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 Tokyopop

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.

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.

Kingdom Hearts Galore, Wolf Children and More With Yen Press at Sakura Con

Kingdom Hearts, Wolf Children and More With Yen Press at Sakura Con

Convention season is preparing to go into full swing, and Yen Press hit the ground running at this weekend’s Sakura Con. Credit for all the juicy details goes to the fine news folks at Anime News Network.

First up were a few new manga licenses, including one with a very, very long name:

Inu × Boku Secret Service – Cocoa Fujiwara
No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular! – Nico Tanigawa
Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki – Mamoru Hosoda & Yū

Inu x Boku Secret Service is a series I’ve heard about via its anime, but I’m not familiar with it beyond that. The story is a romantic comedy about a young girl who is partnered with a special bodyguard after she goes  to a building shrouded in mystery with the hopes of getting better at interacting with other people. Yen Press will begin releasing the manga in October 2013.

Yen Press’s next title is very likely to go unrivaled for the longest title licensed in English this year – No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!. This one is a comedy series following a girl whose video game-spawned illusions of high school are dashed when she actually attends it. She has my sympathies – high school was nothing like Breaker High or the Power Rangers prepared me for either! The first volume of this title is currently scheduled for October 2013 as well.

And last up for the new titles is my most anticipated of the batch – Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki. This is a manga adaptation of Mamoru Hosoda’s new movie of the same name. I haven’t seen it yet but my love for Summer Wars, and the very cute trailers, has me excited to watch it someday. Naturally I then must read  the manga as well. Yen Press will begin releasing this series in omnibus format starting in 2014, but hopefully I won’t need to wait that long to see the movie.

And continuing the licenses, Yen Press also announced that they’ve acquired the rights to the manga adaptations of the popular Kingdom Hearts games:

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix – Shiro Amano
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories – Shiro Amano
Kingdom Hearts II – Shiro Amano
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days – Shiro Amano

The original Kingdom Hearts manga series was released in its entirety by Tokyopop. Yen Press will be releasing a newer version, titled Final Mix, as two omnibus volumes, the first of which is due out in May 2013. Chain of Memories was also released by Tokyopop as single editions, while Yen Press will publish the title as a single omnibus in June 2014. Kingdom Hearts II was only partially released by Tokyopop before the company shutdown, and while Yen Press confirmed they have this license, they haven’t announced plans for it’s release yet. Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, however, has never been released in English before and the series will start with volume one in November 2013.

That is a lot of Kingdom Hearts! For those unfamiliar with the franchise, it begins with a boy named Sora who travels between different worlds to retrieve the stolen and transmuted hearts of their inhabitants, with his new friends, Donald and Goofy to help him. As a collaboration between Disney and Square Enix, the games (and manga) are full of characters from both their companies as well as a steadily growing cast of characters exclusive to the Kingdom Hearts story.

I really enjoyed the manga adaptation of these games – and the games considerably before that – so I’m really excited to see Yen Press has picked them up. I’m confident they’ll do well. I’ll also keep my fingers crossed that they extend their licensing hands  to the absolutely adorable Kilala Princess, which is like a little sister to Kingdom Hearts. Tokyopop released the first four volumes. A girl can dream, right?

Manga Minis: Done with Del Rey, No More Kingyo, Interviews for Detail, and a Kickstart for Nothing

Manga Minis: Done with Del Rey, No More Kingyo and Kickstart for Nothing

The last couple of weeks have had some great manga licenses, and sprinkled amidst them were some other tidbits of news that shouldn’t be missed:

sq Kodansha Comics has stated via their Twitter account that they would no longer be looking to continue any Del Rey’s manga series that Kodansha had not already taken over. The original question which got this answer was asking about School Rumble, while other series Del Rey had partially released that were not already picked up include Nodame Cantabile, Suzuka, and Basilisk. (via ComicsWorthReading)

sq House of 1000 Manga is one of my favourite features on AnimeNewsNetwork – Jason Thompson and occasional guest writer, Shaenon Garrity, do phenomenal jobs shining the spotlight on different series. Shaenon’s most recent article housed an interesting but sad piece of information – Viz Media has officially cancelled their release of Kingyo Used Books. The reason cited was licensing complications based on the books mentioned in the series itself. Considering how diverse the series included were, it’s no surprise Viz Media ran into big issues but it’s still disappointing. At least we have some closure on the topic now.

sq Brigid Alverson has posted two interviews well worth a read this weekend – one with Kevin Harmac, Viz’s director of publish and marketing, over the state of Viz Media’s digital manga; and the second an interview with Tokyopop’s president, Stu Levy. The latter in particular is a really interesting revisit of Tokyopop’s past, present and future straight from Stu himself. Even though much is already known or assumed, it is refreshing to read it coming directly from him.

sq And last but not least, GEN Manga has recently launched a Kickstarter to help finance a collected print edition of their series, Sorako. GEN has been serializing Sorako digitally via their GEN Manga magazine, and you can currently purchase the full version as a PDF.

