18 March 2015

Sangokushi v43 (ongoing)

Onwards with volume 43. More deaths to come, sadly. The early 40s in this series are definitely quite heart-breaking for fans.
I can imagine some people disliking Meng Da, thinking that he lacks "honour," but really, he's a pragmatist in an era where you needed to constantly evaluate your position to make sure your head wasn't lopped off the next day. You can bet even the idealist types like Liu Bei weren't all about "muh honour" in history, but could manage to play off those airs because their plots for power succeeded.
In the original novel, Meng Da writes Liu Bei a very elaborate letter, in which he likens himself to loyal servants of pre-Han times who resigned or were unfairly punished. Unfortunately, as with some of the more elaborate references to Chinese history, they are omitted from this manga.
Although Liu Bei regrets Liu Feng's death, the way it plays out in the original novel doesn't give much room for sympathy, as he had been preparing for his execution for some time. Even Zhuge Liang, who normally gives good advice, suggested that Liu Feng chase Meng Da into Xiangyang without any support, as it would be a win-win situation whether Liu Feng won or was defeated against Meng Da. Though the attack on Xiangyang was fictional, both the book and historical records seem to heavily imply that Liu Feng was executed simply to pave a smooth transition for Liu Bei's blood-related son, Liu Shan, and that Guan Yu's death was merely a convenient excuse.
This is one change that I think was unnecessary, especially considering it doesn't really play any further importance in later chapters.
This conversation is actually quite different from the one in the novel. In the novel, Zhuge Liang uses the Confucian doctrine of rectification of names to persuade Liu Bei, whereas in the manga, Zhuge Liang once again brings up sacrificing smaller good for the greater good. Still, there are similarities. As Liu Bei mentions in this chapter, disputing Cao Pi's usurpation of the throne by becoming emperor himself would, in sort, be a rectification of names (emperor, specifically).
Ugh, I hate how anti-climactic this is for such a feared general. Then again, dying in a blaze of glory isn't all that common for heroes in actual history. Many of them just get old and die of sickness like normal people. One such example would be Xiahou Dun, who passed away a little while ago in the story but whose death isn't actually mentioned in this manga.
Yes, unlike somebody...

Sangokushi c288:   Sendspace
Sangokushi c289:   Sendspace
Sangokushi c290:   Sendspace
Sangokushi c291:   Sendspace
Sangokushi c292:   Sendspace
Sangokushi c293:   Sendspace
Sangokushi c294-295:   Sendspace

6 March 2015

Sangokushi v42 (complete!)

Back from my longer-than-intended break and ready to really focus on Sangokushi for the rest of the year, to the detriment of my plans for other projects. Expect pretty much a chapter every day unless they're really long as in 50 pages or more, in which case, every other day.


Sangokushi c287:   Sendspace
Sangokushi v42:   Mega;   Mediafire;   Sendspace
For all previous Sangokushi volumes:   Mega;   Mediafire

29 January 2015

Battle of Chaeronea (3)

This chapter actually came out in last month's issue of Afternoon, but I didn't realize that until like last week. Sorry, folks.

Also, CA is fucking incompetent for not having an orderly withdrawal button even after 15 years since the original Shogun Total war.

Historie c89:   Sendspace

6 January 2015

Some Thoughts on the Man and the Manga: Chinggis Khan

Happyscans and I finally bring you the last volume of Chinggis Khan, covering the brilliant, final two decades of his life. I meant to get this done by the end of December like I promised before, but what's life without a few bumps along the road? Now I know far more eloquent and well-learned people than me have already given their opinions on this controversial figure. Still, as a fan of history, there's no way I could pass up the opportunity to give my 2 cents on him, no matter how naive or poorly informed my ideas may be.

*Also, I'll be taking the rest of this month off to watch AGDQ2015 to be a more productive member to society.

Chinggis Khan v5:   Mega;   Sendspace
Chinggis Khan v1-5:   Mega
Hox's Mega Folder

21 December 2014

Terrarium in Drawer (Complete)

Whew, finally done. Took a fuckton more time than I'd anticipated, but I suppose it was worth it. Kui Ryoko seems to be a relatively new mangaka, but man, does she ever know how to tell a story. Clean art, original ideas, and a great sense of timing for telling a story or a joke. Definitely one to keep an eye on. Which chapters were your favourite?

Terrarium in Drawer:   Mega;   Sendspace
Hox's Mega Folder

19 December 2014

Many Thoughts on Actual Books

First things first, Hikidashi will be completed this weekend. All the lines outside bubbles made this deceptively easy work take a lot more of my time than I'd anticipated. Moving on...

