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Manga Saikano


HitokiriBanzai
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[color=navy]Finally, I've been waiting for someone to make a thread about Saikano. I'm too lazy to do it myself.

I've been anxious about this series ever since I first read about it on Viz's website months ago. I had never really heard of the series before, except for its brief apperance in Anime Insider's "Best Anime You've Never Seen" mini-article, but it looked like the sort of dramatic series I was looking for.

My first real taste of the manga came at Anime Expo when Viz was giving out their obligatory free preview manga. One of their volumes had a few pages of Saikano in it. It wasn't the greatest scene in the series (It was when there was the air raid on Sapporo and Shuji discovers Chise's secret), and it really didn't throw me, but it didn't stop me from buying the first volume, either.

I finally found a copy of the first volume in Waldenbooks a week or so after it was released. I skimmed through the first few pages, just to see if it was worth buying, and I found it to be even better than I anticipated.

It felt real.

Every other romance manga I've ever read was rather shallow. Either it was a perverse "comedy" full of groping and panty-shots or a sappy, melodramatic series filled with bishounen. Saikano reminds me so much of my own experiences. The awkwardness of a first-time relationship, and the shyness that's involved. It had its funny moments, but it's more of a sweet and innocent chuckle than a "Haha, Keitaro, that's what you get for accidentally coming across four half-naked girls when you fell through the floor!" The artist's way of drawing cartooney expressions is funny, too. The one that sticks out most in my mind is when Chise is talking with her friends about a TV drama they were watching, and Chise calls it exciting while everyone else things its annoying. That frame made me laugh so much. I'm smirking at the thought of it.

The second volume is coming out in September, and I can't wait. I don't think I've ever been this entertained by a manga- not even Naruto. It really deserves its place in Viz's "Editor's Choice" section.

Oh, and on a note about the anime version, I don't think I'll be buying the DVDs. I'm perfectly happy with the beautiful art and story that has been presented by the original writer, even though the anime version seems very nice as well. That money is going towards Shingetsutan Tsukihime later this year, though. *wink* [/color]
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Saikano is the most depressing thing I have ever watchd, even from the first episode. I think the characters are deep and unique, the experiences stem from actual reality (rather than the usual "clamp-esque" romance manga/anime). Unforetunately I've only seen the anime, but I really want to read the manga (which will be difficult because non mainstream manga are hard to come by here in the UK).I can honestly say this is the only romance anime I have actaully really liked.
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Thanks, at least somebody who thinks good about drama.

I first heard of it like couple weeks ago on the viz website, and the trailer looked to me kinda interesting, plus i heard a lot of the "she the ultimate weapon" (that's a diffirent translation or what?) so i desided i'll get a look at it. i couldn't afford DVD plus i was intrested in autors original artwork, so i bought it.

At first it looked kinda like a simple love come, but when i reached chapter "The last days"
i understood i got tottaly addicted to it.

And i like cause like you said "it felt real". Well ofcourse Lovehina was wierd but that's just totally diffirent type of story, real funny though. But the point is i just watched Voices of a distant Star and was kinda looking for something in the same mood to watch/read.

Great heartbraking drama, original plot, with tiny taste of comedy (my fav was when Shuji saw her in the air w/ wings and she folded them and fell down, that was cute, and then she told him that she wanted to fly home and that she broke mach 2.

But honestly somethings were kinda scary, like when she transformed into that huge ship, and i can't really even imagine what will happen next, how can they see each other or how can she come to school if she can't return to her human form anymore?

But i can't wait till september, even though it's school time.

Saikano is the work of art. Only someone who doesn't appreciate human fielings would call it depressing.
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[quote name='HitokiriBanzai']And i like cause like you said "it felt real". Well ofcourse Lovehina was wierd but that's just totally diffirent type of story, real funny though. But the point is i just watched Voices of a distant Star and was kinda looking for something in the same mood to watch/read.[/quote][color=navy]Well, I'm all for weird (FLCL, anyone?), but I got tired of Love Hina by the second volume. How many times can you watch Keitaro accidentally grope or catch a peek of one of the girls and still laugh? No offense to the series, of course. It's all right, but it's not something that really interests me.

