flesheatingammonite: (Default)
2016-08-06 12:52 am
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Manga Art Appreciation Days featuring the art of CLAMP

Hey there, it's actually been forever since my last entry. Unsurprising, I'm terrible at keeping blogs.

But I thought I'd do something a little different and try to keep up with something for once, a little bit of a cross between a "Top Favorites" and some critical analysis! Manga Art Appreciation Days (or MAAD).

So, what I'm going to do over the next few weeks is pull a top five to ten pieces of art from every single CLAMP title out there and showcase them here and pick them apart.

The CLAMP team's art is usually what draws people in to most of their works (as is true for most manga, this is a case where judging a book by it's cover I'm sure is more than common. Being a graphic medium, if the art simply doesn't appeal to you, most people will pass up even damn good stories over badly drawn, or even pieces that just aren't something they like personally). CLAMP is constantly evolving and tailoring their style to evoke something unique in, and differentiate each of their works from the other. Every single title has it's very own "style" that is still identifiable as "CLAMP".

They produce LOTS of artwork for their comics. For as many titles and stories they've written there's nearly just as many if not more art books, post cards, promotional artwork, sketches, designs and icons out there for them all from the talented hands of Mokona, Satsuki and Nekoi.

And so, here are the objectives of this little project of mine:

For every CLAMP manga title, I'm going to pick from five to ten pieces of artwork depending on the amount available, (or that I really can't do without talking about) that are my absolute favorite and showcase them here in a free from analytical essay.
I will open on each essay by pointing out the qualities that make the art for a particular series unique unto itself, including showing example of the actual comic pages and discuss the feel of the overall composition, the weight of lines, the use of tones and what effect this has overall in telling or presenting the story of that work to the readers. I can't guess what Ohkawa may have intended or what aspect of the art she and the other lady's may have discussed before hand but I sure can analyze the hell out of their pages for daaaays. Where available, I will bring in outside primary sources where they have stated a goal in mind or explained tools used and the choices behind them, like interviews and comments!
With that established, I will then take each chosen piece and individually critique it, saying what I like most about it and I will analyze it in relation to the story of the source material, any symbolism going on, what it says about the characters and anything else I can find!

I'm really excited to start this project, and I'm going to start off with CLAMP's debut RG Veda because I'm so very, VERY excited to hear that Dark Horse (bless them, seriously) has announced an omnibus re-release of the series. All ten original volumes will be collected in three MASSIVE large-print books, some about 600 pages each, with their customary inclusion of beautiful artwork and original color pages, which is a wonderful opportunity to have some of CLAMP's gorgeous artwork for the series in print for North American fans! If you've not yet read RG Veda, I'd highly recommend it, it's some gorgeous vintage CLAMP stuff and the title that made them big, and when I get my paws on a copy of the omnibus, I may just sit back and do a review on it, who knows!

flesheatingammonite: (Kohaku)
2015-06-01 09:40 pm

Swing Sets and Sorcery - A TB/CCS fanfic!

Heyo all I've joined the [community profile] clampkink meme so that means more excuses to write fanfic!

This is simply a deanoned post with more detailed author's notes for my first fill! I consequently fell in love with the concept of Subaru and Sakura having a little inter-generational frinedship so... expect to see probably more little ficlets and doodles from me soon exploring this.

Warning: Contains spoilers for Tokyo Babylon and by extension X.

Title: Swing Sets and Sorcery - Thaks to Artimissed for title ideas. Alt: It's all Fun and Games Till Someone's Family Gets Murdered.
Fandom: CLAMP'verse, Cardcaptor Sakura, Tokyo Babylon, X.
Pairing: Nothing romantic! Just fluffy Sakura and Subaru interaction.
Word Count: 1827
Rating/Warnings: G, No warnings apply!
~ It's not every day two powerful figures in the trade of magic have an impromptu play date.

I'm pretty sure this is not at all what the requester had in mind. )


And now the notes!:


Too much thought was put into giving this poor boy a hug. )

flesheatingammonite: (Default)
2015-01-30 04:06 pm
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xxxHOLiC ~ Feelings for Watanuki

My copies of the Wish Drama album and sound track came in! I'll be throwing up a review and pictures for each of them soon!

In the mean time, follwoing my CLAMP rampage I've gotten up to volume 14 of Tsubasa and things have pretty much *just gotten serious* and I'm looking forward to future developments! So far the crossover events with xxxHOLiC up to this point have just been little jokes and somewhat small things, though they've all been incredibly fun (like Yuuko badgering our wandering protagonist's for a White Day return present for the chocolates (made by long suffering Watanuki, of course) she sent them a while back). However, there is still lots of build up about Yuuko's role being far larger than her current involvment with Tsubasa's storyline.

In the mean time, feeling the severe lack of the holic crowd in my Tsubasa I decided to catch up with the entirety of holic's anime adaptations, so in the past week I've blitzed through the original Holic anime, whihc I subsequently snatched up from ebay, and online I've finsihed season two, Holic Kei. I went into it a little unprepared for the emotional one-two punch it would leave me with and later double by the time I got to the OVAs but, god damn. I definatley teared up near the end, thankfully Kei is forgiving in that it finishes on an incredibly uplifting and a tad bit silly note with the wish shop crowd, friends and supernatural patrons having a small get-together.

And then there were the OVA's. Now, I've never actually read through the manga up to these points myself, but I've been spoiled up and frikken down for *what happens* when Tsubasa and Holic finally begin to merge for serious. Even though I went into Kei with knowledge of the manga before hand, it still got to me. I was not expecting the Rou OVA's to get to me even worse.

This next bit will be a cut for under spoilers cause no one wants to read the equivalent of my blotchy gross sob face whilst getting all the best parts spoiled (much like I experienced way back when) at the same time.

Watanuki feels.. ;_; )
flesheatingammonite: (Wish)
2015-01-25 01:12 pm
Entry tags:

Age Before Beauty - Wish Fanfic

Like I promised, one of the few Wish themed fanfics I managed to pump out last week! I really enjoyed how this turned out!

Warning:
Contains spoilers up to the most recent (as of writing this) chapter of Drug & Drop, and allusions to the ending of Wish. If you're behind on or have not read either of these I suggest you skip this one or get crackalackin on some manga, they're good reads I assure you!

Title: Age Before Beauty* Special thanks to my cousin Krystal for the title! You're the best cuz!
Fandom: Wish/Drug & Drop (AKA Legal Drug)
Pairing: Hisui/Kokuyo, by extension Kakei/Saiga because.
Word Count: 2,688
Rating/Warnings: G, look out for The Son Of Satan being a total tsundere!
~ A certain couple who run a drugstore reminisce on the subject of change and how experiencing it as mortals has effected them. Set during the “Legal Drug” portion of Drug and Drop, right in the middle of volume two, prior to Kazahaya and Rikuo’s return with the cat.

Not at all a thinly veiled excuse to write ageing fluff. )

And now for some notes I guess!
Sometimes I put a little too much thought into things... )

I've still got tons more ideas for writing, hopefully I can get a few more stories out! X3



flesheatingammonite: (Kohaku)
2015-01-25 12:47 am
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I can never think of good titles.

It's true, I can't.

Today was my *very first* day of work ever! I'm pretty pumped. I go back in Sunday to finish up my training, and hopefully from there I can get a regular schedule. The little dollar store I'll be working at is getting a new manager so things were a little hectic! The office only has one computer, so I ended up in a weird kind of roulette the minute I got my login info sorted out. Shuffleing on and off from my training vids between other employees counting cash, the manager and manager-to-be handling other applications and manager stuff. Didn't help that I ended up watching a bunch of unnecessary training vids that didn't apply to my position by accident, but still, I'll have them all wrapped up tomorrow and I think the assistant manager likes me!

