Archive for the ‘Supernatural’ Category


Platinum Beginning

November 9, 2015

hisui_icon_4040 Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata is one of the few series that broke through that glass ceiling to become a mainstream success. It never got to the level of Sailor Moon or Dragonball Z but it was a title that would regularly appear in magazine articles, became the object of TV controversy, the subject of parody, and regularly appear on the list best-selling manga in the US. It even got the standard rumors about there being Death Note TV series and movies being made in Hollywood. It was series that had an unstoppable momentum that even got it a new live action TV series in Japan and is still discussed today.

With a mega success like that the natural question is what would the duo as a follow-up. It turns out that their next work was Bakuman. It was a very meta manga about a pair of friends trying to make it in the manga industry. It was undoubtedly a success but it was not the juggernaut that Death Note was. Bakuman got an anime, a drama, and sold well but while it is a show that has name recognition on anitwitter it has no where the same cache of its predecessor at an anime convention among the average attendee.

Once again Ohba and Obata are working together on Platinum End. It is a good deal closer to the supernatural mixture of supernatural suspense and horror that made Death Note a success as opposed to the relatively more realistic comedy of Bakuman. The question on everyone’s lips is how does this compare to their last two hits.

narutaki_icon_4040 Shonen Jump has been bringing out a lot of new material lately. It is exciting to see this team back together to do something more with the supernatural which gives Takeshi Obata’s art time to shine and let’s Tsugumi Ohba play with no-limits in the story.

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Manga of the Month: The Morose Mononokean

October 1, 2015

The Morose Mononokean (不機嫌なモノノケ庵)
by Kiri Wazawa

narutaki_icon_4040 When a yokai attaches itself to you, who ya gonna call?

Ashiya find himself with an unintended supernatural companion after he helps a yokai one night. While in the high school infirmary, he spies a strange help wanted flier for an exorcist and decides to call. While on the call, Ashiya is asked for his location and then told to simply open the nurse’s office door. Instead of walking in to the hall, he ends up in a tea room with the aloof Mononokean Master Abeno.

After coming to understand his mistake with the first yokai he encountered, Ashiya becomes more sensitive to their requests. By the end of the first volume, Ashiya has become an apprentice to Abeno as he deals with yokai in the area and takes on requests from clients.

The stories of the yokai are tender portraits which tend toward melancholy as we come to understand them and their past connections. Ashiya’s naive helpfulness and Abeno’s matter-of-fact attitude lighten things up from time to time. And it is clear that mysterious Abeno has many secrets to share as the series goes on.

Wazawa’s yokai designs are well-crafted and have a tendency towards dramatic immensity. I’m looking forward to what the next will look like.

Following in the tradition of many great series about yokai, The Morose Mononokean adds a touch of humor and two more excellent personalities to the genre.

~ kate


Manga of the Month: OPUS

September 1, 2015

OPUS by Satoshi Kon

hisui_icon_4040 The death of Satoshi Kon has left an ever-present hole in anime fandom. He was unique visionary that was able to create movies that impacted the international film community in a way that transcended the medium. Movies like Paprika and Perfect Blue will surely be universally looked back on as masterpieces decades from now. So when he died far before his time due to cancer it only exasperated the loss of such a genius due to the knowledge that there was clearly so much more he could have done had he not died so tragically.

In response people  have gone back and tried to mine his career for anything that have gone overlooked before he died. While the first thing people looked for was any anime projects he worked on it was not to long before fans started to delve into his time as a manga artist. While Satoshi Kon has always been extremely humble about his career as a mangaka an audience that is extremely hungry for anything else from him has eagerly started digging into his work from that time. Partially to see where he came from as a creative artists, partially to understand his work as a whole, sometimes to guess how he would have grown, and mostly to just capture something from someone who was no longer here.

Opus is a manga that shows his transition from manga artist to an anime director. As it was his last full manga series that he worked on during Perfect Blue so it is the clearest picture of him in-between both mediums. So you your interested in learning more about Kon as a creator it is a unique insight to his development. You see not only see his influences on his sleeve but the strong direction that the rest of his work would take.

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Manga of the Month: Mao no Kyoushitsu

July 1, 2015

Mao no Kyoushitsu (魔王の教室)
by Miki Yoshikawa

hisui_icon_4040 I remember when I first discovered Miki Yoshikawa. I randomly stumbled on Yankee-kun to Megane-chan and I started reading it on the name alone. I really grew to love her comedic sensibilities, sexy characters of both genders, and ability to keep her series feeling fresh and vibrant. I was a little disappointed to learn that despite being an assistant to Hiro Mashima she did not really have a fanbase in the English speaking world. Jump ahead to 2015 and her latest work, Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, had its own TV anime, a US manga license, and enough of a fanbase to get Cruchyroll to bring her over for Anime Expo. In honor of the new found love for this manga-ka I decide to shine the spotlight on one her overlooked short works that people might have missed.

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