torachan: anime-style me ver. 2.0 (anime me)
What are you currently reading?
I haven't read much this week, again. :( I did make some progress on The History of Forgetting and am now over halfway through, but otherwise...

I started Attack of the Theater People by Marc Acito and read the first chapter and that's it. :p

What did you recently finish reading?
I read the final volume of Otouto no Otto. This is such a cute series, I'm sad to see it end, but just based on the premise it really couldn't go on for too long.

What do you think you'll read next?
Hopefully anything, lol.
torachan: (Default)
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading The Mayor of Castro Street, though aside from one chapter early this week, no progress has been made. A lot of my reading this week has been on the couch after turning off the lights, so physical books just aren't gonna cut it.

Also reading First Class Murder, the third Wells & Wong mystery, which takes place on the Orient Express (something which is much commented upon, since Agatha Christie does exist in this universe). I'm exactly a quarter of the way through and enjoying it greatly. I would probably be finished by now if I had not been reading manga and comics as well, but I have been.

Lastly, I am on issue 16 of the Rick and Morty comics. They are okay, definitely better than any other cartoon tie-in comics I have tried to read, and for the most part feel like they could be actual episode plots (though if they were, they'd definitely be among the worst episodes). I think for now I'll continue with them, but we'll see.

What did you recently finish reading?
I finished Arsenic for Tea, which puts me at four books read this year. My goal is twenty, so I'm doing great!

I also read the first fifteen issues of Rick and Morty, which I think would put me at the first three graphic novels based on the number of pages per. (I do like to add the graphic novels to LibraryThing when I think of it, just to keep track.)

Before that, I read a few issues of Invader Zim that I still had on my ipad as I hadn't yet made up my mind on whether to keep up with it or not. However, after reading them, the decision was definitely "not". In twelve issues, exactly one story was really funny, and the rest were just meh. (Now that one story had me laughing so hard I was in tears, so it was a really great story, but still, that's just not a good ratio.)

I also read quite a few volumes of manga: 7 Seeds 32 and 33, Kinou Nani Tabeta? 11 and 12, and one that was new to me, Otouto no Otto (just the first volume so far).

I highly recommend Otouto no Otto to anyone who is interested in manga focused on gay characters that is not BL or yuri. Like Kinou Nani Tabeta? it runs in a regular seinen magazine, however, the author is Tagame Gengoro, a very famous gay author, mainly known for his pornier works. Otouto no Otto is the story of Yaichi, a single father who one day opens the door to discover a strange Canadian man on his doorstep. That man, Mike, is Yaichi's estranged twin brother Ryoji's husband. Ryoji has recently passed away and Mike has come to Japan to mourn and to visit the places they never got to visit together. The story is told through Yaichi's POV and over the course of the story he gradually becomes more comfortable with the idea of his brother being gay and with gay people in general. It's clearly written for a straight audience, but I really like it.

What do you think you'll read next?
I think I'll finish up what there is of Rick and Morty, then read the next two volumes of Otouto no Otto. Not sure after that, but I'm excited about clearing some stuff off my ipad! :D
torachan: anime-style me ver. 2.0 (anime me)
What are you currently reading?
Right now, nothing. I finished the manga I was reading and finished the book I was reading and have not started either a new manga or book.

What did you recently finish reading?
I finished Monster! It was so, so awesome! I wish it could have continued forever and I may have to watch the anime just to get another fix of it.

Spoilery talk )

I also finished reading a book! That makes four for this year so far and we're in the fourth month, so I'm doing good. I'll be happy if I can read at least a book a month this year. That would be a step up from the past few years for sure.

Anyway, I believe I mentioned it in a previous post, but said book was Richard Stevenson's Death Trick, the first of his Donald Strachey mysteries about a gay detective in the seventies. I enjoyed it a lot and will definitely be reading more of them.

What do you think you'll read next?
I just saw a rec for Frances Hardinge's Cuckoo's Song that sounded really awesome and I downloaded it, so I think I'll read that next, bookwise.

Not sure about manga. Part of me really wants to read Urasawa's Billy Bat, but I don't want to read a sprawling intrigue-filled series like that when it's still ongoing as I know I'll just forget everthing. :-/

I'll probably go for something completely different like Koiiji or Ore Monogatari or something. I have a lot of choices on my ipad.
torachan: aradia from homestuck (aradia)
What are you currently reading?
Currently reading the main run of Adventure Time comics, which Irene has been downloading for me with every new release for ages (she follows US comics much more than I do, so she actually notices when they come out), but I had just been putting in a folder and not actually reading. But now I've read the first five or six volumes I think. I knew I would like them, since I like Adventure Time and these also have the added bonus of being written by Ryan North (of Dinosaur Comics fame).

I don't know why I suddenly decided to start reading them after all this time, but I'm glad I did!

I'm also technically still reading Prisoner of Azkaban, but I don't think I've actually read any of it this week.

What did you recently finish reading?
I read a two volume manga called Oboreru Hanabi by Minenami Ryou, author of Himegoto. Someone commented on my scanlation blog to ask if I'd be interested in translating it, and since I like the author's other work and it's a short series, I thought I'd read it and see if it was something I wanted to add to my list.

