4 May 2017

Wombs v4 (last updated May 23)

Only 2 volumes left! Lots of shit will go down in these last two volumes though so look forward to it.
Dun dun dun.
Mana's navi transforming more and more away from her lover to her child. Surely this won't pose any issues down the line.
Hold onto your butts.

Download:
Wombs v4 c24: Mega
Wombs v4 c25:   Mega
Wombs v4 c26:   Mega
Wombs v4 c27:   Mega
Previous Volumes: Mega

1 May 2017

Past and Present - 05/2017 (last updated May 14)

I felt like I haven't read enough papers as of late, so I'll start the May edition of Past and Present by posting a whole slew of papers. Hopefully, at least one or two of these will be of interest to people.

28 April 2017

Shiji v2: Revenge-Seekers (complete)

Some closing comments on this volume which dealt with two famous revenge-stories in the Spring and Autumn period. Goujian's story is worth remembering for playing a huge role in Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalist (Kuomintang) party's rhetoric/propaganda. The humiliation that Goujian endured to eventually enact his revenge deeply resonated among Chinese in light of Japan's aggressive foreign policy during the early 20th century and the Woxin Changdan (臥薪嚐膽) idiom was frequently used as a nationalist slogan. Chiang Kai-Shek, born in Zhejiang which was the same place that Yue was situated, similarly saw the connections between Goujian and himself. He ordered the compilation of Goujian's biography in two versions (one in literary, the other as colloquial) and his personal diaries note how he used Goujian's story to convince himself not to respond to Japanese provocations even in the face of harsh vocal opposition. After defeat in the Civil War to the communists, Chiang and the Nationalists still holding out in Taiwan once again evoked Goujian's story to nurture hope. For more detailed information, I recommend reading History and Popular Memory: The Power of Story in Moments of Crisis.
Meanwhile in Japan, Woxin Changdan (pronounced as Gashin Shoutan in Japanese) was famously evoked regarding the Triple Intervention to settle the First Sino-Japanese War. Japan saw the foreign diplomatic intervention as an under-handed Russian scheme which robbed Japan of greater gains from the war. As Japan was in no shape to confront a Russia backed by France and Germany at the time, it endured the humiliating conditions only to later have its revenge in the Russo-Japanese War.

Now regarding Wu Zixu, the Shiji chapter on his life is notable for concluding with a commentary from Sima Qian:
The poison of resentment in man is extreme indeed! A king cannot provoke it in a minister, much less in a peer! If previously Wu Zixu had been made to follow Wu She in death, how would he differ from an ant? But he rejected a small principle to wipe away a great shame, and his name is passed on to later generations. Now, whether hard-pressed on the Yangtze River or begging food along the road, how could his mind, even for a moment, forget Ying? Therefore, he silently endured and obtained merit and fame. If not a man of virtue, how could he have reached to this?
If you recall the very first chapter of this manga which covered Sima Qian's life, you'll remember that Sima Qian also chose to endure shame by being castrated in order to complete his father's dream of writing the Shiji. It's clear that Sima Qian saw himself in the story of Wu Zixu, but as historian Stephen W. Durrant notes in The Cloudy Mirror, their methods of revenge are different in style. Wu Zixu violated ethical norms by whipping a corpse while Sima Qian simply slaved away in the imperial archives and wrote a book. So if Sima Qian concludes that Wu Zixu "silently endured and obtained merit," then it's more likely a case of Sima Qian becoming carried away by his own biases and describing his own situation instead of Wu Zixu's life.

Hope you enjoyed the short history lesson. I'll do volume 3 in late summer/early fall.

Download:
Shiji v02:   Mega
Shiji v02 c01:   Mega
Shiji v02 c02:   Mega
Shiji v02 c04:   Mega
Previous volumes: Mega

26 April 2017

Historie c98

Finally, a new fucking chapter! Unfortunately a short, fluff chapter, apparently due to Iwaaki's work on the recently released tankoban release of volume 10.
On a tangential note, I noticed that Iwaaki's new series, Reiri (he only wrote the story for this), is already at the 3rd volume. Anyone read this yet? Planning on giving it a read this month.

Download:
Historie c98:   Mega

25 April 2017

Soil v11 (last updated May 27)

Time to begin the last volume at last. I'll probably write a brief summary/explanation about the plot when this volume is over to help people remember and understand, since releases have been sporadic ever since Kotonoha started translating this years ago. There's a couple things even I'm confused about, so I'll have to think about it.

Download:
Soil v11 c81:   Mega
Soil v11 c82:   Mega

1 April 2017

Soil v10 (complete)

It's not an April Fool's joke. Volume 10 is now finally done!

Download:
Soil v10:   Mega
Previous Soil volumes:   Mega
Soil v10 c73:   Mega
Soil v10 c74:   Mega
Soil v10 c75:   Mega
Soil v10 c76:   Mega
Soil v10 c77:   Mega
Soil v10 c78:   Mega
Soil v10 c79:   Mega
Soil v10 c80:   Mega

Past and Present - 04/2017 (last updated Apr. 20)

Been pretty tired and busy lately, which explains why I didn't update much during March. I'll try to do better this month. Also for Soil fans, don't worry, more releases will be coming soon. My editor for that was also tied up last month. And I'll get started on 2nd volume of Shiji this month too.