I wanted the first post after our unplanned 3 week absence to be killer. So here I go, compiling everything awesome from the English and Japanese versions of Kazuo Umezu's Homepage; Your guide you to a bountiful spread of mp3s, video, games and other fun stuff for Umezu freaks.
A month or so ago, we posted about Kazuo Umezu's online photo gallery, hosted on Picasa Web Albums. He continues to add new photos to the album on a regular basis, so check it out again for his most recent snapshots from media events and convention thingies.
My GF pointed out that Umezz seems to really enjoy being famous. And it's true, more than most other mangaka that we talk about on this site (stoically badass Mr. Hino, or terse Mr. Maruo, or semi-reclusive Junji Ito, etc), Umezz seems to be continually cultivating his image, and perpetuates a persona that is really wacky and expressive. Smartly, this in turn encourages a relationship not just with his manga and works, but with him as a media figure and icon.
To this end, Umezu's site is PACKED FULL of MANY, MANY GOODIES. Now, it may be Umezu's idea (homeboy is 80 years old, keep in mind), but it appears that the day-to-day site operations are run by his weird/cute webmaster DEMERIN. She comes up on his site often, and you can learn more at her personal site. She's young, draws comics (including a recent biography/horror manga about Umezu's life), and from what I can gather, works as Umezu's personal assistant and webmaster. She also has a hat that reads DEMERIN, akin to Umezu's helmet reading KAZZ. Pretty chill.
Now, like other internationally-minded creators, he has versions of his site in English and German along with the Japanese edition. But to be frank, the non-Japanese are wimpy and have only a pittance of information and are rarely updated. Well, after our last post I sortof assumed that maybe people had digged through his homepage and found all the goodies; But actually, I can totally see how the busy Japanese interface can be intimidating to the casual visitor.
So, okay dudes... If you can read Japanese, I definitely recommend you simply check out his site yourself--- but for everyone else, we here present an authoritative Umezu Site AV Compendium:
First up: Kazuo Umezu ring tones!
Click here for about 15 different ringtones, which are conveniently hosted in four different sound file types to choose from. You'll find:
+ メールなのら！ - meeru nanora!
+ 電話なのら！ - denwa nanora!
+ 着信なのら！ - chakushin nanora!
+ マッチョメ マッチョメ - macchome macchome
+ グワシ！（その１） - gwashi!(1)
+ グワシ！（その２） - gwashi!(2)
+ サバラ！ - sabara!
+ イボイボうつれー！ - ipo ipo utsuree!
+ メールどすえ！ - meeru dosue!
+ 電話どすえ！ - denwa dosue!
+ 着信どすえ！ - chakushin dosue!
+ ごんぬずぱ！ - gon'nuzupa!
+ ハプ、ハプ！ - hapu hapu!
+ ガーン！ - gaan!
+ アウ、アウ！ - au, au!
+ グワシ！楳図かずおです！ - gwashi! Kazuo Umezu desu!
+ エグリエグリポテグリプッシュン！ - eguri eguri poteguri pusshun!
+ エグリエグリポテグリプッチン！間違えた！(NG Version) - eguri eguri poteguri putchin! machigaeta!
+ イアラー！ - iaraa!
For the lazy folks, we've hosted the two most quintessential files here... Umezu belting out his catchphrase 'Gwashi'!
This sounds crazy, but the site goes as far as to feature a history of Gwashi, and panels from his oeuvre detailing wacky mandatory hand poses that accompany shouting of said phrase. Click here for Google Translate mangled (but decipherable) English version.
Next up: Kazuo Umezu television commercial!
In the same Download section of the site, you can find a commercial from 1995 for the opening of the Kazuo Umezu Haunted House. The Haunted House was located in Ōita prefecture, and depicted a number of creepy scenes sourced from Umezu's manga. For easy viewing, I've uploaded the file to our Same Hat channel on YouTube:
Pretty, um, scary right? I guess the pencil drawings overlaid on flames isn't the most convincing, but Umezu looks and sounds pretty creepy. If you don't like watching it lower-res on YouTube, you can download it as WMV from his site (Right-click here).
The next goodies are probably my favorite-- a series of posts where Kazuo Umezu reads panels from Drifting Classroom.
This is a fucking brilliant idea (My hat's off to him or Demerin or whoever thought of this one) and makes me wish I could buy an 'audiobook' recording of say, 14 or Left hand of God, Right hand of the Devil!
Click each panel to hear Umezu read the text (and in some cases, the sound effects!). To make it even cooler, he's mostly reading the dialogue of the Sekiya-san, the lunchlady-turned-child-murderer!!
「ザザザザザザ・・・」(and Version 2)
Okay, penultimate media artifact of amazement: Podcasts!
Yes, the site has featured a series of 10 interview-format podcasts, where Umezu discusses topics ranging from his childhood to the film & anime adaptations of his manga to his biggest fear (the hospital!), and tons and tons of other topics. They also bring in a variety of related folks to talk with Umezu. The podcasts are in Japanese (duh), and are both extremely informative and manic (that's not surprising, right?).
After listening to these conversations, I've become sortof obsessed with Umezu (more so with his voice specifically!) Click each link below to view the post on his blog for each podcast (with a summary and pictures), or click 'mp3' to download the file directly.
Umezzcast 1 (mp3)
Umezzcast 2 (mp3)
Umezzcast 3 (mp3)
Umezzcast 4 (mp3)
Umezzcast 5 (mp3)
Umezzcast 6 (mp3)
Umezzcast 7 (mp3)
Umezzcast 8 (mp3)
Umezzcast 9 (mp3)
Umezzcast 10 (mp3)
Finally, I present to you the best thing EVER:
KAZUO UMEZU MEMORY GAME!!
You can download it here (unfortunately, PC only) and begin the madness. Basically Memory + Spastic Umezu = HOURS OF FUN. Check out these screenshots:
Hope you enjoyed the Umezu AV Compendium. And yes, SAME HAT is BACK in BUSINESS!