Comic:Okashina Okashi - Strange Candy
|Writer:||Xuanwu, Kourin, Tanzy, Emi-Chan|
|Began:||January 16, 2001|
Okashina Okashi (aka Strange Candy) is a webcomic drawn, edited, and at one point written by Emi-chan (Emily Snodgrass) and is currently written by Xuanwu. It was started in 2001 by Snodgrass and has also been written by Allison Brownlow (Tanzy) and Karen Olympia (Kourin), both of whom have since stopped contributing. Brownlow was its first writer, with Olympia added to the team in October 2001.
In July 2004, Emi-chan announced that Karen Olympia would no longer be writing the comic due to her commitment to school. She began to search for a new writer and in August chose Xuanwu after going through several applications from fans.
|Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.|
- Ellie James, aka Eri-chan - Arguably 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 a semester to study abroad, living with Keiko. She is well versed in various anime and manga and often cites examples or metaphors from obscure shows and books. Her favorite part of anime is pretty boys (aka bishounen), making her a natural 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 arguably the main characters of the comic. She first met Eri-chan when the latter came to Japan to study abroad. Keiko is usually the sensible one of the group: she has rarely allowed herself flights of fancy and tends to be very controlled and disciplined. She also tends to be the one to point out how silly some situations are. However, her romance with Takeshi ended tragically, revealing a more ruthless side to her personality. First appearance: OO #1.
- Petra - Petra is the most violent member of the group and (appropriately) has access to hammer space and its myriad weapons. While intelligent, she usually has a "wait and see" attitude, taking the adventures in stride. She seems to have formed a friendship with Lycidia and had a definite platonic relationship with Lymaran, who shared her love of destruction. She has an aversion to pretty things, though she can be somewhat romantic, as she was a lover with Hammond. First appearance: OO #2.
- Lycidia - Lycidia is the party's "evil genius." Her goal is to rule the world, using her substantial wealth and mastery of intrigue. Daisuke became her first loyal minion, though she continues to search for more resources to acquire. She is typically 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 is proficient with the guitar and some other instruments. Eeichi's attitude over the course of the adventures has been to focus on having "relations" with whatever pretty people he encounters - with mixed results. He was most often see with Hoshiki, as they both shared similar interests. First appearance: OO #3.
- Hoshiko Yamano, aka Ho-chan - The most perverted female in the comic. She can even contemplate situations that make Eeichi blush and is famous for compiling lists of various activities. She recently became queen of an entire galactic empire and used her power to promote skimpy clothes for pretty boys everywhere. While most of her activities have been with guys, she is perfectly willing to share some naughty experiences with women, too. First appearance: OO #3. Origin of "Ho-chan": OO #54.
- Daisuke Dohmoto - Daisuke, 17, is the myserious nerdy-looking who first summons the main cast to UberTokyo. He did it in an effort to create his own harem. He wound up serving as Lycidia's loyal minion for a time, and is now Ho-chan's court Jester. Of his family, only his father has been introduced and it's been implied there is something more to him than first met the eye. First appearance: OO #5.
- Takeshi Shirokane - Takeshi was (is?) Keiko's cross-dressing boyfriend. A star of the kendo team, he also moonlighted as a female pop idol. He first met Keiko and the others in a shoujo-style high school where he was Keiko's boyfriend until he apaprently betrayed her by not refuting rumors begun by his fiance, Himeko. He is hopelessly infatuated with Keiko and pursued her through the multiverse. He even proposed marriage to her, only to be harshly declined. His current whereabouts are unknown. First appearance: OO #89.
- Kerisu - Kerisu is the evil overlord of UberTokyo and other areas. His dungeon lair has background music of "OOM OOM OOM" to reinforce his evilness. Among his minions are Tim, Dom, Ed, and his pet kitty Teneko. He also has an android named Minami, who he had built to replace his groupies (they went on strike). His goal, though he seems to have forgotten it, is to have the female cast of OO become his new groupies, as task he assigned Dom to perform. He is well versed in the "Advice for the Evil Overlord" list, so that he even has a five-year old advisor. First appearance: OO #12.
- Loyal Minion Tim - Tim is the number one minion of Kerisu and is always by the overlord's side. Sporting wings, a polo shirt, and khakis, Tim is on one hand possibly the sanest member of the cast and on the other hand possibly its most beset upon. He is often forced to do the dirty tasks Kerisu deems too low for himself, be it having androids built, picking up cards, or razing villages in an online game. He gets paid, but was not aware of it until Kerisu threatened to dock said income. First appearance: OO #24.
