About Katherine Dacey

Katherine Dacey has been reviewing manga since 2006, when she joined PopCultureShock. Over the next two years, she worked with webmaster Jon Haehnle and fellow contributor Erin Finnegan to transform Erin’s “Manga Recon” concept from a bi-monthly column into a full-fledged website covering manga, anime, and Japanese pop culture. She stepped down from her post in January 2009. Kate’s resume also includes serving as a panelist at the American Library Association's national conference, New York Comic-Con, and Wondercon; contributing to Chopsticks, a “comprehensive guide to Japanese culture in New York City”; and contributing to the School Library Journal’s Good Comics for Kids blog, where she writes Good Manga for Kids, a column that focuses on manga for pre-teen readers. When she isn’t writing about manga, Kate swings a golf club, plays the oboe, runs long distances, watches old movies, and frolicks with her dog Grendel. Kate lives in Boston, MA.

The Newcomer’s Guide to Attack on Titan

Just discovered Attack on Titan? Wondering what all the fuss is about? Brigid Alverson has you covered with an in-depth article discussing the characters, settings, and numerous spin-off products inspired by this world-wide phenomenon.

ICv2 lists the ten best-selling manga properties of the fall 2014/holiday season. Not surprisingly, Attack on Titan tops the list. What is surprising: the continued popularity of Death Note, which finished its North American print run in 2007.

DMP successfully raised the money to publish Osamu Tezuka’s 1970 thriller Alabaster. Backers can expect to receive both volumes in September 2015.

The forecast for next week’s new manga releases: light rain, with scattered omnibuses and final volumes from Dark Horse and VIZ.

Casey Baseel lists the ten most common shojo manga scenarios.

Kristina Pinto interviews VIZ editor Hope Donovan about licensing, lettering, and translating manga.

Paste Magazine explores the history of Fantagraphics’ manga imprint, from Sake Jock to Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It.

YALSA just released its 2015 list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens. Manga makes a good showing on this year’s list, with titles as varied as All You Need Is Kill and My Little Monster getting a nod from librarians.

News from Japan: When Rakuyo Technical High School and Fushimi Technical High School decided to merge, they hired manga artist Zakuri Sato (Taihen Yoku Dekimashita) to design the new uniforms.

Reviews: Jason Thompson dedicates this week’s House of 1000 Manga to Aya Kanno’s Otomen.  Over at Heart of Manga, Laura posts brief reviews of ongoing series in Japan, from Yayoi Ogawa’s Ginban Kishi to Touko Minami’s ReRe Hello.

Ash Brown on vol. 2 of Ajin: Demi-Human (Experiments in Manga)
Ken H. on vols. 7-8 of Brave 10 (Sequential Ink)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 53 of Case Closed (Comic Book Bin)
Megan R. on Happy Mania (The Manga Test Drive)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 10 of Happy Marriage?! (ANN)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 11 of Knights of Sidonia (The Fandom Post)
Charles Solomon on Jaco the Galactic Patrolman (Indie Wire)
Allen Kesinger on vols. 1-2 of Monster Musume (No Flying No Tights)
Sakura Eries on vol. 6 of My Little Monster (The Fandom Post)
Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of Prophecy (Manga Xanadu)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Requiem of the Rose King (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
A Library Girl on Vampire Academy (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
Erica Friedman on World Canvas (Okazu)
Sheena McNeill on vol. 4 of World Trigger (Sequential Tart)


VIZ Acquires Ultraman and My Hero Academia

Ultraman_2011Big news from VIZ: the publisher has licensed Ultraman, a manga update of the 1960s TV show. Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi’s story focuses on the original hero’s son, a seemingly ordinary teen who discovers that he’s inherited his father’s superpowers. Look for the first volume of Ultraman in August alongside the first volume of VIZ’s other new acquisition, My Hero Academia.

What’s arriving at your LCS next week? The Manga Bookshelf bloggers discuss their picks and pans.

Should the lead character in Ghost in the Shell by portrayed by an Asian American actress? That’s the issue raised in an open letter to DreamWorks, which asks the studio to reconsider casting Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi in an upcoming film adaptation.

Helen (a.k.a. Wandering Dreamer) raves about the big screen version of Thermae Romae.

Jocelyn Allen, author of Brain vs. Book, samples the latest doujinshi offerings from Japan.

Over at Contemporary Japanese Literature, scholar Kathryn Hemmann deconstructs the Vampire Knight franchise, using Vampire Knight: Fleeting Dreams as her point of entry.

News from Japan: The Mori Arts Center Gallery in Tokyo will be sponsoring an exhibit of Naruto artwork and objects from April 25th to June 28th. One person who won’t be attending that show is Haruki Murakami, who recently told readers that he no longer has time to read manga or watch anime.

