My News and Reviews
Last week was the CLAMP Manga Moveable Feast, hosted by the Manga Bookshelf. As part of my contribution to the Feast, I reviewed the omnibus edition of Clover which is one of my personal favorites when it comes to CLAMP's work. Next month's Feast will be focusing on Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service written by Eiji Ōtsuka and illustrated by Housui Yamazaki. Eeeper's Choice Podcast will be hosting. The scheduling of future Feasts is currently under discussion in the MMFeast Google Group if you'd like to jump in and have your say.
On to interesting things I found online! Deb Aoki has posted the notes from the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con best and worst manga panel. I always look forward to seeing the resulting lists each year. Also at the San Diego Comic-Con, JManga announced the Manga Translation Battle, which has now officially started. JManga also recently started a new blog--JManga Poi Poi. Over at Okazu, Erica Friedman posted some excellent food for thought Why Yuri Cannot be Financially Successful...The Gospel According To Fandom.
Also! The most recent manga giveaway here at Experiments in Manga has been posted. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, but you still have time to enter to win the Love Hina Giveaway.
Aftershock: Artists Respond to Disaster in Japan edited by Adam Pasion. Although I only recently learned about it, Aftershock is one of several comics anthologies that were released in response to the 2011Tōhoku earthquake. Aftershock is a fairly slim volume but packs in works from over thirty-five contributors hailing from all over the globe. The comics capture the artist's personal responses to the earthquake in Japan and how their lives and works have been influenced by Japanese culture. A few of the selections relate the experiences of some of the creators who were in Japan at the time of the earthquake. Overall, I found Aftershock to be a great collection. (Proceeds go to various relief agencies.)
Crimson Snow by Hori Tomoki. While I wasn't blown away by Crimson Snow, I did enjoy Tomoki's debut collection of boys' love stories. The the anthology includes the titular "Crimson Snow" about a yakuza rescued by a tea ceremony heir, "At First Sight" in which two university students admit their feelings for each other, "Cry for the Sun" about a young man's relationship with his father's lover, and "Galance" which is a continuation of "Crimson Snow." Although there are certainly a few intimate scenes, Crimson Snow focuses more on the characters, their histories, and their emotions than it does on sex. The majority of the encounters feel like natural extensions of the developing relationships rather than being included just because they're an expected part of the genre.
Deadman Wonderland, Volumes 2-5 written by Jinsei Kataoka and illustrated by Kazuma Kondou. I was very intrigued by the first volume of Deadman Wonderland. However, as much I thoroughly enjoyed parts of the subsequent volumes, there were other parts of the manga that frustrated me immensely. For one, major plot twists are dramatically revealed only to be forgotten for volumes at a time. I also have a hard time believing that the Deadman Wonderland inmates are given so much free reign within the prison. But there are still aspects of Deadman Wonderland that I enjoy. I particularly like Kondou's artwork and most of the character designs. And even when it doesn't make a lot of sense, the story is frequently engaging.
Sanctuary, Volumes 5-9 written by Sho Fumimura (Buronson) and illustrated by Ryoichi Ikegami. Sanctuary is one of the best manga series that I've read recently; it's really a pity that it's long out of print. The juxtaposition of organized crime and politics is fascinating. Each are cutthroat and dangerous in their own ways, the players in each realm working within strict codes of conduct. At times, the mafia seems more honest and honorable than the politicians. I'm not even particularly interested in modern-day politics but nonetheless found Sanctuary to be incredibly gripping. The story of Hojo and Asami's relationship and their struggle to change Japan together after surviving the killing fields of Cambodia is intense to say the least.