Japanese fandom side). You might have seen pages or websites with the mark OFP which is Online Fanarts Protection group (now defunct). If you want to consider the economic states of doujin artists, you can read this research on how much doujin artists make in Comic Market. Or maybe you can also see the problems of Manga artists too. And for those who are thinking of permissions, here are some things that can help in case you are lost in translation. Asking permission does make an artist happy. Of course, stealing and sharing it a whole lot early can make artists mad, as is the case of Yamamori Mika’s page leak for Hirunaka Ryusei.

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OP/ED – Rage On! by Old Codex (Free! Season 1 TV Opening)

In the end, we are in a conundrum, finding no real solutions (although honestly we hope that attitudes DO change). Personally, I’d love to hear every one’s comments on this. But let’s not make this a bashing of the group or that scanlations is wrong but rather really open up discussions on fan attitudes and what needs to be changed so that we can meet fans and content producers in Japan halfway. 

If you wanna tune in our future discussions, we’re in also ITUNES now, so feel free to subscribe!

Fujoshi Shopping Guide in Japan

June 30, 2014 |  by  |  1 Comment

So you’ve been seeing all these blogs or twitters highlighting these so and so items for these so and so anime at these so and so events. Chances are, you’d want these items. Chances are, you’ll be going to Japan soon. Chances are, these are limited edition or event-only items or even gashapon. Chances are, these items are sold out. Chances are, you’ll be fighting for these items.

In order to help you make your trip less disappointing, here are some tips I’ve learned about buying goods for all your fujoshi needs.

Akihabara

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Fujojocast #5 – Yowamushi Pedal

June 8, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments

Yowamushi Pedal

You gaiz knew this was gonna happen. 

You probably sniffed it when I was talking about too much pedal over at twitter and tumblr. I was so bad at this that I decided to dedicate all my pedal feels in a separate twitter (@pedalbaka

But then again, here I am with my friends Nozmo (@bakemono91), Mickey (@yowamickeypedal), Yeehun (@_yeehun_), and Megumi (@onkeikun) spazzing about this series that has destroyed our lives at the start of the year and continues to do so. We talked about Yowamushi Pedal, Watanabe Wataru’s shounen manga that runs in Shounen Champion. The animation can be seen in parts of the world via Crunchyroll and Niconico Douga

Yowamushi Pedal’s manga is currently at its 34th volume. Because of its length, it remains unlicensed as a manga (wink wink, please look into this crunchyroll). But the fandom, while small, have been pooling their efforts in helping other fans get more pedal in their lives. Megumi has been a resource of information on Watanabe’s autograph signings, interviews, and yowapeda events. She’s also been responsible in translating the novel, specially released manga called Special Bike, and the yowapeda stage play. The fandom also participates in various draw events such as the #ywpd_69min in twitter! 

For fans of the manga, Ebookjapan, Line Manga, Ibooks and Google Books Japan release Yowamushi Pedal digitally on the same day the manga is released in Japan!

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Fujoshi Visits: Namja Town (Yowapeda Event)

June 6, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments

Racing Onoda to Akiba

A few weeks prior to my trip, one BL author, Mio Junta, had been tweeting a couple of Yowamushi Pedal goods in her twitter. Not only did she tweet about her dining experience but she also tweeted tons of awesome and really cute images of cakes, pastries, and merchandise with characters of Yowamushi Pedal in it! Apparently, it’s part of an ongoing event held at Namja Town. Given that my trip was a few weeks away and that my life had been completely consumed by Yowamushi Pedal, I didn’t care if I haven’t slept for 48 hours by the time I arrive in Tokyo. My roommate wanted to bring me to the Tiger and Bunny cafe but since we lost the lottery for the reservation, I told him I wanted to visit Namja Town and I wanted to eat the face of my favorite character. 

As such, I’m happy to share with you my experience in visiting Namja Town. Not to experience the fun arcade games developed by Namco but what it’s like, as a fujoshi, to experience a special event tied to a fandom. It was honestly an awesome and eye-opening experience. 

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