Friday, January 29, 2010

Umezz dance

The honored guest of the first day of Taipei International Book Exhibition was Kazuo Umezz (official transliteration; most sources spell his family name as "Umezu"). Unlike most shy mangaka, 73-years-old Umezz-sensei is well known for his love of stage performance and attention. In addition to have danced at the opening ceremony, Umezz-sensei added two additional dances before his autograph session started!

The first dance had strong Middle Eastern feel, and Umezz-sensei had long white robes to fit in the theme. At the moment I felt deja vu of his outfit but couldn't name it, only to have realized the likeliness of this colonel.

Finishing the first song was far from the end. Umezz-sensei took off the long white robes, revealing his trademark red and white striped shirt.

Umezz-sensei said hello to his fans with yet another trademark of his, the gwashi gesture.

Umezz-sensei dancing with the music of "Gwashi!! Makoto-chan," related to the 1980 animated movie Makoto-chan that was also written and composed by Umezz-sensei himself. Blowing a whistle while waving two fans, the dance reminded me the famous Juliana's Tokyo, although the fans had no feathers on them.

The first reader who got Umezz-sensei's autograph.

The fan (who insisted her anonymity) had Umezz-sensei's autograph back in 1995 (right) and 2001 (left). Now that's what you call loyalty.

Due to personal issues (had an appointment with my doctor), I couldn't attend the joint interview after the autograph session. Those interested can read Tiffany's report. In summary, Umezz-sensei explained the coloring of his (in)famous house, his gwashi gesture (the original version was the middle finger...), and his perspective on horror.

Friday, January 15, 2010

News of TIBE 2010 (updated on 1/15)

More than three weeks have passed since the first wave of publicized guests of honor of Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE), and we've got some new updates:
  • Kazuo Umezu, master of horror manga, will visit TIBE 2010 and hold an autograph session.
  • d/books taipei has posted "Range Murata 2010 Combo Pack," thus confirming their role in inviting Murata. Coincidentally, Mardock Scramble, a novel by Tow Ubukata and was planned to be animated with Murata's character designs four years ago and meant to be the 15th anniversary of GONZO, later canceled abruptly in December 2006, was miraculously resurrected as a theatrical movie. I wonder if Murata still taking parts in the new movie edition.
    Update: Line art of a "China-dress girl" illustrated by Murata exclusively for TIBE 2010.
  • Mighty Media has licensed Pandora Heart and CANAAN but didn't bother to announce at their own official website. Rather, their related merchandises are on sale now.
  • Top-Insight International will release Antique Bakery in January.
  • Rumors said Kadokawa Taiwan will invite Sekina Aoi, author of Seitokai light novel series (the first volume is Seitokai no Ichizon, which has been animated), but it has not been officially confirmed the schedule of Signing Stage A Program publicized on 1/12 has listed the autograph session of Sekina Aoi will be held at 14:30 on 1/28.
  • Muse has licensed Tayutama -Kiss on my Deity-.
  • Sharp Point Press has released merchandises of domestic shōjo manga. Cheers for them for their dedication on this market, raising artists and teaching fans that our own shōjo titles are in no way inferior than foreign titles.

What excited me more was 《裡‧大破說了算!》 (how do I suppose to translate this... "Because Cyopoko says so! hidden edition") hinted a possible license of a very naughty manga.

Addendum: I heard that there have been brave otaku (including my acquaintances) lining up the queue for Rie Kugimiya's autograph, and there are still 15 days to go before the autograph session. I've interviewed three of them; the summary can be found at ANN.

Updates on 1/15:

  • Top-Insight International will release the Japanese Blu-ray Disc edition of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, becoming the first Taiwanese anime licensee to distribute anime in BD.
  • Proware has listed Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st, Sora no Otoshimono, Bakemonogatari, and Kobato. on their merchandise booklet for TIBE 2010, but their official website has not been updated yet.

Monday, January 11, 2010

2009-12-19 Bahamut ( anniversary pictures uploaded

Click here for the album (digital).

The anniversary gathering of Bahamut ( is a real challenge for photographers: heavy overcast and drizzle outdoor; the gaming area is completely packed; the anime/manga area, while backgrounds and lightings were provided for photographers, the arrangement of those equipments were hastily prepared and I'd rather it had none.

The most valuable experience I learned from this event was comparing digital and film photographs under the same composition and sensitivity (ISO). Surprisingly, the combination of Konica Auto S1.6 and Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400 produced very high saturation and contrast (see below):

Pictures taken by S100FS had to be increased 15% contrast and 30% saturation, respectively, in order to produce similar results.