Archives for April 2010

Books for Mushishi fans, the One Piece surge, and translating humor

Ed Sizemore rounds up the latest additions to the Manga Moveable Feast at Comics Worth Reading, while David Welsh suggests some alternatives that fans of Mushishi might enjoy.

At the librarian site EarlyWord, Robin Brenner explains why there were five volumes of One Piece on last week’s NYT best-seller list and none this week, and how publishers are trying to deal with scanlations.

Helen McCarthy takes a look at the life and work of manga artist Ryohei Saigan, who received an award from the Japanese government this year, and who is almost unheard of in the U.S.—except by one lucky group of schoolchildren in Illinois in the 1980s.

Julie Opipari, proprietress of the Manga Maniac Cafe, has a new column at Blog@Newsarama, titled Your Manga Minute. In her first column, she discusses what anime cons and horse shows have in common.

David Welsh starts a new round of the alphabet with a look at seinen manga that begin with the letter A at The Manga Curmudgeon.

Translators Alethea and Athena Nibley discuss the art and science of translating comedy at Manga Life.

News from Japan: ANN has the latest Japanese comics rankings.

Reviews: Carlo Santos takes on a new crop of manga in his latest Right Turn Only!! column. Kristin takes a look at more of Digital’s Harlequin manga at Comic Attack.

Danica Davidson on vols. 1-3 of Absolute Boyfriend (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Snow Wildsmith on vols. 1-10 of Angel Diary (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Snow Wildsmith on Blood+ Kowloon Nights (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 9 of B.O.D.Y. (The Comic Book Bin)
Snow Wildsmith on vol. 1 of Bokurano: Ours (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Melinda Beasi on vol. 2 of Crown of Love (Manga Bookshelf)
Chloe Ferguson on vols. 1 and 2 of Eureka Seven Manga Collection (Manga Recon)
Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Jormungand (Okazu)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 1 and 2 of Karakuri Odette (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
D.M. Evans on vol. 1 of Laon (Manga Jouhou)
Andre on vol. 2 of Oninagi (Kuriousity)

PR: The Saturn Apartments

PrintThe print edition of The Saturn Apartments is on the way from Viz, due in stores on May 8. This is one of the stories that has been appearing regularly at, and you can check it out online, at least for a little while longer. I haven’t read it, but from the writeup below, it sounds kind of interesting: It’s the story of a window washer in a futuristic space colony. Read on for more.


A Young Window Washer Offers A Panoramic View
Into A Future Space Colony

San Francisco, CA, April 29, 2010 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, brings the newest title from its partnership with Japan’s IKKI magazine to domestic audiences with the release of SATURN APARTMENTS on May 8th. Created by Hisae Iwaoka, the manga series will be published under the VIZ Signature imprint, is rated ‘T’ for Teens, and will carry an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN.

Far in the future, humankind has evacuated Earth in order to preserve it. Humans now reside in a gigantic structure that forms a ring around the earth, 35,000 kilometers up in the sky. The society of the Ring System is strictly stratified: the higher the floor, the greater the status. Mitsu, the lowly son of a window washer, has just graduated. Five years after his father disappears and is assumed dead, Mitsu takes on his father’s occupation. As he struggles with the transition to working life, Mitsu’s job treats him to an outsider’s view into the living-room dioramas of the Saturn Apartments.

“SATURN APARTMENTS delivers a brilliant vision of a future where Earth is just beyond the grasp of humanity,” says Daniel Gillespie, Editor, VIZ Media. “As Mitsu endeavors to become an adult, he treats us to touching insights on working life, dreams and ambitions, class tension, the value of community and family, and the perplexing loneliness that occurs when people are forced to live on top of one another. It’s a poignant metaphor for urban life, drawn with stunning intricacy and irresistible cuteness.”

Hisae Iwaoka is the creator of several one-shot manga, including Hana Boro (Flower Cookies) and Shiroi Kumo (White Clouds), both of which were serialized in IKKI magazine. Saturn Apartments is her most recent series. A noted artist and illustrator, her installations also have been displayed internationally in the group show “Tokyo Girls Bravo,” which was curated by famed artist Takashi Murakami.

SATURN APARTMENTS is the latest series to be published as part of VIZ Media’s partnership with Japan’s IKKI magazine, bringing a diverse collection of exceptional manga series to audiences in North America. From action to comedy to drama, slice-of-life stories to surrealist fantasies, the uniting themes these works share are an uncommon emphasis on creative quality and on pushing the boundaries of the manga norm. SATURN APARTMENTS is also featured online at, the groundbreaking web destination for a broad range of unique manga designed for mature audiences.

