Tag Archives: Manga

Weekly Top Ten – May 9, 2015

Weekly Top Ten Manga

Every week, the New York Times and Amazon posts the top ten bestselling books. The New York Times gets their numbers from print sales from retailers, while Amazon and Vizmanga.com calculates their own numbers. Once a month the Nielsen Bookscan posts their top twenty graphic novels of which manga is included. Offered here is a listing of these books with their status this week compared with the previous week, and some way-off analysis of the activity.



New York Times Bestseller List for the week ending May 2, 2015

  1. Mobile Suit Gundam 9Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Vol 9     ∗
  2. Akame ga Kill! Vol 2     ↓ 1
  3. Noragami Vol 4     ∗
  4. Naruto Vol 69     ↵ 7
  5. Attack on Titan Vol 1     96
  6. Big Hero Six Vol 1     ↓ 3
  7. Death Note Vol 1     ↵ 3
  8. Attack on Titan Vol 15     ↓ 2
  9. Assassination Classroom Vol 1     ↓ 4
  10. Akame ga Kill! Vol 1     ↓

Forget about Titans, it’s the attack of the vol 1s! Half of the list this week is composed of vol 1s. Death Note, Assassination Classroom, and Akame ga Kill! join Attack on Titan and Big Hero Six in holding spots on the list. The top title goes not to a vol 1, but vol 9 as Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin gets closer to its end. Noragami Vol 4 is the only other debut manga to make the list this week. Naruto Vol 69 seems to has lost its sheen as it nears its finale. It doesn’t seem to have the same staying power it used to. Maybe losing the drama between Naruto and Sasuke has made fans lose interest as well.



Amazon.com for the week ending May 9, 2015

  1. LegendOfZelda-LinkToThePast-3DLegend of Zelda: A Link to the Past     ↔
  2. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1 Phantom Blood Vol 2     ↵
  3. Rosario+Vampire Season II Vol 14     ↓ 1
  4. The Devil is a Part-Timer Novel Vol 1     ∗
  5. Attack on Titan Vol 15     ↑ 1
  6. Berserk Vol 1     ↵
  7. Uzumaki 3-in-1 Deluxe Edition     ↵
  8. Sword Art Online Aincrad Novel Vol 2     ↓ 1
  9. Sword Art Online Progressive Novel Vol 1     ↵
  10. Attack on Titan Vol 1     ↓ 7

With the release of the actual volume, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past not only takes the top manga spot at Amazon, it also overtakes Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, an art book that has held #1 for months. So Legend of Zelda takes over from Legend of Zelda. It’s kind of like howAttack on Titan used to be. Yen Press’ new light novel The Devil is a Part-Timer debuts respectably, charting in the top 5. Viz’s re-release of Uzumaki is getting more love, possibly in anticipation of the new Junji Ito manga, Fragments of Horror, set to come out in June.



Nielsen Book Scan Top 20 for the month of April 2015

Attack on Titan 156. Attack on Titan Vol 15
11. Big Hero Six Vol 1
12. Naruto Vol 69

Manga loses a couple of spots from last month as comic readers prepare for the big summer releases from Marvel mostly. Attack on Titan and Naruto are the titles you would expect to see, but Big Hero Six might slip under people’s radar. The movie did okay here, but fans love it a lot. Wondercon was filled with Big Hero Six cosplay, and being a Disney property gives it a lot of marketing behind it. I expect it hold out next month too.

∗ = New Release
↑ = Title moved up specified # of spots
↓ = Title moved down specified # of spots
↔ = Title didn’t moved from previous week
↵ = Title returned after dropping off list with total # of weeks (when available)

Pandora Hearts Volume 12-20

The truth behind the tragedy of Sablier, and the identities of Jack Vessalius, Glen Baskerville, Oz, and Alice are all finally revealed in these 9 volumes. But the path to these truths is filled with twists and turns, and danger hides around every corner where friends become foes, allies fall, and hope seems completely lost at times.

