With my review schedule finally under control, I actually have some time to read some things to talk about here, but I’m having a hard time deciding what to start with. I have volume 1 of Two Flowers for the Dragon sitting here looking at me, as well as a number of other things. It’s been so long since I had time to read something just for pleasure, I hardly know what to do! :)
In the meantime, I’ve been looking around online, and I have a couple of links to share. First of all, Ed Sizemore posted a review today of the most recent Mechadamia journal, and I though it sounded really interesting. His review is good reading on its own, so I recommend checking it out.
Also, Gia reported at Anime Vice about Crunchyroll’s participation in the upcoming Global Shinkai Day, including the fact that they’ll be streaming (among several of his films) 5 Centimeters Per Second which is a film I love very, very much. It is the kind of fiction that makes me long to create something that could affect other people the way it affects me. If you’ve never had a chance to see it, do yourself a favor and go watch for free at Crunchyroll on February 28th!
Lastly, I think I mentioned somewhere around the New Year that I decided to let my Shonen Jump subscription expire and pick up Shojo Beat instead. I got my first issue a little while back and… I’m so glad! Not only am I enjoying more of the comics, but I also really appreciated some of the other features in the magazine. So, Bakuman aside, it seems my early shonen manga obsession really is over! I guess I really am a girl after all! ;D
Watch for a review from me in the upcoming Otaku Bookshelf column at Manga Recon. Until then, goodnight!
Grace saysFebruary 24, 2009 at 9:35 pm
I don’t think I could ever pick between shoujo and shounen. There are so many series I love in both genres, and a lot of ladies and seinen, too. (Though if I had to pick one genre, I think I’d go with seinen because it has the widest variety in terms of types of stories.)
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 24, 2009 at 9:38 pm
Well, it was economics that forced the choice. I couldn’t afford to keep the Shonen Jump subscription. But I don’t really regret it, because I wasn’t enjoying enough of the comics in it to make it really worthwhile. I think it’s really probably just about what happens to be running in it right now more than anything else. :) Still, a year ago I never would have thought I’d want to read Shojo Beat. I really had not discovered enough shojo that I like at that time. How times have changed!
For the record, I think I probably read equal parts shojo and seinen these days, and not as much shonen. Very little ladies, but that’s just because there isn’t much available over here.
Grace saysFebruary 24, 2009 at 9:40 pm
Oh yeah, I wasn’t talking about the magazines. I stopped buying any magazines long ago even though it’s good for finding new series because it’s just such an expense. I just meant choosing in terms of which genre I like better.
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 24, 2009 at 9:41 pm
I see no reason to choose such a thing! :D So much wonderful manga!
Grace saysFebruary 24, 2009 at 9:44 pm
And yeah, it’s sad that there’s not a lot of ladies’ manga in English (well, yaoi is a subset of ladies’; you’ll find them shelved under that label in a Japanese bookstore). Most of it is realistic romance (as in realistic setting, not necessarily that the romance itself is more realistic than other romances), so it’s not very “exciting” for American audiences, I guess. But me, I love school and office romance because it’s such a great window on everyday life in Japan. Fantasy and adventure is fun, too, but, well. It’s fantasy. It doesn’t tell you what working in an office is like or how the school day and year is structured, and I like learning about that sort of thing.
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 24, 2009 at 9:47 pm
A couple of publishers seem to be trying to bring more over, but I haven’t heard great things about their choices. I think everyday romance can make an incredible story, when the characterizations are strong enough to carry it! And yeah, I agree, I like school and office romance stories too.
Kendra saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 12:20 am
Sadly the last two times I went to crunchyroll I had to stop within 5 minutes because my virus protection told me the site was trying to install bad things on my computer. And then I had trouble closing the browser windows, etc, and had to use ctrl/alt/delete to shut it down. It was very sad.
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 7:02 am
Really? I’m surprised. We subscribe so that we can get the new episodes of Shugo Chara! which go up there right after they air in Japan. Never had any trouble. I wonder if they had a bad ad there for a while or something. Well, that’s sad!
Kendra saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 9:34 am
I think it does have something to do with their advertising stream. Possibly if you pay or get an offsite feed you wouldn’t have a problem.
Of course, now that I have a mac, I could probably go back and not have a problem too. Heh. Maybe I’ll check later.
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 10:29 am
Ahhhh yes, we use Macs so that could be part of why it works so nicely for us.
Grace saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 9:18 am
A friend of mine had the same problem.
Ed Sizemore saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 7:11 am
Thanks for the kind words.
Shinkai is one of the four anime directors that I collect. I get his DVDs the second they’re release in the US. It’s amazing how quickly he built a fervent fan base. I can’t wait for his next feature film. By the way, if you get a chance to see his movies on the big screen, do it. I got to see Voices of a Distant Star at Otakon on a large screen and it was marvelous.
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 7:22 am
We’ve grabbed up all his DVDs as well. Gah, I would love to see something of his on the big screen! I envy you!
I’m not as much of an anime fan as I am a manga fan, and most of the time I think that if I had to give up anime for some reason, I wouldn’t miss it that much. Shinkai is a huge exception to that.
Ed Sizemore saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 7:37 am
I also recommend Satoshi Kon. He’s done Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, Paranoia Agent, and Paprika. He has yet to make a bad film. He’s working on a kid’s film and I can’t wait to see it. I have a sketch and signature from him on my copy of Toyko Godfathers. He was in Washington, DC a couple of years ago for the Cherry Blossom Festival. It’s one of my great treasures.
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 7:41 am
Interesting that you should mention him, because I just started watching some of his films! I think I probably should not have started with Perfect Blue, which I found slightly traumatizing. Heh. Since then, however, I’ve watched Paprika (which I liked a lot) and I *have* Millennium Actress, so I’m looking forward to that when I get the chance.
Ed Sizemore saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 9:30 am
I guess this would be a bad time to mention I’ve all his films on the big screne. That’s one of the nice things about being on an hour and a half from Washington DC. Actually, Millennium Actress played here in Richmond. I was geek enough to se Millennium Actress the day it opened and then again later that week. It is so beautiful. (Perfect Blue was another Otakon viewing.)
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 10:31 am
Hee! Naw, I’m happy that you’ve been able to see them all that way. :) We are about that same distance from Boston, so we probably could see more on the big screen if we were paying attention. :)