25 Otaku Facts About Me!

I’ve been thinking of this list for a while now. I was originally going to film a video, but then I saw DynamicDylan film a tag which he titled 50 otaku facts. 50 facts is a lot to share in a single video, so I’ve been debating what to do about it. I’ve even filmed that video twice, but I haven’t liked the result either time. It’s weird to talk about yourself so much in such a short period of time. I’ve decided to scale it back to my original plan, and just do 25 facts… and so that I’m not actually “talking” about myself, I’ll post it here! haha!

1.  I discovered Japanimation by watching Sailor Moon. But, my first official anime title was Blue Seed.

2.  Of all anime I re-watch Blue Seed, 3X3 Eyes, Shura No Toki, HunterxHunter (1999), Azumanga Daioh, The Vision of Escaflowne, and Hikaru no Go the most. But still I only watch about 2 or 3 shows a year at the most these days.

3.  My favourite anime opening songs. At least, these are songs that can stick in my head for days. There are others, but this post is long enough (and also I couldn’t find good videos on YouTube for sharing)!

Nightwalker (Gessekai / BUCK-TICK)

Great Teacher Onizuka (Driver’s High / L’Arc En Ciel)

Zenki (I actually don’t know who sings this… send help!)

Edit: ZENKI (Kishin Douji ZENKI)” by Hironobu Kageyama — Thanks ZED-RAM!

Kimagure Orange Road (Night of Summer Side / Masanori Ikeda)

4. I prefer subs to dubs. Actually prefer is a mild word. I REALLY hate dubs. I won’t watch dubs if I have an option. And sometimes, I just won’t watch the series if I don’t have an option.

5. The Best line in anime (and probably one of the most famous) is: Omae wa mo shinde iru from Fist of the North Star. It often comes to mind when someone makes me angry. It’s good on so many levels! But, I have yet to say it to anyone in a fit of anger. ^ ^;

6. The first manga I read was Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki in 2003, from my public library. It legitimately changed my world!

7. The first manga I bought was Wedding Peach… also in 2003. Probably the day after I finished reading Nausicaa.

8. I relate most to Madarame from Genshiken (season 1).

9. My favourite characters are Piccolo (Dragon Ball Z) and Arale Norimaki (Dr. Slump).

10. The first time I went to Japan was on a tour (for geeks). Thanks to that tour my photo now appears in some manga. Or, maybe I should say… my forehead appears in some manga. haha!

meinmanga1

11. My biggest pet peeve are translations that try too hard to Westernize a title. Titles that attempt to remove the Japanese characters, settings and situations from it. Not only does it feel culturally insensitive, it feels insulting to readers. Give readers some credit! We can handle knowing that the title is set in Japan, has Japanese themes, and guess what, star Japanese characters! Gasp!

12. My 2nd biggest pet peeve are translations that neglect to translate Japanese terms like kawaii. The English use of the word kawaii and the Japanese use of the world kawaii are two completely different things! They are NOT equivalent. Not unless the character speaking it happens to be an otaku from the West. That’s the only time that it works! gah!

13. RANT TIME: I used to read online scans, but now have a very strong bias against them. Regardless if they are licensed in your country yet, or not… they were created illegally. AND their existence hurts the industry that I love. If it’s not licensed in your country, and you can’t read the original English, you are NOT entitled to read it. Not being able to afford manga is NOT a good excuse to read scans. Neither is the lack of availability in your country. If you are reading scans with the intention to invest in the series you like later, you are hurting the industry (have you even considered you also need to support the creators you don’t like?). Don’t read scans! But, if you are doing it, I beg you, don’t tell me about it! I am now on a mission to collect EVERY volume that I read through scans; even the titles I hated. I’ve bought about 200 in the last couple years… and have about 800 to go. This may take a while!

14. I love re-reading series. I would be happy to only re-read my favourite manga forever!

15. I re-read the series From Far Away 7 Times in less than 7 days. It was an experiment to see what rereading something over and over would be like. I’m glad I picked that title, it’s still one I can pick up any time and enjoy.

16. Art is MUCH more important than story in manga. If you take away the art, you’re left with a very confusing novel. But, if you take away the words (or even the plot), you can still have a very compelling manga.

17. My least favourite topic is World War 2. I’ll read it. But, I hate feeling the feelings.

18. My favourite genres are historical, romance, and gekiga (despite it often being about the war). I also prefer older titles from the 70s and 80s to modern stories. I’m old, it makes sense I’d prefer old titles, too.

19. My least favourite genre is harem. I can’t express to you how booooooring I find it!

20. My favourite trope/scenario in manga is the indirect kiss! It’s just so adorable (and absolutely ridiculous) every single time.

