Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Manga Review: Summer Snow Rendezvous (Natsuyuki Rendezvous)

Title: Summer Snow Rendezvous (Natsuyuki Rendezvous)
Author: Haruka Kawachi
Genre: Josei, Supernatural, Romance
ISBN# 9786022669890 (Volume 1)
M&C! Gramedia 2015

Natsuyuki Rendezvous must be among of the first titles I noticed on my early days of my comeback as an anime and manga enthusiast. It was put on the featured section at an anime streaming site I visited a lot back in late 2012. The title, the pretty art and the synopsis caught me, though somehow I haven't managed to watch the anime up until now. Thankfully, M&C published the manga in Bahasa Indonesia sometime this year. The publication went smoothly that we managed to get all of the mangas including the extra volume in just a few months.

The story follows Hazuki Ryousuke, a 22 years old man who is madly in love with his 30 years old boss, Shimao Rokka. Turned out that she is a widow whose deceased husband, Shimao Atsushi, still haunts the florist they are working at. Strangely, it was only Hazuki who was able to see Atsushi as a ghost. To make things even more complicated, Atsushi asked Hazuki to borrow his body. How will Hazuki respond to the ghost's request? Will Rokka be able to move on and embrace Hazuki's feeling? Will Atsushi let his wife go and continue her life?

This manga shows the complication of matured romance that involves the importance of compromise, the strength to let go and move on, and some acts of physical intimacy. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this manga. I like the bittersweet story, the setting full of pretty flowers and plants, and the complication between the characters. I like how Hazuki adores every aspect of Rokka, including the ones that many men often find unattractive such as Rokka's rough working hands and how he fell in love at the first sight when he saw Rokka being immersed in her work. I like how he can accept that somehow Rokka is still attached to her deceased husband, without having him give up on her.

Before this manga; Saiunkoku Monogatari; and No.6, I did not buy many mangas published by M&C! Gramedia because the majority of them are generic shoujo mangas I do not normally enjoy. I once joked on how M&C should determine their genre focus and be the Flower Comics of Indonesia. Even the light novels they started to publish recently are all shoujo, LOL.

That said, I did not notice how they use different font from the one commonly used in Elex Media's mangas. I admit I am not very comfortable with the tall font they use here. But I guess I have to get used as they also use it in Saiunkoku Monogatari and Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii. Back to the tendency of M&C to publish mostly shoujo mangas, I am happy to see them publishing new titles from more diverse genres. Besides the next volumes of Saiunkoku Monogatari; No.6 and Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii, I am also looking forward to read the Indonesian licensed translation of “Sakamoto desu ga?” that is going to be released next month.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Spring 2015 Anime Watching List

This post may be late, considering most of the Spring 2015 anime have reached episode 9 or 10 this week. But anyway, here is the list of anime I am watching this season:

