Waxing Philosophical: What We Can Learn from even the Trashiest of Romances

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Valentine’s Day is behind us but I think it’s important to continue thinking about romance and the kind of impact these kinds of stories have on readers. It’s one of the reasons I created this blog and continue to return to romance series. Reading romance books and manga were majorly important to me when I was growing up. I started reading them back in middle school, or about 12 to 13 years old. I’ve never really thought about the significance of starting around that time until this article from Vulture pointed it out: the kinds of books you read in school are mostly stories of boys and men with the occasional dead girl so, in essence, romance books become a way to see girls and female characters in prominent roles. They’re thrilling, a way to experience and read about sex, something that is usually frowned upon in academia and some social circles. The US in particular isn’t very good about including comprehensive sex education in their schools, so for many girls, this is their first and sometimes only major way to learn about sex and sexual relationships.

The romance genre has gotten a bad rap over the years, considered “popular” literature or just not literature at all. Why? It could be because its an industry dominated by women who are writing predominantly for women. It could be the sometimes silly, “bodice-ripper” covers showing half naked women and men on full display. It could also be the escapist nature of romance fiction in general which tends to make people point at it and say, “there’s nothing good or intelligent you can get out of a story like that. It’s all just trash for bored housewives.” Which is completely and utterly wrong. Dismissing a whole genre in and of itself is wrong, and I’m here to tell you there are quite a few important life lessons you can learn from romance. Continue reading

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Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (2/18 – 2/24)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. I’m hoping to get my schedule set up in such a way this week that I can get an extra post up, so keep an eye out for some extra content. In other news, some highlights from last week: the 1st seasons of Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia have been removed from Crunchyroll; comic and graphic novel sales are up 14% at the start of 2019; and it looks like the Japanese government is reevaluating the laws surrounding copyright infringement as they pertain specifically to the manga industry. Be sure to check out the articles and videos below, and as always, have a great Sunday!
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Wish Manga Omnibus Review

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Ah CLAMP, just reading any of their series brings me back to my early teen years of reading Cardcaptors and Chobits. Over the years, they have wound up becoming one of my all time favorite manga creators. Their wide breadth of titles and stories make it easy to find something entertaining for almost every reader, and their ability to create meaningful stories for both younger readers and older ones is hard to match. Wish is one of the few series from them that I actually never had the chance to pick up and read, so I was excited to learn that Dark Horse had started to publish the entire 4-volume series in one collected omnibus. It’s a challenge to read with it being at least two inches thick and pretty heavy, but the series itself is definitely worth it especially if you like cute and innocent love stories.

The story of Wish follows a young doctor Shuichiro who notices an adorable flying thing trapped in a tree on his way home from work one day. It just so happens to be the angel, Kohaku, who offers to grant Shuichiro any wish he desires in gratitude. The only problem is that Shuichiro has everything he could ever want, a good job, enough money to be comfortable, and a nice house. But that doesn’t dissuade Kohaku, and Shuichiro soon finds himself with a new roommate who just so happens to draw more angels and even devils to their home, becoming a sanctuary for those looking to escape both hell and heaven. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (2/11 – 2/17)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. I picked up some new omnibuses (omnibi?) on Friday so look out for a THrowback Thursday manga review coming this week. In terms of news items from the last week: the Crunchyroll Anime Awards happened last night, check below for the winners; Vic Mignogna has been booted from current and future Funimation projects to much backlash from his fans; and Hulu has announced some new Marvel animated series coming to its platform. Also check below for some great videos and articles. As always, have a great Sunday, and if you’re in the US, have a great 3-day weekend! Continue reading

Valentine’s Themed Episodes to Get You in the Mood

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Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all! Even if you’re not celebrating with a special person today, you’re all welcome here. My fiancee has to work tonight, so I’m here to talk some anime and manga with all of you while I eat some sweet, sweet chocolate. So grab your candy and beverage of choice and a snuggly blanket cause tonight we’re looking at Valentine’s Day themed episodes and chapters from anime and manga. Now these are just personally my favorite episodes or moments that focused on Valentine’s Day in ways that were either amusing or touching in the context of the show or series. I know there are a ton of others I could put on this list, so I’m interested in hearing your picks down below, or even just your favorite treat to eat on Valentine’s Day. Here are four picks for some of my favorite anime and manga moments this holiday. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (2/4 – 2/10)

