Archives for January 2008

Manga in the gutters

The MangaCasters go over this week’s new manga, and they list the manga in the latest Diamond Previews.

Don’t you hate it when manga pages are swallowed by the binding of the book? Kurt Hassler explains why that happens to Tiamat’s Disciple. Also in the post are some new titles from Yen.

John T talks translation at Mecha Mecha Media and reveals that he is the translator for the Blood+ novels.

David Welsh rounds up reactions to vol. 1 of Hell Girl and comes up with a different suggestion: Read MW instead.

Dallas Middaugh pimps Dark Wars: A Tale of Meiji Dracula at the Del Rey blog.

There’s some sort of meltdown thing going on in the anime world. If, like me, you don’t watch anime and have only been watching out of the corner of your eye, go check out the proudly NSFW Icarus blog, where Simon Jones condenses the controversy into a coule of links and explains why it matters to manga readers.

Are manga outselling American comics? There’s a big discussion going on at the CBR forum.

News from Japan: New manga are on the way from Jun Sadogawa, crator of Noodle Fighter Miki, and Wataru Watanabe, who did the art for the version of Train Man published by CMX. Also: Hunter X Hunter is coming back.

Win a copy of vol. 1 of Blood + in Dark Horse’s latest contest.

Reviews: There are some new manga reviews up at Comics Village: Charles Tan on vol. 1 of Eyeshield 21, John Thomas on vol. 1 of Gunsmith Cats: Revised Edition, and Lori Henderson on vol. 2 of Princess Resurrection. The Anime on DVD staff all contribute to some Small Bodied Manga Reviews. Tiamat’s Disciple checks out vols. 1 and 2 of Zombie Loan. Nick reads vol. 1 of Millennium Snow at Hobotaku. Julie enjoys vol. 2 of Hikkatsu and vol. 5 of Absolute Boyfriend at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Erica recommends vol. 1 of First Love Sisters at Okazu. James Fleenor reviews vol. 1 of Gun Blaze West at Anime Sentinel. Lissa Pattillo takes a walk on the light side with a review of vol. 1 of Kat and Mouse at Kuriosity. Eric Turner checks out vol. 1 of Black God at Manga Jouhou. Connie checks out vol. 1 of Let Dai, vol. 9 of Pastel, Asian Beat, and vol. 22 of GetBackers at Slightly Biased Manga. Deb Aoki detects fanservice in vol. 1 of Ral Ω Grad Holly Ellingwood reviews two yaoi titles, vol. 2 of Camera Camera Camera and vol. 2 of Prince Charming, at Active Anime. Ferdinand reviews vol. 1 of A.I. Revolution, which I’m enjoying myself right now, at Prospero’s Manga. Tangognat has good things to say about vol. 1 of Flower of Life. Matthew Brady reviews vol. 3 of Tezuka’s Buddha at Warren Peace Sings the Blues.

Mid-week melange

This will make Wednesday pass a little quicker: Deb Aoki presents a preview gallery of new Viz manga at

Blazedent interviews American artist Takeshi Miyazawa, who is trying to make it as a manga-ka in Japan.

Katherine Dacey posts the new titles and short reviews at the Weekly Recon.

At The Beat, Heidi posts Diamond’s top 50 manga of 2007. That’s the top selling manga in comics stores, although the bookstore lineup probably would look the same, at least at the top of the list: It’s mostly Fruits Basket, Naruto, Death Note, and Bleach, but Kingdom Hearts, Megatokyo, Berserk, and Yotsuba&! make appearances as well.

PWCW’s Kai-Ming Cha takes a look at the Blood+ franchise (manga and light novels) that’s about to hit American shores, courtesy of Dark Horse.

LJ’er rushthatspeaks lists the best anime and manga of 2007.

ComiPress presents a history of the soon-to-be-defunct NewType USA magazine. Also: The Japanese light novel magazine Monthly Dragon is 20 years old and slowing down in its old age—they’ll be going bimonthly.

Here’s a page of girls with headphones. No, I don’t know why.

At MangaCast, Ed starts the Big List of Japanese manga releases with the BL and ero lists before moving on to the mid-size publishers.

