Ep. 73: Witchcraft Works by Ryu Mizunagi & You’re My Pet by Yayoi Ogawa
It’s another Witchy Week on Mangasplaining, as David leads the crew through Ryu Mizunagi’s Witchcraft Works! Will this silly harem comedy bewitch the Mangasplainers? And then, Chris leads the team through our bonus read, the classic josei manga Tramps Like Us… er.. You’re My Pet, as it’s now called, by Yayoi Ogawa. It’s a big week for us to discover some fun and fascinating manga, and you’re invited to listen along!
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IN THIS EPISODE
00:00 Witchcraft Works vol.1
51:38 ComiXology Manga Must-Reads: You’re My Pet vol. 1
01:05:00 3 NEW BOOKS! Some ‘generic’ manga for grown-ups
01:16:14 SHOUT-OUTS – a mobile game, a comic-convention and a manga!
Audio editing by David Brothers. Show notes by Deb Aoki and Christopher Woodrow-Butcher
Witchcraft Works vol. 1
By Ryu Mizunagi
Translation: Ko Ransom
Production: Risa Cho, Melissa DeJesus
Published by Vertical/Kodansha (Print/Digital)
BEFORE WE GET STARTED
[Christopher:] Hi, it’s Christopher. Deb’s taking the lead on notes this week! All of my contributions are prefaced by my name. All of the other text is by Deb. Enjoy!
00:41 So a little explanation here. We recorded our Witches episode before Witchcraft Works, but we realized that we usually don’t have the same person hosting two weeks in a row, so we moved up Witchcraft Works, so our Witch trilogy episodes are hosted by Deb / David / Deb instead of Deb / Deb / David, if that makes any sense.
01:12 Here’s the description of Witchcraft Works vol. 1 from Kodansha]
Honoka Takamiya is an average student. Ayaka Kagari, his classmate who sits next to him in class, on the other hand, is the class “Princess.” Ayaka is tall, strikingly gorgeous, and has a regalness to her that almost exudes a royal attitude. Despite their proximity in school, over the school year the two have never shared much conversation … until today.
So today as class ended, Takamiya was suddenly attacked by a cat-eared witch and her band of bunny-costumed thugs! And if that were not enough of a shock, this average joe would then be saved, like a Princess, by none other than Ayaka Kagari … a witch herself!-Kodansha
03:20 [Christopher:] Naoko Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon is the classic female magical girl (superhero) shojo manga which includes a male protagonist, Tuxedo Mask, who is constantly getting rescued by the ladies but often smugly (“mysteriously”) implies that he actually saved the day. “A guy who thinks he’s all that, but he’s actually constantly being rescued by the female protagonist.”
[Christopher:] Meanwhile, Oh My Goddess! Is one of the first pure ‘harem’ manga that was released in North America (tho that depends on how you feel about Lum or Ranma 1/2). Harem manga is when there’s a dude who’s kind of useless, yet he is inexplicably surrounded by hot women that are too good for him. For reasons that may be irrelevant to explain to readers who are into this type o story, all of the female characters are completely and deeply attracted to him, purely for plot reasons. In this case, it’s three goddesses, who are sisters, who are kind of infatuated with a nerdy dude. Hmm, maybe it was No Need for Tenchi?
[Deb:] I will say that Keiichi, the main male character in Oh My Goddess! gets… well, less lame later in the series, as the story weaves some redeeming qualities about him. For example, he’s a student at an engineering college, he’s pretty good at motor bike racing, and he treats his sweetheart Belldandy as a partner and friend more than just someone that’s pretty and powerful. Anyway, Oh, My Goddess! is still in print from Dark Horse.
There’s also ANOTHER witch manga that also a harem manga story — it’s Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches by Miki Yoshikawa (who is another female creator, incidentally). The manga offers a cute and fun story, and it’s available from Kodansha, and the anime is streaming on Crunchyroll.
03:50 Here’s that moment when the reader turns the page, and there’s a whole mess of bunny warriors!
04:35 – p. 111 “We want your white stuff.” “He’s going to get the wrong idea.” YOU DON’T SAY!?
[Christopher:] Yeah this double-entendre is a bit clumsy, but I don’t think that’s the fault of the translation. It really is, uh, bold… in these first few chapters.
