Tag Archives: Manga

IPCC Finds Weebs May Be Forced to Use Manga as Toilet Paper in the Future

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

(The Following is Satire)

In a recent, very real report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), researchers found that deforestation and lack of soil management may lead to lack of available paper products. They specified that this would include lack of access to things like drawing paper, napkins, and toilet paper. The researchers project that this will begin to become a serious problem somewhere between 2050 and 2060, with an even worse timeline if people forget this information two second after reading it.

Among the researchers working on this report, Dr. Wee Aboo said that those who enjoy reading physical media of any kind may even be forced to use their favorite books and comics for other things. “What’s happening right now is unprecedented. Climate change is having such an incredible impact on our planet that it might get to the point where manga fans have to use their favorite series as toilet paper.


Thank you all for reading.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

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Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Final Thoughts: The Golden Sheep Volume Three

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

So…”The Golden Sheep”…huh.

I’ll be completely honest and say that considering how depressing the first volume was this was not how I saw the manga ending. It definitely felt like it was building up to some sort of dramatic climax where pretty much no one was going to be happy, but in the end became much more like her previous work “The Gods Lie.” Still, there was plenty of good, and also some bad. Here are my final thoughts.

Bullying is Bad…or so I thought?

One of the reasons the ending was so surprising was because the message that was implied by the first two volumes was that bullying only leads to everyone involved being miserable. Yuushin spends years bullying Sora as a way to vent about his family life. Asari takes out her frustrations on Tsugu as soon as she returns, and even Tsugu remains oblivious to how her actions affect the others feelings.

Yet, despite all of this, in the final chapter of the series, the four reunite almost as though nothing happened to begin with. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Its an important part of life to be able to forgive and move on. However, it seems as though this aspect was almost entire glossed over. The series definitely could have benefited from at least one more chapter, and likely would have resolved this sudden shift in both pace and message.

Its Okay to be Not be Okay

Despite the initially confusing messaging of the series, one thing that the ending does convey is that having people with whom one can emotional and mental distress is important. Even though there is a lot of tension between the four main characters, by the end of the series they all lay their problems bair.

Tsugu struggles to accept the fact that her dad and mom simply do not want to be together, Sora struggles to admit his feelings to but ultimately comes to terms with it and waits, Asari’s guilt for bullying Tsugu comes crashing down on her, and Yuushin finally stops being an asshole to the people who actively care about him.

The reason the four of them are able to be friends again is because of their shared sense of guilt for how their relationship ended up. They all realized that they were at least in part responsible for how the others feel due their insecurities running unchecked and thus becoming more hostile towards one another.

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The Art? Still Amazing

It would have been generally surprising to see the quality change so abrubtly in such a short series, but that still does not take away from the consistently gorgeous art in “The Golden Sheep.” Just like the other volumes, the final one manages to bring great art, both in the more detailed shots of the city, and in the more character focused shots that make up the majority of the series.

Love Letter

So…”Love Letter”…huh.

This was another curve ball that honestly just served as a nice addition to an already really good series, and while I did say that “The Golden Sheep” could have used another chapter, sacrificing this wonderful short story would be pretty tragic.

The story centers around a spirit who has to decide his earthly role and what to be born as. After seeing a run-away high school girl named Asako, he admires how pretty she is and decides to be born with her as their mother. The story gets sad very quickly as the spirit is neglected by Asako, and dies. However, not experiencing the pain of growing up to hate her, he decides he want to be with her for as long as possible, and so continues to be reborn into almost everything around her.

One thing that stands out is its use of reincarnation as a storytelling mechanic. Generally, in most eastern philosophies, reincarnation is something that happens outside of a person control, and most people who get reincarnated do not get to choose what it is they come back as. Additionally, people are usually reincarnated because they have some worldly thing binding them.

While the latter is true in this story, the first two things are flipped on their head. Even though the spirit acknowledges that he probably would have grown to resent Asako had he lived in his human form, he still want to make sure she is ok, and spends all of their time making sure she gets to live a happy life. It is a very powerful story that I think works well in a one chapter format.


