Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Japanese Language Edition of the Final "Harry Potter" Book is Released...

I'm not a fan of the Harry Potter series. I read the first one and found it yawnworthy. But don't let my lack of enthusiasm cause you to underestimate the Japanese popularity of the World's Most Famous Boy Wizard (copyright and trademark J.K. Rowling). The movies have been big events here so far and practically every bookstore with English-language stock in town had a special Potter display when the last book came out a year or so ago. Potter fans (Pot-heads?) live throughout Japan, part of a massive international community devoted to this thrilling fantasy world.

And now Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is hitting the shelves once again, but this time in Japanese.

In a scene reminiscent of those worldwide during the book's initial release, fans lined up a day in advance. And many of them wore Potter-related costumes. I'd love to see the photos. I think some people here don't need much of an excuse to indulge in cosplay and the hardcore fan-people tend to do it up in extraordinarily detailed fashion here. Even the book's translator, Matsuoka Yuko, came dressed as a witch to enjoy the magical festivities.

I know a few Japanese Potter fans for whom this is going to be delightful news indeed. Although most of them are more fans of the films than the books and are eagerly awaiting the fall premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Now I'm going to go out on a limb and make a magical prognostication of my own. After ingesting a magical potion, I can see the future and now fearlessly predict billions of yen flowing into J.K. Rowling's bank account over the rest of this year...

Enjoy the magical fun, Japanese Potter fans!

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