Shonen Sunday

September 9, 2009

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Viz’s second big foray into the online world of manga is Shonen Sunday.  It’s based on another manga magazine from Japan.  Several popular titles came from this magazine, such as most of Rumiko Takahashi’s works (Urusei Yatsura, Ramna 1/2, Inuyasha, Mermaid Saga), Detective Conan, Zatch Bell, and Yakitate!! Japan, just to name a few.  Now Viz has brought some titles from the magazine online.

Arata: The Legend

This title is from Yuu Watase, the creator of Fushigi Yugi and Ceres Celestial Legend.  It starts in a fantasy land where a boy named Arata disguises himself as a girl and becomes witness to a coup and hunted.  He escapes through a hole in a tree.  Switch to Modern day Japan.  A boy named Arata is the victim of some vicious bullying by classmates.  Walking home from school, he hears someone calling his name.  He follows it, only to emerge out of the hole in a tree, and into the fantasy land.  I like the first chapter of this title, but did not care at all for the second.  It hit too close to home.  I hope the majority of this title happens in the fantasy side, as I like Watase’s fantasy better than her modern world titles.  It too early to call on this title.  I’ll need more chapters to know how I feel about it for sure.  Would Trade For.

Hyde and Closer

Shunpei is a below average kid that gets sucked into the word of dark sorcery, thanks to his Grandfather.  Missing for 5 years now, he was the Sorcerer King, and now, other sorcerers are after his power, which they can get by eating Shunpei’s heart.  But the Grandfather seemed to have planned for this eventuality, as he gave Shunpei a stuffed bear named Hyde, who comes to life when Shunpei is first attacked.  I wasn’t to sure about this title as it seems like a mash up of Shaman King and Reborn, but after 2 chapters, I’m definitely liking it!  I thought Shunpei would be annoying, but he’s not really and Hyde is really funny.  I’ve enjoyed the first two chapters so far, and am looking forward to more.  Must Buy.

Kekkaishi

This is a title that Viz has been putting out for a while.  Volume 18 just came out recently.  It’s been popular with the mangasphere, but no so much in the sales, so it’s been called underrated.  It’s nice that Viz is trying to boost it’s sales by making these early volumes on line.  Yoshimori is a Kekkaishi, or demon hunter.  He uses barriers that he creates trap and dispel demons attracted to a mystical energy on the land of his school.  He doesn’t really want to this job, but an incident in the past has made him somewhat serious, if only to protect Tokine, his next door neighbor and rival.  I’ve read the first three chapters of this title so far, and it’s not wowing me here.  I don’t really care for Yoshimori or Tokine.  The ayakashi are more interesting.  Maybe all the hype from the mangasphere had me expecting more.  I’ll keep with it to see if it changes, but so far, it’s just seem average to me.  Good Way to Waste an Hour or So.

Maoh: Juvenile Remix

Ando is a high school student with a strange power.  He can make people say out loud what he’s thinking.  One day he sees Inukai, the charasmatic leader of the Grasshoppers, a vigilante group, fighting local city government over redevelopment plans.  Ando become interested in Inukai and follows him, only to find he isn’t all that he seems.  I had no idea about this title, and didn’t expect to like it.  It sounded like another monster hunting manga, with all the talk of monsters at the beginning, but it doesn’t seem to be that at all.  At least not about supernatural monsters.  I really found myself pulled into this title, especially in the second chapter.  The first chapter was just about introducing Ando and Inukai.  The second went more into Inukai though we still don’t know a lot.  There just enough to make you want to come back to learn more.  That’s the mark of a good story.  I’m keeping this this one for a while more.  Must Buy.

Rin-ne

Rumiko Takahashi’s newest title is more of a cut and paste of her previous work.  Rin-ne is a human shinigami who must work to repay his grandmother’s debut to the underworld.  He does this by guiding souls to the wheel of incarnation.  Sakura is a girl that can see ghosts ever since she was spirited away when she was a child.  Now, she’s become sucked into Rin-ne’s world and helps him with his soul reaping.  I didn’t care for this title through the first volume and I still don’t.  I dislike titles about how poor the main character is all the trouble they have to go through because of it.  Rin-ne is piling his on in spades.  The introduction of a rival, Masato, didn’t impress me, nor has the latest character to arrive, Tusbasa, who’s supposed to be Rin-ne’s rival for Sakura.  I have yet to see anything that’s going hook me into this series, nor do I expect to.  A Good Way to Waste an Hour or So.

Inuyasha

Inuyasha is the series Rumiko Takahashi finished before starting Rin-ne.  Viz has been publishing for at least 7-8 years now, in a flipped format.  Viz is accelerating Inuyasha’s individual volume releases, while at the same time re-releasing the title in the VizBIG format, unflipped. Kagome is a girl who gets pulled down a well and through time to the Warring States period where she meets Inuyasha, a half human-half demon.  Kagome is the reincarnation of Kikyo, a shine maiden who Inuyasha loved, but was tricked into killing.  Now, the two must work together to find the pieces of the 4 souls jewel before the demon Naraku.  There’s nothing new in this online release of the title starting from the beginning, except it being unflipped.  But that’s enough for me.  I really enjoyed Inuyasha, and the chance to get to see it’s intended format makes me happy.  Would Trade For.

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