Category Archives: News

Keep up with the weekly happenings in the world of manga.

PR: Viz “Jump Starts” New Manga

Viz Media continues to push the boundaries of digital manga and simultaneous release with their new Jump Start initiative. WSJ readers will get essentially sneak peaks at new titles the same time as Japanese readers, titles that could potentially become regular titles in the English edition. Sports, Sci-Fi crime thriller and sports medicine manga will start the program. It will be interesting to see how well the more niche titles do.


Digital Publishing Campaign Eliminates Time And Distance Barriers To Offer International Fans The Opportunity To Sample Hot New Manga Titles; New Series JUDOS Launches Today!


San Francisco, CA, September 8, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, generates additional synergy between its English language WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP digital manga magazine and the original Japanese print counterpart with the launch of the new “Jump Start” initiative. WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is the world’s premiere manga brand and leading international weekly manga magazine.

WSJ2014_09_08_CoverMoving forward, VIZ Media will simultaneously premiere the first three chapters (one chapter per week) of every brand new, first-run manga series that appears in the Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump in its digital English language edition on the same day of that issue’s general print release in Japan.

The first “Jump Start” title to be featured is the high impact martial arts series – JUDOS – by Shinsuke Kondo, which launches TODAY in the latest issue of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP. Hana Yanagi is just fifteen and aims to be the best judo practitioner in his village – a remote hamlet that just happens to produce the world’s most powerful fighters. Get ready for hardcore over-the-top martial arts action!

VIZ Media’s WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is also set to feature the English language premiere of Ippei Goto’s new sci-fi crime thriller – HI-FI CLUSTER – beginning in the September 15th issue, and will offer Yuto Kubota’s sports medicine manga – SPORTING SALT – debuting the September 23rd issue. Future series premieres will be announced as news becomes available from Weekly Shonen Jump (Japan) publisher and VIZ Media parent company, Shueisha, Inc.

By delivering simultaneous English language access to future series on the same day of their Japanese general release, “Jump Start” seeks to build greater international awareness and support for a new vanguard of compelling titles and manga creators launching in the most widely read weekly manga publication in the world.

VIZ Media encourages WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP members/subscribers to submit their “Jump Start” feedback and thoughts on the new series and chapters by completing the survey that is contained at the end of each digital issue and also at:

“The ‘Jump Start’ initiative begins a new era in digital manga publishing that will give seasoned readers as well as those new to the genre seamless, same-day, simultaneous access like they’ve never enjoyed before to what’s hot and brand new in the world’s most popular manga magazine,” says Andy Nakatani, Editor-in-Chief of VIZ Media’s WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP. “‘Jump Start’ gives new titles an important opportunity to develop an international following. Our readers can play a more active role than ever to help VIZ Media and Shueisha discover what new series resonate on an international level and decide what might possibly be featured on a regular ongoing basis.”

WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is published digitally every week by VIZ Media and features the latest installments of some of the world’s most popular manga series released to English readers across North America on the same day as the magazine’s general print release in Japan.

VIZ Media offers North American fans single issues of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP for only $0.99 each. Exclusive 1 Year Memberships are available for only $25.99 and include 48 weekly digital issues as well as special premiums such as Yu-Gi-Oh! Collectable Trading Cards, rare one-shot manga releases, digital-only promotions, and access to additional subscriber-only content including creator interviews and insightful promo videos.(*Note: Yu-Gi-Oh! cards are only available to annual subscribers in the US and Canada.) Current subscribers can also access their accounts via, the VIZ Manga App, or with the Apple iPad Newsstand App.

WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is also available to readers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa via the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP Newsstand App available for the Apple iPad®, iPhone and iPod touch or the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP App on the Google Play Store for Android devices. International issues debut each Monday at 10:00am (PST) and monthly subscriptions are available with automatic monthly renewals. Additional information on international subscriptions is available at:

For more information on WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and exclusive subscriber offers, please visit

For more information on VIZ Media manga titles, please visit

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at

Crunchyroll Manga Rolls Out New Titles

Over the last few weeks Crunchyroll manga has been busy adding new titles to their growing library. Three of the titles are traditional manga, and three are part of their “Manga 2.5” line, which I would recommend avoiding, but your mileage may vary.

Kawaii complex of ManorsThe Kawaii Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior is published by Shonengahosha in their magazine Young King Ours. It follows Usa, a boy who starts living on his own when his parents move for work. His residence is filled with eccentrics and perverts, but so does his crush, Ritsu. This series is a rom-com that has 5 volumes and is ongoing. It also has an anime that just streamed on Crunchyroll in the spring. The current chapter is now up, and new chapters will be added monthly. No word yet on when/if previous chapters will be available. The inclusion of the description “perverts” is enough to turn me off from this series.