Voice of a Distant Star is another thing I want to see. It looks like it may be a bit more on the melodramatic side, though.[/color]

[quote]But honestly somethings were kinda scary, like when she transformed into that huge ship, and i can't really even imagine what will happen next, how can they see each other or how can she come to school if she can't return to her human form anymore?[/quote][color=navy]When Chise said she can't return to her human form she meant that she will always be the ultimate weapon, without a heartbeat and all that jazz. Remember how she pulled her wings back in so quickly when Shuji saw her floating? She's still able to return to a form that at least [i]looks[/i] human.[/color]
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[quote name='OtakuSennen][color=navy']Voice of a Distant Star is another thing I want to see. It looks like it may be a bit more on the melodramatic side, though.[/color][/quote]

Voices of a Distant Star is brilliant and not at all over-the-top. From watching approximately half of the Saikano anime, I would say that Saikano's story leans more toward melodrama than VoaD's, and tends to feel somewhat more contrived.

I normally hate to double-dip (by buying both the anime and manga belonging to a specific franchise), but I'm really tempted to find out what the original version of Saikano is like. The anime is well directed and dazzlingly beautiful, easily one of GONZO's best-looking series. However, I don't find it that emotionally stirring. I'm curious about whether the manga will do a better job of allowing me to sympathize with its main characters.

Oh, and in reference to your first post--it's cool that you mentioned Tsukihime, which is another tragic romance with a twist. Money spent on Tsukihime is money well spent indeed. If you leave the Saikano manga out of the picture (it's basically an unknown factor for me, since I haven't started reading it yet), I think Tsukihime and VoaD are [i]much[/i] more heart-rending than Saikano, even though Chise and Shuji suffer more greatly than most of the characters in those two anime.

~Dagger~
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Oh, ok then, guess it won't be too bad at least look the same.

And Dagger IX1 is right. it's a brilliant anime, not to mension it's one-man-studio anime.
Mokoto Shinkai is my fav bakground artist, he uses a lot of 3D, but not too much like others, just to make it look real enough.
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  • 1 year later...
Guest Mishina Eikichi
That I have. Saikano is one of my favorite mangas. I've read up to volume 4 and are going to be getting my hands on Vol. 5 soon.

If you haven't read it yet you should, because its really good :animesmil
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[COLOR=DarkOrange]I've read the first 2 volumes. And for some reason, I keep getting this feeling that it's going to have a really sad ending. You know what, though? Even as I was reading the first 2 volumes, I found myself tear-ing up at several parts.

Man, I think that this is a pretty emotional story.[/COLOR]
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[QUOTE=Monkey_Orange][COLOR=DarkOrange]I've read the first 2 volumes. And for some reason, I keep getting this feeling that it's going to have a really sad ending. You know what, though? Even as I was reading the first 2 volumes, I found myself tear-ing up at several parts.

Man, I think that this is a pretty emotional story.[/COLOR][/QUOTE]
[COLOR=RoyalBlue]Yeah i agree with you i always have that feelng that its gonna have a sad ending 2 it. Still you gotta love that book :animesmil . I mean Chize doesnt make her self approvable 2 her boyfriend. Whats the deal With them, they break up, they kiss in the middle of the street.Blah blah blah.And at the end of the 4th one she kisses another guy. ???????? :animestun [/COLOR]
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  • 5 months later...
I'm very much surprised that I didn't notice this little gem before, seeing as it is such a great tale. What got me interested would be the usual trend with me; borrowing and exchanging manga with a few friends. I had noticed Saikano in the book store, but never bothered to look into it. Now, I'm kickng myself because of that.

First of all, when it says 'Editor's Choice' on the cover it has to be good. But, Saikano goes beyond good. The little subtitle 'The Last Love Song on This Little Planet' is truely fitting. The time period is unknown at this point--all we know is that there's a war going on. Unlike other stories that take place in a time of war, this one doens't focus on the military actions so much as the lives of Chise and her new boyfriend, Shuji.[SPOILER] But the fact remains that Chise is the Ultimate Weapon of the JSDF.[/SPOILER] Chise, the sweet heart that she is, simply wants to have a bowl of ramen with Shuji, but is torn between that and the duty that was forced on her unwillingly.

Little comment on what I always die for in manga; the artwork. The people and the backgrounds are drawn so differently that I at first wondered if they were done by the same artist. The character designs remain relatively simple, but the cityscapes have a photographic quality to them. If seen in a different context, I would think that they are photographs.

I've only read one volume, but I will read more. I don't always go for sweet stories, but I'll make an exception for Saikano. Now, for discussion, what do you all think of Saikano? Is it something you'll read over and over again?
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