is a manga
authored by Akira Hasegawa
that launched on June 26 2001
, updating 5 days a week. As of August 15 2005
, the webcomic has followed a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule.
In 2003, Tsunami Channel became notable as the #1 comic of Keenspace after Sexy Losers moved to its own server. It held the number one position until Akira moved to his own domain. The comic has also been in the Top 10 of numerous webcomic lists.
Tsunami Channel officially went on hiatus starting April 13 2004 while Akira worked on professional projects. It was unknown when, or even if, the comic would resume, but occasionally new illustrations and news from the author were posted. A new, non-ExCoKo, comic was posted on August 15 2005, leading some people to suspect that the comic would return before the end of that year. On November 11 2005, such speculation proved true as the first new ExCoKo strip in over a year and a half went up, continuing the story where it left off.
The name "Tsunami Channel" is actually a group header for Akira's various works, especially the ongoing series Experimental Comic Kotone and Magical Mina. The comic has an IRC channel, #tsunami on Esper.net.
Experimental Comic Kotone
Experimental Comic Kotone
) follows the story of Kotone, a young android
girl designed by Professor Hasegawa, who is attempting to fit into society and does so very well.
The comic originally started as a series of 14 scripts in a semi-interactive format created between June 26 and September 14 2001, designed in such a way as to resemble a dating game. The comic now has more than 500 strips.
- Alex is a young boy who also loves stuffed animals, and has thus quickly become one of Kotone's good friends. He often has problems asserting his manhood, as he looks quite androgynous. Kotone and Lisa often force him to cross-dress, and while dressed as a girl, he has been known to feel affection for Onii-chan.
- Anya is a catgirl who, having been saved by Konstantin from being run over by a truck, has now fallen helplessly in love with him. Konstantin's fear of cats, however, has repeatedly caused problems with their relationship, and he often tries to flee whenever she appears.
- Fuuka (風火) is Laika's older half-sister who gave Onii-chan the first oni seal that Laika is seen wearing. According to Akira, she has the largest breasts in the entire female cast. She appears to have a laid back and whimsical personality which belies her deadly skill, and acts as a counter to the much more serious and reserved Laika.
- Haruna (春菜) is the daughter of two Japanese beatniks, but was raised by her traditional Japanese grandmother, owner of the large Japanese conglomerate Kurahashi Corporation. Because of Professor Hasegawa's desire for funding while in Japan, he barters with the Kurahashi family for Onii-chan to marry Haruna in exchange for money. Haruna is extremely traditional and cannot speak English. This does not appear cause any communication problems with Onii-chan however, despite the fact that he knows no Japanese; as she and Onii-chan grow closer, they develop a method of understanding each other despite the communications gap. Initially, Haruna fell in love with Onii-chan due to his similarity to her deceased fiancé Mamoru, but she now loves him for who he is, and not for who he resembles.
- Haruna's parents appear in the Haruna story arc. They were hippies back in the 1960s, with Haruna's Dad sporting an afro and Haruna's Mom dressed in a long gown. However, they normally dress in formal western attire. Neither are well liked by Haruna's Grandmother, who raised Haruna and was disappointed when Haruna's parents left to explore the world. The parents are last seen returning to Japan to plead with Haruna's Grandmother to allow Haruna the chance to marry Onii-chan.
- Junichi is a dark-haired bishounen who, despite only appearing in a few dozen comics, has earned a vocal fanbase. He appeared during the Haruna's Parents arc as Haruna's planned fiancé after the Mamoru debacle. He is capable of sparkling with high intensity and causing flowers to bloom. Unlike Konstantin, he is described by Akira as "A Class," meaning perfect in everything he does. He was last seen returning to Japan with Haruna's parents. A parody of the character exists in the webcomic Okashina Okashi - Strange Candy named Yamichi.
- Konstantin, one of two characters in the comic with real-life equivalents, is Onii-chan's best friend (much to his chagrin) and is well-known for his bishounen appearance and hentai personality. He is often quoted for his attraction to "anything that moves". His weakness, however, are catgirls, eternally causing problems with his relationship with Anya. It is because of Konstantin and his comrade-in-arms Professor Hasegawa that Tsunami Channel has a large cliquish following of hentai-lovers. He regularly calls Onii-chan "My Brother", a reference to Taishi from Comic Party.
