Dec 31, 2009

Amazon Experiment

As some of you may have noticed, I'm experimenting with Amazon.  In addition to selling my used manga, I have opened an "Associates" store to make it easy for you to purchase some of the manga series I translate, review, and recommend.  The idea here is to create a "win-win-win" situation in which you all, if you can, support the artists and publisher by purchasing the manga when it becomes available, I can get a little money from referring the sale to Amazon, and you all can have easier access to purchase the manga.  Yeah, yeah, yeah ... I can't keep doing this for free and I know the manga artists can keep providing us with wonderful stories to read for free ... so let's give this a try and see how it goes!

Here's a link to the store.  And a permanent link is located in the right side bar menu under the name "Omari's Sister Recommends."  I will be updating the store as the manga I translate and read come out.  Currently, "Ouran High School Host Club" Volume 1 - 13, "Wild Ones" (Arakure) Volumes 1 - 8, and "The Palette of 12 Secret Colors" Volumes 1 - 6 are listed there.  There is also a running list of my recent purchases.

Please leave comments.  Tell me if you like this idea or if you hate it.  Also, give me more suggestions on what I can do to improve on this idea.

Akagami no Shirayukihime Chp 15

Happy New Year to everyone out there!  I hope you are all having a wonderful day where ever in the world you are!

Here's "Akagami no Shirayukihime" Chp 15.  This is the first chapter in a two-part flashback.  I will start chapter 16 ASAP because it's looks like a powerful chapter.  There are a total of 17 chapters plus an omake out so I'll get those out of the way with to catch everybody up to real time.  After that, there will be a 2-month period between chapter releases coinciding with their release in Lala DX.  It's on the same release schedule as ZHD.  Yeah, it's a bummer, but none of us have any power over it.  Anyhow here's the link:

Link to "Akagami no Shirayukihime" Chp 15 (Update 1/2/2010: updates from Kuma-chan)

And here's a link to Sapphire Pyro's Chp 15 analysis and appreciation :).

Dec 30, 2009

Many Books Still Left!

Many thanks to those of you who have purchased books from me!  It's much appreciated :).  I can see my floor and I've recovered one whole shelf!  I still have many books left!  Please buy them.  Here's a sample of what's still available:

  • Special A (S. A.)
  • Monkey High (Saru Yama) Vol 3 - 6
  • Kekkaishi
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle
  • Yurara
  • Kagetora
  • Fushigi Yuugi
  • Missile Happy 
  • and more ...
Here's a link to my Amazon store and as always, mention my blog and I'll refund the extra shipping you paid on orders of multiple items.  If you can wait 7 - 10, I can send your order via media mail and refund most of your shipping cost for orders containing multiple items (Example:  3 books via media mail actually cost ~$3 in postage for $2 for the packaging, so I will refund you ~$7!!!).

Dec 28, 2009

Passing on "I Can't Be a Bride"

I started translating Kiyo Fujiwara's latest manga series, "I Can't be a Bride."  Here's the synopsis from Betsuhana:

"Odagiri Madoka is a hard working career woman who is very bad at housework.  Consequently, she requests some assistance from a house cleaning service.  The service dispatches Hirose Yuuki, a high school student with cooking skills.  He also cleans perfectly ...!  However, on the other hand, he's arrogant...?

I didn't get very far in the translation before deciding that it was a boring "Kimi wa Petto" variation.  A handsome guy name "Kuga" is the other competing male.  He's nice and calm (or so it seems).  His face is drawn with a touch of evil.

I have read "Kimi wa Petto" several times and it's quite good, so I can't find it within myself to sully the memory with an imitator.  More than anything, though, the pages I read of this manga are so slowwwww, augh!  It's very unlike the fast pace of "Arakure."  It felt like a chore to get as far as I did.

I'm sorry to all those looking forward to this, but getting through this first chapter will make me hate Japanese.

