Sticky: Black Jack giveaway!

Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack is exactly the sort of manga that got me hooked on the whole medium. It’s the twisted story of an outlaw doctor who performs bizarre operations on patients with unheard-of conditions. Brain transplants, face transplants, assembling bits and pieces into a real girl—all in a days’ work for the good doctor. His operations are always successful, but seldom in the way you would think.

Vertical is publishing a new, high-quality edition of Black Jack in hardcover and paperback, and each volume of the hardcover edition features an extra story from a group that were withheld from publication in the U.S. and Japan. And now it can be yours!

Over the next few days, MangaBlog will be giving away three sets of volumes 1 and 2 of the hardcover edition of Black Jack and one set of all three volumes—volume 3 won’t be published until January, so the lucky winner will have to wait a bit for that one.

To enter, simply comment to this post. To make it interesting, tell me what was your favorite new manga of 2008 and what you liked about it; I’ll compile those answers in a separate post. The deadline for entering is midnight on November 10, after which I will pick the winners by a random drawing.

Black Jack is kinda heavy stuff, so I won’t be sending these to anyone under 18. Also, overseas shipping is out, so you have to live in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico to be eligible to win. So send in those comments!

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  1. Hi Brigid! =)

    My favorite manga this year was Tail of The Moon by Rinko Ueda. I really liked that it managed to get so deep and touching despite beginning as a very silly and lighthearted romantic comedy. I also loved the artwork and hope to see more of Rinko Ueda’s work being licensed next year.

    This year I also began getting acquainted with Osamu Tezuka’s manga, and had some rather bad, adverse reactions at first. However, Buddha eventually managed to win me over, as did Apollo’s Song, and I loved Black Jack when I got to read an old Viz volume from the library. I’ve become a big fan, so winning these (even just one!) would make me very happy! I’m crossing my fingers!



  2. Well, to be honest, I haven’t read any new manga that has been released this year.

    Well, there is Gantz, and that was a fun read, but I can’t really recommend it as my favorite.

    I’m just going to say that I love To Terra, because I have a soft spot for sweeping sci-fi. And it’s gorgeous as all get out.

  3. hmm… manga of 2008:

    Skip beat has been going for a while but I just found it this year. yes its a shoujo beat title but I”m bias towards the mangaka because I loved her past story “tokyo crazy paradise”. She doesnt stick to the high school drama (the main girl barley goes to school. she’s practically a drop out) and she’s trully a strong female lead and very talented.

    Bride of the water God is not worth reading but collecting as art books. The art is so beautiful that I’m willing to collect it just for that, but the story is such a slow shoujo fantasy. The story hardly progresses even though its up to vol.6 now.

    Wild Adaptor from the maker of Saiyuki. WA is her best work so far. It reads like a seinen and most wouldnt notice the shounen ai if it was for one character calling the other ‘chan’ (of which I absolutely dislike this character for doing so. Its like calling characters like V or James bond “chan” . it just doesnt fit them). A far warning though, its usually in the adult manga section for all its blood and violence. Its kind of a dark humor. It being about the drug WA is not as important then to guide you through different parts of society.

  4. Without a doubt it was Honey and Clover. I had wanted to get my hands on the actual pint copy ever since falling in love with the show, and it certainly did not disappoint.

  5. Sarah Hayes says

    My favorite new manga of 2008? I suppose there’s a few: Gantz, which I’ve been waiting for its US release for ages, has a slick art style and engrossing story coupled with ultraviolence and sex that is both grotesque and somehow kinda . . . classy. (!)

    Another one would have to be Kichi and the Magic Books. It’s charming and wonderful but also packs a serious emotional punch where you least expect it.

    Last one is actually a series that’s been out for a while, but I just recently started it: Flame of Recca. It’s got action, adventure, humor, romance, fantasy, great art, interesting characters – it’s everything I love about Yu Yu Hakusho, and just as great. I rec it to almost every manga fan I talk to. (And if anyone visiting Mangablog today has NOT read Flame of Recca, go! Go and do it!)

  6. Hmmm… Favourite manga of 2008? *goes to check list* (because yes, I keep a list)

    I haven’t discovered much new manga this year so far, but have mostly kept up with long-running series from previous years. However, I did start reading Emma, which I’m very much enjoying for its quiet charm. Also on top of this year’s new reads is the French translation of Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai, by Ai Yazawa (author of Paradise Kiss and Nana). Yazawa just has a knack for pulling at my heartstrings. Hopefully an English translation will come out.

