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text 2018-11-18 19:32
I'm back!

I made it back yesterday, although I was too loopy from lack of sleep to do much besides eat and take just enough out of my suitcases to be able to brush my teeth and go to bed. Now I'm trying to get back into my regular routines, which I completely tossed out the window in the past couple weeks.

 

One of the things I neglected to do was my regular physical therapy exercises and stretches, which I'm now paying for. I made myself go to the gym this morning, and between the suddenly cold weather and my foolish decision to skip exercises, it'll probably take a bit before I can do lunges again without my hip complaining.

 

I was going to go see the first of three special showings of Castle in the Sky this afternoon, but my local movie theater mysteriously decided to cancel all three showings without warning. It's disappointing, but looking on the bright side, I saved $22 and now have the afternoon free. I might start working on my short vacation reading posts - apologies in advance for clogging up your Dashboards.

 

The things you can expect to see:

  • Assassination Classroom (remember all those inspiring teacher/delinquent students movies in the '80s and '90s? this is a bit like that, only the teacher is an alien planning on destroying the Earth in a year and the students are trying to kill him)
  • Black Butler (which took a shocking and not altogether welcome turn, although maybe this means the series is finally inching towards its endgame)
  • Delicious in Dungeon
  • Fence 
  • The Girl from the Other Side
  • Guardians of the Louvre
  • Hikaru no Go (I realized I'd never actually finished the manga, although I've seen the anime and remember matching up the dialogue bubbles in Japanese editions of the manga to terrible fan translations)
  • Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun
  • Natsume's Book of Friends
  • Skip Beat!
  • The Tea Dragon Society

 

Also, Christina Dodd's Because I'm Watching.

 

I'll also be writing about the three movies I watched, but I probably won't be posting those here. The movies, if you're curious, are the new Fahrenheit 451 (meh), Netflix's Death Note (I know I said I wasn't going to watch this, but I did, and it was as terrible as I feared), and Khoobsurat (meh, but at least pretty).

 

I managed to watch about a third of a Chinese drama called Love 020. It's kind of terrible, and yet I can't stop watching. It's the TV equivalent of eating a bag of snack food. You tell yourself you're going to stop after a handful, and then suddenly the bag is empty and there is no room for food with actual nutrition. How do the hero and heroine manage to be so perfect without literally the entire cast hating them? Who's the guy at the cafeteria? Will the heroine ever get to display her fabulous computer-related skills again in some environment other than her favorite MMORPG? How awful will Cao Guang behave in his mistaken belief that Bei Wei-Wei is his girlfriend? I have 20 more episodes to go, and at this rate I might finish them all over the next week.

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review 2018-11-03 07:07
The Girl from the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún (manga, vol. 1) story and art by Nagabe, translated by Adrienne Beck
The Girl From The Other Side: Siúil A Rún Vol. 1 (とつくにの少女 #1) - ながべ,Nagabe

My vacation is coming up, which means it's almost time for me to read massive amounts of manga and then write short, spoiler-filled takes for each volume. One of the series I requested is The Girl from the Other Side, despite my suspicion that I'd enjoy it enough to wish I'd just bought the whole thing instead of reading it via the library. A few of the later volumes have come in, but volume 1 is still checked out by somebody, so I decided to read my personal copy prior to going on my trip. (I don't own any of the volumes after this one.)

In this first volume we meet Shiva, a little girl, and the being she calls Teacher. Any day now, Shiva expects her aunt to come pick her up and Teacher, unwilling to make her sad, doesn't tell her that she was abandoned. Her aunt will never come for her and is possibly already dead.

According to humans, Outsiders are cursed beings belonging to the God of Darkness, and anyone who lives outside their walls must, by definition, be an Outsider. Teacher, an Outsider, tells Shiva that she must never touch beings like him (?). If she does, she'll become cursed and will turn into a hideous beast.

This was, for the most part, a gentle and lovely first volume with an edge of darkness and bittersweetness that reminded me of Natsume's Book of Friends. The setup and Teacher's design reminded me of The Ancient Magus' Bride as well, although Teacher and Shiva's relationship was unambiguously that of an adoptive parent and child. Teacher tried to get Shiva to obey rules that were designed to keep her safe from things she didn't even know she needed to fear, and Shiva wanted to have tea parties and make flower crowns while waiting for her aunt. Teacher's manner and clothing made him seem like an awkward and adorable bachelor who wanted to do well at this parenting thing but wasn't always sure what to do. In that respect, I was reminded of Bunny Drop (the anime - let's forget the later parts of the manga ever happened).

Their relationship was sweet, even as I fretted over what might happen if Shiva found out the truth about her aunt or accidentally touched Teacher. As far as the touching went, I suspected that, rather than transforming Shiva, it would kill her. The "curse" seemed to result in an awful lot of dead bodies, like some sort of plague.

I ended the volume with lots of questions about Teacher and who and what he was. If what he said to Shiva was true, he was once human, turned into his current form by the curse. It's also possible that he's just a supernatural being with a soft spot for children. There's evidence that his memory is faulty - when Shiva told him that he'd introduced himself to her as Teacher, he couldn't recall that moment. Then again, Shiva could just have an active imagination.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series, but I'm also worried that it's going to break my heart. Here's hoping that Shiva and Teacher both survive whatever this world throws at them.

Additional Comment:

I'm probably one of the few people who noticed this, but someone at Seven Seas messed up and misspelled Nagabe's name ("Nagame") on the last page of the volume. Oops.

Extras:

  • Two four-panel comics starring Teacher and Shiva.

 

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

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-10-29 03:01
Book Review : Escape Journey vol 1
Escape Journey vol 1 - Tanaka Ogeretsu

oct 1-1

It’s Naoto’s first day of college, and the last person he expected to see was his high school ex Taichi, whom he’d dumped after a huge argument. Even though years have passed, Naoto finds he’s still steamed over some of the harsh words that were exchanged, but he also recognizes how much Taichi has matured since then and can’t help getting pulled back in. Will the discovery of his friend’s crush on Taichi fray the fragile threads of this mending relationship?


Book Review : I do enjoy Boys love manga but this I didn't really like I had some issues one there was a defiant non consent sex scene it made me uncomfortable and the relationship isn't the healthiest there were some cute scenes not sure if i'm going to continue .

 

 

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text 2018-10-18 15:21
Non-book post: Looking forward to English dub Emma

The Kickstarter for the English dub of Emma: A Victorian Romance is fully funded for both Seasons 1 and 2 (the entire series), which means I'll get to hear an English dub of Hans. When it comes to William vs. Hans, I'm Team Hans, especially in the anime. I think it was more of a toss-up in the manga, but it's been so long since I last read the manga that I can't really remember. I plan to do a reread project in 2019 in order to gear up for an English dub viewing.

 

In the meantime, I might try to catch up on A Bride's Story, another beautiful manga series by Kaoru Mori.

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text 2018-10-02 01:49
Reading progress update: I've read 244 out of 244 pages.
Escape Journey vol 1 - Tanaka Ogeretsu

I liked it 

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