On Harmony Gold, and the UK rights to Macross.

So yeah as i was reading one of the ” FU harmony gold” threads on a certain forum site [the one that rhymes with “poor span”] someone brought up this piece of info which, after checking for myself, is in fact true:


In particular note what the actual rights cover:

Originally Posted by UK intellectual property office
Class 16
Comic books, novellas and role-playing books; instruction sheets for the construction of toy action figures; newspapers, periodicals, magazines; manuals; revues; books; posters; agendas; albums; almanacs; announcement sheets; articles for binding; playing cards.

Class 25
Articles of clothing, footwear and headgear; socks, footwear, shirts, sweatshirts, pajamas, warm-up suits, coats, shorts, gym shorts, dresses, clothing belts, bandannas, sweaters, gloves, ear muffs, neckwear, skiwear, slacks, sun visors, suspenders, turtlenecks, vests, headwear, bathrobes, beachwear.

Notice something missing from there?


Well, in comparison, heres the [now sadly expired] UK rights for Macross plus:

Originally Posted by UK intellectual property office
Class 9
Television games, software for television games, computers, computer software, vending machines, automatic and coin-operated amusement machines, software for automatic and coin-operated amusement machines, records, recording tapes, compact discs, movie films, video tapes, slide films, video discs; and parts and fittings therefor; all included in Class 9

tl:dr if I’m right does this mean that, While Harmony gold have filed the UK rights to macross, those same rights don’t actually include the anime series itself?

Or am i missing something?

Kaoru Mori’s Anything and something


As I mentioned in my artist spotlight, despite the number of Kaoru Mori’s titles that are available in the west, I was disappointed that, due to their length, many of her short stories were unavailable legally – That is until the recent release by Yen press of Anything and something, a collection of her short stories that she has had published in Fellows magazine, along with many of her various illustrations and sketches from the last 10 years, as well as artwork of both her earlier works Emma and Shirley and her most recent work brides story.

As the title suggests the titles presented cover a large swathe of subjects including –

Welcome to the mansion, master – where a young delivery boy suddenly finds himself the less than willing owner of a of less than scrupulous maid and butler.

Burrow Gentlemen’s club – One of the many contemporary period stories included in this book this tale, told in the first person, introduces us to a hostess club waitress who may be more than she seems….
Oh, did I forget to mention that she’s also a bunny girl?

Miss Claire’ s ordinary, everyday life – Despite the title of this 2 part story Claire, the sole renaming servant to the always broke Baron Heinz, has anything but an ordinary life, from see through glasses, to burglars, to even a gramophone built into a Victorian telephone [beating bill gates by 100 years!]

But by far my favourite part of the book was that Velvet blossoms, the story drawn by Kaoru and written by Satoshi Fukushima, and which I covered in my artists spotlight on Kaoru Moris works, has been included in this book [although retitled for the western release as “Sumires flowers”].
The story of two female art club members, one more interested in her art than social interaction, the other who uses the art club as a mean to “socially interact”, and how the two eventually come to understand each other and bond through art still stands in my mind by far as the one title that makes this book a must buy – In fact out of them all I think both Sumires flowers and Claire had the potential to be developed into their own [albeit short] series in their own right.

In all this series is an absolute must for fans of Kaoru Mori, whether through her recent work Brides story or [like me] through Emma.

Chuo dori info dump 24/01/2013

Firstly howdoo and yes i have yet again arisn from my undead sleep.

1] As anime blogger ogiue maniax has recentley posted on his blog The latest issue of Monthly Afternoon has announced plans to air a brand new series of Kios Shimoku’s Genshiken. currenllty theres no word as to wether it’ll continue from where the previous animate adpatation left or wether it’ll just go straight to Genshiken 2 and introduce the new cast.

My own thoughts? – ive already mentioined my thoughts enough times to make people sick to the teeth to hear about them.

