The Manga Revue: Deadman Wonderland and Livingstone

The November release of Jinsei Kataoka and Tomohiro Maekawa’s Livingstone provided me a nifty excuse to try Deadman Wonderland, an earlier series written and illustrated by Katoaka. Fans of Deadman Wonderland may know its complex licensing history here in the US: Tokyopop was its first publisher, releasing five volumes before going bankrupt in 2011. VIZ acquired the series in 2013, and is now just two volumes shy of the series’ grand finale, which arrives in February 2016. Whether you’re new to Kataoka’s work or have been a long-time fan, this column has something for you–so read on!

deadman_wonderland1Deadman Wonderland, Vol. 1
Story & Art by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou
Rated T+, for Older Teens
VIZ Media, $9.99

In the not-so-distant future, visitors flock to Deadman Wonderland, a prison-cum-theme park in Tokyo Bay where inmates fight to the death in front of paying crowds. Our guide to this Roman circus is newly minted prisoner Ganta Igarashi, an ordinary fourteen-year-old who’s been wrongfully convicted of murdering his classmates. Ganta’s fundamental decency is challenged at every turn; try as he might to cling to his humanity and clear his name, the prison’s arbitrary rules and roving gangs make it hard to be principled.

Though Ganta’s travails provide a solid foundation for the story, the artwork is the true star of Deadman Wonderland. Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou create a Bizarro World Disneyland with rides, concessions, grinning animal mascots, and attractions like the Happy Dog Run, a lethal obstacle course featuring swinging blades and spike-filled pits. The characters who inhabit this landscape are a motley crew: though some telegraph their bad-guy status with tattoos and goofy haircuts, there are enough ordinary-looking prisoners that it’s impossible to judge who’s trustworthy. That uncertainty creates a strong undercurrent of tension in every scene, making Ganta’s everyday activities–a conversation in the bathroom, a trip to the cafeteria–as fraught with peril as an actual contest.

The manga’s other great strength is pacing. Kataoka and Kondou resist the temptation to dole out too much information in the first volume; we’re never more than a clue or two ahead of Ganta, though perceptive readers may finish volume one with some notion of the prison’s true purpose. The authors’ expert timing also prevents us from dwelling on the story’s most shopworn elements, instead focusing our attention on how Ganta responds to new characters and new challenges.

The verdict: Great art, smart pacing, and an appealing lead character make Deadman Wonderland a winner. (A note to parents, teachers, and librarians: this manga’s rating is justified.)

livingstoneLivingstone, Vol. 1
Story  by Tomohiro Maekawa, Art by Jinsei Kataoka
Rated 16+
Kodansha Comics, $10.99

Livingstone is a handsomely illustrated bore, the kind of manga in which the writer has dressed up a simple concept with a profusion of fussy details that don’t add depth or interest to the story. The title refers to human souls–or, more accurately, the rock-like form that human souls take after a person dies. Sakurai and Amano, the manga’s protagonists, work together to harvest livingstones, thus ensuring that a soul is properly passed from one person to the next. If a person dies before his appointed time, however, his soul curdles into a gooey blob of bad juju.

The manga has the rhythm of a cop show: in each chapter, Sakurai and Amano solve or prevent one unscheduled death, usually by negotiating with someone who’s planning to kill himself. Livingstone‘s intense fixation on suicide is off-putting; none of the would-be victims are particularly sympathetic, and Sakurai and Amano’s ministrations are so tone-deaf that it’s hard to know what message author Tomohiro Maekawa is hoping to impart to readers. Sakurai and Amano’s antagonistic bickering is supposed to inject a note of levity into the proceedings, I think, but the timing of the jokes and the staleness of the characterizations do little to offset the dour tone. By the end of volume one, I found myself feeling bummed out and irritated–never a good sign for a series that’s exploring a subject as serious as death.

The verdict: Nice art, lousy script; I liked this story better when it was called The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service.

