Manga of the Month: To Your Eternity

To Your Eternity by Yoshitoki Oima

narutaki_icon_4040_round In both a A Silent Voice and To Your Eternity, Yoshitoki Oima explores emotion, and holds the readers’ emotions in her hands. She takes a deep look into the human soul. In her new series, To Your Eternity she brings to life a fantasy landscape rife with danger, sacrifice, and beauty.

A mysterious all-powerful being sends an orb known simply as “It” into the world to observe. It can take the form of anything first inhabiting a rock, then a dog, then a boy, then . . . so on. It is immortal and can heal any damage done to it though it may take a little time. As it moves through the world It begins to learn more about human language, emotion, and motivations.

March, a happy child who dreams of being a mother one day, and Parona, an ostracized young woman warrior, have become close in their village. But Parona is wary of the tribe’s beliefs. Things come to a head when March is carted off as the latest child sacrifice to their god. March, then Parona, encounter It while in the midst of trying to escape this fate.

In a brutal world of superstition, gods, and miracles It, March, and Parona become bound together. To Your Eternity explores what it means to truly be alive and to live.

“They way you live isn’t something given to you! It’s something you win for yourself!”

At only eleven chapters in, To Your Eternity is absolutely compelling. However, I’m finding it hard to predict what this story’s goal will be. Will It, March, and Parona be the story? Will everyone die and It move on to some here-to-unknown scenario? Will It continuously meet people, observe their stories, then travel onward? Any of these scenarios feel possible.

~ kate

Secret Santa Project Review: Millennium Actress – The Running Woman

hisui_icon_4040_round 2016 gave me a fairly diverse series of Secret Santa titles: Electromagnetic GirlfriendMillennial Actress, and Strike the Blood. This year I went with Millennial Actress. As always I will try to watch and review all three shows but I never make that promise. I have seen the price of hubris from previous participants and I learned to not over promise on what I can deliver especially around the holidays.

Theoretically, the risky choice is Strike the Blood. At the same time, Strike the Blood seems the most middle of the road show. I remember the show coming out but I have no real recollection of the anime beyond that. I can’t really think of anyone who really loves the show or hates it. I am curious what about the show made my Secret Santa think I would like it but I figured it would make a good third choice if I have the time.

Electromagnetic Girlfriend is a complete unknown to me. At first, I thought someone was asking me to watch Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl (aka Electromagnetic Wave Woman and Adolescent Man) but this turns out to be a different show. The mystery element is rather intriguing. I’m really going to try my hardest to also do a review of this one if I can.

I finally broke the seal on one of my safety movies. Since I started the Secret Santa Project I have deliberately not watched a few movies so that people have things to recommend me. I have owned Millennial Actress and Tokyo Godfathers but I have not watched them so I could hopefully watch them during a year where my choices were dire. As the years have gone by I built up a large list of titles I have not seen but probably should get around to watching. So I figured it was time to finally watch a masterpiece for once.  Continue reading

Baccano! Novel 1: The Rolling Bootlegs—Immortal Gangsta’s Paradise

hisui_icon_4040_round I was recently at the Kinokuniya Bookstore since it is on the way to the Mid-Manhattan Library. After looking at the new English-language manga I sent out two tweets. The first was the cover of  Queen Emeraldas manga and the second was the cover of the Baccano! novel. I asked if anyone had read either book and what they thought of it. Interestingly enough the Queen Emeraldas manga got quite a few responses but I did not see any conversation around Baccano! That was not the expected reaction at all.

I say that because I always thought that American fandom (or at least the anitwitter portion) loved Baccano! Whenever Durarara!! comes up it seems like someone always has to bring up that “they are fine with more Durarara!! but what they are really waiting for is more of the far superior Baccano!” It even has all the classic hallmarks for mainstream popularity: It has a Western setting, it has lots of violence, it can be sexy but it does not have excessive fan service. Not every series that has that combination is popular, they still have to be good, but any show that has all three is far more likely to be very popular.

It seemed like a formula for instant success. Now it might have been that I posted my tweet at a time that all the Leiji Matsumoto fans were out in full force but the Baccano fans were AFK but it made me extremely eager to read the first book. Was the silence just bad timing, a sign that Baccano! fandom has sadly died off since there has been no new anime since 2007 or is the book itself the weak link in the chain.

narutaki_icon_4040_round Baccano! like its (more?) well-known cousin Durarara!! is based on a very long running series of novels by Ryohgo Narita. But unlike DRRR!!, Baccano’s anime only finished up a couple of story arcs before ending. Though many of us still hold out hope that more anime is in-store, we’re lucky enough to now have access to the original novels in case those hopes are never met.

The first Baccano! novel covers some familiar ground and characters of the anime but in a more linear fashion.

Continue reading