Sunday, November 16, 2014

What you should never do (and I do it all the time)

Forgive me, Father, for I've sinned. I have this ugly custom of mine - I buy new mangas and then put them on the shelf "to read them in my free time" - but of course there are mangas better and worse, more awaited and less awaited, those I'm in mood for at the time ant those I'm not... And so on, so on. So the heap of mangas "to read in my free time" grows and grows - I have some titles for over a year on my shelf that I haven't managed to read yet (yeah, I know...). So now, since I'm totally sick, with running nose, cough and headache and after coming home from work everyday I just crawl under the blanket with tea and a pile of medicines, I'm catching up with my reading.

And so, last week I read/finished/read the remaining volumes I bought but never read:
1. Ume, Tokyo Toy Box 2 (Polish edition by Studio JG)
Ok, to sum it up quickly - very nice, mature series about gaming industry with great drawings. Although I had an impression that the authors had no idea what they're doing while writing about a "bug we've discovered and reproduced, but we have no idea where it comes from" and other programming stuff, overall it was a really nice read. 
Unfortunately, I've spotted some typos in Polish edition, but I think I can live with that. Now I wonder whether to buy Giga Tokyo Toy Box (a ten-volume sequel published by Studio JG as well), I guess I'll put it on my wishlist someday.
2. Miwa Shirow, DOGS 2 - 7 (Polish edition by Waneko)
I have mixed feelings about this one. The story itself is really entertaining, with great Polish translation (which, because of the coarse language, I do not recommend for minors despite of being rated as 16+ by the publisher). 
However, I totally can't get over those empty backgrounds. The characters' drawings are really nice, but almost every background is just plain white space - I'm not sure if that was the author's intention or if he's just lazy. I understand the need to put emphasis on some panels by not drawing the background, but each and every panel?! 
3. Tateno Makoto, Yellow (whole series, English omnibus edition by June)
This one's totally awesome and will definitely have a separate note as soon as I get and read all parts of sequel available in English, so be patient for now. :)
4. Sunaaku Gan, Suruga Hikaru, Attack on titan: No regrets 2 (English edition by Kodansha)
What can I say - I love Levi. In my opinion Attack on titan is one of best shounen series ever, and this spin-off is just great. In fact, it's the only spin-off I actually enjoyed - I find Before the fall naive, too fast-paced and a bit boring, while the highschool parody is just plain ridiculous. 
I enjoyed this short, two-volume series just as much as its original series and I can totally recommend it to any Attack on titan's fan. And although I really like Isayama's style of drawing, the one in No regrets is just pure bliss to the eye. I mean it. 
As for the English edition - I hate this shiny paper Kodansha uses for covers (apart from the fact it was, of course, a bit too short...) - there's no way to touch the book without leaving fingerprints just EVERYWHERE. Ugh.
5. Lee Sun-Young, Doll Song 2 (Polish edition by Yumegari)
I could sum this one up with just one sentence: great drawings, nice story, poor edition. I really have a thing for Korean style of drawings - those ridiculously big eyes with long eyelashes, full lips, and great amount of details. Actually the fact that some comic book is a manhwa is enough reason for me to buy at least first volume. 
But I must say I'm really disappointed with Yumegari's edition - there are a lot of punctuation errors, even some spelling errors (ugh!). There's much too much of glue, so it's visible on the inner side of the cover and it makes it hard to open the book and actually read the text inside without breaking a spine. One of the pages was cut so badly that it actually ripped half of the text. And finally - at least in my copy the dustcover was folded in wrong place and then refolded in the other, so that the previous folding left a flaw. I suppose the only good thing about Polish edition would be some pages in full color, printed on really good paper in the middle of the book. These were really nice and I came back to them several times. But overall - not the best of Yumegari's editions.
6. Asano Inio, Osiedle Promieniste (Hikari no machi, Polish edition by Hanami)
In fact, another disappointment. The story itself has a potential, but I think the author tried to focus on too many stories at once, so they all ended up looking like stubs. Very good drawings, though, somehow make it up. I can't say it's a bad manga, but I enjoyed other work from this author, Solanin, much, much better. 
Polish edition of the manga is actually something worth crying over. We have thick, white, shiny paper inside, which really improves visibility of the details and allows the reader to appreciate author's drawing abilities. But that would be all as for the positives. There are so many typos, misspellings and ridiculously placed commas (or lack of them where they should appear) that I had to fight the urge to throw the book out from the window sometimes.
7. CLAMP, xXxholic, omnibus vol. 1 (English edition by Kodansha)
First of all I have to say I love omnibus editions - they are cheaper, look great on the shelf and you can read more of the story at once (they're hard to keep in hand while reading, though, but who cares). Again, as usual with Kodansha's books, we have too short cover you can't touch without leaving a hundred of fingerprints. Unfortunately there's no color pages, which would be really nice in omnibus edition.
As for the story itself - I suppose xXxholic doesn't really need my advertisement, so I'll just say it's really nice mystery/supernatural story for rather older reader. I'm definitely going to buy next volumes, too. I really love CLAMP's drawings in this one - you don't see drawings this polished everyday. Really worth every penny.
8. Natsume Isaku, False memories 2 (English edition by SuBLime)
I've been waiting for so long for this second, final volume to be published! SuBLime really did a great job. As usual in SuBLime's books, there's a color page opening the whole story. The story which totally reminds me of Sekaiichi Hatsukoi (I love this one, too, but I must admit it should be presented at Academies of Fine Arts all over the world as an example of how you should never, ever draw a manga). We have a tsundere-like uke, persistent, dark-haired seme (although not as sexy as Sekaiichi's Takano :D) and a misunderstanding from the past. And this adorable style of drawing! Good proportions, various facial expressions, really great eyes... and, uhm, some really appetizing yaoiness. :D

