Collateral Damage Studios のマネージャーさ

Imagine a team of (mostly) doujin illustrators, each with different preferences and styles. I keep everyone together and the team humming to the tune of making the world prettier and more awesome. One artwork at a time. Find the rest of the team here: www.facebook.com/cds.sg

Mar 30

I’ll leave the concept art sharing to WaHa but here is the first character PV for Dream Idol. 

Original character design by Geisterstunden. Redrawn by WaHa. 


Mar 27
Washinomiya Shrine (鷲宮神社) (27/12/2007)



(Saitama is really peaceful. In a way, it was a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban Tokyo.)
Washimiya is a small, quiet, rustic town located in the Saitama prefecture, just outside Tokyo. One would hardly consider it a tourist attraction in fact. It is just so peaceful and quiet, untouched by the mass commercialism of Tokyo. In it lies Washinomiya Shrine, one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Saitama. Apparently the shrine is also quite famous too, having been visited by royalties in the past and attracting up to 100,000 worshipers during the New Year season. This particular shrine is also the shrine featured in Lucky Star. Lucky Star as an anime, is one of those simple, enjoyable, slice-of-life animes which lacks plot but had such delightful characters and animation that managed to amass huge popularity among the fans. The shrine’s torii was shown in the anime’s opening. The Hiiragi sisters, Kagami and Tsukasa had been featured in the anime as mikos working in the shrine and the shrine was also featured prominently during the ‘new year’ episode.


(Lucky Star pride! I wish I took more photographs of the town. I was too concerned with pictures of the shrine…)
On August 2007, Japan Newtype actually published a guide on how people can get to the various locales of Lucky Star from Akihabara. Naturally one of the locales provided would be Washinomiya Shrine. This resulted in a frenzy of pilgrimages by Lucky Star fans visiting the quiet town and the shrine. Initially this was a cause of much concern among the residents, with one of them making a blog posting against it and the entire controversy making it to television. The head of shrine also spoke out over concerns that new worshipers were worshiping not the shrine’s deity but others, for a lack of word to describe the anime fans’ target of worship. However, eventually the local residents came to accept and even embrace the amusing phenomenon as an economical opportunity and a chance to promote their town. After all, these new visitors are generally polite even if strange and caused no harm or trouble. In collaboration with Kyoto Animation, they even produced limited edition Lucky Star ema mobile phone straps and postcards that are only sold within their town. Considering how close I was to New Year, just as it was featured in the anime, it was a perfect time to pay this shrine a visit; of course, it was a chance for me to get my hands on those limited edition mobile phone straps. 

The best way to access Washinomiya would be via the many railway/subway trains that criss-cross across Japan. Starting from Ueno station (along the infamous JR Yamanote Line), one had to take the Tokyo Metro Subway Hibiya Line to it’s final destination, Kita-Senju station. From there onwards, one can take the Rapid Tobu-Isesaki Line to Kuki station and make one last transfer to Washinomiya station. The entire journey would most likely take one around an hour or more. The journey from Kita-Senju station to Washinomiya station would cost one ¥570.


Washimiya was rather peaceful when we made our first visit. There was no obvious signs of the infamous otaku invasion and all was normal. With the help of the town map, we managed to find our way to Washinomiya Shrine. It was almost instantly recognizable, having seen that torii for every Lucky Star opening with Kagami strutting her stuffs before it. We were hoping to capture shots of cosplayers recreating the scene but all there was was a polite man attendant sweeping the floor. Right at the entrance of the shrine was a blackboard and with it, the first concrete confirmation that we were at the right place.


Proudly displayed below the blackboard was a graphite plaque with the pictures of the Hiiragi sisters in miko outfit and proclaimed the shrine as the Lucky Star star. On the blackboard was information regarding how one can go about acquiring the complete set of Lucky Star ema mobile phone straps. More about that later.









(Plenty of photographs of the shrine inactivity.)
The shrine was quite peaceful as they were mostly preparing for the upcoming New Year celebrations with the various stalls being set up. There was the usual charm selling corner and a enclosure with peacocks and chickens. The shrine itself was separated into various mini areas, each one with its own specific target of worship and the largest, main one in the center of the entire complex.


