Weekly Top Ten – July 25, 2015

Weekly Top Ten Manga

Every week, the New York Times and Amazon posts the top ten bestselling books. The New York Times gets their numbers from print sales from retailers, while Amazon and Vizmanga.com calculates their own numbers. Once a month the Nielsen Bookscan posts their top twenty graphic novels of which manga is included. Offered here is a listing of these books with their status this week compared with the previous week, and some way-off analysis of the activity.



New York times Bestseller List for the week ending July 18, 2015

  1. Worlds Greatest First Love 2The World’s Greatest First Love Vol 2     
  2. Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1     ↓ 1
  3. 12 Beast Vol 2     
  4. Naruto Vol 70     ↑ 2
  5. Big Hero Six Vol 1     ↓ 1
  6. Attack on Titan Vol 1     ↑ 1
  7. Bleach Vol 64     ↓ 5
  8. Assassination Classroom  Vol 1   ↓ 3
  9. UQ Holder Vol 5     
  10. Sword Art Online: Progressive Novel Vol 2     ↓ 7

A new title takes over the top spot this week as The World’s Greatest Love from Viz Media’s SuBLime imprint debuts at #1. 12 Beast Vol 2 from Seven Seas Entertainment tries to make its debut higher, but can only get to the #3 spot as Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1 blocks it. Big Hero Six Vol 1 is doing well as it hits its 17 week on the list, only 90 weeks behind Attack on Titan Vol 1. Assassination Classroom Vol 1 has had its ups and downs, but it’s just hit 16 weeks on the list, making it the third oldest. Not bad for a title considered a “worst” graphic novel for kids by the ALA.



Amazon.com for the week ending July 25, 2015

  1. TokyoGhoul-GN01Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1     ↔ 6
  2. No Game No Life Novel Vol 2     ↑ 5
  3. Naruto Vol 71    
  4. Prison School Vol 1     ↑ 6
  5. Akame ga Kill Vol 3     ↑ 4
  6. My Hero Academia Vol 1     
  7. Attack on Titan Vol 1     
  8. Tokyo Ghoul Vol 2     ↓ 4
  9. Black Butler Vol 20     
  10. Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past     ↓ 8

The top title doesn’t change at Amazon for the 6th week in a row as Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1 holds on tight to the top spot. The pre-order for Naruto Vol 71 holds its own at #3. The pre-order for My Hero Academia Vol 1 returns as its release date draws closer. Attack on Titan Vol 1 returns as well showing it not invincible, but more like a super ball, always bouncing back. Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past makes a big bounce down. Does it have what it takes for the bounce back up? The only new title on the list if from Yen Press with their perennial top seller Black Butler, now at Vol 20, but their other titles No Game No Life Novel Vol 2, Prison School Vol 1 and Akame ga Kill Vol 3 all show they have some life in them.

∗ = New Release
↑ = Title moved up specified # of spots
↓ = Title moved down specified # of spots
↔ = Title didn’t moved from previous week with total # of weeks
↵ = Title returned after dropping off list with total # of weeks (when available)

Eisner Win for Shigeru Mizuki’s Showa Manga

Showa 1939-44On Friday, July 10, 2015, the Wil Eisner Comic Industry Awards were announced during San Diego Comic Con. Five titles and six volumes were announced in the Best US Edition of International Material – Asia, essentially the manga category, but only one title could win. The award went to Drawn and Quarterly’s release of Showa 1939-1944 A History of Japan and Showa 1945-1953: A History of Japan by Shigeru Mizuki.

The title faced some tough competition as it went up against Viz Media’s All You Need is Kill, One-Punch Man, and Master Keaton, Vertical’s In Clothes Called Fat, and Yen Press’ Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki. The volumes of Showa that were nominated and won covered Japan’s history from World War II to the aftermath and Occupation. The series was nominated last year for both an Eisner and a Harvey, for the first volume, 1926-1939.

I haven’t had a chance to read any of these volumes yet. My love of history has them on my want list, but my wallet has told me to wait. I must admit I was hoping Master Keaton would win. I do love that series so much, and the first volume was a great showcase for who Keaton is and what he does. But I certainly can’t fault the awards committee for picking not just the title, but both volumes. It portrays a dramatic time in Japan’s history and shows that history doesn’t have to be boring.


