The precious textiles Paradise Kiss is made of

parakissv5p0086 Paradise Kiss is somehow sadly overlooked in favor of its lengthier, more famous sibling, NANA, when someone talks about good josei manga. The omnibus edition which Vertical published between 2012 and 2013 boosted a little bit its visibility. It’s a remarkable series made of first quality materials. Care to take a look?  Continue reading

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Mental Health in ‘Devil’s Crossroads’

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Kunizuka Yayoi’s Hue gets clouded due to her getting upset over her purchase requests being ignored. The alarm goes off and a pacifying gas is released.

Wards are sometimes locked 24 hours a day. Access to telephones and other means of communicating with the outside world are severely restricted. Day to day patients are “totally controlled”. “Treatment” is equally primitive. Electric-shock therapy is sometimes used to calm or punish patients, as are isolation rooms.

You’d think that this is a quote from a post about Psycho-Pass’ world. The truth is that those are the words of Dr. Fujisawa, as an article in the Economist back in 2001 transfers them. And of course they refer to Japan. The conditions in mental health care establishments there is even nowadays questionable in most cases – what with cases of violent behavior towards the patients being leaked in the newspapers. The mentality that Asians have about mental illnesses doesn’t help people facing such problems either.

Episode 12 of Psycho-Pass was highly discussed for clumsily sticking out of the rest of the narrative and yet it did something right: it allowed us a glimpse behind the closed doors of the so called rehabilitation institutes. It also gives me the chance to discuss mental health care during the ages, through Socrates and Plato, as well as in modern day Japan. Continue reading

Otona Joshi no Anime Time & the state of women in Japan

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I am a 24 years old woman and, as the years pass by, I find more and more myself wanting grown-up protagonists with whom I can relate easier. Josei, a demographic targeted at women is relatively small, especially when we talk about anime. So it’s always more than welcome when a series appears in my radar.

With this title I was a bit hesitant, since I watched its very first episode, Kawame o Suberu Kaze, 2 years ago, but the anti-urban sentiment in it annoyed me. Now it was clearly stated though that these new stories would be based on awarded novels written by women, and the artwork was very appealing, too. Thus, I had to give it at least a chance. Three episodes all in all. Unfortunately, I got spades of housewifery stuff instead of work related troubles and successes.  Continue reading

Kaori Yuki: 5. Beautifully Imperfect

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The following article has been written by Phoenix, a dear friend of us who and also our main editor for our first book, “Just a Little taste of Journey“.

“We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us–that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect.” 

Emilio Estevez

As a writer, one has to deliver different stories, different characters and different sins. As an artist, the writer has to make the stories extraordinary, the characters believable and the sins mortal or venial.

What is a writer, though, that creates different stories, with sinful characters that the audience turns out to like and relate with?

Skillful.

Talented.

Gifted.

I have read many of Kaori Yuki’s manga. I believe that she has that distinct and rather adept ability to create some of the most imperfect but real – actually real- characters out there. Continue reading

Kaori Yuki: 2. A Stage of Many Souls

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An anime/manga’s characters make up a great deal of the title’s worth. There are titles like Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure where the concept of bravery and manhood are the centre of attraction; other titles, like Revolutionary Girl Utena focus on drama; still other manga like Mai Otome, give every protagonist a certain cliche he/she represents. Kaori Yuki, a talented mangaka who has written stories like Angel Sanctuary and Ludwig Kakumei, follows none of the above aprroaches, yet she delivers an exceptional set of protagonists in her story. Continue reading

Kaori Yuki: 1. An orchestra of angels, poisons and fairies

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The following article has been written by Katan, a dear friend of us who is probably the greatest Kaori Yuki fan we know of. She also helped us edit our first book, “Just a Little taste of Journey“. Here is her lovely tumblr and her blog. This is the link to the original article.

Introduction

I’d like to believe everybody has sources of inspiration. Not necessarily leading to creativity; just those little triggers of thoughts and emotions to go with your morning coffee, a boring ride in the bus and your gradual fall into sleep. Some have few, others have many, some search hard to track them down and others just bump into them. Some lucky ones realize at first touch that what they have found had magically been calling them.

Needless to say what my missing piece of the puzzle was. Because when I first read Angel Sanctuary, it felt like the first time I truly knew art.

It begins with the… Continue reading

The Red String: 2. Akira x Miki

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Introduction

Our world is full of different kinds of couples. Some develop their relationship over time while others seem like they simply “meant to be together”. Akira and Miki, the two protagonists of Go Nagai’s Devilman, belong to the latter category. Because one could talk of many different Devilman stories (1) we will mostly focus on the Akira and Miki from the original 1970 manga.

*This article contains spoilers to Devilman‘s story. For those of you who have not read the manga or watched the anime, we strongly recommend that you do so* Continue reading