About Katherine Dacey

Kate Dacey has been writing about comics since 2006. From 2007 to 2008, she was the Senior Manga Editor at PopCultureShock, a site covering all aspects of the entertainment industry from comics to video games. In 2009, she launched The Manga Critic, where she reviewed Japanese comics and novels until 2012. Kate’s resume also includes serving as a panelist at ALA, New York Comic-Con, and Wondercon; penning reviews for the School Library Journal’s Good Comics for Kids blog; and writing the introductory chapter of CBDLF Presents Manga: Introduction, Challenges, and Best Practices, which Dark Horse published in 2013. Kate works in Boston, MA as a musicologist, and currently contributes to MangaBlog.

The Manga Revue: Say I Love You

This week, I’m catching up with Say I Love You, a shojo romance that’s been garnering strong reviews here and elsewhere since Kodansha began publishing it last August.

sayiloveyou3Say I Love You, Vols. 1-3
By Kanae Hazuki
Rated OT, for older teens
Kodansha Comics, $10.99

Back in the 1980s, filmmaker John Hughes peddled an intoxicating fantasy to thirteen-year-old girls: you might be the class misfit–the kid who wore the “wrong” clothes, listened to the “wrong” music, and had the “wrong” friends–but the hottest guy in school could still fall for you. Better still, he’d like you for being a “real” person, unlike the two-faced girls who inhabited his social circle. You’d have a bumpy road to your happily-after-ever, of course, since his friends felt compelled to say that you weren’t in his league. In the end, however, your sincerity and quirkiness would prevail.

Say I Love You reads a lot like a John Hughes script; anyone familiar with Pretty in Pink or Some Kind of Wonderful would immediately recognize Mei, its heroine, as a kindred spirit to Molly Ringwald’s Andie or Mary Stuart Masterson’s Watts. Mei is a loner who endures daily harassment from her classmates. In an only-in-manga scenario, she mistakenly believes that Yamato, the most popular guy in school, has tried to peek up her skirt, and sets him straight with a powerful roundhouse kick. Yamato is dazed but intrigued by Mei’s display of bravado and does what any bruised soul would do: he asks for digits.

Their fitful courtship provides both the emotional and comedic grist for Say I Love You. Mei is initially bewildered by Yamato’s affection, as are all the girls (and boys) in Yamato’s clique. As Mei soon discovers, however, Yamato’s own personal history is more complicated than she assumed–especially where dating is concerned. She also discovers that Yamato’s good looks belie an earnest, vulnerable personality that seeks the best in other people. Small wonder he puts up with Mei’s tearful outbursts and mixed signals.

And speaking of mixed signals, Say I Love You is refreshingly honest in acknowledging the full spectrum of teenage desire. Some characters embrace their lust in healthy ways; others use sex to fill a void in their emotional lives; and still others are just beginning to explore their sexuality. Though many of the sexual encounters in the series are ill-advised, the teenage logic that underpins them rings true; an adult may feel an uncomfortable pang of recognition while reading Say I Love You.

The series’ greatest strength, however, is that author Kanae Hazuki is unusually generous with her supporting players. We’re privy to both Mei and Yamato’s thoughts, of course, but Hazuki also pulls the curtain back on other characters’ interior lives. In volume two, for example, mean girl Aiko becomes the temporary focus of the story, narrating her own transformation from a plump, pretty girl to a skinny, angry young woman who is furious that Yamato doesn’t like her. Her blunt self-criticism and body hang-ups remind younger readers that everyone wears a mask in high school; even students who seem outwardly blessed with good looks or talent are wrestling with the familiar demons of self-doubt and self-loathing.