08:05 [Christopher:] There’s a great bonus page at the end of volume 1 that talks about big ladies, and quite honestly when I read it for the first time I don’t think that I realized that the author was a woman. This manga gives off that‘sorta sleazy seinen manga vibes’ from the outset, but it’s kind of wild that it’s created by a woman.
The sleaziness never materialized (for me), and was instead replaced by a kinda general level of dumb-sexiness, and that’s pretty fun in a manga like this. But yeah, you gotta read this caption from the back (and all the rest of the info in the back is great too).
09:45 Magical Girl Ore! is basically about a bunch of buff guys as magical girls. The manga is a 2-volume series published by Digital Manga.
There’s a Magical Girl Ore! anime series too, that’s streaming on Crunchyroll.
[Christopher:] It looks like Crunchyroll actually put the whole first episode up on YouTube to watch for free, so that’s kinda cool!
10:17 The demon king with a swole chest webtoon I mentioned is The Secret Life of the Demon King by Arnoysil and Jungkun. It’s about a demon king who gets a part-time job at a host club. Just so you know – It’s very smutty and very much for readers 18+ only. It’s on Lezhin:
11:16 Is this bad, dumb or funny? Is it clunky on purpose Or maybe both?
[Christopher:] Our protagonist has this stupid, awkward monologue, along the lines of “this must be the friend of the person protecting me who said not to leave my side…” and you either need to get on board with it like Chip was, or maybe this title is not for you.
14:10 [Christopher:] As Chip mentions, while the drawings are pretty solid overall, there are some real problems in the work, particularly around feet. These are pretty good examples of that issue:
“I love the mid-list, it’s so entertaining. Sometimes you just want a book that’s about a tall witch and her useless boyfriend.”David Brothers
16:00 – The Witchcraft Works anime is streaming on Crunchyroll, so you can see for yourself how this manga translates into color and action:
16:50 – When we’re mentioning “Deb’s roommates” – well, here’s a bit of an explanation for that! We recorded this episode while I was at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, and I had my headphones on while my comic convention buddies / hotel roommates Heidi MacDonald, Johanna Draper Carlson and Brigid Alverson looked on with puzzled expressions on their faces as I mentioned “the white stuff.”. Here’s the podcast that I record with them about our adventures at comic conventions, “Four women in a hotel room” on Soundcloud:
17:40 [Christopher:] The sequence with the witch with two handguns IS pretty cool looking. From page 164:
18:30 In case you’re wondering what “rock solid, concrete boobs” look like, here you go:
19:00 – The Hunter’s Guild: Red Hood is a series from Shonen Jump. The story is set in the world of Grimm’s fairy tales, when werewolves plague the populace. Their only hope for survival is to hire monster-killing mercenaries, and one such monster hunter is Grimm – a busty woman in a red hooded cape.
It’s not the American comics Red Hood, which has a completely different vibe, to say the least.
[Christopher:] Yeah, the Red Hood I think a couple of us immediately went to was the Batman villain, from the Alan Moore/Brian Bolland Batman graphic novel, The Killing Joke.
As you can see, that particular capsule-shaped red helmet COULD imply a very… uh, specific kind of solid boob. Heh.
Anyway in recent years, Batman’s second sidekick Jason Todd (he was Robin, then he was killed) came back to life and took up the mantle of the Red Hood with a different and updated costume. Anyway, this is more than you needed to know to get that joke up top.
19:50 – Same face syndrome! Here’s an example from page 100:
20:10 – The plot trope in manga/anime where sisters have a ‘thing’ for their brothers? Ew. This is one of those anime/manga tropes that just grosses me out.
E.g. stuff like, A Sister is All You Need by Yomi Hirasaka from Yen Press or and Oreimo by Tsukasa Fushimi (short for Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai or My Younger Sister Can’t Be This Cute) from Dark Horse. There will be titles we probably aren’t gonna cover on the podcast. Sorry.
20:45 – Deb mentions The ice witches in Lum / Urusei Yatsura as being somewhat similar to the witches in Witchcraft Works. But the differentiation between the elemental witches aren’t as clear in Witchcraft Works, though they certainly try. Speaking of which, Urusei Yatsura is getting a lovely new edition from VIZ Media, go check it out.
21:30 – The dead-faced girl who has a rich interior emotional life is a familiar manga/anime trope. Add to that, she’s usually violent, in that quietly efficient kind of way, and of course, she has a thing for the main guy. There’s probably a name for this character trope… if you know the name, add it to the comments!