Pandora Hearts Volume 12-20
PandoraHeartsV12_TPBy Jun Mochizuki
Publisher: Yen Press
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Fantasy
Price: $13.00
Rating: ★★★★☆

Reading these nine volumes of Pandora Hearts was a lot like eating potato chips; you can’t read just one. I had let this series pile up, which in retrospect was probably a good thing. I ended up binge reading these volumes. So much was revealed in each volume, that I had to keep going. Things start with the calm before the storm; a tea party for Oz and his friends, and Oz’s society debut at the mysterious Isla Yura’s residence in a neighboring state. Things pretty much go down hill from there, rolling like a snowball, growing in size and showing no sign of stopping.

Pandora13_FINAL I loved all of the revelations that were made in these volumes. The truth of so many things is finally uncovered when Oz is able to see Jack’s memories. It all starts when Jack first meets Lacie as a young homeless boy. She gives him the encouragement he needs make something of himself, but he becomes obsessed with her, and that starts Jack down the path of destruction that leads straight to the Tragedy of Sablier. The memories also show the truth about the Baskervilles and their connection to the Abyss, as well as the origins of the B-Rabbit chain, and how Alice really died. Gilbert and Alice both gets their memories back as well, filling in a few more pieces. Finally seeing the whole picture of what lead of the tragedy of Sablier was the highlight of these volumes. Having only seen fragments so far, it was fascinating to finally see everything in order, as well as the twisted logic that led to it.

Pandora14_FINAL As I read these volumes, I started wondering if Mochizuki was a fan of either Joss Whedon or George R.R. Martin, with the way characters, some I really liked, were being taken out. Yes, people die in these volumes. Some death are only of personality, others are mortally wounded. Some aren’t any real big loss, like Yura. Others fall to the mysterious head hunter. A few make you go “Noooo!!!” at their passing. The first big “no” moment is very well-built up. A second has had the previous 19 volumes that not only drives the knife in, but it twists it hard.

Pandora15_FINAL-198x300 The truth about Jack turns the world upside for a lot of people, with some who were one considered allies becoming foes, and Pandora turning on Oz/Jack. But while supposed allies turn, the true power of these volumes is in showing how important it is to connect with people. Every important choice made by many of the characters ends up being based on the importance of the others to them. Elliot is able to do what he must because of Leo. Oscar helps Oz because Oz, Gil, and Ada all saved him from his grief. Gil is able to reject his past role and embrace his new life because of Oz. Oz is able to accept who and what he is and choose to live because Elliot, Leo, Gil, Ada, Oscar and Alice all accepted him. It also give Oz the power to resist Jack, and maybe even defeat him.

These nine volumes of Pandora Hearts were a thrilling, gripping, heart wrenching ride. So many things make sense now, with most of the pieces of the puzzle put together, forming the true picture, but there is still more to learn. The Abyss and it’s center, The Intention are pieces yet to be fit in, and they are the most fascinating parts. The endgame is so close now, with only two volumes left to round things up. I will definitely be there to see the last pieces put into place.







Review copies provided by publisher.

This Week’s Manga: Ancient Magus Legend

This Week's Manga

LegendOfZelda-LinkToThePast-3DMost of the manga that comes out is rated Teen and up, but there are still some titles that are rated for all ages. Perfect Square is Viz Media’s imprint for all such titles, and this week sees the release of one of the most anticipated of the year. Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past is an adaptation of the Nintendo Game Boy Advance game of the same name. It was serialized in Nintendo Power magazine, and has seen print since 1993. It’s been on Amazon’s best-selling manga list since it first announced in February as a pre-order. How will it do as an official release? Also from Viz is the deluxe edition of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1 Phantom Blood Vol 2 which follows the adventures of the first Joseph Jostar. It’s pretty amazing the third part of this series, thought to be the best, barely sold 10 years ago, but the first part is not only selling incredibly well, it’s doing it as a hardcover at twice the price!

