NG Life

Jul. 9th, 2011 10:59 pm
silverthunder: (Lavi - Ooh... sparkly...)
I just finished reading a manga series called NG Life, which was actually very good! It's a shoujo series about a kind of dorky guy who remembers his past life when he was living in a little Italian city hanging around with his best friend and his wife and an assortment of other characters who show up as reincarnations later in the manga. Thing is, even though there are a few people around him who he recognizes as reincarnations of those he knows (I was particularly amused by his mother and father being his rival and younger sister from his past life), none of them remember anything. The most important two are his best friend, who has reincarnated as a girl with feelings for him (although he can't see past the "you used to be a dude" bit), and his wife, who is now a boy.

As you can imagine, many crazy hijinks occur.

The manga does a fairly good job of keeping the full story of what happened in the past (and why the main character is so stuck on it) under wraps and revealing pieces of it as the story goes on. I personally thought the relationship between the main character's past life and his best friend was very cute and would've liked to see them get together back then! Of course, that doesn't happen, but oh well, you can't have everything. The conclusion of the past life had me in tears at the end, and it almost felt like the rest of what happened afterwards was overpowered by it.

Still, the main romance was pretty sweet and the characters were all fairly likeable (except for one or two who got on my nerves a few times). I was hoping the manga would go more along the lines of gender not being a barrier to affection (either with the main character realizing he was okay with loving a boy or okay with loving someone who he had previously known as a boy), but even though it didn't, I still enjoyed it. It had a theme of not getting stuck on the past and learning to be who you are without trying to be someone else, which is always cool.

For the most part, I'd recommend it if you like shoujo romance and don't mind a lot of silliness mixed in. I'm going to go try and track down the Tokyopop translated version and add it to my manga collection!

In other reading-related news, I'm just about done with my Austen readings (making my way through a Watsons continuation now), and I'm thinking I'll move on to Georgette Heyer next. I've got a number of samples downloaded to my kindle, so I'll be giving them a go shortly. My expectations are high, so I hope they turn out to be good!
silverthunder: (Takumi and Akira - Play around)
So I've been reading more fantasy/romance ebooks - surprise, surprise. That's been my reading material of choice for quite a while now.

I read 'A Matter of Magic' by Patricia C. Wrede, which is two books combined: 'Mairelon the Magician' and 'Magician's Ward'. I like Wrede's writing style. She has a light but engaging way of describing things. Plus, she seems to have a knack for creating appealing characters (at least, in my opinion). Kim was a great heroine, cynical and cautious, and made a good foil for Mairelon, who had more of an "it'll work out somehow" attitude. I really felt for Hunch, though, between the two of them. The romance was okay - nothing spectacular - but that wasn't the focus of these books, as is usual for Wrede. Overall, this was a good read.

After that, I read 'The Wide-Awake Princess' by E.D. Baker. This one wasn't as good as 'A Matter of Magic', but it had its moments. I didn't feel like I got to know the characters beyond a surface level, and conflict felt like it resolved itself a little too easily. But the book was light-hearted and never seemed to aspire towards great depth, so I think it succeeded with what it set out to do. Again, the romance was kind of 'meh'; I didn't really feel the chemistry between the two. But oh well.

I downloaded some samples for books by Shannon Hale, but didn't feel like buying them afterwards. Something about the style just didn't grab me, I guess. Still looking for new authors, but I'll probably be giving Wrede's 'Thirteenth Child' a go if nothing comes up.

I also read a manga series called 'Power!!!' (I think this has been translated to 'Girl Got Game' in the NA release), which wasn't bad. It was a silly series with a lot of decent comedy scenes. Nothing too deep or meaningful, but generally a lot of fun to read. And the main characters didn't annoy me, which is unusual for most of the shoujo series I've read lately.
silverthunder: (Edward and Alphonse - Sleep sounds good)
I just noticed I haven't updated since Cody's birthday... wow. I've been slacking. Or busy. A lot of both, really. Mostly Christmas stuff. It snowed here, too, so there's been some time spent shoveling, and of course going out with friends.

The cat has been put on a diet, and seems to be adapting well (as well as can be expected, anyway). The vet recommended reduced intakes of protein and fat so that he can avoid coming down with diabetes. We're hoping it'll help him lose some weight. Because seriously? He's huge. Like a real life Garfield, except not orange. I wouldn't care since he seems happy enough, but I figure he'll end up with joint problems later in life, and that would suck.

In my spare time, I've been reading manga. In particular, I picked up some romance series. The ones I've finished so far are Lovely Complex and Special A.

