April152014
Teppei Fukushima returns to print in Miracle Jump’s June issue, with the new title Amaryllis, and Jesus look how pretty that it. So effin’ pretty.
For those who don’t know, Teppei Fukushima is Jump’s best kept secret, a phenomenal talent with only one middling-to-successful serialisation to their name, Samurai Usagi. In the time since, they’ve published a pile of tidy one-shots that I rate up their with the very best, and a small story for Jumps mobile app Jump LIVE.
This return to doing something a bit more substantial is super welcome, and will get me to at least try that issue of Miracle Jump when it comes out.

Teppei Fukushima returns to print in Miracle Jump’s June issue, with the new title Amaryllis, and Jesus look how pretty that it. So effin’ pretty.

For those who don’t know, Teppei Fukushima is Jump’s best kept secret, a phenomenal talent with only one middling-to-successful serialisation to their name, Samurai Usagi. In the time since, they’ve published a pile of tidy one-shots that I rate up their with the very best, and a small story for Jumps mobile app Jump LIVE.

This return to doing something a bit more substantial is super welcome, and will get me to at least try that issue of Miracle Jump when it comes out.

April142014
Slightly Custom 30 Days of Manga Day FourA character you feel you are most like (or wish you were): Manabu Yukimitsu (Eyeshield 21)
Anything less would be egotistical. Yukimitsu is a weak, fragile, untalented player for the Deimon Devil Bats, the star team of Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata’s Eyeshield 21. He’s almost entirely terrible, statistically speaking, and the clear weak link of the team.
Despite all this, Yukimitsu gets by through sheer will, and that makes him valuable in his own right. As long as he kept trying, he could accomplish something, even if it was just becoming a black sheep reserve player. And in the end he pulled off something spectacular in one of the most important games of the series.
I don’t know if I’d say I’m most like him (outside of my self-deprecating sense of a lack of talent or skill), but I almost definitely wish I were more like him. There’s something brilliant in the characterisation of Yukimitsu, that unstoppable want to do more and be more in the face of endless faiure to actually be good enough, that unending will to just… Continue… I’d love to be that strong a person.
…. I’m glad to not have his characteristic receding hairline though. That I can do without.
 

Slightly Custom 30 Days of Manga Day Four
A character you feel you are most like (or wish you were): Manabu Yukimitsu (Eyeshield 21)

  • Anything less would be egotistical. Yukimitsu is a weak, fragile, untalented player for the Deimon Devil Bats, the star team of Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata’s Eyeshield 21. He’s almost entirely terrible, statistically speaking, and the clear weak link of the team.
  • Despite all this, Yukimitsu gets by through sheer will, and that makes him valuable in his own right. As long as he kept trying, he could accomplish something, even if it was just becoming a black sheep reserve player. And in the end he pulled off something spectacular in one of the most important games of the series.
  • I don’t know if I’d say I’m most like him (outside of my self-deprecating sense of a lack of talent or skill), but I almost definitely wish I were more like him. There’s something brilliant in the characterisation of Yukimitsu, that unstoppable want to do more and be more in the face of endless faiure to actually be good enough, that unending will to just… Continue… I’d love to be that strong a person.
  • …. I’m glad to not have his characteristic receding hairline though. That I can do without.

 

April132014
Slightly Custom 30 Days of Manga Day ThreeMy Favourite Creator: Masanori Morita
Choosing a favourite creator for this was like the hardest thing. It’s like picking your favourite anything, in that you are a fluid human being whose opinions are affected by time, changes in taste, changes in the thing itself, so on and so forth. So I reserve all rights to totally backtrack from this choice if Morita turns out to be a huge arsehole or something.
That said, Masanori Morita is currently, at this moment in time, one of my favourite creators. His work, particularly on ROOKIES and Beshari Gurashi, has been some of the most interesting to read, and eye-blisteringly beautiful to look at over my entire decade spent reading comics. There’s something to his style, his use of weird, pouty expressions, his carefully crafted delinquents and high levels of detail that just means I can stare at his work for hours on end.
His character work’s great as well, even as far back as Good-for-nothing BLUES (Rokudenashi BLUES to some), which considering that title was basically about a really stupid thug is really saying something, but in Morita’s typical approach to characters, especially his delinquents, he’s able to show that everyone, no matter how one-note they may seem, have several layers to their personality that makes you care deeply about them.
ROOKIES is best for this. It’s an ensemble book, with the majority of perspective coming from an outider, the new baseball coach and teacher Koichi Kawato. So what we get is a look at what appears to be a team full of abrasive arseholes, as it would appear to an outsider, but as time passes and Koichi gets close to his team, and helps them with various problems, he learns that all of them are special, full of personality, and far more than their reputation would dictate. It’s something hard to pull off, but Morita does this with aplomb, and few other creators can claim to do the same.
If you’ve not read any Morita before, I recommend ROOKIES above all, but his other Jump titles are excellent in their own right, BLUES showing a rougher, fresher creator, and Beshari Gurashi showing a more mature Morita, telling immature jokes. No, for real it’s a drama about stand-up comedy, and a lot of the jokes are brilliantly immature. Some aren’t, but are funny all the same. I love it.

