We're at C81 and elsewhere


To say that tsurupeta.info hasn't been very active on the blogging front this year would be a euphemism. We have, however, been involved in various projects of an otaku nature, some of which will be presented this Saturday on the last day of Comiket 81. Here's a quick round up ahead of the big day.

By the way, I'll be there on Saturday, and maybe tomorrow as well. You can catch me on Twitter.

To appear on C81

  • Circle La Muette, which publishes commentaries on the international otaku scene and the spreading of otaku contents overseas, puts out a doujinshi entitled 『表現規制から見たフランスの事情』 (in Japanese). This basically consists in a chat between Toqmitz and I on the subject of freedom of speech issues in France from an otaku perspective. Loli material is of course the main concern, although we cover some other issues as well. You can find the book on Day 3, booth 東P40a. Toqmitz should also have some previous books available.

  • The Animerca Production Committee, that oversees the doujin anime critique journal Animerca1, puts out a special issue on manga, 『マンガルカ vol.1』, which, in the middle of very prestigious material like an interview of Natsume Futanosuke, publishes a modest discussion between chief editor Han=Anime Hihyou, Toqmitz again and myself on the state of manga consumption and the manga market in France. This is a non-expert take on the subject, but interested readers might find some of the references useful. You can find the book on Day 3, booth 東Q30b, probably with some back numbers we have also participated in (see below). A few copies should also be available on Day 2, booth 東ポ28a, for the Friday crowd.

Previously published books

  • We have a few previous contributions to Animerca. In 『アニメルカ vol.4』, we held a panel discussion with several French bloggers (Axel Terizaki, Enthousiaste, Pazu, Tetho, Tinkastel/nyo) about the origins and state of the French otaku fandom in the 2000s. That was a funny ride. At C80, Animerca also published a special issue about Mahou shoujo Madoka Magica, where I translated two articles by Tetho about the reception of Madoka in France and various aspects of the show he thought went wrong. I also added a quick “translator's note” on what I felt were the most common criticisms of Madoka among Western viewers. It's likely that both books will be available at the Animerca booth this Saturday.

  • Based on those previous Madoka contributions, I helped Han=Anime Hihyou put together a short chapter about the reception of Madoka in the French- and English-speaking fandoms for 『超解読まどかマギカ』, a special volume of Madoka analysis from the editors of quaterly magazine Gendai shikaku bunka kenkyuu. It's available through standard distribution channels, like Amazon.


  • Earlier this month, 2DT kindly invited me to talk (in rather general terms) about the appeal of erololi material on his very classy podcast. You can listen to it here (in English).

  • I occasionally speak on the (not quite so well produced) French aniblogger podcast Skouetch. Last summer, I was on HebdoSkouetch #5 and on the impromptu Skouetch Live recorded on the last day of Japan Expo (both in French).

  1. Followers of the aniblogosphere may have already heard of Animerca, as it has previously published contributions from such prominent figures as wah, Alex Leavitt and kransom (who, by the way, put me in touch with Han=Anime Hihyou in the first place; thanks again!). 

Drilling down Gurren Lagann

Some French friends have organized a last-minute Christmas blogging project (affectionately known as Nyoël Blogging 2011), in which we were supposed to suggest a few anime titles that we'd seen recently and were prepared to blog on, and the others would vote on the one they most wanted to read about. You can find those articles below (in French):

As for me, I was assigned the task of blogging about Tengen toppa Gurren Lagann, which I've happened to watch earlier this year for the first time at an anime club showing back in France. I knew very little about it before beyond the designs of the main characters and the fact that it was a robot show revered by robot show lovers. Based on that information I kind of expected it wouldn't be my cup of tea, but I ended up gnashing my teeth throughout and disliking the experience to a much greater extent than I imagined I would.

So this post will be about Gurren Lagann and what I hated about it. I've already explained that on Twitter, but you'll have it here in longer form for the enjoyment of the Frenchie Christmas crowd, even though there is little Christmas-like about it. Although you could say it does have a bit of Japanese Christmas-likeness, seeing as I'm typing it out alone in my room on Christmas Eve and will mostly be talking about other men's penises. Note that I won't be talking much about thinks I'm either somewhat positive or noncommittal about, like the technical prowess in animation (which I frankly don't care much about to the extent it doesn't serve an aesthetic that I can get behind).

Incidentally, I apologize for interrupting a quasi year-long hiatus with a post about penises that aren't even attached to cute little boys. Speaking of which, I'm rather stoked about that upcoming Akane Shinsha magazine specializing in otoko no ko. But I digress...

How to write your own blog post on the moe decadence


The anime fandom is a cliquey bunch, and the aniblogosphere even more so. You have groups like the grumpy old timers, the enthusiastic, semi-literate dimwits, the Random Curiosity copycats, etc., who tend to stay among themselves and read little of what the others are writing.

