Tag Archives: cmx

Previews Waffling

I haven’t done this for a while, and last month’s Previews had some tough choices for me, so I thought I’d talk about it a little.  There were a lot of titles I collect/want that were up for ordering last month.  It’s very hard to keep my numbers down when publishers do this to me.  (Yes, I do think they are all out to get me.)

It isn’t that publishers had a lot coming out.  There were just a lot of publishers that had titles I wanted.  Bandai, CMX, Del Rey, Tokyopop, Viz and Yen Press all had an average of 2 books.  Well, except Viz who always has at least 5-7 alone that I want.  Doing a quick tape of everything (less the Naruto wave I already said I would have to pass on), if I had ordered everything I read, it would have come to over $100, and that with my 30% discount!  Even in a good economy, that’s a lot for one month!  15 titles in all!

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Twelve Manga of Christmas: Third Day

“On the Third Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, Three Sibling Cards,”

Manami Minami decides to learn to play Chaos, a popular TCG.  Her cousin Tamotsu, who also plays, takes her to the hobby store to by a starter pack.  By a strange twist of fate, the pack she buys has an ultra-rare card in it, Sahgan, the Mighty Sorceror.  Manami quickly becomes the target of other Chaos players who want to challenge her for Sahgan.  With Tamotsu, her new friends from the card club, and Sahgan himself, who comes to Manami in her dreams to give her hints, she faces these challenges and grows as a player, while trying to balance her regular life.

I got King of Cards because of the art and the premise sounded intriguing.  I like a lot of game manga, such as Yu Gi Oh! Shadow Games, Legendz, and Hikaru no Go, so decided to give this one a chance.  And am I glad I did!  I have really enjoyed the shojo take on gaming manga.  Manami is more interested in enjoying the game than just winning.  Over the first couple of volumes, she gets a reason to get better, but it isn’t to save the world or prove herself better than someone.  It’s for love and her love for the cards.

I also really love the mythologies used to make up the cards.  The three ultra-rare cards that are the heart of the manga, Sahgan the Mighty Sorcerer, Faras the Holy Shrine Maiden, and Taurus the Alchemist, aren’t a part of any established mythology, but seem to have had one built up around them.  They are call the Sibling Cards, as they were all drawn by the same artist who died at an early age.  Manami’s romantic woes are the center of the shojo side of the manga, while the plot around the Siblings is the center of the card side.  This is a great manga, and even though it’s shojo, I think guys will enjoy it just as much as the girls.

“Two Girls named Nana”
“And a One Piece for the Pirate King”

Review: King of Cards Volume 3

King of Cards Volume 3
By Makoto Tateno
Publisher: CMX
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Price: $9.99

Rating: ★★★★½

Are Manami’s grades slipping because of her dedication to her favorite card game?  Her math teacher thinks so and threatens to tell her mother — unless she can beat him in a Chaos match!  Also, a seemingly unbeatable player who actually hates Chaos is gunning for Manami.  What’s this girl’s connection to Manami’s card-playing cousin Tamotsu?

In this volume, there is plot development in two different directions.  The first half of the volume continues the love triange between Manami, Tamotsu and Misa, with a revelation relating back to the last volume that makes this a true triangle.  The second half returns to a plot point not seen since the first volume revolving around the Sahgan card.

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Halloween Manga

It’s that time of year again when ghosts and goblins come out to play. Do you want to get into the Halloween spirit, but just don’t know what to get? Well, here’s a list of manga that I’ve either read, or know something about enough to recommend (or warn you away from).

I first posted this on my Tokyopop blog, but I’m bringing here with a few updates.  Well, I thought it was going to be just a few, but every time I start to think I’m done, I come up with another book!  I tried to keep the books in this list to more appropriate to a Halloween theme, than just ghosts, vampires and monsters, etc.  It would take forever to list ALL manga with those in it!

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Review: King of Cards Volume 2

King of Cards Volume 2
By Makoto Tateno
Publisher: CMX
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Game
Price: $9.99

Rating: ★★★★☆

A lovesick Manami passes out when she sees the object of her affection with another girl.  When she wakes up, she finds herself in the world of the cards, where matches aren’t simply imagined: players summon actual monsters and gods to do physical battle!  Later, back in the real world, she must take on Japan’s number one Chaos player!

