Daydream Sanctuary Features

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Oh-No! Manga: Alpha Issue

At an anime convention yesterday, I spotted a manga magazine. I was about to ask how much it was (then decide whether to buy it or not depending on the price) but when I noticed the magic word, "FREE", I didn't think twice and grabbed a copy at once, hehe.

Oh-No! Manga is a manga anthology magazine published by Melchman's Stuff Entertainment and Pygmalion Studios. Its first official issue will be released on February 2012, but a preview issue (aka Alpha Issue) has already been released this month, and IT'S FREE! You can request for a copy from the official site (you only have to pay for the shipping fee) or you can just download it. It's in English.

Right now it's encouraging aspiring mangakas to contribute and earn. Chosen ones get to have their works showcased in at least 12 issues. Those interested in becoming part of the launch of its first volume can check out this page for more details. It looks like they're looking for those who can draw manga or fanart, and also those who would want to share their cosplay photos.

This brings back memories. I used to subscribe to a local manga magazine before (that one was more localized since it's in our native language, unlike ONM, which is in English). I'm not sure what happened to that old manga magazine though, but hopefully it won't happen to this one.

This issue contained the editor's message, the promos, the merchandise advertisements, a featured fanart, and a prologue of one of its series entitled Silent Destiny Onusa.
The story takes place in a region called Serapi, where two kingsdoms are at war with each other. The only one who can bring back peace in Serapi is The Silencer, a young man named Popi who just arrived in a strange land... and has no idea where he is!

It sounded like your typical fantasy adventure series, and if the storyline continues to be this unimpressive in the upcoming issues, that would be very disappointing.

Well, the "main character getting transported to another world where he's destined to become The Hero" cliche is forgivable, as long as the writing's well done. I'm no expert, but reading a work of fiction saying that its character is from a fictional secondary school is just... whut? I mean, how does a character saying "Hi! I'm from a fictional world!" sound? =_=

The prologue's more of just an introduction to the main characters... and unfortunately this sneak peek to the series didn't keep me interested. I wish there had been more mystery in it, and will put more emphasis on the action.

Like for example, since it's about war, then show the readers some fight scenes from the beginning! Some dude swining his sword that managed to destroy a number of trees doesn't look as cool as a dude who does the same thing but defeats around 50 soldiers instead.

Moreover, I think it might've been better if the main character was the last one introduced... and he only appears after the mage has talked about The Silencer. Just make him wonder where the hell he is, and that's enough to end the chapter. The audience doesn't need a narrator/character to explicitly mention who The Silencer is, since it's freakin' obvious already anyway. Moreover, ending the prologue this way could make the reader interested in the main character's background and in what will happen next.

I'm not saying that the prologue should've ended with a cliffhanger, but if there won't be something unique or interesting in the plot in general, then at least make the storytelling exciting enough to make a reader look forward to the next issue. It's a monthly magazine after all (I think). But since the story's unoriginal and the pacing's not that great (in my opinion), there isn't much hope for this kind of story if the writing won't get any better.

Fortunately the visuals seem better than the story.... well, I'm referring to the colored ones. I think most of the panels didn't look that well-drawn, except for the colored scene with the girl, and also of the old mage:

The text in the black and white panels are in different colors (depending on the character), so I suppose they could actually release it in full color but just decided not to. Perhaps their colorist didn't have the time to color everything?? If that's the case... that's too bad.... the colored panels were the best stuff in this manga.

Lastly, I can't help myself from noticing the lettering... is the letterer's font collection THIS FEW? Excluding the title, I think you can count all the font types used with just one hand. I'm not saying that there should be a different font for each type of text/dialogue, but put some variation at least! Also, some fonts used didn't seem appropriate for the sound effect they present (Like the rough-looking font of "Fwoop"when the prince was polishing his sword). There's also art in lettering, ya know.

And the text is overlapping panels... is there a problem with changing the font size? Why are the speech bubbles so... narrow and vertical. This isn't Japanese, which makes wider bubbles more efficient so that the letterer won't have much trouble in fitting everything.

And there's this text that's been repeated twice: "Seemingly out of synch, he wanders off..." Perhaps an error in copy-pasting? Or the checker missed it? Well, assuming it was intentional... that kind of storytelling style doesn't seem to fit this type of series.

*sigh* The manga featured on its preview issue was such a let-down. BUT overall, it wasn't so bad. It might actually be much better than what it seems right now (This is just a preview anyway). The titles that the approved submissions might turn out to be interesting. (Oh, I like how the editor described his team: "our meticulous panel of sleep-deprived zombies and invertebrates." Haha!) The magazine name's pretty weird though... isn't "Oh no!" usually something to imply something negative? Or maybe that expression actually means something like this "Oh no there's yet another manga that I'm gonna be addicted to!", LOLz

This manga magazine looks really fun in general... the people working on it are most likely enjoying themselves despite the troublesome things they had to go through for it. I had been thinking of becoming a contributor, but I'm no mangaka or cosplayer. Well, that's sad ^^;

I've heard that there's going to be a Beta Issue... I look forward to seeing that *_*

I'm excited to see THIS the MOST:

An angel and a devil... crap, such characters always attract me *supernatural freak* And the design on where their horns and wings are placed (there's a halo above their head, and another around their waist like a hullahoop) ... it's such a cute idea!!!
And the devil's character design.... damnit... silver/gray hair and red eyes... my type... damnit. xD
Oh I hope this is as cute and as interesting as it seems!!! =3

Hopefully this gets a preview in the Beta Issue. March 2012 is too long, haha!
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