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Posts Tagged Manga

One Peace Expands Genres with License of Yuri Series, Whispered Words

One Peace Branches Genres with License of Yuri Series, Whispered Words

One Peace Book is one of those surprise publishers who pops out of the woodwork with some great titles in tow. The last time I wrote about their manga licenses was for Black Bard and Smuggler, two titles I’m really looking forward and that are scheduled for this Winter.

This week ANN confirmed another new title that recently popped up from One Peace on Amazon.com/Amazon.ca:

Whispered Words – Takashi Ikeda

“Whispered Words is the story of two high school girls, Sumika and Ushio. One is in love with the other, but unable to confess. Both of them prefer girls, but Ushio likes cute and petite types while Sumika prefers the athletic outgoing girls. To complicate things, a cross dressing boy, Masaki, is in love with Sumika. What ever will happen to this mixed-up bizarre love triangle mess?”

Whispered Words is complete at nine volumes and had an anime adaptation that aired back in 2009. One Peace will be releasing the first volume in May 2014 for $16.95/US. Based on their previous titles this should equal about $17.95/CAN, but no price has been posted to the Canadian listing yet.

Whispered Words sounds amazing. The very concept of a yuri story where both the leads are attracted to women in advance of falling for each other, plus the addition of the cross dressing love-interest, earn this story two thumbs up from me in advance. The art also looks great – I love how simplistic but solid it is, and it makes for a nice change of pace from the super shiny, fluffy, shoujo style (no offence, Milk Morinaga, I still love you!) of other yuris we’ve gotten in English.

Oh, and the book is 472 pages long. A resounding yay for omnibus books! So, is it May yet?


Digital Manga Tweets Tateno with Two New Boys’ Love Titles

Digital Manga Tweets Tateno with Two New Boys' Love Titles

It’s not the title I recently wrote my hopes for, but Digital Manga shows we’re still on the path of potential when they announced licenses for two new manga series:

A Murmur of the Heart – Makoto Tateno
A Waltz In The Clinic – Makoto Tateno

Both titles are boys’ love one-shots, and are scheduled for release as print and digital editions. When? Still a mystery. Digital Manga announced both licenses via their Twitter account earlier in the month.

Not only do these titles have the creator in common – who has had many of her works released in English over the years – but they both also cater to readers looking for some physical physicians. Of course it helps they share the same characters and locale. A Waltz in the Clinic follows a hospital resident who falls for a patient he meets while avoiding the advances of a physician in his department. In A Murmur of the Heart, that same physician is inspired to explore his feelings for a surgeon when he sees the resident he was chasing fall into a relationship of his own.

Amazon.jp has some preview pages up for A Murmur of the Heart, while we’ve reviewed a number of Makoto Tateno’s titles here on Kuriousity. Her titles are always lukewarm for me – I never think they’re all that great, but I’ve rarely found them bad. They sure are books I read! I’d be lying if I said the hospital theme didn’t pique my interest a little more than usual though.


There Today, Hopefully Here Tomorrow – New Higuri, Titan and Tateno Manga Series Debut in Japan

Princess Ledalia: The Rose Pirate

Manga series only out in Japan are rarely a topic here at Kuriousity simply because of the inability to buy them in English. However I’m making an exception today for three new series scheduled to debut in the next few months that I’ll be having my fingers crossed we see released in English one day. Here’s to hoping!

I’ll start off with the manga title that excites me the most and that’s a new work by You Higuri. I’ve always enjoyed her work. Even if an individual story is a little lack-lustre, I love her art. Her new series is called Princess Ledalia: The Rose Pirate, and, as the name might suggest, stars a young woman who was raised as a pirate but learns that she’s actually of noble birth.

I really hope Ledalia is more of a butt-kicker than a stereotypical damsel and that finding out she’s a princess doesn’t turn a tough pirate into a weeping sovereign. It’s a cynical way for me to go into this, sure, but I have high hopes for something really fun, inspiring and well drawn.

