Category Archives: Manga and Anime

Entertainment Earth

VIZ Media to take us to The World of RWBY

VIZ Media has announces the acquisition of The World of RWBY: The Official Companion.

An official behind-the-scenes guide to the acclaimed animated series, The World of RWBY will be published this fall and features artwork, interviews, and insights from the hit series’ writers, animators, and voice actors.

The definitive companion to the hit animated series, The World of RWBY is the ultimate celebration of a pop-culture phenomenon. Go behind the scenes with exclusive commentary from Rooster Teeth and explore the show’s creation through in-depth interviews with the writers, animators and voice artists. With comprehensive analysis of key characters and iconic episodes, and showcasing stunning visuals from the series, this is the must-have book for RWBY fans around the world. 

VIZ Media is the official English publisher for the RWBY manga and RWBY Official Manga Anthology series. Both titles are inspired by the popular online anime-style series originally created by Monty Oum and produced by Austin, TX-based Rooster Teeth. RWBY was the first western-produced anime series to be distributed in Japan and has been viewed over 250 million times. Volume 6 of the series premiered in October 2018. 

The World of RWBY: The Official Companion is written by Daniel Wallace, a comic book expert, sci-fi sage, and lifelong geek. Author or co-author of more than 50 books including The Jedi Path, Ghostbusters: The Ultimate Visual History, The World According to Spider-Man, Warcraft: Behind the Dark portal, and the New York Times bestselling Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Characters, his specialty is exploring the underpinning of popular fictional universes.

The World of RWBY: The Official Companion

Review: Jose Rizal Chapter 3

Jose Rizal Chapter 3

Despite Mel Gibson’s notoriety these days, it was not that long ago he was known for his acting talent and being a good director. I remember the first movie I saw him in, a movie I did not quite get at first, Mad Max. He was a brooding lone warrior who fought injustice where he saw it and said practically no words in that first film. As his star rose, so did the gauntlet of characters he would occupy.

Some of his movies were hit or miss, none I would care to mention. Then there are excellent ones like the Lethal Weapon series, and We Were Soldiers. One of my all-time favorite movies of his is Braveheart, where the people who he led did not truly see until the end how much of a man he was before his time. In the final chapter of Jose Rizal, we find our protagonist on the precipice of becoming a world icon.

We find Rizal as his second book, “El Filibusterimo” has just been published, and where he formed “la Liga Filipina”, and was immediately exiled Dapitan in Mindinao for outspokenness. This is where he met Emilio Jacinto, who was considered the braintrust of the Kapitunan, the revolutionaries lead by Andres Bonifacio, who Rizal knew from La Liga Filipina. As Jacinto tried to recruit Rizal to join their army, as he refuses, but is charged with conspiracy anyway despite not having any part of the Kapitunan. When he got back to Manila after being imprisoned, he stood a military trial, and was given a death sentence. As spent his last day and hours, with family and his wife, he still wished for the Filipino nationalism to still catch on like a wild fire. Soon after, Paciano, Jose’s older brother went to meet General Emilio Aguinaldo, who Rizal left a poem, as this would go on to inspire the Filipino peoples until very province was set free. By story’s end, as history has shown, the Philippines would not be freed until Ferdinand Marcos fled the country, as we see through the eyes of one of his students, now a grandmother, the Filipino people as one.

Overall, a heartbreaking end to this epic story, which shows those willing to give up their life freely are a rare breed. The story by Takahiro Matsui is engaging and well told. The art by Ryo Konno is beautiful. Altogether, a story which will inspire and teach the reader that arc of change bends slowly but faith will get you there.

Story: Takahiro Matsui Art: Ryo Konno
Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

VIZ Media Gains Pokémon: The Power of Us Manga and Home Media Rights

Pokémon  The Movie: The Power of Us - Zeraora

VIZ Media has announced the home media distribution rights for Pokémon: The Power of Us in the US and Canada and manga publishing rights for Pokémon The Movie: The Power of Us – Zeraora under license from The Pokémon Company International.

The 21st feature film of the beloved Pokémon entertainment franchise caught the attention of fans when it screened in theaters in the US and select international territories last year. Pokémon The Movie: The Power of Us is slated for release on Blu-ray and DVD. Pokémon The Movie: The Power of Us – Zeraora depicts the exciting manga backstory to the movie and features story and artwork by creator Kemon Kawamoto. The manga will be published by VIZ Media this summer.

A young athlete whose running days might be behind her, a compulsive liar, a shy researcher, a bitter old woman, and a little girl with a big secret—the only thing they have in common is the annual Wind Festival in Fula City. The festival celebrates the Legendary Pokémon Lugia, who brings the wind that powers this seaside city. When a series of threats endangers not just the festival, but all the people and Pokémon of Fula City, it’ll take more than just Ash and Pikachu to save the day! Can everyone put aside their differences and work together—or will it all end in destruction? 

Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Comes to Dark Horse in July 2019

2199 will be Earth’s final year—unless the voyage of Space Battleship Yamato can succeed, and you can follow their mission as it begins with volume 1 of Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199, coming to Dark Horse July 2019! 

Aliens from the planet Gamilas have devastated the biosphere, determined to reshape our planet into their new home. But an emissary from the distant Iscandar has given humanity the means to defeat them. If the crew of theYamato can battle its way through the Gamilas fleet to reach Iscandar, their technology can heal the Earth—but the odds against them are literally astronomical…

The animated television series Space Battleship Yamato began in Japan in 1974, and eventually became a cultural phenomenon. In 1979, the show arrived in the U.S. as Star Blazers and gained a dedicated new fan following. Now, in the Summer of 2019, manga fans can see the saga reborn in Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199, based on the anime available from Funimation!

Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199, adapted to manga by Michio Murakawa, with covers by Junichiro Tamamori, arrives in a double-sized English omnibus edition. Translated by Zack Davisson and with an afterword by animator and Yamato fan Tim Eldred, each omnibus volume will contain two Japanese volumes’ worth of story in its 344 pages as well as an extensive bonus section featuring Earth and Gamilas spacecraft diagrams!

Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Volume 1 goes on sale July 31, 2019 for $19.99.

Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Volume 1

Review: Jose Rizal Vol. 2

Jose Rizal Vol. 2

It takes a revolution (revolution) to make a solution
(Doo-doo-doo-doo)
Too much confusion (aaa-aaah), so much frustration, eh!
I don’t want to live in the park (live in the park)
Can’t trust no shadows after dark (shadows after dark), yeah-eh!
So, my friend, I wish that you could see
Like a bird in the tree, the prisoners must be free, yeah! (Free) –
Revolution-Bob Marley

As Bob Marley eloquently shows in his lyrics that when one starts a revolution, it can be hard to see the truth for what it is and choosing your compatriots is an uneasy task. One starts revolutions because what is in place is not normally working in the eyes of the many. As anyone who has had a dissenting opinion has experienced, their unique voice is usually met knelt heads and sharp glances. As history typically favors these brave souls but their present tense normally doesn’t.

As those first steps can be trying, can be nerve wracking to say the least. As you never know when tomorrow will be your last. As it is easy to admire Samuel Adams now, but would anyone during that time, want to be in hi shoes, with the British Army looking for him? In the second chapter of Jose Rizal, we find out how it was for the titular hero, as he took those first steps before becoming a legend.

We find Rizal, as he departs for Paris, to study Philosophy and Letters, and later studying medicine in Madrid, and where he decides to write his first novel. As his book had many anti colonial sentiments, he gains an ally in Maximo Viola, another Filipino studying in Madrid who shared his hope for reform in the Philippines, who urged him to push on and find a publisher, which he did in Berlin. As his first book gets published, Noli Me Tangere, he finds himself in the midst of sudden fame, as the tome has made quite an impression on the populace who feel that they have not been heard or seen as the Spanish have taken a firmer hold in the Philippines since his youth. As the doubling of taxes makes Rizal’s return inevitable to PI from his travels in Europe, as his mother’s condition only worsened and his hometown was in dire need of an ophthalmologist, as his studies abroad equipped with the best knowledge, to best serve his people. As he soon finds out that the Church controlled the government, and the economy, making it difficult for the native Filipinos to make a living and as his anti-Church actions ramp, he quickly becomes a surveillance target of the colonial government.

Overall, an engrossing chapter in this already rapturous series which attributes this national hero with a fire not too many people possess. The story by Takahiro Matsui is dramatic, engaging and well told. The art by Ryo Konno is simply breath taking. Altogether, a story which tells this history as interesting as it really is.

Story: Takahiro Matsui Art: Ryo Konno
Story: 10 Art: 9.7 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Classic Urusei Yatsura Manga Returns In New Deluxe Editions From VIZ

Urusei Yatsura

VIZ Media has announced the return of the classic manga comedy from Rumiko Takahashi Urusei Yatsura in all-new deluxe editions on February 19th.

Set for publication under the VIZ Signature imprint, Urusei Yatsura depicts the hilarious misadventures of an unlucky human boy who meets a beautiful alien princess. The series is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens; Volume 1 will carry a print MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $26.99 CAN. Urusei Yatsura ’s volumes will present 400 pages of content in the larger VIZ Signature trim size. The complete series is scheduled for English publication by VIZ Media on a quarterly basis.

In Urusei Yatsura , beautiful space alien princess Lum invades Earth on her UFO, and unlucky Ataru Moroboshi’s world gets turned upside down! Will Lum become Earth’s electrifying new leader? Or will Ataru somehow miraculously save Earth from space alien onslaught?

