wApr 4, 2007

Of Updates and Awkwardness

Spring Break has been pretty awesome so far. Antoine started his job this week, so while I've hung out with him for dinner/evenings, my days are spent working or slowly but surely cleaning my room (for serious! I'm almost done!).

Last night, we watched the Studio Ghibli movie "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind," and it was pretty good. It has the same vibe as "Princess Mononoke" in that the setting was fantasy-esque yet not too different from our own world. All in all, it was pretty good, although I like other Studio Ghibli movies much more. I am eager to read the manga, though. Apparently, the movie only covers the first 1/4 of the manga, which becomes much more complex.

There's been a 30-degree temperature drop in the last 24 hours, and I'm less than eager to leave the house for work. I had intended to leave early enough to make it to two libraries (one of fun, one for this paper I should start working on), but instead I laid in bed all morning and read books. It's interesting to analyze my Booklog. During vacations, the author list is taken over by Japanese names, due to my rabid manga-reading, while this semester, it's taken over by English and Scandinavian names.

This is why I don't play Dungeons & Dragons. I haven't laughed that hard in a while.

Perhaps 'Saiyuki' wasn't the best manga to bring to work.....
So! I finally got around to getting a library card for the Madison public library system. My purpose in doing so was to acquire some audio books for my solitary drive from Madison to my parents' house. HOWEVER, they had such an expansive manga section that I filled my backpack with manga and had to leave without even making it to the audio book section.

In regards to my story, though, one of the series I've checked out is Saiyuki, by Kazuya Minekura. At the moment, I'm in the middle of the fourth volume. The series isn't the greatest I've ever read in terms of compelling storylines, but it is fun in terms of crack. The protagonists are four bishounen ("pretty boys"), some of whom are part "youkai" (in this case, demon), and the story follows them as they journey West! To defeat Evil Things and fight back against Likeable Assassins Who Try to Kill Them!

Still, the writer/artist is totally aware of how ridiculous her pretty-boy characters are, and will often write words like "This is my angry face" on their foreheads. Also, for no apparent reason, some of her characters are hermaphrodites who for some reason need to run around shirtless.

I'm sure you can see where this is going, but I'll continue my story anyway. So yesterday, I bring the third volume of Saiyuki to work with me so that I can alternate it with reading the last 9 chapters of Great Expectations (holy crap, do I hate Charles Dickens!). One of my co-workers/bosses picks up the volume and leafs through it. "Have you ever looked at Japanese comics?" I ask, nervously. "Nope."
"Okay. Welllll....some of it's kinda weird. And I haven't read all of that one yet. So...Don't think I'm too weird," I finish somewhat lamely. He has stopped rifling through pages and I wait to discover what horrific image he has stumbled across. He holds it up for me, just smiling and allowing the page to speak for itself.

Between chapters in manga volumes, manga artists take the opportunity to draw their characters in fun poses/costumes that wouldn't otherwise occur in the story. Sometimes school girls will be dressed in dark suits and sunglasses and will say something like, "Don't mess with us." But this page? Had the character Hakkai, the Silent Type with Angsty Past, standing with his chest bare beneath and unbuttoned shirt. His hands and neck were bound in thorny vines, and there was blood on one of his sleeves. And what does the text say? 'Cause, you know, this needs to be much worse. The text read, "God, please violate me."

WHYYYYY? It makes no sense! It is because Kazuya Minekura thought it would be funny! So now I'm going to the Creepy Girl Who Reads Weird Things, even though today I'll only bring Return of the King and The Mill on the Floss. Japan, why are you so messed up, and why do you insist on messing me up, too?!
It could have been something cute like Cardcaptor Sakura or Sailor Moon, or even something well-written like Eden or Evangelion, but no. It was Saiyuki. Shits.

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scribbled mystickeeper at 10:39 AM

The NausicaƤ manga is really great! The story does get quite I have thought about buying the movie, but if it's just the first 1/4 of manga I don't think it's worth it.

By Blogger Karin, at 2:17 PM, April 04, 2007  

Oops... something went bad with the previous comment. It's supposed to say: "The story does get quite complex towards the end." in the middle.

By Blogger Karin, at 2:19 PM, April 04, 2007  

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