Hot Japanese Imports: Video game doujinshi

August 10, 2009 - 4:28 pm No Comments

Final Fantasy VII 7 doujinshi 1/3 no Junjou na KanjouHave you ever played a video game so wonderful, that you wished it didn’t have to end? Perhaps the game’s original ending was unsatisfying and left you yearning to learn what happened to the hero. Maybe, you thought there was some sort of relationship between two characters in a game that wasn’t addressed, and you wondered if anything was really going on between them.

That’s where doujinshi, fan-made comics, come in.

Many people may instantly identify doujinshi as adults-only comics, looking at different character pairings that fans wanted or hoped to see. While the majority of doujinshi fall into this category, there are also plenty that are parodies of the original series, expand on the original story or act as gag comics, portraying the established characters in humorous situations.

Who are some famous doujinshi artists or circles?

There are a number of artists famous for drawing doujinshi. Usually, they’re referred to as circles. A circle is a group of artists who work together. Sometimes, a circle will only be one artist, but typically one is many artists grouped together.

As you look through doujinshi online, you’ll see the same names come up. Some of the more famous circles are Anaguranz, John Doe, Pure Heart Club, Shi no Tenshi, Shimoyakedou and Crimson Comics. If you’re just starting to take an interest in doujinshi, it may be helpful to look at the art and writing styles of more prominent circles and artists to get an idea of what kind of stories you want to read.

Doujinshi is often a starting point for mangakas as well. Many well known mangaka, manga artists and authors, began drawing fan comics before creating their own series. CLAMP, creators of Card Captor Sakura, X/1999, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and Chobits began as a doujinshi circle. D.N.Angel mangaka Yukiru Sugisaki started drawing King of Fighters gag doujinshi. Bastard!!‘s creator Kazushi Hagiwara is known for having created Capcom game doujinshi. Yoshitoshi ABe, Rumiko Takahashi, Masaki Kajishima and Ken Akamatsu all also began, and even continue, to create doujinshi.

Xenogears doujinshi Tamashii no Arika

Where can someone buy/find doujinshi?

An important thing to remember is that a great deal of doujinshi deals with adult situations, and falls into the hentai category of fiction. So if you’re under 18, you probably shouldn’t go looking for doujinshi. Wait a few years.

Probably the most obvious place to start looking for doujinshi is eBay. The only thing is, the doujinshi up for sale there is primarily based on anime series, and everything is all clumped together. Plus, you’re can’t be sure what condition the volumes will be in.

Online stores are probably your best bet. TokyoGetter. It features Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Persona 3 and Tales of the Abyss doujinshi. The only thing is, the site doesn’t tell you if the item you’re looking at contains adult content or not.Another fairly well known site is AnimeTen. However, at the moment, the site is being restructured.

Akadot Retail is an interesting site to visit as well. Not because it carries video game doujinshi, but because it carries books teaching you how to draw doujinshi.

Probably the best site to visit is jpqueen, an online store located in Japan that sells a wide variety of doujinshi, manga and comic books. If you can’t find a doujinshi based on a video game series you like here, chances are it doesn’t exist. It carries both general and adult doujinshi, from series like Devil May Cry, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Gyakuten Saiban (Phoenix Wright), King of Fighters, Persona, Tales of and Xenogears. It also states if adult content is in the doujinshi, as well as if it is a gag manga or serious story.

If you’re in Japan, then the best way to get doujinshi is to visit the Comic Market. It is held in Tokyo twice a year, in August and December, at Tokyo Big Sight. If you go, pick up the catalog so you know exactly where the artists’ booths are and how to navigate through the event.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Important Importables talks about video game doujinshi.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Important Importables talked about the bit Generations series of games.

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Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »

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