Reviewer interview: LoneLobo in the house!
Good day! I welcome thee, dear MH member and lurker to the world of MH celebrities or, in other words, to the world of our STARs. I am happy to announce that this is the second interview with an R, as the first one was weeks ago and it featured The Underscore.
Without the intention of stalling things, I'd like to do a short shout to the Manga Review section. Please visit it or drop a review, or just start reviewing a series, and say thanks to ~Coffee~ for the wonderful banners he made.
Ok...so the situation is similar to what we had in the last interview, as we stay in Western Europe, and stay with the Big 3, so let's welcome LoneLobo and ask him to say a few things about himself, and how he ended up here.
Hello, I'm LoneLobo, am 23 years old and live in Germany. I live somewhere () in the Ruhr Area and am a master student in German Studies and English Studies. I've been a manga fan for eleven years and my very favorite manga is, of course, One Piece.
How did I get here? I am not sure about that. If I remember correctly I was reading the spoiler section at arlongpark, a forum about One Piece. There was a link to MH, and since then I never went back to Arlong Park and stayed with MH.
Oh yeah! That's the spirit, MH is the best! But 11 years...that's a pretty long period. How would you describe the evolution of manga since you started reading and being a fan?
Well, when I think of the amount which was published back then and nowadays. There is so much manga here one can buy today.
On the internet it's similar. Back then there were a few scanlator groups doing a few series, and today there are so many and you don't even have to download them anymore via IRC and such. Just read it online. I think it is more convenient today, also, today more people read them, it is more accepted in my opinion.
That's true, it can really be called a world-wide phenomenon. But don't you think nowadays the focus is too limited to just a few titles? Even though it's much easier to acquire certain manga?
Well, kinda. I think it is kinda stupid for like 10 groups to do the same manga (Fansub is the same). They should work on different projects. But I think many new series get scanlated today, so that is great. One think I dislike is that many old series do not get any focus, maybe there are some really great ones we have overlooked.
For example, I think some CLAMP series are not yet scanlated. And CLAMP is a great mangaka group, although it is not something I usually read.
That's true. They are indeed a highly appreciated group in Japan and if this is a good basis of comparison then it should be true on an international scale as well. Speaking of popular mangakas and titles, you read One Piece and that is a title that will remain in the manga history books (if such things ever existed), but there were lots of voices that disagreed with the timeskip. What's your stance on this?
I liked the time skip and I think it was executed perfectly. And it made sense. The crew was at their limit and they needed this "power up time". Plot-wise it made sense. The reintroduction to the characters was also great.
Also, we have never seen the characters doing training and stuff. Except for Zoro. Luffy learned Gear 2nd and 3rd "off screen" and suddenly he used it. The rest also just had new attacks. But for a fact we now know how they trained and where they did that during the flashback. I think that is a good think.
To be free one has to be strong in the One Piece world. And to be strong they had to train, therefore the time skip was a necessity to be able to drive the plot forward.
I agree. However, the reason I asked the question was because slowly but surely there has been an increase of more serious, sort of darker elements in the manga, such as: slavery, corruption, dark forgotten history, political conflicts. Although part 2 has just begun, the voices of opposition say that there's a noticeable lack of seriousness, or maturity regarding the main characters, and that there were just power-ups. Is such maturity or seriousness even needed?
I agree. But those were present from the very beginning. Like racism, this was introduced in the Arlong Arc.
I doubt that it has changed that much. When I read it (and I do that since 2001) I still have the same feeling. Personally it really hasn't changed much, but I see that it has a darker tone now. However, for me these changes are minimal. But, one should be aware that everything changes and nothing stays the same. Naruto changed a lot since the beginning, and imho not every change was a good one. The same applies to Bleach as well.
I see what you mean, but I doubt that One Piece will follow Dragonball and turn into One Piece Z.
Also, maturity is not necessarily needed, but it adds depth to the story which only the older audience sees. The young ones do not care about the racism theme. Another example for this would be Harry Potter, who also has dark themes in the early books (mudblood, for example). I think there characters will address the problems when confronted with them, I doubt they will just ignore these topics.
IMHO it is too early to think that they only got a powerup and not more. Maybe we should wait some more chapters to talk about that. Oda is great at using stuff which happened before and linking it with something happening in the manga now. Like he did with LaBoom and Brook. Most of the things are resolved at a later point.
We will jump now from One Piece to you reviewing One Piece. It's clear that you have great understanding of the manga you review, so do you think you will be able to visit the Manga reviews section and drop a general OP review?
I know that it existed, but I have never thought about doing a review there. But if the fans want it and appreciate my opinion, maybe I will do one. I spend little time outside the One Piece section. Sometimes I read some stuff, but I rarely post a reply.
Well that's true, and even if you don't generally post, fortunately you post reviews, which is great! How or why did you decide to do that in the first place?
Well, I was a silent visitor of mangahelpers for a few months and most of the time I read the One Piece Reviews of Haruka and Neo. But they stopped doing them and then I just got the idea to do it myself if no one else was going to do it. Because it was kinda sad that there were like four Naruto reviews every week, but no one piece one.
I really like the answer and that's because it is proof that reviewing can be done by anyone and it's not something that needs much courage to be gathered. But while starting to review is quite simple, is it that simple to be continuous? How easy is it to be consistent and post permanently?
