Sep 29, 2013

"Rex Fabula" Chapter 12

Help Needed -- We need a couple of experienced redraw artists to help complete this series.  There are five chapters left, and I would like to finish the series before the end of the year. If you are interested, please send an email to me Kuroneko003: crimsonflowerscans@gmail.com
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The plot thickens as we learn a little bit about who's motivating Minakata.  From now on, we move into the meat of the story and the conclusion.  There will be a lot of action and dialog in the last five chapters, so get ready for some fun!

And now onto the release!

Sep 26, 2013

S&M Oneshot: "Sakashima" by Amuji Nanakumo

And now for a change of pace.  This is an S & M oneshot but it's very tame. It's very psychological and the there is very little violence. There are a few more psychological oneshots planned for this fall. This is probably the least freaky one, so watch out for them.

Oh! I forgot! This was translated by Devlynne Sloth, the newest translator at Crimson Flower.  Let's all welcome Devlynne!

And now onto the release!

Sep 25, 2013

"Rex Fabula" Chapter 11

We're still trucking along slowly on this series.  Chapter 12 should be released on Friday or Saturday. In this chapter we see Homare unknowingly making friends.  Haha! Homare is so stubborn, but he's making some really good friends.

I'm not feeling very talkative tonight. I've got a pile to stuff waiting to be finished, and it's making me twitchy because I want to get done, so I can move on to the supernatural stuff.

And now onto the release!

Sep 24, 2013

Oneshot: "Fugitto Amor" by Shiina Dai

So... the recent oneshots and series from The Hana to Yume (Hakusensha) have been opening my eyes to what an age gap love story can be. They don't have to be about manipulation or older men chasing after teenagers or little girls, or the inverse.  Rather age gap stories can be pure and sweet and about deeper connections than sex.  This is a simple and amazing love story. What's more amazing is that something that was only 14 pages long brought me to tears and reminded me of all the wonderful things love can be.

I don't know if you'll be as affected as I was, but I hope your enjoy this short oneshot.

What I Read This Week: "Wolfsmund" Volume 1

Initial Impressions: This is upsetting me. There's no heart or morality in this manga. This is just a snuff manga. There's no need for me to read past the first chapter.

Breakdown --
Artwork: A -- It's nice and clean. The action, violence, and emotions are very well expressed. Obviously my disgust wouldn't be so palpable if the artwork wasn't so effective.

Presentation: A -- The cover is artwork is nice and give an accurate representation of what's inside. The translation reads smoothly.

Story:  No-rating -- I do not feel I can give a fair review of the story because this type of story offends me. For what it is, it's well written, but the utter objectivity bothers me.

Overall:  A for everything except the story. The artwork is "lovely" and the translation reads smoothly and natural.  I cannot rate the story fairly because it disgusts me. If you are a tenderhearted person like me who needs "heart" and meaning in a story, avoid this. If you like abject violence, meaningless death, and stories about psychopaths, then this is the snuff manga for you.

Sep 22, 2013

"Magnolia" Chapter 35

This chapter confuses me quite a bit, but I wonder if I'm the only who found it a bit inconsistent with past chapters in the stories.  This is the biggest problem I'm having:

And...
Soooo... without spoiling what comes ahead.  I'll just say, "WTF, Vincent?"  Anyhow, I'm very scared about the possibility this chapter opens, and hope it won't go down the typical shoujo route because it would negate too much of the previous story, the fundamental mechanic of the "Magnolia", and be untrue to the characters as laid out so far -- mainly it makes the King looks very uncool. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping the story will proceed logically.  I REALLY DO NOT LIKE story inconsistencies.

And now onto the release!

Sep 21, 2013

Welcome to Crimson Flower!

