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Shoujo Manga

I've been reading a bit of Shoujo manga lately. Lately as in: about a month ago. Thought I'd post about it then but here we go again... delays! Maybe I hesitated because - for those of you who don't know - Shoujo is a form of manga directed primarily towards a a young female audience.

So it's not the type of stuff a growing-old man like me would boast about reading! But a little romance now and then... it's not bad. These particular ones happened to have a bit of action and intrigue, too. They weren't excessively girly - really! If you haven't tried Shoujo before (but have read other manga) then these might not so different after all.

First off there's Basara, which I only have three books of yet (and there's at least twenty) but hope to be getting more of! The style feels rushed sometimes, but looks good, and is drawn in an airy and emotional way.

The story's that of a girl named Sasara taking on her dead brother Tatara's role as revolutionary, to as prophecy foretells ignite a rebellion in a wicked land and overthrow the King and his four sons.

She soon realizes that the one in the prophecy was actually her - as they were twins, and the further things go the more dangerous her role. She leads a double life as both girl and boy, and happens to fall in love with one of the King's sons but doesn't know who he is. And of course he doesn't know she's Tatara - the spark of hope he's determined to kill.

It's a pretty exciting story! The characters are great and the emotion flares mightily. I want to read more.

Then, there's Planet Ladder. I've only read a couple books of this one too, but it seems promising. It's about a girl who's cast into a parallel world, and discovers there are actually seven parallel Earth's fighting for control.

The balance is becoming unstable, and only one can survive. A certain princess from a forgotten time has the power to say who will survive over all others... and it turns out that princess is her!

Compared to the previous the drawing style here feels a bit amateur-like, and the characters both naive and... stupid. But I do like the premises. Hope to get to the end of this one too...

Finally there's Vampire Knight: The story of a girl and boy who act like guards and mediators between the night and day class of a particular school. What the students don't know in the day class is that the night class consists of vampires, and what the main character (the girl of course) doesn't know is that the other guard is a vampire too, in the process of becoming, and though he loathes their race he eventually can't withstand the urge of blood any longer.

They form a special bond, yet one of the vampires in the night class saved her life from a rogue vampire back in the day and... well, it gets messy. I read a couple of books on this one too; hope to get more. Why is manga still so hard to come by over here...

It also gets unexpectedly savage, and so in the end... I'm surprised.

I'm surprised because Shoujo Manga really isn't only all about flowers and roses, and simple love. It can have a compelling storyline too, and the main character being a girl doesn't take away from the relatability after all.

I also feel like there's often a greater sense of mystery with Shoujo - which possibly ties in with the romance. There's definitely more emotion too, and the one thing I don't really like about the genre: often a sense of helplessness, a lack of confidence, or similar emotional flaws the main character strives to overcome.

It's also often used by the male characters, as the damsel in distress is saved, or helped, or somehow salvaged through the darkness by the knight in shining armor. It's not that stereotypical, or predictable, but it's there.

In comparison the main character in a Shonen manga will often be the one saving others. The one in control. The knight in white armor himself - and so it's often a similar story, just told from a different side.

It just so happens I was introduced to one more of these series earlier, when my sister gave me a pile of D.N.Angel books. I gave those a try and... they were alright! Guess my stereotypes started melting away at that point.

There's also Ranma 1/2, which is a bit like a hybrid between the two (between Shoujo and Shonen).

If you've been avoiding this particular genre: give it a try - you might like it!

I've also read though SandLand, but that's not Shoujo so there you go yo. But it was great too. I'll keep reading and make room (for more books cause they're way huge).

One Piece 827

Ten episodes later and it looks like something serious is about to get started! The fuel ran into filler again for a while but... maybe it's getting back on track again? I'm excited to see how this'll get started.

Woes. The inconsistencies of long-running shows.

Me And Manga

I haven't posted anything all Manga-related since this have I? Oh, this too.

Since then I've read out the rest of the Ranma 1(2 books I had, and the books of Death Note I was missing (I actually bought the whole series again just to get my hands on the two I was missing - 1 and 6). I managed to get the final two earlier, and an English variant of Death Note titled #13... that I was hoping would delve into what happened AFTER all that... happened. It didn't. It contained a shitton of character summaries and Q and A though, so that was interesting too. Early promo and four panel comics as well.

I've picked up a few more Detective Conan books, the last segments of Ranma 1/2 (hoping to get the ones in between before I pick it up again), and maybe I didn't mention I managed to get a batch of Naruto, Dragon Ball Z and Bleach in English, and before that the whole Dragon Ball series (in Swedish)? And before that the final numbers of One Piece (which I've now read) along with a bunch of duplicates, and the last number of DNAngel, also with a bunch of duplicates, and some Keroro, .Hack, Rebirth and Ragnarok?

The first of the latter three was easy to read through. With the other two I'm still missing a few. Right now I'm making my way through Naruto, which considering how downhill the anime went I've been positively surprised with so far! Hope the manga doesn't go the wrong way too.

And then, guess what.

The Manga Motherload!

Also here's an alternative picture since I didn't realize I'd made one. It's not as good. Thus the alternative.

So that should probably last me a while huh. Manga Mania (coincidentally the name of a now discontinued but at a time very popular manga magazine over here). Hopefully this'll last me all summer, and winter... and then some. And leave me with plenty of duplicates to trade for the ones I'm currently missing.

...and over half a year since I first started writing up this draft, yupp, it really has lasted. There's still plenty to read, and trade, and a few ones missing too... I caught up as far as I could with Naruto, but priorities shifted and me and manga took a break, for a while. I read out the first book of Keroro at an airport recently, but that's about it.

To be continued, whenever surprise amounts of spare time might appear and my maniac manga obsession returns anew...

One Piece 817

Oh holy shit. One Piece. It's back!

This is the One Piece I love. The feels. The twists. The build-up... it's all boiling down to a point now, and yet I wasn't expecting this one. It's like I'd been spoiled on filler, but suddenly I realize I've been going without real food for so long, and get a taste of the real thing. If I can persevere a few weeks without it feels like this would be the right time to take a break from the series, and then catch up in one big batch. It's about to go down down down down down. Like never before.

One Piece - Episode Of East Blue (2017)

One Piece - Episode Of East Blue (2017)

Or AKA the longer title: Luffy and His Four Crewmates' Great Adventure!

Oh man... the feels in this one! Even though it's a very compact flashback they get through quite a few of those! And yes, two hours is compact for a flashback on this scale! Considering how many weeks worth of episode content they tried to pack in and summarize in just one episode it sometimes doesn't seem nearly enough.

It's more than just a flashback too. Everything's re-drawn. It feels cleaner, and flashier, and yet some of the 'charm' of the older episodes is no longer. Expressions are more ruthless. The action is violent. I'm impressed by how well they manage to bring it all together, and impressed with the quality, yet I miss some of the warmth and lightheartedness of the earliest episodes, and how some vital details (like the importance of Luffy's hat) are left out.

All in all though an appreciated summary, and I hope they make one like it later on for all the adventures that follow, and all the friends and foes they stumble into along the way! It's been one wild ride so far, and though it's far from over it's never wrong to get back to their humble beginnings every once in a while; refresh your perspective. Especially if the show's been running for soon... as many years as I have. Almost two decades so far. Holy shit. No wonder it's such a big part of my life now. Good episode.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Tie Fighter

I'm no huge Star Wars fan, but this little tribute's worth watching!

Apparently it took four year's worth of weekends to make. A one-man operation. Inspiring work.

Brings me back to the days of - as intended - good old quality eighties of anime! I've got to get back to the world of Macross some day soon.

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