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Michael Shanks

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Ten Things

Isabelle Bounkeua

Kotaro Ishiguro

Rurouni Kenshin Project Proposal

For our 11th thing, we are presenting Isabelle's copy of Rurouni Kenshin.
Uploaded Image
Rurouni Kenshin Kanzenban Volume 1


Before talking about what influence this series has had on the world, first I will talk about how it influenced me. Rurouni Kenshin was one of the first manga that I ever read. If I had read some other series instead, one that was not as interesting or well done, then I might have never delved deeper into the world of Japanese comics and animation. As it was, I became hooked. Rurouni Kenshin catalyzed my transformation from a relatively normal bookworm into a manga and anime fiend.

            Freshman year in high school, I knew nothing of comics, cartoons, manga or anime. Every lunchtime, though, I sat through  my friend’s passionate discussion of this weeks episode of some series or other.

            “How can you be so into cartoons?” I asked my friend Miela several times. Each time, she sighed exasperatedly, put her hand on her hips and threatened, “Someday, I’m going to make you watch this show and you’re going to love it!”  Finally, during her birthday party, she showed a movie based on the anime InuYasha. From there, I expanded to InuYasha manga to see the difference between the television show and the book. I still wasn’t convinced that my liking this one series wasn’t just a fluke, especially if you glance at the covers of many slapstick series, and tentatively picked up my first Rurouni Kenshin manga. Why didn’t I know such amazing stories existed in these strange things called graphic novels which I had so disdained?

            If Rurouni Kenshin had been a mediocre story, or plain bad series, my enthusiasm for manga might have quickly worn off. My wallet might have been heavier, I wouldn’t have had to build another bookcase, and I might still be forlornly wandering library aisles in search of my next great read. As it was, it showed me that there were more great stories in this new genre. I set about collecting all twenty-eight volumes of Rurouni Kenshin, as well as exploring other series. All my Christmas and birthday money went to Borders or Barnes and Noble and soon I become more of an otaku than my friend Miela.

            After reading Rurouni Kenshin, I’ve read many other manga, Fruits Basket, Ranma ½, Black Cat a bit of Naruto and Full Metal Alchemist, and others. However, I still think Rurouni Kenshin is the best (well Fruits Basket is really good too…) and whenever I put down a volume of a series that I know I won’t continue, I always wonder how different my life would be if I had read that series to determine my perception of manga instead of Rurouni Kenshin.

Rurouni Kenshin-main page
My Volume XD- how it was acquired, Kanzenban editions, Mystery of the Jacket Protector
Brief Summary of Rurouni Kenshin -because story is essential to a book
Production of the Manga -release dates, writing processes, making a manga
History in Rurouni Kenshin -historical characters and plot
Manga Evolution -sources of manga originality
Survival of the Fittest Manga -competition between manga artists
Censorship and Manga -the safety of manga
Key Terms- in case your lost (and I don't blame you if you are ^.^)
Rurouni Kenshin Bibliography

Posted at Feb 23/2009 12:12PM:
sdv: Interesting topic, although I'm not sure I understand your outline, it seems like you wish to cover a wide range of topics in relation to manga v. Isabelle's copy of Kenshin. Do narrow down the project to 1-2 questions that you wish to ask, and definitely do so beginning from your own copies of the manga. It's crucial that your focus when you begin your research is tight so you don't get lost in the genre, its evolution, what it means, etc. In terms of using your own copy to begin your research, I would suggest you are careful in asking a question like what it means to you. For example, if it was really difficult to get your copy, don't simply say you went through difficulties to get it because you love the author, but talk about the acquisition, and then try to figure out how this is significant to the object itself; often limited editions are special precisely because of the difficulties in the acquisition, which then leads to questions of desire, belonging, subcultures, money, rarity, etc. Good luck!

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