November 30, 2004

Hello Kitty The Smartest Kid On Earth

AAAAHHHH. AAAAAHHHHHH. Midori No Hibi Vol. 8 Ch. 1 has just gone up on SnoopyCool. Of course, I could go on yet again about how awesomely funny and cute and artistically accomplished this series is, but I'll let my friend Sky offer a testimonial this time: "so, omfg. Midori is like the best thing ever"

And that's all you need to know.

Don't forget that Tokyopop's Rising Stars of Manga Vol. 4 comes out this week. Amy Kim Ganter was one of the winners, people! Yes, that Amy Kim Ganter! Man, if Becky Cloonan ever got the urge to enter RSoM ... well, who knows -- Round 5 starts Dec. 1 and runs through Feb. 15, 2005, so we'll see. Ganbatte, comickers!

Why bother going to this blog? CWR covers manga better than I ever will!

Meanwhile, David @ PreCur totally digs Yu Watase's Alice 19th.

Via Thought Balloons and email: Publishers Weekly's top graphic novels of 2004. Tokyo Tribes makes the list, as does (interestingly enough) Hikaru No Go.

AoD kicks it über old-school with Osamu Tezuka's 1948 title Lost World.

Haven't you always wanted to rewrite Jimmy Corrigan? Like, make it less depressing or whatever? Well, now you can!

Yes folks, the 10.5 million yen Hello Kitty (~US$100,000) has been sold to an Osaka resident. I'll let the ANN forums speak for me on this one:

"RADDEST HOOD ORNAMENT EVER.

pimp my ride hello kitty!!"

November 29, 2004

IP Lite!

I'm in a hurry today, so here's a quickie. No time to sweep the blogosphere, just going through the main news sites:

If the movie confused your pants off, don't worry: the Ghost in the Shell 2 manga (due out 01/19/05 from Dark Horse) is an entirely different beast.

Want to make a quick 2 million yen? Then hurry, hurry and enter the Yomiuri Shimbun International Cartoon Contest and show off your comicking skills! Open to all ages and nationalities.

And AoD brings us a review of Here is Greenwood Vol. 1, the loopy-as-all-get-out boarding school comedy.

November 28, 2004

Post-Thanksgiving Roundup

Let's see what you scamps were up to while I was eating the food in my parents' house!

Johanna @ CWR has reviews for the complete Marmalade Boy, a classic shoujo series that also triggered the right-to-left explosion in domestic manga, and Your and My Secret Vol. 1, a gender-confused body-switching comedy.

James @ Reading Along is pleasantly surprised by Princess Tutu Vol. 1 (adapted from a much better anime) and gets a laugh from the rom-com manwha Couple.

AnimatedBliss has a glowing review of Othello Vol. 1, which strangely misses the whole issue of reproduction quality.

AoD looks at Firefighter! Vol. 8, arguably the Best Manga No One Is Reading, and Kia Asamiya's Dark Angel Vol. 4 (not to be confused with other stories or series of identical title).

Now here's a manga with a twist: Red (scroll down to find the downloads) is about a samurai in the 1880's who runs to America to escape the dishonor that would have befallen him in Japan. The rest of the story is ... well ... a Western. Red is the Native American who befriends our samurai runaway, and an interesting adventure ensues ...

But by far the most important news item of the day: Dorian @ PoMoBa is my hero for finding superhero fanart of the Japanese persuasion -- oh, and of the yaoi persuasion, at that. (There's also Star Trek and Andromeda for all you future-lovers.)

November 25, 2004

In which I link to myself

Warning: Irresponsible Pictures will not be updated for a few days. While I'm sure manga distributors will go nutzo and make dozens of announcements over the Thanksgiving break, I'll just catch up with it all on Monday.

November 24, 2004

I bet you anything my page visits will spike just because I wrote "yaoi manga" in this entry.

From ANN (no specific link) comes news that Media Blasters' release of the yaoi manga Level C will be uncut but that "all characters portrayed having sex or in the nude will be depicted as aged 18 or older." The main character is actually 16 in the Japanese version, but y'know how that could cause some legal tangle-ups in the States.