Update:  For those of you who subscribe to our RSS feed, the new URL is: http://feeds.feedburner.com/CrimsonFlower--

The Subscribe to RSS Links have also been updated! Please let me know if it's not working for you.
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I'm sorry for the abrupt change.  Omari's Sister has always been a joke between me and my brother.  The joke has run on for far too long and... apparently there's something going on with an Omari on some reality television show that's causing occasional namespace collisions.  Omari asked me to change the name, so in keeping with his wishes, we are now "Crimson Flower".  I was thinking "Crimson Lily" after Sakaya from "Ojousama no Untenshu" because I've always liked that image, but that sounds like a name for a yuri-manga group, so I generalized to "flower".  My husband hates the name, but I don't care because  Crimson Flowers are PRETTY!!!!!  Feel free to send banners to inaugurate the name change! (width: 1250-px)

Sep 20, 2013

"Kanojo ni Naru Hi" Chapter 5 (End) -- Includes Batch Files

Purchase: Amazon JP / Yes Asia
 
Yes! Another completed series!  Thank to everyone at Crimson Flower and our foreign language partners at La Noche, Shiro to Kuro, Sunflower, and Dimichan Scans for a great team effort to get this series done. I'm very proud of what we accomplished together on this series.  A special thanks to Peonine for helping sort out the difficult parts of the translation.  And a a huge thanks and lots of love to Akane Ogura for giving us such a lovely and thoughtful story. It takes a lot of talent to express so much in only one volume. I certainly enjoyed the emotional roller coaster :).

I have so many thoughts about this series -- the nature of "love" and desire, friendship, and abandonment. Was it a fluke of nature that Mamiya became a girl, or did he love Moyoshi all along and unconsciously wanted to become a female? I guess that's my biggest question. Also, is Miyoshi's love truly unconditional and is it the same love regardless of Mamiya's gender.  I really don't know, but it's fun to think about.  Anyhow, once I completely gather my thoughts, I'll write something as a separate blog post or in the comments.  In the meantime, those of you who need to pour your hearts out, please do. Let's discuss this :).

Also... there will be a sequel: "Kanojo ni Naru Hi -- Another". It will release in Japan on October 10th in Lala DX.  We will get that out ASAP. I'm not sure whether it's a oneshot or another series.

And now onto the release!

Sep 18, 2013

"Kanojo ni Naru Hi" Chapter 4

There's one more chapter to go!  I'll start typesetting it tomorrow, so if all goes well, it will be ready for release around this time Friday (my time) or Saturday morning. There's a nasty cliffhanger, so I won't keep you or the proofreaders waiting. 

This chapter addresses the move Mamiya made in chapter 3.  I'm sure the new information will paint a completely different picture of Mamiya and her bold move in chapter 3. I've decided to hold off on commenting until the end of series.  I like the comments that have been left so far, and it would seem mean of me reply, seeing as how I know how this all ends.

Onto the release!

What I Finished Reading This Week: "Utsubora"

Title: Utsubora -- The Story of a Novelist
Artist/Author: Asumino Nakamura
ISBN:  978-1935654766
Purchase: Amazon/ BN

My Initial Impressions: FAIL
Whut?

  
Whut, whut?!!!



Oh crap... another crappy Vertical translation. For $15, I expect some editing. If I wanted to read crap like this, I'd read a free scanlation. What's bad is that the first error I pointed out is CRUCIAL to story. Anyhow, busted English is scattered throughout this comic. My suspicion is that the translator is a non-native English speaker who refused to use an editor. To hell with your pride, translator. This is a business, and if you want to be taken seriously and sell books, use an editor to check and correct your English.

Removing the palm from my face... oh crap, not another Vertical josei with ugly artwork. What gives with choosing UGLY josei?  Okay, putting aside the craptacular artwork, this is an interesting read until the WTF ending, which I suspect I didn't understand because of craptastic translation. Anyhow, I think got the general point of the story, and I enjoyed it. I'll look for the Japanese original at the BookOff so I can read this without the messed up translation. Perhaps I'll be able to figure out the end in Japanese.

Breakdown --
Artwork: C -- It's ugly, but functional. I can tell the characters apart, I can read their expressions, and I can figure out what's being drawn. This is purely my preference, because as you all know, I like "Teh Pretteh".

