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I Like Stories That Keep Me Guessing

art by Pixiv ID 199808

art by Pixiv ID 199808

Consider this a mini-editorial where I get to the point right away! I like stories that keep me guessing. In other words, I appreciate it when a plot is set up in a way that encourages me to come up with theories regarding the work’s central mysteries. There are two anime from fall season that are starting to wrap up, and I am very excited to see how everything will pan out in the end. From episode to episode, I have been left wondering what would happen next. What decisions would characters would make? How will other characters react? Why did this series of events happen? Who is responsible for the central conflicts? And so on.

The series I have in mind, as you may guess if you ever visit Sea Slugs, are From the New World and Zetsuen no Tempest.

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Yume Nikki Countdown???

On Kikiyama-san’s official site for Yume Nikki, a mysterious countdown has appeared…

Well, suffice to say I’m very excited. Perhaps it’s just an announcement for merchandise or something, but there’s a chance we could finally be getting a significant update at long last. Whatever it may be, it’s nice to see something new happening in the world of Yume Nikki!

By the way, be sure to try the game out if you haven’t already.

Blue Exorcist – Volumes 1-2

Every now and then I’ll read some manga on a whim, and this time I ended up taking a look at Blue Exorcist (Ao no Exorcist). My interest in the series stemmed from a nice AMV, as is so often the case, but I decided to take a look at the manga instead of the anime since the comic is still on-going.

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Miki Falls

Meant to get this post up for Valentine’s Day, but today will have to do! Miki Falls is an OEL manga (original English language–i.e. not from Japan, but has an art style that shares some similarities with manga in general) and tells a complete story in four volumes. It makes for some quick reading, and overall I found it pretty enjoyable.

It’s a bit difficult to say what Miki Falls is about without “giving it away,” since its unique supernatural premise isn’t actually revealed until you’ve read most of the first volume. It really is a great premise though, since it works so perfectly for a romance. And the romance itself plays out in a way that is pretty unique–neither the protagonist Miki nor the love interest Hiro really fit the archetypes you generally see in manga. There’s a certain balance of logic and emotion behind the decisions of the two characters, and the story does well to play with this balance and develop their relationship bit by bit through the adversity they face over the course of the story, which gradually turns into a sort of adventure thriller. I’ve come to realize that there isn’t much I can think to actually say about the characters–there isn’t that much that is explored with them on an individual basis, really–but they fulfill their roles well for the sake of the story, and this seems like an instance where the author’s focus on the plot leads to a good payoff.

The art for Miki Falls is good, but it will also be a bit jarring for someone who has read a lot of manga. There’s a very “sketchy” look to the drawings, which makes the pages look more like rough drafts (though this does seem to improve a little from volume to volume). The art doesn’t look inked at least, and when combined with awkward-looking word bubbles that look like they were made in MS Paint–well, it gives off a fairly amateur vibe. The art is still very good (especially for the double-page spreads, like the one pictured above), but it is different. Of course, you should probably expect that anyways when reading an OEL series.

That said, I think it’s worth checking out, and I do recommend at least getting through the whole first volume before deciding to stick with it or not. It has to build up for a bit to get to its reveal for the central premise of the story, but once I reached that point I found myself hooked. The artist (Mark Crilley) has a website for this and other comic series he’s made, and has a lot of popular drawing tutorials on Youtube for those interested. Some of these videos are quite mesmerizing, and I imagine aspiring artists will find lots of good tips for their own manga-style drawings.

Various Updates and Upcoming Posts for the Blog

For those who aren’t aware, I’ve been blogging two series at Sea Slugs this season–I’m continuing with weekly posts for From the New World still, but also working with Epi and Kabitzin on posts for Zetsuen no Tempest. If you’re watching either of these shows, you should check out our posts and join the discussions! Latest posts:

  • From the New World 19 – this episode was great for horror, so I decided to analyze what made it effective in eliciting fear and dread. Great writing and directing in this episode–I was very impressed with how intense the whole thing was. Can’t recommend this series enough, especially if you are into sci-fi and fantasy, or dark and thought-provoking stories in general.
  • Zetsuen no Tempest 17 – didn’t expect to say this during the first half of the series, but this anime has become absolutely hilarious. The plot is still moving toward bigger things to come, but for now I’m enjoying the amusing interactions between all these great characters.

I have also been writing reviews for light novels at Sea Slugs. If you’ve missed out on those, feel free to check them out!

I hope to get to some more of the Book Girl novels in upcoming months, among other things.

I should also note, if any of you have interest in joining Sea Slugs, the blog happens to be taking applications right now. It’s a fun blog to write for! And you’d get the chance to work with ME!

In the meantime, I’m starting to catch up on my backlog of posts for this blog. There are a couple manga posts I need to write, but after that I’d like to do a series of posts on a number of certain games I’ve been playing the past month or two.

Here’s a nice (obvious) hint of things to come:

art by Ani12

art by Ani12

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