A press release sent out by Viz Media late last week revealed some new titles coming out later this year. A little lack-lustre a PR may be but I love to hear this kind of news directly from the publisher, and doubly so during this season which is generally down time for manga licenses.
So what new titles do we have to look forward to?
First up on the list was a new Pokemon series – Pokemon
Adventures: Black & White (Edit: Currently it is unconfirmed if Pokemon B/W will be released under the Pokemon Adventures series’ title). This particular announcement is really well timed since the new Pokemon games just came out yesterday (of which I’m currently making my way through White!). This series is written by the same author responsible for the previous Pokemon Adventures volumes and has returning artist Yamamoto Satoshi who took over from artist MATO as of volume ten. The first two volumes will be released in July 2011 (Note cover image is a placeholder for final Viz Media cover design). [Editor’s Note: More information about Pokemon B/W in follow-up post]
Offering more volumes of continuously loved franchises, there’s more Yu-Gi-Oh on the horizon with Yu-Gi-Oh 5D. I haven’t really followed the series since Yugi was no longer than main character but based on the synopsis this looks like the manga version of the story currently being aired on television – so battling in an apocalyptic future on motorcycles. The first volume is due out in July 2011.
Confirming and scheduling a previously revealed series, Viz Media lists Psyren – a story about a boy fighting for his life in an alternate dimension – for release in October 2011. Just in time for Halloween! Following that in November is a one-shot collection of stories by Natsume Ono title Tesoro – twelve short works and bonus material from the creator of not simple! and House of Five Leaves.
Lastly for ‘new’ series is Dawn of the Arcana with its first volume coming out in December. It sounds like a pretty classic fantasy series about a Princess being betrothed to a Prince and learning the backstabbing ways of the royal court and the magic that overlaps it. While I love a classic English-fantasy story, what really makes me curious about this story is the artwork since, upon looking them up, this artist has lovely covers!
And to top things off, we have coming to us omnibus collections of CLAMP’s X/1999! As a huge CLAMP lover and collector everything with their name on it I can find, this really excites me. I already own Viz Media’s last run of the series, and though I’m not one too bothered by flipped artwork, I’m looking forward to re-experiencing the story in it’s original format. Each volume will have 3 books in 1 plus extra full-colour illustrations. Combined with Dark Horse’s omnibus editions, CLAMP is getting an impressive second-wave shot at English readers for nearly all its series – that’s really something and speaks a lot to their popularity (and the faith in their works bringing in new fans as well).
Lots of neat stuff here and there’s more I’m eager for than indifferent towards so yay! How about you? Something here an especially exciting new title to look forward to?
Wait…wha? Adventures BW? Already? But the volumes haven't even come out in Japan yet…and probably won't for at least a year. And if they're just going to take the content from the (three) magazine(s) that the manga is currently running in, there's probably going to be some missing chapters…
Dawn of the Arcana intrigues me most. I actually have a question about X/1999…
I know the series was originally published in the bigger trim size with flipped artwork. This continued through volume nine or so. Then from ten on, they went with the smaller size and under the Shojo imprint. Eventually, earlier volumes were reprinted this way, too.
But was the artwork still flipped?
I'm not able to dig up my X/1999 volumes now but I'm pretty sure they were all flipped up to the last volume released in the new edition. I remember being shocked one day to even realize it. During the time X/1999 was released it was still fairly customary for Viz Media to release some titles flipped, even in new editions such with Inu-Yasha. If my memory serves, then I think we'll see a lot of readers repurchase X simply for the original artwork.
Hey out of curiosity, have you gotten volume 11 of Pokemon Adventures and Pokemon Adventures: Diamond, Pearl and Platinum volume 1 yet? Haven't seen you post about them or any new reviews past volume 9 so I wasn't sure whether you have or not. You should though if you haven't. (although be warned, Viz edited Crys' mother's slap into a glare in volume 11)
But yeah, I have to agree with Monica. It's crazy that they are releasing the BW arc of Adventures already considering it hasn't even been released in tankobon yet…Things are going to be so out of order and confusing if this is true. IMO instead of releasing BW and DPPt as separate but related series (when they are actually all still part of the normal Pokemon Adventures) they should focus on speeding up the older releases instead. That way we'll catch up with all the arcs quicker and then DPPt and BW won't be thrown out of place as separate series…
I have purchased and read volumes 10 and 11 of Pokemon Adventures, though not the other Diamond, Pearl and Platinum volumes. I haven't been doing reviews of most of what I read these days (a bad habit I hope to break soon!). I'm also still not sure how I feel about the artist change, I miss Mato that's for sure. The slap censor in the eleventh volume was pretty funny! I can see why they did it (since it's her Mother slapping her) but it's sort of odd in series where trainers and Pokemon get so badly injured all the time as is.
