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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Manga in the morning. You know the drill. ^_~ 
15th-Aug-2005 08:17 am
There were thunderstorms last night, but fortunately no lightning struck too close. The puppies handled it all quite well, really. My mother (who visited), thinks that they've become quite attached to me. She noticed the way they watched me intently and tried to solicit my attention exclusively. Indeed, after last night's LJ marathon, I lifted my laptop off my lap and found Boslie in it instead. ^^;

Anyway, I read the following manga yesterday morning, and then decided to head on back to novels (restarted Kushiel's Dart...maybe I'll actually finish it this time!):

Basara Vol.13 by Tamura Yumi
Our heroes escape the Abashiri prison (though there is yet a bit of complication left unresolved) and travel back down south. Ageha has decided that it's time for Sarasa to learn not to rely on him, so he goes off on his own (but not before just a couple more panels of gratuity with Shirazu). In a way, it's pleasant seeing a heroine being told that she should not be relying on a man, as that happens way too often for comfort in shoujo manga. Sarasa's travels take her to the now deeply-oppressed Suo City, and the possibly tragic love affair between the magistrate's pacifist, artistic son and a woman helping, quietly, to forment resistance. As always Sarasa assumes her role as Tatara with tremendous strength, her insecurities visible only to herself. Which is a very realistic rendition of heroism, I think; only people with delusions of grandeur *really* believe themselves to be heroes. As always, an excellent title with magnificent sweep and a haunting message of freedom.

Eyeshield 21 Vol.3 by Inagaki Riichiro and Murata Yusuke
Vol.3 concludes the game between the White Knights and the Devil Bats, and it goes without saying that the Devil Bats lose--BUT they are able to score two touchdowns on the competition, which is far more than was ever expected. Naturally, as this is a tournament shounen manga, this means that it is time to regroup and train. In this manga, that also means finding new team members, which is functioning apace. In an amusing twist, Hiruma has taken to doubling as Eyeshield 21, and he of course has given the guy an angry, confrontational, zero personality that is quite at odds with Sena's wimpdom. The characters really are quite lovable, and I'm pleased to see that Mamori is of the cute and super-strong heroine tradition, not the cute and frail one. I'm definitely continuing this series for at least a few more volumes. It has continued quite strongly thus far.
15th-Aug-2005 01:29 pm (UTC)
Wow you really read a *lot* and such a wide range too ^^;;
I wouldn't have picked up Eyeshield 21, not because I don't enjoy the anime so far, but simply because of the price.
(even though manga in a sense is far cheaper here...)
When I buy manga I usually aim to continue to collect the entire set. And the number of volumes that usually come out for shonen titles are usually a lot ^^; 20~30+++
and tournament type stories seem so predictable sometimes :X

by the way, are there manga rental stores over there in the US? :o
15th-Aug-2005 05:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the tournament stories are really predictable, but sometimes I like having something predictable to fry my brain on. I don't have much tolerance for lousy novels these days, but lousy manga I will sometimes do. ^^;

by the way, are there manga rental stores over there in the US? :o

I'm sure they're are a few here and there, but they're certainly not a phenomenon, and I've never seen any in the US myself.
15th-Aug-2005 11:44 pm (UTC)

I'm sure they're are a few here and there, but they're certainly not a phenomenon, and I've never seen any in the US myself.

thought it might be so, movie rental and video game rental seem to be more popular over there, while not so popular over here.
Book rentals and Manga rentals are more popular.
Different business models maybe..hrmm...
15th-Aug-2005 11:56 pm (UTC)
Well, first of all, there really *aren't* that many manga and comic book titles out there in the US to rent, period! Not to mention comparatively few readers. ^^;; And, besides, Americans aren't familiar with the concept of renting books for money as there are tremendous public library systems countrywide.
16th-Aug-2005 12:45 am (UTC)
context and market circumstances!

book rentals here usually rent out the harder to find sci-fi and fantasy stuff, and not to mention steamy romance ones that are *quite* popular among housewives ^^;;
and manga rental stores are quite cheap, only a dollar or so to stand browse through the store, and a couple more to take back home. (you must get membership cards tho)
And sometimes a rental store rents both books and manga too, convenient huh? ^^

prices of movies and tv dramas are pretty cheap here so no one ever rents them,
and video games.. well.. considering the low prices of pirated games here.. >_>

I think you have more than enough in your collection to open a rental store tho ^^;; haha.
16th-Aug-2005 12:51 am (UTC)
I saw many manga rental stores in Korea when I was there--and I'd never seen anything like that, certainly not for manga and not for novels either, in the US. However, nost public libraries do stock a good selection of sci-fi/fantasy/romance novels, so even that isn't necessary here. Some have been starting to amass modest collections of graphic novels, as the interest and demand increases. But, once again, public libraries are taxpayer financed and thus completely free to use.

I think you have more than enough in your collection to open a rental store tho ^^;; haha.

