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  #3481  
Old 09-28-2016, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Ventrue View Post
Totally long-shot but I recently discovered this manga called Eat-Man, which was part of the Viz-Manga-Heroes line. I've been looking for whatever I can of these, but all I seem to find is the single comics. It'd be awesome if anyone runs into this online in a posting or whatnot could alert me? I need it for a project.
If you're talking legit releases that was one of those titles no one bought. Maybe if you hit the quarter bins at a place that hasn't been cleaned in 20 years.
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  #3482  
Old 09-29-2016, 08:23 AM
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I wanna say it made it into two collected editions from Viz, which look to be available on Amazon for about three bucks each.
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  #3483  
Old 09-29-2016, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by The Raider Dr. Jones View Post
I wanna say it made it into two collected editions from Viz, which look to be available on Amazon for about three bucks each.
Hell's bells
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  #3484  
Old 09-29-2016, 10:19 PM
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I'm generally wary about stuff like that, especially considering it had 19 volumes depending on how big they were. But if that is definitely all of it I'll be happy as can be.
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  #3485  
Old 09-29-2016, 10:27 PM
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Oh God, it's not all of the series, certainly not. It's all that Viz ever translated into English, which was only a fraction of the original Japanese material.
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  #3486  
Old 09-29-2016, 10:27 PM
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That's all there is in English. The French version got about halfway through.
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  #3487  
Old 09-29-2016, 10:46 PM
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Apparently Billy Bat ended.

Did anyone follow it all the way through? How was it?
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  #3488  
Old 09-29-2016, 10:56 PM
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Not that I've read Billy Bat, but are there any Urasawa series that don't completely shit the bed halfway through?
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  #3489  
Old 09-29-2016, 11:01 PM
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Not that I've read Billy Bat, but are there any Urasawa series that don't completely shit the bed halfway through?
I like 20th Century Boys ending. It should have ended way sooner than it did, but i still like it. I think Pluto's ending is good, too, but it has been a long time since i read it and my memory is fuzzy.

Monster is okay too?
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  #3490  
Old 09-29-2016, 11:03 PM
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I think Pluto and 20th Century Boys are brilliant all the way through.
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  #3491  
Old 09-29-2016, 11:08 PM
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....I don't think there's any Urasawa series that shits the bed halfway through?

Boys and Monster could stand to be a bit more concise, yes. Pluto is just right.
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  #3492  
Old 09-29-2016, 11:35 PM
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Billy Bat is insane from Chapter 1. You just might not realize it yet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by estragon View Post
Did anyone follow it all the way through? How was it?
"Follow it all the way through" brought to mind that Junji Ito story about the holes—I guess because I imagine reading all of Billy Bat would leave one in similar condition.
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  #3493  
Old 09-30-2016, 06:05 AM
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Did anyone ever pick up Billy Bat for localization? I like Urasawa but I usually conk out early on. Billy Bat's premise is immediately gripping to me for some reason though.
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  #3494  
Old 09-30-2016, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
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Did anyone ever pick up Billy Bat for localization?
Shogakukan may give Viz marching orders some time in the future but it hasn't happened yet.
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  #3495  
Old 09-30-2016, 08:36 AM
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Upon hearing Billy Bat had ended I skimmed the final chapter for giggles and that was definitely an Urasawa joint. I'll give it props for the craziest escalation of stakes I've seen since reading Riki-Oh the first time
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  #3496  
Old 09-30-2016, 10:32 AM
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I'm not sure if this is Kishi and AV's intention or not, but this is definitely making me want to read Billy Bat.
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  #3497  
Old 09-30-2016, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estragon View Post
I'm not sure if this is Kishi and AV's intention or not, but this is definitely making me want to read Billy Bat.
Given what I know about your tastes I think you will enjoy the Hell out of Billy Bat.
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  #3498  
Old 09-30-2016, 04:47 PM
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Urasawa would make a lot more sense to me if he came out one day and said he'd been intentionally writing cornball farces his whole career, and his publishers just kept marketing them as dark, suspenseful thrillers to his chagrin.

But Billy Bat dives head-first into his narrative proclivities and never looks back, to the point it feels even more like self-parody than normal. If he's your bag, I can't imagine coming away disappointed.
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  #3499  
Old 09-30-2016, 10:05 PM
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Billy Bat is a serious, 165-chapter exploration of the "and that boy... was Albert Einstein" chain email

Urasawa manga are bad stories told masterfully, in as far as a well-told story can be 'bad.' I mean, the dude's work is filled with cliches, nostalgia, and inapplicable ideas about the human condition... and he squanders whatever momentum he builds on weird digressions... but he also has a better grasp on his craft and the inner lives of his characters than 99% of his peers. I'll still go to bat for Pluto & Monster.

He makes me appreciate his predecessor Tezuka's work a lot more, because Tezuka was breaking new ground in terms of what kind of stories you could tell in manga, the ideas you could explore, the ways you could tell those stories. The biggest thing Urasawa brings to the table is his craftsmanship -- as an artist, and as a 'director' in the panel-to-panel sense -- but Tezuka built that table.

Last edited by Zodar; 09-30-2016 at 10:20 PM.
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  #3500  
Old 10-01-2016, 03:48 AM
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Urasawa is so good at nostalgia, though.