(Big ema is awesome. This itself took up a huge amount of space. But it looks good.)


(Fine. I am biased.)



(Gin-sama~…. Wait a minute. What are you doing here?!)
On this quiet day, the ema-filled scaffold became the center of our anime-oriented attention. On it tied the mother of all emas. It was here that the Lucky Star invasion of the shrine was most prominent. Emas with references to Lucky Star (and other animes) filled the scaffold.


(You don’t know how much we refer to this photo to navigate the town.)
Having seen our share, we decided to proceed with phone straps hunting. Admittedly, none of us expected the rule of the game to be so complicated. Apparently, in order to collect all ten designs of the phone straps, you would basically have to traverse the entire town. Each selected shop of Washimiya, be it pharmacy, grocery shop or even convenience store Sunkrus was allocated a specific design out of the possible ten. Thus, it became a scavenger hunt for us all, using the camera map to navigate the town.
Of course, not exactly surprisingly, most of the phone straps were already sold out. We were very lucky to get our hands on the last remaining three phone straps still in the ‘market’. As of now, all the limited edition phone straps are no longer available. I seemed to me that the town had actually embraced the new phenomenon of anime pilgrimage very, very well. Through the dispersal of the phone straps, we were forced to explore their town, visiting the various shops that we would normally had ignored. They are using this opportunity to introduce this normally quiet, almost laid back town, to attract outsiders to their town. The warm, helpful shopkeepers that we talked to (and cheerfully announced their lack of stocks to our disappointment) were enthusiastic about the new opportunities this phenomenon could bring. The phone straps had sold better than any of them could have expected (the sake shop owner who sold us the last of his stocks commented that it was strange that his shop being the closest to the shrine itself still had stocks of the phone straps while others are all sold out. Well, his was also sold out now, courtesy of yours truly.) ; limited edition postcards would be sold on New Year itself, they told us encouragingly.

With the limited edition postcards in mind, it was time to make a second trip to Washinomiya Shrine on New Year Day.
Washinomiya Shrine (鷲宮神社) (01/01/2008)


(Hi guys. Happy new year from Washinomiya!)


(It was even longer by the time we left.)



I had expected to find many Lucky Star fans purely by sight. I was disappointed. There was not a single cosplayers in sight. That said, given that it was the New Year, the shrine was very, very crowded. The photo of the queue does not do the scale of the queue justice. It may seem like a straight line but in fact, in true Nokia snake style, the queue curves into the adjacent car parking lot, turns and twists a couple of times before it straightens back to the line leading up to the shrine.







(An average girl’s cuteness level skyrockets when she wears a miko costume.)
The shrine was in full festive mode now. The food and games stalls were opened for business while the New Year rituals were in action. There was plenty of customers for the charms selling stall and the flow of people entering the main shrine to give their prayers never stopped. At one corner of the shrine, there was a stage on which there was a performance or a ritual dance going on. There was also plenty of cute looking mikos around the premises of the shrine. It was a good time to try out the various shrine activities.


Omikuji (御神籤) is basically a lottery of luck of sorts. With a token fee of ¥100, one can try to pull up an omikuji from the box. The piece of paper would predict your luck for the rest of the year, be it general, love life or health. If you got a bad luck draw, it is custom to fold and tie the strip of paper to an oak tree in the shrine. It is considered to put the bad luck on hold with the tree rather than carry it with you. If you got a good luck draw, feel free to keep it with you, of course.







(Ema on the right: Oyashiro-sama is my wife. Looks like Shirakawa Machingu Shrine has a presence too. Take note of the yaranaika meme ema to the left too.)



(Looks like we are not the first gaijin to be there for the New Year.)
The scaffold had been cleared of the old emas but new ones were quickly repopulating it. There was a growing group of people around it, pointing amusedly at certain more interesting emas and taking photographs of them. There was also a booth dedicated to selling emas and even had a corner provided for the buyers to write on it. It was here that I noticed the anime fans doodling anime references on the emas. According to reports, the shrine attracted at least 40,000 more visitors in the first three days of the year; an increase of almost 50%. The truth was that there was plenty of anime fans within the shrine; they just simply blended into the crowd of worshipers.According to reports, the shrine has attracted up to 30 thousand people within the first three days of new year. This is more than doubled the number of visitors the shrine received in 2007. Such was the combination of being in the news and the potent of the anime connection. 