Seven Seas Picks Up The Other Side of Secret

sevenseaslogoSeven Seas Entertainment is a publisher that doesn’t go to a lot of cons, but they still make sure you remember them during con season. A few days after the hoopla of SDCC was over they made another new license announcement.

othersideofsecret-imgThe Other Side of Secret is from Kadokawa’s Comic Alive manga magazine. Several of Seven Seas’ titles have come from there, such as Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends, Girls und Panzer, and Non Non Biyori. This senien series follows Yuto, a boy, who seven years earlier watched his sister disappear through a strange portal. When he said the door appear again, and two girls go through it, he follows them, intent on finding his sister. He is transported to a strange and dangerous world, where he does find his sister, but at a price. He causes a terrible tragedy that costs the lives of many of the world’s inhabitants. It’s up to Yuto to find a way to atone for his actions and bring his sister back home.

The series just stated last September, and there are three volumes out so far. Seven Seas has announced a release date in a little under a year; July 7, 2016. This is another male-gaze heavy title for their library that I will be passing on. But something I’m noticing about Seven Seas’ library is that they are very eclectic in what they pick up. They seem to cater to genres that the big publishers like Viz and Kodansha steer away from, and that Yen Press has dabbled in. While they seem to have plenty of titles I wouldn’t touch, they take chances on a lot of other titles I would like, making them a great publisher to have around.

This Week’s Manga: Yen for New Manga

This Week's Manga

Durarara LNIt’s a big Yen Press release this week, with several long-awaited titles debuting. Durarara!! the light novel makes its debut. This is the source material for both the manga and anime, and has had fans waiting in anticipation for it since its announcement back in January. Along with it is the final volume in the Yellow Scarves manga arc, making Durarara!! fans very happy. Final Fantasy Type-0 Side Story is adapted from the video game Final Fantasy Type-0 and follow the character Kurasame, the Ice Reaper. First Love Monster is a rom-com where high school student Kaho falls in love with her landlord’s son, only to find out later that he is a 5th grader. Prison School is a mature title that has the premise of boys joining a previously all-girls school, but things might not turn as rom-com-y as they hoped. Finally, Puella Magi Madoka Magica Homura’s Revenge is another alternate telling of Madoka’s story, this time with Madoka knowing what is in store for her and how that affects her decisions. Of all of these, Durarara!!, and Homura’s Revenge go on my buy list, though I might check out First Love Monster.

Outside of Yen Press’ debuts, Kodansha has a new volume of My Little Monster, and Dark Horse is nearly done with the gory Gantz, which is weirdly balanced by the cute Oreimo Kuroneko. Viz releases several of their Signature titles including Monster and Sunny. In Yen Press’ non-debut must haves, there is a new Black Butler, Inu x Boku SS, Soul Eater Not, and the debut of Svetlana Chmakova’s new graphic novel Awkward. While not a manga per se, it is a great all ages title about art and science and surviving middle school. And it’s by Svetlana. Manga fans as well as tween-teens will love it.

Full List per Diamond Distributors:

Gantz Volume 36 TP, $13.99
Oreimo Kuroneko Volume 2 TP, $10.99

My Little Monster Volume 9 GN, $10.99

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 4 GN, $12.99

Monster The Perfect Edition Volume 5 TP, $19.99
Resident Evil The Marhawa Desire Volume 5 GN, $12.99
Sunny Volume 5 GN, $22.99
Terra Formars Volume 7 GN, $12.99

Accel World Novel Volume 4 SC, $13.00
Accel World Volume 4 GN, $13.00
Akame Ga Kill Volume 3 GN, $13.00
Awkward HC, $24.00
Awkward SC, $11.00
Black Butler Volume 20 TP, $13.00
Certain Magical Index Volume 2 GN, $13.00
Devil Is A Part-Timer Volume 2 GN, $13.00
Durarara Light Novel Volume 1 SC, $14.00
Durarara Yellow Scarves Arc Volume 3 GN, $13.00
Final Fantasy Type-0 Side Story Volume 1 GN, $13.00
First Love Monster Volume 1 GN, $13.00
Inu x Boku SS Volume 8 TP, $11.99
Kagerou Daze Volume 2 GN, $13.00
Karneval Volume 2 GN, $20.00
Log Horizon Light Novel Volume 2 SC, $14.00
No Game No Life Light Novel Volume 2 SC, $14.00
Prison School Volume 1 GN, $20.00
Puella Magi Madoka Magica Homura’s Revenge Volume 1 GN, $13.00
So I Can’t Play H Volume 2 GN, $13.00
Soul Eater Not Volume 5 TP, $13.00

Manga at San Diego Comic Con 2015


This year SDCC was held earlier than usual. It is usually in the last two weeks of July. This year, it was the second week in July, one week after Anime Expo. Manga publishers were at SDCC too, with only a two-day break before the five days of geeky madness began down south. While they had more announcements, they weren’t quite as numerous or as ground breaking as AX. Mostly.