Bill @ Pop Culture Gadabout has an in-depth look at Case Closed Vol. 1. I wish Viz luck with printing the 46+ volumes of this series -- and yes, it is STILL running in Japan, and no, Conan still hasn't changed back yet. Also, the anime incarnation (interestingly, Viz seems to have been forced into using Funimation's Americanized name changes [Detective Conan -> Case Closed, Shinichi Kudo -> Jimmy Kudo, Ran Mori -> Rachel Moore, among others] because they released the manga shortly after the anime started in the US) has just reached Episode 379 in Japan. Yep. No shortage of adventures here.

I saw Oni's Love as a Foreign Language on the comic store shelves a week and a half ago ... and I swear, I would've gotten it, had it not been for the fact that I was already picking up a month's worth of stuff that had come out since I last went to the store.

Viz's new releases for March include the RPG-shounen series Legendz, shoujo romance Happy Hustle High, and shoujo angstfest Doubt!! ("But her anime geek past haunts her, especially a traumatic incident in which she was pantsed at her previous school, revealing her dorky underwear." That sells it right there.) Just a side thought, they really ought to license So Bad, since they already have that core audience of Miki Aihara fans riding the Hot Gimmick train who will snap up that title like piranha.

Here's one for the Brits and anyone else who'll be around London from 16-19 December: The International Manga and Anime Festival is still looking for submissions to their artists' competition. Categories include Best Short Animation, Best Storyboard, Best Character, and Outstanding Entry. Did I mention that the prize money is $5000?

AoD's review for today is Whistle! Vol. 1, which gets utterly wrecked by the soccer-ignorant translators.

November 23, 2004

Howl's Moving Cartel

Dorian @ PoMoBa jumps all over the manga page this week with reviews of Descendants of Darkness, Ranma 1/2 and Musashi #9.

Meanwhile, Johanna has a review of Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 8 up at CWR.

Looks like Viz has scored themselves a new director of sales (publishing division), coming straight out of the book industry.

Nausicaa creator Hayao Miyazaki is making a killing on some movie that he made, which was released in Japan this past weekend.

Lastly, AoD looks at the shoujotastically old-school (1975!) title Bride of Deimos Vol. 1.

November 22, 2004

It's-a me, Mario!

Ready ... set ... linkage!

James @ Reading Along says that Sgt. Frog is still awesome.

Okay, so James Cameron really IS doing a Battle Angel Alita movie, which in this case has been shortened to Battle Angel.

A Yoshitaka Amano comic? Wonder of wonders!

Funimation CEO Gen Fukunaga has some interesting comments on the growth of manga and anime ...
Japan has a superior filtering system for taking out the bad content. ... You can be a fifteen-year-old kid in your garage and create a manga and submit it to Shogakukan, it gets printed because everybody thinks it's cool, and it gets national exposure. Just like that you can get national exposure. Since they can test thousands of these manga before they decide which ones are good, those thousands are published and put through that filtering system.


If any of you are following Broccoli titles like Juvenile Orion or Galaxy Angel ... it might be a while.

AoD reviews Hanaukyo Maid Team Vol. 1, which is about ... well, with a title like that, do you really need to ask?

And today's little bit of humor comes from Furinkazan -- check out Mario's Childhood for a delightful little pop-culture nugget.

November 21, 2004

Jimmy Kudo's Precious Little Life

Hooray! PreCur plugs for Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1.

CWR gets mysterious with Case Closed Vol. 1 and goes gardening with Imadoki! Vol. 3.

Check it ooouuuut. Looks like eigoMANGA is making news even in print now.

November 20, 2004

Left Turn Only.

Through Thought Balloons and ICv2: manga backlist sales starting to look pretty formidable on the direct market. Number-crunching ensues.

Of course, this week's noteworthy manga are all covered at the ever-essential Right Turn Only.

This is vaguely scary. James Cameron is working on a live-action adaptation of Battle Angel Alita?

Among other titles, Viz has picked up Hunter x Hunter and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, both Shonen Jump series.

Following on the heels of the XXXHolic movie announcement, it appears that an anime incarnation of Tsubasa will soon be upon us. (Can anyone fully translate the scan shown above?)