What do you all think of “The Golden Sheep” Let me know in the comments if you’ve read it.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Final Thoughts: The Golden Sheep Volume Two

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Its creating a strong opening for a story can be relatively easy, continuing the same level of emotional investment for a story can often be pretty difficult. Weaving together even two or three different story lines so that they make sense in the context of a broader narrative requires a lot of good writing ability. Luckily, mangaka Kaori Ozaki has that in spades, as the second volume of “The Golden Sheep” was, to put it light, very good.

The Golden Sheep, as a slice of life romance, has a lot going on with its characters. As a result, there is stuff going on both on the surface and underneath it.

Most of the stuff that’s actually happening has to do with Tsugu and Sora. After running away near the end of the first volume, the two find themselves working at Tsugu’s grandpa’s croquette shop. At this point, Sora is still very confused with his current situation. Although he wants to be there for Tsugu, he also finds himself thinking about why he is even in Tokyo to begin with.

While there, the two start to really enjoy themselves. Sora becomes pretty invested in working at the shop, and also starts developing feelings for Tsugu. These feelings, while not obvious at first, become strong to the point of him actively avoiding her, throwing himself even further into his work making croquettes.

Meanwhile, it seems like Tsugu is generally happier than when she was living with her mom, even if she is reticent to admit it. She also gets her guitar back from her dad, but when she asks him if he wants to see grandpa, he just runs off. While the scene itself was not anything special, it demonstrated even further just how dysfunctional Tsugu’s family really is.

On the other side of things, Yuushin continues to deal with a lot of emotional baggage throughout the second volume. Tsugu’s return to her hometown has clearly stoked a lot of bad memories for Yuushin, and it certainly did not help make Sora’s situation any better.

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It seems as though, despite it having been a long time since then, Yuushin still ultimately blames his father’s explicit interactions and the subsequent shame that he felt from it for his current state. People were quick to turn their backs on him, assuming “like father, like sun,” and simply were not wiling to trust him.

As a result, Yuushin has, understandably so, become jaded and not willing to accept other people into his life. However, this type of attitude is only understandable up to a point, which is something the manga demonstrates quite well. Not only does bully Sora to the point of suicide, he also takes advantage of Asari and sexually assaults her, afterward telling her that he’s not who she thinks he is.

Up until this point it seemed as though Tsugu was also a good friend who was being hurt by Yuushin, and while to a large extent that is true, it also seems that Tsugu, despite knowing about Yuushin’s toxic behavior, is still encouraging it.

After the incident with Asari, Yuushin decides he wants to take the pro-boxing license test, and thus begins training. His coach eventually gets his parents permission for him, and the two head to Tokyo for the exam. When the two first get there, they find Tsugu and Sora after they were featured on a popular TV show.

Yuushin comes to the croquette shop, at which point he knocks food out of Tsugu’s hand and attacks Sora after being told to leave. Even after all of this, though, Tsugu still wants to go see him. Whether or not this will ultimately lead to some dramatic change from Yuushin has yet to be seen, but Ozaki definitely does a good job of making him out as the stories ultimate villain.

Just like the first volume, the second keeps up the amazing quality of its art until the end. Each frame is incredibly detailed, even during the scenes where there are lots of buildings and people. On top of that, there are very few scenes that feel unused. Each frame feels important the story, even in a very minor way.

The Golden Sheep continues to be an excellent romantic slice of life even into its second volume. It is clear from the quality of the writing here that Kaori Ozaki knows how to continue stories beyond the one volume framework. There is of course one more volume left to go, but my guess is that its also going to be incredible.


What did you all think of the second volume? Let me know in the comments, but please no spoilers if you have already read the series.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Final Thoughts: The Golden Sheep Volume One

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Kaori Ozaki’s “The Gods Lie,” was, in a lot of ways, a devastatingly sad tale. From the initial story of a young boy growing up disillusioned with, to the evolution of its characters, and its seamless transition into a romantic tragedy gone wrong, it is a work that is not only heartbreaking to read, but touches on issues that are important in the real world. Her follow up work “The Golden Sheep” follows a similar path.

It revolves around Tsugu, a high school girl who, after leaving her hometown for a few years, returns to find her friends Sora, Sally and Yuushin exactly as she left them, or so she thinks. As time passes she discovers that the friends she left behind in elementary school are not the same as they used to be.

