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Posts Tagged CLAMP

Manga Minis: Captain Ken Reaches Kickstarter Goal, More Tsubasa from CLAMP, Rescuse from Viz, and CNN Doesn’t Get It

Manga Minis: Captain Ken Reaches Kickstarter Goal, More Tsubasa from CLAMP, Rescuse from Viz, and CNN Doesn't Get It

 CNN released a video report about manga and anime this week, in response to a recent bill being passed in Japan that bans child pornography. To little surprise, but plenty of outrage, CNN’s take on the subject was a pretty big over-simplification and make sweeping generalizations about entire mediums of entertainment. Fun!

I find the whole thing exhausting, as I generally do with these painful outsiders-looking-in reports that are just looking for a dramatic angle. It’s some relief knowing this sort of stuff always just blows over and away, but for those curious the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund did a good overview.

 Digital Manga’s Kickstarter for Captain Ken reached its goal of $13000 this past Wednesday. The fundraising campaign still has twelve days to go, with additional pledges going towards its stretch goals for bonus material. The book is scheduled for release to backers in February 2015, with remaining volumes out to the public in March.

 Viz Media announced two more ‘license rescues’ from Tokyopop’s expired library – Fate/Stay Night and Trinity Blood. Both titles are currently being released in digital editions under their Viz Select imprint. The books are available to read onViz’s website, or by downloading via their mobile apps.

Fate/Stay NightFate/Stay Night was never entirely finished by Tokyopop, though presumably we will see the end of the manga released by Viz. A new anime based on the original game of the same name is scheduled to start this Fall. Viz Media currently has the first three volumes available.

Trinity Blood was also an originally incomplete series. It had twelve of its currently seventeen (and on-going) volumes released by Tokyopop. Digital volumes will be made available on June 24th starting with volume one.

 The manga-making team CLAMP announced that they’re creating a new Reservoir Chronicles Tsubasa series. The title will begin in Japan this summer and will connect to the already running, XXXHolic Rei. Each title acts as a semi-sequel to their original parent series, Reservoir Chronicle Tsubasa and XXXHolic. It’s CLAMP, so it’s complicated. Both originals have already been released in full in English, along with their anime adaptations.

Dark Horse is currently releasing XXXHolic Rei and has been re-releasing most of CLAMP’s previously published titles in shiny new omnibus editions. I imagine it’s only a matter of time until we see them pick up this new Tsubasa series as well.

 After a seven year pause between releases, Viz Media was pleased to announce that they’re publishing the third volume of Bisco Hatori’s Millenium Snow this week. The previous two volumes of the vampire series were released back in 2007. Viz Media also released a handy 2-in-1 omnibus edition of Millenium Snow this week (Amazon CAN | US), making it easy for readers who don’t have the original singles to purchase the complete series to date. Bisso Hatori is best known for their previous series, Ouran High School Host Club.


Dark Horse Licenses Legal Drop and Oreimo Spin-Offs at SakuraCon 2014

Dark Horse Licenses Legal Drop and Oreimo Sequels at SakuraCon 2014

Even when you’re pretty sure something is going to happen, that doesn’t make it any less sweet when it occurs. At the recent-ish Sakura Con, Dark Horse announced five new manga licenses, including a new CLAMP license rescue:

Drug & Drop – CLAMP
Legal Drug – CLAMP
OPUS – Satoshi Kon
Oreimo: Kuroneko – Sakura Ikeda
Seraphim: 266613336 Wings – Satoshi Kon & Mamoru Oshii

Legal Drug is a three volume series by CLAMP that was originally released by Tokyopop. The series went on hiatus in Japan, leaving fans of its boys’ love heavy subtext and mysterious unresolved plot left wanting. Rejoice however as CLAMP did eventually continue the series, titling the continuation Drug & Drop, which until now has never been released in English.

Dark Horse will be releasing an omnibus book collecting the three volumes of Legal Drug, the same treatment they’ve given to several other re-released CLAMP series including Cardcaptor Sakura, Tokyo Bablyon, and Angelic Layer. The omnibus will have a new translation and shiny new print, and likely with some bonus colour illustrations as well if Dark Horse’s past omnibus are any indication. Legal Drug is scheduled for September 2014 at $19.99/US, $21.99/CAN. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon.ca | Amazon.com.