Well, I didn't hate it, but it's definitely not something I'd bother translating. The story starts with college freshman Eita coming to visit his girlfriend Koaki in the hospital. They have been dating for a while and he had a crush on her all through high school, but she has been ill for as long as he's known her, and that ethereal vibe is a good part of what drew him to her. She's too fragile for them to have sex, but he is satisfied with the relationship they have until he meets her older cousin Kasumi, who seems like a healthy version of Koaki. He ends up having a sexual relationship with Kasumi, and becoming kind of obsessed with her. Even though he's the POV character, he just comes off as a dick throughout, but I don't get the feeling that we're supposed to think he's a dick, which is annoying.

What do you think you'll read next?
More Adventure Time and HP, I guess!
torachan: ayu and kuroda from 7 seeds (7 seeds)
I think I totally forgot to do a reading post last week. I realised on Wednesday that it was reading post time too late to do one, and thought I'd just do it the next day, and then...promptly forgot for the rest of the week, I guess! XD So this will be two weeks' worth of reading, though it's still not very much.

What are you currently reading?
Right now I'm reading Kinou Nani Tabeta? vol. 7, which is great as usual. Foodie slice-of-life manga with gay characters! I just wish there were more manga like this out there.

I'm also in the middle of three other series, which is unusual for me! I usually try to read just one thing at a time, but Kidu and I have been trying to decide what to take on next since we dropped Ore Monogatari!! and so I've been reading some stuff to see if I want to translate it.

Nietzche-sensei is one that I tried and quite liked enough to continue reading myself, but decided would be too much trouble to translate (it's comedy of a sort that seems like it would be a lot of work to translate). Apparently it started off as a twitter thing and then got turned into a manga? I have not researched too much, but I've seen that referenced several times when I poked about. Anyway, it's about a guy who works the night shift at a convenience store and the oddball new guy who starts working there. It's not a 4koma, because there are more than four panels per scene, but it's the same idea, with one story/punchline per page.

The next is Amaama to Inazuma, which was my first choice to translate, but Kidu decided against it. I really like it, though! It's about a single father taking care of his kindergarten-aged daughter after his wife's death. It's humor, slice-of-life, and food-focused, and kind of reminds me of a combination of Yotsuba&! and Kinou Nani Tabeta?

Finally there's Inugami Mokkosu, which is what we settled on for our next project. It's a comedy about a guy who joins the drama club in college even though he is terrible at acting.

What did you recently finish reading?
Most recently I finished 7 Seeds vol. 26 and argggggggggh now begins the long wait till the next volume (probably June-ish). Clearly we're entering the endgame, but it's hard to predict how long it will take to play out. I can't imagine it being any less than 30 volumes total, but probably it wil be even more than that (and I would put money on there being a volume of bonus stuff after the main story is over, too (side stories and stuff set in the future), since that's what she did with Basara.

I also read all four volumes of Kisshou Tennyo by Yoshida Akimi (author of Yasha and Banana Fish). I'd had this on my to-read list for a while, but what finally prompted me to read it is that I was approached by a group to translate it. They'd already put out the first three volumes, but were left without a translator for the last one. It's a pretty interesting story. I found it a bit slow-going at first, but then got really sucked in as it went on.

What do you think you'll read next?
Still trying to clear stuff off my phone, so whatever's on there. ^_^;;
torachan: yoshiki from himegoto (himegoto)
What are you currently reading?
Well, I have opened vol. 8 of Saint Young Men on my phone, but have not actually started reading it yet, so idk if that really counts or not. XD

What did you recently finish reading?
This week I didn't get nearly as much reading done as last week, but I did read three more volumes of Crimson Hero, bringing me up to volume ten, which is halfway through. I'm still enjoying it quite a bit.

I also read the newest volume of Himegoto and omg I can't wait to get this far in the translation (though sadly that will definitely be a while, gah!). Really excited to finally get some backstory on Mikako.

If you're following along in the scanlations and want some spoilers, here's what I blathered at [personal profile] chagrined the other day: Major spoilers!! )

From reading comments on sites where the scanlations are up on online readers, it seems like a lot of people don't like Mikako, but I always have. Seeing this backstory made me like her even more.

What do you think you'll read next?
I wish I could read more Himegoto! But alas, I don't have access to monthly magazine scans and the next volume won't be out until end of 2014.

In the meantime, I'm still trying to clear stuff off my phone before adding more new stuff, so instead of reading more Crimson Hero, I'm going to take a break since I only had up through ten on my phone. Looks like I'll be reading vols. eight and nine of Saint Young Men immediately next, and not sure about after that.
torachan: takatsuki & nitorin from hourou musuko (trans kids)
Usually I save my reading posts for the end of the day on Wednesday, but this week I not only have read a lot, but I've actually read stuff I want to talk about, so I'm posting right after midnight! XD

What are you currently reading?
Right now I'm reading vol. 7 of Crimson Hero. I read the first six volumes of this early last year, I think, and then just set it aside for a while because I got distracted by other stuff. But I'm trying to get through the backlog of manga I already have loaded onto my phone and there were several more volumes of this on there, so!