24:30 – With witches with elemental powers, it’s good to see that the fire effects “kick ass” – as in this moment when her costume burns away:
24:50 – Here’s that panel on the last page, when all the bad guys are enjoying karaoke together. It’s much closer in tone to what the book becomes than how it starts.
25:30 – David shows us a few pages from Witchcraft Works vol. 15, to support why he says, “in my head it’s like vol 15 from the beginning”
26:05: We had this “volume 1 isn’t as strong artwise / story-wise as volume 3 / 10 / 25+” etc. thing happen in our episodes for My Hero Academia, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Yotsuba&!, among others. Books change and grow as they continue!
26:30 Is this Ryu Mizunagi’s first manga series?
[Christopher:] Well, no, sort of? This is a really weird situation. The author released a one-volume manga called Kill Wizard (untranslated)… back in 2006! Then they didn’t seem to make another series until 2010, and that was this one, Witchcraft Works. So four years without any manga, that’s a bit surprising! Hopefully they’ve got other gigs on the go.
Also very strange, while doing this research I saw that the series is actually… OVER! The final volume, #17, released in Japan in March 2022. Congratulations, Mizunagi-sensei! Otasukaresamadeshita! Over on her blog (she has a blog!) she updated in January to say that since she finished the last chapter, she’s started working on a new series. Good for her! She also has a Pixiv with some lovely art on it, like this:
27:00 – The computer-assisted art is more obvious in later volumes. Here’s an example, so you can compare a page from vol. 1 with one from vol. 15. First, a fight scene from volume 1:
Followed by a fight scene from a later volume of Witchcraft Works:
“It’s about ego, when you no longer feel like you need to put in the work to draw well… [Some comics creators get] surrounded by sycophants who tell them everything they do is great.”-Chip Zdarsky
30:00 In Japan, the editors and the pace of manga production, forces you to keep looking at your art. We’ve talked a bit in the past about how different the roles played by editors in manga production in Japan vs. N. America, but it’s interesting to hear that it plays a role in how manga creators hone and improve their skills over time.
If you’re curious about this, check out some of the manga about making manga like Weekly Girls’ Nozaki-kun (which we covered here on the podcast) and The Right Way to Make Jump from the Shonen Jump folks.
31:00 It’s no secret that Taiyo Matsumoto is a big favorite here at Mangasplaining, partly because he’s an artist who constantly challenges himself to draw differently. His work really changed when he married illustrator/artist Saho Tono and she became his assistant (and eventually co-creator), who has her own strong visual style.
Here’s our episodes about manga by Taiyo Matsumoto: Tekkon Kinkreet and Ping Pong, plus some examples of how his art style has evolved over the years.
[Christopher:] Here’s a quick gallery showing Matsumoto’s changes as a cartoonist. From top-to-bottom, 1993 to 2013.
31:50 – Osamu Tezuka had a studio of full of assistants who drew like him, which partly helps explain his almost superhuman output of manga and anime work in his career. He didn’t animate all of Astro Boy by himself, that’s for sure. The artists in his studio also reworked his early comics under his direction, to fix what he considered to be ‘errors’ in the work.
For a recent example of this, check out The Osamu Tezuka Story, an epic biographical manga about the “God of Manga” drawn by one of his former assistants, Toshio Ban. It’s available from StoneBridge Press.
[Christopher:] It’s worth noting that Tezuka’s history of editing his work and working with assistants isn’t really a secret. I attended an exhibition dedicated to the changes that Tezuka made to his own work at The Osamu Tezuka Museum in Takarazuka Japan a decade ago. It was during my first visit to the museum in 2007, there are some photos of me where I look much younger than I do now, but if you scroll down to half way, I’ve got some photos of the art that was on display that shows the differences in the editing process, even sometimes decades later.
If you’re curious for more, track down this book:
It’s roughly called “Osamu Tezuka: The Secret of the Original Illustrations” where it uses projected light on original art to see the original images underneath, compares different printings of manga side-by-side to see the changes made, alternate pages, original text, and way more. It’s pretty neat stuff, though probably mostly of interest to nerds.
Of course, I own this book.
