Monthly Archives: October 2008

New Manga: November 2008

(Image – Inukami, published by Gomanga)

New Manga: October 2008 has been updated with Tokyopop’s releases, a yaoi, and an exciting yuri title!

This list only covers new manga series:

07-GHOST – Go! Comi

Ai Yori Ayoshi (Vols 1-3) – Tokyopop

As You Like It – Self Made Hero

Black Sun – 801 Media

A Capable Man – Tokyopop

Captive Hearts – VIZ

Dark Walker – June

The Dawn of Love – June

Dragon Ball (Collector’s Edition) – VIZ

Dry Heat – June

Freshmen – Deux

Gankutsuou – Del Rey

Go West! – CMX

Hanky Panky – Deux

Hayate X Blade – Gomanga

Higurashi When They Cry – Yen Press

Inukami – Gomanga

Junior Escort – June

Lovers and Souls – Deux

Othello – Tokyopop

Shinobi Life – Tokyopop

Sounds of Love – Luv Luv Press

Suihelibe – CMX

Temperature Rising – June

We Were There – VIZ

Yokaiden – Del Rey

Other manga/anime related books:

The Akiba: A Manga Guide to Akihabara – Japan Publications Trading.

Bleach SOULs. Official Character Book – VIZ

Comikers Art 3 – HarperCollins

Drawing Manga Kit – Arcturus Publishing

Fun with Pokemon – VIZ

Greek and Roman Mythology: The Tales of the Gods – YoungJin Singapore Pte Ltd.

The Manga Guide to Statistics – No Starch Press

Mechademia 3 – University of Minnesota Press

Thoughts on releases…

If you haven’t heard of Higurashi no Naku Koroni…where have you been? I’m sure lots of otaku are bouncing up and down with excitement over Higurashi When They Cry.

I can’t find out much about the storyline of Yokaiden, but it’s supernatural, and judging by Nina Matsumoto’s website, I’m looking forward to it.

If you can’t get enough of anime where the females treat their male as a pet slave, then Captive Hearts is for you! Megumi is cursed to be Suzuka’s slave, but in this case it seems it is not ideal for her, so perhaps it will be a refreshing take on the situation. There’s a role reversal in Inukami, where boy meets girl Inukami and gets more than he bargained for.

In 07-GHOST magical boy Teito struggles in an academy. This has great reviews, but why not decide for yourself with the 25 page manga preview.

Girls handcuffed to each other with swords! That should be enough to lure people over to Hayate X Blade. *Grin*

I’m wondering how to pronounce Suihelibe, the cover art certainly looks colourful and exciting, boy meets alien girl in a story suitable for all ages.

Anyone remember that strange sci-fi anime where the beautiful clothes patterns moved differently to the surrounding movement? Anyone else get excited about it? If so you’ll be as intrigued as I am by the Gankutsuou manga adaptation!

Go West is about a Japanese girl in the Wild West…so another publisher hoping to cash in on manga that translates to a Western audience?  For fans of Western influenced anime. I wonder how it compares to things like Gun X Sword and Afro Samurai.

You might be more excited about We Were There, if you realise it’s the manga that Bokura ga Ita was based on. I’ve only seen one episode which seems like a very sweet, slice of life, romance with pretty artwork.

Girl meets ninja in, Shinobi Life, a romance from Tokyopop, great for girls who get the hots for ninja? Sounds of Love might appeal to fans of La Corda D’Oro or Nodame Cantabile who wish it was a bit steamier, considering this is a mature release.

If you haven’t been overloaded with the harem genre, Ai Yori Ayoshi is being compiled into one big volume!

For fans of Manga Shakespeare, Othello and As You Like It are out this month.

OK, technically Mechademia isn’t new, but I feel it’s worth bringing to people’s attention. “Exploring the possibilities and perils of a posthuman future through visionary works of Japanese anime and manga.” How could you resist? Anyone interested in the Japanese vision of the future in anime and manga should be given something to think about.

The Manga Guide to Statisticseh? After squinting at the screen to see if I’d read that right, it’s actually great to see manga being used as a helpful teaching method. I’ve met so many people who loath statistics – maybe this can make it a little fun? Edumanga woohoo! The sample pages made me smile, no wonder it’s a hit in Japan. If you’re falling off your chair in excitement, No Starch Press with be publishing the Manga Guide to Databases, and the Manga Guide to Calculus soon!

The Manga Guide to Akihabara looks like a must buy for anyone wondering what to do on their geeky holiday to Japan!

For budding manga artists the Drawing Manga Kit looks colourful and fun. It’s the sort of thing I would have liked as a stocking filler when I was a kid! Fun with Pokemon looks like a better way to entertain younger children who would rather play games than draw pictures.

