Archives for December 2009

Maid Service

Lorena Nava Ruggero lists her picks for the best new series of 2009 at i heart manga. Kris lists her favorite manga of the year—and it’s a very different list—at Manic About Manga. And Casey Brienza picks her top ten at her LJ. David Welsh lists some books he enjoyed in the past year, manga and otherwise. Also, Comic Book Resources presents their next installment of the Best Comics of 2009, in which I participated, and there’s some good reading there.

Here’s some good reading for your holiday weekend: Jason Thompson answers the vexing question of why there are so many maids in manga at comiXology. Actually, the answer is pretty simple, but Jason also discusses the variety of ways in which maids show up. Akemi looks at the roots of Sailor Moon at Myth and Manga. Bill Randall writes about the proliferation of manga in the U.S. at The Comics Journal. And Christopher Mautner’s review of Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto, also at The Comics Journal, is more than just a review, it’s a look at common themes in Urasawa’s work and how they play out in his different series.

The latest episode of David Welsh’s shoujo-sunjeong alphabet is brought to you by the letter L.

News from Japan: ANN has the latest Japanese comic rankings. Otaku News takes a look at Comiket.


Edward Zacharias on vol. 7 of Black Lagoon (Animanga Nation)
Lorena Nava Ruggero on vol. 8 of Honey and Clover (Manga Bookshelf)
Michael C. Lorah on vol. 1 of King of RPGs (Blog@Newsarama)
Jennifer Dunbar on vol. 1 of The Lizard Prince (Manga Recon)
Emily on Make Sweet (Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 20 of Nana (The Comic Book Bin)
Connie on vol. 30 of One PIece (Slightly Biased Manga)
Todd Douglass on Only One Wish (Blogcritics)
Lorena Nava Ruggero on vol. 2 of Ouran High School Host Club (i heart manga)
Connie on vol. 3 of Papillon (Slightly Biased Manga)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 3 of Pokemon Adventures (Kuriousity)
Connie on vol. 1 of Princess Knight (Slightly Biased Manga)
Gavin Lees on Red Snow (The Comics Journal)
Erica Friedman on vol. 1 of Silent Mobius (Okazu)
Jennifer Dunbar on vols. 5-8 of Vampire Knight (A word is a unit of language)
Megan M. on vol. 8 of Vampire Knight (Manga Bookshelf)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 7 of V.B. Rose (Comics Worth Reading)

Monday morning quarterbacking

51fLJF62zdLI hope you found time to drop by and check out my year in review post at Robot 6. I also contributed to Comic Book Resources’ top 100 comics of 2009 discussion; the first round is up now, and I see a couple of my picks made the final cut. Lots of good reading there, so do check it out.

David Brothers looks back at his year in comics, which included shifting away from superheroes and toward more manga and a variety of other types of comics, at 4thletter! Welcome to the fold, David.

Alex Hoffman is looking at the big picture as well, and he has some thoughts on Viz’s online initiatives at Manga Widget. Stop by, read, leave your comments, and then congratulate Alex on getting engaged!

Dave Ferraro includes quite a few manga in his top 20 comics of 2009 at Comics-and-More.

Jason Thompson picks his top ten manga of 2009 at Suvudu.

Sean Gaffney has his own blog! And he kicks things off with a review of vol. 2 of Dogs.

Kate Dacey and Brad Rice look at this week’s new releases.

news_large_kiss201001News from Japan: Elemental Gelade has come to an end, and Harlem Beat creator Yuku Nishiyama has started a new series, promisingly titled Queen’s Butler Karin.

Reviews: The Manga Recon team has another round of Manga Minis for your entertainment and edification. And at Manga Life, Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane posts short takes on manga she has been reading lately.

