Walk Down Memory Lane

With most of the Year-in-Reviews done, it’s time to move on to the Decade-in-Review.  The first of these comes from a conversation that started on Twitter about the most important moments in manga over the decade.  Deb Aoki of Manga.about.com collects the suggestions and posts them as 25 Manga Milestones. I jump on this bandwagon to, looking back at the past decade of manga through my eyes and experiences.  It’s interesting to look back at something of these things and think it’s only been 10 years for things that seem like they’ve been around forever.

Falling Up

The divide between comics and manga rears it’s ugly head again with a post at Comic Book Resourses about Trends from the 00′s.  Labeled the Rise and Fall of Manga, the writer brought up the ire of several manga bloggers including Michael Pinto fo Fanboy.com who had tow write a rebuttal.  Though it’s been pointed out several times before, this is just another example of American comic fans just not getting manga or acknowledging the audience it could bring to their books if they just tried.  Manga in no way “fell” in this last decade.  There was a correction in the market, but manga isn’t showing any signs of dropping, and American Comic fans and companies are just going to have accept it and move on.  There is more to life than superhero comics, and manga fills the void that they couldn’t.

Will Digital Kill the Printing Star?

Helen McCarthy, one of the gurus on manga and anime (and for me personally for her Manga Cross Stitch book!) takes a look at some books about manga and anime that are scheduled to come out in the coming year, as well as commenting on the future of books.  Just as vinyl records are still made, and people still go to theaters, there will always be a market for print books.  But at the same time publishers should accept that digital isn’t going away (anymore than manga is), and stop burying their heads in the sand over the format.  Rumors of the death of books are greatly exaggerated still, I think.

Tokyopop Alumni Move On

Two Rising Stars of Manga alumni, Dan Hipp who got a series, and Aleister Gilgrim who had a short story published in the RSoM anthology, are continuing their respective titles on their own.  First Gyakushu, a horror series which saw to volumes in print will see some new life on Hipps’ own site where he is putting up the first two volumes and the first 75 page of the third.  Then Gilgrim, has taken his short story from Volume 3 of RSoM and expanded it into a full series called Ferrymen, and will be published by Transfuzion.  It’s good to see some of these creators finally get something for the work they put into the Tokyopop competition.  Gyakushu fans can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel and a completed volume 3.

Tokyopop in Other News

Tokyopop has announced a new contest to celebrate the release of the 18th volume of Sgt. Frog, as well as the release of the anime.  They prize list is pretty extensive, including free volumes of Sgt. Frog manga and anime, key chains, phone charms and ginormous cut outs of the characters.  My youngest would totally dig on those.  You must be a member of the TP website, but entering is as easy as pressing a button.  On the not so good news, the latest copy of  TP’s Roboblast included an ad for a Funimation title.  Now, I don’t mind TP hawking their wares in their newsletter.  I expect that.  What I don’t expect to see are ads for titles like Heat J Guy.  If you’re going to put in an ad, at least try and relate it to other things in the post (like Sgt Frog!), cause I’m not gonna care otherwise.  I’m reading the newsletter for news on TP, not what Funimation thinks I want to buy.

Manga to Anime

Hero Tales

I’m surprised it took so long, but Hero Tales has finally been licensed here in the US, by Funimation.  No surprise there.  What make this series a seeming no brainer is that it’s drawn by the same artist as Fullmetal Alchemist, Hiromu Arakawa, and the manga had been licensed by Yen Press.  The  series has been running in Yen Plus, and the first volume has just come out.  If you liked FMA, or historical action stories, this is one to check out in both forms!

Kimi ni Todoke Live Action Movie

One of the most popular new titles this last year was Kimi ni Todoke, about a shy girl coming out her shell, and making friends.  It’s a very sweet romance story.  It’s already gotten an anime adaptation this last year, and now it’s getting a live action movie.  This seems to be a popular trend in Japan lately, adapting manga to live action, but this is a series that I think could really do well in the live action format.  There’s nothing unusual about the characters, and the story’s just great.  Hopefully Viz will bring it over when it comes out.

Code Geass Musical?

This is something that’s distinctly Japanese, but that I think is awesome!  Popular manga as musicals! Several titles have already gotten this treatmant, and now the action/mecha political drama Code Geass could be seeing it as well.  At least the producer and director would like to see it.  I have to admit I would too.  How awesome would it be to see Lelouche singing a soliloquy lamenting his lost mother, or dressed as Zero and inspiring the 11′s to rise up against the Britannians?  I could so see that!

NYT Best Seller List

The new year starts with a list little different from the old.  Vampire Knight vol 8 leaps back to #1, leaving Naruto vol 46 to fall back to #2.  Maximum Ride vol 2 holds steady at #3, but Vampire Knight vol 7 continues it’s move up to take #4, and letting Maximum Ride vol 1 to fall back 1 to #5.  Soul Eater vol 1 snakes up 1 to #6 as Bleach vol 29 falls back 1 to #7.  Black Bird vol 2 returns to the list at #8, while novel Death Note: L Change the World falls back 4 to #9, and is joined by the debut of Death Note vol 1 coming in at #10.  Viz continues it’s dominance with a 7/10, but Yen Press does well, with two titles holding out in the top 5.  What’s interesting is the arrival of Death Note.  The series finished a while again, before this list was started, but now vol 1 appears?  I think gift cards were a popular gift again this year, and Death Note is seeing some of the benefits.

Manga For Your Ears

Jouhou Cast

This Week at Manga Village

What I’ve Been Reading

  • Time and Again vol 1
  • Voices of Love
  • Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows
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