Archive for the ‘Manga’ Category

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Some of Our Favorite Anime and Manga About Anime and Manga

March 9, 2015

narutaki_icon_4040 I love animation and comics. Period. The artforms that is. And the more I learn about the process, the more appreciation I have for them. I feel like there isn’t a year that goes by where I don’t see something so incredible that it makes me revere the mediums all over again.

There is a lot to learn and having better access to Japanese news and culture has given us lots of insight: from the first time I learned about the assistants a manga-ka has to crowdfunding for animator dorms (!). But non-fiction accounts aren’t the only way to learn about an industry. In fact, creating a fictional world set within the very real parameters of manga creation or animation studios may illuminate the true struggles and triumphs even more.

hisui_icon_4040 If you are an animation fan for any amount of time there is a tendency to wonder what is the precise magic that transforms still pictures into moving images. (It is not actually sorcery that creates animation unless that animation is stop motion.) Some people are interested for academic reasons, others as it is a potential career path, while most just want a deeper understanding of their hobby. But like any attempt to see how the sausage is made it can be anything from an eye-opening moment of wonder to harsh bucket of cold water depending on how the lesson is presented.

Anime and manga have done several stories that look at how they are made with various degrees of love. In some titles it is the heart and soul of the premise and others it merely a set piece for comedy or romance. Those anime and manga range in its opinion of itself as everything from seeing the industry as havens of marvelous artistic self-expression to soul grinding commercial product factories with most portrayals being some sort of mix between those two extremes. No matter which of the two ends of the spectrum the title falls on they are usually an eye-opening insight into how the stories otaku love are created.

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Manga of the Month: Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin

March 7, 2015

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin
(機動戦士ガンダム THE ORIGIN) by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko

hisui_icon_4040 While several series might have been laid the foundations Yoshiyuki Tomino’s anime Mobile Suit Gundam is the father of the real robot genre. The anime brought an unpredicted level of realistic politics, warfare, and characterization to a genre that was previously filled with near magical (or is the case of Brave Raideen actually magical) giant robots fighting monsters. The idea that mecha could be mass-produced machines of war like tanks or planes changed the way those stories are told in a myriad of ways.

But there are two things to remember. The first was while Gundam was revolutionary it still had its feet half way in the genre that spawned it. There series still has some major super robot elements. The MA-04X Zakrello sums that up perfectly. The second is that Tomino is an odd duck. The good luck charm section of the Gundam novels is a prime example. While Gundam has been memorialized as a game changing series it is hardly perfect.

Jump ahead to June 2001. Yoshikazu Yasuhiko starts the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin manga. It is pretty much proof that hindsight is 20/20. It is a retelling of the original story twenty-two years later. As the original character designer for Mobile Suit Gundam Yoshikazu Yasuhiko was intimately involved with the orignal production of the series. Therefore he knew the ins and outs of the series including what worked, what they had to cut, and what had not aged well with the original production. Overall the story is the same but this time Yoshikazu Yasuhiko has had over two decades of criticism, analysis, experience to make an updated version of one of the most famous Japanese science fiction stories of all time.

Could this remake live up to the original?

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The February 2015 Line-Up

February 28, 2015

narutaki_icon_4040 I see a few more mystery/detective series popping up in announcements.

hisui_icon_4040 I’m still waiting for someone to license Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven Is a Place on Earth. Where else are you going to get Kayura Tsurugino dressed as Saber?

The Line-Up is a monthly rundown of new anime, manga, light novel, artbook licenses, streaming/broadcasting announcements, crowdfunding projects, anime/manga projects, and live-action anime/manga adaptions.

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The Speakeasy #062: Early Morning Splash—Figures, Shojo Art, Idea Channel, and Tomino

February 23, 2015
Drink #062: Early Morning Splash
Figures, Shojo Art, Idea Channel, and Tomino

Ongoing Investigations: Idea Channel meet-up NYCWorld of Shojo Manga: Mirrors of Girls’ Desires exhibit, Black Bard by Sazanami IchiyaPretty Cure Splash Star and Fresh Pretty Cure! by Toei Animation.

Topics: WonderfestHiroaki Yura resigns from Creative Intelligence/Under the DogSummit of the Gods Manga Gets French CG Animated FilmG-Reco Website is Fielding Questions for Gundam Creator Yoshiyuki TominoCrunchyroll And Discotek Media Partner, and Discotek Talks Crowdfunding.

(Listen)

Bonus recording from after Kate got the chance to visit the Shojo Manga: Mirrors of Girls’ Desires exhibit at Baruch College.

(Listen)

And now your helpful bartenders at The Speakeasy present your drink:

Early Morning Splash

1.6 oz peach vodka
3.2 oz orange juice
3.2 oz Sprite® soda
Make a half-n-half drink with orange juice and Sprite with a splash of peach vodka.

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