Archives for September 2007

Long overdue link post

Sorry about the internet silence—everything’s fine, I just had two really busy days, most of them spent in my car. So I’m back with a bonus Saturday post.

When Viz announced plans to release three volumes of Naruto a month for the last four months of 2007, a lot of people wondered if that would hurt sales of individual volumes. ICv2 looks at the BookScan numbers for September and concludes that sales are doing just fine:

Though it is difficult to compare sales totals exactly it appears that Volume 18 in the series has sold almost exactly the number of copies that Volume 15 (which was released by itself in July), while Volumes 16 and 17 have sold approximately 84% and 88% of Volume 15‘s total respectively.

Also, vol. 1 is on the Bookscan top ten, suggesting that the push is bringing in new readers. David Welsh helpfully lists the top books in order, something that ICv2 is averse to doing, and notes the appearance of vol. 1 of Death Note, presumably in anticipation of the anime debuting on Adult Swim in October.

In this week’s Overlooked Manga Festival, Shaenon Garrity sings the praises of What’s Michael.

At Sporadic Sequential, John Jakala looks at Paul Pope’s experiences in Japan and wonders if foreign artists have a hard time in the manga industry because the audience is so conservative. Ed Chavez chimes in in comments with another view.

Jakala also asks: Where’s the comics version of MP3s? David Welsh looks at some potential problems, and his commenters chime in with their views.

Japanamerica author Roland Kelts discusses images of powerful women in anime and manga.

Patrick Macias traces Akibahara’s arc from obscure to cool to corporate-dominated tourist destination. There’s more at his blog.

The Mail & Guardian takes a close-up look at a homeless man living in a manga cafe.

Reviews: Kethylia pans vol. 2 of Kashimashi ~Girl Meets Girl~. At Prospero’s Manga, Miranda likes vol. 1 of Nabi, The Prototype, and Ferdinand gives a middling rating to vol. 1 of The Last Uniform. Ferdinand’s alter ego, Billy Aguiar, checks out vol. 1 of Samurai Commando: Mission 1549 at the Comic Buyer’s Guide site. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie checks out vol. 2 of Moon and Sandals, Tekkonkinkreet, and vol. 9 of Sorcerer Hunters. Melanie posts some concise reviews of different titles at About Heroes. At Anime on DVD, Ben Leary checks out vol. 1 of St. Lunatic High School and Ed Chavez looks at the adult title Masquerade.

New comics day

In this week’s PWCW, I interview Tokyopop editor-in-chief Rob Tokar about the Battle Royale Ultimate Edition.

The MangaCast crew comb through this week’s new manga and list their picks. If this week’s selection doesn’t do it for you, David Welsh has some suggestions.

Borderline Hikkikomori tackles a problem for those of us who read manga but don’t watch anime (or speak Japanese): Commonly mispronounced Japanese terms.

New comic news: You don’t see too many manga released in color pamphlet form these days, so this is really news: C.B. Cebulski, Akihide Yanagi, and Petit Eva artist Ryusuke Hamamoto are creating a new monthly comic, Compass, to be published by Image. You can check out a preview here. I’m curious about this: Will dedicated manga readers, accustomed to getting 200 pages for $10-$12, pay $2.99 for a 32-page comic? Does the color compensate for the extra cost, or is it a distraction? Or will this comic reach a different segment of the market, rather than regular manga readers?

ComiPress notes that Flex Comics is starting a free online manga magazine (in Japanese) targeted at female readers.

In international news, some guy who isn’t uber-otaku Taro Aso was chosen as the prime minister of Japan. Aso has decided to take some time off to “rest,” which is probably code for “catch up on my stack of unread Big Comic Spirits.”

