Category Archives: Articles

Stories and musing about specific manga titles or manga in general.

Trading Manga for Scanlations?

I’ve written before about how much I enjoy manga trading.  It’s a great way to try out a series or find volumes of older titles.  I’ve been fairly active on Mangatude and usually check for new trades every week or so.  While doing my usual check this week, there was a trade offer titled “Manga series on cd many rare ones.”  Yeah, scanlations.  This didn’t really feel right.  When I go looking to trade, I’m looking for same to same.  It might seem like a great deal, to get a bunch of different manga for one print volume, but it seems to violate the spirit of the site.

Anyone can go out and find scanlations, download them, and burn them to a CD.  It’s not the same as going out, finding and buying a manga volume.  Getting a CD full of titles doesn’t seem to have same value.  It becomes a bunch of  files that can get tossed to the wayside.  Because no work went into getting them, there’s no real value in reading them.  With trading, there’s the offer and counter trade, sometimes working out, sometimes taking more work, so even a trade that ends just costing the amount in postage has more worth.  And physical copies stare back at you, demanding you read them.  They aren’t hidden away on a disc of in a file folder to be forgotten.  I really hope this doesn’t become a trading trend.

Let The System Work

dragon-ball-1I have mixed feelings about this. Dragon Ball is being reviewed for it’s content in a Maryland school district because a 9-year-old checked it out of a elementary and middle school library. I think people are oversensitive in general and especially towards manga.  I’ll agree that Dragon Ball doesn’t really belong in the hands of a fourth grader, but I think it’s fine for a middle school student.

The first Dragon Ball series is a comedy that does contain some sexual innuendo.  The first volume does have a few questionable scenes, but I wouldn’t go so far and the Councilman from Wicomico did to describe them.  I might be able to see the “sexual innuendo between an adult and child”, with Master Roshi wanting to seen Bulma’s panties, but there is in no way anything sexual between Goku and Bulma.  Bulma is more like a big sister to Goku.  And Goku is too dense to get any kind of innuendo.

So I can see a parent getting upset at their 9-year-old bringing it home to read. So that doesn’t bother me so much.  What does is the way it was presented.  The mother of the offending 9-year-old didn’t go to the school library to complain or challenge the book, and let the school’s review committee take over the matter as it is designed to.  Nooooo, she asked to be anonymous and went to her Councilman and let him publicly decry the book with the moral indignation that only a politician can.  And the Principal, who just happened to be at the meeting for another matter, jumped in to say the book would be removed ASAP.

Why was this necessary?  Books are challenged all the time.  Why did this particular book have to get the attention of a Councilman and be publicized at a County meeting?  Does the mother and Councilman not trust the system put in place by the school to review offending books? Review committees were created to handle these issues.  They are there to make sure the whole community is served, and not just a small, vocal minority.  Let the system do it’s job.

Refining Age Ratings

This was brought up as a comment on twitter, but was also something I’d been thinking about.  Books rated All Ages aren’t necessarily meant for All Ages to read.  This really hit me as I was reading ChocoMimi, an all ages title in the Viz Kids line.  While there is nothing objectionable, or violent in the the title, it definitely wasn’t something I would chose to read as a 40-year-old.  On the flip side, Project X: Challengers: Seven Eleven is also rated all ages, for not having any objectionable material or violence, but wasn’t something anyone under the age of 20 would really care about reading.

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Why OEL Adaptations Matter

Back in 2008, I wrote a post about subtitles helping my younger daughter to read.  While the subtitles did help her reading improve, it didn’t do anything for her desire to read.  She still preferred playing video games and watching DVDs (granted she did much of this with subtitles/closed captions on, just because I guess), but getting her to read was still a chore.  We got her titles she showed interest in, but they never lasted.  Then, something happened over the summer.

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iya_logoThis year, 2009, has been proclaimed the International Year of Astronomy.  Four hundred years ago, Galileo Galilei first put a telescope to the sky and made many discoveries, including four of the moons of Jupiter; Io Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.  Stars and the planets have held people’s fascination for eons, as they appear in songs, art and books.  Even manga has taken notice of the heavenly bodies.  Whether it’s the stars and the constellations, the planets, or just observing them, manga covers them all in fun and imaginative ways.

