When it comes to freedom, I think about what Inio Asano was trying to point out when Solanin was released in America. There was a quote about freedom being a demon and it stuck to me since then. After finishing the 1st volume of Keito Gaku’s much-revered Boys Run the Riot, I think back to what freedom’s supposed to be.
This last page of Volume 1 spoke to me. To give context, the series is about a transgender high school student named Ryo (he/him), who joins up with a cisgender male delinquent named Jin to create a fashion label that aims to make an impact in the world. The end of Volume 1 highlights a genderqueer individual named Tsubasa who has an estranged relationship with their mother. Tsubasa’s cousin (whose classmates happen to be Ryo and Jin themselves) makes the above comments as he’s seen what happens when you attempt to break free from society’s standards in the case of Tsubasa’s situation.
There’s a really good interview with Gaku in the English version of Boys Run the Riot and Gaku is asked about that last page as family relations do become strained when someone who is LGBTQ+ comes out to their family. Gaku says,
“Personally, I also still have a lot of problems with figuring out how to interact with family, friends, and relatives. As for my parents, I was half-forced to create a situation where they had to accept me, so I don’t think I’m in any position to give advice on these matters.
However, I think that the person you’re coming out to also needs time process it, just as you probably took years to process it yourself before coming out. You might be worried about rejection or hurting people, and although it may be …continue reading
A short while ago, there were some online conversations about the popularity of shonen stories. Almost all of them are based around the experiences of youth and some adult fans wanted action-oriented stories based around their life experiences as adults. Reading stories centered on teens and kids as the main characters isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I’ll admit that. But sometimes, I think shonen stories are somewhat of a reflection on what adults have been telling kids for years and how some/most of their advice has failed youth.
Life begins in the womb. We come out to a world of many possibilities. As children, we’re immune to bias until adults decide to tell us about the many differences of various people out there. Some adults may not care and have trouble dealing with their own pain, They may resort to substances like drugs and alcohol to cope. Under the influence of drugs or alcohol, these adults may start to abuse children and/or neglect them entirely.
There’s a term that relates to the overwhelming negative experiences of children growing up. It’s called ACE – “adverse childhood experiences.” Examples of such experiences include physical/sexual abuse, parent separation, physical/emotional neglect, and living with an adult with substance addiction. I look at a bunch of shonen flashback stories and many of the traumatic ones revolve around physical and emotional neglect.
Why is this important to acknowledge? Because some adults do a bad job in raising their children or guiding kids to become responsible individuals. We’ve seen examples of bad parenting in anime and manga. There’s also the fact that adults have been full of dreams themselves when they were kids, but have been fed advice on how the “real world” works. They’ve been told that they can’t make their dreams come …continue reading
With Nintendo’s longevity in the video game business alone, it’s easy to forget that the company not only predates gaming, but household electricity in most parts of the world, having been established in 1889 as a playing card company.
It would be quite a while before the advent of home consoles, so instead the company steadily grew in the analog game market. In 1969 they built a factory in Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture and even after the Famicom/NES made it to market the Uji Factory continued to serve in the production of hanafuda cards while also handing game console repairs on the side.
▼ The over-50-year-old factory looks in remarkably good condition
However, in 1988, another Uji Plant was created and the original was renamed the Uji Ogura Factory. By 2016, card manufacturing and repairs were taken over by the newer Uji Plant, leaving the Uji Ogura Factory essentially useless.
▼ The newer Nintendo Uji Plant is just a few blocks away from the Uji Ogura Factory
After a few years of deliberation, the company decided to convert the old Uji Ogura Factory factory into a museum, highlighting the company’s very long manufacturing history. The announcement was made on 2 June, so details are still scant, but Nintendo suggested that the museum’s purpose will be “to display products released in the past, so that our ideas for manufacturing can be widely understood.”
For most other companies that might sound relatively dull, but Nintendo has been notoriously guarded about these things, so such a museum could potentially shed a lot of light on interesting parts of the company seldom seen by the general public.
▼ This guerrilla-style YouTube video offers a very rare glimpse inside the building Nintendo used as a headquarters during the mid-20th century
But hey, intense as those three days of drawing sessions may be, that means she’s got the other four days of the week off right? Not really, because Takahashi is both the artist and the author for her series, so she’s also responsible for crafting the story and writing the characters’ dialogue.
So the real question isn’t just what her drawing schedule is like, but what her whole work week is like. Thankfully, that’s what Takahashi posted in an update through her new Twitter account, where she details the entire timetable for producing a chapter.
The ball starts rolling with a meeting with her current editor. After various chitchat and any merchandising topics they need to discuss, Takahashi lays out where the manga’s plot is going to go in its next chapter. The meeting usually takes about three to four hours. Next, Takahashi gets started on the “name,” as the manga industry calls preliminary storyboards. She says she can produce about six pages of the storyboard in a day…and that she starts at 11 p.m., and finishes work for the day at around 6 o’clock the next morning! Later that day, she has another brief meeting with her editor about the storyboard so progress so far, and the process repeats for three days until the name is finished.
You don’t become one of the most prolific manga creators of all time without putting in some very long hours.
Many famous anime/manga creators are known for their one big hit, but not Rumiko Takahashi, for whom Inuyasha, Ranma 1/2, Urusei Yatsura, and Maison Ikkoku are just a handful of her claims to fame. Her series aren’t short, either, as she’s drawn four that went for over 30 collected volumes, and even her short story anthologies, Rumic Theater and Rumic World, have five volumes each.
So how does Takahashi produce such a gigantic body of work? A fertile imagination and distinctly developed visual style are no doubt helpful. But even those will only take you so far, and the rest seems to be shockingly long hours Takahashi puts into her craft.
