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Manga Gift Guide 2014

It’s that time of the year again, where you have to go shopping for the manga readers in your life, but have no idea what to get them. No worries, here’s just one more gift guide to give you ideas of what to buy for who. For suggestions from previous years (some titles maybe out of print or digital only), check out my guides from 2013, 2010, and 2009.

Cardfight Vanguard 1Card Game Lover – The king of card game manga is Yu-Gi-Oh!, but it is far from the only title worth reading out there. Cardfight! Vanguard is from Vertical Comics and is about timid Aichi Sendou who knows all about the card game Vanguard, and even has a deck, but has never played. When his most prized card is stolen, he ventures into a card shop to battle for his card back. While some would call this series a derivative of Yu-Gi-Oh!, there are enough differences in character and plot to really veer it onto its own path. The emphasis on having fun and making friends eclipses the  more competitive aspects of playing games which I think is a good thing. There are currently 4 volumes available.

Another MangaMystery/Thriller Lover – Everyone loves a good mystery. Another from Yen Press is a great mystery with the right amounts of thrill and horror. It is the adaptation of the novel by the same name, which is also available from Yen Press. Middle school student Koichi Sakakibara has transferred into Yomiyama North Middle School, to live with his grandparents while his father goes off to work in India. Something is strange about his class though. It is cursed. On random years someone from the class how had died previously would come back, and everyone’s memories would be altered so no one suspected. Then at least one person connected with the class would die in mysterious and sometimes gruesome ways. Koichi is determined to find a way to end the curse, and is helped by Mei Misaki, a girl outcast from the class as a charm to ward off the curse. I loved this story. The mystery is elegantly built up, and the identity of the “Casuality was a complete surprise, but when you go back and read it again, all the clues are there, and make perfect scene. It’s a single volume omnibus. Also check out the novel, since some changes were made to the story for the manga.

AoT 1Action/Horror Lover – There are plenty of action/horror titles, but only one can stand at the top of the pile; Attack on Titan from Kodansha Comics. This story of humanity’s attempt to survive after the apocalypse brought on by the appearance of Titans, giants that have only one goal; eat humans. Humanity has been at peace for 100 years, hiding being their 50 meter tall walls, keeping the Titans at bay. Until, one day, a Colossal Titan appears and kicks open the door in Wall Maria, releasing the Titans, and forcing humanity back. The story follows Eren Yeager and his friends Mikasa and Arwin, as they train and join the Survey Corps, the group that fights Titans. This series took the west by storm last year, and hasn’t given an inch since. Its story and characters are well written enough that the poor art can be forgiven. There are currently 14 volumes of the main series, and three spin-off series, including a light novel from Vertical.

What did you eat yesterdayFood Lover – Food comics is a genre particular to manga. There are tons of about finding, making and eating food. What Did You Eat Yesterday? is from Vertical Comics and is created by well-known foodie mangaka Fumi Yoshinaga. It is about a gay couple, one is an outgoing hair stylist Kenji and the other is a more reserved lawyer Shiro. Each chapter is a slice of life about their jobs, family and friends, and a detailed description of the  meal Shiro prepares each night. You can almost use the chapters as a cook book with how detailed Yoshinaga gets. The relationship between Shiro and Kenji is just as interesting as it shows the realities of living gay in Japan. Some people might mistake this series for BL, especially considering the creator, but it is far from it. The only love going on in this series is for the food. There are currently 5 volumes available.

Insufficient DirectionUber Geek – Do you know someone who think they know everything about anime, manga, and tokusatsu? Then Insufficient Direction from Vertical Comics is the title for them. It is a sort-of autobiography by mangaka Moyoko Anno about her marriage to ultimate otaku Hideaki Anno, best known as the director of Neon Genesis Evangelion. The book is filled with references to old school anime and tokusatsu shows such as Super Sentai and Kamen Rider. It tells the story of the slow evolution of a (pseudo) normal wife into a full otaku-wife. It’s done in one volume.

Say I Love You 1My little Monster 1Teen Romance Lover – There are a lot of romances out there, but Kodansha Comics has managed to release two titles that sound similar, but take very different paths. My Little Monster and Say I Love You both are about a girl who was betrayed by “friends” when she was younger, and has grown up thinking she doesn’t need any. Then they meet a boy who gets to them and slowly peels away their armor to win their friendship and maybe even heart. The two titles verge from each other in their characters and the way they look at relationships among them. My Little Monster is more like a teeter-totter, with the two main characters see-sawing up and down about their feelings. Say I Love You takes a realistic look at teenage relationships as the main character’s slowly grow closer. There are four volumes of each series currently available.

happy marriageMature Romance Lover – There aren’t a lot of romance titles for readers ready to move up from the teen/high school romances, but that is slowly changing. Viz Media has started to license more of these. Happy Marriage?! is about Chiwa Takanashi, an office lady who is forced to marry the president of the company she works for, Hokuto Mamiya, in order to pay off her father’s debts. Their marriage starts off on a bumpy road, as they barely know each other, and have to keep their relationship a secret at work. They butt heads a lot, but Chiwa slowly starts to see Hokuto isn’t as bad as he may seem, and Hokuto stops being so much of a jerk. The office environment is  a nice change from school, and the problems faced by Chiwa are easier to relate to for older readers. There are nine volumes currently available. The series is complete at ten.