It's a little stressful and frustrating not being able to get myself read properly, but I really don't want to shoot myself in the foot, most of the people working there who aren't five years younger than me are all at least ten or twenty years older than me, so I've resigned myself to a fate of being closeted while in the work place like other folks like myself I suppose. Oh well, everything in due time.

Oh right! While I promised myself last time that I would go write some kind of review series on Wish, I sort of ended up writing a ton of fan-fiction instead, woops! Most of it turned out to be crossovers with Legal Drug/Drug and Drop anyways, but I really can't help it, I'm just so excited about the recent developments in Drug and Drop ever since I've caught up with the chapters! Maybe I'll post some of the fic later tomorrow, we'll see!

I've kind of been on a huge CLAMP-binge lately. Ever since picking up the Kobato anime this past december I've been picking up on lots of CLAMP titles I'd been holding back on or been unable to read or watch for whatever reason. Generally, the hey-day of my interest in CLAMP works was back when I was a huge weeb in junior high and completely addicted to Tokyopop's releases. Of them, I mostly picked up their books in thrift shops and second hand book stores, it was probably this by-chance purchasing that I ended up falling so hard for the works of their that promoted Nekoi's artwork most heavily.

Like any good collaboration, it's often hard to tell which member has done what part, even with notes on their production style, lists of who has what role or job most commonly, CLAMP's manga always feel very solid and seamless in the end, or at least I like to think so. Every work looks unique and has a slight or extreme variation of CLAMP's combined artistic talent giving any given series a rather unique look unto itself. However, Nekoi has always stood out in my mind, maybe it's the characters and stories attached to her art, or how her emphasized touch has made them differ from the rich dark details of say... Chobits versus the airy and definitive look of Cardcaptor Sakura.

Either way, I've gotten my hands on a lot more of their works since my last post and I'm practically vibrating with excitement. So far I've:

Caught up on Drug and Drop, read through all of Clover, finished the xxxHOLiC anime's first season a la Funimation's youtube channel (Thank you so much Funi, your free to watch subs and dubs have sold me at least five series I would have over looked before!) ended up finding it pretty cheap on ebay the next day, and sumarrily I bought it because I wanted to check out the full dub. Yuuko's voice actress does a wonderful and enchanting job and Watanuki is too cute in English. In addition to that I managed to buy the first half of Del Ray's release of Tsubasa off my ex who never really read them any ways for super cheap. I also picked up the first to volumes of Kobato while I bought school books for my history class!

2015 is basically the year I swoop in and try to pick up every CLAMP title for dirt cheap. It seems I've waited just long enough for it too, depending on where I look I can find books for almost 1/4th of the original sales price! Aside from hunting down the last 14 volumes of Tsubasa, I'm planning on getting the new re-released Omnibus for Cardcaptor Sakura, Chobits, Clover, Legal Drug, and hopefully xxxHolic!

I feel kind of weird only just now jumping on the crazy train that is CLAMP's most ambitious and hotly debated project to date: The big ole Tsubasa/Holic clusterfuck. I'm miraculously unspoiled for both series, and have never known enough to join the conversation, but the idea of it has always intrigued me, especially since I've been trying to "piece together" the CLAMP multiverse for years now ever since I noticed the little cross overs and cameos from series to series! I've already blitzed through 13 of the Tsubasa books, maybe after 'll go back and re-read them again more slowly and write some of my thoughts on it.

And lastly in my giant CLAMP spree: I've located not one, not two, but THREE WISH RELATED CD's! Haha I was honestly looking to find a cheaper version of the Wish Artbook, since I don't own any of CLAMP's art books (for shame!) I figured I might as well start with the one concerning the series most closest and dearest to my heart, right? It's pretty damned expensive on Ebay and I'd really love to have it, but I'd also really love not to spend that much money all in one place, you know? The only reason I've even spent so much in the last month has been because of all the amazing deals I've been finding.

