What a wonderful treat to find in my mailbox! Viz Media has rescued 07-Ghost, a title originally published by Go! Comi before they went out of business. I know 07-Ghost wasn’t a popular title with everyone. Even I had a few difficulties with the first volume, but I was still sucked into the story and absolutely loved the character designs. I’ve only been able to get a hold of the first three volumes, the third being a lucky find at a Borders not long before every store was closed. I’ve wanted so much to read more, but never though anyone would pick it up. This is a wonderful Spring gift, and just before Wondercon. I wonder if Viz will have more surprises there. November can’t come fast enough! Thank you Viz!
Things are heating up in both worlds! Determined to prove himself a guy, Mashiro goes the distance to win Kureha. But will the new power of their bond survive the most shocking revelation so far – the true identity of the malevolent knight?
Have We Lost Our Soul?
Monday started out with a bang as new spread quickly on twitter and then the blogs that Go! Comi’s website had expired. Gia Manry of Anime Briefs caught the expiration first, and attempted to contact someone through voice, but couldn’t get ahold of anyone. No official word has come back from any reps of the company, which doesn’t bode well for its future. The speculation that the manga company for sale in Southern California was Go! Comi gets stronger by the minute. Even though this news wasn’t all that surprising, it is still a bit of a shock, and I hope there are some publishers out there willing to “troll” the Go! Comi licenses and give us some hope of seeing them through to the end. Jus don’t look to Yen Press for that.
Another Tremor in the Manga Market
And the news didn’t improve any on Tuesday, as Publishers Weekly broke the news that Viz Media had laid off 60 employees, or 40% of their total. The Doomsayers didn’t come out for this, but there was a lot of worry for the Signature/Ikki line, since it’s not a cash cow in regards to sales. Viz later posted on their blog that the layoffs were a part of a company restructuring, and that no titles were in danger of being cancelled. They must have gotten a lot of worried inquiries in order to post a message like that. It’s good to hear that none of our favorite titles will be going away anytime soon, but also sad that so many people had to lose their jobs. Here’s wishing them well and that they find new work soon.
The Path to Hell…
David Welsh of The Manga Curmudgeon writes about an email he received advocating a “new” way to get manga piracy sites shut down; tell the site advertisers that the site has child p_rn on it. While I’m sure the person/persons who came up with this approach had good intentions in wanting to stop the pirates and help manga publishers, I have to say it’s a terrible idea. I’m in complete agreement with David when he says this approach will demonize the content, which is the last thing we need. Manga and anime are still fighting the perception that is filled things bad for children to read (see next story), so we don’t need actual “fans” adding to that bad image. Publishers need to do the work to stop these sites from putting up their rightful content, and they don’t need this kind of “help” which would very likely backfire and make their product nearly impossible to shelf and sell since the perception will be that manga is for child p_orn.
Death Note:1 Book Banners:0
ANN reports on the results of an attempt to ban the manga Death Note from high schools in the Albuquerque Public School District. In short, a parent complained about the death in Death Note, going so far as to compare it to the Columbine shooting. This is a clear example of a parent either not reading or understanding what the title is about. There is not comparison between the two. Death Note is about justice and morality. Just who should get to decide who lives and who dies. Columbine was revenge. Death Note can get a kid thinking about things they probably never thought about before with respect to justice, and the death penalty, which as an adult they will have to deal with as a voter and juror. These are things that can’t be taught. But if presented properly can get the wheels turning so one can come to their own decision. That is the value of a series like Death Note.
Did You Remember to Call?
Sunday was Mother’s Day. Did you remember to call your mother and wish her a happy day? She could be lying on the floor of the kitchen right now, unable to get help and you would never know… Jason Yadao remembered Mother’s Day by giving a list of mothers in manga. While I didn’t do it this year, the previous two years I did posts about moms in manga as well. Jason hits a lot of moms I didn’t so check out all the lists for some great moms in manga. And for goodness sake, call your Mother. She’s worried about you.
