Nov 22, 2014

Kuroneko003 is taking a Break until December 8th

The holidays are swamping me, so I'm gonna have to officially take a break from CF until December 8th. I will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year and my husband and I are going to take care of some household projects and take some little trips for the next two weeks. CF will start releasing again mid-December.

Nov 21, 2014

What I Tried to Read Earlier: "Rafnas" by Yumiko Shirai

Title: ラルナス / Rafnas
Mangaka: 白井弓子 (Yumiko Shirai)
Publisher/ Publication: Fubasha / Gekkan Comics
Magazine: Gekkan Action
ISBN: 9784575844665 
Purchase: Amazon JP / Amazon US / YesAsia / Honto

Synopsis: A second planet has has covered the land. The rivers of floating land are known as "Rafnas", and humanity has split into people must live in the Rafnas and people who cannot. Rima, a Rafnas dweller who has an incredibly high force field, has been named the new observer and protector because she can repel the rivers of debris and animals in the Rafnas. Ragi, a "returned ancestor" works in a mine and represents the "returned ancestors" in Rafnas politics. This is the love story between the woman who "flies" the highest and a man who cannot fly.

First Impressions: Wow! Cool! Looks like there's gonna be a lot action! Ouch! This is some difficult Japanese!

Artwork A: This manga is beautiful! And this is one of the few action manga that where I can follow the motion in the drawings. The backgrounds and the character designs are detailed and full of life.  Each page is a feast for the eyes and fun to look at regardless of Japanese literacy.

Presentation B: I'm so sad the color pages from the magazine aren't included in the compiled volumes. They were magnificent! Instead there are included as black-and-white two pages spreads. Otherwise it's a typical manga compilation. The cover illustration is one of my favorite. Rima looks amazing leaping through the sky.

Story B:  First of all, I only got through half of the volume before the difficult Japanese beat me into submission. So this review will only cover the first 3 chapters. The first three chapters are devoted to world creation. It talks about the Rafnas, the great disaster that brought about the Rafnas, and the evolved humans who live in the Rafnas. The pacing is good and the world is interesting. The male male character Ragi is an everyday blue-collar guy. He's gruff, friendly, and very sincere. Rima is overpowered, but she makes up for it by being very humble and doing her best to protect people from interference of her overpowered force field. Rima is a would-be goddess, but everyone in the world of Rafnas are good country folks, so they don't mind the goddess and treat her like everyone else. As usual, I enjoyed the old-folk banter. Unfortunately, the technical babble got in the way of me fully enjoying the story. I wanted more banter.

Readability Difficult: There is no furigana. Furigana would have gone a long way to help me with looking up the technical babble and the made up arrangements of kanjis. Most of the difficulty comes from taking technical babble in Japanese to technical babble in English to interpreting what the technical babble is expressing. It's hard enough to deal with English technical babble, but the added layer of Japanese made it too time consuming for me to continue.

Overall B+: The pretty pictures are enough to make this a worthy purchase. If this were in English, I'd eat this up, but sci-fi wrapped in Japanese was too trying on my patience. If you're fluent or at an advanced level of Japanese, I highly recommend this title. When people start talking it's a lot of fun!

Nov 16, 2014

"Hana and Earth" Question

Sooo... I've found the rest of "Hana and Earth" while organizing my manga magazines. The series finally got it's legs towards the end of the first volume, so I'm interested in reading the rest of the series myself. My questions for the readers of this blog is are you interested in having this short series translated? Here's a link to my original review. I'll put a poll in the right hand column of this blog. Please understand that this group has a certain amount of bandwidth, so if we do "Hana and Earth", then some other new project will get delayed.

Nov 14, 2014

"Danshi Gurashi" Chp 4 (end)

This chapter feels like a chapter from the longer series this should have been. We finally get a real taste of Ryouga's sadistic personality. AUGHHHHH!!! I'm so frustrated that this wasn't longer!!! Ryouga and Keigo are a fun roommate pair. Sigh... MORE PLEASE.

If you liked this, please buy the book!
  • ISBN-10: 4592194152
  • ISBN-13: 978-4592194156

Amazon JP
Amazon USA
Honto JP

And now onto the release!

