What manga or comics are you reading?

A section for fans of both Western and Eastern forms of graphic novels, manga, magazines, books, and everything in between.
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Not a Jellyfish
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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby Not a Jellyfish » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:10 am

classicalzawa wrote:Image
Hmm, what else...oh yeah, Saikano. So, I was expecting it to be far more depressing and for me it just wasn't, but overall, I feel this one was overhyped. Due to being amazing, I did manage to get volumes 4 and 7 for less than $10 each so yeah, I did get to finish it. But a lot of the time, I wasn't quite sure why the series headed in the direction it did, especially towards the end I was like "Wtf?" As a romance, it was interesting, but I almost felt like Shuji forced himself to fall for Chise in some ways. I suppose it's as good a way to fall in love as ever, but I was a bit let down by that aspect. However, I rather liked the way the dialogue was set within the pages, I've never seen anything quite like it and I really enjoyed that, it made it interesting to read and really added to the story. I don't think it's worth going out of your way to buy (especially the outrageous prices volumes 4 and 7 can go for), but if you can bum it off a friend for a while, go for it.


It's been a while since I read this one, but it REALLY affected me when I did. Just to offer a different opinion. Personally, I think it's absolutely wonderful and heartbreaking. But I was lucky enough to be following it as it was being released, so I never had to worry about price. But, personally, I would buy them again.

Truered wrote:
classicalzawa wrote:
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I scrolled past that too quickly and thought it was a mythbusters manga :lol:


Photoshop!! Who can make this happen?? :lol: I would totally read that!!
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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby classicalzawa » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:20 am

I wanna do another mass post! Haven't in a while after all! So, the order is gonna be a tad vague I suppose, just know that I read it!

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Dragon Girl! Definitely fluffy fluffy shojo filled with cheerleading and being in high school Not my usual, I tend to go for nerdier things. But it was a distracting enough read, and Yen Press did put it out in two big volumes filled with coloured pages. I got it because Oyuayubihime Infinity by the same mangaka is pretty damn sweet. This one only gets a 2.5/5 from me though, it's a nice distraction, but nothing worth hunting down.

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You! Stop thatI I can hear you going "she's only getting to it now?" But yes, shut up! Also, I've only read the first 15 volumes, since I don't have 16 or 17 or 19 or 22+ yet. But man, I do somehow think people are making too big a deal out of this. Though I did start to appreciate it more once it changed from the first anime, though I did like the first anime (I decided to see it before I read the manga). I do much prefer the manga homunculi though, so much more brutal!

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Dammit, Tokyopop! I was just getting into this series! It starts off with a herd of unicorns bursting out of an aurora borealis and it only gets weirder from there! It's from the same mangaka as Jyu oh Sei, and anime that I'll admit disappointed me (but that I went ahead and got the manga of anyway due to most of it being in the TRSI bargain bin, and I am presuming that the manga will be an improvement, since it has more time). But man, the mangaka might be making shit up as she goes along, but it's such a great breathless pace that I don't care! I want more! Someone rescue this right away!

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Peepo Choo!!!! If you're wondering who the strange guy holding the books in the picture is, it's Felipe Smith, the author. This is part parody of how otaku are perceived and how weeaboos perceive Japan and part pure awesome. Milton wins a trip from the local comic store to go to Japan with Jody, the lazy, doesn't give a shit about comics employee, and Gil, the store manager. They all spend their time in Japan differently, Milton tries to impress people by being a weeaboo and discovers it doesn't work, Jody spends most of his time trying to get laid (and failing), and Gil spends most of his time murdering yakuza. They meet equally awesome characters in Japan, Reiko is a model with gigantic boobs who just wants people to take her seriously (as she is pretty damn smart and can speak English fluently) and Miromoto Rockstar an over the top yakuza obsessed with the American gangsters he sees in bootlegs of a terrible American TV show featuring them (like a reverse weeaboo but far more deadly). It's just awesome, I can think of no other way to tell you that you NEED to read this one! And since the author did the translations himself, you know every word came out just the way he wanted it to. It's only a shame it only went on for 3 volumes, you can tell he had more story in him, but he got cancelled :(
4.5/5

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What is this I don't even.....ok, it's mostly crap to be honest. Alternative doesn't automatically mean "Good" and 1/5th of the stories somehow involve dicks. Now, there are a few good ones, but they're mostly from mangaka already established as awesome, like the guy who did Tokyo Zombie. I'd skip it to be honest.

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For a manga where they get into a fight damn near every chapter, it's actually quite engaging for me. The two mains are girls, and you'd expect one of them (the one without the eyepatch, obviously) to wimp out at every single fight, but if anything she simply gets more badass with every chapter and every fight. I understand the anime just kinda....ends, but I've really been enjoying the first three volumes I got for like $10 (how Seven Seas puts out such cheap omnibuses is anyone's guess) and I can't wait for the next one! Scheduled for like august I think >:(

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Yeah, yaoi is not my thing. At all. I just don't get the sex scene appeal. However, Fumi Yoshinaga is, and she is once again amazing here! A lot of yaoi authors seem to have the problem of making good characters and that's clearly because Yoshinaga was born with the lion's share of talent when it comes to that. I can ignore the sex scenes here and still get a great manga out of it because the characters are once again great! Hooray, Yoshinaga! All hail Yoshinaga!