Reviews: At Sleep Is For the Weak, Lianne Sentar is seriously not impressed with Honey and Clover. Ed Sizemore waxes meh about X-Diary at Comics Worth Reading. On the other hand, Michelle enjoys vol. 2 of Skip Beat! at Soliloquy in Blue. Leroy Douresseaux checks out vol. 8 of Kaze Hikaru at The Comic Book Bin. Greg Hackman reads the light novel Oh My Goddess! First End at Anime on DVD. Julie reviews vol. 14 of The Wallflower and vol. 1 of Ral Ω Grad at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Holly Ellingwood reviews vol. 1 of Monochrome Factor and vol. 1 of Short Sunzen at Active Anime. Coeli recalls Flame of Recca at Poopsies. Miranda has a brief update on vols. 7-9 of The Drifting Classroom at Prospero’s Manga. Erica Friedman finds a nice yuri title, Rakuen no Jouken, at Okazu. Lissa Pattillo reads Enslaved by the Dragon so we don’t have to at Kuriosity. Connie checks out vol. 9 of Skip Beat!, vol. 1 of Aqua, and vol. 9 of Dragon Head at Slightly Biased Manga. At Manga Punk, Vikingr reviews vol. 3 of Bleach.

PR: IndieReview retools

Just in over the wires: News of a newly updated UK-based indie and manga community site, with features for creators and readers. More after the cut. There’s not a lot of content up yet, but it looks promising. Announce New Features for 2008!!
UK Indie Comics/Manga community release new community features

United Kingdom – 28th January 2008 – The UK Indie Comic/Manga Community, established in late 2007 has undergone some major refurbishment ready for 2008. The Community has worked towards their aim of bringing the UK Indie Comic/Manga talent to the mass public through a selection of resources and reviews of small press releases, with the introduction of a number of new incentives.

UK creators are encouraged to contact with details of their work, including specific comics/manga created/published, personal websites and individual biographies ready to be included in the site.

Creators and fans alike are welcome to visit the site to gain access to valuable information including rare reviews of Indie works, interviews with top Indie creators as well as a wealth of information presented in articles from a step-by-step guide on how to publish your own work to a commentary on the current UK comic/manga environment. Members are able to setup a Personal Space with which to share their work with the UK Community, as well as submit their own reviews and articles relating to the UK Indie scene.

You can visit IndieReview at:

ABOUT INDIEREVIEW.CO.UK: is a young Community helping push forward the awareness and recognition of independent UK Comics and Manga creators through reviewing and displaying relevant articles and works created in the UK.

Omnibuses and one-shots

Hop on the omnibus, Gus: David Welsh writes about those big, beautiful volumes in his latest Flipped column.

Tiamat’s Disciple interviews Kurt Hassler and George Walkey of Yen Press about their titles, the grey market, and more!

There’s quite the discussion going on about vols. 12-14 of Angel Sanctuary at Rachel Manija Brown’s LJ. Beware of spoilers! (Via coffeeandink.)

Christopher Butcher has pictures of his visit to the Kinokuniya bookstore in Shinjuku, which is what my mother would call a busman’s holiday. Also: Only five copies of Tekkonkinkreet left at The Beguiling!

It’s time for publishers to submit their work for the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation’s annual awards. (Via ComiPress.)

Chloe writes about what translations can’t convey at Shuchaku East.

ANN reports that Yuusuke Murata, the artist of Eyeshield 21, will be doing a one-shot manga for Jump Square magazine. And Angel Sanctuary‘s Kaori Yuki will do a 92-page one-shot for Bessatsu Hana to Yume.

It sounds like the folks at June manga had a good time writing the press release for All Nippon Air Lines (check out the acronym—yeah, it’s yaoi), but the ComiPress bloggers who ran it put on the finishing touch with their headline. And you can see their two dust jackets—the one you can bring to work and the one you can’t—at the June blog.

In other yaoi news, global yaoi manga creators Dany&Dany will be guests of honor at Anime Central.

The Broccoli blog posts the cover of vol. 1 of Nui. So cute!

Blogroll update: This is totally OT, but I bet some of you will find it interesting: My clever and talented sister-in-law, Jennifer Waits, has just started Spinning Indie, a blog on college radio and independent music. Check it out! Also, new to the blogroll is Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews, which is just what it sounds like, except he forgot to mention that they are podcasts.

