Wed, 6 August 2008
I talked about the individual titles in Yen Plus but I just wanted to make a few general comments about this attempt by Yen Press to put out a more reader friendly rather than boy or girl centered anthology. Of course, I'm talking about Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat. It's not that I don't buy Shojo Beat because I think Shojo manga are too girly. I don't buy it because it TARGETS young girls so explicitly and the bright colors make my eyes hurt. I don't read Shonen Jump (at least, until recently) either (ok, I do buy it, but the only thing I read is Naruto!). But its Donkey Kong leveling up plots can be a little offputting as well. It targets young boys that like to hit people.
So I am very glad that Yen Press is trying something a bit different with Yen Plus. They just seem to have put a batch of titles together with no regard for genre readers. There seems to be a little bit of everything for everybody. The danger with this kind of strategy is that by trying to please everyone, you please noone. Myself, I LIKE variety.
But there are some readers that feel uncomfortable wading into strange waters. Witness the incredibly negative reaction that Jack Frost got from some bloggers and board posters. They were put off by the violence and fan service mainly. Has anyone heard the words "dark comedy" before? If someone gets their head cut off and then sits there, oblivious to pain, and commenting on what jerks the two supernatural fighters are, you should know things are not meant to be taken seriously.
I remember someone commented on a scene in Maximum Ride when we meet a little girl named Angel and another character named Max is coming to wake her up for breakfast. One reader even said it was "straight up gross". The panel shows the girl fixing to get out of bed. To me, what is creepy is that someone can see the panel and get all kinds of weird connotations out of it. Same thing with a title like Strawberry Marshmallow. Some people have told me how that title is a moe title for perverts, but I don't get that out of it at all. I think it's just cute and funny. I guess some people just bring some weird thoughts into their manga reading experience.
In the Editor's letter at the front (back?) of the magazine, JuYoun Lee wrote that this magazine was going to be a way to introduce readers to titles before they are released as tankobans. So I asked myself which of the titles in this first issue would I buy in book form? The titles I could guarantee are Bamboo Blade, Higurashi, and Pig Bride. Borderline purchases would be Jack Frost and Nabari No Ou. I would probably pass up on Sumomomo. Titles I wouldn't take even if they were free would be Maximum Ride, Sarasah, and Night School. I don't even count One Fine Day as a title. It was pointless drivel.
Some people have also complained about the running order of the OEL/Manhwa section, citing mainly the outrageously cute One Fine Day somehow being a antithetic prelude to Jack Frost. My suggested reordering of the titles would go like this. Put Pig Bride as the lead title, followed by One Fine Day, Sarasah, Maximum Ride, Night School, and lastly, Jack Frost. It seems like a more coherent arrangement of content.
Wed, 6 August 2008
You probably hear all the time about how Japan has one of the longest living populations in the world, but maybe you didn't believe it. Japan's Health Ministry conducted a study in which it concluded that Japanese girls born in 2007 would live to an average age of 86 years old. That makes them #1 in the world. Japanese boys born in 2007 are projected to live an average of 79.2 years, placing them third behind Iceland and Hong Kong. Ironically, even though the Japanese are living longer, they have one of the world's lowest birth rates, and it is projected that around 40% of the population will be 65 or older by the year 2050 if current trends continue.
Here's the link to the full article:
Tue, 5 August 2008
Ok, so I live right outside of Houston, Texas and if you didn't know we had a tropical storm pass through here today, by the name of Edouard. Of course the local media tried their very best to make it seem like the Four Horsemen were coming to town. I woke up this morning around 10am and had to call someone to find out if it had upgraded to a hurricane or not. There really wasn't a lot of wind or anything. Just rain. But light enough to where there wasn't any widespread flooding. So I decided to hunker down with a manga. I started reading the Code Geass manga and I just loved it. So much that I had to drop it and go to Best Buy to buy the anime. This was after it had stopped raining. It was closed! Barnes and Noble was open and I would say over half of the businesses I saw were as well. Best Buy did end up opening around 4pm and I was there like a flash.
So here's the funny thing about the Code Geass dvd release. You can buy the slip cover version for $24.99, which contains volume 1 and 2 of the series...or you can buy volume 1 & 2 seperately for the extremely cheaper price of....$19.99 each! So I'm wondering who in their right mind would buy them seperately? I mean, even if you're just trying the show like I am sight unseen, if you're going to spend $20 on it, why not $5 more for an entire extra volume? It just seems a total waste of space on the retail shelves. There's also a limited edition that I THINK was going for around $40 (I don't buy the boxes or special edition of any show so I didn't really pay attention).
Two other releases caught my eye. The Gokusen TV Collection, a repackaging of an earlier show from Anime Works was only $14.99. This is a really funny show and well worth this extremely low price for all 13 episodes.
I don't know if this is going to be a steal or not but I also picked up Teknoman: The Complete Collection for $13.99. So get this, for that price you got 6 dvds, 43 Episodes, 1075 minutes of anime! It just sounded like a great deal. I've never seen the show, but I've heard about it. I can't remember if what I have heard is good though. But for that price, what did I have to lose?
I think at a $20 price point, people are reluctant to try out shows. But lower that just a bit to $15, and I think you're going to sell a lot more units. Anime Works dvds are usually around that price. I also applaud Bandai Entertainment (not the bloated warthog Visual (are they even a company anymore?)) for releasing a dubless version of their show. I mean, when I started thinking about it, I am subsidizing a anime dvd feature I don't even use. I never watch the dubs (Cowboy Bebop is the exception), so why should I have to pay for the dub? And the hardcore fans like me get to see the show early instead of waiting for the dub as well. So, thank you Bandai Entertainment. But can the seperate volumes. It's a waste of shelf space. Put them out in the 2 volume slipcases only. Thanks for Toward the Terra as well. It seems like only Bandai is trying something different to please their customers.
Check out the official Code Geass Site: