Talking Syndrome | Whimsical Worlds

Disclaimer

Talking Syndrome is a blogging series where I will talk about all kind of different topics, so don’t expect a structure or a real big topic here. I’m just talking about stuff I want to get off my chest.

Topics in this blog:

Card Captor Sakura

Daidai wa, Hantoumei ni Nidone Suru

Kotonoba Drive

Totsukuni no Shoujo

Kikimi Zukan

I decided to rewatch Card Captor Sakura. It has been a while since I watched Card Captor Sakura the last time, and I don’t remember everything. In general I can say that my memories of anime is pretty good. I usually remember every anime I have watched, but there are a few exceptions and this was one of them. So far I have watched around 10 episodes and I can still say it’s as great as I remember. Of course in a way you need to be a fan of Shoujo and maybe magical girls.

But I think even if you don’t like the mahou genre in general you could still enjoy this anime as the characters are pretty likable and the Cards all have interesting powers. I’m having a great time with this anime and after finishing this I might go and rewatch Uchouten Kazoku as well. Uchouten Kazoku is one of my favorite P.A Works anime and since it’s getting a sequel in the spring season I want to prepare myself for it. But that’s pretty much all I have to say when it comes to anime. The last few weeks I have spend more time reading manga. Just like the seasonal anime, I’m also reading a lot of on-going mangas.

I rather talk about them when they are finished, so I have started some new manga which I can talk about.

The first one in my list is Daidai wa, Hantoumei ni Nidone Suru and it wouldn’t be surprising if most of you haven’t heard of it. It was first published in 2013 and was running for 2 years. It had 15 chapters with 2 volumes. You might ask what the manga is about ? The manga is basically the bizarre everyday life stories of the citizens of a coastal port town. I know this is exactly what Myanimelist wrote, but this is the only way to summarize what the manga is about. In each chapter we are seeing different characters doing things which are so random and weird that I can’t help but be interested in them.

They are living in a town and do things which doesn’t really make sense, but in the rules of this world you just start to accept them.

This a town where you will see a girl beating up squids from a girl who calls herself an alien hunter, this a town where you see a deer killing Santa Claus because she, yes she, got a boyfriend, this is a town where you will see a girl constantly getting bigger and bigger without anyone even noticing. This manga is so bizarre and random that anything could happen and that’s what makes it so enjoyable. Manga is a medium where you can express all your fantasies and let your creativity go crazy. Most mangas are pretty tame when it comes to crazy things and often follow the rules of the real world. That’s not a bad thing as it makes most manga more relatable, but I still enjoy reading a manga like this once in a while, where everything is different from how you see the world. The chapters are mostly episodic but it does follow some kind of a structure.

This means we are seeing some characters again and find out more about them. This manga is nothing groundbreaking, but I still believe that everyone who loves manga should give this a try. Apart from the clever and funny writing this manga has also a nice artstyle. I really like Abe Youchi’s artstyle as he manages to create a contrast between story and art. The characters are cute, the backgrounds are simple but the way he is using the black color is giving the manga a gritty look. Definitely an interesting manga.

Moving to the next manga. Do you know Ashinano Hitoshi ? If not, Ashinano Hitoshi is one of my all time favorite mangakas. He is the guy who has drawn and written the fantastic manga called Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou. I decided to read another manga from this great mangaka and now that I have almost finished Kotonoba Drive I started wondering why I haven’t done it sooner. This manga is absolutely beautiful and you can tell it’s the same mangaka as Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou.

In a way you could argue that all his mangas are very similar and even the location seems to be always similar, but this also has the advantage that if you liked one of his mangas you will like all of them.

They all have a similar style and vibe, which is enjoying your life to the fullest. Which is accepting the life as it is and starting to appreciate what you see. Kotonoba Drive is about a girl called Suu. The manga is focussing on her life, showing her working at her part-time job or aimlessly riding on her bike. While riding on her bike she will find new or familar locations. These are locations she has never seen before, or locations she is remembering from the past. The interesting part is that she is always having some kind of a dream sequence. You can never tell if she is hallucinating or if she really is experiencing all these things. But for us the reader is doesn’t matter.

