As far as I am aware there are 20 first volumes of English translated manga being published in January 2007. This is my countdown, some manga are easy to place in the list as they have excellent website descriptions/previews/reviews…others I’m left very much in the dark over, and I have tentatively stuck them somewhere I hope they have the potential to be!
Please note the following manga have been omitted from this list:
Galaxy Angel II (Brocolli)- now due Feb 07
‘Insert title here.’ (Chuang Yi) – Chuang Yi haven’t updated release dates yet, so I guess they may have something in the works?
The Tyrant Falls in Love, We Are The Naked Jewels Corporation, Crimson Wind, Love Me Sinfully, Allure (Drama Queen) – all these titles seem to have been pushed back till April 2007.
If you want to buy all of these manga it’s going to set you back about Â£80 (!), and that’s using amazon.co.uk and amazon.com in bulk buys to avoid postage/shipping costs…so I think I’ll just be buying 4-5 volumes for pleasure/reviewing. ^^;
20. Kilala Princess – Rika Tanaka (Author), Nao Kodaka (Art), All (Tokyopop)
How sweet, we see all Disney princesses and young Kilala on a quest to rescue her friend. I imagine this is one to give to your little sister who loves Disney and hasn’t been initiated into the cult of manga…yet *manic grin*. I’m not against this kind of manga, the more youngsters into Disney who realise how wonderful manga is the better – however, the ‘Disneyness’ of this puts it at the bottom of the pile for me.
Release Day: 9th
Total Volumes: 4
Preview: 9 page Kilala Princess preview
If you love this try: watching the little mermaid, or a nice Studio Ghibli film.
19. Red String – Gina Biggs, 10+ (Dark Horse)
If you are a girl aged between 10-13 this might be the manga for you – if you are very naive, and believe that there is a boy out there just for you. This is from a web based comic which you can read online. I am surprised the author hasn’t removed this webcomic because I can’t see many people reading it online and then rushing out and buying it. On the plus side, this does have Japanese cultural elements and explanations i presume will be included in the manga version, and there are some very cute pictures of couples, and the usual ‘gosh another girl is trying to steal my guy!’ storyline. My main issue with this was that it deals with the idea of arranged marriage which i don’t think many girls will find appealing, and the artwork is nothing special, cute men, but the main female is plain and the conversation often feels disjointed. This kind of underaverage relationship shoujo manga was something I expected from Tokyopop…not Dark Horse, tsk. Again, something to buy an overly romantic younger sister?
Release Day: 10th
Preview: All of Red String
Read Reviews: Glowing review at Amazon.co.uk
If you love this try: some cute slow paced romantic anime such as Kanon or Gift ~Eternal Rainbow~
18. Kitchen Princess – Miyuki Kobayashi (Author), Natsumi Ando (Art), 13+ (Del Rey)
Despite reading a rave review about how wonderful food manga/anime is I can’t get excited about this, chiefly beause the girl on the cover looks exactly like the girl on the cover of Zodiac P.I. – is Natsumi Ando only capable of drawing one type of girl? Personally I find those eyes hideous. The story seems to be something about a orphan girl who’s goal in life is to become the worlds greatest pastry chef and find the boy who saved her life. Fair enough, personally I just wanted super powers…
Release Day: 30th
Original Manga Release Year: 2005
Total Volumes: 7 (+?)
Reviews: Kitchen Princess rave review at animeondvd.com
If you love this try: Yakitate Japan, Bartender…and other food/drink based anime/manga.
17. Chain Mail – Hiroshi Ishizaki, 13+ (Tokyopop)
I’m sorry, but a story revolving around mobile phones?! Seriously naff, and this isn’t the only manga about mobile phones this month *aaaargh*. The cheesiness of a mobile phone manga is made up for slightly by the tanka style of this manga – poetry composed of lines of 5,7,5,77 syllables. There’s even a competition to win a copy of this manga if you compose an awesome tanka. The story is about 4 friends who write a story online and it starts to come true and the border between reality and fantasy becomes blurred. Normally I would find this appealing but I can’t get over the mobile phone bit.
