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This blog is a storage space for various thoughts, observations and musings centering on shōjo manga (少女漫画, Japanese comics for girls), josei-oriented manga (Japanese comics for women) and manga created by women (in the widest sense). Topics from other fields of relevance, such as music, art, literature and film may be discussed here as well.

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For the most part, Japanese names appear in their original order - surname first, followed by the given name.

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Viewing all posts in category: Anime



[Manga & Anime News] The April Agenda

We’ve already entered a new month and April ’17 looks like it has some very exciting things waiting for us – some new beginnings that might bring a sparkle to our eyes in best old-school shoujo manga fashion and some endings that will hopefully not be too tear-inducing…

Fukumenkei Noise/Anonymous Noise TV anime by Tokyo MX based on the manga by Fukuyama RyoukoThe second week of April marks the start of an anime TV series based on Fukuyama Ryōko’s Fukumenkei Noise (Anonymous Noise). The series has been destined for the whole multi-platform treatment it will be getting (there’s also a movie coming out in November this year) from the start. Yes, it’s literally screaming for a form that goes beyond the printed medium and brings sound into the whole affair because it is about just that – sound, music! From April 11 on, which is the day the first episode airs in Japan, we can expect some pop punk noise accompanying the story of the love triangle between the girl Nino who turns into Alice, the lead singer of the massively hyped newcomer band in No hurry to shout (called Inohari by fans and the media), whose members wear bandages and eye-patches to hide their identities. Their guitarist and main songwriter Yuzu brings Nino into the band after Nino had inspired him to write songs for her back when they were kids and Nino had to overcome the fact that her first love Momo had suddenly moved away. Yuzu himself is still in love with Nino while Nino tries to find Momo through her voice but when she finally does, he rejects her. Momo is now a famous composer of pop songs, feeling guilty about making money with the songs he originally wrote for Nino for whom he still has feelings. He’s just in senior high, the same one Nino and Yuzu attend. And what makes the situtation even more complicated, he’s the bassist in band called SILENT BLACK KITTY who’s being criticized for being nothing but a copy band of Inohari.
Fukumenkei Noise follows Nino and the two very different boys, Yuzu and Momo, and their bands all the way to the top of the pop music world. With the added element of ‘real’ music, the anime will hopefully express even more powerfully the youthful energy and passion of the manga, currently running in Hana to Yume. I can’t wait. And please note: a post for the manga is coming to this very space next week!

Palace Meiji by Kuze Banko (Hakusensha)The end of the month will bring readers the final chapter of Kuze Banko’s series Palace Meiji in Hakusensha’s Betsuhana (Bessatsu Hana to Yume), with its June issue in stores April 26. To commemorate the conclusion of the magazine’s number one title, Palace Meji will be getting the magazine’s cover, a color spread and a furoku fan book called “Palace no omoide” (literally “Memories of the Palace”) along with the last chapter. And I’m getting my tissues ready because I really enjoyed young hero Kimiyori’s years of training and working at Meiji Palace, serving the young, tough and beautiful (fictional) empress Akiko. 6 comic volumes filled with episodes of court life in alternative modern-meets-traditional Japan, subversions of gender roles and lots of action, human drama, warm humour and suspense have been published so far, already destined to become classic shōjo manga material.
In related news, another long-running series, the romantic comedy Pochama ni by Hirama Kaname will come to an end in that same issue of Betsuhana.

The final volume of Izumi Kaneyoshi's Joou no HanaFollowing up from this post and the publication of the final volume of Izumi Kaneyoshi’s Joō no hana, it’s only fair to say the fantasy romance series stuck out like a rainbow-colored swallowtail butterfly among the brownish grey moths usually running in Shogakukan’s Betsucomi. The publisher itself must have come to the same realization and transferred the artist to the place she rightfully belongs on its roster of shōjo magazines, that being Monthly flowers. Izumi’s new series of one-shots will start with its first story titled Suisō Yakyoku (let me see, Nocturne of the Water Tank?), a whopping 60 pages including color pages plus the cover of the magazine, published in Gekkan flowers 6/2017 out on April 28. Looks like we’re back in the present day with a ‘it’s slightly complicated’ type of romantic comedy, judging from the short bit of description and the illustration of the two main characters on the flowers preview page.
The current flowers issue (5/2017) celebrates the 20th anniversary of Watanabe Taeko’s Kaze hikaru along with a sticker calender furoku, the beginning of the final story arc of Tamura Yumi’s long-running post-apocalyptic action manga 7SEEDS (which I must admit has the ability to give me nightmares, that series is just not for the faint of heart), and the very last chapter of Kodama Yuki’s Tsukikage Baby, the follow-up to her hit series Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope).
My order with the limited edition of the final volume of Joō no hana with the memorial fan book isn’t here yet but I noticed it’s already sold out at most places and going for slightly crazy prices at amazon… See the cover for it, which wasn’t out when I wrote my post last month, on the top right!

So this looks like a fun-packed month that is guaranteed to bring lots of material to shorten rainy spring days and long commutes to and from school/work!

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Categories: Anime, Manga, Manga News.
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Posted on Apr 2, 2017 (Sun, 2:34 am). .

Writers on Screen

Well look, another summer’s almost over and I’ve still not fully recovered from my bad case of blogging fatigue caused by writing too much in other places. But today I come here with something slightly more substantial than nothing, something which doesn’t even require that many words.
Of course I can’t stray too far from the area that has pretty much taken over my real life – literature. Hence this post shall be a TV pop culture meets literature sort of collection:

1. American Writers on Gossip Girl: A Deadly Adventure?

Last September, Gossip Girl came back with its second season in which Dan Humphrey landed himself an internship with a famous writer played by none other than Jay McInerney. How fitting for all parties involved!