You just follow Suu’s adventure and learn more about the world, about the humans and about the nature. It feels so incredibly refreshing and manages to give me the same vibes as Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou.

As always Ashinano Hitoshi does a great job writing lovely characters who are extremely likable. And this combined with the fantastic artstyle is just a joy. There are not many mangas which manage to make me so happy when reading it. It feels like I don’t have any worries anymore when reading this manga. The pages just softly keep going, delivering content which you won’t forget so fast. And I guess this is what Ashinano Hitoshi want the reader to experience with his mangas. Giving us something where we can forget about the world and just rest and be happy for a while. The calm worlds he is creating are truly beautiful and I have yet to see a world more calm than Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou. Definitely a great read and I can’t wait to see more of Ashinano Hitoshi.

There is something fascinating when it comes to relationships between a child and a monster. There is such a strong contrast when you look at the big monster and then see the innocent little boy/girl. But I think this is exactly what makes the relationship so interesting. The next manga on my list is called Totsukuni no Shoujo and shows exactly what I have been talking about. I have actually read the manga for a while but somehow haven’t talked about it yet. There seems to be more and more mangas about the relationship between a girl and a monster. Be it Mahou Tsukai no Yome or Somali to Mori no Kamisama. Ironically the most popular one, Mahou Tsukai no Yome, is in my eyes the least interesting in my eyes.

This doesn’t mean that it’s not good but both Somali and Totsukuni no Shoujo have so much more to offer. To be fair there are not many chapters out for Totsukini no Shoujo yet, so I can’t talk too much about it, but everything I have seen and read so far, definitely shows that this manga has a lot of potential. Totsukuni no Shoujo is about a little human girl and a monster who is taking care of her. Why is he doing that ? This is a question you will constantly ask yourself and the more you read the more you are going to learn about the world and the circumstances.

As far as the story goes this is pretty much all I can say without spoiling anything so I will rather focus on the art because this is just as interesting as the story. I haven’t seen an artstyle like this in manga before, which means something. It’s very unique and bizarre.

I have seen a lot of other works of this mangaka, and she has interesting drawings which mainly consists of animals with human features. In Totsukuni no Shoujo we also have a monster who has the body of a human, but a very strange looking head. The art in the manga itself has a very dark and moody feeling to it. You can tell that the lines are small and fast strokes which gives this feeling of everything looking kinda muddy. The manga gives a disheveled impression but this is certainly not the case. You can tell that the mangaka knows exactly how to play with the panels and use them the way she wants. She manages to create every atmosphere she is aiming for and this is particularly creating a mysterious atmosphere. The mystery doesn’t only lie on the monster, but also on the girl, the world and the forest. There is so much to see and so much to learn that I can’t help but be excited for what we see in the next chapters. Definitely a great manga to read.

There are some mangas where it just hurts to know that no one ever heard about as they are so clever and original that they should be read by everyone. Kikimimi Zukan is one of those mangas. Kikimimi Zukan or Pictorial Book of Sound is a manga which consists of 9 short stories which are all different and unique but yet share one theme, music. Music is something which has an influence on us in some way. Some more, some less. But there are so many facettes when it comes to music and being involved with all of them is pretty much impossible.

After all music is not only limited to the sounds or songs. Kikimimi Zukan is showing us different ways to approach music and different ways to sense or understand music. Every short story is having a different approach and they are all equally compelling. The artstyle of this manga is whimsical giving the manga the look it needs to have in order to be so fascinating. Give this manga a try. It’s very short but it gives you an experience you won’t find in other mangas and this is always a good thing. Miyata Kouji has done a great job and I’m definitely going to read his other works. And that’s all for now.

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