Eisner Nominees, Banned Manga, and Another License for Seven Seas

One-Punch Man

At the Barnes and Noble Sci-Fi/Fantasy blog, I rounded up this year’s Eisner nominees in the manga category and threw in a few titles that I would have advocated for, had I been in the room. I also took a look at the best new series and graphic novel lists.

ANN posts a list of seven manga banned around the world, including Death Note, Barefoot Gen, and Dragon Ball. Even Pokemon, surely the most innocuous of all manga, fell afoul of the authorities in Saudi Arabia for promoting gambling (because trading cards) and containing “Zionist” and Christian symbols.

Yen Press takes the top three spots in this week’s New York Times manga best-seller list, with vol. 2 of Akame Ga Kill!, vol. 1 of Log Horizon, and vol. 1 of Big Hero 6 in the top three spots. The first volume of Akame Ga Kill also makes the list, as do two volumes of Attack on Titan, all three volumes of Assassination Classroom, and vol. 2 of Citrus.

Seven Seas has announced another new license: The time-travel shoujo manga orange:

Everyone has regrets in life. So who wouldn’t take the chance to change the past if given the opportunity? When sixteen-year-old Takamiya Naho receives a mysterious letter, claiming to be from her twenty-seven-year-old self, her life is suddenly thrown into flux. The letter tells her that a new transfer student by the name of Naruse Kakeru will be joining her class, and to keep her eye on him. But why? Naho must decide what to make of the letter and its cryptic warning, and what it means not only for her future, but for Kakeru’s as well.

Why did Seven Seas decide to license Franken Fran? Justin Stroman asks the questions, and Lissa Pattillo of Seven Seas answers them.

Justin also talks to Hope Donovan, who joined Tokyopop as the manga wave was cresting and is now a managing editor at Viz, directly overseeing Seraph of the End and Toriko.

The Manga Bookshelf team rounds up this week’s new manga.

In this week’s edition of Yuri Network News, Erica Friedman looks at some new announcements and concludes that the yuri market has grown and matured enough that publishers are now going back and taking a second look at some good early manga. Of course, that’s happening in Japan, and the bad news is that many of these works are unlikely to be licensed for English-language readers.

Shaenon Garrity writes about Jiro Taniguchi’s A Zoo in Winter, which she sees as a good follow-up read to Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life, for the House of 1000 Manga column at ANN.

So, you’re in the mood for manga but you want to read a complete story all at once? Jessica Uelman has got you covered over at The Mary Sue, with a look at xxxHOLiC, part of an ongoing series about manga series that are already complete.

Don’t freak out if your preorder for vol. 3 of The World’s Greatest First Love is canceled; SuBLime editor Jennifer LeBlanc explains on their blog that due to delays in getting approvals from the mangaka, the release schedule has changed.

Reviews

Ash Brown on The Angel of Elhamburg (Experiments in Manga)
Sarah on vol. 15 of Attack on Titan (nagareboshi reviews)
Alice Vernon on vol. 1 of Big Hero 6 (Girls Like Comics)
Alice Vernon on vol. 1 of Demon From Afar (Girls Like Comics)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 2 of Durarara!! Yellow Scarves Arc (The Fandom Post)
Laura on Dengeki Daisy (Heart of Manga)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of The Devil Is a Part-Timer (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sakura Eries on vol. 17 of Goong (The Fandom Post)
Matthew Warner on vol. 10 of Happy Marriage?! (The Fandom Post)
Dave Ferraro on vol. 1 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Comics-and-More)
Rebecca Silverman on Karneval (ANN)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Log Horizon (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Anna N on vol. 2 of Master Keaton (Manga Report)
Manjiorin on vol. 1 of Meteor Prince (Organization Anti Social Geniuses)
Kristin on vol. 2 of Meteor Prince and vol. 4 of My Love Story (Comic Attack)
Lori Henderson on vol. 2 of Orange Junk (Manga Xanadu)
Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Puella Magi Tart Magica (Okazu)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 1 of xxxHolic Rei (The Fandom Post)
Ken H on vol. 1 of Your Lie in April (Sequential Ink)
Laura on vols. 1 and 2 of Yukarism (Heart of Manga)

Seven Seas to Publish Franken Fran

A10967-5This just in: Seven Seas announced that it will be publishing Franken Fran in February 2016. Part Black Jack, part Reiko the Zombie Shop, Katsuhisa Kigitsu’s macabre comedy (macamedy?) focuses on Fran, a scientist with a knack for creating grotesque creatures in the lab. Seven Seas will be issuing the story in a four-volume omnibus format.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a new big-screen adaptation of Death Note is in the works with director Adam Wingard (The Guest, You’re Next) at the helm. That sound you’re hearing? It’s the anguished cries of Light Yagami fans protesting the Americanization of yet another beloved manga franchise.

