This week's question comes from Tokyo and asks "It's Graduation Season! Do you have any special memories of your Graduation?"
Souboutei Kowasubeshi (Kazuhiro Fujita): I can't go back so I don't really think about it~
Hatsukoi Zombie (Ryou Minenami): I never would have dreamed that the serialization would last this long! Thank you so much for reading until the very end!
Maiko-san chi no Makanai-san (Aiko Koyama): The day before I slept over at my friend's house and helped them out by lending them a suit.
Fire Rabbit!! (Aya Hirakawa): In regard to this...well, I can't remember anything. (crying)
Komi-san ha Komyusho Desu (Tomohito Oda): I couldn't get rid of even one Peony....
Detective Conan: Zero's Tea Time (Takahiro Arai): I was a bit jealous of my friends who were crying their eyes out.
Kimi wa 008 (Syun Matsuena): Strong Memories, huh....
Undine wa Kyou mo koi wo suru ka (Shinya Misu): I remember being praised for "having a good attitude toward singing".
Tonikaku Cawaii (Kenjiro Hata) It was after I graduated that I picked up a copy of Spirits and read the climax of "Mezon Ikkoku" and started crying.
(TN- Spirits is a Seinen Magazine published by Shougakukan, and Mezon Ikkoku is a manga drawn by Rumiko Takahashi.)
Gofun go no Sekai (Hiroshi Fukuda): I wasn't able to give anyone peony during my second set! I wonder if I should try again..
switch (Atsushi Namikiri): I had ramen with my buddies on the way back.
Amano Megumi wa Suki darake (Nekoguchi): In my elementary school graduation, I got to take a picture with the girl I liked.
Maoujo de Oyasumi (Kagiji Kumanomata): I can baaaarelly remember my College Graduation ceremony but nothing really happened...
Be Blues (Motoyuki Tanaka): That night we all went to karaoke and it was so much fun...
RYOKO (Kaito Mitsuhashi): Saying what you earned your rolled up diploma in, right?
Chrono Magia: Infinity Gear (Takeshi Azuma): Back then rather than going to see flowers, I preferred to go drinking.
Zettai Karen Chilren (Takashi Shiina): "I was given Red and White manju!" "Red and white Manjuu!!"
(TN- Red and white are colors for auspicious occasions, and manju are steamed yeast bun with fillings.)
Aozakura Bouei daigakkou monogatari (Hikaru Nikaido): Is everyone at Fudoumaru Elementary doing well?
(TN- A school in Yokohama Kangawa.)
Imouto Rireki (Kei Nishimura): The Taxi driver started singing "Aogeba Totoshi".
(TN- This is a song sung at graduation ceremonies in Japan --said to be borrowed from a Scottish Folk song of unknown origin.)
Anonatsu 1959 (Ashibi Fukui): I don't have a single bittersweet memory of my youth. It was overwhelmingly normal.
Sokyuu no Ariadne (Nobuhiro Yagi): I had made a promise to go fool around afterwards and had a good time.
Hoankan Evans no Uso ~Dead or Love~ (Mizuki Kuriyama): For the time it was a lot of standing, sitting and stuff like that, I think?
Tantei Xeno to Nanatsu Satsujin Misshitsu (Teppei Sugiyama): There was a letter in my shoebox. (^^)
Youkai Giga (Satsuki Satou): I whispered to myself that my memories would be engraved on my heart.
Tokakichi Hitoribocchi nouen (Yuuji Yokoyama): I sung the songs I liked at my graduation.
A lot of people really don't remember much huh. Considering the ages for most of the authors I guess that's not too surprising. Hata usually gives me the most trouble to translate but this week was oddly..(or rightfully) genuine. Fujita as well wasn't very surprising --he really is a guy who's personality shines through his manga. I'd judge Yagi and Azuma, but maybe it's me who didn't live it up enough after my graduation(s). Though wow time flies, it feels like we only just were talking about graduations (in both real life and in the mag!) Maybe I too am getting old...also I'd be remiss not to mention Minenami's graduation from the magazine. Of course I hope they'll be back (and signs are pointing to yes!) Though take a good long time to rest and relax, you've earned it.
