Friday, December 16, 2005

Ghibli To Animate LeGuin's Story

Poster of the next movie from Studio GhibliThe next animated movie produced by Studio Ghibli will be directed by Goro Miyazaki (the son of Hayao Miyazaki) and adapted from Ursula K. LeGuin Earthsea Cycle.

Studio Ghibli is famous for having animated movies directed by Hayao Miyazaki (Laputa: Castle In The Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle) and Isao Takahata (Grave Of The Fireflies, Only Yesterday, Tanuki Wars Ponpoko and Tonari no Yamada-kun).

The movie will be titled Gedo Senki [Record Of The Gedo War]: Tales From Earthsea and will be released in July 2006.

It seems that Ghibli is moving away from creating their animation based on original story since it is their second movie that will be an adaptation from an English speaking novel. Their previous movie, Howl's Moving Castle, was adapted from a novel by English writer Diana Wynne Jones. Gedo Senki will be the adaptation of the third (The Farthest Shore) and fourth (Tehanu) books of Ursula K. LeGuin Earthsea Cycle.

(Source: Anime News Network: Ghibli Announces New Anime & Gedo Senki News).

Ghibli Web Site
Ursula K. LeGuin Web Site

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Monday, November 21, 2005

Ecological Climber Motocycle?

In an article about “The Most Amazing Inventions” published in a recent issue of Time magazine (Canadian edition, Nov. 21 2005: 34), I've seen a news bit talking about a motocycle of the future that runs on hydrogene canister. That reminded me of the Mospeada Ride Armor seen in the Genesis Climber Mospeada anime (the bike was called Cyclone in the Robotech adaptation). Both bikes slighly look similar and run on hydrogene canister (althought in Robotech, Macek changed that for Protoculture).

The 90-kgs ENV bike is made of aluminum, has a top speed of 80 km/h and can drive up to 160 km on a $4 US 140 g hydrogene canister. The fuel-cell engine is silent and clean. Too bad this bike cannot transform into a power armor!

The ENV bike was created by Intelligent Energy and should be available in 2007 for less than $10,000 US. You can find more details on its web site:

Apple on Kamataki

Apple has recently posted on its web site an article on Kamataki, a Canadian-Japanese movie directed by Claude Gagnon who just received several awards at the Montreal World Film Festival.

Apple often post articles on people who are using their computers and softwares. Director Claude Gagnon used a Power Mac G5 and Final Cut Pro to edit his award-winning movie.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

New Blog?

I am experimenting with this new blog.

I'll wait a little to see how well it looks and how easy it is to work with and I might eventually change. We'll see.

Let me know what you think of it.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

JET Looking For Candidates

If you are a Japan-lover living in the Montreal area and have dreams of going to Japan, you might be interested to know that the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme is looking for candidates to become Assistant English Teachers in Japan. No better way to discover Japan than by working there (they say the salary is good, with benefits and they even pay the airplane ticket)!

You can apply online (; click on "Exchange Programs") until November 18, 2005 for a departure in July 2006.

(Source: The Gazette 11/2/2005 E7)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Rose Of Versailles Revival

This year is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Marie-Antoinette (born in Vienna in 1755) and it seems to be a good pretext for a revival of Rose Of Versailles, this epic anime drama about a passionate love set with the French Revolution as backdrop.

Not only TMS is releasing the complete series on R2 DVDs (8 vols, BCBA-2321~28, 121 min. ea, ¥3800 ea.; Vol. 1-3 avail. on 9/23; Vol. 4-6 avail. on 10/28 and vol. 7-8 avail. on 11/25), but also the all-female theatrical troop Takarazuka will restage their famous Versailles no Bara play for the great pleasure of their fans! (For more info about this series and the play, check PA#45: 17-26, 41-43 as well as the online overview)

Furthermore, Rose Of Versailles mangaka, Riyoko Ikeda -- who stopped drawing manga a decade ago to dedicate herself to music -- has started a new manga series that adapts a novel of Yukio Mishima (more details on ANN).


Takarazuka will give TWO different performences of Rose Of Versailles:

Takarazuka “Star Troupe will be performing the "Fersen and Marie Antoinette version" first in a national tour, from 9/24 through 10/21. After the tour, they will perform from January - February 2006 in the Takarazuka Grand Theater, and then from February - April 2006 in the Toyko Takarazuka Theater.”

Takarazuka “Snow Troupe will be performing the "Oscar" version from February - March in the Takarazuka Grand Theater, and from April - May in the Tokyo Takarazuka Theater.”