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Yeah, I wasn't expecting this to be super engaging either. It is about firefighting through and through. But if you were the sort of kid who wanted to grow up to be one, these will rekindle those feelings big time! The rest of us will immediately rewrite our childhood memories upon reading this to say "of course I want to be a firefighter! They're badass!" Really, the action is amazing and engaging since you can't quite tell how it'll end and the characters are great too. Many characters really debate what it means to be a hero, are they really doing this for others or are they doing it for themselves? Is what they're doing really helping them? And BADASS FIREFIGHTING!!!!
Seriously, this is without a doubt a 5 out of 5 manga for me, it's hard to get any better than this, especially with action series.

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I got really lucky here: Tokyopop finished this one just in time, the 9th and final volume came out halfway through April. So, this is a romantic comedy abut reincarnation. The main is reincarnated into modern day Japan and his male best friend is now a chick and his wife is now a dude. And there are plenty of other characters from the past life who are going to show up and interfere. As more characters from the past shows up, the manga gets much better since it has so much more to work with. The main feels bad because their past lives were in Pompeii and he left his wife to do his duty during the volcanic explosion. Now he's obviously having romantic trouble, which feels more homosexual to him?

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Maaan, this is such a quintessential feeling 90s shojo romance. I can't say it honestly does much new and it kinda jumps into it without fully establishing its characters, which makes the first 3 volumes rather dull, though it's well picked up by the end. The interesting thing here is forbidden romance, step-brother to step-sister, and teacher to student. It's definitely a classic, but it's not super good, nice distraction.

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Hooray, more 90s artwork! I'd seen the OVA ages ago, this is mostly more of the same, except they do go up a year and we get an awesome foreigner, who is supposed to be I think Indian but his name is somehow "Fred"? But yeah, it's basically more boarding school comedy. It's funny, I know if they did an all-boys boarding school comedy today, it'd be filled with gay encounters like every other chapter and being caught having sex with girls or something, but this is a pretty innocent and straightforward fun manga.

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Ok, time to get mad at me. I read 14 books, I really think this is just a standard shonen fare, there's absolutely nothing special about it to me, everything has been done better. Action? Firefighter Daigo. Pacifist? Trigun. And I really don't give a crap about samurai action, so that didn't get me either, screw swords (most of the time). Boss with several actually competent henchmen? Ok, that was probably new at the time, but Avatar the Last Airbender did that better too. Sorry, it has no nostalgia for me, so I really don't recommend it to anyone without that factor. 2/5 for me.

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Twin Spica!!! Now this is how you make a good manga! Characters are great and the story has been flipping back and forth between current time and past time, giving more development to the characters. Every realistic sci-fi should be this good and everyone needs to read it because Vertical deserves our money! And they release it every 2 months! I've seen the anime too, new stuff starts from day one, but especially around volume 6. Just read it, it's just too awesome to not read.

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More Yoshinaga goodness! This is half Yoshinaga's manga persona Y-naga talking about delicious food and being a foodie while visiting real Japanese food places, and part getting to see why she is such an awesome mangaka. That's pretty much it, but of course, she works her magic. Not her best series, but a great little 1 volume series anyway. Oddly enough, it's Yen Press, those guys don't put out anything I want usually.

That's it for tonight!

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chrisb
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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby chrisb » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:43 am

^ I really want to try out Firefighter Daigo but can't find it anywhere :/

I'm currently reading:
Limit but Keiko Suenobu
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Juicy teen drama with depth and a strong message. A group of very different high school girls are stranded on their way to a school camping trip after their bus crashes. Being the only survivors they are forced work together. Things get ugly quickly, these girls are incredibly vicious!

This is an excellent story on why we should care about people around us. Ignoring someone's pain is an ugly and horrible thing to do. Even if it means risking a comfortable and popular lifestyle we should care for our fellow man. How can your life have value if you don't value the lives of others?
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classicalzawa
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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby classicalzawa » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:38 pm

chrisb wrote:^ I really want to try out Firefighter Daigo but can't find it anywhere :/

Yeah, there are absolutely no scans for it, I've checked everywhere. You have to get the actual books, and that is a lot harder than it sounds (I'm actually still missing 6). You can get like, most of them for pretty cheap, but like 5 of them will cost you.

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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby braves » Wed May 04, 2011 1:33 am

Read vol. 46 of One Piece, which kicks off the Thriller Bark arc. Probably the first time in a long time where I'm wondering if Oda's might be running out of ideas. It makes me fell like Oda is paying homage to those haunted house stories a bit too much. And there's also the reminder that Tim Burton has run this style into the ground.

That said, I don't think I've been this intrigued since...well the last arc in the series. lol It's still interesting to see where Oda is taking this and seeing if he can pull it off.

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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby d.yaro » Tue May 10, 2011 6:01 pm

Read "Kirarare Matsuko no Issho", 嫌われ松子の一生 (aka: Memories of Matsuko) in one shot last night. I have no idea if there is a scanlation of this one. If there is then I recommend reading this. The story starts off with a young man, Shou, being unexpectedly visited by his father (Shou had been dumped by his girlfriend the previous day). His father leaves him with an urn containing the ashes of his murdered late aunt, a woman he didn't even know existed, and instructions to clean out her apartment. Shou proceeds to do the cleaning and finds a photo of his aunt taken at the time of her coming of age. From there the story of his aunt Matsuko's life starts to unravel as Shou learns more about her through encounters with a couple of people who knew her. And her life had literally unraveled as her choices in life led from a promising career as a high school teacher, through a series of doomed relationships and bad life decisions, to her untimely death. Overall this isn't an uplifting piece but there are moments with glimmers of hope. The overall sense of the story isn't one of "What if?" but one of watching Matsuko playing with the cards life deals her. All in all the manga marches along at a steady pace without a single chapter break. That makes for some tricky transitions as the story jumps from Shou's perspective to Matsuko's. Nonetheless it was a compelling read and I couldn't put the book down once I had started it. Looking back on this manga I swear there must be an archetype out there somewhere for women who choose the wrong men and are greeted by misfortune at practically every second, if not every, turn in their lives. This probably isn't for everyone but I certainly enjoyed it.

