Monday, Monday

September 18, 2006

This week’s Flipped will be delayed slightly. Given the recent debut of the Bleach anime on Cartoon Network, I thought it might be time to actually, you know, read the manga. And since John Jakala has been recommending it to me for ages, I asked him for back-up. So basically you’ve got two people rattling on about a given book as opposed to the usual one. I’ll post a link when it goes up.

Update: Here it is.

It was a lot of fun, and I’d like to do more of these. I’d particularly like to find someone who really disagrees with me about a given series and do a similar back-and-forth.

In other Jakala-related developments, John sent me the first three volumes of Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad (Tokyopop), and I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I would. I think I had been expecting something louder and coarser, but it’s really a very easygoing book.

There’s some aggressive quirkiness at work, but it doesn’t overwhelm the general good nature that the book exudes. It isn’t headed in any particularly obvious direction, and it’s taking its time about going anywhere. The characters are almost all interesting and likable, and the dynamics among them are engaging.

I’m not entirely sold on Harold Sakuishi’s artwork. It can seem a little lazy at times, though there are lots of sequences that are rich in detail and clever composition. Some sequences look rushed, though. The look of the book doesn’t entirely cohere for me.

But it’s a pleasant, sometimes surprising read. If anything, it’s a really nice companion piece for Del Rey’s Nodame Cantabile, though with a contemporary soundtrack instead of a classical one.