Gakkyu Hotei print  Viz started the con again with their panel on Thursday. The only new announcement they had was that they would be releasing a print edition of Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment. The series originally ran simultaneously with Weekly Shonen Jump and sadly ended with it as well. Written by Nobuaki Enoki and drawn by Takeshi Obata, the series followed Abaku Inugami, a defense attorney at his elementary school. Under the new School Judgement system, students accused of crimes are now tried by their peers, and Inugami is the best for the defense, but when the prosecutor is the cute and rich Hanazuki, things might get tough. I enjoyed the few chapters I’ve read in WSJ, so I will be looking forward to the first volume set to come out in February, 2016.

boti-2Dark Horse had its panel on Friday, and had one announcement, but for nothing new. It would be releasing omnibus editions of Blade of the Immortal, its longest running manga series which just ended in March. The omnibuses will be 3-in-1, with the final volume including the novel Blade of the Immortal: Legend of the Sword Demon. The omnibuses will also retain the original release’s left-to-right orientation and trim size. Considering how much work went into creating them, it’s not surprising. The manga follows Manji, a ronin warrior in feudal Japan who is cursed with immortality until he kills 1000 enemies. He is joined on his quest by Rin, a young woman looking to avenge her parents’ deaths. There wasn’t a planned release date announced.

paradise-residenceOn Saturday, Kodansha was the first publisher with a new license announcement. Paradise Residence is by Kousuke Fujishima, the creator of the very long running Oh! My Goddess. This series is about tomboy Hatsune Takanashi and her life in an all girls dorm, and will give a behind-the-scenes look at life in the all girls school and dormitory. It’s slice of life series and shows Hatsune’s battle with waking up, her grade school aged dorm mother, and her desire for conquest! The series started in 2008 and was put on hiatus in 2012, but just came back in May of 2014. There are two volumes available, a vol 1 and 0. There was no released date announced for the first volume here. I’m not too sure about this series. A man writing a series about the life of a high school girl for an adult male demographic? Yeah, it not hitting any buttons here.

Kodansha also discussed the disruption in their digital manga distribution. With the creation of Kodansha Advanced Media which was announced back in February, the transfer of the digital manga to them has caused some delays. But things have purportedly been resolved and digital titles should be back on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in the next month.

Later on Saturday, Udon Entertainment had their panel. The boutique publisher has dabbled in manga in the past, though they mostly do Art Books and Street Fighter comics. They announced three new manga licenses.

steins-gate-udonSteins;Gate is the manga adaptation of the video game of the same name. It is the second of the “scientific adventure game” series. The story is about eccentric college student Rintaro “Okarin” Okabe and his circle of friends who turn their microwave into a machine that can send texts to the past in a realistic Akihabara. Their activities attract the attention of SERN, an organization that has been studying time travel and now want Okabe and his friends. The series is three volumes with the first set to be released this August along with the first volume of Kill la Kill. Both the video game and anime based on it have been released in English. It looks like an interesting series, and with only three volumes not too big of an investment to just try out.

sugar-sugar-rune-udonThe second announcement was Sugar Sugar Rune, an all ages license rescue by artist Moyocco Anno. Del Rey originally licensed and published all eight volumes starting in 2005, but the series has since gone out of print, and finding volumes is difficult at best. The series is about two young witches, Vanilla Mienux and Chocalat Meilleure, who have been chosen to be candidates to be the next Queen. They are sent to the human world where they must compete to capture as many boys’ hearts as they can. The one that wins the most becomes Queen. They are assisted by guardian and mentor pop idol witch Rockin’ Robin and familiars Bianca the mouse and Duke the frog. The two girls must figure out how to keep their friendship while not only competing for hearts, but also dealing with the strange boy Pierre who looks just like the evil king Glace, and seems to be going for Chocolat. The first volume will be released in the first quarter of 2016. The series was well received the first time around, and Moyocco Anno is well known for writing good stories with great female leads. This is also a boon for teachers and libraries looking for all ages titles to add to their graphic collection.