Finally!  My long awaited review of this book!  At least, I hope someone’s been waiting for it.  After much trial and tribulation, I finally got an error free copy of this title, and then after another long time, I finally read it.  This volume turns up the romance, though it’s more unrequited love, and it’s only through the Chaos cards can any resolution be found.

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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.

Feast to Famine

The Manga gods (ie publishers) smiled down on me in August.  After having such a frustrating time with having to decide with books to cull in July, August orders (shipping in October) was too easy!  I had to go through Previews twice just to make sure I wasn’t imagining it.  But, it was true!  My usual manga order was just under $60, right at my goal!  I was so shocked after July, I thought there had to be a mistake!  But, it seems publishers needed a breather too.  Or they’ve got another deluge planned for September-November, with the holiday buying season.

In fact, our whole order was lighter, so I could add in a couple of titles!  My Nana review copy run seems to have ended, so I made sure to order Nana 13.  I have to find volume 12 now though.  And I decided to get the next volume of Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden 7.  I got volume 6 as a review copy and really enjoyed the story!  I’m late coming to the whole Fushigi Yugi thing.  I’m waiting for the VizBIG volumes of Fushigi Yugi (which are due in Jan 2009!) to get caught up there.  And, I still need volumes 1-5 of Genbu Kaiden (thank goodness for Mangatude and Manga Trading!).  Yen Press’ Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was an absolute must have!  The tiny 16 page booklet that Yen gave out at SDCC barely even got into the story!  But I’m loving it already!   CMX’s relisting of Kiichi and the Magic Books gave me another chance to order volume 3, which I had to skip in July’s order.  And then I realized I forgot to order volume 2.

CMX has been a hard publisher for me to remember to order from.  They are mixed in with all the DC imprints, so when I go to order online, I always skip over them, because I am thinking CMX when I look through the list of publishers, and skip right over DC Comics.  I missed a volume of Gon that way too.  It bugs me too, because I think CMX has really come up with some good and fun titles that deserves more attention.

While this month was more of a famine, it was a good famine.  I hate having to choose between manga.  It’s like being asked to choose between my children, or cats.  It’s impossible to do, and never feels right.

Review: The Palette of 12 Secret Colors

The Palette of 12 Secret Colors
By Nari Kusakawa
Publisher: CMX
Age Rating: E
Genre: Fantasy/slice of life
Price: $9.99

Rating: ★★★★★

On the island of Opal live the world’s most colorful birds.  The birds have attracted a school for aspiring “Palettes” – wizards who have the ability to borrow color from one object and paint its qualities on to another.  Young Cello has the potential to be a great Palette, but she just can’t seem to control her power.  As the end of freshman year approaches, she’s on the verge of failing, so she’s going to need all the help her bird Yoyo can provide.

The Palette of 12 Secret Colors is the sort of book you would want to read on a summer day.  It’s slice of life approach to Cello’s adventures on a tropical island makes for perfect light reading.  It also makes for excellent reading for younger readers.

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Krissy's Korner: Gon Volume 1

Gon Volume 1 at Amazon.comGon Volume 1

by Masahi Tanaka
Publisher: CMX
Rating: Teen
Genre: Action/Adventure
Price: 5.99

Rating: ★★★☆☆

What was the story about?

It was about Gon and other animals. Gon sees a hyena, coyote, bob cat, lion, bears, fish and beavers.

What did you like about the story?

I liked the second story when Gon shares with the lion. I also like how Gon made his mansion.

What did you dislike about the story?

I hate it in the story with the baby eagles, when Gon can’t fly, because he is a dinosaur. I also hate Gon’s violence.

Would you recommend this story to kids your age?

No. There is too much violence

Krissy's Korner: Gon Volume 2

Gon: Volume 2
By Masashi Tanaka
Publisher: CMX
Genre: Action/Adventure

Rating: Teen
Price: $5.99

Rating: ★★★★★


Gon meets many animals, which were a Giant Tortoise, a Shark, Buffalo, a Hard Tick, a Warthog, Baboons, an Elephant, a Hedgehog, a Squirrel Monkey, a Tamandua, an Ocelot, and a whole bunch of Penguins!

