Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

Kōtetsujō no Kabaneri, or Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, is a beautifully done anime, set in a post-apocalyptic Japan.

At the time of industrialization, a mysterious plague broke out, turning corpses into kabane, a kind of blood-drinking zombie that is extremely hard to kill. Get bitten and you turn into one. Die and you turn into a kabane. Or, if you’re lucky, a kabaneri, a halfbreed of man and kabane. Survivors live in stations along the route of heavily armored trains, known as iron fortresses.

It is in these stations and on these trains that we find the characters of this story.

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High Tech Low Life

High Tech Low Life

High Tech Low Life, the cyberpunk band from Okinawa, Japan, came as somewhat of a surprise to the European scene.

Not just a band, but an entire worldbuilding setting with their own characters and concept. Which is in itself nothing new, as many steampunk bands have done that. But their intent on doing better and saving the future is something done so well, I had to go and investigate.

So I sat down with the guys from High Tech Low Life to find out more about them and the terrible possible futures converging in 2069, which is, let’s face it, not that far away!

Which you can read right behind the piece about their music and concerts I witnessed. Stick with it til the very end, because there is a little giveaway!

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Helcanen on the Road

Helcanen on the Road

Helcanen, a Belgian artist known for her affinity for Japan, returns with a new book, a new and original take on traveling Japan that combines a beautiful vintage style with our modern times.

This first edition of her postcard-sized travel journals takes you on the road in Hyōtan-yama, a neighborhood of Higashiōsaka, Japan.

Not only is it a wonderful tale that takes you along on Helcanen’s voyages, it is also a little treasure trove for those wanting to go there themselves.

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Made in Asia

Made in Asia Brussels Belgium
Visitors at the Made in Asia convention in Brussels, Belgium, March 3 (Hilde Heyvaert)

Made in Asia has over the years become the biggest and most popular Asiamania convention of Belgium. This year it coincided with the last weekend of the February school holiday, giving people ample opportunity to visit.

We visited on Friday and Saturday, the first two days of the event, and so this review is only relevant to these days and not to the final day of Sunday. Continue reading “Made in Asia”

Made in Asia

Made in Asia Brussels Belgium
Visitors at the Made in Asia convention in Brussels, Belgium, March 13 (Hilde Heyveart)

The past couple of years, there had been a lot of critique on Made in Asia: it was overcrowded, hardly any room to move, and especially to sit and relax. After the especially flawed 7th edition of last year, however, the organization finally realized that changes had to be made, and actually went ahead and made them. They clearly based themselves on the lay-out of Japan Expo near Paris, but hey, if it works, then it works. Which it does. Continue reading “Made in Asia”