If I had any criticism of Say I Love You, it’s that the plot twists are a little too by-the-book, with beach visits, Valentine’s Day agita, and misunderstandings of the “I saw you kiss her!” variety. In volume three, for example, Hazuki introduces Megumi, a model who’s hell-bent on making Yamato her boyfriend. When a direct approach doesn’t work–Yamato, of course, rebuffs Meg’s initial proposition–Meg transfers schools and ropes Yamato into becoming a model himself. I realize that “model,” “celebrity,” or “singer” epitomize a thirteen-year-old’s dream job, but the artifice and obviousness of diving into the modeling world feels like an unnatural direction for such a finely observed romance.

Perhaps the best compliment I could pay Say I Love You is that it has all the virtues of Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful: it’s got a proud, tough heroine who’s skeptical of popularity, a sincere hot guy who can see past her bluster, and a veritable Greek chorus of peers who chart the ups and downs of their relationship. All it needs is a killer soundtrack.

Reviews: At Brain vs. Book, Joceyln Allen sings the praises of Takehiko Moriizumi’s Mimi wa Wasurenai, an untranslated short story collection. “It’s okay if you don’t read Japanese,” she explains, “you can just stare at the beauty on every page. Moriizumi makes manga like nothing I’ve ever seen before.” Go see for yourself!

Saeyong Kim on vol. 1 of 21st Century Boys (No Flying No Tights)
Jessikah Chautin on Awkward (No Flying No Tights)
SKJAM on vols. 1-2 of Captain Ken (SKJAM! Reviews)
Kat Stark on vol. 1 of Devil Survivor (AiPT!)
Jessikah Chautin on vol. 1 of Durarara!! Yellow Scarves Arc (No Flying No Tights)
SKJAM on Gimmick! (SKJAM! Reviews)
Kat Stark on vol. 1 of Kiss Him, Not Me! (AiPT!)
Ian Wolf on vol. 1 of the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Omnibus (Anime UK News)
David Brooke on vol. 1 of Ninja Slayer Kills (AiPT!)
Anna N. on vol. 2 of Requiem of the Rose King (The Manga Report)
Ian Wolf on vol. 2 of Requiem of the Rose King (Anime UK News)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Rose Guns Days, Season One (Anime News Network)
Marissa Lieberman on vol. 1 of Seraph of the End (No Flying No Tights)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 11 of Umineko: When They Cry (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Ash Brown on vol. 2 of Wayward: Ties That Bind (Experiments in Manga)
Ken H. on vol. 3 of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches (Sequential Ink)

The Manga Revue: Rose Guns Days Season One

In principal, a video game or visual novel ought to be a solid foundation on which to build a manga: the designers have already done the hard work of creating characters, endowing them with powers (or weapons), and setting them loose in a richly detailed environment. In practice, however, many game-franchises-cum-manga are a dreary affair, with thin plots and two-dimensional characters. I’ve largely sworn off the genre, but when my Manga Bookshelf colleague Sean Gaffney sang the praises of Rose Guns Days Season One, I thought I’d take it for a test drive.

Ryukishi07_RoseGunDays_1Rose Guns Days Season One, Vol. 1
Story by Ryukishi07, Art by Soichiro
Rated OT, for older teens
Yen Press, $13.00

Rose Guns Days has an intriguing premise: what if Japan had surrendered to the Allied Forces in 1944 instead of fighting until the bitter end? In Ryukishi07’s scenario, American and Chinese troops occupy Japan, carving out distinct spheres of influence in much the same fashion as the Americans and Soviets would do with Germany in 1945. Japanese citizens are struggling to get by: work and food are scarce, and the Allies’ efforts to rebuild the country are erasing its history. Only a handful of criminals and entrepreneurs are flourishing in this war-ravaged landscape.

If only the actual story was as compelling as the alternate universe in which it unfolds! The principal character, Leo Shisigami, is a Spike Spiegel wannabe: he’s got the skinny suit and tousled hair, but lacks Spiegel’s presence. After a meet-cute that’s shown not once but twice, Leo becomes a bodyguard for Rose Haibana, a pretty madam whose establishment caters to foreigners. The next 100 pages are a riot of kidnappings, fisticuffs, and golden-hearted hookers–no cliche goes unturned.

