All posts by Lori Henderson

Lori Henderson is the writer and reviewer for the manga blog, Manga Xanadu. She also keeps a personal blog at Fangirl Xanadu, and a writing blog at Muse of Xanadu. She contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. As the mother of two teen daughters, she needs all the escape she can get, which reading and writing about manga gives her.

Until Death Do Us Part Volume 3-4

Haruka and Mamoru finish off the invisible enemy and its operator, the hit man Fang. Sierra is injured and is off the case for a while, leading to the introduction to the abrasive Juliet, who Haruka doesn’t get along with. Turus ups the ante by offering a bounty on Haruka and Mamoru that draws in killers from around the world. Mamoru becomes the bait for them while Haruka has an adventure of her own with some friends from school. Meanwhile, Wiseman, one of those attracted by the bounty makes his move, finding Mamoru’s weak spot, setting up a trap meant to take care of the blind swordsman for good.

Until Death Do Us Part Volume 3-4
Until Death 3Story by Hiroshi Takashige; Illustrated by DOUBLE-S
Publisher: Yen Press
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Action
Price: $18.99
Rating: ★★★½☆

Once again, there is a lot going on in these two volumes of Until Death Do Us Part, but not much happens. Mamoru and his sword still dominate the action, but there are a few shining moments here and there that keep me just interested enough to keep reading.

Continue reading Until Death Do Us Part Volume 3-4

Fruits Basket Returns with Sequel

fruits-basket-anotherFruits Basket was a big license last decade. The shojo about a family cursed to turn into one of the Chinese Zodiac when they hug someone of the opposite sex was credited with such a big seller for Tokyopop that it kept the company afloat for several years. Sadly, the series has been out of print ever since Tokyopop lost the license and ended publishing 2011. Japan however is getting a 2-in-1 collectors edition re-release of the series. To celebrate this, mangaka Natsuki Takaya will launch a sequel series on Hakusensha’s HanaLaLa Online website for free, with new chapters available every Friday starting September 4.

Continue reading Fruits Basket Returns with Sequel

This Week’s Manga: A Silent Chi

This Week's Manga

A Silent Voice 2It’s a fairly quiet release list for this week, but there are some strong titles to liven it up. If you haven’t read A Silent Voice Vol 1 from Kodansha Comics, go read it, right now. I’ll wait. If you haven’t heard of A Silent Voice, have you been living under a rock? The first volume has had tremendous word of mouth that’s pushed it’s sales up to Fairy Tail levels. The story sneaks up on you and then crushes your with so much emotion. But it’s a story that needs to be told, and read. I put off reading it for a while, for fear of all those emotions, but once I did, I was glad. I can’t wait now to see what happens in vol 2. Seven Seas Entertainment made a score when they picked up Haven’t You Heard I’m Sakamoto. The series was nominated for several awards, including the Manga Taisho. It’s one of the several Seven Seas’ titles I’ve been looking forward to reading.

Chi’s Sweet Home is a title I have been reading and loving, even though as the series has gone on, it’s gotten a little darker. But going back to the “good old days” of volumes 1-3 just fills you with so much fun and hope. Vertical Comics has made that easy for the last few readers out there who haven’t managed to pick it up with their new Complete Chi’s Sweet Home Vol 1. It collects the first three volumes of the series that tells Chi’s adventures with the Yamadas and Blackie the “bearcat.” If you already have these volumes, don’t worry, Vertical has found a way to make you want to buy it again. There are bonus comics included from creator Konami Kanata’s previous series Fuku Fuku, about an adult cat who lives with an older woman. Fuku Fuku was funny and charming and just another reason to pick up this volume.

Full List per Diamond Distributors:

Fairy Tail Volume 49 GN, $10.99
Silent Voice Volume 2 GN, $10.99
Yamada-Kun And The Seven Witches Volume 3 GN, $10.99

Dragonar Academy Volume 7 GN, $12.99
Haven’t You Heard I’m Sakamoto Volume 1 GN, $12.99

Complete Chi’s Sweet Home Volume 1 TP, $24.95

PR: Maid-Sama Prepares to Serve Up the Rom-Com

Maid-Sama is a license rescue from Tokyopop. It was a series they launched after their restructuring in 2008 and they published 8 volumes before shutting down publication in 2011. While a lot of Viz’s rescues are digital only, this title is not only getting a print release, it is coming out as 2-in-1 omnibuses. This should get the series through the previous published material fast and into the unpublished that fans will really be looking for.

