This Week in Manga 12/5-12/11/09

Getting to Know You

Manga Views, the website that brings manga reviews all together in one place has started a feature about the people putting up the reviews.  They will be posting profiles of manga bloggers.  Just answer a few questions and the whole world will know about you!  The first has already gone up.  It’s Ed Sizemore of the Manga Worth Reading Blog.  Check it out and all the other great things going on there!

Hulu for Magazines?

I saw this article on Google news, but Gia’s link if faster and easier.  5 magazine publishers, including Time and News Corp, have come together with the idea of creating a site like Hulu, where people can digitally download magazines.  This is still in the idea stages.  There’s no name for the site, and the publishers still haven’t decided on a digital reader to get behind, be it the Kindle or some other as yet unannounced, unreleased device.  So, don’t hold your breath for this.  With Rupert Murdoch in on the deal, it may never get off the ground.  But I agree with Gia, that this would be a fabulous idea for publishers.  It’s the next logical step for sites like Viz’s Ikki Comix.  And manga publishers wouldn’t have to wait for some new device that will probably have to have color to do magazines justice.  Manga is already black and white.  More publishers could get in on a Hulu-esque site and rival the scanlation sites with legitimate manga.  It’s a win-win!

Here’s an Idea

Professional Translators Alethea and Athena Nibley speak up on the idea of fan translators being used to complete slow selling titles.  They make some good point about translation, but their idea at the end is one I think Tokyopop and fans who might be interested in TP’s idea should think about.  Let the fans do the slow selling titles, but make it like a training program or internship.  Tokyopop won’t look like they’re going for slave labor, fans interested in translation can try it out as a career option, and readers can give their 2 cents about the quality.   This seems like a good compromise, and shouldn’t make readers feel like they’re getting ripped off.

Jonesin’ For a nook?  Read This First!

Simon Jones of the Icarus Blog (NSFW)  was able to get his hands on Barnes & Noble’s new e-reader, the nook, and he gives his impressions.  It’s not a review per say, but he goes over the pros and cons of the device, a version 1 admittedly.  But more importantly, he gives his opinions of reading manga and comics not formatted for the device on it.  This is a big deal for manga readers right now, as there is very little available from publishers, so most comics must be read as individual pages or pdfs.  The biggest problem, which is one I suspected, is fitting the larger resolution pages on the smaller screen.  Pages come out blurred and difficult to read.  There is no zoom, nor any image viewer, leaving the reader little option.  And converting through Calibe, as I hoped would help, apparently doesn’t.  So, manga readers who want to use e-readers for their digital manga will either have to wait for pubs to put their books out formatted for the devices or for a better device to come out.  I think the latter is more likely to happen sooner than the former.

Tokyopop Insider: What Did He Really Say?

Tokyopop held their latest insider last Tuesday, and unfortunately, a lot of people missed it.  But that’s okay, Deb Aoki of About.Com Manga blog has posted a transcript of the rather controversial webcast.  She’s broken it down into three posts, and includes a link to the youtube video in case you want to watch the whole thing.  Finally you can read Stu Levy’s words about the use of fan translations, and it certainly does appear by the context that he means to use fan translations to bring down the cost, implying that they will either be cheaper than professional translators or free.  I still have mixed feelings about this.  While there are probably good fan translators out there, at what point do you say someone is a “professional” and one is a “fan?”  Is it because they doing exclusively, or only for payment?  I would think most translators in this category are fans of some sort, or else why do it?  I think this will lead to a bad precedent if Tokyopop goes through with it, and may in the end come back to bite them if the designated “fan” translators decide they want to be treated as “professionals.”

An Editorial: Focus People!

Because I have a personal stake in this story, I’m making this an editorial so I can rant more than normal.  As regular readers to this blog will know, I contribute to the School Library Journal blog, Good Comics for Kids.  We’re made up of librarians, writers, parents (like me) and even an actual teen!  Now, notice the name of the blog Good COMICS for Kids.  The focus of our blog is comics and manga.  We made our picks of the best COMICS AND MANGA for 2009.  A writer at Japanator decided to write a blog post chastising us for choosing to focus on comics and manga instead of novels.  HELLO! Are you paying attention?  The entire purpose of our blog is to talk about comics and manga and help teachers and librarians learn more about them.  At no point does the blog advocate replacing books with manga.  Adding them to a library or classroom, yes, but not “kids should be reading Naruto instead of Artemis Fowl.”  I’m happy that the writer is all for kids reading prose.  So are we.  But before you get on your high horse and go riding around decrying what a blog recommends, try looking at what the focus of the blog is.

Manga to Anime


Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan has confirmed that Bakuman, the manga by the team of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, will be getting an anime next fall.  This will be the third anime of a series by these creators, with Hikaru no Go and Deathnote being the previous titles.  US readers will be able to start reading this manga in the May issue of Shonen Jump where it will start serialization.  With such notable previous titles, there’s lots of anticipation for this one, and having an anime on the way just increases it.

Play It Again

Tokyopop continues to complete their OEL titles online.  Fans of Re: Play who have been waiting for the third volume need wait no more.  Originally slated to begin in January, it’s been moved up, with the first chapter on line now, and new chapters debuting every Wednesday.

NYT Best Selling Manga

And the list reshapes itself again this week, though I do find it kind of questionable.  Last week’s #1 title, Warriors: Ravenpaw’s Path does not appear at all this week.  Now, I think that’s a little strange, that a title can debut at #1 one week and then vanish the next.  That just doesn’t jive.  We have a new #1 now.  Bleach vol 29 takes the place, as it usually does when a new volume comes out.  Vampire Knight vol 8 keeps it’s #2 position while Rosario Vampire vol 10 moves up from #7 to #3.  Can’t have the vampire titles separated for too long.  Fullmetal Alchemist vol 21 holds at #4 again, but Naruto vol 46 falls back to #5, pushing Maximum Ride vol 2 back one to #6.  Maximum Ride is doing pretty well.  It’s at 6 weeks on the list and is the second oldest title there, again right behind Naruto which is at 10 weeks.  Spots #7, 8, and 9 are taken by debut titles One Piece vol 23, Yu-Gi-Oh R vol 2 and D.N. Angel vol 13, the only Tokyopop title on the list.  #10 is taken by Death Note: L Change the World.  So Viz returns to it dominate position, holding 8/10, with Yen Press and Tokyopop keeping them from having a clean sweep.

Manga For Your Ears

Anime World Order

  • Episode 84 – All manga episode with guest Jason Thompson

This Week at Manga Village

What I’m Reading

  • House of Five Leaves ch 3-5
  • Saturn Apartments ch 3-5
  • Dorohedoro ch 3-5

One thought on “This Week in Manga 12/5-12/11/09”

  1. I read a bit of the Japanator article. Don’t know how they tied in the “manga will replaced books” concept with the best list, but I think it’s ridiculous to assume that. Though I guess people still believe comics and manga are a “lower” form of reading than “regular” books as suggested in their comments section.

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