A Devil and Her Love Song

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Posts Tagged Boys’ Love/Yaoi

Swag Bag: Marching Into Spring With All The Right Stuf

Swag Bag: Marching Into Spring With All The Right Stuf

It’s this week’s second Swag Bag! While I was busy hitting up my local comic store for goodies, RightStuf was preparing a box full of animated wonders to send my way as well. My Visa may’ve wept this week, but not as much as it has in the past thanks to RightStuf’s new shipping policies for Canadians.

Though I haven’t seen any of it, I started with parts one and two of Funimation‘s DVD sets of Toriko. I bought it based on my adoration of the manga. I’ve already made my way through both sets, which are a bit short at only thirteen episodes each. The show itself doesn’t offer anything more than the manga, but I really like the dub which is something I can usually count on Funimation to do really well. It had many funny, memorable quotes so I’m sure I’ll be watching it again just for the fun script.

My biggest purchase was the entirety of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood on Blu-ray. I haven’t seen any of this either but the manga is phenomenal and I recently finished watching the original anime on Netflix. I’m very excited to see my favorite characters who were not in the first anime. Lin! And I’ve heard that the production values are great. This purchase includes the whole series, plus the OVA collection.

And also on Blu-ray in my collection pile was the box set of Black Butler II. It actually includes both the DVDs and Blu-rays, which is a great touch. I really liked the first season of Black Butler but it ended at a point that definitely didn’t feel like it needed a sequel. Can’t say no to the fans I suppose right? From what I’ve seen of Funimation’s previews clips, the new little butler-owning prepubescent has some seriously scary issues.

Fate/Zero Keychain: Rider SDRounding out the shopping trip were some Black Jack DVDs to finish off my collection (yay discount bins), and also an adorable Sailor Moon keychain and Tuxedo Mask plushie. I also couldn’t help but buy a couple Fate/Zero key chains of Rider and Waver. I’ll buy anything with those two on it! Maybe someday I’ll do a write-up of the phenomenal statue of Rider I received a couple weeks back…

And last, as I naturally cannot make any online order that doesn’t include at least some manga, I caught up on a few recent boys’ love titles – Bond of Dreams, Bond of Love (Vol. 03) and Awkward Silence (Vol. 03). I really love SuBLime‘s releases, from the clean and consistent cover design they use across all their titles, to the solid translation and lettering work inside courtesy of decades of experience from their parent company, Viz Media. I was a little disappointed that His Favourite (Vol.03) was spaced far enough apart from the other two third volumes that I wasn’t able to include it in this shipment. Ah well, next time!

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!


Otaku USA: On The Shelf – March 13, 2013

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - March 13, 2013

A new Wednesday and a new batch of comics! My knowledge of what day of the week it is often comes from when new books come out, so I’ve really been throwing myself for a loop lately with these late On The Shelf posts. Eep! Not this week though – Wednesday posting, on time!

Without further ado, you can read my thoughts on this week’s new books over at my On The Shelf article for Otaku USA.

07 Ghost (Vol.03) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
21st Century Boys (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Arata the Legend (Vol.13) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Blade of the Immortal (Vol.26): Blizzard [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 (Vol.04) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
His Favorite (Vol.03) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Paradise Kiss (Vol.03) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Rin-Ne (Vol.11) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Tokyo Babylon (Vol.01) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]


Swag Bag: Prequel, Vampires and Caramel Pudding

Swag Bag:  Prequels, Vampires and Caramel Pudding

Swag Bag time! I had a little shopping hiatus the past month, but, believe me, I’ve made up for it in the last couple weeks. So, without further ado, here’s the first of a few Swag Bag posts to cover it all!

To start things off with a dose of boys’ love, I bought the Digital Manga oneshot, Caramel. My first impression was that the little guy has really silly looking hair. Second impression was it looks adorable. Both were correct – the little guy had silly hair and the story was super sweet, albeit a little sad being so short.

My impulse purchase of the day was Dark Horse‘s Blood-C (Vol.01). I don’t have any real interest in the Blood franchise, and my knowledge of this anime stops at CLAMP’s involvement. Still, the cover was really nice and the interior artwork looked good too. It looks very CLAMP-like actually, I’d say very likely inspired by their more recent works such as Tsubasa. We’ll see how the monster hunting itself entertains as I read it.

