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Posts Tagged Del Rey

Kodansha Comics Adds Mew Mew Power and More to Fall Lineup

Tokyo Mew Mew

Kodansha Comics isn’t slowing down after their huge news in March with a handful of new titles announced for their fall line-up later this year.

Tokyo Mew Mew
Love Hina
(Omnibus Collection)
Shugo Chara! Chan
@Full Moon

Tokyo Mew Mew and Love Hina were previously released by Tokyopop but will sport new translations for these editions. Shugo Chara! Chan is a sequel to the series Shugo Chara! which was published by Del Rey. Lastly @Full Moon is a sequel series to Kodansha’s previously announced Full Moon series (which in itself was a license rescue from the long-since defunct Brocolli Books). When so many manga readers are left wondering if they’ll even see the next volume of their favourite series, it’s promising seeing a company already license a series and its follow-up in one go.

While Love Hina seems like a no-brainer as a big otaku favourite that’s been long out of print, I’m a little surprised by Tokyo Mew Mew. It was cute but I didn’t think had enough following to warrant a completely new release. Then again it might be a good warm-up to their upcoming Sailor Moon release to bring in a whole new generation of readers to magical girls (plus the anime version played on television here as well). I like the addition of the Full Moon series though because, though not explicity boys’ love, it still teeters in that territory more than well enough to show Kodansha’s not afraid to test the waters of the genre.

With the slew of titles, including the much-requested Sailor Moon, Kodansha continues to go above and beyond what I think many expected after their lacklustre introduction to the North American market. My concern now though is how they’ll deliver. We’ve many reasons to believe it’ll be good – from their manga-ruler status in Japan, to the talented staff we know to be working for them already – but until we get a pure Kodansha-made book in our hands, it’s hard to jump for complete joy just yet. Some giddy jigs for sure though.

Their first new titles are coming out in May – Arisa (Vol. 02), Rave Master (Omnibus) and Ninja Girls (Vol. 05). All three of which are continuations of Del Rey or Tokyopop series so we may not see much different in the form or design of the books. While the titles themselves don’t excite me too much, I’m most eager for Phoenix Wright and Monster Hunter Orage to see the trim-size and design work.

Hopefully we’ll see the start of their new titles marked with a full website as well, or at least something with more images and information than the press releases posted there now. Kodansha Comics appeared with a lot of anticipation, and while it may’ve lost the luster after Akira and Ghost in the Shell, it’s done a great job gaining it all back in the past few months. Now that we’ve got the promises, it’s all about the delivery – only another month to go!

Year in Brief Review – Manga Favourites of 2010

It’s New Years Day! And that means the end of 2010 has come and gone – the end of the first decade of the 2000s’, the end of another year of fantastic comics (upon other many wonderful things).

Just for a little living in the past on this first day of 2011, what better time to look back at 2010 with some favourites, surprises, disappointments and neat website tidbits. Sure it would’ve made more sense to have posted yesterday but who has time with all those celebrations going on… right?

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ANN Review: Ghost Hunt (Vol. 11)

ANN Review: Ghost Hunt (Vol. 11)

One of the more disappointing books I’ve read lately, I reviewed the eleventh (and possibly last) volume of Ghost Hunt for AnimeNewsNetwork.

This book was disappointing for a number of reasons but acting as pinnacle for the issues I’ve had with the series in this later half would be the jist of it. The art looks lazy and the word bubbles are haphazardly tossed around and the cast of characters feel so… flat. Mai was alright which is good since she was the only one really relevant in this one. Alas this wasn’t how I wanted my last manga-experience with this cast of ghost hunters to go.

Regarding the existence of a twelfth book, I really don’t know what to expect for the fate of this series’ final volume. Del Rey marketed this volume as the last but there is one more out in Japan, with this volume’s cliffhanger leading into it. Of course I’d love to read it – it looks like it would go into Naru’s backstory – but I’m not holding my breath. I am looking pleadingly at Kodansha Comic’s direction though. Please give the series one last chance to remind me why I loved it so much before, okay?

Kodansha Comics Announces Titles At Launch Event

Kodansha Comics had it’s official launch event today, officially marking their entry into the North American manga publishing market. The event was held in New York at the Kinokuniya’s bookstore, and while I then couldn’t be there myself, my thanks to Anime Almanac’s Scott for tweeting the news as it was announced.

Since news of this event was announced a few days ago, social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and forums have been a buzz with a mixture speculation and ultimatums. Will they actually have any new licenses to announce? Will they finally reveal their plans for the library of mid-series licenses from DelRey that they hold? Will they actually put live an actual website? Patience has already run very thin for many manga readers as a company directly backed by one of the biggest names in the industry has sat silent for so long, with it the potential promise of many beloved titles held just beyond reach.

So what was said today? Quite a bit actually! From word on the majority of DelRey’s titles and a few new titles as well, Kodansha Comics plans the first big bulk of its manga out in Summer 2011.

