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RIGHT TURN ONLY!! - Night Head Kobato.


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Uppa



Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:38 am Reply with quote
I've been waiting for Toriko to find out just what on earth it's all about. I have, further, been shying away from the previews and chapters made available through Shonen Jump, as I really want to jump into this blind. I'm hopeful that I'll grow to love it.
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Ojamajo LimePie



Joined: 09 Nov 2007
Posts: 552

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:39 am Reply with quote
So harsh on Kobato.! Shocked

And I'm getting a vibe of disdain for all things mahou shoujo. Did one steal candy from you as a kid or something? Razz
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Aura Ichadora



Joined: 25 Apr 2008
Posts: 1366
Location: In front of my computer

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:12 pm Reply with quote
Just judging by the cover, Fairy Navigator Runa looks absolutely adorable and sounds like it'd be a cute story too. Despite the review it got here, I'll probably still check it out when I get a chance - I love a cute magical girl story every now and then.

Kobato...I get the feeling like all of CLAMP's works it's a hit-or-miss with everyone. Personally, I haven't found a CLAMP work I didn't like so I have full confidence that I'll like Kobato despite the reviews it's been getting so far. From what I've read before, it has some crossovers later on with their earlier work Wish, which I simply adore, so that should be very interesting on its own.
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marie-antoinette
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Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:46 pm Reply with quote
Ojamajo LimePie wrote:
And I'm getting a vibe of disdain for all things mahou shoujo. Did one steal candy from you as a kid or something? Razz


Considering the praise Carlo has for Sugar Sugar Rune, I don't think that it's a genre thing. I watched the first episode of the recent Kobato anime and yeah, I pretty much have to agree that it's as formulaic as they come, without anything special to really redeem it (especially when put beside, say, CCS).

Toriko definitely sounds like an odd series. It saw a video review for it awhile back and it definitely is an original take on a different formula (being shounan action) that looks different enough to make one overlook the fact that it draws upon a very cliche structure.
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aereus



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 417

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:00 pm Reply with quote
This guy for Right Turn Only reminds me why nearly all reviews I've seen online are worthless. Giving the shoujo titles a D-ranking, while giving the shonen ones a B-C obviously smacks of bias. But you come to expect that from upstarts that want to put themselves on a pedestal.

I don't know why he expects some kind of literary greatness out of Runa -- it's a manga designed and marketed towards young girls. They don't break out of the tried-and-true mold, because it's a temporary viewerbase -- in a few years those girls will be into a new age demographic. So in comes a new generation being sold to, and it's "new to them", etc.

It's much like how in the US, you had movies like The Neverending Story, Flight of the Navigator, The Last Starfighter, etc. It's a plot trope that perenially sells well to children. Look at Pokemon doing basically the same thing for the last 15 years...
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vashfanatic
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Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:51 pm Reply with quote
aereus wrote:
This guy for Right Turn Only reminds me why nearly all reviews I've seen online are worthless. Giving the shoujo titles a D-ranking, while giving the shonen ones a B-C obviously smacks of bias. But you come to expect that from upstarts that want to put themselves on a pedestal.

Uh... he's given shoujo series very positive reviews in the past, and bashed on seinen and shounen series when they merit it. And how is he an "upstart" putting himself "on a pedestal"? He's a paid reviewer, not some fan mouthing off in a forum.

I think you need to go back and read some earlier columns, you'll see that overall this review is pretty fair when it comes to demographics. What's more, Kobato got a positive review from another reviewer on this site, so you have them both to compare.

Quote:
I don't know why he expects some kind of literary greatness out of Runa -- it's a manga designed and marketed towards young girls. They don't break out of the tried-and-true mold, because it's a temporary viewerbase -- in a few years those girls will be into a new age demographic. So in comes a new generation being sold to, and it's "new to them", etc.

If Pixar has taught us anything, just because something is aimed at children doesn't mean it should be given a pass if it is bad.
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Julia-the-Great



Joined: 14 May 2005
Posts: 327

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:07 pm Reply with quote
The thing about the first volume of Kobato. is, it's not the first volume written. Volume 2 was the first one that came out, then they went back and did Volume 1, which might explain why Volume 1 is kind of... different? from the rest of the series.

It's not my favorite CLAMP title, but it's interesting enough to hold my attention, and Kobato is just too cute for words. The plot eventually focuses less and less on the whole "collecting scarred hearts" angle and focuses more on the nursery and the romance going on, neither of which are introduced in volume 1.

The anime, on the other hand... there are some things handled well and other things it most certainly did not... but, that's neither here nor there.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:29 pm Reply with quote
marie-antoinette wrote:

Considering the praise Carlo has for Sugar Sugar Rune, I don't think that it's a genre thing.