Continue reading PR: Maid-Sama Prepares to Serve Up the Rom-Com

PR: Demon Prince is in the House

Viz is a little late in getting this press release out. Not only did the series come out at the beginning of July, but pre-release copies were sold at Anime Expo. Better late than never though, right? I’m interested in this series, and hope my copy will arrive soon. I’ve seen people seeing it’s similar to Kamisama Kiss, but since I like that series too, I can only see this as a good thing.

Continue reading PR: Demon Prince is in the House

Weekly Top Ten – July 25, 2015

Weekly Top Ten Manga

Every week, the New York Times and Amazon posts the top ten bestselling books. The New York Times gets their numbers from print sales from retailers, while Amazon and calculates their own numbers. Once a month the Nielsen Bookscan posts their top twenty graphic novels of which manga is included. Offered here is a listing of these books with their status this week compared with the previous week, and some way-off analysis of the activity.



New York times Bestseller List for the week ending July 18, 2015

  1. Worlds Greatest First Love 2The World’s Greatest First Love Vol 2     
  2. Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1     ↓ 1
  3. 12 Beast Vol 2     
  4. Naruto Vol 70     ↑ 2
  5. Big Hero Six Vol 1     ↓ 1
  6. Attack on Titan Vol 1     ↑ 1
  7. Bleach Vol 64     ↓ 5
  8. Assassination Classroom  Vol 1   ↓ 3
  9. UQ Holder Vol 5     
  10. Sword Art Online: Progressive Novel Vol 2     ↓ 7

A new title takes over the top spot this week as The World’s Greatest Love from Viz Media’s SuBLime imprint debuts at #1. 12 Beast Vol 2 from Seven Seas Entertainment tries to make its debut higher, but can only get to the #3 spot as Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1 blocks it. Big Hero Six Vol 1 is doing well as it hits its 17 week on the list, only 90 weeks behind Attack on Titan Vol 1. Assassination Classroom Vol 1 has had its ups and downs, but it’s just hit 16 weeks on the list, making it the third oldest. Not bad for a title considered a “worst” graphic novel for kids by the ALA.

Amazon for the week ending July 25, 2015

  1. TokyoGhoul-GN01Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1     ↔ 6
  2. No Game No Life Novel Vol 2     ↑ 5
  3. Naruto Vol 71    
  4. Prison School Vol 1     ↑ 6
  5. Akame ga Kill Vol 3     ↑ 4
  6. My Hero Academia Vol 1     
  7. Attack on Titan Vol 1     
  8. Tokyo Ghoul Vol 2     ↓ 4
  9. Black Butler Vol 20     
  10. Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past     ↓ 8

The top title doesn’t change at Amazon for the 6th week in a row as Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1 holds on tight to the top spot. The pre-order for Naruto Vol 71 holds its own at #3. The pre-order for My Hero Academia Vol 1 returns as its release date draws closer. Attack on Titan Vol 1 returns as well showing it not invincible, but more like a super ball, always bouncing back. Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past makes a big bounce down. Does it have what it takes for the bounce back up? The only new title on the list if from Yen Press with their perennial top seller Black Butler, now at Vol 20, but their other titles No Game No Life Novel Vol 2, Prison School Vol 1 and Akame ga Kill Vol 3 all show they have some life in them.

∗ = New Release
↑ = Title moved up specified # of spots
↓ = Title moved down specified # of spots
↔ = Title didn’t moved from previous week with total # of weeks
↵ = Title returned after dropping off list with total # of weeks (when available)

Eisner Win for Shigeru Mizuki’s Showa Manga

Showa 1939-44On Friday, July 10, 2015, the Wil Eisner Comic Industry Awards were announced during San Diego Comic Con. Five titles and six volumes were announced in the Best US Edition of International Material – Asia, essentially the manga category, but only one title could win. The award went to Drawn and Quarterly’s release of Showa 1939-1944 A History of Japan and Showa 1945-1953: A History of Japan by Shigeru Mizuki.