- Kotone (琴音) is the lead protagonist in the comic (as stated by Hasegawa himself, and implied by the name of the comic). She claims to be 18 years old, but is generally considered 12 by most of the other characters in the comic, due to both her apparent mental age, as well as her appearance. She has an extensive collection of stuffed animals that she enjoys playing with. Despite appearing to be a regular girl, she is in fact an android made, by Professor Hasegawa, to be as lifelike as possible. This fact is only known by Onii-chan, Prof. Hasegawa, and Tsunami; to everyone else she is Onii-chan's younger sister. She calls herself 18 as per Prof. Hasegawa's instructions, as a way to make herself a "legal loli" archetypal character.
- Laika (雷火) is a half European, half Japanese girl who is an expert swordswoman. In earlier comics, she was extremely violent. She is part oni, causing her to occasionally lose control and potentially go on a murderous rampage if not kept in check with an oni seal on her arm. She works on the same projects that Onii-chan does for Professor Hasegawa. Her incentive for doing so, however, is a promise by Professor Hasegawa to remove her Oni gene following the successful completion of the project, thus fueling her continual insistence that Onii-chan help her complete the project as quickly as possible. Under certain circumstances, she transforms into Oni-Laika (see below). She has strong feelings for Onii-chan, but is unable to act on them.
- Laika's Mom is a clumsy woman who, despite her age, looks like a young teen. She met Onii-chan's father during the man's travels, and it was from her that he learned much about the old Oni war. She owns and operates the dojo where Fuuka and Laika grew up.
- Lisa, Anya's sister, is a kitsune, and true to form, she is a trickster, often playing tricks on various characters, particularly Onii-chan, who must be careful to avoid her occasional attacks. She often shapeshifts into other forms, but has recently become rather confused, as most of the characters have been able to identify who she is, despite her being in a different form. This has caused problems, due to an old animal-people legend that states that one's true lover can tell who the animal-person is regardless of the form they take.
- Mamoru is Haruna's previous fiancé who died soon before her arrival to Onii-chan's house. In order to soothe her sorrow, an agreement was made between Professor Hasegawa and Haruna's parents to send Haruna to America to meet Onii-chan. Pictures and flashbacks of Mamoru have shown him and Onii-chan to be similar in appearance and temperament.
- Onii-chan or Player is the secondary protagonist in the comic (it often appears as if he is the true lead character in many of the comics), and is well known for his kindhearted nature, his powers of quick healing, his clueless nature around girls, and his "Love Sim Syndrome", which causes him to attract girls to him without his knowledge. He currently attends Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, majors in computer science, and works on projects for Professor Hasegawa. As is custom with dating sims, Onii-chan has no name. (The player often has to supply a name for the main character in a dating sim.) To get around this problem most fans refer to him as Onii-chan, or "big brother" in Japanese, (the author himself is known to use the term as well) because it is what Kotone always calls him. Others instead call him "Player", or "The Player."
- Oni-Laika is Laika's other self. An apparently distinct and separate personality, she is far more feral and violent than Laika. When she manifests, Laika's hair turns black, her eyes yellow and catlike, and her fingernails become claws. Oni-Laika's strength is sufficient to cleave solid rock with her sword and she is likely stronger than Fuuka. Onii-chan only barely survived his first encounter with Oni-Laika, thereafter making a deal to purposefully delay the project to put off the date the Oni gene might be removed. Oni-Laika believes herself an integral part of Laika and does not wish to be extinguished. Whether she shares Laika's feelings for Onii-chan, or merely sees him as a current ally against Laika eliminating her, is unknown.
- Professor Hasegawa is the not-often-seen force behind the scenes. He often causes problems for Onii-chan, such as leaving Kotone behind upon his leaving the United States for Japan, sending Haruna to marry Onii-chan, and other similar things. From his official character description: "The Professor works at Carnegie Mellon University and has a secret laboratory on campus, where he keeps a plethora of Rei Ayanami clones, among other things. Anime is the biggest single influence on the Professor's pursuits, especially shows like "Cardcaptor Sakura." In addition to being the top mad scientist in the world, the Professor is also one of the most hentai (perverted) people in existence. His involvement with all matters of hentai borders on obsession: he is known to have spent grant money to purchase H materials and has a secret chamber filled with H doujinshi. He is always willing to share his H with others, whether they want it or not." Professor Hasegawa is based on the real-life author, except that he is much more hentai than the real Akira is.
- Shion is a ghost girl whom Professor Hasegawa sent to the United States to haunt Onii-chan as another potential girlfriend. She first met Onii-chan in the Carnegie Mellon anime club and has her own fan club consisting of many of its members. While Onii-chan does not know that she is a ghost, Konstantin is starting to suspect something. Interestingly, she is one of the relatively few female characters not to feel attraction to Onii-chan; their friendship is based on shared anime fandom.
- Tsunami, who is the personification of Professor Hasegawa's computer, is not only the namesake of Tsunami Channel, but also serves as a "computer fairy" who helps him design computer programs and other projects. Together with Konstantin, Professor Hasegawa seeks to corrupt Tsunami, and she constantly hammers Professor Hasegawa with mallets for his ecchi and otherwise meddling behavior. Tsunami's personality is also loosely based on the author's own. While Professor Hasegawa represents Akira's more hentai and lazy side, Tsunami represents his more serious and hard-working side. The two of them share a love-and-hate relationship comparable to that of Ryo and Kaori from City Hunter.
More detailed canon information about the characters has been made available on the Tsunami Channel character pages
(or MaMi) is an action/magical girl manga that follows the story of Mina, a girl who has gained magical girl
powers from creatures programmed by Professor Hasegawa. Mina, however, is hardly your normal magical girl, as she is cool, calculated, and quite smart and strong.
It was originally codenamed Magical Project H, and currently has four chapters. In spite of being a magical girl comic, there are strong influences from shounen manga as JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Magical Mina is currently on hiatus, and Akira has stated that he is planning to make major changes once he restarts it at a later date.
- Arc is Mina's sidekick who has also received magical powers from Professor Hasegawa. He helps Mina defeat Fire by using a Light spell. His powers utilize Chinese characters, requiring knowledge of the language in order to do his spells. His powers allow him to either trace characters in the air to cast immediate effects, or to store the characters on paper for later use. Akira has stated that the written characters can have energy pumped into them and stored, making them potentially more powerful than spells Arc traces in the air. Arc is also Mina's stalker, having posters, pictures, and other Mina related memorabilia covering his room. His obsession with Mina could be one reason he was chosen to be Mina's partner by Prof. Hasegawa. Arc's first and last names were chosen separately by fan vote through a series of polls.
- Mina is a 12-year-old girl who is rather smart and has gained magical girl powers from various programs created by the Professor and his students, Onii-chan and Laika. She often fights battles to gain powers, but these battles are consistently against stronger creatures than expected, often causing problems for Mina. Her physical skill comes from her father, who is a world-class martial arts master, and her intelligence is from her mother, who is a Nobel-laureate scientist. At school, the other students treat her as an outsider, mainly because she has few, if any, social skills. To date, only Kotone and Arc have tried to be her friend.
- Mulder is Mina's stuffed animal sidekick who almost never gives Mina accurate information about her enemies, thanks to the supposed overzealous programming attitudes of Onii-chan and Laika.
- Professor Hasegawa and Tsunami both appear in the first chapter. Kotone from ExCoKo goes to the same school as Mina.
- Sarah, a character created by Akira for the scripting section of the Tsunami Channel site, will supposedly appear later on in the series. She uses a book to cast spells and can write spells ahead of time in her book, giving her, according to Akira, the most flexibility out of any character in MaMi.
- Scarlet is another magical girl who will be introduced in the near future. She possesses four fairies who are her magical catalysts: Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. According to Akira, each of the fairies has a different ability: water heals, fire damages, etc. However, Scarlet is unable to control the magnitude of the power released. For example, he's said that the Fire Fairy will often level whole city blocks. This makes Scarlet very powerful but very dangerous both to herself and others. Also according to Akira, her personality will be that of a much more traditional magical girl, leading to a possible conflict with Mina.
Akira has also said he plans to feature an as-yet unnamed male character as the fifth magic user. This fifth character's powers would be tech-based. He would have the ability to construct machines powered by magic that can perform various tasks, such as flying or firing a laser gun.
(Note: These are all in order of Mina's acquisition)
- Sword is made of plants and can be as sharp as necessary. It has no initial form.
- Armor is the first creature Mina subdues. Its initial form is that of a bug. Armor provides a shield for Mina.
- Wind is the first creature Mina acquires in battle. Its initial form is that of an imp with wings. Wind provides Mina with the ability to cast wind attacks, as well as to grow bat wings to fly in the air. She is not strong enough to fly from a standing start, and in one section used roller-blades to get enough speed to soar through the air.