rose-of-versailles-udonThe third announcement was all the biggest for the manga community and really rocked their world. Rose of Versailles is a classic shojo manga. It was first launched in 1972 and takes place in the intrigue-filled court of Queen Marie Antoinette before and during the upheavals of the French Revolution. It revolves about Oscar Francois de Jarjayes, a woman raised as man to serve and eventually take over as leader of the Palace Guard. She becomes torn between class loyalty and her desire to help the impoverished, as well as her conflicts between wanting to live as a militant and a regular woman. She must also deal with her relationships with Marie Antoinette, Count Axel von Fersen and best friend Andre Grandier. Originally there were 10 volumes, but creator Riyoko Ikeda started penning one-shots for Shueisha’s Margaret magazine in 2013 and will release the 11th volume in August with includes the first 4 stories. Udon will print it as 2-in-1 omnibuses, with the first volume set to come out in second quarter 2016. This series as long been a holy grail for fans, and few thought it would ever see publication in the US due to age and licensing costs. Udon had touted that they would have a classic manga announcement at their panel, but this title was only ever brought up in jest. Now, Udon has a lot of people’s attentions. I would like to check out this series, both as shojo, and as a classic that inspired a lot of artists today.

The final publisher panel was Tokyopop on Saturday night. Like their Anime Expo panel, they didn’t have any titles yet to announce, but they did tease a possible deal with Disney to create original “manga” for the properties Star Wars and Frozen. The stories would be original and would possibly feature Japanese artists. This isn’t new territory for Tokyopop. Before closing, they had published original stories for properties such as Star Trek, Warcraft and Spacecraft. They have also worked with Disney, creating “Cine-manga,” of TV shows such as Hannah Montana. While it’s nothing I’d get excited about, I’m sure there are still plenty of Frozen fans dying for new stories of their favorite princess sisters Anna and Elsa. Books and manga are still the better way to reach a female audience, though comics publishers may finally be seeing the light.

Not as announcement heavy as Anime Expo, but July isn’t done with manga publishers and possible announcements yet. Coming up this weekend is Otakon out on the East Coast. Several publishers will be there, with some hinting at more exciting licenses. After AX and SDCC’s big surprises, can the manga community handle any more?

PR: One-Punch Man Finally Punches Up a Print Edition

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.

Continue reading PR: One-Punch Man Finally Punches Up a Print Edition

Weekly Top Ten – July 18, 2015

This Week's Manga

Every week, the New York Times and Amazon posts the top ten bestselling books. The New York Times gets their numbers from print sales from retailers, while Amazon and Vizmanga.com calculates their own numbers. Once a month the Nielsen Bookscan posts their top twenty graphic novels of which manga is included. Offered here is a listing of these books with their status this week compared with the previous week, and some way-off analysis of the activity.



New York times Bestseller List for the week ending July 11, 2015

  1. TokyoGhoul-GN01Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1     ↑ 1
  2. Bleach Vol 64     
  3. Sword Art Online: Progressive Novel Vol 2     ↓ 2
  4. Big Hero Six Vol 1     ↔
  5. Assassination Classroom  Vol 1   ↑ 3
  6. Naruto Vol 70     ↓ 3
  7. Attack on Titan Vol 1     ↓ 1
  8. Assassination Classroom  Vol 3     ↵ 4
  9. Pokemon Adventures Vol 29     
  10. Noragami Vol 5     ↔ 1

After only getting one week at the top, Sword Art Online: Progressive Novel Vol 2 gets the boot as Tokyo Ghoul returns to the top, and is followed by Bleach Vol 64 making its debut at #2. Also debuting is Pokemon Adventures Vol 29, but it doesn’t do as well, only coming in at #9. Big Hero Six Vol 1 and Noragami Vol 5 stay the course, holding fast at their respective spot while Assassination Classroom gets a double dose with Vol 4 returning while Vol 1 moves back up the list. Viz dominates the list this week with 6 of the 10 spots, but Yen Press and Kodansha have their best sellers fighting back.



