Despite all the unprecedented changes everyone has to ride out since last year, and the new normal everyone has to fit in—like some poorly made or badly fitting shoes that’ll bruise and make you bleed, we humans would continue to get up, fight back and celebrate small victories and accomplishments as we take up the rocky path. In connection to celebrations, Shodensha Publishing and Animate once again made sure to reach out and thank its fans as it celebrated onBLUE‘s 10th anniversary despite the pandemic with a string of wonderful events also involve foreign fans overseas if you know where to look at.
Various onBLUE manga with paper bonuses available for purchase at the venue
Shodensha x Animate presents onBLUE 10th Anniversary Exhibition
Located in the same space as last year, Animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store hosted another onBLUE exhibition on its 3rd floor Waku Waku Space from February 25th to March 14th. Displayed against the wall were a collection of colored illustrations and reproductions of original manuscripts from 43 artists, arranged from its first serialized titles up to the current releases. Momo and Manji’s standee once again graced us with their presence this year accompanied by Kouki and Angel of One Room Angel tucked at the opposite side of the hall, as well as Mio and Shun of Seaside Stranger: Umibe no Etranger that was later on added.
Standees, colored illustrations and reproductions of original manuscripts
Volume 4 of sawa sakura’s Momo and Manji was displayed together with its Animate set of beautiful postcards on top of the glass case luring everyone who followed the series to pick one and place it on their shopping basket.
Remember the #シチューBL (stew BL) hashtag that exploded among BL fans on Twitter? Yes, that one with the censored sample chapter filled with stickers strategically placed with a great sense. That one is by Shinou Ryo for Zetsubou ni Nake’s double volume release. The exact sample chapter was also exhibited and compiled in a clear file for everyone to peruse.
Craving for something spicy, sweet, or anything in between? Sate your hunger and check out onBLUE’s updated BL map guide with new titles!
Reproductions of Original Manuscripts
Arranged in no particular order below are different reproductions of original manuscripts from 43 artists! Exhibitors at the event are the following (in alphabetical order, Japanese style): Aiba Kyoko, akabeko, Asada Nemui, Ashihara Akira, Aniya Yuiji, Amida Shizuku, Arai Niboshiko, Inui Hana, Esuto Emu, Ogawa Chise, Kashio, Kari Sumako, Kii Kanna, Kihara Noriko, Kyouyama Atsuki, Kumota Haruko, Kureno Mataaki, Psyche Delico, sakura sawa, Shikimi Bibi, Shinou Ryo, Shimura Takako, SHOOWA, Susaki Ake, Takano Hitomi, Thanat, Tamekou, Dayoo, Natsuno Hiroko, Narita Nomoto (Story by Sakajima), Nishimoto Rou, Nobara Aiko, Hayakawa Nojiko, Harada, Hideyoshico, hitomi, Fujiwara Asahi, Fuyushima Shigure, Marukido Maki, Megu Iroha, Yamashita Tomoko, and Yamanaka Hiko.
onBLUE Obi BL Karuta
Are you one of those who like to collect physical copies of Japanese BL manga? Then test your memory and play the onBLUE Obi karuta game. Mechanics is quite easy! There are two sets of cards, one containing a list of BL manga titles and the other with quotes written on the manga’s obi (the strip of paper looped around the book). All you have to do is match the quotes written on the manga’s obi to its corresponding BL title!
Squint at the third image for clues
onBLUE 10th Anniversary Goods Sale
Compared to last year when special anniversary goods were physically available at the exhibition and fans had to fight their way before their favorite goods sold out, this year marks new changes in the system as they decided to make all anniversary goods available on mail-order via Animate Online. Quite timely as some people aren’t comfortable going out due to the pandemic, and ordering online reduces physical contact with other people and crowding at event spaces.
