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Lich King BlizzCon cosplay

25 Cosplay Gifs to Kick Off Your Weekend

We’re less than a few weeks away from Ogeeku’s first convention stops of 2014 at WonderCon in Anaheim and Anime Conji in San Diego! We hope to see you there!

Here’s 25 cosplay gifs pulled from around the interwebs to start getting you all pumped for the awesomeness you’ll experience this year at a convention near you!

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Shingeki Saturdays-Before the Fall

I’m a bit late today. Apologies! Anyway, as always, major spoilers follow.

Before the Fall is a light novel series prequel to the Shingeki no Kyojin’ story written by Ryo Suzukaze an illustrated by Thores Shibamoto. Set around 80 years before the main story, the year 770 to 790 of AoT’s fictional alternative world, it tells the story of and follows the creator and the creation of the 3DMG, Ángel Aaltonen, a mysterious young man named Kyukuro and various other characters and their interactions with one another. Before the Fall is compiled into three original volumes. If you think SnK was Steampunky before, take a look at volume 1′s cover. Summaries of each are as follows:

BtF1

1) Ángel works at a workshop creating protective gear/weapons for the scouting legion (the story is set before the 3D maneuver gear was invented). Ángel is a first class weapons craftsman, and therefore has direct access and also is involved in the on-goings within the scouting legion. During this time, humans didn’t know about the weak points of the titans. The story is mainly about Ángel beginning to work on the ultimate weapon/gear to fight the titans. So essentially we learn about how the 3D maneuver gear came about.

BtF2

2) A baby is found crying in a mass of Titan vomit, amidst the dead titan flames. The child is then called “child of titan” and is essentially hated by the people inside the walls. He also seems to grow unnaturally fast. Named Kyukuro, he parts himself from his past/upbringing and gambles on the fate of humanity by enlisting in the Scouting Legion.

BtF3

3) Kyukuro has survived from the outside wall: in order to defeat the titans, he gets his hands on the 3D maneuver gear. Although the gear is still imperfect and causes a troublesome incident for him, he fights on. Whether it may be because he is destined to fight them, or due to his past, this is something he must do.

Here are some shots from the light novel series:

btfangel
btfky
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btfangelma

I LOVE Isayama -san’s art but these are just so beautiful. Particularly the image of Angel working on the gear. Such details.

btfannouncement

The light novel will be be made into a monthly manga series and is scheduled to start running on Kodansha’s Monthly Shonen Sirius starting this month (a couple of days from when this article is posted) and will be drawn by Satoshi Shiki. I’ve read a translation of the first novel one and might I say, I am incredibly excited for this next installment. You can also read it here.

In Support of Shonen Jump Alpha

A while ago, I wrote an article defending scanlators – the fans who upload, clean, translate, and release manga chapters on a weekly basis. I argued that scanlation groups filled a need, providing international fans with access to content they couldn’t get any other way. I also noted that scanlations were key to building an excited, money-spending fan-base.

But even though the industry changes at a glacial pace… it does change. A year ago, in an attempt to catch up to the present, Viz Manga released Shonen Jump Alpha – an attempt to squash scanlators by providing a digital, translated release of the official Shonen Jump book. It was a smart idea, but executed poorly. The chapters you downloaded would expire after a year (making it more of a rental), and the English release lagged behind the original Japanese by a few months. As a consumer, you were presented with two choices: pay for a chapter that would show up late and disappear, or download a chapter for free the day after it was released. Needless to say, most fans turned to scanlations.

But, to Viz’s credit, they stuck with the service. Instead of scrapping it and sending out a wave of C&D letters, they focused on ways to tweak Alpha so that it would draw in the fans they knew they were losing. After a year in transition (and a name change to just Weekly Shonen Jump), the service now releases on the same day as the Japanese book. Also, they’ve eliminated expiration dates, so you’re able to keep any chapters you’ve downloaded (I don’t know why this basic recognition of consumer’s rights feels like a win, but that’s for a different article). The price for all of this is a little steep ($25.99 for a year-long subscription), but Viz is running an SDCC special, dropping the price to $19.99 until July 28th.

ShonenJumpAlpha

Twenty bucks for a year of same day access to Shonen Jump is a great deal. But, the service still has one glaring problem: nobody knows about it. I don’t know what’s up with Viz’s marketing department, but this is something they should be trumpeting from the rooftops. This goes a long way to giving the fans what they want: easy access to their favorite manga.

Now, the service isn’t perfect. Personally, I’d like that twenty-dollar price point to be the actual price, not a limited-time discount. And I’d like to see them package Shonen Jump Advanced, Bessastu Shonen, and similar manga collections into the subscription. But this is a hell of a start to closing the gap between creator and consumer – the same gap that created the need for scanlations in the first place. It’s a smart move; fans get what they want, creators get paid, and the manga industry gets a slight boost of legitimacy.

I encourage any manga reader to check out Viz’s Weekly Shonen Jump. We always said that, if this type of service existed, we’d move away from scanlations to support it. Well, now it’s time to prove we mean it. That means spreading the word, and opening our wallets.

JManga to be terminated

Crunchyroll reported this morning that the digital manga distributor JManga will be shutting down in May. It launched in summer 2011 as a result of the 39 prominent publishers in the Japanese Digital Comics Association working as a unified front to offer a legal alternative to online piracy. They have announced that the portal will be shuttering as of May 30th, 2013. The company will compensate customers with unused JManga Paid Points with Amazon gift cards.

From the announcement:
“It is our deep regret to inform you that JManga.com will be concluding its retail and viewing services on May 30th 2013.

Below is JManga.com’s Service Termination Schedule.

JManga Point Distribution and Sales Termination:
March 13th 2013 at 11:59pm (US Pacific Time)

Digital Manga Purchasing Service Termination:
March 26th at 11:59pm (US Pacific Time)

Manga Viewing Service Termination:
May 30th at 11:59pm (US Pacific Time)

All JManga Members will be issued Amazon Gift Cards for use on Amazon.com as a substitute the amount of unused JManga Paid Points (*1) possessed at March 13th 2013 at 11:59pm.

Refunds will be processed between March 21st 2013 to March 25th 2013 (US Pacific Time).”

Furtehr details can be read at JManga’s site.

Are there any avid manga readers like myself? I personally don’t use Jmanga, but it’s still regretful to see something so young go so soon. Thoughts?