Archive for the Errata Category

Greek Otaku Radio 1st Anniversary Party

Posted in Errata, Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2014 by speedxgrapher

Here we are again and time for another post, this time an event announcement (wow, haven’t done one of these in forever). You know, with the advent of social media, smartphones and what-have-you, posting this sort of event on a blog seems kind of a moot point to me. However, all these events are usually posted in Greek, seeing as they take place in Greece and I thought that one such as this, the one year celebratory landmark of a Greek, online otaku radio station, deserved to have a mention in English.

Greek Otaku Radio 1st Anniversary Party.

Greek Otaku Radio 1st Anniversary Party.

So then, on February 15th, 2014, the event will take place in Ostria Café (corner of 65, Themostokleous St and 6, Oikonomou St., Exarcheia). It all kicks off at 17:00 and will probably go on into the wee hours after midnight (at least, I assume it will). There’s plenty to see and do, from contests, lotteries, to cosplays and boardgames, among other things. There will be Japanese music, both from the decks as well as live, Greek adaptations of anime openings by MusicPrincessGR and Nikubitsa (I’ve listened to one’s asaptation of the Sword Art Online Opening, “Crossing Field” and it was not half bad).

The guys and gals of Greek Otaku Radio went as far as to make a video announcement for this event, which you can enjoy below, along with a few lines fot he aforementioned anime adaptations:

I’m even considering swinging by to check out the action, although that largely depends on how busy I’ll be with work. In any event, Happy Birthday Greek Otaku Radio!

Cheerio,

Speedgrapher

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Greek Cosplay Wishes 2013

Posted in Errata, Events with tags , , , , , , , on December 29, 2013 by speedxgrapher

It has been literally years since I last posted anything here. There were a few ideas, still less time and procrastination of epic proportions. Recently (that is to say, over the last year, or even two years), the concentrated efforts of Cassiel, an otaku I consider among “The Old Guard”, based in Greece’s Katerini and Salonika, have prompted me to reexamine a scene I left under considerably bad terms (those who know, know – for the rest, let us just say I could crunch a sopa opera book series out of the events of that time).

At any rate, repeated contact with new (and some seasoned) cosplayers over the course of Comicdom Con, meeting the great people behind Greek Otaku Radio, as well as the aforementioned activities and some discussions with Cassiel, I am considering whether there is a point in reviving this blog. The jury’s still out yet, but as a token of respect for Cass’s work, I will share with you a video he made, encompassing wishes for the coming year from cosplayers and people involved in the scene in other ways.

If you watch it all the way through, you will also see me, in a photo from much happier times (The Maid Cafe at the Athens Mall fnac in 2009 – the fnac has since become a Public, but in the photos you can also see Cassiel cosplaying as one of our shared favorite characters, Captain Harlock), accompanied with a text I sent for the video, since I could not get a camera to record my message in time. Now, all the video is in Greek, but you still get to see many cosplays and much Christmas  lunacy.

It has been a hard year (hard 3-4 years, come to think of it) for most people in Greece. Let us hope this year treats us better and sees this rotten government fall.

Peace,

Speedgrapher

Speedy-san, Speedy-san, Wherever Are You Now?

Posted in Errata with tags , , , , , , on November 10, 2010 by speedxgrapher

Wow it’s been… what, six months now? I think that’s accurate, almost to the day (well, minus 2 days). In those 6 months I have not gone to any of the Asian-oriented parties  (and I say “Asian” since Korea seems to be the new craze), I have not taken any cosplay pictures and – evidently – I have not blogged anything over here. Last time I hailed you dear readers from the depths of my proverbial hole, it was about CHORISSU, the fanzine we put out with Umi & Sora during last year’s COMICDOM CON. It was an announcement of where it would be available post-Con, as well as a poll for the possibility of a next issue and its contents. Although feedback was positive, it was also very limited (only 26 people).

