FoxxFireArt (Level 25)

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Here is yet another in my line of Code Geass R2 4komas. This first one you see has Nunnally in it. I actually made this one after the second one you will see in this pose with Kallen. There was a break between certain episodes and I took advantage of that time to make something extra for episode six of the second season. It's another in my line of smacking Suzaku's character around. I mostly just wanted to draw this one, because I wanted the chance to draw Nunnally. She really looked pretty in that scene. I think this is one of my weakest jokes, but for some reason people seem to love it.
 
The second one is the 4koma I created based upon this episode. I really enjoyed drawing this one. It was this illustration is where I stopped drawing the character with more exaggerated body proportions. Now, if you don't know what a sybian is. I'm going to let you figure it out. 
 
When I was first making these 4komas I was posting links to them on a variety of different message boards that might have something to do with the series. At the time the [adult swim] program was starting to show the first season of Code Geass. I had posted a few of these comics and had no problem. After I posted this one on that forum site it was removed by moderators. That's right, I was told this image was TOO HOT for the [adult swim] message boards. The moderator told me that the forums were for thirteen year olds and up, and that this image was too provocative for that age group. That's the funny thing. The programming [adult swim] shows is for at least seventeen and up. [ADULT swim]'s message board site is for thirteen year olds. They let people on the message boards to talk about shows they shouldn't be watching????  I thought that was pretty funny. These 4komas at one point get a lot more naughty.
 
It really doesn't matter anymore. I stopped watching [adult swim] completely after what they did, putting Code Geass only on at 5AM on Saturdays. The same for their forums.
 
I know Rakshata's name is spelled wrong. That's a typo from the subtitles I always saw on fan subs that I just never got around to fixing. I just need to switch the L for and R.

Code Geass R2 - Episode 6
Code Geass R2 - Episode 6

Code Geass R2 - Episode 6
Code Geass R2 - Episode 6

Hope you enjoy the artwork.
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This is another in my line of Code Geass R2 4komas. For facts sake, this is actually the one that is where I started to create these into a weekly series. After watching this episode I realized that each one was giving me some funny idea. This is something I made, because I really dislike Suzaku. I don't really think he is gay. I just wanted something seriously embarrassing to happen to him and I wanted the joke to be shocking and something unexpected. He also just seems to love Britannia for the silliest reasons,
This scene originally had Suzaku trying to test if Lelouch had his memories returned. He has him talk to Nunnally on the phone, because Suzaku knows that Lelouch would never knowingly lie to his beloved sister.  This was just so nasty, because you know he must of tried to get Nunnally's hopes of to speak to her brother.

You can tell this was early on in these series, because the characterizations were more cartoonish then I ended up using. The lesson is basically that you shouldn't leave embarrassing numbers on your speed dial.
 

Code Geass R2 - Episode 5
Code Geass R2 - Episode 5
Hope you enjoy.
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It's been a while since I've posted any more of these. So, I thought I would include two more. These are both actually the more modern of my Code Geass R2 4komas. These cover episode four that I had originally missed when I was working on this project. They weren't  weekly idea until after I saw the fifth episode.
In the first one I expose the Villetta's feelings toward Ougi. This fairly mimicks the scene in the anime where after he was rescued by Zero she seems rather relieved, but was right back to work. The background in this on was quite the chore with all those little details. I still think the work paid off.
 
The second one takes place between events of episode four and five. It has been quite popular on my devArt profile page. Especially, the third panel.Though, I've found a lot of people misunderstand Lelouch's reaction in the end. As well as why Kallen is clapping at the end. The lighting really came out well in this one. One of my favorite touches in this one is Chiba glaring at Toudou.

Code Geass R2 - Episode 4
Code Geass R2 - Episode 4

Code Geass R2 - Episode 4
Code Geass R2 - Episode 4
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Why Does VIZ Insist on Removing Japan from Manga?

 
 Official VIZ One Piece website
 Official VIZ One Piece website
Recently, I've been trying to fill out as much information as I can about the series One Piece on AnimeVice. I've filled in information from episodes 1-132, creating profiles and filling them out. I'm only doing the animes and I wont even touch the manga section. Why? It's because VIZ publishes One Piece in the US. I know some of my blogs have been posted on the front page of this site, but this is my own opinion on VIZ and doesn't reflect the thoughts and opinions of the staff of AnimeVice.

In my search on some information I was browsing one one of the other manga/anime message board sites I frequented before I discovered AnimeVice. I was trying to gather some information about One Piece so I could add to this site. I had commented on how One Piece's release were anemic when compared to series like Naruto, also published by VIZ. A person replied with a link to the official One Piece VIZ website. On the front page it advertises that at the beginning of 2010 VIZ will be releasing five volumes of One Piece per month up to June and Volume 53.
 
