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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
I dance between piles of books! ^_~ 
7th-Aug-2005 08:56 pm
The piles on the floor right now merit a veritable ballet on my part. Too bad it's a performance no one ever sees. XD

In any case, I started on The Vintner's Luck by Elizabeth Knox last night...and decided I wasn't in the mood for anything serious. So, I switched tomes and tried Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett instead. "An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunder Vaguely Downwards." *dies laughing* (The angel theme is merely incidental.) I've also started and stalled on the following novels: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, The Coming Storm by Paul Russell, Prime by Poppy Z. Brite, and The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin. No judgment thus far on their quality; it's just that, for whatever reason, I was actually looking for something different when I started them. These are all still high on my list of books I need to get back to soon.

Naturally, I've still got a serious backlog of manga, but, once again, I haven't been in the mood. Only one new one read of the past couple of days:

Saiyuki RELOAD Vol.1 by Minekura Kazuya
"We don't need to justify this party anymore."
This pithy little statement on page 1 that basically functions as a summary of sorts for anyone new to the series after it changed magazines also embodies for me exactly where this manga is going--NOWHERE, and certainly not fast. Two completed Sanzo and company advertures, and one that will be continued in the next volume. The first is your standard "we live for ourselves" attitude tripe, again an introduction of sorts to the series for those who don't know it. On the other hand, the second story was one of the best in the series thus far. About a youkai who has not yet gone mad and is protecting youkai children, this one had genuine emotional weight. I like reading stories about "normal" people, I suppose, particularly in manga because, for whatever reason, the medium lends itself well to those kinds of narratives too, not just fantastical or superhero ones. I'm amazed at how quickly Tokyopop have plowed through their release of the series without obviously compromising quality. Compare Saiyuki to Peach Girl or even worse Sailor Moon and marvel at how much they've improved. I'm sure that the watchdog groups that were after Mixx back in the day take credit for the improvements, but really, it seems like a natural progression toward stability and consistency of quality to me.
8th-Aug-2005 01:24 am (UTC)
Heh heh heh, actually I think Saiyuki is fairly well paced? This volume was sort of filler for people new to the manga entirely, but the stories were really strong for that. If I was an editor I would suggest something like this probably, in the same situation, so I can see why the ZeroSum editors would have encouraged it. Now, if this next arc has nothing to do with the plot, then the manga is going nowhere. But! As it is I think the pacing is reasonable. I really appreciated the pace of the character development up to the end of the Kami-Sama arc; I thought it was pretty much spot on. So, I'm hoping she hasn't fallen through there.
8th-Aug-2005 01:42 am (UTC)
I get the feeling, honestly, that Saiyuki is going to be one of those shounen manga series that keeps going and going and going until it ceases to be popular, at which time it will end abruptly. Besides, journey stories in general are that way. Once you get there, the story's over. It was the *getting there* that was the point.

Still, sometimes I'm in the mood for those endless shounen series. Variety is the spice of life as they say, after all. ^_~
8th-Aug-2005 01:55 am (UTC)
Dear god but I love Good Omens - humor really tends to be hit or miss, but that's just one big hit. Maybe it's the dry and understated phrasings.
8th-Aug-2005 02:08 am (UTC)
*nods* The "witty," ironic humor is great, and I'm always a big fan of using words to the best effect. The "Saunter Vaguely Downwards" had me in fits of laughter; it's just such an evocative phrase! I love the interaction between Crowley and Aziraphale as well--they're almost domestic in their bickering, really. (The prologue with them was just...classic. Classic. ^_^ )
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