Ancient Magus Bride 1Two of Seven Seas Entertainment’s new titles are coming out this week. Ancient Magus’ Bride is one that a lot of fans have been looking forward to, including me. It’s a supernatural shonen romance and was nominated for the Manga Taisho award this year. The first has me interested, but the second has me excited to read it! Evergreen is by the creator of Tora Dora, also published by Seven Seas. It’s another shonen rom-com. I would be remiss if I didn’t give a plug to What Did You Eat Yesterday Vol 8 from Vertical Comics. This series is filled with such a sweet, honest relationship, it’s hard to not want to pick up the newest volume. Don’t let all the food porn scare you off.

Full List per Diamond Distributors

Tsubasa Omnibus Volume 4 GN, $19.99
Yamada Kun And The Seven Witches Volume 2 GN, $10.99

LBX Little Battlers Experience Volume 5 New Hope GN, $9.99
Legend Of Zelda A Link To The Past GN, $19.99
Pokemon Adventures Volume 28 GN, $9.99

Ancient Magus’ Bride Volume 1 GN, $12.99
Evergreen Volume 1 GN, $12.99

What Did You Eat Yesterday Volume 8 GN, $12.95

Black Rose Alice Volume 4 GN, $9.99
Bleach 3-In-1 Edition Volume 11 TP, $14.99
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1 Phantom Blood Volume 2 HC, $19.99
Kiss Of The Rose Princess Volume 4 GN, $9.99
Millennium Snow 2-In-1 Edition Volume 2 TP, $14.99
Naruto 3-In-1 Edition Volume 11 TP, $14.99
Nisekoi False Love Volume 9 GN, $9.99
Rosario+Vampire Season II Volume 14 GN, $9.99
Spell Of Desire Volume 4 GN, $9.99
Yu-Gi-Oh 3-In-1 Edition Volume 2 TP, $14.99

8th Annual Manga Taisho Award Winner

kakuBack in March, the winner of the 8th annual Manga Taisho award was announced. Of the 14 titles nominated, Kakukaku Shikajika by Akiko Higashimura was chosen to take the prize this year. Higashimura is mostly a josei artist, so her work isn’t widely known in the US, but she does have one that his constantly being requested in publisher surveys; the josei KuragehimeJellyfish Princess.

Kakukaku Shikajika, which can be translated as Such and Such, is a semi-autobiographical series about Higashimura when she was in her third year in high school. Through a friend, she starts going to an art class where the art teacher, Kenzo Hidaka, who intimidates his students by yelling at them and using a bamboo sword to force them to focus on their art work. The series is complete in 5 volumes, and was published in Shueisha’s women’s magazine, Chorus.

Manga about manga titles have been doing pretty well in the west, so I think this one would too. It’s a short series, only 5 volumes, and since Viz Media has been experimenting with josei-as-shojo titles, I think this series would really do well. The subject is something both men and women would be interested in reading, and the setting makes it more fitting for the 16+ shojo age range. I hope Viz Media takes a serious look at this series, especially now that it has won an award. Maybe if it does well enough, we could be one step closer to Jellyfish Princess.


Changes for Shonen Jump

Viz Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump has been seeing plenty of changes, just as the Japanese magazine does with titles coming and going. Lately, Viz’s WSJ has added two new regular titles to their line-up; Black Clover and the Naruto spin-off Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring.

blackclover Black Clover is about a boy named Astra. He and another boy named Yuna were abandoned at the same time at the same place as babies and have since become best friends both with the same goal; to become the next Wizard King. The only problem with their plan is while Yuna his highly skilled at using magic, Astra can’t. Astra isn’t discouraged, even at a coming-of-age ceremony, where Yuna receives a magic book with the legendary four leaf clover while Astra receives nothing. Sometime later, when Yuna is nearly defeated in battle, Astra’s true power is revealed as he is able to call on a book with a black five-leaved clover and wield powerful anti-magic. Astra never sees the book, but the pair head out into the world together to continue to compete for their goal.

