Before we get to my midweek manga review of Vinland Saga, Vol. 5, have a few news items that caught my attention in what seemed like a rather slow news week.
- It’s just been announced that Katsuhiro Otomo has been awarded the Grand Prix at Angoulême. The award is voted on by other cartoonists and is awarded to someone based upon the body of work produced over their career. Previous winners include Will Eisner, Moebius, Art Spiegelman and Akira Toriyama.
- Hot on the success of their recent Ludwig B. Kickstarter, DMP rolls out another one for Osamu Tezuka’s Alabaster!
- With Crunchyroll announcing a line of original digital comics called Crunchy Originals, Brigid Alverson sat down for a chat with Patrick Macias, co-creator of the line’s first series HYPERSONIC music club.
- Earlier in the week Viz announced plans to release Shotaro Ishinomori’s Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past in a single volume this May. The series initially saw print in the US via the old Nintendo Power magazine in the 80s and has long been out of print.
- Speaking of Viz, starting this week Viz will be running Kōhei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia in their digital edition of Shonen Jump.
- And finally, the New York Times Best Sellers List for the week of Jan. 17th.
And now onto this weeks review of Vinland Saga, Vol. 5!
Makoto Yukimura’s Vinland Saga enters into a new phase as, what fans have dubbed, “The Farmland Saga” gets under way with volume five! Thorfinn, once a deadly and determined fighter driven by a need for vengeance is now a broken man, serving as a slave on a farm working day to day with nary a hope or dream to sustain him. Filled with Apathy, Thorfinn finds himself attracting some unwanted attention from the farm’s overseers, attention which forces him to confront his past if he has any hope of a future.
Tsutomu Nihei’s bizarre sci-fi/mecha/harem series trucks ever onwards to it’s weird biological horror field future with Knights of Sidonia, Vol. 12! Nagate and his companions in the Garde squads are assigned to the newly created defense cruiser, Mizuki, as it launches from the Sidonia to undertake a scientific mission involving a nearby sun. As one would expect this hardly goes off without a hitch and soon the Mizuki, Nagate and the rest of the Garde pilots find themselves up against a horde of the biological nightmares known as the Gauna.
Welcome back to another midweek manga review! Hope you’ve all been catching the Monday reviews, this week’s was a look at The Seven Deadly Sins, Vol. 3. I’m going to try and continue to Monday reviews for as long as I can, but I’ll be heading back to school soon so we’ll see how long it lasts. I’ll always make sure to have one for Wednesday, regardless of what happens to the Monday one. Anyway, this week I’ll be taking a look a Kairi Shimotsuki’s Brave 10, Vols. 5 + 6, but first some news…
- Last Wednesday Kodansha Comics held an event at Kinokuniya Bookstore in NYC and during it they announced a slew of new releases! Among the licensed titles were The Science of Attack on Titan by Rikao Yanagita, Appleseed: Alpha by Sexy Voice and Robo creator Iou Kuroda, and Die Wergelder by Blade of the Immortal creator Hiroaki Samura.
- Yesterday Marvel announced plans to release the recent Marvel/Attack on Titan crossover as part of their Free Comic Book Day line up.
- Haikasoru is hyped about their upcoming release of Dendera, a novel about a society created by elderly women left to die on a mountain side which comes under threat by from a hungry bear, that they’re celebrating with a giveaway!
- Earlier in the month WBUR, a Boston NPR affiliate, ran a short piece about the Tiger Mask phenomena that popped up in Japan a few years ago.
- And finally, the New York Times Best Sellers List for the week of Jan. 10th.
And now onto this weeks review of Brave 10, Vols. 5 + 6!
Over the past four volumes of Kairi Shimotsuki’s Brave 10 mysteries have been built up, cryptic dialogue thrown around, but little has really been explained. Well that’s about to change! With only two more volumes to go, everything is laid bare at last as Yukimura Sanada finally reveals his plans and reasons behind gathering the cadre of elite warriors known as the Brave 10. Just what are his plans for the mysterious item known as the Kushimitama and how do Saizo and the other Braves fit into the picture? All is revealed in these two volumes!