A movie was made of the story and it was directed by the fellow who directed "Shimotsuma Monogatari/Kamikaze Girls". I've seen the DVD and did give a thought to buying it but after reading the manga and seeing the trailer I don't think I'll do that. It strikes me as being a bit too campy. The manga was hardly bright and if anything it played out as a personal tragedy with a gritty, sombre tone (similar to Ono's "Not Simple"). I've also read that a TV series was made not long after the movie was released.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWsR7W4VIx8[/youtube]
PS: Bonnie Pink has a bit role in the movie. ;)
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Truered
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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby Truered » Sun May 22, 2011 11:48 pm

So I've started reading the second volume of a series today. I think you might have heard of it

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:P

I got the viz boxsets of "both" dragon ball and dragon ball Z for my birthday. I've never seen a full episode of the actual anime, so while I'm well aware of quite a few things in the series, it's going to be my first journey through this world :D
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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby Emerje » Mon May 23, 2011 9:09 am

Finished Cross Game book 3 the other day. It really is no wonder why these were given an omnibus release right off here, they're very quick and easy reads. You can easily read an entire omnibus in an hour. However even at that pace it's a pretty immersive story, it's easy to get caught up in the action and root for the players. I guess simple and exciting (not to mention funny and heartwarming) is something a manga master is capable of.

Probably get around to starting Natsume Yujinchou volume 2 Monday.

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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby Not a Jellyfish » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:57 pm

Got my copy of Wandering Son in about a week ago and have been too insanely busy to touch it. Finally got about half way through the first volume the other night. I had read a few chapters online already and I really enjoyed it. I'm really looking forward to watching the characters develop and grow. It's a charming series so far and I like it a lot.

My other comic intake? Sandman. FINALLY. About half way through the whole series. Loving it. Yay Gaiman.
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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby d.yaro » Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:09 pm

Finished reading "My Gardener" by Tsumugi Tsuku. It was an interesting read. It was more of a 1st person narrative with drawings rather than a manga. Some of the kanji and usage of words were a bit off too. Presumably deliberate. The following news article summarizes the book quite well:

"Phantom Manga Writer" Produces First New Work in Twelve Years
2007/12/19

Taku Tsumugi, also known as the "phantom manga writer," is drawing attention for the publication of her latest work, her first in twelve years despite an ardent fan base. "My Gardener," a comic published by Amushobô, went on sale December 7.

Tsumugi debuted in 1982 at the age of seventeen with "An Expected Visitor," published by Shûeisha in Monthly Margaret, a girls' magazine. She brought a breath of fresh air to the genre of girls' comics and created a unique world through a soft, fine touch to her pictures and suggestive, lingering strokes. Her popularity quickly rose following this with "Hot Road," also serialized in Monthly Margaret. Her fresh depictions of the inner side of real life boys and girls, the readers, garnered her overwhelming support among junior and senior high school students. Since 1995, however, she has not written any significant works.

The theme of this book is unconditional love. It is a light-hearted look weaving the day-to-day events of the heroine, a sixteen-year-old girl named Sana, and the family, friends and pet dog who make up her world. In the midst of this lurks a number of factors causing Sana to feel insecure, and leading her to search for a way to calm her feelings of anxiety and nervousness. When she comes to an understanding of the "unconditional love" which her stepfather talks about, she is finally able to find peace of mind.

Ardent readers since "Hot Road," primarily women now in their thirties, have been pre-ordering or placing advance requests at bookstores one after another, so even before the book went on sale, a second printing had already been set.

*Some of the book titles are tentative translations.
Copyright(c) 2007 Shinbunka all rights reserved.
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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby ningensei » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:44 pm

Not a Jellyfish wrote:My other comic intake? Sandman. FINALLY. About half way through the whole series. Loving it. Yay Gaiman.


Welcome to the awesomeness. :D Sandman is really amazing and such a classic.

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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby classicalzawa » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:41 am

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Got this today! I'm a pretty damn big Avatar:TLA fan and I got the preview at free comic book day. But I already knew this was gonna be good because M. Night didn't touch it and some of the head writers were involved in some of the longer scenarios.

But yeah, it was pretty good, having seen the series at least 3 times, I could definitely see exactly where some of these fit in (some could really just fit in any time in book 2 though for example). But we got to see some awesome stuff, like the capturing of the fire nation ship that Aang wakes up on in the start of book 3, why the Earth King and Bosco ripped off their clothes to reveal more peasant clothes (like what lead to that), how Mai and Zuko kicked off their romance again after so many years, and more awesome stuff! Little things that you really didn't need to know to enjoy the show, but now it makes perfect sense how most of these comics fit into the overall story. There were really two types of stories, those answering little questions like above and etc random stuff that could fit into the story no prob and were there for entertainment.

