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~生まれた町で夢見てきた...~
"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Idiocy by the plateful in Tokyopop Takuhai... 
4th-Aug-2005 08:55 am
Golden
Good God, who do they think they're fooling with their little "Spicier Than Kimchi: Fresh Hot Manga From Korea"? Allow me to quote the final paragraph:

Why have these Korean series thrived? Without the kind of constraints a manga-ka might encounter in the Japanese industry, a lot of Korean work is pushing the boundaries of art and narrative to create absolutely incredible comics.

Don't make me laugh. The Korean manhwa industry is every bit as regulated as the Japanese one; after all, guess what it's modeled on!? Artists don't do stories in Korea that editors have not already approved. Not to mention that Korea is much more strict when it comes to violent and sexual content.

Even worse: In "The Straight Guy for Shonen-ai," they are calling Legal Drug by CLAMP, Fake by Matoh Sanami, Gravitation by Murakami Maki, and Hands Off! by Katsumoto Kasane "shonen-ai manga." It's great to live in a fantasy world of one's own creation, isn't it?

This free magazine is a good idea, so why do they have to ruin it by writing factually inaccurate articles???



Anyway, a small pile of Tokyopop books last night to wash away the unpleasant taste of Tokyopop Takuhai:

Gravitation Vol.12 by Murakami Maki
Final volume, and Bad Luck's singles release competition with Nittle Grasper comes to a head. Who was behind all of these crazy machinations? Why, Ryuuichi, of course, who is grooming Shuuichi, in his own decidedly demented way, to take his place! Yep, that's the final punchline of Gravitation, and while it is a convincing one, the rocky stops and starts of the manga, when it's clear Murakami doesn't know where she wants to go with the story, makes the ending less powerful than it oculd have been. Methinks she got the idea from watching the anime? *winces* Of course, the humor doesn't stop, and I almost died of laughter when Shuuichi broke out his final "song." Oh, err, that final epilogue with K about the series being over is a Tokyopop invention; Murakami has come back to her classic with new chapters just recently!

Lament of the Lamb Vol.7 by Toume Kei
Yet another final volume, and lemme tell ya I was lovin' it lovin' it lovin' it until the very end. So Kazuna's year with Chizuna was wiped from his memory!? Is that it!? I hate those "it was only (like) a dream" endings, and I see them way too much in fantasy-tinged stories. I would much rather have seen Kazuna legitimately overcome the Takashiro curse; perhaps and epilogue of him dying of ripe old age surrounded by descendants also free of the curse would have been a pleasure. Still, the beauty of the primary metaphor, of a lamb in wolf's clothing with wolf's teeth, cannot be overstated. Toume has something great her going, in a manga of quiet dignity so different typical of BIRZ Comics but so different from the Shounen Jump dreck that has been innundating our shores lately. Highest recommendation!

Snow Drop Vol.10 by Choe Gyeong-a (Choi Kyung-ah)
The double Romeo & Juliet plot is coming to a head, with So-na at least renouncing her love to Hae-gi and marrying Hwi-rim in order to protect Ko-mo, who was near-fatally attacked by goons working for her and Ha-da's family. At last, we get to see our boys together in bed (though strangely they never seem to shed their clothes--Korean censorship at work), and while Ha-da confesses true love, Ko-mo's still out for revenge. I'd really, really like to see them live happily ever after, even more than the protagonist and her man clutch, if only because you really do get a sense of how forbidden this kind of stuff is in Korea. (Not to mention the conflict between the families.) Only two more volumes to go in this epic sunjeong manhwa series that represents one of the best of its genre to make it over to the US.



Next up for today: The first DVD volume of Tenjho Tenge!!!! I kid not.
Comments 
4th-Aug-2005 01:26 pm (UTC)
You know, stuff like that make me happy that Tokyopop germany isn't such a sucker then THEY are ^^* (Gravitation was Translated by "Carlsen" which is our "laugh your arse of" publisher... it gets all the hots from boys between 6 and 14 (cause they bring stuff like YuGiOh, dragonBall, Naruto, Black Cat and what else) but suck horribly with knowledge...
4th-Aug-2005 01:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, I think that Tokyopop in the US knows exactly what it's doing when it promulgates false knowledge. I just don't like the *fact* that they're doing it!

That's an adorable icon, by the way! ^__^
4th-Aug-2005 01:51 pm (UTC)
a lot of Korean work is pushing the boundaries of art and narrative to create absolutely incredible comics.

Creative marketing, convince them that they'll be getting something super hot and sexy, and they'll buy tons before they realize they've been conned >_<

*sighs*

Dreamland has Tramps Like Us 1 on backorder >_< Apparently other people like it too...

It's great to live in a fantasy world of one's own creation, isn't it?

*listens to the singing flowers and gazes wistfully at the purple clouds*

Yes. Yes it is..

^_~
4th-Aug-2005 01:53 pm (UTC)
Creative marketing, convince them that they'll be getting something super hot and sexy, and they'll buy tons before they realize they've been conned

Which makes the whole thing even more ironic, because most of the titles they were of course promoting have received widespread readership scorn. Trying to pull in the suckers, that's what they're doing.

Dreamland has Tramps Like Us 1 on backorder >_< Apparently other people like it too...

