Property Taste Test

A few days ago on Twitter, @debaoki mentioned she liked Animal Academy, an all ages title from Tokyopop, and thought that kids would like it.  She mentioned she thought the books based on properties, like Disney were boring, but ended by saying, she didn’t know, since she wasn’t the target audience.  Well, I have a daughter that’s in the target audience range, and both Animal Academy and Disney’s Kilala Princess.  So, I gave both books to my youngest daughter Krissy and asked her to read them.  When she finished, I asked her questions about the books.

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Brian’s Spot: Broken Blade Volume 1


Broken Blade Volume 1
By Yunosuke Yoshinaga
Publisher: CMX/Flex Comics
Rating: T+ (Older Teens)
Price: $9.99
ISBN: 978-1-4012-1882-9
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Rygart Arrow is a man with a problem.  He’s one of the tiny minority, perhaps one in a million, who cannot charge the quartz crystals that power all of the machines in his world.  He cannot drive vehicles, he cannot use machinery, he’s what is known as an “unsorcerer”.  However, he is well educated and old college friends with the King and Queen of Krisna, who are facing an incursion from their neighboring nation of Athens.  When they learn that the Athen army is led by Zess, the final part of their college foursome and he’s marching on their borders, they call on Rygart in their time of need.  Can he figure out how to operate the Under-Golem, an ancient magic-less machine in time to save his friends?

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Manga For Sale

I’ve put my Inuyasha manga collection up on Ebay.  I need to make some space, and little extra money never hurt.  Here are the auctions, please check them out.

Inuyasha Volumes 1-5

Inuyasha Volumes 6-10

Inuyasha Volumes 11-15

Inuyasha Volumes 16-20

Inuyasha Volumes 21-25

Inuyasha Volumes 26-31

Or you can check out my Manga for Sale or Trade page.  I’m willing to deal on multiple volumes and shipping.

Breakin’ It Down: Viz Media

previews-8-09Viz Media’s solicitations for October and November seemed outrageous as I went through the latest Previews.  They solicited 46 volumes of manga and novels!  My jaw dropped at how much they were putting out!  So, I decided to break down the releases, looking at them by imprint and how much of a difference the price increase would make, if any.

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This Week in Manga: 8/8-8/14/09

It’s another slow week for news in general, though there were some cool announcements and interesting discussions.  There’s still some SDCC fallout too.  That should start petering out though as NYAF starts to loom ahead.

Video Recap of Ikki Panel at SDCC

Over at the Ikki Blog, Viz has put together a nearly 4 minute recap of the Ikki panel at SDCC.  It’s no the same as being there, but it’ll give you an idea of what went on.  A full recording of the panel would have been much cooler though.

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Digital Review: Rin-ne Volume 1

rin_c16RIN-NE Volume 1
By Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Supernatural/Comedy
Price: $9.99/Free online
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Ever since a childhood incident Sakura Mamiya has had the power to see ghosts. Now her life has gotten a lot more complicated with the arrival of her mysterious classmate Rinne, who seems to know a thing or two about detecting ghosts himself!

Having enjoyed so far Takahashi’s shonen titles since Urusei Yatsura, I was thrilled to hear that we in the US would not only be getting her newest, Rin-ne, at the same time as Japan, but it would available for free online to read.  Having now read the first volume’s worth of chapters, I have to say my initial excitement may have been premature.

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Krissy’s Korner: Pokemon Adventures Volume 1


Pokémon Adventures Volume 1
By Hidenori Kusaka
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: All Ages
Genre: Game/Action
Price: $7.99
Rating: ★★★★★

Red doesn’t just want to train Pokémon, he wants to be their friend too. Bulbasaur and Poliwhirl seem game. But independent Pikachu won’t be so easy to win over!

What was the story about?

This story is about a 10 year old trainer named Red.  He goes through many adventures.

What did you like about the story?

I loved the part when Bill was picked up by Fearow.  I just couldn’t stop laughing at Mr. Director.  I love the part when a Pidgey poops on Professor Oak.  I think the pokemon Red chose were great because they help him.

What did you dislike about the story?

I just hate Blue for hurting the Kangaskhan and it’s young.

Would you recommend the story to kids your age?  Why?

Yes, because pokemon are so loveable!

