Josei pride, new manga, crazy mascots

I made my picks from this week’s new manga at MTV Geek, and I also wrote about my favorite quirky Japanese mascots from the San-x family.

David Welsh looks over this week’s new releases as well at The Manga Curmudgeon, while Sean Gaffney looks ahead to the new manga due out next week.

The latest Manga Out Loud podcast takes on the plight of josei manga, and afterward, participant Melinda Beasi climbs on her soapbox to tell publishers and readers alike: Show some pride in manga that’s made for women! Meanwhile, David Welsh reaches the letter V in his josei alphabet.

Jason Thompson takes a look at Junji Ito’s Uzumaki, about a town cursed by spirals, in his latest House of 1000 Manga column at ANN.

Ash Brown is giving away the first volume of the Rurouni Kenshin omnibus at Experiments in Manga. Click over for instructions on how to enter.

News from Japan: The romantic comedy Kemeko Deluxe! has ended its six-year run in Comic Dengeki Daioh. Writer Yuyukoh Takemiya and artist Akira Kasukabe are working on a new series, Evergreen, to start in the summer issue of Dengeki Daioh Genesis. Hunter X Hunter is coming back to Shonen Jump in August. The latest subject to be personified as moe girls is Japanese constitutional law. The character designer POP is adapting the anime Kowarekake no Orgel, for which he designed the characters, into a manga. The Fractale manga is continuing despite the anime creator’s request that it stop. And ANN has the latest Japanese comics rankings.

Reviews: Anna has some quick takes on recent releases at Manga Report. Other reviews of note:

Kate Dacey on vol. 1 of The Betrayal Knows My Name (The Manga Critic)
Carlo Santos on vol. 14 of Black Jack (ANN)
Connie on vol. 2 of Dengeki Daisy (Slightly Biased Manga)
Kristin on vol. 3 of Grand Guignol Orchestra (Comic Attack)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 12 of Higurashi When They Cry (ANN)
Zack Davisson on vol. 2 of I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow (Japan Reviewed)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 9 of Kimi ni Todoke (The Comic Book Bin)
David Welsh on vol. 3 of Saturn Apartments (The Manga Curmdgeon)
Connie on vol. 14 of Sensual Phrase (Slightly Biased Manga)
Erica Friedman on vol. 3 of Silent Mobius (Okazu)
Lori Henderson on the June issue of Yen Plus (Manga Xanadu)

Mizuki, Mizuno, Mameshiba!

Public Radio International’s program The World recently featured an interview with Shigeru Mizuki, creator of Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths. And Jackie of Green Tea Graffiti talks to Junko Mizuno. (Both links via The Manga Critic.)

Johanna Draper Carlson has put together an interesting timeline of josei manga in the U.S., which is, sadly, mostly a series of false starts.

Daniella Orihuela-Gruber reviews the new manga magazine GEN at All About Manga.

This week, Viz Media unleashes the hybrid bean-dogs Mameshiba on an unsuspecting world.

Reviews

Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Maid Shokun (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Dave Ferraro on No Touching At All (Comics-and-More)
Deb Aoki on vol. 1 of Wandering Son (About.com)

Canada case reactions, MMF winds up, DMG assigns first books

Last week, at Comic Book Resources, I reported on a U.S. citizen who faces criminal child pornography charges in Canada because of manga that were found on his laptop computer during a customs search. Christopher Butcher posts his reaction at Comics212.net:

I’ve been aware of this case since just before I gave my talk on comics and censorship this past February, and every aspect of it makes my blood boil. That ‘manga’ is targeted as a buzzword that encourages Customs agents to do more thorough searches, that an illustration of a person or act is the same thing as the person or act under Canadian law, that Art has no legal defense in Canada anymore. It’s all awful, and I am very, very glad that the CBLDF has stepped in to provide funding and support for this case, to ensure that at the very least this man is rigourously defended, and with any luck a precedent can be set under Canadian law.

At Okazu, Erica Friedman posts some self-defense tips for manga fans planning on international travel.

The Manga Moveable Feast wraps up with a Let’s Get Visual column at Sololoquy in Blue analyzing the art in this month’s selection, Wild Adapter, and two roundups of other people’s writing about the series at Manga Bookshelf.

Digital Manga has assigned its first three licenses to a localization team in the Digital Manga Guild: Kawaii Neko will be translating three yaoi titles, vol. 1 of Only the Flower Knows (Hana no mizo shiru), by Rihito Takarai; The Faithful Dog Waits for Flowers (Chuuken wa hana wo matsu), by Mario Yamada; and Tired of Waiting for Love (Aisotsukashi) by Saki Aida and Yugi Yamada.

Erica Friedman updates us on doings in the yuri world in the latest edition of Yuri Network News.

The Manga Village bloggers pick the best of the newest manga releases.

The Manga Bookshelf team focuses on manga written for women for their Pick of the Week.

