dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
Whohoo! Today three good manga had arrived, just in time as the train broke down (again) and I thus had to spend a cold half hour at Södra station. But reading makes time fly - sometimes a bit too much, as I almost missed my stop. Lucky for me, alitna said hi and alerted me to the fact that it was time to go out in the cold again.

It's The Legend of Saiunkoku #2, Petshop of Horrors Tokyo #8 and Eyeshield 21 #34 that I bought today. My ranking turned out to be quite the opposite of what I expected, with the last chapter of the Christmas Bowl match clocking in as the undisputed best of the bunch.

Read more... )

Oh, and I've begun to read Mark Watches Doctor Who, very entertaining!
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
I couldn't resist it any longer! Not when they're standing there on the shelf, mocking me with their tempting content

Yes, I have read Fullmetal Alchemist, volumes 18-23 (which still isn't all of FMA please don't spoil me!). Brutal, oh-so-good and gearing up to a truly epic ending. I can't wait for more. Also, the homonculi grow more and more friggin creapy for each one that is introduced



And I read Otomen 2-3. Cute, pointless fluff. Gender essentialist, but in a much less annoying way than Your and my secret, which I just couldn't stomach after something like three books. I'd definitely rec it to someone who likes shoujo, even if some of the plot-starting events are utterly dumb (run-away bulls? Twice? In urbanized Japan? Shhyeaah no)
dancing_moon: Mana looks angsty (woes)
"Screw it, we're not going to make money with most of these manga anyway, so I'm just going to publish my favorite manga and hope that DC Comics pays for it?" - Jason Thompson speculates on why in the world CMX ever decided to publish this series.

One has to wonder if there's not a kernel of truth in that statement, because CMX choice of published titles can generally be summed up with a giant WAT? If you look at it from a business perspective, that is.

Besides From Eroica with Love, they had Swan, Moon Child (nothing to do with Gackt) and Kaoru Mori's Emma. But also crap like The Devil Does Exist and plenty of other really bland titles... On the whole, the line-up lacked a real hit. Though I am eternally grateful that they kept going for as long as they did!

Anyway, do read the entire column, whether you know Eroica or not. It's pretty funny, and also shows a compelling argument for why one should always read the two first volumes of Eroica before making a judgement

Then, if I know you IRL, feel free to come over and borrow the manga off me. Am always glad to pimp this series out to folk ^^
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Life: It continues to be busy!

The story of SaiunkokuBut I at least had the time to read The Story of Saiunkoku on the train home. It's a manga I have looked forward to read properly ever since someone posted a few pages to scans_daily years ago.

The art style is polished fantasy shoujo, similar in design to the (good) works of Yuu Watase and You Higuri. It's pretty similar to Watase's Fushigi Yuugi in other ways too, starting with the obvious Chinese influence. Stir in plenty of court intrigue and possibly prophecies or something from the mysterious past and a go-get-'em female lead, and the surface starts to look very similar.
But! There are many differences too, because Saiunkoku takes place entirely in one world. There's been no magic in the first volume and, so far, only one of the pretty men in the manga has become obviously infatuated with the main character. Who is also btw admired because she's smart and driven, yay.

I like shoujo manga, especially the historical and fantasy kind (high school romances tend to bore me) but I will freely admit that there is a problem with the female main characters. In short, they tend to do little but have to be rescued after a while. Sometimes for really stupid reasons too.

It's way too early to say how Saiunkoku will develop in that fashion, but at least Shurei isn't supposed to run around and fight people (so she shouldn't be able to fail at it). Instead, she's supposed to teach the reluctant young emperor how to actually be an emperor - a task she has accepted because it means she gets The Moniez, and this is very important to Shurei.

Shurei, the main character, reminds me a great deal of Tohru from Fruits Basket, except she's way sharper when it comes to handling her money. They do seem to share the same kindness, however, and they're both very likeable; both for characters in the story and reader (well, me at least).
This is great, because far too often (in all kinds of genres), one finds a person everyone loves, from good old Mary Sue over to generic harem-manga leading man, for no reason whatsoever.

Here, we're presented with a noble but impoverished young girl, who is both book-smart and knows the pains of the world. She's still got a positive outlook on life, but it's not all roses and cheer - and yes, I like her. Maybe she's a bit too good, but heck, she's the HEROINE, she's allowed to. And the author still makes me think that if I met her in real life, she's someone I could easily come to like.

There appears to be much more intrigue, palace schemes and whatnot brewing in this manga than in your typical shoujo story. I hope it keeps up and develops those threads even further, because there's the potential of a really, really good story here.

So far, I like it a lot ^_^ Since I also bought the very last volume of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, this series came at just the right moment. Might even give the anime a try if the manga keeps my interest...

