Category Archives: Articles

Stories and musing about specific manga titles or manga in general.

I Just Don't Get It

I’ve been going on a lot about the Twilight/Fanboy debate, mainly because it really irks me.  But the reason for that is that I’ve never experienced any real prejudice in my comic shopping, or at cons.  Several commentors on the Robot 6 blog article about Girls and Fandom gave anticdotes about their experiences with Fanboys and in comic shops, and quite frankly, it shocked me that they were meeting any kind of resistance from the other patrons and/owners.

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I’m Too Old For This: SDCC Day 3

Yeah, I should have written this last night, but I didn’t get home until after midnight and was exhausted.

Saturday was a struggle to wake up, but we managed it, had another nice breakfast, and checked out.  We made it to the convention center just in time for the Women in Manga panel, the only manga panel I was able to make it to all con.  That’s just the way it goes.  I’m not lamenting.  Lots of other people were there to cover the manga panels, and if I’ve got anything to add, I’ll do it in my weekly news post.

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Wish You Were There? SDCC Day 1

Even though this strip is 3 years old, it still describes the experience of SDCC fairly well.  The only thing that needs to be added are the lines.  Yes, the infamous SDCC lines were back this year and worse than ever.  We got to the con at sometime after 10am and walked the Exhibit Hall for most of the morning.  My husband took lots of pictures of toys, including a few for me.

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Space Manga

July 20, 1969:  The day mankind first walked on the moon.  Just as with the assassination of JFK, and 9-11, you can ask someone (old enough to remember) what they were doing when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, and they could tell you.  With the 40th Anniversary of this event coming up, I thought I would look at some manga that takes a more realistic approach to mankind’s reach into space.

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Whatever Happened to Basara Devil Kings?

It is a sad day in Xanadu.  Having only just discovered the over-the-top manli-goodness that is Sengoku Barasra, aka Basara Devil Kings, the anime, I had to search to see if there was a manga for it.  And, joy of joys, there was!  It was licensed too!  Udon Entertainment, the purveyor of Video Game and Capcom comics has licensed it.  At least, that’s what everyone thought.

basara-devil-kingsI thought it was odd at first, that a google search for the manga didn’t land an Amazon hit in the first 10 links.  A search of Amazon did reveal the book , but as unavailable, but with a shipping date of September of 2008.  A search of other sites gave another date of April 2008, or available for pre-order.  Not even the Udon site had a listing.  This confused me, so, since a web search wasn’t doing me any good, I went to the next best place for manga knowledge; Twitter.

A query there didn’t get me any answers, but it did get a response from Udon that they would find out.  A few days later, I got a response from Stacy King, Marketing Manager for Udon.  Here’s what she told me:

UDON hasn’t published or even translated any of this manga; although the contract was announced while it was in talks, things fell through with the final negotiations.

Stacy wasn’t sure why negotiations fell though, or if Basara Devil Kings will come up again in the next round of negotiations, but they are keeping it in mind when they look at possible licenses later in the year.

So that is the sad tale of the Basara Devil Kings manga as of this moment. I do hope it does get licensed eventually.  It’s only three volumes long, and even though the manga doesn’t appear to be as outrageous as the anime, the characters and story are still interesting enough for me to want to check out.  And who knows, may be later on in the manga I’ll get to see Takeda Shingen ride up a vertical castle wall standing on two horses while holding his battle axe in front of him.

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More Wishful Thinking

The sudden loss of Shojo Beat has left a real void in my manga reading.  Even if I didn’t get to read it as soon as it arrived, I knew it was there, and had it to look forward to.  Why Shojo Beat was canceled is still a bit of a mystery, since, for me at least, it did exactly what it was meant to do.  Get me to read more Viz titles.  While I didn’t love all the titles in Shojo Beat, I enjoyed most of them, and through previews found titles I wanted, or wanted to avoid.  It really was a great marketing tool, since I could sample a lot of different titles for a low cost.  Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a way to do that electronically (and legally)?

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Paper Thin

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the new paper Tokyopop is using for their manga.  Most of it has been bad.  I had a few recent printings of some of their manga and decided to check it out for myself.  I pulled out Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo volume 4, NG Life volume 1 and Animal Academy volume 1.  I then pulled out Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo volume 3, which was printed on the old paper for comparison.  After getting sucked into both Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo volumes, I actually got down to the comparison.

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Liars!

dragon-voice-11-amazon

This title has not been solicited in Previews!  I’ve been watching!  Waiting!!  It’s the last volume!!!  Aw, come on Tokyopop!  You got my hopes up by putting up this late last year, and now…what?  Will it come out, or won’t it?  Why do you enjoy torturing me like this?! I don’t care what kind of paper it’s printed on.  I don’t care if it’s only available to read online.  Just tell me the truth!  Can you or can’t you?  Will you or won’t you?  Why do you continue with these teasings?  Why are you so cruel?!?!??!   WWWWHHHHHHYYYYYYY?????!!!!!!!

Games Tokyopop Manga Play

Manga based on video games has practically become a genre, with both import and OEL titles, and Tokyopop has been at the head of the pack with releasing and creating new titles.  All of the manga included in this post are titles that were video games initially, and were then adapted into manga.

Let’s start out with the .hack series.  These had been publishing fairly regularly, matching pace with the anime releases.  These titles were crafted to enhance both the video games and anime.  The stories enrich each other, a novel concept at the time it was introduce, but really makes sense when you think about it.  It’s also a great marketing strategy.  There are currently 5 separate .hack titles available.  Legend of the Twilight, XXXX, G.U.+, AI Buster, and Another Birth.

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Fair and Square

As a reviewer, I get a lot of titles that are either in the middle of the series, or sometimes I get just the last volume.   This came up over on twitter, and the with a comment that a series couldn’t be judged by reading some random volumes.  This got me thinking.  It’s an issue that reviewers would frequently have to deal with.  You can choose not to read any titles that you don’t start from the beginning, or take on all comers.  I’m one that chose to take on all comers.  I’d rather be able to get a taste of a title, than never know at all what it’s like.

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What Could Have Been

It was back in 2004 I think, when I first saw the solicitations from a new manga company in Previews.  Seven Seas had 3-4 full size pages advertising it’s titles.  I remember thinking how cool it was that an American company was making a go at creating original titles.  At the time, only Tokyopop had any OEL.  From those original titles, there weren’t a lot that caught my attention.  Just one did actually.  Captain Nemo.  I had been a big fan of Captain Harlock in the eighties.  I loved his cape, the high collar, and the way his hair fell over one side of his face.  The cover of Captain Nemo mimiced this, so of course I had to get it.


When the first volume finally came out in 2005, I of course ordered it, and have to say I actually enjoyed it.  It very much captured the feel of Harlock’s brooding, and the lone captain trying to save the world that doesn’t realize it’s in danger.  I couldn’t wait for the next volume.  Unfortunately, I had to do just that.  Seven Seas expanded, got into licensing manga and this meant the writer of Capntain Nemo, Jason DeAngelis, who is also president of the company, had less time to script.  So Captain Nemo was put on hiatus.  Permanently.  Well, I had hoped not, but 4 years later and things look as bleak as they did in 2007 when I last checked the status of the series.

Now, just to torture those of us who have been waiting in vain for the series to return, Seven Seas has put up the unfinished pages from Volume 2.  The first 24 pages were done by Aldin Viray from an outline and not a completed script.  That means there are no words, just the pictures.  And all they do is tantilize with an intriguing background story for Mrs. Wakely.  It’s just too much to bear!  So, I’m sharing my pain with you.  Misery loves company after all.  Check out these pages and see what could have been an entertaining manga.