The title faced some tough competition as it went up against Viz Media’s All You Need is Kill, One-Punch Man, and Master Keaton, Vertical’s In Clothes Called Fat, and Yen Press’ Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki. The volumes of Showa that were nominated and won covered Japan’s history from World War II to the aftermath and Occupation. The series was nominated last year for both an Eisner and a Harvey, for the first volume, 1926-1939.

I haven’t had a chance to read any of these volumes yet. My love of history has them on my want list, but my wallet has told me to wait. I must admit I was hoping Master Keaton would win. I do love that series so much, and the first volume was a great showcase for who Keaton is and what he does. But I certainly can’t fault the awards committee for picking not just the title, but both volumes. It portrays a dramatic time in Japan’s history and shows that history doesn’t have to be boring.


Seven Seas Picks Up The Other Side of Secret

sevenseaslogoSeven Seas Entertainment is a publisher that doesn’t go to a lot of cons, but they still make sure you remember them during con season. A few days after the hoopla of SDCC was over they made another new license announcement.

othersideofsecret-imgThe Other Side of Secret is from Kadokawa’s Comic Alive manga magazine. Several of Seven Seas’ titles have come from there, such as Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends, Girls und Panzer, and Non Non Biyori. This senien series follows Yuto, a boy, who seven years earlier watched his sister disappear through a strange portal. When he said the door appear again, and two girls go through it, he follows them, intent on finding his sister. He is transported to a strange and dangerous world, where he does find his sister, but at a price. He causes a terrible tragedy that costs the lives of many of the world’s inhabitants. It’s up to Yuto to find a way to atone for his actions and bring his sister back home.

The series just stated last September, and there are three volumes out so far. Seven Seas has announced a release date in a little under a year; July 7, 2016. This is another male-gaze heavy title for their library that I will be passing on. But something I’m noticing about Seven Seas’ library is that they are very eclectic in what they pick up. They seem to cater to genres that the big publishers like Viz and Kodansha steer away from, and that Yen Press has dabbled in. While they seem to have plenty of titles I wouldn’t touch, they take chances on a lot of other titles I would like, making them a great publisher to have around.

This Week’s Manga: Yen for New Manga

This Week's Manga

Durarara LNIt’s a big Yen Press release this week, with several long-awaited titles debuting. Durarara!! the light novel makes its debut. This is the source material for both the manga and anime, and has had fans waiting in anticipation for it since its announcement back in January. Along with it is the final volume in the Yellow Scarves manga arc, making Durarara!! fans very happy. Final Fantasy Type-0 Side Story is adapted from the video game Final Fantasy Type-0 and follow the character Kurasame, the Ice Reaper. First Love Monster is a rom-com where high school student Kaho falls in love with her landlord’s son, only to find out later that he is a 5th grader. Prison School is a mature title that has the premise of boys joining a previously all-girls school, but things might not turn as rom-com-y as they hoped. Finally, Puella Magi Madoka Magica Homura’s Revenge is another alternate telling of Madoka’s story, this time with Madoka knowing what is in store for her and how that affects her decisions. Of all of these, Durarara!!, and Homura’s Revenge go on my buy list, though I might check out First Love Monster.

Outside of Yen Press’ debuts, Kodansha has a new volume of My Little Monster, and Dark Horse is nearly done with the gory Gantz, which is weirdly balanced by the cute Oreimo Kuroneko. Viz releases several of their Signature titles including Monster and Sunny. In Yen Press’ non-debut must haves, there is a new Black Butler, Inu x Boku SS, Soul Eater Not, and the debut of Svetlana Chmakova’s new graphic novel Awkward. While not a manga per se, it is a great all ages title about art and science and surviving middle school. And it’s by Svetlana. Manga fans as well as tween-teens will love it.