Comikers Art 3 is another series which isn’t new, but would be of interest to anyone learning about the art of manga storytelling. You might even buy it for the artwork, if the beautiful cover is anything to go by. It appeals to me, because I want to see guides to creating manga that appeal to me visually, far too many how-to-draw-manga books are drawn in an unappealing way. They have a cute widget counting down the hours until you can purchase it on their website, not really relevant but ever so cute!

Greek and Roman Mythology is aimed at 9-12 year olds to introduce them to the gods, it seems to be the first in a series of at least 3 volumes.

Diehard Bleach fans will want the Bleach SOULs character book as it comes with stickers, a poster, manga and more! I’m not sure what makes the Collector’s Edition of Dragon Ball (and Dragon Ball Z) different (it’s a hardback?) but fans have plenty to enjoy considering the art book was published last month.

Yaoi fans have plenty to keep them occupied in Black Sun (lust in a time of war in the Middle Eastern Empire), A Capable Man (best school friend/cousin  love triangle), Dark Walker (high school wet dreams), The Dawn of Love (an erotic love battle), Dry Heat (pure male love is here!), Freshmen (high school romance), Hanky Panky (geek/host club owner…well the title says it all really), Junior Escort (love in the world of show business), Lovers and Souls (art student prostitute – love the cover art) and Temperature Rising (falling in love with a male escort).

Overall this month, plenty of variety on the manga front even though there are fewer releases (those lookng for horror should stick to October’s releases), as always, lots for the yaoi fans.

Happy Halloween :)

I’ve been looking for an excuse to post this cover art, because it seems quite steamy. Usually I roll my eyes at yaoi manga covers, but Nekrateholic is pretty hot!

Happy Halloween! I hope you’ve all got some spooky horror manga and creepy anime to get you in the spooky mood!

Manga Review – Red Colored Elegy

I wish everything, and everyone, would all go to hell, to hell!

Red Colored Elegy by Seiichi Hayashi is a brightly coloured hardback published by Drawn and Quarterly in dramatic contrast to the raw, depressing honesty of the manga. This is a refreshingly dark, emotional, artistic manga from the 1970s that will draw you into the personal life of one man.

Ichiro and Sachiko have a difficult relationship, Ichiro is unhappy because he wants to earn money as a manga artist, but instead works for an animation company. The strain on their relationship is conveyed through scenes and body language more than dialogue, often the silent panels speak louder than any other panel sequences in the book about how the characters are feeling:

This is a welcome departure from the reams of manga that transport you to a naive fantasy world. This brings you down to reality with an uncomfortable  thud. It examines the relationships between Ichiro and Sachiko, the problems of arranged marriage, their combined fights and failings, their fears, and the death of Ichiro’s father.

Hopefully it will inspire other artists to draw with such emotional honesty, highly recommended for collectors of unusual manga titles.

Art – 10/10 It is incredibly difficult to rate such a unique art in manga, some people will love this, some people will find it wildly pretentious maybe even ugly. One thing is for sure, the minimal art style fits incredibly well with the content.  The lack of detail or background art successfully carry across the bleak emotions. A classic manga style might not have fitted the themes so well. The pace in the animation cell style panels is particularly interesting as it pulls you into a delicate moment of their lives. It is also unusual to see the characters merge into one when they are entwined. Gone are the expected one to two page character spreads replaced by landscapes which further evoke a depressing atmosphere.

Story – 8/10 I haven’t read anything quite so depressing since Ai-Ren (which I loved) and I can’t recommend this enough for fans of dark manga which pull you in emotionally. You read this because you want to feel something, not for the story development. It is like a diary of moments, which individually may leave the reader feeling lost and empty, but the collection gets across the frustration of the characters. The story progression feels intentionally confusing at times and by the end it does not appear much has been resolved, apart from a sad certainty of inevitable misery.

Characters – 8/10 It is difficult to truly know characters with very little dialogue – or is it? This challenges the idea that the reader must be aware of everything, and is genius in the way it picks out moments which drive home how the characters are feeling. They may not be likeable, but they are struggling in the harsh reality of the 1970s, believable in their despair.

Thanks to Drawn and Quarterly for providing the review copy.