The artwork is a similarly pedestrian. Though the supporting characters are rendered with loving attention to costumes, facial features, and body types, Rose looks like something pilfered from a twelve-year-old’s Deviant Art account: she barely has a nose or mouth, and her face is framed by two immobile locks of hair. The backgrounds, too, run the gamut from meticulously rendered to barely-there. Only a few panels capture the disruption and poverty caused by the occupying forces; most scenes appear to be taking place in a no man’s land of Photoshop fills and traced elements. What’s most disappointing, however, is that the artwork does nothing to bring depth or nuance to the original visual novel concept. Each scene feels like a collection of artful poses, rather than a dynamic presentation of a story with fistfights and car chases. With so little effort to adapt the material for a different medium, it begs the question, Why bother?

The verdict: Unless you’re a devotee of the visual novel series on which Rose Guns Days is based, skip it.

Reviews: Seth Hahne posts an in-depth assessment of Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit, while Erica Friedman reviews the Japanese edition of Rose of Versailles. Over at Snap30, Frank Inglese test drives the new Weekly Shonen Jump series Samon the Summoner, which debuted on September 21st.

Mark Pelligrini on vol. 1 of AKIRA (AiPT!)
Tyler Sewell on Bat-Manga! The Secret History of Batman in Japan (AiPT!)
Michael Burns on vol. 1 of Black Bullet (AniTAY)
Connie on vol. 31 of Blade of the Immortal (Slightly Biased Manga)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Chiro: The Star Project (Anime News Network)
Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home (Good Comics for Kids)
ebooksgirl on Cromartie High School (Geek Lit Etc.)
Vernieda Vergara on Gangsta (Women Write About Comics)
Patrick Moore on Fragments of Horror (Bento Byte)
Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Iono The Fanatics, Special Edition (Okazu)
Helen on King’s Game: Origin (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Jennifer Wharton on vol. 1 of Kiss of the Rose Princess (No Flying No Tights)
Kristin on vol. 1 of Komomo Confiserie (Comic Attack)
Megan R. on La Esperanca (The Manga Test Drive)
Thomas Maluck on The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (No Flying No Tights)
Nic Wilcox on vol. 1 of Log Horizon (No Flying No Tights)
Amy McNulty on vol. 71 of Naruto (Anime News Network)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 1-2 of One-Punch Man (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Connie on vol. 5 of Phantom Thief Jeanne (Slightly Biased Manga)
Ian Wolf on vol. 2 of Requiem for the Rose King (Anime UK News)
Jordan Richards on vol. 1 of Rose Guns Days Season One (AiPT!)
Karen Maeda on vol. 1 of Ultraman (Sequential Tart)
Austin Lanari on issue #43 of Weekly Shonen Jump (Comic Bastards)
Adam Capps on vol. 6 of Witchcraft Works (Bento Byte)
Connie on vol. 4 of X: 3-in-1 Edition (Slightly Biased Manga)
Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of Yu-Gi-Oh: 3-in-1 Edition (Good Comics for Kids)

The Manga Revue: Komomo Confiserie

Apologies for missing last week’s deadline – the first week of the semester is always chaotic, and manga reviewing took a back seat to lesson prep. Now that school is underway again, however, the Manga Revue will run weekly on Fridays, as it did this summer.

komomo_confiserieKomomo Confiserie, Vol. 1
By Maki Minami
Rated T, for teens
VIZ Manga, $6.99 (digital)

Flip through The Big Book of Shojo Plotlines, and there – between “I’m Having an Affair with My Homeroom Teacher” and “I’m a Spazz Who’s Inexplicably Irresistible” – you’ll find another time-honored trope: “I Was Mean to My Childhood Friend, and Now He’s Hot!” Komomo Confiserie embodies this plot to a tee: its wealthy heroine, Komomo, was spoiled rotten as a child, with an army of servants at her disposal. It was her special delight to order fellow six-year-old Natsu to make her sweets–he was the pastry’s chef son, after all–and terrorize him when he didn’t comply. When Komomo turns fifteen, however, her family loses everything, forcing her to get a job and attend public school. Natsu–now a successful baker in his own right–makes a seemingly chivalrous offer of employment to Komomo, who’s too guileless to realize that she’s walking into a trap.

