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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Special Guest Edition: Wish


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neocloud9



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

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:06 pm Reply with quote
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I tend to prefer the Nekoi-headed CLAMP titles [...]


Same here, Suki is actually my favorite CLAMP manga. (Also one of the very few non-supernatural ones they've done...to my knowledge, anyway.)

Really mourning that CLAMP in America book now. Crying or Very sad
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Wiesteria



Joined: 25 May 2007
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:29 am Reply with quote
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Jake Forbes, who edited this and many other CLAMP manga for Tokyopop, called Wish the group's “most perfect series.”


I'd have to disagree with this. IMO, Wish is an example of CLAMP's tendency towards weak endings (or no endings at all). The story starts off well enough and really does a good job of pulling you in, but then for no stated reasons whatsoever: spoiler[Soichirou dies]. This event was shocking firstly for the twist it gives the series, but then secondly due the sheer idiocy of it ever taking place. It just seemed like a handy way for CLAMP to reinforce their message about love--that it transcends age, time, genders, species, etc.

This is a message that they cover in almost all of their series, but sometimes they just try too hard to force it through. The ending of Wish kind of killed the series for me. I still like it, but not as much as I would have had the last few chapters not been so contrived.

The most perfect series by CLAMP for me still remains to be Cardcaptor Sakura. Both it and Chobits carry CLAMP's theme of universal love much more smoothly.
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Sakurazuka_Reika



Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 356
Location: Malta

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:21 am Reply with quote
Didn't CLAMP in Wonderland 1 come out in the nineties? I think the one that came out in 2007 was CLAMP in Wonderland 2.
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Aura Ichadora



Joined: 25 Apr 2008
Posts: 1386
Location: In front of my computer

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:50 am Reply with quote
Out of all the CLAMP titles I own and have read, Wish is my favorite. While the ending seems a little convoluted, it still works to give it that extra drama factor before diving back into the fluffy cuteness, as well as still fitting the story after all the allusions to it. I also like it because it's short, and doesn't dive completely off the deep end or leaves us with a lackluster ending like their longer series (Tsubasa and xxxHolic).

Tokyopop's translation left a little bit to be desired, with some of the typos and grammar issues, but overall Wish is still a very enjoyable series that I'm so happy to have on my shelf.
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PingSoni
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 161
Location: Lansing MI

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:16 am Reply with quote
Thanks for a great review! Wish and Suki are my favorite Clamp titles.
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Julia-the-Great



Joined: 14 May 2005
Posts: 328

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:30 am Reply with quote
Yes, the ending was pretty weak. To me, it kind of felt like an "Oh crap, we have to end this, like, RIGHT NOW." Much like the ending of Kobato and the ending of xxxholic, I didn't feel much catharsis finishing it. I read the last chapter and went "Okay. Well, that's over."
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Hellfish



Joined: 19 Dec 2007
Posts: 294
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:06 pm Reply with quote
Shaenon, while is always a joy to read your articles. I can't help but to disagree with your loving of Wish. While I like fluffyness there was not much in this manga that called my attention, and in fact I found it so intracendent that I am unable to remember what happened of it, except for few details. Is the kind of manga I would only lend if wanted to read it again, and not buy unless for the sake of completion.

Nekoi art while charming, is quite limited compared to mokona here. While normally clamp tries really hard of making each character unique here is not the case, the son of satan and the main guy look extremely similar for example.

On the other side, your talk about clamp history was awesome! Very Happy
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Concise



Joined: 31 Jul 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:33 pm Reply with quote
I can't say your article made me more eager to read Wish in particular, but your summation of CLAMP's history was very interesting reading.
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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 1022
Location: United States

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:17 pm Reply with quote
ZOMG! Wish is one of the first manga I ever read by CLAMP! Thanks for reviewing it! I have all four volumes in my shelf and I'm proud of having them! Very Happy
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Youkai Warrior



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 505
Location: Sarayashiki

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:18 pm Reply with quote
I've been waiting for another CLAMP titled to be reviewed. Although I never read Wish, I heard it was very cute. I like CLAMP, I think they are unique, but some of CLAMP's other series interest me a little more than Wish. I got to say though, that CLAMP has been able to do all sorts of stories. They never do just the same thing, or only one thing. You have X, Magic Knight Rayearth, Cardcaptor Sakura, Chobits, Angelic Layer, Clover, Tsubasa, xxxholic, CLAMP School Detectives, etc. They are all different from eachother. Not many manga-ka can do that. They definitely deserve credit for their uniqueness and diversity.
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_Emi_
Crazy FangirlCrazy Fangirl


Joined: 16 Feb 2008
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Location: Sigil

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:42 pm Reply with quote
Julia-the-Great wrote:
Yes, the ending was pretty weak. To me, it kind of felt like an "Oh crap, we have to end this, like, RIGHT NOW." Much like the ending of Kobato and the ending of xxxholic, I didn't feel much catharsis finishing it. I read the last chapter and went "Okay. Well, that's over."

