Dec 31, 2010

Junketsu + Kareshi Chp 6

Happy New Year everyone! Look what I have for you!

Links to "Junketsu + Vampire" chapter 6:  (Zip -- high quality) (PDF-- medium quality, but convenient)  -- Retired

It looks like this is the last chapter of the first volume and the first story arc.  I'll put out an announcement on this blog when the first volume is released along with links for you to purchase the manga.  If you like this series, you should purchase the book to give thanks to Shouto-sensei.

Spoilers ahead ---
And now my thoughts on the chapter.  Finally, we see Kana begin to internalize her situation and it's very interesting to me that this all happens in a fire.  Fire has all kinds of meanings.  I think of fire as a cleanser and also in reference to the myth of the Phoenix -- a mythical bird that resurrects from its own ashes.  Finally Kana understands that she's truly undead and confronts the horror or feeling pain while being indestructible.  In fire, though, this is basically hell -- eternally on fire but never burning.  I hope the next chapter spends some more time with Kana thinking about her situation and her purpose.

The Aki/Shiranui buddy duo is solidified.  I like this buddy pair a lot and I look forward to seeing more of their interactions.

Next up is Magnolia chapter 6 and the first chapter of the companion series "Lily."

Happy New Year from Your Favorite Lala and Lala DX Mangakas!

Here are some New Year's messages from some of the artist featured in Lala and Lala DX magazine.  I didn't have time to translate the messages and I don't know if I will find time soon.   Anyhow, if you can't read Japanese, then look at the pretty pictures and imagine that each one of them says "Happy New Year" + "Let's do our best in the New Year", because that pretty much sums them up (although a few are a little more personal and describe a major event for them in the 2010.) on the images to see a larger version.

And, Happy New Year to everyone from the folks at Omari's Sister!  We look forward to another great year of bringing you lots of manga and anime fun.

Dec 30, 2010

"Kimi ni XOXO" Chapter 4

"Kimi ni XOXO" is back for the final two chapters.  I'm sorry it's been a while since a release, but this chapter was really hard to clean (poor quality raw) and had a lot of redrawing to do.  Because of the difficulty I want to acknowledge the contributions of Chiresakura who helped clean and Ichigo Stars who did all of the difficult redraws.  Without them, this chapter wouldn't have come out nearly as well as it did.

Links to "Kimi ni XOXO" chapter 4:  (Zip) (PDF)

I wanted to release chapter 5 right after chapter 4, but again because of cleaning and redrawing challenges, it didn't get done before Aria 2 came out.  The chapter is cleaned, though, but untranslated.  I've decided to move on to the Aria 2 series and then circle back to finish chapter 5.  This way I won't be rushed to translate, Ichi won't be rushed to complete the redraws, and the readers (myself included) get a dose of "J+K" and "Magnolia" immediately.

Next up are J+K chapter 6, "Magnolia" chapter 6, and the first chapter of "Lily".  After those, we'll swing back and complete "Kimi ni XOXO" chapter 5.

Dec 27, 2010

"Lily" in Itan Magazine!

Update!:  Lily Themed desktop wallpaper set!  (Link -- the second button is the download button)
Our prayers have been answered!  It's a Lily themed Magnolia companion series of extra stories!  Yes! It's "Magnolia" from Lily's perspective!  I will release this opening chapter with Magnolia Chp 6!  Unfortunately, Itan is only published every three months and the next one-shot will be in Itan 5, which means the next chapter of "Lily" won't be out until the end of June.

Dec 25, 2010

"In Jack Out" Update

"In Jack Out" will be presented in two parts in Betsuhana 2 and 3.  Considering that February is shot, I think I will save "In Jack Out" until both parts are released in Japanese.  I'm also on the fence about doing the project.  The first part of the story doesn't catch my eye.  I think I will know after the second half whether I want to do the mini-series.  If I  decide to do the series, then I will present the entire 92-page story after February.  This means that Orange Chocolate goes back on the schedule and we will check-up while the series is on hiatus.

Dec 23, 2010

Lala 2 2011

I have Lala 2!  Yuki from "Vampire Knight" is on the cover this time.  The freebie is a Nyanko-sensei pouch.

It's very cute.  I kinda wish it was an oven mitt.