Artist Shun Matsuena has chosen an unusual platform for launching his new martial-arts manga: the walls of Tokyo’s Kichijouji Station. The non-profit organization NPO Lighthouse will be distributing copies of Blue Heart, a free manga that discusses sexual violence prevention for teens.

Reviews: Sean Gaffney finds Nurse Hitomi’s Monster Infirmary better than expected, while Rebecca Silverman argues that the first volume of Akame ga KILL! doesn’t live up to its full potential.

Kate O’Neil on vol. 1 of Demon from Afar (The Fandom Post)
Shaenon Garrity on Helter Skelter and Pink (ANN)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 2 of Heroic Legend of Arslan (The Fandom Post)
Justin Stroman on Jaco the Galactic Patrolman (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Megan R. on Junjo Romantica (The Manga Test Drive)
Ken H. on vol. 2 of Kotoura-San (Sequential Ink)
Rebecca Silverman in vol. 1 of Meteor Prince (ANN)
Matthew Warner on vol. 1 of My Neighbor Seki (The Fandom Post)
Justin Stroman on Phantom Street (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Sheena McNeill on vol. 6 of Pokemon Adventures: Black & White (Sequential Tart)
Sheena McNeill on vol. 26 of Pokemon Adventures: Emerald (Sequential Tart)
Sheena McNeill on vol. 1 of Pokemon XY (Sequential Tart)
Helen on Seraphim 266613336 Wings (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 3 of Spell of Desire (Comic Book Bin)
Lori Henderson on vols. 1-6 of Spice and Wolf (Manga Xanadu)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 26 of Toriko (Comic Book Bin)
Thomas Maluck on Unico (No Flying No Tights)
Erica Friedman on Comic Yuri Hime January 2015 (Okazu)

Manga Over Flowers

BoysOverFlowers2_colorTwelve years after completing Boys Over Flowers, manga-ka Yoko Kamio is hard at work on a sequel, Sunshine After Flowers: Flower Boys Next Season. The new series will be released simultaneously in English and Japanese via the web; Heart of Manga has more details. Look for the first chapter on February 15th.

The latest installments of Assassination Classroom and Food Wars! top this week’s New York Times Manga Best Sellers chart, while the first volume of Attack on Titan makes its 84th appearance on the list.

Thanks to a new partnership with ComiXology, over 60 VIZ series are now available through the popular digital comics platform.

DMP has successfully funded the reprint of two yaoi titles—Finder and A Foreign Affair—through Kickstarter.

Justin Sevakis takes a trip down memory lane to recall a job interview for the now-defunct Central Park Media.

Over at Organization Anti-Social Geniuses, Justin Stroman catalogs the ten weirdest moment in Majiko’s Mikansei No. 1. Guest blogger Laura M. (Heart of Manga) offers her 2015 shojo manga forecast.

What’s new in bookstores next week? The Manga Bookshelf gang has the lowdown on everything from Nurse Hitomi’s Monster Infirmary to Cage of Eden.

Reviews: Ash Brown jumps in the WABAC machine for a look at Setona Mizushiro’s Afterschool Nightmare.

Joseph Luster on vol. 2 of Ajin: Demi-Human (Otaku USA)
Ken H. on vol. 7 of From the New World (Sequential Ink)
Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Hakugin Gymnasium (Okazu)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 25 of Hayate the Combat Butler (Lesley’s Musings on Anime and Manga)
Joseph Luster on Jaco the Galatic Patrolman (Otaku USA)
Shaenon Garrity on Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It (Otaku USA)
Joseph Luster on vol. 1 of Master Keaton (Otaku USA)
Jason Thompson on vol. 1 of Master Keaton (ANN)
Lori Henderson on vols. 1-3 of Mobile Suit Gundham: The Origin (Good Comics for Kids)
Kathryn Hemmann on Nickelodeon (Contemporary Japanese Literature)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 1 of Pokemon XY (Lesley’s Musings on Anime and Manga)
Jessikah Chautin on vols. 1-2 of Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story (No Flying No Tights)

New Shojo Beat Titles Announced

qqsweeperVIZ announced two new acquisitions: Kyousuke Motomi’s QQ Sweeper, and Arina Tanemura’s Idol Dreams. Both manga will be published under the Shojo Beat imprint, and will debut in fall 2015.

Speaking of new licenses, Crunchyroll just added Persona Q Shadow of the Labyrinth: Side P4 to its manga line-up.

Never underestimate a ninja’s powers: volume 68 of Naruto ranked fifth on the Nielsen BookScan Graphic Novel Chart for January 2015. Other manga making the top 20 included the first volume of Attack on Titan and the omnibus of All You Need Is Kill.

Johanna Draper Carlson breaks down the numbers for DMP’s latest Kickstarter campaigns.

