I just recently came across this new-ish manga from Hiroya Oku (Gantz), and was so absorbed that I plowed through everything that has been released so far (5 volumes) in one morning. It’s a mesmerizing and very dark take on what happens when someone suddenly finds themselves with fantastic (and mechanical) powers, good or bad. The two main characters are polar opposites, and both fascinating. I also love the highly detailed referenced art, which completely takes me back to my life in Tokyo (I recognize tons of places where I used to go often). It’s probably my favorite serialized comic right now, and it even pushed me to go and start reading Gantz (I’d seen at least the first movie, but had never checked out the manga).
I wrote about Aku no Hana when I first started watching it last fall, and wanted to write this follow-up now that I’m done watching the first season – I’d only watched the first 6 episodes, and so now finally got around to watching the rest (the last 7, that I watched in one go). This is truly an amazing piece of work, and although I did find the main character’s constant hesitation and self-doubt to be annoying, those last 3 episodes are really quite something. I think it has some of the best cinematography I’ve seen on TV. I can’t even begin to understand where the story can go following that ending, but it ends saying that it’s the conclusion of part 1, and I know it only covers half of the original manga series, so I really hope the show was successful enough for them to go ahead with a second season.
This is something I posted over at SNOW Magazine a couple of weeks back, and forgot to mention here, even though I think it’s important to note in the context of all the digital publishing talk I cover here. It’s a new piece of software called ComiPo, a “manga sequencer,” and the idea is that it gives anyone — even if you have no drawing abilities — the means to create comics and manga. If you look at the video in the article, you’ll see exactly what I mean (and check Patrick’s original post for more details).
Momus is indeed in Tokyo for a few weeks — as you’ll know if you follow his Click Opera blog, which has turned into a literal Tokyo/Japan lovefest since his arrival — and he also has a free show planned for December 22 (from 20:30) at the recently opened GM Ten Gallery in Azabu Juban, a space produced by Osaka designers Graf.
Starting December 20, the gallery will be hosting an exhibition of works by manga legend Eico Hanamura — here’s an interview with Hanamura on PingMag which was, believe it or not, published during my short tenure there.
Patrick Macias has a new episode of his Hot Tears of Shame podcast, and fans of otaku culture will not want to miss it. “Otaku Internationale: The Shinjuku Summit” brings together Patrick #1, Patrick #2 (that would be The Otaku Encyclopedia‘s Patrick W. Galbraith), PhD student Renato Rivera, and Otaku2 co-founder Adrian Lozano, covering a host of otaku-powered topics.
Let me also add that if you’re hosting a session of The Beatles: Rock Band and you need a singer, Patrick is your man.
Patrick Macias gave a lecture this past week at California State University, covering “Theoretical Perspectives on Manga, Anime and Otaku,” and he’s now made if available as a download as an episode of his Hot Tears of Shame podcast series (#33).
As Patrick explains, “[w]hile some of this territory was covered before in my speech earlier this year at Temple University Japan Campus, there’s a lot of new stuff here (including sections on American fandom and Hating the Otaku Wave) in this one hour-long recording.”