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Showing posts from February, 2016

"A durable thread that ties you to a past that created you"

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I've noticed a pattern in the Rosales Saga since reading the previous third installment of the series, My Brother, My Executioner. Simply put, the issues concerning national freedom and independence as well as the struggles, prejudices and prevalent corruption that have defined the relationship of Filipinos with themselves and their own countrymen ARE STILL THE SAME THINGS that are being discussed and argued to this day in my country. Now it was under a different social context but the fight is still being fought, and perhaps is currently suffering a stagnation. FSJ's Rosales Saga was written in 1973 (starting with the third book I mentioned above), and his insights and chronicles about the effects of Spanish and American colonialism in Filipino heritage and culture are impressive and beautifully rendered on page. My personal favorite installment of this saga will always be Po-On which is the first book (ironically written as the last one, chronologically speaking).

FSJ's f…

DOUBLE HOUSE by Haruno Nanae

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This is my second shoujo ai for the year, and it's a rather promising story that was disappointingly only three chapters long! This was published in 2008 so there is no way this can have any more chapters which is really frustrating, considering how intriguing and layered the characters and themes are for this manga. To be honest, I believe this may have been discontinued because it wasn't providing enough sexy fanservice about ladies going at it and that's just sad! This has so much potential to be a very riveting, emotionally stirring story about women and their gender roles and sexuality but I suppose the author wasn't commissioned for any more chapters. I don't want to think she has lost interest, let alone stopped writing but I can't find any more of her works online.

And this is the dilemma I am facing right now as I write this review: I'm not even sure if I can recommend it. The reason for my hesitation to recommend this has nothing to do with the wri…

THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH by the Oldest Record in History

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Are you mongrels ready to talk about Gilgamesh? Okay, let's talk about the king of heroes then! Embarrassingly enough, I myself only discovered Gilgamesh last year when I was teaching World History to a few of my students, and one of the lessons was about ancient civilizations. For a story that is considered to be a very old one--if not one of the oldest ever recorded in human history--The Epic of Gilgamesh sure retained a rather comfortable status of obscurity, mostly because we're more inclined to talk about the Egyptians, and the Romans and Greeks, mythology-wise. We know about Hercules, the gods and goddesses of Olympus, and Cleopatra, and cursed pharaohs and haunting mummies because they are basic Hollywood fodder--but we have yet to have anyone adapt the story of Gilgamesh on screen. And IT'S A COSMICALLY UNFAIR INJUSTICE. 
The closest thing we get in the meantime is a re-imagined version of him in the Japanese light novel and anime Fate/Zero where I absolutely fuckin…

TEN COUNT by Rihito Takarai

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The first time I read this manga, I was reading another shounen-ai story which is more engrossing and oh-so beautiful (I'll be re-reading that series again and posting a review some time in the coming months), so I easily put this down since it's only a casual read, especially when I reached at least ten chapters or so and I found the sudden shift into the sex a bit jarring and admittedly quite offensive. This is still an ongoing work, mind you, so I'm careful not to have a very definitive opinion about the narrative just yet although I must say that this has a very promising premise and it might have been a more compelling, emotionally mature read if it was published as a josei work and not simply a yaoi material. Sadly, the intended purpose for this manga was for some sexy times to commence, and therein lies the problem because I get the sense that author Takarai-sensei must really want to expand on the inner conflict his protagonist is struggling with but since this is …

FEBRUARY List of Readables

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TOKYO BABYLON Volumes 1-7 by CLAMP

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Full disclosure: Slowly yet surely, I'm now reading most of CLAMP's manga since I've been an avid fan of their works in anime (Magic Knight Rayearth, Cardcaptor Sakura, Chobits and Kobato), not failing to mention that my all-time favorite manga (and certainly one that is close to my heart and soul) is probablythe frustratingly tragic and punishingly intricate series xxxHoLic. I'm also finally completing my readings for Tsubasa Chronicle on the side because this is supposedly CLAMP's magnus opei and with its flexible narrative concerning alternate worlds, many characters from CLAMP's other works have made appearances in every volume--and the most unforgettable of them is probably Seishirou who was first introduced as Syaoran's mentor from childhood who then stole one of Sakura's memory feathers so he can use it to find a certain pair of vampire twins. In any case, I was curious about him so I asked some friends in fandom who can help me find more about t…