old mangas

2 Oct 2008 08:28 pm
salinea: (Default)
Back home from my parents'. New year feasting went well. There were some interesting discussions.

While at was at my parents', I took advantage of my old library to re-read two manga series : Please Save My Earth and RG Veda.

Please Save My Earth is a late 80's shoujo manga involving a cast of seven high school characters realising that they are all the reincarnation of a group of aliens who used to study the Earth from a post of observation set on the moon. The past lives set of characters have convoluted and passionate relationships involving triangles, rivalry-friendship and one-sided loves which the real time sets of characters struggle with as they progressively remember them (if you think being a teenager wasn't confusing enough by itself, try being a young guy whose past lives was a woman who was in love with the guy whose current life is your male best friend) ; and to complicate matters one of them is reincarnated in a much younger 8 year boy, Ring, who seems to have a plot involving using the Tokyo Tower (what else? :) to contact the observation base still existing on the moon, and blackmailing/threatening/manipulating various people in order to do so.
PSME mostly focus on people's relationships, with a great flair for both the (melo)dramatic, the subtle and the heartbreaking. It's also got Psi-powers-based fighting scenes; volumes-spanning flashbacks, and a plot which ends up not being much at the end.
It's an old school manga, and it's got quite the silly idiosyncrasies. Our main female character, Alice, whom I adore nonetheless, is sadly not very proactive on the plot. And there's a face-palming inducing rape story which makes me ashamed of enjoying the male character involved anyway. The art hasn't always aged well (to say the least), and some cultural references haven't either (random saint seya references FTW!); and there's this hilarious use of dinosaurs as a motif... At the same time it manages juggling with an impressively large cast of characters (both lives of characters + secondary characters they interact with + other people getting involved in Ring's plot) and two timelines quite dexterously and continues being riveting and intense through a relatively (for a shoujo) long run of 21 volumes. I'm particularly fond of the characterisation - especially Alice and Ring and their past lives; but many other characters like Haruhiko, Tamura, Mikuro, Issei...
PSME was one of the first epic contemporary fantasy shoujo series I read some ten years ago along with Ayashi no Ceres and Basara, and one of my favourite ones. Upon re-read, despite all the silliness and idiosyncrasies; it still rings emotionally true to me, pushing the right buttons, and being a good story overall.

RG Veda is CLAMP's first professional manga, featuring a Hindu mythology inspired fantasy world where the rule of the Heaven has been overturned when Taishaku-Ten murdered the Emperor and the warrior god Ashura-Ou some 300 years ago; and where a prophecy about the being the destroyer of Heavens spurs Yasha-Ou, a young guardian god to find and protect Ashura, the child of Ashura-Ou, and revolt against Taishaku-Ten. Progressively, and in accordance with that prophecy, he is joined by several other gods who have their own reason to fight Taishaku-Ten.
RV Vega shows its age in its style of lavish, baroque, kinda of over the top art; yet i cannot help but find it gorgeous. The characters are very intriguing, likeable and amusing - I think they don't have quite the finesse or depth of characterisation that other CLAMP works show; but are still very appealing nevertheless. Thematically and relationship-wise this is definitely CLAMP's testing ground, showing their much-loved themes of fate, duality, the ties between people, eros/thanatos and strength. It is very much a tragedy, saved from melodrama only by the cheerfulness and grace typical of CLAMP characters. In terms of pacing it is slightly uneven, with several chapters without very much happening to Yasha, Ashura and co.
RG Veda is a manga I like comparing to X, for obviously thematic parallels : they're both tales of the prophecy of a world ending, except one's set in our modern world and the other in a fantasy world. The characters of Yasha and Ashura always reminded me a lot of Fuuma and Kamui; to which I sometimes like adding a parallel between Arashi and Karura. Upon reread, I was also struck with some parallels with latter arcs of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, and not only the parts about Fay and Ceres.
RG Veda was the first CLAMP I read which I really fell in love with - I had read several manga by them before (suki dakara suki, wish, 20 masks please, Magic Knight Rayearth and of course Card Captor Sakura), by impressions ranged from "meh" to "cute but not entrancing"; so along with Tokyo Babylon and X which I read a couple of months after RG Veda, it's one of the work responsible for my fangirlism of CLAMP overall. Upon reread I find it more uneven, but I still love it, and find myself extremely amused, especially at characters like Kendappa, or the villains like Shashi and Taishaku-Ten (Shashi is hilarious because she's so unredeemable, ruthlessly, unabashedly evil and power hungry and i guess the fact that she's easy on the eyes also help). Kujaku's still my favourite character, utterly adorable and cheerfully/teasingly mysterious, and the one I find the most heartbreaking. Kendappa/Souma's love story is still my favourite couple (they're also, sadly, CLAMP's only two sided femslash romance featured as prominently and as canonically). Ashura himself is adorable, and so is Yasha when he interacts with Ashura.
salinea: (Default)
Order, order...

My bestest sweetest friend [livejournal.com profile] azure_empress is getting married ! And I'm so happy for her, it totally rocks. Congratulation and best wishes May-chan ^^

The other day my friend Aurel wanted to sell of his used japanese manga to a store and I went with him so I could actually find such a nice store as one that sells used mangas and OV mangas.... alas, it seems he was misinformed, and the store didn't buy or sell japanese manga anymore. So we were on for a maratheon across Paris, under the rain, to find a shop which would be interested in all those manga to sell. Eventually, we ended up in the Opera quartier to find a japanese bookstore (next to my favourite english bookstore Brentanos in fact) which would have bought the mangas... except for like 5% of their prices. Well, I was happy to find this store in any case, and tried to find the Yami No Matsuei as yet unscanlated books among them, but was hopelessly lost what with me not speaking, or reading japanese. I'll get back with better information about those books and, like, an actually Kenji imprint of what the title look like so I can actually find it. Anyway, eventually, I went home with the 10 first X mangas because I can't resist buying mangas at only 1 euro even if I got them all already, and paid for a restaurant which should result in me getting the Please Save My Earth art book (mwhahahaha ! <-- sounds of gloating)
I actually like running under the rain. Not especially enjoy being wet, but I like rain, so I didn't mind. Sometimes I like to be faced with the kind of problems which are easy to strive against. I just suck at facing real day to day problems, so it energizes me when I can...

