Event: No.6 Doujinshi Convention

My loot.

This is my first time writing an event post so I’m still trying to figure out the direction of how it goes generally. I’ll try not to bore you with the general details tinged with a certain narcissism, but more of my observations of the fujoshi community, certain things to look out for if you’re going for such conventions in Japan etc.

So I went to the No.6 doujinshi convention with the lovely fencer-x from September Scanlations last Saturday on the 7th of September. The date has special significance because because it’s the exact date—September 7, 2013—when Shion and Nezumi meet in the anime. You don’t have to buy a ticket to enter the convention, but you have to purchase the programme booklet which costs 500 yen and looks like this:

Apparently, this is pretty standard procedure for most doujinshi conventions so do take note. Within the programme booklet are various details on the doujinshi circles that are attending and the convention is segregated by pairings:

Left: Shion X Nezumi, Right: Nezumi X Shion

The doujinshi artists will generally be the ones selling the doujinshi, so yes you get to see the artist that’s drawing your porn. Most of them are in their 30s and above and some of them look as though they are in their mid 50s. Which is particularly interesting because while a huge number of the customers are around in their 20s, I’d seen some really old obaasans in the crowd as well. In contrast, the only Caucasian that was present in the convention was fencer-x herself, while fencer reminded me that I was the only male customer present there. It’s interesting though, I would have expected a more international crowd considering this is the biggest No. 6 convention around and I would expect at least a few gay guys? And No.6 does not have a strong BL focus anyway.

Lastly, they have some limited edition No.6 goods that are limited only to this event. You cannot buy these items anywhere else:

Which is…. a muffler towel and 2 files.

I’m a sucker for limited edition goods so I bought the towel:

Anyways, I probably will be selling some of the doujinshi at reduced pricings for anyone who is interested in future. It’s probably going to be around what, 5 bucks for one doujinshi? Let me know if anyone’s interested. 😀 And if there’s any convention that you want me to go take a visit, let me know!

 

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On Yaoi Merchandise: A Blurring of Gender Roles and Desires

It’s pretty rare to find dakimakuras depicting males in compromising positions.

 

For a very long time, I’ve been wondering why it has been really hard for me to get yaoi merchandise that I really want. Whenever I make my way towards anime conventions (I live in the East so we have quite a bit of official Japan imported anime merchandise sold here), I usually find accessories or nit-nats such as files, pencils, pens, mugs whereas what I really do want to buy are specially drawn dakimakura (bolster) covers, picture books, t-shirts etc.

I got a ruddy Junjou/Sekaiichi exclusive pen for instance… What I really want are ARTBOOKS or DAKIS

According to an anime industry insider, “It is not so much a matter if there are more otaku males or females, or which of the two is more deeply involved in otaku culture; the difference is in the ‘quality’ of their obsession.  For instance, a guy will spend over 9000 yen (about $110) on a cute anime girl hug pillow because they prefer expensive, high-quality material. If the same kind of pillow is made from a  cheaper polyester material, it won’t sell.”

“Women are realists,” says the insider, “the most they will spend is 3000 to 4000 yen ($36 to $48)  on something like CDs. 300 yen ($3.60) clear plastic folders with characters on them are best-sellers. Female otaku like to buy a number of small things at once.”

Of course, you do see certain variations nowadays. For instance, I’ve seen 2 yaoi dakimakuras sold out completely in the past two years: The No.6 dakimakura (pic above) was wiped out completely at the Animate Girls Festival 2012 within the FIRST HOUR and was resold at yahoo auctions for the sick price of 38000yen. (452.92 USD)

The second yaoi dakimakura I’ve seen is from Hadaka Shitsuji (Naked Butler) exclusively sold in toranoana stores: 

But then, Hadaka Shitsuji is more than just yaoi; in many ways it’s closer to bara and the whole game design and creation was done by a (presumably gay) male so in many ways, it has a male target audience as well. It’s also highly popular and was sold out in a matter of weeks.

I’m not too sure what are the sociological implications of this. I can only speculate and I think that there are two possibilities. What is defined strictly as “feminine” or “masculine” interests or merchandise is slowly becoming more and more diffused and amorphous. The rise of selling erotic anime goods towards a predominant female crowd could be attributed towards Japanese women becoming more open about their sexuality and sexual desires which may not be the case 10 years ago. Or, there could be an increase in fudanshi numbers in recent years which suggest the high sales of such goods which were traditionally aimed at male customers.

No.6 Beyond: The Widely Anticipated Side Story to No.6!

And the fandom rejoices! 会いたかったよ!(which means: I wanted to meet you!)

So the original author of No.6 (No.6 started out as a light novel, before it was adapted into an anime and manga series) has decided to write a supplementary story to tie-up various loose-ends that was not resolved within the plot. Issues such as Nezumi’s real name and information regarding Shion’s father will also be elaborated at length within this novel. If you’re a huge fan of No.6 as I am, you will know that this is a MUST READ since the ending to No.6 was so particularly unsatisfactory and open-ended to say the least!

So this is the amazon description:

フジテレビ「ノイタミナ」にてアニメ化、そしてシリーズ累計100万部突破した近未来スペクタクル巨編『NO.6』。今回、9巻で惜しまれつつ完結したストーリーに、驚きの“外伝”が登場!

多数の完結を惜しむ声に、著者のあさのさんは「外伝を書きます!」と宣言。著者自身、愛情を覚えながら、完全にはつかみきれない魅力と複雑さを持つネズミと紫苑に、さらなる命を与えることに、意欲を燃やしています。
ネズミと紫苑、本編では触れられなかったそれぞれの生の一瞬を切り取り、彼らの秘密に迫ります。

Translation (by fencer-x): This time, subsequent to the story that wrapped up in Volume 9, is the release of a wonderous ‘side story’! In response to the many sorrowed voices, the author Asano Atsuko proclaimed, “Then I’ll write a supplementary story!” The author herself, recalling her love for the characters, is blazing with ambition at being able to give further life to Shion and Nezumi, who hold such complexity and unfathomable fascination. Cutting out moments from the lives of Nezumi and Shion that she hadn’t been able to touch on before, she starts to unravel their secrets…

Currently, I know of one fan translator who is tranlating this side story as we speak. More about this when this translation project is completed so do subscribe to this blog to get the latest updates! If you’re interested in purchasing this novel (please do, at the very least to support the author), you may do so at Amazon.JP.