Upcoming 8/11/2010

Looking at this week’s ComicList, I’m reminded that Viz publishes some of the best manga for grownups through its Signature line. I’m also forced to ask why they feel the need to release so much of it at once. I obviously don’t have to buy it all at once, but still…

If you enjoyed Natsume Ono’s Ristorante Paradiso (and I did), you should pick up Ono’s Gente, which explores the lives and loves of the bespectacled gentlemen who staff the Casetta dell’Orso.

Naoki Urasawa received roughly a dozen Eisner Award nominations this year and didn’t win a one of them. This shouldn’t stop you from enjoying his comics, particularly 20th Century Boys, which is my favorite of his comics to be licensed to date. The tenth volume arrives Wednesday.

I’ve been looking for an excuse to link to Deb (About.Com) Aoki’s highlights from the “Best and Worst Manga” panel from Comic-Con International, and this is the moment. I do this because I agree with both Christopher Butcher and Shaenon Garrity’s assessments of Fumi Yoshinaga’s Ôoku: The Inner Chambers:

Christopher Butcher: “I love Fumi Yoshinaga. I’ve been waiting for this to come out for a long time and I’m sorry, I didn’t like the translation at all. I’m sorry. I can’t deal with this manga the way it’s written. Everyone speaks like friggin’ Thor. It’s terrible. The story is amazing. I fought my way through the first volume, the second volume was just too much for me with all the “thee’s” and “thou’s””

Shaenon Garrity: “Don’t listen to him. Ignore him. Ooku is awesome.”

Unlike Butcher, I’ve managed to look past the Fakespeare for the brilliant concept and intense emotional connections, but it’s a constant struggle. Maybe it’s as clumsy in the original Japanese? I have no idea, but I’m sticking with it. The fourth volume arrives Wednesday.

12 Responses to Upcoming 8/11/2010

  1. DerikB says:

    I only read the first volume of Ooku and was rather disappointed with it. Does it get better? Is it one of those series that starts out a little rough but then picks up?

    • davidpwelsh says:

      I think it definitely builds emotional momentum as it moves along. There are some really shattering moments even in the second volume. The script never really improves, but I found myself getting better at ignoring its clumsy excesses.

  2. John Jakala says:

    For whatever reason, the mannered speech in Ooku doesn’t bother me. In fact, I’ve grown to enjoy it. For me, it’s part of the series’ charm.

    And, man, I am digging 20th Century Boys. Easily the best thing of Urasawa’s released so far. I’ve come to view this as my LOST replacement; I’m just hoping it doesn’t fizzle out at the end like LOST did.

    • davidpwelsh says:

      It’s funny that you should mention that “off the rails” anxiety about 20th Century Boys, since I share it. It’s a long series, so there will be plenty of opportunities for it to go ass over teakettle at some point. But I feel possibly unfounded confidence that it won’t. That’s how big a crush I have on it.

  3. Danielle Leigh says:

    And if I had the cash I’d pick up all those at once plus the second volume of Dorohedoro (I was surprised how much I liked the first volume).

    But Ooku/Yoshinaga comes first for me. Always. (I have the first volume in Japanese but I’m far from the point where I can read it and find out how it “flows.” Maybe one of these days…)

    So we shall see how strong I am once I get to the shop tomorrow (I’m a few volumes behind on 20th Century Boys so that likely won’t pose such a temptation).

    • davidpwelsh says:

      Yeah, I’m very much on the Yoshinaga Above All parade float, though I will certainly have to make room for Ono as well, since I view her as Yoshinaga’s slightly less talented but still awesome little sister.

  4. Kris says:

    Ooku vol 4 has some awesome stuff in it. The shogun chick starts making all the rules for the Inner Chamber, so you see where all those harsh laws that are in the first volume came from. Man, she is ruthless. I only flipped through the copy I have here (haven’t sat down and read it through yet), but it looks like another fantastic volume. I love Viz so much for bringing this over, clunky dialog and all.

  5. Rij says:

    I love Ooku, the language in it doesn’t bother me at all. Might be because English is not my first language and I couldn’t tell the difference between Shake and Fake peares. It takes a bit more effort to read then the average manga script but the average manga script doesn’t really take any effort at all, so I can’t really call it difficult.

    I think I read somewhere that the original Ooku uses quite antiquated Japanese. But just how clumsy it might be, I have no idea.

  6. […] 4. I adore this alternate history series about an historical Japan where most of the men have died. Others have complained about the faux-Shakespearean take on the translation, but I love the flavor. For me, it adds to the […]

  7. Jenny M. says:

    I’m pretty much in the same boat as you with regards to the Ooku translation (though like Chris Butcher I recently made the same comparison to Thor comics when explaining my problems with the translation choice to a friend). I’m enjoying the series a lot in spite of it and buy new volumes when they becomes available, but I don’t think I can recommend it to people who haven’t already read some of Yoshinaga’s other work. Something like Antique Bakery or Flower of Life is a much more accessible introduction to her manga.

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  9. Oliver says:

    I’ve read Gerard & Jacques, Ichigenme, and Flower of Life and FoL takes the trophy. I have to say her BL is irksome with some ugly moments. Both “Gerard…” and “Ichigenme” had these manipulative older men (either main or supporting) which was a turnoff. However, Ichigenme gets major points for being profusely academic about law school. Haven’t read Ooku yet.

    I admit she has a different storytelling style, but I’m not as impressed with her as others are. I love her massively long speech bubbles that don’t make waste of their space like other authors.

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