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The Spring 2019 Manga Guide


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BinBouGami1234



Joined: 27 Sep 2012
Posts: 101
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 4:21 pm Reply with quote
In regards to Najimi's gender, I would argue that the portrayal isn't transphobic. Yeah the approach to it is very lighthearted and comedic rather than taking a serious and critical look at gender fluidity in a high school setting, but Najimi is never belittled for their gender, and is instead the most popular character in school. Yeah there are jokes about what gender they are, but it isn't to demean or make less of them, but just confusion at the switch, jokes involving trans people aren't necessarily transphobic.
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Grimvice



Joined: 10 Aug 2017
Posts: 58
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 5:15 pm Reply with quote
BinBouGami1234 wrote:
In regards to Najimi's gender, I would argue that the portrayal isn't transphobic. Yeah the approach to it is very lighthearted and comedic rather than taking a serious and critical look at gender fluidity in a high school setting, but Najimi is never belittled for their gender, and is instead the most popular character in school. Yeah there are jokes about what gender they are, but it isn't to demean or make less of them, but just confusion at the switch, jokes involving trans people aren't necessarily transphobic.


For real tho, I'd say it's a great portrayal, because it's significant part of their character, and they're not put on a pedestal or belittled for it (They're considered an annoying character because they get in other people's business, but the topic of their gender is never used to portray them negatively).
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Calico



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 352
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 11:36 pm Reply with quote
Yay, glad that the guide is back. Will there only be two reviewers this time around, though? I think it'd be useful to have at least one more.

Witch Hat Atelier is a real treat. It has terrific art and worldbuilding, likable characters, and the translation is really great. They even went to the effort of turning the summary on the back into a sonnet. Also, it has zero creepy romance.
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kgw



Joined: 22 Jul 2004
Posts: 593
Location: Spain, EU
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 5:37 am Reply with quote
I was wondering, do ANN review in any way the comics from Shueisha's app Manga Plus? At least the unreleased in "physical" format.
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Rubyleaf



Joined: 16 Jul 2015
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 12:22 pm Reply with quote
Grimvice wrote:
BinBouGami1234 wrote:
In regards to Najimi's gender, I would argue that the portrayal isn't transphobic. Yeah the approach to it is very lighthearted and comedic rather than taking a serious and critical look at gender fluidity in a high school setting, but Najimi is never belittled for their gender, and is instead the most popular character in school. Yeah there are jokes about what gender they are, but it isn't to demean or make less of them, but just confusion at the switch, jokes involving trans people aren't necessarily transphobic.


For real tho, I'd say it's a great portrayal, because it's significant part of their character, and they're not put on a pedestal or belittled for it (They're considered an annoying character because they get in other people's business, but the topic of their gender is never used to portray them negatively).


Came to the forums looking for a response like this. In addition, I'd also argue that Najimi's "quirk" isn't their nonbinary-ness (gender fluidity?) but their popularity and trickster attitude. As the story goes on, humor involving them is about 95% "Najimi causing mischief/Najimi's busy because they have way too many friends" and maybe 5% "Nobody knows Najimi's gender", at the very most.

That being said, as someone who's very socially anxious, I never once got the impression that the manga was making fun of Komi. In fact, I found it extremely relatable and also very wholesome and adorable. What I really love about it is that Komi manages to make friends without "getting rid of" her anxiety or forcing herself to do things she's afraid of; she just learns to work around it a little bit, and her friends never try to make her change herself or tell her to just get over it but accept her for the way she is. The way Tadano treats her also makes for an excellent guide for handling the Komi-san in your own life. If you ask me, the series is pretty good representation.
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steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 205
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 12:36 pm Reply with quote
Witch Hat Atelier wasn't on my radar at all, but it sounds 100% up my alley. I really liked Little Witch Academia, but I did find Akko a bit trying and I appreciate a bit more depth to dive into for a fantasy world. So thanks for the reviews, I absolutely will be giving it a try.

As an aside, I do think it's pretty cool of Kodansha and Yen Press to sponsor this feature (at least I assume they do, from the branding). Yeah, sure, they are trying to sell me something, but it's something I'm honestly in the market for, otherwise I wouldn't be coming here and reading about the stuff. I probably wouldn't have found out about Witch Hat Atelier without this feature, and I will buy the first volume because it seems pretty cool of the publisher to advertise in this kind of value+ way.

