Manga of the Month Readership Circle

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Postby Fish and Chips » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:59 pm

Manga of the Month - [s]July[/s] August 2011
[SIZE="4"]Cross Game[/SIZE]
Story and art by Mitsuru Adachi, a man

Image

Genre: Let's Baseball!, slice of life, growing up, sameface, it's raining
Age: All
Content: Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Sometimes it's best to take a step back. Play some catch, like you used to. Remember those days? Mitsuru Adachi does. Cross Game presents itself as a humbler story than most; a small town family, like you might've known; a kid, talented, but disinterested; a girl, and there is always "A girl," or perhaps I should say "The girl." And yet, beneath its simplicity is a vein of That Something that runs deeper and truer than anything else.

Baseball is a game about life. Cross Game is a manga about baseball.

Cross game is completed at 17 volumes.
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Postby blkmage » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:05 pm

Cross Game is really fantastic and that first volume is a really fantastic first volume.

I guess I'll mention some stuff I caught up with.

I am sorry, but I can't get into Steel Ball Run or Tegami Bachi. I can see why you guys like them so much, but it was such a chore getting through the first volume of both of these that I can't see myself going back to them.

Historie, on the other hand, was strangely interesting. However, I'm not quite sure I want to catch up on it yet.

Now, A Bride's Story is something that I definitely got into and something that I could see myself buying eventually. It seems like I might have to check out Emma too, but I will be saddened that those intricate fabrics are missing from that manga.
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Postby Kaori » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:22 am

That was a great first volume—despite the fact that I have no interest in team sports and very little in romantic comedies. The first part of the first chapter made me worry that the comedy was going to mainly be a bunch of slapstick, but fortunately it wasn’t, and I was amused by Kou’s transparent ulterior motives (selling things to other kids, joining the baseball team to get protection from Akaishi’s group).

In this volume, the kids occasionally slip into sounding a bit adult-like, and Aoba in particular acts older than her age, but for the most part, I though the child characterization was quite well-done, especially Momiji. I also liked it that even though Akaishi and his gang looked like ruffians, Akaishi actually turned out to be a decent guy. Everything is set up to make you think he’s going to beat up Kou (Kou obviously thinks this, and so did I), but then he doesn’t. It’s nice to see stereotypes thwarted like that.

Regarding the ending of v. 1:

[spoiler]I totally did not see that coming. Also, I thought that Adachi did a good job of portraying different ways of grieving. His hands-off approach, in which he showed mainly external actions rather than the characters’ thought processes, worked well. [/spoiler]
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Postby ich1990 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:54 pm

I put this one off for a couple of weeks because I don't usually like romance stories. Or comedies. Or baseball.

But I will be darned if that first volume didn't sweep me up into their lives and... well, if you read the volume you can probably guess how the end made me feel.

There are a lot of series that focus on childhood friendships, but this one ranks with 20th Century Boys and 5cm Per Second in sheer authenticity. Beautiful. Nostlagic. Brutal. Just like every childhood.
Where an Eidolon, named night, on a black throne reigns upright.
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Postby Fish and Chips » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:52 pm

Manga of the Month - September 2011
[SIZE="4"]Mushishi[/SIZE]
Story and art by Yuki Urushibara

Image

Genre: Anachronistic clothing, ghost stories, fantastic biology, folk tale, travel, walking smoking advertisement
Age: 13+
Content: Ginko smokes a lot and sometimes done say bad words. Not much you can do about it. Additionally, if Japanese mythology offends you, not much you can do about that either.

A fare few of you are probably already familiar with Mushishi, whose biological fairy tales left your television sets feeling a little warmer, a little colder, for the ware. However, there is something to be said for Yuki Urushibara's original work that the animated adaption doesn't so much "Remove" as "Lack." Mushishi has always felt more natural, more at home being read than being watched; experienced through the flick of a page, a beautiful, strange world depicted in sparse, strong brushwork, black against white. Hauntingly simple and refined, sometimes frightening, sometimes heartwarming, but always curious. Perfect left next to your bed, for those long nights you didn't feel like sleeping anyway.

Mushishi is completed at ten volumes.
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Postby Atria35 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:57 pm

YES! Oh, good, I bought this one and haven't read it yet because I still remember the anime pretty well. I shouldn't turn this down, though. I'm SO up for it!
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Postby AnimeGirl » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:35 pm

Mushishi. I've been meaning to read that.
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Postby ich1990 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:05 pm

Mushishi is all about atmosphere, about mood. Every chapter is a new adventure: sometimes mysterious, sometimes horrific, and often good-natured in that "aw shucks" kind of way. They are always understated and beautiful. It confounds me that something drawn in black and white can have so much color.

Read a chapter or two at a time, preferably alone, and let the strange worlds and fantastic old myths sweep over you. This is one of the best series that manga has to offer.
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