Tag Archives: Seven Seas

Cautiously Optimistic

The first day of panels at NYCC/NYAF was certainly full of surprises. And it started right off first thing in the morning for me, at 6:30 am (PST) when news started on Twitter about Viz Media’s big announcement. Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha will be a digital manga magazine that will run new chapter of the manga Bakuman, Bleach, Naruto, Nura, One Piece, and Toriko two weeks after they run in Japan. The magazine will be available through Vizmanga.com and through the iOS apps. The price is $25.99 for 48 issues, or you can rent single issues for .99 for 4 weeks. I’m a little confused on the .99 rental though. I’ve seen it described as .99 a month, which implies only paying .99 for four issues which is a lot better than 25.99 for a year, unless of course, the year subscription means you can keep the issues permanently. Whether the weekly issues are for keeps or for a limited time as the Nura serialization is now hasn’t been clarified. The digital magazine will start in January 2012, with the print magazine ending with the March issue.

I can’t say I’m thrilled with the new line up. One Piece and Bakuman are the only ones I’m interested in, and the fact that I can only stream the titles, since no one wants to even try to make an android tablet app (hint: if it’s so hard to do an app with all the different flavors of Android, then just do what most pub do now anyway; make just a tablet app on Honeycomb), this severely limits my ability to take the mag and “read anywhere”, something I can currently do with my print mag. I’m going to need more details before I decide to stay with the digital magazine. I’ll also admit that I’ll miss reading Psyren and Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds. They aren’t titles I want to actively go after, but I enjoyed reading them in the magazine. Now, Shonen Jump is returning to it “only the top sellers can appear” approach, which is a shame, since going digital should be the opportunity to experiment. And I agree with others on Twitter, that a Shojo Beat digital magazine would be awesome.

Next came Yen Press and Seven Seas with new license announcements. Yen Press announced Soul Eater Not, a side story to Soul Eater. I wasn’t impressed with the first series, so I don’t anticipate caring much for this one. They’ve also announced it will appear in the current issue of Yen Plus, but is that going to be permanent, or just a couple of chapters to push the series as High School of the Dead Color was, and a way to pad the scant Japanese side? I like that Yen is continuing to adapt YA novels, the newest editions being Infernal Devices, which sounds interesting, and a Dark Hunters side story Infinity. And I’ll admit to some curiosity to the Japanese licenses Madoka Magica and Until Death Due Us Part. I might check out Alice in the Country of Hearts, a Tokyopop license rescue (that they said they wouldn’t do…) I missed it the first time around.

Then Seven Seas hints at a new license through anagrams again on Twitter, which turns out to be the sequel to Alice in the Country of Hearts, Alice in the Country of Clover. This was a pleasant surprise and a boon for AitCoH fans. Seven Seas also announced the new title from the creator of Dance in the Vampire Bund. Angel Para Bellum takes on christian mythology with a battle between heaven and hell brewing and only a boy named Mitsuru holds the key to preventing it. I think Supernatural has killed my interest in such stories, but I’ll check ou the first volume if given the chance.

Kodansha announced two new licenses, Attack on Titan and Miles Edgeworth. I don’t know how much Attack on Titan will appeal to me, but if I like the Phoenix Wright manga, I might check out the Miles Edgeworth. They also announced omnibuses of former Del Rey titles Genshiken and Kitchen Princess, two good titles to keep in print. And then there was the obligatory iOS app announcement (yawn).

Vertical had the biggest surprises for me. The licenses lately haven’t been my cup of tea, with Princess Knight being the only new title I really wanted to read. But in their announcements at their panel, they had two that really piqued my interest. I”ve heard a lot about Osamu Tezuka’s Adolf (Messages to Adolf), but it’s been out of print for so long, I didn’t hold by breath at ever reading it. Until now. It will be releases in 2 hardback volumes next year. Sakuran really looks intriguing too. It’s a historical title about courtesans in the Edo era. And I can’t resist historical titles.

While all of these announcements sound great, I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic about them. What looks good in a press release might not be so great in reality. So I’ll watch and wait for now. Most of the books announced won’t be out until next summer, so there’s plenty of time for things to change. Only the digital announcements have any immediacy, and only Viz’s really concerns me. But it’s still nice to see things to get excited about again.

