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so as not to worry people who tend to worry if i remain silent for some period of time, i'm gonna try to copy my miniature manga griping here; since i already write them anyway to remind myself. they're not written for a general audience, and often will only talk about some detail that annoyed me in a manga, so i don't know whether they'll actually be useful to anyone. especially since they're mostly be about BL manga.

summaries are generally taken from scanlators, publishers, or mangaupdates; only rarely written or edited by myself.

without further ado:


KITAKAMI Ren:
ホネヌキにされたい
honenuki ni saretai (1 volume collection of oneshots and short stories)

summary:
ch01-03: Salaryman Hoshina has been sharing an apartment and bed with model Atsushi. Atsushi cooks, cleans, and remembers every anniversary, but Hoshina can't figure out why they are in this "type" of relationship. When Hoshina's younger brother moves in for a while, and the boys must endure until he's gone, will Hoshina even care? Will this time of separation be the turning point in their relationship? And which boy will be the one screaming, "Once is not enough"?

1. i know it's supposed to be humourous, but maybe i just wasn't in the mood. hoshina's character mostly ruined the first story for me, because he is such a selfish jerk. ok, so atsushi is way too clingy, but that sure won't be cured by hoshina bullying him and never telling him how he feels. i don't like characters who keep all the good, caring, concerned thoughts to themselves, who seem to think praise has to be reserved for really, really special occasions, and that one never ever should tell a partner truthfully about one's positive feelings -- apparently they're supposed to guess. would hoshina have broken his brain if he were a bit more kind to atsushi on the phone? instead he barks at him to go home -- man, that ticked me off. everything always has to be on hoshina's terms. so, yeah, not really funny for me. it works a little better on the drama CD because morimori can't do wrong, and his voice imbues hoshina with more feeling than i got from the manga.

rated slightly above average for reasons already forgotten, *sigh*. ah no, some of the other oneshots were better.

rating: 6 / 10.0


KITAKAMI Ren:
ひとり占めセオリー
hitorejime theory (1 volume collection of connected stories)

summary:
1) Hitorijime Theory (Theory of Monopoly)
Sakura and Tachihana have been sharing an apartment and the only bed (platonically) for the past two years. Now as graduation day approaches, is it time for Tachihana to move out? Is there some miscommunication going on? Why have they lived together for 2 years? Will they work it out before Tachihana moves and they never see each other again?

2) Koi Ochi Rule (Rules of Falling in Love)
Wakamiya has liked Takao's face for the past 3 years. Now an assistant sensei has come to their college whose face Wakamiya also likes. Sensei shares a love of sweets with Wakamiya, but when he invites them both to his office, it might be Takao he really wants to see. How does Takao feel about all this?

3) Mitsugetsu Rule (Rules of Engagement)
Continuation of the couple from chapter two.

4) Special Extra
School scenes of couples 1, 2, and the sensei.

5) Hokorobu no wa Dare no Tame (Smile for You)
Businessman Hirose is always being helped by his coworker, Nagakura. Nagakura even ties his tie for him! Where is all this closeness leading?

6) Osewa ni Natte Orimasu (Thank You for Taking Care of Me)
Miyoshi is spoiled by his lover and coworker Matsunaga. Miyoshi is always venting his frustrations on Matsunaga, but will he go too far?


not particularly deep, but well enough put together, and humourous in a way that didn't grate on my nerves. oneshots often leave me cold, but these had sufficient character development to at least make me care a little. the characters are a touch on the dense side, but at least nobody is girly and tsundere. the art is uncluttered (maybe a bit too much so regarding backgrounds) and mostly pleasant to look at -- maybe a bit too "safe"; viewpoints tend to be plain, there are no adventurous camera angles to heighten emotion. it'd be interesting to see what the mangaka does with a longer story, and as her art matures.

rating: 7.5 / 10.0


KITAKAMI Ren:
みちづれポリシー
michizure policy (1 volume)

summary:
Shinohara, who liked to take care of others like a mother, and Nishioka, who loved sweet things just like a kid (with big build), were good friends. Shinohara loved Nishioka, but was totally a coward when it comes to love. He always thought that “this love is impossible” and continued to be Nishioka’s good friend when he blurted out his feelings unintentionally. To Shinohara’s surprise, Nishioka accepted him and they started to go out. But Shinohara was having doubts and wouldn’t want to believe in Nishioka. What should Nishioka do?

awww; shinohara and nishioka are just so 'adorkable' together. this manga isn't particularly deep, but it's also not pure marshmallow -- the characters have genuinely plausible emotions. it's a pleasantly fulfilling read. i'm glad to see that nishioka turned out to be a better guy than he seemed previously when he appeared to have his eye on takao; i didn't really like him then because it appeared that he was using wakamiya as bait, and i don't care for people who pretend friendship for one person in order to get close to their friend. but that was only hinted at, so my opinion of nishioka wasn't set in stone.

