Sunday, January 22, 2012

Commentary: Grand Jump

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)
(Cover shows Bartender a Paris.)

Grand Jump is one of those magazines that aren't included in the wiki list. This may be either because it's too new, or too low-profile. It comes out every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month, and is 330 yen for 430 pages.

GJ doesn't have much in the way of well-known titles. Probably the best-known artists are Hikaru Yuzuki and Takeshi Okano. Yuzuki's Amai Seikatsu: Second Season, is a silly little sex romp that had originally run in Business Jump. He also did the raunchy Cinderella Express, among about 15 other titles. Then there's Takeshi Okano, who with partner Shou Makura, had produced Hell Teacher Nubee, and are now doing Reibaishi Izuna Ascension (Spirit Medium Teacher Izuna) as kind of a spin-off with one of the Nubee characters.

(Amai Seikatsu)

GJ is aimed at adult males, but there's not that much overt sex, as opposed to what shows up in the Young title series. Probably the most explicit title in GJ is Mankitsu (manga cafe) by Haruki (who also has about 15 titles to his name). The artwork is a mix of very good and very bad. The stories range from mahjong and street fighting, to science and interoffice affairs.

(Reibashi Izuna Ascension)

Probably the best art is in Mankitsu, Amai Seikatsu (The Sweet Life), My Night is as Beautiful as Your Noon by BOHA by Ylab and the recently started Wazumashi Kazuha by Tsuzuku Yabuno (Lost+Brain). In terms of story, on the other hand, I can't really recommend anything based on just this one issue. Bartender a Paris might be promising in the future - the first chapter ran in this issue. It's a spinoff of Araki Joh's Bartender series, but with a different artist (Osamu Kajisa). The story starts out with a young Japanese bartender getting on a plane for France and starting up a conversation with a rich, cranky old man. He tries to talk to a woman in the seat next to him, but she ignores him (it's an in-joke reference to Arai's Sommelier). In Paris, the guy immediately loses his passport, cash and hotel reservation. In desperation, he tries to go to a bar to get a drink with his remaining change, but the owner of the place summarily beats him up and throws him on the street. Coincidentally, the cranky rich guy can't sleep and goes out for a drink at his favorite bar where he encounters the Japanese bartender. The boy is challenged to show his stuff, and he makes a high ball, going so far as to pack his hands in ice for several minutes to avoid heating up the glass when he handles it. Typical Araki over-the-top presentation, and the artwork isn't that great, but it may improve eventually.

(Imouto no Jinteze)

One title that has caught my eye, though, is the new Imouto no Jinteze (Little Sister's Synthesis) (now on chapter 3), by Hinako Konno, written by Fumihiro Juuzen. In this chapter, the young girl Chie Jinno and two classmates in school are introduced to the works of Gauss and several inventors by their female science teacher. The first half of the chapter is taken up with an explanation of Gauss's solution to "what is the total of all of the numbers from 1 to 100". It's a nice way to learn science in easy to digest bits.

(As for what the solution is: The point was that the assignment, "find the total by adding up all the numbers from 1 to 100", was supposedly intended to just keep students busy for an hour doing a manual calculation. But there's a shortcut. If you add 1 + 100, you get 101. 2 + 99 = 101, 3 + 98 = 101. It's an obvious pattern, up to 50 + 51 = 101. So, to find the answer fast, just multiply 101 * 50 to get 5050. You can use the same approach for adding up 1 to 1000.)

(Wazumashi Kazuha, doing the linking rings trick.)

Grand Jump doesn't have a lot of attraction for me, but I do want to try getting the first volume of "Little Sister's Synthesis" if/when it comes out.

(My Night is as Beautiful as Your Noon)



Dates for 1/23 to 1/30:

Birthdays (18):
David (mathematician) Hilbert, 1/23/1862
Brothers Hildebrandt, 1/23/1939
Ernie Kovacs, 1/23/1919
John Belushi, 1/24/1949
David Gerrold, 1/24/1944
E.T.A. ("The Nutcracker") Hoffmann, 1/24/1776
C.L. ("Doomsday Morning") Moore, 1/24/1911
Warren Zevon, 1/24/1947
Robert (Boyle's Law) Boyle, 1/25/1627
Shotaro Ishinomori, 1/25/1938
Philip Jose Farmer, 1/26/1918
Paul Newman, 1/26/1925
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1/27/1756
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, 1/27/1836
John Banner, 1/28/1910
W. C. Fields, 1/29/1880
Tommy Ramone, 1/29/1952
Dick (Rowan and Martin) Martin, 1/30/1922

Died (11):
Johnny Carson, 1/23/2005
Jack LaLanne, 1/23/2011
Kieth ("Retief") Laumer, 1/23/1993
David (comic) Frye, 1/24/2011
L. Ron Hubbard, 1/24/1986
Charlie Callas, 1/27/2011
Jack Parr, 1/27/2004
John Banner, 1/28/1973
Shotaro Ishinomori, 1/28/1998
Jimmy Durante, 1/29/1980
James (Professor Backwards) Edmondson Sr., 1/29/1976

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