New Licenses, May Manga Roundup, Vinland Saga Love

Legend of ZeldaLots of fantasy, gaming and supernatural series are launching in May, starting with Shotaro Ishinomori’s Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which was originally drawn for Nintendo Power magazine back in the 1990s; I rounded up some of the most promising May releases at the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi/Fantasy Blog.

Also at the B&N blog, I celebrate the return of Vinland Saga with a look at what sets it apart from your average Viking story.

This blog has been a bit quiet because I went to TCAF last week, where I interviewed both Aya Kanno, the creator of Otomen and Requiem of the Rose King, and Gurihiru, the two-woman team that illustrates Dark Horse’s Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels. I’ll have more to say about that later, but for now, it’s worth taking a few minutes to read Jocelyne Allen’s essay on Aya Kanno and the importance of Otomen. Jocelyne was Kanno’s translator at TCAF and she did a superb job; she’s also the translator of Requiem of the Rose King, but this post is about why Otomen matters. I have to admit I had only glanced at Otomen before TCAF, but I prepped for the interviews (one individual and one onstage) by reading not only Otomen and Requiem but also Kanno’s earlier series, Blank Slate. Taken together, they are a remarkable body of work. Kanno is versatile, working in a number of styles, but also very smart, and as Jocelyne points out, Otomen gets really interesting after the first few volumes.

Seven Seas has announced three new manga licenses: The high school zombie series Hour of the Zombie (a.k.a. Igai—The Play Dead/Alive); a fanservice-y shonen title, The Testament of Sister New Devil, which is based on a light novel series; and an action comedy, My Monster Secret.

Of the Red, the Light and the Ayakashi

Of the Red, the Light and the Ayakashi

Yen Press announced two new licenses last week: School-Live! (Gakkō Gurashi!), by Sadoru Chiba and Norimitsu Kaihō (Nitroplus), and Of the Red, the Light and the Ayakashi (Aka ya Akashi ya Ayakashi no), by HaccaWorks* and Nanao

Meanwhile, Viz has some license rescues, all digital: Eureka Seven, formerly published by Bandai; two vintage Tokyopop titles, Glass Wings and Flower of Deep Sleep; and Cheeky Angel, a Viz title that’s out of print.

And Crunchyroll has the digital release of Inuyashiki, by Gantz creator Hiroya Oku. Kodansha comics will start releasing it in print in August.

Big convention news:

  • Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto will be coming to New York Comic Con in October;
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! manga-ka Kazuki Takahashi will be at Comic-Con International in San Diego in July;
  • And Julietta Suzuki, creator of Kamisama Kiss and Karakuri Odette (remember that one?) will make her first U.S. appearance at Anime Expo, also in July.

The Manga Bookshelf team discuss their Pick of the Week and take a look at the coming week’s new releases.

Justin Stroman has another one of his excellent insider posts up at Organization Anti-Social Geniuses; this time he interviews four manga translators about their work. He also investigates why he can’t read mature manga in the Viz apps.

Also, Ryan Holmberg has a longish but fascinating piece at The Comics Journal about blood banks and selling blood and why that pops up so often in manga.

In preparation for Kishimoto’s visit, Vernieda Vergara answers all your questions about Naruto. Well, some of them, anyway.

Shonen Jump is bringing back Jump Start, running a couple of chapters of new manga from the Japanese magazine; Lori Henderson takes a look at two new series.

Least surprising news item of the week: Shotaro Ishinomori’s Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past tops this week’s New York Times best-seller list.

Here’s a preview of Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga #46.

News from Japan

  • Kodansha has announced the winners of the 39th Kodansha Manga Awards. The Seven Deadly Sins and Yowamushi Pedal (recently licensed by Yen Press) tied for best shonen manga, Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu got the nod for best shojo title, and Knights of Sidonia was named Best General Manga. Tochi Ueyama’s long-running series Cooking Papa got a special award as well.
  • The monthly magazine Zero-Sum Ward is shutting down, but several series, including Wild Adapter, are being farmed out to other publications or online.
  • Do you like Magi? So do lots of other people: A recent issue of Shonen Sunday reports that there are 18 million volumes in print.
  • Kadokawa is launching Comic Walker GLOBAL, a companion to its Comic Walker digital manga site that features non-Japanese titles (mostly translated into Japanese).
  • Shueisha will be selling a full-size reproduction of Masashi Kishimoto’s original art for the first chapter of Naruto.

