Saturday, April 05, 2008

new posts will be at tokyokuri

I've decided to consolidate my blogs for simplicity, so new posts will be at tokyo kuri with the "manga" label.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Promise by Keiko Nishi

Whew! Half a year later!

Did I ever post a review of this? Even if I did, it's good to revisit this story; one of my all time favorites.

A ways back, Viz published a little comic book called "Promise," containing the two stories "Promise" and "Since You've Been Gone", by Keiko Nishi. Promise blew me away. I still have an immediate emotional response just thinking about the comic; which I can pretty much recall in complete detail. It's short, so that's not a particularly impressive feat, but seriously, this is in my top three of all time; ahead of "Here is Greenwood."

A lot of the stories that I've read by Keiko Nishi have quite a dark side to them where people go a little over the edge. It's very well done, but I like happy stories, so I can't enjoy them properly. I appreciate them, but I don't really enjoy them.

However, Promise strikes the perfect balance between human weaknesses and strengths. It's a very normal story; a disaffected girl and her absent mother. The girl's mother hasn't been the same since the girl's father passed away along with the girl's twin brother. The girl herself doesn't really care about anything so she spends her days skipping school and staring at the sky. Add in a touch of the supernatural and a bit of "what if" and hope appears mixed with sadness.

Sadly, both versions are out of print; Viz apparently were jerks and lost the rights to publish the stories. However, copies do appear to be floating around here and there. I have one or two copies of Promise; don't think I ever bought Four Shojo Stories.

For the record, my top three comics of all-time are:
* Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind by Hayao Miyazaki
- Interestingly, I haven't run across many Japanese people who have read the comic. I have my cousin Sean to thank for introducing me to this story. The original comic books are one of my treasures :) I should put them in a vault.

* Slam Dunk by Takehiko Inoue
- Conversely, I haven't run across many Japanese people who don't know what this is.

* Promise by Keiko Nishi
- This is probably more obscure than any of the above, but I had the strongest emotional response to this story.

ps. did you know that "evisceral" is not a word? Sneaky.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

The Wizard's Daughter 3 and 4 are out, shoujo reviews

Well, I have been slacking!

I should figure out how to tag entries.

Anyway, Yukie Nasu (那州雪絵) has volumes 3 and 4 of The Wizard's Daughter out in Japanese. I plan on picking them up soon. Creepy but good. I don't even like ghost stories! I really don't like them in fact, and yet I love these books. It's very contradictory.

One of my favorite review sites is Emily's random shoujo manga page. It's primarily shoujo (targetted at girls) manga though, so if you're not interested in shoujo manga, it will be of limited usefulness. She writes great reviews though.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Skip Beat! ISBNs

Apparently VIZ picked up 仲村佳樹 Yoshiki Nakamura's "Skip Beat!" and the first book comes out in July.

Skip Beat! Vol. 1
MSRP: $8.99
Length: 184 pages
ISBN: 1421505851
Language: English
In stores: July 5, 2006

Skip Beat! Vol. 2
MSRP: $8.99
Length: 208 pages
ISBN: 142150586X
Language: English
In stores: September 5, 2006

Must... own... English... version! But I already have 3-5 of the Japanese version. Perhaps I should stop and just collect the English version? But frankly, I like the quality of the Japanese version's paper better. Plus, 400 yen vs. $9 is quite a difference.

Amazon is so stupid. They're always messing up authors' names. In particular Takehiko Inoue (they called him Takehito 許しませんよ!) and Yoshiki Nakamura (who they called Yoshiko).

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Slam Dunk Singapore ISBNS

For the time being, the only complete English edition of Slam Dunk is provided by a Singapore publisher, so I thought it would be convenient to list the ISBNs. All volumes appear available from Chuang Yi, so availability seems good. I think they've just about finished printing the last volume, #31.

Info gleaned from Kinokuniya:

Slam Dunk #01 ISBN:9812390901

Slam Dunk #02 ISBN:9812392823

Slam Dunk #03 ISBN:9812394168

Slam Dunk #04 ISBN:9812395938

Slam Dunk #05 ISBN:9812397000

Slam Dunk #06 ISBN:981239754X

Slam Dunk #07 ISBN:9812398759

Slam Dunk #08 ISBN:981239933X

Slam Dunk #09 ISBN:9812411712

Slam Dunk #10 ISBN:9812413219

Slam Dunk #11 ISBN:9812414703

Slam Dunk #12 ISBN:9812414738

Slam Dunk #13 ISBN:9812415122

Slam Dunk #14 ISBN:9812416102

Slam Dunk #15 ISBN:9812417877

Slam Dunk #16 ISBN:9812418679

Slam Dunk #17 ISBN:981241973X

Slam Dunk #18 ISBN:9812600426

From the Singapore publisher Chuang Yi (very nice publisher by the way):

SLAM DUNK #19 ISBN 981-260-095-7

SLAM DUNK #20 ISBN 981-260-179-1

SLAM DUNK #21 ISBN 981-260-231-3

SLAM DUNK #22 ISBN 981-260-328-X

SLAM DUNK #23 ISBN 981-260-369-7

SLAM DUNK #24 ISBN 981-260-427-8

SLAM DUNK #25 ISBN 981-260-477-4

SLAM DUNK #26 ISBN 981-260-575-4

SLAM DUNK #27 ISBN 981-260-668-8

SLAM DUNK #28 ISBN 981-260-729-3

SLAM DUNK #29 ISBN 981-260-790-0

SLAM DUNK #30 ISBN 981-260-839-7

SLAM DUNK #31 ISBN 981-260-920-2

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Slam Dunk DVDs (US)

I'll update with more details but Geneon [Pioneer] has been distributing Slam Dunk on DVD for Toei Animation. They appear to be up to 5 disks, each about 125 minutes.

The entire anime is 101 episodes long though; maybe 17 dvds in the Japanese edition. There are 4 OVAs and 1 movie.

The U.S. DVDs stop at volume 5. Volume 6 was supposed to be released on August 16, 2005 but that doesn't appear to have happened.

I just bought DVDs 1 and 2. My mother is going to be horrified at how much I'm spending these days. But who can say no to English versions of Slam Dunk and Here is Greenwood? Obviously not me.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Ignore, Read, Buy rating?

When you just want to know if a book is worth buying or not, a 5 star rating may not be clear enough to make that decision. I am considering a Ignore/Read/Buy rating. Since not everything worth reading is worth taking up valuable shelf space.

Bleh: ok but...
Read: worth reading
Buy: worth reading again
Keep/Hoard: force all your friends to read it; buy all versions of the books; buy any related goods

I'll have to mull over the wording. I'm having a problem because there are a lot of books that I'm on the fence about for Buy vs. Hoard, and Read vs. Buy. Maybe I'll have to stick to the 5 star rating afterall. 4 categories is not much simpler than 5!

Hoard titles:
* Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind
* Slam Dunk (スラムダンク)
* Here is Greenwood (ここはグリーンウッド)
* Tokyo Crazy Paradise (東京クレイジーパラダイス)

Buy titles:
* Skip Beat (スキップビート)
* End of the Century Darling and New End of the Century Darling (yes, my translation could use some work) (世紀末ダーリン、新世紀末ダーリン)
* The Wizard's Daughter (魔法使いの娘)
* Beauty Pop (ビューティーポップ)

Read titles:
* Menkui! (メンクイ!) The title roughly means someone who likes only attractive people, so I guess it's like the English expression "Anything for a pretty face"
* Whistle! (more for the Japanese study than anything else)