Good translations and obscure manga

Jason Thompson treats us to another visit to the dusty attic of manga with a look at Ceres: Celestial Legend at ANN.

Sean Gaffney takes the first look at next week’s new manga.

The Comic-Con reports keep flowing in: Start off with Matt Thorn’s account of escorting Moto Hagio at SDCC, because it is interesting and truly touching. Daniella Orihuela-Gruber files her account of day 2, and Mike has a slideshow at Anime Diet.

The latest course of the Manga Moveable Feast is set with contributions from David Welsh, Kristin, and the Reverse Thieves.

David Welsh posts his weekly license request at The Manga Curmudgeon: He’d like to see Gokinjo Monogatari (The Neighborhood Story), please.

Matt Blind posts the latest set of manga rankings drawn from online sales at Rocket Bomber.

Lots of people like to harp on bad translations, but it’s harder to know when it’s done well; translators Alethea and Athena Nibley find some nice things to say about a couple of translations in their latest column at Manga Life.

News from Japan: ANN has word of a ToLoveRu spinoff manga series and four more new series, each one devoted to a member of the pop idol group AKB48.

Reviews: Connie takes a short look at a number of works by est em at Slightly Biased Manga. Tangognat reads a handful of Harlequin Romance manga from Digital’s eManga site.

Sesho on vol. 4 of Blame! (Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews)
Julie Opipari on vol. 6 of B.O.D.Y. (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 1 of Dengeki Daisy (ANN)
Connie on Dining Bar Akira (Slightly Biased Manga)
Tangognat on A Drunken Dream and Other Stories (Tangognat)
Sesho on vol. 1 of I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow (Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews)
Julie Opipari on vol. 3 of Jack Frost (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Chris Zimmerman on vols. 38-40 of One Piece (cbs4.com)
Connie on vol. 4 of Pig Bride (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 1 of Portrait of M&N (Slightly Biased Manga)
Sesho on vols. 5 and 6 of The Prince of Tennis (Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews)
Zack Davisson on vol. 2 of Red Hot Chili Samurai (Japan Reviewed)
Tangognat on vol. 4 of Shinobi Life (Tangognat)
Connie on vol. 3 of Sugarholic (Slightly Biased Manga)
Lori Henderson on vol. 2 of Tamaishin: The Red Spider Exorcist (Comics Village)
Erica Friedman on vol. 3 of Yuri Hime Selection (Okazu)

SDCC followups and some good advice for readers

Deb Aoki has a roundup of Thursday at Comic-Con that is so thorough, your feet will hurt when you’re done reading it. Anime Diet’s Mike liveblogged the Best and Worst Manga, Yen Press, and Tokyopop panels. Lori Henderson sat out Comic-Con this year and she has some thoughts on what she missed (and what she didn’t) at Manga Xanadu.

The Manga Moveable Feast continues with an Off the Shelf discussion of Paradise Kiss between Melinda Beasi and host Michelle Smith at Manga Bookshelf

Helen McCarthy treats us to another thorough account of a manga-ka who is relatively unknown in English: the pioneer manga-ka Fukujiro Yokoi, who influenced the work of Osamu Tezuka, among others.

I’m a bit late with these links, but I wanted to read them first: Matt Blind speaks some harsh truths to the users of Onemanga.com and other scan sites (although he has a rather rosy view of Communism) and demolishes the argument scan fans keep making that publishers are somehow missing the boat by not simply hiring scanlators and putting their books online for free.

At Okazu, Erica Friedman posts some excellent advice on how to read a review.

News from Japan: Tokyo District Court has ordered the publisher Kodansha to pay a 550,000-yen fine to the man on whom Atsushi Kase modeled a character in the manga Zero-sen. Manga-ka Tsukasa Hojo has told his fans that he will continue his manga Angel Heart even though the magazine that carries it, Comic Bunch, is folding. And ANN has the most recent Japanese comics rankings.