Takahashi started a Twitter account this week, and one of her very first posts was sharing a copy of her daily schedule when she’s drawing the art for a manga in serialization.
So let’s take a look at a day in the drawing working life of Rumiko Takahashi:
● Before noon: Do the inking for seven or eight pages of character artwork ● Noon: Eat lunch, do housework ● 4 p.m.: Read, do housework ● 7 p.m.: Eat dinner, do housework ● 9 p.m.: Start drawing new artwork
OK, that doesn’t seem too bad, right? Sure, there’s what looks like a long gap in the middle, followed by going back to work around the time a lot of people would be starting to think about getting ready for bed, but those aren’t too unusual for professionals in creative fields, right?
But what happens next is where things get crazy. “If Takahashi starts drawing at 9 at night, when does she go to bed?”, you might be asking. “There’s something missing from schedule for the day, right?”
“Both you and the video games industry keep moving forward. It’d be pretty lame for me to be the only one getting left behind, right?” – Yaguchi Haruo to Akira Oono
Let’s get this right off the bat – getting into a competitive activity isn’t for everyone. Yes, the joy when you win against someone better than you after a lot of hard work is second-to-none. However, the journey is filled with a lot of losses along the way. If someone has the “win at all costs” mentality, the chances of them quitting a competitive activity they partake in are high.
Those losses are lessons that Rensuke Oshikiri’s Hi Score Girl emphasize through the eyes of teenagers who are into fighting games at their arcade scene – lessons in moving forward.
Hi Score Girl takes places in the early ‘90s (a time period where the creative potential of video games was high) and is about a boy named Yaguchi Haruo, who’s noted to be one of the toughest Street Fighter II players in his local arcade scene. Haruo meets his match in a girl (and fellow elementary school classmate) named Akira Oono, who looks very refined to hang out in arcades. After a physical altercation, the two spend more time with each other and grown to respect each other as rivals. After Oono briefly heads to Los Angeles, the two reunite years later in junior high when Oono comes back to attend Haruo’s school. Hints of romance start to emerge as Haruo thinks about being able to share new video game experiences with Oono all while dealing with the affections of another girl who’s interested in him and another fellow fighting game enthusiast/competitor/classmate, Koharu Hidaka.
Yo! I’ll be continuing Star Ghost Isekai web novel series on Honeyfeed. Chapters 60 and 62 has been released. Also, Chapter 63 will be coming out sometime later.
Synopsis/Blurb 18-year-old journalist Leilani Hikaru returns to Tokyo from her Hawaii trip. When she crosses the street late that night, a truck rams her to death. After the accident, she wakes up as a half-cyborg in a fantasy world, and now works for a special isekai agency called Star Ghost. Can she become the next reincarnated hero of the two worlds?
I’m sad about this because I just started diving into Berserk a couple of years ago and kept up with the new story developments despite the irregularity of chapter releases. Miura also died on my younger sister’s birthday (May 6), so May 6 will be conflicting going forward.
I’m also sad because we lost someone who sounds like the kind of guy who went against “good vibes only” stories to produce something that really spoke to the general experience of everyday people who struggle (and continue to) with their own despair/grief/trauma.
My first discovery of Berserk was years ago at Book-Off and I browsed through the initial arc. I thought to myself, “Oh, this is brutal, but so fascinating to read.” I didn’t get a chance to read the entire Golden Age arc (one of manga’s greatest flashback stories ever), but I did read the Eclipse stuff. It was one of the most traumatizing things I have ever seen in a mainstream manga. Seeing Casca, a strong heroine having her entire psyche shattered, was too much for me at the time.
I understood what Miura was trying to say – good people become monsters due to outside sources. No one’s immune to it. Griffith was driven by despair in order to realize his personal dream of ascension. Guts became driven by despair after the events of the Eclipse. Monsters are usually created, not born.
I would later watch the Conviction Arc in anime form as I never read the …continue reading
Colleagues remember Kentaro Miura, whose personality was nothing like the dark, hopeless world of his biggest hit.
Few manga/anime franchise can match the epic scope Berserk, both in terms of its narrative and real-world publishing circumstances. Since its debut in 1989, the dark fantasy tale has chronicled the rise and fall of monarchies and demigods, and the stakes have felt all the higher for the franchise’s frequent extended hiatuses over its 30-plus years.
Sadly for those who’ve been following the series for the past three decades, Berserk creator and manga artist Kentaro Miura has passed away. Hakusensha, the Tokyo-based publisher that’s currently serializing Berserk in its Young Animal anthology magazine, announced via its website that two weeks ago, on the afternoon of May 6, Miura succumbed to acute aortic dissection, a condition that affects blood supply to the internal organs. He was 54 years old.
Though readers had come to expect lengthy gaps in Berserk’s publishing schedule, the manga’s 363rd chapter, its most recent, appeared in the late-January issue of Young Animal earlier this year. Miura was also concurrently writing/drawing the manga Duranki, which was also being published by Hakusensha in its Young Animal Zero magazine.
“We hold Miura-sensei’s works in the utmost respect, and are honored to be their publisher. We pray that he is at peace,” says the announcement from Hakusensha, adding that Miura’s family has already held a private memorial service for him.
In addition, the editorial staff of Young Animal offered their condolences, along with their memories of Miura:
“This is a difficult reality to accept, and we are not sure how to process it. Honestly, it’s hard to put our feelings into words. When we remember our time with Miura, whenever we would meet with him, he was cheerful and happy to talk about manga, anime, and movies that he’d enjoyed, …continue reading