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I used to be one of those people who used their dubious high-school French skills to do second-gen English manga translations. You can recognize us because sometimes the word "hazard" shows up in weird places.

YUKIMURA: But what a hazard to meet you here! KYO: Is it really 'a hazard'?

Because come on, we don’t fucking know what “hasard” means! We already had to learn "chance" and "destin," what are we gonna do with a third word. God.

Don't even talk to me about "sort."
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Characters in Bleach die and go to Yami no Matsuei, and characters in Yami no Matsuei die and go to Bleach.

Characters who die in both consecutively go to Dragon Ball - aka, hell - a realm where there is no true death, and therefore, no hope of escape.

#'but where do characters who die in homestuck go preacher' #'they become horses in mercedes lackey books'
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WELL, BLEACH, SURELY THIS DEVELOPMENT ADDRESSES ALL MY OBJECTIONS.

that sentence was a lie )
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Dreamed about one of those rich manga families whose financial success depends upon their practice of sacrificing the occasional child to some supernatural horror with which they have made an unholy pact. They had a tentacle monster in a swimming pool. They tricked their obligatory black-sheep yanki boy with the leather jacket and dubious hair into going up to the edge of the water, allowing the monster to grab him.

The monster turned out to just want the kid to study the environmental sciences with an emphasis on water quality. When I woke up, he was at a seminar about low-tech methods of sewage filtration used in developing countries, being held in a pleasant coastal town popular among retirees for its hot springs. He felt this situation to be all wrong for his image.
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There's no actual "fucking" in the title, that was me expressing incredulity. There is, however, fucking in the manga itself. It's a shoujo manga where the "bad boy" character in the high-school love triangle is literally Satan. I don't remember why Satan's going to high school. I guess the same reason vampires do.

It's hilarious, particularly in really stilted scanlations. Satan shows he's secretly a nice guy by adopting a persecuted crow-demon child.
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at which I once merely rolled my eyes.

I cannot handle Chigusa in Silver Diamond anymore. He needs to keep his hands off that teenager.

skdfhaskfhd

Dec. 6th, 2013 01:43 am
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When you feel extremely shitty and cannot sleep, the appropriate thing to do is re-read all of Battle Angel Alita. All of it. I just got to the Last Order arc where Kishiro got grumpy and started drawing dicks all over everything.

SERIOUS BATTLE ANGEL ALITA SPOILERS: Aliens tried to contact us by sending a giant dickbot to kill us with its giant dick, because their observation of human culture led them to believe that that's pretty much how we roll.

Kishiro really doesn't get enough credit for the solidity of his worldbuilding. Never before have I encountered such a chillingly plausible first contact scenario.

Fortunately there were a couple SPACE KARATE dudes, who SYMBOLIZE SHOUNEN MANGA, because, that is how shounen manga works, it has some fucking SPACE KARATE in it. One of them became the Bodhisattva of PUNCHING STUFF IN SPACE SO HARD IT EXPLODES, but then the other, whose hair is a bunch of smaller robot dicks, PUNCHED the Bodhisattva SO HARD HE EXPLODED along with his whole temple. Then he PUNCHES the giant dickbot SO HARD IT EXPLODES.

Young vandals, this is the sort of craftsmanship to which you should aspire. This is what it looks like when a dedicated professional draws dicks all over everything.
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The game is definitely a joke. It is trolling you and you are allowing it to do so. Stop liking this game, your opinions are wrong, you should like something I like instead.

I know, you can like 7 Seeds and Hayate x Blade instead! 7 Seeds is like Homestuck if it went grimdark, and Hayate x Blade is like Ouran High School Host Club but all-lesbian and with swordfights. These things are relevant to your interests.
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Every single purchase page in Square Enix's irredeemably badly-run online manga site includes a prominent link to a stern lecture about how scanlations are destroying "the future of manga".

There are even legal threats in there. "Oh, I see that you are considering giving us money. Well, I hope you're not also considering clicking away to read our titles for free on a better-designed site run by amateurs! Because if so WE'LL SEE YOU IN COURT YOU LITTLE SHITS."

