torachan: arale from dr slump dressed in a penguin suit and smiling (arale penguin)
What are you currently reading?
Back to reading vol. 3 of Oofuri, though I only read a couple pages. Not sure if I will stick with it or what?

What did you recently finish reading?
I read five or six issues of Jump, because I once again failed to keep up with it in a timely fashion. I have nothing in particular to say about One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, or World Trigger, as nothing particularly interesting is going on in them. Well, I did like the One Piece spoiler ), but overall this arc has not really been that exciting for me.

I do want to talk about other Jump stuff, though! Did anyone else read Toriyama Akira's new series Jaco the Galactic Patrolman? It just finished and IIRC was like eleven chapters total, so one volume. Initially I just thought it was kind of cute and funny but wasn't that thrilled, but I really loved the final chapter. Jaco spoilers ) If you're a fan of Dragon Ball, I definitely recommend checking this one out.

Also since that just ended, a new series has started in the US Jump, which I guess has been running in Japan (in Jump Square) for about a year. It's called Owari no Seraph (Seraph of the End) and it's about vampires, which didn't seem that interesting, but by the end of the first chapter I was hooked.

What do you think you'll read next?
Prrrrrrrrobably manga? But it could also be fanfic, idk.
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.)
torachan: a cartoon owl with the text "everyone is fond of owls" (everyone is fond of owls)
Title: Bakuman
Author: Ooba Tsugumi & Obata Takeshi
Number of Volumes: 20
My Rating: 4/5

Summary: When Mashiro and Takagi are in 9th grade, they make a pact with Azuki, the girl Mashiro has a crush on. She will become a famous seiyuu and they will become famous mangakas, and when their manga gets made into an anime, she will play the heroine. And when that day comes, when their dreams come true, Mashiro and Azuki will get married. The manga spans the next eight years and follows their manga career through its ups and downs.

Review: I love Obata's art with a passion. He is one of my favorite artists, maybe my top favorite, and I have enjoyed previous series he's illustrated, including his previous collaboration with Ooba, Death Note. Which I originally read when I was a pretty uncritical reader and totally did not notice the gobs of misogyny all over the place.

Unfortunately, Bakuman is also filled with misogyny and practically every chapter had me gnashing my teeth for some reason or other. Maybe because it's a realistic series, but it bothered me a lot more in Bakuman than in stuff like Naruto or Bleach, which I know are often just as horrible. I don't know, it just felt different to me to see Kaya, Takagi's girlfriend/wife try to find her own dream to follow before quickly giving up and cheerfully declaring that her dream was to see Azuki, Mashiro, and Takagi fulfill their dreams! And then have much of her screentime be when she's cleaning their studio. (And that's just one of many examples...)

And yet, despite all that, I still enjoyed it. I loved the behind-the-scenes look at Weekly Shounen Jump and the manga industry in general, and I loved seeing all the manga everyone came up with in the series (one of them actually did get a single chapter posted as a bonus in one issue of Jump, but there were a lot that I wished were real manga!). There are also some really awesome characters, especially Niizuma Eiji. And as much as I rolled my eyes at Mashiro and Azuki's ~pure romance~, I couldn't help but root for them at the end.
torachan: (Default)
1. Caught up on Bleach now, too. Soon Naruto will follow! I have to say I am kind of meh on Bleach at the moment. I found the ending of the last arc really unsatisfying, and I was actually enjoying it quite a bit before that. (Though seeing the Vizards in Soul Society was cool!) Also, if this final arc does not reveal Isshin's backstory I am going to be pissed. That is really all I am asking for.

2. I signed up for Remix! I ended up dropping out last year, but I am determined not to do that this year. I really, really want to write, and I love remix, so I'm hoping this will be just what I need.

3. So glad the time change is tonight, not tomorrow night. I don't work tomorrow until 1.45, so I have plenty of time to sleep in and won't miss the lost hour, but Monday I have to work in the morning, so I would definitely be feeling it.
torachan: (Default)
Title: Psyren
Author: Iwashiro Toshiaki
Number of Volumes: 16
My Rating: 5/5

Summary: When Ageha's friend Amamiya disappears, he uses a mysterious phone card as a last-ditch bid to find her and ends up getting sucked into another world. Only it turns out that this monster-filled wasteland is not actually another world, but the future, and Ageha, Amamiya, and various allies they meet along the way, must travel back and forth between the present and the future to keep this post-apocalyptic nightmare from becoming reality.

Review: I have posted about Psyren before, but saved my "official" review until the final volume was released (and then forgot to actualy post; actually I'm fairly behind on manga reviews, so I'm trying to get stuff posted and out of the way), even though I read it as it was published in Jump, so I read the end quite a while ago now.

