Tag Archive: manga


After that panel ended, I made my way to a panel that I was actually looking forward to, the Kodansha

Random people, walking in the hall

Random people, walking in the hall

Comics panel.

I tried to make it to more manga/anime panels as they are something that I enjoy and love paying attention to… largely because I’m that kind of nerd.

So, there’s a lot of information in this, so I’m just going to cover the info.

Attack on Titan, the hugely popular series both here and in Japan. Kodansha prints the manga for Attack on Titan. Well, this month they released box sets 1-4. That’s everything that they have released so far in box set form. They’re also starting a spin-off collection starting in November.

They’re also going to be releasing Natsumi Ando’s series Lets Dance a Waltz in spring of 2015. Natsumi Ando is known for Zodiac PI, Kitchen Princess and Arisa.

Also coming out next Spring is Miki Yoshikawa’s Yamada-kun and Seven Witches. This series is fairly popular in Japan. I”m curious about it myself and might add it to me manga reading list (because it needs to be much longer).

Masster Roshi from Dragonball Z

Masster Roshi from Dragonball Z

Maria the Virgin Witch or Junketsu no Makia will be coming out on February 2015. Masayuki Ishikawa (the manga-ka of Maria the Virgin Witch) is an Osamu Tezuka Cultural prize winner. He won in 2008. He won for his best known title, Moyashimon: Tales of Agriculture.

A Silent Voice by Yoahitoki Oima will be released in spring 2015. A Silent Voice is the story about a bully who bullies a deaf girl to the point where he has ostracized himself. He then sets himself on a path of redemption. The story sounds both poignant and sweet. I think that I really want to read this series.

Then there’s the Attack on Titan news.

Attack on Titan, vol. 1 has been on the New York Times Bestsellers list for 57 consecutive weeks. Volume 13 came out on 26. August. Attack on Titan: Before the Fall was released on 17. August in print and 22.July, digital. Attack on Titan Junior High, volume 2 will be released 18.November. The Attack On Titan Collosal edition will be released with 15 color pages in November.

Attack On Titan: No Regrets, volume 1 is out now. Volume 2 is also out now. The Attack On Titan

Someone was brave enough to dress like Beamo and venture in to the Dealers Room.

Someone was brave enough to dress like Beamo and venture in to the Dealers Room.

Guidebook came out in September,

The Heroic Tale of Arslan by Yoshiki Tanaka was released in August. The story is set in the historical setting of Persia and is based off the Persian story Amir Arslan.

Kodansha also holds the rights to the manga series My Little Monster. It is currently available now. My Little Monster is about the relationship of Shizuku, a studious yet cold high school student and Haru, an unpredictable and violent high schooler who doesn’t understand human relationships.

There was a lot of dates and information about upcoming manga releases. It made the otaku in me very pleased to see that manga print releases are still incredibly popular despite the prevalence of digital media.

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After that, I made my way to a panel called Manga: Lost in Translation. They were talking about issues of translating manga and what it’s like working as a translator. Most translations are done by freelancers. There are not many translators getting steady work in the US.

Iron Man and a little fan

Iron Man and a little fan

They also talked about the origin of the word “glomp”. The earliest usage of the word glomp goes back to Matt Thorne. He’s the one who coined the phrase glomp.

They considered Japanese onomatopoeia to be one of the hardest parts of translating. The Japanese has onomatopoeia for everything… even things like passing a sheet of paper. These are things where we may not have a sound word for in English.

There was also a discussion of the merits of 100% translation vs. perfect English translations. Most fan translations are done as a pure Japanese-to-English translation. And there’s merit to that as you don’t lose a lot of intention from the language of origin. However, it reads very awkwardly. Also, some Japanese puns may not translate as well in to English. Largely because the puns are based on Japanese wordplay and those jokes may not translate as well because it works in the language of origin.

They also went on to discuss issues with working as a translator. When you work as a translator in Japan, you’re largely having your translation edited by people who don’t necessarily speak or understand English. However, it’s also hard to start as a translator in the US. You need to build up your credibility. And build up your own voice and style as a translator. There are also plenty of companies

An amazing Charlie Chaplin cosplay

An amazing Charlie Chaplin cosplay

that will pay ex-scantalators pennies instead of a fair rate. This alters the economics of translation.

The last panel of the evening was called the Psychology of Cult TV. This panel was one of the most interesting panels. Instead of tearing apart cult TV shows for psychological content, they talked about the therapeutic merits of using cult TV in therapy. This is interesting because I have never had a therapist who engaged me through television.

They started the panel with the discussion of whether TV is useful or a waste of time. They concluded that TV can be therapeutic in moderation. It can help us deal with more traumatic or difficult things in life. It can also help create connections in real life.

It can also teach you lessons vicariously. This is largely because you’re dealing with some of the harshest lessons without having to actually experience them. It can be helpful with dealing with issues like death and bullying.

Representations on television can make people more compassionate and more capable of understanding bigger atrocities. It can be a way to work through issues with PTSD. It can also help give context to issues through another lens.

People get creative with naming things,,, including their octopi.

People get creative with naming things,,, including their octopi.

The entire discussion was incredibly enlightening. It was an interesting panel and one that I would love to go to again to get more perspective on using television in a therapeutic practice.

After the Psychology of Cult TV, it was time to head back to the room. We ate in the room (I managed to bring some extra food so we didn’t have to go out to eat). I was planning to go out and attempt to do some networking, but that wasn’t to happen. Before I got a chance to go out, I received a call from the person who said they were going to watch our dogs. They couldn’t make it. Since no one was going over to feed them, I got incredibly nervous and no longer felt like going out to network and drink.

If there’s one thing that I wish that I could have done, it’s do more networking.

So, we stayed in and kept on checking on the dogs on our puppycam, then went to sleep.

The first panel I attended this year was the Viz Media panel. This year there was a lot of news… lots of new things coming our way. So, I’m going to try and wade through it.

This year at Fanime, they had con-specific merchandise available at one of the booths with a $20 purchase. That’s neat as they haven’t had something like that before.

The graphic novel and the novel for “All You Need is Kill” is now available. “All You Need is Kill” was

Shan Yu, Captain Hook and Maleficent

Shan Yu, Captain Hook and Maleficent

adapted in to the movie, “The Edge of Tomorrow” starring Tom Cruise. It’s a movie I won’t pay to see, because I am not a Tom Cruise fan. Sure, I get to see Tom Cruise die repeatedly, but I don’t think it’s worth the $15/adult. The manga, which is being serialized in Shonen Jump will be available on 11/4.

Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, also known as the prequel to the Dragonball series (you actually see Bulma as a child) is coming out as a graphic novel. It will be available 1/6/2015. It will contain a Dragonball story that focuses on Goku’s parents.

Another series that has been regularly serialized in Shonen Jump is also coming to manga form. World Trigger will be coming print form on 10/7. It’s an interesting series. I still haven’t quite formed an opinion on the series. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.

They’re also releasing a series called Assasination Classroom. It’s the story about a group of outcasts who are being taught by a tentacle monster. This is not hentai, but I can see some interesting doujin coming out about this series. Viz describes it as GTO with tentacles. That will hit the shelves on 12/2.

Kiss of the Rose Princess is also coming to print. It’s a reverse harem story (one girl with multiple males) in a vein similar to Roasrio+Vampire. It will be available in November.

Another title coming to print is Yukarism. It’s the story of an author named Yukari. He writes incredibly accurate historical fiction, that’s because he can see his past lives in his dreams it sounds like an interesting story… I’ll have to see when it comes out December 2014.

Sad news, the Vampire Knight series will be ending soon. In the meantime, they will be releasing volume 19 (limited edition then standard) on 11/19. The limited edition will include a mini art book. Also coming out on that day is the Vampire Knight box set that will contain volumes 11-19 (volume 19 will be the limited edition version).

Kiki  picture by Jeanie Butera

Kiki
Picture by Jeanie Butera

There will also be a Resident Evil manga. It takes place before 6. It’s a 5 volume series, so it’s fairly short. That will be available 11/18.

They will also be releasing a manga with the name “Master Keaton”. It essentially is the “story of a badass”. It sounds very much like Indiana Jones. It will be available 12/16.

There are two more Miyazaki books hitting the stores. The Art of Princess Mononoke and Mononoke: the First Story are both due in stores on 10/7. As the title states, Mononoke: the First Story is a prequel to the movie Princess Mononoke..

Also, the big manga news is that Hunter x Hunter is coming out of hiatus. The first new chapter just ran last week in Shonen Jump Weekly.

I would like to start by thanking two people who are allowing me to use their Fanime pictures, Jeanie Butera and Brit Cossel. Thank you so much for allowing me to use some of your pictures. I truly appreciate you helping show what Fanime was like this year.
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Every year, we make a trek southward to go to Fanime, the local anime convention. It’s a time to gather together with other people with similar interests and spend our weekend geeking out, having fun, spending money on geeky things and staying up as late as possible watching anime. While that may not sound like everyone’s cup of tea… it is, in all actuality a ridiculous amount of fun. It’s something I enjoy doing every year. This year was no exception.

He's a dandy guy... *insert finger gun here* in space. Yay for Space Dandy cosplay!

He’s a dandy guy… *insert finger gun here* in space.
Yay for Space Dandy cosplay!

Every year does have its drawbacks… and last year it was the registration lines. They were all sorts of fail. For people picking up their badges on Thursday night, we had to wait a whole of 6 hours. Getting us home at one in the morning. Maybe it was because they opened up registration at 3 PM instead of 7 this year… Maybe they finally got better organized. Whatever they did, it worked. We were in and out picking up our badges in 8 minutes. It was painless. This is what it used to be to pick-up badges if you pre-registered. I’m glad they found something that seems to work well.

There was one thing that I was surprised to see, and that’s the prevalence of panels I wanted to see earlier in the convention. Because of that, instead of skipping Friday entirely or heading there later in the evening… I had to be there earlier in the day. It wasn’t something I was happy about. I wasn’t allowed the time to decompress from work. I like my little buffer times.

So, I left home early on Friday, being dropped off at the Redwood City CalTrain station at 10 AM. Going the whole way on public transportation, the commute time took me 2.5 hours, that includes picking up some medication.

So, that means trying to find stuff to do until the convention officially opens. I made a beeline to the Hilton to sit at their bar and get a bite to eat. It was there that I had a nice 3 hour conversation with another con goer who was dressed as Squall from Final Fantasy VIII. It was a fun conversation were talked about a bit of everything. In that time we both had a bit to eat and a couple of drinks. It’s been sometime since I just sat somewhere and had a great conversation. It was nice to do.

At about 2:30 or so, we parted ways to head in to the now open convention. I wish I had seen the opening ceremony. I’ve never been in San José to see it, and I wound up missing it again this year in lieu of good conversation (it’s a weakness, I swear).

Nightwing Picture by Brit Cossel

Nightwing
Picture by Brit Cossel

The first thing I saw was the dealer’s room. They had a good assortment of costuming goods, otaku collectibles and other sundry items. I noticed that they opened up the dealer’s room more. While it wasn’t full, I think that they may be toying with having a larger dealers room. I would like to see that. See more stuff available. Who knows, maybe they might get to start being Comic Con big. OK, that would be difficult at best. The Comic Con dealers room takes up the entire bottom floor of the San Diego Convention Center. I wouldn’t be surprised if that room is 2 miles across.

