- Created By Wakusei Aoshi
I have been reading loads of manga! By loads and by reading I mean I actually read and finished 3 stories! That is a lot of reading mon! On top of that I caught up to the most recent chapters of a webcomic called Gunnerkrigg Court and also another webcomic called Cucumber Quest. I am loving the heck out of Cucumber Quest, by the way~! :D
I also came up with another idea for a manga~! Haha! Hopefully I stick with it 'cause all my other genius ideas flew out the window. From inspiration of all the things I read, especially since I actually read some webcomics (I never do that) I feel like this idea I would like to make into a webcomic. Waiii??? Idolling is sorta a webcomic...but mehhssss...I think of it as just practice, like my scratch pad. I try to keep with a story and try and make it good, but that is also for practice. How do I write a story the way I want it to go?
I will get to what my idea is about first...as I explain everything I have read recently~!
In fact, I think we are in for an informal review~! ;D
First thing I finished reading....]
This delicious 60+ manga has been on my list for a while. Every now and then I would come at the guy and read some of 'em, but not until recently...when I tried reading Gunnerkrigg Court for the first time, actually...did I read it all. In fact, I wanted to not read Gunnerkrigg Court so badly that I finished 40 chapters, the whole rest of the series, in one day. One single day. Now, I do not mean to say that Gunnerkrigg Court is terrible, it is just that I was really not used to webcomic storytelling style and I was only reading it 1. because my friends told me to and said it was really good. and 2. because I felt bad for having never read a webcomic before...;3;
Anyway, back to Bokurano.
The basic plot is this:
13 kids stay at a summer school (sorta kinda) and during their break to play at the beach they find a man who asks them if they'd like to play a game where they are in giant robots defending the earth. Of course, that sounds completely awesome, so they all (most of them) sign the contract to play the game. Little did they know this was a game for their lives!
(Haha, lame synopsis)
At first reading this I was prepared for some action packed mecha adventures, which kinda bored me. I wanted there to be more. And I got my wish. This is 100 times more than mecha adventures...in fact, it is not even a mecha adventure...O.o;
It starts off sort of corny. One of those introspective 'this was the time of our lives' sort of thing. You have the kids getting ready for fun and then at the end of the first mecha battle the real story kicks in. This is not really mechas, but about humanity and what it means to live and die.
This story tackled so many issues I have never thought of or seen before in any other manga.
But I will get on with the specifics:
Things to watch out for: This manga is a seinen manga which means they will talk about rape and show the ugliness of humanity, but it is not particularly graphic (as in, you do not see it, you just feel the sadness).
-Storytelling is amazing! I may have said above that it starts off corny, but those are lies! The opening lines actually tie in so perfectly to the ending that I felt those were entirely needed.
-Creative backgrounds of fleshed out characters. Nobody here is particularly flat. You get to see every character's life situation and philosophy on life and death.
-Crisp art style which delivers the perfect amount of emotion to each scene.
-The biggest pro here is overall just the story and philosophy. As one example, one of the characters reflects on the time when her parents' were thieved and questioned why they parents not only were not mad at their thief, but treated him with overwhelming kindness. Her parents just told her that she is too young to understand. This is a type of thinking I have never come across and leads into several different kinds of discussions. Reading each chapter you argue in your head how to think about each situation presented.
-Some of the characters look the same, and it is somewhat difficult to figure out if the character is male or female. I kept getting one of the boys mixed up with one of the girls the entire time! ;3;
-The art style is quite rough. This is only a very very minor complaint since it does not really detract from the story and the anatomy is overall very good, but if you are looking for wowing art, that isn't really found in Bokurano. It is more about the storytelling and thoughts presented in the story.
-Sometimes the material gets a little far-fetched. There was one scene, which still bothers me, where they go on about talking about how science behind how the characters can teleport in and out of the robot and it was quite convincing (I mean, not with real science, but it was fairly in-depth). Then they started talking about duplicating people, it made a little bit of sense, but when the characters questioned if they could just duplicate people can get out of situation the person explaining it said that they couldn't because the duplicate does not have the person's soul. What? That is how they got around it? That is just a small, but recurring problem with the story. I feel if you do not like the story it is because of these little cut offs. Why give us all that information and then just slap something flat and as close to saying 'I dunno why?' even though they knew to say all that other stuff why not explain everything if you explain some. Too much copping out made the story not as realistic as I would have liked it to feel.
Overall the story is fantabulous! As I have been saying!
This story deals heavily with children faced with death and because of that it is a very depressing story. If you are in the mood for depressing stories or in the mood for thought-provoking stories then you should definitely read Bokurano.