You can guess the rest: Natsu revels in his new-found position of power, directing Komomo to perform menial tasks and scolding her for lacking the common sense to sweep floors or boil water. The fact that he’s cute only adds salt to the wound; Komomo vacillates between plotting her escape and speculating that Natsu bullies her out of love.

Whatever pleasure might come from witnessing Komomo’s comeuppance is undermined by the author’s frequent capitulations to shojo formula. Though Natsu frequently declares that bullying Komomo is his privilege – and his alone – he routinely helps her out of jams, bakes her sweets, and behaves a lot like someone who’s harboring a crush on her. Komomo, for her part, behaves like such a twit that it’s hard to root for her; even when she has an epiphany about friendship or hard work, her insights are as shallow as the proverbial cake pan.

The series’ redeeming strength is the artwork. Though Maki Minami frequently resorts to pre-fab backgrounds and Photoshopped elements, she does a fine job of representing the emotional rush that a sugary treat can elicit in even the most jaded adult. Komomo’s food reveries are a swirl of flowers, tears, and lacy doilies that neatly suggest the mixture of joy and sadness she experiences whenever a macaroon or a petit-four stirs up childhood memories. Too bad the rest of the story isn’t as sharply observed.

The verdict: Saccharine plotting and unsympathetic leads spoil this confection.

Reviews: Sean Gaffney and Michelle Smith post a fresh crop of Bookshelf Briefs, while Claire Napier kicks the tires on Ichigo Takano’s ReCollection and Kate O’Neil reminds us why a new installment of Kaze Hikaru is worth the wait. At Contemporary Japanese Literature, Kathryn Hermann posts a glowing review of Yurei: The Japanese Ghost, a collection of essays by manga scholar and translator Zack Davisson.

Erica Friedman on 2DK, G Pen, Mezamashidokei (Okazu)
Matthew Warner on vol. 5 of Ajin: Demi-Human (The Fandom Post)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Alice in Murderland (Anime News Network)
Jordan Richards on vol. 1 of Attack on Titan: Colossal Edition (AiPT!)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 16 of Dorohedoro (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Jordan Richards on vol. 1 of Inuyashiki (AiPT!)
Justin Stroman on vol. 1 of Inuyashiki (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Megan R. on Here Is Greenwood (The Manga Test Drive)
Saeyoung Kim on K-On! High School (No Flying No Tights)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 2 of Love Stage!! (Sequential Tart)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 3 of Love Stage!! (Comics Worth Reading)
Anna N. on vols. 1-2 of Maid-sama! (The Manga Report)
Ash Brown on Maria the Virgin Witch: Exhibition (Experiments in Manga)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 4 of Master Keaton (Watch Play Read)
Matthew Warner on vol. 3 of My Neighbor Seki (The Fandom Post)
Ash Brown on vol. 5 of Mushishi (Experiments in Manga)
Al Sparrow on vol. 1 of Nurse Hitomi’s Monster Infirmary (ComicSpectrum)
Joseph Luster on One-Punch Man (Otaku USA)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 4 of Pokemon X.Y. (Sequential Tart)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 19-20 of Ranma 1/2 (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Matt on vol. 1 of Rose Guns Days: Season One (AniTAY)
Vernieda Vergara on The Science of Attack on Titan (Women Write About Comics)
Ken H. on vol. 2 of A Silent Voice (Sequential Ink)
Matt on vol. 3 of Sword Art Online Progressive (AniTAY)
Frank Inglese on vol. 7 of Terraformars (Snap30)
David Brooke on vol. 1 of Vinland Saga (AiPT!)
Frank Inglese on vol. 6 of World Trigger (Snap30)