This Week in Manga: 7/17-7/23/10

Twitter This

The week started out with a bang, and just kept on going! Seven Seas started it off with license announcements on Twitter in anagram form with one clue. All three were guessed correctly by ANN and confirmed by Tuesday, the day of the last announcement. The three titles are ToraDora, Amnesia Labyrinth, and A Certain Scientific Railgun. Two of these titles have anime tie-ins, with ToraDora having already released its first disc earlier this month, and Funimation just announcing the license of A Certain Scientific Railgun at this past Anime Expo. Amnesia Labyrinth also has ties to a previously published work. Nagaru Tanigawa, who is the author of the Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi light novels, is also the author of this series. Most of these titles came from ASCII Media Works, which Seven Seas seems to be mining. I’m definitely interested in Amnesia Labyrinth, and not just because it’s by the author of the Haruhi books, which I’ve enjoyed the manga of, but it’s also a mystery. And we can’t get enough of those!

One Manga Down, 1000 Manga To Go

Wednesday, One Manga, the top scanlation aggregator site on the web announced it would be taking down ALL manga, not just titles licensed/owned by coalition members. This was quite a surprise as visitors were greeted with a pop-up message explaining the situation before they even got to any titles. They intend to keep their forums up and running, but it remains to be seen if anyone will still come around with all the manga gone. Reactions to the shut down have been varied and quite frankly extreme in some cases, as a perusal of the comments section of the manga.about.com article shows:

I have not stopped crying since i heard about this yesterday.. what am i going to do from now on?.. my reason to live from one Friday to the next is now gone.. i am deeply saddened.

What am i gonna do with the 36 series’ that I’m curetly reading right now? Im addicted. At 13 I fail to see anything more important than manga right now.. I seriously feel like someone close to me has a fatal disease, and that person is slowly crawling to their death.

Yeah…okay. I love manga too, but it’s not the be all, end all of my life. I was disappointed when some of my favorite titles were cancelled thanks to Kodansha yanking them from Tokyopop, but the world didn’t end because of it. And the world won’t end now without One Manga or 1000 Manga, or any of the other aggregators that may go down. I know teens like to be melodramatic and all, but sheesh! It’s just manga guys!

What Goes Down Must Come Up

The same day that One Manga announces its demise, Square Enix announces a new digital manga store for NA and France.  The site will go live in the Fall, but a preview with the first chapters of Fullmetal Alchemist, Black Butler, Soul Eater and O-Parts Hunter (666 Satan) are available right now for download. They are also running demos at their booth at SDCC. This is an interesting development, since Square Enix doesn’t license to just one company here in the US. The four titles mentioned are split between Yen Press and Viz, but both manga publishers have said they are working with Square Enix in this endeavour. No price has been set yet, but it is nice to another publisher not only making titles available online, but to also be portable.

SDCC is Here!

That right, the San Diego Comic Con started this week. And it started off at a run. Wednesday is dubbed Preview Night, where the exhibit hall is open in the evening, and Vertical wasted no time in announcing a license and the first official one of the con. They will be releasing Lychee Light Club, by Usamaru Furuya, who is also the author of the highly anticipated 51 Ways to Save Her, which was announced at last SDCC by CMX, and cancelled before the first volume could be released. It’s a single volume and is about some students at an all boys school who create a robot to find beautiful women but run into a problem when the robot become sentient.

The first official day of the con brought more licenses. At the Bandai Entertainment panel, Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens was announced. Not too surprising, since it was a cult hit on the internet and the anime has already been released. Top Shelf, a comics publisher announced it would be releasing Cigarette Girl, a collection of short stories from an early artist of the gekiga movement, Masahiko Matsumoto. There were several manga related panels that ANN covered; Manga For Grown Ups, Best and Worst Manga 2010, and Manga: Lost in Translation.

Friday brought the Yen Press Panel, which had more new licenses to announce. Aron’s Absurd Armada, High School of the Dead, Higurashi: When They Cry: Demon Exposing Arc, and Otoyome-Gatari: The Bride’s Story. High School of the Dead is another no brainer as its anime was licensed and announced at Anime Expo. Fans were happy to hear about Otoyome-Gatari. It’s the new title from Kaoru Mori, the mangaka of Emma. It sounds like it with get the Twilight treatment with a hardback, larger size treatment.

Yen also finally revealed the fate of Yen Plus. It has its own website which has gone live with a beta. Most of the titles up right now are Yen’s original titles; Maximum Ride, Nightschool, Gossip Girl, and the first 2 chapters of Daniel X. Two Korean titles from the print magazine are there now, Time and Again and Jack Frost, and a special short story, Haunted House Call from the creator of Hollow Fields, Madeleine Rosca. There are no Japanese titles at the moment, but if you go back up one story you may see why for at least two of them. The cost will be $2.99 a month, paid by Paypal subscription, and will keep the last two recent issues available.  This is looking like a good deal and the reader on the computer isn’t bad. It’s not flash-based, so the reader may be friendly for mobile devices. Some have said that teens will be left out because of the online payment, but any parents who refuse their kids a $2.99 investment for them to read is doing them a great disservice.

Manga related panels included The Future of Manga with Jason Thompson and Dallas Middaugh was on Publishing Comics representing Del Rey. Del Rey didn’t have a panel at the show this year and with the news of Ali Kokmen, the marketing manager who did a lot of to get Del Rey Manga going being laid off, makes more real the speculation that Del Rey is winding down their manga division. Sony held a panel on their adaptation of the Tokyopop published manhwa Priest, and Moto Hagio had a focus panel where she was also presented CCI’s Inkpot award.

NYT Best Seller List

It’s that time again, so let’s look at what’s going on with this week’s list of  best sellers. And a check of the Hardback list shows…What?! No Twilight at #1? Who’s this green dude that’s taken the first three spots, leaving Twilight to come in at #4? Bahhhh.  Over on the manga list, Naruto vol 48 retakes it’s #1 spot from Ouran High School Host Club vol 14, which falls to #2. Vampire Knight vol 10 moves back up to #3 with Black Butler vol 2 right behind at #4. New comer Black Lagoon vol 9 debuts at #5 while The Last AirBender falls another 2 to #6. Black Butler vol 1 moves back up one to #7 while another debut, Inuyasha vol 50 arrivals at #8. Soul Eater vol 3 is another newbie arriving at #9 while One Piece vol 54 holds on but falls 7 to #10. Viz hold a majority of 6/10 on the list with Yen Press’ strongest titles holding 3/10. Black Lagoon is a surprise as a more adult title, but is very welcome addition. It would be nice to see more adult titles taking on the massive teen machines of Naruto and Vampire Knight.

NYT Best Sellers: Second Opinion

A lot of people question the New York Times Best Seller List for its accuracy. They never full explain where they get their numbers from, so there’s plenty of doubt about how real they are. One person to not only feel that way, but does something about it Matt Blind of Rocket Bomber. He compiles his own list and explains exactly where the numbers come from. So, here’s a comparison of the this week’s lists:

  1. Naruto vol 48                                                                                              1.  Naruto vol 48
  2. Ouran High School Host Club vol 14                                                    2. Ouran High School Host Club vol 14
  3. Vampire Knight vol 10                                                                              3. Vampire Knight vol 10
  4. Black Butler vol 2                                                                                       4.  Hellsing vol 10
  5. Black Lagoon vol 9                                                                                    5. Maximum Ride vol 1
  6. Last Air Bender                                                                                          6. Naruto vol 47
  7. Black Butler vol 1                                                                                       7. Maximum Ride vol 2
  8. Inuyasha vol 50                                                                                          8. Bleach vol 31
  9. Soul Eater vol 3                                                                                          9. One Piece vol 54
  10. One Piece vol 54                                                                                      10. Negima! vol 26

It’s an interesting comparison when seen side by side. The top three are the same, but Maximum Ride is missing from the NYT, and Black Butler is missing from RB. Interesting exchange, but from same company. Viz still holds 6 spots, while Yen is down to 2. Adult comics still get their representation on th RB with Hellsing, but there’s no Last Air Bender. It will be interesting to continue to do these comparison and see if/how things change between them.

This Week At Manga Village

What I’m Reading

  • Black Butler vol 2
  • Fairy Nagivator Runa vol 1
  • Dramacon vol 3

This Week in Manga 4/3-4/9/10


Anime Boston/Wondercon Roundups

Two comics/manga related cons occurred this last weekend.  On the West Coast was Wondercon, the smaller, younger brother of SDCC, located in San Francisco.  While more comics based, it seems Hollywood is taking every opportunity to jump on the popculture bandwagon.  Manga related, Viz Media had a booth, as did CMX, Last Gasp, and EigoManga.  Deb Aoki of Manga.About.com has an overview of the con as well as links to other coverage.  Over on the East Coast, Anime Boston took place.  While mostly an anime con, many manga bloggers attended and even held panels.  Vertical, Inc. had a panel, and Ed Chavez, marketing director for Vertical as well as creator of Mangacast hosted a panel of manga bloggers.  The big news from the Vertical panel was the license of a title from a mangaka once published by Viz Media.  Calling it “Manga Series R” the clue is that the “R” refers to either the mangaka’s name or manga’s title.  I voting (hoping) its Leiji/Reiji Matsumoto.  Brigid Alverson has a full rundown of the Vertical panel at Robot 6, and you can hear the audio from the Manga Mania panel by scrolling down to the Ninja Consultant’s like in the Manga For Your Ears section of this post.