Reviews

Sean Gaffney on Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime (novel) (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Kris on vols. 2 and 3 of Il Gatto Sul G (Manic About Manga)
Zack Davisson on vol. 1 of .hack//LINK (Japan Reviewed)
Kate Dacey on vol. 1 of Hyde & Closer(The Manga Critic)
Connie on vol. 4 of Manga Sutra (Comics Village)
Andre on vol. 5 of St. Dragon Girl (Kuriousity)
Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Silent Mobius (Okazu)
Maison on vols. 1 and 2 of Wolf’s Rain (Manga Jouhou)

Conversations and controversies

With the demise of One Manga and the rise of legit digital manga sites, there has been plenty of action in the online manga space over the past week. At Robot 6, I took the online version of Yen Plus for a test drive, while at Anime Sentinel, James Fleenor takes a look at the new Square Enix manga site.

Shaenon Garrity interviewed Moto Hagio at San Diego Comic-Con, and Hagio goes beyond the usual bland manga-ka cha and really talks about her influences and the issues in her life.

Deb Aoki reports on the manga scene at San Diego Comic-Con, which included some interesting new licenses from indie graphic novel publishers as well as traditional manga publishers and a flurry of news about online manga.

ANN reports that Kinokuniya bookstores in the U.S. have stopped carrying five anime pin-up magazines: Megami Magazine, Megami Magazine Deluxe, Nyantype, Dengeki Hime, and Dengeki Moeoh. Sankaku Complex (NSFW) has more, including a scan of a letter to a customer from Kinokuniya, stating

We are writing this letter to inform you that we no longer handle subscriptions to Megami magazine since it has recently come to our attention that the magazine may contain inappropriate contents which may not comply with applicable state, local, and/or federal regulations. It is our policy to take a cautious approach in conducting our business in full compliance with any applicable state, local, and/or federal regulations.

Caveat: I have never read these magazines, so I’m taking the reporters’ word for it, but according to Sankaku Complex, “None of these titles carry explicit nudity or sexual content – only doe-eyed anime maidens in great profusion.” The magazines are not classified as “harmful publications” in Japan (although that classification can be somewhat erratic, IIRC), and as far as anyone can tell, U.S. Customs allowed the magazines to be imported with no problems. Sankaku Complex spoke to someone at Kinokuniya who mentioned “customer complaints,” while ANN spoke to someone who said the magazines “could carry some pictures that could be understood as child porn.”

Sean Gaffney, David Welsh, and Kate Dacey look over this week’s new releases.

The Manga Moveable Feast continues with reviews and views on Paradise Kiss from Sean Gaffney, Ed Sizemore, and Lori Henderson.

In the latest Manhwa Monday, Melinda Beasi welcomes a new contributor, Hana Lee, and rounds up the week’s manhwa news. Hana jumps right in with an introduction to Korean webcomics.

Caddy comments on the character Ren in Skip Beat! at A Feminist Otaku.

News from Japan: Canned Dogs reports that Urotan is taking a break from the Strike Witches manga after getting off to a rocky start and suffering from “psychological exhaustion.” Kagami Yoshimuzu (Lucky Star) and Kanao Araki (Futakoi Alternative) have launched a new series in Monthly Comp Ace magazine. A manga based on the Gundam W: Endless Waltz anime is also in the works. And ANN has the latest Japanese comics rankings.

Reviews

David Welsh on Alice the 101st (The Manga Curmudgeon)
Erica Friedman on Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime (novel) (The Manga Curmudgeon)
Kristin on vol. 3 of Children of the Sea (Comic Attack)
Amy Grockl on The Clique (Comics Village)
Dave Ferraro on vol. 1 of ES (Comics-and-More)
Snow Wildsmith on vol. 1 of Library Wars: Love and War (Fujoshi Librarian)
Kate Dacey on vol. 2 of Flower in a Storm and vol. 2 of Moyasimon (The Manga Critic)
Justin Colussy-Estes on vol. 1 of My Girlfriend’s A Geek (Comics Village)
Clive Owen on vol. 2 of Ninja Girls (Animanga Nation)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Ugly Duckling Love Revolution (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Carl Kimlinger on vol. 8 of Yotsuba&! (ANN)