The scanlations have been here longer than you have, guys, I really don't think they're the problem. The problem is a combination of technological incompetence on your part and the artistically stagnant and increasingly-irrelevant nature of your product. So, like DC Comics, only with more UST between dudes.
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JOHN: ok. what's this story about?

JOHN: ogre sex, or salamander shipping, or something?

ARANEA: Nope! Although I would 8e happy to tell you all a8out those topics another time.

Aranea Serket: A huge idiot who cannot effectively convey her fannish zeal for things in under 2,000 words, thus making everyone else mistrust/hate the things in question.

I overidentify with Aranea! How many ineffective rambling rec posts have I even written about Vampire Game? Probably a lot.

(Okay, Vampire Game in one sentence: It's an inexplicably non-misogynistic vampire manga, sort of about Bella Swan attempting ineffectually to use Edward Cullen to destroy her enemies, drawn really badly and adapted into English by someone who thought jokes about anal sex and jell-o were just the very best thing.)
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As of May 30th 2013 at 11:59pm (US Pacific Time) users will no longer be able to view digital manga content on JManga.com. At this time all purchased and free digital manga content will be erased from all JManga Member’s accounts.

You were brought into existence, JManga, by beings who desired to banish the internet again into the maelstrom from which it had formed. As such, your business plan was crafted as a formalized gesture of spite, towards a future in which your creators saw themselves diminishing in stature, becoming mere men, and old. And so they spake, and said,

can we go back to the eighties lets go back to the eighties okay.

(That's what they said.)

And then, JManga, they created you.

You were an abomination. And your life was not a good one.

* You were asking people to pay real-book-type prices for low-resolution scans of poorly-edited manga.

* Which were not downloadable. Not even with DRM. They could be accessed only from your servers, using your website and or your proprietary apps.

* As such - as any erstwhile user of Yahoo! Music or other such services well knew - we did not buy those low-resolution scans from you. We merely rented them, until came the day upon which you would shrug your shoulders, say "welp, I tried," and shut down your servers.

* You didn't actually try.

* Like, your website and apps were so bad? That I think they were meant as some kind of deliberate "fuck you."

* You didn't even release the mobile apps until last October.

* Wait, did the iPad app ever come out? (Edit: It didn't.)

* It's just kind of hard to believe you were serious about entering this market, is I guess what I'm saying, JManga.

* So, I don't really care that you're dead.

* Someone else should probably have delivered the eulogy.

(Tumblr Crosspost)
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Who thought it was a good idea to make a shitload of Harlequin manga in the first place? Why does it comprise like 3/4 of the josei catalog? Does anyone under the age of sixty even read Harlequins? It just seems like a huge demographic mismatch.

Screenshot of Harlequin manga covers with Facebook 'like' boxes on top; one of them, 'Keeping Luke's Secret,' has received a single lonely 'like'.

(those facebook like boxes)

Look at these awful titles:

The Italian Playboy's Secret Son

Sale or Return Bride

The Italian's Passionate Revenge (oh, no! Same Italian?)

The Sheikh's Reluctant Bride

The Sheikh's Contract Bride (the sheikh is keeping busy)

The Billionaire's Virgin Mistress

Married By Mistake! (okay, yeah, that sounds like a manga)

Purchased For Revenge (that, too)

The Forced Bride (this fucking genre, my god)

Cowboys, Babies, and Shotgun Vows (well that sounds crazy fucking romantic)

The Italian's Token Wife (you know it is exactly this sort of behavior that got you guys stuck with Silvio Berlusconi for like nine years)

The Billionaire Boss's Forbidden Mistress (no one forbids the Billionaire Boss! Mistresses, that is. No one forbids him mistresses.)

Pregnant by the Millionaire (she should have held out for the billionaire)

Royally Bedded, Regally Wedded (or maybe whoever this guy is)

The Sheikh's Ransomed Bride (geez sheikh how many of those do you even need)

The Spanish Duke's Virgin Bride (new nationality here, so this story must be completely different from every single one of the others)

The Millionaire's Pregnant Mistress (is this the same as that other millionaire-baby one but retitled? No, it looks like it's different.)