The first volume of the sequel Drug & Drop will be released in January 2015 for $11.99/CAN, $10.99/CAN. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon.ca | Amazon.com as well. Currently there are two volumes in Japan for the series with new chapters on-going. Both series follow two young men who work as errand boys for a strange shop that sends on supernatural jobs. More mysterious than even their work is the pair’s back story, and the true purpose behind their employer’s store.

I will sum up the CLAMP news by saying THANK YOU, DARK HORSE! Signed, a huge fan of everything CLAMP.

Oreimo: KuronekoDark Horses pleases another fervent fan base with their license of Oreimo: Kuroneko. The series is a spin-off to Oreimo which Dark Horse has released four volumes of to date. This three volume spin-off stars the original’s secondary female lead, Kuroneko, as the main heroine. Volume one will be released in April 2015.

OPUS is a manga title by acclaimed film director, Satoshi Kon. Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers, or Paprika anyone? This two volume series is being released by Dark Horse as one omnibus book. OPUS predates Satoshi Kon’s film career, and follows a manga artist who is pulled into his own creation.

Dark Horse’s second license drawn by Satoshi Kon is Seraphim: 266613336 Wings, which is one heck of a name to remember. The one volume title is written by Mamoru Oshii, famous for quite a few titles in his own right. Seraphim is about a group of individuals on a journey to discover the truth behind a deadly ailment called “the angel disease”. Dark Horse’s edition will ship February 2015.


Review: Blood-C (Vol. 01)

Blood-C (Vol. 01)

Manga-ka: Ranmaru Kotone
Publisher: Dark Horse
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: March 2013

Synopsis: “Saya Kisaragi is a kindhearted, if somewhat clumsy, student who trains by day to perform standard religious duties at her father’s shrine – but she becomes an unstoppable, monster-slaying swordswoman by night! The saga that began in Blood: The Last Vampire and the Blood+ anime series continues here! Don’t miss the schoolyard foibles, weird creatures, and katana-swinging action in this new manga series by Ranmaru Kotone, based on the hit Blood-C anime and infused with CLAMP’s original concepts and characters!”

Blood-C is like the manga equivalent of lasagna – you can enjoy all the different ingredients, but it doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy the final product. And that’s kind of weird. This adaptation of the anime series, Blood-C, has a plot that’s easy to follow, cool fight sequences, a cute lead character and even some nice artwork. Unfortunately when all those things are put together, their result is a hollow read that is difficult to pinpoint the exact flaws of.

Read more…


Swag Bag: Creepy Stares, Deadly Gates and Sailor Moon’s Finale

Swag Bag: Creepy Stares, Deadly Gates and Sailor Moon's Finale

It often happens that I don’t realize how many books I’ve bought recently until I write one of these Swag Bag posts. While my buying habits of today can be a pretty far cry from the look-at-all-my-disposable-income days of yester-year, I’m still ever grateful I can afford to fill one of these columns in a month. And this past month had some real gems that I hope many readers are able to fit into the budget as well.

Vertical Inc.’s books were the cream of the crop this past July. After spending Animaritime drooling over every copy I saw lucky buyers walking around with, I was quick to come home and buy my own copy of Gundam the Origin (Vol. 02). I never thought I’d be so invested in one of the classic Gundam stories, but I fell in love with this one right away. Vertical’s hardcover, colour-page insert editions definitely help too. This volume even came with a bonus illustration by CLAMP.

Next I went for something new and bought a copy of Vertical’s one-shot, Utsubora: The Story of a Novelist. There was something very reminiscent of Tezuka’s darker works reading Utsubora. This twisted tale of plagiarism, lust and suicide-mystery nestles well into Vertical’s library and I quite enjoyed it. Then I had to try Wolfsmund (Vol. 01), which really surprised me. Both of these series are for adults only, and Wolfsmund greatly so for the violent content. But that didn’t surprise me as much as how the book took a story-convention I’m really used to (and enjoy) and turned it on its head. Episodic stories with one reoccurring common character but instead of running a magical shop or granting wishes, in Wolfsmund it’s a gatekeeper who won’t let anyone pass. I rounded out my mini Vertical binge with a copy of Limit (Vol. 01) as well.