Here is another manga where people die every chapter or so~! :D I sure like me manga to come with a good helping of death.
Ikigami is abouutttt:
In the Japanese society depicted in Ikigami there have been laws put in place for several years in which everyday 1 in 1000 people between the ages of 18 and 24 will die for their nation due to the ingestion of a poison when they were in elementary school. Every child is forced to take a pill with chances that it might have poison which will kill them when they are older. Ikigami is about the deliverer of the ikigami, the death notice, to each person 24 hours before they die.
I think you know where this is going. I feel there are several manga like this (and I always read them, because they are so good). Basically you have people every chapter who show their lives and struggles as they learn to cope with their inevitable deaths, cutting their life short, before they are usually able to grasp any sort of dream.
This does not delve as deep as Bokurano into existentialism, rather it focuses more on societies affects on people. The problem of society and government's relationships. Although the society is obviously fictional, it is clear that the author has a lot of social criticism under his belt. The story here is more on the drama and feelings of the individual. It begs the questions 'What if I only have 24 hours to live?' Nobody has that answer.
-Art is gorgeous. It will make your jaw drop. It will make you want to go draw a picture of every emotion a human can make because this guy is AMAZING at drawing faces. I was already a fan of his from Heads, which is the main reason I even read Ikigami (I mean, plot sounds lovely, but plot synopsis really means nothing because the story could be written in a completely different way than you imagined). Everything is so clean and so perfect in this. It makes it a bit hard to read anything else not by this mangaka...;orz
-Story telling is masterful. It is just so clean and...masterful. What more is there for me to say? Each scene unfolds with the most perfect flow of drama. Every panel tells every detail of the story. There is never a time where I just skip over looking at a panel because then I will miss an important display of emotion.
-Similar to Heads, it is sort of like a movie. It is quite dramatic and I felt like somebody was always going to get mad and go on a killing spree...which happened several times. I do remember face palming on the last killing spree because I was just thinking 'Why does everyone want revenge? How come nobody thinks 'I want to make everyone happy and feel bad when I die' instead of 'I want everyone to die to know my pain'. Luckily (sorta) that problem was (sorta) answered in a few chapters later, but still...If I was going to die and I wanted revenge on somebody (actually I still do this) I becoming as nice as I can be so that they hate themselves and then my revenge is satisfied. Killing is not the way gaiz! Go read some Higurashi!
-Not really a complaint about the manga, just watch out about bad translators! It really ruins the moment when in the middle of the story the editor is cracking jokes and playing around with the spelling of words or using weeaboo slang. It ruins the overall atmosphere of the story. So bewarreee! Or just buy it...heh...XD
Similar to Bokurano, if you are in a mood to be sad or touched read this. If not then don't. This one is not as hard on the 'what if this happened' sort of situations. Many of the stories are in the end very touching and make you think more about life...which....woah....that is what the presence of the law was supposed to do to the people in the society...I see what you did there mangaka! >;D
And last but not leassstttt....
This is probably the weirdest manga I have every read. That and it is also one of the greatest experiences I have every had reading a manga.
The story could turn some of you guys off to it, but please read manga at all times with an open mind! It is truly a gem of manga!
It is more the opposite of Ikigami. The society in Ultra Heaven has all drugs legalized, although now the government is slowly beginning to crack down on this law and clean up the streets of drug abusers. Bars in this manga have become pump bars which allow old and young to take whatever they want to feel however they would like from the expertise of the bartender who has become some sort of therapist in a way. Our main character is a heavy addict who is beginning to lose sight of what is reality and what is just a hallucination.
Honestly I did not read the synposis for this before I read it! XD I just saw the cover art and I was like 'looks familiar....and I like the style...Let's read it!' Because anything in a semi-realistic style is immediately a good idea to me! XD Probably would not have read it if it was about drugs...and that would have been a terrible idea! Do not ignore this because of the plot! It is AMAZINNNGGG!!
Since the main character is constantly hallucinating you have no clue what is going on as well and I felt an immense feeling of disorientation and confusion, but a great sort of confusion. It was like I was high with him (not that I would know what that is like, but stillzzz). IT WAS AMAZZZINNNGGG!! Okay, okay, let's get on with the pros and cons!
Watch out for: All the manga I have listed are seinen. This one is a bit more mature than the others due to sexual content.
-The art is amazing. Ikigami was lovely for the faces and expressions, this one has that and more. Let me just show you a page:
That is pretty much the detail that is shown on every page. Every page is a work of art on its own, it is crazy that is can actually tell a story, as trippy as the story is. Half the pages in the manga are so dizzying I do not know how the mangaka could draw them.