The Manga Revue: Inuyashiki, Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service and Tokyo Ghoul

I’m fresh out of snappy intros, so I’ll cut to the chase: this week’s column looks at Inuyashiki, The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Omnibus Edition, and Tokyo Ghoul.

inuyashikiInuyashiki, Vol. 1
By Hiroya Oku
Rated OT, for older teens (16+)
Kodansha Comics, $12.99

Bette Davis famously declared that “Old age is no place for sissies,” a statement borne out by the first chapters of Hiroya Oku’s grimly compelling Inuyashiki. Its hero, a 58-year-old salaryman, is a picture of despair: his family loathes him, his co-workers ignore him, and his health is failing. In a blinding flash of light, however, his life changes. He wakes up to discover that his memories are intact but his body has changed; his once-frail limbs and failing eyes are now military-grade weapons, capable of withstanding lethal force. What to do with this gift? That question animates the final pages of volume one, as Ichiro tests his new body’s limits for the first time.

This final scene is a neat illustration of what’s good — and not so good — about Inuyashiki. Oku stages a suspenseful confrontation between Ichiro and a gang of teenage thugs; though we sense that Ichiro will prevail, how he gains the upper hand is a nifty surprise made more effective by Oku’s meticulously detailed illustrations. The incident that precipitates the showdown, however, is saddled with a heavy-handed script; Oku stokes the reader’s sense of righteous indignation by revealing that the thugs’ intended victim is a good but vulnerable man. By overemphasizing the victim’s inherent decency, Oku reduces him to a saintly caricature, a problem that also mars Ichiro’s early interactions with his family.

Even if Ichiro’s catharsis is less earned than contrived, watching him transform from terminal sad-sack to indestructible bad-ass is a deeply satisfying experience — he’s raging against the light, and might just take out a few whippersnappers in the process. Now that’s a fantasy I can get behind.

The verdict: Pour yourself a scotch before reading; you’ll need the emotional fortification to navigate the early chapters.

kurosagi_omnibus1The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Omnibus Edition, Book One
By Eiji Ōtsuka and Housui Yamazaki
Rated OT, for older teens (16+)
Dark Horse, $19.99

Scooby Doo for grown-ups — that’s how I’d describe The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, a macabre comedy about five cash-strapped college students who drive around in a van solving supernatural mysteries. The Kurosagi gang’s bread-and-butter are mysterious (and often violent) deaths. Through dowsing and channeling, they discover how and why their “clients” died, enabling the victims’ spirits to cross over to the other side.

The new omnibus edition — which collects the first three volumes of KCDS —  includes two of the series’ best stories: “Lonely People,” in which the gang stumbles across a portable altar with a mummy inside, and “Crossing Over,” in which the gang searches for the victim of an organ harvesting ring. Though the denouement of both “deliveries” include a few gruesome panels, the deadpan dialogue, expressive character designs, and snappy pacing prevent KCDS from sinking to the level of torture porn; the horrific imagery functions as a rim shot or an exclamation mark, not the main attraction. The self-contained nature of the stories is another plus: you can begin your KCDS odyssey almost anywhere in the series and still grasp what’s happening, though the crew’s origin story (“Less Than Happy,” the very first chapter) offers an interesting window into Buddhist university culture in Japan.

The verdict: If you haven’t tagged along on one of the Kurosagi crew’s “deliveries,” the omnibus edition gives you an economical way to do so.

Review copy provided by Dark Horse.

tokyo_ghoul2Tokyo Ghoul, Vol. 2
By Sui Ishida
Rated OT, for older teens (16+)
VIZ Media, $12.99

The first volume of Tokyo Ghoul reads like an urban legend: Ken Kaneki, earnest college student, goes out for dinner with a pretty girl, but wakes up in the hospital with a brand-new set of organs… that used to belong to his date. Within a few days of his release, Kaneki begins turning into a flesh-eating monster, a side effect of the transplant surgery. Volume two picks up where volume one left off: now caught between the human and demon worlds, Kaneki casts his lot with the demons of cafe Anteiku. They teach him tricks for passing as a human, and warn him about the deep divide between the ghouls who embrace their predator status and those who feel some kinship with humanity.