(Update Source: Sugar And Spice Takarazuka Revue web site)

Takarazuka Revue Official web site

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Apple's iTunes music stores soon to offer video!

With the announcement of the new video-capable iPod, Apple might be able to revolutionize the world of the video download the same way they did for music.

iTunes music stores will soon start selling video also. Following a deal with ABC/Disney they will start offering episode of "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost," among other content, for only $1.99 per episode. Video can be watched either on the iPod 2.5-inch screen or on a computer.

Hopefully, anime releasers both in Japan an in North America will seize this opportunity to make their product available online at a reasonable cost. It is clear that this is the only way to fight piracy and illegal downloads.

If you want more details you can check those articles:

Update (05/10/14): iTunes v. 6 is already available and the music store is already selling lots of video clips and some Pixar's short movies. The only downside to this is that the resolution is rather small. It is really made for the iPod screen. But at least the idea of downloading video for a small fee is put in practice. Eventually they could offer higher resolution video for a bigger price.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Nice Alternative to FTP

It happens often that I have large files that I have to send or to receive. Most of the time they are too large to be e-mailed. Sending files through MSN Messenger is generally too slow for large files and when I try to send files by FTP, I have often trouble logging to the destination server, or people cannot log to my server, etc.

Recently, someone introduced me to an interesting web site: You enter the recipient's e-mail, you select the file you want to send (up to 1 Gb) and then you click the “you send it” button. Your file is uploaded (there is even a secure option) to their web site, an e-mail is sent to the recipient with instruction on how to download the file and voila!

I've tried it and it works well. No passwords to share, no software to install, no accounts to create, and no full mailboxes! I don't don't know how they can manage to offer such a free service (it must require lots of storage) since there is no ads on the web site (although I remember seeing a discreet “sponsors” link or something like that once the file was uploaded).


Here are some pictures of Spotty for the feline fans: Spotty's Album.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Montreal World Film Festival 2005

This year the Montreal World Film Festival was quite interesing as usual. There was less Japanese films than the previous years, but it just meant that I would be able to find time to see them all. And I did: I saw all six Japanese movies [Himiko's House, Kamataki, Itsuka Dokusho Suruhi (The Milkwoman), Shonen To Hoshi To Jitensha (Satoru - Fourteen), Umineko, Yumeno] and one Iranian movie [Sima-Ye Zani Dar Doordast (Portrait Of A Lady Far Away)]. We have also met several directors as well as many great actors (Maggie Cheung! Tatsuya Fuji! I have also met Isshin Inudo, director of Himiko's House, who also directed the live-action version of “Touch” but unfortunately I couldn't talk much with him). The movies will be reviewed either in the magazine or on my web pages.

Unfortunately, this year the festival was showing its lack of budget (less movies, less events, etc.). That's because it stopped receiving big governmental subsidies. All this because of bullshit politics and some people who wanted to make big money by creating their own festival. They want this other festival to be more glamorous, like Cannes. So they lobbied enough to get the subsidies yanked from the MWFF. Lots of people are bashing on the MWFF (mostly the press -- probably unhappy because they were not invited to the parties with the big guests), but it is an excellent festival, which is offering a fine selection of international movies to the people. I don't care that its director is an a** or that all the big guests and big business went to Toronto. I just want to see good movies. That's all. I wish good luck to the New Festival (even if they stole the subsidies, copied the name and web page design of the MWFF) and if it is a good festival, it will be good for them and for the movie goers. But they are hurting the MWFF. I don't want two half-festival. I want one good festival. The MWFF has been doing a fine job for nearly 30 years. So my thought is “Don't fix it if it is not broken.” But now it is too late. Hopefully, both festivals will continue to do well.

Also, during the festival, I saw at the cinema Parisien something I had never seen before: they started a movie 20 minutes early! That's an unforgivable mistake. I was told that all people who complained got a refund, but if it was up to me that projectionist would have lost his job!

Here is a selection of our pictures from the festival. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Not Well

Since early spring I have not been feeling well. I got a little better for the summer, but now it is getting even worse. I really don't know why I am feeling so tired, but the doctor sent me for some tests and I've been too busy lately to go (there's also the fact that my schedule doesn't really fit with the opening hours of the clinic). But I really must go take those tests next week!