Here's what we'll be translating from Lala 2:

  • "Kimi ni XOXO" chapter 5 -- it's the final chapter so we will go ahead and release it back-to-back with chapter 4 so we can complete that series now.
  • Special four-panel comic shorts
  • Ouran one-shot previews!
  • One-Shot:  "Nejimaki Mano-san" (will be translated later in the year)
  • One-Shot:  "Kashikomi Mousu!" (will be translated later in the year)

Dec 21, 2010

Kemono Kingdom: Zoo Chp 2

Here is more furry fun from Mochi-sensei!  In this chapter we are introduced to more animal friends, all of which are adorable.

Links to "Kemono Kingdom: Zoo" Chapter 2: (Zip) (PDF)

I has been confirmed that "Zoo" is a bi-monthly series, so the next chapter will not come out until the end of January.  Unfortunately, because of jury duty, chapter 3 probably won't be out until March :(.

Next up is "Kimi ni XOXO" chapter 4.  The series is finally coming off of hiatus.  Some twists happen in the new chapter and Fujita is drawn to look his age.  I look forward to getting this chapter out to you.  This chapter has a lot of cleaning and redrawing challenges, so it may take longer than usual to get this chapter out.

Dec 19, 2010

Pika Ichi Chapter 5 -- A lot Better than chapters 3 and 4

Pika Ichi is always such a long slog!  Fortunately, this chapter is much better than chapters 3 and 4, except for idol chick.  She really needs to go away.  Anyhow... in this chapter Dougen finally enters the scene and he may be as some of you expected.  I think most of us are hoping for a Tarou-Hanako-Dougen love triangle.  That could be interesting, but Tarou's heart is fragile and I would hate to see him suffer.

Random Thoughts on the Child Protection Law Passed in Japan

First of all, I'm trying to get some clear information on the ban.  So far what I've gathered is that law is trying to establish what's okay to sell to minors and what should be sold to adults only.  So in this sense, I don't think it's a ban on manga so much as a clarification as to what's appropriate to sell to minors.

I think we all know from the selection of manga I chose for this group that I don't choose series with even modest amounts of violence or sexuality or series that depict inappropriate acts towards minors.  In my private life I do read manga that I would consider outside the scope of this group, but I don't read or watch any manga or anime that I would consider gratuitously violent or sexual.  In general, I believe that adults should have the right to choose their entertainment as long as it doesn't harm anyone.  As for minors, I believe parents should help their children choose appropriate material and that parents should know what their children are reading.

The question for me comes down to what can harm other people.  I am against the depiction of harmful acts to children either real or drawn unless it is in the service of the story and that story has something to teach.  There are a great many stories where a character's childhood trauma shapes the personality of the character.  These are important stories to tell (for instance "I Know why the Caged Bird Sings".)  However, I don't approve of stories that depict such things for shock value or titillation. This doesn't mean it should be ban, it just means that I will not consume it.  I don't believe that violent or sexual material drive deviant behavior, rather I believe people interested in deviant behavior seek such materials out.  It's easy to blame an outside influence for crimes rather than to blame the person themselves.  I will say, though, that rape and murder existed long before people drew it, so purging such materials will not make one ounce of difference.

As for homosexuality, homosexuals exist.  Get over it.  Again, adults should be able to choose their entertainment and parents should help their children choose appropriate materials.  However, for parents, I think if they know their child is struggling with questions of their sexuality, that it may be a comfort to the child to read material that affirms that struggle.

In general, I have a great appreciation for artists who are able to convey trauma, tragedy, violence, and sexuality without actually showing the graphic details of it.  I feel it's best to leave some of these things to the imagination.  In this sense, I think the Japanese law is an invitation for artists to try harder with their story telling. Seriously, how many more stories do we need about students in relationships with their teachers?

I'm trying my best to find some concrete facts about the law and when I have located some reliable sources, I will share them with you all.  As of now, though, I think it's too early for any of us to get riled up or believe anything out on unvetted manga blogs and websites.  Everything I've seen so far has been hyperbole.

If you have a concrete vetted source of info, please leave a comment.  If you have some thoughts to share on the matter, also leave a comment.