Reviews: At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna Draper Carlson dives into the eleventh volume of Fumi Yoshinaga’s Ooku: The Inner Chambers, which she describes as “something like Macbeth in kimonos.” Megan R. of The Manga Test Drive offers an in-depth assessment of Oishinbo, “the longest running food manga in Japan,” while Seth Hahne, proprietor of Good OK Bad, weighs in on Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches. Feeling crafty? Vertical Comics shares some early reviews of their latest Arnazi Aronzo book Cuter Stuff.

Connie on Alice in the Country of Hearts: Ace of Hearts (Slightly Biased Manga)
Lindsey Tomsu on The Celebration of Haruhi Suzumiya (No Flying No Tights)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 5 of A Certain Magical Index (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Wolfen Moondaughter on vol. 27 of Claymore (Sequential Tart)
Allen Kesinger on vols. 1-2 of D-Frag (No Flying No Tights)
ebooksgirl on vol. 2 of The Devil Is a Part-Timer! High School! (Geek Lit Etc.)
Ken H. on vol. 1 of Devil Survivor (Sequential Ink)
Connie on vol. 32 of Eyeshield 21 (Slightly Biased Manga)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 50 of Fairy Tail (The Fandom Post)
Troy Nikandler on vol. 1 of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (Otaku Review)
Holly Saiki on Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu (Examiner)
Karen Maeda on vol. 1 of Komomo Confiserie (Sequential Tart)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Log Horizon: Game’s End (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Connie on vol. 1 of Meteor Prince (Slightly Biased Manga)
Wolfen Moondaughter on vol. 2 of My Hero Academia (Sequential Tart)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vols. 4-6 of My Love Story!! (Comics Worth Reading)
Justin Stroman on Oh! My Goddess (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Kane Bugeja on vol. 6 of Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign (Snap 30)
Matthew Warner on vol. 18 of Tegami Bachi (The Fandom Post)
Wolfen Moondaughter on vol. 8 of Tiger & Bunny (Sequential Tart)
Frank Inglese on vol. 7 of World Trigger (Snap 30)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 1 of Yo-Kai Watch (Sequential Tart)
Dustin Cabeal on vols. 1-2 of Yo-Kai Watch (Comic Bastards)
Paige Sammartino on vols. 1-2 of Yo-Kai Watch (Women Write About Comics)

PS: Our Manga Bookshelf colleague Ash Brown is giving away the first volumes of four awesome shojo titles from Kodansha Comics, including LDK, Let’s Dance a Waltz, My Little Monster, and one of my personal favorites Say I Love You. Don’t dally; the contest closes on December 2nd!

More Books on BookWalker

School-LiveWondering what to read? I picked some promising titles from November’s new releases. [Barnes & Noble Sci Fi/Fantasy Blog]

Viz owns this week’s manga-best-seller list: Volume 1 of Tokyo Ghoul is in the number one slot, and volume 3 is lurking at number 4. All three volumes of One-Punch Man are there, as well as the latest volumes of One Piece, Bleach, Naruto, and My Hero Academia, and vol. 1 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency. [New York Times]

BookWalker just added 35 more manga volumes, including Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, Sun-Ken Rock, and And Yet the Town Moves (Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru), a favorite of mine since I interviewed the creator, Masakazu Ishiguro, and his editor at NYCC a couple of years ago. [Anime News Network]

AstroNerdBoy writes about scanlation in the wake of several arrests in Japan, one of a deliveryman who was stealing magazines en route from the printer to the newsstand, the other of five other people who were uploading scans to the web before the release date. He talks a bit about how bootleg sites operate and also points out that two scanlation groups have closed up shop, although the arrests may have just hastened the inevitable. [AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog]

Erica Friedman lines up all the latest yuri manga news in this week’s edition of Yuri Network News. [Okazu]

Gangsta is going on hiatus because the manga-ka, Kohske, is having health problems. [Anime News Network]

Shiro Amano has confirmed that his Kingdom Hearts series is over. [Anime News Network]