This is superb news if you are a One Piece fan. Though I wonder if VIZ is even a good company for manga. This company is notorious for altering popular Japanese series dramatically. Not just the names, but the art work as well. Years back they had to republish the Dragon Ball series, because of fan pressure. VIZ had altered the artwork in the manga and the fans weren't happy. A petition was made and they changed the art back to what it should be.
 
I have seen myself that they have altered the art work in Naruto. Mostly when it came to any scene of nudity. Though the worst alteration VIZ has done with Naruto is rename all senseis with the title of "master"(i.e. Kakashi-sensei is changed to Master Kakashi). Do they think American readers are somehow too idiotic to understand the word "sensei". This alteration wasn't made for the dub of the anime and both and produced by VIZ. That makes the concept even more confusing that there anime and mangas aren't even aligned.
 
The dubs have altered scenes done on the original airing, removing most of the Tsunade breast jokes. Though in their defense they do release Director Cut versions of the animes. I haven't had the chance to see them myself, but I would imagine they would have less editing. Given the name Director Cut. Sadly, there are no options for Directors Cuts when it comes to manga.
 
The worst and most dramatic changes VIZ has ever made is to the series Detective Conan, another in the line of Shonen Jump series. The complete title was altered to Case Closed. In this series every reoccurring character's name is altered, save for Conan Edogawa; thought they change his real name of Shinichi to Jimmy. The villains in the series originally were all named after types of liquors, though I had scene that for the US VIZ altered the names to biblical characters. For some reason the name of Gin was replaced with Melkior. Yes, I'm sure the US audience will be much more familiar with the name of Melkior over Gin. They call the kids group "The Junior Detective League" though the badges the kids wear literally say "Detective Boys". You could argue that they did this alteration out of some act of political correctness, but that seems like a cop out. In the Japanese publication they say "shonentantei". While this does mean Detective Boys or Boy Detectives when translated. It can also mean Detective Kids. Why go through the trouble of creating a name like Junior Detective League when Detective Kids would work and be far closer to the actual intent of the source material? It's as if they went out of there way to use a name that was as far off the mark as possible.

 Imagine this classic scene with changed names.
 Imagine this classic scene with changed names.
You might not understand if you aren't a regular Detective Conan reader. So allow me to put this in perspective for you. Imagine if when VIZ published Naruto they changed the names of Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke into Nate, Sarah, and Steve, or in Bleach Ichigo and Inoue were altered to Charlie and Irene. How would you feel about that? Detective Conan is a series that takes place in real life Japan. Though you wouldn't know it from reading the VIZ version.

There is also the poor translations of the series. I tried to stomach the altered Japanese names. I bought a few of the US Detective Conan volumes, but repeatedly I saw translations errors. What does that say when people who do tanslations for free on the internet do a far better job then people a company pays. In Volume 15 the art shows Conan finding a rather odd hair on the victim's neck. This was the proof that the victim had been strangled to death by a wig. Yet later the translation says Conan found it on the victim's finger. The translator most likely mistook "kubi" meaning neck for "yubi" meaning finger. The kanjis look nothing alike and a paid translator should know better. Especially when the artwork shows Conan removing the hair from the neck. I find it ironic that in a series where little details are the most important, such as murder mysteries, VIZ makes it's most drastic changes. Some may think this is a silly issue, but in series like murder mysteries. Where the evidence is found is very important. Little details can mean a lot. Part of the fun in reading the series is trying to guess the criminal.

This company has shown dramatic disdain for Japanese culture throughout the years. Often removing as much of the culture as possible in their publications. When they could be used to help educate the reader. It's odd when their publication of Neon Genesis Evangelion has kept the Japanese honorifics, such as Misato referring to Shinji as Shin-chan; and keeping the original Japanese sound effects, explaining them in the back of each volume.  When a company does these alterations they basically cast aside what would be there strongest built in audience for people who probably would never even pick up a manga in the first place. It treats the American audience like idiots who can't understand simple things like honorifics and words like sensei. It's no wonder so many people would rather go to online translation websites rather then buy the mangas in the US. It's the only place we can find translations that stick to the real story.
 
