Saturday, June 28, 2008


Summer is upon us. It certainly felt like summer last week, but here in the Bay Area we're back to fog, chilliness, and general strangeness.

I've been keeping lots of tabs open as I read about the impending summer season. Thankfully Firefox 3 seems to have halved the memory footprint of Firefox 2 (not that Firefox 2 taking up a gig of memory is particularly hard on my system). Here's THAT, moetron, Mistakes of Youth, and hashihime. At first glance, there wasn't too much to watch this summer. But after reading hashihime's seiyuu-oriented rundown, there are a few more that I might need to watch. I guess I'll categorize this time.

Definitely Gonna Watch

Hidamari Sketch x365: Hell yes. More Hidamari, more!

Lucky Star OVA: Moar.

Zero no Tsukaima - Princess Rondo: Fufufu. ZnT can be a little much sometimes, but I need to get my tsundere fix somewhere. Speaking of which, I still haven't gotten through season 2.

Seiyuu Compelling-ness

Telepathy Girl Ran: Katou Emiri. Might make this worth watching.

Mahō Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto: Natsu no Sora: Hanazawa Kana. (Thanks to hashihime, Sora in Sketchbook.)

Ari Ari

Natsume Yuujin Chou: Good staff? Or something.

Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: Otaku girl? Wish fulfillment.

Ponyo on a Cliff: Miyazaki? Watercolors?

The Sky Crawlers: Oshii Mamoru?

Detroit Metal City: Good staff?

The Manga Is Awesome But They'll Likely Screw This Up

Blade of the Immortal: Nuff said.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Two volumes of Orange Road

I just came across this draft from september, with the above title, above picture and the text: "Three, actually, with more in the closet. Even a wideban. But they don't make me an extraordinarily effective military force, unfortunately." Which might've been more amusing at the time, naturally.

My flatmate's been watching Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, and by watching, I mean watching it over and over and over since he's got nothing else to do. I've only gotten to episode 6 myself, due to general lethargy, but it seems I've caught bits and pieces of later episodes as he was watching them. Man, I thought the first few were utterly insane, but it just gets crazier and crazier. I can hear my friend lhao-ing while I'm cooking dinner downstairs. There are worse ways to while your time away, I suppose.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


This must be the Kouyouen Haruhi, which means the second season is going to pursue that crazy plot arc. In fact, I may have to go back and read it again.

Give me back my Haruhi with long hair, dammit.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Manga café economics

Someone's opened up a manga café in San Francisco. What are the rates? $5 for the first hour, $1.25 for every additional 15 minutes. So basically $5/hour. Given that English-translated manga runs $10 a volume, $5/hour is pretty good. I figure if a typical volume is 200 pages, and I spend a generous 20 seconds on every 2-page spread, that's approaching two volumes per hour.

The going rate in Japan seems to be a buck per hour. (Or more for swankier places, I guess.) So indeed, staying up all night (or sleeping) in a manga kissa would be a pretty economical way to live. And a really economical way to read manga, needless to say.

I also found this fond remembrance of the "jazz kissa". It really sounds wonderful: jazz cafes everywhere, listening to cutting-edge music, reading avant-garde manga and magazines. Youth subculture, indeed. Now I need to find some Japanese free jazz.

Change of topic: I was reading this thread at AnimeSuki, and have been enlightened as a result. Namely, I had previously believed that buying directly from Japan entailed either 1) or 2) some random Japanese export service. The main problem with amazon is ridiculous shipping -- $20 plus $3 per book. The problem with export-type sites is that they either specialize in finding stuff, or require more Japanese comprehension than I am currently capable of.

Enter bk1. They can ship via SAL! And their website is fairly obvious. So this means I'm going to buy stuff. Like the Maison Ikkoku reprint. And widebans of Kimagure Orange Road to complete my set. Pani Poni. Seto no Hanayome. And maybe Yume Tsukai, but I'm more interested in earlier Ueshiba Riichi stuff, like Discommunication / Seireihen. But bk1 doesn't have older stuff, so I'm wondering what's the most economical way to find such things. (What I really need to do is visit a BookOff. I go to NYC a few times a year for work, but wasn't thinking about manga the last few times I was there. The alternative is to take a bus down to LA... hmm.)

Oh yes, trashy manga. I was thinking of buying a few. Like A Girls, which appears to have been panned by the amazon reviewer. And quite deservedly so; but I still want to know what happens after the first volume. Well, now that I think about it, it's probably fairly cliché. After all, it's from the same team that brought us volumes upon volumes of Boys Be. Maybe I should just read it at a manga café.