An irreverent guide to the many boards of Futaba Channel
By Ordinary K !3GqYIJ3Obs
Futaba Channel was the imageboard site that started it all. It was
founded on August 30, 2001 as an image-based counterpart to the
text-only 2ch (http://www.2ch.net), during a time that 2ch was in
serious danger of dying due to server overload (the brave denizens of
the UNIX board saved the day for 2ch, but that's a story for another
time and place). Futaba Channel is hosted at http://www.2chan.net, but
it is never referred to as "2chan" in Japan, to avoid confusion with
the similarly-named 2ch. It's always Futaba.
Although non-Japanese are allowed to view the boards of Futaba, they
are not allowed to post. This is necessary to prevent crapflooding and
DDoS attacks from foreigners, such as Koreans and weeaboos.
Life on Futaba is even more chaotic than its American counterparts,
including 4chan and Idlechan. Although there are dozens of imageboards with specific
categories, a large amount of the images and discussions on the boards
are completely unrelated to the intended topic, and spammers frequently
flood porn site addresses to all boards. Whether this is a result of
moderator apathy or poor programming of the Futaba script is unknown to
this writer. Anyway, there seems to be little or no outrage expressed
by the users at large; on the contrary, they seem to take it in stride.
This is something you would never experience on 4chan, where the
Internet is Serious Business.
All boards on Futaba use the Futaba script, a bastard child of the
GazouBBS script. It can be customized to allow text-only replies, or
image replies with text. Most of the boards on Futaba only allow text
replies, with the notable exception of the "month" Nijiura boards --
may, jun, and nov. I'll explain Nijiura in detail later.
THE BOARDS (from top to bottom)
Reserve Board: Called "junbi
test" in Japanese, this appears to be a test board for the admins and
mods. Text only.
Cell Phone Menu: A specialized
menu for users of iMode cell phones in Japan.
Comic: I'll be honest, I have
no idea what's going on here. It's a series of frames from various
H-manga by famous artists, but that's all I can figure out. Somebody
IDLE TALK (These are
all text boards)
Lounge: A general-discussion
text board that seems to have a similar purpose as 2ch's board of the
News Bulletins: Theoretically a
board for posting national (Japanese) news stories as they happen, but
in reality it's a place for spammers to crapflood links to websites.
International News: See "News
Bulletins", but for international news (and crapflooding links).
Society: For posting
discussions concerning modern Japanese society at large, and
crapflooding links to the online pharmacies that make modern Japanese
society the way it is.
Weather: How's the weather out
there? And where's the gaijin porn at?
Wideshow: If you want to know
where to buy Bassett Furniture online, look no further than this board
that's supposed to be about variety shows.
Distribution: Download a copy
of the Futaba script here for your own use, misuse, and abuse. Includes
instructions (in Japanese, of course) on how to set it up.
SQL: Shift-JIS art of lolis? In
MY SQL discussion board? It's more likely than you think!
Oe-SQL: Oekaki of lolis in an
SQL discussion board. Whether this is better or worse than the above
board is subject to debate.
IMAGEBOARDS (This is
why you're here. The imageboards do a little better at staying on-topic
than the text boards, but they are still subject to crapflooding.)
News Desk: Discussion of news,
with images (usually related).
3-D: Photographs, as opposed to
drawings. Thus the name 3-D.
3-D Neta: Popular photoshops,
memes, and jokes related to photographs.
Baseball: Baseball and its
players, on and off the field.
Soccer: Just like Baseball,
except it's soccer.
Soccer Flipside: The irreverent
version of the Soccer board (as if the actual Soccer board were serious
about discussing soccer).
Sports: Any sport that isn't
baseball or soccer.
Mahjong: I'm sad. This board
moves at a snail's pace.
Horses: Horse racing,
equestrian events, what have you.
Cats: There are two cat boards,
one on the may server, and one on the up server. In Japan, EVERY day is
Caturday. The cat boards are unique on Futaba, because they almost
always stay on-topic.
Animals: If it isn't a cat, it
goes here. Some cats tend to wander in here anyway. Cats are like that.
Plantlife: It if grows out of
the ground, you'll find it in this board.
Insects: Do you like bugs?
Cooking: If you're dying to see
pictures of food, go here.
Sweets: Sugary junk-food
Ramen: Yes, cheap noodles merit
their own imageboard.
