oyceter: (godchild evil parrot of DOOM)
Waaaaaah! No more Godchild!

Still, this was: OMG PURE AWESOMESAUCE.

My favorite quote (maybe. I have many favorites), which works just fine completely out of context. Also, it is amazingly not spoilery at all for the series, considering that it could be said by and about pretty much anyone:

"I'll give you his head after everything is finished. Then like him, you can live your life while embracing the mutilated corpse of a loved one."

Spoilers! )

I feel I have been remarkably restrained with the allcaps and exclamation points. Really.

- [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink's synopsis

In conclusion: *FLAIL* SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER RIFF SPOILER!
oyceter: man*ga [mahng' guh] n. Japanese comics. synonym: CRACK (manga is crack)
This is why I don't make New Year's Resolutions to read less manga: the statistics would come out the next year, and I would laugh in my own face. The scary thing is this list doesn't include random scanlations or recent chapters of series I follow, and it's still at 275 volumes!

As usual, these are my favorite things read this year, not published this year. I'm also keeping manga separate from comics; this is an entirely arbitrary distinction and depends not only on the paper size of the book, but also whether or not I feel it's going for the manga feel or not. For 2008, I'm going to stick everything together as "sequential art," but since my spreadsheet from last year was set up to separate manga from everything else, no such luck for now.

Sadly, I have skimpy numbers for manhwa, which I am going to try to remedy this year. I was surprised to see I only have two repeats from last year (Emma and Cain Saga/Godchild), though I have four author repeats (Mori Kaoru, Minekura Kazuya, Mizushiro Setona and Yuki Kaori). I liked my runner ups much more than I liked my runner ups from last year, though that's mainly because I've been reading more manga. I know, what a shocker.

Continuing series Naruto, Fruits Basket and Saiyuki (including Reload and Gaiden) fell off my list this year. I don't even have Naruto on my list of manga read, but that's largely because I read chapters as they came out. Possibly reading individual chapters instead of volumes of manga dampened my enthusiasm, although I think a larger part of it is because we're stuck in another long fighting arc I don't care much about. I'm still waiting for my favorite characters to get back into action and very sick of Sasuke's angst about twenty volumes ago, thankyouverymuch. I just haven't read any Fruits Basket this year, aside from rereads, and while new volumes of Saiyuki Reload came out this year (most notably the exciting volume 7), they're all volumes I read last year in Japanese.

The only reason Honey and Clover isn't on here is because the first three volumes a) aren't out in the US and b) follow the anime so closely that I can't quite figure out what to say.

I have individual volume write ups linked via tags for the top ten and runners up, but I'm too lazy to link the entire list of stuff I read. Anything without an asterisk has been written up before; check my tags or memories. If you're curious about something I haven't written up, feel free to ask!

Series alphabetized by author.

  1. CLAMP, xxxHolic and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle )


  2. Higuri You, Cantarella )


  3. Minekura Kazuya, Wild Adapter )


  4. Mizushiro Setona, After School Nightmare )


  5. Mori Kaoru, Emma )


  6. Soryo Fuyumi, Eternal Sabbath )


  7. Urasawa Naoki, Monster and 20th Century Boys )


  8. Urushibara Yuki, Mushishi )


  9. Yazawa Ai, Nana and Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai )


  10. Yuki Kaori, Cain Saga/Godchild )


  11. Yumeka Sumomo, The Day I Became a Butterfly )


Also recommended: Arakawa Hiromu, Fullmetal Alchemist; Svetlana Chmakova, Dramacon; Hayakawa Tomoko, The Wallflower; Ogawa Yayoi, Tramps Like Us; Takeuchi Mick, Her Majesty's Dog; Yoshinaga Fumi, Antique Bakery; Yun Mi-Kyung, Bride of the Water God

Notes )

Total read: 275 (40 rereads)

Complete list of manga read in 2007 )
oyceter: (godchild evil parrot of DOOM)
Woe! This is the penultimate volume, which means soon, I will have no more new Godchild to read! At least Fairy Cube has been licensed, else I wouldn't have any new Yuki Kaori to read, which would just be tragic.

All I will say outside of spoiler-cut is that there is one scene in here that nearly made me lose the breakfast I have not yet eaten, it is that disgusting.

Spoilers of gothic DOOM! )
oyceter: (godchild evil parrot of DOOM)
Breaking with my usual rule of not reading Yuki Kaori in public, I read this in a cafe with [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink sitting nearby so we could immediately squee. I think the various snorfles and snorts and other strange noises I made while attempting to suppress hysterical giggles, hand flailing and "OMG! OMG!" scared off everyone in the vicinity (which is why I usually don't read Yuki Kaori in public).

