May 11, 2006

In Japan, they have fandom wank too

Fresh off the Viz PR wire, a new original title about the US soccer team's quest for the World Cup.
The new graphic novel, titled NEXT STOP: GERMANY / THE MANGA, is being written, illustrated, and published by VIZ Media and will be given away to fans as a special premium at the final three Men’s National Team games before the team departs for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The games, dubbed the Send-Off Series, will be held on May 23, 2006, in Nashville, TN, May 26 in Cleveland, OH, and May 28 in Hartford, CT. At this time, the only way fans may obtain this special manga is to attend the games.

The manga depicts a legendary game in September 2005 in which the USA earned the right to compete in the 2006 FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) World Cup in Germany with a 2-0 victory against Mexico in front of a sold-out crowd of 24,685 fans at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, OH. After a scoreless first half the USA scored two goals within a six-minute span to qualify for its fifth consecutive World Cup. This was the first time since 1934 that the U.S. was the first team from the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) region to qualify for the World Cup.
I like that they're not making much noise about what it's called; they're just saying that it's there.

OR IS IT?

Why no information on the creators? Is the book just going to magically materialize at the printing press? Is there some secret ghostwriter-artist who only appears to the rest of Viz's staff as a fuzzy letter L on a TV screen?

It will be "written, illustrated, and published by VIZ Media," but last I checked, VIZ Media was not, er, an actual person.

In fact, whatever happened to the 1 WORLD MANGA project that they announced last year?

Who are these invisible creators producing equally invisible original projects for Viz?

Elsewhere, a bitter manga-ka is ripping into the current "otaku" generation. Thus spake Mimei Sakamoto:
"This fetish you call 'moe' is a pedophiliac fetish and is nothing more than perversion. It's not really something you should be gushing over ... In other countries, they'd call what you're fantasizing over 'child pornography' and you'd all be arrested. I'm ashamed that these 'otaku' who are perpetual criminals have entered the mainstream and started an otaku boom."
Ouch!

Sakamoto goes on to elaborate:
"All the world is going around talking about maid cafes and stuff and making these so-called otaku look good. But people must realize that these guys are simply men incapable of recognizing reality and are incapable of being in a normal loving relationship. I can't stop crying over the fact that these people have been labeled as otaku..."
And what, then, is the "proper" way of the otaku?
"Real otaku should go back and shut yourselves off from the world again. The true value of being a real otaku lay in the belief that nobody else understands you."
Quick! Someone call a WAAAAHmbulance before she hurts herself bitching!

But, this was off the WaiWai pages, so take it with a massive grain of salt.

4 Comments:

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6:54 AM  
Anonymous said...

I mostly agree with him about moe, but he's clearly advocating not otakudom, but being a hikkikomori.

2:59 PM  
Dirk I. Tiede said...

I suppose it's way too late to comment, but perhaps I can answer a few questions about Viz's original soccer manga, since I was involved with it as the artist on the project.

Viz put the project together as a promotional piece with the USSF and hired out. They tapped Shaenon K. Garrity (www.narbonic.com - also an editor at Viz) to write the story and me to draw it.

While I'm a little disappointed we didn't get credit in the press release, I'm not surprised. It's meant to be a promotional piece for VIZ and the USSF, and not as a step into OEL manga, so I treated it as a paying advertising project -- but a fun one, to be sure. I certainly didn't expect anything else from the project, and I've come away satisfied.

We put the whole thing together pretty quickly, but I've very happy with how it turned out. It's too bad that you'll only be able to find it at the playoff games. I hope that those who do read it will enjoy it. We tried our best.

Anyway, I hope this clears things up.

best

dirk

9:11 AM  
Dave "The Knave" White said...

Actually, I can vouch that the first issue of 1 World Manga did ship - I've got it right here, story by Anette Roman, Art by Leandro Ng. Inside cover says first printing Sep. 2005, 36 p. for $3.99.

I wouldn't count on seeing a second issue at all, though...

7:12 PM  

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