Archives for 2007

Closing the books on 2007

Broccoli announced this week that they have licensed sola.

At Comicsnob, Matt Blind posts the online best-sellers for the week ending December 23, plus commentary on his methods and findings.

The 2007 retrospectives and best-of lists are still rolling in. At PopCultureShock’s Manga Recon blog, Katherine Dacey-Tsuei and
Erin F., who have already posted their favorites for the year, list the also-rans and must-read-it-this-years. Meanwhile, Precocious Curmudgeon’s David Welsh looks at the biggest stories of 2007 and rounds up critical praise for his pick for best graphic novel of 2007, Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms.

The voting is open for best josei manga of 2007 at Deb Aoki’s manga blog. It’s worth a look just to see the list Deb has compiled, especially if you’re running low on things to read.

Felicia J., blogger of Scaling Mount TBR, just started reading manga this year, and she posts a mini-retrospective.

Tokyopop editor Tim Beedle has some advice for aspiring manga writers.

Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page, which is a great if sporadically updated review site focusing on untranslated manga, celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2008. Watch for a revamp of her magazine page and more frequent updates. She starts off the new year with a review of Strobe Edge.

Comics are now respectable enough to be taught in college, thanks in part to the popularity of manga. But how will the “special panties version” go over in the ivory tower?

Same Hat blogger Evan recounts, with pictures, his personal experience with Tatiana the Tiger.

Tiamat’s Disciple vents about the Tokyopop website—the UK version, but U.S. readers, especially those with slow connections, may have some of the same issues. The good news is that another redesign is on the way, and user-friendliness is on the radar this time.

The blog Mutant Palm, which seems to be about Chinese culture, points out an Uighur separatist character in vol. 9 of Eden. And they link to some interesting shots of Chinese manhua.

The Daily Yomiuri reports that Tokyo University Hospital is helping with research for a new medical manga by Yakitate!! Japan creator Takashi Hashiguchi. (Via ComiPress, which fills in a few of the blanks.)

The latest installment of Manga Zombie is about “incredibly strange” artist Tokunan Seiichiro.

Registration is open for Anime Expo 2008.

Reviews: John T looks at vol. 2 of Gyo at Mecha Mecha Media. At the MangaCast, MangaManiac reviews Dash! Back at the Manga Maniac Cafe, Julie checks out vol. 1 of Operation Liberate Men, vol. 1 of Sand Chronicles, Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy Ultimate Edition, and vol. 10 of Skip Beat. Katherine Dacey-Tsuei enjoys Do Whatever You Want at PopCultureShock. Leroy Douresseaux reviews vol. 6 of Reborn! and vol. 1 of Sand Chronicles at The Comic Book Bin. At ComicMix, Andrew Wheeler cracks open The Mammoth Book of Best New Manga 2 and finds “Best” to be an overstatement. Ariadne Roberts checks out Your Honest Deceit at Anime on DVD. Michelle reviews vols. 22 and 23 of Basara at Soliloquy in Blue. Khursten starts the new year with vol. 1 of Welcome to the N.H.K. at Otaku Champloo. Billy Aguiar reviews vol. 1 of Tanpenshu at CBGXtra. Seemingly bent on reading every manga ever published in English, Connie posts reviews of vol. 15 of Astro Boy, vol. 29 of Dragon Ball, vol. 3 of Moon Child, vol. 21 of Jojos Bizarre Adventure, vols. 3 and 4 of Skip Beat, vol. 1 of Zombie-Loan, and vol. 11 of From Eroica With Love. At The Star of Malaysia, Pauline Wong reviews vol. 1 of S.A. AsianWeek looks at Manga: The Complete Guide. Terri Gudowicz checks out Azumanga Daioh: The Omnibus at PLAYBACK:stl.

Out with the old, in with the new

Same Hat! Same Hat!! has a nice holiday gift for everyone… who is over 18 and not at work: They’re hosting a scanlation of Shintaro Kago’s Labyrinth.