New Manga: October 2008

(image – front/back cover of Goths Cage published by DrMaster)

*EDIT – Orbital Manga London will be selling Haruhi manga on OCTOBER 18th – yes that’s 10 days before everyone else! First 20 people on the day get a free goody bag!*

The list only covers new manga series:

All You Need Is Love – DMP

Angel’s Coffin – Go! Comi

Astral Project – CMX

B. Ichi – Yen Press

Barefoot Waltz -DMP

Batman: Deathmask Collected Edition – CMX

Blank Slate – Viz

Bound Beauty – Go! Comi

Classical Medley – CMX

Death Note Box Set – Viz

Fate/stay Night – Tokyopop

Gold Digger Tangent Pocket Manga – Antarctic Press

Goths Cage – DrMaster

The Guilty – DMP

Hitohira – Aurora

Kyo Kara Maoh – Tokyopop

The Legend of Zelda – Viz

Love Quest – Yen Press

Lover’s Pledge – DMP

Mao-chan – Del Rey

Manga Jesus – Hodder Christian Publishing

Masque of the Red Death – Go! Comi

Meeting You – 801

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – Yen Press

The 9 Lives – Tokyopop

Nora: The Last Chronicle of Devildom – Viz

Papillon – Del Rey

Physical Attraction – DMP

Reading Club – Udon

Sighing Kiss – DMP

Solanin – Viz

Stop Bullying Me – DMP

Vampire’s Portrait – DMP

Warrior Nun Areala Armor of Gold Pocket Manga – Antarctic Press

Other manga/anime related books:

The Arina Tanemura Collection: The Art of Full Moon – Viz

The Art of Bleach – Viz

The Art of Studio Gainax: Experimentation, Style and Innovation at the Leading Edge of Anime – McFarland & Co Inc

The Pokemon Pocket Guide – Viz

Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas: An Insiders View of the Birth of a Pop Culture Phenomenon – McFarland & Co Inc

Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan – Pantheon

Cinema Anime – Palgrave Macmillan

Code Geass Novel: Stage -0- Entrance – Bandai Entertainment

Darkstalkers Graphic File – Udon

Dragon Ball: The Complete Illustrations – Viz

Goth A Novel of Horror – Tokyopop

Passion – Forbidden Lovers (Novel) -DMP

Thoughts on releases…

Solanin is a manga to get excited about. There are a lot of fans who rave about this slice of life about a young couple; a graduate office worker, and a poor illustrator struggling with life. I imagine this is something most people in their twenties can identify with and therefore is one of my most highly anticipated releases.

Mao-chan seems all about cuteness! Cute girls have to defend the Earth from cute aliens – will the cuteness win you over or make you run away?

Hopefully Blank Slate will add a new spin to a character with memory loss. It is only 2 volumes long so readers won’t have to wait long to discover Zen’s forgotten identity.

In Nora a devil is cast out of hell for being disobedient, just what type of fantasy will this be? Will he learn his lesson living among mortals? I wonder what his vicious dog of disaster form looks like! Astral Project is a supernatural story that might not usually jump to my attention, however it is written by Garon Tsuchiya, who wrote Old Boy. B. Ichi is a superpower story with a catch – the ‘dokeshi’ must do a good deed everyday, but will he get bored of being good?

The Legend of Zelda is most likely aimed at a young audience with an All Ages rating, but it’s an opportunity for all fans of the fantasy game to be taken back into the world of Zelda in the Ocarina of Time. If you’re hungry for more fantasy, Classical Medley is a fantasy adventure to save a kingdom from evil – the moondragon looks ever so cute! In Kyo Kara Maoh a boy is pulled into a fantasy world through an unusual portal…a toilet!

The Death Note Box Set contains all 12 volumes of the manga as well as a 13: how to read and fold-out book marks. Anyone wondering what to buy their death-note-anime-loving-friend for Christmas now has their problem solved, it comes in a very attractive box, a must for any Death Note fan!

Judging by the number of excited Haruhi cosplayers at recent expos, the only frustrating thing about Yen Press’s publication of the manga is they will have to wait until March next year for volume 2!

Anyone who enjoyed the Fate/Stay Night anime can soon enjoy the manga from Tokyopop.

Papillon seems the girliest shoujo title this month, about twin sisters with opposite personalities coping at school, will they end up falling for the same boy? I vaguely remember watching the school anime, Hitohira, last year and finding it funny enough to make me smile, so I’m sure the manga version will lift a few spirits too.

Go! Comi release Angel’s Coffin, a shoujo with a twist. A girl frees a god who was trapped in a book, but it’s all doom and gloom as he is cursed to bring misfortune to whoever frees him, will she ever find true love? In Bound Beauty a girl can see the red string that binds lovers together, but her ability comes with a catch, she turns into a child!

Just when you reach out for some Halloween reading, Tokyopop give you the novel version of GOTH. It promises to take you to a whole new level of fear! I am more excited about Goths Cage from DrMaster. I want to be transported to a wickedly wondrous world of gothic glory! The cover art is simply gorgeous and even though it is just 32 pages, it is one of my most highly anticipated releases this month. Just when I don’t think it can get any better, Udon release a Korean horror comic for girls, Reading Club. *Squeaks in excitement.*

Whatever you think of American manga, the cover for Warrior Nun Areala is pretty sexy, and Vatican warriors protecting their church and mankind might appeal to fans of Trinity Blood. Also from Antarctic Press, Gold Digger Tangent sounds action packed, and I’m quite intrigued by the were-cat law enforcers and ‘evil death-wabbits’!!

