Like most American manga fans, I was introduced to the medium through tankouban; and also like most of them, the only other way I can read manga is through scanslations. Reading manga this way, one usually goes unaware of the magazines that series come from. This leads to an interesting difference in the way that manga is consumed as a whole, and it’s a difference I’m becoming familiar with as I progress in manga fandom.
I don’t plan on blogging anything release-by-release, but what a pleasant surprise to see chapter twelve of Karasuma Wataru‘s Deus x Machina finally done! As the subject of my first post, this series is somewhat special to me, and I was sad to see that the scans halted just as things were getting good. In a funny twist of fate, Horobi no Michi finally released the chapter just days after a new scanslator called Riceballicious took the initiative himself. Because I saw Riceball’s scanslation first, the images in the post will be from his version.
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.
Machina after a shower; Deus x Machina chapter four
Karasuma Wataru‘s Deus x Machina chapter one gets little done in terms of plot, and is curiously short for a debut chapter. However, the amount that it does to create the presence of it’s lead character, Machina, is astounding. Nearly every panel in the chapter was designed to showcase how she’s perceived by those around her. For my first Manga Pages column, I’ll be tackling the imagery of this chapter.