It was all part of the fun of immersing oneself into the culture of the host country. We did not exactly join the long, snaking queue towards the shrine since we already had our fair share of queues during the recently ended Comiket 73. However, we took the chance to enjoy the ongoing matsuri, or festival; eating food that one would not normally find here such as barbecued-squid-on-a-stick.


As further sign of the penetration of Lucky Star within the town, enterprising Washimiya residents had taken to selling ‘limited edition’ Lucky Star food products at the entrance of the shrine. One can choose to buy Kagami approved mitarashi dango, Hiiragi sisters approved rice crackers or Misao and Ayano approved cookies; complete with photoshopped screenshots as part of the packaging. We gamely bought one of each for ourselves. The cookies even came with an omikuji inside. Not surprisingly, they seemed to enjoy a steady flow of customers.


Finally, as we made our purchases for the Lucky Star New Year postcards from the same sake shop, we were greeted warmly as “The ones who bought the last Lucky Star phone straps”. Apparently we were remembered. With a bow of thanks, we paid for our purchases and bid our farewells to the little, yet bustling town.




(I got awesome loot. I still do. You don’t.)

Washinomiya Shrine (鷲宮神社) (27/12/2007)

(Saitama is really peaceful. In a way, it was a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban Tokyo.)

Washimiya is a small, quiet, rustic town located in the Saitama prefecture, just outside Tokyo. One would hardly consider it a tourist attraction in fact. It is just so peaceful and quiet, untouched by the mass commercialism of Tokyo. In it lies Washinomiya Shrine, one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Saitama. Apparently the shrine is also quite famous too, having been visited by royalties in the past and attracting up to 100,000 worshipers during the New Year season. This particular shrine is also the shrine featured in Lucky Star. Lucky Star as an anime, is one of those simple, enjoyable, slice-of-life animes which lacks plot but had such delightful characters and animation that managed to amass huge popularity among the fans. The shrine’s torii was shown in the anime’s opening. The Hiiragi sisters, Kagami and Tsukasa had been featured in the anime as mikos working in the shrine and the shrine was also featured prominently during the ‘new year’ episode.

(Lucky Star pride! I wish I took more photographs of the town. I was too concerned with pictures of the shrine…)

On August 2007, Japan Newtype actually published a guide on how people can get to the various locales of Lucky Star from Akihabara. Naturally one of the locales provided would be Washinomiya Shrine. This resulted in a frenzy of pilgrimages by Lucky Star fans visiting the quiet town and the shrine. Initially this was a cause of much concern among the residents, with one of them making a blog posting against it and the entire controversy making it to television. The head of shrine also spoke out over concerns that new worshipers were worshiping not the shrine’s deity but others, for a lack of word to describe the anime fans’ target of worship. However, eventually the local residents came to accept and even embrace the amusing phenomenon as an economical opportunity and a chance to promote their town. After all, these new visitors are generally polite even if strange and caused no harm or trouble. In collaboration with Kyoto Animation, they even produced limited edition Lucky Star ema mobile phone straps and postcards that are only sold within their town. Considering how close I was to New Year, just as it was featured in the anime, it was a perfect time to pay this shrine a visit; of course, it was a chance for me to get my hands on those limited edition mobile phone straps. 

The best way to access Washinomiya would be via the many railway/subway trains that criss-cross across Japan. Starting from Ueno station (along the infamous JR Yamanote Line), one had to take the Tokyo Metro Subway Hibiya Line to it’s final destination, Kita-Senju station. From there onwards, one can take the Rapid Tobu-Isesaki Line to Kuki station and make one last transfer to Washinomiya station. The entire journey would most likely take one around an hour or more. The journey from Kita-Senju station to Washinomiya station would cost one ¥570.

Washimiya was rather peaceful when we made our first visit. There was no obvious signs of the infamous otaku invasion and all was normal. With the help of the town map, we managed to find our way to Washinomiya Shrine. It was almost instantly recognizable, having seen that torii for every Lucky Star opening with Kagami strutting her stuffs before it. We were hoping to capture shots of cosplayers recreating the scene but all there was was a polite man attendant sweeping the floor. Right at the entrance of the shrine was a blackboard and with it, the first concrete confirmation that we were at the right place.

