Category Archives: Manga

September 2010: New Science Fiction Manga. Demon Sacred, Neon Genesis Evangelion, 7 Billion Needles and A Drunken Dream

This list only includes manga series starting at volume 1.

Demon Sacred Volumes 1-2, 13+

There is a sickness called Return Syndrome that causes people to physically regress toward infancy until they simply disappear. If someone you loved became afflicted with it, would you give up? No! You’d do anything humanly possible to help them. You’d find a way to get someone inside the leading corporation researching a cure–the same company that seems suspiciously unwilling to share any knowledge it possesses about the sickness, even with its own workers. You might even reach beyond human means to help them. And when the inhuman comes in such gorgeous packaging, it might be hard to resist! Join Mona, K2, Rina, Mika and Shinobu as they fight against the Return Syndrome, dark company secrets, and enemies–both human and inhuman. There may even be a dragonslayer in the mix!

You can read chapter 1 online. The honeymoon, aurora, unicorns and creepiness is an unusual mix which I liked. It has more of a fantasy than sci-fi feel. The theme of a virus that causes people to grow younger could be interesting, I wonder how well the art shows people changing from old to young.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse Volume 1, 16+

Shinji Ikari’s parents are gone, and he lives with his legal guardian, Ryoji Kaji, while attending the private NERV Academy. But no one ever told Shinji about its secrets . . . or that he’d find his fellow students Kaworu, Rei, and Asuka out on the streets late at night — fighting with sword, spear, and whip against an enemy that looks very human, but who Kaworu insists are beings called the Angels . . .”

The three page preview doesn’t give much away. A must have for fans of the anime.

7 Billion Needles

Hikaru Takabe may not be the most social of teens. Always sporting her headphones, she gives off an aloof aura that rubs her classmates the wrong way. But her not being part of the crowd takes on a different dimension when she becomes involved in an intergalactic game of cat and mouse.

Inspired by Needle, the Golden Age hard sci-fi classic by the late Hal Clement, Nobuaki Tadano’s debut work brings a unique take on alien invasion up to date and into the maelstrom that is the Japanese high school girl.

Judging by the number of positive reviews this looks worth a buy, and, as a girl I enjoy reading female focused sci-fi stories.

A Drunken Dream and Other Stories

Forty years ago, the legendary manga artist Moto Hagio reinvented the shōjo (girls’ comics) genre with an ongoing series of whip-smart, psychologically complex, and tenderly poetic stories. Here, now, in English for the very first time, as the debut release in Fantagraphics Books’ ambitious manga line of graphic novels, are ten of the very best of these tales.

The work in A Drunken Dream and Other Stories spans Hagio’s entire career, from 1970’s “Bianca” to 2007’s “The Willow Tree,” and includes the mind-bending, full-color title story; the famously heartbreaking “Iguana Girl”; and the haunting “The Child Who Comes Home” — as well as “Autumn Journey,” “Girl on Porch With Puppy,” the eerie conjoined-twins shocker “Hanshin: Half-God,” “Angel Mimic,” and one of the saddest of all romance stories, “Marié, Ten Years Later.”

A Drunken Dream and Other Stories is supplemented with a feature-length interview with Hagio, where she discusses her art, her career, and her life with the same combination of wit, candor and warmth that radiates from every panel of her comics.”

I had difficultly loading the preview from their website, but it was also on the Amazon page. It includes pages from one of the stories, and the interview with the author. While the collection seems mostly fantasy, I have read from reviews there is at least one science fiction short.

New Manga: January 2009

(image – cover of Tarot Cafe Novel, published by Tokyopop)

This list only covers new manga series:

Castle of Dreams – Tokyopop

Crown – Go! Comi

Dangerous Feelings – DMP

Divine Melody – DrMaster

Don’t Rush Love – 801

Double Trouble – DMP

Fire Investigator Nanase – CMX

Heaven’s Will – VIZ

InVisible – Gomanga

The Manzai Comics – Aurora

Maximum Ride – Yen

Momo Tama – Tokyopop

The Name of The Flower – CMX

Phantom Dream – Tokyopop

Take Me To Heaven – Deux

Togainu no Chi – Tokyopop

Tricky Prince – DMP

Where Has Love Gone – DMP

Other manga/anime related books:

500 Essential Anime Movies – Collins

Oishinbo – VIZ

The Tarot Cafe Novel – Tokyopop

Thoughts on releases…

Combine the fact that the characters in Maximum Ride have wings, were genetically engineered, have scientists and erasers out to get them and one of them has to save the world, it seems like a potentially exciting ride?!

After reading a preview of Togainu no Chi in Anime Insider 64, it does seem dark and post-apocalyptic, even if the art could be more detailed. Here’s hoping it’s better than the game adaptation of Hellgate!