Lovely Complex was actually a fairly decent shoujo manga series. Like most shoujo manga, it suffers from a certain degree of melodrama, love triangles, unnecessary complications, and - of course - the warm happy stuff (this is what I'm in it for). I wouldn't say it's particularly spectacular or unique (although the concept of taller-girl-shorter-boy isn't exactly a common premise), but it won points with me for having genuine compatibility between the two main characters. Many romances seem content to forget this business of common interests and the spending of time together and what happens during that time, what the two talk about in casual conversation, etc, etc. Lovely Complex had two characters who were very similar and who enjoyed spending time together as friends before romantic feelings were even a question. Granted (as is typical for shoujo manga), they hated each other at first, but the building of the friendship was nice to see as a lead-in to the romance.

Special A... I'd heard good things about this one before I read it, but I don't really know why. Not that it's bad or anything, but what exactly is special about this series? Plucky, clueless girl - check. Boy utterly devoted to her in secret - check. They don't get along - check. Odd side characters - check. Everyone paired off by the end - check (note that this is not exactly a bad thing in my opinion, but it is pretty common). Wacky hi-jicks that may or may not have relevance to the main plot (is there a main plot? It bounced around a lot) - check. Honestly, I... got a little bored before the end of this series. It became too predictable and I didn't feel like I got to know the characters well enough to care much about them. I finished it, but that was more because I was curious about what they'd do to end it than because I really wanted to spend more time reading it.

I'm currently reading Suzuka. It's... kinda meh so far. The constant fanservice is a bit of a turnoff and the main characters tend to irritate me. I may or may not stick it out to the end, but I want to give it a fair chance first.
silverthunder: (Lavi - Ooh... sparkly...)
Anyone who is interested in yaoi manga should really check out Little Butterfly. The way the mangaka develops the relationship between the two main characters is just amazing. It was refreshing to read a romance that doesn't rely on love triangles and people trying to break up the main couple in order to develop the relationship. The progression between the two of them is simple and honest, and it was overall a very good story about two people dealing with falling in love on top of the problems in their everyday lives.

It was also nice that although the one character had a lot of angst, the other had pretty much none. It made the drama much more palatable.

Note: if you decide to read it, be aware that there are a few "naughty" scenes as well - nothing out of the ordinary for a yaoi manga, though.
silverthunder: (Ty Lee - :))
This is the news I was looking for, in regards to the Ghost Hunt manga. Finally, some confirmation! The series will end (or has ended, if the manga was published on the 30th like they said it would be). I'll get to see in manga form what I've read in summaries of the books. Volume 12 is going to cover most of the interesting stuff, so I really, really hope that Del Rey brings it over quickly. I can't wait to read it!

It would be awesome if the rest of the series were animated after volume 12 is released, but I don't want to get my hopes too high on that one. I think the Ghost Hunt anime enjoyed a moderate popularity, but I'm not sure if it's enough to get us more episodes.
silverthunder: (Laccus - Shimmer)
I just read the very last chapter of Fullmetal Alchemist.

OMG. Seriously, just... omg. Wow.

That was AWESOME. It was - it was perfect.


I will never get over how awesome this series is. Never. It is incredible.
silverthunder: (Chester and Arche - Sexual tension)
So last week when Cody was on night shift and gone in the evening, I took the time to read a bunch of Wataru Yoshizumi's work (this is the mangaka responsible for Marmalade Boy and Ultra Maniac). A lot of her stuff follows her own traditional formula: the main couple suffer hardships but eventually end up together and happy in the end. Various other characters normally end up paired up happily or otherwise wrapped up in their own stories. I enjoyed them to varying degrees, but they weren't anything really special.

However, I'll talk about two of them.

Cappucino )

Spicy Pink )

I also read Datte Suki Nandamon, Kimishika Iranai, Mint na Bokura, Random Walk, Cherish and PxP, but don't really have much to say about them. They were cute and enjoyable for the most part. I'll probably read Handsome Girlfriend next - maybe even tonight. I think it's the only one left that I haven't read, besides Quartet Game which I can't find for viewing online.
silverthunder: (Luna - Looking to the future)
This is just a random thought... not sure if it would ever work...

I was looking at the Tales of Phantasia and Tales of the World manga that are new and in the process of being scanlated. A complete tankoban of each has already been released (found them on Amazon Japan), but only two chapters of each have been translated. This is because the only group translating them seems to be a little swamped. Obviously no other group seems to have an interest in either manga, which I think is a shame because I'd really like to see the whole story of ToP in manga form and the TotW manga is absolutely adorable. I'd buy the tankobans myself, but I can't read Japanese (beyond the very basics) so this would be pointless. I'd LOVE to buy English versions, but none such exist (and no Tales manga has ever been licensed).