Proudly displayed below the blackboard was a graphite plaque with the pictures of the Hiiragi sisters in miko outfit and proclaimed the shrine as the Lucky Star star. On the blackboard was information regarding how one can go about acquiring the complete set of Lucky Star ema mobile phone straps. More about that later.

(Plenty of photographs of the shrine inactivity.)

The shrine was quite peaceful as they were mostly preparing for the upcoming New Year celebrations with the various stalls being set up. There was the usual charm selling corner and a enclosure with peacocks and chickens. The shrine itself was separated into various mini areas, each one with its own specific target of worship and the largest, main one in the center of the entire complex.

(Big ema is awesome. This itself took up a huge amount of space. But it looks good.)

(Fine. I am biased.)

(Gin-sama~…. Wait a minute. What are you doing here?!)

On this quiet day, the ema-filled scaffold became the center of our anime-oriented attention. On it tied the mother of all emas. It was here that the Lucky Star invasion of the shrine was most prominent. Emas with references to Lucky Star (and other animes) filled the scaffold.

(You don’t know how much we refer to this photo to navigate the town.)

Having seen our share, we decided to proceed with phone straps hunting. Admittedly, none of us expected the rule of the game to be so complicated. Apparently, in order to collect all ten designs of the phone straps, you would basically have to traverse the entire town. Each selected shop of Washimiya, be it pharmacy, grocery shop or even convenience store Sunkrus was allocated a specific design out of the possible ten. Thus, it became a scavenger hunt for us all, using the camera map to navigate the town.


Of course, not exactly surprisingly, most of the phone straps were already sold out. We were very lucky to get our hands on the last remaining three phone straps still in the ‘market’. As of now, all the limited edition phone straps are no longer available. I seemed to me that the town had actually embraced the new phenomenon of anime pilgrimage very, very well. Through the dispersal of the phone straps, we were forced to explore their town, visiting the various shops that we would normally had ignored. They are using this opportunity to introduce this normally quiet, almost laid back town, to attract outsiders to their town. The warm, helpful shopkeepers that we talked to (and cheerfully announced their lack of stocks to our disappointment) were enthusiastic about the new opportunities this phenomenon could bring. The phone straps had sold better than any of them could have expected (the sake shop owner who sold us the last of his stocks commented that it was strange that his shop being the closest to the shrine itself still had stocks of the phone straps while others are all sold out. Well, his was also sold out now, courtesy of yours truly.) ; limited edition postcards would be sold on New Year itself, they told us encouragingly.

With the limited edition postcards in mind, it was time to make a second trip to Washinomiya Shrine on New Year Day.

Washinomiya Shrine (鷲宮神社) (01/01/2008)

(Hi guys. Happy new year from Washinomiya!)

(It was even longer by the time we left.)

I had expected to find many Lucky Star fans purely by sight. I was disappointed. There was not a single cosplayers in sight. That said, given that it was the New Year, the shrine was very, very crowded. The photo of the queue does not do the scale of the queue justice. It may seem like a straight line but in fact, in true Nokia snake style, the queue curves into the adjacent car parking lot, turns and twists a couple of times before it straightens back to the line leading up to the shrine.

(An average girl’s cuteness level skyrockets when she wears a miko costume.)

The shrine was in full festive mode now. The food and games stalls were opened for business while the New Year rituals were in action. There was plenty of customers for the charms selling stall and the flow of people entering the main shrine to give their prayers never stopped. At one corner of the shrine, there was a stage on which there was a performance or a ritual dance going on. There was also plenty of cute looking mikos around the premises of the shrine. It was a good time to try out the various shrine activities.

Omikuji (御神籤) is basically a lottery of luck of sorts. With a token fee of ¥100, one can try to pull up an omikuji from the box. The piece of paper would predict your luck for the rest of the year, be it general, love life or health. If you got a bad luck draw, it is custom to fold and tie the strip of paper to an oak tree in the shrine. It is considered to put the bad luck on hold with the tree rather than carry it with you. If you got a good luck draw, feel free to keep it with you, of course.