Booklist Watch: The Naruto wave finally ebbs, with only vol. 27 making the USA Today Booklist, at nmber 135.

MangaCast checks Diamond Previews for manga shipping in March and April.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review profiles Undertown creator Jim Pascoe. The article mentions that Scholastic has picked up the book, which is aimed at kids 9 to 14.

Here’s a sketch and some info on the Hellgate: London manga, which is based on the game.

ANN brings news of some new projects over in Japan. You may not have heard of NisiOisin yet, but you will, as a wave of his work is headed our way from Viz and Del Rey. Viz has licensed his novel Death Note: Another Note, and over in Japan, Weekly Shonen Jump will be running a one-shot manga by NisiOisin and Death Note artist Takeshi Obata. And Welcome to the N.H.K. artist Kendi Oiwa is launching a new series, Yume-Watari Pulcinella, in March. Finally, for those who can’t get enough of Genshiken, game creator Katsuoshi Iida is writing a spinoff novel, to be published by Kodansha.

More news from Japan: Zatch Bell is coming to an end. ComiPress has that scoop plus a long list of new series, as well as a nerd/retailer bonus: circulation figures for Japanese manga magazines for 2004-2006.

Simon Jones (not very NSFW today) heard that France has 40 manga publishers and starts counting their American counterparts. He has 33 so far; check it out and see if he has missed anyone.

The voting has started for best shonen manga of 2007 at Deb’s Manga Blog at

We’ll be looking for a copy of Hello, Please! Very Helpful Super Kawaii Characters from Japan, now that Serge the Concierge has brought it to our attention. (Via Giapet.)

At Industry Babble, Shizuki posts photos of Broccoli and Bandai’s year-end get-together.

A German company is using characters from Crows and Worst to peddle hair coloring.

Reviews: Julie checks out vol. 9 of Moon Child and vol. 1 of Camera Camera Camera at the Manga Maniac Cafe. At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna Draper Carlson enjoys vol. 1 of High School Debut but is less enthusiastic about Pop Japan Travel. Greg Hackmann gives vol. 1 of Aventura a qualified thumbs-up at Anime on DVD. Tiamat’s Disciple posts an overview of With the Light. At Active Anime, Scott Campbell reviews vol. 1 of I, Otaku: Struggle in Akihabara, Davey C. Jones reads vol. 2 of Atelier Marie and Elie Zarlburg Alchemist, and Sandra Scholes reviews vol. 2 of Operation Liberate Men. Julie Gray reviews The Manga Bible at The Comic Book Bin. Ferdinand checks out vol. 1 of Hanami: International Love Story at Prospero’s Manga. Tangognat is hooked after reading vol. 1 of Venus in Love. It’s another manga-thon at Slightly Biased Manga, where Connie reviews vol. 28 of Dragon Ball, vol. 10 of Iron Wok Jan, vol. 2 of Moon Child, vol. 5 of Stray Little Devil, vol. 15 of Tsubasa, vol. 14 of Astro Boy, vol. 2 of Berserk, vols. 9 and 10 of RG Veda, and vol. 11 of Hikaru no Go.

Now what do we do with the rest of the week?

It’s a light week for new manga, but the MangaCast team make their picks anyway. Meanwhile, Ed posts some holiday covers from Japan.

David Welsh reviews this week’s list as well.

Business Week looks at the popularity of manga in Europe.

At, Deb Aoki invites readers to vote on the year’s best shoujo manga and names Mushishi the best new manga of 2007.

Erica Friedman presents her top ten yuri countdown for 2007.

Occasional Superheroine asks “Where Are All Teh Female Comics Readers?” then finds them at NYAF. Interesting discussion in comments that includes the “manga formula” and this:

Manga is also incredibly easy to pick up. It’s collected in clear and consistent formats.

I wanted to find out about Naruto, so I just went and read *Naruto, Volume 1*.

