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Shaenon K. Garrity
This is where I write stuff.
Overlooked Manga Festival 
3rd-Aug-2006 09:42 am
Atagoul
No new Smithson today. However, I want to thank everyone who created Smithson drinks for I'm Just Drinking. They are awesome. Also, you're right about Alistair Crowley.

I've now officially begun my duties as editor of Modern Tales. ARRRGH MOMMY MAKE THE BAD MEN STOP. My new workload has not, however, prevented me from continuing to read and report on underappreciated manga. Click through the cut for the latest installment of the Overlooked Manga Festival!



Looking back over previous entries, I can't help noticing that three-quarters of my Overlooked Manga picks are shojo (girls') manga. Sure, I could take the tack of the American comics industry, blink confusedly in the sunlight, and say, "What? Boys don't read manga. Or if they really want to, they can just read the girls' manga. Ain't nothing stopping them. And if there aren't any male creators on my list, it's because the men haven't done anything good enough. You don't want me to give them special treatment just because they're men, do you? That would be a far worse form of sexism than excluding and ignoring them!"

Ahem. But I won't do that. Instead, I'll try to tip the balance a little by talking about a shonen (boys') manga. And not just any shonen manga, but a manga that shaped the face of Japan's biggest and boy-iest manga magazine, Shonen Jump itself!

No, Jason, not Knights of the Zodiac. Not yet.



A little background. Remember a few years ago, when Dragonball Z was the biggest damn thing in America? Well, when the Dragon Ball manga originally ran in Japan, it was a million times bigger than that. It was hella big. So big that it pushed the circulation of Shonen Jump to its all-time highest level, SIX MILLION COPIES A WEEK. (To keep this in perspective, remember that DC and Marvel currently put out excited press releases if one of their titles tops 100,000 copies a month.) So big that the editors of Shonen Jump forced creator Akira Toriyama to hold to his contract and keep drawing the manga long after he originally wanted it to end. So big that, when it finally did end, the entire manga industry in Japan fell into a slump from which it has yet to fully recover. Sure, there were other economic factors. But the ending of Dragon Ball was major enough to send tremors across the entire Japanese archipelago. (Still, you should be kind of glad that shit went down. The manga slump forced publishers to seek new international markets, which is one reason we now have over 1,000 manga series available in English translation. No joke.)

Basically, Dragon Ball was the biggest manga ever. But it wasn't Akira Toriyama's first hit. Before Dragon Ball, Toriyama wowed Shonen Jump readers with the anarchic comedy and nonstop poop jokes of Dr. Slump, which is a million billion trillion times better. So let's start talking it up!



Dr. Slump takes place in Penguin Village, a town populated by dinosaurs, space aliens, magic foxes, superheroes, crooks, and kids. Among the residents is Senbei Norimaki, a mad inventor and constantly-frustrated horndog. Taking a break from skirt-chasing, Norimaki does one of the things instinctive to mad scientists in manga: builds himself a super-strong little robot kid.



Seriously, I don't know why manga scientists want to do this at all, beyond the fact that it happened in Astro Boy. I guess if an Osamu Tezuka character jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, they'd all jump too. Anyway, Norimaki's creation is named Arale. She's supposed to pass for a preteen but acts like an hyperactive preschooler, and she's incredibly strong. Also, her head is removable.



Dr. Slump is basically a string of extremely silly episodic adventures for young readers. The humor is frequently dirty in an innocent little-kid way: there are jokes about Norimaki's lecherous behavior, chapters about Arale trying to figure out human-girl concepts like vaginas and bras, and lots and lots and LOTS of poop. Little kids love poop; I learned that from Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga.



Please note that nobody freaks out about there being a T-Rex cage in the first place. That's just what you get at the zoo in Penguin Village. T-Rexes.

The overall tone is manic, random, and cute as hell. I think you can get a feel for the illogical thrust of the action with this sequence, in which the characters meet an actual, actual, actual vampire.



Why do I love this ridiculous manga? Well, I'm crazy about the art, for one thing. This round, thick-lined, super-cute look is Toriyama's usual style, and it's a long way from the scratchy superhero-realistic style he developed for the later volumes of Dragon Ball. He's an amazing artist. He's also a funny artist. Check out Penguin Village's resident superhero, Suppaman:



Something about that face coming at you on the skateboard cracks my shit up every time.

But can Suppaman best Arale in the Feats of Strength?



I say thee nay!

Anyway, Dr. Slump is friggin' hilarious, and any random volume is packed with joy. Hell yeah!



Comments 
3rd-Aug-2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
So, boys' manga equals short, rounded people with somewhat oversized heads, and girls' manga equals long, thin, willowy or wispy people?
3rd-Aug-2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
You're skipping art night to do THIS? Sigh...
3rd-Aug-2006 09:26 pm (UTC)
I am slightly saddened to learn that Yukito Kishiro wasn't the first person ever to write "Poop can't talk!" Maybe it's one of those Sure-Fire Comedy Gold lines for Japanese guys.
3rd-Aug-2006 11:06 pm (UTC)
One of my Cherished Things which is going with me to N.America no matter what: my French Dr. Slump collection. Even if I end up getting English volumes in order to have the different covers and the volumes I'm short, too.

For some reason, I'm hardwired to better understand these characters if French comes out of their mouths. It's a problem. I acknowledge it.