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Tsugu’s return to her hometown marks a noticeable change in both her friends and herself. What Tsugu initially does not realize about them is that their relationship dynamic has changed dramatically. Yuushin, who was once the proud protector of the group, now bullies Sora for his money, and Sora feels so bad about what happened to Yuushin when he was younger that he just sits there and takes it.

Meanwhile, Sally, who has yet to muster the courage to confess to Yuushin, now feels like she is competing with Tsugu. As a result, Sally takes her anger out on Tsugu, pushing her away by bullying her quite literally behind her back. Tsugu realizes that life is not the same as it was when she left. Her friends are different.

Much like its predecessor, “The Golden Sheep” is incredibly well written, at least so far, and does a great job at layering important messages into the story. Whereas “The Gods Lie” focused on child neglect and abuse, “The Golden Sheep” tells a very similar tale about bullying, and how time changes people, both for the better and the worse.

The way this is mainly told is through the Yuushin and Sora. After Tsugu left the year they graduated from grade school, Yuushin was bullied due to a news story about his father having sexual relations with a teenage girl. After reuniting with Sora in middle school, he begins to bully him, as a way to take out his aggression on him.

Sora, on the other hand, feels as though he abandoned Yuushin, and as a result simply takes Yuushin’s bullying without much resistance. In fact, Sora feels so bad about his situation, with a mixed sense of guilt and anger, that he attempts to commit suicide by locking himself in a car and suffocating from burning charcoal. It is only after Tsugu notices and saves him that he realizes his own value.

One thing that seems not necessarily problematic, but more so interesting, is her characters tendency to use running away as a problem solving mechanic, even though both mentally and materially it solves almost nothing. In both “The Gods Lie” and “The Golden Sheep,” running away becomes more a means of momentary relief than anything else.

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Another thing this manga and the “The Gods Lie” share is amazingly detailed artwork that works to enhance he storytelling. One scene that stand out really well is the one featured at the beginning of the first volume depicting Tsugu rescuing Sora. Out of context, the scene is depressing, sure but is on its own not incredibly emotional.

It is only after hearing Tsugu and Sora’s backstory that the artwork really enhances the scene. It shows a crying Tsugu, her favorite guitar in hand, shattered in half trying to save one of her only friends from himself. The detail in Tsugu and Sora’s face, as well as on the guitar really adds to the power of the scene as a whole.

The dynamic between the four main characters is also incredibly complex. Each new piece of information that is revealed about one of them feels like it affects all of them. When it is revealed that Sally has a crush on Yuushin, and that Sally is jealous of Tsugu, she begins to bully her. This in turn makes their relationship more similar to Yuushin and Sora’s than to the relationship of true friends.

Overall, the first volume of “The Golden Sheep” feels like an excellent opener to what will undoubtedly be an emotional complex series.


How do you all feel about “The Golden Sheep?” Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Final Thoughts: The Gods Lie

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It has been a while since I have actually read anything manga wise. Most of the time I usually just look to see if there is an anime, and if not I move on. However, I felt drawn in by this manga in particular, if for no other reason than it was a one-shot and something I could finish pretty quickly. However, while I finished the manga in a little less than an hour, I can tell “The Gods Lie” is one that will stick in my mind for a long time to come.

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Why Do the Gods Lie?

One of the things that I really liked right off the bat about this story is how much it feels like a refined version of Makoto Shinkai’s storytelling formula. Now, part of this might just be that the manga is, overall, a little bit shorter than the amount of time it would take to watch a Shinkai movie, and I think one of the things his movies suffer from to some degree is a lack of brevity.

Author Kaori Ozaki not only brings that needed brevity into the form of a one shot manga, but also manages to add a little more substance to the story, something that “Your Name” lacked a lot of.

The message of the “The Gods Lie” is one that resonates not only in more peaceful times, but especially during times of tragedy and unrest. Ultimately, no matter who it is, at some point, there will be an event that is beyond there control. Sometimes, its good to be lied to. Constant tragedy and unfairness make life so much worse, and so if they do not know about it, people do not have to be as hurt by it.

