Manga: Discussing About Volume Covers of Komi-san Can’t Communicate Part 2

Chinese New Year is over. It is my second month that I have earned my wages. The anime season in this quarter is almost over, despite me reading their mangas (Kaguya, GoToubun, Neverland, Domestic, Kakegurui just to name a few) chapters weekly. I dabble in some Olympiad Linguistic Puzzles and I watched Maths Mansion on YouTube as an excuse to improve my mathematical foundations.

But I have not written anything in my blogpost at all, even though it is an hobby for me anyway.

So, for this really quick return, I present to you the covers of the next batch of Komi-san wa Komyushou Desu or Komi-san Can’t Communicate by Oda Tomohito, who is still on her quest to make new friends. First batch is here.

Warning: Spoilers Alert and covers are collected from Mangadex, uploader oalaro.

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Web Novels That I’ve Read: Video Games Edition

Sorry for the long wait in updating another blog post, as I have a lot of changes going on around me now.

1. I lost my job though I received my degree, and is still searching for one.
2. So I don’t have a lot of drive to write another blog post for now.
3. I started joining Webnovel by Qidian, which despite the scummy reputation in some of the author’s minds. I want to start writing something for fun and eventually start creating novels for real (though with my lack of discipline, the goal seems to be far away).

Which brings me to the blog post for today, web novels.

Web novels are stories made to be read by people surfing the net and spend their time reading it. In my experience, they are long (Chinese in particular), aimless in how they want the story to end and has its own cliches (Isekai for Japanese, Revenge for Chinese and Overpowered Protagonists in general). Even with these criticisms, we read them, mock them, spend about 3 days reading 1,000 chapters worth of books and promptly forgetting the less memorable ones.

For this section, I will be focusing on video games. While I’m not a fan of MMORPG in real life, in Web Novel they are easily my preferred genre since the crazy things they do in the novel can be chalked up to “it’s just a game”, which means realistic in my standard. Some may be good, some may be bad, some may be The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, but all of them sate my need for adventures joining in epic quests, wars and log off to eat after everything is okay.

Without further ado, let’s jump straight on to the quick reviews of web novels, Video Games edition.

P.S: The story I’m working right now is titled Lonely Entertainment, which is technically an Another World story. And I decide to not write today’s chapter for the slight return of this blogpost.

Lonely Entertainment: https://www.webnovel.com/book/12518664905725605

Beware Spoilers Alert, and all of them are from Qidian or Webnovel.

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Manga Talk: 4 Mangas About Acting

I thought that when I had a job, I would never see myself motivated enough to write a blog post until December, but surprisingly, even though it is in my more tired days, the urge to write something about manga that I read still holds (which didn’t wane at all when I finished work, since unlike writing something new, mindlessly reading requires way less brain power to process). Thus, for another archive in the almost dead blog, I present to you a manga topic about acting.

Acting can be many things, like re-enacting a scene either from the past or brand new, legalized lying or making the audience react to new sensations. And these are some of my own definitions thought on the spot. As with how popular dramas are from the past to the present, some mangakas would also want to place their blood on this goldmine of a pie. Of course being a artistic dog-eat-dog world, only a few may even get noticed in the English speaking sphere and here are some of the few I know and would like to share.

Obviously, spoilers alert.

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I’m Bored: What I Have Been Up To

It is been a really long time since I have updated another blog post and I’m sorry if there is an audience that would like me to talk about mangas, games or reality television (like why is the Amazing Race China Season 5 not yet broadcasted to give me an excuse to write consistently?).

There are many things I want to discuss, but there are the interesting things I would talk about.

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Thoughts On Some Mangas of Weekly Shonen Champion on 2018.

For an international manga community, as a spokon Wataru Watanabe’s Yowamushi Pedal is one of the most well-known (thanks to the anime). It solidified a standard where other publishers need to think twice before serializing a cycling manga, tick all the boxes that makes it commercially viable outside the fujoshi market and sold relatively well in spite of being serialized in this magazine (locally and globally) I bring up right now, and the reason why YowaPedal is always at the top of its table of contents. However, this post I’m not talking about this manga itself, but the magazine the manga is serialized, Weekly Shonen Champion by Akita Shonen.

P.S: For the manga itself, I did like the start and the first Interhigh, but man, almost 200 chapters just to finish an entire Interhigh is wearing me down even with the good cast interactions. Thus I stopped before the second Interhigh.

According to Wikipedia, Weekly Shonen Champion was first published 15 July 1969 and some of the well-known serialized works consisted of Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack, Keisuke Itagaki’s Baki The Grappler franchise and Masami Kurumada’s Saint Seiya franchise (the latter 2 still have their serialization ongoing).

Now, the magazine itself is still not internationally well-known even with YowaPedal and Eiji Masuda’s Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa (a really great supernatural rom-com that ends satisfyingly). Part of my reasoning for me, is that until recently for some time a part of the line-up focuses on delinquents (like Hirakawa Tetsuhiro’s Clover, Masami Hosokawa’s Sugarless and Toshio Ozawa’s Nanba series) that covers the lack of fantasy shonen action series and for the TOC itself, you would have noticed that YowaPedal and Baki will always dominate the top position of the TOC (along with the digital section of the cover pages), not helping that most series from this magazine struggled to reach even 10k of physical sales.

With that said, scanlators did translate some of their newer series into English and Chinese for the readers’ consumption, so here are some works (from A to Z) I would like to introduce and give my thoughts to those picked mangas.

First, spoilers alert. Second, my usual reads are idyllic things that don’t give me nightmares for some moments.

