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Archive for April, 2010

Mushishi

April 27, 2010 2 comments

Mushishi are the tales of Ginko, a man after mushi, a micro-organism that can either hurt or help humans. They are always there, but it is the luck or the ill fortune of humans who get involved. Always something life changing occurs. Ginko can never stay in one place too long, since he would be attracting mushi, like swarms. But various stories take place in a rural world of an agricultural based homely Japan, and each story can take place with the premises of years or across seasons.

Memorable stories for me is when Ginko visits a place where the deceased are reborn from mushis. Or when a mushi brings prophetic dreams for a man that would result in tragedy. Or what about when a mushi consumes a human’s short term memory. Then what about when a mushi lures a girl from the sky like shoe string, but she survives. Or what about when a mushi acts as a letter carrier?

If I were to say what are things I like about this manga, it is for the subtle entertainment value. Mushishi is very slice of life, as well as a life experiences. Something to get use to reading. It is definitely easy to read the book in one sitting, but to then reflect on messages of certain stories, makes for an interesting outlook. As a reader, one would always read to entertain one self, or draw similarities or whatifs. Mushishi is something that can appeal to both genders. I also do enjoy reading the various folk lore references that is explained toward the back of the story, where there are explanations of translations.

Mushishi is by Yuki Urushibara. There is an English release of the manga by Del Rey, as well there is an 26-episode anime, and a movie. Both the movie and the anime series are licensed by Funimation.

This blog post is a response to April’s Manga Moveable Fest hosted by Ed Sizemore.

Categories: Books, manga movable feast Tags:

Guai Guai Taiwanese Commercials inspired by Cosplay.

April 25, 2010 2 comments

Thanks for Rai on pointing out these commercials for me. I am blogging about this on the premises that the other anime websites won’t probably find out about these commercials until months after the fact, or unless if someone blogs about it. Now these are Taiwanese commercials that is inspired by cosplay, so definitely some language barrier if you can’t hear a word of Chinese. But looking at the cosplay is pretty good. Imagine a world filled with maids, FF7’s or Vocaloid cosplay. ^_^ There are two versions of commercial, a girl one and the boy one.

Here is the girl one:

Here is the boy one:

The premises of the commercials are these…. the boy and girl in the normal school uniforms are practically lectured for not dressing in a cosplay. Guai Guai is Chinese for “good good”. Yet I hear in the commercial, the people who are in authority are (mother and teacher) is mentioning obedience and respecting by listening to them. The message of the commercial is being yourself is a good thing, that even in environments where the normal dress is cosplay, then it is fine. So this cosplay inspiration is pretty far reaching. The commercial is for promoting a chip snack, and there seems to be a contests to see who would doodle the best looking face or something.

I wonder whether or not when would the United States pick up on this premises or something similar to sell their products, or even pass up on this idea. There is that cosplay video with Kristin Dunst, but other than not really seeing it on the net, doubt I’ll see it on prime time

Categories: Food

Manga Review: Crown of Love

April 18, 2010 1 comment

Hisayoshi Tajima is an aloof, yet very attractive 16 year old honor student. He has a princely persona, that has many females in his school admiring him. However, what happens if he falls for teen idol Rima Fujio. Then he gets the opportunity to become an idol like Rima? They meet, and then he learns that she sees him as a rival and pretty much dislikes him?

I was surprised as to how this story was developed in the first volume. I had my fears that this manga would be a typical shoujo manga, that would be filled with plenty of sappy parts to read through. Yet this book may prove me wrong in quickly judging a book just by the cover.  While reading this book definitely does not make me do a turnabout for what my prior fears are about the shoujo genre. This book is unique enough for me to say that this is definitely something new to experience or read. This story has a male at the center of being the main character, where normally the female would be. The story explores from the perception of the male on what happens if he attracts the attentions of more than one female.

The personalities and perspectives of the character in this manga are very personable and realistic. That under the exterior of every pretty face or perfect family, there is always a different or maybe darker imperfect side. Similar to the Loveless, another series of Yun Kouga, Crown of Love is very character driven, and an exploration into the journey of loving a celebrity. I will look into reading the second volume of this series.