Vehicles: The Japanese like to
get into Evo vs. STi flamewars too!
Two-Wheeled Vehicles: Mostly
motorcycles, but you'll occasionally see a bicycle.
Trains: This is one of the
boards that gives Futaba its rich hearty flavor. Train culture is far
stronger in Japan than many western countries.
Military: For a country that
eschewed war in their post-WWII constitution, they sure like their toys
that go boom.
2-D - General: Illustrations,
as opposed to photographs. Screenshots of popular anime and scans from
manga. Copyright violations ahoy!
2-D - Flipside: Nijiura. The
original /b/. An anarchic free-for-all consisting of not one, but SIX
unique imageboards: jun, nov, may, img, dat, and cgi. The chaotic nature of
Nijiura gave birth to 4chan's /b/, which seems to focus less on
anime/manga culture and more on just being ... well, a /b/tard.
Speedgrapher: This board is
sponsored by Gonzo. In fact, Futaba has no problem pulling in
advertising money, assuring its secure future for many years to come.
Of course, the Speedgrapher board has absolutely nothing to do with
Speedgrapher, and is simply treated as another /b/.
2-D Live Discussion: This is
where users post comments on anime shows as they're airing on TV.
2-D Live Discussion Flipside:
The above board, only less serious.
2-D Neta: Memes, memes, memes!
Games: One of the newest
boards, this video game board is wildly popular.
Net Games: MMORPG fans rejoice!
Selfmade Artwork: Users
contribute their drawings for comment and critique. Many users of
Futaba are professional manga artists, so this board is definitely
Selfmade Artwork Flipside: This
board turns Selfmade Artwork on its head. Amateur drawings are
corrected to the extreme by talented artists who use red lines to
correct the sometimes intentionally bad original art.
Yuri: The Marimite Board.
2-D Refugee Shelter: So named
because this is where the former users of a now-dead moé imageboard now
2-D Guro: Disgusting drawings.
3-D Guro: Disgusting photos.
Erotic Games: Did you ever want
to fuck your twelve little sisters? Eroge makes that dream come alive!
Your PC Photos: Take a picture
of your frankenstein monster of a peecee, and post it on the internet!
Or just parts of your frankenstein monster of a peecee.
Tokusatsu (Sentai Shows): Guys
in color-coded jumpsuits fight against guys in big rubber suits. This
is as good as Japanese live-action gets.
Giant Robots: Your anime
doesn't have a plot? Just throw in mecha!
Model Kits: Pictures of every
type of model kit imaginable, from run-of-the-mill model cars to garage
Model Kits Flipside: The
flipside version caters more towards moé character models and Gunpla.
Dolls: Dollfie, Pullip, and
other overpriced dolls.
3DCG: Three dimensional
computer graphics. 'Nuff said.
Mathematics: The most unlikely
topic for an imageboard ever. And it's popular!
Flash: Off-site links to flash
files are posted here. Quite different from the 4chan board.
Wallpaper: Non-anime wallpaper.
2-D Wallpaper: Anime wallpaper.
Oekaki: Drawings with a mouse
or graphic tablet, using an online drawing program to create a 300x300
image. Results range from horrible to absolutely gorgeous.
Rakugaki: Uses the same drawing
program as the Oekaki board. I can't really tell the difference between
this board and the Oekaki board, although rakugaki specifically refers
to sketches, normally.
Rakugaki Flipside: Drawn porn!
Drawn porn! The artists on this board are CRAZY talented.
TEXT BOARDS (this
section is a lot shorter than it used to be, probably because of
redundancy with 2ch)
Half-Width Characters: I don't
know, lol! There are no half-width characters to be seen on this board,
so what gives?
Offline Meetings: Where the
Toshiaki go to arrange real-life meetings.
Shopping: ... shopping, perhaps?
Johnnys: Johnny's Entertainment
is the all-male equivalent to the Hello!Project, boasting such talents
as SMAP, TOKIO, Kinki Kids, Kattun, V6, Arashi, NEWS, Tackey and
Character Neta: Shift-JIS art
Anime: Discussion of anime,
without those annoying frame-of-reference screenshots.
boards don't fit well into the above categories, apparently)
Netwatch: A text board focusing
on news related to the internet and web culture.
News Images: An imageboard
similar to the News Desk board, but focusing specifically in the
images, rather than the story.
I hope you've enjoyed this tour of the many image and text boards of
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