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Welcome to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. This week’s been pretty busy for me so I’m sorry if my posts have been getting delayed, but I’m still working towards getting more reviews and articles out once I have a more solid schedule. As for highlights from this week: An anime festival in Daghestan was threatened with violence and forced to cancel; EC Comics are coming to the big screen; and tons of anime announcements are starting to trickle in. I know I probably missed some anime announcements, and I know I did not include the Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid among them as there still isn’t a reliable source to confirm the announcement. Be sure to check out the videos and articles below and, as always, have a great Sunday! Continue reading

I Hear the Sunspot Manga Book One Review

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I feel like good disability fiction is on the rise lately with the likes of A Silent Voice becoming so popular and now I Hear the Sunspot is being talked about as both a great story about someone with a disability but also a great boys love manga. I’ve seen it mentioned so many times around the web and pop up on a lot of people’s must read mangas of 2018, and I have to say this manga definitely deserves all the praise that has been heaped upon it. Yuki Fumino really delves deep into what it means be a person with a hearing disability that not bad enough to be considered part of the deaf community but also not insignificant enough to be considered a “normal” person. The boys love aspects appear as more of an afterthought as the characters traverse societal rules around conformity and the almost infantilization of people with disabilities.

The publisher, One Peace Books, describes I Hear the Sunspot’s story as: “Because of a hearing disability, Kohei is often misunderstood by others and has trouble integrating into life on campus so he learns to keep his distance. That is until he meets the outspoken and cheerful Taichi. He tells Kohei that his hearing loss is not his fault. Taichi’s words cut through Kohei’s usual defense mechanisms like a knife and opens his heart. More than friends, less than lovers, their relationship changes Kohei forever.

I want to preface this review by saying that his is book one of the original two part series, but the volume itself does not mention what book it is. I had a lot of trouble figuring out what book to buy first since there is this one, book two, and then volume one of the multi-part series as well. So if you are looking to buy the series, start with the book with the green cover, then book two, then volume one of the series. I’ll be reviewing each one in order, so feel free to follow along with me as well. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (1/28 – 2/3)

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Welcome back to another installment of Last Week in Geekdom where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. It looks like this season doesn’t have all that many romance animes that interest me, so there will be no first impressions post this time. Instead I’m going to try and focus on my manga and comics review backlog and hopefully catch up on a lot of the currently publishing series. As for news for this week: More digging has been done on the allegations against Vic Mignogna; the founder and CEO of Funimation has stepped down; and someone’s giving away a comic store in Chicago. As always, check out the videos and articles below. There’s some good ones this time. Have a great Sunday (especially to those of you trying to avoid all the Superbowl craziness like me)! Continue reading

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku Manga Volume 3 Review (US Version)

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I can’t help but feel that if I was to revise my top 5 manga list of all time, Wotakoi would fall at number two on the list. I’ve talked at length before in my previous Manga vs Anime post about my love of this series, and I figured I should start where I (and the anime) left off, with volume three of the North American version which includes volumes five and six of the manga. I honestly can’t not talk about it at this point, it’s just too much of a comfy and feel-good series to not gush about. Fujita’s art is fantastic and the story is a great mix of short comedic chapters and longer, split up serious narratives. I found myself enjoying this volume just as much, if not more than the other two. Partly because we get to see some great love stories this time around and also partly for the great character development.

The back copy of this volume describes its story as “summer romance for nerds.” In this volume we see Hirotaka and Narumi battling the rumor mill to keep their relationship a secret from their coworkers, but of course it gets a little out of hand. We see Naoya’s continuing story of his grave misunderstanding about Ko and how he tries to save their relationship. But summer romance is not complete without a hotspring and festival chapter, and you definitely won’t be disappointed on that front with this volume. In terms of otaku goodness though, we also get to see Narumi’s first try at cosplaying. Continue reading