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text 2019-05-22 12:41
Bookish anime: Bungo Stray Dogs


Although I haven't watched it yet, I know that Bungo Stray Dogs has a bookish aspect to it - all of the main characters are named after famous Japanese authors, and each of them has a special power in some way inspired by their author. The only one based on an author I've read is Osamu Dazai (top row, all the way to the left). My little character booklet says his ability is "No Longer Human" (also the title of Dazai's best-known work). Cryptic.


The boxed set I bought includes a little envelope with something I haven't had in a while, actual paper bookmarks. Nifty.

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review 2019-04-14 20:08
Dramacon: Ultimate Edition by Svetlana Chmakova
Dramacon Ultimate Edition - Svetlana Chmakova

This omnibus contains the entire 3-volume series.

Christie is an amateur manga author with vague dreams of making it big one day. In the meantime, she just wants to have fun at Yatta Con, her first big manga/anime convention. Unfortunately, her boyfriend and artist (they're co-creating original English-language/OEL manga) is being a jerk, practically drooling over every pretty cosplayer who comes to their table. Matt, the good-looking cosplayer manning the table next to them, annoys her with his snarky comments, but she finds herself turning to him more and more as things deteriorate between her and her boyfriend. Matt's attitude may be a bit abrasive, but he and Christie just sort of click in a way that Christie and her boyfriend don't.

Each of the next two volumes take place a year apart, at the next Yatta Cons, following the ups and downs of Christie and Matt's relationship, Christie's con-going experience, and Christie and her friends' prospective manga careers.

This was a reread, but my last time reading this series was so long ago that I'd forgotten a lot of specifics. I vaguely remembered thinking that the romance didn't quite work for me. My feelings about it haven't changed - Christie and Matt are cute together and all, but it bugged me that, by the end of the series, they'd spent a grand total of maybe 8-9 days in the same physical space. If they'd spent the time between Yatta Cons talking over the phone or online, it wouldn't have been quite as big of a deal, but they hadn't even done much of that. Christie tried calling Matt once between volume 1 and volume 2 but chickened out when someone else answered. Matt and Christie talked a little just prior to volume 3's Yatta Con, and Matt read Christie's blog (which mortified Christie when he finally commented for the first time), but there were still a lot of things they didn't know about each other and hadn't talked about when they met up again at the convention.

So, I didn't think the series' format worked well for its primary romance, but I at least felt other aspects of the series were much stronger. Chmakova's depictions of Yatta Con and Christie's experience of it, particularly her first time going, were great. Volume 2 was more dramatic, touching on folks who don't consider OEL manga to be "real" manga, racism, and fans who don't respect cosplayers' boundaries and hug or take pictures without asking - not inaccurate, but maybe a bit much in a single volume. There was also a nice ongoing storyline involving Christie's new artist, Bethany, who yearned for a career as a manga artist but whose mother wanted her to have a career that was more likely to produce a stable income.

Dramacon wasn't bad, but it didn't give its primary romance enough room to breathe and really feel like something that could last. As with Nightschool, one of her later series, it had a lot of promise but didn't quite hit the mark.


This edition of the series contains a lot of previously unpublished material. I'm not sure which bits were new and which weren't, but I didn't recognize the multi-page comic featuring Matt and Christie's first real date (all in Matt's POV, which was kind of nice). There were also a few author's notes, comics featuring a little behind-the-scenes info, fan art, some four-panel comics, and an interview with Svetlana Chmakova with early concept art for the series. Even if you own the original three volumes, the extras in this omnibus are worth checking out if you're a big fan of the series. I only wish the fan art could have been in color.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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url 2019-02-20 14:54
Non-book post: Anime voice actor Vic Mignogna accused of sexual harassment

Warning: the article has detailed descriptions of the accusations.


This isn't really book news, but I figured I'd post it since manga volumes are books and manga and anime fans often overlap.


I just read the article (mostly - I had to start skimming near the end, because it made my skin crawl), and I'm deeply disappointed. He really is huge in the industry - if you've listened to a Funimation dub, you've probably heard him. The one role of his I absolutely loved was Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.


I'm glad that Funimation seems to be taking this seriously, although it sounds like this has been going on for long enough that it should have been an issue for them sooner.

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text 2019-01-05 23:47
Mini Book Haul, Pet Death, Distractions, & Anxiety

Trigger Warning: Animal death, though no photos of a dead animal, just my last photo of her alive. Long blog, but I promise there is book related content as well.


My hamster Mogget was put on death watch a few days ago. We had to move her to a smaller enclousure, because old age was making it hard for her to get around. Well on the 4th, in the morning, she became unable to move and fell into a deep sleep, her breaths slowed down and right before the end, she opened her eyes one last time and I feel like she looked at me to say goodbye. I'm not sure if she was aware of anything, but it is comforting to believe she realized she wasn't alone and was able to go without being scared.


