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  • polymetrica 12:38 am on February 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ARIA, Chobits, Comickers, Emma, , , Mirai Nikki, Pluto, Tenhiro Naoto   

    【Loot】Kikan S, The Art of Sister Princess, and Various Manga from Book Off 

    A month goes by so quickly these days.

    Book Off is a chain of used bookstores, although the stores also have some new books for sale, such as newly released manga tankoubon. They sell almost exclusively Japanese books, but the overseas branches have sections devoted to books in the respective domestic language as well. They operate mainly in Japan, but have branches in Seoul, South Korea; the United States; Vancouver, Canada; and Paris, France.

    Official Site: http://www.bookoff.co.jp/en/index.html
    Book Off at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_Off

    Trip I

    • The Art of Sister Princess – 天広直人画集 – Naoto Tenhiro Illustrations: $4.00
    • 季刊S (Kikan S) Vol. 19, Summer 2007: $2.00
    • ARIA Vol. 9: $5.00
    • ARIA Vol. 11: $5.00

    Total: $16.00

    Trip II

    • Kikan S Vol. 3, Summer 2003: $2.00
    • Kikan S Vol. 4, Autumn 2003: $2.00
    • Kikan S Vol. 5, Winter 2004: $2.00
    • Kikan S Vol. 8, Autumn 2004: $2.00
    • Kikan S Vol. 20, Autumn 2007: $2.00
    • Comickers Art Style Vol. 3: $2.00
    • Pluto Vol. 3 (Big Comics Special ver.): $2.00
    • Chobits Vol. 2: $2.00
    • Emma Vol. 1: $2.00
    • Mirai Nikki Vol. 2: $2.00

    Total: $20.00

    (More …)

    • WanderingMind 1:02 am on February 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Nice finds! I should go to a Book Off while I’m here in Japan.

    • Shin 6:06 am on February 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Still waiting on scans of you know what :9

    • mefloraine 6:27 pm on February 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like you got some nifty stuff. They should open one of those near my house…I’d buy it out.

    • mgx 10:10 am on March 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      ‘one of the best pages in a manga ever’

      whats so special about that page? it looks ordinary to me.

      • polymetrica 10:23 am on March 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        It’s one of my favourite scenes in a manga, a page that pertains to my personal interests.

    • charizardpal 5:33 pm on November 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I love book off! You can get manga for like a little more than a dollar if you live in Japan and go to one…its too bad there are none like that in the US and we’re stuck buying manga at exhoborant prices.

  • polymetrica 10:54 pm on September 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Pluto, Urasawa Naoki   


    Hopefully I’m not beating a dead horse, although I’m pretty sure I am. Sorry!

    This is Gesicht, whose name I need to learn how to spell.

    This is Gesicht, whose name I need to learn how to spell and who is not as surly as he looks. (Illust: 浦沢直樹)

    Title: Pluto
    Author: 浦沢直樹 (URASAWA Naoki)
    Co-Author/Producer: 長崎尚志 (NAGASAKI Takashi)
    Supervisor: 手塚眞 (TEZUKA Makoto)
    Original Concept: 手塚治虫 (TEZUKA Osamu)
    Volumes: 8
    Genre: Seinen (Mystery, Science Fiction)
    Status: Completed, licensed in North America by Viz.
    My Rating: 10/10

    In the far future where robots and humans now co-exist and robots even have freedom of rights, Gesicht, a highly advanced and world-renowned robot detective from Europol, gets called to solve the mystery of who or what is trying to kill off all the best robots and founders of robot law in the world. It is based on “The Greatest Robot on Earth” arc of Astro Boy.

    Drawn and authored by the very famous Urasawa Naoki, it comes as no surprise that this work is of incredibly high quality in terms of coherency, depth, and storytelling. The strongest part of this series is of course its plot, which, being only 8 volumes, is just right in terms of length, and has absolutely nothing similar to filler. It also resolves 99.7% of everything mentioned throughout the series at the end, with the remaining 0.3% leaving the issue of a certain bear unresolved. At first the story’s direction seems relatively easy to predict, and then things happen, slight chaos unfolds, and a totally unique direction picks up in the latter half of the series. However, both halves of the story are equally immensely intriguing, which I thought was really amazing. The pace never slacks, and events just keep unfolding one after one. It even made me almost cry. Thrice.

    On equal footing with the crazy good plot, characterization was just as awesome. I don’t remember what I’ve read of Astro Boy at the age of 5, so I can’t compare the characters’ counterparts, but every member of this series’ cast is not only memorable, but makes you feel something for them. Even the villians..! Gesicht is basically the protagonist overall, but for different segments, other characters get a chance on the stage too, and Urasawa really utilizes their spotlight time well to develop and let the reader learn more about them. If you must know, my favourite character was Atom, and not only because he is a perpetually cute little boy.

    As per usual with Urasawa’s art style, characters are simply drawn but really expressive, perhaps even moreso than in his usual works, since even the robots seem to give off emotion. The character redesigns (as compared to the original) are super-cool and modern too, and so very realistic and plausible, even if Evangelion’s Ikari Gendou seems to have been the inspiration for one of them. Being set in the future, the backgrounds and buildings are drawn in excruciating detail as well, which I highly, HIGHLY appreciated.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve read a high quality work like this, so my final verdict is that this is now one of my Top 5 Awesomest Manga Ever Created, and maybe even surpasses Urasawa’s Monster solely because of the very satisfying 99.7% complete wrapup and the conciseness of everything, from 8 volumes to no fillers to 100% un-pretentious dialogue. It also made me unconsciously (!!) think about the depth of the whole issue of what is human and what is robot. The concept was just THAT intuitively presented. Another thing is that this is set mainly NOT IN JAPAN. Mostly Europe, and that just makes it better. Did I mention there were large robots? Well, there are large robots, and everyone likes large robots.

    I recommend this work to everyone who can or wants to delve further into the issue of who or what can be considered as human, and to everyone who is fascinated with robots, technology, or Urasawa Naoki. Fans of Astro Boy probably shouldn’t miss this either, though I’m quite sure that this is an enormous departure in both atmosphere and tone from the original concept. Also, even though this manga’s pretty serious and thought-provoking, I recommend it even to readers who don’t want to think while reading, because mystery’s development is explained very well and very concisely (ie. no Death Note-length paragraph panels). I also recommend this to people who like perpetually cute little boys and girls and who aren’t afraid to read ~2-3 volumes in until they get to meet them.

    Actually, you know what? I’m going to recommend this work to every human being who can read English or Japanese.

    Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluto_(manga)
    Pluto article at Tezuka in English: http://tezukainenglish.com/?q=node/147

    • Nocturnesb 11:08 pm on September 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Any post about Tezuka (or Urasawa for that matter) is exempt from dead-horsedom!

      • gendo7 11:34 pm on September 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        What Nocturnesb said!

        It’s impossible to talk too much about either Tezuka or Urasawa.

    • Guy 2:29 am on September 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      My mom’s reading this. When she finishes the series (when all the volumes are released in English), I’ll read it too.

      Though I dunno why I wait.

    • Tijuana 6:53 pm on October 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Yussss, final battle almost made me cry tho. :(

    • dandreamz 7:59 am on June 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Agree completly with you! Pluto is indeed such an awesome manga! Naoki Urasawa never brings down his incredible standar! If you didnt read his new series (pretty sure you did) I really reccomend you Billy bat, it has a lot of potential in it.
      By the way, great, great job with this blog!!! I admire your incredible work and I hope this blog never dies!
      Greeting from Spain!

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