Monday, June 2, 2014
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 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
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
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
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 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.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Pokemon is a coined term for Pocket Monster. Video gaming giant Nintendo created it and it became a very successful franchise indeed, ranking next to their own Mario series. Pokemon was more of a media franchise than a game series though. But ever since Game Boy released Pokemon, role-playing video games were born. Pokemon games were indeed one of the firsts to introduce role playing games on consoles, until they penetrated the internet as they do today.
The game concept of Pokemon is very simple. A Pokemon is a monster on the wild and there are hundreds of them ready to be caught. Players can take care of them and make them their pets. These little monsters have special abilities. With proper caring and training, they would grow to be tamer, stronger, and ready for battle. In Pokemon games, players pit their pets against other trainers. The goal is to determine which trainer is the best. Teamwork is very essential to win tournaments.
If you love role playing games, then Pokemon games are perfect for you, especially the original one developed for Game Boy by Game Freak. Such games will take you to a surreal world where Pokemon can be caught on grasslands, mountains, caves, and similar areas. Go around the map and find rare monsters. It is also possible to catch young ones and make them evolve into a monster with immense skills and abilities.
But as stated earlier, Pokemon are not intended to be just a video game. There were plans for a TV series and eventually, several movie releases as well. Because of this, Pokemon merchandise is everywhere. And for that reason alone, everybody needs to be familiar with these cute little monsters. You can't understand Pokemon unless you play the game. Watching TV or the movies alone simply isn't enough to complete the whole gaming experience.
Pokemon has successfully penetrated the anime world. It is one of the premier manga games ever released in both the American and Japanese broadcast networks. Along with that, there are other print media created as well like books, magazines, and comics. Pokemon toys became very popular too.
Pokemon games are very successful and the proof of that are the 200 million copies sold all over the world. From its humble beginnings as a regular Nintendo Game Boy game, newer versions were created to support Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and the Nintendo Wii.
Aside from all of these reasons, everybody who got interested with Pokemon would be even more intrigued to know that there are at least 251 monsters to catch through a Pokeball and collect via the Pokedex. So if you want to know a Pickachu from a Rattata, be sure to get your hands full with Pokemon games. It is a game that you would definitely enjoy. In fact, you would find it hard stop yourself from completing all of your trainer adventures. The internet is so full of Pokemon games so in case you're interested in having a feel of the concept of this game, go online and start playing.
Monday, April 14, 2014
One of the biggest comic books in Japanese history are manga comics. You have read about them and seen them in cartoon animation adaptation. Now you can have them on your PC desktop wallpaper. Manga wallpapers are currently the leading animated wallpapers that everybody is downloading. In Japan you will find that they are the in thing and people of different ages and sizes are reading them. It has received an international cult following that has everybody looking for more manga products. These wallpapers make an excellent addition to your already existing collection of anime wallpapers.
Manga wallpapers are also three or two dimensional and look good on your desktop no matter the character. They can be dated back to the Second World War; however nobody is sure if they had been created before that. The comic brings in a variety of action-adventure, romance, sports and games, historical drama, comedy, science fiction and fantasy, mystery, horror, sexuality, and business and commerce, among others.
Many people like the Manga wallpapers because they get to put up their favorite manga comic book character such as Naruto, Kakashi, Sasuke and Sakura. You get to also put up the babes of manga comics as well as the different character of Manga comics.
You can always download these wallpapers from various websites online. They are often free and are usually found if you Google the word Manga. You will like the colors they portray and the vibrant look that comes with manga comics. These wallpapers also showcase Japanese art and many characters from the thousand of manga comics that are a big hit in the US nowadays. Try these wallpapers and enjoy a look through some of the history of Japan and how it has changed.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Naruto is one hell of an anime! By anime I mean something like a cartoon, just that a Japanese animation is known as anime. Naruto is also the name of the lead character in the anime series. He is a young boy who is learning the ropes to be a successful ninja. He also wants to be the chief of his village one day. This Naruto anime teaches us many things. I guess it is a show about adventure, friendship and also perseverance. Trapped within Naruto is a powerful force in the form of a spirit and that what makes Naruto so powerful. But he tries hard not to allow that nine tailed fox spirit inside him from taking control and causing death and damage to others. Then there are also his ninja team mates sakura and sasuke. Sasuke has unfortunately fallen into the dark side but Naruto tries his best to rescue him back to the original path.