  7. Sure, give me an excuse to blather about manga. Okay! My favorite new manga of 2008 is a recent release—Inio Asano’s Solanin, currently making the critical rounds. It’s well-crafted—the art’s excellent, with a good use of masking (I think this has been pointed out by more than one person), distinctive character designs, and very strong layout and design. Asano knows how to put together an emotionally affecting sequence of panels, and makes good use of some of the classic devices of the comics page, like the repetition of an image with slight variations in a panel-break-panel-break rhythm, building up to a dramatic impact, or a moment of humor.

    That’s not why it’s my favorite manga of 2008, though. As numerous critics pointed out in reviews, the story is a trope; it’s the classic aimless 20-something trying to figure out life. Those reviews are actually why I bought it, and trope or no, the subject matter resonates very much with me—I *am* a 20-something, pondering the future and only recently graduated out of some serious job-related existential angst. I’m not as aimless as I was a couple of years ago, but even though I now know what I want to do with my life, I’m still trying to figure out where, what precise path to take, the best way to get there, and what I else I want besides the career. My favorite manga (Honey and Clover, Nana, Walkin’ Butterfly, Nodame Cantabile) are all the ones that put as much emphasis on the career as they do on the romance, because that’s where I am in my life; these comics are meant for me. Solanin is on that list.

    I’ve read plenty of comics like this, and this is one of the better ones—it’s certainly no misogynistic slacker wasteland, and the level of insight belies the fact that it dates back to Asano’s own aimless 20s, and is not a nostalgic revisiting by an older, more mature artist. Although it’s an artist’s work about artists, with all the emphasis that naturally falls on the personal significance of creating, Asano avoids the trap of judging people by their capacity to produce creative work. Creativity is exciting, fulfilling, vital, healing, frustrating, and confusing, but it’s never confused with virtue.

  8. Favorite manga… tough choice.

    I’m going to have to say the two-volume, Kieli manga adapatation by Yen Press. I’d never heard of Kieli before I read it but was thrilled I had a chance to enjoy it once I was done. The artwork, story and near-perfect pacing made both volumes a fantastic short story, and a great opener to its original light novel series that I can’t wait to get my hands on now. I love discovering new series and getting to have that great inspiring feeling of reading something that reminds me why I enjoy the medium so much :)

  9. There are two distinct choices in my favorite manga of 2008 and the funny thing about it is that they are just re-publishing of old manga. I would choose Tezuka’s “Dororo” and Kazuo Umezu’s “Cat-Eyed Boy” as my favorites of 2008. Dororo is the classic samurai tale with an interesting twist. The series is a good representation of a short series, managing to fit quite a bit of serious and disturbing content with in a mere 3 volumes. Not only that but Tezuka still is tastefully able to contrast these serious undertones with his light-hearted humor. We all know Tezuka for his master story-telling and Dororo is nothing short of it.

    Cat-Eyed Boy is the 2nd best series of 2008. Having never read Umezu before and not being that well-versed in Horror Manga, Cat-Eyed Boy ended up being a real treat. Kazuo mixes Japanese culture well into his stories, weaving creepy tales that left me feeling like i just watched a Twilight Zone marthathon by myself in the dead of night. On top of that, Cat-Eyed Boy is just adorable as hero. At times, he really is the demon that he claims to be, being as scary and dark as possibly. At other times, he’s just a kid who doesn’t fully understand the world around him. Its wonderful to have a main character that has so much depth.

    All in all, these two are my favorite manga of 2008. I like them alot as stories but also for the sheer fact that they are re-releases. They are sending manga into a new, better direction.

  10. I’m not sure if its new to 2008 but it was new to me this year and it was Uzumaki.

    It was the first seinen manga I’ve ever read and it showed me a manga world outside of Shonen Jump.

    First off anyone who can base a horror manga around the concept of cursed spiral is really creative.

    It also made me laugh out loud towards the end as I counted 14 times in which I was suprised nobody decided to just leave the town where all the bat shit crazy things were happening until they accutally couldn’t.

    It also ended up giving me a greater sense of respect towards snails.

    So all in all that was my manga highlight of 2008.