Don't know why I'm bothering with this one, but ... if you really, REALLY like schoolkids who fight each other by proxy ... Yu-Gi-Oh! the Movie Ani-Manga comes out next Tuesday.

On the review front: AoD thinks Tokyo Babylon Vol. 2 is awesome. CWR thinks Cheeky Angel Vol. 3 is pretty funny.

SnoopyCool has just put up a Midori No Hibi omake from the end of Vol. 7, which means they have just one more volume to go now ...

November 18, 2004

XXXHolic: Innocence

Las Vegas City Life profiles Chiba Tetsuya, creator of the seminal Ashita No Joe.

Have you ever wondered what you would look like as a manga character? No, me neither. But if you have the skills of an artist, you could find yourself "manga-fied" and drawn into a future Seven Seas book.

So, I hear that the exclusive Dark Horse / B&N deal is pissing retailers off, but for what it's worth, they've got Hellsing Vol. 1 and Trigun Vol. 2 due out soon, with the 1st volumes of Akira and Trigun already on shelves.
Asked whether it would be safe to assume that the three series involved would continue beyond these volumes, Dark Horse spokesperson Lee Dawson said, "Not necessarily, right now those are all that were contracted for. If they do well there's a possibility we might do more." Dawson also said that no additional titles had been contracted for as of this date.

Yeah, that's encouraging. :p

From the strange and flowery haunts of CLAMP comes news that the XXXHolic anime movie adaptation will be produced by Production I.G.. If they get anywhere near the budget that they had for End of Evangelion (I'm not hoping for a Ghost in the Shell 2 or anything here), this could be pretty awesome.

AoD delves into the ridiculously cute world of Koge Donbo with a review of Pita-Ten Vol. 1 ...

... while Johanna @ CWR looks into the most high-stakes Kindaichi volume yet with Kindaichi Case Files Vol. 10: Kindaichi the Killer.

November 17, 2004

No God, Just Father

ANN has a review of Shadow Star by Mohiro Kitoh. Geez, Dark Horse, you need to do a better job of getting this kind of manga out there, because ... it's Mohiro Kitoh!

And hey, they put up my review of Wolf's Rain Vol. 1.

So ... according to Diamond's list of new stuff, Tokyopop is soliciting the Warcraft manga in this December's Previews. Iiiiinteresting.

And Seven Seas' new titles are being solicited in that issue too.

AoD has a review for the fanservicey Psychic Academy Vol. 1.

Finally, Furinkazan has started work on Yakuza Papa, an odd little tale about a tough-as-nails mobster who's trying to raise a five-year-old daughter. (Hey, wasn't there a short-lived American sitcom like this ... ?)

November 16, 2004

Read or Don't

Something awesome from Kevin @ Thought Balloons:Where can I get this?! A comic about jazz ... man, sign me up. (...being Korean, I reckon it'd qualify as manwha, hmm?)

AoD's review of Trigun Maximum Vol. 3 says: Vash is still awesome, but Yasuhiro Nightow is losing it.

Now here's something that hasn't been licensed yet, but is worth checking out: Read or Dream, about a trio of book-loving sisters with the power to telekinetically control paper. (This is actually really awesome.)

November 15, 2004

Ready, set, post!

Computer crashed on me just now, so you get the Cliffs Notes version of the links I was going to post:

Top 100 GNs on direct market: sword-swinging and gunslinging still rule the manga sector.

AoD reviews Mahoromatic Vol. 3.

Viz has a new shoujo poll as part of their not-so-secret market research.

Giant Robot magazine turns 10.

November 14, 2004

Hey Ladies! Comics!

Picked this one up from Shawn @ Worlds Within Worlds: Tokyopop is looking for josei readers (i.e., women in their 20s/30s) to help promote their mature manga titles. So I guess they're declaring Mission Accomplished on the teen market, then ...

It's that time of year again; Jingle Belle is back! I always likes me some seasonal cheesecake.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin has what is possibly the most succinct and accurate description of Negima! yet: "Harem Potter".

Now here's something to while away the hours: if the zen-like comedy of Azumanga Daioh is to your tastes, then check out School Rumble. This manga is freckin' insane, I tell you.

