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Apr. 17th, 2010

Fun Basket

Manga Review: Nijigahara Holograph

English Title: Rainbow Field Holograph
Japanese Title: 虹ヶ原ホログラフ
Chinese (Taiwan) Title: 虹之原Horograph
Type: Manga
Volumes: 1
Chapters: 15
Status: Finished
Published: 2006
Genres: Drama, Psychological, Seinen
Authors: Asano, Inio (Story & Art)
Serialization: Quick Japan

Plot Synopsis: Suzuki is a troubled boy. He's lived with uncaring foster parents for most of his life, alienated from the other kids at his school, owner of a cynical, unhappy mentality. Komatsuzaki is a violent, unpredictable bully whose head trauma causes him to act in mysterious, inexplicable ways. Arakawa is a no-nonsense, normal girl who pines after Komatsuzaki but can never have him. A teacher with just one working eye. A mother who committed suicide. A daughter in an endless coma. Attempted rapes, murders, extortion, sexual deviance, and a freakish explosion in the butterfly population. All of these elements are whirled together in a story spanning 10 years, a tale of blackness, pain and apocalypse. And maybe just a bit of hope and redemption. It's a spiritual cross between the misanthropic suburban malevolence of Kyoko Okazaki's Rivers Edge and the eerie mysticality of Donnie Darko. (From: Mangascreener)

My PoV: This is one of those stories you tend to read over and over again just so you could make more sense out of it and no matter how many times you read it, you find something different about it, something you never noticed was right there. That is the beauty of Nijigahara Holograph, and the gift which comes from the genius mind of Inio Asano, the creator of the beautiful manga, Solanin.

It's funny how the name, Rainbow Field Holograph, is somewhat of a contrast to the theme of the manga. Where the title gives the reader the feeling that the manga will be full of rainbows & marshmallows, the reality is much the opposite.

The manga starts with surrealistic, yet existent images; these images, spread across different panels and different pages, representing some pivotal moment in each character's life, are made up of factors affecting their present and future which in-turn are affected by their worn-out, conflicted, and secretive pasts. Try not to get confused as these confusing images may not seem related but, for your information, it is these images which prove as pieces to a jigsaw puzzle; once they end, they give rise to the start of a story which is, actually, the beginning of the end rather than the actual beginning.

Then, when the reader realizes that the story has followed into another story (one spanning over 10 years) – a story within stories (more like stories within a story) – this one more deep than the rest, and the rest even deeper when thought about later, the reader gets even more entangled in the web that is Nijigahara Holograph. Moreover, the general theme of the manga would be life itself – dark, dreary, without hope, selfish humans, humans taking without feeling. I came to face such horrors while reading this that I read this manga over three times with some kind of perverse incredulity about the fact that I live in the same world these people do. It's just bizarre how we tend to live under the same sky with such different people inhabiting it, with us, side-by-side, without us even ever knowing the tragedies facing them or what sort of mind-sets these people have – we will never know unless we come face-to-face with them ourselves – and I pray we never do.

The major aspect of the story is the butterflies, which may or may not make sense even when you have reached the end or you have managed to read the manga a couple of times. Apparently, after I did some research, Asano's Nijigahara Holograph is mostly based upon Taoism. There is an excerpt from one of the chapters' panel from Chuang Tszu's techings. It says, "Once upon a time, I, (personal name of Chuang Tzu), dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man. Between a man and a butterfly there is necessarily a distinction." In my opinion, this manga revolves around a complex attitude towards life, in general. It has nothing to do with Religion or one's (or the characters') Beliefs. It is how things are and how things must be. Maybe Life, the life we are living, is not real. Maybe what we think is real, is just the trick of the mind. Maybe Reality is coexistent with the things which aren't real.

Whatever the case is, the butterflies signify the arrival of something important, a calamity, a revelation; whatever it is, it will change the flow of things, resulting in how things should have been in the first place.

These butterflies are associated with a character, a little girl. Every event that takes place in the story is irrevocably linked to her. We can say that she is the pinnacle, as well as the pedestal, on which the story is based on and on whom it ascends, and ends, with the help of.

When I start reading a manga, the art will be the first thing I'll notice. For me, good art matters a lot even if I don't like the story all that much. However, there have been times when I found the story rather more appealing than the art itself. Nijigahara Holograph, on the other hand, is one manga whose art actually portrays the story rather than being unidentifiably individualistic to it.