 Negima! Published by DELREY
 Negima! Published by DELREY
On a personal level, I would never recommend VIZ mangas to anyone. After the complete butchering of my favorite series I boycott all VIZ mangas. It's irritating, because I really enjoy many of the series they publish and I would love to support them. In these times I am not going to waste my money on an inferior product. Not when there are companies out there that treat manga with respect. Such as DEL REY, TokyoPop, and ADV Manga. DEL REY is one of the best I have seen. Their publications of Negima! and Fair Tail are great. At the beginning of each volume it has an explanation of the Japanese honorifics and in the back they explain issues from the volume that might not be clear. ADV Manga's publication of Azumanga Daioh also included these notes in the back of the volumes.

For One Piece VIZ doesn't do many alterations. Their most dramatic would be renaming Zoro to Zolo, and calling the Marines the Navy or Naval Marines, despite the hats, shirts, and sails on their ships saying simply "MARINE" in the US versions. I really enjoy many of the series and would love to support them in the US and add them to my personal library, but not when they show such little respect for the Japanese source material, and there are companies in the US that will treat the series with the respect they deserve. What I plan to do is import the Japanese version of these mangas, such as One Piece and Detective Conan. It was partially because of my irritation with VIZ that I've been educating myself to learn to read Japanese. This is something I plan to keep up until they change the names back for Detective Conan. I don't mind the Case Closed title change, but altering the names of the lead characters is inexcusable and ignorant. It would be a simple simple change since it's just the text. For Dragon Ball they had to replace the artwork back to the original. They may say that they are too far into the series to change them to the proper names now. Isn't that a bit like saying, "We have already dug ourselves into a hole. We might as well keep on digging."?
 
Let's say for the sake of argument that they do put the names back eventually. There is a certain Volume that I know of that using the English names they have been given will make a translations impossible and have it make any sense. The company decides to republish the past issues with the corrected names and translations. Why should I pay for a manga volume twice for something they should be doing in the first place? Importing will most likely cost me more, but at least I'll be getting my money's worth.

I encourage manga lovers to support companies who treat the series with respect and avoid anything VIZ altogether. The evidence is there that they don't respect the books. Giving them your money will only encourage them to continue these practices. Support books and publishers that show the stories and culture the respect they deserve. I'm currently waiting to see what Yen Press does with Soul Eater, which is due out this month.
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 Where are my legs?
 Where are my legs?
Recently, I had been hit with a writing bug and my article had the honor of being posted on such fine sites as ComicVine and AnimeVice. I had even heard that it was posted across many other manga/anime blogs. The gratitude I have toward the ComicVine staff, that encouraged me to write the first featured article, is quite incalculable. The same goes to the staff on AnimeVice who also carried the story.

One thing about the largest selling point to US comics is the action. It’s what we all love, and pretty much been the hallmark of some of our greatest comics and events. Who wasn’t effected by the fight of Superman and Doomsday ? We have the promise of amazing action that is to fill the pages and get are blood flowing. Though it’s not always delivered as promised. As I was watching G-Man’s review of the Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus book something struck me. The Utopia story had so much potential that fell short.  For months we had a slow and steady build up to what was climaxed in the Exodus book. Though this book felt like a promise unrealized. In the beginning it had a long climb up, similar to the start of a roller coaster. You sit, strapped in, waiting for that first great fall that will give you the momentum needed to hit all the twists and turns to come. Utopia felt more like a long, five minute climb to ten foot drop, and it was all over. Exciting for a whole three seconds, but left me vastly unfulfilled. Not to say that the fights were bad. It all just felt as if so much was missed. I don’t even hold the writers or the artists accountable for this. Their job was done and done well in each book. For I blame what none of us can escape, even as it constantly moves: Time. Well, Time and the Marvel editorial staff that dictates that these events have to settle within a certain time frame.

It seriously feels that in many comics we have to choose between either story or action. If we desire more of one. We then must sacrifice a part of the other. This was also shown in Babs’ review of Dark Reign-The List: X-Men . It’s not as if our writers or artists in the US series aren’t capable of doing both. Wolverine's story during Civil War was a great read with great action. Why does this even have to be a choice?  
 
Thinking of how this story moved it reminded me of an arc that was used in the manga series, One Piece. It’s a story that was published several years back about the CP-9/Enis Lobby arc. In many ways it shares a couple of similarities with the Utopia/Exodus story. Both had a long build up,friends turning on each other, twists in loyalties, possible betrayal from an enigmatic member of the heroes, clashing with a dark, corrupt government organization filled with killers; and ended in battles that changed the status quo forever. To date, it’s one of my favorite arcs, because of the emotions it evoked, with Nico Robin's past; and the scale of the battles at the end.