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Swag Bag – Freckles, Food and Manga Mysteries

It was a fairly big week for titles I really wanted to come out so I was happy to arrive at my local comic shop and find nearly all the books I wanted were on the shelf waiting for me – and then some!

AyakoThe first book I picked up was Ayako, a new one-volume omnibus from Osamu Tezuka. It’s published by Vertical and the packaging is definitely different from your average manga – a thick, hardcover book, and it’s a hefty one! Also from Vertical I bought the second volume of 7 Billion Needles. I really loved the first one though to this day still find it hard to figure out exactly why, it’s just a really compelling story.

Viz Media books came next and I continued on with several on-going series: Bleach (Vol. 33), Toriko (Vol. 02) and Cactus Secret (Vol. 04). I also bought the second volume of Bakuman (Vol. 02), even though the flat-out dumb character interactions in volume one left me feeling cold towards it. Fingers crossed for more manga industry and less… whatever that attempt at romance was.

Next I picked up some DelRey titles, which did feel a little odd all things considering. But these were two very welcome purchases, volume 28 of Reservoir Chronicles Tsubasa and volume 11 of Ghost Hunt. Both are the final volumes of the series which means they’re both two series I won’t need to fear never seeing the end of. The Tsubasa book also surprised me with how thick it is, looks like a lengthy finish. Hopefully one that makes sense too.

Alas that while it was good to see two series finish up just in time, it wasn’t so lucky for the first volume of Arisa. I picked up this series after reading Carlos Santos’ review of the title and I’m really glad I did (as I never would’ve if not for his review). I’ve already read it and really enjoyed it – definitely a case of not judging a book by its cover. Please, Kodansha Comics, should you ever truly exist, choose this book as one of those you keep going with from DelRey’s library.

And lastly, I picked up the boys’ love one-shot Cafe Latte Rhapsody from June Manga, and Black God (Vol. 11) published by Yen Press. Cafe Latte is by Toko Kawai, whose works I’ve generally enjoyed in the past. The art’s a little bleh but she writes good character stories. Flipping through, this one stars a character with freckles which I thought was cute.

So how about you? What marks your first purchases of December?

Review: XXXHolic (Vol. 16)

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo
XXXHolic (Vol. 16)

Manga-ka: CLAMP
Publisher: DelRey Manga
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: October 2010

Synopsis: “The witch Yuko is gone, vanished and forgotten by the world with the exception of a small handful of people. But Kimihiro is determined to keep the wish-granting shop going, even if the shop’s arcane rules nearly kill him for the crime of setting a wrong price. Now begins a new chapter: XXXHolic Ro!”

Yuko’s absence is both the driving force and overlaying weight atop the entire volume. Watanuki’s resolve to wait for her is a substantially hefty burden to bear but he’s so emotionally committed to it that you can’t help but feel both sympathetic and enthralled as he dons the yukata that seals the deal on his role as the shop’s new owner.

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Swag Bag – Stellar Stacks of Demon Omnibus in Space

Happy Halloween! Er, a belated happy Halloween anyway. Hope those who celebrated it had a good time and didn’t get too stuffed on candy! While not treats of the sugary kind, I picked up a bunch of fun looking books last week.

It was a pretty hefty release week for Tokyopop titles so I left the store with a good armful of them. To start off, I picked up the first volume of The Stellar Six of Gingacho simply because it looked cute and I’m always up for giving a first volume a try. The interior art looks like a bit of a mess but hopefully the story proves more coherent. I love the colour scheme of the cover design though! Looking to try out another new series, and because I’m heard so many crazy things about it, I got the first volume of Demon Sacred which is by the same artist who did Jyu-Oh-Sei.

Next up I couldn’t resist their new How to Draw Shoujo Manga which shares how-to-dos and helpful tips for manga artists from a very Japanese-manga oriented perspective. This includes example material from a bunch of well-known manga artists including Fumi Yoshinaga. I’ll admit seeing her art on the back was the clincher to purchase this. Here’s hoping I learn something useful as I stare at the pretty artwork.

Continuing on with series I’m already collecting, into my basket went Mad Love Chase (Vol. 04) and Silver Diamond (Vol. 07). Both these series have admittedly begun to lose their luster for me but I’m stubborn with series I like (or have liked…)! Lastly for Tokyopop titles, I bought the second volume of Togainu no Chi because, well, it was on sale. I was pretty disappointed in the first volume but have been repeatedly told “It gets better!” so we shall see.

Adding to my swiftly growing stack of omnibus editions, from DelRey I bought the collected (Vol. 15,16,17) book of Air Gear -a series where the art is still fantastic even if the story keeps digging itself a deeper and deeper hole of WTF? – and (Vol. 08,09,10) of Mushishi – a series I’m collected sporadically because I liked the anime so much.

