Ongoing Investigations: Case #192

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narutaki As I creep closer to the end of Kekkaishi, I’m comforted by Yellow Tanabe having another work out that I can jump into. Laughter in the End of the World (chs.1-2) is another great excuse for her to draw monsters.

I’m already impressed that out lead (he has no name yet) is different from Yoshimori of Kekkaishi, his attitude is more subdued yet confident and he is at a point further along in his life path. He carries a distinct mark on his cheek which people believe makes him a demon, but none of that is at all clear yet. Instead we know he hunts demons and that is what he is up to in these first two chapters.

We also get a flashback through a priest who lived through The Afternoon of Darkness which lead to the appearance of the White Demon and all demons thereafter. The White Demon was seriously freaky and gave me the chills, I can tell the horror bend of this series will be a bit stronger.

The first fight only begins in the last couple of pages of the second chapter so we’ll have to wait to see how that plays out. I admit I’m really curious about it and our leads powers.

Good start, looking forward to more!

We here at the Reverse Thieves have been pretty big advocates of Kekkaishi since we learned about the series back at Otakon 2007.  So when it was announced that Yellow Tanabe started her newest series we were both pretty excited. The series is called Laughter in The End of The World and while it is clearly very different from Kekkaishi you can see seeds of the series in her previous work. But if you are expecting a lighthearted romantic adventure this might not be for you.

Twenty five years ago an almost incomprehensible creature, called the White Demon (who is not Amuro Ray), devoured 70% of the world’s population and was only stopped after a 7 day long battle with the greatest holy magicians. Since then certain people have been marked with “the mouth of the demon.” Those people become immortals shunned for their connection to the monster. The main character is one of these cursed immortals, who along with his sister, specializes in killing his own kind.

While parts of Kekkaishi were mainly fairly straight shonen action the series did dip into the macabre with storylines like Heisuke Matsudo and Byaku. While Laughter in The End of The World is still distinctly in the shonen mold it seems to be tapping into the darker slightly more seinen parts of the pool. In a way that might position it to be a possible hit outside of Japan. Series that feel older but are rooted in the shonen mold have a better chance of gaining an audience in English. In fact if it were not running in Shonen Sunday I would assume it would have a distinct chance of becoming popular or at least gaining a strong following.

The story distinctly has a Book of Revelation feeling to it all. The White Demon seems to be based somewhat on the beast from the sea and the church in this world has distinctly Christian feel. But at the same time the world seems to have a very gray morality. The first immortal that the unnamed protagonist is hunting seems to have murdered several people. But it seems to come after repeated attempts of the villagers to kill him in various gruesome manners. So there are serious sins on both sides of the equation.

The main character himself is still a bit of an enigma much like the world itself. He comes off sort of cocky with a bit of a dry humor to him. But he seems to have the experience to back up that attitude. The real test will be when he throws down with his fellow immortal. Yoshimori has such an unusual fighting style so I hope to see something similar here.

I’m glad to Yellow Tanabe staring off on the right foot. I think Laughter in The End of The World has a good deal of potential so I look forward to the story fulfilling it.

The Ongoing Investigations are little peeks into what we are watching and reading outside of our main posts on the blog. We each pick three things that we were interested in a week and talk a bit about them. There is often not much rhyme or reason to what we pick. They are just the most interesting things we saw since the last Ongoing Investigation.

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narutaki Speaking of Yellow Tanabe, I just finished Kekkaishi vol. 34. This is generally a gearing-up-for-the-ultimate-showdown-in-the-last-book part of the story.

Still important things occur like learning the relationship that the leader of the Shadow Organization has with some of the other characters. Also Tokine’s big role starts at the beginning of this book and leaves you in suspense at the end.

It was kind of amazing that Yoshimori barely appears in this volume. He of course has an important role to play, but I’m really excited that the final resolution is going to need the ensemble to really pull through.

While they have not announced a second season of the Binbougami ga! anime the manga is just a good if not better. The only problem is what while Funimation is almost guaranteed to continue to pick up the anime (it has busty girls) if it is produced comedy manga like this only gets licensed on rare and special occasions. So I will make do with what I can with chapters 20 to 43.

While she briefly appeared in the manga I have to say that Nadeshiko is a nice additional to the main quartet of girls. Her ninja nonsense is always entertaining and she plays the frenemy even better than Momiji at times. Her rivalry with Ranmaru is probably the best because Ranmaru always reacts in such a loud manner as opposed to Ichiko who always so subdued in pretending not to care about Tsuwabuki.

A good deal of the new stories arcs go in different directions like Tanpopo the assassin, visiting Suwano, and Sakura’s dad but they all come back to Momiji being very suspicious about how Sakura became so lucky. Clearly someone deliberately made Sakura so unnaturally fortunate and has been supremely good at covering their tracks so far. It is clearly one of the biggest mysteries in the series so I am curious how long they are going to wait before the reveal. So far every story arc has given Momiji at least one major clue to the answer.

