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Posts Tagged 801Media

Swag Bag: Biz With Viz, Passion and Perils

Swag Bag: Biz With Viz, Passion and Perils

It’s been March since the last Swag Bag! Well that won’t do, now will it? While my post about TCAF outlined a bunch of my most recently purchased comics, there’s been lots of manga bought between the last Swag Bag and that post. Because I’m too lazy to go through my bookshelves to find each and every one, let’s take a look at some notables!

Always the must have buy is Sailor Moon (Vol. 10) which I’m loving more and more every volume. This point in the story was broadcast only briefly on television, and these manga volumes were more difficult to find, so while I’m familiar with the story, it all feels more fresh and new and full of surprises since I have less familiarity with it. Eternal Sailor Senshi!

Then it’s my why-do-I-keep-buying-this-series with Dawn of the Arcana (Vol. 09). Loki keeps getting the short end of the stick, and I find the relationship between Nakaba and Cesare so lacking in chemistry. I think it must be some tiny sliver of hope Loki gets a happy ending that keeps me reading. I hope I’m rewarded for my diligence…

Much more satisfying were new volumes of Bleach (Vol.56), Toriko (Vol.15) and A Devil and Her Love Song (Vol.08). Toriko is still one of my favourite manga series running now, though I’m a little sad to see it dissolve to chapter upon chapter of one on one fight scenes in the current issues of Shonen Jump. On the flip side  the current chapters of Bleach have been really great – actually super relevant and interesting flashbacks!

And last up from Viz Media recently was Pokemon Adventures (Vol.16), which continues the adventures of these two new Pokemon trainers who are really, really entertaining. Flip those gender roles! The male trainer is obsessed with making Pokemon beautiful, while the female trainer is a wild girl (like Tarzan wild) who wants her Pokemon to be the strongest.

In other worlds of young people doing interesting things – I picked up Arisa (Vol.10) where we finally know who the King is. There are still some motivations left to be explored, but I’m glad the one secret is finally out in the open. It’s more classic mysteries on-going in Young Miss Holmes (Vol.03-04) where the adorable lead makes it a joy to read, even when plot itself gets a little bogged down in details.

Mobile Suit Gundam the Origin: Activation (Vol. 01)And the biggest buys recently were Mobile Suit Gundam the Origin: Activation (Vol. 01) when it came out back in April, and The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame this past weekend. Both had amazing production values – really nice work done on the design and packaging. I wasn’t sure how I’d like the Gundam manga but actually really, really liked it. As the original Gundam story, it felt simple and streamlined while containing everything that makes the franchise so popular. Very easy to read, and I look forward to more. Passion was also great, but in a very different way. Gengoroh Tagame’s work is always shocking, and I was really curious to see which of his works would be in this book. Picture Box did not hold back!

And lastly during my visit to Toronto, I picked up some out of print books from The Beguiling. Hollow Fields (Vol.01), First Love (Vol.01) and In These Words (Vol.01). Sadly I doubt I’ll ever see second volumes of First Love and In These Words, which is sad because they were both great reads and I’ve been looking for them a while. I also bought two new bara anthologies which star many of the artists we’ll see in Picture Box’s Massive anthology next Spring.

That does it for this week’s Swag Bag. As always, feel more than free to share what purchases you’ve made recently and if you’d recommend them!

Digital Manga Grabs a Snack with Mr. Mini Mart, Announces Yaoi Con GOH

Digital Manga Goes Out For Snacks with Mr. Mini Mart

Convention season is officially underway and Digital Manga was at Fanime with some news to share. Just before that though they announced another new boys’ love license: Junko’s Mr. Mini Mart.

The book is scheduled to be released in print next year (Summer 2013) at a cost of $12.95. This license announcement even came with a plot synopsis, something I’ve bemoaned DMP before for lacking, so yay on actually knowing the plot of a book so I can properly anticipate it!

“NEET shut-in Endou just wants to get his life back on track, but employment at a convenience store brings the rude Yamai Kouhei into his life…soon Endou finds himself troubled by his past and trying to get along with Yamai.”