21. Takehiko Inoue is my favourite mangaka. He writes dynamic stories with complex characters, draws unbelievably gorgeous art… and he’s totally cute! haha.

collectors article22. Our manga collection was featured in a local magazine in a photo essay about collectors! Look at those empty shelves – what happened?! haha.

23. We used to regularly buy so much manga at one local comic book store, that they nicknamed us “the manga sisters” and used to print it on our receipts.

24. Together my sister & I have amassed over 5000 volumes of print manga.

25. I strongly believe that anime and manga have enriched my life. I’ve gotten close to my sister, made great friends, learned a language (sort of), tried many interesting hobbies, and lost a lot of money while having a ton of fun! I’ve genuinely enjoyed every minute of it!

 

I’m not going to tag anyone to do this, but if you’d like to please feel free! But don’t forget to put a link in my comments, so I can find you! 😀

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Manga Reading Wrap-Up | Apr 2018

It’s the May 2-4 long weekend here in Canada (aka Victoria Day) so I’ve got a bit of time to myself for once! I’ve been working a bit on planning our upcoming Manga Readathon, will be working a bit on some blog posts, I’ve got a long list of videos I’d like to film…(but probably won’t) and then after that I better get outside and finally start planting my vegetable garden. But maybe I’ll leave that chore until next weekend… Ah, adulting.

So, until then, let’s catch up with some blog posts, shall we? Today, I’m wrapping up everything I read in the month of May.

★★★★★ 5 Star Reads:

Akira / by Katsuhiro Otomo (translation and English-language adaptation, Yoko Umezawa, Linda M. York, Jo Duffy). You have to read this. It’s so beautiful. The Kodansha box set. Beautiful. The story. Beautiful. The art. Beautiful. I have a video, where I talk more extensively about this manga. But, really, as a manga reader, this is about as good as it gets!

Magic Knight Rayearth II / by CLAMP (translator, Anita Sengupta ; English adaptation, Jamie S. Rich). Basically, this is a continuation of Rayearth (which is sort of a magical girl series). Rayearth is about a magical land, Cephiro, that three jr. highschool girls are summoned to to save the pillar who is the support for the land. In this title, the girls return to Rayearth, because now without a pillar, Cephiro is at risk. Powerful magic users from all around are coming to compete to become the new pillar (not understanding what the role really means).

This features CLAMP’s trademark gorgeous art, a fairly compelling story in three-short volumes and a somewhat surprising twist that really went above my expectations for this title. I’ve owned it for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve actually read this part of the series.

Itazura na Kiss / by Kaoru Tada (translation, Sachiko Sato.). Easily one of my favourite shoujo manga. Itazura na kiss is the standard scenario – dumb but upbeat girl falls in love with the intelligent jerk. After she confesses her feelings, and he completely humiliates her publicly, a family tragedy (her house falls down) forces them to live together in the same house.

Oh, the drama. Oh, the comedy. Oh, the revenge studying.

The scenario is so predictable. The situation is so overdone in shoujo manga I sometimes want to scream. But this manga just seems to get it right. The art in it isn’t perfect, but there are some perfect situations that I’ve never encountered in another shoujo manga. These two volumes are the best in the series, in my opinion.

The series doesn’t complete, and leaves you at a tantalizing cliff-hanger due to the untimely demise of the author. But, because of her health struggle, and because much of this story deals with the nursing/and doctoring professions feels so much more poignant. I absolutely love this one!

★★★★ 4 Star Reads:

Magic Knight Rayearth I / by CLAMP (translator, Anita Sengupta ; English adaptation, Jamie S. Rich). The beginning of this series has the girls meeting for the first time in Cephiro, gaining their warrior abilities, and fighting to save the pillar. But, in true CLAMP style things aren’t as rosy as they appear. This is a surprisingly effective series in 3 very short volumes.

Yes, I did rate 1 volume of Akira only 4 stars. Shock!

★★★ 3 Star Reads:

Mink / by Megumi Tachikawa (Translated by Michele Kriegman ; Adapted by Darcy Lockman). Another incomplete title by Tokyopop, but I have a faint memory that I also haven’t collected everything that’s available. This is a cute magical girl series that involves a computer program who turns our main character into an idol singer. It’s fairly stock. But, the characters, and the art are completely adorable.

*Edit: Mink, as I have learned, is complete in English. I guess that just means it’s just incomplete in my collection. But, knowing that I can collect the full series is VERY good news! Thanks, Krystallina, for the info!

Pixie Pop / by Ema Toyama. Another magical girl series. This one, the girl accidentally drinks the magical “grow up” juice of the drink fairy. Now, whenever she drinks something she transforms (or gains a special ability or personality trait relating to that drink). I think it’s a fairly cute series, but definitely geared for a much younger audience than I am.