  11. I may regret this choice, because I haven’t read the first volume of Dororo yet which I picked up at NYAF, but in looking at what I *have* read that was released in English this year (I’m not counting long series that have been running since before 2008), I think I’d have to say Seduce Me After the Show. I haven’t written about it in my blog yet, but I *really* enjoyed that book. It’s a surprising choice for me, I guess, since I’ve complained so loudly about yaoi, but Seduce Me After the Show is really what I’ve *wished* for in yaoi: real stories about real men that balance escapist romance with grounded, real-life characterization. Now if I could just find that in a long series, I’d be just about perfectly happy. :)

    Now I’m going to delve into everyone else’s answers and see what I’ve been missing out on!

  12. Well, its not a new manga but its new for me as I’ve only been reading it this year. After School Nightmare. I think I picked up the first volume at either con or from online but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series. Its sort of a typical shoujo story but with a twist

  13. My favorite new manga this year is Yozakura Quartet. I’ve been a fan of Suzuhito Yasuda’s work since I first started reading Robot. Sadly, the new TV version screws with the pacing, but the original manga is very well done. And you have to like the meganekko kotodama user who shoots danmaku.

  14. rachel crisman says

    I don’t really know about all this Manga stuff.I just want to win for my Brother in law who is all into this and has a birthday coming up!

  15. I’ll go with Hitsugi Katsugi no Kuro (Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro). It feels like a fairy tale, or rather a series of fairy tales connected by the titular traveler.

    The art fits well with the fairy tale feel and is somewhat reminiscent of the work of illustrator Harada Takehito.

    While the works aren’t too similar in general, seeing things through the eyes of Nijuku and Sanju has the same kind of innocent wonder as that found in Yotsuba&!.

    Overall, I found what I’ve read of this (just volume 1 so far) to be very enjoyable from beginning to end.

  16. I don’t suppose you’d send out to Ireland if I paid for the shipping, would you Brigid? I placed an order for the Hardcover volume 1 with my local Forbidden Planet, but the dudes never got back to me on it, and I don’t think I could settle for a normal paperback version. :P
    Well, I might as well post my favourite manga released this year…
    I’d have to say… Me & the Devil Blues. Its just stunning. Akira Hiramoto’s art work is jaw-dropping, I can’t get over his luscious linework and smooth toning. Not forgetting the atmosphere he can muster up in some of the darker scenes (in particular, when RJ is in the graveyard).
    Its altogether an extremely compelling tale, although simple, and its chock-full with really powerful moments. Also, its possibly one of the most original manga tales in history, considering no other manga has created an alternative history and life of the legendary Bluesman, and done so it exceptionally well.

  17. It’s a hard choice, but I’d have to say my favourite manga of 2008 was REAL by Takehiko Inoue. The mangaka takes an unusual topic and creates a story that is both realistic and addictive. Once you start reading a volume, you can’t put it down! You just have to find out what happens to the characters, all of which are three dimensional and compelling.

    The art is of course amazing. (When is Takehiko Inoue’s art not amazing?!) The action scenes make you feel like you’re on the court, and you can feel every emotion the characters feel through their well-drawn expressions.

    Another bonus is Viz’s treatment of the manga. The inclusion of all the original colour pages, translation notes, and a larger book size make it a very desirable release. If you haven’t checked REAL out yet, you should!

  18. Well, the first volume of it came out at the end of December in 2007, but I didn’t get it until 2008, so I’ll go ahead and go with Hazama no Uta by Kaishaku. It’s a nice, reasonably light read that doesn’t fall into the problems of ridiculousness that have plagued them recently in works like Kannazuki no Miko.

    If I have to pick something translated, I’d have to go with Yuya Aoki’s Psycho Busters. It’s a fun action/adventure, and while maybe not the most original thing ever, I can’t help but devour every volume as soon as I get it.

  19. Haha, you’re making me think of what came out in 2008! I’ll split my decision.

    First, Fairy Cube by Kaori Yuki. I adore that I own all three volumes in English so I can read them anywhere without the net! I was very afraid for this release after the hack job translation Viz offered for Count Cain/Godchild, but they did better. Yuki’s work blends a number of ambitious storylines, so a good translation is necessary. I have a number of friends who think her art is unnecessarily complicated, but I believe it’s beautiful. I enjoyed that the series drew some of its mythology from the Irish tradition. It’s interesting to see my cultural heritage viewed through such a skewed mirror!

    My second choice is B.O.D.Y. by Ao Mimori. It seemed really shallow when I picked it up, but I quickly fell in love due to the snappy writing and cute art. Actually, I can pinpoint the moment I fell in love. Ryu tries to use Ryoko’s crush against her by faking that he’s actually into her; instead of falling for it, she smashes him across the face with a trashcan. There’s nothing I adore like a romantic heroine who is not a doormat. I wouldn’t call this a groundbreaking series, but it does things right and makes me very happy.

    Also, great giveaway!

  20. I’ve been following series that started prior to 2008 (Monster, Dramacon, etc..). I do have Black Lagoon on order but I’ve yet to read it. I did see a couple of Anime episodes and I thought they were great, which is why I signed up for the manga.

  21. I haven’t read as much manga this year as in last year. I’d say REAL was my favorite, because it’s less manga-like and more about real life. And it’s interesting at the same time.

    Too many manga have started to turn me off because I see so many repeitive devices I have to wade through before I get to a story with some heart and meat. REAL was close to real life and really dealt with some harder issues that you usually don’t see. Plus it’s Inoue, who’s style I like.

  22. Well, I live in Brazil, so it’s not overseas shipping. :P
    But even if I’m not eligible, I’d like to comment anyway. The best release of 2008, for me, it’s Bakuman, by Ohba and Obata (the same Death Note team). it’s passional, full of references well positioned into the script – and plays with the emotional memory of japanese people over manga around the years. Rescues classics from the past – like Ikki Kajiwara works – and describes how is the inner mechanics of mangaka lives, how works their professional relationship with editors, and more. It has just two volumes yet, but it’s already the best book of the year for me.

  23. What with being financially challenged I haven’t read too many new manga this year, but of what I did read, I liked Real, which I sprang for because, dude, WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL. And so I really liked it because, dude, WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL. …Well, ok, I guess the way it’s a sports manga but has way more on its mind than character glorification helps, too. Mmm, gradual character development.

    Though really this has been My Year Of Ookiku Furikabutte Obsession, even if the US is too lame to bring it over here. Because, dude, TEZUKA AWARD WINNING SLICE OF LIFE BASEBALL MANGA. With so much freaking baseball strategy stuff in the later games I feel like I’m reading Death Note …Well I guess actually I’d use the same reasons as Real. The latter ones, not the wheelchair ones. …Though if there was a wheelchair baseball manga, I’d probably still read it, because I am a dork.

    Though if I had my way, my favorite manga of 2008 would have been Off*Beat volume 3 T_T And I wants to read Solanin. T_T …Though, you know, maybe if I’m lucky my favorite manga of 2008 can be Black Jack, instead. ^___^

  24. I, for one, am oh-so-glad that Vertical is publishing Tezuka’s work in the US with such high production values. The Buddha series was epic and I have Ode to Kirihito and Apollo’s Song, MW, and Dororo to look forward to. I read one of the Black Jack volumes published by Viz a while back and it was both bizarre and fascinating at the same time. I’m looking forward to Vertical’s publication of the complete set.

    The most interesting manga of 2008 for me was actually an American production: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need. I thought it did a good job of presenting some key career management principles in a simple and effective way.

  25. I have been reading older mangas lately, but I loved Disappearance Diary, from Hideo Azuma (published on 2008 by Ponent Mon). It is an autobiographical manga. The author, sick of his work responsibilities, decides to run away from his home and family. He’s an alcoholic, which contributes to his depression and despair. He must learn to survive in the woods, and then gets a low level job, which forces him to interact with other persons.

    The art is beautiful, very cartoonish and cute, and goes well with the humorous tone of the story (the author glosses over most of the hardships he encounters). The contrast between the tone and the topic of the story is very weird, but makes it very human. It’s also a good change from the typical melodramatic addiction stories.

    Thank you for opening the giveaway to Mexico!

  26. Hmm.

    Well 2008 has been my year for manga. I have never previously read it up until this year so everything is pretty new to me. By far my favorite series is Kamui. It’s a very original story with a very diverse cast of characters.

    It makes for some good reading.
    Hope I win!

  27. My favorite manga this year (although it’s not a new one, I guess) was Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad. In fact, it’s one of the only mangas I read. Guess how bummed I was to learn that it has apparently been uncerimoniously dumped by Tokypop after 12 volumes? The answer is uberbummed.

    I am looking forward quite a bit to the translated 20th Century Boys, though.

  28. Even though it’s not a new series; I would to say the shoujo series Basara by Yumi Tamura which had it’s last volume published in May 08.

    That series has everything! A strong likeable main female character, a epic story, action, drama and romance! Most importantly the series has some great characters that are so complex they feel like real people. I found every volume compelling and I would often get emotional as I saw each character deal with his/her own personal struggles.