Slightly Custom 30 Days of Manga Day Three
My Favourite Creator: Masanori Morita

  • Choosing a favourite creator for this was like the hardest thing. It’s like picking your favourite anything, in that you are a fluid human being whose opinions are affected by time, changes in taste, changes in the thing itself, so on and so forth. So I reserve all rights to totally backtrack from this choice if Morita turns out to be a huge arsehole or something.
  • That said, Masanori Morita is currently, at this moment in time, one of my favourite creators. His work, particularly on ROOKIES and Beshari Gurashi, has been some of the most interesting to read, and eye-blisteringly beautiful to look at over my entire decade spent reading comics. There’s something to his style, his use of weird, pouty expressions, his carefully crafted delinquents and high levels of detail that just means I can stare at his work for hours on end.
  • His character work’s great as well, even as far back as Good-for-nothing BLUES (Rokudenashi BLUES to some), which considering that title was basically about a really stupid thug is really saying something, but in Morita’s typical approach to characters, especially his delinquents, he’s able to show that everyone, no matter how one-note they may seem, have several layers to their personality that makes you care deeply about them.
  • ROOKIES is best for this. It’s an ensemble book, with the majority of perspective coming from an outider, the new baseball coach and teacher Koichi Kawato. So what we get is a look at what appears to be a team full of abrasive arseholes, as it would appear to an outsider, but as time passes and Koichi gets close to his team, and helps them with various problems, he learns that all of them are special, full of personality, and far more than their reputation would dictate. It’s something hard to pull off, but Morita does this with aplomb, and few other creators can claim to do the same.
  • If you’ve not read any Morita before, I recommend ROOKIES above all, but his other Jump titles are excellent in their own right, BLUES showing a rougher, fresher creator, and Beshari Gurashi showing a more mature Morita, telling immature jokes. No, for real it’s a drama about stand-up comedy, and a lot of the jokes are brilliantly immature. Some aren’t, but are funny all the same. I love it.
April122014
Slightly Custom 30 Days of Manga Day Two:My Favourite Manga: Our Transformations (Fumiko Fumi)
As I’m sure anyone who knows me is aware at this point, I’m more than a little bit obsessed with gender and all its surrounding… things. I’m not the most articulate at talking about it, and heck knows I haven’t a clue what’s going on with my own one, but series like this, series this accomplished, are absolutely flawless in the way they approach the topic.
This is basically a title about three male-born characters who either dress or identify as women, each for their own unique reason, and that alone is enough to intrigue, providing three different approaches to the same fundamental action, and whilst they might lean towards weird drama a bit too often (one characters motivation for dressing up as a girl is, uh… Well, SPOILERS, it’s to dress up as his deceased sister, seemingly to placate the misery of his grieving mother. A bit over the top, but captivating all the same) they are almost certainly excellent, well-formed motivations for the sort of decent representation so rarely seen in comics.
That’s only the surface though. As the story has gone on into the latest couple of volumes it’s become clear that this trio may not be the only characters whose gender identities might be getting dealt with over the title, and that’s EXCELLENT, more than anything because there is a slight need for different direction than just mtf, no matter how uh relevant that particular type of identity confusion may be to me.
Our Transformations is bloody gorgeous, as well. Even in its darkest moments (and holy crap this gets dark) this comic is sheer joy to gaze at. It’s so well laid-out, and presented with such clarity and beauty that it boggles the mind. And again, on more than a few occasions you can’t help but see the influences of legends like Tezuka (particularly his more psychological works) on the book’s art.
It is the best. Super important, too. But it being the best, being my favourite even, is what matter here.