Presentation: D -- The book is big, so it's easy to read, and the paperback makes it a tome that can be managed while relaxing or while at the gym.  However the botched translation/adaptation fatally wounds the presentation.

Story: A -- It's an interesting mystery that hooked me at the first page.  The pacing is good and I had a hard time putting this down.  I want to read this in Japanese so I can understand the story more. I think I understand what the story was supposed to be, but I want to be sure.

Overall: B+ ... BUT if you can read Japanese, read the original Japanese instead. To everyone else, please consider whether you want to support crappy translations. It's a really good story and I don't want to harm Ms. Nakamura, but I'm torn about paying good money for a poor quality product.

Sep 16, 2013

"Kanojo ni Naru Hi" Chapter 3

First a bit Crimson Flowers business:
Volunteers Needed
  • Experienced Typesetter for Pochamani, commitment 1 chapter/month
  • Typesetters needed for short-series and oneshots.  Projects will be assigned according your ability. Commitment 30 - 60-pages/month
Contact Kuroneko003 (crimsonflowerscans@gmail.com) to apply.
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Two more chapters to go after this. This chapter is rather risky, and took me aback. I didn't post any previews on Tumblr for this chapter because I didn't want to spoil it.  I will give my opinions about this chapter in the comments after 2 or 3 days to give folks time to read it and think about it for themselves. Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Onto the release!

Sep 11, 2013

"Kanojo ni Naru Hi" Chapter 2


All right! Let's get started on the rest of "Kanojo ni Naru Hi"! I don't want to say much about this chapter because it's all the best shoujo stuff we love and it's better to just experience how Ogura puts the elements together.

We need blog banners for this series.  Artwork from the cover of the compilation have been included in this release. Some nice banners from our readers would be greatly appreciated. The width must be 1250-px and the height can be between 200 - 350-px. A PSD with the a separate text lay is preferred, but JPEG and PNG are fine too.

And now onto the release!

Sep 10, 2013

"Lip Smoke" Chapter 2

"Lip Smoke" is more than just a oneshot! It's currently being serialized in The Hana to Yume, which is a quarterly publication (once every 3 months).  The next The Hana to Yume is coming out on October 26th. This series is a pain to clean, so it'll be release about a month after we get the raw.  Please don't send e-mails, comments, or Tweets about where the next chapter is, because we have nothing to do with the Japanese quarterly release schedule.

This chapter continues shortly after the first oneshot. For me, this chapter raised questions about Iwato's relationship with her father. I'm now curious about that and I hope it's explored in following chapters. I guess the psychology is that women who were neglected by their fathers, may seek a father figure in a boyfriend.

Seta is interesting because "father" is the natural the role he assumes. I didn't really expect this since he's an erotic fiction writer. But it seems that he has a clear idea of what is and isn't appropriate and used the "father" role to impose a wall between himself and Iwato..  But by the end of this chapter, I started to suspect editor-san is trying to help Seta get over something.  So what happened in Seta's past.  Why does he only write instead of experiencing relationships directly without having to pay a woman for a service?

I've probably already said too much and I'm sorry to people who don't like that.  Anyhow, on to the release!

Sep 9, 2013

What I Read Last Week: "The Heart Thomas" by Moto Hagio

Title: The Heart of Thomas
Artist: Moto Hagio
ISBN:  978-1606995518
Links to Purchase: Amazon / BN

My Initial Thoughts:

Although the hardcover presentation is gorgeous, the book is so big that I couldn't be read in a relaxing position, so I mostly read this on the "throne". The two tone color pages are kinda awkward... but meh, okay.  As for the story itself, this is another series that took me a long time to get into. I didn't get hooked until I was about a quarter of the way into it.  Before then, it was a struggle to stay awake while reading this. There's a lot frivolous chatter and every child character is beyond prissy. After getting beyond the initial chatter, the individual story arcs of the main characters are interesting.

