Suspended Animation Dreams

Why Digiboy Should Read Sekiya Asami’s Works: Your Dog, My Sentiments by Shance

It’s been a few years since I first laid my eyes on a chapter of Sekiya Asami’s works, that being a chapter of Your Dog. Yes. Your Dog. That’s the title. Don’t even think of sporting an “Uh… what?” face on me. I don’t know how it was named, nor was the idea behind it plausible. No, really.

Does the cover convince and warn you enough that’s this is going to be a post about NOT SAFE FOR WORK material (kinda)? And no, no spoilers this time around.

The story itself makes up the majority of why you have to read it. Your Dog has a plot that tackles the human tendency to define normal as “abnormal”. It’s like a kind of curiosity that lets people experience boredom, which in turn spurs them to do things that are considered taboo. People do get tired of doing routine activities, right? But do they feel sick because of it? Do they want to stave their boredom and explore some unknown realm by doing something normal people don’t usually do? And ultimately, can it put them at peace with themselves after doing the deed?

People, we’re currently in a time where children become super-precocious by the age of four (Hanamaru *hint hint*). They do immoral things even before they hit junior high, and some people even think it’s normal, reasons notwithstanding. So does the manga do any form of justice to us by pairing a curious and bored schoolgirl with a somewhat rich, old and heartbroken man trying to satiate his sexual desires by picking up willing partners for the act? Age differences, vegetation, remorse, companionship, consent, attractions, precious things. All these, along with amorous advances, would result in the most illicit of relationships. Next thing we know, we’re questioning ourselves whether we should continue on to the next page or not.

See the age difference, see the consent, then imagine what comes after.

The buildup of emotions is enough to stir your emotional insides. The reasoning and logic the story employs are as stupid as the characters’ understanding of love and its relationships. They confuse their other feelings as love, and make good and bad decisions based on this confusion. If they can’t make any more decisions, the story then takes a neutral turn in the form of compromise. The crescendos litter here and there, focusing on one important character to another, as if telling us to feel for them even though the strong disgust from the illicit relationship is getting in the way.

By the way, money is out of the question, story-wise. I mean, it’s there, it’s given emphasis (the staple of any transaction involving sex, of course), but it never took the spotlight. More like it was shunned and ultimately ignored because of the manga’s nature, which rules out the forced implication that money makes the world go round. It’s a good move, actually, because it justified the actions of the characters all the more.

Seriously, I’m trying hard not to post any non-worksafe pics! At least commend me on this or something!

All in all, it’s good, in a bad sort of way. Shin would like this, but he’s already a lolicon bastard. Digiboy’s the next one to convince, then.


Otoyomegatari is ART and it is Spectacular by Digibro
January 27, 2010, 3:11 am
Filed under: Kaoru Mori, Manga, Otoyomegatari | Tags: , , ,

back the fuck up, that's all hand-drawn?!

I learned of Otoyomegatari yesterday from 2-D Teleidoscope, who briefly riffed about it’s plot and astounding artwork, and particularly caught my interest with the note that the series starred a married couple of a 20 year-old woman married to a 12 year-old boy. No, this isn’t a shocker or smut rag, it’s a slice-of-life story from 18th century nomadic Persia, and it is wonderful.

But there’s not a lot to say about it – the story is a slow, sweet little slice-of-life tale about a bunch of extremely likable characters. The titular wife in question is consistently full of fun surprises such as her tomboyishness, extreme marksmanship, and general dere-dere attitude, and everyone else just teems with jollyness. The only time that a violent conflict occurs (the latest translated chapter, number 8) it is a bloodless one as the opposing sides don’t want to get into a long-standing battle. The manga desperately holds onto it’s light-hearted nature, which is good, because I’d really hate to see it go!

And the wife is fucking GAR

Anyway, the manga is in many ways less like a story the artist really wanted to tell, and more like one she really wanted to draw. Artwork is far more important to this series than the story (not that the story isn’t brilliant) and when you read it, you’ll definitely be awed. The amount of detail in every single image of this manga is unfathomable. Every shot is crisp, beautiful, incredible, and looks like it took a damn eternity to draw, what with all the detail! However, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a little something that helped me appreciate the art even more.

...and moe, too!