Amazon.com for the week ending July 18, 2015

  1. TokyoGhoul-GN01Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1     ↔ 5
  2. Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past     ↔ 1
  3. Naruto Vol 71     ↑ 7
  4. Tokyo Ghoul Vol 2     ↵
  5. Naruto Vol 70    
  6. Sword Art Online Progressive Novel Vol 2     ↔ 3
  7. Uzumaki 3-in-1     
  8. No Game No Life Novel Vol 2     
  9. Akame ga Kill Vol 3     
  10. Prison School Vol 1     ↓ 5

Tokyo Ghoul holds on to the top spot for the 5th week in a row now, along with a few other titles that are holding on to their spots; Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past and Sword Art Online Progressive Novel Vol 2. There were a few returning titles as well as couple of debuts. Many of these are also pre-orders. Tokyo Ghoul , No Game No Life Novel Vol 2, Akame ga Kill Vol 3 and Prison School Vol 1 all have future release dates, with the last three scheduled for this week. Gotta get those last-minute deals with pre-order!



Nielsen’s Bookscan Top 20 for June 2015

Naruto 701. Naruto Vol 70     
5. Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1     
8. Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past     ↓ 4
12. Attack on Titan Vol 1     

Manga doubled its presence on the Bookscan for June. One title, Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past, was able to hold over dropping to #8. It also took the top spot with Naruto Vol 70 debuting at #1, and Tokyo Ghoul making the top five by debuting at #5. Attack on Titan vol 1 made a return, just missing the top ten by 2 spots. It’s good to see manga’s presence increase, something that will hopefully happen more as Barnes and Noble increases their manga shelf space.

∗ = New Release
↑ = Title moved up specified # of spots
↓ = Title moved down specified # of spots
↔ = Title didn’t moved from previous week with total # of weeks
↵ = Title returned after dropping off list with total # of weeks (when available)

Tokyopop: Rising from the Ashes or the Grave

TokyopoplogoTokyopop, the former manga publisher that ceased publication and closed its doors in 2011 has been slowly coming back to life. In the last few years it has begun showing signs it might want to return to the stage, starting with a newsletter soon after shutting down, publishing more Hetalia in conjunction with Rightstuf, and the bringing back their website and making the OEL titles they still held rights to available as eBooks. In June, the website made mention of Tokyopop “evolving”, and that evolution was revealed at their panel at Anime Expo.

The panel was headed by founder Stu Levy, who announced the company would start publishing manga again in 2016. They had no titles to announced, but claimed they were looking to license “hidden gems that are not yet noticed” from small and independent publishers. They also planned to publish art books and will consider light novels.

On the multimedia side, Levy said the company had 20 properties lined for both animation and live action, and highlighted Knockouts, a Ikkitousen knockoff with a live action concept trailer, and Riding Shotgun, one of their OEL properties that only got two volumes, which already attempted an indigogo crowd-sharing project to create an animated series. Also announced was a youtube series of anime reviews.

The final announcement was a comics app for iOS and Android called “POP Comics”. The app would be free to readers, and would allow users to upload their own comics to share, while retaining 100% of their copyright and creative control, and getting a 70/30 split of any ad-generated revenue.

tpop-rebornAd-opt3fIt all sounds reasonable. Sure, there are plenty of titles out there being ignored by the big publishers with ties to Japanese companies. Yes, there are fans who would love to see manga and/or manga inspired stories adapted to animation and/or live action. Yes, there are lots and lots of creators who want to get their works out to a wider audience. It appears that Tokyopop has learned from their past and are trying to make up for the bad reputation they got in the manga and comics community. Not a lot of people are buying it though.

As soon as the tweet went out about POP Comics and Tokyopop doing portfolio reviews, creators who had worked with Tokyopop previously came out and started tweeting warnings and telling their stories. Every single one had the same message. Don’t trust Tokyopop or Stu Levy. Blog posts and articles came out written by creators or that interviewed creators, mostly warning NOT to give up any of their rights. No one seemed to believe Stu when he said at the panel creators will keep their copyright and creative control. But when you read about what a lot of them went through, you can’t really blame them for their mistrust.