So it seems i finnaly actually found an RP community to get in, which is actually going to be active and fun, and where I get to play Seisgirou *bounces with excitement* No matter my experience with roleplaying games of the D&D variety (except that, eewwww, I hate D&D), I have absolutly none in the matter of roleplay of actually existing characters (it's interesting to see those two very close concepts, among two very close fandoms but one of which is massively male and the other massively female...) so I was really looking forward to try it out. Still am. Hem, it's a RP about Clamp Campus during the year 1999 and accessible by any kind of Clamp character which can be reasonnably assumed to be there. Or any kind of similar manga character which can be reasonably assumed to be there. it's there : http://www.greatestjournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=clamp_1999 , there's plenty of room yet, get into it ! NOW ! and that means you Xynnie-chan :) and everyone really.

Last... posted the Kakyou character discussion post at [livejournal.com profile] togakushishrine two days ago, and, come on ! I know you people have something to say about him ! Pretty please ?

Oh and did I forgot ? at a new claiming community [livejournal.com profile] clamp_claims, I got to be the proud owner of Fuuma's sexy glasses of doom, Subaru's star shaped brands and Yuuko's cigarette handler. Yes, I know, I'm a fetishist. Too bad I only thought about claiming Seishirou's wedding eye afterwhile, that would have rated as the most creepy romantic object of the serie... *sighs*

EDIT : oh, by the way, that honesty meme ? Won't do it. It's not that I'm not usually honnest with you people, and it's not that I don't want to fangirl all over you either, it's just that most of the time, without a specific topic, saying what I think of someone draws a biiiiig blank. Thoughts and impressions about people can be so hard to put into thoughts. You can ask specific questions, if you prefer, I'll answer, bluntly honnestly ^^
salinea: (Default)
Yesterday found most of the volumes of PSME I was missing at a bargain sale at Gilbert Joseph, yay-ness ! I only miss one volume now. Been re-reading them with great pleasure. I think Please Save my Earth was one of the first Shoujo manga I fell in love with. In a way it's a very sentimental story, and the characters aren't that original, but very well drawn and nuanced. It's also an /old/ story, which shows especially in the graphics which aren't terribly good (but better than other manga I read for the story while despising the pictures like Basara - one which have many similarities with PSME in a way, at least for the reasons I love it for)
But no matter how "genre" it is, it's a very good tale. Just love the characters, and the themes of "reincarnations". Actually It's really similar to one of those fantasy story that been haunting my mind and imagination since I was teenager. At the time I first read the manga, it was really striking for me.
My favourite characters in PSME are Ring and Alice. Looking at the few other people on the web who know the serie, they seem to favour the Issei/Gyoukuran pairing. I guess it must be the shounen ai appeal. I also really like Haru, and for shounen ai, I'd rather go for Haru/Tamura, or even Masaki/Mikuro.... of course, are those two even in the anime ? can't remember. Looks like most of the Americans know PSMA through the anime serie only, which is a shame since it cuts halfway through the story : / But anyway, nah, my main interest in reading this manga was Ring and Alice.

Now for something completly different, game of Nephilim yesterday night. Nice game, but I was somewhat embarrassed through the game because I had an argument with one of the other player, throught mail a few days ago. Mainly, even though I did something wrong to him, I don't think it gave him any leave to insult me, or to give me any sexist bullshit, and he has yet to appologise for that. I don't get angry easily, but when I am... when I really feel betrayed by a friend, I have a very hard time forgiving it. It's not that I get vindicative, or vengeful (ok maybe a little bit... maybe it does make me want to hurt people when I'm really angry), but I can't really trust someone after that. And it's very sad, because I have such a hard time trusting people in the first place. But I don't want to forgive... maybe because I was wrong in the first place ? Maybe knowing that I was responsible for him getting angry and mailing me /that/ is why I keep such a hold on my righteous anger ?
If he only appologized for it. He had no right calling me names. I'm not going to ever let me treat this way again. I don't care how much he suffered, that's no reason.

Another interesting thing from that day. I'm think I'm well and over former boyfriend (who's the GM from said game). It's a strange feeling. Emptiness and lack of connection. But I do want still want to be friend with him.
salinea: (Default)
The current X wankage isn't going for the best, and now I'm all flipping out and feeling guilty for my part. I should never have link to the comm. just posted my message there. At least I might have been the only one being attacked, because now there's some awful trolling going on there.
On a more hopeful sidet, [livejournal.com profile] shineko being such a sweetheart, created a new subaruxkamui community over at [livejournal.com profile] _notalone. Yay for her and for a place where there will be yummy fics and good discussions about this pairing ^_^
My, isn't a good time for creating new comms ? I also just joined a just created Please Save My Heart comm, one of my old favourite manga. It's called [livejournal.com profile] ps_myearth. There way too few fics about this manga.

And a funny test out at http://www.mindmedia.com/brainworks/profiler, gawked from [livejournal.com profile] ariseishirou

Your Brain Usage Profile: )

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