Dec 15, 2010

Akagami no Shirayukihime Chapter 22

Here is "Akagami no Shirayukihime" chapter 22.  I get the impression after reading this chapter that Shirayuki is in no real danger, but rather the folks after Shirayuki are probably Raji's adoring siblings.  I hope I'm wrong, because if the siblings then I'm going to be SUPER PEEVED. would make sense as far a Izana not being all that concerned about the people after Shirayuki.  He's probably laughing his ass off in the castle as Zen gallops off to the rescue Shirayuki from a 10-year old.

Anyhow, I noticed while cleaning this that the artwork has a more of a "hand drawn" feel than usual.  In that sense the drawings felt very intimate and that was somehow reassuring to me.  I think Shirayuki's ball gown is elegant in its simplicity.  It kinda makes be want to see her paired up with a guy while wearing it.

With the way this is going, I feel I would be happy if this series ended at chapter 24.  I imagine in the next chapter Zen, with his newly formed nuts, will ask for Shirayuki's hands and then in chapter 24, they can get married and live happily ever after.  Honestly, I think that's about all the AnS love I have left in me, so I hope it ends soon instead of dragging on.

February is Shot to Hell

Update:  Jury duty postponed until March!
I got a Federal Jury Duty notice today for the month of February...I'll do what I can while waiting...but, I plan on most of February and the beginning of March being mostly manga-less...BUT it is an honor to serve my fellow citizens in this way.

Dec 13, 2010

Manga Review: "Skyblue Shore"

"Skyblue Shore" by Nanpei Yamada and published in English by TokyoPop has to be the most boring manga I've ever read.  I struggled through the entire first volume because I love "Orange Chocolate" so much.  But, alas, this first volume is a lifeless turd.  Basically, it's a beach themed slice-of-life drama.  There's a pointless love triangle between two 16-year olds and 25-year old man and boring bit-- plays the useless 4th wheel.  I'd like to thank TokyoPop for leaving most of the effects untranslated and for a translation that includes the phrase, "back in the day" coming from the mouth of an uber-innocent 15-year old girl.  FAIL.  I weep for Yamada-sensei...

Dec 11, 2010

New Manga: "Makami-sama no Iu Toori"

I've read the first two chapters of "Makami-sama no Iu Toori!" ("Accord to Makami-sama!" -- Makami = true + God) by Takako Shigematsu and it's good for a Shigematsu series.  The story begins when Tamao at the age of two is abandoned in the forest by her mother.  A male God takes her in and raises her in the forest until the age of 8.  At age 8, the god, who Tamao refers to as her master, leaves her in the care of the Asuka family who happen to have a son, Kengo, who is the same age as Tamao.  Kengo is kind boy and tries to get the shy Tamao to open up and participate in school.  But Tamao is obsessed with the promised return of her master and is reclusive for the most part.  She only lights up when talking about her master, which Kengo thinks is cute and he gets obsessed with getting Tamao to feel the same way about him.  Fast forward 8 years and Tamao is now a 16-year girl with raging hormones who fantasizes continuously about her master and these fantasies end with her erupting into explosive nose bleeds.  Kengo is super-attached to Tamao and accuses her of having a "father complex"...but...the added wrinkle is that Kengo is a now a super-handsome teen fashion model and girls practically hurt themselves to get near him.  They go into jealous and violent rages toward Tamao because she is Kengo's singular focus.

One day, conveniently, Kengo's mom decides to join her husband on an extended business trip leaving Kengo and Tamao in the house alone.  Kengo is overjoyed...but...Tamao "doesn't see him" and is now talking about her master's imminent return.  Her master does return and she runs outside to meet him.  To Kengo's surprise her "father" is a gorgeous man who casts the shadow of a beast.  Kengo measures himself against Tamao's master but thinks he's no match physically. And then Tamao lays a bombshell on poor fragile Kengo -- her master is not blood related.  What's poor Kengo to do...?  Of course, ask Tamao's master live with them until he figures out a plan...and so the "fun" begins...

