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Posts Tagged DMP

Digital Manga Launches Kickstarter for Osamu Tezuka’s Unico

Digital Manga Launches Kickstarter for Tezuka's Unico

Digital Manga launched a new Kickstarter project late this week, this time for Osamu Tezuka’s Unico. The Kickstarter launched June 21st and is currently over halfway to their goal of $20,000/US.

Unico is a series Tezuka drew for children during the late 70s and it was originally published in full-colour. Digital Manga plans to release the entire thing in one omnibus collection and maintaining the colour print (hence they say the much higher pledge amount). They’ve got a couple rough sample pages on their Kickstarter project page so the curious can get a glimpse of what they’re pledging towards.

“Unico is a little unicorn who possesses the magical power to help those who love him. His story begins in the Greece of mythology, with Tezuka’s take on the story of Psyche. In his version, Unico brings great happiness to the mortal Psyche, who in return cares for him and loves him. But the goddess Venus is jealous of Psyche, tricking her and ordering Zephyrus, the West Wind, to kidnap and banish the unicorn to someplace far away after wiping his memory. Before Unico can spend too long in one place, Zephyrus returns to carry him away again.”

The book is being quoted at 441 pages and for a cost of $39.95/US once printed. In addition to pledging towards Unico, Digital Manga has stated that they’ll be including a second license in the project if the Kickstarter surpasses it’s $20,000 goal in advance of the July 21st cut-off. … what could it be?

I made no secret of my opinions towards Digital Manga’s use of Kickstarter in the past. While I’m pleased to see they’ve made some changes to the benefit of their supporters (such as preview pages),  I still won’t be supporting this project as a pledger. When/if the book is completed and out on store shelves, however, I’ll definitely be purchasing it to add to the Tezuka collection! Unico looks quite adorable.

The company’s last Kickstarter was for Osamu Tezuka’s Barbara which was successfully funded at $17,032 – three times more than the $6,500 requested. Barbara is scheduled for public release this September (Amazon CAN/US).


PR: DMP Platinum Brings Tezuka Manga for Kids to Kickstarter with “Unico”

Digital Manga, Inc.’s Platinum Manga imprint is returning to Kickstarter to publish the first ever full-color Osamu Tezuka manga in English!

Gardena, CA (June 21st, 2012) — Today Digital Manga, Inc. launched a project on crowd-funding site Kickstarter to translate and publish Unico, the children’s comic by Osamu Tezuka, in English for the first time. Until July 21, fans will be able to buy into the project to receive rewards including copies of the book and exclusive bonuses, such as T-shirts, posters, stickers and a digital companion with educational games and bonus material for young readers and their parents and teachers.

If fans pledge a total of $20,500 or more by the deadline, Unico will be released in a single volume edition in January 2013 through DMI’s Platinum Manga classics imprint. It would be the first manga released in full color in English by Tezuka, an important pioneer of manga and animation in Japan and perhaps the most prolific and acclaimed comics artist of all time. Digital Manga’s previous two successful Kickstarter campaigns were focused on two of Tezuka’s adult works, Swallowing the Earth and Barbara. In a twist, Digital Manga has announced that if the goal is met with sufficient time to spare, another Tezuka children’s license will be made available through Kickstarter immediately.

The book opens in mythological Greece, where Psyche takes care of Unico, and in return he uses his magical powers to bring her happiness. Jealous of Psyche, the goddess Venus orders the West Wind to wipe Unico’s memory and spirit him away where Psyche will never reach him. Unico’s adventures eventually take him to the Wild West, medieval Europe, and even more fantastic locales. Along the way he makes friends and turns back evil with the power of love.

“With Unico losing his memory every time he is transported to a new world, the book is not only a fun adventure for kids, it’s also a moral story, with considered spiritual themes,” said Ben Applegate, editor of the Platinum Manga imprint. “Unico already has a small fanbase in the United States thanks to the animated films, which were first released here in the ’80s and were recently re-released on DVD. However, we’re not just trying to appeal to nostalgic grown-ups like me. We’re doing the book specifically so that parents can read it with their kids. And teachers, too: We think this would make a great addition to primary school libraries and literature curricula.”

The digital companion, available exclusively through the Kickstarter campaign, will also include entertaining explanations of the Greek myths and historical locations used in the book.

The Kickstarter campaign, with promotional materials and a video, can be viewed here:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/digitalmanga/publish-osamu-tezukas-unico-in-english-in-full-col


Swag Bag: Farewell Ouran, Hello Shonen and Bye-Bye Kizuna Boys

Swag Bag - June 13, 2012

Swag Bag time! Below are some of my thoughts of books I’ve purchased in the past two weeks (and love very, very much). As always these books were purchased at my local comic shop, Strange Adventures.

