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Anime

Kitsune in kimonos

For a perhaps more traditional furry tale from Japan, look no further than Konohana Kitan. A manga series originally created by Sakuya Amano, it was adapted as a 12-episode anime series in 2017. It follows the adventures of Yuzu, a young “fox-youkai” spirit. Now TokyoPop have collected the original manga together in a new English translation. “Yuzu is a brand new employee at Konohanatei, the hot-springs inn that sits on the crossroads between worlds. A simple, clumsy but charmingly earnest girl, Yuzu must now figure out her new life working alongside all the other fox-spirits who run the inn under one cardinal rule — at Konohanatai, every guest is a god! Konohana Kitan follows Yuzu’s day to day life working at the inn, meeting the other employees and ever-eclectic guests, and learning to appreciate the beauty of the world around her.” Yip!

image c. 2018 TokyoPop

Let Your Art Take Flight

Now here’s someone we actually met at the LA Times Festival of Books: Michael Dante DiMartino, who told us about Rebel Genius, the first book in his new novel series. Here’s what they say over at Barnes & Noble — and why you should care. “A new fantasy-adventure series from the co-creator of the hit animated shows Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra! In twelve-year-old Giacomo’s Renaissance-inspired world, art is powerful, dangerous, and outlawed. A few artists possess Geniuses, birdlike creatures that are the living embodiment of an artist’s creative spirit. Those caught with one face a punishment akin to death, so when Giacomo discovers he has a Genius, he knows he’s in serious trouble. Luckily, he finds safety in a secret studio where young artists and their Geniuses train in sacred geometry to channel their creative energies as weapons. But when a murderous artist goes after the three Sacred Tools—objects that would allow him to destroy the world and everyone in his path—Giacomo and his friends must risk their lives to stop him.” Look for the other books in the series too, from Square Fish.

image c. 2018 Square Fish

Pin Da Bear on your Shirt

Another discovery from Long Beach Comic Expo was Pindabear, home for “super fresh enamel pins”. Featuring designs from anime, American cartoons, Pokemon, and other fannish pursuits. Over at their web site they have all their current designs, and they’re taking orders now for new pins as well as sold-out designs from the past they plan to re-stock real soon.

image c. 2018 pindabear.com

Flora and Fauna, Mystery and Macabre

That’s how the artist known as Kiriska says it. On their web site they describe themselves as a “… Seattle-based artist specializing in surreal and macabre wildlife art, as well as monsters, creatures, and anime-inspired illustrations.” To that end they have t-shirts, prints, stickers, and other materials for sale through a variety of outlets like Redbubble, Inprnt, and Society 6.

image c. 2018 by Kiriska

Wear That Fur (without guilt!)

Furescent (also known as Anastasia Wilson) is a very busy crafter who describes herself as a furry, a cosplayer, and an artist. Over on her Etsy page you can see her works — she not only makes fursuits but also fleece hats, hoodies, onesies, and kigurumis. (Don’t we live in wonderful times with wonderful words?)

image c. 2017 by Furescent

She’s A Winner

We were not familiar with the anime and manga series No Game No Life by Yuu Kamiya and Kazuya Yuizaki, but it definitely has a furry element to it. And now there’s an even-more-furry spin-off black & white graphic novel called No Game No Life, Please. It goes like this: “In a world where everything is decided by games, adorable little Izuna Hatsuse is a young Werebeast girl who wants to learn more. As she follows Sora, Shiro, and the others, what answers will she find for herself? Let the games begin!” It’s available now from Yen Press.

image c. 2017 Yen Press

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Watch, Out!

In the about-time department, perhaps, IDW have published a new Yo-Kai Watch full-color comic book series this spring. According to them: “The hit anime, manga and toy sensation from Japan comes to North American comics! Join Nate and his Yo-Kai, Whisper, as they battle against ill-intentioned Yo-Kai causing terrible trouble in their hometown!” Previously, Viz Media licensed the original Yo-Kai Watch manga by Noriyuki Konishi for release in North America. This new comic, however, is completely home grown: Eric M. Esquivel (Bravest Warriors) is the writer, with art by Tina Franscisco (Strawberry Shortcake) and Dono Sanchez Almara (Turbo Defiant). It’s available now. And, of course, the Yo-Kai Watch anime series is running on Disney XD, if you didn’t know. (Our thanks to Anime News Network for help with this article).

image c. 2017 IDW Publishing

 

A Closer Look at 2017

Our friends over at Cartoon Brew are finishing up the year with an article about 60 (!) animated films scheduled for release in 2017. Some are brand new releases, and some have already made the rounds in other parts of the world but will not be premiering in North America ’till next year. And of course, with a huge set of films like that, more than a fair share of them are definitely going to have some interest for the anthropomorphic fans out there! Taking a quick look ourselves, the upcoming animated films of furry note — some a lot, some a little — include (deep breath…): Animal Crackers, Beast of Burden, Blazing Samurai, Bunyan & Babe, Cars 3, Clara, Despicable Me 3, The Emoji Movie, Ferdinand, Foodiverse, Godzilla (yes, the first animated Godzilla movie!), Here Comes The Grump, Kikoriki — Deja Vu, Kung Food, Lino, Manou the Swift, Mune — Guardian of the Moon, My Cool Dad, My Little Pony — The Movie, The Nut Job 2, Ping Pong Rabbit, Pokemon The Movie — I Choose You, Punyakoti, The Red Turtle, Richard the Stork, Rock Dog, Sahara, Smurfs — The Lost Village, Spark, The Star, Urfin Jus and His Wooden Soldiers, and Underdog. Whew! The article at Cartoon Brew includes several trailers. Of course we’ll be talking a lot more about each of these films as they get closer to release. Happy New Year!

image c. 2016 Studio Canal

The Return of a Boy and His Big, Big Dog

Earlier this year we learned from Variety that “Gaumont Television is joining forces with German pubcaster ZDF to bring Belle et Sébastien, an animated series based on the popular 1960s TV show created by Cécile Aubry.  Belle et Sébastien follows the adventures of a 6-year-old motherless boy and his friend, a big white dog, across the wilderness landscapes of the French Alps.” Belle and Sebastien was previously adapted as an anime series in the 1980’s by Toho Animation. Now the latest version from France has visited MIPCOM and they’re looking for international distribution. Animation World Network has a more recent article about Gaumont TV that includes more about this new show.

image c. 2016 Gaumont Television

image c. 2016 Gaumont Television

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