Top 10… most annoying teen fiction trends

March 6, 2009 at 7|20|pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Straight from my post at the YALSA blog, I bring you…

Top 10 Most Annoying Teen Fiction Trends!

Continue Reading Top 10… most annoying teen fiction trends…

Best of 08

December 31, 2008 at 9|29|pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Quite a few “Best of 08’s” are going around right now, including Manga Life’s, David Welsh’s, and Deb Aoki’s.  So I figure I’ll make one of my own – hopefully it’ll be okay, though it’ll probably make theirs look brilliant by comparison.

Best Shounen: Fullmetal Alchemist came out on top, as it does on nearly all my lists.  It’s one of the most fun, best plotted series I’ve read in a while.  AND it’s got totally kick-ass female characters, too!
(Runner-ups: Bleach, Gin Tama, and Tsubasa)

Best Shojo: I’d like to say Fruits Basket, as a devotee of Natsuki Takaya-san, but it’s kind of dragging lately.  So the big prize goes to Nana, for being a modern EPIC of sex (LOTS of sex), drugs (not really), and rock’n’roll.
(Runner-ups: Fruits Basket, Sand Chronicles, and Honey and Clover)

Best Seinen: A manga about otaku beloved by otaku?  It’s got to win.  For this particular demographic, my favorite I’ve read this year has got to be Kio Shimoku’s Genshiken.  Every time I read a chapter, I about die laughing.
(Runner-ups: xxxHolic, Chobits, Higurashi: When They Cry)

Best Hero: Hands down, this goes to Watanuki Kimihiro of xxxHolic.  He’s adorable when he’s overexcited and flaily, and even more adorable with an eyepatch (or top hat.)   What more could you ask for?  No, seriously, what more?

Best Heroine: Haruhi Suzumiya, of her eponymous anime and manga, is FUNNY AS HELL.  She may also be a total tsundere, a total bitch, and totally obsessive.  But sometimes it’s just laughter that counts.

Best Mascot Character: Sumomo/Plum from Chobits.  She’s a computer!  And a pet!  And an excersize machine!

Worst Manga: It’s a tie between Vampire Knight and Negima!.  The former is a cliched, sparkly Twilight piece of bullshit, and the latter was just pedo nonsense (although I do like Nodoka or whatever her name was.)

My 5 Favorite Sad Moments in Manga

December 21, 2008 at 7|36|pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Here are five scenes from manga that’ve caused me to get teary-eyed – and this is by no means the full list.  I’m overemotional by nature, but at least these are some that literally made me cry.  (There are many, many more FMA moments that belong on this list, but I’m too lazy to make another.)

5. Fullmetal Alchemist volume 2.  When we first met the adorable pigtailed Nina in volume 2 of Fullmetal Alchemist, it was hard not to fall in love with her and her dog, Alexander.  But she doesn’t stay adorable – or human – for long… and it’s all because of her father, the “sewing-life alchemist” Shou Tucker.  Asshole.

4. Sand Chronicles volume 3.  Ann and Daigo were the most realistic, believable couple in any Shojo Beat series, ever, but did things have to end this realistically?  Ann’s still shaken from the loss of her mother, and when Daigo tries to comfort her, she lashes out at him, saying that the last time he told her things would be okay, it was right before her mother’s death.  Grab the tissues.

3. Fruits Basket volume 16.  Before this volume, very little was known about Tohru Honda’s father, Katsuya.  A flashback to when Katsuya and Kyoko first met gives us all we need to know – but that’s all I can tell you.  The spoilers are too great, and the chapter really works its magic best if you go in not knowing what will happen.

2. Bleach volume 20.  We all thought Sosuke Aizen was SUCH A GOOD GUY.  With his loving demeanor towards his subordinates and his kindly face, he could do no wrong.  And then he died, or so it seemed… until he revealed that HE WAS ALIVE ALL ALONG.  But the real shocker came when he stabbed his loyal lieutenant, Momo Hinamori, in the back (well, okay, the chest.  But you get the idea.)  It just wasn’t fair.

