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 Momomo. Bamboo 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.