I’ve enjoyed the sports manga that’s come out such as Slam Dunk and Cross Game, but none of them really struck me until recently with Yowamushi Pedal. My enjoyment of that series has me taking another look at sports manga, and this series, Kuroko’s Basketball, has a really intriguing premise and characters that has me looking forward to its debut.
It shouldn’t be any kind of surprise that Yen Press showed up on Book Walker. They have had a relationship with parent company Kadokawa for quite some time. I just wonder why it took so long for it too happen. I would think the hold back was on the Yen Press/Hachette side, since more titles on Book Walker can only be a good thing. Well, at least they’re here now.
It’s Viz’s 30th Anniversary, but they’re bringing the party to SDCC with guests, panels, and exclusives for fans to enjoy. Highlights I wish I could go to are the Pokemon Adventures manga creators panel, the 30th Anniversary Shikishi and Retrospective Displays, and of course the exclusives! I considered the pre-release of Yona of the Dawn, but I was disappointed by the last pre-release I got, so I think the Art of Pokemon Adventures would interest me more, just so I can get the convention bag. Cause I gotta get them all!
Viz Media has some surprising (and not so surprising) licenses at Anime Expo over the 4th of July weekend, spread over their various imprints. Dragon Ball Super was a no brainer, and the print release of Yu-Gi-Oh Arc V should be as well. There were some nice surprises though too, with a new shojo, a new Mobile Suit Gundam set in the Universal Century timeline, and to those waiting for Rose of Versailles, the box set of Revolutionary Girl Utena.
As usual, Yen Press has an eclectic list of new licenses. Not a lot really interests me. I never got into Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, so an original title by the artist doesn’t do much for me. Neither does work from the creators of Sword Art Online and Deadman Wonderland. But there are a few that have piqued my interest. Big Order might have some potential, if the characters are interesting enough. Rokka – Brave of Six Flowers has a lot more going for it. Action, Fantasy and Mystery; I’m sold. Can’t wait for both the light novel and manga.
Magic, Action and Demons, three things you can put into a shonen title and not go wrong. Viz had all three in spades with their two new titles out this week. I wasn’t too interested in Black Clover when it was first started in Weekly Shonen Jump. It sounds too familiar and I didn’t hear many good things at first. It’s still going, so something must have turned around. 7th Garden sounds much more my cup of tea, though I find the demons and angels angle a little played out as well. But I’m up to some good old-fashioned eye candy with hot guys.
I must confess I never got around to reading Blue Exorcist despite all the good press it got when it first came out. I’ve just never been pulled in by all the chapters I’ve read. Obviously I’m in the minority, and the majority of fans will now be able meet the creator of their favorite manga and get some need goodies as well.
In conjunction with the return of the Legend of Zelda comics in Japan, Viz Media is re-releasing the first ten volumes of the series as omnibus editions in time for the holidays this year. This seems like a good idea as it drops the series down to 5 volumes and gives it a bigger trim size, but with an MSRP of $17.99, this makes the series more expensive than the box set now available, even at full price. Most omnibus editions re-releases are priced lower than the original release. This is the going in the opposite direction. While I hope Viz picks up the returning Legend of Zelda manga, this isn’t the way to get fans back.
Here, let me date myself right now. I remember when Viz first started releasing manga as Viz Communications. I picked up their releases of Urusei Yatsura and Fire Tripper at my local comic book shop when they first came out. Their releases were nice too, with card stock covers that made them stand out from the floppies. Who would have thought then, that they would be one of the biggest manga publishers in the US today? Even though it is Viz’s anniversary, wouldn’t a great present be a 3-in-1 release of Urusei Yatsura unflipped?
The updates are sparse this month. Most have been covered in separate press releases, except for the debut of Boruto, the Naruto spin-off series that features Naruto’s son Boruto and the kids of his generation. I haven’t checked out the previous one shot featuring those characters, so I don’t know if it’s something to get excited about yet. Not sure what’s up with the Anniversary Sale, since the PR doesn’t really say anything, and there hasn’t been anything on the site yet. I’m intrigued to see what it will be.
Free Comic Book Day started as a way to promote western comics to the uninitiated. It’s a chance to pick up an interesting title for free that (hopefully) represents what the title is about and stir up some interest in new readers. In the last few years manga publishers have been joining in with their own samplers. This year, Viz Media has two to check out. Pokemon Pocket Comics are short strips with a lot of humor and not necessarily a lot of words, so it’s perfect for the young and/or emerging reader. Older Readers wondering what Japanese superheroes look like can pick up the Shonen Jump Sampler which features One-Punch Man and My Hero Academia. Get there early as these books tend to go fast!
I love historical manga, so I’m always interested when a new series comes out. There have been a couple of titles set in the Taisho era, but I’m always happy to see more. The fact that it’s only two volumes increases my interest, as that is something I can easily fit into my bookshelf, both digital and physical. I’m looking forward to reading this series.