Rob on vol. 3 of Antique Bakery (Panel Patter)
Ken Haley on Battle Royale (novel) (Manga Recon)
Jaime Samms on Caged Slave (Kuriousity)
Julie on Dog X Cat (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Chris Zimmerman on The Ghost in the Shell and Akira (CBS 4)
Oyceter on vol. 2 of Grand Guignol Orchestra (Chinese edition) (Sakura of DOOM)
Lori Henderson on Heaven’s Will (Manga Xanadu)
Snow Wildsmith on InVisible (Fujoshi Librarian)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of King of RPGs (Comics Worth Reading)
Penny Kenny on vol. 4 of Leave it to PET (Manga Life)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 1 of Madness (The Comic Book Bin)
Emily on Make Sweet (Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page)
Todd Douglas on vol. 1 of Moyasimon (Blogcritics)
Rob on vol. 2 of Nana (Panel Patter)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 1 of Night Head Genesis (Kuriousity)
Thomas Zoth on vol. 1 of Nightschool (
David Welsh on vol. 2 of Nightschool (Precocious Curmudgeon)
Scott VonSchilling on Only One Wish (The Anime Almanac)
Deb Aoki on vol. 1 of Raiders (
Melinda Beasi on vol. 4 of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (Manga Bookshelf)
Erin Jones on vol. 3 of Shinobi Life (
Dave Ferraro on vol. 1 of Swans in Space (Comics-and-More)
Alexander Hoffman on vol. 1 of We Were There (Comics Village)
David Welsh on vol. 2 of Yokaiden (Precocious Curmudgeon)
Erica Friedman on vol. 1 of Yuri Shoujo (Okazu)

Looking back

I didn’t have high hopes going into 2009, but it turned out to be a pretty good year after all. Read all about it in my look back at the year in manga at Robot 6.

Good reads from 2009

7036752e0493a57b16d31f5d49a687fbI have spent most of today going over the past year’s worth of MangaBlog posts for a Robot 6 piece, and as I went, I noticed a number of interesting essays, interviews, and think-pieces, so I figured I would round them all up into a year-end post as a special treat for those who have a bit of time on their hands this time of year. And in case you’re super-efficient and have read them all already, here’s something new that I just discovered: The blog Three Steps Over Japan has been doing a detailed history of manga, with lots of fun facts and fascinating vintage illustrations. Here’s part 1 to get you started, and you can find the rest of the links in the December archive in the sidebar.

And here are the rest. Enjoy!

The Hooded Utilitarian’s manga roundtable, which kicked off with Tom Crippen’s admission that he just doesn’t get it.

qjmagazineManga translator Gottsu-Iiyan translated an interview with Naoki Urasawa, creator of Pluto and 20th Century Boys; the interview is broken into six parts, but you can start with part 1 and follow the link at the bottom of each post to the next one.

Matt Blind’s pie chart of all manga

Joe Iglesias looks back at Mangajin magazine

My interview with manga translator and scholar Matt Thorn

Casey Brienza on the exploitation and objectification of women in manga and anime

Good Comics for Kids roundtable on whether manga should be flipped

nk_comics_coverBad Jew on North Korean comics
And here are scanlations of two actual North Korean comics: Great General Mighty Wing and the adventure comic Blizzard in the Jungle (part 1, part 2, part 3)

The Manga Village team, Kate Dacey, and Jake Forbes on the question of OEL manga

Gia Manry talks to Lillian Diaz-Przybyl about marketing global manga in Japan

Lawrence A. Stanley on child pornography in manga (note: images aren’t pornographic but may be unsettling)

Jason Thompson on moe
Jason Thompson on military and political moe

rowsofcherrytrees3Nice old shoujo art from Macoto Takahashi

The cultural implications of emoticons

Jason Thompson on dirty manga

Michele Mason on manga creators grappling with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings

Matt Thorn on bad manga translations
Shaenon Garrity’s response

Joy Kim on different “doorways” into manga

Shaenon Garrity on Fumi Yoshinaga

And some comics for you to sample:

Saint Onii-San on scans_daily

Preview of Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life at Words Without Borders

est em’s Age Called Blue (first chapter is free)

Pictures and conversations

book_MWcoverHere’s a great piece of holiday reading: Tom Spurgeon and David Welsh discuss Osamu Tezuka’s MW as part of The Comics Reporter’s holiday interview series, all of which makes excellent reading.

