Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Ryouko no Shinrei Jikenbo

I honestly can't be bothered to put much effort into updating this blog anymore, it's just to hard to find the time, especially if I'm working more shifts a week than there are days. Anyways, here is one of the series that I have hoaded. It is Ryouko no Shinrei Jikenbo by Chie Shinohara, a short series by her standards, only 4 volumes long, but enjoy.

The story starts off with the protagonist Ryouko finding her beloved pet cat has drowned in the bath tub. Initially shocked, Ryouko ponders at how unusual it was for her cat, Pow, to die by drowning when it was afraid of water. Ryouko and her family bury the cats' remains in the back yard. That night, Ryouko starts hearing strange noises, only to find her dead cat floating in mid-air, although he is no longer dead. Pow has now been possessed by a spirit who was seperated from his body (the body is still alive) and needs help finding his body. He believes that Ryouko has a strong spiritual power, as she is able to communicate with the possessed pow when no one else can. 

The man reveals that he also can not remember who he was before he was seperated from his body. At first, Ryouko doesn't believe him, but after a few encounters with some less-than-friendly spirits that attempt to harm both herself and Pow, Ryouko has no choice but to trust Pow and search for his body. After a while, Ryouko and her family move back into the house where Ryouko and her brother were born  (they left after the death of their father) and begin to encounter a hostile spirit that nearly kills Ryouko.In the meantime, Pow remembers that his name is Taku and that he was living alone in an appartment when he got seperated from his body. It soon appears that there is a second spirit lingering in the house. 

One night, Ryouko is able to see one of the two spirits, and it is revealed that the second spirit was Ryouko's father trying to protect her. Ryouko's father warns he saying that these spirits are after both her and Pow/Taku as they have the potential to seal the evil spirits. The spirit continues saying that if it's Taku, everything should be fine, then disappears. The evil spirit in the house attacks again, but it is finally beaten in the end. Afterwards, Ryouko has a strange encounter with a person whom she was involved in an accident with. The two quickly become friends, and for a while it is believed this friend was a boy, making Pow jealous. It is revealed that the friend is indeed a girl, and is in fact, Taku's younger sister. 

Pow suspects that this can't be a coincidence, and he is right when it is revealed that Taku's sister has been possessed and attempts to kill them. Taku manages to exocise the spirit from his sister, and she continues her friendship with Ryouko. This friendship allows Taku and Ryouko to search his home for clues, but are unable to find any. Ryouko then leaves to attend a school field trip. Once at the hotel, she notices some strange things, and then her room-mates/friends are possessed by the spirits of school girls who died in an accident at the hotel 5 years prior. As the girls attempt to kill Ryouko and the teleported Pow (yes, the cat can teleport), the 'boss' spirit appears and it is revealed that it is the same spirit responsible for Taku's disappearence. 

Somehow, Taku and Ryouko manage to escape once again. After returning home, a stray cat appears on Ryoukos doorstep and Ryouko and her family decide to adopt it. Pow is suspicious of the cat, but Ryouko believes it is an ordinary cat as she can't sense any spiritual powers from it. Pow says that strong spirits can disguise themselves and he feels a strange sense of deja vu. After some time, it is revealed that the cat is in fact the 'boss' spirit, the one who seperated Taku's body and spirit. While chasing Nero (boss), Taku kisses Ryouko, and immediately after this, Ryouko sees a bright shining light, believing it to be where Taku's body and Nero may be. She follows that light and arrives at an amusement park. 

Taku has possessed Ryouko's brother in the meanwhile. Once at the amusement park, Ryouko loses control of her body and is forcibly led into to the grounds. Taku then arrives and the two search for Taku's body. Eventually, they find the body, but after a fight with Nero and his minions, they, along with Taku's body retreat. Afterwards, Ryouko has a dream of a mountain and believes that this is the new location of Taku's body. she convinces her mother to let her go to the mountain in search for the body with her brother and Taku's sister. 

Once at the campsite, Ryouko and gang go searching for the body. It isn't long before they run into trouble with Ryouko and Pow falling into a crevasse. It is there that they once again find Taku's body frozen in the mountain. After another fight with the spirits, the body becomes dislodged and unfrozen, with Pow, Ryouko and the body falling to the bottom of the monutain. When she comes to, Ryouko notices that Taku's spirit isn't within Pow or Taku. It is believed that Taku is dead by his family and they plan to have his body cremated. Ryouko then uses her spiritual power to be sucked into the spiritual world in an attempt to save Taku. In the spiritual world, Ryouko finds Taku, but she is unable to save him, until she too seperated her soul from her body and the two kiss (this seems to unleash some sort of power). 

Afterwards, Taku returns to his body and Ryouko to hers. It is believed that all is over, until the spirits once again attempt to kill Taku and Ryouko. This time, the spirit possesses Taku's body, forcing Taku's soul back to Pow's body. The two are about the drowned at sea when a spirit saves them.The spirit that saves them is none other than Ryouko's father. Then there is some strange explanation as to why the spirits want Ryouko and Taku dead (something to do with the numbers 12 and 13). Ryouko and Taku defeat the spirits once and for all, and can go back to leading a normal life (for now).

To be honest, it wasn't a great series, but it's Chie Shinohara, so it has merits on that alone. Anyway, that's about it for now. Until next time :)

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas to all (because there is no way I am posting this tomorrow) sigh so busy! But seriously, whether you believe in it or not, I hope everyone has a wonderful holidays *if you have them!!*

Anyways, I'll be honest, I do have stuff ready to post, but I am kind of hoarding it until my day off later in the week as I simply do not have to time to edit my ramblings at the moment. It seems even if you are organized and have everything done, it's still a busy time of year, especially if you work in hospitality. 

Anyways, that's about it for now, until next time :)

Friday, 21 December 2012

The Apocalypse is like to boy who cried wolf

Yay, we survived another apocalypse, in my short 20 years of life, I think this is about the 6th or 7th apocalypse I have survived. With that being said, Christmas is really taking it out on me (that and constant work) and am really tired, so that's all I want I wanted to say, maybe a full update tomorrow

Anyways, until next time :)

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Blast from the Past

Cleaning out my iPod the other day to make more memory room, I came across a rant about a particular Sailor Moon character known as Mamoru Chiba (Tuxedo Mask) and I couldn't help but share it. This is probably one of the more offensive things (language wise) I will post, you have been warned!! So here it is:

Differences between manga and anime Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask:

Manga Mamoru: All round likable character, not a douche-muncher, doesn't have the lame ability to kill villains/enemies with vegetation AND actually has a legitimate super power. He doesn't perform sexual misdemeanors at government facilities (Reference to First Volume, Arc 4 "Masquerade" of Manga/Ep 22(JAP)/18(ENG) Anime 'Worth a Princess's Ransom" / "Romance Under the Moon! Usagi's First Kiss") and cares about his girlfriend who is age appropriate (Manga Mamoru is 17/18 yrs old)

Anime Mamoru: Wanker character and in general comes off as a bit of an asshole, has the extremely lame ability of killing people with vegetation and has no other legitimate powers, kisses intoxicated AND under-aged girls who are unconscious at international embassies (Reference to First Volume, Arc 4 "Masquerade" of Manga/Ep 22(JAP)/18(ENG) Anime 'Worth a Princess's Ransom" / "Romance Under the Moon! Usagi's First Kiss") and in general does not give a shit about his girlfriend who is not age appropriate (Anime Mamoru is around 22 yrs old)

Similarities between Manga and Anime Mamoru: The end result is they both produce an evil pink-haired, red-eyed offspring

I would like to mention that these observations were made for comedic/personal purposes only and are not intended to offend anyone in any way, shape or form. I in no way take these views seriously, as I freaking love Sailor Moon, this were just some observations that my friends and I have made.

Anyway, that's about it for now, until next time :)

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Majo no Koi wa Kindan to Haitoku de Tsukurareru

Wah! So busy, even though I am all prepared for Christmas, it seems that others aren't as I am flat out with work. Being December everyone is coming to have their functions at my work. First time I have ever run out of wine glasses, jugs and car parks (and our car park is HUGE!!). Here's hoping I don't have to deal with New Years.

Moving on, I am going to talk about a one shot that I got lucky and got to typeset it and has yet to be released (although hopefully it will be soon), so I thought I might share it with you (Or at least tell what it is about). The one shot is called Majo no Koi wa Kindan to Haitoku de Tsukurareru (yes, quite the mouthful) and it is by Kawamaru Shin. Quite a long one shot, about 90 pages long.

