Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Washed Right Out, Chapter Seven

Listen, y'all. Here comes the latest installment in my Wednesday Briefs series, Washed Right Out. In this chapter, Riley receives an unwelcome surprise. I hope y'all like your flash fiction tense cos this is t-e-n-s-e. Enjoy!
Washed Right Out, Chapter Seven. Prompts used: tall building, a character making a promise.
The next time someone envied Riley his job at an adult magazine, he’d have to add that Thursday morning to his growing stack of disaster work days. On the bright side, he didn't think about Jonathan or his own inevitable kidnapping the entire time.
All that changed the moment he came home.
He was sitting on the steps leading up to Riley's apartment building. His figure seemed small set against the towering levels of the complex. Judging by the several overturned empty coffee cups and crumpled fast food refuse, he’d been sitting there for a while. His dark chinos were heavily creased, one pocket out-turned, and his dress shirt was untucked at several points.
Riley's body felt heavy. Around him, the world was moving, but he wasn't. He couldn't.

PR: Viz Media Announces Plans, Exclusive Items For Upcoming NYCC 2014

ALL YOU NEED IS KILL © 2014 by Hiroshi Sakurazaka,
Ryosuke Takeuchi, yoshitoshi ABe,
Takeshi Obata/SHUEISHA Inc. 
Visit VIZ Media At 2014 New York Comic Con Booth #1944


North America’s Leading Anime & Manga Publisher Presents Legendary Manga Artist Takeshi Obata And Details Special Panels, Exclusive Retail Items, Booth Activities, Screenings And More!

San Francisco, CA, September 30, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, brings a potent dose of anime and manga excitement to New York City as it announces four consecutive days jam-packed with special events and convention exclusives for the 2014 New York Comic Con.

VIZ Media rolls into the Javits Convention Center between October 9th- 12th for the East Coast's biggest and most exciting popular culture event that features the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and television. VIZ Media will be located in Booth #1944. Full details on New York Comic Con are available at: http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cover Reveal: Wayward Ink's STRANDED

So, did I mention I'm being published next month? Because yes, I am! A short story of mine will be included in the fiction anthology Stranded, published by Wayward Ink. Below are full details about the anthology, including the reveal of the cover! I think the fujoshi of this blog will love this book: it's all m/m relationships, and the pub is super LGBT friendly. Enjoy!

STRANDED-cover preview sizeDefinition – Stranded

  • (of a boat, sailor, or sea creature) left aground on a shore.
“a stranded whale”
  • left without the means to move from somewhere.
“he offers a lift to a stranded commuter”
The boys in this collection of short stories have most definitely been left STRANDED!
They’ve been shipwrecked and abandoned.
Marooned and cast away.
And left helpless and high and dry.
But you should never underestimate the tenacity of the human heart…

Friday, September 26, 2014

Here's Your Reminder That Banned Books Week Means Manga, Too

Filed under "very likely to be banned from a small Southern
public library because WITCHCRAFT".
Bibliophiles, authors, booksellers and librarians everywhere are big cheerleaders for Banned Books Week, a yearly celebration for the books that have been the target of narrow-minded censorship and bigotry, all because they dare to be big and daring with their message - or because some people can't understand why kids want to read about Captain Underpants and fictional young folks who look like them.

Look at some of the titles that were challenged the most in 2013 - that means, an individual or group took it upon themselves to say that these books were inappropriate and needed to be removed from a public collection. Toni Morrison's Bluest Eye, the Fifty Shades of Grey series, the Hunger Games, Jeff Smith's Bone graphic novels. Honestly, the only thing surprising about the list is that Harry Potter isn't on it for 2013.

You might be tempted to think that manga isn't a challenged medium. Oh, you sweet summer child. If anything, manga readers should be a permanent part of the movement against banning books - because if there's one thing these so-called "upstanding citizens" can't handle, it's Japanese comic books with weird images and violence.

Watch The Weirdest Korean Music Video Of September

The rest of Asia's pop superstars need to step their game up in the MV business. Psy? Pamyu? They got nothing on this video. This straddles perfectly the thin line between entertaining and bizarre, to equalizing effects.

Honestly, most words in the English language fail to accurately describe 히치하이커/Hitchhiker's newest video, so just click play and enjoy.

Hat tip to Vox for the video link (and a pretty great write-up).

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ten Years Later: Happy LOST Day!

Ah, what a glorious day for LOST fans. Today is the day that, ten years ago, ABC aired the pilot episode to JJ Abram's LOST, which will end in 2010 with six seasons and an epilogue. It's also the day, in canon, when Oceanic Flight 815 crash landed on the infamous island that started it all.

Below is one of the weirdest, well-known promo ads for LOST, taken from a British television channel sometime around season one. It's bizarre but it's also a surprisingly apt character study of the original cast of characters.

Even though I didn't really watch the series while it originally aired - actually I semi-binge watched it during late last year and early this year - LOST will permanently have a place in my heart as one of the most engaging, entertaining, thought-provoking series in recent TV history. I love the characters, the writing, the relationships, and the mysteries that drove the story and kept me glued to the screen season after season.