Must be a lot of first-time readers this week, which is a good thing, I suppose. Not only did he give Sugar Sugar Rune rave reviews, he has also been quite positive about Alice in the Country of Hearts, which if he were being harsh on shoujo would certainly be open to arbitrary criticism, being based on a visual novel. Keep reading, I think you'll find that he really is very fair.
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CCSYueh



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:39 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
EVIDENCE FOR:
Baseball philosopher Bill James once said that the faults of pretty girls are too much tolerated—but when an artistic work is as pretty as Kobato, who's complaining?


Obviously you are.

Quote:
The visual style is as pleasing as they come, with the requisite population of six-foot-tall pretty boys and doe-eyed young women (including the title character, of course). Every few chapters there comes a moment of eye-catching brilliance: the sight of winter's first snowfall, the swirling petals at the end of the flower-viewing chapter, the sudden fight scene when Ioryogi is visited by a mysterious rival.


So as ART, which this is, it's apparently "A" material.

Quote:
EVIDENCE AGAINST:
It appears that the fandom's worst fears have come true: CLAMP has become a parody of itself.


Really?
Is there some CLAMP fans newsletter?
I've never worried of any such thing ever happening.

Quote:
The very premise of Kobato—"earn enough points to get the bottle so you can collect X number of hearts to fulfill your Very Important Wish"—sounds like a fill-in-the-blank plot device, a story in search of a story because the authors got lazy.


CLAMP has covered ideas from games to mythology. Actually the first thing that came to mind was Sugar Sugar Rune, but that author was pretty black-hearted with Flowers & Bees so I never went past one volume.

Quote:
Is this perhaps a sarcastic commentary on the sorry state of Japanese popular entertainment?


Or the critic's low tolerance for the genre or not being that much a fan of the artist in question. Fans tolerate a bit more. I'll take a weak story for beautiful art & vice versa.

Quote:
Or a legendary team of artists seeing how much they can get away with on name recognition alone?


Return to the art style more similar to CCS. Already layering the mysteries. (what is this wish she is so desperate to fulfill? What was with the warning that wish might change as she collects the hearts? Does this mean the dog is expecting Kobato to grow/mature? What's with the ref to the dog's form being different? Why was Kobato warned to always wear a hat? Does she have a horn? A bald spot? A map to China?)

Quote:
(I've had it with Christmas chapters, why doesn't anyone ever do a Boxing Day chapter?)


Japan celebrates Boxing Day? I thought it's a requirement of all shojo titles they hit Christmas & Valentine's. They don't even have to hit White Day, but there has to be at least one Christmas episode & one Valentine's episode.

Quote:
and by the time it looks like there may be proper characters and a plot after all, it's already the last chapter in the book.

Wasn't there something about the chapters being out of order of the serialization, or that the serialization was originally shorter? Does it matter how long it takes to get going as long as it does? Vol 1 & 2 came out on the same day. Maybe there was a reason.

Quote:
What knowledgeable CLAMP fans may find even more irritating, however, is the use of gratuitous character cameos, to the point of being distracting rather than being cute or clever. Look, it was cool when they did it in Tsubasa. This, however, is just stupid.


It tells me it takes place in a certain place at a certain time in the CLAMP universe. Damn, did we hate Arale's cameo in DB?

Quote:
FINAL VERDICT:
If this is CLAMP's idea of a joke, then, congratulations to them! The fact that such a pointless series was allowed to exist past the first chapter is hilarious. Pretty pictures can't compensate for what is essentially D-level content.

Yet the stupid shonen title's a B?

Quote:
Considering the praise Carlo has for Sugar Sugar Rune,


Anno's pretty black-hearted. I loved Flowers & Bees to a point, but she did get a bit mroe vicious than she needed to.

Quote:
I don't think that it's a genre thing. I watched the first episode of the recent Kobato anime and yeah, I pretty much have to agree that it's as formulaic as they come, without anything special to really redeem it (especially when put beside, say, CCS).


I actually approach any anime made of a CLAMP title with trepidation because most fail miserably. Angelic Layer was a fun little 5 volume manga romp turned into 26 episodes with more melodrama than the manga ever had (Do you know how grossed out I was at Icchan drooling over Misaki's mom? Hey, what about his wife, Chitose?) MKR also saw 2 3-volume manga titles vastly elaborated on. It's really best to view their manga as very separate from any anime made off it.
For example, according to Wiki-
Quote:
However, the restriction is that she is not allowed to fall in love with any person whose heart she heals.
We've not seen that in the Kobato manga in the first 2 volumes as I recall. Just the hat & don't break the bottle in her running gag of falling all the time.
Basically, it's CLAMP's story to tell & the reader either likes it or doesn't. If one likes enough of an author's titles, one calls oneself a fan. If one likes one story, but not others, whatever. It's even not uncommon for different fans to like different titles best. My favorite would be CCS followed by Duklyon, but I see very few fans ref Duklyon. I really didn't expect to like Kobato & put it on the bottom of the pile I got that week (Black Butler, Pandora Hearts, some yaoi) so I was amazed I enjoyed it as much as I did.
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neocloud9



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 1175
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:06 pm Reply with quote
Wow, I can't believe you were so mean about Kobato! It's the first CLAMP manga I've enjoyed in quite a while. A welcome return to shojo roots, if you ask me... It was incredibly sweet and heartfelt, especially compared to the obfuscating mess that Tsubasa became. Wah.
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Aylinn



Joined: 18 Nov 2006
Posts: 1557

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:17 pm Reply with quote
I have a question about Kobato.
People say that the manga is different from the anime, so I ask out of curiosity.