Fushigi Yugi Genbu Kaiden (Vol.11)

Something that is never impulse and always a must-have-right-now is Naoki Urasawa’s work. This week that was 21st Century Boys (Vol.02). It’s the last volume in the 20th Century Boys story. It’s so weird knowing this series is now done after all these years. I’ve already read this final volume and I’ve gotta say… I can’t remember who ‘that’ is. Oops. Time to re-read!

It never stops being weird buying a new volume of Fushigi Yugi though, such as this week’s Fushigi Yugi Genbu Kaiden (Vol.11). Now this is a series I’ve been reading a long time. It was one of my first manga from back in the Animerica Extra days of serialization. This prequel series only has one volume left, however, and the downside to it being a prequel is we all know how it’s going to end. So sad! But it’s so good.

Then it was meta territory with Bakuman (Vol. 18) – manga about making manga! This series is fantastic; I adore every volume, even with the awkward romantic subplots. This volume addresses the intensity of manga deadlines when the two leads launch yet another series. How many pages a month!? Freaky.

I finished off my Viz Media purchases with Pokemon Adventures (Vol.15) and Afterschool Charisma (Vol.07). There was quite a wait since the last volumes of each but fortunately neither are especially complicated in the plot department (though telling the clones apart in Afterschool Charisma isn’t always easy).

And then what’s a week without an omnibus? I’m a few months late on this one but I was pleased to buy Young Miss Holmes (Casebook 3-4). The first volume was cute with this precocious niece of Sherlock Holmes solving mysteries. I loved the short cameo from the dowdy Sherlock and Watson as well.

And then lastly for manga I had to nab a digital copy of Sword and Mist, released by SuBLime. It’s a digital only release but I’ve made my peace with these as an occasional thing, and I can’t deny that SuBLime puts out a great product. This title was a must have because it’s by Hayate Kuku. She’s only had one other series released in English – Love Sickness by Digital Manga – but I really loved it. Her masculine characters and sense of humor reminds me a lot of one of my BL favorites, Naono Bohra, who unfortunately hasn’t been as embraced by English publishers as I’d like. In any case, Sword and Mist! It’s got manly men, assassins, feudal China and cross-dressing – how could I resist?

The Adventures of Superhero GirlAnd then finally was a new book by a friend of mine, Faith Erin Hicks. Out now from Dark Horse is a hardcover, full color compilation of her web comic, The Adventures of Superhero Girl. It’s been a while since I read these comic strips so it’s been fun re-experiencing all the funny in-jokes about comics and super heroes. It’s an entertaining and worthwhile purchase for sure, and I’m looking forward to finishing it cover to cover again.


Otaku USA: On The Shelf – February 13, 2013

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - February 13, 2013

Our snow here was short-lived, two feet of beautiful white fluff now little more than some crusty banks after a night of rain. It was rather disappointing! On the other hand, it means there’s nothing but some distance between me and new comics.

For my thoughts on the new manga out this week, you can check out my On The Shelf article for Otaku USA.

Awkward Silence (Vol.03) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Deltora Quest (Vol.10) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Hayate the Combat Butler (Vol.21) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Hiroaki Samura’s Emerald & Other Stories [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
InuYasha VIZBig (Vol.14) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Knights of Sidonia (Vol.01) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]


Swag Bag: Searching for Shinigami, Knife-Makers and Reasons to Smile

Swag Bag: February 10, 2013

It’s a Viz Media week for me today as I get caught up on several on-going series from their Shonen Jump, Shoujo Beat and SuBLime imprints. So many great goodies to be had! I’ve also been keeping up on their weekly digital editions of Shonen Jump, but that’d be a whole post in itself someday – and maybe it might be, if people are interested?

Toriko (Vol. 14)For now though, it’s the collected editions and I start with Bleach (Vol. 55). It’s the start of a new story arc now, which is a big relief after the previous few books which I found pretty dull and silly after the huge Aizen fight. It was fun to read scenes in this volume where everyone is chummy. Defeating Hollows and defending their town is now something the leads do between class and lunch at Ichigo’s house. However, things turn bad quick when…! Some people show up I won’t spoil, but I will say this… could you really not go for this particular mission, Uryuu? Really?!