The oneshot starts with a cat roaming the streets when it comes across a young boy called Ryou who asks why she (the cat) is pretending to be a cat. It is revealed that the cat is actually the witch Marika and that this is the first time she has encountered someone who could tell that she was not in fact a cat. Marika's younger sister, who is also a witch reminds her that it is taboo for a witch to interfere with the human cycle of life and death. Aware of this, Marika follows Ryou home one day, where she witnesses a dispute between the young Ryou and his mother over why Ryou. Ryou comments saying that he can't purchase alcohol for his mother without money (not to mention it is illegal). Ryou's mother then blames Ryou for all her misfourtune, stating that 'than man' (Ryou's father) would not have left if he wasn't born and was better off without him. Ryou's mother then attempts to kill Ryou by strangling him. Trying to call for help, Marika, still observing, breaks the taboo and helps Ryou by causes a pile of boxes to fall onto his mother, killing her.

Ryou notices it is the same cat as before and Marika reveals that she is a witch. As a result for breaking the taboo of interfering with the human life and death cycle. As a result, Marika is exiled from the Witches world and is stranded in the human world. Marika's younger sister tells her to always follow three rules: 1. Don't let anyone realize your a witch, 2. Do not mingle (have sex with) humans and 3. Do not use magic, then the door to the witches world may one day open for her again. After the death of Ryou's mother, Ryou takes Marika in as his sister and the two begin to live in an orphanage.

10 Years pass, and Ryou is now a highschool student. He has since been adopted by a company executive who sees the potential in Ryou to become his heir. Ryou accepts on the condition that the man also adopts Marika and provides her with an education (as she is a witch, she is not registered, thus ineligable to attend school in the human world). The two live in a luxurious mansion and have since begun playing "make-believe" (because they can't have sex, they 'play' with each other). Their adopted father dislikes the closeness of the relationship between Ryou and Marika, constantly telling Marika to seperate herself from her brother.

At school, it is revealed that Ryou is at the top of his class and target of the girls affections. Meanwhile, Marika is being tutored at home. Ryou returns home and walks in on Marika's tutor touching her shoulder. Ryou immediately fires the tutor because he believes that it isn't necessary for the tutor to physically touch a student in any way, sexual or not. Ryou then takes Marika and throws her on the bed and starts to "make-believe"again, although he gets aggressive and hurts Marika.

Marika states that since that day, Ryou has changed. The scene changes to a love hotel, where Ryou is with a girl (presumedly from school), having sex. During the process, Ryou says Marika's name instead of the name of the girl he is with. When Ryou returns home late, His adoptive father wishes to discuss something with Ryou/ Meanwhile, Marika sneaks into Ryou's room as Ryou has not allowed her to do so recently. Ryou tells Marika to leave, and informs her that he was asked to get a fiance, which he initially turned down. Marika states that she understands that Ryou will one day have a fiance/wife and that they should stop playing make-believe.

Meanwhile, A relative of Ryou's adoptive father inquires if things with Ryou are going well, in which he replies that he may have to leave the company to him (the relative he is talking to) as he may not get a favourable answer. Back at the house, Marika answers the door and it is Ryou's classmate (the one he had sex with) returning his phone. A maid is heard calling Marika, and the girl at the door freaks out over that Ryou called out his sister's name during sex. Marika is happy about this, and ultimately decides that it's okay for her to have sex with Ryou as being with him is what she really wants, even if she has to receive further punishment as a result. Ryou declines, saying if she is punished with death, then it is better for them not to progress than for her to potentially disappear.

Ryou decides to follow his adoptive father's request to take a fiance. Meanwhile, Marika's little sister is able to visit Marika for the first time since her exile. Little sister informs Marika that the door to the witches world will open on the next full moon. Ryou's adoptive father tells his nephew of his decision to keep Ryou as his heir since he has accepted the engagement. The nephew is angry over the decision and pushes the director into oncoming traffic. He gets hit by a car. Ryou and Marika are informed of the accident as just as Ryou is about to head to the hospital, an intruder can be heard in the house.

The intruder is the nephew who injured the director, and he is now attempting to burn down the house, killing Ryou as a hopeful result. The nephew attempts to stab Ryou, but Ryou defends himself by kneeing his opponent in the stomach. The nephew then attempts to harm Marika, as it would make Ryou miserable. Ryou covers Marika, and as a result, Marika uses her magic to avoid Ryou getting killed. The nephew is now dead as a result.

Marika then restates her desire to be embraces by Ryou, saying she will gladly take any punishment. It is revealed that because Marika used her magic, the door, along with the full moon never came, meaning that Marika never returned to the witches world. She states that she would never be forgiven for committing another taboo while in exile, but that she isn't scared. While Ryou embraces Marika for the first time for reals, he tells her that he will always be with her forever. While this is happening, the mansion is being engulfed in flames.

The scene changes to three children who ask what happened next, and the story teller replies 'I don't know'. The story teller is Marika's younger sister, who says that since the first time Marika was embraced by Ryou, she (the little sister) was no longer able to sense her (Marika's) presence. The children ask questions such as 'did she disappear' and 'is she living in the human world'. The little sister replies that this is a story from hundreds of years ago. One of the children thinks that the story is quite romantic and wanders off to the human world. Transformed as a cat, a human asks 'Why are you pretending to be a cat?' with the final narration 'One day, the door will open. Until that day...END

I actually have quite a few thoughts about this, firstly, is the adoptive father alive or did he die in is accident!! On a more serious note, with the ending, I think it implies one of two scenarios. The first being that Ryou and Marika died as they embraced each other in the burning mansion, with the unknown person asking 'why are you pretending to be a cat' and the young child-witch being their respective reincarnations. This would make sense as the last words would imply that Marika was able to be reborn into the witches world, meaning that the door to that world had finally opened for her again. The second scenario being that Ryou and Marika escaped from the mansion. The little sister says that she was no longer able to sense Marika once she was embraced by Ryou, so maybe having sex with a human, the punishment for a witch that has an infinate lifespan is life as a human? With this scenario the person who asks 'why are you pretending to be a cat' could be a decendant of Ryou and Marika, as they too said the exact same thing that Ryou said to Marika in the beginning. The last narration saying that Marika will wait for the door to open again could also mean that if she gets to be with Ryou, she is happy to wait for the door to open for however long it takes, even if she can't ever go back. I think either of these scenarios are possible, but preferably, I'd pick the second, mainly because I am a 'glass half full' kind of person.

Anyways, that's about it for now (kind of long) but until next time :)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Akagami no Shirayukihime part 2

 Firstly, I have to say, I don't believe in this superstition stuff, I think that you have unlucky and lucky days, but the dates of these days is absolute BS! So instead of 12/12/12, Happy 346th day of the year!! In all seriousness though, I am very happy Christmas is coming, mainly because my shopping is done for the year and I get to watch everyone else suffer the last minute rush...moving on back to Akagami no Shirayukihime

When the test takes place, the Lord interferes by locking Shirayuki in a room and throwing the bird whistle into the lake. Shirayuki jumps from the room and as a result is injured in the lake. Despite all this, the Lord is captured for his attempted sabotage, and the bird used passes the test, meaning that the birds will no longer be hunted. After this incident, Zen kisses and confesses his romantic feelings for Shirayuki. At first, Shirayuki is startled but soon after she confesses her feeling in return. 

Meanwhile, Izana gets a letter from Tanburn, inviting Shirayuki to Raji's castle for a ball. Zen is not happy about the invitation, but allows Shirayuki to go on the condition that he may choose her escort.In the meantime, the man who kidnappted Shirayuki way back in the beginning goes to the main castle in Clarines and informs Zen that there is a pretty boy, around 13/14 years old, who is looking for Shirayuki. This alarms Zen and co, as the intentinos of this mysterious person are unknown. Everyone tries to gather information before Shirayuki leaves but are unable to do so. 

Shirayuki leaves for Tanburn and arrives with little issues. While there, Shirayuki tells Raji that she hopes to become better friends with him during her stay. This is misinterpreted by Raji's younger brother and sister, who attempt to turn the two into a romantic couple during her stay in Tanburn. Meanwhile, back in Clarines, Zen states his intentions of marrying Shirayuki to Izana. Information on the mysterious boy is soon found, and it is revealed that he is following Shirayuki to Tanburn. It is the day of the ball, and Shirayki is getting ready when the mysterious boy breaks into the Tanburn castle and kidnaps Shirayuki. During this process, Shirayuki is knocked out, and when she comes to, she is told that her kidnapper was kidnapped himself, meaning Shirayuki has been kidnapped twice. 