I think a real strength of his work in 20th Century Boys is how effective he is at getting these feelings of nostalgia for 60s Japan across to a broad audience. When I was in Osaka I went to check out the Expo '70 site in large part because I wanted to see it after reading 20th Century Boys.
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  #3501  
Old 10-01-2016, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zodar View Post
The biggest thing Urasawa brings to the table is his craftsmanship -- as an artist, and as a 'director' in the panel-to-panel sense -- but Tezuka built that table.
This brings to mind what we were saying upthread a ways about Hiroki Endo -- also a supremely talented craftsman, also not so good about putting together a story that consistently knows where it's going.

It occurs to me we might really be talking about a basic weakness in manga as commercially driven serial entertainment.
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  #3502  
Old 10-01-2016, 06:58 PM
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I felt that both Monster and Pluto were very well-crafted narratives (uh, aside from the President Teddy nonsense in the latter). It was 20thCB where he kept baiting-and-switching until I lost all respect in the plot.

I'm collecting Master Keaton, but I'm waiting for one more volume before I binge it and decide whether to continue or not.
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  #3503  
Old 10-01-2016, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raider Dr. Jones View Post
It occurs to me we might really be talking about a basic weakness in manga as commercially driven serial entertainment.
Probably. Even the much-lauded Tezuka is a real rambler.
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  #3504  
Old 10-01-2016, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghosttaster View Post
Probably. Even the much-lauded Tezuka is a real rambler.
Dororo is a capital-G Great comic, but its narrative structure is all middle.
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  #3505  
Old 10-01-2016, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raider Dr. Jones View Post
It occurs to me we might really be talking about a basic weakness in manga as commercially driven serial entertainment.
I bet a large part of this is due to most creators acting as both artists and writers, instead of being half of a creative team.
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  #3506  
Old 10-01-2016, 11:48 PM
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I have a really selective manga collection, but I'm kind of struggling to think of a great mangaka as artist in need of better writer or a mangaka as a writer in need of a better artist. I'd certainly be down for some time-travel stuff, like present-day Makoto Yukimura and assistants redoing those first rough chapters of Planetes, or pre-broken human being Shirow writing for post-broken human being Shirow, but beyond that I'm struggling. Maybe I'm just used to the warts.

Or maybe it's because the closest equivilent that Japan has to Moore/Gaiman/Morrison/etc. is, er, Kazuo Koike?
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  #3507  
Old 10-02-2016, 10:58 AM
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There are a lot of things that can influence the direction of a manga. Reader polls, editors, illness and burnout, etc. It's a competitive industry and very time consuming and stressful for creators. Many artists make remarks about getting >5 hours of sleep a night and I don't think they're kidding.

Urasawa has his faults as a storyteller, but not everyone can draw compelling middlebrow dramatic serials for years at a time. In spite of his idiosyncrasies, he has the capacity to meet his artistic needs while staying a capital-P Professional and company man.

Some other artists, like Takehiko Inoue, Yoshihiro Togashi, and maybe Kentaro Miura, eventually suffer burnout or artistic frustration. Both Inoue and Miura have intensely detailed art styles that have only grown more intricate over time, and have found themselves years deep in complex (and sometimes meandering) storylines. Togashi has more or less publicly come out citing professional burnout. Even the mighty Akira Toriyama has lost interest in long-form serialization. These artists are all especially visible and have clout with publishers due to their popularity (not everyone could get away with the host of bullshit Togashi has pulled over the years)- some just burn out and disappear.

Most artists work with assistants. Some famously keep few (Akira Toriyama only ever had one at a time; Naoki Urasawa remarks in Manben about the visual sterility of work done with too many of them), while some, like Takao Saito and Tetsuo Hara, have a studio full. An artist like Rumiko Takahashi or Naoki Urasawa, whose visual language does not typically call for ornate detail or specific expressive ink/brushwork is probably better equipped to handle the demands of commercial production over time. At the same time, there are those weird prodigies like Eichiiro Oda and Inio Asano who seem like they can have their cake and eat it too in their artistic and professional lives.

It's also worth noting that, historically, people in Japan have been consuming manga chapter-by-chapter in magazines that are then thrown away. Length and pacing is often dictated by reader interest during initial publication. Plus, people work on these things for years at a time. While some artists probably demonstrate a better grasp on, or specific interest in, writing for tankobon pacing (Inio Asano, for example), these things just aren't meant to be binge-consumed the way most of us do.

The flexibility of pacing that manga allows means that sometimes meandering can be cool, though, like in BECK or Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou. It also means that an artist can get in too deep and lose track of what they're trying to say as the artist's life and feelings change, like with Takehiko Inoue in Vagabond.
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  #3508  
Old 10-02-2016, 06:04 PM
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Good stuff, ghosttaster. I can't think of a single long-form serial that didn't see some kind of major shift in it. It's especially notable when you're dealing with an artist's first major work - just look at how many early webcomics stripped their narrative transmissions making the shift from gag-a-day to epic adventure.
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  #3509  
Old 10-02-2016, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
Good stuff, ghosttaster. I can't think of a single long-form serial that didn't see some kind of major shift in it. It's especially notable when you're dealing with an artist's first major work - just look at how many early webcomics stripped their narrative transmissions making the shift from gag-a-day to epic adventure.
I liked your post, too, ghosttaster! Erm, i'm quoting this to say that i think Satoshi Mizukami's Spirit Circle is an example of this. It's what immediately comes to mind, but it is not that long (it has 6 volumes). It is amazingly consistent.
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  #3510  
Old 10-02-2016, 06:42 PM
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Satoshi Mizukami
Is really fucking good, by the by. Pretty much anything of his is worth checking out.
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