Thanks to the companies, and double to the reviewers!
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Calico



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 352
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 7:56 pm Reply with quote
Why haven't we gotten any more new reviews yet? Were the first two manga just posted early and we'll get more reviews starting on Monday or something?
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meruru



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 363
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:19 am Reply with quote
Oh boy, it makes me glad that I only looked at a couple pages of Komi Can't Communicate, so never got to the transgender character. I agree most depictions of transgender characters in manga and anime are just universally transphobic. I think though it is also made worse by cultural differences about gender issues. I get the impression that LGBT culture is somewhat different in Japan. I do know, for example, in Japan there's the culture norm of having everyone presenting different faces to fill in the appropriate role according to the greater context. A person might have their "at work" face that's different from their "hanging out with friends" face which is different from their "at home" face, for example. Therefore, it may be the case that LGBT culture is marginally more acceptable as long as you present that way only in the right context. The idea that a person might do that as their consistent identity, not so much.
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Zac
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
Posts: 7827
Location: Anime News Network Technodrome
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:21 am Reply with quote
Calico wrote:
Why haven't we gotten any more new reviews yet? Were the first two manga just posted early and we'll get more reviews starting on Monday or something?


New updates will begin Monday morning, and then every day following that. Sorry for the wait!
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Saffire
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1189
Location: Iowa, USA
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:00 pm Reply with quote
The review link for O Maidens appears to be broken.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Posts: 2663
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:02 am Reply with quote
The first volume of O Maidens hit Japanese bookstores the same month as Okada's autobiography (Gakkō e Ikenakatta Watashi ga anohana Kokosake wo Kaku Made), and it's hard for me to not view the two as a complementary pair of works that explore Okada's own thoughts on adolescent romance and sexuality. There seems to be a little bit of Okada's own adolescent experiences embedded in each of the girls' storylines, and I think this has gone a long way towards making the series feel like a single cohesive depiction of adolescence (as opposed to five loosely-related coming-of-age stories starring the members of a high school literary club).

As a result, it's become one of the series that I most look forward to from installment to installment, with a level of anticipation that is usually only exceeded by D-Frag, Dead Dead Demon's DeDeDeDeDestruction, or Watamote.
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marshmallowpie



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 173
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:36 am Reply with quote
So jealous of the reviewers for getting to see the hardcover CCS early! It's been such a long wait! Too bad about the card not being very special, but that's ok, just hurry up and arrive in store!
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 1795
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:00 pm Reply with quote
I'm Standing On A Million Lives

Going by the review (and I agree with it) sounds like a poor mans' gantz; i'ts pretty fun that when the newest gantz series started with a school kids bus having an accident and all the kids becoming gantz character some people were saying that it was an isekai to gantz world. ofc, what makes gantz beautiful is how painfully realistic the characters are.

Roxy

Yes, a serviceable fantasy manga (one can argue that mushokiu tensei is not really an isekai anyway.) agreed too, very enjoyable if you are already invested in mushoku tensei; but;

spoiler[And honestly, that's something I would rather have discovered by reading the books instead of having it revealed in the spin-off manga.
]


I have no idea why they are doing that, the latest manga volume has a small omake with a rezero crossover and they also spoil somethig that the manga still not covers and it was a pretty great red herring; not as bad as the spoiler in roxy but it was still pretty annoying; even more so because there was no need at all to do it.

meruru wrote:
Oh boy, it makes me glad that I only looked at a couple pages of Komi Can't Communicate, so never got to the transgender character. I agree most depictions of transgender characters in manga and anime are just universally transphobic. I think though it is also made worse by cultural differences about gender issues. I get the impression that LGBT culture is somewhat different in Japan. I do know, for example, in Japan there's the culture norm of having everyone presenting different faces to fill in the appropriate role according to the greater context. A person might have their "at work" face that's different from their "hanging out with friends" face which is different from their "at home" face, for example. Therefore, it may be the case that LGBT culture is marginally more acceptable as long as you present that way only in the right context. The idea that a person might do that as their consistent identity, not so much.


This is very nice, as someone who reads a lot of Ts and yuri manga I had not tough of it in that context, especailyl when applied to non ts and yuri media; thanks for giving me this new view.
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Cain Highwind



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 235
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:13 pm Reply with quote
In the MLP manga reviews (which was a pleasant surprise to see), I saw this

Quote:
I haven't watched Friendship is Magic since middle school.


And MAN I feel old. But also kinda crazy that FiM has been around that long for people to say that. I myself haven’t seen the show since about early 8th season. I need to catch up.
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Wyvern



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Posts: 1056
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:15 pm Reply with quote
Cain Highwind wrote:
In the MLP manga reviews (which was a pleasant surprise to see), I saw this

Quote:
I haven't watched Friendship is Magic since middle school.


And MAN I feel old. But also kinda crazy that FiM has been around that long for people to say that.


It's amazing how long-running and successful it's been, especially considering that virtually no one expected it to last more than a season or two. The 2010's have been a fantastic decade for cartoons, and MLP (along with Adventure Time) is one of the shows that kicked the whole thing off. Kind of fitting that it's concluding at the end of the year, just as the decade comes to a close.
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