With the year coming to a close, I've realized how little manga I've actually read this year. That's not to say I'm losing interest in this hobby, but putting all those hours in translating manga doesn't exactly make me want to go and read more manga with my remaining time. For the past few years, I've mostly spent that remaining time on vidya but this year, I've rediscovered my love for reading actual books. So while this is primarily a manga blog, I thought maybe writing down my thoughts on 10 interesting books I've read this year might encourage you to not neglect books without pictures *gasp* as I have for a short while. If you're poor and/or don't have a good library near you, this site is your friend. This is a bit of a long post, so congrats to those who can make it through all my drivel. If you guys find it interesting enough, I may do more in the future.

Also, I'm always open to book recommendations, though mostly of the non-fiction variety, so feel free to name some if you wish.  

29 November 2014

Chinggis Khan Volume 4

With the 4th volume, Temuchin becomes Chinggis Khan at last! Two things I want to note about this volume. One is the meaning of the title, "chinggis." Although this manga says it means, "supreme and strong," the matter is more complicated than that as scholars continue to debate it. To quote a section from Ratchnevsky's Genghis Khan: His Life and Legacy:
The word  has been variously interpreted as 'firm', 'strong', 'righteous', 'loyal', 'hard' or 'cruel', depending upon the meaning attributed to the word ching by different Mongol tribes. In general such attributions seek to stress the quality of a 'firm and strong khan' rather than exhibiting any desire to vie with the title of Gurkhan ('Universal Ruler') which had been bestowed on Jamuka. 
An alternative and probably sounder derivation, advanced quite independently by von Ramstedt and Pelliot, is from the Turkic tängiz, 'sea or ocean.' This interpretation is supported by the Mongolian equivalent dalai-yin khan on the seal of the Great Khan and the Turkic formal preamble tailai-nung han in Guyuk Kha'ans letter to Pope Innocent IV. In dalai lama, the Mongolian rendering of the Tibetan lamaistic title, rGyamts'o blama, meaning 'Ruler of the Seas' or 'Ruler of the World', dalai is used as a concept for 'universal' or 'all-embracing'; this is clearly exhibited by the juxtaposition of dalai and yeke ('great') in the Juyongguan Inscription. The title 'Oceanic Ruler' is very old. In Uighur legend Tengiz (Dengiz-khan) is the name of the youngest son of the Uighur Oguz-khan - and, despite Pelliot's phonetic objections, it may even be identified in the name of one of the sons of Attila the Hun. 
Although in Rashid ad-Din's day the Mongols had forgotten the original tradition and the title was simply equated with the Mongolian word ching ('firm' or 'strong'), Rashid uses the wider interpretation of the title when he compares it with the Persian shah-an-shah. Nasir ad-Din also gives Hulegu the title padsha-i jahan ('Universal Ruler'), a non-Islamic title which, as Minorsky comments, must be a rendering of dalai-khan. The Genghiside imperial family retained this tradition into the seventeeth century, when a son of Dayan-khan bore the title erdeni dalai khan.
 There are, of course, more fringe theories on its meaning, such as that it's derived from the Chinese tianzi (Son of Heaven), or a rendering of the Chinese imperial first-person pronoun zhèn (朕). There are also tales in later Mongolian chronicles that it's an onomatopoeic representation of a bird cry, but these are more folklore than actual history.
The second thing I want to mention is that while the Naimans were a Turkic group, distinct from the Mongols in central Mongolia and Tungusic peoples in Eastern Mongolia and Manchuria, they were still primarily pastoral nomads and it's highly unlikely that their style of combat differed all that much from all of the horse-riding warriors across the Eurasian steppe. Or to put it simply, they did NOT use war chariots. I don't know where Yokoyama got that idea, or maybe he wanted to add them because they looked cool, but to think that the very people whose entire society changed once horses were domesticated to a point as to accommodate human riders, would build an extremely expensive yet less effective tool of war that had been abandoned by even the sedentary civilizations for almost a thousand years prior to the 13th century is just absurd.

That's all for now. The last volume will come before the end of the year, and it should be a fun ride since it's all about the Mongols taking on the world. I'm also going to be busy trying to wrap up loose-ends on my other projects before the new year so please don't ask me about a certain other manga, which has only just begun a new arc and could be delayed a chapter or two.

Chinggis Khan v4:   Mega;   Sendspace
Hox's Mega Folder