Characters’ academic setting: High School
Synopsis: Saito Kayano has a crush on Kamijo Yuichi but just as she was about to confess to him, newcomer, infamous bully and so called prince of attraction Edogawa Takeru comes along and changes Kayano’s life for the worse. Now she faces the possibility of actually living with the Devil as Takeru’s father, the school principal becomes engaged to Kayano’s mom.
It took a while to get used to Mistsuba Takanashi’s punkish artwork and the dialogue was a bit stilted and awkward at the beginning. It didn’t take long though before the story pulled me and I found myself devouring every page of The Devil Does Exist (guiltily forgetting my to-do list). What I like about this volume is that its story moves in a strong gripping pace and has one central plot throughout so it isn’t episodic. The sequence of events moves fast and gets resolved pretty quickly yet just leaving enough unfinished business that leaves the reader hungry for the next issue.
I just love how Takeru’s hairstyle changes everyday. In contrast to most manga settings, this is the first I’ve seen of high school students not restricted to wearing the prescribed school uniforms. This is also my first taste of Takanashi Mitsuba’s work though I read a review that her later work Crimson Hero is better.
The Devil Does Exist seemed like a cross between Hana Yori Dango (the bully attracted to the female protagonist) and Kare Kano (the convergence of two families except they don’t swap partners). It maintains the perfect balance between teen angst love without going over the top, humor and a little hard edgy quality stamped among its pages.
Heroes have often been born from unlikely mold. From four ordinary children entering a wardrobe, two hobbits carrying an object of great evil, to the emerging of a certain orphan with a scar –these literary figures have proved one thing. Heroes are made not born.
It is then the task given, destined to you that ultimately changes you. Great tasks beget great heroes. It is this very essence that allows a person to strive to become more than what he already is, to go beyond his boundaries. Joseph Campbell said that a hero is someone who has done something beyond the normal range of achievement. And what greater achievement to create a heroic figure than that of saving a world? This is The Quest few have been chosen to embark on. And one of them is Ethan Feld.
Ethan was one of those boys who calls himself a failure at the baseball plate. But when his father is abducted and the Four Worlds are threatened by an ancient cunning figure, he is called upon to stop the end of the world. And he does this by playing baseball.
No doubt, Summerland would have fit right into the typical recipe of an archetypal quest –get the chosen one, chosen one gathers band of companions, chosen one and crew encounter the bad guy, defeat him and save the world. Where if not for this significant element –baseball. Ethan and his group (ranging from a tiny giant to an even tinier Indian) slug through the Worlds, overcoming obstacles with their bats and mitts. Yet Summerland is more than just a fantasy tale about this game. It is a big Tree of stories whose multitude of branches embrace the myths of all ages. This novel is sprinkled with mythical allusions and archetypes who soon evolved into characters each memorable and unique in their own way. Chabon has created a rich tapestry of mythology that stands on its own. By the end of the story as Ethan and his motley crew struggle to save the Big Tree of Life, they realized they also gained something equally precious along the way –that of finding true strength within themselves.
How many opportunities have been lost due to the giving in of postponing tasks till the last minute? Besides opportunities, there’s your lost dreams, ambitions and almost every important to-do just because you caved in to doing something you knew you shouldn’t do?
I used to be a procrastinator and sometimes I still am. Life wasn’t pretty if you’re often happy go lucky. There would have been so many things you could have achieved if you’ve only exercised some will or have gotten hold of some techniques that could have helped you overcome it.
My friend, Reggie awakened me once again to the sad reality of procrastination with his post on it. He, along with millions of other procrastinators (myself included and perhaps the reader too) are suffering from this elusive hard-to-cure disease.
Luckily, there are some articles that would help you kick procrastination to oblivion. I have found the following most helpful and I’ve used most of the techniques they mentioned. They work.
Procrastination: Learning to Cope by Frank J. Bruno -this is a very useful article from his book on using psychology to combat procrastination. It’s stated in simple terms and its techniques can be applied easily.
Overcoming Procrastination by Steve Pavlina – this is one of the best articles for coping with this menace of productivity in society. Lots of helpful methods plus the famous Timeboxing Method.