Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

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

Read more…

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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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MMF: Karakuri Odette -Odette Yoshizawa or Arale Norimaki?

January 18, 2011 6 comments

Whenever there is a chance in Manga Movable Feast to talk abut a title that tugged my interest, then you would see a prospective from me. This feast’s pick is Karakuri Odette by Julietta Suzuki, and other blogger responses to this MMF will be hosted by Anna of Manga Report here.

Reading about androids is nothing new in my experience. I didn’t initially think much of Karakuri Odette, since the art really wasn’t that great to look at, but the plot draws people in slowly, and appeal in the discovery department. People can on a superficial level can compare Karakuri Odette to Chobits, but I find myself staring at another works as being something more similar.

Arale as part of a bag, photographed by me.

Dr. Slump.

There is large difference in the appearance, and plot happenings, however there are some similarities to be made between Odette and Arale.

  • Both have creators  deceiving a large part of the world on their non-living creation.
  • Both have an inherent desire to be a part of the world that they are living in.
  • Both do change other people in their life.
  • There is the appearance of another robot, that may or may not like the female robot (Chris, and Obotchanman/Carmelman#4)

There are also plot parts that are similar such as the mention of food/cooking, in volume 2, and the part when the professor placed a camera on their robot in volume 1. Both are of different time, so reading is your choice. Dr. Slump deviates from slice of life into talking about other aspects, and ends in 18 volumes, while Karakuri Odette ends with six volumes.

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Origami and slight random updates.

January 17, 2011 Leave a comment

So yes winter is banking pretty much in New York City, and what else can I do, other than think about warmer weather. Job hunting is certainly something that is done on a flurry of on/off moments. Rather several things this week as I have my errands to run.

  1. Get to the library to pick up some manga.
  2. Post something for Manga Movable Feast this week.. Karakuri Odette (no this is not related to Swan Princess)

Somethings has happen though, I have been slowly getting back into reading my Google Reader.. very slowly though. My blog reading count is still in the 1000’s but what else to do. I have been on and off Twitter. I think I can control my tweeting to only doing it with my cell phone at some points.

Another is something I find myself going nuts for. Folding paper aka Origami, and for this I happened to get something in the mail on Saturday.

Granted it is the book that is by the organizer of a weekly origami group that I join last fall, but I still find that it is anifty thing to get into. With practice and and a little pocket change one can indeed fold something of interest.

Crease + Fold has origami projects that is not organized by level of origami folding. Rather it is organized by how big the finished product would be.

For a person like me, who is still learning how to read diagrams to fold more projects.  I find that I like the folding explanations toward the beginning. It is not lost in technical jargon, and very layman speech for some parts.

Also another nifty thing about this book, is that every page is in color. So as a visual appreciator, folding can be a bit more tempting to do.

A majority of the projects in this book are explaining about folding animals, but there are some that I find myself wanting to do in the future. Sweetheart Dress, Subway Map Wallet  or a Sakura Blossom. Reading this book does take some time. I am experimenting, and the diagrams does pose some issue, but origami is a rewarding craft in the end.

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One Piece… of epicness and greatness…Waters 7 to Thriller Bark

November 30, 2010 3 comments

Wooooh! Finally just about one of my favorite current titles, on the block of Manga Movable Feast…and yay what a giant this is. This month’s MMF is once again hosted by David Welsh of The Manga Curmudegeon. He also writes a post that links up to past MMF’s which I had participated in four of seven.. and now five of eight.. Happy readings for manga lovers, and interested readers!

One Piece that is by Eichiro Oda, hits the record of outselling Harry Potter in Japan, and the anime/series is probably slated to go on for years. Some comparisons to Dragon Ball were made, down to cross over products, and films. As a fan, though, there are consistent observations, in just how much product and goods there are concerning this series…so what else can I say than to go and make a project of getting into this series, or continuing to be a fan? Going into 55 English volumes, 60 Japanese volumes, and around 400+ episodes, One Piece is such an epic title/journey, that I seriously would encourage any and all to tackle on this series.

I have seen hygiene products, food products, magazine covers, stationary goods, toys, automobile accessories, fashion accessories, and electronic accessories. One Piece covers all types of products.. and from my own collection of manga, art books, shitajikas, figures, DVD’s, CD’s, jigsaw puzzles, electronic accessories, kitchen accessories, I don’t really regret any of it. Even when this blog initially started from around four years ago, it began a small devotion to recapping episodes and purchases made. I even put together a Twitter background recently to push my feelings along.