QQ Sweeper (translation, JN Productions ; adaption, Bryant Turnage) and Queens Quality (translation, JN Productions ; English adaptation Ysabet Reinhardt) / both by Kyousuke Motomi I was worried about this one, I must admit. I wasn’t terribly fond of the first series (QQ Sweeper) when I originally read it. I did like it a lot better this time.

The problem is that the ideas, characters, and even story felt like something I’d already read by Kyousuke Motomi. It wasn’t new or fresh. But, thanks to the move to a new magazine, and a new direction for her manga the continuation in the title, Queens Quality, looks like it’s taking her other ideas to another level. There is a dark mystery about this title that is super compelling. I can’t wait to see where this series goes!

platinum garden 7

Platinum Garden, 7 / by Maki Fujita  (Translated by Egan Loo ; English Adaptation by Sarah Dyer). I did it! I found volume 7. I have already written a fairly complete review for this series from volumes 1-6, and I was missing this final book. Luckily found it at a recent sale.

Unfortunately, despite now having the entire thing it is still far from complete. This is a title that started as drudgery, and ended up achingly compelling. It takes some time for this series to “get going”, and ends on the most frustrating cliff-hanger. I really hope someone will rescue and re-translate this series.

★★ 2 Star Reads:

Pink Innocent /  by Kotori Momoyuki (translated and adapted by Joshua Weeks). Another series in my collection that’s not complete, but I believe it is completely available in English… I think. This one is a story of a very wealthy young lady who has a crush on one of her classmates, and so pursues him to the extreme. Her personality is obnoxious but sweet – and so, of course, has completely won him over. This actually reminds me of another title (Flower in a Storm by Shigeyoshi Takagi) except that the roles are reversed… I also rated it 2 stars. I don’t like to read about this particular kind of domineering/obnoxious relationship.

★ 1 Star Reads:

Nothing! Hurray!

And there you have it. That’s everything for the month of April. Now, I can finally move onto May, which apparently will be ending any minute…

Manga Reading Wrap-Up | Mar 2018

Did Spring actually happen? I had every intention of keeping up with these monthly wrap-ups… but with Summer looming I am busier than ever. Now that I apparently have a moment to myself, let’s see what I read 2 months ago, shall we!??

★★★★★ 5 Star Reads:

NOTHING!!! That’s disappointing!

★★★★ 4 Star Reads:

Alice 19th / by Yuu Watase (Translated by JN Productions, Adaptation Lance Caselman). This is a cute (and somewhat dark) shoujo manga series about the power of words. I’m not a fan on how rushed the ending is of this title, but overall this is one I love to return to over-and-over. I wrote a more complete review, here. Continue reading

What Is It About Manga?

What is it about manga that appeals to you?

Librarian Nancy Pearl AFThis question was spurred on by a “Nancy Pearl”  TEDx talk from a few years ago (Below). If you don’t know Nancy Pearl, she’s basically the superhero of librarians… complete with her own action figure! She was recently visiting my city to talk about reading (I was unable to attend, so satisfied myself with her old TEDx).

While I don’t really think it’s the best TEDx talk I’ve watched, and think her ideas about recommending books to people may be a bit idealistic, she also suggests her own theory about why people enjoy the books they like.

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What Kind of Collector Are You?

I’ve been doing a bit of reading of academic journals lately. Partly because I’ve been working on a handful of scripted videos for my YouTube channel… and partly because I like reading academic journals.

But, in doing so, I’m coming across topics I want to talk about that don’t fit into the other things I’m doing. I think, I am going to start talking about them here.

So, today I am going to ask you, “What kind of collector are you?”

I was reading this article:

Belk, Russell W., et al. “Collectors and Collecting.” Advances in Consumer Research, vol. 15, no. 1, Jan. 1988, pp. 548-553.

There is quite a robust discussion of collecting behavior in it – which touch on some of the topics that I’m looking at adding to some videos. I won’t go into everything this article talks about, but the main point that I found interesting was how collectors were categorized.

Type A Collector: Continue reading

Manga TBR Shelf #40 | from Pi to Ra

I mentioned in my previous TBR shelf post that I’m creating a monthly TBR (to be read) by randomly selecting shelves from my manga room. This month, I’ve chosen shelf number 40! This contains regular sized manga from Pi to Ra.

This is one of those strange shelves where many of the series are incomplete. Several of these incomplete titles like Pieces of a Spiral are actually fairly new to the collection. They were picked up in the hopes that someday we’ll eventually be able to collect all of the volumes, and then eventually read them. But we’re not in any hurry.

I may decide to read a couple of the volume 1’s from these series, but when there are big gaps in the middle, I don’t force myself to continue.