Matthew Warner on vol. 6 of Ajin (The Fandom Post)
Sakura Eries on vol. 6 of Barakamon (The Fandom Post)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 65 of Bleach (WatchPlayRead)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 56 of Case Closed (The Fandom Post)
Erica Friedman on Cider to Nakimushi (Okazu)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 27 of Claymore (The Comic Book Bin)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 6 of High School DxD (The Fandom Post)
Richard Gutierrez on vol. 1 of The Honor Student at Magic High School (The Fandom Post)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 1 of Idol Dreams (WatchPlayRead)
Connie on vol. 1 of Idol Dreams (Slightly Biased Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 1 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency (I Reads You)
Connie on vol. 10 of Junjo Romantica (Slightly Biased Manga)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 7 of Kiss of the Rose Princess (WatchPlayRead)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Helen on vol. 2 of The Morose Mononokean (Organization Anti Social Geniuses)
Connie on vol. 7 of No. 6 (Slightly Biased Manga)
Matthew Warner on vol. 5 of Noragami (The Fandom Post)
Matthew Warner on vol. 8 of Say I Love You (the Fandom Post)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of School-Live! (Anime News Network)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 3 of Secret (Comics Worth Reading)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 3 of The World’s Greatest First Love (Comics Worth Reading)

The Manga Revue: Kill la Kill and Platinum End

File this column under I’m Not Dead Yet! November has been hectic, and it shows; my last post was over a month ago. Today’s column is an attempt to get back on track with regular updates. On the agenda are reviews of Kill la Kill, an adaptation of the wildly popular anime, and Platinum End, a new shonen series with an impeccable pedigree.

Kill_la_KillKill la Kill, Vol. 1
Comic by Ryo Akizuki; Story by TRIGGER and Kazuki Nakashima
No rating (best for readers 13+)
UDON Entertainment, $12.99

In my small and unscientific sampling of manga based on anime, I haven’t encountered one yet that I’d recommend. Wolf’s Rain and Cowboy Bebop, for example, both fell flat in print, conveying little of the personalities or plot intricacies that made both series compelling. Kill la Kill is a more artful transfer of show to page, but suffers from some of the same issues as other anime-cum-manga.

Like the anime on which it’s based, the Kill la Kill manga see-saws between flamboyant parody and straight-faced action, mixing jokey conversations with bone-crunching fights. Navigating these tonal extremes in print proves challenging, however. The manga is funniest when skewering tropes that don’t need sound effects or color like equipping characters with goofy weapons–the heroine brandishes giant scissors–and populating Honnouji Academy with students who look like extras from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. 

The artists’ desire to spoof other cliches fall flat. On the page, heroine Ryuko Matoi’s barely-there power suit seems like blatant pandering to the male gaze; the artistic team lavishes considerable attention on Ryuko’s body, lovingly depicting her torso and buttocks from myriad angles. On the screen, however, the addition of sound puts a different spin on the material. The cheerful voice acting, peppy music, and snappy sound effects transform an exploitative sequence into an absurd riff on the indignities of fighting in a costume that consists of two well-placed suspenders and a dinner napkin. It isn’t deep, but it is funny, highlighting the stupidity of the “power up!” sequence that’s ubiquitous in anime, manga, and tokusatsu.

The manga suffers from the absence of color and sound in other passages, too. Without a voice actor to modulate the dialogue, almost EVERY PAGE READS LIKE THIS!!! OMG!!! ARE YOU LAUGHING YET??!!!! By the end of volume one, I felt pummeled into submission rather than amused by the affectionate send-up of Japanese pop culture’s most ubiquitous storytelling conventions.

The verdict: The manga looks like a million bucks, but the script strains too hard for effect.

plantinum_endPlatinum End, Chapter 1
Story by Tsugumi Ohba, Art by Takeshi Obata
Rated T+, for teens over 13
VIZ Manga, $.99 (digital only)

Over the last twelve months, VIZ has been experimenting with digital-first releases, a strategy that’s worked well for high-profile shonen titles like One-Punch Man and Tokyo Ghoul. It’s not surprising, then, that VIZ is using the same roll-out for Platinum End, the latest collaboration between Death Note creators Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. This time, however, VIZ is making the first chapter of the series available as a stand-alone option–a decision that may backfire if other readers find it as off-putting as I did.

