Category Archives: Anime

Putting Together a Sankei Miniatuart Ghibli Papercraft – No. 5 Totoro

When I bought a bunch of Ghibli papercrafts back from my trip to Japan I wasn’t really expecting them to be hard to put together. I saw the difficulty rating that ranged from one to three stars and this was one star so I thought, “How hard could it be?” If I read the bottom of the box I probably would have known better ^^;

So, I decided to put this post together show casing one of the kits by Sankei. There are actually quite a few around by different manufacturers but I think the one thing all the small ones have in common is the price… At 18GBP, they are not cheap.

For my first attempt I went with number 5 in the mini series, a Totoro one I bought when I visited Ghibli Museum. Difficulty level was one star. For a complete amateur who was doing this the first time it took 5 – 6 hours of time so, be prepared to leave a day free for it, lol.

Getting ready to build my first papercraft

What you’ll need…

  • Retractable Blade / Papercraft Knife
    For cutting out the tiny parts from the cardboard. You might want a proper papercraft knife instead of the retractable ones you use to cut open packaging because you will want to press the knife into the cardboard rather than slice. The retractable one I used kept retracting and didn’t clean cut the pieces very well.
  • Scissors
    For opening the small packs of confetti that is used for the vegetation such as bushes, grass, trees and flowers. You’ll be using to cut a tiny hole in the bags if you don’t have those little tubes some crafters use to hold glitter so that it’s easier to sprinkle.
  • PVC/PVA Glue
    For well… glueing it all together. PVA will give you more time to adjust after you’ve put the pieces together. Translucent glue i.e. glue that’s transparent would be good because then you can’t see it if you applied too much.
  • Toothpick(s)
    Or whatever you can use to apply tiny, needle point sized dots of glue.
  • Coloured Pencils
    I don’t recommend felt tips or ink based colours because the ink can spill to onto parts you the card.
  • Tweezers
    To pick up and move the tiny (and I mean tiny!) parts into place.
  • Self-healing Cutting Mat (Optional)
    Basically a mat you can work on without worrying about damaging your table top when you’re cutting. The self-healing means even when you cut through the paper and into the mat, the mat will slowly heal itself again.
  • Display Case (Optional)
    After spending hours putting the miniature together you’ll probably want something to proudly display it in and to give it some protection. Small display cases don’t cost much, especially the one’s that don’t use glass.

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5 Centimetres Per Second Novel English Translation Completed

Finally got round to picking up the half done translation. Pretty hard to believe it’s been two years since then. Time flies, eh?

If I wasn’t a software developer myself it would have been quite tricky translating all the parts about programming. Other than the finished translation, you’ll also find I’ve added Shinkai’s Twitter feed to the bottom of the site and also a new guestbook feature! Anyone still remember those? You know, those days of dial-up 56k modems and before social media sites took over, it was a page where you left a little message for the website owner and its visitors.

Anyway, as with the previous stories, it contains a lot of new material – a lot more which should help clear up any questions you may have about the final episode of the movie. You can view a detailed comparison if you can’t be bothered reading through the translation. In the afterword of this novel, Shinkai notes that he started writing this novel when 5cm first premiered 2007 March in Shibuya and acts as a supplement to the movie.

Since then, there has also been a Manga version of the movie which I haven’t had a read yet. Other 5cm fans say there is new material in there too but maybe it’s just the same as the novel. There has also been another novel appropriately named as “One More Side” where a different author (under the supervision of Shinkai) takes a different approach to 5cm – mostly from Akari’s perspective instead of Takaki’s.

500 of you have said you want to see an official English version since the launch of my site. It might be worth asking Shinkai on Twitter about this too if you have an account.

Anyway, Takaki’s back story can get pretty depressing in the novel so don’t expect a heart-warming Christmas story!

Aside from that… Enjoy and happy holidays! =)

Read 5 Centimetres Per Second in English

20th June 2013 Update:
The site has now been taken down but you may still get most of the content including the translations in PDF here.