(Ema on the right: Oyashiro-sama is my wife. Looks like Shirakawa Machingu Shrine has a presence too. Take note of the yaranaika meme ema to the left too.)

(Looks like we are not the first gaijin to be there for the New Year.)

The scaffold had been cleared of the old emas but new ones were quickly repopulating it. There was a growing group of people around it, pointing amusedly at certain more interesting emas and taking photographs of them. There was also a booth dedicated to selling emas and even had a corner provided for the buyers to write on it. It was here that I noticed the anime fans doodling anime references on the emas. According to reports, the shrine attracted at least 40,000 more visitors in the first three days of the year; an increase of almost 50%. The truth was that there was plenty of anime fans within the shrine; they just simply blended into the crowd of worshipers.According to reports, the shrine has attracted up to 30 thousand people within the first three days of new year. This is more than doubled the number of visitors the shrine received in 2007. Such was the combination of being in the news and the potent of the anime connection. 

It was all part of the fun of immersing oneself into the culture of the host country. We did not exactly join the long, snaking queue towards the shrine since we already had our fair share of queues during the recently ended Comiket 73. However, we took the chance to enjoy the ongoing matsuri, or festival; eating food that one would not normally find here such as barbecued-squid-on-a-stick.

As further sign of the penetration of Lucky Star within the town, enterprising Washimiya residents had taken to selling ‘limited edition’ Lucky Star food products at the entrance of the shrine. One can choose to buy Kagami approved mitarashi dango, Hiiragi sisters approved rice crackers or Misao and Ayano approved cookies; complete with photoshopped screenshots as part of the packaging. We gamely bought one of each for ourselves. The cookies even came with an omikuji inside. Not surprisingly, they seemed to enjoy a steady flow of customers.

Finally, as we made our purchases for the Lucky Star New Year postcards from the same sake shop, we were greeted warmly as “The ones who bought the last Lucky Star phone straps”. Apparently we were remembered. With a bow of thanks, we paid for our purchases and bid our farewells to the little, yet bustling town.

(I got awesome loot. I still do. You don’t.)


Mar 26
Shirakawa Hachimangu Shrine (白川八幡宮) (24/12/2007)




(The above photos were taken of Shirakawago itself. Shirakawago is a really really scenic place to take photographs of. On hindsight, I really regret not taking more photographs of the place itself.)
Located in the rural, mountain-top village of Shirakawago, Gifu prefecture, Shirakawa Hachimangu Shrine was the shrine featured prominently in Higurashi no Naku koro ni. The anime, Higurashi no Naku koro ni is a suspense, horror story which takes place in the fictional village of Hinamizawa. Within the series, many different variants of the sequence of events occur, each one offering a new clue towards the ultimate puzzle behind the series of mysteries that plague the sleepy village. In fact, Hinamizawa as the village was based on Shirakawago setting and the shrine which played an important role in the anime, was also based on the local shrine of Shirakawa Hachimangu Shrine. When one is to wander around the village, one could easily identify the various buildings that were referenced within the anime. However, given that the time line of the story took place in the summer, I was not able to properly compare Shirakawa Hachimangu Shrine with its anime counterpart. 



(Above are the other ‘Hinamizawa’ locales we managed to find given the short amount of time we had. The shack on the left ‘belongs’ to Rika and Satoko while the modern building on the right is ‘Dr. Irie’s clinic’.)


(Marketing at its best. I find how local residents adapt to the influx of anime fans interesting. Rena approved corokke!)
Accessing Shirakawago is not something easily accomplished. Given its isolated, mountainous location, it is most accessible by daily buses that take hours to reach the village. These buses run by the Nohi company, set off from on a fixed schedule depending on the time of the year from Takayama and those visiting the village should place reservations for seats in advance. The cost for a one way trip is ¥2400 and a round ticket would cost ¥4300. However, do not let the cost or accessibility deter one from making the trip down. Even without the anime references, the quiet town is still very much a place worthy of visiting with its unique, traditional gassho-zukuri farm houses that doted the village. Since 1995, the village had been listed as a historical site by the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Peaceful and rural, it offers a much needed respite from the busy, urban centers of Osaka and Tokyo. Plus if one is to visit during the winter as I did, one would most likely have the chance to play with real snow given the mountainous location of the village. More information regarding the village tourist attraction could be acquired from the Japanese National Tourism Organization (JNTO).