I just love this manga – not only does it capture the reality of life, it captures its essence and the art ascertains the fact that the reader establishes a strong connection to the story through it. The art is beautiful; it captivates the attention even if it does not wish to seek it. The details are a visual orgasm of things left behind for us to recall and reflect upon, to be curious about and to simply (un)acknowledge, to fear over and to be disgusted with.

The way things are drawn, it's difficult to conceive the beauty of things; what is most amazing is how every single object in the storyline (living or otherwise) has a personality. The magnitude of complexity of detail is astounding; focus is a MUST. Emotions are drawn vividly, without mercy, making the reader digest fully the nature of what is being read. Personally, I think the mangaka has paid complete attention to how the things are supposed to be drawn rather than what; my view is that he has fixated himself upon nature, overall. How nature effects all reasons of outcome.

All in all, the art is inconspicuously remarkable. The expressions are instantaneous and it's as if it is not a manga being read but a film with moving pictures; watching as the scene changes oh-so-smoothly.

The character design is explicitly subliminal; meaning that every character's personality has been described to the last detail without having to spell it out. It's simply amazing how the reader can grasp the entire persona of the character's, even how unstable it may seem. Every character is unique, having their own problems, their own dilemmas, and their very own secrets kept away from prying eyes & ears.

Suzuki Amahiko is a disturbed individual with disparaging views of those around him, hating the world for being so unfair; he rarely tries to connect with the people he's with, and refrains from having any ties with them; he has always been shunned from society, moving from one place to another with parents who he knows aren't really his, and attempting suicide more than once. Then comes the girl who seems to be at the centre of it all, Kimura Arie; ever since the manga starts, I have thought of her to have lost all innocence from the day she achieved ethereal beauty; I sympathize for her – all she ever wanted was something everyone desires, having it all go against her in ways which would extract profanities from the reader's mouth; the life she has led would be the cruelest, and most unsettling of all. Komatsuzaki is an aggressive character who acts in unpredictable ways and whose actions have a veritable significance. Sakaki is the trio's homeroom teacher for whom Suzuki has somewhat mature feelings for; she injured one eye in an 'accident' which fits yet another puzzle of the story. There are a few more 'main' characters whose roles are noteworthy in themselves.

I must applaud Asano on how he achieved such character depth within a mere manga spanning almost 300 pages.

At the end of the day, this manga needs concentration in every single way. It teaches every reader something new, something different – what I learned, or got, from it, would be unlike some other reader's life-lesson learned. For me, it indulges in the credence that everyone has a role in life to play and that everyone plays a vital part in someone else's role. People living interrelated lives, having complicated mindsets, yet existing in a clandestine past, and living a lie – this is what Nijigahara Holograph is. Funny enough, it is a whirlwind of feelings with characters that have none.

Oct. 5th, 2009


A Touch Lost or Forgotten {. . . but found and recalled again}

Title: A Touch Lost or Forgotten
Hyuuga Hinata
50 Shinobi Theme:
#18 : Dreams
Pairing: Uzumaki Naruto & Hyuuga Hinata
PG, K+ (for some low-crude language and somewhat-indecent thoughts)
Disclaimer: I had all rights to Naruto, the anime, and its characters. . . then, I woke up.

Is it a dream or is it not  dream, that is the question. One would never know but it's clear they would never look at each other the same way ever again.

::Turn the Page::

Sep. 27th, 2009

Easily Distracted

- Fanfiction : In Action - [Part II]

...continued from Part I of my My FanFiction Projects : I really am so doomed.

