Category Archives: News

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

New Licenses Announced for Shojo Beat

There has been plenty of new titles announced for Viz’s Shonen Jump line, especially with the new Jump Start for Weekly Shonen Jump, but this week Viz Media let Shojo Beat shine with the announcement of two new titles to join the drama-based line.

bloody-mary The first title announced was Bloody Mary. This supernatural series is about 400-year-old vampire “Bloody” Mary who has tired of life and just wants to die. He has been searching for one who would inherit the “Blood of Maria”, that would give them the power to kill him. He finally finds an exorcist  who has inherited the power, but he doesn’t know how to use it. But because he possess the power, he becomes the target of lots of other vampires. Mary makes a deal with Maria. He will be his body-guard until Maria can figure out how to use his power and end Mary’s life. The series is only four volumes so far, and will be published quarterly starting in December 2015. This title has two potential strikes against it. One, it’s about vampires. I really am done with the whole vampire thing. Two, the series is a shounen ai/BL series. It’s only four volumes in, and so far the story has pushed the shounen ai and not stumbled into full BL territory. So far. I’m more tolerate of shounen ai that of BL. I don’t mind the flirting and the tension, so as long it keeps on that track I might like it.

honey so sweetHoney So Sweet was the second series and is the kind of teen romance one would expect from Shojo Beat. It is about Nao Kogure, who in Middle School left an umbrella and bandages for injured delinquent Taiga Onise. They meet again in High School, and while Nao doesn’t want anything to do with violent Taiga, he surprises her with a bouquet of flowers and request that she date him. It’s a bad-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold series, but that’s not so bad.  It’s a romantic comedy about love and friendship with an ensemble high school cast. The art looks cute too. Viz has done well with this genre with titles such as Kimi ni Todoke and Strobe Edge, so the chances of this one being just as entertaining is very good. There are six volumes available and this series will also be published quarterly starting in January 2016. I’m more inclined to try out this series as I’m more attracted to the gentle romances than vampire dramas.

Both of these titles will be available in both print and digital as same day releases.

8th Manga Taisho Awards Announced

Manga TaishoBack in January, the nominees for the 8th Manga Taisho awards were announced. This year there are 14 titles, and again, there are several titles manga readers will be familiar with. Koe no Katachi, A Silent Voice has been announced for print from Kodansha Comics, and was streamed digitally on Crunchyroll. Maho Tsukai no Yome, The Ancient Magus’ Bride has been licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment, and Boku no Hero Academia, My Hero Academy has just been announced by Viz Media to run simultaneous with the Japanese releases. The rest of the nominees include Innocent, Osama-tachi no Viking, Kakukaku Shikajika, Kasane, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Kodomo wa Wakatte Agenai, Dimitri Tomkins, Blue Giant, Houseki no Kuni, Ballroom e Youkoso, and Boku dake ga Inai Machi.

nozakikun01Several of these titles look interesting, the problem with most them being they are seinen. One of the titles that isn’t and should be a no-brainer for license is Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. This comedy series follows Sakura Chiyo who tries to confess to her crush Nozaki, a shoujo manga artist, but instead he asks her to help him with his manga. The anime of this series was streamed here and was well received. It’s from Square Enix, so Yen Press really needs to get on licensing this one!

Ballroom e Youkoso is one of those unusual sports manga that might make it here, especially with the popularity of Dancing with the Stars. The story follows middle school student Fujita Tatara who has no goal in life until he is saved from some delinquents by a mysterious man. He leads him to a dance studio where Fujita becomes inspired to join in dancesport. This shonen could be the one to break the sports manga curse. This is from Kodansha.

housekinokuni01Innocent is a historical series about an executioner during the French Revolution, while Osama-tachi no Viking follows a genius hacker and a spoiled rich kid who join forces. Blue Giant appears to be about a school-aged jazz musician who plays the tenor saxophone. All three of these are seinen titles that Viz would have to be convinced to look at. Houseki no Kuni, Kingdom of Gems is a fantasy series about a new life form known as Gems who have to fight to keep from being made into decorations. This seinen series is from Kodansha.

