Meet Me In New York: A Roundup Of Recent Manga News

All the cool manga-ka are coming to New York this year; one series ends and another begins in “Shonen Jump Alpha”; and the end has come for “Otomen” and “Blade of the Immortal.” Here’s a quick roundup of what has been going on in the manga world.

A Bakuman poster from the SJ Alpha yearbook

Manga is going to be huge at New York Comic-Con this year—ironically, because this is the year they folded the New York Anime Fest completely into NYCC. Vertical is bringing Moyoco Anno, the creator of Sakuran, Flowers and Bees, and Sugar Sugar Rune, as their guest; Shonen Jump artist Masakazu Katsura (I”s, Video Girl Ai, Zetman) will appear on a Viz panel; Vampire Hunter D illustrator Yoshitaka Amano will promote the new Dark Horse releases The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy and his novel Deva Zan; and JManga’s special guests are Masahiro Ohno, editor of the magazine Young King Ours and the manga Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, and Soredemo manga-ka Masakazu Ishiguro.

Viz’s digital manga magazine Shonen Jump Alpha is changing the lineup a bit: Barrage came to an end in the last issue, and a new series, Cross Manage, about a slackerish guy who somehow ends up managing a girls’ lacrosse team, will take its place.

And Viz has plans to publish a special SJ Alpha Yearbook 2013—in print—that will include a story by Katsura and Akira Toriyama, as well as a Bakuman spinoff, Otter No. 11 (in Bakuman, it’s a manga drawn by a rival of the heroes). Check the SJ Alpha site for some preview pages. Copies will be sent to current SJ Alpha subscribers, and the yearbook will also be available at NYCC.

Arina Tanemura was a guest at Animefest 2012, and in a question-and-answer session with fans she talked about how she plots a story, getting hand cramps from drawing the detailed costumes in Full Moon, and why Time Stranger Kyoko ended so abruptly: “According to polls during the time it was running, girls didn’t like Kyoko’s strong personality. It was my editor’s decision to cut off Time Stranger Kyoko, and I had to finish it.” (This drew groans from the crowd.)

If you missed out on the Sailor Moon phenomenon so far, here’s some good news: Kodansha Comics plans to release a boxed set of the first six volumes (plus a bonus set of stickers) for $65.94. RightStuf has the listing; watch for it in November.

In Japanese manga news, Hirohiko Araki, the creator of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, has drawn a one-shot manga that will be published in the October 6 issue of Shonen Jump. The news broke in a special “25 Years with JoJo” commemorative booklet that came bundled with the latest issue of Ultra Jump to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the manga series. Araki also has a new art book, his first in 12 years, in the works.

Manga-ka Aya Kanno has announced the end of Otomen, which will wind up in the January issue of Bessatsu Hana to Yume (on sale in November). The series is up to volume 13 in the U.S., and volume 16 has just been published in Japan; the final volume will go on sale there sometime next year.

And while it still has a few volumes to go here, the long-running manga Blade of the Immortal, the story of a swordsman cursed with immortality who sets out to kill 1,000 evil men, will be wrapping up in the February issue of Kodansha’s Afternoon magazine.