Archives for the month of: August, 2013

I read False Memories Ikasama Memori いかさまメモリby NATSUME Isaku 夏目イサク better known for her series Tight Rope タイトロープ.

I was rather disappointed by this manga as there is nothing special about it and it’s totally mundane.  When I think of some of the better BL series out there not getting published in the US and something so unimaginative and common is published I am truly disappointed.

This is a slice of life, comedy (not that funny), drama, romance with a mascot (toy named Aladin-kun) – if that’s the sort of thing that you like.

In Japan it’s published in Dear+, which has a few very decent, and some rather common & nothing to write home about works.

For the US, it’s a bit unusual as it involves salary men (toy making), which is rare to see published here, but since they were high school friends, etc. there is still a school life element (small) to it in flashbacks.

If you’ve read a lot of BL this probably won’t interest you much, if you’re new to BL and only read what is out in the US in English, this may be a new twist on it for you.  As usual, the lack of fan art says a lot!


This is a guest post by Justin of Organization Anti-Social Geniuses.

Manga

So I decided it was time to clear the air of a few…misconceptions from Tierra. Now, I should probably point out that I would welcome a number of manga to be published in the US, because there are stories out there I’d love to have in print and stories I may not know about but would love to read out in Japan, and they’re just dying to be on my shelf. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of things I wish could happen, but they can’t happen because of business and cultural differences. So let me go take apart Tierra’s article and clarify some things.

Read the rest of this entry »


Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden (spot the rabbit if you can)

Kubota Garden (spot the rabbit if you can)

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden


Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Amor at Kubota Garden

Amor at Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden


Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Amor and I went to Kubota Garden earlier this summer:

http://www.kubotagarden.org/

Kubota Gardens were started by Fujitaro Kuboata in 1927 on 5 acres of swamp land in the Rainier Valley in Seattle.  He did all the clearing by hand and dug out the ponds himself.  The Japanese gardens were completed in 1930, including the Heart Bridge.The mountainside was completed in 1962 and the Moon Bridge built in the 1970s. In 1999 there was the addition of the Tom Kubota Stroll Garden.

Mr. Kubota was born in Kochi Prefecture, Shikoku Island, Japan in 1879 and died in Seattle in 1973 at the age of 94.  He emigrated to The US in 1907.   Tom later died in 2004 at the age of 87. 

Sadly, the family was detained during World War II in an internment camp.

The Japanese Government awarded the 5th Class Order of the Sacred Treasure to Mr. Kubota in 1972 and in 1981 the core 4.5 acres of the garden was made a Seattle Historical Landmark.  The Gardens were acquired in 1987 from the Kubota family.

There are many footpaths in the Gardens, and many areas to see. 

There are also rumors of the gardens being haunted and some urban legends that are probably not true.

There are signs warning of break-ins to parked vehicles – so make sure you don’t leave anything of value in your vehicle or take light rail from downtown Seattle.

The address is:  9817 55th Ave. S., Seattle, WA and the phone number is 206-684-4584.

Due to my disabilities we didn’t get to see the full garden.  Loads of wildlife – try to spot them in some pictures!

Here are some of the photos and there will be more in other posts.

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden

 


I recently read Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster as so many manga seem to be based on this novel (especially BL – one example is Successful Man Dekiru Otoko デキる男 by FUYUNO Jinko ふゆの仁子 & EBIHARA Yuri 海老原由里 ), and there have been many motion pictures made of it (even silents) that thought I should see what the original was like.

First you should know that I doubt, if it wasn’t a classic, it wouldn’t get published now.  It’s too transparent who Daddy Long Legs is (and why does this supposed intelligent woman not figure this out early, even after being repeatedly beaten over the head with the clues) and the writing quality is rather poor; although for historic reasons is acceptable reading.  Also, this was published over 100 years ago, before women had rights and the vote; so although very mild by today’s standards is a woman’s rights book.  The ending is abrupt and incongruent.

There is also a sequel: Dear Enemy.

This book is a book of letters to, as we all probably know, Daddy Long Legs, who gives an orphaned woman a college educations (not without motive).  I barely remember the Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron movie (1955) and can’t even remember if they use the same names as in the novel and don’t think it follows the novel very closely (normal for Hollywood to only use a few names or situations – or sometimes only the title and the movie doesn’t resemble the novel at all).  In the manga titles I’ve seen over the years they, of course, don’t use the same characters, especially in BL and since they all take place in Japan.

Although written before either world war, seems uncannily to note in one place a war between Japan and US.

This should be a slim volume (I read on a kindle – so don’t know the exact number of pages) and can be read in a few hours (I’m a slow reader).

