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10 October 2010 @ 01:47 am
YOKO works  
YOKO, aka Yokota Takuma. I came across this artist not too long ago, and I was rather surprised by how dark and ...deep? the plots tended to get and how satisfying the conclusions were despite some of the ridiculous, unbelievable premises, although it could get a tad draggy midway. It was also very amusing to see parodies of well-known series like Death Note and Code Geass as well as references to other YOKO works in addition to the incorporation of 2ch memes into the story (although I'm no expert at these, obviously).

And of course, the art is rather well done, in a style neither 'pretty' per se nor entirely realistic but always in proportion and expressive and dramatic enough to describe the characters, setting and story. However, all but one of his series (the one published online for JUMP) are mostly presented in the form of scanned sketched with some editing on photoshop or some other digital software, and I personally think his coloured illustrations need work.

Onani Master Kurosawa (オナニーマスター黒沢)
Story by Ise Katsura (伊瀬カツラ or in his later works, 伊瀬勝良)
Art by YOKO aka Yokota Takuma (横田卓馬)

Summary: Onani means masturbation. And that's what this guy is good at. Every day after school, he sneaks into the mostly unused girls bathroom on the 3rd floor, and masturbates. But one day he gets caught, and is blackmailed into a certain 'trade-off'... This is a story of mistakes, redemption, and the choices made in between. It contains the worst and best of the human condition.

Thoughts: YOKO's most well-known series is of course Onani Master Kurosawa, in collaboration with Ise Katsura, a web novel writer. Despite the やらしい title, it is non-explicit for the most part. I actually find that it's a very human story about the different kinds of people in society, showing the different shades of grey beyond what they appear to be. The focus of the story is on how people deal with the consequences of their actions, and can indeed eventually change for the better over time despite whatever they have done or experienced in the past. And this is all part of why I let slide the fact that the characters start out at age 14 ಠ_ಠ and that Kurosawa ends up with... that girl...
Details: 66MB for 729 pages 700x995px each and several coloured bonus illustrations.
Extras 1: Audio drama version batch DL here or track by track here (links to voice+manga at NND and pretty wallpapers galore, too~), 547MB for 32 tracks in .mp3 format and about 10-20 minutes long each.
Extras 2: The epilogue (番外編) can be found in prose/novel form which I'm too lazy to read written by Ise Katsura here. If you happen to be interested in his other novels, check out this site; some of his older works can be read online while others require purchase. You'll notice also that the novel form of OMK has been published as a proper book under the title 'Catcher in the Toilet!'. The reason being, quoth Amazon, 大人の事情.

Molester Man aka Chikan Otoko (痴漢男)
by YOKO aka Yokota Takuma (横田卓馬)

Summary: Chikan Otoko is a 20 year old college student who also happens to be an otaku. As such, he leads a rather lonely life without any friends, much less a girlfriend. But one day he is mistaken as a stalker and molester on his way home, and his life is changed completely. A love story based on an anonymous 2ch entry.

Thoughts: Many would compare this to Densha Otoko, and reasonably so. There is however more focus on comedy here since YOKO chose to dramatise things a bit more, and be warned, there are love triangles. I didn't like this romance stuff as much as YOKO's other works, although it's good effort.
Details: 114MB .zip with 702 pages ~700x900px each and some bonus colour pages etc.
Extras: No audio drama version, but the live-action movie has been out since 2005, it seems. And this comic is probably based on the book by Itano Sumito that was originally based on 2ch.

It Seems Boon was Being Bullied aka Boon ga Ijime ni Atteita You Desu (ブーンがいじめにあっていたようです)
by YOKO aka Yokota Takuma (横田卓馬)

Summary: A short comic based on another 2ch entry that has been preserved here.

Thoughts: It was so sad ; m ; 泣けたあああ ( ノ Д`゚)゚。
Details: 28MB .zip with 32 700x990px pages

Tsunbaka (ツンバカ)
by YOKO aka Yokota Takuma (横田卓馬)

Summary: Tsun is an extremely clumsy tsundere who often forgets her way home, uses her chopsticks to write and even wears her pajamas to school under her skirt by accident. Given her peculiar tendencies, she is unable to carry out many daily activities like a normal person, much less express her true feelings for Boon, her classmate and childhood friend. Meanwhile, Boon is aiming to pass the bar examination in order to support Tsun in the future. Will he succeed? And will Tsun be able to tell Boon how she feels?

Thoughts: Despite the terribly odd premise, it's actually quite an amusing read as some of the things Tsun does are really unexpected. And then there are also the awesomely epic characters that come along, like Dokuo. But more importantly, Boon gets a very very happy ending here yaaaay \( ^ω^)/
Details: 28MB .zip for 203 pages and bonus colour pages etc.
Extras: Audio drama version - Batch DL will be made available if I remember after the last track is released, or meanwhile you can download track by track/video & other tsunbaka wallpapers etc. here. The tracks are also available for free download in iTunes, it seems. There are a total of 9 tracks including the final, unreleased track.

Blossoming in War aka Senka ni Saku (戦下に咲く)
by Yokota Takuma (横田卓馬)

Summary: Kaichuu, or Armoured Insects, are creatures which appear from warps in space and threaten the safety of humans. And Kageki-Tsukai, the Flower Spear Wielders, are the only ones who can stop them. This is a story about the tragedy and determination of 2 such young warriors, Youichirou and Kaho.

Thoughts: It was very pretty since the flower motif is everywhere, and it was nice to see black lines and a wide range of screentones used for once :D As usual the cast of characters was rather diverse, but as compared to previous works there was more action given, well, the plot. And the plot... ; m ; 泣けたああああああ ( ノ Д`゚)゚。
Details: 28MB for 48 pages, LQ at 533x781px per page since it's only been released online. Of course, this also means it can be read online at the official JUMP website, look for 漫画賞>>2009

I really don't think this artist gets as much recognition as he deserves ; m ; Here's to fixing that |D Overall I would consider OMK to be by far the best stuff here, but both Senka ni Saku and Boon are not bad for oneshots. I also liked Tsunbaka, but honestly I did find it a little draggy in between.