November 13, 2004

Bookshelved.

AoD has an advance review of Heian-Era (ca. 1000) shoujo tale More Starlight to Your Heart Vol. 1 and the girlfriend-who-will-blow-up-the-world series Saikano Vol. 2.

Does you likes the moving pictures? The Anime Encyclopedia may be the first book that actually gets things right, with a comprehensive summary of Japanese animation both popular and obscure. Contains side notes about the manga versions too.

November 11, 2004

The Curse of Nanking

Geez, Kuni Ga Moeru. Look what you did.

Who loves subservient girls in maid outfits? That's right, AoD has reviewed Mahoromatic Vol. 2.

Also on AoD but with no link: ADV Manga has cancelled Fantasy Land Vol. 2, Sky Blade, Sword of the Heavens Vol. 3, and Taimashin SP Vol. 1. Not that anyone was going to miss those. :p Cancel Tactics, however, and people will SUFFER.

November 10, 2004

The manga is burning

... And the hand-wringing over Kuni Ga Moeru just doesn't stop.

But, as every freaking comics/manga/anime news site will tell you, Tokyopop has announced a whole bunch of new stuff! Look for a huge response to RG Veda, an early work by those four ladies of manga who rule their readership with an iron fist G-pen.

AoD has something to say about Saikano Vol. 1.

And look, Christopher @ 212 / Previews Review has a Retailer's Rough Guide to Upcoming Manga Releases. Use it wisely! I mean, really, B&N is never going to stock Taiyo Matsumoto because they have too many damn volumes of Naruto and Fruits Basket, so help us out here!

November 9, 2004

Where the wild things are

Now that's information as vital as any you'll ever read: ActiveAnime now reviews yaoi manga with a sex scene tally!

The Japan Times has a feature on Psionic Distortion, a multimedia exhibition on underground and alternative manga.

Nothing says capsule manga reviews like ANN's Right Turn Only, which for many is the ONE place to see what's worth reading this week.

But not to be outdone, AoD turns up a review of Negima! Vol. 3.

November 8, 2004

Creatures of the ... really awesome artwork

EGLtastic! Kevin @ Thought Balloons thinks Alichino is gonna be great, and so should you.

... like very suggestive, flowery hotcakes!

From ANS (no directlink): eigoMANGA is releasing a new anthology, Sakura Pakk, a shoujo-oriented companion to Rumble Pak.
Set for release in early November by multimedia company eigoMANGA, Sakura Pakk aims to stand out from the abundance of manga already available to fans and new readers. Sakura Pakk stories are not translated from Japanese, but are written and drawn by primarily English-speaking artists who are enthusiastic manga fans themselves.

AoD reviews that ol' sword-and-sorcery standby, Slayers Vol. 6.

Anyone know how true this is? Yaoi manga sells like hotcakes on amazon.com.

November 7, 2004

What is your wish?

Looking for your alternative manga fix? Kotonoha has the goods, with the seemingly supernatural mystery Soil by Atsushi Kaneko and a strangely cute 17-page short about a desert island survivor, The Islanders by Tetsu Kasabe.

Want to review CDs, DVDs and manga in exchange for free screeners and such? Animated Bliss has a position open.

And ... wow. Mommas, don't let your babies grow up to be comickers.

November 6, 2004

Great Scott! (2)

In which Peiratikos totally hearts my little doodle for the Scott Pilgrim contest (I wasn't eligible, but what the hey).

And CWR goes over to the manwha side with reviews for Full House Vol. 2 and Couple Vol. 2.

Fullmetal Comickist?

Johanna @ CWR puts her seal of approval on Imadoki!, and James @ Reading Along finds a couple of gems in Othello Vol. 1 and Boys Be Vol. 1.

Missed this one from a couple of days ago: CPM has licensed the yaoi title Haru wo Daiteita (Embracing Love). (Source: ANN)

AnimeWaves has another chapter up of the cheer-tastic 3.3.7. Byooshi.

