Tag Archives: Bandai Entertainment

Pocky Day!

Ah, Pocky, that tasty treat, the preferred snack of otaku everywhere! November 11th, or 11-11 is Pocky Day! Can you guess why? This “holiday” was started in South Korea, with their version of pocky, Pepero, where it is similar to Valentine’s Day. Pocky Day hasn’t taken off in Japan like Pepero has in Korea. I heard about it from the SciGuys podcast. I like the idea, so here are some manga titles that give a heads up to that biscuit cookie dipped in chocolate (or an assortment of other flavors), Pocky!

There are a lot of manga titles where characters are seen nomming on a stick of pocky. Card Captor Sakura, Gravitation, Tramps Like Us (Kimi Wa Pet), Harlem Beat, Nodame Cantabile and The Wallflower (Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge) all feature scenes of characters loving their pocky! But here are five titles I’d like to focus on where pocky gets more of a spotlight.

Onegai Teacher – This was originally an anime that was adapted to a manga and light novel series. Mizuho is half-alien, half-human. She has been sent to Earth by the Federation to watch over it and keep humans from making the same mistakes. Mizuho is seen eating pocky a lot. Her father died when she was young, and her only memory of him is related to a pocky box, so she eats pocky to be reminded of him. There are two volumes of this manga available, that were published by the now-defunt ComicOne, but you can probably find copies on trading sites or at used bookstores.

Zatch Bell (Kojiki no Gash) – In this shonen battle manga, every 1000 years, 100 Mamodo come to Earth to battle out for the title of King of the Mamodo. To do battle, Mamodo need a human partner to read the spells they use. Zatch Bell is one such Mamodo, and is the hero of the series, with his human partner Kiyo Takamine. Volcan 300 is Zatch’s cardboard toy robot friend, made out of an empty box of pocky and some disposible chopsticks. There have been several versions of the Volcan 300, but you’ve got to empty though boxes first, before you can make a new one! Viz Media released 25 of the 33 volumes of Zatch Bell before discontinuing the series.

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Dramacon – This is a 3 volume OEL series created by Sveltana Chmakova. The series is about fledgling writer Christie Leroux and her first experiences at a big anime convention. In this series, we see pocky used as comfort food. Christie celebrates being at the con by buying lots of pocky, as well as drowns her sorrows by buying lots of pocky. This is the best, and probably most realistic portrayal of the use of pocky by most anime and manga fans in the US. Dramacon was released by Tokyopop and is among the few celebrated titles of OEL manga. You can get the whole series in one omnibus volume.

Lucky Star – This title is a 4-koma, or 4 panel series, much like the comic strips in American newspapers. It follows 4 Japanese girls as they go through high school. There is no real ongoing plot and the strips are mostly about the girls daily lives. The leader of the group is Konata Izumi, a smart and athletic girl, but who would rather play video games and read manga than study or compete. But for this article, we want to look at Kagami Hiiragi, the older of the Hiiragi fraternal twins. Like Konata, Kagami likes to play video games, and she reads light novels. She also indulges in that more favorite to Otaku treats, pocky! She can often be seen munching on pocky sticks. Lucky Star has eight volumes, and is being released by Bandai Entertainment.

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Vampire Knight – When I asked for suggestions on Twitter for titles with Pocky in it, this series kept coming up, so I’ll include it. Vampire Knight is about Yuki Cross, the adopted daughter of the Headmaster of Cross Academy and her run-ins/relationships with the Night Class, a special class for Vampires to learn how to co-exist with humans. Shiki Senri is a member of the Night Class and is apparently “Pocky mad”. He is seen eating it several times throughout the manga. Vampires eating pocky. I wonder, does he stick the pocky in his mouth and pretends he has reaaalllllyyyy long fangs? Just kidding. Viz Media releases Vampire Knight and there are currently 10 volumes out. Thanks to @ShroudDancer, @aicnanime, @girlg33k_Kris and @PhoenixTerran for their suggestions and help!

These are just a few examples of pocky in manga. For more, and/or to find pocky in anime, check out these sites, which were I also used for several references:

Know of a series with scene I missed? Leave a comment about it!

This Week in Manga 2/20-2/26/10

Coded Licenses

After the debut of their new website for manga, Bandai Entertainment puts up some license news.  They’ve announced two new titles to add to their Code Geass line.  Code Geass: Knights and Code Geass: Queens are both anthologies each with a slant toward a demographic.  Knights is written to appeal to the girls, and Queens is for the boys.  There are several short stories that are written by different mangaka.  This is good news to me, since I love the Code Geass franchise, both anime and the manga.  I really like that these are anthologies, giving us not just a lot of different stories with our favorite characters, but a lot of different looks as well.  I’ve grown quite fond of anthologies, and getting more narrow ones like this would be great.

