Sunday, September 6, 2015

Weekly Round-UP: August 25th - September 5th

So, no post last week means twice as many posts here I suppose; taking it from the top I first talk about how the summer anime season is coming along and then I tackle a title from last year, The World is Still Beautiful (for the record, the current "recently adapted shoujo title" rankings go Yona > Akagami >> Still Beautiful because I said so) and wrapping up the tv I talked a little about hardly-known film Giovanni's Island. On the comic side of things, I talked about the award-winning This One Summer and over on OASG I talked about Sweetness and Lightning as well as Inari Kon Kon. Finally, for reviews anyway, I reviewed two very different books, the light-novel-title-esque The Girl Who Circumvented Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and the rather mid-tier YA The Demon Catchers of Milan.

And now for something a little different, I've been on a webtoon binge again! If the term is unfamiliar, manhwa is published, traditional Korean comics (like manga) and webtoons are the online comics (like webcomics). I'm not entirely sure why they get their own word, I did hear years ago that webtoons were practically driving manhwa out of business which is also interesting, but my only real interaction with them is from the appropriately named (which has legal, official translations as far as I can tell!). Quite honestly, these are the soap operas of comics, I'm not surprised that I get ads for some of them with blurbs like "the inspiration for the hit drama!" on them since they have the tone down pat! 

I've tried (over the past year, not in a two week binge read or anything....) Cheese in the Trap (which I liked until I realized just how long it was and then dropped it), Orange Marmalade (bored me immediately, felt like a different kind of bad shoujo than what I'm used to), Witch Hunt (not bad but I just didn't like the characters), Hooky (okay this one had no idea how to keep a story together tonally), and Magical 12th Graders (which I was also liking but it moves veeeery slowly and was starting to frustrate me). Incidentally, I recommend everyone look at the first update for Magical 12th Graders, I had actually seen the comic on tumblr before (unattributed) so if you've seen a girl "come out" to her parents and wanted to read more of it now you can! If you flip through these you can start to feel how similar a lot of these stories are and I find it fascinating how there is a distinct, atmosphere/tone to all of these stories like you find in some genres of shoujo or YA fiction, it's something I feel much more faintly in English-language webcomics*.

There are still a ton of comics on the site I haven't tried yet (heck I'm not even sure how to go through everything to see what I want to try and not miss stuff) but my favorite title so far is Space Boy which is a rather cool piece of science fiction with some more heavy parts and some lighter-sci-fi parts. I'm probably a little behind, I was also having trouble figuring out how to even follow the comics if I didn't remember to check the site everyday, but being a little behind on a comic that no one I know talks about never hurt me before!

*if pressed to talk about a commonality in style in webcomics I'd honestly point towards a proclivity for deadpan humor over all else

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