(Pictures of the shrine itself. It was a real pity that the shrine was closed. I was hoping to get a charm from there. However on the bright side, there was little people around to content with and so we can let loose with our fanboy gushing.)
At the point of visit, it was winter, thus the presence of the thick layer of snow on the ground. Unfortunately, the shrine was closed during December so I was unable to observe the shrine activities then. However, I was able to wander around the quiet, peaceful shrine without any disturbance, of course taking care not to offend any local deities by exploring too much or peeking into locked shacks. Mysteriously disappearing or dying would place too much a major impediment on my next destination. Occasionally there would be well-wishers visiting the shrine and offering their prayers.



(Since the shrine is closed, we are free to look at all these emas. This scaffold is the greatest proof that we had arrived at the correct shrine. Perhaps the only reason to stand around in the cold at the closed shrine at that moment. Choice pieces later.)
One of the more interesting features, mostly unique to anime-featured shrines, to be noted would be the presence of anime-inspired emas (絵馬). Emas are small wooden plaques with writings from the visitors, hung on an ad hoc scaffold within the shrine itself. These usually contain prayers or wishes for the gods to read, asking for things from world peace to good health. It is not unusual to find emas written in foreign languages too as visiting tourists too leave behind their own written emas to the Japanese gods. In Shirakawa Hachimangu Shrine, one can find emas that refer heavily to Higurashi no Naku koro ni. Some feature beautiful artworks; others are simply hilarious in their reference towards the anime and pop culture. It was a real joy looking through the many creative emas hung there.

(The amount of creativity displayed in some of the emas are awesome. There is one that simply had small red “gomenasai” scribbled everywhere on it; a reference to the scene when Rena just keep apologizing to Keiichi in the rain. Another proclaimed in the name of Dr. Irie that all the maids in the world belong to him. Below are the emas which my friends and I bothered to take photographs of.)




















(Lacking in emas to doodle on, my friend (that’s WaHa btw) decided to attempt drawing Rika in the snow instead. It actually looked quite good. It’s a real pity that come summer, Nipah~ will melt. )

Shirakawa Hachimangu Shrine (白川八幡宮) (24/12/2007)

(The above photos were taken of Shirakawago itself. Shirakawago is a really really scenic place to take photographs of. On hindsight, I really regret not taking more photographs of the place itself.)

Located in the rural, mountain-top village of Shirakawago, Gifu prefecture, Shirakawa Hachimangu Shrine was the shrine featured prominently in Higurashi no Naku koro ni. The anime, Higurashi no Naku koro ni is a suspense, horror story which takes place in the fictional village of Hinamizawa. Within the series, many different variants of the sequence of events occur, each one offering a new clue towards the ultimate puzzle behind the series of mysteries that plague the sleepy village. In fact, Hinamizawa as the village was based on Shirakawago setting and the shrine which played an important role in the anime, was also based on the local shrine of Shirakawa Hachimangu Shrine. When one is to wander around the village, one could easily identify the various buildings that were referenced within the anime. However, given that the time line of the story took place in the summer, I was not able to properly compare Shirakawa Hachimangu Shrine with its anime counterpart. 

(Above are the other ‘Hinamizawa’ locales we managed to find given the short amount of time we had. The shack on the left ‘belongs’ to Rika and Satoko while the modern building on the right is ‘Dr. Irie’s clinic’.)

(Marketing at its best. I find how local residents adapt to the influx of anime fans interesting. Rena approved corokke!)

Accessing Shirakawago is not something easily accomplished. Given its isolated, mountainous location, it is most accessible by daily buses that take hours to reach the village. These buses run by the Nohi company, set off from on a fixed schedule depending on the time of the year from Takayama and those visiting the village should place reservations for seats in advance. The cost for a one way trip is ¥2400 and a round ticket would cost ¥4300. However, do not let the cost or accessibility deter one from making the trip down. Even without the anime references, the quiet town is still very much a place worthy of visiting with its unique, traditional gassho-zukuri farm houses that doted the village. Since 1995, the village had been listed as a historical site by the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Peaceful and rural, it offers a much needed respite from the busy, urban centers of Osaka and Tokyo. Plus if one is to visit during the winter as I did, one would most likely have the chance to play with real snow given the mountainous location of the village. More information regarding the village tourist attraction could be acquired from the Japanese National Tourism Organization (JNTO).

