There are two Gosick light novels available in English, and they’re likely to be the only two unless fans get to work on the others. I bought the first when it came out because it was translated by Andrew Cunningham and he enjoyed it—two things that guarantee it’s good. After that book, Tokyopop cancelled the series, and it looked like there’d never be any more Gosick in the US. Imagine my surprise when two years later I see volume two on the shelves at Barnes & Noble. The second book has no translator credit (it literally says “Translator: “). I asked Cunningham about this, and he said that he’d translated the second book already before they cancelled the series, but had heard nothing about the release. I can’t imagine that they’d continue with another translator (nor do I think it’d be a good idea since Cunningham is the best light novel translator).
These past 4 days, I’ve been searching unsuccessfully for new manga to read. I like action series with cute girls, so I looked for works in that vein, but time and again I was confronted by failures in illustrating action. Finally, I stumbled across Taboo-Tattoo by Shinjirou, an exciting new series that works to show exactly where all of the others failed.
While doing research for my last post, I got interested in one of Tamaki Nozomu‘s other works, Hakodate Youjin Buraichou Himegami (which I shall henceforth refer to as Himegami). It’s a decent action manga with a focus on gratuitous ass shots, but one thing that caught my eye in the first chapter was this important-looking woman:
While reading up on Karasuma Wataru‘s Deus x Machina, I noticed people were comparing Machina to Mina Tepes from Tamaki Nozomu‘s Dance in the Vampire Bund – some even claimed that Machina’s design bordered on plagiarism (Bund=2007, Deus=2008). It’d been too long since I’d read any of Bund to comment on that, so I checked it out to see how they compare.
I wouldn’t consider Deus x Machina plagiarism at all. The obvious similarities between Machina and Mina Tepes are that both are lolis, often portrayed in sexually suggestive poses which involve twisting their bodies a lot; both have a sort of commanding presence (Machina especially); and most notably, they both wear long hair in twintails.
I have come to the conclusion that, as an individual endeavor, the Working!! anime is not worthwhile. Whereas the manga is consistently funny, quick, and manages to pull off mild repetition without getting boring, the anime is instead slow, poorly paced with crappy joke delivery, and gets quickly repetitive. However, I can’t decide if I’m really pissed about the anime being so poor, or glad for it’s great qualities in light of being a fan of the manga.
This isn’t a rare problem, from what I understand. After all, just about every anime to have ever been adapted from a manga has it’s detractors among fans of the latter. I have, however, almost never been one of those people. I can only think of three instances wherein I really didn’t like the anime adaption as much as the source material – Akira, because it’s about 6 times shorter than the manga, but still amazing; Gunslinger Girl Il Treano because it totally went off in it’s own direction from the superb first series and manga; and Jing: King of Bandits because it was a crappy, low-budget adaption that missed all the manga’s good points. Well, with Working!!, I can add a fourth to my list.
I rather enjoyed the first episode of Working!!, but I could see how others might not have cared for it, and having read the 16 currently translated chapters, I can tell exactly why. As a manga, there are some major differences from the anime, but I will clarify upfront that both versions have definite advantages, and I recommend both, especially if the show reconciles some of the differences as it continues (only ep so far, after all.) That said, I think that if the anime seems alright to you but just doesn’t quite cut it, you may enjoy the manga much more.