On their Twitter feed this last Friday, Seven Seas teased they had more licenses to announce before the end of the year, and threw a bone to fans with their announcement of Monster Musume: I ♥ Monster Girls Anthology.
There’s a whole of manga out this week. Digital Manga Publishing makes a surprise return with two BL titles in print. Netcomics also releases some new volumes from their recent titles, such as Chiro Vol 3, Core Scramble Vol 2, and Give to the Heart Vol 5. Kodansha debuts a new shojo, LDK, that is getting mixed reviews, just judging from my twitter feed. Either way, it is making an impression.
With Diamond releasing the shonen titles early last week, this week is a little lighter, but in retrospect, that a good things as some debuts by other publishers would be completely washed over by the final Naruto Vol 72. Seven Seas goes for some representation as they release the first volume of their new series, Merman in My Tub. Instead of monster girls, it’s monster boys, who are just as hot with fish tails and tentacles. I was interested in it when Seven Seas announced it, and while I’m not a fan of fanservice, neither am I opposite to some equal opportunity for the ladies.
After a heavy shonen and shojo release week last week, this week is a little on the lighter side. Seven Seas releases an omnibus of Dictatorial Grimoire, collecting all three volumes of the series into one book for a lower price. I’ve truly come to appreciate omnibuses for price and shelf space. I’ve considered Dictatorial Grimoire before, but this omnibus make it much more attractive.
Using the social media platforms of Twitter and Tumblr, Seven Seas Entertainment has announced 3 new titles to their continually growing stable of titles.
Seven Seas Entertainment is a publisher that doesn’t go to a lot of cons, but they still make sure you remember them during con season. A few days after the hoopla of SDCC was over they made another new license announcement.
The Other Side of Secret is from Kadokawa’s Comic Alive manga magazine. Several of Seven Seas’ titles have come from there, such as Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends, Girls und Panzer, and Non Non Biyori. This senien series follows Yuto, a boy, who seven years earlier watched his sister disappear through a strange portal. When he said the door appear again, and two girls go through it, he follows them, intent on finding his sister. He is transported to a strange and dangerous world, where he does find his sister, but at a price. He causes a terrible tragedy that costs the lives of many of the world’s inhabitants. It’s up to Yuto to find a way to atone for his actions and bring his sister back home.
The series just stated last September, and there are three volumes out so far. Seven Seas has announced a release date in a little under a year; July 7, 2016. This is another male-gaze heavy title for their library that I will be passing on. But something I’m noticing about Seven Seas’ library is that they are very eclectic in what they pick up. They seem to cater to genres that the big publishers like Viz and Kodansha steer away from, and that Yen Press has dabbled in. While they seem to have plenty of titles I wouldn’t touch, they take chances on a lot of other titles I would like, making them a great publisher to have around.
Seven Seas wasn’t at Anime Expo, but it still managed to announce a new license during the con. Through their Twitter and Tumblr, they announced that they had licensed the manga Angel Beats!: Heaven’s Door on Friday, the second day of the con.
Angel Beats!: Heaven’s Door is a manga adaptation of the light novel Angel Beats! Track 0, which is a prequel to the original anime Angel Beats! There is a world between the living and heaven known as limbo. It is where spirits go to learn to let go of any lingering attachments they may have to world of the living. The story takes place in a high school in this afterlife for students sent there where they can still feel pain and can die again, only to awaken without their injuries. Not everyone is happy about being there, or even how they got there. Yuri is the leader of the Afterlife Battlefront who leads the battles with the powers-that-be represented by Angel, the Student Council President who uses her supernatural powers against the Battlefront’s mass-produced conventional weapons. The manga follows the formation of the Afterlife Battlefront and its actions before the start of the anime.
There are 8 Volumes so far and the series is still ongoing. Seven Seas has announced that they release the first volume in February 2016. I’d probably be more interested in this title if I had seen the anime, which actually does look interesting. But, the parts that look interesting probably won’t be in the manga, so I think I will give it a pass.