It so happens that there are a series of videos out there that chronicle artist Kaoru Mori‘s process as she creates one of the full-page illustrations. Watching it in action is un. fucking. believable. Even with the time-skips in the video, it is easy to see that the image as a whole takes Mori-sensei less than 2 hours from blank page to completed project. Her speed is ridiculous because she draws with such an utter sureness that could only come through years of perfecting her craft. Mori-sensei literally races down the page with her hand, etching in details faster than the eye can see and creating so assuredly that one would say her imagination goes straight into her hand without second thought. The ability to draw each and every line with such speed and without a single error is near-godlike. There is only even one instance in which she pulls out a ruler, and it is to create the string on the bow that goes behind the character’s back. Everything else just appears like magic onto the page.

OMG! I can has?!

Otoyomegatari is a great manga for a number of reasons – personally, it appeals to my strange love for any kind of off-cutler marriage/relationship that actually works well, and is so much fun that it’s hard to fault with anything. However, the true reason to read it is that the artwork is like none you’ll ever see from another manga. Mori-sensei is really in a league of her own.

The Story Of My Balls: GODLY TESTICLES OF STEEL by Shance

No, this is not your typical Armageddon talk. It’s way too insane to be labeled as such. Why? Let me count the ways, then: Ejaculations, masochism, necrophilia, nymphomania, blowjobs, 7 month-long abstinence, seduction, tsundere tendencies…

Wait. What am I talking about, you ask? My Balls, of course. No, not my as in mine, since I don’t have those anyway. It’s the title of the promising manga done by a “dream tag team” composed of Seguchi Takahiro and Harada Shigemitsu. Now, I don’t much about the “promising” part, but it does open a whole new dimension of insanity, if not bring it on a whole new level.

Let’s do a brief summary of the current situation. We’re on the year 20xx, and hell is going to break loose, literally. Yes, you heard that right, literally. Now, Heaven is trying to stop it so they can save mankind from the impending genocide. The only way to do that is to seal the leader of the invasion, the Queen of Terror Emmaniel, into a holy ball. The good news is, Heaven did successfully seal Emmaniel. The bad news is, Heaven sealed her not in a holy ball, but in the holy balls of Satou Kouta. Balls? What balls? What kind of balls? Well, not really balls. They’re TESTICLES, to be exact. Now, you might think this is NOT holy, but holy shit, it’s a perfect “what-the-hell” moment.

The Angel that sealed the Queen leaves Kouta a mission: He must prevent ejaculating for a month so Emmaniel won’t be released, therefore stopping Armageddon. Of course, this is unfair for our poor, nothing-out-of-the-ordinary lad. Such a feat will cost him his sex life, but if he fails to comply on this mission, it’ll cost him his life and the world. But that’s not all. While Kouta is enjoying his little ORZ moment, hell’s busy on sending envoys hell-bent on one thing: Kouta’s ejaculation. Lesser devils, succubi, zombies, name it, they’ll do it. Ain’t that a way to end the world in ecstasy?

Meet Lesser Devil Elysse, assigned to make Kouta come. Whoa, such an assignment. But wait. Apparently, little Elysse hasn’t experienced anything “Earthly” or “Humane” before. That’s much assurance she’ll fail the mission, yes? But halt your senses before you actually say it. As the days of abstinence pile up, Elysse not only fails to make Kouta come, but also falls in love with him, tsundere style. Now, that’s not going to sit will on her mission, right? What more if she finds out that our Kouta has a crush on a human nympho girl named Minayo?

In the course of time, Kouta and the gang meet other emissaries from hell tasked to squeeze Kouta’s balls to pull Emmaniel out of ’em (kinda gross just thinking of it), only to eventually turn coat into Kouta and humanity’s side. Succubus Irene is an example: She was first tasked to make Kouta come if Elysse fails, but eventually, upon finding that human men has insatiable sexual appetite (a fact she also sees in Kouta even though Kouta maintains the abstinent air in him), she dumps the mission and enjoys wasting lustful men (thank God for succubi like her). Unfortunately, she laid waste to Kouta by awakening his masochistic tendencies.

So far, My Balls ain’t finished yet, and apparently, it even got prolonged from the initial 1 month upon sealing Emmaniel, to 7 months upon Satan’s sealing to his other testicle (Yes!, She gets sealed too! I mean, what the shit, two diabolical beings of pure terror on your balls?!). As for the chapter summaries or something like it, I’d rather recommend you reading it instead.

I’m going to save the world? NO.

Bleach Chapter 385 – The Lie of Justice by Digibro
December 11, 2009, 4:47 pm
Filed under: Bleach, Kobu Tite, Manga | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tousen and Komamura begin their fight, with plenty of Tousen being a haughty jackass. He finally gives his meaning of justice; whereas he had lead Komamura to believe that justice came from forgiving the shinigami for killing his friend and fighting with them because he felt they were right, the truth was that his justice was revenge, and as such he had always been working with Aizen. He clarifies that forgiveness would have been ‘right’, but it would not have been ‘justice’ in his eyes.

Komamura’s justice is righteousness and forgiveness. As such, he forgives Tousen for his injustice and seeks to defeat him in the name of his own justice. Although Tousen yells ‘do not play god! I didn’t ask for your forgiveness!’ he misses the whole idea of forgiveness – you don’t need them to ask for it. True forgiveness will of course forgive everyone for their perceived ‘sins’ and allow them the justice that the practitioner feels they should enjoy. Komamura definitely has a sort of god complex, and he might be aware of this, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I wonder how Komamura feels about the fact that evil people who become hollows are sent to hell. Is that considered forgiveness? We’d have to know exactly what happens in Bleach’s ‘hell’ to know.

We do know, though, that death of the spirit turns you into spiritual energy that is whole with the planet. In many ways, death could be a form of forgiveness, though it would ultimately be the death of the consciousness and therefor not a forgiveness that the receiver could do anything with…. it’s all really up to the practitioner of justice to decide what they consider to be the appropriation of forgiveness. A person who believes that the spirit becomes one with the consciousness will surely consider it forgiveness while others may not.

I love how Tousen’s mask opens up in such a creepy way for him to shout his views. Breaking apart the pure white with the creepiness of evil is a perfect representation of his revelation of his kind of justice. Well-played.

We learn some new things about the various powers in this chapter – Shinji explains that his sword also effects the senses as he goes up against his old vice-captain, Aizen, though we don’t get to see the sword in action yet. We also learn that damage to Komamura’s bankai effects his own body as well. This certainly gives a better perspective on his he might be mortally wounded.

Pretty nice chapter, though I wish Kubo wouldn’t have teased with Shinji’s sword before cutting away. Ah well, looking forward to it!

Ao no Futsumashi Chapter 7 – Complex Truth by metalsonic700
December 4, 2009, 11:51 pm
Filed under: Ao no Futsumashi, Katou Kazue, Manga | Tags: , ,

In the latest chapter of Jump SQ’s excellent new series, quite a bit happens, though it doesn’t go in any real particular direction. Whereas the last several chapters were centered on character development, this one is focused on plot development, and the story seems to favor twists and turns for now. I can’t really say I favored the arrangement – too many twists turning back on one another lead to needless complexity. First we learn that the monster attack of the previous chapter was a test, then that Neigaez was actually under orders from Mephistopheles, then that he wants to kill Rin for his own reasons, and then once again we are confirmed that Mephistopheles is pulling the strings.

What bothers me isn’t really the plot points themselves, but the execution. It’s obvious that Mephistopheles should have a good reason for all of this – there’d be no point to him murdering Rin after going through so much trouble already to train him, so it’s painfully obvious that there’s more to it. And yet, it’s also evident that Neigaez really does want Rin dead, so where do Mephistopheles’ intentions begin and his own end? Is Mephistopheles just using him with the false assurance that he wants Rin dead, or has he been given alternative orders and is trying to kill Rin as part of his own agenda?

This power is cool as shit!

I also wonder why it is that Neigaez seems fairly weak, and wonder if this fact has to do with the mission Mephistopheles gave him rather than his actual power level. I mean, his own attacks are almost the death of him, and he does virtually nothing to the protagonists – he’s almost just kind of a pussy. If he really, really wants Rin dead, he could accomplish it, couldn’t he? He had me somewhat convinced when he tried to get Rin with his giant… protractor in his sleep, but then why isn’t he more desperately trying to make this kid die? It’s just a bit confusing.

I enjoyed the mid-section of this chapter the most with it’s focus more on characters, which seems to be the manga’s strong point – not to say that the fighting isn’t great, because it is, but I think it’s best when the fights are also revealing something about the characters, which wasn’t really the case in this chapter.

Mephistopheles is just damn sexy~

The strongest element of this chapter was the continually amazing art, especially in some of the moments I’ve picked out to show you here. I’m always impressed not just by the detail of the backgrounds, but in how quintessentially awesome the characters are made to look. Neigaez’s hand-summoning arms were sweet as shit, and Mephistopheles continues to be Too Cool For School. Love his yukata towards the end of the chapter!