In regards to the timing of their release for Black and White, I find it really interesting that there's such a negative backlash about this from the Pokemon community. Companies, Viz Media especially, are always getting harassed about not releasing things as quick as humanly possible from Japan. Now they're making a real effect to release material while it's relevant, new and in-sync with Japan and all I've read about it is complaints! Just goes to show you can't please everyone I guess. After all it's not like Black and White coming out is slowing down their other Pokemon releases which are still coming out quicker than most everything else Viz Media is releasing.
Actually the Pokemon Adventures: Black & White isn't a new series, but part of the same series with all the other arcs. Viz is just releasing Black & White and Diamond and Pearl as separate arcs for some reason. I don't mean to be rude, but even if you are only reading the Viz release you could still look up the series (on Bulbapedia, Serebii or Wikipedia for example) to see what is a part of what and where they are at. And not to nitpick, but shouldn't you say "and has returning artist Yamamoto Satoshi who took over from artist MATO as of volume ten" not nine? Because nine was still a Mato volume, it wasn't until volume 10 that he took over.
And I can't believe you haven't followed Yu-Gi-Oh! since the first series. Now while I'll admit the GX anime (whether you watched it edited and dubbed by 4Kids or the subbed version) wasn't too great, the GX manga is one of the best Yu-Gi-Oh! mangas ever so it's really surprising and sad you haven't read it yet. (in case you don't know, unlike the original series, the mangas of GX and 5D's are totally different from their anime counterparts.) I definitely recommend it! As for the 5D's series the anime isn't too bad (if you watch it subbed; you can watch the official subbed version on 4Kids Hulu for free) and the manga's pretty good so far. Definitely check both series out if you can! You need to catch up, haha. :P
I refer to Pokemon Adventures Black and White as its own series because it's being released as such by Viz Media. I'd use the term 'spin-off' but it doesn't feel accurate. It's to avoid the confusion that the B/W books (like Diamond and Pearl) won't be continuing the numbers of Pokemon Adventures and actually restart at volume one.
I'm also actively avoiding looking up the series itself because I like the game and the manga to be a surprise in regards to the new Pokemon, characters and plot :) So it's great to know I won't have to wait too long for the manga to come out here! And of course I join the thousands already making my way through the new video games.
And my mistake on the Mato timeline – thanks for the heads up! I'll correct that in the post.
As for Yu-Gi-Oh, I'm still behind on all the Yugi-centric stories – it just hasn't been one of my top priority series. I should really work to catching up though, I am a pretty fan of the original. Not to mention the card game is still great to play!
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Oh I know why you did it, I was just correcting you because I thought you didn't know that that actually wasn't the case. I see now that you do though, so my bad, lol. Never mind then.
And ah I see. I can understand that then. The only reason I said it wouldn't hurt to look it up was so you would know that DP and BW are actually part of the main series, but I realize now you already knew that so it doesn't matter anymore. And that's actually not a bad idea — I'd try to do that but temptation always gets the best of me every time I try, lol. Part of that probably stems from my 'I feel like I need to know' feeling I usually get when I try to not keep up with something. I don't know — I just always like to be up-to-date. And well, be that as it may, you're actually missing the point that is making all the fans so upset about this. (which is why you're only seeing this as a positive, when it really isn't) While it was okay to release DP already since it's already in volume form, it's not with BW. Not only has it not been tankobonned, but unlike most manga series (I'm explaining this since I'm guessing you don't know since you've never looked up the series before), the manga goes through a LOT of changes between the magazine chapters and the volume chapters. Because of that, there will be a lot of retcon in their version of BW after the BW volumes start to come out in Japan. (which won't be 'til sometime next year, most likely) Not only that, but all the magazine chapters so far are out of order and some chapters are missing as well. THAT's why all the fans are so upset about Viz releasing BW already. While it's nice of them to try to catch up, Special is the wrong series to just pull the magazine chapters from and stick in volume form. I hope this helps you understand our dilemma now. Feel free to still say excited about the older volumes and the Diamond and Pearl volumes though! And that's awesome you already have the games! :) Sadly I haven't been able to get them yet, but plan to by next week at the very latest.
You're very welcome! I'm glad I could help and that you now have it fixed. :) Just noticed it and thought I should point it out to help you out.
Oh wow — you're still behind on the original series itself? You are behind then, lol. I can understand it not being at the top of your priority list though, especially with all the manga you read and write reviews about and what not. I definitely recommend trying to catch up at some point though! As a fan of the original I'm sure you'll continue to enjoy it! And I agree, the card game is still a BLAST to play! :) I still play it now with some of my friends and on all the different Yu-Gi-Oh! video games, lol.
