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.

Manga at Anime Expo 2015 Part 2

anime_expo_logoAnime Expo occurred over the Fourth of July weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and there were certainly a lot of fireworks as publisher exploded with new license announcements. Over the four-day holiday weekend, Vertical, Viz, Crunchyroll, Kodansha Comics and Yen Press all announced titles, some of which nearly had fans swooning from shock and excitement.

shuriken-and-pleats-largeThe first manga panel on Saturday was for Viz Media’ Shojo Beat. The imprint is celebrating its 10 year anniversary which included tea with mangaka Julietta Suzuki, the creator of Kamisama Kiss. They announced two licenses, sadly one of which was NOT Suzuki’s Karakuri Odette. It would make a great Viz Select title. Instead, Shuriken and Pleats by Matsuri Hino, the creator of Vampire Knight, was announced. It is about school girl Mikage, who has trained as a ninja to work in her family’s security company, which is a front for her clan’s ninja activities. She worked as bodyguard for an English businessman, who cared about her like a daughter. When he is killed, she learns he has bought her freedom from the clan, and follows his wish to go to school in Japan like a normal girl. The series started in September of 2014 in Hakusensha’s LaLa magazine, and will end in the September issue this year. The series will be two volumes, with the first coming out in Japan this month. Viz will release the first volume in Winter of 2016. I’ve been hit and miss with Hino titles, but for such a short series, I’d be willing to give the first volume a try.

Behind the Scenes -urakata- The second license was also from a well-known mangaka to western readers. Behind the Scenes is by Bisco Hatori, the creator of Ouran High School Host Club and Millenium Snow. It is about Ranmaru, a super negative college student. He runs into a mysterious drama group on campus who end up turning his life into turmoil. There’s only one volume out so far. Viz will release their first volume in the spring of 2016. I’ve only read Millenium Snow by Hatori, and first two volumes were a lot stronger than the final two, so I’m not sure where to stand on this one. I guess I’ll just wait and see.

princess-jellyfish-1-eng Kodansha was the second manga panel of the day, and announced three new titles. They also dropped the second bomb of the con by announcing that they would be releasing the Princess Jellyfish (Kuragehime). This title has been on people’s wish lists for several years now, especially after the anime was released. It is a josei series, and follows Tsukimi, a young woman who lives in a “fangirl-only” dorm. She has come to Tokyo to be an illustrator. She has loved jellyfish from a young age, and sees one in danger at a local pet store. A beautiful woman comes to its rescue, and they go back to the dorm, Amamizukan, together, where Tsukimi discovers the woman is really a man. Kodansha has licensed the first 12 volumes of this title, and will release them as 2-in-1 omnibuses starting in February 2016. Whether or not they pick up the remaining 3 volumes will depend on sales. At least they are being up front about it this time. I’ve heard this title bantered about, but never really looked into it since is seemed so unlikely to be licensed. But now that it has, it sounds really interesting. It’s one I’m definitely going to want to check out.

real-account-1Real Account is another “virtual game becomes deadly in real life” series. This time, it’s a Twitter like game, where members of a social networking site known as Real Account find themselves inside a virtual world. The rules of the game are simple, if you die, all of your followers die too. If you lose all your followers, you die. There are currently 5 volumes, and Kodansha will release the first volume in March 2016. I am not a fan of these virtual reality becomes deadly titles, so it’s not one I’m looking forward to.

magatsuki-1Kodansha’s third license fits with their male gaze titles. Magatsuki is about 15-year-old Yasuke Arahabaki. He wants to ask out his childhood friend and crush Akari Inamori. While rushing to do the chores at his family’s shrine, he accidentally breaks a mirror and is cursed by the goddess it releases, Seoritsuhime, a goddess of misfortune. Now, Yasuke must stay close to Seoritsuhime, or he will die, and the only way to life the curse is to help her achieve happiness, even though she is constantly surrounded by bad luck. The first volume will be published in February of 2016, but if you want to check it out first, Crunchyroll is simu-pubbing the series. I’m gonna pass on it though. It doesn’t sound like it would pass my standards on rom-coms.