Let’s deviate a bit here and talk a bit more about CHORISSU: bottom line, it did not go well, despite what I was hoping for, given its run at the Con. We may have sold a couple hundred copies overall (I can’t be actually sure – I have lost track of the thing), but all the verbal feedback I got from comic shops, as well as some friends who have been in the fanzine scene far longer and far more regularly than I (not to mention some friends who work in graphic design), led me to one simple conclusion: we tanked it. There is no point in elaborating on the (varied) flaws and mistakes but suffice to say, the end result of the fanzine’s run got the team… disheartened – silently and discreetly perhaps (for the most part) but disheartened nonetheless. Although I did “lobby” for a second issue, which would incorporate some major changes and not repeat the majority of the mistakes, it never got off the e-talks and I sincerely doubt it will, anymore…

Now, given the facts described above, as well as Umi & Sora being on hold (for, as Kyoshiro had wisely predicted, real life will catch up sooner or later – two are outside the country on Erasmus programs, two are swamped with their studies and at least three with work), it should come as no surprise that I have been absent from this blog for so long. As for the so-called “J-scene”? Well, things are going as I feared they would – good cosplays are very few and far between (although Salonika seems to still resist – bless you Cassiel!), exhibitionism is now the main “theme” and worst of all (?), the new trend is Korean Pop (K-Pop) and soon, it seems, all-things-Korea (though I doubt it will last that long, since K-fans in Greece are a minority within the minority of J-fans) . I will be the first to say that most of J-Pop, especially the one I cannot associate with any anime, is more than a little annoying, but K-Pop is barely music at all and almost exclusively boy-band oriented. Sorry, no thanks – I couldn’t stand Backstreet Boys even as far back as junior high. Finally, all the varied teams that were popping left and right (which, in my opinion, were a good thing) have all but vanished. Over the last 7 months, the only event outside of Athens or Salonika proper was one organized in May, at Kerkyra’s Corfu – and then there was silence.

Where does that leave Otaku Lens then? Truth is, I am not sure. A couple of days ago I had a discussion with a friend over the net and she pointed out that Otaku Lens was not just about the parties, but also a number of other things related to modern Japanese culture. That much is true, I guess, with things filed under Oni Market and Nihon no Weirdness but one cannot deny that the main driving force was my love for what I hoped was growing in Greece and the documenting of it. Sadder still, over the past 6 months I have not found anything much to my liking in either the manga or anime departments…

Now, I imagine that the negativity fostered by what I see here in Greece affects my judgment, but there are some other factors to consider: for one, the translation industry of manga in English is waning, with ever fewer (and appallingly similar) things being solicited by American companies (just take a look at the DIAMOND PREVIEWS CATALOG and you’ll get the idea). I can’t find anything I have not already read in another title. As for anime, well, the disappointment is even worse: apart from re-issues of older series (we are talking torrent-wise here, which reflects the actual industry), I have found just two things which somewhat drew my interest, one being DANCE IN THE VAMPIRE BUND, which is nothing terribly special, just well-executed and AOI BUNGAKU, which takes classic Japanese literature (such as KOKORO) and re-interprets it in a more sinister light, which I have not yet watched. As for what is considered widely popular, it’s a complete nightmare: HIGH-SCHOOL OF THE DEAD. Boobs with a mind of their own, swords, guns and, well, zombies. I find zombie movies idiotic to begin with (except a few classics, such as ARMY OF DARKNESS and a funny one, SHAUN OF THE DEAD), zombie anime full of fan-service and devoid of scenario, don’t get me started…

So, again, I ask (probably just myself): where does that leave Otaku Lens? Still no idea but my intelligent friend (not to mention she is cute as a sugar-cane) has got me thinking and maybe the results of the process will be made available to you all. Only time will tell…