33:30 No. 5 was just recently reissued in its entirety by VIZ Media. Here’s what this story is about:
In a world where most of the earth has become a harsh desert, the Rainbow Council of the Peace Corps has a growing crisis on its hands. No. 5, one member of a team of superpowered global security guardians and a top marksman, has gone rogue. Now the other guardians have to hunt down No. 5 and his mysterious companion, Matryoshka. But why did No. 5 turn against the council, and what will it mean for the future of the world?VIZ Media
34:10 Speaking of artist evolution, check out how the cast of One Piece changed over time – here’s a diagram that compares the Straw Hat crew as they appeared every 100 chapters. There are noticeable differences, but they each still remain recognizable. Click for the full-sized version.
35:01 – The production studio aspect of manga artists also forces even established creators to constantly check themselves. You can’t let it slide if you have to tell other people how to draw, or what to draw, and especially if you want to keep talented assistants working with you!
[Christopher:] We also mention Tom Brevoort’s “How To Edit Marvel Comics” speech. I think maybe we haven’t found the exact speech, but here’s a post from Brevoort’s blog that talks about editing, and hey, you can also check out our friend Jim Zub’s YouTube interview with him:
Brevoort’s Substack Newsletter is also pretty great, worth checking out.
37:11 [Christopher:] David mentions that he loves self-indulgent comics, and Witchcraft Works fits the bill. He also references a stand-alone one-shot graphic novel by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, featuring a side-character named Kit that he created during his run on the DC/Vertigo comic Hellblazer.
It’s called Heartland, and it has almost nothing to do with Hellblazer other than that’s where the character debuted. Ennis wanted to tell a story about Belfast, about the troubles, about people. It’s a bit more like ‘art comics’ than what DC was doing at the time, and that’s kind of the height of self-indulgent in a great way.
38:00 [Christopher:] CHIP DIDN’T READ THE BACK-OF-THE-BOOK MATERIAL. Readers here will remember that a week or two ago Chip insisted he read all of the bonus material. Vindication. Nice.
38:00 Manga artist Kaoru Mori is an example of a female comics creator who draws some mighty fine behinds. The creator of A Bride’s Story and Emma is definitely into drawing curvy women, and depicting some of them with soft, pillow-y boobs too. 😉 This is from her collection of short stories, Anything and Something from Yen Press:
38:50 [Christopher:] I explained this… alright… on the podcast, so I don’t wanna jump into it again, but I did find written proof that this is all real. Here’s an interview from, I wanna say like 2000, between Sequential Tart Magazine’s Jennifer Contino, and Marvel Comics President of Publishing Bill Jemas. Theses are real quotes from the interview.
CONTINO: Recently, you were quoted in Diamond Dialogue as saying: “Marvel Comics will launch new titles in two hot direct market categories that we are currently missing: (1.) Bad Girls for Fanboys; Marvel has some of the best female characters in the business, and will launch titles starring strong, sexy women. (2.) Mature Readers; Under a new imprint, Marvel will publish adult-oriented, non-Code books.” I’m curious…”Bad Girls for Fanboys?” Why?
JEMAS: Bad Girls for fan boys, sometimes I call them date books. We have quite a few male readers who live in the basement of their parent’s house in Queens. For them, an evening with Elektra is as good as it gets. Tell you what though, the Marvel Universe has always had female characters front and center, and we have always had a big female following for the comics, for the X-Men TV show, and now for the movie.-from the Bill Jemas interview on Sequential Tart
The comic industry was pretty different 20 years ago, in many ways.
Speaking of that, here’s what a Greg Horn Elektra book looks like.
So, yeah. Yeah.
41:09 [Christopher:] “I know who THAT book is for.” We all do.
42:47 “You’re my princess.” Yeah, if you read the bonus material, you’ll find that Witchcraft Works was originally supposed to be a yuri book, with a female/female relationship. Instead, they made the main character a dude, but kept him as a princess!
Raw Hero is gross and it owns it. Find out more on our episode on Raw Hero vol 1, an uhm, very special take on superhero comics.
44:30: [Christopher:] Wow, I really just went off there. That was like, 5 minutes. Hah. Thanks for indulging me, team.
45:00 David mentions that when, on page 85, Ayaka has been stabbed by various knives, it becomes a bloody moment……but it’s not a sexy bloody moment. From there, the story almost immediately turns away from that kind of work, and then the whole title gets more slapstick from that point.
[Christopher:] She is penetrated, which is a trope too.
