Category Archives: Manga

Otaku USA: December 2008

Reminds me to watch:

Cobra The Animation – I loved what I read of the sci-fi manga, so I can’t wait to see it animated!

Claymore – saw less than a handful of episodes, yay female warriors, hope they bring out a second series.

Death Note – I was gripped by the first dozen episodes, I know from the fandom surrounding this that it won’t disappoint me, ditto for the manga and films.

Detroit Metal City -  death metal madness! ROCK ON!

Devil May Cry – I vaguely remember being impressed with the stylish violence in the first few episodes, the trailer and has many, many, guns!

Ergo Proxy – I have a bad habit of refusing to watch the end of series that, to me, are masterpieces. Need to deal with things ending and finish this along with Monster, Blood + and Mushishi!!

Gundam 00 – I didn’t really get into it in the first part, but I do like the huge lift to space and Gundam fighting to stop all war whatever the cost. Now that Votoms Pailsen files is over I need to check this out, and watch all of FLAG.

Ouran High School Host Club – the episodes I saw were just so cute, adorable and funny. Need more! I love the cross dressing aspect, reminds me also, I want to see more Princess Princess.

Super Dimension Fortress Macross – I get the sneaking suspicion I’d enjoy it more than Macross Frontier. I need retro sci-fi in my life, and lots of it!

Reminds me to read:

Gankutsuou – I was interested in this when I previewed new manga, and after seeing the contents in a shop I’ll happily purchase this out of curiosity.

Ghost Slayers Ayashi – I loved the artwork in the anime, hoping to love the art in the manga too. The episode of the anime about the Mountain God was memorable, I wonder how the manga compares.

GOTH – another title I felt looked promising (anything horror-ish gets my hopes up!), and since Tokyopop recently sent it to me to review I can’t wait to read it!

GTO – I’ve read the first volume and was blown away by the random violence mixed with humour. Volumes 2-5 are sitting on my manga book shelves; it’s a crime not to read them really!

Black Jack – got the first two volumes to review, bought the dvd release years ago but never got round to watching it. Seems like I need a Black Jack evening :)

Speed Grapher – because I’m pretty sure I loved the anime, well, the part that I saw sober anyway…the rest is a bit of a blur.

If I was rich:

A Yoko Gurren Lagann figurine, there are so many, which is the best?!

I’d own a car with Junko Mizuno artwork on the side, or, Tsutomu Nihei, maybe get all artsy pretentious and stick on some Sengai Zen ink. Forget ugly handbags, It would be like the ultimate otaku handbag…but with wheels.

I’d probably get one of those Battroid Valkyries to see what all the hype is about and then customize it to make it very girly and probably glow in the dark.

Wants a cute vampire Thee 50’s High Teens outfit to wear! Meow.

New Manga: December 2008

(Image – Object of Desire published by Luv Luv)

This list only covers new manga series:

1520 – Udon

[email protected] – Media Blasters

Blue Sheep Reverie – DMP

Gaba Kawa – VIZ

His Arrogance – 801 Media

Object of Desire – Luv Luv

Princess AI – The Prism of Midnight Dawn – Tokyopop

Sea View – DMP

Secret Moon – DMP

Shards of Affection – DMP

St. Dragon Girl – VIZ

White Brand – DMP

Y Square Plus – Yen

You Will Fall In Love – BLU

Other manga/anime related books:

Genshiken Official Book – Del Rey

The Manga Guide to Databases – No Starch Press

Pokemon Creator: Satoshi Tajiri – KidHaven Press

Thoughts on releases…

Object of Desire, how about an 18+ josei manga to warm you up on a cold winter morning? Sounds good to me! There is a 10 page preview if you just can’t wait, I like the storytelling style.

Think [email protected] was out last month? Pretty sure I saw it in Orbital Manga; it seems to be an internet crime drama, intriguing!

Y Square Plus, looks like a gem for shoujo romance fans, more shoujo with demon slaying in St. Dragon Girl. Surprisingly there is yet more demon shoujo on offer in Gaba Kawa.

In 1520, 15 year olds fluctuate in age between 15, 10 and 5 in a fantasy world. A shounen title, should I get excited about this?