With so much plot twists and adventure, how can one forget that there are various Naruto toys available for Naruto fans? From plush toys to action figures, there are really plenty of these toys to go around. One can find the various characters of the Naruto drama series in cute little action figures. As the anime series first came about from a comic, fans who have only got to known Naruto through the anime might want to buy the comics series and have a look. In Japan, the comics are known as manga and Naruto manga is very popular too. If you do not want to buy the comics, you can just check out the online Naruto toys and I am sure you will find something that you like. Perhaps you can even buy some of them as gifts for xmas! I would greatly recommend the plush toys for the children and as for adults, some Naruto replica weapons such as the swords would be nice. Yes they sell such things online too you just have to check them out!
My favourite character in Naruto is none other than Gaara. He is somebody like Naruto because he has a strong being trapped inside him and many people refuse to be friends with him because he is immensely powerful. Gaara of the Sand uses sand attacks and the main reason I like him is because his attacks are very cool. For example he can put up a shield of sand to defend other attacks!
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Manga is very popular in Japan and is seen with great respect due to its reach for people. With emergence of new technologies and with emergence of internet, Manga has also started entertaining reading requirement of people sitting online. Now you can access Manga through various websites which are providing content online. Now you can access Manga online from anywhere and everywhere. This also gives an opportunity to Japanese people who are living in another world. However the website providing Manga content charges you for their services. The charges depend upon website. Some may charge you more and some less.
Immense popularity of these site was also attracted many sites which can charge you more and provide less service to their customers. These link easily lure customers by providing lucrative offers. Some websites download content with the help of website generator scripts and these web charges users for accessing content on their URL. They can charge you $30 -$60 to access content from their website and most of the time user even after paying the amount find themselves on a website in which links are not working or content is old. Broken links are the most common form of problem which is found in these scamming websites. You can also face slow speed of transfer, No support from website owners in case you need some help. These web also do not provide any refund facility to its users.
It doesn't mean that all of the Manga sites are scammers, there are lots of websites which provide you quality content and are worth paying. It's just you need to keep some points in your mind while selecting a website. Some points are mentioned below which you should always look in website:
1. Downloading Speed.
2. Updated content.
3. Customer support.
4. Refund Policy.
Monday, March 24, 2014
We all grew up with aspirations to want to be some kind of artist. Whether we were drawing cars or even painting scenery as children we always wanted to keep drawing and playing with our colors. We also loved and still do love to look at real art as well as beautiful art that touches us when we look at it. One such art that you can love to look at would be anime art.
Though in comparison Japanese anime art is not really the kind you find in art museums we love to look at them and probably put them up on our computers wallpaper and screen savers. If you are looking for this art you will probably find them through the numerous online websites that have anime cartoons.
Many of these anime art is of three dimensional also known as 3D and two dimensional also known as 2D and many will be still pictures. They will probably be of famous anime cartoon characters that you already know and some of who you don't. The art might be confusing at first because you know that they are Japanese and strangely they look more of western than Asian. With their blue eyes and yellow or orange hair the cartoons and pictures resemble more of the western look than those of the Japanese.
What always gets me however is the clothes they wear and the surroundings visualized in the cartoons. They are usually of the early days of Japanese history with Ninja's and Samurai's being key figures in the cartoon series and the manga comics as well. You will also find the manga comics and the anime cartoons play important key roles in the art of anime.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Since the dawning of the twenty first century, many of us now have personal computers at home as well as at work and we usually prefer to decorate them with our own style, making sure that people know that it is your computer. One way of personalizing your computer is by adding things that are dear to you on it, such as your own sticker and you will find that girls like to put teddy bears on top of it and much more. Another way is by putting anime desktops on your computer.
Anime desktops have a variety of designs that you will enjoy looking at. They usually range from the anime movies, cartoons and manga comics. Most of the art design is classic and when you set it up as your desktop wallpaper they make your computer look one of a kind.
Usually the anime desktops are from movies you have seen or from cartoon series that you adore, such as Bleach, Naruto and maybe Pokemon. The colors of these desktops range from black and white to the colorful ones that look good sitting on your desktop as a wallpaper. You can choose to put your favorite character from the movies or cartoon series as well as your favorite nemesis character. The art design on the desktops will have you putting the 3D version of the desktops as your screensaver.
