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NEWS: Fanfare Adds to List of 2007 Releases


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smoochy



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:19 pm Reply with quote
Some of the best news I've heard all month. Thank god for Ponent Mon/Fanfare.
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HellKorn



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:29 pm Reply with quote
ANN wrote:
Beyond Taniguchi, the company has licensed Kan Takahama's Ayami and Hideo Aduma's Disappearance Diary.


Uh, wait, Awabi is what's being talked about, as there is no title called Ayami.

Anyway, already knew about Awabi and Disappearance Diary, both of which I'm immensely looking forward to, but I didn't hear hide nor hair of Taniguchi's other works that they're bringing over. I'm a sucker for anything that he puts out because, in my (not so) humble opinion, he is arguably the best technical artist in manga that I've ever laid eyes on.
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Cloe
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:34 pm Reply with quote
Where's Kagemusha? I need his impeccable advice to know which one of these titles to buy first. Wink

Thank you, Ponent Mon!
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Kagemusha



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:42 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Where's Kagemusha? I need his impeccable advice to know which one of these titles to buy first. Wink


Who, me? I'm flattered Wink Well whenever Awabi is released I'd say go for that immediately. Takahama is a rare talent; one of those people who can really capture the small nuances of people, relationships and life. Seek out Kinderbook if you haven't already, but from what my Japanese-speaking chums have said Awabi is an overall better collection (which shouldn't be a suprise).
Disappearance Diary should be interesting as well. On one hand its won a bajillion awards (including the Media Arts Award AND the Tezuka in the same freakin' year) and seems to be one of those ultra important works like Town of the Evening Calm; Country of the Cherry Blossoms that we almost never get to see in English. On the other, I've read a somewhat mixed review by a guy who I really respect which pretty much describes it as having a solely intellectual appeal, lacking much emotional resonance despite the subject matter. I'm definitely going to get it though, since it isn't everyday we get a manga memoir published in English, so I'll probably start a thread when the time comes.
And yeah, Taniguchi IS the most technically skilled artist in the business. Obviously some things from him are better than others, but like any good master his work is always worthy reading. I've read a bit of Summit, which seems to be quite a good title, with the sophistication you'd expect from Taniguchi and manliness any good salaryman manga needs. What I'm really anticipating is The Ice Wanderer and his new crime manga. He's always great with noir, and I've heard TIW is one of his best. Hope they keep the moose on the cover.
And finally, Botchan. The whole thing feels like a work of classic literature in terms of sophistication (both its execution and subject matter). And its only getting better (it would be like reading Moby Dick in tenths). Not going to appeal to your average manga fan, but fascinating historical fiction none the less.
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HellKorn



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:40 pm Reply with quote
Kagemusha wrote:
Quote:
Where's Kagemusha? I need his impeccable advice to know which one of these titles to buy first. Wink


Who, me? I'm flattered Wink


And HK's out here in the cold, getting lonely, getting old...

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Seek out Kinderbook if you haven't already, but from what my Japanese-speaking chums have said Awabi is an overall better collection (which shouldn't be a suprise).


Da-yum. Maybe it was just my first impressions since I hadn't read anything like it, but I find Monokuro Kinderbook to be excellent. If Awabi is on an even higher pedastal... heh, well, more power to Fanfare/Ponent Mon.

Now if they could strike gold and be able to license Homunculus for North America...

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On the other, I've read a somewhat mixed review by a guy who I really respect which pretty much describes it as having a solely intellectual appeal, lacking much emotional resonance despite the subject matter.


I'm reminded of Doing Time, particularly the bolded.

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And yeah, Taniguchi IS the most technically skilled artist in the business.


The first thing that I ever read from him was The Walking Man, which impressed but didn't leave any lasting impressions (it isn't the point of the manga, one might respond). The Times of Botchan did a number on me. (Though, it took me a while to warm up to it, as volume one felt too much like a tedious exposition to get to the meat -- that, or I wasn't in the right mood -- while volume two got me ridiculously interested.) Then I discovered Hotel Harbour View, and I was flat out floored. I deeply encourage anyone who is interested in film-noir and enthralling storytelling to check it out for that alone, and the art... geez, spoiler[that slow-motion bullet scene had me practically drooling.]

