Archives for February 2009

Diamond changes hit Seven Seas

For those who thought the Diamond changes were someone else’s problem, here’s some news: Adam Arnold of Seven Seas tells me that vol. 3 of Hayate X Blade and vol. 5 of Tetragrammaton Labyrinth didn’t make the new order minimums and weren’t listed in the March Previews. That means they will be hard to find in comics stores (although some will get them from other suppliers). However, Adam writes,

The books are still scheduled for release in May and fans will be able to find the books in bookstores and online.

Future volumes of Hayate X Blade and Tetragrammaton Labyrinth, as well as Venus Versus Virus and Inukami!, are also likely to be affected and will no longer be available through Diamond.

Shaenon Garrity looks at science fiction and yaoi manga in her latest column at comiXology.

News from Japan: Shogakukan is launching a new magazine, Monthly Shonen Sunday, on Wednesday.


Connie on vol. 1 of Astral Project (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 10 of Basara (Slightly Biased Manga)
Chris Mautner on Black Jack (Panels and Pixels)
Connie on vol. 4 of B.O.D.Y. (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 8 of Elemental Gelade (Slightly Biased Manga)
Danielle Leigh on vol. 2 of Higurashi: When They Cry (Comics Should Be Good!)
Eva Volin on vol. 1 of Honey Hunt (ICv2)
Snow Wildsmith on vols. 1 and 2 of Magic Lover’s Tower (Manga Jouhou)
David Goodwin on vol. 2 of Me and the Devil Blues (Eastern Standard)
Tangognat on vol. 1 of Peace Maker Kurogane (Tangognat)
Connie on vol. 11 of Reborn (Slightly Biased Manga)

Crunchyroll, nerd power, and new yaoi

In this week’s PWCW, Kai-Ming Cha takes a look at Crunchyroll, which started as a fan-supplied site with lots of pirate content and is evolving into a commercial site with content provided by manga and anime publishers.

“I was Keitaro Urashima”: Scott VonSchilling explains the appeal of the everynerd hero of Love Hina at The Anime Almanac.

A manga fan in the UK pushes his local library to increase their manga holdings from one volume to 1,000.

Digital Manga has launched the website for their new imprint, DokiDoki.

Meanwhile, Yaoi Generation announced two new licenses: Tender Affairs (Yasashii Kankei) and Perfect World, both by Shinri Fuwa. Cover images are up on their manga page, with more info to follow.

Attention bloggers: has a new affiliate program, similar to Amazon except, they say, it pays more.

News from Japan: Ed Chavez has this week’s manga rankings from Taiyosha at MangaCast. Walkin’ Butterfly creator Chihiro Tamaki will be starting up a new manga in Cutie magazine. Me & My Brothers is coming to an end, and a new edition of Azumanga Daioh is in the works to mark the 10th anniversary of its magazine launch.

Reviews: Over at Graphic Novel Reporter, I reviewed (and field-tested) The Manga Cookbook, and I also have a few non-manga reviews up: Dear Dracula, Amelia Rules!, vol. 1 of Luuna, and Gettysburg: The Graphic Novel. At Good Comics for Kids, Kate Dacey has come up with a trio of good manga for kids. Also, I couldn’t stop laughing at the title of Tantric Stripfighter Trina long enough to review it, so I passed along my copy to Erica Friedman, who expertly skewers it at Okazu. At Comics Worth Reading, Ed Sizemore checks out vol. 3 of Mechademia, the scholarly journal of otaku culture. And the Manga Recon team looks over some prose books for their Otaku Bookshelf.

Michelle Smith on vol. 1 of 20th Century Boys (Comics Should Be Good)
A Library Girl on vol. 2 of After School Nightmare (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
Casey Brienza on vol. 1 of Akihabara@DEEP (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Connie on vols. 7, 8, and 9 of Basara (Slightly Biased Manga)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 5 of Black God (Kuriousity)
Courtney Kraft on The Cain Saga (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Kris on Clan of the Nakagamis (Manic About Manga)
Adam Beck on vol. 4 of Cy-Believers (Advanced Media Network)
Michelle Smith on Desire (soliloquy in blue)
Timothy Callahan on The Drifting Classroom (Comic Book Resources)
Courtney Kraft on Gorgeous Carat (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Greg Hackmann on Goth, the novel (
Erica Friedman on vol. 4 of Hakodate Youjin Buraijou Himegami (Okazu)
Connie on vol. 2 of Hayate x Blade (Slightly Biased Manga)
David Rasmussen on vol. 10 of Hayate the Combat Butler (Manga Life)
Emily on Hidari Te no Love Letter (Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page)
Carlo Santos on vol. 3 of Kamichama Karin Chu (ANN)
Julie on vol. 8 of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Katherine Farmar on Last Portrait (Comics Village)
Matthew Brady on vol. 10 of Monster (Warren Peace Sings the Blues)
Noah Berlatsky on vols. 13 and 14 of Nana (The Hooded Utilitarian)
Julie on vol. 1 of NG Life (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Billy Aguiar on vol. 1 of Oishinbo: A la Carte (Prospero’s Manga)
Amy Culbertson on vol. 1 of Oishinbo: A la Carte (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
James Fleenor on Orange (Anime Sentinel)
Rob Vollmar on vol. 1 of Pluto (Ramble On)
Dan Polley on vol. 20 of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle (Comics Village)
David Rasmussen on vol. 6 of Yumekui Kenbun Nightmare Inspector (Manga Life)