SparklerSamplerIssue_coverOEL Lover – With the demise of Yen Plus, there really haven’t been any publishers releasing original English language created works. Enter Sparkler Monthly, a digital monthly magazine published by Chromatic Press that features prose stories, audio, and comics created by western artists. The magazine is in its second year and has completed several of their debut titles. There are no limits on genre; the stories range from supernatural to science fiction and any kind of romance can be found in its pages. The magazine has strong female gaze leanings, but the stories are far from female exclusive. The magazine is subscriber supported, though new content is made available for free to read online for a few weeks each month. A gift subscription would make the perfect gift for the discerning reader that keeps giving all year, and more subscriptions guarantee more great content!

INUxBOKU_SSv1_TPYokai Lover – Yokai are monsters particular to Japan, and are a lot of fun to boot. Inu x Boku SS from Yen Press is about Ririchiyo Shirakiin, a girl from a family of old money who also has Ayakashi blood running through her. Wanting to live on her own, she moves into the apartment building Maison de Ayakashi, which is occupied by others like her, who have members of the building’s Secret Service protecting them. Ririchiyo is assigned Soushi Miketsukaim, who is very protective of her. Ririchiyo learns to open up to others and makes friends while something sinister haunts in the background. The series has a nice variety of yokai, and most of the characters are fun and interesting. Some you will either love or hate. There are currently five volumes available, with the sixth out in January.

Vinland Saga 1Non-Manga/History Lover – Vikings have been quite a hit lately, so it is perfect timing that Kodansha Comics has started releasing Vinland Saga. The series follows Thorfinn as he seeks revenge for his father’s death at the hands of mercenary Askeladd. The series portrays life in the Nordic lands with all the harsh realities and violence of the time. Nothing is sugar-coated, and it can be graphic at times, but it also tells a gripping story of war, survival, history and honor. Each volume is a 2-in-1 omnibus hardback, with its presentation as good as it’s content.The strong historical basis will appeal to the history buff, while the non-manga lover will enjoy the epic story and earthy art. There are currently five volumes available.


PR: Viz Media Manga Gift Ideas

Not sure what to get the manga lover in your life? Viz Media has some suggestions from their extensive library of titles!


 2014 Holiday Releases Include New Manga Box Sets, Shojo And Action/Sci-fi Manga Series And Other Exciting Gift Ideas For Any Special Fan!

 San Francisco, CA, November 11, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, has announced a compelling array of manga, special box sets, novels and other titles that will make ideal gifts to suit a wide range of budgets and interests to delight readers and fans of all ages this holiday season.

VampireKnight_BoxSet02-3DNotable selections, which will be available in plenty of time for the start of the 2014 holiday shopping season, include lavish new box set editions for manga series BLACK BIRD, ONE PIECE, and VAMPIRE KNIGHT as well as the hardcover  storybook – PRINCESS MONONOKE: THE FIRST STORY – an oversized, full-color edition of the original Princess Mononoke story, created by Hayao Miyazaki in 1980 while he was first conceptualizing the landmark animated film.

New and exemplary shojo manga series from VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint that also will make thoughtful gifts include KISS OF THE ROSE PRINCESS and YUKARISM, a new manga series by the creator of YURARA AND RASETSU that launches December 2nd. Fans and readers of the gothic drama VAMPIRE KNIGHT will not want to miss a special limited edition of the series’ final volume, along with the release of VAMPIRE KNIGHT: FLEETING DREAMS, a special collection of short stories based on Matsuri Hino’s critically acclaimed series.

Action fans can dive into the debut of the new RESIDENT EVIL series from the VIZ Signature imprint, as well as two exciting new Shonen Jump series, teen-friendly WORLD TRIGGER and Takeshi Obata’s ALL YOU NEED IS KILL, the stunning manga realization of the popular Japanese sci-fi novel written by Hiroshi Sakurazaka that also inspired the blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow film that starred Tom Cruise.

Sci-fi readers also are invited to take note of ASURA GIRL and PHANTASM JAPAN, a pair of riveting new literary releases from the company’s Haikasoru imprint.