The story for this stage in One Piece pretty much began with chapter 343(Oct. 24, 2004) and the appearance of the Cipher Pol-9 (CP-9). Following the tradition of weekly chapter releases, the build up lasted past the following year, and the opening salvo was in chapter 398(Jan. 29, 2006). The Utopia story first began in Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1 (Jun. 24, 2009), but the roots of the story date further back. As with all tales in the current Marvel continuum. All roads lead back to Civil War, which to me played out like a political allegory; similar to Animal Farm, but without the talking pigs. (Well, unless you wish to count Stark, but that’s getting off the topic.) Civil War ultimately is what lead to the Dark Reign, Norman Osborn stole Wolverine’s kill shot in Secret Invasion; and the murderer of Gwen Stacy quickly became America’s hero. He had created the Cabal in Secret Invasion: Dark Reign #1 (Dec. 3, 2008) and the X-Men had been mostly uninvolved. Despite Emma Frost's agreement to join at the end of Uncanny X-Men #505 (Dec. 17, 2008). It all came to a head when the mutant riots broke out and Dark Reign finally fell on the mutant population in DA/UXM: Utopia.

In the Enis Lobby story the Strawhat Crew pretty much separated and paired off with an opponent at chapter 400 (Feb. 12, 2009), though these matches would mix up as the story moved on. Much in the same way Cyclops had his X-Men paired off with certain enemies, but had certain twists as the action progressed. Just to give you a feeling for just how these battles lasted in the One Piece series. This was the make up and the duration of each fight seen, from first meeting to final blow. 
 

Strawhat/CP-9
ChaptersTime Duration
Zoro vs Kaku
CH.400-41820 Weeks
Nami vs Kalifa
CH.403-412
11 Weeks
Sanji vs Jabra
CH.413-415
3 Weeks
Chopper vs Kumadori
CH.403-408
7 Weeks
Franky vs Fukurou
CH.402-406
6 Weeks
Luffy vs Rob Lucci
CH.408-427
22 Weeks

 
 
You may notice that some of these chapters over lap. That’s because even while fights were going on around. The story was still being told, and more then one battle was happening at a time. This wasn’t like the Dragonball Z fights, that were just blind fighting. In the Enis Lobby arc the battles just felt as epic as the story that had been built up. There was a balance. So much detail was given to each fight. It could be used as a story board for the animated version, and most likely was. The climax was with the leaders’ fight of Luffy and Rob Lucci is the kind of thing you cheer at.
Luffy had been beaten down over and over. Only to rise again and pull off an amazing last-ditch attack. So traumatized did this leave the hero, that he couldn’t move afterward and was unconscious for three days after the fight had been over.

Balance that to the Utopia/Exodus story. While it started in late June. It came to a conclusion in early September of the same year. I have been quite the critic of Fraction's handling of the X-Men’s story, but I can’t hold it against him with the balance of action to story. I felt the build up was looking promising. Here, he’s working with the time he had. The entire battle was told within a single book while the story that began this was through Dark X-Men: Beginning #1-3, DA/UXM: Utpoia, Dark Avengers #7-8, Uncanny X-Men #513-514, and X-Men Legacy #226-227. This was a ten to one ratio of story to action. There was some action in between, but none on the level that was expected of having two powerful forces come to a head. Normally, when there are crossovers of major teams. It’s between heroes that get caught up in some sort of misunderstanding. No side wants to be painted poorly. This was a team of villains. A massive battle was deserved. This was the line up we had for Exodus:
  


X-MenDark Avengers-Dark X-Men
Wolverine Weapon Omega
X-23/Pixie/Armor  Daken
Archangel Bullseye
Colossus Venom
Namor Sentry
New Mutants Ares
X-Club
Dark Beast
Iceman/New X-Men
Mimic
Various mutants
Moonstone
Cyclops
Osborn



 
For the length of the battle. The art was often times breath taking. From pencil to color. I can’t remember when I’ve seen Archangel look so cool.
You could almost feel the level of doom coming Bullseye's way. Past introductions we didn’t really see much of ‘anything‘ in the majority of these fights. The battle that got the most attention was between Cyclops and Osborn , in his Iron Patriot armor. That consisted mostly of Scott being beaten around while mocking Namor. Though I did enjoy watching Norman break down like a tantruming two year old screaming, “No No, No, No!!”. It appeared that the battles of Namor/Sentry and Wolverine/Weapon Omega were both of epic detail. What happened between Namor throwing that truck to being pounded into the pavement by Sentry? How was Weapon Omega standing after being stabbed in the back? It’s just sad so little was ever even seen. It could also of been quite entertaining to see Daken have his regenerating rear handed to him by three teenage girls, considering how poorly he tends to treat women. I don’t know if that was intentional, but my hat’s off to Matt Fraction on that touch. Moonstone 's involvement was so short it was almost laughable. Dani Moonstar ’s power revival and fight with the war god Ares, while incredibly well drawn, felt slighted by the time it was given. A battle between such amazing forces, that by all rights should of lasted hours, felt closer to thirty minutes. It was more like watching a highlight reel of a soccer match or baseball game. Rather then the sensation of actually being there watching. If there was ever a fight that I would of loved to of seen get some manga-like attention. It would have been these.

