Dusty Disc Review: Kino no Tabi (Kino’s Journey)

Kino IS a really good shot.

The imaginary travelogue is a venerable form of fiction. Often allegorical, parable-like, or otherwise symbolic, it has a tradition of being used especially as a form of social critique and commentary. John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress detailed the inner movements of the spiritual life with symbolic places and people. Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels saw the protagonist travel to several different nations (including a floating city called Laputa, immortalized later in anime by Hayao Miyazaki) that reflected back on the absurdities of his society. Both Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince and Kino no Tabi’s most immediate predecessor, Galaxy Express 999, had the characters visit different, symbolism-laden planets that reflected different aspects of the human condition.

Kino no Tabi is an evocative, if somewhat uneven, contributor to this genre. Its charms and its weaknesses stem from the genre it’s working in, and the insights and pleasures to be found have to be taken on their own terms.


JRR Tolkien taught me to distrust allegory. He confessed to a “cordial dislike” of the genre in the preface to The Lord of the Rings, and his central objection to it was that it imposed a single, obvious meaning on a work rather than allowing the reader to discover multiple meanings on their own. As he put it:

I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse ‘applicability’ with ‘allegory’; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.

Kino no Tabi is closer to the kind of fiction that Tolkien would dislike. The various countries that Kino visits are clearly meant to be symbolic of certain human tendencies or desires. The Land of Adults, where Kino comes from, is meant to be a comment on a certain notion of mature “responsibility” taken to a logical end. The vignettes about work and labor, with its mindless railway workers and bored office drones doing whatever they are told, almost reads like a quasi-Marxist parable. The focus is not on character and plot, as in traditional storytelling, but on idea. If Kino no Tabi is to succeed, the ideas have to be compelling, and sometimes, they are not. The work episode felt especially heavy-handed, for instance, and the one about the failures of apocalyptic prophecy was overly predictable. This is the sort of weakness that allegory, parable, and other didactic forms of fiction tend to have.

And yet, many of these stories have “cracks,” as they were, where something more complex or even twisted creeps in. The most effective stories are the ones that feature surprising plot turns that complicate the otherwise neat ideas being presented. Mild spoilers below:

Spoilers Show

These aspects, along with the more human backstory we get for Kino, allow the complexities allegory often flattens to complicate matters. This is why I found many of the stories more affecting than not, and the spare and effective use of haunting music aids in giving a thoughtful, melancholy mood. They often match the frequently unsparing view of human nature on display. The frequently witty interplay between Kino and her motorrad, Hermes, helps to lighten what otherwise would be a somber mood. Kino’s Journey is not quite the master of atmosphere and control that Mushi-shi is, though at its best it comes close.

The animation quality is spare at best and frequently lacking in detail, particularly in the backgrounds. This tends to reinforce the symbolic nature of the storytelling. Ghostlightning has complained about the lack of consistency and realism in the world-building along these lines, but I believe this actually befits the nature and genre of this series. This isn’t a traditional SF or fantasy story where those are important markers of quality. The “countries” Kino travels to are more akin to Bunyan’s Vanity Fair or Swift’s Laputa than Middle-Earth. They exist as object illustrations rather than detailed worlds on their own. Nevertheless, there is an excessive use of lens flaring and other shortcuts, and director Ryutaro Nakamura pulls the Anno-borrowed text-on-screen montages he used in Serial Experiments: Lain again.

Series like Kino no Tabi probably can’t be expected to be the norm in anime. There was a very specific vision and purpose behind this and, in the final judgment, it more or less succeeds on the terms it set out: to be an interesting collection of parables, allegories, and fables about the absurdities and sorrows of human life. Whether one enjoys this anime will depend in large part on what you’re looking for—rich character development or long, serial plots, the things that first brought me in as a fan, are not on offering here. Despite some vague similarities in the spare, mostly quiet mood, this is certainly not the “healing” or calm sort of anime either—there’s a surprising amount of violence, often sudden. But if you’re looking for something that will inspire a mood of thoughtfulness, a “hmmm, I see” kind of reaction, then this show is well worth your time.


The Dusty Disc Review is an ongoing series of reviews of anime DVDs Mike never finished watching for one reason or another. Some are now out of print. All reviews are of the original Japanese language versions. Of course.

Majikoi, Ishihara gekido!

