27 February 2016

Innocents Children Crusade v1

In honour of the 20th anniversary of the original release of Pokemon Red/Green in Japan, I bring you a manga about another fun fad children took part back in the 13th century: the Crusades! Yes, this is Furuya Usamaru's Innocents Children's Crusade! It wasn't a project I ever intended on shelving for so long since I'm a big Furuya-fan, but circumstances led me to do so when I found myself out of raws and I was busy with Tomorrow's Joe and Sangokushi. But with the help of the skilled editor Kennit, we quickly wrapped up the remaining 3 chapters in the first volume and will be bringing volumes 2 and 3 soon enough (current plan is to finish before May).

For those of you who haven't heard of this manga, this is a fantastic... Ero-guro tragedy. Now, I know that isn't exactly the most esteemed of genres in story-telling, but it's a great violent tragedy nonethless so do give it a try. If you've read and liked Furuya's Litchi Hikari Club, this will be right up your alley as LHC's influence on Innocents Children Crusade should be clear to all. I think a common complaint with LHC was that there was only one volume to get to know (and then say goodbye to) 9 boys, so the characterization, character growth, and plot development all had to fight for limited room, which didn't make for the best pacing. I think Furuya Usamaru himself may have felt this way about LHC, which is why he immediately afterwards decided to draw Innocents Children's Crusade, a spiritual successor of sorts. The 3 hefty volumes he dedicated to this series consequently makes for much better pacing, so you really do feel more attached to the characters as they're corrupted and meet their ends. As a fan of history and tragedies, this was a great read for me and I'm quite excited to continue its translation.

That's all I have to say for now so enjoy the opening act! The violence and tragedy will soon follow in v2...

Innocent Children's Crusade v1:   Mega

25 February 2016

Conclusion at Chaeronea

Finally, a new chapter and an end to the Battle of Chaeronea. Loved the grizzled faces of the two screaming Macedonian veterans in this chapter. I don't know how Iwaaki does it, but they have this oddly glazed look that makes me think of them as men so broken in by war that they're only capable of killing.

Oh, and for those who think of Chaeronea as some last stand by the Greeks before centuries of domination at foreign hands, please keep in mind this was purely a battle where Thebes and Athens was trying to push back Macedonia's rising power. Freedom for the Greeks as a whole, was never really on anyone's agenda and the "Greek" identity was nowhere near as important as being a citizen of whatever city state you were born to, as the Social War or the Sacred Wars attest to.

Historie c94:   Sendspace

12 February 2016

Some Thoughts on an Adaptation: Sangokushi

Sangokushi v60:   Mega;   Mediafire
All Previous Sangokushi volumes:   Mega;   Mediafire


With that burst of elation out of the way, I have to admit it's as sad as it is rewarding to finally hang this project on my completed-shelf. The 60 volume length was naturally daunting when I first decided to pick up this series, but as a labour of love, I enjoyed every moment of translating this series. But as they say, every end is a new beginning. While I'd be perfectly content to have this remain as my magnum opus (excuse my unwarranted self-importance here), there's still a whole world of great manga out there and I will most definitely be picking up a whole bunch of new manga so look forward to it!

For the curious, I'll begin work on the following projects this year:
Innocents Shounen Juujigen (no, I did not forget about this!)
Waga Na wa Nero
Zettai Anzen Kamisori
Dousei Jidai
Teito Monogatari

For Yokoyama fans looking for their next fix of Chinese history after Sangokushi, I will also start work on Shiji this year, though I'll be releasing it sporadically as it suits the nature of the work, being a collection of only loosely related stories taken from Sima Qian's Shiji (think of it like a collection of one shots).

Now on with my Some Thoughts on Sangokushi...