- Dom - Dom (the same Dom that appears in Megatokyo) is one of Kerisu's minions. He has been tasked with hunting down the main cast to turn them into Kerisu's new groupies, but seems to have forgotten this goal and is instead simply shadowing the group from world to world. So far, his humiliations have included being made to cross dress, forced into jello wrestling, and turned into a sports mascot. He has a rivalry with Ed. First appearance: OO #12.
- Teneko - Kerisu's pet cat(girl). She can transform between a cat and a catgirl at will, though her personality is much the same in both forms. Teneko is playful and curious, and rather ecchi. She loves Kerisu very much, and gets jealous if he gives other people attention. Teneko especially hates Minami, Kerisu's Fetish Android. First appearance (cat): OO #21 First appearance (catgirl): OO #189.
- Minami - The first of a line of "Combat Bondage Elf Schoolgirl Android Maid with Glasses" robots that Ty creates for Lord Kerisu. She is meant to serve as a replacement for Kerisu's groupies that are on strike. She has multiple personalities, including a "Uber-Obsequious Slave Girl mode," "Fangirl mode," and "Rei mode." She's also very good at karaoke. Teneko hates her for stealing away the affections of Lord Kerisu. First appearance: OO #327
- Ty - One of Kerisu's minions and the creator of Minami. He is very laid back and practical, traits you wouldn't expect from a guy with a strange fetish for hamsters and black leather. Ty wears the wings required of a Loyal Minion, however his are cool and metal. First appearance: OO #301.
- Alex - Kerisu's former 5 year old advisor. First appearance: OO #122. Last appearance on-panel: OO #158. (Apparently) final fate: OO #183.
- Ed - Dom's rival and "sort of" henchman for Kerisu. He follows Dom to UberTokyo and becomes obsessed with hunting him down. Obsessed with guns and killing as much as Dom, he succeeds into being dragged into embarassing situations almost as often. First appearance: OO #31
- Kayori - Kerisu's most recent 5 year old advisor, who Tim hires after OO #183 at the request of Kerisu. He likes to cosplay as Bridget from Guilty Gear. First appearance: OO #480.
- Saiai - An uke Kayori freed from a local Beauty Man Garden. Together, he and Kayori can launch the special "Uke Beam" to transform semes into ukes. Since being freed, he's joined Kayori as his playmate together with several other ukes. First appearance: OO #585
- Yumi - A demon that Teneko summoned to kill Minami. However, the demon possessed her body and then fell in love with Minami. It fought Kerisu in a battle of "Godhood: The Assembly" (a CCG) to take possession of Minami, but lost and was subsequently banished to the Bikini Amazon realm. First appearance (as possessing Teneko): OO #433 First appearance (in own body): OO #551
- Groupies - Kerisu likes groupies. He finds them especially attractive when they're wearing metal bikinis and going on about how great he is. The problem is, there aren't many girls willing to put up with that these days. All of Kerisu's original groupies went on strike. This led to his interest in conscripting the travelers for the role and the development of Minami androids as replacements. Kerisu has since acquired a new batch of Magical Girl groupies.
- The Call Center of DOOM - Evil Lord Kerisu is an enterprising kind of guy. Not only does he have Legions of DOOM, he also has a Call Center of DOOM. It is responsible for relentless collections and telemarketing calls made to the oppressed citizens of his domain. Telemarketing is one of the greatest sources of Evil in the Universe, and Kerisu's use of it is a clear example of his diabolical mind.
- Spike and V - The two catboys that run Nade-Nade Publishing, a company that sells magical books. Spike is shorter, with purple hair, while Vicious (aka V-chan) is the tall one with silver hair. They're quite clearly lovers. While it's not stated in so many words, Spike appears to be the uke, V the seme.
- Momi-neko - Momi is the catgirl administrative assistant at Nade-Nade Publishing. She is bright and friendly, and manages to keep from blushing at Spike and V-chan's antics (most of the time...). She has long white hair, aqua blue eyes, and white tiger-striped ears and tail.
