Manga Giveaway: Ghost Talker’s Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the Ghost Talker’s Giveaway is…beckafly!

As the winner, beckafly will be receiving a brand new copy of the first volume of Ghost Talker’s Daydream written by Saki Okuse, illustrated by Sankichi Meguro, and published by Dark Horse. For this giveaway we talked about manga with absurd premises. Normally, I would just refer you to the Ghost Talker’s Giveaway comments, but since there were so few entries this time around I’ve decided to include them in this post.

Now, on to some ridiculous manga!

Justin shares some thoughts on Shinji Saijyo’s Iron Wok Jan which can get pretty crazy indeed:

Ooh, this is interesting. I haven’t read too many out of bounds manga, but one that did get me was Iron Wok Jan—the amount of sheer ridiculousness of the products they get cooked (Whether it was just normal fried rice to custard soup with sheep brains), and how precise everything had to be that made it taste good, and addition to the cast of characters who are sometimes annoyingly stubborn, I was mystified yet entertained at the same time^^ Would love to see this manga in print again, but alas…

beckafly’s favorite absurd manga is X-Day by Setona Mizushiro and specifically mentions the side story “The Last Supper”:

My favorite absurd manga has to be [X-Day].There’s a side story in there where farm animals become people and are used for medicine. The actual story is kind of normal except for the blowing up the school bit.

phoenixphire24 mentions Takashi Hashiguchi’s Yakitate!! Japan. I haven’t read this one yet, but I’ve been meaning to give it a try:

My favorite ridiculous manga premise is for one of my favorite manga: Yakitate Japan. People that use their skills as bakers to fight in competitions with bread. And their bread can do crazy things to the judges, like transform them. And everything is a pun. Damn, I love that manga.

And there you have it! Some potentially absurd manga worth tracking down.

Also, a heads up: I’m thinking about moving from a monthly giveaway to a giveaway every other month. I haven’t decided yet, though. If you care one way or the other, please let me know!

My Week in Manga: May 2-May 8, 2011

My News and Reviews

Last week was one of the slow weeks at Experiments in Manga. I announced the manga giveaway Return of Ranma Winner and posted April’s Bookshelf Overload. One thing that I’ve noticed about the last few months is that I have posted quite a few book reviews and that many of the other features haven’t been, well, featured. I still have the goal of completing two in-depth manga reviews per month but will now also make an effort to vary the rest of the content on the site so that the literature reviews won’t overshadow the other material quite so much.

Some changes have occurred over on the Resources page. I’ve removed the links to Tokyopop and Blu since they’re no longer valid. As for additions, In Spring it is the Dawn and Three Steps Over Japan are now listed in the New and Reviews section.

Quick Takes

Apothecarius Argentum, Volumes 4-8 by Tomomi Yamashita. Apothecarius Argentum gets better and better with each volume. This is somewhat problematic since only the first eight of eleven volumes managed to make it to publication before CMX went defunct. And the eighth volume ends with one heck of a cliffhanger! I like how the characters actually seem to be developing and maturing in a natural way instead of remaining the same over a long period of time. Argent is adamant about finding a way to detoxify his body even though he realizes that what he truly desires, a relationship with the princess, can never come to pass. Also, I think this is the first manga I’ve read that has a frank discussion about abortion.

Biomega, Volumes 2-4 by Tsutomu Nihei. As I mentioned in my in-depth review for Biomega, Volume 1, it’s really Nihei’s art that carries this series. For as much action as there is, there seems to be very little character or plot development to go along with it. To be honest, I’m not completely sure what’s going on story-wise most of the time. To some extent, I don’t really care since I’m usually happily distracted by the illustrations although I do have a difficult time telling some of the characters apart at first glance. But overall the art is wonderfully dark and creepy and though it might be odd to describe it as such, beautifully disconcerting. Buildings and cityscapes a given great amount of detail and attention.

Iron Wok Jan, Volumes 5-17 by Shinji Saijyo. I find Iron Wok Jan to be an incredibly amusing series. Plus, if you’re paying attention, you might actually learn something about Chinese cuisine and cooking. Things can occasionally get violent and bloody in the kitchen, so it’s not a manga I’d recommend to vegans or those with weak stomachs. All of the chefs and trainees are extremely serious about food and cooking. With Jan around competitions frequently turn into all out battles and he’ll do anything it takes to win. Saijyo captures the often maniacal intensity of the characters perfectly with exaggerated artwork. Granted, Kiriko and Celine’s… ahem…well-endowed figures seem like they should get in the way of cooking.

