Tag Archives: Vertical Comics

This Week’s Manga: 2×4

This Week's Manga

PandoraHeartsCauscusRaceIt’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:

KODANSHA COMICS
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

VERTICAL COMICS
Sky Longing For Memories The Art Of Makoto Shinkai SC, $34.95
Witchcraft Works Volume 5 GN, $12.95

YEN PRESS
Pandora Hearts Caucus Race Novel Volume 1 SC, $14.00
Sword Art Online Novel Progressive Volume 2 SC, $14.00

This Week’s Manga: Pile on the Shojo

This Week's Manga

Ajin 5 It’s a good week for variety, with most of the major publishers releasing something. Perfect Square is an imprint of Viz Media for their all-ages titles, and gets mentioned here most often for their Pokemon Adventures titles. Back when Pokemon Black and White came out, Perfect Square released essentially chapter books just to get the title going quickly and later collected them into full volumes. They appear to be following the same pattern with Pokemon XY, the third volume of which is out this week. They are quick hits to keep younger fans who can’t wait happy. Older manga fans can be happy for Vertical Comics’ Ajin Demi-Human. I finally sat down and read the first four volumes and there were fantastic! I was afraid it would be gory, but it wasn’t really. It is a compelling tale with some great cliffhangers and tantalizing mysteries to keep you coming back, so you can be sure I’ll be picking up vol 5, out this week.

Kamisama Kiss 18Viz Media releases their shonen and shojo titles this week. One new title debuts, So Cute It Hurts. This is a gender bender rom-com that might actually be interesting. I wouldn’t mind checking it out at least. Anime Expo is coming up fast, so fans of Julietta Suzuki will want to pick up Kamisama Kiss Vol 18 to prepare for her visit at the con this year. Her other title in English, Karakuri Odette, was published by Tokyopop, and is no longer in print. Two other “can’t miss” titles are Kimi ni Todoke and Natsume’s Book of Friends. Both of these I consider comfort titles. Their stories are more quiet and laid back, but that doesn’t mean they are boring or lack plot. They just move at a slower pace, or the action is less dramatic, making them good titles to read when life has gotten too hectic.

Full List per Diamond Distributors:

KODANSHA COMICS
Fairy Tail Volume 48 GN, $10.99
My Little Monster Volume 8 GN, $10.99

PERFECT SQUARE
Pokemon XY Volume 3 GN, $4.99

SEVEN SEAS ENTERTAINMENT
D-Frag Volume 5 GN, $12.99
Girls Und Panzer Volume 4 GN, $12.99

VERTICAL COMICS
Ajin Demi-Human Volume 5 GN, $12.95

VIZ MEDIA
Assassination Classroom Volume 4 GN, $9.99
Blue Exorcist Volume 13 GN, $9.99
Dragon Ball 3-In-1 Volume 9 TP, $14.99
Food Wars Shokugeki No Soma Volume 6 GN, $9.99
Kamisama Kiss Volume 18 GN, $9.99
Kimi Ni Todoke From Me To You Volume 21 GN, $9.99
Naruto Volume 70 GN, $9.99
Natsume’s Book Of Friends Volume 18 GN, $9.99
So Cute It Hurts Volume 1 GN, $9.99
Toriko Volume 28 GN, $9.99
Voice Over Seiyu Academy Volume 11 GN, $9.99

Time to Say Good-bye

As much as you love a title, at some point it’s got to come to an end, usually. There are the few exceptions that got 10, 20, 45 years, but they are not the rule. Most manga titles do (and should) have an end. Lately, the end for some titles released here have been announced to be ending serialization in Japan.

Chi's Sweet Home 11Chi’s Sweet Home is a cute, heartwarming series about a family who find and adopt a grey and white tabby kitten. Each short chapter shows the family and kitten, Chi, interacting as well as Chi’s adventures with other pets in their apartment complex and neighborhood. The series recently when on a year hiatus and only just returned. It has now been announced that the next volume to be released, Volume 12, would be its final. The series was being released by Vertical Comics, and has been a big hit for the company, with fans of all ages picking it up. The series has been fun, heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking, but always a great read. I will certainly miss it when it’s gone. Vertical will release the final volume in August, and will follow-up with a re-release of the series in omnibus editions.

