We'll get right into things with the TOC commentary this week from our favorite artists. The question they have to answer is "What was the biggest turning point in your life"?
Detective Conan: Zero's tea time (Takahiro Arai): During the "Darren Shan" Comicalization plan competition.
Hoankan Evans no Uso ~Dead or Love~ (Mizuki Kuriyama): When I dropped out of the college I had long desired to go to --if I hadn't perhaps my current situation wouldn't be what it is.
Yuugami ni wa Tomogachi ga inai (Jun Sakurai): The point where I quit my job to become a manga artist.
Fire Rabbit!! (Aya Hirakawa): The third year of middle school to the first of high school.
Tantei Xeno to Nanatsu no Satsujin Misshitsu (Kyouichi Nanatsuki): The morning of the deadline for the Shounen Sunday original work prize in 1990.
Maiko-an chi no Makanai-san (Aiko Koyama): The day I left my hometown.
Anonatsu 1959 (Ashibi Fukui): When I changed where I submitted my manga from a seinen magazine to a shounen one.
Gopun Go no Sekai (Hiroshi Fukuda): Without a doubt when I decided to be a manga artist.
Tonikaku Cawaii (Kenjiro Hata): When "Ranma 1/2" Started in Sunday.
Maoujo de Oyasumi (Kagiji Kumanomata): When I set out and went to the Sunday editorial office.
Imouto Rireki (Kei Nishimura): When deciding whether I should go to a college for general studies or art...I chose Art and ended up where I am now.
Komi-san ha Komyusho desu (Tomohito Oda): I'm not really sure~
Aozakura Bouei Daigakkou Monogatari (Hikaru Nikaido): When I made lots of monster allies in DQ5 and erased my save data.
Undine ha Kyou mo Koi wo suru ka? (Shinya Misu): When I was in an accident on the highway. It felt like my path then was between life or death.
Daiku no Hato (Michiteru Kusaba): When I stopped being a salaryman.
switch (Atsushi Namikiri): None. I've always been on this path.
Kimi wa 008 (Syun Matsuena): When I had a choice between going to a school for manufacturing or agriculture and chose agriculture. From there I made a bunch of lifelong friends.
Hatsukoi Zombie (Ryou Minenami): When I won an award for manga and gave up on being a novelist.
RYOKO (Kaito Mitsuhashi): I don't think I've lived long enough to know yet, but drawing manga has had a huge influence.
Sokyuu no Ariadne (Norihiro Yagi): When I won a prize for drawing manga.
Amano Megumi wa suki darake (Nekoguchi): When I entered a contest for comic newbies and was informed I was in the final round over the phone.
Chrono Magia: Infinity Gear (Kawamoto/Muno): When I wan't able to get a girlfriend.
Souboutei Kowasubeshi (Kazuhiro Fujita): When I started working as a mangaka. If I hadn't seen Tokimiya-san back then then right now I'd be...
Youkai Giga (Satsuki Satou): When I wrote "There is no path ahead for me" on my "itinerary".
Tokaichi Hitoribocchi Nouen (Yuuji Yokoyama): When I submitted a manga during my days as a secretary.
A lot of these have to do with deciding to go into the manga industry which I find interesting even if it's not all that surprising. Nikaido though, hahah. I'd also like to know what ended up getting Matsuena out of agriculture and into manga? Hmm.
With the knowledge that Xeno hasn't managed to grow in sales any since it's last volume (or any of them), it feels like the true mystery is how long it has left? For now at least the series is moving right along as usual a few with a returning face. Also, maybe it's just me but Sugiyama's artwork seems to have gotten a little --rounder? Not that it's a bad thing, just something I've noticed especially with Xeno and Ayla above.
This week gives us not only one murder but two --A Xeno high score for a single chapter! Though unlike RYOKO (who we'll get to a little later), this week is all about winter fun....well it's not nearly as fun for the two people who died. The setting is a "smart" house, which makes it all but obvious where this is headed. The entire locale is controlled by a a security AI Cyber -3. I'm intrigued by this since it also marks the first time that a Xeno mystery has been implied to be more electronic than "traditional" so to speak --and to keep things even more intriguing we get the return of Kaoru Hanai the freelance journalist who we met during the Yatagarasu incident way back, and he brings with him the knowledge that the little resort town was made by Shichirou Kai, yikes. Though Xeno admits this is the first time he's heard that Kai has anything to do with this locale. So far this seems to be true as we've followed Xeno and Kai hasn't come up yet, but I somehow think the detective knows more than he's letting on. Though heading back to the two corpses what we don't know could fill a whole ski resort, but the most important thing is this: For what reason would these two people have needed to die? The mystery is only beginning....
Evans really is at it's best when Pheebs and Evans are being idiots together. This week sees the two going after Rita Welch --or well, Evans was at first but Pheebs can't stand the idea of Evans being alone with another woman, even if he's only doing so to bring her to justice and not date her.