Mostly I am feeling often tired, sleepy (but I already sleep more than usual and even take naps!), apathetic. I feel like out of energy, laking motivation, like if something died inside me (like a zombie!). However, the biggest problem is a total lack of concentration. It is not really a problem when I am doing technical or manual stuff like the shipping or layout, but it makes editing and writing like an herculean work and it is quite frustrating. It takes me hours just to process a few paragraphs. Once I am in it, it is not that bad, but the slightest distraction (a phone call, a e-mail, an IM) will break the rythm and it will take me a long time to resume work. And if I try too hard I get a terrible headache. I feel like i am moving in slow-motion and everything around me is flying by fast. Days and weeks a passing by without me barely realizing it. I barely saw the summer. All this is quite depressing.

I know I am not in perfect shape, but at least I have a very healthy alimentation. I just need more exercice (and to check my blood pressure and the glucose level). What could be causing this? Is this age? Premature senelity? Dementia? Can't be, I am just a little over 40. Is this a kind of depression, a mid-life crisis? I don't have any reasons to be depressed, I have everything that I could want: a loving wife, a fun job that I like, lots of DVDs, books and gadgets to entertain myself. I just need to be able to concentrate on my job!

I suspect it could be a kind of hormone imbalance. Hopefully, I'll soon find the cause and a way to get rid of it. Because it is really driving me crazy!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Busy Weeks

The last couple of weeks were quite busy. First I had not seen the end of my printer's problems yet. Not only the printer delivered the magazine late, but an abnormal number of copies had defects and boxes were not containing the exact amount they were suppose to according to the manifest. So I've spent an entire week-end counting each copy and separating the bad copies from to good. I've send the bad ones back to the printer to be replaced and used the good ones for the shipping and mailing.

So I've spent the following week doing the mailing and shipping, as well as updating the computer and working (already) on the next issue of the magazine. Through all that I managed to go see a few movies at the Montreal World Film Festival. The next week, despite the fact that I was really not feeling well, I continued working on the magazine (planning, writing, reviewing material, etc.), I watched a few more movies at the MWFF and installed my new VoIP phone system (I'll review that one a little later).

So much to do and so little time. I feel kind of out of breath and tired.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

More Computer Update

Well, I did not get my computer on Friday. When the repair shop got the logic board and started to install it, they noticed that the power supply had also burned out so they ordered that part too. But it did not ship in time for me to get the computer for the week-end. However, I got it on monday (August 29th) and everything was fine. I am so happy!

Of course, since I've worked on the G3 for a little more than a week, I had to re-update my files and mails, etc., which took me several days since I was quite busy on various project. To avoid that kind of problem, I am now trying to make backups more often and I've sync both computers.

I am planning to write a review for the iMac G5 in the Tech section of my website (as soon as I have a little time). I am also working on a Tech review about Primus VoIP service (as soon as I've tested it for a little longer -- so far I've had problems with the customer services, but the product itself seems fine). Ah! So many projects, so little time...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Computer Update

Today I got some news from the computer repair shop.

Apparently the problem has nothing to do with overheating. It seems that the first series of iMac G5 used a bad batch of capacitors on its circuit boards (I think that sensors for the space shuttle fuel tank were plagued by a similar problem recently!) and that they burn up after a while. Apple has acknowledge the problem and extended the warranty of the flawed models (see the Repair Extension Program page). So as soon as they received the needed parts the repair shop will replace the logic board of my iMac G5 (hopefully before the end of the week) and I will be back in business with a FAST computer (switching back to a G3/G4 made me realized how fast the G5 is!). Let's see if Apple hold to their reputable customer service.

I have therefore regained confidence in my beautiful iMac G5 and will stick with it for a while. Probably until we see what those new Intel Mac that Apple is planning to release are capable of.

Ikea website offer bad service

One week ago a placed an order online on Ikea's website. Unlike most online store where your purchase and payment are automatically confirmed, at Ikea someone has to call you back to confirm the details of your order. So far, after a week, nobody has called. My advice: if you want to buy something at Ikea, either go to the store (that's if you have a car, or a friend willing to help you) or order by phone. It is much quicker!

UPDATE (9/11): well, after more than a week without news I deciced to call to reissue my order, via phone this time. When they told me that it would cost me $80 shipping for a $140 bookshelf, I told them to cancel my order. I'll find someone to drive me there instead later this week. Such a poor online ordering system (no confirmation of shipping cost, having to be phoned back, long delays, etc.) is really outragous.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

My Computer Dies!