001.Beginnings. 002.Middles. 003.Ends. 004.Insides. 005.Outsides.
006.Hours. 007.Days. 008.Weeks. 009.Months. 010.Years.
011.Red. 012.Orange. 013.Yellow. 014.Green. 015.Blue.
016.Purple. 017.Brown. 018.Black. 019.White. 020.Colourless.
021.Friends. 022.Enemies. 023.Lovers. 024.Family. 025.Strangers.
026.Teammates. 027.Parents. 028.Children. 029.Birth. 030.Death.
031.Sunrise. 032.Sunset. 033.Too Much. 034.Not Enough. 035.Sixth Sense.
036.Smell. 037.Sound. 038.Touch. 039.Taste. 040.Sight.
041.Shapes. 042.Triangle. 043.Square. 044.Circle. 045.Moon.
046.Star. 047.Heart. 048.Diamond. 049.Club. 050.Spade.
051.Water. 052.Fire. 053.Earth. 054.Air. 055.Spirit.
056.Breakfast. 057.Lunch. 058.Dinner. 059.Food. 060.Drink.
061.Winter. 062.Spring. 063.Summer. 064.Fall. 065.Passing.
066.Rain. 067.Snow. 068.Lightening. 069.Thunder. 070.Storm.
071.Broken. 072.Fixed. 073.Light. 074.Dark. 075.Shade.
076.Who? 077.What? 078.Where? 079.When? 080.Why?
081.How? 082.If. 083.And. 084.He. 085.She.
086.Choices. 087.Life. 088.School. 089.Work. 090.Home.
091.Birthday. 092.Christmas. 093.Thanksgiving. 094.Independence. 095.New Year.
096.Writer‘s Choice. 097.Writer‘s Choice. 098.Writer‘s Choice. 099.Writer‘s Choice. 100.Writer‘s Choice.

Claim : Hyuuga Hinata from Naruto.
1.One Wild Night 2.I'm the King/Queen of the Sheets 3.Vampire Loving 4.All About the Games You Play 5.Blanket Hog
6.Reenacting My Favorite Fantasy 7.Romantic Night 8.A Little Quickie Behind the Doors 9.No More Teasing, Baby 10.Come to Me
11.Jezebel 12.To Live Without, Is Death 13.Nice and Rough, Or Gentle and Tender 14.Play House 15.Switching Roles
16.Can't Stop Watching You 17.When the Lights Go Out, the Lovers Play 18.Shake That Thing 19.Impatient Nympho 20.No Humor In My Tone
21.Phone Fun 22.Intoxicated With Your Taste 23.Dreams Do Come True When I Think Of You 24.My Fairytale 25. One More Time
26.There's wicked thoughts behind your eyes 27.Under the Roses 28.Memories of Love 29.The sound of your breath on my cheek 30.Until There's Nothing Left of Us
31.Last Chance 32.You won't be turned away 33.To Touch the Devil 34.Virtue was not convenient 35.The Back of Your Hand
36.Graceful ends 37.Do you ever think you'd rather be with me instead? 38.You Got Lucky 39.He always smiles 40.Only to deceive your senses
41.Because it is my name. 42.It's a way of expressing our humanity 43.I'm the whore of Babylon 44.The Chase is On 45.Silken Threads of Fate
46.A whisper, sacred & profound 47.So I could find God between your legs tonight. 48.Meet Me in the Back 49.Think of all the things your hands could make 50.Wildcard!

Bonus Themes:

1L. The World is Coming to an End, let's not waste time.
2L. Bringing Down the House
3L. I Gave My All
4L. This has turned into a runaway train
5L. Let Me Taint You

001. Comfort Sex 002. Table 003. Flavored Lube 004. Bathtub Playtime 005. Body Oil/Paints
006. The Net 007. Movie Scene Reinactment 008. Shower Sex 009. Hideaway 010. To the Hilt
011. Blindfold 012. Vanilla 013. Doggie-Style 014. Food Fetish 015. Dominatrix
016. Toys 017. Virginal 018. Waterproof 019. Knife Play 020. Vibrator
021. Choker 022. Honey Dust 023. Medical Play 024. Spanking 025. Fingering
026. Harems 027. Orgasm Denial 028. Anonymous 029. Rim Job 030. Harness
031. Costumes 032. Anal Sex 033. Double-Penetration 034. Animalistic 035. Blow Job/Going Down
036. Threesome 037. Grinding 038. Pornography 039. Position 69 040. Biting
041. BDSM 042. Vampirism 043. Tantric Sex 044. Masturbation 045. Voyeruism
046. Lap Dance 047. In Public 048. Imprisonment/Captivity 049. Leather 050. Wildcard

Bonus Themes:

1K. Violence/Plunder
2K. Vocal/Loud
3K. Quickie
4K. Tattoo Fetish
5K. Sacred/Forbidden Sex

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