And I suppose, since everyone in the U.S. thinks this is SOOO important, Fullmetal Alchemist starts running on Cartoon Network tonight at midnight E/P, so brush up by reading the FMA manga. (Miraculously, it still hasn't been licensed.) There are other versions out there that have more chapters done, but this is by far the most accomplished of all the scanlations.

November 5, 2004

Please to remember the Fifth of November

Plenty of new reviews at AoD as they go through Samurai Executioner Vol. 1, which fans of Lone Wolf and Cub will surely pounce upon; flowery shounen romance Ai Yori Aoshi Vol. 4 and Vol. 5; and the ever-popular nuns-with-guns Chrono Crusade Vol. 2.

Now, I'm off to play Katamari Damacy and waste even more of my life.

November 3, 2004

A Captor of Cards

ANN has just picked up a list of new ComicsOne release dates. Watch out for Iron Wok Jan Vol. 11 on January 15, 2005.

AoD reviews Louie the Rune Soldier Vol. 3 and finds it to be pretty decent.

Digital Manga Publishing (DMP) dominated at Yaoicon 2004 during Halloween weekend, announcing not only new titles (see Elves and Boobs) but also an appropriately named website, http://www.yaoi-manga.com/.

The Pseudome forums get interesting as they ask, What are magical girls made of? "Funny outfits? Transformation sequences? Evil baddies with questionable sexual preferences? Talking cat side kicks? Non-connecting line art? What?"
(Hint: It's a whole lot more than skintight sailor uniforms or Clow cards.)

Around the sphere

Yet Another Comics Blog has some quick words for Demon Diary and I.N.V.U..

Completely Futile looks at the weirdness that is Milk Closet, which if you don't have Japanese reading skills and access to a Japanese bookstore, can be downloaded from here.

November 2, 2004

Elves and boobs

Tokyopop is releasing another homegrown title, Sokora Refugees, which promises to be "so much more than just panty shots and shower scenes" (I should hope so) and "will surely appeal to fans of both American Pie and Lord of the Rings."

For people who love to read screenshots, Viz is releasing a My Neighbor Totoro ani-manga.

Broccoli Books will be releasing a Juvenile Orion Limited Edition Vol. 5 + box, which will house all five volumes of the manga and alos comes with two keychains. (Meanwhile, AoD has reviewed Vol. 4 of this title.)

Also on ANN, but without a link: Digital Manga Publishing (DMP) has acquired the yaoi title Yellow and the how-to book Let's Draw Manga: Yaoi. (Oh, how the fangirls will jump at this one ... )

James @ Reading Along feels that Remote Vol. 3 has crossed the line, but Hikaru No Go Vol. 2 is damn good. And don't be surprised if you find yourself itching to buy a Go set.

Dorian @ PoMoBa, meanwhile, has nice words for both XXXHolic Vol. 3 and From Eroica With Love Vol. 1.

Know your CLAMP

Sequential Tart has that rarest of rarities in manga journalism: a level-headed, well-informed feature on CLAMP.

November 1, 2004

Boy wizards are still all the rage

Kevin has the dish on Bookscan graphic novel sales for last week, and not surprisingly, fanservice sells as Negima Vol. 3 trounces both the girls (Fruits Basket Vol. 5, now #2) and boys (Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 7 at #3). In the Shadow of No Towers is clinging at #5 and 1602 edges its way up to #10, bolstered by Gaimanophilia no doubt.

Open Shutters

Rikki Simons, co-author of Tokyopop's homegrown title ShutterBox, has an interesting personal commentary on how they're selling the book in bookstores vs. the direct market.
One of the most aggravating things I used to hear in the direct market was a retailer telling a customer that our comic was sold out. This meant that either 1. the retailer was lying and didn’t order any at all, or 2. the retailer ordered one copy and didn’t plan on ordering any more. This sort of thing continues to this day as evident by the fact that ShutterBox only sold about a thousand or so copies at direct market comic shops. The rest of ShutterBox’s sales were all through the regular book market (book stores, Amazon, Suncoast Video, etc.). This difference between the direct market and the regular book market is also reflected in our signings. We don’t usually do signings at comic book shops because no one shows up for us, but we will do them at regular book stores because at places like Waldenbooks we draw a long line of fans.

The times, they are a-changin'.