The main issue is the story. It’s mawkish and violent, shamelessly manipulating the reader into feeling sorry for a sullen protagonist by mining familiar adolescent themes: “I was born into the wrong family!” “No one will miss me when I’m gone!” “They’ll be sorry when I’m powerful/rich/famous!” We’re first introduced to Mirai as he’s leaping to his death. As we learn through flashbacks, he was orphaned at eight, and forced to live with an aunt and uncle who treated him like a slave. Nasse, a guardian angel, foils Mirai’s suicide attempt and grants him superpowers that are supposed to make him happy.

Lest you worry that Ohba and Obata are going soft, Mirai’s first road test of these newfound abilities results in a gruesome, sexually charged scene. Ohba and Obata have stacked the deck firmly against the victims, but the characters are so cartoonishly evil (and visually repulsive) that their punishment registers not as a justifiable act of vigilantism, but as a plot contrivance. The supernatural elements are also poorly presented; Ohba relies on long-winded, exposition-heavy speeches to explain who Mirai’s guardian is, and why she’s motivated to help him.

Perhaps the most disappointing element of Platinum End is Obata’s artwork. Though the human characters are drawn with consummate attention to detail, Mirai’s angelic sidekick is utterly generic: she’s a wide-eyed cutie with wings, ringlets, and halo. When placed side by side with Obata’s greatest supernatural creations–Death Note‘s Ryuk and Rem–the paucity of imagination is startling. Obata’s shinigamis looked like otherworldly rock stars with their glassy eyes, Frankenstein scars, and feathery protrusions, whereas Nasse looks like something traced from How to Draw Manga (or perhaps a volume of Kobato). That’s a pity, because Obata’s artwork has carried me through rough patches in his other series; here, however, it doesn’t really do much other than emphasize how thin the story is.

The verdict: Platinum End may find its footing in later chapters, but the first 70 pages are such a let-down that I won’t be tuning in for later installments.

Reviews: At Adventures in Poor Taste, Jordan Richards posts a more positive assessment of Platinum End (though he shares some of my reservations about the lead female character). Also weighing in on the first chapter of Platinum End is Justin Stroman, who offers an in-depth, spoiler-heavy review at Organization Anti-Social Geniuses. Foodies may prefer to visit The Manga Test Drive, where Megan R. samples two culinary comics: Mixed Vegetables, a shojo rom-com about rival teen chefs, and Not Love But Delicious Foods Make Me So Happy!, an older Fumi Yoshinaga title.

Mark Pellegrini on vol. 2 of AKIRA (AiPT!)
Connie on Alice in the Country of Clover: Lizard Aide (Slightly Biased Manga)
Helen on The Ancient Magus’ Bride (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Lori Henderson on Awkward (Manga Xanadu)
ebooksgirl on vol. 12 of Chi’s Sweet Home (Geek Lit Etc.)
Connie on vol. 2 of Citrus (Slightly Biased Manga)
Theron Martin on vol. 27 of Claymore (Anime News Network)
Chris Sims on COWA! (Comics Alliance)
Connie on vol. 13 of Dorohedoro (Slightly Biased Manga)
Terry Hong on Fragments of Horror (Book Dragon)
Jordan Richards on vol. 1 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 2: Battle Tendency (AiPT!)
Christophe on Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu (Anime UK News)
Ken H. on vol. 1 of Kiss Him, Not Me! (Sequential Ink)
Demeiza on vol. 1 of Livingstone (Anime UK News)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 4 of Love Stage!! (Comics Worth Reading)
Wolfen Moondaughter on vols. 3-4 of Maid-Sama! (Sequential Tart)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun (Anime News Network)
Kane Bugeja on vols. 1-2 of One-Punch Man (Snap 30)
Al Sparrow on vol. 1 of Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn (Comic Spectrum)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 21-22 of Ranma 1/2 (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Kristin on vol. 2 of Requiem of the Rose King (Comic Attack)
Alice Vernon on vol. 1 of Rose Guns Days: Season One (Girls Like Comics)
Sarah on vol. 3 of Servamp (Anime UK News)
Robert Prentice on vol. 8 of Food Wars! Shogugeki no Soma (Three If By Space)
ebooksgirl on vol. 1 of School Live! (Geek Lit Etc.)
Nick Creamer on vol. 3 of A Silent Voice (Anime News Network)
Danica Davidson on vol. 1 of So, I Can’t Play H (Otaku USA)
Jordan Richards on vol. 1 of UQ Holder (AiPT!)
Austin Lanari on issue 51 of Weekly Shonen Jump (Comic Bastards)
Ash Brown on vol. 8 of What Did You Eat Yesterday? (Experiments in Manga)
Wolfen Moondaughter on vol. 4 of Yukarism (Sequential Tart)