And the coloring, artwork, and dialogue all sounds like it came straight out of the TV show. There were understandably less action scenes, but more of the characters we love, whee! However, the comics themselves, while all printed on paper the same size (it's the size of the Serenity paperbacks from Dark Horse if that helps), you could tell some were formatted differently and so the dialogue bubbles came off a bit small in some of the chapters as compared to others.

The only real problem I could really say is that this book won't make a damn bit of sense to people who haven't seen the entire show, it really is a book for the fans. That said, it's a good book for the fans and fans of the show should go buy it immediately, it's at a reasonable price after all.

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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby chrisb » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:01 am

Ibitsu

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A boy went to take his trash out late one night, and found a strange, creepy, lolita woman sitting amongst the garbage bags. She asked if he had a little sister, and he answered her, hurrying afterwards back to his apartment. When he looked out the window, she was gone. Who is the strange woman, and why does she give him such a bad feeling?


Cliche as hell, but pretty entertaining and creepy. Some very unique imagery and never too violent. It was stupid in a few spots, but the atmosphere more than makes up for it. Who doesn't love black eyed gothic lolitias chasing you with a sledgehammer?
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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby classicalzawa » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:49 am

Well, here we go, as I make my way through my manga pile from Otakon, I will add more stuff. And there was some stuff I read before Otakon, so....yeah, lots to read!

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Gimmick!
Whew! This was a fun series! It reminded me a lot of Firefighter Daigo in that it was a mix of entertaining and educational via the main's passion for their job. In this case, the job is special effects. It's mostly episodic stories spanning several chapters until the last volumes have this big special effects competition. Still, it's the sort of thing that is just fun to read, I certainly recommend it to everyone!
8/10

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Joan
Hmm, well on the plus side, this is a full color manga. Yeah, "whhuuu" was my reaction too. However, that's about the only plus I can say about it. It honestly reads like a sequel to a far more interesting prequel that never existed. And unless you're a French or European history major, the plot and characters will go right over your head (even with the decent amount of semi-helpful notes). If you want something pretty, please get it, it's easily one of the most gorgeous manga I've ever seen. If you want a good story and aren't a French history major, look elsewhere.
4/10

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One Thousand and One Nights 1-2
Only got to get these two at the con, but I'd like to get more. On the plus side, the characters don't have Korean names, which I'm not yet used to and the art is very nice. Each volume is about 2/3rds main story, 1/3rd telling a story from the 1001 Nights. Anyone who called this "like Sheherazade but gay" must have read past the first two volumes where you only get half a page of yaoi between the two of them. Still, it's got me captivated, I'm just curious if it'll pull it off in 11 volumes.

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Sanctuary
Read the first 2 manga of this, which is like 800 pages between them. The artwork is old in a way that can make it tough to tell the characters apart, it probably looked cool back then but it honestly looks dated now. But the story is still solid, it's about a Yakuza and a politician who go way back and are working from two different angles to take over Japan in ever aspect. They also seem to be massively bromantic with each other, but that could just be me (I doubt it). It's a bit tough to get into, but I already think it's more than worth it.

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Lychee Light Club
This starts off uber violent from like page 5 and just never lets up, this is by no means for the faint of heart. However, I definitely want to draw comparisons to Infinite Ryvius or Lord of the Rings in which teens have a society and it goes to absolute chaos. This time it happens because of a robot that somehow runs on Lychee fruit (since the boss of the group loves Lychees) who is sent to kidnap the hottest girl he can find (for lack of better words). They treat the girl like a goddess and not a rape toy, but it's a difficult story to describe. Let's just say that people will die in interesting ways and if you like the idea of Battle Royale meets Lord of the Flies, by all means go for this right now! Depending on how much violent stuff you'd read before, the gore may or may not do it for ya, but it is pretty good all on its own.
7/10

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The Other Side of the Mirror
Short series, didn't bother to read the unrelated side stories in there yet, this comes from the artist who did a lot of the comic cover art for Buffy (hence the Whedon quotes on it). Basically two lost souls finding each other sort of thing, but it doesn't overstay its welcome either, it's just about the right length for it and by the 7th chapter (of 8), I remember being on the absolute edge of my seat for a while there, so it's definitely worth a read.
7/10

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Hotel Africa
Ok, this wins the award in this batch for "License Rescue This. NOW!" I've only read one volume and I demand I will get 2 soon, even if it's ex-library. Another good manhwa, I used to think they were mythical but clearly I was just looking in the wrong place. This follows a half-black half-white boy from Utah with a name that would've sounded cool in Korea but lame here "Elvis" and the start of the chapters often show us him in "current time' in college with his two friends then spends the rest being in past time when he's 4 or 5 living at the Hotel Africa, a hotel his mother and grandmother opened up in the middle of nowhere Utah that tends to attract interesting people who make for interesting chapters. The guy on the cover is Geo, who appears to have come from the middle east or India or something, I forget, and fell in love with Elvis' mother at first sight and basically becomes a mainstay character. It's mostly just little looks into Elvis' life here and there and it's a great manga to read in small chunks. It's a shame TP only ever put out 2 vols cus the entire thing needs to be out in English.
9/10

