Okashina Okashi - Strange Candy is a webcomic drawn by Emily Snodgrass (Emi-chan) and written by Allison Brownlow (Tanzy), Karen Olympia (Kourin), and J. Baird (Xuanwu). It started in 2001, with Brownlow as its first writer and Olympia added to the team in October 2001. Snodgrass has appeared at conventions (large groups of people with a common interest), speaking as an amateur artist answering questions from an audience. Snodgrass is an amateur artist who does not earn a living from her online comic.
Okashina Okashi is hosted on Comic Genesis, a free online provider of webcomics. Baird used his comics while teaching for Hess Educational Organization, an English education business in the Republic of China and Singapore. He used Okashina Okashi in the Create a Comic Project when he volunteered to teach a free after-school youth literacy library event in New Haven, CT.
In August 2007, Emi-chan added a new comic set in the Beauty Man Garden, a chain of restaurants featured prominently throughout Okashina Okashi. The new comic is called Mini BMG.
A group of people who don't know each other are sucked into a different universe called UberTokyo. They must try to find a way home by using "plotholes" (holes in the air) to move between worlds. Each world is a parody of a kind of anime and manga, such as sports, sentai, and fantasy. The stories from beginning to present are:
- The Beginning - The main cast is seen and must look around the world of UberTokyo.
- Bikini Amazons - A parody of "warrior women" anime, such as Dirty Pair.
- Shōjo High School - A parody of high school based shōjo dramas, such as Fushigi Yuugi and the works of Clamp. This is when Takeshi is introduced.
- Pr0n Shop - The cast arrive in UberTokyo's red-light district and get jobs at a Pr0n Shop run by Takeshi's brother. Nyarr-chan and Ecchibi are introduced.
- Galactic Sentai Adventure - The group is split up between two fighting space groups, the Hornwing Alliance and the Tokyoto Empire. One group learns to drive Tokyoto's giant robot while the others join the "Miss Wingmay" competition. This parodies space shows such as Voltron and Macross. In the end, Ho-chan and Daisuke end up separated from the others.
- Sportsland - The cast are drawn into the world of Cutthroat Co-Ed Croquet. This parodies many sports and non-sports anime, such as Attack No. 1 and Jubei-chan: The Ninja Girl. It was during this arc that the current writer, Xuanwu, began.
- The Convention - A parody of both anime conventions and role-playing games, such as World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy. Yamichi joins the main cast.
In addition to these stories, there are many smaller stories. The longest small story has Kerisu, an evil overlord, who needs new servants and wants the main cast to replace them. Ho-chan and Daisuke, who were left behind in the sentai adventure world, have been seen again a number of times for their own small story. A third small story has Professor Li and his assistant Terra.
The comic features a large number of references to many anime and video games, such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Guilty Gear. It also uses male homoeroticism as fanservice. One of its important male characters, Eeichi, is bisexual. Another male character, Takeshi, frequently cross dresses. Two less important female characters, Jen Puni and Zuga Ma, are hinted to be lesbians.
- Ellie James, aka Eri-chan - One of two main characters of the comic, Eri-chan is 16 years old and from a high school in America. She came to Japan for 14-weeks to study away from home, living with Keiko. She knows very well many anime and manga and often refers to examples or metaphors from uncommonly known shows and books. Her favorite part of anime is pretty boys (aka bishounen), making her a fan of the Beauty Man Garden. Her nickname, Eri-chan, was given to her by Keiko. First appearance: OO #1.
- Keiko Hasegawa - Keiko and Eri-chan are the main characters of the comic. She first met Eri-chan when the Eri-chan came to Japan to study away from home. Keiko is the mature one of the group: she does not often allow herself to see things that aren't there and tends to be very controlled. She is also the one to talk about how hard to believe some events are. Her love with Takeshi ended badly, showing a more unkind side to her. First appearance: OO #1.
- Petra - Petra is the most violent member of the group and has access to hammer space and its many weapons. While intelligent, she usually has a "wait and see" attitude, being calm during the travels. She seems to have made a friends with Lycidia and had a platonic (non-sexual) relationship with Lymaran, who shared her love of destruction. She doesn't like pretty things, though she romantic sometimes, as she was a sexual partner with Hammon. First appearance: OO #2.
- Lycidia - Lycidia is the party's "evil very intelligent person." Her goal is to rule the world, using her large amounts of money and skill of intrigue. Daisuke became her first loyal servant, though she is still looking for more things to own. She is the most sarcastic of the group. First appearance: OO #4.
- Eeichi Shinohara - Eeichi is a very perverted male. A singer and songwriter before joining the group, he has used a guitar a lot and some other music instruments. Eeichi's thoughts during the adventures has been to thinking about having "relations" (sex) with pretty people he meets - with different results. He was most often seen with Hoshiki, as they were both alike. First appearance: OO #3.
- Hoshiko Yamano, aka Ho-chan - The most perverted female in the comic. She can even think of situations that make Eeichi blush and is well known for making lists of many events. She became queen of an entire galactic nation and used her power to promote clothes that don't cover a lot of skin for pretty boys. Her sexual events have been with guys and she does not like women. First appearance: OO #3. Where the name "Ho-chan" is from: OO #54.