It is revealed that the two are on a boat owned by 'The Talon' a group of bandits who roam the sea/docks. It is revealed that the mysterious boy used to be a part of the Talon, before leaving and joining the 'Mountain Lions', the group that originally tried to kidnap Shirayuki. Meanwhile, Zen and company have arrived in Tanburn to assist in the search of Shirayuki. On their journey, they team up with the mountain lions, as they too have the common goal of eleminating the Talon. 

As part of their plan, Kiki is captured by the Talon to aid Shirayuki when they escape. This proves uneccesary as Raji uses the navy to block the Talon from sailing to their allies. Raji also gives Shirayuki the title of 'Friend of the Royal Palace'. As a result, the Talon flee to the hidden cave-dock, where they are again ambushed by Raji, Zen and company. After fighting Raji, Zen and the mountain lions succeed in their fight. The mountain lions invite the others back to their village where it is revealed that the chief/head is actually Shirayuki's father. After a night spent in the village, Raji, Zen, Shirayuki and the rest head back. Before Shirayuki, Zen and company leave to head back to Clarines, Raji makes a remark saying that next time, he may take Shirayuki for himself (again, but seriously instead of out of curiosity). 

Once everyone is back in Clarines, Izana is still frustrated with the situation between Zen and Shirayuki, mainly because Shirayuki does not have status. He then receives a letter from Raji with Shirayuki's official title of 'Friend of the Royal Palace' (yes, it was legit). This somewhat raises Shirayuki's status, but not to the level needed for Izana to accept her. Izana makes a point of this by telling Shirayuki that she has not stated her intentions to him as Zen has. But before Shirayuki can worry about that, she is informed that she will be leaving for pharmacist travels with Ryuu in the coming days. Shirayuki and Zen are seperated once again, and Shirayuki head norths with Ryuu. 

At their destination, Ryuu and Shirayuki begin to study various pharmacist and medicinal research available to them. Shortly after, a child displaying strange symptons is bought to Shirayuki and Ryuu and it is revealed that the number of people infected is rising. Izana also arrives where Ryuu and Shirayuki are, and informs them that he is going undercover as an assistant in order to observe the situation. Zen, Mitsuhide and Kiki also are headed north, but to deal with other issues which Izana could no longer tend to. Zen and Shirayuki meet again once the pharmicist research village goes into lockdown.

That's about it for now, don't know what's happening next (besides a lot of work for me) but until next time :)

Monday, 10 December 2012

Akagami no Shirayukihime Part 1

Ok, so I lied, but my free time was suddenly taken up. I also seem to be having one of those meh days...I blame the hay fever. Anyways moving on.

So, I read some time ago Akagami no Shirayukihime by Akizuki Sorata. It is currently ongoing with about 8 volumes, most of which have been scanlated into English, so it is pretty up to date, which I figured was the best seeing as it was such a good series.

Shirayuki is a girl living in the mountains of Tanburn (varies somewhat depending on various translations) who is noticed by her country's prince, Prince Raji for her unusually coloured apple red hair. Unwilling to become a consort for the selfish Prince, Shirayuki escapes to a forrest in the neighbouring country of Clarines. In the forrest, she bumps into Zen, Mistsuhide and Kiki. After their enounter, Raji sends a poisoned apple to Shirayuki which is eaten by Zen. As a result, Shirayuki decides to permanently leave Tanburn and live in Clarines. It is only then revealed that Zen is actually the second Prince of Clarines. 

Once in Clarines, Shirayuki frequently visits the castle to meet with Zen and co, and one day goes out to find herbs. As a result of going out on her own she is kidnapped and held prisoner by a man who wishes to sell her for a high price. Zen eventually comes to the rescue, with the kidnapper escaping. After some time, Shirayuki decides she wishes to become a pharmacist due to her knowledge of herbs and basic medicine she learned in Tanburn. She studies and undertakes the test that would allow her to become a pharmacists' apprentice should she pass. During the test, it seems that Shirayuki is sabotaged by an unknown person because it is known that she has a strong friendship with Zen. This attempted sabotage results in Zen and Shirayuki being locked overnight in the herb house. It is because of the sabotage that Shirayuki realizes she mis-identified the plants. With the help of Zen, Shirayuki ammends her error and as a result passes her test. 

She becomes and apprentice phamracist for Ryuu, who is considered a genius as a pharmacist at the age of 12. As Shirayki begins her apprenticeship in the castle, Zen's older brother and First Prince of Clarines, Izana returns to the castle. Immediately he is informed of Shirayuki and becomes aware that in the futre, it could become an issue as she is of no status (meaning she is not a noble). Once Izana finds out that Shirayuki was once pursued by Raji of Tanburn, he invites the Prince to Clarines. Izana intends to get Raji to take Shirayuki back to Tanburn, but he declines, as he says he has no interest in her anymore. As he is about to leave, Raji and Shirayuki bump into each other. They settle their differences and can be seen as friends. 

After Raji has returned home, A Lord of an island and a resident come to the castle to settle a dispute about hunting the native birds. Although Zen and the rest know that the hunting of the local birds is wrong, they cannot stop it, as the Lord has jurisdiction over the area. Kiharu, the resident of the island, claims that the birds are trained in order for them to assist in the residents making their livlihood. Zen uses this information as a means to trial whether or not birds can be used as a form of communication. 

So I am going to leave it for there for now, this turned into a rather long-winded plot summary, so the rest will be put up later as to not make it too long and boring...Anyways until next time :)

Friday, 7 December 2012

Pretty Good Day

Ok, so as we are nearing the 21st of December 2012, the supposed Apocalypse, there have been many theories, including that the world was meant to end on the 7th of December rather than the 21st. Well I can say that this 'apocalypse' came in the form of a very good day.

Firstly, I completed my Certificate 3 in hospitality, so hopefully that will benefit me not only in my current job, but also future jobs may have in the next couple of years as I work through university. Not only that, but I heard that I may get a bonus for completing this certificate, so essentially, I am getting paid to study...pretty sweet deal.

Then if things could not get any better, I went to the first game of the 2012/2013 20/20 Big Bash season between the Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars where I witnessed three amazing scenes: A century by a Renegades Captain Finch, the worse bowling figures in domestic T20 cricket by great Shane Warne (0/41 from 2 overs), and some guys doing back-flips on motorbikes while on fire.

And just when it couldn't get in better, top it all off with some pretty awesome uni results. Quickly doing the maths, I figure in one exam, the absolute worse I could have done was 37/40. Definition of 'Nailed It' right there.

Anyways, that's about it for now, I will try and get another update up in 24 hours which I am currently working on, but until next time.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Summer, you're doing it wrong!

Despite living in Australia, I feel as if I live on the other side of the world where it is currently winter. It's cold, it's wet and it's windy and it makes want to crawl into bed and not come out again until the Australian Open in January as that is the only time it is guaranteed to be hot and summery in Melbourne. On a side note, I have noticed that a lot of the younger people I know are complaining about not liking or not wanting to go to school...then I see their grammar or listen to them speak and I think to myself 'Sweetie, you need all the help you can get, so stop wagging'.

Moving on, as mentioned previously, I have read the Manhwa 50 Rules for Teenagers by Na Yeri, about 4 volumes have been scanlated at the moment into English, and the series is complete in Korean with 8 volumes, so it's about half done at the moment. The story starts with fraternal twins Mi-Roo (female) and Ma-Roo (Male) who are about to start their first year of High School. Mi-Roo acts in place of her mother, who is abroad on work, and takes care of all the household chores. Ma-Roo on the other hand uses his good grades in order to coerce his father to get whatever he wants. 

Soon after, it is revealed that the company that their father works for is suffering financial difficulty and Mi-Roo is left in charge of the family finances. She uses this opportunity to control her brother's wasteful lifestyle, teaching him about the importance of money and budgeting, which he still doesn't get, and to understand that everything can not go Ma-Roo's way.

