Showing posts from August, 2015

Of women and fiction; of patriarchy and war

This book is a real treasure since it collects two of Virginia Woolf's most notable essays namely A Room of One's Own and Three Guineas. They were both such insightful readings filled with memorable and philosophical passages that took me in an adventurous and stimulating journey about important issues that I damn well should care about. In fact, I was so incredibly enthralled by the essays that I ended up placing strips of sticky notes for the pages that have the most discussion-worthy quotes. I suppose this review will be littered by them as I write this because I want to take the time to explain how much Woolf's writing affected me, and the kind of lasting impressions it left. Please take note that I will be devoting more time in tackling A Room of One's Own and just briefly touch upon Three Guineas much later on. I enjoyed the first essay more than the second one.


"Literature is open for everybody. I refuse to allow you to turn me off th…

Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden by Yuu Watase

Back in sixth grade, the entire class almost religiously watched the anime Fushigi Yuugi every Friday night and then talk about it in groups come school day. The classroom would be filled with lively chatter about what happened in a recent episode, most especially when my best friend at that time would bring along merchandise such as posters, action figures and copies of the English translated manga itself she tirelessly looked for so she can share them with me. At first it started with the girls but pretty soon the boys joined in, mostly because the anime is scandalous in itself, featuring semi-nude and acceptably sensual scenarios that are not that aggresively sexual.

It's a love story about the star-crossed lovers Miaka and Tamahome that got the girls hooked while it's an action-adventure fantasy that the boys could enjoy. Three years ago, I re-watched the anime again and the nostalgic charm was still there. I was compelled to read the manga and also pick up the other spin…

Kodama Yuki's KIDS ON THE SLOPE (Sakamichi no Apollon)

"Unlike love affairs, friendship is for life."

[NOTE: This review encompasses the entire series]

I'm a twenty-five year old woman who just finished the ten volumes of the shoujo manga Strobe Edge last month and realized it just wasn't my cup of tea anymore at this point in my life. It was cute, sure, but I felt like I wasted a good five hours reading through it. I think that's mostly because I read this series a few weeks prior to that (and the more riveting shoujo piece Orange as well) and, ultimately, Sakamichi no Apollon resonated with me in all the right places. First of all, it's a josei manga so the maturity level of the storytelling is already guaranteed but I don’t really have any strong expectations once I started reading this which was why it managed to take me for a breathless ride out of nowhere, and gave me a frightfully emotional spin.

Much like the manga Nana, this is a story about friendship and music. While the former is about two women who…

ORANGE by Ichigo Takano

In the midst of the usual shoujo manga varieties that cater to the many shades and conflicts of school-girl infatuation and romance, Ichigo Takano's ongoing series ORANGE easily stands out. This manga's central romantic development, though more or less integral to the tale being told, is not Orange's real selling point let alone its primary focus. Instead, Orange is a rather earnest and at times painfully realistic story concerning a teenager's clinical depression told in the perspectives of his high school friends. In a bittersweet fashion with an understanding and depth of how mental illness truly affects a person and his social ties, Orange produced such a nuanced examination of depression in the character of Kakeru Naruse. It's not just a mere plot device to get two people in a relationship or for the lead heroine to go on a journey and fix the guy with tender love and care. It started out with that premise but progressed into a more meaningful and even darker …