I might have mentioned that I picked up one of those “20 Manga for 20 bucks” deals.
Yeah, I mentioned it: https://davedalessiowrites.wordpress.com/2018/03/09/irrelevant-post-did-this-thing/
With shipping it was more like thirty bucks, but still, it seems to be a bargain. I mean, used manga run about five bucks a pop, and since I’ll read anything in sight, it gets the job done.
Anyway, I got these:
One of the first outcomes was I got a message from KingDylbag13 pointing out that many of the titles are from Tokyopop, and since they’re out of business, many of them are worth something (more than the buck and a half I paid) on the secondary market. Thanks, KingDylbag13!
Thus far I’ve read:
Nekoramen: It’s exactly what it promises: a volume of a four-strip cartoon about a cat (neko) that runs a ramen shop. (He wanted to have have a sushi shop but his paws were too warm.) (Not to mention the cat fur in the sushi.)
It’s amusing, and kind of cute. I don’t regret reading it, but there are three more volumes out there. I won’t be buying them.
Hanako and the Terror of Allegory: Okay, allegory in this context means urban myth. Hanako is terrorized by The Man Under the Bed myth, so she seeks out Aso Detective Agency…Daisuke Aso is subject to the 100 hiccup myth. They look into manifestations of urban myths, find them and fix them.
I thought this was entertaining, although not so entertaining that I’d seek out further volumes. It reminded me of a book by Seanan McGuire I’d read (Indexing) except the book was better.
Broken Angels: Fujiwara Sunao is a non-traditional high school girl, starting with the fact that she wears a boy’s uniform. Oh, and she has some kind of power over water that’s not quite clear. She’s surrounded by people of ambiguous sexuality that lust for her bod, plus there’s some kind of plot in there that I can’t remember.
The art is actually fairly pretty, and, of course, is 16+. The meta-plot made sense as I was reading it, but none of it stuck and so I suspect it was trivial. Mostly it seemed like an excuse to draw unclad women in arty ways. Readable but no real interest.
Dojin Work: High school kids drawing doujin (amateur manga). Oh, and because they want to sell, they draw erotica. Oh, and they are all inexperienced sexually, so they have to make it all up.
I actually thought this was kind of cute. The meta-plot seems to be Coming of Age, and it worked for me in the sense that these kids were just starting to explore their sexuality as part of their artistic work. Here’s an example: the core group is three girls and a boy. The girls bully the boy into posing for them so they can know what a male body looks like. The boldest of the girls offers to show him what she has in return. They return to the common room and he is shuddering. “She’s hairless,” he moans, humiliated.
It’s a four-strip, too, so there are lots of sight gags and punchlines (basically two per manga page), and I go for that kind of pace as well.
All this happens in a PG-13 context, which negates the creep factor in some ways, so I found the balance between their desire to improve as artists and their natural growth as sexual beings to be actually sort of touching. Funny and sympathetic at the same time; I liked it, and may pick up further volumes. There are six manga volumes and an anime season out there.
Next up: Pavane for a Dead Girl.
IF YOU’VE READ THIS FAR:
I’m willing to give away…free, no strings attached, not even postage…Broken Angel and Hanako and the Terror of Allegory. I won’t die if they’re on my bookcase, but if someone else wants them, you can have them. You want one or the other, let me know.