Tag Archives: manga

Yen Press Expands Distribution Deal with Diamond to Include International Markets

Effective June 5, 2017, Diamond Comic Distributors will assume exclusive sales and distribution for Yen Press outside of the North American market in traditional and non-traditional book channels, a deal that was announced at the London Book Fair 2017. This is a significant expansion of Yen’s existing relationship with Diamond for the comic book specialty market, and, most importantly, gives Diamond exclusive rights to offer Yen Press titles in the UK and Ireland book markets.

Yen Press, LLC is a joint venture between Kadakowa Corporation and Hachette Book Group, dedicated to publishing manga and graphic novels for adults and young readers. Founded in 2006, Yen Press has quickly risen to become one of the largest and most prolific publishers of manga and original graphic novels in the North American marketplace and has become a driving force in the introduction of light novels to new readers through its Yen On imprint.

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Manga Monday Review: Big Hero 6 Vol. 1

When Hiro’s kindhearted brother, Tadashi vanishes through a portal to save him, the boy genius is devastated. But his big brother left something to help Hiro cope with his loss – a personal health-care robot named Baymax. And when what Hiro needs more than comfort is an explanation of his brother’s disappearance, Baymax – with a few upgrades – may be just what the doctor ordered! With new friends and Baymax 2.0 by his side, Hiro is determined to get to the bottom of everything… and he might end up saving the world on his way!

I’m a big fan of Big Hero 6. I enjoyed the original Marvel comics, but love the Disney animated film. This manga adaptation by Haruki Ueno is a spin out of the movie though takes enough liberties that though it’s similar, it’s different as well. This first volume feels like it condenses the film in some ways ending with a confrontation with the main bad guy. It could be the first or final confrontation, I have no idea, since I haven’t read the second volume. But, what’s interesting to me is how this version has changed.

Unlike the films, Tadashi is the one that’s sucked into the portal. Hiro has a bit more attitude and much less likeable, especially when it comes to the interactions with Tadashi’s friends like GoGo, Honey Lemon, etc. In the film the friendship when it comes to them is very natural but in this manga it’s a bit more abrupt. While we feel for Hiro in the film this manga has his attitude and personality so different, it’s hard to be totally behind him. He’s a bratty child in many ways. The heart, in other words, is lost.

Ueno’s art is pretty interesting blending the film’s art with a bit more of a manga influence and it generally works. There’s so decent action sequences, but again something is missing. Even what should be exciting action is either presented in ways that’s confusing, or the energy you might so in other manga is present. It’s a dulled version of a fun, full of energy, movie.

Maybe it’s because I’m such a fan of the movie, but this manga is just a dud to me. It misses the heart of the film, the action of the film, the fun of the film. What’s changed isn’t changed for the better. What’s added while interesting, isn’t interesting enough. When it comes to the original Marvel comic, the movie, or this manga, the manga comes in a distant third.

Story: Haruki Ueno Art: Haruki Ueno
Story: 5.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V is Out this April from Viz

VIZ Media expands the world of YU-GI-OH! with the launch of Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V on April 4th.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V features story by Shin Yoshida and artwork by Naohito Miyoshi. First printings of the latest incarnation of the iconic series will include an ultra-rare trading card that will be highly prized by collectors and game players. The series is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will be published under the Shonen Jump imprint with a print MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V also launches digitally via VIZ.com and the VIZ Manga App, as well as in the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and Google Play stores. Subsequent volumes of the ongoing series will be published in English bi-annually.

In Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V, action duels have become a global sensation, but what is the dark secret behind them that threatens to destroy the world? In the opening volume, Yuzu Hiiragi and her father run a Dueling school that’s seen better days. If only they had a star teacher to bring in new students! When a rogue Duelist known as Phantom appears in the city, Yuzu may have found a savior, but Phantom will have to deal with the Leo Corporation’s special forces before he can get into any community service!

Preview: Assassin’s Creed: Awakening #5

ASSASSIN’S CREED: AWAKENING #5

Writer: Yano Takashi
Artist: Oiwa Kenji
COVER A: OIWA KENJI
COVER B: ROY ALLAN MARTINEZ
COVER C: AMRIT BIRDI
FC – $4.99

Assassin’s Creed manga, published for the first time in English! Set in the time of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag!

