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Anime

Chibi and Tasty

Interesting things we found at this year’s Anime L.A. convention. The artist Ryan Zanfei has gathered together a small crew to sell her creations through a collective known as Tasty Peach Studios. And what are her creations? Cute! “Tasty Peach Studios… is a sweet, unique boutique that sells cute merchandise inspired by Japan! We started out selling small hand made clay charms and commissioned artwork through our little Etsy shop in 2007. Since then we have grown exponentially! We now attend upwards of 70+ anime conventions a year & ship high quality acrylic items, professionally made products and more world wide every day!” Those high quality items now include t-shirts, plushies, enamel pins, and even wigs — and more. Visit the Tasty Peach web site to see what we mean.

image c. 2020 Tasty Peach Studios

Temper, Temper!

And now thanks to Animation Scoop we find out about Dino Girl Gauko, a new collection of anime shorts by director Akira Shigino (Osomatsu-kun). “In this Netflix original comedy series set in Japan, Naoko Watanabe is a typical 14 year old, except that she possesses a strange gift and curse. When her anger exceeds a maximum level she turns into Gauko the fire breathing dinosaur girl!” Look for it to premier on Netflix this November the 22nd.

image c. 2019 Netflix

Delivered On Time — Or Else!

Just got back from Biggest Little Fur Con, and of course we’ve got lots to talk about. But first… Udon Entertainment have released the Samurai Pizza Cats Official Fan Book in North America. What’s that you ask? Well according to Wikipedia, “Kyatto Ninden Teyandee is an anime series produced by Tatsunoko Productions and Sotsu Agency. The series originally aired in Japan on TV Tokyo from February 1, 1990 to February 12, 1991… Saban picked up the North American rights to the series in 1991, and produced an English version called Samurai Pizza Cats.” Honestly, that explanation barely cat-scratches the surface of just how weird and wonderful this series was. Fan interest has not waned over the years, and now there’s a book all about it! “The Samurai Pizza Cats: Official Fan Book is packed with the best toppings: Pinup artwork, character designs and profiles, episode summaries, rough concepts, and exclusive in-depth interviews with the show’s creators and original cast.” Check out the preview over at Comicon.com.

image c. 2019 Udon Entertainment

The World in Black and White?

A very… unusual anime feature is heading to our shores this spring. “Los Angeles-based Eleven Arts Anime Studio has set April 12 as the theatrical release date for the sci-fi coming-of-age animated feature, Penguin Highway, which it will be distributing in the U.S. and Canada. Directed by Hiroyasu Ishida, the film won the Axis: The Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation award at the Fantasia International Film Festival for best animated feature and has also been nominated for the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. The film will screen with the original Japanese dialogue with subtitles as well as the English dub. In the film, budding genius Aoyama is only in the 4th grade, but already lives his life like a scientist. When penguins start appearing in his sleepy suburb hundreds of miles from the sea, Aoyama vows to solve the mystery. When he finds the source of the penguins is a woman from his dentist’s office, they team up for an unforgettable summer adventure!” Got that? Read the article at Animation World Network for more, including the trailer.

image c. 2019 Eleven Arts

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