Yeah, more Jiro Taniguchi is good. Don't know much about him as a writer (his only work in that area that I've come across is The Walking Man), but his art is gorgeous.

Now all that's left is to complain my ass off about how Fanfare/Ponent Mon can't even do timely release and make Dark Horse look fast.
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Cloe
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 6:24 am Reply with quote
Kagemusha wrote:
Who, me? I'm flattered Wink Well whenever Awabi is released I'd say go for that immediately. Takahama is a rare talent; one of those people who can really capture the small nuances of people, relationships and life. Seek out Kinderbook if you haven't already, but from what my Japanese-speaking chums have said Awabi is an overall better collection (which shouldn't be a suprise).

I still haven't read Kinderbook (yes, slaps on the wrist are imminent, I know) but I'm familiar with Takahama from her wonderful short story in Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators, my favorite of the Japanese-authored shorts. So Awabi and Kinderbook are #1 and 2 on my list, respectively.

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And yeah, Taniguchi IS the most technically skilled artist in the business. Obviously some things from him are better than others, but like any good master his work is always worthy reading. I've read a bit of Summit, which seems to be quite a good title, with the sophistication you'd expect from Taniguchi and manliness any good salaryman manga needs. What I'm really anticipating is The Ice Wanderer and his new crime manga. He's always great with noir, and I've heard TIW is one of his best. Hope they keep the moose on the cover.

Ah, Taniguchi. I've still only read The Walking Man and even though I know you don't like it, I think it's one of the best one-shots I've ever had the pleasure of reading. It sounds like his work is only better from here on out. It'll be nice to finally see firsthand some of the titles mentioned in Timothy Lehmann's book. I've had a particular panel from Summit of the Gods stuck in my head for ages.
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And HK's out here in the cold, getting lonely, getting old...

Aw, I'm sorry. I've been relying on Kagemusha's opinion for manga advice for over three years now, you see, and old habits are hard to break. I'll trust the advice of anybody sensible enough to use a Taiyo Matsumoto avatar.
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Kagemusha



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 11:31 pm Reply with quote
Quote:


Ah, Taniguchi. I've still only read The Walking Man and even though I know you don't like it, I think it's one of the best one-shots I've ever had the pleasure of reading. It sounds like his work is only better from here on out. It'll be nice to finally see firsthand some of the titles mentioned in Timothy Lehmann's book. I've had a particular panel from Summit of the Gods stuck in my head for ages.


I actually do like it and thinks its above average, but it didn't do as much for me as his other titles. I also probably unconsiously compared it to YKK.

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Yeah, more Jiro Taniguchi is good. Don't know much about him as a writer (his only work in that area that I've come across is The Walking Man), but his art is gorgeous.


From what I understand he usually has a lot of creative control over the projects he illustrates, from coming up with the original concept to deciding how the panel layouts will be arranged. I think in some cases he only uses writers to script his dialogue, which would explain why he has sole credit for WM. Whatever the situation is there's way too many thematic and stylistic similarities between his works for him to be just an illustrator.

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Now all that's left is to complain my ass off about how Fanfare/Ponent Mon can't even do timely release and make Dark Horse look fast.


Yeah, but there literally is only one guy running the company, so its not like you can expect all that much.

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Now if they could strike gold and be able to license Homunculus for North America...


Well, they were able to nab Summit of the Gods, which was published by Shueisha, so I guess it would be possible. Then again, that was probably due to Taniguchi's close relationship with Ponent Mon and the fact that Summit probably isn't a huge property nowadays (Homunculus is probably one of the top five series in Spirits).
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HellKorn



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:47 pm Reply with quote
Cloe wrote:
Aw, I'm sorry. I've been relying on Kagemusha's opinion for manga advice for over three years now, you see, and old habits are hard to break. I'll trust the advice of anybody sensible enough to use a Taiyo Matsumoto avatar.


