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House of 1000 Manga - Kakukaku Shikajika




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justsomeaccount



Joined: 24 Oct 2014
Posts: 471
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:49 pm Reply with quote
Oh, this manga! I read it right after it was chosen as the winner in Taisho Manga 2015 (never read anything by this author though, I should). I didn't know you also review unlicensed mangas in USA, that's cool, there are a lot of hidden gems.
I really dug it, but big part is probably because I'm in my early 20ths and falling into many of the same traps and doubts as young Higashi, so reading about a mature author with her own replies and perspective to her younger self while also recognizing her mindstate back then is kind of strangely terapheutic and inspiring for me, even if this is a work full of common regrets about previous choices in life.

The comparison with Disappearance Diary is interesting, that one was more like "here's the curious stuff about my life, don't worry I won't include any personal opinion or too harsh reality, enjoy" (although the underlyings still make the manga very hard to read), this is completely based on memories, opinion, more direct humor and nostalgia (spoiler[the teacher, while very likeable, is more like a role model without weakness in his mindstate, even in his final days, so I don't know how much it was him and how much he was romanticised. I still cried over his death and when everybody snap though D_: ]), but that helps us to know Higashi much better about what she was thinking about every decision she took (and even when she did something reprehensible we get it and the current Higashi already criticized the younger one for us Laughing ).

The drawing is hit or miss for me though. It goes pretty good in the last pages of any chapter and in the most serious moments, and the backgrounds are pretty too. But for the normal pages of most of the manga, the characters are very sketched and their assimetric eyes are very awkward.

P.S.: Cool curiosities, another disciple of the teacher is the author of Eat-man, and Higashi's little brother (who I don't recall being even mentioned in this manga) is the creator of My Neighbor Seki. Those coincidences always put a smile on my face.
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Shaenon



Joined: 17 Sep 2010
Posts: 18
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:59 pm Reply with quote
Her years of college are her least artistically productive time of her entire life: “thus began my four years of Hell.”

There's an old Japanese saying that college is "four years of Heaven" or "a four-year vacation" because Japanese universities tend to be relaxed and undemanding compared to either high school or the adult workforce. (The hard part is getting in.) It speaks to Higashimura's character that she looks back on that period as Hell instead of Heaven because she didn't get enough work done.

I would LOVE to see this one translated.
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1436
Location: Sunny California
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:43 pm Reply with quote
To any publisher who may be reading this, I promise to buy all 5 volumes.

Does anyone know why her work hasn't been licensed in the States yet? I know josei isn't as profitable as shonen or ecchi titles, but it is released here. It seems like the Princess Jellyfish love would give any of her work a solid start.
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st_owly
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Joined: 20 May 2008
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:56 pm Reply with quote
here-and-faraway wrote:
To any publisher who may be reading this, I promise to buy all 5 volumes.


Likewise. Ed??

here-and-faraway wrote:
Does anyone know why her work hasn't been licensed in the States yet? I know josei isn't as profitable as shonen or ecchi titles, but it is released here. It seems like the Princess Jellyfish love would give any of her work a solid start.


From what Vertical and Kodansha have said, I think Princess Jellyfish is now too long, and most of the anime hype has passed. It's such a shame, because I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
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residentgrigo



Joined: 23 Dec 2007
Posts: 1638
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:49 pm Reply with quote
I absolutely approve of Kakukaku Shikajika and it´s critical receptions too but i would have liked to see more of her actual life outside of the art career angle as her divorce for example is mostly skipped. The characters present further looks very different in real life but whatever. A true 9/10 must read but she should start to wrap up Kuragehime soon.

I even gave Aoi Honoo (8,5/10) another go last week and it did grow as it improved on the barely related Blazing Pen in every way but the Mary Sue love interest is an ill fitting mistake.

Well Bakuman is still my favorite among Jason´s picks for the theme despite is´s retarded shipping and i wonder if Comic Master J will show up.
Edit: Nice post partially.


Last edited by residentgrigo on Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1436
Location: Sunny California
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:25 pm Reply with quote
st_owly wrote:
From what Vertical and Kodansha have said, I think Princess Jellyfish is now too long, and most of the anime hype has passed. It's such a shame, because I'd buy it in a heartbeat.


Thank you. I will put that dream on a shelf. Hmm.... maybe I can start a new dream. One where Crunchyroll can pick up the license???
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katscradle



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 469
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:28 pm Reply with quote
Akiko Higashimura is one of the rare artists that her books sound like something I wouldn't read but, I try them anyway and surprise they're really good. This one was only on my radar because of the Manga Taisho.

It is too bad about Princess Jellyfish not being available in English as well. Even the BD collection for the anime (that what is it 1/3 of the comic?) is something you have to get on the second-hand market now because it was limited edition. I showed Funimation's dub to someone a few months ago and they wanted to buy the series, just not on DVD.
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partially



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 689
Location: Oz
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:02 am Reply with quote
justsomeaccount wrote:
(spoiler[the teacher, while very likeable, is more like a role model without weakness in his mindstate, even in his final days, so I don't know how much it was him and how much he was romanticised. I still cried over his death and when everybody snap though D_: ])


In many ways the manga was about her teacher more than anyone else. spoiler[In that way he is romanticized in both Akiko Higashimura's mind and hence the manga. It is quite clear she never reconciled exactly what her mentor was to her, simply a teacher? Something more than that? But it is also very clear that she never even truly knew him either. She only saw the romanticized side of him because she avoided him at other times, she only really ever saw him as part of art classes. Both their lifestyles made that pretty clear. Even when she was working with him, she was either teaching or travelling the hours commute between home. When there was any free time, she was painting there. It is pretty clear the amount of times they simply 'chatted' would have been very few. In that way I don't see it as a fault of the writing that he is a person without weakness, as you seem to indicate. I see it more as simply that is the only way Higashimura saw him. From the little hints scattered around, it is perfectly clear he is not without weakness, and was simply a socially awkward, lonely guy, but with a passion to teach. Especially when he visited her up at the College, it is pretty clear there was a side to him never actually seen by Higashimura. Quite what he meant to her, or indeed what she meant to him is never revealed. Because Higashimura herself never found out before he passed away. This more than anything I think is what inspired the line “I want to go back in time and beat up that moron.”]

st_owly wrote:
From what Vertical and Kodansha have said, I think Princess Jellyfish is now too long, and most of the anime hype has passed. It's such a shame, because I'd buy it in a heartbeat.


The excuse of anime hype is a bit tossy. Plenty of manga have done well in English having no counterpart to hype it. Although I would agree that it probably wouldn't do well. The anime sold reasonably here, but was never really successful. I think it would break even, but not really profit. And unfortunately profit seems to be the primary motivation in this case. Especially for Vertical, them seem a bit antsy about these longer type things after Twin Spica didn't do so well for them. Wish Yen could pick it up, I would see them as more willing/able to take a risk with it.
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Hakajin



Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 46
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:32 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, I'd definitely read this.
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