I would be more than willing to buy the manga (or even subscribe to Tales of Magazine to get monthly chapters if I could figure out how), scan it myself, and provide scanlations, but I can't. My cleaning skills suck. I cannot translate Japanese to English. I might be able to talk Cody into cleaning the scans for me (he's done it before for a scanlation group), but he can barely read enough Japanese to understand what's going on and that's not enough for translations.

I have a website and adequate space to host these files, although it'd have to be recent chapters only. Sites like MangaFox and OneManga generally collect whole series for viewing and I'd keep the files on my computer so people could request them, though. I'd love to start something like this. I think it'd be a lot of fun, despite also being a lot of work.

So, here is my question: does anyone reading this know of anyone who could translate from Japanese to English and would be willing to take on this project?

I doubt I'm going to get anything because translators tend to be scarce, but hell, it's worth a try.
silverthunder: (Nina and Ayu - Forever friends)
Yesterday I finished reading Marmalade Boy, which I started the day before yesterday. It seems like lately that's what I've been doing when Cody's on night shift: reading manga. Last week I read Watashi no Messiah-sama, which was... odd. I read it on a recommendation, but I don't necessarily recommend it myself. This week it was Marmalade Boy.

Thoughts (spoilerish) )

Marmalade Boy was not a bad series. It never tried to be more than it was, so it succeeded in being a cute little shoujo romance and a fairly enjoyable read. Not bad at all.
silverthunder: (Ken - Um... sure...)
I was browsing around on some anime review sites today and I came across a commenter who quite rudely disagreed with a review of Kodomo no Omocha, and as much as said right out that shoujo series are crap. The reason shoujo series are crap? Because they don't get as big a budget as shounen series, and because shounen series are more popular. I'm not sure which is the cause and which is the effect in his argument, because he kept changing his position. Sometimes it was 'because shoujo series are crap, they don't get a big budget and aren't as popular with fans'. Other times it was 'shoujo series are crap because they don't get a big budget, and the fact that they aren't popular is proof that they suck'. Attempts to tell this guy that budget and popularity don't necessarily make a good anime series were ignored as the poor sucker kept turning his argument around and re-wording it as if hoping it'd somehow make sense if he did this often enough. He also said that because it took longer for shoujo series to be licensed, this also meant that they were crap.

I think we can extract something from this mess of an argument. Putting aside Kodomo no Omocha, let's look at shoujo series for a second. It's kind of true: a shoujo series, even if it's popular with its demographic, will often take a while to get licensed (if it ever does), while a popular shounen series will often get snatched up right away. I don't think this is necessarily a case of 'shounen = better than shoujo'. Shounen has as much crap as shoujo, and a series one person thinks is garbage might be another person's favorite. Deciding on a 'good' anime series is pretty subjective.

Personally, I think it's just what sells over here. Female fanbases may be increasing in size, but what appeals to female anime fans in Japan isn't necessarily what appeals to female anime fans here. A lot more of us are more interested in Fullmetal Alchemist or Naruto than Vampire Knight or Peach Girl. A popular shoujo series can still turn heads (look at Fruits Basket, for example), but the elements of shounen appeal to a wider range over here - and possibly over there as well. The willingness to cross this so-called 'gender barrier' (shounen vs shoujo) is one-sided. Girls do want to see kickass fights, badass characters and crude humor. However, not many guys want to see beautiful vampires and tense emotional dilemnas (and if they do, they are scared to death of admitting it). Quite often they won't even glance at a series twice if it's the slightest bit 'girly', even if it's a work of genius. It's "unmanly", or something. Hence why shounen tends to sell better. Not because Hunter X Hunter is a better anime series than Princess Tutu.

It's not. Trust me.


May. 12th, 2008 09:46 am
silverthunder: (Howard - My fandom is straight. Really.)
MANGA/ANIME/GAME Meme - ganked from [ profile] nighteevee
- talk about the title
- add one title

The Anime List )
silverthunder: (Ken - Um... sure...)
I just bought and read the Princess Tutu manga. I did this despite numerous bad reviews from fans of the anime series, basically because of a combination of my love of the story and the fact that I had read two *good* reviews written by people who made some decent arguments.

And, yeah - spoilery stuff for Princess Tutu )
silverthunder: (Duo - Heh)
I went on and got myself caught up on all the manga I'm collecting. That means volumes 11 and 12 of Hunter X Hunter, 11 and 12 of Tsubasa Chronicles, 3 and 4 of D.Gray-Man, and I almost went for volume 3 of +Anima, but decided to wait on that one. The local store will probably have it in at some point.

Free shipping, and because of my Christmas gift cards, this set is costing me less than $20. Woot.

And now, stuff mainly for my own reference in list form.

