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art: Hoshitamago June 9, 2009

Posted by chiisai_hana in : doujinshi , comments closed

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When I first approached the world of Hetalia doujinshi, Hoshitamago was the circle, it seemed. At first I didn’t get the hype. The art isn’t the typical “moe” style, which is what usually attracts me, and proportionally I found some of the scenes to be off. A couple months and many books later, the artist seems much more at ease with the characters and I have been converted to the Hoshitamago fanclub.

Like many other Hetalia fans, Hoshitamago’s focus is on the America/England relationship. But what makes this particular circle’s books unique is the depth and feeling behind the characters and the stories. Many of the books seem longer than a standard doujinshi, and the artist has done her history homework. In the end, there’s something inexplicably fulfilling about Hoshi’s doujinshi that compensates for any other criticisms one might have.

If you’re interested, joining the hetalia community on livejournal will allow you to access English scanlations of Hoshi’s books. I really can’t recommend the 11th fanbook – Netsuzoushita Kiss Line – enough. It deals with the changing relationship between a younger America and Imperial England in the weeks leading up to the American Revolution. And if you don’t mind Japanese raws, the community also has many of those available. The books are generally readily available for purchase too, though I’ve noticed recently that many popular sites like jpqueen have sold out of the older titles.

art: ashes to ashes August 31, 2008

Posted by chiisai_hana in : doujinshi , comments closed

After the latest Code Geass episode, this was the only fitting thing to post. One of my recent finds in doujinshi circles is ashes to ashes. I bought a random doujinshi by the circle, and it was well worth the $25 (even though I’ve now found the doujinshi hosted for free on their site). The doujinshi is called Knight x Prince, and it’s an alternate reality story where Lelouch goes to Japan and meets Suzaku, but grows up a prince. His knight, obviously clear from the title, is Suzaku. While I can’t make heads or tails of the plot at this point in time, the art is gorgeous. I’ve since bought another ashes to ashes book and it didn’t meet the quality of Knight x Prince in my opinion. Then again, where Knight x Prince is rather pleasant the doujinshi Not Equal is a lot more angst driven, taking place during Suzaku’s capture of Lelouch pre-R2.

The story of Knight x Prince seems to be drama focused, and probably only appeals to the fangirls out there. You can find a PG version of the doujinshi uploaded here. If you happen to find a copy of the book, let’s just say things get a lot steamier after that kiss. The story itself is still being continued, and you can find snippets of future events around ashes to ashes’ site.

Non-suzalulu fans might be interested in the circle’s gallery. They have some great pictures of the other characters posted.

art: Fuukatei August 25, 2008

Posted by chiisai_hana in : doujinshi , comments closed

I can still remember when I learned about doujinshi. It was back in the good old days of Gundam Wing, when I was finally reaching out past dubbed anime and getting acquainted with ‘fandom’. At the time, doujinshi was a new concept for a lot of my online friends and I ended up introducing most of them to it. Now, doujinshi is popular and its availability online has made it easier for me to indulge in the hobby (both in scanned and hardcopy form).

One of my long-time favourite artists has been ふうか亭. Their 2003 Gundam Seed release Cosmopolitian was one of my first doujinshi purchases; they’re also now the circle I own the most books of. There has been a nice improvement in Ryo Yazaki’s art in the past five years, and the latest Code Geass books are gorgeous. Yet Fuukatei hasn’t reached the same popularity among English-speaking fans as other suzalulu circles, such as Cou or Dalc Rose, have. It’s a shame really, because they have so many books released and their stories are begging for translations. While a lot of yaoi Geass doujinshi will have a dark, angsty approach, Fuukatei’s books seem to multiply the effect. In a lot of their books, for example, Suzaku often looks down right evil and it really makes me wish I had a better grasp on the text.

The circle’s latest releases have been an anthology of their suzalulu stories, and a short Rolo book. I haven’t convinced myself to buy the anthology yet, but the Rolo book is my latest purchase. The story deals with Rolo’s conflicting emotions about playing the role of Lelouch’s brother; it ends with a confrontation with Suzaku, who seems to doubt Rolo’s ability to carry out his mission.