Although volume two introduces several new and potentially interesting characters, Kaneki’s wet-blanket personality continues to put a damper on the story: he whines and frets and refuses to do anything that might compromise the reader’s good opinion of him. As anyone who’s read Death Note knows, however, a charismatic, intelligent protagonist doesn’t have to be good or right to command the audience’s sympathy — someone who’s flawed, misguided, or tempted to abuse a new-found power might actually invite more self-identification than a goody two-shoes lead.

The verdict: Tokyo Ghoul isn’t bad, just a little too obvious to sustain my interest.

Review copy provided by VIZ Media.

Reviews: Joe McCulloch looks at the new English-language version of Comics Zenon, Michelle Smith and Anna N. post a fresh set of Bookshelf Briefs, and Vernieda Vergara asks if Bleach has overstayed its welcome.

Connie on vol. 19 of Bakuman (Slightly Biased Manga)
Julie on The Desert Lord’s Bride (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Ash Brown on Dr. Makumakuran and Other Stories (Experiments in Manga)
Connie on vol. 3 of Earthian (Slightly Biased Manga)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 47 of Fairy Tail (The Fandom Post)
James Ristig on Full Metal Alchemist (How to Love Comics)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 1 of Hayate Cross Blade (The Fandom Post)
Connie on vol. 11 of Kamisama Kiss (Slightly Biased Manga)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 23 of Kaze Hikaru (Anime News Network)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 1 of Komomo Confisere (WatchPlayRead)
Jordan Richards on vol. 1 of Komomo Confiserie (AiPT!)
Connie on vol. 14 of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service (Slightly Biased Manga)
Angel Cruz on vols. 1-2 of Love at Fourteen (Women Write About Comics)
Lori Henderson on vols. 1-3 of Neon Genesis Evangelion (Manga Xanadu)
Ken H. on vol. 1 of Ninja Slayer Kills! (Sequential Ink)
Matthew Warner on vol. 10 of Nisekoi: False Love (The Fandom Post)
Connie on vol. 4 of No. 6 (Slightly Biased Manga)
Jocelyn Allen on Nobara (Brain vs. Book)
David Brooke on vol. 1 of Noragami: Stray God (AiPT!)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 1 of One-Punch Man (WatchPlayRead)
Kristin on vols. 1-2 of One-Punch Man (Comic Attack)
Jordan Richards on vol. 2 of One-Punch Man (AiPT!)
Matthew Warner on vol. 18 of Rin-ne (The Fandom Post)
Sarah on vol. 1 of The Royal Tutor (Anime UK News)
Al Sparrow on vol. 1 of So I Can’t Play H (Comic Spectrum)
Helen on Sweetness and Lightning (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Dustin Cabeal on vol. 1 of Tokyo Ghoul (Comic Bastards)
Matthew Warner on vol. 1 of Tokyo Ghoul (The Fandom Post)
Connie on vol. 6 of Toradora! (Slightly Biased Manga)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 29 of Toriko (Sequential Tart)
Adam Capps on vol. 1 of Ultraman (BentoByte)
Michael Burns on vol. 3 of Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches (AniTAY)

Vertical Confirms New 2016 License

kamikemo01Good news for folks who like fantasy: Vertical Comics just confirmed that it will be publishing MAYBE’s The Abandoned Sacred Beasts, which is currently running in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine. Look for volume one in May 2016.

The latest volumes of Tokyo Ghoul, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, and Monster Musume top this week’s NY Times Manga Best Seller list.

