Twelve Manga of Christmas: Third Day

“On the Third Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, Three Sibling Cards,”

Manami Minami decides to learn to play Chaos, a popular TCG.  Her cousin Tamotsu, who also plays, takes her to the hobby store to by a starter pack.  By a strange twist of fate, the pack she buys has an ultra-rare card in it, Sahgan, the Mighty Sorceror.  Manami quickly becomes the target of other Chaos players who want to challenge her for Sahgan.  With Tamotsu, her new friends from the card club, and Sahgan himself, who comes to Manami in her dreams to give her hints, she faces these challenges and grows as a player, while trying to balance her regular life.

I got King of Cards because of the art and the premise sounded intriguing.  I like a lot of game manga, such as Yu Gi Oh! Shadow Games, Legendz, and Hikaru no Go, so decided to give this one a chance.  And am I glad I did!  I have really enjoyed the shojo take on gaming manga.  Manami is more interested in enjoying the game than just winning.  Over the first couple of volumes, she gets a reason to get better, but it isn’t to save the world or prove herself better than someone.  It’s for love and her love for the cards.

I also really love the mythologies used to make up the cards.  The three ultra-rare cards that are the heart of the manga, Sahgan the Mighty Sorcerer, Faras the Holy Shrine Maiden, and Taurus the Alchemist, aren’t a part of any established mythology, but seem to have had one built up around them.  They are call the Sibling Cards, as they were all drawn by the same artist who died at an early age.  Manami’s romantic woes are the center of the shojo side of the manga, while the plot around the Siblings is the center of the card side.  This is a great manga, and even though it’s shojo, I think guys will enjoy it just as much as the girls.

“Two Girls named Nana”
“And a One Piece for the Pirate King”

Twelve Manga of Christmas: Second Day

“On the Second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, Two girls named Nana.”

Nana Osaki and Nana Komatsu are two girls going to Tokyo to realize their dreams.  Nana O. is looking to put together a new band and make it big, with Nana K. is going to join her boyfriend with whom she hopes to find love and happiness.  From a chance meeting on the train to sharing an apartment, the lives of these two girls become entwinded as they strive to make their dreams come true.

I didn’t think I’d like Nana when I received my first volume of Shojo Beat.  I didn’t think I’d even like Shojo Beat, with all the emphasis Viz was putting on it being a “girls” magazine about romance and fashion.  But, when I got to those first chapters, which actually told all of Nana K.’s story in that volume, I was hooked.  I hadn’t read much shojo before SB, so I didn’t know what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t what Nana turned out to be.  The characters were realistic, with real flaws and real problems.  Ai Yazawa’s art is mostly realistic with a touch of manga comedy makes the funny scenes funnier and the dramatic scenes more serious.  Nana is a great series for fans of music, drama, romance, and just good story telling.

And a One Piece for the Pirate KIng

Twelve Manga of Christmas: First Day

It’s the holiday season, so that means, shopping, Santa Claus and christmas carols.  For me, it means combining manga with christmas carols!  This year, I’m doing the most obvious of carols, The Twelve Days of Christmas.  From now until Christmas, I will post one line, featuring a manga that I hope goes with the song.  So, here goes!

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, A One Piece for the Pirate King.”

Monkey D. Luffy has the lifelong dream of finding the One Piece, the treasure of the Gold Roger, the former Pirate King, and claim the title for himself.  As a child, he ate the Gum-Gum Devil Fruit, and gained the power of elasticity, but lost the ability to swim.  Undaunted, he set out on his journey, gathering a crew who have come to believe in Luffy’s dream because of his determination and friendship, as well as believing in their own dreams, and Luffy’s abiltiy to make them all come true.

One Piece is one of those titles I discovered by reading Shonen Jump.  I was familiar with the name from the interwebs, but once I started reading it, I really enjoyed it!  It’s a lot of fun to read.  Eiichiro Oda has created some unique and entertaining characters.  At no point in last 18 volumes have I once felt bored reading it.  There is plenty of action and adventure, as well as comedy and even a little drama.  It’s a great title for teens and adults.

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.