And with some of the statements Levy made, it’s easy to see why fans would feel the same way. For many people, Tokyopop was their introduction not just to manga, but to comics in general. Their website, before they went to that awful “3.0 update,” was where a lot of manga bloggers like Kate Dacey got their start, talking about manga and building an audience. They introduced a lot of creators that went on to do bigger and better things; Svenlana Chmakova, Amy Reader Hadley, Becky Clooney, and Sophie Campbell. They did do a lot of good things for the budding manga community, which I think is what made some of Levy’s statements feel like a betrayal. The most memorable for me was, after another round of layoffs were announced, Levy posted on his twitter feed:

Wow #GDC2011 is blowing my mind. Why have I been stuck in such an old-school, out-of-touch industry for so long?! (yes I mean books!)

Levy has always been his own worst enemy. He seemed to have ADD when it came to initiatives at Tokyopop. He would jump on one idea and stay with it for a while until a new shiny came along and he was jumping on that, leaving the previous unfinished. Everything Tokyopop did at the time seemed half-assed. If something seemed to be going somewhere, it would be left to its own devices, whether it could stand on it own yet or not to chase down the next, “big thing.” Always seemed to be about what ever Levy was excited about at the time, whether it was writing kids books, making movies, or social media, what really mattered, the books became less and less important to the company as Levy lost interest. He burned a lot of bridges with fans the closing of publishing in 2011. It’s going to take a lot to rebuild them, if they can be rebuilt at all.

With these new announcements, it seems that Tokyopop will try to balance their different interests instead of jumping from one to another haphazardly. They encompass everything that Levy tried to do previously, but not so ostentatiously. Manga, multimedia and social media. The next several months will be crucial for the company as they (hopefully) announce titles and launch their app.

san-diego-comic-conBut what I really wonder is, has Levy really learned from the past? Brigid Alverson talked with Levy at San Diego Comic Con for Comic Book Resources and some of the answers he gave really feels like the doesn’t think any *he* did was to blame for the company’s downfall. He admits mistakes were made, but not by him. He boils it down to too much too fast, creators weren’t ready, audience wasn’t ready. Not once does he address or even acknowledge the lack of editorial for many creators that no doubt led to books being created poorly and audiences not liking. He tried to spin the “too much too fast” as he was too big-hearted and wanted to help creators get published. Come on Stu, step up. It’s time for some personal accountability.

Another think I don’t like that he said was about the creators not being given their properties back. He claims it was purely business and that most didn’t make back their advances, but if they wanted to pay, they could have them back. Well as to why most didn’t sell, see above. Also marketing is usually required for books to sell, and that seemed to be missing too. It really looks like a lot of creators were set up to fail just so Tokyopop could get a bunch of properties cheap that they could sell the IP for. Though, if they didn’t sell, who would want to buy those IP, which makes Tokyopop holding on to them make no sense. I’m certainly not going to buy into an IP without the original creator, or that was a proven failure in the market.

So, is this new Tokyopop a phoenix rising from the ashes, or zombie shambling out of its grave? I’m really not sure yet. I want to be optimistic about the former, but the more hear about Tokyopop’s practices under Levy’s direction, the more I fear it will be the latter. The question that really needs to be asked, is, does Tokyopop in general, and Stu Levy specifically, deserve another chance? The old adage, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me,” comes to mind. Tokyopop fooled fans once that they were serious about a come back after the 2008 restructuring. We do not intend to be fooled again.

This Week’s Manga: Manhwa Magic

This Week's Manga

My Neighbor Seki 3Netcomics 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

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

Seven Seas Announces Angel Beats! Prequel


Seven Seas wasn’t at Anime Expo, but it still managed to announce a new license during the con. Through their Twitter and Tumblr, they announced that they had licensed the manga Angel Beats!: Heaven’s Door on Friday, the second day of the con.

angelbeatsAngel Beats!: Heaven’s Door is a manga adaptation of the light novel Angel Beats! Track 0, which is a prequel to the original anime Angel Beats! There is a world between the living and heaven known as limbo. It is where spirits go to learn to let go of any lingering attachments they may have to world of the living. The story takes place in a high school in this afterlife for students sent there where they can still feel pain and can die again, only to awaken without their injuries. Not everyone is happy about being there, or even how they got there. Yuri is the leader of the Afterlife Battlefront who leads the battles with the powers-that-be represented by Angel, the Student Council President who uses her supernatural powers against the Battlefront’s mass-produced conventional weapons. The manga follows the formation of the Afterlife Battlefront and its actions before the start of the anime.