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Brief Thoughts of the 2018 Line-Ups of Weekly Shonen Magazine

With my rom-com post of Weekly Shonen Magazine being one of my biggest surprise for my blog, I decided to share my thoughts on the new series introduced to the lineup for the first 6 months.

To the surprise of the English speaking community that is aware of any manga magazine outside of Weekly Shonen Jump, the rom-com invasion surprisingly paid off with only one of the rom-com (the RPG witch) getting axed due to being the only one that didn’t have a (technically) real-life rom-com as a setting, while the new serializations of 2017 (including non rom-coms like Revengers & Runway) that survived ended up having the commercial appeal to be placed at the Top 50 Oricon Sales for at least one week.

The biggest success story for the line-up: Haruba Negi’s Go-Toubun No Hanayome (or should I say The Quintessential Quintuplets), where the readers are charmed with the simple idea of the Japanese same face syndrome used in a so simple its unique way (and potentially marketable if America or Israel somehow took hold of it), a strong main cast with a solid storyline (for now) and garned a lot of attention from 4chan, Reddit and other international manga websites that Kodansha give it the green light for it to be licensed in English digitally just under a year of serialization. Congratulations Negi as 4chan can now memorize your name.

https://kodanshacomics.com/volume/the-quintessential-quintuplets-1/

Overall, a great track record for magazine right now and can be argued that it is the strongest lineup in the magazine right now, as they are in a period where not only they snatched & maintained, mangakas with promising potential (veterans and newbies which includes Mashima himself), enable the mangakas to finish their work without having to rush for an ending and most importantly, got their series selling well, which is the most important thing.

P.S: I didn’t say that it is the best when it comes to story quality, since there are still too many rom coms in the lineup & one of them includes Reihi Miyajima’s Kanojo, Okarishimasu (who everybody & their grandmothers love to hate-read and nobody is hit by a truck yet) and Kouji & Mashima aren’t the mangakas where the English speaking community are in the rage about.

Without further ado, the current serializations of 2018 along with my thoughts on these series. Warning, spoilers ahead.

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Introducing Mangas That I Have Read From Chinese Scans.

If you are a citizen or traveling around Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, one of the most memorable places that you can go is the Suria KLCC, where the Petronas Twin Towers is located. If you are a tourist, I recommend the park outside for a clean nature experience. If you are enthusiastic about art, I recommend the Petronas Gallery where you could speculate about the reason behind the artist’s creations. If you are a business person, you might obtain some news about an industry of your liking at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Website for Suria KLCC: https://www.suriaklcc.com.my/

And if you are a person who wants to learn Japanese or an actual Japanese, or wanted to collect and read physical copies of the manga (packaged with plastic and written in Japanese) that you might be interested in the Japanese section, placed behind the graphic novel section, where you will enter a small island consisted of Japanese literature, artbook and obviously authentic Japanese manga.

Website for Kinokuniya: https://www.kinokuniya.com/

However, I’m a very frugal person and when I see the price tag of the mangas in Kinokuniya for the first time, I was like nope, just window shopping and looking at the physical covers in the future. The reason for my reluctance of being physical copies is that:

  1. For my budget (RM 100, if I’m generous), buying an official English translation of the manga is very expensive (ranged about RM50, which is very dear for me)
  2. While there is a huge section of Japanese manga placed in a space of its own (with exclusive shelves provided for the Weekly Shonen Series and shoujo mangas from different publishers), the price being reasonable (ranged about RM 20) and having even quickly axed manga in the bunch, there’s just a small problem with me (and the general Malaysian public): My Japanese is limited and I felt that money is better spent on purchasing the artbooks
  3. There is also a Chinese section, where the prices are similar to their Japanese counterpart and there is a significant Chinese population, at that point I am like: “why should I bother purchasing manga that after I’ve read it, I have to find some space to keep my purchases and I don’t want my room to be as messy as my sister”.
  4. For the potential Malay purchases, I just simply read them at the bookstore in one go. Malaysian authors and publishers, I am sorry for ruining your purchase and being so stingy that as an adult I don’t even want to purchase a volume of Keith’s Lawak Campus or Zint’s Hope.
  5. Most of all, I can simply read the manga online (both English and Chinese), so basically I am not included in their target demographic.

(BTW, in the Malaysian webpage, the biggest selling manga for April is the 5th Volume for Yugioh arc V and one of the Top 100 selling manga in Kinokuniya for this year April include 2 volumes of the canceled Cross Account)

P.S: For Malaysians, you can spend your free weekends warming your tired heart by reading the Malay translations of Bongo Stray Dogs, Yotsuba, Hyouka and the Silent Voice for a ridiculously affordable price of RM10.

After all of these self-promotive introductions that only appeals to my vanity, I’ll just move on to the main topic, as since the Western & Japanese have very different methods of obtaining the imported manga in the first place, aside from the A-List, their scanlated mangas are quite different.

One of the most striking examples for Chinese scans would be Shinobu Seguchi’s Shuujin Riku (think of Prison Break with the MC being an underaged boy), Non’s Delivery Cinderella (student by day, callgirl by night) and Toshio Sako’s Usogui (genius gambler who gambles while competing under the absolutely neutral judges). The English translations are brief (while Usogai fared better, it pales compared to needing about 300 more chapters to fully complete the entire translation), while the Chinese translations completed both of their work (with Shuujin Riku and Delivery Cinderella being rather popular with the Chinese, even if their plot development becomes weaker as time goes on).

Without further ado, these are (a small part of) my selection of the manga that I’ve read using the Chinese website, which I usually use dm5 for the mangas that are not or rarely scanlated in English.

Beware, spoilers abound since I might explain more about the plot.

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