Spoilers )

Viz, why haven't you licensed everything else Yuki Kaori has written? I would so throw money at you for it.
oyceter: (godchild evil parrot of DOOM)
This one didn't send me into hysterics of delight, as Cain/Godchild usually does, though there was a moment that made me laugh for a straight minute (and then I choked and coughed and really scared the rats).

Spoilers )
oyceter: (godchild evil parrot of DOOM)
Oof. It is very confusing reading the new Godchild and the new Cain Saga at the same time, as I tend to mix up elements and forget what happens when.

When I was first thinking about writing this, I was actually not as excited as I usually am. I think this is because of the high pitch of excitement that I have been at all day, partly because of personal stuff going well and partly because of the awesome Cool Bits Generator and the growing list of cracktastic things.

And then I opened the volume to flip to a page, remembered the main plot point, and nearly fell over cackling with glee. I swear, this is more cracktastic than most of the things I have read today, and I say this while emphasizing that I have been reading a LOT of cracktastic things today.

Spoilers! )

Oh Godchild. You make me so happy.
oyceter: (godchild evil parrot of DOOM)
Why I Love Yuki Kaori #34598:

....

I just spent about half an hour flipping through the volume again to try to pick out my very favoritest moment, except I really can't. There is too much!

Thankfully, [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink has already quoted my favorite part from Yuki's asides.

So -- Why I Love Yuki Kaori #34598-34601:

As Yuki wanted to name Riff after Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Riff's full name is "Riffael Raffit." She also hurriedly assures the readers in an aside that no, no, Cain and Riff aren't embracing! Cain's just smelling Riff's shirt! And the priceless Disraeli-talking-to-organs aside linked to above.

And I have only just gotten to the asides!

Then there is Viz's absolute horrible translation combined with Jizabel Disraeli's insanity, which results in:

When a silver knife slits [Cain's] pale, slim limbs... it will be like bright red pomegranates cut wide open! His blood vessels will be like the branches of a tree, still warm and pulsing. His organs and membrances shining and gasping like a gold fish out of water.


To be honest, despite Yuki Kaori's protests, I think Disraeli really does name his organs -- the organs that he collects in jars, not his own personal organs. Though maybe he names those too.

Minor spoilers )

* I still cannot believe that this is a plot point in not just one, but two manga series. At least, that I know of...
oyceter: (godchild evil parrot of DOOM)
First of all, the copyediting on this was awful. I spotted a ton of typos, the worst probably being "prom rose" instead of "primrose." I was very confused and started wondering when Victorian England had started having American high school rituals. There's also "Never play with a woman's feeling!" because she only has one, and if you do, what will she have left?

Best excuse for skipping out on a party ever: "Tell him that my poison collection has affected my brain."

Spoilers, sort of )

And of course, throughout all this madness is the pure true love of a boy and his valet Combat Butler butler.

*dies and is dead*
oyceter: (godchild evil parrot of DOOM)
Oh Yuki Kaori, I love you SO MUCH! And I get not just one, but two doses today!

I have to say, I found the editor's note in the beginning to be a wee bit on crack. Despite being subtitled "Kafka," this volume doesn't feel Kafkaesque in the least. In fact, the overblown gothicness of it feels almost like the anti-Kafka. Yuki's protagonists aren't alienated like K; oh no. They're really something else entirely. What else, I can't quite pinpoint, but I'm sure there's a heavy sprinkling of bat wings, blood and black capes swirling in the London fog in the mix.

Because it is absolutely useless for me to sum up the plots of these, largely because I am immediately incapacitated by laughter, I'll give you my favorite line.

The volume opens with the classic: "At last we will have the calamity child! The embryo of the cursed bloodline rises to the heavens dripping blood and flapping its black wings."

I was bad and broke my vow to never read these in public, and I nearly died inhaling my sandwich. This alone was totally worth pestering a Borders employee to scan all the shelves for me and then dig things out from the back room. Words cannot express how much love I have for this series!!

I also loved: Spoilery )

In less cracktastic news, the art is finally looking like Angel Sanctuary. The little story tacked on at the end isn't particularly interesting, as Yuki Kaori has clearly not yet learned how to unleash her mighty and powerful id upon us all.
oyceter: man*ga [mahng' guh] n. Japanese comics. synonym: CRACK (manga is crack)
I've read so much manga this year that I'm separating it out from my 2006 books post. I'm still a little stunned by the fact that I read 217 volumes of manga this year, and that's after not logging some random scanlations due to user oversight.

Like the books list, this is a list of manga that I read this year, not manga published this year. My favorites are rather capricious and down at seven instead of ten. I'm not sure if it's because I'm feeling a little grumpy today, or if some of the series that I would have put on here ended up losing some of my interest as I started reading volumes as they came out, instead of in one big chunk (Bleach, Tramps Like Us). Other series ended up not being in the favorites group because I haven't read far enough in them to figure out if I do like them long term (Paradise Kiss, Oyayubihime Infinity, Her Majesty's Dog, Eternal Sabbath, Monster). The only reason Nana isn't on here at all is because all I did was reread vol. 1 this year; I mean to one day catch up on the 16 volumes out in Japanese (really!).