What I liked:

I liked it when Gon chased the squirrel. I liked how angry Gon was drawn. I also liked how Gon played with the Penguins.

What I didn’t like:

I hated it when Gon gave one piece of a banana to the Shark and how he behaved. It was a bit violent.

Would you recommend this to kids your age?

Yes. It’s not too violent and Gon is cute!

It is Armageddon!

The apocalypse is nigh, the end of the world is near, the impossible has happened. My local Barnes and Noble actually had a decently stocked manga section! (Cue dramatic chords).

This weekend I decided to go out and see if I could find a physical copy of King of Cards Volume 2. I’m not getting this one again sight unseen. My youngest was going to a birthday party, so I thought after dropping her off, we could drive down to the nearest Borders, which is about 20 minutes away. A check of their stock online said they might have it in stock. I had already written off Barnes and Noble. The one by us always has really lousy selection and the shelves are badly maintained. But, on a whim, I checked out the B&N website, and they said our local one might have it as well.

Well, B&N was on the way home, and a whole lot closer than Borders, so I decided to take the chance. (And, I had a gift card for B&N, just in case.) So, we stopped and went to the back of the store, and to my utter surprise, the shelves were full! OMG! (as my kids would say) I was stunned for a moment that not only were the shelves stocked, but I could see them! No manga-cows were blocking the shelves! I could’t believe my eyes.

I immediately went to the other side (our manga section is a single four shelf, standing alone in the back) to the K’s. Shock again! Not only did they have some CMX titles in stock, but they had King of Cards Volume 2! And, it didn’t have printing error that I had already been hit with twice! There was something wrong. Things never go this right for me. It had to be a sign. A sign that the end was coming.

I now have my working volume, and am working at getting a credit for my printing error copy from the store I bought it from. I want to thank Johanna Draper Carlson of Comics Worth Reading, for trying to get the word out about my problem. But, apparently I AM the only person who will admit to reading this series.

I will be posting a review of this second book. Before the world ends.

King of Cards Volume 1

Manami doesn’t know a thing about “Chaos”, a popular trading card game at school. Wanting to learn more about the game, she purchases a beginner’s set that contains “Sahgan the Sorcerer”, rarest of all Chaos cards. Now, not only does every fanatical Chaos player around challenge her, but she also starts having visions of Sahgan himself!

King of Card Volume 2King of Cards Volume 1
By Makoto Tateno
Publisher: CMX
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Age Rating: Teen
Price: $9.99/OOP
Rating: ★★★★☆

There are a lot of manga titles about games available, but this series differentiates itself from the rest by relying more on its characters than on the mechanics of the game.

Manami just wanted to learn to play “Chaos,” so she could play with her cousin Tamotsu. But things become more complicated when her beginner’s set come with the rarest card in the game, Sahgan the Sorcerer. And as you might expect from a game series, she is then beset with challenges from players that all want to win Sahgan from her. And like all those other manga, she wins all the challenges. But what makes this series different is that Manami stays true to why she started playing Chaos; to have fun.

Being a beginner means she doesn’t get all the nuances and strategies for the game. I could really relate to Manami as she has her doubts about being able to get the hang of all the rules and card abilities. Despite these feelings, Manami keeps going, because she really likes the game. Her feelings start to rub off onto the more experienced players that have become jaded about the game. They are more interested in getting strong cards and winning than having fun. Manami is able to rekindle those feelings by her pure love of playing and respecting the game. She even goes so far as to risk Sahgan in game to help her cousin get back into the game, who quit after losing his prize card, Angel of Destruction, to a couple of guys that overwhelm their opponents with cheap monsters. She doesn’t want Tamotsu to quit because she wants to play with him, and it won’t be fun playing without him.

This series is billed as a fantasy/romance, though there’s been more fantasy than romance, unless you consider Sahgan appearing in Manami’s dreams as romantic, though they’ve been anything but. He never speaks, and only gives her clues to winning the current match. There isn’t any real tension at the matches, since, as I said, there isn’t as much emphasis put on the game itself. They are still fun to watch, and the game play is mildly interesting. This is definitely a shojo series as the characters take precedence over the game and Manami starts to build relationships with her fellow gamers.

King of Cards doesn’t really offer anything new to the shojo or gaming genre. But it is a fun read with characters that are interesting and easy to relate to.