Anyway, I'm still enjoying it! It's a shoujo manga about a girls' volleyball team. The frustrating thing is that I could only find scans up through vol. 16 and there are 20 total. It's not available as an ebook and at this point is not available at the bookstore near me, either (they have really limited space, so pretty much only carry currently running series). It's possible that if I went down to Book Off they'd have the last four volumes, but idk. So I may have to order them from Japan to finish the series. >_< (Or maybe I'll just read the last four volumes in English, as it appears to have been fully scanlated. I hate when scanlators don't release their raws.)

What did you recently finish reading?
I have managed to read one volume of manga a day so far this year! Obviously this isn't something I can keep up the whole year unless I don't plan to read anything but manga (and there are books and fic I'd like to read!), but I really would like to try and read more manga than I have lately, so this is a good start!

The first two things I read were Aoi Futari and Ashita wa Dotchi Da, a couple of one-shot collections by Shiina Karuho, author of Kimi ni Todoke. Honestly, both were mostly forgettable. Cute enough stories that I didn't feel like I was wasting my time, but nothing on the level of Kimi ni Todoke. And one story was so obnoxious that it completely colored my view of the whole volume of Aoi Futari.

I expected better of Shiina Karuho because Kimi ni Todoke is so awesome (and I have enjoyed the other stuff of hers I've read), but this one-shot was terrible! I knew going in it was going to be meh because the main guy is a huge jerk and yet of course you know she's going to get with him. But it ends with her realising that while she had twice said she hated him (once as a kid and once in high school), he'd never said he hated her, and so she thinks like "how can I even begin to apologise?" But the reason she'd said she hated him was because he was a jerk to her! From the very first time they met, he was awful, and he was consistently awful in every interaction she's had with him over her lifetime. But in the end she is the bad one because she reacted to that by saying she hated him. UGH. I really expected better. The other two stories in this collection were cute (though not great), but this was the final one so it just ended on an awful note and colored my whole view of the collection.

So I would anti-rec that volume, even if you were wanting to read all of Shiina Karuho's old stuff! Or just read the first two stories in it and skip the last one. (Though it looks like only the title story has been scanlated anyway.)

Next I read volume 5 of Centaur no Nayami, which continues to be a delight. I just would never have guessed that something which looks like nothing but pure fanservice fluff would have such solid and detailed world-building. But it's clear the author has a worldbuilding kink as well as a kink for cute girls with various animal parts. XD I especially liked the random historical flashback chapter about Napoleon freeing the centaur slaves.

I also read the third and final volume of Mizusawa Megumi's Tera Girl. It was a cute series and I'm sorry to see it end for that reason, but I'm satisfied with the ending and it felt like it ended in a good place.

And last, but not least, I finally read the last two volumes of Hourou Musuko (though I had actually read about half of volume 14 in magazine scans). I had downloaded them quite some time ago but put off reading them because I was spoiled for the ending and so it was something I really had to work up to reading.

In the end, though, I'm not sorry I read it and I don't think it's a bad story. I just wish that I had not discovered it until it was already over and so I would have known certain things going into it. So many years of following along as it came out made me really invested, as well as, obviously, the fact that as a story about gender identity, it's very personal to me.

General feelings about the series as a whole as well as the ending )

So, yeah. I have a lot of feelings, but in the end I'm glad I read it and I do think it's a good story. And now I want ALL the fic about Nitorin and Anna being cute girlfriends.

What do you think you'll read next?
Probably at least a few volumes of Crimson Hero, but then who knows? There is a lot of stuff on my phone to choose from.
torachan: a cartoon owl with the text "everyone is fond of owls" (everyone is fond of owls)
What are you currently reading?
Right now I'm reading volume six of Chii's Sweet Home, which I have actually read before but had loaded on my phone to reread so I could buy further volumes off itunes. BUT now I see that volumes seven and eight have been scanned, so I will just download those instead. XD

What did you recently finish reading?
Well, I didn't do this last week, so I will include last week's and this week's reading! I read the fifth and final volume of the Kindaichi 20th Anniversary series. It was good! I was worried that after this anniversary thing they might cancel the series again or something, but the end of the volume made it clear that wasn't happening. However, at least for now it looks like rather than another new Kindaichi mystery, we're getting a backstory series about his nemesis. The cool thing is, this new series is actually being released for free in both English and Japanese through a new online manga magazine app called Manga Box. I downloaded the app but have yet to check it out.

I feel like I also read something else last week, but I guess not? I did read like an issue of Jump, so maybe that was it. I'm still super behind there, though I know there have been some cool spoilery things going on in One Piece, so I should catch up there.

Then this week I started reading this super awesome series called Ohana Holoholo which I think I had downloaded because I saw people on my tumblr dash talking about it. Sadly I can only find the first two volumes scanned and there don't seem to be ebooks of it, either. But I love it SO MUCH I think my Christmas present to myself will be buying the next three (I believe it's up to volume five) on Amazon Japan and having [personal profile] kiwimusume send them to me.