Another thing that annoyed me, besides the ending, was how everyone kept bringing up how Kokuyo and Shuichiro looked remarkably similar,spoiler[only to have it not go anywhere.]
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poonk



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 1403
Location: In the Library with Philip

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:54 pm Reply with quote
First let me admit that I bought all 4 books of Wish used (for I think ~$15 total) from someone on Amazon solely because I'd heard that whole "loosely based on a JoJo's Bizarre Adventure doujinshi" story and wanted to see for myself. Well, the only resemblance to JoJo's was, as Shaenon noted, in character design... barely (in fact I'm pretty sure I never would've spotted it if I hadn't already known about it). But I was mainly interested in seeing what CLAMP made of Araki's characters so I have no basis to be disappointed in that regard (but boy, I'd love to have a look at their actual doujinshi-- I bet that's impossible to find/afford nowadays).

Beyond that minor angle of particular interest to me, I thought Wish was a cute enough story. I knew going in that TokyoPop decided to use female pronouns for the (originally non-gendered but kinda obviously male-looking to me at least) angel characters, seemingly to avoid any suggestion of homosexuality. I was confident I could easily overlook this silly translation quirk but the more I read the more grating it became, mostly because I kept thinking about why they must've decided to do that.* I did laugh though when, after stating that all angels would be referred to as females and all demons as males, they basically painted themselves into a corner in a later part of the story. And then, after all that careful avoidance of "teh gay," we get casual, jokey little allusions to spoiler[brotherly incest between the demons] which was apparently okay by TokyoPop... ? Shocked

*[What a difference a few years make-- in today's manga market no one would blink an eye if Kohaku were designated non-gendered or even male.]
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Swissman



Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 417
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:33 pm Reply with quote
poonk wrote:
I knew going in that TokyoPop decided to use female pronouns for the (originally non-gendered but kinda obviously male-looking to me at least) angel characters, seemingly to avoid any suggestion of homosexuality. I was confident I could easily overlook this silly translation quirk but the more I read the more grating it became, mostly because I kept thinking about why they must've decided to do that.*

*[What a difference a few years make-- in today's manga market no one would blink an eye if Kohaku were designated non-gendered or even male.]


Wish was also translated into german around 1998/99 by the publisher EMA (Ehapa Manga Anime), and they did the exact same thing: They changed Kohaku from and androgynous angel into a female angel, for reasons that still escape me. Back then, I didn`t go into wish by knowing this fact, but I quickly realized that the design, behavior and name of Kohaku were clearly meant to make him a kind of uke-"bishounen". I guess the publisher thought that the readers wouldn`t have understood this trope.
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Julia-the-Great



Joined: 14 May 2005
Posts: 328

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:45 pm Reply with quote
_Emi_ wrote:

Another thing that annoyed me, besides the ending, was how everyone kept bringing up how Kokuyo and Shuichiro looked remarkably similar,spoiler[only to have it not go anywhere.]


To me, it felt like they were leading up to something but had to drop whatever that something was in order to end it, and then just tacked on the whole spoiler[he's dying BAM He's Dead, Jim ] thing just to wrap everything up.

poonk wrote:

Beyond that minor angle of particular interest to me, I thought Wish was a cute enough story. I knew going in that TokyoPop decided to use female pronouns for the (originally non-gendered but kinda obviously male-looking to me at least) angel characters, seemingly to avoid any suggestion of homosexuality. I was confident I could easily overlook this silly translation quirk but the more I read the more grating it became, mostly because I kept thinking about why they must've decided to do that.* I did laugh though when, after stating that all angels would be referred to as females and all demons as males, they basically painted themselves into a corner in a later part of the story. And then, after all that careful avoidance of "teh gay," we get casual, jokey little allusions to spoiler[brotherly incest between the demons] which was apparently okay by TokyoPop... ? Shocked


I could have handled the use of the "she" pronoun, since in the English language, it sounds a little ridiculous to constantly avoid using one, but the problem I had with the TokyoPop translation was that they continually would call Kohaku stuff like "girly girl," and it especially got under my skin when a demon would say it, as Kohaku is not a "girl" and a demon would know better.
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Flanagan
Professional Translator


Joined: 03 Jun 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:30 am Reply with quote
I don't have any inside information on TokyoPop, but I can guess as to why they didn't simply write them genderless, and it doesn't have anything to do with homophobia. Or anything other than the fact that...

Genderless characters are easy to write in Japanese and damned hard to write well in English.

In first person and second person, genderless is fine, but in third person, it becomes an absolute pain in the neck that makes me scream every time I have to do it. It literally doubles the time it takes for me to do a translation. You can't use "he" or "she" pronouns, and "it" both dehumanizes (in the wrong way) the character and makes the pronoun stick out like a sore thumb. It also becomes obvious and repetitive (and tiring to the reader) when you use the character's name over and over just to avoid using the pronouns.

There are tricks possible, but none of them are all that good and all of them wear on the reader or weaken the sentences when overused (such as overuse of the passive voice).

So it's a no-win situation. But still, I go through the pain of translating it that way because that's how I feel both CLAMP and the readers would want it. But I don't condemn people for using an arbitrary gender assignment because I know how frigging hard it is.

Sympathies to the TokyoPop translation team from a guy who has to deal with the same things.
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