Among those, a particularly exclusive group is the bloggers you could call intellectual aestheticians, who unironically judge anime based on its adherence to (their understanding of) the conventional canons of high culture. Basically the people who consider that the only 2010 show worth watching was Yojouhan shinwa taikei—that's quite different from the old timers, mind you: those would rather mention SRT OG or some con screening of Eva 2.22. One of the core tenets of this group is that anime should be about creating art, and that it is becoming less and less successful at it as time goes by. Compared to some unspecified past when Sunrise and Studio Pierrot were putting out Golden Lion-grade magna opera at rapid-fire rate, I suppose? (It would be interesting to research the origins of that particular streak of international anime discourse, by the way; somehow, I doubt that it even existed in the 1980's, and my hunch is that it probably developed out of Eva mythological commentary in the late 90's. But I'm getting side-tracked.)

Now, the purpose of blogging is often less actual conversation than social status, and some anime blog posts can be difficult to understand until you read them in this light.

Anison classification from unsupervised lexical clustering

Ohisashiburi desu, etc. There are probably many more important things to talk about first, but I've been having fun playing with some tools this week-end, so here goes.

If you've ever paid attention to anime song lyrics, you've probably noticed that the same words tend to come up over and over again. And more precisely, that the same words tend to be used in songs with the same mood or belonging to the same genre. So I figured we should be able to establish a classification of anime song by simply looking at there lyrics, that might teach us something about them or even about the shows they are used in.

And the results are indeed relatively interesting.

Marisa's Adventure in Wonderland: now shipping worldwide

A few weeks ago, ahm (who is a regular contributor at Welcome Datacomp), posted this incredible video on Youtube, “reviewing” a lovely Touhou doujinshi in the form of a child's pop-up book, COSMIC FORGE's Fushigi no kuni no Marisa.

“Doujinshi + Carrollian references + children's book” is a winning formula, period, especially by our standards at tsurupeta.info. Add to that a healthy serving of tongue-in-cheek intellectual wankery, and you get something that ought to receive everyone's attention.

This prompted us to translate ahm's review for a Japanese-speaking audience, which got us in touch with people from circle COSMIC FORGE expressing pleasure at foreigners enjoying their work. We suggested that they might get wider international exposure by using the services of a doujinshi online store shipping worldwide, such as Manga Pal.

Today, I'm happy to announce that this is a done deal, and that Fushigi no kuni no Marisa is available for purchase on the Manga Pal web store. Apparently, Manga Pal also intends to carry the book at upcoming events in France and Taiwan.

Test your lolicon level (updated)


I can't say I don't have misgivings about posting stuff that sounds like, er, triangular fodder, but people have been bickering me to do it for several days now, so here goes. Hopefully I can make it a bit more informative than the typical offering of disreputable venues.

The questionnaire to the left, “Test Your Lolicon Level,” was posted last week on Twitter by master-of-middle-school-girls and regular LO contributor Hidarikagetora. A funny discussion ensued where several loli mangaka compared their results. I'm translating the test, so here's your chance to pit yourself against those fine fellows, and check how worthy you are of reading this blog.

Ai no lolita

I've made a habit of listening to the MOGRA sessions that are broadcast live on USTREAM every Saturday (whenever I get the chance, anyway). Not being a clubber in the least, I don't know if I really could go there in person, and I may not be fond everything they run, but being able to listen to it while comfortably seated at your desk is convenient enough. The music is a refreshing change from the radios over here, and time and again they pick one of those anison you like but never remember. Yesterday, for example, I enjoyed the throwbacks to the early 2000s that were dis- and Venus Say, the openings to Mugen no Ryvius and Futatsu no Spica.

The best about it all, though, is the chance to discover great pieces you had never heard before. A few weeks ago, I was particularly impressed by Wonder Momo-i, and I've been watching videos of Momoi singing that song at Animelo on and off ever since. That's pretty cool. But cool doesn't even begin to describe the awesomeness of this one song we could hear at MOGRA yesterday: Ai no lolita.

Manga magazine demographics

Alex Leavitt and I exchanged a few tweets yesterday about his (excellent) Yotsuba&! article, and one point that came up was the way to obtain demographic data about manga magazines. I'm surprised it's not better-known, so it probably deserves its own how-to post. Here it is.

As you know, manga magazines are divided into several categories depending on their broad target demographic, mainly manga for boys (shounen), for girls (shoujo), for men (usually seinen, literally “young men”) and for women (josei or ladies' comics, although the latter term may refer to erotic titles as well). These broad categories are used for classification, especially in book shops, so it's useful to know where a certain manga or manga magazine belongs, even though it doesn't necessarily say much about the contents of said manga (these are not genres), nor in fact about the actual gender and age of readers as we will see.

A tribute to Seitokai yakuindomo (updated)

We had a nice karaoke session with some Frenchies last Friday. A long one. With perhaps a tad too many super robot themes. No wonder these sorts of things end badly.

I don't have a decent mic to actually sing this, but if someone wants to give it a shot, I can provide all the necessary material. Be an hero! It's probably funnier on nico douga too.

EDIT: this is awesome! Edited youtube version:

More global doujinshi: The Witches of the Sphinx vol. 2

Firstspear's semi-official, bilingual Strike Witches doujinshi series The Witches of the Sphinx continues!

We presented the first volume on this blog when it was released in April at COMIC1. Volume 2 was released at Comiket 78 a couple of weeks ago, and like the first, is available for purchase right now from Manga Pal, an online store specializing in the international distribution of doujinshi.

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