Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

I started reading a manga called Magus of the Library by Mitsu Izumi. This is Vol 5, so I’m well into it now. It’s a fantasy about a boy called Theo whose ambition is to become a librarian – or Kafna – at the great library in Aftzaak. It’s a pleasant Iyashikei type thing, pandering to my own love of books. There are lots of books and mangas about libraries or librarians (too many to list here). I discuss this sometimes with my library colleagues. We wonder, are they just targeting us so we’ll stock their books? If so, it’s working!

I love the detail of the illustrations in this one. Some other mangas can be so basic in their artwork, they’re just drawings or even doodles, compared to this manga. MC Theo is yet another in a long line of winning lads who is the moral centre of the story. He’s surrounded by girls and women, so this is a kind of Harem story, but without the icky ecchi factor. And there are books and book lore, and stories and myths and the search for knowledge. Theo and his student friends are firmly entrenched in their studies at book school now (think Hogwarts for books) and taking classes like Protections, Facilities, Cataloging, Guidance, and others where each instructor insists ‘this is the backbone of the library’. They’re all competing for one of the three top places where they will get to choose their vocation, but they seem to be having fun along the way. They are also learning to tolerate each culture’s differences. This is a huge theme of the story. The world of Magus is not only multi-cultural but multi-species, who are all welcomed as students at the Library. There are the Hyron, who seem to be based on Arab culture and whose religion is called Asin. The Rakta, who are split into coastal and inland factions, the coastal having Asiatic features, the inland having large eyes. The Kadoe, a horned, mask-wearing people who ruled the continent for many centuries. The Creyak, a cat-like prairie people who were enslaved by the Kadoe. The Kokopah, a small, winged people who look like sprites, The Syrrana, a large, winged, reptilian people, who mostly keep to themselves. And the Haupi, a people with pale skin and pointed ears, who Theo seems to be descended from. It’s a very wholesome story.

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Well, all I can say is thank god I’ve got my car now. I was driving it everywhere today. I had to get the registration done in Ringwood, then drove to Ferntree Gully for some work, then drove to Croydon for some afternoon work. I still have to get my old car towed away, and then there’s insurance on this one. I can’t emphasise enough how much I hate the idea of insurance. I think it’s one of Capitalism’s biggest scams. Let’s exploit people’s fear and paranoia about losing or breaking their things. Talk about a manufactured need. Anyway, too many people in my life have been at me about getting comprehensive, and I guess since this is by far the best car I’ve ever had, I can sort of see the point. So I’m looking into insurance, though I hate it. Insurance people like to invoke Murphy’s Law – if it can go wrong, it will go wrong. I say Murphy was an insurance salesman.

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I was listening to Rap Monster in the car whilst doing all this driving. I went through both albums, Indigo and the new one, Right Place, Wrong Person. Man, it’s rap heaven – especially with this car’s sound system. It has a built-in subwoofer, and it goes doof doof doof. Both albums are inventive and funny, and very musical. The first features more female guest vocalists, which gives it a slightly sweeter sound. But the new one’s holding up very well. I’d say it’s a little more experimental, a bit harder in its raps. I especially love the song Heaven, a sweeping guitar-pop thing with feathery vocals from Namjoon.

 

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