Manga Tipsheet: Yaoi, Yokai, And Sweet, Sweet Revenge

Today is Yaoi Day, the official fujoshi holiday—it’s a pun on the date 8-01 in Japanese. Yaoi fans can celebrate with markdowns on new and classic yaoi titles at Digital Manga’s eManga site (NSFW), where they are offering 15% off a ton of digital manga until August 4. The manga are available in a variety of different formats, including EPUB files for Kindle, iBooks, and Kobo, as well as downloadable PDFs.

And if yaoi isn’t your cup of tea, here’s another digital deal to check out: The first three volumes of Shuho Sato’s “Say Hello to Black Jack” are free on eManga, and subsequent ones are a dollar each.

And here’s the book of the week:

Shigeru Mizuki’s yokai story “Kitaro” is one of those manga that everyone in Japan is familiar with. It’s based on a folk story that was originally told by storytellers using kamishibai, paper scrolls, which were an immediate predecessor of manga. The main character, Kitaro, is a one-eye yokai boy who was born in a cemetery and struggles to keep the peace between yokai and humans. It’s a classic but also very readable; here’s a preview so you can check it out for yourself.

Here’s the rundown on the latest releases from Yen Press: If you like blood among the crumpets, vol. 14 of “Black Butler” should be just the ticket. The usually unflappable Sebastian gets a wicked blow in a battle, and we begin to see some of the backstory between him and Earl Ciel Phantomhive. If your tastes run to lighter fare, check out “K-ON! College,” in which the tuneful quartet from the K-ON! 4-koma manga series moves on to higher education. (Confusingly, “K-ON! High School” comes out after that, in October.) The second “Kingdom Hearts” arc launches with vol. 1 of “Kingdom Hearts II,” and the first volume of the magical-girl manga “Puella Magi Oriko Magica” is also fresh on the shelves, alongside vol. 2 of “Doubt,” vol. 15 of “Soul Eater,” vol. 14 of “Nabari no Ou,” and vol. 4 of “Until Death Do Us Part.

But wait! There’s more!

Vertical wraps up one of the most remarkable—and underrated—manga series of the past year with vol. 6 of “The Limit,” Keiko Suenobu’s tale of bullying and revenge. The contrast between the brutality of the story and the beauty of Suenobu’s drawing style makes for a fascinating read. Vertical’s other new title this week is vol. 5 of “Heroman,” which was originally created by Stan Lee but fleshed out by a Japanese writer and artist and published first in Japan. It’s a familiar tale about a boy who finds a toy that gives him superpowers, but told Japanese style.

The sole Kodansha Comics release this week is vol. 28 of “Fairy Tail,” and Seven Seas has one new book this week, the first volume of “Vampire Cheerleaders Must Die,” an original English-language manga written by Adam Arnold and illustrated by Shiei. If you want to sample it, it’s available as a free webcomic as well.

Finally, if you like homegrown manga, check out the digital magazine Sparkler, which is run by a group of fangirls with plenty of street cred, including former Tokyopop editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl. The first issue is just out, and it features two manga, Jen Lee Quick’s “Off*Beat” and Christy Lijewski’s “Dire Hearts,” as well as two online novels and more.