(I would try the bookstores here first, but apparently the Kinokuniya in West LA closed and the little bookstore in Mitsuwa has a terrible selection in general and even more so when it comes to josei titles (everyone in the US has a terrible selection of josei titles) and I doubt I'd have any luck if I went all the way down to Book Off and whatever that bookstore in the Torrance Mitsuwa is, either, and the cost of renting a car to get there (even with zipcar) would be the same as having them shipped from Japan, SO.)

Anyway, what is so awesome about this manga? Let me tell you. It is a slice-of-life story (my favorite!) about queer people (even more favorite!). The gist is this: five years ago Maya and Michiru lived together and were lovers, but then one day Michiru just up and disappeared. Maya was sad, but not terribly surprised, because Michiru is the kind of person you might call a free spirit if you were being nice, or selfish and flighty if you weren't. The years pass and at a new job Maya finds herself face-to-face with Michiru, who now has a young son. Her husband has died and she is still the same person she was, barely able to take care of herself, much less a kid.

So when Maya is looking for a new roommate, she asks Michiru to move in with her, but this time on a strictly platonic basis. As the manga goes on, it's clear that Maya still has feelings for Michiru, but doesn't want to get hurt again. It's also clear to the reader that Michiru has feelings for Maya, too, but doesn't know how to win Maya's trust again.

There's also their downstairs neighbor, Niko, who spends all his free time with them and dotes on Michiru's son. As it turns out, Niko and Michiru have something in common: Michiru's late husband was Niko's lover, and Niko was devastated by his death (possibly even more so than Michiru).

And there's the little boy, Yuta, who is quiet and sensitive and a little odd and one of the cutest kids I've ever seen in a manga.

I ship Maya and Michiru hard and I really hope they get together in the end but this manga is much more than just a romance.

It's being scanlated, though only the first volume and a bit of volume two is done. You should definitely check it out if you like chosen family, slice-of-life, yuri that's not about schoolgirls who are totally not gay just love each other, or just really good manga.

What do you think you'll read next?
Well, I really want to read more of Ohana Holoholo but that's not going to happen for a while! :(

But basically I have given up on the idea of reading any more books before the end of the year (I doubt if I started one now I'd finish it before the end of the month), so my goal now is to read as much of the manga on my phone as possible and try to clear it off because there is really a ridiculous amount on there? Also to catch up on Jump, though that is less of a priority. So we'll see!

I also bought vol. 13 of Aozora Yell and vol. 2 of Chitose Etc. off itunes while I was on there hoping desperately for ebooks of Ohana Holoholo so I will probably read those soon, too, even though they are in ibooks not comic zeal so sometimes I forget I have manga there.
torachan: ryu from kimi ni todoke eating ramen (ramen)
[personal profile] lunabee34 asked for anime/manga I would rec for 11-year-olds and why. That is a tough question! It really depends on the kid and what their reading level is, as well as what their interests are. And since I know you're asking for your daughter, but don't have any specifics other than age, I will go ahead and rec what I would have liked at that age. (But if you want to give any more specifics in the comments, please feel free!)

If she likes mysteries, I would recommend The Kindaichi Case Files and Case Closed. Both are murder mysteries, though Case Closed is more cartoonish. Case Closed also has an overarching plot about the main character drinking a potion that turned him into an elementary school kid (he's actually a teenager) and trying to find the people responsible.

One thing I really love about Kindaichi is that the murderers are not just evil bad guys out for money or serial killers. They always have a reason and they get a chapter or two at the end where they tell their story about why they had to get revenge on these people. It's very sympathetic to them while still showing that murder is not the right way, and they often try to commit suicide at the end (some may succeed, I don't remember) and are shown being regretful of what they've done.

Case Closed's tone is a little ligher (as I said, it's often cartoonish and has Wacky Hijinks), though the cases are still mostly murders. The cases are also a lot shorter, usually just one person is killed whereas Kindaichi cases usually span a couple volumes and all feature the cast getting stranded somewhere where people are picked off one by one. With Case Closed, there are also some cases solved by Conan and his elementary school friends (who unlike him really are little kids) that are not the big murder mysteries.

Obviously it depends on how mature your daughter is whether or not she would be able to handle these, but they are aimed primarily at junior high/early high school aged kids in Japan, so the target audience is not too different.

One thing is that Kindaichi was not fully released in the US and is out of print, so it may be hard to find. The cases pretty much stand alone, though, so if you find some and not others, you can just go with what you have. Case Closed seems to be doing well in the US and has dozens of volumes out (with about 80 out in Japan).

Another great mystery series is Young Miss Holmes, in which Sherlock Holmes has a ten-year-old niece named Christie who also solves crimes. IIRC most of the cases follow the original Holmes books but with Christie added (she doesn't solve them instead of Holmes, but follows her own clues and usually arrives at the same conclusions, that sort of thing). If you're thinking this series is a total Mary Sue fic, you're right, but it's well-written and really enjoyable. Holmes and Watson are pretty much background characters and it's just Christie and her awesome maids having adventures. This is aimed at adults, but I don't think there's anything in there that would be unsuitable for kids.