O-inari-san! Yes, inari-zushi is a sushi wrapped in fried tofu. Because fried tofu is a favorite food of fox. And Inari is the grain goddess, whose familiar is fox. So, that’s why fried tofu is called “inari.” And Inari’s Buddhist counterpart is Dakini, which Asahara Shoko referred to his mistresses. Continue reading Majikoi, Ishihara gekido!

Professor Layton Screening at NYCC

For Professor Layton fans in the United States, they are quite well aware that the second DS game, Professor Layton and the Last Spector released on October 17. The release of its movie on DVD Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva by Viz is going to be on a later date at November 8.

At this year’s Comic Com though, 150 attendees got the chance to be present for a “secret” screening of Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva, and be a part of a presentation by Nintendo. Why do I call this a “secret” screening, because on the official schedule of New York Comic Con’s events, there was no mention of this surprise screening.

nycc-friday (41 of 47)

Since it was a last minute event, it was still popular enough to fill the hallways, and the event staff kept counting to see if they can give the opportunity to more fans to enjoy this film.

Other than the feature film, attendees got the chance to check out a demo of the upcoming DS game, take pictures with Professor Layton cosplayers, and snacked on site-prepared movie theaters goodies arranged at the back of the room.

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A significant theme in the movie.

Professor Layton is a popular DS game that appeals to puzzle or mystery fans. From my experience with the first video game, I actually appreciate its thoughtful story line, filled with puzzles to either stump or satisfy the player. Upon solving these puzzles, the game has a running story plot where players would eventually end the game with unlocking the mystery for the good professor and his trusty sidekick.

Not to give away any detail of the film, Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva follows a flashback case that Professor Layton and Luke would find themselves in, dealing with a former student of Professor Layton. The movie reminded me of watching parts of Detective Conan meets Laputa Castle in the Sky with The Phantom of the Opera thrown in.

This movie illustrates a concept of waiting for a popular DS game to eventually make its way into being a featured animated movie. I have some high hopes for Phoenix Wright to eventually get an animated treatment, though the next I heard for it is a live action movie.

Back to Professor Layton though, this is a movie with the target audience as children. However, with the factor that animation movies can also satisfy an older audience, then Level 5 had done a nice job. Also as a follow up to this movie, there is planned to be another animated movie to the Professor Layton series. Before I go off into another tangent for this event/movie review, I happened to have take some images which I have uploaded to Anime Diet’s Flickr account.

Speed Dating at New York Comic Con: A Firsthand Report

Waiting female participants. Photo by Charles Sykes, Associated Press.

 

Our guest correspondent Mary decided to see what it was like to speed date other geeks and nerds at New York Anime Festival/Comic Con. Here’s her exclusive, firsthand report. —Mike

Advertised as a free weekend activity for convention attendees over 18, New York Comic Con brought back speed dating for the second time at this geek-filled con. Since I am single, female, and have never speed dated before, I wanted to try this activity out. So even before the convention began, I registered for the event online at New York Comic Con’s website. It was a quick sign-up where I entered my name, email, age, and the time slot when I wanted to speed date. Afterwards I received a confirmation, and thus it became part of my Comic Con agenda.

After spending an entire day at the Javits Convention Center, I went to the room where the speed dating was held. There was a check-in table, where I was assigned a number for privacy purposes, and handed a paper and pen. The paper was to be my scorecard for this “Sci-Fi” Speed Dating. There were three columns on the score card: the first column was to mark down the corresponding number for the other person, the second was a description of the person, and third was to say yes or no.

The paper of ranking and destiny.

While they were setting up the room, I found myself in line outside with the other female participants, while the males were on the opposite side. It seemed like there were more guys then girls overall, but there were more females who cosplayed than males. (I was one of the few female participants not cosplaying.) The girls were ushered into the room first, where there was a banner on the wall announcing the event’s name: “Sci-Fi Speed Dating.” The chairs were arranged in rows, pairs facing each other. The host had a good sense of humor, and he told the females that if we had any problems with an individual guy to raise an arm as if yawning. That would signal the end of that particular session.

All the pairing were random, as the guys went down the line and sat in the corresponding opposite chairs to the girls. The host called through a bull horn for the guys to move to the next chair when their time was up.