Vagueness at Viz; laughable manga

The big news this morning is that Viz Media is “restructuring,” whatever that means. Details are sketchy, but it seems to involve layoffs. Here’s the nut graf:

Viz Media CEO Hidemi Fukuhara has issued the following statement: “Viz Media is in the process of refining its focus and is restructuring to adjust to changing industry and financial market realities. Viz feels confident that with these changes, the company will be more streamlined to face the current economic climate.”

That’s about as vague as you can get, and anything more at the moment is pure speculation. Lori Henderson thinks it through a bit, including some commentary on scanlations, at Manga Xanadu. Meanwhile, over on the supply side, Kodansha also had a bad year. The very first commenter at ANN blames the loss on fansubs and scanlations, apparently missing the part where they were talking about sales in Japan.

If that gloomy news has got you down, David Welsh has the cure: a whole Flipped column devoted to manga that will make you laugh. At Sporadic Sequential, John Jakala chimes in with a list of his own favorites.

At Japanator, God Len lists this week’s new releases.

Matt Blind has last week’s online sales info: rankings summary, emerging trends report, new releases and pre-orders, and the top 500.

Kodansha has announced the finalists in its third annual Morning International Manga Competition. The results skew heavily towards Asian creators, with no North Americans or Canadians in the mix for the second year in a row.

Congratulations to Casey Brienza, whose article “Paratexts in Translation: Reinterpreting “Manga” for the United States” was just published in a refereed journal.

News from Japan: ComiPress translates a roundup of gossip about famous manga-ka. Also: Obama sushi. Thank you, Japan!

Reviews: The Manga Recon team posts a gaggle of short reviews in their weekly Manga Minis column. Congratulations to Melinda Beasi, who joins the Comics Should Be Good stable of Excellent Manga Reviewers (Danielle Leigh, Michelle Smith) with her review of vol. 6 of Mushishi. And mad props to CSBG head blogger Brian Cronin for being savvy enough to bring these writers together!

Connie on vol. 10 of +Anima (Slightly Biased Manga)
Snow Wildsmith on Body Language (Manga Jouhou)
Connie on vol. 12 of D.Gray-Man (Slightly Biased Manga)
Julie on vol. 3 of Gantz (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Erica Friedman on vol. 9 of Hayate x Blade (Okazu)
Kris on Love Code (Manic About Manga)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 1 of Maximum Ride (Kuriousity)
Tangognat on vol. 1 of Oishinbo (Tangognat)
Charles Tan on vol. 1 of Pluto (Comics Village)
Cynthia on Take Me To Heaven (Boys Next Door)
Cynthia on Where Has Love Gone? (Boys Next Door)

Numbers games

Over at Comic Book Resources, Brian Hibbs does his annual reading of the entrails of an owl the BookScan charts and attempts to draw conclusions from what he sees. He admits right off the bat that he’s hampered by the fact that BookScan doesn’t cover all bookstores (estimates are in the 70-75% range), and the numbers are far from perfect:

Really, what I’m trying to get across to you is that this really is entirely unreliable data in terms of the absolute and total number of books sold, and is only able to give the broadest outline of what’s happening in book stores, based upon the data-set that I’m being given, which is in no way comprehensive.

Got that? There’s a pretty long argument about just how accurate the numbers are in the comments thread to this post at The Beat. When he gets to the manga section, Brian accuses manga blogs of only looking at that part of the data. I’m pretty sure he’s not talking about me, but it doesn’t really inspire me to do any analysis of my own, as I really don’t care how many copies of Watchmen sold last year. You can download the BookScan list of the top 750 graphic novels from his article if you like, though, and play along at home. Matt Blind does just that at Rocket Bomber, comparing his online sales estimates to the BookScan numbers, and Dirk Deppey vehemently disagrees with Hibbs on the subject of art comics and the validity of BookScan numbers in general.

For those who are following the business end of things, Simon Jones and ANN note several titles that were cancelled by Diamond, and then Simon adds another: No Starch Press’s Manga Guide to Statistics, which is at the top of my review pile right now. Note that this just means Diamond won’t be distributing the books to comics stores; they are still available in plenty of other venues.

The Comics Village team looks over the most recent batch of new releases.