Back at Precocious Curmudgeon, David has some manga licenses he’d like to see, and this week he focuses on rescuing licenses that have been dropped by other publishers.

Lori Henderson sums up the week’s manga news at Manga Xanadu, and Erica Friedman reviews the week in yuri at Okazu.

Lori also lists the week’s kid-friendly comics and manga at Good Comics for Kids and gives short takes on seven underrated Tokyopop series at Manga Xanadu. And she shows off her Christmas haul!

goong7Melinda Beasi, Michelle Smith, Danielle Leigh, and Connie C. list their five favorite manhwa of 2009 and discuss what titles they are looking forward to in 2010 at Manga Bookshelf.

Gia and Geekachu present their favorite manga (and manga-ish books) of 2009 via video at Anime Vice.

At Otaku Ohana, Jason Yadao looks at the difference that digital media have made in the manga world, in terms of online manga and the power of Twitter.

At Myth and Manga, Akemi discusses how man and nature interact in Hayao Miyazaki’s stories.

The Christmas edition of the Ninja Consultant podcast includes some interesting conversations on criticism vs. reviews and other literary themes.

John Thomas and the Sci-Guys guys discuss the best manga of the year in their latest podcast.

Congratulations to anime and manga blogger AstroNerdBoy on his third blogiversary!

Reviews: I like Thomas Zoth’s description of vol. 2 of Amefurashi at “Much like a rainbow: Pretty, but follows a standard arc.” EvilOmar winds up the year with a flurry of short reviews at About Heroes. Other reviews of note:

519IfIf-3xLJulie on All My Darling Daughters (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Connie on vol. 3 of Baby & Me (Slightly Biased Manga)
Rob on vols. 1, 2, and 3 of Barefoot Gen (Panel Patter)
Michelle Smith on Black-Winged Love (Manga Recon)
Sesho on vol. 1 of Butterflies, Flowers (Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews)
Julie on vol. 2 of Children of the Sea (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 1 of Death Note (I Reads You)
Connie on vol. 3 of Eden (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 1 of Happy Boys (Manga Recon)
Diana Dang on vol. 1 of I Hate You More Than Anyone! (Stop, Drop, and Read!)
Richard Cook on vol. 1 of Lone Wolf and Cub (The Hooded Utilitarian)
Julie on Love Skit (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Deb Aoki on vol. 1 of Moyasimon (
Tangognat on vol. 3 of The Name of the Flower (Tangognat)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 1 of Natsume’s Book of Friends (The Comic Book Bin)
Tangognat on vol. 1 of Night Head Genesis (Tangognat)
Michelle Smith on not simple (Soliloquy in Blue)
Loïc Massaïa on Osamu Tezuka – Biographie (in French) (du9)
Patricia Beard on vol. 1 of Oh! My Brother (
Michelle Smith on vol. 1 of Raiders (Soliloquy in Blue)
Connie on vol. 4 of Ral Ω Grad (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vols. 1 and 2 of Slam Dunk (Slightly Biased Manga)
Snow Wildsmith on vols. 1 and 2 of Steal Moon (Fujoshi Librarian)
David Welsh on vol. 1 of The Summit of the Gods (Precocious Curmudgeon)
Connie on vol. 6 of Totally Captivated (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vols. 19 and 20 of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 6 of V.B. Rose (Slightly Biased Manga)

Translations, best-of lists, and deep thoughts

David Welsh and Kate Dacey make their picks from this week’s batch of new comics, and the Comics Village team picks the best of the last week’s releases as well as their November manga of the month.

