[The?] Little Mermaid in Hiroshima

Kiki’s Delivery Service would have been very different if she was a mermaid instead of a witch… completely willing to admit that.
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At Hiroshima station, there is an amazing bakery that is pretty much THE breakfast spot, called Little Mermaid. It is, of course, based on Hans Christian Anderson’s story.

Hands down, the best breakfast I had in Japan… sorry Seven & I Holdings Co., Little Mermaid is better.

Little Mermaid revised

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Jump a train to Nerima, Tokyo, Japan!

Sean Ranma sketchWhile on vacation, I met a man who quite possibly has the largest collection of merchandise from popular 1989-1992 anime Ranma 1/2, or らんま 1/2 if you are from Nippon.

When he told me that he needed help fulfilling the bucket list entry visit a real life location from the aquatic gender bender comedy, as a fellow fan, I had to help.

So what location in Nerima was this? Furinkan High? The Tendo Dojo? Shakuji-Koen Park? Hah! No. We went to the famous fence alongside the river that was used in many episodes, especially when walking to or from school!

Ranma Fence

While most of the photos were taken with his camera, here are some of the results that I captured from this trip to the real fence seen in Nerima!

River walk in Nerima.jpgOne path on each side, one lane street in between. Not much to see, or too much? Who knows. This was an interesting place for a cosplay photo shoot.
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This area is west of Oizumi-gakuen station along the Seibu Ikebukuro line. While to many, this may not seem like a worthwhile excursion, I actually had a lot of fun going along!

Wait… why was Urusei Yatsura’s Lum in one of those pictures?! The Oizumi Gakuen station is the closest station to Toei, known for shows like Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon, so naturally this is known as the birthplace of anime!

Oizumi Anime Gate

They have statues out front from Astro Boy, Tomorrow’s Joe, Galaxy Express 999,  and even one of that obnoxious alien from Urusei Yatsura!

Urusei Yatsura Lum statue

Astro Boy

Tomorrow's Joe

Galaxy Express 999Also, I got to see the Galaxy Express 999 train! Or rather… a train promoting this 1977-1981 Manga and Anime!

Galaxy Express 999 trainEven if the photo shoot would have been a bust, which it was not, the station alone made the trip completely worth it!

All shall be revealed…

In time. I’m back from Japan, but between Jet Lag, unpacking, and sorting through things from comiket and Akihabara, I just haven’t had a real chance to make a new post. Below are some collages from some of my pictures though to wet your appetite!

Toei Supper
Dinner with animators from Toei
Akihabara
Akihabara
SNK
SNK @ Comiket
Kimonos
Kimonos @ Kyoto

There will be a Mer-Monday this Monday that is Japan based. Figured I’d give everyone  a heads up, as starting next week I’m going to attempts to get back on schedule.

I Leave for Japan on August 4th!

Which means that I will be there August 5th? 10 days in Japan! Hiroshima, Tokyo, Kyoto! The trip should be really fun! I thought it would be cool to look at some of the collages that I made from my 2010 trip that are currently in my photo album!

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Sapporo

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Near Hostel in Tokyo

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Amerikamura

 

Also, here are some videos.


And now… to finish getting ready for my trip.

 

I really want my new Youtube Channel to thrive…

Here is my latest video blog about Japan. I really want my channel to succeed, so if people can give me suggestions, please do. The other couple of episodes haven’t done too well, and these take a while to make even though they aren’t animated.

One of the reasons that I quit my old channel, which can be found here. was because of harassment about my weight, which is why I’m mostly using drawings and old photos in these. Also, my young nephew found my old one, and I got self conscious about the content on it. Also, like a decade of videos that never quite hit their stride.

Below is the first video blog about my previous Japan trip:

The first video blog uses slightly different art and isn’t about Japan at all… still worth I watch though as it has an important message!

I’m highly inspired by the work of the great animators on Youtube who tell their stories such as Jaiden AnimationsTheOdd1sOut, and even SWooZie.