A Date With a Billionaire (she gets a look at his cell phone while he's in the bathroom and the address book is just "virgin one," "pregnant one," "forbidden one," so she walks out and calls up the cowboy. The cowboy is such a good listener.)

Mistress Bought and Paid For (goddamn we are purchasing a lot of fucking women in these stories, what the hell is wrong with Harlequin)

To Marry a Stranger (the stranger has an eyepatch, so yeah this is basically a manga, sure)

Marriage Scandal, Showbiz Baby! (the scandal is that the baby is a reincarnated vengeful alien ghost, right? Because it's manga. Right?)

Claiming His Pregnant Wife (this sounds like a tagline given to a murder by an awful local news station)

Public Wife, Private Mistress (that's generally how it works yeah)

Traded to the Sheikh (I'll bet it was the Spanish Duke initiating this arrangement, I never trusted that guy)

The Billionaire's Secret Baby (oh we all know the billionaire sucks at keeping secrets)

A Wife in Time (I'm unfortunately pretty sure that this isn't about time travel, how are these even manga)

Princess of Convenience (that doesn't even make sense)

The Stanbury Crown, Royally Wed IV - An Officer and a Princess (oh god so someone felt there needed to be three other manga about the royalty of someplace called Stanbury getting married over and fucking over? I bet there are white horses with frilly tack involved.)

Wife By Agreement (well, that's a pleasant first)

The Stanbury Crown, Royally Wed II - The Blacksheep Prince's Bride (there's supposed to be a space in "black sheep" you terrible prince)

The Stanbury Crown, Royally Wed III - Code Name: Prince ("dude that is the shittiest codename" "look do you want to have a goddamn frilly horse wedding or not")

To Woo a Wife (this is really fucking progressive for these things)

The Stanbury Crown, Royally Wed I - The Expectant Princess ("i am expecting to give birth to a secret fucking agent")

Billionaire Bachelors: Stone (maybe the billionaire bachelors are like, elementally-themed, and they're a team of chosen warriors who fight evil together? Because it's manga.)

In The Arms of the Sheikh ("oh baby i have three or four wives already" "that is so hot")

The Celebrity Doctor's Proposal ("oh baby i want to surgically alter your vulva to be more symmetrical, and also marry you maybe" "no i am going to go see if the sheikh's got any spots open")

Million Dollar Men II - Millionaire Husband (these guys are the Monthly GFantasy knockoff of the Billionaire Bachelors)

Million Dollar Men III - The Millionaire's Secret Wish ("man i wish i was a billionaire bachelor, they have that cool elemental thing going on and takahiro sakurai voices one of them in the anime")

Million Dollar Men I - Expecting the Boss's Baby (there are three dudes on the cover of this one, I'm confident that it's mpreg and not just an establishing shot of this crappy hero team together)

Angus's Lost Lady (gonna pretend this is about some cows)

Daniel and Daughter (uh)
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"It's like manga without the misogyny."

(I no longer read new manga without having seen at least three reviews from trusted sources affirming a complete lack of misogyny. Because I work at a criminal defense firm, and my tolerance for sexual predators is pretty thin by the end of the day.)
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Except Andrew Hussie, Tamura Yumi, and Juan Santapau. They're fine.

Recommend me some really bad manga to read, and assuming my energy levels are reasonable, I will endeavor write rude things about them here.

(Bad manga that are available for illegal download, because I cannot spend my Christmukkougatsu shopping money on bad manga.)
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Oh my god, Heart of Thomas is basically one of Karkat's troll romance novels.

Thomas ><3 Juli
Juli ><3 Eric
Eric ? Juli
Oscar <> Juli

They are all doomed because of their failure to arrange things sensibly for bucket-filling purposes.
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Today I learned that I will read anything, no matter how careless and incoherent, if you make the dark lord the protagonist. There needs to be like, a twelve-step program for villain addiction.

Once upon a time, there was a magical princess destined to save the world, who was kidnapped by the demon lord and cast into an eternal sleep. A knight came and rescued her, only to have her stolen away from him again. To get her back, he was forced to turn himself into the demon lord. GOTO Once upon a time.

