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Posts Tagged BLU

eManga Expands Creator Offering with Yayoi Neko’s Incubus

eManga: Incubus by Yayoi Neko

eManga has added a bunch of interesting new titles in this latter portion of 2010, notably a handful of new titles from artists outside of Japan, along with a new manga series exclusive to their site.

Most recent, and my most favourite, additions are the first two volumes of Yayoi Neko’s Incubus series. The print edition (currently up to volume three) has been published in its entirety so far by Kitty Media (after being picked up from Bang! Entertainment).

“Demonic beings longing to be human put Judas’ life at stake to possess the unique soul within him. The incubus Lenniel, has sworn to protect and defeat all who threaten the man he loves: the shy puritan Judas. But outside dangers are not all that threaten his human beloved. A painful past haunts Judas, preventing him from trusting anyone, especially Lenniel. This is an enemy the incubus is not sure how to defeat. How does one fight a crippling force that exists within another’s heart?”

I’m a fan of Yayoi Neko‘s work – it has an art style that offers something notably different than the vast majority of boys’ love released in North America (check out her website gallery). The first volume of Incubus also comes with a short called ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ (which was released originally by the artist in limited edition ‘floppy’ comic format) about a scientist and the robot he helped create with… well, it’s worth reading to get all the exact details.

Other new titles on eManga include the webcomic BL-hit, Starfighter, a sample edition of the artistically-gorgeous Teahouse (also a web comic) and Mizuki, which is a “never before released” shoujo by the creator of Wedding Peach.

Digital Manga sells its points “using a credit card at a typical rate of 1000 points for $10.”. Looking at a complete volume at 300 points, you’re only paying $3 for the rental (which lasts 72 hours). It’s a great deal for people who love to read a book once, especially when a second rental allows you unlimited time access (so about $6 a book for digital keeps).

While the addition of a variety of talented artists from around the globe is of course great, I also continue to be impressed simply by the amount of cross-publisher work being done with eManga. BLU (Tokyopop), Yaoi Press, Media Blasters and of course Digital Manga, all on one site – it’s quickly collecting all the boys’ love basics (plus some Harlequin thrown in there for good measure?). It’s a shame though that this collection of boys’ love, with its great prices in particular, isn’t able to be utilized on a more mobile platform. Even a digital-meh person such as myself wouldn’t be able to deny this kind of collection being in the palm of my hand instead of trapped on the internet-locked computer screen.


Swag Bag – Talking Cats, Female Shogun and Making Manga

Another week, another slew of new releases! I was too late to get a hold of a copy of 20th Century Boys (Vol. 10) but there was still plenty of other good titles to pick up (now with some pictures):

Voice or Noise (Vol. 03)BLU, the boys’ love imprint of Tokyopop, had a couple of new titles out this week. The most exciting of which was the third volume of Voice or Noise. The second volume was released in February 2008 so it’s been quite a wait for this follow-up. None the less I’m as excited to finally purchase a copy now as I was looking forward to it after finishing the last. Great boys’ love series!

The other title I picked up from them is Scarlet, a one-shot by the same creator who did Cute Devil. Honestly, I don’t have much interest in this artist or this premise but I bought the painfully overpriced book all the same because it marks a new (potentially continued?) book style and I wanted to check it out/support it. It sports a larger-than-the-norm trim size and colour inserts at the front. I flipped through it and it was actually a bit disorienting reading a BLU title suddenly notably larger, though snazzy all the same. It’s great to see, especially since it takes a step closer to almost justifying the $18.99 price tag.

Continuing on the semi-boys’ love trend, I was amazed to see a whole slew of DokiDoki titles on the shelf of Chapters (the B&N/Borders equivalent to you Americans out there). They’ve only ever carried sparse copies of Vampire Hunter D from Digital Manga so seeing them branch out to this varied imprint was exciting, plus very promising to the local boys’ love fanbase who are too timid to special order. Though not boys’ love, I purchased a physical copy of Alice the 101st which I reviewed earlier in the month for ANN.

Butterflies, Flowers (Vol. 04)Moving onto other genres, I picked up a copy of Bakuman (Vol. 01) – the team of Death Note makes a manga about making manga – and the fourth volume of Ooku in which it feels like the faux-Shakespearean speech that I really dislike seems more toned down (or is that just me?). In the mail I got a copy of the newest volume of Butterflies, Flowers which is hilarious – I am completely enamoured with the mature silliness of this series and I hope many others are too.

