Didn’t I just write about this last week? Oh, wait, that was for Anime Expo! SDCC usually doesn’t come this early, and it leaves fans and companies with barely any down time before they’re packing up for the next show. At least it’s only a 2 hour drive between LA and San Diego. With SDCC being the bigger of the two cons, Viz has more activities planned for SDCC, with more giveaways at their booth, more panels and some con exclusives that SDCC is becoming just as known for. Badger a friend who’s going to get you some.
When Viz Media announced the license of the new Ultraman manga, it was a big deal by itself. But this new announcement that they are bringing the creators of the manga to SDCC just levels the awesome up a notch. The new series, which will be available for purchase early at the con along with a collectible Ultraman figure, will have its own panel, and there will be plenty of opportunities to have that early release manga signed with several autograph sessions. It’s too late to try to get into SDCC now, but if you know someone going to the con, badger them incessantly to attend these events for you, and live vicariously through them!
It’s the 4th of July next week, so that means just one thing; it’s time for Anime Expo! I’ve never been to Anime Expo, with my diverse interests and limitation of one convention a year being taken up by Wondercon, but it seems I’ll have plenty of time to plan to possibly attend since it’s been announced AX will be staying in LA for the next 5 years. Viz Media likes to come down for the con, and they’ve got plenty of things planned, including pre-street manga, exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh cards, raffle for Shojo Beat’s 10th Anniversary, panel and autograph session with mangaka Julietta Suzuki and a day just for Sailor Moon! Start making your plans now if you intend on attending.
Despite my growing finickiness with shonen titles, this one sounds like it might be fun. I naturally gravitate toward supernatural titles, and with both action and romantic elements, it sounds like it might not be too bad. I do enjoy titles where the couples are competitive, so I hope these two get strung along for a while, but please don’t let it turn into a harem like Nisekoi.
Viz Media is celebrating Shojo Beat’s 10th Anniversary by bringing Shojo manga artist Julietta Suzuki to Anime Expo this year. Her latest title, Kamisama Kiss, is published by Viz, but she’s got a few other titles that would be to see brought over/back. Karakuri Odette was her first title to be published here by Tokyopop. It’s a short series at 5 volumes and was actually published complete. It would be a great addition to the Select line. Then there’s Akuma to Dolce, a two-volume series that is unfortunately on hiatus, possibly due to Kamisama Kiss‘s popularity. Hoshi ni Naru hi is both the name of her debut title and a collection of short stories that would also make a great license since it also includes the prototype story for Kamisama Kiss. Any of these would make a great Anniversary present!
I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since the debut of Shojo Beat. I remember resenting my Animerica subscription being turned into a Shojo Beat sub, but I never regrets not canceling it. I loved Shojo Beat the magazine and still have every single issue. I wish there was a way to resurrect it digitally. I didn’t just love the comics, I loved the features and stories that were in the magazine as well. The magazine introduced me to so many titles I would never have read otherwise. It was great and I still miss it. At least we still have the line that is still going strong!
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
I must confess I have read any Junji Ito titles. They either freak me out or gross me out too much. The one title I will even try is his cat manga, Cat Diary: Yon and Mu that Kodansha is releasing. I’m not sure if a collection of short stories would be either better or worse than a full length title. Being short they would be over fast, but sometimes a shorter story can be more creepy, and gross. I’ll just have to wait to see if I can stomach these stories. Fans of Ito and horror in general should snag this title up regardless.
I’d heard about this series when the anime came out, and was curious, until I read about how graphic it was, and was about the flesh-eating undead. Not my cup of tea. But fans of the series have been pre-ordering this series like gangbusters, even with releasing the digital version early, so Viz has another potential hit on their hands. This is one series I’ll have to watch from the sidelines, but readers with no qualms about characters that don’t eat just brains, but the rest as well should check this series out.
And we go from feast to famine as this week’s list is tiny in comparison to last week. I love that we’re getting all these new licenses, but I really wish the release schedule was a little more even. It makes buying (and writing) about them much easier. Only three publishers have anything coming out, and Udon Entertainment’s title is only tangentially related. Of course I’m going to recommend Say I Love You Volume 8. This is an auto-response in my brain. I can’t not. Viz also releases their Shonen Sunday titles with a dash of Jump added for good measure. I would recommend Magi vol 12 and One Piece 3-In-1 Vol 12 which moves the series into one of the best (and longest) arc of the series, “Waters Seven.”
I’m gonna give Udon Entertainment a shout out for their Manga Classics series. I’ve been enjoying them a lot, as well as finally reading the classic literature I never got to when I was in school. This time it’s Emma, another Regency romantic comedy by Jane Austin. I really enjoyed Pride and Prejudice, the first Jane Austin novel they adapted, so I expect to feel the same about Emma.
Full List per Diamond Distributors:
Say I Love You Volume 8 GN, $10.99
Manga Classics Emma SC, $19.99
Arata The Legend Volume 22 GN, $9.99
Deadman Wonderland Volume 9 GN, $9.99
Magi Volume 12 GN, $9.99
One Piece 3-In-1 Volume 12 TP, $14.99
Seraph Of The End Vampire Reign Volume 5 GN, $9.99
Viz has raided the old Tokyopop vaults to come up with three new titles to debut under their Select digital imprint. Welcome to the N.H.K. was one of the first light novel manga adaptations to come to the states, and arrived shortly after the anime, giving the title a lot of name recognition. Aion is by Yuna Kagesaki, the creator of Chibi Vampire. This follow-up didn’t do as well as Chibi Vampire, a sentiment I agree with. I didn’t find the first volume all that great. Metamo Kiss is by a mangaka not previously published here, and is a gender/body switching shojo, if you’re into that sort of thing.
They’ve got some good bundles this month too. Saint Seiya, Knights of the Zodiac, is an awesome series that didn’t get the love it deserved in print. That can be corrected with one of the two bundles they have available: vol 1-14, or the whole thing, 1-28. Also available is the older teen historical, time travel series Red River, filled with action and romance. A very addictive series. I recommend both!
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.
Viz 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:
Fairy Tail Volume 48 GN, $10.99
My Little Monster Volume 8 GN, $10.99
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
Ajin Demi-Human Volume 5 GN, $12.95
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