March 26, 2012

Let's talk manga: and it starts with N

Man I seriously got to stop piling up drafts, so I hope you enjoy the first of many manga related posts I intend to do from now on.

Apparently based off a video game. I say apparently, because I have no idea what kind of game, visual novel, PS2 game, maybe a cell phone game or even a PSP game. Searching on Google isn't helping me either, while I'd rant about my connection speed, seriously, the Miss Uganda competition was in the top 4 search results for "Namiiro" lol (searching "Nami Iro" didn't help my cause for a 1st page result)

The basic rundown of the story so far (6 chapters) is that there is a special dance coming up, in which legend foretells that the boy and girl who participate will get married in the very near future and the girl will get preggers in no time....... well, I think that sounds more like a hentai manga than it does Namiiro, but that's the gist of it. Er... the part about "dance", "boy and girl", and... that's about it :P

I like this manga because of course the girls, nice girls ja... ahem but more importantly the manga starts with a little amnesia. Wait a minute, why does the lead male always gotta have some sort of RAM problem in his brain... >__> Honestly that rather pisses me off the way male protags are portrayed as the guy who can't even remember his childhood promise to a super cute girl. Maybe the part that pisses me off is that I know I wouldn't be that kind of guy, even though I had an accident back in my childhood, but please, manga-ka out there, I think the protags of romance manga could use a little more RAM these days, with SSD prices dropping they no longer have to have volatile memory, and maybe one day the male protags would remember things right after they were born XD

I think I've ranted a bit too much, but here's something else to think about: have you read my "Endeavors/Past projects" page (link below the header image), and did you ever wonder why I never stuck to one of those things? Why I never continued working my translation skills to the point where I could have leveled up to a Light Novel translator, or why a brainstormer like me does weird things with electronics, or why I even bothered to become a ROM Chef at XDA-Developers? Certainly one of those questions may have arisen in your mind at some point, and a lot of it can be answered below:
I have lived my life similar to that fashion for as long as I can remember, and it's largely due to the several health problems I suffer from, and I ended up with one of my favorite mottos, "No regrets". You might have seen me on several occasions call myself a "brainstormer", which is due to a school program that searches out geniuses throughout the entire school. And that was when I was 8 years old, and since then I had quite the burden on myself, with the expectations to perform above average. Long story short, I lived with that burden, and it got to the point where I thought "hey, this isn't fun.Who does this help, other than the government?" and I realized, I like to help people, and since I have multiple hobbies, why not help others regarding those hobbies. That was the end of my regret, and the beginning of my enjoyment of life. My work at XDA has helped many from bugs and problems, when I was a translator the primary goal was to get Chocotto Sister back on track for non-Raw watchers. When Luminous Arc 2 came out, players needed some help regarding the intermissions, and I provided the best Intermission guide within a week, my first Gamefaqs contribution ever. I have the capability, and if I can help others with it, I have no regrets.

Er back to the manga, I like how it touches on that subject. And not just that subject, several others too, and it's a really nice read if you like the girls, or... well.... there's not much chapters out now, so it's not too late to start if you've got nothing else to read. Heh when does that ever happen, I haven't read a single light novel....

I like this series, and some of you might detect that it's probably because the main girl has some sort of a tiny ponytail lol. What I don't understand though, is the reader feedback (specifically at manga-updates), which I think they're a little too harsh on the author. Now I've read the oneshot, and of course some readers compare the serialization to the oneshot, but that's a mistake. A oneshot is a oneshot, it's meant to showcase a telling of a story in as self contained as possible, and one reader comment nailed it right, in that what was possible to stuff into a oneshot, has to be spread out in a serialization. So of course things are going to look different spread out over several chapters, and I think the author is trying his best to work in this kind of pacing by not making it appear like a oneshot everytime. Yes, I read Double Arts, and in my honest opinion, the main characters didn't really have much more to do in regards to reaching their destination other than fighting the bad guys. Which we all know fighting manga has arrived in high numbers in recent days, and with not much of a distance to their destination, it might not have been a fun read. Surely they weren't going to spend a large amount of time in towns now and then. I definitely would have liked to see that manga end properly though, that's for darn sure.