Ao no Futsumashi is still fun, but this is probably the weakest chapter yet – if we are going to pull into some more plot-intensive chapters, it should be done more fluidly and quickly.

Bleach Chapter 384 – A White Mask by Digibro
December 4, 2009, 5:09 am
Filed under: Bleach, Kobu Tite, Manga | Tags: , , , ,

The characters I’ve had the most questions about as I’ve read Bleach have long been Tousen and Hisagi. Tousen’s intentions are confusing at best. He preaches ‘justice’ and we’ve seen how he pulls that justice through a filter of his own justifications, but it’s still unclear what exactly he thinks is just about his actions. Rather than hear him just speak of justice, I want to know WHY he thinks he is following justice on his path. Hisagi and Komamura are equally confused, having always considered Tousen a friend and, to Hisagi in particular, a mentor.

As for Hisagi, I simply have always wanted more info on his character, which this chapter delivers through some small bouts of backstory. Whereas Komamura is looking for the reasons Tousen has betrayed his friends, Hisagi is more curious about what this is supposed to mean for him. “You taught me everything I know, so aren’t I supposed to keep following you? If you betray my sense, does that mean everything you’ve taught me is nullified? Have I failed you or have you failed me?” These are the questions running through his head. Meanwhile Tousen is vague as always and twists his words to new meanings.

Can we really say he’s wrong, though? These terms like justice and fear, they were his creations. If he says that he meant something all along, then it’s the others’ fault that they misinterpreted his words. As long as they wish to oppose him, they really will have to cast aside his teachings, or else make them into a set of beliefs all their own. What a complex dilemma.

Tousen’s mask, I felt, was perfect. His blindness and the fact that his bankai removes people of their senses make a faceless mask the natural choice, and it’s pure white color makes it a reflection of his ideas of pure justice – plus it just looks cool as hell.

As long as we’re on this route anyway, I hope the coming chapters will provide more information of these characters whom have never really earned my favor just because they haven’t had much time – here’s the time, so I hope Kubo really gets into the bones of it.

Blood, Booze, and Broads are the Necessities of Manhood: Gun Frontier Chapter Two by Digibro
November 25, 2009, 8:58 pm
Filed under: Gun Frontier, Leiji Matsumoto, Manga | Tags: , , ,

The second chapter of Gun Frontier surprised me and may have even shocked me. After the first chapter, I knew I was in for quite the rowdy show with sex and violence abound, but I never would have imagined it could be quite as dark as this chapter proves it to be. And once again, it is darkness with a big smile on it’s face – darkness of the good ol’, shameless, pulpy sort.

But man, this had to have taken some real balls to write. The chapter begins with Harlock and Touchirou wantonly watching as the caravan they were hired to protect is ransacked by bandits, the stagecoach and the guy who hired them killed, and the woman raped on the spot before being killed herself. Harlock’s reaction? He’s just getting off on it! Touchirou is jealous that his shitty eyesight prevents him from seeing the action!

This is crazy stuff, folks. Real crazy. Rape is something I kind of have a hard time dealing with because it’s hard to be all happy-slappy about rape – no matter how you look at it, that woman is in a lot of pain and is more or less suffering. It’s odd really, because I don’t mind murder at all, and I probably wouldn’t even mind rape if the woman got back up and moved on afterward or even got back at the guys, but she got murdered seconds later. How do I feel about that? I LOVE that Harlock and Toushirou get off on it! I want to get off on it! I want to be able to witness a rape and laugh and say ‘wow, that’s hot, let’s move on’ like that! I don’t think I can. In spite of all my supposed toughness, being one of those guys who looks at guro and other such crazy things, I still don’t think I could laugh off a rape. The fact that these guys can sort of… earns them my admiration!

This chapter is just out of control. Shinunora is a total nymph, man! I love it! She’s hot, but I can’t help but wonder if she’d be like throwing a toothpick into a volcano… I hope she does some vaginal exercises! So much blood and booty… and the ending was fucking hilarious! The Indian tribe descends on the town of ‘womanly men’ because they are pissed at these people for not being manly enough! They literally are going to kill all of them for being such big pussies! And then, Touchirou cheers them on in this! This guy is my hero. These three rule so hard – but I wish we could see the guys actually manage to get laid. It will be hard to keep backing up their straight claim if they keep dodging the pussy!

By the way, Gun Frontier is a Leiji Matsumoto work being scanslated by The Rabbit Reich. You can find this chapter on their site.