Reviews: Michelle Ramonetti reviews vol. 1 of Platinum Garden at Anime on DVD. At Comics-and-more, Dave Ferraro finds vol. 1 of Ral Ω Grad flawed but promising. Connie checks out vols. 6, 7, and 8 of Skip Beat, vol. 3 of Heroes are Extinct, vol. 5 of Moon Child, and vol. 1 of Sand Chronicles at Slightly Biased Manga. Lissa Pattillo is reviewing her manga and then letting it go; the latest volume to be purged is vol. 1 of Level C. EvilOmar posts some short Monday Manga Reviews at About Heroes. At Prospero’s Manga, Ferdinand is not too impressed with vol. 1 of Love Master A. Julie reads vol. 1 of Hell Girl and Youn In-Wan’s Deja-Vu Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter at the Manga Maniac Cafe. “I adore evil, psychotic lesbians,” says Erica Friedman, as she dives into vol. 4 of Gunsmith Cats Burst. ‘Nuff said! Tiamat’s Disciple takes a first look at vol. 1 of Sundome. Johanna Draper Carlson checks out vol. 8 of Kagetora at Comics Worth Reading. Leroy Douresseaux likens I’ll Be Your Slave to a Hollywood romantic comedy at The Comic Book Bin. At Active Anime, Holly Ellingwood reviews vol. 2 of Cherry Juice and Sandra Scholes reads vol. 1 of Legends of the Dark Crystal: The Garthim Wars. Jason Punda checks out vol. 1 of Dragon Eye at Manga Jouhou.

Busy Monday

I have two new interviews up on webcomics sites today: At Comix Talk, I interview rem, the winner of Kodansha’s international manga competition, and Eijiro Shimada, the editor of Morning 2, which sponsored the competition and published the manga. (rem is also the artist of Tokyopop’s Vampire Kisses.) And at Digital Strips, I talk to Scott Yoshinaga and Audra Furuichi, the creators of the super-cute webcomic nemu*nemu.

And great minds think alike, apparently, as Kanta Ishida of The Star of Malaysia also interviewed rem and Mr. Shimada about the Morning 2 competition, as well as runner-up Lim Hwei Lin and some promising local talent.

Yaoi Press is sponsoring a contest at Yaoi Suki: Guess the name of the new YP line, and you could win five of their new books.

David Welsh notices a good translation and wonders if there is an index of translators and adaptors on the web.

At the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Jason Yadao looks at two new publishers, Aurora and Yen Press, and samples their new releases.

Purity Brown draws a line in the sand: If it isn’t Japanese, it isn’t manga. I don’t agree with her, but her arguments are well reasoned and well written, and they provide some food for thought.

You know how comics and manga are supposed to be good for reluctant readers? Manga Mom finds that fansubs work pretty well too. Also: Prioritizing the manga list.

Apparently thinking “If the Japanese can do it, we can too,” China is trying to take Angouleme by storm, with their own pavilion and a dedicated “China day.” The linked article has some interesting background on manhua. (Via ComiPress.)

ComiPress also has the latest from Japan: Toranoana’s Top 200 books of 2007 and new magazines from Kodansha and Ichijinsha. Apparently the market for 4-koma manga is boundless. Who knew?

Culinary corner: One Potato Two sings the praises of natto.

Your manga oddity of the day: Courtesy of Same Hat! Same Hat!!, stripe-loving horror manga-ka Kazuo Umezu gets his glitz on and channels Paul Anka.

Reviews: Johanna Draper Carlson has a good critique of vol. 1 of Hell Girlf up at Comics Worth Reading. At the MangaCast, Ed has an audio review of vol. 1 of Appleseed and vol. 11 of Nodame Cantabile, BrianP reviews Blue Spring and Mangamaniac checks out King of Debt. Back at the Manga Maniac Cafe, Julie reads vol. 9 of Tail of the Moon, vol. 3 of Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation, and vol. 1 of The Knockout Makers. Lissa Pattillo finds vol. 1 of Twin Signal a bit blah for older readers at Kuriosity, and at Manga Jouhou she reviews Ordinary Crush. Connie reviews vol. 9 of Boys Be…, Demon Ororon: Complete Collection, vol. 6 of Elemental Gelade, vol. 5 of Skip Beat, and vol. 4 of Moon Child at Slightly Biased Manga. Tangognat enjoys the Arina Tanemura one-shot I.O.N. Billy Aguiar reviews vol. 1 of Dark Metro at CBGXtra. Michelle reads vol. 1 of Maison Ikkoku, vol. 22 of Bleach, and vol. 1 of Skip Beat! at Soliloquy in Blue. Deb Aoki does the math but finds Y Square lacks the chemistry at Erica Friedman gives a standing ovation to vol. 4 of Applause at Okazu. How does Holly Ellingwood do it? She has four reviews up at Active Anime today: Family Complex, Love Share, The King of Debt, and the novel The Dark Wars: The Tale of Meiji Dracula. Matthew Brady checks out vol. 5 of Monster at Warren Peace Sings the Blues. At Comic Mix, Andrew Wheeler reviews three tales of sex and death: vol. 1 of Sundome, vol. 1 of Y Square, and vol. 1 of Hell Girl. (Via Journalista.) Tiamat’s Disciple looks at vols. 1 and 2 of Imadoki. At Blogcritics, Katie McNeill reviews vol. 1 of Doors of Chaos. Sarah of Nakama Britannica reviews Del Rey’s new titles. At The Star of Malaysia, Kitty Sensei reviews vol. 1 of Noise and Pauline Wong checks out vol. 1 of Zig*Zag.

