Strong women and cheap otaku

We’re celebrating Women’s History Month over at Good Comics for Kids with a look at comics and manga that feature strong women characters, and Kate Dacey and Sabrina Fritz polled all our bloggers to get a list of manga with heroines we love.

The NYT “Graphic Books” best-seller lists are up, and there’s a bit more variety in the manga lineup this week, with Fruits Basket (not Fruit Baskets, NYT copyeditors!), Bleach, Vampire Knight, Rosario + Vampire, and Code Geass joining the obligatory five volumes of Naruto—which, for the first time, each have a different blurb. But the question on Twitter was: Why was Appleseed on the paperback list and not the manga list? Who can fathom the NYT?

Over at Rocket Bomber, Matt Blind posts his list of the top 500 manga in online sales last week.

Melinda Beasi writes about what she likes about manhwa and asks for recommendations for similar titles. Her readers oblige in the comments section.

Otaku Librarian mulls over the problem of helping readers find 16+ manga in a library that interfiles them with other fiction, as opposed to having an adult GN section.

At The Eastern Edge, Gottsu-Iiyan bemoans Urasawa’s poor showing on the manga charts. People, there’s more to life than bishies and ninjas!

Du9 has an interesting summary of the French comics market, and the manga situation looks a lot like here: sales are leveling off and also concentrating, with Naruto and a few others leading the pack and numbers dropping off sharply after that.

I’m not sure what exactly this is a sign of, but there are a lot of manga bargains lately: Tokyopop titles for 99 cents each on (thanks, Lori!) and almost the entire Aurora line for four bucks a volume if you buy direct from the publisher. Deb Aoki has the details on the Aurora deal and Johanna Draper Carlson has some thoughts on the implications. Snow Wildsmith has some recommendations as well as shipping info. And Kris at Manic About Manga heard from a company rep that things are looking rocky for the small publisher.

Meanwhile, Roland Kelts thinks American anime and manga fans aren’t spending much on their hobby, although as his chief source for that seems to be Stu Levy, one might ask whether the fault lies in the fans or in other factors.

At Japanator, Dick McVengeance explains how he manages his manga and anime budget.

News from Japan: At MangaCast, Ed Chavez posts the weekly manga rankings from Taiyosha.

Reviews: At The Anime Almanac, Scott VonSchilling posts a rare positive review of vol. 1 of Tantric Stripfighter Trina. EvilOmar posts some brief reviews at About Heroes. Melinda Beasi looks at a classic by Moto Hagio, They Were Eleven, in her Tokidoki Daylight column at Comics Should Be Good. Johanna Draper Carlson finds Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (Yokohama Shopping Trip) to be a good followup to Aria at Comics Worth Reading.

Julie on vol. 10 of After School Nightmare (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Billy Aguiar on vols. 1-3 of Ai Yori Aoshi (Prospero’s Manga)
Tangognat on Battlestar Galactica: Echoes of New Caprica and Star Trek Ultimate Edition (Tangognat)
Danielle Leigh on vols. 1 and 2 of Crown (Comics Should Be Good!)
Charles Tan on vol. 2 of The Drifting Classroom (Comics Village)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of Gankutsuou (Comics Worth Reading)
Julie Rosato on vol. 3 of Hero Heel (
Snow Wildsmith on vol. 1 of Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (ICv2)
Erica Friedman on vol. 1 of Junsui Adolescence (Okazu)
Sakura Eries on vol. 3 of Mixed Vegetables (
Connie on vol. 1 of Narration of Love (Slightly Biased Manga)
Tiamat’s Disciple on vol. 1 of Oninagi (Tiamat’s Manga Reviews)
David Welsh on vol. 2 of Papillon (Precocious Curmudgeon)
Connie on vol. 17 of Saint Seiya (Slightly Biased Manga)
Deb Aoki on vol. 1 of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (
Tiamat’s Disciple on vol. 2 of Suzunari (Tiamat’s Manga Reviews)
Snow Wildsmith on Sweet Regard (Fujoshi Librarian)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 3 of Very! Very! Sweet (Kuriousity)
Emily on Wild Beat (Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page)
Eva Volin on vol. 1 of Wolverine: Prodigal Son (ICv2)
Sadie Mattox on Yen + magazine (Extremely Graphic)
Alex Hoffman on vol. 1 of Yokaiden (Comics Village)

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  1. About the, I think it’s a sign that Tokyopop puts out a lot of C titles that get returned.