For something totally cute and light-hearted, I really love Yotsuba&! and Chi's Sweet Home. The former is about a very imaginative five-year-old girl named Yotsuba who lives with her dad. Each chapter is titled "Yotsuba & [topic]" and focuses on some new discovery or adventure of hers. She gets a bike or goes camping or plays with the neighbor girls. It's heartwarming and charming and hilarious.

Chi's Sweet Home is the story of a kitten who wanders off from her mother and gets adopted by a family with a little boy. It's told entirely from the kitten's POV and is all about her adventures.

Both of these manga are aimed at adults, but are enjoyable for all ages.

Oh, I've just thought of another one! If she likes time travel and post-apocalyptic wastelands and psychic kids then Psyren would be right up her alley! It's really cool and I know kid!me would have loved it (I imprinted early on Alas, Babylon and Time Bandits, and even earlier on Escape to Witch Mountain, so kid!me would have seen it as the ultimate combination of all of those).

Of course for adventure stuff there's the big Jump series like Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. Of those my favorite, hands-down, is One Piece. There's also Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura in the magical girl genre. To be honest, I've never read Sailor Moon, but it's a classic. I did enjoy Card Captor Sakura.

If anyone else has recs, please feel free to chime in in the comments!
torachan: (Default)
What are you currently reading?
Right now I am reading what is honestly one of the best HP fics I've ever read. I'm going to go ahead and rec this here even though I'm not finished yet.

Secrets (155290 words) by Elizabeth Culmer
Chapters: 16/16
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Tom Riddle & Ginny Weasley
Characters: Ginny Weasley, Tom Riddle, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, Colin Creevey, Molly Weasley, Arthur Weasley, Apple Rumluck (OFC), Daphne Rumluck (OFC), Susan Ward (OFC), Xanthe Delaflor (OFC), Sir Vladislav von Pitula (OMC), Pomona Sprout, Severus Snape, Fred Weasley, George Weasley, Percy Weasley, Rubeus Hagrid, Electra Summers (OFC), Minerva McGonagall, Albus Dumbledore
Additional Tags: Book 2: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chamber of Secrets, Women Being Awesome, Retelling, Possession, Angst with a Happy Ending, POV Female Character, Betrayal, Worldbuilding, Ethical Dilemmas, Mind Control Aftermath & Recovery, Denial, Depression, Emotional/Psychological Abuse, Friendship, Female Friendship, Male-Female Friendship, Family, Weasley Family, Bigotry & Prejudice
Summary: CoS according to Ginny. Nobody noticed anything wrong for an entire year -- how did she slip so far from her family and friends? Angst and betrayal, but also mysteries, jokes, an enchanted suit of armor, and a guaranteed happy ending.

How did I never know I needed this fic in my life!? Basically it does what it says on the tin. It's Chamber of Secrets from Ginny's POV, and it's really, really good.

What did you recently finish reading?
The only other thing I've read since last week's post is volume one of Chitose Etc. by Yoshizumi Wataru. Which apparently is not her current series, as it's actually ended (seven volumes total) and she's now working on a sequel to Marmalade Boy! I guess I'm going to have to reread Marmalade Boy, then? (Unfortunately I can't seem to find scans anywhere online (I found links for both the original and bunko rerelease, but both were dead) and of course I've long since sold my own copies. Maybe I'll take a look next time I'm at Book Off and hope they have copies there.)

Anyway, Chitose Etc! It's really cute. The story is of an Okinawan girl who spends a day with a boy who's down there on vacation. She falls for him and they make plans to meet the next day, but she gets the flu and can't go. She's really upset about it and when her brother comes home to visit, she tells him and he suggests she move in with him in Tokyo and she can transfer to this boy's school (which they are able to figure out because of things he said about his school; otherwise she has no contact info for him). But on the first day of school, she finds out that this boy barely remembers her and actually already has a girlfriend.

It sounds like a silly plot, but I love Yoshizumi Wataru and am enjoying it a lot so far.

What do you think you'll read next?
If I download some more volumes of Chitose Etc. then probably that (I wasn't able to find scans, so I've got to get them off iTunes and hadn't bought more than the first volume yet).

Also Secrets has really made me want to read more HP fic, so maybe that? idk.
torachan: a drawing of harry potter looking sad (emo harry)
What are you currently reading?
I've taken a break from Yowamushi Pedal to read...the Draco Trilogy! XD I know, I know, I'm a little late. But I wasn't in Harry Potter fandom back in the day, so I never heard of it until much later, in wank-related contexts, and what I heard of it just didn't sound that appealing so I never bothered to check it out. But then recently I saw it brought up again and for some reason this time I was feeling curious and was able to find some pdfs floating around, so I decided to give it a go! Which is all to say, right now I'm reading Draco Sinister, the second book in the trilogy. I've only just started it, so I don't have any thoughts about it just yet.