Legend of OnikirimaruThe Legend of Onikirimaru sounds much more like my kind of title. It is published by Leeds Publishing in the magazine Sengoku Bushou Retsuden. A demon boy with no horns or name wields the blade Onikirimaru, the Demon Slayer. He is fated to kill his kin and slay the demons that have been awakened during the brutal battles of the Sengoku Jidai, when samurai ruled and leaders such as Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hidetsugu fought to unify and control Japan. The first 5 chapters are now available, and new titles will be put up bi-monthly. The series is rather gory, but since it is a horror title sent in a brutal time, that is of little surprise. Still, I’d wouldn’t mind checking out the first several chapters.

What the Good of me being popularThe third manga is a Kodansha series that is published in Bessatsu Friend. They are doing something different with this series by letting readers vote on the title; What’s the Good of Me Being Popular vs Boys, Kiss Him Instead of Me. The series is about Kae Serinuma, a fujoshi, who likes to imagine boys in wild fantasies. When her favorite anime character dies, she looses a ton of weight, and gains the attentions of four hot boys at school. But she’d rather they were after each other instead of her! There are currently 4 volumes available in Japan, and Crunchyroll with release the first chapter along with its new title on September 18. This series sounds like it could be funny, if you’re a fujoshi anyway. The one good thing about this title is that it’s aimed at the girls, something that has been showing up much on Crunchyroll.

KashiwagiThere are three “Manga 2.5” titles. After School of the Earth, a post apocalyptic title where only four people are left on earth, one boy and three girls, and their sometimes sad, but mostly happy days enjoying life.  The manga is six volumes long and was published in Akita Shoten’s Champion RED magazine. Renai Senka -The Special Class of Love-. This series follows Nobuta Yabuta, a new teacher at the all girl’s school Sakura Gakuen and who is afraid of women. Five girls in his class are part of a special class that must get their homeroom teacher, Nobuta, to kiss them to graduate. This series is 5 volumes and was published in Houbunsha’s Manga Time Kirara Forward. The third title, Kashiwagi-san Next Door, is about otaku Yuta Sakuraba. He mostly only likes 2-D girls, but he becomes interested in a 3-D girl for the first time when he has to sit next to Kotone Kashiwagi. Kotone hates otaku, but she may have some secrets of her own. It is also published in Houbunsha’s Manga Time Kirara Forward. It has 8 volumes and is still ongoing. None of these titles really interest me since they are all male-gaze oriented, but even if I did, I would completely avoid the “Manga 2.5” format that Crunchyroll is putting them in. That is creepy enough.


Manga at the Harveys 2014

AoT 1This last week at Baltimore Comic Con, the Harvey Awards were held. Like the Eisners, the Harveys honor the best in comics and sequential art. Unlike the Eisners, the Harveys are nominated and voted on by the comic professionals themselves. It’s about creators honoring other creators for their work. While the awards center mostly around American comics, manga does get a nod in the “Best American Edition of Foreign Material” category. This year, three manga got nods: Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama and published by Kodansha Comics, Sunny by Taiyo Matsumoto and published by Viz Media, and Showa: A History of Showa Japan by Shigeru Mizuki and published by Fantagraphics.

All three titles have their merits. Attack on Titan, while sorely lacking the art department has a compelling story and interesting characters, things that have made it a huge franchise both in Japan and here in the States. Volume 1 of the series has been on the New York Times Bestseller List for almost 70 consecutive weeks. Sunny is a semi-autobiographical slice of life story about several kids living at the Star Kids Home orphanage, and one of the few constant things in their life is the old yellow Sunny in the backyard that the kids use to escape their real life problems. It won both the Slate Book Review and Vermont’s Center for Cartoon Studies’ Best Graphic Novel Prize earlier this year. Showa: A History of Showa Japan covers the events of the first 14 years of the Showa period, from 1926-1939. It won the 2009 Asahi Prize in Japan for its contributions to culture and society.

While all three titles are worthy, only one could claim the prize. And the winner, surprising or not, is Attack on Titan. Having read the second half of the series out so far, I can understand it winning. The story touches on lots of different topics, and is a suspenseful, thrilling adventure. I can only imagine the story won on these merits. While the art has improved a lot since its first few volumes, it still has problems.

cyborg_009_coverAlso nominated, but not in the Foreign Material category was Deron Bennett’s Cyborg 009, a comic adaptation of Shotaro Ishimori’s manga of the same name, and published by Boom! Studios. The series got several nods in the categories Best Original Graphic Novel, Best Letterer, and Special Award for Excellence in Presentation. Unfortunately, it lost in all three categories, but the book is an interesting adaptation that stays true to the spirit of the original while trying to appeal to a wider audience.