Until Yamato flies again,

Speedgrapher

(Bent-out of) Shape of Things to Come

Posted in Errata, Events with tags , , , , , on May 16, 2010 by speedxgrapher

I think we are rapidly reaching, if we have not already reached, the lowest point concerning otaku culture in Greece (well, to be fair, in Athens). Now, before I explain how I have reached this seemingly dire-sounding conclusion, let’s rewind just a little: as you have obviously noticed, I don’t come to the parties anymore, not even occasionally (with the exception of Sakura Syndrome’s last, where I remained for all of half an hour – and then again only because I was in the neighborhood). Some of the reasons are already known and have been analyzed at some length (both here and inside CHORISSU). A couple of days back, I met some people who frequent the parties and one asked me why I never come by any more. My answer was that, besides all else, I am bored to death: the parties have reached a point where they are an endless repetition (the Harajuku Street Party being the only recent exception) of music, of things that happen, of highs and especially lows, with the whole affair having turned into a noisome, kindergarden cosplay catwalk. At least, until recently, there was the ingenuity, care and variation which characterized a great number of said cosplays.

Until recently…  Although I don’t show up, I keep myself informed and I browse through the pictures that people upload in a number of places on the internet.  Before moving on, let me state clearly that I will not name people, exceptions or whatnot: I don’t know if it’s the fault of the people taking the pictures or of the people featured within them, but there has been a steady decline in the visual value of the parties which, in my opinion, hit rock bottom at the J-Horror event. The (vast majority of) the cosplays I saw in the pictures were so badly made, so mismatched and ill-presented (simply, if harshly put, so ridiculous and ugly), that they do not even measure up to the very first cosplays at KABATZA. Note that, of course, this opinion is based on the pictures I saw, which made my eyes bleed (again, I have no way of knowing if this is the fault of the pictures themselves or their subjects).

Take a breath, let it sink in…

I realize you will probably hate me for this opinion, maybe even stop reading this blog altogether. Some who can keep a more cool head, may reason that perhaps this was the case in a single party or perhaps that I have not seen enough material. Could be: nothing’ s impossible – merely improbable. If you really believe so, retrace your steps in time with the photographic material that’s been posted all over the place (including here) and I am sure you will notice how the majority of cosplayers change for the worst, whereas a few exceptions not only give it their all, but raise to even greater levels. However, they really are isles in the ocean and I cannot help but believe that when they are fed up, they will just stop.

Now, you may ask, point out, accuse or whatever else fits as a reaction – certainly enraged and outraged – that “Who are you to talk? You never cosplay! Do you know how difficult… blah-blah-blah”. I never said (and in fact, neither did anyone else) that you MUST cosplay just for the fuck of it and “shame on you for not doing it right”. I don’t cosplay because I am not good at it and more importantly, I am not built for it. The anime / manga / game characters for which I could plausibly pass can be counted on one hand, if even that. You must simply realize that, sometimes, it’s OK not to cosplay, if you won’t (or can’t – no shame there either) put your mind and heart into it. It won’t be the end of the world… It’s certainly better that turning what used to be something creative and fun into a “pat-me-in-the-back” freakshow.

What I see, is something that I used to love, turned into a dying trend and if it doesn’t do itself a favor and die out, in its current form it’ s simply too ridiculous to be worth the effort. Therefore, I will not be posting any more party announcements (as I did not post the Akai Panda Anniversary), until I feel there’s something to it again. Of course, it’s entirely possible that there won’t be something to it again… Mind you, this is not some kind of threat, condition, whatever – I have been updating the blog only sporadically and really, it’s not like my decision will affect your lives in any significant way (if it does, however, I am honored that you think – or have thought until now – so highly of me). There’s still photographic material in my backlogs, as well as other Japan-related things that I intend to post, when I have the time. I am simply releasing myself form the self-imposed obligation to be consistently up to speed with the various J-parties and giving you some food for thought.

Whether you chew on it or not, is your decision.

Speedgrapher out.

Oni Market #24: The Archives Behind the Lens

Posted in Errata, Oni Market on May 4, 2010 by speedxgrapher

Oddly enough and contrary to habit, this post is going to be about myself. As you know, odd and inconsistent though it has become, my blogging takes place in three blogs, including this one, Easy Subjugation and A View to Kill For… in MySpace (the latter having been all but abandoned and used mainly for announcements and promotion of events, although it still has some of my (so-called) poetry in it). As you also know, all these blogs are in English and I write in them using the nickname that most of you readers know me and many also call me by, IRL (In Real Life).

