Questions of taste

Discussion of the week: Is there a future for seinen manga? A few days ago I linked to Kethylia’s comments about the tenuous status of Eden: It’s an Endless World, and seinen in general:

The overaged fanboys can lament the demise of Raijin Comics and the failure of DMP to follow through with the seinen side of their initial “mandate” all they want. It just doesn’t change anything. They might be the ones to protesteth loudest on the Internet, and they might be the ones in control of the manga industry, but they’re not the ones with the buying power. And if it’s not clear to you by now who IS the demographic with the buying power, I’ll spell it out for you–Girls and Women. Who do not, surprise surprise, flock to Blood and Breasts in satisfyingly large numbers.

At Precocious Curmudgeon, David Welsh picks up the thread and also points out that seinen titles like Eden are hard to find in chain bookstores. And over at Comics Worth Reading, Johanna agrees with Kethylia. Both posts continue into interesting discussions in comments. (FWIW, here’s my take: Seinen is a broad genre, and while I think the audience for the B&B titles is limited, there’s plenty of good stuff that will appeal to women as well as men. Although as someone pointed out at Comics Worth Reading, josei isn’t exactly tearing up the charts either.)

Simon Jones looks at an upcoming Seven Seas license and smells trouble.

Jason Thompson does a special guest appearance at Shaenon Garrity’s Overlooked Manga Festival.

Erin F shows you where to get manga and Pocky in New York City.

At Manga Life, Pantheon High artists Steven and Megumi Cummings explain, with sketches, how they put together the art package to pitch the book. It’s the latest entry in a series that I haven’t read but probably will.

Julie has a thorough report on the Anime Expo CMX panel at the Manga Maniac Cafe.

Reviews: At Active Anime, Christopher Seaman reads vol. 12 of The Wallflower and Holly Ellingwood checks out vol. 1 of Galaxy Angel II. Michael Aronson reviews vol. 2 of Tsubasa at Manga Life. At Prospero’s Manga, Miranda reviews vol. 1 of Le Chevalier d’Eon and Ferdinand checks out vol. 1 of War Angels. At Anime on DVD, Ron Quezon takes a look at an older release, vol. 1 of Cipher.

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Comments

  1. “Seinen is a broad genre, and while I think the audience for the B&B titles is limited, there’s plenty of good stuff that will appeal to women as well as men.”

    Good point. It’s also one of those cases where I can reliably use the magazine that originally published the series as a reliable indicator, beyond following certain creators. Dengeki Daioh and Comic Beam both have a pretty good pedigree.

  2. Forget seinen – try to find a josei manga out there that isn’t BL.

    Sure a few volumes have been reproduced here and there, the the overall body of work for adult women remains next to nil. Dark Horse, at least, keeps publishing manly comics for manly men. :-) ALC Publishing works very hard at keeping the schoolgirlyness of our yuri to a minimum in order to reach a more adult audience. It’s harder than you might think.

    Cheers,

    Erica

    Hungry for Yuri? Have some Okazu!
    http://okazu.blogspot.com

  3. Simon Jones says:

    A question worth raising though is that Josei stuff isn’t doing particuarly well either. So is it Senin or is it more mature (which I do use with some qualifications) manga in general that’s doing poorly, given the prominence of the more YA orientated stuff.

  4. future? of course there’s a future for seinen… when the manga reading kiddies grow up. They will come around once they’re tired of the shonen shoujo formula. The West is 5-10 years away from a mature manga market. Same goes for Josei.

  5. I also agree with Brigid that seinen is more than just blood ‘n boobs and that there are a lot of seinen titles that appeal to both men and women. I’m female and though I don’t care for the blood ‘n boobs kind of story, I do like some “lighter” seinen titles such as Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Emma, Azumanga Daioh and Yotsuba&!. I also like josei manga, and like Tivome, I think that probably seinen and josei manga will become more ‘mainstream’ in 5 or so years.

  6. It looks like the DH staff is trying to put out the EDEN fire on the DH boards. Maybe not the emergency we thought.

  7. This is my first visit to this blog…
    Whoa I think ur are manga hardcore…
    I never know manga that u write…
    HUhuhu…

  8. Tivome and doinkies, you’re both right – and for proof, look outside the Anglosphere to France, which is about 5-10 years in advance of the US in manga terms since the “manga boom” effect started there around 1995. Seinen (and to a lesser extent josei) are indeed beginning to be published and sell reasonably well: Rumiko Takahashi’s and Fumi Yoshinaga’s short stories for adults, historical dramas like KAJO: THE FLOWERING CORD, thrillers like SEIZON LIFE, and niche offerings such as SOMMELIER. My next order: AYA, CULINARY COUNSELLOR – a woman specialist advising restaurants on how to improve what they’re offering their clients. (To be read with snacks at hand, obviously…)


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  1. […] Over at MangaBlog, ALC’s Erica says: “ALC Publishing works very hard at keeping the schoolgirlyness of our yuri to a minimum in order to reach a more adult audience. It’s harder than you might think.” […]