Seriously, I got two history-related comics for class, (Maus and Trinity for anyone interested!) and added like five manga to the cart ranging from the price of shipping to two bucks plus shipping. Add in my college student discount and I got about seven books for less than $30!

So, what did I find while snooping around Amazon Japan? Sadly, no art book, but three Wish albums!

One is a single produced by Ali Project, the lovely band responsible for the music used in the Wish music video from 1997 (incidentally they've been responsible for the openings and endings to a NUMBER of anime series these days). Another looks like something of a "sound track" that would be used in an anime production. Once again my heart breaks in knowing that things look like they were so close to getting an anime for this manga but instead settled for everything but producing actual episodes! It's a beautiful looking CD with a hefty 20-somthing tracks on it.

Lastly, for anyone who knows me, I love Japanese anime CD Dramas. It all started with the Pokemon CD Dramas a million years ago when I walked among the dinosaurs, and to this day I've downloaded, hunted down and moonlighted as a quality checker for Drama translation projects for a few years now. So now that I've found a Wish CD drama I've been kind of freaking out.

Like.

Freaking out so hard.

You guys don't even know.

So I've ordered the latter two albums, the drama and the "sound track"! Sadly I couldn't find a version of the little Ali Project EP that shipped to the states but I'm detirmined to find a way around that. I must have it. Wish feels so obscure here in the states, so I'm incredibly surprised to see that it even has CD's let alone a DRAMA CD in Japan! I guess it did somewhat better than I thought! |3

When I get them in I'll throw up a track list and samples and probably rabble on about it forever and ever.

Well that's all for tonight, oh yeah, I guess I'm babysitting mom's dog this week, so it's been pretty nice having her around, she's a brat and a huge pan in the butt, but it's really nice to have a dog in the house. My mousie, Hoodabie is great but there's nothing like having a dog of any size to just goof off with. :D



flesheatingammonite: (Default)
2015-01-06 10:30 pm
Entry tags:

You know, that one Clamp title...

I'm a Clamp fan. Anyone taking a peek at my manga and anime collection can tell you that right off the bat. Sure, lots of us are, I mean, when you're as long running, big and talented as Clamp, there's not one anime fan out there who has not heard of you!

I'm pretty sure there's a Clamp work out there for everyone, from their classic shoujo magical girl series like Card Captor Sakura, to their surprisingly graphic and mature works like X/1999.

Personally, out of the lady quartet I've always been a huge fan of Tsubaki Nekoi (Formerly Mick Nekoi). Sure, all the members of Clamp swap roles and have equal part in the final product of any of their titles, but some carry more weight than others, and the titles that Nekoi has worked the most on always seem to catch my eyes, namely, Legal Drug (and it's re-release/continuation Drug and Drop), Kobato, Suki and Wish!

My favorite of these is Wish.

Having recently sat down and finally watched Kobato's anime adaptation, I was in for a huge surprise. For those of you unfamiliar with Wish or Kobato, the rest of this entry will be put under a cut for potential spoilers!
Okay maybe I didn't get so spoilery, but I did get rambley! )

Haha, wow I got really out of focus there. ANYWAYS, I've got a lot of stupid love for this manga and I want to share it with people, so I think I'm going to start up a little review series of some sort for Wish. I want to talk about all sorts of things, the characters, the developments, how much this dumb little comic mean to me, and of course, the pretty, pretty artwork!

So, I think what I'll do is review the manga first, break it down and do it chapter by chapter so I can really go in-depth and have a lot to post! That way I can have regular updates and always have something to do. I'll try to post pictures and scans from my own books or any scanslations if I can find any lying around. I'm also thinking of getting the Wish art book at some point, so I may even review that, and of course, I can always talk about that dumb little music video as well! :3

So keep your eyes peeled, my next post will probably be a little "introduction" of sorts and kick off this little project idea!