Archive for the ‘Manga of the Month’ Category

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Manga of the Month: Memoirs of an Amorous Gentleman

October 2, 2014

Memoirs of an Amorous Gentleman
(鼻下長紳士回顧録) by Moyoco Anno

narutaki_icon_4040 Following in the footsteps of many of Moyoco Anno’s other works, Memoirs of an Amorous Gentlemen centers around a brothel and its employees and patrons in early 20th century Paris. I supposed you could call it a “slice-of-life” series but obviously the setting gives it a much more colorful angle, much like Ms. Anno’s Sakuran.

The story is told by Colette, a young working girl, with a way of observing those around her with calm despite the many odd, emotional, and dramatic happenings.

You may at first find yourself wondering why it is called Memoirs of an Amorous Gentleman if our narrator is Colette. And considering the state of her relationship with her boyfriend Leon, you’d hardly consider him the “amorous gentleman” of the title either. But it just so happens that Colette is writing down her thoughts in a borrowed book from one of her clients who encouraged her to write.

“I just knew I had to try to write these feelings down . . .
or the pain would never leave me.”

Moyoco Anno discusses some harsh realities of the girls while also portraying their friendships and loves. Many moments of levity come from the bizarre patrons of the brothel. Ms. Anno perfectly moves between these many moments and to deftly create the feeling of life’s many ups and downs.

~ kate

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Manga of the Month: GTO – Paradise Lost

September 2, 2014

GTO – Paradise Lost (GTO パラダイス・ロスト)
by Tohru Fujisawa

hisui_icon_4040 He’s back because there are always new delinquents that need a lesson from teacher.

Tohru Fujisawa’s career really took off with Shonan Junai Gumi. (Unless Adesugata Junjou Boy was some sort of critically acclaimed masterwork that no one ever talks about in the US.) In Shonan Junai Gumi we find Eikichi Onizuka and Ryuji Danma as two rough and tumble bikers trying to lose their virginity while fighting the worst delinquents in Japan. The series was popular enough that it got spun off into a sequel series, called GTO, where Onizuka becomes a teacher and Danma makes some guest appearances. While Shonan Junai Gumi was popular it never even dreamed of being the smash hit that GTO was. Since GTO ended Tohru Fujisawa has drawn other manga like Rose Hip Rose and Animal Man, just been the writer on manga like Eyaminokami – The Plague Princess and Shonan Seven, and even tried to spin-off other Shonan Junai Gumi characters into stand alone manga like Danma and Saejima Despite all of that in the end it seems like the character he always come back to is Onizuka.

If you remember GTO Shonan 14 Days was a Manga of the Month on the blog all the was back in 2011 but it was technically not a sequel. It is actually a side story that improbably takes place in two of the weeks between the penultimate and final chapter of the original GTO manga. But this time we get the true continuation of Onizuka’s mythos.

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Manga of the Month: The Heroic Legend of Arslan

August 4, 2014

The Heroic Legend of Arslan (アルスラーン戦記)
by Hiromu Arakawa and Yoshiki Tanaka

narutaki_icon_4040 Finally, the first volume is coming out in print in August! So it is a perfect time to talk up this epic fantasy from the creator of Full Metal Alchemist, based on the novel series from the author of Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

Young Prince Arslan, adept with a sword but more of a thinker, is the son of an undefeated warrior king. The king and queen look upon their son with coldness and disappointment. But when the country is overtaken by a neighboring theocracy after a disastrous battle, everyone’s fate is in Arslan’s hands as he and a few loyal retainers plot to retake their homeland.

Much like in Legend of the Galactic Heroes, the rivals in this series are more of tacticians than soldiers. And much like LotGH there is a huge cast of fascinating characters, many more bad-ass than the next.

The story is based in part on Persian myth which gives a twist on the typical fantasy setting we’re used to seeing.

Ms. Arakawa’s precision in action and anatomy really shines in this series. From grandiose, and graphic, battle scenes to the horses character’s ride, her artwork is perfectly suited to pages of intrigue and war.

Politics and action blend together in Heroic Legend of Arslan to create a sweeping fantasy everyone should be reading.

~ kate

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Manga of the Month: 87 Clockers

July 4, 2014

87 Clockers (87超频者) by Tomoko Ninomiya

hisui_icon_4040 There are several web sites devoted solely to telling you if Abe Vigoda is alive or not. He has been reported as dead by several major news sources over the years to the point that is has become a running joke. In a way I feel 87 Clockers needs the same sort of treatment. I swear I keep thinking this series is getting canceled. When Nanatsuya: Shinobu’s Jewel Box was announced I assumed it was because 87 Clockers was over. It turns out  Tomoko Ninomiya is just doing two monthly manga at the same time. Then recently that Jump Kai, the magazine that 87 Clockers runs in, was announced to be ending in October. 87 Clockers will probably be moved to another Shueisha magazine but that is still something that was me worried. Overall it is not a series I ever hear anyone talking about so it is easy for me to assume it has gone the way of the dodo. With the latest Jump Kai scare I decided to talk a little about the series in hopes of changing that.

If nothing else 87 Clockers stands out in the realm of competitive sport manga. And this is a field that has titles like Chihayafuru and Yakitate!! Japan it is not simple to do.

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