NYT Best Seller List
Despite of, or maybe because of, Viz holds the 8 of the 10 slots again this week, and the biggest shock of it, Naruto is nowhere to be found on it! Let’s start off with checking in on Twilight in the Hardcover list. Is it back at #1? You betcha! Over in manga, Black Bird vol 4 holds the #1 slot, a book I wouldn’t have thought would make or deserve it, but it does, on both counts. Otomen vol 6 takes the #2 slot with D. Gray-man vol 17 coming in at #3. One Piece vol 44 takes the #4 position, with the only Yen Press title, Yotsuba&! vol 8 taking #5. One Piece cuts its way through again with vols 46 and 45 at #6 and #7 respectively while last week’s #1, Tsubasa vol 26, falls back to #8. One Piece then finishes out the list with vols 47 and 48 taking #9 and #10 spots. It’s another list of debuts, with Yotsuba&! and Tsubasa being the only titles to hold over from last week. All of the Viz titles are debuts. We’ll see how long this will last though. One Piece never seems to last past the first release week, though it is good to see all five making the cut again. But with Yen Press’ Black Butler coming out this week, I’m sure the #1 title next week will have Black in the title, it just won’t be a bird.
This Week at Manga Village
- One Piece Omnibus vol 1
- Kurashina-Sensei’s Passion vol 1-2
- Welcome to Wakaba-soh vol 2
- Weekly Picks
- Contributors Wanted
What I’m Reading
- Black Jack vol 7
April’s Movable Manga Feast
The third edition of the Movable Manga Feast began this week, with Ed Sizemore of Manga Worth Reading taking over the hosting duties. The series this time is Mushishi published by Del Rey Manga. An introduction to the series can be found here, while the full list of participates can be found here. The Feast lasts until Sunday, so keep watching for more posts on the series. I made my first contribution to the MMF with this series, which you can read here. If you have had any interest in this series, definitely check out some of the perspectives on it. You might be surprised.
How Much would you Pay?
Last week Yen Press announced they would be publishing Yen Plus as a digital magazine. This week Deb Aoki of Manga.About.Com has a poll asking how much would you pay for an online anthology. The results so far aren’t too surprising. I myself wouldn’t pay more than $5 for an online magazine the size of Yen Plus since I don’t enjoy reading manga online. I need it to be portable and an e-reader or tablet isn’t in my future anytime soon. What this poll does show is summed up pretty well by a comment made by David Welsh (@mangacur) on Twitter:
Just that manga purchasers seem kind of like public radio members these days. They opt to pay.
And just like public radio, it’s too bad more people don’t opt to pay as enjoy the content.
Chibi Vampire: Axis Powers
Tokyopop has been putting their Facebook page to use by announcing new licenses on it first. Last week came word of a new Chibi Vampire (Karin) volume called Airmail, that is comprised of short stories published after the main series ended. It will include side stories about the main characters as well as stories about some that were never seen. This week finally comes the announcement every has suspected but hadn’t been able to confirm. Tokyopop will be publishing the Hetalia: Axis Powers manga. Hints have been coming from the publisher for a while now, but it was made official on Friday.
Go Comi! Forums Down…But Are They Out?
Go Comi! is a publisher that a lot of people have worried about lately. They’ve been quiet, maybe too quiet. Kate Dacey of The Manga Critic caught on Twitter that their forums are down. This isn’t a good sign. Their blog has been silent since the fall, and their twitter account hasn’t seen an update since February. The forums was the last place we heard anything from the publisher and with it gone…maybe that ad a few weeks ago for a manga publisher for sale was Go Comi! I do hope it isn’t. They have some good titles that many would like to see finished.
