Katsucon and the Weather Adventure

Hey guys! Katsucon wasn’t too long ago and now you get to hear about it!

This show is a favorite for us because we get to see a lot of people that we really enjoy just hanging out with. This is also the show where the dreaded Otakon sign-ups, also known as WHY ARE YOU PUNCHING MY FACE TO GET A BETTER SPOT IN LINE, takes place. We also had a few weather related issues that kept staff from getting there in a timely manner, but that’s alright!

CURSE YOU WEATHER……CURSE YOU OTAKON……CURSE YOU ZELDA….wait.

After many zany adventures with American Airlines, full of madness, spite, and a hate I have never known, all of us finally made it to Katsucon in a MOSTLY timely manner, DESPITE the cold snowy weather. Though we were met with cookies and delicious alcohol brownies made by our good friends Barry and Bob! Bribing us with food is the easiest way to our hearts.

They may LOOK ordinary, but dear god are these things good.

We also got some good dinner and good food with a lot of good people at McCormick & Schmick’s, a nice fancy restaurant we happen to enjoy! Everyone had a good time, with jokes and stories, brushing hair,  painting nails, and…look everyone had a good time ok?

A few of our favorite people! Not pictured: our other favorite people!

On a side note, the Otakon sign-ups ended up being a lottery system, so less people got punched over getting their favorite spots. Efficient, and less hurtful, I can get behind that!

After a weekend full of travel delays, crazy weather, and awesome people, I got on the plane to see this guy staring into my soul.

“Hello, I’ll be your guide to madness as I stare into what’s left of your psyche. Welcome aboard!”

 

Till next time in JAPAN! (Again)

Ohayocon and Food!

Let’s talk about Ohayocon!

 

First off, sorry about the delay in the post, a few staff members have been moving around, and between packing boxes, juggling schedules, and the Seahawks winning, a few things got overlooked! We’ll try to be more punctual from now on!

So Ohayocon. Let me first say it was the coldest convention we’ve ever been to!

Winter wonderland, until you realize that there are at least 45 dead yoko cosplayers out there underneath that white snow.

Temperatures in the single digits, and wind chills in the negative teens. Yeah. COLD doesn’t begin to describe it.

Trust me, however warm this guy was inside, the minute he stepped outside he became a frozen, nutritious, horseicle.

Other than the crippling cold, it was a great time had by all, and many a delicious foods were eaten. There was one thing however, that was pretty much constant through out the weekend. Caramel, peanut butter, and chocolate all lumped into one piece of popcorn. This unholy trinity of deliciousness was readily available in a shop downstairs for mere DOLLARS.

Crack, but cheaper, more delicious and you only have to inject it directly into your femoral artery once, while simultaneously shoving as much in your mouth as possible. I may not know how crack works.

Despite Columbus being the cold callous heart of the arctic “polar vortex”, it is home to many distinct restaurants. One particular tradition for us is a place called Schmidt’s, a German restaurant that’s been around since 1886, and hasn’t really changed anything on its menu in that time. Pictures will really do more justice than anything I can write here.

Can’t get more German than that! Right?

Oh, you CAN get more German than that. Well then.

Mmmmm, bacon beer.

This a picture of delicious.

No wait, THIS is delicious.

So much food. That’s all we really do here at Hen Da Ne according to some. We just sell doujin to fund our food habits. I’m here to tell you right now, that is entirely and utterly true. It’s all we live for. What delicious thing will enter our tummies next?

Ohayocon was great, and we loved every minute spent INSIDE with all the attendees. I’ll leave you with this parting thought.

You didn’t think it’d be meaningful did you? Funny side note, that’s written in salt. As in the-salt-covering-all-the-roads-so-we-didn’t-die-in-the-snow-from-sliding-off-the-road kind of salt.

Till Katsucon, and our reports of more food, and good friends!

New Years in Japan!

Alright everyone, first blog of the New Year!

I figure since we go to Japan so often, we’d cover only a few different points, so we’d always have something different to talk about each time! So here we go!

I have to say going to Japan, one of the things we all look forward to the most is the food. Anyone of you who know Andrew also know his love of all things delicious, so it is here that we find some of most delicious things! Take this for instance:

This is katsudon and it is DELICIOUS, and a tradition for myself and Andrew. We usually have it the first night we’re in Japan, right after checking into hotel. We got to share this tradition with Sam (who some may know on the twitter as Regris_Kallen) and he thought it was pretty good too.