Anyway, this series is one of my favorite Jump series, and one of my favorite series in general. I love almost anything post-apocalyptic, and I also love time travel, so this was an awesome combination for me. I love that they don't travel to the past to change things, but rather their actions in the present are changing the future. The cast of characters is great, and treats its female characters much better than most shounen series.

I also have to applaud the author, who was able to wrap up the series very well, despite the fact that it was clearly cancelled early due to lack of popularity (I still can't understand why this series wasn't popular, though). The ending does go fast, but doesn't seem overly rushed or unsatisfying.

It was picked up for release in English last year, but over a year after the announcement, there are still no volumes published, though volume one is listed on Amazon as coming out in October of this year, so hopefully that will actually happen. It has been fully scanlated by multiple groups, but a lot of the translations really, really suck.
torachan: (Default)
Yesterday and today I have been catching up on a ton of monthly and weekly chapters I let slide for a while, whee! Anyway, I have to say that Shirahoshi stuffed inside Megalo is pretty much the best thing ever. Especially this page. XD
torachan: (Default)
1. Alexander came over this afternoon and we hung out and had delicious grilled chicken with brown rice, broccoli, and edamame.

2. I finally finished watching all of the 2005 Mythbusters. Only five years left to go! XD I am finding that I generally enjoy the Grant & Tory & Kari segments more than the Adam & Jamie stuff. Which is not to say I don't like Adam and Jamie. I just like the others more.

3. One Piece! Spoilers )

Daily Happysong:

Moritaka Chisato - 17 Sai
Very catchy, bouncy '80s pop.
torachan: (Default)
Top five manga you think more people should be reading

Hmm, wow, this is going to be a tough one! Mainly because I don't really have a good idea of what is being read outside of Japan. So this is just based on my impression of what doesn't seem to get a lot of notice in the English-speaking mangasphere.

1. Without question, #1 is Tamura Yumi's 7 Seeds. This is such an awesome, complex series. If you liked Basara, you will like this. It seems like a lot of people are down on her art as "old-looking" but I like it. Even if it were the fugliest thing on the planet, though, the story is just...wow. Basara was a post-apocalyptic world that had had enough time to form new societies and really feel separate from the present day. 7 Seeds, on the other hand, is a survival story. Knowing a meteor is heading for earth, the government comes up with several different survival plans, one of which is cryogenically freezing five groups of teenagers and having them auto-thaw when the sensors indicated the planet could once again sustain life. Oh, and they didn't tell these kids they were getting chosen. So the kids wake up and have no idea what the fuck happened, though each group has an adult guide who does know what's going on.

The series is currently on vol. 18 and there is just so much going on. These are teenagers, so there are crushes and some relationships going on, but romance defintitely takes a backseat here. This is an adventure story. I would talk about the fifth team and how their story blew my mind, but that is totally spoilery. I would talk about when some of the kids found a diary detailing some of the other survival plans and what had happened to those people, but that, too, is better read unspoiled. Tamura Yumi is awesome with her reveals. There have been so many times where I was just like "oh fuck!"

I don't know how well Basara did in the US and this is another long series, so I don't know if it will ever be released in English, but it should be. There are scanlations available, though. I have no idea of the quality and they're only up through vol. 9, but the group currently working on it does seem to be putting new chapters out at the decent rate.

2. Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo (Kindaichi Case Files). This was partially released in English but I guess didn't do to well, so they dropped it. There is a ton of them in Japan, though. The original series is 27 vols., there's a sequel with 10 vols., 6 vols. of short cases, two vols. featuring Inspector Akechi, the current series of sporadically published stand alones (11 vols. plus one story that hasn't yet been released in tankobon form), and nine novels. Not to mention like three drama series and an anime! XD The mysteries are really well done and interesting. If you can find them, I encourage you to check out the English release. The cases really stand on their own and you can read them in any order, so it's not that big a deal that they didn't release them all. It's not like you'll be left hanging. (Unfortunately there really hasn't been much scanlated.)

3. Psyren by Iwashiro Toshiaki. This is supposed to be released in English soon, so I'm hoping it does well. There are also quite a few groups scanlating and the scanlations are up to date with what's been released in Japan. Despite that, it doesn't really seem to have that big a following and I can't figure out why. It is really pretty awesome. It has loads of stuff that makes it feel tailor-made to me, like time travel and a post-apocalyptic world and psychic kids experimented on by the government and more! It also has lots of great female characters.

4. Tegami Bachi by Asada Hiroyuki. This has recently been released in English, so I hope it becomes popular! This is another one that has so much cool stuff that I love. It's a sort of fantasy/sci-fi series set on a planet with no sun and there's all sorts of government conspiracies and stuff going on. Really cool. The art is also just really beautiful.

