20th Century Boys

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Posts Tagged BLU

Review: Scarlet


Manga-ka: Hiro Madarame
Publisher: BLU Manga
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: August 2010

Synopsis: “College student Akio is dating Ryo who appears to have childlike innocence with gorgeous features but is actually a helpless, philandering boy unable to withstand the slightest loneliness. Every time a girl approaches Ryo, he’s unable to decline! What’s Akio to do with his philandering boyfriend?”

Scarlet is a little confusing when read through for the first time, but after a second read-through it’s easy to piece it together. While the characters are very much the cliché yaoi characters – Akio being small and cute and Ryo being handsome, tall and manly – it’s the story that really makes it stand out.

Read more…

Super Savings: Grave-Digging for Halloween at RightStuf

Super Savings: Grave-Digging for Halloween at RightStuf

With Tokyopop wandering around the internet in zombie-form as of late, why not take a positive inspiration from their coincidentally Halloween-themed stunt? RightStuf’s Bargain Bin is full of old Tokyopop titles looking for homes. Time for some grave-digging!

In the holiday spirit, here are some Halloween-flavoured titles from the list for your enjoyment. I own each of these titles and love every one. Whether you want a mature, eerie story like The Embalmer or a liberally translated, hilariously entertaining ghost-seeing BL-laden story like Eerie Queerie!, or one of the many other in betweens, you’ll find each of these titles has its own uniqueness that makes it just right for October 31st reading:

Daemonium (Vol. 01)$3.99
Eerie Queerie! (Vol. 01)$4.99
Eerie Queerie! (Vol. 02)$4.99
The Embalmer (Vol. 01)$4.99
The Embalmer (Vol. 03)$4.99
The Embalmer (Vol. 04)$4.99
I Luv Halloween (Vol. 01)$3.99
I Luv Halloween (Vol. 03)$3.99
Mad Love Chase (Vol. 01)$5.49
Mad Love Chase (Vol. 02)$5.49
Tokyo Babylon (Vol. 01)$3.99
Tokyo Babylon (Vol. 02)$3.99
Zone-00 (Vol. 01) $4.99

For some really good Halloween reads, I recommend checking back on Shannon Fay’s 13 Days of Halloween posts from last year too. It has a great mix of scary and fun titles to cover just about anything and everything you like about the day.

Swag Bag: Until The Full Moon in the Belly of the Beast

Swag Bag

Books, books and more books! Digital manga may be picking up speed but I’m so thankful we still have bookshelves, upon bookshelves of manga to buy. This past week I got a bunch of new titles along with scattered older titles that I missed.

I also secured remaining plans for my trip to New York next month for NYAF/NYCC. Going to the con again is going to fun, meeting new and old acquaintances amazing and then there’s the opportunity to step foot into Kinokuniya again. A place of manga beauty… Anyway! Any other Kuriousity readers going this year?

In terms of goodies bought here at home recently, I was pleasantly surprised to find an early copy of Osamu Tezuka’s The Book of Human Insects. It’s published by Vertical Inc. and is a nice hardcover edition. I wasn’t expecting it to be flipped, since I’m so accustomed to reading their Black Jack books, but at least it doesn’t take long getting used to reading it the other way around.

Ikigami (Vol. 07)Adding some new boys’ love to my shelves, I bought the one-shot Midnight Bloom from Digital Manga and two volumes of the Takumi-kun series: Tales Out of Season and Barefoot Waltz. I also bought The Betrayal Knows My Name (Vol. 01) which though not undeniably boys’ love yet, is definitely leaning the way. This one’s an omnibus release which is a format I’m becoming more and more fond of – so much manga in one affordable go!

To my sadness, I bought the last volume of Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (Vol. 07). It’s not actually the last volume of the series itself but looks like (based on retailer listings) that it’ll be the last one Viz Media is going to release. It’s unfortunate, but I suppose not very surprising as it doesn’t look to have sold very well. Starting something new to try and off-set the abrupt end, I bought my much anticipated Drifters (Vol. 01) from Dark Horse.

Another new series I bought (this one on a total whim because it was there) was Mardock Scramble (Vol. 01) from Kodansha Comics. From them I also bought Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Vol. 02) and Until the Full Moon (Vol. 01). There was a huge quality contrast between these two titles – Until the Full Moon looked beautiful with a really nice paper stock for the cover. Phoenix Wright however had really low resolution artwork on the cover that was pixelated and fuzzy – it looked like a bootleg product. Not good, Kodansha!

Until The Full Moon (Vol. 01)From Viz Media I continued a handful of on-going series with Pokemon: Black & White (Vol. 03), Bleach (Vol. 36) and Toriko (Vol. 06). I’ve already read Bleach and it was really good – a great flashback volume into the pasts of all the Shinigami. Toriko was just really, really, really weird still (they’re fighting a battle inside a giant mammoth’s intestines!) and I can’t help but love it because of that. I then purchased Fall in Love Like a Comic (Vol. 01 – 02), having just recently read and enjoyed the first volume from the library.