“Witchcraft Works: It’s good to perfectly fine, depending on what you thought about the jokes.”David Brothers
47:20 In this first volume the panels are cluttered, so hard to follow the action. The mood would shift quite a bit, from the school being demolished, then there’s cute bunnies. The chaos had me thinking,
“Is this a serious fantasy thing, or a stupid fantasy thing, or something in between?”-Deb Aoki
49:12 – Chris is referring to My Love Mix-Up!, which was one of my picks for the show. I can’t believe I spaced out on this. I blame Comic-Con on the brain.
50:36 And…. we go out with this scene, where “Obama” beats up Honoka for getting too close to Ayaka. “Deal with him!” “Yes! We! Can!”
51:38 – THE BREAK
Comixology Manga Must-Reads
You’re My Pet
by Yayoi Ogawa
No English translation, editing or lettering credits in this book
Kodansha Comixology Originals
Check out You’re My Pet Volume 1 on ComiXology Unlimited. If you’re new to ComiXology Unlimited, give it a try with a 30-day free trial.
BEFORE WE GET STARTED
[Christopher:] So yeah, despite the fact that the Japanese title nearly-literally translated to You’re My Pet, Tokyopop decided to rename the series to Tramps Like Us when it was first translated, referring to lyrics in the Bruce Springsteen song, Born to Run. I have no idea why, honestly, but that name is completely stuck in my brain now, and it takes conscious effort for me to use the ‘new’ (original) title. Sorry if I make mistakes here.
52:42 We mention a few “license rescues” (when a publisher picks up a lost series) that are on Comixology Unlimited, including Drops of God and Initial D. After Tokyopop went bust, many of those titles reverted to their Japanese license holders, which also means some titles ended up at VIZ Media, including Chibi Vampire, D.N. Angel and Sgt. Frog. You can find them wherever VIZ Media sells digital versions of their manga. There’s probably more titles like this to discover, too!
53:00 From page 48 – Sumire is a young woman who wants to have it all, so she pushes the boundaries of what’s socially acceptable.
[Christopher:] Doesn’t mean she deserves that slap though, that guy is a douche.
55:30 Chip has liked every josei manga we’ve recommended – which is pretty impressive! In case you missed any of them, catch up with our past josei manga picks. https://www.mangasplaining.com/tag/josei-manga/
56:10 Since it was published by TokyoPop, Tramps Like Us is technically available in print, but if you tried to buy them one volume at a time, there’s a good chance that you’d never get the complete set unless you bought it as a set from eBay or something.
56:45 Page 27 – The casual sexism of being a female worker in a Japanese business in the 1990s. The co-worker who cries in the middle of the office to make Sumire look like the bad person, as the men in the office come to the crying woman’s “rescue.”
Then later, Sumire overhears some of her female colleagues talking some smack about her too. It’s little wonder she craves adult relationships / friendships that aren’t so… well, aren’t so awful.
58:02 Page 10 – Sumire is sexually confident as a woman, but she’s messed up because the Japan around her doesn’t accept her as a smart career woman.
58:47 When I say that “the art is not as dated as Rose of Versailles,” I’m referring to the classic shojo manga about Marie Antoinette and the dashing Lady Oscar – it’s a historical romance series from the early 1970s that’s considered one of the pillars of shojo manga. It’s available as 5 volumes from Udon Entertainment.
59:02 From page 11 – Sumire finds Momo in a box on the street, which is a shojo / older manga trope — although usually, it’s a kitten or a puppy in the box?
1:00:09 Page 128-129 – Both of them are not OK. She falls apart when she can reach for the brass ring by reaching for a rich guy, but still ends up fretting about Momo.
1:01:00 Chris thinks Chi’s Sweet Home is a dark story. Considering that most people consider this series about a cute, mischievous kitten to be a sweet, all-ages story, this is a somewhat controversial take, but we’ll find out when we talk about it in an upcoming Mangasplaining episode.
We also mention Helter Skelter, which is a VERY dark josei manga story. Go listen to our Mangasplaining episode on this one-shot and you’ll see what we mean.
1:01:45 Page 159, we see Momo on the barre, capturing the grace and poise of his movements. According to Chip and David, it was one of the only really “good” drawings in the book.
1:03:16 For what it’s worth, they don’t do much more than hug and sleep next to each other in volume 1. How does this story go on for 13 more volumes? I guess we just gotta read and find out?
1:04:15 – Yayoi Ogawa’s current series is Knight of the Ice, published by Kodansha. It’s basically about professional ice skating. The romantic comedy twist is that the main female and male characters are childhood friends. Chitose helps Kokoro the skater overcome his stage fright by chanting a spell from their favorite magical girl anime before he hits the ice, something that’s helped by the fact that these two have some budding romantic feelings for each other.
“That’s the most manga thing I’ve ever heard” – Christopher
1:04:52 – The “Josei not YA” panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 is now online! You can watch below (or on YouTube). Is Ghost in the Shell is a josei manga? “Josei manga is whatever you want it to be.” Discuss!
1:05:30: THE SECOND BREAK!
1:05:57 – Alright, it’s time to pick new books!
DAVID: Chip hates teenagers! So here’s a book featuring a bunch of adults: Space Brothers vol 1 by Chuya Koyama (Kodansha)
David sells this as “the most mundane book about space that you’ll ever read. One brother is an astronaut, and the other is a car designer who got fired for head-butting his boss. Losing his job makes the older brother rethink his dreams of becoming an astronaut. It’s very normal – no super powers.. It’s just people going to work. It’s very mature, and also sometimes sad and heartwarming.”
DEB: Here’s something with more adults! It’s Kowloon Generic Romance vol 1 by Jun Mayuzuki (Yen Press)
Deb picks this brand new series based on her enjoyment of Jun Mayuzuki’s prior series, After the Rain, “an age gap romance about a high school girl working in diner who has a crush on her older manager. They’re friends and it doesn’t cross into “oh no they didn’t” territory, thankfully. After the Rain has strong character development, along with some humor, but not over the top humor. Overall, this is a very grown-up, very beautifully drawn story.” There’s an anime version of the story on Amazon Prime.
But back to Kowloon Generic Romance. It’s set in Kowloon Walled City – a legendary lawless, unincorporated community near Hong Kong that was known for being a dark, dangerous place, but also a thriving, close-knit community for its residents. It was demolished between 1993-1994, and was replaced with a city park, with its residents moved to other accommodations. Kowloon Walled City definitely stands out as a fascinating place, so having it as a setting for a romantic comedy about two 30-somethings who aren’t sure if they’re in love should make for a fun read.
Here’s that book about Kowloon Walled City, City of Darkness that was mentioned:
CHRIS: Alright, let’s go a little crazy with a completely left-field manga pick: Division Chief Kosaku Shima (bilingual edition) (published by Kodansha, kinda)
As Christopher describes it, this is “a manga about a middle-aged man closing business deals and having good food in bubble-era Japan,” and stands up to his boss to do the right thing. There’s nothing like this in English comics!
[Christopher:] I’m also gonna show them all the Even A Monkey Can Draw Manga parody pages of this manga too. It’s gonna be wild.
So that means that the order of the books for the rest of Season 3 will be:
August 16 – Witches by Daisuke Igarashi
August 23 – 4 First Chapters Special!
– Food Wars – Shokugeki no Soma [LINK]
– Kokkoku: Moment by Moment [LINK]
– Sweetness & Lightning [LINK]
– How Are You? [LINK]
August 30 – Chi’s Sweet Home vol. 1 & 2 by Konami Kanata
September 6 – Mob Psycho 100 vol 1 by ONE
September 13 – Our Colors by Gengoroh Tagame
September 20 – Space Brothers by Chuya Koyama
September 27 – Kowloon Generic Romance vol 1 by Jun Mayuzuki
October 4 – Division Chief Kosaku Shima vol 1: Bilingual Edition, by Kenshi Hirokane
October 11 – AKIRA volume 4, by Katsuhiro Otomo
October 18 – Season 3 Wrap-Up
Closing out our third season with a whimper, with 3 ‘generic’ series!
[Christopher:] But at least we get a shot of adrenaline with AKIRA at the end there. 😉
1:16:14 – SHOUT-OUTS!
CHRIS – SongPop Party on Apple Arcade (you need an Apple Arcade subscription to play)
DEB – Back at San Diego Comic-Con! I dunno about the”Bring 2 masks and antidepressants” bit of advice, but FWIW. I managed to escape catching COVID-19, and that’s gotta count for something.
CHIP – aw. No shout-out from Chip this week… again.
DAVID shouts out one of his favourite manga, the final volume of City, City vol. 13. The granny runs for mayor! Everyone needs to band together to stop her! It’s very funny! In case you missed our episode where we spotlighted City, go check it out.
That’s it for this week! Thanks so much for listening! Please support your local comic and manga specialty shop when purchasing these books, and you can find one near you at comicshoplocator.com. You can also check your local library for print and digital lending options, they have TONS of manga! Also, check us out at MangasplainingExtra.com — we’ve got some cool new manga series that we’re hoping to announce very soon. Finally, thanks to D.A.D.S. for their musical accompaniment this episode.
And just in case you too play SongPop Party, get re-acquainted with some angry German rock songs with this video:
To Chris’ point about manga artists not getting worse, I do want to do a drive-by on the creative team known as Kaishaku.
They were never good, but as time has gone on, good heavens have they gotten worse. Somewhere in the 2010’s I imaged them chained to desks while someone whipped them from behind, because it was like they lost all grasp of anatomy at all and possibly, sanity. ^_^; The are known for pretty bad, but popular stuff like Kannazuki no Miko and the ultra-loli UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie.
Maybe you all are too young for it, but I grew up to a TV game show called “Name that Tune.” We loved it as a family. Song Pop Party sounds just like that.
Thanks again for a great episode.
Kosaku Shima…nice. ^_^
My Apple Arcade free trial literally just ended (canceled the renewal early so I thankfully didn’t have to remember), but I squeezed in a couple sessions of Song Pop Party a couple weeks ago and I can attest it is fun, addictive and very satisfying to CRUSH other players 😛
This particular book doesn’t sound like it’s for me, but great discussion and very intriguing upcoming selections!
Yeah, Witchcraft Works is most definitely not for me, for so many reasons (the only harem manga I ever tried out was Oh My Goddess back when Dark Horse was releasing floppies and I was in Jr High. And was desperate to read anything I could get my hands on–but after a few issues I just dropped out. I think the only harem-esque stuff I’ve enjoyed has been “reverse harem” shoujo stuff (big surprise, I know) but even there… meh.
But enjoyed you all discussing it–especially the tangents about mangaka who improve, or don’t. Most works I read are at most 20 volumes and their style doesn’t change much in those volumes– But I can, obviously, think of a lot of mangaka who change their style from work to work, maybe sometimes because they’re in a different genre, or the general trends are different (the gorgeously stylized shoujo art of the 1970s, really drastically dropped a lot of that by the 80s, even from the same mangaka–people like Takemiya and Hagio for example. Takemiya even apologized when, 8 years after Kaze to Ki No Uta ended its run, she did a one-shot epilogue in an art book and she claimed she just had lost her sense of the original’s ornateness.
Really nice to see Tramps Like Us covered (I know Born to Run well, and until now never made the connection–regardless, this is a rare time where I much prefer that title to the Japanese one… oh well.) If you recall, it came out when TokyoPop were still flying high and did their first josei attempts (yes, I refuse to give in to those who think that ParaKiss, which I remind everyone ran in a teen girl’s fashion magazine, is josei). I think all between 2003-2004 they released this, Moyoco Anno’s Happy Mania, and the six Erica Sakurazawa volumes. And of course I was so thrilled to be getting Josei titles, I got them all. Sakurazawa’s stuff was my fave (and I’ve gone back to it many times) but by far the least successful from what I’ve heard, and Tramps may have been my least fave (Once it got going, I really loved Happy Mania which I think sold the most) but I liked them all, and it was a much better attempt by TP than their later attempts at pushing josei (all that Goth josei, or the beautiful never finished Mari Okazaki manga, Suppli–all bombs it seems.) Certainly they were always easy to find at my comic store, unlike much similar translated manga.
That said, I have never revisited it, I did hold on to my copies, but they are some of the manga that is taking up space in boxes at my parents house (I’ll have to pull them out next time I travel to see them). I *do* remember that it kept my interest through all of the volumes though (and yes, I think it was popular–I wanna say it had a hit j-drama adaptation.) As for art, it seems to come from the “gyaru” style of josei that Kyoko Okazaki helped popularize–if not create–just made a bit more conventional.
Anyway, this just makes me want to revisit it–but glad to see you cover it and mostly all like it. One thing about your credits, does Comixology not credit the translators? I assume, title aside, it’s the same translation as the TP release, despite the title…
…and Tramps Like Us obviously was even more successful than I thought. Aside from the hit 2003 JDrama there was a hit 2011 Korean movie and five years back a new hit JDrama.