Tagged: Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Hello, Good Buy!

Still out on my crazy adventure. A rather bold party mix of manga this week, FP faithful, and certainly something for everyone! There’s some shoujo, some shounen, and I decent peppering of yaoi on top! In partiuclar, there are two relatively known titles coming out this week that don’t seem to get the limelight they deserve, so here I am to shine it upon them!

First, there’s a new volume of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, which is a rather clever black comedy that pokes fun at Japanese society, language, and everything in between! Meet Nozumu Itoshiki, who begins his first day as a new teacher underneath a sakura tree, attempting to hang himself. He’s stopped by a girl who turns out to be one of his future students, just one of many who seem to suffer from a myriad of specific and bizarre problems.

Perhaps the amusement in Zetsubou Sensei lies in one’s knowledge of Japanese culture, thus alienating people who aren’t… well… Japanese. It’s not enough to just be up on your anime to get the full scope of what this particular series encompasses, since a lot of the humour is really based on understanding the structure of Japanese language, with things that don’t always carry over into a perfect English translation. Still, there’s merit in being forced to learn more about real Japanese culture through such satire, and if anything, the art is really fun to look at. There is a great aesthetic of incredible pattern and restful, white space, yet another Japanese-ism we might not appreciate so much as Americans. (In Japan, many things are crafted to focus on the singular beauty of a thing, whereas the American aesthetic is that more is more.) Anyway, it’s a pretty fun romp if you want something a bit brainier to read.

The other title that comes out this week that is worth checking out is Eden: It’s An Endless World! If you like beautiful artwork and those after-the-apocalypse sort of stories, this is one you should definitely pick up. After a killer virus has wiped out a good portion of mankind, the world’s future is up in the air. There is political unrest everywhere, and young Elijah is caught up in the middle of it all. If you enjoyed the dystopian mess that occurs in the second half of the Akira manga, then you’ll find a lot of similarities. But definitely in a good way!! What’s also cool about Eden is that it has a kind of gnostic undertone to it, so people who love symbolism will have a lot to soak in.

Anyway, I hope these are fun new old titles for you to check out! It always makes me happy to hear that people are getting up on their anime roots. No sense in being into something if you’re only going to do it halfway, I say!

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New Manga Releases: OMG Stuff!

By Mat K.

Welcome otaku boys and girls, and I’m dry on article titles for now. Moving forward, this week isn’t very tremendous in terms of quantity of new books coming out, despite it being the first week of December, but there are definitely some desired or at least intriguing books coming in. I’ll start with some small mentions. TokyoPop puts out Lagoon Engine Volume 7 this week, a record 3 years after volume 6, (that’s right, six came out in 2007 folks), but I ranted enough about that last week. They also put out NG Life volume 7. From the Del Rey side of things, they’re continuing their omnibus editions playing catch up with their titles with Papillon Volume 5 and 6 together, and Psycho Busters volumes 6 and 7 together. I still think these are pretty neat, except you lose the art for the covers of the inside volumes. Also, Inukami Omnibus and Inubaka Crazy For Dogs volume 17 show up this week, and we are listing them as new because even though they were supposed to arrive a couple weeks ago, due to mix ups they did not, but are here now.

Now for some big ones. The sweet new premier this week is Osamu Tezuka’s Ayako, coming to us from Vertical Publishing. Ayako defies the conventions of Tezuka’s previous mangas by utilizing a completely original cast and relying solely on historical drama to drive the plot. Set in the aftermath of World War II, Ayako focuses its attention on the Tenge clan, a once powerful family of landowners living in a rural community in northern Japan. The war and American occupation have begun to erode the fabric that binds them all together. And when the family seems to have completely fallen apart, they decide to turn their collective rage on what they believe to be the source of their troubles, the newest member of the Tenge family, the youngest sister Ayako. Continue reading

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