Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Posts Tagged ‘ manga ’

Review: DOGS (manga)

December 3, 2008 Review 1 Comment

Finally, finally wrote my review for DOGS.

It was kind of interesting that while I was writing it, I realized that it really isn’t as amazing or unique as I sometimes like to think it is. Honestly, I think I fell in love with the artwork more than anything else, but forcing myself to write what I think about the other aspects of the book was pretty enlightening. Funny how that works, huh?

I was thinking about also writing a review for the DOGS side story, Hardcore Twins, but I’m not sure if it’d be worth it. I mean, it’s like a 20-page comic introducing two characters that appear later in Bullets and Carnage… would someone really read a review for something like that when it’d likely take less time to just read the comic? Then again, I guess the same could be said for SEED Supernova, which I reviewed out of sheer boredom. Ho hum.

I’m Proud of You, Viz

November 17, 2008 News 2 Comments

edit, follow-up: Crunchyroll just never stops, does it??

I really don’t have time to elaborate right now (lol, class in three hours, what?), but I just wanted to say that:

Viz, I’m so proud of you!


As Japanator says, this isn’t the first time it’s happened, but there’s never been anything of Naruto proportions, and now we’re going to have Naruto himself! I haven’t watched Naruto since around episode 114, so this doesn’t actually affect anything I do, but it’s still great news all around. I was already surprised that they got Code Geass R2 dubbed and ready to air just a month or so after it finished airing in Japan, but now I’m going to be counting the days until we get official subs a week or less aftering airing in Japan for new series. Sure, they’re new episodes of Naruto Shippudan, but Shippudan has been airing for a while now and they’ve got catch-up work to do. I want official subs for new season series’ episodes! I just almost feel it happening. I can imagine the press releases!

This is exciting.

Japanese Sound Effects

November 8, 2008 Editorial 3 Comments

So I was working on my final for Sequential Art. It wasn’t a sudden realization or anything — I’ve thought about this a few times before — but it occurred to me again that the Japanese have the most ridiculous sound effects ever. Seriously, they have sound effects for pretty much everything, including things and actions and events that… don’t make any sounds. This is a far, far cry from sound effects in American comics (and perhaps European comics? I really have no idea since I don’t read any) where half the sound effects are just the verb they’re trying to describe, like “scratch scratch” or “stomp stomp.” As such, I’ve found it to be very, very frustrating trying to incorporate sound effects into my own comics because there just aren’t that many to choose from, and it kind of feels stupid using verbs as onomatopoeias when they obviously aren’t.

Of course, there are some American artists that will use Japanese katakana sound effects in their pages even though the comic is in English and reads left-to-right. Off the top of my head, I know Christy Lijewski, a SCAD grad, and rem, a Houstonian, both do this (though sometimes rem draws right-to-left). The difference is that both of them legitimately know the language, and I don’t (yet?), so I guess I’d feel a little pretentious using katakana in my comics even though I could probably pull it off well enough.

So the question of the day becomes… why aren’t there more English sound effects? Why don’t we also have sounds for things like “shock,” “silence,” “rudeness,” “flailing,” or “a quick glance sideways”? Sure, it is kind of ridiculous to have sound effects for things that inherently have no sound, but it certainly is useful. One of my roommates hypothesized that Japanese theatre might have inspired some of their sound effects since it might not have always been apparent what was going on in nondescript genres like shadow and puppet theatre, so they could have utilized a wide range of informative sound effects to help things along? Honestly though, I know little of Japanese theatre and am really just grasping at straws here.

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Cease and Desist

August 20, 2008 Editorial Comments Off on Cease and Desist

It used to be that fansubbers would drop a project when it became licensed. They were happy to share and were content to stop when they knew that the titles they cared about were getting the attention they felt they deserved. But then the licenses started to come faster, and faster, and then at breakneck speeds, with companies snatching them up long before the series was even finished airing in Japan. In those circumstances, many groups would continue their releases anyway, though sites like AnimeSuki would respectfully stop linking them. When Toriyama’s World stopped subbing Death Note in the light of Viz’s licensing announcement, three other groups stepped up to take its place. Still, if a cease and desist order came, many sub groups would comply.

So what happens when the cease and desist order comes from a proxy company that doesn’t actually own the license, but apparently has entered an agreement to try and enforce cease and desist orders? So far, it looks like there most groups are still respectful and complying with FUNimation and its proxy fight for d-rights and Enoki Films. When international copyright law is so hard to enforce, and when the production of fansubs enable pirates both domestically and abroad, what the Japanese companies are doing, or trying to do, is perfectly logical. Logical, but is it going to work? While it may seem so for now, I’m still skeptical. After all, if Death Note prevailed, I don’t see why Katekyou Hitman Reborn! won’t.

