Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

Welcome to Kuriousity

News, reviews and features with a focus on manga, self-published works and a Canadian perspective. Enjoy fulfilling your Kuriousity!

SITE RETIRED - Thank you for the years of support and readership!

Posts Tagged Media Blasters

SuBLime Resurrects a Fan-Favourite with Crimson Spell

SuBLime Resurrects a Fan-Favourite with Crimson Spell

Some say this was inevitable, but most are just saying ‘yay!’ since last night when SuBLime announced that they’ve licensed Ayano Yamane’s boys’ love fantasy series, Crimson Spell.

Crimson Spell was originally licensed by Media Blasters, which has since ceased manga publication. The company released two volumes of Crimson Spell under their Kitty Media imprint. Currently the series is up to five volumes in Japan.

SuBLime lists that they’ve licensed the first four volumes of the series for print release starting in December 2013, with subsequent volumes out every two months after that.

“The curse of the magical crimson sword has turned Prince Bald into a monster… To break the spell, he sets out on a journey with the sexy and gorgeous magician, Havi. Bald has no idea that when he turns into a beast at night, Havi uses his unique talents to pacify his beastly appetite… The luscious journey of Bald and Havi begins.” – Media Blasters

 SuBLime has also noted that they’re currently discussing different translations for the characters’ names, notably Bald (the name Media Blasters used for the lead) becoming Vlad.

As someone who very much enjoyed the first two volumes – ‘classic’ fantasy and Ayano Yamane boys’ love? How could I not?! – I was excited to read this news. The title has been too requested and too front-and-center of the English boys’ love community for it not to be something I expected either SuBLime or Digital Manga to snap up eventually, but it’s great to finally hear the official who and when. My Media Blasters volumes will remain on the shelf for nostalgia, but you can bet I’ll be double-dipping with SuBLime’s new volumes and looking forward to those I haven’t read yet.

Media Blasters Reveals Lay-Offs for 60% of Full-Time Staff

Media Blasters

AnimeNewsNetwork has heard from Media Blasters that the company has just laid off 60% of it’s staff. The full-time staff was at 15 and has now decreased to “five or six regular employees”. The Media Blasters’ CEO, John Sirabella, said they’ve offered continued work in the form of freelance to the employees laid off.

This news following Bandai’s continues to carry 2012 off to a rocky industry start. The loss of jobs for Media Blasters’ staff is really unfortunate – my sympathies to those laid off, it’s a terrible experience. From a consumer point of view, the silver lining is that Media Blasters hasn’t shut it’s doors altogether. Surprisingly, the company has stated it will continue releasing titles as normal.

Crimson Spell (Vol.01)Unfortunately there’s no news of any upcoming manga publishing. Last we heard concretely from MB about their manga line was back in June 2010 when they cancelled a handful of their boys’ love titles. Stock on existing Media Blasters’ manga titles has also been difficult to get a hold of online or via the direct market with only a select few available for purchase on sites like Amazon unless you’re willing to shell out some hefty dollar values for used copies. If you’re looking to buy Media Blasters’ releases, RightStuf still has quite a few of both their manga and anime releases in stock however. Their Kitty Media titles – including their very entertaining selection of boys’ love titles – is sectioned separately on the site’s search. I also recommend finding their booth at any convention they attend, it’s often pretty sizable and stocked with just about every title they have.

Media Blasters has been running very low-key for a while, especially in the past two years following a large lay-off of full-time workers in March 2010. While they have an occasionally updated Facebook page, their Twitter account has been silent since July 2010 and their website – though broken as it was – was replaced with only ads to standalone promotions for anime titles and a link to their Facebook account. Their only recently updated website seems to be their Kitty Media (18+ only!) website which was relaunched in December as a member-only site to watch their hentai titles.

Hopefully we’ve got some good news coming our way after these two industry blows. I’m grateful Media Blasters has at least survived its latest belt tightening. With all companies in flux, hopefully they can get a more solid footing in time, helped in part by some great recent anime releases like Magic Knight Rayearth Remastered and Bakuman in their hands.

NYAF 2011: Manga Out Loud Podcast & Recap

NYAF 2011: Manga Out Loud Podcast & Recap

It’s been almost a month since New York Anime Fest with recaps and reflections still trickling out from the thousands who attended. 105,000, in fact. Wow!

Ed Sizemore invited Erica (Okazu), Melinda (Manga BookShelf) and I to be guests on his Manga Out Loud podcast. It’s posted online now and is part two of his New York Comic Con podcasts. We had a good conversation about what we did at the convention, how we felt it was handled by staff and organizers and about the discussion of legal issues surrounding comics.