Review: Jose Rizal Vol. 1

Jose Rizal Vol. 1

What does the title “national hero” mean to most people and does that title mean that person is also a patriot? Here in America was bestowed on our Founding Fathers who started the American Revolution. In time, we have given it Americans throughout history who have shown bravery protecting our ideals. History often teaches us what makes one a radical and one a revolutionary is most often time.

The Founding Fathers could have been viewed quite differently by history and their actions could be looked at as treason. The faith these men and women had in their sense of patriotism, is what formed our national identity. Revolutions usually take faith and courage and for some the ultimate sacrifice. In one of the first ever English told stories about one of the Philippines national heroes Takahiro Matsui and Ryo Konno’s Jose Rizal, we get a glimpse of who the man was before he became the martyr the country has come to know.

We meet Jose Rizal, on the day of his execution, as a physician is examining him, he demands that he face, his accusers and the people he loves and represents. We are taken back to when he was a young man, growing as the youngest boy with 11 other siblings, where his family lived under a cruel Spanish monarchy which often took advantage of its dominion in the Philippines and arrested her mother for defiance.  We witness her walk of shame as her equal treatment between the natives, who they refer to as “Indios” and the Spaniards, becomes a sticking point for why she becomes vilified. The Governor of his “province, General Izquierdo, ruled with an iron fist, but with the influence by Jose’s sister, Soledad, had convinced him to set free their mother, Teodora, after two years of imprisonment. By issue’s end, these events sparked a fire in Jose’s mind state, one that would make him a revolutionary and national hero.

Overall, the manga is a beautifully rendered and skillfully told story about one of the world’s best representations of fighting injustice. The story by Matsui is emotional, melancholy, and inspiring. The art by Konno is gorgeous. Altogether, a book that feels like an epic saga more than a history lesson, which makes it so compelling.

Story: Takahiro Matsui Art: Ryo Konno
Story: 9.6 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

VIZ Media Launches Shojo Manga Series – Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits

VIZ Media announced the release of Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits on January 1st.

Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits was illustrated by Waco Ioka and features character designs by Laruha. The series, which is based on a collection of popular Japanese light novels by Midori Yuma, is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will be published in print under VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint with an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. The series is also available digitally for $6.99 via viz.com and the VIZ Manga App, as well as from the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and Google Play stores. Future volumes of Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits will be published on a quarterly basis.

In the series, Aoi Tsubaki inherited her grandfather’s ability to see spirits – and his massive debt to them! Now she’s been kidnapped and taken to Kakuriyo, the spirit world, to make good on his bill. Her options: marry the head of the inn her grandfather trashed or get eaten by demons. But Aoi isn’t the type to let spirits push her around, and she’s determined to redeem her grandfather’s IOU on her own terms!

Review: Slum Wolf

Slum Wolf

For anyone who has ever been to Japan, there’s something both magical and mysterious about the wonderful country. When I was first temporarily assigned to the USS Obrien in Naval Station Yokuska, it very much felt like I was living in a storybook. At first, I felt the emptiness of being a stranger in a strange land. That is where the magic of being in Japan practically whisks you away. The land, its inhabitants, and the places along the way, makes the whole country so beautiful and amazing experience. I also became very much enamored with its history. It’s complicated, storied, and epic, making the nation’s story so compelling.

What the world knows about Japan usually lies in what mass media portrays. Many of the movies that are imported from Japan usually are focused on the Yakuza and fall into over the top action. Then there’s anime which both tug at the heat and leaves viewers in awe. Rarely, other than Grave Of The Fireflies does the Western world get a glimpse of what happened after World War II . One such creator, Tadao Tsuge, made it his mission to portray the Japan he lived in and one of his first collections to be printed here in the United States, Slum Wolf, gives the Western world a peak into the mind and view of this master storyteller.

In “Sentimental Melody,” two old friends reminisce of friends lost and times they rather forget. In “Sounds,” one man gets haunted by what he believes he hears but it’s what he isn’t paying attention to which causes him concern. In “Legend Of The Wolf,” one retired hitman looks back at his life and mistakes a stranger for a work colleague. In the lasts tory that I will highlight, “The Death Of Ryokichi Aogishi,” a student pontificates on his life within the grand design which leads him to some murky roads.

Overall, the graphic novel is a sprawling collection that traverses genres and audiences to tell a complete story of Japan and its impact on the world. The stories by Tsuge are smart, relatable, funny, and sometimes tense. The art by Tsude is at times only serviceable, but at other times, magnificent. Altogether, the father of alternative manga delivers his best work and brings his own style to the art form.

Story: Tadao Tsuge Art: Tadao Tsuge Translator: Ryan Holmberg
Story : 9.7 Art: 9.4 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Shonen Jump has Gone Free and Same Day as Japan

It was announced today that Shonen Jump has gone free to read the same day as Japan. Also, for $1.99 a month subscribers will have access to “nearly everything” Shonen Jump has ever released in English.

The decision comes after the service posted free chapters this year resulting in a positive result including more people reading manga.

You can find out more and see for yourself at shonenjump.com.

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