Black Clover started as a three chapter preview for Viz’s Jump Start program back in February and became a regular at the end of March. It’s not too surprising with the superficial similarities to Naruto. A boy who can’t use the power everyone else can who wants to be the strongest, and a best friend who is better than him who is also his rival. Yeah, doesn’t sound like the setup for Naruto at all. /sarcasm. I haven’t read any of Black Clover yet, but it does sound like it has the makings of a hit for Viz.

Naruto spinoff Naruto recently ended its serialization after 15 years, but it seems you can’t keep an orange ninja down. The new spin-off, Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring picks up where the original manga left off. Naruto is now Hokage, with his image on the mountain side like he always dreamed. But in a karmic twist, he has a son, Boruto, who is just as bratty and stubborn as he was. The series features not just Naruto’s son, but all the other children of the heroes of Konoha.

Naruto was one of Viz’s biggest hits, so it’s no surprise that it would continue the franchise along with the Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump. Long time Naruto fans can stave off withdrawal for a little while longer, at least until summer, according to an interview with Kishimoto back in November.

Gakkyu HoteiBut with these additions, at least one title will be leaving. Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgement, the court drama set in an elementary school, is ending serialization in the issue out May 11. The series started as a Jump Start! series last summer and was added to the magazine in December. It was about Abaku Inugami, a student defense lawyer at his elementary school where students can take their fellow students court in the government sanctioned School Judgement System. The series is drawn by Takeshi Obata, and written by Nobuaki Enoki. I really enjoyed the chapters I was able read in the free issues Shonen Jump made available in January for their anniversary. I’m definitely going to be picking up the collected volumes no matter what format they are released in.

If you liked the Jump Start! of Cyborg Roggy, don’t hold your breath for it to join the magazine. It is ending in the same issue as Gakkyu Hotei. The Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump is debuting three new titles with these endings, so we will have to see if there will be another round of Jump Start! for them.




Weekly Top Ten – May 2, 2015

Weekly Top Ten Manga

Every week, the New York Times and Amazon posts the top ten bestselling books. The New York Times gets their numbers from print sales from retailers, while Amazon and Vizmanga.com calculates their own numbers. Once a month the Nielsen Bookscan posts their top twenty graphic novels of which manga is included. Offered here is a listing of these books with their status this week compared with the previous week, and some way-off analysis of the activity.



New York Times Bestseller List for the week ending April 25, 2015

  1. Akame ga Kill 2Akame ga Kill! Vol 2     ∗
  2. Log Horizon Novel Vol 1     ∗
  3. Big Hero 6 Vol 1     ↓ 2
  4. Citrus Vol 2     ↑ 3
  5. Assassination Classroom Vol 1     ↵ 8
  6. Attack on Titan Vol 15     ↓ 3
  7. Attack on Titan Vol 1     ↓ 5
  8. Akame ga Kill Vol 1     ↑ 1
  9. Assassination Classroom Vol 3     ↓ 3
  10. Assassination Classroom Vol 2     ↵ 6

Yen Press has two titles debut this week in the top two spots. Akame ga Kill! Vol 2 takes over the top spot and is followed closely by Log Horizon Vol 1, the light novel. Last week’s #1, also from Yen Press, Big Hero 6 Vol 1 falls to #3, but it still leaves Yen Press with a lock on the top three. Seven Seas’ yuri title Citrus Vol 2 moves up the charts to the top five. Kodansha’s only titles are a pair of Titans, while Viz Media’s Assassination Classroom plays a three-of-a-kind as it has a resurgence as the first two volumes return to keep the newest release, vol 3 company.