Reviews: If you’re wondering how your favorite series are doing, check out the Small Bodied Manga Reviews at Anime on DVD. Also up at AoD: Danielle Van Gorder checks out Fumi Yoshinaga’s Lovers in the Night. A. E. Sparrow posts a lengthy essay about Tekkonkinkreet at IGN. At Active Anime, Scott Campbell reads vol. 3 of Kamiyadori, Katie Gallant checks out vol. 9 of Ghost Hunt, and Holly Ellingwood reviews vol. 1 of Invisible Boy. Dave Ferraro looks at vol. 1 of Andromeda Stories, by Keiko Takemiya, at Comics-and-More. At Manga Life, Michael Aronson reviews vols. 7 and 8 of Astro Boy and vol. 4 of Key Princess Story: Eternal Alice Rondo. Nick gives a solid A to vol. 1 of East Coast Rising at Hobotaku. Ed Chavez podcasts his thoughts on the 18+ title Juicy Fruits at MangaCast. At the BasuGasuBakuhatsu Anime Blog, Hung reviews vol. 7 of Nodame Cantabile. Kethylia reviews the short yaoi collection Picnic. At Prospero’s Manga, Miranda reviews Baku and Ferdinand checks out vol. 1 of Rure. At the Manga Maniac Cafe, Julie gets an early look at Dragon Sword and Wind Child. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie finishes out a series with vol. 6 of Can’t Lose You. Ken Haley finds Portus rather mediocre at PopCultureShock. At Mecha Mecha Media, John T looks at two horror manga, vol. 1 of Parasyte and vol. 2 of MPD Psycho.

CLAMP, AWA, and lots of Death Note

David Welsh interviews Katherine Dacey-Tsuei about her love of CLAMP for this week’s Flipped column.

LJ’er Kylandra reports on the Dark Horse panel at Anime World Atlanta, including some manga release dates and a conversation with Carl Horn. (Hat tip: Erin F.)

Can’t get enough Death Note? John Jakala has good news: a fan guide, the mysterious 13th volume, and maybe even a boxed set with figurines could be coming our way.

ComiPress reports that Rose of Versailles manga-ka Riyoko Ikeda is working on a manga adaptation of the Korean drama “Story of the First King’s Four Gods.”

The Japan Times reports on a move to “purify” the Japanese language of foreign words. The perceived problem is that these loanwords are written in katakana (i.e. phonetically) rather than with kanji (which convey meaning as well), so people don’t know what they mean. There’s an interesting list of “incomprehensible” examples. (Via the Marvel of Manga blog, which notes that “manga” is problematic because it is increasingly written in kana rather than kanji these days.)

Job board: Go!Comi is looking for an art director. Tokyopop has three positions open: marketing coordinator, copy editor, and junior editor.

Onward and upward: In other Tokyopop news, Lillian Diaz-Przybyl has been promoted to senior editor. Every creator I have spoken with who works with LDP has raved about her, so I’m sure this is well deserved. Meanwhile, DC has promoted John Nee to senior vice president of business development; CMX will remain part of his portfolio. From the press release:

In 2004, he spearheaded the launch of CMX, DC’s manga imprint; in 2007, he was instrumental in securing DC’s investment in Flex Comix, a newly established company for manga production and digital/print distribution in Japan. Nee is also a Director and sits on the Board of Flex Comix.

Reviews: Michael Aronson reviews vol. 3 of Junk for Manga Life and finally gets to use the line “At last, Junk lives up to its name.” Ariadne Roberts gives a mixed review to vol. 1 of Kon Kon Kokon at Anime on DVD. At Authentic Mango, qshoe138 has a review, with scans, of Fumi Yoshinaga’s Don’t Say Anymore, Darling. Anime on DVD’s Danielle Van Gorder gives her take on the same volume. Christopher Seaman is a busy guy today, posting reviews of vol. 10 of XXXHoLic, vol. 13 of The Wallflower, and vol. 7 of Kagetora at Active Anime. At the Manga Maniac Cafe, Julie enjoys the art in vol. 1 of Aqua. Tangognat, always on the hunt for some good josei, enjoys vol. 1 of Walkin’ Butterfly. Cornerofmadness checks out vol. 20 of Bleach at Manganews. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie orders a copy of an Overlooked Manga Festival title, Domu. About Heroes posts a flurry of brief reviews.