You could always *coughs* "borrow" it from a bookstore. ^_~
4th-Aug-2005 02:05 pm (UTC)
Trying to pull in the suckers, that's what they're doing.

Well, suckers have money too! For a little while anyway >_<

You could always *coughs* "borrow" it from a bookstore

But you know, there's a certain enjoyment from ordering stuff that you just don't get when you go somewhere and buy or read.. Hitting that Submit Order button, and then the seemingly endless days waiting for your package full of whatever to show up... It temporarily puts some purpose in your life....

*sighs*
4th-Aug-2005 01:54 pm (UTC)
I question just how *accurate* Tokyopop's Gravi translation is (all those Western pop-culture references and characters swearing like sailors), but I found it a very enjoyable read nonetheless. I noted the similarity in themes between the anime and manga endings -- Shuichi helps Yuki come to terms with the first Yuki's death, Riyuichi chooses Shuichi as his successor and does something to kick his butt into action -- but I figured that Murikami had given the animators a rough concept of where her manga was ultimately headed, and they used it.

I wouldn't mind seeing the song competition arc animated as an OVA (the humming scene would be drop-dead hilarious), though I'd prefer it if they left out Reiji. She just got on my nerves the whole time, and I think that was Murikami's intention -- Reiji was supposed to be a parody of yaoi fangirls' opinions of female characters (she's a bitch, she gets in the way of true gay love, etc.)
4th-Aug-2005 01:56 pm (UTC)
I question just how *accurate* Tokyopop's Gravi translation is

Not very - but I bought it anyway.
4th-Aug-2005 02:00 pm (UTC)
I question just how *accurate* Tokyopop's Gravi translation is (all those Western pop-culture references and characters swearing like sailors), but I found it a very enjoyable read nonetheless.

I wish I had my Japanese copies available unpacked so I could compare, but what I scenes I do remember near-verbatim were translated faithfully, so...I'd like to suppose that all the important stuff is there. :P

Still, I have to hand it to the translator and adaptor. The English version was so entertaining to read, and they really made it relevant to American culture *now*--and that to me is more important than absolute idea-for-idea faithfulness in a commercial translation of this sort.

I figured that Murikami had given the animators a rough concept of where her manga was ultimately headed, and they used it.

I'd like to think that, but I have trouble believing it, considering how little imput mangaka get to make into animated versions of their work.
4th-Aug-2005 01:55 pm (UTC)
Next up for today: The first DVD volume of Tenjho Tenge!!!! I kid not.

*winces* I'm sorry...

I'm glad, though, that I'm not the only one who hated Takuhai - never has a promotional anything killed my interest so completely in so many different series. Although the sample pages of MBQ were mildly amusing.

The bit about the Bizenghast creator and cosplayers annoyed me as well - what incredible nerve! It's tempting to cosplay one of her characters badly just to piss her off...Maybe I'm just feeling confrontational today. ^_^
4th-Aug-2005 02:02 pm (UTC)
*winces* I'm sorry...

So am I. Have you seen it?

The bit about the Bizenghast creator and cosplayers annoyed me as well - what incredible nerve! It's tempting to cosplay one of her characters badly just to piss her off...Maybe I'm just feeling confrontational today. ^_^

Wasn't the cosplay section for Princess Ai, not Bizenghast? (Not that that was any less shamefully promotional, but still...)

I would've been a lot more impressed if their articles had been actually factually correct. *bitter*
4th-Aug-2005 06:25 pm (UTC)
I do wonder what they'll say about Loveless when it gets its own turn in the magazine.
"Hot shota bondage!" is my bet.

Hmm...my father likes Tenjho Tenge. Given the comments I see on it should I be worried now or just wait for your review and judge for myself?
4th-Aug-2005 06:29 pm (UTC)
Hmm...my father likes Tenjho Tenge. Given the comments I see on it should I be worried now or just wait for your review and judge for myself?

That depends upon whether we're talking manga or anime.

What makes me want to die laughing is how everyone screamed CENSORSHIP!!!!!! when American publisher CMX's version of the manga came out, and yet the *Japanese* anime adaptation eliminated virtually the same issues!

Like, grow up people.
4th-Aug-2005 09:53 pm (UTC) - reposted - needed riboflavin
OH man don't even get me started on that issue! Did you see that horrid manga writing tutorial for Video Girl Ai! Now I know why this manga sucks. How ridiculous! Yeah, using a disc jockey's half-hammed script written completely as an exercise in ego - yes, this is how you all should plot your manga, and when you send it in to us this way we will reject it because we hold you American writers to a higher standard than the garbage we buy from celebrities and/or the Japanese.

Gynocrat
'evil gaijin BBS spammer!'
4th-Aug-2005 10:04 pm (UTC) - Re: reposted - needed riboflavin
It wasn't really a tutorial but rather a "how WE do it." The three times drawing is pretty standard though, from what I understand. And I honestly think this entire manga flew in Japan in the first place as a capitalization on the success of Nana.

And you mean *Princess* Ai, right? ^_~
4th-Aug-2005 10:47 pm (UTC) - Re: reposted - needed riboflavin
Yes I mean Princess Ai...I wasn't arguing with the lay out schemes [it was presented as a 'how-to' on line...however, to be editor ready there is a standard and that wasn't IT!

If that manga was popular in Japan then really do have taste for shit! ^_^
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