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Friday, October 20, 2017

Manga Recommendation Shoulder-A-Coffin Kuro

Manga Recommendation
Shoulder-A-Coffin Kuro

This anime season has proven to be more exciting than the previous one so I might need some time before I can release my “The Anime Season So Far” blog. Also, I have planned a special Anime blog for next week, in the spirit of this spooky month, so for this week, I’ve decided to make a manga recommendation. This is one of my favorites out there and also goes along with the spooky feel of this month, so without further ado.

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My story with “Shoulder-A-Coffin Kuro” started in a “Barners & Noble” that I walked into after leaving a movie theater. In the manga section of the store there was this manga, with its cover facing straight at me, and immediately caught my attention. The character design of the main character was very interesting, and after further inspection, the art style was captivating.

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It had this dark gloomy fairy tale kind of look and I decided to purchase the book right then and there! After that, I’ve been a diehard fan.

Also, the main character looked like an undertaker Konota from Lucky Star.

The story of Shoulder-A-Coffin Kuro revolves around a young traveler, a girl dressed in black, named Kuro. Accompanied by a bat named Sen, and two peculiar little girls with cat ears, named Sanju and Nijuku. They embark on a journey across the land that leads them to interact with an array of interesting characters. What’s Kuro searching for, and why does she carry a coffin around? Where did Sanju and Nijuku come from, and why do they have cat ears in a world with pretty much regular looking people? And why does the bat talk!? These were questions that I asked myself and that drew me deeper in the mystery that it is Shoulder-A-Coffin Kuro.

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The crew.

It’s hard for me to explain what is Shoulder-A-Coffin Kuro without me rambling for hours, or spoiling major plot points, but I’ll try my best to give you an understanding of the manga. So let me start by talking about each character, and what better character to begin with than Kuro.

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The traveler clothed in black, Kuro.

Kuro is quite the mysterious character. We don’t know much about her past, but we get bits and pieces of the reason behind her journey throughout the story. Kuro normally gets mistaken as a boy, a mortician, or even a vampire sometimes, but she doesn’t let that get to her.

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She’s tremendously smart, and she can be a bit sarcastic at times. She also can be harsh and straight to point with her companions. Most of the time she tries to keep her composure and she doesn’t let her true feelings slip out too often, but deep down she is a caring person. It’s like life has made her the way with its hardships, after all, she is wondering the land dress in black carrying a coffin. Perhaps the coffin is the most peculiar thing about her. If you were to ask her about it, she would only reply with: “this coffin is for me”.

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The snarky bat Sen.

Sen is a snarky individual and a womanizer, but he also can be really wise at times, but above all, he’s a talking bat! Sen is always causing problems for Kuro but also is always there to protect her, and there’s nothing more terrifying than a cloud of a hundred bats. That’s the thing, Sen is not the only bat with Kuro, in total there are one hundred bats, most of them spend their time in Kuro’s coffin until their help is required.

Better safe than sorry eh?

The peculiar thing is that all of them are Sen, like every single one of them is part of a single entity, and the talking Sen is the head. Despite his disposition, Sen cares deeply for Kuro and it’s clear that he is in this journey for similar reasons as Kuro.

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The twins, Nijuku & Sanju.

Nijuku and Sanju are just children, and as such, they are full of energy and curiosity, while also being a constant source of headaches for Kuro. Kuro found them in an abandoned mansion and decided to take them with her. As I mentioned before, they have cat ears, but they also possess an array of strange abilities. They can shrink to the sizes of a mouse, they can change into colors of things they touch, and many other odd abilities. They are clearly not a common thing in this world and their origins are as mysterious as the rest of the cast. Different from the others though, we know their goal. They joined Kuro in her journey in order to find the one person that is truly precious to them, a person that they called “Professor”.

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Shoulder-A-Coffin Kuro is a seinen fantasy manga that is constantly changing settings thanks to the travels of our characters. The fairytale look of the art in combinations with the dark tones, and the color choices for the colored pages, give a nostalgic and melancholic feel to this series. It shows that even in the lighter moments in life, there’s still a little dark in there, and there is a little light in the dark as well.

The story is about the journey, a journey that will make you laugh and will make you cry. A journey that it is fun but it has an urgency to it. The travels of our heroes will have to end one day, and whether their adventure ends in a happy ending or not, is uncertain.

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This is an old series that I hold dear to my heart, and now that I have an outlet in which I can promote it, I gladly wrote this blog to recommend it to the world! Shoulder-A-Coffin Kuro is published in English by Yen Press, so there is no reason not to own a physical copy. Currently, five volumes have been released and I can’t wait for volume six. It’s a shame that this manga doesn’t have an anime, but Kuro and Sen did make a background appearance in the anime adaptation of another of Satoko Kiyuzuki’s work, GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class.

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I guess this is as close as we’re going to get when it comes to an anime adaptation eh?

So are you interested in reading Shoulder-A-Coffin Kuro? Are you a hardcore fan like me? Let us know. Now I return to the deepest darkest corners of my dwelling. Good-bye, for now, my friends.

Have a safe journey, my friends.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

24 HOUR COMIC DAY (this is a thing!)

By JP Simmons

AMERIME MEDIA at its heart is a publishing company. We primarily publish sci-fi fantasy, space operas, paranormal romance, and yes COMIC BOOKS. we have two comic series in production. "Rise To Regent," our vampire comics that accompany the dark fantasy novels, and "The Land Of Blood And Plenty," a comic series about a warrior tribe Africa charged with protecting a very special village. These comics have been in production for a year, and have yet to hit the market 
so you can imagine our surprise to learn that there are magical elves (these people aren't human) who can produce an entire comic book in a day!

According to Wikipedia, a 24-hour comic is a 24-page comic book written, drawn, and completed in 24 hours. Cartoonist (And the leader of the elves, Elron if you will) Scott McCloud came up with the challenge in 1990 as a creative exercise for himself and fellow comics artist Stephen R. Bissette. Beginning in 2004, writer Nat Gertler helped popularize the form by organizing annual 24 Hour Comics Days (usually held in October), which now take place regularly in the United States and many other countries worldwide.

I learned about 24 hour Comic Day by browsing movies on Hulu... I am preparing for NaNoWriMo and I love to watch movies I've seen a thousand times while I make my outlines. It has a documentary, reality tv show type of vibe, and it really sparked my interest. I immediately went to the website to find out more about this awesomeness. I highly recommend you check out the movie on Hulu and stalk the website at your leisure. Amerime Media is based in Philadelphia and Philly held no 24hourcomicday events this year, but we are sure to host one next year!!!



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