One-Shot for Last Weekend – X-Tai Shinsho

xtai1X-Tai Shinsho 

Mangaka: Ezawa

Genre: Action, Comedy, Historical, Shounen, Supernatural

Sugita Genpaku made a contract with a demon in exchange for the ability to cure any disease.
But if he doesn’t find someone to treat within the time limit, his soul will be taken!

Published online on Gangan Online in 2011 by Square Enix.

xtai3Okay, I admit, it’s kind of odd that I’m writing a one-shot post for last week considering the coming weekend is just around the corner. But, still, I don’t like leaving an odd bob of a weekend out while we’re active. The one-shot I’m bringing you to attention is X-Tai Shinsho, it’s really similar to another manga series I’ve written about before in a mushroom-manga post called Kaitai Shinsho Zero. It’s whole concept is almost identical in a way, a super-doctor which cures people of extra-ordinary illnesses. I had wanted this one-shot’s story to be more in lined with a Black Jack kind of doctor story. Like a doctor who is curing the weak and sick in a more humane manner than a ball-busting, demon killing-fest like Kaitai Shinsho Zero; but that was not to be, since the protagonist in X-Tai Shinsho also kinda went that route.

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The thing that really caught my interest was the fact that the protagonist would die if he doesn’t cure a person with a deadly illness within a time-limit, it was like, wow Shounen manga really hates their protagonists don’t they. I always find that they always have some seriously depressing past but I suppose that’s how you build a extremely epic story? The manga-ka’s drawing style is also extremely pleasing on the eye, really similar to works from Comic Zero-Sum/Avarus/Gene(I’d fit GanGan Online into this group really). The one-shot was written in the way in which most Shounen manga one-shots are written – to allow a continuation to another extremely long serialisation. I don’t think this one-shot was extremely mind-blowing but I still really like the concept and the fact that the manga-ka chose to set it in a historical era; and having a light-hearted/little haughty protagonist is always a plus(keeps things less serious).

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Rating: 3/5

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“As my love first came to realization, Word had already spread.”

chihayafuru1It’s kind of amazing how you look at something differently after watching it the second time. I spent yesterday and a bit of today re-watching the first season of Chihayafuru (and unbeknownst to me so was chungky). For those of you who don’t know it, Chihayafuru is a manga/anime about a bunch of high-school kids playing karuta. Karuta’s basically a game based around the hyakunin isshu, a collection of 100 poems by 100 poets.

Chihayafuru really changed for me when I re-watched it; most probably because my understanding of karuta was a lot better, but now that I knew some things were going to happen, I could pay attention to others instead. For example, there are times in the story where they use the poetry from the hyakunin isshu to illustrate the relationships between the characters; before I thought they were just pretty words that relate really well to the situation. But my second experience with Chihayafuru found the description to be so beautiful, I’ve quoted some of them in this post!

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Let’s start!

I read the Chihayafuru manga before the anime came out, and I’ve been captured by it from the very beginning. Maybe it’s my own bias for stories that use the ‘childhood friends’ card; I always feel that the relationship between children are a lot more direct, honest and simple (e.g. not manipulated by hormones yet). So anyway, the three main characters are 1, the heroine (Chihaya), 2, the transfer student who introduces her to karuta (Arata) and 3, the bully/friend (Taichi). I’ll be going off on my own rant about it from here on, so spoilers will follow. But if you’re like chungky who went all “Well, 6don’t mean to spoil it for you, but looks like the bully’s gonna get her,” when I’d only explained what characters were in the story and nothing about storyline, then we all never had to worry about what ultimately would or would not happen.

BUT THAT’S THE THING!! Continue reading

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Mushroom Manga Talk (?) – Changing the Past in Orange

Orange (Takano Ichigo) /オレンジ (高野苺)

Manga-ka: Takano Ichigo

orange cover

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Shoujo, Romance, School Life, Slice-of-Life, Supernatural, Tragedy

In the Spring she was 16, Takamiya Naho receives a strange, but detailed letter from herself, ten years in the future. At first she thinks the letter is a prank, but then the things written in the letter actually happen, including the new transfer student that sits next to her in class, Naruse Kakeru. In the letter, her 27-year-old self tells her 16-year-old self that her biggest regret is that Kakeru is no longer with them in the future, and asks her to watch him closely.