I was number 35, and feeling really nervous. In all I spoke with 22 other guys, for three minute sessions apiece. It was fun, but there were also moments of awkwardness. I distinctly remember that one question I was asked repeatedly was “Why are you attending Comic Con?” Sometimes I asked them the same question back. The responses I got were interesting, though often similar. There were a couple of guys I was interested in, but the three minute “dates” were quite short and superficial. Worse, my time slot was supposed to be two hours (8 to 10 pm on Saturday), but by 9pm, my session was cut abruptly short because they had to close the facility early.

At both ends of the room there were long rectangle tables with blank sheets of loose leaf paper. They were meant for participants to exchange emails with those they were interested in enough to keep in touch, at the end of the session. But while the sessions were entertaining, there seemed to be little possibility for long term romance/relationships to be found from them. Still, having gained some experience from this year’s speed dating, perhaps I’ll be ready for another round next year.

Dismal observations of New York Anime Festival 2011

I have reached a point where I simply can’t refer to New York Anime Festival as just that, when it has become merged into the melting pot of New York Comic Con. Observing from this year and last year’s, the state of New York Anime Festival has been pretty depressing. The Javits may have expanded, but pretty much eeked out the present of the festival as being a smaller event, which was no less small. This year, the only time you saw the familiar logos of the Anime Festival was the banner announcing the location of the event.

nyaf banner

Everything else screamed New York Comic Con…..Come one come all. Comic Con has definitely grabbed the spotlight from the Anime Festival, because even the Japanese guests were merged into the umbrella of Comic Con, from the location of professional companies on Comic Con’s show floor, to how the autograph tickets were presented and where the location of invited Japanese guest panels were held. Contemplating on the future of Anime festival is not as positive. Anime fans though made do with this new reality.

In my opinion, the only great thing about New York Anime Festival on the fourth floor was its Artist Alley with its anime artists, and various relevant regional conventions like Manga Next. Becoming bottle necked into the traffic was not so great, and if you get past the crowds into the area where the Anime Stage was located then you can breath. I heard comparisons of this year’s NYAF being like a Cafeteria and perhaps that was true. Round tables spread out in a convention and you’re only going to want to hang out with your own groups. But with the lure of the NYCC convention floor, is there any other reason why you would stay there for long?  Of course I only was able to attend one panel on Friday. Then on Sunday I was up there for a little bit, taking pictures of the artist alley, which I placed into Flickr.

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Anime Stage was not necessarily the place to sit and enjoy panels as other parts of the Javits. Over the dim of the noise, you had to drag your chairs over to hear the speaker. Programming was pretty dismal, with the maids performing every other hour. I know some friends wrote off the show for good. Since programming was quite bland, it really left no other activity for people to do, other than converge onto the Comic Con show floor below. Can I also point out, that Anime Artist Alley overlooks the show floor, so you can get great shots of the show floor. There are really two feelings that can be felt when you were at those windows… one: outsiders looking in and two: goldfishes in a tank.

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Anime fans are not necessarily all round comic book fans and vice versa. To really enjoy Comic Con and stay sane is to be a comic book fan as well as be a gamer. It does seem to be the natural flow of things in an American culture landscape sans regular travel to Japan. Solely enjoying anime on the soils of East United States only seems to be celebrated in other regional conventions outside of New York City like Anime Next or Anime Boston. Next year if Anime Festival does not get axed or pushed into yet another smaller corner, it is better to Comic Con to hold Anime Festival at the new “hanger” like area that this year’s Comic Con featured the autographs and Kids Area. The space is perhaps wide enough to say that yes, Anime Festival still has a presence at Comic Con.

Bridging The Gap: Fall 2011 At A Tweet

 

Being that post-quake industry has chosen to stagger out a number of titles over the course of several weeks, and because a bigger post is still in the works, I figured it time to actually strap in and share some blurbs regarding the Fall 2011 season.

 

Now as basis for what comes is largely based on what I shared via my Twitter feed(Here).

 

First off is what came to mind when watching Persona 4 The Animation

 

Synopsis: Newly moved from the city to the country town of Inaba, Yu Narukami quickly adjusts to living with his uncle and six year old cousin. But it is once after he makes friends at school that he begins to fall deep into a surreal mystery involving local murders, alternate dimensions within television space, and a troubling power that begins to appear within him.