Ma-Roo doesn't like Mi-Roo's method of restricting his freedom, and as a result he hangs out with Chang-Soo. Although they appear to be friends, Ma-Roo always denies they are friends. It becomes apparent quickly that Chang-Soo has some interest in Mi-Roo and the two become friends. On Multiple occasions, Ma-Roo threatens Chang-Soo that he won't give him his sister. Although this could be seen as a sister complex, it appears that Chang-Soo has a less that favorable history although it is yet to be revealed as to what happened in the past. 

Over time, Chang-Soo and Mi-Roo continue to strengthen their friendship and ultimately join the same school club and eventually underground/secret dance group. In the meanwhile, Mi-Roo catches the attention of a senior who asks her out. Initially she agrees to meet him, but ultimately she chooses to reject as she realizes that she has romantic feelings for Chang-Soo. Her and Chang-Soo start dating, and shortly after find it difficult to spend time with each other as Chong-Soo is scouted for a chance to become an Idol. And that's where it ends for now.

I found this a very relaxed series, what I mean is that so far, there is not a lot of suspense and drama that will leave you at the edge of your seat, but it is still quite a good read

Anyways, next time will be (hopefully) Akagami no Shirayukihime, which I am currently reading and it is awesome, if I do say...Until next time :)

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Airconditioners will be the death of me

Sigh, Why oh why does the air conditioner at work have to break down during the hottest/busiest time of the year? Because it has to, that's why! Feels like I spend hours in a Sauna whenever I have to work. But it's okay, because according to the patrons, it is my personal fault that the air conditioner is not working...

Moving on, had to do a mass insect extermination of my room today, because of the sudden change in temperature and numerous rain storms, A family of small spiders have chosen to take up residence in the vent that leads to my room. This would explain why I have been bitten multiple times in the past week. Clearly, as I am still alive, they weren't venomous, because if they were, then it might be a bit of an issue.

Unfortunately, I still haven't really read anything worth mentioning, mainly because it has only been a few chapters long, or it was really bad. I am currently half way through 50 rules for teenagers which is a manhwa series, so I will talk about that one next time, but until then :)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Rage and random stuffs

Ok, so to start off with, I am going to go on a bit of a rant...It has come to my attention on my newsfeed that there were quite a few expectant mothers in my facebook friends list. Firstly, I must say that the ratio is kind of shocking, because I'm only 20 myself, so 90% of people on my facebook are around that age, but I say facebook friends, because other than facebook, I don't really talk to them. That's all well and good, but seriously, guys! I do not need a play by play update on how your childbirth is going...Frankly, as long as they are not struck by some tragedy or what not, I really don't care, but I'm pretty sure at that point in your life you have more pressing issues to deal with than updating your Facebook status! Especially considering nowadays a lot of people have strangers as friends through social networking, so it's really not the kind of information I want to be seen by someone I barely know or have never even met. It's only logical. Rant end!

Moving on, to be honest, I could rant about this topic forever, so I thought it would be best to move on...In terms of reading things, I haven't really read anything overly significant, just a few short series here and there. One such series being 'Bird of Youth'. I am actually kind of disappointed in this series, as I feel that the plot as kind of sidetracked into a different tangent and I can't see it reverting to the main plot point anytime soon.

On a side note, as mentioned a few months ago, I am helping with some typesetting for a scanlation group, and my most recent project is WTF! It's called Kimi to Kemono na Yume o Miru and it is a series of oneshots by Ayukawa Mio. It is farely out there, very smutty! I have so far done the first two stories and it seems that the female characters tend to be sadists. It is probably the most bizarre thing I have read in a while, so watch out for that one being released in the near future!

Anyways, thats about it for now, until next time :)

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sekai de Ichiban Utsukushii Namae

Ok, so I can safely say that I am definitely in the wrong industry in terms of employment. I can confidently say that I don't like people. It's not a personality issue, like I don't suffer from social anxiety or anything, but I feel that some people are just so dumb and do such stupid things that I wonder if some of us are even of the same species. 

Been rather busy lately, with work and social life and what not. Me and a friend spent the night drinking Tsing Tao and  watching dvd's which was a lot of fun, more money efficeint than going to a niteclub. Also, if we did choose to go clubbing which was the original plan, we would not have got there until 2am, so it almost wouldn't be worth it.

(Hibari and the Spirit above)

Other than that there really isn't a lot to talk about. I read  a cute one shot by Toyota Yuu, Sekai de Ichiban Utsukushii Namae which translates to 'The most beautiful name in the world'. I usually don't like to read one shots because they are only one chapter long, so I find that there is no character development, just a very short story, but I really enjoyed it. It's about Hibari, a daughter of a family who finds her a disgrace for repeatedly being rejected for marriage with eligable bachelors. Hibari is subsequently locked in the family warehouse as punishment, where she stumbles upon a Japanese-English dictionary where the spirit of a young man lives. Opening the dictionary releases the spirit who decides to teach Hibari English as a means to kill time and to help her family. The spirit develops feelings for Hibari despite knowing that he can never make her happy. One day, Hibari meets William, a man from England who is trading goods with Japanese merchants. As a result of now being able to speak both languages, Hibari grows close and develops feelings for William while acting as his interpreter. Her father discovers this, and locks her in the warehouse again for being a disgrace. A letter is delivered to the warehouse from William, and Hibari asks the spirit to read it. At first he does not read out the letter but makes it up, but when he realizes that he can never have Hibari, he leads her to the dock where William's ship is departing. The spirit then returns to his original paper/dictionary form except for one page, which Hibari frames as a part of a shrine when she starts her new life with William in England

So, as i said I thought it was rather cute. I felt a lot happened in the space of 40 pages. Anyways, that's about it for now, until next time :) 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Yami no Papuru and no more exams!

So yay! Last exam over and done with exams for the year now...Although today's was an open book exam, so it definitely made things a lot easier. I am pretty confident that I have passed all my subjects for this semester, so onto year two next year.

Ok, so I think I may have said something about writing about Love SOS, but I think I can summarize it in a sentence: Read anything by the kkotnim company, and I'm sure you will get the jist. The beginning is failry interesting, the protagonist is blind for the first little while, but after that it was kind of standards, fights and all.

So moving on, I would much rather talk about Yami no Papuru by Chie Shinohara. Let me just say, I love Chie Shinohara's works, the story is never the cliche shoujo/josei story, and I love how gruesome it can be, it is quite refreshing. The series is quite old, published during the 80's, and is complete with 12 volumes, only the first 9 have been scanlated so far.

So the story is about Rinko, a 1st year high school student who is dating her childhood friend Shin'ya, who starts to notice changes within her, in particular, her eyes beginning to change to purple at times (hence the title, which roughly tranlates to purple eyes). She is captured by 3 men who lock her in a shed with the intention to 'attack/rape' her at the request of a third party. Before she is attacked, Rinko eyes change purple and she disappears, only for a 'beast' to appear shortly after. The beast brutally murders the three men before escaping. The next morning, Rinko awakens and has no clue how she got home. The incidents catches the attention of Sonehara, a science teacher at Rinko's school who set up the incident in the hopes she could catch a transformer in the action.

Sonehara believes in her late father's research that there are humans who are capable of transforming into animals, and believes Rinko to be one such being. Sonehara kidnaps Rinko and locks her in a small compartment under the floor. Shin'ya notices that Sonehara is up to something, and eventually manage to escape. Sonehara then abducts Rinko's younger sister Maiko, in the hopes that she too can transform. Rinko and Shin'ya find Sonehara's villa and find Maiko. They attempt to escape but Maiko is attacked by Sonehara's dogs and is killed. This causes Rinko to transform, with Sonehara capturing the scene on tape as evidence. Rinko is then captured again and is betrayed by Shin'ya who drugs her and traps her for Sonehara. While captured, it is revealed that Sonehara's father is alive albeit mentally and physically disabled and he is eventually killed. Eventually it is revealed that Shin'ya planned to use Sonehara as a means of getting money and the evidence so he can hide Rinko from Sonehara.

