Manga Pal and more at Epitanime
Quick annoucement: I received a kind e-mail from the good folks over at Manga Pal regarding their line-up at the Epitanime convention which will be held in Paris, France this week-end. Here's a somewhat belated summary.
The e-mail from Manga Pal actually came in last week, but being in Russia with almost no Internet connection at the time, I was unable to report on this until now (back in France). I hope fellow French bloggers will still have time to pass it over to their own readership.
If you've read the previous post on this blog, you probably remember Manga Pal as the people handling the international distribution of The Witches of the Sphinx, the latest Strike Witches doujinshi by Nogami Takeshi and Suzuki Takaaki, with English translations by Dan Kanemitsu. More generally, they offer an interesting selection of doujinshi and doujin paraphernalia to international buyers through their online shop (ranging from BL parodies of Jump titles to Touhou and Vocaloid books), and also have booths at various anime conventions worldwide. In particular, they will be in France for Epitanime this week-end and Japan Expo in July.
Their Epitanime line-up is available online, and features character goods from Haruhi, Lucky Star, Durarara and Hetalia, as well as a number of doujinshi, including parodies from Bleach, Pop'n music, Fate/Stay Night, Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn, Zetsubou Sensei and Vocaloid as well as a number of originals. Highlights include The Witches of the Sphinx of course, and several volumes of Firstspear's original series The Azure Century Chronicles (also translated by Dan Kanemitsu), and a cute as ever girl-only book by MATSUDA98 (whom Hidamari Sketch fans know as Aoki Ume's sister-in-arms at all doujin events). And the event-only price list seems relatively oblivious to the recent euro downfall, so if you drop by Epitanime, do pay them a visit!
As usual, more doujin products will be available at the Digicraft booth, which mainly sells doujin games (especially shmups and fighting games) directly from Japan. And pbsaffran will be releasing further chapters of his excellent official translation of the Higurashi sound novel.
The Epitanime convention, by the way, is one of the oldest anime events in France, and after 18 years, it retains a by-fans-for-fans spirit that has been largely lost at other competing events. It is also about “not dumbing things down”: con-goers are not afraid of seeing Japanese products in the dealer's room, of hearing Japanese voices at anime showings, of singing to the original Uchuu senkan Yamato lyrics and to the Nico douga kumikyoku at karaoke... And you'll see fewer Naruto headbands, and more cosplays of Hakurei Reimu or, erm, Jibril (from Makai tenshi Jibril). Some of the fans running the show have good connections in Japan, so special guests are quite special too: ABe Yoshitoshi in 2007, Murata Renji in 2008 and Noizi Itou this year. I hope to get her to sign my box of Komorebi ni yureru tama no koe :-).