January 2022 media round-up

What I read/listened to in January 2022

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Unexpectedly read a lot of books this month...

Objects from the Dragon Kiln by The Hong Kong Dragon Kiln Concern Group

I backed this project a LONGGG time ago and then it surprised me when it arrived, since I often forget about this kind of stuff. I learned a lot about this particular kiln that is the last of its kind in Hong Kong. I want the ant deflecting moat container. I love ceramics, so cool. Glad I got this book for the topic, but also for the lovely production, layout, design, illustrations, writing, photos, and form factor. Just a lovely package all in all.

Mangasplaining: Listen to Me! #44 with Jocelyne Allen and Ben Applegate (hosted by Deb Aoki, David Brothers, Christopher Butcher, and Chip Zdarsky/Steven Murray)

I've seen nearly most of the people IRL on this podcast at some point in my life, via TCAF (maybe not Ben Applegate). Though I think many of them would not remember me. This particular episode features cool skilled translator, interpreter, and guest liaison Jocelyne!! I do want to listen to some of the other episodes later on, but this was the least spoiler one I could start with. Such turmoil for Jocelyne re: the praying mantis's gender. I want to read Vinland Saga, given the secrets revealed by Ben, the upcoming "Canadian" connection, and the hosts' enthusiasm! Good thing I can't be spoiled because everyone has a Thor-something name and I've already forgotten them.

A Thousand Questions by Saadia Faruqi

I thought I got a graphic novel but it was all prose. No worries, I enjoyed the story a lot and perhaps unexpectedly (!) related to a lot of it, though in a different context. I'm sad that I didn't know there was an Arabic and Urdu glossary at the end of the book, purely because I was reading the ebook copy, and was busy looking up words as I read. Touches on a lot of stuff, from family, classism, politics, lost in translation, poverty, inequity, etc. that you might not expect from a middle grade novel, but it's core to the storyline and characters, so I am grateful for its inclusion.

Haikyu!! vol. 3-6 by Haruichi Furudate (translation by Adrienne Beck)

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I was wondering why the t-shirts said ROM_ on it and whether it was an error in translation/lettering, but turns out...it was the creator HAHA.

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I can see why this series is popular...the characters are all growing on me.....how dare...!

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I love all the weird side banter and mutual kinship and crying over stuff.

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Such...amazing action artwork.

Gotta give props to the author who has to come up with new names and chara designs for all these teams. The winning/losing chapter was chef's kiss—yes this is genius and all very relatable, and this is coming from a person who especially hated/dreaded playing volleyball growing up.

Witch Hat Atelier vol.8 by Kamome Shirahama (translation by Stephen Kohler)

Wow, this plot with the inaccessibility of the designed world and classism. One could interpret that following the established principles of witchhood also means keeping class/order/status quo/hierarchy in place. Very tricky. I still love all these witch gals...

Otomen vol. 4-8 by Aya Kanno (translation by JN Productions)

Laughing at Shinjo Mayu-esque shoujo manga drawing for Yamato's parts. Props to Aya Kanno + assistants for drawing so many styles in one book.

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Shoujo manga is amazing!!

The flower guy is so funny because he's adding flowers to everything/one as his trope for every panel. I love how consistently manly Ryo is...her floral arrangement was so otokomae.

Me when I went to the Swallowtail butler cafe.

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Me if you ever asked me to do my own makeup.

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They know my weakness.

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Such funny dialogue!!

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Bear love!

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Fist of the North Star vol.1 by Buronson and Tetsuo Hara (translation by Joe Yamazaki)

My fingers typed 'Fish' instead of fist, so now I'm thinking about a fish. Intellectually, I kinda already knew the story of HnK from playing the (untranslated) NDS game a long time ago, but this is my first time reading it in English. The drawing is really well done, very clear, very cool how motion is conveyed.

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The letterer/touch-up artist had a lot of do with all the sound effects. I wonder if the average reader reads DOOOMMM as doom or as DOHHH-MMUUU. I enjoyed the ORIGIN story from the editor! Funny how ideas can just come from the most random places, when you're not expecting. Also Kenshiro's hair is so unexpectedly gorgeous sometimes?!?!

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Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki (translation by Jocelyne Allen, foreword by Matt Alt, Yokai Glossary by Zack Davisson)

I don't remember if I watched the cartoon a long time ago, but I somehow know this song very well. The strange/randomness was refreshing...and I could imagine the narrator's voice as I read it.

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I really like the simplicity and cartoony look of the characters set against some immaculately well lit and drawn backgrounds. Really makes it POP!

Real vol.15 by Inoue Takehiko (translation by John Werry)

I kinda forgot everyone's names, so wished there was a character intro at the beginning like a lot of other manga series... This particular chapter was really introspective for the mains. Like everyone simultaneously experiencing failure/hopelessness, and external factors dragging them back out of the pit of despair.

Snow White with the Red Hair vol. 16 by Sorata Akiduki (translation by Caleb Cook)

It finally clicked that one of the reasons I like this series is because it's slice of life-ish in a fantasy setting!! Hisame has a lot of appeal as a trolling character. Mitsuhide continues to himbo even though Kiki is right there...I like them all. What is up with these TWINS! You have zero chance to getting inbetween Mitsuhide and Kiki! OTP!

Schoolism presents: Finding your path as an artist (moderated by Maureen Fan, Bobby Chiu, discussion with Victoria Ying, Armand Baltazar, Marie-Alice Harel, Andy Cung)

Schen sent this to me so I decided to listen in during lunch. We both appreciated the real talk in the discussion. Definitely worth listening to for someone who is a bit more uncertain or earlier in their life/career trajectory in arts. For me it was a very familiar discussion since I've been through much of the same, albeit not squarely in a "make art your job" way.

Love me, love me not vol. 3-11 by Io Sakisaka (adaptation by Nancy Thistlethwaite, Translation by JN productions)

I'm close to the end of the series! Everything is falling into place as I'd expect. Previous ignorings turns into wayward glances. Classic! I can't believe the author wrote about Baahubali in their freetalk!

Classic way to get stuck to your crush!!

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B BMP! Wholesome...

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Uprooted, the plantemic season 1

Fellow Plant Feverite and cool pal rurupoi was the animator/art director (and more) for this series about plants so I had to check it out!! We've all started calling green onions "allens" now. Can be watched on CBC Gem!

Onwards towards our Noble Death by Shigeru Mizuki (introduction by Frederik L. Schodt, translation by Jocelyne Allen)

When I first opened the book and saw the spreads of character intros I felt overwhelmed and certain that I wouldn't understand this book at all, but it turns out that it was ok, in the sense that (unfortunately) everyone is treated very poorly and is short lived in this book. A part of me wondered if the author found it stressful to remember the war again, but it seems like there was some sense of catharsis / retribution / justice in the creation process.

I was curious about why the leader never spoke with his mouth open.

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Today's music post: Popo and Gonggong/Plane by mary sue.