5 Centimetres per Second Novels

Scotland Loves Animation 2012 – Nerawareta Gakuen, Wolf Children | スコットランド ラブズ アニメーション 2012 – 「ねわれた学園」、「おおかみこどもの雨と雪」 | 蘇格蘭喜愛動畫2012 – “狼的孩子雨和雪”, “被狙擊的學園”

I always end up thinking “Anime” instead of “Animation” but then I just noticed this K-ON poster is written the same too! I guess “Anime” does mean animation in French but I still prefer it means Japanese animation when used in English.

Scotland Loves Anime 2012 - K-ON! Movie

So this year’s Scotland Loves Animation 2012, the movies were…

Both cinemas:

  • K-ON Movie
  • Ace Attorney Gyakuten Saiban (Live Action)
  • Blood-C: The Last Dark
  • Ninja Scroll (HD Remaster)
  • Midnight After Schoolers
  • Berserk – The Golden Act 1: The Egg of the King
  • Anime Mirai Project

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Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo Blu-ray Collector’s Edition… With English Subtitles! | 星を追う子ども特別限定生産版 | 追逐繁星的孩子Blu-ray限定生産版有簡體中英文字幕!

Happy New Year, readers!

Feels like it’s been a while since my last post but very busy with my full time job these days. You will find me Tweeting more on Twitter since it’s quick and short compared to lengthy articles like these.

But anyway…

Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo is about a young girl named Asuna creates a small radio and goes up to a cliff. Using a memento her father left her to complete the circuit, she manages to catch some kind of song which wasn’t something from one of the local radio stations. She was mesmerised by the happy and at the same time sad feelings that it conveyed. Not long later, there were reports that perhaps a wild bear was on the rampage in the forest but Asuna soon learns it was an alien creature. Fortunately, she is saved by the young man Shun and soon learns a secret organisation “Arch Angels” was seeking the secret underground world he came from for its powers to grant any wish. Asuna had the key to open the entrance. From there, Asuna goes on a journey in the world of Agartha to learn more about where this song came from.

Hence the Engrishy name, “Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below”. I say Engrishy because it’s not exactly a great title for marketing ^^;

As you’ll know from my 5cm posts, I wasn’t really impressed by Shinkai’s first two movies so I was pretty cautious when Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo, his latest work, was announced. At the same time, I was expecting it to be better than 5cm because with every new movie released, his direction seemed better. After watching a “preview” of it, I decided to go ahead and import the collector’s edition.

There’s still a long way to go before Shinkai’s work will be one of those that sell out on day one but he’ll get there I’m sure.

And yes, it contains English subtitles (and Simplified Chinese)!

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Scotland Loves Animation 2011 – Hotarubi no Mori e Producer Q & A | スコットランド ラブズ アニメーション 2011, 蛍火の杜へのプロデューサーさんも参上 | 蘇格蘭喜愛動畫2011 “螢火之森” 監製訪問

It was the second year running for “Scotland Loves Animation” at Glasgow Film Theatre last weekend. Last year they had Evangelion 2.0 and Trigun. This year we seem to have a common theme of mythical beings.

  • Tekken Blood Vengeance
  • Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem
  • Hotarubi no Mori e (Into the Forest of the Fireflies’ Light)
  • Mardock Scramble: The First Compression & The Second Combustion
  • Escaflowne The Movie
  • Colourful
  • Momo e no Tegami (Letter to Momo)

Apparently Letter to Momo won’t be screening in Japan until 2012, Spring so we got to see it first here (as well as those in Toronto…)

It’s nice to see there was a bit more marketing this year which goes to show Anime has come a long way compared to the days when you would only find a few videos in a few select stores. I’m guessing it’s all thanks to how easy it is to access foreign media over the interwebs. This poster was apparently designed by JPOP star Kanon Wakeshima.

Scotland Loves Animation 2011

It wasn’t all just movie watching. There was also a Q & A session with the producers of Hotarubi afterwards who kindly brought a few posters and flyers to give out!

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