A Moment’s Laziness Can Ruin a Lifetime of Genius

Umizaru is so good, I bought it twice. Yes, not READ it twice, but actually BOUGHT it twice. I now possess two copies of every volume from one to 12. I’m quite a sucker for manly rescue series like this and Yomigaeru Sora but surely any human being with a maturity above that of a two year old would appreciate such stories.

Unlike Rescue Wings, Umizaru is a lot less realistic but still gets the same messages across. In fact, the similarity between the two is uncanny. Both feature newbies who hook up with girls in the publishing industry. Both use a lot of sea, wind and waves in their disaster settings. But Umizaru has two things that RW doesn’t – lots and lots of giant explosions and lots and lots of mucus and tears. Everyone seems to be permanently crying in Umizaru!

I’m still at book 8 so I shan’t review the series now. Actually, I bought another set of Umizaru because it’s Christmas and we all know tis the season to give! What better present than a complete set of super duper good manga!?

Besides Seamonkey, I also got the complete Karakuri Circus manga, Rash!!, miscellaneous random short titles that I can’t remember but are by famous artists like Hojou Tsukasa and replaced many missing issues of manga that my "friends" borrowed but never returned. Man, Karakuri Circus is 42 volumes long and that set me back quite a bit. Remember the figurines from this series that I reviewed a while back? The girls, Shirogane and Talanda, are top notch in both cuteness and firepower. No wonder they were immortalised!

My camera phone is pretty shit. I hate camera phones.

Ok I digress. What I really wanted to talk about in this post was how Umizaru left a sour taste in the mouth thanks to a moment’s sloppiness by the artist. While I’m sort of proud that my home country, Singapore, is featured significantly in the story, the inaccurate depiction is very annoying especially considering how other aspects of the series is so detailed.

Look at the scans.

This is a scene from the pirate arc. The Japan Coast Guard engages in a tripartite exercise with the Indonesian and Singapore Coast Guards. The mission is based in Singapore. The crew get some shore leave and go stuff themselves full of local fare. This part is pretty accurate, for we do have lots of places that look like that. It’s not like we can’t afford proper chairs and have to sit on logs though haha. It’s part of this retarded desire to add nature into the concrete jungle.

What is great about this scene is that the food depicted (partly chopped off cos I didn’t want to risk my book binding) was true to life. You get stuff like satay (skewered meat), curries, popiah (spring rolls but a bit gayer) and the hairy dude is munching on what seems to be a crab. Or Darth Vader’s head. Considering how most people are familiar with only watered-down versions of foreign cuisines, this much is pretty good already.

But the next scene spoils everything.

Look, three flags are raised! Let’s see, the rightmost one is Japan’s. The middle is Indonesia, with its red and white. And the third is… the PHILIPPINES!! Not to mention the acronyms of the participating countries – JP, HI and NP. Go figure.

With google as accessible as oxygen these days, it is incredible that such a mistake could slip pass.

One final note of irritation, all the Japanese are drawn white but everyone else has tanned or dark skin. Someone needs to start teaching Geography in Japanese schools right now.

20 Responses to “A Moment’s Laziness Can Ruin a Lifetime of Genius”

  • LOL. Don’t expect too much sometimes. For we have merlion Gundam.

  • Wait until you lay your hands on a 904SH phone from Japan, and you’ll reconsider your stance against camera phones.

  • Oww…now that’s butchering our image alot…And no more Japanese camera phones, please, lol, seeing too many off them already here…

  • 904′s unfortunately not unlock yet, so most of the exotic japanese phones here are the 903s.

  • Oh I finished the whole of Umizaru. It’s probably one of the greatest manga I’ve ever read, must have cried like 50 or so times. Can’t believe I found it in the bargain bin. Kids these days!

  • “One final note of irritation, all the Japanese are drawn white but everyone else has tanned or dark skin.”

