Urotsukidōji Volume 1 (FAKKU edition)

007_6972ede2-de36-4148-894e-b40804fe7cd4In late 2015, word came out that prolific North American based Hentai publishers, FAKKU! had acquired the licensing rights to Toshio Maeda’s magnum opus Urotsukidōji. News of such a release was very warmly welcomed since the existing Central Park Media release of Urotsukidōji was long out of print and becoming increasingly hard to find. (Well, for a sensible asking price anyway.) Within just a few months of the initial announcement, FAKKU! came through on their promise and launched a kickstarter campaign allowing fans to help fund the project whilst simultaneously giving them the chance to pick up some pretty nice perks along the way. The page had some interesting stretch goals too including one ensuring that Toshio Maeda would go back and revisit his manga and then “uncensor” the original artwork by drawing in the genitals that he obviously couldn’t draw first time round due to censorship laws being what they are over here. Buoyed by the promise of a new, revised translation, and the opportunity to own a possibly uncensored version of Urotsukidōji as drawn by the original creator himself, people from around the world began to back the project. The campaign was a success and all 4 volumes were successfully funded but, for better or worse, the $87,000 stretch goal to uncensor the manga was not reached….

Fast forward to December 2016 and 016Volume 1 of Urotsukidōji was finally released by FAKKU! in both digital and printed format. Like everyone else, I was excited to get my hands on a copy for two reasons; firstly it’s one of my favorite titles by Maeda and the story that introduced me to his works, and secondly because as a translator myself, I really wanted to see how it was handled. I don’t own the CPM graphic novel releases from 1999 aside from a couple of random issues but I have read enough of them to see that the translation quality was pretty low, not to mention the below par touching up of the artwork. The flipping of the images didn’t do it many favors either but, for the longest time, that was all that non-Japanese speaking readers had to enjoy the story. With these feelings in mind, I immediately set about procuring a copy of the new FAKKU! edition but ran into a few problems due to my geographical location. Firstly, it’s impossible to access FAKKU’s website from Japan without using a VPN client. Secondly, upon registering with their site and creating an account, I then learned that Japan isn’t an acceptable location for when selecting shipping options. Since the book wasn’t available to purchase on amazon.com either I was a little frustrated and soon took to twitter to ask about a work around. Thankfully, in a fortunate twist of generosity, FAKKU! CEO Jacob Grady got in touch with me personally and ensured that I got a copy! (Thanks again, Jacob!). With my brand new book in hand, I then sat down with a large cup of coffee and began to revisit Nagumo, Akemi, and Amanojaku…

urotsukidoji_legend_of_the_overfiend_fakku_kickstarter_001Before I start, let me just say that I’m not going to write anything about the actual story since I already went into great detail a couple of years ago when I added the title to the works page on this blog. My focus this time is on the actual release of the FAKKU! edition and my thoughts upon reading it so, with that in mind, I’ll cut straight to the chase. My very first impression of the book upon removing it from it’s packaging was “Wow!”. The cover artwork is the same as the Suzuran Comics complete edition but the FAKKU! edition comes with a nipple-less girl on the front and some very stylish embossed lettering for the title. The quality of the paper used is also very high (more on that later) and the color pages included are also beautifully presented. As I started reading the story, I noticed a couple of things straight off the bat; the first of which being the sound effects also translated in English. It’s been a number of years since I’ve read manga in English so this was something I’m not used to seeing much of these days. When I first noticed them, I wasn’t sure if it bothered me or not but thankfully, after 30 pages or so, they didn’t bother me nor distract my attention any longer so I was pleased by that. The second thing I noticed was the unfortunate spelling of Amanojaku’s name. In the story he gives a fake name upon joining the school and most people refer to him simply as “Amano” too in the original Japanese release but it seems there was a conscious decision made to split “Amano” and “Jaku” like they are his first name and family name. His name is taken from an existing demon in Japanese folklore of the same name so it’s a bit of a shame that his name was changed in this way. Speaking of names, I also noticed that the characters are called by their family name first (for example, Togami Kitako) but then later on this rule is switched to first name first when mentioning somebody so that momentarily threw me too. Those small gripes aside, I’m very relieved to say that the translation in the FAKKU! edition is a huge improvement on the Central Park Media effort. The translation is very faithful to the source material and the juvenile language used by some of the characters is generally befitting of their age since they are mostly high school students. Amanojaku is an exception of course since he’s at least 300 years old so sometimes he can sound a bit too juvenile in places but, on the whole, I think 022the translation team did a pretty solid job in presenting him in a way that reflects his “Osakan” roots whilst maintaining his strong character. Two things I was VERY happy with though would be the decision to NOT use honorifics in the translation. I personally hate seeing them in localized manga since they usually lead to laziness on the translators part, and they also sound totally unnatural in English so I applaud FAKKU on it’s decision to omit any use of those. Secondly, it’s a tiny thing I know but, I rarely saw any words split by a hyphen to fit the dialogue inside the speech bubbles. For somebody with a fine eye for uniformity and detail, this is something I was very pleased to notice.

