Monday 29 October 2018

Moved To Asian Comics Blog

Hello I moved the blog to Wordpress and I am continuing it under the name Asian Comics Blog. The link to the blog is below.

Thursday 6 September 2018

Elegance Eve September 2018

I enjoyed this issue much better than the previous one. At the time, I had been adjusting to Japanese text and was not able to obtain much of value from my experience with the previous issue of Elegance Eve. This issue was hit or miss but the series which struck a cord with me created such fascinating narratives I was unaware existed in Japanese josei manga. Elegance Eve seems to be targeting a broader audience than perhaps the name lets on. Yes, there are series for housewives(which were also emotionally swaying reads by the way). In addition, there were also some alternative comics which would not have been out of place in an American indie zine. My goal initially with discussing the magazines is to scratch the surface of the various notable Japanese shojo and josei manga as well as to catalogue my own experiences as I am unfamiliar with the astonishingly greater variety in content which comes with reading manga in Japanese. I would like to explore the actual contents of the magazines down the road at some point. It would be fantastic to get people reading more comics targeted at girls and women since there is a great variety of content which is unknown to most people. At one point I asked a friend what they thought of when they saw the words manga and anime they immediately grasped for Naruto. Now, this post seems to be straying further and further from its original intent so I believe I will call it a night. 

Nakayoshi October 2018

This was honestly a fantastic read! Black Panther And Sweet 16 disrupted the quick clip I was reading gobbling up the chapters but even it had some dramatic moments and an overall dark tone which made it a compelling read in its own rite. A series which revolves around a girl marrying a sheikh had me concerned about what particular direction it would go in last issue when it started. Those fears were washed away as the series seems to be taking a more political intrigue angle than a a "Harlequin for beginners" angle I dreaded it taking. There are many good Harlequin manga but there is a huge over saturation of them in English which makes them easy to get agitated about. Thankfully the heroine was able to stand her ground in this exotic locale. Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card adorned the issues cover. Given the popularity of Cardcaptor Sakura this perhaps comes as no surprise but it is still a lovely cover by CLAMP. A rerun chapter of Saint Tail sits at the back of the issue. I opted to ignore it I wonder if this will come back to haunt me down the road? There's an idol manga which seems to be ripe for an anime adaptation early in the issue. It has the darker angle modern kids anime seems to aim for without questionably odd subtext like Black Panther has. Nakayoshi was a truly fascinating and exciting read, perhaps I didn't get that detail across discussing it this time. A lot of the stories were unconventional in the issue which seems to be quickly  becoming my favorite aspect of modern shojo. 

Friday 24 August 2018

Shojo Comic issue 18 (2018), Hana to Yume issue 17 (2018)

Shojo Comic issue 18 (2018)
Decided to start using this blog again.

Shojo Comic issue 18 offered an interesting mix of titles this issue had very little smut compared to other issues I've read and the action scenes were genuinely intense for series which had them. Shojo Comic is a very easy read even for a novice to Japanese like myself. The artwork is really detailed although this isn't Hana to Yume levels of diversity in content and tones for narratives which is kind of unfortunate. 

Hana to Yume issue 17 (2018)
This issue offered a broad range of stories that make it worth the purchase for casual manga readers. The overall storytelling was phenomenal and the artwork was amazing. Oresama Teacher is quickly catching my attention. The series is released in English under Viz Media's Shojo Beat imprint. I honestly feel compelled to go back and read the entire series properly but with no digital edition and certain volumes from the series being out of print in Canada makes me hesitant to actually do so. Hana to Yume is markedly more fantasy leaning than Shojo Comic this issue which made for a refreshing contrast when reading the two issues the same day.

I'm not going to make any promises whether I'll start using this blog more regularly or not since things seem to get in the way a lot the last few years. I will try though. 

Sunday 11 March 2018

Aposimz chapters 1-5 Review

Tsutomu Nihei’s Aposimz is a grand science fiction epic set in a bizarre world. The artwork is gorgeous, hauntingly portraying the horrific events of the story. The setting is fascinatingly somber. The world of Aposimz is perpetually snow covered. The one issue I had is that the narrative is holding its cards close to its chest so far.

There are so many aspects of this universe which would be fascinating to understand more about but Aposimz is through and through a Tsutomu Nihei work. Nihei’s narratives dive into the surreal worlds with the reader often being swept along for the experience. This almost always leaves it up to the reader to pick up and interpret the narrative themselves and Aposimz is no exception to this rule. Even Nihei’s arguably most reader friendly work, Knights of Sidonia is still obtuse at times. Aposimz is another intriguing work from an exceptionally talented manga creator. I cannot recommend this experience enough!

Wednesday 28 February 2018

Alice in Murderland volume 4 Review

Kaoru Yuki’s body of work translated in English is considerably larger than many mangakas’ and it is fascinating to see how the tone of her work has changed over the years. That being said, while there is a greater sense of self-awareness in her more modern works the biggest problem for long-time readers of her works is easily the fact it always comes across as a touch homogenous. The biggest theme in a lot of Kaoru Yuki’s works has always been the dark reality behind fairy tales. A world which once looked like it was rose tinted is actually horrific once given a closer examination.

Alice in Murderland volume 4 follows this long tradition. The heroine becomes more and more aware the Alice in Wonderland influenced world she lives in contains layers upon layers of dark secrets. Everyone in the cast is not who they seem to be at first glance. The heroine herself has an alternate murderous personality. Even her wealthy adoptive mother she once thought to be kind reveals herself to be the cruelest member of the manga’s cast thus far. Alice in Wonderland is the perfect theme for a Kaori Yuki work and Alice in Murderland’s continued descent into madness makes for a fascinating read.

While Alice in Murderland is certainly a nice addition to Kaori Yuki’s body of English translated work there still is very much the issue with the series that it feels like Alice in Murderland is once again just Kaori Yuki simply going through the motions of creating a series. The formula she seems to have developed for creating her work is nevertheless an effective one even if she is once again reusing the themes and issues from her previous work. It still is nice every once in a while to sit down with a Kaori Yuki manga and cleanse the palette from the tropes of shojo manga in general.