Direct YouTube Link

My friend Ted Anderson is a huge fan of the new My Little Ponies series, a show I wouldn’t even know existed were it not for his tireless efforts to spread the My Little Pony gospel.

I still haven’t seen it yet so I’ll reserve comment on that, but there is a Japanese children’s cartoon that I really love called Oden-kun. The first episode heads this entry.

It’s not one of those ironic, winking-at-the-adults shows; instead, it’s sweet and earnest. (Although the super-long intro in this episode is weirdly dark.)  Oden-kun just has a quality to it that always makes me smile, and I’ve met other adults in Japan that felt the same way. I suppose in that sense it possesses that rare quality that Peanuts has, in that it could be enjoyed by nine year old girls or 34 year old cartoonists.

English subtitles are available by pressing the “CC” button. Enjoy!

Neat Old Japanese Cartoon

YouTube Direct Link
Here’s a neat old Japanese cartoon my dear friend C.W. Kelly sent to me a while back. Has a very Fleischer-esque feel to it.

*Reminder* Until the end of this month (i.e., for the next seven days), I’m donating the profits from Paypal sales of Tonoharu: Part One and Two to the Red Cross, to help with the earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan. (Details here)

So far I’ve sold five books, with a total of $77.50 donated to the Red Cross (my thanks to those who ordered!). I think it’d be cool to get that total up to at least $100, so if you’ve always wanted a copy of Tonoharu, please consider making that purchase now! Otherwise, please consider donating directly to the charity of your choice. Thanks!

Worth a Watch: “English Teachers” Web Series

Watch on YouTube

Living in a foreign country is a premise that is ripe with dramatic & comedic potential. Many prose books have tackled the subject, but not so much in the realm of visual narrative (i.e. movies, tv shows, and comics). One of the reasons I created my graphic novel series Tonoharu was to try to fill this baffling gap. I’ve never understood why there are dozens of mediocre medical dramas and cop shows on tv, but not really any that depict the unique & exciting experience of life abroad.

A notable exception debuted late last year, in the form of the web series entitled English Teachers. Each of the eight episodes is about seven minutes long, so the whole run can be watched in less than an hour.

I have mixed feelings about the show. For one, the characters are written a little too broadly for my tastes. Also, the stories feel a bit rushed; they try to cram in standard sitcom plots into a third the running time, so conflicts are often introduced only to be immediately, unsatisfyingly resolved in the next scene.

But hey, it often takes a while for a show to hit its stride. And overall, I like English Teachers, and think it has potential. The casting and acting are good, as are the production values. And while there are aspects of the writing that frustrate me, I have to admit I want to keep watching. Here’s hoping the series is popular enough to warrant a second season.

Official Site: http://englishteachersseries.com
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/englishseries

(Thanks to Adam Pasion for introducing me to the series)

The World’s Greatest Hair Removal Logo

Back when I lived in Fukuoka, Japan, a girlfriend showed me a flier for a waxing place that used the  above logo. The concept and execution are so wonderfully bizarre; the ugliness of the monkey, the little red bow, its proud display of its freshly waxed, hairless armpits…

I saved the flier for a while, but somehow it got lost in the shuffle. Years later when I started this blog, I wanted to share the logo with my readership, but I couldn’t remember the name of the waxing place, and a google search of “Japanese monkey hair removal logo” unsurprisingly failed to bring up anything meaningful.

Just yesterday I randomly ran into it again as a part of this collection of Japanese trademarked characters. That entry also links to an extensive database of Japanese trademarks; it’s incredibly user-unfriendly, but still pretty interesting. It can be found here.

Via Pink Tentacle