-Not only is this manga a crazy experience reading and looking at, but the story is just genius. It focuses more on the idea of 'what is reality?'. Similar to Paprika and Inception it focuses on the merging of the dream world and reality, but this does it to an unbelievable skill. How did the mangaka do this?!
-There is something in here for everyone~! :D Not really! But if you are looking for inspiration I highly recommend this! There is at least some technique by this mangaka that will catch your eye. It is so different from anything that I have ever read immediately after reading my mind was just popping with so many different ideas!
-Can't really think of anything...Maybe the ending was slightly not so satisfying...and maybe the story was hard to catch onto, but I think that is the point. You don't know what's going on and neither does the main character.
I HIGHLY recommend this to everyone! READ IT! I mean, it's not for kids 'cause....sexual content and adult themes and yadda yadda, but I feel this would be incredibly helpful for anybody stuck in art block.
Not gonna talk about webcomics...Sorry, but if you would like to read about Gunnerkrigg Court or Cucumber Quest then go and read them. That's how I experienced them...sorta...Also I have no expertise in webcomics to recommend anything! ;orz
But back to the above...my new manga idea~! :D This will probably go away by tomorrow...'orz
Basically it is inspired by Ultra Heaven.
It's about dreams~! :D Definitely had an idea for this a looooooong time ago and then I came back after lots of research saying 'Y'know what, I do not care about dreams'...but Ultra Heaven took it from a different perspective. It's not dreams, it's the comparison of dreams and reality. Dreams are not some separate world exactly, they aren't the world of imagination, they are part of the process of our brain when we sleep. Therefore I would like to set up some sort of organized story blah in a society blah where dreams are somehow incorporated where I tackle, from my perspective, that idea of 'what is reality?'
It will still be action slightly shounen with liiike deaths and whatever ('cause that's what I do, man), but now I actually have a reason to write it! :D I mean...a theme...whatever you call it. Over arching idea? The other stories I tried to write were like 'This is quirky and fun, let's write this' or something...but I feel like the overall idea I am thinking of is flexible enough for me to add both science-y stuff and my own imagination instead of trying to force it.
This way I found that I am able to put my OCs in to a story! FINALLY!!
Finally Klan and Reese will be placed in some place they belong! Finally mah boy Vincent has a place to go! Finally Poe and that guy with the smiley face afro has a place to go~! :D Makes me happy has a mother of so many OCs that I now have somewhere to put them! But I do need to make a good amount of changes to each character and make them not stand so much out. I needed characters with eccentric personalities and struggles and I found I have a lot of them! I also found I have a lot of flat characters, too...so some of there characters I really like I can't use because they are paired with somebody else and that just won't do. No pairs you guys. If they can't live without their foil then they are too flat to go on.
CONGRATULATIONS ON MAKING IT TO THE END OF THIS POST! You must be tired and thirsty. Here is some tea and cookies and a nice fluffy bed after that terrible trek up the mountain of this post. Please relax your head now.
Totally just gonna talk about my dream and not post any art! ;D 'cause that's how I roll...
I feel so bad you gaiz...for the neglect of this website...;3; OH! By the way, I fixed meh keyboard so now I am talking much more casually~!
Anyway...on to my dream (because dreams are fun to share~! :D)
I am not sure what a nightmare is anymore...because I keep dreaming of scary things and then do not worry about it...it does not bother me so much, just slightly disturbs me that I dreamt of that. I do not understand how I dreamt what I did because I was looking at Fire Emblem fanarts before I went to bed AND I played pokemon all day...sooo...Wut?
My dream...I do not remember how it started. I think it was some class field trip (not my class...I did not really know any of the people on the trip) and it was just pretty tame. The kids did not like the teacher, I mean, he was a bit of a jerk...I do not remember why, I just remember thinking that.
I do not remember how it got to the point where it did, but somehow a few of the students were locked into the classroom with the teacher.
The building the went to school in was part of their living quarters so they did not really need to go back to their rooms, but, the teacher should not be locking them in there.
The teacher was a genius scientist person and enjoyed experimenting, especially on his students. He tortured and kept alive the few students who remained in the classroom. If they did something wrong he would punish them in some terrible way. They were not allowed to leave and nobody seemed to care that they were missing.
The teacher enjoyed watching sadistic porn and forced the children to watch it with him. He dissected several animals and forced the children to dispose of them. The children do not know much about properly disposing of corpses so the room became sickeningly dirty with bacteria everywhere.
I remember there being 3 kids. There were two boys, one with black straight hair and the other with blonde spikey hair. The girl had short curly brown hair and looked like a doll. The girl's mind kind of strayed and I do not think she could stand to think any longer. The blonde haired boy was originally really spunky and the class clown, and now was the teacher's pet (not that sort of teacher's pet...like the disturbing disgusting sadistic kind).
