Riuva stands for the Research Institute for Unicultural Visual Art. In other words, the staff here study the works of greatness hailing from the land of the rising sun.
What the f**k is that?
It encompasses mainly the areas of figurines, anime, manga, games and other facets of Japanese (un)popular culture.
What content does this site have?
Everything related to Japanese Otaku Culture.
So who are you?
I am TJ Han, the avatar of uninhibited Asian nerd desire.
What qualifications do you have?
I have been collecting figurines for about 4 years now/ I started off with a couple of Binaltech diecast Transformers and then built Gundam models for a while. I then discovered the greatness and beauty of anime figurines and have not looked back since. Last count? About 100 1/8 and above PVC figurines/action figures and about 30 sets of trading or gashapons.
I have also been reading manga since I was about six, starting off with Doraemon. My life changed in Primary 3 (9 years old) when I found a heap of discarded manga in a rubbish dump on my way home. It was the then legendary Dragonball! I picked it up, grime and all, and started reading. It was a translated version in traditional mandarin and I was weak at the language back then, requiring a dictionary. As it wasn’t the complete set, I broke my piggyback and went to the local manga store to complete it. Then it was Ranma 1/2. And then Flame of Recca, Kenshin etc. Ten years and 1200 books later, I still buy more every week.
Anime was watched only on TV and in rare cases like Evangelion, on VCDs. In late 2004, I learnt to use BT and since then, my computer has been nothing more than a TV screen. On last count, I have watched (some complete, some abandoned) about 600 anime series.
I took the third language programme and opted for Japanese when I was 13, so I do have some sort of proficiency in it. I have JLPT level 3 and that was about 5 years ago. Understanding the raws of anime, particularly harem or shounen is no problem.
Are you really the avatar of uninhibited nerd desire in real life?
Not really. But it makes for more interesting blogging doesn’t it? I am actually a muscular machoman who pumps 200 kg irons and drives a monster truck.
How did this site come about?
A while (years) ago I stumbled upon Jeff Lawson’s now-defunct old site and realised the existence of a vibrant online English anime blogging community. Through links on his sidebar, I came across the now-defunct Anime Blog Toshokan and got to know a lot more bloggers. I realised that tapping on the limitless well of nerd desire latent in me would allow the creation of a true anime blog.
There are of course, a ton of blogs out there. Wanting to have some form of product differentiation, I chose to target a then-niche sector – figurines. Most readers don’t really collect such and casual buyers don’t really know the latest news, so I figured I could do news and reviews. These would be supplemented by various other categories of posts to break up the monotony.
It took a while before I carried out the plan. There were a few entry barriers, namely my complete lack of internet knowledge back then and the lack of hosting. Actually, I didn’t have the slightest idea how the net worked and how a site was created. But through the really easy-to-use wordpress engine, I got started, got some webspace, a domain name and fumbled my way to the startline.
And from there, everyday it’s been a learning experience. Looking back at my old posts now, I really feel like deleting them but it would be foolish to erase these pieces of heritage.
What camera do you use for your pictures?
I used to use the Fujifinepix Z-2. In September 2006, I bought the Canon Ixus 800. These are point and shoot cameras because I didn’t pay for them. Then I moved onto more serious photography, and purchased a DSLR. I got myself the Canon 450D along with its 18-55 IS kit lens. Currently, I own the 55-250 mm IS, 100 mm f2.8 Macro, Tamron 200-500 mm, 50 mm f1.4 and a 580 MK II flashgun. You can see my pictures here.
What anime do you like?
I generally like everything with the exception of shoujo, yaoi, kids-targeted, teenage emo "romance" and those with negative energy. My favourite genre is sci-fi and I love action and comedy as well. Best anime for me would be Gintama, Planetes, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Last Exile, Gatekeepers, School Rumble etc.
Who are your favourite anime girls?
There are so so many. Off the top of my head: Eri, Yakumo, Akira and Itoko from School Rumble, Sephiria from Black Cat manga, Anna from Shaman King manga, Saya and Diva from Blood+, Rei from Eva, Nagato Yuki from Haruhi, Lain from Serial Experiment Lain, Jo from Burst Angel, Tatiana from Last Exile, Kaoru from Gatekeepers, Nobue and Chika from Ichigo Mashimaro, Tsukino, Sophia and Monica from Yakitate and a hell lot more.
Who are your favourite anime guys?
There are so so many. Basically, manly men like Azuma Kazuma and Ootori Kyouya.
List some of your best non-figure review posts so we can read them.
Anime Clubs are horses in the automobile age.
What elemental power Otaku are you?
10 ways to be a Ninja Otaku in School!
Interview with Hoshi, the Yin cosplayer with more brains than you.
Q and A about the Odex Saga
Is anime good for us? Are we proud of liking it?
OtaGirls Cont.! Why Best Friends Get No LOVE! And 6 Tips to Become Boyfriend Material!
10 ways to get an anime-loving girlfriend!
Cosfest 07 Coverage
"The anime is so much better than the manga. Or vice versa." Read more!
Gigantic Formula! Mecha Designers All-Star Party!
Characterisation in Anime
The diagram of badness explains why sometimes, something is so bad that it’s good.
Figurine science of bases.
Guide to talking like an otaku in ten minutes.
Guide to talking like an intellectual in ten minutes.
Interview with Shia and a Peek into the local anime monopoly.
Figurine science of materials.
Aftermath of Honey and Clover (movie)
List of the 12 Sisters.
Interview with Lenneth the Saya Cosplayer.
Flame of Yaoi fangirls featuring Rainy.
Ten ways to confess your love.
Headphoned Girls are Hot.
SEIYUU ARE SLAVES NOT STARS.
NO. Stop leaving comments on the e7 post claiming there will be! It has ended! And the manga is ongoing because the manga is adapted from the anime!
Can you add me to your blogroll?
Only if I read your site. For me to read your site, a good start would be to post insightful comments on my posts. For example, I read super rats’ ultra figure picture site because he leaves a lot of photography advice on my figure review posts and this led me (and many) to discover his site. But recently I’ve started a new subcategory on my blog roll called "Squires", so I might just slot you there if you’re new.
Can I be your girlfriend?
Check the question above "Who are your favourite anime girls" and see if your name’s there. If not, stand in line.
I want to buy one of your figurines. How?
Just send me a mail at email@example.com.
Why do you think the lyrics for Red Fraction sucks? It rocks!
It sucks completely. Some people are so blinded by the "Japanese coolness" that they think Engrish is cool. That is retarded.
Where do you get your songs and anime? Can you send them to me?
No. Get it from the links on my side bar.
Does Koizora really suck? I mean, it’s pretty and realistic!
My Koizora review post is awesome and has so many comments. Thanks for the support! I love comments, even angry ones. Make that, especially angry ones. Yes, Koizora is terrible.