    Roland Kelts seems to be bemoaning the fact that US anime fans aren’t like Japanese anime fans. All the quotes from Stu sound more like sour grapes that things didn’t turn out like he wanted. He claims Tokyopop got content and community but not the commerce. But they didn’t follow through on most of their content, screwed up the community at, so what kind of commerce did they expect?

  2. monkeebiz says:

    Stu Levy is right on the money with his comment on conventions. With the exception of Otakon (and probably AnimeExpo), they’ve all devolved into cosplay hangouts. The last local con I attended had about 6 people attending the panel in the main events room and about 100 cosplaying/hanging out in the hotel lobby. It was enough to make me swear off local cons completely for the future.

    One of the greatest events ever at a convention was when Stu Levy personally conducted the TokyoPop panel at the 2003 Big Apple Anime Fest—-he explained every upcoming title in detail, emphasizing what was so wonderful about each one that TokyoPop HAD to bring them over to the U.S. His enthusiasm was contagious. It was obvious to everyone how much this guy genuinely loved manga and truly wanted everyone else to love it, too.

  3. no I dont spend too much on manga, but its cause I actually dont have time to graze around reviews and books store racks as much.

    Im currently following yotsuba, finished Super Gals, following wild adaptor, following saiyuki, following bride of the water god, and trying to get older books like Antique bakery. I would buy Bakuman if they put it out too

    Other then that, just a few dvds I’d want to buy and a list of art books both from pro artists and DA artist, many that I have to import.

    of the series I get to look up, most I really dont like. I end up reading/watching older series and see if I can get them.

    I guess I end up in the middle market. I do have a budget to buy things but the things I’ve seen I just dont like. I dont like fruits basket (or the other look alikes) I dont like naruto or many of the popular shounens. I would like to get a licensed Macross merch or cutie honey.

    and besides, the japanese market is larger then us and realize that the stuff created is cater to them not us. So it could be the reason why its difficult to grow the market to the size of japan in a short amount of time.

  4. thanx for the heads-up on the sale!!! i was following the trinity blood light novels, but couldn’t find vol2 in stores….so i got it for 99 cents!!! i mean really! i bought, 11 books, for 16 dollars!!! that is soooo cool!!

  5. It’s not quite fair to hold up the Japanese market up to the American one and bemoan the difference; the small but influential hard-spending fan crowd in Japan is spending with a capital S, amounts into the hundreds of dollars on an array of exorbitantly-priced DVDs and limited-run items. It simply doesn’t happen over here, where the books and DVDs fuel the social side as opposed to an individualized sense of collector’s achievement.

  6. Honestly, Tokyopop is on it’s last legs.

    They’ve been steadily cutting back on releases, new licenses for quite some time now, and just survived a split of the company. Remaindered books being sold for $1 only means one thing: they didn’t sell in such a large quantity that they were sold at a heavy loss, and bookcloseouts had to sell cheap to move enough inventory. (Normal remaindered discounts are usually around 60%)

    Remaindered books are a good sign of health of a publisher- no or few books are good, and a flood of books means the publisher is taking heavy losses. Much like how ADV books and comicsone flooded the remaindered book outlets shortly before they pulled up shop, it’s very likely that Tokyopop is in a similar dire situation. They were hurting before the recession, and now it’s here…

    I hope some of the titles will be picked up by other pubs… It’s a shame, they did some good work while it lasted..


  1. […] On a related note, Yamila Abraham of Yaoi Press comments on the sting of returns: “Returns are a racket in the publishing business. A few companies will return books just to get a credit on a bill with the distributor. They reorder the same books they’re returning, often at the same time they return them. This isn’t a wash, because publishers like Yaoi Press and Aurora get charged a fee for every US return.” (via Brigid Alverson) […]