After making my way through the dealer’s room, I made my way to my first panel, the Viz Media panel. This year they moved the panel rooms from their normal spot of the Marriott to the Fairmont. It made getting there from what is essentially the base of operations a bit more problematic. It meant factoring in the travel time between two points. They’re not too far apart, but when you need to walk back and forth between the two several times over a day… it gets to be a bit tiring. I didn’t have a hotel at Fanime this year, so I didn’t even have a place to rest during the lulls in the day. I did miss that fact. Having a place to kick back and relax would have been better with all the walking I did this year. I believe that the rooms might be a bit larger… and there are certainly more of them. I’m not sure there’s a good solution to this… it also seemed like there were more panel rooms available than previous years.

tumblr_lq0299qE851qamhydI spend a lot of time reading manga. I would say that it’s one of my favorite things to read. There are some unique and inventive stories being put out there in the graphic form. It’s amazing the variety of things to read. From slice of life to Sci-Fi, from boys-oriented (shōnen) to girls-oriented (shoujo) and porn, there’s something out there for everybody.

In, I believe it was 2008 or 2009, Craig and I were going through the Kinokuniya book store in Japantown. We often will walk through the manga section to see if there was anything new that we would be interested in. While we were walking around we found a new series that sounded quite interesting. That series was “Ooku: the Inner Chambers”.

So, what is this Ooku you speak of? What is it about?

ooku_01It’s a what-if version of history. It takes place during the Tokugawa shogunate (which is the beginning of the Edo period). An illness has swept through Japan. It only affects the male population. It decimated the male population leaving women to pick up the traditional male roles from farming to being heads of state. They take on mens’ names in addition to their roles. Ooku is the tale of what the Tokugawa shogunate would be like were they run by women.

Since the male population has been greatly decreased men then take on the traditional female roles in the court including being concubines, cooks, doing all the sewing. All the political machinations are done by women. They take on male names to keep up appearances to the world at large, which is still largely male dominated.

So, what do I think?

I really enjoy this story, but there is a lot of middle English in it. You don’t need to be fully conversant in Ooku-Volume-6Shakespearean English to understand it. It’s pretty easy to follow. The art is really good and I find that Fumi Yoshinaga is capable of creating some wonderful characters that you can easily become emotionally invested in. The story is unique and interesting. It also teaches you a bit of what it was like to be in a daimyo’s house. From the maze of halls and chambers to navigating which retainer keeps which alliances, I think that I’ve gained a real understanding for how complicated that household can be.

It’s a well-drawn manga. The art is nice to look at. It’s consistent. You can see that care went in to the illustration. The art also lives up to the quality of the story. I don’t feel like I’m conversant enough with this artist/writer to be able to really give an in-depth talk about her art style.

The only downside to the story is that it can drag in parts. Some stories are less engaging than others. That being said, it’s no different than any other long story. There are lulls in-between the more interesting parts. After all, a story can’t be all action. Each story needs a time of rest.

Ooku_Eien2_zps7eb574d2

Image from the live-action drama

I am more surprised that there is not only a movie based on the series, but there’s a live-action drama. I’m curious enough to seek them out and watch them.

Is it worth reading?

Yes! I have no idea how much more emphatically I can say that. I highly recommend this series. It’s been consistently been among the top manga at the Comic Con panel. It won an Eisner in 2008. It won the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize in 2009 and the Shogakukan Manga Award. The story is interesting. The concept is also interesting. What would the world be like if it had to be run by women? Would it be any different? Would it be the same? How would it be different? I love that Ooku asks these questions boldly. Unafraid of the answers.

I think the story can have a more universal appeal. Many of the characters are relatable. The writerOokue makes it easy to share their triumphs as well as their sadness. While the language can be a bit of a challenge, it isn’t so much of one that makes it unreadable to people who may not know Shakespearean English.

It’s a series I enjoy. It’s one that I would highly recommend to pretty much anybody. While the situation and setting are extraordinary, the characters aren’t. They’re relatable. They’re well fleshed out.

I don’t think I could gush about this series more. I highly recommend it. Go and pick it up, order it on Amazon. If you can find it, pick it up. There are 9 volumes now available. Volume 10 should be available soon.

Go, pick up, read, enjoy! That’s my recommendation.

So… I was planning on being able to get more writing done this week, possibly get in a review…

Then I looked at the schedule for Fanime. They are getting a much earlier start on the panels that I want to see. That means I’m going to be heading down to San José to catch panels a day early too. I still need to set up my schedule for this weekend, but my first panel is tomorrow at 3 PM. Looks like I’m heading down tomorrow morning and going to the convention all day tomorrow.