My favourite buy of recent weeks was the final volume of Ouran High School Host Club (Vol.18). I couldn’t even wait to get home to read it so I was quick to find a place to sit down and enjoy. It was a fantastic ending, probably one of the best I’ve ever actually read in manga series, especially a shoujo. I plan to go into it in more detail in an upcoming review, but in summary – yay! Though I’m really sad there’s no more to read.

Also from Viz Media this week were the first two volumes of their Bleach speed-up. Despite some pleadings from my wallet, I simply couldn’t leave volume 41 on the shelf when I was walking away with volume 40, so both it was! I enjoyed these together more than I have Bleach in a while and having two volumes at once I think played a big role in that. You can read more of my thoughts in my recent duo-review of the volumes.

Hopping back on a different shonen train, I purchased Toriko (Vol.09). It’s still one of my favourite on-going series right now which I never would have expected when I first came across it. It feels so reminiscent of Dragonball, including Komatsu who ups his adorable and toughing-it-out points in this new volume. On the flipside, I bought Dawn of the Arcana (Vol.04) which is a series I thought I would really like but it has yet to click with me. Volume four is it! If I don’t get into it after this, then I’m done with this iffy shoujo series.

With one series over and three others continuing, I sought something brand new by buying Puella Nagi Magica Madoka (Vol.01) from Yen Press. I haven’t seen the anime but heard the story was really good. The manga didn’t live up to my expectations, but I can see it being worth exploring further in some format at least. I wrote and posted a review on my Madoka thoughts last week.

Evyione (Vol.01)Catching my eye was an older title from UDON EntertainmentEvyione Ocean Fantasy (Vol.01). Even knowing their track record for continuing manhwa past a first volume is horrendous, I couldn’t help but buy it. It’s a retelling of the Little Mermaid story except the mermaid is a gorgeous mysterious merman and the prince is instead, you guessed it, a princess. I really like what I read here but I won’t hold my breath for getting volume two.

And then it was boys’ love time! Two new Digital Manga titles arrived in-store, which is always a surprise since you never know for sure when their books will ship. Both titles were by Kazuma Kadoka – Kizuna (Vol.06) and Bad Teacher’s Equation (Vol.04). I was a little disappointed to see that the Kizuna volume was only a single, where all the others released by DMP were omnibus. Nothing that can be done when that’s all that’s left though. I’ll miss the series now that it’s over – it’s a true BL classic. Bad Teacher’s Equation as a series is so silly – I have fun reading it so I’m glad there are still a few volumes left to go.

And in non-manga buying news, but something that still overlaps a lot with the fandom, I purchased the second Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise graphic novel from Dark Horse. As a big fan of ATLA, I adore these graphic novels for reading so much like the original series (very amusing dialogue, for one) and for being drawn by the very talented, GuruHiru.


Digital Manga Grabs a Snack with Mr. Mini Mart, Announces Yaoi Con GOH

Digital Manga Goes Out For Snacks with Mr. Mini Mart

Convention season is officially underway and Digital Manga was at Fanime with some news to share. Just before that though they announced another new boys’ love license: Junko’s Mr. Mini Mart.

The book is scheduled to be released in print next year (Summer 2013) at a cost of $12.95. This license announcement even came with a plot synopsis, something I’ve bemoaned DMP before for lacking, so yay on actually knowing the plot of a book so I can properly anticipate it!

“NEET shut-in Endou just wants to get his life back on track, but employment at a convenience store brings the rude Yamai Kouhei into his life…soon Endou finds himself troubled by his past and trying to get along with Yamai.”

During their Fanime panels, Digital Manga shared current and upcoming plans for their digital-only release group, Digital Manga Guild, including news they’ll be releasing translated light novels and have licensed Erementar Gerade: Flag of Blue for a digital-only release (they’re currently releasing Erementar Gerade this way). They also let fans know that success of their previous two Kickstarter projects has prompted them to put another Osamu Tezuka title into the works to be funded the same way. No word yet on what the title is.

Now that Digital Manga are owners of Yaoi-Con, they’ve announced their guest of honour for the 2012 boys’ love event is Uki Ogasawara. DMP has currently released two volumes of her series, Black Sun (review), while DramaQueen previously released two other stories, Chronicle of the Divine Sword (correction: this title was licensed, but never released) and Virtuoso di Amore (review).

This is going to be my first year at Yaoi Con and I was really hoping for a bigger name guest, notably more akin to previous guests such as Fusanosuke Inariya, Ayano Yamane or Hinako Takanaga. I still feel the leftover tears from not being able to attend the years those artists were there. Uki Ogasawara is still a good guest, of course, as a published manga artist and a new comer to the event, but with this being Digital Manga’s first year as Yaoi Con management (and them facing scrutiny over how they’ll handle it), I was expecting a more fan-favourite creator to wow the crowds. Of course Yaoi Con 2010 had almost a dozen artistic guests so who knows what else could be announced between now and the convention this October.


