more manga and anime notes

I’m still on my manga and anime kick. I mentioned last week that I might start reading Oh My Goddess! again, and I did do that. I reread the first volume, and read the second and third. I don’t have the fourth or fifth volumes. (I have about half of the first twenty volumes, pretty much randomly selected, that I picked up on sale at a con at some point in the past.) I haven’t decided if I want to just read the rest of volumes I own, skipping the others, or if I want to fill in the missing volumes and read all of the first twenty. While there is some continuity to follow, I think I could probably just read the volumes I own, and still manage to enjoy it without getting too confused or lost. While I am enjoying Oh My Goddess!, I’m looking at it mostly as a mildly pleasant diversion, and not as an epic story that I need to read, beginning to end.

I’ve realized that, if I want to read the whole series, it might be a little complicated to acquire. All of the volumes that I own are from Dark Horse’s original run, from the late 90s and early 2000s. They were printed left-to-right, and were broken into volumes differently from the original Japanese volumes. Those are all out of print. They reprinted them all starting around 2005, but this time in right-to-left format, and broken into volumes the same way as the originals. Those are still in print. So, if I pick up any of the new volumes, I’ll be missing some chapters and I’ll have duplicates of others. And I’ll be switching back and forth between left-to-right and right-to-left format, depending on what I’m reading.

I also made the mistake of searching for info on the creator of the series, Kōsuke Fujishima. It turns out that he married a 20-year-old cosplayer a few years ago. (He was 51 at the time.) So, not nearly as bad as the Rurouni Kenshin guy, but still kind of questionable.

And speaking of anime and manga creators, I just started watching a documentary series called 10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki. This series follows him through the creation of the Ponyo movie. It’s quite interesting to see his creative process, which seems to be fueled mostly be chain-smoking and self-doubt. (So, hey, if Miyazaki suffers from something like imposter’s syndrome, it’s cool if I do too, right?)

I’ve also been continuing to watch the special features on my Full Metal Panic: TSR DVDs. There are videos from the creators’ trip to Hong Kong on every disc. They’re not that exciting, really, but they’re kind of interesting. They wandered around somewhat randomly in Hong Kong and got a lot of video. Given the current situation in Hong Kong, it’s interesting to see what the city was like back in the early 2000s, not that long after the handover, really. There are also commentary tracks for every episode, done by various voice actors from the series. The audio is in Japanese, of course, so I have to follow them via subtitles, but they’re fun to listen to. I’ve listened to American voice actors on a whole bunch of commentary tracks (Simpsons, Futurama, etc.), but I don’t think I’d ever listened to a commentary track from Japanese voice actors.

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