Like I said in the beginning, "Makami-sama no Iu Toori" it's good for a Shigematsu series, but it's not OS material.  The main male character, Kengo, is interesting, but as typical of  Shigematsu's other female lead characters, Tamao is incredibly weak and obsessed with an older man.  And as typical of Shigematsu's old male targets of obsession, Tamao's master is a manipulative bastard.  There is no actual sexual content.  Tamao's fantasies are interrupted before they go anywhere near being "dangerous".  But still, the series reeks too much of a middle school girl's father figure fantasy and in that sense the series is a little "eww..." Maybe another group that specializes in that kind of "eww" will take it on.  As for me, this series is officially off my radar.  Will I continue reading it in Japanese?  Probably not.  It's not the story itself, but rather I feel it's a matter of me being in the wrong demographic to enjoy this story.

Dec 10, 2010

Orange Chocolate Chapter 20

Finally, we come to the end of the whole "Alice in Wonderland" photo shoot arc, but unfortunately, this isn't the end of the need for Hal.  Hal seriously bugs me, but I guess that's his duty.  Most of this chapter is fan service with a nice pair of surprises from Ritsu.  Chiro, though, finally asks a rather important question -- why does Ritsu have to be an onnagata?  Yeah, it's traditional, but Ritsu actually seems to enjoy it.

Links to "Orange Chocolate" Chapter 20:  (Zip) (PDF)

The next four chapters of Orange Chocolate is an arc about the school's sport's festival with the obligatory cavalry contest.  Hopefully, there's a good reason for going down with well worn-out path.  Next month, though, we will take a break from "Orange Chocolate" and instead present Yamada-sensei's one-shot "In Jack Out".  Orange Chocolate ended on chapter 24 before going on hiatus.  The series will resume late February.  The hiatus will give us some time to catch up on the translation.

I had intended to translate the Christmas one-shot "Merry Unbalance Christmas" now, but I just got "Akagami no Shirayukihime" chapter 22 today and Zen finally grows a "pair".  As for the pretty boy and who Shirayuki looks like we have to wait  Regardless, I don't want to keep myself or anyone else waiting, so I will get started on it right away.  Also, I'm now eagerly awaiting chapter 23.  Anyhow,  please see the release schedule for the latest schedule changes.

Dec 8, 2010

Ouran High School Host Club Volume 15 is Out! Buy it Now!

A great many of you should be good consumers and buy Ouran volume 15 since so many of you read it and claim to LOVE it and Bisco Hatori.  Put your money where your mouth is and give Ouran and Hatori-sensei some love!  In fact!  I have set up a special area in the store just for Ouran goods! (Include all available volumes from Viz, clothes, plushies, and various other items I thought were cute)

Link to Ouran Goods at Omari's Sister's Amazon Store

Buy stuff for yourself!  Buy stuff to give to an Ouran fan for Christmas!

Dec 7, 2010

New Manga Purchases: Nov 10 - Dec 7, 2010

If you want to buy some of these books, please consider buying them from the Omari's Sister's Amazon Store.  Support your favorite manga series and put a nickel in my pocket.   A great many of you should be good consumers and buy Ouran volume 15 since so many of you read it and claim to LOVE it and Bisco Hatori.  Put your money where your mouth is and give Ouran and Hatori-sensei some love!  In fact!  I have set up a special area in the store just for Ouran goods! (Include all available volumes from Viz, clothes, plushies, and various other stuff I thought was cute)

Link to Ouran Goods at Omari's Sister's Amazon Store

    Dec 6, 2010

    Magnolia Chapter 5

    One agonizing wait is over only to begin another.  The mental well being of a Magnolia fan is never good.  Hahaha!  We finally get the answer to how Ayato's Dad reacts to Ayato dressed as a woman.  The reaction, in general, is as I expected, but I didn't anticipate the extent of the reaction.  Needless to say, I was quite pleased by the whole scene.  Thank you Naked Ape for exceeding my expectations!

    Links to Magnolia Chp 5:  (Zip) (PDF)

    I made a small update to "Magnolia" chapter 2 that has some impact to the story.  I think there was a typo in the original Japanese text and instead of Ayato's Dad saying that he and Ayato don't like Vincent, it's only Ayato's Dad who doesn't like Vincent.  I updated the file to reflect the new understanding (link to Chp 2).

