I found sudden motivation at the end of last week, too, and wrote up two more reviews.
The first was for a short manga volume from Digital Manga Publishing, Moon and Bloodby Nao Yazawa. It’s general shojo manga fare, but it’s still fun and charming enough that that hardly matters.
The second review was of Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime, the first in a series of Japanese light novels from Yen Press. While it had a bunch of technical issues that I couldn’t overlook (all of these writing classes are ruining books for me) it’s still pretty absorbing. Both reviews are on Suite 101.
I’m continuing to struggle with my review of Velveteen & Mandala, but hopefully–HOPEFULLY–I’ll have one up within a week. I also have a couple graphic novels on Net Galley I want to look at, plus the rest of the Book Girl series.
I’ve been slow to update on this, but here are a few recent reviews I’ve done around the ‘net.
First was Kurozakuro volume 3, up on The Fandom Post. In this volume we’re starting to get more answers about what is going on, but the story telling is also really weird and clunky at times. And it’s still disappointing that none of the old female characters have returned. Read the rest of what I thought here.
On Real Otaku Gamer reviewed the first volume of Blue Exorcist. This manga had a slow start, but the Shonen Jump story is action packed, and has nice background art and awesome character designs. But it’s a supernatural high school story, and I got sick of that idea fast, so I’m not sure if it’s something I’d carry through with. The whole review is here.
Also on Real Otaku Gamer, I wrote three quick reviews of ongoing Yen Press series: K-ON!, Spice and Wolfand My Girlfriend’s a Geek. Each of them have their flaws, but they’re fun in their own way. And I’m finding myself increasingly biased towards Spice & Wolf. Check out each of my thoughts here.
I wrote three manga reviews this week! Damn! I’m tired now.
The first one I got up was my review of Amnesia Labyrinthvolume 1 from Seven Seas Entertainment. This one was kind of dull, and when it wasn’t dull it was grossing me out.
Next I got up a review of a Harlequin eManga from Digital Manga Publishing: The Millionaire’s Pregnant Mistress. The Harlequin manga are generally light, fun reads, but this one was okay at best. DMP has a bunch of new Harlequin manga up on their website right now, so I’ll be pickier with my next read.
The last review I just got up a little while ago: Toradora! volume 1, also from Seven Seas Entertainment. This manga, a high school romantic comedy rife with wacky misunderstandings, had its issues but it was still fun. It was the best out of the three.
Back in November I took the editor test for the Digital Manga Guild, an initiative by the publisher Digital Manga Publishing where users sign up to work on licensed manga as either an editor, translator or typesetter. Participants get paid from a percentage of the sales of the manga. It seemed like an interesting idea, so I signed up and took the test.
The other day I got the email saying I had passed – and that I need to head to the forums and form a group. Wait, what? Though the Digital Manga Guild page has an option to sign up as a group, I was under the impression that this was I job I could work on individually – say, something like Demand Studios where I pick from available work. That’s the first bit that makes me uncomfortable.
Then I go to the forums to get a group, and discover that I have to post my information in a long, ever-growing thread and hope to find reliable group members from this batch of strangers. Okay. This isn’t the worst, since while many of the editors don’t exactly promote themselves well (I saw many a person use text-speak and broken cutesy Japanese to promote themselves as someone with a firm grasp of the English language and grammar) most of the translators and typesetter seem like intelligent and experienced individuals.
The problem? There are SO MANY more editors than translators or typesetter. There will be full pages of editors saying they’re looking for a group, with maybe one or two translators/typesetters popping up. Because of this, editors aren’t exactly in high demand, which means… no one wants me.
I’m not sure how the Digital Manga Guild is going to work as far as payment and usable experience, and I’m not sure if this will be something I’ll find worthwhile in the long run. But it also looks like I might not have to even worry about that, since finding a good group looks like it’s half the battle.
One review went up on Mania.com this week, on the fourth volume of Hero Tales. It’s by Hiromu Arakawa, the same woman who wrote my favorite series, Fullmetal Alchemist, but it’s not proving as good. I’m just not feeling as emotionally involved in Hero Tales, and since it’s coming out so slowly I don’t think I’ll be super excited as each volume comes out. Not that I won’t buy it, of course.
Two other reviews went up on Suite 101, too. First I reviewed the first 3 volumes of Black Butler from Yen Press. It’s interesting, and I actually do get why people love this series so much, but I don’t think it’s for me. Yesterday I posted my review of Cross Game from VIZ Media. This is a really well done manga about playing baseball and growing up, and is definitely one of my new favorite series. VIZ printed the first 3 volumes in one, so I got to read the book in a big chunk, which was awesome.