^^;;;;;;;; How many manga does the average rental outfit have?
16th-Aug-2005 01:05 am (UTC)
huh.. so manga rental stores in different countries do differ I guess :x

and although the libraries here have a lot of stuff, the popular ones usually are all out on loan or something :x
(oh oh oh I may not have mentioned it but I'm from Singapore btw ^^;;;;)

How many manga does the average rental outfit have?
well.. lets say...4 to 6 bookcases are enough?
although some bigger stores have those kind of sliding bookcases and about up to 12 I guess :X
16th-Aug-2005 01:07 am (UTC)
So the rental stores tend to be pretty small, then. Do different places specialize in different types of manga?

(You're right; if 12 bookcases is the case, I do own enough manga to open up my own rental outfit. ^^;;;;; )
16th-Aug-2005 01:18 am (UTC)
yup, pretty small shops hiding around.

Unfortunately only mainstream shounen and shoujo stuff gets stocked, they're probly the only things that generate business (maybe?) :X
They do hold those older, out of print series tho. And you could buy entire second hand sets for a cheap price.
A lone BL title or two are usually (if you're really lucky) hiding in a corner somewhere (possibly) since well.. I guess these stuff are sold at other places. *gets shifty eyes*
all those stuff are under the counter you see.
16th-Aug-2005 01:22 am (UTC)
So BL is readily available in Singapore? I'd thought, for some reason, that there was quite a bit of censorship there. Most of my Japanese manga is BL, I think. ^^;; If I were to open up a rental shop, I wouldn't want the authorities after me...*laughs* Not that I really would, but it's still a rather unpleasant thought.
16th-Aug-2005 01:32 am (UTC)
It's a 'We won't say anything if you don't do anything stupid' black market kind of thing.
*Imagines the uproar caused if some parent does a 'omg, my kid is reading gay manga' thing here*

and yeah there's a *LOT* of censorship, so everyone's quietly tiptoeing around, not selling to minors and stuff like that.

The ones that do pass semi-legality are those that actually are more hmm softer shounen-ai stuff not the hard core ones tho.
I know a place that sells BeBoy magazines and takes orders and stuff tho. if there's someone willing to buy, there's someone willing to sell o_o
16th-Aug-2005 12:16 pm (UTC)
I guess the sentiment in the US is quite similar, if not the laws involved. No censorship of any kind is mandatory by law (except sedition, libel, and obscenity--and the last generally not taken too seriously), but publishers engage in a lot of voluntary censorship, taking out "questionable" scenes in manga and retouching artwork. Some of the major bookstore chains, B&N in particular, refuse to carry the more explicit BL titles, which essentially consigns the books to a slow death. Both bookstores and publishers are concerned about lawsuit happy parents; the stuff may be totally legal, but it is *not* necessarily legal in the hands of a minor.

Interestingly, Americans are much less concerned about pornographic content in novels and violent content in TV and film. For reasons that can't quite be explained rationally.
16th-Aug-2005 02:49 pm (UTC)
the way pr0n mags get sold *accidentally* to an underaged kid eh? heh heh heh.

I guess you could say that the societies we live in self censor the stuff we like. (does that mean we are outcasts from society? *sniffs* ;_;)
Of course the argument would be that laws are meant to protect people and minors and all. And unfortunate for us people with more exotic tastes ^^;

Ahh~ to live in a world of manga and bl and anime...
(Without the high cost of living in Japan. :x)
16th-Aug-2005 04:28 pm (UTC)
the way pr0n mags get sold *accidentally* to an underaged kid eh? heh heh heh.

Something like that. Or in the case of BL manga, the way some *parents* accidentally buy their kids the manga, not knowing what it contains and just assuming that comics are "kids stuff."

Fortunately, the US government doesn't particularly care what in the form of printed matter I choose to import from Japan to the US. I've heard in other countries including Canada, the government will seize explicit BL and shotacon/lolicon, and charge high import duties on the rest of the imports. I'm glad I don't have to deal with that. ^^;
17th-Aug-2005 04:13 am (UTC)
thankfully? ^^

I live in fear whenever I send presents to friends sent to US. Will they think my grubby brown parcel that's suspiciously soft in the middle and soggy around the edges be stopped and ripped open and consigned to the black hole in space? ~_~;;;

I think they don't in seize stuff here if it's not over some kind of size limit and you declare it's for personal use and not import or something, (you might get to pay taxes?)
So hurray for internet shopping? Although I don't really buy stuff over the internet, I think that it's too risky and troublesome >_>
17th-Aug-2005 11:34 am (UTC)
Well, don't worry about sending stuff to the US. The mail system here is quite reliable and relatively uncurious. If the package is damaged when it arrives or en route, they tell you, and they don't go around opening up random people's mail. The Patriot Act may have changed this, but I don't think it's legal to search peoples' mail without a search warrant from a court, which means that the authorities must have an explainable reason for wanted to open up a US citizen's mail.

*laughs* Besides, there's so much in the way of volume! I doubt they'd bother targeting one random woman who imports books from Japan and Korea. ^^;
17th-Aug-2005 11:57 am (UTC)
yeah there's too much @_@
no wonder everyone's afaid of terrorism.
15th-Aug-2005 03:04 pm (UTC)
Basara is definately a title I need to pick up.
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