Two other tidbits announced at the panel; Noragami will begin publishing monthly starting in October 2015 to catch it up with the Japanese releases, due to “excellent sales.” See? Buying pays off! Fairy Tail will also start to see omnibus editions. The first was announced for September and will collect he first 5 volumes. Build up those hand muscles now. That is going to be a killer book to try to hold.

amamaCrunchyroll Manga had the final panel of the con, and added 5 new titles to their streaming service, one of which will sound familiar. Princess Jellyfish will be streamed starting July 15 with the first 4 volumes. If you can’t wait for Kodansha’s print volumes, then check out the digital, and then go buy the print ones. Also out July 15 is Sweetness and Lightening. It’s another “single dad must cope with raising a child alone” title. This time it’s math teacher Kouhei Inuzuka who has lost his wife and must raise his daughter Tsumugi by himself. He’s not a very good cook, but with the help of one his students, Kotori Iida, cooking becomes a new homemade adventure. There are currently 4 volumes available. It looks like something foodies will enjoy.

takahashiAlready available is Takahashi-san is Listening. This gag-manga is about high school student idol Ena Takahashi. She has a hobby she can’t tell anyone about; she likes to listen in on the ridiculous conversations of class representative Nara-kun and plain-boy Mikage-kun. She wants to retort, but if anyone found out about it, everyone’s trust in her would be destroyed! There are currently five volumes available. This title sounds like shades of My Neighbor Seki, so it might actually be fun, depending on what the conversations she eavesdrops on are about. I think it would be fun to try out at least.

scumCrunchyroll’s description of Scum’s Wish doesn’t do the series justice. The description and cover makes the series sound like something dark and dirty. It’s about a couple, Hanabi and Mugi, who seem perfect for each other but have a secret they are hiding from the rest of the world. They are both in love with other people. They are drawn together by loneliness and a need to share their hopelessness. Crunchyroll only used the first sentence to describe the series, it the remaining two that make this manga appealing. It’s currently at 5 volumes, and sounds like something I like to read. Get it together Crunchyroll! Series descriptions should attract readers, not repel them!

monokeanMorose Mononokean is a title that is definitely up my alley. It follows the a mononokean, the owner of a small tea room that helps to guide yokai that wander into this world, to go to the next. We meet him through Ashiya, a boy who missed the first 5 days of school after a yokai attached itself to him, and he has to go see the Mononokean to ask for help. There are currently 4 volumes. I love yokai, and will always be interested in checking out a new series about them. This title also has the plus of having bishonen as the leads. It’s definitely one I want to check out.

I was hoping to only do two post about the manga licenses at Anime Expo, but after seeing how much Yen Press announced, I’m gonna need a third post just for them to cover it all! And I haven’t forgotten Tokyopop’s announced return. That is another thing that needs its own post. With them reportedly having a panel at SDCC as well, I am very interested to hear if they have anything new to add.

Manga at Anime Expo 2015 Part 1


Anime Expo occurred over the Fourth of July weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and there were certainly a lot of fireworks as publisher exploded with new license announcements. Over the four-day holiday weekend, Viz, Vertical, Crunchyroll, Kodansha Comics and Yen Press all announced titles, so of which nearly had fans swooning from shock and excitement.

NichijoVertical Comics got their announcements out early, with their panel on Thursday. They first added to their comedy line with a title that has been showing up in their surveys; Nichijou. US fans are familiar with the title through Crunchyroll streaming the anime, and Jmanga having published the first four volumes. It follows a group of female students living what should be a normal high school life, except for all the talking cats, robots, and deer wrestling going on. Vertical did good with their pick of My Neighbor Seki, so I’m gonna trust them with this one too. Actually, they had me at talking cats. It is currently 9 volumes. The first will be out in Spring 2016.

Kitten TalesTheir second manga license was Fuku Fuku: Kitten Tales by Kanata Konami, the creator of Chi’s Sweet Home. This title is a spin-off from an earlier series, Fuku Fuku Nya~n, a story about the everyday life of a domestic cat and owned by an old lady who runs a local provision shop. Kitten Tales is also about the everyday life of an old lady, but this time it’s with a new kitten. This is so a must have! Just getting more cat manga is great, but getting more Konami cat manga is a boon! Maybe if Kitten Tales does well we can get Nya~n too! The first of the two currently available volumes of this series will be in the spring of 2016 as well.

In the prose department, Vertical picked up another Attack on Titan novel. Lost Girls is another spin-off and is composed of three short stories. They center around Mikasa and Annie, the two butt-kicking girls from the first half of the manga. “Lost in the Cruel World,” “Wall Sina, Goodbye,” and “Lost Girls will make up the 220-page volume and will be out in the Summer of 2016. I’m not too crazy about Annie, but I would totally be up for some stories about Mikasa. I’m glad Vertical is keeping with the Attack on Titan novels. They’ve worked out well filling in story and time wise while waiting for new volumes of the main story.

loghViz Media had their first panel on Thursday, for their non-imprint titles, and gave fans their first OMG moment, when they announced they had picked up the novel series Legend of Galactic Heroes for their Haikasoru line. Please notice that is novel and not light novel. Legend of Galactic Heroes is a title a lot of old school fans will be familiar with, it had a 110-episode OVA series that began in the late 80s. It is an epic story of political intrigue and war as the story follows the conflict between the Galactic Empire and the Free Planet Alliance. It is space opera at its finest as it focuses on the personal stories of Admiral Reinhard von Lohengramm and the Alliance’s Yang Wen-Li. Now, the source material for the series, something at most fans thought was a long shot at best, has been licensed. The series is 10 volumes long as well as 4 volumes of side stories. They were written by Yoshiki Tanaka, who also penned the novel for Heroic Legend of Arslan, which is basis for the manga and anime out now. The first volume will be out in the spring of 2016, and remainder of the series will depend on the success of the first three volumes, so be sure to pre-order if this sounds like your kind of thing.

naruto-gaidenOn Friday, Viz had their Shonen Jump panel that didn’t have anything really new to announce. The closest they came was to announce that the Naruto manga spin-off, Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring that has been running in Shonen Jump would be collected and released as a print volume. It ran for a total of 10 chapters, the final of which came out in the issue that was released on Monday. The story takes place several years after the end of Naruto, and follows the new generation of ninja, including Naruto’s son Baruto, and Sakura and Sasuke’s daughter Sarada. I liked Naruto enough that I would check this volume out despite not knowing how the series ended. It will be released in the winter of 2016. If you can’t wait that long, check the Shonen Jump back issues, or watch for a possible early digital release.

That’s it for the first two days. Things are starting off slow, with Vertical having the most titles announced so far, but fans got two good OMG moments with LoGH and Nichijou. I’m still thrilled for more cat manga. There can never be too much cat manga. But Saturday is the big day. It the day when all the biggest announcements are made, and Yen Press, Kodansha and Crunchyroll do not disappoint. I will get to those, as well as Shojo Beat tomorrow.

This Week’s Manga: What Did You Read Yesterday?

This Week's Manga

Pandora in the Crimson Shell 1The week of San Diego Comic Con is usually a slow and sparse one, but this week is ripe with new releases, including several debut titles. Seven Seas Entertainment releases two new titles this week. Magika Swordsman and Summoner is an ecchi, harem story that sets up the male protagonist as the only male student at an essentially all-girl school to no doubt get into lots of trouble and have girls fight over him as he becomes the only hope to stop some evil. Can you tell I’m not impressed with this premise? It does however fit into Seven Seas’ line quite well. Pandora of the Crimson Shell Ghost Urn is another ecchi title that goes the sci-fi route rather than fantasy. It features two young cybernetic girls with amazing combat skills who must work together against a world in turmoil It is by the creators of Excel Saga, Koshi Rikdo, and Ghost in the Shell, Masamune Shirow. This series sounds a little less slapstick, and may have more drama, but with these two creators, there will definitely be male gaze.