Swag Bag: Girls and Guys, Guardians and Ghouls

Swag Bag

It is raining so hard outside! While this has left me soaked during my early morning treck home, it at least provides the perfect opportunity to curl up in a warm, dry set of blankets with a good book. My past two weekly trips to the comic store has alloted me plenty to choose from (but where to begin!?):

I stocked up on shoujo with the second volume of A Devil and Her Love Song (which I loved as much as the first) and volume one of The Earl & The Fairy (which really could’ve used more fairies). Both were from Viz Media.

From Kodansha Comics, Sailor Moon (Vol.05) was a big given. This particular volume is extra hefty with pages and a lot happens, finishing up the entire Dark Moon arc. It’s been so long since I’ve read the story so a lot of little elements of the plot are fresh surprises, which is awesome! I love these original versions of the characters so much, Sailor Moon and Chibi-Usa in particular. Everyone is super classy.

Speaking of another type of classy, I bought a few new seinen titles all of which are continutations of series I’m collecting – Saturn Apartments (Vol.05), Blood Alone (Vol.06) and Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service (Vol.12). The first two are really relaxing reads, very laid back and mellow, even when things get dramatic. In some series I’d find it boring, but in these two it’s their greatest charm. Kurosagi is still fun to read, what with all the corpses, murders and creepy endings. The wait between each book is rough! I do hope we see a return to the connecting stories earlier books had though. I miss those…

Last, but certainly not least, comes some new boys’ love! Digital Manga served up another action-packed and sex-filled time with the fourth and fifth volumes of Ayano Yamane’s Finder series. So much gun-touting melodrama as the hunter is now the hero – it’s the sort of kinda-trash you can’t help but love. It was all fluff, feelings and a little physical-fun, however, in the sixth volume of Hinako Takanaga’s Tyrant Who Falls In Love (Vol.06). I really like this series because of the characters but it’s tough watching their relationship dragged on so long. In this volume the cast of the prequel series, Challengers, show up too – bonus!

Those were my recent purchases – feel free to share some of their own! Anything you’d recommend? Loved? Despised? Share the contents of your own swag bag!


Otaku USA: On The Shelf – May 16, 2012

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - May 16, 2012

Life’s been a bit of a blur since I came back from TCAF, but aside from a horribly messy post-trip bedroom, things are finally smoothing back over. This means – new comics! Before I take my weekly trip down to my favourite comic store, I had to do my usual romp-through of the new books available to buy once I get there.

My most-eager-to-buy books of the week are Sailor Moon (Vol.05) and Tyrant Who Falls In Love (Vol.06). You can see the complete list over at my On The Shelf article for Otaku USA. Buy and enjoy manga lovers!


Otaku USA: On The Shelf – May 9, 2012

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - May 9, 2012

Manga time! …which as a statement is sort of redundant here on Kuriousity. New week means new manga and while I continue unpacking my goodies from TCAF, I took a break for my weekly round-up of what new books are on the shelf this week. You can check out the full list and some thoughts over at my On The Shelf article at Otaku USA.

Some notables this week are NonNonBa from Drawn and Quarterly, Flowers of Evil from Vertical Inc. and the FLCL omnibus from Dark Horse.


Vampires, Bosses and Leather: Digital Manga Licenses Six New Titles

New Digital Manga Licenses

Last week Digital Manga announced another six new print licenses! And I’ve long since run out of semi-creative ways to carry into that sentence, since it’s happened so much in recent months. Not that that’s a complaint in the face of so many new volumes of manga to anticipate for 2013. Yay for books! And now onto the good stuff:

A Century of Temptation – Kairi Shimotsuki (June, Summer 2013, $12.95/US)
Deflower the Boss – Ayan Sakuragi (June, Summer 2013, $12.95/US)
The Incredible Kintaro – Naomi Guren (801Media, Spring 2013, $15.95/US)
Ninth Life Love – Lalako Kojima (June, Summer 2013, $12.95/US)
Priceless Honey – Shiuko Kano (June, Summer 2013, $12.95/US)
Ray’s Days – RYOHZOH (Project-H, $17.95/US)

All of the titles above are one-shots so they’re a convenient one-book full package deal. None of them immediately stood out to me but we’ll see how appealing or ‘meh’ each looks as finished cover designs and plot synopsis’ appear between now and their release dates.


Swag Bag: Very Merry Month of Manga In April – No Foolin’!

Swag Bag: April 2012

It’s the return of Swag Bag! In this once-was-weekly article I give a quick rundown of the books I bought that week and some brief thoughts, be it itty-bitty reviews if I’ve read them or first impressions if I haven’t. Since it’s been a long while since I’ve written one, this one is going to recap all my April purchases instead of just one week’s… so it’s a bit long. As always I encourage readers to share their recent purchases in the comments section!

