I got to read Gen Manga volumes 3 & 4 back to back. Reading both volumes in succession makes me realize that the storytelling in Gen is somewhat compressed compared to your normal mainstream manga experience. While the storytelling still has a distinctly manga feel you don’t get the impression that the stories contained within are assuming they are going to run for 20+ books. They seems to be primed to end in a book or two but could run longer. Mainstream manga seems more designed to run for a long time but could be cut short if forced to. The individual chapters still have a more manga styled decompressed flow but chapter to chapter it seems more compressed. But all the compressed vs. decompressed storytelling talk from Ogiue Maniax might be why I am noticing it more. Vs Aliens is still my favorite story in the anthology. It has a very quirky story with some unusual twists every chapter. The only problem is that is quickly coming down to the big reveal of what is actually going on. If the final reveal is lame is going to really hurt the overall story. The boxing story is Wolf is still solid but I am not sure if I really care for the added element of the hyperactive flat chested girl vs the distant chesty girl love story. My feelings on KAMEN are still up in the air as I am interested in the story but not deeply invested. There is a promise of a big fight scene in the next chapter. How well the fight is pulled off I might help me solidify my feelings. I still don’t really like Souls. Volume three ends one arc and volume four starts a new arc. Volume three ended a bit lighter than I assumed it will but this genre has just never been my cup of tea. In volume 4 there is a one shot story called Sorako. This really feels like an American indy comic. It is the story of a small town girl who feels trapped in her small life under the backdrop of looking for her dog that ran away. It is slice of life in a way that really feels like an American comic more than a Japanese style of same formula. Gen is still an interesting experiment in the U.S. It has the feel of a doujinshi anthology but will a more consistent schedule. I am curious how well it will do here.
With great elation, I started the new season of anime by watching Bakuman S2. We start the season with Ashirogi Muto waiting for their editor to come to the studio to go over their contract for serialization. It is an exciting time and they are also invited to the Shonen Jack New Year’s bash. This episode is really about them getting acclimated with their new positions, getting assistants, and meeting some new people as well as getting to know others better. It is mostly a set-up for things to come and I can’t wait for those things!