By the way, Saiunkoku is another anime where it's fun to play "Spot the voice actor!"
Seiyuu-geek out )
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Day 2 - Favorite anime you’ve watched so far

Oh dear, that's a tough one... Hmmm. I really like the Nausicaä manga, but the anime is too short to do it properly justice. Utena is a strong contender too. My current favorite fannish series is Hetalia, but I'm not going to claim that it's the best thing evah omg!!1 because it's not. Also, manga tops anime in this case too. Maison Ikkoku is an anime series that I also remember as very well-done, but it's been so long since I saw it and I only ever finished the manga, so I guess it doesn't fit on any top list. I can think of a few other titles off the top of my head, but none that really feels like a sure winner - possibly Monoke Hime, but even that didn't quite catch me as Utena.

So let's go with Revolutionary Girl Utena, the most psyched-out, queer, wonderful, epic and kick-ass school girl/fairytale/fantasy deconstruction-anime in the world. Oh, it also has the most amazing soundtrack ever aaaaand - it'll be re-released in a remastered DVD box soon! Already out in Japan, coming to a anime store near you with subtitles sometime not too far off (I hope)

Zettai Unmei Mokushiroku.
dancing_moon: [APH] Austria getting his hair teased (Stress)
This post is basically about my reactions for three anime things lately.

The first refers to the fact that Shojo Kakumei Utena is going to come out, remastered, on a US DVD box. I sincerely hope that this means an eventual UK release, because then I shall break my rule of not buying useless physical storage media that demands specific hardware to be viewed* and splurge on it.

Everyone should give Utena a chance. Anime fans, feminists, fandom fans, people who love storylines, people who have prejudices towards anime, those interested in film (for realz, the anime is a brilliant example of limited animation techniques used really well), fans of psychidelica and swordfightin and roses and Freudianism and awesome music. Basically, everyone should see Utena. Then they may go out and hate it (how???) but damn, give it a chance. It's a classic. It's p-r-e-t-t-y. It's slashable (male and fem both) like whoa, and that not counting the canon couples.

Alternate names for Utena are Revolutionary Utena or La Filetté Revolutionnaire, so hey, francophiles are another target audience.

The "oh hope" refers to the fact that Toei has started optioning out the rights for the Sailor Moon anime again. And, I mean, hot damn if Sailor Moon doesn't hit all my nostalgia buttons. The manga is gorgeous and good - I have a review in Swedish here. Also so damn out of print, I'm happy that I own it in both English and German.

Anyway, the anime is less gorgeous, lots of examples of not-so-well used limited animation and general budget restraints, but it's also got good music & girl superheroes who fight for love, justice and friendship.

I would totally shell out some serious money for a DVD box. Unfortunately, I'm not quite as serious as the japanese (un-subbed) reprint boxes demand: Between 7000 to 10 000 yen = 580 to 830 SEK (remove a zero to get euro prices) for each box set, plus freight and most likely 25% swedish VAT. Especially there's two box sets pro season and five seasons.... Naaaah.

But hey, it's apparantly on TV in Italy and Albania already, so hopefully it will show up in a slightly cheaper DVD set soon. With, uhm, subtitles in a language I understand kthnx

The fail & blahrgness refers to the Hetalia dub, which is 1) changed and more localized, and apparantly manages to be more offensive than the original and 2) just a bloody dub, so why care?

Of course a US company screwed up the dub. They tend to do that, to a greater or lesser degree and the more they change things, the higher the probability for complete fail.
(to be fair, Swedish dubs are also crap. And don't get me started on the anime subtitles, oh lulz the fail)

The moment I heard that they'd dub Hetalia with accents I knew it would get bad, not just "meh".
It's not like the nations actually all speak English or Japanese (there's even a joke about that in the manga) soooo why would they have accents?
What we do get in the original manga is an accent on China, which is pretty fail in its own way. In the manga there's a whole bunch of regional dialects which are all part of the characterization. These aren't accents - these are, for the most part, tropes in anime and japanese television. Various English accents would have worked much better to convey the same feeling

Then there is of course the parts of the US fandom acting as if the English dub is as important and canon as the original. Um, 'kay, this might work if it's an exact translation and if they do some kind of effort to find similar voices to the original (which they rarely do).

Otherwise? Who gives a damn. There's a japanese Harry Potter dub out there somewhere, it doesn't affect the original movies in any way. Neither does a potential, oh I dunno, Swedish or France or Russian dub of Hetalia. It's a translation, sometimes a localized adaption. And in my not at all humble opinion, localization generally sucks - it sucks if it's done in books, it sucks if it's done in movies and it definitely doesn't suck less just because it's done in anime.

So, please, watch the sub unless that sucks too. Then just stick to the fansubs

* as opposed to, um, books. Which only demand that I keep my eyes

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May 2012

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