After having printer's and cat's problems, I was not out of the woods yet. Yesterday night, my iMac G5 died in a terrible smell of burned electronics. That was NOT an happy moment either. After spending part of the afternoon doing diagnostics, it is now packed and ready to go to an Apple Service Center monday. I should be able to get it repaired within a week (however I am considering eventually replacing it by a dual processor G5 2 ghz tower -- if I can get a good price for the iMac, which, being an all-in-one model, has the unfortunate habit to overheat).

I had to take out my old G3 (boosted with a G4 processor) and update its files in order to be able to do some work in the meantime. Anyway, that's life.

Hopefully, that's the end of my bad luck streak.

Take care!

My beloved departed cats

The backstreet is always full of stray cats. Some seek refuge on our balcony and we feed them out of compassion. Four years ago, one of those cats touched our heart more than the others: it was a cute one-year-old female part siamese, part tabby. The winter was coming close so we let her in and she stayed with us since then. We called her Nyako. She was the best of cats: never complaining, never scratching furnitures, always clean. Like most cats, she was affectionate but distant.

One year ago we noticed that her face was not symetric anymore and that a tumor was slowly growing on the right side of her head. We knew that there was not much to do for that but hope it would not get bigger. It did, but we wanted to keep her as long as she would have a decent quality of life. We hope that she would grow old and eventually die peacefully. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago the tumor got so big that it deformed her mouth and pushed her eyes a little forward. She was constantly drooling and her eye was crying. She was sleeping all day and looked pityful. So, this morning we had her euthanized, relieving her of her misery. It was certainly not an easy decision to take, and the visit to the vet was not an easy moment either. At least now, she won't suffer anymore and she's probably happier in some cat's heaven somewhere. But, to make it harder, it is the second cat that we lose this summer. Those cats were like our children and we miss them. At least, we still have one.

Earlier this year, we adopted two more cats: a black & white female with a black spot on the nose and a white spot on the tip of the tail (so we called her Spotty) and a light brown-reddish male, very noisy, that we called Nyaboy (and sometime also Foxy, because of his color and pointy ears). We couldn't, obviously, keep too many cats so we found someone to take care of the very gentle and affectionate Spotty. Unfortunately, last April, Nyaboy was shot (twice!) in the back with a pellet gun by some moron (probably a kid playing with his new toy). He got a very nasty infection, but for some time it looked like he was having the upper hand. However, he did lost the battle after a while. Luckily, a few weeks later we learned that the young lady who was taking care of Spotty just got a new job in Hong-Kong and couldn't bring her along. So we took her back. Now we have only Spotty. I'll post some pictures of her later (right now I have computer problems, so I cannot).

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Relaxing a bit

Sorry for not having post much lately. I've spent most of July and August working hard on the layout of PA#85. Now I am done and I can relax a bit -- but not too much because there still lots of updates to do on the web pages, back issues to convert into eBooks, preparing the shipping and finally starting the plannification and layout for the next issue -- watching some anime series or movies to review, cleaning up and doing a zillion things around the house.

Unfortunately, starting a series a bad luck that struck me in the last few days, the PA#85 will be delayed a little. Apparently, the printer press broke down and they had to wait for replacing parts. Then the printer had a big printing job to do before us and we were pushed back. Hopefully, we'll start shipping by the middle of next week.

BTW, I forgot to post that link before, but here are the pictures from Anime Boston '05.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Eventful Week [E]

Tuesday [July 5] we had torrential rain which caused the sewage to back up... in the basement and, through the pipes, even on the first floor. In the basement, it was not that bad since the floor has a kind of a funnel shape and I had blocked all the drainage, limiting the damage to only up to six inches of water in a part of the basement. No books, storage boxes or furniture were really damaged. On the first floor, I had an half-inch of water in the bathroom, that spilled in the corridor and into my office, then dripping back into the basement (damaging a few ceiling tiles). Again, not much damage beside a couple of wet carpets. However, it was a very trying and tiring evening. I worked like crazy to limit the damage, mopping the dirty water and then cleaning up. I worked in a kind of desperation, forgetting about pain and tiredness. I ended up with hand blisters and sore muscles all over my body (five days later I can still barely move!). It was quite a traumatic experience. Today, it is raining again and it makes me nervous. I keep looking at the doppler radar hoping not to see any heavy rain close by.