Black Butler (Vol. 14)I took a trip to my Yen Press list next to visit some continuing series. First was Blood Lad (Vol. 02) and then Drrrr!’s sequel series, Drrrr! Saika Arc (Vol. 01). My favourite new book out from Yen though was easily Black Butler (Vol. 14). Every volume since the book hit double-digits has been a real step up in the story and art; enough so to take it from a series I considered dropping, to one of my most anticipated. Warning, very mild spoiler ahead – Sebastian getting his butt handed to him? Much more interesting than Mr. Perfect-Butler.

Next up were some sad farewells to two series. The first, from Viz Media, was Children of the Sea (Vol. 05). I still don’t fully understand what happened in this series, but I think that’s the point. The slightly confused yet tranquil feeling I had finishing it just made me miss it more. That melancholy couldn’t hold a candle to my sadness at completing Sailor Moon (Vol. 12), however. Wow, what a series. It’s dramatic, beautiful, detailed, universe-encompassing in its scope, and totally inspiring to read as a woman. I’m really looking forward to the two collections of Sailor Moon short stories due out from Kodansha Comics in the Fall.

Gate 7 (Vol. 04) is another book I bought recently that desperately wants to be as pretty and epic, but unfortunately only succeeds at the first. This is one of CLAMP’s most recent works, and while the artwork is absolutely gorgeous, and the characters are kinda fun, the story itself is completely underwhelming. I really hope something big and interesting happens soon or else it could be the first CLAMP series I’m tempted to drop.

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!


Kodansha Comics Licenses Monsters, Romance and a Sprinkle of CLAMP at SDCC 2013

Kodansha Comics Licenses Monsters, Romance and a Sprinkle of CLAMP

It’s San Diego Comic Con this weekend, which means no shortage of pop culture news flooding the internet. It’s an overwhelming but beautiful thing! Manga publishers  in attendance are having panels to share news of their own, and the first big event came from Kodansha Comics on Friday.

During their panel, Kodansha Comics announced the following licenses:

Monster Soul – Hiro Mashima
My Little Monster – Robico
Say “I Love You.” – Kanae Hazuki
XXXHOLiC: Rei – CLAMP

Monster Soul is a two volume series by Hiro Mashima, creator of the better known Fairy Tail. This story takes place in a land inhabited by demons and humans where we follow a cast of characters embroiled in a war between the races. Volume one is scheduled for May 2014.

My Little Monster is a quasi-romance story about a loner who inadvertently becomes the object of affection for a trouble-maker in her class. While this is Robico’s first time being published in English, readers may be familiar with their work already as My Little Monster has an anime which was streamed on Crunchyroll. We should see the first volume of My Little Monster in March 2014.

Meanwhile, Say “I Love You.”‘s creator, Kanae Hazuki, has had another series previously released in English – Voices of Love. I enjoyed that short story anthology as a collection of  comics  targeted at adult women, which aren’t exactly common place. Say “I Love You.” looks to be more the standard school-life love story, but I enjoyed Voices of Love enough to look forward to it. This series also had an anime adaptation which Crunchyroll streamed. Volume one of the manga is scheduled for April 2014.

XXXHolic: Rei is a title that I knew would be licensed eventually, but I was a bit surprised to see it announced so soon. This series is a continuation/spin-off/additional content set (because with CLAMP who knows which) of XXXHolic. It’s only been running in Japan since earlier this year, and doesn’t have a collected volume yet. It’s likely because of this that Kodansha Comics isn’t able to pinpoint an exact publication date but did say the plan was for 2013.

Kodansha Comics also revealed they’ll be releasing CLAMP’s original XXXHolic series, and the parallel-running, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, as three in one omnibus volumes. These are slated to begin early 2014. This is great news for those who missed the original single volume run by Del Rey, which are now out of print and predominantly unavailable to buy. I adored both these series, even if they occasionally strangled themselves in plot knots.

All in all, this is a great batch of licenses from Kodansha with titles that come from established artists and series. Not a bad result for SDCC, even if it may be all we get for new manga licenses at this years’ event. It’s unfortunate that Yen Press couldn’t follow up with some new titles of their own, as they cancelled their Friday panel.