[In a deep sleep and I hope she felt comfortable]


Patrick (my husband) helped me bury her in a spot I like outside. She is in a place where I can imagine fairies or something else magical lives. Whether you believe that, it is a nice thought, regardless. We buried her between the tree with the vine and the rock covered in moss.


After that, to get my mind off things, Patrick helped me get rid of a bunch of stuff we've been procrastinating donating/tossing. (By help, I mean he did it all and I supervised hehe)


[Photo was taken a while ago. Might be hard to tell, but the tree in the middle that has vines. She is now in front of that, behind the rock.]


As you can imagine, I was really upset all day (still am) and just wanted to distract myself, play with our other furry butts, clean...etc. In the photo, we're trying to go through DVDs and our cat Apollo just wants to play in the tote.


[I think she wants to have a Buffy or Farscape marathon!]


My husband is really sweet; he took me to Barnes & Noble as more disctraction so I could get 2 books I really wanted. They were having another buy 2 get 1 free sale, but that man was there again and I had a panic/anxiety episode and refused to check out with him. (See previous blog about the man who was rude to me there last time.)


Patrick offered to do it alone, but I did not want to deal with the buy 2 get 1 fiasco all over again with the same rude cashier. (They didn’t have signs up again!) Right in the store, I went online and bought 3 books for my Kindle, through Amazon (of course) and paid less than what I would have with the buy 2 get 1 sale. (Actually spent only 3$ more what 1 book would have cost.)


Ugh! I love those books I wanted so much (despite not reading them yet lol) and I love Kindle books, but I really wanted the physical books to add to my physical collection of the books I already had by the same author. All is well. I will look out for the physical copies one day online (used & lower priced than what B&N was charging.)

B&N pretty much lost a customer while that guy is working the register.




The books I got is from the Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) series by Makoto Shinkai. 2 light novels, 1 manga. Japan calls books based on anime or manga “Light novels.”

There is a full length animated movie, 3 manga based on the movie, 1 light novel based on the anime/movie, 1 light novel that is side stories, 1 manga that is based on the side stories. Phew. It sounds confusing.


The movie is so beautiful and I loved it so much. The manga based on the movie wasn't as impactful as the movie was, but I really enjoyed it, too. It really was a touching story for me. The artwork is stunning. The movie made me cry at the end. I just had to have the novels, and the manga based on the side story.


It is the 2nd largest grossing domestic film in Japan (That is all movies, not just anime!) and the fourth-largest ever, behind Titanic and Frozen. 11th grossing non-English film in the USA. (At the time of writing this.) Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 97% & 4.6/5 rating. IMDB.com is at 8.4/10.


That should tell you how much this movie & books impacted people. Listen up, folks! Anime, cartoons, and animated films, comics, graphic novels, manga and all that are not just for children! I’m playing this up because I want you to watch the movie and then read the manga, then the novels! Go do it!


My collection so far:
Vol 1-3 Your Name manga. (Follows the anime pretty closely!)


The Your Name Movie (On Vudu.com. But I want the Limited Edition Bluray that comes packaged in a holographic art box, comes with a hardcover art book, 2 soundtracks (English & Japanese ver.) and is just stunning, but it is so pricey!!)


[This is what you get in the limited edition! I know I can buy the soundtracks alone probably, but I really want that art book!]



Your Name light novel on Kindle (It is supposed to follow the anime/manga pretty closely, but with added background info...etc.



Your Name: Another Side: Earthbound light novel on Kindle (Based on characters from the anime/manga and some of their side stories...etc.)



Your Name: Another Side: Earthbound manga on Kindle (The manga of the above.)



Yes, I'm a nerd.


(Do me a favor, give your animals (if you have any) a great big cuddle if they will let you.)

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text 2018-12-23 19:45
Watching anime and accidentally finding an audiobook narrator

I was watching the English adaptation credits in the second disc of Skip Beat! when I spotted an unexpected name: Kyle McCarley. A couple years ago, I wrote a post about audiobooks narrated by folks who also do English anime voice acting. McCarley wasn't on that (admittedly short and not thoroughly researched) list.


McCarley narrated one of my top favorite audiobooks, The Goblin Emperor. He's also done a good bit of anime voice acting, although I haven't seen most of the stuff he's worked on. In Skip Beat!, he played a small part, Hikaru Ishibashi, one of the band members acting as guest hosts of a variety show. I've seen One Punch Man, where he also played a few small parts, but I completely missed him in that one. And I've watched Ajin, but only in Japanese with English subtitles.


Of the other stuff he's worked on, I'm most likely to one day watch Violet Evergarden (currenly on Netflix - he voiced Claudia Hodgins), Little Witch Academia (also on Netflix - he voiced Louis Blackwell), Bungo Stray Dogs 2 (he voiced John Steinbeck), Durarara!!x2 (currently on Netflix - he voiced Aoba Kuronuma), and B: The Beginning (currently on Netflix - he voiced Koku).

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