I innately backlash against the idea of romanticizing suicide. No matter how "beautiful" and Christ-like Hagio-sensei tries to make Thomas' suicide appear, I see nothing but adolescent foolishness and ultimately selfishness on Thomas' part. In that sense, I disliked Thomas and felt that he was the villain running through the whole narrative. That was the only way I was able to square the story in my mind.

The drawing style is from the 1970s. I don't like the character designs, but the background artwork is very pretty.

The boy's love aspect... meh... I didn't think EVERY character had to be so overly prissy. And at that, I didn't get romantic love off of this, despite what I felt were forced kisses to force "the romance".  This very much felt like a story about deep friendship amongst some deeply wounded young men.  Yeah, the kissing makes it "revolutionary", but ultimately the BL aspects add nothing to the story. In fact, I found myself laughing, because the kisses came out of nowhere for shock value and titillation.  Anyhow, I liked the examination of these bonds amongst the characters and the character studies themselves.

Breakdown --
Artwork: A -- The character designs are typical 1970's shoujo.  I don't like this style of character design, but separating my preferences from the quality of execution, this is a lovely comic.

Presentation: B+ -- I love the hardcover, the cover art, and the archival construction.  This book looks gorgeous on my bookshelf, but it's a TOME that's too heavy to read while relaxing. I think to help that, it would have been nice to have it broken into two volumes.

Story: B+ -- The friendships are lovely, and the main characters and their story arcs are interesting and well written. The boy's love aspect feels forced for the sake of shock value, and ultimately felt throw away to me.  The first 120-pages were boring. I was using this book as a sleep-aid for about a month before I pushed my way on to the interesting stuff. Once I got to the interesting stuff, I finished within a week.

Overall: B+ It's an interesting story after the first 120-pages.  Don't let the promise of BL scare you away from this title. There are only 4 or 5 pointless kisses. Disregarding the kisses, it felt to me more like a story about deep friendships than romantic entanglements. Go buy this while you can in this lovely hardcover presentation.

Sep 6, 2013

"Pochamani" Chapter 8

Updated 9/6/2013 -- Three missing pieces of text and SFX added, but nothing that impacts the story.
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Moving along with "Pochamani", we finally get to meet Tsumugi's family. Tsumugi's family is fun and very realistic. Their dinner conversation reminded of how the conversations around my family's dinner table degrade to TMI territory.  I was laughing hysterically as I was translating, because I couldn't believe what was being said! This is a nice rest before the next story arch begins.  Personally, the next story arc makes me want to put my fist through my monitor to punch a certain new character.

We need a typesetter for this series, so if you are interested, please contact me (Kuroneko003) at: crimsonflowerscans@gmail.com.  This is a monthly commitment.

And now onto the release!

Sep 5, 2013

"many" Chapter 3 (End)

Here's the last chapter of "many" and it's a beach chapter!  Thanks again to Peonine for translating and Suzume for cleaning this project. This was a really cute short series.  I will say more "below the fold".

On to the release!

Sep 2, 2013

August 2013 Statistics, September 2013 Plans, and General Announcements (Attack on Titan Shoujo Spinoff)

August went surprisingly well. Despite me taking a somewhat spontaneous vacation at the beginning of the month, we managed complete 8 releases.  Hooray!  Here's a glimpse of August's Statistics:

Top 10 Visiting Countries (some new ones in August!)
  1. USA (CA, NY, TX, MA, MI -- Greetings Michigan!)
  2. Canada
  3. France
  4. Australia
  5. Malaysia
  6. Germany
  7. Philippines
  8. Indonesia
  9. Vietnam -- Hello, new friends!
  10. Russia -- Greetings, Russians!
Top 5 Releases
  1. Magical Change Chp 1
  2. Kanojo ni Naru Hi Chp 1 (y'all really love this series!)
  3. Nanatsu no Kururi Chp 1
  4. A Blue Pair of Wings Chp 1
  5. Oneshot: Kutsunashihime
Top 5 Referral Sites
  1. Manga Updates
  2. Omari's Sister on Blog Spot
  3. RSS Feed
  4. TGMangas
  5. Tumblr
Note:  Twitter does not generate referrals, and much to my dismay, it never has. I tweet a lot about the group's progress on Twitter, but I guess that is not where the readers are. It seems like Tumblr is effective, so I will prioritize that over Twitter.