Many of these pictures and wallpapers can be found online, provided by the websites that give you the internet series or the free download movies and series. Or you can look through the various websites that are created with these picture arts. You will find that there are several website that have devoted themselves, to having desktop anime art that is easy to download.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
It's always good to have your comic book appraised by a professional if you are looking to sell it. Comic Value would help you understand what you have in your comic book. There are specifications on how your comic book must look. The glossy cover and the brightly filled pages must still look as good as new or like they have never been read before, even if they have. In fact most people that keep the rare editions or collector's comics usually have two of the same comic. That means one was for reading and the other for safe keeping.
Most of the time you will find that the one for reading is different from the one that is all wrapped up in a clean sealed environment and kept in mint condition. This kind of time and conditioning that is given to the comic books can only be done by someone who loves comics and has the dedication to keep his or her comic book in the right conditions, atmosphere and surely knows the comic value. Such people get the comic book appraised and then put in time and money to make sure that the comic is in mint condition. Some of them even showcase their comic in conventions on these books and superheroes. The comic value goes even higher when more people get to view it and cannot get a hold of another copy anywhere.
It is important to make sure that you keep your comic away from any wet atmosphere or to keep it sealed tight in its case or plastic sleeve if you intend to keep it for a while. Also note that you must keep checking online for more news on how much your book is valued.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
The Sega team probably never thought that the sonic games which they were releasing would capture such a large fan base. Beating almost all other popular gaming consoles of the time, the blue blur character called Sonic the Hedgehog, soon became the neck to neck rival of Nintendo's Super Mario.
The growing crowd following the main character in sonic games, are not restricted to just the online versions or the original gaming consoles. It has moved much further than the most of us can imagine. Because of its simplicity and ability to maintain high levels of adrenaline among it's fans, Sonic the Hedgehog has found a niche of his own as a video game superhero. Various other formats of entertainment media where has also started to appear include printed comics and movies.
Video Game: The birth of the character featured video games divided in many stages and lives. The stages depict higher levels of difficulty as the player moves on to higher levels. The main character, Sonic the Hedgehog is able to secure extra lives and powers as the game proceeds. There are also special stages that occur at random, and must be completed by the player in order to continue.
TV series: Sonic games were aired on television to provide a full time family entertainment at relatively no cost. It was more of a light hearted and humor driven plot aimed at entertaining young children. With time, the television series incorporated more complex plots to grab more age groups and increase the ratings. To enable the viewers not to miss out a single episode, the complete series with all the versions are available in DVD.
Movie: As unbelievable as it may sound, there is a two-episode movie on Sonic the Hedgehog. Though there are some offensive scenes, the movie succeeds in grabbing much attention and critic reviews. The movie was originally released in Japan but was later translated in many other languages.
Comics: Print media has also become part of the magic of Sonic the Hedgehog. There are comic books printed with the Hedgehog as the main character and stories dedicated to its actions and personal life. There is a separate comic series named Manga, which is published in Japan on Sonic the Hedgehog. In fact, there are full-fledged novels on the complete story line of the character. The most complete comic series on the Blue Blur is called "Sonic Universe".
Registering its presence all over the world and in so many forms, has definitely turned out to be a success story for Sonic the Hedgehog and for the Creators of sonic games as well.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Its popularity can be well assessed by the fact that the Sonic series has been able to spread its wings through print media, books, and motion pictures alike. The Sega mascot has become a name to reckon with through its journey from 1991 until now.
The designers Oshima, Hirokazu and Yuji put their creative minds together to invent the fifteen year old anthropomorphic hedgehog who was befitting to be a brand mascot because of his unmistakable blue mane. A team of 15 more people further contributed to the image by dressing him up in red shoes, which was a borrowed infusion of styles between Michael Jackson and Santa Claus.
To help the masses relate to him, sonic the hedgehog was granted an amiable personality. However, the amicability was not to be mistaken for passiveness, as Sonic called upon all his supernatural abilities when he needed to defend those he loved. He could run faster than light and he could roll up into a ball in his defense. This could also be due to his low tolerance with anything or anyone who encroached upon his freedom.