David Brothers wraps up his weeklong analysis of Akira at 4thletter! and writes about the “perfect panels” of Akira at Comics Alliance.

Translator Tomo Kimura provides some notes on vol. 3 of Kamisama Kiss.

At Neojaponisme, Matt Alt translates, and puts into context, a 1983 essay from lolicon magazine Manga Burikko telling the otaku to grow up and move beyond their attachment to an idealized notion of puberty. Ogiue Maniax translates a recent Japanese blog post about Genshiken and otaku.

As his josei alphabet draws to a close, David Welsh asks his readers: Which alphabet would you like to see next? Sentiment seems to be leaning toward an Awful Alphabet.

News from Japan: Yoki Matsushita is resuming work on Descendants of Darkness after an eight-year hiatus. Yasuhiro Kano (Mx0) is launching a romantic comedy manga, Kagami no Kuni no Harisugawa, in Weekly Shonen Jump. Kairi Shimotsuki will illustrate a manga series based on the Makai Ishi Mephisto novel series by Hideyuki Kukichi (Vampire Hunter D) Seven manga-ka, including You Higuri (Cantarella), drew chibi personifications of Tokyo neighborhoods for the website of the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center (the home of Comiket).

Reviews: Sean Gaffney posts some short takes on recent manga at A Case Suitable for Treatment. Michelle Smith, Katherine Dacey, Melinda Beasi, and David Welsh file a fresh set of Bookshelf Briefs at Manga Bookshelf. Ash Brown looks over a week’s worth of manga reading at Experiments in Manga.

Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 15 of 20th Century Boys (Comics Worth Reading)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 15 of 20th Century Boys (Kuriousity)
Kimi-chan on vol. 1 of Bad Teacher’s Equation (Kimi-chan Experience)
Connie on vol. 1 of The Betrayal Knows My Name (Slightly Biased Manga)
TSOTE on vol. 3 of A Bride’s Story (Three Steps Over Japan)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 4 of Dengeki Daisy (I Reads You)
Noah Berlatsky on vol. 1 of Dinosaur King (The Hooded Utilitarian)
Kristin on Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga (Comic Attack)
Connie on vol. 2 of Gunslinger Girl (omnibus edition) (Slightly Biased Manga)
David Welsh on vol. 1 of Kekkaishi (omnibus edition) (The Manga Curmudgeon)
Connie on Little Butterfly (omnibus edition) (Slightly Biased Manga)
Casey Brienza on Lychee Light Club (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Kimi-chan on vol. 1 of Moon & Blood (Kimi-chan Experience)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 51 of Naruto (The Comic Book Bin)
AstroNerdBoy on vol. 1 of Negima (omnibus edition) (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Negima (omnibus edition) (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 3 of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (The Comic Book Bin)
Clive Owen on vol. 4 of Rosario + Vampire: Season II (Animanga Nation)
Anna on vols. 1-3 of Saiyuki (Manga Report)
Lori Henderson on the June/July issue of Shonen Jump (Manga Xanadu)
A Library Girl on vols. 1 and 2 of Wild Ones (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)

Manga leads to child porn charges; new online magazine debuts

Breaking news: The CBLDF will join the defense of a U.S. citizen who faces criminal child pornography charges because of manga that Canadian customs agents found on his computer.

A new manga magazine debuted this week with very little fanfare: GEN magazine debuted with four stories in its first issue, which is available for free download at the link. What gives? Julie Opipari interviews GEN editor-in-chief Robert McGuire at the Manga Maniac Cafe. McGuire says the digital edition of the magazine will be published simultaneously in Japan and the U.S. and that it will feature original seinen and doujinshi stories solicited from underground artists. A special collector’s print edition is also available at a price.

Crunchyroll is opening up its JManga online manga service to beta testers in North America; it’s a lottery, and ANN has the details and a link to the signup form.

Lori Henderson has the list of this week’s all-ages comics and manga at Good Comics for Kids.

In his latest House of 1000 Manga column, Jason Thompson writes about Dame Dame Saito Nikki, a 4-koma manga about life among American manga fans, which was supposed to be published over here but for some reason never made it.

The Manga Moveable Feast continues with Melinda Beasi’s essay on “intimacy porn” in Wild Adapter, Chou Jones’s look at themes, and David Welsh’s license request for more manga from Wild Adapter creator Kayuza Minekura.

Tony Yao puts Chi’s Sweet Home on the couch at Manga Therapy.

David Brothers continues his analysis of Akira here, here, and here at 4thletter!

Houston Press blogger Karen Rust puts together a list of her top 20 manga.

Lissa Pattillo shows off her latest purchases at Kuriousity.