September Plans

I'm personally making a push to complete "Kanajo ni Naru Hi".

Sep 1, 2013

What I Read Last Week -- August 25th - August 31st

"Helter Skelter" by Kyoko Okazaki
General Impression:  I was hesitant to purchase this title because I don't like fashion/actor/idol manga. And given the cover, I didn't feel like reading anything about a character with body dysmorphia. Yeah, yeah beauty is skin deep. I already know this.  And the series started off exactly as I expected: the main character Liliko is a crazy bitch who transformed her ugly self into a beauty through excessive plastic surgery and now her body is falling apart.  So... that was the first 3 chapters... I also most stopped there because I was bored and the frenetic drawing style was grating on my nerves. But, I pushed on.

Beginning around chapter 4 things got interesting as a prosecutor starts looking into a series of suicides linked to the same plastic surgery clinic Liliko frequents. This part of the story more than made up for the crappy beginning and I was finally hooked. During all of this, a bunch of weird sexual stuff happened that I didn't understand. None of this made a difference in the story to me, and therefore could have been and probably should have been dropped.  Because the art is shit, I had a hard time telling one black-haired character from another and I didn't know until the end that Liliko's manager was female. There is sex in this manga, but it's in no way titillating or pleasant. Honestly, most of the time, I didn't know what the hell what happening and I assumed it was some kind of weird torture (???) and then moved on.

To sum things up, I ended up liking "Helter Skelter" taken as a whole, but the beginning is craptastic and preachy and there's a lot of fairytale BS sprinkled in the narrative that seem very forced.

Breakdown:
Art: F -- it's ugly and frenetic and some characters can't be distinguished from others because it's so crappy. There were facial expression I couldn't read and I was so annoyed that I almost couldn't get through the series.

Story: C (first three chapters -- D:  totally unoriginal and annoying. Chp 4+ -- B -- the suicide investigation was interesting, the rest was throw-away) Basically, this is a possible narrative for  every starlet who burns out spectacularly and end up dead before the age of 40.

Overall:  I recommend reading this for the strong mystery story that unfolds after chapter 3, but if possible, don't pay full price. (Yay, for josei, but how about something that doesn't try so hard to be deep?)


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"The Betrayal Knowns my Name" Omnibus 1 by Hotaru Odagiri
General Impression:  Yuki is adorable and Zess is HAWT!  I didn't expect to like this series this much.  I figured it'd be the usual supernatural save the world from evil story with BL undertones. But the main relationship is a love that transcends times and gender, and is very much like the main relationship in "Kyou Kara Maoh". I'm a sucker for this kind of relationship, so I'm onboard with Yuki x Zess. Of course, Yuki is needed to save the world, and that's meh; but surrounding that are a bunch of interesting side characters who make up Yuki's "family" and short connected story arcs that present sub-villains whose mysteries must be unraveled before they can be defeated.  It's the typical formula for a neverending supernatural shoujo. This of course worries me, because I hate neverending stories. I imaginee at some point the story will jump the shark and I'll give up on this series, but for now I'm enjoying it.

Breakdown:
Art: A -- it's gorgeous flowery shoujo. Everyone is handsome and beautiful and the backgrounds are detailed. The action was easy to follow and I wasn't so distracted by the beauty of the artwork that I couldn't actually read the dialog.  The story and art meshed well together.

Story: B+ -- It a typical supernatural shoujo, but the characters are enjoyable and the narrative is well told. It's easy on the mind and on the eyes. I do hope that there is some kind of twist coming to distinguish this series from other supernatural shoujo series so I don't get bored.

Overall:  I recommend this first volume for the beautiful artwork and well told, but predictable story. Give Yen Press all of your money so we can have more manga like this.