Yen Plus – Update

October 2, 2008

In my continuing evaluation of Yen Plus to decide if it’s worth subscribing to, I picked up issue 2.  I read it the same way as last issue, reading the Japanese side first, and then flipping to the OEL/Korean side.  With this second issue, most of my original impressions stand, if not becoming more ingrained.  The entire Japanese side is a complete and total waste.  The fan service continues unabated, and overrides any story that might be there, especially in Soul Eater and Sumomomo MomomoBamboo Blade has really deteriorated in it’s next two chapters.  Higurashi and Nabari stand on the edge, but they are not intriguing enough to hold up the other three.  The whole Japanese side is a write off as far as I’m concerned.

The OEL/Korean side carries this magazine.  Nightschool and Pig Bride stand as the strongest titles, with Maximum Ride and Sarasah close behind.  One Fine Day is a take or leave title, and Jack Frost continues to show it’s Hellsing influence.  Actually it’s just plain a rip-off, but still has some potential.

All of these titles together as a package just doesn’t do it for me.  I’m paying $9 a month or $50 a year to read half a magazine?  I don’t think so.  Yen Press’ best bet would be to divide the magazine up and bring out two different mag and market them to two different audiences.  The Japanese side is purely for the guys.  It’s hard to find anything substantial for females to really latch onto and enjoy.  I don’t mind some fanservice, but these just go too far for even my tastes.  Actually, most of it is just plain offensive pandering.  The OEL/Korean side is closer to what a general audiences magazine should be.  Action, fantasy, romance, and slice of life all together.  This is the side that has the best chance of surviving as it has the greatest ability to appeal to a wider audience.  The Japanese side for the fanboys.  Why not just give it to them, and leave the rest of us to have 1 or 2 titles we don’t like rather than 6-7.

I will not continue to pick up Yen Plus, but will follow my favorite series in graphic novels.  It was a good idea, but the titles in Yen Plus just doesn’t make it worth it.  Maybe when Hero Tales is added, as was just announced at NYAF, things might change.  I may pick up the first issue with Hero Tales and see if there is any improvement, but at the moment, I don’t have a lot of high hopes for it.  I’ll pay $4.99 monthly/$29.99 yearly for the OEL/Korean side, but I’m not sinking my few spare dollars into a year of titles I couldn’t care less about.

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8 Comments for this entry

  • John T says:

    I am happy to see I am not the only one who isn’t gaga over Yen Plus.

  • ame says:

    i just bought volume 3. and there was like nothing in it that i cared about. the korean chapters feell like their over too soon. and where the hell is nightschool going and how can it get there faster? i mean we meet all these characters in the first one. and then we find out more about a couple of the characters in the second one and then those characters are completely absent for the third one,and these stupid vampires are fighting and i still don’t know why i care. i don’t read the japanese side at all either.i will certainly not be subscribing to it either. it just blows.

  • I WANTED to like Yen Plus. I’m all for competition in the marketplace. But I think Yen is trying to do too much too fast. They want to call this a “general” magazine, and it just isn’t. It’s all over the place with little to no focus.

    And just as you mention ame, the chapters are too short. With so much in the magazine, there’s no space for anything to go anywhere. I don’t think Yen Plus totally blows, it’s just too much too fast. As they say, slow and steady wins the race.

  • Heather says:

    I just got issue 3 last week and I loved it. Yes, I am a mangaholic for the last 20 years and I think Yen Plus offers manga readers something different than SJ and SB. On the Japanese side, all the titles are hits, they have ALL been made into anime. Sumomomo,Momomo is the only japanese title I hate, even though the fanboy offering of the moe character each chapter makes me chuckle. I understand each of these titles ran in shonen magazines and I am not their main audience, but I do enjoy them cause they do not fully follow the SJ action formula. Now over to the OEL/manhwa side of Yen Plus, Jack Frost is my favorite. I like things dark and scary with the fun of Sailor Moon references:P Nightschool and Maximun Ride fit well, only cause I am a heavy indy comic reader, which is totally different than manga, but very enjoyable. Each ended with a surprise…..dun, dun, DUN….till issue 4. I also think the best thing Yen Plus did this time was split the short “One Fine Day” stories up. This made their cuteness all the more palatable. I don’t want another manga anthology that copies SJ. I hope Yen Plus can find their audience and become a success or at least finish all their series.

  • Yes, Yen Plus offers something different, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. I know all the Japanese side manga were made into anime, and I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing either. I don’t like the interbreeding that manga and anime are doing, as there’s not growth potential in it.

    The OEL/Korean side is close to what I imagine a General Audiences magazine to be like, and if that is truly Yen Press’ intention, then they should cut the Japanese side, and release those as graphic novels.

    Yen Press’ biggest enemy right now will be a recession where $9 magazines will not be purchased monthly, and will have to rely on a small fanbase, which isn’t what a GA magazine should do. Smaller and cheaper now may keep alive through the hard times that are coming.

  • Carlos Ovalle says:

    If you still have Issue 2, I would be very happy to buy it from you. ^_^ My wife has the other released issue, so I’m looking to surprise her with a copy (but no luck finding issue 2 so far).

  • Well, someone else asked first, but if he doesn’t respond, I’ll sell it to you, no problem.

  • Carlos Ovalle says:

    Neat. Just let me know. ^_^ Thanks.

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