30 August 2014

Sangokushi v39 (last updated Sept. 1)

I originally planned to finish this volume by the end of August, but I guess I'm now starting this volume at the end of August. Oh well. I'll be doing v39-40 before I get the 3rd volume of Chinggis Khan out, so enjoy Shu's Hanzhong campaign.
In the novel, there's only mention of Huang Zhong shooting an arrow as an underhanded way of drawing Xiahou Yuan into attacking. So by having both sides shoot, we do see some Shu-bias.

Sangokushi c250:   Sendspace
Sangokushi c251:   Sendspace

28 August 2014

Chinggis Khan Volume 2

Happyscans and I bring you the second of five volumes in Yokoyama's Chinggis Khan! If you've read the Secret Histories, then you might find Yokoyama's slight changes to the tale interesting. I won't touch them on it now as I'll save that for the end. In any case, enjoy Temuchin's ongoing tribulations!

Chinggis Khan v2:   Mega;   Sendspace
Hox's Mega Manga Folder

26 August 2014

Takahashi Yousuke's Maneater

It's a rarity when you find artists who can grab your attention in an instant even as you're skimming through different manga. Takahashi Yousuke is definitely that sort of artist for me. Although he's an old-timer who made his debut all the way back in '77, I only found about him relatively recently, after hearing that he's adored by (and influenced) guys like Fujita Kazuhiro and Hirano Kouta. And man, no wonder why. His line-work is really something. There's something so seductive about the curves made out by his pen. Same sort of quality that drew me to Hellsing's art. I'll try to do a more in-depth analysis of his artwork in my next some thoughts post, so I'll stop gushing about him for now.

I'm working off the raws of his oneshot collection titled Tetsunagi Oni, but it's actually a reprint-edition which includes both Maneater ('97) and Tetsunagi Oni ('00), which are both oneshot collections. I'll be splitting it for the release so it'll be less confusing for the people who manage scanlation databases. Some of the stories are regrettably "flat" but I want to try and raise more interest in his art. Plus, I realized I've been doing only historical stuff as of late so I thought it'd be a good project to do while doing more Chinggis (v2 coming shortly) and Sangokushi (resuming this week). Release pace will be 1~2 chapters per week. There's 23 chapters in total for this 380-page 2 volume.

P S. His earlier art is actually more experimental in line-work, but I'm a fan of both his old and new styles.

Maneater c01:   Sendspace

2 August 2014

Some Thoughts About Webtoons and Panelling

The dominant players in the Korean webtoon market: Naver (left) and Daum (right)
This time for my Some Thoughts series, I'll take a break a from the usual post about a specific work or author and instead talk generally about a medium known as webtoons, or as I like to call them, "mobile comics." For those of you who've never heard of webtoons, they're basically Korean webcomics. The language barrier has kept much of it closed off from Westerners, like how manga used to be back in the 80s, but I've noted they've begun to gain some fans overseas through fan-translations of works like Tower of God, Noblesse, or Annarasumanara. Now, you might be thinking, "Well, that's hardly a distinct medium. It's just the term Koreans use for webcomics, which itself is a sub-medium of comics." And yes, that is true, but there's an aspect in this "sub-medium" that makes them distinct to most Western webcomics, which I've already alluded to in my first sentence.

24 July 2014

More Iwaaki Goodness

As mentioned a few posts ago, Iwaaki's Snow Ridge, Sword Dance is now out. Much thanks go out to Illuminati-Manga for scanning, cleaning, typesetting and QC'ing. This 300-page volume is just two long oneshots joined together. Here's a short synopsis I wrote for illuminati-manga (my apologies beforehand if it sounds more pretentious than it needs to be):
The closing stages of Sengoku (Warring States) Japan. A setting commonly explored in Japanese manga through vivid scenes of gory battles, samurai, and feats of bravery, honour, and loyalty. Iwaaki Hitoshi dares to go against the popular grain by not focusing on the 3 famous unifiers, but by depicting stories of a society in transition. Rapidly changing cultural norms and class expectations pit the old versus the young, the war-weary versus the war-mongers, and the parochial versus the foward-thinking. The first story, "Snow Ridge," explores the changing role of samurai and provinces while the second story, "Sword Dance," deals with kendo's early evolution from warfare to art.
I personally preferred the first story, but both are quite good as Iwaaki nicely reinforces the themes of both stories consistently through the various character and plot conflicts.
In addition, last month's chapter of Historie is now finally out as well. The next chapter will come in August. I also included the untranslated the two page coverage of the upcoming live-action film of Iwaaki's Parasyte, just in case there's anyone interested and can read Japanese.

Snow Ridge, Sword Dance:   Mega;   Sendspace
Historie c86:   Sendspace
Hox's Mega Manga Folder

18 July 2014

Chinggis Khan v1

Chinggis, Genghis, Dschingis, Чингисm, 成吉思汗, チンギス... However you spell it, unless you're historically clueless or have never played a Civilization game in your life, you know who Chinggis Khan is. And if I were to ask you who he was, you'd probably answer somewhere along the lines, "The Mongolian dude who created a huge-ass empire and killed a bunch of people." Sadly, very few know any more than that. It's rather unfortunate that for a guy so important in world history, people don't seem to know anything about him other than the extent of land that he and his Mongols conquered, and the number of inhabitants of those very lands they killed. 
In fact, when you take a look at the image above showing the Mongolian Empire at the deaths of Chinggis Khan and his grandson, Khubilai Khan, you'll realize that the bulk of the Empire was actually expanded by his successors. By dwarfing all empires before it, the Mongolian Empire seems to have paradoxically dwarfed the true story of Chinggis Khan. His rise from poverty to become the supreme khan of the Mongolian steppe. 
This is why Happyscans and I bring you the first of five volumes in Mitsuteru Yokoyama's biographical manga of Chinggis Khan. Not only is it mostly faithful to the account as given by The Secret History of the Mongols, but 4 of its 5 volumes are dedicated to his struggle to become the Khan. So if you're looking for a story about how the Mongols terrorized the world, then you're out of luck. This is the timeless account of a man fighting against the circumstances he was born under, to achieve more than world ever expected him to.

P.S. Progress will be one volume per month, so it should be done by the end of the year. If you're looking for actual books to read on the subject, as I mentioned in the translator's foreword, I recommend Ratchnevsky's "Genghis Khan: His Life and Legacy" and Onon's translation of "The Secret History of the Mongols." You can find an online copy of the latter here.

Chinggis Khan v1:   Mega;   Sendspace

5 July 2014

Zhang Fei's Cunning

Volume 38 is finally done and uploaded, with the missing pages 17 and 52 added in. I gotta really pay attention to those mistakes... I know things are really heating up in the story, but I'm gonna be alternating Sangokushi with a new project I'm starting this month, the first volume of which should be out in 2 weeks or so. So expect v39 in August.

P.S. There was a Historie chapter for June. I just haven't gotten to it yet. I will this week though.

Sangokushi c249:   Sendspace
Sangokushi v38:   Mediafire;   Mega;   Sendspace
Hox's Mega Manga Folder