Jan. 1st, 2008

thuviaptarth: golden thuvia with six-legged lion (Default)
L-to-R: Sou, Kureha, Ichijo

Black Moon in the Afternoon Sky
(R for sexual situations, 4200 words)
For cinderfallen, Yuletide 2007
Set after Volume 5. Around the corner and down the hall you go, through the double doors and then down by the staircase that isn't always there.

About the series
After School Nightmare by Setona Mizushiro is published in English by GoComi. It is a surreal, creepy manga about Ichijo Mashiro, a high school student who describes himself as "boy from the waist up and girl from the waist down." Ichijo passes as male because he identifies masculinity with strength, ruthlessness, and determination and femininity with vulnerability, sweetness, and victimization. He is torn between his attractions to Kureha Fujishima, a girl who likes him for the non-threatening femininity he represents to her, and Sou Mizuhashi, a boy who insists on seeing him as a girl, but who brings out all of his angriest, most challenging aspects.

One day, the school nurse inducts Ichijo into a special afterschool class, which consists of a shared dream with other, unknown classmates. In the dream, students assume their true and often horrifying shapes: a cruel knight in a black suit of armor, a boneless arm without a body, a girl without a face, a paper giraffe, a little girl in an elaborate dress holding a teddy bear. Ichijo is in the shape he most fears: he's a girl, wearing a girl's version of the school uniform. Kureha is herself in a raincoat, as distraught and damaged as she was after she was molested on her way home from kindergarten. Ichijo doesn't know Sou's shape, but suspects he is the black knight.

In the dream, all the students wear necklaces strung with three beads. If you die in the dream, a bead bursts. If you die three times, you wake. People die often in the dreams, because inside one student's body is the key to graduation, a literal key that can only be found by breaking into the body. When a student graduates, bells toll and the student is erased from the campus: their name disappears from their locker, their desk is empty, and no one remembers they once were there. Clearly, many students have been graduating to their unknown fates: the campus is full of absences, holes, emptinesses, blank lockers, and unassigned desks.

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] fragilistikal has a more detailed summary and scanlations of the first volume.

thuviaptarth: golden thuvia with six-legged lion (Default)
L-to-R: Sou, Kureha, Ichijo

Black Moon in the Afternoon Sky
(R for sexual situations, 4200 words)
For cinderfallen, Yuletide 2007
Set after Volume 5. Around the corner and down the hall you go, through the double doors and then down by the staircase that isn't always there.

About the series
After School Nightmare by Setona Mizushiro is published in English by GoComi. It is a surreal, creepy manga about Ichijo Mashiro, a high school student who describes himself as "boy from the waist up and girl from the waist down." Ichijo passes as male because he identifies masculinity with strength, ruthlessness, and determination and femininity with vulnerability, sweetness, and victimization. He is torn between his attractions to Kureha Fujishima, a girl who likes him for the non-threatening femininity he represents to her, and Sou Mizuhashi, a boy who insists on seeing him as a girl, but who brings out all of his angriest, most challenging aspects.

One day, the school nurse inducts Ichijo into a special afterschool class, which consists of a shared dream with other, unknown classmates. In the dream, students assume their true and often horrifying shapes: a cruel knight in a black suit of armor, a boneless arm without a body, a girl without a face, a paper giraffe, a little girl in an elaborate dress holding a teddy bear. Ichijo is in the shape he most fears: he's a girl, wearing a girl's version of the school uniform. Kureha is herself in a raincoat, as distraught and damaged as she was after she was molested on her way home from kindergarten. Ichijo doesn't know Sou's shape, but suspects he is the black knight.

In the dream, all the students wear necklaces strung with three beads. If you die in the dream, a bead bursts. If you die three times, you wake. People die often in the dreams, because inside one student's body is the key to graduation, a literal key that can only be found by breaking into the body. When a student graduates, bells toll and the student is erased from the campus: their name disappears from their locker, their desk is empty, and no one remembers they once were there. Clearly, many students have been graduating to their unknown fates: the campus is full of absences, holes, emptinesses, blank lockers, and unassigned desks.

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] fragilistikal has a more detailed summary and scanlations of the first volume.

thuviaptarth: golden thuvia with six-legged lion (Default)


The Betrothal Visit (G, 1800 words)
For Khana, Yuletide 2007
Arundhati frowns over philosophy and Swati sighs over Gothic romances and Vishaka and Chitra giggle over texts on India, in the margins of which they sometimes inscribe corrections and sometimes inscribe outrageous lies.

About the series
Victorian Romance Emma by Kaoru Mori is published in English as Emma by CMX Manga/DC Comics. It is a charming, meditative story about the romance between William Jones, the young scion of a family of tradesmen trying to rise in the aristocracy, and Emma, a maid. Although this is essentially a Cinderella story, Mori pays a lot of attention to changing social mores, the growth of the British Empire, and the interactions of a wide set of characters, including William's entire family (he has four siblings, a stern father, and an estranged mother) and Emma's employers and fellow servants.

