Ikki Takes a Holiday
You might have noticed that the Ikki Comix website hasn’t had any updates for a while. Well, that’s because they’re taking the holidays off. There’s no word about when the updates will return, and hopefully this is just what they say, just an intermission and not a break that becomes a hiatus. Ikki’s got some great titles that deserve the exposure that the website gives them. So take this as an opportunity to get caught up!
Zhu Zhu Pets Get Manga
Apparently, Zhu Zhu Pets were the big toy thing this holiday season. Fortunately, not in my house. But the toy hamsters that run about in habitrail like tracks have been a big hit here in the US, so Sega is taking the phenomena to Japan. And of course they are doing in the the over-the-top way you’d expect for a Japanese company. Along with the toys, a manga and anime series are being planned for release in 2011 in Japan, which Sega then intends to bring back to the US. Talk about a vicious circle.
Pulling out all the Stops
Yen Press isn’t pulling any punches with it’s launch of the Twilight manga scheduled for this March. With a print run of 350,000 books, it will not only be the largest for a manga, but for any comics of any kind! And it’s got buyers chomping at the bit for the book. In pre-orders only, the book has already breached the top ten of Amazon.com’s best seller list. Whatever you think of Twilight, Yen Press has got a hot title here to trounce anything the other publishers might have to offer. And it’s an OEL adaptation by a Korean artist. Like it was said when the license was first announced; this is Yen Press’ license to print money. A hard back OEL manga priced at $19.99 is something I don’t think any imagined would either happen or sell, and Twilight is doing both. The real test will be if the second volume sells as well as first.
Critiquing the Critics
There has been a lot of discussion lately about manga reviewers and how well they critique the title they have/are given to review. Last week Twitter was a flurry of reviewing tips, and this week has brought more discussion with a roundtable of xxxHolic. David Welsh pulls some quotes from the discussion, specifically about how western reviewers deal with manga. We seem to be “too nice” in our critiques. I don’t know about that. I’ve read some reviews that don’t just slam a book, but openly mock the whole concept of the title. But the point that David makes, and I agree with, it that all titles should be measured on the same bar. We enjoy different books for different reasons, and they should be reviewed in the context they were meant to be read in.
I really enjoyed 07-Ghost despite there being a lot of problems with the story-telling. Fellow reviewer Alex Hoffman didn’t. We had different criteria to what makes a book good and came to different conclusions. This isn’t a weakness, and doesn’t make me more “nice” toward the publisher than Alex. I just found more to enjoy in the title than he did, and my review and score reflected that. That doesn’t mean I think the book is a work of art. Far from it. But I did enjoy reading it, and I made sure in my review to explain why despite it’s problems it was something I liked and would recommend to like-minded readers. And may be persuade someone new. I started blogging to share my thoughts and feeling about manga. I may sometimes get more analytical with a title or review, but that’s not may purpose. I just want to share what I think and hopefully find other like-minded people to join in.
More Manga Recognized by YALSA
The American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association announced its list of the top graphic novels for teen from 2009 this week. Included in the top ten were three manga titles: Children of the Sea, Ooku: The Inner Chamber, and Tezuka x Urasawa’s Pluto, all published by Viz Media. This is the 4 year that the ALA has put out this list, and this year has had the most manga/manhwa/books by manga publishers on the list so far. It’s good to see manga getting more recognition from an association like YALSA, as it give more credence to the format. Parents and teachers are more likely to pay attention to title recommended by such a body.
News From Japan
Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaidan to Resume
Found via twitter. This prequel to Fushigi Yugi hooked me with one volume, and volume 6 at that, without ever even reading the first series! It was with some sadness to hear that it was going on hiatus. But, straight from Yuu Watase’s blog, she has announced that the series will be resuming in Rinka magazine. The Google translation seems to imply it will be quarterly, so there will be long stretches between volumes, but as long as it gets finished, I’m happy.
Descendants of Darkness Gets One More Volume
The twelfth volume of Descendants of Darkness, a series popular in the mid 2000′s will finally be published in Japan this month. It will collect chapters published in 2000-01. There is no word though if the series will continue anytime soon. The big question will be whether or not Viz will translate and publish this next volume. It’s been 4 years since Viz publsihed volume 11, and finding the series in bookstores isn’t all that easy. Will they be willing to publish at title so far out?
NYT Best Seller List
It would be nice if the New York Times would pay more attention to their own rankings. In this week’s list, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX vol 4 sits at the top for the second week in a row. Naruto vol 46 moves back up 1 to #2, pushing Vampire Knight vol 8 back to #3. Fullmetal Alchemist vol 22 debuts at #4 while Maximum Ride vol 2 moves down one to #5. One Piece vol 24 debuts at #6, as does Vampire Knight vol 1 at #7, pushing Maximum Ride vol 1 back to #8. One Piece vol 25 moves up one in its second week to #9, while Bleach vol 29 falls four to #10. Viz dominates this week take 8 of the 10 spots, with Yen Press holding stubbornly to its two spots with Maximum Ride. It’s great to see One Piece not only hold on it’s first spot, but was then joined by a second volume! Go One Piece!
Manga For Your Ears
- Episode 15 – King of RPGs – 27:58
This Week at Manga Village
- Only One Wish
- A Distant Neighborhood vol 1
- Sand Chronicles vol 7
- New Releases
- Contributors Wanted <—- Still looking
What I’m Reading
- Honor’s Promise
- Keeping Luke’s Secret
- Marriage Under an Italian Sun
- Millionaire Husband: Justin’s Story
- Crewel World con’t