Tag Archives: anime

[Y] YuYu Hakusho by Yoshihiro Togashi

28 Apr

I wasn’t planning on doing any more manga for this challenge, but I’m cheating (again) with Y because I didn’t realize until just now that my original ‘Y’ book actually started with the letter ‘I’ until just now as I was getting ready to write this post… (In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Betty Bao Lord). So instead of scrambling around trying to find and read a book starting with the letter Y in 2-3 days (I’m still writing these in advance) and then write the post, I’m doing a series that haven’t actually read (I’ve only Netflixed the anime), but at least this time the manga and anime are both available in English.

幽☆遊☆白書, a.k.a. YuYu Hakusho, Ghost Files, or Poltergeist Report, is a classic shonen (remember, shonen = boys’) manga that pretty much everyone in Japan has heard of. Most young(ish) professionals read/watched it when they were growing up, and older adults probably remember their kids watching it on TV. I don’t know about the younger kids these days, but I do know that if I go to karaoke with a Japanese person and sing a theme song from this series, they will most likely recognize it.

This series is basically a series of tournaments where the main characters get stronger and stronger until they have to fight guys from another world to even break a sweat. Typical shonen stuff. I love action and tournaments, though, so this was a lot of fun to watch. Definitely a series aimed at young boys, but that doesn’t usually deter me with books or with manga (don’t know what that says about me, though…).

Hiei and Killua

Fanart that's pretty close to how I imagine what Hiei (left) and Killua look like in my head. Click on the image to go to the original site (Japanese).

I was confused for years because one of the main characters from this series, Hiei, was very similar in personality and appearance to a character from another successful series, Hunter x Hunter, named Killua (see image).

There were a lot of other similarities, like the number of main characters and their personalities, and for a long time, I thought that whoever wrote Hunter x Hunter had copied the ideas off of the person who wrote YuYu Hakusho. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that both manga had been written and drawn by the same person…

Togashi-sensei’s other famous series (that I’ve watched), Level E, is a science fiction comedy (aimed at adults, I think) that is completely different from the two battle manga series he is known for but still pretty enjoyable, if a bit strange.

Also for all you shojo (girls’ manga) fans out there, Yoshihiro Togashi is married to the creator of Sailor Moon, Naoko Takeuchi (according to Wiki, where I try to confirm all the information in my head that I’m not sure about before posting it online).

This post is my Blogging from A to Z entry for the letter Y. 

[K] Kimi to Boku by Kiichi Hotta

12 Apr

Okay, so this is actually a manga, and to my knowledge, it’s not available in English… But the anime is streaming on Crunchyroll (free) with subtitles under the name “You and Me” (a translation of the title 君と僕).

I love this series because 1) the covers are pretty, 2) it’s easy to read, 3) it’s funny and cute. It’s also the only manga that I still keep up with now that I don’t live in Japan anymore so it’s harder/more expensive to buy.

Kimi to Boku manga shelf

My shelf of manga on top of my bed. See how pretty the 君と僕。ones are?

The series is about five high school guys, but it’s meant for a female audience, so it’s more like what girls think it would be cute for guys to do in their free time. Most of it is fluff, but there are some parts that are somewhat bittersweet later in the series, like when one of the boys finds out the girl he likes is engaged (not knowing that her little sister likes him). Most of it is cute and fluffy, though, which is just how I like it.

The anime starts off kind of slow, but the first episode of the second season starts off with one of my favorite chapters in the manga, when the boys have a sleepover. I learned the word for telescope in Japanese (望遠鏡 – bouenkyou) while reading this chapter in the manga.

I think that’s one of the things I love about reading–being able to learn vocabulary in the context of an interesting story. Since most of the books I read in English are for my students, I don’t usually find  words that I don’t know anymore. But there’s still a lot of vocabulary in Japanese that I don’t know or am not too familiar with. I like reading at about the level of Kimi to Boku because it’s not so hard that I don’t get the context without a dictionary, but it’s not so easy that I already know all the words.

The tall book in the picture is the Kimi to Boku Fanbook with art, interviews, and scripts inside (the first, probably only fanbook I will ever buy). The other manga on this shelf are all pretty good, and some (the linked ones) are available in English:

  • Gintama - A comedy series about what would happen if aliens invaded Japan during the Edo Period. Contains samurai, ninjas, aliens, and a lot of potty jokes.
  • The Prince of Tennis - One of the first series I tried to read in Japanese. I like a lot of Shonen Jump series, even though it’s supposed to be for boys (shonen = boy).
  • Jump Ultimate Stars – This is actually a book of postcards that came with the DS game when I bought it.
  • Gangan Comics Anthologies – I got these anthologies because there were some stories by the author of Kimi to Boku in them.
  • NadePro!! - A somewhat fantastical take on the lives of seiyuu (Japanese voice actors).
  • Souko no Book Guide – I found out about this manga while I was searching for information about Japanese libraries for an MLIS class, and they happened to have it at my local Japanese  used bookstore, so I got it for slightly cheaper than it would have cost me (new) in Japan. It’s about a girl named Souko who loves books and draws detailed book guides for classics (like Robinson Crusoe) to help others grow to love them, too.  

I don’t actually read as much manga as it may seem, but I always feel like I should be reading more to increase my Japanese reading speed. I do translate occasionally for Sugoi Books, but that’s about all the manga I’ve been reading lately…

This post is my Blogging from A to Z entry for the letter K. 


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