For more information on other VIZ Signature titles and to check out a sneak peek of chapters one through eight of SATURN APARTMENTS, please visit

New releases and last straws

Kate Dacey, Gia Manry, Brad Rice, and David Welsh
pick out the most likely titles from this week’s new releases.

Tim Maughan contributes the latest entry to the Manga Moveable Feast with his review of vols. 1 and 2 of Mushishi.

Over at Robot 6, Sean T. Collins talks about the comics that drive you away from comics, or more precisely, a particular creator or genre. Sean’s examples are both superheroes, and his commenters and David Welsh chime in with more, but Sadie Mattox applies the same question to manga.


Jan Harper on vol. 1 of Alice in the Country of Hearts (Manga Musings)
Emily on Dakara Koi to Yobanaide (Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page)
Tangognat on vols. 1-3 of The Keys to the Kingdom (Tangognat)
Brenda Gregson on vol. 1 of Kingyo Used Books (Animanga Nation)
Becky Fullan on vol. 1 of Me and the Devil Blues (Manga Jouhou)
Julie Opipari on vol. 3 of The Name of the Flower (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 3 of Ooku (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Jaime Samms on Secret Moon (Kuriousity)
Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of The World I Create (Manga Xanadu)

Yen Plus poll, Mushishi, and renaming manga

Deb Aoki polls her readers: How much would you pay to read Yen Plus online?

The Manga Moveable Feast continues: Sean Gaffney and Rob McMonigal review this month’s book, Mushishi, and Tangognat and Jason Yadao link to some older posts.

Melinda Beasi brings us all the latest Korean-comics news in her latest Manhwa Monday post.

Helen McCarthy has a fascinating post on creator Shotaro Ishinomori’s attempt to change the word “manga” by changing the first kanji from one that means “random” to one that has the same sound but means “a large number,” suggesting the many possibilities of the medium. Alas, it never caught on.

Kai-Ming Cha, left computerless for a few days, spends some time thinking about the iPad, the slump in manga sales, and the scanlation debate and decides that publishers need to think about new means of distribution, noting, “Manga is more than books.”

Dark Horse has a generous sample online of the artbook The Art of Blade of the Immortal.

News from Japan: The Osaka Prefectural Government has declared eight boys-love magazines to be “harmful publications,” which means that they cannot be sold to youths under 18.

Reviews: Kate Dacey and Danielle Leigh both come to the conclusion that the excessive cuteness of vol. 1 of Kobato, the latest CLAMP release, is deceptive, and Kate goes so far as to call it a parody of the entire moe genre.

Ed Sizemore on vol. 1 of Aishiteruze Baby (An Eddy of Thought)
Erica Friedman on Azumanga Daioh (omnibus edition) (Okazu)
D.M. Evans on vol. 1 of Black Butler (Manga Jouhou)
Dave Ferraro on vol. 1 of Cactus’s Secret (Comics-and-More)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 2 of Crown of Love (The Comic Book Bin)
Andrew Wheelers on vols. 45-47 of Naruto (Antick Musings)
Michelle Smith on vol. 2 of Raiders (Soliloquy in Blue)
Tangognat on Ristorante Paradiso (Tangognat)
Melinda Beasi on vol. 1 of Twin Spica (Manga Bookshelf)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 15 of xxxHoLiC (Kuriousity)
Snow Wildsmith on vols. 1-4 of Ze (Fujoshi Librarian)

New MMF, Ai Yazawa out of hospital, Erica goes to Garo

First of all, an announcement: If you are using a free LJ, I am probably going to stop linking to you, because the interstitial ads that LiveJournal puts in frequently crash my browser (I use Safari). It’s nothing personal, but I can’t afford to keep losing my work, and I don’t want to be directing other people to a site that’s booby-trapped. If you upgrade to a paid account or switch to another platform, shoot me an e-mail (address is at the right) with the new URL and I’ll resume linking:

9780345499233Ed Sizemore is the host for this month’s Manga Moveable Feast, and the topic is Mushishi. He kicks things off with a quick overview of the series and a summary of what he hopes to see in the MMF posts. And people are diggiing in already: Kate Dacey has some initial thoughts at The Manga Critic, Melinda Beasi links to some of her reviews at Manga Bookshelf, David Welsh brings back a Flipped column on the series, and Lori Henderson jumps right in with her review of volume 1 at Manga Xanadu. Anyone can play, even if you don’t have a blog of your own, so go check it out.