Though really, Evans would try, wouldn't he? Things are a little different this time around though as Evans is the one at a complete loss. Well, I guess he has played that role before but never like this I think. Especially when he's really playing second fiddle to Pheebs who just can't admit she wanted to see him, haha. Though it gets too close to count for her when they end up having to squeeze into a tight closet to hide from Welch, which ends up with...have a gander above, haha. I do like Pheebs kind of boasting about Evans at the end to Welch as it's somewhat adorable like a girl talking up her boyfriend. (Someday maybe.) Though for Evans he might be awakening toward not minding being a stepping stool for a girl. (Oh no.) The ending text says she's actually rather light in her defense, though!
I think doing this late does well as I had time to actually translate the chapter before writing up impressions. I am incredibly proud of RYOKO as it continues stride into an unknown future. I want to believe that Mitsuhashi taking his time like this means the series is going to be given another fair shake rather than coming just to conclude but really I have no idea. The plot is definitely taking a back seat to character development but Mitsuhashi's execution makes it more delicious than the foods Ryoko hunts. Rere isn't just injected into the story and forced to work --no, we really do get a sense that she's getting used to the other characters and they in turn getting to really understand her. It's tricky introducing a new character and then including them in the main cast --but I suppose since RYOKO is still in it's early stages it works out well. I'll admit too that I figured Mitsuhashi would prioritize his insane artwork and paneling over telling story or having character development, but he's continued to suprise me by being able to balance all of these elements extremely well while still keeping a sense of mystery.
The chapter itself is pretty straightforward --Ryoko and Rere head out to get food and Ryoko, concerned that the happiness she has isn't deserved figures that she can only "earn" her happiness by placing herself in harms way alone. Rere in response takes down the okra creature on her own (mostly) and admits while she's not nearly as strong as Ryoko, she's still got enough gas in the tank to be backup, so she should rely on her. On one hand after being away for two years the series does have the same sort of frustration issues with pacing that Conan does with it's hiatuses, but RYOKO being pretty early on in it's story helps this feel a little more necessary. I too am excited to see what plot related matters we'll get in RYOKO soon, but I'm enjoying this journey of character development too.
Speaking of new characters, Souboutei has a bit of that this week --a shame it's taking a break next week. (Rare, but I suppose even the force of nature known as Fujita needs time to create. It might explain why the series has been so low in the TOC lately.) Also Yadogi getting a surprising flashback at this point of the game really got my attention. She's certainly not an unimportant character or anything, but I never thought she'd get much more expansion than what we have. Though the centerpiece of this chapter is Zanka and Yadogi having a war of words as the latter tries to convince the former that they are not enemies. Luckily they're able to reach a sort of truce when Zanka reveals he knows Takoha. --It really does feel like a Fujita trademark that the main character becomes such a force that even when they aren't present their reputation alone is enough to keep things moving. However, Takoha aside, there's another link between these two --apparently Yadogi, or, well, Kaede as her name is revealed this chapter had a grandfather who talked of a man who was familiar with their family....Zanka Kinoshita!
She's able to explain her position and relation to him --and problem solved. Zanka is more than happy as a military man to respect the hierarchy.
Though meanwhile in the deepest part of the house another person has appeared and mercilessly kills several soldiers saying that it's all about work. What work and for whom? We've gotta wait two weeks for that, but I trust that Fujita knows what he's doing introducing more characters now.
Kuro two weeks in a row! This one is surprising in that it's more about a human than a youkai --though I suppose Minoru being the only one being able to talk to or see Kuro kind of lends itself well to Youkai Giga's universe. Minoru makes a new friend and Kuro keeps him from getting beaten up in a fight. It's all so wonderfully juvenile that I can't help but smile at it. Though that shape staring at Minoru and his new friend at the end has got me concerned. Though I suppose what's more concerning is it's likely we won't be seeing Kuro again for a bit after this.
I know it's been a while since I've reported on the Wednesday diary, and I don't have any other reason besides I forgot about it for two weeks and was too ashamed to go back and add it later. Now that the editorial is much shorter, I'd like to pick it back up again! This week is Kenjiro Hata who talks about Sunday itself --and his series Tonikaku cawaii. He makes note of Takahashi and Adachi who he's had drinks with before, and Aoyama who he's eaten with...as well as the spirit of Shounen manga --before heading right back to hoping Cawaii will get an anime soon. (And confirming it hasn't got any in the works yet.) Not surprising really (not the anime thing), but that he's had good relations with so many other sunday mangaka since he's the type who goes out and hangs out with readers. I wouldn't be surprised if people know him and not what he does, haha. I might have said it before but I really like that this section exists and I hope they'll keep it up.
That's it for this week's editorial! For more Sunday (and a recap of the entirety of issue #10) please check out the official twitter for the blog here Till next time!