Review: Cheshire Cat Bus (Men’s) T-shirt

large_15770_catBUSfaceStudio Ghibli has long been regarded as the Disney of the East and now one of their most lovable characters can be yours in the form of the Cheshire Cat Bus from My Neighbour Totoro. This is one of those t-shirts that has reached cult status with a lot of Otakus wearing them at conventions and any kind of fan meet ups! Great quality cotton not flimsy with the graphic taking up pretty much the whole front of the t-shirt. That cheesy, big grin that the Cat is known for is instantly recognisabe and the large teeth along with the huge yellow eyes, nose and ears make this one, a must have. The t-shirt comes in a very neutral light brown/tan colour so you know it’s going to go well with anything in your collection. The graphic itself doesn’t feel too rough nor does it feel thick like some other tops do but this only makes it feel lighter not less durable if anything. Great material, awesome artwork with nice colours and a very popular J-Pop culture character on the front, nothing else needs to be said. Pick yours up today from Otaku Fuel.

Otaku goodness and AKB48 shock!

First off, a big shout out to my extended Otaku “family”, Otaku Fuel. I received the excellent products to review in 6 days from the States, 6 days?!? Must have been sent on the new NBN (National Broadband Network). Then again…maybe not 🙂 Anyways, pics of the goodness as well as the ever important reviews will be forthcoming very soon 🙂 But in other news important to me today I found out that my favourite J-Pop girl group, AKB48 actually had a new member that wasn’t real! So what I mean is that they composited different features from other members to make one new member that existed only in a computer (probably Windoze) 😦 Vid below of how this was accomplished, the end result was actually very subtle and very well done. Under the vid, there’s a link to where you can make your own pop star…and don’t tell me the song in the background isn’t catchy as all hell!!


Link to make your own pop star! 

Japandaman’s goodies, Otaku happenings and light bikes

Wow…it’s been a while since my last post, I’ve just been so into my new duties over at Otaku Fuel. First up, in case you don’t know, I’m now writing product reviews for them and am also their blog contributor, two things that are keeping me very busy and very happily so I must add! Otaku Fuel are a US based site that specialise in anime, manga, cosplay accessories, in fact anything and everything J-pop culture related…they’re a superior site with an excellent product range. Look up their site and Facebook page and while you’re there, check out their merch, links are above 🙂

I’ve also decided to take some pics of my small but growing Otaku collection for everyone to see, pics below with some descriptions 🙂

A peek at my manga, Bleach and Vampire Knight and the Death Note Collection Vol. 1, Ryu from a gatcha machine, Mario and Spider-Bear!

My 3DS and Psp Go living peacefully together, my CD collection (J-Pop and OST’s), my magazines are just showing.

My Japanese magazines collection. Dengeki Games on the left which unfortunately has been discontinued. The Playstation and Famitsu Weekly magazines were purchased in Japan when we were there. The Dengeki’s and other magazines were purchased from Kanga Kanga, a Japanese magazine/book importer based in downtown Melbourne. Taka-san runs the place and is very friendly and extremely knowledgeable so pay him a visit and have a look at what he has on offer, there’s heaps for everyone!! The Kanga Kanga site has address details, keep up to date with his blog, Twitter and Facebook page 🙂

Ryu, Mario and a Nintendog!

Spider-Man 2 bobble head which was a present from my stepsons quite a few birthdays ago.

And one of my most prized possessions, the Premium Package of Metal Gear Solid which I purchased when we were in Japan from Super Potato Akihabara. Great site here which has a walk through the store which is extremely rare and shows you what to expect. Having been there twice I can vouch for the store and say that as far as retro goes, it’s the best in the land. Great place to find rare items or gaming goodies that were never released in Australia.

That’s all for now but I will take some pics of my figures and post them up soon as well. Final Fantasy and Death Note figures only for now but am hoping to change that soon when I have my coins in my pocket!! 🙂

And lastly,the vid below is what awaited me when I left work this evening. Riders on light bikes performing tricks, how cool, right?

See you all soon and thanks for sticking around! 🙂

Review: Vampire Knight Vol. 1 Manga

Vampire Knight Vol. 1 supplied by Otaku Fuel


Vampire Knight as a manga has been around for a little while now but like all good manga doesn’t reach peak popularity until a few years into its cycle, where it is now enjoying the success it has deservedly earned. It has also been made into an anime, but that is a different review for a different time 🙂 But first a brief background into the Vampire Knight mythology for those of you still needing to get into this great title from series creator, Matsuri Hino.

Kiriyu Zero and Yuki Cross are the two night time guardians at the prestigious Cross Academy boarding school, guardians that protect the day time students from the massive secret that the academy holds, the night time students are actually vampires. Vampires that are kept in line by an ages old vampire called Kaname Kuran who has his fair share of secrets. Yuki’s earliest memory is being attacked by a vampire in the snow when she was five years old and being rescued by Kaname Kuran. Kiriyu himself also comes with heavy baggage due to his family having been wiped out by a vampire leaving him as the sole surviving member and with a hatred of all vampires but Zero harbours a secret that may prove to be his undoing, one that will no doubt unravel as the storyline progresses.

The chapters in the manga are broken up into “nights” which is where the events take place all amongst the backdrop of teenage angst and the usual dramas that face any student in school with friendships, school life and relationships all being tested especially the love triangle that involves Yuki, Zero and Kaname. The first couple of chapters gradually break the reader into the different characters, both human and vampire as we see what the daily life is like for the Day class at the academy and as the guardians come into play in the evening which is when the night class takes over for their studies.

During patrol at night, Yuki catches two female day students taking pictures of the night class, injuring themselves in the process which draws the attention of Hanabusa Aido and Akatsuki Kain, two night class vampires. No spoilers here so you’ll just have to read the manga to find out what happens! Zero’s secret is also revealed in this first volume as more is revealed about his shady past.

This first volume is filled with much tension and drama but is beautifully drawn with great panel work and an even tighter script, there is much detail in most pages and there is great bonus artwork in the inner sleeves of the book. I am thoroughly enjoyed reading this first instalment and found the characters have been fleshed out particularly well and you find that you’ll be developing favourites early on in the piece. This is a great manga and you could do far worse than this, really recommend this title for anyone into vampires, Japanese school life or just great story telling in general.

A quick explanation

Regular readers may notice the sudden overnight appearance of a stack of reviews appearing right here on this good blog and may be wondering, “just what is going on here?”, or maybe not? In either case, I will elaborate and shed some light on what Japandaman is up to 🙂 I have been following a crazy Japanese pop culture online store for a little bit now by the name of Otaku Fuel, great products by the way 🙂 I happened to Like them on facebook and was in the right place at the right time when their head honcho posted that they were looking for bloggers to review their products…how was I to say no and not throw my hat in the ring? I sent a link to this forum and to reviews I’d done for Aussie Gamer and lo and behold, I’d been welcomed into the Otaku Fuel fold…very warm welcome I must say. So until I get my mitts on the good stuff and start reviewing them, I thought it’d be a good idea to help out my new transatlantic buddies by linking as much as possible to them in the nest way possible…by writing reviews and linking to their site 🙂

So that pretty much brings everyone around full circle and up to speed with what is happening in these neck of the woods lately. I really hope people support Otaku Fuel as they do have a great range at unbelievable prices so y’all come back now, ya hear?

Thanks peeps, see you all soon 🙂