Missions of Love 1Mission of Love is a romantic comedy from Kodansha Comics. The series is about a high school girl named Yukina who has the reputation of being an ice queen at school, but is also the author of a very popular cell phone novel. To help her writing, she blackmails popular fellow student Shigure into helping her complete “missions of love” to improve her writing. Kodansha’s Nakayoshi magazine has announced the series will end in the issue out in June. There have been 17 volumes released so far, with the series most likely ending at 18. Kodansha USA has only released 10 so far. Frankly, I’m surprised the series went for so long. The last volume I read, vol 9, felt very stale and repetitive. It’s not a series I’m going to miss.

qq-sweeper 2Most recently announced was the that the final chapter of QQ Sweeper would be released in Shogakukan’s Betsucomi magazine out May 13. It is a supernatural romance about Kyutaro Horikita, the tall, dark and handsome cleaning expert of Kurokado High School. He soon meets transfer student Fumi Nishioka. With Kyutaro’s help, Fumi will learn how to cleanse the spirits from the school and maybe from her heart as well. The newest series by mangaka Kyousuke Motomi, creator of the recently ended Degenki Daisy, just started last March, and Viz only just announced its license in February. Also included with the announced ending, was that a sequel series would in the August issue out in July. It seems kind of odd to me to end one series just to continue it a few months later. I don’t have an opinion on QQ Sweeper yet. The first volume isn’t scheduled to be released until October. But, I’ve like her titles I’ve read so far, so I think I will probably like this one as well.

 

This Week’s Manga: A Silent Week Before the Fall

This Week's Manga

A Silent Voice 1Last week of the month means a short list, but publishers sometimes save the best for last. Kodansha has a new series debuting this week. A Silent Voice started as a streaming title on Crunchyroll, so while readers asked, not many believed it would get a print edition from Kodansha. We were all pleasantly surprised when we got just that. The story of a deaf girl and her tormentor from elementary school that wants to reconnect has gotten a lot of praise from readers and critics as being powerful and a great read. It’s probably why it got the license. I know I want to read it too, but am hesitant after hearing other talk about how brutal the bullying seemed. But I will read it.

Kuklo UnboundVertical has the second volume of the Attack on Titan Before the Fall novel series, Kuklo Unbound. The volume is an omnibus of the two remaining volumes and is the basis for Kodansha’s manga series Attack on Titan Before the Fall. This series is also unrelated to the first Before the Fall novel. I wish the first novel had gotten a manga adaptation. I really liked it and the main character Angel. But if you’ve been enjoying the Kodansha manga, you can now read the source material. Vertical also has the next volume in their Cardfight! Vanguard series. This is a fun series with a Yu-Gi-Oh-esque feel, but really stands on its own. It’s a great all ages title.

Emma dlx 1Because it’s a slow week, I’m gonna pop in a mention of a title that I can’t believe I missed last week! Yen Press finally released their hard cover deluxe edition of Emma, the Victorian romance by Kaoru Mori. The series went out of print with CMX, but Yen Press has rescued the title and printed up beautiful hardcovers to match their other Kaoru Mori hardcover series, A Bride’s Story. I was able to pick up the first volume of the CMX series and loved it, so I’ve been waiting with bated breath for this new release. That’s why I can’t believe I missed featuring it last week! Luck was on my side that with a short week this week and I could sneak it. The presentation and story make it well worth the price. Don’t pass this one up.