Okay, admit it. Tsuda is totally cute when he's blushing. Wait - actually, he's cute all the time.

Maybe it's just me, but I find the author's style somehow heartwarming. I can't really explain it, but that's how I feel. I think you'll feel what I mean as soon as you read some of her works.
One thing that sort of ruined a little all the joy from getting this volume was that the cover is a little misplaced - there's about one milimeter of spine graphics that's on the back of the cover, and about one milimeter of graphics that was supposed to be on the front cover, but is on the spine (*crawls into the corner and cries quietly*). But overall - really, really nice yaoi manga.
9. Kim Se-Young, Boy Princess 6 - 9 (English edition by Netcomics)
And again, I have a thing for Korean drawings. I don't really mind terrible proportions, too thin necks, too long and flat heads, eyes that take about a half of face's space and hands big as heads - I totally love how the faces' details are drawn. The biggest pain in the ass was my boyfriend, who was constantly nagging me just as he saw I was reading it: "Oh gawd, why is his arm so long? What's wrong with that head? Where's the other eye? Who is he, a Yeti?" and so on. I really wanted to smack him sometimes, you know... Although I have to admit one thing - half of the characters look exactly the same, and since their clother and hairstyles change, you don't really have anything to distinguish them. It was sometimes really hard to keep up because of this.
As for the story itself, apart from the shounen-ai theme - which is totally cute and fluffy - this manhwa is just one great fairytale. We have princes, queens, a mysterious  tribe and a bunch of well designed intrigues. Even if you're not really into shounen-ai, this title is definitely worth reading.

That was one hell of a note! :D No photos this time - sorry (too much effort I guess). Next time I promise to get you some!


  1. Chciałabym coś od Natsume Isaku w Polsce ;^; ... pewnie się wcześniej czy później doczekam, bo w odróżnieniu od wielu moich ulubionych tytułów ta autorka jest lubiana :D

    Ja mam multum mang, których nie mam jak przeczytać, albo nie mogę się przez nie przebić, pamiętam jak kupiłam Ourana hurtem, to czytałam go 1,5 roku xDDD

    1. Ja kupiłam dwa pierwsze tomy Ourana i pozbyłam się ich czym prędzej, niestrawne to dla mnie było. W sumie nie wiem, czemu je kupiłam. Teraz już argument "bo kosztowały razem jakieś 15 zł z wysyłką" już nie wydaje mi się przekonywający. :D

    2. W moim przypadku mój ulubiony aktor japoński grał Kyoyę w wersji live action i ktoś na allegro sprzedawał komplet mang z maskotką Kyoyi i mój mózg jakoś połączył tę postać z moim ulubionym aktorem i zmusił mnie do kupna, haha :D

    3. Oj, znam takie zakupy. Ale co zrobić, z mózgiem się nie dyskutuje, tym bardziej z własnym. ^_^