- Daisuke Dohmoto - Daisuke, 17, is the odd person who first brings the main cast to UberTokyo. He did it to create his own harem. He is Lycidia's loyal servant and is now Ho-chan's court jester. In his family, only his father has been seen and it's there may be something more to him than what has been seen so far. First appearance: OO #5.
- Takeshi Shirokane - Takeshi was (is?) Keiko's cross-dressing boyfriend. An important person in the kendo team, he also worked as a female pop idol for short moments in time. He first met Keiko and the others in a shoujo-style high school where he was Keiko's boyfriend until he betrayed (lied to) her by not arguing against rumors started by his fiance (person he was pledged to marry), Himeko. He is deeply in love with Keiko and chased after her through the universe. He even asked her to marry him, only to be told no in a strong way. His current place is not known. First appearance: OO #89.
- Yamichi - Yamichi is the newest member of the main cast. Seen for a short time in the Sportsland story, he works for Professor Li as his helper, testing the professor's creations such as the Plothole Generator that allows a person to travel between worlds. He is also the number one guitar player for the male band Kaze. In a meeting with Eri-chan, the GURPS Rifts (Plothole) Generator was hurt, which made Yamichi lost and forced to look around many worlds to get home (a parody of Sliders). He was seen again in the RPG video game the cast was trapped in and joined them. Eri-chan has a strong dislike for him, which is a plan by her to try to create a "love triangle" with herself, Yamichi, and her true love, Ulrich. His art design is based on Junichi from Tsunami Channel.
- Kerisu - Kerisu is the evil leader of UberTokyo and other places. His home has music that plays "OOM OOM OOM" to make it clear he's evil. His servants are Tim, Dom, Ed, and his pet Teneko. He also has a robot named Minami, who he had built to take the place of his fans (they left). His goal, though he seems to have forgotten it, is to have the female cast of OO become his new fans, a job he gave to Dom to perform. He is knows the "Advice for the Evil Overlord" list, so that he has a five-year old helper.
- Loyal Minion Tim - Tim is the number one servant of Kerisu and is always next to him. He has wings, a polo shirt, and khakis. Tim may be the bets behaved member of the cast and is also the one who does many small jobs that he dislikes. He is made to do the jobs Kerisu says are too low for himself, be it having robots made, picking up cards, or burning villages in an online game. He gets paid, but was did not know until Kerisu said he would take money out of that pay.
- Dom - Dom (the same Dom that is in Megatokyo) is one of Kerisu's servants. He has been given the job of finding the main cast to turn them into Kerisu's new fans, but has forgotten this job and is following the group from world to world. So far, he has gone through many things that make him feel bad, such as being made to cross dress, jello wrestling, and dressed as a sports mascot. He has a competition with Ed (who is also the same Ed from Megatokyo).
- Teneko - Kerisu's pet cat(girl). She can turn into a cat or a catgirl by choice, though she is the same in both bodies. Teneko is playful and curious, and somewhat perverted. She loves Kerisu very much, and gets jealous if he looks at other people. Teneko hates Minami, Kerisu's robot. Teneko is also the "mascot" of the comic, as her face appears on several pictures.
- Minami - The first of many "Combat Bondage Elf Schoolgirl Android Maid with Glasses" robots that Ty creates for Lord Kerisu. She works as one of Kerisu's fans. She has many personalities, such as a "Uber-Obsequious Slave Girl mode," "Fangirl mode," and "Rei mode." She is also very good at karaoke. Teneko hates her for taking away the love of Lord Kerisu.
- Professor Li - The number one mad scientist of the comic. He is has done many things in the comic. It's been said that he may have caused the main cast first coming to UberTokyo, how is not known. He has also caused the fall of a sports arena in the Sports Arc World and made the tentacle-bringing magical powers that Teneko used in to try and destroy Minami. Yamichi, who works as his helper, relates that Li is working on magical girls. His art design is based on a character made by Xuanwu in early 2001.
References on other web sites
- Tang, the writer and artist of Tang's Weekly Comic as well as others, says OO is a comic he checks occasionally.
- OO has been talked about by many other webcomics, such as:
- Two characters from OO, Professor Li and Kuro, were shown in the September 2008 cover art of ComixTalk.
- Tei, Andrew. (2002-07-05) Anime Expo 2002 Convention Reports. AnimeOnDVD.com.
- Ushicon Panels - 2003
- Baird, John. "Create a Comic." In Language Learning Games and Activities Volume 3 pg 14-15, edited by Gary Bosomworth and Sheryn Williams. Taipei, Taiwan ROC: Hess Educational Organization, 2005.
- McLoughlin, Pamela. Cartoons propel creative process. New Haven Register. Published: 2007-03-19.
- "Tangs Weekly Comic".
- "SHINE: 28 April 2006". hellsing.comicgenesis.com.
- "The KAMics - DrunkDuck.com!".
- "The KAMics - DrunkDuck.com!".
- "The KAMics - DrunkDuck.com!".
- "MINDMISTRESS". mindmistress.comicgenesis.com.
- "Sharing a Universe". sharingauniverse.comicgen.com.
- "SUBLUNARY --enterthemoonlight--". sublunary.comicgenesis.com.
- "Sunday Morning Coffee - Sunday , September 9 , 2001". smc.comicgenesis.com.