Queenie Chan checks in to let us know what she’s working on, including a second In Odd We Trust manga.

Erica Friedman rounds up this week’s yuri news at Okazu.

ComiPress publishes a big roundup of links to NYCC posts.

MangaCast has the 411 on the newest titles from DrMaster.

News from Japan: The Eastern Edge updates us on Billy Bat, Naoki Urasawa’s current manga series. Caution: Spoilers! Ed Chavez takes a look at the most recent manga magazine sales numbers at MangaCast, and the picture isn’t pretty. He also rounds up the latest manga news in his MangaScope column. Rumiko Takahashi is drawing a one-shot manga, Unmei no Tori, for Big Comic Original magazine; the issue goes on sale March 5, ANN reports. Heisei Democracy (possibly NSFW) has a brief story on a creator’s cafe in Akihabara, which offers would-be manga-kas a desk, computer with Photoshop, and everything else they need—except inspiration and talent, of course—for an hourly fee. Canned Dogs has news of a new manga based on the doujin game Himawari, which will debut in the new magazine GanGan JOKER.

News from Korea: The Korean Times notes the popularity of a science-themed comics series.

Reviews: Wilma Jandoc and Jason Yadao of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin have a Kitchen Princess cook-off, testing several of the recipes from the palate-teasing shoujo series.

A Library Girl on vol. 7 of After School Nightmare (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
Connie on vol. 6 of Basara (Slightly Biased Manga)
Julie on vol. 14 of Claymore (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Snow Wildsmith on The Dawn of Love (Fujoshi Librarian)
Kris on Double Trouble (Manic About Manga)
Connie on The Gentleman and the Lady (Manga Recon)
Kris on Glass Sky (Manic About Manga)
Tiamat’s Disciple on vol. 4 of Goong (Tiamat’s Manga Reviews)
Lori Henderson on vol. 5 of High School Debut (Comics Village)
Michelle Smith on vols. 2 and 3 of Hissing (soliloquy in blue)
Connie on vols. 18, 19, and 20 of Iron Wok Jan (Slightly Biased Manga)
Julie on vol. 2 of Kiichi and the Magic Books (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Connie on vols. 15 and 16 of Law of Ueki (Slightly Biased Manga)
Deb Aoki on vol. 1 of Maximum Ride (
Tiamat’s Disciple on vol. 6 of Moon Boy (Tiamat’s Manga Reviews)
Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Papaya Gundan (Okazu)
Johanna Draper Carlson on Shojo Beat’s Manga Artist Academy (Comics Worth Reading)
Julie on Sighing Kiss (MangaCast)
Johanna Draper Carlson on Tokyopop’s March titles (Comics Worth Reading)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 20 of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles (Kuriousity)
D.M. Evans on vol. 4 of Variante (Manga Jouhou)
Lissa Pattillo on Waru (Kuriousity)
Brenda Gregson on vol. 1 of Yokaiden (Animanga Nation)

Friday news and reviews

The MangaCast team looks over this week’s new releases.

I haven’t been following the USA Today booklist like I used to, but it’s worth noting, as ANN did, that all four volumes of Naruto made the top 150 list last week for the second week in a row.

Lori Henderson has found some links and videos regarding manga on the Sony E-Reader.

Matt Blind brings in the online sales numbers, with his weekly rankings summary, emerging trends report, new releases and pre-orders summary, and top 500 list.

JoeMac posts more cartoons of former Tokyopop employees.

News from Japan: Here’s a site for those of you who read Japanese: Yomban, a Bandai-run site that posts free manga and novels. I took a quick peek and the reader is simple and easy to use; I just wish I could read the words. Kodansha’s Morning Special has word of new manga from the creators of Get Backers and Boys Be…

Reviews: At comiXology, Tucker Stone gives Slam Dunk the Tucker Stone treatment. Danielle Leigh is intrigued by vol. 1 of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei at Comics Should Be Good. Jennifer Tanko enthuses about CLAMP’s Wish for the Towson University student paper. At Sequential Tart, Sheena McNeil is impressed that the artist of vol. 1 of Tantric Stripfighter Trina understands the physics of boobs so well. Other reviews of note:

