My Week in Manga: January 2-January 8, 2012

My News and Reviews

It’s the first full week of the month, so as to be expected it’s a slower/less interesting week (for most people) here at Experiments in Manga. I announced the Manga Giveaway: Magical Girl Mania Winner, which also includes a list of some magical girl manga that has been translated into English. I also posted the Bookshelf Overload for December and did some updating and clean up on the Resources page. Normally, the next Library Love entry would have been posted last week, but since I’m busy preparing for the Usamaru Furuya Manga Moveable Feast to be held at the end of January, it looks like Library Love will have to wait until next month. But, if things keep progressing as smoothly as they have been (I’m working hard!), that should be the only post that I miss this month. Go me! I promise I’ll make up for it with a slew of posts during the Feast.

Quick Takes

Cromartie High School, Volumes 1-5 by Eiji Nonaka. I am really enjoying Cromartie High School. A ridiculous parody of yankī manga, the series is hilarious in a very deadpan, straight-faced sort of way. There’s not much of a continuing storyline or complicated plot although there are certainly plenty of running jokes. The artwork is deliberately reminiscent of Ryoichi Ikegami’s, which makes it even funnier. Cromartie High School is notorious for the number of juvenile delinquents and badasses in its student body. Supposedly Takashi Kamiyama (the only honor student at the school) is the main character, although he once didn’t make an appearance in the manga for two months straight during its serialization.

Expired Seafood: Stories Inspired by Mature Lovers by Various. I don’t remember how I first found out about Expired Seafood, but I’m glad I picked up a copy when I did since unfortunately it’s already gone out of print. If you ever wished the gentlemen of Gente and Ristorante Paradiso would start making eyes at each other rather than at the ladies, Expired Seafood is probably up your alley and worth trying to find. This original-English boys’ love (well, oyaji love) anthology collects eight comics and four pinups ranging from cute, sweet, goofy, and charming to tastefully raunchy. What the stories share in common is the love of older men in love (generally, with each other). After each comic, the creator is given space for a bit of freetalk and a chance to gush, which was a nice touch.

Goth directed by Gen Takahashi. Out of the three versions of Goth (the original novel, the manga, and the film), the film is the most different from the other two. Out of the original six stories, the film focuses on two. The film is deliberately slow in its pace, perhaps too slow for some viewers, and the amount of dialogue is minimal. The story is dark, but visually the film makes use of a lot of light and the color white, creating a very disconcerting effect. It is difficult to really get inside of the characters’ mindsets in the film, which is what made the novel so compelling. Still, the film has its own striking aesthetic and creepy atmosphere. The novel is still the best of the three versions, though.

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