About Brigid Alverson

Brigid Alverson has been reading comics since she was 4. After earning an MFA in printmaking, she headed to New York to become a famous artist but ended up working with words instead of pictures, first as a book editor and later as a newspaper reporter. She started MangaBlog to keep track of her daughters’ reading habits and now covers manga, comics and graphic novels as a freelancer for School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly Comics Week, Comic Book Resources, the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, and Robot 6. She also edits the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. Now settled in the outskirts of Boston, Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters.

New Kousuke Fujishima Series to Be Simulpubbed Online

Toppu GP

Oh My Goddess creator Kousuke Fujishima’s new series, Toppū GP, which launches next month in Kodansha’s Monthly Afternoon, will get a simultaneous digital release in English. No word yet on which services will carry it. [Anime News Network]

At Publishers Weekly, I took a look at the resurgence of manga and how the new blockbusters—first Attack on Titan, then Tokyo Ghoul and One-Punch Man—have helped sales. It turns out, when I talked to the publishers, that the backlist is doing pretty well too. [Publishers Weekly]

This year’s Eisner nominees in the manga category make a great reading list for manga veterans and newcomers alike. If you’re not reading all of these, you’re missing out! [Barnes and Noble Sci-Fi/Fantasy Blog]

Here are my picks for this month’s best new manga releases. [Barnes and Noble Sci-Fi/Fantasy Blog]

Good news for Junji Ito fans: Viz Media will publish Ito’s first manga, Tomie, in a single omnibus volume this winter. The manga was originally published in English by the now defunct ComicsOne and has been out of print for years. Viz also announced it will publish a print edition of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s Platinum End, which they have been publishing digitally one chapter at a time. Ohba and Obata are the creators of Death Note and Bakuman. [ICv2]

Justin and Manjiorin discuss Goodnight Punpun. [The OASG]

Adrian Tomine talks about what it was like being Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s editor. [du9]

The Yomiuri Shinbun’s Sugoi Awards have been announced—these are readers’ picks for the manga, anime, and novels they think would do best abroad. The readers seem to be pretty good at this: The winners are One-Punch Man and Tokyo Ghoul, the top selling manga in the U.S. right now; Haikyu!!, the first volume of which is due out in North America in July; Twittering Birds Never Fly; and Monster Musume, which also makes the best-seller list whenever a new volume comes out. [RocketNews 24]

Tetsuya Kariya will return to Oishinbo, but only to finish it off: The series was serialized in Big Comic Spirit but went on hiatus right around the time a storyline involving the area around the Fukushima nuclear plant caused some controversy. Kariya said the hiatus was not related to that, and that 30 years is long enough, so he’s going to wind up the story with a special final episode that will include all the characters who have appeared during the manga’s long run. [Anime News Network]

Erica Friedman has a quick rundown of yuri news, including some upcoming manga panels and the announcement that Viz will simulcast the third season of Sailor Moon Crystal, in the latest edition of Yuri Network News. [Okazu]

Danica Davidson talks about her new book, Manga Art for Beginners. [Otaku USA]


Matt Brady on vol. 7 of A Bride’s Story (Warren Peace Sings the Blues)
Helen on vol. 2 of Crown of Thorns (The OASG)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 6 of Demon From Afar (the Fandom Post)
G.B. Smith on vol. 9 of The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan (The Fandom Post)
Gary Thompson on vol. 11 of Eden: It’s an Endless World (The Fandom Post)
G.B. Smith on vols. 10 and 11 of Food Wars (The Fandom Post)
Gabe Peralta on vol. 1 of Goodnight Punpun (The Fandom Post)
Krystallina on vol. 6 of He’s My Only Vampire (The OASG)
A Library Girl on vols. 5 and 6 of His Favorite (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 1 of Kashimashi ~Girl Meets Girl~ (The Fandom Post)
Matt Brady on Kitaro (Warren Peace Sings the Blues)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 5 of Love Stage!! (Comics Worth Reading)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Nichijou (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 36 of Skip Beat! (The Comic Book Bin)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vols. 5 and 6 of So Cute It Hurts! (Comics Worth Reading)
Helen on Soredomo Machi wa Mawatteiru (The OASG)
Sakura Eries on vol. 4 of Sword Art Online Progressive (The Fandom Post)
Matthew Warner on vol. 10 of Terra Formars (The Fandom Post)