    Speaking of Vincent...I wonder whether the Dad saying he doesn't like Vincent followed by the scene where Ayato is having the nightmare is just a "red herring"?  Also  given the picture of the King, Vincent, and Ayato's mother (Angela) together in chapter 5, I wonder if Angela was born genderless like Ayato?  Maybe they were all best guy friends until Angela fell in love and became a woman.  That would be quite a bit of backstory! *jump, jump*   So many questions and so few pages per chapter!  *sobs*  And now we wait 4-weeks to learn more (well, technically 3-weeks for me -- nya-nya!).

    Next up is "Orange Chocolate" Chapter 20.  This chapter is mostly more Chiro in Wonderland fan service, but this time there's a twist since that annoyance Hal is in the mix.  But on the bright side, we get wonderful drawings of Ritsu's irresistible glaring face.

    Dec 3, 2010

    Junketsu + Kareshi Chp 5

    Here is "Junketsu + Kareshi" Chapter 5!  The cliffhanger from chapter 4 is resolved very unexpectedly, and now it makes me wonder what direction this story is taking.  I like that I was surprised in this manner, though, because what happened took courage to do.  It's definitely not cliched :).

    Links to "Junketsu + Kareshi" Chapter 5: (Zip) (PDF) -- Retired

    On the matter of Aki -- I feel bad that no matter how hard he tries, hypnotism does not work on Kana.  That said though, Aki really is quite possessive and generally sinister.  But the end of the chapter I was wondering whether he continues to be the underlying cause of Shiranui's problems at school.

    Kana does seem to be a perfect balance for Aki.  She accepts his nature and approaches him head on (perhaps that is why Aki is unable to hypnotize her).  I think it's interesting the way she thinks of her role as "Aki's" and how she is able to conduct her life normally while assuming this role.  But what exactly does Aki want? and why doesn't he realize what he already has?  In this sense, Aki is very much like a infant dependent on Kana as a mother.  Hahaha!  Aki has a lot of growing up to do!  I kind feel bad that Kana x Shiranui isn't the focus of the story.  I really like Kana and Shiranui together.  She makes no judgment about his tendency to brawl and she seems to accept that's part of him.  That's pretty amazing, but at the same time just rolling with the situation does bring about peace of mind most people can't have.

    Enough of my rambling ;p.  Next up is "Magnolia" Chapter 5 followed by "Orange Chocolate" Chapter 20.  Also new under ongoing projects, the "somethings new" have been added!  We will begin the series "Yukarism" and "Yuurei Apaato Kanrinin" toward the end of this month if there is time!  I thought I was going to start "Jiu Jiu", but when I looked at it amongst the series we already do, somehow it felt redundant.  I'm still looking for a good home for "Pika Ichi", but until that home is found we will continue it.

    Hana to Yume Girly All-Star Calendar

    Yay! Check out the lovely freebie calendar that comes with Hana to Yume issue 1/2011!  I will be making wallpaper after I get through with the high priority releases for this month.  Anyhow, if you want your own calendar to hang on your wall, buy yourself a copy of the magazine.  I bought mine at Sanseido Book Store.  Unfortunately, Amazon Japan doesn't stock Hana to Yume, so I can't provide you with a link.  Akadot, though, does stock the magazine, but it comes in stock 4 - 6 weeks after the Japanese release.  I will provide a link to Akadot when the magazine in in stock. favorite page is the "Hana to Akuma" illustration for January 2011.  Now if only the editors of Lala magazine would reconsider and put out a decent calendar.

    Dec 1, 2010

    December at Omari's Sister

    November went better than expected :).  We managed to put out some great releases and spent a lot time spinning our wheels on Pika Ichi.

    Onto December!  Our wonderful cleaner Silver Lunar is taking a break, so I decided to recruit some more people to fill in and to help out in the future.  I've decided to stretch my project management skills by taking on more people so we can get the work planned done.  We'll see how this goes...I pray my head doesn't explode.

    There is too much good stuff out there and it frustrates me because we can't do it all.  Anyhow...I'm still grappling with the schedule, so bear with me.  Regardless, our priority this month is to release the Aria series ("J+K", "Magnolia", "Zoo" , and "Pika Ichi") and the second Christmas Themed one-shot, "Merry Unbalanced Christmas".  If there's time, we will also do "Orange Chocolate" chapter 20.   The hectic holidays will knock us off our pace, so we will be playing catch-up the first few months of 2011.

    I hope everyone is enjoying the winter holidays!