printfogey: Picture of Argentinian cartoon character Mafalda (Default)
The manga Twin Spica is now complete in English with 12 volumes in total - I just finished the last one today. It came perfectly as I'd just done a big re-read of all the previous volumes.

This is a slow-paced, slice-of-lifey story about a teenaged girl who's wanted to be an astronaut for as long as she can remember (there are many flashbacks to hers and her friends' childhoods). It is also about the tight-knit group of five friends she makes in space school who share that dream. But the main character's best friend since childhood and the second most prominent character is actually a ghost who normally only she can see. He wears a lion mask (she calls him "Mr Lion";)) and has always encouraged her because he once strived to go to space as well.

I forget the demographic category for this manga, but it does have many of the typical shonen themes and tropes: striving for your dreams with all your might, staying true to yourself, the strong value of friendship and working together, etc. And admittedly it can be repetitive at times, telegraphing certain things pretty loudly... BUT I also found it a genuinely affective series, mostly feelgood, with some genuine hardhitting curveballs along the way.

It has hints of romance here and there, but it doesn't take up a big part of the story. Which might be good given that the main character is sooo small and child-like-looking... but anyway. I'm just overcome with emotions at the end of this series, and now I just want to recommend it to one and all. Lovely stuff.
printfogey: Picture of Argentinian cartoon character Mafalda (Default)
Again, SEVERE SPOILER WARNINGS for the manga ending. Even if you only follow the manga casually, I strongly advise you not to read behind the cut if you haven't read the ending yet. And if you've never intended to read this brilliant series, the entry will make very little sense.

You cannot gain anything without first giving something in return )

dammit

Jan. 28th, 2010 02:58 pm
printfogey: Picture of Argentinian cartoon character Mafalda (Default)
Can't believe this. I just got teary-eyed looking at the damn cover of the last volume of Last Gasp's edition of Barefoot Gen into English.

I already own that volume in French. But I'll probably feel compelled to buy it anyway, even though it's among the weakest books in the series. Just based on that cover alone. *sigh* Such a sucker.

ETA: that cover will say nothing if you haven't read any of the books, and even if you have done so and understand it, I wouldn't expect anyone to do more than nod in recognition. No clue why I got so emotional./edit
printfogey: Picture of Argentinian cartoon character Mafalda (Default)
It was my birthday yesterday - the 3rd, that is - and [livejournal.com profile] dethorats wrote me a lovely shortfic set back in East Blue, featuring Usopp and Luffy and Zoro. :D :D \o/Check it out if you're in the mood for nice, mellow fluff. What a great surprise.

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