By Ellis Tinios.
Hokusai manga was one of the great publishing sensations of 19th-century Japan, issued serially between 1814 and 1878. After the opening of Japan to foreign trade in the 1850s not long after its creator’s death, it rapidly became the best known Japanese book in the wider world. Copies were circulating in Paris is early as 1856, and in 1867 the Shogun’s government sent the 14 volumes then comprising the set to Paris for display at the Exposition universelle d'art et d'industrie of that year. Today it remains widely know in the West, by title if not by content.
The global recognition accorded Hokusai manga belies its modest origins: it was originally published in 1814 “complete in one volume” by Eirakuya, a provincial publishing house based in Nagoya. It is unlikey that either the artist or the publisher anticipated its astonishing popularity. Nor would they have expected it to evolve into a highly lucrative title that would eventually run to 15 volumes and remain in print for a century.
An Eirakuya advertisement of 1814 for “copybooks” (edehon 繪手本), i.e. How-To manuals for the aspiring artist, provides the first mention of Hokusai manga. It appears between two companion volumes from the brushes of two of Hokusai’s contemporaries. All three books present numerous small-scale studies and are offered for sale “complete in one volume”. Closed they measure 23 x 16 cm and are printed in limited ranges of colours. Adulatory prefaces are the only running texts in them. In the case of Hokusai manga, the preface runs to 250 words. It praises Hokusai’s unparalleled ability to “transmit the spirit” of all that he depicts, describes the circumstances leading to the creation of the book, outlines it contents and concludes “Those who really wish to learn to draw can hardly do better than take this book as their guide.” Continue Reading
The latest episodes of Seraph Of The End, Plastic Memories and The Heroic Legend Of Arslan are available to UK/Ireland now. Click on the image below to watch them.
By Jonathan Clements. An illustration by Tsuyuki Kocho shows the famous artist Hokusai at work with his assistant, his daughter Oei (or Oi). The picture is dated 1843, only a few years before Hokusai’s death, when he was increasingly reliant on his divorcee daughter to care for him. Hokusai himself is partly obscured, crouching over a painting as if straining to see it properly. Oei is depicted in equally unflattering terms, her eyes narrowed in the disdain that allegedly cost her her marriage (she had a habit of laughing at her husband’s artwork), leaning on a long tobacco pipe. Her chin is somewhat prominent, reflecting a nickname that played upon this feature.
Katsuchika Oei, Hokusai’s third daughter, was known to be an artist in her own right. Ten extant works are known to be by her own hand, many of them displaying a powerful sense of light and dark, and an original sensibility with colour that would have been sure to have propelled her to height of fame in 19th century Japan. But Oei remains a shadowy figure, like the apparitions of her best-known work, Night Scene in the Yoshiwara, brushed out of history by very mundane concerns over attribution. However, she may have been far more prolific than previously supposed, albeit working under another name: that of her own father. Continue Reading
We know many of you are excited (as are we) about our upcoming Standard Edition release of Durarara!! on 18th May. In case you aren't aware the reason we are excited about this is because the Blu-ray version includes re-authored discs that correct issues present in our initial Limited Edition Blu-ray release. (NOTE: If you bought the Limited Edition version, you can apply for replacement discs HERE)
This post will be giving you a preview of what to expect with these newly authored discs along with our DVD release.
With more movement than the Shifting Sand Land in Mario 64, how's that for a reference, it's the latest edition of the Anime Limited Newswire.
~ First of all a big thanks to everyone who came to our panel at MCM Belfast Comic Con this past Saturday. It was great to see so many people and we had some great questions too! During the panel we were happy to confirm that Plastic Memories will be getting a Blu-ray and DVD release from us in 2016, details about our upcoming release of 009 Re:Cyborg and that Tokyo Ghoul is tentatively schedule for release on Blu-ray and DVD from us in October. You can read our Bonus Newswire posted on Saturday evening HERE.
~ We're hoping to be able to reveal our plans for MCM London Comic Con within the next week! So keep an eye for details on those as we can share them.
~ Looking ahead there are some dates shifting we need to make you aware of. Tiger & Bunny The Rising has been shifted back to late June (exact date TBC at this time.) As mentioned in the bonus Newswire from the weekend 009 Re:Cyborg will be coming to Collector's Edition Blu-ray/DVD and Standard Edition DVD in July (exact date is TBC at this time). Nerima Daikon Brothers is also getting pushed back, but you'll be happy to hear things are still moving forward on this and all going well we're hoping to be able to confirm a new date soon (also hoping it'll be around July/August time.) Continue Reading