Category Archives: Articles

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

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 here in the US.  You can find it at also.  Even if you can’t draw, you can still express the manga love!


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!

Crossing Over

I really enjoy Matsuri Akino’s manga.  Pet Shop of Horrors is what hooked me.  Then I checked out the other titles by her available from Tokyopop, and I got a wonderful surprise when I read Genju no Seiza.  In volume 4, Count D from Petshop of Horrors made a cameo appearance!  I loved the cross over.  It worked perfectly with Count D being friends with Sohki, the mythical Kirin.  I really enjoy stories with shared/extended universes, as long as I can read ALL of the stories.

So now, I’m reading Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo, and I get to volume 3.  The last story in the volume, Dalsegno, features a cat named Femto who comes to stay at Count D’s Pet Shop for a few days.  While there, he meets another cat, a Sphynx named Amon.  Count D explains to Amon who Femto is, and in that frame is the charactiture of Akino, a kappa, holding a sign saying “Please read the details in the Reisha manga series.”  AHHH!  There’s another Akino series in the PSoH universe?!

The full title of the series is Reikan Shouhou Kabushikigaisha, or Psychic Business Corporation.  It’s about Kanenari Tokiwa, a man that deals with the spirit world.  He exorcises spirits, convincing them to move on to the next world.  Femto is Tokiwa’s cat.

It sounds like a great series, and I can only hope that will be licensed eventually.  Perhaps when Genju no Seiza is complete, and if Tokyopopo is still around, we might see it.

Sometimes a Rose is Just a Rose

Anime News Network has an article about Viz Media having to restructure and layoff some employees in this difficult economy.  In the comments to that story, of course, someone has to drag out the dead horse of piracy.  Every economic problem that a manga or anime company has is not always related back to piracy.  Can we get over this please?

This is a tough economy right now, and things aren’t going to be getting any better any time soon.  Don’t fool yourself.  If Google, the giant of the online world has to lay off people, then you know this is a widespread problem.  And Viz, despite it’s hugely popular properties is not immune to it.  In fact, it may be hit harder than other companies.

Look at Viz’s releases and schedule.  They are about the only company that has several titles that come out every other month.  When money gets tight, you start looking for places to cut corners, and let’s be honest, manga is a luxury item.  If you have to cut down your manga order, you’re going to go for the titles you like most, and that’s not always going to fall in Viz’s favor.

This economy will weed out the men from the boys, both in companies and in titles.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of the “C-listers” start to get longer releases times, if not disappear completely.  Viz night not be able to afford Saint Seiya or Detective Conan, since Naruto and Bleach will have to cover themselves more.

Piracy and/or scanalations are not the cause of Viz’s problems here.  It’s people (me included), having to make choices about what they can continue to afford to buy, and what they truly want to keep reading.  Titles that people bought just for fun aren’t going to be making it onto ordering/shopping lists.  It’s just going to be those that they absolutely, positively have to have.  And it might be surprising to see that alot of Viz titles don’t always make it on the have to list.

Sometimes a rose is just a rose, and a drop in sales is a drop in sales, and not because of piracy.

Manga Doctor Who

Found via AiCN.

Gia of Anime Vice has put together a collection of fanart pictures of the Doctor, manga style.  Most of the pictures are cute, and I really like the strip art on the far right with the companions.  Very funny.  The art features the current 10th Doctor played by David Tennant.  He’s young, cute and very action oriented.  He’d be the perfect subject for a manga adaptation.  Especially as a bishonen, as this rendering shows (credit needed).

Now would be the perfect time for the BBC to captialize on this and allow an OEL manga of the Doctor to be made.  The announcement of the eleventh doctor, Matt Smith, has led to a lot of speculation, with the one that makes the most sense to me is that he will be going goth.  Yes, we’ve had Victorian with the 1st and 8th Doctors, but speculation I’ve heard and seeing what he’s done in the past makes him perfect for the goth style.  And it’s what’s popular with the teenage girls, a demographic Doctor Who hasn’t quite captured yet.  Russell T. Davies has already given the Doctor lots of angst in his 4 year run.  This just seems to be the next natural step.

Doctor Knight anyone?

January 2009 Previews

Just a few comments about this month’s Previews catalog:

Marvel/Del Rey collaboration: I have two words for the Wolverine manga; Emo Logan.  Does the world REALLY NEED more emo Logan?  I mean, honestly…  The art looks great, I’m not gonna knock that.  The Marvel catalog had some pictures of pages, and they did look nice.  But this isn’t going to win anyone over from one side of the manga vs. comics camp, and really hope it was never meant to.  If anything, this will probably fan the flames, but that seems to be the way Marvel likes it.  Not that they want to come up with anything original…

Continue reading January 2009 Previews

Twelve Manga of Christmas: Twelfth Day

“On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, Twelve Ecliptic Zodiac Keys,”

Fairy Tail 1Lucy Heartphilia has always dreamt of joining the  guild of mages known as Fairy Tail.  While searching for the guild, she meets up with Natsu Dragonil and Happy, a blue talking cat.  They are both members of Fairy Tail, though Lucy doesn’t know it at first.  They have a few adventures together, where Lucy shows him her magic.  She is a Stellar Spirit practitioner.  She collects keys that allow her to summon spirits from another world and make contracts with them.  The rarest of these keys are the gold Ecliptic Zodiac keys.  At the start, Lucy already has two; Aquarius and Taurus.  Natsu then invites Lucy to join the Fairy Tail guild, where the two are often paired together for assignments.

Fairy Tail is a new series this year, and one I was hooked on from the first volume.  It’s a great action adventure title with lots of comedy as well.  Natsu is very much like Luffy or Goku.  He doesn’t care about a lot of things, but the things that he does, he cares a lot.  Lucy is very outgoing and determined.  The spirits she contracts with in her keys can be pretty entertaining too, talking back, and even refusing to help without some concession from Lucy.  Of course, having a blue talking cat that can grow wings and the promise of dragons doesn’t hurt either.  I really enjoyed this title and it’s quickly become a must have.  If you like stories with fun, action and adventure, then Fairy Tail is the one title you must get!

Eleven Band Member Battle,
Ten Inukami,
Nine-tailed Fox Spirit,
Eight Dragon Priestess Guardians,
Seven Dragon Balls,
Six Girl Volleyball Team,
Five Bronze Saints!
Four Friends in Winter,
Three Siblings Cards,
Two Girls named Nana,
And a One Piece for the Pirate King.”