More Madoka Spin offs from Yen Press

Yen Press has confirmed, thanks to some Amazon listings, that they have two more Puella Magi Madoka Magica spin-off titles: Puella Maki Oriko Magica: Extra Story and Puella Magi Tart Magica: The Legend of Jeanne d’Arc. This news makes me very happy since I’ve really come to enjoy the Magica spin offs.

orika-spinoffI didn’t like Puella Magi Oriko Magica initially, but the second volume redeemed any doubt I had at the beginning. Oriko’s story gets to continue now with a  “what if” side story. This new story asks, what if Oriko had met Yuma Chitose before she gained her vision of the end of the world? Would she still have used and manipulated the girl in order to reach her own ends of trying to stop the end of the world? I didn’t find Yuma interesting in the main series, but I am curious to see what Mura Kuroe, the artist of the main Oriko series, comes up with this time. The series is one volume and is scheduled to be released in March of 2015

jeanne-darcPuella Magi Tart Magica is a spin-off from the main series, and takes tidbit that was thrown out, that Joan of Arc was a magical girl, and turns it into a full-blown series. Kyubey is trolling for magical girls even in the Fifteenth Century and finds Jeanne d’Arc, a girl with extraordinary leadership and strength of character. With the help of her three friends, Liz, Eliza, and Melissa, she fights to push back the English occupiers of France. But she might soon have an even greater enemy to fight. I’m a sucker for historical fantasy/drama. While I think Joan of Arc gets overused in Japanese media, I think this use it actually a good one. The series is still ongoing with only one volume out so far. I look forward to getting my hands on this one in April 2015.

PR: New Digital Manga From Viz

Viz Media has plenty of digital manga ending and beginning this month, even a few surprises for their VIZ Select imprint. They are seriously mining the Tokyopop catalog, and from their weekly top tens, it’s been doing alright for them. I might even check out their newest acquisition. Find out what it is and more after the break!

Continue reading PR: New Digital Manga From Viz

Yen Press Ends Summer with New Licenses

Over the Labor Day weekend that traditionally ends Summer for most kids (though may schools start in August now), Yen Press announced several titles for both their new Yen On imprint of light novels and their regular manga line. Included in this license bonanza was both the manga and light novel series of Log Horizon and The Devil is a Part-Timer, the light novel series No Game No Life, Pandora Hearts Caucus Race, and the manga version of the Disney movie Big Hero 6.

Log Horizon LNLog Horizon started in 2010 and follows the very familiar premise of 30,000 Japanese gamers being trapped in a fantasy online game world called Elder Tale. The story follows Shiroe, Naotsugu and Akasuki, three friends, as they band together to survive their new reality. Yeah, this screams Sword Art Online to me. But it seems to be doing well enough as it now has seven volumes out and 2 manga adaptation. Yen will publish the first light novel in March 2015. And speaking of manga series, Yen did announce the manga adaptation, just not which one. Though best bet would be on the straight adaptation Log Horizon. No date were announced for the manga. Like most of the light novel adaptations from Yen lately, I will probably be more likely to read the manga over the light novel, unless the manga really impresses. So I will most likely at least check out the first volume of the manga.

Devil is a Part-Timer LNThe Devil is a Part Timer has another familiar premise, but one that I think I’d like more. A demon king named Satan is about to conquer his alternate world when he is transported to Tokyo in our world. To make ends meet, he ends up working in a fast food restaurant. but he hasn’t given up on his world-dominating. His first step in taking over Tokyo is to go from a freelancer to an actual employee! He is also pursed by heroine Emilia, who has followed him to Tokyo. There are currently 12 volumes in print, and an anime adaptation was also released here by Funimation. I expect this series to do well with an anime already available. This series sounds a lot more appealing to me, and it has a manga adaptation as well, that Yen Press has also licensed. Again, I’ll probably read the manga before the light novel. The first volume of the light novel series will be available in April 2015, but no date for the manga was announced.