Demon Prince of Momochi House 1Viz Media lets loose its torrent of shonen and shojo titles this week, including two debuts as well. Demon Prince of Momochi House is a shojo that got some presales last week at Anime Expo, but is officially out this week. It is about an orphaned girl who inherits an estate that sits on the border between the human and spiritual worlds. In the house, Himari finds three boys, two spirits and one human who can also change into a Nue, and who is determined to protect Himari. This is a title I’m very interested in, and may see if I can get someone going to SDCC to pick it up for me. Twin Star Exorcists on the other hand is a shonen title about Rokuro, an exceptionally gifted exorcist who wants to me anything but. His competitive side is fired up when he meets Benio, a rival. She also turns out to be fated to be his wife so they can birth the ultimate spiritual warrior. Probably not what he signed up for. I’m not as interested in this title. Shonen has worn thin on me, and a title has to be really good to get my attention, like World Trigger did, which has a new volume out this week as well.  Other notable titles are My Love Story Vol 5, Yukarism Vol 3, and What Did You Eat Yesterday Vol 9 from Vertical Comics. It’s time to binge read this title again!

Full List per Diamond Distributors:

UQ Holder Volume 5 GN, $10.99

12 Beast Volume 2 GN, $12.99
Kokoro Connect Volume 4 GN, $12.99
Magika Swordsman And Summoner Volume 1 GN, $12.99
Pandora Of The Crimson Shell Ghost Urn Volume 1 GN, $12.99
Sacred Blacksmith Volume 8 GN, $13.99

What Did You Eat Yesterday Volume 9 GN, $12.95

Bleach GN Box Set 2 Volumes 22-48 With Premium, $214.99
Bleach Volume 64 GN, $9.99
D.Gray-Man 3-In-1 Volume 7 TP, $14.99
Demon Prince Of Momochi House Volume 1 GN, $9.99
Kiss Of The Rose Princess Volume 5 GN, $9.99
LBX World Battle Volume 6 GN, $9.99
My Love Story Volume 5 GN, $9.99
Naruto GN Box Set 2 Volumes 28-48 With Premium, $174.99
Nisekoi False Love Volume 10 GN, $9.99
Pokemon Adventures Black And White Volume 8 GN, $9.99
Pokemon Adventures Volume 29 GN, $9.99
Skip Beat 3-In-1 Volume 11 TP, $14.99
Twin Star Exorcists Volume 1 GN, $9.99
World Trigger Volume 6 GN, $9.99
Yukarism Volume 3 GN, $9.99

Persona 4 Main Manga Licensed by Udon Entertainment

persona4-manga-vol1Persona is a video game franchise that has built quite a following here in the west. It has also received quite a few manga adaptations, most notably for Persona 3 and Persona 4. Kodansha recently licensed the manga adaptation of the 3DS game adaptations Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth P3/4 which crosses over the two incarnations. But there are also adaptations of the original games. This is what Udon Entertainment announced picking up.

Persona 4 follows a group of high school students in the rural town of Inaba who start out forming a group to investigate a series of grisly murders. As they work to uncover the truth and stop any more murders from happening, they discover they might be connected to an urban legend of about a paranormal television phenomenon called the “Midnight Channel.” Their simple investigation turns dangerous, as they go on an action-packed journey of self discovery that crosses two worlds, and dark truths will shake our heroes to the very core, while helping them discover an inner strength they never had.

My daughter was really into Persona for a while, and told me most of the video game’s plot. If the manga is a faithful adaptation, then the series will be filled with plenty of suspense, horror, comedy and drama. I’m really curious to check this out, after hearing so much about it. I’ll never play the game, so this is the next best thing.