Subtlety

When it comes to shifting a story into the visual realm, there is a lot to be said for using still saying the loud parts quietly. One of the things Ozaki excels at when it comes to her storytelling is the way she is able to foreshadow using just one or two frames and very little dialogue.

A good example of this comes in chapter four, when Rio explains why her grandfathers remains are buried in the ground, and also why there father is gone. Instead of their father saying that he’s leaving, Ozaki uses the Yuuta’s request for real crab as an excuse to leave, saying that he’s going crab fishing in Alaska as an excuse to leave the two of them. Their father’s sullen expression in a few of the panels makes this a bit more obvious.

Natsuru

Originally, I thought that the main character Natsuru was actually going to be the weakest part of the story, and while it could be argued that he is, I still think he adds much more than he takes away.

Much like Rio and Yuuta, Natsuru is going through a lot in his home, although to a much lesser extent. With his father gone, Natsuru’s mother is the only one supporting him. On top of that, although he loves soccer, his friends are likely going to stop playing when they go to middle school, and his old coach is in the hospital with cancer.

It seems as though the two of them see a lot in each other, in the sense that the two of them are missing a lot from their life, and so when they meet, the two help to heal each other emotionally.

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Names in Storytelling

While this is nothing new, I really appreciate when a writer goes the extra mile to incorporate the meaning of the characters names into the story itself. Natsuru’s name, being a combination of “summer” and ” has two major meanings within the story. One comes from his birth, as his mother explains, and the other is tied to the overall story. up until they met Natsuru, Rio and Yuuta had been holding out for hope.

When the three of them meet, it changes each other’s lives significantly, to the point where Rio and Yuuta are saved from their terrible situation. Because Rio and Yuuta were able to stay until summer, their lives were made better. In the same vein, Rio last name, which means “a reason to live,” is relevant because Natsuru became her reason to live.

Conclusion

This manga, much like the works of Makoto Shinkai, is an emotional roller coaster, to say the very least. While it may only be one volume, the amount of depth and character development present is equal to a series ten times its size. “The Gods Lie” is a story that will make people forget its ending was even happy.

Still, Kaori Ozaki’s creativity and writing ability, combined with her detailed drawings and refined style make this manga worth reading and re-reading. This is an easy insta-buy for any fan of shorter manga, and manga in general.


No, but like seriously, go read this, and if you have already, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

30 Day Anime Challenge Two: Day 15

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It is day 15 of the second 30 Day Anime Challenge.

#15: Manga That Was Better Than the Anime

“Tokyo Ghoul,” no question. Tokyo Ghoul’s manga is one of best written, with some really good art to boot. However, as many are aware, its anime counterpart is definitely a lesser version of its story, one that leaves out a lot of important material from the original manga. Now, that is not to say that the anime is completely garbage, as some like to claim, but it does make it significantly worse from a storytelling perspective than the manga.


What manga is better than the anime for you? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

The Onion (Anime Edition): My Hero Academia Mangaka Worries That People Don’t Like His Series

My Hero Academia Mangaka Kouhei Horikoshi said in an interview last week that despite how much money his franchise has made him, he can’t shake the feeling that people do not like his show. “I think about it every night,” he said, “that people just hate my series.”

The worry reportedly came after fans were interviewed on Japanese TV about the My Hero Academia anime and one fan said: “I thought the animation was a little lacking in parts, and the music could have been better, but other than that it’s pretty good.” Another fan said “I would really like to see more of Uraraka. She is one of my favorite characters in the whole show.”

After seeing the comments on TV, Horikoshi admittedly started crying. “I thought I was doing so well, but I guess I’m just a failure.” Many others have given their scathing reviews as well, such as Bleach Mangaka Tite Kubo, who, when asked about the series, said, “I really enjoy it. It’s bringing a fun new feel to manga, and Horikoshi is doing a great job.” Masashi Kishimoto, the author of the world famous Naruto, said “I really like how the story is centered around Ninjas with superpowers. Great concept, and great work from Horikoshi.”

In recent weeks, Horikoshi has even been feeling pressure from fans directly, with fans outside his house and signs that say “we love your work!” Despite his ongoing fight to impress his fans, it seems as though there are some that he will never get through to.


Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos! Also, if you like what your reading, consider supporting me through Patreon. It would really help with content production in the future.

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This Week in Anime: 12-7-17

Hey, Friendos! For this week, there was a lot going on. Announcements for new video games, End of the year lists, and some disappointing updates. Enjoy!

This Week’s links:

The Best Selling Manga of 2017

The Best Selling Light Novel of 2017

Hunter X Hunter is Back!

Batman Ninja!

Yasuhiro Irie’s Kickstarter Fail

Black Clover Game

My Hero Academia Game


What did you guys think of the stories for this week? What are you expecting from the Black Clover and My Hero Academia Games? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

Inuyashiki Manga Ch. 1 Reaction: So Far, So Good

After having seen the first episode of this season’s adaptation of Inuyashiki and thinking to myself “hey, that’s pretty good,” and also having seen Gigguk’s Video I decided to check out. I wasn’t really sure what to expect in terms of how different it would be to the anime, but it was not disappointing at all.

The first chapter covers about the first half, give or take, of the first episode of the anime, and for those who don’t know the story, here ya go:

Ichiro Inuyashiki is a fifty-eight-year-old salary man who is moving into a new home with his family. However, it would be false to say that his is good. His family, including his neice, nephew, and wife all pay little attention to him and often take him for granted. He discovers after a doctor’s visit that he has an incurable cancer, and gives up on life. One day, while in the park with his dog, he gets killed by an alien ship. He awakes the next day to find that he has become a machine.

And this is all just in the first chapter.

It is fascinating though to see the difference between the Manga and the anime. The anime alludes to the fact that his family doesn’t care about Ichiro on multiple occasions throughout the first episode, but the manga gives it that extra bit of kick that gets the point across that much more.

One example of this is in the pages below:

Screenshot 2017-11-13 22.24.13.2

This panel comes immediately after Ichiro and his son walk past a man getting robbed in the street. Ichiro tries to muster up the courage to call up the police, but his son tells him that he doesn’t expect Ichiro to be a hero and that they are a “family of hobits,” implying that they are always fearful of the world around him.

All in all, a good intro to what is likely going to be a good manga. The art in the manga, while not as detailed drawing wise as I have seen in others, still offers a sense of realism that ironically gets me more involved in the story, one about a man looking for a new lease on life and getting in a way he never thought possible. Check it out for yourself if you haven’t.


What do you guys think about Inuyashiki? Have you read the manga? Seen any of the anime? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for Reading, Friendos!

 

 

Black Clover Episode 1 Reaction

After having watched the first episode of Black Clover, I can admit at least that I wasn’t entirely correct in dismissing the hype around the show. The criticism of Black Clover being similar in setup to Naruto is in some way merited, but I get the feeling this show will be able to escape that stigma around it.

As of right now; however, the show is very much caught up in those cliches. Asta and Yuno come off as Naruto and Sasuke clones but with magic, and even how they explain the main characters new found powers is the same. Naruto invoked the power of the nine tails, and Asta unlocks the five leave clover, and the fifth leaf represents a demon. Asta and Naruto are also both orphans that want to become the rulers of their respective kingdoms.

It is interesting to note that Black Clover seems a lot more concerned, at least as of the first episode, with the fact that Asta and Yuno both came out of poverty, and the idea that your beginnings don’t have to define who you are. If that is going to be a theme throughout the show, then it is wholly welcome. A show focusing on poverty and not held back by where you were born, in this case, a rural village, would be a great addition to shonen genre.

Of course, I couldn’t write this reaction without mentioning Asta’s voice actor. For whatever reason, the director of this show decided that Asta’s voice needed to be as annoying as possible, and he found Gakuto Kajiwara, who then internalized that request and gave us the ear scraping noise that is the main character’s voice. I can certainly understand why people would stop watching because of it. We’ll just have to wait and see if it improves, but as of right now, I think this comment on MyAnimeList perfectly summarizes my feelings.

Black Clover Comment

Overall, I’m still excited for this show. The animation looks comparable to other Pierrot productions, and the music that we did hear in this episode was, for lack of a better term, hype. I do hope that the show comes into its own more as time goes on because it would be a shame to see all this potential wasted.