(Pictures of the shrine itself. It was a real pity that the shrine was closed. I was hoping to get a charm from there. However on the bright side, there was little people around to content with and so we can let loose with our fanboy gushing.)

At the point of visit, it was winter, thus the presence of the thick layer of snow on the ground. Unfortunately, the shrine was closed during December so I was unable to observe the shrine activities then. However, I was able to wander around the quiet, peaceful shrine without any disturbance, of course taking care not to offend any local deities by exploring too much or peeking into locked shacks. Mysteriously disappearing or dying would place too much a major impediment on my next destination. Occasionally there would be well-wishers visiting the shrine and offering their prayers.

(Since the shrine is closed, we are free to look at all these emas. This scaffold is the greatest proof that we had arrived at the correct shrine. Perhaps the only reason to stand around in the cold at the closed shrine at that moment. Choice pieces later.)

One of the more interesting features, mostly unique to anime-featured shrines, to be noted would be the presence of anime-inspired emas (絵馬). Emas are small wooden plaques with writings from the visitors, hung on an ad hoc scaffold within the shrine itself. These usually contain prayers or wishes for the gods to read, asking for things from world peace to good health. It is not unusual to find emas written in foreign languages too as visiting tourists too leave behind their own written emas to the Japanese gods. In Shirakawa Hachimangu Shrine, one can find emas that refer heavily to Higurashi no Naku koro ni. Some feature beautiful artworks; others are simply hilarious in their reference towards the anime and pop culture. It was a real joy looking through the many creative emas hung there.

(The amount of creativity displayed in some of the emas are awesome. There is one that simply had small red “gomenasai” scribbled everywhere on it; a reference to the scene when Rena just keep apologizing to Keiichi in the rain. Another proclaimed in the name of Dr. Irie that all the maids in the world belong to him. Below are the emas which my friends and I bothered to take photographs of.)

(Lacking in emas to doodle on, my friend (that’s WaHa btw) decided to attempt drawing Rika in the snow instead. It actually looked quite good. It’s a real pity that come summer, Nipah~ will melt. )


Mar 24
So Inori has gotten her 100,000 fans today.
We got a problem. Our commemorative artwork for THIS occasion is not even done yet. Too busy with other stuffs. ><

So Inori has gotten her 100,000 fans today.

We got a problem. Our commemorative artwork for THIS occasion is not even done yet. Too busy with other stuffs. ><


Mar 15
Because somebody will do it and it might as well be us. Some guy stripped in our public transport system. While others bemoan this as signs of an overworked, over-stressed society, we do our part to use this opportunity to help make things light-hearted. 
♯ Don&#8217;t lose your way. Nudist Beach forever!(Photo credit: The Real Singapore)

Because somebody will do it and it might as well be us. Some guy stripped in our public transport system. While others bemoan this as signs of an overworked, over-stressed society, we do our part to use this opportunity to help make things light-hearted. 

♯ Don’t lose your way. 

Nudist Beach forever!

(Photo credit: The Real Singapore)


Mar 12
We are involved in this event both as quasi-organizer and graphic branding guys. Character here, Haru, was designed by Geisterstunden. Pretty cute character.
We&#8217;re gonna be trying to insert her everywhere else too. She is NOT our mascot (because we can never decide on one) but expect to see her around. 
Especially since Doujima is intended to be a twice-a- year thing. 

We are involved in this event both as quasi-organizer and graphic branding guys. Character here, Haru, was designed by Geisterstunden. Pretty cute character.

We’re gonna be trying to insert her everywhere else too. She is NOT our mascot (because we can never decide on one) but expect to see her around. 

Especially since Doujima is intended to be a twice-a- year thing. 


Feb 14
Can you feel the love tonight? 
Now do it to the rhythm of that Lion King song. Except there is no Simba or Hakunamatata. There is only suffering and meguca. 