And lastly, thanks to my local library, I’ve been reading the Manga Guide to Databases. After reading the Manga Guide to Statistics last week and being impressed with how much I actually retained from it, I sought out this one as I’ve been wanting a basic introduction to databases. Yay for learning?


YaoiCon Updates, Tokyopop Titles and GloBL for June

Some technical difficulties over the weekend put a bump in my final update regarding Anime North but while I await the retrieval of some material, I notice it’s been a while since we’ve had a news snippet post. Time for some boys’ love loving with news today.!There’s been a few tidbits the past while so here’s a quick round-up of each:

AnimeNewsNetwork is reporting the next Gakuen Heaven manga has been listed on Amazon by BLU (the boys’ love imprint of Tokyopop). The book was also listed in this month’s Preview catalog from Diamond Comics. The company has already released the first two of the Gakuen Heaven books. Based on a boys ‘ love sim game, each book follows the lead character being involved with a different character. The title of this third volume is Gakuen Heaven: Endo ~Calling You~. BLUManga has also posted on their Twitter account that the third volume of Voice or Noise has gone to the printers (yay!).

Yaoi Con has updated its website with a whole look and a bunch of new announcements. This year’s Yaoi Con, North America’s largest convention dedicated to boys’ love, is celebrating its ten year anniversary. They’ve updated their website with guest information – including Hinako Takanaga, Ayane Yamano, Jo Chen and Kano Miyamoto – as well as information regarding returning events such as their AMV contest.

Over at The Yaoi Review, blogger Jennifer LeBlanc has proclaimed June to be Global Boys’ Love Month. Over the month she’ll be covering boys’ love works from creators around the world. Should be lots of interesting stuff to come!

On the note of global boys’ love, there’s some related news to check out on that front as well:

Artist Jo Chen, whose gorgeous painted works can often be seen on the cover of Marvel comics and Buffy issues, has some new independently released books that are definitely worth a look. Firstly she’s completed her first doujin (noted by Yaoi Con) – In These Words. The work is 52 pages altogether and was sold at the recent Fanime, plus will be available at Yaoi Con. Secondly she’s also releasing an art book of her cover illustrations, restricted to only 1500 copies, that she’s selling through e-mail. The book is in Chinese, has 140 pages and costs $45.

Tina Anderson, GlobBL creator whose work include Only Words and the web comic, Whore of Turfan, has a new independently published work coming out with the pre-order date closing in. Loud Snow is  a story of “romantic ice-age hilarity” with art by Amelie Belcher. A digital edition is already available via Kindle with a version soon to be available on eManga. The print edition is coming out this July with pre-orders available for only $8.00.


Review: Cute Devil

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo

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

Synopsis: “Tohru Akiyoshi is comfortable in life with his top grades and student council responsibilities. Only problem is he’s got a complex about his effeminate looks. And to make matters worse, the prettiest boy in school, Fuuta Naruse, not only comes onto him… he downright jumps him! Behind that mask of innocent beauty, Fuuta’s got a savage streak, and he’ll stop at nothing to make Akiyoshi his!”

For those who have read their share of boys’ love stories, there are a number of things you’ve come to assume they’ll provide: schoolboys, guys prettier than nature generally allows and forceful love justified by genre – to name a few. Cute Devil does what it can to fulfil a number of these expectations – whether or not it succeeds much past that is debatable.

Read more…


Tokyopop Resurrects Some Hard-To-Gets With Reprints

Tokyopop Reprints

In their recent Tokyopop newsletter, the company has shared a list of manga titles that have been sent to the printers for reprints. This is great news for those who’ve been missing certain volumes in their collections from these series, including the first five volumes of Junji Romantica and the originally-released-in-2004 Saiyuki (Vol. 04). Wow those original releases feel like they were forever ago… sort of nostalgic!

I don’t know about you but seeing a book originally published six years ago getting a reprint is pretty snazzy – shows that when demand is high seeming-miracles can happen! Hopefully now I can finally get my hands on volume three of Kyo Kara Maoh! as well.

These books are set for re-release this week. You can see the full list on their website.


BLU Offers Replacements for Flawed Croquis Copies

BLU, the boys’ love imprint of Tokyopop, has posted information for those who may have received defective copies of the recently released one-shot, Croquis.

Some customers have found random portions of the book in German, an accidental overlap from an earlier edition Tokyopop published in Germany.

“This was due to a printing error — unfortunately, due to some technical and human errors, some German text from a previously published edition was not properly deleted, and therefore some editions were printed with German text in a few word balloons.”