Full List per Diamond Distributors:

Gantz Volume 36 TP, $13.99
Oreimo Kuroneko Volume 2 TP, $10.99

My Little Monster Volume 9 GN, $10.99

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 4 GN, $12.99

Monster The Perfect Edition Volume 5 TP, $19.99
Resident Evil The Marhawa Desire Volume 5 GN, $12.99
Sunny Volume 5 GN, $22.99
Terra Formars Volume 7 GN, $12.99

Accel World Novel Volume 4 SC, $13.00
Accel World Volume 4 GN, $13.00
Akame Ga Kill Volume 3 GN, $13.00
Awkward HC, $24.00
Awkward SC, $11.00
Black Butler Volume 20 TP, $13.00
Certain Magical Index Volume 2 GN, $13.00
Devil Is A Part-Timer Volume 2 GN, $13.00
Durarara Light Novel Volume 1 SC, $14.00
Durarara Yellow Scarves Arc Volume 3 GN, $13.00
Final Fantasy Type-0 Side Story Volume 1 GN, $13.00
First Love Monster Volume 1 GN, $13.00
Inu x Boku SS Volume 8 TP, $11.99
Kagerou Daze Volume 2 GN, $13.00
Karneval Volume 2 GN, $20.00
Log Horizon Light Novel Volume 2 SC, $14.00
No Game No Life Light Novel Volume 2 SC, $14.00
Prison School Volume 1 GN, $20.00
Puella Magi Madoka Magica Homura’s Revenge Volume 1 GN, $13.00
So I Can’t Play H Volume 2 GN, $13.00
Soul Eater Not Volume 5 TP, $13.00

Manga at San Diego Comic Con 2015


This year SDCC was held earlier than usual. It is usually in the last two weeks of July. This year, it was the second week in July, one week after Anime Expo. Manga publishers were at SDCC too, with only a two-day break before the five days of geeky madness began down south. While they had more announcements, they weren’t quite as numerous or as ground breaking as AX. Mostly.

Gakkyu Hotei print  Viz started the con again with their panel on Thursday. The only new announcement they had was that they would be releasing a print edition of Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment. The series originally ran simultaneously with Weekly Shonen Jump and sadly ended with it as well. Written by Nobuaki Enoki and drawn by Takeshi Obata, the series followed Abaku Inugami, a defense attorney at his elementary school. Under the new School Judgement system, students accused of crimes are now tried by their peers, and Inugami is the best for the defense, but when the prosecutor is the cute and rich Hanazuki, things might get tough. I enjoyed the few chapters I’ve read in WSJ, so I will be looking forward to the first volume set to come out in February, 2016.

boti-2Dark Horse had its panel on Friday, and had one announcement, but for nothing new. It would be releasing omnibus editions of Blade of the Immortal, its longest running manga series which just ended in March. The omnibuses will be 3-in-1, with the final volume including the novel Blade of the Immortal: Legend of the Sword Demon. The omnibuses will also retain the original release’s left-to-right orientation and trim size. Considering how much work went into creating them, it’s not surprising. The manga follows Manji, a ronin warrior in feudal Japan who is cursed with immortality until he kills 1000 enemies. He is joined on his quest by Rin, a young woman looking to avenge her parents’ deaths. There wasn’t a planned release date announced.

paradise-residenceOn Saturday, Kodansha was the first publisher with a new license announcement. Paradise Residence is by Kousuke Fujishima, the creator of the very long running Oh! My Goddess. This series is about tomboy Hatsune Takanashi and her life in an all girls dorm, and will give a behind-the-scenes look at life in the all girls school and dormitory. It’s slice of life series and shows Hatsune’s battle with waking up, her grade school aged dorm mother, and her desire for conquest! The series started in 2008 and was put on hiatus in 2012, but just came back in May of 2014. There are two volumes available, a vol 1 and 0. There was no released date announced for the first volume here. I’m not too sure about this series. A man writing a series about the life of a high school girl for an adult male demographic? Yeah, it not hitting any buttons here.

Kodansha also discussed the disruption in their digital manga distribution. With the creation of Kodansha Advanced Media which was announced back in February, the transfer of the digital manga to them has caused some delays. But things have purportedly been resolved and digital titles should be back on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in the next month.

