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Shugo Chara! Volume 11

July 12, 2011

Shugo Chara! volume 11
Published by: Kodansha Comics
from the publisher: As graduation approaches, Amu’s guardians, Ran, Miki, and Su disappear. Led by Diamond, Amu takes a journey on the road of stars to find her missing guardians. Will Amu find her guardians or will she find more then she could have expected?
my ramblings:
As much as I’ve whined and complained about the past two volumes of this series, volume 11 is much more well done. There were still a few minor errors, like in one place Amu says something about her pants, while she’s clearly wearing a skirt (though again, minor) and then there was one panel with text bubble that were reversed (in this case it was not entirely clear what was going on, so it wasn’t a major detraction, but still slightly annoying). One thing that did make me sad, but isn’t an error is that the title is no longer “puffy” on the front cover. I really am not sure how to explain it in words, but the earlier covers had the title slightly elevated and puffed out from the main cover.

The adaptation flowed well and other than the above errors I don’t think I noticed anything horrendously wrong with the editing. There was also an extremely useful note on “Benten Kozo,” which was extremely helpful, as I wouldn’t have understood the running gag at all (though it was still humorous). I really liked that the translation notes weren’t just some silly unnecessary note, as they seem to often be. It gives me much more hope for future volume from Kodansha.

The story itself kind of drags here, as I know it will in the following volume as well. I still enjoyed it, and it certainly had it’s moments, but this volume seems just like an almost unnecessary follow-up to the ending that we got in volume 10. It’s fun seeing how some of the character relations play out (and as Peach-Pit says in one of their notes in this volume, that’s what volume 12 will be as well), but it still feels not quite needed and the road of stars is way too gimmicky.


The Demon Ororon: The Complete Collection

July 6, 2011

The Demon Ororon: The Complete Collection
Hakase Mizuki
Published by: Tokyopop
from the publisher: Relive the ill-fated romance between a devil with a bounty on his head and the Archangel Michael’s orphaned daughter–collected here in one complete volume. Chiaki is the orphaned daughter of a human woman and the Archangel Michael. Ororon is a demon with a bounty on his head. Sworn enemies, their lives change forever when their hatred is transformed into love–for one another. Bound together by passion but torn apart by the world around them, their love becomes a struggle for survival as the battle between demons and the angelic order rages around them.
my ramblings:
  This series is strange. Not bad, but definitely strange. The art for one takes some getting used to. It’s lanky; somewhat like CLAMP’s Tsubasa or Clover, but also very different. At first I didn’t really like the art, and at some times it honestly makes it hard to understand what’s going on, but by the end of the series, I found myself at the very least not disliking it.

The story is also kind of odd. The main character is the daughter of the archangel Michael and a human, and God is suggested to be not the original creator, but another child of an angel and human. It’s a very strange use of Christianity (honestly one of the oddest Christian imagery that I’ve ever seen used in a manga or anime).

One of the only things I can think of to compare this to that I’ve read would be CLAMP’s Clover. It’s extremely different, but storytelling-wise it’s somewhat similar, with plenty of textless panels and seemingly lyrical or poetic exposition. This is not going to be to most people’s liking, as was the case with Clover, but it’s not awful and not quite so overused as in Clover.

I hate to stomp on graves, but it’s a little sad that Tokyopop didn’t bother to go back and edit this before slapping it into an omnibus collection to sell more copies. There are obvious differences in spellings of places and names between the different volumes (which are separated in the collection). It’s made even more obvious when you have the whole series right in front of you, as opposed to maybe having read the previous volume a few months prior.

Overall, I would suggest this title if you can find it cheap. I got my copy for around $9 on eBay, it retailed for $19.99, though the individual volumes were $9.99 each, so anything less than that is a good deal at this point, since all Tokyopop titles are now offically out of print. If you don’t get this title you’re not missing much, but if you get the chance to read it, I think it’s worth it. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for Mizuki’s other translated works (Baku, Asian Beat, and the incomplete Demon Flowers).


Sidenote: Hey! It’s been a while, I know… I’m not really saying that I’m back now, I just really felt the urge to write a review of this series while I was reading it and thus I actually managed to post something. Hopefully I’ll be more in the review writing mood, but who knows. I don’t go back to school until the first week of September, but I’ll be researching and writing my Independent Study from then to December on top of my other classes, so I probably won’t have much time. Hopefully my IS isn’t as stressful and I’m making it out to be… :]

General Update

May 8, 2011

Hi guys! Again, I’m still here, I just have completely failed at blogging lately (I never did do BEDA…). I would say that I’d get back to blogging right now because I have Spring Term right now (aka, I have class from 9-noon every day and then have nothing to do), but I’m leaving for China on Tuesday (and landing there on my birthday!! :D ), so it’ll have to wait until after I get back on the 27th. Hope you’re all doing well and I can’t wait to get back to blogging this summer!!