This is unprecedented. I usually go to one panel on Friday night, usually about 7 or 9 PM.

I wound doing the bulk of my sleeping earlier in the night and had a good three hours of pure thinking time. At that point, I came up with 3 panels that I would like to do. One tongue-in-cheek, one informative and more than like not to theme and the third would be perfect… I might actually pitch them next year and see if any of them stick. Of course, if I do, I would need to make sure that I did my research and put together something regardless.

So, this is it, until Tuesday.

I hope to bring you the beginning of my Fanime round-up starting Tuesday.

Until then!

This Week in Preview

Here we are, another Monday… So, as per the norm on Mondays, it’s time for me to reflect on what I would like to write this week.

So, I’ve said I was going to write a follow-up review for Final Fantasy XIV talking more about the story, game mechanics and more… well, I might need to wait another two or three weeks for that more. We’re investing in a PS4 and will also cover the differences between the PS3 and PS4 versions.

I’ve got the most recent volume of the manga Ooku. It’s a series that I have read for a couple of years and I will write about it this week.

I’m still debating putting up some more short stories. We’ll see if more will go up.

I might also cover some more personal stuff. I’m still working on killing this flu… but it keeps lingering like some awful taste on my tongue. No matter how hard you try to get rid of it, it just won’t go away.

What else will I write about?

I don’t know. I’m sure that something else will come and piqué my writing interest. Who knows…

So, until next time!

Here we are again, back at Monday. And a very off day for me. I seem to have a touch of the flu. I’m going to try to maintain as normally as I can, but the desire to sleep all day isn’t exactly helping.

So, what would I like to work on this week?

Well, I would like to finally get that review of Attack on Titan written. It’s coming to Adult Swim next Saturday. It might be time to talk about it.

I want to write about manga. I might talk about 2 series. One I’ve read for a couple of years now and another that I just picked up a week ago. I think it’s time there was more manga and comic talk here.

I’m not sure about posting a short story. It may or may not happen.

Other than that… we’ll have to see.

Here we go again, time for another exciting week ahead.

Hope you enjoy!

This Week in Preview

Here we are, once again. It’s another Monday… which means it’s time to take a look at what I might want to post this week.

So, what to post, what to post…

I would like to write a review about the series Ooku. I read a lot of manga, it might be time that I do a review of one of them. I’m going to post more of one or both of my short stories. I also might do some mental processing. I’m dealing with some old and huge demons right now. Bigger than I thought they were. So, instead of sitting on it and letting fester. I’m going to get it out there.

I also would like to write a review of Attack on Titan. Adult Swim will soon be showing this series on its Toonami line-up, so it may be time for to state my opinions.

There may be a bit of lag in the next two weeks. My current computer is having some issues, so I may be getting a new one in the near future. It’s something that it looks like I need as I’m having some seriously strange issues with my current computer.

That looks to be what this week is shaping up to.

But who knows. We’ll see what this week brings.

Until then!

Here we are, once again, back at Monday. That means that it’s time to think about what to do about post for the week ahead.

So, what to write, what to write. This work week will be shorter than normal. Most everyone else is away on holiday. That means I have more real time to write (yay). So, what do I want to write…

I have a completed review of Final Fantasy XIV. So, yes, the review will be coming your way complete with pictures.

I would like to get some more short story writing done. I might post both short stories in the same week. That’s something that I haven’t done as of yet. I’m feeling creatively invigorated. It’s been some time since I’ve felt this way. So, maybe it’s time to do some more creative writing.

I also feel the need to write more about anime and manga. It’s something that I love and enjoy so much. I feel like that has lagged. I think to start writing more about anime by doing a long absent review of Attack on Titan. I would also like to write about the manga series “Ooku”. I’ve read it since it was released I believe two and a half years ago.

I think I’m coming in to an exciting time in writing for me. I hope that you will see some of it as well. I hope you enjoy what will be coming for you this week!