    It’s my favorite manga of all time. My only regret is that some of the eariler volumes are out of print and therefore impossible to get a hold of.

    PS: I became a fan of Black Jack after watching that wonderful movie that aired on the sci-fi channel a few months ago. I’m so glad to see that the manga series is being released in the US.

  29. I can’t think of any single manga books I’ve bought this year. A very poor year for me. I did like the new Naruto stuff in Shonen Jump though if that counts at all.

  30. I’m very new to manga and a little hesitant to pick up random collections. I guess the only new manga I’ve read this year is Gantz. Everything else is older stuff, Trigun, Monster, etc.

    If anyone has suggestions for “must reads” for new-to-manga readers, I’d love to hear them.

  31. Even though it was printed December, 2007, “Reptilia” by Umezu really blew me away. I would put this on my top of the list.

    A little more current, “Tokyo Zombie” was awesome. It was good to see something so bizarre finally brought to an English translation.

  32. What a great giveaway! It took me a minute to see just what came out in 2008. There are so many good things being published right now. I think my favorite manga from this year would be either Honey and Clover or The Sand Chronicles. I’d heard about the Honey and Clover anime and really have enjoyed the manga. The art is a bit different and I always like stories about college students dealing with life. Sand Chronicles has interesting characters and a great way with a story. I must also put a plug in for Hikkatsu, strike a blow to revivify! which began late in 2007 but finished in 2008. A girl who is raised by pigeons, a hero that hits machines to fix them and a strange person in a bear suit are some of the characters. Weird and bizarre but strangely readable. My kids and I loved this. Thanks for the chance to spout off on our favorite manga.

  33. How about best older manga that I didn’t actually buy/read until 2008? For me, that would be Makoto Yukimura’s Planetes. Definitely falls under the “best manga I’ve read all year” banner.

  34. My favorite new manga of the year (so far) is Solanin, and it might even end up being my favorite comic of 2008. Here’s the review I wrote. But I should also mention that I really liked Real and Slam Dunk, Dororo was great, Cowa was cute, and I’m sure there are several others I’m missing.

  35. I think my favorite manga of 2008 would have to be Rosario + Vampire. It may be a bit juvenile, but I love the characters and all the different monsters that mangaka Akihisa Ikeda has put into his series makes a monster geek like me extremely happy (especially the Lamia in the third volume).

  36. I’d have to say my favorite manga that I read in 2008 (but was published in 2007) is Yotsuba #5. I love the series!!

  37. Jorge Rico says

    My favorite manga of 2008, which is also my #2 graphic novel of the year has to be Inio Asano’s Solanin. This book is incredible, the story took me for an unexpected ride that I am still thinking about two weeks after reading it. The art is just amazing, well thought out and very well laid out. I am actually a big fan of non serialized manga, and wish that more of it would be translated, and this book is a very good example of that.

  38. For ages I had complained that lots of really interesting manga wasn’t being published in North America but two titles that came out in 2008 are indications of how much that’s changing.

    To see a really nuanced slice of life title like Inio Asano’s Solanin (VIZ) and a genre mashup cult fav like Yusaku Hanakuma’s Tokyo Zombie (Last Gasp) on the shelves really warms my heart. (Okay, I admit. I haven’t actually got my hands on a copy of Tokyo Zombie yet but I’m so sure I will love it that I feel compelled to mention it.) Both books have amazing – very different – art work that really defines North American manga-aesthetic expectations. It’s very exciting.

    As a person who spent a lot of years fleeing from adulthood, working miserable jobs and playing in garage punk bands Solanin really resonates with me. During those years I spent a lot of time wishing I was far away in Tokyo battling zombies with Tadanobu Asano at my side so Tokyo Zombie really resonates with me.

    I’d also like to mention my favorite un-translated manga of 2008. (Yes, that’s right. I’ve read them as evil scanlations.) Usagi Drop by Unita Yumi (excellent josei and the plot seems to have just taken a surprising turn) and Neon Genesis Evangelion: Gakuen Datenroku by Nemuri Min (Okay, so it’s just like Persona3 but with the NGE characters. Just the promise of more Kaworu eclipses my rational thinking.)

    I’ve always wanted to read Black Jack because it was the only manga that my cranky friend Takayo, who always looked on my love of manga as an indication of some latent sociopathy, would ever admit to liking.