This year’s anniversary goods include the following:
- 16P Booklets (11 types)
- Trading Mini Shikishi Collection (13 designs)
- R18 Reproductions of Original Manuscript Set (3 sets: A, B, and C)
Like last year, the content of the 16-page booklet varies per artist; inside could be a compilation of illustrations, SNS comics, story settings, reprints of past papers, and other things. The trading mini shikishi collection includes five new designs by Kanna Kii, Thanat, Dayoo, Maki Marukido, and Bibi Shikimi. As for the R18 reproductions of the original manuscript, each set includes six pieces of original duplicate drawings from different titles.
Online Talk Event Tour
Another great surprise to onBLUE fans is the “Online Talk Event Tour,” the first of its kind for a BL anniversary event. Not just one but five manga artists, namely sawa sakura, Maki Marukido, Hiroko Natsuno, akabeko, and Kanna Kii, will be invited to talk on separate occasions regarding the creation process of their works. Another secret manga artist will join the second half of the talk per manga artist to make it more interesting.
sawa sakura led off the tour on March 28th at 18:00. The application was on a first-come, first-served basis with an online capacity of 420 people. For this talk event, joining was quite easy for fans only need to purchase a volume of Momo and Manji (1, 2, or 3) marked with オンラインイベント参加権付き (includes online event participation) via Animate Online, and if they make it to the cut, an email containing the URL will be sent the day before the event. Sales end once they reach the limit.
Autographed Acrylic Plate & Canvas Art
Another noteworthy news for BL merchandise collectors is onBLUE’s plan to drop newly drawn and signed acrylic plates and canvas art starting this June up to next year. At the moment, all we know is that these items will be sold as made-to-order products, and details on how to make a reservation will be posted at a later date.
Check out the list below and mark your calendars:
- Hiroko Natsuno, F3 Canvas Art (reservation starts around June 2021)
- Kanna Kii, A4-size Acrylic Board (reservation starts around October 2021)
- Hana Inui, A4-size Acrylic Board (reservation starts around December 2021)
- Sawa Sakura, A4-size Acrylic Board (reservation starts around February 2022)
Special Feature Back Number Delivery
onBLUE has also decided to distribute extremely rare featured articles that were difficult to obtain in the past through electronic bookstores starting this March. A great move towards digitization of print articles that’s hard to obtain for new and overseas fans. It’s only available for one year so don’t miss it!
Like every event, purchase benefits and leaflet fairs are very popular among fans. Once again, onBLUE prepared special presents for those who bought the manga and ordered goods online.
For every ¥1,000 worth of venue exclusive goods purchased is a chance to receive one random double-sided reproduction manuscript card by the following artists: akabeko/Hana Inui, Kanna Kii/Dayoo, Harada/Thanat, Tamekou/Aiko Nobara, Hiroko Natsuno/Nemui Asada, Hideyoshico/Takako Shimura, and Maki Marukido/Psyche Delico.
Ah! Yes. Our wallets are weeping, too.
Lastly, one fair point was given to those who purchased onBLUE comics at any Animate Store in Japan from February 25 to March 21. Collecting two fair points entitles a person to a 4-page leaflet especially drawn for the event! This time, you get to choose between two versions: A version includes works by
Hana Inui, Kanna Kii, Tamekou, and Marukido Maki while B version has Sakura Sawa, Thanat, Hiroko Natsuno, and Harada.
onBLUE 10th Anniversary Event Details
|Date and time||February 25 (Thu) until March 14, 2021 (Sun)|
|Place||Animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store 3F Waku Waku Space (Access Map)|
|Official Site||https://www.animate-onlineshop.jp/contents/fair_event/detail.php?id=105134 (in Japanese only)|
Sources (in Japanese only):
Shodensha x Animate presents onBLUE 10th Anniversary Reproduction of Original Drawing Exhibition details (Animate):
onBLUE 10th Anniversary Event & Fair Twitter Thread:
About futekiya: Read what you love
In 2018, futekiya began as a Boys Love (BL) manga news and culture website operated by FANTASISTA, INC., a CG/VR production studio based in Tokyo, Japan. futekiya transformed into a budding global distributor of officially licensed BL manga in 2019.
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