VIZ Media Issues Statement Re: Manga Piracy

Last week, Japanese authorities arrested four men for posting chapters of One Piece to Manga Panda, a for-profit scanlation site. Friday’s arrest came on the heels of a similar bust in which two men were taken into custody for scanning another Weekly Shonen Jump title, The Seven Deadly Sins. In response to these arrests, VIZ Media issued a statement today affirming its support for international copyright enforcement:

On Friday, November 13th, four men in Japan were arrested by the Kyoto Prefectural Police on suspicion of illegally taking, digitizing and distributing manga content originally published in the Japanese edition of Weekly Shonen Jump. Weekly Shonen Jump is the world’s most-read weekly manga anthology and is published in Japan by VIZ Media’s parent company, Shueisha, Inc.

It is alleged that this content was illegally distributed internationally through the online scanlation site MangaPanda. The site is also alleged to be the supplier to additional perpetrators possibly involved in the cross-border violation of intellectual property rights and copyright law.

Digital piracy is a crime that steals what others have worked so hard to create. VIZ Media actively supports manga creators and manga fan culture, and is committed to making the highest possible quality content available to a global audience through licensed channels.

Predictably, some fans have used these breaking news stories to defend their interest in scanlations. At Anime News Network, for example, one user declared,I feel bad for [Manga Panda]. They were doing good for the community. Luckily piracy isn’t killed so easily.” Other posters offered more specific justifications for their scanlation habit:

It’s all well and good if you can read Japanese, but if you can’t then limiting yourself to only licensed manga that is still readily available for purchase places a huge limitation on what you can read in a medium you supposedly enjoy.

Compared to Japan where you can check several series out in cheap magazines, I feel like I’d be the one getting cheated out of my money if I had to buy a full volume (again more expensive than in Japan) of every single series I wanted to check out. And what about licensed, incomplete series dead in the water? Tough luck, I guess.

Not all observers shared these sentiments; sprinkled throughout other ANN discussion threads were comments acknowledging the financial and legal consequences of scanning. “Manga isn’t made for free,” another user opined. “While I’m sure Oda is living his dream making One Piece it’s also his job, meaning he’s supposed to get paid for it and guess what?, it’s probably Shueisha who’s paying him.”

Speaking as someone whose academic research focuses on the American music industry, I admire pirates’ efficiency at delivering a desirable product to consumers quickly and cheaply. I understand why a student with limited financial means might justify reading scanlations instead of paying for legitimate copies. And I sympathize with the desire to “try before you buy”; in my seven years of manga reviewing, I’ve read hundreds of mediocre-to-terrible books, many of which I’ve bought myself. (FWIW, I don’t review scanlations. When I’ve received a review copy from a publisher, I’ve disclosed that information at the end of my critique.)

