I've gotten some inquiries about obtaining the Gurren Lagann charity book "Believe in Yourself" outside of Japan.
We (Company G and I) are trying to figure out a way so people in the US could get this book.
When we decide on something, I'll try to let news outlets know. Please don't try to buy it at some auction site for double-triple-whatever the amount. I really hope people won't be reselling the book for a profit, either... It would really be heartbreaking.
I would even go get the books and ship it out of my house myself to prevent that from happening, so...
The project I've been working for Company G has been announced in Japan.
It is a charity doujin book to benefit the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Title: "Believe in Yourself" 84 pages (including cover) Content: "Gurren Lagann" illustration collection drawn for charity. All images were drawn specifically for this book. Price: 1000 yen Cover illustration by Sushio. Back cover illustration by Hiroyuki Imaishi.
All profits will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society.
Artists: Sushio Hiroyuki Imaishi Masahiko Otsuka Shingo Abe Akira Amemiya Kei Anjiki Syouta Ibata Shota Iwasaki Ikuo Kuwana Keisuke Kojima Hirokazu Kojima Nozomi Goto Sorato Shimizu Yuka Shibata Yusuke Tanaka Hiromi Taniguchi Hiroaki Tomita Shouko Nakagawa Atsushi Nishigori Hitomi Hasegawa Akemi Hayashi Syuhei Handa Tatsumi Fujii Ryouji Masuyama Hiroki Mutaguchi Yusuke Yoshigaki Mai Yoneyama Keisuke Watanabe Bobby Rubio Dean Kelly Grant Alexander Kenji Ono Kihyun Ryu Lauren Montgomery Michael Chang Seung-Hyun Oh Bryan Konietzko Elsa Garagarza Ethan Spaulding Ian Graham Joaquim Dos Santos
They will be selling this book at doujin events such as Comiket. They are also planning to have this sold online by GAINAX.
A message from Masahiko Otsuka, who proposed this project. "I would like to express my deepest sympathies to everyone in the stricken area of the Great East Japan Earthquake. This project came from the feelings of a few anime staff wondering what we could do to help. Hence, we came up with creating an illustration book to benefit charity. Not only did GAINAX animators contribute, but singer Shouko Nakagawa, and creators from overseas participated as well. The title of the book, "Believe in Yourself," was named by Kazuki Nakashima. All profits from the sales of this book will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society."
NOTE: This book was published due to volunteer work of anime staff with the consent of Gurren Lagann Committee and GAINAX Company, Limited. The Gurren Lagann Committee and GAINAX Company, Limited are not responsible for the publication and sales of this book.
So what did I contribute, you ask? I translated the correspondence between the U.S. artists and the staff of Company G. I also translated the artist profiles to Japanese and English.
A big day for all of us, as we prepared to visit Company P, an animation studio.
We were asked to do a panel for a group of about 50 people. I was a bit nervous because I didn't get much sleep, and it's hard to interpret when you're sleepy.
We get to the campus, and even before we sign in, we started to take pictures.
One of the many pictures taken in front of the main entrance.
We took a brief tour, then went to one of the screening rooms for our panel.
After a quick hello, we showed a short clip of all the titles Company G worked on. I've seen this clip before when Yamaga-san showed it at Fanime last year, but it was updated with the recent titles. "Wish Upon the Pleiades" was in there too! Yay!
I did a short introduction of the panelists, had them say a few words, and went on to some Q&A.
Honestly, I don't remember most of it...sorry. I'm looking at my notes as I write this entry, but with 6 people to interpret, I couldn't write much down and had to rely on memory most of the time.
One of the questions was why Company G titles were different from other studio properties in which a story would have a climax, then another climax, and then even another climax. The answer was that, in the case of Gurren Lagann, the director and the scriptwriter, would pack so much into one episode. They would pack maybe 2-3 episodes' worth of content into 1 episode. Of course, this is like torture to the staff... But everyone at Company G wants to please the fans, so they do it. And because they like doing it, too.
The hour went by really fast. It was a lot of fun, and many thanks to the staff of Company G and Company P for giving me the opportunity to take part in a rare event.
After the panel we had lunch at Company P, and we had a few Company P people join us to talk. It was fun, but I had to stuff my food down fast in order to interpret. Fortunately there was a fellow who studied Japanese at Harvard sitting next to me, so he took over most of the interpreting. (Thanks, B!)
I wish the staff had more time to interact with each other, but it was time to go watch some Company P shorts. We saw three shorts. My favorite was "Tokyo Mater."
After the screening, it was time for pictures and shopping at the Company P store.
Sushio-san (not pictured here) bought this huge bear.
Thank you Company P for the warm welcome!
After we left Company P, we went to a comic shop in Oakland. They had a huge selection of manga (English) there!! For example...all the obscure(?) titles I worked on for Company TP! Foxy Lady, Tokko, Takumi-kun series... I never got copies of them, so this was the first time seem them in print. I was a little shocked to see I wasn't credited for Innocent W #3. But with bad reviews on the title, maybe that was okay... Hee hee.
We then headed for the Golden Gate Bridge. Last time Company G was here, it was foggy. This time, the sun was going down, but we managed to barely get enough light for good pictures.
Yamada-san and Sushio-san taking pictures.
By the way, it was freezing.
But we then headed to somewhere colder, Twin Peaks. (Which was also foggy the last time Company G went)
I took one picture and went back to the car. My hands were so cold, I couldn't take any more pictures!
But everyone had fun. They were satisfied.
For dinner we went to Thanh Long, known for their crab and garlic noodles.
Then we went back to the hotel...
And I checked my email.
I had a small piece of work from Company YP, and they wanted it today!!
I did it, but because the adrenaline kicked in to fight my drowsiness, I couldn't sleep for the next 2 hours.
One day, someone from Company G emailed me asking if I can accompany them for their vacation to San Francisco. I was actually already quite busy then, but since it's Company G, I agreed. So after a few weeks of back-and-forth, planning out our trip and figuring out our itinerary...
Here we are in San Francisco! Six members from Company G coming in from Japan, and me coming in from Los Angeles.
They arrived in the morning, so we had the whole day to do a bunch of stuff.
We first went to Tartine Bakery. We got croissants, morning buns, and some lemon meringue cake.
Croissants and morning buns.
Then we went to the California Academy of Sciences. The last time Company G came (when almost the entire staff came to Fanime), we only passed by. So they wanted to check it out.
On the way to the Academy.
We spent about 2 hours at the Academy?
After we checked in the hotel and dropped off our luggage, we went shopping. Dinner was at In-N-Out.
They were so nice to bring me some stuff...
A bunch of Panty&Stocking w/ Garterbelt, + Eva stuff.
I'm not sure if I can talk about it just yet, but will be able to, soon.
I enjoyed working on this series because I got to interact directly with the producers and creators. It's a lot of back-and-forth, but thanks to my wonderful client I got quick responses and it went quite smoothly. (Well, I only had a few days to finish the project, so quick responses were necessary...)
I'll post links to the anime as soon as I can talk about it.