Out of everything, it was the aftermath that felt silly. All this massive fighting and no one was shown even bed ridden once the dust settled.
Scott, who had done little else but get pounded upon, by a psychopath in a suit of armor, only seemed to suffer some cuts, torn clothes, and had a little bandage on his head. All over the X-Men seemed relatively unharmed. Osborn’s Dark X-Men and Dark Avengers were even more bizarre for a team that lost. Moonstone had her arm in a sling for some reason. Somehow despite multiple goring by Wolverine, Weapon Omega only seemed to have his hood damaged. Wolverine has never struck me as the kind of man who lets someone get away without losing a toe at the least. Especially, when there is a personal aspect to a fight. Dark Beast, though well outnumbered, didn’t even seem to suffer so much as a scuffed shirt. Though what was the oddest touch I noticed, of all the people to still show fresh injuries.
Daken clearly was showing cuts. If anyone should have been healed completely by the time of a press conference, it’s him. There is some irony that the only member of the X-Men or Dark Avengers that seems to suffer any long term effect from this battle is Emma Frost, the one who wasn’t even involved in the physical fighting.

This being said. One Piece is pretty infamous for people surviving ridiculous amounts of bodily damage. Don’t think I’m just picking on US comics alone for breaking the laws of continuity. The One Piece character Pell, from the Alabasta arc, flies a bomb, intended to level an entire city, into the sky. He is point blank when it finally goes off and easily presumed dead. It was a moving moment where he seemingly sacrifices himself to save thousands and the princess, Vivi , he has watched grow up from childhood. (I highly recommend you at least look up the scene on you tube if you ever get the chance.) At the end of the arc he is shown to of somehow survived. Also at times, Zoro  (who I see as the Wolverine of One Piece) suffers such damage in a fight it effects his performance considerably for many arcs to come. So far, any character deaths that have happened in One Piece have been in flash backs. The creator, Eiichiro Oda, has said that he feels it is more important for the villains’ wicked dreams to die rather then having the heroes actually take a life. Which is fitting when you consider the over riding theme of One Piece is about dreams.
Each character has their own dream. Luffy to be King of the Pirates, and Nami to draw a map of the world.

When it comes right down to it. There is a question I want to ask you. Mind you ahead of time. No one has ever even seriously considered this. It's not a rumor I heard. It’s just an idea I had running through my head. If it meant that you could have your comics in full color, not to mention having equal parts action and story; do you think you could have the patience to see US comics be published like weekly Japanese manga? Mangas have a distinct advantage being published weekly. If a reader doesn’t like a particular section. They normally only have to wait for the following week to see what happened next, rather then the monthly time line we have. I think that US comic creators have the skill to do it. They just lack the time needed.

A single issue of the manga magazine, Shonen Jump, has several different manga series between the covers; from Bleach, One Piece, Naruto, and many more. Imagine all the X-Men titles being published in a single weekly magazine, with sixteen to eighteen pages of story dedicated to each series; New Mutants, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine , etc. When you consider how many pages that are in a month’s issue of your average comic. You could easily have about two normal sized comics (25-30 pages) within a single month. It may feel slow going at times, but the action we all enjoy out of these comics would increase ten fold in both length and detail. You would get to see the high and lows of a fight. Watch our heroes struggle against a powerful villain and turn the tide with one last attack. It could also seem faster if we had new issues each week, missing only during national holidays. There would be little concern about missing an issue during crossovers. Say you don’t want to read the other books. You would only have to wait two to three months and get the volume collection that would contain twelve weeks of the chapters per volume.

Overall, I feel the format given to US artists can be too constraining. Major story events are created one after the next and each writer is pretty well forced to fit their story within a small handful of months. Rather then writing an organic story that progresses naturally and has a satisfying climax (no puns, please). We more often get what I talked about earlier. More action with less story development, or long drawn out story with a flat or rushed conclusion. 
 

These are my thoughts on the issue. Do you think you have the patience to read a story arc that could last two years if all it meant was having slightly shortened chapters, but you also get more dramatic action and fighting with your story? Do you think the larger audience could handle this as well?

Thank you for reading.
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