Initial Tweet:

Upon being initially unsure of how much I was actually ready to watch this, as I had never seen any of the anime made for this franchise prior, along with having a mild interest in the Digital Devil Saga game series oh so many years ago, there was more than a bit of hesitance on my part. And sure enough, after viewing these first few episodes, it is clearly not a show designed for me. And by that,  we are speaking from nearly every approach, what we have here is a show so modeled after the often choppy, broken up nature of the games, that it becomes much more like watching a game, rather than experiencing a story unfold. Hence..

 

It’s true. Characters instigate beats with little reason, layers are planted in an almost random, inconsistent fashion, and dialogue comes from the way a game triggers them.(Things that simply do not work in regards to how a mystery tale functions) Overall, it’s a garish, headache-inducing ball of nonsense that will likely be more interesting to those invested in games of this style than not.

Persona 4 can be watched via Crunchyroll.

 

 


Next came the much-anticipated follow-up to one of my favorite realized worlds in anime history, Last Exile-Fam, The Silver Wing.

Synopsis: Once again, in an alternate world where flight is achieved by way of alien technology, and yet alliances remain unstable, a cadre of neutral-leaning sky pirates are pitted between two core powers; the peaceful Turan, and the traitorous Ades Federation. After an audacious assault on Turan, young harpoon-master, Fam & her partner Giselle task themselves with bringing the nation’s princesses to safety, with Ades in close pursuit.

Initial Tweet:

All things being honest, as much as I lament Gonzo for their shows that start strong, and often crumble over time, I was more than happy to see more stories take place in this world that first appeared in 2003, featuring stunning concepts and character work by the one Range Murata. Even when the story delved into archetypal territory, the style was the star of the show, and much in the way Gainax inspired fans with its unique vision with Royal Space Force, there was a certain amount of history and mystery that made this such an ideal world to explore further. And now that we finally have another chance to drink it all in, there is still a deeper need for story and character to rise beyond what has already been established. Which isn’t to say that Fam suffers in this department, but it does feel like a leaner, more fun tale than the previous. THAT SAID- There are elements early on that border on hurting the show as it goes on. Most notably, the return of Junko Noda as a character that in many ways, doesn’t need to be there. Even if it carries some familiarity for fans, it’s simply grating to witness. There is also the element of “service” that invades the initial episode, something that runs heavily counter to the world presented. All in all, a decent start to what is at least to me, a welcome return to a potential-packed creation. Could this become Gonzo’s Blue Uru? We can only wait and see.

Fam, can be seen via Funimation.

 

Next up, is Studio BONES’s big entry for the noitaminA block, featuring the direction of Seiji Mizushima, and words of the legendary anime writer Shou Aikawa, Un-Go!

Synopsis: In a post-war future Japan, the reconstruction moves ahead, but not without it’s share of cover-ups, and deepening mysteries. Shunjuro Yuki, and his assistant, Inga, are often called into investigating many of these cases, but often at the cost of their very reputations. Yuki is more often known as The Defeated Detective, his and his partner’s unique insight often help crack difficult cases, but are often in the shadow of computer-bound Rinroku Kaisho, a legendary detective with a penchant for secrets.

 

Initial Tweet:

I understand that much of this show is aimed at a certain audience, but it does require a certain amount of suspension of disbelief before any of the mystery established begins to see like our hero is the only one who could figure it out. It also doesn’t help that having a secret weapon in your assistant that can squeeze the truth out of suspects with little problem at all. In many ways, these rarely seem like mysteries so much as another onslaught of messages by way of the author, who BY THE WAY…

 

….Oh Boy…

 

For those unfamiliar with the inimitable Shou Aikawa, he is a writer best known for his work on Fullmetal Alchemist, but for many of us older fans, he is also known for helping with some of the medium’s most infamous works including the anime versions of Urotsukidoji, and the unforgettable (although not for reasons expected)  ANGEL COP. A man with no qualms about his politics, or emotionally hysterical screeds against certain ideas, his works can range from modestly entertaining to appallingly bad without a second thought.

Either way, while mildly entertaining, it still remains a little puzzling that this show wound up on this block. There is little in the way of the material presented to be anything more than another alternate future vision complete with fantasy technology, character types, and a weird kid wearing animal ears and paws. Take that away, and Aikawa’s horns start to show. While there is definitely something interesting brewing here, there is also a silly approach being made here regarding characters that are poised to take the fall for the peace of a nation’s ideology- Methinks someone’s been watching The Dark Knight a bit too much.