Lastly I bought a whole stack of old Tokyopop titles thanks to Strange Adventures‘ great discounted manga section. First I bought Soul Rescue (Vol. 01 – 02) since it’s by the same creator as Otomen, which Viz Media currently publishes. Because the cover looked really pretty, I then bought Million Tears (Vol. 01 – 02). Forget About Love (Vol. 01) was the last of my TP titles and unfortunately never had anything further than that published (so here’s hoping I don’t like it too much?).

Alas it looks like no Sailor Moon for me this week (why, Diamond Comics, why?!) but I’ve still lots and lots to read. Time to get started! So what’s in your Swag Bag this week?

Super Savings: Fumi Yoshinaga Edition

Super Savings: Fumi Yoshinaga

August’s Manga Moveable Feast – an assortment of articles from a variety of bloggers about a single manga topic – is about Fumi Yoshinaga, manga artist extraordinaire. There’re already lots of great posts for the MMF about her books, her art style and her storytelling methods so I highly recommend following the updates.

For my contribution, I’ve compiled sources where you can buy Fumi Yoshinaga’s books online. We’re lucky to have so many to choose from and collect  – just compiling this list was a great reminder. While there’re a variety of places online and in-store to purchase her books, I’ve tried to find the cheapest options to make it that much easier to start, add to or finish your Yoshinaga library.

Read more…

Swag Bag: All The RightStuf With BL, Kai and Viz

Canada Post recently announcing their rotating strike was already bad news on its own but I was doubly cranky about it as my box of RightStuf goodies was presumably trapped somewhere between here and there. Luck was on my side though and on the morning the strike was set to start, my box arrived!

Replica (Vol. 01)Taking advantage of their Digital Manga sale a little while back, I picked up a bunch of my must-have titles at prices I couldn’t possibly refuse! Paying their sale price on the US price, and the Canadian dollar as it is, I got each book for 50% off what I would’ve paid here.

Continuing current series, I bought Target in the Finder (Vol. 03), Kizuna Omnibus (Vol. 02) and Tyrant Who Falls In Love (Vol. 02). Now that I’ve got a couple volmes of Kizuna and Finder, it’s time to retire my BeBeautiful version to the storage bins. I also purchased Replica (Vol. 01) and Countdown 7 Days (Vol. 01). Both are shonen (I think?) series that I was able to get an early preview of from Digital Manga. I really liked them both and hope they still get a chance to impress people despite being hidden within DM’s big boys’ love library.

Back to the boys’ love, I got one of BLU’s final publications: Crimson Snow. It’s a one-shot title that I’ve been dying to have in my hand since I saw the gorgeous cover on Amazon last year. Learning the plot only furthered my want so it was the first to have its plastic covering ripped off. I also picked up the last two volumes of breath – a five volume BL series by the so far one-series company Yaoi Generation who’s been disappointedly quiet since last year.

Crimson SnowAnd because a RightStuf purchase isn’t complete without some anime, I happily took advantage of the Funimation sale to buy Dragonball Z Kai Parts 2-4 and the second half of the series Welcome to the NHK.

Buying back on more local soil, I visited our big bookstore Chapters as the customary before-and-after seeing a movie ritual (aka, it’s right next door to the biggest theatre). Last week I was thrilled to get a copy of A Bride’s Story from Yen Press. It’s a really gorgeous book and you’ll want to spend some time oogling the hard cover design before  you even crack it open.

This upcoming week is Viz Media‘s huge shipping list, which generally always happens the first week of the month. This often means a big armful of books for me and this month was no exception, especially with some of my absolute favourites out. Books carried to the check-out included Pokemon Adventures (Vol. 13), Bleach (Vol. 35), Blue Excorcist (Vol. 02) and Toriko (Vol. 05). I also bought Full Metal Alchemist 3-in-1 (Vol. 01) because of a friends’ recommendation. To try and round out the shonen just a little, I also bought Grand Guignol Orchestra (Vol. 03) – battling doll-like zombies with music while wearing Victorian gothic attire!

Thankfully I just finished a big Spring cleaning revamp of my manga bookshelves (which of course included adding a new one), so there’s plenty of space to start adding in my new goodies. That said, I’ll be selling a couple boxes full at this upcoming Animaritime so East Coast Canadians have another reason to come enjoy the event ;)

So what was in your swag bag this week?