Amazon.com for the week ending May 2, 2015

  1. LegendOfZelda-LinkToThePast-3DLegend of Zelda A Link to the Past     ↔
  2. Rosario + Vampire Season II Vol 14     ∗
  3. Attack on Titan Vol 1     ↑ 1
  4. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1 Phantom Blood Vol 2     ↵
  5. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon Novel Vol 1     ↓ 1
  6. Attack on Titan Vol 15     ↓ 4
  7. Sword Art Online Aincrad Novel Vol 2     ↵
  8. Monster Musume Vol 6     ↵
  9. Akame ga Kill! Vol 2     ↓ 2
  10. Log Horizon Novel Vol 1     ↓ 2

Legend of Zelda is back to holding on the to top spot with its release so imminent. Two other Viz Media pre-orders sneak onto the list with Rosario + Vampire Season II Vol 14 and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1 Phantom Blood Vol 2 charting in the top five. I’m kind of surprised by the longevity of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon Vol 1. It makes me wonder if there’s something more to the title. What’s not surprising is the continued charting of Attack on Titan and return of Monster Musume.

∗ = New Release
↑ = Title moved up specified # of spots
↓ = Title moved down specified # of spots
↔ = Title didn’t moved from previous week
↵ = Title returned after dropping off list with total # of weeks (when available)


Orange Junk Volume 2

The awkward feelings between Louise and Bruce are growing, though it seems like Louise will never realize what’s going on in Bruce’s head. But when Bruce’s family runs into even more financial trouble and he needs money fast, a modeling competition may be the best–and most embarrassing–way to solve all his problems at once.

Orange Junk Volume 2
orangejunk_vol2_ebookcover_finalBy Heldrad
Publisher: Chromatic Press
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Price: $6.00/eBook – Free at Sparkler Monthly
Rating: ★★★★½

The second volume of Orange Junk starts a new arc that takes the characters out of school and into a modeling competition. The change of venue brings in new characters, including a rival for Louise’s affections, and plenty of new opportunities for comedy and drama.

I really enjoyed this second volume, possibly more than the first. While the series does use the shojo tropes well, all the time spent at school was starting to drag. This volume changes that as the characters move into new environments. Bruce’s mother has to be hospitalized, and as the bread-winner with no insurance, it’s up to him to try to find a way to cover everything. Enter the male modeling competition with a cash prize for 1st place. While Bruce is away, Drew and Louise spend more time at Bruce’s helping out with his siblings and being all domestic. Drew is really cute with the kerchief on his head, baby on his back and broom in his hand. While Louise isn’t much help domestically, it is a chance to get out of her house and away from the drama brewing there. While we don’t see it as much in this volume, there are subtle hints that things may be getting worse instead of better.

The modeling competition is really where all the fun and excitement is. Bruce’s change from tough guy to chic is amazing, though I do like his “hedgehog” hair better. It’s cute seeing how uncomfortable and vulnerable he was answering the personal questions, going through the makeover, and walking the runway in a speedo. A couple of new characters are also introduced. Ryan is one of modeling competitors, who Louise calls Flower Boy. He looks much younger than his stated 21 years, and isn’t really interesting in winning the competition. He becomes friends with Bruce. Miles Reagan, who Bruce’s sister Jenny calls “Refined Boy,” is the son of the man who cause Louise’s family to go bankrupt. He has feelings for Louise and thinks he can turn her around and get her to reciprocate them. The scene where he first talks to Louise with Ryan and Bruce is really funny and shows everyone’s level of comprehension of the situation. It was great.

Miles’ declaration to win Louise back is going to be a problem for Bruce and Louise as the pair have been slowly realizing their feeling for each other. Both spend a lot of time blushing as Bruce dreams of Louise, and through the competition, Louise sees a lot of more of Bruce’s body. It’s hard to imagine Miles having any kind of chance getting between them, but some things he says to Louise implies more was going on than she knows between their families. But he comes off so smarmy that I really don’t want to see him either win the competition or even Louise’s friendship.

This second volume of Orange Junk was very addicting, making it hard for to pull away. The competition should really start heating up now that Bruce has decided to get serious, and the stakes were raised by Miles. I love that it’s the guy that gets to be the model and objectified instead of the girl. This twist is part of what really made this volume fun for me. I’m really looking forward to seeing where the story goes in the next volume, and am really glad Sparkler added it to the magazine, so I can get in monthly chunks.