Release Day: 9th
Original Manga Year: 2003
Reviews: You need to register with ‘The Harrow’ to read the review.
If you love this try: One Missed Call – creepier style, also out this month. Speaking of which…
16. One Missed Call – Yasushi Akimoto (Author) Mayumi Shihou (Art) 16+ (Dark Horse)
“Bah!”, I hear the sweet sound of Dark Horse cashing in on the cinema release of ‘One Missed Call’ in America later this year (August I think). However much I enjoy little evil girls with long hair appearing and terrorising lovely teenagers, I prefer the little girl to be associated with a well than a mobile phone *lame*. Also, I highly recommend you buy this from America rather than UK as you can get it for under $5 in the US but it’s priced up as recommended Â£9.99 over here *eek*. That said the character art looks like it has potential…
and after I’ve seen the film I might be excited about reading this, but until then…no thanks. The front cover makes me giggle, it looks pretty silly!
Release Day: 17th
Preview: 4 pages of One Missed Call
Review: more of a quick look at the One Missed Call Films and TV series
If you love this try: Ringu, other Takashi Miike films, Chain Mail Manga (see above).
15. Good Luck – E-Jin Kang, 13+ (Tokyopop)
A girl who believes she attracts bad luck is bullied a lot and then transferred to a new school. Well I do like the cover artwork which is a start, the guys look pretty, but I can’t gather much more about this manga! In Newtype I read it takes the standard shoujo cliches and gives them a fresh take, but doesn’t have much else good to say other than that, which I intepret as ‘dull’.
Release Day: 9th
Total Volumes: 5
Reviews: Newtype #Jan07 p142
14. Calling You – Otsuichi (Author), Tsuzuki Setsuri (Art) 13+ (Tokyopop)
AARGH, not another thing about mobile phones…well no, actually the first story involves a lonely girl who doesn’t need one, she can just imagine calling someone and call them in her head, even if there is a bit of a time change…I think this has more potential than the other mobile manga, although I’d probably prefer the One Missed Call artwork considering the cover. The other story involves a boy who can take on others’ scars, which leaves me intrigued…getting the impression this is aimed at a depressed emo audience?
Release Day: 9th
Total Volumes: oneshot
Review: Newtype #Jan07 p136
13. Angel Dust neo – Aoi Nanase (ADV)
The only review is in Newtype…and considering it’s going to be published as their inserted manga each month I’m loath to consider their glowing review unbiased. From what I can see it is a harem type manga with 3 girls who love to dress up in different costumes – so not all bad then ;) . It has not even been advertised on ADV’s website from what I can make out!
Release Day: 30th?
Review: Newtype #Jan07 p141
12. Seven – Momoko Tenzen, 16+ (Digital Manga Publishing)
There isn’t a preview of Seven, or a review anywhere noticeable, but I have read some of Junjou to Furachi by Momoko Tenzen, and mmm the men are certainly pretty and steamy!
However, I haven’t read anything with a strong plot, so I am not anticipating this to be amazing, but I hope to be proved wrong. As far as i can tell Seven is a boy-boy relationship where one of the boys has amnesia before the age of 12…
Release Day: 13th
Original Manga Year: 2004
Edit: there is now a preview available of 10 pages at Panel Mania
11. Forest of Gray City – Jung-Hyun Umn (Ice Kunion)
I almost missed this! The only information is a tiny snippet of plot synopsis in a forum! I presume this is some kind of relationship shoujo then? The cover artwork looks quite pretty, unusual clothes, is the one in purple supposed to be a boy though (?!)…well I’ll have to wait until I see this…if I see this on the shelves!
Release Day: 31st
Total Volumes: 2
More to follow…I need a chocolate break. I’ve been listening to the Ergo Proxy soundtrack while writing this, it’s pretty eerie and cool.