Forum - View topic
House of 1000 Manga - Thermae Romae




Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 12767
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:36 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
(She makes Lucius look as much like a classical statue as possible, which doesn't always allow for fluid, naturalistic movement, but does give him awesome abs.)


Let's face it; having awesome abs is more important than fluid movement. Abs make everything better.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime
whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 314

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:54 pm Reply with quote
I feel like my "to buy" list expands every time I read this column. Anime hyper I saw the movie of Thermae Romae (which is probably a different beast altogether, but I found it hilarious), but I'm finding I'm a sucker for a lot more things than I'd thought. Turns out I'm a sucker for well-researched manga, too! It'll be interesting having a hardcover manga, though.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 411

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:38 pm Reply with quote
One of the anime that really surprised me and reinforced the concept that you can make fun show out of pretty much anything (plus that ending theme was awesome https://www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=​81EmQ4U1g5U)

The manga sounds pretty cool, I'll pick it up if I find it in a library.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ittoujuu



Joined: 25 Sep 2009
Posts: 146
Location: SoCal

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:57 pm Reply with quote
I enjoy classical/ancient history, and I like stories about culture, so I picked up the first volume of Thermae Romae after having thoroughly enjoyed a chapter I read in a bookstore. It turned out to be a fantastic manga, and easily my favorite comic to come out of the last five years or so.

If there's a weak point, it might be that the story relies on its one plot of "Lucius faces a challenge he doesn't know how to surmount, randomly slips in a bath and is transported to Japan where he discovers an inspiration that helps him solve his problem, then goes back and implements it" a bit too long before more serial plot elements are introduced. However, there's enough variation thrown in, and Lucius's reactions so amusing, that the jokes prove much more durable than one would initially expect.

The presentation is also pretty praise-worthy - these are a trio of handsome hardcovers that, while on the pricey side, feel worth their cost. Good paper quality and two JP tankoubon per volume, all of Yamazaki's historical notes translated and included, and in a premium, larger size that lets you appreciate the details on the architectural artwork.

It seems like a story that would be really niche; after all, how many people would hear about a manga that's about the bathing differences and similarities between the modern Japanese and the ancient Romans and think, "That sounds RIVETING! Definitely gonna pick that one up!"? But it works, and I think the audience that would appreciate this could be pretty broad, though it might take reading a chapter or two as a proof-of-concept.

There are some fantastic, surreal moments too, such as in volume 3 when spoiler[after a subtle buildup that brings the individual elements of it together, Lucius hastily assembles a "chariot" in modern Japan and hurtles through the street chasing a car to save his Rome-obsessed romantic interest.] On one hand it was damn majestic, but on the other hand, it was weird as hell and made me break out into laughter.

So yeah...if this series sounds interesting to you but you haven't read it yet, give it a shot. It's a fun concept that's long enough to be fulfilling, but short enough that it doesn't wear out its welcome. Good stuff!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1168
Location: Sunny California

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:07 pm Reply with quote
Love the series. I was blown away with how many different scenarios the writer was able to "milk" from an ancient Roman visiting modern Japan. The story could have easily, but never does, go stale.

Usually I'm drawn to character driven stories. I love to see how characters react to and connect with one another. To me, Thermae Romae's characters are pretty flat and predictable, BUT the plot more than makes up for this fact. I get a real kick out of the situations Yamazaki creates. The premise is clever, but a lesser writer would have made Thermae Romae a one-shot and could have respectably called it a day.

Something I wonder about...
I was a little surprised at the treatment Yen press gave this release. Sure the title has a solid pedigree, but I doubt it was something that most North American manga fans salivated over. The volumes are gorgeous: beautiful, strong paper, hard cover, well bound, lovely transparent book jacket, etc. Was the series given this treatment because Yen knew it had a solid fan base or did they (cleverly) give it the treatment to entice otaku (like me) to purchase it to support their pleasure in a "strongly presented" manga release?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cyclone1993



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 595

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:15 am Reply with quote
here-and-faraway wrote:


Something I wonder about...
I was a little surprised at the treatment Yen press gave this release. Sure the title has a solid pedigree, but I doubt it was something that most North American manga fans salivated over. The volumes are gorgeous: beautiful, strong paper, hard cover, well bound, lovely transparent book jacket, etc. Was the series given this treatment because Yen knew it had a solid fan base or did they (cleverly) give it the treatment to entice otaku (like me) to purchase it to support their pleasure in a "strongly presented" manga release?