Other characters were also worked on, so that Sonic had a special niche for himself. His main foe was drawn up in the form of Mr. Robotnik aka Dr. Eggman. His ladylove was Amy Rose while his friends were Knuckles and Miles Prower. The distinguishing element was his look alike Metal Sonic.
With all of this, the protagonist for the game series was ready. What Sonic now needed was packaging. The game called for a soundtrack that would keep the tempo alive. Masato Nakamura who was associated with the band dreams come true marvellously did this. Post this; Sega felt the need to market Sonic the Hedgehog, so that the audiences knew that the next big thing after Mario, of Nintendo fame, had arrived. This was done by organizing a Wonder three tour, which prepared the masses for the big launch.
The final launch happened in 1991 with Sonic the Hedgehog. The subsequent glides into a host of other series were very well received. The next series for Sonic the hedgehog was launched the year after and was followed suit by Sonic 3D blast, Sonic R, Sonic Pocket Adventure, Sonic Shuffle, Sonic Rush and the very latest Sonic and the Black Knight. For the year 2010, Project Needlehouse, is planned from Segas kitty.
While the video game industry was occupied with the consecutive successes of Sonic the Hedgehog series, Sega involved them in engaging Sonic in cameo appearances, popular soaps and snippets. The buck did not stop here because the print media also took to Sonic the Hedgehog, fondly. Amongst others, the notable contributions by Sonic are those to Disney Adventures, Virgin Books, Archie Comics, and Manga.
With so much said about Sonic the hedgehog it is no wonder that even though he was designed only as an animation character, it is indeed supernatural to catapult to success consistently over the years.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Modifications to standard build cars have been going on since practically the first one rolled off the production line. These days, car tuning and 'modding' in order to improve the performance and handling or to customise the looks of a vehicle have become big business.
Most cars are designed to leave the factory with a suitable initial set up for the average driver's expectations and average road conditions; however many people don't like to be viewed as average, and as cars are often seen as an extension of the owner's personality, 'modding' and tuning have become ways to personalize the vehicle to suit the owner's own sense of style.
In Japan especially, the modification of cars has seen not only a rise in its own owners' sub-culture, but it has also hit the Manga comics and anime in the form of Initial D, and gone on to worldwide box office hit films with The Fast and the Furious. The modification market has become so important to certain manufacturers - most notably Nissan, Subaru and Mitsubishi - that some have even started to release certain models to big name tuning, performance and aftermarket specialists, prior to the actual launch, in order that there are non factory custom modifications ready as soon as the car officially hits the market.
Today there is an extensive array of performance parts available for many different makes and models or car; however body kits and 'body tuning' parts currently make up by far the largest market share of aftermarket parts throughout the world.
Following on from the lead in Japan, and the increased availability of Japanese import cars and parts, the UK scene has exploded in recent years with an extensive list of parts now available, such as neon under-body lights, tinted windows, candy, iridescent, colour shifting and pearlescent paints, decals, custom exhaust tips, spoilers, roof scoops, not to mention lowered suspension, and custom rims!
In the current world of car tuning, style is king. Every tuner wants to post their car photos [http://www.motoraddicts.com] on the latest blog, owners club or online forum. Even those without their own car can create a virtual tuned car with the aid of computer games like 'Need For Speed' before then posting pictures of it online, for others to see their idea of the ideal modified car.
The world of the car as a means of personalized transport has come a long way since Henry Ford is reputed to have made the statement "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black." These days a car owner can change the performance, shape, colour or any other styling detail they like.
It seems as though the car truly has become an extension of the owner's personality like never before.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
If you're looking for fun and cute things to collect then look no further than Japan for inspiration. Collecting things is a big part of popular Japanese culture and competition is fierce to have the newest, cutest or coolest item to add to your collection. There are lots of ideas for things you could collect but be warned - once you start this hobby can become addictive!
Japanese erasers are an inexpensive and easy thing to collect. If you think erasers are boring then you're probably thinking of the type you used in school. Japanese collectible erasers are cute, fun and made in every shape possibly imaginable, with minute attention to detail. Miniature food items are particularly popular and look good enough to eat - who could resist a miniature slice of cake, hamburger or piece of sushi in eraser form? Japanese erasers are widely available from online stores and are very inexpensive so it's easy to start your collection and keep it going.
