Fruits Basket is a shojo series about characters with a curse where they turn into animals of the Chinese Zodiac whenever a member of the opposite sex hugs them. The editor of the title, Jake Forbes, asked me to do some research on the Chinese Zodiac and come up a series of personality charts with descriptions on each of the twelve animals of the Zodiac. These pieces appear in the omake/extra section of virtually all Fruits Baskets manga. While I can not reproduce them in full here, the first piece was an overview of the Chinese Zodiac and each of the pieces thereafter were on a single animal's personality.
Part 13: The Rooster (Fruits Basket Vol. 14, 2005)
A.I. Love You -
Introduction (Vol. 1, 2004)
For the first volume of A.I. Love You, I was asked by my editor to provide an introduction to the series to give curious readers a little background on why the series initially looks so drastically different from Love Hina. I took the chance to give a brief overview of how Ken Akamatsu got his break before going into how this series was different artistically from Love Hina and how drastically different computers were in the early to mid-90s.
A.I. Love You -
Unpublished Story Thus Far Text for Vol. 2 (2004)
I had an idea to have each of the characters to summarize the previous volume as the series went on. Sadly, the idea was never picked up and alternate Story Thus Far text was used instead. Below is a text document containing the original text that would have appeared in A.I. Love You Vol. 2.
A.I. Love You: The Last Program (fan translation)
While TOKYOPOP has the rights to the eight-volume A.I. Love You (AI ga Tomaranai), they don't have the rights to any of the material published on the Japan-only computer CD-Rom, AI ga Tomaranai 0->9. This CD-Rom has three further adventures with the cast that are in full-color, two are simply fairy tale stories, but one is a six-page epilogue entitled "The Last Program." Once I had finished up my adaptation work on TOKYOPOP's release of A.I. Love You, I had a deep desire to get this epilogue in English. I called in a favor from one of the translators I had worked with, Nan Rymer, and then made my own English Adaptation from her translation so that the finished product would match the previous rewrite work I had done. I then took things a step further and took out all the balloon text, retouched the color artwork and then laid out the manga in Adobe InDesign. I want to make it clear that I do not own the rights to this strip. I am merely presenting the following files strictly as showcase pieces for my portfolio.
Page 1 Retouch Work (Original Page & My Retouch - 791 KB)
Page 5 Retouch Work (Original Page & My Retouch - 562 KB)
AI ga Tomaranai: The Last Program (PDF File - 1.6 MB)
Mobile Fighter G Gundam - Omake Games
Mobile Fighter G Gundam Vol. 1 -
13th Annual Gundam Fight Application
My editor asked me to come up with some unique and fun extra content for the end of the first volume of G-Gundam. What I came up with was an eighteen question, multiple choice quiz pertaining the Gundam Fight that even Gundam guru, Mark Simmons could appreciate and that kids could really dig. TOKYOPOP even got a few applications back from kids who really enjoyed the series.
Mobile Fighter G Gundam Vol. 2 -
Word Search [unpublished]
I came very close to having one of my word searches published in the second volume of G-Gundam. However, the word search was cut due to space restrictions. Real shame because it was a fun one.
Mobile Fighter G Gundam Vol. 3 -
I came up with a cute little matching game where readers would have to figure out which Gundam belonged to which country. Due to space restrictions, the matching game was cut.
Match That Gundam [unpublished]
Akira CineManga Vol. 1 [uncredited]
I was asked to help out with the Akira CineManga by providing a script for the anime so that the final product could match up with the DVD. As Pioneer would not provide TOKYOPOP with a script, I was asked to come up with a script for the classic film. I ended up obtaining the raw output text from the English subtitle track (with time code) from the DVD release and then simply went through the entire movie line by line adding in scene notations and dialogue markers to point out which character was talking at any given time. I was paid for my work, but was not credited in the final product.
Misha-san's Cookin' Song (from Pita-Ten Vol. 5)
While this is not a supplemental extra, it is worth pointing out that manga is not always just filled with dialogue. Sometimes during the course of a series you grow so attached to a character that you just know what they would do in a given situation. Early in volume five, Misha-san is preparing to cook curry for Kotarou-kun. In this specific case, the Japanese dialogue had Misha-san talking about how she is going to put lots of yummy things into Kotarou-kun's curry. In my revision of the two balloons, I tweaked it so she was singing to herself ABOUT cooking for Kotarou-kun. I'll let the uber-cute, final product speak for itself.
Misha-san's Cookin' Song
First you take a radish,
then a squishy wish.
Mix 'em with love...
...and make 'em yummy yum.
Aside from writing, I also enjoy creating word searches based on various hobbies that I'm interested in. My main forte are puzzles centering on anime, manga, and video games, but have also created some based on television properties.
I got my start making word searches during the time I was self-publishing my own e-mail based newsletter, Weekly Stuff E-Zine. The anime puzzles would be later reprinted on the Animefringe: Online Anime Magazine web site where they sit to this day in the Word Search Stash.
Once I began working on Animefringe, I started creating two puzzles a month to be launched alongside the new month's issue. At the beginning of 2001, these word searches became a regular part of every issue. For a short time between August 2001 and July 2002, I allowed other Animefringe contributors to create word lists that I would use to create puzzles.
The key to making a great word search is to have a basic knowledge of the material you are covering and also where to get your word lists from. Since the correct spelling is important, I use magazines, other web sites, and even box descriptions to pull my words from. I have created word searches both by hand and using a computer program, but using a computer to auto-generate a puzzle helps to minimize human error.
If you would like me to create a word search for a book project or your site, feel free to contact me. Word searches by default are either 15x15 letters or 20x20 letters and range from 20 to 40 words.
Below you shall find a small selection of the word searches I have created over the years. These in particular appeared in Animefringe: Online Anime Magazine and the numbers indicate the order in which it ran.