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Old 2004-05-27, 18:56   Link #1
tsurumaru
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Bokurano - Mohiro Kitoh-san's latest manga series

Hi all,

I hope this thread can be a discussion base for all those who are reading Mohiro Kitoh-san's latest monthly anthology. Bokurano (literally "Ours") is a series that started in November 2003 in Shogakukan's monthly "Ikki" magazine in Japan.
To date 6 chapters have been released and scanslated by the great guys at Mangascreener. www.mangascreener.com

Chapters 1-4 are available for direct download at:

http://www.badcode.net/manga/Bokurano/

with chapters 5 & 6 only available in IRC at the moment (I hope that will change when the first tankouban is released shortly).

Text only translations (when released) are available at:

http://stephen.swoo.net/bokurano/bokurano.html

or

http://www.mangascreener.com/stephen.../bokurano.html

15 young people must take part in a "game" to defend the Earth with their giant robot Zearth against a collection of bizarre aliens.

Although the story seems at first to be "Giant Robot" centred Kitoh-san is known for his excellent artwork and characterisation and is not adverse to exploring the motivations behind people and the darker side of the human psyche. His earlier works include "Wings of Vendemiare" and Narutaru (Shadow Star).

Please feel free to post your thoughts and speculations about this, his latest series.

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Last edited by tsurumaru; 2004-06-06 at 20:14.
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Old 2004-05-27, 19:28   Link #2
TronDD
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Ah, so you started a thread. I would have, but I wouldn't have done anywhere near as a good a job at it.

Chapter 5 can be downloaded here:
http://web.ics.purdue.edu/%7Emimakyur/downloads/

I haven't finished Narutaru so really, I don't know what to expect from this. I don't know how Kitoh pulles all the elements of a story like this together in the end. What does piloting a giant robot to kill monsters have to do with anything?

It's Kitoh's illistration of human nature that draws me in regardless of the story it's within. He can take 2 characters who act in a similar way and give them entirely different reasons for doing so. Meanwhile, other charcters in the same situations act differently. He really covers much of the spectrum of human nature. And despite the fantasy elements of his stories, the characters and their actions are all very real.
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Old 2004-05-29, 13:33   Link #3
senti_MENTAL
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Hm

Well, I'm a fan of Narutaru and I'm currently downloading all the current chapters for this series. I'll post my full opinion once I've finished reading, but I'm hoping it'll turn out to be "twisted" (Narutaru/Wings style), and contain the more realistic look at things that the mangaka usually takes.

EDIT: Seen up to chapter 5, I can't find the 6th on the channel.

Um, I have a feeling as to where this is heading. Yes, in Narutaru style, the beginning manga can lead you to believe that this is some happy/generic robot kiddie romp. But yea, this won't be the adventure that everyone's expecting. Also, don't you think
Spoiler:


The cliffhanger in chapter 5 is making me want more. I'll post more once I see the 6th. Right now it is making me predict that:

Spoiler:

Last edited by senti_MENTAL; 2004-05-29 at 14:42. Reason: Read the chapters
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Old 2004-05-29, 18:34   Link #4
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Regarding your last spoiler: Good guess. You'll see in chapter 6

Spoiler for Chapter 6:
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Old 2004-05-29, 18:56   Link #5
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One of my first impressions about this manga:

Doesn't Kitoh have a lot of guts introducing _15_ characters simulataneously right from the very beginning? Something like that is basically unheard of in manga, where characters tend to be introduced gradually. You might say that Kitoh is doing things exactly backwards the usual way. My current guess is that this manga is actually a commentary on story-telling itself. But we'll see how the story progresses.

Oh, and Chapter 6 was just posted to usenet: alt.binaries.pictures.manga, so you can pick it up from there if your usenet carries that group.
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Old 2004-05-29, 21:46   Link #6
TronDD
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I've seen school kids type anime (might have been adapted from a manga) that did that. I don't know if was as many as 15 characters, though. Kitoh has his work cut out for him making each one idividual and unique. Given that they are class mates, I'd expect to see a couple small groups that go through the events of their story together reducing the amount of individual attention Kitoh needs to make.
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Old 2004-05-30, 04:20   Link #7
senti_MENTAL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TronDD
Regarding your last spoiler: Good guess. You'll see in chapter 6

Spoiler for Chapter 6:
I've read chapter 6, and I think:

Spoiler:
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Old 2004-05-31, 11:46   Link #8
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I gotta say I'm disappointed with the first 5 chapters so far. To me, this story doesn't have the immediate appeal that Narutaru had at the start. I think this is largely because of the 15 characters introduced all at once. Yes, there are small indications of a few of their personalities, and the fifth chapter started to move toward developing the pilot and his friend. However, I can't help comparing that to Narutaru, where Shiina basically had to carry the first three chapters by herself. Likeable as they were, Suzuki, Kura and the kids were just supporting characters. Only in chapter four did other major players emerge (Shunji and Akira). (the reader couldn't know when first reading chapter 3 how important Norio and Tsurumaru would be.) Shiina was a very strong "hook".
Bokurano lacks that "hook" character, so I don't think there's much reader-author chemistry so far. Hopefully I'll eat my words as the story moves ahead.
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Old 2004-05-31, 14:14   Link #9
senti_MENTAL
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Yeah

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLG
I gotta say I'm disappointed with the first 5 chapters so far. To me, this story doesn't have the immediate appeal that Narutaru had at the start. I think this is largely because of the 15 characters introduced all at once. Yes, there are small indications of a few of their personalities, and the fifth chapter started to move toward developing the pilot and his friend. However, I can't help comparing that to Narutaru, where Shiina basically had to carry the first three chapters by herself. Likeable as they were, Suzuki, Kura and the kids were just supporting characters. Only in chapter four did other major players emerge (Shunji and Akira). (the reader couldn't know when first reading chapter 3 how important Norio and Tsurumaru would be.) Shiina was a very strong "hook".
Bokurano lacks that "hook" character, so I don't think there's much reader-author chemistry so far. Hopefully I'll eat my words as the story moves ahead.
I get your point. I have a feeling the character that didn't become involved with the game will become the "hook."