Un-Go comes via Crunchyroll.

 

 

Lastly..

Thoughts regarding the anime version of Yuki Suetsugu’s Chihayafuru!

 

Synopsis: After entering high school, Chihaya Ayase’s life has reached something of an impasse. Growing up deeply supportive of her older sister’s success as a model, her longing for her own dream has hit a roadblock as she was once inspired by a classmate to become a world class karuta player. Not long after this, do her old friends come out of the woodwork, and old friendships and rivalries(as well as new ones) resurface.

 

Initial Tweet:

Seriously, I didn’t see this one coming. So far, Chihayafuru is a handsomely produced hybrid of shoujo romance & almost sports drama regarding a love of traditional japanese amidst a world increasingly mired in the superficial. With the  reliable hands of Madhouse, and stalwart Morio Asaka ( Card Captor Sakura, etc) at the helm, this is a truly sweet, earnest, albeit unsubtle little show. And when I say little, I mean it in the best, most stealth manner possible. Featuring a likeable heroine, a unique visual palette, and some great insight, this may very well become my show to watch this season.

Chihayafuru comes via Crunchyroll.

So, should there be more that I may be missing out on, by all means suggest, but I must stress that it isn’t easy to hook me. Try if you wish, though.


Conversation with Hiro Mashima at NYAF 2011

Known to American readers as the creator for Rave Master and Fairy Tail, Anime Diet gets the opportunity to interview this Japanese mangaka at New York Anime Festival. Hiro Mashima made time in his busy schedule to be a guest at this year’s Festival. Through the helpful assistance of an interpreter, here’s an 18 minute conversation in an edited transcript. The questions with an asterisk is what I was able to ask Mashima-sensei.

Have you been to the states before?

A few times, San Diego Comic Con, and a few private times.

How do you like it here, and how has it been with the fan’s reactions?

New York fans are very passionate.

What were your influences and what led you to become a mangaka?

Miyazaki Hayao and Toriyama Akira, I am huge fans of both. In particular to Toriyama with Dragon Ball, when I was little, I use to trace and copy their work. Gradually as I did this, I realized I wanted to go pro, so I brought my work to the publishers.

What was your first published work?

Rave Master.

* You’re well known to American readers for your adventure titles, however is there a particular genre that you would like to try in the future?

Love story.

* What is your favorite type of pasta?

Meat sauce. I had it for lunch today.

*If you get the chance, please check out Eataly on 23rd and 5th as a Pasta Heaven.

How much research goes into your current work?

I don’t do a lot of research even though it is on a guild, there’s not a lot I know about European culture. I find that it is better to not know. It is similar to how an American can depict a ninja and there’s a lot more freedom involved that depends on your imagination rather than on prior knowledge.

Would you say that with your new series, you borrow a lot from Asian or Japanese mythology to write about?

Of course, definitely.

With the rise in popularity in the genre of magic and fantasy as an enjoyment for adults, not just for kids, what is your opinion on why Magic has been a genre of interest?

Because it is full of dreams and everyone wishes they can have magic abilities.

What is Plue?

A dog. (laughs)

* In the past you’ve included people that you’ve met in your work, such as Dallas Middaugh and Jason Thompson in Fairy Tail. Would you keep in contact with them, and what made them potential candidates to be drawn?

Dallas is over there, so I do keep in touch with him. (Dallas Middaugh is currently the Publishing Services Director at Random House). I hope to see Jason again, but apparently he is not here.

Dallas had come in the room at this point, and he mentions that he is very happy to see Mashima-sensei, because he’s came back to the States again.

Mashima: He has such a face that is made for manga.

Dallas: It was a tremendous honor to find myself included in a manga. I have been in the industry for 11 years now, so it is a crowning achievement to be included like that.

Mashima: It’s a very small role.

Dallas: But I’ve enjoyed it very much.

So if you find people that would be inspirational, then you would include them in your work?

Definitely. Do you want to be included? (laughs)

What do you hope readers get out of your work? Is there any major themes that you write of in your work?

For Fairy Tail, bond is the biggest theme. The bond between people and the bond between friendships. There are several ways bond is depicted, but this is the driving force in Fairy Tail. I call it a guild, but I would call it a family.

Who is your most complex character? Is there a particular character you like to work with?