The manhwa ends without making it clear whether this story actually forms an endless loop. I only kept reading because I wanted to be sure on that point. So, screw you, manhwa. The art is really inconsistent, making it difficult to recognize recurring characters from one appearance to the next, and impossible to tell that it's deliberate that the knight's appearance is becoming more demon lordly. This person did not have the necessary art skills for the plotline he wanted to do.

(Why can't I find any books where the wicked queen's the protagonist? Aside from Superior, which doesn't really count.)
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Absolute Boyfriend, by Watase Yuu

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, Watase Yuu became envious of Chobits, Video Girl Ai, Saber Marionette, and the rest of the loser-guy-gets-a-sexbot genre, and decided that she would make her own loser-girl-gets-a-sexbot series. It was exactly like all the others, except by Watase Yuu. The end.

Accel World, by Kawahara Reki, Aigamo Hiroyuki, and probably the Devil

In the future, everyone has an internet port installed in their necks at a young age, which allows you to enter a Second Life-like virtual reality. An insecure fat kid named Haruyuki plays virtual reality games to escape from daily bullying. His skill at gaming attracts the attention of the most popular girl in school, who invites him to join a secret game called Brain Burst, which confers special real-world powers on its players.

Though Haruyuki's uselessness and social anxiety are impressive even for a shounen manga hero, he is nonetheless constantly surrounded by blushing big-eyed girls who stare deeply into his eyes and tell him all about his good qualities. Which I guess he demonstrates offpanel, to avoid any risk of making the reader feel outclassed. Even his game avatar is initially a cartoon pig. When in battle, he switches to a skinny robot which is literally faceless, to make it easier for readers to project themselves into the fight scenes.

I hope that this manga represents the industry's apex of cynical calculation, because the thought of what lies beyond this peak cannot but terrify. It was, obviously, released in conjunction with a light novel series, an anime, a video game, and at least two other separate manga, in a hideous supernova of corporate evil.

Vampire Knight, by Hino Matsuri

Vampires, as we all know, desire nothing more than to go to high school. Those bastards absolutely love going to high school. I mean, they never learn anything - they barely even go to class, that would cut into their brooding time - but it affords them the opportunity to fondle the throats of virginal teenagers, which is all that's really important.

Yuuki is a human girl who is simultaneously in love both with Zero, a short-tempered tsundere human boy, and Kaname, the gentle but ambiguously ominous vampire boy who once saved her life. It takes only a bare modicum of genre knowledge to realize that any relationship she might form with the Kaname is horribly doomed - especially once Zero turns into a vampire himself to up his exoticism and danger to appropriate levels. Unusually, this does not stop Hino Matsuri from taking Yuuki as far as possible along the wrong track without actually showing her having sex with Kaname. (It runs in Hana to Yume, which I don't think lets you do that.)

This is enjoyable angst-ridden shoujo with 200% the FDA's daily recommended intake of unresolved sexual tension. Unlike those other two manga I just discussed, however, it's not as slick a formula thing as Hana to Yume would probably like it to be. Hino cuts off plotlines at odd times, suffers from a problematic inability to make her male characters visually distinct from one another, and forgets to establish characters who will be important until the chapter in which they became important. (At one point I think she actually does this in the notes-from-the-author sidebar.)

This won't bother you if you're skimming over the other stuff to get to the scenes between Yuuki, Kaname, and Zero which is probably the sanest thing to do. While their relationships make perfect emotional sense, if introduced to even the slightest whiff of logic this series would disintegrate.
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The Riddlemaster of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, and Harpist in the Wind, by Patricia McKillip

Roughly my zillionth reread. These really are her harshest books, both in terms of what she puts the heroes through and how much she makes you feel it.

Uchuu na Bokura!, chapters 1-13, by Hiwatari Saki

This is by the artist of Please Save My Earth!, and started its run about five years after the last volume of PSME came out. Hiwatari's art improved a lot over the course of PSME, and was even better in Global Garden a couple years after this. So, I don't know what happened here. Some kind of stylistic atavism? Everyone's head is shaped weird.