AstroNerdBoy notes that Viz has reprinted some scarce volumes of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

News from Japan: Eri Takanashi says that Kannagi, which has been on hiatus due to her health problems, will resume in the September issue of Monthly Comic Rex, due out on July 27. Yu Yagami, creator of Those Who Hunt Elves and Hikkatsu!, has a new series, Kankyō Hogo-Tai Mottai-9 (Evironmental Protection Team Mottai-Nine), in the online manga magazine Flex Comic Next. Ryusuke Hamamoto, who drew the color comic Compass for the U.S. publisher Image and designed the characters for the Petite Eva manga, is launching two new series. There was a bit of a dustup over the Fractale franchise this week, after the artist for the manga adaptation complained online that she found it “uninteresting” and would prefer to work on something else, and the director of the anime from which the manga was drawn asked her to do just that. And the most recent issue of Kodansha’s E-no magazine will be its last; the replacement magazine will start up in October and will include at least three current E-no series.

Reviews: Carlo Santos takes a look at Tenjho Tenge and a handful of other recent manga in his latest Right Turn Only!! column at ANN. Other reviews of note:

TSOTE on vol. 11 of Geobreeders (Three Steps Over Japan)
Michelle Smith on vols. 1 and 2 of March on Earth (Soliloquy in Blue)
Lori Henderson on vols. 1-3 of Saiyuki (Manga Xanadu)
Kristin on The Spiral of Sand (Comic Attack)
Jeff Chuang on vol. 5 of Sunshine Sketch (Japanator)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 5 of Sunshine Sketch (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Ed Sizemore on vol. 1 of Wandering Son (Comics Worth Reading)

Tokyopop’s teen appeal

I looked at this week’s new manga at MTV Geek, and I also took a peek at Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s, the latest iteration of that venerable franchise, coming out in graphic novel form soon from Viz. Meanwhile, David Welsh gives his take on this week’s new manga and Sean Gaffney, always one step ahead, takes a look at next week’s new releases.

Longtime Tokyopop freelancer Lianne Sentar has a great post about the demise of that company at Sleep Is For the Weak in which defends the company and asks why it got so much hate over the years. Her answer is a good one:

My best guess is that Tokyopop was a “teenager” company. It mostly published books for teenagers, it included a fair number of teenagers in its staff, and the changes and/or mistakes that drew criticism – paper changes, printing/typing errors, wacky editorial decisions – were things teenagers mostly don’t care about. They cut corners and were less concerned with pissing off older fans and/or critics than they were with keeping their young fanbase.

If I have to hear another person frame their opinions of Tokyopop as a company based on their incomplete publishing of Aria, I’m going to start smacking people with copies of Bizenghast and Chibi Vampire. You’re not seeing the big picture. The manga industry isn’t just about you. Teenagers are people too, and in many facets of the industry, they outnumber you by about a billion. Their opinions are not invalid just because you don’t agree with them.

There’s much more at the link, and it’s all great. I would totally support getting Lianne a MacArthur grant so she could just write about manga all day.

The Manga Moveable Feast continues at Manga Bookshelf, with a roundtable on this month’s book, Wild Adapter, a roundup of MMF posts on other blogs, a look at three not-so-guilty pleasures of the series, and a reprise of David Welsh’s Flipped column about it.

David Welsh reaches the letter U in his josei alphabet.

Reviews

Alexander Hoffman on All My Darling Daughters (Manga Village)
Anna on vols. 4 and 5 of Dengeki Daisy (Manga Report)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 5 of Library Wars: Love and War (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Kristin on vol. 5 of Library Wars: Love and War (Comic Attack)
Connie on vol. 6 of Rin-ne (Slightly Biased Manga)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 6 of Seiho Boys High School (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Connie on vol. 13 of Sensual Phrase (Slightly Biased Manga)
Charles Webb on vol. 6 of Soul Eater (MTV Geek)
Daniella Orihuela-Gruber on vols. 1-6 of Sundome (All About Manga)
Anna on vol. 1 of Tenjho Tenge: Full Contact Edition (Manga Report)
Lori Henderson on the May issue of Yen Plus (Manga Xanadu)
Connie on vol. 7 of Your and My Secret (Slightly Biased Manga)

New manga, secret comics, bathtub reading

The Manga Bookshelf bloggers—Melinda Beasi, Kate Dacey, Michelle Smith, and David Welsh—discuss their pick of the week, and readers chime in with theirs in comments. Also at Manga Bookshelf: David Welsh lists some manga that make good bathtub reading.

Ryan takes a fond look back at Secret Comics Japan at Same Hat.

Reviews: Ash Brown takes us through a week’s worth of manga reading at Experiments in Manga. Melinda Beasi, Kate Dacey, Michelle Smith, and David Welsh look over some recent releases at Manga Bookshelf.

Lori Henderson on vol. 9 of Detroit Metal City (Manga Village)
Joe Iglesias on Lychee Light Club (Eastern Standard)
Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Saigo no Seifuku (Okazu)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 1 of Tenjho Tenge: Full Contact Edition (The Comic Book Bin)
Kristin on vol. 12 of Vampire Knight (Comic Attack)