I’m going to Japan

Sunday was so worthless, I stayed inside most of it and worked on this video blog about how I’m going to Japan in August, and all about my trip in 2010.

Please note that this was done under my new YouTube channel: Kerfuffle 226 which has a twitter handle: https://twitter.com/226Kerfuffle although you can still use my NetSenshi one here: https://twitter.com/netsenshi

Special thanks to Frog 50 for doing such an awesome job helping me make some avatar stuff for my videos. I won his Patreon raffle, and he agreed to do that instead of the 1 second of animation, which was great! Here’s his latest animation!

 

Sparkling Interviewee Kittyhawk

banner_yuukiI recently got the opportunity to interview the artist of Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki, Kittyhawk via e-mail. Before I go into said interview, how about a little context?

Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki, or SGVY for short, is the second webcomic Kittyhawk created in 2002. It features the male protagonist Yuuki who is obsessed with magical girl anime and manga. One day he discovers a magical DVD that transforms him into a Valkyrie, one of Norse mythologies all female warriors.

Yuuki, as a magical girl, has to fight entities from Norse legend while under the guidance of Hermod, a messenger in Norse mythology who in the comic has taken on the form of a marmoset. I would go more in depth, but honestly… you should just read the comic! Please note though that some of the pages are a bit NSFW.

Speaking about things being NSFW, Kittyhawk also dabbles in the more erotic side of comics as well, and they are purchasable on her website. Please note that the previous link also has mostly SFW items for purchase until you click the square consenting to see the mature content. Also, not all of the comics in her store were done by her.

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Evelyn, a commissioned rule 63 piece of myself.

Since I am a firm believer in ethical reporting in magical gender changing Norse mythological girl web comic artist interviewing, I would like to note that I have had art commissioned by this artist before, as well as frequent her chat room from time to time. Now on to interviewing Kittyhawk!

Sean: Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki is not your first web comic, The Jar is, correct? Is there anyplace that people can go to read your first one online, or is it only available in the Montrose Super Pack you sell in your store?

Kittyhawk: The Jar was my first webcomic! I started it with my brother a long time ago. The only place to read it in its entirety is through the Montrose Super Pack available at http://montrose.is/mart which also gives you high quality CBRs of Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki for on-the-go reading.

Sean: Were there any ideas before The Jar that you ended up scrapping that got close to being made?

Kittyhawk: Oh yeah, and probably for the best. Some ideas from those ideas did filter into the Jar, like the character of Makoto, Blue Angel Jessie, and Joe.

Sean: There’s a lot in a nickname. Mine, for example, was a combination of the shortening of interNet and the Japanese word they use in Sailor Moon, Senshi for guardian, making myself an internet guardian I suppose. Your handle is Kittyhawk, which has a rich meaning of importance in United States history. Was there any specific reason you picked up this handle, such as a love of aviation or a connection to North Carolina?

Kittyhawk: Nice reference! 😀 Sadly mine really has no meaning aside from I needed a more unique username online since I was one of many in a flood of Fuu-chans, so I decided to take the name of character I was drawing at the time as a pen name. You are right that it has connection to Kitty Hawk, NC. The way it’s spelled, Kittyhawk, is due to me misspelling the city’s name when I named the character. So I don’t mind so much when it’s spelled Kitty Hawk because I’m who started it. XD

Sean: What is your favorite color?

Kittyhawk: I really don’t have one really! It changes all the time. But I would say I’m pretty partial to the blue of the ocean.

Sean: I’ve read that you spent your childhood in Japan. What age were you when that occurred, and how did that occur?

Kittyhawk: I lived in Japan for two years, when I was 6-8. My father was in the US Navy at the time and got orders to go to Yokosuka, so away we went to Japan!

Sean: Do you know Japanese? Did you when you lived there?

Kittyhawk: I know very little Japanese and kanji, super basic. My father told me that I was learning pretty fast while we lived there, but going back to America kinda ended that.

Sean: What is your favorite thing to do in Japan?

Kittyhawk: To be honest, going to a convenience store. I really love konbini. XD

Sean: What is your favorite type of food from Japan?

