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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Swan


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falloutgal



Joined: 01 May 2008
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:01 pm Reply with quote
Wow, Glass Mask for ballet! Why have I never heard of this? I'd like to read but I imagine that copies are hard to get hold of ;___;
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_Emi_



Joined: 16 Feb 2008
Posts: 498
Location: Langjökull
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:12 pm Reply with quote
I can't express how happy I am that you did a column on Swan. I fell in love from the very first volume. I love me some '70s shojo art. Boy was I upset when CMX was shut down and with almost no warning. It pains me looking at my shelves and seeing it sitting there incomplete. To any manga licencing companies out there: Please, please one of you pick this up and finish it. Crying or Very sad And with better editing. Within the first few pages of the first volume I found a mistake. Who is Qdile supposed to be?

One of the things that drew me in was, as you mentioned, how Ariyoshi was able to convey the movements of ballet with still images. But as good as they are, I would still love to see an anime series made. Anyone know if an artbook was ever released for Swan?
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kyokun703



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
Posts: 2505
Location: Orgrimmar
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:13 pm Reply with quote
I was recommended this manga by Deb Aoki when CMX went under, and I was trying to figure out what I should get. Several other columns doing "Best of CMX" posts also recommended it, so I picked this up where I could, using a mix of TRSI and convention dealer rooms and managed to get all 15 of the English translations.

I desperately hope someone finishes this up, but I suspect that is a futile wish.

It is simply gorgeous, possibly the most beautifully drawn manga I've ever read.

Great article!
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 817
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:30 pm Reply with quote
_Emi_ wrote:
I can't express how happy I am that you did a column on Swan. I fell in love from the very first volume. I love me some '70s shojo art. Boy was I upset when CMX was shut down and with almost no warning. It pains me looking at my shelves and seeing it sitting there incomplete.


The scanlation geeks seem to have no interest in this title either. Oh, they'll gladly scanslate something that everyone's already read before or will be picked up for sure sooner or later, but most of them don't give a crud about some of the stuff that could actually be USEFUL to online fans in the long run.
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lys



Joined: 24 Jun 2004
Posts: 951
Location: mitten-state
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:42 pm Reply with quote
falloutgal wrote:
Wow, Glass Mask for ballet! Why have I never heard of this? I'd like to read but I imagine that copies are hard to get hold of ;___;


Looking on Amazon real quick, I see most of the volumes selling used for fairly cheap (although there are a couple with above-retail prices). TRSI lists all 15 volumes on its site at their usual 25% off retail. It really is a fantastic series, and once again makes me marvel at the selection of manga CMX chose to publish. They were seriously the best.

Such a great write-up of a truly lovely series. Thanks as ever for the great read, Jason!
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perroloco



Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 295
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:49 pm Reply with quote
I so want to read this title now, from the review it seems like the classic old SJ titles that focused on extreme training that I so much like.
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bahamut623



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 1463
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:58 pm Reply with quote
I only have two volumes so far(1 and 13, I think), but it's pretty good. I wish someone would release the remaining volumes Sad It's actually the first (and still only) shojo manga I've ever bought. I was mainly drawn to it because of the page layouts, which are downright amazing. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit embarrassed buying one of the volumes in a comic book store...and it may or may not be hidden under a stack of slightly manlier manga in my room >_>

As for the story, Glass Mask is exactly what it reminded me of, which isn't a bad thing. But the art beats out the story for sure. Like Jason, it also peaked my interest in ballet a bit. Until reading Swan, I had never really thought about it as being something physically taxing. But I guess that's the point, it's supposed to look graceful, not difficult. I remember reading Jean Claude Van Damme said it's one of the most difficult sports or something.

Also, the blank-eyed shock faces creep me out. That's common in 70's shojo, right?
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littlegreenwolf



Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 4794
Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:08 pm Reply with quote
But Masumi, unlike the heroine of Skip Beat!, doesn't need love as an incentive to be awesome.


I recently became a fan of the ballet manga Subaru, and the description you gave of Swan make it sound almost parallel to Subaru, down to the shonen-style training to the way the dancing is drawn in various line styles. Seeing as I usually always like "the original" I'm sure I'll love Swan when I finally get my hands on it.

Quote:
"But Masumi, unlike the heroine of Skip Beat!, doesn't need love as an incentive to be awesome."


