Archive for the 'manga' Category

Head-riding cuteblobs

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Hanamaru Youchien reminds us about the visual trope of head-riding, where a cute blob rides someone’s head. By necessity, for the gag to click, the blob has to be no larger than 2 heads. Which is perhaps why ostensible “children” in the Hanamaru are so small. Funnily, I do not hear whailing about Hanamaru‘s art like the one the big heads of Manabi produced!

The head-riding can be found in managa too. Here’s Chihaya being ridden by her own puchi in Puchi-ma(ster):

I think in anime Potemayo brought the blob to the forefront, and Hanamaru followed upon that, but surely the tradition should originate further back than that.

Azumanga Supplement

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

The 10th Anniversary Supplement was out for a while, but I somehow forgot to check it out until today. So…


The first thing that strikes when seeing the new Azumanga is how much Yotsuba influenced its style, especially around faces and in the beginning. But the effect lessens along the way and the manga returns to its roots. It really is amazing, because it’s as if Azuma-sensei rediscovers himself in front of your very eyes. Even the storytelling for each strip gets stronger towards the end.

Lord of the Universe

The supplement creates new canon, there can be no two opinions about it. Extensions were extremely mild so far, although we may be certain they broke some fanfics somewhere in the long tail. But I wonder if Azuma-sensei ever considered making drastic changes, just to prank fans? Sadly, he stopped short of giving Kagura a given name.

The Solomon’s Solution

That said, the Creator of Azumanga is somewhat amenable to tackling issues that fans were asking about; explaining, if not changing anything. Perhaps answering the same question in every interview on the topic was getting old.

And Most Importantly



Sunday, April 11th, 2010

I just do not understand how something like can come into existence (NSFW). I thought it was agreed that .su TLD were to shut down 10 years ago, and the allocation of new subdomains definitely wasn’t open. And yet, here it is, a new domain created in January of 2008.

I went to check, and it’s still up, possibly still running on the SPARCstation that I installed back in 1995. “Last updated March 26, 1998”. What a facepalm.

Those ABe iPad videos

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

I dismissed the videos when they rolled around the ‘sphere as yet another silly iPad astroturfing gimmick, but something in BigN’s post made me look. Forturously he linked some other video, not the one everyone else links, with the pink background.

I find it not a small bit creepy. It’s disturbing to see ABe starting with the eyes. His mastercraft is absolutely mesmerizing though. I saw artists at conventions doing the same thing… and initially it’s hard to tell if it’s any different: same face outline… same eyes… But at one point the style starts seeping in, then cascading in and suddenly you know that this young lady is no Yoshitoshi ABe and no Azuma Kiyohiko. Not even Fred Gallaher. And that your $10 bought you a rather poor commission. And then you do it again.

Anyhow, he is good. I am really surprised that the media switch produced no change to his style. And he adapted to the whatever iPad application in a stunning degree, using his fingers (and nails) to mix effects in on the fly. This is obviously a problem, and I can just see him getting sucked into a vendor lock-in with this. On the other hand, if he transitioned once… So maybe it is not all that bad.

UPDATE 2010/05/11: more.

Badger on Aoi Kana

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Wow, what a blast from the past. Martin got around to My Lovely Ghost Kana, which was profiled at Ani-nouto back when “manga” category did not exist and Extrange was hanging out at #animeblogger every day.

DM on Ishihara ordinance

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

I have already twittered the article, but the matter may be consequential, ergo reblog. I tuned out people who were worked up, so DM’s theatrise is timely. Executive summary:

Contrary to what certain easily-excitable individuals [link: Sankaku] may proclaim, this is not a ban and this is not the end of the anime. But it will certainly pose a huge problem to the industry.

Make sure to read the update at the bottom, where he has to backtrack to “all in all, this issue seems to be worthy of protest and improvement but it is nowhere close to an end-game scenario for the industry []”.

DM goes on quite a ways about the issues in already-existing 18+ industry. This makes me think that I need to explore the field. My previous investigations demonstrated that whatever was lauded for stories (from Aoi Kana to Honeymoon Salad) was blatant pr0n nonetheless, with stories tacked on as a fig leaf. But with Tokyo government working to squeeze some of the content, it ought to overflow into the 18+ area despite the commercial disadvantage DM was talking about. Maybe I can find it.