On September 4th, the NHK will begin airing the four-part series Urasawa Naoki no ManbenEach episode will focus on a different manga-ka, offering the viewer an in-depth look at the process of creating a series. Among the featured artists are Akiko Higushimura, Inio Asano, and Takao Saito.

Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto has begun dropping hints about his next manga project, fueling speculation that he will formally announce the title at New York Comic Con.

Justin Stroman interviews Sekai Project publishing director Evan Mapoy about the company’s plans to license manga for the American market.

With 10 days to go, Last Gasp has raised $18,430 in its efforts to publish and distribute 4,000 copies of Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen to schools and libraries around the country.

How should translators handle the catch-phrases that give JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure its unique flavor? Deb Aoki posed the question to Twitter, sparking a lively debate about the challenges of localizing manga for American audiences.

Headed to London this fall? The British Museum is sponsoring an exhibit called Manga Now: Three Generations, which will feature three commissioned works by Chiba Tetsuya, Hoshino Yukinobu and Nakamura Hikaru. The exhibit runs from September through mid-November.

Anime News Network is looking for a freelance reporter to cover movie screenings and events in Tokyo. More details here.

What’s arriving in bookstores next week? The Manga Bookshelf gang investigates.

It’s the end of the month, which means that Ash Brown is once again giving away manga. This month’s prize is Chicago, a two-volume series by Basara creator Yumi Tamura. The deadline to enter is September 2nd, so hop to it!

News from Japan: Yuu Watase has put Arata: The Legend on hiatus again, while Akiko Higashimura has just announced that she will debut a new series in Cocohana magazine this November: Bishoku Tantei, which translates to Gourmet Detective. (The tagline writes itself, doesn’t it?) Topping this week’s Japanese manga bestseller list are the latest volumes of Detective Conan, Terra Formars, and–what else?–Attack on Titan.

You know you want to read it: Hiro Mashima just published a Fairy Tail/Parasyte crossover story in the October issue of Afternoon.

The latest chapters of Yuichi Okano’s autobiographical manga Pecoross no Haha no Tamatebako (The Treasure Chest of Pecoross’ Mother) explore the impact of the 1945 Nagasaki bombing on its youngest survivors.

Reviews: Ian Wolf posts an early review of Inuyashiki, Claire Napier shares her thoughts on Space Brothers, and Austin Lanari tackles the latest issue of Weekly Shonen Jump. Over at the Smithsonian’s awesome BookDragon blog, Terry Hong looks at the latest volumes of Wandering Son and What Did You Eat Yesterday?, while Japan Times contributor Kanta Ishida writes about Hiromu Arakawa’s agro-centric manga Gin no Saji (Silver Spoon).