1. Fullmetal Alchemist volume 4.  Now here’s the awful one.  EVERYBODY loved Maes Hughes, the devoted father and high-ranking member of the military.  So when he was killed – in an incredibly brutal, almost hard to read about way (one word: shapeshifter!) – it was like a punch straight to the gut.  And this is why I love the series, really – some scenes just hurt to read, but you can’t put the damn book down.

The Manga (and Anime) Commandments

October 21, 2008 at 3|51|pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Inspired by many, many lists of “shojo/shonen cliches” made by my fellow otaku, I have decided to post my Ten Manga (and Anime) Commandments.  What are these, you ask?  Just ten rules that I think all manga should follow.

1) Thou shalt not have a doormat as thou’s shojo heroine, unless thou intends to change her.  Hot Gimmick, anyone?  (Haven’t read this, but I’ve heard enough about Hatsumi or whatever her name is… *shiver shiver*)  Seriously, we don’t want to read about a totally passive, totally limp girl who just takes whatever s*** is doled out to her.  Even Makino from Boys Over Flowers eventually fell prey to this stupid stereotype (the damn girl almost got killed, like, five times!  Show some backbone like you did in Volume Two!)  Why can’t we have more heroines like, say, Ouran High School Host Club‘s Haruhi?

2) Thou shalt not be overly dramatic in thy lines.  “Bohaha!  I shall defeat you now!  Feel the rumbling of my power!”  Enough of that.  Seriously.  Tone it down a little, okay?  (Kishimoto-san, this means you.)

3) Thou shalt not use overly long spells, also.  I almost threw my copy of Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicle across the room when everybody started using, like, fifty-word-long spells with dragons in ’em.  This is totally ridiculous, people.  It was bad enough with Rukia’s weird kido at the beginning of Bleach…

4) Thou shalt put in hilarious omake and 4koma.  Arina Tanemura does this brilliantly- her manga is always stuffed with great sidebars, explanations about chapter illustrations, and four-panel comics that nearly always make me bust a gut laughing.  “Yami-nabe!”

5) Thou shalt not go on and on and on and on and on with a series that could have ended earlier and that wasn’t even that great.  Did we really need thirty-plus volumes of Naruto?  NO.  NO WE DIDN’T.  If the library in my town wasn’t so busy ordering volumes of the ever-popular ninja series, we could get some Honey and Clover or something.  Even better, we could subscribe to Yen Press.

6) Thou shalt not write AzuDai yuri (or at least keep it PG.)  This isn’t so much a manga commandment as a fandom/doujin/fanfic commandment.  But I am totally dead serious about this: if anybody dares to smut-ify one of the sweetest series around, ‘specially if Chiyo is involved (she’s eleven!  Jesus, people!)  In other words, don’t do it.  Or the Sleep Is For The Weak people will hunt you down with a big-ass hammer

7) THOU SHALT STOP CASTING JOHNNY YONG BOSCH  Yes, he’s pretty amazing as Ichigo in Bleach, and he’s great as Vash in Trigun.  But from what I hear, he pretty much failed as Lelouch in Code Geass.  I understand that there isn’t exactly a huge amount of voice talent but geez.  Also… Vic Mignona as OHSHC‘s Tamaki?  LOLWUT?  Edward Elric (awesome exploding metallic alchemist angst boy) =/= Tamaki Suoh (spoiled, over-the-top, still extremely awesome rich boy who thinks Haruhi is his daughter).  NEW CHOICE PLEASE.

8] Thou shalt not give every character a FREAKING FOOD OBSESSION!  L and his cake, Mello and his chocolate, Vash and his doughnuts, CC and her pizza, Tohru and riceballs wait, that’s not right 

9) Thou shalt not ever, ever, ever remake FLCL or Hartley and I will run you over with a yellow Vespa.  (Not that I ever heard of such a thing but, hey, you never know.)

10) Thou not make your main characters whiney, depressed emo idiots.  Shinji Ikari, I’m looking at you.  Get some anti-depressants, please?

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