Princess AI is a fantasy for older teens, so perhaps it is amazing, (the font size on Tokyopop descriptions is a bit small and I’m too tired from work to squint). The artwork looks ok but doesn’t scream originality.

Fans of Genshiken can become excited over the Genshiken Official Book because there is a free poster, Kujibiki Unbalance trading cards, and enough knowledge to make you a new improved otaku!

The Manga Guide to Databases, it seems you now know exactly want to ask Santa for Christmas to rescue you from the deep dark void of database ignorance.

Yaoi fans have plenty on offer, Blue Sheep Reverie (revenge mystery), His Arrogance (Model Love) Sea View (university attraction), Secret Moon (vampire love), Shards of Affection (warriors, priests, scientists and monsters!) White Brand (cousins love in school), and You Will Fall In Love (love for a teacher in an archery club).

It’s one of the mildly depressing moments where I feel justified complaining about the ratio of new yaoi to all other manga genres. Sigh. At least there is one josei title aimed at me, and databases aimed at…someone.

Special Mention:

I absolutely adore the artwork and cyborg-ness of Battle Angel Alita, which reminds me I need to flesh out my odd random volumes I bought in a sale.

Maka Maka 2. You NEED this in your life if you are a yuri fan.

Reading Club 2, this cover artwork is just too awesome – I am going to have to check out this series!

Manga Review – Chibi Vampire 1

Favourite quote, “I’m being tricked by a magical raccoon, aren’t I? I know a magical raccoon when I see one…”

When you discover a Tokyopop vampire manga for older teens labeled as comedy/horror, you might expect seductive creepy vampires, but Chibi Vampire turns the normal vampire story on its head. Karin gives people her own blood, instead of taking it away! She is embarrassed about being a vampire, and tries her best to hide it from her school friends, however, this becomes difficult when Kenta the transfer student turns up and has an unusual effect on her blood levels. On top of that, Kenta gets a job at the restaurant where she works, is Karin going to be able to avoid him for the rest of her life?

Art – 2/5

The art spoils this series for me; I wasn’t keen on the art in the anime version either.  The character designs themselves are ok, I like the fact that Anju has a puppet on one hand (it reminded me of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service), but there isn’t a lot to differentiate the characters from hordes of other manga, other than the fact that some of them suck/spurt blood! Perhaps Tokyopop should have named it Misfortune Vampire or Karin, considering there really isn’t anything chibi about this volume, in fact, it might have benefited from chibi artwork in places, especially when Kenta is trying to work out why Karin is acting all weird around him. There isn’t much in the way of background art, and I expect more from the whole page character drawings, although the one with Karin looking out of a coffin is quite cute. Sometimes the arm/leg artwork seems lazy and a bit off. What Yuna Kagesaki does do best, is a crying girl with a bloody nose!

Story – 4/5

I particularly like the originality in this. A vampire who gushes lots of blood from her nose is funny. I also like the fact that it’s not just anyone she desires to give blood too, and that at the end of the volume we find she craves blood of the misfortunate, and giving them her blood improves their fortune. It is also funny to see Karin constantly running away from Kenta in case any prolonged contact causes her blood levels to rise to disastrous consequences. It is amusing that Kenta thinks Karin is a prostitute, and that when he goes looking for her house, he ends up being confused by magic and walking round in circles. However, there is not that much depth for something aimed at older teens, and I imagine some people will be disappointed.

Characters – 3/5

The story revolves around Karin and Kenta, so your enjoyment of the volume will really depend on how annoying you find Karin’s cowardice, and Kenta’s confusion. Karin’s siblings seem more interesting as Anju is destined to be a great vampire, and Ren gets around de-stressing young women. The friend Maki is really rather dull, but the feisty mother Calera makes up for it, when she gets upset that her blood wine is not a destructive enough liar. I am left wondering how Karin will benefit Kenta’s misfortune and whether she will develop other unknown and unusual vampire talents.

If you are a fan of Chibi Vampire, you might be interested to know that Tokyopop publishes volume 11 this month! There is a 25 page preview for you to enjoy. They also publish the novel version.

Thanks to Tokyopop for providing the review copy.

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!