MOFA, MMF, and Megatokyo

At MTV Geek, I look at some good reads for under a dollar, and I also have a heads-up about the manga contest run by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (a.k.a. MOFA, which sounds pretty badass).

Lori Henderson has the rundown on this week’s all-ages comics and manga at Good Comics for Kids, and Sean Gaffney looks ahead to next week’s new manga at A Case Suitable for Treatment.

David Welsh rounds up the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday links for this month’s Manga Moveable Feast, which features Fruits Basket. And Kate Dacey posts the Manga Moveable Feast schedule for the upcoming year.

Otaku no Podcast interviewed Megatokyo creator Fred Gallagher at Anime Expo.

Jason Thompson writes about the weird and horrible Apocalypse Zero for his latest House of 1000 Manga column at ANN.

Ed Sizemore and Evan Krell discuss 7 Billion Needles in the latest Manga Out Loud podcast.

New to the blogroll: Gagging on Sexism, in which Erin Joyce writes from a feminist point of view about novels, anime, and manga. To start us off, here’s her post about two strong female characters in Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

Ash Brown is giving away a copy of vol. 1 of Ghost Talker’s Daydream at Experiments in Manga.

Convention news: Otakon is going on this weekend, and ANN has pretty comprehensive coverage. Looking forward to the fall, Fairy Tail creator Hiro Mashima will be a guest at New York Anime Fest.

News from Japan: Remember when Fractale manga artist Mustumi Akazaki complained that the manga was “uninteresting”? Well, she has apologized. The Gokicha (Cockroach Girls) manga, which began as a doujinshi, will now run regularly in Houbunsha’s Manga Time Kirara Carat magazine. Yumi Nakata (Chu-Bra) has a new manga in the works, Oku-sama ga Seitokai-chō! (My Wife Is the Student Council President!), which will start running in Monthly Comic Rex in August. Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok is coming back, after a seven-year hiatus, and this time it will be carried by Mag Garden’s online magazine Beat’s. Wild Adapter is moving to Ichijinsha, which will re-release the already published tankoubon with new covers and eventually resume serialization of the manga, which has been on hiatus for seven years. Three Steps Over Japan takes a look at Young Gangan. And ANN has the latest Japanese comics rankings.

Reviews: Lori Henderson and Alex Hoffman discuss Dengeki Daisy in their He Said, She Said column at Manga Village.

Diana Dang on vol. 1 of Ai Ore! (Stop, Drop, and Read!)
Kristin on A Bloody Kiss Tonight (Comic Attack)
Connie on vol. 2 of Challengers (Slightly Biased Manga)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 5 of Itazura na Kiss (ANN)
Kristin on vol. 4 of Kamisama Kiss (Comic Attack)
Joe Iglesias on vol. 2 of King of RPGs (Eastern Standard)
John Rose on vol. 4 of Kobato (The Fandom Post)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 6 of Laon (The Fandom Post)
Ash Brown on Lychee Light Club (Experiments in Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 8 of Natsume’s Book of Friends (The Comic Book Bin)
Angela Eastman on vol. 2 of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (The Fandom Post)
Rob McMonigal on vol. 4 of Karakuri Odette (Panel Patter)
Julie Opipari on vol. 4 of Stepping on Roses (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Erica Friedman on Twin Cake (Okazu)
Snow Wildsmith on vol. 1 of Wandering Son (Good Comics for Kids)

New manga, Borders memories, and more on Fruits Basket

I checked out this week’s new manga for MTV Geek.

The Manga Moveable Feast continues, and host David Welsh rounds up all the links from yesterday’s blogging about Fruits Basket.

As Borders, once the best bookstore for manga, closes its doors, Jason Yadao has some memories and thoughts about what’s next. Sesho also has some thoughts on the end of Borders and the beginning of JManga.com in his latest podcast.

Tony Yao looks at mental illness in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei and wonders if yakuza stories are on the way out at Manga Therapy.

News from Japan: The Tiger and Bunny anime is getting its own manga series.