5. Renai Catalogue by Nagata Masami. This is one of my favorite shoujo series (it's actually more towards the josei end of things as it's about college students, but it was published in BetsuMa). It's really long (over thirty volumes) and I doubt it will ever get lisenced, but it is being scanlated and up through vol. 16 is available. It's a fairly ordinary story of a girl and guy who meet in college and fall in love, but there's also a lot of focus on friendship. One of the things I liked about this series so much is that one of the friends is fat (and actually drawn so) and yet she also gets her own romance...and not after she's slimed down and prettied up. Yes, she does have a diet storyline and struggles with her weight over the course of the series, but it doesn't end with her losing weight, but rather becoming more confident in herself and finding a guy who loves her as she is. If for no other reason, that would endear me to this series, but there's so much else that's great about it.


Another one that really went long. Man, it was hard to stick to just five manga! There are so many great series that are not that well-known outside of Japan (and so many overrated series that are...).
torachan: (Default)
I finally caught up on Reborn! I was kind of bored after the future arc...okay, I was bored with the future arc after a while, and it had a let-down ending and then everything after that was just not that interesting. So I was still dling every week, but hadn't read it for a while, so finally today I read the backlog (sixteen chapters!) and am now caught up! And I am definitely enjoying it more now than I was! All this stuff with Enma and the Simon family is interesting. I am sure it will turn out to be a big misunderstanding, because the first Vongola is essentially Tsuna, so he has to be a good guy. And of course Enma will find out that Tsuna never got the letter. But in the meantime I'm enjoying the new power-ups and the fighting.

Daily Happysong:

Ben Folds - The Ascent of Stan
Someone linked this on Twitter today and I was like hey, I forgot how much I like that song!
torachan: (ewan whinge)
I don't know if this particularly bad case of tonsil stones was a prelude to tonsilitis or if I'm just coincidentally coming down with a cold at the same time, but I've had a sore throat all day. :( I'm drinking (fake) Emergen-C in case it's a cold and hoping it's not tonsilitis, because if it is, that means taking the bus (while sick!) to the one CVS I know that has a clinic in it. (Though at least I have that option now, as I think that's only $60 compared to $100+ for the Santa Monica Bay Physicians clinic.)

Also Carla has had an upset stomach all day today and we're not sure if it's something she ate, a touch of the flu, or if it's her new meds she started today.


Anyone read this week's One Piece yet? Interesting developments! I was really hoping that the submarine would be full of the rest of the Straw Hat pirates, though! But maybe Luffy can travel with Law to find them? Now poking at Raw Paradise in hopes that other stuff is posted soon (both because I'm feeling blah and want to read Jump and because I'd like to get the translating out of the way early as I'm probably going to get sicker, whether it's a cold or tonsilitis).

Jumpenings

Feb. 25th, 2010 02:50 pm
torachan: (Default)
That's my new word for "Jump happenings".

1. Bleach: Wonderweiss OMG! Yet at the same time, I'm glad he appeared, because I was not down with Yamamoto's plan to kill himself as well as all the captains, lieutenants, and vizards! DDD:

2. Naruto: Okay, so Sakura chickened out on killing Sasuke. I find that totally believable and not something to diss her for. I am just thankful that my fears that she had really joined Sasuke were not confirmed. And we have Naruto to the rescue! Now what will happen? I think Sasuke should die because I'm tired of him. Really, he is just so not interesting anymore.

3. Bakuman: To my surprise, I have been enjoying the recent arc. For one thing, I am always glad when Takagi and Mashiro don't do as well as they think they should, because they annoy me. XD Also it has more Hattori, and more Hattori makes everything better. I am not looking forward to more of Iwase's crush on Hattori, though, because it's not going to go well and it's just going to be used as another example of how stupid girls are.

4. Hunter x Hunter: I don't even really like this series, but I'm translating it, so I have to follow it. One of the things that bugs me is so much of it is just a few illustrations with a shit ton of narration slapped over it. I don't know if this is because the author is ill all the time and this makes it easier for him to keep up with the series rather than taking endless hiatuses or what, but it doesn't really make for a good manga.

5. Psyren: I haven't read this week's chapter yet because I'm not translating it anymore. :( That makes me sad, but the group I was doing it for is dropping it and I certainly don't have time to scanlate a weekly series on my own.

6. One Piece: Hiatus, boo! :( Back next week, yay!

7. Speaking of Bleach, I read yesterday about the plagiarism thing. Kubo responded on Twitter (I squeed that he has a Twitter, I admit), "正直似てるかどうかより、ジーン・シモンズの息子が漫画家ってことのほうが気になる…。" which translates as "To be honest, I'm more concerned with the fact that Gene Simmons' son is a mangaka than whether or not he copied me..." XD I laughed out loud reading that, because that is pretty much just what I was thinking, too.
torachan: (Default)
1. Had a super delicious lunch of salmon and asparagus and onions and garlic and rice and some sort of Ajipon-based sauce om nom nom. My wife cooks the bestest stuff!

