Friday, October 16, 2009

Dewey Decimal be my Valentine!

I gobble up scanlations at such a rate these days that I'm continuously browsing for the next, but the browsing process is labor intensive. OneManga has more than 900 separate manga while MangaFox has upwards of 2000 with more added all the time. There's a lot of overlap, but there's no denying the swamp of available scanlations.

Now when I'm in the mood for manga, my craving is often very specific. For example, I might be looking for a plot about a love triangle in the entertainment industry. It's not an uncommon plot; I could read Skip Beat, Ashita no Ousama, or Cat Street to name a few. How do I find these manga? I use the search terms shoujo, josei, or romance and I wade through the slew of results for the next couple hours.

MangaFox has 36 genre tags. They describe the publisher's idea of the target audience (shoujo, seinen), basic plot ideas (romance, adventure), special interests (sports, mecha) and broad literary categories (tragedy, comedy). My first pick today, Skip Beat, is tagged as Comedy, Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Slice of Life. Comprehensive? Hardly! This list covers the bare minimum. A search with the same list returns Gokusen and Fruits Basket. What do a yakusa school teacher, a shape-changing family, and an aspiring actress have in common? Well, aside from those search terms not much. Considering the number of recycled plot devices in the average manga, it should be relatively easy to establish very specific sub-genres, but starting with categories like Romance, it's hard to see where to start.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

An Ode to Anime Conventions, or My Disillusionment

WARNING: The following is a long post that is long overdue. But it's finally here! The Animazement report thing! Please don't be discouraged from reading. Or skimming. Or commenting.

Quite an impressive spread.

Back in Manga Meditation's blog drafts are two entries detailing Polecat's and my (Blackbird) recent adventure to Animazement, a now twelve-year-old convention newly located to the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, NC. These posts, however, haven't been published like we had promised earlier. The reason? To be honest, they were a little boring to write. That, and the descriptions were becoming a little mean.