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Book Title: 刻〈3〉新装版|
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 313 KB
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The author of the book: Rumiko Takahashi
Date of issue: April 27th 2007
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Reader ratings: 7.9
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From one of my favorite episodes in volume 2, we move on to some of my least favorite episodes in volume 3.
First, the unconscionable episode that I will call "Sexual Assault New Year's." (Spoiler popped for content: sexual assault, as one might expect.) (view spoiler)["We'll be alone, so she can't scream!" Good way to kick things off! And then there's this weird creepy thing on Godai's part where if Kyoko doesn't see him coming for her, he could get away with anything he wants--because it'd be her own fault?? What the hell.
From Kyoko's point of view, she is anxious or even fearful the whole time, setting up physical impediments between them, and making sure she is facing and/or moving away from him at all times because of the bizarre rape-culture assumption above. And all of this awfulness comes from her "not being able to" turn Godai away from her apartment when she'd previously invited him for a more openly social get-together. (hide spoiler)] What. The. Hell. As much as I love this series, that particular episode can die in a fire.
Second, the skating rink episode. There isn't anything wrong with it, necessarily. It just isn't all that funny, and doesn't move the story forward at all. It was cut from the original English translation, and wasn't much of a loss, to be honest.
But there's some good stuff in this volume. Kozue gets bolder--one could say a little too bold, as she skips straight to thoughts of marriage when she and Godai haven't even kissed, and tricks him into a "meet the parents" moment. While I'm not a fan of the particular type of "woman learning to negotiate a man's world" that Kozue represents, it's funny to see her transparent, inexperienced sallies completely pole-axe Godai.
We meet Kyoko's parents, and come to understand just why she is sticking with her in-laws and/or managing the apartment, rather than going back home. It's true that Kyoko is young--she's only 20 at this point in the story--so the desire to get her to come home and find a new husband is somewhat selfless on her parents' part. They want her to be happy, and for her mourning to not extend too far into her young adulthood. But at the least sign of resistance, it becomes all about them, about winning a battle over their daughter's will, which--understandably!--causes her to fight back even harder.
As kind as the narration is to most of the characters' foibles, it spares no mercy for Kyoko's parents. This part of the story, especially with Kozue's chapter right beforehand, feels very cynical. But it ends up relenting a bit, and even touched me, when, at Soichiro's grave site, Kyoko's father-in-law tells her that as a widow, she is not "a wife who isn't dead yet," but someone who is alive, and--my extrapolation of his words--someone who can move on when she is ready to.
In a discussion with a friend who's also been a fan of this series for a long time, they said that Maison Ikkoku changes gradually from a sex comedy to a "marriage prospects" comedy. I agree with this assessment, and would further say that the transition is gearing up even as early as the latter half of this volume. Well, I can only hope that that means my good memories of this series won't be further soiled by more abominations like the New Year's episode. You get docked a star for that piece of garbage, book!
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Read information about the authorRumiko Takahashi (高橋 留美子) was born in Niigata, Japan. She is not only one of the richest women in Japan but also one of the top paid manga artists. She is also the most successful female comic artist in history. She has been writing manga non-stop for 31 years.
Rumiko Takahashi is one of the wealthiest women in Japan. The manga she creates (and its anime adaptations) are very popular in the United States and Europe where they have been released as both manga and anime in English translation. Her works are relatively famous worldwide, and many of her series were some of the forerunners of early English language manga to be released in the nineties. Takahashi is also the best selling female comics artist in history; well over 100 million copies of her various works have been sold.
Though she was said to occasionally doodle in the margins of her papers while attending Niigata Chūō High School, Takahashi's interest in manga did not come until later. During her college years, she enrolled in Gekiga Sonjuku, a manga school founded by Kazuo Koike, mangaka of Crying Freeman and Lone Wolf and Cub. Under his guidance Rumiko Takahashi began to publish her first doujinshi creations in 1975, such as Bye-Bye Road and Star of Futile Dust. Kozue Koike often urged his students to create well-thought out, interesting characters, and this influence would greatly impact Rumiko Takahashi's works throughout her career.
Career and major works:
Takahashi's professional career began in 1978. Her first published story was Those Selfish Aliens, a comedic science fiction story. During the same year, she published Time Warp Trouble, Shake Your Buddha, and the Golden Gods of Poverty in Shōnen Sunday, which would remain the home to most of her major works for the next twenty years. Later that year, Rumiko attempted her first full-length series, Urusei Yatsura. Though it had a rocky start due to publishing difficulties, Urusei Yatsura would become one of the most beloved anime and manga comedies in Japan.
In 1980, Rumiko Takahashi found her niche and began to publish with regularity. At this time she started her second major series, Maison Ikkoku, in Big Comic Spirits. Written for an older audience, Maison Ikkoku is often considered to be one of the all-time best romance manga. Takahashi managed to work on Maison Ikkoku on and off simultaneously with Urusei Yatsura. She concluded both series in 1987, with Urusei Yatsura ending at 34 volumes, and Maison Ikkoku being 15.
During the 1980s, Takahashi became a prolific writer of short story manga, which is surprising considering the massive lengths of most of her works. Her stories The Laughing Target, Maris the Chojo, and Fire Tripper all were adapted into original video animations (OVAs). In 1984, after the end of Urusei Yatsura and Maison Ikkoku, Takahashi took a different approach to storytelling and began the dark, macabre Mermaid Saga. This series of short segments was published sporadically until 1994, with the final story being Mermaid's Mask. Many fans contend that this work remains unfinished by Takahashi, since the final story does not end on a conclusive note.
Another short work left untouched is One-Pound Gospel, which, like Mermaid Saga, was published erratically. The last story to be drawn was published in 2001, however just recently she wrote one final chapter concluding the series
Later in 1987, Takahashi began her third major series, Ranma ½. Following the late 80s and early 90s trend of shōnen martial arts manga, Ranma ½ features a gender-bending twist. The series continued for nearly a decade until 1996, when it ended at 38 volumes. Ranma ½ is one of Rumiko Takahashi's most popular series with the Western world.
During the later half of the 1990s, Rumiko Takahashi continued with short stories and her installments of Mermaid Saga and One-Pound Gospel until beginning her fourth major work, InuYasha. While Ran
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