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text 2017-12-19 15:42
I might give this a shot later...
Yoko Kanno's Cowboy Bebop Soundtrack (33 1/3 Japan) - Rose Bridges,Noriko Manabe

There's a faculty member at my university who's starting a course on Japanese anime soundtracks (I think - I'm getting most of this info thirdhand). For various reasons, he's having us buy the associated movies and shows rather than the soundtracks themselves. When I heard this book was coming out, I told his liaison librarian that she should suggest it to him, and he agreed that we should purchase it.


And now it's in my hands. It's a skinny little thing, and I might decide to read it myself at some point in the future.

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video 2017-08-22 15:06

Land of the Lustrous is apparently due to be an anime soon, airing in October 2017.

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text 2017-08-10 17:52
Wishlist or future ILL request
My Love Story!!, Vol. 1 - Aruko,Kazune Kawahara

I started watching the anime adaptation of this the other day, and I'll probably give the manga a shot at some point. It starts off with a setup that looks like a typical love triangle: cute girl and a good-looking guy who's friends with a big burly dude (the series' main character). But there's a twist: the cute girl actually likes (really really likes) the big burly dude.


The big burly dude, Takeo, falls immediately in love with the cute girl, Yamato, but assumes that she, like all other girls he's crushed on in the past, is really interested in his good-looking friend, Suna. Suna has bluntly rejected every single girl who has ever asked him out, sometimes going as far as to say "I hate you" to their faces...so it looks like there's a good chance Yamato is going to end up hurt. Because Takeo's genuinely a good guy, wants Yamato to be happy, and thinks he's spotted signs that Suna might actually like Yamato back a little, Takeo tries to help Yamato out with Suna. What Takeo doesn't realize is that he has completely misread the situation: Yamato is actually interested in him. (Not exactly a spoiler - this gets revealed pretty early on.)


Things I like about the series so far:


- Yamato is genuinely attracted to Takeo - this isn't a case of "she fell for his personality first and then the rest came later."


- Suna's sister. It looks like she isn't going to be around in the anime much, so I'm hoping she has a larger role in the manga.


- Suna and Takeo's friendship. It looks forced, at first, but later developments flesh it out more. I think I'm more interested in how they became and stayed friends than I am in Takeo and Yamato's romance.


Things I'm not wild about:


- The moments of secondhand embarrassment.


- Takeo's practice kiss. This scene was short, but horrifying enough that I could see it ruining the series for some people. I sincerely hope it isn't in the manga. I'm sure it was intended to be funny, but it wasn't. At all.


- While Takeo and Yamato's romance is sweet, I feel like Takeo would have happily dated and fallen in love with literally any cute girl in the series. On the plus side, at least his interest in Yamato never wavers.

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url 2017-07-06 16:29
"What Does Anime & Manga Offer to US Fans That They Can’t Get from US Pop Media?"

I haven't had a chance to read the full thing yet (I'm not even sure how long the full thing is - it seems like the "read next page" buttons go on forever), but this is really interesting, even though I think the comments sometimes oversimplify things. Then again, it can be hard to fit things into Tweet-sized bites.


If I remember right, I started off with my dad's comics collection (Marvel, DC, DC's Vertigo imprint, a bit of Image Comics) and then discovered manga via my wonderful public library and got completely hooked on that. I now read Japanese manga almost exclusively, for some of the reasons stated by the commenters. I like that, generally, it's easy to know where to start. While there are some authors/artists who create complex worlds and series with lots of crossover (CLAMP and their billions of cameos is the one example I can think of right now), and some authors/artists who "finish" a series and then reboot it or start a related series (Masashi Kishimoto, Nobuhiro Watsuki), and folks with related light novels and whatnot, you can still usually start with volume 1 of whatever they're working on and be fine.


I like that authors and artists don't generally change during a series' run - the consistency is nice (although even a single artist's style can change drastically in a relatively short span of time - good example, Maki Murakami's Gravitation, where the earlier volumes and later volumes look like they were drawn by completely different people but weren't). Now that I no longer live near a good public library with an excellent manga collection, I also really like that you can find lots of series with a definite ending and beginning, and lots of series with an affordable total number of volumes (less than 10 or 12 is my preference, anymore).


I got started with manga back in maybe the late '90s, which I think also made a difference. First, there was Tokyopop and its cheaper volumes. Second, volumes were more likely to include translator and cultural notes back then. Those cultural notes helped a lot.


Oof, so much nostalgia right now. I miss the days when I had good feelings about Tokyopop, and when Del Rey put out volumes of manga with pages and pages of translator's notes. ::sigh::

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review 2017-03-07 00:00
Mangatopia: Essays on Manga and Anime in the Modern World
Mangatopia: Essays on Manga and Anime in the Modern World - Timothy Perper I liked this book more or less. The problem wasn't with the information per se but with the structure. While I expected to encounter a few (or more) essays, what I got from this book were some texts in the style of Wikipedia entries. It seemed that the authors of some of the essays did not want the reader to move forward.
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