A busier week than most kept me from posting news on Wednesday. But this ought to more than make up for it.
Marnie is here: Let's start with the U.S. trailer for Studio Ghibli's When Marnie Was There, shall we?
There had better be a theater within 100 miles of me showing this thing.
D for AWWW YEAH: Sentai Filmworks has licensed the original Vampire Hunter D, long out of print and only previously available in a not-very-good DVD edition. There had better be a Blu-ray release, boys. That's the only mildly critical thing I have to say about this. (UPDATED: A Blu-ray is on the way.)
Paper or digital?: Manga apps are now exploding in popularity in Japan, overtaking their weekly print magazine counterparts. "The largest [such app] is LINE Manga, a spin-off of the LINE messaging app, which topped 10 million downloads and 4.9 billion yen in sales as of January 2015 after 22 months in service." I wonder what the ecological break-even point is for a single smartphone versus however many weekly Shonen Jumps?
And meanwhile, back in the States: Deb Aoki reports that the manga industry in the Americas is garnering "solid sales" and "renewed growth" — encouraging signs for a biz that almost vanished when a certain major bookseller closed its doors.
How about a nice game of karuta?: Chihayafuru, the widely-lauded series about a girl getting game (that is, of a classic Japanese variety), is now headed to the big screen in a live-action incarnation. Many fans were clamoring for a third season instead, but this is the next-best thing, and the material does seem to lend itself well to an adaptation of this kind. By the way, watch the show if you haven't already; it's well worth the time.
Otaku in China: Japanese popular culture is making major inroads with youth in the Middle Kingdom. Not a very detailed report, unfortunately, and no discussion (if only for context and comparison) about how titles like Slam Dunk had already cut a colossal swath across places like Hong Kong in previous years.
Scanners made my head explode: An atypically uncritical (even credulous) piece for Vice about the scanlation scene. there's almost no commentary to the effect that the scanlator in question is a decade out of touch with the official releases he's superseding. (That makes his work seem all the more irrelevant and insolent, even; when you have people doing hard, professional work to get a title released in English for a reputable company, why take bread off their table?)
The devil's in the details (again): What, another version of Devilman is in the works?! As someone else said, don't make a new version — just give us convenient access to the one we know exists, and which we've wanted to see all along. But remakes like this attract newer audiences who would otherwise never bother to watch/read a "classic" (that is, old) title, so I can't say they don't have their reasons.
High as a ... oh, never mind: Manga artists express admiration for the live-action adaptation of Kite. You'll forgive me if I don't share their admiration. (In all honesty, the movie was not terrible, but it also wasn't all that distinguished, either — just like the source material, which has traded more on its notoriety than its actual quality.)
Grouchy then, grouchy now: Looks like Hayao Miyazaki was just as big an opinionated grump decades ago as he is now, with some unflattering words for the United States. The idea that a repellent human being can produce beautiful and moving art shouldn't come as a huge surprise to anyone by now; I consider Miyazaki's art, business, and persona to be entirely different entities.
My final three words: Hestia cosplay kerfuffle. I hereby wash my hands of this matter in perpetuity.