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Maoh: Juvenile Remix 1-6
This is a pretty awesome series! 6 kinda ended on a cliffhanger, grr! With vol 7 promising to go into the second half of the series (which has got to be shorter than the first half for a 10 vol series). Basically, a small town is going to be overtaken by higher tech and business. Not South Park or Hinamizawa small, like making a city go from suburban to full urban. As a result, there's plenty of crime and a vigilante group known as Grasshopper has risen up with its extremely charismatic leader, Inukai. Only the main, Ando, seems to notice something creepy is going on here. Ando has the power to make others say what he is thinking, a sort of "ventriloquism" if you will, but he's pretty much average in all other categories but a bit higher in brains. He really wants to stay the eff out of everything, but he finds himself drawn into Inukai and is determined to stop him. Slowly over the volumes, the town starts to get this creepy mob mentality about it, it reminded me a bit of Uzumaki where only the mains and the readers can tell that something is horribly wrong here. It's a shame that no one seems to be reading this, I think the pacing and artwork is just awesome, I hope more people check this one out! For a 10 vol series, I expect Viz to put it all out since it is pretty damn awesome.
8/10

*edit
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Black Magic
Yeah, I needed it to get 10 for $40, but honestly, I could have very well grabbed anything else and been better off. I'm can't even imagine how the blurb on the back of the book got written cus the plot was an absolute mess, I think the book actually started to make more sense when I stopped reading the horrible dialogue. Really, just avoid this. It's not even fun in a "so bad it's good way", it's just bad.
2/10

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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby freezespell » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:05 am

This may come as a shock, but this morning, I stumbled upon a new manga called, and I'm not making this up, "It's Not My Fault That I'm Not Popular". It's about a socially inept, emo-looking high school student named Tomoko Kuroki who, in only the 2nd page of the manga, is referred to as a, and again I'm not making this up, "mojo", which, according to the manga, translates to "creepy woman". As a result, that becomes my one new thing that I learned today. I bet Austin Powers never had any of those creepy women for him to lose.
Kami-sama wa sono hitori no ko wo tamawatta hodo ni kono yo wo aishite kudasatta. Sore wa miko wo shinjiru mono ga hitori mo horobinai de eien no inochi wo eru tame dearu.
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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby classicalzawa » Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:31 pm

Hmm, going on a bit of an aside, but I'm curious if anyone else has read any of the Yen Press manga based on novels owned by the Little, Brown company. I've rented quite a few of them, Cirque du Freak, Maximum Ride, Daniel X, and Witch & Wizard. I've noticed something about them though, but this could be because three of them are based on James Patterson novels. Now, with Cirque, that was made (or at least started) before Yen Press came into existence so it had less of Little, Brown's influence. The other three have come since Yen was started and they're pretty different to me. Maybe it's just me, but I found all three of the Patterson ones to be...well sorta rushed, they should be able to take their time with this, yet it still feels like they're being rushed. Cirque on the other hand feels slightly abridged, but hardly rushed. I'm really not sure if it's just them being Patterson books either, maybe he really does write in that way with cheesy "kids rule, adults drool!" themes, so I'll probably have to read the Soulless manga to know for sure.

Anyway, more manga readings!

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Finished Sanctuary! An overall good series, but it started to falter after volume 6ish where [spoiler]Hojo and Asami's relationship is discovered[/spoiler] and that tension, which was a very interesting part of the series, pretty much had to vanish and what replaced it just wasn't quite as good. But it's still a series that made me keep reading long after my eyes cried out "We're going to bleed! We can barely concentrate on the words, why are you doing this to us?!" Well my eyes were fine in the end, lol. The series came off as being very bromance to me, Asami and Hojo are one of the most bromantic couples I can now think of. It's funny, when I see politics in America, they make me depressed and annoyed, but I would love for either Asami or Hojo to run for a government office over here, they might actually make things happen. I dunno, political thrillers are just different than actual politics and while I could see that this wouldn't appeal to everyone and there's a bit of misogyny in it, if you like political thrillers, you should go for it.
4 out of 5

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Huh, so there are goo manhwa out there, Bride of the Water God almost had me convinced otherwise. I've noticed that an awful lot of the manhwa that comes over here is shojo, and if you look at Yen Press' catalog, it's shojo with rape hands (my term for enormous hands twice the size of the characters face, they just look so creepy observe), but Threads of Time is clearly a shonen, and the author is actually a female too. It's her second work, her first was a short story that was included in one of the volumes. I suppose Tokyopop used to put out a more balanced manhwa between shonen and shojo, but now that they're gone, it's mostly shojo and rape hands.
Ok, so I'm done getting off topic, back to the Threads at hand! One of my problems with manhwa is one that I no longer experience with manga and that is that I'm not used to hearing Japanese character names, but not Korean ones. Luckily, there aren't many Korean names in Threads of Time either, so it's also a good series to ease you into manhwa since most of the names are actually Mongol, which sounded more distinct to me. So anyway, we have you main character, Moon Bin-Kim (whose name was distinct for me because "Moon" is also an English word and made me think his name as being more awesome) who has been having dreams of distant Korean during some war in the 12th century that, thankfully, you don't need to be very familiar with history or this war to enjoy the story (well they make it very brief for you: Mongols and Korea at war). Eventually, his dreams overtake him and he is now trapped in past Korea as the son of a Korean general. But the Mongols invade pretty quickly, but in the process, the Mongol princess, Atan Hadas, meets Moon Bin and they have a "love at first sight" thing. The third character in our triangle here is the ruthless Mongol general Sali Tayi, a very formidable foe who is awesome at combat and kinda a jerk and, of course, engaged to Atan Hadas. Moon Bin isn't sure what to think of his new surroundings, he's only got one pack of cigarettes on him, but he's also gained a family environment that he's never had before since his present day parents kinda ignore him. Then the war starts and crashes that precious family and he will have no choice but to fight Sali Tayi, the man who took it all away from him.
The series has an historical backdrop, but not one that you need to be familiar with in order to enjoy. Part of the series is awesome action and another part is going over war stuff, but that's not boring either. Moon Bin actually fades out of the foreground between volumes 2-6, giving more time to Atan Hadas and Sali Tayi, then he regains his position as main character from 7-11, so it's a bit split that way. But really, the series is once again proof that women make the best shonen, and seeing how it was a Tokyopop title, get on it!
4 out of 5

