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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Ooku: The Inner Chambers


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DuelLadyS



Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 1705
Location: WA state
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:45 pm Reply with quote
So, is this a complete manga or is it still being written? It sounds great, but my shelf space is insanely limited right now- to the point that I need to count volumes in new additions to make sure they'll fit. Confused
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st_owly
He started itHe started it


Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 5177
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:54 pm Reply with quote
Buy more shelves then!! Laughing Yes, it is ongoing. I'd been avoiding this so far because I'd heard so much bad stuff about the Fakespeare, but I might just give it a go now. My wallet hates this column...
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lys



Joined: 24 Jun 2004
Posts: 933
Location: mitten-state
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:02 pm Reply with quote
It's still being written, though at a slow pace. The magazine it runs in comes out every-other month, and there are about 4 chapters/book? So a book takes 8 months, on average, to be serialized. If your limited shelf space is temporary and not an ongoing issue (as mine is...), perhaps it will resolve itself before the story does :)
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Aynslesa



Joined: 08 Feb 2012
Posts: 197
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:23 pm Reply with quote
st_owly wrote:
Buy more shelves then!! Laughing Yes, it is ongoing. I'd been avoiding this so far because I'd heard so much bad stuff about the Fakespeare, but I might just give it a go now. My wallet hates this column...


Don't let the ye olde language put you off on this one - usually I have difficulty reading it for lengthy periods of time, but in this case it really is easy to get used to it, and they keep it limited mostly to thees, thous, and the occasional forsooth for the most part. The translator did a decent job, and the story itself paces *very* well. Sometimes there are word choices used, of course, that aren't what we'd use today, but the context is clear enough that there's no real reason to run for a dictionary. It really is worth it in the long run. That said...I need to get the next few volumes.
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poonk



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 1490
Location: In the Library with Philip
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:30 pm Reply with quote
I've read (and thoroughly enjoyed) the first 6 volumes but I found that they were released so far apart that I had trouble remembering who was who and their relationships to other characters as the story progressed. So for now I'm just going to keep buying it as it comes out and wait until I have a good stack of books to read in one sitting (vol. 7 is sitting on my shelf in its shrinkwrap).

To anyone who's interested, I'd recommend just checking out vol.1 because that's kind of a self-contained story. If at the end of it you find yourself intrigued as to how this society got to that point, then dive in.
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lebrel



Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Posts: 374
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:55 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
we discover the interesting detail that the man-killing plague only effected Japan


Typo (should be "affected").

The thing I find most interesting about Ooku is that it's much more rigidly science-fictional than most American readers realize. Almost all of the major players are real people (although usually of the opposite sex than the historical person, for obvious reasons), and most of the political and historical events mentioned (Yoshimune's cost-cutting, Tsunayoshi's animal-welfare laws) are also real, or at least legendary. The Arikoto / Ietsuna relationship, for instance, is based on a possibly apocryphal story of a shogun who fell in love with a nun and forced her to be come his concubine, keeping her in seclusion until her nun's distinctive shaved hair grew back and then installing her in his ooku.

The historical source material for Ooku is obviously a lot more familiar to Japanese readers than it is to Americans, so all of this flies over our heads. But if you have a chance to look up some of the people or events, you can see how much of it is influenced by the historical record.
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Petrea Mitchell



Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 436
Location: Near Portland, OR
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:17 pm Reply with quote
lebrel wrote:
The historical source material for Ooku is obviously a lot more familiar to Japanese readers than it is to Americans, so all of this flies over our heads. But if you have a chance to look up some of the people or events, you can see how much of it is influenced by the historical record.


And there are social and historical footnotes included in the US editions, so you won't be totally lost. (For instance, in the first volume, detailing where Mizuno's particular samurai caste stands in relation to the merchant class, to clarify why his marriage to O-Nobu is socially unacceptable.)
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1432
Location: Sunny California
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:21 pm Reply with quote
poonk wrote:
I've read (and thoroughly enjoyed) the first 6 volumes but I found that they were released so far apart that I had trouble remembering who was who and their relationships to other characters as the story progressed. So for now I'm just going to keep buying it as it comes out and wait until I have a good stack of books to read in one sitting (vol. 7 is sitting on my shelf in its shrinkwrap).


I'm in the same boat. I wish some kind soul would post a "who's who" chart online or Viz could create one. I really love the series though and pre-order every volume to help support it.
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DuelLadyS



Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 1705
Location: WA state
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:55 pm Reply with quote
Lys wrote:
It's still being written, though at a slow pace. The magazine it runs in comes out every-other month, and there are about 4 chapters/book? So a book takes 8 months, on average, to be serialized. If your limited shelf space is temporary and not an ongoing issue (as mine is...), perhaps it will resolve itself before the story does Smile


Eh, yes and no- adding more shelves isn't currently an option- I've already done that a few times, my current space is maxed out. I have been working on a purge of various knick-knacks from the closet, so if I'm lucky, that might eventually lead to more book space. Wink

I'll just have to see what I can squeeze in...
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marie-antoinette



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 4136
Location: Ottawa, Canada
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:21 pm Reply with quote
I've also had issues remembering who all the characters are, especially since there are many who only appear in one volume. I really do adore this series though, even though it actually goes against a lot of my usual preferences (mainly in how it is more focused on theme than character, on a whole).
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fuuma_monou



Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 1551
Location: Quezon City, Philippines
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:26 am Reply with quote
Fully Booked in Greenhills had the first seven volumes in stock last time I checked. Should pick them up next time I stop by, assuming no one else buys them during Christmas shopping....

(I'm avoiding GH until Christmas is over due to horrible holiday traffic.)

Kept putting off buying the series since local stores usually only had volumes 2 and up in stock, so I couldn't start at the beginning.
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Merida
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Posts: 1868
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:31 am Reply with quote
I really, really love this series, even though the language can be a bit trying, especially for a non-native English speaker. And i have to agree with the previous posters that it's hard to remember all the different characters. So if this series ever ends (which will hopefully take a while), i'm planning to read it again back to back.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 14082
Location: currently stalking my waifu
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:18 am Reply with quote
Wow. This totally reminds me of A Brother's Price, which is also set in a world where men are so scarce that they are not allowed to do any manual labour for fear of injury or being kidnapped. Boys are sold by their sisters to other families of women; inbreeding is strictly frowned upon. Those women whose families don't have enough money to buy a man can either visit a 'whorehouse' where men are kept permanently drugged and compliant, or the women can form a group with unrelated women and pool their money, thereby becoming a family through a common husband. It's actually pretty believable, though it still comes off as a bit wish fulfilment.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 13700
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:23 am Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Wow. This totally reminds me of A Brother's Price, which is also set in a world where men are so scarce that they are not allowed to do any manual labour for fear of injury or being kidnapped. Boys are sold by their sisters to other families of women; inbreeding is strictly frowned upon. Those women whose families don't have enough money to buy a man can either visit a 'whorehouse' where men are kept permanently drugged and compliant, or the women can form a group with unrelated women and pool their money, thereby becoming a family through a common husband. It's actually pretty believable, though it still comes off as a bit wish fulfilment.


Wish fulfillment for which? Laughing
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Marzan



Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Posts: 392
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:31 pm Reply with quote
I found a copy of Ooku quite by chance at an anime convention. I was intrigued by the premise and bought the first volume and then another. I ended up getting the rest of the volumes in one go. It's that good. And Viz gave it the deluxe treatment. The notes and even the quality of the paper and cover are better than with standard manga. I just hope enough people buy so that it get's released in its entirety in english.

The olde English is a bit hard at first, but you get used to it fairly quick.
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