Manga Monday Review: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Vol. 1

Once upon a time, wizards tried to conquer the Sacred Realm of Hyrule. The Spirits of Light sealed the wizards’ power within the Shadow Crystal and banished them to the Twilight Realm beyond the Mirror of Twilight. Now, an evil menace is trying to find Midna, Princess of the Twilight Realm, and the fragments of the Shadow Crystal to gain the power to rule over both the Twilight Realm and the World of Light.

Link once trained in swordsmanship, hoping to protect the world of Hyrule. After a fateful meeting, he sought out the anonymity and peace of life in a small village. But danger and adventure always find heroes to set things right, and when the dark minions of the King of Shadows threaten his new home, Link answers the call!

Akira Himekawa is really two women, A. Honda, and S. Nagano, who together have adapted this modern classic video game for the manga page. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Vol. 1 is all set up taking us into this new world of Link introducing us to the light and the dark and hinting at the adventure to come. The first volume is very much a set up with the action coming at the very end, so if you’re looking for a story to dive right into Link’s adventure, that’s not it. But, that slow start feels like a classic Link story and it’s hard to not read each page with the classic Legend of Zelda theme song playing in your head.

The art is fantastic and perfectly captures the video game’s imagery on the printed page. Characters look familiar and there’s so much detail without overwhelming the page. The manga’s art feels like it captures the video game series and is just a perfect translation. The balance between the light and dark is emphasized in the art and uses of grays and blacks on the page. We’re transported from one to the other with just a flip of the page. For as fun as the manga is the read, the art is just as fantastic.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Vol. 1 is perfectly timed to be released with Link’s latest video game adventure. It extends the fun to the printed page to relax and read when you’re not guiding the excitement yourself with a joystick. All these years later, the manga feels familiar and like home in many ways. For fans of this franchise, or those who enjoy a fantasy epic, this is a must get.

Story: Akira Himekawa Art: Akira Himekawa Translation: John Werry and Stan!
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Viz Media provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Kodansha Releases New Digital Sports Manga on March 7

ace-of-the-diamondDuring its panel at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle today, Kodansha Comics announced the digital publication of the holy trinity of fan-requested sports manga: Ace of the Diamond, All-Rounder Meguru, and Giant Killing. Volume 1s of all 3 titles will go on sale March 7 on all of Kodansha’s digital retail channels.

Yuji Terajima’s Ace of the Diamond, a hot-blooded, epic-length bestseller in Japan about the travails of a gifted left-handed pitcher who comes to the big city to play premier-level high-school baseball, was the basis of the hit anime series that streamed on Crunchyroll.

All-Rounder Meguru, a stirring drama about a determined young man looking to escape the bleak prospects of home by making it in the brutal world of Shooto MMA (mixed martial arts), is the latest work from acclaimed creator Hiroki Endo (Eden: It’s an Endless World!, published by Dark Horse Comics).

all-rounder-meguruMasaya Tsunamoto and Tsujitomo’s Giant Killing, about an eccentric-genius soccer coach who returns from abroad to bring success to an underdog team, is one of the all-time-favorite and long-running (still ongoing in Japan) manga about the beautiful game. It was also adapted into a hit anime series.

In addition, the panel at ECCC announced Natsumi Eguchi’s Hozuki’s Coolheadedness (adapted into the anime available from Sentai Filmworks), Kotono Kato’s Altair: A Record of Battles, and Ryosuke Tomoe’s Museum, which will see digital publication on March 21. Kodansha Comics has been steadily bringing out new, off-the-beaten-path manga series in digital format since the start of 2017.

Volume 1s of Ace of the Diamond, All-Rounder Meguru, Giant Killing, Hozuki’s Coolheadedness, Altair: A Record of Battles, and Museum will be available for sale or preorder across all Kodansha Comics digital book channels: BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, and nook.

Loot Anime Episode 15 “Teamwork” Unboxing

Loot Anime is a geek box by Loot Crate and Crunchyroll focused on the anime fans. This month’s box has a theme of “Teamwork”! There’s lots of anime and manga featuring teams!

We open up the box to show off what’s inside and what we think of the box.

You can order next month’s box now!

 

 

Loot Crate provided Graphic Policy with a FREE box for review.
The above link is an Affiliate Link, so any purchases Graphic Policy receives a percentage of the sale.