  39. danielle leigh says

    ohhhh. So hard to pick a favorite from 2008 so I’ll go with a recent read that really tickled me: Hayate x Blade, takes place a girl’s academy, where sword play is part of the culture. Insert high energy spaz into the mix and you’ve got yourself some highly amusing stuff.

    Other recent favorites: “Silver Diamond,” “Keili,” and “Black Sun, Silver Moon.”

  40. I’d love these, but I live far away, in Edinburgh, so I’d like them for my fellow manga lover, Mike Lynch, who lives in the US.

    My favourite manga this year was The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, (not that it isn’t utterly brilliant) until I picked up something I would normally ignore simply because it doesn’t look like my cup-of-tea. By sheer coincidence, it does nod in the direction of Black Jack, stylistically, but it also manages to look brand new; a difficult balance; it’s Ohkubo Atsushi’s Soul Eater.

    Like Black Jack there is an obvious tension between the style of drawing, old style big-eyed manga, and what’s actually going on, on the page, and at first glance it seems to be a disarming range of manga genres, to maximise the readership, I’m guessing, but it doesn’t look forced – it does look like a new cross between everything from mahou shoujo to seinen. It’s a good exciting read, and the anime is great too.

  41. I definitely got into Kurohime. I got to say I absolutely love this manga series and can’t wait for the next volume!

  42. Hey there! This is way cool, thanks! My favorite manga of 2008 was Dororo, also by Tezuka. It was published by Vertical this year. Does that count? Anyway, the man is a genius.

  43. I’ve gotten so busy, I haven’t been able to read near the number of interesting things I’d like to, but I have kept up with a series or two, finally tackled a long held-off read or two (Ode to Kirihito), and picked up a couple of new titles I like (Fairy Tail, Shoulder a Coffin).

    My favorite, though, is Mushishi. I’m only up to volume 4, but I love its delicate and graceful artwork, its episodic nature, the quiet strength and depth of the stories.

    (I also liked all the other manga I mentioned)

  44. There’s so much manga I haven’t been able to check out (I’m still wayyy behind on my faves: Dragonhead and Monster, and I haven’t gotten my hand on Red Colored Elegy or Tokyo Zombie), but my current favorite is Mushishi.

    The art is wonderful, full of graceful, even delicate lines. The episodic stories are quite, powerful tales. Its just great.

    (sorry, by the way, if this is a repeat. My 2yr old banged on the computer as I attempted to post my first version of this response).

  45. Andrew Davis says

    I didn’t buy any new titles this year, but I bought and was very impressed by Vol. 1 of Gon last year.
    I actually recently got a volume of Black Jack in Japanese—which I can’t read, but it’s an absolute joy to look at. The cartooning in it is so strong, and the narrative flow is clear and energetic even if I’m not quite sure why things are happening. I’ve been savoring it in bits at a time.

  46. *Waves* Hi everyone! Thanks for commenting—I wish I had done this earlier, as it’s so interesting to see what everyone likes. Keep those comments coming!

  47. I haven’t been reading much new manga this year, but I have enjoyed reading the reissues of Dororo and Apollo’s Song!

  48. Unfortunately I don’t know that any of the Manga that I’ve been recently introduced to is absolutely new. I believe the most recent I’ve been turned on to is “Love Roma” which was a very humorous and sweet romance.

    However, the manga that has rocked my socks this year has definitely been The Drifting Classroom by Kazuo Umezu. Great stuff, verk dark.

  49. I just started reading The Drifting Classroom. Also, I picked up a compendium of old Speed Racer stories while I was in Japan. It was tied to the movie somehow. It’s in Japanese though, so I haven’t started reading it yet.

  50. My favorite new manga of 2008 was Tezuka’s Dororo. It’s got all the fun of an adventure story along with the drama of Tezuka’s post-Astro Boy work.

  51. Eek! I can only choose one?!?!

    How ’bout I cheat just a little here, and say I love Kitchen Princess because it’s so much about cooking (and in our household, we all cook, including our 14-year-old son). But for great, fantastic storytelling, I think I have to choose Real. It’s a powerful story with fascinating, flawed, real characters, and Inoue manages to make wheelchair basketball interesting to this almost total non-sports fan.

  52. I’m gonna take a ride back in the time machine and pick a manga that’s definitely new to me, but not new to 2008: Kaiji Kawaguchi’s Eagle: The Making of an Asian-American President. Even thought it’s about 10 years since the series first started in Japan, it’s still recommended reading during such a historic election cycle. Though Sequential Tart deservedly poked a lot of holes in Kawaguchi’s depiction of the political process, it’s fascinating to see how closely Kawaguchi’s work ran to parts of the election (especially the Hillary/Ellery parallels).