Action figures are also a popular thing to collect in Japan and you can choose any type you're interested in from cute girls to action fighting anime heroes. Figures range from small inexpensive versions that are purchased from vending 'gashapon' machines to large highly detailed and expensive models. Try stores specializing in Japanese merchandise or eBay to start your collection.
If you're into comic books then manga is the obvious thing to collect. These Japanese comic books are read by everyone in Japan from school boys and girls to business men and housewives. As you can imagine, they come in a wide range of subjects with each series containing several sets of manga. The most popular stories have been translated into English and are readily available from bookstores and online stores in the USA and Europe but if you really want to be hardcore, you can also order the original Japanese versions.
Friday, January 31, 2014
Why do you want to learn Japanese?
Is it because you're about to travel to Japan? Is it because of any business reasons? Or you're just a fan of Japanese films or manga comics? Whatever the reasons are, your goal should be to learn to read, speak, and understand modern Japanese.
One method that you can use to learn Japanese is through "picture learning" software. In this method you visualize certain Japanese characters with the pronunciation together with its meaning. Some computer software use this approach to build vocabulary in the context of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Japanese. This system makes the whole process more fun and can have the student mastering hundreds of words in a matter of days. Some software utilize a "game" type approach to reduce boredom, stimulate interest and improve speed of results.
Aside from computer software, you can also use flashcards. They are also considered to be a great way of learning Japanese. If you can't find flashcards at any bookshops or online, you can make them on your own just by cutting some cardboard and writing an English word on one side, then a Japanese translation on the other side. Easy, isn't it?
Japanese is one of the world's major languages, right up there with Mandarin, English, Spanish and French. In fact, businessmen with exporting and importing businesses employ people that know how to speak Japanese to gain more business partners.
What's the best way to learn Japanese?
Learning Japanese in Japan is the best and quickest way to learn the language as you would learn how to speak Japanese just as a native speaks it. Understanding the culture behind the language is a very important part of learning to speak and write Japanese. It is a very difficult language to learn how to write, but if you learn it in Japan you will give yourself a much better chance of learning it properly than if you went to some day or night class in your home city.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
If you look back at American and Western culture, comic books have been around for a long time, but only started to become popular (even mainstream) around the 1950's. The same is true of Eastern Culture including Japan and China. In Japan comics and cartoons are loosely termed Manga, which literally translates as "whimsical pictures".
Manga is often mistaken for Anime, which is similar but different. Anime is short for Animation and is a sort of subset of Manga which relates more to film. Though certainly the two forms have influenced and fed off of each other.
Just as comic strips have many applications in Western culture, Manga has a variety of uses in Eastern culture and regularly touches on sports, romance, history, science fiction, the business world, horror and politics and can be found in just about any aspect of Japanese life.
In recent years Manga has become huge in America and online. In 2006, Wikipedia reports that the U.S. market for manga was taking in around $200 million. Whereas during the 70's Japan only had a small influence on American cartoons (Speed Racer, etc), now many of the mainstream cartoons show a direct influence (Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, etc).
As Manga expands and becomes more and more popular and cross-cultural hundreds of new styles and subsets come into existence. You may have heard of Chibis, which are stylized Manga characters, or Q-version, a Chinese style where real life images are rendered in cartoon charictures. As the popularity of these styles increases the influences become more diluted and the boundaries between Eastern and Western animation and art styles will fade further and further.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Naruto is one of the most popular manga and anime series around. It features a young boy, Naruto, whose body actually contains the spirit of a fearsome nine-tailed fox that had been terrorizing his village some twelve years earlier. At that time, this nasty fox was captured and its spirit was sealed in the body of a baby boy (our Naruto).
Jump ahead twelve years and you've got the star of the story, now a mischievous and hyperactive young ninja with great aspirations. Both Naruto anime (animated television shows) and manga (the comic book series) go through episodes of high-flung adventures battling monsters, other ninjas and, last but not least, doing ninja exams.
Both the manga and anime series have spawned numerous fan sites and forums, with all manner of products available online (screen savers, online games, etc.) and for sale (apparel, DVDs, and more). But what lies behind this popular series is an interesting fact: the story of Naruto is based solidly on traditional Japanese culture.
Author and artist Masashi Kishimoto was born in Japan in 1974 and it is an area very rich in history. Kishimoto won Shonen Jump magazine's Hop Step Award for new manga artists with his manga Karakuri, but he didn't stop there. His first Naruto version was a story of fox spirits and the story grew. It fast became a most popular ninja manga, in fact one of the most popular in Japan.
What may have escaped some western Naruto fans is the interesting story of the fox. Fox myths abound in Japanese culture, dating back as far as the fifth century B.C. Stories portray foxes as intelligent beings possessing magical abilities which increase as they age and gain wisdom. One of their tricks is their ability to shape-shift and sometimes they take on the form of a human. Some tales have them tricking others by changing into human form while others describe them as friends or guardians or even wives.
A kitsune (the Japanese word for fox) can have up to nine tails, as did the evil fox in Naruto's past. And from the older stories, it seems that the more tails he has, the more powerful he is. Most folk tales state that a fox will grow more tails only after it's lived for one thousand years.
Interestingly, Japanese folklore originally portrayed the fox as having only good attributes, and their evil and mischievous traits came in with Chinese and Korean folk tales. Some consider the kitsune as a deity and they will make offerings to them. There are quite a few tales about kitsune, both good and evil, with foxes shape-shifting into human form (a skill they only acquire after the age of 100) and then covertly living as part of a family until finally being discovered (they often seem to have trouble hiding their tails when assuming human form!).
A common belief is that foxes will impersonate beautiful women. Early in Japan's history, it was thought that any woman alone, particularly at night, could actually be a fox. Other stories tell of fox spirits inhabiting humans: there is even a word, Kitsunetsuki, which means "the state of being possessed by a fox." It's been said that humans possessed by fox spirits tend to go mad and run naked through the streets, among other things.
However, our Naruto isn't evil or nasty. It's easy to see, though, how he gets away with so much mischief. A popular and adventurous story, it will be that way for generations to come.
Friday, January 3, 2014
Sonic the hedgehog was called for, to combat the popularity of Mario by Nintendo. The launch was successful as it was recognized in Metreons, Walk of Game. Segas official mascot Alex Kidd was diminishing in popularity and thus the trio of Naoto Oshima, Hirokazu Yasuhara and Yuji Naka, got together to create the legendary Sonic the Hedgehog.
A team of fifteen masterminds contributed much to the creation of the character and Sonic the hedgehog was thus a culmination of styles inspired from American stalwarts. The color had to be blue for its association with the brand, and subsequently the metamorphosis of a plain-Jane hedgehog to a swanky and tough Sonic, transcended. Sonic the hedgehog is a fifteen year old humanoid whose special abilities are primarily that it can run faster than the speed of sound and that it can coil up into a ball to dupe its enemies. While this superstar was being made it went by the pseudonym of Mr. Needlehouse.
The character has its attributes borrowed from other superstars. Its shoes are very similar to Michael Jacksons boots and the red color on them is homage to Santa Claus. However, in animation it is not enough to conceive a character in its digital form. Sonic the hedgehog got its heartwarming personality from Bill Clinton who was noticed for his alertness to situations and his ability to respond to all contingencies. The ultramarine spikes and a grumpy expression set it apart as an animation character that the world had been waiting for. Unfortunately, Sonic could not swim because its creators thought that hedgehogs could not; however, that never in the way of its miraculous feats.
Once its inception was done, Sega invested a lot in promoting its baby. The wonder three tours saw Sega sponsoring it and they maximized the opportunity by distributing sonic pamphlets and also offered free broadcasts of the game. In due course of time, sonic was reworked on, to meet its popularity. In the Mega 2 drive, it was elongated and the overall proportions also changed. In 1998 again, Sonic developed longer quills, a more oblong body and a tinge of green in the iris along with buckles for the shoes. Tinted changes continued till most of the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
The Blue Blur also made its way into the print media and several comic books like Stay Sonic, Sonic the Comic, Manga etc. Sonic has also made notable appearances in short story compilations, and comic series. The otherwise even tempered blue hedgehog that rises up to defend the good from the bad surely took the comic world by storm by virtue of its supernatural speed and its incredible spin. The result is that, to this day it is a character that Sega would swear by.