i also like the absence of strong seme/uke dynamics here -- these days it becomes harder and harder for me to read BL that has strict role definitions, so i am always happy to find mangaka who don't consider that the One True Way, but actually have characters who switch (no on-screen switching here, though; it's just made clear that shinohara does).

now i want to read hirano's story, *grin*. i really enjoy when a mangaka develops a story universe; i get more involved with the characters, and it feels more satisfying to me than one-offs.

rating: 9 / 10.0

on 2011-04-14 07:41 (UTC)
zxhrue: (nuisance)
Posted by [personal profile] zxhrue

pretty much non-related -- though there is one relevant chapter "Manga and Anime: Entertainment, Big Business, and Art in Japan -- Susan Napier" -- just saw this on H-Asia:

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society

oh, if you have time for it you might find following H-Japan interesting, and "independent scholars" are welcome.

on 2011-04-17 09:43 (UTC)
zxhrue: (nuisance)
Posted by [personal profile] zxhrue

thanks for the pointer; am always interested in such books. alas the price makes this a tad prohibitive right now; it's almost CAD 200. maybe i can convince my library...

no worries. and yeah, the price structures for academic books/journals/databases are such that borrowing privileges at an academic library (e.g. the VIU) is pretty much the only way to access them. although, as is annoyingly too often the case, the VIU restricts ILL privileges to actual members of the university community. the VIRL does seem to allow ILL, so perhaps they could get it for you if the VIU doesn't hold it.

i also worry a bit whenever i see only one expert per section; my favourite part of wikipedia is that it presents cumulative knowledge from many different people with different viewpoints, and i have long been wary of books that draw only on a single person while presenting themselves as comprehensive.

I hear you. unfortunately with a niche interest (and aren't they all really?), there aren't usually too many positions available for a multitude of scholars to be able to make a living. thus the one or few phenomena of the modern academy.

I'm hopeful about wikipedia, but it is still kind of problematic for me in so far as accuracy is concerned. I have seen to many instances of subject areas that I am more familiar with than the average reader being either blatantly or subtly misrepresented because of edits by someone with A Point Of View. I also wish that more input was being made by academics, but I guess wanting them to work for free is wishful thinking.

for example, i have read most of susan napier's work (who is responsible for the manga and anime section of the book), and it's all postmodern, western-centric viewpoint sociological analysis. which is interesting, but really more for what it says about western views than what it says about japanese ones; it presents a very skewed view of the latter. i'd also like to see more japanese voices represented in such a work.

academics inevitably other (IMO, as an ex-academic). one of the things that I always found so annoying in a lot of history is just how few sources were bring used to justify sweeping generalizations. certainly individuals raised in the culture being analyzed usually have a big advantage. a couple of recent reviews by rushthatspeaks have really brought that home to me of late.

one reason why i am learning japanese is that i'll then be able to read original source materials, *grin*. there is such a wealth of stuff out there which we never get to see. but hey, at least we're getting something. though i dunno -- i find in general older works from scholars who lived in japan for a long time to be more perceptive. but since i've never even been there myself, it's not like i have particularly solid evidence for that.

the more time I spend in south india the more I realize just how ignorant I really am. that 30 year total immersion head start is hard to catch up on. language skills would really help, but unfortunately I am not one for whom language acquisition comes easy.

just because I was bored and it was something to do, extracted links from H-Japan on the search terms "manga" and "yaoi"

SHOJO MANGA ISSUE, US-JAPAN WOMEN'S JOURNAL (No. 38)

Japanese Visual Culture: Explorations in the World of Manga and Anime

“Women and Manga” issue of U.S. - Japan Women’s Journal (no. 25)

Ayelet Zohar (ed.) PostGender: Gender Sexuality and Performativity in Japanese Culture, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009

review of Antonia Levi, Mark McHarry, Dru Pagliassotti, eds. Boys' Love Manga:
Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre.
Jefferson McFarland & Co., 2008.


others mentioned in passing

Akiko Mizoguchi, "Homofobikku na homo, aiyue no reipu, soshite kuia na
rezubian" (Homophobic Homos, Rapes of Love, and Queer Lesbians: An Analysis of Recent Yaoi Texts), in Queer Japan, vol. 2 (April 2000).

Fujimoto, Yukari (2001), ‘Bunshin – shōjo manga no naka no “mō hitori no watashi”’, Miyahara Kōjirō and Ogino Masahiro eds., Manga no shakai-gaku, Tokyo: Sekai shisō-sha, pp.68-131.

Fujimoto Yukari, Watashi no ibasho wa doko ni aru no?: Shōjo manga ga utsusu kokoro no katachi, Tokyo: Gakuyō Shobō, 1998.

Gonzolez, Luis Perez. 2007 [2006]. FanSubbing Anime

Schodt, Fred. _Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics_






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