Lori Henderson rounds up this week’s manga news at Manga Xanadu, and Erica Friedman brings your latest Yuri Network News update at Okazu.

Erica also visits the Garo exhibit, and she brings along manga creator Rica Takashima, who provides some context.

Simon Jones has some cogent commentary on online distribution, with reference to last week’s request by Shueisha that people stop posting their comics online.

Daniella Orihuela-Gruber takes a look at Jews in anime and manga. Yes, they are there, but there aren’t very many.

News from Japan: Nana creator Ai Yazawa is out of the hospital, after being treated for an unspecified but serious illness. Tomo Kimura has more, based on a short article in a women’s magazine. Naruto has become Shueisha’s fifth manga to top 100 million copies in print.


Sean Gaffney on vol. 4 of Bamboo Blade (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Connie on Black Blizzard (Slightly Biased Manga)
AstroNerdBoy on vol. 1 of Chobits (omnibus edition) (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Gatcha Gacha (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 2 of Happy Cafe (The Comic Book Bin)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 1 of Mikansei No. 1 (The Comic Book Bin)
Bill Sherman on vol. 2 of Mikansei No. 1 (Seattle PI)
Julie Opipari on vol. 16 of Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Connie on vols. 44, 45, and 46 of One Piece (Slightly Biased Manga)
Julie Opipari on vol. 4 of Phantom Dream (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Patrick Kastner on vols. 1-8 of Pluto (The Columbus Dispatch)
Bill Sherman on vol. 1 of Rampage (Blogcritics)
Susan S. on Unsophisticated and Rude (Manga Jouhou)
Kate Dacey on vols. 1-5 of Your and My Secret (The Manga Critic)

Awards speculation, prying questions, and a look at Garo

The folks at Trouble with Comics were nice enough to ask me to contribute a guest review, and I chose vol. 1 of Bunny Drop for my topic. I was particularly honored as this site usually doesn’t cover manga.

Viz pretty much dominates this week’s NY Times manga best-seller list again, although Yen sneaks in at the bottom with vol. 1 of Black Butler. (Warning: Obnoxious interstitial ad. Really, New York Times? Has it come to this?)

Dirk Deppey posts a ton of scans from a 1992 issue of the alt-manga anthology Garo.

Lori Henderson rounds up this week’s all ages comics and manga at Good Comics for Kids.

Viz has posted an interview with Q Hayashida, the creator of Dorohedoro, at their SigIKKI website, in which she talks about her background, his inspiration, and his work process.

Can there be such a thing as too many food manga? David Welsh’s latest license request is Bambino!, which is set in an Italian restaurant in Tokyo. David also posts some Harvey Award suggestions and a poll as to what will win the Eisner.

At Manga Life, Charles Webb talks to Dr. June Madeley, the author of “Transnational Transformations: A Gender Analysis of Japanese Manga Featuring Unexpected Bodily Transformations,” for The Journal of Popular Culture and “Girly Girls and Pretty Boys: Gender and Audience Reception of English-translated Manga.” She did a survey of manga readers and has some interesting observations on scanlation use, the falloff in manga reading in one’s 20s, and other trends. (Although be warned, the sample size was small and apparently geographically limited.)

ANN finds a bootleg manga app in the iTunes store; the mystery is not so much how it got there as how they managed to miss all the others (there are at least five). UPDATE: I expanded a bit on this at Robot 6.

At Same Hat!, Ryan alerts us to a new Sueruo Maruo book, Rampo Panorama, just published in Japan, and posts the covers and a bit of info.

Reviews: The Unshelved Book Club has a quick cartoon summary of 20th Century Boys. Noah Berlatsky sees Kingyo Used Books as warm fuzzies for otaku.

Connie on vols. 1 and 2 of Alice in the Country of Hearts (Manga Recon)
Todd Douglass on vol. 4 of Animal Academy (Anime Maki)
Erica Friedman on vol. 5 of Aoi Hana (Okazu)
Eric Robinson on vol. 3 of Bamboo Blade (Manga Jouhou)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 9 of Excel Saga (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Connie on vol. 2 of InuYasha (VizBig edition) (Slightly Biased Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on Love Knot (The Comic Book Bin)
Julie Opipari on vol. 3 of Rasetsu (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Emily on Sayonara demo Aishiteru (Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page)
Todd Douglass on Songs to Make You Smile (Anime Maki)