    And for all its flaws, Eagle still moves me during decidedly undramatic moments, like their frantic get out the vote efforts; and beyond that, it makes me wish I could have seen those moments played live at the DNC in Colorado and local Democratic Headquarters across the nation. Barring that, I’ll have to settle for Kawaguchi’s dramatic renderings.

  53. I think the ONLY manga I’ve read this year is M.P.D. PSYCHO Vol. 1. (Man, I knew I’d had to cut back on comics buying this year, but that’s… sad.) Although, like most new manga, the drawing is rather stiff and the storytelling a bit too dialogue-heavy, I was impressed overall. I will definitely read more – when I can afford it.

    No wait, I’ve also caught up on a few volumes of MONSTER – but for someone who used to DEVOUR manga, this sure isn’t much reading for me. Here’s hoping I win the BLACKJACK volumes so I can have some more quality manga reading in my near future – Tezuka is one of my all-time favorite cartoonists, anywhere!

  54. Drew Thomas says

    Just finished vol.1 and I have to say I was blown away! I work at a small public library and have just started letting me create an Adult Graphic Novel collection. Suffice to say, Vol.2 will be purchased!

    Fantastic art combined with powerful stories makes this a must read!

  55. So exciting! I love “Black Jack”! My favorite manga of 2008 would have to be the new “NANA” releases. This series is so good! It is probably the best shojo manga I’ve ever read. Publish faster Viz!

    Thanks for the awesome contest Brigid!

  56. I’m closer to rachel c. than to most other people here and can’t comment on any new manga, preferring literature as I do. However, I do have a soft spot for Rurouni Kenshin and enjoy the gorgeous art (though not the violence & explicit sex) of Vagabond. Thanks for the giveaway offer!

  57. Darren Witt says

    Well, my ability to tell you about my “new” manga purchases may be a bit impaired, depending on how liberal you are with “new”. So can i (maybe) cheat on the answer a wee bit?

    In 2008 i bought:
    Barefoot Gen volumes 5 and 6
    Buddha 7 and 8
    Yotsuba & ! 5

    Yotsuba is always wonderful – but i am in the right target audience, i expect. A father of two (4.75 and 1.5) who, of late, seems to have rather elevated estrogen levels. I mean, jeez, should a grown man get misty about Clifford the Big Red Dog getting an appropriately-sized doghouse from the community?

    Buddha, though it may be sacrilege, i thought rather limped to an end. I was, as always, impressed by the cartooning/art, but the story skipped and jumped a bit too much in these books; lost its way.

    Barefoot Gen thrills me because… well, because it is a window into a period of history i know little of. And even less about the very personal stories that people fought through after the bomb. It is frightening and still uplifting. I wish i didn’t have to see so much melting skin, though.

    Tops: Yotsuba! To steal and paraphrase badly: if you don’t love Yotsuba, you don’t love life.



  58. John Redpath says

    I have never read manga but will give it a shot if I win.

  59. Rhonda Nelson says

    The first Osamu Tezuka I read was “Ode to Kirihito” about a year ago. I was immediately won over and picked up his Buddha series which I read over three days. I only put it down to go to class. I’ve been studying abroad in Singapore, but I’ve been reading his “Phoenix” series and will be purchasing MW in the near future.

    This year, I probably haven’t been picking up any new series except for Otomen. Instead, I’ve been getting into old manga series and was fortunate enough to read the french edition of “Rose of Versailles” (My French is abysmal, and it took awhile to read, but it’s so worth it)

    I’ve also been reading Doreamon since they have bilingual chinese/english editions available.

    Most of the manga in Singapore is very cheap if you get the CY Manga english or chinese editions, but if you want the American Viz/Tokyo Pop, etc editions, they cost twice as much as the US.

    The Blackjack manga would be an awesome gift once I go back to the US after this semester. :)

  60. I read Black Jack ages ago, and I loved it because it was so damn weird yet so relatable, even to my 14-year-old self.

