Tag Archives: Yen Press

Desperate Times

Want to know why the Japanese model of selling anthologies without back issues won’t work in the US?  This ebay auction is a pretty good indication.  With 2 hours to go, the winning bid is $91.00 for Yen Plus Volume 1 issue 2, which started out at $8.99.  Such outrageous extremes wouldn’t be happening if Yen Press had thought things through and had a plan for back issues.  I think this is a good indication of how uneven the distribution of Yen Plus is in brick and mortar stores.  I don’t think anyone in this economy would pay such a price if they were so readily available.  And Collectors want their collection complete, graphic novels coming out later or not.

The auction ended, by the way, at $102.50.  That seller is going to have a happy Christmas.  I hope it was really worth it to the buyer.

Yen + Pressure

I’m glad Yen Press chose to go the anthology route and put out a magazine. Anthologies are probably the best way to get manga titles seen by the general public. But, some issues are starting to come up that make me wonder about their intentions for it.

Since I wrote my less than stellar review of issue 2, I’ve been getting requests to sell it (which I did, sorry everyone else). I found out why by from one hopeful buyer. Yen Press doesn’t offer back issues for sale. This is confirmed on their website in the comment of their blog for Yen Plus here, in the second to last comment by Abby.  She claims there is no way to order them through their distributor.  And that struck me as kinda weird.  I’ve personally never run into a situation where I couldn’t order a back issue of a magazine.  Even with my small, more obscure publications such as Cross Stitching or Godzilla.  Even if it’s for a limited time, back issues can be purchased from the magazine.

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Halloween Manga

It’s that time of year again when ghosts and goblins come out to play. Do you want to get into the Halloween spirit, but just don’t know what to get? Well, here’s a list of manga that I’ve either read, or know something about enough to recommend (or warn you away from).

I first posted this on my Tokyopop blog, but I’m bringing here with a few updates.  Well, I thought it was going to be just a few, but every time I start to think I’m done, I come up with another book!  I tried to keep the books in this list to more appropriate to a Halloween theme, than just ghosts, vampires and monsters, etc.  It would take forever to list ALL manga with those in it!

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Yen Plus – Update

In my continuing evaluation of Yen Plus to decide if it’s worth subscribing to, I picked up issue 2.  I read it the same way as last issue, reading the Japanese side first, and then flipping to the OEL/Korean side.  With this second issue, most of my original impressions stand, if not becoming more ingrained.  The entire Japanese side is a complete and total waste.  The fan service continues unabated, and overrides any story that might be there, especially in Soul Eater and Sumomomo MomomoBamboo Blade has really deteriorated in it’s next two chapters.  Higurashi and Nabari stand on the edge, but they are not intriguing enough to hold up the other three.  The whole Japanese side is a write off as far as I’m concerned.

The OEL/Korean side carries this magazine.  Nightschool and Pig Bride stand as the strongest titles, with Maximum Ride and Sarasah close behind.  One Fine Day is a take or leave title, and Jack Frost continues to show it’s Hellsing influence.  Actually it’s just plain a rip-off, but still has some potential.

All of these titles together as a package just doesn’t do it for me.  I’m paying $9 a month or $50 a year to read half a magazine?  I don’t think so.  Yen Press’ best bet would be to divide the magazine up and bring out two different mag and market them to two different audiences.  The Japanese side is purely for the guys.  It’s hard to find anything substantial for females to really latch onto and enjoy.  I don’t mind some fanservice, but these just go too far for even my tastes.  Actually, most of it is just plain offensive pandering.  The OEL/Korean side is closer to what a general audiences magazine should be.  Action, fantasy, romance, and slice of life all together.  This is the side that has the best chance of surviving as it has the greatest ability to appeal to a wider audience.  The Japanese side for the fanboys.  Why not just give it to them, and leave the rest of us to have 1 or 2 titles we don’t like rather than 6-7.

I will not continue to pick up Yen Plus, but will follow my favorite series in graphic novels.  It was a good idea, but the titles in Yen Plus just doesn’t make it worth it.  Maybe when Hero Tales is added, as was just announced at NYAF, things might change.  I may pick up the first issue with Hero Tales and see if there is any improvement, but at the moment, I don’t have a lot of high hopes for it.  I’ll pay $4.99 monthly/$29.99 yearly for the OEL/Korean side, but I’m not sinking my few spare dollars into a year of titles I couldn’t care less about.

Review: Yen Plus Volume 1 Issue 1 OEL/Korean Manhwa

Yen Plus
Publisher: Yen Press
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Anthology
Price: $8.99

Picking up where I left off last post, the OEL/Korean side starts out with lots of ads, mostly for Yen Press and related, as well as some other company ads.  Since this is the side that read like normal for Americans, they probably thought they were best placed here.

Continue reading Review: Yen Plus Volume 1 Issue 1 OEL/Korean Manhwa

Review: Yen Plus Volume 1 Issue 1 Japanese Manga

Yen Plus
Publisher: Yen Press
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Anthology
Price: $8.99

I was excited to hear last year at the Yen Press inaugural panel as SDCC that they would be publishing an anthology.  I really like by Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat, as they give me an opportunity to sample lots of different manga at an affordable price.  At that panel, Kurt Hassler promised the anthology would be ready by the next SDCC.  And, low and behold, it was there, Friday, for free!  Needless to say, as soon as we got back to the hotel, and for the rest of the weekend, I read it.