ONE PIECE MANGA Box Set Vol. 2 · Rated “T” for Teens ·
MSRP: $185.99 U.S. / CAN · Available Now! 

The latest ONE PIECE manga box set features Volumes 24-46, which comprise the series’ third and fourth story arcs – Skypiea and Water Seven. The Box Set also features a full-color poster and special ONE PIECE mini-comic. As a child, ONE PIECE main character Monkey D. Luffy dreamed of becoming King of the Pirates. But his life changed when he accidentally ate the Gum-Gum Fruit, an enchanted Devil Fruit that gave him the ability to stretch like rubber. The only drawback? He’ll never be able to swim again – a serious handicap for an aspiring sea dog! Years later, Luffy sets off on his quest to find the “One Piece,” said to be the greatest treasure in the world…

BLACK BIRD MANGA Box Set · Rated “T+” for Older Teens ·
MSRP: $149.99 U.S. / CAN · Available Now! 

The BLACK BIRD Complete Box Set features the entire series run of 18 volumes. In the acclaimed series crated by Kanoko Sakurakouji, there is a world of myth and magic that intersects ours, and only a special few can see it. Misao Harada is one such person, and she wants nothing to do with magical realms. She just wants to have a normal high school life and maybe get a boyfriend. But she is the bride of demon prophecy, and her blood grants incredible powers, her flesh immortality. Now the demon realm is fighting over the right to her hand…or her life!

VAMPIRE KNIGHT Manga Box Set 2 · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens ·
MSRP: $89.99 U.S. / $99.99 CAN · Available November 4th!

This comprehensive manga box set features the second-half of the VAMPIRE KNIGHT manga series, Volumes 11-19, along with the hardcover 42-page art book. Set is contained in a gorgeously illustrated slipcase.

NOTABLE holiday shojo manga:

 YUKARISM · Rated “T” for Teens · MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN ·
Available December 2nd  

In this new manga series by the creator of YURARA AND RASETSU, Yukari Kobayakawa, an accomplished author at the age of 17, writes with amazingly accurate details about historical Japan. As it turns out, he has the ability to slip into his past life in the Edo period – as a beautiful, renowned courtesan named Yumurasaki!

 KISS OF THE ROSE PRINCESS · Rated “T” for Teens ·
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN · Available Now! 

Anise Yamamoto has been told that if she ever removes the rose choker given to her by her father, a terrible punishment will befall her. Unfortunately she loses that choker when a bat-like being falls from the sky and hits her. Anise is granted four cards representing four knights whom she can summon with a kiss. But now that she has these gorgeous men at her beck and call, what exactly is her quest?!

VAMPIRE KNIGHT Vol. 19 (Series finale) Limited edition ·
Rated “T+” for Teens · MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN · Available Now! 

Savor the tense finale to Matsuri Hino’s acclaimed paranormal series in a limited edition featuring an exclusive alternate cover and a hardcover 42-page art book.

VAMPIRE KNIGHT: FLEETING DREAMS · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN / $10.99 Digital · Available December 2nd!

Fans will not want to miss this special collection of short stories by Ayuna Fujisaki based on VAMPIRE KNIGHT, with illustrations by Matsuri Hino! Stories include “Deranged Love,” in which a dying Rido reflects on his obsessive love for Juri. Kaname seeks to reward Yuki for doing well on her studies with tutor Aido in “Gifts for Yuki.” The story of Sara’s first love is revealed in “Hidden Love.” In “Queen of the Abyss,” after Zero parts ways with Yuki and returns to being a vampire hunter, he encounters a vampire named Shien.


ALL YOU NEED IS KILL · Rated “T+” for Older Teens ·
MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN · Available Now! 

AllYouNeedIsKill_Omni01_CatalogTakeshi Obata’s ALL YOU NEED IS KILL originally premiered in VIZ Media’s WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP digital manga anthology earlier this year and is the stunning manga realization of the popular Japanese sci-fi novel, written by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. In this rousing action story, when the alien Mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his 158th iteration, he gets a message from a mysterious ally – the female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death?

world trigger · Rated “T” for Teens ·
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN · Available Now! 

“Destroy thy Neighbor” in Daisuke Ashihara’s thrilling sci-fi action manga series, WORLD TRIGGER! Earth is under constant threat from Neighbors, invincible monsters from another dimension that destroy humanity’s way of life. At least there are the elite agents of Border, warriors who co-opt alien technology to fight back. Our hero Osamu Mikumo may not be the best agent, but along with his Neighbor friend Yuma, he’ll do whatever it takes to defend life on Earth as we know it.