2] For those of you still undecided or not knowing one of the longest running UK anime convention’s AYACON will be hosting what will be it last ever anime convention EVER on the 16th – 18th August 2013 at the Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, near Coventry.
their current guest list so far is video game voice actor and co-creator and Director of the hit web-series “There Will Be Brawl” Matt Mercer, with more announcments planned nearer to August.

for more details [and to register] go to http://www.ayacon.org.uk/

My own thoughts? – Ayacon was my first ever anime convention, WAAAYYY back in the mists of time […okey more like 2001, but whos counting] and i for one willl definitly be going down to see this

3] American manga/ book publisher Vertical inc. have set up their now annual Marketing and Licensing Survey, allowing fans the chance to not only air their thoughts about Vertical but to also put forward their wishlists of series that they’d like to get licenced and released in the west.
HOWEVER there are some restrictions, namely no titles from Shogakukan, Shueisha or Akita Shoten, nothing published before 2000 and nothing that has a volume count above 14.
the closing date for amissions is 8th Febuary – so hurry on down and
fill in the survey today.


Osamu Tezukas Barbara

barbara cover

When I started Chou -Dori back in 2009 if you had told me that a manga company Would bring out a manga title by the pure power of Crowd sourcing I would have wondered what you were drinking – and would have promptly ordered a double of it.

And yet In 2011 American manga company DMP [Digital Manga Publishing] set out to achieve just that – and now I hold the result of that project.

First and foremost Osamu Tezukas Barbara as a manga shows itself to be a work of its time – when published in 1973 Japan was still enjoying the euphoria of a culture addicted to the next big thrill – be it Drugs, art, sex and social and political revolution – and yet at this time it was clear that the party was coming to an end as political corruption was rife, and students of Tokyo university protested over the Japanese government signing the Security Treaty with the United States, a treaty that allowed American to place Air force bases on Okinawa.

Into this mix we are introduced to Yosuke Mikura, a relatively famous Author and social darling, with offers both political and matrimonial landing on his lap, all of which he casually casts aside, confident with his own talent and hubris – That is until the day that He find the young Vagrant, and the title character of the book, Barbara – whose otherwise foul mouthed, heavy drinking surly attitude towards Youske and his talents hide a gift that is both an unexpected boon to him and also a curse that will destroy him utterly….

In its execution this work shows the classic signs of a Tezuka manga , from the artwork to pacing to the script, with artist and philosophical quotes aplenty throughout the series – but don be fooled by this – even when compared to many of his other more adult works like supernatural series “Ode to Kirihito” and the murder mystery “Mu”, Barbara attempts to go into directions much darker still, dabbling into themes of the occult, physical abuse, drug taking and psychosis as we discover that Youskes own personal demons and……interests leave him to be less of a hero of this piece.

Indeed as we watch Youskes take for granted the good fortune that Barbaras presence seems to give to him I couldn’t help but be reminded of the endless line of talent show “celebrities” all desperate to reap as much as possible from their less than hard earned fame. It could also be seen in another way as an analogy of drug addiction itself, with Yosuke’s obsessive desire for both Barbara and for fame resulting in his eventual spiral towards inevitable loss and self-destruction.


Also the pacing of the series left me disconnected at times and while this could be attributed to the series being released episodically by the manga magazine “Big comic”, the episodes themselves felt at best only loosely connected – indeed some, like chapter 5 ,“the demon on the dune”, where Youske returns to an island where he met his first love in a younger time but which turns out to be much, much more – felt more like a short story in format that had been wedged into the series.

As a result this work could be seen as Osamu Tezuka’s attempt to both compete with the rising Gekiga movement, [whose series that were focused on violence and sex scenes gave us series like Kazua koike’s samurai series Lone wolf and cub] But also His attempt to remain relevant as a mangaka at a time when, despite the fact that he is known now as “the godfather of manga”, by the 70’s he was struggling to remain relevant to an audience that was increasingly looking for more darker and edgier works to whet their pallet’s.

Indeed it could be argued that, while trying to appeal to the more adult readership, it feels like Tezuka has deliberately handicapped himself, with his plots and characters seemingly pantomime like and one dimensional in their personalities and backgrounds – it felt like he was hesitant to take the story too far into the darkness that others [like kazua koike] were wholesale plunging into for fear of alienating fans of his more light-hearted, child friendly series.


But one thing is clear though – Barbara is by far one of Osamu’s more darker and unsettling titles and you should not go into this looking for the comedy and light-heartedness that is symbolic of much of his other works.