Reviews

Connie on vol. 16 of 20th Century Boys (Slightly Biased Manga)
Kate Dacey on Basic Anatomy for the Manga Artist (The Manga Critic)
Michelle Smith on vols. 1 and 2 of Backstage Prince (digital version) (Soliloquy in Blue)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 13 of Black God (The Fandom Post)
Serdar Yegulalp on vol. 15 of Black Jack (Genji Press)
Rob McMonigal on vol. 5 of Cat Paradise (Panel Patter)
Sesho on vol. 1 of A Certain Scientific Railgun (Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews)
Erica Friedman on the July 2011 issue of Comic Yuri Hime (Okazu)
Sesho on vol. 1 of Highschool of the Dead (Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews)
Connie on vol. 38 of Oh My Goddess (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 4 of Ooku (Slightly Biased Manga)

Thoughts on San Diego, Tezuka app flops, and Fruits Basket under the microscope

Deb Aoki spent an epic weekend at Comic-Con, and she emerges with a good overview post on three manga trends to watch.

Remember that David Welsh is hosting this month’s Manga Moveable Feast, on Fruits Basket, at The Manga Curmudgeon. He has rounded up the Monday links there and also posts his thoughts on “The Saddest Sohma.” (Click to see which one!).

Erica Friedman brings us the latest Yuri Network News at Okazu.

Ed Sizemore has been sorely disappointed by the Tezuka iPad app; he paid his $9.99 but never got access to the comics that were promised (Spoiler: Apple has agreed to refund the money.)

Patrick Macias has posted an English-language tutorial for ComiPo!, a Japanese manga-drawing app.

Congratulations to Connie C. on seven years of reading and reviewing manga at Slightly Biased Manga!

News from Japan: GTO creator Tohru Fujisawa and Iketeru Futari manga-ka Takashi Sano are collaborating on a new series, Black Sweep Sisters, that will debut in Dengeki Comic Japan in August. ANN also has the latest Japanese comics rankings.

Reviews: Ash Brown looks back on this week’s manga reading at Experiments in Manga.

Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of Amnesia Labyrinth (Manga Xanadu)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 6 of Arata: The Legend (The Comic Book Bin)
Adam Stephanides on vol. 6 of Billy Bat (Completely Futile)
Erica Friedman on Candy (Okazu)
Connie on vol. 4 of Kamisama Kiss (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 6 of Laon (Slightly Biased Manga)
Dave Ferraro on vol. 1 of Monster Hunter Orage (Comics-and-More)
James Fleenor on Neko Ramen (Anime Sentinel)
Erica Friedman on Sweet Little Devil (Okazu)

San Diego and beyond

Just a few quick things—it was a busy weekend, and while there wasn’t a huge amount of manga news out of San Diego, there was definitely some food for thought. I rounded up Thursday’s announcements from Comic-Con at MTV Geek, and I also summed up the JManga.com panel at Robot 6. For more detail, check out the reports from ANN and Anime Diet—they were there.

Yen Press announced three new manga titles: Durara!!, Kore wa Zombie desu ka?, and Olimpos. The first two are based on light novels (and Funimation just licensed the Korezom anime). Yen’s director of publishing Kurt Hassler mentioned at the beginning of the panel that they were working on a couple of light novel licenses, and since Yen often licenses manga and light novels in pairs, it’s reasonable to expect that these novels will be coming along shortly. Olimpos is based on Greek mythology, and Yen will publish the manga, originally two volumes, as a one-volume omnibus. Yen also announced an iPhone/iPod Touch version of its app, and to get people rolling, they are offering all volume 1s for $2.99, a steep discount from the regular digital price of $8.99. Yen has added quite a few Japanese titles to its app recently, so if you haven’t been there in a while, it’s worth giving it another look. Again, here’s coverage from ANN and Anime Diet.

ANN also covered the Shonen Jump panel, at which Japanese SJ editor Hisashi Sasaki critiqued some of the entries in the Shonen Jump storyboard contest. Other panel coverage: Anime Diet liveblogged the Manga Censorship panel, while
ANN covered the manga scholars’ poster session, the Best and Worst Manga panel, and the Shonen Jump panel.