While escaping they note a man going to Sonehara under the pretense that he is a freelance journalist interested in the transformer theory.  He reveals himself to be Odagiri, a man who later reveals himself to be a transformer. He takes interest in Rinko, claiming it is the first time he has encountered a transformer like her, mainly because she is female (In the second arc of the story it is revealed that he was part of a 'clan' that claim to preserve them, but acts otherwise). After he departs, Sonehara chases after Shin'ya and Rinko, Shin'ya being shot in the shoulder in the process and Rinko transforming once again. Once Rinko untransforms, she is found by Odagiri who has taken Shin'ya with him. The three stay in an isolated cabin, with Odagiri suggesting Rinko should be with him, a fellow transformer, instead of someone who doesn't know what it is like. After a fight, Shin'ya and Rinko escape, only for Rinko to be captured and taken to Odagiri's apartment. It is revealed that Odagiri does not have long to live. He also hints Rinko's mother may have had the ability to transform, as she only lived to 35 years of age (died young like other transformers).

Rinko somehow leaves the apartment and return home with Shin'ya. A couple of months have passed since Rinko was first kidnapped by Sonehara, so her father had long been looking for Rinko and Maika. Rinko decides that Odagiri is right, and that she can no longer live with Shin'ya and her father because she is different and does not know when she will turn on them. She returns to Odagiri and agrees to be his lover on the concession that he gives her time. Odagiri drugs Rinko then has sex with an unconscious Rinko because he 'doesn't have time to wait for her'. After she regains consciousness, she escapes. After a spate of incidents involving both Rinko and Odagiri in panther form Sonehara knows about her whereabouts and captures Rinko once again. Still hellbent on her research, Sonehara quickly discovers that Rinko is pregrant (This all happened in like a space of 50 pages btw). Rinko does not wish to have the child because she feels that she is not ready and because she still loves Shin'ya. Shin'ya finds Rinko in Sonehara's villa and finds out about Rinko's situation. They escape, but when Rinko transforms the police attempt to shoot Rinko. Meanwhile, Sonehara lures Odagiri into a warehouse where is only option is to transform. This results in Odagiri sacrificing himself to allow Rinko and Shin'ya to escape. Unfortunately, Rinko has been shot repeatedly and is seriously injured. The only option left is for Shin'ya to allow Sonehara to take Rinko to a doctor she knows (already sounds shifty).

The shifty doctor manages to save Rinko's life. Shin'ya decides he wants to marry Rinko because he loves her, even though he isn't the father of Rinko's baby. A few months later Rinko gives birth to a daughter and names her Mai (mainly in rememberence of her dead sister). At first the three seem happy until they realise Sonehara plans to steal the baby an commence even crueler experiments on her. Shin'ya and Rinko escape,  and take sanctuary in a church where they are married by the priest. It is then that Rinko knows that she does not have long left to live. After a rockslide caused by Sonehara kills the priest, this allows an opportunity for Sonehara to steal Mai, which she does, however, she is caught by a transformed Rinko, who lunges herself, along with Sonehara, over a cliff.

15 years have passed since Rinko and Sonehara presumedly died, and Shin'ya  has raised Mai as his own daughter. He has since become a doctor in the hopes of finding a way to extend the lifespan of a transforming being. Mai comes to the attention of the 'clan' for being a pureblood, and she is almost killed as a result. She is only saved by Akio, a university student who can transform who realizes the clan is wrong for trying to kill Mai. At first Akio had also tried to kill Mai, but no longer does so for his feelings for her. it is then revealed that Sonehara did not die and has been helping the clan for the entire 15 years since she fell off the cliff. Sonehara also reveals that Rinko is not dead.

This leads Mai and Akio to go to the lab where Rinko is supposedly being held. Sonehara attemtps to capture Mai and Akio but is unsuccessful. Mai is at this point attacked by Rinko. Eventually Mai returns in order to meet her mother. It is revealed that Sonehara had no intention of letting Mai talk to Rinko, instead, attempting to brainwash her like she did Rinko (hence why Rinko attacked Mai). This backfires and ends up destroying most of the lab. It is revealed that Rinko has lived until now due to her being almost always cryogenically frozen, except when needed by Sonehara.

And that's about where the story is up to currently. First of all, I think Sonehara needs to seriously get laid. I mean, I reckon she would chill out a lot. She also needs some hobbies like sewing, or fishing, just something to keep her from being even crazier. The story has dual protagonists, the first 6 volumes focusing on Rinko and the other 6 focusing on her daughter, Mai, I thought having the split narrative was really good. I was really sad when I got to the time skip. I felt especially bad for Shin'ya, as he believes that Rinko was the only one for him. I felt the 15 years demonstrates his decision to stay alone with Mai for his life. it probably makes it harder that Mai is suppose to look a lot like Rinko too. By the sounds of some spoilers, it sounds like that Shin'ya may actually find a way to extend the lifespan of transformers, as it seems that Akio is still alive at the end of the series despite the fact that he is clearly already very ill.

Anyway, that's about it for now, until next time :)

Monday, 19 November 2012

Sensei! and stuffs

Oh god, I don't know what to do now that I have so much time on my hands. I have more time than I feel I need. Ah. I seriously don't know what to do. Especially this week seeing as I only have work on  the weekend. 

Anyways, Moving on, I have read Sensei by Kawahara Kazune, it is complete in Japan with 20 volumes and 13 and a half volumes have currently been scanlated into English on a fairly regular basis recently. It is quite an old series, starting in 1996, so it has been around for quite a while.

So the story is about Hibiki Shimada, a second year high school student who has never really liked anyone before. She admires her teacher, Itou-sensei, and soon realizes that she has developed feelings for him. She confesses her love for him, but he dismisses her confession because she is a student and he is a teacher. Shimada continues to take interest Itou. Meanwhile her friends, Kousuke and Chi-chan have their own love interest, Kousuke with Nakajima-sensei and Chi-Chan with Sekiya-sensei. Chi-chan shortly after loses interest in her love interest and moves on when she realizes that he likes Nakajima. Nakajima in the meanwhile, likes Itou (It's like a love hexagon).

Soon after, Shimada finally gets Itou to return her feelings and they start a secret relationship. Kousuke in the meanwhile 'attacks' Nakajima and as a result gets suspended from school. Shimada begins to doubt Itou when his ex girlfriend comes to their school as a student teacher. The ex, Misaki, tries to take back Itou, claiming that she still loves him. She goes to his apartment, and he lets her stay the night while he sleeps in his car. When Shimada finds out that Misaki spent the night in his apartment, she breaks up with Itou without hearing the whole story.

After this, Shimada decides that she wants to start following the trends of regular teenage girls, such as wearing make up and going on group dates. After a brief relationship with some random guy, Shimada realizes that she only will ever love Itou and the two begin to date again at the beginning of the new school year.

At the start of the school year, Kousuke is the captain of the archery club, with Shimada as vice captain. A new first year student, Nagisa joins the archery club and Chi-chan develops feelings for him. Nagisa takes interest in Shimada and threatens to expose her relationship with Itou if she doesn't go out with him. The incident sorts itself out when Chi-chan takes charge and literally beats sense into Nagisa. This results in the two of them later dating.

The story then kind of drifts along, until Kousuke's ex meets him again through cram school. She still has feelings for him, but he is not interested in pursuing a relationship with her. This leads to a massive misunderstanding between Kousuke and Nakajima, which results in Nakajima revealing that she is willing to wait for Kousuke until he graduates and grows up a little more and if he still feels the same, then something might happen.

Anyway, that's pretty much all there is at the moment. A lot of the story deals with teenagers coming-of-age, what makes and 'adult' and a 'child', and the issues surrounding a student-teacher relationship. Next time, I will talk about Love SOS, which is a manhwa series. Until next time :)

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Back Again :)

Oh hey, I'm back for the most part anyway. I still have one exam to go, but that won't take as much time as the others because well, I don't have two exams in two days, god that was a nightmare, if that happens again in the next few years, shit will go down!

In other stuffs, working over the last little while I have encountered a new regular at work...not the good kind. They are forever known as the Dragon Lady and quite frankly they scare me. Not just them, but customers seem to think that I make prices to torture people. Sigh I just can't be bothered to deal with some people's issues.

Anyways that's about it for now, next time I'll talk about Sensei! by Kawahara Kazune, kind of old school, but watch this space! Until next time

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

MIA for a little while

Just a quickie tonight to say that I won't be updating this again until at least the 17th/18th as I have two exams during this week and all my spare time is being spent on studying (unfortunately). But after that everyone gets to deal with me and my 4 months holidays, Yay!

Anyway, that's about it for now, until next time :)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Kuragehime and stuffs

Phew, so my last assignment for the year is now done, now I only have to do my exams...sigh why did I decide to do a double degree, I really did not think this through. Well, thank goodness it's nearly all done for the year. On a sidenote, my mum is currently watching Breaking Dawn. As mentioned in my very first post, the Twilight series is a bit of a Taboo subject, so not in the best mood...

