The Best Laid Plans…

I just went through a three day weekend (Culture Day banzai~) which coincided almost perfectly with the duration of a cold I came down with Thursday afternoon. As a result, instead of all sorts of nifty updates I’d been planning I found myself either in bed or at the computer playing Neverwinter Nights expansions (spec’d out this killer Monk / Fighter / Shadowdancer…) for the duration. A great way to kill time while sick, a terrible way to treat a website that relies on “timely content”. orz
I’m mostly over the cold now, and here to report a few bits of news: first, according to Moon Phase the official site for Seirei no Moribito has recieved a full site renewal. There’s not much in the way of new content, though we do get a bit more info on the characters and a confirmation of the show’s April 2007 start date on NHK. Given my penchant for doing very little research into the story beforehand and judging a show by its production staff and character designs alone this should be taken with due skepticism, but I’m officially dubbing this the Best Show of 2007: “Asian High Fantasy” from the production team behind Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – does it get any better than this?
On a more somber note, I recieved word today (thanks, Envelop) that Haniwadako of circle Octopus Trap has died. A post on this page of his message board contains the official notice; he apparently died of a sudden heart attack and was still in his twenties. For years now an icon among fans of the bizarre side of Japanese 2D erotica, his presence at events and in the visual landscape and consciousness of fans online will be sorely missed.
Personally, my contact with him was limited to a brief email exchange in which he allowed me to link his site for this post a year and a half ago, and laughingly informed me that his nickname was not “phantom” but was Haniwadako (はにわダコ, his avatar being a cross between a haniwa and a tako). Since then I had only encountered him briefly at events when picking up his releases, most recently at ABC on October 9th – just a few days before he died, in hindsight – where I had the opportunity to sit next to his circle’s table for the day. While we didn’t talk, he looked in fine health then… news of his untimely death is particularly upsetting on account of this.
I apologize for ending the post on such a downer, but this is the closest I’ve ever been to the death of someone I admire in this way, and it’s a disturbing and saddening experience. Otaku aren’t known for taking care of themselves well, and this brings home the urgency of looking after the few friends I’ve managed to make here. Life is so very fragile.
[edit] There is an additional bit of timely news to report today: Comiket 71 lottery result notifications have begun to arrive in the mailboxes of artists nationwide, so expect day and space numbers to appear on circle sites soon. A quick glance at Mixi shows that Xiarobo and Sakai Hamachi have both made the cut; further relevant details to be noted as they become available.

0 Responses to The Best Laid Plans…

  1. Zer0 November 7, 2006 at 12:59 am #

    *off topic*
    Hi Shingo – been surfing some of the Ota-blogs from Hong Kong and I just got to know about the 2ch-based “Saimoe Tournament”. So far based on Google and wiki searches, I’ve only found these two links that sorta tell me what it’s about:
    http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=36686
    and
    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%9C%80%E8%90%8C
    (am not that proficient with nihongo to appreciate the above wiki stub)
    would you be kind enough to bring us into the new Net-based phenomenon? (I assume that the saimoe tournament is a recent development that hasn’t gotten much media coverage?)

  2. Agent Wax November 7, 2006 at 10:13 am #

    There is an increasing trend in which Asian men in their 20s develop sudden heart failures and die. Nobody really knows why, which makes it all the more sad.
    On a lighter note, I concede that the production team of GITS:SAC can do little wrong in my eyes…

  3. Shingo November 8, 2006 at 7:09 am #

    >>Zer0
    I’ll look into Saimoe, but I have a feeling that if you dig a bit deeper into the Google search you’ll find other blogs that have dealt with it already in pretty comprehensive terms. Just a hunch…
    >>Agent Wax
    I could understand if it were due to stress or overwork, and artists certainly keep hideous schedules (whether due to a steady high volume of work or last minute pre-event procrastination), but that alone certainly shouldn’t account for it… who knows. It’s an alarming phenomenon.

  4. Osamu November 17, 2006 at 9:02 pm #

    I did not have any idea about this though I am based in Tokyo now.
    But maybe people in Toshimaen can tell what is what regarding this point.

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