I can’t say a lot about this yet, but in volume 24 of Fairy Tail, there is a complex character who will hold the key to the entire story. He’s possibly the most complex character I have drawn.

How far do you plan ahead for your story? Is there an ending for Fairy Tail?

No not at all. Of course there’s a cliff hanger for every episode, but I don’t know what would be happening next.

What is your work schedule like? How long does it take for a chapter of Fairy Tail to be done from start to finish? How many assistants do you have?

I work on a weekly basic, so a week to finish a story. I begin with a meeting first, where the main storyboards for the chapter are discussed over a three day period. I work with five assistants.

* In the work schedule of being a mangaka, what is the most challenging part?

Finding instead of what I want to be depicted, what does the reader what to see is challenging.

Since American and Japanese culture are so different. Do you get worried sometimes on if an idea is misunderstood by the American audience?

I am quite aware of cultural differences, so my intention is to always draw for an international audience. I tend to avoid linguistic Japanese jokes and tend to prefer jokes that cater to an international audience.

Do you have any favorite American show or books you like to read?

I love television dramas like 24 and LOST.

* Do you have influence with how the animation progresses?

It is a case by case process for every mangaka. There are some anime that would not have any influence at all. For me, in Japan with the animation team, I have a balanced harmonious relationship. I can definitely say that when the speech is wrong, I can point it out.

* In regards to the plot of volume 14, which character would have been your choosing for being crowned Miss. Fairy Tail?

Actually in Japan when the chapters were being published, I asked readers to poll who would be their choice. So a ranking was conducted. Juvia was third. Lucy was two, and the winner was Erza.

No yuri this season? WTF

レズレズじゃのう (Rezu-rezu janou “They are lesby-dovey”). Yuri-yuri-janou! Pingdrum episode 14 was surely yuriesque! Kyaaa!!! But no yuri show this fall 2011? How can that be? WTF, WTC, WTO? We need to occupy Seattle instead of Wall Street! Continue reading No yuri this season? WTF

Love Hina MMF: Thoughts and Purikura!

Love Hina as it joins the series of MMF titles discussed is in my opinion a read alike to Rumiko Takahashi’s Maison Ikkoku, but with the complexity of Ranma ½ thrown in. Keitaro Urashima is second to third year running Ronin who is trying to get into Todai (Tokyo Daigaku) aka Tokyo University. He becomes the manager of the all-female Hinata Inn. An inn where there a majority of the inhabitants ultimately thinks the worse of Keitaro, yet through episodes and time, Keitaro grows into living at Hinata. Just don’t mind all the breasts, panty shots that he founds himself in situations with.

I don’t necessary want to sum up the book’s content, but this entry is more like my personal waxing about my memories with this title. When Love Hina was released in the late 1990’s, I was in junior high to high school. I was around the same age group as Shinobu, though for a time my favorite character for this series was Haruka, since she is the most normal less emotional female in Love Hina. Getting the chance to read this re-released omnibus is a bittersweet memory for me. I am writing this post with a realization that this was my first complete exposure to the harem genre, of course at that time I didn’t realize that was the case, but ultimately it is a genre, whose target audiences are teenage guys.

Love Hina mentions purikura. Now unless you aren’t around a huge population of Asians, or you ever get to visit Japan, then ultimately you would should get exposed to sticker pictures machines. If you look at an American counter part, those photo booths are a similarity. Growing up in New York City, I do recall having some limited experiences at the not so great purikura machines. Though my memories of purikura was more cemented when I took pictures with friends in Japan. While purikura has not maintained its popularity in the United States, it is still present in Japanese arcades. They are fun activities to cement brief moments of time. 7-10 minutes to customize the images afterward though. ^_^

Kodansha USA has been releasing graphic novels, and other than Sailor Moon, to re-release Love Hina is a market move to see if the popularity of its titles success is still present. I always appreciate omnibus styles, though there are ups and downs to such an edition. For one it is pricey for another it is a shelf saver. For one sale you get three books bound into one edition. The American market reads manga years after its popularity in its native land. So to reintroduce a manga that was initially translated by the defunct Tokyopop, and a limited Kodansha bilingual release reflects the timeless of this title for a teenager. With its anime already released on DVD. Would this manga enjoyed a revival success?

If you want to read an archive of other entries in this MMF series, check out this link here.