25 May 2014

Clash Between Wei and Wu

Chapters 240-241 are done, bringing this volume to a close. Despite the volume's title, Cao Cao's invasion this time fizzled out rather anticlimactically, which is rather odd since the book listed his force at 400,000. Of course, the numbers are probably much exaggerated but even if they were half or even a quarter of that, the lack of will to push forward strongly seems rather odd. As I noted before, Cao Cao didn't even seem to make any plans on countering Wu's navy this time, which is their true strength and must be dealt with for any successful Southern invasion, something that the founder of the Sui dynasty understood very well. In any case, fans of war needn't be disappointed since Liu Bei's Hanzhong-campaign which starts next volume will be quite entertaining. On a side note, Jin Yi's ancestor Jin Midi, mentioned briefly in chapter 241 is a rather interesting character, as he was the son of a Xiongnu prince, who became a Han servant after his father was killed during the great Han-Xiongnu war. Despite his Xiongnu origins, he was fiercely loyal to the emperor, even killing his own son for flirting with one of the emperor's lady-in-waiting. Also interesting is that Jin Midi was claimed to be ancestor of the ruling Kim dynasty of Silla, a southeastern Korean kingdom. This link is controversial at best, though there definitely are linguistic and cultural similarities between early Mongolian/Tungusic and Koreans (not that any of these categories had distinct boundaries back then). Nonetheless, it is significant that the kings of Silla deliberately wanted themselves linked to Jin Midi, in the same way kings and emperors throughout history forged/faked dynastic links for legitimacy or some other political implication.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention, Sima Yi finally makes his entrance in the story! Hurray ...though he won't reappear for quite some time after this. Oh well, at least he got one line in, though unfortunately disregarded by Cao Cao.

Sangokushi v37:   Mediafire;   Mega;   Sendspace
Sangokushi c240-241:   Sendspace
All previous volumes:   Mediafire;   Mega

7 May 2014

Die Schwarzen Ritter (last updated May 20)

Time to continue this where I left off at. I have to say, I quite like how this manga is told. Brief narrative that never explains more than what's absolutely necessary, quick plot progression, and an overall dry-approach to war that, despite having its thrills and tragedies, is never hung up on them. Kind of reminds me of the very technical approach of Miyazaki's Otto Carius that also focused less on sentimental human drama.
>my first time playing WoT

Black Knight Story c1-9:   Sendspace
Black Knight Story c9:   Sendspace
Black Knight Story c10:   Sendspace
Black Knight Story c11:   Sendspace
Black Knight Story c12:   Sendspace

6 May 2014

Sangokushi v37 (last updated May 23)

Balls of Steel. My apologies for the inaccurate translation of Gan Ning's line in p24. I just couldn't resist the opportunity. Also, the original book never explicitly mentioned Gan Ning was the first to scale the walls, and this may be another element of Japanese Sengoku-warfare showing up in Yokoyama's manga. The distinction of "first-to-scale-the-walls (ichiban-nori)" was an important honour that samurai fiercely competed over, though such distinctions weren't uncommon in other parts of the world.
Honestly, this line is so unnecessary, since we've seen such instances happen numerous times in this manga alone.
I made a mistake regarding c235's title in the table of contents at the start of the volume. It'll be fixed for the volume release.
A little bit unsure on the translation of this title. I think the simplified Chinese for "General who Oppresses the Enemy with Ferocity" is "Shechong Jiangjun (折冲将军), and Gan Ning was only awarded this title later on in the story. The original book nor SGZ never mentions Gan Ning gaining some other title after this raid with 100 soldiers. However, in this manga, he's given the title Heiryo Shogun (平慮將軍), which I suppose you could loosely translate to the former but it's not really the same thing. Agh, whatever. It doesn't really matter too much, I suppose.
It's interesting to note how Cao Cao didn't even try (or at least, the book makes no mention of it) to build a navy of his own for his Wu campaign this time.
The wonders of taoist sexual practices.
As weird as this incident is, Zuo Ci isn't a fictional character as he's also noted to be an eccentric taoist master in other historical sources. It's interesting to speculate what the real-life Zuo Ci might have actually done.

Sangokushi c233:   Sendspace
Sangokushi c234:   Sendspace
Sangokushi c235:   Sendspace
Sangokushi c236:   Sendspace
Sangokushi c237:   Sendspace
Sangokushi c238:   Sendspace
Sangokushi c239:   Sendspace

3 May 2014

Historie and Plans for the Summer

I know it's been a long wait, what with me being pre-occupied with Joe for so long, but here's two chapters of Historie, bringing us back up to the latest release. Next chapter comes out in July (ugh). Still, fellow Iwaaki have something else to look forwards to, since I'll be releasing the tankoban version of v8 this summer and collaborating with illuminati-manga on Yuki no Touge, Tsurugi no Mai.
Stand aside, Koihime Musou
But for the immediate future, as in next week, I'll be starting up Sangokushi as well as finishing Black Knight Story, alternating releases for them. After I've gone through 2 volumes of Sangokushi, I'll finally be starting up some new projects now that I'm done with Joe, hurray! Though then again, working on Joe hasn't exactly stopped me from taking on new projects to the disappointment of many Joe-fans, I'm sure. Still, I've been holding back quite a bit. So from now on, expect me to alternate between 2 volumes of Sangokushi and a new project (1-3 volumes long). It'll be a while before I pick up another long series (by that I mean, ~20 volumes). Probably not until I finish Sangokushi. Not that that's a problem, since many excellent manga with tight stories are short.
On an unrelated note, I finally got around to reading Habibi. If you haven't read it yet, go do so. It's worth it for the art alone (love the panelling), whether or not you like the story.

Historie c84-85:   Sendspace