Sunday, February 26, 2012

Katsu's Boxing

Okay, I have just decided to marathon all the Adachi manga and get them out of the way. I'm almost finished, so I'll be getting back to something different soon. No worries!

So, next sport on the Adachi list is boxing! It is pretty refreshing that he focuses on a different sport between each of his baseball manga. I would get pretty bored reading nothing but baseball all the time. It also gives him a chance to actually bring in stronger female heroines in my opinion. Girls can't play baseball in Koshien, sadly.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

H2 vs. Touch

You know, I really only became a baseball fan while I was living in Japan. I'm not sure how to describe it, but you just cannot ignore the sport in Japan. It doesn't even matter what sport you're into, you will always hear somebody talking about it. Between their own major leagues and then Koshien and high school baseball, it's almost always on the news and most Japanese ask me if I like it or not. I usually end up disappointing them when I say that I am not such a big fan of the "Great American Past time". When I tell them that I'm a soccer fan, I usually win some respect points back.

So, I don't usually make marathons of certain mangaka, but after finishing ROUGH I decided to just start reading H2. H2 and Touch are considered 2 of Adachi's best manga and, since both of them are apart baseball, they are heavily compared. Now that I have read both of them, I shall weigh in my 2 cents on the topic. I know that Cross Game also deals with baseball, but I haven't gotten that far in the list, so I'll leave that comparison for later. It'll be fun to compare all 3 of them together.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

ROUGH times with Adachi Mitsuru

Who knew a swimming manga could be so good? Well, with Adachi Mitsuru as the mangaka, you can guarantee that I did. I have not even tried to hide my love for Adachi Mitsuru because I could never be embarrassed of loving such a quality mangaka with such a lasting career in the business. He is a true mangaka's mangaka. He has written successful manga for many genres and, as I have stated in an earlier post, he really is the King of Romantic Comedy and baseball manga. There just is no contest for me. He knows how to balance out the characters and the sport so well that it becomes too easy to turn the page and keep reading.

I actually finished this manga in about 6 hours. It's that easy to read and I really enjoyed the change in sport. I an honestly not able to pull up a swimming manga off the top of my head. I would have to goggle search to even come up with another title.

BECKs' Musicology

I will just come right out and say it. I LOVED this manga.

Trying to make music the main theme in a manga is a very tricky undertaking. The mangaka is trying to get the reader to utilize one of the 2 senses that you don't use when you're reading; hearing. Yet Sakuishi is able to portray the feeling that music gives you without having the reader hear a single note. He leaves is up to the reader to imagine how amazing Koyuki's voice actually is and he also leaves most of the lyrics out as well; which I actually really liked. Instead of being focused on the words that were being displayed, the reader could focus on the images that were playing out before them.

The problems that the boys have involving the band and the music industry are very well played and thought out. Sakuishi made himself a solid manga here and any music lover will love it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bokura Ga Ita

I had every intention of making Beck my next update, but I got distracted a little too easily, to my embarrassment, by Bokura ga Ita, or We Were There. I had seen the movie posters at the Junkudo in Oita for months now and had never really had the interest in reading the manga.

While I was out yesterday, I made my usual stop at Tsutaya and saw that the March edition of Betsucomi was showcasing that this was the last chapter of Bokura ga Ita and to celebrate they were giving away free tot bags. As a woman, I've always loved bags and as a manga reader, I just couldn't resist getting the finial chapter so it wasn't that much of a hardship to talk myself into buying it. It was only 440 yen anyway.

This manga is the "it" manga in shōjo right now. It's been running for years in betsucomi, already had an anime adaption and the live action movie is being released in theaters at the end of next month.

There are times that I feel that shōjo mangaka just don't know when to stop with the drama and most of the time the only people who have that much drama in their lives are soap opera stars. Yet Obata was able to inject the modern dysfunctional into a character and make his circumstances realistic and not over done.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

CLAMP and the tied worlds of xxxHolic

One of the things that I always love about manga is how much intertextual references are made between them. When you have that knowledge, or cultural capital, it makes the reading experience more interesting and it takes the reader to a new level of understanding. It is very easy to convey a feeling or importance through what could be a subtle reference. 

The whole intertextuality between xxxHolic and Tsubasa was a little confusing at times and I still don't feel like it was completely explained in Holic, but it was very interesting to follow it through till the end. I haven't read another manga that relies that heavily on intertextuality to establish a plot before.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Strobe Edge and the Shōjo

The Shōjo. She was, and still is, a fascination to Western academics in the 90s and the idyllic image of an otaku's dream women. Yet through all the in depth analysis of Utena, Miyazaki's young female protagonists and adorableness of CLAMPS Sakura there has always been something more important about these females. It is not only the sheer about of femininity that runs through Japanese women and young girls, it is the fact that they will always been able to connect with the characters.

Pictures trigger so many emotions and memories. Within seconds of seeing an old picture memories long forgotten are dragged to the front of your brain and sometimes played through before your very eyes. Yet the combination of both picture and words is a very quick highway to high school and the innocence of youth for these women.