This Week in Manga 12/12-12/18/09

The End of Time in Japan

Haruka ~Beyond the Stream of Time~ manga series will end serialization with the January issue of LaLa DXHaruka, which was licensed by Viz and was serialized in Shojo Beat until the magazine’s cancellation, is a reverse harem manga and based on a playstation game.  The series, which started in 2000 will end at 16 volumes.  Here in the US, Viz has released the first 6 so far.  Haruka was a series I enjoyed in Shojo Beat, but found the collected volumes to be less interesting.  It remains to be seen if the series can continue without the support of Shojo Beat.  I think it will be on a long release schedule.  It’s not a bad title, but it’s not a great one either.

Manga Warfare 2

Timothy Callahan of the Comic Book Resources blog When Words Collide takes an interesting look at the manga Pluto, and how it can be seen as an allegory for war.  He sees Naoki Urasawa’s retelling of Tezuka’s story arc “The Greatest Robot on Earth” as more than an allegory for war and more specifically America’s war in Iraq.  He makes some very good analysis of the manga, that in and of itself would make Pluto a great read.  But the fact that Pluto is so much more only makes the story that much greater.  I was hooked by Pluto with the first volume, and this analysis will make the reading of future volumes that much more engaging.  Read his article and see if you agree.

How Much Would You Pay?

Tokyopop is hosting a poll right now to find out if you, the reader, would be willing to pay for online manga.  The options are limited to pay for a full volume, nothing or pay by the chapter.  I would have preferred one more option: other with an opportunity to give another suggestion.  Go check out the poll and if you’re a member vote and leave a message.  The outcome of this poll will be interesting.

Saying Goodbye to 2009

With only 2 weeks left in the year, bloggers are coming out with their Best of lists for manga that came out in 2009.  Johanna Carlson Draper of Manga Worth Reading, Katherine Dacy of the Manga Critic and the gang at Pop Culture Shock all give their lists.  Give these posts a look, because this is really more difficult than you would think.  Even with the economic slowdown, a lot of good manga came out this year, and narrowing that list down to just a few titles to give recognition is not an easy task!

Does Manga Belong in a Comics Best of List?

Gottsuiiyan of the Eastern Edge blog  asks the never-ending question “Are Manga Comic Books or Not?”.  He makes a good argument for manga to not be included in US Comic Book Best of Lists.  Manga seems to be going through an identity crisis.  Does it want to be called manga, and stay separate, or does it want to be called a comic book and be included with US comics?  This is a difficult question that I think will become addressed more and more as time goes on.  On the most technical of terms, manga are comics.  They are foreign comics that have been imported and localized for US audiences.  But they aren’t American comics.  While they can be just as good, and sometimes better than US offerings, they aren’t necessarily the same thing.  OEL manga will have the toughest time, being treated as the red-headed step child of both.  It’s not manga, since it’s not from Japan, but it’s not a comic since it’s so strongly influenced by manga.  If manga doesn’t know what it wants to be, where does that leave the OELs?

Yes, There Will Be More Adaptations

This might seem like a “duh” answer, but it’s an answer that’s good to hear none the less.  Tiamat’s Disciple of Tiamat’s Manga Reviews asked Yen Press’ Kurt Hassler about the publisher’s growing trend of adapting popular books to manga.  Kurt’s answer that this was part of Yen’s intentions all along is great to hear.  So much manga in Japan comes from the country’s own novels, that it shouldn’t be a surprise to see it happen here.  I just wish it would have happened sooner.  I also wish that publishers like Del Rey would jump on this bandwagon and take advantage of their extensive sci-fi and fantasy library.  Some cozy mystery series would be nice too (the Mrs. Murphy series…).  You can check out a preview of Yen Press’ latest adaptation announcement, Gossip Girls, here.

NYT Best Seller’s List

It’s a week before Christmas and that makes for some intriguing moves on this week’s listBleach vol 29 holds the #1 spot again, with Vampire Knight vol 8 again at #2.  Rosario Vampire vol 10 falls off the list completely, letting Naruto vol 46 move back up to #3.  Maximum Ride vol 2 jumps 2 to #4 with Death Note: L Change the World making the biggest jump from #10 to #5.  Maximum Ride vol 1 makes a surprising appearance on the list, coming in at #6, showing the adaptation of the popular novel series has some traction.  D.N. Angel vol 13, Tokyopop’s only title on the list, moves up 2 to #7 while Fullmetal Alchemist vol 21 takes the longest fall down to #8.  Soul Eater vol 1 returns at #9, and sadly One Piece vol 23 falls back 3 to #10.  Viz only get a 6/10, but holds the top 3 spots.  Yen Press makes a good show three spots, and one in the top 5.  As much as I love Viz, it would be nice to see their hold on the 10 broken.

This Week at Manga Village

What I’ve Been Reading

  • Comic vol 7-8

2 thoughts on “This Week in Manga 12/12-12/18/09”

  1. Tokyopop’s poll is in desperate need of a “None of the above” option, or a number of them, as all of those options are sort of… bad.

    On top of that, the options aren’t really compatible anyway.
    I mean, come on “I’d pay the same as a full book!” “Screw you, I download illegally” and “I’ll pay a stupidly high price to ‘rent’ a chapter” ? … no thank you.
    Where’s the potential release structure of chapters vs volumes?
    The option for renting a full book (rather than chapters) at a discount against the full price a la digital manga?
    The possibility of prices that aren’t just plain horrible?
    The possibility of a ‘Nothing, because I prefer print books and would rather wait” or a “No, those prices are too high” option.
    Or basically any “No” option without the implication that the only reason a person would want to say no to their proposal is because they’re a filthy pirate?
    (I mean… I admit, I am a scanlation reader, but that isn’t why I wouldn’t want to pay their proposed prices).

    It also seems a poor point in time for them to start a “What would you pay to read online before its printed?” sort of query when Viz are doing that for the rather hard to beat online price of free.

    Even getting off the ‘free’ priceline, Netcomics have pretty good online pricing and release print books afterwards and their prices are pretty far from tokyopop’s proposals there
    (still waiting on a few of those print volumes, mind you :()

  2. I have to agree. I’d have no problem being able to download chapters and/or volumes to my own computer where I can read it whenever I want, so long as the price is right. Would I pay the same amount to read something online as I would to buy a book? Heck no. I have no doubt that’s what they’re aiming at for books they can’t make enough on in bookstores.

    When will these companies realize that an electronic version of *ANYTHING* is not worth as much as a physical copy and cannot be charged the same for?

Leave a Reply