Slightly Custom 30 Days of Manga Day Two:
My Favourite Manga: Our Transformations (Fumiko Fumi)

  • As I’m sure anyone who knows me is aware at this point, I’m more than a little bit obsessed with gender and all its surrounding… things. I’m not the most articulate at talking about it, and heck knows I haven’t a clue what’s going on with my own one, but series like this, series this accomplished, are absolutely flawless in the way they approach the topic.
  • This is basically a title about three male-born characters who either dress or identify as women, each for their own unique reason, and that alone is enough to intrigue, providing three different approaches to the same fundamental action, and whilst they might lean towards weird drama a bit too often (one characters motivation for dressing up as a girl is, uh… Well, SPOILERS, it’s to dress up as his deceased sister, seemingly to placate the misery of his grieving mother. A bit over the top, but captivating all the same) they are almost certainly excellent, well-formed motivations for the sort of decent representation so rarely seen in comics.
  • That’s only the surface though. As the story has gone on into the latest couple of volumes it’s become clear that this trio may not be the only characters whose gender identities might be getting dealt with over the title, and that’s EXCELLENT, more than anything because there is a slight need for different direction than just mtf, no matter how uh relevant that particular type of identity confusion may be to me.
  • Our Transformations is bloody gorgeous, as well. Even in its darkest moments (and holy crap this gets dark) this comic is sheer joy to gaze at. It’s so well laid-out, and presented with such clarity and beauty that it boggles the mind. And again, on more than a few occasions you can’t help but see the influences of legends like Tezuka (particularly his more psychological works) on the book’s art.
  • It is the best. Super important, too. But it being the best, being my favourite even, is what matter here.
April112014

Anonymous asked: In that "Slightly Custom 30 Days of Manga Day One" you did you said "Takei successfully managed to have at least three core characters lose their virginity off-panel", I understand that you meant Anna and Yoh but who is the third character? I MUST KNOW, how would I miss such a thing ugh? I've read Shaman King so many times :(

The other character was Horohoro! He has his own special little side-story in volume 11 where he meets the park ranger, Bluebell. That story basically wraps up with her holding him and it cutting to him meeting up with the gang again where he totally mirrors the scene following Yoh and Anna’s night together back in volume 9 (though of course for Horohoro it’s too obvious a change in personality to be all relaxed and pretending to be mature, so Ren beats him up, but still).

It’s thin, to be sure, but the parallel  between the two moments has always left me believing it’s the case.

(I should really provide pictures, but I stay away from scans and my own collection is in an attic a couple miles away. Which makes my recall of all this a bit terrifying)

9PM
Slightly Custom 30 Days of Manga Day One:My First Manga - Shaman King
Let’s time travel back in time… ooh… 9 years and like 11 months, to my 14th birthday to be exact. I had only recently learned that a cartoon I adored existed as a comic with this funky-ass cover (albeit all Viz Media’d up, natch), and a part of me clicked. I LOVED READING. I LOVED THE SHOW. IT WAS THE PERFECT COMBINATION.
Of course I quickly learned that the comic was actually where the show came from, which doubled my excitement, and so I had convinced my family to get me the first three volumes of said comic before a trip away that happened to start on my birthday. So. Shaman King. Hiroyuki Takei. My 14th birthday. The beginning of everything.
For those who don’t know, Shaman King was a spiritual (hah) successor to Takei’s previous comic, Butsu Zone, a short little failure no-one really cared about. Butsu Zone, not Shaman King. Shaman King was a cult hit, and went on for bloody ever before it was done in by a lack of interest, and possibly quality.
It’s all about people using ghosts as weapons to fight in a tournament to see who gets to be God for the next 500 years, and it’s a bit of a silly bollocks affair, but so much of everything this comic did just blew me away. I mean for one thing I had to read it backwards?! What nonsense was that? Of course now that’s the *main* way I read my comics, but I digress. It was a pretty, raw thing with a bit of a rough, punky feeling to it’s ridiculous ghost fights (at least at first), and a rounded, flexible style that I later learnt owed a huge debt to Osamu Tezuka.
As I got older I’ve seen some of the smarter, subtler things in it, particularly as to how Takei successfully managed to have at least three core characters lose their virginity off-panel, but I’ll always be wrapped up in the unsubtle doofyness that pulled me in in the first place. (Side-note: Horohoro was totally my favourite character. Snowboards are cool)
Yeah, I loved it. I was at the age where all my, uh… my difficulties… were beginning to make daily life torture for me, and already horrible decisions were cropping up in my life. I was a miserable, complicated, anxious little shit, and if it weren’t for this particular comic entering my life then I wouldn’t have ever got to be anything else.
Comics, particularly in the manga volume format, were perfectly formed parts of a story that pulled you in to read the next volume, and that curiosity, that want to know where a story was going? That became the crutch I leaned on every damn day of my young life, to keep me from doing anything I’d regret.
So Shaman King. A good, dumb comic with good things about it, but that started the hobby that has saved my life a hundred times over. That’s nice.