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Wait, I was wrong, Yen does publish at least one shonen manhwa: Raiders. I've read the first 3 volumes so far, I got them cheap outta the Borders :( Anyway, no rape hands here! Not sure why these are normal manga size yet the shojo is oversized, jerks...
Anyway, this involves undead zombies, the main girl needs to eat flesh to heal herself, and a boy who drinks the "blood of Jesus", the only potential cure from being a zombie, and become immortal. At first the zombie woman more of less holds him hostage as a form of infinite food (she doesn't like to kill, but understands that she must), but he soon goes along with her willingly (in part so that others won't have to die and because he did kinda steal her only hope at a cure). Luckily, there are four more phials of the blood of Jesus out there and they're going to hunt for them.
I do have some complaints with this series, possibly more than praises. While the premise is interesting and always moving forward, the action can often be unclear and you honestly wish sometimes that the book came with a slider to make it appear darker, as the lines can be so faint as to be damn near invisible, I seriously think the lines on some pages are thinner than a human hair. Everything seems either too white or is really black, it rarely seems to hit the right color balance inbetween that no other manga or manhwa on the face of the planet seems to have.
So, it's not a particular deep series, but it's a quick and pleasant enough way to pass the time.

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A while ago, I got to read I think the first three volumes of this? Well now I'm up to volume 6 of Tegami Bachi, Borders once more :( Anyway, I really have been enjoying this series, even if it took me a while to get used to all the dark night sky in this series (as per the plot, it's like the exact opposite of the whiteness of Raiders). It's a monthly shonen series and one that Viz seems to kinda ignore half the time. It seems to improve with each chapter, we finally did get over if Niche will wear pants or not and we're getting onto the mystery of the series and what happened to Gauche Suede.
Now, I've heard of several complaints on this series and some of them I really don't think are deserved. For one, yes, Lag Seeing is more of a crybaby than Jacuzzi Splot and unlike Jacuzzi isn't crying so others won't have to, Lag is just a crybaby. That said, he's not the sort of crybaby who cries because he/she believes him or herself to be useless, Lag is simply easily swayed by emotion and usually cries as a result, but the instant he faces any monster, I had no problem believing that he does indeed have the skill to face it. So no, he's not a doormat and he doesn't have self esteem issues. This is honestly how you should make a crybaby, one who cries at happy endings, not because he's a wimp letting himself get walked all over like the ultimate doormat. I could see his crying getting annoying to some, but it was no problem for me because he was crying for perfectly fine reasons.
Another problem that I sorta agree with is that we do sometimes spend too much time debating if Niche will or will not wear pants for Lag's sake. Niche does kinda annoy me, Niche's emergency food supply, Steak, actually seems more useful to combat sometimes then Niche, who can turn her freakin' hair into swords. Luckily, that tones down after a few volumes and is never put there in place of the story when there's something else that could be going on.
And thirdly, some thinks it moves too slowly. I don't think it does, for one, it's a monthly series, it's rare for them to be able to just take a week off to teach Goku and Piccolo how to drive a car. It takes a bit to get going perhaps compared to other monthly shonen, but I didn't find it to be a problem because it was entertaining in the meantime. That said, Viz is being a bit slow with the release for this series, dammit! They're up to 11 in Japan, but 7 is about to come out here, but this isn't a series where big delays help it either.

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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby d.yaro » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:47 pm

I'm going to start reading Nichijo again. I left volumes 2-5 behind because of the space they'd take in my luggage. I found the local Book-Off today. This time I bought volumes 2-6. ;)
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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby classicalzawa » Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:01 am

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Finally finished FMA! Now don't kill me just yet, but...I think that the first anime series impacted me more. I think I'd give both of them a 8 out of 10, but for different reasons. It's still a good manga, but no, it's not the best thing I've ever read, I don't even think it's in my top 10. But it still gets a place of honor on my shelf. It's just the genre I took from FMA was a military/political thriller with fantasy elements. Fantasy elements aside, Banana Fish and Sanctuary are two political thrillers that I've enjoyed more (a 10 and a 9 respectively). And I actually avoided spoilers for FMA very very well (in part by avoiding any threads mentioning "brotherhood" as well) but I thought I'd think it way better then the first anime, but I think they're about equal in their own way. But the anime was one of the last anime I eagerly watched on TV too (at least for the first season, before adult swim took a break and I could never remember when it came on after that, but I've seen it all since then).
I feel like anything I'd say about story or characters would be redundant so that's why I'm just saying my overall impressions that it wasn't the best thing evar, but still good.