I'm also incapable of living in a house without an Arale doll now.
4th-Aug-2006 12:08 am (UTC)
I love Dr. Slump. Just after I realized that Dragonball Z was horrible, I picked up Dragonball and loved the irreverent and ridiculous tone of the first few volumes. Then I found Dr. Slump. I'd call it Brain Candy. Without substance, and it leaves a weird taste in your mouth after you eat it, but boy is it fun!
17th-Oct-2008 06:28 am (UTC)
I love dragonball aswell but after awhile I stopped playing the games. I have Shin Budokai Another Road but that attempt at a new story is laughable.
4th-Aug-2006 01:03 pm (UTC)
Overlooked by Americans you mean?
5th-Aug-2006 01:00 am (UTC) - I"m right!
Anonymous
I'm right I'm right I'm right!

And after adding the Smithson Smashed Melon I went to Webtender to see if it was a real drink.

Not quite but this was very close

Incredible Hulk #2
Ingredients:

* 1 part Midori melon liqueur
* 1 part Vodka
* 1/2 part Triple sec
* 1 splash Sour mix

Mixing instructions:

For one shot, just mix right in the shot glass. For a larger amount, use a shaker with the same proportions.

Since I invented this to be Miki's drink I think that is VERY Kewl.

basil_jelly
17th-Nov-2007 02:23 am (UTC)
I love, love, love, love Dr Slump. I'm actually kind of curious about the English version because so much of the humor relies on puns, which don't translate. (Like, is there an explanation of why pickled plums turns him into Suppaman? It's obvious to Japanese speakers that it's because umeboshi are suppai (sour), but it seems like it would just be totally random without a footnote for English speakers.)
13th-Sep-2008 07:11 am (UTC) - Windows Vista won't boot on Dell Dimension
Anonymous
Hi Folks!

Windows vista is also causing lots of boot issues, so I often get questions like this:

I have a Dell Dimension, which won’t boot to Windows (Vista), and none the repair options work:

Startup repair: Reports fix fail due to problem with registry

System Restore: Reports no restore points available

Windows Complete PC Restore: Reports no backups available

Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool: No memory problems

Command Prompt.
Can’t think of any appropriate command to use here.

So I booted with the system DVD (as one would with XP) but the upgrade
option has been greyed don’t want to do a new setup. I want to repair existing
installation.

What should I do?

------------------------------------------------------------

And here is the answer:

You can't do a 'repair install' because you need to launch the Vista DVD
from within Windows, not, as you have been doing, booting straight from the
DVD; that is why the 'upgrade' is greyed out.

If you cannot launch Vista and none of the repair variants will work a clean
install is the only other variant.

To save problems in future it is actually a good idea to make image of the hard drive, using something like True Image. What I do is install operating system, download all updates, check system I working okay for a day or two, activate system, then create image of the whole drive/partition. Any time I get a problem I can re-image the drive/partition quickly and be up and running without much inconvenience. And minor fixes are done by using any registry repair tool, there are plenty of them on the market today.

Regards,
Carl
20th-Sep-2008 01:30 pm (UTC) - Windows Vista won't boot on Dell Dimension
Anonymous
Hello Everybody

Windows vista is also causing lots of boot problems, so I often get questions like this:

I have a Dell Dimension, which won’t boot to Windows (Vista), and none the repair options work:

Startup repair: Reports repair fail due to problem with registry

System Restore: Reports no restore points available

Windows Complete PC Restore: Reports no backups available

Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool: No memory problems

Command Prompt.
Can’t think of any appropriate command to use here.

So I booted with the system DVD (as one would with XP) but the upgrade
option has been greyed don’t want to do a clean setup. I want to restore existing
installation.

What should I do?

------------------------------------------------------------

And here is the answer:

You can't do a 'repair install' because you need to launch the Vista DVD
from within Windows, not, as you have been doing, booting straight from the
DVD; that is why the 'upgrade' is greyed out.

If you cannot launch Vista and none of the repair options will work a new
install is the only other variant.

To save problems in future it is actually a good idea to image the hard
drive, using program like True Image. What I do is install operating system, download all updates, check system I working okay for a day or two, activate system, then create image of the whole drive/partition. Any time I get a problem I can re-image the drive/partition quickly and be up and running without much trouble. And minor repairs are done by using any registry fix tool, there are plenty of them on the market today.

Cheers,
Carl
26th-Sep-2008 04:03 pm (UTC) - Windows Vista "Pause" Fix
Anonymous
Note that this is for Intel based systems only (mainly laptops) and you would be well advised to IMAGE your disk BEFORE YOU TRY THIS just in case something happens and you cannot load your Vista (IMAGE, IMAGE, IMAGE!!!)

Once you have your disk images precede with the following:

Backup your registry or make a restore point just in case.

Under search: regedit
Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\

Locate: folder "iaStor"
Under "iaStor" you will find a folder named "Parameter" > delete this folder

Locate: folder "iaStorv"
Under "iaStorv" you will find a folder named "Parameter" > delete this folder

Reboot


Cheers,
Carl
19th-Apr-2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
Ha..ha..ha.. Dr. Slump is very funny manga and anime, with Arale who always interested with poop. ^_^

Regards
Smystery




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30th-Jan-2011 01:44 am (UTC) - Seotons
Anonymous
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