During their Fanime panels, Digital Manga shared current and upcoming plans for their digital-only release group, Digital Manga Guild, including news they’ll be releasing translated light novels and have licensed Erementar Gerade: Flag of Blue for a digital-only release (they’re currently releasing Erementar Gerade this way). They also let fans know that success of their previous two Kickstarter projects has prompted them to put another Osamu Tezuka title into the works to be funded the same way. No word yet on what the title is.

Now that Digital Manga are owners of Yaoi-Con, they’ve announced their guest of honour for the 2012 boys’ love event is Uki Ogasawara. DMP has currently released two volumes of her series, Black Sun (review), while DramaQueen previously released two other stories, Chronicle of the Divine Sword (correction: this title was licensed, but never released) and Virtuoso di Amore (review).

This is going to be my first year at Yaoi Con and I was really hoping for a bigger name guest, notably more akin to previous guests such as Fusanosuke Inariya, Ayano Yamane or Hinako Takanaga. I still feel the leftover tears from not being able to attend the years those artists were there. Uki Ogasawara is still a good guest, of course, as a published manga artist and a new comer to the event, but with this being Digital Manga’s first year as Yaoi Con management (and them facing scrutiny over how they’ll handle it), I was expecting a more fan-favourite creator to wow the crowds. Of course Yaoi Con 2010 had almost a dozen artistic guests so who knows what else could be announced between now and the convention this October.

Vampires, Bosses and Leather: Digital Manga Licenses Six New Titles

New Digital Manga Licenses

Last week Digital Manga announced another six new print licenses! And I’ve long since run out of semi-creative ways to carry into that sentence, since it’s happened so much in recent months. Not that that’s a complaint in the face of so many new volumes of manga to anticipate for 2013. Yay for books! And now onto the good stuff:

A Century of Temptation – Kairi Shimotsuki (June, Summer 2013, $12.95/US)
Deflower the Boss – Ayan Sakuragi (June, Summer 2013, $12.95/US)
The Incredible Kintaro – Naomi Guren (801Media, Spring 2013, $15.95/US)
Ninth Life Love – Lalako Kojima (June, Summer 2013, $12.95/US)
Priceless Honey – Shiuko Kano (June, Summer 2013, $12.95/US)
Ray’s Days – RYOHZOH (Project-H, $17.95/US)

All of the titles above are one-shots so they’re a convenient one-book full package deal. None of them immediately stood out to me but we’ll see how appealing or ‘meh’ each looks as finished cover designs and plot synopsis’ appear between now and their release dates.

Otaku USA: On The Shelf – February 15, 2012

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - February 15, 2012

Post-Valentine’s Day, aka discount chocolate day! New manga and bags full of chocolate is a winning combination to me. There aren’t a whole lot of new titles this week but still plenty of quality, including a couple omnibus for added value.

The new volume of Viz Media‘s 20th Century Boys and Digital Manga’s Black Sun are my must-haves this week. It’s hard to believe I reviewed Black Sun (Vol. 01) back in December 2008! You can see the full list of this week’s releases over at Otaku USA in my On The Shelf article.

Otaku USA: On The Shelf – February 9, 2012

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - February 8, 2012

There was no On The Shelf article last Wednesday because of a week without any new manga releases on my schedule list – how depressing was that? Well I guess we’ll accept those mini lulls now and again, especially with big release days like today following it up.

It’s Viz Media‘s big shipment of the month with nineteen new volumes of manga, including the first volume of A Devil and Her Love Song. You can read the full list of titles out this week over at Otaku USA’s On The Shelf article this week. Along with a slew of new volumes of shonen and soujo series, there’s also new volume of the well-loved Finder series from Digital Manga and two new of their Project-H books. Hopefully something for everyone – enjoy!

Super Savings: RightStuf with Hot Deals on Hot Manga (18+)

Hot Deals on Hot Manga

RightStuf is back with more manga savings and this week it’s specifically for the adult readers out there! Until midnight tonight (August 18th), they’re offering sale prices on all books from Digital Manga’s 801Media imprint.

While their 801Media line-up is all the raunchier of their boys’ love, the RightStuf sale also includes titles from their recently announced hentai imprint – Project H. This is the perfect (and affordable) chance to try out the first of their titles which are due out later this month: Shocking Pink & Three P.