Continue reading Yen + Pressure

This Week at Manga Village ** 11/28-12/5/08

Had enough of turkey leftovers and Black Friday news?  Need to shop for that manga fan in your live?  Let the Manga Villagers help you make that shopping list!  The first week features the reviews debut of our newest reviews Justin Colussy-Estes and Alex Hoffman.  But Dan Polley starts the week with Pastel Volume 12 from Del Rey Manga.  Charles Tan shows off Puri Puri Volume 6 from DR Masters.  John Thomas cuts into Black Jack Volume 2 from Vertical.  Justin Colussy-Estes isn’t bugged by Mushishi Volume 3 from Del Rey Manga.  Alex Hoffman starts the holiday weekend with Ral Ω Grad Volume 1 from Viz Media.

December starts with my review of Nightmares For Sale Volume 1 from Aurora.  Dan Polley reviews a rare science fiction title Gankutsuou: The Count of Monty Cristo Volume 1 from Del Rey Manga.  Alex Hoffman brings us a Yen Press title, Kieli Volume 1.  Katherine Farmar makes a Manga Village first with the lowest score for the BL title World’s End from DMP/June.  Justin Colussy-Estes has a different kind of horror with Hansel & Gretel from Viz Media.

We make our weekly picks for 11/26/08 and 12/04/08.  Over at Good Comics for Kids I have my picks for all ages comics for 11/26/08 and 12/04/08.  I also have a review of the Doctor Who Classics comic series, and Brigid Alverson interviews Bryce Coleman of Tokyopop about their new color manga Orange.

<A HREF=”” mce_HREF=”;MarketPlace=US&amp;ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Fmangxana-20%2F8003%2F82a14b92-ae90-496b-a869-d7d3a3168501&amp;Operation=NoScript”> Widgets</A>

Review: King of Cards Volume 3

King of Cards Volume 3
By Makoto Tateno
Publisher: CMX
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Price: $9.99

Rating: ★★★★½

Are Manami’s grades slipping because of her dedication to her favorite card game?  Her math teacher thinks so and threatens to tell her mother — unless she can beat him in a Chaos match!  Also, a seemingly unbeatable player who actually hates Chaos is gunning for Manami.  What’s this girl’s connection to Manami’s card-playing cousin Tamotsu?

In this volume, there is plot development in two different directions.  The first half of the volume continues the love triange between Manami, Tamotsu and Misa, with a revelation relating back to the last volume that makes this a true triangle.  The second half returns to a plot point not seen since the first volume revolving around the Sahgan card.

Continue reading Review: King of Cards Volume 3

Has it really been a year?

It’s hard for me to believe, but it’s been a year since I started this blog.  I took baby steps before starting this blog.  I’ve never been someone to give my opinion.  I’ve always been a lurker on the internet, even in the days of bulletin boards, I just read more than posted.  I joined in 2005, but didn’t do anything with it until last year, just before they screwed everything up.  I started reading and commenting on other blogs before starting to post things of my own.  After testing the waters there, I tried out Livejournal.  Both were okay, but after listening to my tech shows for a while, I decided wordpress was a better way to go.  I really liked control and customization.  This became my Manga Xanadu, and livejournal became my general ranting about all fandom except manga.

Continue reading Has it really been a year?

This Week at Manga Village ** 11/21/08

Well, it’s been quite a week at Manga Village.  You might see some new faces as you look around, but I’ll get to that in a little bit.  Let’s start with our reviews for this week.  Charles Tan starts things off with another season-appropriate sports title, Eyeshield 21 Volume 22 from Viz.  Dan Polley has quite a tale with Fairy Tail Volume 4 from Del Rey.  Katherine Famar gets aquainted with You and Harujion from Deux.  I take a new Viz title for a walk with Nora: The Last Chonicle of Devildom Volume 1.   John Thomas gets his learn on with Style School Volume 3 from Dark Horse.

We make our weekly picks this week as usual, with just one minor change.  We have a new villager!  Yes, Alex Hoffman from the blog Manga Widget has joined the crew and starts out with giving a pick with the rest of us.  Hopefully we’ll have reviews going up from him real soon!  Good Comics for Kids has been pretty busy this week too.  Not only do I have my weekly all ages list up, but I also have a review of the first new Naruto Chapter book, Naruto, The Boy Ninja from Viz.  Should your younger kids read it?  Go find out!  Sabrina Fritz has a review of the Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, both the manga and the novel.