Not much in the way of forward momentum this week in Souboutei, but that's not to say it was a boring chapter, just a set up one. Izu is really as powerful as the sisters said he was last week, and even though the infiltration band is strong themselves, they just don't stand a chance against him. Though what's interesting to take away from this exchange is we still don't really know his alliance in this battle to bring down the house. Is he siding with Sakamaki? Doing his own thing? What's your deal, Izu... Though I gotta say this much, I'm really looking forward to seeing Souboutei animated someday(?) Granted we still have one whole Fujita work to get through before that point. Izu's ability to neutralize his opponents with a shout is bound to look great animated.
Though we don't learn much about Izu himself, the chapter does leave off on a pretty healthy bit of speculation --Izu implies that he's more than just the teacher of the sisters --as he has the same mark on his body as they do and asks who they think their father is. That's some awfully brutal parental love if it's the truth, and brings in the very Fujita-like possiblity that Izu's here to show his kids the ropes before they take on the bigger threat that is Sakamaki. It's a plausible situation perhaps --though for now Fujita's only supplying more questions than answers.
RYOKO's chapter title is somewhat deceptive this week which is unusual. There isn't any fire to speak of, but I think I understand what Mitsuhashi is going for, and it's an interesting change for the series as well as leading to a whole new set of implications, and for the record I kind of like how the chapter title and the contents are at odds with each other.
Since Ryoko has entered the forest in search of Zen and Ryosuke she's been pledged to fight for revenge. Heck, the last chapter even sort of implied that she'd be fighting against the Broccoli dragon rather than what happened --she negotiated with it. The Dragon has it's own beef with Kogarashi and the Rice,
see what I did there? Hungry yet? And while it's none to pleased to help a puny human, Ryoko's refusal to bow in the face of it's threats wins it over. Though Dragon Broccoli does promise that once Ryoko has taken out Kogarashi and the Rice that they will be enemies again much to Rere's chagrin. It was implied on chapter two or so by Ryoko's master (I wonder where he is nowadays?) that there will be foodstuffs who are capable of more than lumbering around and Ryoko will have to take that into consideration. At the time I'm sure I and most of us assumed something more along the lines of Ryoko becoming physically stronger to combat them, but Mitsuhashi taking it in a different direction with dialog over danger is interesting and at least somewhat unexpected. Unfortunately for Ryoko, Kogarashi's bae Parsley catches wind of this agreement in the works and yanks her away to places unknown. It's been implied by Kogarashi that Parsley is a strong fighter so we're not ex-naying combat completely in this series.
Ah so his last name is "Wayne". Well, I've said it before that romanization is more of an art than a science, so you'll forgive this old timer won't you? In any case this lass's expression as she points out the truth "You didn't actually do anything" is as hilarious as it is painful for that old timer.
Wasn't expecting a follow up to the last arc where Evans and Pheebs really don't do anything until the end, but I think it works if only because Wayne's personality of being an old guy who's pretty cool but needs someone to constantly confirm it for him is both funny and a smidgen relatable. There are times where we're pretty self reliant and don't need anyone to tell us that, but it's easy to get addicted to being told how cool/interesting/pretty/smart you are. It'd be a thing if Wayne really wasn't all that great and had a false sense of superiority, but man all he really just needs is a bit more self confidence. Things just get worse when intrepid Reporter Wanda Roberts comes in wanting a scoop, and Wayne has no choice
he actually does have a choice but to give her a story, despite, again not really doing anything. Though we do get a little bit of Evans backstory --apparently Papa Evans asked Wayne to look after his son some time ago, hmm. In any case, Wayne does finally get to show off his cool side though he ends up sort of blowing his cover as being "injured" to do it. Luckily for him, the ladies just think he forced himself to use his injured hand, and he even gets Evans jealous at the end. Pretty straightforward chapter, but it shows off Evans strengths as a character driven comedy really well.