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I also got to read Jeff Smith's amazing American comic Bone. Bone really felt more like a shonen to me, it actually was kinda made that way too on a mostly bimonthly schedule with an ongoing story for 12 years, not something that usually happens with American comics, thus reminding me more of a manga. This series has won something like 10 Eisner, 11 Harvey, and at least 20 other awards internationally, and boy does it deserve them! Bone has always been in the kids section of my library, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was really an "all ages, for realz" thing than a kids thing that got inexplicably popular with everyone else. It's more of a fantasy epic then anything else at the end of the day and I love the three Bone cousins, which look comparatively cartoony compared to everything else around them. The main character is Fone Bone, the one cousin who doesn't wear clothing and is more or less "the straight man". Phoney Bone is the swindler who loves money and Smiley Bone is the slightly stupid one hiding a few evil ideas under his skull. There are also humans, namely Thorn, the girl, Granma Ben, the badass granny (I'd love to see her vs Izumi Curtis), and Lucius Down, the bar owner of the valley. And of course other fantasy creatures like the Great Red Dragon, the Stupid, Stupid Rat Creatures, Roque Ja, and others that all make Smith's incredible world come alive. He builds up the mythology of the world quite slowly, since the Bone cousins are from outside of The Valley, we often learn things as they do, Fone Bone is the outside character, much like the reader is, and despite being the "straight guy" compared to his loony cousins, he's still a blast to follow and certainly has his own quirks (like Moby Dick is his favorite book, every time he tries to talk about it, any character listening will fall asleep on cue). And Smith puts all sorts of little things here and there that are entertaining at the time or don't seem all that important, and then they come back and you go "oooh!" So paying attention is necessary but incredibly easy anyway.
This came out in a "one volume edition" for a mere $40 MSRP (bit more than half that on Amazon) and it's a black and white comic, but being a manga reader I didn't care. Scholastic re-released the series with new inking, and while it looks great, there are a few scenes that I really think the black and white makes stand out more. The paper is a bit see through in the one vol ed, but it's more than worth picking up. I'd give it a 9 out of 10, go buy this now! Especially shonen fans!

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classicalzawa
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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby classicalzawa » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:50 am

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First up, another one from Jeff Smith! After I enjoyed Bone so much, I decided to try out his (currently) only other series, RASL. Rumor has it this should end around issue 15 or 16 (11 are out now), I got to read the first 3 chapters in a glorious oversized book. It involves dimensional travel, but since I only got to read 3 chapters, I haven't gotten to the main meat of the story cus I can't find book 2, gah! But I am going to hunt it down and vol 3 (which will have up through 11) comes out December. But man, the book is huge! I mean, the black and white artwork is glorious enough to warrant it, it's just a damn big book is all. But yeah, I do plan to get the rest of this series since I can already see the same quality story telling he brought to Bone here.

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Ok, so I read most of the first volume of Sailor Moon via the library, but quite frankly got bored. Read 5 chapters. Ok, so I get that volume 1 is mostly the "gather the team" sort of thing, most every series with a team will do this, or if the team is established, they're getting their powers or something etc. But really, I thought this was honestly the most boring iteration of the gathering the team thing I've yet experienced. I'm really not sure if I should give Sailor Moon another shot or what and I know there are a lot of SM fans around here, but honestly, I jsut don't see what the big deal about this series is.

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Ok, so the bookstore put these guys in their $1 bin, meaning that they will soon be pulped if not bought and it interested me enough to be worthy of a blind buy of the first three volumes at $1 a piece. But I do honestly want the last 4 volumes, and Go Comi! did manage to publish the whole series (seems it was one of their earlier ones). Basically, it's an "odd family situation" shojo, kinda like Marmalade Boy buy even weirder. Basically that main's mother, who tends to go off man chasing all the time, isn't really there and she lived with her grandma until she dies in chapter 1 (hardly spoilers). So she has to find a new place to live and is joined by her two step-brothers (one her age, one 5 years older) who have no blood relation to each other, the main girl, or the mother (like I said, confusing) and shojo ensues! The girl had been writing to the younger boy, but one time wrote a really nasty letter and they stopped corresponding, she's really hoping that he'll accept her apology and forgive her. But like I said, shojo, and like all shojo with a step brother, it's like they can help but go for each other, resulting in a chapter called "no incest allowed!" (which also became a family rule).
So it's shojotastic, charming at that, and I'd like to get the remaining volumes soon!

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More shojo! The ever popular Fruits Basket this time! I've never seen the anime to be honset, but what with Tokyopop out, I swear it seems like everyone is selling their Furuba manga sets online and I'm not entirely sure why unless they've had the series since it came out and are now sick of it. Anyway, it was awesome! The characters are all charming and great and it drops the romcom thing pretty quickly to be more or less pure romdram.
I must admit that my least favorite part was the student council stuff, kinda annoying and average, and there was a lot of "typing up the loose romantic ends" thing, lol. At least the main romance was never messed up though. My friend said she didn't like the ending because it "doesn't end like you'd expect it to" and I have no idea what she's talking about, it ends exactly like I expected it to. For one thing, the series starts off presenting that the hugging into animals thing is the curse, but it's really not, that becomes obvious by the halfway point easily. By the time it becomes clear that the animal thing isn't really the curse but a side effect, hardly anyone ever turns into an animal again once we know what their animal is. That's cool, that was played more for comedic effects anyway.
Must say that Furuba has the plainest covers of any shojo I've seen, I usually see more sparkly and girly. Anyway,it's a great series and an instant shojo classic, even if the student council stuff annoyed me cus it took away from more interesting characters. 4.5/5 easily!

