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House of 1000 Manga - From Far Away


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OtakuKitten



Joined: 03 Dec 2009
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:16 pm Reply with quote
I did like how From Far Away challenged the protagonist at least a little bit with the language barrier. It was a nice touch.
It's one of those things where most stories just expect you to suspend your disbelief far enough so the story can move a bit faster but it always bugged me that everyone in the magical realm just happen to also speak Japanese.
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malvarez1



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 713

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:48 pm Reply with quote
Huh. This sounds pretty interesting, I may have to check it out.
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Collectonian



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 45
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:59 pm Reply with quote
My second all time favorite manga series (second only to Mars). I thought it was well done.

Yeah, it was a fantasy so not always "realistic", but I thought it was a great touch that the mangaka actually dealt with the issue of two very different worlds speaking different languages versus just the usual "we all speak the same language" thing Smile
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gilg4mesh



Joined: 22 Jan 2013
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 3:29 pm Reply with quote
Overall good, even if I was disappointed so very much with the ending... Seems that this series is Kyoko Hikawa's most notable work tho
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No Comment



Joined: 19 Jun 2012
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 6:57 pm Reply with quote
This has been on my Want To Read list for a while, but it got prioritized higher now after seeing the artwork. It has its flaws, but I have a soft spot for 90's shoujo character designs, and as the term implies there is limited amount of works with it, and an even lesser amount that is coupled with a good story, so I will take all I can get.

It shall be added to my increasingly absurd Manga To Get From The Library Over Summer list (Pluto, Flowers Of Evil, Blade Of The Immortal, Red River, and now this).
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asckj1



Joined: 12 Mar 2014
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 11:00 pm Reply with quote
Very nice review *thumbs up*

I recently bought this manga and am really really glad that I did. I loved the whole plot and all of the characters. Yeah is all complete fantasy and a bit old in art style but I still loved every bit of it.

And as the reviewer mentions the not understanding the language between the characters is a really well executed bit in the manga. And yes the girl protagonist is a bit too weak and is the damsel in distress for 99.9% of the time, I'd say, which sometime makes her seem a bit annoying. But nevermind. Its stil totally recommended for reading if you like fantasy, adventure romance genre.
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Graceful Nanami



Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 197
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 1:24 am Reply with quote
Kanata Kara is one of my all-time favorites. Such a charming series with tons of actual GOOD ACTION. Action in a shoujo series!? YES (though it's not THAT uncommon...). So good. Noriko is simply adorable, too. Great heroine, never found her annoying.

The supporting characters are generally likable as well, some even a lot! Lighthearted adventure with a touch of intensity here and there. It's great. Still have all my volumes. Probably won't get rid of 'em, either. I still thank old VIZ and CMX for translating a lot of these kinds of series back in the day. Good times.
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Diamond-hime



Joined: 02 May 2014
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 1:55 am Reply with quote
I read and think it should have been given a lot more credit than it got. I love this manga, it is one of my all time favorites having read it at least 15 times and just recently finished it again this week.

I don't think that I could ask for a better fantasy manga (I also love Red River) it has all the aspects I look for romance, action, great story-line.
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white_moon_



Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 2:40 am Reply with quote
I read this series years ago and really like it. While the heroine is passive, at least she's not whiny? And, I figured if I was dumped in another world I'd be pretty useless.

I don't mind 90s shoujo stylings, actually, and Kyoko Hikawa's work always make me happy for some reason.
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DaniellaGruber



Joined: 02 May 2014
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 2:09 pm Reply with quote
Love this series, and I'm so glad that Viz has brought it back on their digital platforms, but Jason unfairly pinned the "damsel in distress" label onto Noriko!

Yeah, she doesn't have the flashy powers or physical abilities of other characters in the series, but she spends most of the series helping others to the best of her abilities. A lazier storyteller would have just given the girl some powers, but Noriko remains her original self and still winds up having an impact on her new world. She pushes Izark to stop running away from his "evil" powers and society, so that he can help fight back against the true evil in their world. (She even helps him heal from a lot of psychological trauma!) She unintentionally fosters an environment where good people can join forces to fight that evil (because it can't really be taken down alone in one fell swoop, and everyone contributes towards making the forces of evil weaker.) In general, she just inspires everyone around her to be proactive and change for the better.

Noriko is not a strong female character in the way that people like to assume strong female characters must be. She provides a wildly different take on what makes a heroine, one that tells girls that they don't have to be anything but themselves in order to help others. And that is precisely what Jason mistakes for the "damsel in distress" archetype.
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manapear



Joined: 02 May 2014
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 3:16 pm Reply with quote
DaniellaGruber wrote:
[. . .]

