Remembering Yoshihiro Tatsumi – Updated

Fallen Words

Manga-ka Yoshihiro Tatsumi has died at the age of 79. Paul Gravett broke the news on his blog, saying that he got an e-mail from director Eric Khoo, who directed a documentary about the artist, saying simply, “Sensei is dead.”

Tatsumi was a pioneer of manga for adults, which he called “gekiga,” or “dramatic pictures,” as opposed to “manga,” which means “whimsical pictures.” During the course of his long career he won numerous awards, including the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize (Japan), the Angouleme Prix Regards Sur le Monde (France), and numerous Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz awards (U.S.). Drawn and Quarterly has published six of his works in English: The Push Man and Other Stories, Abandon the Old in Tokyo, Good-Bye, Black Blizzard, A Drifting Life, and Fallen Words.

As word of his death spread, several people shared their stories of meeting Tatsumi.

Peggy Burns of Drawn & Quarterly, Tatsumi’s publisher:

I was lucky enough to spend two weeks with him and his wife on his two trips to North America, two of the most fulfilling times of my career. He was gentle, sweet and kind and would always get me to tell him stories about my kids. Anne Ishii and I spent two days with him stock signing in NYC, where he would do the most ornate drawings in each books, over hundred of books received this special treatment. We kept trying to get him to speed up, and tried to tell him he didn’t have to do such ornate drawings. He told us: If when in his twenties, when he was broke and trying to make it as an artist that in his 70s, he and his wife would be flown to the USA, the very least he can do, is a drawing for each of the people who will buy the books.

Alex Cox

Alex Cox remembers meeting Tatsumi and his wife when they visited his Brooklyn comics shop. At that time, Tatsumi was only beginning to realize how popular his early works were in this country:

As Tatsumi left, I had no idea how to address him, unaccustomed as I am to Japanese etiquette. I bowed and said “Arigato, Tatsumi-Sensei,” hopefully using the correct honorific (and pronunciation) to address a master of his craft. He stalled momentarily before shaking my hand warmly.

Closing in on age 70, he was still getting used to the idea that he was considered Sensei by thousands of people on the other side of the world.

Adrian Tomine, Tatsumi’s editor at Drawn and Quarterly:

It didn’t take long for me to discover that, despite differences of age, geography, history, etc., Tatsumi-sensei reminded me very much of all the other great cartoonists I’ve had the fortune of becoming friends with. He could be taciturn and occasionally inscrutable, but in the right circumstances, he’d open up with humor, inquisitiveness, and an unflagging excitement about the process of making comics. I’d studied and learned from his work since I was a teenager, but I think Tatsumi’s humility, generosity, and artistic determination were as inspirational to me as any of his stories. I had several occasions–usually when one of us was dashing off to catch a plane–to offer my best attempt at a bow and to say “thank you,” but I always felt that I hadn’t been clear or emphatic enough, and that he was too modest to fully accept all that I was thanking him for.

Here’s a handful of other links about Tatsumi; post your favorites in the comments and I’ll add them here.

Deb Aoki’s 2009 interview with Tatsumi
Ryan Sands covers Tatsumi’s 2009 appearance at TCAF
The Toronto Star’s 2009 interview with Tatsumi
Dwight Garner’s review of A Drifting Life in the New York Times

Update: Here are some more posts and tributes that have appeared in the week after Tatsumi’s death:

Jocelyne Allen, who was Tatsumi’s translator at TCAF and also the translator of Fallen Words, shares some memories and discusses his short story collection Kessakusen
Ryan Holmberg’s obituary at The Comics Journal, a detailed account of Tatsumi’s life that also puts his accomplishments in context
Gary Groth’s very in-depth interview with Tatsumi, first published in 2007
Bruce Weber’s obituary in the New York Times
Elaine Woo’s obituary in the Los Angeles Times

Astro Boy Omnibus On the Way!

Astro Boy

Hey you guys! I have a new gig, writing about manga for the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy blog! Check out my picks for the best February releases and my Valentines Day post about manga romances. Keep an eye out for more; this is a different type of writing for me, and I’m really digging it!