Full List per Diamond Distributors

KODANSHA COMICS
Air Gear Omnibus Volume 5 GN, $19.99
Seven Deadly Sins Volume 8 GN, $10.99
Silent Voice Volume 1 GN, $10.99

ONE PEACE BOOKS
Aquarion Evol Volume 2 GN, $11.95

VERTICAL COMICS
Attack On Titan Before The Fall Kyklo Novel SC, $14.95
Cardfight Vanguard Volume 6 GN, $10.95

YEN PRESS
Yotsuba & ! Volume 1 GN (New Printing), $13.00

This Week’s Manga: A Certain Dream Fossil

This Week's Manga

Dream FossilThere a good selection of titles from publishers this week. One publisher that sort of faded away is back; Netcomics. The manhwa heavy publisher was among the first to offer titles digitally, and rented chapters as well as selling volumes. Their first title back was Give to the Heart, which has volume 3  coming out this week. Joining it is Sweet Blood, a gender-bender/BL vampire title, and a license rescue, Chiro Volume 1 Star Project. This title was originally published by Udon Entertainment under their short-lived manga line. Hopefully it will do better this second time around. Vertical Comics has a hefty title this week with Dream Fossil The Complete Stories of Satoshi Kon. The collection of short stories by the manga creator and anime director has been highly anticipated by fans. Vertical has proven time and again they know how to not only pick great content but present it in a way that makes it worth the price.

Goong 18It’s a Yen Press heavy week, with the publisher releasing the majority of its titles. This week debuts the manga versions of two popular light novels, A Certain Magical Index and Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon. If you’ve been wondering about the titles, but not willing to commit to prose, now’s your chance. I will admit some curiosity over A Certain Magical Index so I’ll probably check it out. Also out this week from Yen is the final volume of Goong The Royal Palace. This complicated, and quite frankly soapy tale of a regular girl marrying into the Korean Royal Family can be frustratingly addicting. You want to know how things are going to turn out, but more often than not want to yell at the characters for their poor decision-making. I got sucked in, and now I have to find out how things end, so this title is a must.

Full List per Diamond Distributors

NETCOMICS
Chiro Volume 1 Star Project GN, $11.99
Give To The Heart Volume 3 GN, $11.99
Sweet Blood Volume 1 GN, $11.99

SEVEN SEAS ENTERTAINMENT
Alice In The Country Of Clover Twin Lovers GN, $13.99
World War Blue Volume 8 GN, $12.99

VERTICAL COMICS
Dream Fossil The Complete Stories Of Satoshi Kon GN, $24.95

VIZ MEDIA
Gangsta Volume 6 GN, $12.99
Resident Evil The Marhawa Desire Volume 4 GN, $12.99
Terra Formars Volume 6 GN, $12.99

YEN PRESS
Ani-Imo Volume 3 GN, $13.00
Blood Lad Omnibus Volume 6 GN, $20.00
BTOOOM Volume 10 GN, $14.00
Certain Magical Index Volume 1 GN, $13.00
Certain Magical Index Volume 3 Light Novel SC, $14.00
Emma Volume 1 HC, $35.00
Goong Volume 18 GN, $25.00
Gou-Dere Sora Nagihara Volume 3 GN, $15.00
High School DxD Volume 5 GN, $13.00
Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon Volume 1 GN, $13.00
No Matter How I Look At It It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular Volume 7 GN, $13.00
Sword Art Online Girls’ Ops Volume 1 GN, $13.00
Trinity Seven Volume 1 GN, $13.00
Ubel Blatt Volume 2 GN, $20.00
Umineko When They Cry Episode 5 End Of The Golden Witch Volume 1 GN, $20.00
Until Death Do Us Part Volume 9 GN, $25.00

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.

The Garden of Words

Words are powerful. Insults and rumors can derail a career; a bit of encouragement can give someone the strength to pursue their dreams. When a high school boy skipping class to sketch shoe designs and a taciturn woman drinking a morning beer meet in a Tokyo park, they say little, but the woman bids farewell with an ancient tanka poem. Will the boy figure out the poem’s meaning-and its corresponding response-before it’s too late?

The Garden of Words
Garden of WordsWritten by Makoto Shinkai; Art by Midori Motohashi
Publisher: Vertical Comics
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Drama
Price: $12.95
Rating: ★★★★½

The Garden of Words is based on an anime movie that was released in 2013. It takes place over a short period of time, just a few months in the summer, during Japan’s rainy season. But in that short period, two people find enough to say to give flight to the hopes and dreams for both of them.