Review: Inuyasha

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When people think of filler in anime, I assume they’re thinking of things like Bleach or Naruto, two series that thrived off stupid side plots that weren’t in the manga but people still watched. You see, filler is what happens when a series is popular but has an unfinished story manga-wise so the anime creators decide to screw it and make up plots. Now, I don’t know exactly where the filler arc originated, but the first time ever really noticed it was in the series Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi. The manga ran from 1996 to 2008 and the anime… Well the first series ran from 2000 to 2004 before the rightly named Final Act aired in 2009 to 2010. Rumiko Takahashi is also known for her work on Ranma ½ and most recently Rin-ne. However, I think, Inuyasha next to Ranma ½ is her most influential and long lasting work as it has continued to be prevalent in anime culture to this day.

The story follows Kagome Higurashi, your normal high-school girl who lives at a shrine in Tokyo who is magically transported to “Feudal Era” Japan. It’s there that she meets Inuyasha and wacky shenanigans ensue. They meet a multitude of other characters and have crazy love triangles all while trying to save the… “Feudal Era.” Also, there’s some stuff about a magic jewel that, completely by accident, is shattered into like… 99 shards if I remember correctly. I could make the joke about the main characters yelling each other’s name dramatically, but honestly, everyone’s sort of made that joke at this point. Besides, there’s a lot of other things I can make fun of! Like the fact that random characters seriously use “Ye” and that this is a series that continues the early 2000s tradition of reading out loud the horribly translated title cards. I’m also probably exaggerating the whole “filler arc” thing as well, but somewhere along the way it felt like the story stagnated and keep repeating the same three story lines when the anime ran out of manga to transcribe.

This is a series I watched every Saturday on Adult Swim’s anime block and it was actually one of my first anime series! It holds a special place in my heart, but like many things I have grown out of it and recognize that there are some things that could be better about the series. This is basically a repeat case of Chrono Crusade but with infinitely better end results.

For characters, we start with Kagome of course. She’s the traditional student who’s just trying to get the boy and graduate. Everything changes naturally when she falls in an ancient well on her family’s property. Then she’s transported to “Feudal” Japan with only a little emotional trauma. It’s there that she finds out who she is, or who she used to be, and what she has to do. It’s also there that she meets Inuyasha.

Inuyasha is a half-demon boy who only wants to become a full demon, mostly due to tragic backstory and yadda yadda. He’s rough around the edges, but he means well. He’s your typical early 90s/2000s male protag that’s honestly just trying his best. He and Kagome work well as characters together, often fighting and creating a lot of humor with each other. He does have a lot of issues though, especially in concern to that big ol’ who Kagome used to be thing.

We also have Sango a demon hunter with anger problems and a tragic backstory. She’s there to act as… Well, a love interest for another character. She is awesome, using a huge boomerang to kill demons alongside her companion who’s… A giant cat or something? I was never really sure what Kirara was, but I knew she was cool.  Sango’s on both a path for revenge and character growth. She spends a lot of time being one of the actually more helpful characters in the series, but is held back by your typical early 2000s character type that almost echoes the tsundere but not completely.

Then finally, last but not least, Miroku a perverted monk who also surprisingly has a tragic backstory. He has a magic deus ex machina hand hole, it’s actually called the Wind Tunnel, and it sucks up everything from demons to land. One day though, it’ll probably consume Miroku too, which would be more worrisome if the cast didn’t seem to either forget about it or somehow have it incapacitated. Like, it’s literally an OP skill that gets sort of pushed to the side so Miroku can be a pervert and the comedic relief too often.

There’s also a multitude of side characters that don’t really add much to the story. That’s one of my major issues with this series, we’re introduced to a really big cast that just don’t really do anything, like they’re there but in the grand scheme of things Kagome and Inuyasha are the important ones. That and a lot of these characters are just… Not the greatest? It feels like everyone has a tragic backstory but it doesn’t really excuse their awful personalities. I mean, a lot of the characters grow eventually, but I felt the story suffered from the abundance of characters.