Now this one caught me off guard --A chapter that's all about Xeno's past? Sign me up! No mysteries to solve or investigations to be done, it's straight up a flashback chapter for the most part. Why we even get Xeno's true (?) name --Tomorrow. Which now that I think about it makes sense with Kinoo's name (Which is Japanese for "Yesterday"). Yesterday and Tomorrow, huh..In any case this chapter has very distinct "The Promised Neverland" vibes from children being trapped in a seemingly idyllic home with a dark underbelly, and the desire to escape as well as a kindly teacher who seems to mean well. Tomorrow --or, well, Xeno (cause I'm just used to that name now after more than a year of it.) Wants to see the outside world and while at first Mr. Hazama the teacher promises him just that, it's revealed in the chapter that the children will not be joining society as adults because they're "products". (Another Promised Neverland vibe!) Products created to be placed in high positions and places to take over for those who know someday they will die and want to leave their legacy to only those who have superior abilities.
Though the similarity to Neverland ends there --in this case the teachers while seeming as if they're in on the scam actually plead with the children to escape the garden. Sadly the escape is only a page long possibly because Xeno really doesn't have a whole lot of time left if it's TOC position and lack of color page advertisement for it's next volume is any indication. Still the chapter is really good despite it's limitations. We have a clear idea of the person Xeno was and what happened to him without revealing too much. The kids managed to escape just to be caught by adults who want to exploit them --lead by a single man who is in the audience of this play at this very second! It takes everything Xeno has to keep himself from drowning in memories and focusing on what's before him now --and its' always great to see the normally stoic detective lose his cool. (Sorry.) Xeno does reclaim himself and gets an epiphany on what the 5th murder door is --and maybe just this once they can stop the crime from happening. It'd be a change for this series, but it will likely not be easy to prevent....
This week's chapter of Youkai Giga features the "Fukuro Mujina" or "Bag Badger". These Yokai are badgers (or tanuki in some cases) who dress up in human clothes that look like noblewoman who carry large bags on their shoulders. They are usually tricksters and it's implied by some that the bags are actually haunted entities rather than badgers taking human form.
As for the Youkai Giga take on this particular case, two girls are musing over saying farewell to their school lives (so I guess this week's question was relevant for this series, huh.) and one girl who's very obviously a Fukuro Mujuna wonders about her choice to take human form as she has. I like that one line refers to the old trope of grabbing each other and crying, which Fuuka (the Fukuro Mujuna) immediately shuts down. Though as the chapter continues, the other girl "selfishly" (her words, not mine) proclaims how much fun she had with Fuuka over the year, and the two reminisce. Though Fuuka only goes on and on about the food she had --makes sense for a youkai, I suppose, hah. Fuuka says that her mother gave her the back she has to put important things in, but she hasn't found anything of the sort (So I wonder is the bag passed down between these youkai? If so, that's Satou for you, sort of playing with tradition in a very nonchalant way.) The other girl --Shizue gives her her beloved comb to make up for the lack of important things she has, and she reveals she's been walking around with chairs this whole time --not because they're important, but they're useful, hah. Her real important thing is...her friend Shizue that she now has a memento to remember her by. You can probably tell from the pic above that despite them going against old tropes sometimes emotions just demand you give in. Youkai Giga, you're still great at using those 8 pages effectively --never change.
And that's it for issue 17! If you haven't already, check out the impressions and features for the issue on twitter here. 18 will feature an interview with Adachi and Aoyama which I have a snippet of, but I'd rather wait for the whole thing to be out to make a decision on whether I'll translate it all and put it on the blog. It'd be a fun change of pace, no? We'll see. Until then, take care and have a good week --both Sundays included!