The Sins continue their quest to aid Princess Elizabeth in freeing the Kingdom of Brtiannia from the rule of the Holy Knights. Following the skullduggery and chaos of the previous volume, our intrepid heroes add yet another Sin to their group as they “rescue” Ban from his long captivity. After leaving a trail of wreckage in their wake, the group attempts to lay low only to find themselves being hunted by an unexpected opponent… one of their own! Nakaba Suzuki’s shonen fantasy series trucks on with The Seven Deadly Sins, Vol. 3.
Welcome to another midweek manga review! This time around I’ll be taking a look at My Neighbor Seki, Vol. 1, but first some news…
- Diamond Comic Distributors, the major distribution company for American comic shops, has picked it’s 2014 Gen Award Winners. Viz was selected as their Manga Publisher of the year, while Kodansha Comics release of Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 1 was their Manga of the Year winner.
- Last week Seven Seas unveiled four new licenses for 2015. Titles include Riddle Story of Devil, Golden Time, Merman in my Tub and Mushoku Tensie.
- Soon after acquiring the Star Wars license from Dark Horse, Marvel released all of the Star Wars manga adaptions digitally through Comixology. The adaptations span the original trilogy along with a Kia Asamiya’s adaption of Phanton Menace.
- The New Yorker recently ran a Roland Kelts article about the art of translation.
- The other day, Vertical Comics confirmed that they’ll be releasing Tokyo ESP later this year, giving the series a 2-in-1 style release.
- And finally, the New York Times Best Sellers List for the week of Jan. 3rd.
And now onto this weeks review of My Neighbor Seki, Vol. 1!
From the pages of Comic Flapper, the same magazine that gave us 7 Billion Needles, Twin Spica and Transluscent, comes Takuma Morishige’s My Neighbor Seki, Vol. 1! The manga, which was recently adapted into an anime series available on Crunchyroll, is a charming high school comedy about Rumi Yokoi and her bizarrely distracting classmate, Toshinari Seki.
Japanese comedy series tend to be rather hit or miss with me. There’s just something about the type of humor that makes its way into them that falls flat on its face for me. Kotoura-San, Vol. 1 by Enokids isn’t that different, but at least it’s not offensively bad like certain strains of Japanese humor that often turn up in manga and anime. Originally published on a website, Koutura-San tells the story a young psychic girl who tends to keep to herself due to her mind reading powers, and how her life changes when she transfers to a new school and finds herself caught up in their small ESP club.
Welcome to first midweek manga review of the 2015! As mentioned in Monday’s review of Ajin: Demi-Human, Vol. 2, I’ll be posting two reviews a week for the month of January, but only the Wednesday reviews will get the news round ups. So, before we get to my review of Noragami, Vol. 1, let’s take a look at some of the news highlights from the last month or so…
- In December, Kodansha Comics announced the acquisition of Naoshi Arakawa’s Your Lie in April, a series about a young piano prodigy.
- Viz picks up Mikansei No. 1, Sgt. Frog and Hands Off! for digital release. All three titles have previously been released in the US by Tokyopop, but if you missed them the first time around then here’s your chance to take a look at ‘em!
- Kodansha (Japan) has announced plans to release digital editions of their manga magazine simultaneously with their print editions.
- Kodansha Comics will once again be taking over Kinokuniya in New York City! The event, slated for 6 PM on Januaray 14th will feature new license announcements, a Q&A with the editors and giveaways! So if you’re in the area be sure to make your way over there.
- And finally, the New York Times Best Sellers List for the week of Dec. 27th.
And now onto the midweek manga review of Noragami, Vol. 1!
From Adachitoka, artist of Alive: The Final Evolution, comes the supernatural action/adventure comedy, Noragami. Noragami, Vol. 1 introduces us to Yato, a down on his luck god desperate to build up a base of worshippers. Unfortunately he’s not a terribly likable fellow and has zero marketing skills. As a result he’s forced to leave his number in some rather suspect places, such as alley way walls, bathroom stall doors, park benches and more. As one might suspect, the kind of requests, prayers and pleas for help he receives are not exactly up to his demanding standards, thus hijinks ensue.