This story focuses on two people, Akizuki, a high school boy who dreams of being a shoe maker, and Yukino, a young woman who seems lost and without purpose. These two meet one rainy day under a gazebo in a Tokyo park, and continue to do so on rainy mornings where they begin to talk and open up to each other, but never introduce themselves. Things become complicated once their true identities are revealed, and feelings are confessed.

I liked Akizuki and Yukino. They are both sympathetic and likable leads. Akizuki’s determination to follow his dream no matter how silly it seems to others is cool. His hesitation to tell anyone his dream is reasonable for a teen who expects ridicule from his peers and discouragement from adults. He still works hard toward his goal, constantly drawing shoe designs and practicing working with leather. He spends his summer break working to earn money for tuition and supplies for a trade school. Yukino is just the opposite. She has an experience that turns her dream job into a nightmare, and worse, is practically bullied by those who should respect her for something she had no control over. It’s really sad what Yukino goes through, but Akizuki’s kindness is just what she needs to escape the mire she’s been trapped in.

The Garden of Words is the story of recovery and self-reliance. Akizuki and Yukino were drifting in their lives, knowing their dreams but having their doubts. Meeting each other in the garden, where they would support each other with just kindness and friendship, they both found their paths and could take them, even if they weren’t necessarily together. It is a beautiful story filled with emotion. Midori Motohashi’s art is delicate and expressive, displaying the characters feelings perfectly. In one volume, a sensitive story of life and love is cultivated to illustrate the redemptive side of the human condition.

Vertical Comics Adds Alt Manga

Vertical Comics logoGirl on the ShoreVertical Comics is a publisher that likes to appeal to the more adult manga reader, and their newest license, announced at Genericon a few weeks ago, will do not just that, but will also appeal to the alt comics/manga reader.

A Girl On the Shore is by alt manga creator Inio Asano. Previous works by him have been released by Viz Media (Solanin, What A Wonderful World) and Fantagraphics (Nijigahara Holograph). This two-volume series looks at the themes of love and sex as it follows two teenagers, Koume Sato and Kosuke Isoba. Koume was used and dumped by her crush, and now wants to start a purely sexual relationship with Kosuke. Their attempt at sex with no strings attached leads to unexpected complications  not just between them, but with the people around them.

Vertical will be publishing this series as a single volume omnibus. Because the content is very adult, it will come shrink-wrapped and will be shipping early in 2016. While the title comes from an alt magazine, older fans of Flowers of Evil and Vertical’s josei titles should check it out as well. While I know Vertical always picks excellent titles, they are not always easy reading. With this title being billed as “very, very Vertical,” you can count on it not only being a great read, but also a challenging one.

Prophecy Volume 1

A newspaper-masked vigilante who broadcasts his acts of vengeance before committing them. A newly formed police division tackling the new frontier of internet-based crime. As the sun rises on the Era of Information, can a group of people who found themselves at the bottom of the food chain rattle society through the web and avenge a fallen friend?

Prophecy Volume 1
Prophecy 1By Tetsuya Tsutsui
Publisher: Vertical Comics
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Thriller
Price: $12.95
Rating: ★★★★½

For anyone who has spent any time on social media, Prophecy will feel like a story ripped from the headlines. Anonymous threats coming from websites that have the police stumped and running in circles trying to find the perpetrators. This first volume sets up the cat and mouse game between Paperboy, an online presence that makes threats and carries them out and the newly formed Anti-Cyber Crimes Division, a unit of the Tokyo Metro Police Department who are trying to stop him.

The story starts like a police procedural with the crimes being discovered and the ACCD starting to investigate. The ACCD is a three person unit led by Lieutenant Erika Yoshino. She is hard-nosed, no-nonsense, and borderline vindictive toward the accused, almost as if the crimes were committed against her personally. She doesn’t pull any punches which can lead to conflicting feelings about her, but she is smart and capable, and is quick to pick up that Paperboy is more than he seems. Her two subordinates, Daiki Okamoto and Manabu Ichikawa have varying degrees of experience with the internet, allowing them to fill different roles in the unit. Daiki was kind of cute with his newbie questions about flame wars and why people get into them. They are the good guys, the protagonists meant to stop Paperboy.

