The Bishounen Blog

Not only a blog for fangirls (and boys) but a place people can lose their anime virginity

Friday, 11 May 2007

This vid sums up a lot of what I've been talking about...

It has chibis, talks about shipping, its an anime influenced cartoon and, most importantly, bishounen!

Its a mini cartoon that the Nickelodeon creators of Avatar did to please the fans (and to get a new actor to pactice his voice) See if you can find and name all of the anime codes and conventions! Enjoy!

Bishounen Memorabilia

What do you do when you think "It's all fair and good that I watch my favourite bishounen on TV/youtube/etc, but I want them to be real! I want my very own (insert name here)!"

The answer, as so many things and people are in the world, is simple. Get yourself some memorabilia!

The Japanese approach to TV and music is much for different to that of the Western world. Whereas in the UK and US you might have the bog standard toy from a particular show, or an iconic symbol that respresents the show (the Pokemon pokeball for example), Japan goes at least ten steps further.

There are toys. But there are also clothing items for men and women, calendars, sountracks to the anime (sung by the Japanese voice actors themselves, or seiyuu) jewellery, food and so on. In fact, pretty much anything that could be turned into merchandise pretty much is. And it's not just aimed at kids, which is the fundamental difference between the two shopping cultures.

My particulary favourite type of memorabilia is the Plushie. A plushie (or to give it it's proper name- Plush Toy) is basically as stuffed toy/cuddly version of a character. It doesn't matter who the characters are, more than likely there is a plushie version of them out there. Plus they come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny ones that could be attached to a keyring, to human sized plushies (a human sized Sasuke... *fans self)
Here are just some examples are bishounen plushies:

Ah... the Sasuke plushie- in fact, this is one of the more better ones out there... he just looks so cute. If I see this for sale at the London Expo, wild horses wouldn't keep me from buying him!

Abarai Renji from Bleach. I've already introduced you to one character from Bleach, now here's another. Renji is a vice captain, but it doesn't mean he should be taken lightly.

I like how they they've captured his moody face. He isn't always moody, he does it to look intimidating, but it's the look I like the most for it means time to fight!

The Inuyasha Plushie. Obviously not the best plushie in the world but you win some, you lose some. It does what its fundamentally supposed to do- look like Inuyasha, but there is one thing that sort of irritates me about it- you can't really see the ears. Maybe that's just the photo angle but Inuyasha without the ears is like Soaps without the rubbishness- it just doesn't work as well without it

Well, now you have seen some examples of memorabilia. If you have the hankering for some of your own, a site I would suggest to you is Tokyo Toys. They are based in Britain, import all their stuff from Japan and sell them for very good prices. They also do their own clothing range, so that's something to bear in mind. Happy shopping!

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Your Questions Answered- the sequel

No, actually, this time round people have really been asking questions! So, I will take some time out of my busy schedual and answer some of your burning queries! Okay, so it's not like I had anything else to do, but so what? First question!

1)Why are women the better cosplayers?

Now this isn't necessarily true. Although some of the better cosplays are done by women, there are some famous (good) male cosplayers as well. One being the legendary Stripper Vash- he has many skits on Youtube, has hosted a cosplay competition and even hosts his own gaming event each year. Not only that, but his cosplays are awesome.
And then there is this guy. *shudders*

2)Who is your favourite bishounen?

You can't ask me that! That's too hard! I love them all! Then again, I do have days, or seasons, where I have my preferences. Like when I was watching the whole series of Ouran High School non stop it was all about Tamaki and Kyoya... times change... at the moment, my favourite is Hitsugaya.

3)Since you became a hardcore fan, how much have you spent on anime, manga and other japanese related products?

*whispers* about £600 in two years?

4)Who is the bishounen of the moment?

I have a feeling it is Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy- Dirge of Cerberus. I have no idea why. But everywhere I turn I see fanart of him all over the internet. He does seem like an interesting guy. I must start reading up on him to raise my knowlegde bar.

Well, that is all the questions this time round! Please, tune in next time and enjoy the picture of Vincent!

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Riku from Kingdom Hearts (gaming)

Age: 15 in KH, 16 in KH II

Game: Kingdom Hearts

Role: Angsty protagonist/antagonist

Ahh, it was about time to get onto Riku. He is just too cute! He can be a bit... mixed up at times but that just adds to his charm! And, I have said it once and I will darn well say it again, characters with mixed up backgrounds just make more interesting people!

Riku is one of Sora's best friends. Sora being the main character of the game. Kairi being the other best friend. Together, they live on the beautiful Destiny Islands together, without a care in the world...

Okay, let's try to cut a long story short without giving away too much of the game play. Kairi gets kidnapped, Sora becomes the keyblade master and Riku becomes angsty and turns to the darkness. All not necessarily in that order, but as you place as Sora, you have to try and rescue Kairi and get Riku Back to the good side. With Donald Duck and Goofy by your side...