Back to Nisekoi, I know it's riddled with cliches, or rather, story elements we've seen before in other manga, but after all that I've encountered over the years, readers fail to realize that a cliche is going to show up in any story nowadays, due to the fact it's an unfortunate circumstance that, well, practically everything has been done before, every anime with a weak whiney male lead is going to be compared to Shinji Ikari, every violent tsundere is going to be compared to Naru Narusegawa, eventually, even I get tired of comparing now to then, and instead of pointing out how cliches are ripping off each other, I think it's high time readers and viewers start looking at how each story manages it's cliches in a way that works. So Nisekoi's cliche imo starts with "guy likes a girl, but another girl enters said guy's life and trouble ensues". That's practically To Love Ru right there, but Nisekoi shouldn't be shot down because of that. It doesn't have an alien theme, so things stay terrestrial instead of extraterrestrial. And then there's the matter of the involvement of other characters, what the male lead is and will become, and how far the 2 girls in question will grow their characters further from what they started out as.

Speaking of the girls, there was something funny about Kirisaki that I found amusing. You might have read my, er, one of my interviews, and it's that I like girls who love their hair, and decorate with with various accessories. I find Kirisaki's rather hilarious because to me, she looks like a certain well-known bunny rabbit:
Tell me I wasn't the only one to think that XD. There is another funny way of looking at her, and it was best said by a girl in a different manga, Fujimura-kun Mates:
lol. Considering Kirisaki's attitude, one might have a valid reason for calling her a demon girl :P

Ah, this one needs no introduction. Having come to an end recently, I gotta say, that was a storied run, and probably the first really long running manga I experienced from it's previews to it's last chapter. (I.... have yet to read Full Metal Alchemist >__>)

It was in 2003 when I was still heavily involved with AnimeNation, and back when this series was announced, I tell you many were expecting something to follow Love Hina, when you have a series as well liked as that, I guess that was expected. Not to mention too, those sneak previews were showing some girls whose designs were practically from Love Hina, especially that girl who was introduced in Love Hina's last chapters. The build up was there, and many of us were really anticipating it's debut, until it finally got "scanned" and showcased on Jupiter Scans. Heh, long dead site, that's a site one can't forget so easily. I remember it vividly because it was so difficult to navigate, being.... so pink lol.

Raw scans of course, and reader experiences were mixed to say the least. As I mentioned before, I resided at AnimeNation's forums at the time, which was a large userbase of USA citizens, so many, if not all of them were of the one's who read Tokyopop's Love Hina versions, and were really expecting Love Hina levels in Negima. Hahaha the disappointment was.... actually warranted. I don't blame them, I was still fresh in my Japanese learning (I'm self-taught), and there weren't many translators or spoiler'ers as there are nowadays, so of course, when you have an english reader reading the Raws, it's not going to end well :P

And that's how it started for me. Those miserable "scans" that looked like newspapers, seriously even back then not many people had scanners so they use digital camera's and take pictures. Pictures of manga, man. I hate it when that happens XD. Not only can you not translate them, but how can we enjoy the pretty pictures....

As with a series dependent on it's large cast of female characters, I've got to have a favorite, eh? Well, this is probably a no brainer, but it definitely is this girl:
Evangeline, a no brainer? How does that happen? Well, you know..... this was almost 9 years ago, when the lolitron was still sealed for a millenia,  and then to see this girl, this all powerful old ahem I mean... "Aged" tiny bodied girl, man I just knew, I..... wanted to be punished by this girl lol. Out of all the 30+ girls, it's Evangeline alright. Well, she doesn't have much of a chest, but.... she's got the attitude, the spunk, she's that kind of girl you don't want to piss off yet purposely do so just to get a reaction from her.

Thanks, Akamatsu Ken. Even though the manga ended up becoming a fighting manga, I have to say, the girls made it readable for me :D That's what it's about, right? A teacher and his students...... all of them girls.

The best part? I ended this series to the tune of Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli's "Time to say Goodbye". Best manga reading experience ever, and my way of ending 9 years of a manga reading experience I definitely want to experience again.

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