The antagonist, Paperboy, comes off at first like a cyber vigilante, taking on people who have committed some sort of crime as he sees it and administers the seemingly appropriate “justice”. He isn’t taken seriously at first, but as his “sentences” escalate, his popularity grows. At first, it’s easy to write him off, but after he does a live cast that speaks to a lot of people, his approval rating starts to go up as well. Paperboy isn’t committing these crimes for the notoriety, but from a sense of justice that stems from a society and system that has failed a class of people called the “atypical employed”; contract workers, temps, and part-timers. After seeing his origin, it’s hard not to want to root for him.

This is what really makes this series fascinating. It’s easy to see the ACCD as the heroes at first when the issues are black and white. But Paperboy represents a veiled part of society, those without power or a voice to speak with, the poor, the 99%. While his actions are extreme, they are also things a lot of people have thought should happen, such as a rape apologist getting a taste of his own medicine. It isn’t just individuals he takes on, but companies as well, who instead of being accountable for their mistakes trying to shift blame. He is fighting for all the people who think there is nothing they can do, much like the Occupy movement tried to do a few years ago, so it’s morally gray issue.

Paperboy’s origin is tragic, so it’s hard not to sympathize with him. I was mildly sympathetic to him at first, but after  seeing how he started, I was ready to cheer him on. Tsutsui’s writing and character development played a lot into getting the reader to this play. The art is realistic, and a little gritty, adding to both the story’s and character’s realism. It’s use of online social media such are Twitter and You(r)tube only adds to its genuine feeling. It’s that authenticity that really draws you in.

Prophecy is off to a fantastic start and a serious read. It is only three volumes, so it’s not a big investment. If you have any interest in social media networks and how they affect our lives today, pick this title up. It really does seem prophetic with the way social media is being used as a weapon against people and groups by others with a “twisted” sense of justice. This story is too good to pass up. Vertical Comics has done it again with absolute must read.

 

Vertical Comics Adds Three New Licenses

At their panel at Katsucon over Valentine’s Day weekend, Vertical Comics showed readers the manga love with three new licenses; 1 manga and 2 light novel series.

Kizumonogatari Kizumonogatari is part of the Monogatari light novel series by writer NisiOisin. While Kizu is the third novel in the series, it is a prequel to the first, Bakemonogatari. It tells the story of how protagonist Koyomi was turned into a vampire by the female vampire Shinobu, and his journey to return to being human. I’ve heard about the Monogatari series, but never knew what they were about. With the description of mystery and supernatural, I’m now interested. So far, only this volume of the 18 available so far has been licensed. More will depend on how well this one does. It will ship in November of this year.

Seraph Light Novel Seraph of the End is a series already familiar to manga fans. Viz Media has been releases the manga and running concurrent chapters with Japan in Weekly Shonen Jump. This license from Vertical, Guren Ichinose, Catastrophe at 16, is another prequel to the main story. It follows Guren Ichinose in his early days, before he became a Lieutenant Colonel in the Japanese Imperial Demon Army. There are currently 4 light novels, and Vertical plans to publish them as 2-in-1 omnibus editions. I have to read more of the manga to see if these light novels will hold any interest for me. I wasn’t impressed with the first volume, but the first three volumes made it to the YALSA GGNT list, so I’m going to give the series a second chance. No release date was announced for omnibus editions, but I would expect another end of the year release for it.

Ninja SlayerNinja Slayer: Machine of Vengeance is the final license announced by Vertical Comics. It is a manga based on a light novel series originally written by Americans Bradly Bond and Phillip Ninj@ Morzez and translated and published in Japan. This is the first of two manga adaptations published. Ninja Slayer takes place in a dystopian future where ninja souls have been resurrected and now wreak havoc on the city of Neo-Saitama. The story follows Kenji Fujikido, a salary man who lost his wife and daughter to a ninja turf war, and in nearly losing his life, is possessed by an enigmatic ninja soul. Fujikido survives and becomes a Ninja Slayer, destined to kill evil ninja and takes on the Soukai Syndicate. Ninja Slayer sounds like a title fans of sword wielding story like Blade of the Immortal or Crying Freeman would enjoy. It’s not really my cup of tea, so this is one I will pass one. It is scheduled to be released in October.