You could read all the best-manga-of-2009 lists, or you could let Deb Aoki boil them down into a single list of critics’ recommendations for you, since a lot of books are being mentioned over and over this year. Deb also lists her choices for the best continuing series of the year. Erica Friedman lists her top ten yuri manga of 2009 at Okazu.

Kate Dacey her nominations for the 2009 Manga Hall of Shame and invites readers to submit their own suggestions. Then Yen Press director Kurt Hassler turns the tables and critiques Kate’s critique of the Yen book Pig Bride. Good times! At Precocious Curmudgeon, David Welsh waves farewell to the series that ended in 2009.

Svetlana Chmakova is the featured guest on the latest Girlamatic podcast.

A while back, Matt Thorn complained about the poor quality of most manga translations. Shaenon Garrity responds at The Comics Journal, pointing out that the more literary choices may not please the readers. Over at Manga Life, Alethea and Althea Nibley take up the question of honorifics.

Christopher Butcher responds to Tokyopop’s online manga poll as only Chris can. Read the comments, too, for an interesting discussion about several topics in addition to some further explanation from the Tokyopop folks.

Melinda Beasi rounds up the latest manhwa reviews in her Manhwa Monday post at Manga Bookshelf.

This week’s edition of the Shojo-Sunjeong Alphabet is brought to you by the letter K.

Happy anniversary to Johanna Draper Carlson, who has been blogging at Comics Worth Reading for 10 years. Awesome!

News from Japan: Comic Gear magazine is folding after only two issues. Simon Jones has some thoughts (scroll down). Gundam: Zeon Children’s Academy launches in January in Gundam Ace. And ANN has the latest Japanese comics rankings.

Reviews: Carlo Santos posts the pros and cons of the latest batch of new manga in his latest Right Turn Only!! column at ANN. Ed Sizemore posts brief reviews of some new Viz titles at Comics Worth Reading.

Sean T. Collins on vols. 1-3 of 20th Century Boys (Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat)
Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane on vol. 1 of Butterflies, Flowers (Manga Life)
Lori Henderson on vols. 7 and 8 of Comic (Manga Xanadu)
Julie on vol. 2 of Fire Investigator Nanase (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Michelle Smith on vol. 1 of Happy Cafe (Soliloquy in Blue)
Sophie Stephens on vol. 12 of High School Debut (Animanga Nation)
Vom Marlowe on How to Draw Manga: Ultimate Manga Lessons, Vol. 5: Basics of Portraying Action (The Hooded Utilitarian)
Michelle Smith on vol. 1 of Itazura Na Kiss (Manga Recon)
Snow Wildsmith on vol. 1 of Noodle Shop Affair (Fujoshi Librarian)
Connie on vol. 29 of One Piece (Slightly Biased Manga)
Rob on vol. 1 of Ooku: The Inner Chambers (Panel Patter)
James Fleenor on vol. 1 of Pluto (Anime Sentinel)
Lori Henderson on vol. 3 of Rasetsu (Comics Village)
Melinda Beasi on vols. 1-3 of Roureville (Manga Bookshelf)
Sam on vol. 8 of Rozen Maiden (The Otaku’s Study)
Carlo Santos on vol. 4 of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (ANN)
Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of The Secret Saturdays: The Kur Stone (Good Comics for Kids)
Ed Chavez on vol. 2 of Sumomomo Momomo (MangaCast)
Rob on vol. 5 of Tarot Cafe (Panel Patter)
Connie on vols. 4 and 5 of Totally Captivated (Slightly Biased Manga)
Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Transistor Tea Set (Okazu)
Derik Badman on Yuichi Yokoyama’s Travel (Madinkbeard)
Connie on vols. 16 and 17 of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (Slightly Biased Manga)
Erica Friedman on vol. 4 of Tsubomi (Okazu)
Grant Goodman on vol. 1 of What a Wonderful World (Manga Recon)
AstroNerdBoy on vol. 14 of xxxHOLiC (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog)