Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Manga anthologies!

Shonen Jump #28 (April 2005)

I bought the first four issues of Shonen Jump as they came out. I thought about half the comics in it where pretty good and started buying the collections of Naruto, which was, and is, one of my favourite comics published.
I picked up this issue as I was curious as to how Dragonball Z ends (it says on the cover “Don’t miss Dragonball Z final monthly chapter!!”). However it wasn’t the last part of Dragonball Z, it was the last part to be published in Shonen Jump, as it’s now switching over to publishing straight into graphic novels. I wasn’t that annoyed, I wanted to see what Hikaru No Go was like and what the other titles were doing.

Dragonball Z
Not the last part, but (it would seem) the last part of the Trunks saga. Trunks goes back to the future and easily defeats all his enemies. Woohah.

Ninja action! This is by far my favourite Shonen Jump comic, I buy the collections whenever they come out. It’s so awesome. Practically every part ends in a cliff hanger making me need the next volume.

One Piece
One Piece is pretty good, but there’s just something about it that makes me not want to pick up the collections. The story in this issue has a pretty awesome flashback to two guys stuck on an island with no food, so one of them eats his own leg. Holy shit!

Hikaru No Go
I had high hopes for this series, but unfortunately it wasn’t that good. I just can’t find people playing go online that important.

Yuyu Hakusho
Um, ghosts/demons fight each other for some reason.

Shaman King
Creepy misogyny in the “us women have to let men fight each other all the time, all we can do is make sure there’s food on the table when they get home.” What? (Combined with the sort of racist depiction of a black guy in this comic in Weekly Jump I’m just creeped out). Overall: Nice art, shitty story.

Better then expected. Probably because it dealt with time travel and weird Egyptian monsters rather then card games.

By the guy that does Yuyu Hakusho and much better. It still just seems to be your average quest manga though.

Weekly Jump #1 (2003) (Presumably issue one for 2003)

This is Shonen Jump from Japan, it’s huge, it’s in Japanese, it’s badly printed (on several colours of paper). I picked it up last summer in Toronto for a couple of dollars and only now have finally gotten around to reading it (I have such a backlog of comics, but I’ve been getting through them…).

It’s difficult to read, let alone review, a comic that’s not even in an alphabet I understand. But I’ll try. This issue opens up with Grandia, which seems like a pretty neat manga. There’s parts that for some reason reminded me of Grant Morrison, I’m not sure why. What the comic does feature though is a guy disappearing/turning into sand in midair after jumping off a building, a attempted theft, the earth equipped with things that make it look like a spaceship (with wings, antenna, eyes, hands and a mouth) and a guy with a ridiculous moustache.

Then there’s the numerous sports manga, about baseball (Mr. Fullswing), bowling (The Prince of Bowling), football (Eyeshield21), fighting and dodgeball (Hunterxhunter). This issue also has chapters of comics appearing in the American Shonen Jump: Yu-Gi-Oh (which through some bizarre fluke appears to be the chapter following the one I just read in English, creepy), Naurto, One Piece and Shaman King. These are all at ridiculously high chapter numbers (from 148 to 256) and as this was published like two years ago you can probably add like another hundred chapters to those. We’ll never catch up. As they’re so far in advance of where we currently are I can’t really tell what’s happening in relation to now. I desperately want to know how Naruto got into that situation though…

There’s a few other comics I can identify, either through them having their titles in English (Bleach, A.O.N., Ultra Red, Black Cat) and a whole bunch I can’t. These run the gamut from, I don’t know, maybe crime or something, to ineffective detectives, to romantic comedy, to fighting. There’s also one I think may be Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. I’m not sure, but it sure does have a weird art style.

Some of these comics have parts I just don’t understand. Eyeshield21 has a vampire or monster or something with point ears and fangs playing football for some reason. While there’s another one I don’t have the title of which features a, um, bomb. A female bomb. With legs and arms and eyes and a mouth. And an animate sun who she flies through and blows up. And a big black guy with an afro, who crossdresses in one panel while in another his afro opens up and there’s a guy singing inside of it. It doesn’t make any sense and isn’t that well drawn. I can only assume it’s incredibly funny. There’s also the occasionally piece of English, such as in Grandia where there’s music playing at one point (I can tell because of the music notes in the speech balloon) and there are English lyrics. The Lyrics go “(something in Japanese) / Oh Lady / (something) Dream / (something) Muscle / Wow Wow.” Japan is crazy.

Anyway this was totally worth the few dollars I spent on it, if only to see the comics that will never get released in America. I mean what was with that bomb comic? I just don’t understand…

Manga Twister #6 (2004)

I picked this up in an airport in Germany last year and out of all the manga anthologies I’ve checked out this is probably the coolest. Why? Well it’s got shojo manga on one side, then you flip it and it’s got shonen stuff. Also the comics included seem to be far more diversified then most other anthologies.
The shonen side has Detective Conan, some romantic comedy things (with action bits), a samurai comic and what look like your typical “I’m going to become the best something ever!” comics. There’s also a comic called Mar, which seems to be about some kid who wakes up in a fantasy land. The art and character designs are really nice and this is one I sort of want to check out in English.

The shojo side has your typical school girl romance comics, but also has one set in ancient Persia that seems pretty interesting. “Go! Virginal Hanayuki” is probably the weirdest/funniest title I’ve heard in forever though. There’s also “Mon-Star Attack” which doesn’t make any sense and features a girl in a bunny suit flying around looking at planets. And the bunny girl gets horns and a pitchfork (saying 666) and there’s another girl with wings.

Overall I found the comic styles and content more diversified then most anthologies I’ve seen so far, which tend to stick to just one type of story. This one has comics aimed at girls and boys, seems to choose different types of stories even within those groups and has an article about Bonsai trees!

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