Yet none of these arguments acknowledge the cost of producing manga. Publishers have overhead–staff, computers, paper–that is built into the price of the books they sell. Creators devote hundreds of hours to producing a single chapter of a popular series, a process they repeat faithfully on a weekly or monthly schedule. (Creators also have overhead: assistants’ wages, supplies, software, cat toys.) Copyright is designed to protect both groups’ interests by giving them a specific window of time in which they can recoup their investment by controlling how and when a title like One Piece is distributed, both at home and abroad. When a pirate operation such as Manga Panda makes that property available for free, it deprives the copyright holders of royalty payments generated by the sale of authorized copies.

Not sure where you stand on this issue? I recommend reading this thread at Stack Exchange which provides a no-nonsense overview of how international law governs the reproduction of copyright-protected works.

Otomo Going to Angouleme


Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo was awarded the Grand Prix d’Angouleme last year, and part of the prize is being invited to be the President of the following year’s festival. Zainab Akhtar has all the details of his planned appearances, as well as a look at the poster he designed. [Comics & Cola]

Wandering Island

Wandering Island

Dark Horse has licensed Kenji Tsuruta’ manga Wandering Island. It’s the story of a “free-spirited young girl” who delivers packages in her seaplane; one day she learns of a mysterious “wandering island” and sets out to find it. [Anime News Network]

Fairy Tail ZeroKodansha Comics announced yesterday that it will publish Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail prequel Fairy Tail Zero. [Anime News Network]

There’s more Monster Musume coming from Seven Seas: They announced last week that they have licensed the 4-koma series Monster Musume: I Heart Monster Girls. [ICv2]

Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto reflects on the end of his long-running series and the changes that came about in the manga industry during that time—as well as the changes he expects to see in the future. [Entertainment Weekly]

Three men are under arrest in Kyoto on charges that they uploaded a chapter of One Piece to the scanlation site mangapanda—before the issue of Weekly Shonen Jump in which it appears had hit the newsstands. Also under arrest is an employee of a delivery service who allegedly liberated the magazine between the printer and the newsstand and gave it to the scanners. All four are denying the charges. [Anime News Network]

Volume 3 of One-Punch Man tops the New York Times manga best seller list, with the first volume of the new JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure story arc, Battle Tendency, in the number two slot. [New York Times]

Justin Stroman talks to Yoichi Yasumoto, the president of the e-book company BookWalker, about selling digital manga outside Japan. [Organization Anti-Social Geniuses]

The Manga Bookshelf team checks out this week’s new releases. [Manga Bookshelf]

Erica Friedman posts the latest edition of Yuri Network News. [Okazu]

Reporter Justin McCurry looks at some manga controversies in Japan. [The Guardian]

Ardo Omer talks about getting started reading manga, thanks to Sailor Moon and One Punch Man. [Panels]

Reviews: At Brain Vs. Book, translator Jocelyne Allen writes about Inio Asano’s Dead Dead Demons Dededededestruction. Ash Brown looks back at this week’s manga reading at Experiments in Manga. Sean Gaffney and Michelle Smith post this week’s set of Bookshelf Briefs at Manga Bookshelf.

