Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A call for (superficial) scanlation reform

 I have absolutely no idea if this is a common sentiment at all...

But I really don't like the fonts that all scanlation groups use. I'm guessing it's a relic of old American comic book typefaces, but in my opinion, it looks goofy and unprofessional. I don't even know if they're all the same font, but they all look very similar. What's wrong with good old times new roman or even calibri? The fonts used currently make shoujo titles look silly and girly, and shounen titles look dated and ridiculous. Somehow, don't ask me how, the font seems to exaggerate the stereotypes.

Considering in Japanese manga, the font is quite standard (it's no different than any other kind of publication), I don't see why when the mangas are translated into English, they have to take on such childish fonts. Why also, are all scanlation groups adopting the same style as if they didn't have a choice? Anybody out there who feels the same way I do?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kimi ni Todoke chapter 50 summary/translation

I've translated into English a summary of ch50 from this blog

If I close my eyes, the first person I think of is Kazehaya kun
Before I close my eyes, the last person I think of is the person I want to tell today's events to

On the way to school, Sawako tells Ayane and Chizu about Kazehaya kun coming over her house, and how he met her parents and ate dinner. The two girls were pretty surprised and sympathized with Sawako's dad ("poor dad", "Did he want to die?") and asked if Kazehaya was nervous. Sawako replies, yes he was nervous but so was she. Chizu asks if they went to her room, and Sawako replies "yes!!". The two girls are grinning and ask if they held hands, and Sawako tells them "yup!!"  To which they respond with many more questions; "you did? where? how?"

Friday, September 10, 2010

Oboreru Knife - 溺れるナイフ

Oboreru knife (v10+) is a shoujo series by Asakura George. In my opinion, this is one of the best current mangas, but it's a little hard to explain why.
Of course, the art is amazing; Asakura's style is undeniably unique, but more impressive than the pretty pictures, are the well thought-out angles of the shots that the reader is afforded. This manga reads like a movie - zooming in and out to really highlight the significance of certain scenes, off-center shots to show one character's sidelong glance (rarely a full-on shot of a character)...beautiful and rather fantastic images of the rural environment, which appear to change mood with the story (dynamic ocean and woods which shift from calm to powerful and cold).

The story explores many dramatic and serious themes:

Natsume and Kou are powerful individuals in their community: Natsume with her beauty and ability to inspire people and Kou with his charisma, his physical power (very athletic and strong), his family's political and financial power, and also his intellectual power (he is definitely a very smart kid who is able to see what drives people and their motives). To everybody around them, they are a perfect match, and these two with their naivete of youth, feel invincible. This feeling of invincibility, however, is shattered when Natsume is nearly raped by a 20-something-year-old man. As is often the case with rape victims, Natsume feels dirty and no longer special, and also partly blames Kou who wasn't able to protect her, even though he was at the rape scene. Kou on the other hand turns to violence to escape from his feelings of guilt and weakness. In volumes 9+10, both begin to slowly recover; Natsume through the nurture of Ootomo, and Kou on his own in a little shack in the woods.

The Supernatural
The myths of the countryside supply the backdrop for this manga. According to these myths, there was a powerful female Goddess who was extremely jealous of other females and also quite ugly and violent. Then one day one of Kou's ancestors built a little shrine for the goddess in a moonlit spot, claiming that even the ugly goddess would appear beautiful in the moonlight. Ever since then the goddess has been calm and has brought prosperity to the Hasegawa clan (Kou's family).
Natsume appears on the scene, a beautiful young girl and Kou's apparent partner. Perhaps the goddess is jealous of Natsume and angry at Kou for being with her, and has caused their calamity (rape) and their downfall. There is an underlying implication that perhaps it was the gods' will that the rape happened, perhaps as punishment for being too arrogant in their power.

This is all for now. There is so much to think about in this manga.

First day of blogging

I envision this blog as one that covers manga which haven't been given their due attention. True, I enjoy popular titles as much as the next person, but since there are plenty of websites out there about these big shot mangas, I thought I would blog about unique titles, regardless of genre, that I feel are underrated.

Blogging is very new to me, so the blog layout may be rather ordinary until I pick up some skills. bear with me.
With this brief introduction, I will now move onto my first real entry about my current favorite manga.