Continue reading This Week in Manga 2/20-2/26/10

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.

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Why I Hate Con Season

Even though most of the big Cons are in the summer, Con Season gets its official start now in February with the New York Comic Con, and I’m really getting to hate it.  Why?  Because of all the license announcements!  I am really, REALLY trying hard to cut down on the amount of manga I get.  I’ve done a brisk bit of trading at Mangatude (which I still highly endorse), and have caught up on several series, and I’ve got more complete series ready to go up on eBay.  I go through Previews, and am happy when I see titles completing.  Another couple of titles I don’t have to buy.  But then, con season rolls around, and the list of titles I have to get suddenly goes up again!

Continue reading Why I Hate Con Season

Not bad so far

This week, I decided to check out some of the new titles I’ve gotten recently.  I’ll be doing full reviews of these later, but I just wanted to give some general impressions first.  I read Two Flowers for the Dragon Volume 1, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Volume 1and Ghost Slayers: Ayashi Volume 1.

Two Flowers for the Dragon I ordered because it is by Nari Kusakawa, who also also did The Palette of 12 Secret Colors which I enjoyed a lot, and the main character turns into a dragon.  I love dragons, so, I decided to take a chance on this one, and I wasn’t disappointed.  I really liked the characters, and Kusakawa-sensei’s art.  It was a fun read, and the cliffhanger the volume ended on made me ready to read the next.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is from Bandai, and this first volume was released simultaneously with the anime, which might cause some confusion for people, as the manga doesn’t follow the anime perfectly.  And that’s just fine by me.  The manga hits the major scenes it needs to, but some were altered to fit a manga audience better, I think.  There is more attention on Lelouch and the academy he attends than the big mecha action, which is more suited for an anime.  But, it works.  While the character designs are by CLAMP, the manga is not.  Majiko is the artist, but she keeps the designs while adding her own style, which isn’t too bad.  I wasn’t impressed with the manga by her that was releases by Tokyopop, but here it’s fine.

Ghost Slayers: Ayashi is another Bandai title, released in the same way as Code Geass.  Again, the manga is altered slightly from the anime.  Yuki is already a member of the Office of Barbarian Knowledge Enforcement, and has no qualms about using his abilities.  The volume contains two stories, taking up about half the book.  It’s a good setup.  The first story is from the anime, but the second, I don’t quite remember, but it was a good story.  I love any story that has Japanese monsters and/or folklore, and this one has both.  There are also some nice translator notes at the end of the volume to explain some effects and translator choice of words.

I’m definitely going to keep following these titles and would gladly recommend them to anyone who might be interested in them.

Bandai Entertainment’s got the Code

My thanks to Mangacast for catching this. At the NYAF, Bandai Entertainment quietly announced the licensing of 3 new manga and one light novel: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. This was an anime series that premiered in Japan last year, becoming an instant hit. With character designs by CLAMP, and a well written story, this series has spawned not only a second season, but three manga adaptations and light novel. 10 years ago, the Empire of Britannia invaded Japan, using it’s mecha called Knightmares and overwhelmed the Japanese people. The country became known as Area 11, and the Japanese called Elevens. Now, a 17 year old boy named Lelouch, a Britannian, seeks revenge on his father, the Emperor, for the assassination of his mother and crippling of his sister Nunnally. That’s just the basic plot, and doesn’t even begin to cover what going on in this series.

codegl.jpgCode Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is a direct adaptation of the series. It follows Lelouch as he gains the power he needs to enact his revenge and possibly bring down an empire. The complexity of the plot and how well it stays true to the series will determine it’s success. The balance of drama, relationships and battle I think is just right to get a female audience. It is a shojo title and is 3 volumes long.

codegs.jpgCode Geass: Suzaku of the Counterattack looks at Lelouch’s story from a different angle. It follows Suzaku, Lelouch’s childhood friend who wants to see Japan free of Britannia’s rule, but chooses to do it from the inside. So it will have many of the same situations as Lelouch, but we will see it from Suzaku’s point of view. This is another shojo version and is at 1 volume and counting.

codegn.jpgCode Geass: Nightmare of Nunally is a side story, an alternate going off in different direction. In this title, Lelouch’s fate isn’t known, and it’s Nunally, his crippled sister that makes the Geass contract. She gets the power to see the lines of the future and a new body with which to fight. This is a shonen take on the story and is 2 volumes long.

code GEASS: Lelouch of the Rebellion is a light novel adaptation of the series. It’s 4 volumes long.

I’m really excited by this license, and am really surprised it didn’t get the attention that a lot of other announcements did. Code Geass is a big property in Japan, and was all the buzz in the anime community when it was showing. And for once, the buzz was justified. This is a great drama that I truly hope translates to the manga medium. With Lelouch and Suzaku covering both sides, the complexity will hopefully be kept intact. Check it out when it comes out.