Yes that's right. Kingdom Hearts is the weird but ingenious marriage of Square Enix (the company that brought us the Final Fantasy series) and Disney. Throughout the game you will meet every disney character under the sun (Including Tron and Captain Jack Sparrow in the second game) and even a few famous Final Fatansty names including Cloud and Sephiroth. And you won't guess who the King is. Okay, yes it's that obvious, it's Mickey Mouse.

Kingdom Hearts has been a massive gaming success, almost as big as it's Final Fantasy siblings. So much so that people are waiting desperately for the release of the third game. How much more Disney and RPG (Role Playing Game) fun can you pack into a third game, you may ask? Obviously not enough.

So, Riku. I love Riku. He kind of reminds me of Sasuke from Naruto, only without the whole family being wiped out history part. He's cool, suave, and all the ladies love him. He's really close to my heart. Maybe he'll be close to yours too.

Another example of how cosplay skits work

I briefly covered the topic of skits in the last post. I even showed you an example of a particulary famous one. But I wanted to show you a couple of others in order to show you the variety you can achieve with them.

Here's one of my favourites: Anime Celebrity Jeopardy- a parody of the well known SNL skit with Will Ferrel. It features Grimlock from Transformers, Ryoga Hibiki from Ranma 1/2 and the actor Sean Connery (you would understand if you saw the origional SNL skits xD)

Yes, I know that none of them are bishounen, but it is still a very funny skit xD

This next one... well, its a good example of everything: good comedy, yaoi, female cosplayers, romance... It's the infamous Naruto Love Triangle skit from Yaoi Con! (take a guess at why I like this skit)

Please enjoy these two!

Ooh, point I must add- I am cosplaying this year at the London Expo in May as Shihouin Yoruichi from Bleach. Almost finished it! Last year I was Pikachu which was very fun. So I can say from experience that cosplaying is a thrilling and exciting thing to do.

Hope you learnt a bit more!

Cosplaying- the facts

Once again I must apologise for the lack of updates in the past couple of days, but my laptop decided not to like me for some reason and not work for me.

But I digress. let us talk about the next important subject- cosplay

Costume Play, or Cosplay, is something that is huge in the anime fan circuits. People who are creative enough, or have enough time on thier hands, design their own costumes to the likeness of the character they are trying to look like. The more accurate, the better.

Some people go on to participate in skits involving the characters. It's a way of putting the characters in comedic or romantic situations you normally wouldn't see them in. It's kind of like fanfiction, but more visual. One of the more famous skits is the one performed by an American group called JAC Productions- this is the video of their skit:

In the meantime, here are some pictures of people cosplaying as various bishies:

Girls can cosplay as guys (and vice versa)- Here's a girl as Hitsugaya

Very good attention to detail, especially with a sword- sometimes girls make the best guy cosplayers

Here's another girl- this time as Cloud from Final Fantasy VII

I haven't said anything about Cloud because... well, I don't know much about him seeing as I have never played any FF game or seen the movie Advent Children. A sin I know. But I also know what he looks like. And this, in my opinion, is very accurate.

Last one- Riku from Kingdom Hearts

Oh, I tried. I did try to find you a male cosplayer, but none of them were any... good. They are all girls. No matter.

I should do a post about Riku soon. Because I do love the guy- I have a thing about complex characters (Riku, Ed, Zuko) it means that they have a backstory that means something. It has molded them to who they are today.

That's it on cosplay. Drop by for another post soon!

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Prince Zuko from Avatar (anime influences)

Age: 16 (coming towards 17 at end of season 2)

Role: Exhiled prince, powerful firebender and a complex antagonist

Avatar is one of those shows that is not an anime but you could understand why someone would confuse it as one. It's not an anime because it was made outside of Japan, that is the rule. Other shows like this include Totally Spies! and Teen Titans.

I really feel for Zuko. I mean, yes he is one of the baddies trying to capture the Avatar and he is from the evil Fire Nation, but he is doing so in order to gain love and respect from his father. His sister, Princess Azula, on the other hand, is just doing so because she is pure evil. And that's no lie.

Halfway through the second season, I really thought he was going to become good and leave his past and the Fire Nation behind him. But then again, why should he? Being bad makes him who he is! And after what he has been through, you can allow him for wanting revenge.
It is shows like this that prove that the japanese influence over western shows is steadly growing. Things such as the classic anime fall, sweatdrops and popped veins are becoming more and more aparent.
Avatar was aimed at the kids demographic, but proved to be very popular with older audiences and it is easy to see why- complex characters and storylines, the art of elemential bending and, most importantly, beautiful guys.
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