Is Kobato such a brainless klutz in the manga like in the anime? Does she develop and stop being a brainless klutz in the manga?

If she does change I may reconsider reading the manga.


Last edited by Aylinn on Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kyokat



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:21 pm Reply with quote
I love Clamp, and I really enjoyed most of the Kobato anime, but I pretty much agree with the score for the first volume. It's choppily paced, doesn't go anywhere, and the writing (not sure if it's the translator's fault or the editor's) is downright wooden. Oh, and it's published by Yen Press, so all of the sound effects - of which there are many - are done in that annoying "transliteration (translation)" style, which is plain distracting in a series as art-focused as this one.

I'm sure it gets better after this, but it's a lousy first volume to introduce anyone to Kobato or Clamp in general.
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jmfsilenthill
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 1768
Location: Frig off, Ricky!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:02 pm Reply with quote
Been meaning to check out Dead Man Wonderland. There's just too much stuff out, I can't possibly afford it all Crying or Very sad .
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John Casey



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 1853
Location: In My Angry Center

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:39 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
"Based on a webcomic." Really, that's all you need to know about the quality of this series. Make of it what you will. Read it if you dare.

Must I link you to several webcomics that will not only kick that statement's ass, AND kick the ass of at least half the stuff covered throughout this column's history?

:/ Didn't think so. Let's keep biases to ourselves...
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littlegreenwolf
Crazy FangirlCrazy Fangirl


Joined: 10 Aug 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:56 pm Reply with quote
Wow, totally do NOT agree with the Kobota rating. It's not a complete A all around, but the art is fantastic, and the plot is at the very least a C when you compare it to past volumes you've reviewed.

Previous review posted on Kobota hit it all head on in my opinion.
And suggesting something is low quality just because it starts out as a web comic is just low. WTF happened to you this week Carlos? Usually you’re so… agreeable. Ah well, opinions – can’t low or agree with them all.
Anyway, to our guest reviewer on Cain:

Godchild is the sequel series to Yuki's earlier five volume manga, Count/Earl Cain, which, to be blunt, is dreadful. Hideous, crude art and murky plot contaminate the pages, but sadly, the manga fills in much of the gaps in the back-story and plot of Godchild.

Hey hey hey, watch it with what you call dreadful, hideous, crude art with murky plots. When you get down to it, God Child is no better in plot than Cain Saga. In fact I personally enjoy the little mysteries in Cain Saga more, because with God Child it seems Kaori Yuki just wrote herself into a hole. All God Child is is an art upgrade of Cain Saga, and it switches the focus from the one shot mysteries to Cain himself.

Cain Saga is not hideous or crude in the art at all. Kaori Yuki just had a much lighter hand at the time, so the line thickness isn't that solid, and her backgrounds are practically non-existent (a habit which continues in God Child), but it's far from deserving of a "crude or hideous" label. It's on par with just about any other shoujo manga art style from the early to mid-90s (more manga fans should actually read some older titles every once in a while), and it does the series a disservice to suggest otherwise.

The difference in art can easily be explained if you take a look at Kaori Yuki's project list. Cain Saga predates the large project Kaori Yuki took called Angel Sanctuary (which by the way is an amazing example of the evolution of style a manga-ka can take) and then she continued Cain with God Child after Angel Sanctuary finished. The art in Angel Sanctuary starts out looking like Cain Saga, but no one is going around saying Angel Sanctuary has some of the worst art around.

Forgotten Juliet, Branded Bibi, Who Killed Cock Robin, The Tragic Tale of Ms. Pudding, and Elizabeth in the Mirror are some of the finest "mysteries" in the whole of Count Cain, and are fun examples of Victorian-style mysteries, untainted by the "Gothic Lolita" stereotypes that popped up later in Japanese culture (Gothi-Loli began popping up around 1997 thanks to visual Kei, and lovely as the costumes are, aren't always historically accurate in their designs, as well as a lot of the Victorian assumptions they make on the culture), and they're even more interesting because Cain is a main character who doesn't actually play a main role in them. The mysteries are the focus and the draw, now the weird, bizarre soap drama that is Cain's family, which is riddled with plot holes and things that just don't make sense.

Oh dear, I went off on a little fan-rant again.
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