- Professor Li - The mad scientist of OO. He is responsible for a number of things in the comic, the most significant appears to be some indirect involvement in the main cast first coming here. How he is involved in this is unknown. He was also caused the destruction of a sports stadium in the Sports Arc World and he created the tentacle-summoning magical powers that Teneko used in an attempt to destroy Minami. He has only appeared infrequently to date. His character design is based on a character created by Xuanwu dating back to early 2001. First appearance: OO #514
- Terra - Professor Li's female assistant. she is the more sensible of the two, often reminding Li of his failures in the past to make sure he doesn't repeat them. However, she is very kind and tolerant of Li's love of hentai and other perverted things. First appearance: OO #556
- Yamichi - A dark skinned mysterious bishounen, whose character design was intended as a parody of Junichi from the webcomic Tsunami Channel. First appearance: OO #510
- Dwarquin, the Traveling Otaku - Also known as Totaku for short. An apparently elderly man who creates dimensions, making him a possible god in the comic universe. He seems well acquainted with the circumstances of the main cast and also has a grand-daughter whose identity is unknown. It is also known he created the RPG World as a favor for Dowager Zetian. He is based on a real life person. First appearance:
- Dr. Arkaville - First seen in the "Org Y and Pie" one comic trilogy. She's an old woman and apparent lesbian who wants to make all men homosexual so she can take the women for herself. She also commands an army of Robot Ninja Monkeys. She's defeated by Eeichi and Takeshi when they're temporarily granted magical powers. First appearance: OO #610a
- Storeowner - There seems to be only one way a storeowner can appear in the world, with only slight variations in hair color.
- Dowager Zetian - The owner and operator of The Convention, so named because it is the single largest convention in the multiverse. It draws attendees from a large number of worlds, including some comic authors. Spotted authors include Poe and Impy of Errant Story and Largo and Piro from Megatokyo. Not much is known of Zetian's personality so far, though she is named for Empress Wu, an infamous Chinese ruler. First appearance: OO #650.
- Weeaboo - A strange badger like pet that followed Eri-chan around after she tried to feed it a mushroom. Its name comes from a 4chan meme. First appearance: OO #648.
- Marissa Deckard
- Makaris and Kayin Makario - The engineers of the Space Battleship Yamano. They battle monkeys with giant mallets and bear more than a passing resemblance to a certain pair of video game plumbers.
- Captain Sheraton
- Dr. Buyao Guanshi
- Juro Mein
- Athrus, Kiwa, Shinyi - Mecha pilots aboard the Space Battleship Yamato.
- Lymaran - Based on a real life person. She shares Petra's love of weapons and drives a red Vespa. First appearance: OO #474
- P. Striker Sphabmixay - The winner of a special contest to see who could guess how many comics Xuanwu had penned at that point. He's a ghost of a sports samurai and gives Eeichi the "Lovely Eyepiece" to allow him perfect aim with a rocket launcher. First appearance: OO #539
- Lady Justine - Lycidia's rival. Her father owns the league.
- Kaoru - The head of PR for the team. He serves as Dom's boss when the minion becomes the mascot for the team.
- Fleur - The team's weapon's trainer. While only 10 years old, she is capable of wielding guns larger than her body and field stripping virtually all forms of firearms known to man.
- Nurse Wendi Ma
- Dr. Mayou Guanshi
- Ulrich - Ulrich is a surly teen from the Hornwing Alliance. His father was a famous mech pilot, while his mother is a former Miss Wingmay. Stuck living with his overbearing and glory-hungry mother, Ulrich rebels in typical teenage fashion by dressing all in black. He even dyes his wings black. Ulrich's attitude is very grumpy, and he doesn't seem to care about anything. This is quite a contrast to the bubbly and happy Eri-chan, who is totally in love with him. Ulrich acts like he doesn't care about Eri, but we all really know he is secretly attracted to her. Not that he would ever admit it.
- Ulrich's Mom - Imari Linz was a beautiful idol singer and former Miss Wingmay, whose amazing voice and heartfelt singing once stopped a galactic war. Those days are long past however, and now she is a has-been who is in the middle of staging a grand comeback.
- Ulrich's Father
- Daisuke's father
- Takeshi's Brother
- Emiko and the 7 Warriors
- The School Doctor
- Mysterious Older Man
- Queen Kisaki
FOOM! The Beginning
Each of the main characters is introduced (except Takeshi) as Daisuke summons them all to his room to become his harem. Instead, the travelers leave to find the author of the book that brought them to UberTokyo, hoping to find a way back. Daisuke becomes Lycidia's loyal minion.
On their way to Nade Nade Publishing, the group stops to eat at the Beauty Man Garden (BMG) - a running gag present in all following arcs. When they arrive, they find two catboys, Spike and V, who tell them to go to a love hotel room in order to track down the book's source.
They find the special "room with a mirror ceiling" and wound up being pulled through a plot hole into a new land...
The Travelers end up in a world of bikini amazons, where great power comes with small bikinis. Daisuke and Eeichi are taken captive. Petra is forced to do battle with the amazon's champion, Misa, and triumphs by hammer sparkling. They find a plot hole in hammer space and move on to the next world...