William's dearest friend is the Indian prince Hakim Atawari (or Atawally, depending on which transliteration from Japanse you prefer), who comes to visit William and his father with a large entourage including innumerable servants, several elephants, and four dancing girls. (I know there are only three in the panel, but in the early volumes, which I no longer have scans of, there are four of them. One of them must be busy later on.) The dancing girls appear at several points in the story, but never speak. This troubles me as a representation of race, gender, and power, but they are drawn with such charm, affection, and humor that I cannot help but love them. For all their lack of dialogue, they are one of my favorite parts of the series.

I was, and remain, a little nervous about posting this story because I wasn't able to do the kind of research on India I would have liked, or get a knowledgeable beta, because of poor scheduling on my part. I hope that it doesn't read as appropriative, but if it does, or if there are incorrect Indian details, I hope you'll let me know.

thuviaptarth: golden thuvia with six-legged lion (Default)


The Betrothal Visit (G, 1800 words)
For Khana, Yuletide 2007
Arundhati frowns over philosophy and Swati sighs over Gothic romances and Vishaka and Chitra giggle over texts on India, in the margins of which they sometimes inscribe corrections and sometimes inscribe outrageous lies.

About the series
Victorian Romance Emma by Kaoru Mori is published in English as Emma by CMX Manga/DC Comics. It is a charming, meditative story about the romance between William Jones, the young scion of a family of tradesmen trying to rise in the aristocracy, and Emma, a maid. Although this is essentially a Cinderella story, Mori pays a lot of attention to changing social mores, the growth of the British Empire, and the interactions of a wide set of characters, including William's entire family (he has four siblings, a stern father, and an estranged mother) and Emma's employers and fellow servants.

William's dearest friend is the Indian prince Hakim Atawari (or Atawally, depending on which transliteration from Japanse you prefer), who comes to visit William and his father with a large entourage including innumerable servants, several elephants, and four dancing girls. (I know there are only three in the panel, but in the early volumes, which I no longer have scans of, there are four of them. One of them must be busy later on.) The dancing girls appear at several points in the story, but never speak. This troubles me as a representation of race, gender, and power, but they are drawn with such charm, affection, and humor that I cannot help but love them. For all their lack of dialogue, they are one of my favorite parts of the series.

I was, and remain, a little nervous about posting this story because I wasn't able to do the kind of research on India I would have liked, or get a knowledgeable beta, because of poor scheduling on my part. I hope that it doesn't read as appropriative, but if it does, or if there are incorrect Indian details, I hope you'll let me know.

thuviaptarth: golden thuvia with six-legged lion (Default)
A gorgeous but large picture of the zashiki-warashi, Yuuko, and the ame-warashi )

Houses and Rain (PG, 1900 words)
For rarity, Yuletide 2007
Spoilers through Volume 8. House spirits don't go anywhere, but rain spirits go everywhere: that's how we met.

About the series

xxxHolic by the four-woman group CLAMP is published in English by Del Rey Manga. It is distinguished by a gorgeous art style heavily influenced by Art Nouveau.

Watanuki, a schoolboy with the ability to see ghosts and spirits, becomes the servant of a powerful witch called Yuuko (center, above), who runs a shop that isn't always there and grants wishes to customers who are not always wise about what they ask for. Watanuki's errands bring him into contact with many magical creatures, some made up by CLAMP and some borrowed from Japanese mythology and folklore. Among them are the following:

A fox spirit, a house spirit, the karasu tengu, and a rain maker )



Despite the lengthy list of characters, this story doesn't require familiarity with the canon, although it's helpful to know that it's a Japanese custom for girls to give boys they like chocolate for Valentine's Day. (If they accept the gift, the boys reply with more chocolate on White Day a month later.)

thuviaptarth: golden thuvia with six-legged lion (Default)
A gorgeous but large picture of the zashiki-warashi, Yuuko, and the ame-warashi )

Houses and Rain (PG, 1900 words)
For rarity, Yuletide 2007
Spoilers through Volume 8. House spirits don't go anywhere, but rain spirits go everywhere: that's how we met.

About the series

xxxHolic by the four-woman group CLAMP is published in English by Del Rey Manga. It is distinguished by a gorgeous art style heavily influenced by Art Nouveau.

Watanuki, a schoolboy with the ability to see ghosts and spirits, becomes the servant of a powerful witch called Yuuko (center, above), who runs a shop that isn't always there and grants wishes to customers who are not always wise about what they ask for. Watanuki's errands bring him into contact with many magical creatures, some made up by CLAMP and some borrowed from Japanese mythology and folklore. Among them are the following:

A fox spirit, a house spirit, the karasu tengu, and a rain maker )



Despite the lengthy list of characters, this story doesn't require familiarity with the canon, although it's helpful to know that it's a Japanese custom for girls to give boys they like chocolate for Valentine's Day. (If they accept the gift, the boys reply with more chocolate on White Day a month later.)

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