Everything old is new again: Dark Horse is reissuing Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy in omnibus format, with the first volume clocking in at 700 pages!

Lori Henderson has more info on those three new licenses Vertical announced at Katsucon.

The Manga Bookshelf bloggers go gaga over JoJo as they discuss their Pick of the Week.

The 14th and final volume of Neon Genesis Evangelion tops the New York Times manga best-seller list, followed by vol. 2 of Assassination Classroom, Unofficial Hatsune Mix, and vol. 1 of Attack on Titan.

A Silent Voice

The nominees for the Tezuka prize have been announced, and they include Naruto, Assassination Classroom, and A Silent Voice, which Kodansha will start publishing here this spring (it’s already available digitally on Crunchyroll).

News from Japan: At Heart of Manga, Laura looks at the shoujo manga currently being serialized in Wings magazine. The Sacred Blacksmith will come to an end with volume 10. Drops of God is also going into its final arc.

Reviews: Ash Brown takes us through a week of manga reading with quick takes on several volumes at Experiments in Manga.

Julia Smith on vol. 1 of Assassination Classroom (The Fandom Post)
Ken H. on vol. 2 of Attack on Titan: No Regrets (Sequential Ink)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 2 of Assassination Classroom (The Comic Book Bin)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 7 of Deadman Wonderland (The Fandom Post)
Erica Friedman on Doukyonin no Bishoujo ga Lesbian Datta Ken (Okazu)
Matthew Warner on vol. 11 of Flowers of Evil (The Fandom Post)
Rebecca Silverman on vols. 1 and 2 of Give to the Heart (ANN)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 3 and 4 of Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 10 of Magi (Lesley’s Musings on Manga)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 1 of Meteor Prince (Lesley’s Musings on Manga)
Laura on Mugen Spiral (Heart of Manga)
Matthew Warner on vol. 7 of Nisekoi (The Fandom Post)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 25 of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (I Reads You)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 1 of Oresama Teacher (Lesley’s Musings on Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 2 of Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire (The Comic Book Bin)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Secret (ANN)
Erica Friedman on Yu-Ribon (Okazu)

Vertical Announces Three New Licenses

Vertical announced three new licenses at Katsucon this weekend: A manga, Ninja Slayer; a light novel, Kizumonogatari; and a light novel series, Seraph of the End. If that last one sounds familiar, it should: Viz has been publishing the manga. Kizumonogatari is by the novelist NisiOisin, and it’s the third volume in his Monogatari series that includes Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, and Monogatari Series Second Season. Vertical marketing director Ed Chavez said that they chose the third volume because “NisiOisin’s editor suggested we start there. His team is very involved in this project.”

Erica Friedman updates us with a new Yuri Network News post at Okazu.

The Manga Bookshelf team aren’t too excited about their Pick of the Week.

Bruno Meyerfield of World Crunch takes a look at the African manga scene, where fans who grew up reading Japanese manga are now making their own, uniquely African creations.

Arina Tanemura will be a guest at Anime Fest in Dallas, Texas, next September.

News from Japan: The LEGO Ninjago animated series (based on the LEGO playsets in which the characters are ninjas) is coming to Japan in April, and there’s going to be a manga series, too: LEGO LEGO Let’s LEGO Ninjago will launch in the March issue of Shogakukan’s CoroCoro Comic (out on February 28). The Jump Square spinoff Jump SQ. 19 is coming to an end this week, but Shueisha will launch a new spinoff in July. A manga version of the Koran is coming out this week.

Reviews: The Manga Bookshelf team checks out some new releases in their Bookshelf Briefs. Ash Brown recounts another week’s worth of manga reading at Experiments in Manga.