 RESIDENT EVIL · Rated “M” for Mature Readers ·
MSRP: $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN · Available Now! 

Discover the sinister beginnings of the Resident Evil story in the first-ever manga series based on the smash hit game property. The highly virulent C-virus became a global disaster, but where did the outbreak start? In the series’ opening volume, at the prestigious and elite Marhawa Academy in Singapore, a female student suffers a horrifying transformation. Called in to investigate, Professor Doug Wright and his nephew Ricky find themselves caught up in a deadly and growing tragedy. As things get rapidly out of hand, Chris Redfield and his team from the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance arrive on the scene, while behind it all a mysterious figure looms.


PRINCESS MONONOKE: THE FIRST STORY · MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN · Available Now! 

This is the original Princess Mononoke story, created by Hayao Miyazaki in 1980 while he was first conceptualizing the landmark animated film that would be released to universal acclaim seventeen years later. As an initial version of the tale, it offers a new and significantly different perspective from the final version presented in the film. After a long, exhausting war, a samurai lost in a forest encounters a giant wildcat – a mononoke. The beast saves his life, but at the price of his daughter’s hand in marriage…


ASURA GIRL · MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN · Available Now!  

This tense urban drama about the violent and sexually charged life of a Japanese teenage girl in Tokyo is offered in English for the very first time. Seventeen-year-old Aiko lives a life of casual sex and casual violence, though at heart she remains a schoolgirl with an unrequited crush on her old classmate Yoji Kaneda. Life is about to get harder for Aiko, as a recent fling, Sano, has been kidnapped, and the serial killer Round-and-Round Devil has begun slaughtering children. The youth are rioting in the streets, egged on by the underground Internet bulletin board known as the Voice from Heaven. Expecting that Yoji will come and save her from the madness, Aiko posts a demand for her own murder on Voice of Heaven but will she be left waiting…or worse?

 PHANTASM JAPAN · MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN · Available Now! 

The secret history of the most famous secret agent in the world. A bunny costume that reveals the truth in our souls. The unsettling notion that Japan itself may be a dream. The tastiest meal you’ll never have, a fedora-wearing neckbeard’s deadly date with a yokai, and the worst work shift anyone—human or not—has ever lived through. Welcome to Phantasm Japan, Haikasoru’s latest anthology of fantasy stories from around the world, including new tales by New York Times best-seller Zachary Mason, horror master Gary A. Braunbeck, popular Japanese author Miyuki Miyabe, and much more.

For more information on other manga titles from VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.

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 ONE PIECE, 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 www.VIZ.com.

Manga Dome Podcast Episode 34: Manga Gift Guide 2013


Manga Dome header

This week I look at the new licenses from Seven Seas Entertainment, the Vizmanga.com update, the NYT Best Seller List, and a new gift guide of manga for 2013.

Continue reading Manga Dome Podcast Episode 34: Manga Gift Guide 2013

2010 Manga Gift Guide

Continuing the tradition from last year, I’ve decided to put together a new gift guide for the manga reader(s) in your life. I changed up some of the types this year, and am featuring all new titles. Check out last year’s guide for some other types that might not be on this list or for more variety. And check out All About Manga for other lists part of the Great Manga Gift Guide for 2010.

Continue reading 2010 Manga Gift Guide

This Week in Manga: 11/20-11/26/10

What with Thanksgiving being this week, it seems the mangasphere has taken the week off, so it’s going to be a short edition of the news. So we’ve got shopping advice, eating until you explode, OOP and doujinshi digital manga in Japan, podcasts and the Manga Village roundup, all after the bread…err…break.

Continue reading This Week in Manga: 11/20-11/26/10

2009 Manga Gift Guide

After the NYT posted a graphic novel gift list now with manga on it, David Welsh sent out a call to action on Twitter, for manga gift guides.  This is my response to that call.   I’ve decided to put together a manga gift guide for 10 different possible types of people in your life.  I really could have kept going with this list.  There are so many good titles to recommend, but I’ll leave those to my fellow bloggers who also answered the call.

Continue reading 2009 Manga Gift Guide

This Week in Manga 11/14-11/20/09

No Manga Love from the New York Times…Again

This week the New York Times released their holiday gift guide for graphic novels, and it should come as no surprise to anything that follows the NYT’s blog that manga doesn’t get any love from the writers in charge.  This list was no different.  David Welsh of the Precious Curmudgeon blog decided to take matters into his own hands.  He announced on Twitter that he would be doing his own holiday gift guide for manga, and invited other manga bloggers to join him.  Watch for David’s list on Thanksgiving, and other lists from Kuriostiy, Okazu and Manga Bookshelf blogs next week just to name a few.

Continue reading This Week in Manga 11/14-11/20/09