iPad Thoughts

Let’s get the elephant in the room out-of-the-way.  The iPad was released this weekend.  Yes, it sold 300,000 units.  But I believe that Apple’s entry into the tablet/e-reader market isn’t the be all/end all that people are making it out to be.  The iPhone was a surprise hit (even to Apple), and hardware developers have been working hard to catch up, and you can say the Google Nexus One is a good if not better competitor.  And as Matt Blind so wonderfully points out (don’t let all the numbers weigh you down), the iphone is only a small percentage of the cellphone market, and the iPad will be as well, especially with more hardware and software makers throwing their hats into the e-reader/tablet ring.  He also links to an article by Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing that makes a very good point (whether you agree with the rest of his argument or not), that publishers shouldn’t put all of their e-books in one Apple basket.  Then Rob McMonigal of Book Stew lays it all out on why he’s not getting any e-book readers right now.  My personal opinion, after listening and reading about iPad first impressions is to wait.  There are so many e-readers/tablets in the wings, that committing right now just doesn’t seem like a smart thing to do.  As much as I love the “pretty-shinnies” this just isn’t the time for what could be tossing money to the wind.

Final Nails in the Coffin?

Some of the smaller manga publishers have been quiet, implying that they’re not weathering this tough economy very well.  Aurora has been especially quiet, with they last release being some time last year, and books sold at fire sale prices.  Another nail in their coffin, the titles they had up on Netcomics.com are being pulled down next Wednesday, April 14, 2010.  It could be that they tried online with Netcomics and it didn’t work.  Or it could be a sign of something worse.  Then, from Icarus Publishing, comes news that a “Manga Publisher in the Southern California area” was up for sale.  This seemed to fit Aurora to a T.  Digital Manga is located in SoCal, but they don’t seem to fit.  Go Comi! is as well, and could be a possibility.  ANN has been researching the story, and say Aurora denies they are for sale, but I wouldn’t be so sure.  They’re Ladies Comics line never really took off, and their BL didn’t get much attention.  But it’s all just speculation at this point.

Shonen Sunday Cross Over

Word came in March through a Simon and Schuster listing that Viz was going to be releasing the baseball manga Cross Game.  Finally official word has come that Viz will not only release the manga, but will also preview it on  their Shonen Sunday website starting in May.  I think this is a good move on Viz’s part.  Cross Game has a visual style that may not appeal to readers at first, enough to buy the first volume.  Letting them read it online first, especially 5 months in advance of the first volumes release could really build up some hype for the title, beyond the mangasphere.

Two New Rescues from the Seven Seas

Seven Seas Entertainment has announced they have rescued two manga titles from two different publishers that were also fan favorites.  Gunslinger Girl was first published by ADV Manga, who over 5 years released 6 volumes.  Seven Seas will be re-releasing this 6 volumes with new translations and lettering in an omnibus format, and then beginning releasing new volumes starting at volume 7.  Blood Alone was released by Infinity Studios, with 4 volumes released over 2 years.  Seven Seas will release the first 3 as an omnibus edition with the 4th volume to follow soon after.  These titles will be available in 2011.  I was never too interested in Gunslinger Girl (Ed Chavez of the MangaCast is if you want more info), but I heard some good things about Blood Alone.  It’s good to see these titles return.

Manga as Eisner Nominees

The Eisners were announced this week, and manga made quite a showing, and not just in the Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia.  Best Continuing, Best Reality, Best Graphic Album, Writer/Artist, Lettering, and Comics-Related Book all had nominees from manga.  Of course, most of those are from Naoki Urasawa for Pluto and 20th Century Boys, but that because it’s most definitely deserved.  A Drifting Life and A Distant Neighborhood also got nods.  It’s good to see manga stretching out from the International category, and into more general comics related categories.  Now, if only we can get a win.  I know Pluto blows out a lot of its competition.