Dec 26, 2009

Manga Review: Monkey High! (Saru Yama) by Shouko Akira

I finished the last volume of "Monkey High" a few weeks ago.  I wish I had written a review sooner, because I've forgotten most of the details.  Anyhow "Monkey High" by Shouko Akira follows the high school relationship between Haruna, the daughter of a fallen politician, and Macharu, the happy-go-lucky son of a vegetable store owner.  Haruna, in a word, is "priviledged" and suffers culture shock when, after her father's fall from grace, she has to go to a public school.  She compares the culture there to a "monkey mountain" in which the different factions contest each other to sit on top.  Within this society, she meets Macharu who seems to her, in actions and physical appearance, to resemble a baby monkey.  He is the polar opposite of the too-young-to-be-jaded Haruna, and, it turns out to be just what Haruna needs.  Mixed into the story is Macharu's "frienemy," Atsushi, who can't deal with the fact that Haruna picked Macharu over him. 

The story never has any highs and lows and seems to be as low-key as both of the main characters.  I did enjoy how Macharu subtly reminds Haruna that she's still a kid and I, also, enjoyed watching Macharu slowly progress to manhood.  Haruna, also, has a nice intelligent pluck about her.  She's practical and she deals with issues head on.  What I didn't enjoy was the character "Atsushi."  He's a real prick and I didn't think his attempts at interfering with the happy couple added anything to the story. (I was really hoping that Macharu would kick Atsushi's a$$ in a fist fight to put him into place -- but, alas, Macharu is a baby monkey and both he and Haruna handle the matter in a civilized fashion.)

A word of caution to younger readers and parents, Macharu and Haruna do "consummate" their relationship and it is illustrated.  I think the chapter is well done and is a great "teachable" moment.  However, if you, as a parent, don't think this is appropriate for your child, then you may want to consider another manga series for your child.  Here are some suggestions for younger readers:

"Beauty Pop"
"Sugar Sugar Rune"

Rating 3/5 -- It's is too low-key (almost to the point of being forgettable) to be really compelling and the Atsushi character really rubs me wrong.  However, Haruna and Macharu are likeable characters and observing their romance bloom is quite nice.

Ouran Chp 78 Previews

There's not much said and in comparison to the page they are listed on, these previews are the size of postage stamps.  But anyway, here you go:


Some Thoughts on the Lastest Developments in Ouran 77

Don't get me wrong, I like "Ouran High School Host Club" very much, but I think the dramatic turn it has taken lately is throwing a lot of people for a loop.  I, myself, feel a little duped because it started out a classic screw-ball comedy that I liked for story's and the character's irreverence.  Now, I feel like I'm being forced to ride an emotional roller coaster.

For me the change in Ouran occured when the twins got serious about Haruhi and then went about establishing separate identities for themselves.  Sure it was heartwarming, but, at the same time, it was very dramatic and not very funny.  For a while I tuned out from Ouran because it was missing too much humor.  Eventually, I came back once the twin drama had been resolved and I could read the whole story arc in one setting.  Then I really got back into it once Tamaki and Haruhi started to get a clue about how they felt about each other, only to have that story arc swatted down by Tamaki's issue with his grandmother and now in chapter 77, an additional issue with his father with some corporate intrigue tacked on.  This was supposed to be a screw ball romance about a happy-go-lucky rich buffoon and smart  =_=  poor girl in the setting of a ridiculous host club!  I feel like I'm reading two stories.  Mind you the two stories are great, but it's two stories, nonetheless.

I think the thing that is most frustrating to me with the latest chapter is the demands the author is making upon the readers.  My understanding is most readers of this manga genre are in their teens, yet the author expects these readers to understand a bunch of medical jargon and have working knowledge of corporate power structures.  Honestly, how many readers out there really understand how it is that Shizue can be ousted by Yuzuru?  Well, here's a short explainer (as far as I understand it from working at a company where one of the CEO/Presidents was famously ousted recently):

1.  The Executive Staff (President, CEO, COO, CFO...etc...) works for the company's Board of Directors
2.  A company's board of Directors works on behalf of the shareholders.  The Board of Directors are, in fact, elected by the shareholders in a democratic process.
3.  The President, CEO, CFO, and on-and-on can be fired if a majority of the Board of Directors agrees the person should  go.
4. A company's Board of Directors can be changed by the will of the shareholders.  The will of the shareholders can be changed forcefully if some entity buys up enough shares in the company to vote in their own board members (I suspect that something like this will happen as it did in the anime).
5. The Chairman of the Board (that is Yuzuru's title), leads the Board of Directors. He or she sets the Board's meeting agenda and acts as the Board's host.