Can you feel the love tonight? 

Now do it to the rhythm of that Lion King song. Except there is no Simba or Hakunamatata. There is only suffering and meguca. 


Jan 30
Happy CNY to everyone! 

Happy CNY to everyone! 


Jan 18

Update!: 
First: I&#8217;m actually somewhat disappointed that a post on art theft garnered more notes than my other more interesting notes.
Two: It has actually been resolved partly due to the eloquence of NTP. Me? I&#8217;m just along for the ride and enjoy the drama. Not that there wasn&#8217;t a lot of drama to begin with. 
After talking to the boys, we managed to meet up with their professor and had a good chat. We weren&#8217;t the only one since someone else sent their higher-ups an email already. The boys will receive their due &#8216;rewards&#8217; and any profits they got from the bazaar will be channeled to a charity. 
So that&#8217;s it. Quite a satisfying resolution. So all artists who got your art ripped? It might not be much but you know where to tell me which charity you want proceeds of your art to go to!

Since someone beat me to it&#8230; let the drama rip. Noticed something familiar. Actually, noticed A LOT of things familiar? You are not alone. Good ol&#8217; art theft. 
Thanks Ice*Berry for taking the time to compile everything~ (I would have just zoomed in directly on GreenTeaNeko&#8217;s stolen art. 
Full list here: http://imgur.com/a/NNVnY#0
Looks like everyone else will beat me to giving them a good talk later today. 

Update!: 

First: I’m actually somewhat disappointed that a post on art theft garnered more notes than my other more interesting notes.

Two: It has actually been resolved partly due to the eloquence of NTP. Me? I’m just along for the ride and enjoy the drama. Not that there wasn’t a lot of drama to begin with. 

After talking to the boys, we managed to meet up with their professor and had a good chat. We weren’t the only one since someone else sent their higher-ups an email already. The boys will receive their due ‘rewards’ and any profits they got from the bazaar will be channeled to a charity. 

So that’s it. Quite a satisfying resolution. So all artists who got your art ripped? It might not be much but you know where to tell me which charity you want proceeds of your art to go to!

Since someone beat me to it… let the drama rip. Noticed something familiar. Actually, noticed A LOT of things familiar? You are not alone. Good ol’ art theft. 

Thanks Ice*Berry for taking the time to compile everything~ (I would have just zoomed in directly on GreenTeaNeko’s stolen art. 

Full list here: http://imgur.com/a/NNVnY#0

Looks like everyone else will beat me to giving them a good talk later today. 


Jan 17

setsuri:

Yayyys, stayed up till 5am today to watch Hoozuki again~~ 

Sketched a lil something whilst waiting…Tojikometemita Hoozuki!

Imma complete it tmr lols QAQb


Jan 15
nicowaha:

So i watched a little world conquest recently and did a sketch.

nicowaha:

So i watched a little world conquest recently and did a sketch.


Jan 10
Because I was in Japan again. Didn&#8217;t borrow a DSLR this time so stuck with photos using my phone.
Quality wasn&#8217;t as good as the ones I managed to take last summer. But it was still nice all the same. 

Because I was in Japan again. Didn’t borrow a DSLR this time so stuck with photos using my phone.

Quality wasn’t as good as the ones I managed to take last summer. But it was still nice all the same. 


Dec 31

polarbernd asked: do you have Aizawa Inori Rule 34? :D

It exists but no, we don’t have it!


Dec 26
nicowaha:

Merry Christmas!

nicowaha:

Merry Christmas!


Dec 14
Yes. Our Animal Crossing straps are cute. Please email komicer@collateralds.com to order one. Each set going for 15 SGD.
If I still can&#8217;t sell these, I&#8217;m giving them away at Comiket. And WaHa can cry because I&#8217;m giving away his works. 
Draw faster! 
*photo courtesy of Sayuri. Glad you like them!*

Yes. Our Animal Crossing straps are cute. Please email komicer@collateralds.com to order one. Each set going for 15 SGD.

If I still can’t sell these, I’m giving them away at Comiket. And WaHa can cry because I’m giving away his works. 

Draw faster! 

*photo courtesy of Sayuri. Glad you like them!*


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