Heh, actually I found it a good time to use a Pink Floyd reference since I've never done one on the Internet before. Razz But yeah, every since discovering these forums (a little under a year ago... I think) I've pretty much always referred to Kagemusha's opinion on whatever manga I'm looking into or just something new. From what I've seen, his tastes are probably the closest to mine around these forums. Otherwise my "To Read" list wouldn't be so damn long.

Kagemusha wrote:
From what I understand he usually has a lot of creative control over the projects he illustrates, from coming up with the original concept to deciding how the panel layouts will be arranged. I think in some cases he only uses writers to script his dialogue, which would explain why he has sole credit for WM. Whatever the situation is there's way too many thematic and stylistic similarities between his works for him to be just an illustrator.


Yeah, comparing to The Times of Botchan to The Walking Man in terms of similar atmosphere (even if they're totally separate genres), as well as Benkei in New York and Hotel Harbour View are all valid enough, I guess. You can also find something like that with character designers in anime, those those are still few and far between.

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Yeah, but there literally is only one guy running the company, so its not like you can expect all that much.


... Wait, wha'?

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Well, they were able to nab Summit of the Gods, which was published by Shueisha, so I guess [Homunculus] would be possible. Then again, that was probably due to Taniguchi's close relationship with Ponent Mon and the fact that Summit probably isn't a huge property nowadays (Homunculus is probably one of the top five series in Spirits).


Probably right there. Right now I think it's an interesting time in general with the manga market in North America compared to the anime market. Mainstream and obscure licensors are actually putting out distinct, worthwhile manga that isn't the conventional stuff that was so common years ago (still is, but it's come a long way). There was an abundance of titles years ago that were aimed at an audience that appreciates mature and sophisticated storytelling, and then it dropped off with Tokyopop's little revolution (which was both good and bad, one could argue either way). Recently things have picked up again, as far as I see it, with Vertical really doing great with them bringing in a lot of attention from the comic crowd with Tezuka's works, Dark Horse continuing to stay with their niche market, Del Rey bringing over a solid assortment of works (along with a lot of lackluster mainstream ones, but it's to be expected), etc.

All of that in mind, it's kind of hard to look at Viz's signature line and figure out what the hell they're trying to accomplish. They continued two previous Editor's Choice series, Phoenix (which I'd guess it doing fine with the aforementioned push of Tezuka) and Vagabond (not selling great, but definitely not bad). I'm a bit more uncertain with their three other titles which are new to this market, Monster (probably doing well) and The Drifting Classroom (from what I gather, it's more successful than what one might have first thought). I've no clue on Golgo 13, never mind that I haven't read anything from it outside of a sampler a while ago. Overall, I'd like to think that it's healthy enough, and with reprints coming in the form of Tekkon Kinkreet, Uzumaki, and Gyo (Why is this one coming back when it's already unflipped?) I think it's a fair say that Viz is in the position to bring over more mature works.

The problem? Well, they aren't Dark Horse, Del Rey, Vertical, or hell, even Tokyopop. They try to cash in on investments that will get them quick returns (read: splurging on sure-fire shounen and shoujo hits) without subscribing to the policy that DH has had for years. We are likely to see some mature manga come over, like say Pluto (assuming Monster and 20th Century Boys don't fall off the face of the Earth), Ping Pong (depends on success of the LA movie and possibly Tekkon Kinkreet reprint), and maybe even Gantz. But obscure stuff from, say, Shogakukan such as Ichi the Killer, Homunculus, and Hanaokoto? Frankly I don't think that they have the balls to do it.

Then again, this is the same company that licensed and released Sexy Voice and Robo in one massive volume, so maybe I'm wrong (which I'd love to be).

... Uh, and I'm curious: Golgo 13, how is it? It didn't appeal to me from what little I'd read, but I'm willing to give it a shot.
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Kagemusha



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:11 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
...Wait, wha'?


