Monday news and reviews

Rob’s Comic Weblog, a new blog that focuses on “Comics Structuralism, Visual Theory, Visual Culture, and Funnybooks,” has an interesting post on what has gone wrong in the manga business, including comments on individual companies and the OEL debate.

Ed Chavez notes that a new issue of the magazine Faust is out in Japan, and it includes an episode of Megatokyo.

Lori Henderson has to make some hard choices as she goes through the July Previews.

Danielle Leigh wishes Tokyopop were more open with fans about which series are on and which are off.

Erica Friedman posts this week in yuri at Okazu.

Otakon was this weekend, and it was well covered on the internet. Gia learned that ADV is doing a little better, although they can’t talk manga just yet, and she attended the Yaoi Press panel, which had one new announcement (a BL title set in ancient Rome by Le Peruggine) and suggestions about what to submit. (Gia has lots of anime coverage as well.)

Dylan and Harley Acres and Sara Hinson of Rumic World have a comprehensive article on the Rumiko Takahashi exhibit in the Ginza, including an account by a visitor.

Blogger Shiz answers questions about Broccoli Books at the Broccoli blog. It looks like a couple of their books are delayed for various reasons, and vols. 10 and 11 of Kamui are on hold.

Death Note creators Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata have started a new series, Bakuman, in Weekly Jump, and Anna reads the first chapter at Manga, not anime!

Reviews: Danielle Leigh takes a look at four series at Manga Over Flowers, and there’s something for everyone: Reborn!, Do Whatever You Want, Suppli, and Mushishi. Someone blogging as Malcontent Content really enjoys Mitsukazu Mihara’s The Embalmer, which I just named in an interview as one of the best manga you may not have read. The Manga Recon team posts a week’s worth of Manga Minis at PopCultureShock. Mangamaniac Julie reviews Candy at the MangaCast and vol. 31 of Boys Over Flowers at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Lori Henderson reviews vol. 5 of Good Witch of the West and vol. 5 of Grenadier at Manga Xanadu. Sesho checks out vol. 2 of Rose Hip Zero. I’m falling behind on reviews at Manga Jouhou, so here’s the latest batch: D.M. Evans on vol. 1 of Fairy Tail and vol. 1 of Gun Blaze West and Lissa Pattillo on Red and A Strange and Mystifying Story. Leroy Douresseaux takes a look at the Fifth Anniversary Collector’s Edition of Shonen Jump. At ComicMix, Andrew Wheeler takes a look at three titles from Yen, vol. 2 of Kaze no Hana, vol. 3 of Alice on Deadlines, and vol. 4 of Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning. Lissa Pattillo reviews vol 8 of +Anima and vol. 15 of Black Cat at Kuriousity. David Welsh enjoys Tezuka’s Dororo. Tiamat’s Disciple posts his impressions of vols. 1 and 2 of Record of Lodoss War: The Lady of Pharis. Michelle Smith reviews vols. 7 and 8 of Nana. Johanna Draper Carlson recommends vol. 1 of Papillon.

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  1. Personally i think it’s more a case of companies trying to pass off OEL’s as manga that p’s people off. It’s insulting, especially whne 90% of them are clearly western.

    They should have marketed them as their own independant brand, rather than trying to pass them off as manga. Tokyopop are famouse for this, they have both korean and a few chinese titles that they’ve tried to pass off as manga, as well as their OEL’s.

    They should have marketed manga as manga, manhwa as manhwa, manwha as manwha and OEL’s as OEL’s.

    It’s a matter of trust, you buy a manga expecting it to be japanese, but when you later find out its korean or american, you feel cheated, and that the publisher broke that trust.

    What surprises me is that they havenn’t gotten into truble with consumer agencies over this, since it is in effect blatant mislabelling. Selling something as one thing, when you clearly know it’s another, is illegal (at least over here in the UK).

  2. Heh, thanks for the link. Looks like I’ve sparked some debate?

  3. Hi Rob! Yup, looks like you’re off to a good start!

  4. Tiamat:

    “Manga” is a label of convenience. I know there are hardcore fans who resist its application to material from China, Korea, and the US on the grounds that the only “true” manga originates in Japan—fair enough. But the idea that Tokyopop and its competitors are violating consumer protection laws by blurring the distinction between OEL, manhwa, manhua, and manga is, frankly, ridiculous—those laws are meant to stem fraudulent practices with the potential to harm or seriously mislead consumers, not penalize companies for adopting broad, generic terms to classify similar products.

    Consider the following analogy. Record labels use the term “classical music” to mean “art music written by Western composers,” whether that be Gregorian chant written in 1100 AD or an avant-garde chamber piece written 10 years ago. Scholars and performers would quibble with that label, as the term “classical music” specifically refers to the music of Haydn, Mozart, and early Beethoven. (Basically, music written during the Enlightenment.) If I applied your logic to the way CDs were marketed, I’d be pressing charges against Sony and Deutsche Grammophone for applying the term “classical music” to Mahler (a late Romantic), Stravinsky (a modernist), or Machaut (a Medieval composer).

    Is this distinction meaningful to most consumers? Absolutely not. “Classical music” is simply an easy way to refer to a large body of music created by European and American composers over the last 1,000 years. I’d argue the same is true for “manga.” Yes, serious fans and critics will note differences in style and content among manga, manhwa, manhua, and OEL, but to many consumers, those distinctions make little difference.

  5. I hope everyone who reads WARRIORS will check out the new Manga from Tokyopop. I know the company has been thru some changes lately, but I think the next series will excite you! Visit for more info!


  1. […] reading today’s MangaBlog post I saw a post by Rob on his blog, dealing with what’s gone wrong with the manga industry. One […]