I'm not actually going to write up detailed summaries or plot synopses; I've blogged all these series before and will link the titles to the relevant entries and/or tags. Also, I'm way too lazy to link up the entire list of 217 volumes, but rest assured, they are all meticulously memories-ed and tagged because I am obsessive compulsive and should probably find a better hobby that doesn't involve alphabetization. Extreme librarianism! It's almost like a sport! ;)

Listed below are my seven favorite series from this year, in alphabetal order.

  1. Mizushiro Setona, 1999nen 7 no Tsuki Shanghai )


  2. Mori Kaoru, Emma )


  3. Nishi Keiko, Four Shojo Stories )


  4. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket )


  5. Yuki Kaori, Godchild )


  6. Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto )


  7. Minekura Kazuya, Saiyuki Gaiden and Saiyuki Reload )


Total read: 217 (25 rereads)

Complete list of manga read in 2006 )
oyceter: (godchild evil parrot of DOOM)
So. These do not quite reach the sheer insanity and cracktasticness that the height of Angel Sanctuary or later volumes of Godchild do. Even though Godchild is technically the same series.

We will ignore Viz's strange title choices.

And the art isn't as good as those two series either, particularly not Godchild art.

I didn't like the first volume all that much, and I honestly wouldn't have picked up Godchild if Viz had started from Cain v. 1, so... I suppose the strange title choices paid off, in a way. But the second volume -- that one I do wish I had read before Godchild.

We get backstory galore, except it's not actually backstory, since Godchild is the same series.

Cain meets Mary Weather for the first time (we will also ignore Viz's strange transliteration choices)! Cain meets Riff for the first time! Cain gets whipped! Cain nearly gets poisoned! Cain discovers he is a child of incest and great trauma! Riff dresses Cain's scars (which only he can touch) for the first time!

Ahhhh, good stuff.

I have even gotten so used to the gothic cracktasticness that I've stopped giggling hysterically every other page.

The second volume, which I already adore, contains but is not limited to: poison on pins, poison in bracelets, poison in food, poison collections (2), incest, abusive orphanages, secret societies (1, I think), tarot cards, sexy butlers (alas, only 1), cute urchins (>3), abusive parents (nearly all), insane parents (nearly all), and people driven mad by love (nearly all).

No words can express my love for Yuki Kaori.
oyceter: (godchild evil parrot of DOOM)
I have given up on resisting the lure of Godchild and started just buying it whenever I see the latest one out. I may have become slightly more inured to Yuki's particular brand of logic, as it actually took thirty-some pages for me to start cackling gleefully.

Current awesome Gothic things of DOOM include: poisoned needles shot through windows via blowguns, incest, a man with Freddy-Krueger-esque claws in a top hat, a strange person conducting music from the roofs of buildings, poisoned posies, Riff as a nickname for "Riffael" (this one generated much amusement), insane secret societies based on tarot cards, and more eyes on a plate in the author's note!

Said eyes on a plate were a reference to the previous volume, and Yuki adds an additional note that it's very cold in London, so really, Cain should be wearing thermal underwear. But she doesn't like that idea, so she has him just sleep naked.

I love Yuki Kaori's id SO MUCH.

Spoilers )
oyceter: man*ga [mahng' guh] n. Japanese comics. synonym: CRACK (manga is crack)
Wow. No one writes crack like Yuki Kaori, and when I say this, I am including Laura Kinsale. I wasn't going to buy this, but then I flipped to the opening page and was once again caught up in the saga of Cain, Earl of Hargreaves (or Earl Hargreaves, or both, or something). To recap, in case people have not been reading this. Cain's father was horrifically abusive in the way only people in Gothic manga can get. This has resulted in the cruel, capricious, yet wounded Cain (I can't think of another "c" word, doh), who is so lonely that he collects poisons. He and his butler Riff have a Pure and True Love, he and his half-sister Mary have a Pure and Completely Non-Incestuous and Rather Overprotective Love, and he and his half-brother Jizabel Disraeli have a One-Sided Disturbing Obsession Centering on Cain's Golden Eyes.

Jizabel of course wants Cain's beautiful golden eyes, doubtless to keep them in a jar so he can forever admire them. He is a manga villain. Do not question his motives or ways!

Since this is volume 2, I am now used to all of the above and it no longer sends me into hysterical laughter fueled by disbelief and awe at Yuki Kaori's chutzpah.

Instead, she gives me many, many, many more things to fuel my disbelief and awe (mostly awe).

In the future, I must remember to never read these in public, since I inevitably end up cackling hysterically.

