Swordgirl promo cards from THREE TIDES

Birthday gift to myself at the beginning of the month — this astounding 8″ sofubi statue done in the style of wooden Netsuke charms, called “Sushi Dokuro.”

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I know… right!?!?!?

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“Sushi Dokuro” was designed/sculpted by Osaka tattoo artist Mitomo Horihiro.

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I’m assuming this little dinner plate is natto (codfish roe). I don’t know the story behind this piece, but I do know that natto is smelly and gross…

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I saw this on a vinyl toy blog and had to have it, but the bonuses in the package were almost cooler than the loot itself. Check out Horihiro’s promo cards!

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These fantastic ninja gals are based on traditional imagery with a modern infusion of tattoos, urban footwear and safe sex messages. The measure about 5-6″, and three of them were included with in my package.

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Shuriken and fishnets? This is my future wife! Check out the rubber on the sheath. Classic…

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And you have to love the artist’s self portrait, with chain & sickle.

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 See more at the Three Tides Tattoo site.

The remarkable Kunoichi art of GETABO

Dig around the CG art community haven Deviant Art for a while and you come accross some serious talent!

These digitally-painted sword girls are from Japanese artist GETABO Hagiwara. He’s a sword instructor as well, and it shows in the authenticity of the blades and posing in his work. He might be a Ray Harryhausen fan, too, judging from all the Jason and the Argonauts-like skeletons some of the girls are fending off.

Just gorgeous! Prints are for sale at the DA link, and you can see more at the Japanese site Creative Works PURE (go to Gallery – Private).

All images ©GETABO Hagiwara.

Sorry eBay’ers…

posted in: 1 - Film and TV | 0

If you were one of the folks his past weekend trying to win either of these original press kit photos from the ninth entry in the Shinobi-no-Mono series, Mission Iron Castle, my apologies for being the source of your disappointment. I swung a heavy wallet at these cuties: Michiyo Yasuda and Yoko Namikawa sporting the finest in night gear coture.

Particularly fond of these as they are the source imagery for the superb collage poster, a two-sheet version of which hangs on the wall at VN HQ.

And if you haven’t seen this masterpiece of grim, noirish shinobi espionage, do so, it is truly one of the best ninja movies ever made.

Swordgirls of BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL

posted in: 2 - Books and Manga | 0

I’ve loved Hiroaki Samura‘s out-of-the-box manga Blade of the Immortal for it’s entire loooong run, but the latest volume (still coming out in trades from Dark Horse) starts a new storyline featuring some masked goons rather familiar to fans of vintage shinobi-cinema and tokusatsu TV…

In addition to these thoroughly disposable suppa, the new story features two young info-gathering kunoichi, and the armed-‘n-armored daughter of doomed government official. The series has been swordswoman heavy since day one, and Samura loves painting up his girls for eye-catching covers. These are my faves:

This series is all about exotic costuming, beauty in combat, and surreal weaponry. It can be challenging to read, especially some of the key action pages (depending on how good or bad the repro is from the Japanese originals), but it is definitely worth sticking with. Some of the grotesque places this book has gone in the past two years has been shocking.

Blade of the Immortal is enjoying some renewed fan interest due to the just-release anime adaptations, and an art book of the creator’s illustrations is being translated and released here in June. There’s a nice review of this must-own volume, in its original Japanese form, here.