You Higuri has had series published in English by Del Rey, BLU, Digital Manga Publishing, GoComi, and CMX. All but one of those companies have since shutdown, but I’ll remain hopeful that her work comes with enough past success to warrant a license of her newer work. (Src: ANN)

Attack on Titan: Before the FallFans of Attack on Titan are likely pleased with the news that the series is getting a new manga based on previously released light novels. I’ve really wanted to read these light novels, which take place before the series and follows the inventor of 3D maneuver gear, but had resigned myself to the fact that even a series as popular as Attack on Titan couldn’t inspire a light novel license. A manga on the other hand…

This new series is called Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, and is being drawn by Satoshi Shiki. Shiki’s original manga series Kami-Kaze was released in English by Tokyopop and their art style back then makes me confident they’ll do a nice job drawing the complicated, action-oriented movements of Attack on Titan‘s maneuver gear, not to mention the terrifying titans themselves. (Src: ANN)

We also more recently learned that there’s a second spin-off manga for Attack on Titan which will be running in the shoujo magazine, ARIA. Attack on Titan: A Choice With No Regrets will be a story about the characters Levi and Erwin, specifically their back-stories. The original story has already hinted at Levi’s past as a street thug leader before Erwin met him, so we know there’s plenty of material to elaborate on. (Src: ANN)

Attack on Titan has been one of the best selling titles in years, both in Japan and in North America, so I like to think this makes the eventual license of Attack on Titan: Before the Fall and A Choice With No Regrets a guarantee. Since the titles are both being released in Kodansha magazines, Kodansha Comics seems like the likeliest candidate – plus of course they’re putting out Attack on Titan.

Lastly, Makoto Tateno hops back on the paranormal bandwagon with her new series, Vampire Romanshiki. This series will be about a young woman attending an all-girls’ school who is one day approached by two mysterious men – who I’m guessing are vampires. I like that the story takes place in 1918, which I hope gives it a little unique flair.

A number of Makoto Tateno’s series have been released in English already and most by Digital Manga Publishing. My feelings towards her books are always hit or miss, but apparently more the first than the latter since I always buy them.  (Src: ANN)


Review: Kaze Hikaru (Vol. 21)

Kaze Hikaru (Vol. 21)

Manga-ka: Taeko Watanabe
Publisher: Viz Media
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: August 2013

Synopsis: “After Hijikata grows suspicious of Soji’s feelings about Sei, he reassigns Sei to the third troop under Saito’s command. Soji, puzzled by his own recent irrational behavior toward Sei, attempts to distance himself from her. Sei, in turn, interprets this as Soji’s realization of her feelings for him and decides that she can no longer serve as a bushi alongside him. She goes to visit Suigetsuni, a nun who knew Sei in her former life as a girl, to discuss renouncing the world and entering the convent!”

Waiting a year for any new volume of a series is painful, but when it’s one as charming as Kaze Hikaru it’s all the more sad. At least it’s a credit to the series that even a twelve month wait is little match for the memorable nature of these characters. They feel as familiar now as they did the last time a new book came out. Sometimes, though, things can feel a bit too familiar and while the turmoil of Kamiya/Sei’s love and Soshi’s naivety continues to be the series’ driving force, there is such thing as having too much of a good thing.

Read more…


Review: Bakuman (Vol. 20)

Bakuman (Vol. 20)

Author: Tsugumi Ohba
Manga-ka: Takeshi Obata
Publisher: Viz Media
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: August 2013

Synopsis: “For ten years, two young men have worked as hard as they possibly could to make their manga dreams come true. Now, as they sit atop the manga world, can the promise made long ago finally be fulfilled?!”

At twenty volumes, it’s the end of Bakuman. I’ll miss this series as it gave us in-depth, if not somewhat dramatically sped up and hyped, look at being a creator in the world’s most read comic magazine, Shonen Jump. While the last volume give its characters the satisfaction of achieving their dreams, it’s odd that it focuses so much on elements barely present in previous books, instead of what the series has always been about – manga.