Alex Hoffman on vol. 1 of 07-Ghost (Comics Village)
Sam Kusek on vol. 1 of 20th Century Boys (Manga Recon)
A Library Girl on vol. 6 of After School Nightmare (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
Julie on vol. 1 of Bakegyamon-Backwards Game (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Michelle Smith on vol. 2 of Case Closed (soliloquy in blue)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 5 of Comic (Kuriousity)
Tiamat’s Disciple on vol. 5 of Comic (Tiamat’s Manga Reviews)
Patti Martinson on vol. 10 of Crimson Hero (Sequential Tart)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 12 of D.Gray-Man (Sequential Tart)
Grant Goodman on vols. 1-4 of Emperor’s Castle (Manga Recon)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 3 of Fairy Cube (Sequential Tart)
Michelle Smith on vol. 5 of Fairy Tail (soliloquy in blue)
Snow Wildsmith on The First Stage of Love (Manga Jouhou)
AstroNerdBoy on Genshiken Official Book (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog)
TSOTE on Gyo and Uzumaki (Three Steps Over Japan)
Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Hayate x Blade (Okazu)
Connie on vol. 17 of Iron Wok Jan (Slightly Biased Manga)
Diana Dang on Love*Com (Stop, Drop, and Read!)
Tiamat’s Disciple on vol. 1 of Maximum Ride (Tiamat’s Manga Reviews)
Wolfen Moondaughter on vol. 14 of Nana (Sequential Tart)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 1 of Pluto (Sequential Tart)
Casey Brienza on Red Blinds the Foolish (ANN)
Connie on vol. 15 of Tail of the Moon (Slightly Biased Manga)
Ken Haley on vol. 1 of Togainu No Chi (Manga Recon)
Tangognat on vol. 1 of Tsubasa: Those with Wings (Tangognat)
Anna on vol. 1 of Ultimate Venus (Tokyo Jupiter)
Phil Guie on vol. 1 of Wild Animals (Manga Recon)
Emily on Yokae Mae (Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page)
Sarah Boslaugh on vol. 3 of Yozakura Quartet (PLAYBACK:stl)

Matt Thorn, Spider-Man, and more!

Sorry about my untimely absence yesterday—I had an unusually busy morning. If you haven’t caught this already on someone else’s blog, I hope you’ll check out my interview with pioneer translator and manga scholar Matt Thorn. That’s him in the drawing at left, which was done by est em, his former student and the creator of Seduce Me After the Show and Red Blinds the Foolish, which Matt translated. Also up at PWCW: Lynn Andriani on cooking manga.

ICv2 also has an interview with a manga pioneer, Tokoypop CEO Stu Levy, who talks about the early days at Tokyopop and his plans for the future (part 1, part 2)

David Welsh scans this week’s new manga at Precocious Curmudgeon, and Kate Dacey compiles a handly list of Viz titles he’d like to see in omnibus format.

At MangaCast, Ed Chavez does some NYCC followup with cover images of the new titles announced by Viz and Del Rey. Meanwhile, Deb Aoki has a thorough report on the CMX panel and a photo gallery up at

John Jakala is pleased by the prospect of Japanese Spider-Man manga from Marvel.

Tangognat has more manga recommendations for kids; this time it’s manga for a 6-year-old girl.

Here’s a cute set of artwork by a former Tokyopop designer, depicting some of his former colleagues.

Lissa Pattillo spots more possible new releases on Amazon.

News from Japan: InventorSpot notes an otaku-friendly blood donation center in Akiba, which started out with maids doing the dirty work and now offers free manga for donors to read while giving blood. At The Eastern Edge, Gottsu-Iiyan spots a comic-within-a-comic from 20th Century Boys making a real-life appearance in Big Comic Spirit. He also notes that the am/pm convenience stores’ manga rental program is kind of redundant, as people loiter in the stores and read the manga for free anyway. Ed Chavez posts the weekly manga rankings from Taiyosha at MangaCast.

Reviews: The Manga Recon team combs through the latest Viz releases in the On the Shojo Beat column.

Billy Aguiar on vol. 1 of 20th Century Boys (Prospero’s Manga)
Charles Tan on vol. 1 of 20th Century Boys (Comics Village)
A Library Girl on vol. 5 of After School Nightmare (A Library Girls’ Familiar Diversions)
Julie on vol. 5 of Basilisk (Manga Maniac Cafe)
John Thomas on vol. 3 of Black Jack (Comics Village)
Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane on vol. 2 of Captive Hearts (Manga Life)
Lissa Pattillo on The Devil’s Secret (Kuriousity)
Barb Lien-Cooper on Dororo and Real (Manga Life)
Dick McVengeance on Gimmick! (Japanator)
Micole on vol. 11 of Her Majesty’s Dog (coffeeandink)
Connie on vol. 2 of Hotel Africa (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 5 of I Shall Never Return (Slightly Biased Manga)
Melinda Beasi on vols. 1-15 of Let Dai (Manga Recon)
Julie on vol. 11 of Love*Com (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Kiara on vol. 2 of Metro Survive (Manga Jouhou)
Michelle Smith on vols. 2 and 3 of One Piece (soliloquy in blue)
Emily on Ookamitachi no Gohoubi (Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page)
Connie on vol. 11 of Pastel (Slightly Biased Manga)
Dale North on vol. 1 of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (Japanator)
Micole on vol. 1 of Shinobi Life (coffeeandink)
Chloe Ferguson on vols. 2 and 3 of Walkin’ Butterfly (Manga Recon)