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Posts Tagged CMX

Review: King of Cards (Vol. 01)

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo

Manga-ka: Makoto Tateno
Publisher: CMX Manga
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: August 2007

Synopsis: “‘Chaos’ is a trading card game that is very popular at Manami’s school. Trying to learn more about it herself, she purchases a beginner’s set, only to discover that it contains “Sahgan, The Mighty Sorcerer,” the rarest card in the game. Now every other player is out to win the card from her. But Sahgan himself begins to visit Manami in her dreams, offering her advice on how to win.”

Minami is an average schoolgirl with a budding interest in Chaos – a card game where players pit monsters against each other in a battle for remaining life points (sound a little familiar?). Fresh-faced to the game with her experienced cousin as a guide, Minami is struck with newbie-luck and when purchasing her first deck, discovers a card that’s not only rare but possibly the rarest card in the whole game.

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ANNCast – Retro Anime, Canadian Cons and Me on Manga-Doom

ANNCast - Viewercast May 21

So doom may be a little grim a word but it’s a rampant sort of tone recently with all that’s going on in the English manga-industry. I popped in on this week’s ANNCast to share some of my thoughts on recent events, in particular DC’s announcement regarding CMX and the disappearance of Go!Comi.

I’m starting to feel like all my efforts to promote CMX are being intentionally smited somehow though – first CMX’s shutdown is announced mere days after we here at Kuriousity make the decision to push out a bunch of CMX reviews (since the site’s been sadly lacking them!) and then here in the ANNCast I tell everyone to go check out CMX’s site and look through the books they have – only to have DC Comics, for some inexplicable reason, strip down CMX’s website today. Yikes. And triple-boo on you, DC Comics. What the heck is going through your corporate mind over there?

Also on the ANNCast this week is a guest sharing her thoughts on the difference between Canadian and American anime conventions. Interesting ideas there. As someone who’s been staff helping run a convention and holding panels more than an attendee of any, I don’t have all that much to go on pertaining to the concept. Comparatively I’ve been to San Diego Comic Con and Fan Expo, which are ‘very’ similar in their target-audience but different in obvious ways because, well, SDCC is in California and Fan Expo is not. I am heading to Anime North next week and New York Anime Fest in October however, so for pondering’s sake, I’ll keep the concept of difference in mind. The discussion about the semi-thankless nature of running an anime convention is interesting too. Super-duper hard work but worth it for all the thank yous and happy fans? Yup!

So check out the podcast if you so feel inclined – it always makes for interesting listening! And beware my voice, which you may be doomed to hear in your mind each time you read one of my reviews from now on ;)


Ballad of a Publisher – A Farewell and Long-Due Hello to CMX

CMX - A Farewell and Long-Due Hello

I recently shared my brief take on the recent manga company news in a post I titled ‘A Little Less Spring in Manga’s Step This Season’. Well, news sadly hasn’t gotten any better since then and that step has officially landed in a pile of shit (excuse the language). To no surprise, the situation stinks.

Via a brief and to-the-point announcement, DC Comics announced that as of July 2010, CMX Manga would no longer be publishing any new titles. The fate of its currently running series remains up in the air and no real reason was given short of the familiar catch-all answer of economic issue.

“Over the course of the last six years, CMX has brought a diverse list of titles to America and we value the books and creators that we helped introduce to a new audience. Given the challenges that manga is facing in the American marketplace, we have decided that CMX will cease publishing new titles as of July 1, 2010. “ (via AnimeNewsNetwork)

This comes as a shocker for sure, and as naturally distressing news not only as a loss of the series they possessed, but as a depressing loss of jobs for many and another rattle of the industry-stability cage.

But should this have surprised us as much as it did? Were there signs this was coming? It got me doing a lot of thinking about where CMX stood in my own life as a manga consumer. Has it really only been six years?

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Review: The World I Create

Reviewer: Andre

Manga-ka: Ayami Kazama
Publisher: CMX Manga
Rating: All Ages
Release Date: January 2010

Synopsis: “Being a “Projectionist” can bring lots of money and fame, but only if you are good at it. If you want to become one, first you need to have the power to cast a four-dimensional image. Then it’s really important to be able to hone and perfect your projecting abilities. The best place to do that, of course, is at a high school filled with other aspiring Projectionists. Step into this multidimensional world with a very special student body!”

A gentle walk into the world of fantasy and romance, The World I Create offers a bit of sweet whimsy that never overstays its welcome. Taking fairly standard school and fantasy manga aspects, its strong focus on character relationships and endearing art style makes for an appealing stand-alone volume of work. Offering a more complete story then most stand-alone manga works as well, it makes a great addition to any collection.

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Review: Genghis Khan

Reviewer: Andre

Manga-ka: Nakaba Higurashi
Publisher: CMX Manga
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: May 2009

Synopsis: “Temujin (later to be called Genghis Khan) was born to the leader of a Mongolian clan with all portents of greatness: a glowing face and fire in his eyes. When Temujin is 11 years old, he meets a boy from another tribe–Jamuqa–while hunting down a deer. Before they can decide who will keep the kill, they save each other from stalking wolves. To honour their newly established friendship, the two boys become blood brothers, swearing eternal loyalty to each other as long as they shall live. After some years, however, both Temujin and Jamuqa have the ambition to contend for supremacy of Mongolia, and they become enemies. ”

Adaptations can be a difficult process, and despite some solid artistic skills, Nakaba Higurashi’s presentation of Morimura’s story leaves a bit to be desired. Full of sweeping nomadic images, it’s impact is softened by frequent jumps in narrative, a lack of focus, and a more sedate pace then usual for action manga. Ultimately it emerges as a pleasant yet flawed work, conveying a fragmented tale of tragedy as Khan starts his quest for greatness.

