Posts Tagged ‘kekkaishi’
A friend of mine recently asked me to write something about manga for a national broadsheet, the Manila Bulletin. Instead of shocking kids with my rabid fujoshi fangirlings, I decided to take the safe route and explored the different aspects of monsters seen in manga. I’m not entirely an avid of monsters in manga, but I took this as an opportunity to explore their presence and their effect in manga. It turned out to be more interesting than what I had expected. I hope you guys enjoyed reading it too.
Manga and Monsters
Published June 28, 2008 in the Manila Bulletin. Online on June 30.
Manga may appear to be literature for children yet they speak to us of change that is universal to many. No matter what shape or form, change will happen in our lives…
I hate monsters.
Ever since I was a kid, I abhorred the idea of Halloween because of the various monster specials shown on TV. They eat you, consume you, and even in your sleep, they haunt you. And for years I tried my best to evade these monsters the way you try to avoid bullies in your school. Don’t look at them straight in the eye. Keep calm, ignore them, and just walk away.
And yet here I am, years later, reading my manga, suddenly staring at one monster straight in the eye. Just like that high school bully, they’ll find their way to get back at you.
Finding a monster in a Japanese comic, most popularly known as manga, is like finding a cockroach on your cupboard. Having a monster in their manga is a natural occurrence and it revels at that moment when you scream on top of your lungs.
For a tight-lipped society like Japan, monsters not only spark interest because of their strange looks but also because of their ability to elicit change. This is why they’re called bakemono by the Japanese – things that can change. This ability to transform himself or his surroundings is the very heart of the Japanese bakemono. And in manga, we see these in various shapes and sizes that it’s interesting how even if I change the genre of comics I’m reading, one way or the other, I’ll end up facing a monster.
Children’s manga is bombarded with bakemonos. Instead of seeing drooling sharp-toothed beasts, they have talking trains, electric yellow kittens, and humanized bread.
A couple of people have asked me recently on how they can use mangas to actually study Japanese. I don’t think I’m truly an expert at this, but I can share my experience on how manga has helped me understand the language. The truth is, I can barely brag about my Level 3 certification but I can say, by my experience, that reading manga does help a lot in building my vocabulary and grammar. I must admit that it’s the very reason why I started learning Japanese in the first place.
Beyond the usual route of taking classes, mangas provide an avenue to learn more words and grammar patterns which can open up more areas for knowledge and understanding. Besides, for me, it was the best way to put to use the Japanese mangas that used to gather dust in my closet. I think we can relate to that one point in time wherein we merely bought Japanese mangas to support the mangakas. If you’re up for it, then I hope this entry encourages you to take those mangas out of the closet. I cannot guarantee that you will be an expert in Japanese after reading this (you definitely won’t be close to an expert at all!), but at least you can start your learning process and proudly say that you managed to at least read that Japanese manga that you bought.
So, are you ready to start your Japanese?
And so I round things up, just like before, about the fun things and the good things that I read and played with in 2007. I managed to read a lot of good new manga and reconnected with the old. :3 I did a couple of recommendations for mangacast already so we’ll just stick to the fun titles that I had fun with this year.
This year was all about Moe for me. Moe and otaku culture got me strong this year so pardon mates if these are fan-frenzied choices. :3 Maybe it’s all that toy collecting. Or maybe I’ve been reading Heisei Democracy and Ace too much. :3
Lucky Star. A story about nothing and everything. This totally got my heart ablaze especially with Konata’s Otakon (Otaku Spirit). The humor is simple although you do need some otaku knowledge to get past Konata’s jokes. I cannot stress enough how much i enjoyed watching this and how this has changed my karaoke habits forever. Must I add that I love it so much I preordered the nendoroid konata? Oh yeah. love.
Darker than Black. Bones struck gold with this one for me. It was a good well paced story with enough action to keep the fanboys going. I personally loved Hei’s team and how they stick together to the end. This really isn’t a Moe selection, but Mao’s got enough Moe for all of us. :3
Moyashimon. Bacterias talking and fermenting. I’ve been hooked on fermented items this year so to see the bacterias behind just makes my heart flutter so. I cannot resist Oryzae and for 3 months, I was wishing I had that talent to see them. But sadly I can’t. But thank god for Moyashimon. :3 Love the manga too. The covers rock.
Kekkaishi. I’ve been loving the manga for some while and now that the anime is out, I’m totally hooked every week. I love the story, the kinship between the brothers and the families that nurture and protect them. The story is well paced and I see that there’s no rush to follow to the manga (Oh yeah! No filler arcs… yet.) And if you played the DS game, oh darn it’s wicked!!
Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei. I actually started following Shonen magazine because of this. But yeah, a manic-depressive suicidal teacher and a plethora of lovely students to his call and beckon is worth getting desperate over. I enjoy this series in the sick and twisted humor way.
Lovely Complex. Ah~ High School Manzai Love. <3 <3 Seto no Hanayome. Yakuza mermaids. What more can I ask for? :3
Nodame Cantabile. Because I’m a fangirl.
Gintama. Oi. This came out last year, so why am I pimping it? Because it deserves pimping. yo. And I’m using that as a lame excuse to place this image in my website.
All in all. It was a great year. :3 A very fun year, I might add. :3 There wasn’t enough drama but there was lots of comedies this year. Or maybe I was really just choosing the comedies. :3 I hope next year would be just as fun! I look forward to next year! :3