Tokyopop Is Essentially Dead

April 15, 2011

News broke this afternoon that Tokyopop will stop work in North America on May 31. Honestly, I can’t say I’ll miss it too much. I’m pretty obviously biased towards Viz Media and their Shojo Beat line (and others like some of the bigger shonen properties that I don’t often talk about but do follow). I do miss that Tokyopop was once the head of the “manga revolution” as they called it. And I will most certainly miss the ending volumes of Alice in the County of Hearts, Happy Cafe, and Demon Sacred, which were currently the only Tokyopop titles still being published that I was following (other than Fruits Basket Ultimate, which I know I can just get the regular editions of now).

This probably sounds like I’m saying “good riddance,” which really is not the case at all. I really do appreciate that Tokyopop was one of the first publishers in the US to be able to hit a slightly more “mainstream” market (though I’m not sure I’d call manga completely mainstream, though certainly a lot of more people know what it is now). I really do have mixed feelings on the subject. I can’t find it easy to completely mourn a company that hasn’t produced much I’ve liked in recent years, simply because that gives me less attachment, but I really have to give them props for originally bringing Sailor Moon to the US, which was definitely the first manga I read and bought (though Viz’s Alice 19th was what really got me into manga).

I especially also mourn the loss of the Tokyopop light novel imprint. They hadn’t done much lately, with the exception of a few .hack// novels and the most recent Full Metal Panic! omnibus, but a good majority of the light novels I own are from Tokyopop and I definitely love them for that.

The one saving grace in the news is that Tokyopop has said that, “TOKYOPOP will announce the future of specific titles and other releases in the coming weeks.” Hopefully we’ll be able to get the last volume of Alice in the Country of Hearts in July and they’ll let their other licenses out for other publishers to pick up (though chances are certainly slim for many of them), and Tokyopop can rest in peace.

Sailor Moon Is Back~

March 18, 2011

ANN just announced that Kodansha USA just released a press release that they’re going to be releasing Sailor Moon!! They’re also going to be publishing the never-before-in-English Codename Sailor V! I’m super stoked (in case you couldn’t tell, haha)! I was literally looking at my incomplete collection of Sailor Moon volumes from Tokyopop, when I get a tweet on my phone about Kodansha USA licensing the series, along with the prequel! (Have you ever seen so many exclamation points in one post before?!) The ANN article makes me think that the release will be the pretty new shinsoban editions (as it says there will be 14 volumes as opposed to 18 and Sailor V will be 2 as opposed to the original 3 volumes), which is definitely alright with me, as the covers are gorgeous (at left).

Also, hey guys, I’m not dead! Just totally swamped with school and a lack of funds which means I have to prioritize some other things over manga currently. :[ I’m working on a review of Arina Tanemura’s Mistress Fortune (one of the few manga I’ve purchased recently), and I’m going to try to do BEDA again, but I’m not sure how well it’s going to work out this year.

Finally, I’m sure by now you’ve all heard about the devastating earthquake and tsunami that recently happened in Japan. If you’re at all able, PLEASE donate to an organization like the Red Cross (I only suggest them because they’re one of the most reputable and they’re definitely in Japan); they’re accepting donations through their website and they go directly to Japan to help (and even if your money ends up somewhere else, it will be helping someone in need, and that’s always a good thing!).

2011 Preview Part 3: Oneshots

December 28, 2010

Part 3 of the 2011 manga preview is oneshot volumes. I personally love oneshots for the simple fact that they’re a tiny investment. It’s one volume and you’re done. Plus I’m a bit biased towards this list in particular because Mistress Fortune by Arina Tanemura is one of my most-looked-forward-to titles for early next year. It’s dorky and adorable and Arina in-jokes abound. Like I said, I love oneshots.

Hopefully I’ll fail less at getting all the known oneshots coming out in 2011, but as always, definitely let me know if I’m missing something!!  And as always, enjoy~

Read more…

2011 Preview Part 2: Omnibus Volumes

December 25, 2010

I decided to do a separate post this year for all the omnibus volumes, since there are some really interesting ones coming in the next year, and some notable continuing series being re-issued in omnibus format. As always, in order by release date, and if there are two with the same date, then they are alphabetical. All titles behind the cut. Enjoy~

EDIT: Updated with Blood Alone and Gunslinger Girl, both Seven Seas titles. Thanks to Adam and utilsabound for the tips!

EDIT 2: Updated with The Betrayal Knows My Name, Higurashi When They Cry: Demon Exposing Arc, Sasameke, and Dragon Girl, all from Yen Press. Thanks to Abriel for the tip! (I really need to check all the publishers next time, though I did have some of these for the next post, I just didn’t realize some of them were going to be omnibus format.) Abriel also mentioned Goong, which Yen has switched over to an omnibus format, but I have decided to do a manwha post as well, so it will be listed there instead of in this list.

EDIT 3: Added Inukami and Hayate Blade from Seven Seas. Double checked the site and these are the only other omnibus volumes from them. Thanks to Loreli for reminding me.

EDIT 4: Added Negima from Kodansha and Venus Versus Virus volume 2 from Seven Seas (not listed on their site, but listed on Amazon). Thanks to sylphalchemist!

Read more…