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Friday, April 7, 2017

Killing Stalking (Manhwa)

A few volumes are out so far as this is a new webtoon. If you're into thriller comics, this is the one for you.

It is unfortunately yaoi, and it is mature, so no one under 16 should read this. That part is what makes it confusing, it is a psychological horror and the fact it's also marked as "tragedy" is giving me a few premonitions on its ending.
I say unfortunately, because I absolutely loathe the romanticization of abusive/dysfunctional relationships as often portrayed in BL mangas.

So, what's it about?

Yoonbum

The story starts with this pathetic looking man's (Yoonbum) perverted obsession with his crush (Sangwoo). However, our little Yoonbum doesn't just dress like a girl to stalk Sangwoo undercover, he not only tracked down where he lives, but also dedicated several months worth of time on figuring out his apartment code, broke and entered, sniffed his bed, then hid in the basement like the sad creep he is.

(Sorry it's hard being objective because I'm rather frustrated with Yoonbum.)

Sangwoo is the ideal man; tall, handsome, kind, smart, loved and respected by all

However, he is not by all means perfect for he has this tiny little itty bitty flaw...


Sangwoo

...He's batshit crazy; pun intended.


The story was already rather interesting, as I had not read the summary and only clicked on it because of the genre and cover. The ultimate twist was Sangwoo's antisocial personality disorder (to say the least without spoiling too much)


---Spoiler Alert---

What is perplexing is that Sangwoo's actions don't deter Yoonbum from continuing to love him, which makes me believe he has Stockholm Syndrome. Yet, at the same time, Yoonbum is fully aware of the gravity of the situation and has several escape attempts.

I love how I can never predict what happens (so far), the author really takes you from a nice moment, to a sudden violent act, to a sexual moment, to an escape plot, and both characters are quite unpredictable which is understandable. But it leaves me wondering, what will happen next?

The fact that this manga is a tragedy means someone is bound to die. Perhaps homocide/suicide? There's no other way. Otherwise it means they will magically love each other, somehow growing more twisted "love" for one another, but that will not make sense, I really do hate how BL genres often romanticize abuse, however, the author has been logical through out the manga thus far.

There are some inconsistent things. Bones can't fully heal properly without being realigned by doctors. How much of that soup did they have? Shouldn't it have a bigger affect, if not, then shouldn't have Sangwoo lashed at Yoonbum for it?

I also dislike the unnecessary sexual little things like "oh, I took my shirt off because it's wet" I think considering that his pants are also wet, he either changes his entire outfit, or keeps the shirt on.

However, everything else, is pretty spot on, but I won't be able to discuss nor rate it until the manga is over. Bad endings always ruin a good story.



I will just say, this manga has just the right amount of violence for me. Perfect suffering and anguish that I often seek and I just want to pick Yoonbum up and give him a hug. I love that the author drew them this particular way, how skinny Yoonbum is from malnourishment and stress, that he still can't walk properly despite months passing, that despite his love, he still tries to escape and he still struggles. I love his reactions and flinches despite how much he lusts for Sangwoo. Detail is vital for me.




Those flip moments really put me on edge. I keep thinking, is he gonna kill him? Will he kill him now? Please don't maim him! There's no predicting Sangwoo's actions. I honestly thought he was gonna bring Yoonbum's uncle in the basement next!
That would have just put the icing on the cake!

Peace,
M.D.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Can't Hear, Can't See, but Love (Manhwa)


This manga, brace yourself, is about a manhwaka (manhwa artist) who is currently taking care of his mother who suffers from Alzheimers. The problem here is not the mother, it's the fact that he is slowly becoming blind in the process. However, he does befriend Sori, a deaf woman who is a fan of his manhwas, along the way and that is about all I can say so that I would not spoil it.