Stephen Robson is the only full time employee (and owner) of Fanfare, with only a part-time editor, freelancers and his contacts with Ponent Mon in France to help him. That's one of the reasons the print runs are so small and often so poorly distributed: if he overestimates a book's appeal and overprints it, no more Fanfare.

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But obscure stuff from, say, Shogakukan such as Ichi the Killer, Homunculus, and Hanaokoto? Frankly I don't think that they have the balls to do it.


The first two aren't obscure at all but I get what your saying. It's not even that they wouldn't be able to sell the first two, because if Darkhorse thinks it's worthwhile to publish MPD Psycho then they could make plenty of money of Ichi. Viz is just such a weird company. I wouldn't be suprised to learn that Shogakukan really started tightening control over the company around the time when manga started to blow up (in other words, when they found that they could make serious money off this obscure little side-branch which had previously catered to a very hardcore audience) because a lot of their marketing decisions are just so behind the trends, like the bigwigs in Japan are making a lot of the final decisions. This is just pure speculation but I think everyone can agree they've always been a little slow.

As for Golgo, there are good stories and there are bad stories, but in general its somewhat of an acquired taste. Really text-heavy in general, and most of its appeal comes from the nonsensical political intrigue (one of the recent volumes featured a Soviet plot to psychically hijack Regan's brain) and the title character's badass nature. I'm kind of divided on it but it usually makes for a good read. Volume 4 is a solid sample of what it can do, though if you're old enough to remember Princess Diana's death and are sensitive about it I'd steer clear.
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Cloe
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:04 pm Reply with quote
Kagemusha wrote:
(one of the recent volumes featured a Soviet plot to psychically hijack Regan's brain)

Sold! That has to be the best basic plot synopsis I've ever read.

Kagemusha wrote:
...though if you're old enough to remember Princess Diana's death and are sensitive about it I'd steer clear.

There are people here not old enough to remember that? How is it sensitive (if you don't mind me asking)? Is it about the paparazzi or something?
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HellKorn



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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 1:59 pm Reply with quote
Kagemusha wrote:
Stephen Robson is the only full time employee (and owner) of Fanfare, with only a part-time editor, freelancers and his contacts with Ponent Mon in France to help him.


Whoa. That's rough. I take it that he gets a lot of help from Ponent Mon, because I can't imagine him being able to handle that much.

At least there's an excuse for Fanfare's delays... Now where's Dark Horse's?

The Building Opposite just shipped out today, on a related note.

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The first two aren't obscure at all but I get what your saying.


I was thinking obscure in the "what the hell would a typical manga fan think of these" sense. There might be some attraction to the violence, but I get the feeling most would brush off hyper-violent manga that have brains to back 'em up like Ichi the Killer and The World is Mine to not be worthwhile. Homunculus is probably more accessible, but when you factor in some of its own quirks, never mind spoiler[licking your own sperm,] then there might not be as much of a draw as we'd initially like to believe.

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It's not even that they wouldn't be able to sell the first two, because if Darkhorse thinks it's worthwhile to publish MPD Psycho then they could make plenty of money of Ichi.


If MPD Psycho does sell well (since I do like the series well enough, I'll be supporting) then I see no damn reason as to why we can't ItK and TWiM brought over. DH was and probably still is the only one ballsey enough to license Berserk, and look at how well that's doing for them. (Yeah, it's got a very notable fandom thanks to the Internet, but all the same.) I think ItK could do fine. TWiM to a lesser degree, but it isn't an impossible sell. Have ItK do decently enough, and you have Homunculus.

This is all coming from an outsider, so for all I know everything that I say and type concerning this matter is a bunch of BS, but it seems to me that there's a real potential market for these kind of titles and it's just not being utilized properly.

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Viz is just such a weird company. I wouldn't be suprised to learn that Shogakukan really started tightening control over the company around the time when manga started to blow up (in other words, when they found that they could make serious money off this obscure little side-branch which had previously catered to a very hardcore audience) because a lot of their marketing decisions are just so behind the trends, like the bigwigs in Japan are making a lot of the final decisions.


