starlady: (orihime)
[personal profile] starlady
Takemiya Keiko (story by Mitsuse Ryuu). Andromeda Stories vol. 1. New York: Vertical, Inc., 2007. [1982.]

In the wake of the wildly successful sci-fi classic Terra E…, Takemiya Keiko teamed up with popular SF novelist Mitsuse Ryuu to create Andromeda Stories, which tells the story of a certain planet in the Andromeda galaxy and its tribulations in the face of an insidious force of machinic invaders: the reign of Prince Ithaca and his bride Princess Lilia begins auspiciously, but by the time their son Jimsa is born, things have taken a precipitous slide.

I liked Terra E… a lot, and this manga is interesting too, even after thirty years. The art is very much of its time, but that's not necessarily a bad thing (though I do wonder why everyone looks like they walked out of concept sketches for CLAMP's R.G. Veda, i.e., classically Indian). Beyond the plot, which is actually interesting, the single most awesome thing about this story so far is Il, the surly swordswoman in vaguely Japanese (Chinese?) clothing who comes to the planet in an attempt to save it from the invaders and who has no interest in cooperating with anyone ("I'm not your friend; I'm their enemy."). She is a swordswoman! She is stoic! She appears and disappears at random and knows way more than she lets on! These are character traits that are right up my alley.

Andromeda Stories sold horribly in English, but if you're interested in classic shoujo manga, you have to read Takemiya Keiko. I have some quibbles with the translation (principally, WTF are the sound effects not translated, and secondarily, why do translators not realize that when people address someone as 王 or 王妃, a more natural translation than "King" or "Queen" is "Your Majesty"? Argh), but Vertical puts out probably the nicest English-language manga on the market, and overall it's well worth the read, and very readable.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-06 00:01 (UTC)
kaigou: I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it. (3 love's bitch)
From: [personal profile] kaigou
The more I learn about Takemiya Keiko, the more I realize she's a woman who's always been ahead of her time. Terra E... was just one example of many. Even if I'd rather not have dead-junkie-gay-lover-tragedy storylines, it was still a pretty remarkable storyline for its time. (Errr, the latter is not Terra E..., it's Kaze to Ki No Uta.)
Edited Date: 2010-10-06 00:02 (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-06 05:53 (UTC)
marshtide: (Default)
From: [personal profile] marshtide
I did not know this about Andromeda. The stoic swordswoman thing I mean! My interest has just gone up!

I really loved Terra e..., too, and I'm pretty interested in the stuff that was going on in 70s shojo. There seriously were some really great ideas in there (even in some cases where the execution was rather ???, as I've felt with several of Hagio Moto's.)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-06 07:10 (UTC)
marshtide: (Default)
From: [personal profile] marshtide
Yeah, absolutely. That's definitely the impression I've formed (although there are people who know a lot more about this stuff, of course).

I do tend to feel that there were just so many ideas in that group, and that they were really trying to do something different, express something. And that's something I really appreciate even when it doesn't quite work out. (Ikeda Riyoko is still my favourite though. Partly I think she actually got very close to what she was trying to say sometimes, and partly some of her characters might as well be custom-made to push all my buttons.)


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