There are 8 Volumes so far and the series is still ongoing. Seven Seas has announced that they release the first volume in February 2016. I’d probably be more interested in this title if I had seen the anime, which actually does look interesting. But, the parts that look interesting probably won’t be in the manga, so I think I will give it a pass.


PR: Viz Media Acquires 6 New Titles for 2016

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.

Continue reading PR: Viz Media Acquires 6 New Titles for 2016

Manga at Anime Expo 2015 Part 3


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, some of which nearly had fans swooning from shock and excitement.

Yen Press started out the last day of the con with an overload of licenses and announcements. They just piled on the titles, some digital only, some digital going print, some light novels, and plenty of manga.

HanadaKunStarting with print, a title that had been previously announced as a digital only at Sakura Con has moved up to print before even coming out. Handa-kun is the prequel series to Barakamon, which as been doing really well in Japan, reportedly better than the main series. I really liked Barakamon. I binge-read the first four volumes, so this series has moved up from a wait and see to a want. It was also announced to be a simul-pub which Yen Press will begin in October with several other Square-Enix titles.

My Youth My Youth Romantic ComedyRomantic Comedy is Wrong As I Expected started as a light novel series. It follows antisocial high school student Hachiman Hikigaya who has a distorted view of life. He has no friends or girlfriend and has a very pessimistic view on his classmates and his future. In order to change his twisted outlook, he his forced by one of his teachers to join the volunteer service club, which also has Yukino Yukinoshita, the school’s prettiest girl as the sole member. There are 11 volumes of the light novel series and four of the manga series, both of which Yen Press has licensed and scheduled for release in 2016. Despite the long and awkwardly worded title, this series sounds interesting as it looks at the psychological motives behind teen interactions in high school.

Log Horizon West WindLog Horizon: The West Wind Brigade is a side story to Log Horizon and follows Sojiro and the members of the West Wind Brigade. Yen Press already has the main manga and light novel series of the users of the online game Elder Tale being trapped in the game and having to fight to survive. There are 5 volumes so far, but no release date was announced. Fans of Log Horizon or this genre will enjoy the side story. I will pass.

SAO PhantomThese next two titles are no brainers. Sword Art Online: Phantom Bullet and Mother’s Rosario continue the 3rd and 4th story arcs of the light novel series Sword Art Online. Yen Press has already licensed and released several other manga adaptation and side stories, so these next to arcs should come as no surprise. Phantom Bullet is at one volume so far which will be released in September 2015 and Mother’s Rosario is at two with the first to be released in December 2015. I wasn’t impressed with SAO, so I don’t think these two titles will do anything to change that.

Demonizer ZilchDemonizer Zilch is a supernatural series that follows Io Haruomi. He is haunted by his past where his sister and friend died and he was powerless to help them. Despite his guilt, he tries to live a normal life as an average high school student, until he meets a girl with glowing red eyes known as an Eda. She has escaped from the “Seven Great Gospel Organizations” and shows Io that he is an Eda too, throwing him into the midst of the battle between humans and the devil. There is only one volume so far, and Yen did not announce a release date. I’m getting a “meh” feeling from this one.

Taboo TattooTaboo Tattoo is an action title about Justice Akazuka, aka Seigi, a young man who is good at martial arts. He rescues an old homeless man from some thugs and is given an object by him that imprints a tattoo on his palm. The tattoo imbues Seigi with supernatural powers such as warping space-time. He is then pursued by Ijii, a female American agent sent to retrieve the tattoos, which are actually secret weapons in an arms race. Seigi offers to help Ijii, and becomes entangled in a cross-nation conspiracy. This title sounds interesting, but has a lot of male-gaze potential as well. I hope the former will be greater than the latter. I’d give this one a read. I love conspiracy stories.

How to raise a boring girlfriendHow to Raise a Boring Girlfriend is a manga adaptation of a light novel series that surprising Yen did not license as well. It is about otaku Tomoya Aki who meets a beautiful girl over summer vacation. He models her after the heroine for his own doujin game he is working on for Comiket with two of his fellow students helping with the art and writing. She turns out to be his classmate that no one seems to notice. There are five volumes so far. I’m not seeing the point of this series. Tomoya has no talent for writing or art, and yet he wants to create this game? Is he the coder then? This is too much of a head scratcher for me to get behind.

another ep sAlong with My Youth Romantic Comedy, Yen Press licensed two more light novels. Another: Episode S is a spin-off of the horror novel Another, of which both the manga and novel was released by Yen. Episode S features the story of Mei and her cousin Fujioka Misaki before the start of the novel. It will be a hardcover like the first novel and will be bundled with manga Another 0, which is a prequel that tell the story of Kouichi’s mother’s time in Class 3. I loved Another and am totally looking forward to this, especially with the manga bundle. No release date was announced unfortunately.