Kadokawa Buys Majority Stake in Yen Press, Partners with Crunchyroll

Yen LogoWow, the manga news is rolling in faster than I can keep up with it! The big story this morning is that the Japanese publisher Kadokawa has purchased a 51% stake in Yen Press. Yen Press will become Yen Press, LLC, a joint venture of Hachette and Kadokawa; previously, Yen was an imprint of Hachette in its Orbit Books division.

Kadokawa had another big announcement on the anime side: They are partnering with Crunchyroll, which will get exclusive distribution rights for all Kadokawa anime outside of Asia for the next year. And that’s not all:

To bolster KADOKAWA’s planned formation of a publishing joint venture with the major U.S. publisher Hachette Book Group, specializing in manga and light novels (scheduled for May), Crunchyroll and KADOKAWA will seek to strengthen their relationship through a marketing campaign with the book publishing and anime distribution businesses, as well as joint efforts to expand relevant merchandising businesses, in order to maximize the growth potential of Japanese content in the North American market.

What does this mean to you, the reader? Who knows, but Kadokawa does seem to be very interested in the light novel side of things, and Yen has really been making the light novel thing work, with its Yen On line. The Yen Press press release (according to ANN’s translation) says that the plan is to “establish light novels as a new content genre by using Hachette’s existing production and distribution infrastructure, with Kadokawa providing leadership.” Kadokawa publishes a lot of light novels, and they also own BookWalker, which carries digital manga and light novels; perhaps there will be some synergy there, with Yen and/or Crunchyroll.

The questions that remain unanswered are whether Yen Press will continue to license manga from other Japanese publishers (Square Enix in particular—they are the publisher of Black Butler and Pandora Hearts) and whether Kadokawa will license to other publishers.

Hold on to your hats! This promises to be an interesting ride.

ComiXology and Amazon Offer Kodansha Titles Same Day as Japan

Attack on Titan banner

ComiXology made a big announcement on Friday: They are getting in the simulpub business, releasing new chapters of Attack on Titan, Fairy Tail, and other Kodansha series the same day they come out in Japan. The chapters will be available on comiXology and Kindle, and each chapter will cost $1.99, although if you’re playing catch-up, you may want to check out the full volumes (also available on comiXology) as that’s usually the cheaper way to go.

This gives dedicated fans of these series an interesting choice, because Crunchyroll’s manga service also offers new chapters, many of which are simulpubbed—and the latest chapter is always free. Subscribers who pay $6.95 a month can read earlier chapters as well, but it’s all streaming—you don’t own the manga, and if you stop subscribing you lose access.

So which will readers prefer? Pay two bucks to own the chapter or read it for free but have it disappear in a week? Or maybe the third option—go for Crunchyroll’s all-you-can-eat model?

Here’s the full list of series that will be available on comiXology and Kindle the same day they come out in Japan:


As the Gods Will: The Second Series
Fairy Tail
GTO Paradise Lost
The Seven Deadly Sins
UQ Holder
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches


Space Brothers


Ajin: Demi-Human
Attack on Titan
Kiss Him, Not Me
The Heroic Legend of Arslan
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth Side: P4
Sweetness and Lightning


Princess Jellyfish

Kodansha Announces 7 New Licenses

The Prince in His Dark Days

The Prince in His Dark Days

Monday was a big day for Kodansha Comics: They announced seven new print titles: Attack on Titan: Lost Girls, Cells at Work!, The Prince in His Dark Days, Welcome to the Ballroom, That Wolf-Boy Is Mine, In/Spectre, and Sweetness and Lightning. All will launch in the fall. [Kodansha Comics]

Here’s another new license: Dark Horse will publish the Psycho-Pass prequel Psycho-Pass: Inspector Shinya Kogami. [Dark Horse]

Speaking of Kodansha, they have posted the full first chapter of Princess Jellyfish for you to read for free. [Kodansha Comics]

ANN has posted a great interview with Inio Asano, done during the Salón del Manga in Barcelona last fall. Here’s a sample:

I’m kind of ashamed to say this, but for me to create convincing stories, I need to bring the characters as close to my own experiences as possible. So it’s true that many of my characters have things in common with me.