2. Speaking of asparagus, the 99 Cent Store had more of it today! If there's anything I like more than asparagus, it's asparagus that costs $1 a pound. (I also found two more bags of fingerling potatoes. Slap some olive oil and rosemary and garlic on those suckers and stick them in the oven and they will be omgsogood.)

3. Juuuuuump. OMG. This week, what? Spoilery for OP 574, Naruto 482, and Bleach 392 )

And I still have a bunch of chapters of stuff on my HD to read. New D.Gray-man, FMA, Hourou Musuko, Tegaba, Girl Friends, and last week's Reborn! (Still no sign of Reborn!, Psyren, or Bakuman this week, though.)

4. Got my assignment for [livejournal.com profile] satedan_grabass.

5. I love the second comic here so much. SO MUCH.

6. I have been taking a break from Zelda for a couple days because OW MY ARM. Stupid RSI. Stupid sword slashing. But it's feeling better today, so I think if I go easy on it and just play a little bit per day it will be okay. (Hard not to get sucked in, though.)

7. Hey. Hey. There is a new comm called [livejournal.com profile] holmesian_recs and it will do what it says on the tin. Also I am going to be a reccer for it, yay. So, you know. That's not too exciting for all of you who already see my recs by reading my journal, but there are a bunch of other reccers, too, so more recs! More yay!
torachan: (Default)
1. Totally off my regular sleep schedule again, thanks to a nap that turned into a full-length sleep, but at least I got a good night's sleep? After several days of 4-5 hours' sleep this week, it was nice.

2. Rain! I hope it lets up for a while so we can take a walk at some point, but still, I am happy there's rain.

3. Bleach was AWESOME. Shinji! ♥♥♥ Oh my God, those two panels of Shinji were brilliant. I love the longshot of him swinging his zanpakuto and then the closeup of that GRIN OMG. And him and Hitsugaya working together = heartburst! Two of my favorite characters, bweeeeee!

Bakuman 62

Nov. 13th, 2009 04:50 am
torachan: (Default)
Some of my comments in my previous Supernatural post made me remember I was going to talk about Bakuman. The most recent chapter has FOUR female characters in it. Quite amazing for Bakuman. And yet, do you know what the theme of the chapter was? "Wimmins! Crazy, amirite!?" The whole time I was reading, I was thinking of this comic. I could just imagine Ohba Tsugumi saying "bitches, man!" as he wrote it.

If you want more details... (Even if you don't follow the series, you should read this rant anyway. I've given context so hopefully it's understandable, and man, after having written this super long rant, I just want someone to read it!) )
torachan: (Default)
This is not a proper review, because I don't do reviews of manga except for completed series, but OMG YOU NEED TO READ THIS MANGA WHY IS IT NOT MORE POPULAR???

Ahem.

So. It starts off when, in order to rescue a classmate, Ageha uses a mysterious phone card and gets sucked into a world called Psyren. It turns out this monster-filled wasteland is actually the future, and Ageha and his friends have to back and forth through time to try and stop this future from coming to pass. Since this is a Jump series, there's got to be special powers. In this case, the atmosphere of Psyren awakens everyone's latent psychic powers.

I zipped through the first seven volumes + approximately two more volumes worth of chapters and now am feeling completely bereft. A Jump series hasn't grabbed me like this for a while. It's got a lot of stuff I love, like time-travel and post-apocalyptic futures and mysteries. I love how the future keeps changing based on the actions of Ageha and the others in the present. (I really, really, really love that part.)

The art wasn't that great at the beginning, but it's really improved as the series went on and I really like it a lot now. It has sort of a similar look to Bleach.

I like the characters a lot, too. There are quite a few female characters (though of course there are more male characters) and while a few of them sometimes fall victim to Irrational Woman Syndrome (think any Takahashi Rumiko heroine), it's not constant. Also the three healers? Are guys. I know. I'm amazed. People have various types of psychic powers and for once it's not the girls who get the healing powers. All the female characters can take care of themselves (to the extent anyone can; for example, while the series starts out with Ageha rescuing Amemiya, she rescues him in the next chapter) and play an equal part in the battles instead of being relgated to the sidelines.

Anyway, it's just really awesome and has totally become my new favorite Jump series.

A bunch of people are scanlating it. The scanlations I've seen have not been that great, and have had some mistakes that completely change the meaning, which is even more crucial in a series like this, but...it's better than nothing, I guess. It will probably come out in the US eventually, because it's Jump, but it doesn't seem to be out yet.

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