Obscure and not-so-obscure manga

The ICv2 folks have posted their list of the top 50 manga properties, and not surprisingly, Naruto tops the list, followed by Fruits Basket, Death Note, Bleach—the usual suspects. Queenie Chan’s In Odd We Trust shows up at a very respectable number 11, and Gantz shows up in last place. The list is based on the monthly Diamond sales numbers and BookScan top 20 lists, plus “interviews with retailers and distributors,” which adds a certain squish factor. They also do a bit of analysis of the anime and manga markets; here’s what they have to say about manga:

Meanwhile in the manga space, sales appear to have been stable to up a little in the first half of 2008, although significant cuts in the number of new releases in the second half of the year may change that picture. New series are doing well, with six new series in ICv2’s Top 50 Manga Properties for the early summer period, based on sales through all channels.

While we’re on the topic, Matt Blind posts the top 100 manga volumes and top 25 series in online sales for August at ComiPress. And Jonathan posts Tokyopop’s German top 20 at Manly Manga and More.

From the buyer’s perspective, Lori Henderson just put in her August order (for October releases) and her wallet didn’t take too much of a beating this time.

Erica Friedman has the latest news from the world of yuri, including a link to Seven Seas’ reassurance that the Strawberry line is still going, although it looks like they are reassessing the light novel part of it, and several titles are on hold for various reasons.

Melinda Beasi explains why you should give Banana Fish a try, and she has a few samples so you can see for yourself.

Japanator’s Dick McVengeance finds five manga series whose WTF?? factor will likely keep them from ever being licensed. And Canned Dogs looks at another unlicensed manga, Koe de oshigoto! Enjoy!

On a more sublime note, Bill Randall writes about the work of artist Imiri Sakabashira.

Deb Aoki wraps up her manga-influenced tour of Japan with a three-part account of her trip to Hiroshima, in which she visited the Peace Museum, the island of Miyajima, and an okonomiyaki restaurant run by a rabid manga fan.

John Thomas has more pictures of Kumoricon, and Gia explains why Portland (Oregon) is like one big eternal anime con.

News from Japan: The Japan Times reports from the Ninth International Manga Summit; expect an influx of food-safety manga soon, if their commentary is to be believed.

Reviews: Lissa Pattillo points to a huge influx of reviews at the Manga Jouhou forums, and at her own site, Kuriousity, she looks at vol. 1 of Pathos and vol. 9 of Air Gear. At PopCultureShock the Manga Recon crew posts some manga minis, Sam Kusek checks out vols. 1 and 2 of One Pound Gospel, and Ken Haley takes a look at vols. 1-4 of Variante. Deb Aoki reviews Tokyo Zombie at About.com. Lori Henderson’s daughter Krissy gives vol. 1 of Mail Order Ninja four stars in a very concise review. New at Comics Worth Reading: Johanna Draper Carlson on In Odd We Trust and vol. 3 of Monkey High! and Ed Sizemore on vols. 1 and 2 of Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time. Cynthia posts reviews of Love + Alpha and vol. 14 of Let Dai at the Boys Next Door blog. Mangamaniac Julie reviews Love + Alpha at the MangaCast and Bratz: Super-Bratz and vol. 14 of Skip Beat! at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Holly Ellingwood checks out vol. 4 of Wild Ones, vol. 8 of Togari, and vol. 1 of Faust at Active Anime.

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