What did you recently finish reading?
Well, obviously the big one is Draco Dormiens, part one of the Draco Trilogy by Cassie Claire.

Wow, this got long )

In addition to that, I also read the final volume of Kodomo no Jikan, which ended pretty much as I expected it to. This is a series I hesitate to rec to anyone, because it is so full of loli fanservice, but it's also really interesting and tells a serious story underneath it all.

What do you think you'll read next?
Draco Sinister is several times longer than Draco Dormiens, and that was already a long (for me) fic, so I expect that will be taking up my time for a while. (And the final book is even longer.)
torachan: aradia from homestuck (aradia)
What are you currently reading?
Still Yowamushi Pedal. I'm on volume ten, so at this pace I guess I'll probably be finished in a couple weeks. I'm really enjoying it! It's kind of gone a bit Prince of Tennis-y, with the guys all being such super cyclists that not only do they seem impossibly good for high schoolers, but impossibly good for pros. There are also some "hmm I don't think it really works that way" techniques. But it's still fun. (I just prefer my sports manga to be more realistic.)

Oh, and I posted about this on tumblr, but I am super excited about one of the supporting characters. One of the third-year students on the team is fat! This guys is the #2 best cyclist at this school (which has one of the best cycling teams around) and he's fat. How often do you see fat athletes in manga (or any work of fiction)? He's very muscular, of course, but also drawn in a way that clearly indicates it's not just muscle (double chin, soft stomach). I love it!

What did you recently finish reading?
Nothing but more volumes of Yowamushi Pedal.

What do you think you'll read next?
If you guessed more Yowamushi Pedal, you'd be right!

I really should take a break and catch up on Jump, though, as I've got three issues to read including this week's.

I also found a new site for Japanese manga and they actually had the final volume of Kodomo no Jikan, so I will read that. :D
torachan: (Default)
What are you currently reading?
Yowamushi Pedal by Watanabe Wataru. It's so good! I'm almost finished with volume two and I'm so excited that there are nearly thirty volumes total so far! I imagine I'll be reading this for a while. :D

It's about cycling and is absolutely adorable.

What did you recently finish reading?
I read up through vol. 4 of Centaur no Nayami and then found that I didn't have volume five. Apparently when I had downloaded these, the site I got them from didn't have 5 yet. I went back yesterday, though, and they had it. Yay! But I'd already gotten hooked on Yowamushi Pedal, so I'll be setting it aside for a while. XD Still very highly recommended, though, for anyone looking for cute slice-of-life stories about female friendship.

What do you think you'll read next?
More Yowamushi Pedal.
torachan: a cartoon bear eating a large sausage (magical talking bear prostitute)
The thing with having these reading posts be on Wednesdays is that I work until 8.30 (as opposed to 6.30 other days), so it's easy to lose track of time and then oops, better get to bed! I had no such excuse yesterday; it just slipped my mind entirely. ^_^;;

What are you currently reading?
Right now I'm on volume four (of five out so far) of Centaur no Nayami (Centaur's Worries) by Murayama Kei. Guys, it's so cute! I've seen scans of it on tumblr for some time and was never able to find raws for it, but then a few months ago I found a new good raw site and this time when a scan popped up on tumblr I thought to look there and sure enough they had all of it!

Anyway, as the title suggests, it's about a centaur. The main character is Kimihara Himeno, a 10th grade centaur girl, and her best friends, Nozomi and Kyouko (a dragon girl and horned girl, respectively). The world of Centaur no Nayami is populated entirely by human/animal hybrids such as centaurs, dragon people (they look like devils, with bat wings and tails and ears), winged people (who have angel wings and hair that grows in a halo), large-eared people (who have large animal ears as well as tails; the type of animal ears/tails varies), and horned people (who have various types of animal horns and ears). There are also Antarcticans, who are snake people, and amphibians, who are frog people, though neither are native to Japan. Oh, and merpeople. There are no "normal" humans. But otherwise everything is the same as present-day Japan.

It's a slice-of-life manga that mostly focuses on the three best friends. It runs in a seinen manga, so there's definitely a moe element, but it's firmly in the "look at these cute girls be themselves and hang out and do stuff" genre. There are a very few panty shots and close-ups of boobs, but that sort of fanservice is not the focus.

It's also got canon lesbians and surprisingly detailed world-building (there are essays scattered throughout the volumes that are supposed to be like history book excerpts and stuff, and there's also just a ton of random world-building details dropped in naturally through dialogue). I really did not expect this level of detail for a series like this, but was pleasantly surprised.

If you like slice-of-life about female characters, I definitely recommend it. There's scanlations out, and it's apparently been picked up for official release in the US as well under the title A Centaur's Life (though nothing's been published yet).

(I would say, the first chapter is a bit off-putting, or at least I found it so. A boy tells Hime he likes her and she gets upset, eventually revealing to her friends that she's afraid her vagina might be gross to non-centaur boys, which prompts the three girls to compare genitals (no actual genitals pictured). Having that as the first chapter made me think the manga was going to be a lot skeevier and obviously fanservicey than it ended up being.)