A pal wanted to try reading *X-Men* and asked me where she should start. I had absolutely no idea.

(Via When Fangirls Attack.)

Aria is coming to an end in Japan.

ComiPress has a Backstage article about Anime News Service, one of the pioneers of anime coverage on the web.

Resplendent Beard has some thoughts on the manga version of X-Men.

Reviews: Charles Tan looks at vol. 17 of Eyeshield 21 at Bibliophile Stalker. Tiamat’s Disciple posts an overview of A.I. Love You. At Comics Worth Reading, Rob Vollmar reviews vol. 11 of Swan. Greg Hackmann finally cracks open Fruits Basket: Ultimate Edition at Anime on DVD and while he likes the manga OK, he’s disappointed with the presentation (maybe they should call it the “penultimate edition”). Also at AoD: Julie Rosato checks out Lover’s Flat. Ferdinand reviews vol. 1 of Red String and Miranda critiques vol. 1 of Shaman Warrior at Prospero’s Manga. Kethylia enjoys vol. 1 of With the Light but wonders if it belongs over here. EvilOmar posts another set of brief manga reviews at About Heroes. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie reviews vols. 6 and 7 of RG Veda, vols. 25, 26, and 27 of Dragon Ball, vols. 7, 8, and 9 of Iron Wok Jan, vol. 5 of Princess Princess, and vol. 16 of Tenjho Tenge. Julie reads vol. 1 of Andromeda Stories, vol. 8 of Nana, and vol. 8 of Yakitate!! Japan at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Carlo Santos reviews The Manga Bible at ANN.

Naughty and nice

Erica Friedman counts down the top ten yuri manga of 2007, five in English and five in Japanese, at Okazu.

ANN reports that the Japanese publisher Kodansha has apologized for unwittingly publishing a manga with images plagiarized from Death Note, MPD-Psycho, and Air Gear in its Weekly Shonen Magazine Extra: Magazine Dragon. Follow the link for links to side-by-side comparisons. Also: The Japanese government plans to spread the gospel of anime and manga to Eastern Europe.

The 11th Japan Media Arts Festival releases its recommended works, including Sgt. Frog and Fullmetal Alchemist.

ComiPress has a blog!

Gia rounds up last week’s Death Note incidents.

Reporters from The Star of Malaysia report on last week’s Comic Fiesta and answer a concerned mother’s questions about manga.

Shizuki posts some more Christmas cards at Industry Babble.

Reviews: Here’s a nice pre-Christmas gift: After a lengthy absence from the blogosphere, Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page is back with new reviews of Animal Jungle, Secret Kiss, Kimi no Kiss de Furete, and Chocolate Cosmos. David Welsh has some brief comments on vol. 3 of Wild Adapter. At the Manga Maniac Cafe, Julie reviews vol. 1 of High School Debut, After I Win, vol. 2 of My Heavenly Hockey Club, and vol. 3 of Love*Com. Michelle gives vol. 2 of The Last Uniform a C- at Soliloquy in Blue. Tiamat’s Disciple posts overviews of Gunsmith Cats, Yubisaki Milk Tea, and Recast. Dan Polley reviews vol. 1 of Juror 13 and Between the Sheets, and Michael Aronson checks out vol. 4 of Claymore, at Manga Life. Tangognat enjoys vol. 1 of Suppli. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie reviews vol. 17 of Fruits Basket, Reptilia, vols. 3 and 4 of Iron Wok Jan, Cain Saga 5: Seal of the Red Ram 2, vol. 10 of Hikaru No Go, vol. 1 of Variante, vol. 8 of Nana, vol. 4 of Princess Princess, and vol. 13 of Astro Boy. Ed Chavez pans Vampire Hunter D and SunDome in a podcast review at MangaCast. Jog posts a lengthy review of Reptilia. At The Star of Malaysia, Tom Baker reviews vols. 17-19 of Detective Conan, Kurogane reads vol. 1 of Shinsoku Kiss, and an anonymous reviewer takes on vol. 10 of RG Veda.

NYAF: ICv2’s Marketing to Girls panel

ICv2 kicked off NYAF with a really interesting afternoon of panel discussions. Al Kahn stole the show with his comment that “Japan is over,” but there was plenty more to hear. Below the cut is my summary of the panel entitled “Girls—The Other Half of the Otaku Generation.”

Strong female characters, a more accessible storytelling style, and books that are available in girl-friendly chain bookstores—these are the key reasons why manga are so popular with girls and women, according to panelists at ICv2’s panel “Girls—The Other Half of the Otaku Generation.” And while manga has opened up the market, early indications are that anime will remain a boys club for some time.

The panel brought together an articulate group of professionals who are all involved in the female otaku market: Tokyopop senior editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl, librarian Nola Thacker of the Suffolk County Library System, Del Rey associate publisher Dallas Middaugh, FUNimation senior brand manager Jill Snider, Yen Press co-publisher Kurt Hassler, and VIZ Media editorial director Elizabeth Kawasaki. Larissa Faw, editor of Youth Market Alert, moderated the panel.

Hassler called traditional American comics a “boys club,” produced by publishers who specifically target male readers. “They are very good at marketing to that consumer and maintaining that audience, but it is very exclusionary to female readers,” he said, while the Japanese model is more diverse.

That doesn’t mean the increase in female readers has gone unnoticed by American publishers. Snider pointed to Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Marvel’s Anita Blake as two successful series that target women. Diaz-Przybyl added that both series offer strong female characters. “Marvel and DC have been trying to capture the female audience for a while by reimagining Supergirl as a cheerleader and giving Spiderman’s girlfriend her own series,” she said. “Buffy and Anita Blake are really strong female protagonists. It sounds like a cliché to say that, but that’s what a lot of girl readers are looking for, like Sakura in Naruto or the side characters in Death Note.

With its dynamic storytelling style, manga is more readable than American comics, panelists said, and that brings in new readers as well. “Manga relies on images and dialogue,” Middaugh said. “American comics—and this is a very broad generalization—rely on deep monologue. You have to go deep into a characters’ head with dialogue and thought balloons.” This makes manga more appealing to a wider audience, he said, and as girls read more than boys, anything that brings in new readers will bring in more women and girls.

One more key ingredient in the manga boom is the books are available in chain bookstores. Several panelists described comics stores as unappealing to women, even “icky.” And while some critics complained that manga would push American comics off the shelves, Hassler, the former graphic novels buyer for Borders, said just the opposite has happened: The success of manga allowed bookstores to expand their graphic novels sections, making more space for American comics as well.

When it comes to licensed merchandise, Snider said, girls buy more than boys, and they stay committed to a brand they like. Reflecting on her own experiences with the library’s anime and manga club, Thacker said that while the boys are collectors, the girls are shoppers.

One market the panelists did not see growing is anime for girls. Japanese producers aren’t making a lot of girl-oriented series, Diaz-Przybyl said, so there is less available for licensing. And there are fewer outlets as well. “When I meet with Cartoon Network, they tell me they don’t care about female audiences,” Snider said. “They only want to reach boys nine to 14 years old.” Middaugh, who has also dealt with Cartoon Network, added that while girls will watch cartoons for boys, boys don’t watch cartoons for girls. What’s more, viewership of shows like Sailor Moon dropped when they went into reruns, or as Middaugh said, “Boys will watch the same thing over and over again. Girls are a little bit smarter than we are.”

Challenges and competitions

OK, MangaBlog readers, here’s an opportunity to use your extensive knowledge of all things manga to make the world a better place: Laura Hale of, a Wiki about the history of fan communities, would like your help in cleaning up and improving the anime section of their site (which also covers manga). (Someone could start by correcting the title of Fruits Basket). If you’re interested, go over and take a look.