The week of San Diego Comic Con is usually a slow and sparse one, but this week is ripe with new releases, including several debut titles. Seven Seas Entertainment releases two new titles this week. Magika Swordsman and Summoner is an ecchi, harem story that sets up the male protagonist as the only male student at an essentially all-girl school to no doubt get into lots of trouble and have girls fight over him as he becomes the only hope to stop some evil. Can you tell I’m not impressed with this premise? It does however fit into Seven Seas’ line quite well. Pandora of the Crimson Shell Ghost Urn is another ecchi title that goes the sci-fi route rather than fantasy. It features two young cybernetic girls with amazing combat skills who must work together against a world in turmoil It is by the creators of Excel Saga, Koshi Rikdo, and Ghost in the Shell, Masamune Shirow. This series sounds a little less slapstick, and may have more drama, but with these two creators, there will definitely be male gaze.
Viz Media lets loose its torrent of shonen and shojo titles this week, including two debuts as well. Demon Prince of Momochi House is a shojo that got some presales last week at Anime Expo, but is officially out this week. It is about an orphaned girl who inherits an estate that sits on the border between the human and spiritual worlds. In the house, Himari finds three boys, two spirits and one human who can also change into a Nue, and who is determined to protect Himari. This is a title I’m very interested in, and may see if I can get someone going to SDCC to pick it up for me. Twin Star Exorcists on the other hand is a shonen title about Rokuro, an exceptionally gifted exorcist who wants to me anything but. His competitive side is fired up when he meets Benio, a rival. She also turns out to be fated to be his wife so they can birth the ultimate spiritual warrior. Probably not what he signed up for. I’m not as interested in this title. Shonen has worn thin on me, and a title has to be really good to get my attention, like World Trigger did, which has a new volume out this week as well. Other notable titles are My Love Story Vol 5, Yukarism Vol 3, and What Did You Eat Yesterday Vol 9 from Vertical Comics. It’s time to binge read this title again!
Full List per Diamond Distributors:
UQ Holder Volume 5 GN, $10.99
SEVEN SEAS ENTERTAINMENT
12 Beast Volume 2 GN, $12.99
Kokoro Connect Volume 4 GN, $12.99
Magika Swordsman And Summoner Volume 1 GN, $12.99
Pandora Of The Crimson Shell Ghost Urn Volume 1 GN, $12.99
Sacred Blacksmith Volume 8 GN, $13.99
What Did You Eat Yesterday Volume 9 GN, $12.95
Bleach GN Box Set 2 Volumes 22-48 With Premium, $214.99
Bleach Volume 64 GN, $9.99
D.Gray-Man 3-In-1 Volume 7 TP, $14.99
Demon Prince Of Momochi House Volume 1 GN, $9.99
Kiss Of The Rose Princess Volume 5 GN, $9.99
LBX World Battle Volume 6 GN, $9.99
My Love Story Volume 5 GN, $9.99
Naruto GN Box Set 2 Volumes 28-48 With Premium, $174.99
Nisekoi False Love Volume 10 GN, $9.99
Pokemon Adventures Black And White Volume 8 GN, $9.99
Pokemon Adventures Volume 29 GN, $9.99
Skip Beat 3-In-1 Volume 11 TP, $14.99
Twin Star Exorcists Volume 1 GN, $9.99
World Trigger Volume 6 GN, $9.99
Yukarism Volume 3 GN, $9.99
It’s like Noah’s Ark this week, as publishers march out their new releases 2×2 just before Anime Expo. Kodansha Comics releases the final volume of Maria The Virgin Witch. I’ve seen mixed reviews on this series, so it’s hard to tell whether this is good or bad. Fans will know either way this week. Also out from Kodansha is their Science of Attack On Titan reference book. This one might be interesting for new information about the world of Attack on Titan. Seven Seas debuts a new series, Non Non Biyori, a slice of life comedy about city girl Hotaru Ichijo and her having to readjust to a slower, rural life style. This series looks like it would fit in with the likes of Yotsuba& and Barakamon.