This Manhwa and Webtoon is actually interesting. As you should already know, I'm very fond of struggles and hardships main characters endure when I'm reading manga. I will often look for any type of major disability or abuse or suffering be it physical or emotional that a character endures and hopefully overcomes. I can't help being a fan of drama and psychological genres.
However, there is also a lot of comedy in this manhwa here that had me grinning and I do fancy a good comic relief.

Likes and dislikes about this manhwa... a lot
It started out great, it was very emotional and the speed of the plot was good. I even teared up a bit at a certain scene because I have a history of Alzheimer's on my mother's side and I do fear the day she starts forgetting me. So, I can relate to the author a bit on this side. I also liked the characters, they were not the typical man brave, woman needs saving mentality many mangas have which I loved. I also loved how violent Sori was!

The ending was rather confusing. I was not upset or satisfied by it. It just there was a lot of unnecessary drama half way through the manhwa which were not properly explained. I mean, why is he suddenly ill? and the ending makes zero sense. Absolute nonsense. Somehow his mom is also looking for him alongside a friend, and bastards that hate him try to help him suddenly. I mean..come ON!

This manga is a little cheesy to summarize it, yet might still make you cry and laugh.

Peace,
M.D.

Monday, November 7, 2016

My Childhood Anime #4: Sports!

If you think this list will have Haikyuu or Free! or any of those recent sports animes them this is not the post for you! This is my CHILDHOOD!

So brace yourself for some 80's and 90's unheard of or overly popular animes!

(Though, I shall only name 5 to keep it short!)

الرمية الملتهبة or Honoo no Toukyuuji: Dodge Danpei (1991)

الرمية الملتهبة
The problem here is I can't remember the protagonist's names properly, and even if I do it's the dubbed names given to them in Arabic! So, the main's name in Arabic was Sammy, and he was this child, perhaps ten who was in LOVE with dodgeball! Although, in Arabic it's referred to as handball.
Sammy's dad was a legacy in this game and he looked up to his father and grew a passion for the same sport. He and his bald friend begin practicing with older teens in school competitions and it is filled with comedy and drama like most sports animes.

Sammy and his friend 
I would honestly not watch this again unless it's some clips for nostalgic purposes. The opening song in Arabic is gold like most Arabic openings, oddly enough, my mom actually knows the lyrics.
The art is not all that great either.

                                              الكابتن ماجد or Captain Tsubasa (1981)

Captain Tsubasa's Team.
 Image retrieved from theo2442 http://www.zerochan.net/1105883
This is a widely known and famous anime, also known for it's 3 episodes of a single kick and ten episodes of a single match. It can get pretty hefty. I actually only ever watched it when I was bored and there was nothing better on t.v., but all the boys loved it.

Captain Tsubasa is an anime about football/ soccer and it just keeps going on and on for ages. I don't personally recommend it, and just since we're on the topic of soccer anime. There's was also الكابتن رابح Moero! Top Striker (1991) which more or less had the same plot in my opinion. What's beautiful about Captain Tsubasa is that you do see them advance and grow from children to adults in the series, that's how wildly popular it was.

                               سلام دانك or Slam Dunk (1990)

This insanely popular manga and anime is the OG of basketball animes! Hands down, one of the best sports animes in general. It has comedy, drama, even a black character (and we all know how rare a minority is in anime).



It's about this redheaded and hot headed trouble maker in high schooler who wants to join the basketball team and is unable to due to him..sucking.. Later on, he does get on the team and competes as well. However, it is mangled with comedy, and good characters and some character development that it is overall enjoyable to watch. 
The art is well drawn, it is not always this serious, like I said, it is also a comedy.



I would actually rewatch this, even though I absolutely dislike the whole genre of sports in anything. The author of this manga is actually so good that I've fallen in love with another basketball manga of his making called Real! which is about wheelchair basketball. A LOT of drama in that one!

النمر المقنع or Tiger Mask (1969)


Yes, I'm going back as far as the 60's here...which is honestly odd but not that odd, to be honest.

