Saturday, May 9, 2009


Akira Toriyama is considered by many to be one of the best manga artists, inspiring many others. I have sort of split feelings about his work. My first exposure to his work was Dragon Warrior (Japanese released as: Dragon Quest) a role playing game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (Famicom in Japan). I did not associate that with him though; what I did associate with him is the dubbed version of Dragon Ball Z on Fox network. I did not like Dragon Ball Z, this in turn has colored my opinion of his works. Judging a manga artist on a translated, edited, and altered medium is really not a fair way to base his work.

I recently re-read his short work Cowa! which is about a kindergarten age vampire/were-Koola named Paifu, his friend a ghost named José Rodriguez, his rival Arpon, and a retired Sumo wrestler. The plot is very simple, the many monsters of the village are getting sick and Paifu and friends make a trip to get the medicine needed to save them.

I found this manga very enjoyable, having read it more than once, the online version as well as the VIZ version. It's a pretty funny manga. What I particularly like is that in a village of monsters the most scary being is the human. If you look at some of the stuff humans do and have done in the past it seems apt that a human would be scary, plus there is the monster story staple of humans hunting monsters (Frankenstein, Dracula, etc.).

While I like longer series, for the simple fact there is more of it to read. In many ways I like short one shots more. One of the reasons is it is much easier to acquire one book than many, another reason being it is a complete story that can easily be read all at once.


Anonymous said...

Your blog is just BRILLIANT. I love ranma, but in the country where i live finding ranma merchandise is close to impossible. I just wanted to know, since new issues stopped a long time back, do people still discuss ranma? Are there people who really love ranma?

Im learning japanese now, and one of the first things im going to do on my visit to japan( I dream about it a lot) is get my hands on everything Ranma i can find.

antimatterenergy said...

If you want to buy Ranma stuff you pretty much have to get it from the internet. In Japan, they are still making new Ranma merchandise.

People are still discussing and writing fanfiction for Ranma. There are people who are just finding out about Ranma.

M.Zephyr said...

Agreed with antimatterenergy. You can find Ranma merchandise on the internet, such as on EBay. That's were I bought my Ranma 1/2 figurines, and obtained the last volumes to complete my set of the manga in Japanese. Some volumes of the latter may be found in Japanese bookstores, which exist here and there in the U.S. (and no doubt elsewhere).

There are also plenty of forums where people discuss Ranma 1/2. When I googled on "ranma forums" it came up with several, including those on