People with weird-shaped heads.The story is her favorite one: a timid, insecure girl is fought over by men and tormented by her own inability to assert herself. It's a little milder than PSME here, though. A girl named Haruko, whose mother has recently passed away, begins receiving harassing notes at school accusing her of being a witch. Which she is, though she has no obvious magical powers, aside from her ability to talk to her familiar, a cat named Silk, in her dreams each night.

Promptly, two boys come to her aid. One is short-tempered but clearly in love with her, and I'm just going to call him New Shion; the other is easygoing and clearly wrong for her, so I'll call him New Jinpachi. Three female classmates - her delicate best friend, a hyperactive ganguro girl, and a mysterious Chinese exchange student - also step up to help her find the bully.

There is initially some question as to whether Haruko is just imagining the whole witch thing, and thus an unreliable narrator, who may even be sending the notes to herself. Which is interesting! But then the Chinese girl turns out to be a witch, New Shion starts talking to the cat, and we get scenes where the True Culprit says ominous things. So, for conflict we're left with mean anonymous notes meeting Haruko's human wall of a support network and being brushed aside. And it's pretty obvious who's sending them.

I can't find scans past chapter 13, but I feel like I've got a pretty good idea what's going to happen. This is apparently what it looks like when Hiwatari phones it in: there's nothing really objectionable going on, but it's hard to care.
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I cannot rule out the possibility that Kimi no Kakera is a deadpan satire of all the most revolting elements of the moe aesthetic. It's not impossible; there do, after all, exist shounen magazines which appear to exist at least in part as some sort of practical joke. All the available evidence, however, suggests that this manga simply a collection of all the most revolting elements of the moe aesthetic. It's by Takahashi Shin, creator of Saikano, who is evidently even madder than that might suggest.

Extreme close-up of wide-eyed, weeping face.
Every single panel.
It shares with the unpleasant Letter Bee both its MacGuffin - a missing sun - and its pornographic fascination with the suffering of wide-eyed, androgynous children. The protagonist is Icoro, a princess who, for reasons not entirely clear, is forced to do menial jobs to support her little brother while being heaped with verbal abuse. She is also constantly starving and cold, never gets a full night's sleep, has no friends, and was born incapable of smiling or laughing. When these various indignities build up too heavily upon her, as they do every two or three pages, Icoro cries massive, bulging, physically-improbable eyefulls of tears, so that it sometimes resembles a face less than a molten Venusian landscape. It's usually snowing, though.

If you worry that watching a Princess cry in the snow might get a little tedious, fear not, for sometimes she also wets herself. Also, there are other children to be tormented. These include her little brother, who is blind, sickly, and probably doomed; two emotionally stunted child soldiers; and an amnesiac boy whom she names Shiro, because he can't remember his name. Shiro, like Icoro, is missing certain emotional responses - he's incapable of crying or expressing grief, even when seriously injured, or explaining to Icoro that she is the first friend he's ever had.

Unfortunately, Shiro loses his memory again every time he's forced to fight to rescue her from something, meaning that he is constantly forgetting about her. Given that, with the exception of her doomed brother, he is literally the only character who doesn't abuse her (even her cute animal sidekick hates her), this sets off even more weeping on her part.

At one point, at the climax of a particularly intense cycle of abuse-and-weeping directed at Icoro, two sets of her tormenters - the child soldiers and some evil adults - are fighting over which gets to kidnap her. She bursts into tears so effectively that everyone has to stop to look at her. She's a virtuoso. She says, "I feel sorry for you all!" and launches into a tearful speech about how pathetic all of their lives are.

One of the child soldiers, later, spends a good deal of time thinking reluctantly about this. He begins to admire Icoro for this; her pity of them, in fact, strikes him as the highest emotion to which one could aspire. He sees something deeply profound in it.

I've been formulating a theory about moe.

Cut for length. )

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The contents of this blog and all comments I make are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License. I hope that name is long enough. I could add some stuff. It could also be a Bring Me A Sandwich License.

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