I’ve been a naysayer of a manga publisher’s use of Kickstarter in the past, but GEN’s use of the crowd-sourcing system is much more in line with how I think the site can be used responsibly- offering collectors a way to finance something the company couldn’t otherwise do, but for a series readers have had the chance to already read and judge so they’re not pledging blindly. It’s a system that doesn’t rely on scanlation and Japanese readers, or simply risk-takers and faithful, to succeed. GEN is seeking $6000 for the funding.

“Sorako lives an ordinary life. And this is an ordinary story. She has friends and family, loves her dog, thinks about life, and occasionally looks for work (kinda). These are the adventures into a typical girl’s life.”

Back in Off*Beat Business: An Interview With Jen Lee Quick


Back in January I was able to share the news that Jen Lee Quick’s Off*beat series would be going back to print, and with the long-awaited third volume finally being released after some long legal struggles. Today I’m pleased to say that not only do we now have more details about these upcoming books but also an interview with the creator herself!

Jen Lee Quick, comic artist and creator off Off*beat, and the staff of the newly announced, Chromatic Press – the publishing company behind the series’ new editions – were kind enough to organize an interview for me so I could ask some questions about the past, present and future of one of my favourite graphic novel series.

You can read the full interview after the cut, as well as see a bonus Off*beat image by Jen drawn just for this interview!

Read more…

Jen Lee Quick Confirms Reprints of Off*Beat, Upcoming Release of Vol.03

Off*Beat Returning to Print

Fans of the comic creator Jen Lee Quick got a pleasant surprise yesterday afternoon! After years of trying to regain the rights to her original series, off*beat, from Tokyopop, she’s now confirmed that another company will be doing reprints of the first two volumes and eventually publishing the never-before-published volume three.

“So this month I will be working on new covers for books 1+2 of Off*beat. They will be reprinted with my new publishing company and match the layout, logo ect of the eventual book 3.”

Jen is also looking to add some bonus content for the reprints and is seeking her readers’ input on what they’d like to see. You can share your comments over on her tumblr post or Deviantart account. Because some loose legal threads are still being tied up, the name of the publisher can’t be shared at this time but I can assure you that news of who it is will be coming soon (sorry readers, it’s a secret for now!).

As someone who really enjoyed the first two volumes of off*beat, this news is exciting enough in itself, but also has the added bonus of showing that at least one creator has been able to regain the rights to their series after Tokyopop‘s publishing shutdown in 2011. With the company’s recent revamp and subsequent ‘relaunch’, I wonder if we’ll see more creators announcing publication plans of their own for their previously Tokyopopped books. Yes, that was intentionally made into a verb.

Other creators whose works remain in Tokyopop lingo include Becky Cloonan, whose series East Coast Rising was cancelled after only one book. Tokyopop is still offering print editions of the book via RightStuf. Though sadly there are still no plans (that we know of) for volume two to see the light of day, Becky Cloonan has posted some pages from it on her website. Christy Lijewski, creator of the three volume series Re:Play, has also expressed her difficulties in trying to get the rights to her books back and recently polled her readers on their interest in Tokyopop’s plans to re-release the books digitally.

Viz Media and Tokyopop Revamp and Relaunch Websites

Viz Media and Tokyopop Launch New Websites

A new year can mean fresh starts, new beginnings and brand new coats of paint. It’s just such a case with Viz Media and Tokyopop who’ve both revamped their websites in time to kick off 2013 in style.

Viz Media – which can now be reached at the simple and easily remembered – last did a large revamp of their website in January 2011, where I gave it a thorough and not especially glowing review. This time around the company has really gone for the simplistic route and I think it serves their content well.