Reviews

Kristin on The Angel of Elhamburg (Comic Attack)
John Rose on vol. 18 of Black Butler (The Fandom Post)
Ash Brown on Blade of the Immortal, vol. 31: Final Curtain (Experiments in Manga)
John Rose on vol. 5 of Blood Lad (The Fandom Post)
Day on vol. 2 of Citrus (Okazu)
AstroNerdBoy on vol. 1 of D-Frag (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Evergreen (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
John Rose on vol. 38 of Fairy Tail (The Fandom Post)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 43 of Fairy Tail (The Fandom Post)
Ken H on vols. 2 and 3 of The Heroic Legend of Arslan (Sequential Ink)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 3 of High School DxD (The Fandom Post)
AJ Adejare on vol. 1 of Kagerou Daze (The Fandom Post)
Erica Friedman on vol. 3 of Kampfer (Okazu)
Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of Let’s Dance a Waltz (Manga Xanadu)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 1 of Let’s Dance a Waltz (The Fandom Post)
Matthew Warner on vol. 13 of Library Wars (The Fandom Post)
Anna N on vols. 1-3 of Magi (Manga Report)
Dave Ferraro on vol. 1 of Maria the Virgin Witch (Comics and More)
Erica Friedman on Murcielago (Okazu)
Ash Brown on vol. 3 of Mushishi (Experiments in Manga)
John Rose on vol. 1 of No. 6 (The Fandom Post)
Laura on No. 6 (Heart of Manga)
Jessica Uelmen on Ouran High School Host Club (The Mary Sue)
Lori Henderson on vols. 12-20 of Pandora Hearts (Manga Xanadu)
Chris Beveridge on Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (The Fandom Post)
Ash Brown on Priapus (Experiments in Manga)
Rebecca Henely on Puella Magi Oriko Magica: Extra Story and vol. 1 of Puella Magi Tart Magica (Women Write About Comics)
Nick Smith on Puella Magi Tart Magica, vol. 1: The Legend of Jeanne (ICv2)
Erica Friedman on Renai Manga (Okazu)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of A Silent Voice (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
John Rose on vol. 3 of Soul Eater NOT! (The Fandom Post)
Erica Friedman on Starlight Melody (Okazu)
Kristin on vols. 2 and 3 of Terra Formars (Comic Attack)
Justin Stroman on vol. 1 of Tokyo Ghoul (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 8 of Triage X (The Fandom Post)
Scott Cederlund on Uzumaki (Panel Patter)
Ken H on vol. 6 of Wolfsmund (Sequential Ink)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 1 of Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches (The Fandom Post)
Sakura Eries on vol. 1 of Your Lie in April (The Fandom Post)

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)

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)

Cocoa Fujiwara RIP

Fujiwara_INUxBOKUv6_TP

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).

A Certain Seven Seas License; Aya Kanno Coming to TCAF

A Certain Scientific Accelerator

Seven Seas announced yesterday that it has licensed A Certain Scientific Accelerator, one of the many manga spinoffs of the light novel series A Certain Magical Index (which has been licensed by Yen Press).

Aya Kanno, creator of Otomen, Blank Slate, and Requiem of the Rose King, will be a guest at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) in May.

I wrote about the life and work of the late Yoshihiro Tatsumi at the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog.

At The Guardian, Jennifer Allan writes about what she learned from Tatsumi’s works.

Justin talks to Ken Niimura, author of Henshin, at Organization Anti-Social Geniuses.

The Manga Bookshelf bloggers discuss their pick of a very good week and what we can expect next week. Lori Henderson looks at this week’s manga at Manga Xanadu.

Hiroya Oku says his Inuyashiki manga, which Kodansha will start publishing in the U.S. in August, will run to 10 volumes.

The Japanese anti-piracy project Manga-Anime Guardians reports some results:

In the five month period between August and January, MAG deleted 447,096 manga files and 264,601 anime files from various video sharing, online reading, torrent and other sites. For manga, that represents a 60% delete rate, while for anime, that’s a 89% delete rate, though it’s not clear whether these results include English-language sites.

I don’t go to scanlation sites, but I haven’t noticed any decrease in the frequency with which they show up in Google results, but maybe MAG is hitting Japanese-language sites harder. They also note that 12% of Japanese readers and 50% of U.S. readers use bootleg sites.

Crafty Lori Henderson looks at some sewing manga. I didn’t even know that was a thing!

13th Dimension has a preview of Jiro Kuwata’s Batmanga #38.

News from Japan: The Naruto spinoff mini-series Naruto Gaiden: Nanadaime Hokage to Akairo no Hanatsuzuki will start running in Shonen Jump with the April 27 issue. Shigeru Mizuki is bringing his autobiographical manga Watashi no Hibi to an end in the next issue of Big Comic. Princess Jellyfish creator Akiko Higashimura has won the Manga Taisho award for her series Kakukaku Shikajika. Children of the Sea manga-ka Daisuke Higarashi has a new series in the works, titled Designs. ANN has the latest Japanese comics rankings.

Reviews: The Manga Bookshelf team files their report on some recent releases in the latest edition of Bookshelf Briefs. Ash Brown recaps the week’s reading at Experiments in Manga.