My wife and I being news junkies, we were also well served this week with the announcement of the olympic bid winner on wednesday [July 6] (I guess Paris lost because Chirac was really too arrogant) and the London bombing on Thursday [July 7]. I guess the people of London were lucky in many ways and it is the proof that the increase security do reduce the risk of attack. Forty something dead with four bombs is a relatively low amount of casualties compare to the Madrid bombing or even 9/11. I guess that the security mesures make it more difficult for the terrorists to mount effective attacks. But it is certainly no consolation for the families of the victims.

I spent the rest of the week running around preparing for Fantasia and working on various reviews for PA#85. With so much work to do, I am not sure I will have time to see many movies and I am counting on getting as many screeners as possible to compensate. I also took a few hours to change a little the layout of Protoculture web site top page. That's the most visited page and I thought it would be more effective to use it to present products instead of just having the updates (now moved to a blog). Have a look if you have time. Now, back to work.

Take care everybody (is there anyone reading this, I wonder).

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

News: Fantasia 2005 [E]

Fantasia, North America's premier genre film festival, is back for a ninth edition!! It will be held at Concordia University, downtown Montreal (Hall Theatre and J.A. de Sève Theatre: 1455 & 1450 De Maisonneuve West), from July 7th to 25th.

As usual it offers an impressive programmation with more than 90 long feature films and more than 100 short films coming from sixteen countries. There will be about 30 movies from Japan (including nine anime and half-a-dozen kaiju or manga-inspired movies), 16 from Korea and 8 from Hong Kong.

Tickets (at $7.50) will be available on July 5th at 2 pm at the Concordia Hall Theatre and throughout the Admission Network. The program will be on sale ($3.00) in selected stores from June 30th and at the Concordia Hall Theatre from July 5th. For information:

Monday, June 27, 2005

True Beginning [E] / Vrai Début [F] [Intro]

[E] I guess now I am really ready to start. First of, I must warn you that this blog will be bilingual (in English and in French). My comments will be in the language that is most appropriate for the subject (i.e. a French book will be reviewed in french). If there is one of those languages that you can't read, please just skipped to the part you can read. Sorry!

This is the place I chose to comment and rant about everything but mostly about Japanese animation, manga, science-fiction (particularly the one written in Quebec), cinema, new technologies, history and culture (Japanese and others).

This Blog is the counter-part to my web page, so if you haven't done so already, please have a look on my page.

I'll do my best to add comments, in either languages, as often as possible. But I am rather busy lately, so I won't promise anything. Be indulgent and come back often to check what's new!

[F] Je crois bien que là je suis vraiment prêt à commencer. Je dois d'abord vous avertir que ce blog sera bilingue (en anglais et en français). J'écrirai dans la langue la plus approprié pour chaque sujet (par exemple, je commenterai un livre dans la langue où il a a été publié). Si vous ne comprenez pas les deux langues, vous n'avez qu'a sauter par dessus les sections qui vous sont illisibles. Désolé!

Ici je m'exprimerai sur les sujets qui me sont chers: la science-fiction (particulièrement celle produite au Québec), l'animation Japonaise, les manga, le cinéma, les nouvelles technologies, l'histoire, la culture (en générale et Japonaise) et bien d'autres choses qui me passeront par la tête!

Cet blog est la contre-partie de ma page web, alors si ce n'est pas déjà fait, jetez donc un coup d'oeil sur ma page.

Je ferai mon possible pour ajouter des commentaires, dans l'une ou l'autre langues, le plus souvent possible. Quoique je suis plutôt occupé ces temps-cia lors je ne promet rien. Alors soyez indulgent mais surveillez le blog régulièrement pour les nouveautés!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Profile Franco

Je suis un historien, blogueur, aide-bibliothécaire ainsi que le rédacteur en chef d'un magazine sur les médias et la culture japonaise (en hiatus prolongé). Je vis dans ma petite coquille, mon refuge, observant le monde du centre de son web mediatique. Ici je commenterai et chialerai sur tout, mais surtout sur la culture: anime et manga, chats et fleurs, science-fiction, photographie, cinéma, technologie, histoire, Japon, bibliothèques, la vie, etc. Prenez garde : ce blogue sera définitivement bilingue!

Quant à l'habituel démenti, ceci est mon blogue personnel et donc les avis exprimés y sont seulement les miens et ne représentent pas nécessairement ceux de mes employeurs, associés, gouvernements ou toutes autres personnes de cette planète.

Tout le contenu © Clodjee, 2005-2017. Autorisation requise avant toute reproduction de quelconque partie, mais vous pouvez lier librement.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Here I will comment and rant about everything but mostly about anime, manga, science-fiction, cinema, new technologies and history. You are welcomed to comment.