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So I don’t usually read – much less write – posts around the shoujo/drama genre, but there was just something about Takano Ichigo’s Orange that compelled me to get typing. The story revolves around a high school girl called Naho, who somehow receives a letter from herself 10 years into the future. The letter orangebasically tells her to re-do the things that her 10-years-later self (let’s call her Naho2) regrets even to her present day, from the little things such as not stepping up as a batter in a class softball tournament, to not being able to save somebody very, very precious to her.

Gosh I feel old but it’s about half a year since I’ve turned 21, and chungky’s also just turned 21 so Happy Birthday dude. Anyway, around the time I turned 21 I started doing everything I always wanted to do, but had been afraid of failing, or having people laugh at me since 1991. There’s always this nagging at the back of my head saying “Well you could’ve done it 10 years ago; you just chickened out,”. I should have been more persistent, I should have been braver, I should have said this, I should have done that. Should, should, should.

But I didn’t.

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Shingeki no Kyojin – Chew on it Bro

Shingeki no Kyojin (進撃の巨人) / Attack on Titan

Shingeki no Kyojin posterSeveral hundred years ago, humans were nearly exterminated by titans. Titans are typically several stories tall, seem to have no intelligence, and devour human beings. A small percentage of humanity survived by locking themselves in a city surrounded by 50m walls. Flash forward to the present; the city has not seen a titan in over 100 years. However, this all changes when a colossal titan appears and breaches the wall that had protected them for a century.

Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Shounen, Tragedy

Status: Currently airing, planned for 25 episodes

Original work by Isayama Hajime, directed by Araki Tetsurou and produced by like a massive bunch of companies including Production I.G.,  FUNimation Entertainment, Mainichi Broascasting, etc. etc.

Rated  R17; and like guys, pay attention to that rating because I (and I think a lot of other people) really got the shock of their lives from watching this anime. Speaking of which, I’m wondering why none of the genres mention ‘psychological’ considering the fact that watching this probably leaves you with some mental scars.

Shingeki no Kyojin eren 4

Let’s start!

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What do you mean you haven't watched it?!

What do you mean you haven’t watched it?!

I think it’s pretty solid to say that the anime of the season right now is Shingeki no Kyojin; I know it’s not much of a reference but whenever I read comments off 9gag, there’s always someone putting in  some titan joke or yo’ momma is a titan or whatever. Even chungky who doesn’t usually watch anime (much less one that is quite graphic, to say the least) has got a bit of an unhealthy obsession with it,as mentioned previously, “following the anime religiously and even re-watching it like a cow regurgitating grass,”.

Anyway if you haven’t watched Shingeki no Kyojin by now, you have no idea what you’re missing out. I cannot remember the last time I’ve been this floored by an anime; there’s something very brutally blunt about the way the story is executed. This post does contain spoilers, but nothing beyond like the 4th episode. The basic premise is that humanity has been hiding behind 50m walls for the past 100 years to hide away from the titans, who are these humanoid creatures that come in assorted sizes (usually larger than yo’ momma) and have pretty much been snacking their way through the human race. This post shall henceforth primarily focus on the aforementioned snackers.

Shingeki no Kyojin titan

Found ya

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Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin – The Primal State of Being

attack17

Indeed.

This post contains spoilers.

A few weeks ago, if you had asked me what Attack on Titan was, I’d be like – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, WHATEVER. MOVING ON.

Ahem, that would’ve been an extremely annoying response. But who cares now!? Few weeks in, I’m following the anime religiously and even re-watching it like a cow regurgitating grass. Horrible imaginary, true; but very much like the grotesque portrayal of the Titans themselves no(ok, I suppose that imagery was more gross than grotesque.)? I’m not sure about depiction of titans is in the manga, (arawr does though, so ask her what she thinks) but I nearly fainted when I saw it animated. The whole nature of the anime is quite unforgiving.

A little bit like this:

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And showing how a titan chomps down the protagonist’s mother.

