【Loot】Various Spoils from 2010

What better way to end a hiatus AND ring in a new year than with a loot post?

This post is a continuation of the previous loot post and includes all items I have acquired since then.

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Gunslinger Girl Vol. 7, Shin Honkaku Mahou Shoujo Risuka (新本格魔法少女りすか) Vol. 1, Ristorante Paradiso: I chose to get Vol. 7 of Gunslinger Girl because of the lovely and cute Petushka. Risuka is a novel by the popular NISIOISIN, and despite not having had much exposure to his actual works (not adaptations), I chose to get it because I heard it was a very interesting take on the typical mahou shoujo. As well, it’s illustrated by Nishimura Kinu (西村キヌ) of Street Fighter fame. Ristorante Paradiso was somewhat of an impulse buy – I got it because it was cheap, I had heard of it, and the anime OST was good. Unfortunately, I discovered that I didn’t like the manga much (Haven’t watched the anime).

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Black Lagoon Vol. 3, Tengoku (天獄 ―HEAVEN’S PRISON―) Vol. 3, NieA_7 Vol. 1: It was one of my missions in life to acquire Black Lagoon Vol. 3 if not only because of Balalaika, and since it was only $2.00, I could not refuse…Tengoku has been a series I’ve been following for a long time, but since it’s not very popular and has not been licensed anywhere, I had a hard time finding new reading material from it. To my incredible shock, there was a volume at Book Off, and as such I snatched it up. Also, that cover illustration is really awesome, seriously. I’d buy it even if I didn’t already know it (maybe). NieA_7 warrranted a get because it seems fun to read and also because I still didn’t own any ABe Yoshitoshi stuff yet.

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Calling You, Card Captor Sakura Vol. 10, Seirei no Moribito Vol. 1, Diamond Crevasse/Iteza☆Gogo Kuji Don’t Be Late: All cheap items and all seemed to be good ones too. Calling You is a book consisting of three short stories by Otsuichi (Calling You and Kiz/Kids, and Flower Song). Although I do not consider myself to be an actual Otsuichi fan, time and time again I have found myself stumbling upon his works and somehow end up reading quite a bit of his writing. Calling You was a debatable purchase since I had already read two adaptations of Calling You and one adaptation of Kiz/Kids. Did I really need to read yet another iteration (albeit the original) of these stories? Maybe not, but the book was cheap. Anyways, CCS Vol. 10 was a product of my lifelong dream of completing my CCS manga collection, Seirei no Moribiro Vol. 1 was due to my undying love for the novel as well as my curiousness on how they would adapt it to manga, and the Shery Nome feat. May’n single was an impulse buy fuelled by my fondness of Sheryl Nome, May’n, and Macross F music (aka Kanno Yoko). I also dig the inclusion of karaoke versions found only on singles.

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Faust (ENG) Vol. 2, Nodame Cantabile Vol. 1: I had been trying to find and buy Faust Vol. 2 for some time now, and it was a stroke of luck to find it in a bookstore where it was on sale. This volume is particularly interesting as it contains the first (translated!) chapter of Shin Honkaku Mahou Shoujo Risuka, the Japanese version of which I also obtained (see above). It’s quite fun to flip through both versions at the same time. Surpringly, I received Nodame Cantabile as a gift from a relative, and it just so happened to be one of my favourite manga series (and thus I had been wanting to acquire at least one volume of it during my lifetime).

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Brave Story (novel), Spice and Wolf (novel) Vol. 1: I had been wanting to read Brave Story for a long time now, and getting it was considered something of an achievement. Reading it is another matter since it is difficult to read during one’s commute (it is a heavyweight of a paper beast with 816 pages). Spice and Wolf was something I had been curious about for a long time and for which I had above average expectations for. It was sadly unable to meet them.

