September 2012


So building on what I wrote at the end of the last Mini Mendacious Moment, I wanted to show case just how the Designated Girl Fight works in action; and one of the clearest examples of this silly trope is found in One Piece. I love this manga to bits as it’s genuinely interesting with quirky characters and a really well developed world, but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that the author needs to constantly invoke this trope in each brawl. Robin, the other female crew members, fairs a bit better, but Nami has this constantly, almost religiously, applied to her and when there is no female opponent for her to face, expect her to need rescuing or do support work.

Early in the manga, Nami is portrayed as one of the weakest members (along with Usopp). As such, she rarely fights and when she does, it’s usually against no name mooks. When she is first introduced, Luffy ends up saving her twice. First against a group of mooks and then against Buggy.


Nami is saved from Buggy by Luffy in her earliest appearance

This would be perfectly fine, especially since the male Usopp is likewise painted as of “normal strength” and rarely engaging enemies early on and winning. It would have been a case of Nami just not being a fighter, except once the full crew brawls start up in the Alabrasta arc, everyone including Nami and Ussop join the fighting. Yet unlike Usopp, Nami is always stuck fighting female villains or mooks. (more…)

This is the final book in the two part series.Volumes 1 and 2 both have nice covers, but I like this cover a little more due to the beautiful blue hue and the fact that all three main characters make an appearance this time.

Summary


Having officially joined as Chicago’s rescue workers, Rei and Uozumi (as well as Shin) are sent on their next mission. They are told to rescue the hostages being held by a gunner. During the mission, Rei recalls her past as the snowy mountains always call forth a certain incident. Since Rei managed to arrive first, she also begins the mission first and unfortunately, due to the gunner’s shouts, finds herself buried under an avalanche. Fortunately, thanks to her quick thinking, the hostages managed to avoid the avalanche, but decide to head off on their own thinking Rei is dead. She is rescued by Shin and JJ’s dog, but continues on alone to rescue the hostages in order to prove to Shin that she isn’t incompetent. With some help from Uozumi, she manages to bring them all back safe and sound. (more…)

The main cast in Motto! Ojamajo Doremi: (left to right) Onpu, Aiko, Doremi, Momoko, and Hazuki

I’m not sure if everyone is familiar with the series, Ojamajo Doremi. It’s a seemingly light hearted mahou shoujo series aimed at young girls (10 and younger). The show is just as much about a group of girls that try to become witches as it is about the lives of the girls as well as other children who they befriend. The show has 4 seasons plus a 13 episode OVA. I’m currently on season 3, Motto! Ojamajo Doremi; and while I do really like the show overall, especially how it handles the lives of each of the children as important and engaging, there are some things that I don’t quite like about the show. Domestic violence is one of those things. Now domestic violence wasn’t ever really brought up in the show. It was sort of alluded to in certain episodes, but in episodes 44 and 45 of Motto! Ojamajo Doremi that actually changes and we see two instances of it. It definitely isn’t anything extreme, just a slap to the face in both episodes, but perhaps because the show was so nonchalant about it, it made me feel uncomfortable. Now I don’t mean to suggest that no medium should ever depict domestic violence. That would be just as bad because not speaking about it is just as harmful as speaking about it and dismissing it. But when someone commits to bringing up such a topic, one would hope it would be done with the utmost care to spend a message that domestic violence is not ok. (more…)

Well, it’s time for me to read the last of Ms.Tamura‘s manga that got published in English. This was the first of her works that got released in English and unfortunately, Viz didn’t give it a reprint, so it is only available in their older bigger format. As unfortunate as that is, (because it means the manga didn’t sell enough to warrant being reprinted under their newer branding), the older format has nicer paper quality and the pages are bigger, so it isn’t all bad. Also, a heads up for those who want to read this. While this is only the first volume, I do discuss spoilers.

Summary


After a powerful earthquake hits Japan, a rescue squad is sent to one of the places hit hardest to look for survivors. Unfortunately, it seems there is more to this job than meets the eye as the squad becomes targeted by a fighter plane and only Rei and Uozumi manage to survive. Rei’s suspicions are confirmed when the deaths of her squad mates are hushed up as collateral damage from a fire started by after-quakes. With nothing to do, Rei works as a delivery girl until a mysterious man asks her and Uozumi to come by a bar named Chicago. (more…)

Strangely enough, North America only recently got a demo of Theatrhythm on the eshop. The actual game has been out for a couple of weeks by now though, so it is an odd move by SquareEnix, especially since Europe and Japan got demos before the game released in their territories. Nevertheless, I guess it’s better late than never. It could very well convince some people who are still unsure if they want a rhythm game. Myself, I was already planning to pick up the game once the price dipped a bit lower. Being someone who has mixed feelings about rhythm games, I wasn’t willing to pay full price for it just yet. (more…)

Well, it’s the final volume! Such a strange feeling to finally finish a story. Even after reading so many novels and manga, I still feel weird and sad whenever a really good story ends. This volume’s cover is really pretty too and I like how it relates to the final parts of this volume. :)

Summary


After speaking with Doctor Mori and Boone, Alice makes up her mind and tells Rin Mokuren’s password. Rin is seemingly overwhelmed by the revelation that Mokuren’s password is Shion’s full name and Alice tries to persuade him to take her with him to Tokyo Tower to blow up the Moon Base together. Unfortunately the other Moon Dreamers arrive and try to also convince Rin to let go of the past, but this seems to only aggravate him even more. (more…)

One of the few otome games available to English players: Hakuoki for the PSP, published by Aksys.

It’s no mystery that Japanese otome games are one of the most under-represented video game genres in English. Off the top of my head, I only know of 3 localized titles available to English players and all of these are fairly recent too. I’ve noticed there has been some iOS otome games available recently as well, but I worry about the quality of these free applications. Thankfully I discovered this neat little database for otome game fans. It neatly categorizes all otome games based on platform and the best part is that it only has info on English otome games, so I know I will be able to pick up the games listed if I want. The interesting thing about this site is that is includes otome games made by western developers and for this I’m actually quite thankful because there are a few titles that look quite interesting. (more…)