Viz.comThe front page has clear images linking to their recent digital, print and animated releases, and more detailed breakdowns of all their new content via the links at the top. What I like the most  is how easy it is to find information on manga series, which are now available to view alphabetically, by genre, by popularity, by imprint and by the search feature. Wonderfully the search feature pulls up more results than before and separates the results by format (print, digital, animated, etc.). It’s a layout that works almost entirely on images over text, and being done this way while keeping so tidy, really does a good job showing off the products.

For those, like me, who may find the images a bit too big on smaller screens, you can use your browser’s zoom out feature and the website really nicely accommodates the change with more thumbnails per page at smaller sizes. For my main 1024×768 screen, 75% is the sweet spot!

Then we come to Tokyopop, whose new site launch is notable for more reasons than just a shiny new look. Tokyopop hasn’t had a website of its own since the publishing side of the company was shut down abruptly in 2011. They handed over the .com and their mailing list to another company that used them to promote their own Japanese pop culture material via Facebook. Since then there’s been trickling of news from Tokyopop that they planned to return to publishing; the largest step being their team-up with RightStuf to release Hetalia. now has a pretty attractive (though oversized for screens my size – zoom-outs are a must for reading it all) and easy to navigate website that certainly speaks at least a little more to their intent in returning. In what capacity is still in question, but it remains just as apparent that those expecting some sort of grand return to the abundant Tokyopop manga days of old are looking at the impossible. What the new website does show is that Tokyopop is continuing their publication of Hetalia, and has maintained the rights to their original manga-style graphic novels which they’re now promoting as digital editions. Remaining print editions are being sold via links to RightStuf, and some via print on demand. Tokyopop isn’t at all promoting or showcasing any of the hundreds of manga volumes they’ve published in the past despite remaining availability at retailers. I can only assume this is so they don’t give people the false impression that they’re still in the manga biz, which a fair enough decision on their part.

Interestingly, and unfortunately, from the initial discussions following TP’s site relaunch, the print on demands* are news to some of the books’ creators and the struggle to regain their rights after Tokyopop’s publishing-arm shutdown is an on-going battle. (*Edit: Current freelancer for Tokyopop, Daniella, shares her insight in the comments below)

I’ll be keeping an eye on predominantly for their blog section which includes areas for their current staff to speak about the company and its products, as well as a place for the approaching-infamous, Stu Levy. I don’t have any care for Hetalia, and am more interested in following their book creators’ new endeavours than the remains of their TP contracts, but I’m sure Tokyopop will pull off at least a few surprises over the next twelve months.

Victoria’s Favourites: Top 20 Manga (Part 02)

Victoria’s Favourites: Top 20 Manga (Part 02)

Welcome to the second part of my Top 20 Favourite Manga list! You can read the first part here.

(Just a reminder, this is a ranking based on personal preference, rather than just perceived level of quality; however, with each choice, my ranking of the series over at Anime News Network is noted in parentheses.)

Read more…

Victoria’s Favourites: Top 20 Manga (Part 01)

Victoria's Favourites: Top 20 Manga (Part 01)

I’ve always been a fan of top lists, hence why I’ve made a couple of my own. However the lists I liked writing the most were always the ones about my personal favourites. Because of this, I’ve recently been trying to determine what my own favourite manga and anime are, since after almost ten years of reading/watching, I’ve had the chance to be exposed to quite a bit.

Now, this is a ranking based on personal preference, rather than just perceived level of quality, and with each choice I have also included my ranking of the series over at Anime News Network in parentheses (my username there is marie-antoinette, for anyone who is interested). And so, without further ado, here is part one of my Top 20 Favourite Manga!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Read more…

Review: The One I Love

The One I Love

Manga-ka: CLAMP
Publisher: Tokyopop
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: July 1995

Synopsis: “Combining CLAMP’s legendary storytelling, color artwork, and elegant prose, The One I Love provides insight into the creators’ intimate lives and passions. This unique and romantic 12 story anthology dives into the heart of the matter of insecurity and honesty, marriage and independence, and, of course, the single subject CLAMP seems to know best: love.”

The One I Love, consists of twelve collected works by CLAMP. The series of stories was in progress late 1993 and was published about a year and half later. Their work was mostly targeted towards younger girls before this book was created and at the time was CLAMPS first original, non-series anthology. The main female protagonists are each in their own walk of life, the ages varied and their relationships different.

Read more…

Take me back to the top!