June 24th, 2006

bleach parakeet of doom!

(no subject)

Gack. Not getting anything accomplished today, given that I've slept too much (and will probably go back to bed after this), my throat still itches, my nose is running, and my eyes are running. Also, I sneeze every other minute, and when I'm not sneezing, I'm coughing. Allergies or cold or whatever you are, I hate you. You had better go away before I have to work this week, because I can't stay home from work, and I refuse to be sick in LA this weekend.

On the plus side, I have new glasses and new sunglasses, and they are spiffy! Even though they cost untold amounts. At least I have computer glasses now, which is probably a good thing, given the amount of time I spend on the computer.

Maybe this is the universe's way of telling me that I should spend all day reading and blogging, heh.
manga is crack

Kubo Tite - Bleach, vol. 01-07 (Eng. trans.)

I started reading Bleach because rilina kept blogging about it. Then I watched eps. 1-9 of the anime. Then I stalled out for a while. Then I saw it at the library. Ahhhh, library, how I love you! How you are such a portal to new and addictive series!

Anyhow, Kurosaki Ichigo is just your normal teenage manga guy -- he has bright orange hair and as such, is teased at school, is extremely grumpy, and, oh yeah, he can see ghosts and has a Tragic Past with regards to his dead mother. Somehow, he gets the powers of Soul Reaper Kuchiki Rukia, and she basically stays to train him to use them to defeat Hollows, dead spirits who have become malicious. Rukia illustrates various fine points of the Soul Reaper universe with bunnies. Rukia is gruff, no-nonsense, honorable, grumpy, and extremely cool, and does a hilarious impersonation of a standard shoujo heroine when she wants something from Ichigo or his classmates. Rukia is possibly the least shoujo person ever.

I adore Rukia.

I like Ichigo well enough, but I actually like most of the supporting characters better, particularly his sister Karin, who routinely tries to beat up their dad. And I didn't think that I would like D-cup class airhead Orihime, except she's airheaded in a very peculiar way, and I like her oddness. And I adore Tatsumi, who is very attached to Orihime and very protective of her. I also adore Chad, who is large and muscular and scary-looking, except he has such a soft heart that he will rescue doomed parakeets.

The story arcs themselves aren't actually that interesting, but I adore Kubo's artwork. It's somewhat angular and rough, but still stylized, and he does the best grumpy chibis ever.

Oh, also, there's a teddy bear/lion plushie that thinks he's in love with Rukia. Rukia, naturally, reacts to this by ignoring him and taping him to toilets.

Have I mentioned I adore Rukia?

I've actually had a hard time getting into Naruto because of the art, despite the fact that Kishimoto's story and characters are more interesting to me. But Kubo draws fight scenes that I can actually follow, and even if I do get bored during all the fight scenes, there are usually enough funny moments that I am thoroughly entertained.

Also, I adore Rukia.

I actually love watching all the characters, particularly Urahara of the somewhat illegal storefront, and there's something about the zany energy among all of them and the extremely expressive faces that totally gets to me.

I do realize I am entering a somewhat problematic arc of the manga now, but.... I can't help it! The chibis, they kill!
manga is crack

Ohba Tsugumi and Obata Takeshi - Death Note, vol. 01-05 (Eng. trans.)

I started reading Death Note after hearing a lot about it on LJ and after I found it in the library (I suspect most of my manga entries start out this way). I had actually expected something rather on crack, given that all I knew about the series was that there was a very odd doujinshi with much sex and men in black suits, and that it inspired a rather rabid following.

It is actually one of the least on crack manga I've read. Granted, the premise is somewhat wonky -- there are various shinigami (gods of death) that go about on earth and kill people by writing their names in the Death Notes. When a shinigami loses his or her Death Note and a human picks it up, the human then can kill anyone by writing their name in the Death Note and specifying a means of death. There are even more rules regarding the use of the Death Note, and one of the fun parts of the series is seeing how detailed the rules are and how Ohba works them into the series.

Yagami Light manages to find himself a Death Note one day, and he decides to kill criminals. After a while, the police notice that there's a serial killer on the lose, and they put the legendary detective L (who is a teenager who cannot sit with his feet on the floor, something I completely empathize with) on the case. What follows is a series of cat-and-mouse bits between Light and L, both of whom are geniuses.

Although sometimes, the turns of logic make me roll my eyes, I have a huge intellectual interest in the manga. I was particularly surprised by that, given that most of the time, my attachment to manga is purely emotional. But it's a smart manga, and even though some scenarios seem a bit improbable, I really enjoy watching Light and L trying to outsmart each other. I was afraid that this would quickly grow stale, given that there's only so much one can do with that, but just when I think Ohba has taken all the fun out of one scenario, he quickly throws in something else and complicates the plot yet again.

Also, I really like what I saw of Obata's art in Hikaru no Go, and I continue to enjoy it in Death Note. He's just got this wonderfully clean style that I really like.

Anyhow, I'm not sure how much longer I'll keep reading this; it's not a series I'd buy. I like it from a more intellectual level, but nothing in it has hooked me emotionally yet.