Crown of Love is actually a revised work from an earlier work of Yun Kouga. One of the things I appreciate about a manga, are the author notes often found at the end of a volume. They would develop and introduce the author/artist to fans, though the note might be dated- it is still an interesting look into the feelings of a creative individual.

Crown of Love was a courtesy gift from Kris of Girl G33k who I met from Daniella via All About Manga. This review is going to be part of the Manga Blogger Exchange.

Categories: Books Tags:

Anime Figure – Bonta-kun (ボン太くん)

April 13, 2010 2 comments


I should be working on uploading my Japanese trip’s photos as well as finish my drafts for my trip, but definitely working on it. I was able to pre-order this figure last year when I heard it was coming out from Bandai in Japan. I had it sent to Rai’s home, and so when I saw her this time, I picked it up, and transported it back to the U.S. While this is not officially loot I acquire on my trip, it was something I felt that I obtained, that I saved money in postage and mailing fees for Rai, so that was a satisfaction.

Bonta-kun is a character that appeared primarily in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu So with my acquiring the anime figure, my dream for acquiring a plushie has gone down slightly. I am still hoping, but with how fast products come and go in Japan. Pretty hopeless. (>_<)

I uploaded the rest of the informal photo shoot up on Flickr, but under the cut are images that I found that was pleasing to my eye, and definitely something I found pleasure in as I experimented with a couple of poses.

One thing to note, this figure does not come with a base, there was an advertisement insert that advertises the ability to purchase a base for Bonta-kun though. Also since this was a figure that was made in China, I had some difficulties and fear of the arms having some joint problems in the future.

Read more…

Categories: Figures

Review on Ode to Kirihito: Volume 1

April 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Written by Osamu Tezuka
Translation by Camellia Nieh
Published by Vertical Press
ISBN 978-1-932234-64-0
$24.95 US
Review copy provided by the publisher.

If anyone knew about the possibility of a disease to cause a human to looking like a dog, there are a couple of appropriate reactions.  Should they keep it under wraps not tell others, warn others of this danger or should they exploit it? This is a conflict in Ode to Kirihito, when there is a growing outbreak of the Monmow Disease. Doctor Kirihito Osanai was sent by his hospital’s director, Dr. Tatsugaura to explore causes at the remote village of Doggoddale. Things would not turn out good for him, and Kirihito begins his quest to return back to the hospital.

Ode to Kirihito is Osamu Tezuka’s two-volume, medical thriller. I happen to think of Tezuka as a realistic and stark writer, and in my opinion, the plot to Ode was quite good. I have yet to read the second volume at this point, but the first volume is sure to appeal new and old readers of the Japanese god of manga’s work. There are some aspects that made my eyebrow rose.

With this book being rated 16, the age rating is appropriated for an experienced reader, but questionable, since there is mention of rape and human slavery. The appropriateness of this book is an individual decision though. This book can still appeal to teen readers who could view Kirihito as a suffering and persevering character.

Another aspect is the lack of translations for the Chinese writing that was in the book. As a non-reader of kanji/Chinese characters, if it is not translated then the reader will just see it as gibberish, and have to look at the other panels for clues. Is that nitpicking? Probably, but knowing what things are being said is better than being left in the dark. Also there is usually no fault I can see with Vertical releases, so nit pick it is. Will the publisher hear the opinions of reviewers, probably.

This is also one of the first times, I have seen a story travel as much as any other manga I have read so far. Travel, meaning geographical locations mentioned. As a geography fan, I usually find it quite interesting to notice this aspect. Usually a manga can take place in one location, or set in a fantasy world, but with the mention of Japan, Taiwan or South Africa. Ode to Kirihito shows a globalizing attitude, that no matter how different the location is, human are humans, and there are similarities, so this is a good lesson to learn.

Originally published in the 1970’s, Ode to Kirihito is timeless. Tezuka is well known for his other titles of Astro Boy, Black Jack, and Buddha. Many of these works are translated in English by Vertical Press, and are critically recommended as graphic novels to be read. My review is slightly late since I am still currently on a trip, and writing this review, so hopefully this makes a late entry for what I have been reading on Twitter as Tezuka’s Month.

Categories: Books Tags:
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