Anyway, I try to make stories that are not based on the experiences of one single character. They are choral stories that rely on several characters with important roles based on outside reference from people close to me. I need it to be that way, otherwise I couldn’t create stories that are able to breathe a sense of reality.

[Anime News Network]

Here’s a first look at the English-language version of Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Pink, which is based on the BBC series starring Benedict Cumberbatch. [io9]

Why are there no shoujo titles on the U.S. best-seller lists? Krystallina investigates. [The OASG]

The Manga Bookshelf team discusses their pick of the week… [Manga Bookshelf]

… and they look over this week’s new releases. [Manga Bookshelf]

Viz has signed a deal with United Talent Agency to develop its properties into live-action programming. [ICv2]

Reviews: In a hurry? Catch up with the latest releases with this week’s edition of Bookshelf Briefs at Manga Bookshelf. Ash Brown reviews a week’s worth of manga reading at Experiments in Manga.

Rebecca Silverman on vol. 13 of Deadman Wonderland (ANN)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Danganropa: The Animation (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Adrienne on Devil’s Game (Heart of Manga)
Ash Brown on A Girl on the Shore (Experiments in Manga)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 2 of Idol Dreams (WatchPlayRead)
Laura on Kiss of the Rose Princess (Heart of Manga)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter (ANN)
Helen on vols. 4 and 5 of The Morose Mononokean (The OASG)
Ash Brown on vols. 8-10 of Mushishi (Experiments in Manga)
Matthew Warner on vol. 13 of Nisekoi (The Fandom Post)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Paradise Residence (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 25 and 26 of Ranma 1/2 (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Anna N on vol. 1 of Shuriken and Pleats (Manga Report)
Anna N on vol. 36 of Skip Beat! (Manga Report)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 11 of Terraformars (WatchPlayRead)

Manga Sales are Up

tenshi kamoshirenai 01For the first time in her career, manga-ka Moto Hagio is collaborating with an artist. Hagio is writing the story for a new series, Tenshi Kamoshirenai (Might be an Angel), which will run in Shueisha’s YOU magazine, and Yū Hatano will draw it. [Anime News Network]

Are manga sales increasing? Signs point to yes, according to Justin Sevakis, who looks at some recent sales reports and discusses some possible reasons. [Anime News Network]

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

The fifth volume of One-Punch Man tops the New York Times manga best-seller list, with vol. 8 of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal coming in second and vol. 66 of Bleach in third place. [New York Times]

How much money is lost to anime piracy? GoBoiano writer JenBae does some rough calculations, and the results are eye-opening. [GoBoiano]

French manga scholar Xavier Hebert is about to publish his own manga. [Asahi Shimbun]

Akita Shoten has plans to release all its magazines digitally (in Japan) as well as in print. [Anime News Network]

Kamisama Kiss is coming to an end. [Anime News Network]

Reviews: Ash Brown reviews Mechademia, volume 10: World Renewal, a collection of essays about manga, at Experiments in Manga.

Matthew Alexander on vol. 7 of Assassination Classroom (The Fandom Post)
Erica Friedman on the January 2016 issue of Comic Yuri Hime (Okazu)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Demonizer Zilch (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Helen on Futaba-Kun Change! (The OASG)
Katherine Parker on vol. 4 of He’s My Only Vampire (The Fandom Post)
A Library Girl on vols. 3 and 4 of His Favorite (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
Muse on vol. 1 of Honey So Sweet (The OASG)
Anna N. on vol. 2 of Idol Dreams (Manga Report)
Erica Friedman on Junsui Adolescence Perfect Edition (Okazu)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 3 of My Hero Academia (The Comic Book Bin)
Matthew Warner on vol. 4 of So Cute It Hurts! (The Fandom Post)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 5 of So Cute It Hurts! (The Comic Book Bin)
Matthew Warner on vol. 2 of Ultraman (The Fandom Post)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 12 of Umineko: When They Cry (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Helen on vols. 1-5 of Vinland Saga (Narrative Investigations)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 4 of The World’s Greatest First Love (I Reads You)