Sean Gaffney on vol. 7 of Alice in the Country of Joker: Circus and Liar’s Game (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Ken H. on vol. 14 of Attack on Titan (Sequential Ink)
Connie on vol. 1 of Black Rose Alice (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 24 of Blade of the Immortal (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 2 of Crimson Spell (Slightly Biased Manga)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 6 of Deadman Wonderland (The Fandom Post)
Connie on vol. 8 of Dogs (Slightly Biased Manga)
AstroNerdBoy on vol. 44 of Fairy Tail (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog)
Kristin on vols. 2 and 3 of Gangsta (Comic Attack)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 10 of Happy Marriage?! (I Reads You)
Connie on vol. 5 of Honey Hunt (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 20 of Hoshin Engi (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on Insufficient Direction (Slightly Biased Manga)
Rebecca Silverman on Jaco the Galactic Patrolman (ANN)
Rob McMonigal on vol. 1 of Master Keaton (Panel Patter)
Julia Smith on vol. 9 of No. 6 (The Fandom Post)
Matthew Warner on vol. 2 of Noragami (The Fandom Post)
Sean Gaffey on vol. 25 of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Connie on One Is Enough (Slightly Biased Manga)
Kate O’Neil on Pandora Hearts: Odds & Ends (The Fandom Post)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 20 of Pokemon Black and White (Lesley’s Musings on Manga)
Connie on vol. 11 of Sakura Hime (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 1 of Sweet Rein (Slightly Biased Manga)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 3 of UQ Holder (The Fandom Post)
Lori Henderson on vols. 1-10 of Wild Ones (Manga Xanadu)

Ishinomori’s Legend of Zelda returns

Legend of Zelda

Big news! Viz is publishing a new, full-color edition of Shotaro Ishinomori’s Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past manga in its Perfect Square imprint. The story was originally published in Game Power magazine in 1992, and a trade was published the following year.

More Viz news: They will be publishing Yu-Gi-Oh! in 3-in-1 omnibus format.

Also riding the omnibus: Dark Horse, which will re-release the earlier volumes of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service in as 2-in-1 omnibuses.

Crunchyroll is launching a new line of original manga, and they are starting with HYPERSONIC music club, a collaboration between Patrick Macias and Hiroyuki Takahashi. I talked to Macias about the book, and the new line, at Robot 6, and Takahashi did an interview with Crunchyroll.

Shonen Jump is offering the latest issues for free through February 15; if you haven’t been following it and are thinking of jumping in during this trial period, check out my quick guide to SJ series at Robot 6.

Shonen Jump has also added a new series to the lineup: My Hero Academia, which will run simultaneously with the Japanese releases.

The Manga Bookshelf team discusses their Pick of the Week.

Erica Friedman has the latest from the world of yuri in this week’s Yuri Network News post at Okazu.

Ash Brown takes a look at the work of Mitsukazu Mihara as part of the Female Goth Mangaka Carnival.

Two cosplayers learned the hard way that it’s better to put on your costume when you get to the con, at least if you’re wearing camouflage and carrying what looks like a gun. This incident occurred in Gatineau, Quebec, which is quite near the capital of Ottawa, where last year a lone gunman attacked the national parliament. The two cosplayers were arrested but not held; they were also fined $270 and their replica weapons were taken away.

Reviews: Sean Gaffney and Michelle Smith post some short takes on recent releases in the latest edition of Bookshelf Briefs at Manga Bookshelf. Ash Brown takes us through a week’s worth of manga reading at Experiments in Manga.

Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Akame Ga Kill! (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Lesey Aeschliman on vol. 8 of Attack on Titan (Lesley’s Musings on Manga)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Citrus (ANN)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 14 of Dengeki Daisy (The Comic Book Bin)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 24 of D.Gray-Man (The Comic Book Bin)
Chris Kirby on vol. 3 of Durarara!! Saika Arc (The Fandom Post)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 4 of Gangsta (The Fandom Post)
Erin on Helter Skelter: Fashion Unfriendly (Gagging on Sexism)
Ken H on vol. 12 of Knights of Sidonia (Sequential Ink)
Chris Kirby on vol. 16 of Tegami Bachi (The Fandom Post)
Alice Vernon on Ubel Blatt (Girls Like Comics)
Matthew Warner on vol. 3 of World Trigger (The Fandom Post)
Jocelyne Allen on Yoru Mata Yoru No Fukai Yoru (Brain Vs. Book)
Erica Friedman on vol. 1 of Yuri Kuma Arashi (Okazu)