Vertical Comics has a new Twitter feed: @vertical_comics. Follow them for the latest licensing and reprint news, as well as sneak peeks at new releases.

Jonesing for a ninja fix? VIZ has you covered with Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring which debuted on Monday in the digital edition of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Over at the B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, Brigid Alverson delves into the history of Ultraman.

Backers of DMP’s most recent Kickstarter campaign will be happy to learn that both Clockwork Apple and Brave Dan are now slated for publication. Next up is a reprint edition of Tezuka’s dark fable Barbara.

This year’s Eisner nominations were announced on April 23rd, and manga made a good showing. In the Best US Edition of International Material–Asia category, VIZ nabbed nominations for Master Keaton, One-Punch Man, and All You Need Is Kill, while Fantagraphics’ Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It, got a nod for Best Anthology. The winners will be revealed on July 10th.

News from Japan: Akira Toriyama has teamed up with Kazuhiko Toriyama to produce a new series for Shueisha’s Young Jump. And speaking of manga magazines, Japan’s most popular titles–including Weekly Shonen Jump and Weekly Shonen Magazine–have seen a 10% decline in circulation over the last twelve months.

Reviews: Jason Thompson reviews Kakukaku Shikajika, an autobiographical manga by the creator of Princess Jellyfish, while the Manga Bookshelf gang tackle the latest volumes of Genshinken: Second Season and Magi. Over at Brain vs. Book, Jocelyn Allen flips through the December issue of Bijutsu Techo.

Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of 12 Beast (Anime News Network)
Ken H. on vol. 3 of All-Purpose Chemistry Club (Sequential Ink)
Ken H. on vol. 15 of Attack on Titan (Sequential Ink)
Katie Skelley and Mike Dawson on The Book of Human Insects (The Comics Journal)
Allen Kesinger on vols. 1-2 of Girls und Panzer (No Flying No Tights)
Erica Friedman on vol. 5 of Golondrina (Okazu)
L.B. Bryant on Gyo: 2-in-1 Deluxe Edition (ICv2)
Thomas Maluck on Jaco the Galactic Patrolman (No Flying No Tights)
Rebecca Silverman on The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Anime News Network)
Megan R. on Monkey High! (The Manga Test Drive)
Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of Orange Junk (Manga Xanadu)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 10 of Voice Over: Seiyu Academy (Comic Book Bin)
Joseph Luster on vol. 5 of World Trigger (Otaku USA)

Shonen Jump Artists Take Sick Leave

Manga artist Kou Kojima, creator of the adult manga Sennin Buraku (Hermit Village) has died at the age of 87. Kojima was the uncle of manga-ka Moyoco Anno.

There will be no Bleach or One Piece in this week’s Shonen Jump, as both creators are taking the week off due to illness. This article refers to the Japanese magazine but as the North American SJ publishes simultaneously with Japan, they will presumably be missing from the English-language edition as well. Also the Japanese SJ is launching three new series in May, plus the Naruto spinoff at the end of this month; it will be interesting to see how much of this makes it into the American SJ.

Manga expert and game fanatic Jason Thompson (author of King of RPGs) has launched a Kickstarter to fund his game Mangaka: The Fast and Furious Game of Drawing Comics, which sounds like a lot of fun.

I wrote about Ultraman for my latest post at the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog, giving some background on the show as Viz has picked up the latest manga.

The Manga Bookshelf bloggers discuss this week’s new releases.

Erica Friedman posts a new episode of Yuri Network News at Okazu.

Have you seen Jiro Kuwata’s Batmanga? 13th Dimension has a preview of the latest chapter.

Volume 12 of Chi’s Sweet Home will be the final volume.

The latest volume of One Piece, the first volume of Big Hero 6, and vol. 15 of Attack on Titan top this week’s New York Times manga best-seller list.

News from Japan: Gotcha! Police in Saitama Prefecture arrested a 33-year-old man on charges of uploading the final volume of Kuroko’s Basketball to the web. Police say the suspect, who teaches high school part-time, has already admitted to doing it, and they suspect he has been uploading other material as well. CLAMP’s xxxHoLIC: rei, which went on hiatus in July, will be back Neon Genesis Evangelion, Oh My Goddess, and Moyashimon were among the manga nominees for the Seiun science fiction awards. Log Horizon author Mamare Touno says he has filed and paid his back taxes, ending an investigation into possible tax evasion.