Karakuri Odette, Volume 6 by Julietta Suzuki. Ever since the January 2011 Manga Moveable Feast I’ve been waiting for the sixth and final volume of Karakuri Odette to be released. It’s a charming series, so I was glad that Tokyopop was able to finish it before disappearing. The sixth volume is less episodic than some of the previous books and finishes up the plot arc from volume five. It provides a more or less satisfying conclusion to the series although things are left pretty open ended. I was a little disappointed that Chris and Professor Yoshizawa, two of my favorite characters, didn’t make much of an appearance. Asao is definitely in there, though. Art-wise, Suzuki provides some fantastic facial expressions and (over)reactions that are delightful to behold. The final volume is a nice little goodbye.

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Volume 1 by Hiroshi Shiibashi. Rikuo is one-quarter yokai and the grandson of Nurarihyon, who wants him to become the next leader of the Nura Clan of yokai. Normally human, Rikuo temporarily transforms into a yokai on occasion. I would like to see more tension developed between the human and yokai Rikuos; right now they seem to fairly oblivious of each other. For the most part I enjoyed Shiibashi’s artwork, although Kiyotusugu’s character design really bugs me for some reason that I haven’t been able to identify. Even though I don’t feel a tremendous desire to rush out to pick up the next volume, I still think the series has potential and is off to a good start. Also, I really like the covers.

My Week in Manga: September 13-September 19, 2010

My News and Reviews

I am so incredibly excited—Experiments in Manga got a brief mention in Katherine Dacey’s Friday Procrastination Aides, 9/17/10 over on The Manga Critic.

There aren’t any in-depth reviews from this past week, but I am running my first ever contest/giveaway. Head over to Manga Giveaways: Crazy Karate Contest for a chance to win a free copy of Ranma 1/2, Volume 11: Creative Cures. I also posted my second Library Love installment, and another should be coming very soon.

Only two additions to the resource page this week. The first, Genji Press, is run by Serdar Yegulalp who was recently hired as the anime guide for Anime. He reviews books, manga, movies, and anime at his site among other interesting things. The second resource that has been added is Comics Village, the home of Manga Village.

Quick Takes

Don’t Say Any More, Darling by Fumi Yoshinaga. This is the first short story collection of Yoshinaga’s that I’ve read. The five stories include “Don’t Say Any More, Darling,” “My Eternal Sweetheart,” “Fairyland,” “One May Day,” and “Pianist.” The first and last stories were by far my favorite (as a bonus, both were music related) although the others certainly held my interest as well. Three of the stories are distinctly yaoi, one is definitely not, and the other may have overtones depending on how you read it. It’s a rather odd collection and like most story collections some are stronger than others, but I enjoyed most of it.

Hikkatsu!: Strike a Blow to Vivify, Volumes 2-3 by Yu Yagami. I enjoyed the first volume of Hikkatsu and so decided to pick up the rest of the series. The second volume feels mostly like filler to me, a way to spend the time until we can get back to the “real” plot in the third volume. Not that there’s really much of a plot. Shota has perfected his repair blow and but also learns its limitations. This is a rather silly manga series but I found it to be amusing. It’s short and sweet and I think it ended up being just the right length at three volumes.

How to Control a Sidecar by Makoto Tateno. How to Control a Sidecar is the sort-of sequel to Tateno’s How to Capture a Martini. This time, the focus is on straight and oblivious but brilliant bartender Kousaka, who didn’t even realize he was working at a gay bar for quite a while. It was only a matter of time before someone started hitting on him and he’s caught the eye of the not quite couple of Fumi and Kanashiro who used to share a boyfriend. I was happy to see Tateno deal with rape in a realistic way for the first half of the book, although unfortunately she doesn’t carry it through to the end. I’ll admit, I was also a little disappointed there weren’t any threesomes involved—the story’s premise was just asking for it.

Iron Wok Jan!, Volumes 1-4 by Shinji Saijyo. I love manga, I love food, and so yes, I love manga about food. Jan Akiyama has undergone the fiercest training since a young age, his grandfather molding him to become the best chef in Japan of Chinese cuisine. After his grandfather’s death he’s hired at the Gobancho restaurant. Jan is a cocky, arrogant bastard and doesn’t really get along with anyone. Everyone is extremely serious about their cooking and Jan’s competitive nature brings out the best and worst in people. Who would think cooking could be this intense?

Suggestive Eyes by Momoko Tenzen. This one-shot yaoi manga actually features two main couples—graduate student Megumu and his younger classmate Kina, and two of their professors, Shibata and Kikugawa. Kina reminds Megumu of his ex and after a night of drunkenness, the two end up sleeping together. Kina’s feelings are authentic, but Megumu doesn’t love him in return and wants to call off the affair. But Megumu’s feelings for Kina end up being more complicated than he expected. Elsewere on campus, Shibata and Kikugawa have been together for fifteen years; it’s nice to see an established and successful couple.