Marvel/Attack on Titan crossover to be FCBD comic

AoT and Spidey

Big news! Marvel will offer the Marvel/Attack on Titan crossover as part of its Free Comic Book Day comic Secret Wars #0. The crossover, which was a one-shot story in Brutus magazine, was plotted by Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama, with dialogue in English, and features the Avengers fighting the Female Titan, the Colossal Titan, and others.

More big news: Weekly Shonen Jump is free through February 15.

At Okazu, Erica Friedman interviews Helen McCarthy, author of The Anime Encyclopedia. Erica also updates us on some new and upcoming yuri releases in her latest Yuri Network News post at Okazu.

The Manga Bookshelf bloggers discuss their Pick of the Week, with a significant skew toward manhwa.

Laura looks at what’s running in the josei magazine Kiss—and which of those series she would like to see in English—at Heart of Manga.

The first round of nominations for the Manga Taisho awards has been announced; only one of the 14 titles, The Ancient Magus’s Bride, has been licensed in North America.

News from Japan: Writer Kazumasa Hirai, creator of Genma Taisen, 8 Man, Zombie Hunter, and Wolf Guy, and a contributor to the Spider-Man manga, has died. Nakaba Suzuki, creator of The Seven Deadly Sins, told Entermix magazine that Chapter 100 is the end of the first of three planned story arcs; the magazine also noted that sales of the series, which is up to volume 12 in Japan, have reached 10 million volumes. Linebarrels of Iron has entered its final arc. The Kuroko’s Basketball -Replace- novel series will be adapted into manga for the digital Shonen Jump+ magazine.

Reviews: At Brain Vs. Book, Jocelyne Allen reads Ever After, a book of BL-ified fairy tales by est em (only one of which is available in English). Ash Brown’s Week of Manga includes quick takes on vol. 1 of Ane-Imo, vol. 2 of Manga Dogs, and vols. 1 and 2 of Witchcraft Works, as well as links to longer reviews.

Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 10 of Afterschool Charisma (The Comic Book Bin)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 20 of Arata: The Legend (The Comic Book Bin)
AstroNerdBoy on vol. 43 of Fairy Tail (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog)
AstroNerdBoy on vol. 5 of Genshiken: Second Season (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog)
Helen on Joshi Kausei (Organization Anti Social Geniuses)
Anna N on vol. 1 of Master Keaton (Manga Report)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 9 of Ooku: The Inner Chambers (The Fandom Post)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 11 and 12 of Ranma 1/2 (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Ken H. on vol. 3 of The Seven Deadly Sins (Sequential Ink)
Drew McCabe on vol. 1 of Sgt. Frog (Comic Attack)
Drew McCabe on Shion of the Dead (Comic Attack)
Erica Friedman on vol. 10 of Usotsuki Lily (Okazu)
Sarah on vol. 3 of Voice Over! Seiyu Academy (nagareboshi reviews)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 3 of Whispered Words (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sakura Eries on vol. 1 of Yukarism (The Fandom Post)

New Year, New Manga: January Releases

WDYEY 6We’re launching a new feature here at MangaBlog: An annotated monthly roundup of upcoming releases, based on the Previews catalog. That means the dates are release dates to comic shops and digital media; if you buy your manga in a bookstore, your mileage may vary.

January 7


What Did You Eat Yesterday? vol. 6
Fumi Yoshinaga’s slice-of-life tale has gotten a lot of blogger love both for the food and for the nuanced interaction of the central couple. It got plenty of upvotes in our food manga roundtable, and Johanna Draper Carlson said “I adore Fumi Yoshinaga’s art, and her combination of recipe how-tos and small moments of daily life for a gay couple works well,” although Kate Dacey admitted to being “mildly disappointed” in the series in that same post.

