This being the third book I've read by Chester Brown it was certainly the most disappointing thus far.
That said, it really wasn't that bad. The art wThis being the third book I've read by Chester Brown it was certainly the most disappointing thus far.
That said, it really wasn't that bad. The art was a lot more detailed then Paying for it or Mary Wept - but I couldn't help but feel like it left me rather unsatisfied. Compared to his later works, this feels a little self-indulgent. But becoming more interesting over the course of one's career is far from earth shatteringly surprising. I'll definitely be checking out more of his work. This guy gets major points with me for talking so extensively about his own sexuality in such a feminist and sex positive way. ...more
Certainly a different direction then most people take their thinly veiled bible retellings. There could have been a lot to like here, but despite howCertainly a different direction then most people take their thinly veiled bible retellings. There could have been a lot to like here, but despite how creative Card is he apparently decided to take all that potential and waste it going in the most boring direction possible....more
Simply charming. There's a lot of ways where this series could have lost me, I'm not really it's target audience, but so far I continue to be sucked iSimply charming. There's a lot of ways where this series could have lost me, I'm not really it's target audience, but so far I continue to be sucked in this world of middle school boys and ancient board games.
When we first meet Hikaru, there isn't really that much to the guy. There still isn't. Despite showing some yet hidden promise, Hikaru is little more then a stand in for the young boys who are the target audience for this series. Certainly not something I could really find any room to outright hate, but rather simple and if it was just about him I don't think that I would really feel myself still wanting to read more. But I do. Why is that?
The biggest reason I can give for continuing with this all ages boy manga series is the wide cast of supporting characters. Despite Hikaru's decided lack of nuance and creativity, the (mostly boys) who surround him are almost all of them dramatic and interesting. The ghost of an ancient Go master, an isolated and sheltered Go protege, A boastful and crass middle school Shogi player - this series lacks nothing when it comes to personality.
My one issue (as usual) was the under-representation of female characters. Which wasn't too much of an issue at first (they just weren't there) but seemed to spawn into more of an issue as several random girls showed up just to fawn over Hikaru's self-proclaimed rival. Thankfully the end seemed to indicate that we will see a bit more of Akari, and Hikaru did get a bit of a talking to from Sai when he asserted that "Go wasn't for girls".
I also really enjoy the way that Go is integrated into the books. Not only with pages talking about the rules of Go, but also through various plot points. Even with the unique characters, I'm not sure if I would be interested with the series if it was a normal sports manga....more
Still somewhat conflicted about this series, but mostly due to my feelings about violence as entertainment and not because of the quality of the serieStill somewhat conflicted about this series, but mostly due to my feelings about violence as entertainment and not because of the quality of the series overall. I continue to be extremely interested in seeing where this series develops.
The art continues to be stellar, and the world continues to grow and develop with each page. Similarly, despite it being a fast reading action comic, I also felt like all the characters continued to grow, develop, and/or have more of their background revealed.
I am somewhat worried about the young female character and how she might play into things as the story goes on, but overall I've been pretty satisfied with gender in Shaman Warrior. While there has been a complete and total lack of female characters, up to this point there has not been a single hint of misogyny playing into this decision. There also doesn't seem to be any other forms of toxic masculinity at play either, at least from a western perspective. Obviously lacking in complete cultural understanding, but a big reason why I could enjoy this series. There is a woman on some of the later covers, so we shall see how that goes. Going to try and finish up this fast paced series in one adrenaline rush....more
Needless to say, after my mixed feelings over the first volume it was far too easy to put off reading the second. But after I saw Stjepan was on for aNeedless to say, after my mixed feelings over the first volume it was far too easy to put off reading the second. But after I saw Stjepan was on for a few issues I just had to pick it up, and I'm really glad I did! While this certainly isn't a book for everyone, it's getting a lot closer to all the feminist ideals that it is continuously praised for. And for a yet all male creative team that's pretty cool, although thankfully not completely unheard of.
Possibly the most important development in this comic for me was that we saw a bit more nuance and differentiation between the female characters. Because while the characters put forth in the first volume are (in general) pretty progressive and interesting female characters, they all felt like they had all been painted with the same spastic brush. The men where all rational and the Queens were all crazy reckless. In this second volume, the Queens get into some tiffs, but in a real world sort of way. Friends disagree some times, and they still all come together at the end of the day to kick some wicked butt.
As far as the art went, it might just be my imagination but it did feel a bit toned down even in Upchurch's issues. Not to say the Queen's aren't sexy, they always are, but it felt less pin up. Not to say that all pinup is bad, but the male gaze aspect of it still chafed at my vibe dude. That said, once again this volume saw the comic developing in a hugely positive direction for me! Not only did we get apologetically sexy depictions male characters in this volume, we also got full frontal male nudity from a gender swapped damsel in distress!!!!!!!!! Which is possibly a strange thing to be celebrating, but if you pay any attention at all to the ways in which gender is depicted in comics you know what a big deal this is!
I swear that last point is not the only reason I doubled the stars for this second volume. I was truly surprised by just how big of an improvement this second volume was over the first. It's still a light and silly women kicking ass sort of dealio, but there's no reason that can't be good. In its own M rated for drugs, language, nudity and sex sort of way. ...more
A light fun read. I generally don't read sports style shonen, but since this one is about a classic board game I really enjoyed it. The dynamic betweeA light fun read. I generally don't read sports style shonen, but since this one is about a classic board game I really enjoyed it. The dynamic between the two main characters is pretty entertaining and the plot seems well balanced between the youngness of the main character and the long history of the game of go. ...more
Despite the fact that I'm certain a lot of this went straight over my head, I still enjoyed reading this and will likely continue reading the series.Despite the fact that I'm certain a lot of this went straight over my head, I still enjoyed reading this and will likely continue reading the series. It's only nine volumes long and was a pretty quick fun read. The writing was really good and the main characters were all really interesting.
As far as gender representation goes, while I am not over the moon about it, writing out this review I actually realized that it's pretty gosh darn awesome - so far. While it's easy to miss on a surface level, credit should be given for how effortlessly it is so very accepting on a deeper more fundamental world view level. +1 star!
Maybe I'm just choosing to be naive, but Kanji's sexual/otaku awakening was actually kind of cute. It would have been really easy for the Otaku to be portrayed as really resenting women since they both find them attractive and are generally rejected by them. But they all seem pretty content with their lives and are more amused and intrigued by Saki then anything else. Male sexuality and even porn is not in and of itself problematic or evil. Personally, it's all about objectification and hatred towards women.a
While I can see why some people are turned off by Saki's character, I don't think she's your typical "normal girl" hanging out with the geeks sort of type (for lack of a better word). She's never really portrayed in a negative light (even though she's pretty physically and sexually aggressive) and so far she's never been drawn in weird poses or costumes just for the male gaze. Her cluelessnes about all things Otaku is pretty well balanced out by Makoto's sexual cluelessness - although their relationship did feel like it developed in a rather jumpy fashion. With the addition of Kanako the series is definitely going in a positive direction....more