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Yay! More Osamu Tezuka! Vertical's latest offering is The Book of Human Insects, which most reminds me of MW. This follows a woman who is uber manipulative and seeing how she screwed over other people's lives. I think I definitely liked MW more, but Human Insects is a fine addition to the Tezuka line from Vertical.

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More Tezuka! Swallowing the Earth was a bitch to get, but I got lucky at a comic book shop. Sometimes MSRP is the cheapest price! Anyway, Swallowing the Earth was one of Tezuka's earliest attempts at the darker, more adult oriented stuff and it shows as it often has some of the characteristics of his earlier works. Mostly, it has a lot more slapstick then his later darker series and an overly heroic drunk. But this one also follows a crafty woman, or more her daughters, who aim to screw over men for revenge for their mother (who somehow still had 7 daughters) and ruin the entire economy. But much like earlier Tezuka works, there's that "spontaneous love" thing, whereas in Human Insects, the girl only ever feigned love and made that very clear. Apollo's Song is still my least favorite Tezuka title Vertical has put out, but I would still say this is worth the hunt for Tezuka fans.

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Got Mugen Spiral for two reasons, mostly a fondness for NG Life, by the same author, and it was half off at B&N. So yeah, nowhere near as good as NG Life and that's because the damn thing stops as soon as it starts to get good! Not to mention all the left over plot! So it's a tough rec since there's no ending, but once it starts to get good, you instantly want more. Maybe if you can get it for cheap, but expect no ending whatsoever. Not sure why this series got the royal treatment, it got omnibused and NG Life, every cover said "from the creator of Mugen Spiral" on it. Never trust Tokyopop to pretend something is the most awesome thing ever, just look at Princess Ai's 'tarded stream of advertising. Though all of the stuff by the Furuba author said "from the creator of Fruits Basket!" all over it, but ok, they did it right once.

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Oh man, leave it to Fumi Yoshinaga to make the best stuff ever! Gerard & Jacques proved to me conclusively that yes, it is possible for me to like yaoi. But I still think it needs to be done exclusively by Yoshinaga. Anyway, her sense of timing and drama in here is just as incredible as it always is, she is so brilliant at subverting expectations, not only of the genre, but of similar, non-yaoi dramas too that it's just a delight to read to see where she'll go next. Something tells me there's not enough sex in here for the hardcore yaoi fan, but umm, I guess it's good too? I dunno, I kinda gloss over that because she somehow still develops some character during the sex scenes, it's kinda weird.
Still, there's a reason the only yaoi I have is by her (sure, I've a few shonen-ai, but no full on yaoi that's not by her). 4.5/5 from me!

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Speaking of which, this is almost certainly a shonen-ai, there's not a drop of BL in Shout Out Loud, but it was still published under Tokyopop's Blu label. The fact that it's not BL probably explains how it got to 5 volumes in the first place. Anyway, this series follows a jailbait-looking father Hisae Shino when his teenage son has to move back in due to his mother's death. In order to make ends meet, Shino, a voice actor, has to take more work and ends up recording an awful lot of yaoi with people who kinda like to take their work home with them. Thus, love triangle ensues between Shino and two co-workers! Meanwhile, Shino's son plays hockey and gets in a gay relationship there. Both Shino and his son were straight before, so it's kinda about seeing them go gay. Oh, but there's a clear Legend of the Galactic Heroes ref! Hooray!
So yeah, don't go reading it for the sex, there ain't any, but I think the series has grown on me in my head, it's a decent read.

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Gah, this never ending list of shojo! Name of the Flower is an OOP title from CMX, but I'm glad I was able to get it at Otakon. It's a straightforward and sweet shojo about two people coming out of their shells. They're also related, which in shojo world means falling in love, lol. Still, it's a writer, Kei, who wrote some really depressing books, and....some relative girl of his, Chouko, who has to live with him due to (you guessed it) dead relatives and is in high school. They slowly seem to unlock each other's heart, her unlocking his more so, so it's a sweet series to read that doesn't seem rushed, but takes it time too.

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Man, I've skipped so much stuff I should've updated before I think! Anyway, Lament on the Lamb takes loneliness in manga to a whole new level, man is it a lonely manga. Anyway, Lament follows two siblings, long lost and finally meeting again, just as Kazuna, the boy, seems to have some late and odd side effects of puberty, namely craving for blood. Chizuna, the sister, reveals their family curse of vampirism, or more craving blood, which she has been afflicted with all her life and which drove their mother insane to death. With their father recently deceased, they are the only family they have. So they start to live together, but luckily, no incest! Cus it's not shojo! Oh they certainly form an unhealthy relationship, Kazuna needs Chizuna as his caretaker, like a mother, and Chizuna uses Kazuna as a replacement for their father. Really, the blood sucking is the least creepy part here, but it's not scary or anything, just their ever evolving unhealthy relationship is creepy as anything. I'd rate it 4 out of 5, it's worth tracking down even if the ending left something lacking.

Hmm, is that everything for now? Well probably not, but it's everything for this post anyway!

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Re: What manga or comics are you reading?

Postby chrisb » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:35 am

Crossroads is one of my favorite manga series out there. It takes the cliche step sibling romance in a very unique and cool direction. The characters are attractive and very likable. I loved it.
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