Michael Burns on vol. 6 of Barakamon (Ani-TAY)
Henry Ma on chapter 639 of Bleach (Ka Leo)
Gabriella Ekens on vols. 1-4 of Blood Blockade Battlefront (Anime News Network)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Core Scramble (Anime News Network)
Anna N. on Cosplay Basics (The Manga Report)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 1 of The Demon Prince of Momochi House (Sequential Tart)
Matthew Warner on Dream Fossil: The Complete Short Stories of Satoshi Kon (The Fandom Post)
ebooksgirl on vol. 1 of The Devil Is a Part-Timer! (Geek Lit Etc.)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 46 of Fairy Tail (The Fandom Post)
Dae Lee on Fragments of Horror (Otaku Review)
Erica Friedman on vol. 1 of Iono The Fanatics: Special Edition (Okazu)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 23 of Kaze Hikaru (Anime News Network)
Bruce P. on Kinoko Ningen no Kekkon (Okazu)
Helen on Lucky Star (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Kimber on Manga Classics: Emma (The Book Ramble)
Lisa Rabey on Manga Classics: Emma (No Flying No Tights)
Adam Capps on vol. 1 of My Hero Academia (Bento Byte)
Justin Stroman on vol. 1 of My Hero Academia (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Matthew Warner on vol. 2 of My Neighbor Seki (The Fandom Post)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 10 of Nisekoi: False Love (Sequential Tart)
Jessikah Chaustin on vol. 1 of Puella Magi Tart Magica: The Legend of Jeanne d’Arc (No Flying, No Tights)
Jocelyn Allen on Rafnas (Brain vs. Book)
Ken H. on vols. 5-6 of Say I Love You (Sequential Ink)
Ken H. on vols. 7-8 of Say I Love You (Sequential Ink)
Nick Creamer on vol. 1 of A Silent Voice (Anime News Network)
Michael Burns on vol. 2 of A Silent Voice (Ani-TAY)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 5 of Spell of Desire (Anime News Network)
Ash Brown on vol. 5 of The Summit of the Gods (Experiments in Manga)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 7 of Terra Formars (Anime News Network)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 7 of Tiger & Bunny (Comic Book Bin)
Matthew Warner on vol. 2 of Ubel Blatt (The Fandom Post)
Isaac Akers on vol.1 of Tokyo Ghoul (Otaku Review)
Chris Sims on vol. 1 of Ultraman (Comics Alliance)
Kelly Harrass on vol. 1 of Ultraman (Panels on Pages)
Kristin on vol. 1 of Ultraman (Comic Attack)
Sakura Eries on vol. 12 of Voice Over! Seiyu Academy (The Fandom Post)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 9 of What Did You Eat Yesterday? (Comics Worth Reading)
Adam Capps on vol. 5 of Witchcraft Works (Bento Byte)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 6 of World Trigger (Comic Book Bin)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 3 of xxxHolic Rei (The Fandom Post)

Summer Manga Review Index

yotsuba_figureIn a sure sign that the dog days of August are upon us, Manga Bookshelf’s most productive reviewer announced that he is taking a few days off for a well-earned vacation. We’re also in favor of poolside margaritas, so we decided to follow Sean’s lead this week. Never fear: we’ll be back in the saddle next Friday with reviews of Inuyashiki, The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service and Tokyo Ghoul.

Still looking for something to read? We’ve got you covered with a handy index to all the books we’ve reviewed this summer:

Total Number of Manga Reviewed: 19
Total Number of Books Reviewed: 1
Most Viewed: Alice in Murderland and Demon From Afar
Most Tweeted: Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto, My Hero Academia, and My Neighbor Seki
Favorite Manga of the Summer: One-Punch Man
Least Favorite Manga of the Summer: Twin Star Exorcists

Alice in Murderland, Vol. 1 (Yen Press)
The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Vol. 1 (Seven Seas)
A Brief History of Manga (Ilex Publishing)
Demon From Afar, Vol. 1 (Yen Press)
The Demon Prince of Momochi House, Vol. 1 (VIZ)
Dream Fossil: The Complete Stories of Satoshi Kon (Vertical Comics)
Evergreen, Vol. 1 (Seven Seas)
Fragments of Horror (VIZ)
Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto, Vol. 1 (Seven Seas)
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part One: Phantom Blood, Vol. 1 (VIZ)
Love at Fourteen, Vol. 1 (Yen Press)
My Hero Academia, Vol. 1 (VIZ)
My Neighbor Seki, Vols. 1-3 (Vertical Comics)
One-Punch Man, Vols. 1-2 (VIZ)
Prison School, Vol. 1 (Yen Press)
Seraphim 266613336 Wings (Dark Horse)
A Silent Voice, Vol. 1 (Kodansha Comics)
Twin Star Exorcists, Vol. 1 (VIZ)
Ultraman, Vol. 1 (VIZ)
Your Lie in April, Vol. 1 (Kodansha Comics)

We’d also like to hear from you: Are there great reviewers or websites that we’ve overlooked in our weekly round-ups? Is there a series that you’d like to see featured in the Manga Revue? Have we neglected a genre or artist that you feel deserves a bigger audience? Tell us about it in the comments–and be sure to include links!