Feel free to share your favorite memories of LOST in the comments!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

No, Not Every Story Needs A Graphic Novel Treatment

These thoughts have been rattling 'round in my head since reading Ed Piskor's graphic novel The Beats sometime last week. It was not a bad read - in many ways, it was very educational and illuminating - but I walked away from it thinking that it was presented in a very odd way. It has me wondering: do some graphic novels really need to be made if they don't do anything with the medium?

The Beats is, if the name didn't give it away, a non-fiction GN based on the lives of the Beat poets, mainly the big trio - Burroughs, Kerouac, and Ginsberg - as well as many of the 'lesser-known' writers, teachers, and folks on the scene who moved and shaped the group that would be known as the Beat Generation.

Ed Piskor collaborated with Harvey Pekar for The Beats. It's a biographical tale of a cultural movement, a topic Piskor would eventually return to for the Hip Hip Family Tree series from Fantagraphics. But damn, I don't think the Beats needed to be a full graphic novel. It wasn't necessary at all.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Music News: New VOCALOID Ruby Breaks Out With "Problem" Song

VOCALOIDs of recent history;
will Ruby join them soon?
I get excited when English language VOCALOIDs break out into the news, especially when they actually sound good. It's hard to recreate English language cadence via the computerized sound banks - Leon does a good job, but he still sounds a bit tinny and unnatural compared to other idols.

This newest VOCALOID - casually known as Engloids because they use an English language sound bank - is named Ruby and a sample of her voice, set to singing part of Ariana Grande's "Problem" minus the backing vocals.

Unfortunately, I can't find any photo of what Ruby might look like, but I've got the audio of her "Problem" cover thanks to a VOCALOID-related Facebook page. Ruby sounds terrific! She's a sign that VOCALOID technology has truly advanced in skill and range since it first started.

A release date for Ruby's software/voice bank has not been announced. According to this VOCALOID Otaku forum thread, she's a VocaTone creation, created in partnership with PowerFX. If VocaTone and PowerFX sound familiar, it's because they are behind the creation of Oliver, a young British boy VOCALOID, and YOHIOloid, a bilingual male VOCALOID. I don't know much about YOHIO - his song list isn't as long as other digital personalities - but I've always thought Oliver had a nice, cute voice that fit his fictional persona. His cover of "Scarborough Fair" is a good one.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Washed Right Out, Chapter Six

Bugger long intros. The latest Wednesday Brief is here! In this new part of Washed Right Out, we see Riley at work and the story briefly sidelines its tale of romance and woe for some workplace hijinks. Enjoy!

Note: Some portions of this story are NSFW. It's just text, but read with caution just to be safe.

Washed Right Out, Chapter Six. Prompts used: It’s all red and swollen, fax, lunch box, nail.
And so Riley Paolini spent the rest of Wednesday and the following Thursday morning worrying about what fiendish, terrible scheme Samantha and Karen had in store for him. Whatever it was, it was bound to be weird, possibly humiliating to his body, and involving something extremely nerdy.
Wednesday night, between episodes of "House of Cards", he’d called Karen and told her he'd spilled the beans to Samantha earlier that day. Luckily, Sam hadn't been too cut up about the whole thing, especially after Karen offered her own apology for keeping the details a secret—in fact, Riley had to keep Karen from pulling out the complete details of exactly how she made it up to her girlfriend.

PR: Viz's SuBLime Imprint Announces New Licenses At Yaoi Con 2014


San Francisco, CA, September 15, 2014SuBLime, the global yaoi manga publishing initiative between VIZ Media and Japan’s Animate, Ltd. (Animate), provided detailed updates for a variety of brand-new and continuing yaoi manga titles during its YaoiCon 2014 panel this past weekend in San Francisco. News of the acquisitions of several exclusive new digital and print titles thrilled fans in attendance.

To the delight of many fans, SuBLime announced plans to release Eiki Eiki and Taishi Zaou’s LOVE STAGE!! (Rated ‘M’ for Mature) in print starting May 2015 with additional volumes to follow every other month. In this romantic comedy, the protagonist’s family is packed with famous celebrities but Izumi Sena is actually a huge otaku with aspirations of becoming a manga creator.

SuBLime also detailed plans to publish GINGER HONEY (Rated ‘M’ for Mature), creator Isaku Natsume’s humorous follow-up to DEVIL’S HONEY (also published by SuBLime), which is set for digital-only release February 2015.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Poll Alert: What Titles Should Nagareboshi Reviews Cover In October?

It's almost October, which means nightmare fuel and spooky stuff and way too many pumpkins. I'm hoping to spend most of this October blogging about the horror side of anime and manga, which means examining some specific titles. But I could use some help picking out titles to focus on!