Another one of the dishes that keep us going while scouring every shop we can. GoGo Curry is definitely a place we frequent, and can fill our stomachs with breaded pork and curry of rice of every size. There’s even a 2.5kg challenge in which they serve you 5 POUNDS of food and challenge you to finish in half an hour.

Hendane Horse even tried this once, and failed. It was amazing to watch though.

Let’s move on from food for a moment though, as I can’t forget to mention the two main reasons for this trip. Comiket 85, and New Years Day.

Let’s start with C85.

This is one of EIGHT halls designed almost exclusively for Comiket. Welcome to Tokyo Big Sight.

Imagine waiting in line for 4 hours, behind thousands upon thousands of other people who got there earlier, or even the night before,, in the cold (or hot if it’s summer), mapping out your route to get to all the artists you want to see and buy from, all the while praying that you won’t get to them before they sell out. That is Comiket. All the craze of the most crowded Black Friday mall opening, times a a couple hundred thousand people. Why do we do this? Why subject ourselves to this insanity? Well, simply put, it’s a blast, and an experience like no other. With hundreds of big name artists that change out every day, scores of pro cosplayers, and enough doujinshi, games, cds, tapestries, and everything in between to fill SEVERAL suitcases, we’ll struggle to see half of all this. This goes on for 3 days, while we search out the very best products, and then bring it all back for you guys.

The pain is all worth it. Suck it up man!

After this frenzy, we also like to relax, which brings us to the second major part of the trip. New Years Celebrations! On January 1st, we head on out of Tokyo proper to Kamakura, with its combination of temples, shrines, stores and festivals. This place has it all. The first place we go here is Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū, the Shinto Shrine in the center of the city. We make a prayer here for good fortune and luck for the year.

Along with pretty much everyone else within 1000 miles.

After saying our prayers, we fill ourselves with festival food, see the sights, and generally have fun the whole day! I highly suggest if you go anywhere for the New Years, it’s here.

Before I get rambling on about a million other things, we’ll bring this entry to a close, with what can only be described as the best.

THIS.

It’s EXACTLY what it looks like.

This is from Honey Toast Cafe. As you likely guessed, Honey Toast is a small square loaf of bread, hollowed out, then filled back in with even smaller cubes of bread, doused in honey. Cover it with ice cream, chocolate, berry, maple, or any combination of different things, and this is what you get. In addition to having these, the cafe also has honey drinks, desserts (and no the Honey Toast ISN’T the only dessert here), and a few sweet flavored entrees. I miss it already.

Next up for us, YUKICON Finland, and OHAYOCON 2014!

In the meantime, I leave you with this image that describes Andrew’s love of Honey Toast, and well, all food really.

Delicious.

[Doujinshi] Circle Shigunyan

It’s been a while since my last article about doujins, but I’m back! So let’s cut straight to the chase and talk about the circle that we’ll be covering today. The topic of today’s blog post is going to be the rather prolific and series-spanning group, Shigunyan!

If you’re unfamiliar with the group, congratulations, you’re in good company because I was unfamiliar with the group too. After doing a little bit of research though, I’ve found that Shigunyan really uh… has a lot of stuff, actually. Some of it isn’t even hentai, but that’s not the sort of thing we cover in this blog so it doesn’t matter. Shigunyan doesn’t focus on one series or even a few series’ either. They have a wide variety of material, ranging from the common and typical in Touhou and Vocaloid to the old-school in To Heart 2 to the “Not sure why this exists” in Harry Potter. Also as a note, if you like catgirls, you can probably just stop at this group because so does Shigunyan. If a girl doesn’t have cat ears or a tail, you can bet by god that this group will find a way to make the girl have them, usually without any sort of explanation. Which really, is the best sort of explanation, isn’t it?

Including but not limited to: Witches, tengu, hermits, umbrella youkai…

Shigunyan’s art style is pretty standard art style that has a somewhat cutesy, soft air about it. Wide eyes, mostly curves when it comes to lines, and usually the girls will have big busts. Some of them are just big while others are biiiiiiig, so if you’re really into large breasts, titjobs, or really anything to deal with tits, here’s another group that is perfect for you. However, there are some exceptions to that where you can get delicious flat chest instead, so if that’s your cup of tea, you can find it with this group as well (but it’s a very rare blend).

Storywise, you’re looking at plots that contain pure lovelove hardcore sexing and other plots that contain rape hardcore sexing. Without a doubt, you’re going to be getting a lot of sex in these doujins and there’s really nothing that deep about it. So if you’re looking for something quick to read and, you know, enjoy, you can’t really go wrong with this group’s material. Their sex scenes are drawn particularly well and you can really get into them regardless of whether or not you like the source material.

