June 6, 2005

Die Sterne

Once again Animania has Japan's Top 10 manga for this week. It's a shounen 1-2 with Naruto and Bleach taking the top spots. The only other US-licensed title on the list is Gunslinger Girl at #5. But note the emergence of Densha Otoko at #9, the multimedia phenomenon about the man who meets a pretty lady on the train and goes to the Internet for dating advice. (Wow, I make it sound pathetic, don't I?)

Want to see the real Rising Stars of Manga? Animania points out Shonen Sunday's site Manga Collage, which features entries from their monthly (monthly!) manga contest. Interestingly, the blog notes that "I don't think it's impossible for the artists outside Japan to apply for them as long as the entry is written in Japanese because I have never seen the nationality requirement (however there is the possibility that they just can't imagine the entries from overseas..)" So they don't have an explicit country restriction like Tokyopop does.

The entries have the same problem as RSoM, though -- although the art style is polished and often near-professional, a lot of them look painfully generic (although I like the one about snowboarders).

Speaking of Rising Stars, Dorian had a change of heart about MBQ after Felipe Smith himself pointed out the MBQ preview site. Yeah, I hate comics too.

Newsarama continues its OEL rampage, with their next victim being M. Alice "Marty" LeGrow, the mastermind behind Bizenghast.

Be Beautiful, CPM manga's yaoi imprint, signs with distributor CDS to get a bigger hold of the market.

There's also word of a yuri magazine coming out in Japan in July, although it basically just says it's about "girl's love" (which itself is a term rarely used in the Japanese fandom parlance).

Shawn rises from his slumber to point out a TCJ thread looking for manga recommendations. Some good discussion going on there, and it's cute to see that manga has developed its fair share of indy/altcomix snobs too.

Kotonoha's also been quiet lately, but they're still alive enough to give us a re-release of Mohiro Kitoh's short stories, which are seriously good and are totally deserving of Viz Editor's Choice or Fanfare/Ponent Mon if they ever see the inside of a US bookstore.

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