Anyhow ... I would not expect that to be common knowledge amongst teen readers and some international readers who are not exposed to corporations.  The same thing goes with the how the drug research ties into the corporate stuff.  Besides keeping it from Shizue, there are other reasons drug companies are mum about what they are up to and it mainly has to do with "intellectual property."  But why should I even have to get into any of that to explain what's going on in Ouran?  And why should Yuzuru's resentment towards his mother, Shizue, be explained in a corporate coup?

Anyhow, I feel with the latest technical complications and a loss of focus on the romance between Haruhi and Tamaki, Ouran will lose most of it's target audience.  It all feels like pretentious flowery dressing to me that neglects the heart of matters -- how Tamaki's screwed up family is keeping him away from Haruhi.  Now, if this were aimed at adults, I would feel differently about matters, but seeing as how the main characters are kids, there really is nothing they can do about the corporate stuff except watch a bunch of adults thwop each other over the head via various corporate power plays.

What are your thoughts?

Dec 25, 2009

Ouran Chp 77 Translation

Merry Christmas!  I managed to eek it out by Christmas. You can thank my husband for this.  He shamed me into doing the translation.  So I accepted the challenge and the medical terms were not as bad as I thought they would be.  Also, the chapter isn't a dreary as I thought it would be.  In fact it's a great chapter and by the end of it, I felt like I was seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

Link to Ouran 77 (Retired) (Version 1.0 -- 3 Cheers for Kumachan!!!  Hopefully, through her work, most of the errors have been cleaned up.  I'm kinda cheesed someone uploaded this to Mangafox without my permission before I had a chance to clean up the errors. Oh well...whatever...)

Update 01/16/2010: Version 1.2 -- It seems the spelling of Tamaki's French last name has been settled.  The file has been updated to reflect the latest agreed upon spelling.

Please DO NOT upload this to ANY manga aggregator websites.  However, feel free share the link to this blog entry.

And as always, support the author by purchasing the manga when it becomes available in your country.  "Ouran High School Host Club" volume 1 - 13 in English are available from Viz.  Link to purchase from Amazon.

Up next:  The pilot one shot for Kiyo Fujiwara's "I Can't be a Bride"


Dec 22, 2009

Akagami no Shirayukihime Chp 14 Translation

One of my proofreaders requested this one.  I guess the cliffhanger from chp 13 was unbearable :).  Anyhow, here it is:

Link to Akagami Shirayukihime Chp 14 
Update 12/27/2009:  Version 1 -- Edits from Sapphire Pyro have been added. Hopefully, the file is now the latest :)

Also, here's a link to some wonderful fan appreciation from Sapphire Pyro.  Sorata-sensei is so fortunate to have such a loving fan.  Link

I'm not formally taking on this series.  Rather, this was a special request.  However, if the request is made again, I don't mind translating this series when I have time.  It's quite a pleasant series.  It is currently at chp 18 and like ZHD, it is released once every two months.

As for Ouran 77 -- well, I did start looking at it more closely out of curiosity and because my husband gave me a kick in the pants and told me not to run away from the challenge.  It's not as bad as I thought it was ... As of now, though, I don't have time to do a scanlation before Christmas because  I've got lots of cooking and cleaning to do.  If I do release a scanlation, it will be shortly after Christmas.  It's not as gloomy and drama filled as I thought it would be and there are some funny moments.  More than anything, though, some major loose ends get tied up and Tamaki ends up with a new problem to deal with.

Anyhow, if you are curious, it sounds like Tamaki's mother has Lupus.  It's generally not fatal, but it's no fun :(.  Here's a link to some info.

Lupus Info  Link 

Happy Holidays!