And it gave us this page, which caused me to laugh far too much. (Note: Original doujin is full of L content.)

Unfortunately, not a lot of their doujins are translated to English yet so if you want a little sneak peek at what you’re looking at, you’re not going to get a lot of choices. Still, frankly, for a group like this, you really don’t need to understand everything because this is light-plot plus. Of course, for some reason, some of the Harry Potter ones are translated and I gave them a look. It was a little jarring, to say least, since the Harry Potter fandom isn’t something I really pay attention to.

I sort of strayed off-topic, but in the end, Shigunyan is a great circle to be looking at if you like big (or in some cases, small) tits, catgirls, and lots of rampant sex. So if any of those press any of your buttons, this is definitely one of the groups you can count on to deliver. We even carry some of their books, with their Gurren Lagaan book and Panty and Stocking currently in stock, so check it out!


Shigunyan’s Pixiv

[Doujin Game] Eryi’s Action

Today’s article is going to be a game made by our old and good friends at Nyu Media. We’re talking about a cute, cheerful, brightly-colored platformer with a laid-back story and easy controls. The overworld music is bright and peppy, the art is quite childish, and its style is a nice fit with the other doujin games that Nyu Media is bringing over to the English-speaking community. This game also has one more thing going for it.

This game, Eryi’s Action (already available on its website and also on Steam Greenlight (go vote for it)), hates you. It hates you, it hates life, and it hates the belief that you can someday beat it.

Eryi’s Action is a doujin game quite similar to cult classics such as Kaizo Mario World (the mod that hated you so much that it had to make another) and I Wanna Be The Guy. As such, going into this, you should expect to be killed. A lot. Eryi’s Action is (slightly) kinder in that you’re given infinite lives as well as checkpoints in the middle of stages, which frankly, is probably a really good idea on the part of the creator because having save points makes the frustration value of trying to complete a game that much less.

I wasn’t joking earlier about the art or the feel of the game at all, by the way. It’s quite cutesy and light-hearted looking. Even the iron pan that fell out of the ceiling when I was leaving the first screen didn’t deter me. Then I walked down into a slight dip on the next screen and immediately got killed. That’s when I realized that this game was a cruel, cruel beast of a thing.

This room will kill you somehow.

What followed was a never-ending gauntlet of trying to complete the first stage despite mishaps such as invisible blocks, things that pop out of the ground, accidentally making it impossible to progress in the stage, and finally giving up because after reaching the end flag, a giant spiked nut fell from the sky and killed me during the auto-walk sequence.

It’ll go lower. Much lower.

Eryi’s Action does have a few extra tricks to the usual bag of “Fuck you” tricks that kill-you-every-time platformers bring out. For instance, you can actually pick things up and throw them (which resulted in one of my deaths because I accidentally threw a jump item over the top of the ledge I needed it for). It provides some variety to what you’re looking at as well as making it possible to flip off some of the game’s bullshit (like that falling nut at the end). The variety of traps is actually quite creative, with the ways the game will try to kill you not always being the same “oh look a hidden block over a pit” variety. The game also does a lot of deviation from the norm, including a Final Fantasy-styled battle, a racing segment, and other elements to break out of the “going to kill you horribly” platforming. Though, those sections are basically going to kill you horribly too.

If you’ve played these sorts of games before, I think you know the amount of satisfaction you feel within your heart when you finally clear a gauntlet of death and reach the first check point. If you haven’t played these types of games before, then you should know that there are few things more satisfying than getting past a ton of obstacles and seeing that checkpoint get saved. Even if it’s just by remembering where all the death is and honing reflexes, it’s quite satisfying.

And to that end, if you’ve ever wanted to just see what the fuss was about, you should get it. It’s difficult, but Nyu Media has done a good job with localizing it and bringing it over to these shores. It’s fun, the music is catchy, and art is nice and storybookish, and really it’s worth the money you’ll pay for it even if it’s just because you’ll be spending hours trying to complete it. It’s also nice enough to have a windowed and a full screen mode. If I had to file any complaints, it would be in the game’s overall length. The game isn’t terribly long at all, and frankly I would’ve liked to see another few levels involved.

And like it suggests on the site, if you don’t want to play it for yourself, buy it for someone else and don’t tell them a thing about it. Watch as they start it up, read that goofy storyline, and then immediately die a few moments after.

Schadenfreude.

It’s the best.

Eryi’s Action Official Website
Nyu Media’s Official Website