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Manga Devoted to "Marine's English" Draws Crowds in Akiba

posted on 2007-04-30 22:39 EDT
Maritan to Hanasou F*** manga and drama CD "invade" Akihabara

A special Manga and Radio Drama CD set titled Maritan to Hanasou F*** (Let's talk with Maritan F***) went on sale Saturday in Japan. As a special promotion to mark the release date, a number of special autograph sessions were held in Akihabara with voice actress Maii Kadowaki, who plays the character of "Jieitan" on the drama CD.

The book and CD are based on the series Magical Marine Pixel☆Maritan with drawings by Yukio Hirai. The series is currently running in "Monthly Arms Magazine", a magazine devoted to gun and military hobbyists. According to the official Maritan website, the series is about the magical land of "Paris Island", a peaceful nation that is part of a security treaty with the United States. One day, the flowers around the kingdom, which serve as a "barometer" for human happiness, begin to die. To fight the spread of sadness, the kingdom sends 12-year old Princess Marin, who can magically transform into a Marine and assist with the fight for democracy. Many of the character names used in the series are based on military terms (Marin = marine, Jiei = self defense, based on the name of Japan's Self Defense Forces, "Jieitai") and end with "tan", a cuter version of the Japanese honorific "san."

The series is best known as a comic designed to teach readers English, specifically "military slang" and other expressions that could be interpreted as offensive. The broad appeal of the series resulted in gigantic lines at all of the autograph sessions in Akihabara. According to the popular fan site Akiba Blog, autograph lines for the Book/CD stretched up to the 3rd floor and were made up of military otaku, moe fans, and even a few members of the US Military. Keeping with the military theme, the autograph session was referred to as "humanitarian aid" in PR materials. Due to the heavy focus on swearing and rude jokes present in the manga, many shops and PR materials warned customers that people with "good sense" should not buy the manga.

Source: Akiba Blog, Animate TV

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