NY Times Best Seller List
The balance of power shifts once more with new releases from Yen Press on this week’s list. First, let’s check on Twilight. Still #1 on the Hardback list? No?? The Hardback of Kick Ass, which debuted in theaters recently, has taken #1, relegating Twilight to #2. The Paperback list has another movie related title at #1 with Losers. Comics do benefit from movie tie-ins. We’ll see how long it lasts. Over in manga land, #1 belongs to Rosario Vampire Season II vol 1 once again. Yotsuba& vol 8 debuts at #2, sending Naruto vol 47 back one to #3. Spice and Wolf vol 1 also debuts at #4, and Black Butler vol 1 move up one to #5. Gentlemen’s Alliance Cross vol 11 falls three to #6 as does Yu-Gi-Oh! R vol 4 to #7. Nightschool vol 3 debuts at #8, Alice in the Country of Hearts vol 1 returns once again to #9 and Soul Eater vol 2 falls back one to #10. It’s quite a respectable showing for Yen Press, with 3 debuts, including an OEL title that not based on a novel series. They dominate with 5/10, and three of those being in the top 5.
Manga For Your Ears
- Episode 20 – 27:43 – Twin Spica/Vampire Hunter D on the PSP
This Week at Manga Village
- Antique Bakery
- I’ve Moved Next Door to You
- Twin Spica
- Weekly Picks
- MMF: Mushishi at Manga Village
- Contributors Wanted
What I’m Reading
- Black Bird vol 3
- Black Bird vol 4
- Goong vol 2
- Goong vol 3
Most of the time, when comparing a manga to an anime, the anime takes liberties that can make it less like its source, and often not as good. 07-Ghost is one of those rare exceptions. The manga started in Japan in 2005 in the magazine Monthly Comic Zero Sum, the same magazine that publishes Saiyuki. Eight volumes are available The manga was licensed by Go Comi! here in the states, and there are 4 volumes published. The anime ran from April to Septermber 2009, and went for 25 episodes.
But Is It Contagious?
Love to love it, or love to hate it, the release of the Twilight manga is eminent. Manga fans have been expressing (mostly) their disdain for the series and a NIBY attitude about it. Shaenon Garrity, a respected writer about manga points out that the themes in Twilight are nothing new. In fact, the themes in Twilight are not only prevalent in shojo, a lot of it has been done before! So quit whining about it. In the end, it’ll do more good than harm. Someone needs to be able to challenge Viz, and right now, it seems like Yen Press’ adaptations are the only ones with the steam power. See the NYT Bestseller List below.
07-Ghost Volume 2
By Yuki Amemiya & Yukino Ichihara
Publisher: Go! Comi
Age Rating: Older Teen
Teito Klein, inheritor of the Eye of Mikhail, has found refuge from the military in the Sanctuary of the Barsburg Church. But dark forces are conspiring to return Teito to the ruthless hands of Chief Ayanami, the manga who killed his father, when Teito’s best and only friend arrives at the church under suspicious circumstances, Teito warmly embraces him, only to discover to his horror that Mikage has been turned into a tool of the military, and is bent on capturing Teito – even if it means his own destruction.
The story continues to move along as a steady trot in this second volume of 07-Ghost. Teito must deal with tragedy again, one that could easily break him, but with Frau and Castor’s help, he is able to find the strength to go on. This volume introduces some new characters, while increasing the danger to Teito in his supposed sanctuary.
07-Ghost Volume 1
By Yuki Amemiya & Yukino Ichihara
Publisher: Go! Comi
Age Rating: 16+
Teased unmercifully for his past as an orphan and a slave, Teito has only his best friend Mikage to ease his days to the elite Barsburg Academy – and his mastery of the magical art of zaiphon! But even that will not be enough to save him when he discovers a horrifying secret behind the ruling empire. Trapped in an ancient battle between a wicked god and Seven Ghost, guided by three mysterious priests, Teito discovers a power that could save the world…and shed light on his own mysterious past.
A first read through 07-Ghost can leave you feeling confused. A lot of information and characters get thrown at you with little explanation of what’s going on, who anyone is, or why they are important. This can leave a bad taste in your mouth if you’re not willing to let it sink in or give the book another read. Of course, you shouldn’t have to for a book that isn’t heavy on plot. But, if you give this title another chance, you’ll find and intriguing story and some really fun characters.