My Week in Manga: December 26, 2011-January 1, 2012

My News and Reviews

So, I have exciting news. Well, exciting for me. This past weekend I helped build a shelf in my room specifically for my manga. It runs the entire length of one wall and half of another. It looks great and I had fun filling it up with books. All of my manga is now out of boxes (except for my Ranma 1/2 collection), which makes me extremely happy. I also have a floor again. Anyway.

Last week was the Sailor Moon Manga Moveable Feast. For my contribution, I posted a review of Naoko Takeuchi’s Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Volume 1. Also, a bit late, I have quick takes for Codename: Sailor V and Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Volume 2 below. This month’s manga giveaway also features Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Volume 1. You still have until Wednesday to enter the Magical Girl Mania manga giveaway.

Speaking of the Manga Moveable Feast, I’ve officially made the announcement that Experiments in Manga will be hosting the Feast for January—Usamaru Furuya Manga Moveable Feast: Call for Participation. This will be my first time hosting the Feast, so I’m hoping to see some great contributions this month. I’ve already set up the archive page and have populated it with past reviews and articles. If you have any you would like to see added, just let me know!

Because of the upcoming Feast, and because of my November/December health issues, my posting here at Experiments in Manga might be a little wonky for a month or so. I’ll do my best to keep up, but you can probably expect to see My Week in Manga to be shorter than usual. Also, there won’t be any in-depth manga reviews until the Feast. In the meantime, you’ll just have to put up with my Japanese literature reviews.

Quick Takes

Codename: Sailor V, Volumes 1-2 by Naoko Takeuchi. For the most part, I enjoyed Codename: Sailor V. The series, though it ran concurrently with Sailor Moon, actually serves as a sort of prototype and prequel. I found Codename: Sailor V to be more coherent overall than the first couple of volumes of Sailor Moon. In fact, reading Codename: Sailor V helped me to understand some things about Sailor Moon that confused me. I particularly liked the first volume while the second volume turned out to be much goofier until the final chapter. Not that goofy is necessarily bad; I simply didn’t find it to be as engaging. I did like that several of the characters from Sailor Moon make cameo appearances in Codename: Sailor V.

From Eroica with Love, Volumes 5-9 by Yasuko Aoike. I’m really enjoying From Eroica with Love. Eroica and Klaus make such perfect foils for each other and I love watching them interact. And I can’t help but grin every time Klaus calls somebody a wanker, which is fairly frequently. I’m impressed by Aoike’s ability to create legitimate seeming scenarios for the two leads to encounter each other. The secondary characters, particularly Klaus’ “alphabets” and Eroica’s underlings, are also likable. Even James, who could have been annoying (and certainly is to the other characters), is delightfully amusing. The whole series is farcical, but completely believable in its own setting. I’ll definitely be tracking down the rest of the volumes available in English.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Volume 2 by Naoko Takeuchi. After an unfocused first volume, I was very happy to see things begin to make sense in the second volume of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. Not everything does mind you, but enough that I was able to enjoy the story and want to learn more. I’m starting to believe that Takeuchi actually has some solid ideas to play with. Probably most important is that the backstory for all the characters has been revealed (or at least has begun to be revealed). I still find Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon to be a little silly, although the second volume is less so. But, it’s a fun, charming silliness. I hope to continue to see Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon improve and find its footing.

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