First, a few general observations about the anthology.  It’s big.  If you combined one issue of Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat, you would get the approx. size.  And it’s almost all manga.  There aren’t a lot of filler articles (that I tend to ignore in the other anthologies anyway).  There are ads, but they are well done, and put mostly on the OEL/Korean Manhwa side of the anthology.  They are mostly for other Yen Press titles, with a few others thrown in (Dark Horse, Right Stuf etc.).  This anthology also reads from both sides.  The left-to-right side features OEL titles and Korean Manhwa.  About half way through the anthology is a divider page, that tells you to flip the anthology.  On the other side are the Japanese titles in their right-to-left direction.  Tokyopop did this for a while with the manga magazine before they reduced it to just a shadow of it’s former self.

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San Diego Comic Con: Day 2

Well, we got through another day, filled with even more people and more lines.  Yesterday, we had to spend an hour in line and just barely got to see the Dexter panel.  Today, it took 30-45 minutes on the shuttle to get to the convention center.  We got there at 10:15, and was 30 minutes early to see the Stargate panels. We were able to get in only because they were the first panels of the day, and we still were in the back.  We waited for only 1/2 hour for the Viz Media panel, but were still at the back, and was totally denied from going to the MST3K 20th Anniversary panel.  Over an hour before the panel, and the line was already filled to capacity for the room.  We REAAAAALLLLLYYY wanted to go to that one.  We’ve been fans for over a decade!

Continue reading San Diego Comic Con: Day 2

San Diego Comic Con: Day 1

Well, we survived the first day of the Con.  It was crowded, as I predicted, and it’s only the first day!  Moving through the Exhibit Hall was difficult at times and nearly all the panels had a minimum 1 hour wait, and you still weren’t guaranteed to get in.  We ended up missing the Doctor Who/Torchwood panel, so instead we spent most of the day in the Exhibit Hall.  We took lots of pictures, and I’ll be posting some throughout the weekend.

I stopped by most of the manga publishers tables, and I have to say, I’m pretty disappointed.  Especially Viz.  Last year, they had lots of manga for sale, so I could catch up on titles that I had fallen behind on.  Heaven knows no one brings manga to a comic con.  Who would want to buy comics at a Comic Con?  This year, they decided to just push certain titles (Black Lagoon, One Pound Gospel, Vampire Knight, Bleach Collector Edition and the Shonen Jump Fifth Anniversary Collector’s Edition).  It was a real letdown.  They had other things going on at their booth.  There was wall for people to post post-its with messages for Tite Kubo, a basketball hoop shoot to promote Slam Dunk, and a preview of a download service for manga that’s only available in Japan.  Bring it out here!  And for the DS!!

Yen Press bummed me out too.  I was so sure they would have issues of Yen Plus available for sale at the con.  I came out yesterday after all.  What better place to push the magazine than at San Diego?  Instead, there’s just some previews of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi.  No Yen Plus anywhere.  (Nowhere else at the Con either).  So I was denied twice.

The smaller publishers I stopped by had a much better selection and actually had books for sale!  Digital Manga was across from Viz, and had their books out front (the non-yaoi titles) for easy perusal and purchase.  Udon, who was down by Video Game row, not only had books for sale, but was providing autographs and sketches for customers.  It felt like a much more fun atmosphere.  The way a con should be.

Tomorrow I will be stopping by Del Rey and Aurora/Broccoli Books, as well as going to the Viz Media Panel (hopefully).  San Diego has become a great Con for making contacts, and meeting guests, but as a convention in the traditional sense, it’s failing miserably.

PR:The Haruhi Invasion Continues!

I loved the anime of Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, and now not only is the manga, but the light novels that started the phenomenon are coming over here! The anime was great, so I expect the source material to be even better! Haruhi is fun and quirky, and Kyon’ sarcastic wit is the best. Don’t pass these up! Press Release after the cut.

Continue reading PR:The Haruhi Invasion Continues!

Review: Zombie Loan Volume 1

Zombie Loan Volume 1
By Peach Pit
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Supernatural/Action
Rating: Older Teen
Price: $10.99

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Michiru Kita’s a weak-spirited girl who has a hard time saying what’s on her mind. One day, she notices mysterious, ring-like markings around the necks of two of her classmates, Chika Akatsuki and Shito Tachibana-two boys who miraculously survived a horrible accident six months ago. Michiru, possessing the rare ability to see these rings, knows that they warn of impending death. Thinking that, perhaps, she can do something to save her classmates’ lives, she approaches them…but it seems the boys have already make a different kind of deal and garnered themselves a heavy debt.

Shinigami eyes, black rings that appear around necks that foretell of impending death, zombies that eat human flesh, two hot guys, one with a sword and the other with a gun, that hunt the zombies and release their souls. Sounds like an exciting story, right? Too bad this volume didn’t play out that way.

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