Chapter 6+
Spoiler:


*shrugs*
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Old 2004-05-31, 17:46   Link #10
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Even though I'm sure the whole series won't be about piloting robots to kill alien invaders in a "game", the manga so far is pretty boring to me. The premise just doesn't seem like anything original so far, so I hope the big twists come soon. Kids piloting robots has been done to death.
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Old 2004-05-31, 18:14   Link #11
TronDD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spooky-Electric
Even though I'm sure the whole series won't be about piloting robots to kill alien invaders in a "game", the manga so far is pretty boring to me. The premise just doesn't seem like anything original so far, so I hope the big twists come soon. Kids piloting robots has been done to death.
I think you're missing the point of Kitoh's story telling. Bokurano is another "kids piloting robots" story in the same way the Narutaru anime was another "pokemon clone".

He uses these common story elements as a conduit for telling the real story: human nature. He chooses the common cutsie kind of story as a backdrop to make the real events stand out a bit more.
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Old 2004-05-31, 20:14   Link #12
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I also predict that the 15'th character, the small girl who didn't actually agree to play the "game" (i.e. didn't put her hand on the... um... thing) will be the crucial character in this work. My guess is that the plot will be fairly similar to what we've seen so far: Each chapter, a new character will pilot the robot (or maybe every other chapter), their backstory will be revealed, and their inner character will be revealed by their actions with Zearth. And, of course
Spoiler:
. The 15'th character (I believe her name is Kana), will be witness to all of this, and in the end the fate of... um, something will depend on her decision.

Another total guess:
Spoiler:


All in all, the structure that has been set up doesn't seem to be able to support a long-term story, and I have a feeling that this is not planned to be nearly as large scale a work as Narutaru was. It might simply be a collection of 14 or so character portraits, set in an interesting background, not unlike Wings of Vendemeir.
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Old 2004-05-31, 20:16   Link #13
Spooky-Electric
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TronDD
I think you're missing the point of Kitoh's story telling. Bokurano is another "kids piloting robots" story in the same way the Narutaru anime was another "pokemon clone".

He uses these common story elements as a conduit for telling the real story: human nature. He chooses the common cutsie kind of story as a backdrop to make the real events stand out a bit more.
It was apparent Narutaru wasn't a Pokemon clone very quickly. We are already 6 chapters into Bokurano..

I don't even think Bokurano is "cutesy" at all. Narutaru was for about 2 chapters or so. It's just I'm not enthralled by what I'm reading of Bokurano yet, while I was gripped after the first 3 chapters of Narutaru.

I want more of characters and relationships and less of the robots and fighting.
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Old 2004-05-31, 21:13   Link #14
TronDD
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I was drawing a comparison with the Narutaro anime which started off more slowly than the manga. I'll agree that Bokurano is a bit slower to get off the ground than the Narutaru manga. I'm not bored by it, however. It took a few chapters to set up and I think it's now getting into what it's really about. If I had not seen/read Narutaru first, I would have been skeptical about this manga turning into anything good. I might not have waited 5 chapters.
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Old 2004-06-02, 14:30   Link #15
tsurumaru
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Good to see we've at least got some discussion going, personally I think that:

Spoiler:


Any thoughts?
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Old 2004-06-02, 14:55   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsurumaru
Good to see we've at least got some discussion going, personally I think that:

Spoiler:


Any thoughts?
I too thought that...
Spoiler:
Got to love the Uber (three-sided) Push-Dagger that was monster 2.
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Old 2004-06-02, 15:08   Link #17
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Every time I've gone to the Mangascreener IRC room, there have been zero file servers with chapter 6.
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Old 2004-06-02, 15:20   Link #18
TronDD
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I think tsurumaru found it by logging into every bot. Unless someone told him.

Here, I created a torrent for it. Don't expect lightning download speed, though.

EDIT:
Chapter 6 can be had on the IRC channel or direct download here:
http://www.soukutsu.cnet/manga/

I'm no longer going to host the chapter 6 torrent.
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Last edited by TronDD; 2004-06-14 at 00:01. Reason: Removing torrent
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Old 2004-06-02, 15:31   Link #19
Briareos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TronDD
I think tsurumaru found it by logging into every bot. Unless someone told him.

Here, I created a torrent for it. Don't expect lightning download speed, though.

Bokurano 6
I must be doing something wrong. I'm getting a Java error. Whups I don't have JavaVM on this machine. I wonder if that's my problem.

Errors:
Left Click -- java.lang.NumberFormatException: For input string: "bo"
Right Click, Save -- The link could not be saved. THe web page might have been moved or had its name changed."
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Old 2004-06-02, 15:58   Link #20
TronDD
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Try it again. I had originally put a direct link to the torrent file but I may have botched it. It should now go to a tracker page. I can't test it myself as I am behind a firewall that won't let me directly access myself through my external IP.
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