An anonymous poem translated by John Brough in Poems from the Sanskrit
My lord, since you have banished Poverty
From this fair land, I feel it is my duty
To lay an information that the outlaw
Has taken refuge in my humble home.
Ah, the lot of poets everywhere. One hopes he got something for his wit, and not banishment himself.
Remember all my blither about the Cross Game
anime? It's been licensed by Viz, and currently being streamed from their website
(and Hulu). The first volume of the English manga comes out October. Let's see if a slice-of-life romance with sports mixed in can sell in the Anglosphere.The Penguin Book of Restoration Verse
ed. by Howard Love - Now that was an interesting revelation. I've long admired Dryden, and had read Rochester as well as those Cavalier Holdovers, Waller and Sedley, but otherwise not much from the period, at least that stuck in memory. More fool me.
The Restoration generations were not much good at passions aside from scorn (the bulk of the love poetry is pretty shabby, aside from the smut) -- but they did wonders for creating a conversational tone in poetry, which is a lot harder than you might think. They then used this for descriptions of daily life full of vigor ("full of the thing," as Byron put it), for smooth narratives that carry the story along whatever mood can keep it flowing, and for satires that fit more disdain into a single couplet than most Elizabethans managed in an entire poem. Oh, and smut. I need to track down unexpurgated collections of Rochester and Durfey (or D'Urfey).
The heirs of the Restoration, Pope and his lot, took their achievements and formalized them, in more ways than one. If all you know is Pope and Johnson's sort of closed couplets, you need to back up a few years.Angel Voice
(Tenshi no Uta
) by Kumi Makimura - Yes, the story is a fairly standard shoujo music industry romance, complete with love polygon centered on the heroine. But it's got two interesting things going for it: first, that the initial relationship tangles are not shown on stage but are backstory that's slowly dripped into the present, and second, that the concert art, particularly when Mayu is singing, is gorgeous
. The best display of music's emotion through silent art I've seen since Nodame Cantabile
, and more beautiful than that. (unlicensed, scanlations available through volume 4)The Phantom Tollbooth
by Norton Juster - I liked this a lot when I was, what, twelve or so. Now I'm more dubious of the didactic allegory that wears the appealing drapery of logic-chopping whimsy very lightly. It's rather telling that I remembered nothing
that happened after leaving Digitopolis, and that's where the message starts to determine the events. The parts between Dictionopolis and Digitopolis, inclusive, where Milo wanders around hardly getting anywhere on the quest are still quite fun, and recommended for the right sort of precocious child of a certain age. Future Boy Conan
, ep.1-15 - When we saw a snippet playing in a Japanese restaurant, my reaction was "low-budget anime TV series from the late-70s directed by someone heavily influenced by Hayao Miyazaki." I wasn't too far off, all things considered: it's actually a low-budget anime TV series from the mid-70s directed by
Hayao Miyazaki -- as in, it was his last TV show before graduating to feature movies. Adapted (I gather with some padding to fill out 26 episodes) from The Incredible Tide
by Alexander Key, but really, what it looks and feels most like is a first draft of Laputa
/Castle in the Sky
, with especially Lana and Conan as early versions of Sheeta and Pazu, along with other character analogues. As for the show itself, it is, um, clearly low-budget and while the corners are cut with cleverness, it's still rather languidly paced for an adventure yarn. Possibly the most interesting aspect is seeing what Miyazaki does with a boy-centric story instead of his later stories of strong female protagonists -- though Lana can also rescue herself, as needed. Also, the toy ship
? So. Darn. Cute. Especially in episode 8. (unlicensed, fansubs complete) Twin Spica
v.1 by Kou Yaginuma - The backstory: 14 years before, when Our Heroine was an infant, Japan's space program was set back by a failed manned rocket launch that crashed in a populated area. Asumi's mother died, she survived, her father, an engineer who worked on the rocket, quits the program, and the ghost of one of the astronauts became her informal mentor to her dream of becoming a "spaceship driver" (as she put it in first grade). And now, today, she is applying for the first class of Japan's new high school for future astronauts. So, a school story with science-fiction elements plus a ghost. In a by-the-numbers series, this would give us, well, a school story like any other. This, though, has a serious indie comix vibe to it, which makes sense as it's a lead title for Vertical's new manga line -- with a sort of melancholy atmosphere that's especially surprising once one realizes that it originally ran in a magazine that features bikini babes on the cover. There's a lot of Past hanging over Asumi's head, and over her friends. And a lot of future to create. Recommended. Ôoko: The Inner Chambers
v.1 by Fumi Yoshinaga - Oh my. Yes. This. Go. Read. Now.
Found handwritten on a bookmark at the start of chapter 14 of a used copy of Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Desire spawns madness
Madnes collapses into disaster
Mankind never learns
The misspelling is telling, no?