Nov 13, 2014

"Danshi Gurashi" Chapter 3

Here's chapter 3 of "Danshi Gurashi". I feel like this chapter finally begins the series... and then it abruptly ends. The fourth chapter is more like an extra short story. This should have been a longer running more developed series. I want to know more about Ryouga and Keigo's friendship and school life. I want to explore friendship amongst young men more. It's so rare for shoujo to explore male bonds without involving a girl in a love triangle. Guys have great stories about the stupid adventures they have with their male roommates. And guys have feelings of jealousy and loneliness when their best friend starts dating seriously or gets married. I'd like to see that played out in a shoujo or josei series.

Enough of my wishlist, an onto the release!

Nov 9, 2014

What I Recently Read: "Ningyo Oujisama" ("Mermaid Prince") Volume 1 by Yuana Kazumi

Title: 人魚王子さま / Ningyo Oujisama / Mermaid Prince Volume 1
Mangaka: 和深ゆあな / Yuana Kazumi
Publisher / Imprint: Tokuma Shoten / Zenon Comics
Magazine: Monthly Comic Zenon
ISBN: 9784199802164
Purchase: Amazon JP / Amazon US / Yes Asia / Honto JP

Genre: Seinen, comedy, gag

Synopsis: 30-year old Manato Kogane has been unemployed for a year. With dwindling savings and his youth slipping away, his only hope is a lottery ticket. When his lottery ticket falls into a pond, Manato jumps in after it and sees a mermaid. After some contemplation, he goes back to the pond hoping to take a picture of the mermaid so he can profit from the media circus. However when he actually meets the mermaid, she tells him that she is collecting coins from the pond so God will grant her wish to become human and find love. As thanks to Manato for feeding her, the mermaid gives Kogane her coins, but instead of using the coins for himself, Manato offers the coins and a year of his life to make the mermaid's dream to become human come true. And with this, Manato's life with the mermaid Sango begins.

First Impression: Oh, the cover is really pretty, but should I buy this? It might be nasty "surprise". No, it's a clean gag-comedy gender-bending series! I love the artwork!

Artwork A: The color page is gorgeous! I like the watercolor-look of both the cover, the color page, and the black-and-white comic pages. The backgrounds are detailed but don't overwhelm the foreground. The mangaka uses sparkles, bubbles, and glow to enhance comedic and fantastic moments.

"Danshi Gurashi" Chp 2

We are in desperate need of proofreaders and QCers. I realize for people who are in school, now is midterms, so this may only be a temporary need. But if you are fluent in English, know English grammar, and pay close attention to detail, we need your help now. If you would like to volunteer, please contact me, Kuroneko003, using the link in the upper right hand side of the blog.
Here's chapter 2 of "Danshi Gurashi". We'll be finishing up this series within a week (most likely by Wednesday). We will not be adding a new series to fill in for it. Rather we we do oneshots.

This chapter plays with the notion of the fujoshi bait and is very conscious of the fact that this series is fujoshi bait. I think it's a sad world where any two people sharing an apartment are assumed to be romantically linked. Most of the time, roommates are just roommates. My guess is that Ryouga's fears are stupid and reflect a lack of confidence on his part. Seriously, why give a rat's ass about something like that?

And now onto the release!

Recruiting: Proofreaders and QCers

We are in desperate need of proofreaders and QCers. I realize for people who are in school, now is midterms, so this may only be a temporary need. But if you are fluent in English, know English grammar, and pay close attention to detail, we need your help now. If you would like to volunteer, please contact me, Kuroneko003, using the link in the upper right hand side of the blog

Nov 7, 2014

New Series "Chiisana O'Ningyo Hiyori" (Tiny Mermaid Matters) Chapter 1 by Umi Minami

We are solidly out of Horror-Shoujo Mangaland. And now onto some fun. This is another series from Hatsu Kiss. So far it's been released in Japan every two months. The art style is kinda rough, but storytelling and humor are good. I especially like the personalities of the tiny mermaids. Anyhow, this is a gag-comedy series more or less, so expect some "stoopid". I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

And now onto the release!