Lissa Pattillo wasn’t there, but she posts her impressions of SDCC from afar at Kuriousity.

In other news…

This month’s Manga Moveable Feast features Fruits Basket, and host David Welsh gets the discussion started with a post on why Fruits Basket is worth discussing and another on romantic triangles.

The Manga Village team looks over the newest batch of manga releases. Meanwhile, the Manga Bookshelf bloggers debate their Pick of the Week.

News from Japan: Masami Tsuda (Kare Kano) is bringing her historical comedy manga Chotto Edo Made to an end.

Reviews: Melinda Beasi, Kate Dacey, Sean Gaffney, and Michelle Smith file another set of Bookshelf Briefs at Manga Bookshelf.

Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 4 of Cross Game (Comics Worth Reading)
Kate Dacey on vol. 1 of Magic Knight Rayearth (The Manga Critic)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 4-6 of Naruto (A Case Suitable for Treatment)

Viz launches manga site, Square Enix offers freebie

San Diego Comic-Con got rolling in earnest on Thursday, but there wasn’t a huge amount of manga news—we’ll probably see more today. The big story was the launch of the VIZManga.com online manga site, which syncs with their iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch apps and can be used on Android devices with a built-in web browser (which I would assume is all of them, but who knows). Manga is priced there, as on the apps, at $4.99 per volume, but they are giving a 40% discount on the first volume of every series through July 31. Calvin and Heidi have more on the new site at PWCW. On the blogs, David Welsh asks his readers which manga they would like to see on the website, and Lori Henderson applauds the move because it makes manga more widely available.

Square Enix got in on the web manga act a while ago, and they are offering a free volume 1 on their site as well; I posted all the details here yesterday.

And ANN has some early press on the JManga.com website, which will launch August 17 with a robust line of manga in English. Their panel is scheduled for 11 a.m., so we should get more details then.

Kodansha Comics had no new announcements at their panel but they highlighted some already announced series, including Sailor Moon, and reassured fans that a Facebook page and Twitter account are in the works.

Carlo Santos had some good coverage of the Manga: Lost in Translation panel at ANN, and Mike from Anime Diet liveblogged it as well.

In other news…

Erica Friedman kicks off her Magazine no Mori column at Manga Bookshelf with a look at Shounen Sunday.

News from Japan: The new manga magazine Monthly Hero’s will launch in October with a lineup that includes Ultraman.

Reviews: I reviewed Mameshiba on the Loose! at MTV Geek—it’s not exactly manga, but it’s from Viz and based on a Japanse property, and it’s pretty good, too. Melinda Beasi and Michelle Smith discuss a stack of yaoi manga in their latest BL Bookrack column at Manga Bookshelf. Other reviews of note:

Chris Kirby on vol. 9 of Detroit Metal City (The Fandom Post)
Chris Kirby on vol. 3 of Genkaku Picasso (The Fandom Post)
Ed Sizemore on Ill-Fated Relationship (Comics Worth Reading)
Jocelyne Allen on vol. 2 of Kaze to Ki no Uta (Song of the Wind and Trees) (Brain vs. Book)
John Rose on vol. 1 of Kobato (The Fandom Post)
Kristin on vol. 3 of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (Comic Attack)
Sakura Eries on vol. 2 of Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura (The Fandom Post)
Julie Opipari on vol. 12 of Vampire Knight (Manga Maniac Cafe)
John Rose on vol. 1 of Zombie-Loan (The Fandom Post)

Breaking: Square Enix giving away a free volume of manga on their digital site

This just arrived in my in-box: If you “Like” Square Enix on their Facebook page, or get a secret URL that they are handing out at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, you can get the first volume of one their series for free on their online manga site. They have 15 series available, including Black Butler, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Higurashi When They Cry, so hop over and see if anything tickles your fancy.

After you do that, I’d appreciate it if you would stop back here and tell me what you think of the site and your experience. I have been exploring it myself, and I’m curious to hear what other people have to say about it.

Caveats: The offer is good until August 10 and is open to residents of North America only.

Full press release after the jump.
[Read more...]