Category Archives: Articles

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

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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I Just Don't Get It

I’ve been going on a lot about the Twilight/Fanboy debate, mainly because it really irks me.  But the reason for that is that I’ve never experienced any real prejudice in my comic shopping, or at cons.  Several commentors on the Robot 6 blog article about Girls and Fandom gave anticdotes about their experiences with Fanboys and in comic shops, and quite frankly, it shocked me that they were meeting any kind of resistance from the other patrons and/owners.

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I’m Too Old For This: SDCC Day 3

Yeah, I should have written this last night, but I didn’t get home until after midnight and was exhausted.

Saturday was a struggle to wake up, but we managed it, had another nice breakfast, and checked out.  We made it to the convention center just in time for the Women in Manga panel, the only manga panel I was able to make it to all con.  That’s just the way it goes.  I’m not lamenting.  Lots of other people were there to cover the manga panels, and if I’ve got anything to add, I’ll do it in my weekly news post.

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Wish You Were There? SDCC Day 1

Even though this strip is 3 years old, it still describes the experience of SDCC fairly well.  The only thing that needs to be added are the lines.  Yes, the infamous SDCC lines were back this year and worse than ever.  We got to the con at sometime after 10am and walked the Exhibit Hall for most of the morning.  My husband took lots of pictures of toys, including a few for me.

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Space Manga

July 20, 1969:  The day mankind first walked on the moon.  Just as with the assassination of JFK, and 9-11, you can ask someone (old enough to remember) what they were doing when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, and they could tell you.  With the 40th Anniversary of this event coming up, I thought I would look at some manga that takes a more realistic approach to mankind’s reach into space.

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Whatever Happened to Basara Devil Kings?

It is a sad day in Xanadu.  Having only just discovered the over-the-top manli-goodness that is Sengoku Barasra, aka Basara Devil Kings, the anime, I had to search to see if there was a manga for it.  And, joy of joys, there was!  It was licensed too!  Udon Entertainment, the purveyor of Video Game and Capcom comics has licensed it.  At least, that’s what everyone thought.

basara-devil-kingsI thought it was odd at first, that a google search for the manga didn’t land an Amazon hit in the first 10 links.  A search of Amazon did reveal the book , but as unavailable, but with a shipping date of September of 2008.  A search of other sites gave another date of April 2008, or available for pre-order.  Not even the Udon site had a listing.  This confused me, so, since a web search wasn’t doing me any good, I went to the next best place for manga knowledge; Twitter.

A query there didn’t get me any answers, but it did get a response from Udon that they would find out.  A few days later, I got a response from Stacy King, Marketing Manager for Udon.  Here’s what she told me:

UDON hasn’t published or even translated any of this manga; although the contract was announced while it was in talks, things fell through with the final negotiations.

Stacy wasn’t sure why negotiations fell though, or if Basara Devil Kings will come up again in the next round of negotiations, but they are keeping it in mind when they look at possible licenses later in the year.

So that is the sad tale of the Basara Devil Kings manga as of this moment. I do hope it does get licensed eventually.  It’s only three volumes long, and even though the manga doesn’t appear to be as outrageous as the anime, the characters and story are still interesting enough for me to want to check out.  And who knows, may be later on in the manga I’ll get to see Takeda Shingen ride up a vertical castle wall standing on two horses while holding his battle axe in front of him.