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Let me start with an admission. I know that the animation in Japanese anime is of poor quality compared to the latest stuff coming out of Hollywood animation studios. I’ve seen how they use the same background and just float the characters over it. I’ve see how lame the characters look when they are walking or running. I can recognize that they are taking shortcuts to save time and effort in the animation process. But:

I .

don’t.

care. 

Now, with that out of the way, let me tell you why I rarely watch live action movies and TV any more, unless they involve lots of humor or martial arts fight scenes.

Wanna know more? )

 

 

 

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12 year old Ciel Phantomhive (of Kuroshitsuji) has been through a lot in his short life. His parents killed, his house burned down, tortured and tormented…and then, in a fit of God-hating frustration, he makes a contract with a demon, whom he names Sebastian. Sebastian is supposed to keep him alive until he enacts his version of revenge, and then, Sebastian will eat Ciel’s soul in exchange.

 Pic of Ciel Phantomhive

Read more... )

 

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I have been reading mostly shounen manga lately, which is marketed toward teenage boys. Naturally, boys and teen boys are the main protagonists of such manga. So here I am going to profile some of the boy heroes of the manga I’ve been reading.

 

They are too young to be sexy in my opinion, too male to be female or genderqueer and so that’s why they are boy heroes in manga [pachi pachi…sis boom bah!].

 

Get ready for the nouveau testosterone parade.

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Grelle is one of those love him or hate him sort of characters. I have to say, that if you are reading/watching Kuroshitsuji and you haven’t gotten through the Jack the Ripper story arc yet, much of what I’m about to say will be spoilers.

 

I’m including Grelle as genderqueer because although he is male, he has said himself in a character guide that he thinks God should have made him a woman. Indeed, he prances about, acts quite girly at times, and wants to have Sebastian’s babies.

Read more and see the pics... )

 

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We don’t know much about Ouka at this point in the story of 07-Ghost, but in a story that is curiously void of good female characters, Ouka stands out. It’s not just the contrast between her and the bubbly nuns and mermaid in the story, however. She’s got enough strong characteristics to hold her own.

 

Read more and see the pics... )

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Raikou Shimizu from Nabari No Ou is the classic pretty boy, but he’s not just standing around looking fey with his pink hair, he’s rocking the house with his sword and his personality. Like his sister Raimei, he has strong beliefs and backs them up with action. He’s a lousy driver and a bit of a sadist, but you can’t help but side with this not-so-bad guy after getting to know him.

 

Read more and see the pics... )


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Okay, this is another weird pick on my part, but I have no shame in admitting that this white-haired retired Grim Reaper who works as an undertaker is pretty high on the heat scale for me. Though he shows up sporadically in Kuroshitsuji, he’s got a special place in my heart.
Read more and see the pics... )
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Yoite from Nabari No Ou presents as a male (albeit one who is described as “beautiful” and having long eyelashes), and male pronouns are used throughout the majority of the story. But about halfway through you find out he is “neither male nor female” and this gender confusion may have contributed to his sense of having no place in the world.

 Pic of Yoite

Read more... )

 

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Kuroyuri from 07-Ghost is of undetermined gender, and Wikipedia, describes hir in genderneutral terms (with invented pronouns like sie and hir), so I will try to do the same. Sie used “boku” as an “I” pronoun in Japanese, which is usually used by boys and tomboys.

 
Shot of Kuroyuri from 07-Ghost anime

 

Read more and see more pics... )

 

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Not everyone in this world can be neatly categorized into “male” or “female.” I’ll be happy when our culture (I’m in the USA) has evolved enough to include intersex and differently gendered people in all aspects of life. A good start would be non-gender specific bathrooms everywhere, and a choice for “other” in the sex category on the census.

 

Manga is great for including characters whose gender is unclear or specifically neither male nor female. I’ll be profiling such characters in manga as I come across them.

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Sebastian from Kuroshitsuji is a classic Victorian-era hottie. Rakish hair, looks good in a butler suit, can catch a dart between his fingers without even looking and leaps tall buildings in a single bound. He may be a demon, but he’s got the face of an angel.

 

Read more and see the pics... )

 

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Echo from Pandora Hearts...I think this is fan art...anyone know?Poor Echo. Servant to that cruel (yet sexy)bastard Vincent Nightray. She carries out her orders without complaint, but is still capable of thinking for herself and acting on her own impulses.