Kamisama Kiss (Vol.08)I continued a few of my on-going shonen series with Viz Media‘s Blue Excorcist (Vol.07), Bleach (Vol.39) and Bakuman (Vol.10), the latter of which has just ended in Japan. Much as I wish sometimes series I like would go on forever, it’s comforting knowing there’s an end in sight. Kamisama Kiss (Vol.08) and Dawn of the Arcana (Vol.03) gave me a Shojo Beat fix, though I’m still not quite sure if I even like Dawn of the Arcana. Maybe now I’ll find out? So tricky to tell.

Arisa (Vol.07) was a quick-to-buy volume. I really like this series, though it is going on far too long. Suspense is one thing but get to the reveals already! And I hope comatose sister wakes up soon… I suppose I shouldn’t complain much about suspense in that kind of story after I finish reading 20th Century Boys (Vol.20). If you want a master of comic suspense, you need look no further than Naoki Usawara. So much suspense, all the time, and while sometimes it’s almost painful how much the story plays on that, it’s completely worth it. Definitely one of my favourites.

Digital Manga and Yen Press are publishing some of my other favourite currently running series, the kind that nestle neatly between the genres of shonen and shoujo. Of those I bought Black Butler (Vol.09), Countdown: 7 Days (Vol.02), Replica (Vol.02) and Durarara!! (Vol.02). I was surprised to see Durarara!! has a shiny gold finish on the cover letters; pleasantly surprised, of course. It’s a neat addition that hopefully means well for the book’s sales. It deserves them too, this series is great and I’m really glad it’s been licensed so I can finally read what all the fuss was about.

Speaking of high quality releases, Yen Press’s English edition of A Bride’s Story – WOW. It always amazes me how good it looks, not to mention of course how gorgeous the artwork is. It’s a beautiful piece of work all around. I was thrilled this month to pick up a copy of volume three. I also bought Bunny Drop (Vol.04) which is the start of the series’ time-skip to cute little Rin now being a teenager. So far my opinion on it is very… meh. Actually it’s more like, ‘I wish I’d stopped at three’. So sad.

Continuingly getting better however is Sailor Moon! Kodansha Comics recently released the fourth volume and while it was a little painfully episodic (one character after another being kidnapped), it had a lot of good Tuxedo Mask character development that the anime barely scratched the surface of. It makes me really like him as a character and even his relationship with Usagi more too. On the opposite end of the likeability scale are the characters of Itazura na Kiss (Vol.08) – why am I still reading this series!? Classic shoujo or not, the cons of the non-existant relationship are far outweighing the funny moments. Bleh.

Osamu Tezuka's DororoThankfully there were other omnibus to buy that were able to almost completely wash the ick of Itazura away – Vertical Inc’s Dororo (by Osamu Tezuka! and over 800 pages!) and Viz Media’s Cross Game (Vol.07). Cross Game has easily become one of my favourite comic series I’ve ever read – I get completely engrossed reading every volume. It’s just so good! The ability to make the everyday incrediably compelling and interesting is a skill Mitsuru Adachi definitely has. Another series that makes rather boring activities still charming to read is Seven Seas‘ Blood Alone (Vol.06). Don’t let the word vampire turn you off this one, it’s really sweet and has some good action sequences that are pretty realistic in their execution. Nothing too over the top and thus refreshingly believable.

This past week I also purchased my first digital manga volumes after buying myself an iPad (oh my credit card, it weeps!). Printed-versions are still my much preferred, but with some publishers now offering titles we’ll only ever see legally available in English via digital, I’d rather read them digitally than not at all. The iPad’s big screen and crisp graphics also offers a really nice reading experience, which I hope to go into with more detail at a later date.

After looking through different manga purchasing options, including Yen Press, Viz Media and Digital Manga’s apps, the site that earned my money was SuBLime – Viz Media’s new boys’ love publishing arm. The company sells digital copies you can then either read through your web browser on their website or download as a PDF to read however you digitally-please. This flexibility plus the tidy $5.99 price tag won me over. I bought three one-shots – Devil’s Honey, Oku-san’s Daily Fantasies and The Bed of My Dear King. All three were enjoyable in their own ways and I plan to share how and why soon.

…and that was my manga buying for April! What was in your swag bags this month?


Otaku USA: On The Shelf – April 11, 2012

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - April 14, 2012

Magic knights, vampires and supped up samurai – it’s another batch of new manga releases! You can read the list of shipping titles over at Otaku USA’s On The Shelf article for the week.

I purchased quite a stack from the books out this week with a number of series I’m collecting having with new volumes – 20th Century Boys, Cross Game, Replica and a few more must-haves. I’ll be giving my short thoughts on my recent purchases in the soon-to-return Swag Bag column. I hope readers will take  the time to let me know what you bought also!


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