Noriko is not a strong female character in the way that people like to assume strong female characters must be. She provides a wildly different take on what makes a heroine, one that tells girls that they don't have to be anything but themselves in order to help others. And that is precisely what Jason mistakes for the "damsel in distress" archetype.


I generally just lurk on ANN, but I wanted to join just to say: this. x1000

There's nothing wrong with a female character that isn't a fighter and needs to be saved, especially when she has a lot of agency and impact - and strength, even if it isn't physical. I appreciate that Noriko is human and cries and feels helpless, but she shows true strength by overcoming things and taking on challenges and trying to improve.

That's an incredibly important message for girls, and for boys to understand too.

Also, I can understand why the assumption that the action was made for males came up, but it's still obnoxious and part of a larger problem; yes, women and girls can and do enjoy action (and a variety of it). Not all action, no matter how "shounen seeming," is made to appeal to males. That's something else that is often neglected and forgotten.
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DaniellaGruber



Joined: 02 May 2014
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 4:08 pm Reply with quote
manapear wrote:


There's nothing wrong with a female character that isn't a fighter and needs to be saved, especially when she has a lot of agency and impact - and strength, even if it isn't physical. I appreciate that Noriko is human and cries and feels helpless, but she shows true strength by overcoming things and taking on challenges and trying to improve.

That's an incredibly important message for girls, and for boys to understand too.


Yeah! You get it! Very Happy
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 552

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 9:50 pm Reply with quote
I have to chime in too. This is one of the best shoujo manga I've read. The heroine is strong, and as others have said, no damsel in distress. She just has a different way of dealing with the problems facing her.

The action scenes were some of the best I've seen in manga. I thought they outdo most of the shounen I've read

What I loved most about the series though it that it's not just about flowery shoujo love, it's about love of all kinds, family, friends, and yes that between people who fall in love. But that love and trust and acceptance between the main and supporting characters is what wins the day. spoiler[Even the villain in the end learns and craves this. My heart broke for him.]

So, not your typical shoujo manga. The overall feeling to me was more Furuba than Red River, except with great action.
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classicalzawa
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 4902

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 10:23 pm Reply with quote
I, too, do not recall Noriko being kidnapped at a constant rate. I really liked Noriko actually, I feel like most female characters I've seen in a similar situation annoy me. She's definitely an average middle school girl (or was it high school? School is only there for like 7 pages tops anyway), she's not overly smart or super sporty, but she's kind, likable, always does her best, and just has this infectious positive attitude that affects both the reader and characters. And she's not whiny, that would've just killed her potential. Also, she's not raped and immediately falls in love with the rapist, I freakin' hate that trope, but it does seem to be alarmingly common. And the other thing I liked was the relationship between Izark and Noriko, I can think of few manga period where it felt so natural. Noriko clung to Izark early on because monsters and stuff, but as she learned the language and really started communicating with Izark, it really became something special. It wasn't a love at first sight sort of thing, it went from protector to lover in a way so naturally I can't think of a single scene where it just suddenly changed, it was really a natural and slow progression.

I like my shojo to have action myself. I think Basara easily has better action, but From Far Away's was nothing to sneeze at. But part of that was probably that Sarasa was the badass fighter that Noriko isn't. But I couldn't really call Noriko or Sarasa a better protagonist, they were both really good and I think they were both strong in different ways. I don't think they could switch each other's manga either, they're right where they needed to be. But Basara is still the series I compare it to most I think. It's kind of like a "Basara-lite" for me, if you will. I don't mean 'lite' in a bad way at all, but I do think Basara is more epic in scope (and clearly has waaay more characters). Actually, my one friend refuses to read series with art she dislikes, so when I couldn't get her to read Basara, I had her read FFA instead. Maybe someday I'll get her on Basara...

Yeah, thinking back on the timeskips, guess there were a bit odd, but it did move the story along and I don't think they detract from it too hard.
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Graceful Nanami



Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 197
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 12:52 am Reply with quote
Everyone in this thread! Yes! Exactly. The characters in Kanata Kara are very well-crafted in the ways that are pretty different from the norm. It's refreshing.

And I hope you get your friend to read Basara. I really do. I did not take to the artwork at first, either, but now it's my favorite fictional work to date, art included. The two Basara artbooks from Tamura are two I will never get rid of. SO GORGEOUS. Her style is so unique.

...Now I want to read both Kanata Kara and Basara again. I have no time for this! Haha.
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