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Review: The Battle of Genryu (Vol. 01)

Reviewer: Andre
Battle of Genryu (Vol. 01)

Manga-ka: Shouko Fukaki
Publisher: CMX Manga
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: August 2009

Synopsis: “Jin’s a happy, irresponsible high school kid with extraordinary powers. The problem is, they only show up once a month. He’s got a great group of friends, including the attractive Fusano, who takes her own fighting skills way more seriously than Jin does. But that all changes when some tough guys challenge him on one of the days when he isn’t powered up. Turns out they were hired by his estranged brother Soichiro, who is after something that Jin possesses. And when Soichiro later attacks Fusano, the war between brothers is on.”

With this entry into martial arts manga, CMX’s Flex Comics offers a fairly solid, action-oriented series to its readers. While similar to many “teen randomly has extreme natural talent in beating people up“ plots, an air of mystery and a blend of kinetic, distinctive artwork puts this title slightly ahead of the pack.

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Review: Oh! My Brother (Vol. 01)

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo

Manga-ka: Ken Saito
Publisher: CMX
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: October 2009

Synopsis: “Masago is an average high school student who not only doesn’t stand out in a crowd, but who also has to live in the shadow of her very popular and charismatic older brother. Then one day, tragedy strikes when Shiro sacrifices his own life for Masago and gets hit by an oncoming truck. Not too long after — to her shock and confusion — Masago finds herself sharing her own body with the spirit of her deceased brother. Needless to say, life is about to get very complicated for Masago!”

In Oh! My Brother, a sudden accident leads to the death of Shiro, a well-beloved student at his high school renowned for his talent, intelligence and charisma. Left behind is his younger sister, Masago, who shoulders the guilt of his death. But, she soon realizes she’s shouldering much more than that when the spirit of her deceased brother inhabits her body to fulfill his unfinished business. A series that’s both entertaining and endearing, Oh My Brother! takes what could be a creepy premise and drives it in endearing directions.

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Review: Rampage (Vol. 01)

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo

Manga-ka: Yunosuke Yoshinaga
Publisher: CMX
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: February 2010

Synopsis: “China: 184 A.D., a time of great turmoil. A young drifter named Zhang Fei stumbles upon a slaughtered village and encounters the volunteer army of Liu Bei. He joins them in time to help in the defense of a walled city. But later, while attempting to save the life of a little girl, he’s struck by an arrow and thrown off a cliff. Rescued by two wizards, he is revived and given great powers. But the price could cost him his very soul!”

Coasting the countryside in search of his next meal, Zhang Fei enlists himself into a volunteer army fighting against the tyranny of another group’s assaults on local villages. But, when an adorable young girl destined for continued sidekick status is in peril, he takes an arrow strike that puts him on death’s doorstep. Before he knows it, Zhang Fei awakes with the arrow missing and a spear piercing his chest, now making him the vessel for a power he typically can’t control. So what’s a guy to do now?

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Review: Gon (Vol. 01)

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo

Manga-ka: Masashi Tanaka
Publisher: CMX
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: July 2007

Synopsis: “The little dinosaur with the big bite and even bigger attitude returns, this time to CMX! Long before the dawn of man, savage dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Now, only one remains — the smallest, wildest of them all! GON marches across the wilderness defending the friendly and furry from the mean and hungry. Told entirely without words, these stories highlight the amazingly detailed art and visual storytelling genius of creator Masashi Tanaka.”

Gon, from what can be gathered from the first volume, is a series of self-contained chapters about its title character – the stern-eyed, do-what-he-wants-when-he-wants dinosaur, Gon. A manga series with no sound effects and no text is going to seem a little odd to readers at first but don’t let yourself be too thrown off. A little change is good and in the case of Gon, it’s also really refreshing.

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Review: Stolen Hearts (Vol. 01)

Reviewer: Andre

Manga-ka: Miku Sakamoto
Publisher: CMX
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: February 2010

Synopsis: “It was a simple accident. Shinobu spilled milk on Miharu’s bag that contained a kimono. All she had to do was apologize to him. But it’s a real challenge because Miharu is known as the tallest and meanest person in the class and everyone is afraid of him! Miharu tells Shinobu that the kimono is very expensive, so she must make it up to him. But how? Shinobu must wear a kimono and help Miharu to hand out advertisement of his grandmother’s antique kimono shop everyday after school. At first, she’s somewhat reluctant, but she begins to enjoy the experience and finds herself coming to like Miharu. Gradually, Shinobu notices how sensitive Miharu actually is, not the mean person that everyone–including herself–thought him to be. Soon, Shinobu realizes that she has fallen in love with Miharu!”

CMX has a nice habit of finding unknown yet excellent shojo manga, and Stolen Hearts adds another gentle, quality series to recommend from their collection. The addition of the educational elements regarding kimonos makes this series standout as more than a simple romance, giving manga fans an inside look at this aspect of Japanese culture. Avoiding the trappings of fandom, it sticks to a pleasant mood and focuses on its core elements – the humour and heart of a growing relationship and the fascinating realm of the art of Kimonos. Adding in a non-traditional couple and a focus on both sides of the romance, Sakamoto gives one us a pleasant reading experience.

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