Viz announces a second "Tiger & Bunny" manga, Yen Press brings back another "Kingdom Hearts" manga, Kodansha piles up more volumes of "Fairy Tail," and "Amazing Agent Luna" returns for another round. Plus: Watch shoujo superstar Arina Tanemura draw a manga cover!
Thanks for the Memories: This is the big Yen Press release week, and leading the charge is their new edition of "Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories," Shiro Amano's manga based on the Disney/Square Enix video game. Tokyopop released the manga as a two-volume series a few years ago. This new omnibus edition is complete in a single volume, and the next series, "Kingdom Hearts II," will be coming out in two volumes in July and August.
OK, that's great for the gamers, but what about the rest of us? Danica Davidson has already sung the praises of "Higurashi When They Cry: Festival Accompanying Arc" and "Puella Magi Kazuma Magica," but let me put in the good word for vol. 5 of "GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class," which is a four-panel gag manga about a group of girls in art school. Japanese gag comics are not always easy for foreign readers to fathom, but the art-school setting gives this one a bit more focus than most. In this volume, the girls practice drawing animals and go to the beach for summer vacation. And while it's an off month for the "Soul Eater" manga, fans can enjoy the gorgeous "Soul Eater Soul Art" art book instead.
Goat's Head Soup: Meanwhile, Kodansha brings us vol. 27 of "Fairy Tail," in which a wizard with a goat's head tries to murder Fairy Tail. What's up with that? If you're curious, take a look at the preview at the link—that's a nice new feature. Kodansha has been releasing a volume a month of "Fairy Tail" in print, and they are even more aggressive on their digital service, so if you have an iPad and you're the impatient type, check it out—they are up to vol. 30 in digital, and at $4.99 a volume, it's less than half the price of print. Also up this week from Kodansha is vol. 7 of the "Negima" omnibus.
Secret Agent Girl: Seven Seas checks in with vol. 9 of "Amazing Agent Luna," one of the longest-running, and most readable, original English-language manga. It's written by the comics-pro team of Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, whose credits include "New X-Men" and "Adventures of Superman," and drawn in a smooth, curvy style by Shiei. This is a great, light read that will occasionally make you laugh out loud, and it's highly recommended as vacation reading.
In Other News: Viz doesn't have any new releases this week, but they do have a bit of news: They have acquired the license to the two-volume "Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning," which will come out this fall. Viz already is publishing the regular "Tiger & Bunny" manga and you can watch the anime at their site as well.
Here's some more summer reading: This week, Viz is cutting prices on some of their most popular manga in their digital service; you can pick up the first two volumes of "Death Note," "Nana," or "Vampire Knight" for $3.99 each, a buck off the regular price.
It's a quiet week for anime cons, with a sprinkling of local cons all over the U.S. and Canada (check the list on the right sidebar here to see if there is one near you), but Digital Manga is already announcing their plans for Anime Expo, which kicks off on July 4.
In the Japanese market, "Deadman Wonderland," and "Maid Sama!" are both drawing to a close in the next few weeks, and Mari Yamazaki is working on a Thermae Romae spinoff that will be out in September.
And here's a cool video of Arina Tanemura drawing a cover for the bonus comic that was bundled with this week's issue of "Margaret."