Something neat I found out yesterday: Digital Manga Publishing is creating a “guild,” where they will be letting people translate, edit, and retouch manga to be distributed digitally. If this works, it sounds really fantastic. I’ve already applied to be an editor, so we’ll see if I get taken on. I heard the information from Daniella Orihuela-Gruber, who posted the information on her website All About Manga. She posted more information, and more potential questions about the Digital Manga Guild, in her blog post.
I’ve been slow at writing posts this week! Let’s do this quick:
Two new reviews went up on Suite101 this week. First there’s Knights Volume 2 from Digital Manga. This volume of the manga was fun, just like the last, but it’s still following a pretty stereotypical track.
Another review was Moby Dick, another graphic novel adaptation from Campfire. The art was really wonderful in this comic, and the writer made it work
as a graphic novel.
I also got a new blog post up on my new reading blog, Bookworm’s Corner. In this post I looked at one of my all time favorite books, A Ring of Endless Light.
Things are going OK on the fiction-writing front. Maybe I’ll actually post something sometime?
Egads, I’ve fallen behind with this. It’s been a crazy, awful week, so I just kept forgetting to post new reviews. Even with two weeks, there hasn’t been too much added up.
For Suite101, I posted a review for Garden Sky from Digital Manga and Alice in Wonderland from Campfire. To my surprise, Garden Sky was awarded my first ever Editor’s Choice award! Doesn’t do a whole lot for the PVs, but is wondrous for the ego.
Two reviews were posted on Mania: Pink Innocent Vol. 2 and Megatokyo Vol. 6. I think both turned out well. Now I need to finish a review for a manhwa for Mania, but hopefully that will be sent out for tomorrow.
I work a few less work hours next week, so I hope to get more than a couple reviews done. On top of that, I definitely have to get edits for Speaksong underway and finish imputing some edits to Becky. I’ll have to send my work into Lesley in a couple months, and I’m just so, so nervous that what I send in will somehow not be good enough.
This week I’ve managed to get three reviews completed: Itazura na Kiss from Digital Manga, Welcome to Tranquility: One Foot in the Grave from Wildstorm, and Bakuman from VIZ Media. InK was a fun shojo manga – it reminded me of stuff like Marmalade Boy, which I love. Welcome to Tranquility was an interesting concept; I’ve never read the original comics, and I kind of want to, but not enough to buy them. Bakuman was what I’ve really been looking forward to: it’s a manga bout creating manga, and it’s just the kind of coming-of-age story that I love. That said, it had some serious
problems with sexism that I’m having a hard time getting over–read my review to see what I mean.
I also wrote a news article on Tokyopop putting its Hetalia: Axis Power manga for sale as a digital book on Zinio before the print version comes out. It’s really nice to see a manga company taking a big step with this, and hopefully it works out for them so we can see more manga for digital sale. I won’t read it, since I hate reading manga on the computer, but maybe it will shut some other fans up.
It seems that Suite101 has altered some of its editorial policies. I’ve only skimmed them, but it seems I’ll be able to use first person now when it’s appropriate, and also be able to inject some opinion into my articles. This extra bit of freedom is welcome, as it’s hard to twist my words to avoid first/second person but also still have my writing be interesting. Still going to try not to use it too much, though.
I got another comic from DC to review, but that’s got to wait in line with Gente and Maoh vol. 2. I should also be getting some manga in the mail from another website that I’ll be reviewing for, so that is a long list of things to do o__o I’ve been neglecting some of my creative stuff lately, but I’ll be on mini-vacation this weekend away from the Internet so I’ll try to concentrate on it there. I’ve still got about half of Becky to go through for edits, and I need to finish typing Jordan into the computer. Not to mention all the work I want to do on Speaksong before I start at Lesley….
I put up a review of episode 3 of the anime Shiki. Gosh, this show is boring. I keep hoping that it will get more exciting, but it’s not happening. I’ll probably watch up to episode 5, either because I’m optimistic or because I like torturing myself for some reason.
A new comic came in from DC today, and Digital Manga put up a bunch of new review material on eManga, so I’ll have plenty of things to read/write about this week. ‘Cept I’m working every day, so we’ll see how much gets done.
I’ve thought of a few more blog name ideas for my Reader blog, and will now shove them in your face: Babbling Bookworm, Besotted Bookworm, The Besotted Bibliophile. (I enjoy alliteration.) I looked on Amazon for books on reading, for inspiration, and wound up putting 4 more books on my Wishlist. Sigh.
I might have another writing thing set up. Not 100% positive yet. I’ll let you all (what, 5 of you?) know when I find out.
I’ve added a page just for reviews, all categorized and in alphabetical order. The page as a whole looks pretty dull to me, so I might try to add images or something to make it nicer. Tell me what you think!
I finished another review for Digital Manga Publishing: Backwards Honeymoon. It was a cute story, but super plot-holey. I might review another Harlequin romance manga, if I don’t get packages from VIZ or Campfire instead.
Well, Suite 101 stuff is done. Time to concentrate on my novel-writing!