Apres le deluge, manga

Pavane_coverSan Diego Comic-Con was busy but didn’t feature as many manga announcements as in previous years. I rounded up the weekend’s news at Robot 6; The big news was that Drawn & Quarterly licensed two manga by Shigeru Mizuki, Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths and NonNonBā. The latter won the Best Album prize at Angouleme a few years ago, and I believe it was the first manga to earn that honor. Emma fans will be pleased to hear that Yen Press has licensed another Kaoru Mori series, Otoyome-Gatari (The Bride’s Stories). Their other titles include Highschool of the Dead, Betrayal Knows My Name (Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru/Uraboku), and another Higurashi When They Cry arc, as well as Aron’s Absurd Armada, which will be published online. The future of Yen Plus magazine was also revealed: It will be published online, and the first month will be free; after that, the subscription is $2.99 per month. Tokyopop also had some new titles to announce: Koge-Donbo’s Naki Shōjo no Tame no Pavane (Pavane for a Dead Girl); Sakura no Ichiban, by the creator of Chibi Vampire; Mr. Clean: Fully Equipped (Keppeki Shōnen Kanzen Sōbi); and Ghost Face, by Min-Woo Hyung, the creator of Priest.

Some con reports of special interest to manga readers: Eva Volin of Good Comics for Kids made it to the VizKIDS, Yen Press, and Moto Hagio panels; Heidi MacDonald reports on the piracy panel; Deb Aoki gives a firshand account of Preview Night, with stops at the Vertical and Fantagraphics booths; and Daniella Orihuela-Gruber recounts her first-day experiences, including seeing a book she worked on end up on the “worst” list in the Best and Worst Manga panel.

Lori Henderson sums up the week’s manga news at Manga Xanadu and Erica Friedman posts the latest edition of Yuri Network News at Okazu. Meanwhile, the Comics Village team looks over the past week’s new releases.

Meanwhile, the scanlation debate inspires Ed Sizemore to pen a little parody at his blog.

Michelle Smith is hosting this month’s Manga Moveable Feast, and the topic for July is Paradise Kiss. Michelle gets things with an intro to the series and a review at Soliloquy in Blue.

Melinda Beasi wraps up Fumi Yoshinaga Week at Manga Bookshelf with a review of vols. 1-4 of Antique Bakery and a final post.

Reviews: At Heart of Manga, Laura pits Panic x Panic against Fairy Navigator Runa.

Johanna Draper Carlson on Angus’s Lost Lady (Comics Worth Reading)
Connie on vol. 11 of Black Jack (Slightly Biased Manga)
Sesho on vol. 3 of Blame! (Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews)
Susan S. on The Dawn of Love (Manga Jouhou)
Julie on vol. 17 of D.Gray-Man (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Dan Polley on A Drifting Life (Comics Village)
Diana Dang on vol. 1 of Fairy Navigator Runa (Stop, Drop, and Read!)
Connie on vols. 6 and 7 of Fake (Slightly Biased Manga)
Erica Friedman on HER (Okazu)
Sean Gaffney on Himeyuka and Rozione’s Story (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Connie on vols. 9 and 10 of Honey and Clover (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 3 of InuYasha (VizBIG edition) (Slightly Biased Manga)
Shannon Fay on vol. 1 of Kingyo Used Books (Kuriousity)
Greg McElhatton on vols. 1 and 2 of Kobato (Read About Comics)
Lissa Pattillo on The Last Airbender: Zuko’s Story (Kuriousity)
James Fleenor on vol. 1 of Mad Love Chase (Anime Sentinel)
Ken Haley on vol. 3 of Ninja Girls (Sequential Ink)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 7 of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (Comics Worth Reading)
Tangognat on vol. 4 of Shinobi Life (Tangognat)
Connie on vol. 1 of Seduction More Beautiful Than Love (Slightly Biased Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 13 of Strawberry 100% (The Comic Book Bin)
Connie on vol. 2 of Sugarholic (Slightly Biased Manga)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 2 of Twin Spica (Comics Worth Reading)
Anna (Tangognat) on Twin Spica and Saturn Apartments (The Bureau Chiefs)

Manga for grown-ups

There’s plenty of manga action going on at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend; most of the big publishers are there, although they don’t seem to be announcing huge numbers of licenses as in years past. Top Shelf announced it would be publishing the alt-manga Cigarette Girl, by Masahiko Matsumoto, and Vertical’s new license is Usamaru Furuya’s Lychee Light Club. And while their panel focused mainly on anime, Bandai did announce one new manga license: Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens, the inspiration for the anime of the same name.

Mike liveblogs the Best and Worst Manga of 2010 panel for Anime Diet, and ANN has writeups of the Lost in Translation, Best and Worst Manga of 2010, and Manga for Grown-ups panels.

