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!

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.

Soul Eater Ch. 67 – The Delightful Quick Pace Keeps Up, But How Do You Fight A Clown? by Digibro
November 11, 2009, 2:52 am
Filed under: Manga, Soul Eater | Tags: , , ,

Chapter 67 of Masami Ookubo’s Soul Eater is out, translated, and blogged by Anime Kritik! w00t! For the first time ever, I’ve followed a monthly release and blogged the next chapter a month after the last one! Pretty exciting stuff for me. Anyway, this is a pretty nice chapter, and I definitely feel like it’s in the ‘groove’. For me, Ookubo has a sort of order that happens in his arcs – they start off well enough, then they get a little rocky, shape up for some great chapters in the middle, get a little rocky again, and then explode in a giant train of EPIC chapters.

The reason for this change in ‘grooves’ is quite simple – Ookubo is a great artist, great fight choreographer, and great character writer, but he can’t really handle a plot. Soul Eater’s plot is totally simple, and the characters and fights are what make it so great, so when he tries to explain the story too much, the manga can sag – it’s a necessary sag, because that little bit of plot will then spawn a fuckload of amazing fights that are driven with that much more purpose by the plot, but nonetheless it means dredging through the exposition.

Soul Eater chapter 67 cover art

Scanslated by Sugooi

Chapter 67 is part of that little bit of great chapters in the middle of an arc (really I should split between ‘early middle’ and ‘late middle’, this being ‘early middle’) which as usual involves the characters going somewhere to investigate something and exposing a part of the larger plot puzzle while also fighting some kind of monster. This has been great sometimes (Kid on the train, Black Star and Tsubaki at the village) and kind of iffy at others (Kid, Liz, and Patty on the ghost ship, Maka and Soul fighting the original clown, which got better as it went).

This time started out really, really great in chapter 66 which was a blast, and while 67 was good, it faulted in a way expressed by one question – “how do you fight a clown?” The original clown fight was pretty cool because it took place entirely inside of Maka’s mind and showed an example of the trippy edge that makes Soul Eater so fuckwin. This time, that was canceled by the plot because the Black Clown isn’t as strong madness-wise. So the fight has to get physical, but how does the Clown fight? The thing is designed in such a way that it can’t really do cool combat, and Ookubo figured this out himself since he pretty much had to make the fight a whole lot of Kilik wailing on the damn thing with his pot fists.

Soul Eater chapter 67 Kilik black clown

This image here was seriously almost enough to redeem the entire fight. Just thinking about how this would look in motion with Kilik flipping back through the tentacles as they cut through the ground is fucking badass – I almost wish it had been a series of two images, but I also think it’s amazing how perfectly Ookubo sells me on exactly what kind of motion is happening just in one image. The fact that there are no action lines on Kilik are what make this so brilliant – we can infer just from his being on one hand and the movement of the tentacles exactly what happened. Brilliant.

And then we get THIS!

soul eater masami ookubo chapter 67 kilik pots fire thunder

Holy shit! Seriously though, this raises so many goddamn questions! Are Fire and Thunder actually teenagers who are in the form of small kids? Do they just have so much power in this moment that the bodies of children aren’t enough to contain it? FIRE IS A DUDE?! (Doesn’t make him any less cute, but as usual with gender identity revelations, it makes you want to go back and reread every part he appeared with this in mind!) Naturally, the older versions look badass (doesn’t everything in Soul Eater?) which is great because the kids always gave me a feeling of intense badassery themselves. And damn that was one big explosion!

After their fight with some surprise expository interjections by Medusa, we cut to Black Star and Tsubaki, who seem intent to be more and more badass with every appearance. Now, mind you, Black Star was quite badass right from the beginning. Anyone who didn’t think so was probably sold by his attitude in the Tsubaki’s brother mini-arc, and yet even with all that badassery, he STILL went of and Took A Level In Badass (I should add him to that article, actually) and came back to have one of the most badass fucking fights in manga I’ve ever seen. Now, evidently, he’s so badass that the story can’t even touch him. It’s like he’s physically incapable of being less than completely badass. And look at this!