BaccanoThe final OMG of the con was Yen Press’ license of Baccano!, a light novel series by Narita, the creator of Durarara!! The story takes place in America, 1930. Each story in the series involves unrelated plots that intersect, causing events to spiral further out of control. Rooted in a desire for immortality by some alchemists 300 years about, they have scattered around the world, and the incident on the soon-to-be-retired train Pussyfoot starts the chain reaction of atrocities. This series had an anime back in 2007 which propelled it to the top of many fan’s wish lists. The series is currently at 21 volume and is still ongoing. No release date was announced.

Yen Press then announced eight digital only titles. Aphorism is a school survival story where the students of Nara Shika High School must fight to survive everyday. There are currently 13 volumes. It’s first volume will be out in November. Pass. I am so done with all the high school survivor titles. Sekirei is a male-gaze battle series that follows Minato Sahashi, a total loser until he discovers he is an Ashikabi, one who can master the 108 human-like creatures, who all turn out to be girls. It is 18 volumes and will also be out in November. Another pass, not doing a title where the girls are constantly getting their clothes ripped off.

sakiSaki is a game manga about Saki Miyanaga, a high school student who hates mahjong, but due to circumstances has learned to play a zero sum game. She gets dragged to her school’s mahjong club by an old friend. There are currently 14 volumes and the first volume will be out in November. I love gaming manga, and this is a series I’ve been interested in for a while. I will definitely be checking the first volume at least. Corpse Princess is about Makina Hoshimura an undead girl who must hunt down 108 corpses in order to go to heaven. It is complete at 23 volumes, and the first will be out in November. It’s about zombie killing, so I’ll give this a pass.

kurotanteiCrimson Prince is a romantic comedy about Kojiro Sakura, a demon prince who has come to Earth to start taking souls. Due to circumstances, he ends up meeting Hana Koumeda, starts living with her, and maybe having a change of heart. There are 16 volumes, but it has gone on hiatus indefinitely due to the artists’ health. The first volume is slated for November. This series looks sweet so I would give it a shot. I love detective stories, so Black Detective is another title that needs to go on my must have list. It is about naive Arata Toiro who is tricked into become the assistant to Yu Kuroba, aka The Black Detective, who likes to use his deductive powers to destroy his targets physically and mentally. There are six volumes so far, and the first volume will be available in December.

reneveAoharu x Machine Gun follows high school student Hotaru Tachibana, a girl disguised as a boy who gets drawn into the world of survival games by host Matsuoka and his childhood friend ero-manga artist Tohru Yukimura. There are seven volumes available, and the first will be released in December. Again, survival games, not interested. Renaissance Eve is a supernatural title about people who have strange blood that bestows special abilities. The story follows Chiaki Kaminaga who has blood type “C” for clairvoyance, and his friend Kaguya Daidoji who has blood type “D” for death. This is a short 4 volume series and the first volume will be out in December. This series looks interesting so it’s another I’d be willing to check out.

The final announcements from Yen Press was several titles would be starting simultaneous release with Japan starting in October. The titles include Black Butler, Today’s Kerberos, The Royal Tutor, and three new titles: Kake Gurui, a psychological drama that is currently at 3 volumes. My Monster Girl’s Too Cool for You is a comedy about a boy attending a human-yokai co-ed school who gets dumped by a Yuki Ono. There is only one volume out so far. Demon King Ena-sama Goes to Manga School is another comedy with two volumes out so far. I can’t find anything else about it.

None of these simultaneous releases really stand out which really makes me wonder why Yen Press is doing it, especially for the titles that are 2-3 volumes in and haven’t been released yet. And how are the releases going to work? I hope they aren’t going to continue their $2.99 a chapter like Secret was. It not worth it to buy chapters at $3 when the collected volume will be $10 in print or less in digital. But Yen Press has said so little about their digital initiative other than pile on the titles, it’s really hard to say where it will all go.



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