However, in truth, very little people know what I do in my everyday life, where and how I work, what I am really about. I have worked as a journalist, columnist, a photographer (well, obviously), I am currently working as a translator for scientific books (mostly) and have even done a bit of fiction writing. More to the point, all these things have been done in Greek. For some time I have been considering creating an archive of my work online (for many reasons, not the least of which is showcasing it so I can perhaps get more work), but so far the only step I had taken was creating a photo folder with scans in my MySpace profile. I also considered creating a section in one of my blogs for that, but it did not fit with any of the themes and more importantly, a Greek section in any of the otherwise all-English blogs? It just didn’t fit.

So I made the next obvious choice and created a new blog, this one in Greek, where I have uploaded a considerable amount of my work and will continue to do so. Articles, translations, fanzines and some other stuff I did at one time or the other. Furthermore, I plan on putting there any interesting Greek reviews or other texts I come up with over time. This blog is designed so as not to be regularly updated, but if you take a tour through its pages there’s more than enough to keep you occupied for some time, especially the Greek otaku among my readers here, since a good number of my articles pertained to our common interests (be sure to click at any article enough times to get to the largest version of the scan, so it can be readable).

Well, that’s all I wanted to say: I hope you will take the time to drop by here and check out my work and hopefully, find it interesting.

Cheers,

Speedgrapher

November 2009 Events: Update #3

Posted in Errata with tags , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2009 by speedxgrapher

Hiya there fellow otaku! I am still reeling from our Halloween J-Party and very near fell ill from the alternation of hot-inside-Art House / cold-where-we-afterwards (not to mention my unbelievably sore throat from yelling all night long to even exchange a couple of words inside the club) and had to spend most of the day in bed. However, I am better now and extremely happy with how the event fared, as well as all the opinions expressed around the net.

However, this month there is more for the enterprising fan, since in just a 4 short (Thursday 19th of November 2009) days Ota.Con Project (Aristotlean University of Thessaloniki – AUTH – Otaku League ‘s event team)  will be hosting their own event at the foyer of the Pedagogical Studies Department Tower. In a bout of originality, besides the well-loved fare of J-Rock, J-Pop and Anme OSTs, there will be free sushi and beer (the people organizing it are after my own heart – well done)! Entrance is also free and all attendees are welcome to indulge in cosplay, should they have the time and inclination and the best cosplay WILL be rewarded.

2009-11-19 - Ota.Con Project

Ota.Con's Premiere!

The event is partially sponsored by Comics Cave, which provided the poster expenses, as well as the awards. The event starts at 21:00 and ends at 01:00. You can find instructions on how to get there by scrolling down over here.

Have fun everyone!

Speedgrapher

P.S. For anyone interested, the team’s blog is over here.

A Sincere “Thank You”

Posted in Errata with tags , , , on November 1, 2009 by speedxgrapher

Over the past  week or so, I did the occasional monitoring of the blog’s stats, as I always do, in an effort to assert what I did wrong, right, both or none, in order to try and improve the content. The days at the end of each month are always the most important because, in essence (and on average), you can gauge you readership without constantly hitting the stats’ refresh button. Well, this time around it was quite the opposite and I confess to clicking the aforementioned button unto oblivion (again, not the game, though that too has destroyed me). My WordPress timer records the change of date at 02:00 after midnight, whereby it starts logging stats for the next day (and depending on the day and date, the next week and / or month).

The essential point of all this babbling is this: From October 1st to October 31st, the blog reached a heretofore unprecedented number of 20214 hits! It’s the highest monthly count since the blog made its virgin appearance (July 2008), so I simply wanted to thank you for your continued and growing support of Otaku Lens. It helps convince myself that I am not doing this just for my own geeky pleasure (and if I am, well, at least I am far from alone).

P4010675 - Small copy

Therefore, I will keep posting, so please keep reading and we’ll see where this whole fun and freaky ride takes us.

Sincerely,

Speedgrapher

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