• September 2008
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Shojo and Shonen are the two most known forms to us in the states, but there are several other types. Seinen is for adult males and Josei is for adult women. Manga is pretty popular here in Japan with all ages, and whenever I go to a ramen shop during lunch time, I’ve always seen guys in business suits eating their ramen with one hand while reading a manga in the other XD Much like you’d see a businessman here eating lunch and reading a book/novel here.

There is also a type for very young children called Kodomo (which is the word for child), and there is one that I LOVE! It’s called Chi’s Sweet Home, the episodes are about 3 minutes long each and are so funny and cute ^^ But I’m kinda getting into Anime with this one, cause I really haven’t had the chance to read any Chi. XD But it is soooooooo cute and happy and sweet!
Chi's Sweet Home
Found image here.

I think a really fun form of written media is Manga. For starters I’ll break down some of the basic forms and go from there.

Shojo is the term for material aimed at young girls, usually with an adolescent/teenaged girl as the protagonist. Many of the manga have romantic themes, but it’s not always the case. One of my favorite animes/manga is Azumanga Daioh, written by Kiyohiko Azuma, who also wrote another manga I love Yotsuba&!. Azumanga is usually thought to be aimed at girls, but it is just a happy light-hearted comedy about girls in highschool, with no real romance involved so I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as a shojo. There is however a little bit that examines a crush on one of the characters.

My favorite manga is Fruits Basket, written by Natsuki Takaya, which does have a love story. It’s about a girl who unwaveringly loves her friends and centers around a family afflicted with a curse of the junishi (the Chinese 12 animal zodiac).

Another awesome shojo manga I love is Ouran High School Host Club, which plays out in at a high school for really rich kids. The really like the theme, which is that it doesn’t matter how someone looks, dresses or how odd they are, everyone still needs/wants to be loved.
Azumanga Daioh Fruits Basket
Yotsuba& Ouran High School Host Club
From left to right, top to bottom: Azumanga Daioh, Fruits Basket, Yotsuba&, and Ouran High.

Pictures found here, here, here, and here.

Another Star Wars series that I enjoyed was the Black Fleet Crisis, written by Michael Kube-McDowell.  I liked the character development of Leia, who comes to realize that she can’t do everything as President of the Republic.  Luke’s out searching for this planet he got informed his mother was from, and still might be on (but those who’ve watched the movies know that it can’t be true, but when these books came out that story arc hadn’t happened yet.) But it was actually a trick by this woman who wanted his help and he found a group of force users that use the force totally differently then anyone in the Jedi Order had heard of; they called the Flow.  Han ends up being in charge of a huge fleet of ships and has to fight off an attack by some left over Imperials.

Image found here.

Speaking of Young Jedi Knights, I liked that series.  It’s written by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta.   A couple friends of mine who read it didn’t really like it, but I thought it was pretty good.  Though the last book in the series felt like it left things hanging, I’m guessing it was planned to go further, but by that time the New Jedi Order was coming out.  I haven’t had a chance to read that series yet, but I really want to.  Lots of stuff happens that deeply affects the Star Wars universe, including the death of a key character from the movies.

The main characters in this series are the son and daugher of Han Solo and Leia Organa-Solo, Jacen and Jaina who are twins, Chewbacca’s nephew Lowbacca, and the daugher of the Prince and his new bride in the previous book I talked about, Tenel Ka.  It’s an obvious attempt to get younger readers into the Star Wars universe, and I thought it was a pretty good one.  Though some of the moralizing bits are a bit “after-school special-ish” XD  Good stuff though, and nice quick reads.

Image found here.

Here’s a huge list of books XD  I haven’t read near all of them, but for a while I kept up fairly well.  Then there was a huge surge of books after the Prequels started coming out and I couldn’t keep up.  XD  I’ll go over them one book/series at a time since this could get rather long lol.

Well, let’s see, out of the ones I have read I like The Courtship of Princess Leia, written by Dave Wolverton the most.  This book takes place shortly after the Return of the Jedi, and Leia is offered the hand of a Prince whose star system wishes to join the Republic.  Han goes crazy and thinks he wins a planet during a sabacc game, but it turns out it’s a scam.  But he kidnaps Leia and runs to the planet he “won”, which is Dathomir. I thought the world Dathomir, where most of the story takes place is pretty cool, as are the Force Sensitive peoples who inhabit it.  I also like the fact that in the Young Jedi Knights series they include the daughter of the Prince and the women he falls in love with there (she’s force sensitive).  Force Sensitive means that they have Jedi powers, but they’re not trained as Jedi.

Image found here.

He’s well known for writing a series called the Shannara series.  I read about 6 or so from that series so far.  Its good stuff, but I recently started another series by him called the Word & Void.  It’s modern day and is really well written.  I just looked it up on Wikipedia, and it says that this series is actually a prequel to the Shannara books.  That’s pretty interesting, but I haven’t read the book that is supposed to link them, it’s called The Genesis of Shannara.  I do actually have one of his later Shannara books on tape, K and I listened to it on a trip two years ago.  Pretty cool, I liked how he uses ruins of older civilizations as areas in his novels.  I guess that makes sense then that he then merges the current world to a post apocalyptic world with the later fantasy world.


Pic found here.

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