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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Times like this that I think the future of manga in the US is bright... 
14th-Aug-2005 07:58 am
GUESS WHAT!? Korean publisher to the US, ICE Kunion, will be releasing this gorgeous manhwa in English! *clutches heart with joy* Han Seung-hui has such exquisite artwork...!

*nod nod* So I'm happy. On my bedside table, I have both cheap entertainment from Viz Media and titles so good that only a few years ago I never thought that they would ever make it to the US...

Antique Bakery Vol.1 by Yoshinaga Fumi
Ask me how much I love Seiyou Kottou Yougashiten, now forever to be known as Antique Bakery in the US? Go ahead. ^_~ This is yet another A5 release complete with dustjacket from DMP, and, once again, though the dimensions are bigger, the picture quality is noticably worse than the original Japanese tankoubon. But, in any case, there's a bit of added whimsy here in the form of a scratch and sniff strawberry on the cover. That *almost* compensates for the failure on DMP's part to reproduce the color insert in color. Anyway, this is a story about three (eventually four) guys who run a Western-style dessert shop. Tachibana is the swarthy playboy who decides to do this to get girls, Ono is the acclaimed gay chef that's afraid of women, and Eiji is the boxer-turned-apprentice. The key here is that back in high school, Ono confessed his love to Tachibana--who blew him off in a very cruel way. Now, 14 years or so later, they are grown up and have, at least so it seems, left the past behind them. I heartily recommend this story to almost everyone; though the story seems episodic in the beginning, all of the chapters are there for a reason that will become clear by the final and fourth volume. The English adaptation once again left a lot to be desired, especially in relation to Ono. (We all know what "to hold" is a euphemism for, right? ^_^; ) This is one manga that will capture both your heart and your imagination, as Tachibana and Ono finally complete what was left unresolved since high school.

Rurouni Kenshin Vol.17 by Watsuki Nobuhiro
The conclusion to the Kyoto arc--AT LAST! God, I didn't know really if I was gonna make it through to the end or just give up. (Me wonders if I'm gonna be giving up after this, though. How many more volumes, again? Eleven? *sighs*) So the next volumes are about Kenshin's past? Oh, can't wait. *sighs* Well, anyway, Shishio ends up burning out during battle with Kenshin--literally--and his two closest compatriots decide to follow him down to Hell, the Final Frontier(tm). As for the rest of the Juppongatana, they either get co-opted by the Meiji government or are left to their own devices, whether in prison or the wilderness. Is there a subtle criticism of Imperial Japan here? I think there is. Shishio's philosophy was that the strong survive by steamrolling the weak, and that's what Japan would later do in the events leading up to WWII. Watsuki offers an alternative doctrine of living on to protect loved ones. Now, this manga was published in Japan well over a decade ago, in the fallout of the economic bubble. In recent times, Japan has started to recover economically, and what with the rise of China and the nuclear threat of North Korea, revived militarists in Japan are calling for an army which, like that of the US, reserves the right for pre-emptive strikes. Is the politically-correct doctrine advanced in Rurouni Kenshin still kosher in Japan? Or are people once again thinking perhaps it is a good idea to lash out with strength in order to survive? Given the popularity of the vigilante hero of Death Note, I can't help but suspect...
14th-Aug-2005 02:17 pm (UTC)
will be releasing this gorgeous manhwa in English!

Oh, THAT one, with the mysterious little jar ^^;;

We all know what "to hold" is a euphemism for, right? ^_^;

Are we talking the more enjoyable meaning of "to hold" here? ^__^; I have to get it, the scratch and sniff cover alone makes it worth it..
14th-Aug-2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, THAT one, with the mysterious little jar ^^;;

There's a lot more to it than the "little jar"--I just get the biggest kick out of the frame story's little gimmick.

Are we talking the more enjoyable meaning of "to hold" here? ^__^;

What do you think? XD

I have to get it, the scratch and sniff cover alone makes it worth it..

Wow, you're easily satisfied, aren't you? ^_~
14th-Aug-2005 03:43 pm (UTC)
What do you think? XD

^__^;;; the very pleasant meaning.....

Wow, you're easily satisfied, aren't you? ^_~

Yeah well, it helps makes life remotely enjoyable..

15th-Aug-2005 06:36 pm (UTC)
The vigilante way of thinking does bother me... Though watching Rurouni Kenshin Seisouhen really traumatized me--it was a great ending, but I was actually really traumatized. Seeing such an ending made me think that I'd rather be out killing people, or at least forgive myself to live the rest of my life happily with those who love me. But no, of course not Kenshin.

Given the popularity of the vigilante hero of Death Note

The only reason I love it is because of Light's evil use of his intelligence and, in the beginning, of L's attempt to foil him, that made me love this series. The battle of wits to stay so many steps ahead of the other... Now, against Melo and Near (or however you spell their names...) I'm just sticking around to see how these new set of enemies dance together.

Near is an interesting character, to have figured things out without any of L's data, but Melo? Crackpot.
15th-Aug-2005 08:56 pm (UTC)
Well, as I told you earlier, I gave up on the series after Light lost his memory; I really think it should've ended there, but this is a shounen series. :P Brainiac heroes seem to be becoming a bit more popular lately between Death Note and...err...Zatch Bell...

Though watching Rurouni Kenshin Seisouhen really traumatized me--it was a great ending, but I was actually really traumatized.

Is that the last eleven volumes of manga?
16th-Aug-2005 04:43 am (UTC)
*sigh* Yes, it wasn't until I read Death Note did I realize how much men using their intelligence in myriad and surprising ways turns me on... Light is admirable in the beginning, but then he just turns into an egomaniac who I can't help but keep watching--just to see what other narrow-minded tactic he tries to pull off in order to justify his thinking of a clean and just world where is he judge and jury.

How pathetic!

As for RK: No. =( Seisouhen is more of the studio's tactic to finish off the animated series. They squeezed in so many flashbacks, and then sped through the Jinchuu arc that the end was just--again--traumatizing. I was in shock; "What? That's how it ends? AFTER ALL THE CRAP they had to go through in the TV series, they end it like THIS?!"

Without reading the manga, you could force yourself to swallow Seisouhen and find it tasteful. But just read the manga. Yeah, it gets tiresome, but... Enishi!! Oh, the pain... Ah, I'm reliving it; how pathetic...

*goes off to watch Kodocha to feel better*
16th-Aug-2005 11:25 am (UTC)
I liked Death Note more for it's modulated depiction of Light's descent into evil. That whole stare into the abyss thing. (I put that in my article about Death Note--I hope they keep it in.)


Oh, are you watching the US release of Kodocha? How did they translate "hibo" anyway? ^^;
16th-Aug-2005 06:24 pm (UTC) - oh?
Oh yeah, huh, Kodocha is released here... Ah, well. I'm watching fansubs... =) I can't remember how they translate hibo...

I'm surprised they took it on; she talks a mile a minute! =) Even my ears get tongue-twisted, if that makes sense...
16th-Aug-2005 09:04 pm (UTC) - Re: oh?
*laughs* God, I love how Sana talks! It reminds me of a friend from middle school who did indeed talk a mile a minute. Haven't seen her in years...God, I wonder where she is now...

I've heard rumors that the licensed anime mistranslates hibo. Maybe as "boyfriend." I know the Tokyopop manga translated it as gigolo--and also altered the punchline of related bawdy jokes, as well.
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