I am on currently hiatus on watching the anime, and the manga I decided to go on a path of reading two arcs: Waters 7 to Thriller Bark (vol 33-50). I decided to do this for several reasons.

  1. It covers characters that I like a lot…namely Robin, Franky, and Brooks. There is also a significant growth to the character of Ussop that definitely raised my impression of him.
  2. There are sufficient themes covered, that makes it a well though out process. Up to this point, there was just the journeying/adventuring, but Waters 7 and Thriller Bark has sufficient plot points.
  3. Lots of other reviewers in this MMF will be covering other various parts of this long series, I wanted to read a part that made a distinct impression with me.

Just for a bit of a warning, my experience with One Piece is from the anime initially, so reading the manga has definitely made me noticed some details. I am really really glad that Viz did a series acceleration, catching up to the Japanese release, so at this point, the United States is only five books behind Japan. Another warning, this is going to be a post on the assumption that people at least have some knowledge of the series. I don’t believe that I will spoil that much parts of what I have read, but I will probably jump from parts of the series, and all around in general.

Media impressions

Since my initial foray into this series was from the anime, I can definitely say that I have had my eye on the print side of things. During my college years when Shonen Jump began to be sold in the United States, one of the earliest series I read was One Piece, at that time there wasn’t a series acceleration, so reading the manga in English felt way more slower than watching the anime. Still I digress, both mediums have its advantages and disadvantages.

Watching the anime, with a visual action in sight, and the acting talents of the seiyuus. Many people may very well prefer the anime over the manga, but with the manga there are some advantages as well and these are some what I feel are advantages of the anime.

  • The manga is the source of what the anime is, so with how visually stimulating the anime is, the manga will always be faster, and so for readers this is an advantage to take in.
  • There is an SBS column, where Oda has a question and answer columns, giving insights into the series from his creative or comedic perspective. Comparing this to the columns of Hideaki Sorachi of Gintama, there is definitely more of an organized outline, with the feelings of the mangaka revealed to the world.
  • With every chapter title page, there is a mini story within the bigger picture of the manga. In the anime, many characters who’s arcs are finished viewers never really see them again, but Oda definitely is fantastic for building character bases and a clear result of what eventually happens to these characters that gets dropped in the anime. Comparing this with why I dropped Bleach, One Piece has way more developed characters/villians/supporting.

Where to begin?

Walsh has an entry that talks about opinions on where to begin reading. There was a comment that Davy Fights Back might be a good place to start reading this series, yet I disagree with that. I feel that the richness of the adventuring and comradeship is not as really understood if a reader starts from Davy Fights Back, it is already 33 books into the series. So it is my opinion that readers if they want to skip the beginning, start from when the Mugiwara Kaizoku Dan (Strawhat Pirates) leaves East Blue, from Louge Town onward.


Waters 7 includes the ending of the Skypiea arc, to the manga filler of Davy Fights Back. Compared to the anime, there were some parts definitely fleshed out, and other parts muted. It was great to see Zolo/Sanji fight in Davy Fights Back, since I was quite reminded with the opening of the anime. I was debating on whether or not I can put the actions of Waters 7 and Thriller Bark into suitable imagery, and decided that it might be more reflected in the openings from this period in the anime.

Davy Fights Back – I am quite glad that the manga is way more shorter than how the anime dragged on. Even if this filler arc was considered to be comedic, I really didn’t care for Foxy, but compared to other villains.. he’s more of a moron. Now as far as the island is, I felt the island was slightly on the ridiculous side of things. Edo in SBS column definitely mentions the toilet possibility of how a character is stuck on stilts for seven years.

Waters 7 – Entering into the island with a goal of repairing Going Merry, exploring a new island is always a fun aspect in my opinion, mainly because reading of the character’s various interactions with the location, and the locals that they meet. I liked how this island is designed with canals and such. There is an actual emphasis on placement and organization in an urban structure. Personally I am am a fan of urban structures and forms of transportation, so with how Drum Island, Alabasta, and Little Garden were, Waters 7 is definitely a city I want to visit. I am continually reminded of the manga series Aria, since both works/places are inspired by the Italian city of Venice. Since Water 7 sets up for Enies Lobby, the duplicity and treachery of villains get reveals later.

Enies Lobby –I am continually on the mindset that Enies Lobby should have been a separate arc. Putting it all into under the category of Waters 7 Arc pushed the arc count up to around 13 books. It is a collector’s quest, so I can only say that the library is the best friend a person can ask for in terms of going on a binge to read this. So if you skip reading the first couple of books, with Davy Fights Back, that would have lessen the amount of reading.