This is an anime about masked wrestling in which our protagonist chooses the mask of the tiger, brave and strong. From what I remember of the opening Arabic song, this man actually fights real bad guys but in the ring and outside of it too. He had this whole tiger-mobile thing going on too, somewhat like batman, his car would change and his identity was anonymous! I always looked forward to the day he unmasked himself to the world and I did truly look forward to watching this anime when I was a child, but hey, what did I know? I was four when I watched this! And I still remember it!

image retrieved from https://myanimelist.net/anime/3009/Tiger_Mask

So, I just googled the summary, and shall simply copy paste it from wikipedia:

"In the manga and anime, Tiger Mask (whose real name was Naoto Date) was a feared heel wrestler in America who was extremely vicious in the ring. However, he became a face after returning to Japan when a young boy said that he wanted to be a villain like Tiger Mask when he grew up. The boy resided in an orphanage, the same one that Tiger Mask grew up in during his childhood. Feeling that he did not want the boy to idolize a villain, Tiger was inspired to be a heroic wrestler.
"The main antagonist in the manga and anime was the Tiger's Den, a mysterious organization that trained young people to be villainous wrestlers on the condition that they gave half of their earnings to the organization. Tiger Mask was once a member of the Tiger's Den under the name "Yellow Devil", but no longer wanted anything to do with them, instead donating his money to the orphanage. This infuriated the leader of the organization and he sent numerous assassins, including other professional wrestlers, to punish him." 

So, this explains a lot for me and why he would fight "bad guys" in and out of the ring! Wow, my childhood explained at last!

مدرسة الكنغ فو (Kung Fu School) or Ironfist Chinmi (1988)
Chinmi is a pure hearted child who seeks to learn Kung Fu and so he heads to a temple that teaches it through alternative and "creative" ways. He then makes friends and aids the locals by providing them with safety. It's a comedy and adventure as well and was one of my favorite animes as I loved martial arts and apparently still hold an interest in it to this day. I would rewatch this today, but when I tried it was a little boring because it is really designed for a younger audience. 

Chinmi is the one in red.


There was another sports anime I wanted to write about, one about a girl actually. This isn't very often a female is the main heroin, especially in a sports anime. So, it was about running, and I know it was at least from the 80s, maybe even prior to that. I can't find it but I do know the Arabic title was called "Lubna al sareah" Fast Lubna!

Oh well, I hope you guys were able to see an interesting perspective on what anime used to be like before the 00's and let me know what sports animes did you guys watch!

Peace,


M.D.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Not Simple (manga)

The title of this manga fits it perfectly. It is very unfortunate that it is only two chapters, and the ending kills...no, it's the beginning that kills.

This manga is a tragedy about the misfortunes one man received in his horribly miserable life. The story starts with the present, which is how he dies. Yes, this is not a spoiler because it is the beginning. He only has a friend or two in his entire life that he met as an adult and one of them decides to make a novel out of him.

It's about an Australian boy; Ian, whose sister is also his mother. This isn't even the worst part. The child gets separated from his sister, one of the only people that ever cared about him and he lived in London with his alcoholic ex-stepmother who loathes him. His abuse was in the form of neglect and he even provided for her. Later on, he was sent back to Australia to live with his father, who didn't care about him either. Before he left however, he managed to meet his sister and promise her to achieve his goal before the next time they meet. The poor dude ends up travelling far and wide to follow up with his promise and see his sister and we already know how the tragedy ends.

Ian and his older sister

Can you guess what gum represents?
The manga is a bit hard to follow because the perspective often switches from character to character and from past to present. The art, as you can see, is not the best, but it does grow on you after a few pages, or rather his expressions and few words are extremely powerful. This manga has neglect, sexual, and emotional abuse so the content is mature; however, there are no disgusting images. There is a few symbolism here and there and you have to pick up on hints and cues as no detail is put in the abusive events, only that you understand they happened, which is how people often overlook them in real life. I think that is one of the things that captivated me about Ian, it was how accepting he was of everything bad that ever happened to him. Ian is so blunt as well, and so pure hearted that it makes me just wanna grab him in a hug and help him out. I wish he had his happy ending.