Jay McInerney on Gossip Girl

But then a few months later, I started to have doubts about what exactly fate might have in store for writers who appear on that show, even just indirectly. Because in “You’ve Got Yale!”, episode 16 of season 2, our budding writer Dan Humphrey could be spooted reading an old paperback of John Updike‘s Rabbit Redux in a trendy coffee house.

Dan Humphrey and his reading material

Product placement of John Updike's Rabbit Redux

Now, in any other case I would have said ‘Congratulations, great product placement!’ or rolled my eyes and thought ‘OK, Humphrey’s the quiet, intellectual guy of the show, I get it (only he’s not)!’. But this whole thing seemed completely bizarre because this very episode was aired on January 19, 2009 and only a little more than a week later, on January 27, John Updike died…! When I heard the news of Updike’s death, that image of Humphrey holding Updike’s novel in his hands flashed up in my mind and I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s really safe for a writer to be featured on Gossip Girl… (Insert thoughtful silence here.)

2. Murakami, Murakami everywhere

Look who was scheduled for an operation at Seattle Grace in episode 18 of season 5 of Grey’s Anatomy (airing date March 19, 2009):

The Schedule at Seattle Grace Hospital - click for larger version.

Murakami Haruki up for operation?

Richard Powers? And Murakami Haruki? Seems like the set designers were getting a little too carried away with their love for certain writers… Or maybe there is no such thing? Anyway, I sincerely hope the operation was a success and they sewed up Haruki properly again!

Shinkai Makoto's Kumo no mukou, yakusoku no bashoSpeaking of my favourite portrayer of the Sheep Man:
I saw the anime movie Kumo no mukou, yakusoku no basho (The Place Promised in our Early Days) the other day and while I was watching it I couldn’t help but notice certain similarities to Murakami Haruki’s works – the atmosphere, the parallel reality issue, the tower, the way the protagonist expressed himself in the monologues etc. Afterwards I saw the interview with the director Shinkai Makoto that was included on the DVD, which was shot in a place that looked like his work office. There were two screens in the background which showed important scenes and background designs for the film and then yes, I noticed in stack of two books drawn for the film one book I actually own:

Interview with Shinkai Makoto

Two not so mysterious books.

The blue book at the bottom is the Japanese hardcover edition of the first volume of Murakami Haruki’s Umibe no Kafuka/Kafka on the Shore complete with its obi and everything. I’m not sure if the image of the two books was used directly in the movie itself at some point because I’ve watched it only once so far and saw the interview afterwards, but expressing your love for literature and your favourite authors in every possible way, across all media, is simply admirable and obviously a pleasure for everyone involved ;)

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Categories: Anime, Books/Literature/Writing, European & American Literature, Film/TV, Japanese Literature, Various.
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Posted on Aug 5, 2009 (Wed, 2:23 am). .

Murakami Ryu & Anime: The nomenclature of EVA plus Anno Hideaki, EurekA

During my research on Murakami Ryu I realized that Murakami’s been observing both mass culture & subculture phenomena from an almost outsider’s point of view while at the same time he himself is part of this mass media monster, this huge machinery (with both positive and negative qualities) in which everyone seems to be influenced by everyone in their output and instantly influences others the second they publish their ‘product’/output. As controversial as his thoughts and works might be, Murakami has already influenced a flock of younger writers, some of which have paid homage to his works through tiny details in their own works. As an example for that, here are a few connections between Murakami and anime:

1, The naming of a handful of (minor) characters from Eva was apparently inspired by character names from Murakami’s novel Ai to Gensou no Fashizumu (1987) as Anno Hideaki, the director of the anime, later wrote in an essay.

For example, there’s Suzuhara Touji (鈴原トウジ) whose name was “borrowed” from the protagonist of Fashizumu, Suzuhara Touji (鈴原冬二). His friend Aida Kensuke (相田ケンスケ) also has a doppelgänger – by name, at least – in the novel (相田剣介). The surname of their friend Hikari, Horaki (洞木), is used in the novel for a male character called Horaki Kouichi (洞木紘一).
One person appearing in the novel called Yamagishi Ryouji (山岸良治) might have been a source of inspiration in the naming of Kaji Ryouji (加持リョウジ) and Yamagishi Mayumi ((山岸マユミ), the female main character from the Sega Saturn game Evangelion 2nd Impression, though Anno said the ‘Ryouji’ came from a character in a Narita Minako manga, so who knows… There’s also a bunch of very minor characters whose names can also be found in Murakami’s novel, like Tokita Shirou (時田シロウ; inspired by Tokita Shirou – 時田史郎 – in the novel).

The Murakami/Anno connection continues. In 1998 Anno Hideaki made his non-anime directorial debut when he had the chance to adapt Love&Pop, Murakami Ryu’s short novel about enjo kousai which was published in 1996, for the big screen.

2, And then there’s Eureka seveN (2005), the current generation’s Evangelion, which I admittedly quite enjoyed, though not nearly as much as Eva. It was written by the highly celebrated screenwriter Satou Dai, who also wrote (episodes of) other brilliant anime series such as Cowboy Bebop, Wolf’s Rain, Ergo Proxy and Terra e…, to name just a few. He apparently made a cross-reference to Anemone, the female protagonist in Murakami’s Coin Locker Babies (1980) by naming the pink-haired Anemone, the oh-so-tormented pilot of the Nirvash LFO TheEND, after her. In the book, Anemone has an alligator called Gulliver and in the anime, Anemone’s pet is this weird mixture of a duck, a sheep and something indefinable that is called Gulliver, too.

Oh, the geekiness!

2 Comments

Categories: Anime, Books/Literature/Writing, Film/TV, Japanese Literature, Various.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
Posted on Dec 21, 2007 (Fri, 5:47 pm). .




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