Enies Lobby was also part where I had a tissue box near my hand continually. The pacing was tight, and the action was just right. So I was either wiping away tears or wringing the tissue, (sighs). I really felt that my heart was on my sleeve for the most part during this arc. I am going on a limb to say either this arc or Alabaster that had me believing firmly that Oda is such a great mangaka.

Also up until this point, Luffy had battled foe after foe, testing his abilities with his devil fruits power. This arc sets the stage of moving Luffy’s strengths into the realm of probable disbelief, if he continues to go on his own ability, Oda writes Luffy with the devil’s luck.

Now for the villains in this one, I really really disliked CP9, of course with the consistent idea that the World Government is there for the regular people, makes the world more gray than black and white, very similar to reality. I am not a big fan of hypocrisy, but with Spanda being introduced, I was so totally cheering at the end of Enies Lobby for what happened to him.

Thriller Bark-With Waters 7, Enis Lobby, and post-Enis Lobby out of the way, the growing crew gets onto a detour from traveling onward at the Florian Triangle that reminds me of the Bermuda Triangle, but ends up running in another potential member as well as another battle to overcome. Up to this point Thriller Bark is another arc I simply faced as another location, it is a ship though that is quite big enough to maybe be mistaken for an island, since there is a castle, forest and grave yard on it. Many location in One Piece reminds me of how small humans really are, and overall, the villains in this one are quite detestable. I wasn’t as fond of Perona and it really gave me a huge laugh to see that she gets defeated by Ussop. At points of the crew’s battle with Oz, there are some funny moments. In the end, Gekko Moriah is set to be a making an appearance again in latter chapters.

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Volumes to be read, some missing - but later read.

Thus this ends my reading quest for the manga at the moment. One reason why I am on hiatus for the anime, is mostly because of a bad worry at Impel Down. I am lucky that most people I know won’t tell me what happened.But with the American release catching up to the manga in Japan. I am getting into the mindset of reading the manga before watching the anime. Also in December, 2010, Oda will be releasing his latest Color Walk, which is the manga artbook series of this series… which I absolutely am drooling to purchase.

3 Things Shoujo…

October 15, 2010 3 comments

Not sure if it is as relevant for the fact that it is not posted on a Thursday, but on a Friday, but I figure this might be a bit fun, and a bit of a breaker from still updating about NYCC/NYAF on JLHLS and Anime Diet. I am not posting hyperlinks to my press, since eventually the posts I will write for those presses… will come out on Twitter.

Since I have been on a kick with reading a lot of Shoujo flavor manga from the library, my reading choices.. are not as recent or as old as other titles that I have been seeing. I am writing my list in terms of the manga I had finished devouring vs. the manga that I am still continuing to read.. But this idea for writing this type of blog is from Manga Bookshelf – Melinda Beasi’s idea, since I see other manga blogs I read also follow suit.

3 Current Faves

Monkey High
(Shoujo Beat) by Shouko Akira. In a seemingly opposites attract scenario, I am quite curious to see what will happen in this high school romance, between a cool beautiful girl and an unassuming monkey boy.

High School Debut (Shoujo Beat) by Kazune Kawahara. Haruna is a tomboy female who is determined to get a boyfriend upon getting to high school. She meets her ideal in Yoh. So what is this seemingly naive girl going to do against anyone who disapproves of her relationship?

Kimi ni Todoke (Viz) by Karuho Shiina. Sawako is feared by everyone in her class. She is a very shy girl, but eventually becomes attracted to Kazehaya, a very well liked boy in her class. I squee when I read of their relationship, god the blushing both are.. is just sooo innocent, but at times I kinda wonder about similarities with Kareshi Kanojo no Jijo!

3 Past Faves

The Gentleman’s Alliance Cross (Shoujo Beat) by Arina Tanemura. Haine, has to try to win the affection of Shizumasa Togu and move beyond her dark sad past. I really enjoy reading this series, and finding out what was what. The artwork is something I really like, and find very pretty, even though though to keep track of all the characters was at some point, confusing. It is not as bad as flipping thru some other titles I have seen though.

Wild Ones
(Shoujo Beat) by Kiyo Fujiwara. Meet Sachie who is the granddaughter of a Yakuza clan’s head. She gets assigned a caretaker by Rakuto. Of course as with any shoujo title, they fall for each other. I really enjoy the desings of this series.

Solanin (Viz)by Inio Asano is a coming of age story, that is quite bittersweet, and self-realizing. Is this considered to be a shoujo title, not sure, but with the mention of a female that is slice of life, from the nomral shoujo fluff I see. I find that the depth this story creates, leads to a good cry and an experience.

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