Series I am collecting in English manga form and how many volumes I have so far:

+Anima (volumes 1-3)
D.Gray-Man (volumes 1-5)
D.N.Angel (volumes 1-11)
Digimon (first three seasons - are they ever going to put season 4 in manga form?)
Fullmetal Alchemist (volumes 1-13)
Hikaru no Go (volumes 1-9)
Hunter X Hunter (volumes 1-14)
Tsubasa Chronicles (volumes 1-12)

On my Current Watching list for anime, and which episode I'm on:

Kanon (episode 3)
Last Exile (episode 4)
Ouran High School Host Club (episode 22)
Scrapped Princess (episode 4)

On my To Watch list for anime:

D.Gray-Man (8 episodes watched)
Honey and Clover (1 episode watched)
Kyou Kara Maou (30-something episodes watched)
Magical Canan (1 episode watched)
Tsubasa Chronicles (17 episodes watched)

I think that's all. For now.


Jul. 5th, 2006 10:40 am
silverthunder: (Duo - Heh)
Anyone want to rec me a good manga? Stuff with scanlations available is good, preferably finished but ongoing is okay too. I like slashable series, action, and sometimes the cute fluffy romance series. Ocassional angst is good, and here-and-there humor is a must.

Also if it's *really* super good, I don't mind recs that involve going out and buying the translated version. Heh.

So, any takers?
silverthunder: (Duo - Heh)
My comic got its first email yesterday, and it was to tell us that it's not funny but the art is decent.

Hell, *I* couldn't told you that. I don't like the current comics either.

Ah well. Anyway, she likes Jer's art, so that is cool. I'll have to remember to tell him that when I see him.

I think the end of reading break is what prompted me to suddenly start downloading and/or starting up a whole lot of stuff. It's like... I might have to try and get stuff done now - crap! Gotta find other things to keep busy with!

I'm downloading two new anime series - King of Bandit Jing, which I have never heard of and don't know anything about (I saw a box set at a store once and liked the picture) and Uninhabited Planet Survive, which [ profile] herongale recommended to me forever ago and which I've been meaning to get started on since then.

They're still downloading, so I have yet to watch anything of either of them. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow when I should be doing homework.

I also cracked and started reading a certain manga that various people on my Friends list are obsessed with. I figured at least the art would be good, since it was the artist who did Hikaru no Go. I've also been told by just about everyone who reads it that it's goddamn addicting, which I found to be ALL TOO TRUE.

Anyway, for those who don't know, it's called Death Note, and the main character is an arrogant little ass. I like his Shinigami pal, and I like his opponent, but I don't care much for him. I'm kind of hoping everything ends up blowing up in his face, really.

Random philosophy and thoughts )

I had to stop reading last night to go to bed and get enough sleep for school today, but I'll be going back to it now. I want to see what happens next.
silverthunder: (Default)
Okay, yeah. I got my Digimon 02 manga in the mail today, and was very happy. And here's my opinion on them.

Cut for those who don't like hearing me rant/rave/etc )
silverthunder: (Default)
Well, I finally got the fifth and final volume of the Digimon manga... for season one, anyway. Mwaha! And it's not bad... they managed to de-slashify the Tai and Matt fighting scenes... And the scene where Matt came back! They killed it! No slash! Grrrr... but for the most part, the storyline remains intact.

I have the whole first season now!

Memorable Moments )

On to season two!

(in December, when it's released)
silverthunder: (Default)
Well, I have my Digimon manga... some of it, anyway... The bookstore accidently sent me volume four instead of volume two... I already have four so I got them to order two for me again. I did get volumes one and three, though.


Okay, so here we go...

**Good things about the manga**

1. Less pointless chatter from the digimon
2. Lots of scenes with Izzy
3. Tai admitting he was glad to be holding Matt's hand
4. Mimi actually being cool since you don't have to hear her voice
5. NO Tai/Sora hints (unless you count him not letting her fall to her death)
6. Tai loves Izzy (no, I'm not going to get over it)
7. Extra or changed scenes that tended to be better that way
8. More accurate translations

**Bad things about the manga**

1. Rushed scenes, or ones that don't make any sense
2. Lots of cut material
3. NOT ENOUGH MATT!!!!!! (he had better be featured more in volume two and/or volume five)
4. Continued use of dubbed names (*cough*Kamiya*cough*)
5. Only Tai and Kari appear to have parents
6. No angsty issues (this could be why there is less material with Matt)
7. The Subzero Ice Punch scenario was only mentioned in passing
8. Extra or changed scenes that were better off as they were

I've decided, after reading this manga, that there is no way Tai could possibly be straight. Hmm... Well... He admittedly loves Izzy (platonic, my ass) and was grateful to be holding Matt's hand. But he gave Mimi a thumbs up and he didn't let Sora die, so he must love *them*.

I'm so glad I'm not a het fan. This is much more fun.

Manga Quotes )

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