Devine Melody is a complex tale of a female fox demon and a love triangle between the humans she is trying to repay. Sounds like an interesting mix of fantasy, drama and romance.

The preview of Phantom Dream doesn’t grab me, but there are a lot of Fruits Basket fans who will love it.

The Castle of Dreams preview looks like it has been pieced together without any love for the art. :(

I like the random sex change theme in InVisible, how can a girl who has transformed into a boy pretend to be a girl? However, the preview seems slow to get going.

An arsonist helps a firefighter solve crimes in Fire Investigator Nanase, for some reason I pictured the arsonist like Hannibal Lecter in a cell :/ I read it involves mind games so I’m quite excited about this one.

The are lots of supernatural manga where characters can see ghosts, some of you might have been enjoying watching Natsume Yuujinchou. Heaven’s Will is interesting because the companion character is a cross dressing male exorcist!

Momo Tama is light hearted silliness from the creator of Peace Maker Kurogane.

I wonder if the Manzai Comics will be a drama about their lives or a funny look at comedians?

Crown seems like the main title aimed at a shoujo audience.

I read a preview of The Name of The Flower and was pleasantly surprised that instead of a soppy shoujo I found a girl dealing with her emotions in order to recover from depression, i liked the pacing and the art.

A little bit confused about the 500 Essential Anime Movies book, when the product description is about 500 essential graphic novels?  Eh? If it is about movies I hope Nitaboh is in there. If it’s about manga Blame!, Planetes and Battle Angel Alita better be in there! Along with Freesia…not that anyone’s published it yet :/

Oishinbo, a drama manga about Japanese cuisine? Well this I have to read, since I enjoyed Bartender.

The cover art of Tarot Cafe looks gorgeous, but I haven’t had a lot of joy from manga to novel volumes recently, so I’m not getting my hopes up!

Yaoi: Dangerous Feelings (student love triangle), Don’t Rush Love (boys share a room at uni, one wonders obsessively what the other is doing when he should be sleeping), Double Trouble (guy fancies his brother-in-law), Take Me To Heaven (supernatural one-shot where the ghosts bring them together), Tricky Prince (Students dress a boy up as a princess and he is noticed by the prince), Where Has Love Gone (office romance).

Continuing series of interest:

.hack//G.U. 4 – Tokyopop

If fans of MMORPG can tear themselves away from their online battles they might enjoy this series.

Astral Project 2 – CMX

From the author of Old Boy. That should grab your attention! It seems a random supernatural tale.

B. ICHI 2 – Yen

Super powers that come with a price, the price of doing good!

Burst Angel 2 – Tokyopop

For fans of the Burst Angel anime, or girls with guns!

Castlevania 2 – Tokyopop

Love the creepy feeling to this fantasy, check out the free preview!

Croquis Pop 3 – Yen

All manga artists will want to paint the Dead Zone!

Dark Edge 10 – DrMaster

I am loving this horror manga, with zombie school girls, this is one school you don’t want to be in after dark…

Fate/Stay Night 2 – Tokyopop

Fans of the anime will want to pick this up!

Gantz 3 – Dark Horse

The preview is only 3 pages long which is frustrating enough to leave you wishing you had your own copy.

Gon 7 – CMX

Final volume, everyone likes dinosaurs!

Hell Girl 5 – Del Rey

For anyone who likes their character studies with a supernatural theme. for your grudge Hell Girl will take another’s soul to Hell, and your soul will be eternally damned.

Kurohime 9 – VIZ

A fallen witch searches for love in a world of evil, in this volume they fight a snow goddess. Loving the cover art.

NANA 14 – VIZ

It’s NANA! Yay! :)

Nui 2 – Broccoli

…because it might be time to start wondering what would happen if your stuffed toys turned into men, I know you’ve got some, even if they’re hidden away in a dark attic…

Parasyte 6 – Del Rey

Another really enjoyable horror series, how would you feel if you had to share your body with an alien parastye?

Project ARMS 21 – VIZ

A world of nano-machines, cybernetic assassins, powerful telekinetic opponents, and secret organization dedicated to bringing forth the next evolution of humankind” That’s enough to make me think I should be reading this…

StarCraft: Frontline 2 – Tokyopop

If the preview of the first volume is anything to go by, the second volume should be action packed and pretty:

Switch 6 – VIZ

Loved the Switch OAV and now I can’t wait to read the manga!

The Wallflower 18 – Del Rey

Sunako’s mental gothiness never fails to disappoint and make you giggle.

Also, fans of horror movies might be interested in Flowers From Hell which is about horror cinema in Japan. Arcade Mania sounds like an exciting read for any fans of bizarre arcade games or fellow viewers of the awesome Game Center CX!

Anime Insider: 64 January

I hope they don’t waste a page writing about Stitch when there are so many better series out at the moment to write about, and I don’t want to read articles about Japanese recipes, that’s what cook books are for!