That is plausible, and I would also think that there's an issue of just having insanely high licensing prices. I wouldn't be surprised if after CMX's bungling of Tenjho Tenge we had material like Gantz just sky-rocket because those companies want to make something off the initial selling of the license while avoiding any risk on the individual volumes themselves being sold.

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This is just pure speculation but I think everyone can agree they've always been a little slow.


Amen to that. BV USA is epitomizes that, though I still buy their releases and will do so with Gunbuster 2 and The Wings of Honneamise...

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Really text-heavy in general, and most of [Golgo 13's] appeal comes from the nonsensical political intrigue (one of the recent volumes featured a Soviet plot to psychically hijack Regan's brain)...


Laughing

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Volume 4 is a solid sample of what it can do, though if you're old enough to remember Princess Diana's death and are sensitive about it I'd steer clear.


I'm sixteen and still do remember Princess Diana's death. As for me being sensitive about that... well, aside from echoing Cloe's question as to that issue, maybe I've just become so hardened to "shocking" fictional works that practically nothing really "offends" me anymore. (A few exceptions, of course... Johnny Got His Gun being the most prominent one, but I can't imagine anybody not being bothered by that. It's still my favor novel, though.)
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Cloe
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 2:59 pm Reply with quote
HellKorn wrote:
...maybe I've just become so hardened to "shocking" fictional works that practically nothing really "offends" me anymore. (A few exceptions, of course... Johnny Got His Gun being the most prominent one, but I can't imagine anybody not being bothered by that. It's still my favor novel, though.)

We've got to get some Salò to you, and maybe the Guinea Pig series, too. Oh! And some Ultra-Gash Inferno, while we're at it. Toss in a bit of the right-wing propoganda I've seen on the news recently and you have a cocktail guaranteed to disturb and offend any human being on the planet (no offence if you're a righty yourself). Wink
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Kagemusha



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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 5:50 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
There are people here not old enough to remember that? How is it sensitive (if you don't mind me asking)? Is it about the paparazzi or something?


Well plenty of readers are pretty young, so I suppose some of them might have not really experienced the huge impact that event had. I mean I remember a car crashing into the daycare a family friend worked at and the kids there asked her if it was the Princess' car. As for the actual manga, the author basically uses the incident in the same way he uses every other important historical event: as fodder for a screwball conspiracy that gives Golgo an opportunity to act like a badass. I really didn't see anything wrong with speculating that factions of the British government might have been involved in the "accident," but I'm sure some people might take offense to it.

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At least there's an excuse for Fanfare's delays... Now where's Dark Horse's?


I'm guessing they're still feeling the effects from when their printer (who owed them money at the time) went belly up a few years ago. Either that or bad management.

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If MPD Psycho does sell well (since I do like the series well enough, I'll be supporting) then I see no damn reason as to why we can't ItK and TWiM brought over. DH was and probably still is the only one ballsey enough to license Berserk, and look at how well that's doing for them. (Yeah, it's got a very notable fandom thanks to the Internet, but all the same.) I think ItK could do fine. TWiM to a lesser degree, but it isn't an impossible sell. Have ItK do decently enough, and you have Homunculus.


Eh, I'm not as optimistic. If Viz isn't publishing Gantz they're definitely not going to try and publish Ichi the Killer. TWiM is probably even more of a long shot, despite its rights being owned by a smaller company now. With Ichi you've got the whole splatter appeal and assessable plot (not to mention a cult film adaptation bearing the same name) to draw readers into its existential musings. TWiM's less sensational violence is very likely to repulse and horrify a lot of people (sort of like how the first chapter of Arigatou repulsed even the most devoted Naoki Yamamoto fans). The story is of course highly thought-provoking and staggeringly epic (bible of the new millennium, baby), but I think most publishers wouldn't want to risk licensing something so controversial and difficult. Definitely not as assessable as something like Berserk. Would be totally awesome if it (or any other Arai manga for that matter) did get licensed though.
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HellKorn



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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 5:41 pm Reply with quote
Cloe wrote:
We've got to get some Salò to you,


I take it you mean this? Interestingly enough, I already have this bookmarked, so apparently someone else has directred the film to me a while ago. Odd.

