Monday, Monday

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.

4 Responses to Monday, Monday

  1. John Jakala says:

    Interesting comments about the art in Beck. Actually, the art was one of the things I liked best about the book. Sakuishi’s character designs strike a nice balance between realistic and cartoonish, especially in some of the more exaggerated expressions of main character Yukio. (My only complaint about the artwork was sometimes I found it difficult to distinguish his female characters.)

    It’s an easy-going, relaxed book. Not anything that I feel compelled to stick with, but I’d probably still read it if my local library ends up getting later volumes.

    And thanks for asking me to do the piece on Bleach with you. I had a lot of fun doing it as well, and it finally forced my to get out my thoughts about the book that I’d been putting off for months! And I agree that it would be interesting to see you discuss a manga with someone who disagrees with you. Hmmm… I wonder what Pat O’Neill is up to?

  2. Jarred says:

    Yay! You enjoyed BECK!

    Like John, I like Sakuishi’s artwork as well. His detail in the guitars is so sexy! ^_^ Not to mention I love how he captures the rock club sequences.

    I also get a kick out of all his little inside jokes he puts into the backgrounds, like copying liknesses of athletes, pro wrestlers, or actual musicians.

    BECK looks to take off around vol. #5. I just read it for AoD and thought it was the best volume yet. The pace picks up and happenings for the band actually begin to get some traction.

  3. David Welsh says:

    I thought the backgrounds and crowd scenes were definitely the strongest visual elements. Sometimes the anatomy would get a little wonky to my eye, mostly in the realistic moments. It wasn’t anything drastic, but it did distract me from time to time.

    And I hope the book doesn’t get too much traction! I like the driftiness of it.

  4. Jarred says:

    It’s still driftless, but there’s more momentum with Koyuki “finding his voice”, which I think is the driving force of the title–finding his purpose, confidence, girls, and growing up.

    The driftlessness is another thing Sakuishi does well. All the musicians that I have known or been friends with have all had that attitude. 😀

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