Tokyopop talk

Mickle at The True Confessions of an Hourly Bookseller posts on a Tokyopop rep’s talk at a local library meeting. (Background is here. It may sound vaguely familiar.) There are some interesting nuggets, like this:

Tokyopop is in the early stages of revamping it’s rating system. Generally, some of the OT stuff will become M, some T stuff will become OT, etc. Don’t expect to see it until fall, and they may or may not go back and adjust some of the already published titles still in print.

You know, I’m the mother of two daughters, ages 12 and 13, and I think I’m fairly protective of them, but even I think Tokyopop’s ratings system is rather conservative. Or rather, it’s uneven. It will be interesting to see if they come up with something more consistent than the current system. (Via Crocodile Caucus.)

Meanwhile, Fruits Basket fan David Welsh offers his take on that series reaching the 2 million mark.

New Broccoli titles revealed: A while back, Broccoli hinted at some new titles on their blog. The titles have now been revealed: Murder Princess, Coyote Ragtime Show, and Hakoiri Devil Girl (aka Boxed Devil Girl). MangaCast has cover scans of these and two new titles from Icarus, which make the page ever-so-slightly NSFW.

Shaenon Garrity’s latest Overlooked Manga Festival features the Warren Buffett manga. Yes, you read that right.

Go!Comi has an animated preview up of an upcoming title, Train + Train.

Floating Sakura takes an early look at Takeshi Obata’s new manga, Blue Dragon Ω Ral Grado, and is not impressed.

Comics artist Takeshi Miyazawa has moved to Japan to get a job in the manga industry, and he’s blogging about his experiences. Not much there yet, as he just arrived, but that makes it a good time to start reading. (Via Journalista.)

ComiPress lists the top ten manga in Japan this week.

Robin Brenner of No Flying, No Tights will be one of the judges of this year’s Eisner Awards.

Via ComiPress, here is a video of a guy doing a dramatic reading of manga in Japanese.

Reviews roundup: AoD reviewer Julie Rosato has a hard time warming up to Gerard et Jacques. Dirk Deppey reviews Ohikkoshi. Bill Sherman at Blogcritics takes a look at Black Cat.

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  1. I thought the idea of revamping the system to make it more protective was a little odd myself, but she did seem to suggest that making it more consistent was one of the goals. It also may be in reaction to the fact that many bookstores are now adding manga/graphic novel section to the kids section – a clearer and even more conservative rating system will make it easier for stores (and libraries) to find titles to put in little kids sections without running into complaints from parents.

  2. Ratings system re-vamp is just what the industry needs as a lot more mature books are out now. Welcome to the NHK is a book that flaunts all sorts of taboo material without actually showing anything graphic (well… a bit).

  3. One problem with the current system is that there is a sort of ratings creep—my kids have been reading 13+ books for a couple of years now, and they read some 16+ titles as well. (I usually insist on checking them out first.) Just as with movies, the nominal age on the rating doesn’t mean much.

    Also, Jack, you make a good point. Ratings should take into account the theme of the book rather than how many nipples are showing. I’ve said this before regarding TenTen: You don’t make an adult book into a kids’ book by covering up all the naughty bits. On the other hand, some manga are really aimed at kids but have content that Americans aren’t used to seeing in that context. In that case, I think the publisher is justified in acknowleding the audience and covering things up a bit.

    One of the most useful innovations in movie ratings is the little blurb that gives the reason for the rating: Fantasy violence, realistic violence, language, drug references, nudity, sexual situations, whatever. I do not want to have to watch every movie my kids go to, so having a quick reference, read in the context of the rating—I know that “sexual situations” in a PG-13 movie are going to be different from “sexual situations” in an R movie—gives me a really useful tool. Perhaps the publishers should adopt that as well.

  4. I thought the Tokyopop rep said that they did – but like the genre listing on the spine, I can’t find it. I don’t know if this is because the books I have aren’t new enough, or because either I or the rep was confused.

  5. Kevin Lighton says:

    The genre listing on the spine is just a white symbol on red at the bottom of the spine (the same symbol is on the back with a genre identifier under it). The ones I’ve seen so far are romance (a heart), action (a bomb), comedy (a laughing face), and drama (a rather stylized tragedy or comedy mask). Without an identifying word, these are of variable utility.
    As for blurbs giving the reason for the rating, I couldn’t find any on the covers of the books I checked.