Reviews

Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of 12 Beast (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Ash Brown on vol. 3 of After School Nightmare (Experiments in Manga)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 10 of Black Lagoon (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 16 of Dengeki Daisy (ANN)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 5 of Food Wars (Comics Worth Reading)
Anna N on vols. 4 and 5 of Gangsta (Manga Report)
Lori Henderson on The Garden of Words (Manga Xanadu)
Nick Creamer on vol. 5 of Genshiken: Second Season (ANN)
Kristin on vols. 1 and 2 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Comic Attack)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 2 of My Neighbor Seki (Comics Worth Reading)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 74 of One Piece (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Ash Brown on vol. 1 of Sengoku Basara: Samurai Legends (Experiments in Manga)

Vinland Saga Is Back; Licensing News Galore

cat_diaryIf you’ve been anxiously waiting to learn the fate of Vinland Saga, we have good news for you: Kodansha confirmed that the critically lauded series would be returning from hiatus in September. Kodansha also unveiled an interesting line-up of new titles that includes Devil Survivor and Ninja Slayer Kills. TCJ regular Joe McCulloch explains why Kodansha’s decision to license Cat Diary: Yon & Mu is especially awesome. (Hint: the man on the cover is Junji Ito.)

Last week, Yen Press made news at Sakura-Con with five new manga acquisitions: Sakura no Himegoto, Dragon’s Rioting, Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun, Yowamushi Pedal, and Aldnoah Zero Season One. Yen also revealed that it would be offering digital editions of eight Square Enix titles that have never been released in English.

VIZ has been quietly adding more Tokyopop titles to its digital line-up. New this month are Red Hot Chili Samurai and Grenadier, both of which will be available on April 21st. VIZ also announced a new print acquisition, Noriyuki Konishi’s Yokai Watch, a kid-friendly series that’s currently running in Coro Coro.

GyoBrigid rounded up some new April manga releases at the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi/Fantasy blog; they include the last volume of Blade of the Immortal, the first volume of Your Lie in April, and a nice new one-volume edition of Junji Ito’s Gyo.

And speaking of new releases, the Manga Bookshelf gang looks at next week’s arrivals, from Kuroneko to My Neighbor Seki.

Another week, another Kickstarter campaign: DMP began fundraising for a print edition of Osamu Tezuka’s Clockwork Apple, a collection of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi stories.

In his latest House of 1000 Manga column, Jason Thompson sings the praises of Kazuhiko Shimamoto, author of the untranslated Blazing Transfer Student.

Justin Stroman interviews Dark Horse editor Brendan Wright about the forthcoming edition of Planetes, and Yen Press editor Abigail Blackman about the challenges of lettering, translating, and editing manga.

Are US publishers licensing less shojo manga? Johanna Draper Carlson investigates.

YaoiCon will be hosting prolific manga-ka Makoto Takeno, author of Yellow, Happy Boys, Blue Sheep Reverie, and A Murmur of the Heart.

The Nepali Times reports that young adults in Kathmandu are discovering manga, thanks to entrepreneurs such as Wataru Ram Shrestha, proprietor of Nepal’s first manga bookstore, and Shalini Rana, Kavin Shah, and Krishant Rana, founders of Nepal’s first manga magazine.

News from Japan: The latest volume of One Piece, volume 77, has a print run of fewer than 4 million copies for the first time in four years. Publisher Shueisha attributes the drop to the increased popularity of digital manga. Kodansha has announced the nominees for the 39th Annual Kodansha Awards; they include Knights of Sidonia, The 7 Deadly Sins, and Kiss Him, Not Me. Japanese newspaper The Christ Weekly is using manga to educate readers about Christian fundamentals.

If you ever thought Death Note would be improved with a few song-and-dance numbers, you’ll be happy to learn that a musical version of Tsugumi Oba and Takeshi Obata’s perennially popular manga debuted in Tokyo on April 6th.

Reviews: Ash Brown posts a thoughtful review of Your Lie in April, a new drama from Kodansha Comics, while Sean Gaffney gives us the low-down on another eagerly anticipated title, Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches. The Manga Bookshelf gang offers a concise round-up of the latest volumes of Assassination Classroom, Dengeki Daisy, and UQ Holder!

Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 5 of Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma (Comic Book Bin)
Kristin on vols. 4 and 5 of Gangsta (Comic Attack)
Lori Henderson on The Garden of Words (Manga Xanadu)
Jocelyn Allen on Henshin (Brain vs. Book)
Erica Friedman on vol. 5 of Himawari-san (Okazu)
Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Kampfer (Okazu)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Let’s Dance a Waltz (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 13 of Library Wars: Love & War (Comic Book Bin)
Alice Vernon on vol. 1 of Love at Fourteen (Girls Like Comics)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 3 of Manga Dogs (Comics Worth Reading)
Ash Brown on vol. 1 of Maria the Virgin Witch (Experiments in Manga)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 18 of Oresama Teacher (Sequential Tart)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Requiem of the Rose King (ANN)
Wolfen Moondaughter on vol. 17 of Rin-ne (Sequential Tart)
Megan R. on School Rumble (The Manga Test Drive)
Nick Smith on Seraphim: 266613336 Wings (ICv2)
Sarah on vol. 24 of Soul Eater (Nagareboshi Reviews)
Karen Maeda on vol. 5 of Terra Formars (Sequential Tart)
Tony Yao on Time Killers (Manga Therapy)
Khursten Santos on Yatamono (Otaku Champloo)
Anna N. on vol. 2 of Yukarism (Manga Report)

Cocoa Fujiwara RIP

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Cocoa Fujiwara, the creator of Inu x Boku SS, has died. Although she was only 31 years old, she had a number of manga credits: The short story “Calling,” which was published when she was just 15, Stray Doll, Watashi no Ookami-san, dear, Ojousama to Youkai Shitsuji, Inu x Boku SS, and her current series, Katsute Mahō Shōjo to Aku wa Tekitai Shiteita, which ran in Young Gangan, as did Inu x Boku SS. According to her Wikipedia page, she was friends with fellow Square Enix artists Jun Mochizuki (Pandora Hearts) and Yana Toboso (Black Butler).

Dark Horse Rescues Planetes

planetesGood news for sci-fi fans: Dark Horse announced that it will be reissuing Makoto Yukimura’s award-winning series Planetes, which was originally published by Tokyopop ten years ago. Look for an omnibus in stores on December 23rd.

Over at Robot 6, Brigid Alverson interviews Blade of the Immortal editor Philip Simon about the final volume of this long-running series, which Dark Horse licensed in 1996.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, VIZ announced that it would be releasing a new edition of Junji Ito’s Gyo on April 21st. VIZ also revealed that it will be adding Yuki Tabata’s Black Clover to the digital edition of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Erica Friedman shares all the yuri news that’s fit to print.

The Manga Bookshelf gang discuss this week’s best new manga.

Brigid’s latest contribution to the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi blog examines Western pop culture through the lens of manga.

News from Japan: Already in Naruto withdrawal? Fear not: Shonen Jump just announced a new Naruto Gaiden story, “The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring Month,” which will debut in the April 27th issue. After a nine-month hiatus, Kanata Konami will resume work on Chi’s Sweet Home. Yoiko Hoshi’s Aisawa Riku was awarded the Grand Prize by the 19th Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize committee.

Reviews: Sean Gaffney and Michelle Smith post brief reviews of Love at Fourteen, Sankarea, and other recent releases.

Joseph Luster on vol. 3 of Ajin: Demi-Human (Otaku USA)
Sakura Eries on vol. 2 of Barakamon (The Fandom Post)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 4 of Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma (Manga Worth Reading)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 5 of Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma (Anime News Network)
Matthew Warner on vol. 9 of Happy Marriage?! (The Fandom Post)
Sakura Eries on vol. 2 of Kiss of the Rose Princess (The Fandom Post)
Megan R. on Kyo Kara Maoh! (The Manga Test Drive)
Ash Brown on Lêttera (Experiments in Manga)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Log Horizon (Anime News Network)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 2 of Meteor Prince (Manga Worth Reading)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of My Neighbor Seki (Manga Worth Reading)
Thomas Maluck on vol. 1 of My Neighbor Seki (No Flying No Tights)
AJ Adejare on vol. 47 of Oh! My Goddess (The Fandom Post)
Andrew Shuping on Princess Mononoke: The First Story and The Art of Princess Mononoke (No Flying No Tights)
Ken H. on vol. 3 of Prophecy (Sequential Ink)
Erica Friedman on vol. 1 of Puella Magi Tart Magica: The Legend of Jeanne d’Arc (Okazu)
Ash Brown on vol. 1 of Requiem of the Rose King (Experiments in Manga)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 1 of Requiem of the Rose King (The Fandom Post)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 25 of Soul Eater (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Katherine Dacey on vol. 1 of Tokyo Ghoul (MangaBlog)
Matthew Warner on vol. 26 of Toriko (The Fandom Post)
Helen on Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)