There was no earth-shattering, world-changing manga news this week, but there were some smaller items that should please fans of a variety of different genres.
Most of the news coming out of Otakon was about anime, not manga, but Bandai announced two new manga licenses, Nichij? (My Ordinary Life) and Code Geass: Shikkoku no Renya (Code Geass: Renya of the Darkness); they have also licensed the Nichij? anime. Also, if you’re interested in the bizarre and unusual, Erin Finnegan has posted the audio of her Unusual Manga Genres panel at the Ninja Consultant website.
I would have thought we were done with San Diego Comic-Con news by now, but Lori Henderson caught something that slipped by the rest of us: Udon Entertainment announced that they would be publishing a two-volume Sengoku Basara manga, based on the video game. As Lori notes, Udon actually licensed this once before but it fell through for some reason, but that may be all to the good, as Funimation has licensed the anime and there’s a new movie coming out in Japan, making the property more visible than ever before.
Also, Deb Aoki reports in on the Best and Worst Manga Panel at SDCC, which seemed to focus more on “best” than “worst.”
Viz Manga added the foodie manga Oishinbo and the angsty-indy manga What a Wonderful World to its digital lineup. Seven Seas launched a new website for its global manga, Zoom Comics. Rob McMonigal reviewed the Zoom Comics site at Panel Patter.
Do you love Fruits Basket? Do you hate Fruits Basket? Are you wondering, “What the hell is Fruits Basket? Isn’t that grammatically incorrect?” No matter how you feel about this iconic shoujo manga, the posts in this month’s Manga Moveable Feast are worth reading, as readers and writers from all over the manga blogosphere weigh in with reviews and critiques.
And this week’s new manga include two new volumes from CLAMP (vol. 2 of Cardcaptor Sakura and vol. 4 of Kobato), a new volume of Black Jack, and a big heap of new volumes from Viz.
Read and Discuss
For Wish appears to be, among other things, adapted loosely from the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure fancomics CLAMP drew in its doujinshi days. In CLAMP’s old doujinshi, male Jojo characters Jotaro and Kakyoin are in love and have an “egg baby” named Jota (who appears, along with his Stand, Charmy Green, in the 2007 retrospective music video CLAMP in Wonderland). Shuichiro and Kohaku, the romantic leads in Wish, resemble CLAMP’s renditions of Jotaro and Kakyoin. In particular, Kohaku sports Kakyoin’s distinctive hairstyle, with a hank of long hair on the right side, a look also shared by Kudo in CLAMP’s Legal Drug.
Beyond the character designs, however, Wish is less JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and more an androgynous CLAMP take on Oh My Goddess!.
Shaenon Garrity on CLAMP’s vintage four-volume manga Wish (Anime News Network)
I’m no stranger to slow moving stories, but I do require that the plot advance at least a little here and there to help keep the story going. I also like it when interesting things happen to the characters while they’re sitting and spinning in place in an ongoing book.
Nana, unfortunately, is doing neither here.
Rob McMonigal on vol. 12 of Nana (Panel Patter)
He captures these relationships well and while I’m not a gekiga expert, I can see a bit of gekiga in the way he chose images for his panels. It’s almost cinematic in a very rough and sketchy way. At the same time, I see a bit of guro in him, although not exactly as grotesque as Suehiro Maruo. His style has a sense of darkness in him in a way that when I see those wavy lines that illustrate the walls and even the characters, you can sense their own unease, their own imperfections even. He may not win a drawing award in terms of details but he wins in capturing the heat of the moment and the reality of his story.
Khursten Santos on the work of Iou Kuroda, creator of Sexy Voice and Robo (Otaku Champloo)
There are some mangaka that get away with wordiness, and some who don’t. I remember I had to stop reading Death Note after a while because the sheer weight of all the information I was trying to process gave me a headache. It’s not that I hated Death Note as a manga, just that Ohba and Obata’s art and storytelling couldn’t convey that information smoothly for me. My boyfriend, when I mentioned this post’s topic to him, chimed in that Masamune Shirow’s manga gave him a similar feeling.
Daniella Orihuela-Gruber on the question of whether manga can be too wordy (All About Manga)
News from Japan
The juggernaut that is One Piece continues with its seventh record-breaking volume in a row: Publisher Shueisha launched volume 63 with a 3.9 million copy print run.
Nobody was expecting a new suspense manga from Peach-Pit, so fans were surprised when the first chapter of their two-installment manga Kugiko-san debuted in Kodansha’s Nakayoshi magazine on Wednesday.
This is about anime, not manga, but it’s too good a story to pass up: Jonathan Clements tells the twisted tale of Tenigri The Boy of the Steppes, a promotional film from a dairy company that was outlined by Osamu Tezuka, substantially changed by animator Yasuo Otsuka, and partially animated by a young Hayao Miyazake. There are all sorts of strange angles to this story, including the fact that the anime wasn’t released to the public until after the dairy company got in trouble for selling expired milk.