Oh awesome! I knew you had read volume 10 since I saw you mention it in a post a while back, but hadn't seen anything about 11 yet which was why I asked. Glad you have bought and read them though! And okay. Do be sure to buy the Pokemon Adventures: Diamond, Pearl and Platinum volume soon though, it's the only one out at the moment so it'll be best to get started on it so you won't have to catch up later. And ah I see, that explains why you haven't done any reviews recently. I was wondering if websites just weren't publishing them or what was happening, so thanks for explaining. I do hope you break it soon though! Especially since I'm looking forward to reading your reviews of volumes 10, 11 and DPPt volume 1 of Adventures! (: And really? I can understand missing Mato, but I thought a while back you said you were okay with it so far? Did that suddenly change for some reason? Hopefully you'll get to where you like it though, the art is really good still (although different) and considering they had no choice but to replace Mato since she can't draw anymore, I thought they found a good replacement. I liked that instead of just trying to find a Mato copycat (who most likely wouldn't be able to be as good as her anyway) that they did the opposite approach and found someone different. But, that's just my opinion on the matter. And it really was! I have to admit it was so funny and anticlimatic to just see a GLARE cause someone to flinch and fall down, lol. (guess glare is SUPER EFFECTIVE when used on humans? XD) Yeah, I can see why they did it too, but I agree that it was odd in a series where there is a lot worse violence and it all gets left in tact. Plus to be honest I don't think they would have ran into any trouble had they left it in tact, it was just a "snap-out-of-it!" slap and it's the only time she ever hurts her daughter in the whole series. (and she was only doing it to help her snap out of it) I hope this was just a one time thing though or else there will be a lot of violence they'll have to censor in future arcs, especially in Ruby/Sapphire and FireRed/LeafGreen. But I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
The timing is nice, but that's about it. The reason for the negative backlash is all the fans who know better realize this is not a good thing at all. While it is nice of them to make such an effort, they choice the wrong series to do it with and the wrong way to go about it. It's not because "you can't please everything", but because it's a bad idea when you take into account Adventures' magazine chapters. Magazines in Japan have just recently started serializing the BW chapters, so the number of chapters released at the moment is a small number, and definitely not big enough for a volume. (even by the time of the release for the two BW volumes here, there still won't be that many chapters, just anywhere from 8-12 more) Secondly, their magazine release is a MESS. Chapters are all over the place plot-wise, there are missing chapters in between the chapters released, ect. It's just not a good situation to pull chapters from and try to release as volumes. And the third and final (and BIGGEST) reason why it is not a good idea is Adventures goes through a LOT of changes between the magazine chapters and the volume chapters. As a fan who has not researched this and as a fan who only reads Viz's version, you (and the others celebrating) don't realize this. (which of course is understandable, but if once you do you'll realize it's not such a good thing after all) I don't mean that to be rude, but it's true. So much gets changed between magazine to volume chapters that it's stupid for them to release the magazine chapters as volumes here, especially since once the ACTUAL BW volumes come out in Japan (which will probably be sometime next year), a LOT of stuff will changed around which will probably retcon a lot of what will be out in the Viz volumes. So while yes on paper it seems like a good idea (release the most recent chapters about the most recent video game that's out!), once you actually know about the process Adventures goes through from magazine to volume you realize it's not so great after all. A better idea would have been for them to speed up the older releases (the side releasing RBG/Y/GSC/RS/FRLG/Emerald arcs) to where we get more than 6 volumes out of it a year. Or, if they really wanted to focus on the most recent arc like this, a better idea would have been to create a VizKids magazine for them to run in, so they could tie the fans over and just release the ACTUAL JAPANESE BW volumes when they come out sometime next year. But, there isn't much we can do right now, it looks like. So no, it's not because "you can't please everyone" or because of it affecting the other releases (which like you said it doesn't), it's because it's concerning us fans because it's not the right thing to do for them, the fans, or the manga. We'll just have to hope Viz will change their minds or this will turn out better than expected.
The lower price point on Pokemon Black and White [4.99!!] was interesting to see. I wonder if it's similar to Demon Sacred, offering lower prices initial books to get you hooked. I haven't read much Pokemon manga so might end up checking those out :)
Dawn of the Arcana sounds intriguing- my favorite shojo tend to have fantasy elements. Tesoro also sounds fun- 1-shot series are always welcome :)
Well it depends — if the series turns out to be Pokemon Adventures Black and White, then the lower price is actually probably because it'll be a smaller book. Not that many chapters are out in Japan right now (and even by the time the first two volumes here come out, there won't be that many more) so the books will most likely be smaller, and that would explain why it's a little more than half the price of an actual Pokemon Adventures book. But if it's not Pokemon Adventures, then that very well could be the case. We'll just have to wait and see what it is. :) And I definitely recommend checking out Pokemon Adventures and a lot of the other Pokemon manga out there! There are a lot of good ones and I definitely think any Pokemon fan should be sure to check out that part of the fandom as well. :)
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