My top reccomendatin for this sale is Under Grand Hotel – it’s a two volume series and each book has over 300 pages. They’re a really interesting size book too, considerably smaller than the norm, but they’re still easy to read. They earn their 18+ rating and then some with violence, sex and rape so warning!

Coinciding neatly with this month’s Manga Moveable Feast about Fumi Yoshinaga, you can also buy her two-volume boys’ love series, Ichigenme: The First Class is Civil Law.

You can see the full list of titles available for sale on their website.

Anime Expo 2010: Digital Manga

Anime Expo 2010 - Digital Manga

Anime Expo, North America’s largest anime convention, is upon us once again this weekend! The internet’s been buzzing with excitement from industry folk, bloggers, guests and attendees alike in the weeks leading up to it – and though I can only speak as a spectator to the spectators – it certainly feels like the excitement has reached a level greater than the decline of last year, which saw less industry-presence and fewer announcements.

The big manga news to start goes to Digital Manga who had their panel on Thursday evening. AnimeNewsNetwork is covering all the major events of the convention and thanks to them I’m able to offer the abridged version here for your curious eyes:

Read more…

Review: Maniac Shorts Shot

Reviewer: Shannon Fay

Manga-ka: Miya Ousaka
Publisher: 801Media
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: April 2010

Synopsis: “Design school students Issei and Jin, on their way home from a live concert, pick up a discarded cardboard box, only to find that it contains a pair of sexy underwear with a “special” attachment…!! Deciding to have some fun, Issei puts them on and poses for Jin, but when Jin finds when he aims his camera at Issei, his sexual desire goes through the roof!! What will happen when Jin finds he can’t hold back anymore and has to have Issei right then and there?!”

Maniac Shorts Shot is a good example of how varied yaoi anthologies can be when it comes to explicitness. The first story in the book really makes the manga earn its 18+ rating with its frequent and explicit sex scenes – in fact, it’s not so much there are a lot of sex scenes, it’s more like the whole story is a sex scene with some plot duct taping them together. On the other hand, the next story is a sweet love story with a relatively vanilla sex scene. It’s weird to see such different stories in the same book, but on their own merits each story works.

Read more…

Review: Ze (Vol. 03)

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo

Manga-ka: Yuki Shimizu
Publisher: 801Media
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: August 2009

Synopsis: “When a kotodama-sama dies, his or her kami-sama – a healer made of living paper – typically chooses to die as well, returning to a blank state as “hakushi.” But when Himi’s master passes away, a deep sense of obligation forces him to choose another path. Instead, Himi becomes kami-sama for his master’s estranged son, Genma. Genma is everything Himi’s former kotodama-sama was not – rough, arrogant, brutish – and furthermore, Genma enjoys using Himi for his own selfish pleasure. Is this more torment than Himi can endure? Or will he come to realize that different people show their true feelings in different ways?”

Volume three of Ze is not the kind of book that will leave most readers rooting for the romance – quite the opposite. This is a rough, painful and often downright depressing look into the abused life that a kami-sama (“a healer made of living paper”) lives with his new master for the sake of retaining the wishes of another. But, while the subject of the book is bad, the read itself certainly isn’t.

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Review: Dog x Cat

Reviewer: Shannon Fay

Manga-ka: Yoshimi Amasaki
Publisher: 801Media
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: December 2009

Synopsis: “All Atsu has ever wanted is a dog of his own… and all Junya has ever wanted is Atsu! After being friends since childhood, dog-like Junya and cat-like Atsu now attend college together. One day, Junya finally drops a bomb: he’s in love with Atsu and wants to have a sexual relationship with him! Even though Atsu agrees, he doesn’t tell Junya if his feelings are returned. Aren’t they both supposed to be in love? What’s more, aren’t dogs and cats supposed to be natural enemies? With lots of training, perhaps Atsu will come to learn that having Junya is even better than having his own pet!”

Dog x Cat is a strange animal. On one hand, it’s extremely cute and funny. One the other hand, it has some of the dirtiest sex scenes I’ve seen in awhile. For some people, this would be a great case of getting to have your cake and eat it too. For me, I found the two extremes a little disconcerting. Still, once I got used to the mix, I started to enjoy it.

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