There are very poor illustrations in the book – really, not worth having them in it.

Anyway, looking for the original source of a manga you’ve read and want to see what it’s all about – then you may want to read this.  Otherwise, if not for that or historical reasons, can’t recommend this book.


I must say that I’m getting very unhappy with much of the manga that is being published in the US in English.  It seems to be, except for a few seinen titles (usually at Ikki (VIZ) or one of the smaller publishers), either battle or romance (and bad romance at that), in mostly school life stories, is all that’s being published (with a small exception, recently, of beginner’s science manga for children).

You can’t find any josei out there, except for BL, most of which is so boring and forgetful,  However, at least SubLime (VIZ) is picking up some of the classics and better titles with real story to them. None the less, it’s still romance and no other genres of josei than BL.  Women aren’t second class citizens who only think about romance!

Almost all the shojo, with few exceptions (there may be some romance but there is great story and contains other genres), is (bad and formulaic) romance, with occasional battle mixed in, just as most of the shonen is battle (even something like the refreshing Bakuman バクマン。 by OHBA Tsugumi 大場つぐみ and OBATA Takeshi 小畑健 is still a friendly non-fighting battle manga in the competitions (battle) between the managaka’s in the story).

In shojo in the past, mostly shonen-ai, there were adventure (non-battle or very limited battle) series, etc.; however, not seen any of those in several years.  There were also mystery in both shonen and shojo in the past and some other genres – historic, science fiction, comedies, thrillers, slice of life, supernatural, etc.  You may on occasion find a smattering of these in a battle or romance manga, but not done well and not the main genre.

This is a sad state of affairs when you can only find mostly stories in two genres in the US in English if you’re reading manga.  This is NOT the case in Japan.  And with such limited genres it’s no wonder that the stuff out there is getting to be non-remarkable and forgetful and just not worth reading (it’s almost not worth picking up any Shojo Beat (VIZ) anymore from the unexceptional stories (except for 2-3) they’re picking up, poorer translations than VIZ‘s other series, and longer release times – too long – they’re treating female readers as second class citizens).

I can’t think anyone would be happy with such a limited reading diet; just as in life, you wouldn’t want a limited diet when it comes to food.


asexual flag

asexual flag

I wonder what Kodansha Comics is going to do with Missions of Love Watashi ni xx Shinasai! わたしに××しなさい! by TOOYAMA Ema 遠山えま  when it gets to a certain chapter in the comics that basically treats the asexual minority as a disease (much as homosexuality was in the past).  The insensitivity is something that will not pass in the US, at least, in the sexual minority community.  They should be ready to take immediate action to defuse the issue when they get to volume 10 or 11 where it will probably appear.

Asexuals are the smallest and least recognized sexual minority; however, there are many famous asexuals (some mistakenly labeled as gay) and the list includes: T.E. Lawrence (A.K.A. T. E. Shaw A.K.A. Lawrence of Arabia); (possibly) Nikola Tesla ; (possibly) Isaac Newton; Janeane Garofalo; Emilie Autumn; Bradford Cox; Tim Gunn; possibly J.M. Barrie; (possibly) Paul Erdős; (possibly) Alan Rickman; (possibly) Cathy Roberts; (possibly) Emily Autumn’ (possibly) Emily Bronte; (possibly) Florence Nightengale; (possibly) Jorge Luis Borges; (possibly) Salvador Dali; (possibly) H.P. Lovecraft; (possibly) Maurice Ravel; (possibly) Morrissey; David Jay; Shula Asher Silberstein; and many, many more extremely famous people.

Asexual Awareness Week is October 20-26, 2013!

Their own symbol (actually seen more than just this one): 220px-Ace-logo4.svg

Here are some websites/articles on understanding asexual people:

http://www.asexuality.org/home/

http://www.wikihow.com/Understand-Asexual-People

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/17/asexuality-the-x-in-a-sexual-world_n_3444417.html?1371476630

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/without-prejudice/201209/prejudice-against-group-x-asexuals

http://www.asexualexplorations.net/home/

http://asexualawarenessweek.com/index.html#

http://www.asexuality.org/wiki/index.php?title=Asexual_history

http://cakeyeahasexuals.tumblr.com/

http://avenpt.tumblr.com/

Sexual minorities have rights and don’t want to be mislabeled and misunderstood.  Stop the discrimination by labeling sexual minorities as diseased persons.

Kodansha may be looking at boycotts or other protests if this problem isn’t solved.

Feel free to protest:  info@kodansha-usa.com.