New week, new manga

At Manga Recon, Katherine Dacey-Tsuei looks over this week’s yaoi-heavy new manga list and reviews a few recent releases.

Meanwhile, Comicsnob Matt Blind looks at last week’s top manga series (online sales) and the top 100 volumes, and he also files a field report on Anime Weekend Atlanta and a belated report on DragonCon.

Global manga: lame copycats or an authentic movement of its own? At The Star of Malaysia, Elizabeth Tai tackles the question and Max Loh and Kurogane talk to local readers.

Back from Japan, Christopher Butcher fires another volley in his debate with Dirk Deppey over which books to recommend to a reader looking for mature manga: obscure and arty or relatively accessible? Dirk responds (scroll down to the “Manga” heading).

Aspiring manga-ka Takeshi Miyazawa has an interview with Shueisha and finds a warmer reception than he got at Kodansha.

Will scanlators be the next group of workers to lose their jobs to automation? Fuji Xerox has developed a photocopier that not only copies, it translates text from Japanese or Korean to English.

The machine works by networking with a dedicated translation server while simultaneously using various programs to distinguish between actual words and, say, a coffee stain.

Of course, given the helpfulness of current translation programs, I don’t think the Mangascreener folks have too much to worry about. (Via Simon Jones.)

Reviews: At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie reviews vol. 1 of Le Chevalier d’Eon, vol. 2 of Hoshin Engi, vol. 7 of Saint Seiya, and vol. 2 of Black Sun, Silver Moon. Borderline Hikikomori likes vol. 1 of Kino no Tabe (novel), except for a few minor issues. Jen Parker gives decent marks to The Lily and The Rose at Yaoi Suki. Ferdinand reviews vol. 1 of Aoi House in Love and vol. 1 of Cherry Juice at Prospero’s Manga. ANN’s Theron Martin enjoys vol. 9 of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order. At Active Anime, Scott Campbell reviews Tekkonkinkreet and vol. 2 of Dragon Eye, Christopher Seaman looks at vol. 8 of Pastel, and Holly Ellingwood gets a sneak preview of L’Etoile Solitaire. Michelle gives an A- to vol. 7 of Bleach at Soliloquy in Blue. The Manga Life staff reviews a mixed bag of books: vol. 1 of Octopus Girl, Hideshi Hino’s Living Corpse, vol. 5 of Emma, vol. 2 of MPD Psycho, vol. 8 of Hellsing, vol. 30 of InuYasha, and vol. 2 of Love Hina. Nick gives passing marks to vol. 1 of Poison Candy at Hobotaku. Mangamaniac Julie reviews vol. 2 of Pearl Pink at MangaCast. Back at the Manga Maniac Cafe, she checks out Just My Luck and vol. 4 of Baby and Me and makes some comments on the production quality of vol. 1 of The Key to the Kingdom. Kethylia reviews Spring Fever, from new publisher Aurora’s yaoi imprint, Deux.

Friday quick links

Shaenon Garrity’s Overlooked Manga Festival is back, and this week’s not-entirely-overlooked title is Nana.

Comicsnob reminds us that volumes 19, 20, and 21 of Naruto are shipping this week. In fact, he already has them.

The Daily Yomiuri has an article about moe and another about the popularity of anime among American girls.

At his LJ, manga maven Jason Thompson spots some similarities (warning: spoilers!) between vol. 1 of Pretty Face and the Fritz Leber story “Dark Wings.”

Manga-ka Yoshida Sensha has married fellow manga creator Risa Itou, according to ComiPress, and Ken Akamatsu’s cosplaying wife Kanon has started her own website.

