oyceter: (two nanas)
Note: I'm reading these in the original Japanese, so I may be missing nuances and giant plot points.

Spoilers are still worried )

No further spoilers please!
oyceter: (two nanas)
I also reread vol. 16 with the Viz translation, so I am more clear on what's going on in that volume.

Spoilers are lost )
oyceter: (two nanas)
I really need to reread this in English, because I am certain I missed a ton of nuance. Still, reading first in Japanese and then in English is fun: it makes me feel like I have not completely forgotten Japanese and when I get new volumes in English, the reread uncovers new layers.

Spoilers can't breathe )
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: (two nanas)
I've been not-so-subconsciously avoiding reading more in the series a bit out of fear -- I've pimped this series and this mangaka so much in the past, just based on four-year-old memories of first five volumes that I was worried that later volumes couldn't possibly live up to my memories. It also didn't help that I was a little underwhelmed rereading the first three volumes, but I suspect some of that is just because I have read them so many times already.

I was also worried that I had wrongly pimped this series and Yazawa Ai to pretty much everyone on the planet and that I would have to take Yazawa Ai out of my mostest favoritest mangaka list (currently Yuki Kaori, Minekura Kazuya and Yazawa Ai, and if I were forced at gunpoint to pick, I would have to pick Yazawa. And I should probably have Umino Chica there as well for Honey and Clover, except I've only read three volumes of it).

So when I say that these three volumes have surpassed my expectations, you will all know just how high those expectations were. And also keep in mind that I'm reading this in the original Japanese, which means I'm probably missing a ton of the nuances, and volume 9 still made me cry and flip back to the beginning to reread.

Spoilers )

OMG I love this SO MUCH.

People! If you like authors like Sarah Dessen or anime like Honey and Clover, read this. Really. Even if you usually don't read manga. Because while the back cover copy makes it sound like it's all about fashion and punk bands and glamour, it's not. It's about friendship and romance and growing up and losing yourself and messing up, but really, it's about people and the connections between them and how we hurt and love and lie and weep and laugh and keep going.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (oosaki nana)
And now I hit the extent of my Nana-reading. Everything else from now on will be new! How exciting!

Spoilers for both vols. )
oyceter: (two nanas)
I feel a little odd blogging about these; I read them about six years ago when I was doing homestay in Japan. This was the first series I read in Japanese, and because I bought 1-3 back then, that's how I will forever remember the series.

I've been a Yazawa Ai fan since end of high school/beginning of college, and this is my favorite of her series (at least, so far).

Two girls named Nana meet on the train on their way to Tokyo; Komatsu Nana (hereafter "Cute Nana"*) is going to be with her boyfriend, and Oosaki Nana (hereafter "Punk Nana") is going to try to start her own band. Volume 1 acts more as a prologue to the series: we see Cute Nana's trouble with boyfriends and Punk Nana's eventual heartbreak. In volume 2, through a series of circumstances, they end up being roommates, and there, the real story begins.

I know a lot of people really dislike Cute Nana at first, but she was actually the reason why I loved the series. Yes, she's shallow, she has very little common sense, and she's extremely flighty, but she's also really kind at heart. And I like that Yazawa doesn't make her flaws out to be the standard shoujo heroine's quirks; Cute Nana's approach to life really doesn't serve her well. Punk Nana is much easier to like from the start -- she's cool, she secretly nurses a broken heart (er, sort of).

There's an every-day-ness to these three volumes that drew me in to begin with. I like that Cute Nana has to worry about money and jobs, I like that Junko and Kyosuke look at their friends and shake their heads, I like that they have a favorite burger joint. Punk Nana's band story is somewhat more in the realm of shoujo fantasy, but somehow, the narration by Cute Nana makes me believe in it, because Cute Nana believes in Punk Nana.

And most of all, I like that Yazawa clearly sees the foibles and flaws of her characters even as she loves them for it; Cute Nana's sunshine-y nature doesn't make her any less annoying, and while we understand Shoji's frustration with her, we also sympathize with her as well.

On a side note, Viz's translation sucks! I still can't get over everyone saying "Girl, you gotta..." or "Dude!" I know I say "dude" a lot, but it sounds very odd coming from Cute Nana. I could see it more from Shin or Nobu, but I feel Cute Nana would sound slightly more valley girl-ish. Also, unlike the Saiyuki translation, the slang here is used very poorly; all the characters use the same slang, regardless of their personalities, and as such, the slang is a mixture of valley girl, surfer dude, and netspeak that drives me insane. At least after the first few times, they took the slang out of Cute Nana's narration, because the Japanese is wistful and melancholy. And for once, I can actually tell the difference because I still hear the characters in Japanese in my head.

* I don't like referring to Cute Nana as "Hachi" because the series is named after both of them, and I feel like calling her "Hachi" makes the other Nana more the namesake Nana. Um, I never said this was reasonable or rational...

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Nana (2005 movie)

Thu, Feb. 2nd, 2006 05:18 pm
oyceter: (two nanas)
The movie is based on the first 4 volumes of Yazawa Ai's manga Nana, which is apparently hugely popular in Japan (it's also one of my favorite series, so I am very biased). One of the things that I love the most about the series is that it's about the friendship between two very different women with the same name, and that while there is a great deal of romance involved, the manga doesn't lose sight of that core friendship (or at least what I've read of it).

In case you haven't read the manga, the story is about Oosaki Nana, a punk rock singer, and Komatsu Nana, an entirely ordinary, somewhat ditzy, girl. The two meet on the train to Tokyo (Nana K. is going there to get a job and be with her boyfriend; Nana O. is pursuing her dreams of being a punk rock star), and eventually end up being roommates.

Adaptation details )

One of my quibbles with the movie was that it interspersed Nana O's flashbacks from vol. 1 throughout, but completely got rid of Nana K's flashbacks from the volume. It unbalanced the movie for me and didn't give Nana K any context, particularly in view of her later interactions with her boyfriend Shouji. Also, it meant that the main focus and drama of the movie was whether or not Nana O. and Ren would get back together.

While I like Nana O., my favorite part of the manga is the two Nanas, and so I dislike this weighting of the movie toward one of them. Nana K. does get development and a lengthy subplot in the movie, but I wish there were more about her need for a boyfriend and etc., which gets explored more in the manga. Without her half of vol. 1, she feels more like Nana O's friend instead of a lead character in and of herself.

Spoilers for Nana vols. 1-4 and movie )

(no subject)

Thu, Oct. 20th, 2005 09:27 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Wah! I want this so badly! And I've already bought three other rattie sculptures from SlaughterHouse Studios. But still.. a Grim Ratter!

Haven't been keeping much in touch or answering comments; work has gotten even crazier. One more day...

And then, to Vegas! My dad is going on a business trip there and dragging me along with him, so I shall get free good food, which is always happy.

ETA: more linkage! Nana the movie! Wow! I saw the trailer, and since the Japanese is ok, I could understand most of it! It's funny because it starts out with "Ne, Nana..." in the voice of Komatsu Nana, which is exactly how the manga is, which is awesome. And all the sets and the clothes and etc. look so like the manga!


And for those of you who haven't been subject to my interspersed raves about Yazawa Ai (the mangaka who created Nana) -- author bio. I actually had no idea that Nana was so popular in Japan. But anyway, I love all her series, although sadly, the only one currently available in book form in the States (Paradise Kiss) is actually my least favorite of her works (excluding the very early ones that I haven't read).


oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

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