What else?

-Quick with the knife hidden up her sleeve. Invokes emotion in readers despite being emotionless herself.
-Harboring a split personality, she also has a different form that I will not name, for fear of spoiling it for you.

 

I think (and hope) Echo has a vital role to play in Pandora Hearts as the story plays out. A dual-natured character like hers could provide some crucial plot twists, and indeed, already has.

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I might be in the minority thinking Inasa’s pretty hot, but open your mind to the concept of a ninja in a wheelchair, and I think you’ll agree there’s a lot of intrigue in this guy. He shows up late in Nabari No Ou, but like Shijima he’s actually a character who you’ve met before in a different form.

 Pic of Inasa from Nabari No Ou

 

Read more... )

 

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Alice from Pandora Hearts…what the heck is she really? She says she’s a “chain” born in the Abyss. She spends part of her time as a giant black rabbit that kills with a big scythe. (Spoiler alert: Supposedly she was human “before she died,” (WTF?) and there was also a girl named Alice (the same girl?) who was trapped in a tower for all or most of her life. She supposedly has a twin…but is it really a twin or does she just have a split personality?)

 

Read more and see the pics... )

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Kazuhiko Yukimi from Nabari No Ou is the classic tough-but-tender dude.  Lighthearted, but serious when necessary, he’s one of the more realistic personalities in a story fully of unbelievable wackiness. While his cohorts are using fantastic ninja powers and samurai swords, he’s there with his trusty gun…’cause this is the modern age, he says.

 

Read more and see the pics... )

gommyommy: (Default)
 ...that there seem to be few manga showing Japanese-looking people? Take Nabari No Ou as an example. This story is supposed to take place in modern Japan. Most of characters even have Japanese names. But many of them have blond(e) hair and non-Asian features. 

I suppose the logical explanation is that in a black and white story, it would be really hard to tell the characters apart if they all had the classic Asian features, with dark hair and eyes. This also explains why it is common in manga for characters to have facial scars, special makeup, an eye patch, or some wacky hair color or 'do.

I certainly hope it is simply this, and not some sort of racism against one's own race that leads Japanese mangaka to largely avoid showing Japanese faces in their manga. I know that sort of racism from my own experience. As a teen I caught myself considering buying some sort of color-correcting foundation, which would supposedly make my olive skin look less green and more...neutral...like some sort of northern european ideal that so many people feel compelled to strive for.

Dear God, let us all love ourselves as we are.
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I can’t say too much about Madame Red without giving away too many spoilers for the Jack the Ripper story arc in Kuroshitsuji, but trust me that she is a woman with mission, and she will do anything to get what she wants.

 

Pic of Madam Red and Grelle Sutcliffe by Kisu Desu

Read more... )

 

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Angst-ridden Tobari of Nabari No Ou is a middle-school English teacher who also happens to be a ninja in his spare time. He has vowed to protect his student, Miharu Rokujou, from the dangers of using the Shinra Bansho secret ninja art. But just what is he really protecting? He’s a man with a secret; possibly a whole raft of secrets, that he absolutely doesn’t want to reveal to anyone.

Read more and see the pics, you know you want to... )

 

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We don’t meet Shijima until many chapters into Nabari No Ou, but once you ascertain certain key things about her, you realize she has in fact been lurking about the story in a different form since early on. I won’t spoil it for you, but consider her weapon of choice: claws.

Read more... )

 

 

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Gilbert Nightray of Pandora Hearts is everything you expect from stereotypical Sexy, except for his true personality, which belies the façade he projects. “Useless” and unable to act on his desires in the vast majority of situations, he does manage to come through when it really matters.

 Pic of Gilbery Nightray

In this picture from Jun Mochizuki’s art book Pandora Hearts: Odds and Ends, we see Gil lying down with his shirt open, hand in his hair (another headache, Gil?) and a feminine gloved hand on his tie. We have to wonder who that hand belongs to, because it seems to me that Gil only has eyes for Oz (am I the only one who wonders why his wallet chain is on the left side and not the right? Don't know what I'm talking about? Cue hanky code). Meanwhile, the symbol of Raven is scattered about the floor as black feathers.

 

Read more and see more pics... )

 

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