Kittyhawk: I think if I had to really narrow it down, yakitori, especially hearts and skin. Mmmmm…

Sean: Some might consider it really awesome to live in Japan for any length of time. What were some of the downsides to being a stranger in a strange land, as well as some of the upsides?

Kittyhawk: I think one downside is you miss people and the culture of back home, like food and celebrations. There’s no Thanksgiving in Australia or Japan after all! But, I would say after living in Japan and Australia are better experiences than living in the USA. The food is better, the lifestyles are better, and the services are better. Though, there is no Waffle House, so there are trade offs.

Sean: Two influences that I’ve seen cited for you is the animator Tex Avery and the female manga artists from CLAMP. Which characters or series from those are your favorite?

Kittyhawk: I would say Red and the Wolf are my favorites from Tex Avery, and from CLAMP, the Duklyon.

Sean: Are you more of a Marvel girl, or a DC girl when it comes to Western comics, and has that translated into which comic book movies you watch?

Kittyhawk: I’m more of a Marvel girl, though I have been more of DC fangirl at times. Though, Marvel has a special place in my heart for being less hoity-toity and more about making bucks, more so in the past I’d say. I watch pretty much every superhero movie. With Marvel, I go because they’re entertaining and fun. With DC, I go because it’s entertaining to watch failure.

Sean: Do you preffer manga or anime?

Kittyhawk: I prefer manga because I can read it pretty fast. Anime requires sitting down and having to wait for the words to come out of their mouth, but I do watch when I got time.

Sean: Not that it really matters in this modern age, but were/are you a fan of subs or dubs?

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Cowboy Bebop

Kittyhawk: Hahaha, the eternal question! Subs of course, unless it’s certain series where the dub is better, like Cowboy Bebop.

Sean: Back in the long long ago, did you ever do any of that whole VHS fansub swapping?

Kittyhawk: Oh no, I lived in a rural area where that was not possible. Though eventually there was a comic shop with bootlegs.

Sean: What comics do you personally read?

Kittyhawk: Too many!! Mostly manga I will admit. Off the top of my head, some of my favorite series are Dead Dead Demon’s Dededededestruction, Shokugeki no Soma, Ooku, A Trail of Blood, and Land of the Lustrous.

Sean: What’s your favorite dinosaur?

Kittyhawk: Currently my favorite dinosaur is Heterodontosaurus and its kin. This will most likely change tomorrow. XD

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The Colors of Love, a commissioned piece

Sean: As someone who is bisexual have you had to deal with erasure or upset fans who find out that you have a husband?

Kittyhawk: Erasure, not really? I don’t think so. And yes, I have had jealous fans. Sorry, y’all! I took Trevor off the market and he’s MINE.

Sean: Has anyone ever asked you to draw something that you were uncomfortable drawing? If so, what was it if you don’t mind me asking.

Kittyhawk: Oh yeah. And no, I try not to shame people. I want them to feel comfortable. Sorry for not sharing. ^_^;;

Sean: What is your favorite thing to draw?

Kittyhawk: Women. Butts down.

Sean: You draw some even sexier things than SGVY. Since it seems every time you turn around there is a story about harassment online, have you had to deal with any fans that were out of line, or extremely rude in the past?

Kittyhawk: Yes, but it’s never escalated or anything. We’ve either worked it out or just let it go. I understand that sometimes something wrong is said or someone is emotional. I know I’m not a saint either.

Sean: Who do you think are some of the sexiest cartoon characters of all time, and do you like to draw any of them?

Kittyhawk: The Baroness, Zero Two, Honey and Dandy from Space Dandy, All Might, Andromeda Shun, Sailor Uranus, Kamina, Victor, Red… I could go on. And yes! XD

Sean: Which of your characters is your favorite, and are they your favorite to draw?

Kittyhawk: I think my favorite character I’ve created is the King from Useless King, and not really. I think my favorite of my characters to draw is Yuuki honestly.

Sean: What hardware and software do you currently use to draw?