Below is an open poll with some suggestions on horror anime/manga that haven't been extensively covered on this blog. Feel free to share the poll around so I know what other people are looking for when it comes to niche titles.

surveys & polls

Friday, September 12, 2014

Open Thread: Peter Capaldi is the Doctor

"Clara, am I a good man?" You tell us, Malcolm -
err, I mean, Doctor.
All right, fellow Whovians. It's time to dish. We're now three episodes into series 8 of Doctor Who and our new Doctor, played by Scot actor Peter Capaldi. His Doctor and Clara have been fighting dinosaurs, inside Daleks, and making merry with Robin Hood for the past three weeks - and this Saturday's episode promises to be a spooky, eerie entry.

How is everyone taking to the Twelfth Doctor? Do you like his demeanor, his outfit, his accent? Are you able to watch Capaldi strut across time and space without making Thick Of It jokes? Tell me - please! Double brownie points if you have any interesting theories on what is going on with "Missy" and her paradise garden.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fujoshi O'Clock (9/10/14)

What time is it? It's Fujoshi O'Clock, the biweekly feature at Nagareboshi Review, when I bring to you the latest fujoshi-related news and reviews and various shiny BL-flavored things. There is also a focus on trans and bisexual anime/manga. Why? Because rotten girls need love too!

This week on Fujoshi O'Clock:


Am I missing your blog? Got some awesome fujoshi-related news and reviews you think deserve a shout-out? Poke me with a link and a bit of description over at my Twitter: @theseventhl. I'm always on the look out for more BL love!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Manga Review: Loveless GN 12

Loveless volume 12
Author: Yun Kouga
Viz Manga
176 pages
When Seimei refuses to fight alongside Nisei against an enraged Moonless, it cuts the final tie in the web of manipulation that binds the dirtiest Fighter to his heartless Sacrifice. Meanwhile, while looking at his brother’s photo album, Ritsuka discovers new information about his old self that doesn’t match up.
Note: some spoilers for the Loveless series so far are in this review. 
Considering how disappointed I was in the previous volume, I found volume 12 of Loveless a surprisingly engaging read. It's hard to say I liked it, since most of the Loveless cast at this point are heavily flawed individuals I would never hang out with (cough Seimei cough), some of them I would fear for my own safety around, but I was entertained by this dark and beautifully drawn set of chapters. The focus of it starts out narrow but by book's end has widened and raised many crucial questions about the story so far.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Wonderful World Of Reading Out Of Spite

IS NOT BRAVE but whatever.
This week, I spent more time that I would have liked to reading the second book in a trilogy, the first of which I couldn't stand, all so I can watch the film version of the second book and watch Daniel Dae Kim be sexy (although you couldn't pay me enough to go see it at the cinema). For the sake of transparency, it's the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth - you can read my disgruntled review of the first Divergent book over at Goodreads. And I've already put a hold on my library's copy of Allegiant so I can finish the set.

Why am I putting myself through this if I don't like them? Because I'm a spite reader, and I'm determined to finish the series just so I can understand what everyone else is talking about, while retaining my right to complain about them. (Plus, I've already been spoiled for the Divisive Plot Twist in Allegiant, so the least I can do is see how it actually plays out in the story)

Hello, my name is Sarah and I'm a spite reader! Yes, I differentiate between hate and spite reading, but it's a thin line between 'reading out of hate' and 'reading in spite of myself and my usual reading habits'. But, to be fair, the differentiation between the two is very pedantic on my part.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Washed Right Out, Chapter Five

Wednesday came so quickly, it surprised me. Please enjoy the fifth part of this ongoing original flash fiction story of mine! In this chapter, a story reaches its end, and our heartbroken hero finds himself surrounded by many friends. 
You can find the previous parts via the Wednesday Briefs tag.
Washed Right Out, Chapter Five. Prompts used: I thought I knew you..., yummy buns.
He sighed and called his Jojo...
"And that was that." Riley shrugged.
Sonia gripped the armrest of his chair so hard her manicure left crescent-shaped indents in the leather. "That is certainly not that. You're not even going to tell us how the phone call went? After making us sit through every other minute detail?"

PR: Viz Media Announces Moonlight Party To Premiere New Sailor Moon Dub

September 5th Virtual Live Stream Event Includes Real Time Q&A And Trivia Contest With Valuable Prizes

San Francisco, CA, September 2, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, invites fans to celebrate the very special premiere of the re-mastered classic SAILOR MOON anime series Episodes 1-4 – featuring the brand new English cast – available to stream on Neon Alley and Hulu beginning Friday, September 5th at 8:00pm (PST). Exclusive dubbed episodes will be available for a limited time only!

Fans are invited to join company members as VIZ Media and Neon Alley present Moonlight Party: A Celebration of SAILOR MOON Reborn! The virtual “slumber party” will take place as an unique live stream event on VIZ Media’s YouTube channel at: http://bit.ly/MnLtPty95 beginning at 8:00pm (PST) on Friday, September 5th.

Viewers can simultaneously watch the live, uncut SAILOR MOON Episodes 1-4 during their premiere on Hulu and join the VIZ Media staff on its YouTube channel for a lively evening of witty commentary, inside facts and tons of fun from the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.