A Better Alternative…For Now

Recently, Amazon quietly announced a price drop for it’s Kindle 2 e-reader.  Slashing $60 from the price to $299, the Kindle is now coming closer to the price of other ebook readers.  If Amazon wants the Kindle to be competitive in any way, it had too.  Sony, not to be out done, not only slashed prices, but also came out with two new devices.  The E-Reader Pocket for $199 and the E-Reader Touch for $299 and will be out by the end of August.  The older Sony E-Reader 505  is $279, and can be found at Staples stores now.  Bebook, another competitor is also $279.  Cooler Books has it’s own e-reader now, the Cool Reader, which looks a lot like an iPod and comes in different colors, and is only $249.

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This Week in Manga 8/1-8/7/09

It’s been a slow week for news, part of which can be blamed on the Twitter DDOS attack Thursday and Friday.  My reading list is way down too.  I spent the week writing my Black Jack thesis and reading graphic novels for Good Comics for Kids Summer Reading Challenge.  I should be back to reading more manga this week.  Maybe.

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Possible Marketing Strategy for Sony?

e-reader-pocketSony, in an attempt to be competitive with the Amazon and it’s Kindle, announced this week it would be releasing two new versions of it e-reader and a price drop on it’s books.  The Reader Pocket edition is slightly smaller than the original e-Reader, with a 5 in diagonal screen, and a price point of $199, $100 lower than the Kindle 2.  The Touch Edition will have the standard 6in diagonal screen  and has a touch screen with virtual keyboard.  The touch screen will give the reader a more book like experience with page turns and the ability to highlight and add notes with a finger or stylus.  And Sony will now match Amazon’s price on new, bestsellers of $9.99.

e-reader-touchWhile the drop in prices are nice, and may attract more people to Sony, it still doesn’t have a wireless connection.  Users of the Sony E-Reader have to download their books to their computers and then upload them to the E-Reader.  After Amazon’s “1984” fiasco, is that really a bad thing?  Sure, it might be convenient to be able to download a book anytime (in the US only), but Amazon has shown it can and will take back books from the Kindle.  Even though they’ve said they won’t do that again, can they really be trusted?

I think Sony marketing should grab up this ball and run with it!  Turn the lack of Whispernet into an advantage, instead of the disadvantage everyone keeps making it.  “The Sony e-Reader: No Takebacks.”  Push that the user has control over the device and what goes on, AND comes off it.  I personally prefer to have control over the content I buy and put on the hardware I buy.  I’m enough of an adult to take responsibility for what I download and install, and don’t need a “big brother” looking over my shoulder.  If Amazon wants to be another Apple, then Sony should try to be a Google.

Review: Naruto Volume 32

Naruto Volume 32
By Masashi Kishimoto
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Action
Price: $7.95
Rating: ★★★★½

A new ninja causes trouble among the ranks of Team Kakashi when they return from the battle against Sasori.  The secrets this stranger hides could be disastrous for Naruto.  Meanwhile, Naruto’s old nemesis Orochimaru has troubles of his own-his stronghold may be infiltrated by a spy!

After saying their goodbyes at the Sand Village, Teams Kakashi and Guy return to the Hidden Leaf.  Kakashi is laid up since his new jutsu takes so much out of him, so a new leader is needed for the team as well as member to even it out to four members.  There’s only six days left until the rondevou Sasori told them about.  Naruto goes searching out his old friends to get them to join, and we see Choji, Shino, Kiba and Hinata.  But the team has already been decided.  Sai, a member of the Foundation of the Black Ops is chosen, and Yamato, also Black Ops, is chosen to lead.  Sai gets on Naruto’s nerves immediately, and on Sakura’s only a few moments later.  But, in order to accomplish the mission, both try to tolerate Sai.

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Ask Manga Mom: The “Just Say No” Edition

This question came in from Kyle just this week:

where can i download manga directly and for free xcept for (stoptazmo & animea)….. where can i download pig bride manhwa & captive heart for free????
pls. help me

Um…no Kyle.  Just….no.

Pig Bride and Captive Hearts are licensed titles in the US.  If you can not find scanalations to download, that is a good thing.  If you want to read these titles you need to either buy the books, or borrow them from a friend or the library.  Many public and even school libraries are adding and building up collections of manga and graphic novels.  The value of these books is finally being recognized, not just for stories, but because they also help encourage reading.  If your local library doesn’t have the books you want, ask about inter-library loan.  Get your friends to ask too.  The more interest librarians see in a type of book, the more likely they are to add them.

If you want to read manga online, then check out Viz’s Shonen Sunday website, where new chapters of mang are put up weekly.  Or you can read some new titles straight from Japan with Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump, which has some old favorites as well as new titles.  The more we show these sites to be successful, the more likely it will be that we get manga online legitimately.

Manga News, Reviews and Commentary