Dec 18, 2009

New LIstings At Manga4Sale

  • Nodame Cantabile vol. 1 and 2 in English -- 3 - 14 SOLD!
  • Nodame Cantabile vol. 9 - 16 in Japanese
  • Monkey High! vol. 3 - 6  in English -- 1,2, 7 and 8 SOLD!
  • Tsukuyomi Moon Phase vol 1 - 12 in English (16+ buyers only, please)
  • Captive Hearts Vol. 5  SOLD!
  • Rosario + Vampire Vol. 1  SOLD!

Link to Omarissister's Amazon Store

    Dec 15, 2009

    Help me Clean my Room! Buy My Lightly Used Manga

    Help!  I'm drowning in manga!  Help me clean my manga room by purchasing my "lightly" used manga.

    Link to Omarissister's Amazon Store

    I've been using Amazon for 3-yrs to sell my used manga, books, and video games.  Take a look and see if there's anything you want.  If you buy multiple items, contact me and I'll refund difference in the shipping cost between what Amazon charges and what it actually costs.  For multiple items, that difference is significant.  I can ship manga and books internationally, but I can only sell the video games within the US.  Thanks for your help, in advance.

    Dec 14, 2009

    Hana to Yume 2010 Calendar Wallpaper

    I've turned the 2010 Calendar that came in the January 5th 2010 issue of Hana to Yuma magazine into lovely 1600x1200 pixel wallpaper for your laptop or PC desktop.

    The calendar itself self is actually a good sized wall calender, so if you want one for yourself, go spend the $4 - $6 to get a copy of the first issue of the 2010 Hana to Yume magazine at your local Japanese bookstore.  For those of you in the US that aren't near a Japanese bookstore, try Akadot.  They should have the magazine in stock in a week or two and it'll run you about $14 after shipping (I recommend USPS Priority Mail -- it'll get it to you in 2-business days for a nice price) and sales tax.

    Zettai Heiwa Daisakusen Chp 14 Translation

    Here's "Zettai Heiwa Daisakusen" chp 14.  I like this chapter a lot because it has a good mix of humor, romance, and action.  The ending, though, is ominous.  Anyhow, I think in this chapter, Johanne's brother, Joshua, forgot that Johanne is a "butcher" and believes in "enhanced interrogation techniques."  Haha...silly Joshua.  So much for "talking"...

    Link to ZHD Chp 14 (Update:  12/17/2009 Minor edits from Kuma-chan!  Kuma-chan lives!!!)

    The next chapter should be out in two months, around 2/10/2010.  Next up Ouran 77.  I decided not to do the one-shot because after translating the first few pages, I didn't like the story or the main character.

    Dec 10, 2009

    ZHD Chp 13 Update

    I made some small changes to page 14, 15, and 16 to clarify the situation that begins chp 14.  I did this just in case it wasn't clear as to WHY Johanne lost the duel (hint:  Pantsu desu!!!).

    Link to ZHD Chp 13 v1

    "A Small World" -- One Shot Translation

    Yay!  Another rich granny to hate!  Haha!!!  I sorta feel like this story is a nice companion to the events happening currently in Ouran.   Anyhow ... Mariko-chan suggested this one-shot.  Thank you sooo much!  It's a great story and I loved reading and translating it!  So here it is for Mariko and whoever else wants to read it:

    Link to "A Small World" 

    I'm still waiting for a response from my second proofreader.  If there are any changes from her, there will be a version 1.

    Also, if there are any other one-shots you think I should check out, let me know!  I really liked reading this one :).

    Dec 5, 2009

    "Ultimate Venus" Cancelled Again ...

    I got a cancellation notice today from Amazon for "Ultimate Venus" volume 6.  Sigh ... There are only 9 chapters out there on the Internet, meaning there's a 13 chapter gap to be filled ... ugh...In light of the cancellation, I will pick it up from where the publisher left off, unless somebody else does.  I will edit the content, though, to keep this a friendly website.  If I have time, I will go back an fill in the gaps, as I am sure the older volumes will go out of print as they are sold.

    Dec 4, 2009

    Yoroshiku Master -- Chp 9 Translation

    Here's "Yoroshiku Master" Chp 9.

    Link to Yoroshiku Master Chp 9

    This chapter has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas ... heheh.