Superheroes have been all the rage lately on TV and movie screens, so it should come as no surprise that they’re popping up in manga too. My Hero Academia has been serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump since late last year, but this simultaneous release of both the print and digital edition of the first volume finally makes the series available to non-WSJ readers. I wasn’t wowed by the chapters that were made available in January of this year, but sales are putting me into the minority. Check it out yourself to see where you stand.
If you’ve been following my Top Ten posts every week, you will have seen that Tokyo Ghoul has been popular even before the print volumes came out. Part of this is probably because of the anime series which streamed earlier last year. If you’ve been curious about the series, but want to try before you buy, Viz Media has a deal for you. You can read an extended except of the first volume online for free. You can get almost half of the first volume to try, but only for a limited time. Check it out while you can!
Once a loner, Hikari “Picasso” Hamura has helped so many people that he finds himself surrounded by friends! Picasso’s going to need them as he faces his most difficult “portrait” yet. It’s easy to deal with other people’s problems. But it’s another story when you have to face your own…
Back when I read volume 1 of Genkaku Picasso for the Usamaru Furuya Movable Manga Feast, I said I was definitely going to be picking up the last two volumes, which I did, but didn’t get around to reading. Have I mentioned I can be a bit of hoarder when it comes to books? Anyway, I finally decided to read the final volumes, and I am really glad I did. The classmates they help and the problems they deal with are both timely and poignant. The final volume has one of the best twists I’ve ever read in a book, and just elevates this series to a whole ‘nother level.
It’s Viz’s big week, and a couple of titles people have been waiting for are being released. Maid-Sama is a former Tokyopop title where only 8 of the 18 volumes were released. This series in one of the rare pick ups from Viz that is getting a print release as well as digital, and is under the Shojo Beat imprint instead of Viz Select. The series fits perfectly in the Shojo Beat imprint with its story of a girl who appears to be tough-as-nails and a boy hater, but also works part-time at a maid cafe where she is found out by the popular boy at school. They are coming out as 2-in-1, so it will be no time before the series is caught up with the previous release, and fans will be getting new material. Also new this week is the first volume of My Hero Academia. This series by the creator of Barrage has seriously caught on with fans on both sides of the Pacific. Here, only the first chapter was released in Weekly Shonen Jump before the title jumped to current serialization, so this is the first chance for readers to see (legally) what happened in the intervening chapters.
Viz Media does a pretty decent job of spreading out its license announcements. They aren’t always big or mind-blowing, but at all three conventions in July they made sure they had something to for fans to look forward to, and I think that in itself is pretty cool.
Maid-Sama is a license rescue from Tokyopop. It was a series they launched after their restructuring in 2008 and they published 8 volumes before shutting down publication in 2011. While a lot of Viz’s rescues are digital only, this title is not only getting a print release, it is coming out as 2-in-1 omnibuses. This should get the series through the previous published material fast and into the unpublished that fans will really be looking for.
Viz is a little late in getting this press release out. Not only did the series come out at the beginning of July, but pre-release copies were sold at Anime Expo. Better late than never though, right? I’m interested in this series, and hope my copy will arrive soon. I’ve seen people seeing it’s similar to Kamisama Kiss, but since I like that series too, I can only see this as a good thing.
It’s been a long time coming to finally see this series in print. New digital volumes always did really well on the Vizmanga site, so it’s surprising it’s taken this long to get it in print. I’ve heard a lot of people go on about how great and funny this series is and since it does do well even as a digital only release I shouldn’t be surprised, but I can’t say I was impressed with the few chapters I read in WSJ back in January. Maybe that just wasn’t a good place to start.
Netcomics has a strong showing this week, with five volumes, two of which are debuts. It think it’s great to see manhwa (Korean comics) being brought back to the US. Yen Press was the last publisher to make any kind of push when they took over Ice Kunion, but haven’t done anything new since. I’m less likely to check out the new volumes Behind Story and Core Scramble as they are BL, but Chiro, which is a rescue from Udon, and Give To The Heart are both titles I would definitely try out. One volume I will have to get is My Neighbor Seki Vol 3. I adore this series so much, that every volume is a must have. Bravo to Vertical Comics for licensing such a fun manga.
Viz Media releases their Shonen Sunday titles this week. I still love Case Closed and get sucked in everything time I pick up a volume no matter how many I’ve missed in between. I do kind of hate seeing a volume where the first chapter ends a case, but no matter how ludicrous the setups or solutions may seem to others, I still adore them! Tiger and Bunny is a series I didn’t expect to like, but now really enjoy. I would enjoy it even more if it were available digitally, but all in all, I’m just glad we got it here. It a Takahashi double-header with both Ranma 1/2 and Rin-Ne releasing new volumes. Ranma 1/2 is another series that I would love digitally, if only Takahashi would allow it.
