This Week In Manga 9/26-10/02/09

New York Anime Festival Days 2 & 3

Days 2 & 3 of NYAF brought publishers Del Rey and Viz with more licenses and news.  Del Rey remains conservative with only a few new licenses, but shows it’s still got some cred with Kodansha.  Viz has a little something for everyone in each of their lines, including some interesting suprises.  What isn’t surprising is the number of titles from already known mangaka.  Easier to sell a known than unknown quantity, I would say.

Del Rey

  • Rave Master
  • Here I Am
  • Arisa
  • Yokai Naviruna

Del Rey had a lot to celebrate at NYAF.  They had their 5th Anniversary party the day before the con started, and you can see video of the event, including the awesome cake here.  They had some new licenses to announce as well.  First, they will be publishing the last three volumes of Rave Master, a license previously held by Tokyopop, as an omnibus edition, just as they have with Samurai Deeper KyoRave Master fans rejoice.  Now if we can get new tranlastions/edition of the previous 30+ volumes.  The other three titles announced were all shojo, and by mangaka already published in the US.  Arisa is by Kitchen Princess mangaka Natsumi Ando, and Yokai Naviruna is by Mamotte Lollipop mangaka Michiyo Kikuta.  Both were previously published by Del Rey.  The license, Here I Am, is by Emma Toyama, the creator of Pixie Pop, published by Tokyopop.  Other news of note from Del Rey is that they will not be publishing the third volume of Kasumi, no reason given, though a good guess would be poor sales.

Viz Media

Shonen Jump

  • Bakuman
  • Toriko

  • Gente
  • What’s the Answer
  • Bob and his Funky Crew

Shojo Beat

  • Library Wars: Love and War
  • Grand Guiginol Orchestra
  • Nice to Meet You

Viz Kids

  • Kirby

Viz Media had two handfuls of new licenses as well as some information about previous titles soon to start.  Starting with Shonen Jump, Bakuman, which was announced at San Diego Comic Con this year will start in May 2010.  Toriko, also announced as SDCC will get a preview chapter in SJ before it’s first GN comes out in June.  Find info on these two titles here Toriko was described at the panel as a “cross between Iron Chef and Land of the Lost.” Now that’s a comparison that will catch eyes.  The Viz Signature line and associated website are getting some new titles too.  Joining the Viz Signature line is Gente, a follow up to the 1 volume series Ristorante Paradiso by Natsume Ono, who also does House of Five Leaves that is being serialized on the Sigikki site.  What’s the Answer and Bob and His Funky Bunch has already shown up on the Sigikki site in a round-about way.  It appeared in the copyright at the bottom of the page, but only got offical announcements today.  Not a lot of info on these two, especially What’s the Answer.  We’ll have to wait as they get closer to serialization.  The Shojo Beat line also added 3 new titles.  Grand Guiginol Orchestra is by mangaka Kaori Yuki, creator of Angel Sanctuary and Cain Saga/Godchild titles,  and is a supernatural mystery series.  This one is right up my alley.  I love Yuki’s work, and supernatural and mystery stories.  Library Wars also sounds interesting.  Librarians fighting to protect books from those who would censor and destroy them.  Awesome sounding series that’s based on a light novel series.  And for the kids, Kirby joins Pokemon on the licensed game titles front.  I’d consider this for my oldest daughter, except I don’t know if she’ll still be into Kirby a year from now.  Kids interests change so fast.

To get more information some of these titles, and from Tokyopop and Del Rey, check out Debi Aoki’s wrap up at

Manga Helpers Try to Explain Themselves

Found via Twitter. After the uproar that rose up from Manga Helpers “draft business proposition” to Viz Media to host their manga and use their own translations, they tried to calm the waters in their community with a helpful FAQ about the proposition.  They site Crunchyroll and Netcomics of examples of what they want to do, except with the scanalators providing the translations.  And still, most of the community isn’t happy.  Is this any surprise?  Not really.  Is it as unfeasible as some say?  Not really.  Remember Manganovel?  It wasn’t a failed concept,  It just had no marketing and no support behind it.  It could work for less mainstream, unlicensed titles, but that would mean working with publishers and going legit, and heaven forbid that happening to this community.

Open Letter to the New York Times

Erica Friedman of Yuri blog Okazu wrote a letter to the New York Times about their Top 10 Selling manga list.  She points out that while the summaries for the comics lists are written with some understanding of the title, the manga tends to be more flippant and disrespectful of the material.  I’ll admit, I rarely read the summaries, but then again, I’m familiar with most of the titles, and know where to look if I’m not.  Average people reading the NYT wouldn’t, and wouldn’t take the time to find out.  Why bother when the NTY is doing it for them?  It was pretty cool when the NYT started to display graphic stories to the mainstream and recognize them as more then geek reading material, but that doesn’t excuse shotty writing or ignorance of the material.  The NYT should know better, and thanks Erica for pointing it out to them!

NYT Best Selling Manga List

There’s more bouncing around in this weeks top ten list.  Fullmetal Alchemist vol 20, which debuted on the list last week at #5, jumps to the front of the line to take the #1 position this week.  Bleach vol 28 is pushed back a spot to #2, and Yotsuba&! vol 6 holds steady at #3.  Last week’s #2, Naruto vol 45 falls to #5 as Chibi Vampire‘s last volume, 14, debuts at #4.  Another Tokyopop debut was Vampire Kisses vol 3, which came in at #9, with Fruits Basket vol 23 still hanging on after 12 weeks on the list, falling to #10.  Vampire Knight vol 7, Naruto vol 43, and Black Bird vol 1 round out the list at #6, #7, and#8 consecutively.  Viz drops to a 60/40 ratio as Tokyopop brings in two debuts and Yen holds on to a top five spot.

Manga as a Collectible?

Found via Twitter. @aicnanime published a portion of the Robert’s Anime Corner Store Newsletter to Google Docs.  It’s titled “Are We Transitioning to Being a Rare Manga Dealer?” and talks about how titles are going out of print quickly and the difficulty they have in stocking OOP books.  Manga’s collectibility has always been pondered.  Being more like paperback novels than comics, I think they’ve been considered throwaways (as is testament to the large trading community).  But with titles going out of print, and so many volumes to make up a series, I can easily see the more popular titles start to go the way of the comic collector market.  Things only have the value we place on them.  The harder a book is to get, the more value we place on it.  I wouldn’t call this a disturbing trend, but more of a natural one.  Though, I don’t think a comic-collector type mentality will ever come over manga, as long as there are more casual readers than die-hard otaku.  There will always be people who try to take advantage of the OOP status, just as there are people who are just as will to throw the books away.

Manga For Your Ears

Spiraken Manga Review

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This Week At Manga Village

What I’ve Been Reading

  • ChocoMimi v2
  • Tale of an Unknown Country v1
  • Kingyo Used Bookstory ch 3
  • House of Five Leaves ch 3

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