Software review: TheOtaku takes TokyoPop Manga Creator for a test drive.

Reviews: At Hobotaku, Nick sings the praises of vol. 1 of Battle Royale. Ed Chavez has a podcast review of vol. 1 of Shiki Tsukai and vol. 1 of Dragon Eye up at MangaCast. Julie Rosato reviews Othello at Anime on DVD. Matt Brady is playing catch-up with a look at vol. 5 of Dragon Head. At Active Anime, Sandra Scholes reviews vol. 1 of I.D.O.L., Scott Campbell checks out vol. 3 of Ninin Ga Shinobuden, and Holly Ellingwood gamely takes on vol. 22 of the InuYasha ani-manga. At the Manga Maniac Cafe, Julie is unimpressed with vol. 1 of Missile Happy. Kurishojo reviews Truly Kindly at Manganews. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie checks out vol. 15 of One Piece (Yay! Pirates!), vol. 1 of 10, 20, and 30, and vol. 15 of Tenjho Tenge. EvilOmar reviews vols. 21-26 of Oh My Goddess! at About Heroes. Erin F. enjoys vol. 1 of Fall in Love Like a Comic at PopCultureShock’s Manga Recon blog. The Broccoli Blog links to Joe Palmer’s review of Delivery Cupid at Gay League. At the BasuGasuBakuhatsu Anime Blog, Hung checks out vol. 1 of I Hate You More Than Anyone and vol. 3 of E’S. Yukiko Kishinani reviews vol. 1 of Gon for the Daily Yomiuri. At Playback:stl, Byron Kerman reviews vol. 1 of Alive and J. Bowers checks out vol. 1 of Love*Com.

Global Manga Manifesto

Tintin Pantoja took the rant everyone was linking to yesterday and did something constructive with it: She has written a Global Manga Manifesto. It’s a work in progress, but she’s got it off to a good start. Opinions, everyone?

Three volumes of Naruto make it to the USA Today Booklist, all down from last week: vol. 18 at number 50, vol. 17 at number 72, and vol. 16 at number 86.

The MangaCast crew lists their picks of this week’s new manga. Also up at the ‘Cast: Manga in the October Previews and the PR on vol. 2 of Murder Princess.

Comicsnob also publishes their list, with commentary, of this week’s new manga.

ComiPress has a Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) report from last March that claims that 60-70% of all comics sold in Hong Kong, and virtually all the trade paperbacks, are Japanese manga.

In the Yaoi Press blog, publisher Yamila Abraham announces that the Yaoi Hentai series will end with vol. 4. Vol. 1 is out of print and will not be reprinted but will be available online in the future. She notes that while the series got poor reviews, it sold quite well, especially at conventions. In fact, the biggest problem with YH seems to be the fact that the volumes were numbered, so people wanted all of them; from now on, YP is sticking to one-shots.

Animation Insider has a lengthy interview with Tezuka maven Fred Schodt.

In other YP news, the Yaoi Jamboree website is up.

At Heterochromia, Sasa buys manga in Paris.

The Vertical blog posts pictures of Keiko Takemiya’s book signings in Santa Monica and Portland. The Vancouver City Guide has more.

Calling Team Manga: A new member at the CBR forums loves Berserk and is looking for more manga like that.

Reviews: Erica Friedman looks at the yuri magazine Mist at Okazu. At Prospero’s Manga, Ferdinand relaxes with a soothing copy of vol. 1 of Aqua. Gothicapple checks out Not Enough Time at Manga Punk. Ishaan reviews vol. 1 of ME2 at Manganews. At PopCultureShock’s Manga Recon blog, Ken Haley enjoys vol. 1 of Gunsmith Cats. At the Comic Book Bin, Leroy Douresseaux learns not to judge a book by its cover when he reads vol. 1 of Muhyo and Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation. Borderline Hikikomori gives 9 out of 10 California rolls to vols. 3 and 4 of Eureka Seven.