And to round out my shopping trips with a scattering from other companies, I got Twin Spica (Vol. 04) from Vertical, Dengeki Daisy (Vol. 02) from Viz Media – will it live up to my love of the first?! – and Himeyuka & Rozoine’s Story from Yen Press, which looks like a quaint little one-shot collection from a creator I’ve enjoyed works from in the past.

Anything exceptionally fantastic that came out recently that I’ve missed? Picked up something extra snazzy yourself? Let me know!

Swag Bag – Ninjas, Pets and Used Fairy Tales

It’s going to take me a while to sort through all my manga swag from New York Anime Fest this past weekend, and who knows how long for a proper installment of Swag Bag – but before I traveled down to the US for some con adventures, I hit my usual Wednesday haunt at Strange Adventures to pick up some new and old titles.

My most anticipated, and thus quickly picked up, titles were the newest volumes of two of my favourites – Pet Shop of Horrors (Vol. 07) and Shinobi Life (Vol. 06). It was another long wait for Pet Shop of Horrors, and to my dismay, I found this particular volume a bit of letdown comparatively. I mean, it was still great because it’s Matsuri Akino but definitely not the series’ best. Shinobi Life proved as satisfying as ever though. I love how carefully it’s crafting a plot that could easily become confusing in another’s hands. Will the schoolgirl and ninja ever find their happy ending?

To my luck that day, a box of used manga had just been deposited in the store with a whole bunch of well-kept books looking for a new home. While the individual who owned the books prior seemed to have very similar tastes to myself (ie: very little there I didn’t already own unfortunately), there were still a few goodies to pick up:

Looking for some new series to start, I picked up the first volumes of The Chronicles of the Grim Peddler (which was fantastic fairy-tale manhwa) and Monochrome Factor (which I haven’t read yet). I also bought the first two volumes of Mushishi after having read them at the library and enjoyed them, plus the anime was really good. Lastly I got volume three of 07-Ghost, firmly establishing to me that this series still doesn’t make any sense. Ah well, I gave it three volumes – character designs are still pretty though!

13 Days of Halloween: Sugar Sugar Rune

Shannon, here – Halloween is my favourite holiday and to honour it I’m counting down 13 manga throughout the month that I think best capture the Halloween spirit. They aren’t all horror manga, as to me Halloween is about more than scares: it’s about a sense of fun and wonder. It’s about discovering that there may be more to this world than meets the eye. So with that in mind, there’s everything on this list from action-packed shounen to romantic-comedy to children’s manga to some lock-the-doors-and-leave-the-lights-on horror. (See all 13 Days of Halloween so far…)

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10. Sugar Sugar Rune

Sugar Sugar Rune is a children’s fantasy series from Moyoco Anno, a manga-ka more known for her explicit josei manga like Happy Mania and Flowers and Bees. It’s about two young witches, Chocolat Meilleure and Vanilla Mieux, who are sent to the human world to compete in a contest to collect human hearts. Whoever collects the most wins and becomes queen of the magical world. The heart collecting is more symbolic than literal, so if you were expecting a manga where two little girls hunt down humans and rip the still beating hearts from their victim’s chest, well, it’s probably out their but this isn’t it.

What Sugar Sugar Rune is is a cute fantasy series that manages to be smart as well. There are lots of shoujo manga featuring witches as the protagonists, but Anno has really put a lot of thought into the magical system and the way magic works. Just like in her adult series there are some very interesting observations about gender and how men and women (or, considering the ages of the characters in Sugar Sugar Rune, boys and girls) relate to each other.

But much like D.Gray-man, it’s the art that makes this series rise above other manga featuring similar themes. Anno abandons her usual sparse style to go in the opposite direction here. There’s a ton of occult imagery packed into practically every page of the manga, all of it rendered in a sparkly, screen-tone drenched shojo style. It’s a weird mash-up, but it works. If you want a sparkly shojo this Halloween season, then Sugar Sugar Rune is what you’re looking for.

DelRey Manga Imprint Folds, Kodansha Steps In and Over

Kodansha - DelRey

Take a peek around the anime/manga blogosphere and today’s big news is evident. It was announced via e-mail press release that Random House’s sci-fi/fantasy imprint, DelRey, will no longer be releasing Japanese-licensed manga. Kodansha Comics, the manga-publishing arm of Kodasha USA, will be gaining license-hold of their titles which will be “gradually taken over by Kodansha USA Publishing on a per-title basis.”

Recent speculation about DelRey’s future as a manga publisher came about after Andre posted about the lack of listings for DelRey manga in Diamond Previews, along with noting some pushed back release dates on Amazon. This not too long after vanished and instead began forwarding to the mish-mash website, It generated a lot of discussion across blogs and forums but I think few expected things to happen quite this quickly. In this instance though, I’m inclined to say bad news is better than no news.

What’s unfortunate though is that this is so immediately perceived as bad news. I don’t say that with any implication I believe it’s unfounded, either. Oh, Kodansha, you have some work to do.

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