Since three of these nominees have already be licensed, there’s a good chance some of these others will be too. I was pretty good with predictions last year, when the two titles I highlighted ended up getting licensed, so I hope at least a couple of the titles I mentioned will get the nod.

The Manga Taisho Award nominees are nominated by bookstore staff in charge of their stores manga section. Manga titles released in 2014 and that are under 8 volumes are eligible for nomination. There will be second round of voting that will decide the winner, and will be announced later this year.


Seven Seas Announces Two New Licenses for 2016

This last Wednesday, Seven Seas Entertainment announced two new licenses on their twitter feed for calendar year 2016. Both titles fall into their wheelhouse, though one doesn’t so too bad.

New TestamentThe Testament of Sister New Devil is an adaptation of the light novel series. It is about Basara Tojo, a high school student who suddenly gets two new sisters when his father announces he has decided to remarry, and then promptly leaves for an overseas trip, leaving the trio alone. But Basara’s new step sisters, Mio and Maria are not what they seem. They are actually a novice Devil and Succubus. After trying to get Basara into a master/servant relationship with a Mio, an error occurs and Basara becomes the master, throwing him into all kinds of erotic situations. On top of all this, Mio is being hunted by both monsters and heroes. This series doesn’t interest me at all with its harem, male gaze elements, but it does fit perfectly in Seven Seas’ catalog. There are four volumes so far, and an anime adaptation is being streamed by Crunchyroll. The first will be available here in February 2016.

My Monster SecretMy Monster Secret is a romantic comedy that follows Asahi Kuromine. He has a crush on Yoko Shiragami, a cute but mysterious girl at his school. Asahi can’t keep a secret, but everyone has them, including Shiragami. Asahi learns her secret, that she is a vampire, but he is determined to keep it for her. This is another “monster girl” series, but doesn’t fall into the heavy male gaze category thankfully. It does seem to make the harem side, but it sure seems shonen rom-coms can’t be successful without it. The art looks cute though, so I might be willing to check out a volume or two. It currently has 10 volumes available, and the first volume will be released in January of 2016.

Seven Seas has been making some interesting choices with their licenses, and have been sticking with some genres that sell. These titles certainly do fit with their male gaze/monster girl categories, but at least with My Monster Secret appear to be looking to mix it up with the latter category. It’s something to look forward to in 2016.

PR: Ultraman Makes His Manga Debut With Viz

Ultraman has been in a bit of a revival with the many incarnations of the TV series coming to DVD and streaming on Crunchyroll. This manga is a sequel to the first TV series, and just started in 2011, effectively updating the 1960s series for a 21st century audience. I’m really looking forward to seeing it later this summer.

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PR: My Hero Academia Gets Print and Digital Releases

My Hero Academia was already announced to have joined the Weeky Shonen Jump line up, but this new announcement makes the series available to more readers beyond the WSJ base. But with the simultaneous chapter releases, fans will have to wait until August to actually read what happens in between the first chapter and chapter 24, when it starts. Recaps are okay, but just not as good as the actual chapters.

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Vertical Comics Adds Three New Licenses

At their panel at Katsucon over Valentine’s Day weekend, Vertical Comics showed readers the manga love with three new licenses; 1 manga and 2 light novel series.

Kizumonogatari Kizumonogatari is part of the Monogatari light novel series by writer NisiOisin. While Kizu is the third novel in the series, it is a prequel to the first, Bakemonogatari. It tells the story of how protagonist Koyomi was turned into a vampire by the female vampire Shinobu, and his journey to return to being human. I’ve heard about the Monogatari series, but never knew what they were about. With the description of mystery and supernatural, I’m now interested. So far, only this volume of the 18 available so far has been licensed. More will depend on how well this one does. It will ship in November of this year.