Become a member and get Sparkler Monthly every month with a $5 monthly subscription, pay for a year for $50 and save $10, or become a VIP for $125 and get back downloads of serialized titles as well as Cherry Bomb adult stories.

PR: FCBD 2015 With Viz Media

Manga publishers have been hit or miss with the Free Comic Book Day promotion. Dark Horse sometimes has had a preview of a title or two included with their regular comics and  Yen Press has made previews of their original books available in the past. Kodansha is joining in this year with a preview of Attack on Titan as well as some of their other high performing titles Fairy Tail, Seven Deadly Sins and Noragami, but Viz Media has been the most consistent publisher to participate, and this year is no different. They have titles in both the Gold and Silver categories ranging from all ages to older teen. If you have time and comic shop or library participating near you this year, you should definitely go check it out. It can be a lot of fun, and you never know,  you might find a new book to read for you and/or your kids!

Continue reading PR: FCBD 2015 With Viz Media

This Week’s Manga: MangaHOLiC

Weekly Top Ten Manga

xxxHolic Rei 3 Kodansha and Seven Seas Entertainment is getting the lion’s share of releases this week. Kodansha releases more of their newer titles with Maria The Virgin Witch Vol 2 which seems to have a lot going on under the surface. Noragami: Stray God has been doing well, so I expect to see vol 4 hit the NYT bestseller list in the next few weeks. The third volume of xxxHolic Rei is released just as it is announced in Japan that CLAMP will resume work on the series. Good timing for Kodansha. Dark Horse got stuck with the still on hiatus series Gate 7, but then, with Dark Horse’s sometimes glacial release schedule, who would notice?

Certain Scientific Railgun 10Seven Seas releases a new Alice in the Country of title; Alice in the Country of Clover: The March Hare’s Revolution. Elliot has done pretty well in the Alice pairings. How many does this make now 3? 4? 5?? A Certain Sceinetific Railgun Vol 10 is released this week, catching the series up with its Japanese counterpart. It’s a good thing Yen Press has the main series, A Certain Magical Index coming out in both light novel and manga formats to tide fans over until the next release. Vol 6 of Dragonar Academy is also coming out this week, and is sure to hit the NYT bestseller list at least for its first week. The monster girl fans are really supporting their releases. If you’re not interested in monster girls, Viz has vol 15 of Dorohedoro, which has a completely different kind of monsters, but is also really fun. Or if drama is more your cup of tea, Vertical Comics has their very successful deluxe release of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Vol 9. Excellent writing and art.

Full List per Diamond Distributors

Gantz Volume 35 TP, $13.99

Attack On Titan Junior High Volume 3 GN, $16.99
Maria The Virgin Witch Volume 2 GN, $10.99
Noragami Stray God Volume 4 GN, $10.99
Say I Love You Volume 7 GN, $10.99
xxxHOLiC Rei Volume 3 GN, $10.99

Alice In The Country Of Clover The March Hare’s Revolution GN, $13.99
Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 10 GN, $12.99
Devils And Realist Volume 5 GN, $12.99
Dragonar Academy Volume 6 GN, $12.99

Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin Volume 9 HC, $29.95

Dorohedoro Volume 15 GN, $12.99

Sword Art Online Novel Volume 4 Fairy Dance SC, $13.00

Manga at the Eisners: Nominees

eisner_awardsThis week the Wil Eisner Comic Industry Awards panel of judges announced their nominees this week. Manga essentially gets its own category in the US Edition of International Material – Asia. The category was created to keep manga from dominating the US Edition of International Material category. Five titles and six volumes received nods.

AllYouNeedIsKill_Omni01_CatalogAll You Need Is Kill has been getting a lot of attention this year. It is from Viz Media and was one of the 8 manga titles to make the YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens list this year. It is an adaptation of the Japanese sci-fi novel what was also the basis of the Hollywood film Edge of Tomorrow. Keiji Kiriya is a new recruit thrown into a suit of battle armor called a jacket and sent to fight the invading alien race, the Mimics. He dies on the battle field only to be revived every day to relieve the day and die again. On his 158th return, he is contacted by another soldier, known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she his friend or foe. The art is by Takeshi Obata, a popular artist here in the US. With the art and story being so well-known, it probably has a good chance of winning.