The all lived in this classroom, chained to the interior walls, for many years, rotting in their own filth.
I do not remember how, but somehow the black haired boy and the girl got out and ran across the street to get help (it was more of a highway. There were shops on the other side, not houses or something, it was in a city). At first they were going to call the police, but then they got very terrified. For some reason they could not trust anybody. It seemed as if everyone knew the teacher very well and it would be impossible for anyone to listen to them if they told them of the terrible things he did. So they hid around for a while. Then they tried to devise a plan to save the blonde one.
I am not sure what happened after that...I think it was just some sort of dream time skip (XD) and the two who escaped are now grown up and married with a child, but this child is not actually the child of the black haired boy, but of the teacher. They seemed to have forgotten about the blonde boy or something...but now the teacher has been found out, his school raided, and the blonde haired boy saved, but he is now a man with the social skills of a child. The girl sees the blonde one at the story and falls to her knees crying. She tries to hug him, but he is afraid of being touched and just looks at her with fear in his eyes.
The teacher ends up dying somehow, so they can all relax now, but their lives will never be normal again. The blonde one can not adjust to society and goes back to the school to try and live there, but I mean...they are tearing it down because it is nasty. Anyway, he dies when they try to tear it down. He wanted to go back to the teacher because that is all he knew for most of his life. So depressing man...;3; In meh dreams!
But then the little boy that came from the teacher and girl is weird. They start talking about how the teacher/scientist was actually some sort of a genius. Although the scientist was thought of as mad and would have been put into an insane asylum, the victims believed he was actually quite sane and everything he did was for a reason. The scientist had several sorts of gruesome works of art, that could be seen as masterpieces if not for people knowing how they were made. They did not know what he was doing to them, but they know that whatever he did had some sort of purpose.
The little boy starts to act weird and more like the teacher/scientist.
Then more time skips and my brain trying to connect this with something...the little boy grows up to be like the teacher/scientist but does the experiments in a slightly more humane way.
Eventually more and more time skips until I get to the idea that I have had for a little while about a scientist who creates painful subliminal memories that create the greatest artists. Something about how stress on the mind allows for humans to use the full potential of their talents...
I dunno...I got the idea from reading meh psychology text book...XD
I thought it was interesting 'cause it was slightly realistic? Like that the blonde one wanted to go back to the guy who tortured him all this time, similar to most abusive relationships. Obviously I got that from Himitsu Top Secret, not some sort of genius or anything...but I do find that to be an interesting topic. I was also surprised that my dream went as far as analyzing itself. If the teacher/scientist was actually a great man from a different perspective. He is ethically and morally wrong, totally, but perhaps he helped science in many ways that the children can not fathom because all they know is that they lived a significant portion of their lives in pain and confusion.
What a weird dream...ughh...WHY BRAIN?! WHYYYY?!!!
Okay...I think I MIGHT do something productive...or...play fire emblem...or somethinngggggggggggg.....
ADIOS~! Sorry for the weird dream and long post! O.o;
Sounds like the title of some art film...;D
But I must apologize for the major neglect! I feel so bad for completely ignoring theO. I blame my stupid Psychology class...it has been stressing me out a ton...but I think I have a good handle on it and how I would like to be spending my time: Homework first, play second. I have been doing the opposite. If I make play second then my play becomes productive because I was doing something productive before. If I make it first I just watch the same video for hours...and then do homework reluctantly....
Not only that but I have been having too much fun with friends: Going to birthday parties, Japanese speech contest, hanging out for way too long at night and during dinner...So I blame socializing as well...
I need to do some art for theO...but I dunno what to do...;3;
Anyway...in some slightly more interest/less complaining side of thingssss...I broke my elbow! Le gasp! The first time I have ever broken a bone! So now I have a cast...The problem here is that it is hard to put on clothes and shower...The bigger problem is that it is my right, dominant hand...;3; It is really hard to draw and I can not move my wrist because of the cast (which is actually a splint, not sure why I am calling it a cast...maybe less letters?)
I am also having problems with meh keyboard...for some reason all the symbols are jumbled...;3;
More news....spring is slowly coming and I do not say this because of the weather (I did, and then there was a snow storm and broke my elbow...so yeah, the weather is a lie) but because love is in the air! I say this not with joy or positivity of any sort...I was asked out several times in a very short span of time. I would just like to know why. I mean, most people think I look like a 12 year old girl, so then why are people asking me out on dates. I refused all of them, and now I have realized that they just wanted to get to know me. If that is what they wanted they should have just sat down and talked to me like everyone else. I mean, they have excuses. I am friends with their friends or I am in the same class as them...Gosh, why does it have to be so movie-like and weird...I am not good with romance guys.