What did you recently finish reading?
Aside from the first few volumes of Centaur no Nayami, I read two chapters of Silver Spoon, and finally finished the last of Shingeki no Kyojin (I was putting it off because once I read that I'd have to wait for the new chapter next month!). I might have read some Jump stuff, too, idk. (A look at my Viz app tells me yes, though I can't remember anything that happened in any of the series I follow, and I guess I haven't read this week's issue. :p)

What do you think you'll read next?
More of Centaur no Nayami! After that, I don't know, but I did download another one that I've been hearing a lot about on tumblr, Yowamushi Pedal. It's a bike manga! It's also really long, and still ongoing. Do I need another ongoing series? I really don't, but oh well. Oh, I also bought the new Kindaichi, so I will actually probably read that first.

Apparently it's back to all manga all the time for me... ^_^;; (Not a bad thing, really, since there are sooooooooo many series I want to read!)
torachan: ayu and kuroda from 7 seeds (7 seeds)
Well, the scanlation of this chapter is already out, so I don't know how much a summary is really needed, but since I already did the rest of the volume, I wanted to finish it up for completion's sake, if nothing else. ^_^;; And volume 23 will be out in just a couple weeks, so there's that to look forward to!

Beneath the cut is a detailed summary of 7 Seeds vol. 22, chapter 116 by Tamura Yumi. Don't click through if you don't want spoilers. Download the raw here.

... )
torachan: ayu and kuroda from 7 seeds (7 seeds)
Beneath the cut is a detailed summary of 7 Seeds vol. 22, chapter 115 by Tamura Yumi. Don't click through if you don't want spoilers. Download the raw here.

... )
torachan: nepeta from homestuck (nepeta)
Title: Real Clothes
Author: Makimura Satoru
Number of Volumes: 13
My Rating: 4/5

Summary: Kinue works at a department store in the futon section. She loves her job and loves finding customers the bedding that's just right for them, so she's initially disappointed when she gets transferred to the women's clothing department. Will she learn to love her new position as much as she loved her old job?

Review: I have enjoyed several of this author's other series (Oishii Kankei, Imagine, and Imagine 29), but this is the first thing by her I've read in a very long time, so I was curious how much I would enjoy her now that I'm a more critical reader. As you can see, I did end up enjoying it quite a lot, enough to give it four stars, but there is definitely stuff that bugged me, like the way everyone constantly insists that all women love clothes and shopping, and moments like when a male character makes some gross sexist statement about women and the female characters all agree that this is true and women are totally like that, but he shouldn't say so. -_-

That said, it's really cute. I liked how it wasn't just a story about people who love fashion and work in the clothing industry. It's about someone who initially is not sure about this whole fashion thing, but comes to love her job. It's about being a working woman in Japan and what that means.

I was hopeful when the story starts off with her having a boyfriend, that romance would not be part of the story and it would just focus on her job. I should have realised that wasn't going to happen, though, especially when her new boss is introduced as a good-looking guy who initially insults her (omg can we do away with this trope of the guy who is so obnoxious on first meeting?). However, it's not thirteen volumes of will-they/won't-they with the boss. She breaks up with her boyfriend fairly early on due to him not being as accepting of her career as he'd claimed, but it's a long time before she feels anything other than friendship for her boss, and romance does end up being just small part of the story, which is overall focused on her career and her female friends and female co-workers. (There is also a female boss who is also rude to her when they first meet and I was afraid it was going to be a Devil Wears Prada sort of situation, but it's not at all, and she ends up having a great relationship with this woman, too.)

So yeah. Definitely flawed, but if you enjoy manga about working women, I definitely recommend this one.

Can't imagine this ever getting an official release in the US, but it is being scanlated.
torachan: arale from dr slump dressed in a penguin suit and smiling (arale penguin)
Title: Gokusen
Author: Morimoto Kozueko
Number of Volumes: 16
My Rating: 5/5

Summary: Yamaguchi Kumiko is the new teacher at an all-boys school full of delinquents, but what her students don't know is that she's no ordinary first-time teacher: she's the granddaughter of a local yakuza boss and is used to far worse than them. But she fears that she'll lose her job if people find out about her family, so she can't reveal her secret, which leads to all sorts of hijinks.

Review: Okay, this is just a hilarious and adorable series and immediately became one of my all-time favorites. I tried to watch the drama, too, but omg, it's horrible. Basically it took everything good about the manga, everything that made it unique, and turned it into just another story about a good teacher who turns a bad class around. (And apparently there are sequels where she goes to a different school each time and does the same thing.)

It really changes things when the rest of the school is normal, full of good students, etc. and only Yankumi's class is the bad class. For example, in the manga, when people report a high school boy is going around robbing old people and the cops and neighbors all immediately assume it's a Shirokin student, it's not just Yankumi's kids they're doubting, it's the whole school. And when Yankumi says my students may do this or that bad thing, but they would never rob an old person! and the other teachers say things like, well, but this is Shirokin, you never know, and she says, well, do you think one of your students would do it? and then each of the teachers says the same thing as her, basically, that while their kids are delinquents, they would never do that, it's a Moment. All the teachers are saying that while the school (deservedly) has a bad rep, they know their own students and their students would not do something like this. But when the other teachers in the drama say my kids would never do that, it's just snotty and mean. They know their kids are good, but they doubt Yankumi's kids. It gives the whole storyline a different vibe, and not in a good way.