Swag Bag: Muscling In On Toronto’s Manga Supply

Welcome to what is definitely the longest Swag Bag to date! Mostly because I completely failed to compile my Swag Bag from last year’s Anime North… None the less! – my recent trip to Toronto was chock full of fun finds, and painful but no doubt hilarious attempts at cramming it all into my suitcases. This post here consists of the manga I bought while traversing the packed streets of Toronto while my TCAF purchases will come in a later post once I’ve finished oogling them enough to write something coherent.

The books listed here were all purchased from either my local Strange Adventures (pre-con buying is important, like eating before going to the grocery store – it helps… I think). The rest with exception of I think 1 or 2 came from what I’m dubbing the manga treasure trove of Toronto – The Beguiling. My thanks to their very accomodating staff! If curious about my other comic shop adventures in Toronto, you can check out the Ontario section of Kuriousity’s Canadian Comic Shop listings.

Now onto the swag!

Read more…

Farewell Tokyopop – Publishing Division to Close End of May

No question the big news of this week (and likely of the year) is that Tokyopop’s CEO Stu Levy announced that as of May 31st, the company would be closing down shop in the publishing industry.

This comes as a huge blow to many manga readers. While the company may not be releasing as much now as they have in the past, they’ve still got numerous series on the go that’re now in limbo including several recently premiered (such as Clean Freak, Little Butterfly and Lady Konoko). Most poignant though is the rattling of faith seeing that what was likely the biggest and most-influential English manga publisher go down. Love them or hate them, this is the end of an era.

There hasn’t been a lot of details regarding the shutdown for things such as the fate of licenses and any potentially returning story rights to OEL artists. More information on things such as liquidation of any remaining stock will likely come in the near future. The Yaoi Review has confirmed with Tokyopop that their boys’ love imprint BLU will also be shutdown, and the Tokyopop German division seems to be going strong still.

If you’re looking for more information and reactions about the news, I recommend Katherine Dacey’s round up over at Manga Critic.

I could go on for pages upon pages about my thoughts on Tokyopop and what they mean to me as a company. I’m not going to now though (at least not yet) but I will say this: I’ll miss them terribly. I love Tokyopop. Yes they’ve made mistakes (that website, gah!), but at the end of the day I own hundreds (if not thousands) of Tokyopop books for a reason. I’m really sad that several series I’m collecting may never see completion now such as Pet Shop of Horrors and Shinobi Life, but I also know I’m one of few people saying the same so whose to say they even could’ve been finished regardless of TP shutting down. But they gave the titles the longest run they could (Genju no Seiza for pete’s sake!), they released tons of series with a little for everyone and they were there with something new and shiny every time I went to the comic or book store over the past decade.

Tokyopop was manga for me and will always be a big part of manga for me now, from the piles of books surrounding my room to the many Tokyopop books I’m bound to buy even in the years to come. Goodbye Tokyopop – it really was a good ride and even though you’ve chosen to stop it, I’m not quite ready to get off yet.

Swag Bag – Clones, Contagions and Perennial Prisons

It’s been a bit slow-going new purchases wise for me as of late – time to put a stop to that! Plus last week’s Swag Bag was late, so I figure why not slip this one in early? While my preferred and go to location for shopping is always my local comic store, Strange Adventures, I had some gift cards and coupons that sent me to one of Halifax’s Chapters bookstore chain stores. When it comes to pricing, I wouldn’t recommend Canadians buy their books at Chapters because they charge full CDN price regardless of our dollar’s strength. That said though, it’s hard not to drool over the sheer amount of selection they have. With that in mind, I enjoyed purchasing from a few different publishers with my assortment of books this week.

It was boys’ love time first – and ouch do these take a chunk of your wallet at full cover price. Each new BLU Manga book (Tokyopop‘s BL imprint) are $18.99 each. None the less, I purchased the second and final volume of Madness because I wanted some more of that demon x priest action. What can I say – I love that dynamic! Going for something a little more straight-forward, into the pile went the one-shot You and Me, Etc. As one of BLU’s most recent releases, it has the larger cut size which is really great to see.

20th Century Boys (Vol. 13)Speaking of larger cut sizes, I bought the second volume of Viz Media‘s Afterschool Charisma. The book is part of their SigIKKI line-up meaning it has both the large trim size and extra shiny cover design. I really liked the first volume so I’m eager to read this second part. The same can be said for volume three of 7 Billion Needles (from Vertical Inc.) – amazing first two volumes so here’s to volume three being as entertaining. Also an absolutely-must-buy was the thirteenth volume of 20th Century Boys – cue the zombie apocalypse without the zombies.

One more seinen to the pile, I bought volume four of Deadman Wonderland. The last couple of volumes have been a little messy execution-wise but the violence, intensity and in-prison conspiracy story makes it more than worth a continued read. But should I need a break from the darker content of the bulk of the books I bought, I topped off the receipt with the eighth volume of Silver Diamond. Pretty boys fighting with flowers and vines to save a dying kingdom – Lissa approved!