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Okay. So we all know that digital distribution is the way to go for anime and that almost all companies are experimenting with various platforms, but digital manga…? I have mixed feelings about how well this will work out. Unlike anime, the format of reading a book doesn’t translate as neatly as the format of watching a show on a screen. Manga sales haven’t lagged as much as DVD sales partially because many people still prefer holding a physical book in their hands as opposed to reading on a computer screen (the other reason might be because they’re cheaper). It’s a strain on the eyes too, especially on computers with lower resolutions. This is the main argument against the idea of digitalized manga distribution, and I think it’s a very valid one.

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It’s Not a Death Note, is it?

August 10, 2008 Commentary Comments Off on It’s Not a Death Note, is it?

Why so serious? It’s not a Death Note, is it?!
For some reason, even though it was announced a few days ago, it completely slipped my mind that Ohba and Obata’s new project was coming out very, very soon. And by very, very soon I mean the first chapter started leaking across the Internets starting Friday while I was busy watching the Olympic opening ceremonies in high def. But last night, I finally sat down and read through it, and holy shit.

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I totally had a different entry planned (it is sitting half-finished in another window, haha, but I guess I’ll finish it tomorrow), but then I read that DOGS finally, finally got licensed! I don’t think there’s ever been another title I’ve been as excited to see get snatched though I’m not too sure why this is, lol… maybe because nothing else I read is so randomly underground and unknown. But really, I’m still surprised it took so long! DOGS’s first volume is standalone and has been out since 2001!

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Yay, I finished writing my obnoxiously long (as usual) review for the Death Note manga. Now I can follow it up with a review of the anime, which I recently finished. Here’s a preview: I didn’t like it.

Hoping to finish some of my half-written entries tomorrow also, but we’ll see. I’m planning bumming around the city with my friend Cat on Friday. We’ll probably be hitting Kinokuniya, Midtown Comics (on 7th Ave), and the Nintendo Store, among other places. Maybe I’ll get something for myself.

You know, I’ve never quite understood the hubbub about global/OEL manga and the subsequent praise of, rejection of, and indignation at those terms.

Personally, I’ve never really considered “manga” to be much more than the Japanese term for comics. Because of the general public consensus that “manga” is narrowed to mean only comics of Japanese origin though, I usually won’t call comics of other origins by the term. But I’ll still use “comics” to refer to manga as no one seems to disagree that it carries a broader definition. No one says that “comic” can only refer to American or English-language sequential art. Yes, there are differences in Japanese and overseas comics, but in modern times, I don’t think that these differences are divisive enough to be rousing such heated debates. After all, within both Japan and the United States, styles vary greatly between artists and titles. Batman has been drawn a hundred different ways and has never looked anything like Jughead. Major Motoko Kusanagi, thankfully, looks nothing like Astro Boy.

Definitions are a funny thing, especially since they aren’t nearly as concrete as most people would like (including myself). In grade school, we read the book Frindle. I still own my copy of it at home, and I still think it addresses an interesting topic. After all, what is anyone to do when the population that uses the word doesn’t agree with itself about what it means? This seems to happen a lot within the anime/manga community because of the high number of originally Japanese terms that we’ve come to adopt (“otaku” and “yaoi” are two other controversial terms that immediately come to mind).

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Riding Out the Apocalypse

June 25, 2008 Editorial Comments Off on Riding Out the Apocalypse

All the buzz around TOKYOPOP recently really saddens me. I’ve always been a fan of the company and would tend to agree with its claim that it was indeed “leading the manga revolution.” More than anything else, I think all of the apocalyptic news lately can be blamed on our floundering economy. Yes, DVD sales are down across the board — both in Japan and Stateside. Yes, Bandai Visual is gone. Geneon USA is gone. Yes, manga sales are also down and an over saturated market wasn’t helping it. Yes, tons of companies are downsizing and their employees facing waves of layoffs. But if you think that none of this is happening to hundreds of other companies across corporate America, then you need to pull your ignorant weeaboo head out of the hole for a while and watch the news.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t factors contributing to these issues from within the anime and manga industries, but with gas averaging more than $4/gal, there are people desperate enough to border hop to Mexico, despite prevailant gang violence, so they can save a few hundred dollars — it shouldn’t be surprising that sales of these entertainment items are falling. Parents are paying double what they used to every month for gas; most likely, their kids’ allowances are shrinking as a result. College students are also struggling with higher gas prices, and that part-time job is getting harder and harder to find. Even though our general age group might like to think we’re still a little isolated from the “real world,” this just isn’t the case anymore.

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