    Japanese animators do this quite often in anime. Light skin, blue/green/red/purple/etc eyes and hair all apply to the Japanese citizens, even in some realistic anime. The Japanese think they’re the elite group of all the Asian groups without a doubt. When they draw characters of Chinese (China is really not that far away from Japan), Indonesian, Vietnamese, Korean, Philippine and other Asian ethnics, their skin, eye, and hair colors usually have a very dark shade, symbolizing savagery. It disgusts me.

  • The logs-shaped seats and tables were probably a reference to those at Lau Pa Sat

  • I may need to get it if it’s that good. I have many full series (or close to it), so I like ones that are good, so I can have the set some day.

    Inaccuracy happens all the time. I don’t personally have fully accurate locations in mind for my manga based in Tokyo, but I don’t live there, so how do I know what it looks like exactly? Anyway, it’s just a small thing, not able to diminish the whole thing, right?

  • what’s the chinese name?

  • Well, I don’t think it’s a very big mistake IMO.

    I’m from Spain. When spanish references of culture or tradition appear in manga or anime, usually are wrong. We are all toreros (bullfighters), dance sevillana, play guitar, look pretty poor and so on … . Of curse that’s not true, they trend to fall in the same typical topics.

    I don’t take it seriously, I look at it like funny jokes/mistakes. Sometimes it’s so exaggerated that makes me rofl :D

    And many good authors make this mistakes, but I don’t think they ruin the works. It only demonstrates that we are a bit unknown country ;)

  • How is Spain not a well known country? I’m not particularly offended, just bemused that a bit of googleable info was so wrongly portrayed.

  • Sorry I didn’t mean that Spain is a bad country, I wanted to say that our culture is a bit unknown by foreigners.

    Many tourist think that we wear Mexican hats too! xD (Spain is not Mexico, we all speak spanish, but there are 100.000Km between us :p). This is a very big mistake, not offensive but denote a cultural leak.

    Political and some historical errata is understandable, because it’s hard for people to know politics and history of everywere :) . I’m the first to be unaware of, for example, Sweden history and relationships with other countries.

    I recommend you to look the film “Andalucia no natsu”, it’s pretty accurate cultural and political, but you’ll only see so many desert in southern Spain, hehe. Look for Barcelona and you’ll see how is Spain nowadays :D

    PD: My second comment and I didn’t mention that your blog is cool!

  • Hey I watched that show! And I actually do know quite a bit about Spain.. Not as much as I know about Japan though. Stuff like Real Madrid, Barcelona lol. Andalucia, the Basques, Catalonia etc. I follow my football.

    Most people do not know that Spain is so divided by culture and language.

  • Awesome! O_o

    If you know about Spain’s inside cultural differences, you are a full qualified tourist! I think you’re the person with most knowledge of Spain I have ever found on the net! (not being Spanish, of course :p)

    Drop me a line if someday you decide to visit Barcelona :D

    Knowledge 5!

  • I have never been to Europe though. It’s just so distant and hence expensive. If I had money, Japan would be the destination. Then again, with the internet these days, you don’t need to be there to find out about the place.

  • Yeah, you don’t need to be there to know the place, but people is truly lazy and sometimes they travel without knowing anything of the country they are going to :)

    Japan is a very good choice! I’ve been in Japan from October 12th to 29th, and all I can say it’s: paradise! I tried to be as less gaijin as possible, respecting traditions, temples, way of life … but some other tourist were … well … little bastards. They made me feel ashamed and angry in some situations :(

    Akiba is our freak palace. I’m a lover of Japanese culture, manga, anime, figures … like you and all this website visitors. So I came to this website, looking for info to complete my own travel and continuation blog :D (Sorry, only in Spanish)

    Respect to your work, I found your website not too long ago and now I’m a subscriber. It’s hard to find websites with anime figure reviews in English :)

  • camera phones are very popular coz everyon likes to take pictures”`:

  • there are many hair colors out there but i alway prefere blondes’~*

  • well, camera phones always come in handy whenever there are important events and parties .

  • i really like to color my hair and i would love to try different hair colors specially auburn *,~

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