The folks behind JManga didn’t let any grass grow under their feet; while the rest of us were still posting about it, they set up Facebook and Twitter accounts, added 19 new titles, and responded to comments about the high prices. It sounds like they are working toward a more reasonable price structure (remember, JManga consists of 39 publishers, and getting them all to agree must be a challenge). While we wait, Deb Aoki reviewed five of the new manga on the site, so we’ll know what’s worth the $8.99 and what isn’t.
In other digital manga news, Digital Manga is now bringing Harlequin manga to the Nook, Barnes & Noble’s e-reader. The Harlequin manga, which are Japanese adaptations of American novels, translated and localized by the Japanese company Softbank, and marketed by Digital.
The lively yaoi website The Yaoi Review is closing its doors, but for a good reason: Blogger Jennifer LeBlanc is Viz’s new editor of BL manga!
Read and Discuss
If you want a surreal shojo horror story with a sorta-bisexual lead and some very messed-up characters, then this manga is for you. It’s definitely for me; I love its David Lynch dreamworld and how it depicts the dark emotions of shame and fear and body-anxiety.
Jason Thompson writing about the classic gender-bender manga After School Nightmare at Anime News Network
The characters speak fluent exposition, frequently explaining things to one another that are readily obvious from Yamada’s crisply executed drawings. Worse still, the intelligent dialogue is reserved for the male characters; the few female cast members’ primary role is to be menaced, rescued, and ogled, though not necessarily in that order.
Kate Dacey, The Manga Critic, who nonetheless enjoyed Yoshinobu Yamada’s B-movie style manga Cage of Eden.
I’ve only done one novel professionally, so I’m no expert, but as I see it, manga translation is all about the sentence whereas novels are all about the paragraph. In manga, a word balloon will contain only one sentence or phrase. On a paragraph level for novels, you reformat the information so it makes sense and reads well. Sentences might be moved around and reworked so that it flows more naturally in English while retaining the same information as the Japanese. In manga, you can do the same thing within a sentence, but you can’t really move the sentences around. It isn’t very often that you have more than one or two sentences in a word balloon.
Translator William Flanagan (Fairy Tail, School Rumble) on the difference between translating manga and novels, in an interview with Otaku News.
Other recent writings to check out:
Sean Gaffney reviews vol. 1 of Anesthesiologist Hana at A Case Suitable for Treatment.
Johanna Draper Carlson reviews vol. 6 of Bakuman at Comics Worth Reading.
Richard Bruton reviews vol. 2 of Summit of the Gods at the Forbidden Planet blog.
Erica Friedman discusses the Japanese magazine Feel Young at Manga Bookshelf and talks about the interplay between Japanese culture and manga at The Hooded Utilitarian.
Tony Yao looks at gender role switching in Fumi Yoshinaga’s Ooku: The Inner Chambers at Manga Therapy.
News from Japan
Di Gi Charat creator Koge Donbo* is working on a new manga, Yomesan wa Moe Mangaka (The Wife is a Moe Manga Creator), about her recent marriage.
Children of the Sea is coming to an end; the last chapter will run in the October issue of Monthly IKKI.
Translator Tomo Kimura shows off an alternate cover for Black Butler.