Welcome to another midweek manga review! This week I’ll be taking a look at the final three volumes of Sankarea with my review of Sankarea, Vols. 9 – 11, but first, some news items from Otakon and elsewhere!
- The licensing surprises just keep on coming with Kodansha’s announcement that they’ll be releasing Leiji Matsumoto’s Queen Emeraldas in 2016. If that wasn’t enough, they also announced plans to release Yui Sakuma’s Complex Age and Nao Emoto’s Forget Me Not as well.
- Meanwhile, Viz announced they’ve picked up Inio Asano’s Goodnight Pun Pun for a 2016 release.
- Also at Otakon, Vertical announced three new titles, Riichi Ueshiba’s Mysterious Girlfriend X, Kaori Ozaki’s The Gods Lie and Ryo Hanada’s Devil’s Line
- In non-Otakon news, the Asahi Shimbum recently ran an article about the English edition of the Attack on Titan manga having over 2 million copies in print!
- And last but not least, the New York Times Best Sellers List for August 2nd.
And now, onto this week’s review of Sankarea, Vols. 9 – 11!
The climatic volumes of Mitsuru Hattori’s zombie horror/comedy/romance series, Sankarea, are here! After the life altering events at the ZOMA island, Chihiro and Rea return to Japan. Unfortunately, Rea’s memory has been altered and her relationship with Chihiro has fundamentally changed. Struggling to keep Rea ignorant of the truth of her nature as a flesh eating undead monstrosity drives Chihiro to look deep into his family’s past, finally uncovering the truth of the elixir and learning the ultimate fate of his late mother. Will this information prove to his advantage, or is Rea doomed to become a mindless zombie?
After a longer than planned absence, I’m back with a new midweek manga review! The past couple of weeks have seen us go through San Diego Comicon and Anime Expo, so there’s plenty of manga related news bits floating around right now. This isn’t all of them by any stretch of the imagination, but these are the highlights that really caught my attention.
- Udon won SDCC, and quite possibly the decade, when they announced plans to release Riyoko Ikeda’s classic series, Rose of Versaille.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Creator Kazuki Takahashi was awarded a Comic Con Inkpot Award at Comicon! The award recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions to comics, sci-fi/fantasy and the like. Past Japanese Inkpot winners include Osamu Tezuka, Hayao Miyazaki, Naoko Takeuchi and more.
- Shigeru Mizuki’s Showa 1939 – 1944: A History of Japan and Showa 1944 – 1953: A History of Japan won the Eisner Award for “Best U.S. Editon of International Material – Asia” at this years Comicon. The series is one of several Shigeru Mizuki works to be released by Drawn & Quarterly in recent years.
- A Manga Publisher’s Roundtable was held at Comicon this year. Hosted by Deb Aoki, the panel was made up of editors from several U.S. manga publishers and the discussion focused on busting commonly held misconceptions about the U.S. industry. Topics included such things as sports manga not selling, older series being a hard sell, josei not selling, scanlations and more.
- Marvel recently unveiled a slew of their Marvel Manga Variant covers. The latest round of covers include Ant-Man: Last Days by Q Hayashida, Guardian of Knowhere by Yasuhiro Nightow, Planet Hulk by Imaishi Hiroyuki and more.
- Crunchy Roll’s Peter Fobian rolls out a new feature highlighting specific manga artists, for his first entry in the series he takes a look at Tsutomu Nihei
- And last but not least, the New York Times Best Sellers List for July 26th.
And now, onto the featured review of Your Lie in April, Vol. 2!
Young Arima Kosei is forced to confront his fears in an attempt to help Kaori Miyazono in her violin competition. Is this the push Arima needed to regain his confidences and embrace music once again, or will it break him even further? And just what is Kaori to him anyway? Love, music and more abound in the Naoshi Arakawa’s Your Lie in April, Vol. 2!
Ayaka and Honoka find themselves between a rock a hard place as they come under attack by a new, powerful and clever enemy. The enigmatic Tower Witch known as Weekend! After swiftly defeating Ayaka’s mother, she launches a explosive plan to capture Honoka, forcing the duo and the rest of the Workshop Witches onto the defensive! Is there anyway to stop Weekend? Witchcraft Works, Vol. 5 sees Ryu Mizunagi ramp up the action and destruction as the new enemy looms!