Yes. Gegege no Kitaro should get aired on TV, maybe it’s too expensive or just too weird for them?

I hope something does happen in Moribito, because I’m looking forward to it!!

Sekerei just reminds my why I lean away from anime with gravity defying lemon boobs.

Yay! Tytania gets a mention, in a tiny little box in the corner…

Afro Samurai seems more suited to a videogame release than an anime or manga. Stylish violence and revenge although I’d rather be playing Kung Fu Panda, cuteness wins over blood if something doesn’t display much depth!

The Vocaloid Figures I’ve seen are very cute, but after hearing the Engrish version of a Little Mermaid song it’s just not hot!

Anime to watch:

I loved the chaotic madness of Excel Saga so perhaps I will also enjoy Baccano.

So it has taken over 2 years, but looks like D.Gray-Man will be the next BIG THING for everyone in America to get obsessed over. I’m more interested in the hopefuls Monster and Nana.

Tweeny Witches seems to have slipped under my radar, but mention Studio 4C and suddenly I want to watch it.

One weekend I’m going to marathon lots of Aria, and end up feeling very chilled with an insuppressible desire to sail away in a little boat somewhere beautiful.

An Armored Trooper Votoms Film?! SQUEEEE! LaMB seems potentially exciting too.

More DVD releases to look forward to:

009-1

Hell Girl S1

Aria: The Natural

Manga:

The Togainu No Chi preview appeals because of the setting in a broken city, however, the art could be better and I wasn’t left feeling very excited about the story.

Yay, the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service is almost up to 8 volumes, something to catch up on I know I’ll love, this had some of the best editing notes in the back I’ve ever had the pleasure to read.

How bad could a Tokyopop manga version of CSI be? I’m going to regret saying that aren’t I?

OOOOO I really want to read the Casshern SINS manga adaptation!!

Neo: 53 Jan 2009

I would love to have a degree in the feasibility of Gundam technology, I could be building my first giant robot right now…maybe!

Ooo, a 10% discount at Orbital Manga…doesn’t say when it is valid until though.

Anime to watch:

Elfen Lied – been on the backlog a LONG time.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time – only seen first 20 minutes!

Gilgamesh – seen some of the dub on the UK Anime channel, so now I need the sub, the world reflected in the sky, dystopian times, mmm.

Gundam Wing.

Haibane Renmei – I watched the entire series 3 years ago, and it’s good enough to see again, considering I cried after the last episode because it was so good and I didn’t want it to finish.

Neon Genesis Evangelion – ooo a shiny metal box, will I like this more than Layzner?

Noir – considering I lovingly paid out £20 each for the first three dvds five years ago I should get the complete collection and see the ending!

Witchblade – I like the female character designs and figurines, story didn’t grab me enough. I bought a Top Cow Witchblade graphic novel last week and all the pages are falling out :/

Manga:

Want to read NANA and D.Gray-man.

Anime Insider: 63 December

Hamtaro is not the best big-eyed hamster! EBICHU IS! Clearly the Assistant Editor knows nothing. “Shaaaaa.

Evangelion the best figure? Pah! My Blame! Sana Kan is the best figure this year!

The T-Virus Antidote Resident Evil energy drink is red and shiny, I want one!

Anime to catch up on:

Black Lagoon – explodee action female shooting awesomeness = must see it all!

Galaxy Express 999 – need to see this classic space anime.

Ghost Slayers Ayashi – that Limited Edition DVD, manga, guidebook and artbox is really tempting. Also, really expensive!

Linebarrels of Iron – can’t remember what I didn’t like about the first episode apart from the scratchy blush marks which annoy me, maybe I’ll give this another look.

Moribito Guardian of the Spirit – about to watch this series, so I hope she really is the best heroine of 2008!

Mushishi – will the live action film have the same impact as the stand alone episodes?

Red Garden – I can forgive the singing moments for the bit when the girls see their real bodies lying in coffins. MARVELOUS. I have to know their fate. The big noses really didn’t bother me.

Simoun – must see this for the sci-fi action…not the fan service, clearly not the fan service…

The Wallflower – it made me giggle, I kept missing out episodes, wasn’t there a mad aunt who arrived in a helicopter or something, and lots of nosebleeds and goth-loli girls? *Gets bumped up the list of anime to buy*.

Welcome to the NHK – it made me aware of Hikikomori and I can still hear the purupurupurin song in my head!

Manga that must be read:

Blade of the Immortal – I bought the first 2 volumes, can’t believe it’s up to volume 20 now! I really want to read this, especially now I’ve seen a little of the anime and been disappointed with that adaptation.

Monster – I have about 35 episodes of anime to get through, and then no doubt I will be hungry for the manga.

Moyashimon – Thank you Del Rey, I need cute microbes in my life.