I was late in discovering Kaori Yuki’s work. It wasn’t until Shojo Beat and Godchild, which was one of the debut titles, that I learned how great her work was. But before Godchild and it’s prequel The Cain Saga, another series by Kaori Yuki was released in the US. That was Angel Sanctuary. This 20 volume series was first released by Viz in 2004 and completed it’s run in 2007. The story is about Setsuna Mudo, the re-incarnation of the Organic Angel Alexiel. Alexiel rebelled against heaven and as punishment was sentenced to be re-incarnated as a mortal and to live a life filled with pain and suffering. Setsuna is discovered to be the latest re-incarnation and is pulled into the war between heaven and hell.
I’ve only read the first volume, and wasn’t quite ready for her style of writing then. But after reading her other titles that are available in English, I would like to try this series again. I was bothered by the incest introduced in the first volume of Angel Sanctuary, but now realize that is a common theme in her titles. My only problem now is, the series is 20 volumes long! 20 volumes is a lot to track down, and take up a lot of space. This is what makes Angel Sanctuary the perfect candidate for the VizBIG format. It’s complete and it’s been so for a while, like several of the other titles we’ve seen come out. It’s length makes it difficult to find in the individual volume format and will take up a lot of space. 9 volumes are a lot easier to handle and collect than 20. And with several other of her titles out, it’s the perfect time to reintroduce her most influential work to a new audience, as well as the growing interest in titles for older readers. While it’s rated Older Teen, it’s rating could go up, as other of her titles have.
Angel Sanctuary has all the making of a great addition to the VizBIG line. Hopefully Viz realizes this and will re-release this series soon.
John Jakala found the Inuyasha VizBig Edition on Amazon and noticed something that I didn’t see on Simon and Schuster; it says it will be left to right, just what I DIDN’T want. Greg McElhatton commented on that blog post saying he heard a rumor that all Takahashi manga was contracted for left to right reading. As stupid as that sounds, I wouldn’t be TOO suprised if it was true. But this brings up a new question. Will Takahashi’s new manga, to be released simultaneously with the Japanese be flipped as well?
If Viz does have this all-encompassing contract with Takahashi that keeps all her manga in L to R, then the simultaneous release will do nothing about scanalations (if that’s their reason for it). There will still be scanalators putting out the manga in it’s correct R to L orientation. And there will still be people reading them because THAT’S HOW THEY WANT THEIR MANGA! And don’t try and tell us “that’s the way Takahashi wants it”. No it isn’t. Any creator wants their work recreated as close to the original as possible, while still being sellable. R to L sells just fine. Don’t assume that just because it’s by Takahashi it’s going to get tons of sales automatically.
Come on Viz, try and think of the fans and your readers, just once. Please say when you negotiated for Rin-ne, that you got it in its proper orientation, and that you got all the other manga to go R to L as well for the BIG Editions. Please, don’t let us down.
Viz has been a great supporter of manga in the US. They were among the first companies to bring translated manga here in the form that would best reach it’s audience; flipped (read left-to-right), and in floppies. They were also smart enough to snag one of the most popular manga artists to translate; Rumiko Takahashi. Viz’s Urusei Yatsura was among the first manga-comics I ever bought. I missed out on the comic versions of Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha, as I wasn’t reading comics at the time, but when they started to collect them as graphic novels, I gave them a serious look. The biggest problem I had, and still have, is that these titles continued to come out as flipped after they discontinued the floppies. All their other books were coming out unflipped. Dragonball and Dragonball Z, titles that also came out as floppies first, got second edition reprints as unflipped. Why not Ranma and Inuyasha?
Michelle Smith, blogger for soliloquy in blue, in her twitter feed, pointed out an entry at Simon and Schuster website for a VIZBIG edition for Inuyasha, scheduled for November 2009. All I can say is, ABOUT TIME! I dropped Inuyasha, even though I was enjoying the story, partly because it’s still published flipped. I haven’t gone beyond Ranma 1/2 volume 5 for the same reason. I want my Takahashi manga in it’s correct format! I was calling for VIZBIG editions for Inuyasha right after they announced the format, so I’m really glad they are finally getting to Inuyasha. Hopefully at SDCC or in 2010 we’ll get an announcement for Ranma 1/2 in the same format. What I would really love to see, but we probably won’t in this economy, is Urusei Yatsura as a VIZBIG, complete and uncut. I’d dedicate a whole bookshelf just to VIZBIG Takahashi volumes. Wouldn’t that look awesome?
Come on Viz, give us Takahashi fans a complete library!