There are currently 10 volumes of Persona 4 out in Japan. Udon Entertainment will begin their releases in September, and the series will come out bimonthly. Maybe if this series does well, we will see the manga adaptation of Persona 3, done by the same artist, Shuji Sogabe, which was teased as ending with volume 9 back in March.



PR: Viz Media’s Panels and Booth Activities for SDCC 2015

Didn’t I just write about this last week? Oh, wait, that was for Anime Expo! SDCC usually doesn’t come this early, and it leaves fans and companies with barely any down time before they’re packing up for the next show. At least it’s only a 2 hour drive between LA and San Diego. With SDCC being the bigger of the two cons, Viz has more activities planned for SDCC, with more giveaways at their booth, more panels and some con exclusives that SDCC is becoming just as known for. Badger a friend who’s going to get you some.

Continue reading PR: Viz Media’s Panels and Booth Activities for SDCC 2015

PR: Viz Media to Bring Ultraman Manga Creators to SDCC 2015

When Viz Media announced the license of the new Ultraman manga, it was a big deal by itself. But this new announcement that they are bringing the creators of the manga to SDCC just levels the awesome up a notch. The new series, which will be available for purchase early at the con along with a collectible Ultraman figure, will have its own panel, and there will be plenty of opportunities to have that early release manga signed with several autograph sessions. It’s too late to try to get into SDCC now, but if you know someone going to the con, badger them incessantly to attend these events for you, and live vicariously through them!

Continue reading PR: Viz Media to Bring Ultraman Manga Creators to SDCC 2015

Weekly Top Ten – July 4, 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 June 27, 2015

  1. Mobile Suit Gundam 10Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Vol 10     
  2. Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1      ↓ 1
  3. Naruto Vol 70     ↓ 1
  4. Attack on Titan Vol 1     ↑ 2
  5. Deadman Wonderland Vol 9     ↵ 2
  6. Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon Vol 1     ↓ 1
  7. Seraph of the End Vol 5      ↓ 4
  8. Noragami Vol 5     
  9. Assassination Classroom  Vol 4     ↓ 5
  10. Big Hero Six Vol 1     

A new title debuts this week as Vertical Comics’ Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Vol 10 takes the top spot, pushing Viz Media’s Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1 and Naruto vol 70 down one each. Deadman Wonderland Vol 9 makes a return while Shonen Jump titles Seraph of the End Vol 5 and Assassination Classroom Vol 4 both take steep falls, 4 and 5 places respectfully. Kondansha’s Noragami Vol 5 debuts at #8 while Yen Press’ Big Hero Six Vol 1 continues to just hold on, digging in at #10. Is it seeing the last of its days on the top ten after 14 weeks, as it seems Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past seems to have?

Amazon for the Week Ending July 4, 2015

  1. TokyoGhoul-GN01Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1    
  2. My Hero Academia Vol 1     
  3. Sword Art Online Progressive Novel Vol 2     ↑ 3
  4. Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past     ↓ 2
  5. Naruto Vol 70     ↓ 1
  6. Assassination Classroom Vol 5     
  7. Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Vol 10     ↓ 2
  8. Naruto Vol 71     ↓ 1
  9. Nisekoi Vol 10     
  10. Bleach Vol 64     

Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1 holds onto the top spot at Amazon, but several pre-orders make their debut. My Hero Academia Vol 1 and Assassination Classroom Vol 5 join Naruto Vol 71 for an August release date, while more recent pre-orders Nisekoi Vol 10 and Bleach Vol 64, set to come out next week, debut at the bottom. Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Vol 10 falls 2 but stays on the list while Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past also falls 2 but stays in the top 5. Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past shows it has a bigger online audience than in stores, while Attack on Titan Vol 1 has a stronger track record in stores than online.