The best part about this volume is the red butterflies story, which takes up several chapters. I loved it, even as I cackled hysterically over it.

My favorite parts include: the Gothic helpless heroine Lukia, who is half-Japanese and named after some historical figure Lukia who did something that resulted in eyes on a plate. I remember this because Yuki explains this in one of the author's notes side panels, complete with an illustration of Lukia smiling cutely, all chibi-style, with said eyes on a plate. Lukia also dresses like a Harajuku goth girl. Namely, she wears kimono trimmed with lace over crinolines, and I laughed every. single. time. Kimono! Victorian kimono! With crinolines!

I'm telling you, this is good crack.

There is also a completely insincere yet strangely compelling blackmail attempt under the guide of a marriage proposal, parallels with Cain's situation, the Pure True Love of Cain and Riff (only Riff can touch his scars!), an insane parrot ([livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija, another Manga Fowl of DOOM!), jealous lovers, and skankiness from Cain's father.

All in around 80 pages.

Just typing this up makes me want to laugh hysterically.

You must all go buy this so I can alternately squee and go "Eeeeee!" in a really high-pitched voice and talk in broken sentences consisting largely of: "Kimono! With lace! OMG EEEEE!"
oyceter: man*ga [mahng' guh] n. Japanese comics. synonym: CRACK (manga is crack)
I read this at Borders, and after I read it, I was so completely boggled by the cracktasticness and sheer Victorian gothic insanity that I promptly went upstairs to look at knitting books, because nothing else in the manga section could possibly compare.

I'm not quite sure if I like it or not, but it's definitely cracktastic like nothing else. Every time I thought things couldn't get more insane, they did.

Apparently Godchild is a sequel of sorts to Count Cain or The Saga of Count Cain or however Viz is choosing to translate the title. It doesn't seem as though it's been published here yet.

The very first panel of Godchild kindly tells us that Cain is the mysterious son of the dead Earl of Hargreaves; his incredible loneliness means that his one hobby is poisons. (I am reduced to incoherent giggling at this, but wait! It gets better!) He has a half-sister Mary Weather, bastard child of the Earl and a non-noblewoman. Mary Weather is 10, doll-like and innocent and spunky, but luckily not enough so that I wanted to throw something at her. Yet. Cain is served by the mysterious butler Riff; together, they fight crime! Not really, but they investigate the aftermath.

Then, things get even more insane! Apparently Cain's father was the head of some super-secret society, and a beautiful blonde doctor, Jezebel Disraeli (I think), who was also part of said secret society, has a dread love-hate relationship with Hargreaves and desperately wants to kill Cain, fuck with his mind, or just have sex with him, or all of the above, or all of the above at the same time, since this is manga. And then it ends with the announcement that apprently Jezebel collects eyes and wants Cain's beautiful golden eyes.

Just to remind you all, this is the first panel summary of Count Cain.

The story takes place in Victorian England, but has absolutely nothing to do with Victorian England and much more to do with the Goth-Lolita fashion and aesthetic so popular in Harajuku. Aka, baby-doll dresses in Victorian fashion, long ringlets, little cloth caps or sashes in the hair, platform shoes and striped stockings, lace and lace and lace, and lots of black. There's a little nursery rhyme or children's story in front of each short story mystery except the last -- the first is something like the White Rabbit or the Mad Hatter, the second is something about the crooked house on the crooked lane, and the third is "Baa Baa Black Sheep." The fourth is some sort of bridle or torture mask, which is really rather indicative.

The first story is on a serial killer in a white rabbit mask who beheads young girls, ala the Queen of Hearts' "Off with her head!" The second story has to do with creepy dolls come to life or death or something, which I'm sure is in no way a spoiler, because how else could a Victorian goth murder mystery short story with a room full of life-size, lifelike dolls end?

So far, the relationship between Cain and Mary Weather isn't quite incestuous, but he wants to protect her innocence from the world, and she says she wouldn't mind being caged like a bird, as long as it was caged in his love. I suspect incest will enter shortly, or some sort of devotion that isn't quite proper.

Then there's Riff, the dark and mysterious butler, who is the only one Cain wants dressing him.

Then, of course, there is the absolutely insane Jezebel, who lusts after Cain's golden eyes.

My problems with the story are the same problems I have with Angel Sanctuary -- the guys are ten times as interesting as the girls, and I'm really hoping Mary doesn't turn into a Sara-esque character. I'm not quite sure why I don't mind this with Saiyuki... maybe it's because there aren't the child-like younger sisters who are beautifully innocent.

On the other hand, the sheer cracktasticness! It hurts my brain! I am still completely stunned by how absolutely Victorian gothic Lolita insane this is. I spent the entire walk back from Borders trying desperately not to cackle out loud.

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink on Godchild 1. I agree with her; Viz's translation is horrible.

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