No Game No Life LNNo Game No Life centers around siblings Sora and Shiro, reputed to be brilliant NEET hikikomori gamers on the net. They are so immersed in gaming that they treat life as just “another crappy game.” One day they are summoned to an alternate world by a boy named GOD. In this world, war has been outlawed and all disputes are decided by playing games. Humanity has been driven back to one city, and need Sora and Shiro to save them from losing everything. This series has just started with one volume out so far. It also has an anime that Sentai Filmworks has just licensed. The manga adaptation was licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment, with the first volume scheduled to be released in October. I’m not as interested in this series either. I do like gaming manga in general, but the premise of this series just doesn’t intrigue me. I’m just not that interested in NEET or hikikomori. The first volume of the light novel from Yen Press will be out in April 2015.

Pandora Heartscaucus_racePandora Hearts Caucus Races is a series of short story collections about the manga series Pandora Hearts that Yen Press also publishes. There are currently 3 volumes available, the last of which came out in May of 2013. The manga has only one more volume left, so this series will be a good way for fans to keep their Pandora Hearts fix going just a little longer. I’ve found Pandora Hearts strangely addictive. I didn’t really care for it at first, but the second half of the series has been filled with twists and surprised that I’ve just loved! I will give the first volume of this collection a look, though there was no release date given for it.

Finally, Yen Press announced they would be releasing the Japanese manga adaptBig Hero 6ation of the Disney movie Big Hero 6. The movie is scheduled to come out in the US in November, and Japan in December. It is about Hiro, a boy who lost his older brother Tadashi in a mysterious accident and the robot Baymax who was built by Tadashi, and takes place in San Fransokyo, a fictional city that combines Tokyo and San Francisco. This series is a prequel to the movie, and a first for a Disney movie adaptation. I wondered why Yen Press got this, since Big Hero 6 started as a Marvel comic, and is where Disney got the property from. Why wouldn’t Marvel or even Disney do an adaptation? This Bleeding Cool article gives some reasons why. As a writer for kids comics blog, I have an interest in this series, but beyond that, I’m not so sure I would pick it up.


Viz Media Triggers New Release in Print and Digital for Fall

At Sakura-Con last week, Viz Media announced the print and digital release of World Trigger, a digital Weekly Shonen Jump only title. It looks like a fun title, so I’m glad Viz is making it available finally to those of us who don’t subscribe to WSJ. More info available after the jump.

Continue reading Viz Media Triggers New Release in Print and Digital for Fall

PR: Yen Press And Square Enix Announce eBook Distribution

Well, I have to say it’s about time Yen Press and Square Enix finally got on the digital bandwagon. Yen Press announced back in October at New York Comic Con that it would be announcing a digital strategy for the company, and nearly six months later, they finally have! I glad to see them moving away from proprietary apps and awful websites. Find out more after the jump.

Continue reading PR: Yen Press And Square Enix Announce eBook Distribution

PR: Catch Up on Blue Exorcist with Digital Discount

Blue Exorcist made a splash when it debuted three years ago and was a hit among critics and fans alike. It joined Viz’s digital edition of Weekly Shonen Jump as a monthly series in 2012 and has been simu-publishing with Japan ever since. With the anime due to premiere on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim’s Toonami February 22, Viz Media is offering a discount on digital volumes 1-10 of the series for a limited time. I have the first volume I got for free for renewing with Shonen Jump Alpha, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I should do that. The discounts are available through, the Vizmanga app, and partners Nook, Kindle, GooglePlay, iBooks and Kobo. For the best deal, go with Kobo or Kindle, if you can. Full press release after the jump.

Continue reading PR: Catch Up on Blue Exorcist with Digital Discount

Manga Dome Podcast Episode 42: More News is Good News

Manga Dome header

This week I check out the top 10s from and the New York Times Bestsellers list, new license announcements from Seven Seas and Crunchyroll, some titles starting and ending, and a look at the Manga Taisho nominees.

Continue reading Manga Dome Podcast Episode 42: More News is Good News

Viz Picks Up Moribito: Guardian of the Sacred Spirit

MoribitoI very rarely talk about amine here, since this is a manga blog, but there are times when I’ll make exceptions. Just recently, the return of an anime I love has been announced. Viz Media has rescued Moribito: Guardian of the Sacred Spirit. This 26 episode series first aired in 2007, and had a difficult time in licensing here. Geneon first licensed it, but then halted their US distribution, and the license went to Media Blasters. It showed on Cartoon Network during their late night Adult Swim block, but it took a while for a full run to show there. Now Viz Media is running it as part of their Neon Alley network.

Moribito: Guardian of the Sacred Spirit is based on the first volume from a fantasy novel series published in Japan in 1996. It is about a woman named Balsa, who, after saving the second prince to the Emperor, Chagum, is charged by the Queen to protect him. Chagum carries the egg of the water god. The Emperor sees him possessed by a spirit, and other spirit chase him to eat the egg he carries. Balsa takes the assignment. With her mad spear-wielding skills, and help from friends in the mountains, she protects the young boy until the egg can come to fruition.