Erica Friedman compiles the latest yuri news from around the web.

Over at Nagareboshi Reviews, Sarah compares Soul Eater with its prequel Soul Eater NOT!

Ash Brown catalogs his January manga acquisitions, then posts some brief reviews.

Manga expert Helen McCarthy offers a sneak peak at her latest publication, How to Draw Manga Made Easy, due out in April.

Don’t click on an empty stomach! Ed Chavez shares some mouth-watering photos from the official What Did You Eat Yesterday? blog. Also at the Vertical Tumblr: a candid Q&A session about licenses, sales, and beer pairings (!) for shonen, josei, gekiga, and cat mangaClick here for part one; click here for part two.

What’s it like to work for Crunchyroll? Justin Stroman interviews software engineer Evan Minto about his transition from manga blogger to industry insider.

Police in Burrell, PA are investigating a fifth grade student for posting a Death Note-inspired message inside Stewart Elementary School last week. Local media outlet WPXI reports that the school has notified the parents of the six boys listed on the so-called “death note,” and is taking additional measures to address the situation. According to Anime News Network, this incident marks the seventh time that an American student has faced disciplinary action for imitating the hero’s actions in Death Note.

News from Japan: Katsumasa Enokiya’s Hibi Rock and Satol Yuige’s Ku – Neuntöte Vampire are wrapping in February and April, respectively. The final chapter of You Higuri’s Gakuen Heaven: Double Scramble will appear in the March 7th issue of Monthly Magazine BExBOY.

To mark the release of the first volume of Tsubasa: World Chronicle, CLAMP has penned a bonus chapter for the February 17th edition of Shonen Magazine.

Shojo manga-ka Io Sakisaka is having a busy year: in addition to writing an epilogue for the now-completed Strobe Edge, she’s also at work on a new series for Bessatsu Margaret. Look for the first chapter in the July issue.

Kazuma Kamaichi’s popular Heavy Object novels are getting the manga treatment again; look for Heavy Object A (Ace) in the February 27th issue of Dengeki Maoh. Million Doll, a manga about an idol otaku, is being adapted for television by Asahi Production for a July premiere.

Reviews: Put on your scuba gear—Shaenon Garrity devotes the latest House of 1000 Manga column to Daisuke Igarashi’s atmospheric Children of the Sea. Over at Okazu, Erica Friedman reviews Whispered Words, an all-too-rare example of yuri in English.

Sheena McNeil on vol. 13 of 07-Ghost (Sequential Tart)
Nic Wilcox on vols. 1-2 of Alice in the Country of Hearts: The Mad Hatter’s Late-Night Tea Party (No Flying No Tights)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 7 of Deadman Wonderland (Comic Book Bin)
Alice Vernon on vol. 1 of Dorohedoro (Girls Like Comics)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 4 of Food Wars! (Comic Book Bin)
Nick Creamer on vol. 2 of Genshinken: Second Season (ANN)
Erica Friedman on vol. 1 of Hakugin no Gymnasium (Okazu)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 10 of Happy Marriage?! (Comic Book Bin)
A Library Girl on The History of the West Wing (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 1 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Phantom Blood: Part One (The Fandom Post)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 16 of Kamisama Kiss (Sequential Tart)
ebooksgirl on vol. 1 of My Neighbor Seki (Geek Lit Etc.)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 6 of Nisekoi: False Love (Sequential Tart)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 9 of No. 6 (ANN)
Matthew Warner on vol. 73 of One Piece (The Fandom Post)
Kayleigh Hearn on Sakuran (Deadshirt)
Josh Begley on vol. 5 of Vinland Saga (The Fandom Post)
Julia Smith on vol. 1 of Witchcraft Works (The Fandom Post)

Noteworthy Manga of 2015

In a recent poll, Japanese retailer Honya Club asked bookstore workers, “What manga should we read in 2015?” Topping the list of recommendations was The Ancient Magus’ Bride (which has been licensed by Seven Seas) and My Hero Academia. On the strength of the cover art alone, I’d love to see Takadaike no Hitobito licensed:


Is the end in sight for Golgo 13? Creator Taiko Saito has hinted that his long-running adventure series is entering the home stretch. Golgo 13‘s first chapter debuted in 1968—47 years ago!

Otaku USA interviews Patrick Macias about Hypersonic Music Club, a joint collaboration between Macias and Japanese illustrator Hiroyuki Takahashi.

Scott Green previews Happiness, a horror manga from the creator of Flowers of Evil.

Alenka Figa lists five anime and manga with solid, nuanced queer characters.

And speaking of queer manga, the Huffington Post interviews Graham Kolbeins about Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It.

Wondering how to discover great new manga? Justin Stroman posts a comprehensive guide to the US manga market.