My second dose of Shonen Jump collected was Toriko (Vol. 14). I have so much love for this series! I hope it’s selling okay, I’d hate to think of it stopping in English because of it’s… strangeness. In this volume Toriko goes off to find a missing knife-maker while Komatsu is left behind to tend to the self-confidence of the knife-maker’s disciple. While there’s some of the usual scary monsters, weird food and humanly impossible survivals, most of the volume is actually pretty light-hearted fun as Komatsu makes a new friend, and Toriko continues to treasure the friendship he has with his new partner. Ah, shonen bromance…

Then for some shoujo, I picked up Kamisama Kiss (Vol. 12). This volume looks more about the swamp yokai and her human boyfriend then Nanami and her cranky fox-demon but I see plenty of adorable and funny moments to come. Plus, Julietta Suzuki’s artwork is really gorgeous. It gets better with every book – some of the full body character spreads in this volume are fantastic!

Far less cheery a series is A Devil and Her Love Song. I bought and read volume seven the other day, and what a downer! It’s a beautifully drawn story with some really heart-wrenching emotional scenes about friendship and love, but this volume had little in the way of progress towards happy times. In fact, not only are things more strained than ever between this group, hearts of the most loyal are broken, and now we’re seeing more glimpses of Maria’s traumatic, repressed past. I need a tissue.

A Devil and her Love Song (Vol. 07)

Then it was time for some boys’ love as I work to get caught up on the three SuBLime series I’m following before their third volumes come out later this month. From one of my favourite artists, Hinako Takanaga, is Awkward Silence (Vol. 02). It’s a really cute story about a young man who can’t express his emotions outwardly, and has little inner dialouge and doodles to show what he’s really thinking inside. That’s about all there is to it, alongside his caring, baseball playing, boyfriend. More adorable hijinks shall occur, I’m sure.

Quite the opposite communication-wise is Bond of Dreams, Bond of Love (Vol. 02) where the lead character is a little pretty boy who is very open and direct about what he wants, and that happens to be an older friend who works at a neighbouring shrine and who cared for him growing up. Drama! And the fine line of underage dating – beware!

While in that series’ it’s the smaller who tries to control the situation, in His Favourite (Vol. 02), I’m confident that the smaller guy is going to continue being freaked out and unsure about the frequent advances of his popular and good-looking friend, whose insistence on loving him brings the ire of his school’s female fans. I really love Suzuki Tanaka’s art style, especially when she draws really cleanly and more ‘cartoonish’. His Favourite is a little more BL generic looking for her titles, but there’s a short story at the end of this second volume that I love the look of and really catches what I try to describe so flimsily as cartoonish.


Back in Off*Beat Business: An Interview With Jen Lee Quick

Off*beat

Back in January I was able to share the news that Jen Lee Quick’s Off*beat series would be going back to print, and with the long-awaited third volume finally being released after some long legal struggles. Today I’m pleased to say that not only do we now have more details about these upcoming books but also an interview with the creator herself!

Jen Lee Quick, comic artist and creator off Off*beat, and the staff of the newly announced, Chromatic Press – the publishing company behind the series’ new editions – were kind enough to organize an interview for me so I could ask some questions about the past, present and future of one of my favourite graphic novel series.

You can read the full interview after the cut, as well as see a bonus Off*beat image by Jen drawn just for this interview!

Read more…


SuBLime Celebrates Anniversary with New Manga Licenses

SuBLime Celebrates Anniversary with New Manga Licenses

SuBLime celebrated their one year anniversary yesterday. It was on January 31st, 2012 that SuBLime released it’s first digital books, including volume one of their re-release of Love Pistols. Happy book-day, SuBLime!

In honour of their one year of boys’ love, they’ve announced their acquisition of some more. The following two books (which are featured in the picture above) have been licensed for print and digital releases:

Man of Tango – Tetuzoh Okadaya
September 2013

Tableau Numéro 20 – est em
October 2013

If Tetuzoh Okadaya’s Man of Tango looks familiar, that’s because the now defunct Deux Press had licensed the title back in 2008. It’s great to see such a classy looking book get a second chance!

