So we discovered today that our default local Borders is closing (there's a new location very close), and as a result everything was 25% off. I headed straight for the manga, and in addition to a couple of things I knew I wanted eventually (Saiyuki Reload 8, Shirley), I picked up the first volume of Pumpkin Scissors (hat tip to [livejournal.com profile] desdenova) and, after some dithering, two volumes of the ultimate editions of Fruits Basket—dithering because they only had volumes 2 and 3, but they were significantly cheaper than the single volumes and everyone swears that I'll like it, really. The first volume has duly been ordered from Amazon.

Like the subject line says.

Because, reallly, my life has been boring lately. A summary: blah blah work-work-work-work blah blah acid reflux blah blah holiday prep blah blah work-work-work-work. See? I told you.

So have some links instead:

And now, back to work (-work-work-work).

It's been a year since I did volume 8? That's really not so good. But at last, here it is. And now that I've finished the art posts, I've written up the series for the booklog too.

Spoilers behind the cut, of course. Spoil me for Reload and die.

Saiyuki's art, volume 9. About 450 KB of images. )

I cheat at International Saiyuki week by making other people write posts for me!

[livejournal.com profile] desdenova talks about the overall structure of the series for me, with particular reference to the placement of the "Be There" arc. Like all the great discussions this week, including those I haven't had time to comment on, it's a "Oh! Of course I knew that, I just never articulated it," kind of moment, and I mean that in a good way.

(Especial thanks to all who commented yesterday and who I didn't have time to respond to personally. I hope to be able to do so, but all the same, thanks en masse.)

Hasty morning thought on Saiyuki, volumes 1-9. No Reload spoilers, please.

two sets of four )

A quickie Saiyuki question in honor of the week. Spoilers through volume 3 only (please try and keep it that way in comments).

Does anyone really grok Kougaiji's vol. 2-3 dilemma? )

Hey, [livejournal.com profile] desdenova—I know you're swamped, but I think you had A Theory on the placement of the "Be There" arc, and if you had time to post about this week (not here, please, since spoilers past vol. 3), that would be really cool. Or whenever.

[Edit: vague spoilers for vols. 1-9 in the comments, as it really can't be helped. Sorry.]

[livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija has declared it International Saiyuki Week (which actually started last week). I will not be changing my default icon, because when I change it back it'll go poof, but I'll try to remember to post this week with this icon. I hope very much to have time to do an art post on volume 9 later in the week, but right now I have lots of work to do, so I'll just post a link to some more art book pictures to show willing.

I've got the day off, how about some Saiyuki art commentary? No theme this time, just a mis-mash of things that caught my eye.

Spoilers for volume 8 of Saiyuki, and possibly volume 9 as well; please don't spoil me for Reload. About 250 KB of images behind the cut.

Saiyuki's art, volume 8. Beer cans, closeups, chains, and dolls. )

After a booklog entry, some spoiler notes on volume 2 of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, and on the differences between the manga and the anime. Spoilers for volume 2 of the manga and—oh, episodes 8, 14-16, 18, and 20 of the anime. Do not spoil me for subsequent manga or anime episodes or I will glare very fiercely in your general direction.

Fullmetal Alchemist manga and anime spoilers )

Up to volume 7 of Saiyuki, and this time I'm going to focus on characterization, because I noticed a few things about body language that brought the topic to mind, and because I don't want to repeat myself. (There are two page-layout items below the cut, but only two.)

Spoilers, of course, for volume 7. Still haven't read Reload, so no spoilers please; have read Gaiden (hence the gratuitous icon), but a lack of spoilers for that would also be appreciated.

Saiyuki's art, volume 7. About 300 KB of images behind the cut. )

It's football season! I stayed up much too late Thursday night watching the Patriots play the Raiders, because they had to go and make it interesting in the second half: a tipped extra point, a blocked punt, and it was a two-possession game with the Raiders deep inside Pats terrority with about four minutes left. The Raiders got the touchdown, but the two-point conversion failed on Randy Moss's offensive pass interference (!), and then the Pats got the first down and could run out the clock, and I could go to bed. Of course, I had to get up at 1 a.m. when the dog started yelping and whining, so I got even less sleep than football could account for.

Yesterday started out cranky and sleep-deprived, but a stroll to the library in the lovely fall sun, and then sitting in that same lovely fall sun with a book, helped quite a bit. Not a library book, a manuscript for which feedback was long overdue; the only thing I got at the library was the first volume of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. I'd been vaguely planning to read the manga after I finished watching the anime, so as to get events in one order, but, well, it was there and it seemed a good thing to encourage the library to buy more, and I knew it didn't have anything I hadn't seen already. (The library also had a display of anime and manga action figures—I have no idea why, there weren't any labels or anything. It had the Ed and Al from this set, and this Hawkeye which I rather like, though I can resist it quite handily because it doesn't also have the dog.)

We also ended up watching Holes on TV Saturday night. Reviews of this made it sound incredibly complicated, but I didn't give it my full attention until fairly late in and didn't have too much trouble following it, and I enjoyed the last bit. A strange story, in that it is fantasy but doesn't feel like it, but it's well-acted and interestingly done. (IMDB's trivia page has an absolutely mind-boggling description of an earlier draft of the script; I guess I should just be impressed that the draft didn't get produced.)

Today I got the not-unexpected news that my iPod's hard drive was dying, all of 45 days after it came out of warranty. Grr. I disapprove of extended warranty plans on principle, but if I'm going to be the kind of klutz who drops a small hard drive at least twice in a couple of months, I might have to think about it. I also got the latest Young Wizards book, Wizards at War, which I'm partway through, and the new Discworld book, Thud.