NYT Best Seller List

Once again Twilight: The Graphic Novel vol 1 rules the Hardcover roost.  But why isn’t it considered manga? Robin Brenner of Early Word and Librarian Extraordinaire looks at just that question.  Warriors: Clan in Need vanishes from the list completely after only 1 week, allowing Naruto vol 47 and Bleach vol 30 to return to their #1 and #2 spots. xxxHolic vol 15 is pushed back one to #3, and Black Butler vol 1 moves back into the top five to #4.  Soul Eater vol 2 falls into step at #5 and Vampire Knight vol 9 falls back another spot to #6.  Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi vol 5 moves up one to #7 while Fairy Tail vol 10 falls back two to #8.  Alice in the Country of Hearts vol 1 switches with vol 2 to come back in at #9, and the only debut title of the week is Trinity Blood vol 12 at #10.  It’s good to see Del Rey hold some traction and stick around for this week.  I do think it’s odd that last week’s #1 would vanish so quickly, but this isn’t the first time, and surely won’t be the last.  The ratio remains at a good level with no one company dominating.  This is the way I like to see the list.

Manga For Your Ears

Manga Out Loud

Ninja Consultants

Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews

Spiraken Manga Review

This Week at Manga Village

What I’m Reading

  • Honey Hunt vol 4
  • My Darling! Miss Bancho vol 1
  • Calamity Jack
  • Cirque du Freak vol 4

This Week in Manga for 9/5-9/11/09


Kumoricon, Portland, Oregon’s anime/manga/all thins J-popish was this last weekend.  John Thomas, a local and reviewer for Comics Village, was there for two of the three days and gave reports on the announcements, mostly from Dark Horse, as they are also local to the area.  The big announcement from Kumoricon though came from Jason Thompson.  His magnum opus, Manga: The Complete Guide will continue online.  Starting September 15, a new review of a series will go up once a day for 365 days (that’s one year) at Suduvu.com.  Jason will also be giving away 5 manga a day to some lucky commentor a day.  Go here for all the detials.

Continue reading This Week in Manga for 9/5-9/11/09

Twelve Manga of Christmas: Tenth Day

“On the Tenth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, Ten Inukami,”

Keita Kawahira is from a family of Inukami tamers, people who contract with dog-spirits to vanquish evil, but he is considered a failure since he couldn’t make a contract with one.  One day, his grandmother and head of the clan, tells Keita that there is an Inukami that is willing to contract with him.  He goes to meet Yoko, a beautiful girl with green hair and a big, bushy gold tail.  He’s thrilled at first, until he finds out how difficult Yoko is to handle.

Inukami is based on a series of light novels, and has only one volume out from Seven Seas so far, but I have high hopes for the manga after having seen the 2006 anime (in fansub only).  Inukami is not a harem manga.  It is closer in relation to a series like Urusei Yatsura.  It’s a romantic comedy about Keita and Yoko’s relationship.  She wants to be his girlfriend, but he has a roaming eye.  None of the other females want anything to do with Keita, not that Yoko will let him be with anyone.  She can shoot fire from her finger and teleport anything, though mostly it’s Keita, sans his clothes.  So there’s plenty of comedy, but there are some more serious moments, as Keita and Yoko work out their relationship.  The first volume is just about the creation of this relationship, though at the very end, there is the introduction of Kaoru Kawahira, Keita’s cousin, and his ten female Inukami, all of whom are completely devoted to him.  If you wanted a harem label for this series, pin it on this character.

I really enjoyed this first volume.  The balance of comedy to drama is just right, and the fanservice is evenly metted out as well.  Seeing Keita trying to find his clothes makes up for all the Yoko shots.  It’s definitely more for the older teen audience, at 16+, but it’s definitely worth the read if you like romances that involve denial and pain.

Nine-tailed Fox Spirit,
Eight Dragon Priestess Guardians,
Seven Dragon Balls,
Six Girl Volleyball Team,
Five Bronze Saints!
Four Friends in Winter,
Three Siblings Cards,
Two Girls named Nana,
And a One Piece for the Pirate King.”

They’re Not Helping…

Just off the presses from ANN and Comipress, Seven Seas/Tor has just confirmed that they have licensed Inukami!. This is a manga series based on Mamizu Arisawa’s light novel series of the same name. I found out about this series through a podcast I listen to, Anime Pulse, where it was reviewed. It’s a comedy/romance in the vein of Urusei Yatsura, only much more risque. It’s about a boy named Keita who comes from a family of Inukami (dog diety) tamers and who is also a letch, in the tradition of Ataru. Yoko, the Inukami he makes a contract with, decides she doesn’t like that, and wants to be Keita’s girlfriend, and not just Inukami. She has a fire attack that she hits him with, as well as the ability to transport instantly, which she does to him, minus his clothes.

The anime was hysterical, and I was following the manga through scanalation, since I didn’t think *ANYONE* would *EVER* license it. But then, here comes Seven Seas, with their new buddy Tor, going and making ANOTHER series I now have to buy.

I picked the wrong year to cut down on manga…