PR: New titles from Broccoli

Here are the official announcements of Broccoli’s latest licenses, sola and Honoka Level Up! Both sound interesting in different ways: sola just one piece of the multimedia sola project (link is to the official website, which is mostly in Japanese) and Honoka Level Up! is about gaming, but it’s not based on a game, it’s a career comic about a girl who is trying to succeed in the industry.

Broccoli Books announces new title, sola and Honoka Level Up!

Los Angeles, CA (January 25, 2008) – Broccoli Books is extremely proud to announce that they have acquired the publishing rights and license for the extremely popular manga series sola by Chako Abeno and the video game-centric manga series Honoka Level Up! written by Akiyoshi Ohta and illustrated by MATSUDA98.

ad_comic_mini.jpgAbout sola
sola is a continuing series serialized through the monthly Japanese seinen manga Dengeki Daioh, which is published by MediaWorks.

Yorito is a high school student who likes to take photographs of the sky. A chance meeting introduces him to Matsuri, but she is no ordinary girl—it turns out that she’s actually a 350 year-old Yaka, an immortal being that cannot go out into the light! As such, Matsuri has been forced to live a life of solitude, and Yorito is the first friend she’s ever had. But there is much more to the Yaka than first meets the eye, and a sword-wielding man named Takeshi seems intent on harming Matsuri, but for what reason? Thrust into a supernatural battle, will Yorito have the courage to protect their friendship for Matsuri’s sake?

About Chako Abeno
Chako Abeno is a prolific illustrator and manga artist whose works include the manga in white Pure Story and My-Otome zwei.

About sola project
The manga sola is part of a huge mixed media venture known as sola project, which encompass manga, anime, drama CDs, music CDs, and internet radio shows. All of them are based off of the original story by Naoki Hisaya and character designs by Naru Nanao. Naoki Hisaya is most widely known for being the main writer for the highly successful visual novel Kanon while working under Key/Visual Art’s. Naru Nanao is a famous character designer whose works include the original character designs for the D.C. ~Da Capo~ visual novel by Circus and the female character design for the game series Ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two by Minori.

The animated sola was well received in Japan, earning the best anime that aired in 2007 in a poll from the company Spider Networks. Over 2 million votes in Japan were tallied for sola to result in first place.

9781597411585.jpgAbout Honoka Level Up!
Honoka Level Up is serialized in the monthly magazine, Monthly Dengeki Comic Gao!

As a lonely girl who draws for fun, Honoka was just a regular student until the day her uncle, Ryuichi, hired her to work as a character designer at his newly created game company. Now thrust into a complex, corporate world, newcomer Honoka begins to learn the ins and outs of the video game industry: the politics involved, each person’s responsibilities, and how a game is put together. It’s a lot to take in, but one thing’s for sure—she’s going to step up her game if she wants to succeed, as putting together a video game is no easy task!

A realistic story about what it’s like to work for a video game company. Learn about the gaming industry through Honoka’s eyes.

About Akiyoshi Ohta
Akiyoshi Ohta is a superb writer for manga and video games. His experience working in the video game industry provides realistic situations in Honoka Level Up!. He has also worked on titles such as CLANNAD Anthology Novel 2 and We Are – Cruel Angels-.

MATSUDA98 (Read as Matsuda Kyuu Hachi) is a manga artist, illustrator, and doujinshi creator. Her unique and cute art style has been used for the trading card game, Aquarian Age Saga II, and the Ragnarok online anthology comic. She also has multiple color magazine illustrations, novel covers, and other arts throughout the anime, manga, and game industry.