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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
My backlog of English-translated manga is awe-inspiring. (^^; 
6th-Oct-2005 05:03 am
Or terrifying. Pick one. I've got nearly 50 volumes and over three months worth of titles sitting patiently on my floor, slowly yellowing and waiting to be read. For whatever reason, I was briefly inspired to attack the pile last night. As you can see, it's been a long time. Hmm. Perhaps it's because I was talking about Onnafest and working on my writing assignments yesterday.

Kubo, Tite. Bleach. Vol. 8. San Francisco: VIZ Media, 2005. (First Japanese Edition: 2001)
Summary: Ichigo has finally tapped into his own latent powers to become a Soul Reaper and need no longer rely on Rukia, which is good, 'cause he still wants to rescue her. He meets the spirit of his zanpaku-to Zangetsu and revives at full power--enough to knock the hat off Urahara's head. Then it's a short reprieve for our hero before he and his companions enter the gate to the Soul Society.
Comments: You know, there was real drama and sincere emotion in this one. Ichigo came THIS close to becoming a Hollow himself, and his training storyline was actually done with a lot more suspense than such training plots are usually done. Perhaps it has to do with the stakes. Of course, Rukia looks roundly miserable, and though she shows a brief amount of chutzpah, the Soul Society interludes are really only good for oogling the beauty that is her elder brother. (^^; Ichigo's family is cute, too. I suppose one might posit some slash potential between Ichigo and his sword *thinks Ogasawara Uki*, but the real action is the yuri overtones of the relationship between Tatsuki and Orihime.
Notes: paperback, 1st American edition
Rating: 5.5/10 - I liked it well enough, but unless you've got a strong stomach for formulaic shounen manga, of course give this one a pass.

Kubo, Tite. Bleach. Vol. 9. San Francisco: VIZ Media, 2005. (First Japanese Edition: 2001)
Summary: Shoot me. Bleach has become a team series now, with Uryu, Orihime, Chad, and Mr. Yoruichi the cat all joining Ichigo in his quest to rescue Rukia. Shoot me twice. They barely even make it through the freakin' gate! Upon arrival, Ichigo challenges a gatekeeper (which doesn't directly get him where he needs to be), meets people living on the margins (literally) of this society, and solicit the help of a big-breasted fireworks master and her confrontational brother. The plot around Rukia thickens. Is she being railroaded?
Comments: This volume felt like a holding pattern...you know, a laying of the foundations of things yet to come--for better or for worse. About the only thing that improved was the artwork, and even that difference was marginal and easily-overlooked. There was very little generally exciting going on, and Chad's reunion with his parakeet was not that impressive either, though the way in which he both defends Uryu verbally and protects him physically is err interesting. Basically, we learn that Soul Reapers are near-omnipotent, ruthless bastards. Whoopie. And it was so predictable that the guy Ichigo would end up picking a fight with would turn out to be necessary for progress to the next level. C'mon, Kubo, you can do better!
Notes: paperback, 1st American edition
Rating: 4/10 - A notable decline in quality from Vol.8. *sighs*

Katsura, Masakazu. I"s. Vol. 3. San Francisco: VIZ Media, 2005. (First Japanese Edition: 1997)
Summary: Ichitaka and his three friends finish up their summer vacation at the beach, and, though he at last works up the courage to confess his love to Iori, she's got her ears covered because she thinks he's telling her a scary story. (No, don't ask.) He also "nobly" rejects the advances of another girl who might be interested in him. Back at home and in school, rumors are circulating that Iori's going to pose nude for a photobook, and boy is Ichitaka upset! In the end, he wins points with Iori but is still oblivious to Itsuki's feelings. The volume ends with Ichitaka working himself up for a second confession which instead morphs into a birthday invitation.
Comments: I'm still not sure why I'm reading this series. It's a cliched shoujo manga plot done over by a guy who probably still gets wet dreams, and about the most enjoyable thing happening here is the gorgeous artwork. Katsura loves small-breasted, big-hipped girls. Besides, we know that Ichitaka will remain a total screw up just as long as the series remains popular. Interestingly, I"s is the only series being released under VIZ Media's SJ or SJ Advanced imprints that is NOT a tournament shounen manga series. So, in that sense, it's a bit of an outlyer. Fortunately, an otherwise mediocre manga has been blessed with a wonderfully adapted translation that reads naturally and utterly unforced. Though at times the original Japanese still shows through in the characters' dialogue, lemme put it this way--it could be worse. A lot worse.
Notes: paperback, 1st American edition
Rating: 5/10 - If it's your thing, it is. If it isn't, it isn't.
6th-Oct-2005 12:41 pm (UTC)
The cat's name is Kou and he's a lion. ^^
6th-Oct-2005 12:43 pm (UTC)
What cat? ^^;
6th-Oct-2005 12:58 pm (UTC)
There's a little cat/lion in Bleach named Kon.
6th-Oct-2005 01:00 pm (UTC)
Oh. You mean the stuffed lion that looks like a teddy bear with a mane. Yeah. There's also a know-it-all black cat named Mr. Yoruichi or something like that...
6th-Oct-2005 12:49 pm (UTC)
It's a cliched shoujo manga plot done over by a guy who probably still gets wet dreams