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10 Most Anticipated New Manga : Spring – Summer 2018

My most anticipated new releases for Spring/Summer 2018 (April 2018 to August 2018). Release dates are subject to change without notice.

These first 5 titles are ones I’m most interested to hear reviews of. I’m probably not going to pick them up right away, but they are the ones I’m most intrigued by:

Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction by Inio Asano (Viz Media / Released: April 17) Continue reading

Manga Review: Platinum Garden (vol. 1-6) / by Maki Fujita

platinum garden 1Platinum Garden, volumes 1-6  / by Maki Fujita

Translated from the Japanese by Egan Loo. English Adaptation by Sarah Dyer.

Published in English by Tokyopop, 2006

First published in Japanese by Akita Publishing Co., 2001

1598163612 (volume 1)

Rated: 2.5/5 Stars


From GoodReads:

When Kazura is sent to live in Mizuki’s house, she learns that she’s really there to become his wife! Furious, Kazura tries to leave, but discovers that she was given as payment for her deceased grandfather’s debts. But things aren’t what they seem to be in this household–Mizuki can call back people’s souls, and Kazura wants him to bring back her grandfather! Maki Fujita’s shojo comedy is filled with delicious family secrets, dreamy high school romance, and plenty of spirited fun!


I picked up Platinum Garden to read because it’s on the next shelf that I’ve picked for my monthly bookshelf tours (video will go up beginning of April). My sister owns this series, and neither of us have finished reading it. Which I guess is okay, considering how it was dropped at the half-way point. There are still 7 volumes which never got an English release. She owns the first 6 volumes, which is what I’ll be discussing:

I remember picking up the first volume years ago… probably when she started buying it (in 2006) and being too bored to continue. I thought it would be a good time to try this again.

It was. I was pleasantly surprised by how good this title was. Was it great? No. It’s pretty average. But it’s better than I remember… and everything from story, art and translation improves as you progress into the later volumes.

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Manga Mysteries #MangaMonday Recommendations

There are a whole bunch of manga mystery stories. Here are a very small selection that I think you should check out if you have the chance!

The Kindaichi Case Files by Kanari Yozaburo and Sato Fumiya

Kindaichi

This is wildly out of print, but because most of the stories are self contained within each volume, it’s well worth picking up if you find a volume here and there. This is essentially a series featuring the young detective Kindaichi who solves murder mysteries; very much scenarios like you’d find in Agatha Christie novels. Kindaichi is an unassuming youth, but has great powers of perception. The stories are more about the mysteries, than they are about the characters, so if murder mysteries are something you like to read I would definitely recommend checking this one out. Published by Tokyopop.

Utsubora: the Story of a Novelist by Asamiko Nakamura

Utsubora

This is a recently in-print manga, so you should still be able to get your hands on it. This is a beautifully illustrated josei series about a novelist who has some relationship to a young woman who has recently commit suicide by jumping to her death. The mystery is subtly woven in an art house style manga. After you’ve read through it and revealed all of the secrets, you will definitely want to pick it up again. This is one of those mysteries that you get more out of every time you pick it up — which says a lot for a mystery! Definitely would recommend checking this title out. Mature Content. Published by Vertical.

Young Miss Holmes by Kaoru Shintani

Young Miss Holmes

This is exactly what it sounds like, a series about a “miss” Holmes. This miss is the niece of the famous detective, who like her famous uncle has a nimble mind and keen observation skills. This is normally a type of series that I don’t like, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. For one, the art in it is beautiful! I would recommend it for that alone. But also, this takes on the concept that miss Holmes is not her uncle’s helper, but her uncle’s competition. She is a tenacious child who wants to best her uncle at solving crimes. They often appear simultaneously at the conclusion, but have come to the correct conclusion in a different way. It’s a delightful read, but recently out of print, so pick it up when you have a chance! Published by Seven Seas.

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The Power Couples Book Tag

I was tagged by Raquel at RADIODDBOOKS about a month ago. Go and check out her answers to this tag. She’s also participating in my #ReadManga18 challenge, and I’ve been super excited following her progress!

This is technically a Valentine’s Day tag, so the questions are “couples” related. If romance is not your thing… umm… then this is going to be a disappointing read!

ONE. A couple that share big passions and goals

Naoki and Kotoko from Itazura na Kiss by Kaoru Tada. This is a classic shojo relationship featuring a dynamic couple with completely opposing personalities and skills. Ditzy Kotoko has fallen for the Genius Naoki. When Naoki realizes he might have a passion to pursue medicine, Kotoko pursues Naoki all the way to nursing school. Though they get into medicine difference ways, they end up finding a common passion, and a dream to work together after graduation.

sitazura

TWO. A couple that love and respect each other

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