Well, it is easy to post just one or two reviews. I have seen that many times. But it takes time to write a review and you have to invest that amount of time every week. For example, for a normal review I need around 3 to 4 hours.
That is a lot of time. So time is very important and one also needs the motivation to do it again and again, even when there are chapters who are just so straight forward that one has not much to say.
And every manga has bad or boring chapters where nothing is happening, but I think everyone can write a review, one does not have to be a "genius". And it is not important to write a review every week just to do it. A review should always show aspects of the chapter one might have overlooked.
So I encourage everyone to write a review of a series or a chapter. But please, when there are like 4 reviews for one chapter of Naruto...please no more. =P
Haha, I see. That's a good point you raised about offering clarity for the readers and if I'm not mistaken the term Points of Interest that you included in your reviewing is related to this right?
I thought of a way to use less time when reviewing a chapter so that I can do the reviews more often. Often it is not necessary to sum up the chapter that much. When doing a review one can focus on these interesting points of the chapters. It saves time and the reader immediatly sees what you found out when analyzing a chapter.
My points of interest are similiar to "Gold Knight's Ten Comments". He did great Naruto reviews.
So should I take it that your approach is to write short and concise reviews?
That is my approach. When I want to say something, I do it in a simple way. But that is just my approach, there are others. The Underscore's review on the other hand are really long, but they are also great and I admire him to do his reviews every week. Sadly I cannot do that.
But that's okay, because you tend to review the chapters you missed, which is best in certain cases where a general picture is needed. But you mentioned that you don't have time unfortunately for writing regular reviews. Is that job related or studies related? Perhaps sports?
Studies related. I'm a master student now and when I have to go to university every week I unfortunately do not have that much time or motivation to do reviews. On the other hand I try to do more reviews when I do not have to go there every week.
Back to a more or less generic topic. What are the qualities of a reviewer what should people focus on if they want to start reviewing? But the the most important thing I'd like an answer to is: Is it necessary to be a fan to be a successful reviewer or it's enough just to follow the manga? On a regular basis of course.
Well, to start writing reviews you need time, motivation, knowledge and some language skills. A good review needs a certain length and structure and that takes time.
To do reviews week after week you need motivation to keep you going, so I advice every reader to comment on them. Knowledge of the manga is essential, you should know the characters and everything. This becomes harder the more chapters a manga has. And language skills... well, people should understand what you want to say and if your punctuation or sentence structure is very weak people have a hard time to read your review.
The most important quality of a reviewer in my opinion is a good analyzing skill. One should see the connections with former chapters/arcs and develop own ideas on what could happen in the future. One should always look for the deeper meaning.
To be a reviewer one does not have to be a hardcore fan though. If you follow the manga every week and have a basic knowledge you can do it. And I advice everyone to do a review, but please look for a series that is overlooked or has no consistent reviewer. For example Fairy Tail. Or Hunter X Hunter, if it comes back from hiatus again. These are great series which deserve a review.
Is there any chance that you would take on one of these series in the future? I'm not necessarily saying that you would review 2 titles at once, but after OP finishes for example.
If it comes back, I will probably review a chapter or more of Hunter X Hunter. Maybe I will do a Fairy Tail chapter at one point, just to encourage people do reviews themselves, and if The Underscore wants to take a break for a week, I would also do a one-shot review of Bleach.
Haha, I'm sure he will check this interview, maybe you can do a tandem, but even if not, we are definitely looking forward to Fairy Tail, and perhaps HxH reviews. But it's One Piece for now, so are you a Zoro or a Sanji type of person? And what is your favourite Devil's Fruit? :p
I would say I'm a Zoro person. First, swords are cool. Second, I sleep a lot. And third, I suck at cooking.
My favorite DF is the Sand Fruit of Crocodile. You can suck people dry (or even a whole country) and fly around. Awesome.
Being on the Front Page and everything you have the opportunity to relay a message to MH, OP fans, maybe friends on the forum and real life.
To everyone at mangahelpers I would like to say that it is a great community and I am happy to be part of it now. To everyone who reads this but is not a member: Register now and start posting, become a part of the family. =P To the One Piece fans: You are fans of the best series in the world, do not be afraid to stick with it for ten more years.
Friends from the real life... that is a hard one, because there are probably only two persons who will read it. So, to my Buddy "Strawhat": You are a great friend I got to know through One Piece, we should meet again in the near future =) To my lovely girlfriend: Thanks for supporting me in everything I do and introducing me to even more manga.
Good, good! You heard him folks! Start posting or else...!
Well, we are close to being done here, so I must thank you LoneLobo for tagging along and accepting to be a victim. It was a great conversation and my utmost pleasure to conduct this interview! But if you have any final thoughts...
Thank you, I feel honored to be a "victim", because I never would've thought that I could become one.
I would like to encourage people to be productive in the community. I encourage everyone to do what he or she can. Do not be afraid, just do. If you have the time, that is.
If whoever reads the interview wants to know more about me and my involvement in the whole manga and anime community for the past ten years, just send me a message. =)
So that was all folks! I hoped you enjoyed this little discussion and on behalf of LoneLobo I thank you for your attention, and ask you to contribute, as LoneLobo said, in any way possible. Make sure to read his reviews in the One Piece section, and because he was influenced by the interview he did write a Fairy Tail review as well. Thanks a lot LoneLobo!
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