On The Shelf: July 10, 2013

On The Shelf: July 10, 2013

Books, book, books. Make sure you don’t miss your second – and possibly last – chance to buy two of my favourite manga series, with Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 (Vol. 05) and Tokyo Babylon Omnibus (Vol. 02). I’m really loving this new(ish) omnibus trend. They’re often worth every penny and then some~

Case Closed (Vol.47) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
The Flowers of Evil (Vol.06) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 (Vol.05) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
RIN-NE (Vol.12) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Tiger & Bunny (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Tokyo Babylon Omnibus (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]


Manga Minis: Sailor Moon Delay, New Hetalia, Shonen Jump Grows and CLAMP Slows

Manga Minis: Sailor Moon Delay, New Hetalia, Shonen Jump Grows and CLAMP Slows

 RightStuf announced that they have plans to publish the next two volumes of Hetalia in their continued partnership with Tokyopop. Hetalia (Vol. 04-05) will be available “before the holiday season” according to the Tokyopop manga twitter. Exact date obviously varies! RightStuf and Tokyopop previously released the third volume exclusively through their online sites, and print-on-demand issues of the first two. (Source: AnimeNewsNetwork)

 Kodansha Comics revealed at Anime Expo that they’ll be speeding up their release of Attack on Titan. Starting in August the company will be releasing one volume a month in both print and digital formats. By doing this they should be caught up to the Japanese volumes by the end of the year. This is fantastic news for the manga readers! The only downside is as someone trying to stick to just the anime until it catches up, this pains me on a very conflicted level. The pressure! The temptation! It’s sad and beautiful. (Source: AnimeNewsNetwork)

 Some actually sad news came from Kodansha Comics when they had to announce that the 20th Anniversary Sailor Moon art book would be delayed. The book was supposed to come out sometime this year, but has been pushed to 2014. At least the reasoning isn’t bad – it’s said that the delay is because Naoko Takeuchi is still working on new content for the book. The art book isn’t the only thing from the Sailor Moon anniversary that’s met with delays as the new anime has been pushed to some undetermined time in 2014 as well. (Source: @debaoki)

 Flipping back to good news, Viz Media announced that their digital Shonen Jump will now be available in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Yay! This is fantastic news indeed. While those living in those areas will not be able to access the back issues, they’ll still get all the same content on a weekly basis as those already subscribed. It’s a fantastic deal, guys, so get on that and enjoy! (Source: AnimeNewsNetwork)

Gate 7 (Vol. 03) Convention guest news: Dark Horse and San Diego Comic Con are welcoming the creator of Lone Wolf and Cub, Kazuo Koike, to it’s event later this month. Then in August, California Japan Expo is hosting the manga artist and character designer for Neon Genesis Evangelion, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.

 And last but not least, there’s been speculation for a while that CLAMP’s Gate 7 series is on hiatus and CLAMP fans have found plenty of new evidence to support it. While the story hasn’t really clicked for me, the loss of eye-candy alone makes this sad news indeed. While the original plan to release this series globally on the same day didn’t happen, Dark Horse has still been releasing the volumes in English as they become available. CLAMP’s currently on-going series include xxxHolic and Drug & Drop, a continuation of Legal Drug.


Otaku USA: On The Shelf – April 24, 2013

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - April 24, 2013

I’ve been pretty busy lately working on a number of freelance projects (websites, comics and launches, oh my!), but I’m never too busy for checking out the new manga. This week has some notables I’ve recently read and really enjoyed, such as Black Butler (Vol.13) and X (Vol.05).

You can read my thoughts on this week’s manga over at my On The Shelf article for Otaku USA. Enjoy! And I’ll be back~

Alice in the Country of Hearts: My Fanatic Rabbit (Vol.02)  [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Black Butler (Vol.13)  [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Bunny Drop (Vol.08)  [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Crimson Empire: Circumstances to Serve a Noble (Vol.01)  [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Doubt Omnibus (Vol.01)  [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Flowers of Evil (Vol.05)  [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Is This A Zombie? (Vol.04)  [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Knights of Sidonia (Vol.02)  [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Vol.15)  [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Pandora Hearts (Vol.15)  [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Punch Up! (Vol.04)  [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
X 3-in-1 (Vol.05)  [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]


Otaku USA: On The Shelf – March 27, 2013

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - March 27, 2013

Much to my sadness there were no new volumes of manga released last week, hence no On The Shelf article for March 20th. We’re back to regular manga business this week however, so you can check out my On The Shelf articlefor Otaku USA to read about the goodies now available!

Angelic Layer (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Blood Lad Omnibus (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Durarara Saika Arc (Vol.01) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Genshiken Second Season (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Higurashi When They Cry: Massacre (Vol.21) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Jack Frost (Vol.07) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Soul Eater (Vol.13) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]


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]


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