Viz does it again

I want to cut down on the manga I buy, I really do.  But Viz just keeps making it harder!  Six new licenses have been found for the publisher, 2 of which I’m going to have to get.  While all the attention seems to be going to Detroit Metal City and Ooku, Rasetsu no Hana and Black Bird are the ones that are taking mine.

Rasetsu no HanaRasetsu no Hana is a kind of sequel to the Viz Shojo Beat title, Yurara (Yurara no Tsuki).  It features Yako, the water using medium that was attracted to Yurara’s spirit guardian.  He joins a “ghostbusting” company and meets their medium, Rasetsu, who is said to be cursed by an evil spirit, and just happens to be the spitting image of Yurara’s spirit guardian.  I really enjoyed Yurara, and had hoped that Viz would get this one too.  It’s already at 5 volumes and is still ongoing, already surpassing the series that spawned it.  It looks like it’s going to take a while for Yako to get this girl.

Black Bird is a supernatural high school series by the creator of Backstage Prince.  Misao hasBlack Bird a special power that lets her see the “mysterious things” that exist in the world.  One day, she is attacked and nearly eaten by goblins, but is saved by Kyo, a boy from her past who seemed to have the same ability as her.  Turn’s out, Kyo is actually a goblin, and Misao has been targeted as goblin food.  Can she trust Kyo?  Will she still marry him just like they promised as children?  And what will her school life be like now that Kyo’s become Misao’s homeroom teacher?  I really liked Backstage Prince, and was disappointed that it was only two volumes.  I hope this one is just as good.  This title is currently at 6 volumes and ongoing.

Now, these titles won’t be coming out until Summer of 2009.  Rasetsu is due in June, and Black Bird in August.  I can only hope by then, most of the other titles I buy will have finished, and I don’t take on more  (Like that’s gonna happen).  And of course that these titles really are as good as I hope they will be.

This Week at Manga Village ** 11/16/08

It’s another round of reviews from the Villagers, with this week leading off in a gentile way with A Gentleman’s Kiss from Deux by Katherine Famar.  A true Gentleman needs a butler, so Charles Tan serves us a new Hayate Combat Butler Volume 8 from Viz.  And since butlers always need some little kid to look after, Dan Polley brings the cute Mao-Chan Volume 1 from Del Rey.  But where will they all live?  How about the Magic Lover’s Tower Volume 1-2 from DR Masters reviewed by me?  And who will guard the tower?  Inukami! Volume 1 of course from Seven Seas Entertainment reviewed by John Thomas.

Over in our columns, we’ve got our picks for the week, as well as our top manga for the month of October.  It was another close run again this week.  Check out what we liked.  And then over at Good Comics for Kids, I’ve have the latest All Ages list, and check out the review of Avalon: Web of Magic by Ester Keller.


Mythbusters is a totally awesome show on Discovery Channel.  Two guys and their three assistants take on myths from real life, the movies, and the internet and try to if they can confirm, bust or find plausible the myths they take on.  The show has been running for 6 seasons now, and is not only entertaining, but Grant, Tori and Kari - mangaized!educational, as it takes on things like physics, robotics and other science content to prove the myths.

Last week, on the episode Coffin Punch, the assistants, Tori, Grant, and Kari took on a scene from Kill Bill, where the Bride punches her way out of a coffin she’s been buried in.  Now, on Mythbusters, they like to use animation to illustrate the myth they will be trying to prove, often using the team members in appropriate parts.  For this episode, the animation had a distinctly manga look to it.  The whole Kill Bill scene is reenacted in comic book style, with the camera panning from panel to panel.

Kari Manga-ized!The art is very cute, in that wants-to-look-like-manga sort of way.  Kari’s constant clueless look is classic for so many shojo heroines that it’s impossible to count.  And of course there’s the use  speed lines everywhere.  I thought it was really cool that they used this style.  It was a fun scene.

The team had to test if it was first possible to break through the lid of a pine coffin, and then dig out of a six feet of dirt, all without suffocating.  It was totally busted, of course.

Mythbusters has been doing quite a few myths with an Asian feel to them.  They have done two full shows dedicated to ninja myths as well as this psuedo-kung fu movie.  They have been very popular with the fans.  So hopefully they will do more of these manga-esque scenes.

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