Continue reading Astrono-manga

What's In A Name?

A short conversation came up on Twitter about whether Japanese names should be translated.  I found some of the point that were made interesting, and it got me thinking.  When you hear someone’s name, do you think about it’s meaning?  Pick up a baby book of names, and you’ll see that every name, even our English names have another meaning.  But because it’s a name, we don’t consider the meaning important.  Why should translators do the same to Japanese names?

Yes, many of the Japanese names have mundane meanings, such as Sakura, meaning Cherry Blossom, or Yuki, meaning snow.  But are you going to call someone named Mirai, Future?  Just because that is the literal translation, that doesn’t make it the best interpretation.  My name, Lori, means “laurel tree symbolic of honor and victory”.  That doesn’t mean I want to be called “Laurel tree”.  If you were introduced to someone named Sakura, you wouldn’t go around calling them Cherry Blossom, would you?  That’s not their given name.  When a word becomes a name, it transcends it’s original meaning, and becomes something more than that.

Translators that change a person’s name to it’s literal meaning are really missing the point.  When something is being translated, there needs to be more than a literal translation.  The translator has to do some interpretation to convey the meaning as well.  And just because someone’s name also means elephant doesn’t mean that’s how the people in that culture will see it.  So we really shouldn’t either.  It’s another case of just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Why I Like Osamu Tezuka’s Manga

A few weeks ago on Twitter, there was a discussion about Osamu Tezuka’s manga and whether he deserves the title “God of Manga”, and it got me thinking.  I have to admit, back before I started writing about manga, I was kind of in agreement with animealmanac.  I’d never read any of Tezuka’s manga before.  I was familiar with Osamu Tezuka, mostly by reputation, and by the cartoon Kimba the White Lion.  I have very found memories of Kimba, but never took Tezuka too seriously because of that.  I knew he was called the “God of Manga”, but never understood why.  And then I started writing reviews and receiving review copies.

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Property Taste Test

A few days ago on Twitter, @debaoki mentioned she liked Animal Academy, an all ages title from Tokyopop, and thought that kids would like it.  She mentioned she thought the books based on properties, like Disney were boring, but ended by saying, she didn’t know, since she wasn’t the target audience.  Well, I have a daughter that’s in the target audience range, and both Animal Academy and Disney’s Kilala Princess.  So, I gave both books to my youngest daughter Krissy and asked her to read them.  When she finished, I asked her questions about the books.

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Manga For Sale

I’ve put my Inuyasha manga collection up on Ebay.  I need to make some space, and little extra money never hurt.  Here are the auctions, please check them out.

Inuyasha Volumes 1-5

Inuyasha Volumes 6-10

Inuyasha Volumes 11-15

Inuyasha Volumes 16-20

Inuyasha Volumes 21-25

Inuyasha Volumes 26-31

Or you can check out my Manga for Sale or Trade page.  I’m willing to deal on multiple volumes and shipping.

Breakin’ It Down: Viz Media

previews-8-09Viz Media’s solicitations for October and November seemed outrageous as I went through the latest Previews.  They solicited 46 volumes of manga and novels!  My jaw dropped at how much they were putting out!  So, I decided to break down the releases, looking at them by imprint and how much of a difference the price increase would make, if any.

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Digital Review: Rin-ne Volume 1

rin_c16RIN-NE Volume 1
By Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Supernatural/Comedy
Price: $9.99/Free online
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Ever since a childhood incident Sakura Mamiya has had the power to see ghosts. Now her life has gotten a lot more complicated with the arrival of her mysterious classmate Rinne, who seems to know a thing or two about detecting ghosts himself!

Having enjoyed so far Takahashi’s shonen titles since Urusei Yatsura, I was thrilled to hear that we in the US would not only be getting her newest, Rin-ne, at the same time as Japan, but it would available for free online to read.  Having now read the first volume’s worth of chapters, I have to say my initial excitement may have been premature.

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