The Eisner Awards will be handed out tomorrow night, and David Welsh tries handicapping the manga and manhwa nominees.

Jason Thompson gets nostalgic about the horror/action manga BAOH in his latest House of 1,000 Manga column at ANN.

The folks behind OpenManga explain what they are thinking about for their new platform, which is touted as a legal alternative to the soon-to-be-defunct OneManga.com.

Toyopop is looking for interns for the fall.

News from Japan: Weekly Comic Bunch will end with the August 27 issue, but at least one series will outlive it: Tsukasa Hojo says he will continue his crime drama Angel Heart, although he didn’t specify in what format.

Reviews: Melinda Beasi and Michelle Smith discuss several Fumi Yoshinaga manga in the first installment of their dialogue column BL Bookrack, and Melinda also hosts a roundtable on Gerard & Jacques and reviews vols. 1-3 of Ooku at Manga Bookshelf. Other reviews of note:

Erica Friedman on Azumanga Daioh (omnibus edition) (Okazu)
Kenton Smith on Black Blizzard (SEE Magazine)
Kate Dacey on A Drunken Dream and Other Stories (The Manga Critic)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 32 of Eyeshield 21 (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 23 of Fullmetal Alchemist (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 6 of Gatcha Gacha (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Lori Henderson on vol. 6 of Gestalt (Manga Xanadu)
Amy Grockl on vol. 2 of Happy Cafe (Comics Village)
AstroNerdBoy on vol. 2 of Kobato (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog)
Zack Davisson on vol. 5 of Maid Sama! (Japan Reviewed)
Leroy Douresseaux on Maniac Shorts Shot (The Comic Book Bin)
Maison on vol. 1 of Nodame Cantabile (Manga Jouhou)
Connie on Red Snow (Comics Village)
Julie Opipari on vol. 3 of Sarasah (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Leroy Douresseaux on World of Warcraft: Mage (The Comic Book Bin)

BREAKING: One Manga shutting down, Square Enix opens up shop

One Manga, the largest illicit manga scan site and one of the top 1,000 websites on the whole internet, is shutting down. This message, from site administrator “Zabi,” appears on the front page:

“There is an end to everything, to good things as well.”

It pains me to announce that this is the last week of manga reading on One Manga (!!). Manga publishers have recently changed their stance on manga scanlations and made it clear that they no longer approve of it. We have decided to abide by their wishes, and remove all manga content (regardless of licensing status) from the site. The removal of content will happen gradually (so you can at least finish some of the outstanding reading you have), but we expect all content to be gone by early next week (RIP OM July ’10).

So what next? We’re not really sure at this point, but we have some ideas we would like to try out. Until then, the One Manga forums will remain active and we encourage all of you to continue using them. OMF has developed into a great community and it would be a shame to see that disappear.

You can also show us some love in this moment of sadness by ‘liking’ our brand new Facebook page. It would be nice to see just how many of you came to enjoy our ‘better than peanut butter and jelly’ invention.

Regardless of whether you stay with us or not, on behalf of the One Manga team, I would like to thank you all for your unwavering support over the years. Through the ups and downs you have stuck with us, and that is what kept us going.

As a certain Porky was fond of saying… That’s all folks!

Time for me to go lay down and let this all sink in.

- Zabi

Their Facebook is here. Meawhile, the Japanese publisher Square Enix announced yesterday that it is setting up its own online manga site, but the manga won’t be free:

Given the increasing popularity of electronic reading formats, Square Enix has decided to take advantage of the online distribution infrastructure originally developed for its games business, along with the company’s existing payment system and online fan communities in order to establish a paid digital distribution channel to better serve the varied needs of its global customers. Square Enix will continue to work with its existing regional publishing licensees to promote both electronic and print versions of titles, while aiming to deter piracy by establishing an official web-based distribution source.

They are doing demos at Comic-Con this weekend, and the site goes live in the fall, serving North America and France. Right now, you can read the first chapters of Fullmetal Alchemist, Black Butler, Soul Eater, and O-Parts Hunter online for free, with a promise of more to follow. My first impulse was to wonder what Viz and Yen Press, the publishers of these two series, thought about it, but a quick e-mail exchange with Yen Press editorial director Kurt Hassler indicates that this is a partnership, with the American publishers supplying the material.