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Souaiseirion (相愛性理論), Baccano! ENAMI KATSUMI Illustrations (バッカーノ! エナミカツミ画集): Two very good pieces of loot that I received as gifts. I was never really a fan of DECO*27 and barely listened to his works, but after getting Souaiseiriron, his first commercial album, I became more than merely aware of him and ended up finally understanding his appeal (although he is still not one of my favourites). ENAMI KATSUMI Illustrations is a whole other matter, though, as I finally have an artbook from an illustrator I truly liked and had followed for a significant amount of time. Although this artbook has its faults (too many images on a page sometimes), it is ultimately a very respectable presentation of one of my favourite artist’s works. Definitely one of my favourites from my meagre collection of Japanese artbooks. For a more in-depth look at ENAMI KATSUMI Illustrations, see Nattoli’s post!

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Kikan S (季刊S) Vol. 27, Summer 2009: Received from a cool friend as he wanted me to translate a certain article (which I will most definitely do!). Another Kikan S to add to my collection, though I have now decided that I will stop buying issues of this magazine as I would rather have other books instead. This issue is quite good, though, as it has articles about Toradora!, Pani Poni Dash, Summer Wars, and most importantly, a discussion between Akiman and Murata Range about “Mangarealism” illustration style that spawned in the early 90’s. Haven’t read through these articles yet, but if the Akiman x Murata discussion is good…something will be done about it.

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Robot Super Color Comic Vol. 8, Takamichi Art Works, Yasuda Akira ∀ Gundam Designs, Soma Bringer: Most likely the crowning haul of 2010. All these items are, in my opinion, quite awesome. Robot Vol. 8 is like most of the other Robot issues, really, but with new Dragon Fly (Maeshima Shigeki), Straw (Houden Eizou), and Wasteland (ABe Yoshitoshi) chapters. As well, there’s a comic by Yamamoto Yamato and a few pages of stuff by Teikoku Shounen, which makes it as good as usual, really. Takamichi Art Works and Yasuda Akira ∀ Gundam Designs are, similar to ENAMI KATSUMI Artworks, a whole other matter. Both are pretty godly books not only because of the illustrators themselves, but also because of the quality of these books. Takamichi Art Works is Takamichi’s first artbook and was published way back in 2002. What is outstanding about this book is that not only did Takamichi draw a whopping 79 brand new illustrations JUST for this book, but also that 99% of the illustrations in this book look as new and outstanding as ever. Takamichi’s works really don’t age, and that’s why he keeps on being a perennial favourite. I also got a hands-on look at Takamichi LOVE Works thanks to a friend, and I daresay that Takamichi Art Works’ illustrations are even better than those (though in my mind, really, both artbooks have a review score difference of about 0.01). Yasuda Akira (aka Akiman)’s book is also exceptional in that the printing quality is very good, the collection seems comprehensive, and there are nice descriptions for every page of artwork. Some may not like how many of the pages are actual character designs sketched by Yasuda, but that’s what the book is about. The illustrations printed were very nice as well, but it would be better if they were reprinted larger on the page (there is a lot of white space on each page). Nonetheless, probably another one of my favourite artbooks because his work for Turn A is really very good. Oh those analog paintings..Soma Bringer is most likely my favourite game on the DS, not only because its soundtrack was composed by Mitsuda Yasunori, but also because it’s a very fun Diablo II clone, even if the character designs are regrettably unattractive.

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Nazo no Kanojo X (謎の彼女X) Vol. 1, Shissou Holiday (失踪HOLIDAY), Tengoku Vol. 4: Last haul of 2010, 3 manga totalling at $4.50. Been wanting to get Nazo no Kanojo X for quite some time now, but was never on sale until this holiday. Shissou Holiday was a must-get since as it’s by Kiyohara Hiro, whose manga adaptation of Otsuichi’s Calling You (きみにしか聞こえない/Kimi ni Shika Kikoenai) I thorougly enjoyed. Tengoku Vol. 4 is a continuation of the only series I follow by buying the actual volumes as there is no other way.