Jessikah Chautin on vol. 1 of Akame ga Kill! (No Flying, No Tights)
Ollie Barder on All You Need Is Kill (Forbes)
Helen on The Ancient Magus Bride (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Nic Wilcox on vols. 1 and 2 of Arpeggio of Blue Steel (No Flying, No Tights)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 4 of Assassination Classroom (The Fandom Post)
DJ Horn on vol. 1 of Black Bullet (The Fandom Post)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of A Certain Scientific Accelerator (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 27 of Claymore (The Fandom Post)
Richard Gutierrez on vol. 1 of Dragons Rioting (The Fandom Post)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Golden Time (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Scott Cederlund on Gyo (Panel Patter)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Horimiya (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Idol Dreams (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Anna N on vol. 1 of Idol Dreams (Manga Report)
Kristin on vol. 3 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood (Comic Attack)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Zainab Akhtar on Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu (Comics & Cola)
Ash Brown on Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu (Experiments in Manga)
J. Caleb Mozzocco on vol. 1 of Kill La Kill (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
Thomas Maluck on vol. 1 of Monster (Perfect Edition) (No Flying, No Tights)
Erica Friedman on vol. 5 of Murciélago (Okazu)
Ash Brown on vol. 6 of Mushishi (Experiments in Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 2 of My Hero Academia (I Reads You)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 76 of One Piece (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 19 of Oresama Teacher (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Jarius Taylor on chapter 1 of Platinum End (The Fandom Post)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 2 of Requiem of the Rose King (The Fandom Post)
Laura on vols. 1-3 of So Cute It Hurts! (Heart of Manga)
L.B. Bryant on vol. 1 of Strike the Blood (ICv2)
Sakura Eries on vol. 3 of Sword Art Online: Progressive (The Fandom Post)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 10 of Triage-X (The Fandom Post)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 5 of UQ Holder (The Fandom Post)
Ash Brown on vol. 6 of Vinland Saga (Experiments in Manga)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of The World’s Greatest First Love (Comics Worth Reading)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 4 of Yukarism (Comics Worth Reading)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 4 of Yukarism (I Reads You)
Anna N on vol. 4 of Yukarism (Manga Report)

More Durarara!

Durarara Re DollarsYen Press announced it has licensed yet another Durarara!! arc, Durarara!! Re;Dollars Arc, by Aogiri; the series has been running in Square Enix’s G Fantasy magazine since last year. [Anime News Network]

It’s a very Viz best-seller list this week, with the final volume of Naruto topping the list, and Deadman Wonderland, Tokyo Ghoul, and assorted other titles taking up nine of the ten slots; the sole exception is vol. 7 of Noragami, in the number 8 spot. [New York Times]

There are now 52 million volumes of Attack on Titan in print worldwide. [Anime News Network]

With 31 titles shipping this week, the Manga Bookshelf gang discusses what they will and won’t be buying. [Manga Bookshelf]

Ash Brown discusses a scene in Gangsta. [Experiments in Manga]

Erica Friedman reports in on Nijicon. [Okazu]

Princess Jellyfish creator Akiko Higashimura has put her latest series, Himozairu, on hiatus after getting heavy criticism over the first two chapters. The series is about training unemployed men (“himo”) to do housework in order to make them more attractive to women with high-paying jobs, and Higashimura said she really wanted to show “what actually occur to them after getting such training,” but critics said she was belittling the men. [Asahi Shimbun]


Connie on vol. 7 of Alice in the Country of Joker: Circus and Liar’s Game (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 1 of Chihayafuru (Slightly Biased Manga)
Marissa Lieberman on vol. 1 of The Demon Prince of Momochi House (No Flying, No Tights)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 8 of Food Wars (WatchPlayRead)
Connie on vol. 8 of Junjo Romantica (Slightly Biased Manga)
Alice Vernon on Kagerou Daze (Girls Like Comics)
Connie on vol. 16 of Kamisama Kiss (Slightly Biased Manga)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Kill La Kill (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Erica Friedman on vol. 5 of Kimi no Tame Nara Shineru (Okazu)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Kiss Him, Not Me (Anime News Network)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of L♥DK (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 6 of My Love Story (WatchPlayRead)
Anna N on vol. 6 of My Love Story (Manga Report)
Connie on vol. 5 of No. 6 (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 45 of Oh My Goddess (Slightly Biased Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 2 of One Punch Man (The Comic Book Bin)
Matthew Warner on vol. 2 of One Punch Man (The Fandom Post)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 6 of Seraph of the End (The Comic Book Bin)
Matthew Warner on vol. 2 of So Cute It Hurts (The Fandom Post)
Richard Gutierrez on vol. 1 of Strike the Blood (The Fandom Post)
Thomas Maluck on Time Killers (No Flying, No Tights)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 7 of World Trigger (WatchPlayRead)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 4 of Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches (The Fandom Post)