Slashing SJ, finding a voice, learning through play

Happy blogiversary to Christopher Butcher, who is celebrating six (!) years of blogging at Comics 212.

The Manga Villagers pick the best of this week’s new manga, and one publisher gets nearly a clean sweep.

Charts watch: Vol. 28 of Naruto slipped from number 106 to 124 on the USA Today Booklist, still a pretty respectable showing. Comicsnob’s Matt Blind posts the online manga sales rankings and looks at the persistence of Kanji de Manga and the relative placing of Vampire Knight and Fullmetal Alchemist.

The crack MangaCast team posts this week’s new manga and makes their recommendations. Also, Khursten posts about the slashing of Shonen Jump and the question of how much SJ deliberately panders to it.

At Manga Life, translators Alethea and Athena Nibley discuss the difficulty of getting a character’s voice right, especially when he or she doesn’t quite fit the norm.

You know that manga-ka in Japan who was complaining he was broke? Here’s a possible reason why: Canned Dogs takes a look at his manga, which feautures a guy who has developed an excellent rapport with the ladies by playing lots of dating video games (galge). The link is SFW, so go ahead, click and laugh.

Erica is up to chapter 3 of the 18th Maria-sama ga Miteru novel at Okazu.

New title alert: ICv2 has the news that Digital will be publishing Osamu Tezuka’s Swallowing the Earth in a 500-page hardcover volume, as part of their Platinum line. Lissa Pattillo spots a Viz title called Heaven’s Will, due out in January 2009. I don’t recall any mention of it at the Viz panel at NYCC. She also links to 801’s confirmation of their NYCC announcements. And Deb Aoki rounds up the most promising new titles announced at NYCC at

News from Germany: Invaeon posts the May shopping list at Manly Manga and More. And at Yaoi Press, Yamila Abraham is pleased about her latest German licenses, including Winter Demon.

News from Japan: Readers in a recent Oricon poll voted Gintama the funniest manga; Gia has more results at the link. Two old pros return to the drawing board: Kare Kano manga-ka Masami Tsuda is launching a new series in the July LaLa magazine, and Fumiya Sato, creator of Kindaichi Case Files, is starting a new Tetsujin 28 series, Tetsujin Dakkan Sakusen, in Kodansha’s Magazine Special in May.

Job board: Viz is hiring; in fact, there are a ton of positions open, so check it out. (Via ANN.)

Reviews: Julie has a solid review of vol. 1 of Dororo, the latest Tezuka offering from Vertical, at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Ferdinand is finds vol. 1 of Hellgate: London not bad, despite being a video game tie-in, at Prospero’s Manga. Tangognat found vol. 1 of Tea for Two to be “an above average yaoi title.” Ben Leary reviews vol. 1 of .hack//G.U.+ and Danielle Van Gorder wraps up a series with her review of vol. 6 of Night of the Beasts at Anime on DVD. At Manga Life, James Hanrahan reviews vol. 1 of Your and My Secret and vol. 1 of Yozakura Quartet, Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane reads vol. 1 of High School Debut, and Shannon Fay checks out vols. 1 and 2 of The Drifting Classroom. Ken Haley reviews vols. 1 and 2 of RE:Play at Manga Recon. Starian Princess Kat enjoys Tenshi Ja Nai (found via When Fangirls Attack). Carlo Santos isn’t too thrilled with vol. 1 of Yozakura Quartet at ANN. Leroy Douresseaux reads vol. 1 of Spy Goddess at The Comic Book Bin.

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  1. The Manga Life column on the difficulties in finding a character’s voice in English is very interesting. Am I wrong in thinking that fans today are more interesting in accurate, if slightly clumsy-sounding, translations rather than completely changing the line to sound like “normal” Western English? This may have not been true 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, but I think it is more true now. Also nowdays we don’t have to translate words like “bento” and “katana” as readers know what they are.

    I don’t think I have ever used the word “ain’t”…it feels a little distracting to me because it doesn’t exist in the same way in Japanese, so I can’t help but wonder what the original Japanese was. I also try and avoid vulgarity unless it is absolutely needed to help represent a character’s anger.