Seraph Light Novel Seraph of the End is a series already familiar to manga fans. Viz Media has been releases the manga and running concurrent chapters with Japan in Weekly Shonen Jump. This license from Vertical, Guren Ichinose, Catastrophe at 16, is another prequel to the main story. It follows Guren Ichinose in his early days, before he became a Lieutenant Colonel in the Japanese Imperial Demon Army. There are currently 4 light novels, and Vertical plans to publish them as 2-in-1 omnibus editions. I have to read more of the manga to see if these light novels will hold any interest for me. I wasn’t impressed with the first volume, but the first three volumes made it to the YALSA GGNT list, so I’m going to give the series a second chance. No release date was announced for omnibus editions, but I would expect another end of the year release for it.

Ninja SlayerNinja Slayer: Machine of Vengeance is the final license announced by Vertical Comics. It is a manga based on a light novel series originally written by Americans Bradly Bond and Phillip Ninj@ Morzez and translated and published in Japan. This is the first of two manga adaptations published. Ninja Slayer takes place in a dystopian future where ninja souls have been resurrected and now wreak havoc on the city of Neo-Saitama. The story follows Kenji Fujikido, a salary man who lost his wife and daughter to a ninja turf war, and in nearly losing his life, is possessed by an enigmatic ninja soul. Fujikido survives and becomes a Ninja Slayer, destined to kill evil ninja and takes on the Soukai Syndicate. Ninja Slayer sounds like a title fans of sword wielding story like Blade of the Immortal or Crying Freeman would enjoy. It’s not really my cup of tea, so this is one I will pass one. It is scheduled to be released in October.

It’s an interesting selection from Vertical. Light Novel fans have much to rejoice, but they will only see more if they put their money where their mouth is. More titles are promised to be on the way, so here’s hoping there will be more manga announcements this time around.



PR: JJBA Phantom Blood Part 1 Debuts in Print

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has had a difficult time in the west. The first print run of Part 3 didn’t do so well back in the aughts. The release of the series in digital along with an anime simulcast on Crunchyroll propelled the series into the fan spotlight. While Part 1 has been available in digital for a while, anticipation for this deluxe hardcover has been stewing for a while, as a check of’s top ten list will show.

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PR: Viz Expands Digital Selection on Comixology

Viz Media gets a huge selection of titles onto Comixology from publisher Shogakukan which includes Shonen Sunday titles as well as some shojo and josei. Comixology readers can now enjoy the likes of Case Closed and Happy Marriage?! as well as the classic Drifting Classroom. Many of these titles are also complete, so there’s no waiting for the next volume to come out.

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PR: Viz Goes for the Heart with Simultaneous Digital Manga Launch

If you’re like me and have never read the first series, then you should check out the specially priced bundle Viz is running for the first 10 volumes of Boys Over Flowers. I’m interested in reading this new series. I was intrigued by the first chapter of the original, so hopefully this second series will be just as enticing.

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Fushigi Yugi’s Final Priestess Gets Manga

byakkohen01Shogakukan’s Monthly Flowers magazine announced in its March issue that Yuu Watase will be launching a new manga in the Fushigi Yugi universe. Fushigi Yugi: Byakko Ibun, or Fushigi Yugi: The Curious Tales of Byakko, will start in the next issue due out at the end of February. It will have a color first page and will be featured on the cover.

Little is known about the story, other than it is about the Priestess of Byakko, the White Tiger of the West, and the only Priestess whose story hasn’t been told. While the announcement said the chapter in February would “begin” a new series, Yuu Watase said on her blog that the manga wasn’t going to be a full story. This implies that it will either be a one-shot or a short story containing several chapters. I hope it’s the latter, for two reasons; 1) A one shot will only tell a sliver of the Priestess of Byakko’s story, and 2) several chapters can become a volume and more likely to get licensed and released. I don’t want to see a one-shot end up in a volume of Arata, assuming it starts up again. I don’t need one volume of a series just for the one-shot. I’ve been lucky so for that most of the one-shots I’ve wanted have been in volumes of titles I collected anyway.