“Angie, though hailed as “The Man of Tango,” had never truly felt the deep, fiery passion of Latin dance. That is, until he met Hiro, a man born from a Latin mother, who was under his Japanese grandfather’s custody and now lives as a Japanese citizen. Now, a slow, seething desire begins to rock his body and soul! At first feeling a nostalgic familiarity toward the Latin dancer, Hiro finds himself drawn into the seductive beat of a Latin dance, opening his body and heart to the smoldering heat of his Tango partner.” – Deux Press

Tableau Numéro 20 is a collection of short stories by est em, whose other works released in English include Seduce Me After The Show and Age Called Blue.

SuBLime also announced four additional licenses that would be digital only:

Perfect Training – Kanpeki na Shiiku & Yuiji Aniya (June 2013)
Sweet Monster – Amasugi Monster & Tsubaki Mikage (June 2013)
Pretty Men Fighting Dirty – Otokomae Dorowars! & Sakira (July 2013)
Lost Letters – Yagi-san Yuubin & Sakae Kusama (August 2013)

Though some of us weep at the lack of print availability, all of these titles seem worth a look based on those covers, and the quality of SuBLime’s digital releases are really good too. For the collectors, SuBLime also announced a sale with RightStuf.com – all their print books are 40% if you purchase two or more. Nice!


Handling Hentai: An Interview With Project-H

Project-H

One of the fastest growing parts of the North American manga industry last year also seemed to be the one that flew under many radars – Digital Manga’s Project-H. Hentai might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve been surprised to see it discussed so lightly in the world of manga mavens. Even boys’ love, though while generally not as pornographic, seems to get it’s fair share of talk time.

Since it was announced back in mid 2011, Project H has been a swiftly growing part of its parent company. In 2012, they announced dozens of new books that would be published under it and, unlike the titles DMP has been announcing under Digital Manga Guild, almost every Project-H title is licensed with intent to print. With the cost-saving decrease in printing these days, the sheer volume of these books going to print is both a surprise and impressive.

I’ve been watching the imprint grow, and while my interest in the titles themselves have been hit or miss (like any other set of books out there), I remain intrigued by their apparent success.

With these thoughts in mind, I reached out to Digital Manga’s VP of Sales & Distribution, Yoko Tanigaki, who was able to answer a few questions about Project H’s past, present and future.

Read more…


Digital Manga Licenses New Boys’ Love, Deadlock

Deadlock

Belated license post time!  Late December, Digital Manga announced that they’d licensed a new boys’ love manga:

Deadshot – Saki Aida & Yuh Takashina

Digital Manga previously released Saki Aida’s light novel series, S, though this looks to be the first time Yuh Takahina’s work has been released in English. Based on the covers I see on Amazon.jp though, I hope it’s not the last! Deadshot follows a wrongly accused enforcement offer who accepts an FBI deal requiring him to find a certain criminal in prison in exchange for leniency.

It seems a little odd reading about a new boys’ love license from Digital Manga given how close this came on the heels of their hiatus news. However, given that announced titles don’t tend to see print within 6 months anyway, it works out well for them that they can continue announcing new titles without any immediately foreseeable delay in the new titles’ release. All the same, it’s rather bittersweet as we await those already partially completed on our shelves…


Review: Sky Link

Sky Link

Manga-ka: Shiro Yamada
Publisher: Juné
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: July 2011

Synopsis: “The sky was a bright shade of blue on the first day of university and Ritsuki Ban hopes for a fresh start. As mysterious past regrets continue to linger in his mind, Ritsuki collides into a man who takes on an immediate interest in Ritsuki’s looks— a man whom he later discovers, is one of his new professors! The confident Professor Takagi does nothing to hide his feelings towards Ritsuki; however the reclusive Ritsuki refuses to become teacher’s pet. As Ritsuki and Takagi find themselves sky gazing together one day, they are moved by each other’s expressions and begin to find out more about each other.”

Clichés can be executed well. Sometimes a manga-ka can take a situation that has been done a thousand times before and still make it sing. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with Sky Link. Shiro Yamada’s story only highlights how absurd and tired these clichés can be.

Read more…


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