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Review on Gen Manga’s Kamen volume 1

April 9, 2012 Leave a comment

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MMF: Kodoku no Gourmet as a skeptical Japanese foodie read.

March 20, 2012 1 comment

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Review on Jmanga’s release of 100 Blossoms to Love

March 15, 2012 1 comment

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Review on Gen Manga’s Let’s Eat Ramen

March 7, 2012 Leave a comment

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Manga License for Umi no Toriton (海のトリトン)

February 20, 2012 1 comment

海のトリトン by Osamu Tezuka Read more…

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Thoughts about DMG’s Healing Music from @BLBangBang

December 28, 2011 4 comments

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Americus and Choice of Reading

October 1, 2011 2 comments

Yay, I am not to late, but if you didn’t realize. This past week up to today was American Library Association acknowledgment of Banned Book Weeks. Bannned Books are those books that people would try to get censored in order to further their own opinions on what is right and wrong. While I passed up the chance to go to a Banned Book celebration party, I ended up reading Americus this week. This is a book that has been on my reading list since I heard about it from Book Expo earlier this year.

When I was growing up, the only grip I had my from mom was reading and using my eyes a bit too much. But I am pretty fortunate in what my mom said I can’t and cannot do in terms of what I read. This book has the narration from a boy entering his first year of High School, and in the process of enjoying a fantasy novel series he loves, his town gets hit with a disagreement of what is appropriate or not to be read or enjoyed. He grows up with this happening, and this scenario may very well happen where you live. However, if your mind can be opened up to the world of imagination by reading, then read and celebrate the idea or possibilities of imagination. Never let anyone say that you can’t read a book, when there is plenty of choices. Thousands of books get published every year, and perhaps you can disagree with a plot of the book, if that happens.. then you can put the book down and not read it.

Reading is an individual activity that can enrich minds. So that even when there is disagreement with a book, the solution above can be done, and another solution is to talk with someone else about what makes the book not readable. Yet if a book is published, then there is always going to be anyone that can enjoy or disagree with it. Censorship is ultimately not an answer, but if the United States has the first Amendment compromised, then expect many other things to be compromised. For grownups, there is definitely a choice to read, but if you are a parent then read a disagreed book, and then hash it out with if a child may or may not want to read the disagreed books. Talk about it with teachers and librarians, and a compromise can be reached.  Also remember to be aware of such a celebration as Banned Book Week.

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Manga License Request for Yama-ari Tani-ori (ヤマありタニおり)

April 3, 2011 2 comments

ヤマありタニおり by 日下 直子
3 volumes 2009-10

Just about anything can be written in a manga, and the lucky few like Hikari no Go, or Yakitate Japan that gets translated over into English always leaves a manga reader like me wondering if there is even more of something more interesting to read. I am not even getting into the anime, which is based on Japanese manga and talking about niche hobbies.

So I have gotten back into origami folding, and of course with making new friends, and acquaintances. I found an outlet to talk more about manga with. Origami folding people are pretty nice, and definitely aware of Japanese culture. Recently a friend from the group lent me this manga to look through. It has fulfilled my quota that there is an origami themed manga!

What is the background for this manga? Yama-ari Tani-ori in English is translated to Mountain Fold Valley Fold and they are paperfolding techniques, where the paper is fold on the diagonal on front side and  backside. Its genre is for josei, and it is serialized in Kiss, the same magazine that serialized Nodame Cantabile, and who would happen to own Kiss? Kodansha of course, so with their setting up shop on the shores of the United States. I am at this point hoping that Kodansha would one day remember to maybe bring this over. It only ends in three volumes. The author Kusaka Naoko is an author that is definitely not known in America.

Unlikely friends

So what can I gleam from this volume? It is about a16 year old named Aida Yoshi. He is a pretty shy and quiet boy, who has a passion for folding origami. Unfortunately his school doesn’t have an origami club, so he begin the process of starting a club. Eventually his classmates, Kawashima and Miyamoto joins the club.

Kero... uhhh Ribbit!

The story details some pretty cool origami things, such as folding a gigantic frog. I have seen photos of a gigantic Elephant so folding a gigantic frog is sure to impress. In later chapters, readers would learn that Kawashima is a pretty experienced folder, while Miyamoto is a beginner. Beginners usually fold mushi-gami, so of course Miyamoto is pretty upset by it. This group of three unlikely friends, is eventually led into an origami competition.

Assortment of paper folds

The themes of this manga is youth, friendship and of course origami. Even the author Kusaka Naoko said on Amazon Japan, that origami is a Japanese tradition. When I say the them is on youth, and friendship, Japanese would definitely associate that with schoolboys, and high school. There are some fan service, in the drawing and interactions of characters, that is a cultural difference though. Looking beyond that, as a reader you can see that this is a story with the theme of origami, and for this subtle past time, having a comic would definitely inspire more people to pick this past time.

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