I'm under the impression it's more like. "No one is going to buy this series. Let's make it a deluxe edition so we can sell it to the people who care for more money."

That way they can still make a profit on it. If it allows them to release more obscure titles though, I'm all for it!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
classicalzawa
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 5021

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:19 am Reply with quote
My high school, believe it or not, offered Latin. It was a public high school, making it even weirder. Still, a lot of people took it because those were the most awesome language teachers in the school. Myself included, I also took Latin for three years. I wasn't exactly good though. Still, seeing some of this Latin class stuff come back at me was fun.

And yes, Lucius' deadpan reactions were absolutely the best!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
katscradle



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:36 am Reply with quote
I love Thermae Romae. It brought back a longing for the hot springs near my hometown. I broke my rule of buying digital instead when it's available to purchase the English edition in print just because they are so large (the largest manga I have in my collection) and in hardcover. (If someone has an eReader or tablet at $21 digital is a little cheaper option). The first printing of volume 1 with the acetate slipcover even impressed Yamazaki since she commented about it on Twitter.

I was a little perturbed the price went up to $40 for the last volume though. Especially since I just take the slipcovers off as the large rectangle title annoys me for covering up the artwork on them. But, that's really my only complaint about the English edition.
(Oh, wait the way they have sfx three ways is distracting too.)

here-and-faraway wrote:
Something I wonder about...
I was a little surprised at the treatment Yen press gave this release. Sure the title has a solid pedigree, but I doubt it was something that most North American manga fans salivated over. The volumes are gorgeous: beautiful, strong paper, hard cover, well bound, lovely transparent book jacket, etc. Was the series given this treatment because Yen knew it had a solid fan base or did they (cleverly) give it the treatment to entice otaku (like me) to purchase it to support their pleasure in a "strongly presented" manga release?


Yen has this behind the scenes piece on publishing Thermae Romae that might shed some light: http://www.yenpress.com/​2012/​10/​the-​making-​of-​thermae-​romae/​
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1168
Location: Sunny California

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:45 am Reply with quote
katscradle wrote:

Yen has this behind the scenes piece on publishing Thermae Romae that might shed some light: http://www.yenpress.com/​2012/​10/​the-​making-​of-​thermae-​romae/​


Thanks for the link. That was a good read!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Snomaster1



Joined: 31 Aug 2011
Posts: 1001

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:34 pm Reply with quote
To be honest,I hope that Hollywood or anyone else doesn't attempt to do an American version of "Thermae Romae." I don't really see how it can work. I can't see a Roman bathing engineer ending up in modern day America. The way we bathe here is so much different from what it is either in Japan or Ancient Rome. It would never really work. I'm sorry,but I just can't really imagine someone here doing that.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 314

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:45 pm Reply with quote
Wouldn't that be ironic? I thought TR was made partly because the mangaka was frustrated with the US' lack of bathing culture. Anime hyper But yeah, I don't see *anyone* greenlighting this one, unless they were using the Japanese movie as a spring board. Bathing just isn't interesting to us Stateside folks. We prefer showers! Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Chrno2



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 3889
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:13 pm Reply with quote
I'm kind of getting to this thread late as I just got back to work a week ago after sitting through a weeks vacation developing pharyngitis. I find it funny that after I got back to work, as I walked through entry past the presort area (on my way to my desk in the back of the library) I noticed our copies (vols 1&2) of Thermae Romae sitting waiting to be shelved. I decided to take a quick look at the circ history. The book does go out quite often. I'm often surprised as this was one of the titles I put on our list after hearing about it and seeing it first hand at the Yen Press table at one of the past NYCCs. Then I turn on my computer go to ANN and an article the same day. To be honest I had no clue as to what the contents of the book was until I read this review. Now I'm glad that I made that choice for us to pick it up. It's a really interesting concept. We have manga about cooking food, and wine tasting but bath houses is one I'm not familiar with. Even the premise of using a drain as a form of time travel is whacky in itself. Only the Japanese can come up with some insane ideas. I could be wrong. But it's an interesting release by Yen Press and a nice distribution. It great to see other female artists with good stories. It seems that Mari Yamazaki (while I've never heard of her) knows her work. I may have to eventually read it. Great review.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address My Anime My Manga
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group