Posts Tagged ‘Usamaru Furuya’
Wow. What a year.
As compared to last year, 2012 was good to me — very good to me.
However, because it was good to me, it also meant it ate my time. Lots of my time. Particularly, my champloo and manga reading time. In terms of my time for this blog, I didn’t fulfill my wonderful spotlight series monthly. Nor did I even continue the columns I wish to continue! I wish I can do more and please don’t blame my tumblr habit. ; 3; It’s easier to reblog than write. My life in tumblr is filled with likes, porn, and tons of reblogs. But yes, in general, I have nothing but my life to blame on why I didn’t get things up to speed. At the very least, I was happy that I managed to host my first MMF quite successfully.
Despite this madness, 2012 was still a great year of manga. Here’s a list of 12 mangas I read in the last year. They’re not necessarily manga released in 2012 but they are all amazing manga that I’ve discovered and love this year. In no particular order, here are my favorite mangas read from last year.
No Longer Human vol. 1 by Usamaru Furuya
Serialized in Shukan Comic Bunch
Published by Shinchosha Publishing and Vertical Inc.
“I found a word to express my feelings. Right now… I feel forlorn.” – Yozo Oba, No Longer Human.
When I first wrote about my personal excitement over Vertical’s licenses early this year, of the lot, No Longer Human was closer to a curious acquisition rather than a something that I was truly excited for. Blame it all on my Japanese literature teacher who loved Sonezaki suicides and Haruki Murakami more than this work of Osamu Dazai. Prior to this, I had not heard of Ningen Shikaku. When Ed Chavez told me about how this was one pivotal title that should be read in Japanese literature (and was his personal favorite), I didn’t understand the gravity or the weight of those words but only knew that if this was a manga adaptation of my master’s favorite novel, then it’s definitely something worth looking at.
I was very fortunate that when I reserved the book the other day in our local bookstore, the book was immediately sent to me yesterday. I don’t know if I was fortunate, or unfortunate, to have received this book so soon. In fact, since I read the book during my cigarette break, I’ve been feeling emotionally catatonic. Not even the cheeriest BL, shoujo, or shounen manga could stir my emotions. Even Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life, which I read after, was pale in comparison to the emotional weight of this manga.
Never have I read a manga who made me understand and feel what it meant to be no longer human.
Ohta Shuppan, publishers of magazine Manga Erotics F has launched their online manga portal called Pocopoco. It’s an interesting website that allows you to preview some of the published Ohta Shuppan Manga titles (mostly from Manga Erotics F) and at the same time read some fantastic one-shots from their authors.
It was launched yesterday and I had almost forgotten about it if not for the announcements over at twitter. Currently, they’re uploading previews of their manga so if you’ve got some Japanese skills and would like to read some titles before they even get on English shores, this is probably the best place to see them.
Ohta Shuppan’s quite a hot publishing firm now in terms of manga. They’re a small publishing company however they have an array of fantastic titles to offer. Some of the interesting titles featured in Pocopoco already are Utsubora by Nakamura Asumiko, Lychee Light Club by Usamaru Furuya1, and Ristorante Paradiso by Natsume Ono.
What I love about this website though is the regular releases of special one-shots. Currently online now is a Lychee Light Club one-shot set some years before the current timeline. It’s called Bokura no Hikaru Club (Our Light Club) and it’s quite an interesting read. Now I wish I had the rest of Lychee Light Club with me to know what’s going on.
Nakamura Asumiko’s Adolte to Adarte should be published today and I’m just waiting for them to basically upload the one shot.
I personally love this effort in making Ohta Shuppan’s manga accessible. I’m happy they’re embracing this digital access without having to install a gajillions of programs just to view the comics. The quality is pale in comparison to print, but that’s expected. The works are still readable and is enough to at least whet one’s appetite for manga.
Wandering Son’s author, Shimura Takako will also be posting her one-shot Awashima Hyakkei in the website soon!
EDIT: I noticed one interesting thing at the bottom of the pages and I think it’s quite genius on their end. At the bottom of the page, they have links directing people to e-mail them if they’re interested for licensing. Sweet.
EDIT 2: NAKAMURA ASUMIKO’S COMIC IS IN FULL COLOR!! sdakfsgasgsaghsagja!! *A*) HOW BEAUTIFUL! READ IT HERE NOW!
EDIT 3: Took out Opera as suggested. I often mistake Opera and Manga Erotics F under the same publishers as most authors from Manga Erotics F write for Opera (and vice versa). OTL. For reference to those who are interested, Opera is under Akaneshinsha.
- Although, this preview is no different than Vertical’s page 1 preview, so read that instead [↩]
This entry would have been written a lot early if I didn’t have my tabletop game last night. Ed Chavez of Vertical really shook the American manga scene by storm by announcing Vertical’s acquisitions by bringing in manga classic Princess Knight (リボンの騎士), No Longer Human (人間失格), and the wine journey Drops of God (神の雫).
I believe the manga scene has been in want of the lovely gender-bender Tezuka title which pretty much changed and shaped manga today, for many critical reasons. For people to finally have access to this once elusive title is something to be joyous for. And what a great and lovely title to add to Vertical’s line of Tezuka titles. I think this just truly caps it off, but of course, there’s still quite a lot of Tezuka for us to enjoy.
No Longer Human is also quite a title in their roster. I’m not exactly sure what the story of this manga is, but I can trust in Ed’s choices that it’s a title that would blow us away. What I do know though is that Usamaru Furuya is the kind of author how knows how to exploit human emotions in his panels. I have read his work Suicide Club (自殺サークル) and that was a strong provocative title not only because of its theme but also because of Furuya’s own storytelling.
Perhaps what I am most excited about is Drops of God. France and even Indonesia is way ahead of US in terms of discovering the passion that comes with every page of this comic. Sure, it’s a manga about wine but the imagination that comes with every sip are not limited to a bouquet of rosemary or almonds. We’re talking about wine tastings that take you to the fields of Bourdeaux and eventually up the Mattenhorn. It’s bloody amazing and is actually one of my favorite mangas outside of BL and to see it out in English means that more of my friends will finally see why I have an obsession with Tomine and Shizuku.1
These three titles all deserve the attention and it’s great that Vertical is bringing them out in english. Collectively though, I’m excited with one more thing: the covers. I’m quite sure you guys are familiar with my obsession for Vertical’s beautiful covers and I am excited on how they will spin and repackage these comics particularly Drops of God who particularly has lovely covers already.
Yesterday was a great day for manga and I heard that Ed still has more up his sleeves. Is he going to sweep my Morning titles and grab curious fan favorite St. Oniisan? Maybe something unknown but great like Himawari Legend? Will they shock Urasawa followers with Billy Bat? God knows really, but for sure, Vertical will not disappoint.
- In the end, this fujoshi cannot help but ship this pair so bad [↩]