Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Power of Cross-dressing!

Here is Poker Face Cross-dresser chapter 5, which luckily is still continuing for now.

On a related note, Kina Kobayashi's two ongoing web series got new chapters, so more to come from them soon.

Poker Face Cross-dresser ch. 5: Mediafire, Drive

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The End of One Journey is the Start of Another!

Almost exactly 4 years ago, I decided to pick up Junko Ike's Mizutama Honey Boy, which at the time had only 2 volumes out, and I wasn't really sure what exactly I was getting into. Now after all these years and tons of work over the course of the whole series, Mizutama Honey Boy officially comes to an end with the release of the special booklet that came with the limited edition of volume 10 and a bonus, 16-page one-shot recently released in LaLa's May 2019 issue.

The main reason why I picked up this series back then was its similarity, at least superficially, to Ayumi Komura's Usotsuki Lily, which at the time I had just recently completed about 5 months before starting on Mizutama. Both series actually have a lot in common in that they both feature strong female leads with girly male leads (in appearance in the case of En, and in behavior in the case of Fuji), they both began as one-shots later developed into full-fledged series, both ended up being their longest series for each of their authors, and stylistically, they both poke fun at shoujo manga tropes in general while also staying true to the demographic for the most part. And another odd coincidence was that I worked on both for approximately 4 years and picked up both when they had 2 volumes out. But that's really where the comparisons end since comparing the two really is like apples and oranges.

But this is about Mizutama. The series had a lot of unexpected turns and ups and downs, although it was obvious were it was going right from the very beginning, as is the case of most shoujo manga. Still, it wasn't just about romance or just focused on the main couple. Junko Ike made this series more about family than anything else, alluded to as early as chapter 5 when the Nanao siblings made their first appearance, and then expanding on Fuji's family and later Sengoku's own small family with her dad and Hime. I don't think this series would have been even half as long as it ended up if not for all the extra content outside of the main couple, and this also made the series a joy to read with every new chapter.

The amount of bonus content was also pretty striking for this series, with there being at least one bonus chapter in seemingly every volume, in addition to 4 unrelated one-shots included in volumes 2, 5 and 9, as well as the special booklets included with the limited edition versions of volumes 5 and 10, plus the final bonus one-shot released a couple months ago. All told, this came to 1,979 pages, but if you don't count the 4 unrelated one-shots, the amount of content for Mizutama comes to 1,859 pages, which ranks among the longest for all the series I've worked on, with only a few series that were longer (by comparison, Usotsuki Lily was about twice as long at about 3,600 pages).

At times, Mizutama was difficult to work on, especially with a large number of double page spreads and a lot of redraws to take care of, which although pretty typical for any shoujo manga, still required a lot of effort to get through. The bonus columns in nearly every chapter (indicative of a shoujo manga published by Hakusensha) were also very nice in that it provided some extra insight into Ike's thought process about the series, which of course was yet another similarity with Usotsuki Lily which had whole pages with that stuff at the end of every chapter. Still, translating that block text was a little annoying at times when I just wanted to finish the chapter, but I'm still grateful for them after the fact.

All in all, Mizutama Honey Boy was a really fun series from beginning to end, and Junko Ike really shows her talent in art, storytelling, comedy, romance, and much more. She also recently ended her other series Onee Danshi, Hajimemasu, so I'm interested in seeing what she does next, even if there's no guarantee I would work on anything again by her at this time. But for now, I'll miss Mizutama, which in a lot of ways is the end of an era, it being the last series I picked up in 2015 that I still had to complete, and all of the other ongoing projects (excluding Shounen Oujo which isn't really "ongoing" anymore) are all from either 2018 or this year. So it's sad to see Mizutama end, but I'm glad that I could see it all the way to its conclusion.

Mizutama Honey Boy extra 1 - Special booklet: Mediafire, Drive
Mizutama Honey Boy extra 2 - Bonus one-shot: Mediafire, Drive
Mizutama Honey Boy volume batches

Edit: Typos fixed in extra 2. Replace with this and this.
Edit 2: Typos fixed in extra 1. Replace with this and this.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Cross-dressing Makes Everything Sweeter!

After a little while of not finding any new web comics to work on, I happened upon a new short series called Poker Face Cross-dresser (original title: Poker Face Josou Danshi, ポーカーフェイス女装男子) by Kurano, which has been uploaded both to their Twitter and pixiv accounts. In the story, a guy unexpectedly receives chocolate from his classmate Sentarou Yamanaka on Valentine's Day. If that wasn't surprising enough, Sentarou does this while dressed as a girl. Kurano initially drew a 2-page comic that was the origin of the ensuing series, included in this release as chapter 0, and as of last week, the series is up to 4 chapters, all of which are in this release, with hopefully more to come.

Poker Face Cross-dresser ch. 0-4: Mediafire, Drive

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Some Promises Are Forever!

Finally, after a lot of work, we now come to the end of Mizutama Honey Boy volume 10 with chapters 51 and 52, ending the main part of the series. However, there is still the booklet that came with volume 10 that serves as a bonus epilogue to the series, and another bonus chapter recently released in LaLa to do, so there's still a little more to go before this series officially comes to an end.

Mizutama Honey Boy ch. 51: Mediafire, Drive
Mizutama Honey Boy ch. 52: Mediafire, Drive

Edit: Slight revision to a line in ch. 51, pg. 8. Replace with this.

Friday, May 3, 2019

I Feel Therefore I Am!

Finally after two months, Fukaboku returns with chapter 11. The next chapter will most likely be released on June 7.

Fukakai na Boku no Subete o ch. 11: Mediafire, Drive