I may enjoy reading romance manga and fantasizing about that stuff, but real romance freaks me out...Not sure why. Some people may said it is because of fear of rejection, but no, I want rejection. I do not sticking with the same people for the rest of my life. It is the fear of being tied down...That is what I think.
Alas, I believe I am a hypocrite...because there is somebody I like and with every new guy to ask me out I find another reason to like him. I do not like it. I do not liking somebody this much...>3> I also do not know if is healthy either because he is a very innocent person who is not interested in romance. But I am not either. Maybe it is better that way. Bahh...spring is irritating me...
Also there is this really scary guy at my school who talks to my friends a lot and I talked to him a few times and now he is trying to friend me on facebook...I am so scared man! He is so scary...I do not want to be friends with him! ;3; Super duper aggressive and a bad influence...and he hangs out with my friends although they hate him....so...do not know what to do because now he knows my name.
If you think I have been talking weird in this post it mainly because of my keyboard problems...so I have no other way of talking. I can not use apostrophes...soooo...
And all these great art contests I keep missing! ;3;
But the girlfriend of my good friend is also into art so I can fangasm with her about stuffs....maybe that will propel me into more posts on here? I need to talk to more people about art...I do not talk to many people in my art class...and I need to talk more to people about art. I think that is the main problem here...
All this talk about needing to do art...guess what I will do? Do some art! But again, elbow broken, so it will be with my left hand! XD
Because that fusion meme...so fun! ;3;
Originally just wanting to combine Light and Johan, but then I was like, hey, let's use another killer who looks cool and wears a suit. Then from the suit and light hairstyles I decided I should just use Maki (and 'cause Maki) thus these results.
I prefer drawing in this style than...any other style...Dunno why I don't more often. I'm afraid of getting to far away from the idolling style...but that might be for the better if I like this style better? I'm also afraid of ending up looking just like Takeshi Obata...hopefully that won't be the case.
As I was doing this I thought 'Maybe I should just do a fusion of serial killers'....and that would be really hard because do you know how many there are in anime/manga? Then I remember Rokuro Bundou...;3; He would've been perfect for thissss...Ah wellzz...
This is a very fun meme, maybe I will do more (but since I am saying that now I probably won't)
My last two posts...what were those all about?!
I recently have been looking at tons of artwork ever since coming across HUGE Phoenix Wright pictures in very high quality. I thought, if I can find these can't I find art from other artists in such high quality. So I spent most of this week doing just that, though, mainly looking at concept art (because that stuff blows my mind, all that white space and still so much form!)
Then I started noticing how they did what they did in each picture. How was I able to figure such a wild thing out? Well, experience from the programs that I know that they are using (ch'ya I can tell if you used SAI or Photoshop just from the look of your brush strokes), and something else. None of the pictures I looked at were 100% perfect. That is to say, they have really small mistakes that I would have counted as major faults in the artwork, except that if I saw the picture in slightly lower quality it would look like a masterpiece to me.
I've realized that I'm probably not the only one who freaks out about tiny mistakes. These little mistakes from professional artists have reassured me that the tiny mistakes are meaningless.
Is there one white pixel among a coloured space? Did you not colour one small colour? Is the colouring really flat and too striking close up? Does the lineart not match the soft shading of the rest of the drawing? Is the lineart the wrong colour? Are the eyes asymmetrical?
All these questions I've constantly asked myself as I was doing a picture, or looking back at the picture. I become so critical of myself I miss the big picture.
That's what every artist should focus on, the big picture!
You could criticize any form of art. Dancing, music, etc. Nothing is perfect, there is always a small detail. If you spend all your time trying to cover up all the most miniscule of holes, cover up every pixel in colour, you are wasting your time and energy and not looking at the picture as a whole.
As a whole where are the mistakes?
This is why when you look at a picture you should look at it from a distance.
Although that IS the point that I am getting to, looking at the small thumbnail of a picture, even if it looks really cool, is not what your actual picture looks like. I am also guilty of that large mistake. Fix it and shape it enough to where you could look at it at about 25-35% and think it looks good.
That is my big advice to all artists, but especially beginners. I've noticed a lot of beginners focus on so many small things that just get them stuck. The best thing to do it free your brush, your pen. Let it go all over the page. If you make a mistake use that mistake to form something new.
The painter is just a magician that makes a bunch of dots and squiggles look like a reflection of humanity.
Okie-dokie~! That's all I wanted ta say~! ;D