Later on Saturday, Udon Entertainment had their panel. The boutique publisher has dabbled in manga in the past, though they mostly do Art Books and Street Fighter comics. They announced three new manga licenses.

steins-gate-udonSteins;Gate is the manga adaptation of the video game of the same name. It is the second of the “scientific adventure game” series. The story is about eccentric college student Rintaro “Okarin” Okabe and his circle of friends who turn their microwave into a machine that can send texts to the past in a realistic Akihabara. Their activities attract the attention of SERN, an organization that has been studying time travel and now want Okabe and his friends. The series is three volumes with the first set to be released this August along with the first volume of Kill la Kill. Both the video game and anime based on it have been released in English. It looks like an interesting series, and with only three volumes not too big of an investment to just try out.

sugar-sugar-rune-udonThe second announcement was Sugar Sugar Rune, an all ages license rescue by artist Moyocco Anno. Del Rey originally licensed and published all eight volumes starting in 2005, but the series has since gone out of print, and finding volumes is difficult at best. The series is about two young witches, Vanilla Mienux and Chocalat Meilleure, who have been chosen to be candidates to be the next Queen. They are sent to the human world where they must compete to capture as many boys’ hearts as they can. The one that wins the most becomes Queen. They are assisted by guardian and mentor pop idol witch Rockin’ Robin and familiars Bianca the mouse and Duke the frog. The two girls must figure out how to keep their friendship while not only competing for hearts, but also dealing with the strange boy Pierre who looks just like the evil king Glace, and seems to be going for Chocolat. The first volume will be released in the first quarter of 2016. The series was well received the first time around, and Moyocco Anno is well known for writing good stories with great female leads. This is also a boon for teachers and libraries looking for all ages titles to add to their graphic collection.

rose-of-versailles-udonThe third announcement was all the biggest for the manga community and really rocked their world. Rose of Versailles is a classic shojo manga. It was first launched in 1972 and takes place in the intrigue-filled court of Queen Marie Antoinette before and during the upheavals of the French Revolution. It revolves about Oscar Francois de Jarjayes, a woman raised as man to serve and eventually take over as leader of the Palace Guard. She becomes torn between class loyalty and her desire to help the impoverished, as well as her conflicts between wanting to live as a militant and a regular woman. She must also deal with her relationships with Marie Antoinette, Count Axel von Fersen and best friend Andre Grandier. Originally there were 10 volumes, but creator Riyoko Ikeda started penning one-shots for Shueisha’s Margaret magazine in 2013 and will release the 11th volume in August with includes the first 4 stories. Udon will print it as 2-in-1 omnibuses, with the first volume set to come out in second quarter 2016. This series as long been a holy grail for fans, and few thought it would ever see publication in the US due to age and licensing costs. Udon had touted that they would have a classic manga announcement at their panel, but this title was only ever brought up in jest. Now, Udon has a lot of people’s attentions. I would like to check out this series, both as shojo, and as a classic that inspired a lot of artists today.

The final publisher panel was Tokyopop on Saturday night. Like their Anime Expo panel, they didn’t have any titles yet to announce, but they did tease a possible deal with Disney to create original “manga” for the properties Star Wars and Frozen. The stories would be original and would possibly feature Japanese artists. This isn’t new territory for Tokyopop. Before closing, they had published original stories for properties such as Star Trek, Warcraft and Spacecraft. They have also worked with Disney, creating “Cine-manga,” of TV shows such as Hannah Montana. While it’s nothing I’d get excited about, I’m sure there are still plenty of Frozen fans dying for new stories of their favorite princess sisters Anna and Elsa. Books and manga are still the better way to reach a female audience, though comics publishers may finally be seeing the light.

Not as announcement heavy as Anime Expo, but July isn’t done with manga publishers and possible announcements yet. Coming up this weekend is Otakon out on the East Coast. Several publishers will be there, with some hinting at more exciting licenses. After AX and SDCC’s big surprises, can the manga community handle any more?

PR: One-Punch Man Finally Punches Up a Print Edition

It’s been a long time coming to finally see this series in print. New digital volumes always did really well on the Vizmanga site, so it’s surprising it’s taken this long to get it in print. I’ve heard a lot of people go on about how great and funny this series is and since it does do well even as a digital only release I shouldn’t be surprised, but I can’t say I was impressed with the few chapters I read in WSJ back in January. Maybe that just wasn’t a good place to start.

Continue reading PR: One-Punch Man Finally Punches Up a Print Edition