    The manga I’ve read lately has been xxxHOLiC and Antique Bakery, although I’m not updated on the former. xxxHOLiC’s creepy factor is great for anyone who likes a bit of spookiness with their comedy. CLAMP has a knack for dramedy, making you laugh and then awkward in the next panel. As for Antique Bakery, I would have to say that it was one of the most “realistic” manga I’ve read to date: everyone had valid problems, even those of which seem like they could never happen to us (Ono’s violent French pastry mentor following him to Japan, for ex.).

    Thanks for posting this giveaway!

  61. My fav new manga this year is probably my guilty pleasure — High School Debut. I can’t help it but I love how it turns all the traditional shoujo tropes on their heads! :D

  62. I found Dororo to be very enjoyable and it spurred me to read the other Tezuka works. Buddha was especially heart-warming and epic. I really did marvel at it’s grandiosity. Very special books.

  63. The best thing for me this year has been the emergence of Yen Plus magazine. I like it for the exposure it gives me to some more spohisticated manga

  64. While I enjoyed Tekkonkinkreet a great deal—love that oversized tpb, it’s great to have everything in one place with a story like that—Yuichi Yokoyama’s Travel really knocked my socks off. Maybe it’s the amount of time I myself have spent on trains, but there was truly something magical about it.

  65. Holy cow, Brigid — I don’t envy your task of trying to pick winners from all of these wonderful responses. As always, the thing I love most about threads like this is it gives me so many ideas for future reading material.

    For my own pick, I’ll cheat a bit and go with a series whose first volume came out in late 2007 but which I first read a couple months ago (it did have two more volumes published this year that I still have to read, so I guess technically the series did come out in 2008) — With The Light.

    I’m actually surprised by my own pick, because when I was reviewing the best manga of 2008 at the mid-year mark, With The Light wasn’t even on my radar. And when I finally got around to reading the book, I was initially put off by how melodramatic everything was and how annoyingly passive the mom was. But as the first volume progressed, I became completely engrossed in the drama of everyday events. Yes, Hikaru has autism, so that adds another level of intensity to the family’s problems, but the overall issues the family faces are familiar to anyone who has children: Panicking because you’ve lost sight of them for a moment; worrying about their mental, emotional, and social development; bristling at rude or insensitive comments from onlookers. Creator Keiko Tobe does an excellent job crafting a moving story that is gripping yet grounded in reality.

    Great, great stuff. And it also appeals to the bargain hunter side of me that loves thick manga: Over 500 pages for only fifteen bucks! Whoo-hoo!!!

  66. Randall Kirby says

    Dororo was my favorite. I only wish it were longer.

  67. My favorite titles that are still currently being published in the US are Afterschool Nightmare and Nodame Cantabile. The recent volumes of Afterschool have been slowing down (I feel like this could have been condensed somewhat), but I really like Setona Mizushiro’s cinematic and dramatic pacing.
    I like Nodame Cantabile for almost opposite reasons. It’s very slow and doesn’t contain too much explicit drama, but the characters are so fleshed out that you get drawn into their lives anyhow. I could compare this to Nana, which is not as good of a josei series in my opinion. Too much crying, haha.

  68. Wow…tough question. There have been some great titles. DORORO is great. GANTZ is awesome…but I am going to go with TOKYO ZOMBIE.

  69. It’s 10:30 where I am, so I just made it.

    It’s hard to say which one I like most that came out this year. I’d say it’s a toss up between Black Jack and With the Light. Black Jack has such an interesting character study. It also has that dark edge to it that somehow makes it more real.

    With the Light is something I’d never come across in manga, a story just about a boy with autism and how his family and world is affected by it and since I have highly functional autism, the manga’s story is very near and dear to me.


  1. […] about the outlaw doctor by manga god Osamu Tezuka. Win both volumes 1 and 2 just by commenting on the MangaBlog post. (Residents of U.S., Canada, or Mexico […]

  2. […] Details at Managblog! – […]

  3. […] Jack to a few lucky winners who will be randomly chosen from her blog. To enter, leave a comment in this entry, telling her about your favorite new manga in 2008. I left my own comment there yesterday, and as I […]

  4. […] over at MangaBlog is giving away three copies of Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack.   Just leave a comment with your […]

  5. […] have until midnight tonight — Monday, Nov. 10 — to enter a Black Jack giveaway being sponsored by Brigid Alverson at MangaBlog.) For a more conventional, saintly portrayal of an outlaw physician, I’d strongly recommend Naoki […]

  6. […] conducted by my three-year-old niece, we have determined the winners of the Black Jack contest. Joe, David, and Ben Y. won two-volume hardcover sets of Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack, and Debbie won […]