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Gate 7 review: Otaku Trauma
Today on Otaku Trauma I’ll be reviewing Gate 7, the newest manga from powerhouse CLAMP. Plus news for your every day [otaku] life!
Gate 7 is CLAMP’s newest manga. Originally intended as a one-shot, it expanded in true CLAMP fashion. CLAMP doesn’t do short. It’s not in their artistic nature. They don’t even do “minor” or “one-shot” characters; every character has some importance. It’s just sometimes not until several series later that their importance becomes known.
Gate 7 is about Hana, a high school student who is the daughter of a temple caretaker. She has the extraordinary gift to be able to see between the veil of the conscious and sub-conscious (or dreaming) state of mind. She acts as protector for all who dream, basically, along with her guardians Tachibana and Sakura . Along for the ride is Chikahito, an unfortunate young man who was only trying to take in the sights of Kyoto.
As in most CLAMP manga, the supernatural reign supreme. Gate 7 is heavily influenced by Japanese beliefs, however, much like xxxHolic was, and isn’t shy about tossing out phrases or words that mean almost nothing to Westerners. Chikahito, despite stumbling upon the extraordinary, wanted nothing more than a normal vacation. His exaggerated mannerisms upon finding out he’s taken up with some strange folks are amusing, and Hana’s gentle words embarrass him a lot.
Those familiar with CLAMP’s works will see styles that are similar to other series and characters–especially as far as character design goes. It can be distracting (I kept wanting to call Tachibana “Ran” from Clover, for instance, and Hana looks a lot like a tinier version of Hokuto Sumeragi from Tokyo Babylon), but CLAMP draws so intricately that you’ll get lost in the details.
In my opinion this volume is an interesting start to a series. If Chikahito remains as…prone to annoying outbursts, I may have to rethink my interest (he is very much like Watanuki in the beginning of xxxHolic–screaming and yelling about how he does not want), but as always CLAMP’s artwork is the real draw for me. With the recent ending of xxxHolic (with chapter 213) and my lack of interest in Kobato (their other current manga), this will nicely fill my lingering need. For the time being, at least.
Currently Gate 7 is being published in Japan by Jump SQ; originally it was going to be published simultaneously in Japan and the USA with Dark Horse publishing the chapters as Mangette; however, this seems to have altered since the manga itself is no longer a one-shot. Translations exist on the net, and one of the best resources I’ve found for CLAMP news in general is CLAMP*NEWS.
News to Note:
I’m rather behind the times in this, but there’s going to be a live action Paradise Kiss movie, due out in June 2011. Paradise Kiss, a five-volume manga by Nana creator Ai Yazawa, is about a high school student named Yukari who gets sucked in the world of fashion by a group of designers. The tagline was “Where high fashion and high passion collide” back when TokyoPop was releasing the manga. This is my favorite series by Yazawa, honestly, and is a companion/sequel to (the not licensed or released series) Gokinjo Monogatari (“Neighborhood Story“).
Honestly, I don’t think Mukai Osamu is pretty or gorgeous enough to play George in a live-action…but it would be hard to find a guy with exactly the right look. There’s also a 12-episode anime, licensed and released in America from Geneon and Funimation. You can view the trailer here at tokyohive in Japanese (and here at youtube with subs).
Peach-Pit, the creative force behind several manga series, including DearS and Rozen Maiden, is ending their series Zombie Loan this spring with the release of volumes 13 and 14. Zombie Loan is one of those quirky series I definitely enjoy but can’t really figure out why. Peach-Pit does have a very pretty art style, though (similar in ways to Koge Doba, of Di Gi Charat). In America Yen Press publishes the manga and is up to volume 11 currently. (Thank you Anime News Network for this sad news!)
Carnegie Hall in New York City will be showing two previously exclusive to Japan Ghibli shorts entitled Yado-Sagashi (“House Hunting“) and Mizugumo Monmon (“Monmon the Water Spider“) as part of their JapanNYC festival being held throughout March. The shorts will be screened March 26th and 28th at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The tickets are being sold at $15 each and can be bought online at Carnegie Hall’s website. Both are written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
March Releases to Note
03/01/2011 FUNimation xxxHOLiC: Season 1 Collection (S.A.V.E. Edition)
03/08/2011 Buena Vista Home Ent. Tales From Earthsea $29.99
03/08/2011 FUNimation Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji): Season 1 Collection, Part 2
03/09/11 Novels: Twelve Kingdoms, The Vol. 05 (Novel) (SC Edition) ~ $14.45
03/28/11 Manga: Time and Again Vol. 05 ~ $9.29
03/29/11 Manga: Future Diary Vol. 10 ~ $9.29
03/29/11 Manga: The Beautiful Skies of Houou High Vol: 01 ~ $11.29