AX is behind us and we’re eyeball deep into Comicon, so there’s a ton of manga and manga related news to catch up on.
- At Anime Expo last weekend, Vertical announced several new title, including Keiichi Awawi’s Nichijo, Kanata Konami’s FukuFuku: Kitten Tales and the Attack on Titan: Lost Girls novel co-written by Hajime Isayama and Hiroshi Seko.
- Speaking of Attack on Titan: Lost Girls, it’s set to receive a manga adaption in Japan. Given how many other Attack on Titan spin off series and adaptions have made it Stateside, it seems like only a matter of time before this comes over here as well.
- TokyoPop held a panel at AX announcing their plan to return to publishing in 2016. There wasn’t a whole lot of information to come out of the panel, but the mere announcement of TokyoPop’s return set off some rather interesting discussions online.
- In the wake of TokyoPop’s announcement, Comics Alliance ran a piece about their past treatment of “OEL” creators, with a number of comments from several “OEL” alumni. Likewise, The Beat ran a similar article looking at TokyoPop’s return, their planned “Pop Comics” site and their handling of the “OEL” line and creators.
- Viz made several licensing announcements at AX, including their plans to release the Naruto spin off and follow up series, along with several new additions to their Shojo Beat line, including Shuriken and Pleats from Matsuri Hinoa and Behind the Scenes from Bisco Hatori.
- And last but not least, the New York Times Best Sellers List for July 19th.
And now, onto the featured review of xxxHolic: Rei, Vol. 3!
All good things must come to an end as Watanuki is about to discover within the pages of Clamp’s xxxHolic Rei, Vol. 3. The little mysteries and oddities that have been plaguing Watanuki throughout the previous volumes of the series have been building this moment, when Watanuki is forced to make a choice…
Sato’s war against the Japanese government enters a new phase! Having gathered a group of like minded Demi-Human’s to his cause, Sato escalates his campaign against the mortal Japanese government in a spectacularly bloody fashion. Meanwhile, Kei’s attempt to remove himself from the brewing conflict fails and forces him and his friend, Kaito, to take drastic measures. Gamon Sakurai’s action/horror series Ajin: Demi-Human, Vol.5!
Welcome to another midweek manga review! This time I’ll be taking a look at Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 4, but first some news…
- The Attack on Titan train keeps on chugging along with Funimation’s announcement that they’ve licensed the live action Attack on Titan movies.
- Earlier today at AX, Viz announced that Haikasoru will be releasing the first three volumes of Yoshiki Tanaka’s Legend of the Galactic Heroes novels in 2016!
- With a panel at SDCC and AX in the offing, Brigid Alverson takes a look at the history of Tokyopop.
- While the next bit is not technically manga related, it is kinda/sorta related to a Japanese franchise. Namely, American comic book publisher, BOOM! has acquired the rights to produce a Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers comic.
- And last but not least, the New York Times Best Sellers List for July 12th.
And now, onto the featured review of Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 4!
Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 4
Art by Satoshi Shiki, Story by Ryo Suzukaze, “Attack on Titan” created by Hajime Isayama, Character Designs by Thores Shibamoto
Kodansha Comics, 192 pp.
Rating: Older Teen (16 +)
The adventures of Kuklo and company trundle on with Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 4! Satoshi Shiki’s adaption of Ryo Suzukaze’s light novel continues as Kuklo is sentenced to exile for his purported involvement in the raid on the Innocencio mansion and the death of Dario Innocencio. Once more he finds himself beyond the wall, but this time with none of the protection of the Survey Corps, forcing him and fellow prison Cardina Baumeister, to engage in a desperate nighttime race for safety.
Noko is an overweight office worker who copes with bullies at work and an abusive boyfriend at home, by eating. Unfortunately, this creates something of a vicious cycle, as the more she eats the bigger she gets and the more abuse her co-workers heap upon her. While things look like they couldn’t get much worse for Noko, she’s about to discover that they can. Published in 1997 as part of a weekly magazine aimed at adult women, In Clothes Called Fat is Moyoco Anno’s unnerving portrait of a woman’s struggle with her weight and lack of self esteem.