In any event, this is a series I’m interested in reading, and with Watase’s continued popularity here in the West, I’m sure Viz Media will figure out a way to get it out for fans to read.

Viz Licenses Shojo Titles Old and New

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Viz Media has announced several licenses, with a bit of “something old, something new” to them. Three of the titles are Tokyopop rescues for the Viz Select line, and two are brand new licenses from mangaka who have already had titles released in the West to quite a bit of success.

The_One_I_Love_GN1 From Tokyopop, Viz Media continues their CLAMP releases with two of their titles returning; The One I Love and Wish. The One I Love is a one-volume collection of 12 short stories that tell stories about the many sides of love.  All of the stories are told from a woman’s perspective, and deal with the doubts, insecurities and ultimately the joy of love. It sounds like a fun series, though perhaps best taken in smaller doses. The romance may get monotonous, even for romance lovers. It will be released February 10th.

Wish_GN1 Wish is a four volume series that follows Shuichiro, who after saving an angel, Kohaku, from a tree one moonlight night, is offered a wish as a reward. Shuichiro refuses the wish, saying he can get what he wants on his own. But he and the angel soon find out there are some wishes that can not be granted on their own. This series is a typical bitter-sweet romance that has a happy ending of sorts, but the kind that Western readers are used to. The first volume will be released February 17th.

somedaysSomeday Dreamers is a two-volume series, and is not done by CLAMP. It is about Yume, a girl who wants to follow in the footsteps of her mother, and become a magic user. She practices her magic by helping people she finds in need; a struggling soccer player, the wrongly accused, and a student who wants to share a lunar eclipse with his teacher on cloudy night. While the story is about Yume working to be a full mage, there is a current of romance that is left unresolved. The art is as gentle as the story, and is one I’ve considered picking up several times. The first volume will be released February 24th.

qq-sweeperThe two brand new titles have not gone completely unnoticed. The first title, QQ Sweeper, is by Kyousuke Motomi, the creator of Dengeki Daisy. It was almost exactly a year ago when this new title was announced in Shogakukan’s Betsucomi magazine. The cleaning and sweeping of the series’ title seems to have a supernatural bend. Kyutaro Horikita is the cleaning expert of Kurokado High. The tall, dark, and handsome cleaner meets transfer student Fumi Nishioka, where he shows her how to clean the spirits from the school and also maybe her heart. I was already interested in this series because it was from Motomi, but the addition of a supernatural element only makes it more appealing to me. The first volume will be released in October.

idreamIdol Dreams is by Arina Tanemura, a very popular shojo artist. Viz Media has already published at least 7 of her titles. This series turns the premise of some old school magical girls on their ear. Chikage Deguchi is a 31-year-old office worker who feels she’s missed out on her chances for love and success. She wishes she could go back to a time when she was young and popular, and is given that chance when she takes an experimental drug that changes her appearance to that of a 15-year-old. She takes the opportunity to re-do things in her life, including becoming and idol. Besides changing up the old school magical girl formula, Idol Dreams appears to borrow from Case Closed, though that series doesn’t hold the license on getting younger, it’s just the first thing that comes to mind. I’ll check out this first volume if I get a chance when it comes out in November.

These were some good titles for Viz to pick up. I’m happy to see the new Motomi title. I was really hoping it would get picked up. Idol Dreams is new to me, and has my attention by starting the series with a mature woman as the lead. It will be interesting to see how her older self deals with the younger problems of a new generation. I’m looking forward to this round.


PR: Shojo Beat Love for February From Viz Media

February is the month to celebrate your relationship or singleness, which ever you embrace. Viz Media is sharing in that celebration with lot of new titles and offers from their Vizmanga digital site. What is especially enticing are the Shojo bundles. Three titles of 10 volumes each for $40.00. And they are really good titles too. Honey & Clover, Sand Chronicles and Strobe Edge. All three are amazing titles in their own way. If you haven’t read any of them, this is the perfect opportunity to get them all at a great price.

Continue reading PR: Shojo Beat Love for February From Viz Media