Jaco 1Viz

Bleach, vol. 10 (3 in 1)
Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, vol. 1: New series from Akira Toriyama, creator of Dragon Ball Z.
Kiss of the Rose Princess, vol. 2
Meteor Prince, vol. 1: New shoujo series from the creator of Omukae Desu and Pearl Pink.
My Love Story, vol. 3: A MangaBlog favorite!!
Naruto, vol. 10 (3 in 1)
Nisekoi: False Love, vol. 7: High school comedy about the son and daughter of two warring Yakuza families who must pretend to be boyfriend and girlfriend, even though they can’t stand each other… or maybe not.
One Piece, vol. 73

January 14

Noragami 3Kodansha

Noragami: Stray God, vol. 3: This started out in the first volume as sort of a slapstick comedy about a homeless god who is at the very bottom of the totem pole and is picking up odd jobs in order to earn enough to get a place to live and work his way up the ladder. It’s a good premise and I’ll be interested to see how the story develops.
The Seven Deadly Sins, vol. 6


My Neighbor Seki, vol. 1: A new comedy about a schoolgirl who cannot ignore her classmate’s elaborate games and projects. The anime, Tonari no Seki-kun, is available on Crunchyroll.

My Neighbor SekiViz

07-Ghost, vol. 14
Case Closed, vol. 53
Ranma 1/2, vol. 6 (2 in 1)

January 21


Missions of Love, vol. 10
My Little Monster, vol. 6


Monster, vol. 3 (Perfect Edition)
Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire, vol. 2
Terra Formars, vol. 4

Yen Press

Akame ga Kill!, vol. 1: A new series for the new year. Here’s the blurb:

Teenage country bumpkin Tatsumi dreams of earning enough money for his impoverished village by working in the Capital— but his short-lived plans go awry when he’s robbed by a buxom beauty upon arrival! Penniless, Tatsumi is taken in by the lovely Lady Aria, but just when his Capital dreams seem in reach yet again, Lady Aria’s mansion is besieged by Night Raid—a team of ruthless assassins who targets high-ranking members of the upper class! As Tatsumi is quick to learn, appearances can be deceiving in the Capital, and this team of assassins just might be…the good guys?!

Black Butler, vol. 19: Everyone’s favorite butler, Sebastian, is kickin’ ass and pourin’ tea in this latest volume, which kicks off a new adventure for him and his boss, Ciel Phantomhive.
Goong, vol. 17: A Shocking Secret is revealed in the latest volume of the long-running manhwa.
Inu x Boku SS, vol. 6: This is a weird ensemble story filled with light and dark moments; watch for a review of the first five volumes soon.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, vol. 5: The final volume in this series.
The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-Chan, vol. 9: More 4-koma Haruhi-ness. Can there be such a thing as too much Haruhi? Apparently not.
Milkyway Hitchhiking, vol. 2
No Matter How You Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular, vol. 6
Secret, vol. 1: Like Yoshiki Tonogai’s other manga, Judge and Doubt, this one features schoolchildren in giant animal heads involved in some sort of cat-and-mouse game, this one involving three murderers who are in their midst. This is a two-volume series, with the second one out in June.
Sword Art Online Progressive, vol. 1
Ubel Blatt, vol. 1
Uminkeo When They Cry, Episode 4: Alliance of the Golden Witch
Until Death Do Us Part, vol. 8

January 28


Fairy Tail, vol. 46

Prophecy 1Vertical

Prophecy, vol. 1: Another new series. Here’s the blurb:

A newspaper-masked vigilante who broadcasts his acts of vengeance before committing them. A newly-formed police division tackling the new frontier of internet-based crime. As the sun rises on the Era of Information, can a group of people who found themselves at the bottom of the food chain rattle society through the web and avenge a fallen friend?

Yen Press

Soul Eater, vol. 24: If you have fallen away, it’s time to get back on board, as it’s the beginning of the end—the final showdown begins, and it all comes to a head in volume 25, the last volume in the series.