Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service MMF: Day 1

OK, for each day I’ll do a morning and evening roundup. If there are links waiting in my inbox in the mornings, I’ll post them straight away. Anything else will be posted up in the late evening! Good luck and keep those links coming!

Overviews:

Johanna Draper Carlson at Manga Worth Reading:

Terry Hong at Book Dragon:

Individual Volumes:

Russell Phillips from the Chuo – Dori Blog

Johanna Draper Carlson at Manga Worth Reading:

Terry Hong at Book Dragon:

 

Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service MMF: Call for Participation


Hello again to all my friends! August is finally here and so the Manga Moveable Feast has arrived. For those who do not know, the MMF is a monthly collaboration amongst manga bloggers from across the globe where we write for a week about a particular subject, author or series.

August’s MMF will run from Saturday the 25th to Friday the 31st and will cover the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. One of the darker and macabe manga series out there, KCDS is written by Eiji Otsuka and drawn by Housui Yamazaki. It’s been published in Japan since 2002 by Kadokawa Shoten and in America since 2006 by Dark Horse. The manga follows the adventures and travails of a group of newly minted former students from a Buddhist college. All of them have abilities that make them different from the average person. Karatsu can talk and temporarily reanimate the dead, Numata can find the dead using a pendulum, Makino can wrap up the bodies for proper disposal, Yata talks to the sock puppet on his hand, Kere Ellis and Sasaki runs the business and paperwork. They deliver people, animals and so on, that have recently died to their proper place of burial or to do their last wishes. Usually that last point involves a bloody, gory or otherwise disgusting end to either the corpse or another person. But it’s all in a day’s work for these people.

KCDS is one of the craziest, funniest, bloodiest and all round insane manga I’ve ever come across and I am thrilled to discover what other people think about it. It really has one of the original plot setups around and doesn’t shy away from presenting the full horror of what it is to be a dead person or to have to be around dead people for a living.

As the MMF kicks into high gear in the last week of August, I’m hoping to give overviews of the 12 volumes available in English (as of this writing) rather than straight reviews of each of them. But don’t let that stop you from writing as much as you like on the subject! Reviews, roundtable discussions, podcasts, I don’t mind if you don’t! No blog of your own? I can take care of that, just send your reviews to me and I’ll post them on your behalf!

I’ll be doing a more lengthy overview on the 25th to kick things off and I’ll also post the first submissions on the same date. The archive page will also go live on the same day so you can all see your works in one place. Oh, and if you have any written pieces, vlogs or podcasts already done, please email me at eeeper – at – eeeperschoice.com. Good luck to you all!

You can email as prescribed above or find me on Twitter. Please mark your tweets with #mmf and #kcds. The MMF Google Group can be found here.

Jiro Taniguchi MMF: The Ice Wanderer and Other Stories

I have noticed since I was a teenager, the disparity between man and nature. Man, overcomes nature through force of willpower. Nature, seemingly, has no comeback most of the time. But when it’s a man or men against nature, then the story is different. It’s in these situations that humanity, in its little oases of “civilization”, finds out how little it knows and also how pitiable its attempts to fight back are. After reading The Walking Man, I was delighted to discover more of Taniguchi’s work, this time taking place in the realm of nature rather than an urban environment. While the main title is its lead story, the book contains more tales to enthrall.

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Noburu Ishiguru 1938 – 2012

Chances are, if you’re reading this, that you probably have heard of the passing of famed anime director Noburu Ishiguru. Mr. Ishiguru passed away aged 73. I won’t keep you all very long. This is my personal recollection of Ishiguru.

I knew of Ishiguru’s work in anime even before I knew of he, himself. Growing up with Robotech, you, sort of, had no choice in the matter. Even after discovering about Macross, and his involvement with it, I remained impressed that one man kept it all of it together. Today there are committees, companies and like for this sort of thing. Back then nobody knew about cross media opportunities, having record companies work hand in hand with anime producers to the degree Macross did. Ishiguru helmed a series that did all that.

Working on the 1980’s Astro Boy series, you can see his flair even inside this most Tezuka of Tezuka’s works and having the added pressure of working alongside the God of Manga himself. I am only now digging into the treasure that is Legend of Galactic Heroes. Such an amazing work. Oddly, I saw his latest work, Tytania, before starting into LoGH. Does this distract from his earlier space opera? Not at all, in my book.

At Otakon 2011,I had the delightful opportunity to see Mr. Ishiguru in person as he, Makoto Shinkai and Kazuya Murata were jointly holding a Producers and Directors panel (well, the producers were too scared to come up on stage, so it became a directors panel!). We heard from a variety of their recollections, most of which I struggle to recall at the moment to be honest, and then got a chance to ask questions. Unfortunately, some idiot decided to ask the inevitable Tsunami question and that ground the whole panel to a halt. As a result, a lot of us never got a chance to ask our questions. I had a few but now I think of it, there really was only one: “For Ishiguru-sempai, and the rest of the panel if they like, what do you want to be remembered for?” Sadly, I’ll never get the chance to ask that of Mr. Ishiguru, but looking back at his long body of work, his contribution to what we regard as modern anime and his great take on being an animation director, I think I’ve got the best answer possible, in my mind. Thank you, Mr. Ishiguru, for all your hard work. You have most certainly earned your rewards, whenever you are.

Go raibh maith agat.

Wandering Son Volume 2

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Wandering Son Vol.1 was an eye-opening read for me, full of opinions and options I had never considered before, and that I’ve already watched the series means nothing to how much I’ve enjoyed the manga. The first volume serves as a reintroduction to Nitori and Takatsuki, the young boy and girl who wish they were the other’s gender, and for those who’ve never seen the series, will not confused or disheartened. Looking at volume 2, we are presented with a new dilemma: now that I know how I’d like be, there’s the world to deal with. If Vol.1 was a masterclass in people not wanting to accept the status quo within their own minds, Vol.2 shows the uncertainty of the waiting world. The way that Nitori and Takatsuki fumble forward with no plan is painful and endearing. They know the two of them are better together but there’s the problem of dealing with classmates, family and teachers. It’s not easy and well done to Takako for not short-circuiting the process. It’s not easy writing characters in distress but it’s wonderful to read it. If you can recognise the character’s pain and sympathise despite your differences, it proves you’re human and so is the author.

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Jiro Taniguchi MMF: The Walking Man

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Jiro Taniguchi is a wonder to behold. You could read one of his books, marvel at the artwork and not even have to read the dialogue. I’m not saying you will follow every window but you could get by without them. The man is a modern wonder. He hasn’t written a magnus opus (well, I think he has but I’m not everyone) but there’s a world in all of his books. I’ve written before about this effect in his books where you try and peer around buildings and people because you want to see more. I am happy to read and write about Taniguchi for as long as I can keep reading his stuff. With that, I commend to you, The Walking Man.
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Phillip, going by the handle Eeeper, reviews anime and manga from the post apocalyptic wasteland that is Ireland. Remember, it's all your fault.