So what did you purchase this week?

Super Savings: EverythingYaoi and Clearance Doesn’t Hurt Either!

Everything Yaoi Clearance

Sales come and sales go but many online sites have sales on 24/7. EverythingYaoi.com, a site that earns its name, has a handy Clearance section where they list just what it sounds like – items on clearance you can get for up to 50% off the cover price (and sometimes more).

Of the books currently listed, below are my top recommendations:

Going in alphabetical order, the first two books I’d recommend added to any boys’ love shopping cart is Can’t Win With You!. The series is three volumes long and while volume one isn’t on clearance, Can’t Win With You (Vol. 02) and Can’t Win With You (Vol. 03) are with each priced at $4.99/US each. The series is about a cast of amusing, often sexually explorative and teasing teenage boys in an all boys’ school, drawn by Yukine Honami, whose works have been published many times since by Digital Manga. The story itself is written by Satosumi Takaguchi who wrote Shout Out Loud! which was published by BLU.

Two other second-half volumes I’d commend are Passion (Vol. 03) and Passion (Vol. 04). This series has always had a special place in my yaoi-loving heart as one of the first (if not the very first) strictly boys’ love stories to be published in English (excluding Tokyopop‘s early fare in the genre). I remember the day I bought volume one the day it came out… ah the memories and the first of many purchases. The series itself is pretty standard genre-fare but it’s sweet and fluffy and has those great classic cliches of student-teacher relations and starting said relations off on the seriously wrong foot.

Two other Digital Manga series worth adding to your bookshelf from the clearance selection are Moon and Sandals (Vol. 01) by Fumi Yoshinaga and Princess Princess (Vol. 02) by Mikiyo Tsuda. The first is part one of a two book series wherevolume one gets you attached to the characters and the following book proves a steamy follow-up. Princess Princess isn’t really a boys’ love story but pretty boys, teasing and crossdressing definitely makes it an applicable crossover for many fans.

And last but not least, a one-shot from Yaoi Press, the original boys’ love publisher affiliated with EverythingYaoi.com. The book is titled Surge and is a cute love story between a surfer and book nerd. It’s got some funny moments and an adorable art style plus one-shots are always a great cart topper. All in one!

Though these titles are just some of those in the site’s clearance section, it’s also recommended you check out their other sale sections to see what books from different publishers they’ve got on discount as well. Shipping prices can get a little hefty though so be sure to read through the FAQ section when making your calculations. Shop on, boys-love collectors!

Swag Bag – Pets, Butlers and Students Out of This World

Websites had some downtime yesterday so apologies for any who came by and were greeted by error pages. We should be back up and running fine now. That said, onwards to manga!

A snowstorm and slow release week kept me away from the comic shop last week but this week I was happy to make up for the short lull with a stack of must-own favourites.

Pet Shop of Horrors Tokyo (Vol. 08)Absolute favourites of the week were definitely the newest volume of Pet Shop of Horrors Tokyo (Vol. 08) and Black Butler (Vol. 04). Both star enigmatic pretty-boys with hidden powers and a whole lot of random happening around them. I was disappointed that the new volume of Black Jack wasn’t shipped here yet but these two definitely did a lot to brighten my mood. Retailers are listing this volume of Pet Shop of Horrors as  the last one though – I really hope that’s not the case!

While no new Tezuka to buy this week from Vertical (though hard to beat the news we got instead!), I was able to pick up the fifth volume of the slice-of-life space story, Twin Spica. Purchasing another of what I consider great ‘relaxing’ manga, I was pleased to find a copy of Cross Game (Vol. 02). Unlike the first volume, which was three volumes in one, this second book is only two volumes in one. It’s a good set-up though, as the first omnibus did a good job sucking me in but I don’t think I can handle that much of Mitsuri Adachi’s placid characters every time.

Adding some more Viz Media books to the stack, I got the new volume of Library Wars (Vol. 04) despite my disappointment of prior books. I keep remaining hopeful we’ll get more actual war and library and less cliche romance. Fingers crossed! More promising was my purchase of Arata (Vol. 04) – more shonen-style action from one of the original shoujo-cliche queens, Yuu Watase.

Stray CatAnd lastly I picked up a new boys’ love one-shot from BLU – Stray Cat. I’ve already read this one and really liked it. Great release quality from Tokyopop, fun characters with a nice art style and some really hilarious comics about the creator’s pets at the book’s end. BLU books don’t come out often but I’ve been pretty impressed with their selection overall these days.

This weekend I’m putting through a RightStuf order and that means filling up my shopping list with a whole bunch of surprise finds, bargain bin treats and must-have purchases (such as the boxset of Twelve Kingdoms!). Anything you’d recommend? A series new or old that you think shouldn’t be missed? Let me know!

So what were some of your recent purchases?

Take me back to the top!