20th Century Boys

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Posts Tagged Viz Signature

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!


PR: Viz Media Recieves Multiple Nominations for Eisner 2012 Awards

VIZ MEDIA RECEIVES MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2012 EISNER AWARDS

NAOKI URASAWA’S 20TH CENTURY BOYS and
SATURN APARTMENTS Are Nominated For Annual Comics Industry Publishing Award

San Francisco, CA, April 4, 2012 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, has announced that two of its critically acclaimed manga (graphic novel) series have been nominated for the 2012 Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards, as announced by Comic-Con International on April 4, 2012.

The nominations include NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS, by Naoki Urasawa, for Best Continuing Series, and SATURN APARTMENTS, Vols. 3-4, by Hisae Iwaoka, for Best U.S. Edition of International Material. Both titles are published by VIZ Media’s VIZ Signature imprint.

Named for pioneering writer and comic artist Will Eisner, the awards recognize exemplary comics, graphic novels and other pop writings, and are given each year as part of the annual Comic-Con International convention, at which VIZ Media will be a major exhibitor and participant in the programs offered. Winners will be announced at a gala ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 13th during Comic-Con. In 2011, NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS won an Eisner Award in the category of Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia.

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Otaku USA: On The Shelf – February 15, 2012

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - February 15, 2012

Post-Valentine’s Day, aka discount chocolate day! New manga and bags full of chocolate is a winning combination to me. There aren’t a whole lot of new titles this week but still plenty of quality, including a couple omnibus for added value.

The new volume of Viz Media‘s 20th Century Boys and Digital Manga’s Black Sun are my must-haves this week. It’s hard to believe I reviewed Black Sun (Vol. 01) back in December 2008! You can see the full list of this week’s releases over at Otaku USA in my On The Shelf article.


Diamond Manga Previews: January 2012

Diamond Manga Previews: January 2012

Diamond Comics is North America’s largest comic book distributor. If you have a local comic store in your area, it’s very likely they get their books from them. Every month Diamond releases a giant magazine, Previews, containing all the products they have – from comics, manga, DVDs and merchandise – that will be released starting in about two months’ time, giving retailers and buyers the chance to put their orders in before shipping dates.

Previews - January 2012

I’ve been picking up the Previews magazines for years, oogling all the different books coming out from publishers and wondering how long until the stacks of Preview magazines I’ve yet to get rid of will crush me in my sleep. Starting now I’ll be writing about the different manga content published in Previews each month here on Kuriousity. This includes all the manga titles listed, the top Manga sellers as tracked by Diamond and mention of other things of interest I spot. With the small two month window, Diamond Previews has rarely been the source of new licenses but it’s a great reminder and showcase of all the books coming our way soon, plus the perfect time to get your orders in, whether through Diamond or at your online retailer of choice.

I’ll also be including with these monthly Preview posts a downloadable PDF that you can print off and check off the manga  you’d like to order. Then it’s as easy as bringing it into your local comic or book store – wherever in your area that orders in through Diamond Comics! Currently the list is just the names and does not include the Diamond order codes. I’ve never come across a store that requires them for ordering but if yours does, let me know and I’ll include them on subsequent files:

January 2012 Manga Previews Checklist (PDF)

You may continue reading at your own discretion for my thoughts, elaborations, random pictures and the Top 10 Selling Manga of November 2011!

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Year In Review: Lissa’s Favourites of 2011

Lissa’s Favourites of 2011

There are no shortage of ‘Best Of’ lists this time of year. While I like popping around to different peoples’ sites and seeing what they thought, it’s a bit of a frustration that I can’t seem to write one myself. How people choose a solid list containing five or ten favourites, from across different genres and subject matters, is just something I can’t seem to muster the brain power for. Not enough conviction I suppose? There’s just so much to love!

But I can’t overlook the perfect chance to look back at all the great titles a year had to offer and 2011 had some really fantastic ones. So then where is this going, oh rambling one, you ask? My semi-traditional equivalent to the yearly best of – the random Lissa’s favourites and best-ofs list! Which really just means you get a lot more titles broken into a lot more categories so I can remain a lot more loving to a lot more series. And in some cases not so loving… From the Best Release Quality to the Favourite Fan Service and even to the most Gag Worthy – here are a bunch of my favourite titles from 2011!

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Swag Bag: Samurai, Incubus, Rabbits and Tyrants

Swag Bag

My bedroom is finally under control! A week of vacation as I transition to a new job plus a very release-heavy month, not to mention a few trips to my local library, have ensured every inch of my desk, floor and shelves were littered with material waiting to be read and watched. Upside to cleaning your room at least is there’s almost always something you’ll discover  you haven’t read yet, or perhaps just want to revisit.  Naturally among the now organized chaos are a bunch of the things I bought this past week:

For my birthday I received a gift card to Chapters. While I avoid buying from there in-store (too expensive!), their online prices are still pretty good, especially for the more niche material and some harder to find titles. Thus, it was just that I filled my digital shopping cart with.