The art is… Frankly a bit dated in the style itself. You can see it in the way the face and eyes are shaped compared to more recent series, the eyes are squarer while the faces are sharp, short, and round. That being said it’s not entirely bad though, some parts of it still hold up to this day, especially fight scenes. Inuyasha in any fight still looks clean and each frame, well not each, is a good screenshot. I would say that while dated this series animated art holds up a lot better than late 2000s series. It doesn’t fall into horrible anatomy or cringe worthy moe-bait. Both animations were done by Sunrise Studio who is most recently known for the Love Live! series, but more popularly known for the Gundam series or Cowboy Bebop to name a few series. It was licensed by the all too familiar companies Madman Entertainment and Viz Media. These are all studios that are great and have accomplished a lot and it shows with Inuyasha how far they had come then and how far they have since then. Now, I didn’t read the manga, but from the art I’ve seen it comes off farm more simplistic in design, at least character-wise, but also charming at the same time. Also, you can see how Rumiko Takahashi has grown in terms of her art as Inuyasha comes of a bit sharper compared to later series she has done.

Sound wise, I’ve only watched the dub and I always, and still do this day, thought it was a pretty good dub in terms of voice and execution. Now, translation wise…. I won’t be praising that. There is a character that says “Ye” to make us believe we’re in the far long past but literally no other characters from the past speak that way. That aside though, the main characters were well voiced and acted, I never had an issue with that. For instance, Inuyasha was voiced by Richard Ian Cox, who also voiced Ranma in Ranma ½  and Kai Shiden in like five different versions of Mobile Suit Gundam. Honestly though, none of the actors have done a lot in terms of anime beyond Inuyasha, at least not big roles unless you’re counting Kelly Sheridan as… Starlight Glimmer in MLP: Friendship is Magic… However, I don’t think that takes away from the show at all, rather it sort of gives a different feel of how unique the show was. This is still one of Viz Media’s strongest dubs, I would say, personally at least, and it still holds up compared to other works they’ve done. The acting is on point and never feels contrived like some newer series might. Music wise, I remember most of the themes being amazing, even if there felt like there was a new one every twenty episodes. The ones I remember most clearly are probably the first seasons ending themes which were done by Dream and Do As Infinity. Both were sweet and slow ending songs really showed the softer side of the series that would get bogged down by all the drama and growing violence in the story line. Ultimately, I think much like the art this sound holds up just as equally as the art.

I know that these days Inuyasha can sort of come off as a joke in most anime circles, but I like to think that’s because for many people it was a starting point for an interest in the anime format. It was for me at least. While there are things that could be better, translations and reused plots, but beyond that it holds up nicely. If you ever want something that you could binge watch or just enjoy in the background, I’d say this series is perfect for that!

Inuyasha: 8.5/10

Around the Tubes

decelerate-blueIt’s new comic book day tomorrow. What are folks looking forward to? Sound off in the comments below!

While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

CBR – Marvel Announces Future Avengers TV Anime, Manga For Japan – This looks pretty cool.

TorrentFreak – Online Piracy Can Boost Comic Book Sales, Research Finds – An interesting study.

The Beat – Comics Jobs: Lion Forge, Webtoon and Marvel are hiring – Here’s some jobs if you want to try to work in the industry.

The Outhousers – Neil Gaiman Appointed UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador – Awesome!

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

The Beat – Decelerate Blue

Talking Comics – Detective Comics #951

VIZ Media Launches New Shojo Manga Series Anonymous Noise

anonymousnoise-gn01-3dVIZ Media has announced the launch of a powerful new shojo manga series about passion, music and unrequited love with the launch of Anonymous Noise on March 7th.

The series, by creator Ryoko Fukuyama, is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will be published under the Shojo Beat imprint. Volume 1 will carry a print MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. Anonymous Noise also launches digitally via VIZ.com and the VIZ Manga App, as well as from the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and GooglePlay stores. Subsequent volumes of Anonymous Noise will be published in English on a bi-monthly basis.

In the series, Nino Arisugawa, a girl who loves to sing, experiences her first heart-wrenching goodbye when her beloved childhood friend, Momo, moves away. And after Nino befriends Yuzu, a music composer, she experiences another sad parting! Both boys promised Nino that they would find her one day through her singing, so she holds on to that hope and continues to reach out with her voice. Now in high school, Nino serendipitously reunites with Yuzu, but she yearns to see Momo again…

Creator Ryoko Fukuyama is the author of Nosatsu Junkie, Monochrome Shonen Shojo and Shinzou ga Tarinai (Not Enough Heart). Her series, Anonymous Noise, will be adapted into an anime in the spring.

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