It’s an interesting selection from Vertical. Light Novel fans have much to rejoice, but they will only see more if they put their money where their mouth is. More titles are promised to be on the way, so here’s hoping there will be more manga announcements this time around.

 

 

This Week’s Manga: Bewitching

This Week's Manga

WitchCraft Works 3It’s super light in manga this week. Kodansha has nothing that interests me. I finally read the first volume of Manga Dogs and was sadly disappointed by it. The manga references were cute, but the volume as a whole just wasn’t funny, so I’ll pass on volume 3’s release. While I like the Pokemon Adventures manga series more than the TV series, the manga adaptations of the movies have been decent. The adaptation of the last movie to be released, Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction, comes out from Perfect Square, Viz Media’s kid imprint.

Vertical Comics gets the thumb’s up this week with their all ages and comedy releases. I really enjoyed Cardfight! Vanguard. It’s a great combination of fun characters and collectible card games. Even if you can’t get the volumes with the limited edition game cards, pick up this series anyway. It’s just as fun to read as to play. Witchcraft Works has the kind of comedy I really enjoy; the deadpan protagonist. Takamiya keeps the same straight expression, no matter what is going on around her, whether she’s being attacked by witches or their giant bunny minions. It looks to be a great series and will be diving into it just like you should be with Volume 3, the newest release.

Full list per Diamond Distributors:

KODANSHA COMICS
Cage Of Eden Volume 17 GN, $10.99
Manga Dogs Volume 3 GN, $10.99

PERFECT SQUARE
Pokemon The Movie Diancie And The Cocoon Of Destruction GN, $9.99

SEVEN SEAS ENTERTAINMENT
Lucifer And The Biscuit Hammer Omnibus Volume 2 TP, $18.99

VERTICAL
Cardfight Vanguard Volume 5 GN, $10.95
Witchcraft Works Volume 3 GN, $12.95

This Week’s Manga: Prophetic Love

This Week's Manga

Blood Blockade Battlefront 7It’s a small week for only being the second of the month. Hey, Dark Horse is still publishing manga! It’s kind of surprising considering how rarely volumes pop up. I see merchandise more often than manga, and had forgotten they were even publishing Blood Blockade Battlefront, from Yasuhiro Nightow, the creator of Trigun.  I was never interested in reading either. Volume 7 is out this week. They also have the omnibus of the re-release of Samurai Executioner Volume 4 by Kazuo Koike, who is associated with Dark Horse in the same way Naoki Urasawa is associate with Viz Media.

Prophecy 2The jewel of the releases this week comes from Vertical Comics, as can be expected. This week they have the second volume of Prophecy, the cyber crime investigation, social media vengeance title you didn’t know you should be reading. Well, you’ve now been given notice. It’s only three volumes long, and comes out of the gate punching. It’s a title that will hook you from the first chapter.

In honor of Valentines Day this week, Kodansha releases the sixth volume of Say I Love You, a teen romance filled with all the uncertainty and doubt teens feel about themselves and their feelings. And it’s a great read. Or for the male gaze-gender swap-dating sim-Alice in Wonderland lovers out there, Seven Seas Entertainment has you covered with their new releases this week.

Full list per Diamond Distributors:

DARK HORSE COMICS
Blood Blockade Battlefront Volume 7 TP, $12.99
Samurai Executioner Omnibus Volume 4 TP, $19.99

KODANSHA COMICS
Say I Love You Volume 6 GN, $10.99
Tsubasa Omnibus Volume 3 GN, $19.99

SEVEN SEAS ENTERTAINMENT
Alice In The Country Of Joker Circus And Liar’s Game Volume 7 GN, $12.99
Dragonar Academy Volume 5 GN, $12.99
I Am Alice Body Swap In Wonderland Volume 3 GN, $13.99

VERTICAL
Ajin Volume 3 GN, $12.95
Prophecy Volume 2 GN, $12.95