I also hated how the drama changed her crush to being on a policeman rather than the family lawyer. Again, it totally changed things, introducing an unnecessary "omg I hate the cops but totally have a crush on one!" thing as opposed to her having a crush on someone who was "on their side", so to speak, and whom she'd grown up with.

Okay, so...this review is basically complaining about the drama? But unfortunately I actually read this manga almost a year ago and put off posting a review because I wanted to compare with the drama, and I disliked the drama, so I put off watching it, and then even after I decided to just ditch the rest of the episodes and not force myself to watch the whole thing, I had a backlog of other reviews I needed to write and this just kept getting pushed to the end of the queue. But this month my goal was to catch up on my manga reviews, so I was determined to write something, only to find I couldn't remember much of anything except this paragraph I'd already written ranting about the drama. *cries*

Anyway, it's just a really cute series and I highly recommend it. I have no idea whether the anime is similar to the manga or not, just avoid the drama at all costs.

While the anime has been released in the US, the manga has not. However, it has been completely scanlated.
torachan: karkat from homestuck looking bored (karkat bored)
Title: Sasurai Emanon
Author: Tsuruta Kenji & Kajio Shinji
Number of Volumes: 1
My Rating: 4/5

Summary: Emanon is a young woman with memories going back to the first life on earth. But she's not immortal, rather the memories are passed on from mother to daughter, at which point the mother forgets who she was and the daughter becomes Emanon.

Review: I read Omoide Emanon a while back and thought the premise was intriguing but was annoyed at how the story was not about her, but about this dude she met and how meeting her affected him. So I was unsure when I started this one, but it turned out to be much more what I had been hoping for. There are two separate stories in this volume, both of which are much more about Emanon herself. I especially enjoyed the one where we get a lot of her backstory for this present incarnation of her (and a deeper look at what happens when the memories are passed on).

I translated this for Kotonoha, so not only do scanlations exist, I can guarantee they're good quality!

Title: Hideout
Author: Kakizaki Masasumi
Number of Volumes: 1
My Rating: 3/5

Summary: Seiichi Kirishima takes his wife on a tropical vacation, ostensibly to reconcile after the death of their child, but his real purpose is to kill her and start a new life. But when he chases her into a cave and encounters a murderous old man, he finds that he has become the hunted.

Review: The art is great, but the story was just eh. I would have liked it more if there hadn't been so much focus on trying to make the wife seem like the badguy. (He just wanted a family, but she was a coldhearted bitch who never even wanted kids and was glad when their son died! Bleh.) Also it feels like his change of mind in the end (trying not to be too spoilery) comes too quickly. I didn't dislike the ending, but it happened too quickly.

This was also scanlated by Kotonoha, though I wasn't the translator. (It's a good translation, though. I just read it to refresh my memory of the story.)

Title: NEET Onna to Shougaku 2 Nensei
Author: Shimizu Aki
Number of Volumes: 1
My Rating: 3/5

Summary: This is a collection of six one-shots, all but two of which (the title story and its sequel) are unrelated.

Review: I can't remember how I heard about this, but I had assumed the volume was one story and was kind of disappointed when it wasn't. The title story and its sequel are definitely the best stories here, though the others aren't bad. The title story is about an unlikely friendship between a college girl who's all but dropped out and barely leaves her apartment and a second-grader whose parents are getting divorced. The sequel revisits them five years later. If I'd read this before Kaleidoscope nominations, I might have nominated it (though seeing as it's not out in English, even in scanlation, makes it kind of unlikely anyone would have written it for me!) because it's totally femslashy.
torachan: john from homestuck looking shocked (john shocked)
Title: Enigma
Author: Sakaki Kenji
Number of Volumes: 7
My Rating: 3.5/5

Summary: Haiba Sumio is an average high school student with a secret power. When he falls asleep, he has premonitions which he sleep-writes in his "dream diary". When a mysterious person calling themselves Enigma kidnaps Sumio and a seemingly-random group of other students, it turns out they all have mysterious powers, powers which just might help them escape if they can learn to work together.

Review: This series basically has two halves, only one of which is really interesting. The first half, where they have to escape from the school, was awesome and I really enjoyed it. But the author should have just ended the series there, because the second half just didn't work as well, and the ending was really half-assed (partly because it got cancelled, but also because I think the author just had no clue what they were doing anymore). So on the one hand, the first half is really fun and totally sucked me in, but I can't wholeheartedly recommend the series because it went downhill so much from there. :-/ (Also I really hate when older characters are drawn in a way that makes them look the same age as the kids. Everyone's dad here could be a fellow high school student and it's ridiculous.)

Since this was a Weekly Jump series, it's fully scanlated. (In fact, I had to read the final chapter in English because it was published in a different magazine and no one bothered to up the raws anywhere.)


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