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Believe it or not, but according to the database of Manganews, today’s release is our 400th one. That may not seem much, but for a small group like Kotonoha that basically started out with nothing, I think it’s a reason to celebrate. I would like to thank all our hard-working staff members and everybody who has supported us (directly and indirectly) so far. There are still tons of fascinating and unique manga out there that remain unscanlated. I hope we’ll be here long enough to introduce you to a few more of them (one candidate is waiting just around the corner). In the meantime, enjoy the 8th chapter of What a Wonderful World.
The official homepage for the movie adaptation of Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms now hosts a streaming trailer. To watch the trailer, click on the last button (予告編) on the right at the top of the page and then select a version (HQ on the left, LQ on the right). For more snippets from the film, check this video on Youtube.
Because learning to stand up again is an important part of life. Young Bruce Wayne had to learn this lesson, as do the two new characters in What a Wonderful World.
In case you wonder, both “Sunday People” and “Mini Grammer” are song titles. If I’m not mistaken, the first one is from a song by Supercar, the second one is from Number Girl. You can even watch the PV of “Sunday People” on YouTube (gotta love the video’s low-budget look! ).
Why I’m telling you this? Because it might enhance the appeal of What a Wonderful World if you think of its stories as songs (or as little poems). Some stories (like the ones at the book’s beginning) have relatively complex lyrics and a memorable melody, while the two we released today are a bit simpler, but still quite powerful. It’s a testimony to Asano’s talent that only a few pages are enough to create a mood that can stay with you, even touch you emotionally if you allow it to.
Last month, underground comic books publisher Last Gasp released an English edition of Yūnagi no Machi, Sakura no Kuni under the title Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms. While 98% of the English mangasphere seems to neither know nor care about this book (which was to be expected), some people have actually read and, what’s more, bothered to review it. I thought it’d be nice to put together a post that contains links to all the English reviews that are available online (after all, if we don’t do it, who will? ). So far, the verdicts have been unanimously positive.
- Mania Manga Review Added 04.27.2007
“Mania Rating Grade: A+ … Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms handles its controversial subject matter tactfully, but is still packed with emotion.”
- The Comics Journal
“… [It's] a book that will stay with you for quite some time after you’ve read it, but without feeling like you’ve just eaten the literary equivalent of a plate of spinach. You’ll be haunted by its implications, to be sure, but you won’t feel as though you’ve been hit over the head with Big Messages … Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms is well worth your attention.”
- Jog – The Blog
“… the powerful intermingling of pain and death, and life, nonetheless, going on through happiness and farce, makes this a wrenching book that you’ll surely return to.”
- Flipped (Comic World News)
“BUY THIS BOOK … Fumiyo Kouno’s Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms (Last Gasp) is empirically, incontrovertibly good and everyone should read it.”
- Pop Culture Shock
“SHOCK VALUE: A+ … Kouno’s refusal to impose an obvious dramatic structure on either story, her deft manipulation of time, and her emphasis on small, everyday moments, inoculate Town of Evening Calm against sentimentality and mawkishness.”
- Overlooked Manga Festival
“Hiroshima stories have long been a part of manga, … What Kouno brings to the genre is a sense of distance and a quiet, conversational, uninsistent tone. This is not, for the most part, a book about the horror of the atomic bomb. It’s a book about the sad and lovely and aching city that grew up around that horror.”
If you know of more English reviews of this book, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. We will update this post accordingly.
Meanwhile, a quick glance across the Pacific is in order as the homepage for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Fumiyo Kōno’s manga was launched only a few days ago.
Directed by Kiyoshi Sasabe (Sea Without Exit, Curtain Call, etc.), the film is scheduled to open in Japanese theaters on July 28th. There are also plans to show the film at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival held in May. Following is the film’s main cast:
- Nanami Ishikawa (Rena Tanaka)
- Minami Hirano (Kumiko Asō)
- Fujimi Hirano (Shiho Fujimura)
- Asahi Ishikawa (Mitsunori Isaki [young], Masaaki Sakai [old])
- Nagio Ishikawa (Yūta Kanai)
- Yutaka Uchikoshi (Hisashi Yoshizawa)
- Tōko Tone (Noriko Nakagoshi)
Looks like something to look forward to.
Holy f****** shit! Okay, I knew this one was coming, but damn, seeing the announcement just makes me go “Yeees! Take that, biatch!!” Anyway, the tentative air date is July. The channel is WOWOW. The animation will be produced by Madhouse (who else?!). If done right, this mother could blow both Basilisk and Ninja Scroll out of the water. Mark my words!
Here is the announcement that came with the latest volume of Shigurui:
According to Animate TV, the series will be directed by Hirotsugu Hamazaki, the director of TEXHNOLYZE. Apparently, Takayuki Yamaguchi was very impressed by the storyboard Hamazaki showed him. Let’s hope this can translate into an impressive adaptation.
Two more staff members have been announced.
- Series Composition/Screenplay: Seishi Minakami
(He co-wrote the screenplay of Paprika together with Satoshi Kon; his other works include Yomigaeru Sora -Rescue Wings-, Asatte no houkou, Paranoia Agent, Alien 9, Boogiepop Phantom.)
- Character Design: Masanori Shino
(Black Lagoon [both seasons], Gungrave, Crest of the Stars)
The staff looks better and better with each new name. I’m starting to get a good feeling about this.
You have waited. We have waited. Now it’s finally here: Kotonoha and Lililicious again join forces to bring you the second volume of Takako Shimura’s delightful girl-meets-girl story. Expect everything that made the first volume such an enjoyable read and more. If you can’t wait to find out what happens in this volume, check out Erica Friedman’s spoiler-lite review over at Okazu.
Inio Asano’s new series is entitled Oyasumi Punpun (おやすみプンプン; “Good night, Punpun*”). The description on the homepage of Young Sunday doesn’t reveal much about the story, but it looks like it’ll be a comedy (not exactly Asano’s strong suit IMHO).
* Note that “punpun” can also mean “to smell strongly” or “to fume [with rage].”