Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I'm back!



So what have I been doing while under the doctor's orders to just take things easy and relax? Reading those great novels in history, that I've always meant to read? No. Watching some of the greatest movies of all time? No.

I've been reading comics, or more specifically manga! Here are some quick opinions, on what I've read over the past week. I'll go into further detail on many of them later but just had to share these quick takes.

SGT. FROG #1 - I honestly didn't think much of this title when I first saw it in stores. The idea of a member of a frog like race trying to invade the Earth, only to be caught and forced to live with a family of humans. It struck me a bit too close to the TV show Alf for my tastes, and just a dumb idea in general.

Yet when I saw people whose tastes I trust -- Yes John Jakala I'm thinking of you!-- praising the series I was surprised. Yet I didn't know whether it would be for me so was hesitant to try it.

Yet I'm glad I did as its mixture of humor and strange science fiction twists has me hooked. The situations these wacky characters find themselves in every story just gets more preposterus each time. Making me hardly able to wait to see what happens next in volume 2, because if the zaniness level increases I may laugh myself to death.

HIKARU no GO #1 - Yet another title I didn't expect a lot out of, because it seemed to focus on a game I'd never heard of before. Which I thought would mean that I'd be lost when I read it, and would have no sense of what was going on.

Yet the way they include the game in the book works out well, what I need explained is, and actually made me interested in the game itself. The focus of the book being about the differences between ages and interest is the driving force though.

Hikaru is a likable enough lead, who I could feel for in being sort of pressured into doing things by others that he may not necessarily be interested in. Yet when he tries it starts to garner a better appreciation for some of it. Something I've often felt as well, with friends pressuring me to try things that I may not necessarily be inclined to.

The ghost who drives Hikaru to play the game Go is an interesting character, that was made more interesting by how I got to look at it in two different ways. When I first read it the character seemed to clearly be female. Just the way the character was drawn, behaved and sounded in my head screamed feminine to me.

So it was with great surprise when I read reviews like this one that pointed out differently. Which led me to going back and reading the book again, seeing things in a very different light then before.

THE KINDAICHI CASE FILES: DEATH TV - Whew I'd forgotten how great it was to read a good mystery, one that keeps you guessing to the identity of the culprit to the last chapter. There just aren't very many such comics like this, but the KINDAICHI books always meet my need for them really well.

This one isn't quite on the level of the previous two volumes, but it still a very intriguing case. I wonder at times at the rating on it, since some of it seems more violent and racier than I expect for 13 year olds.

Yet it doesn't pander or go for the easy shock, everything has an importance and level of realism that keeps things even keel.

I've also begun to watch the Wonder Woman Season One DVD set which I received for my birthday. I've only watched the pilot and first episode so far, yet while it is fun, I also get this odd "so this is where Baywatch came from" feel about it in places.

Especially during the scenes where they have the classic Baywatch bouncy trot, years before those infamous lifeguards hit the beach. Still a fun show, that while a very keen example of its time and place also offers enough enjoyment for my cynical nature.

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