Digibro’s Media Journal Year One Finale

[Bandcamp's new embed thing isn't working with me, so go here: http://digibronevershutsup.bandcamp.com/album/digibros-media-journal-year-one-finale]

This is it! The end of the first year of Digibro’s Media Journal, and the effective end of the current format of the series. Above is a brief podcast with my thoughts on the yearlong project, and below is the final ordered list of all media that I took in this year.

The June stuff is in bold. Note that a great number of the ratings have been changed since the items were originally listed.

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Digibro Never Shuts Up Episode 8

Another regular ep with me and Brandon Tolentino. We talk about The Hobbit movie at length, and continue to discuss our ongoing cultural exchange. At the end I somehow end up giving a ten-minute history lesson about Noitamina.

What’s in this ep:

Opening: Goblins Dance by Ensiferum
0:33 – Introduction
1:20 – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
16:45 – The past 2 weeks
21:40 – The Cultural Exchange status
22:20 – Describing the Virginia Beach area/Local Heroes
32:46 – Manga issues
34:45 – The bar for entry with comics
38:35 – Shaders everywhere!
40:45 – Runaways
44:00 – Blood: Night of the Beasts
45:00 – Show, don’t tell
48:36 – Money effecting media experience
54:45 – Whole new avenues of anime for Brandon
56:13 – A bunch of facts about NoitaminA
1:12:16 – Our schedules
1:15:30 – Ending: Outrun by Trial of the Golden Witch

Digibro Never Shuts Up Episode 5

This episode came out so well, I didn’t even have to edit it! Tonight, Brandon Tolentino joins me for a cultural exchange. He introduces me to the world of American comics, and I introduce him to the world of anime and manga! The irony that he’s Asian isn’t lost on me!

The whole episode is very focused, so I didn’t write a program (sorry ak). There is a point around 20 mins in where I spend 10 minutes talking about Akira though, so if that gets boring, just skip to 30 minutes in. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

It’s Not My Fault That I’m Not Popular!

I was attracted to this manga by my love of dark circles under the eyes of girls; but make no mistake: Kuroki Tomoko isn’t cute. If she were, this manga wouldn’t work. Sure, she’s probably attractive to some of us who read this, but that’s a statement about us in itself—that like her, we’re so desperate, we’d go for a girl like her. That’s the kind of person Tomoko is—she knows which boys are cute, but she’s so desperate that when she thinks someone might be interested in her, no matter what they look like, “it could probably work.”

This brand of relatable comedy makes the manga stand out in a world where, after the popularity of stuff like Welcome to the NHK and Genshiken, and then other things like Nogizaka Haruka and Ore no Imouto, stories about otaku and loners have become way too common and, for me, boring.

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Oh Anime And Your Mysteries

You’ve probably encountered this situation: finding out about an anime, manga, or other part of the culture, and having no way of accessing or understanding it. These are situations that lead some people to learn Japanese or go to Comiket or figure out how to use IRC. I feel a sense of desperation when I know about something like the manga Kesson Shoujo, which no one anywhere can get their hands on; or, to a lesser extent, see a show I like with only one translated episode and know that I can’t comprehend it raw.

These situations are part of why I’m not a completionist. When I got into anime, everything was mysterious this way, because at that time I could only either watch anime on TV (which may or may not have a new episode each week and might abruptly stop airing), or on DVD (when I didn’t have any money to complete shows). I got used to anime being a strange and mysterious entity which I could spend years catching glimpses of before ever seeing in full. Some people have an easy time of getting into things and finishing those things, with only a few pieces that tease them. (For instance, a Gundam fan who easily watches all the shows, only to be irked when they realize that the coolest-looking video game hasn’t been released in their country.) But me, I get into so much that half of all the shit I’m interested in is unavailable or out of reach.

I recently encountered one such example in the form of Kirarin Revolution. I happened to be on Manga Fox, it happened to have just been updated, and I randomly started reading it, surprised to find that I really enjoyed it. For one volume. Then I was snowed out.

According to Manga-Updates, there are no scanslated chapters of Kirarin. This is obviously not true. The first seven chapters on MangaFox are a nice solo effort whose origins seem untraceable. After that, it shifts over to possibly the worst scan job that I’ve ever witnessed. Here’s a page from chapter eight.

Besides the obvious terrors, it's also flipped. And this is the actual size.

There’s no way in hell I’m reading this, so I gave up. Then find out that Kirarin Revolution had a whopping 153-episode anime adaption, so I looked for that. A sub group called Twilight-Paradise had subbed 100 or so episodes before they folded and later re-emerged as a J-drama sub group that no longer hosts their episodes of Kirarin Revolution anywhere. Moreover, all of the torrents that I found were dead. (I have now, however, found that Bakabt has a living torrent of the episodes. Don’t know why I didn’t think to look there before). While searching, I found stream sites that had the show, except the videos don’t exist, most likely as a result of Megaupload’s demise.

Finding the 100 subbed episodes on bakabt proves that it always pays to keep looking for something if you know that it exists in some form, but I can’t get my hopes up that the rest of the episodes will be subbed, nor the rest of the manga scanned in a way that’s readable. There’s also a chance that the anime isn’t as good as the manga. It could end up that I got a one-volume glimpse of something I liked, while the other fifteen volumes remain a mystery to me for years to come.

How To Make Your Physical-Copy Doujinshi Readable Without Learning Moon

[Also works with any Japanese manga, but doujinshi tend to be the ones that get bought in Japanese by people who don't know Japanese.]

If you’re like me (god help you), then you like owning doujinshi—preferably ones that’ve been scanslated—but you can’t read Japanese, and it bothers you that you can’t actually read your physical copies of those doujinshi. Today I’ll be sharing my solution to this problem, which probably isn’t the best nor the most professional (and might be the most time-consuming), but anyone and their grandma can do it.

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Manga Pages: Yumekui Merry chapters 1–3

Until I’ve passed the anime’s plot, I won’t be able to read Ushiki Yoshitaka‘s Yumekui Merry without thinking about its adaption. The anime disappointed me quite a bit, to the point that I ragequit near the end (I do plan to finish it sometime, though). The manga makes me happy and sad because it doesn’t suffer the same problems as the anime, which means it also shows how the anime could’ve been better.

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The Difference Between Manga I Love and Anime I Love (OR Why I’m Dropping Ao no Exorcist)

A lot of my favorite anime are manga adaptions, and in most of those cases, I don’t just like the anime more than the manga—I don’t even like the manga. Usually I attribute this to my liking the medium of animation more than that of manga, but it’s more true that I have a different set of demands and expectations from the two mediums, and the disconnect between those things in an adaption can make or break the experience for me.

Let’s observe some selections.

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Manga Pages: Soul Eater Not! chapter 1

I’m not dead! I’ll be slowing down, though; I was on a manga binge when I started this blog, doing a post every three days, so I’ll be cutting back significantly with two posts a month—still better than dead, right?

Ookubo Atsushi‘s Soul Eater is one of my favorite manga, but it’s no secret that it’s gone downhill since entering the third major arc. Anime Kritik theorized that Ookubo had generally stopped caring about his story, and before he could take another breath, Soul Eater Not! had been announced.

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Manga Pages: Franken Fran chapter 43

Alright! New Fran! Kigitsu Katsuhisa‘s Franken Fran is my favorite currently-running manga, and even though I said I don’t plan on blogging anything release-by-release, I’ll gladly post on Fran every month just for fun—forgive me if I don’t have much to say about it.

What a cute protagonista!

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