Just in time for Anime Expo, Veritcal Comics releases the art book of creator Makoto Shinkai, Sky Longing For Memories. He is both a film director and manga artist. Vertical released his manga 5 CM Per Second, which also has an anime adaptation. The series has done extraordinarily well for Vertical. Other anime of his include Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, and Garden of Words, which Vertical also released the manga adaptation of last year. Yen Press has another highly anticipated life novel out this week. Pandora Heart Caucus Race is a short story collection that delves deeper into the four great houses, and features not only new facts about the world, but also manga shorts by Jun Mochizuki, the title’s creator. I liked Pandora Hearts well enough that I’m looking forward to this novel.
Full List per Diamond Distributors:
Maria The Virgin Witch Volume 3 GN, $10.99
Science Of Attack On Titan MMPB, $10.99
SEVEN SEAS ENTERTAINMENT
Centaur’s Life Volume 6 GN, $12.99
Non Non Biyori Volume 1 GN, $12.99
Sky Longing For Memories The Art Of Makoto Shinkai SC, $34.95
Witchcraft Works Volume 5 GN, $12.95
Pandora Hearts Caucus Race Novel Volume 1 SC, $14.00
Sword Art Online Novel Progressive Volume 2 SC, $14.00
A couple of long-awaited titles from Viz Media finally debut this week. Tokyo Ghoul has been on reader’s radars since it was announced, and even with the first volume being released digitally early, it doesn’t seem to have stifled reader’s desire for the print edition. I expect it to debut pretty high on the NYT bestseller list next week. Also out from Viz is the short story collection Fragments of Horror by Junji Ito, the master of Japanese horror manga. You have to really love horror and be able to stand disturbing or gory images to get through some of his titles, but for the true horror connoisseur, it is a must have. My must have this week is Master Keaton Vol 3. I still have read Vol 2, but that not because I don’t want to, it more like I’m saving it to savor it, like saving dessert for last, so you can enjoy every last bite.
Seven Seas has quite the collection of releases this week. The first volume of Freezing Omnibus collects the first two volumes of the series and is very male gaze heavy. It’s that not your thing, you’ve been warned. Also coming out are the second volumes of two of their newer titles; Nurse Hitomi’s Monster Infirmary and Servamp, both of which I’ve heard promising things about, even though Nurse Hitomi leans on the male gaze side. Gen Manga Entertainment, who started out releasing their titles digitally has been recently sending them to print. This week debuts the first volume of Eden, an epic fantasy series. Finally, Fanfare Presents Ponent Mon releases the fifth and final volume of Summit of the Gods. This title has had a long release schedule, as the first volume came out in 2009, but readers can relax now that the final volume is out.
Full List per Diamond Distributors:
DARK HORSE COMICS
New Lone Wolf And Cub Volume 5 TP, $13.99
FANFARE PRESENTS PONENT MON
Summit Of The Gods Volume 5 GN, $25.00
GEN MANGA ENTERTAINMENT
Eden Volume 1 GN, $10.95
xxxHOLIC Omnibus Volume 6 TP, $14.99
SEVEN SEAS ENTERTAINMENT
Freezing Omnibus Volume 1 GN, $19.99
Haganai I Don’t Have Many Friends Volume 11 GN, $12.99
Nurse Hitomi’s Monster Infirmary Volume 2 GN, $12.99
Servamp Volume 2 GN, $12.99
Dogs Bullets And Carnage Volume 10 GN, $12.99
Fragments Of Horror GN, $17.99
Gene Mapper SC, $14.99
Master Keaton Volume 3 GN, $19.99
Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 GN, $12.99
Publisher Seven Seas Entertainment recently made another license announcement on their Twitter feed and Tumblr blog. They have picked up another title that fits into their “dark and violent take on kid’s franchises” line.
Tomodachi x Monster is a recent series by Yoshihiko Inui and is published in Futabasha’s seinen magazine Manga Action. The story follows middle school student Wataru, who hears a mysterious voice after wandering away from school in his mountainous village in rural Japan. He discovers a new “friend”, a monster from the mountain, and one of many that want to befriend young kids like Wataru. This new friendship may transform Wataru’s life, or it may shorten it, as he is needed for his “friend” to participate in a horrifying death match.