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So hey, what was my initial response? Well, dear reader, you shouldn’t need to ask since I’m about to tell you anyway! Continue reading

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One-Shot for the Weekend – Koe no Katachi (聲の形)

KNK cover

Koe no Katachi (聲の形) / The Shape of a Voice

Manga-ka: Ooima Yoshitoki

Genre: Drama, School Life, Shounen

A one-shot about a grade school class that accepts a girl with impaired hearing.

Winner of the 80th Weekly Shounen Magazine Newbie Best Mangaka Award Publicized again on the 12th edition of the 2013 Weekly Shounen Magazine.

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KNK 1Okay so it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything (over a year, really) but I’ll update anyone who cares about it some other time. Here’s some other information about the manga I got from MyAnimeList – “The vector of the content made it difficult for publication in any manga magazine, until it was picked up, after months of legal dispute, by the February edition of Bessatsu Shounen Magazine, where it got first place despite its being a one-shot.”

KNK 2So! I’ll start with the one-shot that’s affected me the most since I went off on hiatus. Koe no Katachi, or The Shape of a Voice. There are some common themes with this manga that you’d see in others as well, but the way the manga-ka handles this doesn’t just make it realistic – he makes it believable. The story is so grounded it felt like a story you could read of your daily newspaper; a story you don’t want to believe, but somehow know that it probably is true.  There are a lot of manga out there who have ‘realistic’ story lines, but making something believable – making it into KNK6something that you can see happening in real life – is something that takes a different sort of talent (and quite a lot of guts in this case due to the controversial content).

The issues throughout the manga that really intrigued me was special education needs (SEN), bullying and teaching. I’ve been pretty much working in a sort of special school setting this past year, so these issues really stood out for me. I did about 5 minutes research about SEN in Japan, and there apparently was a period of time when children with disabilities were placed in regular classes in regular schools. You can read the short article where I got this from here.

Like I said before, a lot of manga deals with this kind of story line, but there’s always something about it that can make you separate fact from fiction. Normally with manga, you end up caring for the character, but can detach KNK4yourself from that universe. In Koe no Katachi, maybe in the end you are able to detach yourself from the characters (if you can’t care for them, you sure are an a**), but you can’t detach yourself from the issues that were highlighted in the manga.

If you’re into a one-shot that chains you back to reality after all the floating away the fictional world has brought you to, here’s one for you. And despite everything I said, the manga does end on an extremely sweet note, so do give it a go!

Rating: 5.0/5.0

KNK 3

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Chungky’s Mini Fall/Winter Anime Rant – Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun | Kamisama Hajimemashita | Suki-tte Ii Na Yo

Welcome to my short winter anime rant post! Why a mini and not a thorough cover of winter anime? Because first of all, I’ve always been a more manga-oriented person. Second, I don’t watch anime as extensively even though I love it(kind of overlaps with point one but oh well…). Third, I only watch what I like, as in, I don’t really bother to check up on things that I don’t normally venture into(which is kind of hypocritical, unless people HIGHLY recommend it). Fourth point is unnecessary, but watching everything is a bit insane.

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【企画】ポフィンをどうぞ【ぴくトレ】 by patty

If you found the top part of this post pointless(which probably is) please read on!

The one thing in common between these three anime(besides being romance & shoujo) is that I followed all three of the manga series right from when they were serialised. When it was announced that all three were getting an anime this winter season, I had this hipster moment and obviously I couldn’t help but cry out to people that “I TOLD YOU SO.” It’s quite satisfying to know that manga that I’ve followed from the beginning(back when no one even heard of them) managed to receive anime adaptations. I guess in that sense it kind of tells us avid manga readers that they’ve made the cut(shallow comment).

Now to the anime. Only one was impressive. The other two were pretty disappointing and I’m kind of holding back a nasty word to describe them. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun exceeded my expectations. Kamisama Hajimemashita was average though it did have it’s little bright moments(nevertheless disappointing). As for Suki-tte Ii Na Yo, don’t even get me started. Pardon my French, but I thought this was absolutely horrid to put quite bluntly. At one point I saw a glimmer of light at the middle but boo…

I initially written a more comprehensive post but I decided to give each of these series an individual post since I was going way over the limit of a rant.

I’ll start from my absolutely favourite to the the absolute hated.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun | The Monster Seated Next to Me

tonari

So let’s start with Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. Continue reading

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