That had me scratching me head going "huh?" Why are you taking a hit at Kyoko? Let alone one that doesn't even really make sense. Last I checked she's not acting because she wants to be loved, and she isn't awesome at acting because she's being watched by her sempai (who she hasn't come to terms with her feelings on). Sure they put her in Love Me because she's a bit jaded, but she sure isn't acting to loved by the fans, or Ren either. She's doing it for herself because of how it makes her feel, and she just happens to be fantastic at it.
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yuricon



Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 123
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:14 pm Reply with quote
While I am huge fan of Ariyoshi's "Applause" which is about Modern Dance and stage acting, I can say without exception, that I have never wanted a protagonist to be hit by a truck and die more than I did the protagonist of "Swan."
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
Posts: 357
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:19 pm Reply with quote
littlegreenwolf wrote:
Quote:
"But Masumi, unlike the heroine of Skip Beat!, doesn't need love as an incentive to be awesome."


That had me scratching me head going "huh?" Why are you taking a hit at Kyoko? Let alone one that doesn't even really make sense. Last I checked she's not acting because she wants to be loved, and she isn't awesome at acting because she's being watched by her sempai (who she hasn't come to terms with her feelings on). Sure they put her in Love Me because she's a bit jaded, but she sure isn't acting to loved by the fans, or Ren either. She's doing it for herself because of how it makes her feel, and she just happens to be fantastic at it.


That's true, it's not exactly love -- but she starts out doing it for revenge against the dude she loved who betrayed her, so it's sorta love-linked at the beginning.

But it's true, I could have picked a better example of a "I must be awesome so I can get this dude to notice me" shojo manga. (Of course, there are an approximately equal amount of "I must be awesome so I can get this girl to notice me" shonen manga too. -_- )
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sepherest





PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:25 pm Reply with quote
I love Swan! It's another one I was very lucky to come across at a used book store, along with Basara. The english version does have a lot of translation bugs though - there are a few pages with blank balloons or character misspellings throughout volumes, and one certain book had someone (An editor? Text layer person?) who really wanted to emphasize in all of the text like this.

Aside that though, they did a fantastic job on translating all the information regarding the dance positions and music compositions. And the costumes and page layouts - so amazing! I certainly agree that she was the top when it came to shoujo artists in the 70s. What I also really liked about Swan was that while many of the characters were rivals and battling for roles, most of the them were on very good terms with each other. It's nice to see a series once in a while filled with so many nice characters. Especially Aoi and Fernando Anime catgrin

bravetailor wrote:

The scanlation geeks seem to have no interest in this title either. Oh, they'll gladly scanslate something that everyone's already read before or will be picked up for sure sooner or later, but most of them don't give a crud about some of the stuff that could actually be USEFUL to online fans in the long run.


Hey hey, there's a reason why a snagged two copies of the first volume Wink ...But it's still easily available on Amazon and other book sites. Not to mention the pages are kind of thin and easy to yellow, so even if it were to get scanlated someone should nab the Japanese books. There was a fantastic hardcover release a little whiles back.
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wandering-dreamer



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 1733
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:07 pm Reply with quote
I found the first volume of this at my school library (actually, found the first volume of a lot of CMX titles there, while I'm not denying this is awesome I do seriously wonder how my school chooses what manga to buy) and liked it quite a bit. I did (Irish) dance as a kid and that was tough enough, ballet dancers have my admiration for doing even crazier dances and making them look beautiful as well. Guess I should grab the volumes sometime, even if the series is incomplete over here.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 14105
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:21 am Reply with quote
So all these talks about ballet lately because of that Portman Swan maybe winning Best Picture.... Laughing
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Julia-the-Great



Joined: 14 May 2005
Posts: 328
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:53 pm Reply with quote
I've had kind of an outsider's fascination with ballet ever since I watched Princess Tutu. I may have to hunt down some volumes of Swan! (that, and From Eroica With Love, which I bought the first two volumes of right after it appeared in this column, and LOVED)
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ZepysGirl



Joined: 14 Jun 2010
Posts: 470
Location: NY, NY
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:45 pm Reply with quote
littlegreenwolf wrote:
Quote:
"But Masumi, unlike the heroine of Skip Beat!, doesn't need love as an incentive to be awesome."


That had me scratching me head going "huh?" Why are you taking a hit at Kyoko? Let alone one that doesn't even really make sense. Last I checked she's not acting because she wants to be loved, and she isn't awesome at acting because she's being watched by her sempai (who she hasn't come to terms with her feelings on). Sure they put her in Love Me because she's a bit jaded, but she sure isn't acting to loved by the fans, or Ren either. She's doing it for herself because of how it makes her feel, and she just happens to be fantastic at it.


Yeah, I agree, that dig at Skip Beat! was just really... random (and I disagree entirely, but that's another point). I liked the rest of the review, but man, do we need to put down other series to make this one seem extra special? I think both Swan and Skip Beat! are awesome.
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