Along with Hayate this manga is one of those series that always brightens my day when I can read a new chapter. I really wish comedy manga sold better in the US so we could get a few more solid titles like this one.

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 I finished watching Uta Koi (eps.3-13). Just loved this simple series combining short stories and poems from the Heian period.

There is a time skip after episode 6 which also happens to divide the happier tales from the sad oddly enough.

I felt the first stories while they didn’t always work out to a happy ending, they had joy and friendship. While the second part has a lot more lost love and death. Still, they were all lovely and emotional portraits that I got wrapped up in.

I will admit that as much as I complain about people not fully reading things I do it from time to time myself. At first I assumed that the debut of Nisekoi: False Love in Shonen Jump Alpha was the debut chapter of the series. I was vaguely intrigued that they would start a Shonen Jump love comedy in the middle of the story. It certainly would have been an unexpected twist. You always know who the main character is going to end up with so you might as well play the storytelling. But as it turns out I just missed the fact Nisekoi was a series already running in Japan  and therefore just debuted the series in Alpha with chapter 49.

From what I gather the story revolves around Raku Ichijo and Chitoge Kirisaki, the son and daughter of two rival gangs. They have a bit of a love-hate relationship but they have to keep up the appearance of a relationship because it is stopping a bloody war between their families. The first English published chapter seems to be at the end of the arc where they are the leads in a school production of Romeo and Juliet that quickly goes off the rails due to people breaking script to settle grudges.

Nisekoi seems like a fun little romantic comedy. The knowledge that there have to be delinquents in the series seems like something that might get Narutaki’s attention even though it seems distinctly in the Jump wheelhouse when it comes  to romantic comedy. Thankfully it seems much more in the cute vein like Sket Dance as opposed to the ogle fest that is To Love-Ru.

But this does bring up an interesting point. This manga has obviously been running in Japan for 49 chapters and I was totally unaware that it existed. And it is a Shonen Jump title so it is not is some obscure anthology that only hardcore manga fans know about. It does make me realize how little I know about manga series that do not have anime outside of a few special cases. In the case of comedy series this is even more pronounced. There are some serious implication about manga fandom that brings up that could easily be an article in itself.

For a new addition to Nisekoi seems a pleasant addition to the lineup. I am curious of starting in the middle will affect the readership of such a title. Will Alpha readers be reluctant to read a series that has already been ongoing or is starting a story with some momentum actually a good thing for the manga? I suppose time will tell.

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One thought on “Ongoing Investigations: Case #192

  1. gordanham says:

    That is totally weird. I totally read this right after I went here on my monthly wallpaper roundup:
    http://websunday.net/download/
    I was totally wondering what this new Sunday series was, and it was a crazy coincidence I found out here one click later. I definitely want to check it out, but gotta say, rolled my eyes a few times reading what the plot was about….

    Also, I totally feel you on Nisekoi, but it does seem that you didn’t know that they put the frist chapter up for free as well. You can read it here: http://www.vizmanga.com/reader/1140-weekly-shonen-jump-alpha-previews-5
    They also put the first volume up for digital purchase. I know I will buy it eventually, but I think I will wait till Monday to see if they will be releasing them weekly until they catch up with Japan. It seems that now Viz is going to be more cautious with their additions to Alpha, since there first two series went the way of the toilet so fast, and sadly, it looks like Cross Manage will be fallowing them soon too (BUT Don’t panic! In recent weeks it looks like Cross Manage may just rise in the ranks! It has beaten Medaka Box two weeks in a row now!). It seems like they will be adding at least two new series to Alpha that have proven their vitality in Japan already. In the last year there have really only been 5 successful series to emerge from Jump of the dozen+ series they have tried. One of those series was Nise Koi, so among the four left, I think the one with the best chance, and is definitely the most safe choice, is a series called Assassination Classroom. It is from the creator of the Jump mystery detective series, Nuero.
    Assassinaion Classroom is the biggest bombshell in Jump in years. The first volume just came out this November and sold over 100,000 copies in its first week and has totalled over 320,000 copies sold in the fallowing weeks. It is so popular they are putting a rush on the second volume and releasing it at the end of December. Frankly, if this isn’t a series Viz adds to Alpha, they are just stupid.
    And if you wanted to know what it is about, basically, a tentacle monster that can travel at mach 20 destroyed the moon and then proclaims he will destroy the earth in one year, but in the meantime he will teach a high school class who has that one year to assassinate him.
    http://www.shonenjump.com/j/rensai/ansatsu/

    Sorry for the long comment. I am a total shonen manga nerd. Hoped it was interesting though….

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