Kittyhawk: Currently to draw I use an iPad Pro (1st gen) with Apple Pencil with Procreate. I highly recommend it. Best inking ever.

Sean: What is your favorite art medium?

20180421_bondi_bando_surfKittyhawk: Digital. I have always hated, even before digital was readily available, traditional media. I used it because I had to, but once I was able to start using a computer, I started to abandon traditional as much as I could. Nowadays, I use no traditional mediums at all and haven’t for the last 4 years. My favorite way to paint digitally is with the airbrush tool or reductively take away shadows using the eraser.

Sean: SGVY is a gender bent magical girl romp through modern day with Norse Mythology about. Are you a big fan of gender bending in comics, movies, etc.? If so, what are some of your favorites in said genre?

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Prunus Girl

Kittyhawk: I would say so! I’ve always had an attraction to gender bender media. I would say Ranma 1/2 and Prunus Girl are two I can think of off the top of my head.

Sean: Do you know where SGVY is ultimately going, how long it will take to get there, and will there ever be an end to Yuuki’s adventures?

Kittyhawk: Yup, I do. I’m currently working out how it will go from here, but there has been a clear ending since the beginning. It’s gonna be magical girl spectacular. 😀

Sean: Thus far, SGVY has been set in Norse mythology. Is that one your favorite? If so, do you have a second favorite? Also, would you ever consider mixing mythologies in SGVY.

Kittyhawk: I think my favorite mythology is Norse, followed by Sumerian. I don’t think I’ll ever mix the mythologies because it might get confusing. Though a lot of the Norse gods have equivalents, whether through coincidence or descent of idea, in other mythologies, so I guess there is a mix in that sense. That does make it easier to explain why Norse is prevalent I guess!

Sean: What is your favorite legend out of mythology, and why?

Kittyhawk: The Lokasenna, because it shows how law and respect can breakdown.

Sean: Favorite mythological monster?

Kittyhawk: Probably Jörmungandr, the world serpent.

Sean: You have been a guest at conventions before. When you are, do you ever take part in any panels, and if so, what kind of panels have you done?

Kittyhawk: I have done panels! Mostly panels directly related to comics, like art tips, how to write, how to create characters, etc. Though I have been on awesome panels like The Anatomy of Dragons. 😀

Sean: Do you cosplay regularly at conventions?

Kittyhawk: Haha, not really. I have though. I’m just not good at it I think. XD

Sean: You live in Australia right now, but are an American, correct? Do you believe that you will live in Australia for the foreseable future, or do you believe that you will one day end up back here in The United States, or hey… somewhere else even?

Kittyhawk: I’m gonna stay right here with my possums, bush turkeys, and multitudes of parrots for now. 😀

Sean: What is something that people do not know about you that you think they should?

Kittyhawk: I was the biggest provider of length in three capitol cities in Noby Noby Boy.

Sean: Where can people find your art outside of your webcomics?

card_squeeze_frontKittyhawk: http://montrose.is/sketching is the place to go! See all my art, games, and other comics there! 😀

Sean: Are you regularly open for art commissions, and if so, how is the best way for people to get a hold of you to set one up? Are there any set prices for said commissions?

Kittyhawk: I do commissions, yes! The best way to get one is to email me at kittyhawk@sgvy.com and let me know what you want. I’ll let you know if I’m taking commissions at that point or when I’ll be taking them next. I don’t have prices online, but I can tell you based on what your commission is, like number of figures, whether it’s a sketch or color illustration, detail, etc. Just ask and I’ll let you know! 😀

Thank you so much for interviewing me! I had fun answering the questions, and I hope everyone had fun reading them! ^_^

Kittyhawk GBDNATE Zara

Kittyhawk Is a really fun and creative person. How fun? So fun I forgot to mention that she made a cameo in Gender Bender DNA Twister Extreme, which was co-created by Lachlan Snell that I interviewed here!

How creative? In recent years she’s started making games… that I never mentioned about because… because. 😦

Interviewing Kittyhawk was an enjoyable thing to do, and I hope to bring similar content to this blog this year, hopefully sometime very soon.