- Water is the next creature Mina acquires. Its initial form is that of a shark. It has been mainly used for the finishing blow against Fire.
- Fire is the most recent creature Mina has acquired. Its initial form is that of a dragon, enhanced with powers from Armor and Wind.
Love Situation (or LoveSit for short) is a series of comics unrelated to either ExCoKo or MaMi. Each main character featured in LoveSit is related to some kind of moe archetype found in eroge. The first LovSit, Su-Cool, focused on an honest-but-cool character while the second LoveSit, Osananajimi, focused on childhood friends. The current story is Tsundere, also named after a popular archetype. The stories are told in a series of self-contained full page comics.
Initially, Tsunami Channel
was well known for allowing fans to write their own adventures
with the characters through the use of the Script Writer Akira had created. The first few TC strips were written using this script writer, as well as several Japanese language lessons.
In late 2002, the TC forum, nicknamed TsuChan, began to host a Weekly Drawing Contest (WDC). The WDC was soon hosted on a TC related site for the first year of its existence. Akira ended his involvement when he found it too stressful and time-consuming when added to his already large workload of maintaining the comic and working late hours at his real job. The WDC was then given its own forum on pOnju until going on hiatus in 2006. Later that year, the WDC returned to activity on a new forum frequented by many TC fans as a Monthly Drawing Contest.
Tsunami Channel has also spawned a number of fan-led projects. Currently, all of them have either ended or gone on hiatus:
- The Voice Acting Project, or simply VA Project, is one of the first major fan projects of Tsunami Channel. The goal was to choose voice actors from among TC's fans to play the roles of each character and to then adapt the comic into a radio drama format. An introductory piece was recorded in 2003 using their voices. However, despite there being several scripts written, the project went on hiatus in early 2004 due to the disappearance of several of its cast members and the loss of every audition file. In September 2006, new efforts were made to bring the project back, but again failed.
- Ask the Professor, or AtP, was conceived and executed as an outgrowth of the VA Project. The project was a series of 17 audio files and 45 sprite comics. The formats revolved around Professor Hasegawa and his mailboy assistant Junichi, who would answer questions sent in by fans. Over 100 members submitted questions, including the author of the comic. AtP grew so large that it in turn spawned its own fan-project: Ask the Professor Remix, a short-lived comic series based entirely on the comic version of Ask the Professor. Ask the Professor was discontinued in the fall of 2004 after Akira expressed reservations with how his character was being portrayed.
- Tsunami Power was a fan-fic in the form of a comic set in an alternate universe. After its first end, the series was brought back due to fan support. Despite being supported by a majority of TC fans, the project was ended because of strong negative criticism.
- Card Master Junichi, a fan-made "third arc" of Tsunami Channel. CMJ focused on Junichi and was a new spin on the genre of card game based stories, like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Duel Masters. It ended in 2005 after the artist involved became too busy with school to continue drawing.
- Dr. Konstantin, conceived by Akira, was a planned spin-off from the Voice Acting Project in which fictional people can ask relationship questions of Konstantin. This project faded away due to lack of interest and the extended absence of Konstantin's voice actor.
- The OP project led by Akira, was to animate an anime-like opening for the series after a theme song. As a result of the downtime of the comic and the loss of most of the original artwork involved, work on this project has ceased.
- TC KiSS Project intended to create KiSSdolls based on the main characters found within the TC universe. Anyone may contribute to the project. The main site can be found at tsuchankiss.kawanda.net
- Tsunami Channel Hentai Project was a group of several artists who wanted to draw adult pictures based on the TC cast. Akira both approved of the project and drew one of its first pictures: a non-canon suggestive comic featuring Tsunami and Professor Hasegawa. Only one other piece of art, was completed: a picture of naked Laika. The original website for the project has been offline.
- Tsunami Channel - The official site.
- TChan - The old site on Comic Genesis. Currently hosts Card Master Junichi, Ask the Professor, and other TC related fan comics.
- Tsunami Channel Art Contest - The site for the various art contests sponsored by Akira.
- Tsunami Channel Games - Fansite of Tsunami Channel.
- Tsunami Channel Scripting Page - The site for the various scripts Akira has made, including the Script Writer and its fan-made scripts, Akira's original ExCoKo scripts, and Akira's Japanese lessons.
- Tsunami Channel Forums - The forums for Tsunami Channel, where the most vocal parts of Tsunami Channel fandom discuss various topics, and where many of the fan-led projects are centered