I made Québec meat pie (what my recipe book calls "tourtiére") tonight, which came out well and was dead simple. The recipe follows: )

This worked really well. Next time I will try the recipe my mom has, which is more like Grand-Memère's because it has potatoes. It's sized for four pies, but I don't see any reason it couldn't be scaled down to the same proportions and times as the one I made tonight. Here's the recipe: )

What do you all think?

And now I am tired, and so my book log entries on Last Call and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell are going to have to wait yet another day (they are proving strangely difficult); I'm just using this icon because I like it.

(Yes, still ignoring news in order to function; have donated, scheduled donations for the next several months, and put "110 Stories" up outside my office for the week. And I hate feeling like I need to disclaim all this.)

[livejournal.com profile] flemmings has translated the latest Saiyuki Gaiden chapter (which by my count ought to be chapter 19).

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] desdenova for the pointer.

Oh, and just because I posted it over the weekend when some people aren't reading: I did another art post, this time about volume 6.

Mostly fight scenes this time; see also [livejournal.com profile] telophase's post on combat. I have to say that though I'm confused about some of the sequences below the cut, they aren't anywhere near as eye-crossing to me as the Naruto pages [livejournal.com profile] telophase uses; I think Minekura's lines tend to be more linear and more well-defined, and she uses even less in the way of backgrounds during fight scenes.

Spoilers for volume 6 of Saiyuki, of course, though not as bad as the past couple of volumes. I broke down and read the scanlations of Gaiden, but let's try and keep the comments free of spoilers for it (not that I expect it in response to this post); and I haven't read Reload yet, so if you spoil me for it, I will kill you with my brain.

Saiyuki's art, volume 6. About 325 KB of images behind the cut. )

So there are scans of the new Saiyuki Gaiden chapter up, and of course I have downloaded them [*], hoping that the visuals would give me enough of an idea of what was going on to overcome the fact that I don't, you know, speak Japanese. A vain hope, alas; so this is a plea for links to translations whenever they appear.

[*] Yeah, I wasn't going to read it until I was done the re-read of Saiyuki, but one day last week I was really tired and cranky and needed to babysit my computer while not doing anything online, and I was weak.

Why isn't this licensed?

Also, cut for embarassing fangirl stuff )

[Edit 8/22/05: thanks for [livejournal.com profile] desdenova to pointing me to a translation by [livejournal.com profile] flemmings.]

More commentary on Saiyuki's art, volume 5 this time.

A reminder: [livejournal.com profile] coffee_and_ink analyzed six pages from the opening of this volume in three posts: one, two, three.

Also, can anyone out there come up with a reference for the flower symbolism? I've been spotting repeated flowers, but I have no idea what they are or what they mean, and I really, really, really don't want to find myself making a series-wide index of all the flowers and the situations they're used in, because this series has eaten enough of my life already. Please?

Still haven't read Gaiden or Reload, still will kill you with my brain if you spoil me for them.

On to the discussion.

Saiyuki's art, volume 5. About 170 KB of images behind the cut. )

This is not a book log entry, which is forthcoming. This is notes on the terminology, examples, and other practical stuff that I got out of a very fast read of Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, set down for easy reference here.

notes )

A lot of what I said in the last post still applies here: wide use of varied tones, the occasional fading out of foregrounds (4.19.62, when Sanzo is watching two characters talk and getting suspicious), use of bleeds or borderless panels, and generally-improving depictions of characters. (There are a bunch of great comments in the prior post, which I highly recommend.) I'm going to talk here about four things: one really complex page; two really simple and forceful pages; some parallel page structures; and a couple examples of recurring images.

Still major spoilers for volume four (and a small spoiler for volume seven); and still don't spoil me for Gaiden or Reload.

Saiyuki's art, volume 4. About 335 KB of images behind the cut. )

I was going to have an "art" section in the whopping big Saiyuki post, but decided to break that out into multiple posts so that I could inline the images without killing people's connections. No deep thoughts here, just stuff I noticed in re-reading volumes 1-3, from an incredibly newbie perspective. Spoilers, naturally, particularly for volume 3. Also, I'm trying not to repeat things said by [livejournal.com profile] coffee_and_ink's three posts on Saiyuki, or [livejournal.com profile] telophase's Manga Analysis series post, or [livejournal.com profile] snowyheart's grid structure post, because they said it better and more helpfully.

Finally, I haven't read Reload or Gaiden yet. Do not spoil me for those volumes, or I will kill you with my brain.

Saiyuki's art, volumes 1-3. About 315 KB of images behind the cut. )

9:58: okay, I'm done having better ideas about the images and formatting and such. Sorry if anyone was reading during the edits.

I am so very tempted to buy a very very fine white marker and a very very fine black marker and write page numbers in the Tokyopop editions of Saiyuki. The only things stopping me are (1) my instinctive recoil at writing in books I read for pleasure (it's defacing them, my backbrain insists) and (2) my inability to write page numbers in everyone else's, which limits their usefulness as a shared way to find things.

But still, tempted. (If I went through and numbered the pages once, I find myself thinking, this obsessive re-read with notes would go a lot faster . . . )

Chad has Netflix'ed the anime of Full Metal Alchemist, and this weekend I saw that Borders had the first volume of the manga prominently displayed. Do people have suggestions about which I should experience first, bearing in mind that the only anime I've seen before is Princess Mononoke (and also that I may not have time to watch DVDs at the rate Chad might)?

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