Manga Market Madness

One-Punch Man 5Manga titles accounted for half of BookScan’s list of the top 20 graphic novels of February (bookstore sales): Four volumes of Tokyo Ghoul (vol. 5 was the number one seller), three volumes of One-Punch Man, the Naruto novel and the series sequel, Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring, and vol. 8 of Monster Musume. [ICv2]

Last week was Manga Week at the retailer website ICv2, and they had a ton of interesting content. Here’s the list:

“A Lot of People Are Paying Attention to Us Right Now”: New Trends in Manga
ICv2 Interview: Todd MacFarlane on His Anime/Manga Line [of toys]
2016 Yaoi Titles from SuBLime
Interview with the Dark Horse Manga Brain Trust, Part 1
Interview with the Dark Horse Manga Brain Trust, Part 2
Top 10 Manga Franchises—Fall 2015

Retailer Brian Hibbs has released his annual analysis of the previous year’s BookScan charts, and it looks like 2015 was a great year for manga. His article is lengthy but fascinating reading if you’re interested in the fine points of the graphic novel market, but if you’re not, here’s one fact that kind of sums it up: In terms of dollar sales, Viz was the number two publisher of graphic novels in bookstores. Hibbs links to the actual spreadsheet of the top 750 graphic novels, in case you want to look it over for yourself. [Comic Book Resources]

Lori Henderson finds some free manga on the Kindle. [Manga Xanadu]

Chuya Koyama talks about Space Brothers. [Kodansha Comics]

Lone Wolf and Cub creator Kazuo Koike has done an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit! His answers to many of the questions are kind of vague, but he does say he thinks Samurai Executioner is his best work, and he is working on a new manga—that will be published as a motion comic. [Reddit]

Massive editor Graham Kolbeins talks gay manga. [Girls Like Comics]

Arina Tanemura releases the details of her new manga, to be titled Akuma ni Chic×Hack. [Anime News Network]

Tite Kubo has come down with something, so Bleach will skip a week. [Anime News Network]

There’s a lot going on in the world of yuri, and Erica Friedman rounds it up for us in the latest edition of Yuri Network News. Also, Erica will be participating in an alt-manga symposium at Baruch College in New York on April 7—check it out if you’re in town! [Okazu]

You may have heard of Kazuto Tatsuta before—he’s the guy who got a job as part of the cleanup crew in the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear reactor, which was damaged during the 2011 earthquake, and made a manga about it, Ichiefu. (You can read the first chapter in English here.) With the fifth anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami coming up, Tatsuta talks about his manga and the problems it revealed. [Japan Times]

In case you needed another excuse to read Yotsuba&!, here’s an article explaining why it’s a good choice for learning Japanese. [Japan Info]

If you read French, check out this interview with Minetaro Mochizuki, creator of Chiisakobé. [Nostroblog]

Reviews: At Manga Xanadu, Lori Henderson takes a look at Kimetsu no Yaiba, the new series that has just started running in Shonen Jump.

Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 8 of Assassination Classroom (The Comic Book Bin)
L.B. Bryant on vol. 1 of Behind the Scenes (ICv2)
Gregory Smith on vol. 3 of Chaika the Coffin Princess (The Fandom Post)
Erica Friedman on the March 2016 issue of Comic Yuri Hime (Okazu)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 13 of Deadman Wonderland (WatchPlayRead)
Matt Brady on Junji Ito’s Fragments of Horror (Warren Peace Sings the Blues)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 77 of One Piece (The Comic Book Bin)
Gregory Smith on vol. 1 of Princess Knight (The Fandom Post)
Gregory Smith on The Secret Sakura Shares (The Fandom Post)
Justin on vol. 1 of Taboo Tattoo (The OASG)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 2 of Tokyo ESP (The Fandom Post)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 5 of Tokyo Ghoul (WatchPlayRead)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 5 of Tokyo Ghoul (The Comic Book Bin)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 3 of Ultraman (WatchPlayRead)