In Clothes Called FatIn Clothes Called Fat from Vertical Comics. It is about Noko, a young woman with a good job and loving boyfriend. Beneath this seemingly happy veneer, Noko is struggling with issues of self-image and self-confidence as she fights to keep her weight down. A gain of a mere 5 pounds can send Noko miles away from happiness in her love life and work place. This single volume story was created by Moyoco Anno, who is well-known name in Japanese women comics. This title is closer in spirit to many US indie comics with its searing look at women with self-image problems. It also has a good chance of with Eisner voters.

MasterKeaton-GN01-3DMaster Keaton Vol 1 is another title from Viz Media. It follows the adventures of half-Japanese, half-English insurance investigator Taichi Hiraga-Keaton. Keaton is a man of many talents. He graduated from Cambridge with a degree in archaeology, joined the British SAS for several years, and now teaches at a Japanese college. He uses his many talents and experience to investigate insurance claims and help people along the way. I loved this volume of Master Keaton, both for the problems Keaton takes on and for the Cold War era feel of the manga. I don’t know how well this title will go over with voters. It’s by Naoki Urasawa, who has been nominated several times and even one once. Either way, it’s got my vote!

One Punch Man 01One Punch Man is the third Viz Media title to be nominated. It is about Saitama, a superhero who is so strong, he can knock out most villains with just a single punch. He trained so hard to hone his skills that he lost all his hair, but now, he is so strong, he can’t find a worthy opponent, and fears he will be doomed to superhero boredom.  This is a digital only title and has a lot of human. It was the start of the superhero boom that Viz seems to have going on right now. This title is rather light and filled with plenty of human, at least at the beginning. Being a more tradition superhero comic Eisner voters may favor it.

Showa 1939-44Showa 1939-1944 A History of Japan and Showa 1944-1953: A History of Japan are two  separate titles in the same series from Drawn and Quarterly. They are an auto biographical and historical account of Japan by creator Shigeru Mizuki. These two volumes cover the Japan of World War II and the subsequent occupation afterward. On a personal level, it shows Mizuki’s struggles with the strict disciple of the Japanese officers on the island of Rabaul in Papua New Guinea and whether or not to return to Japan after the war to follow his dream of becoming a cartoonist despite losing an arm. The first volume in this series was nominated last year, but didn’t win. The story in these two volumes are no doubt more compelling as it deals with the devastation of war and its aftermath. Maybe this year will be its lucky year.

Hosoda_WolfChildren_HC_V1Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki is published by Yen Press and was also on the YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens list. It is based on the animated movie of the same name. Hana is a young woman who falls in love with a man who is part wolf. They start a family with two children, but Hana’s husband is tragically killed, leaving Hana as a single mother to raise her two children who stand on the fine line between man and beast. This is a story that is both heartwarming and melancholy as it shows the exploration of identity and balancing being from multiple cultures. Eisner voters will find a lot to love here.

The winners will be announced Friday, July 10 during the San Diego Comic-Con at a gala ceremony.

PR: Viz Media Manga Gets Eisner Nods

I’ve only read one of the four Viz Media titles that have been nominated for this year’s Eisners, Master Keaton, and to be honest, it’s the one I hope wins. I plan on reading All You Need Is Kill because it was on the YALSA GGNT list, and this just adds another reason. I know a lot of people like One-Punch Man, but the chapters I read of it back in January just didn’t do much for me. But it’s a superhero title, so that might make it more appealing to Eisner voters. The Hello Kitty graphic novels Viz’s Perfect Square imprint have done have been good for early readers, so the tribute Hello 40 is no doubt done just as well. I might have to check that one out too.

Continue reading PR: Viz Media Manga Gets Eisner Nods