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

Prophecy Volume 2

As Paperboy starts to issue video warnings of crimes they plan to commit against ever-larger targets of internet outrage, Lieutenant Yoshino and the Anti Cyber Crimes Division attempts to get on step ahead of the newspaper-masked terror group. But even as they contend with the authorities, the greatest threat to Paperboy’s master plan may come from a totally unexpected place–within…

Prophecy Volume 2
Prophecy 2By Tetsuya Tsutsui
Publisher: Vertical Comics
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Thriller
Price: $12.95
Rating: ★★★★½

I really enjoyed the first volume of Prophecy and found it hard not to want to cheer on Paperboy over the ACCD who were trying to catch them. It seems they are always one step ahead of the police as they play a long game where the goal is still unknown, and they continue their mast manipulation of social media to reach it.

Once again, I am finding myself sympathizing with the antagonists of this series, Paperboy. They take on an environmentalist group called “The Sea Guardians”, who target Japanese fishing boats in the name of the environment, but are made up of some really slimy people. Like the “justice” they administered in volume 1, Paperboy’s vigilantism feels wholly appropriate and well deserved. But this act, along with their previous acts, are just more social engineering. Their huge success with “The Sea Guardians” creates copycats that then creates a backlash against an open internet. But the question remains, to what end?

“Gates”, the leader of Paperboy, shows himself to be a master strategist as well as programmer. He has been planning this for three years, and while he couldn’t predict the details, he has predicted what certain people would do and how they would react to their incidents. This leads up to the surprising announcement at the end of the volume. While I have no doubt “Gates” would do it, I’m still left wondering what their endgame is, because I can’t believe it is that.

Trouble is stirring in the ranks of Paperboy as one of their members, “Nobita”, starts to have second thoughts and essentially wants out of the plan. Some of this background is shown as is what he’s been going recently, that seems to be fueling his change of heart. He makes his move at the end as well.

ACCD continues to try to piece Paperboy together. Yoshino tries to resign when who she thinks is the wrong Paperboy is caught in her sting. Ichikawa has the completely wrong read of Paperboy, making him dismissive of them. It’s Okamoto, the non-techie, who starts to see behind the social media flash, and that Paperboy’s motives are not all about notoriety. He also has dogs at home that he cares for, so that up his estimation with me. It would be even higher if they were cats.

Prophecy Volume 2 is a good middle volume that pushing both plot and character forward while retaining the hook that makes volume 3 a must have. Paperboy seems to have legitimately good reasons for doing what they are doing, but it is the endgame that will show if the end actually justifies the means. “Gates” seems certain. “Nobita” does not. I’ll just have to wait to see who is right. Prophecy continues to be a great thriller and a must read.

Review copy provided by publisher.

This Week’s Manga: 2×4

This Week's Manga

PandoraHeartsCauscusRaceIt’s like Noah’s Ark this week, as publishers march out their new releases 2×2 just before Anime Expo. Kodansha Comics releases the final volume of Maria The Virgin Witch. I’ve seen mixed reviews on this series, so it’s hard to tell whether this is good or bad. Fans will know either way this week. Also out from Kodansha is their Science of Attack On Titan reference book. This one might be interesting for new information about the world of Attack on Titan. Seven Seas debuts a new series, Non Non Biyori, a slice of life comedy about city girl Hotaru Ichijo and her having to readjust to a slower, rural life style. This series looks like it would fit in with the likes of Yotsuba& and Barakamon.

Just in time for Anime Expo, Veritcal Comics releases the art book of creator Makoto Shinkai, Sky Longing For Memories. He is both a film director and manga artist. Vertical released his manga 5 CM Per Second, which also has an anime adaptation. The series has done extraordinarily well for Vertical. Other anime of his include Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, and Garden of Words, which Vertical also released the manga adaptation of last year. Yen Press has another highly anticipated life novel out this week. Pandora Heart Caucus Race is a short story collection that delves deeper into the four great houses, and features not only new facts about the world, but also manga shorts by Jun Mochizuki, the title’s creator. I liked Pandora Hearts well enough that I’m looking forward to this novel.