Soul Eater chapter 67 black star tsubaki


Sure, we’ve known ever since that fight with Sid-sensei early on that Black Star is a better ninja than he acts like he is, but holy hell! He didn’t just sense the presence of someone, or just hear their footsteps from an absurd distance, but he actually sensed the acutely sporadic rhythm of the footsteps characteristic of the unstable personality exhibited by Chrona. BOOM.

There’s not much else to say about that run-in since it’s just starting, so now I have some things to say directly in reply to Anime Kritik’s post linked above.

First, in regards to the pots. The way Soul Eater is written (and maybe this is added perspective from having marathoned the manga and seeing several years of work laid out nicely before me) I kind of figure that Ookubo intends to explore the inner workings of every character at some point. Some of the minor characters who probably would never get a full-on exposition, like Free or Mosquito, get enough stated through their actions and dialog that we feel an understanding of their character. I think every character gets at least that much, even boiling down to the likes of the ghost ship captain who at least gets enough personal lines to be remembered at all.

soul eater chapter 67 chrona badass black devil wings

As always, Chrona is looking badass

The pots are very difficult to relate to just because they don’t talk. I think it would be totally unreasonable, though, to think that any of the named weapons or meisters wouldn’t get some kind of personality. Harvard and Jackie got it in their meisters’ major scenes, the bandaged woman who’s name escapes me gets it through her strong opinions on the situations around her – the pots are bound to get something. So far, while we’ve gotten Kilik’s personality, he is still the least developed character of the band, so while this little episode was a start, I’d like to think we can still expect a major expository chapter for Kilik and his Pots to come at some point. Probably during the next EPIC final battle of an arc.

And as for Medusa… maybe it was because of the translation, but I thought it seemed like Medusa wasn’t so much saying that what Arachne did was not a bad idea so much as that specifically her black clowns were not a bad idea. I think that Medusa’s plan right now is to harvest (an army of?) black clowns as a way of spreading madness faster and more to her liking (since it seems she operates them) and drive the world faster towards her vision and less relying on the Kishin. After all, even if the world plunges into madness, she wouldn’t want that madness resting in the potentially unreliable hands of the Kishin who could die or get killed or ruin everything somehow – it’d be much better to have your own finger on the pulse of the madness. She’s very independent, after all~

Manga no Tsukurikata ch. 18 – Cover Issues by Digibro
November 8, 2009, 11:45 pm
Filed under: Hirao Auri, Manga, Manga no Tsukurikata | Tags: , , ,

New chapter of Hirao Auri’s Manga no Tsukurikata out! And I never did an introductory post on the series! Oh well. My current favorite yuri manga continues, but this chapter is not very yuri anyway. There is some lovey-ness about Kawaguchi showing up to Morishita’s graduation, but it’s not played for much in this chapter. ‘Cept maybe laughs as she places an obvious amount of love on Morishita over her brother, who is the butt of all jokes as usual, hehe.

Maga no Tsukurikata chapter 18 cover

This chapter is mostly about Kawaguchi having to debate on artistic personality against marketing in making the cover for a manga volume. She makes three compositions, one of which she thinks is definitively ‘her style’, but Morishita and her editor both like different ones more… ouch! Kawaguchi can’t help but wonder if she’s done the right thing in choosing the editor’s choice of cover and possibly sacrificing some of her artist integrity.

But as Morishita lets on, it’s a issue if no one likes the same cover design that you do – in the end, sales are really as big a part of your art as integrity is. Kawaguchi is in the manga business as much to make a living as to do what she loves, so it’s important to strike a balance. I can relate this to my own trying to strike a balance between my eccentric tastes and my desire for popularity and not alienating my audience over on Fuzakenna. Actually, it seems like this comparison is coming up a lot lately! But at least the works always seem to agree with me.

As Morishita says ‘even if you can’t pick the composition, you still get to do the colors.’ This kind of compromise is very important for an artist, especially a struggling one. It’s that whole idea of creativity within the boundaries of acceptability. Just because I do an episodic post doesn’t mean I have to do it like everyone else does! These kind of self-assurances are what keep me loving what I do.

Anywho, a short chapter, and one that was a little less yuri than I tend to want from this story. I really want to see Morishita and Kawaguchi’s relationship start to progress! This must be the lack of patience people start to feel about monthly manga chapters!