Matthew Warner on vol. 1 of Akame ga KILL! (The Fandom Post)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 14 of Attack on Titan (The Fandom Post)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 15 of Attack on Titan (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 1 and 2 of Captain Ken (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Toshi Nakamura on Inuyashiki (Kotaku)
Steve Bennett on vol. 1 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (ICv2)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 3 of Kokoro Connect (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Erica Friedman on Kono yo ni tada Hitori (Okazu)
Justin on Maria the Virgin Witch (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of Master Keaton (Manga Xanadu)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 2 of Master Keaton (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Alice Vernon on Milkyway Hitchhiking (Girls Like Comics)
Kristin on vol. 3 of My Love Story (Comic Attack)
Manjiorin on vol. 1 of My Neighbor Seki (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 47 of Oh My Goddess (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Drew McCabe on Our Reason for Living (Comic Attack)
Anna N on vol. 1 of Requiem of the Rose King (Manga Report)
Helen on Spirit Circle (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Ash Brown on vol. 6 of What Did You Eat Yesterday? (Experiments in Manga)

Sparkler Monthly, New Licenses, Manhwa, and More

Orange-Junk-cover2-571x800

At Robot 6, I interviewed Lianne Sentar of Chromatic Press, who is serious about publishing manga-influenced comics for a female audience. Their flagship publication is Sparkler Monthly, and if you’re curious, check it out now, because the archives are available for free. And Melinda Beasi breaks another bit of Sparkler Monthly news at Manga Bookshelf: They have just picked up the series Orange Junk, which formerly ran on Inkblazers.

Yen Press announced that it has licensed the Irregular at Magic High School (Mahōka Kōkō no Rettōsei) light novels and the spinoff manga Mahōka Kōkō no Yūtōsei (The Honour at Magic High School).

Sean Gaffney rounds up all the recent license announcements and tells us a bit about each title.

ICv2 declared last week Manga Week, and their coverage included interviews with Mike Richardson, Carl Horn, and Mike Gombos of Dark Horse, who said their manga line is doing well and they have plans to expand this year with more titles and omnibus editions of older works; Kevin Hamric of Viz, who also says sales are good and notes that sales of shoujo manga have gone up in comics shops; and Matt Lehman, owner of Boston’s Comicopia, who talks about selling manga in the direct market. ICv2 also analyzes last year’s manga sales, which appear to be up for the second year in a row.

A treasure trove of manhwa in an abandoned storage locker has been donated to the University of Washington, where librarian Yi Hyo-kyoung is organizing then, putting together a symposium featuring Misaeng creator Yoon Tae-ho—and reminiscing about reading manhwa on the sly when she was a child.

The Manga Bookshelf team discusses this week’s new manga and their picks of the week.

Erica Friedman updates us on all things yuri at Okazu and at Manga Bookshelf, she looks at Mangatime Kirara ☆ Magica, a Japanese magazine dedicated entirely to the Puella Magi Madoka Magica franchise.

At Heart of Manga, Laura looks at the shoujo manga that have been licensed over the past two years, notes some recent trends, and shares her own list of series she would like to see licensed. And then explains the shoujo trope of kate don.

News from Japan: The Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs has awarded Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto their Rookie of the Year award; apparently he qualifies because Naruto is his first series, although it ran for 15 years. Attack on Titan took the top slot in the manga category of the Sugoi Japan Grand Prix, in which readers voted on the manga and anime they thought should be shared with readers outside Japan. The mayor of Yokote, in Akita Prefecture, is planning to beef up the collection of the Yokote Masuda Manga Museum to turn it into a “manga mecca” with a collection of over 100,000 works of art. A new Cardfight!! Vanguard series is in the works.

Reviews: Khursten Santos reviews Sayonara, Sorcier, a manga about Theo Van Gogh (Vincent’s younger brother) which, sadly, has not been translated. Somebody grab this one! Ash Brown rounds up the week’s manga news and offers some quick takes on new titles at Experiments in Manga. The Manga Bookshelf team check in with some short reviews of recent releases in their latest edition of Bookshelf Briefs.

Laura on vol. 2 of Attack on Titan: No Regrets (Heart of Manga)
Kristin on vols. 2 and 3 of Black Rose Alice (Comic Attack)
Lori Henderson on vols. 1-5 of Bloody Cross (Manga Xanadu)
Ollie Barder on Gundam: The Origin (Forbes)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 25 of Hayate the Combat Butler (The Comic Book Bin)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Maria the Virgin Witch (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Dave Ferraro on vol. 1 of Meteor Prince (Comics-and-More)
Ash Brown on vol. 2 of Mushishi (Experiments in Manga)
Helen on Orange (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 18 of Oresama Teacher (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 2 of Prophecy (Comics Worth Reading)
Ken H. on vol. 2 of Prophecy (Sequential Ink)
Kristin on vol. 1 of Requiem of the Rose King (Comic Attack)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Servamp (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Laura on Strobe Edge (Heart of Manga)
Erica Friedman on Wakemonaku Kurushikunaruno (Okazu)
Erica Friedman on vol. 3 of Whispered Words (Okazu)
Ken H. on vols. 1 and 2 of xxxHolic Rei (Sequential Ink)
Justin on Zone-00 (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)