Anyways moving on, as promised last time, I will talk about Kuragehime by Higashimura Akiko, it is currently ongoing at 11 volumes, and the scans are pretty up to date, I think they are at the beginning of the 10th volume at the moment, and it is Josei, so older female readers are intended (not 10 year olds).

The story is about Tsukimi, a girl who moved from the countryside to live in Tokyo, she doesn't have a job or go to school, so she is technically a NEET (acronym used for people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training).She shares a house with 5 other girls, Masaya, Chieko, Banba, Jiji and Mejiro sensei (sensei in this context means Yaoi manga author). All these girls are also NEETS, who don't work except Mejiro, and all have strong social anxiety, strong dislike for men, naturally they are virgins and are otakus of some form. They refer themselves as Amars (pretty similar to nuns in a convent) and petrify when in the presence of men or beautiful people.

The story begins when Tsumi meets Kuranosuke, a beautiful girl who looks like a princess that helps her out when Tsukimi is trying to save the life of a jellyfish (Tsukimi is a jellyfish otaku). Kuranosuke stays the night at Tsukimi's despite her objections because the others feel she is too beautiful. Tsukimi discovers that Kuranosuke is actually a guy, and despite this chooses to keep his identity a secret.

Kuranosuke decides that he is now friends with Tsukimi and as such she ends up being dragged by Kuranosuke and given a make over. With make up and something other than track suits on, Tsukimi is quite  a beautiful girl. Upon being made over, Tsukimi has a brief encounter with Shuu, Kuranosuke's older half brother, and he immediately falls for her, despite being a 30 year old virgin (this becomes kind of an ongoing joke through the series). Ironically, when Shuu returns Tsukimi's clothes, he does not recognize her in otaku mode.

Later the three of them go to the jellyfish aquarium, Tsukimi is dressed in a Kimono and doesn't suffer from 'petrification' around Shuu, mainly because she is not wearing glasses, so she can't see. Tsukimi starts crying at the aquarium about what her now deceased mother said, and this somewhat upsets Kuranosuke.

Meanwhile, it is revealed that the Amars place of residence in Amamizukan is in the process of being sold in order to make way for a redevelopment of the area which includes a high rise hotel and shopping mega complex. Kuranosuke along with the Amars decide to try and raise the funds to buy the building themselves. 

At the redevelopment meeting, the Amars attend, along with Shuu, who represents his father (their family is a political family) and other local residents. The host of the meeting is the Amars worse enemy: A beautiful woman. The amars feel uncomfortable and leave early but as it is raining, Tsukimi left her umbrella at the meeting, so she goes to retrieve it. Outside the meeting hall, she sees Shuu and Inari (the beautiful host) close, sharing an umbrella. Later Shuu and Inari are at a bar discussing the redevelopment, when Inari spikes Shuu's drink. She takes him to a hotel room and strips him and takes photos of the two of them together. Although nothing happened, Inari uses those photos as a blackmail tool. 

After a while, Shuu's father wonders why Shuu is acting differently. He bribes Hanamori (I think that was his name), the famliy chauffer with a new BMW (he is a BMW fanatic) if he reveals the information. Shuu's father uses this information and tries to force Inari and Shuu to go steady even though Shuu doesn't want to. Again Hanamori is another ongoing gag, different people bribe him with BMW products to reveal information.

In the meanwhile, Kuranosuke works with the Amars in efforts to gain funds to save their home. One idea is to open a stall at the local flea market, where the group sell various items. Tsukimi makes small jellyfish weather dolls which prove to be quite popular. After selling all the jellyfish dolls, Kuranosuke suggests that they advance the jellyfish idea to clothing, as he believes there is nothing out there with a jealyfish motif.

Back to Inari and she continues to blackmail Shuu to spend time with her through the photo, but he eventually has enough as he only wishes to discuss the redevelopment when Inari only does things out of spite. He slaps he then leaves, leaving Inari to ponder if Shuu is actually a virgin (this is kind of done in arrogance, as Inari believes that someone with such little experience could make her feel the way she does, I feel that she is kind of masochistic).

Kuranosuke and the gang start making a jellyfish dress, and after much effort, they accomplish making one. Upon seeing it, Kuranosuke's university friends who are performing a play also want to wear the dresses as the 25 Othello's. After an all nighter, the group manage to finish all the costumes. After the performance, Kuranosuke drags Tsukimi on stage so the audience can see the designer of the dresses. Shuu and his father, and uncle (who is meant to be prime minister/ex prime minister) are in the audience, generating publicity for both the play, and the costumes.

Afterwards, Kuranosuke urges Tsukimi to redo the dresses from the play, hold a fashion show and start a clothing line in order to raise the money needed to save the Amars home. While working on the clothing, an 'awakened' version of Tsukimi emerges, who basically ignores anything not clothes related. It is during this time that Shuu finally makes the connection that Tsukimi otaku mode is the same girl from the aquarium and such.

Tsukimi, Kuranosuke and gang manage to get the clothing made in time and hold their fashion show to a huge success. It was filmed and put on the internet, with orders coming from all over the world, including from Kuranosuke's biological mother in America. Because she doesn't want Kuranosuke to find out, she asks Shuu to order her a dress without his knowing. This brings Tsukimi and Shuu closer together.

In the meanwhile, Inari is off in South Korea, trying to convince Chieko's mother, who is in South Korea idol chasing, to sell the Amars home, Upon her return the Amars, Kuranosuke and an ederly couple who run a candy shop protest about the redevelopment with the help of Shuu and his connections. As a 'reward' Hanamori sets them up on a date (He also loves women, but he states that if he had to choose, BMW's would win). Later on the date, Shuu confesses to Tsukimi, but she seems to misunderstand, this leads to Shuu writing a letter to Tsukimi saying that he 'would like to date her with the intention of marriage'. Again, there are some jokes about a virgins idea of dating and such. Kuranosuke laments over how could he have romantic feelings for Tsukimi given how no-one from his past has made him do so (he basically says that despite all the women he's had sex with and so on).

Due to the overwhelming demand for the jellyfish dresses, Kuranosuke and Jiji organize for the dresses to be made and outsourced in India to save time and money and because the Amars ability is far below than required for dress making (Although Chieko can sew at rapid speeds, she can only do say with traditional clothing such as Kimono's). The first delivery arrives back in Japan, and Tsukimi takes Lina's dress (Kuranosuke's mother) to Shuu. Shuu asks Tsukimi for her answer and in semi-petrified mode tilts her head in a 'yes' direction (Because of Shuu's idea of what dating is, he has already planned to go buy an engagement ring, lol). 

Meanwhile, Kuranosuke is reflective of his feelings for Tsukimi and draws to the conclusion that it won't happen between them, because the in all the other fairytales, the sorcerer is always the sorcerer and can never become prince charming. He reminiscences on how he has helped Tsukimi from her former self to the point where she is now and acknowledges that he loves her too.

Anyways, I really liked this series, I think all the characters are quite quirky and it is not the standard story, so it was an enjoyable read from that aspect too. I liked how the the lead, Tsukimi, is not a 'cute girl' (not in the conventional sense) and is an otaku. Despite what has happened to this point, I still think the romantic part is somewhat open ended, as in it is not over yet, given Kuranosuke's playboy image, I think he will make a huge pass at Tsukimi at some point. I also feel that Inari might start playing some more of her dirty tricks sometime in the near future. I also liked the art, I need to make a point of this. The art isn't dissimilar to Glass Mask, very retro style, and it is amazing to look at.

Anyways, to finish off with something different this time, I thought I might ask a question. For all of you who read shoujo/josei manga, you probably realize that there are some elements, or rules if you will,  that are reoccurring, An example of this may be 'The lead character never falls for the childhood friend'. Although there are exceptions, it is common in many shoujo series. So, does anyone feel that they have come across any of these rules/laws known as the 'Laws of Shoujo manga'? Leave your thoughts in the comments or on the message board, it will be interesting to see what comes back. Anyways, until next time :)

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Shinrei Tantei Yakumo and Stuffs

Ok, so just briefly starting off with some world news, Apparently Obama as been re-elected as the President of the United States, so congrats America. Just to clarify I have as much fun about politics as I do watching grass grow, so I really am indifferent to this, but according to my newsfeed it was kind of important, and I live in Australia. Also, congrats to all the people who won the ozlotto the other night, 4 people won $27million plus, I would not mind that.