Read more…


Review: Pretty Men Fighting Dirty

Pretty Men Fighting Dirty
SuBLime

Manga-ka: Sakira
Publisher: SuBLime
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: July 2013

Synopsis: “A non-stop collection of romance and smut! In the title story, Taizo the potter finds Shino wandering lost in the mountains and invites him back to his home. Wanting to help Taizo with his artistic block, Shino takes a hands-on approach with Taizo’s rock-hard body. In “A Loving Household,” we follow the story of an adorable house-hubby who has his hands full being salaciously loved by his new husband and stepsons. “Let’s Go to the Proctology Clinic!” chronicles a young man’s first visit to his proctologist for a rather embarrassing problem. But when it comes time for his examination, he finds out he may be in too good of hands!”

This one-shot collection of boys’ love stories is everything I wanted based on its name and then some – well drawn, well-toned men in a series of short, sexy and hilarious scenarios. Sakira is a new name to me for boys’ love creators, but after Pretty Men Fighting Dirty, their name will be one I look for.

Read more…


On The Shelf: August 28, 2013

On The Shelf - August 28, 2013

The student-pocalypse is upon us! It’s the last week of August and students around the world are back to the books after this coming weekend. Enjoy your freedom while you can! Which means read, read, read! … and then continue to do so.

My must-have book for this week is Vertical Inc‘s Helter Skelter. I have a lot of faith in the company’s selection for titles as it is, and this josei story – a title aimed at older woman – about a model’s use of plastic surgery to try and keep up her career, and her spiraling madness because of it, sounds like a worthwhile drama to seek out. Plus as much as I love good on-going series, a solid one shot can often be even more satisfying.

Cage of Eden (Vol. 11) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Crimson Empire: Circumstances to Serve a Noble (Vol. 02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Helter Skelter: Fashion Unfriendly [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Kingdom Hearts II (Vol. 02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Pandora Hearts (Vol. 17) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]


Viz Media Revives and Bewitches with Licenses at Japan Expo

Viz Media Revives and Bewitches with Licenses at Japan Expo

There was more from Japan Expo before the weekend was done as Viz Media took the panel stage to announce two new series:

Phantom Thief Jeanne – Arina Tanemura
Spell of Desire – Tomu Ohmi

Phantom Thief Jeanne (also known as Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne) joins Viz Media’s already hefty library of Arina Tanemura titles, including the recent Sakura Hime and my personal favourite, Full Moon O Sagashite. PTJ is a license ‘rescue’ – CMX originally released the entire seven volume series before shutting down. For those of us who’ve never read it, or perhaps have been unable to find a particular volume to finish a collection after many, many years, will now have another chance to own the series in its entirety. The first volume is scheduled for March 2014.

“By day, Kusakabe Maron is an ordinary high school girl with more than her share of problems. But by night, she is Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne – the reincarnation of Joan of Arc! Her mission? Hunt down demon-possessed paintings and exorcise the evil spirits! But accomplishing this mission puts her in conflict with the authorities who only see her as a mysterious stranger vandalizing works of art. With only the help of angel-in-training Finn, she must survive high school during the day and fight evil by night!” – CMX, Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne (Vol. 01)

Spell of Desire is a supernatural romance for older-than-the-usual audiences. Its’ creator, Tomu Ohmi,just had the first volume of their series, Midnight Secretary, released by Viz Media last week. Spell of Desire is currently four volumes long in Japan with the first English volume scheduled for August 2014.

The story stars a young woman named Kaoruko who runs a herb shop after losing her parents when she was young. Her world begins to change when a mysterious man named Kaname enters the shop and Kaoruko learns there is more to her family, her shop and herself than she ever knew.

