Anime/Manga

Aimless Wanderings 32: Great success; I didn’t get serial killed while hitch-hiking.


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So here we are again in the new year. The winter season of anime is well underway, and segues are really hard to pull off. Speaking of segues, here’s more stuff you can check out in between episodes of new shows.

The Japanese medical system is diseased; jockeying for superiority among doctors and covering your ass has become more important than patient care. Asada Ryutaro, a young prodigy whose methods have made him a bit of a renegade in the Japanese medical community, is recruited by an assistant professor who is looking to use him to help perform her potentially groundbreaking thesis surgery research in order to make herself look better in the eyes of the head professor. Ryutaro agrees but for a few stipulations, a) he has complete control of who gets put on his research team, and b) he must be allowed to work in the hospital as a doctor until his team is assembled and if anyone tries to disrupt the way he does things, he walks from the deal. Witness the assembly of Team Medical Dragon and the reformation of the Japanese hospital system!

This is a bit of a rarity in the column as this series is, primarily, a drama. I tend to stay away from dramas mostly because the tension always seems so shoe-horned into situations, ie. every character is given a horribly traumatic past, but that aspect is absent from this series. It advances the story pretty much issue by issue, with a new patient/problem arising in each chapter, but at the beginning it serves as a believable way to introduce characters from different departments throughout the hospital. The writing is also very well researched and isn’t afraid to wade into the medical jargon without making it unaccessible for a reader who knows nothing of the medical field. Quick warning: the main character is a surgeon and is in a hospital; there is a significant amount of blood shown at times, as well as some nudity. If that’s not for you, stay away.

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Kandachime is about Takuma Zushi, a solitary slacker who likes it that way. One day he sees a girl going into the forest with a sword and he can’t resist going to see what the hell she’s doing. What he walks in on is a fight to the death that he ends up getting dragged into in a naive attempt to save the girl’s life. Just as he’s about to be killed by her attacker, a sword materializes in his hand and he shatters his opponent’s weapon with his, and he gets caught up in the dark underground movement to find and possess a kandachime, or “true sword”.

I admit to not having read very far into this one, but it caught my attention enough to merit it being here; this could become a very good series or could just as easily become horribly derivative. I encourage you to try it out, though.

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The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer is a series that I’ve talked about before, mostly in news articles, but I believe I’ve mentioned it on the podcast some time in the past; I don’t think I’ve done it here, but if I have, it’s worth repeating. Amamiya Yuuhi wakes up one day to discover a lizard telling him that he’s been chosen to defend the earth from an evil mage bent on destroying it. Yuuhi throws the lizard out the window of his apartment, wanting more to destroy the planet rather than save it. Noi(that’s the lizard) returns in short order, however, reiterating the statement that Yuuhi had been chosen and the only way out was death, and adding that you got a wish to go with the responsibility. Seeing that he can’t really get out of it, Yuuhi agrees and discovers the first thing he needs to do is track down the “princess”, the one who will lead him, and others like him, in the battle against the mage. The princess, as it turns out, is his next door neighbour, and to Noi’s dismay, she only wants to defeat the mage because she wants to be the one to destroy the planet. Yuuhi and the princess form a a secret alliance to turn on their comrades when the time came and to destroy the planet themselves.

This is one you really have to read in order to appreciate it properly, because I can’t really do it justice. The character interaction in this manga is almost divine and while the art seems somewhat sketchy at first, I found that it really grew on me and absolutely fits the tone of the series. With the licensing of this manga in America, I’m really hoping to see an animated version of the show before long. This manga is, and likely will be for a long time, easily in my top five manga/anime series of all time.

With that, it’s another issue done and away. Also another one that’s *ahem* late, but hey! Who cares about whether or not things are on time or not, as long as people like reading them? Now the only thing I need to do is be either of those things… Thanks for reading!


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