Japan’s Daily Yomiuri profiles rem, the winner of Kodansha’s International Manga Competition and the artist of Tokyopop’s Vampire Kisses. (Via Blog@Newsarama.)

Jason Thompson wonders if Japanese students really look up to the cliques, as depicted in manga, or whether that just makes for easier storytelling.

At the MangaCast, Ed Chavez reports on the Vertical and Udon panels at NYAF, including covers of new titles.

An Australian newspaper takes a look at Siku’s The Manga Bible, which features a “kick-ass Jesus,” as one of many different ways of “gift-wrapping” the Good Book.

ComiPress presents another installment of Manga Zombie, this one about gekiga artist Takeuchi Kanko.

At ComicMix, Andrew Wheeler tries a little experiment: He reads just volume 2 of four different manga series, to see how easy it is to pick up the story.

Booklist watch: I’m a little late with the news this week, but it’s just more of the same anyway: vol. 27 of Naruto ranks 92 on this week’s USA Today best seller list, and vol. 26 is at 129. I guess only having two volumes on the list adds a bit of novelty value, but with the Naruto wave now over, it will be interesting to see what other titles make the list in the weeks to come. Meanwhile, Manly Manga and More has November’s German manga charts.

Gia Manry, a.k.a. Giapet, has been posting on anime and manga to watch for in 2008 at Check out her comments on Gakuen Alice, which is currently making the rounds at my house (and good news for Tokyopop: Both my teenage daughters liked it). Back at her own blog, Gia spots another kid-writes-a-Death-Note story.

If you read French, head on over to the French blog du9 where Xavier Guilbert writes about a derivative global manga whose format encapsulates the “myth” of manga—including structure derived from a nonexistent manga magazine and word balloons that look like they were designed for Japanese text. (Guilbert translates a lot of his work into English, so hopefully this will be available for non-Francophones soon.)

Contest updates: ComiPress has all the links for the Japan Foreign Ministry’s Second International MANGA Award. And don’t forget that December 31 is the deadline for Kodansha’s Weekly Morning International Manga Competition.

Here’s a little holiday fun: At dot-anime USA’s Industry Babble blog, Broccoli insider Shizuki shows off Christmas cards from different anime and game companies and gives a peek at the Square Enix holiday party.

Reviews: Matthew Alexander enjoys the 18+ title Swing Out Sisters at Anime on DVD, and Julie Rosato checks out Ordinary Crush. Dan Polley reviews vol. 6 of Suzuka and vol. 7 of ES: Eternal Sabbath at Manga Life. Erica Friedman eviscerates vol. 1 of Key Princess Story: Eternal Alice Rondo with wit and style at Okazu (for the uninitiated: LF = Loser Fan Boy). Ferdinand gives vol. 1 of Translucent 4 out of 5 stars at Prospero’s Manga. Sakura Kiss reviews vol. 1 of Flock of Angels at The Yaoi Review. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie checks out Cain Saga 4: Mark of the Red Ram 1. Michelle reads vol. 21 of Basara at Soliloquy in Blue. At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna updates her reviews of Emma and Beauty Pop with info on the latest volumes. Sasa describes Suppli as “a real josei manga” and compares it to Hataraki Man at Heterochromia. Tiamat’s Disciple posts an overview of Gakuen Heaven. Scott Campbell reviews vol. 1 of Mr. Grieves and Sandra Scholes checks out vol. 1 of Romance Papa at Active Anime. Billy Aguiar reviews vol. 1 of me2 at CBGXtra. At Manga Recon, Katherine Dacey-Tsuei reviews vol. 2 of Jim Henson’s Return to Labyrinth and vol. 1 of Jim Henson’s Legends of the Dark Crystal: The Garthim Wars. John T enjoys vol. 2 of Parasyte at Mecha Mecha Media. J. Bowers reviews vols. 6 and 7 of Pastel at PLAYBACK:stl. Leroy Douresseaux pulls vol. 1 of High School Debut out of The Comic Book Bin.