Also, LOL:

It appears that the law is not as far-reaching as suggested by initial reports. Since homosexuality is perfectly legal in Japan, this means that yuri and yaoi are safe for now.


Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

A chance comment at Chizumatic reminded me that I did not have the Azumanga Daioh 10th Anniversary Supplement, so I ordered it. Amazon also suggested something called “Yotsuba Stajio“, so I ordered that too.

Yotsuba Stajio turned out to have about as much with Yotsuba as Azumanga Recycle did with Azumanga. It actually is a collection of classic Azumanga doujishi, including those I saw at wakachan/azu many years ago. Now I know their authors (or at least their nicknames, anyway). Very nice.

It’s amazing how quickly stuff gets delivered these days. The comment was made only 4 days ago.

UPDATE: Doujin artists include big names. I recognized it when I saw Barasui. I knew that Barasui once included a visit of Chiyo-chichi into Ichigo Mashimaro, but this is a full issue of Azumanga characters.

Idolm@ster Break

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Although I essentially quit watching anime after failing to surmount Railgun, and meeting other circumstances, I am staying in touch with my inner otaku. The outcome is that I started reading manga. I never understood, appreciated, or plain liked the big sister art. However, it has one great advantage: a bookmark in the book. I can squeeze reading into fragments of the day where anime would not be possible. As an aside, I realize that I could experiment with portable media. In fact, the first thing I did with my new AV8OR was to upload fansubs to it… But it’s just not clicking, somehow.

So, we’re having another journey of discovery here. First of all, I went through the Idolm@ster Break v.3, that I bought because it came with an IM@S CD that I wanted. It provides an interesting glimpse into what we can expect from the upcoming Idolm@ster The Anime. I did not doubt that it were possible to come up with a story. This issue, however, is that not having a well-developed story was probably helpful for Binchou-tan and Strike Witches. The games, however, do have a setting already, and we the anime is supposed to be faithful to it. Can it be interesting, or are we getting another Puffy Ami Yumi?

The Break tackles the problem in a very straightforward way. The v.3 opens with Miki defecting from Namco Pro (spelled “765”) to Kuroi Pro (spelled “961”). The Producer, who is a very young man, and a grandson of Namco’s president, starts doubting himself. Pictured is Iori, apparently a childhood friend, giving him some osananajimi encouragement, while Haruka et al. are peeking. From there on we have the problem of management of idols, which looks quite similar to what SDB marked as a “samurai story” of Hanaukyou Maid Tai. The rivalry between Kuroi and Namco provides the conflict.

The setup is serviceable, IMHO. It only needs to be executed properly, and then resolved better than, say, Zero no Tsukaima‘s story was.

Azumanga Stajio

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

The Azumanga Stajio turned out to be a collection of doujishi. I surprised myself by recognizing the hand of quite a few artists in it. The only problem is: no furigana, which hampers me significantly.

I knew about Barasui‘s interest in Azumanga since the visit of Chiyo-chichi to the pages of Ichigo Mashimaro. But apparently he went quite some ways beyond that. Very nice and clean, yet elaborated style, compact humour.

I did not know who Ume Aoki was, but I recognized the wide faces right away. Big N should love this.

My personal favourite is the segment by Rokurou Shinofusa, whoever that might be. It is the only segment that does not feature Azumanga characters, but uses his original ones, and yet takes on all of our beloved stereotypes. Also, there is a complete story, merely divided into 4-frame parcels.

Random on Mozuya-san

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Although I pretty much know, if not love, every animeblogger worth knowing, I know of no mangabloggers (I only know that Zepy dabbed due to his newsblogger nature). So, when I wanted to know what else Rokurou Shinofusa has done, I had to resort to web search, and behold:

EDIT: Well, I just finished volume 3 [of Mozuya-san] and I almost cried. It’s officially transitioned from comedy to drama in this volume. They reveal an entire backstory for poor little Koto and her foster parents. Man, being afraid to love sucks.

Oh, snap. The scans at Zepy were so pretty, albeit without furigana.