Actually... there is no age or physical development level cutoff for wet dreams.. But, I know what you mean ^_^;;
So why is he so upset that his potential girlfriend may be posing nude? Like it's a direct insult to him somehow, never understood that one.. *shrugs*

I like the new format ^_^
6th-Oct-2005 12:52 pm (UTC)
Actually... there is no age or physical development level cutoff for wet dreams.. But, I know what you mean ^_^;;

I didn't say there was. It was my nasty way of suggesting that the creator's sexually-frustrated. 'Cause that's how the manga comes off. (Even though, in actuality, I know that at some point he got married. I think.) :P

So why is he so upset that his potential girlfriend may be posing nude?

A. He's possessive. God forbid the rest of the school drool over HIS girl.
B. He's defending her "virtue."

I like the new format ^_^

So do I. *preens*
6th-Oct-2005 01:53 pm (UTC)
That's really possessive, if he's the only one who even thinks she's his girlfriend ^^;;
6th-Oct-2005 05:49 pm (UTC)
As the reader, however, you know that they're destined...or, at the very least, he's destined for some hot chick or another. *sighs* Very. Formulaic.
6th-Oct-2005 06:25 pm (UTC)
Hmm... Probably he forgives her for posing nude, she professes her total devotion, and they live happily ever after >_<

Or would that be just too formulaic?
6th-Oct-2005 06:49 pm (UTC)
Actually, what ends up happening is that she refuses to do it, and Ichitaka wins points with her for not wanting her to do it, either.

Or would that be just too formulaic?

Too SHORT--which equals death for shounen manga of this sort.
6th-Oct-2005 07:16 pm (UTC)
Oh how boring.. I would have at least had her pose ^_^;;
6th-Oct-2005 07:58 pm (UTC)
But she's not a worthwhile girlfriend if she has no virtue! *rolls eyes*

Stars over the nipples...yeah, this is the title...
6th-Oct-2005 08:18 pm (UTC)
But she's not a worthwhile girlfriend if she has no virtue!

I wonder, if she were to have sex with him, would he then refuse to marry her because she wasn’t a virgin? >_< Or would she still be considered reasonably virtuous enough in that case.....
6th-Oct-2005 10:44 pm (UTC)
I would guess that general monogamy alone is enough in manga world. I'd say the same pretty much goes in Hollywood these days, as well.
6th-Oct-2005 11:50 pm (UTC)
I think really I would have had her pose nude, and then she would get involved in a passionate love affair, with another girl ^_^ That’s much more interesting....
6th-Oct-2005 11:53 pm (UTC)
Something like that might happen in a more avant garde magazine, but the Shounen Jump magazine titles are the mainstream of the mainstream. ^^;

Maybe you should try some seinen manga...
7th-Oct-2005 01:12 am (UTC)
Seinen manga? ^^;
7th-Oct-2005 01:16 am (UTC)
Manga for guys in their 20's and up. Sometimes very sexual, sometimes very not. It depends on the magazine.
7th-Oct-2005 01:35 am (UTC)
Ah, I just don’t have all those categories down yet.. Though I do really like all my, well, girl manga ^^;;
7th-Oct-2005 01:39 am (UTC)

Some of the stuff you've been reading borders on housewife material. Maybe it's time to take up romance novels, eh? ^_~
7th-Oct-2005 01:43 am (UTC)
Maybe it's time to take up romance novels, eh? ^_~

...... while tossing back chocolates and my hair in curlers >_<
Anyway, I think only one romance novel has ever been written, they just vary the names and exotic locations ^_^
7th-Oct-2005 02:06 am (UTC)
Tossing back chocolates, huh? Sounds like you're halfway there! XD XD XD
6th-Oct-2005 03:30 pm (UTC)
Grah - not happy to hear about Bleach, I enjoyed V8 quite a bit, suprisingly.
6th-Oct-2005 05:49 pm (UTC)
The bigger the main cast of characters, the faster a shounen manga goes downhill, IMHO.
30th-Oct-2005 12:00 am (UTC)
Reviews archived.
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