Category Archives: Articles

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

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)?

Continue reading More Wishful Thinking

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.

Continue reading Paper Thin

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.

Continue reading Games Tokyopop Manga Play

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.

Continue reading Fair and Square

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.

Manga Moms – An Update

I know it’s a little late for Mother’s Day, but as long as it’s still May, I figure I can sneak this in.  Last year, I wrote a post about the roles moms can play in manga.  I picked out manga I had read and broke them down into categories; Mom affecting the characters, Mom as support, Mom’s absence affecting the character, Mom’s absence affecting the story.  I’ve read and/or more titles have come out that can be added to the list.

Continue reading Manga Moms – An Update

Review: Fairy Idol Kanon Volume 1


Fairy Idol Kanon Volume 1
By Mera Hakamada
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Age Rating: All Ages
Genre: Magical Girl/Fantasy
Price: $7.99
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Can a regular girl become a superstar celebrity? Kanon is an ordinary fourth grader who loves to sing more than anything else. When a magical fairy princess named Alto meets Kanon and decides to help start her singing career, their journey to fame takes off! Friendship and magic combine in this cute musical story!

Fairy Idol Kanon is another title aimed directly at girls.  Singing, fashion, stardom and fairies all make this the perfect title for young girls.  Almost too perfect.  It’s a safe story with all the messages that parents and teachers will love, while the girls will love the magic and bits of drama.

Continue reading Review: Fairy Idol Kanon Volume 1

How’s That Supposed to Work?

Along with the announcement that Funimation would begin streaming the One Piece anime simultaneously with the Japanese showing, waaaaayyyy down at the bottom of the announcement, tucked in the About One Piece section, it was also announced that the US edition of Shonen Jump would start running the manga in line with the Japanese releases.  Just like Naruto.

Huh?  How are they going to do that?

Naruto‘s catching up seems to be doing well for Viz and Shueisha, if the Japanese publisher has agreed to this.  But, Naruto took two years and a mass release of 22 volumes in order to get caught up with the Japanese releases.  One Piece, which missed it’s bus thanks to 4Kids raping it and it taking a few years for Funimation to do a proper anime release of it, has a lot further to go.  Volume 53 was just published in Japan, and volume 21 will be released here in June.  That’s a 32 volume jump.  And Viz plans to have the new chapters start in Shonen Jump in the fall of this year!

There is no way they will be able to publish and sell 32 One Piece volumes!  Not unless they plan to release nothing else!  Or are they going to release a special volume of Shonen Jump to “catch up” to the current chapters?  I just don’t see any way they can do this in a minmum of 4 months.  Even going with a BIG format, that 11 of those to get out.

While I love One Piece, and I’m all for catching manga up to current releases in Japan, this is just insane!  This is not the way to stop scanalations, because there is NO WAY a normal person could catch up to this.  Not with this economy, and especially not in California!  I thought Viz was nuts to do another Naruto wave in February.  I’ve can’t wait to see how they think they are going to manage this.

Stitching Manga

Link found via twitter.  Thanks aicnanime!

Manga Cross-StitchWhile reading and writing reviews of manga takes up a lot of my time right now, I do have some other interests outside of that.  I’ve always been a crafty person, and I got into cross-stitch maybe 14 years ago.  I like to stitch things that match my interests, so I have lots of fantasy patterns (dragons, unicorns, the zodiac, etc.), lots of cats, big and small, but nothing in the anime/manga range.  I didn’t think there were any stitchers that would cross the two hobbies.  Boy, was I wrong!

Manga Cross Stitch, originally named Manga in Stitches, over 100 designs and charts of original manga characters (for copyright reason, obviously).  You can make quick pieces, or stitch a whole page, complete with lettering and sound effects!  Why frame a piece of manga art when you can make your own!  Don’t be limited by pens and pencils, when you can use so many different palettes of threads and stitches to put screen tone to shame!

The book comes with a CD that has all the charts available to be printed in any size you prefer.  It is being sold in the UK through Amazon, as well as Amazon.com here in the US.  You can find it at barnesandnoble.com also.  Even if you can’t draw, you can still express the manga love!

Wonder(Con)ing

An announcement arrived in my inbox today saying that Viz was going to have a booth at Wondercon this weekend (2/27-3/1/09).  They will be pushing their Viz Signature and Vizkids line.

Now, I’m glad Viz is putting some time and effort behind these two lines.  They certainly can use them, being the newest and smallest of the Viz books.  Among titles mentioned for the Vizkids line were Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, and their new line of Chapter books for Naruto and Dragonball DEvolution.  I can’t be there, so if some one who reads this is, can you ask them something for me?

What happened to all the Pokemon manga?  There are like, only 6 or so volumes you can buy (we have them all).  But back in the early 2000’s, Viz had two floppies of Pokemon; Pokemon Adventure and Pokemon: Magical Journey.  Why haven’t we gotten volume releases of these?  Pokemon is still a hot property, at least if my kids are any indication!  They would both love to read more Pokemon!  My youngest would just devour the Pokemon Magical Journey!  We were able to find two floppies around the cover price, and she loved them.  What is wrong with Pokemon for girls?  And why can’t they put out more than just two volumes of Pokemon Adventure?  That thing has like over 30 volumes!  Viz has two hot sellers and they are just letting them languish!

Some people may bemoan media based properties, but they have their place.  And it’s not just to sell more toys/games.  Both my daughters love pokemon to the point that they draw their one and come up with stories about them.  If there is something that will stimulate their imagination like that, you can be sure, that as a parent, I will be buying more of the books.  We already get every Sonic the Hedgehog title because of that.  Pokemon would easily make that list too.

It just really, REALLY irks me that these titles get just the barest of coverage in manga, while TV and toystores blitz the kids.  If they are going to exposed to these things so much, at least make them read for some of it!