If you’ve ever dreamed of being able to kill the Pokemon, or trainers in the video game, then this is probably the series for you. Tomodachi x Monster is described as an “ultra-violent, dark parody” of the Pokemon series, as if the blood-splattered cover wasn’t enough of a clue. It fits in with Magical Girl Apocalypse, taking on the kids-with-monsters genre in a smiliar fashion. Kids with no conscience get a hold of monsters. What could possibly go wrong?
There are two volumes out, with a third scheduled for release in Japan in June. Seven Seas plans on releasing their first volume in February 2016. I don’t know if this is a series I’ll be picking up. I’ve never wished Pokemon any harm (but I’ve never played the video games either), and I do like the Pokemon manga. Really I just don’t know how to feel about a series whose description can put “cute” and “gore” not just in the same sentence, but connected as well! Maybe I’ll have to give this series a pass.
For the past two weeks Seven Seas Entertainment has been raining down manga license announcements. Four titles have been announced. Some were surprising not just for Seven Seas to get, but just to plain see in print in the US. The collection does have a little something for everyone.
The first title announced was Franken Fran. This dark parody series is about Fran Madaraki, the “daughter” of a highly skilled surgeon who has disappeared. Fran, takes up the family profession by performing surgeries in her secluded gothic home with her “sister” Veronica and a monstrous entourage. If you are willing to pay her price, Fran will perform any operation, including bringing back the dead. Her creed, “Lives must be saved, no matter the cost,” means the end justifies the means when fulfilling her duties. The title will be released in 4 2-in-1 omnibuses and will include color inserts. This title has gotten a lot of good word of mouth recommendations, so I’m looking forward to checking out the first volume at least. It will be coming out February 16, 2016.
Their next pickup was Not Lives, a “virtual gender-bender” manga. It is about game designer genius and high school student Mikami whose next big project is a romance game. Among the materials he received for research was a game he didn’t remember getting. Curiosity gets the better of him and his plays it, only to find himself thrust into a survival game and transformed into a girl. And in this game, it isn’t just his character on the line, but also his own life. This series sounds a like BTOOOM! meets Sword Art Online meets any generic gender-bender series. None of these titles really interest me so this looks like a series will pass up on. There are currently 7 volumes and the series is ongoing. The first volume will be released with color inserts on March 29, 2016.
The third license announced was Orange, a time-travel shojo. In this series, 16-year-old Naho Takamiya receives a letter from herself 10 years in the future. In the letter, she tells of an incoming transfer student named Kakeru Naruse, and that her biggest regret was that Kakeru was no long with them. She asks her past self to look after him. Naho didn’t believe the letter at first, but as things in the letter start to come true, including Kakeru’s transfer, she has to decide what the letter means for herself and Kakeru’s future. The series will be printed as 2 omnibus volumes with wraparound covers and color inserts. They will each be 380 pages long, or the equivalent of 2.5 Japanese manga, confirming the length of the series at 5 volumes. There are currently 4 in print. I was intrigued by this series when Crunchyroll announced it would stream it digitally. But now that it’s coming out in print, I will definitely be checking it out. The first volume will be released January 26 and the second in May, 2016.
The final series announced was Hour of the Zombie. Guess what genre this title is from. The story is about Akira, a typical high school student who has dreams and aspirations like everyone else, an unrequited crush on his childhood friend Kurumi, who seems to be more interesting in his best friend Umezawa. Their love triangle is trival in comparison to the drama that hits their school. Students start to turn into zombie, eating their friends and fellow students alike, and just as quickly, stop. Soon the school is divided between the turned and the unbitten, with unanswered question looming; how long will this peace last, and why did the students turn in the first place? I’m not normally interested in Zombie manga. Much like vampires, I feel they’ve run their course, but this series has some intriguing aspects that I might just want to check out. There are two volumes out and it is ongoing. The first volume will be released with color inserts April 5, 2016.