Anyways, moving on as usual, I have read Shinrei Tantei Yakumo. This one is a bit confusing to explain, it started as a novel series by Manabu Kaminaga, but the version I read is the second manga adaptation (I really want to read the books, but they aren't available in English). This version of the manga is currently ongoing with about 35 chapters, with scanlations being quite regular, so far up to chapter 26.

So the story is about Yakumo, I college student who was born with the ability to see the 'souls of the dead' (ghosts). He helps his police acquaintance Gotou solve cases which involve the paranormal. One day, Haruka, a student from the same college as Yakumo requires his help when her friend is possessed in the first arc. These three characters, along with others along the way, help solve these mysteries.

So the first arc is about Haruka's friend who is possessed by a ghost when she attempts to go into a haunted house. Enlisting the help of Yakumo and Gotou, the three of them try to unlock the mystery. Yakumo informs them that Miki (Haruka's friend) is possessed by a female ghost. Out and about, there are delays at the train station because there has been an accident. It is then known that Miki's boyfriend has been hit by a train and died. The police don't know if it was an accident, suicide or murder, but an encounter with her teacher informs Haruka that it was suicide. Meanwhile, Haruka and Yakumo go to the haunted house, only to find that the 'unlockable room' in the haunted house is unlocked. Haruka and Yakumo are attacked, but manage to escape. Yakumo goes back again as while searching, he found a hidden floor trap which turned out to be the real unlockable room. Yakumo notes the walls have scratch marks. Haruka and a classmate begin to suspect their teacher as being to culprit, but once left alone, the friend admits that it is his doing, he got in an argument with the person who is now possessing Miki, and 'killed her'. In his frustration he attempts to kill Haruka, but Yakumo and Gatou arrive just in time. It is revealed that the man didn't kill the girl at first, but knocked her out. Once she regained conciousness, she tried to escape the room, but eventually died. In an attempt to move the body, the man is photographed by Miki's boyfriend, which is why the man killed the boyfriend by pushing him in front of the train. He incidently saw his teacher at the station, and said it was suicide. In the end, the culprit turns himself in. This arc ends with Haruka commente clinic, Yakumo and Gatou visit the same clinic, as the doctor's daughter was the first of the murdered giing that she thinks Yakumo's red eye is pretty.

The second act starts with the murder of two girls and the disappearance of a third. Again Yakumo is informed in order to attempt to unsolve this mystery. Along the way, Haruka gets involved along with Gatou and Ishi. Haruka comes across a phone charm with the name Ayaka on it (the same name as her dead sister) and goes down to the river where it was found. Haruka is pulled into the river by Ayaka, the first girl who was murdered. Their main suspect was killed in a car accident a few days prior, and are now trying too find the third girl. Meanwhile, Haruka is saved by a levy worker and doctor. While Haruka recovers at th
rls. A key is found on the body of the dead suspect, but no-one knows what it could be for. After some searching and some clues being answered, it is discovered that the key is for a storehouse on the river bank. After entering the store house, the third missing girl is found alive. They believe that the case is solved with the main suspect dead. However a forth girl shows up dead, in a similar fashion to the second one. After some research, Yakumo makes the link that the man who kidnapped the first and third girls (the dead man) is different from the method used to kill the second and forth girls, meaning that there are two killers. Yakumo gets a tip that 'that man' has been telling the doctor/ayaka's father that there is a way to bring he back from the dead. It is discovered that the doctor is in fact murdering girls in order to try and revive his daughter. His next daughter is Haruka, who is pushed into the river with a stone chained to weigh her down, but Yakumo saves her. It is then discovered that the man who told the doctor is Yakumo's father. With the mystery solved that is the end of the second arc.

The third arc is about a girl who's soul repeatedly jumps of a building in order to end her life. At the same time, a group of friends are catching up in a bar for the first time since graduation. One of the girls sees a reflection of a ghost in the mirror. Yakumo and Haruka visit the appartment complex in question and encounter another man who claims to be able to see ghosts, kagisama. The girl from the bar calls her friend and alarms Yakumo that something is about to happen. Yakumo and Gotou run into Kagisama at the hotel, and all three rush to the appartment to save the girl. By the time they get there, she is gone without a trace. Gotou discovers that the ghost of the girl is that a victem of a rape case from 5 years ago who killed herself, however, he was removed and the case given to others. after disappearence of the girl, one of the boys from the reunion is attacked. It is later discovered that the man attacked was convicted of assaulting the first girl who committed suicide, only with a different name and look (plastic surgery). Kagisama says that the ghost will keep attacking. It is later found out that a video of the incident from 5 years ago is on the internet, and that the cops involved in the case also 'coerced' (forced with brutality) the girl withdraw her claim. This leads Yakumo to believe that the man who was attacked by the ghost is actually innocent, which is later found to be correct. After some more clues are found, Yakumo reveals that the girls disappearence from the apartment was a set up, and she is actually found at Kagisama's place. It is revealed that Kagisama was the boyfriend of the girl who committed suicide 5 years earlier, and felt guilty since. The group discover that the bartender of the bar was the culprit of the rape incident 5 years ago, but he sets the bar on fire. He, along with Kagisama, who chooses to die in the fire, die, Kagisama and his girlfriend re-uniting in the afterlife.

Well, that's pretty much all for Shinrei Tantei Yakumo as only 1 chapter of the forth arc is released. I really like how this series focuses more on the mystery of the actual cases rather than the development of character relationships, it's quite refreshing. Although, I don't talk about it much, there does seem to be hints of a romantic relationship between Yakumo and Haruka, but even in the novels it is so far pretty ambiguous.

Anyways, next time I will talk about Kuragehime, I thought it was quite interesting, so look forward to that one, as well as Persopolis, a french animated film which was rather amazing. That's about it for now, until next time :) 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Cup Day

Happy 80th update! I actually can't believe that I have been keeping this up for so long, just a little more than six months since I started this blog, this is like a new record!

Yes, so in Melbourne we had the Melbourne Cup today. Unfortunately, I did not have the same luck as previous years (meaning I actually had to work) but thank god not during the main event, just afterwards. My first time cutting off drinkers tonight (usually they are awesome and don't drink that much) it was slightly scary because they argued as to why they were cut off (they were drunk, duh!). Also it kind of sucked because it meant I couldn't drink today. But hey, at holiday rates I made a lot just by showing up. Unfortunately my luck from the last 3 years eluded me, having to settle for second place in the sweeps, Damn!

Anyways, enough about horses, moving on. As previously mentioned I have read Nisekoi recently, which is by Komi Naoshi, the series is ongoing at 4 volumes and scanlations are up to date with Japanese releases. It is a shounen series, a bit different to what I am use to but it was good none the less. Nisekoi is about Raku and Chitoge, two children of gang bosses who are forced to fake date in order to bring peace and prevent their city being destroyed by gang wars. Of course, the two hate each other, Chitoge claiming she doesn't want to be associated with someone weaker than herself physically, and Raku because he intends to find the girl he made a promise with 10 years ago. However, he can't remember who she is or what she looked like. His only clue being a locked pendant, which can only be unlocked by a key.

Raku has a serious crush on Onodera, a friend of his since middle school. Over the series, he builds his friendship with Onodera, continues to fake date Chitoge and has to deal with a fiance chosen by his father. Turns out that Raku knew all three from his childhood but doesn't remember any of it anymore. Over the course of the series, Raku finds out that all three girls also have keys that could match the lock, but none of them have been tried.

Whilst fake dating, Raku and Chitoge encounter many problems, such as Claude, who is convinced they aren't really dating and tries to find evidence of this, Seishirou, Chitoge's childhood friend and bodyguard, who is also Claude's minion. It is an ongoing joke that Claude doesn't know that Seishirou is a girl (in fact he even chose a boys name for her, seeing as she was abandoned as a child), Miyamoto, Onodera's best friend who sets up opportunities for Onodera to steal Raku from Chitoge (although Onodera is too honest and has not succeeded yet) and Shu, who sets up opportunities for Raku with all the girls, leading him to be hated by the remaining male population.

At this point of the story, it is focusing on how Chitoge has developed romantic feelings for Raku. Although this has been building up for quite some time, it is only in the most recent chapter (49), that she admits this to herself.