Ian being polite and sweet despite the horrible events in his life

I definitely recommend this manga, I think it's 5/5 and that you should be at least 15 years old just because of its mature topic. It tugged at a few strings in my heart.

Peace,
M.D.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

My Heart is Beating (Manhwa)

This lovely manhwa (korean comic) is actually a webtoon! Webtoons are coloured really lengthy manhwas. You just keep scrolling down forever instead of clicking for the next page, so I love that.

This manhwa is about a boy (Sugu) who has a fascination, no, an obsession with swimsuits. It isn't a fetish, it's just a hobby.
While spying on the women in the school swimming pool, the coach of the female water polo team spots him. The coach then black mails Sugu into joining the team as a girl in order to complete the minimum amount of team members required for his team. Of course, no one in the team knows that he is a boy and
with this, our story begins.



You see, the main character is also being pressured by his dad, the vice principal, into being the top student in class.

one page from the webtoon My Heart is Beating
 This drama is basically about the suffocation the main character feels, and how he will have to confront his problems instead of avoiding them.
That's not all though; as he starts to build a relationship with his water polo team mates, he starts to learn a little bit about each one of them. This also helps him to learn more about himself.

This manhwa is pretty good, it's main genres are gender bender, drama, comedy, sports, and school life.

The female water polo team
Can you guess which one is Sugu? 

Comment your feedback,
M.D.

Mirrai Nikki

Mirai Nikki is an anime that makes no sense. I'm being honest here, I've kept hearing about the pink haired yandere, Yuno Gasai, and I wasn't really interested. However, after coming across the abridged series of Mirai Nikki, I felt like I should know the real thing before I spoil it on the funny one.

To say the least, it makes zero sense.
It's a game, a survival game to "gods" throne. You see, apparently "god" is dying and needs a successor, so he makes up a game that involves 12 random people where the last one standing wins his throne.
Each player gets a little diary that predicts a certain future. With that, they are able to escape, or kill, or know how to manipulate their future to survive. To win the game, you destroy the other diaries. Pretty simple really, until you notice that many people don't destroy each other when they had the chance to do it at least 10 times.

First: the protagonist. He's a 14 year old pussy, I hate using that word, but he really stayed true to the very end to the fact that he's a big wuss. I liked that at first, he made things realistic. I mean, won't you be scared if people were trying to kill you? He, however, is scared and irrational at the same time. It bothered me a bit. but what really pissed me off was that in the end, just like almost every anime, the main guy is the hero that eventually saves the day. No, I really still don't understand how in God's name he pulled it off. Like I said, it makes no sense. His diary is the random diary.
Yukki Amano
Second: The pink haired yandere that
made this anime famous. She's a stalker! Not the funny stalker you see in anime, but the stalker that you will freak about in real life. She's possessive, obsessive and insane on the inside yet holds a sweet face on the outside. That's why the word "yandere" fits her perfectly. She's also 14 and a classmate of Yukki! Her diary tells her everything Yuki is doing! Creepy? you don't know the half of it.
Second: Yuno Gasai

Third: A seriel killer. Yeah, I don't even remember him talking in the whole show. He has the assassin diary.

Third
  Fourth: Detective Kuruse?  No, I'm not sure of his name, but he is the chief detective. He isn't really interested in being a "god", much like most of the people. He has the investigator diary.

Fourth

Fifth: I don't know his name either, but he's a little five year old genius that is almost as insane as Yuno! Everything he does in this show makes little sense, even for a genius. The fact that he accessed all these weapons is beyond me. He has a coloring book diary!

Fifth
      Sixth: A little girl that is also the leader of a cult. She has poor vision, and has lived her entire life imprisoned in a temple as some sort of prophecy. her diary is written in a scroll.