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and maybe the Guinea Pig series, too.


That's a television series on the Discovery Channel, right?

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Oh! And some Ultra-Gash Inferno, while we're at it.


This? Obviously would search for a better price elsewhere... Hm, never dipped into the guro genre (that's what it seems this manga is), but I'm open to anything so as long as I find it interesting.

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Toss in a bit of the right-wing propoganda I've seen on the news recently and you have a cocktail guaranteed to disturb and offend any human being on the planet (no offence if you're a righty yourself). Wink


I'm not a jackass nor am I a fat elephant, just a simple lefty.

And in hindsight, I'll say that I was rather more "completely and helplessly emotionally drained" when reading Johnny Got His Gun.

Kagemusha wrote:
Eh, I'm not as optimistic. If Viz isn't publishing Gantz they're definitely not going to try and publish Ichi the Killer.


If nothing else we might see Dark Horse pull a surprise... Not with Gantz, obviously, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

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TWiM is probably even more of a long shot, despite its rights being owned by a smaller company now.


Wasn't there a five volume omnibus re-release recently?

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TWiM's less sensational violence is very likely to repulse and horrify a lot of people (sort of like how the first chapter of Arigatou repulsed even the most devoted Naoki Yamamoto fans).


Took a gander at the chapter (seeing as I've yet to read Arigatou), and yeah, I could see that would throw people off... I mean, the sexual content is rather upfront right from the get-go compared to Naoki Yamamoto's other works that I've read (Believers, Dance Till Tomorrow), and what it shows wouldn't be a large crowd pleaser, either.

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The story is of course highly thought-provoking and staggeringly epic (bible of the new millennium, baby), but I think most publishers wouldn't want to risk licensing something so controversial and difficult.


Any specifics on what happened after where the scanlations stop off (I think around chapter twelve or something)? It seems as though we were just getting a small taste of things to come, and the use of "epic" invokes the imagery of countless explosions and chaos that would make Hollywood summer blockbusters blush.
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Kagemusha



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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 9:52 pm Reply with quote
Quote:

We've got to get some Salò to you, and maybe the Guinea Pig series, too. Oh! And some Ultra-Gash Inferno, while we're at it. Toss in a bit of the right-wing propoganda I've seen on the news recently and you have a cocktail guaranteed to disturb and offend any human being on the planet (no offence if you're a righty yourself). Wink


Well at least Salo has a point to it. There's this ridiculous Chinese film about Japanese experimentation in WW2 that's basically just torture porn. It TRIES to have a message behind all the gore (you know, war sucks an all that) but when you've got a guy's intestines shooting 15-feet out of his nether-regions its kind of hard to not come off as totally exploitative. And of course there's always the lefty-trash to go along with your Ann Couture (I'm not going to bother looking up the correct spelling). Yeah, I kind of subscribe to the Ambrose Bierce-school of politics.

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Took a gander at the chapter (seeing as I've yet to read Arigatou), and yeah, I could see that would throw people off... I mean, the sexual content is rather upfront right from the get-go compared to Naoki Yamamoto's other works that I've read (Believers, Dance Till Tomorrow), and what it shows wouldn't be a large crowd pleaser, either.


The depravity only gets worse from there, but if your going to do a satire on modern (Japanese) society you might as well be brutal.

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Wasn't there a five volume omnibus re-release recently?


Yeah, by Enterbrain I believe. As for the "epic" content, the manga develops a lot of its themes about human nature more fully later on (especially with the characters and that gigantic bear), and the crime spree is used to explore society and all that good stuff. From what I've heard it gets really nutty and metaphysical towards the end. The consensus I've seen is that reading it all the way through is like having an adrenaline needle jammed in your chest (see Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction).
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