Anyways, that's about it for now, next update will be just my usual ramblings and some more manga stuffs, don't know what yet, but we'll see when we get there. Until next time :)

Saturday, 3 November 2012

New Sexy Simpleton and stuffs

Yep, I have gone missing for a while there, mainly due to the fact that I have to watch a whole bunch of films that I don't really want to because they will be on my exams...Speaking of which, I lost my Western virginity yesterday, watching my first western film. There was a reason why I have not watched one until now, and after I watch this other one for my exams, I have no intention of watching anymore. It turned out to be a lot quieter weekend that I thought, two of my shifts being cancelled because it's a long weekend, so everyone has gone on holiday (except for me, I am stuck at home studying).

Anyways, moving on. As previoulsy mentioned I have read New Sexy Simpleton by Hwang Mi-Ri. It is completely scanlated with 9 volumes. Just a warning, there is incest as a subplot but that is only towards the end. There is also a prequal, The Sexy Simpleton, but it is not completely scanlated and you don't need to read it beforehand, the sequal has got you covered.

So the story starts off with Eun Bi, who is back in her own time with the Prince a year after the events of the Sexy Simpleton, and Prince is adjusting to life in the 21st century. Eun Bi is working as a currently popular model and actress with Prince using his 'warrior skills' to be a stunt man. The two of them, along with the production crew and other stars of the film are sent to Mongolia I think to film on location. In the meanwhile, Prince is being nice to a middle-aged actress because she has the body shape adored by men in the past (The Prince is from the 8th century and back then it is believed that volumptious women were preferred by men). 

After arriving on location, Prince comes across a pair of shoes that were traditionally used to bind feet, which was a common practice in China on women up until around 1910. The shoes carry the wrath of their owner and are strong enough to pull both Prince and Eun Bi back to the past. This time, they end up in the 13th century or there abouts. Immediately, they run into bandits, but quickly turn the situation around by robbing the bandits. Eun Bi and Prince are then seperated, before Eun Bi stumbles into soldiers who take her back to their leader who looks a lot like Prince, except with longer hair. 

Prince disguises himself and saves Eun Bi, but in the process Khubilai (the other guy who looks like prince) takes interest in Prince for his similar looks and strong fighting technique, because of this, Khubilai pursues the pair (he also cuts his hair, and now they look like twins). Before long, Eun Bi and Prince start looking for the owner of the evil shoes, but realize how hard it is because nearly all women of the era have bound feet. They soon encounter a strange man who seems knowledgable, I think his name was Yi Joo or something like that. Anyway, he helps the pair by meeting his sister who shows the pair of shoes and then another lady who also possesses a pair of shoes, but neither seem to be the pair that they are looking for. After searching some more, they find the owners of the last two pairs, one being dead, the other a princess being sold off/traded through marriage. The two decide to leave Yi Joo at his residence and follow this princess. However Yi Joo is stubborn, suggesting that both Eun Bi and Prince become his concubines (LOL).

When they finally escape, Prince realizes someone is following them, so he leaves Eun Bi on the horse and goes back to check out the situation. The person following the two was Khubilai, and he and prince then engage in a sword fight. Both manage to significantly injure each other, with Khubilai jumping off the roof in an attempted suicide to save himself from the shame. Prince however manages to get down from the roof but collapses in the street. The two are found by their opposing groups, Khubilai being taken by Yi-Joo's men and Prince taken by Khubilai's men, but neither group know that they have the wrong person because they both look similar. Eun Bi is also caught and is returned to Yi Joo. She is unable to tell that the unconcious injured man is not Prince, however Yi Joo suspects. Khubilai wakes up and can't remember anything, because when he jumped he landed head first, so he now has amnesia. Eun Bi starts telling him about her and  Prince, with Khubilai contemplating killing her, but chooses against it as he needs any hint of memories he can find. On the flipside, Prince is being attended to by Khubilai's men, and although one of his generals suspect something, Prince does not slip up give evidence of the swap. Prince plays along because Khubilai's group is responsible for ensuring the princess gets to he fiance's home safely.

Prince then orders his men to capture Eun Bi, claiming that she need to be punished. In the meanwhile, Khubilai still hasn't regained his memories and is wondering how he loved Eun Bi before the incident. Eun Bi is captured by Khubilai's men, and is shocked to see how 'Khubilai' looks like prince (yes she is an idiot). Although she tries to escape she is captured again, however she is used by Prince as a slave and lover. The princess who is about to be married also loves Khubilai, but she too does not know that Khubilai is actually Prince. Although he treats her like a slave, Prince uses the pretense of a concubine, then lady in waiting (lasy servant) for the princess to make sure she is treated kindly. This includes kissing Eun Bi in order to give her water and sleeping in his tent (just sleeping, nothing else, which makes later on so much funnier). When Eun Bi begins her duties as a lady in waiting, she believes the princess is autistic because she does not speak, but she is actually just deep in thought.

Eun Bi uses this opportunity to search for the shoes, but is caught by the princess. The princess feels that Eun Bi understands her desires to 'play around and get dirty' and such, and Eun Bi quickly becomes the princess's confidant. Meanwhile Khubilai (the real one) is searching frantically for Eun Bi because he too actually loves her. Eun Bi in the meantime is struggling with her feelings, as 'Khubilai' is so much like Prince (yes, she is that dumb, what happens later proves it) and reluctantly acts as matchmaker between the Princess and 'Khubilai'. Both bribe her to do their bidding, with the princess finally winning by offering Eun Bi the shoes. 'Khubilai' says he doesn't feel that way about the princess, but she requests to touch him, which in the end turned out to be a poke in the arm (ah, customs of a different era).

The princess is about to leave to finish her journey to her fiance's residence and wishes to take Eun Bi with her. (sidenote: this is like my favourite part just because of how stupid Eun Bi is). Just before leaving, 'Khubilai' (yes she still doesn't know it is prince) kisses her, but gives her a mouthful of water mixed with rotted fish (EWWWWWWWWWWWW!!) causing Eun Bi to be sick. 'Khubilai' claims that she is pregnant and that she should stay with him. Although nothing happened between them other than kissing, 'Khubilai' convinces Eun Bi that it is possible, with Eun Bi believing that their is some kind of pregnancy virus (*facepalm*). It is about at this time that the real Khubilai shows up. When he hears about this 'pregnancy' he intends to kill it, and this is when Eun Bi finally realizes that he isn't Prince...

At this point everyone figures out what is going on, the real Khubilai does regain some memories, and although Eun Bi and the real Prince escape back to Yi-Joo's because they figured that his sister gave them a fake pair the first time round and that she is the actual owner of the evil shoes. (There is also an arguement between Eun Bi and Prince which is rather funny, saying how dumb she can be for believing everything he said). Back at Yi-Joo's everyone is getting ready for his sister's wedding. Prince and Eun Bi find the shoes, but encounter troubles with Khubilai, and Yi-Joo elopes with his sister (although she is adopted, it would still be considered incest in that era) and they are never heard from again. 

Eun Bi is kidnapped by Khubilai and Prince manages to save her, coming up with a plan with Yi-Joo's men. Khubilai traps them with a fire, planning to kill them together, however, Prince and Eun Bi are able to go back to the present with the shows. Prince sends Eun Bi back by herself first before going back himself and the two get separated. Back in the 21st century, Eun Bi re-appears and begins walking back to the hotel. She curses Prince for choosing the past over her. Upon her return, Prince is already at the hotel and is wondering how he got there before her. The series ends with them having a 'play argument'.

Thoughts? Well, firstly, I thought that Eun Bi is really dumb. Even though it was obvious from their different clothes that Khubilai and Prince were swapped at the fight scene, she didn't believe Yi-Joo out of stubbornness. I thought this series is definition of 'idiot protagonist' (although I thought it was funny how Prince managed to convince her there is a pregnancy virus). I quite like how both this series and the prequal offer different interpretations of beauty. This one showing how in previous eras, women with bound, or lily feet were considered beautiful. Anyway, I quite enjoyed this one, it was quite a fun series overall. Despite what many others say, I was not disappointed by the ending, when I see the words 'Hwang Mi-Ri' I always believe it to be an open ending, so I got exactly what I expected.

Anyway, I don't know what's next on the agenda. Nisekoi perhaps, I can't really remember the last time I wrote anything on an ongoing series. We'll see. Anyways, that's about it for now, until next time :)