Heart of Manga host Laura M. lists the current serializations in YOU, a josei magazine for older female readers.

The Manga Bookshelf crew discuss next week’s new manga.

VIZ just announced two more digital license rescues from the CLAMP catalog: The One I Love, an anthology of short stories, and Wish, a four-volume series about a man who rescues an angel from a tree.

Stop the presses—Attack on Titan has been bumped from this week’s New York Times Manga Best Seller list by Akame Ga Kill!, Soul Eater, and Black Butler.

Reviews: If you haven’t subscribed to Sparkler Magazine, Melinda Beasi’s enthusiastic review of The Ring of Saturn might just persuade you to give it a try. Melinda also joined fellow MB bloggers Sean Gaffney and Anna N. in compiling this week’s Bookshelf Briefs.

Kate O’Neil on vol. 10 of Afterschool Charisma (The Fandom Post)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 2 of Assassination Classroom (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Ash Brown on vol. 2 of Attack on Titan: Junior High Omnibus (Experiments in Manga)
Anna N. on vol. 3 of Black Rose Alice (Manga Report)
Megan R. on Boys Over Flowers (The Manga Test Drive)
Lori Henderson on vols. 43-44, 46-47 of Case Closed (Manga Xanadu)
Nick Smith on vol. 1 of Drug & Drop (ICv2)
James on Golgo 13 (Kotaku)
Ken H. on vol. 7 of From the New World (Sequential Ink)
Jocelyn Allen on How Are You? (Brain vs. Book)
Alex Hoffman on In Clothes Called Fat and Pink (Sequential State)
Nick Smith on Jaco the Galactic Patrolman (ICv2)
Anna N. on vol. 1 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Part One: Phantom Blood (Manga Report)
Helen on vols. 1-3 of Millennium Snow (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Laura on Pearl Pink (Heart of Manga)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 9 of Umineko: When They Cry (A Case Suitable for Treatment)

Katsuhiro Otomo Nabs Top Honor at Angoulême

manga AKIRA KODANSHA ED GN VOL 01Katsuhiro Otomo (AKIRA, Domu: A Child’s Dream) just won the Grand Prix at the 42nd annual Festival d’Angoulême, beating out Watchman creator Alan Moore for the honor.

You spoke, they listened: DMP just announced a Kickstarter campaign to publish Osamu Tezuka’s Alabaster, a dark thriller about an invisible man on a crime spree.

The Manga Bookshelf bloggers discuss next week’s new manga releases, from Black Rose Alice to Blood Blockade Battlefront.

Ash Brown is giving away a copy of Junko Mizuno’s Cinderalla

The folks at Good E-Reader offer a side-by-side comparison of VIZ and Crunchyroll’s digital manga offerings.

British GQ compiled a list of ten manga that would make great movies.

Tom Pinchuk and Sam Weller announce the results of Anime Vice’s annual Best Manga Poll.

Over at Good, OK, Bad, Seth Hahne lists the 75 Best Comics of 2014, from Summit of the Gods to Stray Bullets.

Can’t get enough of Attack on Titan? Universal Studios Japan recently installed an attraction that allows visitors to pose with statues of hungry giants:titan_theme_park

News from Japan: Good news for Takehiko Inoue fans: after a one-year hiatus, Inoue is back at work on Vagabond. Also returning from hiatus is Masayuki Kusumi and Jiro Taniguchi’s foodie favorite Kodoku no Gourmet.

To mark the tenth anniversary of Weekly Shonen Jump, Shuiesha will be unveiling four new series this month, including a new title by Psyren creator Toshiaki Iwashiro.

Reviews: Jason Thompson sings the praises of Cat Paradise, a forgotten gem from the Yen Press catalog, while Tony Yao examines the subtext of Kiss Him, Not Me, a shojo comedy about a fujoshi who ‘ships her male classmates.

Joseph Luster on vol. 1 of Assassination Classroom (Otaku USA)
Megan R. on Chobits (The Manga Test Drive)
Wolfen Moondaughter on vol. 25 of Hayate the Combat Butler (Sequential Tart)
Leroy Douresseaux on Jaco the Galactic Patrolman (Comic Book Bin)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Part 1: Phantom Blood (ANN)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 5 of Judge (The Fandom Post)
Angela Silvia on vol. 16 of Kamisama Kiss (The Fandom Post)
Allen Kesinger on vol. 1 of Love in Hell (No Flying No Tights)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 1 of Meteor Prince (Comic Book Bin)
Joseph Luster on vol. 1 of My Neighbor Seki (Otaku USA)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 7 of Nisekoi: False Love (ANN)
Theron Martin on vol. 1 of Sword Art Online: Progressive (ANN)
Ken H. on vol. 5 of Vinland Saga (Sequential Ink)