Mister Mistress (Vol. 01)Boys’ love made up the bulk of my online purchase with my most eagerly awaited purchase being the hardcopy edition of Digital Manga‘s Rabbit Man, Tiger Man (Vol. 01). Second to that fun and charming tale of yakuza/doctor love, was Tyrant Who Falls In Love (Vol. 03). Never enough Hinako Takanaga on the bookshelves! Even Yen Press had some boys’ love to offer me with Tale of the Waning Moon (Vol. 02) and I picked up an older title I missed from Deux Press called Mister Mistress (Vol. 01). It’s almost unfortunate I enjoyed it so much since volume two is looking very tricky to find.

Using up the last pennies of my credit, I bought One Pound Gospel (Vol. 04) which is the end of the series. On the other end of series collection, I bought Descendants of Darkness (Vol. 01) which finishes off my collection of that series as well.

Next up it was into my local comic store, Strange Adventures, where I picked up the new releases (which if you’re curious about the complete recent lists for, check out my Otaku USA articles, On The Shelf). Viz Media dominated my purchasing stack, which I suppose by now should stop seeming like an anomaly.

I was really excited to get my hands on Kaze Hikaru (Vol. 19) – it’s one of my favourite series but there’s a long wait between books. It’s a really long series too so I’m always worried Viz Media will drop it. Everyone buy the series so this doesn’t happen! It’s really charming and wonderfully drawn.

Pokemon Adventures (Vol. 14)Also in the pile of awesome swag was 20th Century Boys (Vol. 16), Otomen (Vol. 11), Tenjo Tenge (Vol. 02) and Natsume’s Book of Friends (Vol. 08). A pleasant surprise was the size of Pokemon Adventures (Vol. 14). It’s notably thicker than past volumes and works really well with the content considering it’s the huge climax of all the plot lines coming together since volume one. Pokemon and trainers everywhere!

And lastly, to make my shopping bags all the heavier, a got a few volumes of manga from the library. Looking for something lighthearted and fluff-heavy, I borrowed Fall In Love Like A Comic (Vol. 01). A really fun discovery though was Saint Young Men (Vol. 01-03). I can’t read Japanese but that didn’t stop me from borrowing the books so I can oogle the amusing pictures and hope all the more someone licenses it. Buddha and Jesus living together in an apartment – how could you not be curious?

That was my Swag Bag this week – what about you?


Otaku USA: On The Shelf – August 17, 2011

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - August 17

Wednesday is upon us again! New comics time, it’s a beautiful thing. This week new manga releases are represented in full by Viz Media and Yen Press. You can check out the full list over in my On The Shelf article at Otaku USA.

My top pick for this week is Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys (Vol. 16) from Viz Media:

“Hands down the book I’m most eager for is 20th Century Boys (Vol. 16)—after the short epilogue-esque chapter at the end of volume 15, I’ll be diving atop that book as soon as it’s unpacked. A certain main character has some explaining to do amidst all the world-altering biological warfare.”


PR: Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys Wins a 2011 Eisner Award

VIZ MEDIA’S NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS
WINS A 2011 EISNER AWARD

Manga Masterpiece Recognized With The Comic Book Industry’s Most Prestigious Award

San Francisco, CA, July 28, 2011 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, is proud to announce that NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS was recognized with an Eisner Award in the Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia category during award ceremonies held at the recent Comic-Con International event in San Diego, CA. NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS is published in North America by VIZ Media’s Signature imprint. Volume 17 of the series will be released in August.

20th CENTURY BOYS is the story of a group of boys who try to save the world. Humanity, having faced extinction at the end of the 20th century, would not have entered the new millennium if it weren’t for them. In 1969, during their youth, they created a symbol. In 1997, as the coming disaster slowly starts to unfold, that symbol returns.

For Kenji, a simple convenience store manager who once dreamed of becoming a rock ‘n’ roll musician, a host of memories from his past come rushing back when one of his childhood friends mysteriously commits suicide. Could this new death be related to the rise of a bizarre new cult that’s been implicated in several other murders and disappearances? Determined to dig deeper, Kenji reunites with some of his old buddies in the hope of learning the truth behind it all.

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SDCC 2011: It’s All About the Digital

SDCC2011

San Diego Comic Con 2011 is in its final hours today so its round-up time! As the biggest pop-culture convention of its kind, there were many bloggers on site to record all the details, so, while here on Kuriousity I’ll just be giving the brief run down of manga-related news, I’ll also be giving select links of where you can go to learn more.

Digital was the biggest news of the year. For everyone’s benefit, I’ll forgo my usual sad sighs and short rambles at the trend of more digital and less paper and skip right to summing up the news!

Edit (July 25th): More info re: Viz Media’s licenses added

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