The podcast got my brain turning again on my thoughts on the convention. Overall I found other elements of my trip to New York more fulfilling than the convention itself (dinners with awesome people! Kinokuniya! Book-Off!) but from an organizational point of view, I thought NYCC/NYAF was much better handled this year than it was in 2010.

My thoughts and some accompanying photos can be read below:

Read more…

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.

Super Savings: Media Blasters Sale at RightStuf

Media Blasters Sale at RightStuf

New RightStuf sale this week and it’s for all Media Blasters releases – animes, manga, t-shirts and plushies, lots of goodies and pages and pages of it to choose from.

While Media Blasters has some fun manga titles though, especially for boys’ love fans (Crimson Spell, Yokai’s Hunger or I Can’t Stop Loving You, anyone?) , their real bread and butter is their anime and boy do they have a lot of amazing titles. I’d forgotten how many of my favourites were theirs until I started working my way through the list.

If there was an award for anime I’ve seen the most start to finish, it’s definitely the fantasy-epic Berserk which I’ve seen at least half a dozen times. Twelve Kingdoms is one of the best animes I’ve seen in years and I can’t wait to own a copy for myself after being lucky enough to have my local library in possession of the series. The anime Moribito is trying to challenge Twelve Kingdoms though, another gorgeous show.

Definitely on my nostalgic side, there’s Twin Signal, a funny and cutely quirky one-shot DVD about a super arrogant robot who turns into a chocolate-obsessed chibi when his human little brother sneezes – and a rerelease of CLAMP’s Magic Knight Rayearth, the definitive magical-girls-tossed-into-another-world series. You can also take advantage of the sale by picking up the complete series + OVA of Magic Users Club, which made me think I was watching a hentai at first when I first saw the OVA back in junior high – watch out for those pervy tentacles!

So much shininess here to be had – what Media Blasters releases would you recommend?

Manga Mortality Paints Bleak Picture at Media Blasters

Word comes from Robert’s Anime Corner Blog that Media Blasters has “indefinitely removed” from their schedule three upcoming manga releases – Gay’s Anatomy Episode 0, Drawn to Him (both boys’ love titles) and the sixth volume of Akihibara. (Thanks to Tina Anderson who initially posted the news on her Twitter account)

Schedules being pushed back and books being postponed is a fairly common occurence but outright cancellations aren’t as often, and rarely ever as upfront. So what does this mean for Media Blasters’ manga divison?

Read more…

Media Blasters Lays Off Staff After Decrease in Sales

Media Blasters

News that was a little lost in the fray this past week in the mangaverse, Media Blasters has recently laid off a number of its employees. According to a post on AnimeNewsNetwork, the lay-offs include at least 13 employees across all departments of the company. With a staff of about 50 before the lay-offs, that equates to about a quarter of their workers.

Media Blasters is a company that releases anime and manga licensed from Japan. This includes their imprint, Kitty Media, which releases an assortment of mature-only anime and manga, including a number of popular boys’ love titles such as Ayano Yamane’s Crimson Spell. Some of Media Blaster’s most popular anime releases include Princess Princess, Loveless, Kite and Girls High.

The company’s president believes this move will not cause any delays in their book releases but some readers have already noticed a change to release dates. There are two books due out from Media Blasters at the end of this month: You Higashino’s Drawn To Him and Naoka Kasuga’s Because of Love.

Because of LoveIt’s too bad to see this happen to a company who releases so many niche titles and has been around for as long as Media Blasters has. Reasons cited are predomiantly the decrease in orders from large vendors. This could include recent declines in the American market of buyers such as Borders and the semi-recent changes to Diamond Distributer’s policies.

Personally I’ve always found Media Blaster titles to be some of the most difficult to get a hold of, and more so the most hard to find accurate information on. Many of the books quickly go out of print and suffer from inconsistant release date information from different sources. Unfortunately this issue is made worse by Media Blasters’ websites which are rarely updated and utilize a very glitchy 30%-of-the-time-functioning Flash interface. While conventions often prove the best source to acquire their products, in my experience the booths aren’t manned by any employees of the company itself. Not to mention that license acquisitions are nearly always outed by discoveries via online sites such as Amazon with no official announcements to confirm until order information for the books appear in Diamond Previews.

While my sympathy goes to the employees who were laid-off, I would like to see some future attempts by Media Blasters to better outreach to their consumers. Something as simple as a functioning website with current information about their titles would make a huge difference in not only informing current buyers but also influencing new ones.

Take me back to the top!