Shoujo High School
Everyone lands on the roof of a high school themed after Shōjo manga, where Keiko meets Takeshi.
A parody of Clamp and similar manga.
The group appears in a soapland in Ubershinjuku. Looking for jobs and a place to stay, the group finds two avenues of work. The girls (except for Eri) and Daisuke get a job at Ero Ero video, a porn shop. Eri is relegated to staying in the upstairs loft and babysitting the two creatures they've met in this world: A catlike creature called an Ecchibi and a female tentacle monster Eri calls Nyarrr-chan. Eeichi, on the other hand, manages (through very unorthodox tactics) to get a job as a BMG waiter.
Galactic Sentai Adventure
A scifi storyline, taking place in space, introducing the "Hornwings".
After entering the plothole in Pr0nland, the group was split up. Eri-chan, Takeshi, Nyarrr, and Petra landed in the Hornwing Alliance. They appeared in middle of the coronation ceremony for the latest "Miss Wingmay," exposing the winner as a fraud. Eri-chan was crowned the new Miss Wingmay, and embarked on a career as an idol singer. She soon met Ulrich, the son of a previous Miss Wingmay, and promptly fell in love with him, in spite of his surly demeanor.
The rest of the group (Hoshiko, Eeichi, Daisuke, Keiko, Lycidia, and the Ecchibi) landed on the side of the Tokyoto Empire, and became the pilots of their greatest weapon: "Tokyoto Dairobo Saviour Battler V!"
The Hornwing Alliance and the Tokyoto Empire are sworn enemies and have been engaged in a galactic war that has lasted for generations. One of the main points of contention between the nations is The Void, a mysterious energy field.
The main focus of this arc involves the group's joining and competing in a Cutthroat Combat Croquet league.
Ho-chan and Daisuke are stranded in the Sentai Land. Fortunately, the Tokyoto Empire and Hornwing Alliance have made peace and decide to make Ho-chan their new queen. After selling the Uke Preservation Project to the BMG, Ho-chan board Beauty Man 5, a BMG space station, to finally inspect the latest addition to her fleet: the Space Battleship Yamano. Aboard, she meets Captain Marissa Deckard and Engineers Makaris Makario and Kayin Makario.
Strange English Project
The Strange English Project began in July 2005. Xuanwu, then an English teacher in the Republic of China (ROC) working for Hess Educational Organization, took OO comics and blotted out the dialogue. He then distributed these comics to his students who proceeded to fill in the words based on the vocabulary and sentence structures that they knew.
The results of this writing activity were typed into comics and posted to the OO main site every Saturday. These comics are still being posted as of January, 2006, albeit irregularly.
The Strange English Project itself has become adopted by Hess and is now part of its recommended games and activities (under the name "Create a Comic Project"). Other Hess employees have been given access to the comic templates so that schools across the ROC can benefit from the creative exercise. Hess also has branches in Singapore and mainland China, where the comics are also used. This formal endorsement by a private provider of English instruction makes the Strange English Project the largest project of its kind, with a greater impact than similar projects done with Dinosaur Comics and Penny Arcade, both in terms of geographic area covered and number of students reached.
Reference: 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.
Trivia and Other References
- The comic was ranked "3 1/2 Yures" by Yasha of the site DosMikos. 
- Emi-chan was a panelist at Anime Expo 2002.  Emi-chan was also invited to Ushicon as a guest on their webcomics panel in 2003. 
- Kourin and Tanzy were webcomic panelists at Fanime 2002.  
- Emi-chan has her own entry in the IMDB. 
- In addition to OO, Xuanwu has also worked on other webcomics, such as the Tsunami Channel related Ask the Professor and Card Master Junichi. Most recently, he was a co-writer for And Shine Heaven Now, a Comic Genesis based Hellsing doujinshi. He also appeared in the comic itself as a "director" several times.  
- According to Tang, the writer and artist of Tang's Weekly Comic among others, OO is a comic he reads occasionally. 
- OO has been referenced by a number of fellow webcomics, including:
- Okashina Okashi - Strange Candy - Main site.
- Okashina Okashi Forum - The forum hosted on pOnju.
- Mini-BMG - official site of Mini BMG, a spin-off comic from OO.
- Strange English Project #1 - The first Strange English Project comic.
- Kourin Joins the Team Internet archive page with the announcement that Kourin started writing OO along with Tanzy and Emi-chan
- Emi-chan Stands Alone Internet archive page of Emi-chan's announcement that Kourin stopped writing OO
- The Quest for a New Writer Internet archive page of the start of the application process for the new OO writer