Full List per Diamond Distributors:
Behind Story Volume 1 GN, $11.99
Chiro Volume 2 The Star Project GN, $11.99
Core Scramble Volume 1 GN, $11.99
Give To The Heart Volume 4 GN, $11.99
Sweet Blood Volume 2 GN, $11.99
SEVEN SEAS ENTERTAINMENT
Arpeggio Of Blue Steel Volume 5 GN, $12.99
Love Stage Volume 2 GN, $12.99
World’s Greatest First Love Volume 2 GN, $12.99
My Neighbor Seki Volume 3 GN, $10.95
07-Ghost Volume 17 GN, $9.99
Case Closed Volume 55 GN, $9.99
Ranma 1/2 2-In-1 Volume 9 TP, $14.99
Rin-Ne Volume 18 GN, $9.99
Tiger And Bunny Volume 7 GN, $9.99
I already discussed these new licenses in my Anime Expo manga roundups. I’ll give the two new shojo manga, Behind the Scenes and Shuriken and Pleats a try. It would be nice to find a good Drama club manga. I could do without another Dragon Ball Z release just to add some color. I also really want to read School Judgement: Gakkyu Hotei. I really enjoyed the few chapters I read in Shonen Jump back in January, so I’m thrilled it’s coming out in print.
Anime Expo occurred over the Fourth of July weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and there were certainly a lot of fireworks as publisher exploded with new license announcements. Over the four-day holiday weekend, Viz, Vertical, Crunchyroll, Kodansha Comics and Yen Press all announced titles, so of which nearly had fans swooning from shock and excitement.
Vertical Comics got their announcements out early, with their panel on Thursday. They first added to their comedy line with a title that has been showing up in their surveys; Nichijou. US fans are familiar with the title through Crunchyroll streaming the anime, and Jmanga having published the first four volumes. It follows a group of female students living what should be a normal high school life, except for all the talking cats, robots, and deer wrestling going on. Vertical did good with their pick of My Neighbor Seki, so I’m gonna trust them with this one too. Actually, they had me at talking cats. It is currently 9 volumes. The first will be out in Spring 2016.
Their second manga license was Fuku Fuku: Kitten Tales by Kanata Konami, the creator of Chi’s Sweet Home. This title is a spin-off from an earlier series, Fuku Fuku Nya~n, a story about the everyday life of a domestic cat and owned by an old lady who runs a local provision shop. Kitten Tales is also about the everyday life of an old lady, but this time it’s with a new kitten. This is so a must have! Just getting more cat manga is great, but getting more Konami cat manga is a boon! Maybe if Kitten Tales does well we can get Nya~n too! The first of the two currently available volumes of this series will be in the spring of 2016 as well.
In the prose department, Vertical picked up another Attack on Titan novel. Lost Girls is another spin-off and is composed of three short stories. They center around Mikasa and Annie, the two butt-kicking girls from the first half of the manga. “Lost in the Cruel World,” “Wall Sina, Goodbye,” and “Lost Girls will make up the 220-page volume and will be out in the Summer of 2016. I’m not too crazy about Annie, but I would totally be up for some stories about Mikasa. I’m glad Vertical is keeping with the Attack on Titan novels. They’ve worked out well filling in story and time wise while waiting for new volumes of the main story.
Viz Media had their first panel on Thursday, for their non-imprint titles, and gave fans their first OMG moment, when they announced they had picked up the novel series Legend of Galactic Heroes for their Haikasoru line. Please notice that is novel and not light novel. Legend of Galactic Heroes is a title a lot of old school fans will be familiar with, it had a 110-episode OVA series that began in the late 80s. It is an epic story of political intrigue and war as the story follows the conflict between the Galactic Empire and the Free Planet Alliance. It is space opera at its finest as it focuses on the personal stories of Admiral Reinhard von Lohengramm and the Alliance’s Yang Wen-Li. Now, the source material for the series, something at most fans thought was a long shot at best, has been licensed. The series is 10 volumes long as well as 4 volumes of side stories. They were written by Yoshiki Tanaka, who also penned the novel for Heroic Legend of Arslan, which is basis for the manga and anime out now. The first volume will be out in the spring of 2016, and remainder of the series will depend on the success of the first three volumes, so be sure to pre-order if this sounds like your kind of thing.
On Friday, Viz had their Shonen Jump panel that didn’t have anything really new to announce. The closest they came was to announce that the Naruto manga spin-off, Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring that has been running in Shonen Jump would be collected and released as a print volume. It ran for a total of 10 chapters, the final of which came out in the issue that was released on Monday. The story takes place several years after the end of Naruto, and follows the new generation of ninja, including Naruto’s son Baruto, and Sakura and Sasuke’s daughter Sarada. I liked Naruto enough that I would check this volume out despite not knowing how the series ended. It will be released in the winter of 2016. If you can’t wait that long, check the Shonen Jump back issues, or watch for a possible early digital release.
That’s it for the first two days. Things are starting off slow, with Vertical having the most titles announced so far, but fans got two good OMG moments with LoGH and Nichijou. I’m still thrilled for more cat manga. There can never be too much cat manga. But Saturday is the big day. It the day when all the biggest announcements are made, and Yen Press, Kodansha and Crunchyroll do not disappoint. I will get to those, as well as Shojo Beat tomorrow.
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