Sixth
Seventh: are actually two people! They're lovers!
They have the exchange diaries which allows them to see each other's future.

seventh

Eighth: Not much is known about her other than she runs an orphanage. She's one of those characters that don't make sense. She's always standing with her arms spread to the sides and just....look how much she resembles the white dough boy from bakery commercials!

Eighth

ninth: one of the best characters in the show. She's a terrorist, quite literally. She goes around murdering people effortlessly and wants to become a god to make the world better. Perhaps you can say she's the anti-hero?
She has the escape diary, it tells her where she can hide and run to. She is the only realistic person in the show, yet, she had so many opportunities to kill first and second that it was just sad to watch her lose these chances.

ninth: Minene Uryuu
Tenth: A guy that was more in love with his dogs than his family. He had the breeder diary and didn't really show up much in the show. He even used his own daughter to do the killing for him.

Tenth
eleventh: one of the only guys I didn't sympathize with at all. He was the one just a little smarter than most and his diary was the all seeing or so. He actually had access to peek into other diaries!
Eleventh
 Twelfth: This guy is actually one of my favorites. I don't know why his background wasn't revealed. especially since he has a strange fixation on attaining justice! His diary was a recorder because he was practically blind. He dressed up and acted based on all mighty justice and righteousness!
Twelfth: Is so FABULOUS!
           
Of course there are more characters such as Yukki's insane parents the "god", murmur ( "god's" servant) and amazing friends and lovers!

What's sad about this is that almost every character is fucked in the head due to some sort of childhood trauma, or seriously occurring problem. Rape, neglect, war, child abuse, abandonment. Most of them have sob stories.

That aside, here's a little funny photo that fits Yuno and Yukki's relationship pretty well:

I need to go back to studying now, pray for me,
M.D.

My Childhood Anime #3

9) Himitsu No Hanazono no (Eng: The Secret Garden) (Ar: الحديقة السرية) pub: (1991)

It is about a little girl named Mary that moves to her uncle's mansion. There she befriends a servant boy and his older sister. She later on befriends her crippled and arrogant cousin cole (collin) and trys to help him recover. Those kids discover the secret garden and try to liven it up again and discover the secrets that had occurred between its walls.

The three main characters


10) Sailor moon (1995)

Now, I never watched this in Arabic  In fact I watched this in Canada, but since I was under the age of ten, it was part of my childhood. I never had the chance to watch more than several episodes, but I still loved it, though I would never watch it again due to it being so boring. I had colouring books of Sailor moon and an action figure of sailor Neptune  I think this anime taught me what a lesbian was and the word "tiara".
It was about a girl, sailor moon  who was also some form of superhero. She had joined with other women to protect the earth. Or at least that's what I understood. They had to disguise themselves though, like every other superhero out there.


11) Bomberman B-daman Bakugaiden (Ar: بيدابول) pub: 1998

It was about B-da people who, were in another world and as most anime, fought the evil guys! Their way of fighting was to shoot B-da balls from their stomachs out to the enemy. I'm not sure how this was in Japanese or English, but in Arabic the main character's names were based on their colour. Red was hamraa, white was abyad, and black was aswad. Typically again, black used to be the evil, emo, angst, cool guy who eventually joins the good side.



I think I used to watch it for the sake of the really fun arabic theme song. My favorite thing about arabic dubs, to this day, is the creative theme songs they recreate.

Doraemon (Ar: عبقور) Pub: 1973

Now, this is a pretty famous anime worldwide. It is about a cat from the future who visits our boy protagonist (on the far left of the pic below) to warn him about the debt he will inherit to his grandchildren due to his behavior.  This cat, of course, is no ordinary cat. It is a cat with a magical pouch, anything can be pulled out of that thing. The cat, doraemon, helps the little boy overcome certain bad habits, escape trouble, and or face his problems. Very educational, though I think I was too young to really remember much of it all.