Full List per Diamond Distributors:

Maria The Virgin Witch Volume 3 GN, $10.99
Science Of Attack On Titan MMPB, $10.99

Centaur’s Life Volume 6 GN, $12.99
Non Non Biyori Volume 1 GN, $12.99

Sky Longing For Memories The Art Of Makoto Shinkai SC, $34.95
Witchcraft Works Volume 5 GN, $12.95

Pandora Hearts Caucus Race Novel Volume 1 SC, $14.00
Sword Art Online Novel Progressive Volume 2 SC, $14.00

Shigeru Mizuki’s Kitaro Returns with 7 More Volumes

kitaro_coverssmBack in 2013, Drawn and Quarterly introduced Western readers to Kitaro, a yokai boy who grew up in a grave yard and is the last of the Ghost Clan. Kitaro is the creation of Shigeru Mizuki, the mangaka who is credited with the yokai boom that started back in the 1960s. The 400+ volume was a collection of some of Kitaro’s best stories and was named as one of YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens in 2014.

Drawn Quarterly has now announced that they will be releasing 7 more volumes of Kitaro, and packaging them in more “kid-friendly” size and price. Kitaro follows the adventures of an inhuman boy who straddles the line between the world of the living and the supernatural. He helps both humans and yokai, who are troubled by either other humans and yokai. The first volume announced is “The Birth of Kitaro”, and features stories about Kitaro’s origins, introduces popular recurring character Neko Musume, a girl who turns into a cat when she is hungry or angry, as well as drawing heavily on Japanese folklore. Kitaro will have to take on legendary yokai like Nopperabo and Makura Gaeshi, as well as recurring villain Gyuki.

The first volume will be out in March 2016, with successive new volumes coming out in the spring and fall through 2018. The other six titles have been announced as:

  • Kitaro Meets Nurarihyon
  • The Great Tanuki War
  • Kitaro’s Strange Adventures
  • Kitaro the Vampire Slayer
  • Kitaro’s Yokai Battles
  • Trial of Kitaro

Each volume will be about 150 pages and will retain for $12.95. It appears each volume will be a collection, collecting similar stories to create a theme. The stories will all be translated by Zack Davisson, who also translated the first volume, and who is a big avocate for Kitaro and Shigeru Mizuki. Critics have wondered why Drawn and Quarterly would release more Kitaro after the first volume didn’t sell as well, but the first volume was designed for older fans and collectors that can afford a higher price point for a thicker volume. By making the books smaller and at a lower price point, it can attract younger fans who have been discovering yokai their other manga like Nura Rise of the Yokai Clan and Black Bird, and may be looking for similar titles. And you know it’s not just teens that will be picking up these books. Older fans have been clamoring for more Kitaro, and finally their wish has been granted.

PR: Viz Media’s Panels and Booth Activities for Anime Expo 2015

It’s the 4th of July next week, so that means just one thing; it’s time for Anime Expo! I’ve never been to Anime Expo, with my diverse interests and limitation of one convention a year being taken up by Wondercon, but it seems I’ll have plenty of time to plan to possibly attend since it’s been announced AX will be staying in LA for the next 5 years. Viz Media likes to come down for the con, and they’ve got plenty of things planned, including pre-street manga, exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh cards, raffle for Shojo Beat’s 10th Anniversary, panel and autograph session with mangaka Julietta Suzuki and a day just for Sailor Moon! Start making your plans now if you intend on attending.

Continue reading PR: Viz Media’s Panels and Booth Activities for Anime Expo 2015

PR: Twin Star Exorcists From Viz Media to Debut

Despite my growing finickiness with shonen titles, this one sounds like it might be fun. I naturally gravitate toward supernatural titles, and with both action and romantic elements, it sounds like it might not be too bad. I do enjoy titles where the couples are competitive, so I hope these two get strung along for a while, but please don’t let it turn into a harem like Nisekoi.

Continue reading PR: Twin Star Exorcists From Viz Media to Debut