Manga News Roundup: Bye Bye, Bandai

It's all over for Bandai, "Barrage," and "Gakuen Alice"; don't bother asking, because there will be no "Duel Masters" manga for you; and the BBC's "Sherlock" gets the manga treatment—in Japan.

The series "Barrage," which is being carried in "Shonen Jump Alpha" just two weeks after chapters are released in the Japanese Shonen Jump, is coming to an end; I liked the first few chapters a lot, so I'm sorry to see it go.

In January, Bandai Entertainment announced that it would stop introducing new manga and anime titles in the U.S. but would continue distributing the products that have already been released. Now that is coming to an end as well; word came on Friday that they will stop selling manga, anime, and novels. Retailers will get one last batch of books in October, and that will be it. Most of Bandai's manga was anime tie-ins such as Gurren Lagann and Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maiden.

One of my favorite writers-about-manga, Shaenon Garrity, takes a long, fond look at Tokyopop's Passion Fruit line of josei manga, romances written for women in their 20s. You can still find the books pretty easily on Paperback Swap or Amazon, so take a look—you might find something you like.

And here's a bit of a tease: Hasbro will not release the "Duel Masters" manga or anime in the U.S. because we are getting the rebooted version of the game, "Kaijudo," and the manga is based on the older version, which has been around in Japan for ten years. I guess they didn't want us to get confused!

Here's some more news from the Japanese manga scene:

A manga series based on the BBC TV show "Sherlock" will launch in the October 4 issue of Kadokawa's Young Ace magazine. The series will kick off with an adaptation of the first episode of the TV series, "A Study in Pink."

"Dance in the Vampire Bund," published in English by Seven Seas, has wound up its first season in Japan, but ANN reports that a mini-series, "Sledge Hammer no Tsuioku (Sledge Hammer's Recollections)," is on the way, after which manga-ka Nozomu Tamaki will begin part II of the main storyline. The series runs in Comic Flapper.

Tachibana Higuchi has begun working on "the final chapter of Gakuen Alice," the long-running (ten years) magical school series that Tokyopop once hoped would be the next "Fruits Basket." The 27th volume was just published in Japan; Tokyopop published 16 volumes in English.