Word is out that the following will soon be published in the US in English:

Husband and Honeymoon Danna-sama to Mitsugetsuchuu                     旦那様と蜜月中~とろとろハニー編~ by MINAMI Haruka みなみ遥 (SubLime (VIZ))

Love Pistols (Sex Pistols) 寿たらこ by KOTOBUKI Tarako 寿たらこ (SubLime (VIZ))

Don’t forget to do a purchase request for your favorite library if you think these are good enough to buy (I know nothing about the first series) so others can learn about the series and purchase them if they enjoy it.  

 


Thank you for Hemea the use of your fan art: Does the flower bloom ? http://www.deviantart.com/art/Does-the-flower-bloom-367185457 http://hemea.deviantart.com/

Thank you for Hemea the use of your fan art: Does the flower bloom ?
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Does-the-flower-bloom-367185457
http://hemea.deviantart.com/

Thank you Nazgullow for the use of your fan art: The Tyrant Falls in Love http://www.deviantart.com/art/The-Tyrant-Falls-in-Love-196659377 http://nazgullow.deviantart.com/

Thank you Nazgullow for the use of your fan art: The Tyrant Falls in Love
http://www.deviantart.com/art/The-Tyrant-Falls-in-Love-196659377
http://nazgullow.deviantart.com/

This is just my opinion:

I’m super furious with Digital Manga (Yaoi, June, 801), as the few decent series they put out they don’t publish enough copies to buy unless you get the day they’re released (maybe).  Then within weeks, if not days, you’re looking at skyrocketing prices for used copies.  For the most part they put out manga that’s not even worth a look at; however, they do have two series I like (one I like a lot) and can’t get copies even right after volumes come out and both could really use extra editions of the volumes in these series.

The series are:  The Tyrant Falls In Love Koisuru Boukun 恋する暴君 by TAKANAGA Hinako 高永ひなこ (Yaoi) and especially Hidden Flower Hana wa Saku ka  花は咲くか by Shoko Hidaka 日高ショーコ (June).

They probably don’t publish enough volumes when they get decent series, as for the most part, they publish junk that no one I know wants to read and they wouldn’t sell many copies of those; but then they get a good or a classic series and don’t finish and only publish fewer than needed copies so people can’t get their hands on all the volumes and give up on the series or they quit publishing the series as people are upset as they can’t get the volumes.  They also don’t release volumes at a fast enough pace, especially for those volumes out or finished series.  In the case of a classic already finished series: Borders   境界線 by KODAKA Kazuma こだか和麻(June) they never finished the series and there was so long a wait between volumes that you couldn’t buy the series at once as out of print with each volume.  (I prefer to buy a series, especially one that’s finished and not too long, all at once.)

Even the library, that has signed up for one of these series couldn’t get all the volumes – that’s bad, as I and others I know, often check out something before spending my cash on buying it – don’t want to waste my money and libraries are great source to learn about new things that may be of interest to you.

There are probably several other series that I’ve missed as they just, in general, don’t publish good quality stuff and not worth checking on them and when they do get a good series or a classic series seem to mess up totally on publishing it to upset the fans.

And, unless you love to get spammed, don’t bother emailing them about something, you won’t get an answer and you’ll continue to get spam, especially on Project H material that is more male oriented and would turn most fujoshi off in a flash!  The few BL volumes in the spams don’t seem worth paying attention.  Just another irritant by an irritating publisher.

Why is this company still publishing?  Why are good mangaka’s allowing them the rights to their works?!?!?!

Thank you for Hemea the use of your fan art: Does the flower bloom ?
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Does-the-flower-bloom-367185457
http://hemea.deviantart.com/

Thank you for Nazgullow the use of your fan art: The Tyrant Falls in Love
http://www.deviantart.com/art/The-Tyrant-Falls-in-Love-196659377
http://nazgullow.deviantart.com/


Thank you alexielart for the use of your fan art: Vampire knight: Caged http://www.deviantart.com/art/Vampire-knight-Caged-162723324 http://alexielart.deviantart.com/

Thank you alexielart for the use of your fan art: Vampire knight: Caged
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Vampire-knight-Caged-162723324
http://alexielart.deviantart.com/

Finally, after 5 years of waiting the 2 seasons of Vampire Knight ヴァンパイア騎士 anime (Vampire Knight and Vampire Knight Guilty) have been released.  There was no reason for the long wait.