Slightly Custom 30 Days of Manga Day One:
My First Manga - Shaman King

  • Let’s time travel back in time… ooh… 9 years and like 11 months, to my 14th birthday to be exact. I had only recently learned that a cartoon I adored existed as a comic with this funky-ass cover (albeit all Viz Media’d up, natch), and a part of me clicked. I LOVED READING. I LOVED THE SHOW. IT WAS THE PERFECT COMBINATION.
  • Of course I quickly learned that the comic was actually where the show came from, which doubled my excitement, and so I had convinced my family to get me the first three volumes of said comic before a trip away that happened to start on my birthday. So. Shaman King. Hiroyuki Takei. My 14th birthday. The beginning of everything.
  • For those who don’t know, Shaman King was a spiritual (hah) successor to Takei’s previous comic, Butsu Zone, a short little failure no-one really cared about. Butsu Zone, not Shaman King. Shaman King was a cult hit, and went on for bloody ever before it was done in by a lack of interest, and possibly quality.
  • It’s all about people using ghosts as weapons to fight in a tournament to see who gets to be God for the next 500 years, and it’s a bit of a silly bollocks affair, but so much of everything this comic did just blew me away. I mean for one thing I had to read it backwards?! What nonsense was that? Of course now that’s the *main* way I read my comics, but I digress. It was a pretty, raw thing with a bit of a rough, punky feeling to it’s ridiculous ghost fights (at least at first), and a rounded, flexible style that I later learnt owed a huge debt to Osamu Tezuka.
  • As I got older I’ve seen some of the smarter, subtler things in it, particularly as to how Takei successfully managed to have at least three core characters lose their virginity off-panel, but I’ll always be wrapped up in the unsubtle doofyness that pulled me in in the first place. (Side-note: Horohoro was totally my favourite character. Snowboards are cool)
  • Yeah, I loved it. I was at the age where all my, uh… my difficulties… were beginning to make daily life torture for me, and already horrible decisions were cropping up in my life. I was a miserable, complicated, anxious little shit, and if it weren’t for this particular comic entering my life then I wouldn’t have ever got to be anything else.
  • Comics, particularly in the manga volume format, were perfectly formed parts of a story that pulled you in to read the next volume, and that curiosity, that want to know where a story was going? That became the crutch I leaned on every damn day of my young life, to keep me from doing anything I’d regret.
  • So Shaman King. A good, dumb comic with good things about it, but that started the hobby that has saved my life a hundred times over. That’s nice.
March282014
Hey look, it’s the full cover to Hanakaku -last girl standing-, the thoroughly excellent new series by Matsui Katsunori.
I know I’ve posted a lower res version of the front cover to this before, but I figured I’d post it again in full now I’ve got my own actual copy to hand.
For real, this is an excellent comic, and I can’t wait for volume 2 in… late september?! GOD DAMN IT!

Hey look, it’s the full cover to Hanakaku -last girl standing-, the thoroughly excellent new series by Matsui Katsunori.

I know I’ve posted a lower res version of the front cover to this before, but I figured I’d post it again in full now I’ve got my own actual copy to hand.

For real, this is an excellent comic, and I can’t wait for volume 2 in… late september?! GOD DAMN IT!

February162014
To tide you over until tomorrow’s delayed FEV episode, here’s the banner for NEXT WEEK’S EPISODE, which is totally a thing.
The thing is Yukinori Kawaguchi’s Hoop Men. That is the thing that is the next episode of Friendship! Effort! Victory! after the Medaka Box one. It’s gonna be a good’un.

To tide you over until tomorrow’s delayed FEV episode, here’s the banner for NEXT WEEK’S EPISODE, which is totally a thing.

The thing is Yukinori Kawaguchi’s Hoop Men. That is the thing that is the next episode of Friendship! Effort! Victory! after the Medaka Box one. It’s gonna be a good’un.

9PM

Ahahahaa I’m terrible

Deadlines are for *other* people.

9PM
Next week brings the much-anticipated release of Matsui Katsunori/KIYU’s latest comic in tankobon format. It’s Hanakaku -the last girl standing-, and it is MAD PRETTY. Expect endless posts about this once my own copy arrives in my hands in the coming weeks.
I mean c’mon, just look at that cover.

Next week brings the much-anticipated release of Matsui Katsunori/KIYU’s latest comic in tankobon format. It’s Hanakaku -the last girl standing-, and it is MAD PRETTY. Expect endless posts about this once my own copy arrives in my hands in the coming weeks.

I mean c’mon, just look at that cover.

← Older entries Page 1 of 37