Manga Jesus makes me wonder how an artist slid from drawing Judge Dredd to Jesus… I am curious as to how manga fans react to Christian manga. Wish you could make it all spontaneously combust with your eyes? Can’t get enough of it? Want all the other religions to join in?

The idea of Bat-Manga might make you giggle (imagine Batman talking in Engrish!), but in all seriousness this book sounds intriguing. There must be lots of Dark Knight Batman fanboys and girls who want to learn more about the global phenomenon of Batman, count me in! I can’t wait to read hundreds of pages of Bat-Manga, translated for the first time, and see photos of vintage Japanese Batman toys. As if that wasn’t enough Batman joy for one month, it retro isn’t your thing, why not try a modern Japanese Batman: Deathmask manga from CMX?

Cinema Anime certainly sounds promising, “some of the first scholarly work on several challenging and noteworthy anime that have not received enough academic attention up to now“. I wonder which anime they will be, and what it has to say about Serial Experiments Lain and FLCL. The book considers gender identity, anxieties about body mutation, technological monstrosity and apocalyptic fantasies.

The Art of Studio Gainax is a must for fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion. What was Gainax’s impact? What were the controversial endings and unpredictable plot twists? What impact has it had on the world of anime? Gainax has animated a vast range of anime from Oruchuban Ebichu to Gurren Lagann – I wonder which series they focus on in the book.

Udon has released the sexiest art book this month with Darkstalkers… just look at a preview of what’s inside! Sexy seductresses indeed!

Although I didn’t grow up in America, it will still be interesting to see how anime arrived in the form of Astro Boy, Sailor Moon and others, in Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas.

If fans of Code Geass are unsatisfied watching the anime over and over, the Code Geass Novel seems to be the written version of the anime, I wonder if it will be exactly the same story or differ in any way? Would fans prefer an exact novelization of the anime or a spin off story/prequel/sequel?

Bleach fans excited about The Art of Bleach will be pleased to know there is a free poster (to add to the small Bleach shrine?). It is notable that the Dragon Ball Illustrations is twice as long, and also contains a free poster. A third art book from Viz this month is The Art of Full Moon and although it is only 68 pages long, the series art looks incredibly cute.

Gotta catch ’em all? Well at least kids don’t have to memorize them all with The Pokemon Pocket Guide the first of 2 guides to the 491 Pokemon…expect lots of stats and abilities.

Yaoi fans have plenty to choose from as usual! Sighing Kiss (a school love triangle -  loving the cover art for this one), Vampire’s Portrait (an artist desires the vampire he is painting), Stop Bullying Me (confused school crushes) Barefoot Waltz (failed love confession given a second chance), Passion – Forbidden Lovers (the novel that the manga was based on), Lover’s Pledge (never sell yourself to a man for $10,000 when drunk!), Physical Attraction (one-way love at college), The Guilty (a mystery author uses his fan’s body as motivation to write his book), Love Quest (the only way to survive a fantasy world is to kiss), Meeting You (school boy must pass trails of love to win affection) and All You Need Is Love (unhappy bank worker given a second chance at love). There is even an American style manga from Go! Comi with a shounen ai theme called Masque of the Red Death. Surely any yaoi fan has something to get their pulse racing. The 9 Lives is suggestive of shounen ai, I’m guessing fangirls might get hot around the collar thinking about masters and alien cat-boys being kept as pets. Meow.

Certainly a varied month for new manga titles overall, good for fans of yaoi, Death Note, slice of life, art books, horror, beat-em-up nuns and Batman!

*EDIT* Tokyopop added new releases to website:

Faerie Path: A girl finds out she is a faerie princess, and has to save an Immortal World from evil.

Fruits Basket 18 Month Planner: This would make a cute Christmas present for any Friuits Basket, boys turning into kawai animals, fan!

Ghostbusters: Let’s face it, everyone secretly loves Ghostbusters…even if the first film did give me nightmares for years!

Koihime Soushi: Adorable cover art, for fans of Kamichama Karin. A girl has the power to make people feel love for her apart from one guy…

*EDIT* Update 31/10/08

Anima – Yaoi Press: Steampunk journalism yaoi? I’m certainly intrigued.

Maka-Maka – Media Blasters: despite a flash website which doesn’t seem to have been updated for a year or so, this does seem to be available to buy. This is HUGELY EXCITING for any fans of girl-girl manga, it’s the series that made me glad I’d started reading yuri/shoujo ai – so I’m so glad to see it published!