Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Loud Pictures

Hello! How's it going guys? Not all rainbows, reindeer, unicorns, and lollipops for me. But I'll survive.


Today I'm going to do another post about manga.

from Otoyomegatari - Kaoru Mori


One of my all time favorite mangaka is Kaoru Mori.
She's known for her manga Emma, Shirley, and most recently is Otoyomegatari or The Bride's Story.
The last one, Otoyomegatari, is the most beautifully drawn manga I have ever seen. Oh-La-La!!
The details are exquisite. It is sharp, charming, and realistic. Mori tells her story not only by words but most of the time through pictures. Loud ones. The other thing I love about her work is she often draws the smallest aspect of the characters' life but somehow relevant. Small aspects that you rarely see described by other mangakas.
For example, the chapter about trousseau. Rather than describing everything with talking bubbles, Mori draws details and more details. Even the stitching process. Absolutely magnificent.


"A lavishly embroidered cloth is, at times, prized more highly than any currency.
They show social strata and the origin of the weaver, and tell the content of their character.
Immeasurable time and effort with which they have imbued with prayers and feelings."



The first picture above is a house's pillar. Mori use a WHOLE page for a single pillar. I don't know what you guys think, but for me it shows a mangaka's faith of the quality of her work. I can't stress enough how much I love the details she draws. It's captivating, it's alluring, it's heart warming. Somehow. The clothes are drawn beautifully, highly embroidered and heavily accessorized. Just the way I like it.

Moreover, I like how Mori likes to take various cultural background. In Otoyomegatari, there are the trousseau, the carving, cooking, taking bath, hunting, and so forth. And it's only in 20 chapters! I REALLY REALLY hope there will be hundreds of chapters to come.
Or, should Mori end this series and work on something else, I trully wish she would do stories with Southern America background. Or vikings. Or Indonesia. Oh I would die if she take a spin at Indonesian culture. Now I'm imagining Toraja houses, songket, burung cendrawasih. Damn. If only I knew her email.

One more point on Kaoru Mori. If any of you have read or watch EMMA, it's also great. The basic story is not exactly unique: love story between a maid and a rich dude in England, victorian era.
You can even say it's a boring, mediocre theme. But wait until you see the drawings. MAN!!
Also the storyline is far FAR FAR from mediocre. It's not a typical love story about two young lings falling in love and going against the world to fight for their love. They just want to be happy. Nothing about equality fight or that sort. The main characters were minding their own business, trying to be together.


a page of carving windows, doors, and pillars in Otoyomegatari


Another great manga with more drawings than bubble speech: Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou or Yokohama Shopping Log by Hitoshi Ashinano.
The drawings are not as detailed as Mori's. I don't exactly adore the story, it's kinda vague for me. However, the drawings are beautiful and somehow liberating. I think it stimulates your imagination. Gives you the sensation as if you are the one inside the story, daydreaming of flying and playing with naked sexless mysterious creature. Very fascinating, I must say.
The main character, Alpha, is cute and silly. Never harms a story.




Also, check out these cool blogs.
They did more thoroughly and very interesting discussions on Kaoru Mori.
http://www.punkednoodle.com/champloo/2011/12/16/spotlight-kaoru-mori/
http://chuodori.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/spotlight-kaoru-mori/





pictures are taken from here: http://www.mangahere.com/
here: http://manga.lyght.net/series/otoyomegatari-volume-02.html
and here: http://www.mangareader.net/112-3978-4/yokohama-kaidashi-kikou/chapter-96.html

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