Those who have a book with this issue can cut out and mail the bar code to Tokyopop and they’ll replace it with a new ‘clean copy’. It isn’t clear if this offer is open only to the United States or if international customers can do the same.


BLUManga.com Confirms Price Increase

Updates made this afternoon to BLU’s website have made official what online retail sites have been warning boys’ love fans since mid-November – starting in 2010, BLU (the boys’ love imprint of Tokyopop) will be releasing their books at a cover price of $14.99/US.

Scarier yet for some of us, $18.99/CAN – thank goodness for the strong Canadian dollar keeping those terrifying prices relatively obselete on bookstore shelves!

Original volumes of BLU manga, published first in 2005, were priced at $9.99/US. This includes the first volume of the popular now-completed series Love Mode and the on-going Junjo Romantica. This means boys’ love fans have seen a five dollar increase over five years – averaging out the costs, we’re looking at an increase of one dollar for each year BLU has been publishing. BLU’s last price increase was in early 2008, raising from their debut $9.99/US to $12.99/US.

The first book listed to be released at the $14.99/US price is Hinako Takanaga’s Croquis, due out February 2010.

Editors on the BLU forums have cited different reasons for the price increases and variances since their debut, including related-decisions to keep or remove colour pages from books because of shrink-wrapping issues. All Tokyopop books have seen price increases over the years, garnering some negativity from consumers when accompanied by lower quality paper and fewer-to-no colour pages. Tokyopop has since returned to a higher quality paper while their pages range around $10.99/US.

BLUManga.com’s recent updates included a new info page and banner for Croquis, as well as its addition to the release calendar. BLU’s recent press release outlined releases through to Spring 2010.

Edit: BLU Manga has since stated that their future releases will all have 2-4 colour pages to go along with the price increase. (via TheYaoiReview)


PR: BLU Presents the Spring 2010 Publishing Lineup

BLU Presents:
The Spring 2010 Publishing Lineup

Forget February – Romance Is in the Air All Year with BLU in 2010

Los Angeles, CA (December 3, 2009) – Romance blooms all year long with the latest releases from BLU. Fans will swoon over the latest JUNJO ROMANTICA, laugh through several unique short story collections, and fall in love with all new yaoi manga from Japan.

The year starts out with LOVE HURTS by Suzuki Tanaka (MENKUI!) in January – a truly unique collection of supernatural stories that are sometimes gruesome and unsettling, and often hilarious. From mysterious corpses to mystical crime lords, this manga will keep you on your toes and your thoughts spinning.

Read more…


Review: Liberty Liberty!

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo

Manga-ka: Hinako Takanaga
Publisher: BLU
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: November 2009

Synopsis: “After fleeing Tokyo, trying to escape a personal crisis, hapless Itary winds up drunk and passed out on a neighbourhood trash heap. His misery is documented by prickly cameraman Kouki, who works for a local cable station, and soon the two end up roommates and co-workers. But with a company full of quirky characters, including a perky, winsome cross-dresser, and their own personalities to content with, will Itaru and Kouki ever truly understand one another?”

While out on assignment, Kouki stumbles across a runaway sprawled in an alleyway. A good deed not going unrewarded, he finds himself both puked on and his new camera smashed! None the less he generously takes the young man, Itaru, back to his apartment to get cleaned up – but with Itaru having no where to go and no money for payment, he soon becomes a more long-term tenant of Kouki’s home.

Read more…


Review: You Will Fall in Love


Manga-ka: Hinako Takanaga
Publisher: BLU
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: December 2008

Synopsis: “Painful, heartbreaking memories suddenly surface for Haru when he agrees to fill in as teacher for the high school archery club. In his youth, Haru was a brilliant archer who competed for the national championship. But uncontrollable urges for a male rival forced him to give up on his archery dream and run away from his true feelings. Now that he’s back in the bow-and-arrow game, Haru becomes drawn to the brother of his long-lost love – and he must find out if his desire has taken on a new, seductive aim…”

In his high school days, Haru Mochizuki was a national competition class archer with a bright future in the sport. Suddenly he drops the sport he once loved so much, graduating and leaving his school without explanation. Unbeknownst to others, Haru had fallen in love with his best friend and rival, and those feelings made archery impossible to concentrate on, and in his fear of failure, he quit. A few years later he returns to the school as a substitute teacher, only to again become drawn to the beauty of the sport and swept up in the passion of one archer in particular, the younger brother of his first love.

Read more…


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