  1. Ore Monogatari!! I admit I have read the manga up to the latest chapter that has been scanlated. I am happy that this anime will be 24 episodes long, because I cannot get enough of Takeo and Yamato and Suna! They are so cute and hilarious. 
  2. Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Com wa Machigatteiru Zoku. Some of my friends rate this anime as the best of the season so far. However, I admit I am really annoyed with many female characters in this series, including the usually calm and composed Yukinoshita. Though this series may show the reality of high school society loaded with with indecisive teens, ones who tend to magnify simple problems and ones trying so hard to look like an ideal student council member who promotes win-win solution and endless discussion in long, dreadful meetings. Also with some outcasts like Hikigaya Hachiman and his chuunibyou friend. 
  3. Arslan Senki. Apparently this is the Akatsuki no Yona of the season, due to its fictional ancient kingdom setting and its... super slow pace. I have been enjoying the series without feeling that the pace has been to slow, though. I find it intriguing and sometimes heart-wrenching (that betrayal, and the books burning especially). I intend to watch the classic OVA versions in the future. 
  4. Gintama. I admit I have not watched all of the episodes of the previous season since it's too many LOL. Thankfully I can watch the latest series without feeling too clueless because of its episodic tendency. I really enjoy the series so far. 
  5. Hibike! Euphonium. I heard that this series will be about a kind of jazz club, but turned out that it is about a brass band club. I like how the anime shows the club's struggle to improve their skill to compete at the nationals, and Taki-sensei's calm upbringing that goes along with his tough exercises. 
  6. Kekkai Sensen. An epic and chaotic anime adaptation from the manga made by Nightow Yasuhiro, who created Trigun in the past. I guess this anime is one of the most popular ones in my twitter's network timeline. I have been enjoying the chaotic episodes that reminds me a lot of Trigun and Hamatora.
  7. Owari no Seraph. Strange disease, vampires and its extermination army. Childhood friends that possibly will meet as enemies. Some people said that it reminds them of No.6, which can make sense in some ways. It reminds me more of Black Bullet though, excluding the lolis and replacing the Gastrea with group of vampires.
  8. Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki. I expected to see more epic battles against Gauna in this season. Though the last few episodes have been more about Nagate and his subtle harem, which in my opinion should not be too much, considering the few episodes they have for the current season. I have not read the manga yet, so I do not know whether the story would really end in a few episodes. 
  9. Uta No Prince Sama: Maji Love Revolutions. I admit I have been watching Utapri with my boyfriend simply for the lulz. We enjoy the regular cheesy reverse-harem traits here.
  10. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works. My boyfriend and I often call this series "Unlimited Bego Works" (Bego = Dumb in Bahasa Indonesia) because of Emiya Shirou's persistent na├»vety and lame moves here. I was impressed by the first episodes of the previous season, but Shirou's lameness is getting more and more hopeless as the story advances. Nevertheless I still watch this series because I am curious on how it will end in this TV series. 
  11. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Crystal. I had some expectations that were too high for this remake at the beginning of this series. It looked promising at first, but the animation is getting worse especially once the Black Moon Arc starts. It reminds me of some beginners' fanart and the high school animation club's work at the first episode of Shirobako. Story-wise, I admit I like how it is faithful to the manga, despite so much criticism in this front. I have forgotten the whole manga storyline, and -silly me- I have sold all of Sailormoon mangas I had in my childhood so I could not reread it at the moment. So, I intend to watch this anime to the end, despite the derpy animation. Still better than reading messy scanlations with westernized names that bugs me even more, LOL.

That is quite a lot! My anime watching list seems to get longer and longer, although I have considered opting out and dropping some titles. This season, I dropped Punch Line and Re-Kan!.

Punch Line seems to get positive reviews on Myanimelist. I had a good first impression on this anime, but later I feel that it was getting more chaotic and confusing for me *LOL*. Considering the amount of anime that I actually enjoy and are already on my watch list this season, I decided to drop the title on around episode 2 or 3.

As for Re-Kan!, I dropped it because I admit I did not really enjoy watching it. It reminds me of Tonari no Seki-kun in terms of the main character doing random stuffs. In this case, random stuffs involving supernatural beings that are normally invisible by most people.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

It's been a while

It has been ages since I write in English. I had to write in English a lot during my last internship, whether it is for communication purpose or for some sort of report writing. However, we do not use English a lot in the company I am currently working at. Thus I feel that my English skill rots over time, and now is the time for me to maintain and improve it again.

I am currently keeping a visual journal in English since around February this year. Though, I have not written any more pages of it since around last month due to crazy hectic days at work. I should have at least written a lot about my short trip to Singapore last month. But no, I have not gotten any chance to advance to the third page of the travel note.

Maintaining my English is one of the reasons why I feel the need to start blogging again. I intended to start anew, but on the second thought I guess it is better to just continue this blog rather than worrying about technical stuffs I need to think about when starting a new blog. You know, layout and stuffs, which can be modified later when necessary.

Another reason of why I feel the need to start blogging again would be that I may have a lot to tell about. It can be about the anime I watch, the manga and other books I read, the geeky events I attended, the crocheted/knitted stuffs I made, or maybe simply on my random thoughts on some things.

So, hi there!