For those of you that prefer English dubbed, the voice actors are, as usual with VIZ, better;  although, many of the voice actors you will know from even FUNimation, etc. (I never understand why FUNimation has the worst voice acting (is it the bad directing and the generic sounding voices?) and everyone sounds the same – a real plus to learning Japanese or at least listening to Japanese and using subtitles.)  However, I still prefer the Japanese voice actors.  Depending on my mood I may switch back and forth to check out the quality of the voices, etc.  I know many anime otaku that have learned some Japanese due to the poor quality, in general, of the American voice actors used routinely in anime and listen in Japanese.

Another thing I hate about VIZ anime is that many times they do not have credits in English.  Please add credits in English!

As you know, the manga series of  Vampire Knight ヴァンパイア騎士 by HINO Matsuri 樋野まつり recently finished in LaLa.  As usual with Shojo Beat (VIZ) the shojo manga releases in the US are way behind the Japanese releases by about 10 months!  There really is no reason to be making fans wait so long for this extremely popular manga.

I have to admit that I became very bored in the middle of the series (and  I do know the ending and don’t like it); however, was a big fan and the beginning few arcs and the ending arc are a good read – just wished it ended differently.

HINO Matsuri 樋野まつり really improved greatly during the series with her artwork and even her story telling and look forward to her next series.  I have read all of her series that have been translated into English in the US in the past and think she’s grown quite a bit as a mangaka.

VIZ/Shojo Beat – please get the manga and anime out in a more timely manner as you do for the Jump series.

Thank you alexielart for the use of your fan art: Vampire knight: Caged
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Vampire-knight-Caged-162723324
http://alexielart.deviantart.com/


Thank you animama for the use of your fan art: Petshop Date http://www.deviantart.com/art/Petshop-Date-207167500 http://animama.deviantart.com/

Thank you animama for the use of your fan art: Petshop Date
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Petshop-Date-207167500
http://animama.deviantart.com/

Thank you RekhytAnkh for the use of your fan art: "Sadness of Count D" http://www.deviantart.com/art/quot-Sadness-of-Count-D-quot-156613687 http://rekhytankh.deviantart.com/

Thank you RekhytAnkh for the use of your fan art: “Sadness of Count D”
http://www.deviantart.com/art/quot-Sadness-of-Count-D-quot-156613687
http://rekhytankh.deviantart.com/

Thank you Of-Blood-and-Glitter for the use of your fan art: Capturing An Elusive Beast http://www.deviantart.com/art/Capturing-An-Elusive-Beast-200811240 http://of-blood-and-glitter.deviantart.com/

Thank you Of-Blood-and-Glitter for the use of your fan art: Capturing An Elusive Beast
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Capturing-An-Elusive-Beast-200811240
http://of-blood-and-glitter.deviantart.com/

Whenever I talk with people who have been reading manga for a while, when we get to discussing favorite authors AKINO Matsuri 秋乃茉莉 always comes up in the list.  It doesn’t matter who it is, people with extremely different taste from me love her works as much as I do and she seems to be a unifying force when people have extremely different tastes in manga.

Her works are no longer available in the US in English (some of her shojo was published by Tokyo Pop).  And because she’s switched from mostly shojo to mostly josei, I doubt anyone would publish in the US, as no one wants to publish josei except for BL.

And although she can write romance; most of her work isn’t – a good example of what shojo and josei could be – fresh stories in other genres.

Her drawing styles maybe a bit old-fashioned for some; however, I have no problem with them (or anyone else I know), and I’m someone who usually can’t stand the older drawing styles.

I do wish that some US English language publisher would pick up her work.

Thank you animama for the use of your fan art: Petshop Date
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Petshop-Date-207167500
http://animama.deviantart.com/

Thank you RekhytAnkh for the use of your fan art: “Sadness of Count D”
http://www.deviantart.com/art/quot-Sadness-of-Count-D-quot-156613687
http://rekhytankh.deviantart.com/

Thank you Of-Blood-and-Glitter for the use of your fan art: Capturing An Elusive Beast
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Capturing-An-Elusive-Beast-200811240
http://of-blood-and-glitter.deviantart.com/


SubLime has once more released one of the better BL stories with the release of the first volume of  Sleeping Moon Nemureru Tsuki  眠れる月 by MIYAMOTO Kano 宮本佳野.  The second volume will be out in September; although, I wish they’d release it quicker than that as it’s only a 2 volume series.

This is a BL science fiction, mystery, supernatural, historical drama series with time travel and yokai.  There are references to 2 classic pieces (Tales of the Peony Lantern Botan Dōrō (Kaidan Botan Dōrō)      牡丹燈籠 (traditional Japanese ghost story) and Kudan no Haha            九段の母 by Sakyo Komatsu  小松 左京); however, if you’ve not read them they give you quick reference notes on the page so you shouldn’t have a problem.

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