Monday, November 3, 2014

One Last Update

As many of you have probably figured out, Scans of the Dead is no longer an active group. For the sake of closure I wanted to get on here one last time and officially announce the end of this site and my involvement in scanlation.

This was a fun hobby to have while in college, and I enjoyed helping people discover Japanese culture. But the time came to move on. Life called and I answered, starting on the winding path into the unknowable future. I would be a fool to hang back and let the call go unheeded, lost in the ever-dulling banality of a twenty-something's idling.

Thank you all for reading and supporting through the years. I really did it all for you, faithful readers.

Now for a few final requests: Always buy your manga whenever possible, and if you must read online do so only from sites whose owners aren't getting rich off of someone else's copyrighted material. Also if you liked the content here, head on over to Oppai Scans where my friend UncleBob should keep you fairly satiated.

And finally, I owe a huge favor to a good friend. Since I'm still getting a decent amount of site traffic here, I promised I would help promote his stuff. If you're into cyberpunk or sci-fi in general, check out Part 1 of his novel Dreams in the Tower on Amazon.

I thought it was pretty good for a debut novel. Part 2 is also out with Part 3 coming soon. You can also go to his personal blog to read some of his interesting thoughts. I highly recommend it.

For what it's worth, I don't think Highschool of the Dead is ever returning. If it does, you won't hear it from me. Feels kind of weird saying that.


That's it. So long. Sayonara. Bai bai...

See ya!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Triage X Volume 6 Review

Yes, readers, I am alive. Since my last review got a good response, so here's my review of Triage X Volume 6.

First I want to take the time to commend Yen Press for bringing such an excellent product to English-speaking manga readers around the world. Their books have been getting better and better, and in my opinion the quality of their releases has far surpassed most other publishers and most scanlations and is at least on the same level as the best. This volume is no exception.

You can see all of the great manga Yen Press has to offer on Amazon.

First off, we get a lovely pullout color spread of Mikoto, holding The reverse side of this is a bath scene illustration that's a couple years old now.

This volume begins right in the middle of the action, during the NEO TV terrorist crisis that started in Volume 5. Oriha is trying to deal with the terrorists from within while Mikoto and Arashi are on their way to help. The last volume was mostly slow-paced, giving the setup story for future chapters. This one, on the other hand, is all action from start to finish.

If you got into this series for the pure nonstop action, then you will enjoy this volume much more than the last one. I liked the plot progression we got in Volume 5, but this one is a return to Shouji Sato's developing style of giving plot amidst the action, in a manner somewhat reminiscent of the highly-acclaimed Akira. I think Shouji is improving as a storyteller, and we are finally going to see a richer story as a result, one that doesn't rely on meaningless violence and doesn't lull into half-baked back story.

In other words, there's plenty of action, but this is not just a mindless action manga anymore.

Of course this is Inazuma-sensei we're dealing with here, so there's no shortage of mindless fanservice. But even this ecchi-heavy scene has a purpose (unlike the famous HOTD bath scene) as it helps characterize one of the major antagonists going forward.

In fact, despite the high level of action I've mentioned, this volume does take time to move the plot and introduce this arc's major antagonists. It seems the new drug we got a glimpse of in the last arc is making a return, and this time the people controlling it may be more than our favorite assassins can handle. This volume ends on an uncertain note, so we'll have to wait a few months to find out just how dire the situation is. (If you kept up with my raws, you may already know how it goes, at least for another volume or two).

Some of you may still be asking, "Should I buy this volume?" Well...

I mentioned in my review of Volume 5 that there was an unusual lack of nudity. I think they made up for it with this bath scene. There is more to it that I'm not showing here.

Overall, I really enjoyed this volume. It's my favorite so far and seems to indicate that the series is going to keep getting better. I strongly recommend fans of the series buy Triage X Volume 6 at Amazon.

It seems a joke about televised media and its typical audience translates quite well into English, particularly for Americans (though I'm sure the message is quite universal among developed nations).

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Triage X Volume 5 Review

So I just got my copy of Triage X Volume 5 from Amazon, and I figured I'd give anyone still keeping up with this site a review. By the way, if you want to read new chapters of Triage X you should buy this volume; I don't think there will ever be a scanlation now.

First off, I'd like to talk about the Yen Press edition itself. This is the first Yen Press item I've purchased since HOTD Volume 3, and I have to say I'm impressed by the amount of improvement here. One thing I really like is that the color page is a pullout just like the Japanese version.

The quality is still cheaper than Japanese manga (most noticeable in the rough paper and lack of a dust jacket), but it's vastly better than the first HOTD volume. I also think the black and white levels can improve a little. As you can see below, the greys are pretty well intact, but I think a little bit of detail is still being lost (again, though, not nearly as bad as early HOTD volumes).

Overall I'm very happy with the work Yen press is doing. The translations were great, and I love the way they do SFX. This was a pleasurable reading experience.

Now onto Volume 5 itself.

I (like many of my readers) spoiled the story for myself a bit by looking at the raws when they originally came out in Japan. Maybe that was why I didn't feel like a lot happened in this volume. Then again I do remember the NEO TV crisis dragging out for quite a while.

These chapters are largely centered around setting up the new arc and introducing a new adversary for the Black Label group. The Hunting Party is an organization bent on exposing humans for the animals they are--namely those in the Black Label--and are led by Wild Hunt.

Even if it is all exposition, this chapter has everything you love in this series: action, comedy, and plenty of fanservice. And of course it has that certain grittiness Shouji Sato is so keen to weave into his series. Innocent people die and gloom hangs over each panel. One characteristic of Sato-sensei's work that is notably absent is nudity. There's only one nipple in the entire book.

Unfortunately, this lonely milk missile leads into a painfully absurd and somewhat contrived scene where all of the captive females fight over who gets to become the personal love toy of the bad guy. It's ridiculous in terms of the story, but I guess it's great if you're a big H fan.

Other than that little hitch in the story's flow, this was a decent volume. It's definitely far from my favorite, but I do look forward to what it sets up.

I noticed this otaku who looks suspiciously like Kohta from HOTD from behind. If you look closely, you'll notice that the figure on the left of his desk seems to be Saya.