There is practically nothing bad you can say about this series. Balsa is awesome as a character and a bodyguard. She is still my favorite female antagonist of any anime ever. The animation is beautiful and the writing and score it top-notch. I loved this series so much, that I not only bought the series on DVD, something I save for only my most favorite shows, but I also bought the novel it was based on, of which Scholastic released the first and second novels.

Do yourself a favor and watch this show. It is one of the best shows to come out of the last decade, and still stands up with its well told story and fluid animation. Just the fight scenes with Balsa makes it worth it. Oh, and the opening theme, Shine, by L’Arc en Ciel is one of the best songs you’ll ever hear too.

Hey Viz, can we get the manga to this is the series if the anime does well? It’s only 3 volumes! Read the full PR below.


San Francisco, CA, January 8, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, opens 2014 with the announcement of the mid-season Neon Alley debut of MORIBITO: GUARDIAN OF THE SPIRIT on Friday, January 17th at 10:30PM (PST). The 26-episode fantasy/action anime series is rated ‘TV-14’ and new installments will debut every Friday.

VIZ Media has also acquired the North American home video and web streaming rights for MORIBITO: GUARDIAN OF THE SPIRIT and plans to release the complete series on DVD and Blu-ray in 2014.

MORIBITO: GUARDIAN OF THE SPIRIT is based on a bestselling collection of Japanese fantasy novels by author Nahoko Uehashi. The anime series tells the story of Balsa, a nomadic warrior who has vowed to atone for eight deaths in her past by saving an equivalent number of lives. On her journey, she saves a fallen prince who carries the burden of a sacred spirit – one who has the power to save the world and bring new life to a broken empire.  But, she must first protect the Prince from those who would do him harm – including his own father, the Emperor, who has ordered his assassination!

Neon Alley is VIZ Media’s innovative 24-hour English-dubbed linear anime channel that is available for general web access as well as for the Xbox 360® and Xbox LIVE® and the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) gaming system and the PlayStation®Network. Fans can also take advantage of the platform’s Video-On Demand “Catch Up” option which offers the flexibility to watch shows such as MORIBITO anytime. The “Catch Up” option also allows viewers to search for specific content by individual series or by latest additions.

“MORIBITO: GUARDIAN OF THE SPIRIT is the latest addition to the Neon Alley anime roster and we are very excited to kick off 2014 with this critically acclaimed action packed adventure that was developed by the famed animation studio Production I.G.,” says Charlene Ingram, Senior Animation Marketing Manager. “Balsa and Prince Chagum embark on a dangerous quest to discover the Prince’s mysterious connection to a legendary water spirit with the power to destroy his kingdom, or save it. Tune in every week for new episodes and also look forward to the forthcoming release of the series on DVD and Blu-ray later this year!”

“Working with VIZ Media is truly a pleasure, and as the group continues to expand Neon Alley, we are pleased to look into our library and make more quality titles available,” comments Mr. Yuma Sakata, President and CEO, Dentsu Entertainment USA.

Neon Alley’s diverse programming schedule includes a mix of action, adventure, sci-fi, supernatural, fantasy, and horror anime, all uncut and dubbed into English and presented in HD (when available), for a low monthly subscription rate of only $6.99.

For more information on Neon Alley, please visit

For more information about other anime titles from VIZ Media, please visit:

For more information about Dentsu Entertainment, please visit

About Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc.

Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc. was formed in 2010 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Dentsu Inc. (Tokyo Stock Exchange, Code 4324).  Dentsu Inc. is the world’s largest advertising agency brand, and a leading producer of Japanese animation, with over 37,000 full-time employees and more than 700 subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide.  Dentsu Entertainment USA develops original animation programming and media content for domestic and international markets, and manages licensing programs for new and existing properties.  Current projects include Chub City®, featuring evolved vehicles and savvy young drivers, currently in development as an animated series; LBX™ (a.k.a. “The Little Battlers eXperience“), a highly successful animation, video game and toy franchise, based on miniature customizable robots;  Deltora Quest®, a 52-episode animated series airing globally, and based on the international top-selling fantasy-adventure book series of the same name; and Monsuno®, an innovative toy line and animated boys action adventure series currently airing on Nickelodeon, Nicktoons and free-to-air channels in more than 150 countries.  Dentsu Entertainment USA is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA.  For more information, please visit

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at