I wasn’t sold on Bleach when it was first announced, but fortunately, I had a subscription to Shonen Jump back in the day, and read the first few chapters, and was hooked. I really liked the characters and the world that Kubo had created for them. I was a huge Bleach fan, buying the books as they came out, watching the anime, and even collecting the toys from Toynami, several sets of gashapon, and the trading cards. I loved the first arc in Soul Society.
It’s Viz’s 30th Anniversary, but they’re bringing the party to SDCC with guests, panels, and exclusives for fans to enjoy. Highlights I wish I could go to are the Pokemon Adventures manga creators panel, the 30th Anniversary Shikishi and Retrospective Displays, and of course the exclusives! I considered the pre-release of Yona of the Dawn, but I was disappointed by the last pre-release I got, so I think the Art of Pokemon Adventures would interest me more, just so I can get the convention bag. Cause I gotta get them all!
Viz Media has some surprising (and not so surprising) licenses at Anime Expo over the 4th of July weekend, spread over their various imprints. Dragon Ball Super was a no brainer, and the print release of Yu-Gi-Oh Arc V should be as well. There were some nice surprises though too, with a new shojo, a new Mobile Suit Gundam set in the Universal Century timeline, and to those waiting for Rose of Versailles, the box set of Revolutionary Girl Utena.
Magic, Action and Demons, three things you can put into a shonen title and not go wrong. Viz had all three in spades with their two new titles out this week. I wasn’t too interested in Black Clover when it was first started in Weekly Shonen Jump. It sounds too familiar and I didn’t hear many good things at first. It’s still going, so something must have turned around. 7th Garden sounds much more my cup of tea, though I find the demons and angels angle a little played out as well. But I’m up to some good old-fashioned eye candy with hot guys.
I must confess I never got around to reading Blue Exorcist despite all the good press it got when it first came out. I’ve just never been pulled in by all the chapters I’ve read. Obviously I’m in the minority, and the majority of fans will now be able meet the creator of their favorite manga and get some need goodies as well.
In conjunction with the return of the Legend of Zelda comics in Japan, Viz Media is re-releasing the first ten volumes of the series as omnibus editions in time for the holidays this year. This seems like a good idea as it drops the series down to 5 volumes and gives it a bigger trim size, but with an MSRP of $17.99, this makes the series more expensive than the box set now available, even at full price. Most omnibus editions re-releases are priced lower than the original release. This is the going in the opposite direction. While I hope Viz picks up the returning Legend of Zelda manga, this isn’t the way to get fans back.
Viz Media’s digital strategy and I have not gotten along very well. For the longest time after Viz released their Vizmanga app, I couldn’t install it because Google Play kept saying it wasn’t compatible with my Android tablet. I finally had to go through Amazon’s App Store and install it through there. I had something to say about that.
The updates are sparse this month. Most have been covered in separate press releases, except for the debut of Boruto, the Naruto spin-off series that features Naruto’s son Boruto and the kids of his generation. I haven’t checked out the previous one shot featuring those characters, so I don’t know if it’s something to get excited about yet. Not sure what’s up with the Anniversary Sale, since the PR doesn’t really say anything, and there hasn’t been anything on the site yet. I’m intrigued to see what it will be.
Free Comic Book Day started as a way to promote western comics to the uninitiated. It’s a chance to pick up an interesting title for free that (hopefully) represents what the title is about and stir up some interest in new readers. In the last few years manga publishers have been joining in with their own samplers. This year, Viz Media has two to check out. Pokemon Pocket Comics are short strips with a lot of humor and not necessarily a lot of words, so it’s perfect for the young and/or emerging reader. Older Readers wondering what Japanese superheroes look like can pick up the Shonen Jump Sampler which features One-Punch Man and My Hero Academia. Get there early as these books tend to go fast!
I love historical manga, so I’m always interested when a new series comes out. There have been a couple of titles set in the Taisho era, but I’m always happy to see more. The fact that it’s only two volumes increases my interest, as that is something I can easily fit into my bookshelf, both digital and physical. I’m looking forward to reading this series.
Sakura was never a character that interested me in the original Naruto manga, as she appeared to be more interested in Sasuke as husband material than really making it as a ninja in her own right. This may have changed later in the series, but this novel definitely does, as it give her not only the spotlight, but a mystery to solve!
Dragon Ball has become a classic title here in the west just as it is the Japan. Viz Media has published several different editions of the series, including a VizBIG and 3-in-1 omnibuses. Now, they’re taking it a step up with color editions of this long and seemingly unending saga. Sadly, the color editions are starting with Dragon Ball Z, the part of the series I would argue is not as strong as the first. But that’s just me.