Active Anime interviews Izumi Kawachi, the author of Enchanter, who provides some insight into the life of a Japanese manga-ka:

First of all, you’re constantly under pressure with the deadlines. And I use every minute of the 10 days that are given to me, so everything is turned in very last minute. I usually do about 40 pages in 10 days, and that’s the time I have to think of a good storyline and draw everything. It’s definitely a very stressful job. There are also many things that I love about this job, though. In Enchanter, there’s a lot of talk about alchemy and science, so to make my story believable and accurate I’ve been doing a lot of research and talking to knowledgeable people. Being a writer has landed me in many interesting interviews with experts on a variety of subjects.

Love Manga checks out the USA Today Top 150 and notes, without surprise, that Naruto is still there at #123 (8 weeks on the list: a record!) and Kingdom Hearts has jumped from #111 to #73.

Some reviews to check out: At Standing and Reading, Ginger reviews Legend of Chun Hyang, a single-volume manga by CLAMP. At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna likes Fool’s Gold but feels it didn’t quite live up to expectations. And Noah Berlatsky of the Chicago Reader reviews Nana but also gives a bit of a dissertation on manga. He has clearly done his homework, although I don’t agree with his statement that shoujo manga are the new romance comics (especially when he lumps them in with Chobits two sentences later). It’s a thoughtful review and a nice counterpart to the Bento Physics analysis.

Down at the New Statesmen, they’re having a roundtable entitled “Smart learning for the future,” with all kinds of professors ‘n’ school principals ‘n’ stuff. But look who they bring up as an example: scanlators!

When you look at children’s learning outside school, it is driven by what they are interested in, which is the direct opposite of school-based learning. For example, in the United States a group of students were interested in Manga, the Japanese animated cartoons. In order to get hold of them before they were due to arrive on the market, this group got together, taught themselves Japanese, subtitling and web streaming, because they were motivated to.

Japundit finds a bad manga article and lays on the snark.

Somewhat off-topic: I really don’t know how to describe this next article except to say that if the idea of Romanian otaku doesn’t get to you, check it out anyway for the picture of Henry Ford taking an ax to a soy car. Yes, you read that right.

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