In summary, FAKKU! have done an admirable job in bringing this classic to the English speaking world. If there is anything I’d like to see change for the next release aside from Amanojaku’s name, it might be the redrawing of the store signs into English. I feel they are best left in Japanese since they barely add anything to the plot and help retain the overall feel of the setting. I may be in the minority when saying this but I was personally very happy to hear that the stretch goal wasn’t reached. I feel that no penises was exactly how the manga was intended to be drawn and many of the angles in the panels were drawn with precisely that in mind so, to go back and add them later, I feel, would be meddling with Maeda’s original vision a little too much. Also, I may be alone in thinking this too but, as amazingly well-made as the book is, I did find it rather stiff and turning through the pages hurt my fingers a tad so maybe slightly softer paper next time would be better?

All said and done, this is a very solid release and I feel confident that the ensuing three volumes are gonna be just as well presented. The great news also is that I compared this page by page alongside the Suzuran Comics complete edition and it was exactly the same which means the full ending and epilogue will be getting a full English release for the first time too! Awesome!! FAKKU have said they are planning on releasing Toshio Maeda’s “entire” works in English (though I wonder if they really can since much of it has been lost to the passage of time) and, judging by this release, I think it’s safe to say that his work is in good hands. Great job guys!

Volume 1 of Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend is available now on the FAKKU! store so be sure to pick up a copy! Here’s the original cover artwork:

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Happy New Year!

Well, it looks like 2017 is already upon us. Where does the time go?!

2016 was a pretty good year for the Tentacle Master with various convention appearances around the world coupled with a successful kickstarter campaign initiated by FAKKU to get the first volume of Urotsukidōji it’s first official English release in well over a decade. I’m sure that 2017 has lots more goodies in store for the big guy too with the impending release of the Urotsukidōji movie OST courtesy of the amazing guys over at Tiger Lab Vinyl being just one thing that we can’t wait to get our hands on!

Personally, for me 2017 has started in the best possible way as I was lucky enough to go for beers with Maeda-Sensei last weekend and get a whole bunch of his books signed in the process! As usual we had a blast talking about his work and the manga industry in general and it was made extra fun thanks to his apprentice, Hector Hernandez, coming along for the ride too. I was actually doubly lucky as I also spent the following morning and afternoon with the Tentacle Master too! Great times!

Anyway, I hope you all have a tentacletastic 2017 and here’s to a year of health and success for us all! Thanks for the support!!

Cheers,

Brendan

Urotsukidōji lands on Vinyl!!

Holy cow! Urotsukidōji is getting a lot of love this month it would seem!

With the recent re-release of the manga being made available in North America courtesy of Fakku.net it didn’t seem like Overfiend fans would have much more to get excited about but the awesome team over at Tiger Lab Vinyl have just made everyone’s jaws hit the floor for the second time this month with their announcement that they are gonna be releasing the original soundtrack to the first OAV as a stunning twin LP gatefold release early next year!!  The release comes in two colors, “Overfiend Pink” and the limited edition “Tentacle Burst” variation. The Tentacle Burst variant is already selling like hotcakes so ACT QUICK to avoid disappointment! Needless to say, I will be giving this incredible release a full write-up the moment it’s in my mitts so stay tuned!!

Until then, GO VISIT http://tigerlabvinyl.bigcartel.com/ NOW and grab your copy before it’s too late and while you’re at it, give the boys at Tiger Lab Vinyl a follow on their official twitter and also be sure to give them a like on their facebook page too! Go go go!!

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Adventure Kid hacks the Lounge!

Well it’s been a long 5 months since I last posted due to a very hectic work schedule but here we are again and this time I take a look at the 1988 erotic science-fiction manga “Adventure Kid”! Please be sure to give it a read and feel free to leave a comment! Regular service shall now resume so see you all again in a couple of weeks when I make another addition to the lounge. (It’s another old title in case your wondering!) Until then!

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Meet the Taxi Driver!

Well hello again fellow tentacle lovers!

This month, I’ve decided to dig out the 1981 classic “Jigoku no Senki” and give it a go over in the usual way. The artwork alone in these books make it worthy addition to any Maeda enthusiast so please check out the write up here and track down a set before they all disappear into obscurity forever! Till next time!

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Welcome to Gedō Gakuen!

Greetings fellow tentacle freaks!

This month we look at the 1988 supernatural erotic thriller Gedō Gakuen! Some of you dedicated Maeda fans might recognize this work but know it by its U.S anime title “Nightmare Campus” instead though! Since the original manga was never licensed or released overseas, I decided to give you all a full plot summary of this forgotten gem right here so please be sure to check it out! Many thanks and see you all again in a few weeks!

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Shin-Urotsukidōji hits the lounge!

Well, well it’s been a busy few months for me personally but I found some time in my hectic schedule to tackle the well-known, yet largely ignored, manga known as Shin-Urotsukidōji. It’s a re-imagining of Maeda-Sensei’s hugely popular Urotsukidōji so, if you’re a fan of that title, be sure to check out my full write up on this title right here

Thanks for stopping by and see you again real soon with another classic!

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