Both these new series will be released under Viz Media’s Shoujo Beat imprint.
Credit for the news’ details goes to AnimeNewsNetwork


Yen Press Makes Their Own Impact With Light Novels, Sword Art Online and New Madoka Magica Manga at Japan Expo

Yen Press Announces Light Novels, New Madoka Magica Manga at Japan Expo

Word is that the new North American convention, Japan Expo: First Impact, is off to a slow start but at least one company – Yen Press – gave it the benefit of the doubt by saving some licenses to announce:

Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story – Magica Quartet/Hanokage
Sword Art Online Aincrad – Tamako Nakamura
Sword Art Online Fairy Dance – Tsubasa Hazuki

If these three titles look familiar, it’s because they’re all connected to recent popular anime franchises. You can currently watch the original Puella Magi Madoka Magica series on Crunchyroll, as well Sword Art Online.

PMMM: The Different Story is a spin-off of Puella Magi Madoka Magica and follows two of the characters, Tomoe Mami & Sakura Kyouko, in their own magical girl story. This three volume series is drawn by the same artist as the PMMM manga (read my review of volume one) and stars two of the original main characters. I’m hoping that equates to me enjoying it more than the recent Puella Magi Kazumi Magica – The Innocent Malice, which you can read my review for.

Sword Art Online Aincrad is the manga adaptation of the series, which was originally adapted from a light novel prior to getting an anime (more on that a few lines down!). The story follows some of 10 000 players trapped in a new virtual reality game where winning is the only way to survive and death there means death in the real world. Sword Art Online Fairy Dance is a sequel and continues the story of its leads trying to best the game’s hundred levels. This is the first time either artist has had a work released in English.

That wasn’t all at Japan Expo though. Yen Press surprised, and hopefully pleased, many readers by announcing two light novel series:

Accel World – Reki Kawahara/HIMA
Sword Art Online – Reki Kawahara/abec

Few publishers have been willing to take risks on light novels – which are niches in niches – but it seems Yen Press’s results with some of their previous light novels, including Haruhi Suzumiya and Spice & Wolf, has kept up the faith. Remember, readers, if you want them, then you have to support them!

Credit for news details goes ANN


Manga Minis: CBLDF Defends, Places to Read and Doses of Nostalgia

Links of Interest

Manga minis today are more links of interest and less news, but no less worth sharing:

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund‘s executive director delivered a speech at the Manga Freedom Tour in Japan. They’ve uploaded the whole thing for reading on their website, and it’s well worth checking out. It goes over a number of the legal situations readers have faced with manga, the medium’s North American expansion and the work that the CBLDF has done to support the work and its fans.

CBLDF’s article also mentions their upcoming publication, MANGA: Introduction, Challenges, and Best Practices, which is being released this December. I consider myself very fortunate to have been a part of this project, especially since it meant I got an early read of the great content.

“Made possible with a grant from the Gaiman Foundation, CBLDF Presents Manga is a handbook designed to provide a concise and informed overview of manga—its history, genres, and issues. This educational work delves into the history of manga, its major demographic divisions, its most significant creators, and the challenges it has sometimes faced in North America.”

And speaking of working to support manga and its readers, Organization Anti-Social Geniuses blog has posted a handy guide to the current ways to read manga (legally!) online. They have a comprehensive list that also includes their experiences with those they’ve used.

Sailor Moon‘s 20th Anniversary has led to lots of shiny goodies, and they just keep coming! Jewelry, toys, trinkets, cosmetics and the pages and pages of merchandise GE Animation has licensed and produced. And that’s the whole point of this snippet, just to remind you how many super shiny new pieces of Sailor Moon merch are out there. And I want them all.

Speaking of reminders, Jason Thompson is still writing his manga articles for Anime News Network, House of 1000 Manga. Every one is worth a read. In fact, two reads. At least. His most recent post was about Kaoru Mori’s Bride’s Story while last week was a detailed and entertaining look at the original Yu-Gi-Oh manga. Bask in that archive, it’s all good, and don’t forget Carlo Santos’ Right Turn Only!! column either.

And, though not manga, I was pretty giddy to first read about the new Pokemon anime that is a more faithful adaptation of the original games. While I’d love a series closer to the Pokemon Adventures manga series, I think the nostalgic look and sound of this anime adaptation of the original games seems pretty darn fun.


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