15 February 2017

War of Ideas - Japanese Naval Strategy in WW2

Having been a kid who played with toy guns and obsessed over FPS games back in the day, I always found war interesting. But there are, of course, many people who dislike military history and I think the video above is a good example of why. Just like people who hate history think it's an endless list of dates and names with no significance to their lives today, people who hate military history think it's just a bunch of battle dates/names and narratives of how side A killed more than side B. But military history is so much more than that. Consider this: The French Revolution wasn't important because of how many smelly peasants got pissed off and went on a rampage across Europe. The French Revolution still excites many today because it highlights the guiding power of ideas in our world. Ideas like a person's relationship to his state, the equality of man, sacral kingship, or the very purpose of society and its laws.

The power of ideas should have broad appeal to any human even moderately curious about the world. After all, we live in a time when ideas like liberalism, Islamism, globalism, and transgenderism are whirling about in a chaotic flux. I bring this up because war, like any human endeavour, is ultimately framed by ideas as well. So if you think military history is a boring list of battles, pedantic analysis about the merits of gun calibres, or inane arguments like if a samurai could beat a knight, then this is gonna be an ongoing series of posts about how ideas, such as what "war" is, influences the course and conduct of wars.

The first post to start this series is on WW2 Japanese naval strategy, or lack thereof, which might be stale stuff for WW2 buffs, but hopefully of interest to people who only ever learned WW2 in terms of  the holocaust, women being used on the home front, and final results of who won and who lost.

7 February 2017

Wombs v3 (last updated Feb. 19)

Hope the month-long wait for more Wombs wasn't too hard. Prepare for the plot to move quicker and get more action-oriented.
Mana a cute. CUTE!
Clever girl...


Download:
Wombs c17:   Mega (added the missing p.33)
Wombs c18:   Mega
Wombs c19:   Mega
Wombs c20:   Mega

1 February 2017

Past and Present - 02/2017 (last updated Feb 21)

Oh man, what a start to the year. It's fun to live in such interesting times. This'll be the Feb. edition of my Past and Present series.

15 January 2017

Past and Present - 01/2017

In case you couldn't tell with my non-fiction blogging which was only 1 post long in 2014, 3 posts in 2015, and 6 posts in 2016, I'm having a lot of fun doing these posts. So I've made a resolution for 2017 to regularly talk about real-world stuff in the past and present. You can expect more of the same kind of posts as I did for the books I read in 2015 & 2016. I'll also make short posts in which I share some links to papers or news articles I thought were fun, along with brief comments so people can decide whether or not to take a closer look. The news articles will mostly be political and by political, I mean stuff like the Korean Rasputin scandal or Erdogan's purges, not endless ranting about SJWs/alt-right crap. I claim absolutely NO ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS and there's plenty of smarter people doing this sort of stuff. I'm just doing this as a way to nudge me into trying to stay informed.

If you just come here for the releases and find these posts to be a clutter, you can click on the Manga Releases post categories that I've linked on the blog's top right corner.

This is January's post. I'll be updating it weekly until the end of the month.

8 January 2017

Shiji, Records of the Grand Historian (v1 complete)

So like I promised last year when I finished Sangokushi, I'm returning to Yokoyama Mitsuteru with his 15-volume adaptation of Shiji (I haven't forgotten about the other promises, they've just been... delayed). In case you haven't noticed from my history-related posts and my 60 volume-translation of Sangokushi, I'm a pretty big fan of Chinese history. And when it comes to Chinese history, there's arguably no other work more important as Sima Qian's Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian), which pretty much set how history should be told for not just Chinese, but through China's influence, for Koreans, Japanese, and Vietnamese as well. As the New Dictionary of History of Ideas writes:
The most important early figure in Chinese historical thought and writing, however, was the Han dynasty figure Sima Qian (145–86 B.C.E.). After the unification of various “Warring States” into a single empire by the violent but short-lived Qin (whose first emperor ordered an infamous book-burning and mass execution of scholars, virtually eliminating records of the conquered kingdoms), the succeeding Han emperors (206 B.C.E.–220 C.E.) created the stable conditions under which historiography could mature. Sima Qian, often known as the Grand Historian, did far more than write in his Shiji (Historical Records) a comprehensive account of Chinese history. He also evinced a clear sense of the historian’s purpose: to record major and minor occurrences accurately in order to counsel the present and to bestow fame on the good and infamy on evildoers. Perhaps most important, his model for the compilation of facts about the past with its clearly worked out format, a combination of year-by-year annals and individual biographical treatments, influenced the next two millennia of Chinese historical writing. No Western historian, not even Herodotus or Thucydides, can claim that kind of influence, nor does Western historical writing display the continuity of a systematic and eventually institutionalized approach to the past that is exemplified by China. Sima Qian created various categories for the representation of the past that would be developed and augmented by subsequent writers. By the time he finished the Shiji that his father had begun, it was nearly four times the size of Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War. The Shiji would come to be regarded as the first in a long series of twenty-four “Standard Histories” (zhengshi), the official history of a dynasty written under its successor dynasty. (The Shiji itself, since it covered both the Han and their predecessors, is an exception to the rule that Standard Histories cover only one dynasty and are written after its fall).
I'll probably do a longer Some Thoughts post on Sima Qian and Shiji once I finish this project but the main reason why I'm translating this is because there's a lack of easily accessible "fun" narrative history for early Chinese periods. Yokoyama's Shiji manga is full of interesting stories about famous assassins, ministers, kings, and generals, so I hope this'll get some people interested in Chinese history, just as Sangokushi can help people get into the RotTK fandom.

Release pace will probably be 1 volume every 2-3 months since I plan to juggle it with other projects.

Download:
Shiji v01:   Download
Shiji v1 c01:   Download
Shiji v1 c02:   Download
Shiji v1 c03:   Download
Shiji v1 c04:   Download

7 January 2017

Soil v10 (last updated Feb. 15)

Time to kick off the 2nd last volume!

Download:
Soil v10 c73:   Mega
Soil v10 c74:   Mega
Soil v10 c75:   Mega
Soil v10 c76:   Mega
Soil v10 c77:   Mega
Soil v10 c77:   Mega

27 December 2016

Some Thoughts on Big Ideas in History

Ah, 42... The great answer to life, universe, and a lack of reading. 2016 is the first year I really made an effort to pursue reading books as a daily habit by reading just 50 pages/day, which works out to only ~1hr for most non-fiction books, and I'm both surprised and pleased by how easily achievable my original goal of reading at least 24 books for 2016 was. I guess this is what normal people feel like when they talk about how easy it is to get in the habit of exercising? That's definitely something I need to work on but running for the sake of running is one of the dullest activities for me... To anyone reading my blog, I encourage you to get out there some stale indoor-air and read as many things as possible! Manga, articles, journals, blogs, books, erotic fan-fiction! Life's too short to spend it on exercise, charity work, dating, praying to God, or raising a family. Surely, we can all agree that the warm embrace of a loved one is inferior to the smug satisfaction one can get from reading 17th century grain-price fluctuations across Europe, right?

Bad jokes aside, I saved the best for the last to conclude my series of posts for 2016 books. This post is dedicated to the Big Ideas in history. The kind of ideas that even normal people find fascinating but historians sometimes hesitate at because they don't want to seem too reductionist with grandiloquent ambitions of constructing historical formulae or metanarratives.